Friday, December 31, 2010

Royal China at Raffles

Another Sunday opportunity to go out with grans, post friday (very good passive) call. with the new ho I was free for the Sunday, and having slept since 230pm till 8 am the next day I was fully rested to go out. Supposed to spa with kels for the last day of her leave but I guess tiredness set in for her !! (and massive inertia, I suppose). Turned out to be a real rainy day. Gran being the cell group leader, was tasked with buying fruits for one of their house warming (lucky got her grandaughter around to do the saigang) and we very lazily drove even though it was just a block away. The house warming was great - flats these days are really simple but chic; lotsa plants around. Glutinous rice, curry, beehoon and cheng tng galore - old ladies have simple taste indeed. But of cos we left space for lunch/tea. Gave a ride to her fren to Tiong Bahru so she could meet her grandson for Mac Dor Nar (in her own words damn kewt). We headed to Royal China at Raffles (Level 3, Raffles Hotel) thereafter. Parking there on Sundays are a very affordable $6 per entry - didnt know but was forced to park there cos it was raining dogs.
Wanted to go there 2 weeks ago but reservations are a must here. Plus last wk grandma didnt allow me to company her cos I prob looked like a ghost when I woke up. So this time, though I'm post post call I must bring her cos I've been postponing this date!!

Prawn and Chives Dumpling - a veggie twist to the normal har gao - the crystal skin is super sticky ! It sticks onto whatever it touches; including its neighbour dumpling (and to tease them apart after that) and my tea cup.

Thousand layer cake with salted egg; this is like layered liu sha bao (below). Even better balance of egg/custard than the bun itself. This was grandma's favourite.

Slight overkill with the custard/egg thing. I ordered the Liu Sha Bao - Salted Egg and Custard Bun with Mango; Yes this has the mango twist to it - purists (like the very loud group of 3 girls and a guy) will not like it as the mango taste just overwhelms the egg and custard. I guess if you do pay attention the mango is quite a complement to the salted egg and sweet custard. Its got a fruity twist to it.
Chee Cheong Fan with Dough fritters, Hong Kong style - this version is gooooood...but you must eat it early when its still crisp, for when we left for long, the youtiao just got soggy. Everytime I eat these I'm reminded of the good ol elective days with Kels.
Abalone Dumpling - loved the contrast of crisp strings of flour around the soft filling.
Sesame Prawn rolls - the aroma from the sesame seeds makes this very delicious.
Beancurd roll in pumpkin sauce - sounds nicer than it looks and tastes ;P Its got crunchy bits of vegetables within.
Taro roll with scallop - love this! The crisp pastry gave in to mashed taro and topped with a scallop.
As you can imagine, we were VERY FULL when it came to this dish......the chef recommended Shredded Duck with Crystal dumpling skin in chilli oil. Honestly, we forgotten all about this dish cos it was hidden from our sights behind some basket.....this is extremely SPICY!! Loads of Sichuan spices within. The shredded duck was mighty salty, the dumpling skin super smooth, and spices super killer!! gran couldnt take it... haha.
We left to walk to Raffles City where I took her to New Asia Bar to gai gai (love the sights there, as always). Prob my first during daytime too. We browsed around and saw lovely pearl rings and a very very gorgeous watch at Thomas Sabo (more to add to my black/diamonte watch collection). Loved the paintings at the Art gallery at Raflles city too. The extension from Raffles City to Esplanade is spanking new....much much to explore for the next non-rainy day ;) Btw the Xmas tree at Raffles city........can be entered!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Gado Japanese Restaurant

It was a post very good colo/uro call and so being quite rested over the night I was pretty happy to have dinner post call with the family. I rem Kheng saying that this Japanese restaurant - New Gado Japanese Restaurant (Chun Tin Road) was good when we walked past it on the way to Dominos so I went online to get the no to reserve....Its got great reviews online! Supposed to be a family restaurant that has been around for a long time; and has just been renovated. Love the homely decor of this place though - i guess its a convenient place for the bt timah folks to have their Japanese fix! Lotsa families inside. The friendly waitress who answered my mom's call was also there as our host, and the service was really good.
Only problem was the parking - the carpark opposite is always bloody full - dropped mom and sis and bro off, left dad and i to park- i tore the coupons and to my dismay the warden was around (and dad didnt tell me and I tore a bit too far ahead of time) and so we loitered in the carpark around the car (lol with plenty of other couples too!!!!!!all super kiasi) whilst dad finished his drink. It was quite a typical Singaporean sight it was quite hilarious.
Kakiage - the batter was light and was extremely delicious!

Same goes for the soft shell crab.
New Gado has lotsa bento sets - I had the sushi set and this has everything I like -noodles and rice. In particular, I really liked the california roll which has lotsa roe and avocado. The udon is also super Q and the broth delicious. This is Japanese comfort food at its best.
Brother had this bento set- the chiraishi corner looks loaded and he was super full after that.
Mummy had the chiraishi set - and she added the eel too. This is really good value for money (with the addition).
Dad had the beef udon bowl..
And Faris had the wakame udon bowl..
We also ordered lotsa salmon sashimi to share and when they ran out, we had the salmon belly.
This place is indeed quite a gem for comfort Japanese food for Bt Timah families!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Freemantle Seafood Market

Seafood Minestrome soup
Roasted Barramundi with pumpkin risotto
Fish and Chips
Panna Cotta
Gotta love all their retro posters

It was the first day of Chong's posting and with no pt and no rd she was going around being santa - we managed to go out for lunch (but not before a desat happened!) and cabbed out to Freemantle Seafood Market (Clarke Quay) for their set lunch. Actually was supposed to go st to Liang Court to try their beef ramen, but passing Central -we wanted to go shop but the taxi refused to stop for us cos it was way past the drop off point ald so we ended up in Clarke Quay. Feels strange to see it in the day - Zirca, people hanging out in the bars watching repeat soccer matches. But nonetheless it did feel a little unreal being around in Clarke Quay on a working day.

The set menu sounds damn good and we decided the instant we sat down. Loved the posters hanging around the restaurant - so retro and so hilarious. Chongs was describing all the Zouk flyers in the room - what a great idea but mummy would so flip lol. Always asking me to throw out those flyers.

The Seafood minestrome soup came first - most significantly a whole mussel in the soup. Loved the chunks of vegetables in the herby soup. I don't fancy tomato based stuff all that much (unless its my fries dipping into it) but oh after this lovely soup and another previous pasta at District 10 I think I'm changing my mind.

I had the Roasted Barramundi with Pumpkin Risotto (cos this option really jumped up on me when i saw the word risotto). Gosh this is a really really really tiny portion - but everything was really really really tasty esp the risotto. The fish was tender but didnt taste of much. The risotto was soaked in pumpkin puree and was really yumms.

Chongs had the Fish and Chips - boring but good stuff. Ate up much of her fries (my portion was just mighty tiny).

Ended off with Panna Cotta - another tiny portion in a tiny cup and taste very much like cheese cake with berry toppings. Its yummy too.

We had a hard time getting a cab to go back so we decided we'll be conquering all of Clarke Quay's lunch deals - but with the car in the future! (free parking 12-3pm). Chongs was actually more anxious in getting back than I did so after loitering to get a cab (fail) we tried to call one (fail, dunno location) and evenutally dragged our lazy selfs to the taxi stand to get one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cedele cakes

Gula Melaka Cake
Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake
fries and mini fish fillets from Burger Bench and Bar
I realise Mondays arent so painful with wonderful lunches or dinners to look forward to. The past 2 Monday lunches I've eaten with Chong and today really lookin forward to the movie with Kels (though was looking forward to a Spa Sunday lol). Mondays are usu early but with O back, and G rounding at 7pm it ended really late (and Iv in the scopes.......) and I only managed to meet Kels at Cedele (B1, Takashimaya) at 830pm ish, before our movie started. She was in two minds about Megaminds vs Red and she chose the latter eventually...

Parked at Wisma and eventually crawled to Taka - to a really empty Cedele. Was dying to try the Gula Melaka cake and also realised that the Sea salt caramel cheesecake (a special feature for the longest time ald) was still around. Will wanna try the dark chocolate truffle cake some other time.

The gula melaka cake is really like layers of pandan chiffon with kaya in between, and a gula melaka cream and coconut bits gloving the cake. Kels could smell the cake from a mile away but I couldn't. I felt like I was eating a kaya swiss roll but Kels insisted I should try the Rich and Good version which is ultra dense. Cant wait to try it soon.
On the other hand, the sea salt caramel cheesecake's is really really good. The sea salt totally brings out the flavour from the cheesecake - the caramel's lovely too. And Kels loves it too, its a really neat cake for her.

We walked over to Cineleisure looking for something salty. Sorry I spoilt your icecream fun with our sugar overload from Cedele !! Was craving for something salty post cakes so we ended at Burger Bench and Bar for fries and mini fish fillets. Nothing too spectacular except that I discovered another 2 more burgers to try : the green curry catfish burger and the omelette beef burger. After all those savouries I felt like eating a burger but we had to rush off to the movie at 935pm (which started at 945pm). Red was completely full - its a sadist flick;lotsa explosions and dry humour and action and gore which I guess is the male equivalent of a chick flick. I guess now I know how guys feel when they sit thru chick flicks ;P

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Akira Japanese Restaurant, The Link Hotel

We had planned for a team lunch today at Great World City's Imperial Treasure - today was a good day cos of the scientific congress and some teams even made their morning rounds/exit together and encouraged the juniors to go for the conference. S was pretty resistent towards Chinese food, and really wanted to plates and plates of sashimi, so she was pretty happy that the team lunch was eventually cancelled (cos jy had to come back) and we could plan our own lunch. Even the MOs couldnt make it. So D and I drove 8 of us out to Akira Japanese Restaurant (the Link Hotel)- and I shared table with Xh, Yx, and JT. very very happy with our plates of sashimi. Started the meal with the chawanmushi.

JT LOVED the scallops; garlic fried ones piping hot is of cos really good.

Here the mixed sashimi is sliced in chunks but TINY chunks ; and the plates were slow to come! It disappears in seconds, I tell you......go to Ikoi/Irodori for the HUGE chunks.

I loved the eel though......large chunks!

Tamago was sweet ; fried octopus again was JT's favourite.

Fried stuff galore now - agadeshi tofu was mighty delicious when piping hot.
Crabmeat siew mai was not that pipin'....
Mixed tempura was pipin so it was great!
Soft shell crab batter was far too thick...
We had lotsa lotsa sashimi and finally relented with plates of green pods towards the end.....craved for icecream loads as we passes Cheers in the Link Hotel, and actually wanted to plan an icecream outing post work but it didnt happen.... Thinkin back on team 3's good times makes me hungry ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tiong Bahru Yong Tau Foo

When our body temp reaches the levels of the Yong Tau Foo ;) my aftern planning to lumpbumping was bumped by tracing another's old notes! Hot lunch with team4ers/sipers ended with ah nog falling down the pipes to our exclaimation.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fat Boys

Beef Chilli Fries
Onion Rings
It was post the first day of work - I had such a shack day starting at 5am x 2 days in a row that Sat was just saved for sleepin in forever and ever till had to trouble Jas and wm to wait for us since 730 - eh not my fault ah, qian had to go grocery shopping post going out with her sis and i was just in charge of picking her up whenever she finished. We went to Fat Boys (Upper Thomson Road) to satisfy Jasmine's craving for burgers. I think she's been thinking about it so much and kept asking when we'd be free to go! Actually, been wanting to try since Rous told me about it since Playhouse last year, and then I saw the branch at Mohamed Sultan's. But eventually landed up at the original branch here at Upper Thomson. Btw parking here is quite a nighmare alongside this side of the restaurant, but luckily qian knew the way to another parking area ! (albeit a little deserted.) Now I know where to bring pa for the Sichuan Hot pot and more dim sum too ;)

Jas and Wm ordered the above to share whilst waiting for me and qian (and we came just in time for it!). I must say, though the onion rings have a super thickass layer of batter, it was mighty juicy and delicious. The beef chilli fries were just what you'd expect it to taste. Tastes remotely like a particular fast food restaurant's version (Wendy's actually, minus the fries).
My Jalepeno Chilli burger - I'm a greasy burger fan. This burger is a really neat and ungreasy burger!
Yiqian's Skinny Wimp which she gave up the Fat Basterd for. Hahaha.

Well the only way I could distinguish WM (he had one of the menu ones) and Jas's (i think Jas had hers made to order) Chicken burgers were the sides that they had (Jas had coleslaw whilst WM had fries) but now that I took the wrong side profile I had no idea. But they seemed to enjoy their burgers real muchos ;)

My morbid theory came up during the convos that one's existence and enjoyment is built on the suffering of others. Isnt this so ? You are here principally cos your mom had you for 9 months and your parents worked their butts of bringing you up. I can enjoy my weekends cos the on calls are suffering the work for us. We enjoy holidays cos the hotel, airport staff, service staff are there all ready to welcome you. What cynicism ;P

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lai Lai Beef Noodle

Today's gastrect took forever and it turned out to include a splenect (plus, re-went for for hemostas at midnight); hence resulting a really late dinner at 9pm-ish. This was the day that C and i were craving for durians the entire day, and having cravings for random things in Geylang (claypot, porridge, dim sum, etc etc etc) but in the end when Matt scooped us from shaggh we passed by Chinatown and was on the way to Liang Seah instead cos Geylang was just too far away. We ended up at Lai Lai Beef Noodle (Liang Seah Street) cos I had a really good beef bowl here the other time I was here with Xue and Nat( even C remembers Nat raving about it). Its time for a revisit.
We each chose sets so that we could share all the sides. A set included a stewed beef noodle, a side dish and a drink - we all took the red tea bubble tea.

Century Egg Cold Tofu was Matt's favourite. Lovely combination of comfort food.Salt and pepper fried chicken - batter a tad thick for the fried chicken but this will make you crave insanely for the KFC popcorn chicken or the ji pai at Shihlin.
Fried Beancurd - again comfort food.
Chye Poh with omelette: this was my favourite!! Never knew Chye poh tasted SOO good with fried egg. Bit of salty goodness with the chye poh is heavenly.
Stewed beef noodle with noodles- this is their signature noodles in a stewed beef soup, which has quite a unique taste- much like the ox tail soup that my grandma/dad cooks. Its got a herby taste that you've gotta get used to, but other wise the chunks of stewed beef within was marvellous.

Things always taste best the first time round, and I guess thats why I always like surprises ; totally not a creature of habit. Thanks M for the ride home and for the CD too - 60 tracks which my radio unfortunately couldnt play. Miss my food club tremendously ;P till our next durian dinner!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Casa Verde

The last time I made Qian and Jas and E walk all the way into the Ginger garden was for Halia for my dinner to celebrate my start of work and well this time again we crawled (or rather, fumbled in the dark) to celebrate my bebebebelated birthday at Casa Verde (Botanic Gardens, Visitor Centre). Looks like Botanics is the way to go to celebrate the start of things going for moi.

Meeting was at 7pm after Jas's bball; the girls met in the aftern (Itacho's) before J went for bball and Q went to eat her cakes at paragon...while i drowned in sleep. woke up just in time for the dinner at 620pm so hurried down 77 to Botanics at the Gleneagle's entrance and omg it was a friggin long walk in. When i reached the Ginger Gardens I thought i was already there (and there was quite a function going on there....) but the person waved me over - it was at least 400 metres more!!gg!! tired ++ and no bf/lunch in me yet.

By the time I crawled over, I was the first (qian was lost in the dark in the jungle, while jas had to ferry food to her hungry unwell sis) and there were no indoor seats(unexpected so i didnt make a reservation) so we had alfresco lounge seats. uber cool place to really chill - owners with dogs happily sat around us - there was a very cute toy dog beside our table (with two ladies) before the group of I took over. We later saw a huge bear of a dog walk by and enchanted J and Qian mostly (not me).

We ordered before Jasmine came (in a gorgeous lengthy dress her sis got from Phils..very good taste!! and quite inspiring to emulate too.....), and first up was the VERY YUMMY fried calamari -the batter had herbs and extremely fragrant with the gogonzyle sauce. Omg its so breaded and yummy its one of the best calamaris i've had.

Anti Pasti - loved the grilled veggies lotsa - esp the eggplant, and the cold slab of roast beef as well.
I ate half of this (cos qian and jas took a slice each and wanted no more ;P) and I loved how this Italian spring roll (their signature) has such a chewy crust - we changed the stuffing to mushroom and squid with tons of mozarella. Its like a super crusty calzone
The 4 cheese pizza was loaded+++with cheese and there was a distinct blue cheese aroma. It made each slice very clumsy and a challenge to eat on lounge chairs. Lots of cheese, lots of grease, and very happy girls.

We sure needed the energy to walk all the way out - there was no cab all the way out to NIE. Qian was in a rush to go to Kbox while Jas was gonna meet her bf for mj. And she told me the whole story of the girl with the dragon tattoo (must borrow from her soon). I miss my girls so much ;) Miss E loads too; cant wait for her to be back in Dec.