Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tring313 Food Trail 2015 @ 313 Somerset

Once more, had the opportunity to take part in a food trail. This time round, the location was at 313 Somerset. Coincidentally, all the stops in the trail were shops that I have yet to try. WoOOhoo! If you'd like to read more about previous food trails' experience, simply click on these: Waterfront @ Riverside Point, Bugis+, Bugis Junction, and Liang Court. The most hectic one would be 11 stations within 6 hours with about 15 bloggers. For the Somerset 313 food trail, there was about 11 of us with 7 food stops.

Tring313 Food Trail (version) 2015, at 313 Somerset started from morning 11am and lasted till about 4pm. Slurped and ate our way through Soup Stock Tokyo, Chabuton, O'ma Spoon, Pie Face, Chir Chir Chicken, Dinata and Hvala Waffle Bar. Yup, ended up with a super full stomach and probably thousands of calories combined!

Tring313 Food Trail 2015 at 313 Somerset #wealwaysshare

If you would like to enjoy great offers while at 313 Somerset, why not try the Tring313 app? It's free to download from App Store and Play Store.

Tring313 app

What is in store for you? Well, it offers latest exclusive promotions from 313 Somerset retailers like clothing brands and of course, food! What kind of promotion? Here's a glimpse:

that's like 40% off from Chir Chir Chicken!
oh no, just missed the offer from O'ma Spoon.. needa wait for next round
cool, that's like buy a pie and get a free drink
yummy singleton waffles for half price? That's insane

Watch out for the upcoming reviews on the above mentioned places. Till then, take care and enjoy the weekend!

Special thanks to 313 Somerset and all respective shops for hosting us. Thank you Alvin for the invitation and Gel for accompanying us throughout.

Read about the experience at Soup Stock Tokyo , Chabuton, O'ma Spoon Korean Dessert Cafe, Pie Face, Chir Chir Chicken, Dinata and Hvala Waffle Bar.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant @ Jubilee Square Ang Mo Kio

Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant is located at Level 2 of Jubilee Square, which is about 12 minutes walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT Station. A Japanese restaurant in the heartlands with omakase option? Nice. Was invited to try some of the items from its menu. The restaurant itself is compact and cosy. If you would like to make a reservation for a private room, they do have one as well.

counter seats
private room

Fresh seafood is flown in from Tsukiji Market every Tuesdays and Fridays. Chef/Owner will determine if the shipment requires adjustment and the delivery will be as frequent as 3 times a week, depending on demand.

fresh fish on display

For starters, we had the Kagoshima wagyu tataki. Gorgeous marbling of beef, nicely laid out on a plate. It tasted good on its own. The dipping sauce gave it a light tanginess. Overall, good fatty mouthfeel that does not overwhelm.

wagyu tataki @$26.80++

Next appetiser, was in a liquid form. Negima mushi. Even without knowing what was inside the clear broth, the essence of fish was rather apparent. Steamed in a ceramic container akin to chawanmushi, the tuna belly and slightly scorched leek were able to retain its taste. Enjoyable for fish lovers. Negima mushi is currently available with the $100 omakase set. Do request from the service staff if you would like to try it ala-carte.

Negima mushi @$15++

Next up, was the Wagyu Sukiyaki. Hotpot seemed to be popular amongst the ladies! Plenty of vegetables, mushrooms and tofu in the sweet soy based broth.

Wagyu Sukiyaki @$25.80++
closer view
let's get started

Also tried the Yuzu Tebasaki, which are basically yuzu flavoured salt grilled chicken mid-wings. Well seasoned and great with beer or sake. Or, green tea if you must. Chef managed to churn out still juicy wings with golden brown skins with some charred bits. Charming.

Yuzu Tebasaki @$6.80++ per stick
Next, was a dish that was the centerpiece of our table. The very beautiful sashimi platter with an additional order of itoyori fish (golden thread) @$38++. Itoyori is a kind of threadfin bream with firm flesh.

Sashimi platter with Itoyori (Golden Thread) @$158++
premium fresh ingredients

Liked the freshness of everything on that platter. Uni was so sweet and fresh. Hotate and hamachi used to be my favourite, but there was a snapper-like flesh with specks of silver on its skin that was so good. Firm texture similar to mekajiki but not as dense. Slightly sweet too. Yums.

For mains, one could try the wagyu don. The bowl came without much sauce though but this allowed the natural flavours of the beef to be more apparent. I could even taste the lightly caramelized fragrance of the onions. The soft boiled egg is served in a side dish.

Wagyu Don @$24.80++
Wagyu don is a substantial dish that will fill up the belly. Would be perfect if they have a less rice option for the small eaters. The wagyu don is value-for-money as its price point is similar to wagyu tataki but with rice and an egg.

mix in the egg for a silky smooth coating
If you really feel like splurging (and don't want to share your sashimi), there is the Premium Chirashi Don to order. Beautifully laid out with premium seafood such as a huge botan ebi, uni, toro and so much more.

Premium Chirashi Don @$31.80++

look at that gorgeousness

If rice is not your thing, then how about ramen? A simple bowl of comforting ramen with pork and onsen egg. While the soup may look reddish, it was actually not that spicy. Wonder why it is called Zaku Ramen though. Maybe related to Gundam?

Zaku Ramen @$14.80++

Sometimes, I like to order sushis for dinner. Nowadays, I will usually opt for aburi sushis as it gives more flavour. The aburi sushi at Haru Haru comes in a set of 6 sushi. Salmon mentaiyaki, mekajiki, maguro, ika, ebi and hotate.

Aburi Sushi @$23.80++
If you prefer maki, then Haru Sushi Roll might appeal to you. A colourful roll with of bright orange and beautifully plated. Good sized, tasty and has lots of things going on in there. For salmon and mayo fans too.

Haru Roll @$14.80++
Haru Roll

Special thanks to Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant for hosting the dinner, and Alvin for the invitation. To the earnest staff in the restaurant, thank you for your service. To new friends that night, see you again!

Haru Haru Japanese Restaurant

Location: 61 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 #02-03, Jubilee Square
Contact: 6451 3201

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

D'Zerts Cafe @ 30 Jalan Pari Burong

Where on earth is Jalan Pari Burong? Somewhere near Tanah Merah, it seems. So journey to the East, it was for that weekend. D'Zerts Cafe signage can be seen clearly from the main road. As I was travelling from the western part, the vehicle will then be at the opposite side of this stretch of shophouses. D'Zerts Cafe is next to a restaurant called Big Eater.

sounds yummy

plushies crowding the desserts counter

one of the more unique shaped cake

Not sure who is Bert, but apparently he makes/sells waffles here. Here's a shot of waffles menu:

gelato toppings for waffles

For drinks, they have a variety of flavoured tea bags available, usually drunk hot. Requested for iced/cold tea since the weather was so hot!

iced flavoured tea @$4
freshly squeezed orange juice @$3.50

Tried the waffles and cakes. Waffles was nicely crisp on the outside and fluffy on its inside.

salted caramel with waffles (without sauce) @$9.90

One could get one type of sauce to drizzle ontop of the gelato when having the waffles. For example, salted caramel sauce, maple syrup, earl grey etc.

cookie & cream (back) and sesame (front) with earl grey sauce @$13.70

Of all the gelatos that we tried, the mango one was the best. Best in taste, best in retaining its shape. Salted caramel melted too quickly and flavour was rather thin. The earl grey sauce was good. The matcha gelato was enjoyable with thick green tea flavour.

added matcha gelato and salted caramel sauce

The cakes were pretty good too. Enjoyed the cheesecake and matcha latte. Sweetness level, just nice.

matcha latte (@$5) and cheesecake with salted caramel sauce (@$6)

If you're nearby that area, then D'Zerts Cafe is a place that you can consider to drop by for a slice of cake with coffee, or to enjoy a very simple waffle with gelato.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Restaurant Ember @ Hotel 1929 Keong Saik Road

Restaurant Ember is located at Hotel 1929, which is about some 10 minutes walk from the Chinatown MRT. First impression of Ember? Feels rather cosy, expensive looking but not as big a space as initially thought. Was greeted by the friendly staff as soon as I showed up at its door. Nice.

Was led to a more private corner of the restaurant which could accommodate up to six diners. The teal coloured chairs were indeed a splash of colour in a serious looking restaurant.

nice colour
you know it's fine dining when...
bread service
focaccia bread
The bread was pretty yummy tasting but had to refrain for the other dishes.

For the first appetiser, the Flan was served. Steamed egg custard with spanner crab, asparagus, tobiko and aonori. The smooth egg custard contrasted well with the "crunch" from the diced asparagus and tobiko. Pleasant and warmed the tummy.

Flan @$18++
egg custard, tobiko, asparagus, spanner crab, aonori seaweed
Next, was the Consomme. Concentrated mushroom stock of earthy flavour and dark coloured. It had a comforting flavour.

mushroom consomme, shimeji mushrooms, chicken & foie gras tortellini @$16++
pate-like fillings

For mains, we shared the Bouillabaisse, Duck, Lamb, Barramundi and Cod. First up, was the Bouillabaissse which traditionally uses fish as its main ingredient. The Bouillabaise soup was poured at the table and after which, we could start. This dish had a chockful of ingredients. Not sure if I had chanced upon any scampi but the scallops were utterly delicious. Had quite a few bites of fish too. Ingredients were enjoyably sweet and fresh but I just could not get used to the bouillabaise soup.

Bouillabaisse @$32++
scampi, clams, Hokkaido scallops, seabass and aioli

Next, was the simple looking but tasted utterly delicious plate of Cod with whipped potato and bell peppers. Not in the menu though.

Pan Seared Cod

Not to worry, as the Barramundi was equally as nice. Pan-roasted barramundi with firm flesh, vine ripped cherry tomato, fine beans, clams and topped with such a generous dollop of caviar. Was surprised by the milky taste in the jus but am liking it. Had an added natural sweetness and milkiness to it.

Barramundi @$28++

The pan-seared Welsh Lamb Rack was such a beauty to look at. The meat was cooked to a beautiful pink and was rightfully tender. Chef kept the flavours of the meat simple and natural. The ratatouille and cous cous underneath the lamb racks were rather strong in flavour though.

Welsh Lamb Rack @$45++
Last of the meats, was the Duo of Duck. Duck cooked two styles. One was a confit wrapped in filo while the other was simply pan-seared duck breast. Liked the confit in filo pastry as it was so tasty! The duck breast was firmer and milder in taste. The accompanying braised red cabbage, carrot puree and 5 spice jus were just brilliant. Major love for the carrot puree and 5 spice jus!

Duo of Duck @$32++
duck confit in filo

For desserts, we shared the Champagne, Figs, Chocolate, Pistachio and Mango. That was like everything in its desserts menu saved for the cheeses.

Figs - deconstructed fig cheesecake, crumble and tahiti vanilla ice-cream @$12++
Chocolate - Valrhona chocolate brownie, banana and peanut butter parfait @$18++
Pistachio - texture of pistachio, sponge, crumble, ice-cream and ginger milk foam @$15++
Mango - vanilla panna cotta, mango, coconut sorbet @$16++
Champagne - champagne jelly, macerated strawberries & yoghurt sorbet @$16++

The desserts were decent, and enjoyed the panna cotta more, though it was a bit too wobbly/soft. Tasted good and not too sweet. While the ginger foam was fun, am still not able to interpret on what is a texture of pistachio. It ought to be the green coloured sponge cake, but it still feels like I'm missing a point here...

Felt that Chef Sufian does bring with him a certain subtleness in his cooking. Enjoyed most of the dishes and having browsed through its set menus, I'd say that the Lunch Set looked rather attractive for one could get a three-course meal for $45++.

Special thanks to Chef Sufian and Restaurant Ember for hosting the tasting session. Thank you HGW for the invite. It was always a pleasure dining with friends; The Arctic Star, The Hungry Bunny and The Running Man.

Restaurant Ember @ Hotel 1029

Location: 50 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089158
Contact: 6347 1928

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