Monday, September 30, 2013

Tsukada Nojo Ramen

So I've revisited Tsukada Nojo again cos I thought the ramen was pretty good, and worth a second try. I have not, however, managed to go there for dinner to try their famed bijin nabe (made from the goodness of chicken collagen).
Comes in a claypot so the noodles and soup are kept warm. I'm still liking the silky smooth soup lots, and the richness and texture similar to sharks cartilage soup. There's two tender chunks of chicken (served quite cold, but tastes better after dunking them into the soup to warm them up), a mound of spinach, soft boiled egg and loads of spring onion.
Thin yellow noodles (just like mee kia), but a bit more eggy and springy. Makes for a very satisfying meal especially on a rainy (weekend) morning. I suppose that explains the lack of a queue. But then again, I might prefer sleeping in...

I really want to try the tonkotsu ramen king but I'm too lazy to queue and they don't accept bookings. #firstworldproblems

Tsukada Nojo
60B Orchard Road
The Atrium-Orchard Level #03-81

Singapore 238891
Tel 6336 5003

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sushi Mitsuya - Lunch set

The barachirashi lunch set at Sushi Mitsuya is a fierce rival to my favourite Aoki Mazechirashi set. It's more expensive too, at $60++. It's a really tiny restaurant, and we sat at the counter where we could see the chefs work their magic. There's lots of toppings on the rice, fresh wasabi, and each spoonful was bliss. Their egg cake which is fluffier and paler than Aoki's, but definitely not lacking in flavour. Service is here is impeccable.

I'd say it's a hard fight between this and Aoki, but I would probably go back to Aoki's as first choice because of the pricing and location - going to the Tanjong Pagar area during lunch time is a pain.

The soup was a clear, light tasting broth with these really interesting lotus buds(?) which had a coating of slime.

Dessert was walnut tofu and plum
More desserts at Tsujiri!
Sushi Mitsuya
60 Tras Street
Tel 64382608
Opened Monday to Sat 
12pm-3pm, 6pm -11pm

On another note, I just watched this BBC documentary called "Cold Chain" and it's very interesting - Ewan McGregor shows how healthcare workers get vaccinations to some of the worlds most remote places  - if you're free click here for the youtube link - there's 2 films - one is on Nepal and the other is Congo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Naked Finn

I had dinner at the Naked Finn and was totally blown away by the freshness of the seafood and the cooking. I don't really go to seafood restaurants cos they tend to be overpriced, and sometimes it's mediocre food. Plus, with the amount of oil and sauces used, it's hard to taste the seafood and I'd rather save my salt and oil calorie quota for better stuff (like the amazing milk and butter pork ribs from 2 chefs!). I was expecting a bigger restaurant at first, and the first impression was rather underwhelming. It's a tiny whitewashed brick building, with plastic walls (like a green house), and you can see and hear everything going on outside.
-12 degrees peach cocktail ($20++)
 I very much wanted to order their Kyoho Grape cocktail (Kyoho grape, calips and vodka) since I'm a huge fan of Kyoho grapes (super sweet, tastes like qoo. If it wasn't so expensive, I'll probably eat it everyday and die from diabetes) and calpis. So that combination can't go wrong in my books.
Unfortunately for me, they were out of kyoho grapes :(
The peach cocktail is pretty good (can't remember the name but it's along the lines of white momo) - instead of fresh fruit juice, they use fresh fruit juice sorbets to keep the cocktails cool and undiluted. It is a bit like a alcoholic, very fruity smoothie. If they're out of Kyoho grapes the next time, I'd definitely order this, since peach is one of my favourite fruits).
 We had the set for two ($168++) which saved us the difficulty agonizing over what to order.
The menu is very simple and straightforward, but since this was my first time there, I decided to stick to the set, which gave a very comprehensive overview of their dishes. The seafood is grouped intomollusca, decapoda (lobster), fish and sides.
They gave us some sauce for dipping, which I found completely unnecessary, given the freshness of the food. Plus I really liked that the seafood was lightly flavoured, so that the freshness really shines. But for those who like heavier seasoning, you're at liberty to add as much or as little extra condiments as you want.
Mesculin Salad 
 The dinner started off with a healthy mesclun salad with balsamic vinegar and sesame oil dressing. I dislike oranges so my friend ate all up. Fortunately, there was no residual orange taste. The dressing isn't too tart either.
Fancy chilled kangkong ($10++)
This wasn't in the set, but I couldn't miss out the chance to try their famous chilled blanched kangkong with kalamansi juice and shallot oil. For $10, it's a generous portion.
The kangkong is done just right - still slightly crisp but not undercooked, and tossed with lime juice (I thought that the lime was a bit too strong for my liking, but I think it should be fine for most other people). I liked the friend shallots on top too. Plus you're saving lots of calories since there's hardly any oil used in the preparation. I would have liked it better if they included the kangkong in their seafood set for 2 rather than the salad.
 I liked their flambe live New Zealand little necks soup, which had plump clams floating in a extremely tasty broth. I think they use coconut juice as the soup base so it was refreshing and sweet.
Chilled Piquant Vermicelli
 From young, I have never been a fan of bee hoon. The worst kind is the breakfast bee hoon that I was forced to eat in school - if it's brown in colour after cooking, I confirm wont' like it. I'm marginally more accepting of white bee hoon, if it's in mee siam or mee soto.
So when I tasted their bee hoon (vermicelli and bee hoon, it's like saying long black and kopi-O-kosong) I was amazed that bee hoon could taste so good.
Garlic oil, apparently a bit of lime (which I couldn't really taste) and soft moist bee hoon, topped with chives. It was very moist (but not sopping wet or soggy). I suppose that the bee hoon absorbs whatever flavoring that is added, so it was very tasty. I think I ate 3/4 of the plate :/
Grilled African Lobsters with unsalted butter
 Probably the only (minor) disappointment that night was the lobsters - they were quite puny and smaller than king prawns - I was expecting a normal lobster instead of a langoustine-like lobster. Of course, this was very fresh.
Lightly grilled diver-caught great Atlantic Scallop
I've always liked scallops and scallop sashimi, but this was probably one of the more impressive scallop that I've had in my lifetime.
Huge scallops! So large even after cooking!!
 Lightly seasoned with unsalted butter and fried minced garlic, so that the sweetness of the scallop shines.
The scallops here are so big juicy and sweet, that I felt that I've been missing out on all that nice grilled flavours when I eat it raw. I think it tastes even better than scallop sashimi.
Grilled baby indian squids with sea salt and olive oil
The baby squids had a slightly salty and briny taste. Perfectly grilled, tender and chewy. It took quite a while to eat this dish cos I had to remove the bone from each squid.
Pan-fried barramundi with sea salt and olive oil
Ended dinner with a very fresh barramundi - the skin was crispy and the white flesh moist and juicy. It's accompapnied by a lightly marinated tomato salad.
Creme Brulee ($10++)
By the end of dinner, we were stuffed, but desserts always belongs to another compartment. So we had the creme brulee with strawberries and candied orange. I requested for the candied orange to be served on the side for obvious reasons. The dish is very shallow, so there's more surface area for that nicely burnt sugar layer.

I'll definitely be back for supper cos I am dying to try their prawn mee, which is only served for supper (1030pm onwards), and I'm so glad that I dragggggged my dslr out or it wouldn't do justice to the food.

Gillman Barracks
41 Malan Road
Tel 66940807
Monday to Thurs 6-12mn
Fri to Sat 6pm-2am
Eve of PH 6pm-2am

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Valentinos is my favourite Italian restaurant. I think they have the best burrata in Singapore, and I really like their salad, tonato and lobster pasta with pink sauce. It's a family tradition to go to Valentinos for a meal for my mum's birthday in August, cos they're closed for the whole of June. 
I think some of the things we ordered are off the menu, so check with your server for the availability.

 Their delicious salad with shredded apple, pine nuts, creamy cheese, pickled onions and olives, with a vinaigrette dressing. The creaminess of the cheese offsets a bit of the acidity from the dressing, and the crunchy apples and pine nuts make the texture interesting.
I think this might be off the menu, but it's really nice and you can always check with your server.
Tonato is a dish made  of sliced veal or pork, covered in a tuna mayo sauce. It goes really well with their bread, and there's thinly sliced pork under the layer of sauce.
I was so crazy over this dish at one point that I even made my own (requires capers, anchovies, tuna, mayonnaise, garlic and blender), but I couldn't get the texture to be as smooth as Valentinos.
Burrata with Italian tomatoes which are so sweet that they taste vaguely of grapes. Burrata means 'buttered' in Italian, and it's a creamy mix of mozzarella and fresh cream. The outer shell of mozzarella is money bag shaped and when cut, the innards of cream cheese mixed with mozzarella will oooze out. The texture of the innards is very interesting - very creamy with wisps of mozzarella.
 Sadly, there was NO lobster on the day we went, so this was king prawn pasta with pink sauce. I might be biased but I think that the lobster pasta is still the best. I usually like to keep a bit of bread to mop up the delicious sauce. Usually I'd call before going to reserve a lobster but I forgot this time >.<
 One of their specials for the day - squid ink pasta with seafood in butter sauce. This dish exceeded my expectations - the fresh seafood, super sweet cherry tomatoes and butter sauce was divine.
Lamb Ragut with Penne
 Another special for the day - lamb ragu was a bit gamey (though I like gamey lamb) with very soft and chewy penne (doesn't taste like the store bought ones)
Beef Short Ribs
Everyone liked this but of course I didn't try it.
 I'm not a big fan of the Valentinos desserts - perhaps I always eat till I'm so freaking stuffed that there's diminishing returns by the time I reach desserts.
But even in my extremely satiated state, I still think the tiramisu is really nice (though it's quite a big portion for one full person, I recommend that you split it). The cheese cake was also pretty good, and so is the panna cotta (very wobbly and creamy). Though my favourite dishes are still the savories.

#01-19 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road
Tel 64205555
Strongly suggest that you make a booking - it's packed even on weekdays

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jamie's Kitchen - Vivocity

So the naked chef has come to Singapore - missed all that hype when it first opened in July, but when I tried it end Aug it was still freaking crowded. Managed to get a lunch table after 1.5h wait (at least they don't expect you to stand there and waste your life) and used that 1.5h to sample some moon cakes in the atrium.
Btw Peony Jade's Mango cheese mooncake are the best I've tried so far! Really delicious! I'm not a big fan of durian so I wasn't interested in the mao shan wang mooncake but the mango cheese was very fruity, refreshing and not too sweet. They also have salted caramel gula melaka which I didn't quite like cos the texture was too sticky and gooey for my liking and a pink guava mooncake (didn't like the taste). 
 My favourite dish - the wild truffle risotto in the starter portion ($17++) which was creamy risotto perfumed with black truffle. Though despite my love for truffle, I doubt that I would be able to finish the whole portion of this, but it makes a great starter for sharing.
Chicken of the day ($39++)
 This chicken of the day was $39 for 2 small pieces of chicken. No doubt the chicken was nice and tender, with the olives and grilled peppers giving it a nice healthy taste, and a polenta base, but no way am I going to be paying 39 bucks for chicken again. Just give me the carbs please. (I don't know if this was some special free range organic chicken but I'm not sold for all the organic produce and whatnots - I mean if I have to pay $8 for an avocado vs $2-$3, gimme the cheaper one anytime!)
 Squid ink pasta with seafood - not bad - I think the pasta dishes here are generally better than the meats? I heard that the beef is pretty good but I'm dead sure that isn't the case for the chicken.
 Fried polenta
Pretty interesting dish but it was a bit underseasoned.
 Lemon Meringue Tart
When this came, I was dismayed to find that there was so much orange zest! Ok but then again it's a citrus tart, just that I especially dislike orange/grapefruit/mandarins/tangerines/yuzu. I'm only fine with lemon when it's in lemonade and in lemon tarts/curd and maybe sangria. At least, it was quite easy to scrape off. I prefer Marmalade Pantry's lemon tart to this. The lemon layer is a bit too jelly like for my liking though they're really generous with the meringue.
 The tiramisu was really delicious - coffee soaked sponge layers and lots and lots of cream cheese.
I think that they probably use much more mascarpone cheese in relation to the heavy cream, so the cream portion is much heavier and stiffer. There's also a dollop of mascarpone cheese.
I had a difficult time scraping off the orange zest cos it sank into the cheese portions :( If I had known I would have asked them to just omit it and leave my tiramisu unadulterated.

The very wobbly pannacotta. No complaints here but if I had space for one dessert, tiramisu will be it! Not to say that it wasn't nice but it's not one of my more favourite desserts. 

We were seated next to the glass windows so I had awesome lighting - even my iphone 5 photos look so nice without photoediting! :D I think I'll come back for their pasta/risotto and tiramisu but I don't think I'll queue 1h (though Vivo has so many shops it's not that painful to queue).

Jamie's Italian
1 HarborFront Walk
Tel 67335500

Friday, September 13, 2013

Group Therapy Cafe Desserts

Didn't try the brunch/lunch here but the Snickers Tart really blew me away! Especially significant since I'm not a fan of snickers to begin with. 
The shortcrust pastry was nice and firm, neither to buttery/dry or crumbly, the choc layer nice and thick and this gooey nougat like centre which was like a more liquid version of the snickers innards. I think it's topped with shards of honeycomb? 
It was about $7 or $8 I can't remember cos I was rushing off after dessert but this tart  is definitely a winner. Though I don't think I want to stress my pancreas too much and finish the whole thing. About 1/4 or 1/3 should be enough sugar for the day.

This was the ice cream waffle - pretty average, perhaps it was overshadowed by the awesome snickers tart. 
They have quite an interesting selection of teas - and I picked the silver tips cos according to what I learnt on the tea plantation in Sri Lanka, silver tips are the most prized part of the whole tea plant. I'm no tea connoisseur - I think it tastes pretty much like how most teas taste, perhaps a little milder and silver tips are  supposed to lower your cholesterol :D 
Brunch looks good - will consider coming back perhaps on a Sunday (Saturdays carpark sucks here)

Group Therapy Cafe
49 Duxton Road
Singapore 089513
Tel 62222554

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wooloomooloo Set Lunch

 Delicious rosemary bread - served warm with whipped butter.
 Started of crab meat salad - very lightly seasoned so that the sweetness of the crab comes through
 My default main was cod since I don't eat the beef. The cod was fresh, sauce a bit too salty for my liking. I prefer my fish to be dry, cos the sauce just reminds me of Chinese style steamed fish.
Australian Filet Migon 
Everyone else ate the beef, which looked and smelt really good. I think that for the price, the portion is really generous and the general consensus was that the beef was very yummy, doneness perfect. I snitched a bit of the mashed potatoes - very rich and creamy - definitely has lots of butter. 
 Dessert was chocolate cake and raspberry sorbet - a nice sweet ending to the meal
The set lunch has 3 different mains - with the beef costing $42, which is pretty reasonable for the cut and size you're getting. Don't come here if you don't eat beef - it just defeats the purpose. But if you do, keep this place on your radar for lunch.

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse
Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Tel 63380261
Sleepy afternoons 

Monday, September 9, 2013


Went to Bacchanalia in June to celebrate 2 birthdays (super long ago I know, but the food was good++ so I decided to write about it!)

It's a swanky restaurant located in the Maisonic club (a very nondescript building), which I trudged past x3 looking for (no signs outside!). It's this blue coloured building just before the post office. 

The restaurant encourages sharing, and that each person have 3 savory dishes and 1 dessert. Besides being chopped into smaller pieces, I don't see how these portions encourage sharing, it just makes the minuscule portion size it even more painfully obvious. The whole time I was just thinking to myself that if only I could get another spoon full of this delicious dish, and I had to consciously ration each scoop and savored each morsel of food.
Prawn Risotto ($28++)
Garlic oil, poached prawn, strawberries and burrata. Fresh juicy prawn, with firm chewy risotto, harmoniously paired with strawberries and creamy burrata.
Aubergine Assam ($16++)
Glazed aubergine, charred aubergine puree, salted konbu crumbs
Hamachi Carambola ($26++)
Citrus cured hamachi, pickled starfruit and garlic, freshly grated walnuts
I liked how the chef used starfruit, which is so readily available locally but hardly used in most restaurants. The citrus wasn't very obvious (thankfully), the hamachi very fresh and slightly raw.
HD scallops ($26++)
Norwegian hand dived scallops, borlotti beans, tobiko, cocoa
Option of adding a caviar supplements 5g for $50

Cauliflower Gratin ($17++)
Deep fried cauliflower florets, white cruffle and cheese foam, germolata
Steak and Eggs ($16++)
Rib eye, pickled onions, "eggs" and chips
Foie Gras Satay ($30++)
Sous vide foie gras with tamarind and lemongrass fluid gel, grated chestnuts, peanut satay
Strawberry macaroons
Tiramisu ($18++)
Marsala mousse, coffee ganache, cocoa gel, blackcurrent ice cream
This was extremely small I don't know how they expect us to share this I could have easily demolished this in 3 mouth fulls.
I thought the food was good taste wise, but the portions are very anorexic, especially when for the exorbitant price tags. If you have a deep pocket, I'll recommend this place - probably one of the better (non-Japanese places) I've had this year. It'll either burn a hole in your pocket or you'll be hungry still (we adjourned to Timbre and ate pizza after).

I think that if you like Black Swan's decor and music, you'll probably like this place. The interior has red velvety cushioned seating, with muted lighting and a really pretty lamps. Very luxurious and swanky, and feels like you're not in Singapore. If you're bored and have time, go read the reviews on trip advisor - some of them are hilarious (mostly directed at the portion sizes).

The Masonic Club
23A Coleman Street
Tel 65091453