Very Good Dinner @ Zazas Amsterdam on 14Apr2014

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amuse bouche

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focaccia bread

had a good dinner at zazas on my second night in amsterdam on 14.4.2014. 🙂 like beulings, we planned & booked the restaurant before the trip.

could not recall the amuse bouche but it was good tasting.

the focaccia was good, the usual.

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carpaccio – euro10.50

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smoked duck mille feuille euro 10.50

we ordered 5 appetisers including the oysters & soup. 🙂

#1 the beef carpaccio was good, sweet & came with foie gras terrine.

#2 the smoked duck mille feuille was good too. smoked duck was good & the pastry too, overall a good dish. taste wise it was not as exciting as it looked. the duck & pastry were competent, good, not special.

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cheese ravioli 1/2 portion euro 8.80

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carrot soup 1/2portion euro2.80

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3 de claire oysters euro 7.50

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creamy & sweet de claire oyster

#3 the ravioli was good. couldn’t remember what was in it, I imagine cheese? but this was better than the green pea risotto we had at the movies restaurant the next day. 🙂

#4 the carrot soup (we had 3 servings of 1/2 portion) had some cream at the bottom & was again very good, and also better than the one at the movies restaurant.

#5 the oysters were excellent, very creamy and sweet. we ordered a second helping of 3 oysters. 🙂

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black cod euro20.50

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guinea fowl euro 20.50

we ordered 2 mains to share.

#6 the cod was competent, but somehow the meat were firmer (& less oily??) than the texture i generally liked, as in my own nobu miso cod or teriyaki cod.

#7 the guinea fowl i guess was competent, just was not a dish that we particularly liked, and by comparison, the duck confit at the movies restaurant was much more enjoyable.

the service was very good – professional & friendly. there was 2 taiwanese ladies on our next table. 1 ordered a lamb but didn’t like it. she was requested to order a different main from the menu. the server took back the lamb & later explained politely & cheerfully that the chef tasted the lamb & it was fine however they would replace it with another main anyway. the lady said sorry when paying the bill & the server said they were sorry that she did not like it. all very nice & pleasant. 🙂

overall the dinner came to euro104 including 2 coffees & a glass of wine, quite good price. it was not really much more expensive than the movies restaurant. the appetisers were great but the mains were not as enjoyable for us c/w the movies restaurant.  i would come back again when in amsterdam.

c.h.e.f andy

 

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Far Surpassing Expectations @ The Movies Restaurant Amsterdam on 15Apr2014

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venison with herb cream & beetroots

my very good dutch friend, hugo, knowing that we were in amsterdam, took a train from rotterdam where he was living to have dinner with the 3 of us on 15.4.2014. 🙂

he met us at our haarlemmerdijke apartment and took us across the street, about 30m, to the movies restuarant. that suited us fine as we were taking the first flight the next day to milan on way to lake como at leaving at 6am.

we had walked past the movie theatre several times to go to haarlemmerplein to take the trams and did not notice from across the road that it had a restaurant.

it had a pub like pleasant cosy atmosphere & we could be forgiven to think the food would be like average. how pleasantly wrong we were! 🙂 i realised that it was quite a place to go to for art house movies afterwards.

the service was also excellent, very warm, friendly & helpful! not sure they could smell the baron-ness in my aristocratic looking friend. lol. 🙂

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green pea risotto

we ordered 4 appetisers & 3 mains.

#1 we did not try hugo’s venison (top photo) but it sure looked good!

#2 the green pea risotto was competent, the risotto done just right, al dente. nothing much to criticise, taste-wise i guess it was good (as could be good for a plain no ingredient risotto), nothing exceptional.

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carrot soup with croutons

#3 my carrot soup was good, well above average. it was though not as good as the carrot & coconut soup we had at a cafeteria  during  a cycle stop earlier in the day (that soup was truly excellent & i intend to try out myself at home).

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tuna rillette salad

#4 the tuna rillette was quite ok.salad was good.

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duck confit & slow braised belly port

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duck confit & slow braised belly port

#5 the duck confit & the slow braised belly pork were excellent, flavourful, moist (not dry & very sinewy like some were) and tender. duck confit not my favourite but this was 1 duck confit i would be quite happy to have, though the helping was too large & i would still prefer to share than to have one all by myself.

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EXCELLENT slow braised lamb loin

#6 hugo’s slow braised lamb turned out to be the best dish, superbly tender & without the very strong gamey taste (the “hiang”=reason many could not take lamb) despite retaining lots of fat. there were 2 large pieces. once hugo started sharing, we ate so fast & polished off 1 of his 2 pieces in a blink! 🙂 i am working on how i can reproduce this dish or with variation, likely using miso marinade or vegetable ratatouille. 🙂

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grilled skate wings

#7 the skate wing my wife had was probably the poorer of the dishes. i guess it was still an ok dish, but this method of preparation would probably render a bland tasteless fish, unlike singapore’s intense chilli bbq preparation which brings out the flavours of the fish with great texture lots of edible cartilage. even the very chinese style of frying with black beans would enhance the flavour a lot more.

overall, i guess this was not quite at the level of zazas though i would rate both mains as better than what we had at zazas. i guess that actually says a lot!

i did not know the total price, but the lamb i think was like euro 22 or euro24 & the duck was like euro18, so it was excellent value by comparison. this would be a very top comfort food restuarant i would be quite happy to return to in amsterdam if i am not specifically trying out other restaurants hoping to find another beulings.

c.h.e.f andy

Beautiful Dinner @ Beulings Amsterdam on 13Apr2014

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arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

had a beautiful dinner at beulings in amsterdam on 13.4.2014. most pleasant start to my amsterdam/como/cinque terre/milan vacationing 13-24apr2014. 🙂

this was the best meal i had during the trip, and that’s when i had several other really great meals at amsterdam, como, cinque terre. not too bad at milan too.

was deciding among beulings, bussia & bridges in amsterdam. bridges (1 michelin star at sofitel the grand), bussia & beulings all had raving tripadvisor reviews. bussia is modern fine italian & we were spending 8 subsequent days in italy, bridges is a bit more high brow, so we decided on the more casual, family-run beulings (husband & wife team i think, bas bont & lisja hu). and the food was simply outstanding! 🙂

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nibble platter

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cheese balls

we had a complimentary nibble platter plus some cheese balls. platter had anchovies (very similar to good ikan bilis!), chorizo (nice) & caviar on something, cannot recall. all very nice. 🙂

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very flavourful brioche

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love the bread

the bread was great too. we ate up everything! 🙂

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the amuse bouche was a carrot soup. it was excellent soup, very smooth, with the sour cream?? taking off the sharp taste of carrots. 🙂

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arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

#1 the fish (arctic char??) ceviche was delicious, very pretty artisan presentation & very sweet like a good sashimi. the salad & lady fingers added nice texture & taste. 🙂

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budels organic beer

my daughter took lisja’s recommendations – budels beer, an organic beer from south of amsterdam. it was light & fragrant, very good beer for euro3.50. we asked but could not find it in other cafes so perhaps its more boutique than popular brew. 🙂

sous vide quail

sous vide quail

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sous vide quail

#2 we were served an excellent quail. i told lisja it was much like the sous vide bresse pigeon at jaan, my favourite restaurant in singapore. this was quite exquisite, very tender juicy breast & the leg too was not dry & sinewy. 🙂

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pasta with bacon & oyster

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pasta with bacon & oyster

#3 the pasta was super! the large fleshy oyster was excellent. the pasta was not quite al dente & yet quite perfect in texture & the slight pickled mildly sour vegetables combined wonderfully. 🙂 my wife & daughter loved this dish!

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pan seared halibut

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pan seared halibut

#4 the halibut?? was great, tasty. all the helpings including this one were quite good size. 🙂

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nicely done rare beef steak

#5 my daughter & i had the beef. it was done perfectly, rare & sweet, and the potato & pumpkin mash were great! 🙂

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petit four

the petit four were pretty standard. macaron was too sweet i thought, chocolates usual, the madeleines & cakes were nice.

it was a small place with maybe 10 tables, one 2pax table was not occupied. place was cosy, service was attentive, friendly, efficient, casual. there was only lisja & 1 other server, but the chefs in the kitchen including bas all served the tables. lisja was busy but not rushed when serving the table & chatted quite a bit with the diners.  the others too. 🙂

the price came to euro178. we had two 5-course at euro55 & one 4-course at euro45 plus water (euro9.75-kind of ex but maybe it was like cover charge or service), 2 glasses of wine & a beer. anyway we rounded it to euro200.

it was an very pleasant, relaxed & throughly enjoyable dinner for us, definitely a place i will come next time i am in amsterdam.

c.h.e.f andy

 

23pax Dinner @ Ban Heng Orchard Central on 25Apr2014

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braised small abalones with broccoli

had our dinner get-together for 23pax at ban heng @ orchard central on 25.4.2014. we had 3 tables. sure looks like our monthly dinners are gaining traction and we have sustainable numbers coming together to catch up each month. 🙂

i had never been to ban heng, the original at boon keng & the now many new outlets. they have a weekday ala carte buffet at S$26.80pax i emailed the link to the organiser & he arranged to do it at the orchard central outlet.

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chilli crab

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sharks fin soup

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stir-fried frog legs

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drunken prawns

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stir-fried scallops with asparagus

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garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon

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deep-fried soon hock

we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above. for me the best dish was the abalone. 🙂 it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.

the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, though these days there were more talks of worthwhile calories & worthwhile cholesterol and focus was more on quality than quantity. 1 friend i asked during dinner said pretty much the same, that relative to price it was ok. another friend commented on FB post afterwards – “The food was actually quite satisfactory for the price and place”.

1 place though i would consider a whole lot better than (after trying) ban heng would be the ala carte buffet at peach garden.

the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers), but it was not a dish that the ladies took much nor the rest.

the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.

the drunken prawn was among the better dishes. 1 lady on my table commented that it had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawns were quite ok.

the frog legs were a bit below par (say) c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.

likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty.  i do a much better tasty dish using IQF frozen razor clams from giant, but of course i always prefer razor clams to scallops for this garlic steamed preparation.

the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.

the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. this was also a standard dish at many restaurants. couldn’t say it was poor but while the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.

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roast duck

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steamed sea bass

the lady who commented on the drunken prawns went to spy on the other tables…haha…& we ordered the steamed seabass & the roast duck. good food-spotting, well done!

the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 🙂 though 1 friend commented that soon hock was a better & more expensive fish…but it goes to show that quality of cooking/preparation is equally or sometime more important than quality of ingredients. 🙂

the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. 🙂 (but compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!) it prompted the lady friend to say perhaps the trick was to mine the non chef recommendations.

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stir-fried baby kai lans

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spinach with superior stock

the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average. the baby kailan had very good wok hae. & the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.

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thai deep-fried tofu

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prawn cocktail salad

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braised goose

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hae chor

10294413_10152348756534494_6515834032046957718_n the deep-fried tofu with thai sauce was much below par, both the tofu & also the sauce.

the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.

the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.

the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not “pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. my own teochew braised duck is also more flavourful than this. 1 friend asked whether one could tell between goose & duck. couple of us felt that (say) when eating goose in hong kong the more gamey & fragrant taste was quite apparent. 🙂

desserts were provided on a self-serviced buffet table. the ice jelly was quite refreshing. i had 2 helpings topped up with sea coconut. 🙂

overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together.  ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too.  it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap Eats @ Guan Kim Coffeeshop on 10Apr2014

S$6 fish head curry - cheap, average

S$6 fish head curry – cheap, average

makan at guan kim coffeeshop next to tanglin halt market on 10.4.2014.

was waiting in queue for the S$2.80 teochew fishball noddles & saw a few tables ordering the curry fish head. decided to have that instead.

fish head was only S$6. i guess 1 of the cheapest around.  the tenggiri (spanish mackerel) fish head was ok, the curry was average or below, a bit powdery, taste like some mix, not great ones.

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S$3.50 white cut chicken drumstick

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guan kim coffeeshop

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S$3.50 white cut chicken drumstick

S$6 fish head curry - cheap, average

S$6 fish head curry – cheap, average

the S$3.50 white cut chicken (白斩鸡) drumstick was quite well done , like many good chicken rice stall. texture-wise chicken was very smooth & tender (and tasty with the sauce). like a friend said, its quite different with kampong chicken, which is much sweeter.

guan kim is always quite well frequented so the food here is quite ok. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

a friend shared an interesting video on Facebook = 24 things you do wrong! 🙂

in it there was a video of how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

i am not normally into sandwiches though i take a slice of buttered bread or toast for lunch if i can i.e. not lunching out with friends.  for this evening, wife & daughter were away & i was feeling “sian” i.e. unmotivated & bored, so i gave this a try for nothing better to do. 🙂

grilled cheese sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

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grilled cheese sandwich

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grilled cheese sandwich

video was instructive. i simply followed so there is nothing really to note. 🙂

only cheese i had was a brie so i used that, buttered the wholemeal bread & did the slow heat on a non-stick pan & covered as shown in the video . result was pretty ok. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Return to Petite Menu on 8Apr2014

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lavendar pumpkin soup

went back to petite menu with my RI buddies for 7pax dinner on 8.4.2014. kind of soon as i just had a great dinner here at petite menu on 22.3.2014, but enjoyed just as much. 🙂

we all decided to take the S$36 4-course tasting menu since it featured the restaurants’ signature dishes. it came with the lavendar pumpkin soup, smoked duck salad, a choice of mains = pan-seared seabass or chicken leg confit, and the deconstructed blackforest.

we asked if some would like to try the ribeye, they could top-up the S$5 difference (ribeye was S$20 & the seabass & chicken confit were S$15 on the menu). the restaurant was under no obligation of course to consent to our requests (& we were ok if they were unable) but for this time they agreed. so 2 took the chicken confit, 1 took the seabass & 4 had the ribeye.

#1 this the second time i had the lavendar pumpkin soup. everyone agreed the lavendar fragrance was overpowering (like eating perfume) but the soup turned out to be quite good when eaten with the wakame seafood. the crunchy granny smith apple balls added some unusual texture. everyone quite liked/didn’t mind it. 🙂

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smoked duck salad

#2 smoked duck salad – duck was good (a bit salty), tomatoes good with mesclun salad & some dollops of creme fraiche.

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chicken leg confit

#3 the chicken confit (rather unusual) looked & smelled excellent, and came with purple cabbage & pumpkin puree. 1 friend said it was very tender. 🙂

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pan-seared seabass

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pan-seared seabass

#3 the pan seared seabass with quinoa salad was also par excellence! i thought the taste & texture of fish was very good (usually seabass has mud taste & falling apart meat texture), the foam, the flavour of sauce, the artisan presentation which enhanced the flavours & dining experience made it on par with most fine dining restaurant standard. 🙂

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grilled ribeye

#3 the ribeye was a large serving for S$20, but it was quite disappointing. i had a very good onglet (hanger steak) here at last visit & ribeye is a better cut than hanger steak so i was expecting better. the cooking was actually ok, the browning (searing) & the medium rare doneness were ok, but the quality of the cut was not great. 1 friend left 2/3 of the steak with tendons etc though i finished mine completely. also the seabass was very good here so i would not order the ribeye next time.

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kaya toast

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deconstructed blackforest

my friends were impressed with the dessert. the deconstructed blackforest was excellent. we ordered 2 servings of kaya toast to share & they all liked it too except 1 friend commented the helping was too small c/w the blackforest.

the bill came to S$48nett pax, including 4x top-ups & 2 extra orders of kaya toast. everyone was full & happy! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Afternoon Tea @ Nassim Hill Bakery on 6Apr2014

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

daughter wanted to try nassim hill bakery for afternoon tea. we bought stamps at the tanglin post office next door a month back but did not try out this place.

all day breakfast, egg bens, burgers & sandwiches & hip cafes do not hold any particular attraction for me though i do agree that some are pretty ok & a good departure from the usual stuff i take, and i am quite able to enjoy them if good even if not my preferred. 🙂

the hot reuben was a favourite here. though for me it was more like what else was there to order here? i could just see perhaps a grilled chicken salad or grilled chicken sandwich…pizzas not our favourite, & pasta sorry to think this way but i probably do them better myself. in any case probably wouldn’t order these items in a cafe unless some close friends really vouched for them.

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

carrot soup

carrot soup

nassim hill bakery

nassim hill bakery

turned out that the hot reuben sandwich was really quite good, and quite a good helping for S$18. corn beef (which i always associate with luncheon meat, a favourite to steam on top of the cooked rice in a rice cooker when i was studying abroad 30++years ago) was good & the sauerkraut was not sour & went well with the meat & bread. not something i could finish by myself. we shared among 4pax. 🙂

good thing here was that when you ordered a main, you could order a soup (usual S$6), coffee/tea (usual S$5/S$6) or soft drink (we were not interested) for S$3. so we added a flat white, a mint tea & a soup (carrot soup, above photo) for S$3 for each item.

the ambience was great! parking was limited but we were able to park right outside the cafe on a sunday afternoon. 🙂

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

flat white

flat white

we added an apple crumble (carrot cake was a favourite here but we look at the cake tray & it did not excite us). this was good – crumb was good, apple was not too sweet, the cake layer was a bit large. reminded me of my jam crumb cake, a recipe i picked up recently rather successfully. 🙂

coffee/flat white was ok, kind of average. the ones we had recently at costa were quite a bit better.

service was a bit sloppy – forgot our soup order completely, and after waited long after we finished the hot reuben & coffee, took another inordinately long time to make right & service recovery, and did not make effort to offer a smile or friendly apology though overall the staff were quite polite but NOT attentive! after soup was finally served, took another long time to serve the apple crumble saying they thought we had canceled the cake (why make such assumptions on behalf of customer? if not, why use it as an excuse? better to just say sorry & make good). i guess it was quite ok, average, could be worse in some places.

the orders for 4pax was S$38nett so it was pretty ok though we ordered not so many items.

maybe once in a while, i might do this with some one who like the ambience & share the pretty ok food. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Average Hawker Food @ East Coast Lagoon Food Village on 6Apr2014

orh luah (oyster omelette) - S$4

orh luah (oyster omelette) – S$4

went with wife to marine parade/changi coast road to cycle my new bike this morning.

decided to makan at east coast lagoon food village. the place was closed for S$1.5m 3-month renovation in aug2013 & re-opened in nov2013. i hardly went there even before renovation so didn’t mind to try out the place.

the food stalls were spread over a sprawling area. it’s probably good for ambience & but kind of inconvenient for getting food and didn’t look like too many seats over a large area, not so efficient.

east coast seafood centre orh luah stall

east coast lagoon food village no.12 orh luah stall

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orh luah (oyster omelette) – S$4

the orh luah at stall No12 was pretty good. i bought the S$4 portion & that was enough for 2 of us. i quite liked the egg & corn flour starchy part with egg. 🙂

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roxy laksa S$4.50

the S$4.50 roxy “one & only” laksa was quite disappointing, does not even have hum (cockles)! i hardly take laksa these days anyway, nothing like the very shiok curry chicken noddles @ hong lim food centre.

it was the usual “katong” lemak laksa now selling everywhere including hollandv.  laksa w/o hum was like meaningless to me (that is of course just a personal preference). in any case it was no different from anywhere else & my favourite is still sungei road laksa which was lots better than this & cost only S$3 PLUS it has cockles & you can “kay hum” – add cockles. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

100,058 Hits on 4Apr2014

steamed razor clams with garlic (beautiful photo taken by Jeanette at 6.10.2012 homecooked dinner)

steamed razor clams with garlic (beautiful photo taken by friend at 6.10.2012 homecooked dinner)

my blog reached its first 100,000 hits on 4.4.2014. that’s about 13months from start on 4.3.2013.

some 85% were from singapore, the rest 15% from 116 countries (below).

currently blog is running like 13,000 hits/mth, so i should be getting past 200,000 hits by end 2014. 🙂

as stated in earlier posts, i started this food/travel blog for my personal enjoyment, recollections, relishing & sharing moments of joy & get-togethers/fellowship with family & friends.

that is still my primary motivation. (see also why i blog & my guidelines & perspectives)

it is of course rewarding if others should find the posts useful & fun reading. 🙂

thank you everyone for stopping by.

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. please also “like” my Facebook page.

 

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Thai Style Curry Fish Head @ Forture Restaurant on 3Apr2014

thai style fish head curry _ S$25

thai style fish head curry _ S$25

had not been to this old holland road coffeeshop 金山岭 for years.

used to love the thai style curry fish head at forture restaurant (still do!), and also the chilli crab many years back, basically because they were good & cheap then. for a while ah yat @ turf city was having 50% weekday discounts (now 40%) and the crab at ah yat at the time (up to 3 – 4 years back) were like S$19.90/kg after discount for indonesian crabs, which was cheaper than the S$26/kg at forture, and ah yat served very cheap seafood like bamboo clams (still does), so only dish that stood out at forture was the thai style fish head curry.

decided to go with a friend to take the fish head  on 3.4.2014 after the long lay off. fish head still very fresh & curry was great. the hor fun though was not good. disappointing really, usually quite good when i “da pao” (take out).

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hor fun – S$3.50

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hor fun – S$3.50

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old holland road coffeeshop 金山岭

thai style fish head curry - S$25

thai style fish head curry – S$25

my friend paid for dinner which came to just below S$30. the hot fun was S$3.50, so the fish head must be like S$25 (far cry from the time when it was S$15 & i came often), plus we had 1 rice to share & also the towels. my friend asked for water & the charge was S$0.40.

i guess price was ok. the 1/2 fish head was a large one. it was fresh & the curry was tasty, but taking it after so many years, it was unique but really no better than assam fish head & indian curry fish head – both have more kick than this one. also considering that the spicy bean sauce song fish head at honk kong street cost S$18 (though this one here had vegetables with the curry), S$25 was not cheap.

it was satisfying nonetheless, but the allure was gone. i can have this sometimes & enjoy it, but i can do without too.

c.h.e.f. andy

 

Very Average Bakuteh @ Lau Ah Tee (老阿弟) Whampoa on 3Apr2014

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went to boon keng/whompoa area to get something.

so dropped by to have bakuteh @ lau ah tee (老阿弟). this used to be my 2nd favourite after rong chen at sin min. but last time i went rong chen, somehow the taste had changed? or my taste changed?

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anyway they ran out of prime ribs (排骨) so only have pork ribs (肉骨). sorry to say this was not even as good as the bakuteh i do at home.  the ribs i bought from sheng shiong were much better, more tender, sweeter & tastier, though i think their soup still better than my packet ones.

so far, ng ah sio bakuteh @ chui huay lim & song fa @ new bridge road are still the better ones i had recently. i will probably have to try the prime rib here at lau ah tee & also at rong chen again to decide.

c.h.e.f andy

Top Quality Lunch @ Les Amis on 1Apr2014

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bread bast=baguette, sour dough, walnut bread

a good friend bought lunch at les amis on 1.4.2014. no april fool haha. 🙂

i must have not stepped into les amis for 5, maybe 10 years? though i did have excellent meals at au jardin (it’s now closed) couple times a year. always thought it was very ex…some months back they introduced this 4-course set lunch. having taken the food, i think it is excellent value-for-money at S$45pax, one of the nest lunches i had. 🙂

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flat brioche with olives & sundried tomatoes

we started with a bread basket of baguette, sour dough & a very good walnut bread PLUS a truly superb bread (brioche texture) with olive, sundried tomatoes? etc. just fabulous! 🙂

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tomato confit on bead of grilled aubergines & filo pastry

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tomato confit on bead of grilled aubergines & filo pastry

#1 & the tomato confit was incredible! 🙂 it was on a bed of grilled aubergine on filo pastry. there are tomato confit & there are tomato confit, but this was just excellent!

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green pea soup

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green pea soup

#2 green pea soup not my favourite, but this was again very good indeed! very smooth & nicely creamy. i may get to like green pea soup a bit more. 🙂

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patagonia toothfish (chilean seabass)

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beautiful red cabbage

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chilean seabass & red cabbage

#3 there was a choice of patagonia toothfish (chilean seabass, my favourite fish, over cod) OR roast pigeon. both of us took the chilean sea bas. it was as good as chilean seabass usually were. the sweet red cabbage was ok but not quite my type – i finished about 40% of it.

while this fish never fails to meet expectations as you need a bad chef to screw this up, the tomato confit way surpassed expectations – most places would get it bad or mediocre.

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walnut apple pie

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chocolate mousee

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#4 the dessert of the day a walnut apple pie? was likewise not my favourite, but again it was superbly done. 🙂 fillings not sickeningly sweet & very good pastry. the chilled chocolate mousse was very good too.

the S$60 lunch menu came with line caught seabass & choice of lobster pasta & australian wagyu etc. i had some doubts on the line-caught thingy being any different from usual & seabass like low down c/w the chilean seabass but the cooking standards here really good i will probably try it.

i was also curious about the 6-course S$120 menu. it said grilled dry aged beef so i asked the waiter (he was very knowledgeable) why this was better than the australian wagyu in the S$60 menu. he said it was OHMI WAGYU! i told him omg! ohmi (a top 3 japanese wagyu) & you don’t write that in your menu? my, my!

i had an excellent degustation at jaan on 20.1.2014 with some friends recently, and we were lucky to trade our pigeon (which was good too) for miyazaki dry-aged wagyu, but this was ohmi, not miyazaki!

i told the waiter this the second time i came across dry-aged japanese wagyu (first was jaan). dry ageing intensifies the flavours & results in substantial weight lost. japanese wagyu is so ex & already very marbled & very intense in flavours i don’t see them served dry aged in japan. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Japanese Food @ Mikuni on 31Mar2014

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truffle kampachi

had another wonderful 4pax dinner – great food & company – with my wife & 2 close friends at mikuni on 31.3.2014. 🙂

i ordered the usual “Andy’s kaiseki” items per the mikuni 24.3.2013 blogpost…lol.. with some new additions, namely lobster teppanyaki & teriyaki cod.

#1 we started as usual with the truffle kampachi. this fusion sashimi dish never failed to impress, both presentation and taste, a perfect start to the evening meal.

#2 next up were 2 maki – mikuni maki topped with unagi (eel) & a salmon belly maki. they were ok but not as good as the UN futomaki & the spider maki. i did not take photos.

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#3 next was the botanebi. as usual we had the excellent sashimi (these were large prawns larger than aka ebi & >4x  size of amaebi) & had the prawn heads deep-fried – you could eat up everything basically, it was that good! 🙂 there were 3 prawns per serving @ S$45, so i asked them to make it 4 prawns @ S$60

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tako sous vide

#4 after that we had the sous vide octopus tempura served with a wasabi mayo which we sprinkled with the red chilli powder. this was again very good, the sous vide meat was tender not tough & totally consistent, and contrasting texture with the lightly battered surface.

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lobster teppanyaki

#5 then we had 2 lobster teppanyaki to share among 4pax. 🙂 the preparation was varied somewhat from the last time – instead of uniyaki i.e. with uni (sea urchin) sauce, it was a melted cheese mayo. this was excellent. the cheese could make it “jelak” = easily satiated, otherwise it was just perfect. i ate up everything! 🙂

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teriyaki cod

#6 we ordered the teriyaki cod as well. this was one place where i took my inspiration for my own teriyaki cod, which by my kindly friends acclaims was almost there but i guess the one here was still somewhat better. 🙂

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kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

#7 lastly, we had 2 orders of kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe to share among 4pax. the beef looked different, more marbled & slightly thinner. taste-wise it was par excellence, as were the ones previously.

with 50% FAR (feed at raffles) discounts for food & 25% on liquor, the bill for 4pax including a S$50 sake was S$284 nett=S$60pax++ after discounts. and for such an excellent meal. no wonders that we keep going back. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy