Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fancy Delight Egg Tarts

This is a cny post, but it's very outdated cos I've just finished my family tradition of bi4nian2-ing. I found these egg tarts at a booth at Taka basement, and I couldn't pass up the chance to try a bamboo charcoal egg tart. The bamboo charcoal is in the egg tart shell, and it gives it the black colouring. It's supposed to be an antioxidant of some sorts. Actually, charcoal is used as part of the treatment in diarrhoea so Im pretty sure it's safe to eat. The antioxidant part sounds a bit woolly.
Other flavours that I tried - Kaya, Green Tea, Cheese, Chicken and Mushroom and Banana. It costs $1.40 per egg tart, but 6 pieces costs $8. They have other flavours such as strawberry, melting chocolate, orange chocolate, kiwi, blueberry etc etc etc. The egg part isn't that soft, but it's quite eggy and I suppose that egg tarts don't usually come in such a huge array of flavours. Though I'll not go out of my way to get them, I think I won't mind eating them if I'm passing by their stalls and I'm not too full.

Fancy Delight recieves plus points for their very helpful staff - I had lots of trouble choosing flavours, and they were very patient and suggested their more popular flavours for me to try.Im not sure if they still have all the food stalls at the Taka basement, but they have permanent stalls,
Fancy Delight
1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
Singapore 082001

Jurong East St. 21
IMM Building

3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City Mall (Tower 3)
#01-140F (near Carrefour)

Tanjong Pagar
Blk 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Someone in need of a second childhood decided to go to Sentosa to visit the Under Water World (which I have not been since Pri sch) - and I wanted to try Coastes, which is this beach side cafe. I saw an online review on someone's blog very long ago, and the tapas and finger food looked so delicious, but sadly the menu has changed since then. My fish and chips ($16++). I was quite sad cos the finger food that I wanted to eat wasn't there, I was feeling cheapo (cos everything in Sentosa has touristy prices) and I didn't want to pay around $25-$30 for a main with meat. So it was either sausages or fish and chips. The fish and chips were pretty good, and exceeded my expectations. 4 medium sized pieces of crispy golden batter, and soft flakey fish.
The 12 inch cheese sausage bun ($12 I think) which was carbo overload. We all think they should have served a salad instead of fries, or half fries and half salad cos the bun is pretty long too. The hot dog bun is toasted with garlic butter, and the sausage spurts cheese.
Sausage Set ($15++) There's 2 kinds of sausages served with wedges and salad. It's pretty oily but tastes not bad. I'm not an expert on sausages, so I shant comment on them.
Coastes has a waterfountain and they provide disposable plastic cups, so water is free and self service. Great since the weather here's so hot, and the drinks aren't cheap either.

It really doesn't feel like we're in Singapore - with the warm seabreeze, the sound of waves and the vibe from the whole place - super nice to relax. If we weren't going to underwaterworld, I'll be contented just lying there the whole day.

There was this grp of younger ppl who bought 1 drink and wanted to lie down on the deck chairs, but the waiter came and told them that they'll have to pay $20 to use it. I'm not sure if everyone has to pay $20 for the deck chair. And can you lie on the deck chair if you buy a proper meal? Not too sure about that, but then the place was only 10%full.
The best part of UWW is the touching pool (where you can touch small sharks, scaley fish, rubbery starfish and a pufferfish). The pufferfish is very nice to touch, cos it's a weird un-streamlined shape and it flaps its fins madly to change direction, but it's v slow so you can touch it's very smooth and velvety back. Fish(huiyu) said that it's the most terrorized fish ever cos it moves too slowly lol!
And the stingrays are really smart, they will leap halfway out of the water if you have food for them, and press their undersides against the glass in hope that you'll be feeding them ($3 for 5 pieces of cut fish). They really feel like how stingray looks like infront of the bbq stingray stalls, and the colour is the same too. Very smooth. Exactly like bbq stingray without the sambal.

I won't be visitng UWW anytime soon, cos the entrance fee is slightly over $22, and they kept playing irritating dongdongdongchiang chinese new year music. I like the zoo better - entry is only $16.90 :D Maybe it's cos water's so expensive in sgp...

I also don't intend to go to coastes anytime soon. Tourist prices (the whole of sentosa is anyway), and I'm sure you can find better food elsewhere, but not in the beach setting... Man made beaches are good. No sandflies.
50 Siloso Beach Walk
#01-05/06 Sentosa
Tel: 6274 9668
Park at the beach carpark for $1 per entry.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Guess the Mystery Person 2

before I go, I must have another guess the mystery person (since the previous one of miss han wasn't hard enough).

those people who know (especially if I told you!) , please don't say! Let other people have fun guessing :P
Hint: This person likes children and has a D in her name! :D


I first heard about 7atenine cos claire was excitedly smsing me (but unrelated to the food), andbut I was blown over by ice's drool-worthy pictures and I knew I had to zoom down before CNY cos my family's only CNY tradition is to bi4 nian2 :D I also dragged my brother out of bed at 11.20am sharp so that we'll have more people to conquer the whole menu.
The menu is really cool - there's 3 sections namely "from the land", "from the sea" and "from heaven". The last one needs no explaination to what it is. Plus, the name of the restaurant is so cute!

I'm a lazy bugger so I was trying to take photos of the menu so that I'll remember what I ate without writing down anything, but once the food came, I stopped and so I don't know what some of the dishes are called :/ oh well, nvm, cos I'm going back again! :D

Prices stated are ala carte prices, but with lunch unlimited, it's $37++ with free flow of soft drinks and fruit juices (pineapple, lime, cranberry and a few others).
Tomato Salad ($7) - Japanese cherry tomato salad with wild herb and extravirgin olive oil
The starter was cool and refreshing, and the tomatos were sweet and juicy, without any of the tartness of the normal tomatos we get here. It was simply dressed in a balsamic vinegar glaze and fresh herbs, and the natural flavours of the tomatos weren't overpowered.
Green Bean Tempura ($12) - bacon wrapped green bean tempura and black truffle dressing
This was one of my favourite dishes - the green beans are very sweet, and the batter doesn't taste oily at all. Of course, I'm biased cos it's infused with truffle oil, but I liked how the saltiness with the bacon balances the sweetness of the green beans. Also, the green beans are cooked just right, and are neither soggy nor still crispy with the uncooked garden-y smell.
Crab salad with marshmellow
Ok I didn't get the name for this, but then there's shredded crab in a creamy dressing, and there's this marshmellow-like thing (but it's not the usual marshmello it's not sweet and it's yellow) which didn't really taste of anything (to me). I found the salad a bit too salty for my liking, but everyone else liked it.
Parma Ham with Rock Melon
One of my favourite appetisers ever - parma ham and juicy rockmelon is always a winning combination. What I liked about this was that the rock melon didn't come in chunks (like how it's usually served) but in thinner pieces, so thin that they were floppy, just like the parma ham.
Rice Croquette ($10) Croquette of sushi rice, corn, tomato, egg and chilli with wild herb salsa
This reminds me of deep fried sushi from Nara (which I have yet to blog about), and the herb salsa is an interesting twist to normal sushi.
I didn't get the name but it's chopped tuna marinated with some red peppers and herbs. It comes with a unique avocado and shallot sauce (seen on the lettuce leaf).
Wasabi Cod ($14) garlic scented black cod brandade croquette with wasabi dressing.
I saw this prettily presented dish on ice's blog and I was very excited to try it, cos of the unusual presentation. The cod balls were served fresh out of the fryer, and the wasabi mayo dressing is the best wasabi mayo I've tried. I think it's cos it's fresh wasabi and not the fake wasabi (the powder kind which is actually horseradish dyed green). Fresh wasabi has a more delicate taste, and isn't as hot.
Smoked Salmon - fatty slices of smoked salmon.
Marinated Anchovies on Olive bread
The anchovies were briney and salty, and went well with the crusty olive bread.
Sadly, I didn't get the name for this dish, but it was also one of my favourites. I think the fish here is really good! And it's very healthy too. It's simply marinated with fresh dill and extravirgin olive oil.
Almond Crusted Nasu ($8) - oven baked Japanese eggplant with almonds and chilli flakes.
I really like eggplants, but I found this one too salty for my liking. I don't like my dishes so salty cos I can't taste any other flavour besides the salt. But I liked how the crusty almond texture contrasted with the slighly soft eggplant.
Lamb Cutlet ($18) - Thyme Chilli marinated lamb cutlet with spanish chilli
The lamb cutlets were melt in the mouth tender - the only other lamb cutlets that I can think of which are as soft is the space @ my humble house bak ku teh lambchops, but those are slow cooked. The lamb cutlets were pink and incredibly juicy, and one piece isn't enough.
Tortilla ($9) - Potato and egg tortilla scented with bonito flakes and edamame
I like to think of this as a funkier verison of tamago (Japanese egg roll), just that it's not sweet.
Portabello Mushrooms ($12) - portabello mushroom confit with crispy shallots and pine nut-soy dressing.
Again, another pretty presentation, though I'm not a big fan of eating portabello mushrooms in restaurnats (cos they're always so ex!), even though I like the texture and taste.
Beef Cheeks - The hot favourite of the day, but then I don't eat beef. According to my brother, the beef cheeks are extremely tender and are not chewy like how some restaurants do their beef cheeks. In fact, he liked the beef cheeks so much he ate 2 servings of it, even though we were so stuffed.

I ate the mashed potato, and it's very creamy and delicious. Also, the mashed potato has been fluffed so it isn't so heavy and dense.
Yellow fin tataki ($14) seared yellow fin tuna with calamansi scented avocado mousse and fried shallots
I like tuna tataki so this was one of my favourite dishes, even though I hate having any citrus fruit peel/juices in my savoury foods, the calamansi taste isn't that strong.
Deep Fried Crusted Prawn (yikes I don't know the name so I shall just think of one that best describes the dish).
Presented in the same way as the wasabi cod - we had lots of fun discussing if they bought the toothpicks, or if they were handmade. The prawns here aren't spoilt by the usual bicarbonate (or alkalinisation) so they were very tasty, unlike the crunchy bicarbonate prawns which don't have much taste. Also, I liked the way they peeled the prawn right down to the tips of the tail, leaving just the orange tail shell at the end, and none covering the prawn meat at all. I wouldn't want to be the prawn peeler though, I bet I'll keep peeling off the whole tail and ruining all the prawns.
Organic Beef Sashimi ($14) organic beef sashimi with shavings of olive oil marinated spanish onions monchego cheese and pasila chilli powder.
Actually, I think you should read ice's review. It's her favourite dish:) and I can't review it.
Ocean Trout ($14) paplatte of ocean trout fillet with chorizo, mussel and tomato
This was my favourite dish of the day - the trout was extremely fresh, and melt in the mouth. It was cooked just right, with the inside slightly raw and was very juicy. The salty chorizo sausages and mussel gave a slight hint of saltiness, and I must say that this is the dish that I'll go back for.
Freshwater Prawn
This was one of my favourite dishes too - the prawn was so huge I thought it was a lobster at first, and the flesh is very succulent. There was this extremely delicious sauce (the yellow-orange stuff near the head of the prawn). We think it's roe or something, and it goes very well with the bland prawn. Yum!
Caramellised garlic soup ($12) - almond scented cold garlic soup with shallots and black pepper.
I didn't quite like this soup cos I found it too salty. The one pictured here is the warm version, but we were also served the cold version at the start of the meal. The soup is very thick and creamy, and there is a pleasant almond aftertaste. Makes me feel like drinking some amaretto sour!
Chicken Basquaise ($15) low temperature braised chicken with chilli, green pepper and tomato
The chicken is extremely tender, and the whole piece of meat looks very pink even though it's all cooked.
We had 3 different desserts, and the first one was a vanilla bean cake with coffee ice cream. I'm not sure if there was alcohol inside the ice cream - was pretty stuffed by then.
café latte trifle ($8) - trifle of espresso jelly, almond crumble, coffee ice cream & milk foam (stole this description from ice's blog)
If you're not a coffee lover, you'll probably not like this dessert cos this is an extreme coffeelover's dessert. Sadly, the only coffee I like is coffee ice cream (which I ate) and the ice blended kind. This one was way too strong. I much prefer tea.
Churros ($8) - crispy churros dredged in icing sugar with vanilla sauce & chocolate dip (stole this too :P crap I must be more dilligent when it comes to getting down the price and dish names, but so much food everywhere I'm so distracted!)
Nicer than Alegro's cos they werent too hard, but this is a pretty oily snack - dipping the warm churros in the chocolate sauce reminds me of eating Yanyan snack, just that the chocolate is high class chocolate :)
Crema catalana
This is like a cold creme brulee infused with green tea powder and topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream. The custard base was creamy and delicious, and the crispy caramelized sugar contrasted with the rich milky custard. I'm very sure I can eat the whole thing myself. Actually, there's alot of dishes that I want to eat I'm very hungry now!
Lunch unlimited is available for a limited time only so quickly hurry down! It's holidays now and this is seriously worth a splurge! Where else can you eat so much for like $43 nett? Plus, it's good restaurant standard food and free flow soft drinks and juices. I'll be so sad when it's over - Im so going to come back to eat the scallop and king crab sandwich.
All I wanted to do after lunch was to rush home and plonk onto my bed, and when I wake up it'll be dinner! I haven't eaten such a huge spread of good food before - really very very very good. My rating says 4.5 stars, but I think the lunch unlimited should be 5/5 just that I'm don't have to change the stars and then I'll have to edit the formatting of my paragraphs again.

8 Raffles Avenue#01-10/12 Esplanade Mall
Tel: 6338 0789
Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-12am
Fri: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-2am
Sat: 12pm-2am
Sun: 12pm-12am

I'm going to bi4 nian2 in a few hours time, and I've just rushed this post so that everyone can drool over their keyboards. There's around 20 dishes so you all can slowly go and read:)
Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Year of the ox makes me think of beef cheeks...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

da paolo Pizza Bar

Tried Da Paolo Pizza bar on a Friday - it's pretty crowded but you can't make a reservation(unless you're a huge group). It's much more relaxed and casual than the other very expensive da Paolos. I can't believe that I actually liked Pizza Hut pizzas last time.

The pizza that I came here for was the black truffle pizza which I have been dying to dry for the longest time, but never had the opportunity to.Pizza Mascarpone, mozzarella, funghi e tartuf ($24++)
This is pizza with mushrooms and black truffles. It doesn't have a tomato base, so it's quite different from the other pizzas we tried that night. There's lots of mozzarella cheese, and although black truffles don't taste of much, it's just the not-so-cheap thrill of eating a truffle. Im now imagining how this pizza will taste with a slosh of white truffle oil. One of their signature pizzas, Pizza Rucola, Proscuitto e Scaglie Di Parmigiano (Pizza with arugula, Parma ham and shaved Parmesan,$22++). Anything that tastes like rocket disagrees with me. So I didn't like this pizza. But if you love the weird taste of rocket, this is the pizza for you. Lots of bitter argurula, parma ham and parmesan cheese.
I didn't get the name of this pizza, but it's on the first pizza page, and it has spinach, mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions. I think it was $22. This is pretty good cos the caramelized onions are sweet and the fresh spinach balances the sweetness of the onions and saltiness of the mozzarella cheese. Pizza Mozzarella di Bufala e Crudo ($25++)
This was the most expensive pizza of the lot, cos instead of using normal mozzarella cheese, they use buffalo mozzarella, which is produced from domesticated water buffalos. Buffalo cheese is said to be richer and more buttery than normal cows cheese and is more expensive than normal mozzarella, and thus the slightly higher price. The ingredients on the pizza are the exact ingredients of Insalata Caprese, a salad which has buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves and fresh tomatoes. There's also parma ham, and the saltiness of the parma ham goes very well with the mozzarella.
More info about buffalo mozzarella can be found here.
The service was below average - the staff were very inefficient, and they kept clustering around the cashier counter, and it took eons for them to realize that we were trying to call them to top up water, to make another order etc. For example when we asked for a water refill, they filled up 6 out of 8 cups, and never came back to fill the other 2. The only thing that came quickly was the bill. Coming from Da Paoloa, I'd have expected better service, but since it's a pizza bar, I'll lower my standards a bit. So other than the spotty service, the pizzas are absolutely worth the price you're paying.

The Da Paolo empire in Chip Bee is great, and you'll have to walk past 3 other Da Paolos while crawling up the hill. The pizza bar is right on top. Great way to work off the calories from all that pizza.

da paolo pizza bar
44, Jalan Merah Saga
#01-46, Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village
Tel: 6479 6059

Jessie Tan, hope you had a memorable 23rd birthday!;p I laughed till my cheeks were so tired!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Noodle House Ken

I'm finally trying more stuff on my restaurant wishlist! This is a pretty old post cos I went there before my exams. It's finally over! I'm looking fw to my 10 wks of pseudo holiday! I've just bought a new food guide, shall read it later tonight and find new places to go to!I encountered a bit of trouble locating the place, cos it's outside the building, facing Cuppage Terrace, and the security guards at the info counter didn't know where it was.

Like most Japanese ramen speciality stores, the menu is very limited, and they have about 6 kinds of ramen, a few rice dishes (but no one will go to a ramen place to have rice) :P Namely, shoyu (soya sauce) ramen ($10), Shio (salt) ramen ($10), Charsiew Ramen ($12), Miso Ramen ($12), Kimuchi Ramen ($12), Stewed Boiled Egg Ramen ($12) and Cold Ramen ($12).

You can add toppings such as sweet corn, seaweed, bambooshoots and butter for $1 each, and spring onion, stewed boiled egg ad charsiew for $2 each.

For people who absolutely detest ramen, there are 3 types of rice dishes (Small portions), and they mostly make use of the same ingredients as the ramen. There's Char Siew Rice ($5), Spicy Fish Roe Rice ($5) and Rice balls ($3/piece).
Stewed Egg Ramen ($12) which came with a piece of charsiew and a half boiled egg. A good ramen is judged mostly by its broth. I find that on hungrygowhere, ramen stores tend to have lower ratings, cos alot of people say that there's only ONE piece of charsiew, why the heck am I paying 12 bucks for this? They're completely missing the point cos lots of care and hard work has been placed into making the perfect broth. The soup is boiled for many many hours, and has all the flavour from the bones used. According to the menu, the broth at Noodle House Ken is boiled for 8 hours and no MSG is used. What I liked about it was that you can request for less salt and less oil to suit your taste. I find Japanese food is usually more salty than our local cusine, so I asked for less salt in the soup. The soup was perfect, not salty and very robust.
I ordered the Cold Ramen ($12), which I was craving cos it was very hot and I wanted to taste the sesamse sauce that Julie and ice were raving about. The noodles were very tangy, and the freshly chopped cucumber, beansprouts, pork and omelette went well with the creamy fragrant sesame sauce. I liked that the noodles here was much springier than the cooked one (perhaps I ate the hot ramen after I was done with my cold ramen, so I found the noodles slightly soggy. I didn't try it immediately after it was served, so I'm not sure if the noodles are soggy to begin with, or the noodles are soggy cos they've been soaking too long.)

Side dish of stewed charsiew ($5) - it comes with a black sweet sauce. The pork used here is very lean, unlike most ramen places which uses very fatty pork so that it melts in your mouth. Only the edges have a bit of fat, but it's not tough at all, and its very smooth and doesn't have a porky smell. It's served with a small dollop of mustard at the side too.
Gyoza ($5) - aka guo tie. The way they cook this is pretty cool - they have this rectangular griller and they sandwich the gyoza in between 2 hot grills. They also pour lots of oil/water (i'm not sure I think it's water) periodically to drench the gyoza. Ok my description is very incoherent so I think you should just sit inside and look at it yourself.

Noodle House Ken's main restaurant (where they cook the ramen) only has counter seats, and it's pretty stuffy inside. There's a small al fresco dining area outside the restaurant. But after I went around exploring the place, I discovered a newer wing of Noodle House Ken which had proper tables and good aircon. It's further inside and looks more comfy than sweating it out infront of the boilers. But I think I'll rather sit where the action happens, cos I really like seeing the chefs prepare food :D The great thing about the restaurant is that the service is friendly, prompt and best of all, they serve cold water free of charge.
Noodle House Ken
150 Orchard Road
#01-17/18 Orchard Plaza
Tel: 6235 5540
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12noon - 2pm, 6pm - 2am(Closed on Sundays)
They're opened till their soup runs out lol so call first before zooming down for supper or you might be dissappointed.