Monday, October 31, 2011

Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant @ Vivocity

The Spanish restaurant located at the Vivocity has both indoor and alfresco dining area. The alfresco dining area has a bar and is overlooking the waterfront. There is also live band performance every Monday to Saturday from 7pm to 12 midnight.

Serenity has a wide selection of tapas, soups, paellas on the menu. Our group has a hard time deciding what to order. Lucky Maureen has visited this place before and she helped in the ordering.

The Calamares a la plancha indeed was a good choice. The freshly grilled squid in extra virgin olive oil brought out the nature ocean taste of the squid. The squid was also soft and not chewy.

Calamares a la plancha 4.5/5

The other tapas dish we had was Patatas Bravas, roast potato in Romesco sauce and Alioli sauce. For a few pieces of potato to cost $10.80, I find it rather expensive and not worth.

Patatas Bravas (Roast Potato) 3.5/5

The Crema de Mariscos or Cream Seafood Soup was hearty and comforting. The broth was quite flavourful from the fresh mussels, calamari, fish and prawns. In the back ground was Sopa Catalunya, a clear soup of pork, beef, chicken and butter beans.  It tasted like Chinese tonic soup.

Crema de Mariscos (Cream Seafood Soup)

The huge Pork Knuckle got us excited when served. The sauce was not enough and we have to ask the waitress for more. Meat was a bit dry.

Codillo de cerdo (Baked Crispy Pork Knuckle)

The iconic dish for any Spanish restaurant would be the Paella. It is sort of a National dish regarded by most originating from Valencia. The Paella at Serenity uses Boomba rice, a short grain varietal. This type of grain is able to absorb the flavours of the ingredients 3 times more than normal rice. Similar to the Chinese claypot rice, Paella is enjoyed with a slight burnt rice at the base of the pan.

Paella Valenciana

We have both the Paella Valenciana (saffron, chicken, Spanish chorizo, tiger prawns, squid, half shell mussels, rice) and Arroz Negro (Squid ink, squid, tiger prawns, capsicum, rice). The nature flavours of the ingredients were well absorbed by the grain infusing the dish with more flavours.

Arroz Negro

The Paellas are prepared freshly to order and it takes 30-45 minutes of preparation time. So remember to order early to avoid a long wait.

Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant
Vivocity
1 Harbourfront Walk
#01-98/99
Singapore 098585
Website: http://www.serenity.com.sg/
Nearest MRT: Harbour Front (CC Line, NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 11am - 11pm
Fri-Sat: 11am - 12am

Sunday, October 30, 2011

La Petite Cuisine @ Serene Centre

If you are craving for some French fare, you can check out this tiny eatery at the corner of Serene Centre. It is a casual eatery where one needs to place their order with the cashier. Water is self service at the counter. Do not expect any service here.

By the time I was there for dinner, it was about 9pm. I was looking forward to try their Duck Confit but most of the food on the menu already sold out. I have to settle for what was still available.

Upon placing the order and making payment, the waiter/waitress will serve the bread and butter.


The Chicken Chop with Spaghetti was nice but a little more sauce would be preferred. The spaghetti was Al Dente. The chicken was tender and moist.


Chicken Chop with Spaghetti 3.8/5

The Salmon was cooked perfectly. Pink inside with a delicious crispy skin. The spinach side and the cream sauce gave the dish a good balance of flavours.

Salmon and Rice 4/5


La Petite Cuisine
Serene Centre
10 Jalan Serene
#01-05
Singapore 258748
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am - 10pm

Direction:
1) Alight at Botanic Gardens MRT station. Exit station and turn left towards Cluny Park Road. Cross Cluny Park Road and walk down Bukit Timah Road. Serene Centre is at the corner of Bukit Timah Road and Farrer Road. Journey time 3-5 mins.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

RamenPlay @ Serangoon NEX

Upon being ushered to my table, I noticed the RamenPlay's special Chilli Paste and Garlic Chips placed on the table side.


The waiter/waitress also brought a jar of free flow Stir-fried Chilli Chives. The Chilli Chives did not look appealing so I only took some to try.  I have said the taste was very subjective.

Stir-fried Chilli Chives

I ordered the Yaki Gyoza which was pan fried beautifully. It had a nice outer crisp and was not very oily.

Yaki Gyoza 4/5

I am always quite sceptical of Ramen restaurants as they always turned out with disappointment. I was surprised that RamenPlay has pretty decent bowl of Ramen. I had the Sanpou Tonkotsu Ramen that comes with braised pork cheek, pork loin in char siew sauce and braised pork belly. The highlight has to be the broth. It is thick, flavourful and delicious. However it left a layer of greasiness on my lips.

Sanpou Tonkotsu Ramen 4.2/5

The Butariki Ishinab is a hot stone bowl served with rice, pork slice, seaweed, an egg in sweet sauce.
We allowed the rice to cook a bit longer breaking the egg, mixing and stirring the ingredients in the hot sizzling stone bowl. It gave the rice at the bottome a charred crispy texture.

Butariki Ishinab 4.2/5


RamenPlay
Serangoon NEX
23 Serangoon Central
#B2-58
Website: http://www/ramenplay.com.sg/
Nearest MRT: Serangoon (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 1030am - 1030pm
Fri-Sat: 1030am - 1100pm

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heng Huat Fried Kway Teow @ Pasir Panjang Food Centre

I have been exploring the Circle Line lately and the train brought me to Pasir Panjang MRT station where Pasir Panjang Food Centre is located. The food centre is just right beside the exit of Pasir Panjang MRT station. During the construction of the Pasir Panjang MRT station, the food centre was basically hidden from the public. With the opening of the rest of the stations on Circle Line, business is slowly streaming back to the food centre.

Fried Kway Teow 3.5/5

I have read about the "green" Fried Kway Teow at Pasir Panjang Food Centre with interest and made my way down to try it. The Fried Kway Teow turned out to be quite interesting with lots of vegetables covering the Fried Kway Teow. However the noodle was dry and had a burnt taste. It was rather disappointing.


Heng Huat Fried Kway Teow
Pasir Panjang Food Centre
121 Pasir Panjang Road
Stall #01-36
Nearest MRT: Pasir Panjang (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm
(Closed on Sun & PH)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bahrakath Mutton Soup King @ Adam Road Food Centre

With the opening of the rest of the stations on the Circle Line, another popular food centre can be conveniently reached now. The new Botanic Gardens MRT station is just walking distance to the Adam Road Food Centre.

Talking about Adam Road Food Centre, the first thing that comes to my mind is Mutton Soup or also known as Kambing Soup. Bahrajath Mutton Soup King has probably one of the best Mutton Soup in town. It was full of rich spicy flavour and not oily. It also came with chunks of tender mutton.

Mutton Soup 4/5

I usually have breads to go with the Mutton Soup. I like to eat the bread after soaking up the delicious broth. If you are adventurous, you can add sheep tongue, ribs or brain to the Mutton Soup.


Bahrakath Mutton Soup King
Adam Road Food Centre
Stall #10
2 Adam Road
Singapore 289876
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 3am
(Close on alt Tue)

Direction:
1) Alight at Botanic Gardens MRT station. Exit station and cross the overhead bridge. Walk to destination. Journey time 5 mins.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Best of Ghim Moh Food Centre Makan Gathering

In conjuction with the opening of the rest of the MRT stations along Circle Line, the monthly makan gathering brought us to Ghim Moh Food Centre to explore the best food along the new section of the circle line.


Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow is probably one of the most popular stalls at Ghim Moh Food Centre. The stall also has the title King of Fried Kway Teow from a TV show many years back. The fried kway teow was neither too dry or wet with a nice consistency that came with juicy cockles and lots of pork lard!.

Fried Kway Teow 4/5
Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow, Stall #01-12
Opening Hours: 930am-230pm (Closed on Mon and Fri)

Teck Hin Fried Hor Fun stall sells only Hor Fun. The current stall is run by 2 middle aged men. Besides the Beef Hor Fun which we ordered, the stall also offers Seafood Hor Fun, Sliced Fish Hor Fun and etc. I like the thick gravy that is drenched over the Hor Fun and the tender beef slices.

Beef Hor Fun 4/5
Teck Hin Fried Hor Fun, Stall #01-44
Opening Hours: 10am-3pm, 5pm-830pm (Closed on Mon)

If you are a fan for Indian's food, you have to drop by Ghim Moh Food Centre and try Heaven's Indian Curry's Putu Mayam, Appom and Thosai. Putu Mayam brought back a lot of childhood memories. It was one of my favourite Sunday breakfast tearing into the vermicelli-like rice flour noodles and dipping them into the desiccated coconut and orange sugar.

Putu Mayam 4/5

This is my first time having Appom and I love it! The experience was like eating both crispy and fluffy Roti Prata in one. The Appom was fluffy in the middle with crispy edges. Like Roti Prata, there are plain and egg Appoms too. Heaven Indian's Curry is probably one of the only few stalls in Singapore that makes Appom.

Appom 4.2/5

Many people have raved about the Thosai here too. You just need to taste it yourself to understand why. It had a nice thickness giving it a crispy outer layer while the inside was moist and fluffy. It had a good balance in both taste and texture.

Thosai 4/5
Heaven's Indian Curry, Stall #01-15
Opening Hours: 6am-2pm, daily

I find that the steamed Taro Cake was a bit disappointing as I prefer those that have chunks of yam. I could not really taste the yam flavour or find the contrast in texture I was looking for. Nevertheless, Rong Yuan's Taro Cake was moist and nice. Oh! and it came with peanuts.

Taro Cakes 3.8/5
Rong Yuan Cooked Food Stall, Stall #01-19

Chwee Kueh is a common Singapore breakfast. It is basically steam rice flour topped with preserved radish (Chye Poh). Usually the preserved radish (Chye Poh) topping is sweet but Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh's version is different. This is the first time I have the salty version. According to what I googled on the web, this supposed to be the traditional receipt.

Chwee Kueh 3/5
Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh, Stall #01-31
Opening Hours: 615am-7pm, daily

Just beside the Chwee Kueh stall is this inconspicuous Fried Carrot Cake stall that uses vegetable oil. The stall sells both white and black carrot cake. We had the Black Carrot Cake. The steamed radish cake fried with black sweet sauce was soft and tasty with a generous coat of eggs.

Black Carrot Cake 3.8/5
Lian He Carrot Cake, Stall #01-30

Many people have recommended this roast meat stall at Ghim Moh Food Centre. With such high popularity we definitely have to join the queue to try out their roast meat. We bought the Roast Duck, Roast Pork and Char Siew. The Char Siew was average but both the Roast Duck and Roast Pork were very good.

Roast Duck, Roast Pork and Char Siew 4/5
Jiu Jiang Shao La, Stall #01-45
Opening Hours: 11am-730pm (Closed on Wed)

The Hakka Yong Tau Foo has both dry and soup version. We decided to order the dry version because we felt that the picture will turn out better. The Stuffed Tau Pok (Stuffed Fried Tofu) was really crunchy and flavourful but the minced meat filling was a bit salty . My friend shared with me that people usually ordered the soup version. Maybe the soup version helps to balance the saltiness and make it a more balanced dish.

Yong Tau Foo (dry version)
Hakka Yong Tau Foo, Stall #01-14
Opening Hours: 730am-3pm (Closed on Mon)

The wonderful hawker food feast ended with dessert from Golden Swallow Dessert. I like the dessert here because of the fresh coconut milk. Bo Bo Cha Cha is the most appropriate dessert to highlight this. The hot Bo Bo Cha Cha was a bit too sweet but the cold one was really good. Topped with the colourful "tadpoles" like jellies, every spoonful was a sweet bursting surprise.

Tadpole Bo Bo Cha Cha (cold)

Bo Bo Cha Cha (hot)
Golden Swallow Dessert, Stall #01-53


Ghim Moh Food Centre
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road
Nearest MRT: Buona Vista (EW Line, CC Line)

Direction:
1) Alight at Buona Vista MRT station. Walk to bus stop along Buona Vista Road (Stop ID 11361). Take bus no. 92. Alight 1 stops later. Journey time about 3 mins.

2) Alight at Buona Vista MRT station. Cross the underpass towards Ghim Moh Estate Blk 12A. Cut across the open air carpark towards Ghim Moh Road. Cross the road and walk towards Blk 20. Journey time about 8 mins.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jalan Kayu The Prata Cafe @ Tanjong Katong

I am back at Tanjong Katong again to check out the area and noticed that Jalan Kayu The Prata Cafe has opened there. Now there are more choices for the residence staying at the area.

I ordered both the plain and egg prata. They were fresh, fluffy and not greasy. Although the prata was good, the service was rather slow. It seems like the staffs were not familiar with their roles and restaurant operation.

Plain Prata 4/5

Egg Prata 4/5


Jalan Kayu The Prata Cafe
246 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437034
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line), Paya Lebar (EW Line)

Direction:
1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Walk to bus stop at Blk 99 Old Airport Road (Stop ID 81181). Take bus no. 10, 31 and 32. Alight 2 bus stops later. Journey time about 6mins.

2) Alight at Paya Lebar MRT station. Walk to bus stop along Paya Lebar Road (Stop ID 81111). Take bus no. 43, 76 and 135. Alight 4 stops later. Journey time about 6mins.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big Bad Wolf @ Tanjong Katong

I have not been back to Tanjong Katong for quite a few years and it seems like a number of new restaurants have established along the stretch of Tanjong Katong Road. I ended up at Big Bad Wolf for my dinner.

The Big Bad Wolf Burger comes with fresh all beef patty, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, caramelized onions and special sauce. Love the caramelized onions on top of the beef patty.

Big Bad Wolf Burger 4.2/5

What best way to enjoy a beautiful burger with a bottle of beer. Big Bad Wolf has a range of Lindemans Fruit Beers which are refreshing lambic beers brewed with real fruits. They have Apple, Kriek (Cherry Flavour) and Pecheresse (Peach Flavour).

Lindemans Apple Beer 4.2/5

Big Bad Wolf does not have an extensive menu but the kitchen does come up with different daily special. You can ask the waiter/waitress or refer to the chalk written board. Besides the burger, I also tried their daily special, Lamp Chop and Chilean Mussels.

The Lamp Chop was a disappointment. It was bland and sides were boring.


Lamp Chop with Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower 3.5/5

However the Chilean Mussels were excellent. The creamy sauce was a perfect match for the big and firm mussels.

Chilean Mussels 4.5/5


Big Bad Wolf
226 Tanjong Katong
Singapore 437015
Website: http://www.bigbadwolf.com.sg/
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line), Paya Lebar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed & Thu: 3pm - 10pm
Fri: 3pm - 11pm
Sat: 12pm - 11pm
Sun: 12pm - 10pm
(Closed on Tue)

Direction:
1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Walk to bus stop at Blk 99 Old Airport Road (Stop ID 81181). Take bus no. 10, 31 and 32. Alight 2 stops later. Journey time about 6mins.

2) Alight at Paya Lebar MRT station. Walk to bus stop along Paya Lebar Road (Stop ID 81111). Take bus no. 43, 76 and 135. Alight 4 stops later. Journey time about 6mins.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tamako Meal @ Casuarina Road

Tamako Meal serves hearty and comfort Japanese food. This homely restaurant at Casuarina Road has been around for more than 10 years. I used to frequent this humble establishment when I was working at Sembawang Airbase.

The Tonkatsu Curry was nothing to wow about but definitely gave a home cooked feel. The Tonkatsu was interestingly sliced but in a pathetic way. Nevertheless, the Tonkatsu was moist and tender.

Tonkatsu Curry 4/5

The Potato Salad is a best try by many reviewers. I have to agreed with double thumbs up.

Potato Salad 4.2/5

The grilled Unagi was well marinated and fat. Love the way it was served with 2 runny egg yolks.
Breaking the egg yolks and mixing together with the rice and the sweet sauce coated each grain nicely with sweetness.

Unagi Rice 4/5

The Saba Fish was fresh and grilled perfectly with a nice crisp to the skin.

Saba Fish 4.2/5


Tamako Meal
128 Casuarina Road
Sembawang Hills Estate
Singapore 579516
Nearest MRT:

Opening Hours:
Daily: 1130am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
(Closed on first Mon of the month, except PH)

Direction:
1) Alight at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Walk to Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange. Take bus no. 169. Alight 8 bus stops later. Journey time about 10mins.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bloggers' Makan Gathering 01 Oct 2011

Since I started blogging and tweeting, it has widen my circle of friends. Jacob from Cook.Snap.Eat.Love is one of them that I get to know on Twitter recently. Together with other bloggers and Twitter friends, we gathered at Jacob's place for a makan session where he cooked for us personally.

Photo by Cook.Snap.Eat.Love

Jacob has came up with a 3 course menu for the makan gathering. Entree was Cream of Mushroom Soup garnished with the microgreens grown by Jacob himself. Jacob has used at least 5 types of mushrooms for the soup giving it a very tasty and rich mushroomy flavour. I was delighted that Jacob chose to give the soup a chunky texture. Each spoonful was an enjoyment biting into the chewy bits of the mushrooms.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

If you are interested to grow your own microgreens, you can visit Jacob's blog. He has a step to step tutorial in how to do so.

Microgreens

The Main was Duck Confit. Confit is prepared through a tedious process of preservation that consists of salt curing and poaching in its own fat. Jacob has spent a week preparing the dish. Jacob was very nervous when the main was served. He kept asking us how was the duck confit but in return was only silent. In actual fact we were lost of words, deeply impressed and overwhelmed by Jacob's culinary skill. There was only sound from the knife cutting into the crispy pan fried duck skin and munching of the tender duck meat.


Duck Confit

Dessert was a beautiful creation from Jacob's girlfriend, Chloe. She has re-created Pierre Herme's masterpiece the Ispahan. The lovely pink macaron shells sandwiched with fresh raspberries, lychees and buttercream finished with a a rose petal is an art itself that I can't bear to bite into it. Although the Isaphan has a bewildering combinations of flavours, surprisingly they all came together as one. The dessert definitely completed the lovely night with a sweet note.

Ispahan

Monday, October 10, 2011

Biscuit King @ Casuarina Road

Stepping into Biscuit King is like walking back into history with a display of traditional biscuit tins on one side of the wall. On the other side is more modern packaging in plastic tubs. The shop itself is like a little museum where you can find a lot of traditional biscuits as well as childhood toys and candies.



There are almost a hundred types of biscuit varieties available at Biscuit Kings. I can't resist buying some of the childhood treats after browsing through all the different biscuits available at Biscuit King. I bought Chocolate Wafer, Ais Gem and Sesame Biscuit.

Chocolate Wafer
 
Ais Gem
Sesame Biscuit

Worry not if you don't have time to drop by the shop. You can go to Biscuit King website at http://www.biscuitking.com.sg to order online. You can also mix and match up to four flavours in one tin with no additional costs.


Biscuit King
130 Casuarina Road
Singapore 579518
Website: http://www.biscuitking.com.sg
Nearest MRT: Ang Mo Kio (NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am - 12 Midnight
Sun: 12pm - 12 Midnight
(Closed on first Mon of the month)

Direction:
1) Alight at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Walk to Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange. Take bus no. 169. Alight 8 bus stops later. Journey time about 10mins.

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