Wednesday, August 31, 2016

厦门十全大补, Xiamen Tonic Soup!

十全大补鸭, Herbal Duck ($5), Pork Liver & Kidney Soup ($4)

When we were here for the famous Yan Ji Wei Wei Seafood Soup at the Woodlands Food Centre. The long queue of Xiamen tonic soup actually reached where we were seated, and one of their customers asked to share our table. So this was how we get to ogle at his plate of gelatinous braised trotters!

Now i say you don't forget to order their soup when you get their special braised trotters. The kidney soup pales in comparison to the ones at Seng Kee Black Chicken, and we didn't try their pork rib soup (Bak Kut Teh), herbal chicken or pig's stomach soup. Instead, it was the herbal duck that we bought. And it was so so good! 

金包银猪脚, Special Braised Pig Trotters ($4.50)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Orang Orang (F&B) Pte. Ltd.

Tauhu Goreng ($3)

Orang Orang F&B is a Muslim food court in Bukit Batok, which we are more familiar with, and really enjoy some of their entrees. Whether it's breakfast or lunch, it's easy to find something we feel like having from 3 of our favorite stalls here:

1. NASI PADANG - Nasi Padang, Tauhu Goreng, Mee Rebus, Mee Soto, Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam, Lontong.
2. RASYIDAH/ JJ - Roti Kirai, Gado Gado, Mee Betawi (beef), Ayam Penyat.
3. CHICKEN RICE - Chicken Rice.

Everything is quite good. Note that the fresh tasting Nasi Lemak is often sold out before 10am, while the uncommon Roti Kirai is only available on weekends. The unique Mee Betawi is a must try, but it will only be ready for lunch. Grab those plates of understated Gado Gado and Penyat too. Last but not least, you wouldn't miss the queue for their chargrilled Chicken Rice!

Pretty sure, you'll go away with something memorable.

Mee Rebus ($3)

Nasi Padang, with Beef Rendang and Cabbage ($3.50)

Nasi Lemak, with Chicken ($3.50)

Kway Teow Soto ($3)

Roti Kirai, with Chicken Curry ($3.50)

Gado Gado ($3.50)

Mee Betawi ($3.50)

Ayam Penyat ($5)

Chicken Rice ($3.50)

Friday, August 26, 2016

一风堂, Ippudo Shiromaru (since 1985)

At Ippudo, we were asked to select the hardness of our noodles when some ramen stall serves them too hard for our likings. The original creamy tonkotsu broth was none too salty too, generous serving of thin and straight noodles of medium hardness, pork belly and pork loin, cabbage, black fungus and spring onions. It was a classic Hakata-style ramen.

But Japanese tonkotsu is beginning to taste all the same to us. All good, but no more surprises. Unless you opted for their tonkotsu broth enhanced with miso paste, fragrant oil, Kyushu soy sauce, or their spicy tantan chili paste. Yet we believe in the original.

In celebration of Ippudo's 6th anniversary in conjunction with Singapore's 51st National Day, we had their signature Shiromaru ramen at $10++.

白丸元味, Shiromaru Motoaji ($15++)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

宏记, Hong Ji Big Prawn Noodle

Prawn Noodle, soup ($3)

Better known for their claypot Bak Kut Teh, Hong Ji operates a prawn noodle stall side-by-side to their popular stall at Blk 19, Marsling Lane, which we shall try at a later date. Today, it was just a nominal fare of some warm noodle soup.

Without much expectation, we were well pleased with the MSG-free prawn soup. It tastes natural, without being overly sweet too. Very fresh prawns, plenty of Kanggong vegetable and beansprouts. This is quite good.

Prawn & Pork Rib Noodle, dry ($4)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Durian Degustation 2016

Countryside Durians ($2 each)

We grew up eating cheap and good countryside durians - those unbranded, with large seeds and thin flesh. But when my experienced uncles and aunts went for the buy, we can be guaranteed of some pungent, bitter and thick flesh ones! From the bulk of cheap $2 durians, they could simply pick out the best from the lot!

For a rare treat, we go for some branded durians.

Golden Phoenix ($18)

1. BLK 494 JURONG WEST ST. 41, 4th AUG 2016 (Thu)

This popular fruit stall in Jurong is well known. You can't miss it. The stall extends its serving stations, with the crowd swarming around it. We picked up some 7 boxes, and the Golden Phoenix was the smallest seeded and lightest tasting of the lot.

The cheapest Sultan King was surprisingly bitter, pungent, and almost spicy but large seed. The Mao Shan King was sweetly pungent and small seeded. Everyone voted Sultan King as the value buy.

King of Mountain Cat ($18)

Sultan King ($12)

2. BLK 698 HOUGANG AVE. 8, 21st AUG 2016 (Sun)

We picked up 4 durians of King of Kings from Hougang when we saw the popularity of the stall. King was as small seeded as the Golden Phoenix, bittersweet and ice-cream creamy. But the aroma doesn't stay long on your palate once you have finished. It's a little disappointing. 

王中王, King of Kings ($15)

3. 龙帝 DURIAN KING, 23rd AUG 2016 (Tue)

Then, our largest haul of the season from Long Di at Jurong West. We bought 2 fruits of everything. (Only 1 is pictured.) Their Red Prawn is softly creamy and has a bitterness so strong, it chokes the throat! Love it.

Black Pearl is bitter and as tiny seeded as the Golden Phoenix, but mild tasting. Both of our D24 are fibrous. And after all the creamy, melting durians we had, the D24 was simply being chucked aside. 

As always, the King Cat is immaculate.

D24 XO ($10/Kg)

Red Prawn ($10/Kg)

太元, Black Pearl ($12/Kg)

King of Mountain Cat ($12/Kg)

4. 龙帝 DURIAN KING, 29th AUG 2016 (Mon)

Thought we had enough of this season, but a promotional $10 King Cat lured us back to the stall. And all 4 of the King Cat were good - dry skinned and melting creamy within. It was very enjoyable.

When we see that the D24 is so popular with many customers, we gave it another try. Bought 2. They were slightly less fibrous, but 1 turned out to be an 'unripe potato'.

Pahang, King of Mountain Cat (1 for $10, limited)

Highland, D24 ($9/kg)

5. 龙帝 DURIAN KING, 1st SEP 2016 (Thu)

The boss apologized for the 'unripe potato' and offered a D101 for a replacement. FOC. As according to him, sometimes the D101 was named the Sultan durian. And boy! It was good. The flesh was thick, creamy and pungently bittersweet.

As per our previous visit, the seller advised us against their promotional $10 MSW, King Cat. But we had a good experience of the King Cat on the previous night and proceeded with another 3 buys. This time, 2 turned out tasteless. The 1 in the picture below is the good one.

Super D101 ($10/kg) - the pale yellow
Pahang, King of Mountain Cat (1 for $10, limited) - the dark yellow

Off the list, there is a box of durian uncle sent us from the durian plantation in Johor Bahru. I missed a photo of it because of its unappetizing pale color of almost milk-like. 

Yet, it was one of the best we had this season - bittersweet, pungent, thick flesh and tiny seeded. It is without a brand name.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hollywood Braised Duck Rice (Lian Kee)

Braised Duck Platter - Duck meat, Duck's Liver, Braised Pork, Egg, Beancurd. 
2 Braised Rice, 1 Porridge, 1 Kway Chap. ($14.10)

Lian Kee Brasied Duck was since 1976. After the closure of the Hin Hollywood Canteen in Aug 2011, it moved to the Sims Vista Market and Food Centre and renamed itself to 'Hollywood'. Now they are next-door to another very well-known braised duck stall, the Tai Dong Duck Rice. Yet business has been brisk.

The most outstanding item from our platter remains with the braised duck meat. It was most succulent. Ignore the duck's liver and braised pork that has been left cold and hard on the serving tray. It is unappetizing. The braising rice is visually appealing, but does little for flavour. Another good option would be their fine gooey porridge and slurping kway chap.

Between Hollywood and Tai Dong, our choice is obvious.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NTP Western & Grill - Low on Salt

This western food stall at the new Bukit Panjang Ring Road Hawker Centre tastes a little different from our usual. Everything here seems low in salt. This might just dampen the appetites of many, but we find it whetting, as the natural sweetness of the sauteed fishes is better savoured. Even the simple Dory tastes good.

The white sauce (over the spaghetti and Dory fish) however, does grip me. It was less creamy and reminded me somewhat of Campbell soup base? The yakitori sauce is alright. We thought the grilled Salmon was worth it.

Grill Fish Set ($7.50, include Soup of the Day)

Ham & Mushroom Spaghetti with Grilled Fish ($7.80)

Grilled Salmon ($8)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sony Alpha 7R

SONY α7R E-mount, ILCE-7R ($2299, after a $500 discount)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* ($769, after $300 discount)

This will be my new trusty companion - the SONY Alpha 7R, a Full Frame on a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/28. The camera itself packs a 36.4 MP 35mm full-frame sensor.

Then we are still getting around the 7R longer focusing distance; it's especially difficult for closeups with food. Anyway, most of the photos on this blog will be from it now.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bavaria Radler Lemon

Bavaria Radler Lemon, Vol. 2% (330ml, 4s for $10.90)

Radler, or shandy is blond lager blended with lemonade or lemon-lime soda. A beverage made popular as a thirst quencher with low alcoholic content than beer, for the dizzying summer.

So far, we had only tasted Jolly Shandy, a lemonade with real beer at 1% vol. Bavaria does it better at 2%, but still we can't feel the alcohol. The strong fizziness of the radler did help pumped up the alcohol at certain point of our drink though.

You could imagine this is an expensive Sprite, doubled its carbonation, lesser the artificial sweetness with a hint of lemon citrus. A thin body with a sweet finish.

Monday, August 8, 2016

成基黑鸡补品, Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup

It was 20 years ago when we last visited the famous Seng Kee Kidney Mee Sua at 511 Market & Food Centre, Bedok North Street 3. We never patronize their main branch at Kembangan (Changi), which has a history of 50 years! Because we love coming back to where we started with Seng Kee.

And 20 years do lots to our taste buds. I guess we matured and learn to appreciate good soup. The 2 soup types which we ordered today were actually of the same soup base. But without the addition of Mee Sua (a type of salted wheat noodle) to the Pig's organ soup, we thought the taste was so much clearer and concentrated! It was mouth watering, as i recalled.

Pig's Organ Soup, with Rice ($4.50)

Pig's Kidney Mee Sua ($4, includes Pig's Liver and Lean Meat)

We didn't know their signature black chicken soup isn't available for lunch, only for dinner. So we ordered their steamed fish and were recommended to add some chili to it. Sounded ok, but we had only expected some sliced chili padi and not a messy plate of tomato chili gravy, overpowering any freshness of the steamed fish.

Stay safe. Just go for their herbal soup.

Steamed Fish Tail, Chili ($26)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Traditional Putu Piring - Tu Tu Keuh!

Putu Piring (5 for $2)

If you have never tasted the Putu Piring, a Malay dessert with a filling of melted Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar), you should certainly make a trip to the Haig Road Market & Food Centre. I presume this is the only stall in Singapore that sells this.

The dessert is served hot, and oozing dark sweeten sugar. And you take it together with the chilled grated coconut! This is good.

林玉梅, Sarawak Kolo Mee

What's addictive about Sarawak Kolo Mee is always the noodle texture and seasoning sauce. Red Hornbill at Bedok is our favourite, but when we are more centrally located, it would be Lin Yu Mei (stall 01-33) at the Haig Road Market & Food Centre.

Look at the crispy pork lard and fresh ground chili paste? Ask for a less salted serving from the friendly hawker, and you shall enjoy your bowl immensely. We did.

Sarawak Kolo Mee ($4)