Monday, September 28, 2009

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant (Vivo)

I think I'm super sua koo cos I've never been to Jumbo or No Signboard Seafood before. My usual seafood repertoire is usually limited to Eng Seng and Mellben and Uncle Leong's. Somehow my family doesn't eat much seafood outside?

The restaurant didn't have big Sri Lanken crabs when we went (the waitress said each crab was less than 1kg) and she was quite insistent on us getting one of the angmoh crabs (Alaskan and Australian). Angmoh crabs are very leggy, and have v small bodies.

No Signboard does crab in 5 ways - the boring garlic ginger steamed crab, white pepper, butter, and chili (can't remember what's the 5th one, but it sounds boring). They don't have the salted egg yolk crab (which is very yummy! feel like eating it now).

Butter Crab
I think this was the Australian snow crab, and it looked like an albino crab cos the shell was very pale.

White Pepper Crab
This is No Signboard's signature crab dish, whic is also very spicy. It's quite dry, and the sauce looks like silt (but doesn't taste grainy at all). It's an interesting change from the usual black pepper crab.
Chilli Crab
Don't care if its Singaporean or Malaysian, just as long as Msia doesn't patent it. My fave crab dish ever. It was quite spicy (for my pathetic chilli tolerance, but for everyone else it was fine) - it's very sweet and syrupy sauce.
The restaurant is very atas, even dissects out the crab. Good for people who have just done manicures and want to eat crab.

After eating these 2 kinds of angmoh crab, I think I prefer the Sri Lanken crabs cos they have so much more body. Don't particularly like the hard leg meat. If I ever come back, I'll be sure to call and reserve some big Sri Lanken crabs for myself.
Mushroom and Asparagus, Drunken prawns with herbs, Yang Zhou Fried Rice with Prawn, Mango Pomelo Sago
I particularly liked the drunken prawns with herbs - never had my drunken prawns this way before, and although I don't eat the herbs (the wierd roots and ginseng lookalike things), the soup tasted really nice.
Mango Pomelo Sago ($8++)
It's not the milky kind, but it's more like mango nectar with sago, some pomelo and a little scoop of diced mango. The bowl was only half full, and it's really quite a small portion for $8 (and very little mango too). They really shouldn't be so stingy with the dessert - maybe they're trying to use a bigger bowl so the dessert appears bigger?
I forgot to take a photo of the interior of the restaurant, but it looks quite posh (aquariums, pillars with dragon carvings etc etc), looks very clean, and there's a decent amount of space in between tables.
The best part of the meal - listening to all the interesting stories and 'sharing information'. Lol. Will miss the time spent during SIP, but definitely not the rushing to get equipment every morning. Thanks for the dinner - it was a good ending to SIP :D
No Signboard Seafood Restaurant
1 Harbourfront Walk
#03-02 VivoCity
Tel: +65 6376 9959

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything with Fries

Yikes just realized that the last time I updated was Sunday! And the wkend's rolling around again! Don't know how I'm going to maintain this blog once I start working (which is hopefully, next year) cos after 4 wks of experiencing pseudo-working life, I've realized that all I want to do is to go home and vegetate and sleep.

Everything with Fries is a little 1 mth old restaurant located in Joo Chiat (next to Obolo). It's opened by the same people that run Awfully Chocolate (can see the similarity in the names).
One Egg Soup ($3.90++) which has a deep fried fluffy batter in a creamy looking soup. The soup doesn't taste as creamy as it looks, and has a slight sourish taste. Reminds me a bit of the taste that chinese cooking wine gives food. I didn't quite like the soup, but perhaps its cos I don't like my fried food soaking in soup and making my soup oily.Their speciality - the lamb burger ($9.90++)
The lamb patty is nice and thick, not as juicy as I expected, but it's well marinated. The lamb taste is rather strong, so those people who dislike the lamb smell, dont order this. It comes with a dollop of herb cream cheese, which goes well with the tomato salsa and sauteed onions. The bun is slightly sweetish, and comes nicely toasted and buttered.

You get to choose 1 type of fries and 1 type of veggies (coleslaw or caesar salad) with your main. I had the Caesar salad side, which came with their house-made croutons (one of the better croutons I've tasted. Perhaps it's cos they bake their bread themselves, so they use the excess to make croutons?) and the Caesar salad dressing has the nice anchovy taste. My only gripe was that there were so few leaves - but then again, for the $9.90 price, it's still value for money.

For the mains, there's a choice of 5 types of fries - namely the original, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion and garlic and herbs. There's a choice of shoestring (skinny cut, like Mac's) or straight cut (thick) fries.

Between the 3 of us, we managed to try 3 different kinds of fries.
I personally think the sour cream and onion tastes the best - it's powdered sour cream which reminds me of Aunty Annie's Sour Cream Pretzel, or the Pringles Sour Cream Potato Chips.
I had the Garlic and Herbs, which wasn't really garlicky (there was a clove of garlic) or herby, and the Salt and Vinegar fries.
Pork Cutlet Sandwich ($8.90++)
I don't really like breaded deep fried stuff, but I koped a bit of my frien's pork Cutlet sandwich so that I could write a review;p I don't like breaded stuff cos I find the breadcrumbs too pokey - and sometimes it'll poke into my gums or the insides of my cheeks. The Pork Cutlet is very juicy and oily, and comes with a creamy tangy sauce (I think it's mayo mixed with something?) The coleslaw is pretty good - they use lots of purple cabbage too (though I still rather have Caesar Salad).
They have some other non-burger mains, like Breaded salmon and grilled pork chop (mains range from $8.90-$14.90).
Their very popular nutella tart ($4.90++)
I won't call this a nutella tart cos I couldn't really taste nutella taste, and I detected nutella mostly in the sauce. The nutella/chocolate filling is rather eggy and custard-like, and the tart base is made from Oreos (I think). So it's like a triple chocolate mega-overload. Its very heavy, and very sweet. There's an option for adding a scoop of ice crem for and additional $1.80
The pear tart ($4.90) has a flakey tart base, and is also rather sweetish. It's rather thin width wise though. The interior is simply done, clean looking and their service is pretty quick and efficient (we went on a wkday, so it was pretty empty till about 8) and they serve ice water (major plus!)
Will be giving this 3/5 stars - cos the food's very affordable, but not something that I'll trudge all the way to the east for. But I won't mind dropping by if I'm in the area.

Thanks to Pam for her recommendation!

Everything with Fries
458 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: +65 6345 5034

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cafe Hacienda - Sucks the Second Time Round!

So I was really happy that I found a nice cafe with affordable and decent food at Dempsey.
I visited it again after 3 weeks, and it was horrible!! Was craving for the eggs Benedict for the longest time, and when I finally had a free weekend, I was sadly disappointed.

The eggs Benedict had a pathetic little drizzle of hollandaise sauce, which barely covered even the poached egg. The worst thing about this was the black forest ham. The blackforest ham that came with the eggs Benedict during my last visit changed completely. But it's totally different (taste, texture and look) from the blackforest ham that came with the eggs Benedict the last time. While the blackforest ham I had last time was thinly shaved, with a delicate flavour, the black forest ham they use now is thick, fried, extremely greasy and salty. It just tastes like the cheapskate overly salted inferior quality hams. The blackforest ham that came with the eggs Benedict during my previous looked exactly the same as the blackforest ham I buy from NTUC - smooth textured with a rind of black skin (and pretty pricey too).
When I asked the manager (found out that he was the manager cos the table next door was being fussy about their orange juice) if this was blackforest ham, he insisted that it was. Ok, Im no ham expert, but their new blackforest ham sucks to the max.

I also had to ask for more hollandaise sauce - that little smidgen of sauce on the egg was waaay too stingy for my liking. (The extra hollandaise sauce he gave me was cold and coagulated). What is eggs benedict without the defining hollandaise sauce?

Another gripe I have is that the poached eggs were overcooked, and instead of having a wonderfully runny yolk, the yolk was 3/4 cooked, and 1/4 runny.

Two thumbs down for this dish!
The buttermilk waffles ($12++) which my friend had was much better, though I'm glad I didn't order it as I don't like citrus in my food. I stole a mouthful anyway - the waffles are fluffy with a zesty citrus taste. Topped with a huge scoop of Kapiti bourbon vanilla ice cream, served with caramelized bananas and fresh strawberries, and warm maple syrup, the waffles can't go wrong.

We also had the peanut butter and jelly milkshake ($11++), which they so kindly split into 2 portions. I think it's not humanly possible to finish the whole milkshake by yourself. I enjoyed the sweetish grape jelly bits in the milkshake.
The service here has deteriorated over such a short time, and the place has gotten much more crowded and noisy too! NOT a nice place to sit and chill. Plus, we were served by a grumpy looking manager (the same one who told me that it was definitely blackforest ham). They topped up our ice water a grand total of 2x during the entire course of our leisurely meal, even though they were empty.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Casa Verde Pizzas

I haven't been able to run off and try new food - the sadness of being rostered for active on saturday and passive sunday, burnt off 2 weekends in a row! And when I finally get home, I want to vegetate and not move till the next day. Lucky for me that my brother got Takeaway pizza from Casa Verde in Botanic Gardens, or my blog will be sadly dying. Pizza Parma Ham and Rocket Salad ($24)
Lots of thinly shaved parma ham, parmesan cheese. They're rather sparing on the use of mozzarella cheese, which makes this pizza taste different. It's also infused with olive oil, and has a nice herb taste.
The Sfilatino Case Verde ($24++) with mozzarella, ham, mushrooms ala Springroll style. It comes with a refreshingly tasty tomato salsa dip. The rolls are exploding with cheese and mushrooms, and since I was being impatient and eating it from the box, the cheese and mushrooms fell out of my pizza roll. I think it tastes pretty nice even without the tomato salsa.
The best thing about it? Pizza takeaway is one for one from Mondays to Thursdays, 11am to 930pm. I think it'll be nice to sit around Botanic Gardens (haven't been there for >12 yrs!) eating pizza, but then again, there'll be swarms of houseflies, ants and mosquitoes sharing dinner with you, so I think it's better to eat in air con comfort at home!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skinny Pizza

I've finally tried skinny pizza. Part of the reason was that it's so inconvenient to trudge down to Suntec city, and I didn't want to patronize House.

Had the tuna tataki and the squid ink pizza from House. I think it's really not my kind of pizza (I like the thin crust kind, but it can't be too crispy), but the toppings are great! It's like eating nice pizza toppings on top of a chapati.

I liked the tuna tataki cos it came with a sweetish dressing, creamy avocados and rum infused raisins (yum!). The bitter rocket leaves which I don't usually like went really well with the sweet stuff. And the whole pizza is dry-ish (no sticky cheese) and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. I sure I can eat one of these things all by myself:D The squid ink pizza has squid ink sauce in the chapati, huge pieces of chewy marinated squid, sprinkled with parmesan and topped with rocket. Though it wasn't as sweet as the tuna tatki, I really enjoyed biting into the squid.

Do note that they only serve the pizzas before 6pm (or something like that)
*Edit: They serve pizzas till 10ish now! Good for the working people - don't have to rush :)

8D Dempsey Road
Singapore 249672
Tel: 6475-778

Thanks to Claire for the pizzas! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jules Verne

After 2 sad weeks of ban mian from the canteen (sadness indeed, and that's only when time permits), I'm so happy to have eaten a good dinner at a nice restaurant!

Everyone associates Jules Verne as the author, but in Sunset way, Jules Verne is the start of your culinary journay across Europe. It's helmed by a German Chef (yikes didn't find out his name) and serves European food. I can't pronounce nearly 70% of the dishes in the menu.

Initially wanted to try the Bouillabaisse ala Marseille, which has saffron in it, but they didn't have it that day. So we ended up ordering the Home made fish stew ($16?) which was my favourite soup that night. It's from the daily special menu. The soup looks really creamy, but is not that heavy. There's lots of carrots, celery and other vegetables, and pieces of fish as well as scallops, prawns and mussels. It's a good sized portion and can be a meal by itself.
Hungarian Beef Goulash Soup ($12)
I didn't eat it but I think everyone that did said that it was pretty nice. There's potato dumplings inside too. So it's really very filling.
Soljanka 'Bucaresti' - European hot and sour soup ($12)
I found the soups here too salty, and this was no exception. This reminded me vaguely of minestrone soup, and the soup wasn't that spicy but mildly peppery. The stewed garlics were pretty interesting though. We also had the 5 course Balkan Set (specialities from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Ex-Yugoslavia) for $39++
1. Starter was Grilled capsicum with herbs and garlic, marinated in olive oil and served with bread ($10 ala carte, portion is bigger I suppose?). I didn't really like this dish, cos everything was so mushy and oily, but I did like the way the capsicums tasted.
2. Soljanka 'Bucaresti' - European hot and sour soup ($12 for ala carte)
3. Stew of Beans, onion, bacon and chillies served in mini bread bowl ($12 alacarte)
The beans were great cos they tasted really nice and fresh. Totally different from the usual canned baked beans.
I didn't get a photo of the main course, which is 4. Cevapcici, a traditional spicy herbal dish made from minced beef and lamb, served with french fries, salad and mustard. It looks a bit like Shish kebab to me tho I didn't try it.
Dessert was 5. Baklava (see below for the picture)
My main, which was the Pollo Forno di Venecia ($22)
Pan fried skin and boneless chicken breast layered with ham peach and melted chesse. The pilaf rice was deliciously fluffy, though I would have preferred the herb rice. I found my dish too salty, but my salt treshold is rather low.
My favourite dish for the night was the Pike - Perch fillet 'Balatoni' ($29)
The deliciously flaky fish fillet is baked with cheese, and topped with capsicum-tomato salsa. The herbal pilaf rice is incredibly aromatic, fluffy and goes extremely well with the fish.
I don't know what dish this is, but I think it's one of their daily specials, which is a grilled seafood platter. It's a generous portion of mussels, prawns, shrimps, fish and scallops, with two bread buns. The seafood has a nice smokey taste.
Kassier Smoked Pork Loin ($19++) with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut
I didn't like this dish cos the pork was really very hard. The best part of this was the mashed potatoes, which were extremely fluffy, buttery and creamy.

I forgot to take a picture of the Berliner Currywurst ($15++) but it's a pork sausage topped with sweetish curry sauce (which reminds me of Jap curry/reminds other ppl of the macdonald's curry sauce) serve with a mountain of thick cut fries. I think the next time I come here, I'll have the currywurst with fries changed to mashed potatoes. I think it'll be even nicer if they sprinkled curry poweder on top.
Onto desserts (even though we were really full!)
Wiener 'Kaiserschmarr'n' with Plum Compote ($18)
This is the favourite dish of the last Austrian emperor, and requires a preparation time of 20-30minutes. The dessert is really huge - I think 3-4 people should share it! Do not attempt this alone. It doesn't look that huge in my photo cos there's no comparison. Should have placed a fork there before snapping the shot.
The pancake is pretty starchy, quite stiff and goes well with the slightly sweetish plum compote (though I thought the fruit looked more like a cherry). I liked the baked golden raisins too.
The Mohr im Hemd ($10) is rather small, and is described as a juicy homemade chocolate-nut cake tossed with chocolate sauce and garnished with cream. I was quite dissappointed to find that the cream was just like normal bottled whipped cream. The cake was rather dry and crumbly.
Baklava (from the 5 course set) ($12 ala carte)
This is a Turkish/Balkan dessert which has layers of filo pastry stuffed with nuts and served with honey. Extremely nutty, and drizzled with real bee honey, this dessert is a delicious way to end an extremely satisfying meal.
The next time I'm back, I'll try the baked apple slices on Cinnamon Honey ($9) which looks really nice and golden brown in the picture.
I'm definitely coming back to try their famous Flammkuchen. Flammkuchen is an Alsatian dish, which looks like a pizza. According to our waiter, the leek and smoked salmon as well as the onion and bacon is their best sellers. Can't wait to try it! Hope it'll be soon... It's $15 for a small and $23 for a large Flammkuchen.
Service is quick, friendly and efficient, and the chef came to check on us a few times. Iced water is served here, and my glass was always filled (even though I was thirsty and drank quite alot of water). It's al fresco dining only, but it's pretty breezy in the evenings, and dining on the patio is really relaxing after a hectic 2 weeks (for me at least).
Foods v salty - do inform your server if you want your food less salty.
According to the reviews on hungrygowhere, there's also affordable lunch sets at $14.50, which are supposedly very good.
Jules Verne
Blk 106 Clementi St 12 (Sunset Way)
Tel: +65 6777 2275

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cakes from Food for Thought

The Red Chocolate Cake has a delectable thick and lucious layer of cream cheese icing. Which is fantastic since I love cream cheese icing (I'll like Cedele's Carrot Cake cos of the cream cheese icing).
If I'm not wrong, the chocolate gets its reddish hue when the baking mixture is more acidic (checked this up, it's made by adding vinegar to the mixture, so it's acetic acid).
I thought that the chocolate cake tasted weirdly salty? But maybe it's just my tastebuds or something (can't confirm this, cos my brother ta-paoed the cake and so I ate it myself).

The chocolate banana cake's much nicer than the Secret Recipe one (Secret Recipe doesn't serve water, so I'm not going there!). The chocolate balls on top have some syrupy thing inside, and the banana is insanely moist and it isn't a soggy mess. The chocolate icing, chocolate mousse and chocolate cake paired with banana is a chocolate lover's dream come true. I think I'll definitely get more of this when I'm in that area. To read up more about Food For Thought, go to ieatishootipost's website - he has a much more detailed write up than mine. Plus, I've never actually been to the restaurant myself.
Food for Thought
420 North Bridge Road
#01-06 North Bridge Centre
Tel: +65 6338 8724

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bella Pizza

After our nice dinner at da Mario's, we decided to try Bella Pizza, which is another Italian restaurant within the same vicinity. Between the 4 of us, we shared an appetiser, 2 pizzas and 1 pasta (my logic is that if you're going to a restaurant with the word PIZZA in it, you might as well eat more pizzas than pastas right?) Eggplant parmigiana ($16++)
Extremely cheesey, quite salty , the eggplant parmigiana is probably the same size as most lasagnas. The layers of eggplant were slightly mushy, but I'm fine with that (the other diners weren't) and went really well with the tomato sauce. The Pizza Mascarpone ($22++) which has mushrooms, mascarpone and black truffle slices. The mascarpone (which tastes like cream) went very well with the juicy mushrooms. This pizza is a pizza bianca, which means that it doesn't have any tomato sauce on the base. Just as well, since the tomato sauce will ruin the nice flavour of the truffles (not that I could taste much), mushrooms and mascarpone. This is like eating the pizza version of a meatless Burger King's mushroom swiss burger.
From the "red" pizza list (with tomato sauce), we had the Pizza Salmone ($19++) which has smoked salmon on top of mozzarella cheese and mushrooms. I quite liked the tomato sauce, but I preferred da Mario's pizza bases.
Fettuccine with Italian sausage, truffles and a touch of cream ($22++)
I liked the fettuccine lots cos I thought it tasted very fresh (not so sure if it's really fresh or comes from a packet, but I thought it tastes fresh). The sausage usually comes together with the pasta, just that we requested for it to be separated.
Desserts - Crepe with Nutella, mascarpone and bananas ($8++)
I personally though that the crepe was not wortn it cos it was dissappointingly tiny! Even for 1 person, it'll be incredibly small. The combination of Nutella and creamy mascarpone cheese is a winner - sticky nutella (everyone likes nutella!) with cream cheese, folded into a warm crepe, served with chocolate sauce and bananas. Yum! Somehow, I still prefer da Mario's (even though most people say it isn't as nice anymore, I'll go there for the foie gras pasta!). Ok, actually if da Mario's is full, I'll just go over to Bella.
Bella Pizza
30 Robertson Quay
#01-14 Riverside View
Tel: +65 6734 0139