Saturday, October 31, 2015

Marco Marco @ Novena Square

Noticed that they seemed to have more items in their menu. Plus, there are more choices for mains that could be redeemed with The Entertainer App. Yay! Except, that there was no signal in this area. Incredibile!

Anyway, we ordered the Melbourne Pizza and the Roma. The food arrived fairly quickly, with the pasta making its appearance known by the smell of the cheese.

The Roma looked and tasted like a dry carbonara. Has bacon, pecorino and parmesan cheese, an egg yolk and some chives. My preference for its pasta is still The Jaipur. Fusion yes, but scores in the stronger taste.

The Roma @$12++

Next up, was The Melbourne Pizza. This pizza ought to be shared amongst two pax. Though the pizza doesn't look like its picture in the menu, the toppings were actually adequate. But noticed that its pricing had went up since they haven't update their website menu.

The Melbourne @$16++

It has beef salami, bacon strips, turkey ham, red onion and capsicums with tomato based sauce and cheese ontop. Tasty when eaten hot.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Milagro Spanish Restaurant @ Orchard Central

If you have the opportunity to be at Orchard Central during lunch hour on a week-day, you might want to check out their lunch sets. There are two price range for the lunch set meals; $19.90+ or $26.90+ for two course-meal or three course-meal respectively.

There was at least five choices for entrees, mains and desserts. Pretty impressive, I must say. Being a small eater, was happy to do two-courses. Chose the pan-seared seabass as the main, and tiramisu for desserts.

The fish took the longest time to arrive. You can say, it was the last to be served. The Chicken Harissas and pasta all came way earlier...

pan-seared seabass served with sauteed mushrooms, salad, rice and salsa verde

The fish was kind of burning hot from the pan. Cooked quite nicely, but need a tad more seasoning.

Was very happy with my choice of dessert. Served in a jar, and it was just scoop after scoop of delightful yummy-ness.

Here's the tiramisu 3-shots:
tiramisu in a jar
looks good

taste good!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dian Xiao Er 店小二 @ Lot One Choa Chu Kang

Haven't been here for a while. Dad wanted to have his birthday meal here, so that was where we brought him. The must-have dish? 东坡肉. Here's a link to last year's visit with the family. But this was the first time that we got to sit at the inner section though. Not many customers that night, or our dinner was rather late too. Around 8pm.

inner section
A set meal for 5 pax would be $108 (before GST). But we didn't get that. Went for ala-carte instead. 5 adults so we got ourselves 5 dishes. Two vegetables, two meats and one tofu.

Assorted Mushroom (三菇时蓅)  - Small @$13.60++
Dad's favourite Dong Po Pork (东坡肉) - Small @$14.30++

The broccoli was rather firm and crunchy. The three mushrooms were shitake, king oyster mushroom and abalone mushroom, served with tasty oyster sauce. The pork was as usual, could've spent more time in the braise. Not too fatty and the sauce wasn't overwhelming. Mild and pleasant. Doesn't feel greasy.

Nai Bai in Superior Broth 百花奶白 - Small @$9.90++

The Nai Bai certainly looks like a healthier choice. The broth has a milky white sheen to it and the goji berries lent some sweetness to the taste. Surprising find, was the strands of crab meat in the broth. Comparatively, this plate was of a good price. Unfortunately, mom can't eat this due to the crab meat in it.

Hotplate tofu 铁板菜香豆腐 - Small @$11.60++

The best dish to go with the steamed rice would be the hotplate tofu. Tasty tofu smothered in thickened minced meat sauce. There was a thin layer of egg at the bottom of the plate. So yums. Could finish a whole bowl of rice with this sauce alone.

Chicken in Chinese Wine 古早黄酒鸡 - Medium

One of the SG50 dish, we also ordered the Chicken in Chinese Wine (yellow wine?). Keke, confinement food! The wine taste was really mild. Wished it was stronger. Once upon a time, many many years ago (actually, aeons ago) when my mom had my sister, I can still remember the taste of the yellow wine ginger egg. Hahaha! Yup, I ate her confinement food. There was fried chicken wings too! It made sense now. My love for fried chicken wings started then...

Happy Birthday to 爸, you were the one that held my hand when I was younger, and fed me panadol when I had fever. 生日快乐。

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pork Belly Kare 豚の脇腹肉カレー - The Simplest Version

Had this idea of having Japanese curry at home for the longest time. Finally gotten around to do it, so went shopping for ingredients. The vegetables were pretty simple. Had wanted to do a variety with lots of colours just like those soup curry in Hokkaido where they had potato, grilled pumpkin, green pepper, broccoli etc. But, not really cost effective. So settled with just the basic two; carrots and onions. Didn't get potato because the rice would provide enough carbs.

Then, of course, the curry itself. The curry pack is easily available in any supermarket. Just need to choose either 'mild' or 'hot'. Knowing that Japanese curry is more likely to be sweet than spcy, I got a box of 'hot' curry. Picked one that yields 5 servings for less than $5. One serving of 2 squares, was enough to make a semi thick curry for 2 pax.

Next, must have meat. Wanted to do beef curry with beef tendons. But in the end, went for the economical route instead. So, ended up with pork belly instead.

Ingredients for Pork Belly Kare (feeds 2-3 pax)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • some  garlic cloves
  • 1 block of pork belly
  1. Peel, cut and wash the carrots, onions and garlic
  2. Remove skin from pork belly
  3. Cut into large chunks and wash
  4. Drain off excess water from vegetables and pork belly
  5. Season the meat with salt and pepper
  6. Powder the meat with corn flour
  7. Heat up some oil and brown the pork belly
  8. Remove pork belly and set aside. Remove excess oil from pan.
  9. Sauté the garlic cloves in the pan, then add vegetables and fry for a while
  10. Add some water to the vegetables, add pork belly and let it boil
  11. Transfer all to a pot, add enough water and let it boil further. 
  12. Cook till meat is soft before turning off the heat
  13. Add the curry cubes into the soup. Stir well to let it mix
  14. When curry is dissolved evenly, turn on the heat and let it simmer further
  15. Turn off the heat when meat is soft enough
boil the meat and vegetables, just like boiling soup
meat ought to be browned more

The desired outcome would be wobbly soft belly meat, flavourful curry and steaming hot fragrant rice (香米).

pork belly kare with a side serving of stir fried dou miao

The cost of the meal would be about $5 per pax.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Marmalade Pantry @ Oasia Hotel

Was there again for lunch. Time to utilize The Entertainer App, and one gets two main courses for the price of one. Yay!

For something new, the pan-seared salmon served on a bed of chilled yuzu dressed potato noodles. Hmm, loved the crispy skin and the tender flesh of the salmon. The yuzu flavour was rather mild and tangy.

salmon @$28++

Had the baby chicken again. This dish allows you to practice carving skills. Slicing the meat up beautifully required quite a bit of work, especially for novices. This was a slow cooked chicken, with braised celery, and baby potatoes. Flavours were mild as usual.

Baby Chicken @$28++
Minute Steak Sandwich @$28++

The steak was 150 days grain-fed sirloin, requested to be done medium rare. Turned out pretty chewy unfortunately. But the sweet potato fries were good!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Lechon Pinoy @ Lucky Plaza

Was around Lucky Plaza area, so had lunch at its Asian Mall Food Court. Many stalls offering Philippine's food such as Lutong Pinoy, Lutong Pinoy 2, Tapa King, Jollibee and Lechon Pinoy.

Previously had tried Lutong Pinoy and had their Porksilog. This time round, ventured to Lechon Pinoy and ordered their boneless lechon.

Basically, it's a mound of white rice and some chopped meat. Three types of sauce. The brown one that is sweetish, the vinegary chili and the dark sauce. 

Boneless Lechon @$8.50
closer view of the skin

It was pretty good. With some parts of the meat very tender and soft, and most parts with a chew but not too tough. The skin tend to have quite a bit of fats stuck to it and some parts crispy while most are chewy. Plenty of oil from the meat! Take more of the brown sauce and chili that's more vinegary than spicy. Actually it was not spicy at all.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

510 Sake Bar @ Novena

Located right next to Nickeldime Drafthouse, 510 Sake Bar has finally opened. Visited this place 'coz I told Frank that yes, will be visiting when his sake bar is opened. Congratulations!

This place is just a few months old, and hence, it is probably still evolving. They got themselves a new chef recently, so looking forward to the creations of Chef Terence, whom had a stint at 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, Quince, in San Francisco.

types of sake currently available

If you are looking for a place that has sake flight, then you are going to be dissappointed as that option is currently unavailable at this place. It's a pity, really. For sake noobs like myself, I'd appreciate if the sake bar offers a tasting portion option. Currently, a good option to try sake in tasting portions would be at Isetan Westgate where one could try the sake (usually 3 different types are available) for $5 per glass.

sake 日本酒 and shochu 燒酒 menu

At the moment, the smallest serving size of the sake is in 250 ml carafe which typically ranges from $15++ to $35++.

Got myself a Kubota Senju Tokubetsu Honjozo (特別本醸造酒) from Niigata. The honjozo is made from rice, water and koji (mold) and yeast with a small amount of distilled alcohol added at the end of fermentation. From a person who enjoys junmai daiginjyo (純米大吟醸酒), the honjozo was somewhat at the other end, where flavour intensity was played down. It tasted mild, crisp clean (pure) and has just a slight tinge of sweetness. Good thing was, it gave a good buzz after 3 cups. A carafe yielded about 4 cups of sake.

Chef Terence carefully pouring out the sake
Kubota Senju Tokubetsu Honjozo (特別本醸造酒) @$25++

Expect tapas portions for food. Food menu can be found on the board, or simply ask Chef Terence what's off the menu for that day. For today, he has stashed away some Japanese scotch egg for diners to try. Expect ramen egg (ajitsuke tamago), breaded with panko and deep fried.

food board

 As Chef has worked in Spain prior to his Japan stint in Tokyo, one will likely find some Spanish influenced creation in the menu. Friendly and amicable, it was an enjoyable conversation to have and to share common love of food with one another.

For me, give me some Honey Soyu Glazed Wings that has been confitted in bacon fat. Sitting at the bar allows a clear view on how the food was cooked and plated.

Honey Soyu Glazed Wings @$5++ (half portion)

Wings were gloriously sweet and flavourful on its outerside, but unfortunately, its insides were rather bland.

Baked Scallop with wakame and mentaiko @$12++

The scallop was imported from Hokkaido, diced and baked just about right but not too much, wakame was added in for contrast in texture and lastly, mentaiko sauce was piled on it with a dash of teriyaki as well. I think I'm rather 'purist' in terms of scallops. Still preferred those freshly grilled scallops from Hakodate Morning Market, that was flavoured simply with shoyu and butter. I do enjoy mentaiko dishes but am all for chunkier scallops! Although probably the diced bites allow more sauce to be coated. I think the Kawa Ebi Angel Hair Pasta with seaweed and ikura might be a better choice in terms of value for money.

For sake bar food, am looking forward to more substantial serving portions and probably more meat items such as pork belly and beef. How about consider putting some stir fry vegetables and garlic fried rice into the food menu, perhaps?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kaiserhaus Restaurant | Cafe | Bar @ Capitol Theatre

Don't know much about the Habsburg Empire, so wiki'ed it proper. All those description cajoled up strains of musical notes of the Blue Danube Waltz, by Austrian (nonetheless!) composer, Johann Strauss and perfectly poised gentlemen with neatly combed hair, big moustache and dressed in decorated elaborate costumes, while the ladies in their lovely gowns, dancing the night away... Haha!

Sort of fairytale like, and for some odd reason, Kaiserhaus managed to conjure up that effect.  Especially after visiting their website. So, decided to drop by for lunch on a Saturday. Quandoo reservation did not go through initially, so tried it via their website and eventually, it worked. However, it wasn't necessary as the place was fairly empty on our day of visit.

ready to order

Take Exit D from City Hall MRT and you'd end up at Capitol Piazza. Walk over to Capitol Theatre and Kaiserhaus is at Level 2.

Friend ordered the Tafelspitz, said to be one of Austria's national dish as well as favourite of former Emperor of Austria, Kaiser Franz Josef. There's even an instructional booklet on how to eat it.

how to enjoy Tafelspitz

Ok, backtrack a bit. For drinks, of course my idea was to try the Austrian beer and they do have a beer promo then. Nope, not Happy Hour, but two beers for $18++ with a free side dish of bread or deep fried mushroom.

Hirter Beer Promo @$18++

Shoved the dark lager to the guy while for me, I took the lighter one. To get the beer to our table, that took some time as it seemed to have been poured from upstairs and the staff had to carry it down that majestic stairs to the dining hall.

Cheers! Hirter Mochl and Hirter Private Pils @$18++
Happy Hour price for the beer was $8.50 and the Crispy Fried Mushroom was priced at $12++ ala-carte. Hence, with the promo, the side-dish was almost free.

Crispy Fried Mushroom @$12++ (ala-carte)
crispy button mushroom with homemade tartar sauce

The side dish was done in no time and beer was nice but let's have the main course now.

lunch spread

The Tafelspitz for one pax (@$38++) consist of a copper pot filled with beef bouillon, root vegetables and bone marrow, side-dish of creamy spinach, horseradish sauce and toasted rye bread with potato rosti. With so many 'plates', the table for two is no longer enough and the staff pulled the table next to us to expand the space of the table. Keke.

beef broth with liver dumpling (half)
grain fed beef rump, bone marrow and oyster blade

The booklet instructed to spread bone marrow on a piece of toasted rye bread and season with salt and pepper to taste. But alas, the bone was there, but where was the marrow? But that's ok, since butter is supplied. Tasted nice and light beef broth was comforting. Loved the creamed spinach. Smooth and hearty.

potato rosti and toasted rye bread

creamed spinach

The other main course, was the Original Wiener Schnitzel from Veal. Two generous pieces of veal, pounded, breaded and pan-fried.

Original Wiener Schnitzel from Veal @$38++

Served with a potato salad, lemon wedge and cranberry ragout.  Loved the cranberry ragout with the meat. Even better with the horseradish sauce.

Traditional and classic Viennese desserts are available including the famed sachertorte. According to the lady at the cakes section, she mentioned that the cakes are baked in-house daily.

plenty of desserts
raspberry truffle cake

Total meal would've cost about $110+ but with the Entertainer App, one of the main course was free. Hence, per pax bill came up to $34 each.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

CreatureS @ 120 Desker Road

It was an impromptu decision to visit. All of us were packed into Ivan's car, and Kris punched a few numbers on her phone, talked abit and voila, we had a table at CreatureS on a Saturday evening. Interesting district, this Desker Road. Think dark lanes, some cafes and plenty of traffic. Parking was tricky, though there was one pretty near the junction about 100 metres away from the shop.


Our table was upstairs and noted that there's an alfresco seating at Level 2 as well. Place was well decorated with plenty of flowers and plants. The washroom has a spa-ish feel to it.

centerpiece at Level 2
table for party of 8
table with a view

Ordered desserts as we already had our dinner elsewhere. Got two of their bestsellers to try, and some fries for munchies.

The Asian Herb Fries tasted a bit like, uhm...twisties. Haha, yeah. Mainly of curry, pepper and salt seasonings. Bar food for the cocktails, perhaps. Speaking of cocktails, spotted one that I'd like to try in future; Creamy CreatureS thats concocted with dark rum, gula melaka, and rosemary perfurmed milk froth. Sounds good but didn't order that night since we were there for desserts. Desserts and cocktail? Hmm, not for me.

Asian Herb Fries @$12++

If you'd like a cake with local flavours, try the orh nee (yam) or durian cake. Since we had to make a choice, we chose the durian cake. Made of pandan genoise sponge, pandan vanilla chantilly cream and of course, most importantly, the mao shan wang durian paste. Pardon my ignorance, had to look up the wiki for genoise (genoese) cake which is basically Italian sponge cake, where whole egg is used as opposed to yolk and white beaten separately.

Durian Cake @$12++
I like sponge cake, cream and durian and this slice had all of those, so this was pleasant. The durian paste tasted good and has strong fragrance but unfortunately, there were some dry bits in there as well.

Next up, was the heavy duty CreatureS Chocolate Cake. If the item carries the shop's name, it better live up to the expectation! No worries, as this one did and did it well. Bouncy espresso chocolate sponge layered with thick soft layers of chocolate sitting ontop of homemade salted caramel sauce and sprinkled with himalyan salt, resulted in a very intense and right-in your face saltiness and chocolatey gooeyness. Yums. When it gets a tad too heavy, the coconut ice-cream is there to balance things up a bit.

CreatureS Chocolate Cake @$18++

Would strongly suggest that the cakes to be shared. Durian cake as desserts between 2 pax, and the Chocolate Cake between 4 pax (at least!).

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