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@Jurong East

Tandoori-ing it.

imageWe didn’t really know what to do for lunch and so when passing by the newly opened Zaffron Kitchen at Westgate we thought let’s just give it a try.

Yet another shop where you have to order your food via iPads which is still pretty alien to me, especially at places where you partially eat with your hands. I still managed to place our order only using my pinkie and soon after the first plates were coming in. The start made the Fish Tikka, which to my surprise was made of thick and juicy salmon chunks. It tasted great, less flaky than usual but also richer because of the fattier fish. I thought this was a brilliant twist to an old favorite.

imageWe also ordered the Tandoori Malay Chicken Tikka, which was marinated in yogurt and coriander. The coriander didn’t come across very strong but it was still a darn tasty piece of chicken, rustic charred and tender.

imageLast but not least was a first timer for me, some Tandoori Gobi. The cauliflower was super nice, slightly spicy with a bite and together with the fresh and crunchy onions and some drizzled lemon juice a great change up to the meaty dishes.

I undoubtedly enjoyed this place a lot, so much actually that I got on my colleagues nerves, raving about it all day long. It’s setup like a modern gastro bar with simple and elegant interior in a bright and light room. Food was great too, meat, vegetables and bread, everything on spot and service was kind and fast. You’ll see me back here again soon.

Zaffron Kitchen
3 Gateway Drive
#01-13 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9880
http://www.zaffronkitchen.com/

It’s grey at the bottom of the rainbow.

imageLunchtime again and we still didn’t feel like a salad or anything else remotely light and so went back to Paradise Dynasty which I like so much nowadays. We continued sampling new Xiao Long Bao flavors from their rainbow palette and today’s choice fell on the garlic type. It didn’t look very pretty to be honest, all grey, somehow nearly metallic and also the taste wasn’t my favourite of all times. I’m generally a garlic lover and at first it even tasted interesting enough to catch my curiosity but at the second bao I was already over it. It was just too overwhelming with too many raw-ish garlic chunks in the meat mix.

imageAs I had their awesome Spicy Dumpling Noodles already a couple of times I finally brought myself to ordering the Dan Dan Mian, that caught my attention during an earlier visit. At first it seemed a little thin and soupy but when I gave it a proper mix it got nicely thick. Noodles were, as often, too soft for my preference but the other flavors worked fairly nice together, all sesame and creamy. Overall the aroma of this thing was rather light and lacked a bit of depth but probably some fresh leafs of coriander and a couple of drops of fiery chili oil could change that for the better. Well, not an eye opener this time but still on my list of very solid lunch options.

Paradise Dynasty 乐天皇朝
3 Gateway Drive
#02-13/14 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9271
http://www.paradisegroup.com.sg/

Se Mighty Schnitzel Lunch.

imageOnce in a while it is time for a big ass lunch with my colleagues and having a humongous Wiener Schnitzel at the new Brotzeit at Westgate just seemed the right thing to do.

It was a truly gigantic slap of veal and even though pounded ’til super flat the meat was still juicy and with the crispy paper thin crumbs around, this thing just ruled and tasted like a bit of home. The potato salad on the side was not your commonly found weird mayonnaisy version but more the one I miss from back home, made with stock, chives and all. It was great, I wish every lunch could be like this but unfortunately that would make my waistline much fuller and my wallet way emptier so I’ll probably need to wait until it’s my next birthday or something. Schnitzel for life.

Brotzeit – German Bier Bar & Restaurant
3 Gateway Drive
#01-04 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9874
http://www.brotzeit.co/

I ❤ Kassler Tuesdays.

imageMy buddy from work ventured the internet for lunch options and found out it was “Kassler Day” at Marché today and so we didn’t have to look any further no more. I hadn’t been here for a long time as my last salad experience was both disappointing and expensive but the Kassler, being a lunch item, sounded like a good deal.

It was actually pretty great, a big fat slice of pork, with a nice smokey crust around the thick and juicy meat that was ultimately salty. Simple flavours like from home, kicked in the butt by some sharp dijon mustard that went all up in my nose. The mashed potatoes were creamy and fluffy delicious and the salad wasn’t too bad at all either but we just missed the Sauerkraut they usually offer aside of this.

Marché is nicely setup, while nothing extraordinary, it’s a bright and casual lunch bistro and other than last time the food was actually freaking delightful today. I really hope it’ll be “Kassler Day” again soon.

Marché Mövenpick Jem
50 Jurong Gateway Road
#01-03 Jem® (Jurong East Mall)
Singapore 608549
Tel: +65 6694 0884
www.marche-moevenpick.com/jem

“Light & Cheesy”.

imageBack here during lunch break I felt light and cheesy and hence ordered their ‘Croque Monsieur‘ for a change. Presentation was nice, two large slices of bread, baked over with loads of cheese and creatively finished with scribblings of balsamic reduction on top. The bread was a bit flappy and the ham could have been thinner sliced but the hearty saltiness of the cheese and the touch of sourness from the balsamic made this a great new lunch option to turn to.

VivaVox Cafe
3A International Business Park
#01-10 Icon@IBP
Singapore 609935
Tel: +65 6686 3368
http://www.vivavox.com.sg/

素晴らしい!

image‘Ippudo’ 一風堂 had opened up another shop at Westgate mall and even that this was at least triple my usual lunch calorie intake I made an exception to have a taste of that new ‘Spicy Black Ramen‘ that went from seasonal to resident bowl on their menu.

This thing was simply amazing, the thick dark and rich tonkotsu broth was great by itself, spicy peppery and after mixing in what they call their special nikumiso it just got another crazy punch of heat, much more chili like this time coming from the shinzo pepper, not overbearing and still very much enjoyable. Owning up to my expectations the two extra tamago I ordered were absolutely “perfeggt”, the chashu buttery tender and the thin noodles at extra hard just as I like them. My absolute by far favorite thing in this though were the fresh leaves of cilantro, never had that before in ramen and don’t want to do without it anymore. Wow, what a great bowl? I may have found my new no#1.

Ippudio SG 一風堂
3 Gateway Drive
#03-03 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9308
http://www.ippudo.com.sg/

Everyone deserves a second chance.

imageI was at a ‘Paradise Dynasty’ restaurant before and remembered that I wasn’t too impressed with it but my hungry colleagues simply overruled all my suggestions and was I glad they did.

The ‘Xiao Long Bao‘ had super thin skin, pumped up with soupy porkness, not too strong, very delicate actually. We also had a red colored sichuan version that kicked in nicely and was in fact quite blazing and tongue numbing.

imageMy very own personal dish was an awesome bowl of ‘Spicy Dumpling Noodles‘ which was stuffed with springy mian and delicious soft jiao zi, sprinkled with fresh cilantro and spring onions, all drenched in a super nice soya-chili-oil-mix together with some more of that bad ass sichuan pepper. Not overdone and still highly enjoyable, really a great dish.

I was glad we ended up here and in the future I will not give up on a place so fast just because of one disappointing meal. I’ll have this again.

Paradise Dynasty 乐天皇朝
3 Gateway Drive
#02-13/14 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9271
http://www.paradisegroup.com.sg/

Tonkatsu lunch at IMM.

imageLunchtime at IMM was getting more difficult because we tried almost everything remotely appealing. One we didn’t get to yet was ‘Saboten’ and since it fitted my newly rediscovered love for tonkatsu I didn’t hear myself say no when a colleague suggested it. After sitting down and before asking a question first thing the waiter said to us was that we were not allowed to customize the lunch sets. So much for a warm welcome.

I ordered the set with ‘Fillet Katsu‘ which turned out to be rather average; the meat was a bit dry and didn’t have much taste to talk about. The cabbage obviously was awesome as always but I would have preferred the usual and lighter sauce instead of the sesame dressing they used here. Miso soup and macha cake where okay but that’s about it.

Food here was only ok and the service came across a little rude so let’s just say there is still some room for improvement here. Bye for now.

Saboten Japanese Cutlet 勝博殿日式炸豬排
2 Jurong East Street
#01-19 IMM Building
Singapore 609601
Tel: +65 6898 3432

Fast Food Katsu.

imageIt was lunchtime yet again and since we liked those Katsu Loins‘ from Hong Kong so much we talked a couple of colleagues into having some ‘Tonkatsu‘ at ‘Ginza Bairin’. The JCube branch was much more a fast food lunch joint than a restaurant with a cut down menu compared to the one I new from before.

I chose the ‘Rosu Katsu Don‘ which came with the leaner pork loin, not looking to appealing but I somewhat didn’t care. The fried loin was juicy and glued in between this tasty savoury mix of egg, glazed onions and sweet tonkatsu sauce. The big boo was the rice not being proper Japanese style which not only made it considerably more difficult to eat but also stole the dish it’s signature texture and taste.

I still liked this comforting stuff but maybe go checkout ‘Tonkichi’ next time instead to see if they use all the right ingredients and to get my free flow cabbage on.

Ginza Bairin 銀座梅林
2 Jurong East Central 1
#B1-K05 JCube
Singapore 609731
Tel: +65 6684 3378
http://ginzabairin.com/en/index.php

Good looks just aren’t enough.

imageWe were extremely lazy today and so we just walked down to ‘Harry’s Bar’ for lunch.

They had updated there menu with a couple of new items and I was excited to see ‘Scotch Eggs‘ being one of the appetizers. Not exactly according to my diet plan but I had to try them. Whilst we waited for our food I realized that they had brushed up their presentation as well, fancier food arrangements using nicer plates and wooden boards. Unfortunately the food didn’t really live up to the new style. The actual eggs looked pretty weird all bubbly and dried out and had no taste. The meaty layer around them was some sort of sausage that looked a bit uncooked (even that it wasn’t) due to its’ bright pink color. I wasn’t crazy about the taste either and maybe some well seasoned minced meat would have worked better here. The crispy shell though was quite nice, not greasy at all and not too thick either. Overall still a rather disappointing choice.

imageNext was the ‘Salad Nicoise‘ that I had before and which they now also presented in a more refined way using quail eggs and a bigger rectangular plate. I always liked that the tuna here was not the tin kind but thin slices of actual tuna loin but this one today looked and tasted like microwaved. I also found quite a few of withered salad leaves in there which for S$15+ was a big letdown. Upsides were the light citrusy dressing that gave it all a refreshing taste and the crunchy green beans that had a lovely snap to them.

I don’t know but maybe they should have put a little less effort into choosing the new tableware and focus on improving the quality of the food instead. If something tastes great I don’t necessarily mind its’ appearance but if it just looks pretty with no taste to back it up all efforts were in vain.

Harry’s
1A International Business Park
#01-01
Singapore 609933
Tel: +65 6570 5253
http://harrys.com.sg/

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/ 

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/

Oops I Did It Again!

imageAs long as the new Jem Mall didn’t manage to open up it’s doors we were stuck with our usual choices  so it was time for another lunch visit at ‘Tsuru-koshi’. I initially wanted the cold ‘Zaru Udon‘ but then, I already had something similar at ‘Tamoya‘ on Sundays, so i quickly reconsidered and ordered the ‘Kamatama Udon‘.

This is a pretty simple dish, just hot udon sprinkled with spring onion and topped with a very soft poached egg and a cube of butter. After properly mixing all these ingredients I started slurping down my noodles loudly. I didn’t care my colleagues making fun about the noises I made because this actually tasted pretty awesome. Soft boiled egg is always a bit weird at first but it worked fantastic together with the melted butter and reminded me of the good times I just put butter on everything.

This place is slowely starting to grow on me and even that I still prefer ‘Tamoya‘ to this but appreciate having an udon shop so close to my work with a a big enough selection not to get bored too fast.

Tsuru-koshi Udon
Jurong East Street 21
#01-19 IMM Building
Singapore 609601

Another Udon Lunch at IMM

imageI came back here for lunch with a friend today and going with a colleague’s recommendation I ordered the ‘Niku Udon‘ with pork.

The clear broth was actually quite nice as it had a more distinct porky flavor yet pure and simple and I really liked the chopped pieces of white onion that added a sharp taste to the whole thing. The noodles tasted nice and had a lovely bite to them. I didn’t really like the thin pork slices as they were very fatty and had a bit of a greasy flavor but overall I enjoyed my lunch here and will be back again for some other versions to try.

Tsuru-koshi Udon
Jurong East Street 21
#01-19 IMM Building
Singapore 609601

Long Udon with Longer Names!

imageI recognized ‘Tsuru-koshi’ the last time I had lunch with my colleagues at the IMM in Jurong East and so I suggested to try it out today and since nobody had a better idea there we went.

As it seems common for udon shops we had to place our order before taking out seats and I chose their S$12 lunch set with ‘Atsu Atsu Tan Tan Udon‘ – pretty long huh? – together with a bowl of ‘Soboro Don‘. The ‘Don‘ was nothing I would desire having again, the minced meat tasted pretty boring and a bit greasy and the rice wasn’t as sticky as I had hoped for. The udon on the other hand, despite using the same plain minced meat tasted interestingly good. They sat in a lightly flavored sesame broth, which mixed with the meat and especially the very soft boiled egg turned into a flavor I quiet liked and never had tasted before and the udon were also nice and chewy. Even that this was the lunch set and the bowls were obviously smaller than the a la carte ones this was still a pretty big portion that I hardly could eat my ‘Mud Pie Mc Flurry’ after. Not.

The setting is no thrills, the little service you get is alright and fast enough and I still like udon very much which gives me enough reason to add this to the list of appropriate lunch places close to work. Cold udon next.

Tsuru-koshi Udon
Jurong East Street 21        
#01-19 IMM Building          
Singapore 609601

Angry Chicken For Lunch!

imageAnother day, another lunch. Somehow this week we felt like something new and so again today we tried a place we haven’t been to before  – ‘Nando’s’, a Mozambican-Portuguese franchise restaurant at JCube mall next to Jurong East MRT.

We all decided for a variation of the ‘Angry Mango Chicken‘; Wrap, Pita and my choice, the burger with their signature ‘Extra Hot Peri Peri Sauce‘. As my two sides I had the ‘Coleslaw‘ and the ‘3 Bean Salad‘ which both were more boring than anything. The coleslaw was slouchy and missing crunch and both salads lacked a good pinch of salt which might have saved them from falling under the ‘lame’ category. The chicken was not so much a burger as a sandwich. The bread was more baguette like but very soft and as they meant good with the sauce also completely soaked. The chicken itself was quiet nicely grilled, not particularly moist but tasty nevertheless. Together with the greens and the peri peri sauce it made quiet a good combination, just the mango wasn’t really that present. The sauce tricked me at first as it appeared tangy yet not biting which changed like three quarters through the sandwich when I started sweating and had to breath with open mouth. Tasty though.

Even that this is not the place I would go the extra mile for it sure is a decent place for a lunch change once in a while. And next time I might try the pita version as that actually looked really toasty.

http://www.nandos.com.sg/

Nando’s                                                                                                                                                                     2 Jurong East Central 1                                                                                                                                    #03-07/19 JCube                                                                                                                                    Singapore 609731

More Parma Please!

imageThis place is just around the corner from my work and today my colleague had her birthday and wished to have her birthday lunch over there.

The few times I came here I always ordered the ‘BLT‘ so for a change I went with their ‘Parma Ham Sandwich‘ today. The first great thing about this sandwich was the toasted Turkish bread which was crispy on the outside and soft but tasty on the inside. Second great thing was the actual parma ham with it’s intense and typical nutty flavor. I only wished they would have been a bit more generous with the parma as more than two thin slices would have been nice. I’m not too sure what cheese they used  but it’s light smokey aroma together with the bitter rocket rounded the whole sandwich up just nicely.

I thought that was a really decent sandwich and might pop by here for lunch now more often hoping they’ll stack it up with more of that tasty ham eventually but I don’t hold my breath.

http://www.vivavox.com.sg/

VivaVox Cafe                                                                                                                                                          3A International Business Park                                                                                                                       #01-10 Icon@IBP                                                                                                                                    Singapore 609935

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