Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fremantle Seafood Market

Clarke Quay's having some kind of promotion now, where most places serve a $15 nett set lunch, with free parking to boot. Thus one of these days after our class we hopped down to clarke quay to look for some good eats. and this place sprang out - fremantle seafood market. for $15, they served a pretty nice set lunch, consisting of three courses, namely a Seafood Minestrone Soup that came with mussels, and quite a lot of choices for the mains. My dining companions had a Roasted Barramundi over risotto, which was nice - fresh fish, flaky, and also, the risotto was not overcooked, with the right kind of texture.

I had the fish and chips which was pretty awesome. one of the best i've tried. very fresh, flaky fish, with a very nice "batter" of sorts that was just crisp and light, and the fries were quite awesome and went well with chilli. i mean, fish and chips is a dish that you really cannot go very wrong with - so long as the fish is fresh, the batter nice and crisp, that's good enough for me.

Dessert was just a light "strawberry-cheese" thinggum that was just aww-right, you know. nothing much to shout about but i'm happy with it.

Quite a good meal for S$15! Do try.'

Monday, October 18, 2010

Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice

Decided to flip the Makansutra after school (course) today for some food ideas, which led me to Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice - an institution, it was given 6 chopsticks (the highest rating) by makansutra, and with such high praise from THE food guide of singapore, I decided to check it out. Haha. So off we went.

Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice is located along Eng Hoon Street, at the corner with Seng poh Road, ie. just opposite tiong bahru market. There was a queue, which means - good stuff. There's not much ambience by the way, it's just located in a traditional old shophouse that hasn't changed for many eons, but usually these sort of places serve excellent food - tradition just makes it better.

So two friends of mine and myself ordered, well, loads of dishes: Squid in curry gravy, cabbage with tang hoon, sweet/sour fish, stewed pork, curry chicken, and pork chops. And of course, rice with curry slathered on top. And I'm happy to report that most dishes passed muster.

in fact, some were really excellent. the pork chops were simple and homely, the squid was very very good, tender and flavourful in the curry, and the curry was quite nice as well. The fish had just the right amount of sweet/sour, and well, the stewed pork was flavourful and fatty. just the way, well, i shouldn't like it. Hmm. but this was good. A very good choice.

Worth going!
Overall: (8/10)

PS: it's a bit different from the beo-crescent style curry rice, i mean, but i guess each place has their own fans. the pork at beo is crispier, but this one has more meat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

40 Hands

40 hands is a relatively new cafe located in Tiong Bahru: it is very ulu, like you probably need a car to reach it, but it's a hidden gem. RIght now im trying to find the location of it, but i just can't: it's located well, if you travel along Tiong Poh Road all the way to the end, and then turn right, and then turn left into the condos, and then turn left again, you'll find 40 hands on your right in the low-rise HDB shophouses. Opened by Harry, who hails from Perth, this place boasts fantastic coffee, with beans imported from Australia (five senses, a household name). Apparently they even made a blend for him, so that's how serious he is about the coffee.

And the coffee, my goodness, is excellent. Very excellent. The latte has a roundedness and smoothness that cuts through the milk, and it is rich with nicely balanced flavours - I cannot describe it, just go try it. All that i know was that it was as fragrant and aromatic and yummy as good coffee should be. They use a Synesso and a Mazzer, serious stuff.

Only gripe potentially is the price: $5 for a single latte is a bit on the steep side. Still you get what you pay for, top quality coffee that's hard to beat in singapore.

Definitely a must-try and worth many return visits. I heard the almost croissant is nice as well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Por Kee Eating House

Por Kee, is apparently, a very old institution well known among the Cantonese for serving authentic Canto zhi char. My family was there last sunday to try out the food. Located in the neo-deco low-rise blocks of tiong bahru, it makes for a very retro setting: outdoor seating amidst the car park, night breeze, and low rise buildings all around. quite old school, and nicely so.

NOTE: SORRY for the poor images, we were outside and the lighting was bad.

I heard that the hor fun was good, and so we had to order that. When it came, we weren't disappointed: the hor fun was very fragrant, delicious, and full of that wok-hei. Very flavourful, perfect to go with a bit of red chilli they serve on the side for that little kick. the seafood accompanying it was very fresh as well: prawns, fish, squid. Only thing was that the vegetables were a bit overcooked, but well, the positives far outweigh the negatives. (8.5/10)

The next dish was their "zhao pai (signature) bean curd" - and this was truly wonderful; the beancurd was homemade, the sauce had this smoky flavour to it, perfect for spooning over rice. It was a complex mix of flavours that was very alluring. nice stuff. (8.5/10)

the stir-fried venison with ginger and spring onions was just okay: nothing much to shout about. (7/10)

Stir-fried sweet potato leaves with garlic was alright as well, but I prefer the one at Siang Hee - this one was a bit too well-cooked (6.5/10)

And the last dish, the piece de resistance, was the 'champagne pork ribs'. I'm not so sure where the champagne was, in all of that, i suppose there were hints of some acidic stuff used in the marinade, but overall the pork ribs were smoky, charred, flavourfully robust, and a joy to eat. tender as well. great dish. (8.5/10)

Great zhi char worth a visit.

69 SENG POH LANE #01-02

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Platypus test Kitchen

S's friend recently opened this place located at clifford centre and urged us all to go down, so we went with him yesterday to try out platypus test kitchen, located at 2nd floor, clifford centre, in raffles place. It occupies a little corner, and is decored in the cafe style, with wooden chairs and stuff. They specialise in pastas, which are, according to owner nicholas, made fresh everyday - and there are of course dried pastas as well. And another great thing is that there's no gst/service charge, and upgrading to a set-meal is just an additional S$3 for drinks and soup, which you have a choice of.

Well, first up was the wild mushroom soup, which was quite nice; quite full of garlicky goodness, a bit of truffle oil perhaps and loads of wild mushrooms. you could tell the flavour was there and the chef really did his homework. nice work. (7.5/10)

The pasta I had was the recommended 'Summer truffles with reggiano pasta' - and this was really quite awesome! Shaved truffles accompanied fresh pasta, and the earthly reggiano cheese (with some truffle oil) to create a powerful, rich, complex, and earthly flavour - more complex than mushrooms with a delicious aftertaste. no wonder truffles are so sought after. but this was very very good. didn't need any other ingredients to liven up the taste, this was great on its own. (9/10) - yah usually i don't give 9s but this was quite amazing.

The other pastas were nice as well: crab meat tagilitale (how do you spell it) tastes of the sea, while squid ink pasta with marinara sauce had alot of seafood goodness as well.

And kudos to nicholas the owner for indulging us with some drinks afterwards +) go support him!

Worth a return visit, and many more.

Platypus test kitchen
Clifford centre, level 2.
walk right to the end

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sinur Pagi Nasi Padang

Since work is around the area (city hall / boat quay) - okay not technically work but a course i'm attending - we'd go around the area for good eats, and Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang along circular quay is one of them; a famous nasi padang place with flavourful aromatic and spicy authentic dishes to be eaten with rice.

I ordered 2 meats and sayur lodeh, to accompany white rice. the beef rendang was superb - very flavourful, rich, spicy, and with a very deliciously complex mix of spices that made it so appealing - especially when you coat your rice with the rendang, not even beef was necessary, you could just eat it with rice, know what i'm saying? the beef was very tender also. great. (8.5/10)

although the "fried beef" was supposed to be their speciality, i just can't appreciate it very much, it just seems a little too tough for me; maybe it's just me, but it was really, really, tough. almost like eating jerky. (6.5/10)

the sayur lodeh, on the other hand, was passable. fragrant from the use of coconut milk and quite generous as well. average. (7/10)

it's a bit on the pricey side compared to the wonderful meepok next door, but then i've eaten that meepok so many times already that it's nice to try new things. this one is worth going again.