Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cuisine Master Hotpot ( 食神锅奉行 ) @ Boat Quay

Located at 68 Boat Quat, and yup, that touristy area. Bus #166 brought me to Boat Quay bus stop. Head back towards the bridge and turn right to the restaurant areas. Walk straight along the five foot walkways, and one can get a waft of wondrous aroma especially at the mookata shop. After that, turn left towards the river, and then turn left once again to get towards Unit #68.

restaurant signboard

Was here for a food tasting session. At first glance, the restaurant does look alot like a bar. Ground floor sees dark lightings and small cosy tables, not unlike any other drinking place. Only difference, it has ornaments and artifacts that looked like it could belong in an Asian Civilization Museum.

ground level tables
on tap

Before dinner starts, guests will be served with a non-alcoholic welcome drink.

colourful welcoming drink

The dining room for our hotpot dinner was on Level 2. So up the stairs we went.

wonder what we'll find upstairs

We were in a group of 8 pax and here's a picture of the menu:

our hotpot set
our table

Started off with the fruits platter. Here's an article on why fruits should be eaten before a meal.

strawberries, rock melon and dragon fruit

CM Hotpot originated from Beijing and its concept is followed through, here in Singapore as well. Their friendly and knowledgeable service staff will be in-charge of all the cooking, so diners will just need to sit back, relax and enjoy the meal. We were about to enjoy some pampering that night.

Thirsty? Have some chinese tea in a dainty little decorated cup.

dainty little cup of tea

Platter of Appetiser Surprise as part of the course. The blanched long beans tasted better with the shredded olive (that seaweed looking thingy). Liked the cherry tomatoes.

marinated cherry tomatoes, blanched long beans with olive. black fungus

But there wasn't any pot on our table, so where was it? The secret lies within the table. We were told that even Beijing branches doesn't have this!

After all the oohs and ahhs of the mechanical pot appearing like on our table-top, it was time to take stock. Soup stock, of course. Double flavoured soup; Mushroom and Golden Soup.The golden soup was boiled from chicken and duck for 20-hours. WooOohOooo!

mushroom and golden soup

But, before tasting the soup, a serving of Shaoxing wine was poured for us to warm our stomach. Hmm. Shaoxing? Only had that for cooking purposes. First time having it as a drink. Furthermore, first time drinking from an odd-looking vessel called the 'jué' ().

Shaoxing wine poured into a jué
Shaoxing wine (5 years and below)

Starting meal proper, tasting the soups. First, mushroom soup. Soft and mild. Though the soup was dark coloured, the mushroom flavour was not too strong. Reminiscent of dashi.

mushroom soup

Next, the full-bodied golden soup, further enhanced with ingredients such as dried baby abalones, scallops, fish maw and sea cucumber.

mini buddha jumps over the wall
golden soup with premium extras

Really liked the golden soup. Will recommend another bowl of this. Seriously, drink this at the start!

Next course.
chefs special prepared shrimp and pork balls

The handmade shrimp square was firm and bouncy, while the pork balls tasted average.

corn and chinese yam
chinese yam cooking

Next up, Prawn with turbot combination. I wouldn't have thought turbot is a species of a fish. Read more about turbot here.

turbot and prawns

Turbot flesh was delicate and slightly springy, while the prawn was slightly overdone but still sweet.

sweet prawn

For food with very delicate taste, there are sauces to enhance.

chili sauce and spicy soy

Next up, Matsutake mushrooms!

matsutake and golden mushrooms
double shrooms
Had actually forgotten to request for a bowl of the mushroom soup that point in time. Think it would've tasted great with the matsutake addition. Sighs.

What's a hotpot without a platter of good meats? Time to feed our carnivorous selves!

beef and kurobuta pork slices
closer look of the beef

It was unfortunate for the kurobuta pork as it turned out too tough. The meat platter were pretty lean, fitting into the concept of healthy eating.

beefy slices

The last two courses for the hotpot were the vegetable pot and handmade noodles.

beautiful arrangement
handmade noodles (see the purple cabbage noodles way at the back?)
colourful carbs

Satiated, the window in the dining room can be opened and the night view greeted us.

view from Level 2

To end the meal, diners are served with white fungus with longan and red date.

classy looking dessert

Thank you Hungrygowhere and Cuisine Master Hotpot for this dining experience.

Cuisine Master Hotpot

Address:            68 Boat Quay, Singapore 049856
Tel:                    6438 9979
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm

Friday, August 30, 2013

Jewel Cafe and Bar @ Rangoon Road

Visited on a cool evening, in the midst of a slight drizzle.

food and drinks menu

Great place for chit-chats, catching up with friends. Wanted to try their cocktail, Samurai, but it was not available. So got No. 1 Yuzu instead. Pleasant and very yuzu'ishly sweet.

No. 1 Yuzu (@$16)

Had some food along with the drink. Truffle fries came piping hot, and in a good sized plate. The salt and pepper squid was ok, mildly flavoured and tender to the bite.

truffle fries (@$7)
salt and pepper squid (@$9)
tender squid

The people of this place are young and friendly. Comfortable service level, and prices shown are nett.

latte, in a cappucino cup

Coffee was strong. not too acidic and not too milky. Just the way I like it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

PasarBella @ The Grandstand (Turf City)

Located at The Grandstand (former Turf City) Bukit Timah. Took the free shuttle from Clementi MRT bus stop. To be more precise, it's the bus stop (B17179) opposite of Clementi Mall. Shuttle bus schedule here.

to the market
Visited on a Sunday, and took the 245pm bus. Not so much of a crowd at that time. Go in via the nearest entrance at the drop-off point, and the first trader one sees, is the Oceans of Seafood.

Oceans of Seafood Japanese section
fresh fish
looks like those turban shells that one can sizzle away on a grill top?

Was there to ogle at slim, lengthly legs. Crab legs, to be more precise. If you must know, one section of the leg will set you back about $44.

sweet legs, anyone?

Over at the International section, one can take their pick of oysters, prawns, brown crabs and lobsters.

oysters and prawns galore
G'day mate! Shuck me an oyster, Coffin Bay oyster!
what ya staring at?
cold platter for you?

The fresh seafood looked so enticing. Wonder how sweet will they taste?

Stumbled into the Cheese Ark, and sampled cheeses made from cow, sheep and buffalo. Am no cheese connoisseur, and with very thin slices, am not so sure what exactly am I tasting. Haha, ended up with a rather safe option (gouda) but thought it was pretty flavourful when eaten in sizeable cubes and paired with 2011 Barons de Rothschild (Lafitte).

bright lights, to the Cheese Ark
something to look at, while munching cheese
say cheese
cheese sampling
my loot

Wandered somemore, and if you're looking for organic options, there are some traders in organic produce.

organic certfied fruits and vegetables
of walnuts and pecans
nashi pears and navel oranges

Quite liked the ambiance of PasarBella.

artsy feel
if walls can talk

There are many non-food traders too. Such as Pantry Magic. Everything looks so appealing in there. Of course, am easily jolted back to reality just by looking at the price tags.

Pantry Magic
attracted to shiny bronzy things

retro but complicated looking toaster

Elsewhere, one can stop to smell the flowers too.

nice decor with imported flowers

The upwards riding escalator inside PasarBella was intriguing. We went up but couldn't get down, till we go up one more level.

to infinity?

Interesting stuffs all around in the market area for us to explore.

pinky cute

Ok, back to food. Passed by Le Patio, and its gigantic pan.

Chef working, Le Patio's paella magic

Went on to Bistro Botintin, where the tiniest suckling pig was ready for customers.

spanish suckling pig

Wasn't hungry but was determined to at least try something, so got the Iberico pork loin (@$8 per 100grams).

Iberico pork loin
closer view

The fatty bits was really nice, especially with caramelization. Meat was slightly pinkish and tender. Enjoyable.

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