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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Knuckles!

imageWhen stopping over on the way back from Sentosa for ‘De Burg‘ burgers we decided to also try out the german stall in the corner to see what their skills were on german rotisserie. Being all hungry we ordered the large ‘Pork Knuckle‘ which was 1.6 kg bone in.

When a friend brought it over it looked a bit weird, all crisped up like on the picture. This might have been caused by quick frying the knuckle after roasting it to make it extremely crispy and less chewy to eat. The meat was very nice and tender and the skin was roasted til super crisp and therefore actually wasn’t that greasy. I would have liked it a tad more greasy for once but this was good; so good I even used some of the crackling to pimp my ‘Singhjector‘. What I found best about this dish was the gravy which was meaty, dark rich and savory and fantastically had cumin in it which reminded me of the style you get in Munich, lovely. The sides though were not really anything to be crazy about – the roast/mashed potatoes were okay but there was a weird tangy cucumber veggie dish as well which reminded me more of the stuff you get aside ‘Nasi Biryani‘.

Summarized, this was actually quite nice and compared to all the german restaurants, I have been to here and that are offering the same dish, it was also a bargain at around $25 for the huge portion. I loved the meat, I loved the cumin and will definitely come back here once I crave the knuckles again.

Stew Küche
119 Bukit Merah Lane
#01-40
Singapore 151119
Tel: +65 6276 6445

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Porky Pork with Porkish Pork

imageAfter a nice sunny day at the beach we were craving some juicy burgers from and made a little detour ‘De Burg’ in Bukit Merah before heading home. Business was already going well which pushed the waiting time up to thirty minutes but being in Asia for some time now I don’t really mind waiting if it’s for some great grub.

I ordered the ‘Singhjector‘ which was next in line of my to try burgers even that it was quite difficult for me not to have their fantastic ‘Choco Lamb‘ burger again. The ‘Singhjector‘ truly was pork galore with a super juicy and well seasoned pork patty, some wonderful crispy and salty Canadian bacon and Iberico chorizo which I couldn’t really work out from all the other ingredients. The smoky cheese and the sweet bbq sauce gave it all a nice finish and the only thing I missed was maybe a little bit of lettuce. At the same time my friend had ordered a ‘Pork Knuckle‘ from neighboring ‘Stew Küche‘ – from which I took some crackling and slipped it into my burger. The birth of the ‘Singhjector – Heart Attack Edition‘.

If you like pork, this is your burger; juicy, salty goodness with great quality ingredients. It didn’t really need any modifications but when I saw my three pork ingredients burger next to the pork knuckle it just came naturally. Thanks again for keeping up a constant high level of quality burgers. Still the best on the island I reckon.

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

New Mexican Shop at Boat Quay

imageI went to Circular Road for lunch to meet two of my friends and to check out a new Mexican restaurant – ‘El Rocho’s’ – which just opened here not long time ago.

First up was the ‘Beef Taco‘ that looked promising when it arrived. Unfortunately the beef chunks were chewy and stringy and reminded me of a cheese steak sandwich from one of the big sandwich chains.

imageThe second round I ordered the ‘Chorizo Taco‘ which besides the sausage used the same ingredients as the beefy version – cilantro, chimichurri mayo, lime and veggies but tasted much better. I liked the freshness of the herbs and the seasoning and saltiness of the chorizo. This one worked for me and was much more satisfying.

imageUnfortunately the ‘Fish Ceviche‘ we ordered for sharing was also rather a disappointment.The portion was big and the taste wasn’t bad really. I also liked the crispy corn and crunchy jicama sticks (mexican turnip) in it but the dressing was quite viscous and the fish cut in way too big pieces for my liking.

The place is actually quite nicely located around the Boat Quay area and I guess also convenient for the banker’s lunch break and afterwork, the staff was very friendly too but unfortunately the food just didn’t cut it for me this time. They sell ‘Pacifico Cerveza‘ though and some menu items like ‘Ox Tongue Tacos‘ sound pretty interesting so I might come to back some time to check those out.

El Rocho’s
36 Circular Road
Singapore 049392
Tel: +65 6438 7879

My Sushi Wonderland

imageThrough unforeseen coincidence my friend, who I just had visited in Hong Kong, came into town for a few days meeting. He stayed the Friday so I took him out to my newly discovered favorite sushi restaurant, ‘Fukuichi’.

Since I just been here a few weeks back we ordered some new things that I hadn’t tried the first time around. First up was the ‘Sake Sashimi‘ (salmon) which was lovely fresh and fatty, I just didn’t fancy the silver piece of skin on the top too much.

imageI was glad to hear they had the ‘Kanpachi Sushi‘ (greater amberjack) this time that was lovely soft and just a little oily on the dark red bits and because my buddy likes ‘Tamago Sushi‘ (sweet omelette) so much we also ordered one set of those. It was only lightly sweet which I appreciated, fluffy and nicely presented.

imageI’m not sure why we didn’t order ‘Uni Sushi‘ (sea urchin) the last time but this was simply fantastic. Even that I always have issues which too unique textures, this tasted so fresh and sweet and creamy that I hardly took notice of the consistency which actually wasn’t too bad anyway.

imageLike the last time we had the ‘Toro Aburi Sushi‘ (charred tuna belly) which again was very nice but to see what it would taste like in it’s original state we ordered the raw version as well. And oh my goodness this melted the exact same way in my mouth just colder and fresher than the charred version. Absolutely amazing.

imageAnother newbie for me here was the ‘Hotate Sushi‘ (scallop). Raw scallop was something I sadly avoided for a very long time which I only regretted when I forced myself trying it at ‘Nagomi‘ for the first time. The flesh had a very delicate texture, soft and light and tasted like pure freshness without any fishy aftertaste.

imageA new cooked dish we had was the ‘Grilled Beef with Miso Paste‘. The waiter unfortunately couldn’t tell me what type of meat it was but only that it was a sirloin cut. It was incredibly soft which I found slightly weird because of my distinct dislike of tenderized meat – I doubt this one was though – but it tasted great and dipping it into the miso paste gave it a lovely aroma.

You’re at good place when the dishes make you smile. That’s all I have to say.

http://www.fukuichidining.com.sg/

Fukuichi Japanese Dining
111 Somerset Road
#02-11/12 TripleOne Somerset
Singapore 238164
Tel: +65 6271 5586

Bigger’s Not Better

imageI had been to ‘Valentino’s’ before when they still were in their small shophouse at Riffle Range Road and since a colleague and I didn’t have anything better to do tonight we decided to try out their new location at the Grandstand, former Turf City Shopping Mall.

After a lovely nutty ‘Ham Platter‘ and some creamy ‘Vitello Tonnato‘ I ordered one of their off-menu specials, the ‘Aglio e Oglio Linguini Nero di Seppia‘ with king prawn. The linguini were nicely al dente and not too oily. The prawn was humongous, quite fresh but rather bland. The kicker though were the roasted garlic gloves that melted in my mouth and had a nice charr flavor without being to overwhelming garlicy. A bit more seasoning and this would have been pretty great.

imageOut of pure curiosity we ordered a pizza ‘Margherita‘. Unfortunately this was pretty underwhelming. The dough was thin and crispy but the sugo didn’t taste like much and the amount of cheese on top was simply too much for my preference. It was not a bad pizza but from a place with such a reputation I was expecting a little more than just ok.

imageThe ‘Panna Cotta‘ I had for dessert was not that special either with very little vanilla and a bit amateurish in presentation but what I really liked was the berry sauce that came with it. Nice and sour.

The quality and taste of the food was pretty good but because I thought to remember it a bit different and also because ‘Valentino’s’ is not necessarily a cheap restaurant I was just expecting a little more.  On the upside the service was outstanding and the staff super friendly but it was a bit sad to see they had lost a bit of their family run restaurant charm which only small places have and small is not was ‘Valentino’s’ is anymore.

http://valentino.sg/

Ristorante da Valentino
#01-19 The Grandstand
200 Turfclub Road
Singapore 289774
Tel: +65 6462 0555

Shoyu’s My New Thing

imageBeing back in Singapore I craved for some shoyu ramen (soya based), which I re-discovered for myself when I was in Tokyo, so a couple of colleagues and I went to ‘Santouka‘ at Cuppage Terrace.

I ordered the standard ‘Shoyu Ramen‘ which is a mixture of pork broth and soya sauce. The pork flavors were much more dominant in this ramen and even that it tasted pretty good that way I wished it would’ve been much more salty. Unfortunately the noodles were a bit overcooked and the chashu even though quite tasty was not the melt-in-your-mouth kind. They did a pretty good job on the extra egg I ordered though, it had the perfect yolk, waxy and delicious.

I also had one ‘Cashu Bun‘ that funny wise came accompanied by a cup of Japanese tea and tasted pretty nice. Here they had used the soft and melting chashu which I missed in the soup and had glazed the meat with a sweetish sauce and topped with Japanese mayonaise. Also the bun was nice and fluffy, it was just a little bit too big in ratio to the much smaller slice of pork.

I like this place and sitting outside when it’s not too hot – which most of the time it is – and additionally they plate up some pretty decent ramen even that this time they slacked a bit on the details.

http://www.santouka.co.jp/en/index.html

Santouka Hokkaido Ramen
21 Cuppage Road
Cuppage Terrace
Singapore 229452
Tel: +65 6235 1059

Prawn Dumpling Galore

imageI had checked out of my apartment and my friend picked me up to have a quick bite before I left for Singapore. On the way to Central Station we passed a little underground branch of a popular restaurant chain recommended in one of the past Michelin Guides – ‘Tsim Chai Kee’.

They didn’t have many dishes to chose from but since we needed something after a rough night we ordered their signature ‘Wanton Noodles‘ with sliced beef and prawn dumplings. They also had shredded fishballs as add on but since I genuinely dislike those I totally didn’t care.

Not even five minutes after ordering our bowls already arrived and looked promising. I’m usually not a big fan of prawn dumplings but these ones were actually pretty decent. Fully stuffed with big chunks of prawn this was exactly what I needed. The beef on the other hand was as expected super tenderized and as wobbly meat grosses me out most of it stayed in the bowl. The noodles were lovely yellow and eggy with a firm bite to them and the broth was well seasoned and tasted like a strong concentrated chicken soup.

Definitely not many points on the interior design scale but a cheap and decent noodle fix after a long night, no question.

Tsim Chai Kee Noodle 沾仔記
Basement, 154 Queen’s Road Central
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2581 3369