Thursday, May 15, 2008

Canele Patisserie

Canele Patisserie is a brilliant dessert shop founded by pastry chef Pang Kok Keong and run by the Les Amis group. It sells skilfully crafted pastries/cakes and macarons and chocolates and everything desserty, such as crepes. usually when i drop by (and actually i have been frequenting this alot of times) i always get myself a rose macaron, because their rose macarons are a thing of beauty and art. The flavour of rose (yes it's a rose macaron) is always so intense, so beautiful, so romantic, a thing of art and beauty, sweet yet elegant and not too cloying - it just goes down your throat and u go "ooooohhh now that's wonderful" - like heaven - and the biscuits are really quite well-done, texture is not too hard ; okay okay enough gushing about the macarons, let's talk about what I had today.

I had the Nougatine Crepe, which is one of their specialities. It comes with nutella inside the crepe, vanialla cream chantilly, served with nougatine ice-cream. and it is really very very sinful but very very delicious and sweet. the nutella inside the crepe gives the crepe a very "chocolate" kind of flavour, but when you pair it with the nougatine ice-cream, it becomes rather divine, because the hazelnut chocolate is suddenly balanced by a very caramel/toffee nougatine ice-cream which elevates the flavours of the hazelnut; and the thing about eating a crepe is that it's full of variety - you've got so many things oin the plate (see the picture) you can just keep on choosing the different things you want to eat - and eat it in different combinations - the crispy things are a joy to eat - sweet and crisp - and really the nougatine ice cream is one of the best in town if you like sweet things. Nougatine crepe: 8.5/10.
Ohh i cant wait to try their new 2008 collection, coz they have new cakes. hehs.

Old Airport Road FC

Jeremy and I went to Old Airport Road FC for lunch yesterday - (make that two days ago) - and it's a place that I always have HUGE expectations for. YOu see, Old Airport Road FC is a makan institution, a gourmet haven; it's a place where there are so many wonderful stalls to eat from, so many all featured in Makansutra, ieat's blog, etc, whatever not, that it is such a pleasure and an exciting time for a foodie like me to go there and savour all the delicious food. yeah, and that's like, old airport road's on par with a place like maxwell fc - but that's to be discussed another time.
seriously; there are so many stalls; there is the: lao fu zi char kway teow, nam xing hokkien mee reputed to be the best in town even though i'd politely disagree, the xin mei xiang lor mee, toa payoh rojak, three very good wantan mees (kallang wantan mee, cho kee, hua kee), a good kway chap in blanco court to-ricos, western barbeque, whitley road prawn noodles, among others. i can't remember already. oh yeah. chuan kee satay. see what i'm talking about.

So that day because the lor mee was closed, i decided to have the kway chap again. i'm always very fond of kway chap, there's seomthing very comforting about eating sheets of rice noodles in a hot broth with pigs innards and tau pok and egg, and this one was quite good. To-Ricos kway chap. quite good. actually the last time i came i also ate this, but this one was a bit of a let-down coz i remembered the previous time it was really good. this time it wasn't so good but still not bad. the kway was smooth. the pig's innards were stewed nicely. No smell, quite soft and tender; but at least the innards still have taste - smoe places the taste is all gone - there was still the taste of the innards and the soy sauce that it was braised in was good and gave it some taste. okay. can't complain. still not bad.
Kway Chap: 7/10

I have heard very good things about the Toa Payoh Rojak in Old Airport Road FC so today I decided to give it a go. I had to queue up - there was an electronic queue number system - so you just go there to collect your food when it's ready - but boy was it worth the wait. It's the best rojak I've ever tasted and it really converted me to Rojak! First the ingredients were really fresh. The fruits and vegetables were whole, and very sweet, juicy, and nice; The you char kway (you tiao) was freshly toasted (apparently) and that was quite evident from the way it was crisp and not soggy; Thirdly the hae ko (prawn paste) was very good, very fragrant and pungent and savoury and prawnish and went very well with the chilli that they mix it with and the ground peanuts which when mixed together gave it a very balanced mix of flavours - the sweetness of the fruit coupled with the texture of the you tiao with the pungent flavours of the hae ko and the heat of the chilli - wow. brilliant. perfect rojak. Pungent, sweet, spicy, savoury, sambal. wonderful.
Rojak: 9.5/10

One-two-six (Geylang Dim Sum)

My supper buddy and I went to Geylang to eat the Dim Sum at One-two-six (126), which is along SIms Avenue. This is the place where we always go for supper after mahjong sessions two summers ago, coz it opens right into the night, and it features very hearty fare, everything (all the morsels) to go well with their fabulous chilli. And it's really quite an institution and an eye opener - eveyrthing is the same, from the barley served in tupperwares (like a bowl) to the dimsum and the stuffy ambience. heh.
But don't expect quality Crystal Jade food here - the tim sum here is hearty, homely, but not very exquisite or refined, to put it. and the fried stuff is better. recommended are the "xia juan" (prawn rolls) which feature prawns encased in beancurd skin and fried to a crisp; the chee chong fun was good as well (with prawns) - quite smooth; the prawn rolls (different from the xia juan) was not bad as well, if oily; my friend liked the fan choy; however the wo-tie was a let down - it was not like the wo-ties that i'd like, but was really just some fried batter with pork inside. the siew-mai was not bad while the har-gow could be better. Oh well. so you're better off eating the fried things and dipping everything into the wonderful chilli sauce. Which always saves the day.

Dim sum: 6.5/10

Founders Bak Kut Teh (Balestier)

Jeremy and I visited Founders Bak Kut Teh along Balestier Road one evening (Saturday night) for supper. Founders is one of those places that's just comfort food - bak kut teh with preserved vegs and tau kee in an air-conditioned setting, replete with photos of Felicia Chin and other celebrities on the wall. can't go wrong. So how was the food?
What I like about Founders is that the pork ribs (we ordered spare ribs) are very tender - they are not as hard as other places, but are tender to the bite while still being firm. and u can gnaw on them like a dog. okay kidding. anyway the pork ribs are nice and tender. so that's good. what's alright about it is the soup - it's very very very peppery, and very spicy - so while the first few drops taste like heaven, because I love spicy things, after a while it really gets too overpowering for me without some water. But the soup is still quite good; it's the traditional peppery kind. But i still prefer the soup at Ya Hua at Outram - maybe 'coz I like garlic.
The tau kee was good; the preserved vegetables, on the other hand, not so good, ironically because theres't oo much garlic - i like my food pure. thanks.

The Chocolate Factory

Back to the previous post - so my friend and I went to the Chocolate Factory (or Laurent Bernard?) at Robertson Walk for the much-touted Chocolate Tart - everyone has been talking about it and I just had to try it for myself to see (and taste) what the hype was about.
And it was oh-so-delicious. It was very good. Probably ranks as one of the best chocolate fixes in town. The chocolate was really quite divine; there were two layers, the chocolate layer on the top (darker in colour) which had a very pleasant chocolate flavour to it and was very umptiously rich, balanced with a lighter-in-colour hazelnut layer - and when u eat it with the base, which was very crisp and provided a great contrast to the richness of the chocolate, you get a nice balance of flavours - rich chocolate, with a tinge of hazelnut, balanced by pastry. nice.
Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Waraku at Central; Chocolate Factory

Went to waraku with a friend at Central, the first time I'm eating from that shopping mall at clarke quay. and wow, it was nice - there are really ALOT of japanese restaurants there, probably the biggest concentration in singapore, and featuring such interesting choices such as ramen santouka (the chain from hokkaido), sho-u, waraku, pasta waraku, amongst others. so we went to waraku, presumably because it offered us nice affordable food at affordable prices (sho-u, next time perhaps).
my friend ordered the scallops with pasta (or something) which was not bad, in cream sauce; the scallops were really fresh and tasty and a bit chewy, but big, while the pasta was really quite delectable with the cream sauce.
for myself i ordered the lunch set featuring cha soba (cold noodles) and this funny fish with vinegered rice - but not really chirashi don, as i was hoping, since the tuna was minced almost into cubes (still raw - maguro) and scatttered ontop of yam. the only redeeming factor was the lovely salmon roe (ikura) that came with it - and that was yum, even with rice. the cha soba, on the other hand, was one of the best cha sobas i've eaten - and that says alot, considering i eat alot of cha-soba - it had a nice texture, was al-dente while not being too hard, smooth, and moreover the sauce had a very nice soy sauce fragrance with it being salty enough (not bland) and went very well with everything. salmon on the side was a nice touch as well - oooh i love raw fish. the next time i come back here though i'm not going to eat the funny yam thing anymore, haha.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Relish; Ya Kwang DPD

It was my birthday, so a few of us trooped to Relish, because I still had exams; and my school (NUS) is pretty nearby Relish, so it makes for easy travelling - and to go back to study afterwards. I had already blogged about Relish before this, so it made sense just to try something else.

So I tried the "Bacon and cheese" burger, which was pretty good. The bacon and cheese added a nice tasty contrast to the beef and it was nice and greasy. and more substantial. that's the way i like my burgers - greasy - especially with lots of bacon and cheese and onion - the western style; still i shared half of it with my friend in exchange for his wild rocket burger, and believe me, the wild rocket burger still wins hands down - it was so tasty - it is the "Relish" that really lifted the burger - the Relish of tomato and other special ingredients (read: what ingredients>?) really accentuated and complemented the flavour of the beef, balancing the richness with its tanginess - to one of my favourite burgers in Singapore. still a commendable job. the fries were still as good. 7.5/10 for bacon and cheese; 8/10 for wild rocket burger.

Ya Kwang Dai Pai Dong
Lorong 37 Geylang

Ya Kwang (for short) is one of those zi-cha places that anyone who has ever stumbled upon ieat's blog would instantly recognise, for it's one of his favourite places being friends with the chef. well so i brought my friend there for antoher birthday dinner (yes i have had 3 in all) while in the midst of studying for my exams (so sad - but that's another story), just to try the food. the penang kway teow came first, and myword it was a good plate! it was not too oily or greasy, which was really commendable; had a very nice wok hei to it that really lifts the flavours while the noodles were smooth and the ingredients generous, all for $4. (8/10);

then we had the crab with korean tang hoon; this was a masterpiece. the korean tang hoon which was thicker and with a more elastic texture really soaked up all the flavours of the wonderful stock, which the crab was braised in - which to my tastebuds contained lots of spring onions, ginger, hua-tiao wine, oyster sauce? and of course the crab essence - etc etc; it was so delicious you could just finish every drop of it; you must try - i'm a bit tired now to describe it to you - but it was something to behold. the crab was nothing much - but the noodles were great. (8.5/10) - should go back and eat some more. and guess what, the week after the review of crab bee hoon came up in the papers - and ya kwang's crab tang hoon, the very one i had ate, was on the list! moreover the owner jason gave ST-food the recipe! and yes it did contain hua tiao jiu, ginger, and whatever nonsense! oh and i realised there's the addition of japanese sauces also; no wonder it tatsed that good.


now off to sin huat for crab bee hoon - stay tuned for the post!

Fish and Co; Mr Tea

Exams were over, so we trooped down to Fish and Co at Wheelock!
Usually fish-and-co is a pretty run-of-the-mill place, good for just usual eats, somewhat like olio or cafe-cartel, usually dependable, but don't expect WOW food; but usualyl when i go there im never disappointed, maybe because there is this trusty minced garlic for me to smother my food with. and some nice sauces.

So I had the seafood platter for 2 - shared with a friend. The fries were absolutely lovely; crisp on
the outside with a butteriness inside and
[seafood platter for 2] salty-enough; the fish was a bit muddy, nothing much to shout at; the mussels were alright but good with the garlic; prawns were very good - fresh and tasty with a nice herbal butter seasoning that went well and didn't overpower the flavour - the nicest part was the calamari - went extremely well with the sauce it was cooked in - and was tender, succulent, and very tasty. could eat a hell lot of that.

Everyone else ordered different things - my friend complained how stingy his cheese was in his new york fish and chips; oh well. i guess - one buck (to upgrade it from the usual fish and chips) can't do wonders huh.

Oh! and the calamari was very nice! very crisp, and with nice batter; while the calamari was nice and fat and tender; hmms. if only they had some of brewerkz's special sauce though!

I have always loved Mr Tea; ever since i tried the iced tea halia (iced ginger tea) i have been hooked. It's now my poison - it's wonderful; the tea is very creamy and milky (read: sweet) while the ginger scent is so strong and powerful and spicy that it really lifts the tea up and creates a brilliant contrast to the richness and sweetness of the tea, cutting through with its spicy notes. The after-taste is brilliant as well! - it just lingers in your mouth for super long.
Should go try! definitely!