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. :-)

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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

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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

Good 3pax Yakiniku Dinner @ Tajimaya Vivocity on 20Jul2014

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

we had always gone to aburiya. maybe it was familiarity & convenience, even though we knew that tajimaya by the creative eateries group had amex discounts.

this the first time we were dining here. amex offer was 1person off, so 33% discounts for 3pax alacarte exclude drinks. :-)

looking at the menu we felt the prices were kind of expensive. another negative point was they did not serve tap water. so only 2 options – pay S$5.90++ for 1litre bottled water OR S$3++pax for tea (refillable). we ordered 3 tea, but if i go again, i am quite prepared to go w/o water during the meal. :-)

i am ok with restaurants charging for water. however i think it should be like S$0.30 or S$0.50 or max S$1 & refillable, NOT S$5.90 for 1 litre water (bottled or tap).

kuroge wagyu karubi - S$54.90

kuroge wagyu karubi – S$54.90

we added the wagyu towards the end decided that since we were there, might as well gave it a try. the kuroge wagyu (黑毛和牛) karubi (short ribs) was good. not sure if worth money even with 33% discounts but it was good. :-)

ribeye 120g - S$25.90++

ribeye 120g – S$25.90++

karubi 120g - S$25.90++

karubi 120g – S$25.90++

kurobuta pork jowl - S$18.90

kurobuta pork jowl – S$18.90

our first orders were the USA ribeye & karubi, and the kurobuta pork jowl. all were good though my wife preferred the beef shio (just salt) so we late had the wagyu order shio.

for me, both beef were good, and the kurobuta was best. :-)

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

beef ishiyaki don - S$15.90

beef ishiyaki don – S$15.90

belly pork ishiyaki don - S$15.90

belly pork ishiyaki don – S$13.90

we had the beef ishiyaki don. we must be hungry as we added also the pork ishiyaki don.

how did tajimaya match up with aburiya. we missed our favourite kimchi chigae & the bibimen (cold spicy noodles) at aburiya. the ishiyaki don here i would rate as better than aburiya’s bibimbab as it had a lot more ingredients – quite substantial beef & pork. meat wise my wife still preferred aburiya. i am ok with both.

our dinner was S$186nett for 3pax after discounts. that though included the expensive wagyu & also S$30++ for sake & S$9++ for 3 tea.

for me, tajimaya was too ex w/o discounts. with discount, it was an alternative to aburiya though I preferred aburiya also for the kimchi chigae & bibimen. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

Good Thai Food @ Patara Fine Thai Cuisine on 19Jul2014

tomyam talay

tomyam talay

had not been to patara for a while. the last post on patara was almost a year on 29.7.2014.

we decided to take advantage of the ongoing amex promotion which gave 1 person free or 33% discount for 3pax.

tomyam talay

tomyam talay

the tomyam tally (seafood) was chokeful of ingredients, prawns, scallops, sotong & sliced coconut. flavourful but we thought it was far too spicy this time.

stuffed chicken wings

stuffed chicken wings

thai stuffed chicken wings not my favourite but they were good standard.

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

we asked the chief waiter whether we should order the roast duck curry or belly pork curry. he recommended the later. it was a very good recommendation. the belly pork was very tender & the curry flavour was excellent.

alaskan crab legs in yellow curry

alaskan crab legs in yellow curry

we decided to skip the whole garoupa dish which we ordered every time & try something new. we picked the alaskan crab legs in yellow curry. it cost S$39++ same as the garoupa. we would have been much better off with the garoupa. this dish was very expensive with just about 5 crab leg sections. the yellow curry was too thin. to me it was not worth the price even with 33% discount.

thai olive rice

thai olive rice

patara’s olive rice was as perfect as ever. :-)

overall the cost came to S$105nett after 33% discount, which was quite fine for 5 dishes, though i was not much into the stuff chicken wing & the alaskan crab was a rip-off!

c.h.e.f andy

A Close Friend’s Birthday Dinner @ Ah Yat Abalone Forum on 16Jul2014

sharksfin soup

#1 sharksfin soup

a close friend celebrating his birthday. normally we would buy dinner. but this time somehow he bought some groupon deal & insisted on buying dinner @ ah yat abalone forum at hotel grand pacific on 16.7.2014. we bought him a cake instead. :-)

sharksfin soup

#1 sharksfin soup

i had not been to ah yat abalone forum (but was a regular visitor to ah yat turf city for past many years until about 2 years ago), so this was a good choice for me to try out the food here. :-)

#1 the sharkskin soup was very good (a surprise actually as usually sharkskin in such sets are no better than, or i should say usually poorer than a good lie tong), a very tasty stock, and much better than ah yat turf city. :-)

chicken fillet with veg

#2 sliced chicken with veg

#2 sliced chicken with veg – this had to be the poorest in the set, quite edible but essentially a nothing dish, i guess understandably to make up the numbers…haha. :-)

deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 the deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce was again above my expectation. i had this couple times at chao yue xuan (a ah yat group restaurant at mohamed sultan) & they were mostly sickly sweet. this one was crispy & good. :-)

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

#4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

#4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

there is nothing to say about the #4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms, competent like any usual veg accompanying a set.

small abalones baked rice

#5 small abalones baked rice

small abalones baked rice

#5 small abalones baked rice

#5 the baked rice with small abalones & mushroom was good. came with 3 small abalones & a thick slice mushroom. :-)

glass jelly with dried longans

#6 glass jelly with dried longans

#6 glass jelly with dried longans was i guess better than the red beans, green beans often served at ah yat turf city & chao yue xuan just to make up the numbers for the set. :-)

birthday cake

birthday cake

a friend went to pick up a nice looking cake from flo at taka food hall. :-)

the groupon was i think S$29.80, which i considered a rather good deal for the quality of food, better than ah yat turf city S$156 for 4pax set on account of the much better quality sharkskin & baked abalone rice but not better than chao yue xuan’s S$38pax 8-course set. :-)

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. several photos courtesy of a friend