Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tinoq Private Dining @ Tiong Bahru - Our Best Private Dining Experience So Far


Having checked out several private dining venues, our latest food hunt brought us to Tinoq Private Dining at the old Tiong Bahru HDB estate. The private dining is hosted by Tinoq Russell Goh. Many would have known him as a celebrity make-up artist. His recent work includes dressing up Constance Lau for the movie premiere, Crazy Rich Asians both in Hollywood and Singapore. In fact, during our dinner he was sharing with us that he was busy running around in the day getting her stuffs for the movie premiere next day.

Bakwang Kepiting 4.8/5

We started with the Bakwang Kepiting, warming up the stomach for the feast. The meatballs are big and juicy. These lovely meatballs are complemented by the robust and flavourful soup made from flower crabs, pork bones and dried flat fish. This is damn shiok that we asked for second serving.

Turmeric Rice 4.5/5

Before we arrive for our dinner, Tinoq did check with us whether we want Blue Pea Rice or Turmeric Rice for dinner. We decided to got for the latter and the turmeric was freshly plucked from Tinoq's garden for the rice.

Sotong Hitam 3.8/5

A dish I like since young is Sotong Hitam, I still remember how I like to drench my white rice with the squid ink gravy, covering the rice in a pool of black sauce. The version at Tinoq was good but I thought the gravy was slightly on the watery side. A little heat can also help to perk up the dish.

Rendang Minang Kerbau 3.5/5

Unfortunately I didn't quite enjoy the Rendang Minang Kerbau. I am not saying it is not a delicious dish but I prefer my chunky, melted in the mouth rendang. The version at Tinoq is more of pulled pork texture, with the aromatic rempah intensifying the flavour.

Chap Chye 4.2/5

The Chap Chye was cooked to a nice crunch and not too soft, absorbing the essence of the fermented bean paste. Noteworthy is the effort to tie the dried lily bubs into a knot. Traditionally that is what my grandma will do.

Sambal Telur 3/5

Probably my least favourite dish is the Sambal Telur. Lightly brown on the exterior, the eggs are sliced into half and top with homemade sambal, served together with some cucumbers.

Sweet Potato Leaves with Hai Bee Hiam 4.2/5

More commonly we like to cook our greens with sambal belachan but at Tinoq, the Sweet Potato Leaves is paired with Hai Bee Hiam. The combination is quite new to me but it works wonderfully. Totalyl enjoyed it.

Ayam Limau Perut 4.5/5

One of the crowd favourite goes to the Ayam Limau Perut. The chunky pieces of chicken are cooked to tender, immersed in a creamy piquancy gravy of tamarind, kaffir leaves and lime, flavouring the protein. How I wish there are some toasted bread for me to mop up the delicious gravy.

Char Siew 3.8/5

The Char Siew was sweet and tender but I would prefer more of the caramelized char on the exterior.

Ikan Assam Pedas 4.2/5

Steamed Thai Seabass 4.5/5

For fish lover, you will enjoy both the Ikan Assam Pedas and Steamed Thai Seabass. The Ikan Assam Pedas is very appetising with its sour spicy gravy. I even drenched my rice with the gravy. For the Steamed Thai Seabass, the cooking timing was so spot on. The fish was moist and paired so well with the sour and spicy gravy.

Ngoh Hiang 4.5/5

Another highlight at Tinoq is the homemade Ngoh Hiang. Deep fried to a delectable crispy exterior, the ngoh hiang is stuffed with minced pork, prawn chestnut and even sweet melon. This is one of the better ngoh hiang I have eaten for a long time.


Overall we feel think Tinoq has been our best private dinner experience so far. In my own term, Tinoq has the overall package. The food is homely and delicious, in addition Tinoq and his partner Dylan are excellent hosts. The private dining is priced at $100 for 7-8 courses. For our session, we had extra dishes.

Tinoq Private Dining
Blk 30 Jalan Klink
Singapore 160030
Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru (EW Line)
For reservations, e-mail or SMS 9338-6439

Friday, September 21, 2018

Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke @ Tanjong Pagar - Latest Beef Sukiyaki Don Concept By Keisuke Takeda


Keisuke Takeda is back to wow you with his latest concept restaurant - Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke, located within Onze @ Tanjong Pagar. Seats are extremely limited with a preparation space much bigger than the dining area and you will see why when you drop by for a visit.

Kiwami Wagyu Sukiyaki Don 4/5

Beef Sukiyaki Don is not a new concept but with Keisuke Takeda, you know it is going to be different. Prepared ala minute right in front of you, it is an experience right from the start, seeing the chef picking up the beautifully marbled beef slices and placing them into the hot pan, hearing the sizzling of the beef. Then comes the sweet, caramelised soy sauce smell mingling with your nostrils. And when the chef gently plates the beef onto the shining bowl which is already topped to the brim with rice, braised tofu, cabbages etc, you just have to clasp your hands together in anticipation and wait. Well, that was what I did.


The menu is really simple. Two choices of meat, either Beef Sukiyaki Don that comes with US Prime Beef ($13.90, add on 120g for $10) or the premium version Kiwami Wagyu Sukiyaki Don featuring Yonezawa Beef A4 ($29.90, add on 120g for $25). Each set comes with a half boiled egg, handmade sesame tofu and a miso soup.


Since it is a don, rice is the soul. The Koshihikari rice is cooked in a special double layer claypot and almost one third of the the kitchen is dedicated entirely to that. Eating the rice and the sauce alone, itself is a treat. You may top two dollars more for the rice if you wish!


Elevate the taste of your Sukiyaki with the condiments on the tables. I discovered the beauty of Sansho pepper when I had my first unagi don, and this time round, I found Yuzu Shichimi. I love how it brightens the taste of the sweet and savory beef with its citrusy note and tingle my taste buds with the various spices.


Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke may seem yet another single dish concept by Keisuke Takeda but inside this small space are layers of elements done right. When some are easily overlooked - from the highly regarded rice, the braised sides, the sesame tofu that intrigues with its umani dashi gravy and mochi texture, down to the free pickles on the table, which impress me with ingredients such as beets and burdock, and their acidity is just perfect on the richness of the beef. I would think it is going to be another long queue again, so be prepared. Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke will be official open on 24 September 2018.


Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Beef Sukiyaki Don Keisuke
Onze @ Tanjong Pagar
11 Kee Seng Street
Singapore 089218
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Open daily 1130am - 230pm, 5pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Tanjong Pagar Road. Cross the road at Tanjong Pagar Road. Turn left onto Tanjong Pagar Road. Walk down Tanjong Pagar Road. Turn right onto Kee Seng Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]


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