Dinner at Akanoya, Singapore

On this evening we’d actually intended to go to Akashi, a Japanese restaurant, for dinner. Sadly enough it was fully booked and they wouldn’t have a seat until 9 pm. Instead we decided to head next door to check if they had a spot. The restaurant next door is Akanoya a Japanese Robatayaki restaurant and belongs to the same group as Akashi. Robatayaki is a style of eating in Japanese cuisine, where fresh ingredients are openly displayed and you choose what you want to eat and the chef will prepare it for you. The items are grilled over charcoal and handed over to the customers with a long paddle.P1000682P1000657

The choice of ingredients is vast with items ranging from chicken to seafood and vegetables. Everything looked so fresh. As an appetizer we were presented with some ginko nuts seasoned with some miso like paste? Not to sure about that.

P1000652The first thing we got to try were grilled green asparagus. My friend noted that the asparagus wasn’t that fresh, but for what is available in Singapore I thought it was pretty good. Also I loved the slightly charred taste on the crunchy asparagus.

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The second dish was a pork belly skewer. I love how wonderfully tender the meat was and we could just pull it off the stick. It wasn’t chewy at all and I really enjoyed the marinade.

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The little eggplants were also really good, slightly hard to eat though since you really had to eat it one bite. Love the glaze on it.

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Another vegetable dish we got some grilled leeks. I loved these especially dipped into the sauces that we were given. There was a nice crunch on the outside of the leeks, whilst they were nice and soft inside (there was still a slight crunch).

P1000666We also got Tebasaki, a chicken wing. This was probably one of my favourites of the night. The meat was tender and soft and the marinade on the outside of the chicken was nice and slightly sweet.

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The fish we ordered was the Kinki, which is rock fish. This is supposedly a must-order here and I’m glad that we did. I really loved the fish and the skin was nice and crispy whilst the fish meat was really soft.

P1000672Tori Tsukune, this dish was divine. It’s minced chicken with poached egg in a slightly sweet salty sauce. I believe the poached egg was sous-vide rather than poached, since we saw them peeling the entire egg and the egg coming out like this. I think that this was the best dish of the night, although the crunchy bits in the minced chicken skewer were a little odd. Actually I probably would’ve been very happy with just the egg and the sauce.

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For dessert we were presented with a piece of melon and a grape mochi. This dish is given to everyone just like the appetizers. Separately I also ordered some ice cream, since that’s the only dessert they have available. I got one scoop of Yuzu and one scoop of Black Sesame. I loved the freshness of the Yuzu, whilst the Black Sesame was nice and creamy. A nice sweet ending.

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The restaurant has a vast list of sakes and we also ordered a little bottle. I’m not sure what type this is, but I was surprised by how nice and light and fruity this sake was.

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Restaurant: Akanoya Robatayaki
Address: 1 Tanglin Road #01-01, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore 247905
Website: http://www.akanoya.com.sg/

Lunch at Din Tai Fung, Singapore

Having never been to the famed Din Tai Fung before, it was definitely time for me to pay them a visit. There are several outlets across Singapore, but I’d heard from others that the one at Paragon is the best, so on this sunday afternoon we decided to brave the lunch crowd and join the 30 minute queue. Upon arriving we were given a menu and a number and we had to indicate our order (I guess to speed up the process). Surprisingly they didn’t actually place our order, instead the menu was just handed back to us. Lucky for us they were offering Chili Crab Xiao Long Baos, which they only offer from July 1st to August 31st. Before heading here I’d checked other reviews on what to order and so the selection of dishes we ordered were partially based on that.

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Two of the signature dishes from their appetizer section include the Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing and the Shanghainese Style Drunken Chicken. Luckily we ordered two servings of the salad as it was really nice and refreshing and very tasty. I especially loved the crunch that the beansprouts provided. The chicken was interesting, it was served cold and the meat was tender. I didn’t feel that it was that special though, since it just reminded me of the chicken that you get when you order chicken rice.

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From the appetizer section we also got a serving of Stewed Beancurd and Spicy Pickled Cucumber. I was quite surprised at how refreshing the cucumber dish was though there was chili oil poured over it. I didn’t really try the stewed beancurd since it looked slightly odd to me and instead just picked out the mushrooms and fungus since I enjoy those.

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We ordered two different noodle dishes, Dan Dan Noodles and Braised Beef Noodle Soup. The dan dan noodles here had a peanutty taste, so I’m guessing that they may have added peanut butter to the sauce. It was quite interesting and I’d never tried it before, but I don’t think it really is something that I would order myself. The soup of the braised beef noodles was great and had a lot of taste. Also they were very generous with the amount of beef that they gave.

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For dumplings we had Oriental Wontons with Black Vinegar & Chili Oil and steamed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings. I think there was a slight confusion as we’d actually intended to order the soup dumplings and assumed that the shrimp and pork dumplings were these. Nevertheless they were very tasty and I don’t regret having ordered them as I loved the shrimps inside. The succulent prawns in the Wontons was great and this is definitely a must order.

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Being famous for their fried rice we also ordered a portion of Egg Fried Rice and as a vegetable dish we got our all-time favourite Dou Miao with Garlic – Pea shoots. The fried rice was indeed very good with the soft fluffy rice and pieces of egg generously spread. The dou miao was very good, just as I expected, and I was happy to finally be able to eat this again, since it often isn’t available.

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Now for one of the highlight of the meal, it was the Chili Crab Xiao Long Bao – Soup Dumplings. It’s a larger version of the traditional xiao long bao and contains crabmeat in a chili crab-based broth. These were extremely good and I was glad that I had the chance to taste these. The subtle taste of crab was great in the form of a soup dumpling. Overall the meal was extremely delicious and  I was glad that I’d finally gotten the chance to try it.

Restaurant: Din Tai Fung (Paragon)
Address: Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road #B1-03 Singapore 238859
Website: http://www.dintaifung.com.sg/

Lunch at The Fat Cat, Singapore

At my summer internship at ConneXionsAsia we have a great group of interns from all over the world who are back in Singapore for summer. Though since summer is nearing an end for some and they have to return to school, the numbers are dwindling. As part of a thank you, we have a farewell lunch with the entire CXA group on the last day of the respective interns internship. This week Anzie and Michelle left us and we headed to The Fat Cat in Holland Village for lunch. The food here is quite interesting as they offer three different menus. There’s Thai, Indian and Western. I’m usually quite apprehensive of places offering multiple cuisines so I didn’t really know what to expect. We decided to order some salads and vegetables to share.

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We ordered the Green Mango Salad and Green Papaya Salad of the Thai menu. I was quite surprised by the generosity of the portions, as you often just get a small serving of these. The Green Mango Salad came with baby snapper and cashews, which was a nice spin on the usual. The Papaya Salad had dried shrimp and peanuts. Both were very nice and refreshing. I always love the taste of these salads and are always a must order for me when I go for Thai food. Just look at the vibrant colours of the vegetables. It really can’t get any better than this. We also got a plate of baby Kailan fried with garlic and a Thai sauce. The vegetables were alright, but I felt that the Thai sauce was unnecessary and actually I prefer my Kailan with just garlic or with oyster sauce. As my main I ordered the clear Tom Yum soup with prawns, it was really tasty. (The picture didn’t turn out so well so I didn’t post it) They were also surprisingly generous with the number of prawns.

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We also had some Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan. The naan was extremely good and it was great just dipping it into the sauce of the butter chicken. They have a tandoor oven there so their naan better be good. They have a promotion on fridays that you get a free dessert of the day with every main course. Today the dessert was Pulut Hitam with coconut milk – black glutinous rice. For some reason though the Tom Yum soup (with noodles) and the Fish Tikka with rice didn’t qualify as mains, so myself and two others didn’t get any complimentary dessert. Still wanting to end on a sweet note we decided to order two desserts to share.

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We got the Molten Chocolate Cake with a scoop of Movenpick Vanilla Ice Cream and the Thai Mango with Sticky Rice. The chocolate cake was extremely good with the delicious chocolate just oozing out. The cold ice cream to the warm chocolate cake was just a match made in heaven. The mango with sticky rice was also pretty good, although I’ve had better and I didn’t really understand the addition of the raisins. Also they could have maybe presented the mango out of the skin instead of leaving it on, since we kind of struggled to eat it. For a restaurant with multiple menus I was pleasantly surprised and I really enjoyed the food and good company.

Restaurant: The Fat Cat
Address: 17D Lorong Liput, Singapore 277731
Website: http://www.thefatcat.com.sg/

Dinner at Peperoni Pizzeria, Singapore

Having not seen one of my best friends since February we decided to catch up over dinner. We live quite close to each other and so we settled on this Italian place close to her house, Peperoni Pizzeria. I’ve previously been to their outlet at Binjai Park since it’s right down the road from my old school. It was very busy and when I arrived they’d only had a table for 2 outdoors. Usually I wouldn’t mind sitting outside, but it was extremely hot this day so I asked another waiter if they didn’t maybe have a table free inside. Luckily he was extremely helpful and found us a table inside.

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I didn’t feel like drinking tonight, but my friend ordered a frozen Lime Margarita. I love this shot, she looks so cute.

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For starters we ordered the Calamari Fritti – deep fried squid rings with lemon, mayonnaise and arrabbiata sauce. This is always one of my favourite snacks, especially when the squid rings are very thin and fried to a crisp. The version here was good, the skin wasn’t soggy at all and it paired well with the arrabbiata and the tangy lemon. Personally I don’t like mayo, so I didn’t use it at all.

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Our second starter was the Mozzarella Fasciata Con Prosciutto – pan-fried mozzarella wrapped in parma ham. It was topped with rucola salad and balsamic vinegar. The cheese was still oozing when cut into the little packages. The packages were great with the balsamic vinegar, however I must say it was quite heavy and my friend didn’t really enjoy this so much. The picture doesn’t really show the cheese packages since they were kind of hidden. Sorry about that!

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As her main my friend ordered the Prosciutto and Funghi Calzone, which is mushrooms and ham. Just look at the size of that! The calzone was quite good, but I found that it would’ve been nicer if it’d been filled better and if there was maybe some tomato sauce on the inside. Since I found it more like a tosti then a calzone.

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I ordered the Linguini Frutti di Mare. Pasta in a tomato sauce with mixed seafood. The seafood I identified were clams, mussels, prawns and squid. To be honest I was quite surprised at how generous they were with their ingredients. Although the portion of pasta was extremely large and I struggled to finish it.

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Although we were stuffed we couldn’t pass up on dessert. I’d spotted the molten chocolate cake on their menu and saw others eating it so I suggested that we’d give it a try. Called Tortino al Cioccolato it was a rich molten varlhona chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and berry sauce. A nice little touch were the crushed pistachios on top of the cake which added an extra element of texture. The cake was oozing as it should and paired with the cold ice cream this was the perfect ending to a lovely reunion.

Ps. I forgot to mention that Peperoni is part of the Les Amis group which runs numerous restaurants across the island.

Restaurant: Peperoni @ Zion
Address: 56 Zion Road, Singapore 247781
Website: http://peperoni.com.sg

 

Dim Sum at Hua Ting II, Singapore

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post Hua Ting is our go-to place for dim sum. Being back in Singapore for the summer it therefore seemed only fit that we’d be having another dim sum session there. So for lunch one day I went with my mum, brother and best friend for a dim sum feast. Since Hua Ting works with rotating dishes on top of the classics I was extremely excited to get the menu in hand and see what they’d come up with this time. Loving to try new things and having a similar taste as my mum she left me in charge of ordering.

P1000556First up was their signature dish. Chicken Mango Tarts. These are just phenomenal, there are no words to describe it. The flaky pastry is perfectly baked and sweet tangy taste of mango complements the chicken. On this particular occasion the tarts tasted extra good and I was slightly sad to not have ordered seconds. But since I’d ordered quite a lot I was worried that it’d be too much.

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One of the rotating dishes was their Steamed Seafood Dumpling. The skin of this dumpling is green as it was made with spinach. The filling consisted of crab meat, prawns and scallops I believe. Although it was quite tasty, I didn’t find it to be that great and it’s been slightly forgotten.

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A dish I always order when I go for dim sum is Har Gow, a steamed prawn dumpling. The version here at Hua Ting was a little more fancy as theirs were Truffle Har Gow (you might be able to see the black flecks of truffle through the skin). An indicator of a good Har Gow is that the skin is very thin and nearly translucent so that you’re able to see the filling inside. As you can see this is true for these particular dumplings. These Har Gow were filled with giant fresh succulent prawn, which made it that more amazing.

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A dish that’s not on their menu, but which I discovered you could order on my last visit here is Carrot Cake fried in X.O. Sauce with beansprouts and egg. This is a traditional hawker dish here in Singapore, and although this is probably double or triple the price, it’s so worth it. The cubes of turnip cake are perfectly soft and theirs a good ratio to beansprouts and egg.

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Our family favourite, and luck for us, part of their rotating menu, the Baked Char Siu Pastry. Also known as Char Siu Su, these aren’t always available here. When I discovered them on the menu I knew I definitely had to order a portion of these. The Char Siu – roast BBQ pork – is paired with pineapple which adds an extra zing. Also Hua Ting is great at making pastry, which was no exception in this particular case.

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For us no dim sum is complete without an order of Char Siu Bao – steamed BBQ pork buns. These buns are so soft and fluffy, just like clouds. Sometimes when you buy these at other places the bun is tough and slightly chewy, whilst here they’re very light and airy. Just perfection.

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Another find on their rotating menu were the Scallop Croquettes on Sugar Cane. The inside of these croquettes was a filling of scallop paste and prawns and it was wrapped around a sugar cane stick and deep fried. Surprisingly these weren’t oily at all and the crispy exterior was great with the luxurious filling.

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Supposedly one of my dad’s favourites, we also ordered a portion of Prawns in Beancurd Skin. To be honest I don’t really fancy these so much, it’s tasty because of the generous amount of prawns inside, but I find the beancurd skin a bit odd and the seaweed also seems somewhat out of place.

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Whilst I was investigating the menu I discovered this dish, Shredded Chicken with Yam, Prawn and Chinese Sausage. It sounded pretty interesting and I didn’t really know what to expect from it, so I decided to be adventurous and order it, since we like all the components individually.  When it came I found it a little odd looking, but the taste is actually really good. Slightly on the dry side however. Maybe if it’d been more moist it would’ve tasted even better.

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We ended our meal on a sweet note with the usual Liu Sha Bao – Steamed Custard Buns. These buns are filled with oozing custard and are always a struggle to eat without spilling the custard. There’s also a trade off between slightly burning your tongue and having the custard start to solidify. I always go for the first as I’d rather have oozing custard than some chewy filling. Hua Ting usually always makes great custard buns, but recently they’ve decided, for aesthetic reasons and to make it easier to eat, to steam the buns in muffin cups. This means that when it steams the dough kind of settles at the bottom, which meant a very thick layer of slightly chewy dough at the bottom. This was a real shame and we complained to the staff about it. They informed the chef about our complaints and let us know that in the future we can order them without the muffin cups. I’d think, however, that they would just revert back to serving it the traditional way. Having finished so many dishes there wasn’t any room for dessert and I needed to head back to work anyways, since my lunch break was over. Hopefully I can come back another time before I leave, since their dim sum truly is one of the best in Singapore.

Restaurant: Hua Ting
Address: Level 2, Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Rd, Singapore
Website: http://www.millenniumhotels.com.sg/orchardhotelsingapore/dining/hua-ting-restaurant.html

 

Lunch at ReStore, Singapore

For sunday lunch we actually wanted to go to Lime House, a place serving Caribbean food. However, when we go there they were closed, even though they’re meant to be open according to their website. Since they were closed we decided to walk around to find another place to eat, but being sunday a lot of places were closed. That is until we stumbled upon this little Cafe called ReStore. My friend had read about it before and suggested that we go in and check it out. With not many alternatives we thought why not. This cafe is a little vintage place with a lot of vintage chairs hanging on the side of the wall. Basically all the decorations/chairs, etc. are for sale, which I found kind of funny. The menu is very small with only 3 sandwich options, 2 salad options and 5 waffle options. We decided to share 2 sandwiches and a salad and then have a waffle as a dessert.

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We had the Greek Salad, which was Spinach with Feta, Tomatoes, Olives and Cucumber tossed in Olive Oil. It’s slightly pathetic I found. First of all the olives were missing, there were 3 very thin slices of cucumber, 4 minuscule cubes of cheese and maybe 1/10 of a tomato. For the price $6.80 (if I’m not wrong), I expected something more. Next up was the Hummus Sandwich, I personally don’t like Hummus so I only ate some of the salad. But this also didn’t look too impressive. Our third dish was the Roasted Eggplant Sandwich. There were slices of roasted eggplant, zucchini, caramelised onions and melted cheddar cheese on lightly toasted bread. This was actually quite tasty, I especially loved the onions. Still looking at the prices, I felt that it wasn’t really worth it.

P1000534As a dessert we decided to share the Banana, Chocolate, Almond Waffle ($9.80) and added a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream (+$2) and some Berries (+$2). Although I found the price quite steep, I must admit that it tasted pretty good. I loved the combination of warm soft waffles with the ice cream and the fresh fruit. Although to make it a little more special they could’ve maybe added caramelised bananas and had some homemade chocolate sauce, rather than just sliced bananas and Hershey’s chocolate sauce. This is probably the only thing I’d recommend you to try. Although you must be willing to fork out quite a lot of money, which I’m not sure if it’s really that worth it. To end our meal I also got an Iced Black Caffe Cinnamon. It tasted quite good, but I expected a bit more cinnamon taste, since the lady who runs the place had told me that they infuse cinnamon in the brew, which had prompted me to order t in the first place. But I found the taste of cinnamon to be nearly undetectable. The atmosphere in the cafe is pretty nice, and it’s a good way of spending a lazy sunday afternoon.

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Restaurant: ReStore Living
Address: 124 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088533
Website: http://restoreliving.blogspot.sg/

Dinner at Keng Eng Kee Seafood, Singapore

Since I’ve been back in Singapore we haven’t gone for a family dinner yet (this means full family – grandma, aunt/uncle, cousins, etc.). Being half Singaporean and never having had Chilli Crab before, it was time for me to finally try it. My cousin had eaten at this Zi Char – Chinese Coffee shop that serves wallet-friendly homestyle Chinese food – before and so he suggested we try it. We ordered a lot of food, too much I’d say, but it all was very good. We ordered the Mingzhu Roll, which is a specialty from this place. It’s fried Tau Pok stuffed with egg yolk, prawn, ham, mushroom and parsley and served with some form of mayo. The picture I took was blurry, so it isn’t shown here, but to be honest I found the dish kind of strange and wouldn’t really recommend it. One of our family favourites, Sweet and Sour Pork was a must. The pork here is nice and crunchy and I really enjoyed how there were more vegetables than usual.

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For vegetables we had the Sambal Kang Kong and the Kailan with Garlic. The Kang Kong was good, but I think the amount of sambal was a bit too much, which made it a bit to oily. The Kailan on the other hand was really good and was finished within minutes. We ordered another portion of this, but found that the second portion wasn’t as tasty as the one before. My brother remarked that it might be lacking garlic.

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It was then time for the highlights of the evening. Chilli Crab and Salted Egg Yolk Crab. The latter is a signature dish of this Zi Char, and I don’t think you can find it on any other menu. Being my first Chilli Crab experience I was ready to dig in, I must say I really liked it. But once I tasted the Salted Egg Yolk Crab, I actually might have to say that I prefer this one to the former. It had a slightly sweeter taste and I found that the Chilli Crab might have had a little too much egg white. Knowing that the sauce usually contains peanut, my cousin had specifically asked for a non-peanut version, since my brother is allergic. But once I tasted the sauce I immediately tasted the peanut. Slightly worrying that they claimed that it didn’t have any peanut. And since we didn’t want to risk it, my brother couldn’t get to try it. Such a shame.

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Of course we needed to have the buns to go with the crab to dip in the sauce. Usually you’d get the fried Mantou to go with them, but here at Keng Eng Kee they are the steamed ones. This disappointed the majority of the family, but I didn’t mind so much since they were so light, soft and fluffy. Still a great vessel to scoop all the sauce. Another dish we always order is the Claypot Tofu. The egg tofu here was nice and silky smooth and the sauce was really tasty. I really enjoyed how the sauce wasn’t starchy thick for a change.

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Another dish we ordered, for which I don’t have a picture, is the claypot pig liver. I also wouldn’t know anything to say about it since I didn’t try it, because I don’t like liver. Some of the last dishes to come were a whole steamed Soon Hock – Fish – and Fried Mee Sua – a type of Noodles. The fish was very fresh and silky smooth, a good choice. The noodles on the other hand was disappointing. When it first arrived my grandma was the first to taste and she said it was too salty, so it was sent back. When we received the replacement it seemed like they left off all form of seasoning, since it had no taste whatsoever. Very disappointing.

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Overall I really enjoyed the dinner, it was especially nice to see the whole family together again. Although my one cousin and my dad are missing, since they’re abroad. When they’re back, we’ll definitely need to have a complete family dinner.

Restaurant: Keng Eng Kee Seafood
Address: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150124
Website: www.kek.com.sg

Lunch at Pu Dong Kitchen, Singapore

Being our standard go-to place, Pudong Kitchen for Shanghainese food was definitely on our list to eat at once summer started. This time my best friend is back and after getting our haircuts (the hairdresser is in the same building as the restaurant, so this is kind of our ritual) we went downstairs to grab some lunch. My best friend’s parents joined us for lunch and they had ordered and gotten seats whilst we were cutting our hair. Shortly after we arrived the food started coming. First came some vegetable dishes; Dry Fried Green Beans with Garlic and some stir fried Chinese Cabbage with Sticky Rice cakes and mushrooms. I’m not sure what the exact name of the latter dish is, but it was quite tasty.

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Then came the dumplings. There were some vegetable dumplings with vegetables in soup and our must-have Xiao Long Bao – Soup Dumplings. The soup dumplings were delicious as always, and for the first time I managed to eat them without accidentally breaking them when picking it up and spilling all the soup. It always amazes me how they get those beautiful folds in the dumplings. Dipped in the accompanying vinegar and garlic, I was one happy girl.

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We also got some nice noodles that had Tofu and Pork and a nice sauce. I’m not sure what the exact name of the dish is though, but it tastes good. And of course we got the Lion’s Head – Pork Meatballs with Cabbage in a delicious gravy.

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After having finished all this food there was still one dish to come. This was the one dish that we’d been waiting for. It’s the restaurants own personal spin on the Soup Dumplings. It’s basically a bigger version of the Soup Dumplings that is pan fried and sprinkled with sesame seeds. There’s no real name for it, and if I’m not wrong it even says Fried Giant Soup Dumplings on the menu. My best friend and I just refer to it as the awesome giant dumplings. They were the last to come as there was a 20 minute wait for it. And when ours came out we noticed how every table around us was also served a plate, guess it really is one of the favourites.

P1000453These dumplings are delicious and we’d ordered 2 portions of dumplings. Sadly enough the dumplings on the one plate hardly had any soup and were rather dry. The ones on the other plate were flowing with soup. Too bad that I’d only had the ones from the dry plate, still tasty though. The food was good as usual, although always after eating here I feel like my pores are clogged with oil, considering the amount of oil in Shanghainese food. I was also extremely thirsty as they’d used a lot of salt.

Restaurant: Pu Dong Kitchen
Address: #B1-02, Balmoral Plaza, 271 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore

Dinner at Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, Singapore

My friend from university was in town and since he’d been saying how he really enjoyed Peking Duck, I thought it’d be a great opportunity for us to have some. Since he was staying in Marina Bay Sands we settled on Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, which is in the MBS mall. As it was only the four of us, I didn’t dare to order much other than the duck and a side of vegetables. The duck was presented to us at the table, after which the chef started to carve the skin. The crispiest slices were first presented to us along with some sugar and the duck sauce.

P1000426The second part of eating the duck were the duck pancakes, slices of duck wrapped in flour crepes with cucumber, spring onion and the duck sauce – hoisin sauce I believe. This is always my favourite part of the duck, the delicious pancakes. When I’m with my family we’re usually fighting over who gets how many. The pancakes tasted good, although I was quite surprised that the pancakes weren’t served to us with the sauce. We had to use the leftover sauce from the skin and somehow with our chopsticks smear some over the pancake. Quite a messy business to be honest.

P1000428Being scared to over order I only ordered a side of stir-fried Hong Kong Kailan with garlic. It tasted nice, but it was just like the Kailan I can get at any other place. For the duck meat I had asked them to present it to us San Choy Bao style, where the meat is stir fried with some other ingredients and where you wrap it in lettuce. When the meat came it looked like a lot, but once we proceeded to scoop it, it turned out that there was a copious amount of crispy glass noodles, which really don’t add much to the dish.

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After we had finished the food, my friend’s mum and grandmother were still waiting for more dishes. I thought that maybe they were still hungry, but that wasn’t the case. They just didn’t expect the duck to be so little since we had ordered a whole duck and they were slightly confused about where all the duck went since they couldn’t believe that that could be the whole duck. I understood the way they felt since I’d had this discussion numerous times before. I do wonder if they actually give us all the meat? And if not, what do they do with the remainder? Well since our meal wasn’t that much we decided to order some desserts. Lucky for us Imperial Treasure serves ‘dim sum desserts’ during dinner.

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So what we ordered were: Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls (Tangyuen) coated in crushed Peanuts, Egg Tarts, Steamed Custard Buns (Liu Sha Bao), and Steamed Egg Yolk Cake. As expected the Steamed Custard Buns were the favourite of the night. The custard that oozed out had the right amount of sweetness and paired with soft fluffy white bun, this was just perfection. The Egg Tarts and the Glutinous Rice Balls were pretty good too. The Egg Yolk Cake was my least favourite, as I found the taste of egg yolk to be overpowering. Overall dinner was good, although the service was terrible. We were ignored most of the night and the waiter that was assigned to us was quite rude at times. I think that in the future I’d rather head to another restaurant for duck, since the duck wasn’t any better than other restaurants anyways.

Restaurant: Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, Marina Bay Sands
Address: #02-04 Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., Singapore 018972 (Right above the Casino)
Website: http://www.imperialtreasure.com/en/restaurants/detail/marina-bay-sands/imperial-treasure-fine-chinese-cuisine

 

 

Dinner at Chopsuey, Singapore

Chopsuey Cafe is a restaurant under the P.S. group. It’s menu consists of somewhat Americanized Chinese cuisine. The word originates from Chinese Cantonese and means odds and ends. It’s basically the anglicised form of a Chinese dish and is frequently found in the U.S.. In Holland we also have a version which is Tjaptjoi, it’s basically a vegetable stir-fry. Although I’m usually very against the bastardisation – as I call it – of Asian food, the menu seemed very interesting and my friend’s mum mentioned how she had tried it and said it was pretty good. I trusted her opinion as she’s Asian and also usually prefers traditional Asian food. We started the evening off with some Asian inspired cocktails. I went for the Chopsuey Mai Thai – chili-infused white rum, 9-spiced rum, pineapple, mandarin and lemongrass served in a whole coconut. When it came it looked pretty impressive. The pretty flower and little umbrella took me right to the beach. My friend decided to have Lily’s Lychee Martini – vodka, lychee liquer, lime juice & lychees. Sadly enough I don’t have a picture of it.

IMG_3929In true Asian style we decided to order a variety of dishes to share. That way we could try more things. The first dish to come was the Summer Rice Paper Roll Salad. A different take on the traditional Vietnamese rice roll, it was a nice fresh vegetarian dish. The vegetables were nice and crunchy and we felt extremely healthy eating this. The delicious sauce that came with it, perfectly complemented the dish.

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The dishes we ordered were mainly based on recommendations by the staff there. One popular dish are the Crispy Duck POW! Pockets. The buns were filled with shredded duck confit & pulled roasted duck and served with a warmed sweet bean sauce. This dish was pretty impressive and very tasty. I have total understanding as to why it’s so popular. The slice of duck meat was nice and tender and the crispy duck on top was very good.
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Having eaten here before, my friend’s mum had had this ‘great crab dish’ as she described it. She wasn’t to sure what the exact dish was anymore, but she knew it had crab. Scanning the menu, she deduced that it must have been the Fresh Crab Omelette. To be honest crab omelette doesn’t sound too appealing or special, but when it came I was pleasantly surprised. Inside the omelette there were large chunks of fresh succulent crab meat. They certainly weren’t stingy with the amount of crab that was in there and together with the wonderful broth that went with it, it was a nice light dish. IMG_3935

Another main that we ordered were the Numbing Pork Ribs. These are slow braised pork ribs, wok-fried with their house chili sauce, coated with crushed Szechuan peppercorns and topped with Green Mango salad. Usually not such a meat eater, I wouldn’t have ordered this myself. But I definitely would have regretted it had I not tried it. These are the best ribs I’ve ever eaten, the meat was so tender and just fell off the bone. The coating of crushed Szechuan peppercorns added a nice texture and the house chili sauce was also pretty good. I’m just so impressed by how tender the meat was. Can’t get over it. I was disappointed by their ‘green mango salad’ though, as I couldn’t really detect any green mango in there. Luckily the ribs made up for this. Definitely the star of the show.  IMG_3938

We decided to try the Sticky Crunchy Baby Squid, as it was said to be pretty good. It was definitely crunchy and sticky, and although it was good, it was slightly disappointing how the crispiness of the squid kind of made the fact that it was squid undetectable. To be honest, it probably could have been anything.
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We also tried the Steamed ‘Lasagna’ of Snapper & Tofu. We weren’t sure what to expect, but were slightly disappointed when it arrived. It didn’t resemble a lasagna in any way whatsoever. It actually just looked like this cold tofu dish that we often order. The ‘lasagna’ was topped with black bean paste, which was a little too salty for my taste. Also, the snapper was slightly overcooked and I found that there was far too much tofu compared to fish. Overall it tasted alright, however it’s not something I would order again and it definitely is not deserving of the ‘lasagna’ tag. IMG_3941

The P.S. group is famous for its desserts and people usually just head over to have their cakes and other desserts. In the same space as Chopsuey there was P.S.’s other venture, P.S. Cafe Petit, which was serving ice cream. Their ice cream flavours seemed pretty interesting and we decided to get some as part of our dessert. My friend went for the Apple Crumble, whilst I went for the Tiramisu. The Tiramisu ice cream, really was Tiramisu. Filled with giant chunks of actual Tiramisu, I was extremely satisfied.
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For desserts we decided to order the Banana Pudding, which was a steamed golden banana pudding with fresh coconut & palm sugar, served with vanilla bean ice cream and – what I believe – was a vanilla creme anglaise. I was slightly hesitant to order this, because I love banana, but I was afraid the coconut would be too prominent in the dish. Sadly enough, my angst came true, as I found that there was too much shredded coconut in there. It would’ve tasted so much better being more banana-ey. IMG_3947

 

The other dessert we ordered was the Upside Down Toffee Banana & Walnut Cake also served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The chewy caramelised walnut top and the nice moist banana cake, made this a far better choice than the pudding. Walnuts always pair well with bananas and lucky for the monkey in me, this cake had a very nice banana taste. I attacked this dessert and definitely would have it again the next time I visit Chopsuey. IMG_3948Overall the food was pretty good and it was nice to eat some anglicised Asian food that didn’t taste horrible. It is possible to have nice fusion food, it’s just that other places still need to figure this out properly. I think the Asian restaurants in Holland could learn a lesson or two from them. Happy to see my best friend again after half a year and with a full tummy, I headed home to dive into bed as I had to get up early the next morning for work.

Restaurant: Chopsuey Cafe at Martin Road (there’s another one at Dempsey Hill)
Address: No.38 Martin Road, 239072, Singapore
Website: http://www.pscafe.com/chopsuey-cafe-at-martin-road/