Monday, February 29, 2016

The French Table - Good Set Lunches

Braised Pork Belly with Mash and Sauteed Vegetables

Gone were the days of cheap and good set lunches, and so we thought. It was then at The French Table that we chanced upon the $9.90++ deal; never mind they were tucked in a secluded corner of the bustling Punggol Waterway Point. We enjoy quiet lunches in their dark cozy setting.

We prayed hard that the braised pork belly doesn't turn out to be what our Chinese family does at home. And luckily, it doesn't. It tasted different, it tasted French. We love the melt-in-the-mouth. And the mashed potato is rich and smooth.

Ladies would love their tangy tomato sauce coating the linguine! And the chicken cutlet piece hammered flat and deep fried crisp was so unlike our usual Western entree. It balances out the vinegary bite of the tomato sauce, or even better on its own with a light dip into the nutty onion dressing. The smoked mushrooms too, were memorable.

Crispy Chicken Cutlet with Linguine in Tomato Sauce

Complimentary Vegetable Soup of the Day, and Iced Peach Tea/ or Iced Ocha

Impressed, we came back quickly on the second week. But the menu changes weekly and our old favorites were gone, so we laid our hands on their thin crust pizza and a staple of tagliatelle.

Topped up for their coffee which was served with a helping of warm milk! And dessert of freshly fried banana fritters with the Vanilla ice-cream sitting on crushed pistachio nuts! The bananas were sweet golden ripe.

Yes, it's the little details that delights.

Beef Ragout Pizza (9 inch)

Sauteed Chicken with Tagliatelle in Red Wine Thai Chili Sauce

Optional Top-up of $3++: Banana Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream Dessert

Optional Top-up of $1++: Coffee in replacement of Iced Drinks

Saturday, February 20, 2016

5 Eats in City Square Mall, JB

Having our good share of news about noxious crimes in the JB state of Malaysia, Johor Bahru City Square Mall is probably the furthest i would dare venture alone across the Singapore Causeway. The mall is a Singapore investment sited next to the Malaysia custom office, and prices are not exactly cheap; in fact, many of the franchise stalls here actually boosts the highest price tag among their outlets!

But the mall does provide a good get away from our everyday places. And here are 5 eating places we enjoyed during our recent visit; we are planning for a revisit soon.

1. Ho Seng Kee Wanton Mee, 何成記云吞面 (Level 6, Lot J6-07)

A good light breakfast starts here, at the rooftop air-conditioned terrace. It was worth it for the noodle, a nice bouncy texture that you would never get it at $3 in Singapore. Just gotta complete the meal with a Kopi though.

2. AhGong Laksa, 阿公辣沙 (Basement 1, Lot MB-02C)

Maybe breakfast was too light, or it was our gluttony, Ah Gong Recipes managed to draw us with their promise of a good hot bowl of Laksa soup!

3. Kimdo BBQ, 金都串串烧 (Level 3, J3-19B)

Craving more bites, we succumbed to some BBQ snacking at Kimdo. Oh, the fresh squids and chicken wings dipped in sourish, spicy sauce! And we had our most thirst-quenching drink here.

4. Season's Cafe (Level 2 , Lot J2-37 & 38)

On some day, a decent set meal in Season's Cafe, aka Malaysia Swensen's. They just might be having more dedicated kitchen chefs than Singapore's? You will not regret.

5. Penang Road Famous TeoChew Chendul,  槟城律驰名潮州煎蕊 (Level 3, MF-19A)

And the last shall be first.
This is a must visit for their incredible chendol and rojak! Read more here.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Season's Cafe - LNY Promotion

Teriyaki Chicken with Rice (RM$19.90, S$6.70)

Season's Cafe ended our venture at the Johor Bahru City Square this Chinese New Year season. If i remembered correctly, we had never lunched at Season's Cafe because of its close resemblance to Swensen's Singapore - that element of novelty is just missing. Today, we were attracted by their CNY promotion set.

8 dishes range from Chicken Baked Rice or Pepperoni & Cheese Pizza (RM$16.90) to Lamb Chop (RM$25.90). In between, there were Spicy Aglio Olio Mushroom Pasta, Black Pepper Seafood Pasta or an Half Spring Chicken (RM$19.90). All sets come with complimentary day soup.

Close resemblance to Swensen's Singapore? Yes. But we thought Season's Malaysia tastes better. Can eat.

Black Pepper Beef Burger (RM$17.90, S$6)

Complimentary Soup of the Day - Creme of Mushrooms

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kimdo BBQ, 金都串串烧

Why is BBQ food bad for us?

Barbecuing causes the surface of food to become contaminated by smoke - the smoke emitted contains poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide and PAHs. For people on the go, we simply do not care about scraping the black bits off the meats to reduce PAHs. And business at Kim Do BBQ was too good for the server to bother about the strong fire that causes the burn.

Our last stop at Johor Bahru City Square was at Kim Do where we eat at our own risk. Sinfully enjoying their signature 'Single Bone Chicken Wings' and 'BBQ Fresh Squids', dribbled in special hot sourish chili dip! Then hoping to justify our wants with some freshly squashed Balonglong fruit juice, served with a preserved plum fruit - surely this detoxify us? Else it quenches our thirst most explicitly!

Kimdo Single Bone Chicken Wing (RM$1.90, S$0.65) x2
Taiwan Eryngli Mushroom (RM$2.50, S$0.85), Crispy Bean Curd (RM$1.60, S$0.55)

Local Fresh Squid, RM$16, S$5.40 (RM$12, S$4 per 100g) 
Fresh Balonglong Juice (RM$5.50, S$1.80)

水塘, Ah Gong Recipes since 1978

Ah Gong's Traditional Laksa (RM$8.90++, S$3)
Cheung Fun (RM$4.80++, S$1.60), Traditional Kopi (RM$2.70++, S$0.90)

Our walk around Johor Bahru City Square exposed us to many small, interesting eateries and thus we decided to drop our previous plan for a big meal, but instead to take a few snacks for our lunch.

Ah Gong Laksa attracted us with our love for laksa; and their cheapest offering of kopi in this entire shopping mall. Yes, do not think that everything across the causeway is cheaper than in Singapore. Consumer prices in Malaysia are constantly updated to keep pace with the falling ringgits.

The laksa was sufficiently enjoyable, albeit the missing cockles that were not available today. This is a good break before we continued our shopping.

Teochew Chendul!

Original Chendul (RM$6.50, S$2.20)

Penang Rojak (RM$8.90, S$3)

We have never expected a Chendol to taste this good. Good is an understatement. It is exemplary; representing the best of its kind. So rich with coconut milk and Gula Melaka, but never overwhelming nor cloying, it just feels easy to drink up! We could never understand how they do it - guess it got a lot to do with the right proportioning of everything.

Then comes their Penang rojak that attacks your senses, right through the nostrils! The heavy fermented shrimp paste travels up the senses with the aid of the juicy cut fruits; it was awesome! We wouldn't have it any other way.

If you have only 30 mins at the Johor Bahru City Square, this little Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul eatery is good enough for you to drop everything else and spend it all here.

Ho Seng Kee, 何成記云吞面

Doesn't this picture sets you salivating? Hold it there, you've got to travel the distance to the Johor Bahru City Square for your fix. 

Ho Seng Kee operates from the roof terrace of the shopping mall, bringing forth freshly made noodles daily, from duck, chicken eggs and high protein flour. Their noodle alone warrants a repeat visit; and you may well enjoy their prawn dumplings too.

Original Wantan Mee, M (RM$8.90, S$3)

Spicy + Black Sauce Wantan Mee, M (RM$8.90, S$3)

Prawn Dumpling Mee (RM$12.90, S$4.30) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MA CHERIE Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner by Shiseido

Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Travel Set, 50ml each ($8.90)

For the longest time, i was repulsive towards moisture shampoo and conditioner. In our humid weather, they drag down my thick rough hair after a night's sleep; by the next afternoon my hair starts feeling and looking lumpy. So i tend to stick to 'everyday wash' shampoo.

These days, i was too much in the sun and running into the cool dryness of the strong air-conditioning - i think my ends might be splitting? So when i don on the luxurious shampoo of Ma Cherie, i immediately felt pampered! Just a size of a twenty cent coin has been enough to produce a cheery mass of sweet laundering for my short cropped bob. The hair feels soft, moisturized and airy till the next evening. It feels and smell wonderful.

Then i plucked up the courage to try the conditioner; for this blogging. The dollop on my palm disappears as soon as i applied it on my hair! This is so unlike our usual conditioner, so i added another dollop, and the same thing happened. Nothing much was left to be washed off! This time round the hair felt really moistened but still light.

I am saving the conditioner as a weekly treat for the hair. And am earnestly sourcing out the cheapest shop that houses this moisture shampoo from Shiseido, Japan.

Friday, February 5, 2016

正光, Hollywood Zhenguang Wanton Noodles

Wanton Noodle/ or Braised Chicken Feet Noodle ($3)

After all the hooha on the media about Zheng Guang's moving away from the closed down Hin Hollywood Canteen (located at the junction of Haig Road and Tanjong Katong Road), we just have to visit them at their new venue in Haig Road Market & Food Centre.

But the wanton mee was sold out; we were left with only the choice of braised chicken feet. Maybe we will return to catch their wanton noodle in the early morning, but maybe not. Because we weren't too impressed with the noodles today. 

If like us, you came late for the wanton mee, we recommend you try out Kiat Huat who is just behind Zheng Guang's stall. We think you'll like them too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A.B.C. Kway Chap Braised Duck

Kway Chap Platter for 2 Pax ($6), Kway Chap x3 ($1.50)

An aromatic whiff of braised sauce allured us to the stall this late afternoon as we strolled the ABC Brickworks Food Centre in search of food. Never mind that there doesn't seem to be any patrons around the stall; Ric was sure his senses do not lie.

So there we have it, their kway chap platter. And as we dug in, customers start streaming in for their braised duck rice. Both packing away and eating here. Are we missing something? But the kway chap is also not bad what? 

Not willing to miss out on any good food, we came back swiftly on the second week, just for the duck rice. And it does explain its popularity. It was a satisfying plate.

Duck Rice Set ($3.50)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

好味, Good Spice Carrot Cake

Black Carrot Cake, with Chili ($2)

Some 10 years ago, we used to patronize this old carrot cake stall in  Pek Kio Food Centre for their bargain of $1 minimum order, and generous use of eggs. The taste was nondescript; we just gobbled up the cheap fare.

Quite unexpectedly today, as we savoured the warm plate, we noticed nicely charred bits that greatly enhanced the carrot cake experience - this tiny difference sets it apart from other mediocre stalls. 

The minimum order is $1.50 now, but we wouldn't be returning just for its low price.

顺利, Soon Lee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodle

Mee Pok, dry ($2.50)

It was a simple order of minced pork noodle at Pek Kio Food Centre; a choice of convenience. But it turned out to be a very satisfying meal. We just never know the 'power' of the popular stall in this neighborhood.

First bite, and it screams 'old school'. Priceless. 
A simple bowl of noodle that reminisces a taste of long long time ago.   

U-Mee, dry ($2.50)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Curry Gardenn at Turf City

Fish Head Curry, Angoli Full Fish Head, Spicy ($26++)

Few Indians curry fish heads impress us. There are the Muthu's and the Karu's that we like; and Curry Gardenn doesn't quite fit the rank yet. The curry today registered a blank index for spiciness; I wondered, did we ordered their non-spicy option by mistake? And i wish my fish yields a more supple texture.

But it was here that i was treated to 'fish brains'. We cracked open the tiny skull and retrieved delicate pieces of the tiny tissues! I'm just short of showing you a photograph of it.

More than ever, i was drenching my Biryani rice with tangy yogurt which i enjoy. The fresh Papadum crackers with appetizing chutney sauce becomes the highlight of this meal.

Papadum serves with Chutney

Raitha - Yogurt with Onion, Tomato and Spices ($3.50++)
Biryani Rice ($2.50++)