Sunday, May 27, 2012

주막 Joomak Restaurant @ Upper Bukit Timah Road Beauty World Centre (Part II)

My brother wanted to try, so brought him here. It was a Saturday evening, right after the rain. So the place was pretty quiet when we reached at about 630pm. Probably just two other tables occupied. My bro has no preference so I ordered for us. 짜장면 Jajangmyeon and fried chicken (half portion).

side dishes 반찬

The shop has a new helper to serve the tables, so we got our side dishes pretty quickly this time round. Glad to see that there're variations in the banchan.


potato strips

cucumber kimchi (this was good!)

fish cake strips (my fav!)

beancurd (taukwa) kimchi




Bro likes the young kimchi, and we both agreed that the cucumber ones were done up pretty good.

Jajangmyeun was served up pretty fast. Looked quite easy to cook too. Ingredients seemed to be lots of onions, black bean paste sauce, minced meat and cucumber strips.

jajangmyeun (짜장면 / 炸酱面)

slurpilicious noodles

The sauce wasn't as thick as I thought it would be (after effect of learning about jajangmyeun from Korean shows), and it was actually nice and sweet plus not too salty. The noodles were yummy! Absolutely slurp worthy. The texture of the noodles is like a cross between pasta and laksa noodles. Chewy yet soft. Nice. Good for sharing between two people.

Allow at least 15 to 20 minutes for the fried chicken. The shop proprietress said that they only have original flavour for that evening. Half portion yields 4 pieces of chicken, so it might be more worthwhile to get the whole chicken portion for just a few more dollars extra.

chicken in a basket
eat me!

Serving fried chicken in a basket is always a charming sight for me. Don't ask me why. It just is. The fried chicken was served piping hot, so do wait before sinking your teeth into one. There was one drumstick and three other fairly large pieces of fried chicken in there.

The skin was crispy, and though original flavour, it was still marinated with a little of the hot chili powder. Yums! Beneath those sinfully delicious skin, was tender and juicy meat. 


The chicken was flavourful on its own, but do dip them into the chili sauce that came together with the chicken basket. That was nice too with citrussy hint in the sauce.

We paid $32 for the meal and it was good for two pax.

the bill

Here's the link to first visit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Streets of London @ Bukit Merah Central

Located at Block 161 Bukit Merah Central, this place is just one bus stop away from my office. So decided to pop-in for lunch with a colleague.

eye catching signboard

The place is still quite new, and was curious about its food since it was featured twice in 8-days (last week and this week), plus because of its proximity to my workplace...why not try it?

It's a casual joint, so we sauntered in and settled ourselves onto any available table. In fact, we were the only customer there at that time.

choose your table
we sat here, with nice table lamp and a nice framed picture

Menus were quickly presented and the young chap left us alone for us to decide. There's no GST nor service charge here, so the prices are in nett. Set lunches for $10 is available and it comes with a soup of the day and a small glass of soft drink. Options included fish and chips, chicken chop and spaghetti bolognaise. The rest I can't really remember but there wasn't any steak options.

My colleague chose the fish and chips set lunch, and I ordered the sirloin steak ala-carte (@$15) to be done medium rare. For drinks, they're having a whole day Happy Hour promo till end of May, so a bottle of Hoegaarden goes for $6. And we also had a basket of onion rings to share.

First to arrive, the french onion soup that's part of the set lunch.

pepper shaker et french onion soup

Liked the temperature of the soup, and it was quite alright with visible strands of onions cooked till soft. My colleague likes all things onions, so she seemed to enjoy this.

Hoegaarden in a Stella glass
Next up, was the basket of onion rings which I think is quite a steal at only $5. Served right off the frying pan, it was very crunchy and very hot!

onion rings @$5
closer view of the onion rings

One bad thing about the onion rings? It was actually dripping with oil, especially the bottom ones. It would be much much better if the oil was drained from the onion rings prior to serving. It was quite alarming to see oil seeping out of the basket and onto the plastic tablecloth!

oil alert!

Now, on towards the main courses. The fish and chips, was shall I say, quite impressive.

fish and chips

The fish portion was of a sizeable chunk. The batter was as thin as it can be, so we're eating fish and not flour.

thinly coated batter

fleshy fish

The fish flesh was firm and soft at the same time, and tasted pretty smooth. Gently salted, so it has some taste on its own. Liked the small mound of fruits and vegetables but the fries was pretty ordinary and doesn't seemed to be double fried.

The steak took some 15 minutes to cook since the soup first arrived.

sirloin steak
served with onion mushroom sauce

looks too rare for a medium rare, yes?

First impression of the steak, was that it was quite thick for a sirloin. But signs of trouble appeared after cutting the meat. It looked pretty rare, so that made it jaw achingly chewy and hard to swallow. It was worse when the knife came to the center of the meat.

Asked the young chap who was running the service, if he too feels that the meat was too rare to be medium rare. He thought so too, and brought the meat back to the kitchen.

Ten minutes later, my same steak re-appeared with some parts still red while the top parts of the meat was cooked to medium.

second time cooked steak

The steak was disappointing, so didn't finish it.

We paid $36 for the meal.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Balzac Brasserie @ Rendezvous Hotel Gallery

Located at Level 1 of the hotel and is visible from the lobby. Travelled via bus #14 and it brought me right to the hotel's doorstep.

looks cosy inside
restaurant's front

Was met at the door by the friendly service staff, and the place was fairly relaxed at the time of visit, which was around 7pm. An hour later, the restaurant was almost full. We made reservations, so was led to our table once that was verified.

First impression of the place was " dark". The lightings were fairly dimmed during the evenings so reading the menu with its small fonts was fairly challenging!

candlelit dinner for a party of 6

Everyone was late due to the heavy traffic, so took the opportunity to snap some pictures.

Owl are you?

mirror mirror on the wall, what is that paper roll for?

bar counter

the wall on my left

Ten minutes later, I was still alone and one of the service staff came by so made small talk with him. Friendly chap. He asked if my group was celebrating any occassions, so told him that it was for my birthday. Minutes later, he came back with a complimentary drink; the Burgundy, a mocktail. That was a nice gesture, so thank you~

Burgundy (grape juice, ginger ale, lime, sugar) complimentary

close up of the blackberries

Shortly after, my friends arrived, so pretty quickly we placed our orders. Bread basket was served thereafter. Ice water was also made available.

bread basket, served with herbed butter and salmon rillete
rustic bread

For appetisers, we had the charchuterie platter which consists of vintage saucisson sec (salami or dry sausages), parma ham, smoked duck breast, rillettes de canard and jambon blanc (white ham?) served with cornichons (gherkins or pickled horn cucumbers), mustard and bread slices.

charchuterie platter
saucisson sec
smoked duck breast
yummy rilletes de canard (duck rillete)
nice pickle

A little of duck rillete (fragrant with a little duck fats/oil) and a little butter on the bread, goes a long way. Yums~ We had a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, and sipping the wine was a good foil to the saltiness of the charchuterie platter. That or ice water if you're a teetotelar.

have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc

My friends are all meatatarians, so our mains came mainly from the land/earth menu or the sea menu. We had duck confit, beef cheeks a la cuillere, entrecote from the land menu and then from the sea menu we had pan seared cod fish meuniere and papilote de dorade. Yes, it's almost like an unwritten pact for us to try and order different items to try.

The first to arrive, duck confit.

duck confit served on a bed of mashed potato "grand mere"
the duck side
duck shreds, tender and yums

Not sure whose grandmother this is but I'm liking "grand mere". The mashed potato seemed like it had a hint of truffle oil. Smooth and nice. The duck meat was tender and doesn't feel too oily.

Next up, the signature 48 hours braised wagyu beef cheek, bordelaise sauce and mashed potato "grand mere". This was the one dish that I wanted to eat initially but since my friend is having it, I've decided to order something else.

Beef Cheeks A La Cuillere
fork tender beef

Just by looking at the beautiful chunk of cheek meat that glistens and served generously sauced on a bed of smooth creamy mashed, made one expects no less than a full-bodied flavour and seriously tender meat. This dish did not disappoint. It was soft and its flavours were good. Understandly why this deserves to be a signature.

Let's take a break and go for something from the sea. The pan-seared black cod.

Black Cod with potato and lemon butter sauce
dreamy delightful morsel~

Had a small bite and the cod fish was tender yet firm, and fresh. Dainty dish.

Then came the most expensive main dish for our table that night, the Entrecote, which was a 200grams of black angus served with béarnaise sauce and pommes frites.

Entrecote, serious meat for serious eater
fun sized fries
beautiful medium rare

The black angus beef done medium rare was tender but retained its beefy bite. Naturally flavoured (since I didn't try the sauce) and very likeable. My friend thoroughly enjoyed his beef, well, except for some fatty bits. The pomme frites should be eaten while it's still hot, otherwise, it'll get soggy towards the end of the meal.

The last dish to arrive was the Papilote de Dorade; steamed sea bream in parchment with wild fennel and fresh herbs. It came 15 minutes after the first of the mains.

Honestly speaking, first impression of this dish was, "small".

small parcel
colourful, feels like summer~
steamed fish

The sea bream was fresh and nicely steamed, soaking in the natural flavours of its own jus as well as the accompanying vegetables and herbs. However, the asparagus was a tad too soft though. Probably this dish is suitable for those who prefers light and mild flavours. Blame it all on the flavoursome bites that I had from my friends' mains that made my tastebuds craved for stronger flavours then!

My friends bought us cupcakes, so we had that as well.

twelve cupcakes hehee~

And we did the song and dance with the cupcake. Oh, did I exaggerate? Hahaha, just the birthday song with my chosen "red velvet" cupcake and yes, the other patrons stared at us while the friendly lady service staff sang with the rest of my friends.

half devoured red velvet

Next, was desserts galore time! We ordered from the restaurant, their Gazpacho de Melon et Menthe (served with homemade madeleine) and the Valhorna Chocolate Moeullex.

Cold Melon Gazpacho with mint granite
Tahitian vanilla ice-cream, biscuit (milk biscuit, oui?) and moeullux

The gazpacho dessert was nicely cold and refreshing, plus not too sweet. The mint flavour was cool~ As for the chocolate moeullux, it was full of chocolatey gooeyness.

When we thought there would be no more, the staff surprised us once more with a small dessert for the birthday girl. It was a round chocolate sitting on a thin biscuity base, and has sliced strawberries on top. Came with a candle, so I had two wishes that night! Hahaha! Being a birthday girl was a busy thing, so I had forgotten to take a picture of this complimentary dessert till there was only one bite remaining. I present to you, the evidence as below:

birthday chocolate, part deux (one bite left)

It was decadence part two. Nice, smooth and sweet end to an enjoyable evening.

To my friends; Adeline, Cherlyn, Hui Shan, Reuben and Joanne - a BIG thank you for the birthday treat! =)
To the service staff of Balzac Brasserie: Sorry I didn't get your names but thank you for taking care of us~

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