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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 26, 2014

Spices Cafe

For the record, I love crabs. Having a meal at Long Beach or Jumbo is always a treat and I get my hands dirty on those ridiculously fresh, big and juicy crabs. 

Known as Harvest of the Sea Buffet Dinner ($54++), I left work earlier than usual in anticipation of a good meal. 

This is one of the few rare buffet places that is not filled to maximum capacity. 

You get to choose from five kinds of crabs and they will deliver it to your table- you can order all five kinds as many times as you want. Choices of crab include Thai Curry with Basil Leaves Crab, Chili Crab, Black Pepper Crab, Butter & White Pepper Crab and Salted Egg Crab.

We ordered all five to share and my mum really liked the Salted Egg Crab. I found most of the crab choices to be very average. I prefer the versions at the East Coast seafood restaurants anytime over these crabs. Nonetheless, it was quite interesting trying new flavours for the first time- particularly impressionable was the Thai Curry with Basil Leaves Crab.

In general, the crabs didn't taste particularly fresh but nor were they unfresh. It was just that the meat lacked the chewiness and juiciness.

Each person also gets to choose from either a serving of baked half lobster gratinated with cheese or a serving of braised baby abalone with broccoli and mushroom. Unless you love abalones so much, I'm telling you- get the lobster. The lobster was delicious- all that warm melted gooey cheese with the springy lobster meat will make you forget about how your cholesterol is going to rise after this meal.

They also had a section with the seafood laid out on ice. I only tried the scallops here and I have to say that the scallop was pretty bad. It tasted exactly like how scallops would taste like if they were just taken out from the freezer. The scallops were small and dry.

They had a section where the chefs would cook laksa, herbal prawn soup etc.

I tried the Laksa which was pretty good.

The warm food section also had a lot of seafood dishes- Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab, Oats Prawns, Scallops and Broccoli etc. The soft shell crab was very crispy- unfortunately something was missing- the kick of crunching some shells was non-existent. It just felt like limp crab meat hidden below some deep fried goodness.

There was also a salad section. One of the dishes I tried (not in the photograph) was the Chicken Salad with Mango. I couldn't taste or see the mango which was a real pity because it sounded like a good combination.

Thank goodness desserts were fairly decent. I tried the Chocolate Cake and the Lemon Tart. The Chocolate Cake was made of bitter chocolate and didn't have the cheap chocolate cream taste in it. The lemon tart was also refreshing and not sickeningly sweet.

Food here is average, I wouldn't come here to satisfy my seafood craving. Friendly service.

Spices Cafe
Concorde Hotel
100 Orchard Road
Tel: 6 739 8370 

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- 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


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.

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