Saturday, April 28, 2018

[Tasting] Fat Belly x Sugarhaus @ Serene Centre Shopping Centre

Ok, call me suaku. Might have passed by this building a couple of times when travelling via bus 67 but, I don't believe if I've ever alighted at this place! Goodness. Took a cab to Serene Centre from workplace and luckily, the signage for the building name is pretty prominent. Here's a link to Serene Centre's website if you're interested to know more about this building that's been around since the 80's?

Enough of the prelude and let's get into the main. Fat Belly is a speakeasy-style steakhouse that focuses on alternative, less well-known cuts of the beef. But first and foremost, I need to Google-up "speakeasy".  This term referred to an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages, where such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–1933). Okay, but nowadays, this term is usually associated with a cool, hip establishment (usually with a bar, or the bar itself) that's somewhat 'hidden' and awaiting for discovery.

Steak and Wine

Interestingly, when one do locate Fat Belly when walking in from the inside of Serene Centre, there's no door for one to enter. Fat Belly is accessible via Sugarhaus entrance. The steakhouse comes alive after 6pm daily.

Fat Belly offers counter-seats with high chairs where one could watch the flames (ideally), but usually, it would be the back view of the hardworking young Chefs prepping the order. Steaks are flash-grilled and then sliced right in-front of your eyes while you and your dining companion enjoys a quiet catch up while sipping on a glass of wine.


There are three steak-cuts available on its current menu. The flat iron, the onglet and the short rib. Each of these are served with a side of housemade chimichurri verde sauce and a small serving of salad. But, the sides are to be recommended as well. Choose from sauteed thyme mushrooms, or the crowd favourite creamed kale, or the newly rotated-in spiced roasted sweet potato.

Sauteed Thyme Mushrooms and Creamed Kale @$5 each

Loved the well seasoned juicy mushrooms. Creamed kale was good too (and much raved about) but I liked the sauteed mushrooms more! One bowl of these sides is easily shared amongst 2 pax.

Let's get back to our main focus area, which is on its alternative cuts of beef and we started with the Flat Iron Steak as it is the leanest amongst the lot, at the moment. The notion of tougher meat when the fat is minimal, was not applicable here. Flat Iron Steak had a more pronounced beefy-grassy flavour when in comparison with the other two cuts.

USDA 150day Grain Fed Angus Flat Iron Steak @$22
Next, let's take a look at the Short Rib. The strip had slightly more fat and its ratio is somewhat in-between of the Flat Iron and Onglet. Its meat was bouncy and one need to work the jaw a bit more for this one. This one is definitely for the guys.

USDA Grain Fed Angus Short Rib Steak @$25
Next up, the Wagyu Marble Score 4.5 Onglet Steak is more premium with the best mouthfeel and visuals. Meat that glistened, beckoning to be eaten. A genteel piece of gorgeous looking steak that was a joy to savour. My favourite piece out of the three.

Wagyu Marble Score 4.5 Onglet Steak @$38 (in photo: Alamos Malbec @$12 by the glass and creamed kale @$5)

The end? Nonsense! There's still dessert to try. When in Sugarhaus, one needs to get some sugar into the system to complete the experience. 

Like its meaty and side dishes counterparts, there are three options for plated dessert. The Foie Gras Chocolate Bar that makes one curious about its taste, the safe-sounding Sticky Date Pudding and the Drunk Pear.

Foie Gras Chocolate Bar is basically foie gras ice-cream (did not such a flavour exists!) encased in chocolate shell, decorated with caramel sauce ontop and adorned with a touch of gold. Plate has apple jelly and raspberry sauce.

Foie Gras Chocolate Bar @$12

Curious about foie gras ice-cream? We sliced up the chocolate bar to find out more. Just kidding. Was sharing this with Sihan and Ivan, so needed to cut it to three. Would you be sharing yours?

foie gras ice-cream revealed!

Also tried the Sticky Date Pudding. It was somewhat therapeutic, watching the dessert plate being assembled. The bonus of counter seats. The pudding was smallish, but I was smiling when slicing it to be distributed. It was a ふわふわ (fuwa fuwa) moment. Sooo fluffy!

Sticky Date Pudding @$10

The pudding was served with salted caramel ice-cream ontop of a bed of crushed feuilletine. This french sounding item is a crispy confection made from thin, sweetened crêpes. The next surprise was that the salted caramel ice-cream had a familiar buttery taste to it. It tasted so much like Werther's Original caramel candy! Wow.

Went to try other flavours of the ice-cream and they do have some interesting ones like Hibiscus Yoghurt (but me not a fan of yoghurt though), Gula Melaka Pecan and found my favourite, in the for of Coconut Sorbet. The Honey and Milk was good too!

ice-cream selection
enter through this door

Thank you Sihan for the invite and Fat Belly for hosting the tasting. Special thanks to Stanley and his cheerful crew @fatbellysg and @sugarhaus. An evening with Sihan ((@fundamentally_flawed)) and Ivan (@ivan_teh_runningman).

Fat Belly x Sugarhaus

Address: 10 Jalan Serene #01-04
Contact: 6314 2247
Business hours:
Sundays to Thursdays: 6pm to 10pm (Last order 9.30pm)
Fridays & Saturdays: 6pm to 11pm (Last order 10pm)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

[Media Invite] Bluefin Tuna Kaiseki Set with Beer, Sake or Wine @ Amara Singapore

It was a one-night only event at Element On Tras Street Amara Hotel Singapore on the 20 April 2018. For this event, a 56kg bluefin tuna was imported from Okinawa. Diners who were there for the International Buffet Dinner got to enjoy free-flow of bluefin tuna and sashimi for just $98++ and diners who chose the Bluefin Tuna Kaiseki Set with Beer/Sake/Wine would have enjoyed the 5-course kaiseki at $68++ per set.

Bluefin Tuna One-night only event
Chefs in action
Passerby were intrigued by the large fish, while patrons awaited eagerly for the prized meat. The two Chefs showcased their skills in getting the most yield from the fish. It wasn't an easy feat and it was interesting watching the Chefs in action.

Japanese Chef Yow and Executive Chef Charles
the prized fatty tuna

Bluefin Tuna Kaiseki Set with Beer, Sake or Wine

Mosaic of Freshly Smoked Bluefin Tuna with Caviar
Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio with Salad and Japanese Shoyu Dressing
Bluefin Tuna with 63 Degrees Poached Egg and Spicy Jon Jing Zhang Sauce 
Bluefin Tuna Sashimi and Sushi 
Bluefin Tuna Belly Soup with Leek and Tofu

All the dishes in the Kaiseki were beautifully presented. The starting dish was most impressive for me while the last dish was the weakest link in the kaiseki. 

Mosaic of Freshly Smoked Bluefin Tuna with Caviar tasted complex with that ever slight hint of smokiness from the flesh, and was lightly seasoned with truffle salt before topping it with caviar. So good. That's one umami dish.

The Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio with Salad and Japanese Shoyu Dressing, alternated back to a milder palate. The taste is reminiscent of tuna tataki sans pepper. It's always good to have some greens on the plate in this tuna-centric kaiseki. 

Next, was the Bluefin Tuna with 63 Degrees Poached Egg and Spicy Jon Jing Zhang Sauce. Was amused by the sauce name. Have not heard of this funny sounding sauce though. Upon further enquiry, it turned out to be gochujang sauce. Oooh...Chef so humourous ya. Loved the spicy cheese stick cracker that goes so well with the poached egg and tuna cubes.

Next, was a small plate of tuna sushi and sashimi. Freshly grated wasabi was placed on the plate as well. This brought out the mild sweetness in the tuna. Soy sauce was not needed here.

Chose sake to go along with this set as it would then feel more, complete? The sake served was light and clean tasting.

Gekkeikan Junsui Sake

If you're doing buffet, one could imagine the fun in 'building' your own dessert. Element's buffet dessert section has ice-cream and cakes, so one could 'combine' these two. I did, and such fun it was! Tasted good too. Two scoops of vanila ice-cream, with some chocolate sauce and sprinkles, topped with a mini-swiss roll cake.

ice-cream and mini-cake for dessert

To get updated on what or when is the next event, one could follow @amarasingapore Instagram and Facebook for more information. Stay tuned! Till then, eat well and stay healthy!

Monday, April 16, 2018

[Tasting] One Bowl Restaurant and Bar @ Sultan Hotel

One Bowl is located within Sultan Hotel and outside of the hotel, one could see the restaurant's signage. Look out for its promotion board too. Walk right into the hotel and the restaurant's entrance is at the lobby level.

One Bowl is a charming place, using wood carved out from tree trunks as its table top. Each of these wood pieces have its own characteristic lines. The restaurant has a comfortable vibe and ideal for intimate dinners for two and spacious enough to accommodate groups of 4 to 10 pax.

dinner is about to be served

Helmed by Chef Tammie Loke, One Bowl Restaurant and Bar offers diners an Asian flavour and goodness of a homestyle meal. Signatures included Pork Belly Char Siew Mantou (steamed or fried), and Char Siew Noodles or Rice. Dishes are reasonably priced too.


For drinks, one could try their House Special (non-alcoholic), juices, smoothies, coffee/tea, bottled beers or wine. Tried the Banana and Chocolate Smoothies, as well as House Special of Honey Lemon (hot), Apple Blossom and Shirley Temple. The Banana Smoothie was instantly recognizable when sipped. Liked the banana flavours as its ripeness was just right plus, a rather natural sweetness to it.

from left to right: Apple Blossom, Banana Smoothie, Chocolate Smoothie, Shirley Temple
If you are feeling under the weather, the hot honey lemon was soothing. House Specials are $5.50 each while smoothies are $6.50 each.

hot honey lemon @$3.50


For starters, the must-eat is pork belly char siew fried mantou served in two's or half-a-dozen. Heard that many diners will order this for their private functions as well and often times, these little golden buns would be sold out pretty fast. I've tried them and I must say, those pork belly char siew are amazing! Fats that dissolves in your mouth, yass to that! Perfect with a glass of wine.

pork belly char siew fried mantou (五花肉叉烧炸馒头) @$5 (for 2) or $12 (for 6)

If you prefer to start with something a little on the lighter side of things, opt for the cold or hot tofu. The Cold Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Egg was refreshing and enjoyable. Cut the tofu from top to bottom and get abit of that creamy century egg onto that scoop and drizzle some of those sauce on it. Simple and good.

The Hot Tofu has a light batter that fried to a nice golden hue and coated with sauce. Eaten when served, gave a warm fuzzy feeling in the tummy and heart. Just like how moms would make this dish. Or, at least Cantonese moms? Don't ask me to choose which tofu I liked better because both are equally good. I think the older folks would appreciate the warm ones as I remembered my granny used to dislike cold tofu.

Cold Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Egg (皮蛋肉松豆腐)@$10
Hot Tofu - Braised Tofu with Ginger Sauce @$10

Another appetiser that you might want to order for sharing would be the Ngoh Hiang (Five Spice Meat and Prawn Roll). Served with sweet sauce and chili sauce.

Ngoh Hiang  (Five Spice Meat and Prawn Roll) (五香) @$13

Signature Dishes

For the mains, one ought not to miss the Signatures of One Bowl. Meaning, do try their Char Siew Noodles or the Char Siew Rice. The noodles are much much thinner than expected and loved the seasoning on the sauce. Noodles are lightly tossed and sauce had hints of sesame and soy. Served with a bowl of vegetable soup. We had radish, corn and carrot soup that day.

Signature Char Siew Noodles (招牌五花肉叉烧麵) @$9.90
radish, carrot and corn soup served with both Signature Char Siew Rice/Noodles
Signature Char Siew Rice (招牌五花肉叉烧饭) @$10.90

The binding factor in its current Signature dishes, pointed back to the Char Siew. Yes, let's talk more about the delicious char siew! Again, it was the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly char siew that had its weight in gold. Noticed that the char siew in the noodles and rice had a more pronounced crispy sugary caramelization at its edges. Yes, those slightly blackened bits that my dad would've ask us to throw away. Nooo! That crunch when bitten and what followed was that savoury sugary sensation and melty fats that dissolves in your mouth. Yes, that's the awesome bits! Loved the garlic rice in the Char Siew Rice bowl.

Old School Flavours

Jumped at the opportunity to order the Pig Trotter in Vinegar with Ginger and Egg, as this dish seldom makes its appearance in restaurant menu. Drizzle a generous amount of that dark vinegary sauce onto the steamed rice and dig in. Tangy, sweetish and tasted of old ginger. Just that the sauce was a tad too sharp for my liking. The trotters were collageny good. While it doesn't fall off the bones, it was soft enough to devour. The meat were well braised and flavourful. Lovely with fats.

Pig Trotters in Vinegar with Ginger and Egg (猪脚醋) @$11.90
Rainbow Trotter Jelly (off the menu) (彩虹猪脚冻)

Chef Tammie had a surprise for us, and that was in the form of trotter jelly. This is a traditional Teochew dish, given a colourful twist by Chef Tammie. Instead of just slices of pale looking jelly, this plate has a lovely yellow and green to it, from the pumpkin and spinach puree. More collagen goodness for us. Thank you!


To end our meal, we had the aiyu jelly and Japanese ice-cream. Was pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the aiyu jelly as it had exceeded my expectation. Truth be told, I was reluctant to choose this when first saw the menu. But now, am a convert for this version at One Bowl. This dessert bowl was a visual treat where it had a bright colour and decorated with goji but it was the taste that captivated. Tasted of preserved lime and pretty much refreshing!

Aiyu Jelly (愛玉冰)

The ice-cream was good and the yuzu flavour had real yuzu bits in it too. The goma flavour was intense!

Japanese ice-cream: Matcha, Kuro Goma and Yuzu

Thank you to Ivan (@ivanteh_runningman) for extending the invite, One Bowl Restaurant and Bar for hosting the tasting, Annie for sharing with us more about the place, cuisine and Chef Tammie for the awesome food. 

One Bowl Restaurant and Bar

Address: 101 Jalan Sultan, The Sultan Hotel Lobby (1.26 km)
199002 Singapore
Contact: 6291 9020
Business hours:
Daily 07:30 - 15:00, 16:00 - 22:00

Saturday, April 14, 2018

[Tasting] All-You-Can-Eat Nonya Popiah @ The Peranakan


The Peranakan All-You-Can-Eat Nonya Popiah

The Peranakan is an elegant restaurant located at Level 2 Claymore Connect, where one could enjoy flavourful homely Peranakan dishes from the kitchen of Chef Raymond Khoo's culinary team. Of recent, they are having a Sat/Sun All-You-Can-Eat Nonya Popiah for just $28 per pax. The DIY popiah buffet is available from 230pm to 530pm on weekends. During this introductory period, the popular mee siam is included as well as Lemongrass Pandan Tea.

All-You-Can-Eat Nonya Popiah
The ingredients are laid out on a communal table, and gently pry open two pieces of the popiah skin from the container and one could throw in a leaf or two of fresh lettuce, spread it with some sweet sauce and that bright red chili paste, then add a few sprouts for that traditional crunch, a dab of minced garlic for extra shiokness, I liked mine with lots of hard boiled egg, some slices of boiled prawns and finally the sweet cooked turnip with pork belly.

pile it up!

The challenge was of course to fold the popiah. On first try, the popiah skin had failed to contain the mountain of ingredients in it. That's the consequences for being greedy! But never mind lah, still can makan! The taste of the fried turnip was good, and naturally sweetened with the lovely pork belly.

deconstructed popiah

In the midst of all the fun in folding your own popiah, one could whet their appetite by slurping up bowls after bowls of the delectably tangy mee siam. Do note that this might be alternated with laksa goreng. Dab a bit of the powerful sambal on the dining table and the mee siam was elevated to another realm. So shiok!

mee siam
laksa goreng

After some tries, I think I got the hang of things, and so here's the presentable popiah, with skin that almost threatened to break (actually it did, but salvageable!), neatly sliced into 3 not-so-bite-sized parts (with the help of a sharper knife), plated without anything falling onto the floor and garnished with a stalk of parsley.


Ala-carte Dishes (Not Part of All-You-Can-Eat)

If you're still hungry or need another type of carbs, fret not as The Peranakan has a special dish called Nasi Buah Keluak. Rice that has the full flavours of buah keluak, made even more refreshing with herbs and served with achar sambal timun. If this is not yums, I don't know what is!

Nasi Buah Keluak (separate ala-carte order)

Dessert (Not Part of All-You-Can-Eat)

Have you tried apom bokwa before? I have not even seen one until that day at The Peranakan! It looked really cute and has bunga telang (blue pea) giving it a dash of colour. The small pancakes are fluffy and served with sweet pengat pisang with gula melaka sauce.

apom bokwa @$12
jemput makan
Don't forget the Pandan Gula Melaka cake and it is still one of my favourite. And a pot of Malacca Coffee or Milk Tea is the best pairing for the dessert.

Gula Melaka Pandan Cake @$6.50
A pot of Malacca Milk Tea @$6.50

If you prefer shaved ice, then how about a Chendol Melaka? You can have it with or without the durian pengat. Or, get a bowl of durian pengat for yourself!

Chendol Melaka @$6.50
pengat durian

Once again, thank you Hence (@chubbybotakkoala) for extending the invite and Chef Raymond Khoo and The Peranakan team for hosting the tasting. Enjoyed your warm hospitality and the great tasting heritage dishes.

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