Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ippudo Ramen

Went down to Ippudo on Monday to try out their Ramen, which i heard is the 'best in singapore' (from a friend).and because it was so famous, i had to try it. any self-respecting food blogger would need to try ippudo, anyway, since it is, like, how famous. Luckily my expectations were not pushed up too greatly because some food blogs (notably 'never trust a scrawny foodie' - see e link at e side) have said that this ramen is merely average.

So W and I went to the mandarin gallery to check out ippudo ramen. the decor was really nice. there was a chandelier right in the middle with seating on all sides. and bowls of different colours, red and white. very minimalist.

the food came very fast; i ordered the red one (which is the one which is spicy, with miso paste, and garlic oil), and when it came it looked pretty good. What was good was the noodles, perfectly springy with good bite; the egg was very very good, very fresh and full of eggy taste. and the pork was just exquisite, very very flavourful.
what was not so good was the soup; yes it was savoury, but had just alot of MSG, and while spicy, it did not have the 'rounded' taste characteristic of santouka's stock, where you can really taste the collagen and pork that comes from boiling much pork. it tasted a bit like bak chor mee soup, in the idea of pork savouriness, but not that 'rounded' taste.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Morton's, Oriental

Morton's is an institution, widely regarded as THE place for steak. so apart from the joy of celebrating a dear friend's birthday, I was also quite excited about the food, when T and her generous family (thanks!) invited a few of us friends over to Morton's. The last time I came to Morton's was probably in 2004 when i still subscribed to the Economist and they gave us a Steak FOC courtesy of the magazine. But that was a long time ago. Now who can resist Morton's?

The atmosphere of the place was very lively, think wood panelling, black wood, and a lively atmosphere comprising waitresses and waiters who seek to infuse the restaurant with a carnivalesque atmosphere. Think random 'happy birthdays', 'menu presentations' featuring trolleys of aged beef, you know, the works.

Okay, so I should probably be talking about the food. Yes. We ordered 2 appetizers to share, Crab Cakes and Oysters.
The Oysters were wonderful. Very fresh, tasting of the sea, with none of the stale flavours from not-fresh oysters. This is probably the closest I'll ever get to the Borough Market oysters (1 pound per oyster). The saline flavours of the sea engulfed my tastebuds as I slurped the oyster down, with just a bit of Lemon. That's all was needed, really! Excellent (9/10)

Crab Cakes were very very good! The crabs used were very very fresh, and it was superbly tasty. It's not like those crab cakes where it's mainly flour, this one was chock-full of crab meat. It was as though you were eating Jumbo Crabs but without the hassle of the shell preparations. Seasoned lightly with some salt and pepper and dipped in mayonaise, this was a true delight to eat. (9/10)

In the tradition of some esteemed food bloggers, I had my Ribeye Chicago-style, ie charred on the outside and pink inside, cooked to medium rare doneness. The photos are courtesy of my friend SJ which means that for the first time I do have nice photos for the blog! Amazing. This was a joy to eat. From the first bite, i absolutely LOVED the interplay between the charred broiled flavours on the outside, and the beefiness and depth of flavour of aged beef cooked just right to medium rare. It didn't need none of those hollandaise sauces on the side: it was great just eating good USDA Prime meat in its own juices. Sublime, with very good marbling just like a ribeye. Best steak in SGP by far, but of course super expensive. (9/10)

We had desserts, of course, starting with Morton's Signature Chocolate Cake. One bite of this and I was hooked: Full of chocolate flavour and yet not too sweet (which is the pitfall of many molten chocolate cakes), this one was rich and luscious and somehow light enough not to make it too "jelak". One of the best (9/10)

We also ordered the apple crumble. This was not too bad, but compared to the sublime cuisine featured above, I have to say this was just okay. still good though (7.5/10)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oriole Cafe

Going to oriole is a habitual thing for me: i go at least once a week, or sometimes maybe a bit more. So usually i don't blog about oriole, especially if i'm just going to buy my usual takeaway latte / iced latte, which they do wonderfully well. But this time I'll blog because there were some new beans that they were roasting, Sumatran, and so I asked for my latte done with those beans.

Boy it was pretty good. Very low acidity, dark flavours, hints of wood, tobacco, and a burnt toasted finish, with sweetness from the milk. a very smooth cup. i'm liking this pretty much, it was quite awesome. (8/10)

The chocolate cake that we had was very good as well. It was very very rich, with very good chocolate used, and enough sweetness. the accompanying ice cream helped cut through the richness of the fudge, which was great. (8/10)

Matsuo Sushi Restaurant

Blogged about this before, but we went back to Matsuo to try out the Lunch Set on Wed. The lunch set on wed was tempura udon and mixed sushi. It was quite a substantial portion: the tempura udon was quite generous in a nice savoury broth, while the sushi was relatively flavourful and fresh (e fish), but only thing was that the pieces of fish were relatively small. but well, quality is better than quantity, i guess.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Lei Garden, Chijmes

A friend was celebrating his 25th birthday (okay, quarterlife crisis maybe) and so we decided to pop down to Lei Garden, at Chijmes. First, let me just start off by saying that the ambience at Chijmes is really awesome. It feels just like Central Vienna, you can imagine the 'chapel' being the St Stephansdom around with the surrounding cafes and shops and lots of people just thronging the areas. it is the life. and what i love most are the trees, with their little "lights" that shine so brightly. Anyway i digress. lei garden is at chijmes right, and the decor is super nice. Think about it, high ceilings, victorian lights, big big glass windows.

P decided to order the food for us because he knows cantonese and apparently it would be nice, so we trusted him. it was good. First up was a soup; it seemed like a very rich chicken broth, with pork bones, and mushrooms. very "cheng".

Next up was roast char siew. This was very well done, with just the right hints of "sweetness" in the sauce and tender meat. Could have been more charred but no complaints.

The piece de resistance came next: Peking Duck, their specialty. This was done pretty well, served the usual style in a crepe. The skin was nicely roasted and flavourful with all the usual "duck" juices, the meat was a bit fatty. but it was good. Only problem was that i wish we had more!

Next up: stir-fried beef with Foie Gras apparently. but i can't taste no foie gras. the beef was done quite well, in a refined, flavourful sauce with no overpowering ingredients.

Vegetables came next, and it was a let down; i don't really care much for big kai lan.

The duck meat came next (from the peking duck): this was okay.

And lastly, some "beans", minced meat, all to be eaten by stuffing it in fresh lettuce. Quite an interesting mix of textures, the cold crisp lettuce pairing with savoury meats. Interesting.

We ended the day with a yum seng to W and some Moet for the occasion. oh it was fun. we adjourned somewhere else but i shall not blog about that because it would spoil e occasion. Have a great day fellas!

Marutama Ramen, Central

Tried this famous Ramen in Central, Marutama Ramen. It is known for being one of the few ramen shops in Singapore to serve ramen with chicken broth, instead of the usual pork broth. I went in there ravenous on a hungry Monday afternoon after class to try out this famous ramen. So I ordered the "Nama Ramen" with a Tamago (half-boiled egg), and it came pretty fast. So how did it taste?

Very thin, springy noodles, Hakata style, as opposed to the more curly Santouka style. good, firm texture. The soup was very addictive. Quite flavourful, tasty, tasting of savoury chicken broth with just enough spiciness for my liking. The egg was good too. I was quite impressed.

Don't ask me how this compares to Santouka because honestly it is very hard to compare unless you realy put them side by side. Just take it from me that it's pretty good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gen Shu Mei Shi She Jia

Got the recommendation from Ieat's website (as a really must try) so I went down after class this morning to try the food here, which he says is a hidden gem. And indeed it was a great recommendation. Located at Toa Payoh Lorong 4, block 74, it's just a hawker centre, but the food here is quite outstanding.

We had the Yam Cake, which was one of the best I've eaten, comparable to the great one at Chinatown Complex (open only after 5). It was very soft, tasty, and savoury, with a delicious sweet sauce and sting in the chilli accompanying it. Very very good! I would come back for this [8.5/10]

I also had the Steamed Rice with Chicken and Lap Cheong which was also excellent. The chicken was tasty enough and imparted a smoky flavour to the rice, with the addition of some salted fish. Not too salty, but yet tasty. (8/10)

Gen Shu came out to talk to us about Hong Kong, China, and he was just going on and on; felt bad to stop him but we really needed to go, so my friend told him that, come back next time got discountor not! haha. i think my friend really liked the food here too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

313 @ Somerset Bak Chor Mee (Lai Heng)

This was seriously one of the best BCMs i have eaten in a long time. Being in a food court, I didn't expect much, but this BCM was really very good. The noodles were blanched just right, and the sauce was flavourful and very savoury, with bits of pork, liver, etc, and mushrooms. The chilli was really spicy, just the way I like it. and the clincher was the flavourful soup to spoon down the goodness.
Great stuff.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cugini Trattoria

Everyone has been blogging about Cugini, and thus when R and J celebrated their 22nd birthday at Cugini, there was more than the usual excitement about a friend's birthday party, i also get to try some good food.

The place is very traditional, and i guess it must be pretty authentic. very high ceilings, with light blue panellings in place. guitar. open kitchen concept. but i guess this doesn't matter. its a nice place and pretty casual in style.

I ordered the Seafood Pasta, which, if you follow ieat's blog, you'd notice that they created the pasta specially for him because they ran out of sea urchin pasta that time. So I had to try it, which I did. Boy it was great. Very very yummilicious. It was really just tomato-based seafood pasta with mussels, fish, prawns, but each mouthful was so delicious, since the "unami" flavours of the sea really came through. A very harmonious blend of seafood flavours, tasting of the sea, inter-melded with a sweet tomato base that balanced these flavours perfectly. It was so good i was so sad when i finished it. aww.
oh well.

Coffee Coffee Coffee

Coffee is my latest addiction; it has been for the past well, half a year, i suppose. I just love the robustness of a good espresso-based coffee, with its full body and earthly aromas. But seriously most of the places in SGP are really CMI, merely existing to satisfy a lifestyle, or to make money from ignorant Singaporeans. But thankfully there are a few places that serve a really good cup of java.

Oh btw speaking of coffee there's a song by Kristen Chenoweth called "Taylor the latte boy" which is really cute. it's about how a girl falls in love with a barista known as taylor, and how they flirt as he gives her free shots, free foam. all that in a very big coffee chain.

i'm not really a fan of that big coffee chain though. yes, it is a CMI place for real coffee aficionados. So here are some more suggestions [i realised that i've actually posted alot of coffee links before]:

I've already blogged about Oriole Cafe, and Cafe Beviamo, but now add Papa Palheta to the list. Located at Hooper Road off Bukit Timah Road, it is a non-descript place. You enter by the back which brings u into an outdoor area. The indoor seating area is very individualistically quirky, reminding my coffee companion of some of the cafes in melbourne. indeed it could even be someone's house. Think antiques on one side, random objects artfully placed around the seating area, fabrics, etc.

It is actually a place where they sell beans so they don't actually retail coffee as an F n B beverage. But i guess what often happens is that they serve you coffee and you offer them a tip to cover their costs.
Their Terra Firma latte was well done. Very robust and full bodied with earthly aromas that could cut through the milk.

It has been ages since I've last posted.
the rigours of composing a musical, plus school work, has meant that the poor foodie in me has been neglected for about, 6 months! oh well. such is life.

I have been eating, really. just not posting. i'm just going to randomly update what i've been eating, in no particular order.

Ye Lai Xiang Chng Tng
This is seriously seriously awesome. Without hesitation, this is THE best cheng tng in Singapore. It's a pity i don't stay in the East, if not i'll come here everyday. It is absolutely fantabulous. The cheng tng has a lovely "cooling" effect, with fragrant pandan sweetness. The ingredients used are very fresh, and what makes it special is the little 'secret ingredients' that you find in the soup, bits of watermelon peel, pumpkin peel, candied fruits, that lend a bit of texture and sweetness to the soup. The longans are also very flavourful and fresh.