Friday, May 31, 2013

"China Food" at Chinatown

Chinatown used to offer Chinese food, cuisines from the different Chinese dialect groups who have settled in Singapore and after years, whose food has become "Singaporeanised". Today, it is bustling with specialty stalls selling dishes from parts of China. Really CHINAtown now. Moohehe.

Here at Oriental Chinese Restaurant which was packed with diners on our visit, order up some side dishes and snacks to nibble with beer. Chinese beer, of course. :) The slivers of seaweed, jellyfish, dried beancurd sheets and cucumbers were a mix of salty, spicy (just a bit) and oily. The sticks of pumpkin coated with a batter of salted egg yolk were moreish. Hey just curious and pardon my ignorance, is salted egg commonly eaten in China?

The Zha Jiang Mian was a let down with a weak sauce. On the other hand, the Fried Eggs with Tomatoes was a super comforting dish with tasty, smooth scrambled eggs and the fresh savouriness of tomatoes.

The Jiao Zhi (dumplings) contained the popular mix of minced pork and chives. The Chong You Bing (Onions Pancake) brought back memoories of Roti Prata Bawang Kosong. LOL. A crisp exterior with slightly chewy insides studded with chopped onions.

The food was anything but bland. Take the skewers for example, shitake mushrooms, chicken, pig intestines, pork belly etc were all dusted with a heady power-packed spice mix. I am guessing coriander seeds, cumin and chilli powder were in the mix.

The skewers were delicious but eat with rice or plain buns as the saltiness could build up after a few sticks. For the adventurous, try the chicken heart skewers which had a chewy, springy texture. That should give courage no?  

Oriental Chinese Restaurant
195 New Bridge Road
Tel: 6227 7769

Chew On This: Ordered one too many dishes, ask for a takeaway box! The staff are happy to oblige.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Always Satisfying, Always Tonkichi

Like many explainable things in life, I was suddenly craving for tonkatsu (moohaha) and thankfully knew where to get my fix. After many moooonths since I last had a meal there, I returned to Tonkichi. 

The Hire & Rosu Katsu Set ($23) was my kind of happy meal. Perfectly fried pork fillet and loin that were juicy with a nice crust of crispy panko aka Japanese bread crumbs. Free refills of rice and crisp cabbage salad (highly underrated) too! Grind up some sesame seeds and add to it the tonkatsu sauce for added flavours.

Oh and see the different colours inside the pork fillet? "White" and "red" meat? Moohehe. The white part was leaner while the dark portion offered more chew and a deeper flavour. 

Miso soup is included in the set but if you want to amp up your bowl, opt to upgrade it to the Tonjiru at an additional $6. This big bowl of miso-based soup comes chock full of ingredients- tofu, carrots, mushrooms, sliced pork, radish, and a chewy konnyaku-like jelly.

For less pork and more seafood, the May promotion of Chirashi Set ($32) offered lots to eat- sashimi on a bed of sushi rice, soba, fried chicken salad, miso soup and cheese katsu. The cheese katsu had a creamy cheesy centre. Interesting but also kinda rich/jelak after a bit.

A simple dish of watermelon ended the meal.

Good on its own and also awesome with the breaded fried pork is Sapporo Beer! Check out the frosty mug. The beer was kept colder for a longer time. :)

In the month of May, get 2 mugs of Sapporo Beer at just $12! Sweeet.

Oh Tonkichi, how I have missed you!

Tampines Mall (other branches at Orchard Central, Shaw House & Ngee Ann City)
Tel: 6789 1726

Chew On This: Sign up for their membership card if you are dining here! You will get 100% of the subscription fee back in cash vouchers plus be entitled to 10% discount (20% during your birthday month).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hot Dogsss from Huber's Deli

Work has brought me to the newly-opened PasarBella quite a few times and while there, I first caught sight of a few ladies eating what looked like very tempting hot dogs.

Needless to say, I found myself ordering them hot dogs from Huber's Deli on my subsequent visit. :p

How can anyone not be turned on by that? The Swiss Veal ($7.80) had a juicy veal sausage sandwiched in a toasted baguette and topped with sweet caramelised onions and mustard. Scrumptious.

Spicy Pork ($7.80) featured a, well, spicy pork sausage (moohaha). It had just that little bit of spicy kick to it and its greasiness went well with the tangy sauerkraut.

Happy food. :)

Huber's Deli
20 Turf Club Road (former Turf City)
Opens: 9.30am to 7pm daily

Chew On This: Want to stock up some of their sausages and cold cuts at home? Readily packed ones are available here too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Erdinger's Maifest 2013

After last year's inaugural Erdinger Maifest in Singapore, I was delighted to be a part of this year's edition.

 It is futile to resist cold Erdinger wheat beers and sausages. Moohaha.

Also back this year was the Bavarian band Ois Easy. Their energetic and playful sets entertained all who were there though the night.

Only an ang moh dude can get away with standing on the dining table in Singapore. LOL. It was all fun. The crowd lapped it up and cheered him on!

There were games on stage too. Getting people to toss hoops into Erdinger bottles proved to be funny to watch especially when the participants had been drinking!

Then after a couple of beers, I rubbed my eyes when what appeared to be Tina Turner took to the stage. Moohahaha. Her his voice was pretty good for a Tina Turner. Definitely my favourite act of the night.

And hey, I am not alone. Expats, locals and even tourists had a ball of a time together. Such is the magic of beer and music. Almoost heavenly.

Thanks to Sheena Sim of Iris Nation for the invitation.

Erdinger Maifest 
10-11 May 2013
Clarke Quay Central Fountain Square

Chew On This: Missed this one? Check out Maifest at the Padang from 30 May to 2 June 2013!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Wonderful Sunday Dinner

My Sunday dinners are reserved for the family and they tend to feature home-cooked food at home. There's just something about home-cooked food that is just so comforting no matter how simple it is. While my Sunday family dinners usually comprise of  "3 dishes and 1 soup" format , sometimes we have something different, something special.

I was kinda craving for pizza so Sis spent a considerable time in the kitchen kneading away, making her own pizza dough. She's quite the baker. :p

So presenting dinner for that Sunday evening! We had ang moh chiak- salad, home-made pizza, roasted pumpkin  steamed asparagus and baked potatoes.

A beautiful smoked salmon we bought from Oceans of Seafood at PasarBella made its appearance alongside some jamon that was given to me by the good people from Giorgio Ferrari at MBS' Epicurean Market.

I took the opportunity to crack open a bottle of Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico DOCG 2003. It was drinking nicely with pleasant red cherries, plums and smooth tannins.

Chew On This: It might not be the best made pizza out there, but it is made with love. And that makes it all the moore special. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wrap & Roll

After attending church service at The Star Vista on Sunday, we looked around for a spot for lunch and were attracted by the big sign that stated "The Royal Beef Noodle Soup". Yes, key words like "beef soup" do attract me....easily. Moohehe.

The Hue Beef Noodle Soup ($14.90) was interesting. The broth was light, tasty and quite refined. There seemed to be a bit of turmeric too. Instead of just beef, there was a pig's trotter in here too! I mooch enjoyed the slices of beef shank for their deep beefy flavour.

Minced Pork & Mushrooms in Steamed Rice Paper Rolls ($8.90) were delicious! Chewy sheets of steamed rice paper enveloped a tasty filling of minced pork, mushrooms and black ear fungus. The sprinkling of fried shallots and pork floss added texture and additional flavours. Dip into the tangy sauce for oomph. Vietnamese chee cheong fun anyone? :p

The Grilled Pork Chop Rice with Salted Egg Pudding ($12.90) appealed in a funny Cantonese way. The pork chop was nothing exciting but the salted egg pudding reminded me of the classic steamed minced pork and salted egg dish that is so comforting.

Wrap & Roll
The Star Vista
Tel: 6694 4111

Chew On This: They serve an express set lunch on weekdays at $9.90++.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sunday Brunch at LaBrezza

Sunday brunches are a great way to unwind and pamper one's stomach(s). LaBrezza, located at The St Regis Singapore, boasts a swimming pool view and a quiet, refined, relaxed charm.

The Italian Sunday Prosecco Brunch ($98++ with free flow prosecco) comes with a buffet spread of salads and antipasti...

A small selection of good cheeses.

Cured meats! Salami, 12-year and 24-year Prosciutto di Parma anyone? :D

Very, very good cherry tomatoes. These deceptively simple fruit blew me away with their burst of juicy, ripe sweetness.

Main courses and desserts are served upon order which means say good bye to soggy, insipid hot food from the buffet table. Yay!

Pizza Vesuvio spotted a nice slightly thick crust, warm gooey mix of cheese and tomato sauce and dotted with Italian sausage.

What's brunch without eggs right? The Uovo Tartufate e Fontina (45-minute poached eggs with fontina, truffle sauce) was one of my favourite items there. Perfectly poached eggs with a salty, creamy fontina cheese sauce that went well with the rich runny yolks. And a whiff of truffle to make this lagi shiok! Moohehe.

Don't miss out on the pastas too. Handmade fresh pastas served a la minute.

The Pomodoro Fresco (tomato on vine, aged ricotta cheese, basil) was simple and delicious. I suspect they either used the excellent cherry tomatoes mentioned earlier or a very good tomato sauce.

I really like how the simplicity of the pasta dishes and the use of good ingredients allowed them to shine. The Aglio Olio (garlic and dried chilli) and Vongole (clams in marinara sauce) were also worth twirling the fork for. Flavours were clean, clear and balanced.

The menu listed a "Risotto Special". On my visit, this was a toothsome piggy risotto made with Cotechino, a cured meat product made from the foot of the pig. and Scamorza cheese. Overall very comforting with some smokiness.

From the grill, unfortunately most of the items were quite charred resulting in bitterness. :(

Scottadito (grilled Australian lamb chops, lemon-mint marinade, roasted potatoes). Baa baa black sheep. The chicken, steak and prawns seemed to also follow suit. Le sigh.

Thankfully, there was a saving grace in the Spigola con broccoli e crema di patate (seabass with broccoli, cream of potato). Moist flesh with a crisp skin.

Mooving on to desserts. Here's the Zabaglione (Marsala Sabayon with fresh fruit) at the top and the Cannoli alla Siciliana (pistachio cannoli, candied lemon) at the bottom. I like the latter for the mix of crunchy biscuit texture and creamy ricotta cheese filling. The candied lemon imparted a nice citrus flavour to balance this dessert.

The other dessert that mooved me was the Tiramisu (whipped mascarpone cheese, espresso, lady finger biscuits). It was unctuous, very light and felt like the prefect way to end brunch.

Everything was washed down with Ca'del Sette Prosecco DOCG. A delicate and crisp prosecco with flavours of pear, melons and a touch of minerals.

The spread is not extensive but it is still quite a good selection of quality eats. I just hope that they fix the grill issue.

Thank you Jackson and Jesmine of The St Regis Singapore for the invitation.

Level 2, The St Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6506 6884

Chew On This: LaBrezza means "breeze" in Italian.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


On Fridays at the end of a work week, it is a pleasure not to plan anything. A spontaneous meet up set Joo Chiat as the location and dinner was whatever tempted our eyes. And what a Friday feast it was! 

Being a lazy Friday evening, I'm not going to document names of stalls and prices. Friday evenings are too precious to fuss about details. :p

Finding our way to Dunman Food Centre, we ordered Wanton Mee and Rojak but were nearly knocked off our seats with a waiting time of 20 minutes and 1 hour respectively.

So while waiting, we headed the gahmen's call to productivity and ordered other food. Moohaha.

Prawn Noodles Dry was decent and inhaled in a flash. The chilli paste had quite a nice kick.

This Wanton Mee was from the "less famous" stall which had a total waiting time of just 5 minutes. I like the chilli sauce which was quite aromatic. But the slices of char siew were sad.

 A black, oily plate of Char Kway Teow fried till mooist and fragrantly sweet felt sooo good.

And was balanced off by the refreshing, sweet crunch from a veg-filled roll called Popiah.

Hey then the "20-minute Wanton Mee" appeared! The noodles were springy and there's that good mix of chilli and lard but I still don't feel the wait was justified. Sad to report, the char siew was pathetic. :(

How about the "1-hour Rojak"? It was delish! The cubes of tau pok and pieces of you tiao spotted a nice crust with a smoky appeal from being freshly grilled over a charcoal fire. The peanut and heh gor (prawn paste) added fragrance and texture, binding everything together nicely. I would order this again but would order other food to comfort the wait, of course.

Before we left the hawker centre, it was one basket of BBQ Chicken Wings that would be our last item there for that evening. Well...let's just say, the basket was nice. LOL.

After killing off the Tsing Tao, we wandered along Joo Chiat and ended up checking out some awesome Beef Ball Soup!

With our tummies now busy and with the humid heat creeping up on us, we sought air con comforts and entered this wine hideout that was cool with an almoost industrial feel. Nothing fancy but with an appealing secretive yet approachable vibe. No passwords (oh please, it's a Friday!) needed too. :)

Vino for that night was this French Syrah which had a distinct aroma of cracked pepper with some fruits just in the background. Though the palette was hollow with not much after taste, I kept the faith that I was imbibing healthful benefits. Moohehe.

All Fridays should be like that yo!