Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ramen champion - tetsu

Went down to ramen champion with d because I had a ramen craving. You know the late at night just finish working kind. My friend ordered iroha so, not wanting to replicate, I tried tetsu instead. Tetsu sells the dipping style ramen where the soup is served separately - actually more like a gravy- and you dip your noodles soba style. The noodles was pretty chewy a bit like la mian or more accurately shou dao mian. Dip it into the gravy and its delicious- the gravy was very umami and powerful, salty even, but packed with a huge punch. The seafood umami flavors really shown through - pretty robust I have to add.

The tamago was nothing much to shout about but at least it was not hard boiled.

And the good thing is when youve finished your dipping, and return your bowl to the stall, and they will add some daishi stock to mix with the gravy - now it's drinkable as soup. Try it! It is one bowl of tasty soup especially sweet and fragrant, with the daishi stock and all.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Had dinner at kiraku (market street) prior to the big d birthday bash at royal room, and this was indeed a wonderful meal. Slightly pricey yes but well I would say pretty much a healthy delicious and well prepared Japanese meal.

Having coincidentally bumped into a couple of my friends on the way out whilst we were entering the restaurant, I asked them what was nice and they told me - spicy salmon maki- so I had to try that and indeed it was delicious. Fresh salmon in a spicy sauce with other delicious goodies. Yummy. So good I ordered another after that. (8/10)

I was very tempted by the possibility of eating aburi salmon and eel and so I ordered the aburi salmon and Eel set and this was divine - smokey aburi salmon and eel on top of sushi rice- ahhhh the simple pleasure of life. Trust me, I was very sad when the last piece of aburi salmon was gone. (8.5/10)

Sian I think I'm going to get myself a blow torch for good measure. It might be fun aburing salmon, not to mention delicious.

This restaurant is famous for wagyu shabu shabu apparently but the budget told me not to indulge in it- the alternatives dare I say were better

Little part one cafe

Am on a blogging spree now and let's just ignore the picture quality that comes from uploading from the iPhone. N s and I went to the little part one cafe which is a really quaint homely and beautifully decorated cafe in upper Thomson namely along jasmine road. The decor is really amazing full of photos and weird stuff ,

N and s were a little held up in traffic so I had a beer to start off with, a hacker pschorr steinweissbier. Beeradvocate only rated it a b+ so I didn't expect to be wowed but really this was great! Strong aroma, full of spiced bread, and it really tastes of banana and spiced bread just like a good heffweissbier should taste like. So drinkable that in a short Span of time it was gone. My rating: A-

N and s finally arrived so we had our mains which for me was the Belgian fish stew. Pretty good, fresh fish and mussels in a usual marinara styled stock. Pretty pricey though- and I wish there was just more of the hearty tomato stock- and maybe less tomatoish and more- rich.

And at last I finished with a la trappe quadruple which was brilliant - hints of vanilla and very complex. Very nice. I dare say, somewhat more drinkable to my mind than a chimay. A

Kah hiang restaurant - international plaza

The good thing about working at tanjong pagar is the easy access to all sorts of wonderful food and kah hiang is one of them, an old gem that packs in the crowds week in week out, and only during lunchtime mind you.

My partner brought us out for lunch the first time, when I was still a trainee, but this time I went with a few colleagues, for a taste of their heavenly Claypot chicken with cabbage. A heavenly smoky aroma escapes from the claypot, with tender chicken in a delicious gravy which is both smoky, savoury, tasty, and oh so addictive, great for lacing over white rice. So good, it deserves a (9/10). Can still imagine the taste now.

The next dish was the pork with Szechuan vegetables because e wanted to eat this. Good stuff. Not as impressive as the chicken , obviously.

The sambal kangkong was done competently , crisp and fresh. The sauce was just run of the mill but still good. (7/10 for the other dishes)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Be Disloyal!

Indie coffee joints are sprouting up in Singapore at a incredible rate. Recently, someone came up with the idea of introducing a 'disloyalty card', where one would go around to all these little coffee joints to collect 'stamps', and after you've finished going to all 8 cafes, you get a free drink. Pretty good, isn't it? It's good publicity. If you've been to one, you will be tempted to try the other outlets, and you may find something that you'd like (or else just go back to your favourite coffee joint) -

I have had the pleasure of going to all 8 coffee places, so here's a run-through of all the places. I notice that it would not be fair to actually put a rating to it, especially since i'm friends with quite a few of the owners, so I will just give you the low-down, and what to expect.

Here goes, in the order that's presented on the card:

1. The Broers Cafe:
Located at Petain Road, at the start of Jln Besar, the Broers cafe is brightly lit, and is in fact in one of the condominiums in that area. The beans are from Highlander, and they use a Vibienne, if i am not mistaken. You get what you expect from Highlander, pretty consistent, 4 bean blend. Some chocolatey notes, and good with milk.

2. Forty Hands
Harry is the owner of Forty Hands, located at Yong Siak street, in tiong bahru. It is an aussie-style cafe, the beans are sourced from 5 senses which is a famous roastery in Perth. On its day it is one of the best in Singapore. Especially when it first opened, some of the cups i have had from 40 hands were just exceptional: rich, chocolatey, complex, etc. They also have some single origins, which you might be fortunate to have a chance to try. Recently though consistency has been an issue. They do very good tau-sa-pias as well.

3. Jewel Coffee
Jewel Coffee is one of my favourites. The barista, Shin Hao, and owner Adrian, are extremely friendly and nice people, making it a pleasure to come here. And besides it's near my workplace. In fact i think i frequent this joint almost every day. They specialise in single origin coffees, to be drunk any way you want it, syphon, drip, or espresso-based, with their Strada machine [top of the end]. You get all sorts of single origins, from a delightful Tanzania full of berry-like, blackcurrenty flavours, to Lintong, which was very herbal, and of course Brazil, with chocolate notes, and sometimes Sidamo. I often ask for some special favours here, but I should not mention it lest shin Hao and Adrian kill me. ha-ha. but it's excellent.

4. Jimmy Monkey Cafe and Bar
Located at Buona Vista residences off One North, jimmy Monkey was opened by a husband and wife team, with the husband hailing from Melbourne, the land of coffee. It's got an interior that is reminscient of the great melbourne cafes, such as seven seeds and st ali - think tall roofs, natural materials, almost a warehouse look - and of course, there's a slayer as well. Their blend is a blend of costa rica and guatamala. Pretty bright and probably better drunk without milk.

5. Loysel's Toy
Another one of my favourites, Loysel's Toy is from the people that brought you Papa Palheta - Leon's brainchild. They roast their own beans, and it's a great place to chill, with some nice pastries, hot food, etc. and of course the coffee is excellent. Their signature blend is the Terra Firma, which goes very well with milk. Recently they have started offering single origins which are great for me because sometimes you wanna try something different. Loysel's is extremely popular especially on weekends.

6. Oriole Cafe and bar
Oriole boasts two of Singapore's leading baristas, John and Keith, and roasts in-house as well. They supply to many outlets, such as Black, and jewel Coffee. At one time when their beans came from Spinellis they were excellent; at the start when they started roasting their own, standards dropped pretty drastically and I admit I haven't gone back for a long time. But now having tasted their beans from other outlets, they must be doing something right again - probably i will go back soon, ha-ha.

7. Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar
Darren and his wife runs this place - located at Robertson Quay, the Quayside. They roast in-house as well and their blend is called the Thumper blend. It is pretty bright, and quite fruity, although I've given feedback to Darren to perhaps add more body - which he is thinking of doing. Nice environment, and of course, you get great macarons sourced from ET-Artisan Sweets.

8. SOHO Coffee
SOHO coffee is a pretty cool cafe, which has just opened. Located off armenian street, it is a proper food place with lunch, dinner, and brunch menus. I had a pretty good breakfast set that day, but of course today we're here to talk about their coffee. Their blend was pretty good, a 3-bean blend. As a piccolo latte it was competent, but it really shines as an espresso. Nice body, sweet and well-balanced aftertaste.