"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Archive for December, 2010

Zi Zai Vegetarian

This place is always bustling with crowds at all times. With food price ranging from $4 onwards for a one-person’s share hor fun, this is really affordable vegetarian food.

The prata is thick yet crispy with thick curry gravy. The hor fun comes with wok-hei and my favourite is the fried mian xian. The hokkien mee is also good especially when you eat it with its accompanying sambal chilli.

Definitely coming back again, but I will wait for a table at the air-conditioned section the next time.

No GST and service charges.

Reservations is advised.

Stall: Zi Zai Vegetarian 自在斋
Address: Block 801, Tampines Ave 4, #01-281, Singapore 520801
Tel: 6781 1820
Opening Hours: 830 am to 11 pm



Uncle Prawn Restaurant

Located in this newly opened mall, Sunway Giza, Uncle Prawn Restaurant is well-furnished and decorated.

The frog meat was tender and succulent. Similarly to the pork ribs – tender. The talapia fish was cut too thinly. Hence I felt like I was eating really crispy fish crackers. I would have liked it to be cut more thickly so that I could taste some fish. The hor fun was quite well-cooked with a good wok-hei taste. However the beef appeared tougher than expected. The fried rice with a good wok-hei taste too could be more money-worthy with an addition of some big prawns to cater to its restaurant name. I like the crispy egg noodle. However not so for the big prawns. They tasted kind of weird to me. Probably cos’ I’ve never eaten a freshwater river blue-claw prawn. I would have preferred the traditional grey or tiger prawns.

The food was generally on the salty side that caused me to bite onto my fresh ulcers while eating and gulped down a few cups of chinese tea.

Our total bill was RM$357.90. I feel that the food here is over-priced. Any dai chao place would cost only half of this.

Prices exclude 10% service charge. No GST. Reservations is advised.

Restaurant: Uncle Prawn Restaurant 大头虾渔港
Address: Unit A-15, Sunway Giza, Jalan PJU 5/14, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 03 6148 1998
Fax: 03 6148 2998
Website: http://www.uncleprawn.com

Ikoi Japanese Restaurant

Was filled with disappointment with this buffet. To think that my brother has visited this place for three times! I won’t even go there for a second time. Take a look at their buffet menu before heading down.

They do not have soft-shell crab and many kinds of common sushi are not included. I’m also disappointed with their chawanmushi.

Their soba does not have the chewy texture and comes soaked in its dipping sauce. However, I am quite impressed with their FRESH sashimi, especially with its variety of sashimi. Their sashimi tasted really sweet!!!

Not impressive waitresses’ services, especially their uniform. They wear mini skirts with an apron in front. Kind of inappropriate in a hotel restaurant?

Restaurant: Ikoi Japanese Restaurant
Address: 401 Havelock Road #01-01 Hotel Miramar Singapore 169631
Tel: 6887 3788
Opening Hours: Mon–Sun: 11.30am–2pm, 6pm–11pm

Nakhon Kitchen

My family and I had lunch at this neighbourhood place. There was actually a long queue, but it was fast. There were only 11 tables, but the waitress actually took down your orders even before you sit down. Hence when you sit down, your food will be served already.

My impression of olive rice changed ever since. Their olive rice is fragrant on every rice bead. Yummy.

Not so for the rest of the so-so dishes. Come here for value-for-money Thai food. We couldn’t finish the rice and had to pack home as dinner.

No GST nor service charges. Good and friendly servers in the stall.

Restaurant: Nakhon Kitchen
Address: Blk 136 Bedok North Ave 3 #01-166 Singapore 460130
Tel: 6245 5548
Fax: 6286 8741
Email: nakhon.kitchen@gmail.com

Quan An Ngon

Ate at this restaurant on the second last day in Hanoi. After searching it online, it is one of the best restaurants in Hanoi.

So here’s to post what we ate there. Many of the Vietnamese food actually tasted quite similar to our local food. Hence it wasn’t difficult adjusting to their food. The food are really not bad here. Do visit this place should you be in Hanoi.

We had 48 people in the really really big (huge to be exact) restaurant and our bill came up to 5 209 000 dong (approx S$385). This is considered cheap in an atas restaurant!

Restaurant: Quan An Ngon
Address: 18 Phan Boi Chau, Quan Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3942 8162
Fax: (04) 3942 8164
Email: sales@ngonhanoi.com

Vietnam Pho

Been to Hanoi for work purpose in November. Finally tasted their Pho (pronounced: fur). It tasted non other like our local kway tiao soup. What is different is that the soup is not oily and no MSG added. It tasted real good due to the cold weather. I added their chilli too! The first time I had it, I added in a ladle of their chilli. Wow, it was HOT, but super super shiok! Hence, the second time when I ate it, I learnt my lesson to put a little by little.

What surprised me was that the chilli was left uncovered, and on the table put cut chillies, fish sauce, lime and a big basket of raw mint, basil, coriander and parsley, which I had doubts of their cleanliness. Luckily, I didn’t had the slightest food poisoning after eating them. Our pho cost 20 000 dong (approx. S$1.50).

A little of Vietnamese:
pho (fol) = soup
bo (ball) = beef
ga (gaw) = chicken

So look out for stalls that write Pho Bo or Pho Ga to eat these!


Mad for Garlic

I know my cousin’s gonna scream when she sees this post! Her love for garlic will set her screaming “OH MY GOD!!!” now!

Fear not for non-garlic lovers. There are dishes which are suitable and don’t really have too much garlic taste. They are just prepared with more garlic which are not-so-finely-chopped.

The garlic snowing pizza was fantastic – topped with crispy garlic flakes and shredded thin cheese. The crust was thin and crispy. The pineapple bits ensure that there is some sweetness in your mouth amidst the slightly bitter garlic. Small shrimps add on to the biting texture.

I had the Red Devil, which was supposedly rated a 3-chillies hotness. The waiter even asked if the 3-chillies rating was all right for me when I ordered. With much anticipation of a certain level of spiciness, the spaghetti came out to be nothing near to hot. Nothing much spectacular about this pasta. My friends also said the same about their pastas.

The garlic butter shrimps were small which was more appropriate to be placed at the “Starters” category instead of at the “Beef & Special”. The butter taste was faint, and the garlic fragrance wasn’t much enough.

A pity I don’t really fancy garlic, otherwise the Garlic Steak would be most interesting to devour on.

Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST. The garlic snowing pizza was free because we paid using OCBC credit card.

Restaurant: Mad for Garlic
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard #01-039, Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983
Tel: (65) 6333 1507
Fax: (65) 6333 0507
Opening Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Website: http://www.madforgarlic.com.sg/

Seng Kee Black Herbal Chicken Soup

Ooohooo!! Alas a good pig’s kidney mee sua that is in herbal soup! If you don’t like pig’s kidney ($5) or is afraid of the “smell”, you can choose it with plain pork ($4). Really good to eat this when the weather is cold.

Seng Kee is also famous for its seafood, especially steam fish. Other popular dishes include Clay pot Sesame Chicken, Clams La La, Golden Threaded Balls and Fried Pepper Crab Bee Hoon. It was featured in one of MediaCorp’s food program before.

Just be mindful of the China waitresses there who can be quite indifferent and straightforward. You have to order the food yourself at the counter.

Stall: Seng Kee Black Herbal Chicken Soup 成基黑鸡补品
Address:  467 Changi Road Singapore 419887
Tel: 9001 4000
Opening Hours: 5 pm to 4 am, daily

Seremban Roasted Pork Bao

I usually have this whenever I’m in Seremban. However the quality seems to have dipped over the past 10 years and it has lost its “home-made” taste. Nevertheless, I still like this as it’s very flavourful, lotsa pork fillings and most important of all, no fatty meat. RM$1.30 for one. Expensive for a local, isn’t it?

Stall name: Seremban Kee Mei Siew Pow Sdn Bhd 芙蓉奇美烧包有限公司
Address: 1849, Jalan Tok Ungku, 70100 Seremban Negeri Sembilan, D.K., Malaysia
Tel: +60 06 631 6348
Fax: +60 06 632 3442

JK Don Cuisine

A budget japanese and korean cuisine.

A place with bad air ventilation inside. You come out smelling of smoke. Not fantastic food, you can find similar standards or even better ones at any food courts. There were four of us, and we requested for a four-piece chicken wing instead of their usual three. However, we didn’t get what we wanted. So I ended up without a chicken. Portions are quite small. I left the place with much disappointment.

Definitely not a place to revisit. Sorry.

Lime juice – $1.50

Prices exclude 10% service charges. No GST.

Address: 1000 East Coast Parkway, #01-05 Marine Cove, Singapore 449876
Tel: 62451955
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 11.30pm; Sat to Sun: 11.30am – 1.00am

Home-cooked Ma-la Fish 麻辣水煮鱼

My favourite ma la in instant packaging!! I have bought a few different brand packets from China to try, but it was only average. Finally, my parents bought this in Chengdu which gave the taste I have been searching for. My dad says this might be found in the Yu Hua stores in Chinatown. Here’s how the packaging looks like:

We used fresh red garoupa (my mum went fishing recently and caught a super huge one) added some 花椒 (Sichuan Pepper) to add in more numbness. And the final product:


Foo House Gastrobar

Near my work place sits a cosy gastrobar which serves a decent hearty meal. My dad and I came here once before and the first impression I had was “Chinese food”, “grilled duck” ??!?! How weird is that? Under strong recommendation from Daddy, I visited this place. And I must say that the food does not match its name totally. It isn’t Chinese at all. And its grilled duck was surprisingly tasty good. How often do you get duck in a western meal?

On another day, a few colleagues and I came over for lunch. A pity I had a late and full breakfast which left me no choice but to choose a salad. Here’s what we had:

I’m sure the ambience at night would be much better with a few friends and alcohol.

Do visit this place to get a surprise on your palates.

Prices exclude 10% services charges. No GST.

Restaurant: Foo House Gastrobar
Address: 6 Jalan Pari Burong, Picardy Gardens, Singapore 488672
Tel: 64453110 (Call to check if they are open for the day)
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm; 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm daily
Email: foohouse.cafe@gmail.com

What is Goulash?
Goulash (plural: goulashes) is primarily a soup, also existing as stew, usually made of beef, onions, vegetables, spices and ground paprika powder. It originates from Hungary.

With A Pinch of Salt

Was with a friend at Gramercy sales and headed here for dinner. Heard about this place from my colleague who plays the piano here on some occasions, so decided to check it out.

A simple decorated interior that gives a cosy and homely feeling. It’s like a big house dining hall. However it was full that day, so we had to take the al fresco area. A pity the dim exterior was near the drain, with a rainy evening to add on, my friend and I felt mosquitoes gleaming with joy at our legs.

Here’s what we ordered:

Esther Escargots – $8.90 for half dozen
Mrs Snapper Pesto – $15.90
Fish and Chips – $8.90
Total Bill: $33.70. No service charges and GST.

The escargots were pretty tasty. However not so with the fishes. We thought they were just average. Nothing fancy about the food we ordered. We were glad to be greeted and served with friendly waiters and waitresses.

Cafe: With A Pinch of Salt
Address: 297 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437080
Tel: 63482297
Email: eat@withapinchofsalt.com.sg
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm (closed on Mondays)
Website: http://www.withapinchofsalt.com.sg