Friday, April 29, 2011

Aoki Lunch

I'm supposed to minimise my consumption of food from Japan cos of all the radiation but even though the spirit is willing, the body is weak. So to treat myself for my last 'p plate call', I had my postcall lunch at Aoki, which is my favouritest Japanese place in Singapore. I must say that after 1 year of torturing myself on calls, I can now at least stay awake long enough to eat a nice lunch before concussing for the next 12-14 hours.

I shall return to Japan about 10-15 years from now, my logic being that it's the half life of caesium), so from now to then, I shall just have to satisfy my Japanese food craving with little portions of good quality Japanese food instead of large quantities of mediocre ones.
Hijiki seaweed - reminds me of the one that Wasabi Tei used to serve but it's less sweet and has a bit more meat.

Aoki's signature salad wich a nice tangy wafu dressing

Radiation +++ but it's so delicious! Especially the tuna belly (look at all the nice marbling) which literally melted in my mouth and glided down my throat. I actually wanted to eat my usual 'cheapo' Maze chirashi but it was sold out already. I really wanted to eat that nice egg castella thing and have the delicious uni (sea urchin) and salmon roe...

The rice has anago (sea eel) as well as this sweetened pickle. And some other pickles like the eggplant thing on the right side (which I don't like but it's supposed to be v popular in Japan).

Of course, the meal ended with Aoki's signature trio of desserts - the only fixed one so far has been the plum wine jelly (top right). There's also a milk custard with mango sauce but I think and a sakura flavoured ice cream.

Maybe I should come up with a list of my fave post call foods especially my 'nourishing soup' from Pu Tien which I rate as my number one most essential post call foods... Then again, it will be luxury during my next posting, so maybe not! At least I'm going to the place with the best food (though I have doubts that I have enough time to enjoy it).

1 Scotts Road

#02-17 Shaw Centre
Tel: +65 6333 8015

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lung King Hin - Four Seasons, Hong Kong

I visited Hong Kong at the end of March during my leave... Booking a lunch slot at Lung King Hin is no easy feat. My recommendation is that you book very early. As soon as you secure your flight dates, as this restaurant is immensely popular. It's a three star Michelin restaurant, and the main draw here for me is that they serve dim sum, which is my favourite type of Chinese food. Furthermore, the lunch set is affordable, unlike the western kind of Michelin star restaurant where a meal can come up to a few hundreds. The main draw for me is the dim sum, which is only served during lunch. During dinner, you'll get Cantonese dishes. The restaurant has a nice view of the harbour, and as expected of any posh restaurant, impeccable service.
Condiments - chilli, XO sauce and some black bean sauce.
Baked BBQ pork buns with Pine Nuts (Polo Pau with Char siew) (HKD$52++ for 3 pieces)- these little mini buns were nice and sweet, and as I'm a big fan of polo buns so I really enjoyed these. Though I thought that the onions were a bit too chunky and raw for my liking. I especially like the char siew polo buns from the Kee Wah bakery (which can be found next to Yung Kee and in the airport) which are really value for money (and plus the convenience) cos of the great surface area so you get more of the sweet polo crust.

Steamed Lobster and scallop dumpling (HKD $36 per piece)

All the dian xin skins (the translucent covering) were so thin and translucent, and the ingredients were very fresh. I shall just upload the pictures with minimal commentry cos the food here was really good.
Steamed fish dumpling with air-dried meat, conpoy and coriander (HDK$48++ for 3 pieces)

Steamed vegetable dumplings with bamboo piths (HKD $48++ for 3 pieces)

Steamed Shrimp dumplings and bamboo piths aka Siew Mai (HKD$48 ++ for 3 pieces)

Crispy Taro dumplings with Seafood and vegetables in XO chilli sauce (HKD $52++ for 3 pieces)

This was one of my faves. I really like to eat yam basket but it's messy and you need many many people to eat it with you or there'll be diminishing returns. This is like a bite sized yam basket, with extremely smooth yam, crispy coating and fresh seafood bits altogehter in one portion size helpings (though I could easily eat 3)
Another dim sum that I was yearning for since reading the numerous reviews online was the Baked Whole Abalone Puff with diced chicken (HKD $48 per piece). It didn't dissappoint. It's a braised whole baby abalone perched on top of a buttery pastry and the tart is filled with juicy tender morsels of chicken pieces. The abalone is even sliced diagonally into 2 for easier consumption. And the Xiao Long Pau which Ding Tai Fung single handedly propelled to popularity in Singapore. These were delicious and came on this wooden contraption, I suppose, for ease of dousing vinegar on...
They also had an executive set lunch menu which comes with 3 pieces of selected dim sum (which are some of the above but I'm not sure which). The set lunch costs HKD $450 per person though after trying both the dim sum and the set lunch, I would recommend the former without a doubt, though I am biased already since I really love dim sum and not Chinese food.

The soup of the day - can't remember what kind of soup but it's pork with something or another. The Cantonese can't do without their soups...
Pipa style BBQ duck with seafood sauce

For the life of me, I cannot appreciate roasted meats, so no comments on this.
Braised tofu with scallops and fresh mushrooms in abalone sauce

Another very Chinese style dish, which I thought was passable, the tofu was nice and smooth, scallops exquisitely fresh but it's the Chinese cooking which I cannot appreciate. Wok-fried chicken fillet with dried chillies and shallots

Steamed fried rice with conpoy wrapped in lotus leaf

This was closer to the 'dim sum' category so I really liked this. The lotus leaf made the rice really fragrant and the meat (char siew, dried scallop etc) were cut into very small pieces so the rice was very tasty and infused with the flavour from the meats. Chilled Mango and Sago Cream and Pomelo

This is one of the best Mango pomelo sago I have tried - the mango taste is really fresh and intense, and there'a even a layer of mango pudding right at the bottom. The sago balls are not the soggy kind but are very bonucy and QQ when you chew on them.
Petit Fours

The red bean and coconut agar jelly was pretty nice, but I was too full to appreciate the red bean pastry.

I also ordered 2 additional pastries to complete our meal

We had the baked cream custard puffs, which are leaf shaped and patterend. The pastry here is nice and buttery, though I thought that the custard was a bit too dry for my personal liking.
I really enjoyed the Crispy Carrot Puffs with Milk Custard. Not only do they really look like carrits, they're filled with milk custard. The pastry is the kind of pastry similar to those you get from the A1 curry puff stall, which, on a normal day. Their presentation is really interesting.

Lung King Hin

Four Seasons Hotel

8 Finance Street Central, Hong Kong

Tel. (852) 3196-8888

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gusttimo Gelateria

Singapore is probably one of the best places to sell ice cream in (even though we are quite saturated with so many new ice cream stalls being set up now) cos there aren't any winters and the weather is so hot that ice creams are Their gelatos have a good mix of fruity and creamy, and one of the most popular gelato flavour here is the black rice. It's not like pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) but is a nuttier version. I also like their cheese ice cream lots. Their fruity flavours are very refreshing, and I particularly liked the strawberry gelato. Some other worthy mentions include the Rose (which sounds good but I didn't have enough space in my dessert stomach to try that) and rum and raisin.
Gusttimo doesn't only serve ice cream, but it also has 4 new desserts on their menu. Gusttimo has recently started serving desserts on top of their many gelatos. Each dessert costs $12.80, (which is around the usual market price for such desserts) and comes with a scoop of gelato of your choice.Sticky date puddings are one of my most favourite dessert - I have to order it whenever I see it on the dessert menu. My yard stick is still marmalade pantry's but the best I've tried in Sgp was from Boomerang. The sticky date pudding comes with a pool of butterscotch in the centre. I liked the sweetness and taste, but the outside of the pudding a bit too dry, though it was easily remedied by dipping it into the butterscotch... Somehow I just think that sticky date puddings shouldn't come in this shape cos they'll be slightly more dry.My second favourite was the Molten Chocolate lava cake. It's like licking the batter of the spoon when you bake a cake. Eating molten chocolate cake always reminds me of that. And since it's chocolate, it's hard to go wrong with this dessert. I quite liked Gusttimo's version of this cos the crust was a really thin layer and there was a large amount of the molten chocolate inside. If this cake is cooked too long, the insides will get cooked just like a regular cake. The brownie was the most underrated dessert of the day. If I had had one of these by itself, I would have said that it was a really good brownie since it was moist, soft and chocolatey but it was really overshadowed by the sticky date pudding and the molten chocolate cake.

The apple crumble had delicious bits of apple and cinnamon filling in just the right proportions, but the crumble was slightly soggy.

Somehow I always forget about Gusttimo whenever I go to Ion and my brain has up till now been wired to think of TWG and Marmalade Pantry for desserts in Ion. I must remind myself next time that there's also Gusttimo hidden in the corner of the first floor. It's probably because I never ever shop on their first floor?

Gusttimo Gelateria

2 Orchard Turn

Level 1 #01-17

ION Orchard

Tel: 6509 9380

Thanks to Gusttimo for the invite!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yung Kee's Century eggs

Hello! Sorry for the lack of updates - been very busy, and busy procrastinating. I've still got many posts that I haven't blogged about including a dessert tasting at Gusttimo (will be up as soon as I'm done editing the humongous photos).
I've just gotten back from Hong Kong (stressed my pancreas lots by eating many meals and desserts everyday) and in Shenzhen (shopping and relaxing) and I'm now back relaxing infront of my laptop eating the famous Yung Kee century eggs. Didn't eat at their restaurant tho cos the last time I ate there July the food wasn't impressive enough to warrant another visit. Though I must say that their century eggs are worth the cholesterol, crawling up the mountainous area in Central and lugging back since they have such a nice oozy molten center. They're the equivalent to half boiled eggs in the century egg world. And the ginger is really nice. In fact, the ginger is the first preserve ginger that I actually enjoyed and thus now I am less adverse to eating preserved ginger (though I do enjoy ginger in nearly every other form except its original form).

Yung Kee
Address: 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong