Saturday, June 28, 2008

Of Beijing Roast Duck Pretz and Pokka Mango Milk

The people in Beijing have really interesting foods! They have:
Pretz in Sharks Fin flavour, Beijing Roast Duck flavour
Pocky in Oolong Cha and Lychee flavour
Collon in Chestnut and Mango Pudding flavour!!!

I also want (to try)!
Anyway, the flavours are really quite authentic - it really taste like Peking Duck! Just imagine pretz and with a bit of peking duck sauce, and with the aftertaste of duck. The savoury salty taste of the pretz reminds me vaguely of chicken in a biscuit - super msg-ed and salted.
But since I was in Beijing on transit, everything was so frigging ex - its RMB 95 (SGD $19) for 12 packs (they only had big packs) of anything - so I ended up getting only 1 flavour :/ I should have gotten more on hindsight -I really want to try all the flavours! China has such interesitng foods!
and omg did you know that in dprk, they have pokka in Mango Milk - they don't even have it in Singapore.. but of course, it's found only in the tourist shops (you're not allowed to go into their everyday grogery shops) and best of all, guess what?It's produced in Singapore!!!!! - I never knew that we exported Pokka drinks out, especially to DPRK! It's really a revalation to me. But it's really very ex - about SGD $3 for a can. But no loss lah it doesn't taste that good...

Zhou's Kitchen

Sigh is when I am in sgh - fish

I'm so busy :( Sch just started and I can't wait for it to end! Argh! And my blog is dying cos I haven't even got the time to go online! Now I know why people become IT dinosaurs - it's cos they dun have the time to do anything and on weekends they just collapse and hibernate at home.

Ok so super long ago, when I just came back from my hol (it's actually 1 wk ago but it feels like eons :/) I went to eat lunch at Zhou's Kitchen. It's located at this buliding infront of Anchor Point, where Paddyfields previously was and it's run by Tung Lok Group. I must say that Tung Lok Grout restaurants have quite a good food standard - but of course they're all Chinese food.

Pork Trotters and Jellyfish Cold Dish
Spinach Tofu with Mushrooms - used to be very rare but then now lots of restaurants serve this. It's quite a big portion and there are lots of mushrooms and veggies. Of course, it's all covered in sauce... the reason why I don't really like chinese food - cos all the taste comes from slathering food with sauce and not really tasting the food itself.
Egg white with Scallops - it reminds me of this very delicious scrambled egg white with scallops and white truffle oil from Jade Palace Restaurant (which I shall blog about later) but of course, there's not white truffle oil.
Pan Fried Chive Dumpling - they were having a promotion - $4.90++ for 10 pieces (but I dunno the original price I thnk it's $8.90?).
Duck Eefu Noodles - I like eefu noodles somehow it's quite hard to find it outside restaurants...
Zhou's Kitchen Speciality Noodles - I can't remember much - it's not too bad but not very memorable. Good if you don't want a lighter soupier meal. The soup is pretty tasty but by the time I ate it the noodles were a bit soggy. The nuts gave it an interesting crunch and it's not often you see nuts in soupy noodles.
Mango Pomelo Sago - it's not very nice not the creamy kind which I like and the mangos are quite sour and the soup is too sweet.
Interesting decor outsideOverall, the dining experience was enjoyable - good service, good food (passable cos it's chinese food), good ambience and it's another place that I will go to instead of Crystal Jade all the time. Best of all, the pricings are resaonable. I can't remember the exact pricing for the dishes, but then it was about $70 for 3 people.
Zhou's Kitchen
The Copperdome
368 Alexandra Road
Singapore 159952
Tel: 6473-1123

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lawry's The Prime Rib

Hello everyone! Pardon the lack of updates -I'm back - so many things to do so little time and before I know it my 3 wks of holiday is gone and I have to wake up so super early and go to school again. Sigh!

This is a super back logged post from early June... DBS was having a 1for1 set lunch offer (or not I'll never even touch this place).
Bread Basket
Lawry's famed spinning iced bowl salad. It comes with every main course - a crisp tasty salad with beetroot, egg, croutons, cherry tomato dressed in Lawry's Vintage Dressing. Other than the taste, the second best thing about the salad is the performance. A huge metal bowl sitting in ice is wheeled to your table - and the salad ingredients are added. The bowl is then spun and the dressing is added dramatically (think teh tarik style).
Oven Baked Tenderloin- $52.80
Crispy Braised Lamb shank - it's braised, breaded and fried, but sadly, the braising breading and frying didn't make it taste any better. This was my main course but I didn't really enjoy it. I didn't like the breaded crust because it was very hard and pokey and kept poking my mouth. The flavour of the lamb wasn't really there either - just tasted quite bland and oily. It costs a whopping $46.80++ I've eaten better lamb shank for <$20 (Cafe Oliv and Secret Recipe). Side dish - creamed spinach ($6.50++)
It's very rich and has lots of bacon bits inside.

My bill came to $74.90 - ok for Lawry's but there are many other places where I can get better lunch for the same price.

My conclusion is that unless you have a fetish for young and old women in maid uniforms with crisply starched aprons and perfectly tied ribbons, or you like paying alot for your food and don't mind it being below average, Lawry's is perfect for you.

Lawry's The Prime Rib
#02-42/44 Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Singapore 238859
Tel 68363333

Thursday, June 12, 2008

i'm off to kimchi and ginseng land...

will be back with updates soon:D

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sweet Secrets

Pardon my tablecloth...I'm an ardent supporter of Sweet Secrets cakes - have been eating them since primary school. They're reasonably priced - $22 for 600g, $36 for 1kg and tastes as good as some more expensive branded/hotel cakes, to me at least. Best of all, they taste fantastic - good enough to rival most other chocolate cakes. If I remember correctly, it used to be $18 for 600 g when I was still in Sec school... but I shan't be like those older people who lament so much about how their 5 cent bowls of noodles have been inflated into $3 bowls... hehe incase you're wondering why this is small it's to make it harder to read hehehe
Aiya! I just realised that my cake has all the candles! So much for trying to be forever 21! HAIZ!! (and Claire, thanks for not putting my age - guess that this is the nicst pict of my cake cos it doesn't have the ugly tablecloth).
Though it looks pretty unappetising here cos it's all melting and wet (cos it survived the long journey back and I cut it straight away without letting it chill in the fridge) picture of my half melted Etoile cake. Basically, it's a half mousse half sponge cake. The top most layer is a layer of rich bittersweet chocolate, dusted with chocolate powder. The underlayers below is a mixture of spongy chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. It's fantastic chilled (just ate some from the fridge just now) and taste very chocolatey, moussey held together in a cake shape by the sponge.

Do note that there is a little alchohol inside (but you can't taste it).

My cake is the Etoile, which is chocolate mousse and chocolate sponge, and I've also tried the Concorde (chocolate mousse, chocolate sponge and chocolate meringue) which I find too sweet but it's quite popular. They also have a Chocolate Royal which sounds pretty interesting - chocolate mousse, chocolate sponge and hazelnut crunch.

Sweet Secrets
9 Bishan Place
#B1-10 Junction 8
Tel 63534714

Other branches - Upper THomson Road, Serangoon Gardens, Great World City, International Plaza.


Senso is located in one of those places that I find it painfully hard to access - because there's tonns of ERP gantries, lots of splits in the road and it's all one way streets (and I'm unfamiliar with the area) I get super stressed when I'm driving around Tanjong Pagar/Keppel Area :S And after all that navigation, there is a lack of carpark space - or if there is a space, its a parallel lot next to a big drain on a hill.

Senso offers valet parking - at a small sum (compared to your dinner) of $8 .

The dining area is divided into al fresco dining (in the court yard, which has lots of vegetation, fountains and looks real windy and nice) and a larger airconed dining area further inside. Bread Basket

Complimentary starter - smoked salmon and crisped onions, with black pepper.
Asparagi e scampi ($26) - Steamed white asparagus and baked langoustines (fancy name for Norway Lobster) served with morel mushrooms and butter emulsion. I thought that the scampi was too soggy and aneroxic.
Minestrone Soup ($16) was a hearty soup full of chopped vegetables, not too salty but very flavourful. It's a huge bowl for $16 so I think it's pretty worth the price (unlike the tiny lobster thing above).

Senso Mozzarella ($24) - wrapped in parma ham and fried. I had very high hopes for this dish because all the reviews I read recommended this - but the higher you expect, the harder you fall. The smokey salty parma ham went well with the mozzarella, but I had expected it to taste more exciting - like oozing when I cut it (it didn't ooze at all or form those gooey cheesey strands).
This is the best dish of the night - the Sea Urchin and Caviar Angel Hair Pasta with Saffron Cream Sauce($28). If I had just this dish for dinner, I'd have given the restaurant 4.5/5 stars. The angel hair was cooked al dente, infused in the saffron cream sauce, with uni (my favourite food ever!) and with little black beads of caviar. I want to eat this again:)
Sardinian Mussels Spaghetti ($28) - was dissappointing. Apart from the tender mussels, the spaghetti was overcooked, and the noodles were very bland - There was none of the sweetness I expected from the shellfish in the noodles. Perhaps it's meant to be this way? But I definitely will not order this again. Rigatoni with Rabbit meat sauce ($32). It had a very strong 'stew smell' and slightly starchy sauce. (The kind where after you cook your meat sauce you put it into the fridge uncovered and smell it the next day - but its not like this isn't fresh... it's just that the smell reminds me of this)
Cioccolata ($16) - Chocolate cake with molten centre and Pistachio ice cream. The chocolate thing was crispy on the outside, with a liquid chocolate centre - way better than Menotti's or any other chocolate larva cake I've tasted. Senso has a nicely decorated court yard where you can dine al fresco - its pretty windy too, but we sat indoors. The staff are attentive (they top up your water once you've drank an inch), knowledgable and helpful.
Overall, the dining experience came with equal hits and misses. Perhaps I will try the restaurant again in the future?
21 Club Street
Tel 62243534

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Swa Gardens

Attended ieatishootipost's makan session at Swa Gardens. Due to me getting the wrong address (somehow I read 540 as 400 in the sms - I have no idea why - no wonder why I'm so poor at math) we arrived just in time to catch the Cold Crab. I attacked the crab too quickly, and forgot to take a picture before getting my hands dirty :/Braised Goose- Taste wise, it was good but I foud this a bit too dry for my liking. I'm half Teochew (from my paternal side but I can't speak anything besides 'boh hor jiak') and goose is one of the few teochew dishes that everyone in my family likes, so I eat this rather often.
Mayonnaise Prawn - very lemony and oily. The prawns were fresh and the combination of prawn and mayo can never go wrong.
Oyster Omelette - which was my fave dish of the night. The oysters were embedded inside a golden yellow omelette, and there were many many oysters.
Packed with delicious fresh globules of oyster - it's probably the freshest oysters (other than the raw kind) that I've eaten. Not a single piece of the many oysters that I ate tasted grainy. I hate having the gritty feel of sand when I eat shellfish.
Steamed Promfet - fresh, steamed just right and with tasty gravy.
Fried Sweet Potato Leaves - this is one of my fave vegetables because of the texture. Ngoh Hiang - this is probably the fattest ngo hiang I've eaten.
Stir Fried Crayfish - I didn't quite like this dish cos the sauce just masked the taste of everything. One reason why I don't like Chinese food is because they have so much sauce that I can't taste the real flavour of the main ingredient.
Chye Poh Kway Teow - It's supposed to be a teochew dish (though (I've never had it before but then again I haven't tired alot of teochew food). It was an interesting dish, and I'd have eaten more if not for the long wait in between dishes. I didn't like the burnt crispy surface noodles, but other than that, I found the dish quite good (since I like kway teow).
People say this is the best Ohr Nee in Singapore. I'm not a great Ohr Nee fan, because it's so oily and filling. There's lots of pumpkin (my fave part of the dish) and ginko nuts too. The Ohr Nee is very smooth, not too gooey or thick. I was younger, my dad (who hates pumpkin) always ordered Ohr Nee without pumpkin and I never knew Ohr Nee came with pumpkin till very much later.

Its really taxing on the kitchen to feed ~80 hungry people and there were looong pauses in between dishes, which made everyone feel full. I felt that my $32 was well spent. Plus, I got to meet Singapore's most famous blogger and his makan friends.

To the person who got 8 of his friends to come down for the makan session, but couldn't because of a dish washing mishap, hope you get well soon! I'm sure your friends gave you a detailed account of dinner - they took photos of every single dish for you!

Overall, I'll give the restaurant 3 Michellelim stars:

But for the planning, logistics and other people who helped organise this,

Swa Gardens 汕园潮洲酒楼
540 MacPherson Road
Tel: 6744 5009

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Akashi - Orchard Parade Hotel

I've just eaten the best Jap meal I've ever had in my life :D After that horrible incident with Akashi (Tanglin Shopping Centre) during Mother's day, I'm glad to say that Akashi has redeemed itself. (*edits on the food, thanks to ice :D)
Small animals are yummy!
Kanpachi in sesame sauce, topped with crispy bits of brown stuff.
Next, we had a momotaro and a yellow tomato each. They were sprinkled with coarse salt which balanced the sweetnes of the tomato. The yellow one is incredibly sweet.
This is a pseudo-onsen tamago (pseudo since there aren't any onsens in S'pore... but alot of other restaurants serve this) with some queer vegetables (can't rem the name) and uni (sea urchin). Onsen Tamago, or hot spring eggs are traditionally eggs cooked in hot springs, and the yolk is slightly hardened whilst the egg white is soft and runny. Makes me think of a microwaved egg since it's cooked from the inside... Of course, it's inside a martini glass so you're meant to slurp it down. Yum!
These are the Sawagani, little crabs that you usually see happily sealed inside packets in Iseatan. They're very small and can be eaten in one chomp. I just did a bit of reasearch online - it's pretty interesting to find that what I've learnt in microbiology has an application. When we were taught about Paragonimus westermani , and it being transmitted by uncooked crabs, I was wondering why the heck people won't cook their crabs well - all the crabs recipes I know of requires the crab being cooked throughly... there have been cases where people developed Paragonimus after ingesting undercooked Sawagani crabs.
2 sawagani crabs each - the crab has a shatteringly crispy shell, and a juicy interior. Beats all the insitant packet snacks I've tried... The legs are very pokey though, so open your mouth big big and don't scratch your face!Fugu jerky with roe mayonnaise. The sweetened meat was soft and chewy, but didn't really have much taste - just that it went really well with the mayo. Our first sashimi dish - Aji (mackerel). The mackerel tastes better with ponzu sauce, as opposed to the usual shoyu with grated ginger and spring onions. The bones were later deep fried and served as a snack.Sashimi platter - with snapper, otoro and salmon belly. Tuna simmered in stock. The part used was the part between the head and the jaw or something like that... very fatty, soft and melt in the mouth. Hope the omega 3 fatty acids can zoom to my brain and make me smarter!
Aburi Salmon belly sushi - some of the delicious fats melt and the oil trickles down into the rice.
Botan Ebi (big head prawn)Deep fried prawn head - don't waste any part of the fish :D
Hirame (flounder) Fin sushi - very ex and coveted.
Shime Saba (Vinegared Mackerel)
Seared Aburi Toro sushi - like the salmon, the oils oozed into the rice and made everything so yummy.
Uni sushi - unis are my favouritest shellfish in the world! They are soft, wobbly and sweet and tastes of the sea. But beware - stale uni looks like diarrhoea and taste like crap.
Hamachi (yellowtail) soup with clams. The clams were soft and tender, and and gave the soup a slight metallic taste and sweetness.
This is the first time I'm trying the Japanese musk melon - I've only tried the $6 Thailand-grown-Japanese-strain musk melon from NTUC so far. The juice spurts out and the aroma of the melon is fantastic. I think all Japanese fruits are delicious - strawberries, grapes (taste like Qoo drink!), peaches, tomatoes, cucumber ahhh I wanna live in a farm in Japan and eat all the food :D:D:D
The counter was empty when we came at 6.30pm, but filled up and the place was packed by 8pm. The branch at Orchard Parade Hotel was actually set up because Tanglin Shopping Center was rumoured to go enblock. Akashi Orchard Parade Hotel beats Tanglin shopping Centre hands down - even though they're just next door to each other.The chef Don Goh who fed us the delicious food.
Michellelim star rating:

Because it's so ex and now my tastebuds won't be satisfied by just Cha Soba at Akashi anymore.

Akashi Japanese Restaurant
1 Tanglin Road, #01-01A
Orchard Parade Hotel
Singapore 247905
Tel 67324438