Friday, July 31, 2009

Mr Bean @ International Plaza

Remember the last time I attempted a heart shaped dessert that didn't go too well on the tastebuds? Here's another attempt at heart shaped snacks..by Mr Bean.



Looks like a bean but then again also a heart.



These bean shaped pastries come in four flavours; green tea, green bean, pineapple and salty. I gave pineapple and green bean a go. The pastry's not melt in your mouth but has a nice powdery finish. The fillings set the flavours worlds apart. The green bean was bland, pineapple fared much better.

$1 a pop!

Mr Bean

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Malaysian Snacks



Tiger brand and 三叔公 are the couple of brands offering famous Malaysian snacks. Pink and Orange clashes for packaging but who cares? I've seen brandless ones being sold in markets and tightened with a rubber band. The remnants of the nostalgic past that creeps up every now and then with such stark reminders, especially so when so-and-so goes to Malaysia, these get passed around as perfect souvenirs.




Him Heang Pong Piahs' thank you note within the box.



Otherwise known as "dragon balls" for their perfect roundness, flaky pastry and green bean powdery filling. I found this slightly dry, not the best I've eaten.

There's Pong Peah and now, Heong Peah though I recognize it as 马蹄酥.



马蹄酥 (RM 9.90 for a packet of 18 pcs)

Translates as chestnut pastry, these flaky pastries though mass manufactured are fresh. Crispy outershells dusted with fragrant sesame seeds, the layers of pastry huddle around a sticky chestnut paste within.

A cup of teh tarik with it, anyone?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shokudo Pasta @ Cineleisure



I once swore off dining at Shokudo or its affiliates because the food was not up to standard and desserts were average.

Waffle with Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gelato ($6.50) made me retract that statement and left me pleasantly surprised. A toasty round waffle smelt fabulous. The fluffy waffle is unrivaled so far, in terms of taste...not salty nor overly sweet...complete with the right consistency in the chewy waffle. Paired with gelato with crumbs of sweet potato, Shokudo has redeemed itself for the dessert at least!

Shokudo Pasta
Cineleisure

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dinner Buffet @ Lion City Hotel, Lion City Cafe



Indulging in food seems to be one of the easiest way to catch up with family near and far. Headed back to Lion City Cafe for our umpteenth time, we used to go there for...

1) Cheap and good Nonya Food (think kuehs, nasi lemak, laksa)
2) It's one of those places that doesn't bother too much about attire nor cutlery placements..
3) It ain't as over-rated nor overhyped as Chilli Padi
4) You should get the drift by now.



I was first drawn by the "2-for-1" offer..which logically works out to be 1-for-1...well apparently not. It's 2 buffets for the price of 1.



Their True Blue Nonya Buffet has been going on for years...still going on stronger than before. Only available for lunch and high tea though.



Don't the cucumbers look exceptionally green?



Slurpworthy!



Simple set up for the Nasi Lemak..



And the other side, Teochew Porridge..



Nasi Lemak

Coconut Rice with blachan/cucumber/ikan bilis

The rice was grainy and fragrant but was somewhat hard..possibly undercooked. I mixed in the blachan, ikan bilis, omelette and cucumber...lovely. The blachan's very addictive, I couldn't help dipping nearly everything in it. Not spicy but the bean paste-chilli paste combination worked wonders.

Chicken Wings

They weren't as crispy as desired, the skin was soggy..thankfully meaty.

Egg Omelette

Tasted bland.

Blachan Long Beans
Blachan Ladies Fingers

Surprisingly the most delicious of the range.

Pork Chop in Curry

These were sliced so thin, the curry sauce did little to its taste. I did not mind this much.



Teochew Porridge

Olive vegetable

Hmm, this was a little weird for me, tasted more like a strong mui chye.

Mui Chye Chicken

Chunky chicken tenders with a slight mui chye taste.

Braised Pork Trotter and Egg

I found this yummy, the meat isn't overboiled hence still maintaining its firm outlook.

Szechuan Vegetable with Pork

Once again, the szechuan vegetable was not that salty, would've preferred if the strong preserved taste was not washed off.

Dory Fish Fillet

Firm fillets with a tasty sauce.

Leek with Beancurd

A little on the oily side.

Chye Poh Omelette

Third time proven right, the chye poh was probably soaked too long, it ended up tasteless.

Custard Egg with Fish and Chicken

Bland healthy custard egg with meat minced so soft, it's barely discernible.

Chicken Feet

Skipped this.

Chap Chye

I was quite disappointed with this, the vegetables were undercooked.

Braised Bittergourd

Although mildly bitter, I liked how it tasted like how it should. Most of the teochew items were either bland when I expected salty.



Grainy goodness to wash down the supposedly high sodium dishes, the point with Teochew dishes is...most of them are oily and salty so porridge serves prefectly to cleanse it all.



Dessert

Fruit Platter (Watermelon/Papaya)

Sweet juicy thirst quenching fruits. I had plates of this!




Greenbean Soup

Warm, tummy comforting and not too sweet green bean soup! Three bowls was all I could manage, I wish I had space for more! The beans were not over cooked, whole beans in soup...yummy.

Lion City's a newly refurbished hotel..I'd rate it 3 star? Anyway, Lion City Cafe's nicely done up with some modern fixtures. Service is just passable. The food tastes homecooked but I appreciate that part of it...sans all the MSG, frilly ways of cooking that sometimes makes food pretentious...so here's Lion City with unpretentious food reminiscent of your home kitchen. For once, buffet was not just about stuffing myself silly, but enjoying a nice meal in the comfort of shorts, slippers and...singlet.

$12.80++ for dinner
$9.80++ for supper

Lion City Cafe
Lion City Hotel

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shokudo Marketplace @ Raffles City

After the numerous chances given, I have concluded Shokudo's a place for convenience more than food. It was a nice surprise being able to walk into Shokudo without the usual snaking queues and crowds.



Beef Burger

Was nursing a burger crave and zeroed in on the chunky instead of the pizzas. 7 minutes it took for the burger to get flipped and served in all grandeur. I've got this thing for tall burgers, the height seems to give the perception the patty is juicy, cheese well melted, bread toasty and crusty and...all things delicious. This was served with a portion of fries and sliced cabbage which I found ordinary. burger was just alright, squashing all hopes for a satisfying meal. The two thick slices of bread were too hard. All it did was worsen the crave for a yummy burger.



Upclose of the megaweight.



Rosti with Egg

To begin with, I'm not a fan of Rosti..the oily shredded potatoes failed to whet the appetite..when coupled with bland chicken sausage and boring sour cream..the dish just fell apart.




Gyoza

The lightly panfried gyoza was alright, nothing spectacular but they should really go easy on the oil.



Yakitori

Eel and Cheese; Ordinary.

Bacon with Asparagus; Too fatty, the meat portion was so measly. Asparagus was undercooked.

Mushrooms; The best amongst all the flavours, the smoky fragrance and dry mushroom texture.

Beef cubes; Pretty good.

Chicken Wings; Did not try.




Panfried Salmon

Horrifying. The oil was evident with every bite, fish bones aplenty...

The prices aren't exactly cheap nor are they exorbitant..the food's just alright not spectacular...Unless I really have to, I doubt I'd be back at Shokudo's anytime soon.

Shokudo
Raffles City

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Margarita's @ East Coast Road




Magarita's started off as a cozy quaint place next to Al Forno before the renovations started, then they opened another outlet at Dempsey before taking up two shop spaces along East Coast Road. It is brighter and more welcoming now but lacks the warm-fuzzy touch it used to have. Previously, I'd peek into the dimly lit restaurant to find private parties and couply dinners ongoing.

Dragged the gang along for some Mex-aloving on a weekday night...people stream in and out of the restaurant.

So it seems Tex Mex and Mexican cuisine is vastly different..Tex Mex is American inspired Mexican food..like Charles and Keith/Bysi do inspires of the labels. Anyhow, I was intrigued by how much of the supposedly "Mexican" food I've been having is in fact, Tex Mex.

Wiki sizes Mexican cuisine up nicely;
  • Largely corn based
  • Different regions are characterized accordingly (North Mexico for goat, beef, ostrich; South Eastern for spicy vegetable and chicken dishes)
  • In Mexico, it is very unusual to put cheese in tacos or tostadas (surprise!)
Popular Tex Mex dishes;
  • Nachos, rarely eaten in Mexico
  • Heavy use of melted cheese, meat (beef), beans and spices, in addition to Mexican-style tortillas.
  • Texas-style chili con carne, chili con queso, chili gravy and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions.
  • A common feature of Tex-Mex is the combination plate with several on one large platter.
Guacamole is made of ripe avocados, onions, lime or lemon juice, and salt.



Looks like a prata folded..



Pocketful of chicken.

Chicken Quesadilla ($16.50)

Mexican snack food, folded tortilla stuffed with chicken and cheese served with sour cream and guacamole.

The toasty quesadilla was delicious, as good on its own and with stuffing..though at first sight I must admit I was disappointed with the dull outlook. Guacamole and sour cream gave this an added yummy punch.



Chicken Fajitas ($29.90)
Served in a sizzling hot plate with onions, peanut sauce and salsa.

A Tex-Mex version of popiah. Unroll the fajita, lace it with sauces, fill it with chicken slices and oily onions and fold it to the shape you desire. Lastly, enjoy the juicy fajita. I found the chicken on hot plate a tad oily but tasty. The peanut sauce did not have a distinct taste.

Fajitas is a generic term used in Tex Mex cuisine referring to grilled meat served on a flour or corn tortilla.

The tortillas were served in a jacket...how cute!



One large filling portion..



The cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!

Chimichanga ($19.90)
Deep Fried Burrito with shredded beef, paired with Guacamole, salsa and salad. Comes with vegetable rice.

It's popular in Southwestern cuisine, Tex Mex and some Mexican states.

The funny thing about this is, we ordered it because of the nice ring to its name...*how frivolous!* The portion's good enough for two. When we got to eating it, the chimichanga was slightly soggy from soaking in salsa for quite awhile. The chimichanga's well fried, no trace of oil..I adored the stuffing to bits. Shredded beef, awesome! Margarita's prides itself for shredded beef rather than beef cubes, gives the dish a better bite somehow. The serving of shredded beef within is generous, melted cheese complimented it very well too. Leave it too long, the chimichanga gets too soft.

Trivia: Debate over the origins of the chimichanga is ongoing, with two Arizona restaurants laying claim to its creation.

Service was alright. Plus point: They left us to chitchat even after signing the bill. Overall, the ladies found it filling, the guys felt otherwise.

Margarita's
404 East Coast Road

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Bar at Morton's @ Oriental Hotel 2



The Bar at Morton's has always been a favourite chill out place of mine for various reasons and I can visit and revisit it time and again and it still leaves an incredible experience.

Happy Hour starts from 5-7pm and for the first time in modern history I was amongst the first! Doors are opened at 5pm sharp. Tables are already reserved, thankfully I managed to squeeze in. My usual order of Lychee Martini, watch the bartender concoct the lethal combination. Ok, truth be told the martinis at Morton's are potent, at least they render me looking drunk when I'm obviously not.



Free flow of filet mignon sandwiches every 20 minutes or so that causes a flurry of activities. The filet mignon is salty this time but still as tender and delicious with the fluffy soft bread. They are also available on the menu with sprigs of green, priced at $20 per plate of 4.

At the Bar, I end up observing the gorgeous dome like architecture above, it isn't extraordinary but it kept me enthralled quite abit.

The staff are a jovial bunch, they joke with you, take pictures obligingly and engage in banter.

I wish I ordered the much desired basket of blue cheese fries though. Till the next Happy Hour, Morton's still way high up on the list.

The Bar at Morton's

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harry's Bar @ Suntec City



Straits Time Sunday's Life! did an awesome job plugging the great deals at Suntec, I could not resist and dragged 3 other people along to enjoy the "good deal". I know Harry's for happy hour..more so than food but the curiosity got the better of me this time.

I made reservations though there really is no point in making them anyway because it was barely filled. With only one waitress on duty, you make you way into the restaurant, get yourself seated and take forever to get her attention.



The bar that comes to life at night.



1-for-1, $22 nett you get a 3 course lunch.



Soup of the day - Cream of Chicken Soup

I had trouble finding out the soup of the day simply because the waitress gave a garbled version of this. The soup tasted straight out of the can with bits of grilled chicken. Not the best nor worst I've tasted.



Fish & Chips
Breaded Fish Fillet served with Tartare Sauce, Salad and Fries.

The next table had a huge portion served and that made us trigger happy for that while until our portions arrived. A far cry indeed, or simply...cut in half. J concluded "Ordinary".



Black Pepper Chicken Chop
Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg served with Black Pepper Sauce, Salad and Wedges.

Arguably the best of the three options. The nicely smoked juicy chicken leg was flavourful and tender. I adored the well tossed salad...even the wedges seemed tastier.



Pasta Beef Balls

Served with Herbs, Tomato Sauce and Parmesan.

A serious mistake on my part going out of flow and heading straight for pasta, something I usually avoid at non-pasta places. Four small morsels of over marinated beef balls i.e. proof of marination? The fiery red meat within that was high on sodium. The rolls of pasta was overcooked, on the soft side. The tomato sauce was a letdown as well, too bland.



Dessert of the Day - Chocolate Pudding

Once again, we were challenged with the dessert of the day when all the waitress could manage was "alabahala banana or blahblahblah poo-ding." So it turned out, we had no choice because the "chef said so" and was a haphazardly cut chocolate pudding with whimsically sprayed fresh cream. The pudding was like tofu in consistency.

Overall, service was lacklustre. A Japanese family walked in and out without being served. Half the time, the waitress disappeared into the kitchen. Well, a naughty thought loomed...what if we really walked off without paying? I doubt anyone knew. It baffles me considerably knowing that the waitress cannot quite handle English...and I'm not even talking about fluency nor conversational.

Food was bad, save for the chicken dish. Portions are befitting of 1-for-1, slicing your portions by a neat half. The boys headed for more lunch thereafter.

Stretch your dollar? Not an effective one, certainly not the best deals around.

Harry's Bar
Suntec City

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BreadTalk's 9th Birthday



Seems like everyone is bent on milking the most from their birthday celebrations, from Paulaner's 10th Birthday and now BreadTalk's 9th..how about 8th?

Yesyes, I know..this is long overdue.



Nacho Cheese

The bun version of KFC's Cheezy Fries, complete with spring onions. Yummy delight!



Sakura An Pan (New!)

Another visually appealing creation...I was expecting the dried sakura to be sweet..turns out to be pickled. Pity the An Pan did not have whole azuki beans.



Pumpkin

Looks like a sunflower with the scattering of sunflower seeds. I did not agree with the pumpkin-custard within..tasted just funny.




Fried Chicken Pan

Just chicken nuggets on top a bun with teriyaki sauce, not a favourite at all.


Japan Sweet Potato (New!)

I'll have to give BreadTalk credit for breads that look like the real stuff...this looked exactly like a baked sweet potato, flaky charred skin and all! Pity the flaky charred skin did no more than serving its ornamental purpose. The mashed sweet potato and bread was not...that complementary afterall.



Raisin Loaf

Sugar coated bun with lots of raisins...much like the neighbourhood bakery, only differing in the chewy bread.



Apple King

Shaped like an apple and baked with a slice of apple..visually it was too cute to resist. What's hidden within was a disappointment, just apple cubes in cream.



Kaya Roulette Kaya

Resembled Roti Boy with the crust, the coconut shavings and light kaya made this a nice tea time snack. I could not resist slapping on Glory's kaya..now that tasted much better!



Bak Kwa Bread

Another of my favourite...the mini bak kwa bits are generously folded into the bread.




Teriyaki Chicken (New!)

I was lucky enough to nab some from their latest Japanese collection. Speckled with sesame seeds, looks like the yam delight they have...I declare myself a non-fan though I loved the chewy doughy bread! The teriyaki chicken combination tasted unlike Teriyaki to say the least.



Chocolate Croissant

Certified buttery and generously draped with chocolate.

9 whole years of innovation...and they're still churning out new creations every now and then. I don't love all their creations but variety is King.

BreadTalk