Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kim's Family Food

Went to Kim's Family Food, this Korean restaurant located at Upper Bukit Timah Road after hearing about how Julie went there 3x in a short period of time.
Lots and lots of complimentary appetisers (with free refills!). Kimchi, potato salad (which I liked and ate lots), fresh lettuce with chilli sauce, boiled and season leafy vegetables, sweetened ikan billis, stewed potatoes, beansprouts, pancake and some preserved vegetable thing.

I particularly liked the kimchi which wasn't too spicy, potato salad cos it's creamy and has crunchy apples and sweet canned peaches, beansprouts (I like how the Korean bean sprouts are from soya beans instead of the green beans), and pancake with chives (shouldn't have ordered my seafood pancake!).
For dinner (not too sure about lunch), they gave each diner a piece of salted steamed fish marinaded in a salty chilii sauce. All FOC. Impressive! (This, very understandably, isn't refillable).
Seafood pancake ($10), which I wouldn't have ordered if I had known that they'l be serving vegetable pancake as a starter. It's pretty packed with ingredients, and has a starchy feel to it (a bit like the ohr luak omelette). Its served with a slightly pungent fish sauce (I think).Jajangmyeon($10) the Korean version of Zha Jiang Mian. The sauce is tarry black, and served over steaming hot noodles. The noodles are pretty good - chewy and springy, but there was hardly any pork in the sauce. There were lots of potatoes though, which made it a super carbo but protein lacking meal. Bibimbap ($12?)
Rice with vegetables and meat served in a hot stone bowl. I changed the beef to chicken, and asked for the red sauce to be separated (cos I don't like it too salty). It has lots and lots of veggies, not bad but I was really full after eating the other dishes.
Cinnamon and ginger dessert drink, and a slice of watermelon completes a very affordable and filling meal.
The next time I'm here, I'll definitely order something with more meat in it. Though I like my veggies, I thought that there was way too much veggies and too little meat in my meal. Perhaps I'll have the hot plate chicken the next time.

I really love the side dishes (grand total of 9 refillable dishes!) as well as the fish, and all of them are complimentary - value for money indeed. Though their main dishes aren't too expensive (prices around $10-15 ), I think that they lower their cost by giving less meat. However, I think it's still really good value for money since there's drinks, side dishes and dessert thrown in.
Though the restaurant was packed (had to queue for a table during dinnertime), the staff are pretty efficient and we got our food suprisingly quickly. I think part of their efficiency is also due to their clever idea of giving diners a tumbler of barley tea at the table, so that the waitresses can concentrate on taking orders, serving food and clearing dishes instead of being harrassed to refill the glasses.
Looks like this restaurant is set for success! And if the healthy watermelon isn't enough for dessert, one can always pop by Udders (which is just2 stalls away)
Kim's Family Food
17 Lorong Kilat
#01-06 Kilat Court
Singapore 598139
Tel: 6465 0535

Keropokman also likes this restaurant!
My last day of freedom before I go to the far east to become a slave for 4 weeks :/NOT looking fw to the food there!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pek Kio Prawn Noodles

I've never heard of Pek Kio's prawn noodles until very recently. I was reminded why I don't really blog about hawker food when I made a trip down to Pek Kio specially to eat their famous prawn noodles. It was just my luck that the 'famous' prawn noodle store was closed (they close on Mondays). So I ended up trying the prawn noodles from the un-famous store. The cheapest bowl of prawn noodles is $2, but if you want pork with your prawn noodles, it's minimum $3. They don't have big prawns, so I suppose that the $5 bowl just has many small prawns. The prawn soup had a mild prawn taste, but was nothing to rave about.
My $5 big prawn noodles from the famous stall (Wah Kee, it has ieatishootipost's blogpost printed out right infront of the stall :P). I didn't enjoy my prawn noodles at all. I had it with kway teow (usually I get kway teow mee cos I don't really like the waxy taste of the yellow noodles, but that day someone was helping me order) and the kway teow was super weird - it was all fragmented, each piece not being more than an inch long, so it felt like I was eating semi solid food. On top of that, the soup was very very garlicky and didn't have a nice prawn taste. There were many small bits of whitish garlic floating around my soup. I probably caught them on an off day, but the soup was really very horrible that day. The soup version - $5. I was looking at ieatishootipost's pictures, his soup has a much more intense colour than mine (which looks super pale and tasteless). Since it was $5, I ate the prawn but left everything else since it tasted terrible.
Unfamous store, with a quite long que on a Monday morning. It's very cheap (hard to find $2 prawn mee now!) and the lady boss is very friendly :)Famous stall, with a mega long que during lunch.

I'm glad to say that both prawn noodle stalls have pleasant lady bosses! They're very smiley and helpful - despite being very busy :)
Btw, my fave prawn noodles is the one from Hong Lim complex (or is it Hong Leong?), Adam Road (for the convenience) and the one at East Coast Road.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arinco King - Salted Caramel Roll

Finally got my hands on the Caramel Roll ($18) last week (just didn't have time to blog about it). After trying the vanilla and the matcha roll (both of which are unsatisfactory substitutes for the caramel) cos I was too impatient to wait.

The caramel has a nice buttery taste, but I really wish there was more of it. It's only on the outside of the roll. There's also more caramel in the middle of the swiss roll, which has a slight burnt taste.
I didn't think it was super fantastic when I was eating it, but now, looking at the picture and typing this post, I feel like buying another roll! :/

For those ppl who haven't tried it, just go for the caramel. It's really worth paying $3 more for the caramel roll - it tastes much better than the vanilla roll. I didn't quite like the matcha roll cos I found the cake base too dense.
Perpetually sold out! Go really really early to get the caramel roll.

Arinco King
2 Orchard Turn
Ion Orchard Food Hall

Monday, August 24, 2009

da Mario Pizzeria

Da Mario's special calamari rings ($16++) which were very soft and chewy, with a golden and crispy breaded crust. The tartare sauce was very tasty - there's a hint of garlic in it so it's extremely yummy when eaten together with the piping hot breaded calamari rings.
Pizza bianca - It comes with a nice pungent cheese, salty green olives, flakes of crab, artichoke hearts and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. The pizza base was thin, crispy but with enough thickness to make it taste like a pizza and not like a chapati. I liked how the salty olives went with the sweet crab flakes, and the flavourful cheese. I'll definitely try their other Pizza Biancas again if I come back.
Foie gras pasta ($23) - this is artery clogging to the max. Fatty liver with buttery sauce is a lethal combination. It's definitely not the best foie gras I've tasted, but to give the chef credit, it's 2 fat pieces of foie gras, seared lightly. This was my favourite pasta for the night. I suppose that this would be really too rich to have all by yourself, but it's perfect for sharing.
Spaghetti al Cartoccio - sauted with squids, scallops, prawns, clams, mussels in tomato, garlic and white wine sauce, baked in foil ($23++)
Not very impressive - I found the tomato sauce tangy and refreshing, but it was too watery for my liking. Though the many pieces of seafood (about 3 prawns, lots of mussles and clams) makes it pretty worth it.
Squid ink pasta ($18++) - this wasn't very good. It wasn't very tasty, and the squid ink was just gritty. I have conculded that I don't quite like squid ink pasta.
The pasta that I wanted to order, but it wasn't available. I think their cheese wheel must have broken down.
Tiramisu - good sized portion, but it wasn't alcoholic enough, and I felt that the mascarpone cheese and cream layer wasn't as rich as I would have liked it to be.

Service here was a bit slow - 4 of us shared all the dishes, and there was an incredibly long break between the arrival of the pizza and the first pasta and the other 2 pastas. In fact, it was so long that we finished the first 2 dishes before they served the rest of the dishes. They serve iced water, but the staff seem very harrassed and don't seem to be able to cope with the customer load, and our glasses were perpetually unfilled.
If I come back, I'll go and try the other pizza biancas - pretty hard to find pizza biancas around, and the pizza base is the kind that I like - thin but thick enough to chew on.
da Mario Pizzeria
60 Robertson Quay
#01-05/06 The Quayside
Tel: 6235 7623

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blu - Shangri-la's birthday promo

Celebrated my mum's birthday recently at Blu - using Shangri-la's very worth-while Flash-your-age birthday promotion. "With effect from Tuesday 17 March 2009, guests who celebrate their birthdays (exact date) at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, will enjoy a dining discount that is equivalent to their current age at all five restaurants - BLU, The Line, Nadaman, Shang Palace and Rose Veranda." This offer is valid for up to 8 people.

My pictures aren't very good, because of the extremely low lighting in the Restaurant.
The menu - it's a thick heavy black book which looks like a cookbook. For the birthday promotion, you can only order from the 'special' set menu - and there's 3 kinds of sets.
The Gold set (which I ordred) has 6 courses, the silver has 5 courses, and bronze has 4 courses.
Fresh and warm bread - one was tomato and the other was some cheese thing, served with some special garlic butter (which I think was whipped?).
Caviar Waffle - sturia caviar d'aquitaine on buckwheat waffle. with creme fraiche, chives and egg
I liked how the creme fraiche went with the salty caviar, and the waffle was crispy and slightly sweet.
Lobster Thermidor
Canadian lobster (roast, foam, reduction) with mushroom, parmesan and tarragon
The lobster was so fresh and juicy - and the lobster 'reduction' tasted like an extremely concentrated lobster bisque, and

Foiegras @ fruits. com
Roast foie gras, peppered fruits, balsamic, pistachio
Probably the best foie gras I've eaten. Crispy on the outside, and soft and oozing on the inside.
Sparkling Grape
Grape (sorbet, carbonated with greek yoghurt)
This reminds me of Tippling club's fizzy grape. The icy grape sorbet and creamy greek yoghurt was very refreshing.
Lamb Mole
Grilled lamb lion, crispy potato, corn x3, spiced chocolate sauce
The lamb is a 3 month old lamb, and it was extremly tender. Probably because it hasn't been walking around much since it's so young? The chef recommends it cooked to either medium rare or medium well, so I had mine medium rare (since I like my lamb pink). The chocolate sauce was pretty interesting - it's the first time I'm having chooclate sauce in a savoury dish, but I don't think I really like the combination. Fortunately, the chocolate sauce wasn't doused over the lamb and I thought that it tasted much better on it's own.
There's three types of corn in this - creamed corn, popped corn, and some kernels of corn. The yellow powder was pretty interesting - its supposed to come from some chilli, and has the texture of icing sugar.
An Egg?
Mango, pssionfruit coconut
My favourite dish of the day - served on a tile with a picture of a hearty English breakfast.
The egg even had a 'shell' which was hard, and the 'yolk' was made with mango and passionfruit. The 'yolk' was globular and could even burst, just like a real egg. The 'egg white' was made of coconut cream, and the richness of the coconut cream went very well with the slightly sour mango and passionfruit 'yolk'.
The following two desserts are from the other dinner sets:
Warm chocolate mousse, vanilla ice cream, cookie dust
The lighting was so dim in the restaurant, that I didn't even realize that the white stuff spelt 'o-r-e-o' until I came back and looked at my photos! This dessert was too sweet for my liking - the chocolate mousse, cookie dust and ice cream was a lethal sugar rush combination.Lemon Meringue
Lemon jell, meringue, sorbet, powder
The lemon meringue was unlike other lemon meringues I've eaten. Under the layer of prettily piped meringue, there was lemon sorbet instead of the usual lemon curd/lemon pie base. Ice cream never goes wrong for dessert, and it was an interesting combination.
Cotton candy tree - where you can pick off little balls of cotton candy (which were laced with some sourish tasting powder) from the 'branches'
It even came with crunchy chocolate rice 'soil' and chocolate 'leaves'It was a great experience having progressive dining at Blu, especiall the 'An Egg?' dessert (which so suprised my grandmother, and she ate half the dessert even though she usually doesn't because she's very sugar conscious). And after this foie gras, I doubt that I would be able to eat most other foie gras. Personally, I thought that taste wise, I still prefer Iggys, perhaps because of their stronger flavours, and also because their dishes are closer to the Asian taste (like the Sea Urchin and cauliflower mousse, as well as the sakura ebi cappellini), but overall, it was really interesting trying all the different dishes.
If you have money to splurge on dinner, please go to Blu instead of Tippling Club, you won't regret it.
22 Orange Grove Road
24F Shangri-la Hotel
Tel: 6213 4598

Friday, August 21, 2009

KPO's Ice Creams

Short post... KPO's ice creams:
Honey and Chamomile Gelato - very pleasant tasting, but a bit too sweet (it's honey isn't it?). Chamomile taste is more of an after taste, very pleasant, creamy and I think the combination of Ice cream and Chamomile sounds like it'll be great to have before sleeping.

Chivas Sorbet - the texture reminds me of the pear sake sorbet from Udders, perhaps that why I kept thinking I was tasting pear when I ate this. It has a pretty strong alcoholic taste, but it's definitely more palatable than Chivas on the rocks.

Donatella (Hazelnut) I thought it'll be like Nutella (my all time favourite spread - goes with anything!) but then it was actually just hazelnut. There were a few sticky streaks of something (I doubt it's nutella but the place was pretty dark so I couldn't see it very well)

Baileys and Cream - Very very creamy, but not very alcoholic. I think Udders one's are better. Though Baileys isn't on top of my drinks list anyway.

$5 per scoop (inclusive of taxes and service charge)

I really should go and try seventh heaven's ice cream. Hopefully it'll be soon!

KPO Cafe Bar
1 Killiney Road
Killiney Post Office
Tel: 6733 3648

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ananda Bhavan Restaurant Revisited

We wanted to go to some tze char place near Novena, but then it was renovating and hence closed. So we ended up eating Indian vegeterian food at Ananda Bhavan Restaurant.
I really like the sauce with the bright orange colour in the North Indian Set ($6 something). It's just like butter chicken sauce, just that it has cottage cheese in place of chicken. Wonder what it's called? (It's called paneer butter masala, thanks Marky!)

There's also a whole lots of dips/sauces including yoghurt, some strange tasting (to me) stewed cabbage, some dhal (?) based curry which was pretty spicy, my favourite cottage cheese, and a vegetable curry.

The set comes with 2 naans and a whole bowl of rice (which has mushrooms and other spices) and a chaapati(?). There's even a desesrt (see the little brown ball at the 7o'clock position) which is some flour ball drenched in syrup.

I know my knowledge of Indian food is pretty bad.

I also had the Paper Masala Thosai ($3.50) which is filled with potatoes cooked in a yellow sauce. My favourite dip was white grated coconut based one, since the others were too spicy.
The spicy version of my thosai, the Mysore Masala Thosai ($4.50), which is essentially the same thing as the Paper Masala Thosa, just that it's really very spicy (I couldn't finish it the last time). Kulfi ($3.70)
My must-eat dessert whenever I have Indian food. It's extremely sweet, and has lots of Indian spices inside - spotted some cardamon and some leaf. Not too sure what they are though.

The Kulfi isn't called Kulfi in the menu, but it's under the non-descript name of 'ice cream'.
Like the last time, the cashiers were really patient with us taking a long time to decide and answering our many of questions (like is this dish spicy?). Saw quite a few tourists dining here during lunch - perhaps it's written up on some Lonely planet guide or Timeout or something?

Ananda Bhavan Restaurant
95 Syed Alwi Road
Tel 62979522
Opposite Mustafa, along the side road

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DSC Coffeeshop (don't know what the real name is)

My lunch at the coffeeshop in the same block at DSC. Not sure of the name (didn't see any sign board, but I wasn't looking out for it) but under this multi storey carpark.

The fishball noodles from the stall (which is famous for lor mee) is pretty bleagh. I actually ordered the bak chor mee, but then the guy must have heard the wrong thing and gave me fishball noodles instead (didn't realize until after I started eating). So I decided not to waste space on my fishball noodles, and ordered the Famous Sungei Road Laksa instead. It looks very 'popular' lots of those stickers and food award things stuck outside. If I'm not wrong, I might have watched the Chan U episode where they came to this stall? The laksa here is a no-frills laksa, and costs a mere $2. It comes with beansprouts, fishcake and cockles. The laksa gravy isn't the super thick coconutty kind (like the Katong laksa) but instead, it's more watery, but packs lots of flavour from the dried prawns. My $2 laksa + $1 cockles. The cockles here are pretty good - not those puny dark looking weird smelling kind. They're nice - pink and juicy, fresh and clean (no gritty sand bits).
Chicken wings ($1 each) from the 'famous' fried chicken wings stall, which wasn't very exceptional. Just tastes like the kind you can find from the nasi padang stalls (but it's a Chinese stall).
The coffeeshop is extremely dirty - there were so many flies buzzing about and there were also bees hovering around us the whole time we were eating. I am pretty sure all the flies come from the poorly located rubbish dump which is pretty near the coffeeshop.
For the people going there, I think that the Jalan Besar food center probably has much better food - it's well worth the walk over.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I ate a grand total of 1940 calories over 2 meals at Ootoya today. (Such fun calculating, mental sums fail already, need to use handphone calculator).

It all started when I called Ootoya today, asking if they took dinner reservations (they don't). The person answering the phone also said that during peak periods, there's a pretty long queue. So I decided to check it out just before 3pm - and there was still a que. Luckily it was a short one, and that's how I ended up eating my breakfast/late lunch/tea there. It was so good, that we decided to troop back (with more people) for dinner. So $60-something dollars poorer (argh kopitiam for the next 2 wks!:/), but with a very full and happy tummy, I'm now blogging about it.
For lunch, I had 2 of their top 3 dises- an ala carte order of the the charcoal grilled atka mackerel (224 calories and $13++ for ala carte, 579 calories and $17++ for the set). Do note that it's not a fish fillet, it has lots of bones, but it's completely worth the effort pulling off the bones and biting into the flesh. It's texture is somewhat like a fatty fish (like cod), but it doesn't have the an extremely oily taste to it.
The mackerel goes extremely well with the grated daikon (radish). At first, when I had the fish by itself, it was a bit too salty and tasted pretty normal. But dipped into the bland daikon (which by itself tastes rather gross), the fish tasted supberb, and the daikon lost it's funny smell and bitter aftertaste. I'll definitely having this again when I return.I also had the Steamed rice with Mutsu bay scallops and simmered tofu and chicken Torotoro set ($17++, 751 kcal).

I think I'm blind! I've only just relized that the rice and the soup come separately. I freaking wasted 280 calories eating the stupid tofu and chicken($8++) cos I thought it came together as a set only but you can have it separate. Oh well!!! I didn't particularly like the thick, starchy stew of chicken with egg but I quite liked the smooth tofu pieces. Not very memorable - won't eat it again.
The scallop rice alone is 420kcal and costs $9++ by itself. It's served with a bamboo over a mini-bamboo steamer - the rice is really fragrant (partially because of the bamboo leaf and steamer) and has bits of hijiki seaweed and tofu in it. The rice is the glossy, short grained kind (don't know if it's Japanese rice though, but it's really fragrant). The stewed scallops were rather salty, but they went very well with the brownish grey powder (the waiter told me it's chilli, but I don't know what it is, it's not very spicy but slightly sweetish).
Appetiser and side dish - some pickled Japanese cucumber with shredded ginger and a braised vegetable dish (the eggplant is great!).I had the grated yam, tuna, natto and ladies finger appetiser ($6++, ~160kcal). It came with a half boiled egg. I quite liked this appetiser cos I like the cool and slimy grated yam and natto, but it's an acquired taste. I had 3 pieces of tuna in mine, but I couldn't really taste the tuna cos it was all covered in natto and yam.I was so impressed with the fish, I had the Charboiled Alaskan Red Snapper ($13++, 141 kcal). Not bad, but the atka mackerel wins hands down.The Charboiled sea bream ($13++, 186 kcal) was rather scrawny (maybe it's a more expensive fish?). At least the picture in the menu showed a smallish piece of fish, true to the real serving size.
The following dishes aren't mine, but I did steal a few bites from my friends :) The wonders of sharing food.Tofu salad - the tofu is nice and smooth - not sure if they make it themselves? I like those little fish things on top.
Bluefin tuna with rice
Cold soba with some mini don thing
My Kyoto Uji Matcha green tea mousse nad milk ice cream with sweet Tokachi red bean paste ($6++, 303 kcal). The green tea mousse tastes very strongly of green tea, it's like having green tea concentrate. It's slightly bitter, but when eaten together with the milk ice cream and red bean paste it's pretty good. I don't particularly like red beans, but this one was pretty good. The azuki beans had a slight transluent look to them, and isn't like the normal pastey kind. The beans were all whole (no/few mushed up beans), sweet, and somehow reminded me of caramelized fruits.
My Soymilk blancmange and Matcha green tea parfait ($6++, 357 kcal). They didn't have green tea, so mine's a soymilk blancmage with milk ice cream.

I liked the soymilk blancmange thing, which had the texture of souffle innards, and tasted distinctly of soybeans. There's lots of whipped cream inside, which makes it hard to differentiate the soymilk blancmagnge. Totally worth the 357kcal (= 5km run).
Banana Parfait with Coffee Milk Ice cream ($6++, 402kcal)
Egg castella cake parfait with brown sugar and whipped cream ($6++, 355 kcal), which came with a blob of pudding-like thing in the middle. Not sure what it was but it was definitely pudding.
The very boring Rice Flour Dumplings in red beans ($5++, 280 kcal) which wasn't as boring as the usual one cos there was some ice cream or something inside (I didn't hear what it was but apparently there was something suprising inside - not my dessert tho!)
I think they're rather clever to keep their dessert portions small - each of the glass cups are the size of those house pour glasses.
Check out the chef's zheng-ed cap. Lol! The food came pretty quickly (but they missed one of our orders), and our tea cups and glasses weren't refilled most of the time. They should really consider investing in bigger glasses and teacups. Then again, the complimentary green tea they serve here is pretty good, especially the iced green tea, which doesn't taste thin and watered down.

We had great fun poring over the number of calories each dish had in the menu, and laughing at how the kid's hamburger on rice omelete set was a whopping 780kcal. Somehow, everyone was put off by all the 1000+ calories dishes - 1000 calories is the equivalent of a 10+km run! I think it's pretty disconcerting looking at the amount of calories you're eating - I think it makes people eat less! But then again, I noticed the prices much less than I usually do (evan though it's very reasonable). So maybe it's a marketing ploy - make the customers look at the calories, and they won't look at the prices :P

Ootoya's doing a roaring business here - there's a perpetual queue at around 630pm, and the queue doesn't stop till about 830pm! And that's on a Sunday evening. Craziness. I think Ootoya is the only super hapenning place in Orchard Central. It's pretty hard to get a table here if you're in a big group (>4people) cos there isn't any reservations allowed, and the seating area is really small.

Hope more branches open soon - they're really doing very well (and elsewhere in Hong Kong and Thailand too!)
181 Orchard Road
#08-12 Orchard Central
Tel: 6884 8901