Sunday, October 31, 2010

Long Xia Zhou Shi Jia @ Orchard Central

It sounded decadent. Loster porridge. Located at Level 8 of Orchard Central. We walked in without any reservation on a Saturday afternoon at about 130pm. The friendly waitstaff attended to us immediately and led us to our table by the window.

view from our table
interior of the restaurant

table setting

We enquired about the promotions that they had, such as the DBS promo of lobster porridge 1-for-1 @$29.90, as well as the hungrygowhere promo of $1 kurobuto pork for each lobster porridge order. The waitress clarified that the hungrygowhere promo is only valid for normal priced lobster porridge ($30 per pax).

Since we haven't sample their dishes before hence the 1-for-1 offer did sound more realistic for my friend and I, so we ordered that. My friend wanted to order a mutton item, but the waitress kept promoting the other meat dishes such as signature chicken, pork ribs, crocodile soup etc etc, except the mutton. My friend really wanted to eat mutton, so he insisted on ordering it. Finally the waitress said, "Today there are no mutton available unfortunately. Sorry." Hmm....

tasty pickles

The pickles (chargeable) served was quite nice. Looking at our bill, it was stated as $2 per plate. Not sure if they go by per head or per plate. Napkin is at $1 per piece.

lobster porridge (for 1 pax)

I was worried about whether the portion of the lobster porridge would be too much for 1 pax to handle. In actual fact, the bowl was big, but the amount of rice inside is just nice for 1 person. So no worries ladies, you can surely finish this with some room left to savor side dishes. There was half a lobster inside there. The soup was very tasty and heavily peppered. Lobster porridge is more like those teochew fish porridge, where it is actually rice + soup served in the same bowl.

firm succulent lobster meat
It was raining slightly that afternoon, so it felt nice eating a nice warm bowl of lobster porridge. The lobster meat itself was firm to bite, but it did require a little bit coaxing to get if off the shell.

Besides the porridge, we ordered a deep fried pork ribs with glazed sauce.

deep fried pork (small)

close up view
The pork ribs looked good but it was a little too tough for my liking. Only on those pieces that had a little fat, then the meat was tender. We ordered this to provide contrast to our porridge.

We didn't order any drinks, and seeing that our airconditioner was not very strong over at our section, one waitress offered to get us ice-water. All in all, our meal of the DBS promo plus pork ribs came up to around $55. The 1-for-1 promo would probably entice people like me, someone who haven't try lobster porridge before.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tomi Sushi @ Parco Millenia Walk

Tomi Sushi is located at Level 3 of Parco Millenia Walk. Parco Millenia seemed pretty deserted on most days that I visited, which was weekday after 7pm. It was practically empty. However, it was a different story at some of the restaurants at Level 3. There was actually a queue for one of the ramen store when we visited on a Friday evening. Making a reservation at Tomi Sushi was fairly simple and fast.

As you walk in, the wait staff will attend to you almost immediately. The place seemed to be compartmentalised into various section and each of the section seemed to enjoy some form of privacy. If not wrong, there are also private dining rooms.

wall deco
our booth seat

I liked it that they serve the customer hot green tea (free) while the customer takes his/her time to browse through the menu. We ordered ala-carte items such as anago (eel) tempura, sashimi (mekajiki and salmon), yosenabe, seafood salad, tempura set and gindara (cod fish) set.

look at the thick slices

The seafood was nicely firm and fresh, and served with grated wasabi plus two shiso leaves for decoration. It's nice to wrap the sashimi slice (dabbed with a little sauce) and eat it with the leave. Fragrant.

seafood salad
The seafood salad consist of a nondescript looking plate of greens (tomato, cucumber, capsicum, salad leaves) and some slices of seafood such as maguro, ika, hotate and a maybe tai. But it really goes well with the rice. I realised now that I forgot to take a picture of the rice. The Niigata Koshihikari rice was really nice. Slightly glossy appearance, right level of stickiness and cooked to a level of softness that's neither too soft nor too hard.

sweet scallop!

tempura (part of a set)

Set meals comes with chawan mushi, miso soup, pickles and 2 slices of fruits. The tempura set should be eaten while it's hot. Otherwise, it'll lose its crisps.

chawan mushi

anago tempura with sea salt

The anago tempura was interesting. To me, it tasted a bit like sweet potato. The sea salt actually brings out the sweetness of the fish.

close up view of anago tempura

from the yosenabe (fish head, golden mushroom, some vege and oyster)
The soup from the yosenabe is sweet and light. But do be careful of the odd bones that came off from the fish head.

gindara set

The cod fish was fatty and tender. Melts in your mouth! I think it is really good value to order the gindara set.

Overall, the service was friendly and efficient. Tea cups refilled frequently, and plates cleared every now and then (when necessary, for example when the plate was cluttered with bones etc). The price tend to be on the high side, but the set meals are worth it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hatched @ Evans Lodge

My friends hatched a plan to go running at the nearby Stadium, and then off to this all day-breakfast joint, called "Hatched". Though haven't been there, the name evoked the images of chicks and eggs...

If you're driving, bear in mind that the entrance to the carpark is not the ERP gantry type. So gotta drive nearer to the machine to slot in the cashcard. It's slopey, so be careful not to drive to near to the car in front (if any!). Haha.

The cafe has quite a homey vibe to it.

cashier (boss') counter

 Looking through the menu, there are various permutations of eggy dishes. If you're not an egg lover, fret not. There are daily specials written on the wall inside the cafe. Pasta, steak, beef burger and grilled chicken. Take your pick. Sometimes, certain items are not listed in the menu, so you might wanna ask the friendly server.

Our young waitress for the night (sorry, didn't get your name) was friendly and patient.  The other person serving the customer (a good-looking chap) seemed to be the boss. I think there were just the two of them running the floor. So, it felt like having dinner at a friend's place. So, if you need anything such as water-refill, extra napkins, extra plates etc.. just ask and you'll receive.

I had salmon papilote (smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toasted bread with chives cream), and my friends had beef burgers and grilled chicken (half-chicken). The beef burger was served with some salad greens while the grilled-chicken was served with some rice.

salmon papilote

springy scrambled egg, smoked salmon and topped with chives cream

mushroom cheese beef burger

served simply with some greens
 I think the best dish for the night was the grilled half chicken but unfortunately I didn't take any picture of it, because it was immediately devoured by two hungry girls who shared the dish. I had a bite, and the chicken was simply marinated and cooked till tender. The sauce was mildly fragrant. But it could be quite bland for some. So, if that's the case, you might want to request for some chili sauce.

I felt the salmon papilote ($12) could do with a more jazzed up presentation, if the bread was changed to some other types rather than the plain toasted bread. Otherwise, the meal was just ok. Still, the place is cosy for a chat with friends.

For desserts, we had pancakes and waffles. Carbo overload!

banana pancake
close up view
waffles with blueberry for decor
close up view of the thin and crispy waffles
Both desserts are pretty similar and served with maple syrup and sabayon sauce. I would have expected the slightly caramelised banana to be sweeter but this one is the not too sweet version. So, eat it with the accompanying syrup and sauce for better taste.

Cosy and friendly place to hangout.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Riccioti @ China Square Central


Located at Nankin Row of China Square Central. I had a hard time locating this place! Probably due to the fact that I have not set foot to this part of the world for a few years now. A friend suggested this place because he worked nearby.

Visited on a Saturday for lunch. It's actually easily spotted once you know how to get to Nankin Row. The restaurant has a cheery yellow facade. I spied that they had a weekend breakfast set at $9.90 as well.

outside of the restaurant

Their service staff were dressed in soccer jerseys for Italia. One of the staff who served us was quite good looking too! There is a set lunch for weekends, and it's quite a good deal at $23++ for 1 main, 1 coffee/tea and 1 dessert (can choose pastries or gelato). However, I didn't like the items offered for mains so I opted to get a Parma Panini ($13.80), a Lungo (freshly brewed coffee @ $5.20) and a dessert ($7.80).

There are credit card promotions as well, and if you like pasta then currently there is a 1-for-1 pasta using Amex. But if you are ordering more ala-cartes of non-pasta dishes, then it is likely more worthwhile to opt for other credit card promo that offers say 10-15% discount off total ala-carte orders.

bottles and bottles of wine

The atmosphere in the restaurant is cosy and charming. Customers included a mix of locals and expats.

table decor


We went in a group of 7 and we ordered calamari, bruschetta and caesar salad for starters. For mains, we had pizza gamberi, parma panini, taglioni neri, spaghetti marinara and linguine granchio. For desserts, we had small gelato (2 scoops @ $12), cannoli (1 piece @ $8.50), tiramisu, soffiato and morbida.

caesar salad
mini bruschettas

The food ordered came in various order. In fact, we had the mini bruschetta coming up after the mains were served. Good thing we ordered the desserts after we had our mains.

parma panini
The parma panini came out beautifully and tasted great. Well toasted, and served with cheese and ample greens.

yummy panini
satisfying parma

Pizza was good! Thin crust and portion good enough to be shared by 2-3 pax. The pizza gamberi looks mild but there are bits of chilis in there!

pizza gamberi

mushrooms and prawns

spaghetti marinara

close up view

 I only tasted a little of the pasta ordered, and I liked the spaghetti marinara the most. The taglioni neri (squid ink pasta) was salty and nothing much beyond that. Perhaps squid ink and tomato based sauces don't quite mix?
We went on a dessert ordering rampage! HAHA! But the gelato turned out quite disappointedly. And not to mention, expensive! $12 for 2 scoops.

hazelnut and pistachio flavor

was this mango and chocolate




chocolate sauce ooozing out!


For desserts, I'd recommend to skip the gelatos and order the soffiato instead. Pair this with a cup of coffee and the meal ends beautifully.
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