Thursday, December 30, 2010

Burger Bench and Bar

There's quite a few non-beef choices, including the Japanese curry chicken katsu burger ($7.90), soft shell chilli crab burger ($7.90) and Green Curry Catfish Burger ($8.20). But if you want a grilled option, it's only the chicken breast burger ($8.50) which is what I had for dinner. I found the chicken breast pretty alright, though not as juicy as I would have liked. It comes with their yummy chunky tomato relish and some jalapenos for spiciness (though I don't take spicy stuff so I threw them out). Bun is pretty normal - nothing fantastic and not toasted either. I'd prefer it if it was toasted and buttered - untoasted buns just give the burger a very unfinished feeling. Of course, if you eat beef, you really shouldn't get this burger - chicken is always the less tasty of the two...
This is the cheese and mushroom beef burger ($8.20). Of course I don't eat beef so I cannot say how it tastes. Just that it's unremarkable? Lol neither dry nor juicy I suppose...
Their signature soft serve dark chocolate ice cream ($3) which is pretty good, though it's really not as creamy as I'd have liked it to be, it's very chocolatey and a really nice way to end the meal.

Burger Bench and Bar's started up by Willin Loh, who also owns Wild Rocket and Relish. It's supposed to be a mid-range fast food joint targeting younger people with tighter budgets. They don't use preservatives, MSG, processed meat etc but it's still pretty pricey compared to the other fast food joints, considering that the prices I've quoted in my post are only for the burgers - you'll have to add about $1.50 (or is it $2?) if you want their special hand cooked potato chips. I suppose I won't mind visiting it again - but going to Cine really makes me feel freaking old :(

Burger Bench and Bar
8 Grange Road
#01-02 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
Tel: +65 6737 9947

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ding Tai Fung's Truffle Xiao Long Pau

Normal Xiao Long Paus Red Bean Xiao Long PausTruffle Xiao Long Paus - according to the sign, it says it's only available at Paragon, and in Taiwan, it's only available to special guests! Fortunately, we're not in Taiwan, so even a pleabian like me can eat the truffle xiao long pau ;P There's a few morsels of truffle in each pau, and it's not truffle paste. I think truffle goes really well with the xiao long pau though I won't really be hankering with more. I prefer my truffle in ang moh dishes.Truffle Xiao Long Pau s $3.80 per piece of $14.80 for 5 pieces at the Paragon outlet only.
My usual pork cutlet fried rice - I think that it's one of the few rice dishes I really like (and sushi cos it's Japanese!) Ok I shant blog about the other mediocre things that I ate during the meal like the dou miao (I like the way Ding tai fung does the veggies cos it's not over or under cooked).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sakuraya @ Westcoast Plaza

Here's what I had for Christmas dinner with my family - somehow my family is very un-festive so we usually eat Japanese or Chinese during Christmas and Indian for our CNY dinner (but not the extended family one cos my grandmother will protest). Of course, since I was on call on Christmas eve, all these lovely goodies were eaten through my post-call daze, which somehow makes food taste less good than sleep... I suppose I have bad luck which even bathing cannot get rid of.
Lots of fresh fish . We had the scallops and the cockles (top left) though we didn't attempt a whole fish even though the counter lady kept recommending the red one over the top right hand corner.
Many more sashimi packs - choose anything and they will prepare it for you
Loved the little orange pile of uni (sea urchin) which was reasonably fresh (though definitely not the freshest) and the bloody cockle, which is the super-sized version of the sea haam we get in char kway teow here. Tastes much cleaner too! And we had 2 different types if scallops - one's a razor scallop which is a rather big skewed looking shell, about 1.5 times a whole hand (my hand at least) and the normal kind of scallop which was sweeter and had a smoother and softer texture. We also got a nice pack of oysters at $11 per box. They were clean tasting, creamy and fresh (though, like the uni, not as fresh as some I've tasted) but it's reasonable freshness for the price. Ate this with ponzu sauce, which is my favourite way to eat raw oysters.They also had the 'fish sperm' (technically it's fish testicles I think?) which is cholesterol laden super creamy tasting and melt in the mouth. Looks a bit like brain (though I haven't had the opportunity to try brain before) and I like the way theyh prepare it wiht ponzu sauce, some spicy radish and finely sliced spring onions.
Those round disc shape (white and purple) are the bubble-gum chewy raw octopus. I dislike the rubbery boiled ones that's usually found at the take away sushi counters cos they're always tasteless and have such a tough texture that makes them a chore to eat. Fresh octopus doesn't have much more taste, but the texture is less tough and it remindes me a bit of ika (squid) but slightly more chewy. I think I will stick to the prepared chopped octopus marinated with sauce and wasabi from now on.
In the back, we have mekajiki (used to hate this but now it's on my top 3 most favourite sashimi), kampachi and hamachi as well as salmon. It was really too much sashimi so we ended up taking back some of the salmon and kampachi (though they all disappeared from the fridge really fast). Felt like I was eating a sashimi buffet here...Seafood handroll - nothing special but the rice is pretty nice. I don't think they toast their seaweed though...
We ended up eating so much at Sakuraya that we ended up paying enough to get a decent Christmas set at a nice restaurant. Super fresh Sashimi washed down with sake always makes for a yummy meal. Sakuraya offers fresh sashimi at very reasonable prices (think of the Isetan/Mediya supermarket price) but with casual restaurant style service.
Sakuraya Fish Mart
154 West Coast Road
#B1-50/51/52 West Coast Plaza
Tel: +65 6773 6973

Monday, December 27, 2010

Funny Chinese book

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Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm lagging again! Hope all you readers had a merry christmas and happy boxing day.This year's Christmas eve and Christmas was spent working - was saying that I've never worked on Christmas, but then someone pointed out that I've never had a job prior to this:/Thankfully, I didn't end up with chicken rice for Christmas dinner or my Christmas would have been even more tragic.
Happier mealtimes from nearly a month ago, just that I didn't have time to upload everything onto my comp. Spectacular meal with even better company:)
And so begins the food journey at Andre...
Starters including some popcorn thing with vanilla sauce (in the middle) and a delicious aji tatare in a crispy shell (far right)
Crispy chicken skin, which reminds me of the one I had at 53
Extremely thin and translucent, crispy without the oily fatty taste of chicken skin
Fresh scallops with purple cauliflower consomme - I liked the light purple hue of the dish if anything... it's cold and has some interesting kind of oil (of which I've already forgotten what kind of oil it is)
Delicate and fresh oyster encased in a wobbly piece of seaweed with apple foam and finely diced green apple
The oyster is so fresh that it feels like the oyster was just alive and happily sitting in the sea just seconds ago...
I really cannot remember what this dish was, just that it has macadamia nut shavings and caviar... If I'm not wrong, it has eggplant?
My favourite dish of the night - maybe cos it tasted very Japanese. Raw fish (can't remember what but I think it was aji?) with the swetest tomatoes and a refreshing tomato sorbet The other part of the dish (served together) was a seafood risotto and raw prawns (which were so fresh my tongue and ears started itching, as they always do when I eat raw prawns lobsters and crabs).
Chef's cheeky play on ingredients and textures - When this dish is served, you'll be asked which one's the squid. It's a dish with squid and rice, and keropok-like crackers (I suppose they're blackened with squid ink?). This dish is made from luxurious ingredients including Iberico Ham, Black truffle and some special egg. So shoot me cos I don't eat beef (even though I really miss BK's mushrom swiss and Mac's double cheeseburger) - the beef was tender and pink and looked incredibly juicy.

Since I don't eat beef, it was substituted for chicken (most un-worth it, I can hear all the beef eater's screaming in horror at the waste...) Chicken breast it was, cooked in a salt water bath. Every morsel of this was so tender and juicy it didn't even feel like I was eating chicken breast. The skin was crisped like crackling pork. I was quite intrigued by the the little pile of worm-like starchy root vegetables (from France, if I remember correctly).
Chef Andre serves this dish under the 'Memory' section of the menu. It's a foie gras custard (looks like creme brulee) with a aromatic layer of truffle oil on the top. Every scoop is so creamy and rich, it feels like I'm going to get an instant heart attack, but it's so yummy that I had the dish scraped clean. According to our server, this dish is extremely close to Chef Andre's heart... I agree totally - I'm sure a new plaque is wedged in my coronary arteries now...
Lastly was dessert - spongy chocolate cake (which looked like those natural sea sponge bath sponges) chocolate soil and a chocolate capsule
41 Bukit Pasoh Road (Opposite Oso)
Singapore 089855
Tel: +65 6534 8880
Btw, parking's a pain in the neck since the public carpark is being renovated, but they have valet parking.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Smiths Fish and Chips

Smiths Fish and Chips is a much blogged and talked about Fish and Chips, ever since it was featured in the Posh Nosh Section. So we went with very very high expectations to try the Haddock ($13 for the fillet alone, and $16.50 for fillet and fries). True to the British style of eating fish and chips, the fish and chips here come served all nicely wrapped up in the parchment paper parcels and served to our table.
The haddock was nice and oily, soft and flaky, but nothing out of the ordinary. I suppose that if you live in the east and was hankering for some good fish and chips, this will be the place for you. More so if you're also hankering for a beer. I think this would have tasted superb with a nice icy cold beer (but drinking and driving are mutually exclusive).
The batter is very light but overall, the fish is oily. My parchment paper became an oil slick in no time. I really liked the malt vinegar bottles they had at each table - it's very rare to find malt vinegar available so abundantly at fish and chips stalls in Sgp...
Fries are the chunky home made kind, soggy and oozing with oil. I like! (not the oil part) I'm a soggy fries person and thus Macdonald's fries aren't my favourite kind of fries. But for people who like the golden shoe string crispy kind of fries, this is definitely not for you. The serving is more than generous and I was struggling to finish my fries (in the end I gave up and didn't so my arteries would have leeway to get clogged up by something else).
The Mushy Peas ($2 per 8oz cup) was an unexpected winner. For someone who picks out all her peas and throws it at the side of my plate or onto the tray (depending on how much peas there are in my dish, sometimes they will overflow onto my tray), I thought that I wouldn't enjoy this dish but it's really warm and hearty, and the best thing is that the peas don't even taste like peas and taste more like tasty mashed potatoes. No gross wrinkly hard peas in here, only soft mushy ones! The photo looks v unappetizing but their really good just not photogenic
The salmon cakes were pretty disappointing as I was hoping for more salmon rather than potatoes. It was extremely herby and peppery but at $7 for 2 cakes, the price was slightly too steep.
I think perhaps it was so overhyped that I had higher expectations for it. Though I loved the mushy peas (must try!) the fish wasn't something that I'd be hurrying back for more - I think Fisherios (sp?) at the Taka basement food court does a decent rendition of the fish and chips and they even have beer batter.
The chef (husband and wife?) duo are really friendly and smiley! Service with a smile wins extra points anytime! Sadly there weren't any pickled eggs left -only pickled onions

Smiths Fish and Chips
230 Tanjong katong road

Btw I've only realized after my expedition to Smiths Fish and Chips that I've never been to Tanjong Katong. And Smiths Fish and Chips faces TKGS! It's the same green as their uniform... A good landmark for Smiths is the Carltex station. Smiths is across the road.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Laurent's chocolate tart

Sundays are for lolling and lazing. Last Sunday was post call day but I dragged my mega tired lazy self of to have a yummy lunch at shunji and dessert at the Nazi Laurent chocolate.

My all time fave chocolate tart is still as good. The chocolate filling is just right - neither too eggy so that its texture is not like a curd or custard and not too creamy so that it tastes like mousse. And their shortcrust pastry is so thin and buttery. At $7++ for a tart, it's not cheap by tastes great - I'd have this over cakes from Starbucks or coffee bean for the same price
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Huhu udon @ Ion Orchard

Huhu udon is a newly opened udon stall at ion. Had their mentaikocream pasta which was salty +++++++ my tongue felt like a pickle after that. The sauce is extremely creamy and interspersed with salty little bursts of mentaiko. They were having an offer last month so that's why I had it. Its around 15 bucks without any discount, I think there's better ramen and udon around.
Huhu udon ( near Gogo curry)
Orchard Ion b4
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