Very Good 6th Avenue Wanton Noodles on 28Feb2015

wanton noodles

wanton noodles

had very nice wanton noodles at 6th avenue good good coffeehouse today on 28.2.2015.^^

went to sin min to do something & thought of dropping by at rong cheng 榕城 bakuteh at sin min road, but there was no parking lots or space.

i did not realise that an old RI friend was behind me. got friendly hoots from friend but thought it was impatient Singaporeans! 🙂

wanton noodles

wanton noodles

anyhow, went to the 6th ave wanton noodles & had a pretty nice S$3.50 wanton noodles instead. ^^

never tried this stall before. it was very good in fact. noodles were very qq, chilli sauce mix was excellent, & char siew & wantons were good too.

wanton

wanton

i thought overall it tasted better than the wanton noodles i had recently at whampoa food centre, and better than wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop hougang avenue 10 (which was on the sweet side).

now i have more options when i eat at 6th avenue.

c.h.e.f andy

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Yatai 屋台 on Nakasu Island, Ramen Stadium & Canal City on 28Feb2015

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

after a very delightful meal of sashimi omakase (haha!) in our JR kyshu blossoms hotel room, we had a good rest & took a stroll to canal city, ramen stadium & nakasu in the evening & to try out the yatai 屋台on 28.1.2015.^^

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

yatai屋台 on nakasu island

there are some 150 such street stalls in fukuoka. they can be found in tenjin, nagahama & nakasu.

i guess foreigners were naturally attracted to the idea of yatai 屋台. ^^

it seemed such a fun place, which locals also frequent. e.g. in the korean equivalent pojangmacha 포장마차 包藏马车, there’s a lot of socialising, people getting drunk & piggy-back home (in korea dramas..haha!). 🙂

i asked 1 of my korean friends. she said there’s pojangmacha & there’s pojangmacha. everyone has her own favourite & it really depends if you like these street food & what you order.

kushiyaki串烧@nakasu yatai 屋台

kushiyaki串烧@nakasu yatai 屋台

the yatai 屋台 we decided to try was on nakasu island by the river.

food was quite poor really, both the kushiyaki & also the ramen which was NOT even comparable to the instant mala chashu ramen & the kyushu black instant ramen i made at home.

oden- yatai屋台

oden@ yatai屋台

we did not take oden, not something we were interested.

grilled mentaiko 900yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

grilled mentaiko 900yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

we had the grilled mentaiko. so so.

kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

i guess the kushiyaki moriawase 6 for 800yen was not like very expensive, but my wife said they were not 1/2 as nice as tori-q, which is the truth, not that we even eat much of tori-q. haha!^^

beef stomach 600yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

beef stomach 600yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

this was a mistake! couldn’t understand what the stall owner said, we thought it was beef tripes (there was an english menu that said beef stomach) but it was more like literally beef fat!

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

very poor ramen 650yen @nakasu yatai 屋台

ramen at the yatai 屋台 , don’t order it!

we should have tried at the ramen stadium instead. at least those looked as good as the ramen village (拉麺小路) at level 10 kyoto station.

nakasu island

nakasu island

nakasu island

nakasu island

it was a pleasant place for a stroll in the evening.

canal city - view from nakasu island

canal city – view from nakasu island

view of canal city from nakasu island side.

canal city

canal city

ramen stadium – canal city

ramen stadium looked mighty fine.

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city

canal city was quite nice to walk through. not sure what was there to do.. shopping & more shopping.

c.h.e.f andy

Ichiran 一蘭 Ramen Hakata & Green Tea Parfait on 28Feb2015

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

i seldom take ramen in singapore as it is too much carbs & i find it too expensive for me. i can get so much better food at those prices. it’s just my personal bias, haha!^^

in japan i had a few ramen, notably my favourite ramen ever hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) @ dotonbori osaka.

&  toyama black (富山ブラック) stall by menya iroha @ ramen village at kyoto station building.

since we were in kyshu, we wanted to try Ichiran 一蘭. so on 28.1.2015, after walking around tenjin underground city & buying excellent sashimi from mitsukoshi to feast in our hotel rooms, we went looking for & found Ichiran 一蘭 at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.

i don’t think any ramen can ever replace my favourite hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩). but ichiran was really good!^^

in japan, so many eating outlets used vending machines, wonder why they are not more popular in singapore? very few restaurants have vending machines.

 

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

we shared one ramen.

& selected firm (al dente), additional pork & vinegar. my wife liked this pork better as it was lean, unlike hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) & toyama black (富山ブラック).

noodles texture was superb, completely al dente!^^

the tonkotsu broth was fantastic, pork excellent, so overall a very good ramen.

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

after ramen, we shared a green tea parfait.

really excellent parfait, with green tea cake, green tea ice cream, green tea jelly, mochi, warabi mochi etc.

this day was for bites, so we had ramen, parfait, then went back hotel to have our sashimi omakase. in the evening we went to canal city, ramen stadium, & ate kushiyaki & ramen at yatai 屋台 at nakasu.

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Interesting Lunch @ Nirai Kanai Okinawan Diner on 27Feb2015

pig's ear

pig’s ear

a friend arranged to buy 6pax lunch today 27.2.2015. not sure if he made a killing in the US market? haha! ^^

it’s an interesting place, narai kana okinawan diner at liang court.

he/we ordered many interesting dishes.

wasabi octopus

wasabi octopus

first was the pig’s ear ( i saw on couple of blog reviews), and the wasabi octopus.

both were good. ^^ small dishes, especially the pig’s ears. the octopus was interesting, very nice teture & flavours.

kakuni - okinawan braised belly pork

okinawan braised belly pork

kakuni - okinawan braised belly pork

okinawan braised belly pork

we had the okinawan braised belly pork (a famous okinawan dish) well reported by almost every blogger. it was good, but not much different from the kakuni i did. it was also a little on the sweet side, and by comparison, the steamed knuckles we had later was better! 🙂

deepfried small river shrimps

deepfried small river shrimps

the deepfried small river shrimps was nice.

bitter gourd

bitter gourd

bitter gourd was done well, no bitter taste. it was something quite easy to do at home though.

silk gourd with minced pork

silk gourd with minced pork

the silk gourd with minced was nice. i liked it, for me a better dish than the bitter gourd. our dentist friend split the dish for 6 servings. very well done indeed!^^

steamed pig trotters

steamed pig trotters

steamed pig trotters

steamed pig trotters

we had the steamed pig trotters. i liked the very good gelatine & bite texture, w/o too heavy overpowering sauce.

onsen egg

onsen egg

i had the onsen egg. nothing special here. i can make a 6mins runny yolk egg easily enough.^^

somen

somen

somen

somen

the somen was nice, with the usual tsuyu sauce.

seaweed dish

seaweed dish

okinawan style onigiri

okinawan style onigiri

okinawan style onigiri

okinawan style onigiri

deepfried seaweed

deepfried seaweed

we were basically full but did not mind trying out couple more dishes. so our friend ordered the onigiri, a triangular shaped rice balls okinawan style? the deep-fried seaweed, and another seaweed dish.

a very enjoyable lunch with great company.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Sashimi & Sushi from Fukuoka Mitsukoshi at Tenjin on 28Jan2015

uni 1500yen

uni 1500yen

we arrived fukuoka hakataeki by train from beppu about noon time on 28.1.2015. 🙂

after checking into our hotel JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Fukuoka on the west side of hakataeki, we decided to take the subway to tenjin to walk around & explore the area.

it was a tenjin underground city with huge shopping streets – tenjin chikagai.

we planned to go to the canal city & maybe try out the yatai 屋台 at nakasu in the evening, so decided to go back to hotel for a rest first.

my wife & i had always enjoyed sashimi & sushi from the supermarkets. this time we bought a few from mitsukoshi at tenjin to enjoy our own omakase sashimi treat in the hotel room…haha!^^

on the way back to hotel, we decided to share a ramen at ichiran at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.^^

the uni, needless to say, was heavenly – so sweet, fragrant, melt in the mouth.

toro 900yen

toro 900yen

& the toro, it was excellent! maybe it was chutoro but it was quite fatty, & simply lovely!^^

hotate 500yen

hotate 500yen

hotate always good, plump, sweet, tasty.

sayori 500yen

sayori 500yen

we had not take sayori  (flying fish or half-beak) for long time since the good old days at unkai (tanglin road) & mezzanine as we don’t go (super rare) sushi counter nowadays in singapore. this was good though i now don’t miss it much.

shellfish sushi 1100yen

shellfish sushi 1100yen

& we had a top quality sushi platter, with akagai, torigai, awabi (abalone), hotate & atlantic surf clam etc.

all these came to 4500yen! & absolutely restaurant quality in the best jap restaurants in singapore. the box of uni alone would cost S$60++, likely S$80++.

such a wonderful feasting!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Hokkaido Wagyu Steak & Sukiyaki @ Imahan Hakata on 29Jan2015

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

this would rank as one of our best wagyu dinners in japan!^^

we decided to try out imahan hakata at hakataeki level 9 on 29.1.2015.

we had another best wagyu yakiniku & sukiyaki at moritaya at kyoto station during our previous tateyama alpine route & kamikochi trip in 2013.

we had a steak at imahan hakata & yakiniku at moritaya & sukiyaki at both. imahan was more expensive.

imahan might not be better. moritaya was equally good. but the overall experience in terms of service & ambience was better. 🙂 moritaya has view of kyoto tower & surrounding mountains though. ^^

salad

salad

for the steak dinner, we had a salad with the usual ponzu sauce. nice & refreshing.

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 steak

the hokkaido wagyu was just excellent! marbled & flavourful, on elf our best wagyu dinners in japan!^^

sukiyaki hotplate

sukiyaki hotplate

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

very marbled sukiyaki wagyu

sukiyaki veg

sukiyaki veg

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sukiyaki

excellent kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sukiyaki

the sukiyaki was done on a hotplate. it was really good! we also had the usual vege.

kyoto station moritaya’s sukiyaki was just as equally good.

the other excellent sukiyaki we had was at chinya at asakusa. but i guess the wagyu we had at chinya quite many years back was not the same quality as the ones we had at moritaya & here at imahan, so it was not comparing apples with apples.

c.h.e.f andy

Prawn & Oyster Beehoon (the Crab Beehoon Style)

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

recently a friend bought 4pax dinner & crab beehoon at seng kee on 1.2.2015.

we were all quite disappointed with the food, especially the crab beehoon which cost S$70 after my friend was given a special discount.

i was thinking, maybe i should cook this myself. it did not look difficult at all.

subsequently i did have a very good S$60 crab beehoon (i think at this price all stalls selling crab beehoon must at least be of this standard) at kamjiazhuang organised by my daughter on 7.2.2015.

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

anyhow, today i decided to give it a try, on 26.2.2015. ^^

i didn’t have crabs & did not intend to get crabs to experiment, so i did a flavourful stock of prawn heads & shells with salt & oil. (i did the same for my chilli crab pasta w/o crabs).

i fried some chopped shallots, garlic, 2 chilli padi & 1 cm sliced ginger in oil in a wok on medium to a nice aroma. then i added the cleaned chinese cabbage & fried till it softened, and added some fish sauce. i removed the vegetables and added about 200g of beehoon softened in cold water & stir fried a short while. then i added the prawn stock together with the unshelled prawns & turned the fire up to reduce the stock. i added 2tablespoon of oyster sauce & 1 tablespoon of cornflour.

once the stock was reduced and checked for taste & making sure the beehoon was not overcooked, i added the oysters, covered it with the beehoon & off the fire.

& it was ready to serve. voila!

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

crab beehoon style prawn beehoon

for me the test was –

1. that the shellfish stock flavours were infused into the beehoon (入味)
2. the beehoon are NOT marshy, stick together

i had tasted the dish during cooking, so i knew it was tasty & flavourful & the shellfish stock was properly infused. overall i was quite satisfied with the result, so maybe will try with crab or lobster.

while the current preparation was not really superb, it was still probably better than seng kee’s which was more like a singapore fried beehoon than a crab beehoon.

c/w with kamjiazhuang’s crab beehoon & ming kee’s crab beehoon though, mine was quite some way to go. so let’s see if i can get close using crab instead of prawns.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Wanton Noodles, Pig Trotter Jelly, Pig Trotters & Fish Maw Soup @ Whampoa Hawker Centre on 25Feb2015

fishmaw soup

幸福潮州小食 fishmaw soup – S$4

a few friends decided to have 4pax lunch at whampoa hawker centre on 25.2.2105.

whampoa hawker centre of course has many famous stalls. 1 of my favourite is the chinese mutton soup stall. i prefer yu ji (宇记) chinese herbal mutton soup (羊肉汤) but both stalls are about same, so the other stall #01-75 is good for me too.^^

anyhow on this day, it was chinese new year day 6 (初六), and both stalls were closed.

most other stalls were also closed – the hoover fish porridge, the braised duck & the hoover rojak were all closed.

1 of the stalls i like, 幸福潮州小食 a teochew food stall, was open. i ordered the fish maw soup, braised pig trotters & also the “ter kar tan” 猪脚冻 or pig trotter jelly. the stall also sells sharks meat & shark meat jelly 鲨鱼冻. i did not order them.

the S$4 fish maw soup was good as always, quite a lot of ingredients, and the taste of the soup was good.

pig trotter jelly 猪脚冻

幸福潮州小食 猪脚冻 pig trotter jelly – S$5.50

the “ter kar tan” 猪脚冻 or pig trotter jelly was i guess good as another at the restaurants & it was just S$5.50 for a good portion.

pig trotters 鲁猪脚

幸福潮州小食 鲁猪脚 braised pig trotters – S$5.50

the 鲁猪脚 braised pig trotters were exactly the flavour, texture & colour i liked. to me it was so much better than han jia bakuteh & pork leg, east coast lagoon food village.

the colours looked attractive & it was properly cut & neat, not dark & overcooked & uncut block like han jia’s. the texture & bite was just right, gelatinous & with bite, not falling apart, and the taste was light & flavourful.

one friend though preferred han jia’s, so really it was very much a matter of personal preference.^^

lunch dishes = 3 dishes for S$15

幸福潮州小食 lunch dishes = 3 dishes for S$15

the 3 dishes cost S$15. i liked all of them.^^

wanton noodles

wanton noodles – S$3

wanton

wanton

one friend bought 4 wanton noodles (S$3 per bowl).

it was good. noodles were just right QQ, and i liked the spiciness. it was no better though than any of the other places i had, wanton mee @ KPT coffeeshop (this a different black version)cho kee noodles wanton mee at old airport road food centre (i think this was better), or the wanton mee at first centre serangoon avenue 4.

i would put kok kee (was at lavendar food centre but not sure where (or if) it is relocated) as the best for me, and red ring as second.

mee chiang kueh

mee chiang kueh – S$0.80

the lunch including a bowl of wanton noodles each was S$7pax.

we walked over to blk 92 & had the mee chiang kueh (peanut pancake). we all preferred the peanut fillings. it was overflowing. very fun!

food was good, company better. after lunch 3 of us went to visit a friend who was admitted to ttsh.

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good & Huge Breakfast @ Beppu 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海 on 28Jan2015

japanese breakfast

japanese breakfast

we had a very good breakfast the next morning on 28.1.2015.^^

for comparison, this breakfast was good standard, the kaiseki dinner last evening was so-so, and below par for the ryokan price.

breakfast menu

breakfast menu

started with a juice.

tofu

tofu

had a nice tofu.

side dish

boiled veg?? side dish

there was a vege side dish. it was nice.^^

egg

egg

egg

egg

the onsen egg though was not the usual poached egg standard. egg yolk & white were cooked rather than smooth, silky & oozing.

asari miso soup

asari miso soup

asari miso soup

asari miso soup

asari miso soup

asari miso soup

the miso soup was excellent!^^

it had more than asari (littleneck clams), also sazae (turban shell) & prawns.

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

fish, fish cake, mushrooms

the fish, fish cake & mushrooms were great too!

mixed fruits

mixed fruits

the dessert was mixed fruit.

it was a very good breakfast overall.

c.h.e.f andy

Kaiseki Dinner @ Beppu Seikai 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海 on 27Jan2015

sakizuke先附

sakizuke先附

after visiting beppu’s hell umi-jogoku海地獄, we collected our bags at beppu ski & took a taxi to our ryokan beppu saikei 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海.

after a good rest we went to the onsen before going for dinner kaiseki.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

seikai is a bit modern type, with high rise hotel rooms & english menu.

sake

sake

we ordered sake (chargeable).

poor porridge starter

poor porridge starter

the porridge started was a spoiler, quite tasteless & unnecessary, added nothing to the experience & made us worry about the quality of the kaiseki.

pressed tamago

pressed tamago

ikura+radish etc

ikura+radish etc

the sakezuki (先附) was ok – pressed tamago (egg), some side dishes. i would say quite average.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase looked ok but was actually very poor. i couldn’t decide if this sashimi was worse than the 1st night at Gettoan on 25.1.2015. everything was very tough. was it bad cut or the chef did not know how to cut? i am clueless.

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

we ordered an additional aji sashimi at 5000yen+8%.

i could not understand why the aji was also very tough. it was a live fish, something must really be wrong either with the fish here in kyushu (but we had excellent sashimi from the supermarket at fukuoka later) or with the way it was cut. aji should be very sweet (it was ok sweet not too bad) & not tough. for me, taka’s supermarket aji at 1/3 the price or less, is better than this.

deep-fried aji fish head

deep-fried aji fish head

the deep-fried aji fish head was not nice too.

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

they had asari (littleneck clams or la la) chawanmushi. it was pretty ok. 🙂

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

some radish i think in the chawanmushi.

mayo prawn side dish

mayo prawn side dish

there was a mayo prawn dish, nothing much there.

sushi with ginger flower

sushi with ginger flower

a sushi with pickled ginger flower (which i like).

yuba side dish

yuba side dish

a yuba side dish. this was quite good.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

there was an interesting soya bean shabu shabu with the local bungo wagyu 丰后和牛. this was very good. but by comparison the 2nd night kaiseki at Gettoan on 26.1.2015, with lots more beef & other shabu items, was much better.

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

the usual gohan (rice) with pickles.

noodles in clear broth

noodles in clear broth

this time there was cold noodles in a clear soup. pretty ok.

strawberries + pineapples

strawberries + pineapples

& there was fruits & jelly for dessert.

i guess this kaiseki would be above average, but nothing special & kind of below expectation for the ryokan price. for me, for both Gettoan & Seikai, for the ryokan price they were charging, every kaiseki dinner should be at a standard equivalent to Gettoan’s second night kaiseki! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

3 Days of Non-stop Feasting @ Chinese New Year 2015 (19-21Feb2015)

as usual, had a very foodful chinese new year. it was just a spate of continuous eating, meals & snacks. no matter if i skipped meals, as there were continuous munching of snacks to fill the gaps, so weight watching was quite simply a lost cause.

my happy chinese new year blessings to all my friends here

CNY Eve

for CNY eve we had our reunion dinner at my elder brother’s place.

this year i made buddha-jump-over-the-wall(BJOTW), 1/2spicy duck 盐水鸭 & using the same marinade, a spicy belly pork.

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

the BJOTW was a poor man’s version. apart from a can of 6 pieces small abalones & good thick mushrooms, the other ingredients were cheap (limpets) and mostly unhealthy (pig trotter, pig ear, belly pork, pig head meat).

look was impressive (top photo), taste was pretty good. but i was not overly impressed with my own effort. there was too much food anyway & didn’t really need more unhealthy food – will skip this next CNY.

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

my sis brought the pencai 盆菜. flavours was very good, and the small abalones much better than what i had. this year pencai 盆菜very expensive everywhere. hers was a very much cheaper one only S$138 for 6pax.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

my wife made her usual hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财), and as usual very nice, though the ones she made later on Day2 was even better, tastier.

braised pig stomach

braised pig stomach

my s-i-l’s mom made the braised pig stomach (though nowadays the person actually making it was the helper). this a dish i always like.

char siew & roast pork

char siew & roast pork

my niece made very good char siew & roast pork. she made a small business of it, selling 20kg of the tasty dish over the internet.

my spicy duck 盐水鸭 was good too. it was a lighter version c/w my teochew braised duck. in fact this dish is served as appetiser in shanghai, nanjing, jiangnan locality.

spicy belly pork

spicy belly pork

i used the same spice to do the spicy belly pork. this was ok but not great. i did this again on Day2 & that was miles better!^^

mantis prawn

mantis prawn

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

my brother bought very large mantis prawns, 5 pieces for S$35. i did not take any. it wasn’t too great also but certainly looked nice. the chilli though was very good, better than most chilli crabs. 🙂

pomfret

pomfret

pomfret was usual. i did not try it either, just too much food.

tofu with leeks

tofu with leeks

tofu with leek, and broccoli

tofu with leek, and broccoli

i liked all the vege.

my brother tried eating out for 3 years for CNY eve. we went to joyden (previously called west coast seafood). food was quite good & not too expensive, however with say 13pax or more, it still came to >S$600. all of us cook, so it was so much more fun just to cook some dishes & bring over. i definitely preferred our own homecooked CNY eve dinner. ^^

CNY Day 1

breakfast spread

breakfast spread

again our family tradition, on CNY Day 1, we went over to my brother’s place for breakfast.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

many of the dishes were leftover from CNY eve dinner.

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

there were too much food on CNY eve, so we kept the prawns for Day1 breakfast, and added the rabbit fish知县鱼 (very sweet) & the salmon sashimi my wife bought (very good too!).

tofu & leeks

tofu & leeks

leftovers from last evening!

mushrooms & greens

mushrooms & greens

& some more vegetables. ^^

CNY Day 2

CNY Day2 is my wife’s tradition. she would invite her brothers & sister & their families (nephews & grand nephews & grand niece).

this year we took a family photo. & there are 26pax + our dog rusty. ^^

i made my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this time it was especially good – colour, texture, sweetness! everyone just loved this dish.^^

the miso pork was very good too. this the longest i put in the oven, 8hrs at 90degC/85degC.^^ the result was excellent. the miso marinade gave it excellent flavours & the slow low-temperature braise an excellent texture. i have learned that 90degC is the optimum temperature to convert collagen to tasty gelatine & texture, so this made the miso pork texture & bite really good!

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

i did the same for the flavoured pork 风味五花肉, and this was excellent too, with a different sichuan spice marinade.

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

we had the same tanhoon fungus.

chilli pork ribs

chilli pork ribs

& my helper’s chilli pork ribs.

deepfried chicken wings

deepfried chicken wings

some chicken wigs for the young ones.

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

for my niece & her husband who are vegetarians, i made a funghi linguine. also for my wife’s sister. it was really good. they all loved it, and there was a bit of leftovers for the nephews.

after that it was my tofu cheese cake & tiramisu, which disappeared in no time.

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

i especially liked the ice jelly with longans, palm fruits my wife’s sil made. she always bring that for our gatherings. very refreshing. i had several helpings.

c.h.e.f andy

羊年话羊 - Talking About Words Sounding like Goat (Year of the Goat)

IMG-20150220-WA0002

acknowledgement:

permission to use my friend Carol Seah’s Wynnes company logo

today is the 1st day of chinese new year. a friend sent me a CNY well wishes message comprising 6 phrases using words that sounded like 羊 or “goat” in chinese. that inspired me to think of various phrases with words sounding like 羊 (扬, 养,阳,洋,鸯,仰, 恙) here goes, for the fun of it –

祝你🐐年… 正月飛羊,  二子奉羊,三羊開泰,  四海羊名,  五不赞羊,六氣羊羊,  七世鸳鸯, 八方表羊,九九重羊,十分敬羊,百般羊望,千秋颂羊,万载发羊

the forgoing also uses words to make the whole list sounded like 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 100, 1000, 10,000.. there are a few other phrases using words sounding like 羊 –

别来无恙,羊羊得意,  羊眉吐氣,  精神羊溢,  兴高彩羊,气宇飞羊,  飞羊腾达, 羊生有道, 羊光普照, 奉羊天年

c.h.e.f andy

Visiting Beppu’s Hells Umi-jogoku 海地獄 on 27Jan2015

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

after another excellent breakfast at Gettoan, we took the free car transfer from ryokan to yufuin ekimae bus centre & took the bus to beppu on 27.1.2015. journey is 1 hr & cost 900yen pax. 🙂

we arrived before 11am & deposited our luggage at the station lockers. we were deciding what to do in the meantime, as check-in time at beppu seikai 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海 is 3pm.

we did not want to go to the takasaki monkey park, also not particularly interested to see the unitamago aquarium, so we settled on going to hells (jigoku).^^

we took bus no9 from JR beppu station to kannawa. cost about 200yen & took 15mins. here you can walk to the 6 jigoku within the kannawa district.

we picked the umi-jogoku海地獄, which is the more beautiful with spacious gardens. entrance was 400yen pax or 2100yen for all 6 jigokus. we paid 400yen.

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

nice huge gardens & open space.^^

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

boiling bubbling onsen 92degC! definitely not suitable for sauna.

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

children on water lilies Umi-Jigoku Beppu

children on water lilies Umi-Jigoku Beppu

children on water lilies Umi-Jigoku Beppu

children on water lilies Umi-Jigoku Beppu

this not the time to see the giant water lilies.

greenhouse - Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

greenhouse – Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

greenhouse - Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

greenhouse – Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

greenhouse - Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

greenhouse – Umi-Jigoku Beppu16

there is the greenhouse.

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

another boiling reddish onset pool.

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

Umi-Jigoku Beppu hells valley

after this, we looked at the neighbouring yama jigoku. japan-guide description “The “mountain hell” features small ponds of steaming hot water and a run-down zoo with large animals in small cages”.

we decided we had enough of hells. wife read about jigoku mushi 地獄釜, using the onset water for to cook steamed dishes, so we walked over to such a eating place & gave it a try. i must say nothing great though!

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Stroll Along Yunotsubo Kaido & Lake Kinrinko 金麟湖 on 26&26Jan2015

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

arrived yufuin 汤布院 bus station which is 20m from yufuin eki (train station) near noon time on 25.1.2015.

yufuin - view from yufuin eki (train station)

yufuin – view from yufuin eki (train station)

too early for check-in to Gettoan ryokan (after 3pm). as planned, we deposited our bags at the lockers & took a pleasant walk towards yunotsubo shopping street & lake kinrinko 金麟湖. weather was about 14degC, quite perfect!

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

we had earlier planned to have lunch at wasaku (or any nice eats we fancied along the walk). we found wasaku just short distance from yufuib eki, and had very nice bungo wagyu yakiniku lunch there. ^^

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo kaido shopping street

we past the 1/2 dried-up stream to yunotsubo kaido shopping street. the was just at the corner.

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yufuin-architecture

yufuin-architecture

there was some nice architecture highlighted by other bloggers, and of course lots of shopping. wife was interested in the sake cups.^^

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yufuin-flower village

yufuin-flower village

there was this flower village.

yufuin-flower village

yufuin-flower village

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

honeybee parfait

bee honey parfait

there was this bee honey stall which others talked about.

got a parfait. the soft cream here was really nice, just like the excellent dairy in hokkaido (something to do with very good quality milk). as a parfait though, it was kind of “not the real thing”!

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko was beautiful, very serene.

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

we went back the next morning. the ryokan sent us right to the “doorstep”.^^

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

everything was so tranquil, so zen.^^

we had excellent lunch here at lamp sha sited right by & overlooking the lake.^^

snoopy chaya at yufuin

snoopy chaya at yufuin

on the way back we stopped by snoopy chaya.

we spied this the first day, and this was perfect after the lamp sha steak lunch.

macha

macha

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

we had macha & the real thing – an excellent parfait, with green tea cakes, mochi, the brown dusted warabi mochi, caramelised chestnut, red beans, cornflakes etc etc. this excellent!

when we got back to ryokan, we were offered another macha at the lounge & served with nice coffee & mochi.

c.h.e.f. andy

Good Standard Turtle Soup @ Tan Ser Seng on 13Feb2015

turtle soup

turtle soup

had turtle soup lunch with sis & bil at tan ser seng at geylang lor21 on 13.2.2015. 🙂

i was here with my group of friends last on 20.8.2014.^^

this place is expensive viz a viz fu he @ jalan berseh food centre, which was really good!, but i figure about the same as turtle house (which is now located along geylang road between lor21 & lor23.

later a friend on Facebook recommended another (hawker) place havelock turtle soup at blk 22 jalan klinik, enter from havelock road. will try that some weeks later.^^

turtle soup

turtle soup

we loved the turtle soup. it was tasty & not overly strong with herbs or too thick. it was light, with fragrance of herbs & tasty. there were lots of gelatine parts, paws, innards etc.^^

it also cost S$65 – we ordered the large one for 3.

yam rice

yam rice

& the yam rice was S$1.30 per bowl for a quite small bowl (above photo though was just a small portion from the bowl).

bill S$69.55 for 3pax

bill S$69.55 for 3pax

it came to S$69.55 for 3pax. we did not order drinks so it was no frills.^^

anyway, main thing is we all enjoyed it very much.

turtle soup

turtle soup

we were there at 1130am so parked right alongside the restaurant. at 12pm many tables were occupied, carparks were still available. if you are parking at the open carpark, you have to enter from lor21. we entered from lor19 as at the time there was no difficulty to get parking along the road near the turtle soup restaurant.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Ohmi Wagyu & Early Valentine Dinner @ ME.OUE on 12Feb2015

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

decided to do an early valentine dinner with wife on 12.2.2015. 🙂

we do that usually, no point paying through the nose on 14feb for poorer food & service.^^

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

me.oue

there were quite good reviews for me@oue at OUE Bayfront. this place offers a choice of 3 cuisine – french/european, japanese & chinese. & of course it offers spectacular views on the roof terrace.

parking was S$3.21 after 6pm.

service was quite good, friendly not the top professional type which could be overly formal.

we asked for recommendations. server suggested red lobster & lamb (chinese), miso cod, the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (japanese) and pan-seared dorade (a fish) & tenderloin (french). for appetisers, he recommended crystal prawns (chinese), poached egg (french).

we enquire about sashimi moriawase. i showed the server a blog photo on sashimi moriawase which included chutoro, otoro, uni etc. the server returned to say that they were having maguro, sea bream etc (probably hirame, hamachi etc). well, it pays to ask. this nothing like what was written & not exciting at all!

squid ink brioche

squid ink brioche

we were served a squid ink brioche & butter.

tuna tartare

tuna tartare

we ordered the maguro tartare. this came to akami (lean toro), hotate & avocado. the starter was very nice, though i agreed with my wife that it was not very fine (or refine). it was a good cut so it was very tasty, but no better than the S$18.80 chirashi don at sumiya.

scallop carpaccio

scallop carpaccio

the scallop carpaccio was very fresh & tasty, a reasonable serving.

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

red lobster (chlli crab sauce)

the server recommended the red lobster (S$55). i saw the photos before & thought it was 1/2 lobster but in fact it was a full whole lobster. the lobster was fresh, bouncy, very tasty & the chilli crustaceans sauce was excellent, better than many indifferent chilli crab places.

A4 ohmi wagyu

A4 ohmi wagyu

the signature A4 ohmi wagyu (S$145) was quite expectedly, superb!

this was japan standard, better than most of the bungo wagyu 丰后和牛we had in kyushu (yufuin, beppu, fukuoka) during our recent trip.

it was better than what we had at arossa previously & also about same as the kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki at mikuni. it cost nearly 2x what we paid at arossa (but arossa is closed now & even just prior to closing, palate privileges 50% discount was withdrawn & the wagyu cut was no more on the menu).

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

i ordered the S$16 lava cake because it had good reviews. that was a mistake. it was competent but i think no better than my own lava cake, though lately i don’t do that much so fumbled couple times when i tried to do it. i must try it again!

MBS skyline

MBS skyline

marina square skyline

marina square skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

marina bay skyline

after dinner, we went to the roof terrace outside for the nice night views of MBS & the marina bay. it was windy, there were very few people & it was a very pleasant & brief stop.^^

overall, price was S$193nett (inclusive of a S$20 red wine with no discount) after 50% palate discounts for 2pax, including japanese A4 ohmi wagyu & a whole lobster.

for me that was a very good deal. i would certainly come back for both the red lobster & also the ohmi wagyu. it was not quite fine dining yet, but it was overall pretty good & the 2 mains were just awesome!

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Ryokan Stay @ Gettoan Ryokan月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 25-27Feb2015

Gettoan ryokan bridge

Gettoan ryokan bridge

except for the appalling kaiseki dinner on 25.1.2015, which was a complete disaster & a blot on an otherwise excellent stay, we were quite happy with the ryokan

we stayed at Gettoan ryokan from 25Jan to 27Jan2015. 🙂

ryokan is a bit secluded & way off from the main attractions like lake kinrinko 金麟湖, which is a 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo.

there is also no walking trails near the ryokan.

we called the ryokan after the check-in time 3pm & they picked us up from yufuin eki, also the hotel provide transport to town (they dropped us directly at lake kinrinko the next day at our request & provided us each with an umbrella), but not the return pick-up.

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

the service was good ryokan standard.

we had a reception party, & we had welcome macha & sweets etc in the ryokan room.

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

ryokan attached onset

ryokan attached onsen

our room had an attached external onsen.

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

& the ryokan has the usual public & very nice private onsen.

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

there was also free coffee & tea at the lounge area.

on the second day 26.1.2015, we returned from lunch & lake kinrinko, in addition to the free coffee & lake which was always available, the service staff served us macha & mochi.^^ really enjoyed that.

woods at back of ryokan

woods at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

the next morning, before having breakfast & checking out, we walked from the dining rooms area to a brook at the back just before the woods. very nice & tranquil environment.

c.h.e.f andy

Tapao (Takeaway) Dinner @ Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant on 11Feb2015

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

went to watch “Still Alice” at orchard cineleisure with friends on 11.2.2015. 🙂

it’s a movie about early onset of alzeimer. it’s quite slow. but it was a meaningful movie. good actress julianne moore. & kristen stewart was pretty good too.

some of my friends felt the movie was not intense enough, too watered down. they made the same comment about “The Theory of Everything” on stephen hawkings.

for me though, both were ok. the director & scriptwriter had to pick the scenes that best communicated with the audience. perhaps some real live stresses, more intense discord among the characters, tempers flaring might carry the message better. maybe that will offer more tension among the characters & more acting challenges. but i also understand that some methods of portrayal use subtle conversations to convey deep emotions, distress, tension and being conflicted. (i must say that i did not feel any strong connection to alec baldwin feeling conflicted with wanting to go to washington instead of spending the final months with his alzeimer wife though he did stay with her, so in my view that was mediocre acting).

for me the few scenes like telling the husband “why are you not listening to me” when her facial expression seamlessly morphed from anxious sharing to indignation & frustration with the husband not listening to anguish, sorrow & despair needing comfort marked her out as a very good actress. so was the speech at the alzeimer interest group.

& the several scenes of tension with lydia (kristen stewart) showed very good (if subtle – i quite like this subtle approach rather than flaring of emotions though it really depends on the acting, scripting & portrayals) tension between a mother losing her mind & a daughter wanting to be independent & not emotionally blackmailed but loving & caring for the mother. she got across the emotions of tension & conflicted. 🙂

ok, so much for the movie.

the food at cineleisure B1 sucks. so we decided to tapao dinner before movie. a friend picked up the food from Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant 荷兰村XO鱼头米粉酒楼.

san loh hor fun生捞河粉

san loh hor fun三捞河粉

the san loh hor fun三捞河粉 was good, but i thought i had tapao better wok hae ones from there. still it was tasty, good fish slices & i love the chilli padi & pickled green chilli.

some tofu dish with prawns & shimeji

some tofu dish with prawns & shimeji

the tofu dish with prawns & shimeji was competent, a good dish.

chicken breast with liver & gizzard

chicken breast with liver & gizzard

the 白斩鸡 chicken rice chicken? pretty good. my friend got the healthy chicken breast. actually chicken breast is the real test of good cooking, so this was pretty good – tender, moist, sweet. didn’t think it was better than my own poached chicken 白斩鸡 nor my son’s lemon roast chicken though.

& confession – i still like drumstick better..haha!^^

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

i liked the fish belly soup 鱼肌汤 especially. it was xo preparation with good amount of xo (i guess). enjoyed the soup very much.

it was very substantial dinner at S$40 for 4pax (though we had someone who hardly ate), very decent considering food court prices these days. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: 12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

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Good Set Lunch @ Concetto by Saveur on 10Feb2015

concetto pasta

concetto pasta

had lunch with a friend at concetto by saveur at the cathay on 10.2.2015. 🙂

i had a nice 4pax family dinner here recently on 18.1.2015.

she ordered the concetto pasta & the kurobuta pork cheek, plus a ice lemon tea.

i ordered the S$20.90 3-course set lunch + S$1.50 for ice lemon tea. i picked the concetto pasta, beef oyster blade & as the server recommended, the pistachio panna cotta.

concetto pasta

concetto pasta

the concetto pasta was a chilled capellini with crab & prawn tartare (tiny morsels) tossed in lobster oil & topped with lobster foam & ikura (salmon roe). it’s a very tasty appetiser though i was less blown away as the last time.

perhaps some truffle oil? but maybe cannot mix too many ingredients. the lobster bisque made it very flavourful already.^^

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

beef oyster blade

i had the 36hr sous vide beef oyster blade.

beef was tender & consistent. it was not sinewy like a braised beef dish. still i thought taste was bland & lacking, and still basically a braised item c/w very flavourful grilled steaks. i am not sure if the beef was charred first before sous vide-that should add some flavours. there was french mustard with seeds layered on top, and the coffee soil provided some taste when taken together.

overall i would think the kurobuta or the duck confit would be better.

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

kurobuta pork cheek

my friend had the braised kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi.

i had this the least time. the kurobuta was flavourful & tender, very good. between duck confit (which was also very good) and kurobuta i would take kurobuta.^^

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

pistachio panna cotta

the last time we had the dark chocolate tart. i asked the younger server (she just finished A levels & waiting for results). she recommended the pistachio panna cotta. good recommendations!

i thought this was a very good dessert. it was not the flavourful panna cotta we had at tremezzo lake como, but it was a very good one, & the plus over the plain one (even a very good one at tremezzo) was that this came with pistachio crumble & salted pistachio. i also tasted strong black pepper flavours which strangely made the whole combination really nice!

i would order this panna cotta again if i dine here next time!^^

c.h.e.f andy