Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Itacho Sushi @ Bugis Junction

Located at B1 of Bugis Junction. Visited on a Tuesday afternoon and there was no queue. Got a table after a few minutes of waiting time.

towel (no charge)

recommended by Ricky
green tea (no charge)

Ordered salmon with soy sauce (max. 4 pieces per pax) and salmon lobster salad roll at 50% off. Hahaha, it's quite a kick to get items at a steal!

look at the oil!

yummy salmon aburi sushi (40cents per piece only!)

Loved the salmon with soy sauce because it's super duper worth it @40cents++ per piece, tasty and oily. Yums!

Next item on promo is the salmon lobster salad roll @$3.60++ for 2 pieces.

not sure where is the salad though.. maybe its the salad sauce?

yummy salmon and lobster

Also had single pieces of the fatty salmon sushi, hotate (scallop) sushi with green tea salt and zaru shell sushi.

fatty salmon sushi

hotate (front) and zaru shell (back) sushi

My colleague had the Matsu sushi lunch set @$9.90++. It has 9 pieces of sushi plus a bowl of miso soup.

colourful Matsu set
salmon sashimi (@$3.60++)

Service was generally promt and genial. Water was constantly refilled.
We had another colleague having the unagi don (lunch set) and total cost came up to about $45 for 3 pax.

Eating 9 pieces of sushi in total and plus one miso soup, this made a very very filling lunch indeed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sashimi House SAKURAYA @ Anchorpoint

Tried the Ladies Lunch Set (@$18++) today. As usual, the hot green tea and appetiser are complimentary.

appetiser, beansprouts

The set comprises of salad, rice, miso and an assortment of items (sashimi, tori karaage, deep fried prawn, fried salmon, maki, tamago, tako and konnyaku) and a dessert.


overview of the Ladies Set Lunch items
konnyaku with miso

fried salmon

sweet tamago

The konnyaku was basically QQ and tasteless on its own. But didn't quite take to the miso and konnyaku combi.

Japanese rice

I really liked the rice. Nice and sticky (but not overly) and not too much. Just enough to eat with the petite ingredients.

deep fried items

sashimi (maguro, hamachi and ebi)
tako with seaweed and cucumber
dessert: yuzu sorbet

The food was not spectacular but it allows a sampling of small individual items. So that made it somewhat interesting.

Total cost was $21.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Wok & Barrel @ Duxton Hill

Located at 13 Duxton Hill. But for people not familiar with this area (that's me), there could be some problem (yep, couldn't find the place!) in locating this place. Amongst the landmarks that you'll see if you're walking towards the place; 7-eleven, open air car-park, Flor Patisserie...

My friends reached at 7pm, so they were tasked to do the ordering of food. So half an hour later from the appointed time and I needed one friend to come out to 'rescue' a lost lamb, we're finally ready to eat. Sorry guys to keep you all waiting!

I had arrived to a table-full of food.

nasi lemak rice (top left), beef rendang pizza (top right) and chicken wings (bottom)

We had ordered nasi lemak (rice and ingredients are ordered separately), achar, rendang pizza, chicken wings, 5-spice roast pork.

nasi lemak rice (@$1.90+)

Liked the liberal scattering of fried ikan bilis (anchovies), and the two different types of sambal chilies to go with the rice. Half my table couldn't take much of the sambal because it was a little bit too spicy for them. I thought it was just right and it'll be perfect if there's a hardboiled egg to counter the spiciness.

chicken curry (@$8.90+)

5-spices roast pork (@$9.90+)

The chicken curry was good! Two huge drumsticks in there. The meat was fork tender and the gravy was thick and full of flavour! Gravy + rice + sambal = triple yums! My friends liked the 5-spices roast pork. One likened it to the meat in 'bak zhang'. Myself, much preferred the chicken curry (drools).

Don't forget to order the chicken wings. Or rather, you MUST order the chicken wings. Crispy on the outerside, and juicy on its inside. Well marinated, and doesn't feel oily. We loved the chicken wings, drumlets and all. 

rendang pizza

The beef rendang was quite mild and that actually surprised me. Had thought that it would be heavier on the taste and flavour. Subtle flavours and slightly chewy dough. Best to eat it while its hot.

My choice of drink for the night was 2 Brothers Gypsy Pear Cider (Australia). Sparkling cider that can be passed off as *gasp* champagne? Just kidding. But seriously. Nope, still kidding. Taste wise, it was semi-sweet and crisp.

Thirsty? Have a Gypsy, but not too much, don't wanna be too tipsy~

Service crew was friendly and they'll come to clear the plates once you're done with the food.

What's next? How about some desserts? Aren't you guys too full from all the food? I asked. Yes, but we can still eat desserts! They said. Sounds familiar? Probably happens all the time for girls.

So, being cautious, we placed an order for "Shen-dol". Think I heard my friends saying they wanted a cake or something too. But decided not to be overly ambitious with our makan 'prowess'. Phew.

Coconut Pannacotta with Red Bean ice-cream (Shendol)
yummy coconut pannacotta

Have to commend Madam Tan for a dessert that bears her name (yes, right?) It is good. Loved the coconut pannacotta paired with gula melaka syrup. Deliciously soft pudding bursting with salty coconut cream flavour, and countered with sweet gula melaka and topped it off with red bean ice-cream. Yums. Deconstructed chendol.

The meal costs about $79 and fed 4 people. There is no service charge, only GST.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

White Dog Cafe @ Vivocity

Located at Level 2 of Vivocity. We walked in at around 12+pm because its hardworking waitress had called out to promote the $10.90++ 3-course set lunch. Abundance of main course items to choose from but some need to add a few dollars more.

menu and interior
water served freely

The set lunches come with add-ons for drinks as well. So we topped up $1++ for ice-lemon tea.

is this beer or ice-lemon tea?

Unfortunately, the ice-lemon tea was unsweetened. Not sure whether it was intentional or accidental, we don't know. Didn't mind the non-sweetened version as we consoled ourselves that it was healthier this way.

Two types of soups to choose from; minestrone or leek and potato. I had leek and potato soup while my colleagues had minestrone.

leek and potato soup with salad (here are the course #1 and course #2)

The leek and potato soup was quite thick and feels starchy. But, it was quite enjoyable with the soft leek and potato bits inside. My colleagues liked their minestrone as well.

Didn't finish the salad though, as it tasted like a milder version of coleslaw without the tanginess...

For the main course, I had the sirloin steak (+$4). My colleagues opted for the grilled pork chop and pan-fried red snapper. All main courses come with butter rice and vegetables.

sirloin steak with butter rice and vegetables

medium rare (only at the middle part, elsewhere are medium)

The slab of steak was of uneven cutting, so probably that's why the doneness differs too. The pan fried red snapper fillet looks enjoyable. Had a taste of the pork chop and it was good. In fact, felt that the pork chop tasted even better than the steak. However, my colleague who was having the pork chop commented that some portion was too tough.

The butter rice was rather mild, and not much butter taste. The texture was good as it was neither too hard nor too soft. Best eaten with the vegetables in tomato sauce, while it's still warm.

The total cost was about $48 for 3 pax.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Marutama Ramen @ The Central, Clarke Quay

Located at Level 3, this was my first visit. Small shop, and since I was alone, was seated at the counter. No queue during day of visit, probably because it was almost half past one. Very simple menu, only two types of ramen; spicy (Aka Ramen) or non-spicy. Then there are various toppings to be added for example, Ajituke Tamago (seasoned soft-boiled egg), char siu, stewed pork belly, gyoza, seaweed etc.

menu board (don't worry, they have the English menu on the table)

Enquired about the default items that comes with the ramen ($12++) and the friendly waitress said, just 1 piece of char siu. So, decided to add one seasoned egg ($1++) and char siu ($4++) to spruce up the plain noodles.

non spicy ramen with additional egg and char siu

The soup was silky and luscious. First time trying ramen with chicken broth for its soup base. The noodles is reminiscence of wantan mee noodles, and it was slightly al-dente. Liked the green seaweed that looked like spring onions in the soup. Yeah, had actually thought it was spring onions initially! Flavourful and yums when eaten with the noodles.

springy thin noodles

Was somewhat disappointed with the egg. The yolk was overcooked!

Ajituke tamago
thinly sliced char siu that melts in your mouth

The char siu was nicely tender and has enough fats to melt in your mouth. Thought that it would be more char'ed though...perhaps ordered the wrong one?

gochisosama deshita
Iced-water is placed in plastic containers at the counter, so feel free to take as much as you need. On hindsight,  probably wouldn't recommend to finish all the soup, because I felt quite thirsty for sometime after the meal. Maybe that's why guys will eat the ramen with beer instead? Hmmm....

Total costs was $20 for the meal.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Figos Grail @ Tanjong Katong Road

Located at 308 Tanjong Katong Road, accessible by bus #197 (that was how I got there, all the way from Jln Bukit Merah). Managed to alight at the nearest bus stop which was just 2 minutes walk away from the eatery. Its big and bright signboard is very noticeable from across the street.


Mention Figos Grail, one would think of Dennis Chew (Y.E.S 93.3FM deejay). Nope, he wasn't there when we visited. My friends reached the place earlier at about 7.10pm and they were the first few early birds. By 830pm, the restaurant was running at full house. Reservation is recommended.

interior and wall

I had arrived slightly later and my friends were already enjoying the mushroom soup and Hawaii seafood cake.

Don't be alarmed if you had ordered mushroom soup and the service crew serves you with an almost empty plate save for a few pieces of musroom and a slice of bread at the side of the plate. Where is the soup? You might ask. No worries, they will soon pour it for you from a steel container. Gimmicky, yes.

Hahaa, but fun I guess. At least something different when presenting the food. Probably the impressiveness level will go up a few notches if something else happened when the soup is poured out onto the plate, like the colour of the soup changes as soon as it touches the base of the plate or something like that.

Hawaii seafood cake with mango salsa
slightly dry on the inside

The mushroom soup tasted just fine. Nice and soothing. The hawaii cake was quite mini sized and there were 4 pieces per plate. Nice mango salsa but the cake itself was slightly dry.

For the mains, we ordered Chong Qing fried brown rice, fish and chips, and Figos Cajun chicken chop to share. Noted that the fried brown rice is $2 more than its online menu, while the fish and chips and the chicken chop is $1 more each. For drinks, we ordered 'Check-in Freeze' a white coloured mocktail drink, cranberry juice and orange juice.

orange juice

First main dish to arrive was the Chong Qing Fried Brown Rice with Chicken and Shrimp.

fried brown rice

yummy and tasty!

The fried rice was very likeable. Sweet, nicely oiled, slightly chewy grains with tiny tiny specks of saltiness (not sure if it was from chinese sausages aka lap cheong or from salted fish...too tiny to be able to decipher!). The chicken bits were scarce and just two shrimps. The shrimp was still slightly translucent which means that it was cooked just nice. Yummy!

Next, came the Figos Cajun chicken chop, the '招牌菜' (signature dish).

Figos Cajun Chicken Chop
glistening and beckoning us to bite into its juiciness

tender chicken thigh

The chicken chop was served simply with a small patch of greens, coleslaw and a small mound of mashed potatoes with shallots. Liked that the pepper sauce is not drizzled over the chicken, so diners can have the option to have it with or without the sauce.

The chicken chop was well-marinated, flavourful, tender and juicy. Good enough to eat on its own without any sauce. Slather some of the mashed potato onto the chicken meat before popping it into the mouth, and you'll be able to enjoy another dimension in taste from this tasty morsel. Yums.

Not sure what happened, but our third main course; the fish and chips only managed to arrive at our table some 25 minutes after the chicken chop was served.

Aussie fish and chips

spied some french fries hiding in there....

thick batter

Fish and chips arrived piping hot, but found that the batter was a little too thick and the fish meat disintegrated too easily when our fork made contact with it. Coleslaw was nicely tangy and sweet. The sweet mayonaise was this dish life-saver.

For desserts, we chose the Molten Chocolate cake.

on your mark... get set...
a blueberry and a quarter of strawberry (at the back), a scoop of ice-cream (was it rum flavour?) and molten choco cake
it's oooozing amazing!

I adored the molten chocolate cake. Loved it. It was sweet but not overbearing. But the ice-cream, perhaps a more adult version where the alcohol flavour is stronger (because we detected hint of rum, but not sure) or just plain vanilla ice-cream (preferably with vanilla pod) for a more family friendly version will be nice as well.

The service crew were friendly and functional. Special mention of Mr Alex Lim, who was the only one who noticed that I wasn't served any iced water when all my companions had their glasses. Thank you for your attentiveness.

Another pleasant surprise was when 10% was automatically deducted off our bill. We guessed it was because of the long waiting time for the fish and chips. Not sure too because we didn't ask for details and neither did the waitress give us any further explanation.

The total bill amounted to $91 (after 10% discount) and there was no GST charge.
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