Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yummeh Beef Ball!

We were initially targeting Vietnamese beef pho but somehow got lured in by this Chinese beef ball soup which turned out to be excellent. Proof that one can plan but sometimes just follow your heart lah.

The Three In One Beef Soup ($5; additional 50cents for rice) came with beef ball, tendon ball and beef slices in a light but tasty soup with crunchy blanched beans sprouts. While the beef slices were tenderised and lack beefy flavour, the beef balls were very good- nice firm bite without being overly dense and floury and with a good beefy flavour. Dip them into the chilli sauce for a bit more (tangy, chilli and garlic) kick!

The Beef & Tendon Ball Dry Bee Hoon ($5) featured the dry version with a gooey brown sauce that packed heaps of five spice. I mooch prefer the soup version here. :)

The Beef House
151 Joo Chiat Road (shares the premise with Rong Seafood)

Chew On This: Planning a home party? Buy back frozen beef slices, beef ball, tendon ball and chilli sauce here!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday Dinner with the Family at hippopotamus

Ok so watching Nat Geo will probably tell you that a cow in a hippo eating a cow does not happen. But try running around crazy in blistering heat on a scorching Saturday and it would make that moore believable. Moohehe.

After a work event that was so tiring but fun, I rushed to meet the family for my birthday dinner at Hippopotamus. It's apparently a casual French restaurant that specialises in affordable steaks.

Here's my Skirt Steak ($18.90). The muscle structure of this cut made it a tad tougher and more chewy but I  quite enjoyed its bite and flavour.

Mum and Sis (and later me. Moohaha) shared the Sirloin Steak ($49.90). A 480g thick chunk of sirloin was quite lean with a rich, irony beef flavour.

For those who can't decide on their cut, there's the Beef Skewer ($21.90)- a mix of sirloin, rump, skirt and hanger on well....a skewer.

Hippopotamus is a casual, family-friendly restaurant with decent, reasonably priced food and good service on that evening we were there. Though I am not fond of long queues, I can see why there was one.

Marina Square 

Tel: 63385352 
Opens: 11am - 10.30pm daily

Chew On This: 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Spirit of Ponderosa Lives on at Astons Steak & Salad!

I sorely miss the now defunct Ponderosa. Probably one of the first few places I cut my teeth on steaks and baked potato, Ponderosa holds many a happy memoory dining out with the family when I was a kid. So imagine my joy in discovering that the old Astons Prime has morphed into a restaurant that brings back that shiok Ponderosa feeling! :)

A Salad Bar ($19.90) offering coleslaw, mixed leaves, pasta salad, turnip, beans, olives, broccoli, walnuts etc always brings a smile.

From the the hot food salad bar counter, chew on Brussels sprouts, grilled mushrooms, pasta in tomato sauce and steamed veggies. At least 3 different hot soups from vegetables soup, onion soup and cream of mushroom should warm up empty bellies.

Also available were hot comfort food of potato wedges, onion rings, hash browns, mashed potato...some French beans and sauerkraut added a refreshing break from the yummy carbs.

And then it is back to chewing moore greens. Moohehe.

To complement the salad bar, a number of meats should please moost omnivores. The Pork Chops ($25.90; price comes with the salad bar!) were thin and super tender though I much prefer a more robust taste of the pork.

Grilled Chicken Dinner ($21.90, price comes with the salad bar!) boasted a sizable boneless chicken thigh nicely grilled with a fragrant aroma. The succulent meat had flavours of satay....without the meddling bamboo skewers. My choice of side, the baked potato, was exactly how I remembered Ponderosa's baked potato to be- creamy, buttery, salty and a bit too small! :p

End off with some fruits and the creamy soft serve ice cream. The latter again provided heaps of flashbacks to Ponderosa days.

Moocho gracias for bringing those delicious childhood memories back!

*All prices stated are already inclusive of 7% and there is no service charge (but got service hor!)

Astons Steak & Salad
The Centrepoint
Opens: 11.30am to 10pm daily
Tel: 6235 0556

Chew On This: Aston, the guy behind the Astons chain of restaurant, used to work at Ponderosa and I think this particular restaurant is a fine tribute to the magic of Ponderosa.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monday, April 08, 2013

Beef Pho Birthday Dinner with Friends

It was a challenging week at work (what's new? moohaha) and after clearing whatever I could, I was happy to meet friends for a simple pho dinner to celebrate two important occasions- TGIF and my birthday. :p

While waiting for friends to arrive I decided to join the queue at Nam Nam Noodle Bar. The lure of a hot bowl of beef pho on a Friday evening made this cow patiently wait in line.

The Pho Beef Combination ($9.90) was very good. The soup was a robust broth of beefy sweetness with hints of herbs and star anise. Very flavourful yet clean at the same time. A squeeze of lime, a dash of fish sauce and a dab of chilli sauce added moore complexity. "Beef combination" meant this bowl came with beef tendons, beef balls, ox tripe and beef slices. There was a certain refined quality in this beef pho.

Under the "Other classic Vietnamese noodle recipes from Southern and Central Vietnam" section of the menu, Hushie decided to try this Dry Yellow Curry Duck Noodle ($8.90). This dish drew a mixed reaction from those at the table. I found the beehoon to have a pleasant almost smooth softness but felt the gravy was bland. Others felt it was rather strong tasting and of an acquired taste. What say you?

For a Vietnamese sub, try the Caramelised 5-spice Pork Belly & Pork Pate Banh Mi. I didn't try this as I am scared of raw cilantro. Moohehe.

Happy dinner it was. Now if only they had a 3x portion of the noodles!

Nam Nam Noodle Bar
Raffles City Shopping Centre 
 (other outlet at Wheelock Place) 
Tel: 6336 0500

Chew On This: for condiments.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Porridge Buffet Lunch- Cheap and not bad!

When a serving of kway chap at a kopitiam can cost $4.80 and a food court meal goes for around $5-$7, the sign that stated porridge lunch buffet at $8.80 in a casual restaurant caught my attention.

A selection of 24 dishes were laid out on a buffet spread.

While the fried fish was horrible and the fried rice sad looking, there were several good dishes to enjoy. The Chye Poh Omelette was moist, fluffy and dotted with salty pickled radish. We also enjoyed the Stewed Tau Kwa and Lor Egg which were fresh and justly nicely imbued with the flavour of the braising liquid. The Bittergourd sticks stir fried with black beans were done well too- soft but not mushy and with a very pleasant bitter kam kam taste. Mei Cai was cooked competently too and went very well with the porridge.

Other dishes that made up the spread included Salted Eggs, Stewed Peanuts, Tau Kee, Curry Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Ikan Billis & Peanuts etc.

Not forgetting the carbs, my choice was sweet potato porridge but they also had rice, fried bee hoon, local-style black carrot cake, fried rice and yam rice.

$8.80++ per person for this porridge buffet lunch in air con comfort? Certainly not bad.

Hotpot Culture

Marina Square
Tel: 6333 9844

Chew On This: They serve up free-flow of homemade barley with this porridge buffet too!