Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rolling Wok - NUS Heng Mui Keng Terrace

Rolling Wok is fully airconditioned a Tze Char Restaurant located in NUS. I've never had a good impression of NUS food due to many unspectacular experiences with their cheap and yucky food (especiall Frontier in Science - I don't know how anyone can give the claypot store such high ratings). It's concealed inside the very hard to navigate hard to find Heng Mui Keng Terrace (can't they make the roads easier even the delivery men who go to NUS have problem.. and carparks are such a chore too!). Actually, I didn't know it existed till my friend (who has lecturer parents) told me that such a place existed inside NUS.Mushroom Bean Curd. It's one of the most impressive dish of the day - I will definitely go back for more! It's only $6 for a delightfully crispy and wobbly egg tofu. The tofu itself is very delicious, with a crispy layer of golden brown skin enclosing a smooth silky interior.Other restaurants are selling a lesser than average tasting one for double the price. It's about palm sized (for normal sized palms), but I'm pretty sure I could finish one by myself since it's so yummy!
This is the San Bei Ji (Three Cups Chicken, 三杯鸡) which was $6.90. It's actually a dish from China, which is popularized in Taiwan. Though I don't like Chinese food (cos of all the sauces which masks the real taste of the meat or vegetable), the sauce went very well with the tender chicken. There's a hint of hua tiao jiu (chinese cooking wine) and it's not overly salty. Do try this dish if you go to Rolling Wok, it's only $6.90 for a good sized portion.

Curry Chicken $4.90
Nothing very fantastic - 3 pieces of chicken and potatoes in normalish curry sauce. Pretty generic tasting. I think the Prima Chicken Curry Paste tastes better.

Special Sauce Salmon($6.90)
I didn't really like this dish cos I found the salmon too dry, and there was too much sauce covering the fish. I think this must be one of the Kee's Sauce (the sauce that Rolling Wok uses, I think it's available at supermarkets too). Wanton Mee ($5.90)
The very uninteresting uninspiring people ate. It's always a 'safe' and cannot-go-wrong choice (though some people might have ulterior motives of eating these single meal dishes...). The noodles was the good quality kind - slightly translucent and tangy. Best of all, Rolling Wok is Halal, and the char siew is chicken char siew, which is healthier too. Chicken Broth with Bamboo ($5.90)
It's not very spectacular either. I don't think I'll have this again. It has crab meat, a bit of bamboo and some white fungus (or was it black?) inside.Rice costs $0.80 and there is no service charge (but there's 7% GST). I suppose it's name is Rolling Wok cos their waiter wears roller blades... Ice water is free of charge and self service.

Its 3.5 stars cos it's really CHEAP, and I think that the tofu and three cup chicken warrents another visit, but it's not the kind of place that you'll go out of your way to try. I suppose that even though Singapore has alot of good food, there isn't really a specific restaurant that I can recommend to people for fantastic food.
If only they could make more restaurants/cafes nearer Science - we're eating really horrible food over here.
Rolling Wok Pte Ltd
29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
#06-21 (it's on the ground floor so i dunno why it's 06...)
Singapore 119620
Tel 68748748

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge

Oh no this is one of my super duper outdated posts hiding in the recesses of my food picture folder. But I believe that it's always better late than never! Avoid this place like plague if you hate hearing tai tais twittering everywhere!:P Its actually a favourite haunt for all those well coiffed women and actually, the few times I was there, the male population in the restaurant didn't exceed 3 even if it was crowded.. Mushroom Soup - not mine, but I just thought that it looks pretty good. Very creamy, to the point of being too heavy. This is the Royal Copenhagen Smoked Salmon Sandwich. The menu says that they smoke the salmon themselves. This sandwich costs a whopping $16, but in my opinion, it's worth every cent cos its really very delicious. The smoked salmon is smooth and chewy, not like the soggy, thready kind that's threatening to break into pieces along the fat lines. Best of all, it's not too salty and tastes delicious with the warm crispy toast.
I decided to go for the set dinner ($22 something) because it came with an appetiser, main and dessert, as well as coffee/tea. I was thinking that my dinner set would be much more worth it than ordering a measly sandwich for $16.90 +++. But I very sad to say that I was proven wrong.
The prawns were completely not fresh - the shells were sticky and it was a pain to finish this dish. The mango salsa was interesting and tangy, but no amount of can save the yucky sticky shell prawns. This was my seabass, which was pretty overcooked and very hard. I was seriously regretting ordering the set cos it was really very hard to finish eating it. Plus, it was over salted and generally the whole thing tasted very disgusting.
Cake of the day, which was sour cherry cake. I wanted to change it to the green tea cake (somehow even though most people think it's v dry, I really like it, plus I was really craving a green tea dessert that day) but I changed my mind when I was told that I would have to top up 2 bucks. Being stingy after a highly unsatisfacatory meal, I obviously declined.
I've eaten this on a previous occasion - the cake is the rough/grainy kind a bit like the semolina cakes that you find in the more traditional bakeries. I quite like it though, cos it's pretty buttery, not too sweet and has tangy bits of sour cherries inside. The ice cream went very well with the cake, as the cake is slightly dry.

I'm glad to see that they dressed the cake up a bit compared to the previous time I ordered the set meal- it now comes with cherry sauce on the side.

I think that Royal Copenhagen is a great place to to rest my tired legs especially after all that
But then again, I won't recommend everyone to come here - most people will say it's too expensive for mediocre food - something that I can't refute. But then again, when I'm feeling too tired to think of a nice place to go to in town (especially if it's already 9pm) I tend to gravitate here.

But the next time, I'll definitely stick with the opened faced sandwiches or the salmon toast - no more sucky seabass for me!

The water here is another thing worth mentioning, as it is flavoured with strawberries. They cut up quite a few strawberries and place them into a large jug, so that there is a subtle hint of strawberry in the water.

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge
391A Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shoping Cenre level 2
Tel 67356833

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bon Gout - Japanese Restaurant

Bon Gout is yet another hidden gem, serving great Japanese food at affordable prices. It's located next to Epicurious. Magurozuke Don ($14nett)
It came prettily presented, garnished with crispy Japanese cucumbers and ginger and a side of pickles. Maguro Zuke means marinated raw tuna (according to what I have read on the internet, it's marinated with soy sauce).
The salad was simple with sliced capsicums, onions and cucumber, topped with a dollop of tangy dressing.
For $14 nett, there are 6 huge thick and lovely chunks of tuna. Though this wasn't toro, it was still extremely satisfying and it's probably the largest chunks of tuna I've ever seen from a restaurant in Singapore.
Ramen Set ($9, $7 for ramen alone)
They were having a ramen promotion when I went - $3 off any ramen dish/set. I went for the Tonkatsu Ramen, which was recommended by the waitress. Though it will not be rivaling Tampopo's one anytime, or near Santouka's, for half the price it's worth it, though I would like to try other dishes next time. The ramen broth (which is what I use when I compare ramen) was pretty normal, nothing to rave about, but for $7 I will definitely not complain.
Onigiri (Rice balls) which were carbo overkill after the ramen.
Tofu Salad ($7)
Chilled Tofu with a tangy dressing (which I can't figure out what it is but it has a bit of sesame in it) I really liked the little crispy silver fish which were used to garnish the salad. There's also some Japanese seaweed (at the bottom right in the picture) which gives the dish a delicious texture. Best of all, it's topped with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. It's a very refreshing dish with an interesting variety of textures.
Nasu Chicken ($12)
Chicken and Eggplant with Miso Sauce, which was highly recommended in another blog review (according to my friend). Thought $12 is pretty pricey for the portion, I thought that the dish was brilliant.
The chicken was tender, juicy and done just right, the peppers, leeks and eggplants cooked to perfection and evenly coated with the delicious miso sauce. Best of all, the eggplants (which I find are harder to cook) were cooked enough so they weren't still spongy, but yet not till it was soggy and the seed portion mushy and dropping out.
I really like the riot of colours in this dish - makes it feel very summer-ish (though Singapore has only one season, it's nice to feel summer-ish sometimes).
I really enjoyed my dining experience - we went there for lunch on Sunday, and the place was pretty crowded, though the interior was far from noisy. Most of the Japanese families were reading books borrowed from the restaurant. The place is brightly lit (great for taking photos) and cheerful, with helpful knowledgable staff. The mood is casual and relaxed, perfect for lazing the weekend away.
The al fresco area overlooks Singapore River, and on a balmy Sunday afternoon, is a perfect place to relax. It's very windy, peaceful and if only I could read Japanese, I'll camp here all afternoon reading their endless volumes of manga.
Best of all, there is no service charge or GST! It is indeed affordable, delicious and value for money. I will definitely return (hopefully very soon) to try out their curry sets :)Bon Gout
60 Robertson Quay #01-01 The Quayside
Singapore 238252
(Turn in from Nanson Road)
Bus No. 51, 64, 123, 186
Tel 67325234

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mango Nectarines

"Sweet, sweet, sweet, the Mango Nectarine is a unique treat. Bright canary yellow in colour and sweet to the taste. With just a hint of tropical mango flavour. "

When I saw this at Cold Storage last week, I knew I definitely had to try cos I love mangoes and nectarines. I was there debating if I should spend my $10+ (yes it's frigging 10 plus for 4 only!) on them but I decided to treat myself since it's before my exam!Unfortunately, I've just read up online, and the Mango Nectarine has no relation to mango! I was thinking along the lines of a plumcot (plum crossed with apricots) when I bought this - actually, thinking about it, I suppose it'll be insanely hard to cross a mango with a nectarine... Of course, the taste was fantastic! Insanely juicy (think juices running all over your hand) and slightly fibrous and extremely tasty - there's a slight tart taste when you first eat it and then later the sweet juices will flow out. It tastes more like a nectarine - actually, I can hardly taste any mango but it's a really fanatstic nectarine.

Apparently the season for Mango Nectarines is extremely short, and the season is predicted to end on early August. So hurry down to get your Mango Nectarines today!

Haiz! I don't know why all the doughnut peaches are so expensive! It's like$2.50 per piece from Cold Storage. They're my favouritest fruit ever! Alongside Japanese Grapes and Japanese Strawberries, I also like nectarines and peaches. Ahh I really should go for a holiday to some temperate country during summer and gourge myself on peaches nectarines plums cherries strawberries mangoes apricots etc etc etc...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

BBQ Chicken (Cineleisure)

The whole 100% Olive Oil deep fried chicken thing sounds really gimmicky to me. Olive oil has a really low smoke point, I've tried using it to stir fry my pasta sauce, and it started smoking alot! But than again, maybe it's another kind? Ok I don't particularly like cooking so I shant comment anymore.
The chicken has exceeded my (low) expectations, and I would even say that it's pretty good! It's the kind that's just cooked, extremely tender, juicy and bursting with oil. Best of all, there's ginseng flavoured powder sprinkled over the chicken to give it a unique Korean taste.

We tried the Ginseng Flavoured chicken The set lunch is $15 after extra charges, for 2 pieces of good sized chicken, fries and coleslaw, and it came with corn soup, a free drink and a scoop of ice cream.

It's pretty cheap if you think in terms of it being a restaurant which serves you at your table, but it's ex if you're comparing to KFC and Popeyes and other fast food chains. In terms of taste, the ginseng powder could be more generous - the ginseng powder is pretty sparse, and while eating the chicken, I'll sometimes hit a spot with lots of powder, and at others, there's no ginseng taste at all.

The coleslaw beats KFC's hands down cos it's so much fresher, doesn't have that weird stale cabbage smell and has huger cabbage pieces instead of cabbage bits.

The fries are nothing to rave about.
I'm very sure that if BBQ Chicken was out when I was in secondary school, I'll have a huge atherosclerotic plaque stuck in my arteries...

Early in the morning (at about 11am, which is pretty early for anything inside Cineleisure), while the screens outside the Cathay Ticketbooths are showin *gasp* Hi Five (seriously, they were showing Hi-5!!! And not the usual movie trailers!) BBQ cuicken is playing disturbing videos of Korean boybands on their projector... Lucky they're not blasting the music so the place is rather peaceful.

BBQ Chicken
8 Grange Road
Cathay Cineleisure Orchard

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Asian Kitchen - Vivocity

I always thought that Asian Kitchen in Vivocity was a branch of the similar looking restaurant in Raffles City, till I checked my old post - it's completely different actually, just that the restaurant interior is really very similar, with lots of wood and reds and the menu is also very red. But what a relief that it isn't, since the food here was way below my expectations.
Prawn Wanton Noodle Soup ($6.70)
Juicy wanton with thin skin (I hate the thick skinned kind) with a tasty prawn broth and noodles. Pretty ok for $6.70 but not extremely memorable.
Moonlight Horfun ($10.70)
This has lots and lots of noodles, but very little ingredients. Plus, it was very oil. The Teahouse one at Raffles City beats this hands down. They have similar names too! No wonder why I got confused. I was pretty shocked (after eating my meal) cos the food standards were totally different. It's called Moonlight Horfun because the egg is uncooked and you can stir it in yourself. If you're scared of salmonella, you can always request the chef to fry you egg into the noodles.
Chef Foo Eggplant ($7.70)
According to the menu, it's their chef's magical concoction of sauces. To me it's just a super salty soya sauce based gravy, drenching a pitiful amount of egg plant. It's daylight robbery eating this dish - it's even more expensive than the prawn wanton soup! And it's just eggplant... Don't eat this if you have hypertension - not only will the over salted egg plant increase your blood pressure, the feeling after you eat it might make your blood pressure rise too!

Guo Tie ($5.90 for 6)
The Guo Tie was crispy and juicy, pretty good but then again, guo tie isn't my most favourite dish.
Banana, Sago and Coconut Milk Dessert ($3.80)
Skip this - it's extremely sweet and thick coconut milk (more like coconut cream) with a small amount of sago and 5 small, thin slices of banana. It's totally not worth the $3.80 (before service charge somemore).

The only redeeming factor for the restaurant is that the service is pretty good - efficient and the waitreses are quick and attentive, and they fill up your water real quick even though business was brisk.
The interior really looks like Teahouse in Raffles City! Kena conned thought it was the same restaurant:(
The Asian Kitchen
1 Harbour Front Walk
#B2-29 Vivo City
Singapore 098585
Tel 63769623

Thursday, July 17, 2008


We actually wanted to try Brown Sugar (cos of the consistently good reviews, and on Julie's recommendation) but then unfortunately, it was fully booked the day before. So next in line was Epicurious. Fortunately, or I'd wouldn't have the opportunity to try affordable and good food.

It's a pretty hard to find (for 1st timers) location, but it's wedged between 2 japanese restaurants, along the river, and quite near to butter factory. Soup of the day - Mushroom Soup $5. Though the soup wasn't the memorable kind, the best part of it was the cheesy garlic bread. The delicious freshly baked bubbly cheese smell made everyone salivate. The mushroom soup itself was pretty creamy, with lots of mushroom bits and onions, worth the $5 since it's a good sized portion.
Beef Carpaccio with Truffle Oil, Rocket and Shaved Parmesan, whcih was an affordable $12.50.Vietnamese Bolognaise ($16), spaghetti with minced chicken, chillies and lemongrass. It's a pretty refreshing change for normal spaghetti, the lemongrass, chillies and fish sauce (? not sure if it's fish sauce since fish sauce is thai?) went really well with shaved parmesan. At $16, it's a good sized portion with lots of minced chicken. The famed Epicurious Beef Burger ($18) whcih comes with a special house made beef patty, sauteed onions, mushrooms and fries. It was an unanimous agreement (amongst the 4 people who ate it) that it was very delicious and completely worth the price. You can also top up the burger with cheese, bacon or egg for $2 each or $4 for all 3. It's highly recommended that you top up your burger with cheese. French Country-style beef stew ($18) was the next hot favourite - tender cubes of beef simmered with herbs, vegetables in a robust red wine sauce.
This is the grilled king salmon fillet ($20) which comes with a choice of side (sauteed potatoes, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, french fries, garlic bread, creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, grilled vegetables, ratatouille or garden salad) Out of these mind-boggling choices, we ended up with the ratatouilee (since nearly everyone watched the show and wanted to try it) but it was not really to our liking cos it was pretty soggy. The salmon didn't dissappoint - it was juicy and tender, and completely not dry ( I hate having dry salmon fillets).
Apple Crumble, topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's a steal at $7, and the portion will put other dessert stores to shame. Though the crumble layer is pretty thin, the whole bowl is full of delicious chopped green apples, for a refreshing finish to the meal.
Chocolate mousse ($7)

This is intensely chocolatey, and has a slightly powdery/grainy texture. It's very delicious - and it's like eating a whole bar of delicious cold chocolate, but minus the sore throat after that, since it doesn't leave that sticky, gross sensation you get after eating too much chocolate bars.

I will definitely return for more chocolate mousse - I suppose I can use this as my dessert substitute for the Chocolate Factory.

Epicurious is a good place if you're looking for above average food with decent and affordable prices. It proves that good food doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. The restaurant has a relaxed environment and the service is good - the staff are knowledgable and willing to help you if you can't decide what to eat. If you want to sit in the aircon area (the kitchen is an open concept so do note that you'll have a food smell after eating inside) the seats are pretty limited. The al fresco area is much bigger. They serve water too. Last orders are 93opm, and they will try to close the restaurant by 10pm.

After Epicurious, I've decided to try cheaper places which has good and affordable food. There's so many new restaurants and cafes around to try, AND julie has such a long list of new things to eat I doubt I'll be able to try even half of those on her list.

#01-02 The Quayside,
60 Robertson Quay
Singapore 238252
t 65 67347720
Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Friday 11.30am - 2.30pm , 5.30pm - 9.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 9.00am - 9.30pm