Friday, November 30, 2012

KPO Cafe Bar @ Killiney Road

Located at Killiney Road Post Office, this building is near Orchard Central.

as seen from across the road
dinner & drinks
drinks menu (just kidding, they do have laminated menu for the table)

Happy hour till 8pm, so quickly ordered our beers. Had Kronenbourg (HH: $13, non HH: $18).

Kronenbourg Blanc & Lager
choice beer for the night

There was a bowl of tapioca sticks on our table after I got back from the washroom. First bowl of tapioca sticks was complimentary. Subsequently, it's priced at $4 per refill.

tapioca stick
salty and hard crispy

Piping hot, juicy deep fried chicken wings made a nice meaty appetiser. It was devoured to the bones in no time.

simple deep fried wings (5 pieces)
skinny wings
juicy drumlet

Was a little surprised when we were automatically presented with the bill when food was served. Eh? Maybe this is the default practice? Not sure.

Anyways, subsequently we asked for them to keep an open tab since we were still waiting for another friend to arrive and will surely be ordering more food and beers. For this, they'll take away your credit card and gives you a metal tag (like a wrist dog-tag) to keep in-lieu. Everytime the table orders something, the service person will look at that number from the tag and jot it in the order chit, and lets you sign on it.

order chit

Ordered more food: KPO Hokkien Mee ($14), Kronenbourg Fish & Chips ($23) and Pizza Bruschetta ($22).

KPO Hokkien Mee
thick bee hoon and yellow noodles
sambal yums

The hokkien mee was like comfort food. Familiar taste, hawker style in bar ambiance. Add a bit of sambal for that extra oomph.

Our table was definitely too small for all the plates, bowls and glasses! Overflowed.

fish and chips

The Kronenbourg Fish & Chips, has with tartar sauce onplate and if you wish for additional sauces, they also have mustard, chili, ketchup and mayo too. Not sure what type of fish it was, but the meat was kind of soft. The beer batter was crispy, but the flesh of the fish disintegrated too easily. The fries had hints of truffle fragrance. Fun food to be eaten with fingers, and washed down with beer. *burp*

Pizza Bruschetta
a slice is not enough

The pizza was thin crusted, and tasted exactly like how a bruschetta would taste except there's no bready dough. Only crispy cracker-like crust. Krak krak, nyam nyam. Liked the rocket leaves too for a hint of bitterness, though it looked quite limp in the picture...

All the above fed four females, and most of us had beer while one had Earl Grey Tea. Total cost was about $38 per pax.

Service that night was generally good. The guy who took our order, came back with a tiny plastic chair for us to put our bags since it was cumbersome to carry it on our laps. And, they'll come back often to clear plates, bowls and bones (if any). Iced water is available upon request.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jyoshoken Seasonal Special Tsukemen @ Ebisboshi Shotengai Great World City

Have you tried Tsukemen (つけ麺) or dipping noodles before? The basic ingredients are pretty similar to ramen; ie. noodles, toppings and hot broth. Probably like a deconstructed version where the noodles are served separate from the now thicker broth, and the way to eat it is to dip the cold noodles into the hot thick broth before slurping it up. Sounds familiar? Yep, much like eating cold soba!

You may have heard of the legendary Mr Kazuo Yamagishi (Taishoken - Higashi Ikebukuro), the inventor of tsukemen. Now, one of his disciples, Chef Hideyuki Nakagawa was recently in town to introduce Jyoshoken Seasonal Special Tsukemen.

From right to left: Chef Hideyuki Nakagawa and Mr Koji Yahata

Jyoshoken (常勝軒) Seasonal Special Tsukemen, crafted by Chef Hideyuki Nakagawa using freshly made noodles and broth made from pork and fish. Was invited to the tasting session at Ebisboshi Shotengai Great World City and thus, had the opportunity to sample this special dish.

Jyoshoken Seasonal Special Tsukemen
closer look of the noodles and toppings
hot dipping broth (boiled from pork and fish)

The egg noodles were thick and cooked just right, chewy with bouncy and springy texture. I was seated amongst native Japanese, so the guys were dipping the cold noodles into the hot broth and was slurping them up quickly while making "zuuzuuzuuzuuu" sounds. I tried to do the same and ended up splattering some sauce on my shirt. Ha ha! What was I thinking? -_-'

chewy and springy well cooked noodles

The dipping broth was concentrated, rich and very strongly flavoured. There were lots of menma (or bamboo shoots), spring onions and a slice of narutomaki (fish cake) in the bowl. Be patient for those who wants to drink up the broth. Now is not the time, yet.

The Special Tsukemen char shiu toppings was from three different cuts; Pork loin, pork belly and back of neck. The loin char shiu was far too lean for my liking, hence it didn't have the melt-in-your-mouth texture. The meat from the back of neck was tender but with a little bite at the same time. The roasted sesame added extra fragrance to the clean tasting meat. Nice. Liked the belly part lots, as it was the most tender out of the three. Yums.

pork belly and back of neck
pork loin

The ramen egg or ajitsuke tamago was almost perfect. Somehow, couldn't quite taste the seasoning in the perfectly textured yolk. Ate the egg last, so perhaps it was overshadowed by the strong taste of the dipping broth that lingered on the tastebuds.

ramen egg

After finishing the noodles, do request for the hot dashi (made from clear mushroom stock) to pour into the dipping broth to dilute it before enjoying it as soup. The dashi stock was unseasoned and has moderately strong mushroom fragrance.

dashi to pour into dipping broth

Jyoshoken Seasonal Special Tsukemen will be available at Ebisboshi Shotengai Great World City and Robertson Quay from now onwards till end of December 2012 (or until further notice). Priced at $16.80++ at Ebisboshi Shotengai Great World City and $14.80++ at Robertson Quay.

Zaseki - tatami styled rooms at Ebisboshi Shotengai Great World City
various sake on display

Here are Jyoshoken locations details:

Ebisboshi Shotengai
1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City
#01-22 Singapore 237994
Tel/Fax: 62356190

Daikokuya (Jyoshoken's full menu is available here)
30 Robertson Quay, #01-05 Riverside Village Residences,
Singapore 238251
Tel: 67371521

Special thanks to Prue, Mr Koji Yahata and Darren, from Komars Group for the invitation to this tasting session.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chong Tian Seafood Restaurant @ Taman Bukit Mewah

Located at Taman Bukit Mewah, we went to this eatery for dinner when we were at Kajang last week. If not wrong, during the day this place has other smaller stalls hawking wanton/pork noodles, perhaps chicken rice or char kway teow.. but come 5pm, the seafood restaurant starts their daily operation. Think Chinese, think red coloured tablecloths.

shop's signboard
dinner time
Staff were pretty friendly, and conversations in Cantonese is predominant here. Our group of 8 pax ordered two plates of noodles, fried chicken wings, a pork dish, a vege dish and a tofu dish. Told the person who took our orders to make the pork dish small while the rest, enough to feed all of us.

iron buddha (铁观音) tea
While waiting for the food, we sipped tea. Then, someone brought us a large bowl of soup. "Free." She smiled. Oooh, free soup. Nice.

dried vegetable (boiled with chicken) soup

 Soup was soothing especially on a cool evening, right after the rain. Drank a couple of small bowls of this!

common to see patrons piling up minced garlic and chili padi for dip

The noodles arrived first. Ying Yong or also known as Cantonese fried noodles. It's a mixture of wok fried kway teow and deep fried bee hoon, generously topped with sauce that has pork slices, sliced fish cakes and vegetables. Sometimes, it has a bit of seafood.

I'm a Hokkien, and according to how my dad has been cooking his stuffs, Hokkien people do seem to have a liking for strong flavours and soy sauce.

ying yong (cantonese char)
black noodles (hokkien char)

The Ying Yong's kway teow has that wok fire taste and the bee hoon was deep fried to a crisp, but the kway teow tend to get stuck together when cold. So, advisable to attack this dish right after its served! The black noodles was well fried but not much of ingredients in this dish. Best eaten with a little sambal belachan but unfortunately, the belachan here was a bit lacking in taste.

sambal belachan

Next, we had the 炸肉 or zhar bak in Hokkien, which literally translated means fried pork?

zhar bak
braised dish of black fungus and deep fried pork

The zhar bak dish was ordered by my dad. His other favourite dish is the braised yam with pork (芋头扣肉). This zhar bak dish was quite nice. The pork was nicely soft, not too fatty with sauce infused in it. Tasty. The black fungus was too soft but still likeable. The sauce goes well with steamed rice.

tofu in thai style
small tofu cubes
egg tofu

The small cubes of egg tofu was dressed in thai style kind of dressing of julienned onions, cucumber and drizzled with sweet sour chili sauce.

fried chicken wings
The chicken wing was alright, with crispy outside and still juicy inside. Could do with a bit more seasoning though.

Didn't capture the vege dish as everyone was busy tucking in to the food.

Paid RM88.50 for this meal.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

L'etoile Cafe @ Owen Road

Located somewhere near Farrer Park MRT and Novena, this is a lifestyle cafe, and a quaint place to chill. Saw patrons seated indoors comfortably doing their own thing while enjoying their drinks or snacks.

We opted to sit at the outdoor area instead.

looking from the outside
lunch board, and some old newspaper clippings
outdoor seats
The staff will bring you the menu (there's also the cafe menu that one can see at the counter), and one can order from the friendly service crew or right at the counter. Didn't have much time that day, so we had coffee only.

my friend had this

The latte was pleasant. The biscuit that came with it, was pretty yummy.

yummy disc

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