Monday, May 24, 2010

Am blogging from a computer at my hostel now; Im in dijon, just finished the tour of Paris, which was for four days. Paris is really quite a beautiful city; if a bit dirty, but the architectures splendid; however i didnt enjoy it as much as london, mainly because je paux le pas francais: so it was a bit tough communicating: heh:
When I return from the trip on 18 june I will blog about the wonderful food in all the cities; Iùve already been to LAtelier de joel robuchon and that was quite amazing and a wonderful dining experience; Ive stored the tasting notes in my primitive handphone so i dont forget the flavours: they were quite unforgettable actually. The guys were so nice to us that we got free desserts from them; A must try. Wait for the full review.

Parisian food did not blow me away, mainly because we werent really prepared to blow our fortune on a Tallievant or something like that; so much was spent eating in little bistros by the street. a particularly good bistro was our first place, located near the Latin Quarter, near the Pantheon. Had lamb shanks which were great; paired with red wine: the wines amawingly cheap like 3 euro for a bottle for pretty good wines; you can get appellation de controlleè for that price. had the usual steak fritès, duck confit, usual stuff like that:

Oh and I finally tried the latte from Monmouth coffee in London: Now that is a thing of beauty; Perfectly balanced, there was lots of bright acidity, a rounded finish, something magical about the blend and the creation; A perfect cuppa; Again wait for my review!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Journey to the East

A, M, and I embarked on a journey to the east - I'm a westie, so once you go to the east you have to try pretty much everything: thus boy, we were stuffed full at the end! It all started with the famous Hill Street CKT - Block 16 Bedok South Road. This is a makansutra institution, at at my suggestion (being the makanguru with a food blog) A and M decided to trot happily to bedok south to try this one out. The queue wasn't as long as I'd have expected; how did it taste? well, still very good wok hei; nice chives; the best bits were the parts where the egg, noodles, and everything else combine for flavour; however, i think the standard has dropped; it wasn't jaw-droppingly good. the first time i tried it i think a year back (or two), it was just perfect. This time maybe I'm not in the mood for CKT already, or perhaps this one has just dropped in standard a wee bit.
(8/10) - still one of the best around.



Next up was Ye Lai Xiang Cheng Tng (Bedok Corner); this one still hits the mark; i think i have blogged about it before but this is undisputedly the best cheng tng in singapore. nothing else comes close. the dried longan infused soup is just so refreshing. (9/10)

We adjourned to East Coast Lagoon Village after that; I really wanted to try Leng Heng's (the BBQ stall) Kiam Chye Ar but they were closed; so i had the next best thing - Hwa Eng BBQ Wantan mee - and boy this was great! The noodles were very QQ and al-dente; the sauce was very flavourful and the use of thickening agent meant that it coated the noodles well; the chilli was just shiok; the char siew was great; even the wantans were good. the soup could have been better, but hey i'm not complaining! One of the best bowls of Wantan noodles, comparable to the one at Lavender Street. Probably also edges old airport road. (8.5/10)



Also on the menu was Haron's Satay; this is the one with the green and yellow labels; ah this was very good. very flavourful - A eats it without the sauce and i can see why. The chicken still tastes like chicken! (8/10)

Last, we went to Sin Heng Claypot Bak Kut Teh. We were pretty stuffed by then - (you could see why) - so we just shared one claypot's worth of BKT among 3 people. This is the herbal hokkien style where it's boiled with lots of herbs. this one was not bad; quite peppery and herbal at the same time, the soup had much flavour, and a very clean aftertaste from the herbs. We kept downing the soup till the waiters i bet were pretty annoyed. (WHAT - orderONE Bowl and keep refilling soup? what do you think we are!) - but hey, people eat BKT to enjoy free soup yah. haha. that's taken into account in the rather high price tag too!
(7.5/10)


We were absolutely stuffed, but happy=) Here's to europe!

Spruce

I'm flying off to London, and to the rest of Europe (Berlin, Vienna, Paris) on Sunday, so be prepared for lots more food entries as I scour Europe for wonderful eats! Am definitely going to bring my camera; have already booked L'Atelier Joel Robuchon (London) and Steirereck (Vienna), so let's see how that turns out =) . Especially looking forward to Steirereck because of the rave reviews and that it's ranked 21st in the world. How cool is that!

Anyway back to old Singapore. I have been eating, that's true, but because the foodie in me needs rest, well, I eat less now. usually just one meal's a proper one. the rest is just fish and oats, really.

Headed down to Spruce with p the other day since it was my first time there; The ambience was really lovely, i really loved the outdoor seating area which was next to a playground; very cosy and one'd imagine it to be a great place for brunch (which apparently it is, I just haven't had a chance to have brunch there). But dinner was perfect, since there were warm lights, delightful candles, and a nice buzz of conversation from the full tables nearby.

I ordered my "European Burger", which consisted of Beef, Blue cheese, and onions; pretty much the 'bistro burger' from brewerkz, if you'd like. this was not bad; the beef was quite flavourful and well marinated; the blue cheese was infused into the patty so that each bite had the tartness of the blue cheese contrasting with the richness of the beef. good stuff. and the bun was a joy to eat as well with those black sesame seeds. one of the better burgers around - it could be bigger though! (8/10)



The desserts we ordered were just monstrous; Here's the Salted Caramel with chocolate cake; it was sooo rich; it was good, but perhaps too rich! i could tell that the chocolate was not grade A chocolate - check out the next post on laurient bernard for proper chocolate. this one was a bit more commercial - maybe nydc standard. but still good. we couldn't finish it, even sharing it for 2; it was that big!
(6.5/10)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Peach Garden

Celebrated P's birthday at Peach Garden, Novena. Peach Garden is one of those institutions of chinese cuisine where it had slowly garnered a good reputation for itself from providing tasty food with good service. This time it wasn't different; our server was one of the most charming waitresses I've had for a while, in being frank, candid, and professional at the same time.



On to the menu.
Started off with Roasted Pork - just the normal siew yoke. this one was quite fatty, but it went well with the chinese mustard.
(6.5/10)



Next up was the Peking Duck - Nice crisp skin, very flavourful duck wrapped with crepes. was not bad but i would have preferred more duck to crepes.
(7.5/10)


wok fried Beef Tenderloin came next; this was really good. the tenderloin was really urm, tender, for want of a better word, and it had a lovely caramelised wok-hei flavour which can only be achieved through intense heat, till the onions have slightly caramelised. probably with the addition of some sweet-teriyaki sauce. i'm not sure, don't quote me on that. either way, it was good. (8/10)


Prawn balls with plum sauce and well, onions came next; I'm not sure what to make of this one. Didn't really dig it; the prawns were fried until crisp tempura-style, and paired with a plum sauce which was of course, tangy. not my kinda thing. (6/10) - im being generous here



Three-egg spinach - this was much better than the BTK one; the spinach was really fresh, the eggs flavorful, and the gravy was a joy to behold. very clean tastes in the gravy. yums. (8.5/10)



Ee-fu-noodles: nothing to shout about really. just, well, noodles. (5/10)



the fried rice was a disappointment. let's just say i didn't take photos of it coz it was that bad. (3/10)

But the dinner rounded up on a nice note with Orh-Nee (Yam Paste with gingko nuts). this one was not bad; very rich, starchy, and yammy, almost too rich for me! but well, yums.
(7.5/10)

Papa Palheta

I have to share with you one of my favourite coffee joints - Papa Palheta. Papa Palheta is nested in a very cosy corner along Hooper Road [it's off Bukit Timah Road - just after Newton circus, towards town, after the Shell petrol kiosk]. Turn in, and walk in, and enter by a backdoor. yes, and a little comforting oasis awaits you. it's rather bohemian. [i have no pictures because my camera doesn't do it justice - but then, just enjoy the words]. you enter via an alley of whitewashed walls, and palm trees dance overhead, giving valuable shade with its foliage. inside, there's a coffee bar of wooden teak, an antique tube-stereo, and of course the coffee machine - a syneso [they're the official distributors of syneso for singapore], as well as drip coffee if you'd like. enter the seating area - and you get comfortable carpets, a gramophone, reclining chairs, antique furniture in little corners, textiles hidden in cupboards, tables with chi-chi magazines, and teak furniture. my friend remarked that it feels remarkably like one of the cafes in Melbourne, you know, where each store proprietor dresses up the cafe in his/her own unique style, imbuing the place with his/her personality. it's very bohemian, like i said. actually, please go. it's hard to describe this in words, really!

How was the coffee? Good! What I like is that they have many different beans, which means that you get different flavours for different moods. The terra firma is full bodied, robust, and goes well with milk; the japanese blend (i can't remember the name) is fragrant, not that heavy, but still very interesting. then there are single origins to satiate your palate, such as costa rican (a bit smoky, like cigarettes), guatamalan, ethopian sidamo, etc. go check out the official website www.papapalheta.com for more information. What i really loved was the Kenyan fair trade coffee; it had the scent of peach, nice fruit, and lovely balance. great stuff.

coffee: 8.5/10
atmosphere: 9/10

go check it out!
(yes they're my friends, but then it doesn't mean the coffee is anything worse!)