went with friend for lunch at tunglok signature @ orchard parade on 6.4.2016. ^^
just returned from london last evening. had an excellent family holiday in london, lisbon, porto with wife, son & daughter.
so my turn to buy lunch. 🙂
we started with a steamed razor clam.
clam was smaller than what usually is served in say ah yat, jumbo, long beach etc. the sauce a bit gluey, but overall the taste was still very good. 🙂
i would order this again, also after 50% palate discounts for 2pax, this dish was only S$6.40++.
we shared 1/2 pot lie tong 例汤 1/2 pot at S$16 (full pot S$28).
lie tong 例汤 always good here, and at others like imperial treasure etc. for me, a good lie tong 例汤 1/2 (they usually very good la) is better than taking sharksfin (politically incorrect) or even fishmaw soup.
& i wanted to let my friend try the roast london duck. ^^
they used irish duck which is fatter & more flavourful.
can’t it’s better than the tea smoked duck at xin cuisine,
but certainly it is better than the very good roast duck at canton paradise.
rack of lamb was good too, tender not too strong gamey taste. but chinese preparation is for me, never as good for this dish c/w with modern european.
we shared one order.
string beans was more ex, basically S$18 is a good restuarant kind of pricing for veg.
i had a zhajiangmian variation here with my wife recently.
this time, it was a garoupa fillet noodle soup.
it was good, soup very tasty, garoupa fillet fresh & sweet.
we shared one order.
was truly disappointed with the S$59.80+ ala carte buffet at restaurant home on 25.6.2014. 😦
probably had to do with wrong expectations, as the award winning chef tan yong hua has so many accolades, not least the first singaporean chef to win against iron Chef Thailand. also the price of S$59.80+pax would be quite ok if the dishes were good & not just mediocre.
#1 the mini buddha-jump-over-the-wall(bjotw) had a light decent soup base (not intense & maybe that was intended), a good flower mushroom, a quite small abalone which was ok & lots of chicken plus a cheap fish maw (not 花胶). i supposed average ingredients were quite ok if the soup was really tasty. it was not a bad soup. 1 of us commented any lie tong (例汤) soup of the day by tunglok or imperial treasure would beat this, so there was nothing much to say.
#2 the bite/texture & flavour of the 8-head abalone & also the flower mushroom were quite good. the spinach was just average, and perhaps it was more the method of preparation, but any brown sauce braised chinese abalones (ah yat, tunglok, xin restaurant etc) would be a better overall taste experience than this (not a better abalone). i guess this dish would be above average to good whereas the mini bjotw was just average.
#3 the salmon & maguro (tuna) sashimi were ok, the lobster was buried in mayo. a wasabi or salted egg prawn would be better. the dish was ok but nondescript.
#4 the prawns were big & fresh & quite tasty. i guess it was about as good as a herbal prawn could be. it was not a dish i would much fancy though, unlike the wow factor with the golden prawns at mikuni.
#5 the deep-fried red garoupa was competent, good even. but as 1 diner commented, it was no better than ah yat though the garoupa tasted better than soon hock. i also thought it was not much better than peach garden miramar, not counting ban heng’s deep-fried soon hock which was very average.
#6 the roast duck was to me about the best dish for the evening (& it was not among the chef selected dishes above limited to 1 serving). skin was crispy, meat was tender, moist not overcooked & very flavourful.
#7 the crabmeat broccoli was another better dish, looked good, tasted great, more like the standards of tunglok or imperial treasure.
#8 the sichuan spicy fish fillet (i forgot to take a photo) was ok edible not good but as 水煮鱼 it was a disaster! even the NUS canteen foodgle hub just above average S$6 水煮鱼 was better than this.
#9 the sichuan spicy beef with rice crackers was worse than the fish! beef was bad by any standard, the sinewy quite tasteless like rubber type. even the artificial tenderised beef at coffeeshop zi char stalls were better! not sure the thai type rice crackers qualified as 锅巴. if it were any zi char stall, i guess one could argue that’s just a choice of words.
#10 the osmanthus jelly was pretty good, i guess not so far off timhowan which was better, but it’s just jelly.
#11 the rosella jelly was ok for a jelly but really a poor dessert c/w any of tunglok, xin, imperial treasure, i guess better than having red beans & green beans at ah yat.
#12 3 of us ordered the almond jelly (no photos). this was good restaurant standard.
i had earlier booked en japanese dining @ alocasia to try their S$56++pax queen crab wagyu ala carte buffet, but had canceled that to try this new restaurant. it was a manifestly wrong decision to take this ala carte buffet. it was not near as good as peach garden miramar’s (S$30.80++pax 3 paying 1 free) which was 1/2 the price. this 4pax dinner cost S$264nett. my recent fabulous 4pax dinner at mikuni cost only S$195nett. there was totally no comparison at all regards the food! 😦
1 Facebook friend who dined there recently commented that the ala carte orders – lychee wood smoked peking duck, claypot steamed fish, tofu egg, braised pork knuckles vermicelli in oba leaf – were pretty good. i guess a sound opinion & i am not totally ruling out trying ala carte here if there are takers among my friends(but i think not likely), but the ala carte buffet is totally out for me! & i think really the organisation is still not in groove to put up this below par level of cuisine for a S$59.80 ala carte buffet. 😦
had our dinner get-together for 23pax at ban heng @ orchard central on 25.4.2014. we had 3 tables. sure looks like our monthly dinners are gaining traction and we have sustainable numbers coming together to catch up each month. 🙂
i had never been to ban heng, the original at boon keng & the now many new outlets. they have a weekday ala carte buffet at S$26.80pax i emailed the link to the organiser & he arranged to do it at the orchard central outlet.
we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above. for me the best dish was the abalone. 🙂 it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.
the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, though these days there were more talks of worthwhile calories & worthwhile cholesterol and focus was more on quality than quantity. 1 friend i asked during dinner said pretty much the same, that relative to price it was ok. another friend commented on FB post afterwards – “The food was actually quite satisfactory for the price and place”.
1 place though i would consider a whole lot better than (after trying) ban heng would be the ala carte buffet at peach garden.
the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers), but it was not a dish that the ladies took much nor the rest.
the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.
the drunken prawn was among the better dishes. 1 lady on my table commented that it had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawns were quite ok.
the frog legs were a bit below par (say) c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.
likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty. i do a much better tasty dish using IQF frozen razor clams from giant, but of course i always prefer razor clams to scallops for this garlic steamed preparation.
the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.
the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. this was also a standard dish at many restaurants. couldn’t say it was poor but while the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.
the lady who commented on the drunken prawns went to spy on the other tables…haha…& we ordered the steamed seabass & the roast duck. good food-spotting, well done!
the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 🙂 though 1 friend commented that soon hock was a better & more expensive fish…but it goes to show that quality of cooking/preparation is equally or sometime more important than quality of ingredients. 🙂
the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. 🙂 (but compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!) it prompted the lady friend to say perhaps the trick was to mine the non chef recommendations.
the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average. the baby kailan had very good wok hae. & the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.
the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.
the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.
the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not “pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. my own teochew braised duck is also more flavourful than this. 1 friend asked whether one could tell between goose & duck. couple of us felt that (say) when eating goose in hong kong the more gamey & fragrant taste was quite apparent. 🙂
desserts were provided on a self-serviced buffet table. the ice jelly was quite refreshing. i had 2 helpings topped up with sea coconut. 🙂
overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together. ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too. it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.
had not been to this old holland road coffeeshop 金山岭 for years.
used to love the thai style curry fish head at forture restaurant (still do!), and also the chilli crab many years back, basically because they were good & cheap then. for a while ah yat @ turf city was having 50% weekday discounts (now 40%) and the crab at ah yat at the time (up to 3 – 4 years back) were like S$19.90/kg after discount for indonesian crabs, which was cheaper than the S$26/kg at forture, and ah yat served very cheap seafood like bamboo clams (still does), so only dish that stood out at forture was the thai style fish head curry.
decided to go with a friend to take the fish head on 3.4.2014 after the long lay off. fish head still very fresh & curry was great. the hor fun though was not good. disappointing really, usually quite good when i “da pao” (take out).
my friend paid for dinner which came to just below S$30. the hot fun was S$3.50, so the fish head must be like S$25 (far cry from the time when it was S$15 & i came often), plus we had 1 rice to share & also the towels. my friend asked for water & the charge was S$0.40.
i guess price was ok. the 1/2 fish head was a large one. it was fresh & the curry was tasty, but taking it after so many years, it was unique but really no better than assam fish head & indian curry fish head – both have more kick than this one. also considering that the spicy bean sauce song fish head at honk kong street cost S$18 (though this one here had vegetables with the curry), S$25 was not cheap.
it was satisfying nonetheless, but the allure was gone. i can have this sometimes & enjoy it, but i can do without too.
3 of us went a friend’s condo in the east to watch nadal vs wawrinka autralian open finals on sunday 26.1.2014. the starting time was 4.30pm. i brought some durians – mao shan wang (猫山王) & mei qiu (美球). both were very good, mei qiu was very creamy but the mao shan wan was still creamier. 4 of us ate durians while the players were warming up.
we were all nadal supporters, but were quite ok for a wawarinka win. i still did not see wawrinka beating nadal. the match did not turn out to be the epic we anticipated, but nadal had given his best in the circumstances (he was clearly in great pain & conflicted & i thought he should retire during or after the second set rather than to risk his career with serious injury, fortunately it did not seem afterwards that the injury had lasting consequences, hope not anyway..), and wawrinka was playing as well as he could without a nadal in top form to bring out his best.
post match, we decided to go to red house seafood 小红楼for dinner. i had not been to 小红楼 for >10 years. the place was quite well patronised on a sunday evening, but its neighbour jumbo was simply overflowing.
my friend ordered the famous bbq squid, 椒盐salt pepper crayfish, 1 steamed sri lankan crab, steamed razor clams, fried garlic asparagus & mee goreng. the food was better than expected. the price was quite steep. with OCBC card 10% discount (20% for lunch) the bill still came to S$238nett for 4pax w/o drinks (only tea).
the red bbq squid with jelly fish was their house special. like a friend said it was more like cuttlefish (cuttlefish had a cuttlebone & the difference i saw in wet markets being that cuttlefish were squat & flat so looked round & from my experience had a lot more ink for squid-ink pasta, while squid were long & cylindrical) . i had never had this before. it was excellent! the seasoning was a bit sweet but i liked it.
the steamed razor clams with tanhoon in garlic sauce was very good as expected. many restaurants now do this very well. so i didn’t think it was better than long beach or jumbo or ah yat, but anyhow it was a very nice dish. 🙂 i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself but of course there was no comparison with what these restaurants produced. 🙂
the crayfish was fresh & sweet. 椒盐 pepper salt was not my preferred preparation as it came with a light batter. i preferred the usual sambal or the teochew style with yellow onions & egg.
the “medium-size” sri lankan crab i estimated about 1.2kg. my friends didn’t want pepper or chilli so we had it steamed with wine. it was quite good, the meat was sweet & quite firm though the crab was not “thiond” meaning firm & filling the shells.
the garlic asparagus was good. the mee goreng was very tasty with good amounts of seafood. my friend picked very nice dishes. the food was good & better than what we anticipated. great tennis get-together & great dinner! 🙂
(P.S. also had dinner ala carte orders here at tunglok signature on 28.11.2012).
had a best value dinner & among the best lobster dinner at tunglok signature at orchard parade hotel on 19.10.2013. 🙂 tunglok has a rather unusual arrangement with palate/amex where you get the usual 1 person off ie 50% discount for 2pax but then only for alacarte during weekdays and only for set meals during weekends. the latter is odd (surely if you give discounts for sets you should also give discounts for alacarte?) but quite fine with me as long as i get my discounts….haha. 🙂
we chose the S$98 lobster & seafood set. it was of exceptional quality, both in terms of quality of ingredients & quality of cooking. 🙂
the first course was a foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap (top 2 photos). this was excellent. fusion stuff are novel but frequently fail in taste (and/or matching) departments, but this was excellent! the texture & flavours of the foie gras & smoked duck & beancurd skin combined with the thick pancake wrap was unique & wonderful. 🙂
the crabmeat & roe soup was chokeful of ingredients – sharksfin, crabmeat & lots of roe (the photos tell it all). it was sweet & tasty enough but still lacking c/w the very flavourful braised crabmeat sharksfin soup (or the fishmaw soup) at majestic. we added vinegar & it tasted better (we don’t add vinegar when savouring the soup at majestic). still it was a rather good soup.
the steamed soon hock in light soya sauce was likewise super. flavour-wise almost as good as a chilean seabass done the same way, though soon hock would be inferior in taste & texture c/w chilean seabass. 🙂
the kurobuta was for me the least competent among the very good dishes. it was quite “well done” & little dry & did not taste much different from an ordinary pork chop, and not as good as the kurobuta steak served at the lobster set at chao yue xuan.
the lobster noodle though was par excellence. the lobster & superior sauce flavours were much better than chao yue xuan & as good or better than that offered at the lobster & abalaone set at xin cuisine. the lobster at the recent set we had at ah yat would be far down the list. 🙂
& the dessert 杨枝甘露 with ice cream was super as well. in other joints like ah yat & chao yue xuan, they often give you red bean soup etc for dessert just to pass off the course numbers. here we had very good tasty dessert, as we did also at xin cuisine.
the cost for the scrumptious meal was just S$98++ for 2pax PLUS S$3++ for 2 tea covers (ah yat charges S$2.40pax tea covers). this is one excellent deal which i will certainly do again, & i would also try the other S$78pax set.
had our dining quartet monthly lunch at ah yat @ turf city on 26.8.2013. the host bought a S$156 voucher for 4pax 7-course set. a very good deal with lobster, abalone, soon hock etc. 🙂
i used to go ah yat at turf city a lot. they had 50% discount (now 40% discount) during weekdays & the cooking & service were good. i had not been there though for more than a year so i took a look with a friend at the tanks & the (discounted) prices. my favourite items razor clams was now $5.80 each (before S$4,80), frog S4.80 (before $3.50), boston lobster S$8.88/100g (before S$5.90/100g) & tilapia S$1.50/100g (before i think was S$1.10/100g)..anyway prices had gone up but still ok, probably i would come back for these ala carte dishes.
for the set, we had braised sharksfin with crab meat. the soup was good with very generous helping of fins. the deep-fried soon hock was good as always, though i always prefer steamed for live fish (even for tilapia which has some “mud” taste). 🙂
next was a mexican spiky sea cucumber (supposedly more expensive variety) with minced pork stuffing & brocoli. the brown braising sauce was good & the brocoli “to the bite” al dente=excellent, the sea cucumber though was rubbery, not sure why? but something was not right with the preparation, not soaked long enough or something.
next came an impressive plate of boston lobster in 4 halves. the menu said garlic butter baked lobster & it came with a batter layer. i estimated 2x600g=1.2kg at the current discounted price of S$8.88/100g would cost S$125nett after 10% service & GST, so S$156nett for the set was very good deal.
my first bite though & i turned to my dining companion – “there is no taste in this lobster”..for a live lobster, it was really lacking in taste in this preparation. later we asked the server if we were to come back again could we change the cooking style to super sauce (上汤局). the reply was ok. it was a waste that we did not ask earlier!
the ee-fu noodles was plain but tasty & the 4 of us managed to wipe clean the plate! 🙂
the almond birds nest dessert was good too. i liked it. there were lots of birds nest which i did not care for much so i was not bothered whether they were fake or not. anyway it was a nice dessert.
this really quite a good deal, and i would come back again if the promotion is back. though if i were to make a comparison with the S$38 lobster & abalone set at chao yue xuan (another ah yat restaurant at mohamed sultan), just food-wise this would pale by comparison. the lobster made a huge difference. the one in superior sauce (上汤局) at chao yue xuan was par excellence, & the abalone was huge by comparison & very tasty. the stone pot garoupa soup was not sharksfin but was very good & in place of soon hock they had a very nice kurobuta & a chicken salad. chao yue xuan does have some negatives. we had a private 6pax table at a corner for lunch the other day & 1/2 the tables were filled in the small restaurant.in the evening sometimes there were tables occupied by tourist & the place looked messy c/w ah yat @ turf city.
anyway i liked both the sets & will do this again when the promotion is back. 🙂
See also my update on 28.10.2013.
P.S. there was another S$156 4pax 7-course set promotion at ah yat @ turf city but this was still better!
this was a superb 8-course set at chao yue xuan and for just S$38 + S$2.50++pax for peanuts, tea & towels. 🙂
in terms of quality of ingredients & taste, it was quite superior to the value lobster set i had there previously. i would say it was equal or even better than the fine dining lobster & abalone set at xin cuisine.
the 5 of us were there at 1pm on 21.8.2013, the restaurant was 1/2 full & we had a table at a private corner.
the starter was a shredded chicken in sesame salad. it was good, tasty & the helping was rather large.
next we had star garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot (the ala carte price for this dish alone was S$28++), & it was very good, very tasty & the fish fillet were excellent. 🙂
the braised whole yoshihama abalone was top quality, excellent in taste & bite & it came with 花胶(fishmaw) & brocoli. 🙂
the 1/2 baked lobster (top photo) was again par excellence, very very tasty with the superior soup.
same with the pan-fried kurobuta pork chop. i thought it looked & tasted like a galbi beef rib cut served in majestic restaurant but the menu said kurobuta. anyhow taste was great!
the poached vegetable with beancurd skin was also very good. i supposed by comparison the ee-fu noodles was ordinary, but it was still a good, not poor, dish.
& the snow fungus with date dessert was refreshing & enjoyable too…really every item was good & i could only sing praises – such excellent ingredients & preparation for soup, lobster, abalone & kurobuta. 🙂 actually i think it was an incredible deal at S$38 + S$2.50++pax= about S$41nett. 🙂 i have already bought more vouchers to go back!
see also the new S$38 8-course lobster & abalone set (21.8.2013).
bought 2xS$35nett 8-course Chao Yue Xuan (潮悦轩) groupon vouchers, so duly visited the restaurant. 🙂
This is the same Ah Yat branch & location at UE Square along Mohamed Sultan Road, only they have changed the name to mean a “pleasing teochew pavilion”..at S$35nett the meal did turn out pleasing enough though nothing teochew 🙂
decor & ambience wise though the place is a bit dowdy, and in fact though this branch is located at UE Sqaure, Turf City has better ambience! there were 3 tables of Chinese tourists this evening – I guess F&B is really competitive here & people do need to survive. 🙂
the salmon sashimi was actually quite good but not really the belly or fatty type which now even some buffet serve, but it was good, not poor.
the double-boiled fishmaw（花膠）soup was very good really – sweet, smooth, tasty.
the garlic steamed razor (bamboo) clam with tanhoon (glass noodles) was good (every restaurant should really be able to do this well) though Ah Yat at Turf City was better & Long Beach @ Dempsey was better than both, and we didn’t think that serving it without the shell instead of on the shell was a great idea. btw, i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself.
I cannot really fault this fish chop (2 pieces – very large serving) . The deep-fry was done right crispy & not soggy, but the meal was really filling & we were not into this sweet strawberry sauce thingy & this asian fusion? dish did not match well with the other menu items. I took 1 piece. My wife did not touch it.
the lobster in pumpkin sauce was very nice. It was a mid-size maine lobster, about 450g (& larger than the one we took subsequently at Xin Cuisine). pumpkin sauce is a favourite cooking style with Ah Yat & goes well with crab, I think more so than lobsters. Comparing this with the very light cheese gratin lobster at Xin Cuisine I would think this is better (& of course larger) – though my wife would disagree – but I guess this was more robust in taste & presentation c/w Xin Cuisine’s which can be said to be more fine.
This nai bai vege was very good! 🙂
I didn’t get this dish though – the prawn was large & fresh (live right..) & in superior sauce how to go wrong? but it was soggy, not “QQ” (al dente)..& with the fish chop, would be the weakest links in this set.
The red bean dessert does not really deserve mention or a photo..haha.:-)
anyway, it was difficult to fault this S$35nett 8-course set – the ingredients like lobster & razor (bamboo) clam were good quality, the salmon & prawn were fresh, soup & vege were good; quality of cooking was not quite there but still above average.
I may not do this too often but I have bought another 2 vouchers, so I am planning to go back before voucher expires. 🙂