Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baikohken Ramen @ North Canal Road

Since Japan I have yet to step foot into a ramen bar...headed to Baikohken as it was one of those shops that I keep passing by.

baikohken counter

Counter seats.



full bowl



The menu is limited to miso or shoyu based soups.

baikohken noodles


Noodles were undercooked and soup was a tad bland..which copious amounts of chilli powder could only make it spicy. Char siew tasted just like stewed meat...which I am not a fan of, unfortunately. Even the egg did not have the runny yolk that  Okay at best and that was it.


http://www.baikohken.com/


Baikohken Ramen 
7 North Canel Road

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dozo Revisited @ Valley Point

Back to Dozo for lunch one dreary work day. It was barely filled of which the defence could be the festive season and people rather hang out where shopping is for last minute quick fixes. We were given a cosy room for three of us to whine, bitch and destress.

juices

Complimentary juices to whet the appetite.
bread stix


Complimentary cheddar, green tea and spicy sticks which I nibbled on so ravenously.

trio appetizer

Chef's selection of assorted platter


The same platter of scallops, foie gras on toast and smoked salmon. Still a fan of their foie gras, creamy goodness! The same grouse of such puny portions.

escargot


Gratinated Escargots topped with Yuzu Butter

Delish.

soft shell crab

Tempura battered Soft Shell Crab on Mash Potato

Still a favourite, loved the crunchy tempura coating and mash potato that had truffle oil infused.

mushroom with truffle

Infusion of crepes Mushroom with Truffle

Thick mushroom soup that was fuller in taste as compared to my clam soup.

clam consomme close up

Clam Soup

With a pathetic clam, this clear soup was a tad oily and light. Lacked the oomph of a seafood soup.

clam consomme

Baby clams...so cute!
steak
Beef Tenderloin on Pu Ye and Granite Hot Stone

The same novelty presented and the company was all gaga over it. Pity the tenderloin got boring after awhile without much flavour nor beefy taste. Otherwise, it's another tender slab of meat.

pork with onion jam

Kurubuta Pork Cheek with Onion Jam

I resisted cod and lobster to order this. The same tender melt in your tendency with the yummy bread crumbs coating it. Still as irresistible as before!

red bean fritter

Japanese style Red Bean Puff with Vanilla

molten red bean

Like ham chim pengs, these were deepfried and stuffed with a molten red bean paste. If only they served more of these!

fruit tea

Ice Mallow Apple Melody
Mallow flowers, apple and guava juice

A light fruity beverage to round off the meal.

Dozo's meat dishes tend to be on the tender side, even the braised lamb shank I was having second thoughts on was guaranteed "very soft". You have to appreciate your meats without the usual gameyness or meaty taste to relish these softies.


Once impressed, twice satisfied. I probably will not be raring to return anytime soon...unless there is a menu revamp. Service is attentive but lacked the personal touch like the previous visit. It was pretty much superficial this time around.


$39.80++ 6 course lunch

Dozo
Valley Point

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Qafe By Night @ Tanjong Pagar Road

art cafe

Art cafe by day..the same cafe takes a twist and turn by turning into a Qafe at night.

qafe by night

Love the creativity behind it! Helmed by a team of budding artistes and backed financially by celebrity Irene Ang, Qafe by Night hopes to do its part in encouraging the arts. I have to be honest, I walked in without expecting a gastronomical adventure after R's burger, where the celebrity shimmer seems not to last beyond the shop's name.

interior

Somewhat dark interior.

chalkboard

Pink seemed to be the rage in the cafe...from the napkins to the logo to the food even...! Not complaining.

drinks

Warm water in proper cups and saucers.

nachos

Junkfood.

dips

Dips.

nachos

My Macho Nachos ($9.90)
Salsa, guacamole, sour cream

I've got a weakness for nachos, be it in the cinema or at a cafe...despite knowing well everything can be bought off the shelf and was placed together for me to get ripped. For the record, I enjoyed the nachos quite a bit...junkfood at its ultimate.

pink pasta 1

Chicken Pasta with Pink Sauce ($11.90)*
Spaghetti with chicken in tomato concasse and cream sauce

pink pasta


The waitress paused when asked for a recommendation and proposed pasta over quesadillas. Portions are perfect for a lady. Let's just say I was surprised at how well this turned out. Tasty pink sauce which made all the difference with the oodles of pasta..yum!

fish and chips

Kronenbourg Fish and Chips ($15.90)*
Beer battered fish with salad and chunky fries

I am surprised how crispy this came...the beer battered fish albeit oily had an awesome light crunch to it. Chunk fries unlike the usual frozen potato wedges also had a light batter coating around the fluffy mash...never quite eaten potato wedges like these before...

wings combi

Wings Combi ($12.90)*
Spicy Girls Wings (Deepfried wings with spicy sauce), Sweet Revenge Wings (honey-coated baked wings), Auntie Ang's Special wings (Irene's mum's homemade special deep fried wings)

auntie ang's famous wings

I was most looking forward to Auntie Ang's Special wings...juicy wings with an incredibly tasty batter...if I dare say, better than KFC. Yet the magic of the wings combi ended there, the other two were less outstanding. Spicy Girls had hints of its korean inspirations while Sweet Revenge was a tad sweet.

It amuses me that the appetizer portions are actually bigger than the mains..so here's a tip, just load up on the appetizers!

A handwritten bill was presented and I was amused...in this day and age save for the coffeeshops, whoever still does handwritten bills...! Helpful staff, prompt service though slightly rough at the edges (I spied the waitresses munching Famous Amos cookies and freshly fried finger food from the kitchen)...it is a casual cafe alright! I actually liked the Qafe...though I won't be rushing so soon for a return.

It is odd saying this but I had the privilege of working with Irene Ang in one of the corporate events and she is very much the straightforward yet brutally funnylovable personality and somehow, the Qafe had part of her in it. It could be the pink or the choice of dish names...that it felt uniquely Irene Ang.

* Chef's recommendation.

Qafe by Night
Tanjong Pagar Road

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Santouka Ramen @ Central

santouka

Decided to pop by Santouka to try my luck after a couple of failed attempts attributed to burgeoning queues which caused a deviation of dinner plans. I suppose we were in luck when I could walk in without restriction and nabbed a table within minutes though the restaurant was still packed. The eatery sits 20 quite comfortably.

Hokkaido ramen is what they specialise in and after Eski's at Yokohama's Ramen Museum, I liken Hokkaido Ramen to oily bases and springy maggi noodle equivalents.

char siew pau

Char Siew Pao ($3)

Khong Bak pau wrapped around a slice of teriyaki chicken topped with mayo and sweet sauce. I actually did not mind this sweet pau that much, though it is miles away from the char siew pau I've been familiar eating all my life.

gyoza
Gyoza ($5.50)

It appeared fused together, as if taken directly from the freezer and thrown into the wok of boiling oil.

peep into gyoza

Thankfully, these pot stickers redeemed themselves in the taste department - juicy like xiao long baos, the soup was well sealed in the skins with a meaty ball of minced meat. Oiishii with soya sauce, vinegar and oil!

santouka

Tokusen Toroniku Ramen ($19.50, +$2 to upgrade to large portion)

egg

Egg ($1.50)

Ramen was clearly what I was there for and I headed straight for the full works - ramen, prized pork, spring onions, bamboo shoots, black fungus and egg. The ramen came in a thick broth specked with sesame seeds, almost like zha jiang mian consistency. Ingredients and noodles were served separately though tossing them together gave it a better flavour. And the first bite summed it all up - laced with a tinge of disappointment from the overhype. Everyone I spoke to prior to this visit placed Santouka high on the pedestal even above Marutama and Ippudo. The noodles while springy when paired with the soup was tasty but that was it. No lingering of fragrance the way Eski's did, I peppered it with enough chilli powder for a punch.

Roasted pork cheeks is supposedly "extremely valuable" as each pig has only 200-300 grams of the prized. Santouka prides this as the equivalent of fatty tuna. I'd say these are like smoked pork, a tad salty but credit given for the melt in your mouth tendency.

Oh yes, I loved the egg best. Well made! I'd eat this as often as I would of Yung Kee's century eggs if I had the liberty to.

Dining at Santouka was pleasant with the overarching view of Singapore river but that was really just it. The best ramen Singapore has to offer...I beg to differ.

Santouka Ramen
#02-86, Central

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mayim Chinese Cuisine @ Northpoint

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Mayim is one of those places that I have read quite abit about and normally would not have the impetus to travel island far and wide for a place unless it is really good. Anyhow, off to Northpoint really randomly and I have to take my hats off the heartlander malls that are fast becoming a better option to town malls sans the maddening crowds. Not that the crowds are any less threatening here but most places were packed to the brim with people for dinner.

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Cheena surroundings..and uber packed!

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Variety of sauces..



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Crispy Roasted Pork ($7)

Sliced so thick, these are by far the thickest siew yokes I have ever attempted. An overkill perhaps because of the porky gameyness that got to me and the less than spectacular soggy skin.


IMG_1553


Spiced flavoured "La Mian" topped with minced pork, peanut, sesame and preserved vegetable served dry with special meat sauce ($6.70)

I was watching the chefs knead and create strands of noodle from dough...which is major therapy! Anyhow with every other table ordering a bowl, I made a gutsy choice and it was a wrong one. Soggy noodles drenched in peanut sauce already sounds wrong...and with the complicated string of ingredients above, it was far from right. What baffled me most was the consistency of noodles, by normal standards..handmade noodles are less likely to be soggy but these were. Could barely finish them.

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Light Nutricious Double Boiled Soup ($6.50)


MSG-laden but it was nice to have chinese soup once in awhile after all the artery clogging good food "outside food" always serves.



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Wok fried Venison with special Chef's Sauce garnished with Sweet Potato ($12)

Overfried sweet potato chips with normal venison. I was quite thrilled really, to find some normalcy in the meal.

IMG_1545

Sauteed Spinach with assorted Mushroom, Tomato and Japanese Edamame ($8)

Not too bad...adored the assorted mushrooms!

I would have loved to give their mango and pomelo sago a try but it was sold out. Anything else that sounded out of the norm (by this point) was a major no-no. I realise Mayim does not wow in the adventurous..at least I was not..the homecooked ones fared a whole lot better. Will not be rushing to return anytime soon.

http://www.mayimfood.com/

Mayim Chinese Cuisine
Northpoint

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tung Lok Seafood @ Orchard Central

Orchard Central is fast gaining popularity amongst the friends as a choice for dinner dining location..methinks it's the view that the 11th storey offers.Tung Lok Seafood we headed to for a friend's farewell dinner to load up on the local favourites.

interior tunglok seafood

Cosy cushy surroundings.

peanuts

Different kind of peanuts with ikan bilis!

salted egg yolk fish cracker

Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk ($8)

Gateway to sinful indulgence with this! The salted egg yolk was wonderfully captured in the mix which is used in salted egg yolk crab...loved the crunchy fish skin and awesome flavours of this one!

scallops brocolli

Sauteed Scallops with Broccoli in Chef's Spicy Sauce

Bouncy scallops meants crunchy broccoli..!


spinach egg

Sauteed Chinese Spinach with Three Kinds of Egg ($14)

Nothing spectacular though really homecooked in taste.



pork floss tofu

Crispy Toufu with Pork Floss

Yet another homecooked one. Nothing to fault though nothing to rave about either.

veal

Sauteed Sliced Venison with Black Pepper Sauce ($18)

Bambi, is what the companions term this...tender bites of venison stir fried in peppery sauce. I liked it enough for several helpings.


wasabi prawns

Deep Fried Prawns with Wasabi Mayo Sauce ($24)

Deemed signature, it was most rightfully so. Prawns were not too artificially crunchy...loved the wasabi mayo sauce which made this chopstick-licking yummy!


deep fried 

Deepfried Marble Goby Fish

I'm no fan of fish with bones embedded and marble goby is one of which. I liked how the kitchen cooked the fish two ways, head and tail deepfried whilst the body was stir fried. Fried to such crispness, the oil control was pretty awesome...barely dripping!

stir fried

Sauteed Sliced Fish with Ginger and Onions
  
For this particular cooking style, the succulent meat could be enjoyed.


 sea cucumber stew

Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushroom in Oyster Sauce

Served hot pot style, I thought it was a different way of cooking sea cucumber apart from the festive hoe see fatt choy. The cucumber could have been softer. 


Eating in a big group always means you get to try most if not all the desserts! Hooray for that.


coconut cream orh nee

Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts served in Young Coconut ($8)

This took nearly forever to arrive but well worth the wait. Hearty mildly sweetened orh nee in young coconut. Loved scraping the coconut flesh and licking off any remainders of the orh nee.

honeydew sago

Chilled Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo

Crushed ice made this less outstanding though it was a different kind of mango cream with sago.

gui lin gao

Homemade Herbal Jelly 

Has to be one of the more dreadful ones attempted...barely bitter, in fact it tasted like herbal grass jelly.

soyabean curd pudding with avocado cream

Chilled Silky Beancurd Pudding with Avocado Cream ($8)

I'm loving beancurd puddings over soyabean curd these days...still not as melt-in-your-mouth as Lao Ban's but this had a tad more gelatin to it..hence the jell-o bite to it! A pity the portion of avocado cream was a tad miserly..otherwise, this deserves seconds!

banana red bean fritter1

Red Bean Pancake with Banana ($6, 4 pcs)

I thought there'd be a 15 minute wait slapped on this but it was amongst the first dessert to arrive.


banana red bean fritter

Goreng Pisang with red bean...adored the light batter for this one!

Overall a pleasant experience at Tung Lok Seafood...as much as their specialty is in seafood their non-seafood options did not fare too badly either. Service deserves a resounding F particularly. It went all well until we ordered desserts which obviously was not an area that the chinese waitress could handle. She gave a blank look, threw up her hands in frustration and walked off to her senior. My thoughts on this is; if you can't handle basic English...do not bother working in the Food and Beverage industry..even if the establishment is chinese!

Tung Lok Seafood
Orchard Central, Lvl 11