Friday, May 29, 2015

Gyu Kaku @ Novena Square

Gyu Kaku is known for its meat BBQ, and having had it once at AnchorPoint, the meats were delicious. However, not wanting to risk smelling like BBQ, we forwent the grill (though it was utmost tempting with price points below $30 for lunch) and gotten donburi sets instead.

The weekday value lunch sets has just 5 options with prices ranging from $9++ to $15++. My colleague chose the buta kimchi while I went with the beef sogi.

Beef Sogi set came with mid sized bowl of rice topped with beef and tendon cubes, all fighting for space with a wobbly softboiled egg and some gari (pickled young ginger). It also has kimchi and salad on the side and a bowl of kelp soup.

beef sogi set @$12++
break the egg, mix it up

The rice bowl became super moist after mixing the runny yolk. The beef cubes tasted mild and pleasant. Loved the soft tendons. Lunch was pretty filling. Salad was good, with minimal dressing and the greens were crunchy.

Had a side order of beef croquette but it turned out meh. Not much taste and it was oily.

beef croquette

Plain water is chargeable at Gyu Kaku.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nara Thai @ Westgate

Nara Thai Cuisine offers Thai food in a comfortable setting. A quick glance of the menu showed many seafood options. Was in the mood for some tom yum soup, so was there one evening for late dinner.

The restaurant has dark furnishings and dim lightings. As usual, ordered Thai Iced Tea, seafood tom yum soup and a meat dish, of stir fried duck.

Thai Iced Tea
Tom yum soup arrived fairly quickly. For carbs, they only had the blue jasmine rice available, otherwise need to order fried rice. There's no difference in taste between blue coloured rice or white rice, though my bro fedback that his was a tad too moist.

tom yum kung (@$19.90++) and blue jasmine rice (@$2++)

closer view of the tom yum soup
The tom yum soup was tangy, leaning more towards the sweetish sourish tone. The spice component was too mild. It gets very sourish towards the end of the pot. Sure to awaken any taste buds!

Unfortunately, the stir fried roasted duck took forever to arrive and it actually took us by surprise. For $18.90++, there were only that few pieces of duck meat and the rest were actually duck skin. Albeit very oily but tasty skins. Spicy too. Best eaten with rice.

stir fried roasted duck with crispy basil @$18.90++

Sunday, May 24, 2015

TungLok Teahouse @ Novena Square 2

Fancy dining in a space that offers a retro teahouse ambiance? TungLok Teahouse has just that. The decoration evoked a sense of nostalgia but service was rather patchy though during our visit.

Prices are slightly on the higher side.

caramelized cashew nuts toasted with sesame to munch on

Ordering greens in a Chinese mid-end restaurant always seemed not to worth it. Portions would be small and priced at $12+ and above.

So, we ordered deep fried eggplant with chicken floss. Eggplant is still a vege, isn't it?

Appetiser - deep fried eggplant with chicken floss

Quite enjoyable as a snack. Yums.

The fried rice portion was kind of small and barely enough for two pax. Tasty and flavourful with the sweet scallop bits but were also rather oily.

seafood fried rice @ $26+

And were we glad that we ordered the hand-shredded fried duck. It came with flour crepes to wrap, just like Peking duck! At least we have something to fill us up.

hand-shredded fried duck (half portion) $28+

Actually, I don't think it was hand-shredded. Look at how evenly those meats are cut up. Anyway, meat wraps are nice with the sauce and shredded cucumber and spring onions.

wrap it up and nom

They do have dim sum menu but you may need to request for it. Our waitress had forgotten to bring it together with its other menus till we saw dim sum being brought out from the kitchen and asked about it.

We were in a group of 3 and the meal above costs about $26+ per pax.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Marmalade Pantry @ Oasia Hotel

Taking over the space formerly occupied by Zaffron, The Marmalade Pantry (TMP) at Oasia Hotel is a well-liked lunch destination for the corporate crowd.

Was there recently, and got to try a few more items. One complaint though. Why did they make the font on the menu so darn small and the lighting so dim... Woes of turning older.

Ordered a couple of items to share. Let's try the breads; The Marmalade Club Sandwich of honey baked ham, roast chicken, eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and were there dried cranberries or raisins? Served, with sweet potato fries with chili and ketchup dips.

The Marmalade Club Sandwich @ $22++

Those whom had dined at The Marmalade Pantry before, recommends pasta. TMP has six pasta options currently, but only two for risottos.

Seared Scallop and Prawn @ $25++
Truffle Field Mushroom Risotto @ $24++
Spicy Crabmeat @ $24++

The spicy crabmeat pasta was done al-dente with just enough sauce. The flavour was not as intense as the chili crab pasta which was had at another place recently, but I liked the addition of those pine nuts.

At The Marmalade Pantry, the desserts section made up of about half of its menu. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tarts, and puddings. Take your pick!

For us, we tried the Dessert Platter which was shared amongst four pax. The platter was made up of five mini items. A normal-sized dessert of the same individual item costs about $14++ each.

Dessert Platter @ $28++

Must try the Pear Bread Pudding, which is a variation of bread and butter pudding. The contrast of flaky buttery pastry, which encased a soft bread-like pudding sitting atop of the sea salt caramel sauce which had just the right amount of sweetness.

mini chocolate pudding close up
Another item which I liked, was the sticky date pudding. Pretty much sweeter than the pear bread pudding, with a bouncy texture with intense dates flavour.

mini lemon brulee tart, mini eton mess and mini sticky date pudding

Actually everything on the dessert platter was very likeable. The right size as a sampler. Downside was that it took quite a while to arrive.

Expect to spend about $50 per pax.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tsukada Nojo 塚田農場 @ Plaza Singapura

It was on a Monday night, and long queues were forming at hotpot places. Hmm, everyone loves steamboat/hotpot? Or, was it because everyone has a craving for hotpot all of a sudden? *scratch head*

Friend had a craving for beauty pot, so went ahead and stood in-line to queue. At 730pm, the estimated waiting time was about an hour and all parties must be present in order to get a table.

Got seated at 830pm, and started with sparkling sake.

Mio Sparkling Sake 澪 (みお) @$16++ per 300ml bottle

The sparkling sake was very light and easy to drink.

collagen pot

While waiting for the collagen to dissolve into liquid, we had the Maximum Fries (マキシマム・ポテト). Yup, I did a double take. It was regular shoestring fries with sprinkling of secret powder. Japan menu says it's the seasoning spice of Miyazaki.

Apparently, there's a whole range of 'Maximum' family. Like 'Maximum' eggplant and 'Maximum' seasoned cucumber. So cutesy ya. All ended up in our stomach anyways.

was starving, so only had a chance to take picture of dips for the fries
cooked in a flash and gone equally fast - beauty pot ingredients @$25++ per pax

The branch at Plaza Singapura gave two pieces of chicken per pax, and tasted best with the chili and ginger dips. Hmmm, ain't that chicken rice without the rice?

lip smacking collagen soup

Service was friendly but downside was the one hour wait. That's quite a bummer. I think Tsukada Nojo at PS felt more like a touristy place. Table on my left were speaking in Cantonese with Hong Kong accent, while the one on my right were Indonesians. Heh, I'm a tourist too! (well, sort of)

token dessert

Paid $42 per pax for the meal.

Here's the link to Tsukada Nojo @ Westgate.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ichiban Boshi いちばん ぼし @ JEM

It was a family lunch affair. Celebration over a meal, with many things to be thankful for. With age catching up, the elders wanted somewhere near. Mom wants to eat sashimi, and sis wanted to do grocery after food. Solution? Ichiban Boshi at JEM.

cosy ambiance
didn't get this one as mom doesn't take prawns nor squids, nor crab
Decided fairly quickly and it doesn't take long for food to be served. Liked the ambiance of the restaurant with its cosy lightings.

regular chawan mushi
fried salmon skin

Dad likes his teriyaki chicken don, and the servings here at Ichiban Boshi JEM was quite generous. Mom wants to have her sashimi fix, and was feeling rather hungry, so the bara chirashi worked out nicely with variety of raw fish and rice.

teriyaki chicken don
bara chirashi - colours of spring

Bro ordered the chirashi don and it came with a huge red prawn. He says smaller prawns would be better as this one was not as sweet. A prawn as large as this and to eat it raw, I find that challenging, especially at our this humid temperature.

chirashi don
Since my bro is buying lunch, my order was beef bowl with foie gras (duck liver), which I had wanted to try for the longest time.

tokusen beef and foie gras @$22.90++
closer view

The duck liver was still wobbly with caramelized outer which was nice. However, it has quite a strong gamey taste. The beef strips were nicely chewy and its texture wasn't tough at all. The bowl was tasty at the beginning but it could get heavy with all the richness after a while. The pickled ginger came in handy to cut through the rich taste.


Expect to spend about $25 per pax.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Jewel Cafe and Bar @ Rangoon Road

First time trying the mains here. Last visited for coffee. Seated upstairs, and it was a tad warm though the air-conditioning had been turned on to full blast.

We had three orders of prawn capellini, so that ought to be good! I'd likened the capellini to Western mee kia. Had a taste and it was pleasant. Looked pretty, with bonito flakes dancing ontop of the soft capellini strands.

umami prawn capellini
chili crab pasta

Mine was chili crab pasta, that came with deep fried super crispy mantous. Tasted just like your regular chili crab; spicy, sweetish and eggy. Pasta and mantous? Carb on carb combo! Portion was good and you won't feel hungry after this plate.

Warning though, it was pretty spicy. Probably not if you're accustomed to chomping down on chili padis but this plate did pack a spicy punch. Thankfully, the heat doesn't linger for too long, before it gets reignited on the next bite.

Desserts portion were huge too, so it's better to share.

apple crumble

Chunks of apple that tasted of cinnamon, hidden underneath a pile of crumble and topped with a large scoop of ice-cream, drizzled with caramel. Not too sweet, with slight sour notes from the apple.

Liked the chocolate brownie lots. So soft!

If you have The Entertainer Singapore App, this is one of the place where you could utilize it. One-for-one main course.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Girls' Just Wanna Have Fun! @ I'M KIM Korean BBQ | Cash Studio Cuppage

It was after office hours, and where to go? The singles have gathered and off we went to treat ourselves to a good meal. Since most places will be super duper crowded, we made reservations at I'M KIM Korean BBQ, located near SOTA. They do not have online reservation, so had to call their telephone. Had to call multiple times though, before someone picked up.

Dining there has a two-hour limit, to ensure that all guests had a chance at the buffet. Was informed at the point of payment that they had increased the price with an extra 90 cents charged per head. One pax for dinner buffet (2 hours) is about $29.30.

From observation, walk-ins are still possible if you're there before 7pm. The place gets really crowded around 730pm. Seems popular with young adults. 

at 7pm

Tried sikhye, traditional sweet Korean rice beverage. Free-flow from the drinks dispenser. Enjoyable drink on a warm humid night. They also have unsweetened roasted barley, mango drink or plain water.

sikhye 식혜

For this place, the cuts of meat were a plenty. From the porky section; pork collar (spicy, non-spicy), bacon, belly. Then, the beefy section; sirloin, short-ribs and thinly sliced meat. For chicken, they have volcano chicken (not that spicy la) and garlic-chicken.

let the grill begin~
taste enhancers

While waiting for the food to cook, help yourselves to the cooked food section. Japchae, chicken wings, nuggets, and soups. If you take beef, give its radish beef soup a try. Familiar and agreeable taste.

chicken wings

The soy marinated deep fried wings make a good beer food. Sweetish, savoury and some bits crunchy. But a bit of disclaimer since I'm biased towards wings anyway.

have some kimchi first

There wasn't anyone to clear the used plates for the first half hour. Our grill plate got changed once during our two-hours there.

The pork belly was leaner than expected. Beef was good and tasty, but towards the end of the meal, the winner was volcano chicken. Thigh meat with some skin on, marinated with mild spices, grilled till slight char equates to tasty bites.

Wrap those meat with fresh lettuce (which gets cleaned out pretty fast, by the way), fresh garlic and kimchi, and yeah, that's how we rolled.

hello there, delicious 고기

Wash it down with a small bowl of warm radish beef soup. So good.

Two hours later, and with super full belly, we adjourned to our next stop. Vocal exercise!

Someone recommended Cash Studio Cuppage, so off we went... smelling like the BBQ-aftermath that we were.

Had to wait though even though we had booked the room. First time at Cash Studio, and boy, the room was interesting.

disco lights
standing mic

Songs selection and controls made through mobile phone-app? That's new for me. Had to download the app from App Store, and connect it to the room's wifi before the songs can be selected. The room doesn't have any remote!

The downside was that the app hangs sometimes and one need to have a charged-phone or have charger cables. To loan a cable, they will take hold of your NRIC which will then be returned when the charging cable is returned. I think that was rather unnecessary. If the cable is not returned, simply charge the cost of the cable into the room price.

need room wifi password

Songs selection were adequate. Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Malay and Japanese songs available. Drinks were of canned variation with one canned drinks included in the package price. Three-hour package for 5 pax costs about $22 per pax. And, yes, guests are required to leave on the dot when time is up.

All Rights Reserved. © Purple Taste
Blogger Theme by BloggerThemes| Theme designed by Jakothan Sponsored by Internet Entrepreneur