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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sweating grease.

imageIt was a pretty quiet day at the office so a colleague and I decided to hop over to Jurong Country Club for a relaxed lunch.

Looking through the menu I realized they had slashed it down big time and unfortunately all remotely healthy dishes like the ‘Beef Udon‘ I had here before had disappeared. What was left were the usual hawker all stars like ‘Nasi Lemak‘ and such. Seeing there was no way to stick to my “diet” around here I ordered the ‘Fried Hong Kong Style Hor Fun‘ that I like a lot but never order not to become my chubby self from the past again but honestly, what choice did I have?

It was a huge portion and tasted quite nice for the first couple of spoons I shoveled down. The noodles were lovely sticky because of the charred soya sauce and the vegetables and sprouts still had a firm bite. At first I left the beef slices aside as I reckoned them to be tenderized. Positively surprised that they weren’t and because they actually were fairly tasty as well I finished most of them up together with the noodles. It was good, nothing special but good but after I had cleaned up my plate I felt pretty bad and guilty and super greasy at that. It’s always good to eat something ridiculously calorie intense in between but this one maybe just was a wee bit too much.

There was some sort of golfing event going on and the staff seemed to be a bit overwhelmed and confused by the crowd. First they brought my colleague’s food long after I had finished mine before then bringing me a second portion of the hor fun I obviously never ordered. Still a scenic view over the golf course from here and a nice change from the usual places we go but knowing now there’s nothing here to find for a light lunch it might be the last time for a long while before I’ll come back to ‘Golfer’s Terrace’.

Golfer’s Terrace
Jurong Country Club
9 Science Center Road
Singapore 609078
Tel: +65 6568 5111
http://www.jcc.org.sg/ 

My Fountain of Crab

imageOne of my good old Singapore friends had the extremely annoying idea to leave and move to Hong Kong so to give her a small send off, a group of friends including me took her out for some good old Singapore style seafood at her favorite place , the coffeeshop branch of ‘No Signboard Seafood’ in Geylang.

The main reason to come here of course were the crabs. The ‘Chili Crab‘ looked delicious and had a great punch of heat to it but as weird as it sounds was a bit too crabby on the gravy for me and I also wished for it to have been fruitier but then I am not the biggest fan of this version of crab anyway.

imageThis was the bugger I was waiting for, their ‘Black Pepper Crab‘ my favorite crustacean by a long shot. The gravy was thick and so loaded with crushed pepper that I claimed the major share for myself and simply started eating directly from the serving plate. The crab was sweet and fresh and easily peeled out the shell. Only problem was we only ordered one.

imageOne dish I usually get as well is the ‘Stir Fry Crocodile‘ that did get mixed ratings from my friends especially because if it’s texture some said was chewy. I disagreed as I found this to be just nice and firm with a tendency to slight bounciness. The meat itself had not a very particular taste of its own but together with the super thin fried ginger strips, the other spices and especially the chilis it became very fragrant and subliminal spicy. Something different than your standard seafood.

I always liked this place, it was where I had these famous Singaporean crabs for the first time five over years ago and I appreciate the much more relaxed atmosphere compared to the other way fancier locations within a vibrant bustling neighborhood.

No Signboard Seafood 無招牌海鮮
414 Geylang Road
Singapore 389392
Tel: +65 6842 3415
http://www.nosignboardseafood.com/

Taiwanese lunch at Jem.

imageWe didn’t feel like our usual lunch options today and then one colleague suggested ‘Din Tai Fung’, another colleague really liked the idea and I haven’t been there for over a year plus so it became our choice for the day. They were a bit understaffed so it took us some time to get seated even that half the restaurant was empty.

Finally in we started of with the ‘Xiao Long Bao‘ which they are obviously famous for. Their skin was nicely thin but strong enough not to break when picking them out of the basket but the broth and meat seemed a bit watery and bland in taste. I’d still prefer the steamed buns from ‘Crystal Jade‘, ‘Hong Guo‘ or ‘Si Chuan Dou Hua‘.

imageI had upset my stomach with something so I skipped the new ‘Spicy Noodles‘ on the menu and went with the ‘Braised Brisket Beef Noodles‘ instead. It was actually quite nice, the broth was rich and beefy and deep dark in color and tasted a bit like goulash with a hint of tomato. When I slurped the last sips from the bowl I particularly enjoyed the roasted garlic and ginger bits that were like refreshing but more hearty pop rocks. The beef was alright and tender but unfortunately pretty fatty too but the letdown were actually the noodles that tasted okay but were downright overcooked.

It’s a chain restaurant so it doesn’t really impress with its’ excess of flair and atmosphere and unfortunately this time I was also rather disappointed with the food. In Germany I would be endlessly happy to have a place like this but here the standards are just on another level.

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐
50 Jurong Gateway Road
#02-07 Jem
Singapore 608549
Tel: +65 6694 1161
http://www.dintaifung.com.sg/

Dude, Where’s my Marrow?

imageWow, my friend was really super hungry so everything had to be decided rather quickly and be at best around the corner. From the places I had lined up close by most weren’t open so we head over to Jalan Besar to check out ‘Suprette’ in the basement of the Kam Leng Hotel I had read about. We were greeted warmly by the staff and the interior seemed nice and cosy, something similar to a small bistro.

My friend had the ‘Suprette Burger‘ and I ordered the ‘Hanger Steak & Marrow‘ which was the actual reason I had this place on my radar in the first place. When it came to the table it looked pretty tasty, all meaty with a mountain of golden fries. The hanger steak was brilliant, even though cooked slightly over medium and somewhat coldish, it had this rich beef flavor, more rustic and was completely lean which was totally my thing. The fries on the contraty were like hot sticks, crispy and so perfectly salted that I didn’t touch the salt shaker even once for the whole dinner. One thing I missed though was the bone marrow which I thought to remember from pictures of other blogs. I wasn’t quite sure so I asked the staff if it maybe was incorporated into the sauce or something which I didn’t really get a proper answer to and the sauce surely was creamy and delicious but nothing about it really reminded me of buttery marrow. After i had finished up my meal another gentlemen approached us and told me politely that I would now get a two dollars rebate as normally this dish was including half a grilled bone of marrow which they ran out of about a week ago. Usually I would have said something but I wasn’t really in the moment then and actually was quite puzzled realizing I just ate a multilated dish and only was told about it afterwards. Not cool man.

At last ‘Suprette’ really is a nice place close to home with some wicked free flow fries and great steak but honestly, this situation could have been handled so much better. I think it’s ridiculous to hold a grudge over something tiny like half a missing bone so when I’ll eventually get over this tragedy in my life I will return here to finally try a flawless and completely intact hanger steak and this time I just buy myself an extra portion of marrow for the two dollars that I saved tonight.

Suprette
383 Jalan Besar
Kam Leng Hotel Lobby
Singapore 20900
Tel: +65 6298 8962
http://www.suprette.com/

Amazeballs.

imageIt was our last day in Hong Kong and after another rather early night we left our apartment for the airport but before we desperately needed to get our grub on. The first option we headed for, a “Cantonese Hot Dog Shop” didn’t look too tempting in real life so we made it easy for ourselves and went into IFC mall to check out its’ long list of restaurants. Despite being in Hong Kong and knowing we should actually have Cantonese or at least Chinese we weren’t too picky and too lazy to start a big hunt and so ended up at ‘Ginza Bairin’ a Japanese Tonkotsu restaurant conveniently located just above the Airport Express station.

Because it is fried stuff I haven’t been to such a place for a long while and took this “once in a lifetime” opportunity for a good enough reason for going to town on that pork. I ordered the ‘Hire Katsu Set‘ which was put together from Japanese rice, a pork miso soup, pickles and big pieces of fried pork fillet. The soup was one of the better ones I had mainly as I really liked the pork miso combination. The fillet balls were amazing, the crumbs were extremely crispy and properly drained from most of the fat, no weird chunks anywhere to be found and fried simply on spot. Pork gets dry when to well done and disgusting when rare but these ones were juicy and soft. Dipped in the sweetish tonkatsu sauce and there you go, awesome pork amazeballs. One other thing that is not particularly difficult to make but which I found wicked anyway was the free flow of thinly sliced cabbage that drizzled with their wasabi dressing gave an ideal balance to the rather heavy other bits on my plate(s).

Even that I felt a bit bad not trying ‘Mr. Bing’ or other things from my long to-eat list for Hong Kong I was not sorry at all we had tried this and researching a bit being back home I figured there’s outlets of ‘Ginza Bairin’ here in Singapore as well which makes me kinda happy.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin 銀座梅林
Shop 3031, Level 3
IFC Mall
8 Finance Street
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2295 1112
http://www.ginzabairin.com.hk/index_eng.html

Wanna eat? Gotta wait.

imageI was on a weekend trip to Hong Kong with three of my friends and as it happens, during our first night we visited a couple of establishments specializing in liquids. This caused us all a rather mediocre feeling the next “morning” but I had the perfect cure lined up for us which I wanted to try since I found out about it. ‘Kau Kee 九記牛腩’ in Central is specialized in ‘Brisket Noodle‘ and always had a fairly long queue waiting in front when I passed by before. Thankfully people don’t take too much time eating at such unpretentious (thanks for the word Andi) places and so it didn’t take us more than twenty minutes to get a table. A friend told me that the portions here were rather small so we ordered two bowls per man. I also tried to order the signature ‘Brisket only in Special Soup‘  for us to share but the waitress practically forbid us to get it because of its’ “lack of authenticity” which later just turned out to be its’ lack of availability.

The first bowl I had was their famous ‘Beef Brisket with E-Fu Noodles‘ which was awesome. The noodles were super all dente and gave it all a  bit of an extra special taste. The longer they sat in the bowl the more the soaked up the soup but didn’t really lose their bite. The soup was deliciously beefy which completely fitted the purpose for a late morning after an early night and the brisket itself tasted brilliant too, soft and with some not unpleasant fat pockets in between. My favorite.

imageFor the second round I ordered ‘Beef Slices with Rice Noodles‘ which was quite different and rather boring compared to the first bowl. Now obviously they used the same tasty broth but it was missing the extra bit from the e-fu noodles and the rice noodles were so soft that I got really jealous of my friend’s mee pok version. The beef itself was fatty, difficult to bite and therefore the size of the slices just made it odd to chew so I left most of it sitting in the bowl eating around it.

Nothing special about this place with its’, let’s call it rustic interior and the bossy waitress telling us what to eat, if it wasn’t for the super brisket and e-fu noodles which perfectly brought us back on track and left us content and well prepared for our second night in town. I’ll come back.

image

Kau Kee Restaurant 九記牛腩
G/F 21 Gough Street (中環歌賦街21號地下)
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2850 5967

Beef Noodles? Yes. The Real Deal? Uhm…

imageWe were actually planning on a sandwich lunch but one of my colleagues wasn’t feeling to brilliant and thought a hot noodle soup would do the trick and so we ended up going to ‘Liu San’, a Taiwanese restaurant at Bukit Timah Plaza I wanted to check out for some time now.

We ordered some ‘Boiled and Panfried Dumplings‘ for starters which were both okay but not too special also with a much higher cabbage ratio compared to the meat. The panfried version reminded me of gyoza and nicely had a very thin skin. The main reason we came here though were the ‘Taiwanese Beef Noodles‘, a dish I’m nearly as particular about as ramen. This was actually quite surprising, the broth was deep dark and had the typical beefy sweet & sourness with a hint of heat as advertised as the spicy version. My colleague mentioned there was too much soya sauce in it but I thought that it wasn’t too bad for a non-Taiwanese version, but then it has been some time since I had the real deal. I particularly liked the carrots that were not overcooked and fitted nicely in with the other ingredients. The noodles seemed to be the supermarket kind, a bit too floury in taste and texture that left the usual chewiness missing. Last but not least the meat was thinly sliced with a lot of fat which at least was tender enough. I knew I probably wouldn’t get the nice big beef chunks like in Taipei but would have loved them to be just a little bit thicker.

Overall this was an ok choice for lunch, the broth was pretty good actually but beef and noodles could use some pimping. I would say not a bad bowl of noodles even though far from the stuff you get in Taiwan but I guess that’s a useless comment as that is pretty much always the case. Probably coming back but mainly to try their ‘Rice With Simmered Pork‘ or the ‘Minced Pork Noodle‘.

Liu San 劉三閣
1 Jalan Anak Bukit
#01-09 Bukit Timah
Singapore 588996
Tel: +65 6463 1833