Monday, October 31, 2011

Jumbo Restaurant @ East Coast Parkway

gastronomy

Jumbo seems to be top of mind recall for seafood though there are tons of other great crab places - Melben has been one I am dying to try but absolutely no luck with! Reservations are definitely required even with the space that they have - two floors worth and packed on a weekday evening. Either tourists go far and wide to eat their chilli crabs even when they have other outlets around or Singaporeans must love their crabs this much.

tiger

Beer, always a must for the company!

lemon juice

Refreshing and the perfect antidote to wash down any grease! Loved the aloe vera chunks in it too.

bibs

Going back in time with bibs.

salted egg prawn

Wokfried Tiger Prawns with Salted Egg ($30)

Signature stuff, these fresh prawns were coated with a lipsmacking layer of salted egg! Down with soda bicarbonate, I totally detest my prawns crunchy so thumbs up to Jumbo for that. It will be quite a joke of the century if a seafood place embraces soda bicarbonate. So good, we were clamouring for thirds.

pork ribs

Honey Pork Ribs ($21)

Meaty slices of honeyed pork, adored the flavour!

seafood cake

Crispy Yuan Bao ($18)

New on the menu, these are otherwise known as seafood cake. Think fried taupok wrapped seafood cake with cream sauce - I usually do not doubt anything deepfried, this passed the test with flying colours.

chillicrab

Chilli Crab ($110.40)

1.2 kg each and $46/kg, I am not entirely sure why I jumped when I saw the bill - hundred dollar crabs, probably not used to the idea! Anyhow, the gravy was a tad sweet and meat had a mild seawater smell. Not the kind that would blow your mind off, have tasted better.

mantous

Fried Mantou ($8 for 16 pcs)

Mantou and crab gravy, as complementary as clotted cream and jam to scone.

fried kangkong

Sambal Kang Kong ($16)

Loved the spice and heat from this dish, great pity we did not order rice to go with it.

mee goreng
Mee Goreng ($15)

Seemed like a spinoff the chilli crab gravy - too sweet and by the time this arrived, the urge for carbs nosedived.

mango sago


Honeydew Sago ($3)

Laced with an artificial sweetness and a plastic smell, I thought this was one bad dessert.

orh nee

Yam Pudding ($4)

This had corn gravy instead of coconut milk, found the yam paste too sweet. Not a huge favourite, actually thought the Riverwalk outlet did a better job.

lemon jelly

Lime Jelly ($4)

The best of the desserts.

Aloevera Lime ($4)

Lime juice negates the effect of a spicy meal - loved the aloe vera chunks within.

My main and greatest grouse is the pacing of the dishes, there was no moment where there was more than one dish one the table. We had to wait for every single dish of the night - mind you, the restaurant was full but not overcrowded. I wonder about the unthinkable waiting time over weekends. By the time the crabs made it to the table, we were unfortunately full so satisfaction was hugely discounted.

I've had better crabs elsewhere so Jumbo did not surprise one bit.

Jumbo Restaurant
Blk 1206 East Coast Parkway
#01-08 Seafood Centre

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Koo Kee Dumplings and Ramen @ Parkway Parade

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A super duper overdue entry!


Snug in the basement of Parkway Parade, I usually walk pass it without batting an eyelid. All I've ever known about Koo Kee is their Bak Chor Mee.

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Plastic laminated menus.

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Appetizer of pickles.

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Pork Belly Salad which reminded me of Waraku's version. Slivers of jellied pork doused in sauce on a bed of lettuce...it tasted wayyyyy better than I expected. Yummy one here! For once, the non-vegetable fan was clamouring for the last bite.

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Odd craving of dimsum led to an order of siew mai. Ordinary.

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Steamed Flour Roll ($2.20)

Still peckish, mantou's never fail to load up the carb nicely.

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Xiao Long Bao ($6)

To be honest, after such a rough start with the dimsum I did not bear high hopes for this.

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How wrong was I, so very wrong.It could rival Din Tai Feng's anyday.

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Minced pork version of Peking duck!

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Which turned out to be really good with the crepe and spring onions!

Looks like I'd be returning to Koo Kee for affordable xiaolongbaos and the other dishes which seem to be really popular as well!

Koo Kee Dumpling and Ramen House
Parkway Parade
B1-125

Manzhu Revisited @ Chinese Swimming Club

Man Zhu at Chinese Swimming Club has undergone yet another facelift and with it comes a spanking new interior and design....and menu as well.

Gone is my favouritest Chicken Burger that the sis and I love so much for it was the only consistent item on the menu! Double boo to that, really.

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A more upmarket feel to the place...carpeted floor...

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Open concept kitchen..

prata

Prata ($2.90)

Egg prata which was pretty much straight from the instant packet and tossed into the fryer. A tad dense without the fluffiness. Curry that accompanied it was a tad sour though I found it more appetizing than murtabak's.

murtabak

Murtabak

Tragically dry though the dough was a lot chewier than the prata.

curry chicken

Curry chicken that was lemak enough, the only decent one.

pasta

Pasta Bolognaise ($4.10)

Noodle overcooked, minced beef sauce had a "doggie food" moment...not sure if it's because our dear pooch has been having the equivalent that evoked such thoughts but it tasted best doused in parmesan cheese.

pita bread

Pita Bread ($6.40)

H.O.R.R.I.F.Y.I.N.G. Diced chicken in thai chilli sauce stuffed with parsley and lettuce into the bread pocket. Somehow nothing went right with this..not even the fries.

vegetarian bee hoon

Vegetarian Bee Hoon ($5.20)

If this was ever sold in a hawker center, the stall would have to close. Think a hor fun version of vegetarian beehoon, doughy char siew and over fried beancurd skins..

fish soup

Fish Soup

Fishy filets ruined the whole soup.

fishee chipee

Fishee and Chipee ($4.10)

Menu on either Friday or Saturday is so limiting - with a couple of dishes sold out. I ended up picking from the Kid's menu. Think a half crispy and half soggy fish fillet, the soggy part did taste like fried dough stick, strangely. Passable at least!

fish and chips

Fish and Chips ($8.80)

The adult version of "Fishee and Chipee", won't say portions are significantly larger though. Taste wise, this is alot more refined - breaded fish with a lovely salsa but I did not fancy the overfried hashbrowns which they brilliantly called "potato cakes".

chicken rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Not the worst, neither the best. Not bad, by Manzhu's standards.

cod florentine

Salmon Florentine

Once again beguiled by "potato cakes". Slightly fishy slab of salmon but I particularly liked the creamed spinach.
hokkien mee

Hokkien Mee ($6.70)

Pathetic. Bland-looking and bland tasting one.

brownie

Brownie and Ice-cream ($6.30)

Dense chocolate bar, if I may re-describe this. Comfort food...!

pecan pie

Pecan Pie ($6.30)

I'm a huge fan of this christmas classic - the first time I had it over christmas was by Swissbake. A pity they reheated it. Some desserts should be consumed cold for they really taste better that way. While the pecans were wholesome with their charred sweetened surface, the stuffing was a tad mush and sweet for liking.

manzhu waffles

Waffles ($4.80)

Possibly one of the rarest items on the menu that was extraordinarily good! Crispy waffles that went awesomely well with Wall's Icecream.

Food just went downhill with the image being upped. If only there was a choice of not heading back ever.

Manzhu
Chinese Swimming Club

KFC Eats



This is a winning video of how KFC A.M. breakfast can bring people closer..enjoy!

Begin the day with a hearty breakfast, I always try to do. Weekends included.KFC released its am special not too long ago but there was a caveat - weekends and public holidays only AND at selected outlets. Do go before 11am if possible as these get sold out pretty quickly.

kfc blueberry pancakes

a.m. Blueberry Pancakes and Eggs ($5.30)
Scrambled eggs, pancakes, maple syrup upon request


blueberry pancakes upclose

All along Mcd's hotcakes have been the yardstick for pancakes - soft and fluffy. Yet I prefer mine with a bite. Till you try KFC's...I have to say KFC pretty much nailed the pancake recipe brilliantly. Topples some of the restaurant pancakes too! Thick, fluffy yet packs a bite. Just the right thickness. Oh, did I mention the lovely blueberry fragrance and fruit that is in every bite? Not too much, not too little...just enough! One main grouse though, make sure you request for maple syrup which is not given together.

Scrambled eggs were a tad stiff and hard but who cares when the pancakes are the focus! Would love very much if they did away with the eggs.

I have to admit KFC breakfast did not use to wow or rather does not naturally come as top of mind choice simply because prior experiences were lacklustre - food always looked better than it tasted, unlike its lovely friend-emy Mcds.

a.m. Waffles and Eggs next!

kfc

KFC has launchd the egg tarts for a long enough promotional period to tempt me to try - well if it's long enough on the menu it does speak volumes right? With the seasonal mandarin orange egg tarts that I missed over CNY, I finally mastered enough courage for a box of them.

Good heavens, the fragrance is impossible to miss. First obstacle cleared - sniff test.

egg tart

Second obstacle - Taste test. The buttery layers were not as crispy as desired though the egg custard was delicious.

Really surprising for a fastfood hat trick, normally I would expect this to underperform when put on par with the real thing but really, it's not too far off. I would head back to fix the macau portugese egg tart craving at KFC anytime!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Square Restaurant @ Novotel Clarke Quay

For buffets, Novotel Clarke Quay hardly comes to mind as the place of choice. Despite being advertised as "international buffet", I still was not too excited about it.Nonetheless, it was on someone's tab so...off we went! Remember this taking part in the early part of this year so...just jotting down for remembrance!

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The only lucky ones I picked from the seafood range of flower crabs, prawns, mussels, oysters and what looks like the crude male genitalia. Fresh prawns though I'm not too sure of the shellfish. On the bland side without any sauce to go...a chewier version of topshell.

Could not be too bothered with the drab looking salad bar with regulars like coleslaw, potato salad and DIY caesar salad.

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Soup corner had both western and oriental choices. Pumpkin soup was a tad watered down but the bread that went with it was also equally drab.

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Hot dishes for the day were mostly stewed or braised meats.

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Sushi counter with the usual sashimi and sushi rolls. Tragically stiff rice rolls with ice cold soft shell crab stuffings...not worth a mention or a glance, actually.



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I suppose the hotel aimed to please the Japanese crowd by offering a sushi-sashimi counter and whip up delights like pork katsu curry. The pork cutlets had an odd aftertaste and certainly miles off from a good katsu curry.

Indian beef rendang was o-k-a-y at best.

There was a roast meat counter but all I had eyes for was roast pork. Two servings of it! That's how good it is (way and above the rest of the buffet items). My eyes must have gleaned with delight as I watched the chef cut the meats that he mused "Must be delicious?"

Well marinated pork without the ideal crispy skin but this was truly the best The Square had to offer.


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Told you I loved it so, more of roast pork!

Dimsum was tragic as well - from pau to siew mai to

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Dessert - make it or break it.

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Let's just say nothing was memorable.

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Foamy texture with durian pulp blended in, I say head to Ellenbourough's for a better bang of the buck for value and taste.

With so much mediocrity going on, it is in the running for one of the more forgettable buffets around. Once even? Don't bother.

The Square
Novotel Clarke Quay