Sunday, December 27, 2009

Penang Hawkers' Fare @ York

Click picture to enlarge

Every year, I pay homage to York Hotel's White Rose Cafe to indulge in what I consider is the best Penang food in town.

Indeed, nothing quite compares to the Penang Hawker fare at York Hotel. The hawkers are especially flown down from Penang and fiercely proud of their food.

The buffet only features less than 15 items..which doesn't really come across as much. However, most items are lovingly prepared ala minute by each individual hawker, which adds to the authenticity of the experience.

Here's a rundown of some items you cannot afford to miss...

- Penang Laksa: Downright delicious with enough tangy-ness to jolt your tastebuds awake.
- Penang kway teow: Only go for the ones cooked by the guy. Remember to enjoy the glistening cubes of lard hidden within
- Ban Chang Kueh: Crispy buttery peanut goodness. So light and addictive you could just keep going on and on.
- Kway Teow Soup: Looks bland and uninteresting but once you take the first sip, you will be instantly converted by the richness of the broth of the smoothness of the noodles, which effortlessly slides down the throat.
- Orh-Luak (oyster omelette): Eaten with an accompanying killer chilli sauce, this cholesterol laden dish is lip smackingly good and is in a class of its own.
- Ice kachang- The ubiquitous dessert star. For a touch of nostalgia, ask for the dessert to be moulded in the shape of a ball.

Word of warning though...if you are planning a romantic date with a significant other, this place is not for you (unless, of course, your significant other is a diehard Penang food fanatic like me). The ambience is simple at best and simulates that of a air conditioned food court, with each hawker manning his own makeshift shopfront. The crowd mainly comprises of big families and elderly folk. As the restaurant doesn't take reservations, do make it a point to be punctual.

Look into her eyes

...what do you see?

Hint: Its a popular Japanese character created by Sanrio.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Malacca Madness

Although it may be some time before I actually do head down Malacca, it is never too late to start planning. =)

Based on snippets of information compiled from various sources (magazines, websites, food forums, blogs etc), I've come up with my very own list of eateries to visit in Malacca.

I can't wait to go!

1. Restoran Aunty Lee
Add: 365 Jalan Ujong Pasir
Tel: 606 2831009
Open for lunch: 1130-2pm, Dinner:6-9pm
Closed on Tuesdays

NOTE: Prior reservations required at all costs!

100 seater restaurant. Must order: Fish Maw Soup, Cincaluk Omelet, Ikan Goreng Chilli Garam (Deep fried dish with chilli paste), Ayam Buah Keluak, Udang Lemak Nanas (Prawns with pineapple), Itek Siu (Duck), Kacang Bendi Ulam (Ladies finger salad), Fried Kangkong with Garlic, Chendol. Remember to buy back Aunty Lee's homemade curry powder and keropok

2. Nancy's Kitchen
Add: 15 Jalan Hang Lekir (off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock)
Tel: 606 2836099
Open for lunch and dinner

Must order: Otak, Kangkong, Nonya Fried Beehoon, Pork Pong Teh, Sek Bak (Pork in black sauce with hard boiled egg), Kueh Pie Tee

3. Ah Lek's Roast Meats
Add: Bunga Raya Hawker Lane
Open: 11am-3pm. Closed fortnightly either on Wed or Thurs

Must order: Roast pork, chicken, sausage and long yok (a special sweetmeat made from liver and pork). Don't bother looking for the signboard- it does not exist. Just head for the first stall on the right as you enter the hawker lane.

4. Jasmine's Nyonya Laksa
Add: 385A Jalan Ujong Pasir
Tel: 6012 3980669
Open: 8-630pm
Closed on alternate Tuesdays

Must order: Nyonya Laksa and homemade Nyonya kaya. Kaya is MYR6 for a 250g tub

5. Grandpa's Curry Puff and Chicken Pie
Add: Yung Lai Siang Coffeeshop, next to Putra Specialist Hospital, corner of Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai and Jalan Bendahara
Tel: 6016 6432200
Open: 730-6pm

Must order: Chicken and potato curry puffs, Red bean and yam puffs, chicken pie, honey lemon and sour plum drink

6. Nadeje Cafe
Add: Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
UB051 & 053 (level 2)
Tel: 606 2843469


Nadeje Patisserie G23 & 25
Jalan PM4, Plaza Mahkota
Tel: 606 2838750 (Closed on Mondays)
Open: 12 noon-10pm

Must order: Feathery light 20 layered pastry layered with custard cream and jam. Choose from 10 flavors including Tiramisu, rum and Raisin, Cheese and Banana Chocolate. Great for teatime snack and buying back as souvenirs.

7. Malacca Straits hotel
Add: 27 Jalan Chan Koon Cheng
Tel: 606 2861888

Must order: Makcik Zaleha's Ayam Rendang (fragrant and aromatic)

8. Mee Kahwin
Add: Stall at Ming Huat coffee shop (opposite Jalan D'Albuquerque, turning into Portugese Settlement)
Tel: 6012 6991724

Must order: Abdul Rahim's Mee Kahwin- a cross between mee rebus and rojak. Eat it with a swig of black vinegar and thick black sauce for a sweet, sour and slightly spicy sensation

9. Hup Huat
Add: Setor A-7, City Park, Jalan Bunga Raya (slightly hidden behind a yong tau foo coffeeshop)
Tel: 606 2842 5634
Open: 830-6pm

Must order: Deep fried wanton (highly addictive). Also serves wanton mee

10. Hoe Kee
Add: 4 Jonker Walk
Tel: 606 2834 751
Open: 8-5pm

Must order: Chicken rice ball, lotus root soup and black bean soup

11. Teo Heng
Add: Wang Food Court (beside Grand Continental Hotel)
Jalan Tun Sri Lanang
Open: 6pm-11pm

Must order: Hoo Khiaw (fish dumplings) served with fish ball noodles and Teochew fish porridge

12. Restoran Lee
Add: 155, Jalan Bendahara
Tel: 609 3612008

Must order: Sri Lankan crabs in milk sauce, beancurd with minced pork, hokkein mee

13. Mr Lim's Nyonya Bak Chang
MYR3 each. Orders can be delivered to your hotel.
Tel: 606 2834734

14. Nyonya Kueh
Lucy: 606 2810368

15. Cendol 88
Add: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat

Must order: Assam laksa and normal chendol. Do note that the sitting area is very cluttered and big groups will be in trouble. Hordes of tourists pack the place so be prepared to queue.

16. Putu Piring @ Tengerah - beside pet shop and 4d toto shop.

Must order: Concentrated palm sugar clusters wrapped in cottony white flour. A bit like kueh tu tu but purportedly 1000 times better. Opens after 7pm- you will see motor bikers and cars illegally parked by the road side, hogging the lane just to take away this.

17. Boon Leong Bunga Raya Oyster Omelete (Orh Chien)
Add: Bunga Raya Food Court (lane off Jalan Bunga Raya)
Open: 7pm-12 midnite.
Closed on Tuesdays

Must order: Orh Chien. Stall has 70 years history and arguably serves the best orh chien in Malacca.

18. Capital Satay Celup
Add: 41, Lorong Bukit Cina
Tel: 606 2835508
Open: 530pm till late
Closed on Mondays

Must order: Satay hotpot (over 60 diff types of skewered seafood, meat and vegetables to be dipped into a cauldron of spicy peanut sauce). Each stick priced at MYR 70 cents. Shopfront looks quite clean. Be prepared to wait at least 20-30min before getting a seat.

Useful Malacca blog references:

If I have missed out any good eats or if you have any feedback on the above listed restaurants, I'd love to hear from you. Please drop me an email at with your comments.

Top 10 grossest food in Singapore

As complied by CNN.

Items include pigs fallopian tubes, turtle soup, century eggs, stinky tofu and hashima. Gross meh?

Century old butter anyone?

Your food might actually outlive you if you stay in the Antarctic.

Christmas lunch at Sage (CLOSED)

Me and my ex colleagues (turned makan kakis) make it a point to meet up once a year for Christmas lunch. Last year we ate at Restaurant Ember. The previous year, it was Buko Nero. Both lunches were nothing short of spectacular.

Needless to say, deciding this year's venue was challenging. After ploughing through several food blogs and websites, we decided on Sage Restaurant. The restaurant has a similar setup to Ember and Buko Nero- it is helmed by a husband and wife team. Hubby cooks while wifey serves. In Sage's case, the couple is exceptionally young- the guy is only 30 years old while the lady is 26.

Since its inception, the restaurant has already received several thumbs up from various local culinary critics. As it was our first visit there, we decided to play safe and order from the set lunch menu. The choices are not as varied as those from Ember although initial prices seem similar (a 3 course set lunch costs SGD38). To our horror, a closer examination of the menu revealed that many of our favored choices required further top-ups. We don't mind topping up an additional amount for foie gras but topping up an additional SGD15 for cod and SGD5 for chocolate fondant seems a tad too exorbitant in my humble opinion. My 3 course meal of mushroom cappuccino (starter), cod (main) and chocolate fondant (dessert) effortlessly catapulted to close to SGD58 (before tax and service charge)!

Complimentary warm herb bread was served on the onset. Staff seemed harried and were zipping around with expressionless faces. The accompanying olive oil, vinegar and cold slabs of butter were divine. The bread was nice but seemed a little too rubbery in texture.

Most of us started off with mushroom cappuccino. Served in a cup, it was thick, wispy and utterly delicious. The hints of cappuccino added a wicked twist to the harmless looking liquid.

For main courses, some of us ordered the cod while the rest had duck confit.

The cod was perfectly grilled and was served atop a potato base with an accompanying jade green sauce. I appreciated the subtle cognac undertones but wished that the cod had been more robustly flavored.

The cod is a little too bland for my liking...

The duck confit elicited a mixture of oohs and aahs when it arrived. The portion was generous and well worth the additional top up of SGD8. The piece de resistance was its crispy caramelised skin, which left a satisfying fatty aftertaste in the mouth (akin to eating german pork knuckles). The duck meat was stringy but full of flavor. We also enjoyed the bed of braised cabbage hidden under the duck leg, with a number of us likening its taste to "mei cai kou rou". I wish I had ordered duck confit as my main course instead.

Order this if you have a hearty appetite and like fatty crackly meat...

Perhaps the greatest letdown of the meal was the chocolate fondant. Being chocoholics, all of us unanimously ordered this item as dessert. It was very pretty and came with a scoop of pistacho ice cream and a shot of vanilla creme. Unfortunately, tastewise, the fondant failed to impress with its jarring sweet and bitter cocoa undertones which did not fuse seamlessly together. The outer crust also came across a little too dry.

the biggest letdown of the meal...

At the price we were paying, I would have expected more from this restaurant. Okay for a business lunch (given its chic modern ambience) but not recommended for a meal with friends.

Back from Hong Kong

After 4 days of indulgent gorging and shopping in Hong Kong and Macau, we're back in Singapore.

Hong Kong's food is great but Singapore food still wins for its wide variety and spicy lemak factor.

Here's what we had the moment we touched down in Singapore

Fishball noodles drenched with tons of chilli (from a Tampines St 11 coffeeshop)

Chicken and Mutton satay (from Satay Solo at Bedok Corner Food Centre)

Stay tuned for a rundown of our food adventures in Hong Kong!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Marutama Ramen

To me, the best part of eating Marutama Ramen is the EGG

Some folks swear by the char siew which comes in huge meaty discs with spirals of fats. The meat effortlessly melts in the mouth and oozes with fatty goodness. (Unfortunately, being the die hard traditionalist that I am, Kay Lee's honey crusted version still wins by a whisker)

Others harbor an soft spot for Marutama's thick soup stock which is saturated with meat juices, seaweed, spring onions and a tasty dashi base. Liberally sprinkle lashings of crunchy garlic chips on the noodles if you are a garlic lover like me (beware of dragon's breath though). I've seen many a grown man ask for second helpings of the soup, only to slurp it down within seconds. Seriously, its that good.

The egg however takes center stage for me. I could eat ten of these at one go and I'm not joking. Let's take a closer look.

See the elusive yolk glistening within the egg white? This is worth its weight in gold. How the chefs manage to maintain its spherical shape whilst keeping the insides semi solid is a mystery.

Once you pop the whole egg into your mouth and take your virgin bite, the result is life changing. There's no more turning back. Eggs will never taste the same again.

Several egg lovers have since aspired to unravel the secret recipe behind making this perfect egg. Chubby Hubby shares his version over here

6 ways to know its Christmas in Singapore

1. Your office elevator starts streaming Christmas music
2. Restaurants are aggressively promoting Christmas themed food and drink (Christmas tea anyone?)
3. (Almost) everyone in office is on leave and those left behind have no mood to work
4. Orchard Road suddenly gets all shimmery
5. Your mailbox gets stuffed with Christmas sale flyers
6. It rains almost everyday.

Merry Christmas in advance everyone!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pu Tien @ Tampines Mall

After catching a movie today, hubby and I randomly walked into Pu Tien @ Tampines Mall for lunch today. No reservations, no expectations, nothing.

I've been a little shellfish crazy these days so I tried ordering bamboo clams. Unfortunately, they were not in season.

Thankfully, there was chili lala (or mussels). Not as piquant as the ones at hawker centres but satisfying nonetheless.


Better yet, I surprised myself by ordering a hairy crab (thinking to myself...what the hell..there's always a first time). Sensing my apprehension, a very nice elderly waitress patiently ripped apart the crustacean for me and even arranged it nicely on a plate. Thank you auntie!


and after

People always say the best part of a hairy crab is its roe. I couldn't agree more. The roe tastes like a cheesier version of uni-creamy, rich and finger licking good. Ditch the tiny morsels of meat and go straight for the roe!

Go for Gold

Other less exciting dishes ordered were battered eggplant with pork floss, sweet and sour pork with lychee...and of course, Pu Tien's very famous Hing Hwa fried bee hoon.

Notice how the eggplant is practically buried in the floss

Sweet and sour pork with lychees.. palatable but otherwise ordinary

I almost forgot how good the beehoon was. In fact, I liked it so much I forgot to take a picture of it. The strands of beehoon were so light and airy that they almost melted in my mouth. You've got to try it to believe it.

Our unexpectedly indulgent lunch set me poorer by 93 bucks (the crab alone cost SGD38 but came with complimentary dessert). Nonetheless, given the novelty of the experience, I guess it helps soothe the sting somewhat.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mistakes and what they mean

If a barber makes a mistake, it is a new style

If a driver makes a mistake, it is a new path

If a engineer makes a mistake, it is a new venture

If parents makes a mistake, it is a new generation

If a politician makes a mistake, it is a new law

If a scientist makes a mistake, it is a new invention

If a tailor makes a mistake, it is a new fashion

If a teacher makes a mistake , it is a new theory

If our boss makes a mistake, it is a new idea

If an employee makes a mistake,

It is a 'Mistake'

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cards and Such

I've been a loyal subscriber of the Feed at Raffles card for donkey years.

When I initially took up membership, it seemed like a dream come true- 50% off the bill (for a table of 2 diners) at various fine restaurants like Bar and Billard Room, Plaza Market Cafe, Inagiku, Pregos and Ellenborough Market Cafe.

Unfortunately, 5 years, 10 kilos and hundreds of discounted meals later, the novelty seems to have died off. Prices have progressively increased at most of the restaurants and some dining discounts have been significantly reduced (e.g at Plaza Market Cafe, you no longer enjoy 50% off for 2 diners). The food selection and quality also seem to have somewhat deteriorated in restaurants like Bar and Billard Room.

The hunt has thus begun for other dining card alternatives. Several interesting ones have sprung up over the years and I've shortlisted the below few for serious consideration...

1) The White Card. Quite pricey at SGD535 per annum. However there is a current tie up with UOB where you can enjoy the card and accompanying privileges for an annual fee of SGD180. A discount structure similar to the Feed at Raffles Card applies. i.e. 50% food discount for 2 diners, 33% discount for 3 pax and 25% for 4. Restaurants covered are mid to upper tier (includes places like Cafe Iguana, Wild Rocket, Man Fu Yuan, Il Lido and Ko).

2) The iWish Card. Reasonably priced at SG98 per annum and fully transferable. Proceeds will be used to further charitable causes (e.g. job creation for the physically challenged). Most of the discounts offered are only applicable for weekday lunches. Participating restaurants include The Rice Table at International Building (1 for 1 set lunch and set dinner), Original Sin and Michelangelo's at Holland Village (1 for 1 weekday set lunch) and Zambuca at Pan Pacific (1 for 1 weekday set lunch).

3) eat @ Meritus Membership Card. You can get this card free when you apply for OCBC Platinum Mastercard, Titanium Mastercard or Artscard (first year annual fee is waived) Excludes co-branded cards like Robinsons, Best Denki and Ikea card. For existing OCBC Card Members holding OCBC Platinum Mastercard, Titanium Mastercard and Artscard, you can also get the card free by calling 62212340 and follow the instructions. A discount structure similar to the Feed at Raffles Card applies (i.e. 50% off for 2 diners, 33% off for 3 and 25% off for 4)

Participating restaurants are Chatterbox, Lobby Bar, Observation Lounge, Pine Court Triple Three (Meritus Mandarin @ Orchard), AquaMarine, Atrium Lounge, Peach Blossoms, Pool Garden, Restaurant Bologna (Marine Mandarin), Horizon and Cascade Pool Bar, Niyom Thai Restaurant, Pelangi Lounge, Spice Market Restaurant, Tepang Cenang Beach Bar, The Boat House BBQ Restaurant and Pub (Meritus Pelangi). On top of dining discounts, a host of other discounts ranging from a discounted weekend hotel stay (SGD120 nett inclusve of breakfast for 2) apply.

My advice- its a win-win situation- there's nothing to lose! Quickly grab the card before the offer expires on 31Dec09. After 1 year, if you find the card useless, cancel it!

4) Bakerzin Membership Card. Bakerzin is the next best thing to home cooked food on weekday evenings where we are too lazy to think of what to eat. The food is reasonably priced with a wholesome selection of western and asian favorites. At SGD20, this card entitles you to 10% off all meals (20% on your birthday month). You also get a whole stash of welcome treats valued at over SGD60. (these include a box of 6 assorted macrons, a free dessert, tea, soup of the day as well as a free snack). What's there not to like about Bakerzin?

5) The Hyatt Membership Card.
Benefits include a dining card with a discount structure similar to the Raffles Card at all participating restaurants in Hyatt (e.g. Pete's Place, Straits Kitchen, Mezza9), free carpark coupons valued at SGD72 and a SGD120 dining voucher.

From now till 31Dec09, sign up for this card at a discounted rate of SGD348 (usual price SGD408). Prices exclude GST.

H's Beef Stew

On cold rainy days like these, its always nice to cuddle up at home and treat yourself to a steaming bowl of stew.

My previous attempts at making stew have not been very successful. I tried making Nonya Tau Yew Bak a couple of months back but failed miserably (apparently, the stew was not left to simmer long enough, resulting in tough strands of meat and bland tasting tau kwa).

H, on the other hand is a culinary maestro. She never fails to inspire. I am a huge fan of her rocky road brownies.

When H heard of my failed stew attempt, she generously shared her own favorite stew recipe with me. I tried it last weekend and am happy to report that it tastes delicious!

H's Beef Stew (serves 4)

The Ingredients

1kg beef (choose cuts which are suitable for stewing), cut into inch sized cubes
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, cut into big chunks
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp each of dry basil and ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp English mustard
1 rounded tblespoon of tomato paste (Hunt's brand)
1 small bottle of red wine
3 cups of water (or enough water to fully cover your meat)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbspn balsamic vinegar
Pita bread (slightly toasted)

Heat butter and fry onions under high heat.

When onions turn transluscent, add meat, ground nutmeg and herbs, stirring to prevent sticking to pot.
Pre-browned meat

Post browned meat

When meat browns, adjust to medium heat, add tomato paste and tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a pot. Add red wine, bay leaves and mustard. Stir well for 2 minutes. Then add water and balsamic vinegar.

Upon boiling, turn down to small fire. Add salt, sugar, carrots, celery and 2 potatoes and stew for 2 hours.

Thereafter, throw in the remaining potato and stew for a further 1 hour.

Viola. Its done!

Meat should be tender and break easily when pierced through with a fork

Leave to cool and put in fridge overnight (stew always tastes better when left overnight).

Serve with toasted pita bread the following day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Video of the Week

Infamous French prankster Remi Gaillard shows us who the REAL Batman is!

Once Upon A Milk Shake

Ice ice baby

I'm glad some bigwig has decided to convert Maxwell Chambers into what it is today. The ground level is now lined with promising food outlets, all waiting to be slowly explored and savored.

One such gem is dessert haven Once Upon a Milk Shake". Everything about the shop squeals cutesy.

The walls are splashed with cheery purple and white hues, the menu board resembles a slab of grass and even the milkshakes/ice creams sport strange sounding names (all trademarked!) like:

Agent Strawberry: 100% fresh strawberries
Grumbling raisins: Flavorful rum with rum soaked raisins
Chocolate Truffle Castle: Mouth watering chocolate with truffle bits
Nutty Peanut Butler: Smooth and creamy peanut butter with crunchy peanuts
Spooky mocha: Aromatic coffee beans with chocolate
Cerious maple: Maple syrup with crunchy maple cereals
Vainilla pot: Simple and rich vanilla flavour
Sir Cookies & Cream: Rich vanilla with good old (did they mean ol?) Oreo cookies
Pirate Queen Prach: 100% real peaches

The owner(s) must have pretty big plans for the shop. Check out the pretty milkshake containers (which come in mini and regular sizes). Even the serviettes are embossed with the restaurant's logo!

My only grouse? The seats are boxy, low and rather uncomfortable. Pricing also seems a little too steep for my liking- I paid abt 3 bucks for a mini (really mini!) 210ml cookies and cream milkshake which was gone in under 4 slurps. Nonetheless, it is evident that the shop uses quality ingredients for all its products. The vanilla ice cream used in my milkshake was studded with pretty little vanilla bean speckles and was sufficiently rich and smooth.

To ramp up patronage on weekends, the shop is running an "ice cream by candlelight" promotion every sat from 8-9pm where one can enjoy milkshakes and ice cream under candlelight (free parking!)

Given the dearth of good ice cream hangouts in the CBD area, this is one place I will definitely be returning to every time I need a quick ice cream fix after lunch.

Streaming for Food

As if streaming in schools wasn't bad enough, Botak Jones has now come up with a promotion to reward kids for their academic efforts using a similar method.

Here's how it works:
Grade Average above 85%: 10% off total bill and a free fish and chips for the (smart) kid
Grade Average 70-84%: 10% off total bill and a free mini me botak burger for the (not so smart) kid
Grade Average 50-69%: 10% off total bill and a free dessert for the (least smart) kid

Note: Grade Average: means average score of all subjects taken. Report book or photocopy of results has to be brought to shop for verification

For further details, check out the below poster:

I'm so glad I've already graduated from school. Imagine how demoralising it must feel to only qualify for a free dessert when the smarter kids in neighbouring tables have earned themselves a fish and chips.

Its tough being a kid these days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Astons Specialities @ East Coast Road

A for Astons

I always thought Astons was a does one get by charging less than 20 bucks for a decent steak?

Thankfully, this is one instance where I am happy to be proven wrong. After what must have been a hundred procrastinations, I finally found the opportunity to visit the restaurant on a late Sunday evening without having to brave the infamous queue.

The restaurant's ambience is a cross between Burger King and Swensens, with practical booth seating and color tinted hanging lights. Perfect for casual family dinners.

There were hints of weariness on the young servers' faces and the floor felt a little grimy. Perhaps it was coming to closing time. I guess you can't expect tip top service/ambience when you are not paying top dollar.

Drinks are relatively cheap. I couldn't finish my mug of root beer (SGD1.80) but hubby happily gulped down 2 glasses of orange juice (SGD1.80 each). For mains, we ordered grilled fish with herbs and the New York Strip.

My fish dish tasted exactly how it looked- simply grilled and generously coated with herbs.and an asparagus cream sauce. At SGD7.20 a portion, you only get one small piece of fillet- so you will have to heavily rely on the sides to fill you up. Not recommended for big hungry men.

I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 sides of mashed potatoes and onion rings, The mashed potatoes were out of the world, with just the right amount of fluffiness, buttery goodness and brown gravy. Less exceptional but equally satisfying were the onion rings, which boasted sufficient crunch.

Hubby's New York Strip (SGD14.90) came perfectly grilled (medium rare). The accompanying mushroom sauce looked suspiciously like an enhanced version of the brown sauce used to douse the mashed potatoes. Nonetheless, it complemented the meat nicely.

We are secretly proud that despite its local origins, Astons has managed to hold its own in a market saturated with established angmoh steak joints. Whilst its no frills dining concept is evident in some areas, the restaurant more than makes up for it through its good value food offerings.

Hubby is already planning a return visit to try their promotional wagyu steak.

For a rundown of Aston's menu and prices, check out the below link: (the East Coast outlet falls under the Astons Specialities category)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Happy Monday

Let's face it. We Singaporeans aren't very happy people. Just check out the stoid expressions on people's faces when they make their way to work (esp on Monday mornings).

Guess the rat race can get rather stifling at times.

Thankfully, there are other places around the world where every other day of the week could just as well be coined Happy Day.

How great is that?

Happy Monday everyone!

You Go Gal!

South Korean granny passes driving test after 950 tries!

The Charm of Champagne

Hallo! Do you like champagne (or the idea of drinking champagne) but are deterred by the expensive price tag?

Here are 3 ideas how to enjoy champagne without burning a hole in your pocket:

1. Try your luck at winning some really good champagne from G.H.Mumm.

Instructions: Pen down your ideal home party concept in no more than 150 words and stand a chance to win your home style party pack!

Send all entries to:

The winner stands a chance to win 12 bottles of G.H.MUMM Champagne (worth $1,440) + $500 cash prize

Details can be found in the below link:

2. Alternatively, if you are a girl who absolutely adores champagne but lacks the knack for writing, round up 5 other girlfriends to form a party of 6 and head down to Majestic Bar anytime between 5-9pm for a free bottle of champagne. Although the champagne probably wouldn't taste as good as G. H. least its free! (Click here for details)

3. For ladies only. Visit the lovely Soma Bar at Tanglin Mall on Thursday evenings between 6-9pm to enjoy free flow champagne at 28++. For details, click on below link:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wanton Women

They've been at it for as long as I can remember...from pre-renovation East Coast Lagoon days up till present. You've just gotta salute em for their dedication- these wanton women.

I've loved wantons since young. Smooth, silky and dripping with gravy goodness. I swear I could just eat wantons from this shop and leave one happy customer. The secret's gotta lie in the chili, which bears hints of dried shrimp and crunchy salted fish. One bite and you will be instantly hooked. Word of warning though- this chili can pack quite a punch so do keep some cold drinks at bay!

Soggy wantons smothered in chili

Normal people would however make a beeline for the shop's famous barbeque pork noodles. The thin yellow noodles are doused with the same signature chili sauce- with a few slices of char siew and wantons thrown in for good measure. The noodles taste good regardless of whether they are eaten piping hot or soggy and stone cold. At only SGD3 per serving, this dish bears testament to the fact that sometimes, the best things in life do not have to cost an arm and leg.

Hwa Kee Barbeque Pork Noodles
East Coast Lagoon Food Centre
Stall No 45
(closed on Wednesdays)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Shared Moments @ Sushi Tei Competition

If you like taking pictures, this contest may just be the one for you.

Organised by Sushi Tei, all you have to do is to submit your best creative shot capturing a special moment experienced at any Sushi Tei outlet demonstrating why it is the special place for fun filled moments with your friends, family or loved ones.

Instructions for submission: Each photo is to be accompanied by a tagline of no more than 20 words telling a story, reflecting the atmosphere of the moment, the purpose of the gathering or simply what Sushi Tei means to you.

An example:
(A very lame) caption: I don't know what you do but you do it well- I'm under your spell.

Send entries to: with subject heading "Shared Moments at Sushi Tei photo competition" with your name, ic no, contact details and mailing address.

Deadline: 23 Nov09

For further details, click on the below link:

Prizes are attractive. First prize is a SGD500 sushi tei voucher, a fujifilm camera and a 1 yr magazine subscription. In addition, there are 5 consolation prizes comprising of SGD200 sushi tei vouchers and a 1 yr magazine subscription.

Good luck!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tequila Blue

You know its Halloween when you step into a restaurant and see this:

Trick or treat

And this:

A hanging skull under the exit sign

Tequila Blue is the kind of restaurant/pub which exudes an unexplainable homely charm.

Mexican food ain't really my cup of tea but there are certain items in the menu which taste so good that I wouldn't mind coming back for seconds, thirds and more.

Starters (SGD4.50). Nachos with chilled guacamole dip. Crisp and refreshing.

Chicken chimichanga (SGD13.95). Battered Mexican-style spring rolls stuffed with chicken, gooey cheese and mixed peppers. Topped with tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream, green chilli and all things nice. The accompanying sides of black beans and rice were hearty and delicious.

Chilli Colorado (SGD14.50). We mistakenly expected the dish to resemble chili con carne. What we got instead was a shredded chili beef stew seeped in a tomato reduction. The beef tasted pretty good on its own but was probably meant to be eaten with the accompanying sides of nachos and rice.

Apple Mojito (SGD10): A mix of rum, apple soda and lime. Decent but not mindblowing. I should have opted for a magarita instead.

On top of the ala carte menu, the restaurant also offers BBQ favorites like steaks, burgers, sausages and wagyu burgers on Fri and Sat from 630-1030pm and Sundays from 1230-630pm. Prices are pocket friendly and start from SGD8.95 onwards. On Sundays, patrons can even enjoy a complimentary glass of Bucks Fizz.

It must have been my unlucky day because 1) there is an ongoing Standard Chartered credit card promotion (offering a whopping 25% discount off all food items) and I forgot to bring my card and 2) I would have so loved to attend the Halloween Party (which was barely 2 hours away).

Which gives me all the more reason to make a return visit. =)

I also like the fact that the restaurant closes at midnight. That gives me ample time to make my way there after a long day at work.

Macaron Lovers' Alert

Bakerzin macarons are going at SGD1 (SGD1.05 to be exact after factoring GST) each for the month of Nov!

Julie & Julia

A must watch for foodies, Julie & Julia is a movie chronicling the culinary exploits of food legend Julia Child and Julia Child-wannabe Julie Powell.

Throughout the movie, Meryl Streep (who stars as the burlesque Julia Child) and Amy Adams (who stars as urbanite Julie Powell) play with animal parts, recite recipes and cook up a feast.

Little wonder that after watching the movie, I have resolved to do the following

1. Buy the cookbook " The Art of French Cooking" written by Julia Child herself and learn how to make that infamous bouef bouguignon featured in the show (Note: Borders at Wheelock has run out of stock for this book)

2. Buy myself a Le Creuset cast iron "french oven" (it must be orange)

3. Learn how to perfectly poach an egg.

4. Wear pearls while cooking.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Arinco King (CLOSED DOWN)

Rin(g) my Bell

I was trembling with anticipation as I made my way down to Ion Food Hall on a Monday morning to pay homage to the much raved about Arinco King.

Good news. No queue! Arinco Fever must have finally died down.

After randomly scanning through the list of items available (sandcakes and rollcakes), I decided to order the salt caramel rollcake, which is touted to be the best selling item in the shop.

The rollcakes. Choose from vanilla, salt caramel and matcha. Each flavor comes with its own unique box, complete with ice packs that can last for up to 3 hours.

The equally pretty but not so sale-able sandcakes, which are much cheaper (but purportedly less tasty) than the rollcakes

At SGD18 per roll, the salt caramel rollcake is no cheap treat. The store doesn't sell individual slices (so its one whole roll or nothing). Each roll ain't that long either- it can comfortably feed 5 people at most.

A life size salt caramel rollcake strategically placed on the counter to tease us rabid foodies....

Consumed by greed, I decided to dispense with niceties and ask for a slice of the roll to be cut for me a la minute . The service staff obliged and proceeded to do so with utmost precision and finesse. I was suitably impressed.

The roll was every bit as scrumptious as it looked, with a sinfully rich cream centre spiked with hints of bittersweet caramel, encased in a velvety sponge exterior. This was unlike any other roll I had ever eaten. Everything about it was fresh, exquisite and delicious.

Due to the open concept of the Food Hall, seating is highly limited. It was a mean feat trying to gingerly cradle my handbag in one hand whilst eating my precious roll with the other. Nonetheless, with the JPY skyrocketing at such high levels against the SGD these days, this is a small price to pay for a piece of Japanese heaven right here in Singapore.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

News Alert for Eastlanders

For Eastlanders out there with a weakness for fried chicken and cajun fries...Popeyes has opened an outlet in Century Square (#05-14)

Now that's one less reason to trudge all the way to Changi Airport for your Popeyes fix.

The holy grail

Some trivia about Popeyes (taken from their website)

1. Began in 1972 in New Orleans
2. Named after the character Popeye Doyle in the movie "The French Connection" (Oh..and I always thought it was named after the cartoon...)
3. Has beaten KFC before in a nationwide taste test
4. On facebook and twitter (!)

Think you're a foodie? Challenge

I love taking part in contests/lucky draws, especially those that possess the below qualities:

1) Prizes are many and too good to miss
2) Companies are of decent standing and wouldn't randomly circulate/sell my particulars to some data companies which will spam my mailbox
3) Not many people know of the contest (thus increasing the probability of winning)
4) The contest subject is close to my heart e.g. food related
5) It doesn't take too much effort to complete the application form

This "strategy" has paid off quite handsomely so far. Some of the items I have won to date include ipods, movie tickets, toiletries and food vouchers. Although some might think it is a little frivolous to go gaga over such insignificant freebies, its amazing how these little surprises can add color to an otherwise dull (and luckless) day.

Over time, I'll be intermittently posting up details on contests which I think are too good to miss.
Here's one to start off:

Pan Pacific's Think You're a Foodie? Challenge
This contest is pretty straightforward. Every Mon, a Japanese-food-related question will be posted in the below link.

All you have to do is to be one of the first 2 folks to email the correct answer (together with your name, ic and contact no) to with the subject header "Think You're a Foodie?" and you'll soon find yourself feasting on a delectable "Keyaki Palate Pleaser" (includes two pieces each of Blue Fin Tuna, Yellowtail and Scallop sashimi and a bottle of Keyaki Sake (180ml)).


The catch? You have to be the first 2 to email the correct answer. Which means that if you really want to win, you should standby your computer at 12am on Sunday night and keep refreshing the above link to ensure that you are the first to receive (and respond to) the updated question of the week.

May the "win" be with you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Ma Ma Ma Mia...

This is a distinctly Singaporean Japanese restaurant. The chefs are local, the servers do not speak Japanese and even the food seems catered to local tastebuds.

Having said that, there's a definite charm to the place that keeps me returning for more. The unassuming interior resonates with warmth, its simple yet cosy ambience making it an ideal spot for a quiet weekday meal. Service is sincere (though occasionally lacking during peak hours) and the food is generally good.

Whilst the menu boasts a decent selection of assorted raw fish, these do not feature as prominently as the cooked items.

In our latest visit to the restaurant, my partner and I decided to order our usual favorites as well as a couple of new dishes.

Salmon Sashimi- Quality is generally above average, but can vary depending on the cut of the fish and day of the week. Slices are thick and bear hints of sweetness. (Note: We opted for Agi sashimi in an earlier visit and didn't enjoy it at all)

Fried Salmon Skin- The greyish salmon skin looked hideous in its unmasked glory but passed the taste test with flying colors. The bite sized pieces were light and crisp, with a texture and taste similar to that of seasoned seaweed.

Megumi Maki- This is one of my personal favorites. The clean fresh flavors of avocado, cucumber and crabstick drizzled with a generous mountain of ebiko roe never fail to strike the right chord in me.
Miso baked eggplant- Another personal favorite of mine. The nutty miso paste slathered liberally on the soft underbelly of the grilled eggplant is highly addictive. This is one mushy dish that is very, very good.Garlic Fried Rice- A serving of this dish can feed 2. Each grain of rice is bursting with wok hei goodness- definitely one of the better versions of garlic fried rice I have tried so far.

Unagi tofu- I am typically not a fan of unagi so this dish does not particularly appeal to me. The tasty batter encasing the unagi crusted tofu however makes all the difference. If only I could just order the batter and tofu alone.

Drinks- We usually order ice green tea. However, being a sucker for packaging, I decided to order a bottle of Maru (currently on promotion at SGD28 per bottle). Maru is a gimicky dry white wine which is supposed to go well with "sushi and asian food". It added unparalled sweetness to the raw fish and heightened our dining experience to almost dizzying levels (alcohol level is 12%). We couldn't finish the whole bottle and barely made it home that night.

If you are driving, do note that parking space directly outside the restaurant is highly limited. Your best bet is to park at the public carpark across the road (beside the Shell Station) and take a short stroll over.

Reservations are strongly recommended. The best days to visit are Tuesdays to Thursdays.


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