Friday, October 31, 2008

Friends @ Jelita



R's birthday treat at Friends @ Jelita. It's been eons since I've been there. Located on the second floor of Jelita, I made reservations for two in a cosy corner. The decor of the place is done up rather nicely and had the ambience for a slow enjoyable dinner. Groups of diners took up at least half the restaurant.


Service started off on a nondescript note, with the waiter telling you what's the Soup of the day, dessert of the day, asking if you'd like wine to go with the food. He made no attempt to ask if we'd like to top up the meal for a choice of desserts.

Since it's the month of Oktoberfest, the mains were largely German infused dishes.

The food arrived promptly too, dish after dish.


Warm bread was served nested in a napkin which I found delicious with the olive oil. Pity they did not refill it, nor offer to either.

Starter

Smoked Mackerel with potato cake & turmeric cream cheese

I liked this, no fishy hint whatsoever. Simply just potatoes if you ask me, no trace of "tumeric cream cheese". Maybe it's the designs on the plate.

Soup

Beef Soup with root vegetables

A first for me, clear soup with beef boiled so long it kind of lost its meaty bite to it. Tasted good warm though, not spectacular.

Main Course
Roasted Crispy Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut, mashed bacon potatoes & mesclun



A mighty display with a quarter pork knuckle! The crispy skin fried so dry, got me crunching loudly, ignoring the potent calories that came with it. The pork was a little too dry but I don't mind it that much. Slightly on the salty side. The sides of mesclun and mashed bacon potatoes are equally outstanding. Not quite a pork knuckle person so I don't know if that's how the legendary pork knuckle's supposed to taste.

Home made Spaetzle with “Kami Sakura” Spiced Chicken (German style pasta with sliced chicken thigh & cream sauce)




R's choice of pasta which did not go down to well. German pasta and Italian are as different as chalk and cheese. The pasta's pasty pieces of noodle with no bite actually, tasted more like our local favourite, handmade noodle. The cheese was overpowering with measly chicken slices. Kami Sakura chicken is apparently their signature dish. The chickens are farmed in Malaysia with Japanese farming techniques with no antibiotics used.

Tasted quite like Kampung chicken with a juicy tender bite. The pasta needs quite a bit of getting used to. Too much of it renders a strong lingering "gelak"-ness.

Read here for more!

Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin squash with a crunchy base and drizzled with chocolate sauce. I'm a fan of pumpkin, found this a delight in fact. Simple yet indulgent.


Overall, service is to the point. You order, food's served and cleared quickly. Call for the bill, it's delivered soon. Off you go! Very chop chop, no fuss. They'd not make any attempt to inform you of anything in fact, be it topping up of menu for other desserts or the free parking that apparently came with it. Was only after I checked the receipts that I realise parking was complimentary.

As for the "food and wine people" as they claim, I can't vouch for the wine part but food? Certainly not the best I've eaten. Not the best service either.
Oh, they don't do "birthday surprises" either, wasn't expecting one but would've been nice if there was one.

"Casual fine dining"? Fine dining it's not, casual (service) it sure is. It's one of those "been there done that" places. If not for the promotion, I doubt I'd be back.

4 Course set @ $49.90 per person
1-for-1 with major credit cards

http://www.friendsfoodandwine.com/jelita.html

Friends @ Jelita
293 Holland Road, #02-04

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Desserts @ Coffee Bean 3



Cake of the month; Pumpkin Meringue Tart. ($5.80/slice)

Thick fluffy marshmellow clouds above the pumpkin tart. The burnt sweet meringue went quite nicely with the pumpkin puree on the crunchy tart. I'm quite a pumpkin person so...nice job by Coffee Bean once again! Both a visual and tastebud treat!

45th Anniversary Wednesday Treat! Cupcakes at 50 cents with any purchase!


The Anniversary promotion has been running for quite a while now and every Wednesday I'd miss the cupcake purchase for some reason like seeing the last few being snatched up before my very eyes or...sold out...or anyway, I made a breakfast dash for the muffin and cupcake. Oh so pretty indeed. I sent the sis an sms that said "oh me oh my oh goodness" it tastes as good as it looks! Butter-raisin cupcake with the pink butter cream swirl and candy sprinkles, not oily at all. Pity it came in such small bite sizes, I'd have polished 6 at a go if I could! I've tried their cupcake party pack before, one of the hidden gems that Coffeebean has to offer. I'm totally sold now.

Apple Cinnamon Muffin ($3.50 per pop)


A pleasant attempt at muffins by Coffeebean, it's more or less similar to the Anniversary cupcake, the cake's spongey, rather loose in bite, not too buttery. Overall tasted quite healthy with the apples, slight cinnamon fragrance and raisins. The distribution of ingredients were however uneven, with the apples and raisins at the top. At such a price tag, I'm not sure if I'd be back.

CoffeeBean

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle @ East Coast Road


Chai Chee Bak Chor Mee's one of those places I can visit week after week and still not get tired of it. They're one of the 24 hour eateries that serve hot piping meals, brilliant for the late nighter. They've undergone a couple of changes; price revisions (the very first time I had their soup noodles 5 years back it cost a whooping 4 buckeroos!), taste changes (somehow the sauce-chilli blend isn't uniform...some days it tastes sooo good, on others it tastes as if the cook was drunk) and portion changes (there was a point in time where the noodles are a measly bunch, nearly half of what I'm getting now...). I stood by them throughout all the changes and here's the latest.

The usual fare I order,

Pork Chop Bak Chor Mee, Dry, Chilli, $3.50/bowl

They've upped the prices from $3..along with the price hike came more noodles and pork chop that's marinated differently and obviously tastes different from how it used to taste. The pork chop's got some herb dusted on it, the meat's more tender than before, I didn't take a fancy to it though. The noodle portion's kinda big for me now, made eating it somewhat tedious because they ended up getting too dry after soaking up the sauce mix they threw in. I still like the chilli-sauce-pork bits mix, possibly the only constant in the sinful bowl! Oh, yes...the crunchy pork lard bits that's a rarity in noodles these days.

Not sure if I still like it as much as before, but one thing's for sure, they'd tweak the taste back in time to come! (I hope)

Chai Chee Minced Meat Noodle
East Coast Road (Next to Macau Cafe)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Waraku @ The Central

I can never get enough of Waraku for some reason...neither can the pals. Always at the top of the mind when it comes to affordable yet fulfilling Japanese food. Once again, I avoided ordering the usual Niku Curry.

Ebiten Maki, $9.80

A must order every single visit. Crunchy tempura sushi. Can't quite put to words the addiction to this dish but arguably the best sushi dish they've got to offer. The tempura's nary over fried nor dripping with oil. Fried to the right crunch. Till now I've not quite figured out why they'd need separate sauces for sushi and sashimi given a slight hint of sweetness in the sushi soya sauce.

Kaminabe Wazen, $19.80


I pinched the tempura from the set. Still as deliciously crunchy.

Chawanmushi, $4.80

Not a fan of chawanmushi...

Renkon Chips, $4.80

According to T whose a great fan...the one at Central's a disappointment. I found it very oily..and certainly not very crunchy. Nothing to shout about.

Tompei Yaki, $6.80

Uber uber addictive! The slivers of pork belly with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise runny egg omelette's such a fabulous combination. The raw thinly chopped cabbage gives this dish an added punch. Lovely.

Hotate Mayonnaise, $8.80

This dish screams sinful all the way with mayonnaise, cream gravy, mushrooms, onions, cheese and of course fat juicy scallops. Well worth the sin I say!

Raspberry Ice Cake, $6.80

The previous experience with Maccha ice cake wasn't very pleasant. Raspberry ice cake's just vanilla ice-cream with frozen raspberries and raspberry sauce.

White Truffle, $8

I've been wanting to try this for the longest time. Looks like a candied apple with all the coconut shavings and peanuts covering it. Beneath the coconuty-peanuty surface is an apple-shaped vanilla ice-cream, munch somemore you'd get Ferrero Raphello as the core. Ferrero Raphello's is the coconut-white chocolate version of the Ferrero Roche. The dessert's served rock hard though, eating through it was quite a noisy affair with dissonant sounds created by the clanging and banging of cutlery. Despite the very interesting layers...not sold on this.

Peach, $8

It's the better tasting one of the two! The candied peach chocolate shell reveals peach ice-cream and Ferrero Roche chocolate as the core. Still, the ice-cream is just normal.

Service at The Central's as good as the other outlets. They seemed hectic at most times, the only grouse is..the comfy and cosy corner we were given seats was next to the designated area for dirty plates and glasses. :(

Overall, I enjoyed the meal muchly...Waraku's not only good for curry udon but also sides!

http://www.waraku.com.sg/

Waraku
#03-89/97/98
The Central

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hob Nob Cafe @ Far East Shopping Centre

Hob Nob Cafe was a choice of dinner at one gathering I had. Far East Shopping Centre's indeed one of the most unlikely places to hangout, ever. To date, I still hold strong to that misconception. I seriously thought that place smells and speaks "dingy, dodgy and all things negative." Anyhow, it's located on the third floor, turn right...and you'd see a quaint cafe with two tellys, not very spacious in fact just enough space to house a group of 12 and the cafe's full.



Laminated menus with battery operated candle lights and past seasoned-chinese new year decor gives the place a somewhat "back in time" feel, as if the world outside the cafe's moved on much faster.

The simple cutlery..

The pal's mushroom soup with such timeless porcelein bowl, I couldn't take my eyes off the bowl. It's creamy and good and well, if it's any point to prove, he finished it down to the last drop.

My choice of Chicken Sausage ($9.80) that looks as bad as it tastes. My initial order of Spicy Chicken Thigh was sold out. Sliced soft sausages that tasted as if they were canned were drowned heavily in some bean black sauce which I took no fancy to. I spent a long time trying to scrap off the sauce. Thinly sliced mushrooms were part of this horrific dish as well. At least the better tasting coleslaw and fries tasted decent.

Most of the diners had Baked Fish which honestly tasted so much better than my Chicken Sausage. Baked fish with melted cheese and herbs, not the usual dory fish but it's tasty nonetheless.

A cook, a helper and a waitress/lady boss is all Hob Nob has to offer. Earnest and sincere service offered. The kind lady boss passed a friend who had a bad throat and whooping cough mint sweets to alleviate the itch and constantly topped up her glass of warm water. I couldn't bear to admit the dish I chose was half as bad...

Not sure if I'd give it another go. Not the cheapest, not the best tasting...not high on ambience...just service.

Hob Nob Cafe
#03-18/19 Far East Shopping Centre

Sunday, October 26, 2008

J.Co @ Raffles City 2



Dates O' Yummy ($1.30) is a sugar glazed donut with date infused cream and a quarter silver of iced date atop! I'm pleasantly surprised with their new addition and hope it stays on the menu for good! The soft donut and dates are a match made in foodland, imo. The dates aren't overpowering in taste, nice. At first mention I thought it's a Hari Raya addition released late, but better late than never!

http://www.jcodonuts.com/

J.Co Donuts
Raffles City Basement

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Aston's Specialties 3 @ East Coast



I broke all records at Aston's and decided to give their non-beef dishes a try!

Garlic Toast, basket of 8 slices, $2

Finger licking crunchy toast, but the garlic taste can be stronger.

Chicken Nuggets, $3.50

Normal chicken nuggets.

Grand Slam, $12.90

A selection of sausages, just in time for Oktoberfest (minus the beer though)! Pork sausages, chicken sausages with cheese, herb too. Only fancied the cheese sausage best, the rest weren't quite up to taste.

Grilled Fish with Herbs, $7.20

I liked this, surprisingly. The dory fish and cream sauce that wasn't too gelak. Easy to eat too and the healthiest of the list of "fish" options.

Crispy Fried Fish, $7.20


Just like fish and chips, breaded and deep fried.

Hickory BBQ Chicken, $6.50

The worst of the lot, the BBQ sauce had an overpowering artificial taste to it. The chicken and sauce were quite separate in taste and didn't quite go.

Black Pepper Chicken, $6.50

Pretty good char grilled chicken!

So now, I know what else to order apart from beef!

www.astonsspecialties.blogspot.com

Astons Specialties

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Soup Spoon 3 @ Tanjong Pagar



Simon and Garfunkel Chicken and Mushroom Ragout (Chicken) Chunky, $7, weekly special

A diary chicken soup with root vegetables and a dollop of cream. I really did not enjoy it...too milky perhaps..or maybe I was still lemming for the delicious Mexican Chicken Tortilla soup I had thrice over the promotional period. The Soup Spoon somehow did not pull off a diary soup that well. Nothing extraordinary, just cream soup with chicken. Apparently it had 6 different types of mushrooms; woodsy Portobello, smooth oyster and abalone mushroom, the oriental enoki and shitake and the ever popular buttons...didn't pay too much attention to them though.

Next weekly special please!

The Soup Spoon

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amonde @ Tangs Basement



A hidden bakery replacing Gelatissimo at a somewhat obscure corner of the foodcourt basement selling pastries, cakes, macaroons and othellos! I zero-ed in on the cheerful coloured desserts immediately. Amonde offer a cheaper alternative to the pricey macaroons we have in places like Canele, Bakerzin, Gobi...Carousel at Royal Scotts. $1.20 per pop for both macaroons and othellos.


Eye candies they all are, loving the colours!


Othello is a cake sandwiching flavoured cream drizzled with a pastel-chocolate-like shell. I found the cake spongey, light and absolutely lovely.


Blueberry macaroon came in a shade of blue that's normally not used for food, I tried it all the same. The shells are on the soft side, crushing apart when I tried to break into two. The creme in between isn't the usual meringue more like jam, blueberry jam to be exact. Not quite the same as the other macaroons I've tried elsewhere but good enough.

At such affordable prices to satiate the craving, I say...anytime!

Amonde
Tangs Basement