Seafood Risotto Par Excellence

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

i repeated my lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu for 11pax friends get-together on 30.7.2014.

while overall it was not as good as the last round, the seafood risotto though was outstanding. and so was the tiramisu. 🙂

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

seafood risotto modelled after monterosso miky

i am very happy with this risotto. the key was the intense stock from prawn shells & heads. there was also the vegetable base from chopped carrots, celery, leeks, yellow onions & green pepper which i softened before adding 1.2 cups of rice. the vegetable sweetness balanced well the prawn stock sweetness. the aborio rice was done al dente by putting in a 210degC oven for 10 minutes, which took it to about 90% cooked.

the prawns & squids were pre-cooked, fried in butter.

the mussels & mango clams were cooked when serving the dish. i did them separately adding sliced ginger, chilli padi & orange peels. they took only few minutes. then the risotto was put on high fire with remaining stock added & just before serving the prawns, squids, mussels & mango clams were added, & cooked for 1 minute. 🙂

the risotto was so very tasty, almost dare i say as good as miky’s…almost but never quite…& the seafood were all so very fresh, tasty, done just right & not overcooked. 🙂

& my friend took such nice photos above as well!

c.h.e.f andy

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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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

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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 29.7.2013.

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

12-course Homecooked Dinner for 9pax on 15Jul2014

#1 cured salmon

#1 cured salmon

an update for memories.

did a 12-course chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014. what’s notable this time were 3 new dishes – salted egg prawns,  steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼 & seafood fried rice. dishes all good, except lava cake was disaster as lava cake though taste was good (for a brownie…haha..). 🙂

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#1 cured salmon & #2 steamed oysters were quite new dishes too, served for the first time during my recent lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu for RI friends on 2.7.2014.

the very fresh salmon fillet was bought on the day itself & brined in salt & sugar solution for 4 hours. nice colour & tasty.

the large oysters were IQF (individual quick frozen) from sheng shiong just S$11.95 for 1 kg pack, steamed with 2 teaspoon light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil, sliced ginger & chilli padi for 2 minutes.

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken was quite sweet & tasty. this time though the chicken tasted a bit gamey. i used kampong chicken from sheng shiong for the first time couple weeks back. no gamey taste then.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 was dry brined with sichuan spicy chilli sauce, sugar & various spices for 48hrs, simmered for 15minutes & poached for 1/2 hour. it was tender & tasty. i liked it. 🙂

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 – the pork belly was done 5hrs using the crockpot braising method starting cold & on low, so the very slow braise from slow rising temperature produced a very tender belly pork, thinly sliced & drizzled with the mildly sweet sichuan spicy sauce, which was key in this preparation. this was a crowd favourite. 🙂

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb was the best i did, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. 3 day miso marinade & 5hrs in 90degC oven. many liked this. 🙂

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7  the poor man’s buddha jumps over the wall was another favourite. this time (also last 11pax dinner on 14.6.2014) was the best. it had very tender pig trotters & belly pork, thick mushrooms & limpets. 🙂

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns. was quite excited doing this for very first time. prawns was deep-fried. paste was done using salted duck egg york, curry leaves & milk. prawns were very fresh but less crispy as it was done at 4pm like 4hrs before serving & set aside with paste added on in pan before serving. too much milk, paste not viscous enough & salted egg flavour was too dilute. will improve next time. 🙂

#9 steamed japnese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass – another first time dish, basically repeating the steamed oysters method on the fish, using light soy sauce, olive oil, sliced ginger , orange peel & chilli padi. quite successful this one, fish very fresh & tasty w/o fishy taste (even though the fish was frozen for more than 1 month in freezer). 🙂

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 romaine lettuce was good as usual. 🙂

#11 seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice

imperial treasure lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice was another new dish, and it turned out to be a crowd favourite also. 🙂

buttered prawns & sotong were done separately. the key was again the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. rice was also pre- fried & set aside. when serving, rice was returned to pan then seafood added, heat & served. 🙂

no comparison with the real thing of course – seafood fried rice from crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao! haha. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

#12 tofu cheese cake was good as usual. 🙂

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

lava cake was outright bad though even if the taste of the “brownie” it became was good. 😦

not much lava leh, even though i followed the same timing as my much earlier efforts (checked back the records, last time was on 28.8.2014) which were mostly good ones much also had a few failures then.

mango flan

mango flan

friends brought a very nice mango flan, small seeded lychees & strawberries. 🙂

a very fun evening get-together! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Xing Ji (興记) Bakchormee at Fengshan Food Centre on 13Jul2014

xing ji (興记) bakchormee

xing ji (興记) bakchormee

a lot of late nights & day zombies lately. 🙂

went to a friend’s place to watch the germany – argentina world cup finals at 3am 14.7.2014. we arranged to meet at 10.30pm for supper then back to friend’s place to watch a movie. that would bring us nicely to 3am to watch the WC finals. 🙂

i supported argentina though it was an uphill task. both sides had good chances, however argentina lacked good finishers. messi was heavily marked & mostly in midfield with several lightning dashes down the right flanks but there was no centre forwards to receive his crosses & pullbacks – angela di maria was injured, aquero was not game fit & missing his speed & touches, gondola higuain missed a sitter & badly fluffed a superb lavazzi’s cross with an offside goal! & manual neuer the german goalkeeper smothered palacio’s once chance. anyway, in the end i guess the best team won! 🙂

before the WC finals we watched zero dark thirty, a multiple award winning film (oscar, bafta, golden globe etc) about the hit on osama bin laden. it was a good movie but for me it was not among the best & it was also hard to follow (need to read up first to understand the movie).

for supper, we had the famous xingji soupy bakchormee, see video here.

we also had the ngoh hiang & orh luah.

xing ji (興记) bakchormee fengshan food centre

xing ji (興记) bakchormee fengshan food centre

xing ji (興记) bakchormee

xing ji (興记) bakchormee

ngoh hian

ngoh hiang

ngoh hian

ngoh hiang

orh luah

orh luah

orh luah

orh luah

xingji soupy bakchormee was every bit as good as featured in the video. it was very different from the mushroom sauce tai wah bakchormee, very shiok songfa bakchormee, and the teochew meerpok tar at jalan tua kong lau lim bedok simpang, & jalan tua kong 6th avenue meepok tar etc.

the ngoh hiang was a disappointment! 😦 sausage was poor & ngoh hiang not tasty.

likewise the orh luah was poor, much worse than the orh luah at east coast lagoon food village.

c.h.e.f andy

Meepok Tar is Back at 6th Avenue @ Jalan Tua Kong on 8Jul2014

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

the jalan tua kong meepok tar is back at good good coffeshop 6th avenue! renovation over. 🙂

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

meepok tar @ jalan tua kong 6th avenue

noodles now S$4. picture looked good, noodles was qq, chilli was good & ingredients were good, but it was quite salty. 😦 otherwise it was fine, still good. 🙂

will try again to see if that was just one off! just based on today, it was not so great vs jalan tua kong lau lim meepok tar & the very shiok ming fa bakchormee at upper thomson.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Great Value Sushi & Sashimi Bento Dinner @ Momoya on 6Jul2014

tempra & udon sey

tempra & udon set

went to friend’s house in the east again to watch wimbledon finals between djokovic & federer on 6.7.2014.

we decided to go another place for dinner. we had been going to east coast lagoon food village the last few times. 1 friend suggested momoya at jalan pari burong.

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$17 sashimi & sushi set

S$5 sashimi upsize - 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize – 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize - 9 pieces

S$5 sashimi upsize – 9 pieces

must say they have very good & inexpensive sets here. momoya also serves ala carte buffet, S$31++pax for lunch & S$35++pax for dinner (same buffet menu).

1 friend ordered the tempura & udon set. the tempura moriawase included 3 prawns, i guessing 1 fish & 2 vegetables. i tried 1 prawn, it was ok, the batter just average not so great.

another friend & i ordered the sushi & sashimi set. there were 12 pieces of sashimi – 4 slices each of salmon, maguro (tuna) & hamachi (yellow tail). salmon was very good, comparable with sun with moon at wheelock & might be better than or about same as chikuwatei. hamachi & maguro were quite standard, probably about same as chikuwatei not as good as sun with moon wheelock. the 6 pieces of sushi were pretty good quality – salmon, maguro, kajiki, eel, amaebi & ebiko. the set included soup & chawamushi (very average not great). at S$17++ for 12 pieces of sashimi & 6 pieces of sushi of above average to good quality, it was really good value for money.

we added 2 upsized portions of sashimi. this was same as the sashimi in the set except that there were 3 slices each so total 9 pieces sashimi for just S$5.

i would say the sashimi was about comparable with chikuwatei so S$17 set for 18 pieces was a much better deal than the S$25++ chirashi don at chikuwatei, and adding the upsize 9 pieces sashimi, it was just S$22++. the sashimi were good enough that greedy me enjoyed the overdose of 27 pieces for just S$22++. the S$20++ chirashi don set at ginza kuroson offered better quality sashimi but portion wise would be 1/2 this mount.

i would do this again when visiting my friends in the east.

c.h.e.f andy

Pre-Wimbledon Semi+World Cup France-Germany Dinner@East Coast Lagoon Food Village on 4Jul2014

bakchormee

bakchormee

went to a friend’s house for a marathon evening of 2 wimbledon semis – Federer vs Raonic & Djokovic vs Dimitrov aka baby Fed. 🙂

we took the pleasant stroll to east coast lagoon food village. the last we came was during roland garros on 8.6.2014. 🙂

bakchormee

bakchormee

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

this time we tried the supposedly famours pig trotters at han jia bakuteh & pork leg. i wanted bakchormee so i skipped the rice & just had the trotters. according to my friend, this stall was quite good except that it was less good in the evening as the trotters got to be too soft.

braised pig trotters, taupok, chai buay

braised pig trotters, taupok, chai buay

my bakchormee was ok but not of the standard of tai wah bakchormee, jalan tua kong lau lim at bedok simpangjalan tua kong meepok tar at 6th avenue etc.

my 2 other friends ordered also taupok, chai buay + peanuts & kidney, liver soup. all were ok except the pig trotters. partly because  we ordered the lean trotters, but this was way below the standard of any good trotters stall like ng ah sio bakuteh, song fa bakuteh etc.

i had tried several stalls here after 4 visits including laksa, orh luah, satay, beef noodles, bbq chicken & now the pig trotters. except for the bbq chicken wings & orh luah which were good, i have to say that this food centre is way below par c/w with say maxwell road hawker centre, amoy street hawker centre, hong lim hawker centre & bukit timah food centre.

after dinner we enjoyed the top drawer sound system & music, this time jason mraz, & the wimbledon semis & world cup quarterfinals between france & germany. we left about 2am, skipping the brazil-columbia game. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy