Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sapporo Ramen Miharu

Yay I got to try my Miharu Ramen at Gallery Hotel after Miharu-ing at everyone so long (and no one wanted to go and eat it with me, cos somehow there always seemed to be a better place to go). Mondays are really nice cos it's so relaxing (slack!), which is great since if I had a heavy Monday, I'll get major monday blues!I had the Tonkatsu Tonshio ($12.50++, or $15 nett, with free topping of corn). Again, for those people who wonder what for pay so much for ONE miserable piece of pork, it's the soup base your paying for (and all that boiling and gas/electricity fees). The waitress recommended either the Tonkusen Miso ($13++) or the Miso Tsukemen ($12.50++) which is cold noodles with hot soup.

They have fish-based shoyu stock for the Wabusi Shoyu which sounds pretty interesting. Perhaps I'll come back and give it a try. The cold ramen sounds pretty good too! I'm currently craving Noodle House Ken's Cold Ramen. Can't wait to go back there!

The soup broth is pretty oily, and I actually took the Tonkatsu Tonshio cos the waitress said it's the least salty one. It's pretty salty still, but the miso one (pictured in background) is even saltier. The soup is very rich and creamy, and theres lots of oil globules floating around on the surface.
From the menu: Miharu "takes pride in serving you our specially imported Sapporo Nishiyama Noodles", which is supposed to be the most preferred and famout breand of noodles in Japan."

The texture of the noodles is pretty good - it's cooked just right with enough bite and chewiness, but what I didn't like about it was the waxy aftertaste. It's like eating those yellow prawn noodles (or whatever you call that thick fat artificially bright yellow noodle, I think the Chinese word is 'mee' cos when people order prawn mee they will say "guo tiao mee" and you'll get kway teow plus that waxy noodle?).

The charsiew piece is pretty thick and big, and not very fatty, which is good since I don't like the fatty parts. The stewed egg is overdone, and doesn't have the nice soft center.

We were there about 15 min before noon, and they flatly refused to let us in to sit (even though the aircon was on!! Not even going to order food what! and it was so darn hot ouside. The waitresses all just sat around chitchatting until after 12, when the grudgingly let us in. But I didn't complain - wait they spit into my food :O

Anyway, the waitress was pretty efficient with topping up water (cos there was such a high proportion of waitresses to diners) and getting our bill.

I'm pretty pleased with myself cos we went to take this free O+ magazine from the counter in the restaurant, and the last page had a voucher for additional free topping. So we managed to get free toppings (corn, stewed egg or leek) for our ramen :)Pesonally, I prefer Santouka and Noodle House Ken ramen, but this one comes pretty close. I pretty much like Maturama for their special 7 nuts soup, but I don't like Menya Sinchuan's soup though. I can't wait to try the new one at Hollad V since it's so near my house, it's def worth checking out. According to some reviews I've read, it's something like Santouka. Great that it's at Holland V, since Santouka's far and in CBD.

Sapporo Ramen Miharu
1 Nanson Road GF The Gallery Hotel
Tel: 6733 8464
Closed on Wednesdays

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cellar Door Lunch

I've been wanting to try Cellar Door for pretty long, and finally got down to it one rainy afternoon. (Though, again, this is very outdated - happened before I went on holiday.) Cellar Door is located at the row of shops right after Coronation Plaza. It's a small restaurant serving New Zealand/Australian cuisine. I'm not a great fan of NZ/Aust cuisine, and I think the only other such restaurant I've tried was BROTH.
It was pretty empty when I went, with only 2 other tables occupied. The restaurant is brightly lit, and pretty cosy, and it's great if you want a quiet lunch. The set lunch comes with 3 dishes, and we had 2 lunch sets. Tomato with Bread Soup. I was pretty excited to try this dish cos I was told that the bread comes inside the soup. It's just soggy pieces of bread swimming inside the tomato soup. The tomato soup itself tastes pretty good, not too salty and it has the sweetish sour taste of tomatoes, and it's pretty chunky. They also put in a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
The other starter we tried was some pasta thing stuffed with ricotta cheese, served with baby spinach and mushrooms. I really didn't like this dish because the pasta thing was super watery, and it made the cream sauce too wet and watery. Other than that, I thought that the mushrooms and spinach went pretty well with the ricotta cheese.
Braised Lamb, which was recommended by the waiter. It's a pretty small portion though, just a few pieces of lamb. The lamb was extremely soft and flavourful. I can't remember what the mashed potatoes taste like, but it can't be that good since I can't remember.
My New Zealand Mussel Spaghetti, with some special cheese (pecorino? not too sure I didn't copy down the menu). The noodles were al dente, just the way I like it. The tomato sauce is the dry-ish kind, and is slightly tangy. It's pretty chunky, and I could see some celery and onion pieces inside, which gave the pasta more bite. The mussels were unremarkable, not too tough but not extremely soft either.
Pana Cotta - this was served wobbling delightfully to our table. I always shake the plate before eating, cos it gives me an idea of how soft the panna cotta is. This one is pretty soft - it wobbles a few times even after you stop shaking the plate. It's served with lots of berry sauce, and its very creamy and delicious.
Fruit Cake (or some fanciful name, but it's actually just raisin cake, no other fruits apart from the raisins, they should just call it raisin cake). On the menu, it states "served with Kapiti ice cream". When I pointed out the "Kapiti ice cream" phrase in the lunch menu, and asked the waiter what it was,(since there isn't any explaination on the menu), he said it was a brand of ice cream. So I asked what flavour it was, and he said chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. When I asked for chocolate, he said the set lunch is only served with vanilla. Seriously, just tell me it's a brand of vanilla ice cream. Why go through such a covoluted useless explaination if there's only vanilla. Cheat my feelings (just like small cars who make carpark lots look unoccupied).
Anyway, the fruit (raisin) cake sucks just tastes like normal fruit cake minus all the other fruits. The ice cream was pretty good - I shall try to hunt down where it's sold and get myself a tub :)
The service here is actually quite annoying. Apart from the Ice Cream issue, They tried to con us into getting tea/coffee, which I remembered wasn't stated in the lunch set. Lucky I asked if it was complimentary - saved myself some money (I know it's a fraction of the cost of my lunch, but no way am I going to pay a few dollars for something I can make easily at home, since I drink my tea plain after lunch).
It's not really value for money, probably cos it's located along Bukit Timah Road (which, to me, is pretty synnonomous with not very value for money), and the lunch set doesn't come with bread or tea. Thankfully, they serve ice water, or I'd have given them 2.5 stars. Anyway, I don't think I'll come back here even though it's pretty nearby. I've found a better, cheaper restaurant which I will blog about later.
The Cellar Door
611 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269712 (Right after Coronation Plaza)
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12-10pm, Sat-Sun/PH: 10am-10pm
Tel: 64635296

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Banana Butterscotch Cheescake from Coffee Club

Odri's (audrey's) recommendation of the banana butterscotch cheesecake (BBC) from The Coffee Club has been a hit with everyone I've introduced it to. Although I don't like the taste of banana, I somehow find the taste of this banana cheesecake very agreeable, especially with the thick gooey butterscotch sauce. I think it's cos it tastes of banana more than it smells of banana (I don't like the banana smell).

The cake part is very dense, cos there's lots of banana inside, and it's not insanely creamy and filling like the normal American/New York cheesecake. The icing layer is pretty thick (not as thick as cedele's though!). One gripe I have about the cake is that the graham cookie base is very oily and soggy. Other than that, the cake is perfect - but I think it'll do even better with a scoop of ice cream :)

Actually, I'm quite scared now that everyone will eat the BBC, and there'll be none left when I have my BBC craving! I think it's $6 per slice, and around $7.50 after taxes (including the banana and butterscotch).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shimbashi Soba - Salmon Soba

I went to Shimbashi Soba last Sunday, at around 1.30pm and it was so crowded that I had to que for about 10 mins before I managed to get a seat. They're really doing a roaring business. Looks like Singaporeans are still spending on food despite the recession. Salmon Yukke ($9.90++)
I don't know why the salmon sashimi here is so ex, but it sure tastes really nice! For this little mound of tiny salmon pieces (not even proper sashimi cuts) it's already $9.90++. It comes with a slightly spicy (not so spicy till I can't eat) sauce, spring onions and a quail egg (which is already cracked, unlike Akashi's Cha Soba set, where I have to get my fingers dirty when I crack the egg).
I can't remember what this is but there's salmon sashimi, tofu, mushrooms and cold soba. It's $17.90++, pretty pricey, but then I was quite hungry that day and I was craving for some cold soba. There's also a half boiled egg under the seaweed. Soba is supposed to be very healthy, lowers choleaterol blablabla but I'm eating it cos it tastes good :) I personally think the cold soba tastes better than the hot one, but the hot one comes with those crispy tempura batter (the batter which drops off when they cook the tempura, then they scoop it up and put into your noodles) so it's good if you like crunchy stuff.
As you can tell, I come here very often, especially for the $6 teatime desserts, but I try to avoid the place if it's right in the middle of dinner time cos I hate queueing more than I like soba. I think it's best to come here at odd hours, since they are open through the afternoon (dunno about morning tho, I don't wake up so early) and I usually come here for late dinner (after 8pm). The place is so small and you'll have a whole row of hungry people glaring at you from the que right outside, especially if you're unlucky and they put you at the 'outside' table.
Shimbashi Soba
290 Orchard Road
#B1-41 The Paragon
Tel: 6735 9882
(I didn't know that Paragon was called The Paragon - I got the address from hungrygowhere!)
Ah I have to slp early but my sleep cycle is screwed! I was just entertaining myself and watching xiaxue's guide to life omg you know chewing gum and eating lots of peanuts will make ur face look big! So funny right! you'll get big masseters! Like crocodiles. Last time I was watching this show on Animal Planet, called Under the Crocodile Skin (or something like tt) and they deskinned the crocodile, and they have humongous masseters! I suppose if you want a small face you should just eat porridge beancurd and pureed stuff all day so you'll get muscular atrophy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Zanotti - Bangkok

I went to Bangkok from Tues to Friday last week, and managed to have dinner at Zanotti right after I landed. Fortunately, the restaurant wasn't booked full, or I'd have missed an incredible meal. I got the recommendation from ice (Thank you!:D), who said that I definitely have to eat at Zanotti, but I wasn't able to confirm my schedule so I didn't make an advanced booking till the night itself.
Zanotti is an Italian fine dining restaurant, though it was very crowded when I went, and the tables are pretty close to each other, and it was incredibly noisy for a fine dining restaurant.

I have very crappy photos, because I was seated in a dark corner and the waiter serving me told me that they didn't allow food photos. What rubbish since there's so many photos online! D:< href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Dc1kiutFYL4/ScUe0Qy5TsI/AAAAAAAAHfE/Cs64eHI7TaA/s1600-h/IMG_2885e.jpg"> Bread - lots of different varieties, served warm.
Amuse Bouche - Tomato bruschetta with cream cheese. The cream cheese was whipped till it had the texture of whipped cream.
Between the two of us, we ordered one dinner set (which consisted of appetisers, 2 choices of pasta, one main meat/fish dish - either fish, chicken, lamb or beef) and desserts) and added on another main. Our waiter was kind enough to tell us that the dinner set was so filling, and that we should at most top it up with another main dish. He was right about filling - we ordered just that and were incredibly stuffed at the end of the meal.
Appetiser - it was a platter of 8 different appetisers, but then our waiter didn't explain the dishes to us, so we just happily ate it. Anyway, I was trying to be inconspicuous so that I could take more photos. From top left, clockwise:
Seared scallops - which were very fresh and sweet.
Portebello Mushroom
Foie Gras - very yummy! Slightly crispy on the outside, and oozingly soft on the inside.
2 types of salad with different cheese, I have no idea what.
Parma Ham and Melon
Some creamy cheese with grilled capsicum.
My blurry photo of the 2 pastas I tried - the one on top is Lobster pasta, which had tomatoes and white wine sauce (I think). There were lots of lobster pieces, and the lobster was fresh and juicy.
The green pasta below is spinach pasta with walnut sauce and parma ham. The sauce was rather creamy and cheesy, and I thought it was pretty intresting to incooperate walnut into the sauce.
The pasta was very fresh, and was cooked al dente. It's probably the best pasta I've ever eaten. I was peering through the menu, the lobster pasta is only450 baht, which is around SGD $20!! Super cheap lor! omg I wanted to return for lunch but my mum didn't want to :( The walnut pasta costs 470 baht.
The main we chose for the set was Roasted Lamb chop and lamb loin. The lamb was done pink, and was super tender and didn't have the lamb smell (good for people who don't like lamb smell, but I do). The mashed potatoes were extremely smooth and buttery.
The other main which we ordered - Salt Baked local fish (which was seabass, I think). The presentation was very impressive, and the salt layer even had Zanotti's emblem of the bull painted in orange. The waiter then cracked open the salt layer, deskinned and deboned the fish and placed it onto the serving plate. After that, he drizzled an emulsion of herbs and olive oil, and I think a bit of balsamic vinegar over the fish.
The fish was so fresh and delicious, and I think it was definitely better than the lamb. The waiter recommended this dish to us -and we didn't regret ordering it. In fact, I liked this better than my lamb. Which is pretty rare since I really liked the lamb.
If I'm not wrong, it costs 390 baht, which works out to be less than SGD$20. And for this kind of fresheness and presentation, it's extremely worth it.
By this time, I was rather full (actually, I was full after eating the pasta, since I ate too much of that soft freshly baked bread!). So when they served us the chiacchiere (the curly thing) and mini cream puffs I decided to eat the cream puffs (even though I don't usually eat whipped cream, this one was really nice and worth the fats). The chiacchiere tasted pretty oily to me, and I didn't finish it.
Dessert Platter - from top left, clockwise:
Parfait with some special nuts, I didn't take it down, but I didn't think it was tt nice, maybe because I don't like parfaits.
Tiramisu - somehow, I can't remember much about this, probably because I was too preoccupied with the wild strawberries.
Chocolate Profiteroles - the chocolate sauce was so thick and lucious, and the profiterole was filled with lots and lots of whipped cream.
Wild strawberry with whipped cream and ice cream. This was the dessert which I enjoyed the most, because it's my first time seeing wild strawberries. They're very tiny, about the size of my last fingernail, and have lots of seeds in proportion to the surface area. Also, it's not bright red, like the GMO strawberries in the supermarkets.
I ended my meal with peppermint tea - tea/coffee is served with the dinner set.
Altogether, we paid SGD $150 for 2 people. I think it's really worth it cos you can't get a dining experience like this in Sgp for $75 nett for 2 people. Plus, even if you're on a budget, you can always just order ala carte - the pastas here are so affordable.
I'll definitely visit Zanotti again if I go to Bangkok. This time, I'll make sure I place a booking well in advance :) For people planning to go to Bangkok, do try to take some time off from freinzied shopping to visit Zanotti.
The Zanotti website is here, and you can make online reservations.
21/2 1st Floor, Saladaeng Colonnade Condominium, Silom Rd.
Silom Bangrak 10500
Tel: +66 2 636-0002
(It's pretty near Suan Lum Night Market by cab, so you can go and walk off dinner)
More reviews from other local bloggers who have blogged about Zanotti

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dinner with Murakami

omg I never realized that my fave author had a documentary/show! And it's on food somemore! I was looking at T__T's blog and I saw the trailer. I've read majority of his English books (besides the latest What I talk about when I talk about running because I'm too cheapskate to buy the hardcover version for $32++ at kino, and I'm waiting eagerly for the softcover edition to come out).

it's the opening film for this year's film fest but it's already sold out :( Oh well, hope I can watch it somewhere. I doubt that video ez carries that show :O

Gloria Jean's and Odri

We were at cine quite a while ago and went to Gloria Jeans' for their $3 ice blended drinks. The Malay guy at the counter spelt Audrey as ODRI. So hilarious!!

I can't remember what movie I was catching, just that it was pretty long ago. I have an incredibly long list of movies I want to watch, including The Reader, Watchmen, Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button (shouldn't have read the book first, now I don't feel like sitting thru 3 hrs of the movie!)
To this date, I've tried the strawberry smoothie, chocolate and strawberry, and chocolate shake. I like the chocolate shake followed by the strawberry smoothie. The $3 offer is really worth it! It's usually around $6. So pop by cine to get your $3 drink. And if you're feeling wu liao you can pretend that you're name is Audrey and see if they spell it as ODRI again. lol!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Space @ My Humble House

Yikes I haven't been updating my blog dilligently even after my exam. I was thinking I'll be free-er after (I suppose I am free-er, but I seem to be wasting lots of time! especially since I nap so much now), but I guess not. So, before I dissappear for 4 days, I shall update more :)

Space @ My Humble House is the poorer sister of Humble House, and it's where I usually go if I have stuff to do/see at the esplanade. Since I'm such a boring person, I've eaten the Lamb bak kut teh over 5 times cos I like it lots and Im very boring and unwilling to try new stuff once I've found something that I like.
Lamb Bak Kut Teh, (the only bak kut teh Julie can eat :P) which is $14++ for 2 pieces of lamb chop, 2 mushrooms, dao kee (beancurd skin), rice and oyster sauce vegetables. (I was just cheking my old post on this, and I've realized how lousy my phrasing was last time, not that it's improved that much now but I think it's slightly better).

For the longest time (till the time I entered 3rd year), I never knew that bak kut teh was eaten with you tiao and black sauce&chilli. But it's probably cos I don't like the porky taste from the pork ribs (which is probably the porkiest tasting cut from the pig) so I never ordered it. Btw, do you know that pigs have knees! The thought that pigs had KNEES never occured to me till Friday.
Onto the description of the soup - it's the dark brown herb kind, and tastes very sweet. The lamb chops are pink and juicy and succulent. I usually just pick it up with my fingers since my chopstick skills are not very good. The rice here is very soft (not soggy) and fluffy and it's topped with the very aromatic fried garlic.
My new favourite dish at Space@ My Humble House, which is the $12++ laksa. Before you start rolling your eyes and saying how can people pay $12++ for LAKSA, it's cos it comes with scallop and oyster. Super atas laksa. Actually, the high point of me eating laksa comes from the juicy dirrrrty cockles so I was pretty skeptical about the $12++ laksa, which is ang-moh-fied.

Well, it is westernized laksa, cos it's completely not spicy (which is fantastic for me since I can't take chilli :P) I bet they put tonns of coconut milk inside, cos it's the creamiest laksa that I've eaten and the best part of this is the one oyster, two slices of fish, two (de-shelled) prawns and 2 pieces of scallop. The oyster, fish and prawns are battered and deep fried, and although my seafood was soaking in the laksa gravy for quite long, they were still slightly crispy. The seafood was very fresh - and the prawn wasn't the bicarbonated prawn so it was genuinely fresh and firm and tasty.

Of course, it doesn't really taste like the normal laksa that we get in the hawker centers, cos there's no dried prawn. Or fishcake or haam, beansprouts or laksa leaf for that matter. I drank half the gravy (since it was not spicy) and now I'm pretty scared of the many fatty streaks forming on my aorta.
I was so bowled over by the laksa, that after my show (which was so incredibly long, but very good - but I was so tired of sitting down), I went to eat laksa for supper. So now I have twice the number of fatty streaks accumulating on my arteries. I must make a mental note not to wear light coloured stuff the next time, so I won't have to worry about splatters.
Mama Leong's Chicken Rice, $14++ for half a chicken.

The chicken, like all chicken rice chicken, is really very delicious, though you can probably get chicken which tastes just as good at Boon Tong Kee (or whichever chicken rice place is the reigning champion in the Makansutra guide). Come to think of it, I hardly eat chicken rice, maybe except for the Alexander Village one when I'm nearby. Do bring mints if you want to eat the chicken cos the chilli sauce is extremely garlicky.
Wagyu Beef Hor Fun ($22++), the very extravagant and very expensive twist on beef hor fun. which I didn't eat but according to my brother, it's not very good and he was having trouble finishing up his portion (partly because we were greedy and we ordered 3 carbo heavy dishes between the both of us).
Seafood Consomme, which is the atas name for seafood soup with rice. Obviously I wasn't very impressed (my mum ate this quite long ago, just that I didnt blog about it) but it has crab meat inside so it has a nice seafood taste.
My favourite dessert - Pumpkin Creme Brulee with Mango Sorbet ($10++). Truthfully, I can't really taste the pumpkin in the creme brulee, but the creme brulee has an extremely soft creamy texture, and I think it's more orangey because of the pumpkin. The mango sorbet is refreshingly sweet, and goes well with the blackcurrent sauce.
Crispy caramelized sugar, chilled diced mango and lucious cold creme brulee. Yums! I love going to the esplanade cos there's so much nice stuff to eat :D

Space@ my Humble House is my default place to go if I'm going to esplanade to watch a show. Sure beats the super long que and average food at Ichiban Boshi. But then again, if you're a hawker center purist, don't come here - you'll feel that you're getting ripped off for chicken rice and other hawker center staples. But then again, you don't want to watch a show and be reeking of tze-char smell cos you've just eaten at Glutton's Bay right? (And Thai Express, for that matter - I ate there before a show and I could smell fried food in my clothes the whole night). Maybe I will go to 7atenine for dinner someday :) (but not while lunch unlimited is still on :P)

Space @ My Humble House 寒舍一隔
8 Raffles Avenue
#02-25 Esplanade Mall
Tel: 6423 1881

Haiz, Comex just ended and I want to buy a new ipod nano but then my old one is still alive and kicking but just that the battery is lousy and doesn't last for more than 1 hour. Oh wells, comex is just over so I guess I'll have to wait for the next one to come. I'm going to get the mustard yellow one. Unless they have the red AIDS one again. (So that it can match my hp).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ajisen Ramen - Suprisingly Edible

Omg Ajisen ramen actually tastes not bad! Perhaps it's a case of super low expectations, or maybe they just improved their ramen recipe, but I'm incredibly suprised that I think the ramen from Ajisen is average and not that lousy! I have been avoiding Ajisen like plague cos when it first opened (quite long ago) I went to the Westmall branch (dunno if it's still there now) with my friend and we both decided that the food sucked.
Apart from their miserable stewed egg (which is hard and overcooked), the noodles are not too bad (not soggy) and they give quite alot of other ingredients.

The stock I had was the default stock (not the miso one) and it had the fragrant smell of fried garlic (can see all the brown bits floating on top). Maybe the fried garlic makes it nicer?

Some deep fried small fish - skip this too the sauce is so weird - lemony and sweetish and very salty.
Their Caesar salad ($8.80) is super lousy prob the worst salad I've tasted in a long time. Other than the real bacon bits which are incredibly fatty, there is nothing good abt the salad. If you want to eat salad, go to Frensh, which is just a short walk away from Ajisen.
Anyway, how I ended up eating in Ajisen was because in the 'Japanese Town' they have Ajisen, Botejyu and Sapporo Curry. I wanted to eat the curry, but to my horror, I found out that they use a BEEF BASED curry stock. Imagine all the people who can't eat beef (especially for religious reasons!) who have been happily eating the curry here. They should seriously put a sign saying that the curry is beef based!
Ajisen's pretty extensive menu - I like the soft pork ramen, cos the pork is extremely soft and tasty, and all the tendons become jelly-like. But I haven't really tried anything else.

For affordable ramen with lots of ingredients, and for people who hate the more traditional ramen, this is definitely for you. I'm pretty sure that nearly everyone has eaten here already, I'm just blogging about this cos I am so suprised that it's actually edible.