Sunday, November 19, 2017

[Media Invite] Jin Fine Dining @ 76 Telok Ayer Street

Jin Fine Dining serves fine, quality Japanese food and is located within Amoy Hotel. Nearest MRT is Telok Ayer MRT (DTL). Turn to the right towards the vicinity of Far East Square if you are at the Telok Ayer street. Head towards Amoy Hotel and you'll find the entrance to the restaurant.

Jin Fine Dining offers omakase, sets as well as ala-carte dining options. I heard they bring in their fresh seafood every Tuesdays and Fridays. Was there on a Thursday and enjoyed the freshness of the produce, especially the sashimi platter. It was quite a fanfare when the platter was brought in, with smoke emitting the dry ice. Overall, the plate had one whole seabream, thinly sliced and arranged with salmon, maguro and hamachi. Just absolutely love the firm hamachi and maguro. Satisfying all the sashimi cravings at one go!

sashimi platter @$128
glorious plate
The sashimi platter was good for 5 to 6 pax, and it has my favourite fish - hamachi (yellowtail).

If you prefer carpaccio-style, they do have the Kanpachi Truffle Carpaccio. Trivia: What's the difference between hamachi and kanpachi? Both belong to the same fish family and kanpachi is also known as amberjack fish while hamachi is yellowtail. Kanpachi is less fatty in comparison with its cousin.

Kanpachi Truffle Carpaccio @$30
The carpaccio was nicely plated with chrysanthemum petals and black truffle shavings. A tiny flavour-bomb, this one.

I was surprised by their rendition of buta kakuni. Often times, we get small chunks of well-braised pork belly for the kakuni but at Jin's, it was a large chunk of meat. Just slightly smaller than dong-po meat (东坡肉). The surprise element was taken up another notch when this piece of wobbly meat was placed in the mouth. Juicy, savoury flavour that melts in your mouth. Doesn't feel greasy at all. Great execution.

Buta Kakuni @$30
Tempura Mori @$22
Kimchi Nabe @$23
Tura Nabe @$28

For soups, one could get the Tura Nabe or the Kimchi Nabe; cod fish or the pork belly kimchi hotpot. :Portion was good enough to be shared amongst 3 pax as a side-dish. Of course, if you are thirsty, then there's a selection of sake and drinks available. Cold beer could be the remedy after a hard day's work.

For carbs, we tried the Iro Iro Maki that's colourful, and the Jin Maki. The Iro Iro has slices of sashimi and avocado wrapping around the prawn tempura in sushi rice, then topped with caviar. The Jin Maki was crunchy fish skin within the rice and wrapped with salmon sashimi. Go for both!

Iro Iro Maki @$20
Jin Maki @$16

Lastly, if you are still feeling peckish, how about a bow of garlic rice to complete the deal? We ended up being super-full after that bowl of garlic rice but one just couldn't help but to eat it. It was just so tasty.

garlic rice

Good news. Check-out the Hungrydeals promo here.

Thank you Jin Fine Dining for hosting and HGW for the invite.

Jin Fine Dining

Address: 76 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 048464
Contact: 6536 6258
Business Hours:
Closes on Sundays

Saturday, November 11, 2017

[Media Invite] Sea and Blue @ Marina Bay Sands

Located at the space previously occupied by Todai, Sea & Blue offers an all-you-can-eat buffet with over 100 items. There's cold seafood counter, attractive mini sushis, thinly sliced sashimi, DIY counter for making your own bibimbap and cold noodles. Then, there's salad counter and cold cuts, grilled Korean BBQ counter and deep fried section to satisfy the need for ebi tempura and vegetable tempuras. The cooked food corner was well stocked with stir fried beef, scallops with sweet peas, sweet sour chicken, chili crabs, fried rice and more. Don't forget to visit the Italian corner for some pizza and cooked upon order pasta.

The shop is at the opposite end of the celebrity restaurants. Made the mistake of walking towards the wrong direction and it'll take quite a while to walk back!

Nevertheless, be amazed by the vastness of space that the restaurant offers. Loved the neon blue wavy lights on the ceiling.

wavy lights
bibimbap and salad counter

Loved the cold mist at the salad counter. Like an open fridge. The leaves were crisp and fresh, and the cherry tomatoes were so good that I made myself a plate of these lovely stuffs. They were great to eat with the grilled beef shortribs from the Korean BBQ counter.

salad bar
cold seafood and sushi
At buffets, as usual, started off with cold seafood. The oysters are unshucked so you'll need to ask the staff to open it for you. No limits to the oyster that you can take. The sashimi were good too. Mussels can skip.

starter plate
of grilled meats and salads
cold cuts, smoked duck and japchae

For the cooked food, once the tray has been emptied out, they might rotate it to another dish. Didn't get a chance to eat the fish maw which Hence said was good, as it was replaced by stir fried beef. So sad.

The cooked food section was quite a gem. Liked the braised pork belly, scallops, sweet sour chicken and chicken soup.

braised pork belly
chili crab

The third plate was all about cooked food. The grilled scallops were better than the one with the sweet pea. Ebi tempura was nice as well. Try the sweet and sour pork. The black pepper beef was a letdown as it was too tough.

favourite pasta

Don't forget the desserts. The strawberries were huge! You could also ask the staff to make a waffle for you.

chocolate coated strawberry

Thank you Sea & Blue for hosting the dinner and the good old folks at HGW for the invite.
Weekday dinner is $58++ while weekend dinner is $68++ per adult.

Sea & Blue

Address: 2 Bayfront Ave #B2-01/01A, Singapore 018972

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Durian Story @ 151 Serangoon North Avenue 2

Hurrah as the durian season is back! Good news is that it will last all the way till the Lunar New Year. But I supposed that's only possible provided we did not go crazy and ate up all the available stocks before that...Who knows.

But while stocks last, we had a sneak peek into the currently available D13, Mao Shan Wang (MSW) and Wang Zhong Wang (WZW).

Would you like to enjoy the king of fruits in a comfortable, air-conditioned and bright cosy place? Hell yes! So, let's head on to The Durian Story located at Block 151 Serangoon Avenue 2. The block is quite long, so this shop is in between of the coffeeshop and the fruits stall.

Owned by passionate young entrepreneurs, and they serve with a big smile and an even bigger heart. Friendly people, so feel free to drop in for a taste or for a chat. However, reservation is encouraged to avoid disappointment. They even have delivery too, so you could enjoy the durians in the comfort of your own home.

in stock
busy cracking open the fruit
ready to be devoured

First taste was the D13. Pale yellowish beige in colour and the most juicy of the lot. However, it packed a good overall sweet taste. Softest in texture and bitterness level was weak and almost non-existent. For people who loved this sweet.


Next up, was the all time familiar 猫山王 (mao shan wang). Bright yellow in colour and smelled so good. Probably could smell it from miles away! Firm skin and intense flavour. Creamy buttery texture that's so finger licking good.

nom nom nom
Saved the best for last, and that'll be the 老树王中王 (Old Tree King of Kings). Encased in a large shell that's faded greenish brown in colour, the colour was an alluring yellow. Similar to mao shan wang in terms of fragrance. Its texture was creamier than mao shan wang and less firm and bitterness level that's higher than mao shan wang, with a lingering aftertaste.

老树王中王 (Old Tree King of Kings)
packing a punch

The innovative folks at The Durian Story will also be coming up with durian ice-cream, targeted to retail next year. So watch out for it!

durian ice-cream

Thank you Jonathan and The Durian Story for hosting the tasting and Jennifer for inviting. Enjoyed the bountiful harvest and meeting of new friends.

Monday, November 6, 2017

iSteaks Diner @ MyVillage Serangoon Gardens

iSteaks had existed for so long at Holland Village but I've yet to try it. Hardly believable, yes? So when the gang decided to do a food trail at MyVillage and iSteaks happened to be at the same location, well what else could I do? To try it of course!

order and pay first
But of course, there was one tiny weeny problem. It was so difficult to get a seat on a weekend! Works similarly to a food court format, one basically need to stand close to the table that you think would be finishing their meal. For some reason, I felt like a vulture that day.

cowboy decor
It was our third meal for the day. Prior to that we had dined at Petaling Street and Hajime, so we decided to go modest in iSteaks. Ordered a 250gms NZ and AU ribeye, and an AU lam shoulder all with two sides. Hmm, I guess that's about 650 to 700 gms of meat for the 5 of us, excluding the sides. WoooOoo...we big eaters!

AU Lamb Shoulder @$16.50

The lamb shoulder was tough! Had to send it back to the kitchen to help us cut it. Think they saw that certain parts were rather rare and helped us to cook it some more. The lamb tasted much better when it came out of the kitchen the second time round. The spinach & sesame salad was good. Tastiest of the lot. The buttered corn kernel were rather normal.

AU Ribeye 100 days grain-fed 250gms @$27.50

Look at that thick-cut meat with nicely pink center for the AU ribeye. The Australian meat had a more beefy flavour, and of a texture that can be described as 'macho'. The sides of cauliflower cheese and sauteed brussels sprouts were enjoyable.

NZ ribeye 250gms @$23.50
However, I do prefer the NZ ribeye for its more genteel texture. The mac & cheese were off that day, so we didn't enjoy any of it.

give me more meat!

Not sure since this place is perpetually packed on the weekend. It probably wouldn't have a queue before 12pm. The queue continued all the way till 230pm on a weekend. The place seemed popular with families and young adults.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hajime 初め Tonkatsu and Ramen @ MyVillage Serangoon Gardens

Hajime "初め"  means 'beginning'. Did you know that Chef Tan-san is the first tonkatsu chef in Singapore? Now we can enjoy this taste that has been mastered over the years at Hajime located at Level 2 of MyVillage Serangoon Gardens.

Bright and spacious but do go there early as there will be a crowd during weekends.

what shall we have today?

Of course, one should be getting a tonkatsu. It was only a matter of which one. For meat, we chose the premium pork loin and the other a fillet. One with miso and the other without. Also took a bowl of shabu shabu to try.

grinding sesame
For appetiser, we tried the chicken skin. All agreed that these salty, crisp sinful bites are to be had with drinks. The edamame too was tasty with the generous sprinkling of salt over the charred skin. Someone please get me an Asahi!

deep fried chicken skin @$4.50
edamame @$4

Of course, the heavyweights are the much awaited tonkatsu. My goodness, please go for the premium pork loin. Wonderfully smooth and firm meat that's gentle to the jaw. Clean tasting and loved the crisp crumbed batter.

Nagoya Miso Fillet Set @$19.50
Premium Loin (ala-carte) $13.90

I love Japanese rice, and the Niigata rice served at Hajime satisfied the need for carbs. Could finish the rice even if it's with the occasional salty deep fried skin and lots of shredded cabbage with tonkatsu sauce dressing. So yums.


Tried the kurobuta shabu-shabu and it had a mild pleasant flavour. Lovely broth and comforting to eat when the weather is colder.

Kurobuta Shabu Shabu Ramen @$15
lifted and ready for take-off!

Would definitely return for the premium pork loin tonkatsu.

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