Sunday, July 27, 2014

Platypus Lobster Shack @ China Square Central

Located at Nankin Row of China Square Central. Getting there was a breeze. Took the MRT to Outram, change to North East Line to Chinatown. Alighted and went up to Exit E/F and head towards the direction of Hong Lim Complex.

Am seeking out Platypus Lobster Shack as lobster roll seems popular in Singapore at the moment. Especially since that comparison article in The Straits Times last Sunday. Why Platypus Lobster Shack? Mainly because of its reasonable price point.

signs of good things to come

Not quite sure what's the situation so made a reservation, for just in case. Table for 2 on a weekend evening 630pm.

The place was rather small and cosy. Some tables are set as close as possible, leaning towards communal style dining, but not quite.

not quite share table

Most are here for its lobster rolls, though one may also want to order small plates (I'll share with you why). There's desserts as well.

Got a carafe of Momo-Lychee Ale, which was a simple cocktail of  Mexican beer and peach. It did look different from the ones at Platypus Test Kitchen last year. Not too sure if at Lobster Shack, this drink was supposed to come with the lychee fruit and mint leaves, or just plain naked like the ones we got.

Momo-Lychee Ale @$10++

Nevertheless, it was worth drinking. Sweet, fruity and thirst quenching. Serves 4 small glasses. For non-drinkers, fret not. A bottle of cold water would be placed on your table immediately, upon seated.

drink up, it's water!

How can one not order the Crustacean Bowl? Especially if it comes with a statement that read - Limited to 12 bowls each day. So exciting!

The bowl was served pretty fast, within minutes and what a beauty it was!
crustacean bowl @$26++

caviar, poached lobster, char-grilled cheddar cheese, uni creme, chervil leaves, honey ponzu

One word of advice? Order it as a main! The portion is not alot. It may even be too little for some. 

Shared the plate with my bro and both of us enjoyed this dish. Clean, healthy tasting and the smokey flavour of the grilled cheddar was interesting. Not too much, but enough to tease. The bowl had adequate lobster meat from various parts, and the meatier ones were sweet. Topping it with caviar gave it a luxurious feel. Well, anything with lobster already felt luxurious~

have you seen this guy?

The lobster roll did take quite a while to come. Glad we ordered the rice.

The Traditional @$22++ (set)
grilled buns, oh yes
butter poached lobster meat, roasted garlic mayo, chives and sea salt

The weight of the meat in lobster roll was good. Felt like it was value for money and of substance when held in the palm. The roasted garlic mayo didn't taste quite garlicky though. Overall, The Traditional had a very light taste. As a set, it came with salad leaves and potato chips. Couldn't quite taste the dressing in the salad though. Chips were a mix of spicy and vinegary.

Saw that Nicholas was around, so approached him with a question. Was curious to find know what is the most popular rolls that customers would usually order here.  Got to know from him that most locals seemed to prefer the Spicy Roasted Garlic and The Traditional. Am guessing that for those whom are trying for the first time, will likely get The Traditional. Akin to like, trying the original first? That was what my bro had told me when he made his choice. Thanks Nicholas for the snippet of info, and sorry if my approach was kind of sudden and out of the blue! Oops.

Actually, am much appreciative of all the folks in the food industry. Thanks to you guys, we got to taste good food without having to fly all over the globe. Glad that I finally had an inkling of how lobster rolls would taste like. 

Paid about $34 per pax for this meal.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Seasons Bistro New American Restaurant Gastropub @ TripleOne Somerset

Located at 111 Somerset, Orchard. Visited on a weekday evening, and just missed their 1-for-1 Happy Hour which ends at 7pm.

Place was fairly empty, and friend was apprehensive about dining here.

"This place is new. Let's give it a chance." I said. Truth be told, I was pretty much influenced by social media. So many had instagrammed, tweeted and blogged about this place. It was pretty compelling.

Restaurant was rather spacious. Liked the interior with its strong wood and dark furnishing. Wine glasses on the tables, lent a touch of class to the place.

sturdy table

on the streets of NY?

Started with a glass of Chardonnay from Domaine du Nizon, France. First thought? Such a small glass! Guess this was 125ml? Nice colour, slight fruity hint and clean tasting.

Chardonnay @$12++

Tried an appetiser and a main. Its tuna taco is well documented by fellow bloggers.

Seasons Bistro Famous Tuna Taco @$14++
with crispy shallots, avocado mayo, pickled onions

Pickled onions was nice, tangy pungent and sweet. Crispy shallots added that fragrance, and fatty tuna bites were the best. Tasty but didn't wow'ed.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken @$22++

Fried chicken was nicely battered and fried till deep brown. Batter has a kind of herb taste which I didn't like. Ate it with homemade catsup. Preferred catsup over ranch dressing. Succotash is a nice name for dish of corn, peas, red pepper cubes mix. Quite likeable with the cherry tomatoes. Was cleaning out the succotash while my friend wasn't looking.

Portions of food was not enough for the two of us, so added a snack of truffle fries. And, another glass of wine.

truffle fries with pecorino and rosemary sea salt @$7++

Not the best fries, but strangely addictive. Or maybe we were still hungry? Strong truffle smell, and thankfully not too salty. Goes well with the catsup/ketchup.

Hawkes Bay Chardonnay @$15++

Wine was nice when paired with the salty fries.

For desserts, tried their apple and plum pie, served with ice-cream. The (new) service staff that attended to us said it wasn't too sweet. Don't be fooled. It was sweet! Ice-cream was really nice.

seasonal pie - apple and plum pie

The above costs us about $144 in total, before AMEX 15% discount on ala-carte items. Expect to pay about $60 per pax.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spizza @ Balmoral Plaza Bukit Timah Part II

Was there again for drinks and some snacks. Had the prosecco, which was still on the 1-for-1 promo.


Tried the parma ham with melon appetiser. Huge and sweet cut of rock melon, draped with thin salty slices of parma ham and drizzled with generous amount of olive oil.

parma ham with melon @$13.50++

Loved the small salad with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

salty sweet combo

Also tried the fried chicken wings (4 pieces @$10++).

4 wings and a small salad
served piping hot, with arrabiata sauce om the side

Chicken wings were nicely fried till deep brown, crispy skin and juicy meat. Well marinated and tasty.

Paid about $29 per pax for food and drinks. For previous visit, click here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot 海底捞火锅 @ Clarke Quay

Located at Level 2, Block D of Clarke Quay, this building is actually pretty near the directory board and the bridge. Glance towards the opposite side, one will see Merchant Court Swissotel and Riverside Point.

Block D

To get to Level 2, take the lift. And once the door opens, the staff will greet and then assign the queue ticket to you.

queue ticket machine beside the lift
queue ticket

After which, feel free to roam around Clarke Quay till the staff gives a phone call. Then, head back to Hai Di Lao and wait at its waiting area. Yup, double wait.

waiting for dinner
beer @ 7pm

The phone call came around 8pm and the staff advised us to be back at the shop so that they could assign a table for us. When queried if they could give us a call when a table is genuinely ready, as I explained that we were nearby and could get back in just 2 minutes, there were hem and haws. She couldn't give a straight answer, but just repeated her request for us to be back and to physically wait at the restaurant. Ohhkay...

sour plum
first snack tray @8.15pm

Waited for another half-hour at the shop's waiting area and the answer was the same, "We're preparing the table for you..." Then, the staff suggested for us to order first while waiting. Ohhkay...

2 hours after getting queue ticket, and still no table in sight

after multiple refills of self-serve popcorn, and still waiting @8.50pm

With just a few minutes to 9pm, we were finally led inside to be seated.

wam hand towel

Went to check out the sauces while the staff prepares our orders.

an array of sauces, condiments, fruits and desserts
self-assembled sauce of sesame paste, sesame oil, seafood sauce, korean chili sauce and vinegar @$4++
double flavour hotpot (chicken and mala)

Friend whom suggested the place, did the ordering. Abundance of food! Chicken, lamb, beef, fish, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms and carb. Yup, got almost everything.

pork slices
squid with spinach paste, fish balls, crab balls and fish paste
beef slices and grouper

Needed to wait for the soup to boil, so munched down on fried fish skin as snacks.

fried fish skin

Thirsty, have some liang teh or watermelon juice.

watermelon juice in a jug

The watermelon juice was unsweetened. The sour plum was pretty diluted but my friends quite liked the herbal tea (凉茶).

chicken soup
ladle of soup
chicken soup to soothe the tummy

Staff helped to ladle the unadulterated chicken soup for us to taste. If you had indicated you'd like 葱花香菜,then the bowl of soup shall be heaped aplenty of those. Chicken soup was tasty and homely.

beautiful platter of fatty beef (肥牛) and lamb (right)

One of the orders was a platter of mixed meat; fatty beef and lamb. Pretty hard to differentiate one from the other though which presented a problem as the table had one who don't take beef and another who can't stand the gamey smell of lamb.

The fatty beef is recommended. Tender slices that cooks in seconds. Lamb slices retained its slight gamey taste but its texture was good. Dip it into the spicy broth (麻辣), and it is immediately coated with a lovely fragrance of the peppercorns. Just be careful not to bite into any of those tiny peppers. The tongue tip will be tingly numb!

tender beef slice

Friend requested for the staff to help us mix a bowl of sauces. The bowl came back with dried ingredients and we were advised to add a little bit of the broth into it. Has a peanuty and meaty flavour and goes well with all meats.

more authentically mixed sauce?

The seafood that we had were all fresh. Grouper, pomfret, scallops and prawns were all quite yummy. Realised that grouper can be left simmering in the broth and still taste nice. Yums.


Loved the big juicy sweet scallops! For leafy intakes, we had tang-o 茼蒿 (crown daisy) and chinese cabbage (白菜). Cabbage was good in absorbing the soup, so better to have it in the chicken soup as opposed to boiling it in the oily spicy broth.

red pot makes leafy greens look so delicious

For prawns, the staff will ask if you require it to be deshelled. Lazy us said yes.

fresh looking prawns
cooked just right

Once in a while, the service staff will come by to top up on the soup.


Our tummies were already straining, and we have yet to start on the mushroom platter.

mushroom platter in da pot

Not forgetting, our BYO cakes slices for the birthday girls which was temporarily kept in HDL fridge since 6+pm...

tag for easy retrieval, but they still had some trouble finding the cakes

Could barely eat anymore, but still persisted for the homemade noodles. Main reason was to watch the performance of the 'Noodle Ambassador'. Gimmicky and entertaining.

twirling the noodles
dance completed, noodles ready

The noodles is unlike ramen as it is much broader. More like 板条 (flat noodles). The spicy broth gets super salty towards the end after much boiling, hence the noodles are best cooked in chicken broth.

Till date, am not able to fathom on what exactly is the attraction of this place. Service was good but would one wants to wait 2 hours to dine here? From the crowd that thronged this place, no one seemed to mind.

Spent about $60 per pax for the meal.
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