Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Omakase Burgers @ Grandstand Turf City

welcome

Omakase Burgers hit town not too long ago. Before trying it, I had my reservations - what makes this tick when


1) It is so far away. By means of far, it is ulu-ated, directionally very challenging and anything else but convenient or within stone's throw away from an MRT station.
2) It really is the distance that is a put off.

omakase

Queues were expected on a weekend but the crowds at Turf City is surprising. The snaking lines made queueing up a tad annoying but thankfully the service staff were patient and tables were actually readily available.

buzzer

The buzzer that seems a bit passe these days, don't you think?

salad

House Salad ($4.90)

This was a side portion but decently sized infact. Fresh greens with a delectable soya dressing, healthy on all grounds.

loaded fries

Loaded Fries

The bomb, this has to be. Loaded with a mass of ingredients that upped the sin factor of fries by several notches - satisfaction maxed out. I particularly love the balance of the nacho cheese, avocado and bacon bits, just nice and not an overkill.

bacon burger

Bacon Cheeseburger ($15.90)

I suppose pictures do the size more justice than intended, it is smaller than the size of a Mcdonalds cheeseburger and taller.

nom

The choice of medium doneness resulted in a juicy patty with a pretty shade of pink! I'm nuts about the patty, bacon, buns and well the burger itself. Main grouse is its portions and really, the grease that permeates with every bite. Even my fingers were greasy by the end of the meal.

double up

Ultimate Cheeseburger ($17.50)

For double patties, top up $5.90. We had this in medium rare and juices were flowing like no end, expect a bloody mess quite literally but go past the colour and be in for a treat!

orange juice

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice ($4.50)

Pint sized orange juice just because I was intrigued by the juicer. No sugar added hence the sourness but that beats a drink that is artificially enhanced.

rootbeer

Root Beer Float ($5.50)

I must have missed the A and W days too much even when this was served straight out of the can, it brought back lovely memories. 

This is probably the only fastfood restaurant that closes after lunch hours during weekdays and reopens for dinners. Understandably so in a location like that, yet their burgers are so good! Worthy of the crowds and accolades of this being Singapore's best burger - ditto.

Omakase Burger
200 Turf Club Road #01-05

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

National Day Celebrations with STREET 50 Restaurant @ Bay Hotel

Thanks Wanzhen and Yat Kah for the invite and Street50 for the hospitality!

I am always game for local food in restaurants, mostly for the creativity that the chefs bring to the table - sometimes I get surprised that these versions are even better than the food center versions. This visit, was a showcase for their latest promotions with twists of course.

Here's a greater reason to visit Bay Hotel during National Day - it's located away from the hustle and bustle and road closures and, there's lobster up to tempt!

lobster

In conjunction with our nation's 48th birthday, STREET 50 has launched Black Pepper Lobster ($48), a local favourite with a globa twist. Available till 11 August, lobster fans make haste.Carribean lobsters are used to create this dish hence a firmer bite amidst the finger licking good black pepper sauce.

lobster

I adore how they made this dish so easy to consume - no splotchy mess required since the chefs lovingly sliced the lobster into manageable bite sizes. This combination has worked for crabs and now lobsters too - pair it with a bowl of steaming rice, happiness assured.

The other ongoing hotpot promotion is available till next year, so more reason to head to STREET 50 to check out these goodies. 

Hotpot and Asahi Super Dry Mini Can Bucket (10 cans) ($50)

Good for two persons, this hotpot deal offers a premium meat platter, premium seafood platter, vegetable platter, noodles and rice.

flame

One flicker to kickstart the meal.

tomyum

Spicy tomyum broth - shiok maxed out. 

The chicken broth is a result of 5 hours of chicken stock while the tom yam broth is filled with the goodness of natural ingredients – a mix of chilli padi, lime leaves, dried shrimps, blue ginger, chicken, lemon grass, coriander leaf and root.

veggies

A mass of greens piled on top juicy wantons and fish paste skins.

pork

Pork and chicken.

fishballs

Fishballs thoughtfully halved and sliced fish.

seafood

Prawns and shell fish.

beef

I personally favour the more characteristic tomyum broth to wholesome chicken broth. The kind that stings the senses and leaves a heave of sigh of "shiok", do not mess with it if spicy is not up your alley.

pots

Served in exquisite royalty style hotpots, I felt teleported back to China with these dining ware. These come in personal pots so that makes trying both broths easy and helps one keep track of his food - I have had so many occasions of my prawns floating off or never to be found again in the cauldron of broth.

The rest ordered off the ala carte menu to supplement the meal - I can never get enough variety for hotpot!

scallops

Bouncy scallops and squid.

beef

Droolicious thin beef slices for a shabu shabu experience.

vermicilli

Vermicilli to soak up the delicious broth and slurp down for a hearty finish.


condiments

Hotpot is hardly complete without a D-I-Y condiment corner. This is quite a magic corner where I get to concoct my dipping sauce.

sauce

Spot the dollop of acquired fermented tofu, sesame sauce, spring onions, signature chilli sauce and sha cha sauce all in one. It was a really delicious dip!

sauces

Or go normal with the usual dark soya sauce, garlic and chillies.

asahi


1-for-1 Asahi Super Dry Mini Can Bucket (10 cans per bucket) ($50)

The cute as can be miniature Asahi Super Dry Mini cans are the highlight of the promotion, it actually goes well with hotpot! Available in the evenings only, this promotion is great for both ladies and mens night out since these are so easy to chug down.

STREET 50's kitchen is open till 4am daily before reopening at 6am for breakfast. Definitely a business hotel with more than business hotel service - I cannot wait to be back to check out their other local treats.

STREET 50 Restaurant
Bay Hotel

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nam Nam Noodle Bar Revisited @ Raffles City

Vietnamese food is hardly up my alley, not even in the land of pho and traffic that knows no bounds. Until Nam Nam came along, of course. The queues are hardly dissuasive - which further propels it to delicious-dom since Singaporeans are more than willing to queue for good food and relentlessly so.

menu

Tick, order and pay at the counter and wait for food - easy! I'm actually loving the mug used. 

bahn mi

Pork Meatballs, Pork Pate Bahn Mi ($5.90)

I love Bahn Mi but chide the vietnamese version for just being kopitiam baguette with a pile of ingredients. Nam Nam's is localised with more bite and filled with ingredients that would make Subway and their proclaimed 6-inches shy. Starchy meatballs meet velvety smooth pork bate and a cream sauce so delicious and savoury, I forgot the mess I had already created and chomped on like a kid eating a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

bahn mi

Grilled Chicken, Chicken Pate ($5.90)

Another delicious one with grilled chicken so tender. I loved the addition of pickled vegetables that gave it the added oomph For those preferring meat with a bite, meatballs would be more outstanding.

cold cut

Cold Cuts, Char Siew, Pork Pate ($5.90)

This is the closest to Subway's cold cut trio with ham dominating the taste of the sandwich. Somehow it was lost in the cold cut without allowing char siew and pork pate to shine as they did for the rest. 

salad

White cabbage, chicken salad, fresh herbs, roasted peanuts ($5.90)

Pleasantly surprised by the portions and flavour - clean tasting dish that could change my impression of vietnamese greens. A really down to earth unassuming dish.

vietnamese rolls

Fresh southern rolls with sweet shrimps, egg, fresh herbs ($4.90) 

They have definitely made local out of this authentic Vietnamese delights - chewier skin than usual without the mass of raw greens.

springrolls

Fried prawn and pork rolls ($4.90)

Well, deepfried till crisp and served with a thai dipping sauce - I wonder if this is really vietnamese but who cares when it is fried food!

chicken pho

Pho Chicken ($7.90)

A less flavourful number as compared to beef.

beef balls pho

Pho Beef Balls ($8.90)

Bouncier than chicken balls, these are as good as beef slices.

pho

Pho Beef Steak Slices ($8.90)

I love the texture of the noodles here, al dente! Broth is wholesome too and makes slurping and slushing in satisfaction almost mandatory.

soup

We supplemented it with sides of beef slices, heaven on earth satisfaction.

iced coffee

Black Coffee with Ice ($2.50)

Kick ass potent, the coffeeholic affirms.

iced coffee

Classic iced coffee with condensed milk ($2.50)

A crowd favourite, definitely one up for vietnamese coffee!

tag

Dessert alert!

banana

Deep-fried banana, sesame seeds, smoked coconut sauce (warm) ($3.90)

No different from goreng pisang, the main draw had to be the smoked coconut sauce that gave the sweet-savoury finish.

pomegrante

Pomegranate Sorbet ($3.90)

I never quite tasted pomegranate so condensed till this sorbet, the encounters with juice and fruit have been ordinary.

tangy

Loved the intensity of the tangyness of the fruit - perfect palette cleanser!

hours

Note the hours, peak are usually at lunch and of course dinner...even up to 8pm at night so plan your visit wisely!

Their beef pho does bring back memories of the heydays of the beef noodle scene in Singapore back in the 90's before the first mad cow epidemic ruined the way the world saw beef. 

Another lovely visit to Nam Nam and a renewed interest in Vietnamese food - localized. I cannot wait to tick the rest of the items from the menu soon!

Nam Nam Noodle Bar
Raffles City Basement

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cookies for Sid @ Citylink

Cookie monster, I can morph into under stress. Sweet would always prevail over savoury if given a choice and like it or not, snacking has found a place in my regular meal plans.Located at Citylink, this place can hardly be sniffed out (pun intended), unlike Famous Amos where the fragrance would lead me there but not for Cookies for Sid. Manned by a sweet young thing, she is quick to share samples of their latest flavour - passionfruit something - hardly memorably though sweet smelling and filled with poppy specks.

cookies for sid

3 to seal the deal, without any discount. Each came snug in a paper jacket.

cookies

Oatmeal Raisin

For the healthnuts, this could double up as a muesli bar but a cheaper alternative will be any of the supermarket brands or even Subway.

Triple Chocolate

Dense chocolate cookie with white chocolate chunks, lacking in some sin though.

Crunchy Peanut Butter

This turned out chewy rather than crunchy but it was nutty enough to discern the taste.

Unlike their wildly popular cupcakes, the cookie market is too well educated with the likes of Famous Amos and even Subway to accomodate another average joe. Pricey with small portions,  I've yet to be wowed and until the next visit.

Cookies for Sid
Citylink

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cafe Melba @ Goodman Arts Center


cafe melba

My brushes with Cafe Melba have been sporadic and somewhat ill-fated. I have missed visits because of the rain, too many bad reviews and alas, one fine Sunday morning we just decided to give the place a try. At a bright and almost ungodly hour for some of 830am, we were amongst the first to arrive and definitely had the liberty to pick and choose our lazy spot. 

tables

High tables or short ones for choice. 

notice

A thoughtful reminder to make "Eat with your family day" a regular affair.

bar

The bar where alcohol dreams are concocted.

pancakes

Pancakes out to tan! 

table

A really simple yet pleasing to the eye combination. 

croissants

Croissants with home made toasted sourdough and preserves($12)
  
Meant for two, these smelt incredibly fragrant and looked absolutely wholesome in the wooden tray. Taste tests, however, showed otherwise. The buttery layers were missing once I sunk my pearlies into them and they were somewhat dry. Chocolate croissant was perhaps the best of the bread basket and the rest, as ordinary as can be. 

big breakfast

Full Melba cooked breakfast ($25)
Scrambled eggs, pork sausages, home-cured bacon, roasted cherry vine tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown and home made toast 

I'm not sure why and when did brunch mean getting a dish with the full works - and so did we out of habit, yet again. Hearty breakfast to kick start the day - just not much of a culinary awakening. 

pancakes

Pancakes ($15)
Cherry compote, whipped cream and maple syrup

With the pastry chef only coming to work at 11am, our only source of dessert existed in the form of pancakes. I like their pancakes, cake like and hardly greasy. Four slabs of it and belly satisfying it was. 


eggs benny 


Free range eggs benedict ($20)
Smoked Salmon ($3)
Poached eggs, toasted english muffins, home-cured bacon, roasted cherry vine tomatoes, lemon hollandaise sauce

A surcharge of $3 to replace bacon with smoked salmon, I can only say the replacement is not worth it. 

slice

The most heartbreaking move - slicing the egg open. 

ooze

Poached eggs were pint-sized, has to be the free range chickens that make the usual eggs seem like giants. The hollandaise sauce was lacking in some oomph, mostly creamy. I loved the english muffins though, chewy and fluffy - almost like Mcdonalds.

red velvet

Red Velvet ($10)


Under the category of Liquid dessert, I had no cake but had to fulfill the craving so liquify it I did. I definitely was not expecting to be wowed but wowed I was. Rich as it would be in a cake form, this was molten velvet with every sip. I wonder why they do not offer red velvet cakes when they do this so fine and dandy. Whipped cream and white chocolate, I embraced them all..what what is Sunday without a decadent treat like this? Two thumbs up and raring for a return!

drink

I usually resist ordering drinks unless the beverage menu is different..habitual perhaps.

hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate ($7)

Richer than milo and was the perfect start to a lazy day ahead.  

tea

Black currant Iced Tea ($7)

Their teas are from TWG and well, nothing much can be said of these tea bags. 

Brunch at Cafe Melba is leisurely and hearty, head there early to avoid crowds which also means better service. We were the only other table without kids - Kid friendly place with a blown up bouncy castle and sand pitch for the kids to run and scream and well, lead a fun childhood.  

castle

I remember these being the highlight of a happy childhood. 

herbs

A mini herb garden too!

 

Would be back for the truffle fries which are only available after 11 and another shot at their awesome liquid desserts. 

Cafe Melba
Goodman Arts Center