Good but Expensive Dinner @ aPompei on 21Nov2014

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

we were thinking of a place to go for 5pax family dinner on a friday w/o too much hassle on traffic & parking. decided to try the new restaurant aPompei at 6th avenue on 21.11.2014. :-)

restaurant only started a week ago, according to chef mimo, who was from al borgo. we liked the florentine steak at al borgo by chef mim0. my wife recently had that at al borgo & she said it’s no longer good, so we were looking forward to having the good florentine steak here. :-)

chef mimo was friendly & chatty, and we had always liked his food. so we decided to order his recommendations & let him organise the dinner. :-)

food was good as we expected. price though was a bit expensive.

bread to start

bread to start

bread in most italian diners were mostly just baguette with olive oil/balsamic dip, nothing fancy like top restaurants.

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

the antipasti was a huge serving. it was good, with parma ham, good quality salami (my wife normally does not take salami but she was ok with this one), buffalo mozzarella, another cheese & olives.

we found out only later when we had the bill that the antipasti cost S$72 (since we left it in the hands of chef mimo). this was way too expensive for an antipasti for 2 guys & 3 ladies.

i am just guessing that maybe we were charged 3 portions=S$24×3. if we had ordered ourselves, we would have ordered just 1 portion. it was not about the price of the antipasti but whether we would spent S$72 for a very large portion or used the same money to order 2 more pastas etc.

focaccia

complimentary focaccia

we had a complimentary focaccia, topped with cherry tomatoes. in fact we thought it was better than the seafood pizza. we saw on the menu it cost S$13.

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

the mussels was very good. i felt it was expensive at S$28. i could do very good mussels myself, but i used the cheap mussels from sheng shiong. these mussels here were of course the better variety. :-)

vongole - S$28

vongole – S$28

vongole

vongole – S$28

the vongole was very good also. the spaghetti were very al dente. somehow it cost more than S$24 on the menu? this is also a dish i do well, and sometimes i can get mango clams from sheng shiong which i think is better than la la (littleneck clams).

seafood pizza

seafood pizza

the seafood pizza was good, but we felt the cheaper focaccia (complimentary by chef mimo) was better. :-)

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

& the 600g florentine steak. this was our favourite & it was as good as the one at al borgo of old (though my wife said it was no longer so). al borgo charged S$60 initially but raised to S$75 last year. it was S$88 here. i guess the price was not cheap but ok as long as the standard is kept. :-)

complimentary dessert

complimentary dessert

chef mimo offered us 2 complimentary sponge cakes. the texture felt a bit like tiramisu (moist) but chef mimo said it was sponge cake. they were good but these tended to be quite sweet.

the dinner for 5pax (2guys, 3 ladies) cost S$350nett including a S$62 bottle wine. wine was good & priced similar to what you get at a good restaurant. :-)

i felt the dinner was overly expensive at about S$56nett excluding the wine. if the antipasti was 1 portion at S$24++, price would be S$45pax nett, which was still not cheap but i guess ok for the food.

anyway, we were overall happy with the food, even though price was on the expensive side & it had cost a lot more than if we had ordered from the menu, which is what we would do next time. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ Canton Paradise at J-Cube on 26Nov2014

1/2 roast duck

1/2 roast duck

we had an early dinner at canton paradise @ J-cube on 26.11.2014. :-)

wife bought a groupon voucher S$28.80 for S$50. we went at 4.3opm to skip the dinner crowd, traffic & parking.

canton paradise @ j-cube

canton paradise @ j-cube

the restaurant was quite empty at that time.

har gao(虾饺)

har gao(虾饺)

har gao(虾饺)

har gao(虾饺)

we ordered the har gao(虾饺). good as always. :-)

1/2 roast duck

1/2 roast duck – S$25

and of course our favourite 1/2 roast duck. the roast duck at canton paradise is really good, and this one was no exception, so flavourful and the breast meat so tender. this, like the roast duck at star vista outlet, is truly hong kong standard. the only other place i had roast duck of this standard was at the noodles restaurant.

spicy dumplings (抄手)

spicy dumplings (抄手)

spicy dumplings (抄手)

spicy dumplings (抄手)

the spicy dumplings (抄手) was very good too.

porridge (minced prok balls, kidney, beef)

porridge (minced prok balls, kidney, beef)

porridge (minced prok balls, kidney, beef)

porridge (minced pork balls, kidney, beef) – S$9.20

and we always like the porridge (congee), very smooth & sweet. we had the selection of 3  (minced pork balls, kidney, beef). mmmm…really nice.

S$8.80 weekday afternoon promotion

S$8.80 weekday afternoon promotion

they had this weekday promotion, just S$8.80 for 1 porridge, 1 dim sum & drink, from 2.30pm to 5pm. it’s a really good deal but we could not take that as we had our groupon deal. i probably come back here with some friends. :-)

the dinner for 2pax came to S$58nett including drink & water, towels etc, so we had to top up S$8, which added to a total of S$37 with the voucher, a very good price for the food we had. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Pui Leong Cycle Group = Cycle Punggol Waterway + Makan on 22Nov2014

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Cycle Punggol Waterway + Wanton Mee @ KPT Coffeeshop 401 Hougang Ave 10 on 22Nov2014

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

went cycling with friends (6 of us) at punggol waterway park connector on 22.11.2014. very enjoyable ride & morning. :-)

we started from sengkang sports centre, then along sungei punggol, past serangoon (coney) island, crossed over to lor halus wetland park, then along sungei serangoon to KPT coffeeshop 401 hougang ave 10, S530401 for makan.

3 of us took the mee rebus there. those who took said it was good. another friend & i had the wanton mee.

wanton

wanton

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop

i thought the wanton mee was very good. noodles were qq, char siew was tasty & soft, sauce was tasty & the wanton had soft skin that held together, and tasty fillings. :-)

the sauce though was just a little bit sweet, so maybe not everyone would like this.

for me, kok kee wanton mee previously at lavendar food square (not sure where it moved too) was still the best. the other good stall which my daughter likes is red ring. i would say overall red ring wanton mee is still better than this.

we backtracked to Mywaterway promenade that leads back to sungei punggol side. and we spotted a family of otters when we arrived by at the riverside leading back to sengkang sports centre.

nice ride & great food. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Wife’s Belated Birthday by My Buddies @ Tunglok Central on 19Nov2014

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

my buddies organised a belated birthday dinner for my wife on 19.11.2014. :-)

the place was tunglok signature at central, the same place they did a birthday dinner to remember for me last year.

& i am very happy this year they again did a birthday dinner for me at chef chan & this dinner for my wife. such great friends! :-)

friend's god sister arranged wine

friend’s god sister arranged wine

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

my friend’s god sister again pre-ordered the food. & she arranged the wine & cake too. :-)

we had the roast pork (烧肉), which was really excellent. skin was very crispy & the texture & taste was marvellous, & not too fatty.

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

ingredients for the double boiled soup (炖汤)

ingredients for the double boiled soup (炖汤)

the double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken was super too. this 1 of few soups that could match & better the very good lie tong (例汤) here. very sweet & tasty. :-)

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

we had the spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli, which is another signature dish here. it was very good. :-)

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

next was a salted egg cod fish fillet. it was very well done. cod was very good. for me & also my wife though, the dish was deep-fried & even though it was done well & not very oily, it could not match the simple steamed cod with mui choy (梅菜)。

wasabi mayo prawns

wasabi mayo prawns

likewise wasabi mayo prawns was well done & nicely presented. it came with mangoes & salad.  presentation was superior to peach garden’s yuzu prawns. taste wise peach garden’s equally good. yuzu taste was great & dish better w/o the mayo.

salted egg custrad longevity bun (流沙寿桃)

salted egg custrad longevity bun (流沙寿桃)

star fruit juice

complimentary star fruit juice

complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & the 生日快乐十全美 verses

complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & the 生日快乐十全美 verses

there was a miscommunication with the server. we thought there were 7 dishes & waited for the noodles & dessert. but it turned out that friend’s god sister arranged 5 dishes & instructed the restaurant to take our orders for the carb & dessert.

anyway we were really full with the 5 dishes & there was also the birthday cake, so we decided to skip the carb & dessert. just as well! :-)

tunglok provided a complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & after singing the birthday song, the servers recited the the 生日快乐十全美 verses. service was excellent! they also provided complimentary star fruit juice. :-)

the cake was a nutty chocolate banana from swissbake. i liked the cake though could not taste the nutty part. :-)

it was a very enjoyable, memorable evening.

c.h.e.f andy

Nissin Kyushu Black Instant Japanese Ramen with Seafood on 23Nov2014

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

cooked an instant japanese ramen for my daughter’s lunch today on 23.11.2014.

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

i bought this nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen from sheng shiong last week, 5 packets for S$3.50.

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

nissin kyushu black instant japanese ramen

i added squid & prawns & also made the “6minute runny yoke egg”. & i garnished with spring onions & nori (seaweed).

this instant ramen has really nice light very flavourful ramen broth, and the noodle texture is much closer to ramen than the usual instant noodles. i really like it. :-)

the runny yoke egg took 6mins. noodles 4mins. so the whole thing was done in <15mins.

no need much to have good tasting food. i almost never take ramen outside. too much carbs for me & i am just unwilling to pay like S$14++ to S$18++ for a ramen.

c.h.e.f andy

Cycling at East Coast Park on 19Nov2014

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our bikes

went cycling with wife at east coast park on 19.11.2014. :-)

i bought my dahon mu n360 on 3.4.2014. it is a good bike & i quite enjoy riding it.

it was pouring in the morning the day before. fortunately it did not rain today. we started only at 9am, so it was a bit hot actually.

we took ECP exit 10A & parked at the first carpark nearest still road.

from there we cycled past east coast seafood centre, ski360degrees cable ski park, east coast lagoon food centre.

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& up to changi coast walk. we took some rest & water along the way & back, so the pace was rather slow. we cycled 22km in total time of 1hr 32mins.

this was a shorter ride than last time when we went all the way to changi village food centre (35km return) but quite disappointed with the makan there.

our bikes

our bikes

there were not so many people & bikers at this time, very smooth, peaceful & relaxing ride.

after cycling we proceeded to relish serangoon gardens to use up an expiring groupon. however, relish was closed for a private function so we went to serangoon gardens food centre & took the totally forgettable seng kee (胜记) bakchormee.

c.h.e.f andy

Bought My First Foldable Bike = Dahon mu n360 with nuVinci CVT Hub Gears on 3.4.2014

dahon mu n360 with cvt (continuous variable transmission) hub gear

dahon mu n360 with cvt (continuous variable transmission) hub gear

happy to report that the dahon has served me well so far. :-)

bought a foldie (foldable bike) for my wife for her birthday present in 2012. she went cycling with friends very occasionally as i was not much into cycling.

we were going to amsterdam in apr2014 with our youngest daughter and wife planned to cycle there (see cycling the waterland route in amsterdam).

so i finally stirred myself into action & bought a dahon mu n360 (aluminium frame, fork & handle, some alloy seat post) on 3.4.2014, 1.5 weeks before our amsterdam trip.

i was very happy with the bike. :-)

internal hub & nuVinci cvt (continuous variable transmission) = seamless gear change

11-speed internal hub gears

& nuVinci cvt (continuous variable transmission) = seamless gear change

& nuVinci cvt (continuous variable transmission) = seamless gear change

dahon has 70% of the entire world market.

mu is the patented curve frame series, and n360 is the latest 2013 bike with 11-speed internal hub & nuVinci cvt (continuous variable transmission) = seamless gear change

really good technology = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wNcok8KdNE

dahon mu n360 with cvt (continuous variable transmission) hub gear

dahon mu n360 with cvt (continuous variable transmission) hub gear

& the seat post is a bicycle pump! omt! (a friend told me oh my 天! instead of oh my god! for free-thinkers). :-)

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.38.57 pm

only worry was bike was a parallel import by internet marketer, not by dahon distributor speed matrix, so worry about service & warranty.

these days though the internet is incredible & the guy was able to show me by scratching a holographic label & inputing the code into dahon official website to verify it was authentic & got a welcome message.

i entered the code again when i got home, and the website returned a message that provided the time the code was first entered for verification by the seller, and then by me.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.38.37 pm Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.38.03 pm& i received an email on the lifetime warranty on its frame, handle post & rigid fork. amazing! i guess that doesn’t mean much except in the case of manufacturer’s defect. better than nothing anyway. :-)

well, that made me the proud owner of a middle-of-the-range not too expensive foldable bike, so i can go cycling with my wife. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Mediocre Bakchormee @ Seng Kee (胜记) Serangoon Garden Food Centre on 19Nov2014

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Seng Kee (胜记) Bakchormee @ Serangoon Garden Food Centre

after cycling at east coast park, we went to serangoon gardens to use a groupon voucher at relish, but relish was closed for private function, so we wandered to serangoon gardens food centre on 19.11.2014. :-)

i recalled some friends were talking on whatsapp about bakchormee here, the stall where the guy used to clank his wares (no longer since he moved here).

there were 3 bakchomee stalls, but i managed to confirm with my friends that it was seng kee (胜记) bakchormee. actually the many messages & feedback were quite negative, especially regards the S$9 fish maw soup, but since we had not tried before, we decided to go for bakchormee rather than other food. :-)

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Seng Kee (胜记) Bakchormee @ Serangoon Garden Food Centre

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soup, Seng Kee (胜记) Bakchormee

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Seng Kee (胜记) Bakchormee @ Serangoon Garden Food Centre

there was no queue at 12pm on a wednesday & i was bale to pick up my 2 bowls of S$4 bakchormee immediately (i was not going to take the S$9 fish maw soup after those feedback). after me though there was a queue of about 4 to 5, and the only one of the 3 stalls to have a queue.

that should have been promising, however the results were very disappointing. i would say the bakchormee was totally mediocre, can probably get better from any coffeeshop or hawker centre.

for us, the main failure was the chilli. i went to ask for more chilli. chilli looked potent but it had no taste no kick. my wife’s mee kia (thin noodles) was still qq, my meepok was becoming soggy.

the ingredients were quite good, with teepor (dried flatfish/sole) & her kilo (fish dumplings), mushroom sauce, liver, lean meat etc.

the soup also looked promising, but the taste was again disappointing, whereas the soup at 6th avenue jalan tua kong meepok tar was so tasty.

anyway, the whole experience was just “no shiok”. no comparison with 6th avenue jalan tua kong meepok tar or for that matter sunny fishball noodles also at 6th avenue, jalan tua kong lau lim meepok tar in bedoktai hwa bakchormee at crawford lane, ming fa upper thomson etc.

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ice kachang @ Serangoon Garden Food Centre

i had ice kachang & my wife took the soursop jelly. ice kachang was not to my taste (i like it sweet with more syrup & evaporated milk like at adam road food centre). the soup sop was good but the jelly was not the soft type.

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Seng Kee (胜记) Bakchormee @ Serangoon Gardens Food Centre

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Serangoon Gardens Food Centre

my friends told me on whatsapp later that the duck rice & 猪杂汤 is good here. will try them next time. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

 

Wonderful Birthday Dinner for Wife @ Sumiya on 16.11.2014

sashimi moriawase - S$58

sashimi moriawase – S$58

had a really wonderful 6pax family dinner at sumiya, orchard central on 16.11.2014. it was a belated dinner for wife as she was away in london with son on her birthday. :-)

just a note -

for lunch, i had one of the best chirashi don set here for just S$18.80++

the discounted items are indicated in sumiya website menu & you need a flyer to get the discounts or just convince the server to give it to you. :-)

there was a 10% discounts using UOB card

sashimi moriawase - S$58

sashimi moriawase – S$58

we had 2 orders of sashimi moriawase. it had awabi (abalone), 2 akami (lean toro), 2 amaebi, 2 hotate, 2 hamachi, 2 salmon, 2 kajiki, & a good helping of uni. quality of the cut was very good, but we did not get otoro or chutoro. :-)

can’t say it was better than mikuni’s chirashi don which had uni, botan ebi & 2 chutoro at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts), but it was very good anyway.

amaebi 12 pieces with shell - S$14.80

amaebi 12 pieces with shell – S$14.80

we ordered the 12 pieces amaebi with shell. amaebi was excellent, plump & sweet. shelling fee is S$5, so we shelled ourselves. :-)

double prawn tempura maki (S$8.80)+softshell carb maki (S$8.80)

double prawn tempura maki (S$8.80)+softshell crab maki (S$8.80)

we tried their double prawn tempura maki (4pieces for S$8.80)+softshell crab maki (4 pieces for S$8.80). they were good & price was good too. such maki would range from S$15 to S$20 normally for 6 pieces.

kagoshima wagyu - S$53

kagoshima wagyu (150g) – S$53

we had 1 order of kagoshima wagyu (150g), this was excellent too. but for price vs quality, the kagoshima wagyu steak at arossa, 180g for S$44 after 50% palate discounts would top this. :-)

izaki (japanese stripe bass) - S$45

izaki (japanese stripe bass) – S$45

we tried the izaki (japanese stripe bass). it was good, meat was tender but quite plain really, so not a must have for me.

yellowfin tuna cheek - S$28.80

yellowfin tuna cheek – S$28.80

the yellowfin tuna cheek was supposed to be rare in singapore so we tried it. meat was not as fine as izaki (since this is a huge fish) & stronger in flavours. somehow this manner of preparation was to me not as good as the one with sauce, like in hachi’s hamachi kama.

ikura salmon flake rice - S$12.80

ikura salmon flake rice – S$12.80

ikura unagi rice - S$14.80

ikura unagi rice – S$14.80

we had 2 orders of ikura unagi rice & 1 order of ikura salmon flake rice. both were very flavourful but my daughter was right, the salmon flake with ikura tasted better, very well mixed in the rice. for me, sun with moon wheelock’s kamameshi still tasted better than this 2. :-)

the dinner including 4 beers (S$4.90 happy hour price order before 7pm) & 2 bamboo sake (S$8.80 each) was S$416, just below S$70pax nett. if i compare this with tatsu which cost S$66pax nett, then tatsu’s dinner was quite miserable, i.e. relatively speaking.

c.h.e.f andy