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Tag Archives: Al Fresco

Get my spice on – Chapter 1

imageUsually when I’m on the People’s Park side of Chinatown I tend to get me some of that delicious intestine burning Mala Dry Pot, but this time I finally chose to try the little unconspicious Chinese stall outside the food center, which offers an interesting variety of spicy noodles.

I have no clue what this bowl was actually called but they used the thick round glass noodles and some minced pork in it. The fat noodles were super long and awesome slippery with a good chew and the the chili oil, meat and spices clinged perfectly onto them, which made every slurp crazy flavorful. The mince, coriander, peanuts and Sichuan peppers made this a brilliant and enjoyable dish that was at the same time pretty fun as well as fairly unpleasant to eat from the moment the first chili hit a sensitive spot.

I’m glad I finally tried it out and am happy they have a good handful of other similar dishes, deviating mainly by the type of noodles used and I’m sure that all of them are capable of giving me a similar kind of stomach growl as this one. Can’t wait for lip numbing round two.

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Chong Qing Xiao Chi 重庆小吃 (Chong Qing Snacks)
Concourse Area (People’s Park)
100 Upper Cross Street

Too much “Winterspeck”.

imageWe had a birthday dinner for a good friend and his little family and met all at Culina on Dempsey Hill, a nice bistro restaurant with a more kid friendly like setting.

We began our meal with a couple of starters like the Charcuterie Tasting Plate, which was pretty great. Especially the air dried meat and the rillete were perfect and even the weird looking cured duck breast tasted brilliant. We also had the Crab Cakes, that even though small were almost entirely made of crab meat without any starchy fillers and came with a delicious mustard tartar aside to be dipped in. Yum. Unfortunately the rest of the meal didn’t continue as convincing as the Burrata was miniature sized and the Fried Squid just had way too much oily batter on it and overall wasn’t really pleasant to eat.

imageAs main I had the $42 Rhug Estate Organic Pork, which I was looking forward to a lot. Taste wise the meat itself was actually quite good, soft and hearty but with that fancy name and for that price it was just not up there and way too tiny. Since it was advertised as loin I had hoped for a nicely lean piece of meat but on top of the smallish cut of pork was a rather huge layer of pure uneatable fat. Pretty disappointing that one was and the gooey cream sauce additionally made me feel uncomfortably stuffy.

So this was a rather unfortunate ending to a promising start. Don’t get me wrong, Culina in general is a nice place with in- and outside seating and you can also fill up your shopping cart with some goodies from their deli on your way out but if you should decide to go for a meal at their bistro, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to follow our birthday boy’s choice and go for the steak cuts. They had in fact quite a hefty price tag but therefore looked pretty awesome and apparently also tasted accordingly.

Culina Dempsey
Block 8 Dempsey Road
#01-13 Dempsey Hill
Singapore 247696
Tel: +65 6474 7338
http://www.culina.com.sg/

Stroll down Bak Kut Teh Lane.

imageI only had been to the shop on Balestier before but tonight looking for a quick meal I went to Rangoon Road for my pork rib dinner.

I was positively surprised to find my preferred leaner version of ribs on the menu which I knew from ‘Ng Ah Sio‘ but had never recognised at ‘Founder’s’ before, so this was what I was going to have. The meat was nice and tender with quite big chunks of pork that were easily nibbled off the bones. The soup was rich and had a good flavour, just wasn’t as peppery I would have wished for.

So this branch is actually quite nice place with some outdoor seating, a big menu of tasty dishes to chose from and is less crowded than their original shop. However I like my ‘Bak Kut Teh‘ as pepper loaded as possible so I might be walking a couple of houses down the road for my next round of pork tea.

Founder’s Bak Kut Teh Cafeteria 发起人肉骨茶餐馆
154 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218431
Tel: +84 6292 0938

Oh, I just have a salad!

imageA spontaneous invitation from friends brought me to the beergarden at the old train station in Holzgerlingen today, the town I went to high school in.

They offer the usual beer garden fare and as I wasn’t that hungry my choice fell on something “light” , ‘Schwaebischer Wurstsalat‘ (Swabian sausage salad) which was a slight variation to the sausage salad I had about a week ago in Freiburg. For the Swabian version they used slices of black sausage additional to the lyoner. The two types of cold cut sausage tasted good and were seasoned well but for my taste the blood sausage was too soft as I prefer it with a little bit more bite. The dressing was nice, slightly sour and a bit too oily. There were sour pickled gherkins that added extra flavor and the chopped red- and spring onions gave it all a sharp kick.

The beer garden at ‘Alter Bahnhof’ is self serviced and offers simple but good food to reasonable prices and is a nice hangout for a sunny afternoon and for those who prefer a less casual ambience there is the waited restaurant area only a few meters away.

http://www.gourmetbahnhof.de/

Restaurant und Biergarten Alter Bahnhof
Bahnhofsplatz 1
71088 Holzgerlingen
Germany
Tel: +49 7031 682796

It’s Chanterelle Season

imageAfter a lovely weekend with my family I drove up to Frankfurt for a meeting the next day. There was an Italian restaurant on the other side of the road so to keep my evening hassle free I just made my way over there and sat down outside in this beautiful weather. At the beginning I was one of two tables but before I finished my dinner the place was packed.

They had a special menu with a lot of seasonal dishes under which some came with chanterelles as the main ingredient. As I didn’t have those for a few years now I started off with a ‘Salat mit Pfifferlingen‘ (salad with chanterelles) which came as a big plate full of fresh greens, drizzled with a balsamic reduction and covered with nicely salty parmesan shavings. I loved the warm center of pan fried chanterelles, bacon and onions but there was too much oil on it that made me feel a little greasy towards the end.

imageTo stick to the theme I made the ‘Tagliatelle mit Pfifferlingen‘ (tagliatelle pasta with chanterelles) my main. The dish was light and tasted awesome and my fear it would be as oily as the salad didn’t come true. The handmade pasta had a distinct eggy flavor and was on the spot al dente, covered with a thin creamy layer of oil and juices. The chanterelles tasted great and wonderful mushroomy, not like the stuff I’m used to from the supermarket in Singapore. Some cracked black pepper over all of that and I left smiling into my Sunday evening.

Great food, friendly staff, lovely ristorante in a quiet part of town. Nice.

http://www.ristoranteromanella.de/

Ristorante Pizzeria Romanella
Wolfsgangstrasse 84
60322 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Tel: +49 69 5961117

Vienna in Heidelberg

imageIt was my last evening in Heidelberg before moving on and a good old friend took her time to have dinner with me before I left. We met at ‘Thanner’ on Bergheimer Strasse which is named after a famous tv commissar and which was only 10 seconds walking distance from my hotel.

I ordered the ‘Wiener Schnitzel‘ (vienna schnitzel), a crispy breaded veal escalope that was super thin and all the fat had been rinsed off before. It tasted great and crunchy and a nice squeeze of lemon gave it an extra twist. The roasted potatoes were chopped chunky and panfried in butter together with some white onions and were a great side to the schnitzel.

‘Thanner’ is a lively casual place which colleagues and I visit quite frequently for drinks when in Heidelberg. I hardly tried their food so far but the schnitzel was so tasty that I might change that during future visits. The waiting team is super friendly too and so I surely come back when I have meetings here.

http://www.thanner.net/

Thanner – Bar, Restaurant, Cafe
Bergheimer Strasse 71
69115 Heidelberg
Germany
Tel: +49 6221 25234

Leave Ramen to the Experts

imageI was now nearly one week in Germany and thought it would be a good idea to try out some Asian fair around here. Together with two colleagues I went to the recently opened ‘Urban Kitchen’ at the location of the old swimming pool in Heidelberg.

I didn’t see anything that was tempting on the menu so I gave their ramen selection a shot. They had some weird toppings on sale but the fact that they were offering miso and shoyu versions here made me curious. I ordered the ‘Shoyu Beef Ramen‘ and it actually looked quite nice with it’s dark broth and big slap of grilled beef on top. Taking my first slurp of the soup brought me back to reality and that Germany is rather a rookie in the art of ramen cooking. Sadly it was pretty tasteless, not salty whatsoever and probably not cooked for very long. The noodles were dreadful boring strings with no flexibility and springiness and tasted awful floury. All other toppings were quite okay, the snow peas were al dente and the steak even though a little out of place tasted pretty nice and beefy.

‘Urban Kitchen’ is a nice and lively place and my soup was okay and maybe a good choice for a light lunch or dinner but it was definitely nothing anywhere close to the mighty ramen. I kinda knew but still hoped for a decent copy of the real thing.

http://www.myurbankitchen.de/index.php

Urban Kitchen
Poststrasse 36/7 (Im Alten Hallenbad)
69121 Heidelberg
Germany
Tel: +49 6221 9986793