Monday, June 30, 2008

美奇 Cuttlefish Kanggong

Another choice eat at the East Coast Lagoon Food Centre would be this Cuttlefish Kanggong stall. I didn't have to look far, the stretch of giant cuttlefish on display in the freezer caught all my attention!

Wow... are these for real? i asked the stall owner :)

Cuttlefish Kanggong, without Bee Hoon ($3)

Again, the magic is in the sauce that carries hint of Belacan chilli. Tender yet chewy cuttlefish pieces that offers very good bite; it now tops my list of Cuttlefish Kanggong that ranges from the ones from ABC Market and Bedok South.

Fresh Cockles ($3)

Oh, and cockles so freshly good, i've willingly turned into a Vampire in this 'once a blue moon' night.

Meng Kee Satay Bee Hoon

Yawning... my Durian trip yesterday left me all too tired to report for work today; called up for a day leave, zzz... ...

When eye wide opened, we lunched at Kallang for their renowned Prawn Mee before going for my due hair cut. And long wait for Ric to tie up some loose ends at work before he could meet me up for dinner.

Left stranded in the East, we decide to revisit the East Coast Lagoon Food Centre for dinner. It's been more than a year since we last visited here as we always avoided the East Coast dues to its ever growing crowds.

A walk around the food centre brought us to the little queue formed at Meng Kee Satay Bee Hoon, and we immediately jumped onto its band of dinners.

Personally, the ever popular dish of Satay Bee Hoon does not grow on me, it was not even on my list of 'to eat', until today. It's so good, that it warrants the long waiting time Ric had to queue for.

At an unbelievable price of $2, it's a plateful of bee hoon drenched in delicious satay peanut sauce, with full set ingredients of pig's liver, cockles, cuttlefish, pork meat, taupok and kanggong!!

The sauce was immersingly good! Neither overly thick nor runny thin, it's just plain yummy. Just writing and recalling it makes me drools...

This Satay Bee Hoon here is clearly a winner, of all the similar dish that i've came across, none moved me until this one. My new 'must eat'!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Batu Pahat Durian Trip

My much look forward Durian trip today! Can't wait to shallow the creamy, bitter-sweet seeds of the Durian fruits!

Going by the Second Link causeway to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, we had a brief breakfast and some shopping around for local products before arriving at the little fruit plantation in Batu Pahat for our Durian lunch.

Field of Ladyfingers greeted us on our walk into the plantation.

Fruits, of the now soaring high prices of Oil Palm.

Rambutan Fruits.

Flowering Dragon Fruits to-be!

Coco fruits for Chocolate making.

And finally, my Durian fruits atop me! Sights such as these had us city-dwellers jumping in excitements :) We shall skip the photos of our makan as we were too busy eating to take any photos.

Leaving the plantation, we shopped at the new Jusco Tebrau City and bought our ultimate Tau Sa Pia at Yee Siang Confectionery before proceeding to Orang Asli Seafood Village for a simple seafood dinner.

On our way back to Singapore via the Second Link, we could view the magnificent 'seas of light' of car jam at the causeway; bus lane evaded :)

Home Sweet Home...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wine'ing in Woods

Woods by the Wine Company is neatly tucked behind The Wine Company @Dempsey, literally in the woods.

A little cozy corner, well hidden and away from the bustles of the growing populations of wine clubs and restaurants in Dempsey.

We love to come here for catching up with one another.

Though we always opted for the indoor seating, the terrace continues to entice me with its large Banyan tree complete with climbers, arching over the terrace and bushy gaint Ferns waltzing to the wind. It's an enchanting feel.

Fishbone Cabernet Shiraz 2006 by Blackwood Estate ($37/bottle) is our all-time favourite; it has a good mouth feel without the sour, bitter taste most would associate with red wine. I tend to drink a little too fast with this :)

And with a sausage platter to share, brings us into the night.

Rebranding - Jacob & Cos

Shopping around Central Mall, i barged into Barang Barang store, reasoning that there's a 30% off sales which i actually just love to roam around the store. Love the smell of the wooden furniture and homely feel of Barang Barang decor.

Liken to a headless housefly, i was unobvious to the unique design of this simple sofa until Ric pointed it out to me.

It was a definite creative piece of work! But at a price tag of $1070, my butt hurts...

Sun with Moon - Shines

All the hype about dining at Sun with Moon gave me great anticipation of our scheduled lunch here at their Central Mall branch.

We were ushered to the small, cozy side private dining area by a friendly and smiley waitress who contributes to our great dining experience today.

Throwing all hefty price tags to the wind, we made our below order from their a-la-cart menu.

Teppanyaki Beef Saikoro Steak ($27.80++)

Ric was all praise for his order of Teppanyaki steak cubes that offers him much satisfying bite, coupled with bowl of simple but well textured, fragrant fried rice and a refreshing mini salad bowl is a well combination of a set.

Oh, and the surprising densely looking miso soup that was flavorful instead of being salty!

Unagi & Asari Kamameshi, Set A ($25.80++)

Kamameshi (Japanese traditional steamed seasoned rice pot) being Sun's main signature dishes, is a must order. Even without tempting illustration from the menu, my love for Unagi can't stop my order for the Unagi & Asari Kamameshi set.

Generous douse of clams and green board beans with pieces of tender and fatty Eel topped my Kamameshi; every mouthful was a delight.

A $3 upgrade from the usual Set B to A was well worth the extra dollars. Set A provides additional serving of thick & fresh slices of Sashimi Salmon w/Scallop and flavorful noodle soup.

Mini Macha Parfait ($4.50++)

I enjoyed my mildly bitter glass of green tea flavored parfait topped with green tea ice-cream, dollop of red bean paste, crunchy wafer at the side. Chestnuts, sweet potato bits and lots of mochi balls, jelly cubes, sponge cake cubes and bits of cornflakes on the bottom.

It was an all-in-1, i almost lost track of the types of the many ingredients that goes into the little glass of Parfait!

Tofu Cheese Cake ($5.50++)

A change from our usual fare of solid cheese cake, the home made bean curd cheese cake here was so much lighter in texture, smooth and sweet tasting. Crunchy base crust tasted fresh and not at all heavy.

Serving of their aromatic coffee completes our today's lunch escapade.

You may wish to note, that depending on the portion and types of food/desserts you wish to have; you select your dining hours. Food can comes in smaller portion and price during the tea time hours; while some desserts are only available at certain time of day.

Either way, you get what you pay for. Prices in porportion to serving size.

Having been forewarned about the higher pricing here, we still feel that the overall dining experience here is reasonably priced. And my limited vocabulary thus does injustices to the painstakingly prepared cuisine here.

Hope to be back soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Buzzing Cashiers - 李记 Seafood BBQ

Ric bought me a nice Calvin Klein Jeans bag from Isetan Tampines before he whisked me off for dinner at the Tampines Round Market at St 11, Blk 137.

This was his 2nd visit here and he urged me to try all of his below recommendations.

鼓汁拉拉, White Clams in Bean Sauce ($6)

Barbecue Sambal Stingray ($8)

芙容蛋, Egg Omelette ($5)

A pretty tasty dinner with the White Clams dish at top of the list; freshness of shellfish was unmistakably there, not one was detached from its shell and its bean sauce was simply unforgettable.

Everything was well-seasoned and almost MSG free; i guess, as i don't suffer from any 'dehydration' thereafter ;)

The smilingly boss was not in sight though, had wish to see him in person after catching him on his TV appearance. His stall was tended by his wife and 3 other friendly helpers.

Soy Ice Cream

Was shopping around AMK Hub looking for some worthy buy, then spotted Mr Bean kiosk and immediately bought a cone for thirst quenching.

This being just my 2nd taste of the ice cream; was first introduced to this ice cream by mom who boasted of its rich creamy Soya aroma and unsweetened flavor which was ever so welcoming.

A painstakingly prepared tall cone that i've requested for shooting purpose :)

Soya Bean Ice-Cream ($1.20 - cone, $1.50 - cup)

I don't usually appreciate the Aladdin biscuit cone cos it adds sweetness to the already very sweet ice cream, but this case here it's different, all tastes harmonize...

But eating it alone was rather boring; waiting to meet up Ric after his work.

Lastly, don't mix up Mr Bean with Jolly Bean kiosks; i often do :)

Joe's Thai Kitchen

My great idea to lunch here (Blk 125, Bukit Merah Lane 1) ends us up in a desperate parking situation but all ends well when we arrived to find the restaurant only half-filled. That's one benefit of late lunch :)

With the very reasonable pricing of an Thai eatery, there's much dishes we wish to order. We narrow them down to three dishes but without my dessert of Mango Glutinous Rice as the owner had honestly told us that their mango had yet ripen for serving.

I was famished, but still photo-taking comes 1st; in the order of serving:

Belacan with Brinjal ($6)

Brinjal was deep fried before stir-fried with Belacan. Average taste but great if you love Brinjal like me, i like them wetter though.

Seafood Tofu ($4)
A tasty surprise that such simple dish could offers. Juicy pieces with just the right amount of seasonings.

Tilapia with Special Chilli Sauce - Medium ($12)

Fish was well-prepared and doesn't have any trace of the usual 'mud' taste that comes with Tilapia fish. Crisply deep-fried, i was practically 'bone-eating' away.

Sweet chilli sauce topping that was delicious to start with, proved to be an overkill towards the end of our meal. Still, we much enjoyed our meal here. Friendly service, simple dining environment with effort prepared food at very competitive pricing.

The spicy index here was so much lower than our usual Thai cuisine though, but it no doubt would be great for families with little children who can't take spicy food.

Come my next visit, i would request for an elevated level of spiciness!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Laksa Sayang!

Of mum's many recipes of Laksa, i love them all!

We own it to Grandma for today's version of Nonya Laksa as she's the one who requested for mum's speedy delivery of it :)

My pending requests of Mee Siam, Prawn Mee, Mee Rebus, Sweet & Sour Pork, brother's Nasi Lemak and Dad's Braised Trotters are still waiting in line. Had to get Grandma's help, i supposed.

And for the Laksa that burns our throat, right down to our stomachs. Yummy...

Cooking for your loved ones is a sure expression of 'Sayang'!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Arabic Bread

Arabic or Pita Bread is the most elemental of foods of the Lebanese cuisine. It is one of the staple foods of the entire Arab world.

With globalisation, we could now get them off the shelves from major supermarkets locally, of course at a higher price if you compare them at less than SG$0.10 cents per piece in Arab; with many places offering them for free taking.

Arabic bread may be eaten in many ways with many kinds of other dishes. A simple recipe in the making of the bread, only 4 ingredients! White flour, water, yeast and salt; no preservatives, colorings, or oil added.

The bread may be eaten in accompaniment with any sorts of cooked meat, eggs, tomatoes, salad dishes. For a light snacks, it may be spread with jam, peanut butter, kaya, and all other assortments of cheese or toppings.

As a novice cook, i could only whip up a simple Tuna Onion Sandwich with my half cut-open, pocketed Arabic bread :) Try the thicker version of the bread; i feel it have a better bite than the thin ones.

Yong Tou Foo, 15 cents

Our dining location at Bedok would always end at the Bedok South Food Centre, Blk 16 for its $2 Cuttlefish with Kanggong that attracts long queues; its popularity has grown since it last appeared on TV.

Another stall that's a gospel to the residents here would be this Yong Tou Foo stall (01-145) that priced each Yong Tou Foo pieces at 15 cents, making it cheaply affordable for many.

And it is full sized pieces we are talking about here, not cut half-sized ones.

Just when everybody was complaining of high inflation months back, this stall drops their price from 15 cents per piece, minimum $2 to the now $1.50 order.


Served in warm broth of Soybeans were our 10-piece selections with its aromatic Yam Rice, $2.

Venezia Gelato Italiano

A trip to the Orchard shopping belt would never be complete without picking up our favourite baguette from St. Leaven.

Today, on making our way to the Hokkaido Food Fair at Scotts Isetan, after our bread purchase at Takashimaya, we observed people enjoying cupful of delicious looking ice-cream.

And it's from the Venezia outlet that has at least some 16 flavours of its Gelato on display.

Each cupful priced at - 1 flavor @ $3.10, 2 flavors @ $4.20.

I had never tried Gelato, cos its appearance of sitting in the display gave me the impression that it was soft and slimy. Mum on the other hand was wary of strong cream taste that most comes with.

But after seeing the server scooping hard, solid cream chunk into serving cups and sampling the Mango flavor, prompted us to make an order of the conventional bitter sweet Dark Chocolate and refreshing Mango flavor - Finding relief in our first spoonfuls of gelato.

Our next requisition would be their Durian, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla, Lemon...

Chilli Flowers in Bloom

These wet and sunny season had my Chilli plants dancing in blossom, all 11 of them, even the little young ones.

But blossom after blossom, i can't wait for the fruits to appear soon.

The ones shown here belongs to red chilli padi; it's strange that the flower buds are white, right?

Haha... red chilli are green before they rippen to red color :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kueh Kueh!

Between the AIA building and Alexander Village Food Centre, lies a popular Ang Ku Kueh stall at the corner of KPT coffeeshop, Blk 127 .

Prices had all gone up by 10 cents each but we really enjoyed the quality salted bean paste (grey color) and dense aromatic peanuts (red color) assortments.

Ang Ku Kueh (60 cents/piece)

Never been keen on the bean version of Ang Ku Kueh, but their salted bean filling totally won me over today and changed my perspective of it over the peanut ones.

They also have Ang Ku Kueh which comes in many other flavors namely the yam, coconut, mango, durian and red bean. Had yet to try them though.

Soon Kueh, 笋粿 with turnip (60 cents/piece); with bamboo shoots (80 cents/piece)

Taste of the Soon Kueh was average but was outstanding with its substantial fillings.

Only mum and granny love the traditional Soon Kueh with Bamboo Shoots fillings, we youngsters couldn't appreciate them of their unique pungent, unwashed flavor. We had much stick to the Turnip ones.

House of Dumplings (II)

Seldom do we return to the same eating place within the same month but it seem to be the case here when we had been thinking of sinking our bites into the Guotie (gyozas) and handmade noodles since we last had it weeks back.

And ever since Ric's overseas trip back, he's been niggling on coming over for the Guotie he so missed. My poison is the handmade noodles.

Thus , this morning I made a phone order for lunch (9469-7774) to more intimately addressed as Du Mama (杜妈妈) for her Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面) and Chives Dumplings that are not in her serving menu.

Zha Jiang Mian, 炸酱面 ($3)

We arrived near 2pm, avoiding the lunch hour crowd.

And our bowl of thick, flat wheat noodles were served promptly with warm, thick and sweet minced meat sauce over it. Topped up with oodles of cucumbers shreds that i like for the nice crunchy bite.

Judging from the texture and irregular cuts of the noodles, it was obviously handmade. The handmade noodle offers a distinctive chewy bite to our usual prepacked Shanghai noodles that were commonly used in this dish.

For the extra punch, we were offered a self-concocted chilli mix for mixing with the minced meat sauce. The chilli mix offers more of fragrance than spiciness; it even proved lovely to go with our gyozas later.

Handmade noodle with well recipe minced meat sauce promotes it to one of the best ZhaJiang Mian i had.

Pan-fried Gyozas, 锅贴 ($5)

Oh, then our 'dream' gyozas arrived; while still busy with our bowls of noodles we couldn't wait to bite into the dipping hot guotie :)

No lapse in the standard from our previous visit.

Chives Dumpling, 韭菜饺 ($5)

Rather than the usual Pork-and-Chives dumplings, we had ordered their Chives Dumplings as we love Chinese Chives.

Maybe because of the specially requested and prepared dumplings, it was served so fresh that you could tell from its super smooth texture and non-sticking to the plate (without any addition of oil).

I popped the whole fat dumplings in one mouthful and juice oozes with each of my bites; it was delightful.

We had then packed some for Granny as mum had reminded us that Chinese Chives dumplings were Granny's favourite.

Good handmade noodles are priceless; i've got to enquire what other types of handmade noodles they have. And i couldn't wait to come back soon for more food indulgence, think i'm seriously getting tangled on its noodles & dumplings here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

OldTown White Coffee

With an hour to go before our business engagement at 4pm, we drop down to the new Playground @ Big Splash for a cuppa.

Business was brisk for a weekday afternoon; i couldn't imagine the crowd they get on weekends.

A moment after getting seated, Ric was ready and eager to order cos' everything looks so good on the menu. It makes you want to order something even though we were still quite bloated from lunch.

OldTown White Coffee ($1.60+)
OldTown Coffee Lava - 2 Scoops ($2.90+)

Ric enjoyed his coffee that he finds had a unique aroma; i couldn't identify with that though, i had my heart on the bitter-sweet Coffee Lava Ice-cream.

Signature Kaya & Butter Toast ($1.60+)
Ice Fire Polo Bun ($1.90+)

Their signature toast of Kaya & Butter was just an average fare; instead the Ice Fire Polo Bun was a good change.

Nice & comfortable decor with very pleasant serving staffs; i would love to spend some leisure time here, omitting the weekends.

Of course, having the right companion is key for an enjoyable time.

Ajisen Japanese Ramen

I had originally planned to lunch at Cafe Cartel today but changed my mind as i saw the 50% off notice at the stall front of Ajisen, Bishan Junction 8.

Volcano Ramen

Tom Toro Ramen

It turns out that the 50% discount was only applicable to members, and so we paid a full price of $11 ++ for a bowl of ramen :(

That aside, the ramen was still pretty decent to have; chewy wheat flour ramen swimming in MSG free, thick Tonkotsu "pork bone" broth.

Ric's jolly cheer further eases my disappointment.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tan Chin Lee Sea-Fresh Restaurant

Tan Chin Lee now sited in Tuas Amenity Centre, off Pioneer Road is the only restaurant that boost of an over 30 years history from the old Tuas Fishing Village.

It's been like over 5 years since we last visit this restaurant that we used to dine in our early days of courtship.

Ric had mentioned of missing their traditional 'Teochew-Styled' Steamed Fish before his trip, so today we were there to rehash our good makan times. And this puts us in a very good mood tonight.

Steamed Red Garoupa (Teochew-Styled) $32+, seasonal priced.

"The red garoupa so fresh and well prepared in Teochew-styled steam was rarely found in the many restaurants here", was Ric's comments about the steamed fish. For a rare fish-eater like Ric, he loved the steam fish here.

Special Mee Goreng ($8+)

Having fond memories of their sweet-tasting Mee Goreng, today's more sour and spicy cooking was different; nonetheless equally nice to have.

Teochew Spring Roll ($6+)

The crunchiness from the deep fried spring roll was delightful; lighter than the version we had at Chin Lee but certainly can hold a candle to it in its own way.

We certainly hope to be back again soon for its very fine steamed fish. A bigger portion perhaps.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Absolutely New Zealand

Having strolled along the stretch of restaurants along Sunset Way, you would not fail to notice the window of cakes on display at this little deli joint that sells many New Zealand's imports of dairy products, condiments and confectionery.

A little cake named 'Bottom Black' caught our eye and we promised ourselves to be back after our lunch.

The cake ($4) was served well-chilled; top layered of hard chilled cheese with soft light caramel in-between, complete with black bottom of dark chocolate.

Sweet and chocolaty!

Desserts never fail to make me happy. And with Ric's back, i feel i'm finally eating my fill after 'starving' for the many days in his absence :)

Cafe d' Orient, 新香港

While still suffering from his jet lag, Ric was still capable of suggesting to dine at this new dining premise at Clementi Sunset Way. Though happy to see me, he was obviously 'stoned' tired.

The once sleepy neighbourhood here had been transformed to one lined with cafes and restaurants in relaxed, alfresco setting.

As this was our first time here, we strolled through the stretch of restaurants under Blk 106 and finally decide to have a simple meal at 新香港茶餐厅.

Pork Ribs Bamboo Rice ($5.90)

We ordered their Beef Slice Spaghetti ($8.90) and Bamboo Rice to share, with the winner being the rice. It was a very simple but satisfying dish that was not overladen with salty sauce. The taste was just right for a tiring body.

Their fried spaghetti came in a big serving but was not a better version than what we have tasted. Maybe it was a little too wet and just fails to bring out the flavor of this noodle dish. Photo was not post-worthy.

Prices were nett but on a higher side when compared with here.

We need a dessert and thus the next post.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On my Own

Ric flew off last night and i was suddenly down with a little Cough and Flu this morning. Talk about lovesickness haha...

By evening, a fever had developed. But stubborn as i am, do not want any medication until mom served me a cup of medicated tea which she had already had it diluted after drinking off the first pour herself.

Still, it is bitter yet effective. I collapsed to bed and miraculously recovered from my cold the next morning; but the cough persists.

Tan Ngan Lo Medicated Tea ($3.30 for box of 10pcs)

Else, everything was fine during Ric's absence, except for the unaccustomed quietness. A different sense of freedom gained but with loneliness i have to deal with independently.

No nagging, no reporting. No loving chiding, no teasing. No company for food enjoyment or for finishing up the food i detested. And nobody to run to in face of trouble arising or when i wish to act in a pettishly manner.

What would Garfield be like without Odie for bullying? Only i can bully Odie; Nobody touches him!!!
And how is my very different, the other half doing without his 'evil' other half, Me?

Monday, June 9, 2008

湾仔, Wan Chai Hong Kong Tea Room

Took a half-day leave today to gather things Ric needed for his overseas work assignments. Also to spent some more time together.

At IMM mall, we thought of dining at the same eatery simultaneously. I have read it off blogs while he always missed the chance of eating here dues to the lunch time queues.

Shrimps Won-Ton noodle (5.5)

Their signature dish of Won-Ton noodles pass the mark and came close to the version served in Crystal Jade Kitchen, but at a much lower price tag. Accompanying was a soup of robust shrimp's essence.

HK Thick Toast with Peanut Butter ($2.10)
HK Traditional Coffee ($1.40)
Boiled egg ($1.50)

The above when ordered as a set would only cost $4.10. We love their coffee that comes with a trace of tea, and rich buttery thick toast that glued our bites.

Affordable dining with no added service charges or GST, no tea or towel charges; prices are nett. Thumbs up!