Saturday, November 30, 2013

Makankakis at Whampoa Food Street (Keng) Fish Head Steamboat Eating House

Coming back to Whampoa Food Street (Keng) Fish Head Steamboat Eating House (is that like the longest restaurant name in Singapore or what? Moohehe) always brings memoories of my very first makankakis dinner at their other branch in Rangoon Road.

Their specialty of Fish Steamboat still rocks. Slices of batang fish, soft cabbage, fried yam, ginger and other ingredients happily danced in the soup flavoured with ti po (dried flatfish). The fragrant aroma from the charcoal embers used to heat this pot enhances the experience.

Hae Chor aka Prawn Rolls were delish! Well fried with a crispy skin that enveloped a juicy filling of prawns, pork and waterchestnuts, it was gobbled up in seconds. Too easy. I like that the five spice powder was not too overpowering.

The Sambal Kangkong was competently done with a crunchy bite and that unmistakable sambal balachan hit.

Stir Fried Prawns were meaty but I found their flesh dry. Alas. The style of cooking these prawns reminded me a little of my late paternal grandma's version.

Probably my least favourite dish that evening, the Thai Style Assorted Seafood had a robust taste of lemongrass and assam that somehow didn't quite match the seafood, in my opinion.

But no fear, cos the Prawn Paste Chicken Wings were pretty good! DON'T TRY THESE WITH BEER. Moohehe.

Braised Pig Trotters are always a happy sight. The one here was chunky, tender and nicely braised in a slightly herbal gravy.

I hurriedly picked at a piece of the Venison with Spring Onion and had to run off to the airport, skipping the Fried Mee Sua, and Herbal Jelly.

For the full account of that evening's dinner, including the last two dishes I had to miss, check out my fellow bloggers Superfinefeline, SG Food on Foot and Pinky Piggu who were also there.

That night was the start of a surreal adventure to Bulgaria. Moore about that in a while. :)

Whampoa Food Street (Keng) Fish Head Eating House
556 Balestier Road (other branch at Rangoon Road)
Tel: 6356 7371
Opens: daily 11am to 11pm

Chew On This: BYO allowed so feel free to bring wines, and your own wine glasses!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yummy Italian Fare in the Neighourhood

I recently returned to Ngee Ann Polytechnic, home of some of the best memoories in my life, as a guest judge for a cookie baking competition. It was a fun event for LSCT's Staff & Student's Day so it's not as serious as it sounded. After all, I am no qualified baker lah. Moohehe.

Hushie and I took the opportunity to catch up with Dr Koh over dinner. He wanted to bring us to this restaurant that was tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood in the Bukit Timah area. But upon arrival, we realised it was closed.

The wise (or often the hungry) believes that when one door is closed, somehow another will open. So scanned the area and headed down to La Nonna which was a few units away.

A bread basket with olive oil and balsamic vinegar kept hunger away for a while.

A refreshing starter of Vitello Tonnato ($20) featuring lightly chilled thin slices of veal loin drizzled with a creamy tuna sauce, and topped with peppery rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes and shavings of Parmesan. Scrumptious.

Always in the moo-d for Bolognaise and its close variants, I opted for the Rigatoni ($20). The hollow tubes of pasta were firm and perfect to allow the flavourful braised oxtail ragout sauce to cling onto them. If only they had this in XXL size! :p

Not having much of a sweet tooth, this cow actually wanted to pass on desserts but friends at the table nudged him to nibble and share desserts.

Hence the Tiramisu ($12) appeared! A square loft of sponge fingers and light mascarpone cheese, it was quite balanced without being too strong nor cloying.

In quick succession, the Panna Cotta ($12) arrived at the table. Spotting a fairly firm gelatinous texture, this ang moh gelatin-ized tau huay Italian pudding was smooth and went well with the sweet-tart fruity components on the plate.

La Nonna at Namly seems like a nice, quiet spot for a lovely Italian dinner in the midst of a residential neighbourhood.

La Nonna
76 Namly Place (Other branch at Holland Village)
Tel: 6762 1587
Opens: 12pm to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Chew On This: La Nonna serves up a 3-course weekday set lunch at only $22++!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Always Happy to Have This Kway Chap!

On route to some wine shopping on a bright Saturday morning, I decided to make a lunch stop at this kway chap stall that I was introduced to by some foodie friends.

Like returning to known comfort, this kway chap made moo face and stomachs smile.

The "standard" order ($4.50) came with intestines, egg, pork belly and tau pok. The intestines and pork belly were well-braised, tender and flavourful. Dip them into the piquant chilli sauce for a nice jolt. The kway itself were flat sheets of rice flour in a bowl of pipping hot broth that was robust with just a slight touch of herbal notes. Nice rustic kway chap!

And then it was time for wine shopping. This kway chap and wine shopping made moo a belly happy cow that day. Moohehe.

Tong Lok Kuay Chap
Eng Lock Koo Coffee Shop
114 Pasir Panjang Road (at the junction with Pepys Road)
Opens: 7am-3pm
Closed: Sundays

Chew On This: early cos they close when it all sell out!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Another Enjoyable Meal at LaBrezza

There's something satisfying about having a good dinner on Friday at the end of the work week. And I was happy to return to LaBrezza for one after the Sunday brunch experience the other time. 

New Chef de Cuisine, Stefano Arrigoni, who hails from Milan served up a slew of dishes that evening.

The Pan-seared Hokkaido Scallops wrapped in Pancetta with Truffled Angel Hair Pasta and Caviar Sauce ($32) was a good way to begin dinner. The juicy scallop and saltiness of the pancetta coupled with the truffled pasta sure revved up the appetite.

Then came the Tuscany Style Tomato Soup with King Crab & Basil Foam ($18). Rich-tasting, sunny and refreshing. Seafood + tomato + basil = a tested and proven combination, no?

Mooving on to the pasta, the Homemade Whole Grain Pappardelle Ragout of slow-cooked Venison and Pecorino ($40) was meaty and comforting. Made me wanna hug grandma. Ok, that is all. Moohehe.

The Tagliolini with Boston Lobster, Sun-dried Tomato, Italian Basil, served with White Wine and Tomato Sauce ($48) was alright but didn't quite make an impression.

But the Barolo Wine and Pecorino Risotto, Sous Vide Oxtail and Sweet Saba Reduction ($38) blew me away. The risotto cooked with Barolo wine was robust yet balanced and toothsome. Flavourful oxtail and a sweet Saba reduction (reduced grape juice) complete the experience.

Slow-cooked Australian Lamb Rack, crusted with Kalamata Olives, Vegetable Caponata, Potatoes poached in Milk and Smoked Pork, Chianti mustard and Vincotto Sauce ($48). I'm not the biggest fan of lamb but I like the Chianti mustard! Moohehe. #alchie

Speaking of alcohol, try the Paolo e Noemia d'Amico Seiano Rosso Lazio IGT 2011 ($15/glass; $52/bottle). A blend of Italy's favourite child, Sangiovese, with Merlot, this youthful wine boasts nice acidity, fruitness, a touch of minerality and a pleasant finish. Very accessibly priced especially considering that one is dining at the St Regis.

We also tried some pizzas. My favourite was the Proscuitto ($38) featuring a delicious combination of Parma ham, sun-dried tomato, Stracciatella, Mozzarella and caramelised red onions.

If you like, you can request for your pizza to be made into a curry-pok-looking Calzone. But I think I prefer my pizzas open-faced. :p

The meal ended with the classic Tiramisu ($12). It was soft with strong coffee and liqueur flavours.

The food was pretty good and the place perfect for a nice Friday evening unwind with fellow foodies of course. :)

Thanks to Jackson Sim of St Regis for the invitation and hosting me.


The St. Regis Singapore, Level Two

 29 Tanglin Road

Tel: 6506 6884

Chew On This: Bring the kids! LaBrezza has a children's menu with Mushroom Soup, Penne Carbonara and Mini Burgers.