Good 1-for-1 S$55 Lunch Buffet @ Furama Riverfront on 23Feb2016

maki, prawn, tako, salmon sashimi, pickled ginger

maki, prawn, tako, salmon sashimi, pickled ginger

a friend bought lunch today. we were to meet at the square @ furama on 23.2.2016.

silly me did not find out that it was furama riverfront at havelock road (did not come to mind altogether) & just went to furama at eu tong sen street. & i parked at clarke quay for free parking 12pm to 3pm, and walked to furama. that was rather inconvenient since it was the wrong hotel. so i took a cab to furama riverfront & my friend sent me to clarke quay after lunch. 🙂

the square on level 2 serves buffet. there is 1 for 1 promotion at S$55 for lunch, so quite ok, not too pricey.

we were seated near the window area, very pleasant.

salmon sashimi

salmon sashimi

started with the sashimi station. with the current GBS (Group B Streptococcus) scare, there was a sign stating it was “salt water salmon”.

salmon was very good sweet & fresh. i took very few by my usual standard, just 4 slices.

sashimi

sashimi

had the cooked prawns (good), tako, skipped the shell fish.

smoked salmon & cold cuts

smoked salmon & cold cuts

took a pieces of slami & some smoked salmon.

sushi

sushi

& 2 maki – a reverse roll & a spider maki.

root veg confit, asparagus, amerircan prawn salad, sundried tomatoes, salami, turkey salad

root veg confit, asparagus, amerircan prawn salad, sundried tomatoes, salami, turkey salad

i wasn’t expecting much of the buffet actually. there are usually so so.

but these were quite good. turkey salad best, asparagus was good, the prawn salad was good (nothing unusual but good), sundried tomatoes, and the vegetables confit tasty too. i didn’t quite like the beetroot, had much better beetroots before.

tasty curry chicken noodles (not the real curry chicken noodles)

tasty curry chicken noodles (not the real curry chicken noodles)

i had to try the curry chicken noodles. it was nothing like (no comparison with) the ah heng curry chicken noodles of course. i would say basically 2 quite different dishes. still the curry was very tasty as a curry dish.

main courses

main courses

i was surprised by the main courses too. i almost w/o fail avoid main courses in buffet except for semi-buffet as a single alacarte order. i guess buffet main courses have improved!

i tried nearly every dish.

main courses

main courses

pork rib was good, tasty. roast prime rib was competent. fish au gratin was good, but the steamed fish was overdone (both were the same cheap sutchi fish. i am thinking of doing this for my community meals so tried both). oxtail was competent, the braised sauce & vegetables were good. my friend especially liked the deep-fried belly pork. it was just ok for me. there was a mid-eastern lamb preparation i think, very nice too.

pork collar & ham casserole

pork collar & ham casserole

& the pork collar casserole, surprising quite good. meat looked (& felt when cutting) tough & overdone ut it was actually quite tender.

fish au gratin

fish au gratin

as said earlier, fish au gratin was the better preparation.

cheese platter, dried fruits, nuts

cheese platter, dried fruits, nuts

i took the 3 cheese – a brie, a blue & another cheese, some dried apricots, sultanas & walnut.

dessert - water melon, new york cheese cake, jelly shooter

dessert – water melon, new york cheese cake, jelly shooter

not impressed with dessert. anyway not expecting much.

peanut paste (unedible)

peanut paste (unedible)

the peanut paste was unedible & should not be served. need a hong kong chef.

i quite enjoyed this lunch, chat with friend & trying out different food. one of the few times i actually bordered to try out the main courses, usually just took lots of sashimi…lol..

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken Noodles Cravings @ Ah Heng Hong Lim Food Centre on 31Mar2015

was in town & went to eat curry chicken noodles again at ah heng, hong lim food centre on 31.3.2015. a losing battle with cravings. really like it! ^^

they were out of drumstick so i had the chicken thigh or 鸡尾. 🙂

last time i had this irresistible curry chicken noodles here was 19.1.2015.

i have tried heng kee which was good too, but of the 2 my preference is ah heng.

the curry gravy  was simple excellent, so tasty & savoury. the taupok was just right & well infused with the curry flavours. the chicken was among the very best of any chicken rice stalls.

i was enamoured enough with this to try my own curry chicken noodles (which was not so easy). my own poached chicken 白斩鸡 is certainly as good. the curry gravy though pretty good as well is still not quite comparable.

c.h.e.f andy

Shiok Home Lunch for 9pax Friends on 9Mar2015

did an interesting & fun 9pax lunch for my RI friends on 9.3.2015. ^^

this time i did –

  1. “hong lim FC curry chicken noodles”
  2. chilli crab angel hair w/o crab
  3. crabless beehoon (with prawns & large oysters)
  4. a char siew pork neck & curry miso belly pork (both first try)
achar

achar

a friend brought very nice appetising achar made by his m-i-l.

i started the 2 dishes – crabless beehoon & chilli crab angel hair pasta when all my friends arrived at 1pm+.

all the ingredients were ready, so i just fried chopped shallots, garlic, chilli padi & sliced ginger to get a fragrant aroma then added & fried the beehoon which were softened in water. i then added the intense prawn stock & prawns (with shell) & the chinese cabbage & reduced under high fire. i added oyster sauce & corn flour & when almost done, i added the large oysters & some cooked prawns (shelled) which i had earlier fried in butter. voila!^^

it was delicious! the beehoon was well infused with very intense shellfish stock. prawns & oysters were plump & tasty. 🙂

chilli crab angel hair pasta was the easiest to do. i had earlier browned some garlic cloves in olive oil, & so emptied these to the pan. then i added the prepared chilli crab sauce & brought to boil (i was distracted & forgot to add an egg which is standard for chilli crab). then i added the angel hair & same pre butter-fried prawns, off the fire & tossed. then topped with fresh basil front he garden. that’s all to it!^^

the angel hair was great in soaking up the chilli crab sauce. my friends liked this dish a lot. 🙂

for the “hong lim FC curry chicken noodles”, this had to be served last. first its stronger taste would mask the other 2 dishes. second, it has to be served hot in individual bowls – would be completely cold after all the group photos etc.

1 of the key ingredient was the poached chicken 白斩鸡. & my was really good, among the best.^^

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

the curry was more difficult, but on this second try, i think it was quite close to the real thing.

i am benchmarking hong lim FC ah heng curry chicken noodles. i have to say between the 2, i will still go for ah heng’s, but mine was pretty close la… 🙂

my close friend’s brother just started a prawn noodle stall Why Eat Har last week, and some of us had already tried it.

i was sharing that it was such a difficult thing to achieve. for me, his prawn noodles was already among the best & serving in large volume to paying customers, but for me, i can get close to ah heng’s curry chicken noodles but still not quite!

char siew was 1st time using pork neck & also this preparation. char siew sauce was the same recipe i used previously but i used slow cooking for 8 hrs in the oven (at 90degC for 2 hrs and 80degC for 6hrs), then browned slightly at 250degC for 15mins.

char siew was flavourful & tender. many friends did like the taste, but i felt it was not anywhere near a good quality char siew, so i may experiment a bit more with it.

curry miso belly pork

curry miso belly pork

curry miso belly pork

curry miso belly pork

the curry miso belly pork was edible but many things were wrong with it. i made a very good curry miso lamb recently (1st try) so had wanted to experiment on belly pork.  for the lamb i added stock & vegetables & the result was like a casserole, very flavourful, tender & moist. but i decided to do this using just the dry rub. the result was the skin was tough not quite edible & the curry taste was too strong & not moderated with the miso & vegetable sweetness. got to rework this.

strawberries

strawberries

we had my usual tofu cheese cake which everyone loved, and strawberries brought by our usual strawberry supplier.

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken Noodles – Finale

i tried my hands first at curry chicken noodles because i so like the hong lim FC curry chicken noodles.

i like both stalls but like ah heng’s better-

  1. Irresistible Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 19Jan2015
  2. Heng Kee (興记) Curry Chicken Noodles at Hong Lim Food Centre on 7Nov2014
  3. Shiok Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 16Sep2013

& i make a very good poached chicken 白斩鸡 (i would say as good as ah heng’s & better than most chicken rice stalls) & also a very good nonya curry chicken i.e. a good flavourful chicken curry, i fancied i could combine the 2 & make a decent curry chicken noodles.

that was when i tried my hands and recorded as Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One almost 2 years ago on 29.6.2013.

i served it to my friends at a 11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013, & everyone loved it. still, i said “Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One” because i wasn’t totally happy with the results, it was not near enough to ah hen’s.

this time though i think i have graduated. it was jolly good. haha!^

i had a 9pax homecooked lunch featuring chilli crab angel hair (w/o crab), another “crabless” beehoon, and this curry chicken noodles on 9.3.2015.^^

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

my chicken curry looked potent, as it should be!^^

since i was using the curry as sauce i.e. not cooking with the chicken (chicken was poached separately), so i used a lot of chicken bones (2 chicken) to make a very flavour broth for the curry soup. 🙂

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

i had the yellow noodles & thick beehoon done al dente, placed in cold water & ice to make sure they stopped cooking & were firm & not mushy. same for the bean sprouts, still crunchy (but not in  cold water, just aga or estimate, not so critical).

& the second most important after the curry soup, the poached chicken 白斩鸡. this my pride & joy. haha!^^ i think it was very good. 🙂

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

all ready to serve, in 9 bowls.

only thing i could not replicate is the hot, cold, hot sequence! which is (1)cook the noodles (2) put in cold water to stop cooking (3) put back in hot soup to warm before adding soup.

i did the first 2 already. the last is so that the noodles are warm (mine were cold obviously), so the hot soup when added will not have so much drop in temperature.

well, it’s not perfect la!

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

still it was a pretty good!

all my friends loved it. in the end it’s also that i myself loved it & felt very good about it!

overall the dish was “almost” there la! & my chicken definitely equal if not better.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (I use 1.4kg from Giant hypermarket OR Sheng Shiong)
  • 2l chicken stock  (from bones of 2 chicken)
  • 300ml thick coconut milk or to taste
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 stems lemon grass (white part)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (about that but also to taste)
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar (about that but also to taste)
  • 10 pieces of dried taupok (each cut into 4 strips)
  • 2 potatoes peeled & diced (about 10 pieces)
  • 3  ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake
  • 200g tau gay

for spice paste (ground in mixer or pound in mortar):

  • 100g dried prawns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 18 shallots
  • 18 dried chilli (soaked in water & removed seeds)
  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken curry – stir-fry star anise, cinnamon stick & cloves over low heat. add in the spice paste and stir-fry till fragrant. add the curry leaves and fry them really well. add chicken stock with dried prawns & bring to boil. use the carcase of 1 chicken as stock base. subsequently after cooking & deboning the whole chicken, use the bones/carcase to add to the soup – so 2 chicken bones/carcase to provide the soup stock flavours. add diced potatoes to add to the body of the soup & cook for about 1/2hr or till they break by pressing against the side of the saucepan. add sea salt & sugar & add 200ml thick coconut milk OR to taste.
  2. Cook the chicken – See poached chicken 白斩鸡.
  3. Condiments – grill ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake in a toaster oven, let them cool & then slice them. add taupok (dried bean curd) nearer the end of cooking.
  4. Serve with noodles – boil yellow noodles & thick beehoon for laksa till just cooked (al dente) and put in ice bath to stop cooking so noodles are QQ. when everything is done, serve yellow noodles & thick beehoon in bowl & add the fishcake & cut chicken. then add boiling curry soup with taupok & potatoes & serve.

Irresistible Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 19Jan2015

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

went downtown to do some chores on 19.1.2015.

could not resist dropping by hong lim food centre to eat ah heng curry chicken noodles. ^^

this my favourite hawker food. used to be bakuteh but these days i don’t take that much & bakuteh is so easily done at home.

not that i eat curry chicken noodles often either. the last time i took ah heng curry chicken noodles was on 16.9.2013. but of course i had heng kee’s curry chicken noodle not so long ago on 7.11.2014.

of the two, i still prefer ah heng. for me, even the food photos for ah heng looked more appealing.

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

i took the S$6 large noodle with chicken thigh (鸡尾). i mean the chicken was really tender & sweet, better than some chicken rice stalls. i can do the chicken pretty well actually (in my own curry chicken noodles), but there is just no comparing the curry! it is sweet, tasty, flavourful, spicy.

just as well this place not near my house. got to drive, park & pay ERP somehow just to get here.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Heng Kee (興记) Curry Chicken Noodles at Hong Lim Food Centre on 7Nov2014

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

which is better? heng kee or ah heng curry chicken noodles, also at hong lim food centre?

i was in the area & decided to drop by for curry chicken noodles at 2pm on 7.11.2014. 🙂

ah heng at level 2 had a longer queue. i went to heng kee at level 1 there was about 7 in the queue. i was 8th in the queue & as it turned out, the stall owner had to close early, i was the last & all the others after me were turned away. the wait was about 12mins.

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

heng kee (興记) curry chicken noodles

the chicken was very sweet & moist. the tau pok & curry were very tasty. i could not really tell the difference – this & ah heng curry chicken noodles.

overall my own preference is still ah heng curry chicken noodles. i think this heng kee version was less spicy & curry was a bit sweeter. on both counts i preferred ah heng. there was also the presentation. the chicken at ah heng, the colour & the presentation were all better. however heng kee was closing & i had the last bowl, so the curry was from the bottom of the barrel so to speak but in fact it tasted great. anyway i still like ah heng better, just like others will swear by heng kee. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Shiok Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 16Sep2013

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

was in the area so dropped by hong lim food centre #02 for ah heng curry chicken noodles on 16.9.2013. there was no queue at 11am & i got my S$5 medium bowl with thick beehoon & mee right away. 🙂

i had tried the other stall heng kee at #01. could not really tell much difference (maybe ah heng’s chicken & curry were slightly tastier?) anyway so i stick with ah heng.

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

ah heng curry chicken noodles

today like most days, both the chicken & curry were very tasty. i think i will still have to admit that the chicken is still better than what i made for curry chicken noodles & of course there was straightforward hands down no comparison when it came to the curry (though my curry was quite tasty too). also i haven’t got any chilli (have not tried making any yet!).

for S$5, it was really satisfying – everything from chicken, curry to taupok, fishcake, noodles & potato, could only describe as “shiok”, & like everytime. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One

chicken for curry chicken noodles

chicken for curry chicken noodles

see also shiok curry chicken noodle @ ah heng on 16.9.2013. 🙂

my friends were talking about doing a hawker food tour.

my favourite is bakuteh (Rong Cheng bakuteh at Sin Min, though lately price went up from $6 to $7 & standard seemed to have gone south – which is usually the case when price goes up, sign! – and Lao Ah Ti at Boon Keng Road, in that order). & my second favourite is Ah Heng curry chicken noodles at Hong Lim. 🙂

bakuteh is easy to do at home, but curry chicken noodle is something else…I googled but there is no internet recipe for curry chicken noodle..the closest I got was a channel 8 面对面 program youtube video on Da Po curry chicken noodles at Golden Mile Beach Road. 🙂 they don’t tell you the recipe of course, but it was mentioned that some special ingredients included dried prawns (虾米) & lemon grass (香茅). 🙂

so it looked like i have to be inventive to reconstruct my favourite Hong Lim curry chicken noodles.

to me the 2 things special about curry chicken noodles (which is NOT throwing noodles into a curry chicken dish) is (1) the chicken which is chicken rice standard (2) the curry. though the curry is somewhat different & sweeter as mentioned in the video, my nonya curry chicken recipe approximates somewhat. so that’s what i did! 🙂

i used my nonya curry chicken recipe, and added (1) 2 lemon grass (white part) to the paste & (2) dried prawns. since I was cooking the chicken the chicken rice way & not the curry chicken way I needed to flavour the soup, so I used the carcase of 1 chicken as stock base. subsequently after i cooked & debone the whole chicken, i use the bones/carcase to add to the soup – so there were 2 chicken bones/carcases to provide the soup stock flavours. 🙂

butcher twine to secure & lift chicken

butcher twine to secure & lift chicken

i cleaned the chicken & rub salt on the skin & inside to exfoliate & make the skin ultra smooth. i used a string (butcher twine) to secure the chicken neck & tied it to a ladle so that i can lift the whole chicken when it’s cooked w/o tearing the skin. 🙂 in the above photo, i did not cook curry, so it was just chicken stock with scallions, garlic & ginger.

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

the photo above is the curry soup for the curry chicken noodles. 🙂 I later added (1) dried prawns (2) lemon grass (3) 12 dried chilli instead of using chilli padi in my nonya curry chicken recipe. the soup became redder & it was very tasty just like in my curry chicken recipe. it was still not Hong Lim curry chicken standard of course, but it was pretty ok. 🙂

i added enough chicken stock so that when it was boiling on high heat & i lowered the whole chicken, it was just completely submerged. once the soup was boiling again after lowering the chicken, i turned the fire to low & simmer for 1/2hr. i was using a 1.4kg chicken from Giant & 1/2hr was about right. you can also use a meat thermometer & set at 170degF (77degC). 🙂 when chicken is cooked, i lifted it out & deposited it in an ice bath to stop the cooking & to produce a very pretty taut skin (top photo).

DSCN4553  DSCN4554

my chicken though, i think, was the same standard as Ah Heng, and as good as most good chicken rice chicken, self-praise haha. 🙂 it was moist, tender, very sweet & tasty. 🙂

chicken for curry chicken noodles

chicken for curry chicken noodles

chicken for curry chicken noodles

chicken for curry chicken noodles

& yes, i am quite proud of my chicken. 🙂

DSCN4558 DSCN4560

i prepared the ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake – grilled them in my toaster oven, let them cool & then slicing them.

DSCN4562 DSCN4564

DSCN4566 DSCN4568

DSCN4568 IMG_3849

for the curry soup, i added potatoes to add to the body of the soup & cooked till i can break the potatoes by pressing against the side of the saucepan. i added taupok (dried bean curd) nearer the end of cooking. 🙂

i boiled yellow noodles & thick beehoon for laksa till just cooked (al dente) and put in ice bath to stop cooking so noodles were QQ. when everything was done, i served the yellow noodles & thick beehoon in bowl & added the fishcake & cut chicken. then add boiling curry soup with taupok & potatoes & serve.

though it was not quite Hong Lim curry chicken, i must say it was very enjoyable. i served it to my friends for the 11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013, & everyone loved it. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (I use 1.4kg from Giant hypermarket OR Sheng Shiong)
  • 200ml thick coconut milk or to taste
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100g dried prawns boiled in chicken stock
  • 10 pieces of dried taupok
  • 2 potatoes peeled & diced
  • 3  ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake

for spice paste (ground – in my case I mince & pound them):

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 18 shallots
  • 12 dried chilli (soaked in water & removed seeds)
  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 stems lemon grass (white part)

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken curry – stir-fry star anise, cinnamon stick & cloves over low heat. add in the spice paste and stir-fry till fragrant. add the curry leaves and fry them really well. add chicken stock with dried prawns & bring to boil. use the carcase of 1 chicken as stock base. subsequently after cooking & deboning the whole chicken, use the bones/carcase to add to the soup – so 2 chicken bones/carcase to provide the soup stock flavours. add diced potatoes to add to the body of the soup & cook for about 1/2hr or till they break by pressing against the side of the saucepan. add sea salt & sugar & add 200ml thick coconut milk OR to taste.
  2. Cook the chicken – clean the chicken & rub salt on the skin & inside to exfoliate & make the skin ultra smooth. tie a string (butcher twine) to secure the chicken neck & tie it to a ladle. add enough chicken stock. bring soup to boil on high heat & lower the whole chicken so it is just completely submerged. once soup is boiling again after lowering the chicken, turn fire to low & simmer for 1/2hr. i use a 1.4kg chicken from Giant & 1/2hr is about right. one can also use a meat thermometer & set at 170degF (77degC). when chicken is cooked, lift it out & deposit it in an ice bath to stop the cooking & to produce a very pretty taut skin.
  3. Condiments – grill ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake in a toaster oven, let them cool & then slice them. add taupok (dried bean curd) nearer the end of cooking.
  4. Serve with noodles – boil yellow noodles & thick beehoon for laksa till just cooked (al dente) and put in ice bath to stop cooking so noodles are QQ. when everything is done, serve yellow noodles & thick beehoon in bowl & add the fishcake & cut chicken. then add boiling curry soup with taupok & potatoes & serve.