Monday, February 13, 2012

Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant

Chinese New Year company lunch: at the top of the world!
I've always wanted to visit this restaurant. The idea of eating in a slowly revolving flying saucer perched on top of a building that has a remote possibilty of flying off has always appealed to me. It's just that the dull brown building it is perched on isn't very impressive and where the heck is the entrance? Anyway, thanks for the free lunch!

It's Chinese New Year, so how can we do without out favorite local festive dish: Yu sheng! For those that have had it before, you can't possibly forget the loud shouts of hope and well wishes and frenzied mixing of the salad by all the participants at the table. The throwing of the carrot and radish strands in the air is half the fun but normally I do not take a lot of the salad as it is too sweet. But for this dish, boy was I surprised: light but not overly sweet or oily with very crispy crackers. Perfect!

Sai pang xie 赛螃蟹. Supposedly this dish got its name as it tastes exactly like crab. Let's just say the creators of this dish was taking their claims a bit far. It is made of egg white bits with scallop and fish mixed with raw egg yolk, so it has an intense egg smell with mild seafood taste. Not bad. Not really like crab though.

Yes! Finally, my nagging has succeeded in getting the soup changed from Sharks fin to another soup. Actually, sharks fin soup is really nothing fantastic but has a very negative influence on your karma. The manner in which the fins are harvested: they slice off the fins while the animal is alive and dump the finless shark back into the sea to slowly drown. And they do this to all types of sharks and the indiscriminate killing is quickly wiping out a lot of species of sharks. So please stop eating sharks fin and tell others of your stand. Together, we can make a difference! You can have fish maw soup! The one I had was a thick strong seafood broth with pacific clams and small pieces of fish maw and the taste beats sharks fin any time!

Fried grouper. The flesh was a little too firm because of the frying but when taken with the fried fish skin, the combination was quite good. The sauce was tomatoey but not too strong, so the fish original taste could still come through. A respect of the chef for the fish!

 Tiger prawns in garlic sauce. The meat was a bit tough. Not nice. Should stick to the smaller prawns I guess.
Abalone and sea cucumbers with fresh shitake mushrooms and broccoli.This dish was great! The broccoli was cooked just right, retaining the crunchiness and taste of the vegetable. The shitake mushrooms were fresh and the sea cucumber had a firm yet light texture. Very remarkable. But the abalone was so so, maybe they should have used a better brand and then the dish would be perfect!

 Roast duck- peking style. The one in Beijing was still be best.... Da dong, where are you?
Duck meat stir fry. The remaining duck from the previous dish was remade into this one, which we had to wrap in lettuce  before gobbling it. But unfortunately, I was stuffed at this point, so I cannot judge the taste properly anymore...
More food?! Lotus leaf rice......

Finally! Dessert! Red bean paste deep fried in an egg white coating. It was ok, I was stuffed but it was really not the best that I've had. I miss the one at Crystal Jade Kitchen! Y u no come back?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marutama Ra-men

Went to The Central at Clark Quay for dinner today. My sis said "let's go eat ramen!". This is where we she dragged me to:

I've never had a good opinion of ramen. Korean ramen tastes like Korean instant ramen (they did too good at job at the instant thing), which sort of killed off its novelty. My sis assured me that it was nothing like that. It turned out to be:

12 bucks for a small bowl of noodles with a slice of meat and some veggies? An extra buck for a braised half boiled egg? Come on sis, you been had!

I ordered spicy chicken soup but when the dish arrived, the soup was clear and missing the usual red colour. This being a Japanese restaurant and all made me lose some faith in the spiciness. Carefully managing my expectations, I sipped a spoonful of soup. Hot and spicy. Nice. Not sure of where's the chicken though. It did not have the usual chicken taste but it had a rich flavor.

On to the noodles! It looked finer than the Korean type. Looked like Mee Kia actually. Slurp! Chew chew. It is Mee Kia. You've been had lah sis! So small bowl how to satisfy my hunger? Chomp chomp chomp. Actually the noodles tastes good with the soup, taken together it had a home made taste.

Hmmmm. Oh! There's the egg. At least something to fill my tum tum. Chom- huh? Such an odd feeling. Normal braised eggs are hard and your teeth sinks into the egg where you expect it. But this braised half boiled egg AVOIDS your teeth, only to delay the unavoidable. And when you do bite into it, a warm, wholesome and rich egg yolk just fills your mouth. Wow. And the taste is different somehow. Nice. Very nice.

We ordered a side of Gyoza, which was freshly prepared and did not have any signs of hardening. The vinegar used was fragrant and not overly sour.

Overall, this restaurants is worth a taste. And it turned out to be very filling!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Boss, tau huay break lei!

Tau huay. A common breakfast item of an average Singaporean. Frequently asked for by Ah Guan of PCK Private Ltd. So, what is this tau huay? Tau huay is actually the Hokkien term for jellied beancurd. In Mandarin it is called Dou Hua, literally meaning Bean Flower. And yes, it does look like some exotic chinese name you would find in English adventure novels. But in Singapore, it's more chic to order things in Hokkien, hence the popularity of the name Tau Huay. Try it: Tau huay ji wah! (one bowl of tau huay!)

Tau huay, like many other foods such as fried dough sticks and sugarcane juice, are perceived as food with no distinguishing inter-stall difference, i.e. no difference of where you buy it from. This is untrue! If you think all jellied beancurds are the same, then please try the famous Rochor Beancurd. Located at Short Street, Rochor Beancurd is a cut above the rest!

Silky soft and soothingly sweet, Rochor tau huay must be one of the reasons why Ah Guan keeps asking his boss for Tau Huay breaks! I want a break too!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Temptation Island

This week, after all the sunny days, sudden rains and warm nights on this sunny island set in the sea, let's chill at a cool new place Wendy and I have found: Island Creamery! Located at Serene Center (Bukit Timah area), Island Creamery boasts of great local flavors for their ice creams! Smooth and soft, once you start, you cannot stop!

We had coconut (which is logically the white side) and Teh Tarik (which is logically the brown side, since the white one is coconut). The coconut ice cream was a little more oily than usual, which is expected if you used real coconut milk to make the ice cream. It did make us feel a little guilty eating such sinful stuff, but we balanced the energy intake by eating more teh tarik ice cream. Hmmm, somehow that doesn't sound quite right. Anyway, the teh tarik ice cream was fantastic! The initial taste was of milk tea and as the ice cream melted further in your mouth, the bitter taste of tea bursts in your mouth, leaving a pleasant aftertaste. It was so good! So much so we ventured on to another exotic looking dessert:

Mini baked Alaska! Ahoy matees, look out for iceberg ahead! Hmmm, what is a Baked Alaska in the first place? And what is it doing in an ice cream parlor? Well, in contrast to it's warm exterior, it has a rather cold heart (sounds like some ex-CEO of some charity). It's a dessert that was inspired by the Chinese in the 19th century, and it is made by encasing a core of ice cream with beaten egg whites and subsequently baking the bugger at high temperature. The bubbly egg white acts as a very good insulator against heat, so what you get is a browned exterior but a chilly ice cream core. This dish, however, is not very fantastic. We just tried it out for novelty. Actually it was me who bugged Wendy to buy it. But, as I always say, don't trust me, go try it! (again, this sounds weird....) :>

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Ever tried to spell the word "guaranteed" without the use of spell check of a dictionary? I have only recently figured out the exact spelling. It's one of those words that I simply cannot spell by going with it's pronunciation. Anyway, following up on the ever hot durian topic, have you ever wished you could have high quality tasting durian without having to:

-know how to choose a good durian?
-have the arm power to carry the durians home?
-have a good pair of jeans that can protect your legs should your failing armpower cause the bag of durians to brush ever so cruelly across your leg?
-be adept at the use of a cleaver? (no, no chainsaws Jason)
-throw all those empty husks away? (not my turn again!)

If your answer is positive for any of the above questions, then here is the answer for you! Located at The Swissotel Merchant Court, Ellenborough Market Cafe has this amazing durian treat called Durian Pengat! Click here to see the picture. Like the essence of durian from the Heavens, the Durian Pengat is smooth and the taste packs the punch of a dozen D24 in one small bowl. With every spoonful, the savory taste of durian bursts in your mouth, just like the way all the good bittersweet durians that you have ever eaten does. Truly a culinary delight! But before all of you rush down immediately right now ( like I am compelled to), be forewarned that, like the original spiky fruit, this dessert comes with a price. And a high one, nonetheless. Remember the takeaway plastic container commonly used at food centers? Well, for one container of Durian Pengat, it costs $14. 14 buckeroos! If the price scares you now, maybe it is time to practice your cleaver chopping. But for those who are truly durian lovers, please please please try!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I ate a durian

I ate a durian.
Although the durian husk was tough and spiky,
in the end,
the bittersweet creamy treat found within was all worth it

(especially when it was opened by someone else).

***confessions of a lethargic durian lover***

This is a durian. It is covered with spikes but you have to open it. How?

Step 1, place the durian on a stack of newspapers.
Step 2, hold the durian down with a corner of the stack of newspapers.
Step 3, look on the bottom of the fruit (the end without the stalk) and try to locate the lines formed by increased density of spikes. They should radiate from the bottom of the fruit.
Step 4, using a cleaver, deal a sound blow exactly on the line and remember to avoid chopping off your thumb. Do not remove the embedded chopper!
Step 5, twist the embedded chopper and you will find that the husk will split along the line. You can now remove the chopper and split the fruit completely with your hands. Do remember that the spikes are still there and injuries might occur when you try to grab the fruit too enthusiastically.


Pick up and fruit and eat it. Note that there is a large seed inside! (choking hazard: keep out of reach of young children)

Yummy..... Do note that the fruit is very strong smelling and your subsequent burps of pleasure may result in the people who are unacquainted with the fruit to start suspecting a gas leak in the building. Burp. Excuse me.

Unlike most other fruits, which, upon finishing them, the most you have to do is to throw the skin away. But for the durian, as it is a very heaty fruit, excessive consumption could result in you feeling extremely hot and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Coupled with the fact that the fruiting season of durians coincide with the hottest months of the year in South East Asia, some medical intervention is needed! (and no, it's not to avoid eating the fruit)

What you have to do is simple: Take the empty husk and put some salt into the depression where the fleshy fruit used to be. Add some water and stir it with your fingers. Drink the water and dispose of the husk with great care (kicking a bag full of durian husk will be an effective reminder for the rest of your life) It is believed that this step has to be performed in an empty durian husk or else it will not be effective. So don't just drink salt water from a cup! Enjoy!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Original post- Responsible Blogging (status: foiled)

It has been a long long time since I last posted on this blog. If you guys had waited for my recommendation before going for dinner, I'm sure many of you would be in a nice bright peaceful place full of pastry and other sweet nice things. Well, the last year has been a hectic university final year for me, with all the project reports and stuff. That's my excuse you say? Well, for those that are familiar with the university schedule, yes, I did finish my finals in early May and have been slacking since then. But the reason why I haven't blogged since my exams was simply, a writer's block. I can't think of a good topic to talk about! So I thought of talking about a Balanced Diet. Why do health professionals always ask you to eat a balanced diet and exercise 30 minutes a day for most days of the week? Do they even do that themselves?

Food pyramid from the Health Promotion Board

See what a boring topic it was headed to? But my savior arrived then! Meet Anna! Wow! Look at all the pictures! Pastry from the heavens! It reminded why I became a food blogger in the first place: I was not meant to save people through diet but to worship food! Food! Food! So go everyone! Eat and be happy! By the way Kenneth, with a mom like that, you must be really, really happy.

Photo by Kenneth, with permission from the author.