Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 for 2012

Before yet another year draws to a close, it is time to do a recollection of what made it tops for me. Twentytwelve, the 12 food memories that made it tops this year in no order of importance. Before the list starts, special thanks to many people who have made another year in this blogosphere possible.

Family specifically the sis for still tolerating the no-touch, no-speak, no distract rule every single time the dish is laid on the table, for allowing me to punish her pockets the way I punish mine when we hang out and loading on the calories with me! Muchos gracias and lotsa love.

J, for being the most tolerant and adventurous special one. Food...is never quite the same eaten alone and shared. Thank God I found another greedy one like you!

Friends who have allowed me to dominate the choice of dining place time and again, your patience is greatly appreciated in the year ahead!

All you readers (silent and heard) for reading on...it's amazing to know that the blog can be a foodtionary in times of need. Keep calm and continue reading. :)

Here goes!

1. CUT Bar, Marina Bay Sands

The insane thing is, it's barely even the restaurant itself and I am won heaps over. Cityspace and CUT Bar share the spot for favouritest night spot. If I may let slip, though that night ended on a merlioning note (bad memories evoked) but I really want to be back so bad!

2. Group Therapy Cafe, Duxton Hill

I've lost track the number of times I have praised them to the skies. Second year running being tops for me!

3. Xin Dau Ji, Hongkong

Amazing suckling pig, I'd declare this the must eat suckling pig before you die. Move over Anthony Bourdain's Ibu Ika.

4. Wing Wah Noodle, Hongkong

Wanton mee never ever the same again. No wonder the Hongkie thinks wanton mee is better in Hongkong.

5. Le Atelier Joel Robuchon, Hongkong

Bestest meal of the year! This stands at the top as a yardstick for michelin starred meals.

6. Salt Grill and Tapas Bar, Raffles City

The first spanish tapas bar to throw me off the socks this year. 

7. Ember, Keong Siak Street

Like Group Therapy, this is another personal favourite. Time and time again proven so wonderful.

8. Yu Cuisine, Marina Bay Sands

Very pleasant surprise as a more than decent chinese restaurant that does decent dimsum and delish ala carte. One to look out for!

9. Mozza Pizzaria, Marina Bay Sands

My definition of best pizza around!

10. Tonkotsu King Ramen, Orchid Hotel

Worthy of every queue possible, the humble ramen takes the pie for awesome!

11. Loco Tapas Bar, Boat Quay

A first Spanish buffet that was surprisingly really good.

12. Sushi Tanabe, Sapporo

Entries on Sapporo will only go out later so I shall save the spot here for memorable meal.

2012 has brought me more blessings that I can ever imagine and food is and still a huge love.

To a more food-ful 2013, cheerios!!

P.S. As we all partake in various festivities to herald the new year...the same old advice applies - drink, don't drive..otherwise, have a blast everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

&Made @ Pacific Plaza

Unbelievable that this entry has been lurking in the draft box for so long! Nonetheless, better late than never!

&

Bruno Menard made good with &Made at Pacific Plaza with his sparking three Michelin star title being the main reason for my visit. Queues are given, the larger the group, the longer the wait. We were lucky to nab a table after a short wait on a Friday evening. 

interior

Like minded hungry folks.

Loved the design of the café – reminded me of brick game which I played since young.

lights

Loved the haphazard lights!

The menu is kept simple with focus kept on their famed burgers and toastoos (otherwise known as sandwiches). 

salad

Salad to kick start the meal, refreshing greens.

b burger

The B Burger ($19)

When in doubt, always head for the original. This had the basic works of a burger – beef patty with relish and fries. For once amongst the few memorable times, this beef patty is not minced not made with fillers. Firm yet succulent and absolutely gratifying. A pity the marination was somewhat lacking but otherwise Chef Menard nailed it. The sesame buns were fluffy yet held up the burger marvellously. I did not fancy the tomato salsa dip though – would have preferred their more Americanized ketchup. 

lamb

Messed up delight.

lamb

The Lamb ($25)

The lamb was equally powerful in making a statement. Hardly gamey and still retaining the bite and flavour. TWe had the fries upgraded to truffle here. Just faint whiffs of the IN thing now, otherwise really boring. 

pudding


Molten Caramel Cake ($9)


molten

This replaces the usual molten chocolate cake. Very passé in presentation  with icing sugar though it was a huge novelty to get the cake slit and watching the caramel sauce ooze sexily. Texture of cake was dense and kueh like. The icecream scoop rolled in corn flakes was interesting but I wasn’t wowed.

Definitely returning for the burgers!

back!

Seconds to fix that burger craving and for a Friday night, the crowds were dismal at 7ish pm. What happened? I had concerns about dropping standards.

sauces

All homemade and they do not believe in chilli sauce.

salsa

Rather, what accompanies every burger order is a tasty and very titillating tomato salsa. 

We had their christmas specials that day to kind of round christmas up properly - yes it lasts a good 12 days for me.

burgers

Burping fun.

surf and turf

Surf and Turf ($28)

I was sold on blue lobster yet it was hardly firm. It can possibly hold up on its own as a beef burger and lobster burger and together, some sparks were missing.

foie gras

Burger with Foie Gras ($32)

pink

The mess I always create. I suppose this is hardly goose liver but duck liver since the foie gras was slightly hard. I am surprised the combination was hardly wow and for the first time, I concede defeat to dB Bistro for their exorbitantly priced greasy signature burger. The mild whiff of truffle was good enough for me to crave all things truffle.

fries

Still unimpressed by their fries. 

paddlepop

Lollipop with Waffle ($9)
caramel, white and dark chocolate sauce 

waffle!

The leaf shaped waffle.

drip

Work in progress.

drizzle

Caramel-ised.

waffle

After a round of drizzling.

Somewhat of a letdown with a waffle without much bite, most of it disintegrated into a soggy pile after soaking in the condiments.I had a LOL moment when the manager asked how we enjoyed dessert and I replied "Too sweet" and he threw me a dead panned look "But it's dessert". Bless that guy for such a wicked sense of humour! For novelty's sake and just worth that one attempt.

They do their burgers fine, anything with a beef patty seems to be nailed well. The add ons are however not that great. 

The Delicae Group is opening a couple more outlets and according to the little bird who tipped us off at the eatery (clearly a mole planted by the Marketing team and I digress), Sabio Tapas by the Sea opened at Sentosa Cove and three more await next year, maybe andmade II or L'Entrecote. To celebrate this joyous piece of news, vouchers are going for 20% off! If I may recap what else is under the same group, 83, La Cantine, Cancale Le Petit and Forlino. This is no advertisement but just to share a good deal - this promotion is only available till end December so make haste!

corner

Yes indeed.

heart

Little hearts that adorn the burgers, so loving them!

And made by Bruno Menard
Pacific Plaza

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tatsuya Revisited @ Goodwood Park Hotel

tatsuya

The mere mention of Tatsuya's always brings a smile and the recent visit to Aoki further nudged me to book another lunch at Tatsuya to relive sushi dreams. Yet, this visit was also hot on the heels of my Japan trip.

counter

Bar counter seats which I do not fancy much, hinders conversation especially in groups.

interior

One year later, same room, nearly the same seats.

towels

Towels to cleanse the hands...but then again, it's not as if I ate sushi with my hands here.

salad

Salad that accompanies every set lunch ordered. Potato salad with lettuce and sesame dressing, appetite whetting methinks!

sashimi

Sushi Set ($30.80)

The main difference between sets is the sashimi and rice dish. The companion liked it enough despite not wanting to eat a heavy meal.

udon

Ladies Lunch Set ($26.80)

Slipper oodles of udon that was so slurpworthy yummy! Without the dipping sauce, it was plain yet with the sauce, it was plain tasty.


sushi 

I fault the rice of the sushi for being too soft, even before I can place it in my mouth it disintegrates into a pretty mess. With fresh fish flown in from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo and yet another from Fukuoka, the freshness of the fish is undeniable.

Crispy prawn tempura and while I like the plump prawn nibbles, it was just ordinary.

Miso soup is still meh-dinary and chawanmushi with yuzu was pleasant.

Affordable set lunches at Tatsuya, again I say. Truth be told, Japan probably made this meal less stellar than it used to be. That being said, I still rank this as a personal favourite locally. I realise I have been ordering the same stuff through my visits.

Tatsuya
Goodwood Park

Friday, December 28, 2012

Han Kang Korean Restaurant @ Mackenzie Road

han kang

J bought Groupon vouchers for a Korean BBQ and little did we know it was not quite accessible or known to the public. This place is secluded..lost in a lane though it is within walking distance from Little India Station. Housed like a shed, it is an open concept Korean BBQ without the furnishings that the more upmarket restaurants would have.

buffet spread

The cooked food area was limiting but we still did not go beyond one serving though.

kimchi

Mandatory kimchi at every korean meal.

kimchi soup

Kimchi Soup

The tofu slices were sour in the already sour soup from the generous portion of kimchi used.
soups

Seaweed Soup

More normal tasting at least.
tteokki

Rice cake

A fan of this dish - dense rice cakes in sweet sauce!

more

Both were as dubious as they look - cheap SPAM.

cooked food

Vermicelli was too soft.

bimbimbap

Bimbimbap

The first bimbimbap I’ve eaten that is vegetarian. I particularly loved the chopped lettuce though.
There was a list of made to order dishes and they came piping hot - plus point!

kimchi pancake

Kimchi Pancake

To be eaten hot, this was doughy and rich in kimchi. Every bite was filled with kimchi, unless you are a fan of it…I suggest you not to order.
hotplate!

The main reason why we had dinner there.



meats 

There was a selection of meats in the platter for BBQ-ing and inspite of beef, chicken or lamb, all of which tasted the same. The cuts were lean and well marinated.

With Korean pop playing in the background, this possibly cannot get more authentic but it was really just average. The usual banchan was also missing from the meal. 

Original price of this buffet goes for $25 per pax, which I deem decent priced but the food has nothing to yell about.

Han Kang Korean Restaurant
11 Mackenzie Road
1st Floor FL G4 Station Hostel

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Glory Catering @ East Coast Road

It has been ages since we dined at Glory’s and the usual dinner takeaways were at least years back…a great time to rekindle this support for Peranakan food. Katong has plenty of food gems and peranakan food is one of which that makes me proud to be an Easterner. 

glory catering

Branded tissues!

bittergourd


Bitter Gourd with Egg

Really bitter bitter gourd here, well…just to fill in intake of greens for the meal
kangkong

Kang Kong with Chilli

Dry looking kangkong with chilli that did not seem to go with the dish.
beef

Beef Rendang

Loved this best! Spicy and very meaty.
chicken

Grilled Chicken

Taste paled in comparison when curry was the focus of the meal. I found the chicken too soft as well.
fish and brinjal

Curry Fish

Fish probably is not fresh but the tasty curry managed to overshadow that. Somehow between Indian curry fish and peranakan, I prefer the latter better.

ikan bakar

Ikan Bakar

Decently grilled fish that was well seasoned with herbs.

chicken

 
Grilled Squid

Stuffed with roe, the companions loved it.
squid

And there were seconds!

bergedil

Bergerdil

I have a soft spot for bergerdil, this was really just fried mashed potato – nothing fancy.
drinks menu

Drink menu to wash down the grease.

chinchow 

Iced Chin Chow

Way too sweet, I could have gotten a toothache from it.

Meal for 3 came up to $70, not your regular caipng. I would recommend just sticking to the curries which they do so fine and end up spoiling the tastebuds for the meal. Their curries would leave you scraping the plate for more and wishing portions are bigger. Until the next peranakan food craving!

Glory Catering
139 East Coast Road