Thursday, January 31, 2013

TOMO Izakaya (居酒屋)

Salmon Teriyaki Don, with Salad Appetizers and Miso ($15++)

In the cozy interior of the Tomo Izakaya restaurant, it was like dining with friends under the Sakura tree. You could take this literally, as the award winning interior decor really includes an artificial Sakura tree that branches across the ceiling of the dining hall.

If this is not a lunch but an after-work dinner, the vibes shall prompt you to order that sakes, shochus or beer.

Bento Set B, include Tofu Avocado Salad and Miso soup ($15++)

Food wise, we were impressed and satisfied. All individual sets seem to be designed to provide varying tastes within the one order. Like a cheap version of Omakase meal, we state our mains and were then surprised with small tantalizing side dishes served together.

It's no wonder the restaurant survives its many years in business at the Clarke Quay. And we had benefited from today's meal at just halved the price with Set-Lunch-1For1-Clarke-Quay.

Sashimi - Tuna, Salmon

Grilled Silver Baits Fishcake

Stir Fried Potato & Bacon with Yuzu Pepper sauce

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sony Xperia J

Sony Xperia J, black ($398)

It is time. Many of us, the first generation smartphone users had came to realize the short life span of smartphones - about a year or 2. So instead of getting another top range model, i opted for a mid range. In any case, many low-end product is getting better.

I could well acknowledge the compact and handy feel of the Sony Xperia J after my 1 year with the bulkier Samsung Note. The reduction from a 5.3 to a 4 inch screen does not hurt one bit. It is impressive how the Sony Bravia engine easily generates a display that matches up to Samsung HD Super Amoled. And for a sound expert like Sony, the sound quality does not disappoint.

The interface and settings option of these new series of Android phones are innovative and very user friendly. All at a mid range pricing.

For a downgrader, the 512 MB and 1 GHz processor may be noticeable slacking to support a Android with demanding Apps but if you are just a decent user, everything works real fine. Plus, i am enjoying the beauty of this phone to be critical about its machine. Life needn't moves too fast, yeah?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

紅犀鸟, Red Hornbill Kolo Mee

Sarawak Kolo Mee ($4)

This Malaysian noodle stall in the kopitiam at Blk 205 Bedok North St.1 maybe proving its authenticity with tall piles of empty bowls, and many table of customers, all busy tucking into their big pink bowl. Not just for the Kolo Mee, also the Black Sauce Noodle ($4) and the very popular Sarawak Laksa ($4.50).

But maybe next time. We had already ordered, since reading about their Kolo Noodle from the ST Life! section.

You'll immediately notice their very substantial serving of chewy noodle, and after mixing all well in the savory sauce, this has to be our saltiest bowl of Kolo mee. Maybe that's exactly how Malaysian like their noodle? You should appreciate them if you are of a heavier taste buds. I find them rather tasty too, albeit the saltiness.

Oh, and the stall don't do chili sauce to go with their noodles, unlike other places we had patronised. Just pickled green and red chilies that are zero spicy. This well humbled a chili eater, but it is how Sarawak noodle should be, truly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar

Grilled Whole Chicken Leg with Napoletana Sauce ($9.50++)

The JP Pepperdine celebrates opening of several new outlets with 1-for-1 dining voucher this week. At Brewbakers, you purchase 1 set lunch of grilled chicken whole leg and get another free. Great value.

Service and food at the restaurant are similar to their popular Jack's Place - a meal that starts with warm creamy soup of the day, garlic bread. And ended with good coffee with evaporated milk and their own baked dessert.

Our mains of grilled chicken is a melt-in-the-mouth topped with Napoletana sauce of molten cheese. This is quite a delight. The sides of potato was caramelized with onions while i had wished the salad to be dressed with vinaigrette instead of sweet thousand island sauce.

If you have this discount voucher from the Monday ST paper, go cash it in by this Sunday. Else, at least we had tried and know Brewbakers serves a reliable fare.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Remy Martin VSOP - Fine Champagne Cognac

A vibrant golden liquid with an equally striking red bottle underlined French, Remy's attempts to rejuvenate its centuries old image.

The bottle was launched in Nov 2012 and sold only at exclusive hotspots. Friend bought it from the Singapore Changi Airport when he traveled, then sharing it at today's annual gathering. And it sure bought about some interests and hoo-ha as everyone was made to drink the 40% vol. Cognac!

Having aroma of the usual cognac, it comes with the familiar hot and tongue biting sensation. Bitter tasting but clearly on a sweet note. The sweetness goes a long way for us ladies who don't usually handle the brandy. We like this one. 

Remy Martin Jolin Tsai VSOP Limited Edition Cognac, 1L (approx. US$40)

French Cellars Cabernet Merlot 2011

The Private Collection - French Cellars Cabernet Merlot, vol. 13.5% ($19.95)

Ric doesn't fancy the Merlot grapes. So do i, after this bottle of Cabernet-Merlot blend, made in France by winemakers trained in Australia.

Deep red, quite fruity and very little spicy. I find it especially boring and dull. 'Flat' might be the word. Pairing it with red meat helps to finish the bottle as i gulped, ignoring the weak 13.5% vol. But i guess if you are one who like Merlot, this bottle should be good?

Friday, January 18, 2013

西蒜豆干, Leeks with Bean Curds

The Leek, named 蒜 in Chinese has the same pronunciation as 算, meaning to 'calculate'. And so the vegetable has an auspicious significance during the Chinese New Year - that you would know to calculate (save or earn money, goods) for the coming year after having eaten the Leeks.

Most family have this dish; and it is one of my favorite that mum cooked often though the years, but i hasn't learned to calculate any better ;) Do take heed that this is an oily dish.

8 stalks of Leeks (Buy the ones with reddish covering like the ones pictured here. They are sweeter.)
1 square piece of traditional Beancurd
10 pieces of Dried Shrimps
3-4 tablespoons of Oil
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Leeks - Trim away the yellowed, dried leaves. Cut off the roots. Opens up the leek with your hands while you rinses them under a running tap. You should notice lots of sand and dirt. Slice up the leek diagonally and place them in a bowl of water, swirl around to let the dirt settle to the bottom of the bowl. Take the leek out to drain in a colander.
Beancurd -  Cut into rectangle cubes. Heat up oil in wok, sprinkle a pinch of salt into oil. Deep fried the bean curds till golden brown. Remove from wok.
Dried Shrimps - Soak in a small bowl of water till it soften. Remove from liquid.

Heat up oil in wok. Add in dried shrimps and cook till medium browned. Add in bean curds. Add light soy sauce, followed by the Leeks; and let these stand for a good 3 minutes, do not stir. You may cover the wok. Turn to medium heat and simmer the vegetables till it soften and cooked, give it the occasional stir. Add salt at any one time to taste.

Unlike cooking of other vegetables, do NOT add water to the cooking of this dish.

Traditional recipe for this dish often includes Pork Belly strips to be added before the bean curds - and that was Grandma's recipe. I believe it would be heavenly.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

可口鸭饭, Ke Kou Duck Rice

Braised duck, duck gizzards, braised egg for 2 pax ($10)

Mum recommends this braised duck rice stall in the kopitiam at Blk 207, Bukit Batok St.21. The stall wasn't new, i last had them during my secondary school time; remembering them for their duck noodles.

If you like Kway Chap, they have them too.

Yam Rice ($0.50)

Plain Congee ($0.50)

Mum is mesmerize by their yam rice. It is very good indeed; you could eat it on its own and wouldn't stop licking your lips at the same time.

The porridge is finely gooey, of an excellent texture. A real comfort to slurp it in like an accompanying soup. Though we wouldn't exchange it for our favorite stall at East Coast Lagoon, this is surely good enough.

Now at least, we have a 'can eat' braised duck stall in the West of Singapore. Just hold back on the braised sauce that might be a tad salted and into MSG, then you should do fine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soon Lee Porridge @ Clementi

Pork Porridge, with egg ($2.80)

This really looked good, don't you think so? 

I wished it was; for the stall has been famously good for 20 odd years in the Clementi Central area. We note that its consistency is less gooey, more watered down than what we had, just days back at Wong's, Bedok.

And our taste buds stubbornly rejected the heavily flavored porridge. Maybe by holding back their preserved vegetables (冬菜) might save us from our sufferings. Or was my Flu symptoms provoking my senses? No, no, i wouldn't have this porridge even under normal condition. 

On the other hand, if you enjoy much flavorsome porridge, like theirs, you'll be happy to know they charge just 30 cents to add an egg to the porridge, while many others cost you 50. And they are generous with ingredients.

Ric helped finished the bowl.

Monday, January 14, 2013

粥, Wong Porridge (since 1975)

When one is feeling under the weather, one craves for the comfort of a bowl of warm gooey porridge.

This Hainanese porridge stall in Blk 16, Bedok South Hawker Centre serves a most unpretentious version of home-cooked congee. It tasted plain when you compare theirs with other hawkers but the ingredients used are taste-catchingly fresh and sweet.

Pork Porridge, Pork with Century Egg Porridge ($3 each)

Having had more porridge these days (because we had both fallen ill), this is the porridge that most suited a patient's appetite. It tasted naturally good without irritating our sensitive senses. Adding a little light soy sauce waken our bitter tongues as the porridge nourish our weaken constitution.

We feel good having this for lunch today.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Indian Cuisine Buffet @ Cultural Hotel

Long grain Basmati Rice

With age catching up, we are finding it difficult to consume much at buffets. Even if we do go, the limited variety of dishes doesn't bother us, as long as the price is proportional to the offerings; it is quality over quantity.

The so-called buffet of just $12 for 2 pax in the Fusionnel Restaurant at the Cultural Hotel is actually a fixed a-la-carte menu that  is serve onto your table, you could then request to replenish whichever items you like for second.

Curry Mixed Vegetables

Chicken Masala

When the clean pot of warm basmati rice was served, it seems to promise of more good things to come. It was indeed, as we tucked into the succulent chicken and savory vegetable pot.

Naan and Papadam Crackers

Dal Tadka

Cracking the crispy papadam crackers and scooping up rich chunky bits of lentil with the freshly baked naan; this had become that perfect meal. 

Never mind the so-called 'buffet' which we expect more of.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas @ Nassim Road

It was more than a pleasant drive along the tranquil Nassim Rd. All was calm and quiet until this group of glittering lights shone through the darken street, like light at the end of the tunnel.

It is magical.

You feel that Christmas has ascend onto the common streets of Singapore. Santa too, is here with his herd of flying reindeers guiding his sleigh.

As much as we like to respect the owner's privacy, we couldn't help peeping through the main gates to savour more of the colorful lights that paved the way to the bungalow house where a tall Christmas tree stood!

And we especially adore the 'waterfall' dripping lights in romantic blue and white that hung from a big tree in the compound.

To the owner of the house, Leonard Francis.
"This is all wonderful. Thank you. Merry X'mas to you too."