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Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

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Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

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Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

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Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

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Chocolate Test, Singapore

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M Schulz

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rochor Thai

I've been waiting to drop by Rochor Thai for quite some time and Good Friday was the perfect opportunity. Rochor Thai prides itself on serving MSG-free dishes. 


Lots of Thai-related pictures on the walls.


What is a Thai meal without Tom Yum? We ordered a Tom Yum Talay ($14.80) and this was adequately sweet, sour and spicy. A little salty but goes perfect with rice. I don't normally finish my soup but this was too appetising not to wipe it clean. Prawns, sotong and mushrooms - the seafood was fresh. If only it were a little spicier, this version would make me remember it for a long long time- the mean bowl of tom yum at Aroy-Dee has stuck with me since 3 years ago.


If you subscribe to their mailing list, you get either free Spring Roll or Fish Cake. The spring roll was stuffed with lots of crunchy vegetables. Good but nothing fantastic about it.


I'm not sure why the Moo Pad Krapow ($12.80) was marked "Chef's recommendations". The pork taste was a bit strong and while the basil was fragrant, just felt a little one-dimensional.

(update: We took the leftovers back and it tasted so much better when we ate it again. Spicier and more fragrant.)


We also ordered a Tau Hoo Tun Mor Din ($12.80). The tofu and the sauce was great with the rice. Crab meat was nearly non-existent though.


The Kor Moo Yang ($12.80), grilled pork neck, was chewy and not dry. The pork on its own did not have much flavour and it was with the help of the accompanying spicy sauce that it managed to stand out a little more. I felt that the flavours of the sauce could be a little stronger.


This was the best way to round off the meal- the Mango Sticky Rice ($7.80) was so good. Incredibly sweet mangoes and a small portion of glutinous rice with tau suan which provided that additional crunch.


The food here is slightly above average. Very friendly service. There's free parking across the road. If you have an OCBC card, you can get 10% off with minimum spending of $80.

Rochor Thai 
340 Joo Chiat Road
Tel No: 6 440 3270

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tong Ah Eating House

I think it's always interesting to know the history of streets- I'm thinking of getting this book titled Singapore Street Names: A Study of Toponymics. Anyway Keong Saik Street used to be a red-light district which is now transformed into a hip area crowded with eateries. 


Tong Ah used to be located in an iconic triangular-shaped building down the road but has since shifted here. Being the lazy people we were, we decided to order whatever was recommended and featured in a Channel 8 variety programme.

We ordered the 奇香豆腐 ($8) which had minced pork and chai por laid on the silky tofu. The simplest of ingredients came together to form a very comforting dish.


The 甘香鸡煲 ($10) was something that we have never tried before. Deep fried, the chicken was coated with a rather heavy coating of a slightly spicy sauce. Two or three pieces might be good, but it starts to get a bit gelat after a while.


Another of their famous dish is the 奶皮带子卷 ($15). This dish was an attempt at putting many things together at the same time- lots of mayonnaise, pork floss and scallop. The result is that the mayonnaise and pork floss masked the taste and texture of the scallop. 



The vegetables were a little hard.


The Coffee Pork Ribs were fragrant and the meat was easily separated from the bone.


An inexpensive eatery. Despite ordering the above and an assam fish, the bill came up to less than $20 per person.

Tong Ah Eating House 
35 Keong Saik Road
Tel No: 6 567 4000 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PasarBella

PasarBella- local term for market, and Italian for "beautiful". 


Indeed, it's not often that you get to see such a diverse mix of food stalls housed under the same roof in Singapore. There were also shops selling flowers, vegetables and fruits etc.


Heard so much about Keith Crackling Roast.


I got the Combo Set ($15) which consists of roasted pork and honey pork.  I think the char siew rice stall at a coffee shop in Tanjong Katong beats this hands down. I have been eating the char siew rice at this coffee shop for more than a decade and it has never disappointed- the queues have never shortened either.

Back to this combo, it is enough for 3 to share, provided this is to be merely an appetiser. The crackling roast was... crackling and crispy and lives up to its name. Now, if only the roast pork were a little sweeter, a little more fat and basically everything bad.


Another popular stall is Le Patio. You can't miss it because there is this big paella pan staring at you with that delicious looking food calling your name.

I ordered a Mixed Seafood Paella ($11.90). This is the first time I'm trying Paella and it's always an interesting experience trying new food. First question is, how do I pronounce this? Google tells me pie-ey-a.

Visually pleasing, the rice was slightly moist and was flavourful- I can't really identify the stock that goes into simmering that rice though. The seafood was unfortunately not that fresh.


To me, PasarBella is indeed one of its kind in Singapore. Worth going to soak in the ambience.

If you want to get to PasarBella without a car, fret not! There are free shuttle bus services to and from a bus stop at Sixth Avenue, Clementi MRT, Toa Payoh MRT and Botanic Gardens MRT. Click here for the timings.

PasarBella @ The Grandstand Bukit Timah
200 Turf Club Road

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Aquamarine

I was on a boring bus ride home when I saw 52 Best Buffets by Hungrygowhere in my Inbox. To see the words "best" and "buffets" come together, I refrained from clicking the "delete" button which is what I usually do for most of the emails. 

The theme then was Penang Penang. We decided to drop by for the high tea buffet ($49.45). 


1) Salad, soup and appetisers 

It started off being rather promising. I didn't try the asparagus soup but my mum said it was good. The prawn salad was fresh and the flavours were light and refreshing with the accompaniment of fruits.


2) Japanese food 

The Japanese food section was rather limited in terms of the variety. There was seaweed, edamame, scallops (the kinds you see below), soba and the usual sushi.



3) Asian food 

Whether Penang food or not, I'm categorising all of them here. The Kueh Pie Tee was fragrant because of the dried shrimps in them.


The Char Kway Teow had wok hei and was spicy (people who can't take chilli, you have been warned!).


There was also lok lok, with a tub of hot water at the side to dip the lok lok in. I didn't try these because they didn't look too appetising. But apparently the food couldn't be cooked well even after dumping it in the hot water for quite some time because the water wasn't boiling water.



4) International fare


5) Dessert

I always judge a place based on its desserts.

How is it that a buffet place like this only serves yam and sweet corn ice cream?


The Opera Cake was the best of the lot- suitably bitter with a hint of coffee. The Kueh Lapis looked good but while the layers were distinct and spongey, it isn't fragrant enough. Avoid the puddings like a plague- the powder taste was so strong I classify it as nearly inedible.


Despite the average fare here, service was efficient and polite.

Aquamarine 
Marina Mandarin
6 Raffles Boulevard
Level 4
Tel No: 6 845 1111 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blisshouse Theme Restaurant

I suppose this place has been instagrammed many more times than an average restaurant- the interior is so fairy-tale like that it's difficult not to resist taking too many photographs of this place! 


But fairy tales are after all, fairy tales.



Occupying a very large area on the 3rd floor of Central, this place felt very spacious.


I had the Chicken Roulade ($20). The mushroom in the supposed wild mushroom puree didn't have any of the mushroom goodness- you could see the mushroom but you couldn't taste them. The sweet chilli aioli had a strong mayonnaise taste to it without any hint of sweet chilli. The mashed potatoes were too buttery, which clashed with the mayonnaise. Thank goodness the chicken was not dry and the bacon was not too fatty.


The price of the dish probably includes the price of having the fairy tale theme. However, life is far from a fairy tale and the reality is that the food here isn't worth its price.

Blisshouse Theme Restaurant
The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-21
Tel No. 6 225 5532 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

L'Atelier Tiramisu

Tiramisu in Italian means "pick me up" or "make me happy". In an ideal world, all tiramisus should taste like this. Countless of tiramisus have come and gone, but only this, is worthy of praise. 

Occupying an extremely small shop space, you can ask for takeaway or make do with whatever limited space you have. 


We had the Classico ($6.80) and Lychee ($6.80). As with most food, the original is always the most comforting and endearing. Yet, the lychee tiramisu is not too shabby either. What really makes me impressed about the tiramisu here is that it does not disintegrate into an unidentifiable mess once the fork comes into contact with the tiramisu even though the lady fingers were so moist. Plus, finally it feels like someone has finally got the proportion of mascaporne cheese to lady fingers right.

The Classico had a aromatic coffee taste and it was suitably bitter-sweet. The Lychee, on the other hand, is like the younger sibling of the Classico, free and happy, without a care in the world.


Everything here is so simple yet so complicated. It takes a lot to perfect the skill to make tiramisus. Yet, the simplicity of it all (as seen from the layout of the shop and its website) also stands out. If you need a tiramisu fix, there's no where else you should be.

L'Atelier Tiramisu 
The Central & Clarke Quay
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-09 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kith Cafe (Park Mall)

Somehow, brunch always goes right with this particular friend. Once, it was at Wild Honey where I had the insanely good Tunisian breakfast, another time it was at Penny University which had affordable brunch options. This time, we found ourselves at Park Mall. 

I had the Chicken Mushroom Sandwich ($12). My philosophy towards dishes containing mushrooms is give me plenty of them, sautee them well and the rest doesn't matter anymore. Indeed, the mushrooms were lovely and the grilled chicken was juicy. The thing that was unfortunately wrong in this dish- the chips! Been kept for too long and tasted a little stale. 


You may have to share tables with others as the queue list can get quite long- if you are okay with sharing (indirectly) you life stories with the stranger next to you or listening to that stranger's life stories (i heard that they are doing theatre studies), then why not! 

Park Mall
9 Penang Road
#01-01E
Tel No: 6 338 8611 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just Like It!

Our radar for ice cream is always switched on- who doesn't love a good ice cream after a satisfying meal? Couple that with the novelty factor of a chemistry lab and we are sold. 


Made using liquid nitrogen, you get to choose the flavour of your ice cream and they make the ice cream before you.


Reminiscent of our schooling days when all kinds of mishaps happened in the chemistry lab!


A short introduction on how they make the ice cream.


I got the Durian Ice cream ($6.90). This price is far too expensive for a scoop of ice cream. But for an experience, I guess $6.90 was fine. The verdict- not worth it. It lacks the intensity of the durian flavour and is also less dense than those sold at the good ice cream stalls.



It was an interesting experience but I would always go back to the tried-and-tested ice cream stores.

Just Like It 
Resorts World Sentosa
26 Sentosa Gateway
#01-201 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nara Thai

Many foodies were excited when they heard that Nara Thai Cuisine was coming to the Singapore shores. Afterall, this is a place which was voted Thailand's best restaurant since 2007.  

Starting from the entrance of Nara Thai, you will realise that many of the servers are Thai- we knew we were going to have polite service that day. 


We tried the Hors d'oeuvre Nara ($17.90). This is a platter for those who want to try everything but don't want to eat too much of everything, consisting of Thai fish cake, pandan chicken and satay (you can opt for either chicken or pork). The fish cake was a little hard, the pandan chicken was aromatic and nicely charred while staying juicy, the satay was ordinary, the pomelo salad was basically pomelo and cashew nuts with a drizzle of what I believe was fish sauce.


The Pad Thai Phu Nim ($15.90) was pad thai with soft shell crab. The soft shell crab was a little oily and the flavours of the pad thai was pretty standard.


The Kuey Tiew Kom Yum Kung ($14.90) was spicy but it hasn't quite reached the level of Aroy-Dee. This was spicy with a hint of milkiness. The prawns were gigantic and were chewy.


I would say that it's pretty average fare here and that I would opt for the cheaper option of places like Ah Loy Thai anytime. Service was good.

Nara Thai Restaurant
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#B3-21
Tel: 6 634 5787 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tung Lok Signatures (Changi City Point)

Tung Lok used to be a place that we would go if we wanted the best dim sum. Unfortunately, it has disappeared from our radar for a while because there are simply too many dim sum places to try. Lunch at Tung Lok today, however, was rather average. 


The Century Egg Porridge ($6) was enough to fill 4 small bowls. Plain, old, healthy tasting porridge.


The Tempura Prawns with Wasabi ($4.50) were average- the wasabi taste was muted.


The Crisp Banana Roll ($4.20) was essentially goreng pisang with lotus paste in it- this wasn't the best combination because the sweetness of the lotus paste was competing with the sweetness of the bananas. The texture of both also added to the mushy factor of the roll. It would have been better if they just stuck to the banana without the lotus paste.


The Shrimp Dumplings ($5.50) were average- big and bouncy prawns but they weren't juicy or exceptionally fresh.


Inevitably, comparisons with Tim Ho Wan would arise when eating the Baked Honey Pork Bun ($4.80). We unanimously agreed that those at Tim Ho Wan are better- softer interior and sweeter pork fillings at Tim Ho Wan.


Lastly, the Lotus Paste Pancake ($10) was average.


The Baked Mini Egg Tarts ($4.20) were also over-baked.

All in all, you could find better dim sum at other places at this price. Two places that I will definitely recommend at a similar budget are Summer Pavilion and Royal China.

Tung Lok Signatures (Changi City Point)
Changi City Point
5 Changi Business Park Central 1
#01-26/27