Great Value Wholesome Lunch @ Ristorante La Scogliera Manarola on 19Apr2014

seafood spaghetti in tomato sauce

seafood spaghetti

was raining in the morning & mid day on 19.4.2014. we were not able to take the sentiero azzurro (blue path) which is the coastal route no. 2 trek from monterosso to vernazza.

we were early in apr so not quite the peak. there was still some crowd, and later commotion when someone was apparently pick pocketed. some friends went later in may & commented that the cinque terre trains were late but our experience with it was good, fortunately.

we took the train to manarola. the views were excellent but again the sentiero azzurro (blue path)trek between manarola & vernazza was closed.

manarola was a tiny place so we had lots of time & decided to take lunch there. ristorante la scogliera manarola prominently displayed its 4 trip advisor stars. must say we were not disappointed. indeed cheap & good! :-)

Ristorante La Scogliera Manarola.

Ristorante La Scogliera Manarola

restaurant was pretty crowded. we were early so we were able to get a table after few minutes before the queue formed up.

seafood spaghetti in tomato sauce

seafood spaghetti

the lunch specials were all about 10euros & 11 euros, and the menu dishes not far off. my seafood spaghetti was about 11 euros, and it was really good very tasty dish. :-)

grilled octopus

grilled octopus

grilled octopus

grilled octopus

al the grilled octopus we had at lake como restaurants & at miky monterosso were all good, and so was this & it’s just 10 euros.

plate of mussels

plate of mussels

this my idea of eating mussels – wholesome, hearty, a large pot or plate & very reasonable prices (& not the meagre 4 stuffed mussels at miky). haha. i think also around 10 euros. :-)

scampi pasta in tomato sauce

scampi pasta in tomato sauce

my daughter ordered the scampi pasta in tomato sauce. and they really do their tomato sauce pastas very well in all the restaurants we’ve been, very flavourful & great taste of tomatoes. :-)

this definitely a lunch place i would recommend for all visitors to manarola. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Most Unforgettable Dinner @ Miky at Monterosso on 18 & 20Apr2014

monterosso restaurant miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

monterosso restaurant miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto

had been lazy to continue my posting on the cinque terre trip in apr2014.

did a number of posts on amsterdam and lake como after the trip & ran out of steam after a while..haha. time to pick up & write about the best restaurant & the best meals we had in italy. the best meal we had at amsterdam was at beulings. :-)

we picked monterosso as our base for cinque terre (the “five lands” -comprising 5 towns – italian riviera along the lingurian coast) as it is the largest town, has a nice beach front, and of course good gathering of restaurants & shops. we managed to do the very nice trekking from monterosso to vernazza & also monterosso to levanto, both with incredible views.

monterosso restaurant miky

monterosso restaurant miky

miky is located near monterosso station, at fegina in the new part of town.

i read a bit about restaurant miky at monterosso & their famous flamed pasta dishes, and i made a prior booking on 18.4.2014. we enjoyed the dinner so much we decided to go again on 20.4.2014.

anchovies seafood platter

anchovies seafood platter 1

we had wonderful pickled herrings in the streets of amsterdam & also nice lake fishes platter at lake como restaurants. so we thought we would start with the fantasia of anchovies.

anchovies seafood platter

anchovies seafood platter 2

anchovies seafood platter

anchovies seafood platter 3

it looked wonderful & came with the 2 smaller platters i.e. 3 platters in a single order.

i would say it was something worth ordering for the first time. it was competent above average i guess but by comparison with alle darsene 7-lake fish platter or even street herrings in amsterdam, it was not as tasty & flavourful. for me the left & bottom 2 cured ones in anchovies seafood platter 1 though salty were the more flavourful.

grilled octopus tentacles

roasted octopus tentacles

grilled octopus tentacles

roasted octopus tentacles

the roasted octopus with asparagus was good! very tender.

it was a different preparation but quite comparable with alle darsene octopus appetiser. both i considered very good dishes. :-)

1534472_10152332460454494_9185848348949093432_n

stuffed mussles

the stuffed mussels not my thing, but wife & daughter liked it. i preferred sweet fresh & plentiful pot of mussels like the ones we had at la scogliera at manarola the next day, not 4 stuffed one..lol. the tomato base soup was very good though. :-)

10154537_10152332461554494_6669399051330386410_n

the flamed pasta covered pot of seafood risotto was the best outstanding dish. minimum order was 2pax @ 18euros pax so 36euros. the portions were good for 4pax & more seafood than risotto almost. the stock base i figured was chicken stock with prawn shells & heads & very flavourful.

the above photo was 1 of 3 servings for 3pax, and there was enough left in the pot for 2 more similar size servings including the seafood. :-)

monterosso restaurant miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

monterosso restaurant miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto

monterosso restaurant miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

monterosso restaurant miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto

we went back again on 20.4.2014, the evening before our departure to milan the following day, and ordered the same risotto. just could not have enough! :-)

this inspired me so much i came back & recreated the seafood risotto dish, and served it to my buddies for my lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu on 2.7.2014. they all absolutely loved it, though of course it was no comparison with the real thing at miky! lol! :-)

monterosso restaurant miky

monterosso restaurant miky

lobster, langoustine, prawns seafood platter

lobster, langoustine, prawns seafood platter

lobster, langoustine, prawns seafood platter

lobster, scampis, prawns seafood platter

the other excellent dish not to be missed was the 35euros lobster, scampis, prawns seafood platter. :-)

the 1/2lobster was a large 1kg size not the usual 600g maine lobster in singapore, very sweet & tasty, but the scampis were even better. & the prawns were large & very good.

seafood platter

grilled seafood platter

lobster, langoustine, prawns seafood platter

grilled seafood platter

when we returned there on 20.4.2014, we decided to try the grilled seafood platter instead. this was good too with grilled scampi, prawn, razor clams, scallop & fish on a bed of mesclun salad. in a way it was kind of different dish to the cold seafood platter but really in terms of quantity, taste, value the cold platter was lots better. :-)

1909425_10152332459749494_4789065529276771600_o

monterosso restaurant miky

they were truly unforgettable meals we had, 2 times in a space of just 3 days. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Wife Cooked Excellent Crayfish Pasta & Shakshuka on 13Jul2014

pink sauce crayfish pasta

pink sauce crayfish pasta

wife cooked an incredible crayfish linguine in pink sauce aka creamy tomato sauce on 13.7.2014.

wife served the linguine separately so everyone could add the amount of pasta they wish & then pile on the crayfish & sauce. i contributed the linguine actually, done al dente. :-) it was an excellent pasta dish and a beauty to behold! :-)

shakshuka

shakshuka

shakshuka

shakshuka

pink sauce crayfish pasta

pink sauce crayfish pasta

another dish wife prepared was the israeli breakfast shashuka. it was pretty good too, and looked nice with the eggs & tomatoes. yellow onions provided the sweetness base & the tomatoes the mildly sour sweet flavours, the eggs & yolks offered added texture & colours. :-)

shashuka will never be really a favourite for me, but this was quite a good dish & a great accompaniment to the crayfish pasta. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 15pax Dinner by Peng Ann @ Singapore Polytechnic Food Haven on 22Jul2014

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Comfort Food 15pax Dinner @ Singapore Polytechnic Food Haven on 22Jul2014

 

#1 cereal prawns

#1 cereal prawns

we had our monthly get-together at singapore polytechnic food haven on 22.7.2014.

we had 15pax. the place basically served zi char food in an air-con restaurant ambience. we had 20% discount & no service charge as our organiser is a staff at SP. :-)

#1 cereal prawns

#1 cereal prawns

#1 cereal prawns was pretty ok, competent, flavour was good, though batter a bit much.

#2 tofu soup

#2 tofu soup

#2 tofu soup was ordinary like any tofu soup.

#3 steamed seabass

#3 steamed seabass

#3 steamed seabass

#3 steamed seabass

#3 i liked the presentation of the steamed seabass, like a fish swimming in the water. :-) it was done teochew style with mildly sour soup from salted vege & sour plum. fish was fresh & good as a seabass could be. :-)

#4 beef with ginger & spring onions

#4 beef with ginger & spring onions

#4 beef with ginger & spring onions (姜葱牛肉) was also competent, like a good zi char eating house. beef was tender OR should i say tenderised. :-)

#5 claypot tofu

#5 claypot tofu

#5 claypot tofu

#5 claypot tofu

#5 likewise the claypot tofu. a good competent dish. :-)

#6 sweet sour pork ribs

#6 sweet sour pork ribs

#6 sweet sour pork ribs

#6 sweet sour pork ribs

#6 sweet sour pork ribs was good too.

#7 fuyong egg?

#7 fuyong egg?

& so was the #7 fuyong egg?

#8 sambal kang kong

#8 sambal kang kong

#8 sambal kang kong was another common, simple, tasty dish i liked.

#9 red beans pancake

#9 red beans pancake

a friend commented that the skin of the #9 red beans pancake was too thick. indeed so! the dough flavour was good though so i did not mind the tucker skin. :-)

#10 mixed fruits

#10 mixed fruits

#10 mixed fruits were good like any.

healthy fruits & nuts cookie baked by leak San

healthy fruits & nuts cookie

healthy fruits & nuts cookie baked by leak San

healthy fruits & nuts cookie

a friend brought some ‘healthy’ baked cookies. it had nuts (almonds & walnuts), raisins & cranberries, and not too sweet, so healthy indeed, for cookies that is. it was good! haha. :-)

another very pleasant evening.  time passed too quickly. a few friends did not join so often so it was good occasion for catching up. there were few other patrons & we almost had the restuarant to ourselves..haha. :-)

food was pretty ok, competent. with all the staff discounts the cost was just S$12pax, cheaper than most coffeeshops zi char. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

D-I-Y Popiah Lunch @ Good Chance (好彩) Popiah on 25Jul2014

popiah condiments

popiah condiments

a friend bought 7pax lunch at good chance (好彩) popiah on 25.7.2014. :-)

good chance started operations in 1977 and is now managed by its 3rd generation. according to a server they moved to the silat avenue premises about 8 years ago?

the friend who bought lunch said they only accept reservations of 6pax minimum. strange rule? but i not complaining since i got invited as the lucky 5th or 6th person…haha. lol. :-) the d-i-y popiah dish was served in multiples of 6 (i.e. 6, 12, 18).

anyhow most reviewers including soshiok mentioned that the fillings were more than enough & one should just add the skin, which was what we did. in the end i took 3 helpings. :-)

popiah fillings

popiah fillings

d-i-y popiah

d-i-y popiah

d-i-y popiah

d-i-y popiah

the fillings were the usual ban kwang (turnips) and carrots, the ingredients/condiments included the usual garlic soil, chilli, lettuce, tao gay (bean sprouts), shredded omelette, chopped peanuts, sweet sauce. skin was thin & quite good, the fillings were just average & i thought somewhat not as tasty as usual popiahs i had, which was like very rarely.

several of us were missing the prawns & lap cheong. for me i also missed the hae kor (prawn paste) which we used to have when my wife or her friends had popiah parties when my children were very small. most of my friends though did not have hae kor for their popiahs.

there were some techniques in folding the popiah as some friends tried to educate me. that reminded me in the early years i could actually fold a thinner long popiah & actually cut them into 5 pieces etc as some hawker stalls served them. now though it mattered not as i was eating the whole piece..haha. :-)

yam fish head soup

yam fish head soup

the yam fish head soup was pretty good, though it would not really compare with having a yam fish head steamboat, and a glance at the prices suggested it was not cheaper either.

hae chor

hae chor

most commented that the hae chor ingredients were too smooth & not chunky enough. one friend said the hae chor at lee do was much better. not that i remember much, but hae chor at lee do, yuan xing, chui huay lim, lee kui (ah hoi) etc all tasted about same to me. i do agree these ones here seemed not as tasty. also they looked quite different from the nice hae chor at chui huay lim and yuan xing (appetiser platter). :-)

yam kong ba pao

yam kong ba pao

braised belly pork & yam

braised belly pork & yam

the kong ba pao was i guess also competent. the braised yam was a good addition to the belly pork. otherwise the dish did not taste any special to me. my memory of westlake kongbabao (which i had not been for maybe 15years) seemed better than this, and the ones a friend packet for me some months ago were certainly better.  i think my own braised belly pork or the ones at kuay chap stalls would also be tastier & better textured than this.

overall, it was a usual zi char place with an aircon environment. the prices also looked like usual zi char places. i supposed the d-i-y popiah was a welcome variation & added attraction for the place. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Steamed Oysters with Light Soy Sauce & Olive Oil

my contribution - steamed oysters

steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

this an excellent, cheap, tasty 2-minute dish that i created recently.

i served it on several occasions, namely my lake como etc grand tour tasting menu on 2.7.201412-course homecooked fine chinese dinner on 15.7.2014 and best teppanyaki at home on 23.7.2014, & everyone loved it. :-)

IQF (individual quick freeze) plump oysters from China

IQF (individual quick freeze) plump oysters from China

i had earlier bought IQF (individual quick freeze) oysters from sheng shiong. they were large, plump & cheap, only S$11.90 for 1kg. :-)

i had wanted to try out the crispy orh jian similar to that at beng thin & also sticky orh luah at hawker centre. they both turned out ok but not really special. i personally liked the sticky orh luah better & also i could not produce the very thin crispy orh jian or oyster egg at beng thin.

my contribution - steamed oysters

steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

steamed oysters

steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

anyhow i tried out a steamed cod after my friend bought me lunch at boon tong kee recently. i used just light soy sauce & olive oil & the steamed cod turned out quite well though not yet of the standard of btk. i will evolve the steamed cod recipe a bit more before i make a post on that.

i tried the same on the oysters & they just turned out fabulous every single time, and it was so very easy to make.

for 8 oysters, i used 2 teaspoon light soy sauce & 2 tablespoon olive, added 1 cut chilli padi & sliced ginger, placed on a glass dish so the sauce covered about 2/3 of the oysters & baste them. then i placed the dish in a steamer (water boiling) & steamed for exact 2 minutes. then scooped the oysters on individual soup spoons together with the sauce.

that was all to it. &i got my plump, juicy, very tasty oysters every time. the marinade also smoothed the strong sea taste. lovely dish especially when so easy to make. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

The Best Teppanyaki at Home on 23Jul2014

wife did a aburiya at home on 23.7.2014

wife did a aburiya at home on 23.7.2014

wife did a aburiya (our favourite yakiniku restaurant) at home on 23.7.2014. :-)

did not have the charcoal grill so did teppanyaki. it was the best! :-)

we had so much better quality meat & cost was like 50% c/w aburiya & tajimaya (which was after 33% amex discounts).

my contribution - steamed oysters

my contribution – steamed oysters

my contribution - steamed oysters

my contribution – steamed oysters

my contribution - steamed oysters

my contribution – steamed oysters

my contribution was the steamed oysters, with light soy sauce, olive oil, sliced ginger & chill ipadi. :-) very nice. :-)

kagoshima wagyu from isetan

kagoshima wagyu from isetan

kagoshima wagyu from isetan

kagoshima wagyu from isetan

wife bought kagoshima wagyu from isetan at scotts,

large & plump hokkaido scallops

large & plump hokkaido scallops

large & plump pan-seared hokkaido scallops

large & plump hokkaido scallops

we also had the IQF (individual quick freeze) scallops from sheng shiong S$11.95/kg, large & plump.

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu

kagoshima wagyu & hokkaido scallops

kagoshima wagyu & hokkaido scallops

kagoshima wagyu & hokkaido scallops

kagoshima wagyu & hokkaido scallops

kagoshima wagyu & hokkaido scallops

kagoshima wagyu & pan-seared hokkaido scallops

the kagoshima wagyu was fabulous, sweet & flavourful. aussie wagyu is just no comparison. :-)

quinoa salad

quinoa salad

kagoshima wagyu & quinoa salad

kagoshima wagyu & quinoa salad

wife made nice quinoa salad to go with the meat.

portobello mushrooms

portobello mushrooms

portobello mushrooms & yellow onions

portobello mushrooms & yellow onions

portobello mushrooms & yellow onions were good accompaniment.

yakisoba

yakisoba

yakisoba

yakisoba

yakisoba

yakisoba

wife decided to hantam yakisoba, a moment’s inspiration. added mirin, light soy sauce, chopped spring onions, yellow onions & egg. turned out superb, just like the very good ones you get in Japan. :-)

a quick, easy & simply delicious dinner. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Simply Fabulous 4-course Set Lunch @ Les Amis on 22Jul2014

crispy brittany langoustine

crispy brittany langoustine

went back to les amis for lunch on 22.7.2014.

the 4-course set lunch was excellent the last time i came on 1.4.2014. :-) & today again it did not disappoint. :-)

white pinot noir

white pinot noir

wife ordered 1/2 bottle white pinot noir.

bread basket - baguette, brioche, sour dough, roll

bread basket – baguette, brioche, sour dough, roll

brioche with sundered tomatoes

brioche with sundered tomatoes

the bread basket was good. baguette, brioche & sour dough were all good. the roll wife said not good. i did not try.

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 the crispy langoustine was excellent packed with meat tasted just like very tender lobster, & it was such a large helping.

pan-seared foie gras, french river eel, cherries

#2 pan-seared foie gras, french river eel, cherries

#2 the foie gras was kind of monstrous. & it was very good too. so was the smoked eel (super!) & cherries.

wild scottish salmon confit & tartare

#3 wild scottish salmon confit & tartare

beef tartare

#3 beef tartare

#3 the 2 main course options were wild scottish salmon confit & tartare OR beef tartare. beef tartare is 1 of my favourites for appetiser. this one though was a main & it was quite tasty. this preparation had quite a bit of herb. it was very good but i would prefer to have less herb & a more dominant sweet tasting beef.

the salmon confit & tartare was very good as well. a poached or baked salmon tends to be more chunky. this confit was medium rare & had a bit of the texture of cured salmon or sashimi. very nice. :-)

french fries

french fries

beef tartare came with a good french fries.

dessert of the day

#4 dessert of the day

#4 the dessert of the day was very good too. :-)

10464386_10152555382414494_7066614718676386833_n

 

I really like the quality set lunch here, and it offered good value at S$45++pax, similarly to their sister outlet au jardin which had regrettably ceased operations.

c.h.e.f andy

Quality + Great Value Alacarte Buffet @ Zen on 21Jul2014

salmon sashimi

salmon sashimi

bought 2xS$33.80 groupons & went with sis to zen at ue square for ala carte lunch buffet on 21.7.2014. :-)

normal lunch buffet is priced at S$42++pax. i had also taken their lunch sets starting from S$16++pax (but some years back) & they were pretty good. quality of food & cooking had always been good here.

for the ala carte buffet, the main event was the wagyu shabu shabu. there was also pork & whole array of jap dishes. only set back was the lack of good sashimi other than salmon for the buffet. you could order them as additional ala carte orders & they were at good discounted prices too e.g. what looked liked a very good 10 piece sushi set was going for like S$18. i wouldn’t order that while i was having a alacarte buffet lunch though.

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi

aburi salmon sushi

the salmon sashimi was good, probably about chikuwatei & momoya standard. anyway these days many places served good salmon sashimi. the aburi salmon sushi & maguro sushi were both good but the rice was so huge you could not order more w/o leaving the rice. anyway i set aside the rice for later dishes like the kimchi buta & ebi ika basil dish. :-)

kaki hoba yaki

kaki hoba yaki

breaded oyster

breaded oyster

both the broiled oysters & the breaded oysters were good. we did not order additional as could not finish so much food!

also ordered 2 pieces ebi tempura (forgot to take pictures). good too. flour a bit much. we did not add orders.

steak

steak

steak

steak

unlike the sister restaurant en japanese dining bar, they did not serve beef carpaccio, but the wafu steak was really very good, very tender & sweet.

thai style basil prawns & squid

thai style basil prawns & squid

kimchi buta

kimchi buta

the 2 thai & korean dishes showed the quality of cooking here. kimchi buta was just ok but with lots of pork & belly pork. the basil prawns & squid was very good, the standerd of a good thai restaurant. i kept my rice for these dishes. :-)

zen at UE square

zen at UE square

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

10306771_10152553056884494_4685666459049624998_n

vege set for shabu shabu

for the main event wagyu shabu shabu, the beef was excellent. perhaps azmaya was better. hard to tell, but this was very good anyway. :-)

it came in 1/2 & full portion (200g). we had the full portion for 2pax but could not add more. we also ordered 1/2 portion belly pork. it was just 6 slices & it was very good. we just could not add more.

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

decided to take 1/2 portion of unagi chahan to share. it was still very large portion & we took about 70%. it was very flavourful with unagi pieces but no better than a good fried rice at imperial treasure or crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

creme brûlée

creme brûlée

also shared a tofu cheese cake & a creme brûlée. both were good. creme brûlée a bit sweeter & we did not finish it.

the normal weekday lunch buffet price is S$42++pax & dinner S$52++pax. still ok i guess if you take a lot of beef. the S$33.80nett groupon deal was of course superb value. :-)

just to add that the service was overall good. not always the most attentive, but very polite friendly when they served you. ice water was free unlike other places (tajimaya does not serve tap water & charges S$5.90 for 1 litre bottled water), so the S$33.80 groupon was all we paid.

c.h.e.f andy