Saturday, May 26, 2018

Journey to the West for Good Food @ 155 Bukit Batok Street 11

Our 西游记 to suss out good food. Many prolific bloggers had been reviewing the west side story, so it is now our turn to just makan! First destination was to 233 Bukit Batok East Avenue 5 and we had enjoyed good plates of chicken feet, 牛腩面 beef brisket and also Cantonese porridge (粥). Full? Nah, that's just starters. Now let's go for Part 2, we'd say.

Hence, Ivan, Kris, Jennifer, Tiara and myself managed to land ourselves in 155 Bukit Batok Street 11. Each of us went and ordered for the group. It was pretty amazing how we didn't end up with the same foods! (but that's because we comms'ed each other prior, keke)

Fatty Weng 肥仔荣食摊

We felt like having meat that day. Lots of it. So Ivan went to get these substantial looking meat platters. A quarter roasted duck and double-meat of roasted pork and char siew. These slices of meat fed the 6 of us very well.

Fatty Weng's roasted meats

The roasted duck looked nondescript but it was good. Each bite was tender and flavourful. Some of its skin parts came with a layer of fats. Would it be jelak? I'd thought but still, it went into the mouth. Wow. That feeling where the oil oozes out and just gently greases the tasty meat with added texture was simply amazing. Definitely impressed.

Roast Duck 烧鸭 @$15

Actually, the first bite went to the siu yuk 烧肉 (roast pork) to test the crackling. Still crispy even after 15 minutes. I can say that I've been eaten roasted pork since I was a kid. Maybe since I was a 3-year old? Chunky bites always worked for me. Unfortunately, the char siew was too lean for most of us. It gives a good workout for the jaw.

叉烧烧肉 (double roasted meat platter) @$15

Ah Lipp Famous Penang Prawn Noodles 槟城虾面

For first timers, we tried the big prawns noodles. The soup looked potent with its dark red hues. Sip it while it is hot and one would have been transported into umami-land. Such bliss! All the goodness of seafood is in that bowl of soup. For photography purpose, we got the dry-version. Personally, I'd much prefer a soupy version of Penang prawn noodles, anytime.

大虾面 Big Prawn Noodles (Dry) @$10

The prawns were huge, and firm to bite. Very 扎实 (solid). My favourite combo for prawn noodles would be pork ribs and regular sized prawns. But, the soup must be good. If the soup is no good, then it is a no go for me, regardless of what ingredient the noodles came with.

Another taste test for Penang fare, would be its assam laksa. I still remembered my first time when I had a taste of it. Probably around age 6 or 7? I thought it was horrible. But as they say, our taste buds change over time and I learnt to appreciate it better.

Ah Lipp Assam Laksa @$4

The chunky white rice noodles seemed right, the ingredients abit too well laid for a hawker fare but on first sip, I was disappointed. The soup was too light. There's plenty of fish in the bowl though, and that was a plus point. Since the broth makes or breaks a dish, my preference went to the prawn noodles.

Fried Baby Squid Prawn Mee

Fried Baby Squid Prawn Mee (minus baby squids because they ran out of it!)

This is one very popular stall. Plenty of customers and people kept coming up to order. But they worked fast. The zhao pai 招牌 seemed to be the baby squid prawn noodles but ran out of baby squids by the time we ordered. So one regular plate of hokkien mee would have to do.

The noodles were moist and plenty of sliced pork, some seafood and topped with pork lard, and a dash of sambal on the side. For any good plate of hokkien mee, pork is one of the important ingredients besides the broth. I think the meat gave the dish some depth in flavours. Yummy and recommended!

It was a fun day, exploring our hawker centres/coffeeshops with this group of foodies. Thank you Jen, Kris, Tiara, Shermaine, Hence and Ivan for a full-filling day. 你吃饱了吗?

camera eating already!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Master Tang 鄧師傅鳳城面家@ 233 Bukit Batok East Avenue 5

Instead of cafes, we went neighbourhood coffeeshop hopping. A small group of us (Jennifer, Kris, Ivan, Hence, Tiara and myself) ventured off into the (wild wild) west of Bukit Batok, going past Little Guilin (小桂林) and into East Avenue 5 Block 233.

We were there for former Head Chef of Crystal Jade, Master Tang Siu Nam's beef brisket noodles. A soft spoken man at a young age of 86, Master Tang was busy blanching plates after plates of noodles. His wife usually takes the order but she was busy with other things so Master Tang himself will ask the customer what he/she wants. Spoke to him in Cantonese and he smiled. Saw that the stall has congee too, so we got ourselves a bowl of century egg congee to try.

Master Tang works at his own pace but he is systematic. His wife helps to scoop the ingredients onto the noodles that he had prepared.

云吞鸡脚面 (wanton noodles with added chicken feet) @$4.50
牛腩筋面 (beef brisket tendon noodles) @$6

The portions for the beef brisket tendon noodles were generous. Maybe 3 to four chunks of stewed beef and about 3 pieces of those quivering soft tendons. The stew sauce was flavorful yet rather subtle. It was unfortunate that the beef pieces, especially the leaner ones were a tad too tough. Those that had a small later of fats worked best. Preferred the tendons over the brisket.

Liked the green chili pickles too. It gave the noodles a tangy lift. The noodles itself was on a softer side and the overall flavour was pretty rustic.

For me, the must-order from Master Tang would be this dedicated plate of chicken feet noodles. The feet were pretty deceptive-looking but it packed some heat. Would gladly have the entire plate for myself! The skin falls off easily and it was such a joy to suck off the skin and spit out the bones.

鳳爪面 / 鸡脚面(chicken feet noodles) @$4

It is quite rare to see a wanton noodles stall with congee, so we got ourselves a bowl to try. There were two flavours; the century egg version (which we got) and the meatballs with vegetable version which should be interesting.

 皮蛋艘肉粥 (century egg congee) @$4

The texture of the congee was good as I preferred it not to be too overly smooth. Generous portion of ingredients but I did not put in any soy nor sesame oil. Should've added some to lift up the flavours (体味) as Mrs Fong (方太) always said it. I liked watching 方太美食廣場 when I was in my teens.

The flavours of Master Tang's congee is just like those that we eat in Hong Kong restaurants and tasted healthy without any extra condiments except spring onions. Lovely.

Will go back for the chicken feet!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Kan Sushi @ International Plaza

Having cravings for sushi and decided to give Kan Sushi a try. Reservation was fairly easy via eatigo app. The restaurant is located at Level 2 of International Plaza. Took the escalator up and was nearly late for the lunch as as I went towards the opposite direction. Coincidentally, there's another Japanese restaurant at this end. Nevertheless, Kan Sushi's signage was easily recognizable.

Walk past the 暖簾 (noren) and Chef Kan was right at the door. Showed him the reservation and was pointed to a counter seat. The shop is small and cosy. It was rather late, near to 1.45pm when Cherlyn arrived.

counter seat view
We started with lobster salad, which was a rather dense bowl of lobster in mayonnaise dressing. Pretty similar to potato salad in terms of taste but with chunks of lobster in it. Tasty.

lobster salad  ロブスターサラダ @$10

Next, there's grilled mentaiko. That's something new. No, not the mentaiko but the fact that we are eating it as it is. Makes a good topping for a bowl of rice though. Or to be had with alcohol, but we weren't drinking. Very salty but somehow addictive. To be eaten together with the cucumber slice.

spicy cod roe  辛子明太子 @$13
Have not forgotten the main purpose! To have sushi! Alas, anago sushi is not available. What a bummer! The tuna sushi was having a promo, so we had one.

Chef Kan said to eat it as it is. So we did. There was a tiny bit of wasabi in it and it had a drop of soy on its surface. Start light.

hon maguro akami 本マグロ赤身 @$10
Next, Chef Kan places a piece of sushi that none of us recognizes onto our board. "Meat from tuna head." He said. Was about to say that we didn't order this, but he said, "Service." Wah, thank you Chef! This was an impressive piece. Stronger flavours with nice oily texture that almost melts in your mouth.

tuna head sushi (complimentary)
Next, aburi salmon belly. Served with a dot of yuzu ontop. Loved the smokiness from torched sushi combined with the oily mouthfeel. Yummy.

aburi salmon belly トロサーモン @$5

Another of my favourite sushi, the hotate. Raw scallop sushi, so sweet! Can't get enough of the fine taste of fresh scallops.

scallop ホタテ @$6
For sushi finale, ended with chutoro. Save the best for last, they say. I think I need one more!

medium fatty tuna chutoro 中トロ @$12
Cherlyn ordered the maguro kama or also known as the grilled large tuna cheek. A large piece with plenty of flesh. Quite a struggle to eat with chopsticks, so Chef took pity on us and brought out the fork and spoon. For easier digging. The tuna cheeks is definitely meant to be shared. I think it'll be quite jelak to finish it on your own.

鮪かま @$28
To end the meal, we had coffee with a Snaffles cheesecake. The staff had to collect it from the nearby Snaffles shop though. Maybe it's a collab or something. Quite liked the black coffee. Not too acidic. Just nice.

Black coffee with Snaffles cheesecake (sorry, ate some!) @$6.80

Thank you Cherlyn for the treat! Enjoyed our short lunch break and till next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Cat Cafe @ 241B Victoria Street Bugis

Located at Victoria Street, Bugis, and above Burger King. From Bugis Junction, cross the road over to Victoria Street and head towards Burger King. At Burger King, turn left and enter the narrow alleyway to find the stairs up to The Cat Cafe. Walk up three levels, and you'd see the entrance to the cafe.

entrance to The Cat Cafe
Entrance fee is $15 per entry with a complimentary soft-drink. There is no time limit to your stay at the cafe. Soft-drink choices included Heaven & Earth green tea, sprite, coke and A&W amongst others. Top-up to change the drink to juices or coffee. Choose your drink and make the payment at the cashier. Then, take off your shoes and sanitize your hands. The staff will guide you to your table. One could choose the floor seats or the table seats. Older folks like me, preferred to take the table seat.

Sunday afternoon
window seat, drink and bag cover

Staff would explain the house rules briefly to the first-timers there. Pretty universal rules for cats/dog cafes. Was there on a Sunday around 330pm and almost all the cats were sleeping. Still cute, even when sleeping.

sleeping Kelly
Fruitcake, is it comfortable, sleeping like that?
Tommy has taken over an entire table for himself
Ginny sleeping soundly
Missy, looking exotic - Siamese Crossed

For cats sleeping at the area denoted as 'Cats Resting Area', then no petting is allowed. Otherwise, cats sleeping around the cafe in their basket, one could still approach gently to give them a pat or two. Some cat baskets has a notecard informing customers of which area not to pet otherwise, it might accidentally agitate the kitten.

zoning out

Children should thread gently as I saw some who had roughly shook the pole where the cats were sleeping on. Thankfully some parents were quick to catch on and they'd educate their kid accordingly. On the day of visit, there were some couples, many teenagers and some families, one or two solo patrons and the occasional tourist couple.

sitting on my throne

At about 430pm, some of the cats started to wake and roam the cafe. Some cats might jump up to your table, and I'd seen the girls taking selfie with the cat. One or two of the cats felt a tad bony but the rest were pretty well-fed. Their fur was so nice to touch. Most of the cats were not jumpy except for Kelly, who is abit more timid. Some will avoid your touch if they don't feel like having any interactions for that hour.

let's play
call me Princess
awww, such a cutie this Cookie

One of the cat had a scarf that stated '胖' which means fat. Healthy looking cat but I didn't get to see his face though. I wonder if he's Fruitcake.

don't call me fat
hi there, what is your name?
Tuxedo - local long fur
Ginny - Singapura breed
It was a nice visit and cats do make a nice subject for photography. It was a relaxing time to spend with the kittens.

The Cat Cafe

Address: 241B Victoria Street Level 3.
Business Hours:
Monday: 3pm to 10pm
Tuesday – Sunday, Public Holiday: 10am to 10pm
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