Saturday, August 31, 2019

[Tasting] Clementi Tze Char 金文泰煮炒 @ Clementi Tastebud Eating House

Located smack right in the middle of the newer residential blocks, Tastebud Eating House at Blk 208C would likely be the go-to place when hunger pang strikes for those who stays near Clementi Ave 6. There is a bus stop near the coffeeshop and one could get there via bus #188 or #51. Have you noticed the new tzechar (zichar) stall nestled amongst the other familiar ones? Clementi Tze Char 金文泰煮炒 has been in operation for over a month now and we were invited to have a taste. My interest was piqued by its claim of authentic traditional KL Hokkien Mee. Suddenly, there was a need to try!

the stall, and the people

First item to arrive on our table? The Hokkien Mee (yasssss!) nonetheless. Served in a steel pot, the portion looked pretty generous for one pax worth. There were lots of deep fried pork lard, fishcake slices, cai xin, prawns and pork slices. The noodles were on point but the colour was lighter than the actual ones.

Authentic Traditional KL Hokkien Mee  真宗KL福建面@$4 (U.P $4.50)

"Do you have the sambal belachan?" I asked. No, they don't have that. Whaaat! Now, that was an immediate minus-ing of points (imo only).

"Why don't you try it with this chili sauce instead? Not the one that you were looking for, but Chef's homemade version."

Ohhh, the taste was legit on first bite! Noodles done right, sauce and flavour were on-point! The chili sauce was nicely tangy and spicy and complements the noodles. Yes, finally! A place that serves up the taste of legit KL Hokkien Mee.

Chef's homemade chili
tai lok meen

Satisfaction was pumped up with the authentic traditional KL Hokkien Mee. We sampled another noodles dish and that's the sang meen (生面) which is done up ala Penang 江南生面, which I'm not that familiar with.

Penang 江南生面 (Jiang Nan Crispy Noodles) @$6 

The noodles were well fried and crispy without being oily. The sauce was lovely and not too overpowering. Loved the mix of ingredients on the plate. Plus, it has broccoli and black fungus! Now, that I don't see from the zichar stall at my workplace.

side profile

Now, if you're with family and would like to dine out, what would be the dishes to order from this stall? Let's get started with the rice dishes or what I'd call 吃饭叫菜 (in Cantonese).

First up was Marmite Chicken but the non-deep fried version. Served with chicken thigh meat (much like gong bao chicken) and the sauce was sweet and salty. Eaten together with the rest of the ingredients; julienned cucumber, sliced onions and sprinkled with sesame seeds, I was reminded of rojak somehow.

Marmite Chicken (S/M/L) @$10/$14/$18

We had the signature curry fish head and wow, the curry fragrance was so enticing when it was brought out. I could feel my saliva glands activated. The sauce was lemak yet not too over, flavour was awesome and rightly balanced. Doused the piping hot curry onto the white rice and scooped up some into the mouth. This dish earned a resounding yes from me, just by its sauce alone. It was that yummy.

Curry Fish Head 咖喱鱼头 @$20

The vegetables retained its crunch for a refreshing bite but I do prefer them slightly more cooked through. The fish was red snapper and its quality was superb. Meaty, firm and sweet. And very filling!

plenty of meat

For the finale, we had a preview of an upcoming dish (not in the menu yet) called 帝王富贵鸡 or Imperial Prosperity Chicken. Sounded like a CNY dish!

Half a kampong chicken (free range chicken) was wrapped up nicely with a loads of herbs such as 当归,杞子,玉竹,泡参,当参,维山,北其,川弓 before steamed for hours, resulting in slightly viscous soup and a very tender chicken in which the goodness from the herbs had seeped right into the meat.

Imperial Prosperity Chicken 帝王富贵鸡 

Depending on the size of the chicken, the soup could get oily. Indeed the essence from the chicken but preferably with lesser oil, ya.

Thank you Hence for the introduction and Royston for the invite and hosting the dinner. Compliments to the Chef and the service crew for the delicious food and friendly demeanour.

Tastebud Eating House and Clementi Tze Char

Watch out for upcoming dishes next month, and one of it I heard is the fish steamboat 鱼头炉. Happy eating!

Clementi Tze Char @ Tastebud Eating House

Address: Blk 208C Clementi Avenue 6 #01-01 Singapore 123208
Business Hours:
Mon to Fri:11am to 2:30pm and 4:30pm to 11pm
Sat to Sun: 11am to 11pm

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Sampan @ 63 Boat Quay

And so, we decided to have dinner at this place called "The Sampan". It's been a long long while since I last visited Boat Quay.

Was there super early, so got myself a drink. Requested for a rum based cocktail and was presented with Cuba Libre. Rum and coke it is then. Was pretty good.

Cuba Libre

Ivan, Hence and Alvin soon arrived and we ordered some bar snacks to start. We ordered 4 types of snacks. The emping belinjo was well fried and enjoyable with the homemade green chili dip. Was disappointed with the calamari portion though. The pani puri was surprisingly good and we were confused about the nuts below the pani puri. Some of us had actually tried to bite onto those before we were informed that it was for decoration only...oops.

Emping Belinjo @$5
Calamari with Wasabi Mayo @$10
Vegetarian Fritters @$8
Pani Puri @$6

Loved the vegetarian fritters too! So tasty.

Mango Chili Smash @$17

We were in a party of 5, so we ordered 3 meats and 2 carbs to share for the mains. The portion of each main is suitable for one pax.

Crispy Thai Beef Salad @$16
After the snacks, we started with a Crispy Thai Beef Salad which was tangy and appetising. Crispy beef wasinteresting as well. Lovely.

Fresh Local Seabass @$21

Seabass (different view)

The soy glaze gave the fish a delightful flavour that everyone's familiar with and nothing beats the texture of a fresh produce. The potato puree was so good to eat as well. Likewise, the pickled salad served with the dish. Yums!

Beef Cheek Rendang @$26
Couldn't believe it when I first took a bite of the Beef Cheek Rendang. "What sorcery is this?" I thought. The rendang flavour was best! So so good. Wish we could have more of the steamed rice cake (ketupat) to mop up all the delicious sauce. The beef was tender but the magic was in the sauce.

Kampung Bali Fried Rice (Beef) @$15

Unfortunately, the fried rice was a tad too dry for my liking. Flavour was good but just not my thing.

Whole Baby Chicken @$22

The baby chicken looked innocent but it was so dangerous! That aubergine sambal, was wow! The spicy punch hits you faster than a lightning bolt and I was coughing away before I knew what was happening. It was interesting that this dish was served with lontong. Why ah?

steamed rice cake with chicken

And, by this time, if you're still hungry, there's always mee goreng. When it arrived, it looked like mee pok! Well, it tasted like fried mee pok too. The noodles were al-dente but I was already very full by then.

Indonesian Mee Goreng (Seafood) @$15

My favourites were the seabass and beef cheek rendang. Kudos to Chef Ahmed and his kitchen crew for the fine execution. Lovely flavours using local produce!

Of course, to end our meal, we'd order dessert. Turned out that two of our dessert were green! The first one was described as 'breakfast' in a glass. Think Coffee Tuille, kaya mousse and Charred Bread Ice Cream.

Local Coconut Pudding @$13
Pandan Pancakes @$13

The pandan pancakes reminds me of min jiang kueh (面煎粿). The green dessert were very likeable but the ice-cream melted way too fast!

mochi brownie with ice cream

My favourite dessert was the mochi brownie with ice-cream. This was not in the menu yet and Chef Bjorn brought it for us to try. Loved it! That layered feel when you bite into the crisp thin layer at the top of the brownie, then sink into that slightly denser texture of the brownie before encountering chewy mochi was so memorable.

The crew at The Sampan are friendly and they'd constantly be checking on their guest. Water was topped up regularly too.

We enjoyed dining at The Sampan. Thank you all!

The Sampan

Address: 63 Boat Quay, Singapore 049851
Contact: 6732 1698
Business Hours: 
Mon to Fri: 11.30am to 12am
Sat: 5pm to 12am
Closed on Sun

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lunch @ Beast & Butterflies M Social Singapore

Beast & Butterflies is a fusion dining restaurant located at M Social Singapore. Didn't realize that it was within walking distance from Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. If you are a guest at GCW and would like to explore M Social, exit via Food Capital / Grissini and walk over the bridge. You'll be at M Social within 5 minutes.

If taking a cab, the taxi uncle might bring you to M Hotel instead, which is also nearby but is not the destination that I was headed to.

Beast & Butterflies @ M Social Singapore (view when coming from GCW)
nice artwork at the lobby carpark
I came from this direction instead

The restaurant is spacious and has a bar vibe due to the dark interior and lava lamps.Walk further in and past the bar counter and that section is bright from the natural light outside.

cosy ambiance
bar counter
pool table
alfresco dining
daily bar bites

Patrons in larger groups would be pleased that Beast & Butterflies has plenty of space for a comfortable dining experience.

nice menu cover
reasonably priced for a set lunch

Set lunch makes sense because of the value it presents. You can view the menu from the hotel's website.

orange juice (@$8++ ala-carte order)

We ordered the set lunches and added some more dishes to share.

First was the Salmon and Alaskan Crab Salad with wasabi dressing. It has alot of components in it such as the salmon, ikura, crab, romaine lettuce, avocado, baby spinach and shredded nori.

Salmon and Alaskan Crab Salad @$28++ (ala-carte order)
fresh lettuce tossed in wasabi dressing

The salad portion was good for 4 to 5 pax as starter. Next up, we had the Crab Patties and Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Chicken. Both can be ordered via the Set Lunch menu.

Crab Patties @$14++
Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Chicken @$12++

The crab patties were infused with tom yum flavour and it was tasty with a strong hint of lemongrass. Loved the dip that came with it too. The popcorn chicken was leaning a bit to the sweeter side of things and it'd make a good snack with some alcohol.

Fragrant Mala Fried Rice @$16++ (ordered as part of the set lunch)
Hokkien Noodles @$16++ (ordered as part of the lunch set)

Between the Mala Fried Rice and the Hokkien Noodles, just go for the Hokkien Noodles.The Hokkien Noodles came loaded with pork lard, flavoursome broth and to sum it up, it was a big comfort in a small claypot.

However, if you have $5 extra to spare, I'd recommend to top-up the lunch set and get the Crispy Pork Knuckles (half).

Crispy Pork Knuckles @$26++/$36++ (half/full)

The crackling was good till the last bite. So crunchy! The meat had a combination of lean and fatty, but go for some fats because those are the best parts. For the lean, I'd like to dip it with the appetising namjin sauce.

For dessert, we had the yam brulee. Think a modernised orh nee. Surprisingly, the sweetness level was just right even with all the torched sugar on top. The taste of the yam was prominent.

Yam Brulee @$12++ (as part of the lunch set)

Loved the coconut ice-cream that came with it too.

yummy coconut ice-cream

Lastly, we finished with coffee. My cup of coffee came complete with printed art on top of the milk foam. I heard that one could request for customised version, provided you bring along the photo of the image that you'd want to print. Do enquire from the staff for the availability of this service.

awww, there's a cute doggie on my cup of coffee

Thank you Gilbert and JC for the invite and Fiona, Beast & Butterflies for hosting the lunch.

Beast & Butterflies

Address: M Social Singapore 90 Robertson Quay Singapore 238259
Contact: +65 6657 0018
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