Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Marché Mövenpick @ Suntec City

It's been ages, Marché. Visited the one at Suntec City Tower 3 on a weekend, for a lunch gathering with university friends. The place is kids friendly, with a small play area where children can climb up and down the treehouse, except that it was not really a treehouse. The queue was quite daunting at about 1230pm.

If you have small children, then it will quite worth it to get the kids meal. For just $10.90, there's a main course and one glass of juice. There's also a free paper mask that the kid can colour. Nice.

kids meal
free mask with color pencils

The place is not very big but it does offer quite a good selection. For example, plenty of greens for healthy eaters, pizza made upon order, paella, the all-time-favourite rosti counter, savoury and sweet crepes, grilled meats and seafood, soups, oysters, cakes, drinks etc.

Being market style concept, just bring the Marché card issued upon entrance to the food stall that you are interested in. Make your order and pass them to card to swipe. Collect food, cutleries and enjoy.

vegetable counter
savoury crepe

Finally decided on roast beef for lunch. The beef is sliced upon order. The staff was pretty generous with the meat, but the table was aghast when the plate was brought back. "It's raw!" Everyone protested. Hmm, actually quite true. Hence, to be safe, decided to bring it back to the grill station.

roast beef @ $24+

The beef was then grilled for about or minute or two on each sides. Was a tad worried that it might become too tough. Fortunately, the meat was still good! Meat was still tender and the slightly charred area was really flavourful. Liked the portion of the meat. Carnivorous cravings, satisfied. The meat was served with salad leaves, a dollop of mash potato and brown sauce. Liked mine with mustard.

grilled beef
thankfully pink

As the children were busy at the play area, the adults chit-chatted. Was considering desserts and coffee. The coffee counter do have a limited selection of cakes, pastries and bread. The staff recommended to get a set for just $4.90. The set has coffee/tea and a cake. For more pricey cakes, a top-up is required. For this coffee counter, one need to pay in cash instead. I think that's fine as one cup of coffee is already $3.50.

cake and coffee set @$4.90

Actually, the cake tasted quite good. Dark and rich, yums. Good value.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Real Food 真食 @ Novena Square 2

Located at basement of Novena Square 2, this place is popular as it serves food suitable for vegetarians and vegans in a cafe setting. And, for the record, the food tasted good. Concept is simple: Queue, Order and Pay at the counter. Get a basket containing the cutlery with a number tag and food shall be served to you at your table.

A drink that I quite liked is the Daylesford organic carbonated drink of the Lemon Lime & Bitters flavour. Nice and refreshing.

Daylesford Organic Carbonated Drink - Lemon Lime & Bitters @$5.80

The wait for food, did take a while. But the place had stocked up on magazines and books, so feel free to browse. During the time of visit, saw copies of Monocle magazine too.

dumpling soup (vegan, soy) @$7

The dumpling soup looked good with those plump dumplings and with some leafy vegetables for a dose of green. Ingredients included tofu, mushrooms, carrots, french beans and chestnuts.

Mine was from the All-Day-Breakfast menu; the Rise-n-Shine Breakfast. It has a side of potato salad, lots of salad leaves, sauteed mushrooms and two sunny-side up eggs buried underneath the greens, and half a grilled tomato, served with bread. What a lovely warm crusty bread to go with the eggs. Would've been perfect if the eggs were runny.

Rise-n-Shine Breakfast @$9.80

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Old Hong Kong Kitchen @ Novena Square 2

Was in the mood for some dim sum. What's my current must-have for dim sum in a non-buffet setting? Simple steamed cha siew bao (叉烧包). Its centre must've burst forth to reveal the delicious lustrous fillings of sweet cha siew. The darker savoury variant is preferred but nowadays, most are of the reddish variant cha siew.

At Old Hong Kong Kitchen, this week's cover charge was the braised sweet beancurd skin.

cover charge

For our drinks, the service staff recommended the rose tea with goji (枸杞) berries. Ok. But it was such a tiny pot with equally small dainty cups, that we had to have it refilled multiple times since there were four of us sharing this. Very light tasting, slight sweetness but missing the fragrant rose smell.

rose tea with goji berries

Let's roll out the dim sums! Ooh, we ordered 7 baskets of stuffs to share amongst the four of us.

boluo (菠萝包) bun

If bo luo bun means pineapple bun, then how come it doesn't contain any pineapple? 'Coz it just look like a pineapple with the baked cruncy top, that's all.

Those crunchy bits at the top, what are they made of? Recipes indicated that it's made of cake/bread flour, caster sugar, butter, egg yolk, milk powder, evaporated milk, condensed milk and baking powder.

The above Q&A was just to satisfy my own curiosity.

deep fried prawn beancurd roll

The deep fried item was crunchy and served piping hot. The sauce does enhance the taste. Quite nice.
Next, serve me a soft fluffy cha siew bao with delicious moist savoury sweetish pork fillings. Yummy.

cha siew bao
pan-fried turnip cake (萝卜糕)
3 treasures chee cheong fun (三宝猪肠粉)

The turnip cake and cheong fun were pretty run-of-the-mill. The turnip cake lacked the chinese sausage fragrance. The cheong fun sheet was nicely chewy and not too thick but the fillings distribution was not quite even. This version has scallops, prawns and cha siew in its own strips.

Alas, by the time I remembered about the har gao, the dumpling skin had already hardened. =(
Nevertheless, this har gao was packed tightly with firm prawn in it.

har gao (虾饺)

Just when we thought that was the end of lunch, out came the deep fried yam puffs. Oops, everyone had forgotten about this order.

deep fried yam puffs (芋头角)

The yam/taro dumplings were nicely done with adequately crispy outershell and biting into this dumpling yielded a very nice prominent yam taste to it. But, since we had so many items prior with the same cha siew fillings, this was unfortunately rendered towards monotony.

The meal cost about $76 for 4-pax. The dim sum items ranged from $5+ to $6+ each.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

GastroSmiths Bistro and Bakery @ Tan Quee Lan Street

Been curious about this place for a while now. Blame it on the postings by myfoodsirens. Reservation was via SMS and response was pretty quick. Staff would do a verification on that day itself and we are all set. Located at 103 Beach Road, Tan Quee Lan St., this place is very near the Downtown Line MRT exit.

First impression of GastroSmiths, was that its indoor seating area was rather small and compact. Lovely wall art. Suits the mood.


The menu can be found online. For drinks, we had the umeshu and yuzu vodka soda. Guess which one was mine?

komasa umeshu with soda @$8.50++
Yuzu Vodka Soda @$12.50++

Yuzu really goes quite well with soda water! Haha, yup. Had the yuzu vodka and I liked it. Maybe will recreate this at home, one day.

For appetiser, we had the Scallop Ceviche. Cubes of raw Hokkaido scallop, marinated with citrus juice and dressed with olive oil, salt and corriander. Hmm, it was less tasty than I imagined. Slightly bitterish aftertaste from the marinade. The scallop unfortunately lacked its natural sweetness.

Scallop Ceviche @$14.50++

My friend, Flo, ordered the Cast-Iron Grilled Chicken. When the dish landed on the table, the first thought that struck, was of its serving size. Felt like something was missing from the plate. Perhaps a side of greens would have compensated for the space on the plate? This one is for breast meat lovers. The sear on the chicken was nice and the taste was simple and light. Loved the sauteed mushrooms and the smoked yoghurt potato mash was something different.

Cast-Iron Grilled Chicken @$24++

Next, was my main course. The 150 days grain-fed Angus Striploin. Ok, both plates were pretty minimalistic. How do you like your beef to be done? If it is not a French restaurant, then medium-rare would be my option. Pink at its center, please. The cauliflower was roasted with salsa verde sauce. Tasty as there were concentrated sprinkles of salt at the cauliflower's head. The angus has a good beefy chew and loved the thin layer of fats at its side, especially with the charred bits. The pomme puree was rather lovely with its buttery creamy scent.

220gms Angus 150day grain-fed Striploin @$33.50++

lovely medium rare

Lastly, was dessert. Went for the Valrhona Lava Cake. A waiting time of at least 10 minutes would be required. Perused the coffee menu and saw an item called 'Magic'. Curious, so enquired from the staff. Oh, it's a ristretto and since it is extracted with half amount of water, then its flavours would be more concentrated. Didn't try that, but the Shoyu Caramel Latte looked interesting. Went for my usual piccolo.

Piccolo Latte @$4++

The plating of the dessert was lovely. Manjari chocolate was delightful, with a good balance of sweetness and bitter. However, was there essence of banana underneath the ice-cream?

Valrhona Lava Cake @$15.50++
Manjari 64%, vanilla ice-cream, banana

Expect to spend about $67 per pax for a two-course dinner with an alcoholic drink.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Milagro Spanish Restaurant @ Orchard Central

Time passes by really quickly. Last visited this place in August 2014 and back again for a revisit sometime in July 2015. Almost a year apart. Was there during dinner time on a public holiday eve that coincided with a Friday. Throngs of people at the mall. Here's a link to the earlier visit.

As usual, got a drink and some tapas to share. The deep fried squid was quite nice to chew on.

lemonade and sangria
deep fried squid

The buffalo wings were just as good a year ago, with a slight change in the way it was presented.

buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce

For mains, we shared a seafood paella. The paella feeds 2 as mains. The paella required a waiting time of at least 20 minutes. The dish had a nice colour to it, and liked the amount of seafood on the pan. Squids, mussels clams and prawns. It was not too sourish, just nicely tangy and moist. Tasty.

seafood paella for 2 pax
fried scallops and asparagus

Hmmm, skip the asparagus with scallops. The thinnest pencil-like asparagus that's slightly bitter, and tiny scallops.

Ordered three types of desserts. Churros with chocolate sauce, molten lava cake and fried milk. The churros was tiny and thin. Nicely crispy and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. I like my churros fat, crispy on its outside and soft/chewy on its inside. The chocolate sauce was nice.

The lava cake was enjoyable as per normal. But I still prefer the fried milk here. Simply yums.

molten lava cake with ice-cream
fried milk

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Boiler Louisiana Seafood & Beer @ Tai Seng

While it is near Tai Seng MRT, it took a bit of walking and some faith in that there is a restaurant awaiting for you, somewhere in there. For first timers like me, I took about 6 minutes to walk and 10 minutes to ponder if I was lost. The directions would be something like this: Head out of Tai Seng MRT station, turn right and walk towards Harper Road. You should be able to see Sakae and Breadtalk buildings across the opposite side. No need to cross road but just to walk right ahead. If you passed by a bus stop, then that is correct. When you come across Howard Road, then turn right and walk straight. The streets are most likely empty except for a few foreign workers resting by the curbside. The buildings would look unoccupied especially during the weekends, dinner time. From afar, rejoice when one sees the Khong Guan building. Head towards it, and you'll pass by The Boiler.

at last

Seems like if you intend to dine there during weekends dinner time, especially around 7pm, best to make a reservation as the place was really busy during the PH that we visited. After 8pm, the crowd dwindled. Reservation was easy via the Hungrygowhere website.

lobster on promo, but nothing beats the $1 promo that had ended

Arrived late, so the gang had polished off some snacks which included spam fries, nachos chips (was this with the prawn cocktail?) and wings. Heard that the spicy mid-wings were kind of sour and rather spicy.

last piece of spam fries
Louisiana Spicy Mid Joint Wings @$8.90++

Got myself a beerita, which was a bottle of Corona turned upside down, ontop of ice-blended slush. Hmm, how was this a margarita? Tasted just like beer and crushed ice with lemon.

Beerita @$11.90++

Of course, the main thing to order here is the Bombdiggity Bag. But it serves just 4 pax and we have 7. So ordered a Boiler's Duo Bag which is similar to Bombdiggity, except that it doesn't have crab. Handphones are kept neatly in the plastic cover that the restaurant provides. The helpful staff assisted with the plastic apron tying so that the clothes won't be splattered with the sauces.

dinner is served
Bombdiggity Bag @$139++
The Boiler's Duo Bag @$49++

Had the Bombdiggity with Garlic Butter sauce for the non-spicy tolerant eaters, and The Works for the Boiler's Duo Bag. Think we got the mild or medium for The Works. Each bag consist of clams, mussels, sausages and corns, and Bombdiggity had a dungeoness crab in it. For the two bags combined, we got 6 deep fried buns. These tiny pillowy buns were good to soak up the spicy sauce. Additional ones cost $1.50++ for 2 pieces.

my loot

More than half the table preferred the Garlic Butter sauce as it was more fragrant compared to the spicy one. Personally, I like The Works precisely for its spiciness. But, it was also a tad saltier. That's why it tasted good with beer. Keke.

Also ordered fish & chips to try. They ran out of fries, so it was replaced with potato wedges instead. Boy, it was good.
fish & chips @$12.90++
lovely potato wedges

Expect to spend about $60++ per pax for a seafood bag, snacks to share and a drink here.

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