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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Longest Udon Ever!

imageAs announced not even a month ago I had to come back here to try more types of their sanuki udon and this time I went for their ‘Kama-Age‘. The reason I didn’t order this at my first visit was pretty much a sign and their menu saying you may have to plan for 10-20 minutes preparation time. Those shrank to bearable 2-3 minutes when I ordered today. To be honest i couldn’t really make out why it took longer than the others but since it was much faster than I expected and a queue was building up behind me I didn’t try to ask.

The ‘Kama Age‘ came in one big flat traditional design bowl in which the udon sat in hot water. Aside came a smaller bowl filled with a tasty dipping sauce of dashi (fish/katsuobushi broth) and soya sauce. It tasted very delicate  and light and made eating them more fun and difficult. Since the noodles here are super long I practically started slurping in one end, had the middle sliding through the dipping sauce whilst the other end was still sitting in its’ hot bath. If I ate them right that is. I have to mention again that I really liked these noodles. They are handmade of a mix of three different imported Japanese flours and are nicely chewy. Besides the udon I also tried the ‘Chicken Karaage‘ today which was juicy and tasty but unfortunately also quiet fatty on the inside.

This place definitely hasn’t seen me for the last time as I have yet to try their ‘Curry Udon‘.

http://tamoya.com.sg/index.html

Tamoya                                                                                                                                                                 177 River Valley Road                                                                                                                                       #01-11 Liang Court Shopping Center                                                                                                     Singapore 179303

Rangoon’s The Place For Pepper & Ribs!

imageAfter work today I felt a sudden crave for ‘Bak Kut Teh‘. It has been a while that I had it so I went to the best I remembered – ‘Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House’ – and invited a friend to join me since he is living just around the corner. This shop has been around for a while and every time I pass it, no matter the time, it’s always busy.

They have three different types of ‘Bak Kut Teh‘; I went for their ‘Signature Pork Ribs‘ and the other types are the longer ‘Spare Ribs‘ or  a mix of both. As sides we ordered ‘Braised Peanuts‘, ‘Fried You Tiao‘, ‘Blanched Lettuce‘ and the ‘Preserved Vegetables‘.

This is the peppery Teochew kind and the broth was very rich and thick and full of pork and obviously pepper flavour. Best was when the auntie brought the refill which was extremely hot and made it taste even better. As for the ribs I absolutely loved them. They had big chunks of lean meat on them that were easily nibbled off the bones. Since it was so lean the bigger bits tended to be a bit dry but I didn’t mind it with the soup. Of the sides I liked the ‘Blanched Lettuce‘ the best as it actually managed to surprise me. It still had its’ light green color and was lying in a delicious light soy infused sauce sprinkled with roasted garlic, simple but great. This shop also gave us freshly chopped red chilis with sweet dark sauce which fitted perfectly to the rice as hot and sweet punched each other in the face.

I was glad to have come back here and surely will next time do exactly the same all over again.

Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House 黄亚细肉骨茶
208 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218453
Tel: +65 6291 4537
http://www.ngahsiobkt.com/                                                                                                                    Singapore 218453

Truffle Shuffle!

imageMy two new friends’ that I got to know through my family had there final night in Singapore tonight so I went down to their hotel at Robertson Quay to have one last dinner with them. We walked around for a bit screening for something tempting to sit down. So we passed the Japanese BBQ branch of ‘Aburiya’ and quickly agreed that this was the one.

We started up our meal with the ‘Horenso Salad‘ which is put together from spinach leaves, Japanese cucumber, roasted garlic, lemon juice and crispy bacon bits. How great was that, nice and sour with crunchy textures in between from the bacon and garlic. The first meat that arrived together with the ‘Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms‘ was ‘Jo Rosu T.Shio‘, beef loin to be dipped in truffle salt. This was amazing. The meat was super tender, very lean but therefore less strong in taste but powdered with crazy salt it won another couple of notches in taste.

imageWe continued with ‘Wagyu Jo Karubi Tare‘ – short rib marinated in a special soya sauce mix. This was my absolute favorite of the evening as the marinade was delicious and due to the nicely marbled fat in this cut the beef just melted in my mouth. We ordered another round of this as well as an extra portion of the truffle salt from before which made it even more delicious. The final dish was ‘Tigerprawns in Hot Miso‘ marinade. The prawns were big and obviously watered properly as they were completely clean without cutting them up. They stayed nicely juicy on the fire and the marinade was mildly tangy, not hot though which was a bit of a bummer.

‘Aburiya’ is another proof that simplicity paired with high quality ingredient is a fantastic combination looking for perfection. Of course these kinda places are not for everyday dining but here you have the choice between many different meats, cuts and prices and so we ended up paying roughly 50$ per head excluding drinks which I regard reasonable for great stuff.

For more pictures check out my twitter (#aburiya).

Aburiya                                                                                                                                                                    60 Robertson Quay                                                                                                                                             #01-03 The Quayside                                                                                                                             Singapore 238252

Hawker Centre With A View

imageAnother diet bail today. After intending to go for a salad close by the office my colleagues talked me into joining them for lunch at the Jurong Country Club. At first I thought this sounded really fancy but when we reached it was actually a nicely setup and down to earth – though country club style – hawker with a beautiful view over their golf course.

They had a big variety of Western and a bigger selection of Asian dishes on their menu and I decided to go for the ’Beef Udon’. It actually looked really nice with lots of noodles, meat and veggies. The broth was a bit blend and didn’t have this special udon soup kind of taste like ‘Tamoya’. The beef was nice and tender and was cooked for the right amount of time to easily fall apart without being dry. As always my meat complain would only be the many fatty bits but knowing bigger chunks of fat are very popular in Asia I leave this as a very personal note. Even that I doubt the noodles here are handmade they were springy, very tasty and heaps. What I liked the most about this soup was the South East Asian touch to it as the vegetables untypically were leafs of Kaylan. I never had them in an udon dish before but really appreciated the unfamiliar ‘al dente’ texture.

I maybe wouldn’t make an extra effort to come from the city all the way here just to eat the udon but since it is so close to my work and my dish was tasty and under ten dollars I’m sure I will join my colleagues more often should they be heading this way again.

http://www.jcc.org.sg/ 

Golfer’s Terrace                                                                                                                                                    Jurong Country Club                                                                                                                                              9 Science Center Road                                                                                                                           Singapore 609078

Visiting Pho Bo At Home!

imageSome friends and I spend a weekend over in Saigon or Ho Chi Ming City in Vietnam for a birthday celebration and visiting a common friend at the same time. It was a weekend full of fun and delicious food but there was one particular place I heard a lot about before and which I definitely wanted to visit, ‘Pho Hoa’.

On our last day and as our last meal in Vietnam we made the trip not far from our hotel to the very beginning of Pasteur Street where this shop is located. When we arrived all the tables were pre-stacked with a big plate of herbs like basil, mint and mustard leaves, lime wedges, youtiao the fried dough sticks, bean sprouts and other dishes like ‘Vietnamese Wedding Cake‘, ‘Steamed Meat Cakes’, bananas and so on. I went for a mix of ‘Pho Tai‘ (raw meat) and ‘Pho Chin‘ (brisket) which came out the kitchen corner steaming hot. After mixing in herbs, chilis, lime juice and sprouts we started slurping. It was very nice and clean but I was hoping for more cinnamon which I think gives this dish a special twist. Nevertheless it tasted really nice. The noodles were ok but nothing too special about them. The brisket was nicely tender and long cooked but a little fatty on the edges. My favorite though was the raw meat. On the picture it looks like mince but it was super lean and lovely tender and juicy, so if I should come back here in the future this is the one I’m gonna get.

Overall this place is pretty good and I would definitely come back again but I might have overhyped my expectations as so often and was left slightly let down by the lack of cinnamon. I still really liked it and hope that Singaporean pho shops will also start offering herbal plates for self service eventually as I love my pho rather leafy.

For more of my pictures of ‘Pho Hoa’ and the other food from our Saigon weekend check out my twitter (#phohoa, #saigonfood).

Pho Hoa                                                                                                                                                             260C Pasteur Street                                                                                                                                     District 3                                                                                                                                                                 Ho Chi Ming City                                                                                                                                         Vietnam

Burgasm In A Box!

imageIt was the last day in the office for one of my colleagues and since we always wanted but never managed to all go together to ‘De Burg’ one other colleague who actually had a day off kindly went and got us all a nice takeout lunch. I often told my colleagues about this place and how nice their burgers are so everybody had pretty high expectations which is why I was a bit concerned as I never tried to takeaway.

We all ordered the same classic 200gr ‘Bacon Cheese Burger‘ with ‘Tater Tots‘. I knew the burgers are good but I was surprised how good they still were after a 30 minute car ride. The beef, which they ground themselves was perfectly medium well, still juicy and with a natural and strong beef taste too it. One of my favorite bits was the bacon which was nice and salty and super crispy, not too much, just right. BACON! The bun was fluffy and held up properly not making eating this huge burger a huge mess and even the ‘Tater Tots‘ were still crunchy and potaolicious.

I’m not sure how they did it but even takeaway this is still my favorite burger in town after trying loads and loads. I hope my motorbike needs servicing again soon so I can come back to Bukit Merah to finally try their ‘Choco Lamb Burger‘. Burgasm approaching.

De Burg Food and Drink Private Limited                                                                                                         119 Bukit Merah Lane                                                                                                                                       #01-40                                                                                                                                                       Singapore 151119

Day & Night – Coffeeshop & Pizza Hangout

imageI went for a run tonight with some friends around Tiong Bahru. Feeling overwhelmingly confident about our tremendous calorie burn we decided to celebrate this the right way, with pizza. As it happened they live just around the corner of ‘Twoface Pizza & Taproom’, this place which is a coffeeshop over the day and turns into a hip pizza hangout in the afternoon. We ordered the pizzas on our way in, took a shower and they were so kind to give us a call when the first one came out of the oven and also reserved us a breezy table. When we arrived all pizzas came out and we dug in.

We had four pizzas altogether – please excuse, I don’t have all the correct menu names – the ‘Smoked Duck & Truffle Mayo‘, the ‘Buffalo Mozzarella‘, the ‘Meatlovers‘ and the ‘Bacon Mushroom Egg‘ pizza (this one definitely has a different name). All of the pizzas had a nicely thin dough with a crunch on the edges, the tomato sauce was herby and well seasoned and the cheese gave it all a lovely saltiness. I prefer the tomato-cheese-ratio to be more tomato-y but it tasted delicious anyways. Surprisingly the pizza with the duck was the most blend of the four. The duck was nicely rose and also moist but didn’t taste too special to me.

wpid-1363785638062.jpgThe mozzarella one was like a Margherita  but with extra slices of cold buffalo mozza and cherry tomatoes on them. Nice and simple. The change from warm to cold was good as you could really taste the mozzarella and the longer it sat there the cheese started melting. The pie with the bacon and mushrooms had the best looks of them all and the most extravagant taste. Bacon and mushrooms I could wrap my head around but the thought of the egg put me off at first but when I tried it the whole thing worked surprisingly well. The base of the pizza and then the runny yolk on top tasted great together. And at last the meaty version. I would have not ordered it as meatlover pizzas in Singapore are normally way to overloaded with stuff but this one had just a few slices of salami and juicy ham and a brilliant sausage that tasted delicious. Aside the pizzas one thing to mention is their signature ‘Twoface Drink’ a green and super refreshing blend of pineapple, sour plum and cai xin, a local vegetable. Sweet & sour but not too much of either.

The concept and vibe of the place, the good food, the nice selection of drinks, the ‘Pork Belly on Fries‘ that I didn’t try yet and not at last the super friendly owners and service make this a great hangout place and I’ll be coming hanging again soon.

I try to keep this page lean but will post the other pizza pictures on twitter.

Two Face Pizza & Taproom                                                                                                                                 56 Eng Hoon Street                                                                                                                                          #01-46                                                                                                                                                       Singapore 160056

Pho Bo…So So!

imageI went here together with a workmate in the evening as I had seen this place opening up recently and I hoped for a new place for good pho.

We started with the ‘Lemongrass Prawns‘ which tasted pretty alright. The batter was somehow different and crispy. I thought the lemongrass would be somehow incorporated into the actual prawns or crust but instead it came in form of a dipping salsa that was actually really tasty.

As main I went for the ‘Spicy Beef Pho‘ with Tenderloin. When I first sniffed on the broth I regretted that I went for the spicy one as it smelled as the chili would come from spicy prawn paste that I don’t really fancy that much. To my luck it turned out that the only thing prawnpasty must have been my nose as the soup didn’t taste like it at all. Unfortunately it didn’t really taste like anything. The broth was unspecial, not spicy and with only few herbs and greens in it and the beef was rather fatty too.

There may be some alternatives to be found on the menu but the pho won’t bring me back here anytime soon. The search continues.

http://www.vietcafe.com.sg/Welcome.html

Viet Cafe                                                                                                                                                                  10 Sinaran Drive                                                                                                                                                #01-07 to 12 Square 2                                                                                                                                      Singapore 307506

Red Piggy Is No Biggie!

imageI was getting pretty hungry and since I felt pretty good about something meaty all signs pointed towards ‘Korean BBQ’. I don’t have a lot of experience with Korean restaurants in Singapore and since the last place I liked is currently under renovation I followed a friend to the ‘Red Pig Original Charcoal Korean Restaurant’ on Amoy Street.

The place is rather rustic with the paint coming off at some areas and a lot of pig posters all over the place and a surprisingly small dinner menu. We ordered all meats except chicken which were beef, two types of pork belly and sausage. On top we also ordered their seafood pancake. As bottomless sides they served a nice light cabbage kimchi which is not too spicy, a creamy sweet corn hotplate and my favorite, a delicious salad with a kimchi dressing. The beef was nicely marbled and tasted good but wasn’t too memorable and the cheese sausages were ok. One type of pork belly was natural and the other marinated in their spicy signature ‘Red Pig‘ sauce. The natural pork belly was tasty but a bit too thick for my preference but the special red pork version was thinner sliced and had a good spicy kick to it. Last arrival was the ‘Seafood Pancake‘. This one was actually very nice even that there was hardly any seafood (octopus) to be found but therefor it was loaded with fresh scallions and super crisp.

Overall this place seems authentic what also shows by the high ratio of Korean customers here, their service is fast and very friendly and their prices moderate. The food is good but just didn’t cut it for me and the selection on the menu is simply to small.

Red Pig Korean Restaurant                                                                                                                                  93 Amoy Street                                                                                                                                        Singapore 069913

Long Live The King!

image Oh yes, it was that time again to meet my ramen buddy together with two visiting friends, this time at Keisuke Tonkotsu King at the Orchid Hotel in Tanjong Pagar. We rocked up around 8:30 p.m. and where super positively surprised that within ten minutes we already made our way inside.

While waiting I filled in the form for my usual ‘Black Spicy Tonkotsu King‘ which arrived just one minute after sitting down. The broth was thick and had a strong porky taste to it which was boosted by the black pepper garlic and chicken oil. It was mildly spicy so the taste wasn’t covered up but for me it could have been a notch sharper. Did I already mention the egg? It was outstanding. I did let mine sit in the broth for a bit so it warmed up slightly from the outside and when biting into it I reached the cold but perfectly waxy yolk which together with the broth tasted amazing. I never thought I could say something like that about an egg. Coming to the Chashu now which they cut in big thin slices and artfully marinate in red wine. I wished I had a leaner piece but the meaty bits were juicy and tender and just did fit to this bowl naturally. Last but not least the centerpiece of a noodle soup – the noodles. I ordered them ‘hard’ and for many people those might be slightly too al dente but as you often get rather squashy noodles i really liked their bite and texture a lot.

I don’t come here very often because the long wait one has to bear so I always think I might idealize this place too much but every time they delivery the same high level of quality in their food and not once I had overcooked noodles, a hard boiled egg or chewy chashu. Keisuke, still my king of ramen shops in Singapore. ‘Kaedama please’.

Keisuke Tonkotsu King                                                                                                                                           1 Tras Street                                                                                                                                                       #01-19 Orchid Hotel                                                                                                                               Singapore 078867

Lobster Rolls at Buena Vista!

image
One of my work mates was desperately craving for a Boston Lobster Roll today so I researched a bit on the net and found this joint close to our work place – the ‘Boston Seafood Shack’ at the Star Vista mall at Buena Vista.

After selflessly canceling all my gym plans we went together with another colleague to check it out after work. It is a place that reminded me of a mix of ‘Fish & Co.’ and ‘Long John Silver’, so generally where the younger crowd hangs out. Anyway we got us some ‘Snapple‘ from the fridge and ordered three of their ‘Boston Premium Lobstah Rolls‘ and waited for our buzzer to signal our grub to be ready.

The rolls looked tasty and were well stacked with lobster meat. Unfortunately the taste didn’t really live up to it’s looks. The bun was brioche like sweet and too soft for me, a baguette instead would have fitted the dish better. The sauce was a bit blend and could’ve used some extra fresh herbs and salt. The lobster on the other side was fresh and juicy, cooked nicely and kept it’s natural sweetness.

Overall it was not too bad but for just under 20$ for the roll next time I might look for other lobster vendors around the island.

http://www.bostonseafoodshack.com.sg/#home-page-block                                                                      

Boston Seafood Shack                                                                                                                                           1 Vista Exchange Green                                                                                                                                    #01-12 The Star Vista                                                                                                                             Singapore 138617

If it’s too hot, you are too weak!

imageI first tried this awesome dish when visiting a good friend in Beijing last year where she brought us to a restaurant that fries you up any ingredient you can think of in a spicy chili gravy.

Today again I had different plans for lunch initially as I wanted to bring an old uni friend who came over for a visit for Xiao Long Bao and Sichuan Noodles but didn’t know that Chinatown Complex is currently under renovation. Thinking of a fast solution to our problem I remembered friends mentioning that they found a shop which offers the ‘Mala Hot Pot‘ in a Yong Tau Fu style at People’s Park Food Center right across the street.

We were really hungry so we went for a big bowl of the medium spicy version with lots of vegetables, glass noodles, potato, tofu and beancurd skin (10$). It came out of the kitchen piping hot and smelled wonderful. We got our grub on and it was exactly as I remembered it from China. The ingredients were all fresh and not overcooked, all covered with a glaze of their biting chili gravy with enough Sichuan peppers to numb your entire pie hole. It started quite harmless but the more we worked our way down where the ingredients soaked in the gravy it slowly started burning holes into my stomach. Let’s just say we were happy we went for medium. Oh and the noodles, loved the noodles, next time I have to ask for a double portion.

This place is great and as ‘Dry Pot‘ is not yet so commonly available in Singapore I will pay them a visit from time to time when I need to spice things up.

Ri Ri Hong Mala Xiang Guo                                                                                                                                 32 New Market Road                                                                                                                                         #01-1042 & 1053 People’s Park Food Center                                                                                   Singapore 050032

Great New Udon Assembly Line!

imageMy pal and I were hungry and bored this evening and so decided to make for some good old Udon. I read about this place recently and wanted to check it out ever since and so we decided for ‘Tamoya Japanese Sanuki Udon’ at Liang Court. The place has an unspectacular cantinelike setting and the ordering process has something of an assembly line.

I ordered a large bowl of ‘Kitsune Udon‘ (Fox Udon) that come in a deliciously light broth and are topped with sweet ‘Aburaage‘, fried tofu pockets. The udon were nice and chewy and surprisingly long, perfect for noisy slurping. I stocked up properly on the negi from the self service counter and finished the whole bowl down to the last drop. Only the tofu was a bit too sweet for me but I guess that one was called for.

Even that I am not a big fan I still had some ‘Eggplant and Sweet Potato Tempura‘ aside which were tasty and crisp. I liked the sweet potato more as the eggplant was a bit blend and too soft.

I am nearly as much an Udon fanatic as I am with ramen and so I am happy Tamoya has decided to come down to Singapore. I’ll be trying some of the other types in the near future so watch this space.

http://tamoya.com.sg/index.html

Tamoya                                                                                                                                                                 177 River Valley Road                                                                                                                                       #01-11 Liang Court Shopping Center                                                                                                     Singapore 179303

Play Date with Tantanmen!

imageI only have a few posts so it might not be obvious yet but I am a huge ramen lover. My favorite type of ramen is ‘Tantanmen‘ or ‘Tantanmian‘ since I first tried it  at Sisen Ramen a small shop in Osaka that I hope to review again sometime in the future.

I had to run some errands in town today and when it was time to get my grub on I remembered to have passed this place before not recognizing it was actually a Ramenplay outlet. Usually I would avoid big chains like that as I made rather disappointing experiences with such in the past but since I was in ramen mood and found my beloved ‘Tantanmian‘ on their menu I thought I give it a shot.

After a short wait the bowl arrived and looked promising – deep red color, some cabbage, Asian greens and minced pork on top. I gave it all a good mix and started digging in. The noodles which the waiter confirmed as being handmade had a nice texture to them but were slightly too soft for my preference. The broth was thick and rich of sesame taste enhanced by additional crushed sesame seeds on top. The taste could have been a notch more intense but I still slurped the whole bowl until the last drop including the tasty mince. I also ordered small side salad which was a nice and cooling change in between spoons of hot and spicy broth.

This was not a match for Sisen but I must admit I’m much more excited now that we just had another Ramenplay opening close by and for 10$ per bowl I’ll sure have this one again.

http://www.ramenplay.com.sg/index.php

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