"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

BBQ/Grill

Mookata Traditional Thai BBQ

Mum suggested going to Mookata for lunch today! Ah, finally something different! So I Googled for Mookata and this place was one of the few that opens for lunch. Most Mookatas are only opened from 5pm or 6pm. I wonder why.

The restaurant was surprisingly not crowded at 1pm. It was clean and aircon was chilling. And fume hoods to minimise the smelly smoke from the cooking. The mookata pot was huge. It was placed on a metal tray.

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Flaming hot charcoal burns underneath the pot. I was quite scared that the sparks might hit my face or eyes. Luckily it didn’t happen.

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We ordered the set for four people. It is a combination of marinated chicken (thigh), pork (collar), prawns, squid, suriyaki, streaky bacon, pork belly, fishball, meatball, crabsticks, otah fishcake, round cabbage, chinese cabbage, kang kong, xiao bai cai, corn, golden mushroom, eggs, tung hoon and tofu, for $68.90. IT WAS EXPENSIVE! Dad was all disappointed with the portion. However, the marinate of the meat was tasty and mum enjoyed it very much. We even ordered an additional 200g of the yummy chicken thigh ($7.50). Needless to say, the soup was very yummy and I liked that it wasn’t too salty.

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The chilli came in three levels – mild, spicy and hot. I tried all three and yes, they were really different. The hot was still not too hot but had a punch! The chilli dip was good!

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The bbq area was made too round, mum kept complaining about the food sliding off. The pot became charred very quickly. This set for four didn’t really fill our stomachs.

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Will I visit this place again? Yes, the place was comfortable and food was fresh and tasty. They were much more tasty than other steamboat or mookata food that I have eaten. No, food was on the pricey side.

Rice is at 90 cents per bowl. Plain water is complimentary. Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST.

Restaurant: Mookata Traditional Thai BBQ
Address: 103/105 East Coast Road, Singapore 428797
Tel: 6344 2985
Opening Hours: Mon – Wed 5pm to 12am; Thur – Fri 5pm to 1am; Sat – Sun 12pm to 12am
Website: http://mookata.com/en/index.php?id_cms=8&controller=cms&id_lang=1

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Tomo Izakaya

This is undeniably the BEST sashimi bowl rice I have EVER eaten. It is not cheap and I can’t exactly remember how much it cost. I think it was $48? But it was worth every cent of it as every slice of the sashimi was thick and fresh and almost overflowed the bowl.

The waiting time was very very long, about an hour or so, but every anger evaporated when I put the fresh slices into my mouth. Mmmmm!

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Restaurant: Tomo Izakaya
Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, #01-09 Esplanade Art Centre, Singapore
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 12pm-2.30pm; Sun-Thu: 5pm-11pm; Fri, Sat: 6pm-1am
Tel: 63330012


Tenkaichi Japanese Restaurant

My cousin and I saw this promotion and decided to whack this! So we make a reservation and went down on a weekday! And of course, we chose the buffet with the wagyu menu. We are there to whack the wagyu beef! We topped up another $10 for free-flow of drinks and Haagen-Dazs ice-cream! For their full menu click here.

The restaurant was neat and tidy but they need to install more fume hoods perhaps. We were all smelling of smoke and I took two days to wash the smell away.

Wagyu Beef Ox Tongue

Wagyu Beef Ox Tongue

The ox tongue was crunchy but the thought that it was from the tongue kind of puts me off.

Sashimi - White tuna, salmon, sea bream , shime saba, tuna

Sashimi – White tuna, salmon, sea bream , shime saba, tuna, octopus

Sashimi was really fresh and it was my first time tasting the white tuna. From Wikipedia, I learnt that white tuna is not tuna, but butterfish or snake mackeral. The shime saba was very sweet, totally out of my expectations. I once ate saba sashimi at sushi restaurants but never liked them because they were too fishy.

Wagyu Beef Sashimi

Marinated Wagyu Beef Sashimi with egg yolk

Sorry, I have read so many people go woooos and wows about this marinated beef sashimi but raw beef? No thanks. I took at bite but didn’t swallow it. The rest of it went to the BBQ stove and we fried them.

Wagyu Beef Sashimi and Lightly Grilled Sashimi

Wagyu Beef Sashimi and Lightly Grilled Sashimi

Similarly, raw beef is not for me.

Giant Scallops

Giant Scallops

The scallops were so good I wished I could eat more of them but we were so full from the plates of wagyu beef. It was pretty fun bbq-ing them as I tried to sear them according to what I learnt from MasterChef.

Pork Cheek Fillet

Pork Cheek Fillet

Giant scallops (again) and prawns (really huge)

Giant scallops (again) and prawns (really huge)

Prawns were huge. As a result, bbq-ing them is usually overcooking them due to their size. But nonetheless, they were succulent and sweet. Next up is the show of the BBQ! Look at that marbling! It just takes less than 15 seconds to cook each slice. As you place them onto the hot stove, it sizzles in its own fat and when you put them into your mouth, they just melt. So tender… We had three plates of these.

Wagyu Beef Short Rib and Wagyu Beef Rib Eye Cap

Wagyu Beef Short Rib and Wagyu Beef Rib Eye Cap

Sizzling

Sizzling

Besides the BBQ section, they have a variety of cooked food such as garlic fried rice, chawanmushi, soba, shisamo, salad, etc. The service was pretty good. One waitress said we have to quickly bbq out beef because it was changing colour. The beef was actually freshly cut upon order. And indeed, after leaving it for a while, it oxidised and turn into a darker red colour.

Don’t forget to leave some space for Haagen Dazs ice-cream! There were vanilla, chocolate, yuzu and macha flavours.

My cousin and I unanimously agreed that one visit is sufficient. The good memories can remain in photos and videos format.

Restaurant: Tenkaichi Japanese Restaurant
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square Shopping Mall, #03-129, Singapore 039594
Opening hours: Weekdays: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm. Weekends: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Website: http://tenkaichi.com.sg/
Phone: +65 – 6250 8918
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/TenkaichiRestaurant/
Reservation: Via website


Tash Tish Tosh

The bomb or more specifically buffalo wings, lack that certain punch in its flavour. It is more sweet than spicy.

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It’s mushroom soup with garlic bread (4.90) had a nice flavour but was overly salty. I had to ask for hot water to dilute the soup. I told the Encik about it and he said he would check the soup out.

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I didn’t expect the crispy chicken to be just wings again. I expected a quarter of a chicken or a spring chicken to be served. It had a nice crisp but the meat was tasteless.

There is no service charge or GST.

Cafe: Tash Tish Tosh
Address: 314 Bedok Road at Simpang Bedok, Singapore 469478
Tel: +65 87148677
Website: https://www.facebook.com/tashtishtoshpizza


Chicken Up

Riding the wave with Korean fried chicken craze!!!!

I was impressed with its fried chicken that is so crispy, so juicy and full of flavour! It adapts the Korean methods of removing the fat from the skin and double-frying. This is the reason why its chicken is tender and succulent!

The japchae we had was good. The glass noodles were cooked al dente and flavour and seasoning was just the right amount.

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Japchae $12

I must comment on this onion bomb that we had. It had the most awesome onion taste, and was not too greasy. I particular like the mustard sauce that comes with it. It has a nice spicy flavour that complemented the onion bomb.

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Yangpa (onion) bomb $12

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Original crispy up $18

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Makgeolli $25

Truffle fries $8

Service was good and they have a good system of order and payment. Its visible kitchen looks clean and feels pretty well-organised. Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST.

Restaurant: Chicken Up
Address: 2 Tampines Central 5, #01-44 to 47, Singapore 529509 (in between Tampines Mall and Century Square)
Tel: 65880308
Website: http://www.chicken-up.com


Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory

This korean fried chicken place was opened not long ago replacing the previous Sushi Tei lot at Bedok Point.

We bought the Groupon voucher and had our dinner here last night. The queue was very long but we managed to be there early before the queue started.

The waiting time for the food was surprisingly short. The delicious corn cup ($0.50 per pax) is refillable! The chicken we ordered was awesome! They use fresh chickens!!!! The roasted chicken with rosemary is the best I have ever eaten! The meat is tender and seasoned to perfection. The spicy chicken was brilliant too, meat was juicy and its spicyness was not overpowering. The salad with chicken was made great by its sauce. However the fries were not warm enough when served.

The portions were big and luckily there were five of us to share all these food!

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Cheese French Fries $9.90

To start eating your chicken, you can use these pair of “tongs” to tear the chicken meat apart without dirtying your hands. So innovative!

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Cajun Chicken Salad $13.90

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Rosemary Chicken $29.90

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Spicy Chicken $28.90

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Mac and cheese $9.90

My first mac and cheese! It was cheesy and the macaroni was al dente. Lovely!

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Garlicky chicken $28.90

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Spicy BBQ Roast Chicken $32.90

I will award this spicy chicken a Michelin star!!! The meat is so tender and moist, so well-cooked!!!  The spice level really gives punches and kicks!!!

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Crispy Fried Chicken $32.90

Not the kind of garlic taste that you will expect. It was quite a letdown. I think the chicken was sprinkled with some garlic spicies powder and some seasoned garlic soy sauce sprinked over the top. Wished there was more garlic flavour to this.

Plain water is complimentary.

All in all, we have bought more Groupon vouchers and can’t wait for return visits to try other items on its menu!!!

Ask me which korean fried chicken place is the best? I have tried Nene Chicken, 4 Fingers, Chicken Up and I think every restaurant has its own uniqueness. All are nice!

Drinking water is complimentary! Prices exclude 10% service charge and 7% GST.

Restaurant: Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory
Address: Bedok Point, 799 Upper Changi Road, #02-05/06, Singapore 467351
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm daily
Website: click here


Khmer (Cambodian) Food (Siem Reap)

I just got back from Cambodia yesterday and I should do a long post after my last post two years ago! I was basically too busy with work and life.

Cambodia was really hot and humid, 99% of its people depend on tourists to survive. Tuk-tuks are everywhere waiting for that fateful someone to get on and eateries are everywhere too. Hygiene may pose a problem but as long as you use your experienced judgement, you shouldn’t get any upset tummy. Food are also priced very reasonably from USD1 (low-end) to USD14 (high-end).

We stayed in The Villa, Siem Reap, situated within walking distance to the Night Market, Central Market, Pub Street and to many of eateries all around. TripAdvisor’s Genevieve Restaurant, Haven Training Restaurant and Bugs Cafe are all nearby. If you are bored of Khmer food, there is KFC and Sarpino’s Pizza. It is a very convenient and comfortable budget place to stay in!

The most common food you will see on menus are Lok Lak, fried MaMa noodles, Amok, Khmer curry and ginger chicken. Cambodians use fish sauce as a main seasoning that makes every dish delicious. We had our first meal at a place near our hotel called Lilypop Restaurant.
Website: http://www.lilypop-restaurant.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lilypoprestaurant

Beef Lok Lak

Beef Lok Lak

Beef is both marinated and stir-fried in fragrant peppery sauces that is very appeitizing.

Deep-fried pork

Deep-fried pork

Stir-fried mee

Stir-fried mee

This stir-fried mee looked so plain but once you get started on it, you simply can’t stop! The noodles were surprisingly springy and full of flavour! It is a fusion of pepper, fish sauce and chilli sauce! I finished the whole plate and I must mention that this plate of mee cost only USD1.50!

On one of the evenings, we had our dinner at this well-acclaimed The Sugar Palm restaurant. Nice ambience but food was over-rated.
Website: http://www.thesugarpalm.com/spsr/

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Fish Amok

Fish Amok that needed 45 minutes of preparation time

Khmer Crispy Noodles

Khmer Crispy Noodles

Ginger with chicken

Ginger with chicken

This ginger fish was taken at Fusion Kitchen (part of Soria Moria Boutique Hotel) along Wat Bo Road. We were there on a Thursday and happened to be “Oh My Buddha” day. So every food item was on 50% discount and drinks were one for one. I really liked the ginger and fish. It was much better than the ginger with chicken I ate at Sugar Palm.
Address: Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Wat Bo Road, Salakamrouk, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Website: http://thesoriamoria.com/

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Fried, baked or charcoal-grilled chicken are also common on the menu. The chicken meat is tougher because they are reared locally and chickens run around the residents’ houses. You will find that the chickens have little fats. We really prefer this texture and the meat is more flavourful too. The chickens are usually marinated with lemongrass and ginger.

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Before I arrived in Cambodia, my friend has been telling me to eat tarantulas!! We chanced upon Bugs Cafe outside our hotel. Wanting to fused culturally, we stepped in and ordered the Mixed Insects (tarantula, scorpion, giant waterbug, crickets and silkworms wok-fried in chilli). OMG, it was an experience of my lifetime! And ONCE is ENOUGH!
Website: http://bugs-cafe.e-monsite.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bugscafesr

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On our way taking the tuk-tuk 70 km out of Siem Reap, we saw many villagers selling bamboo sticky rice. So Daddy bought one and tried. It is made of glutinous rice, red bean, coconut and some sugar, cooked over heat for 20 minutes.

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TripAdvisor recommended this Genevieve’s Restaurant, quoting it has the best fish amok and many other Khmer dishes at a very affordable price. We went there two days in a row!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenevievesRestaurant#_=_
Address: Sok San Street, Siem Reap, Siem Reap 3058, Cambodia

Tom Yum Kong

Tom Yum Gong

We suggested the chef to make it much more spicy for us, as their original is said to be sweet. It turned out spicy enough for us and the tom yum tasted very authentic! A pity there was too little soup for the three of us to share.

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and Sour Fish (with sauce separated)

Sweet and Sour Fish (with sauce separated)

Their freshwater fish – Red Fish, deep-fried and drenched on with sweet and sour sauce. The fish was very very meaty and well fried. A little muddy taste for those who are sensitive to it, otherwise, very delicious.

Fish Amok

Fish Amok

Every cube in that banana leaf wrap is fish. Not too sweet and not too coconut-ty. The fish had a good texture. What amazed me was the flavourful vegetables at the side.

Khmer Beef

Khmer Beef

Tenderloin beef was used in this beef dish cooked to the level of your choice. We had them medium and it turned out perfect. Garlic was the main garnishing and the side sauce was a mixture of black pepper, fish sauce and lime (I think). It was very appetizing.

Khmer Fish Curry

Khmer Fish Curry

The Khmer Fish Curry was also very good, not too spicy and with a little bit of sweetness.

Picture taken from Central Market showing where the locals eat. There wasn’t any foul smell from the wet market or smelly fumes from the cooking surprisingly. But we still did not want to put our stomachs to risk here.

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cooking with charcoal underneath

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looks like our niang tou fu, don’t they?

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sweet desserts, with lots of houseflies above

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Cooking just at the side of her business

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cai-fan look-alike stall. Many many houseflies!!!

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no idea what this is…

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We also saw crickets and grasshoppers being sold in markets. Do you dare to eat them?

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steamed quails eggs

We also bought some Jasmine Rice home. It was really cheap. USD0.80 for 1 kg.

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That almost summed up all the food we have tried in our six days of stay in Siem Reap. Goodbye Siem Reap, and to all the dust and heat too.