Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Wow I can't believe that the last time I came here was over a year ago, and I'm really glad to be back. Been wanting to re-visit Ichigo for quite a while cos I was missing the stone pot rice. I like Ichigo because it features Chicken as the main meat in its menu. They still have their cute hand-written menu, in Japanese and English, with concise description of the dishes.

Torikawa Caesar Salad ($12). It's a Japanese Twist to the classic Caesar Salad, and it packs lots of flavour. Deep-fried chicken skins are added instead of the usual croutons, and they suprisingly don't taste as oily as I had expected. The best part was the half boiled egg, which made the sauce even richer and creamier than it already was.
Umaki Tamago - Japanese Omelette with Eel ($6 for 3 pieces)
This was the September special, with a piece of eel rolled into the tamago.
Tsukune - Chargrilled Chicken Ball

There's a minimum order of 2 pieces, but I definitely won't have a problem finishing 2 of each :D

I had the Avocado Mayo ($3 per stick) since I had that the last time and I have fond memories of the luciously creamy avocado, which goes well with the salty grilled chicken balls.

We also tried the Oroshi Ponzu ($3 per stick), which had grated radish and soy sauce vinegar, giving it a mouth-watering taste of both sour and salty.

The Asian ($3 per stick) Tsukune was brushed in a sweet and spicy sauce, with finely shredded pieces of leek on top.

Yakitori Momo (Thigh ) $3 per piece. I didn't eat this but it smelt heavenly.
We ate the YakitoriHatsu, chicken heart ($2). The previous time I tried Chicken heart was at Minori, and I didn't enjoy it. Lucky I forgot that I had eaten chicken heart then because these chicken hearts tasted way better. It has a texture of pig kidney, but just that it's smaller and we could make up the papillary muscles. The Soboro Don ($15) which I was looking forward to. It's as good as I remembered from a year back, and it's a mound of braised minced chicken perched onto a fragrant bowl of short-grained rice. Best of all, there's also an egg inside, which makes the rice moist and delicious. Of course, there's lots of work to be done (stirring up the heaping pot of rice is no easy feat cos it's so full, and you have to do it quick to prevent the rice from sticking).

I'm really glad to find the food as good as I remembered it to be, and it's now more packed than the last time I visited. Great since it's really hard to find and to notice it from the main road.

399 River Valley Road Singapore 248295
Tel 67361340
(The same row as 7-11 and Spize, Boon Tong Kee, just beside Liquid Kitchen)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Su Korean Cuisine (Far East Plaza)

We actually wanted to eat at Wasabi Tei, but then the que was insanely long for the 2nd seating. And Nanbantei was full, and said that the next available table would only be ready in about 20-30min. So with our growling stomachs, we trudged to the basement, where I had spotted this promising looking Korean restaurant where Sushi Tei used to be. We decided on the Da Chang Jing set menu A ($49++ for 2 people), cos we were too lazy to choose, and like most set dinners it would probably be a cheaper way of sampling a variety of foods. It comes with a drink, side dishes (not refillable) and rice.
First up, we had the Sour Plum drink (includeed in the set), which was really thick and sour, and had the smokey after taste of HP or BBQ sauce. Needless to say, the drinks were not finished. Fortunately, they served iced water (which they hardly topped up even after we finished the glass).

The seafood Pancake with green onion was passable, with little morsels of unidentifiable seafood in a starchy pancake. Not too bad, but I'll go for Crystal Jade Korean's one anytime. The Spicy Seafood Beancurd Soup was pretty good, with a tangy slightly spicy piping hot soup, and a generous amount of squid, prawns and clams. There was also some egg, leeks and spring onions to give the soup lots of flavour.My only gripe was that there was really very little tofu - which I like. The squid was pretty funny - they criss-cross it so much that it looks like a pine cone.
Hot Pan Chicken, which is the Korean dish that I have cravings for. It came with the typical tasting Korean Hot plate chicken sauce, with ltos of onions. Not bad, but I don't think it beats Seoul Yummy or Crystal Jade Korean (the sad variety of Korean restaurants that I've tasted).
The most amazing part of the dinner set was the complimentary fruit. It looks like normal ordinary fruits - just honeydew and watermelon - but I'm really amazed by it!
The reason why I'm amazed is because the slices are so incredibly thin! They're so thin that if you hold them up to the light, they look slightly translucent! They're probably trying to rival Laurier's ultra thin pads. Definitely not 2mm thick, but getting there...

I personally think that $49++ is ok, since there was so much seafood inside the soup but just that I really much prefer Seoul Yummy's cheaper dinner set, and Crystal Jade and food court Hot plate chicken. I must say that I'm no connoisseur of Korean food, so this probably won't be a very good gauge of the restaurant standard.

Su Korean Cuisine (Far East Plaza)
14 Scotts Road
#01-21 Far East Plaza
Tel: 6235 0420

Original Sin

For people who are feeling healthy, or don't mind having vegetarian, Original Sin is great place to have a light lunch. When I hear vegetarian, I usually think of Chinese vegeterian food (which I hate) The epitome of chinese vegetarian food which I hate is vegetarian bee hoon, because it's full of mock meats and artificial colours and flavours. In restaurants, I'll never ever choose the vegetarian choice (cos I love my meat). Some of my more favourite vegetables are eggplant, pumpkin, lettuce (with sandwiches and salads) and tomato and cucumber in tofu salad (yum!).

I took the opportunity to make use of the DBS American Express 1 for 1 set lunch promotion. There is a maximum of 3 redemptions per table. The 3 course set lunch costs $26++, but with the promo, it was $16 nett per person. For starters, we had a choice of soup (mushroom), freshly squeezed juice or smoothie. They have really interesting concoctions for the juices, like Bliss, which comes with carrot, orange and apple, and Ruby which comes with beetroot, ginger, orange and carrot.

We chose the 2 smoothie options: Blush - which was strawberries, raspberries, yogurt, milk and honey blended into a thick, healthy pink shake. Passion has a blend of banana, passion fruit, soy milk and honey. It's very tangy and refreshing, thanks to the generous amount of passion fruit (lots of little bits of seeds), and lots of banana for taste, as well as to thicken the shake.

For the mains, we tried the Mediterranean Wrap, which is an intensely healthy wrap ( I felt super healthy after this). It's a warm tortilla wrap filled with chickpea and pumpkin spread, grilled eggplant, feta and salad. I liked how they used the pumpkin spread to give a sweetness and creaminess to the wrap, which might otherwise be too dry. It was packed solidly with lots of shredded cucumbers (which were a bit too 'grassy' for my liking) and pretty purple (makes me think of purple permanganate).
The Tofu Burger was my favourite dish, which came with a deep fried tofu and lentil pattie. I liked the pattie because it was coated with black sesame seeds for flavour, and packed with herbs and spices so it didn't taste bland. Although this isn't the healthiest choice, it was by far tasteier and much more palatable than the Mediterranean wrap. I almost forgot I wasn't eating any meat. I liked how they jazzed up their sweet garlic chilli sauce (for the wedges) with a dollop of sour cream . Best of all, they used lots of veggies for colour (not to mention that colour= to more vitamins and antioxidents for anti aging!).Sadly, there wasn't a choice for dessert - there was only the Affogato, which was a shot of expresso coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There are also decaf and vegan options available. Thankfully, they were flexible enough and were willing to change the expresso for another scoop of vanilla ice cream (migraine diet involves avoiding all the Cs - coffee chocolate cheeses ).

After this extremely healthy and antioxidant and vitamin packed meal, I was very satisfied, and I promptly went home to take an afternoon nap (I took the decaf option). Ahh I love it when my school ends early!Though I don't forsee myself paying a good $29++ for vegetables (even though they're yummy, I like my meat too much), I'll definitely come back for more if the offer's on, and I can leech onto someone's(Fish!!!!!;P) DBS Amex card to repay my antioxident debt.

Original sin!

Original Sin
43 Jalan Merah Saga,
#01-62 Chip Bee Gardens
Tel: 6475 5605
Closed on Mondays

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baba Inn

Peranakan is probably one of the Chinese foods that I really enjoy, but then again it's not purely Chinese. I'll happily eat all the curries and chillied dishes, and douse my buring tastebuds with lots of water since I can't take spicy food. I love the strong tastes and fragrant aromas from all the spices, which amazingly can be tasted even though the chilli numbs my tastebuds.

We went to Baba Inn on a weekday evening, and it was empty, save a table where an elderly couple were sharing a huge claypot fish head curry. The delicious aroma from the still warm claypot warfted about the whole restaurant, and did nothing to help our growling stomachs.

The 4 of us ordered the dinner set menu for 4 ($78++), which comes with any 1 of 2 choices each of Fish (Sambal/assam/nanas white promfret or snapper curry fish head), Prawn (Sambal/Assam/Nanas Udang), Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye or Long Beans Sambal, Bakwan Kepeting Soup with Crabshell, and Dessert. Ayam Buah Keluak is my one of my most favourite dishes. I really love the bitterness of the tarry innards of the buah keluak. Everytime I go to a Nonya restaurant, I will definitely order this dish. I've been told that this dish is really hard to prepare, cos the buah keluak is very 'dirty' and takes very long to clean - plus, on this cooking show, they mentioned that you require quite a bit of buah keluak to make the stuffing. This dish came with 3 buah keluak, which were stuffed (probably with pork and prawns). I had lots of fun digging out the yummy stuffing. Deliciousness!
Tiger Prawns with Nanas Udang, which were big juicy and fresh. It was a hot favourite and needless to say, the small dish of 6 prawns were wiped out in a jiffy.

Nonya Chap Chye came in a nice claypot, and had lots of black fungus, cabbage, beancurd skin (and other various ingredients) and it went very well with the rice.
Bakwan Kepeting Soup with Crabshell was clear, light and tasty. It was served in individual portions, with a crabshell stuffed with minced pork.
Sambal White Pomfret - although the sambal sauce looks firey red, it wasn't that spicy (thankfully). The thick sauce went very well with the crispy fried fish.
At least it isn't curly, like the one in my Curry from Banana Leaf. That was really gross - cos I didnt' know if it came from someone who had curly hair, or whether was it pubes.
Pulot Hitam was the dessert of the day, and it came prettily decorated in individual bowls. It was a bit too sweet for my liking, but nevertheless, it was something sweet to wash down the extremely delicious, satisfying dinner. It would have been even better if they had served a cold dessert, cos my tastebuds were pretty tingly from all that chilli.

I really liked the affordable food from Baba Inn, it's much more value for money than True Blue (which I like too! But somehow, I find the staircase of Perenakan displays very creepy - plus their decorated toilet makes me very uneasy).

Baba Inn
Frankel Estate #01-103
103 Frankel Avenue (S) 458225

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tatsuya (again!)

Went to Tatsuya (again) because wp wanted to go (for the queerest reason ever! :p). After reading ice's post on the ginko nuts and edible(!) autumn leaves, I wanted to try it, but we decided that the Autumn Special Tempura had more things, so naturally, we could try more :D
Autumn Tempura for September ($22) which had lots of delicious autumn vegetables, like the deliciously sweet and creamy pumpkin, Japanese sweet potato, (green) ginko nuts, 2 types of mushrooms, a chrysenthemum flower (which I can't really taste, but it was soft and delicious), and a special Japanese chilli (which I didn't eat).
Yummy mushroom - very big and juicy.
We both had the Ladies Set Lunch($26.80++) which actually, is quite alot (I was very full after it). I ordered this cos I die die must eat the salad, as the dressing is insanely delicious and savoury. It comes with sashimi, their famous stamped tamago (egg roll), kakiage (deep fried vegetables) which had prawn bits inside, chawanmushi, miso soup and cold udon.
Actually, I was thinking it was such a waste to call it Ladies set lunch - then the guys won't eat it? They're knocking out half the population alr! It's not as if it's very light - it's very substantial and I was pretty full after it. Full enough so that I didn't even look through the dessert menu.
I was tickled to find that they made the quail's egg 'stand' by cutting a 10cent coin sized hole into a turnip/white carrot. And the top of the egg is perfectly sliced off - I wonder how they do it! The inaniwa udon was delightfully chilled (it was a very hot day) and the noodles were slippery and smooth. Though I much prefer my udon to be fat and chewy, it's an interesting change - reminds me of thin hor fun.Of course, counter seats are the best as you are treated to a visual display of the chef's skills, especially interesting during the lunch hour crowd. Sushi chefs making perfect little pieces of sushi rice and slicing sashimi and flaming (reminds me vaguely like diathermy smell). Yum!

Bookings for lunch is highly recommended - you don't want to be relegated to the bar counter right at the entrance, or into the sweltering heat at their al fresco corner.
270 Orchard Road
Park Hotel Orchard
Level 1 Lobby
Singapore 238857
Tel 67371160

Ju Shing Jung Korean BBQ Restaurant

Ju Shin Jung is a large, brightly lit korean bbq restaurant, with a pretty large dining area. For $9.90++, the Set Lunch special gives you a choice of main (6 choices inclusive of Grilled Saba, Clear beef rib soup, Hot Stone Bowl Rice aka Bibimbap, Spicy Tofu Soup, Spicy Chicken Soup, Soup/spicy cold noodles) with complimentary side dishes and dessert.
Colourful spread of Korean starters, we had 6 people, so this was for 3. No refills. (I love Crystal Jade Korean - free refills rocks! Esp the Kimchi :)
This is my very dismal Bibimbap. There's just vegetables and an egg inside. When I saw it, I was really very disappointed - lettuce in bibimbap??? Well, the bibimbap was really one of the worst ones I've tasted.

Before I ordered this, I actually asked the waitress if there was any beef inside the bibimbap (the purpose of this was that if there was beef, I would request for it to be changed to chicken). The waitress told me that it's all vegetables and an egg. BUT, to my horror later, the soup which comes with it was beef, which she didn't have the initiative or decency to bother to mention at all. I didn't realise it was beef (cos most of the other places serve it with some seaweed soup) until I drank 2 spoons of it. Really bad service and lousy waitress!This is the Spicy Chicken Soup, which had 4 pieces of chicken skin (minus the meat) and 1 piece of meat. Very un-worth it especially since it was 10 bucks for soup.
Clear Beef Soup, which was a hot favourite - apparently the beefy taste was very strong and the soup was very robust. Complimentary dessert, which was heart shaped watermelon. At least they took the effort to make it look nice (though it won't even count as 1 serving of fruit). It also came with a free Korean Cinnamon-Ginger drink, which I liked, but no one else did. The cinnamon taste is really very strong, and the ginger leaves a warm feeling in your throat. It was pretty sweet though.

I suppose that I should come back to try the BBQ, which has pretty good reviews on Hungrygowhere. We had to sadly rush back to school for lect, and we couldn't possibly go back reeking of bbq meats. Oh well, at least it's near school.

The set lunch is really not value for money. Seoul Yummy (in Novena, not some ulu out of the way West Coast place) can provide set lunch with a heaping pile of Hot plate chicken for $9.90, but Ju Shing Jung is provinding rubbish for the same price. Bah!

I was just searching hungrygowhere for the address for Ju Shin Jung, and I just realized that it's 7.3/10 for 16 reviews. I'm genuinely suprised - thought it'll be much lower. Perhaps it's just the set lunch? Becuase the bbq looks really tempting - and the reviews on the BBQ are good. I probably ate the wrong thing (set lunch = yucks!)

Ju Shin Jung Korean Charcoal BBQ
27 West Coast Highway
#01-18/19 Yess Centre
Tel: 6464 0872

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Al Forno 2

Ok - it's Al Forno again! I'm making use of the DBS 1for1 Pastas and pizzas at Al Forno (Mondays to Thursdays only) while it lasts. We had a monsterous dinner, comprising of 3 pizzas and 3 pastas (and a dessert cos we were gluttony) for $93 nett. Sadly, they're renovating their old place, and thus there isn't a wood oven available for the next few months.
The giant curry-puff look alike - the Calzone lookes very intimidating when it firsts comes, with it's edges spilling over the plate. I didn't quite like this because there was alot of crust (which I hate and try not to eat as far as possible). It's a folded pizza stuffed with cheese, ham and mushrooms topped with tomato sauce. They are very generous with the ingredients. I must say that the pizza is not as fragrant as the ones that I ate previously, because they don't have a wood oven. Oh well, the four cheese pizza was still very good, but no woody smokey smell. Perhaps I would try the other pizzas next time, like the Pizza Primavera (tomato, mozzarella cheese, fresh rocket salad and parma ham, $23) which looks rather yummy.
Spaghetti Cicale Spaghetti with crayfish in garlic and tomato sauce ($23++), which were recommended by Mr Kompetitive and Cel really stole the show. The tomato sauce was tangy, with the strong aroma and taste of garlic. This was the hot favourite and we ended up eating 2 of these! Extremely yummy! I will highly recommend this to anyone who wants to visit al forno, along with the Quattro Formagi Pizza.
Tiramisu ($9)- we just wanted something to wash down the pizza and pasta taste - though tiramisu isn't the best choice when you're stuffed with more than 1.5X your meal requirements. Another interesting dish that I really want to try (but it's not included in the 1 for 1 offer) is the Spaghetti Cartoccio (which is the best seller on their menu). It's $59++ for 2 people, and is spaghetti with mix seafood, cappers, olives and a dash of chilli wrapped into a impressive bundle with aluminium foil. The 2 times I've come here, I've seen so many people eating it. And it looks extremely good. But we have concluded that the 1 for 1 offer is too good to give up - we shall save that for when the 1 for 1 offer ends.
Al Forno
400 East Coast Road
Singapore 428996
Tel: +65 6348 8781
Lunch: 12 pm - 2 pm
Dinner: 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
Open daily
*Do note that Al Forno has moved to across the road temporarily.