Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wedding Dinner @ Peach Garden, Orchid Country Club

The time of the year arrived for the first relative's wedding! It is a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that a particular kor that you grew up with is going to be someone's loving husband and doting father in future when all you can clearly remember is how he used to be that testosterone-charged-pimply young fella who'd be my idea of a pie kia. Before I even delve further with all the lil romantic things he did for the dear wife, congratulations I and P!

Dinner was at Peach Garden at Orchid Country Club.

U.L.U.fied, utmost. Save for a shuttle bus, there is absolutely zilch way of ever entering this transport-forsaken place. No doubt it is a lovely place complete with a golf course and bowling alley...it IS undeniably and inconveniently inaccessible.

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The table laid for banquet complete with wedding favours of wife's biscuits. That is a first. It is no Hang Heung-Wing Wah but good enough to please the hunger pangs. Crispy layers check, winter melon filling check...I'll give the humble Wife's Biscuit a break.

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Braised peanuts are my favourite appetizers next to achar.

Dinner began at 830pm despite cocktail starting at 7pm. Poor souls like us who reached bright and early at 4pm for solemnization were starved beyond measure and almost delirious by then. The appetizer arrived in the most cliche manner ever, envision a "lights off-music changes tempo" and a line of waitresses strut in. Oh yes, boring moment.

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Peach Garden Deluxe Combination (Fresh Prawn Salad, Chilled Century Egg Terrine, Crispy Silver Bait with Plum Sauce, Baby Octopus, Mango Prawn Roll)

The prawn salad and crispy bait were worth seconds, though the bait baffled me. It was fried to such crispness you could not even taste the fish meat...not even a trace!

Century Egg Terrine was just savoury jelly.

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Braised Baby Superior Shark's Fin with Fresh Crabmeat and Bamboo Pith

I should not rave about it, from an environmental aspect. I'd just add their rendition puts the hotels to shame.

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Roasted Crispy Duck with Chinese "Dang Gui"

A different fowl dish! Loved the crispy skin most..the flavours were mostly captured in the skin than meat. Found the breast meat a tad tough and bland whilst the thigh had more flavours and juices.

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Steamed Pa Ting Fish with Black Fungus and Lily Bulb

Steamed fish is the best way to cook fresh seafood. Particularly adored the lily bulbs.

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Fried Prawn with Wasabe Salad Cream accompanied Fried Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk

I love wasabi prawns, always a must order if it's the menu. Both versions were delish though I prefer the salted egg yolk...rich-cholesterol laden prawns. Not to mention, prawns were so fresh. I only wish they served this way earlier!

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Braised Sea Cucumber with Fish Maw and Seasonal Vegetables

Peach Garden's version of seasonal vegetables is broccoli which was undercooked for some while I found the crunchiness better. Thumbs down for the jelly sea cucumber and tasteless fish maw.

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Fried Noodle with Seafood and Crabmeat Wrapped in Eggs Crepe

I thought the name sounded like Omu Rice, found at Takashimaya's Food Square. Bland noodles tossed in crab meat and wrapped in an egg omelette so thin.

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Chilled Mango Sago with Pomelo in Young Coconut

Finally the dessert that the cousin insisted I must try. No ordinary mango sago with pomelo, it was the young coconut flesh that made the huge difference! Scooping it from the husk got all of us so busy and intrigued with the dessert.


Average food, attentive service and awesome dessert.


Peach Garden
Orchid Country Club

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ootoya @ Suntec City

Ootoya at Orchard Central caused many hearts to flutter and tummies to rebel when it first opened. Till today the queues have put me off that outlet, imagine my delight when I realised Suntec has one too! Better still, without the crowds.


Ready to be wowed after all the raves I've read and heard.


Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio ($16)

The companions were takenaback at the portion, five measly pieces. Would not have been too bad if it was delish, came across as over the top salty.

Reminds me of beetroot jelly, somehow.


Katsu set of tonkatsu, potato croquette and fried egg. 

After several attempts of katsu at the non-katsu specialists, I've learnt to lower the expectations by a fair bit. Ootoya's katsu attempt surpassed all expectations with a light coat of batter and juicy chicken breast as well as mashed potato. 


Dipping sauce for....?

Soba that I'd recommend Shimbashi for. Ootoya's is dense and chewy and lacking in the slurp-o-factor. The ease of slurping was hampered somehow, not as silky as Shimbashi's.


Changed the green tea icecream for milk icecream in this yummy parfait. I truly get Ootoya's parfait. Creamy milk icecream, whole azuki beans, wobbly caramel jelly and sponge cake beneath. The beauty of Japanese desserts is discovering the layers. I mega adore how the sponge cake could retain its texture without being soggy despite the pile of ingredients atop.


The first was so good, I had to go for another! Did not fancy banana slices in this though, was too starchy. Otherwise, another yummy one!

Service was attentive and prompt. I would be back for its desserts someday!

Ootoya
Suntec Basement

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jai Thai @ East Coast Road

I love the land of smiles for the food and shopping (in that order). At the peak of my craze, I was flying so furiously, clocking in 7 visits in a timespan of 2 years. I love my thai food hot and spicy...so spicy I'd reach for coconut juice to calm the fiery tongue. Street food, restaurant food...I'd have risked it all...for a gastronomical treat. Speaking of which, I miss sitting in a roach infested chinese seafood restaurant at Chinatown in Bangkok tucking into barbequed big head prawns, oyster egg...hygiene was probably the last of all concerns.

Jai Thai

Decided to drop by Jai Thai for a long deserved thai dinner. Their culinary history goes back in time, the owner's dad supposedly had a Thai restaurant in Thailand for almost 30 years before they migrated here and it's been operating since 1999, hoping to spread some of their thai love here.

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Their dishes go according to small, medium and large. Small feeds 3 nicely, medium 5 and so on.

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Lemongrass Drink ($2.50)

Refreshing drink with lemongrass hints, you either love or hate it.

red ruby


Red Ruby ($3)

Not quite a fan of red ruby, even in the land of smiles. This was too coconutty and still not a fan of jellied chestnuts.

thai platter
Mixed Platter ($12)
prawn cake, fish cake, deep fried bean curd, thai spring roll

Thai spring rolls are made of tang hoon, carrots and bean sprouts. Miss having turnip for the added crunch.

The rest were average at best.

mango salad

Mango Salad ($10)

This was a less tangy and spicy version that came across as mild. Was disappointed at the lacklustre display. I was honestly all ready for the tastebuds to be piqued and challenged.

green curry

Green Curry Chicken ($7)

A tad heavy on the cream and oil, I found the texture of the chicken queer. As if it were blended with tofu. Not quite the succulent or juicy chicken you'd fine in Hainanese chicken rice.

tom yum soup

Clear Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($7)

At last, something close though still miles apart from the most iconic thai dish ever. Lacked the punch once again though the ingredients were chockfuls and fresh. Think doryfish chunks, prawns and squid.

sweet sour fish

Deep Fried Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce ($12)

This caused confusion, more like a cantonese dish without the pasty batter. These were lightly battered fried dory fish doused in tangy sauce. Liked it enough for seconds.

fried chicken basil
Fried Chicken with Basil Leaf ($7)

By now, I was not expecting anymore authentic thai food to come my way. Appetising blend of basil and fried chicken but the tofu texture of the chicken bothered me, still.

thai kang kong



Fried Kang Kong ($8)

Miles apart from our Singaporean favourite, stir fried kang kong in chilli padi...this was just stir fried kang kong in fish sauce.

Pineapple Rice ($6)

Like the rest say, the pork floss scattered was the most exciting part of the dish. Clumpy rice that was way too soft for pineapple rice, this lacked the pineapple flavouring.

pad thai

Pad Thai ($8)

Twirls of soft kuay teow that ended up sticking together towards the end. Some prawns were undercooked, if not stale given their soft textures. Not the best version attempted, just alright.

coconut jelly

Coconut Jelly ($1)

Shaped like a bunny, tasted just like agar agar with coconut flesh embedded within.

tako squares
Tako ($1)

I managed to put a name to this dessert that I've been eating all along.

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Chestnut-corn jelly with a layer of coconut cream.

sticky mango rice

Mango Glutinous Rice ($4.50)

At long last, the sweet finish that matched expectations. Warm, sticky and sweet glutinous rice when paired with slightly sour mango...they perfected this. The way the flavours were such opposites yet were so complimentary. Yum! Possibly the only item that had my fork dancing.

Dishes have been tweaked to suit the local palette. Northern thai cuisine is what they seem to specialise in, where the flavours are watered down. I miss having a runny nose after the stinging spices or tears in my eyes after a spicy meal...authentic thai this is not. Warm and prompt service is what they offer, decent food at more than decent prices. If it's any discomfort, I found stray hairs embedded in my food.

Regular crowds streaming in are a clear indication of its popularity and affordability.

Jai Thai Restaurant
205 East Coast Rd

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jia Xiang Xiao Chu @ Opp OG Chinatown

The Mom came home excited with a bunch of china buns one night, in an attempt to shirk her dinner responsibilities. Purchased from a stall exactly opposite OG Chinatown, this is home to the chinese nationals who tuck into the hometown fare heartily...step into the shop and you are instantly transported to China (nearly). People tuck into their food with such gusto (fingers and chopsticks), you question if they are really that hungry or the food was too much of their hometown to bear.


Sizing up the mantous (see the size of a chicken egg versus what seems like an ostrich egg). Comes in four flavours; plain, vegetarian, pork and onion and pork and vegetable.


Peppery fillings that reminded me of a bun version of a popiah with coarsely chopped vegetables for the vegetarian bun ($1.50).


The Shandong buns ($1) are solid carbos, thick, chewy with huat kueh texture. Compared to the familiar supermart mantous, these china equivalents are more substantial. Local mantous are sweetened ones hence a rude shock when I bit into the plainest blandest mantou ever. All is not lost...I turned them into dessert buns by lathering kaya and peanut butter! Kaya turned out very promising infact.

Acquired these buns are, needs some getting used to but they are addictive surprisingly!

Jia Xiang Xiao Chu (Opp OG Chinatown)
#01-67/68

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthday @ NUSS Guild House

NUSS Guild House, be it Kent Ridge or the Suntec outlet seems to be a hot favourite within the family for events. Not that I am complaining of course, given that the last couple of events held there were more than satisfactory. Back at Kent Ridge for the celebration of yet another lucky kiddo who turned a ripe old age of ONE! In my time, Mcdonalds' birthday parties were all the rage then. Or a family dinner at some seafood place at best, never quite a catered occasion.

cupcakes

Cutlery. So. Different.

Appetizers


kueh

Mesclun Salad with thousand island dressing, Raisin and Apricot Rice, Mango Chicken Salad


Tough vegetable leafs made my salad tragic. The raisin apricot rice and mango chicken salad were so overloaded with fruits, these appetizers were on the edge sweet.

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Russett Potato Salad, Smoked Salmon

I for one, cannot tell a US potato from an Indonesian grade but potato salad in every form appeals.

Smoked salmon was amazingly! I only wish they had bread for me to put together a smoked salmon sandwich on the spot. I lost count of the number of salmon roses I consumed but it was raving mad delicious.

Hot Dishes





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Prawn Paste Chicken

One of the more deserving mentions goes to Prawn Paste Chicken! Peel of the crispy skin to a layer of expected oil and there lies a tender bite. Finger licking so good, I think I had thirds.
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Beef Rendang, Stir Fried Kai Lan, Szechuan Seafood, Herb Dory Fish

Beef Rendang grabbed the attention greatly with the herb fragrance and succulent beef chunks. The level of spiciness was simply sedap.

Dessert

Hot Cheng Tng

Hearty oh-so-homemade.

Chocolate Mousse

I wish I took a snap of this though it looked utmost unglam in its splattered state once wrung from the ladle. Rich smooth mousse that even a non-chocoholic would gladly risk pimples for.

Tiramisu

D.r.y.

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Assorted Nonya Kueh

Colourful desserts will be my downfall someday, I cannot resist rainbow coloured desserts especially...lights the plate up so much! The greatest pity is always taste that does not match the initial pleasure and it slowly dissolves into disappointment. Same goes for this, unfortunately.

Once again it's yet another satisfying makan session at NUSS Guild House, NUS Grads...you guys are real lucky! So please make full use of your membership to uncover food gems within.

NUSS Guild House
Kent Ridge

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wendy's @ Liat Towers

New additions in the fastfood scene always excite me. Wendy's probably is not new anymore but it took me quite awhile to muster enough guts to attempt this after the numerous unfavourable reviews. Wendy's replaces Burger King, word has it that Wendy's will replace BK in time to come. Hearsay or not, I'm filling up on my favourite Mushroom Swiss burgers till that happens!

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1/4 Pound Single ($5)

Square patties make their burger different, mine was barely square though..just angular.

 1/4 pounder

Juicy it ain't, it did pass the meaty department though. Better than Mcdonalds' Quarterpounder, not as good as Carl's Junior. Somewhere nicely in between it sits. The bread leaves me little to rave about though as a whole it was tasty and surprisingly not over the top salty.


fries

Fried Chicken Combo ($7.50)

I had my reservations on this since most fastfood joints tend to want a share in every saleable item from pies to fries to nuggets and definitely beef burgers. These resembled prawn paste chicken from the orange hues.

baked potato

Cheese and Cheese Baked Potato ($3.50)

One of the mushiest baked potato ever that combines both baked potato and mashed potato all in one. For a nano-second I wished cinema nacho chips were drizzled with the cheese here!
beef chilli

Chili Beef ($2.70)

Move over Carl's Junior's Chilli Cheese Fries, meet the heavyweight packed with beef chunks and red peppers, I could honestly eat this on its own...or even as soup!
Not too pleased with the queue system they have and obviously inexperienced staff who did not seem to gasp what fastfood service is all about. Make some haste at least.

A different kind of fastfood altogether, somehow the MSG did not get to me so bad like the rest. Strange or not, I actually liked everything else apart from their famed square patty burgers.

Wendy's
Liat Towers

Monday, October 25, 2010

Frolick @ Cineleisure


I had a melody in my head when I saw "Frolick". Nice play on the word "frolic", ahhh slow I am to realise that. A cheesy melody infact. Not sure how many of you belong to the same era, to clarify...I love oldies. :P

Puff the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee 

~ Peter, Paul and Mary, 1963 Hit.

Upfront I shall admit I am no huge fan of yogurt, I still like my icecream with all the sin. Guiltless pleasures are such a contradiction, sometimes. I was expecting no kick, something similar to Yami hopefully.



Original flavour ($3.70)

I won't say I am sold but pleasantly surprised that frozen yogurt could for a milli-nano-second taste really like ice-cream. Fruit flavoured icecream, to be exact, with the tangy aftertaste. Suitable substitute for ice-cream but I am stick for the calorie-laden frien(d)emies.

Frolick
Cineleisure Basement

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Temptations Cake Shop @ East Coast Road

Gone are the lemon cakes that I grew up with, to my chagrin. In fact they were the first things I asked for upon stepping into the shop. Reinventing the wheel with a bistro, Temptations is back with a brand new shop slot and supposedly a revamped menu as seen from their offerings. Doing away with a signature like lemon cake was baffling though.

Her World's August feature on swiss rolls got me all excited. Polar and Good & Rich have long sealed their positions for consistency.



These are possibly the thickest swiss rolls available, with almost double the layers. Thinly coated with swiss jam or vanilla cream. I had a go at both.










The layer of vanilla cream was almost as thick as the roll it self, light on the palette. Pity the swiss roll and cream did not quite go for me, quite detached in fact. Imagine a dry sponge roll with moist buttercream that did not help gel it together.

Of the two, swiss jam was better. It tasted more congruent though it would have been ideal if fruits were embedded within.

Nice not fantabulous.


$1.30 each


Temptations
East Coast Road
Temptations
91 East Coast Road