Monday, November 29, 2010

Hippopotamus Restaurant and Grill @ Marina Square

Located at Level 1 of Marina Square, this is a newly opened restaurant. Lots of congratulatory bouquets of flowers still around at the time of visit. The place seemed fairly empty on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps, still new.

table setting
Red and brown seemed to be the color of choice. Lots of things on the table when we first settled into our seats. Two big glasses, salt and pepper shakers/grinders, drinks menu and food menu. It's a French styled restaurant, hence there's foie gras, escargot and french onion soup in the menu.

a hint of French
We went there to have steak, so that was what we ordered. I had a T-bone steak (~330gms) while my friend had a classic ribeye (~200gms). There are grilled lamb chops, chicken and one fish (barramundi) in the menu as well, if you don't fancy beef. There were also exotic cuts like rump and hangar (not sure hangar meat is from which part of the cattle...) Each main is served with 2 sides, and up to 3 sauces. Set meals are available as well. Ice water is also served upon request.

cute logo on the menu
iced water served in a carafe
While waiting, we were served some complimentary chips and bread. As we gobbled up our chips in record time, they refilled it again! Wahahaha!

chips to nibble while waiting for main course
country bread

Our main course arrived in due time, and it looked quite lovely.

T-bone steak, with ratatouile and potato gratin, and bernaise sauce

classic ribeye, with ratatouile, baked potato, and shallot
potato gratin
 We ordered our meat medium rare, and it turned out to be quite rare... After our meal, we enquired with the service crew and he mentioned that French styled medium rare will be slightly more rare than what Singaporeans are accustomed to. Hmm...

ribeye - medium rare (looked like very rare!)
T-bone medium rare
First impression of Tbone, is that.. it's full of fats! Other than that, the meat was quite alright. Moist and simply flavored. Not as tender as I hoped it would be. Some parts has tendons and hence, it was rather chewy.. or was it because it was still rare... hmmm... Maybe if it was done medium well, then the experience may differ? Not sure.

The dessert looked nice, but we were rather full from all the meat. The service crew was friendly, and would be glad to answer any questions that the diner may have. Total costs of our meal was close to $60 for 2 pax inclusive of GST + service charge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Filet Mignon @ Takashimaya Food Hall

Visited on a Tuesday evening, and there weren't many people at this area. It's near GNC, quite easy to find. Nearby, you'll see a small cluster of new eateries as featured in a popular weekly mag.

The concept is pretty simple. For lone diner, proceed to the cashier counter. Look at the menu, and decide what you're going to eat. Order and make payment (cash only if not wrong). Then the friendly and eager waitress will show you to your seat.

chili, salt n pepper

There's currently a promotion where both ribeye and tenderloin are going for $19.90 instead of its usual $39.90. Wow.. with such a huge discount, who wouldn't want to try? So, I ordered a 230gms tenderloin. According to wikipedia, filet mignon (french for cute fillet, haha so cute!) is a steak cut taken from tenderloin. In other words, same same.

medium rare
At first I was quite worried whether 230gms would be a little too much meat for me to handle. But the worry was quite unfounded as it wasn't big, even the asparagus were sooo thin!

Meat was natural tasting, with a little of peppercorn bits charred on the outside. The inside was moist but still a little chewy at times. The sauce was not overpowering, and at the right saltiness. Mashed potato tasted normal and non buttery.

middle part more rare
beef from America
The waitresses are earnest in what they do, and polite service with a smile. However, I am glad I didn't pay more for the dish.

Someone, give me a meltique beef anytime! ; )

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Waraku @ The Central Clarke Quay

Located at Level 3, this place looked big from the outside, but it's a different story once you're inside. I've only visited the Marina Square branch before, hence yesterday was my first time at Waraku @ The Central.

Went there quite early at 530pm, so seats are a plenty. We were seated at one secluded section, and it was quite difficult to attract the attention of the waitresses.

hot green tea
We ordered beef yakiniku, shishamo, beef houba and sushi.

beef yakiniku don (regular)
There're 2 sizes to the rice item (if not wrong, same goes for noodles). Choose M or R. I guess M means medium for small eaters or half bowl, and R is regular sized meal. My friend liked his yakiniku don ($11.80++).

The sushi pieces were quite small, and each ala-carte order is 2 pieces. But I liked it nevertheless, the sushi felt a little warm, but the fish slices were firm to the bite. The wasabi looked mild, but it really packed a punch!

maguro sushi
hamachi sushi
Frankly speaking, I've only tasted shishamo once, and that was in one of those sushi chains. I remembered it being skinny, and crispy. The shishamo here is somewhat different from the memory of the previous experience that I had. It's like a mini pan-fried fish (means not crispy), soft flesh and laden with roe.

beef houba
Beef houba was interesting as the beef pieces were grilled with miso bean paste ontop of a Japanese magnolia leaf.

the top and bottom part of the beef looked cooked but the inside is still raw
end product, cooked beef houba

The beef was tender, but it doesn't have the grilled taste. The shitake mushroom was nicely soft after it was cooked with the miso paste.

For dessert, we ordered vanilla shiratama (although IMHO, matcha would've been better).

vanilla shiratama
If not wrong, the shiratama refers to the white ball thingy that's glutinious rice balls. The dessert looks like oyster shell, with pearls in it. Cute, but the vanilla ice-cream was still frozen, so it was quite difficult to eat at first.

In total, the bill was $45 for 2 pax, after POSB/DBS 10% discount.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TCC @ Novena Square

The Coffee Connoisseur or simply known as TCC. It's around, everywhere. Visited its outlet at Novena Square during afternoon time. The temperature at the indoor seating area is warmer than the outside.

cafe facade

Ordered coffee affagato (ice-cream with expresso), TCC brew (coffee) and a dessert, "Dark Devotion" which is basically lava cake.

interesting writings on the napkin

The affagato looked a little different from what I remembered. Had it like a year ago at its Centerpoint outlet. The current version seemed to have more coffee.


The dessert arrived last, and it looked kinda pretty.

Dark Devotion
with vanilla ice-cream

The cake ooozed with molten chocolate once the fork cut into it. Heavenly! This, you definitely need a spoon!

oozing with chocolatey goodness!

However, the dessert was kinda pricey at $11++. And, credit card promo does not apply on public holidays.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sun With Moon Japanese Dining & Cafe @ The Central


Happened to pass by, and was enticed by the drinks at half price promo (currently running daily from 3pm till 8pm). Fancy a glass of wine @ $4.95++?

white wine (housepour)
They were also showcasing some dishes from Kyushu, so gave it a try. Kurobuta gyoza sounded good with the wine, so tried that.

kurobuta gyoza with chili oil dip
It was served in a hotplate, sizzling as it was placed onto the table. Hot and oily. And it has a saucer of chili oil dip that you'd normally see in a Chinese restaurant.

tiny parcels

not much vegetables

Hmm.. couldn't really tell the difference in the kurobuta gyoza and ordinary pork gyozas. Think I'd prefer the normal pork gyozas with lots of vege than this dryer pricier version. But the wine was nice..

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kazokutei @ Tokyo Walker Plaza Singapura

Kazokutei (originating from Osaka) is part of 5 brands banded as part of 'Tokyo Walker' at Level 4 Plaza Singapura. It specializes in handmade udon. I think there are many many ramen shops sprouting in Singapore, hence a udon shop seemed a little more special.

The shop itself is small, and seats are near one another. For people sitting back to back, it is very easy to feel the movement of the other party.

i can hear what you are saying...

our 4-seater
We visited on a public holiday at about 430pm. Early dinner, as we called it. The shop was not empty and there were about 4-5 seats occupied. However, most of the 4 seaters were placed with 'Reserved' sign.

The menu is fairly simple. Udon + fried stuffs or udon + meat in shabu-shabu or sukiyaki style. We ordered the wagyu beef udon sukiyaki for 2 pax. I asked the service staff whether our table for 2 pax is big enough to place all the dishes. She agreed that it'll be kinda tight, so she offered to place us at one of the 'Reserved' seats for 4 pax. We got 'upgraded'! Haha. For tea, they only have houjicha but that's ok for us.

After a while, another waitress came and delivered 2 small servings of udon, 2 small bowl with raw egg inside, 1 plate of tori karaage (4 pieces), and 1 plate of wagyu beef slices. She said, "Beef shabu shabu?". We said, "No, we ordered wagyu beef sukiyaki." She looked at her order slip and said, "Beef shabu shabu, correct?" We showed her our order slip and said, "No, we ordered sukiyaki." Then she looked at our order slip and said, "Ya, ya... correct, beef sukiyaki. Sorry." -_-'''  Of course, the ingredients for both wagyu beef shabu shabu and sukiyaki are the same with the exception of the broth. But still...It'll be good if the waitress know what she's bringing to the customer.

So she plonked the stuffs on our table and walked off. The udon came cooked because there were steam rising from it. At this moment, there was no soup nor mini gas cooker on our table. So we decided to be patient for a while, and started nibbling on our tori karaage. Very soon, we had finished the cooked food item (except the udon of course). I stared at the raw food and looked at my friend. Then we called the person who took our order and enquired where is our pot to cook the meat. She replied that it'll be coming soon. So she brought the mini gas cooker out and placed it on our table. About 2 minutes later, the soup came (with the other ingredients such as vege, tofu and mushrooms already inside), and she did apologize for the delay. Then we waited for the pot to come to a boil. Very soon, we realize, we don't have any bowls nor spoon. So once again, had to inform the waitress. She said, "Oh ya! Hehe.. "

raw wagyu beef

handmade udon

Came in individual servings in cute little basket

raw egg

skinny tori karaage

The food itself is not bad. The sukiyaki was not overly sweet, but we're not sure why the ingredients came already cooked in the soup as the picture in the menu showed the tofu, mushrooms and vege as fresh items. The udon was nice, good chewiness and smooth. And it was long! Hahaa, signs of handmade goodness? The beef was fatty and doesn't taste much like the beef that I know. My exposure to wagyu is considered novice level.

closer view of the ingredients: carrots, vege, leek, golden mushroom, shitake, tofu
 The soup ingredient was really catering to 2 pax as we found 2 pieces of tofu and 2 pieces of shitake mushroom. Ok, all accounted for!~

We didn't have much stuff that required dipping into the beaten raw egg, so we poured the rest of it into the soup towards the end of our meal.

soup with the egg flower

Total cost of the meal was about $32. I just realized that I was so hungry to the extent that I had forgotten to take a picture of wagyu when cooked. Oops, missed.
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