Tag Archives: crystal jade
RI Friends G20 13pax Dinner at Peach Gardens @ Metropolis on 26May2015
had a fun dinner get together among RI friends at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015. ^^
happened to be the same friend who organised G20 dinner 2 years ago also at peach garden (@ novena), aug2013.
come to think of it, this was the 3rd time we had G20 dinners at peach garden in as many years. the most recent was at peach garden @ miramar on 30.6.2014, almost 1 year ago.
many of us had not been to metropolis. 1 who had been associated it with MOE as he is a professor at NUS. for another in a brokerage firm, it was CDP that came to mind.
i parked at the openair carpark before metropolis building, very well located next to the bus stop & MRT. there was a lift that took me to level 2 right by peach garden. 🙂
place was new so looked somewhat better than previously at novena & also at miramar. the ala carte buffet menu with 1 free for 3 paying is for steamboat, so we decided to take the ala carte menu instead.
we ordered the roast pork烧肉, a recommended dish. it was good, same standard as the usual places like crystal jade, imperial trasure, tunglok & canton paradise.
we were deciding between peking duck & roast duck. they were same price , i think S$56 for 1 duck. more went for roast duck, which was also my preference.
roast duck was good too, very flavourful & tender, & skin was crisp. it was no better than canton paradise. i think the latter still more fragrant & tasty, my gold standard. haha!^^
soon hock was S$9/100g. we had 12pax (+ one who came a bit later on), so we ordered a 1kg fish.
i always preferred steam for a very fresh live fish to deep-fried, which is like second best. soon hock was excellently done, very tender, smooth, tasty.
i was quite wary i.e. distrustful (& weary) of peach garden’s wasabi prawns. it once came with a ton of green wasabi mayo. but looking back at the 2013 photos actually it was not bad. anyhow we ordered the salted egg prawn, which was very good too, though not quite my favourite. 🙂
a friend ordered the claypot tofu with naibai 奶白. a simple dish but really quite well executed!^^
& we had the chinese cabbage (jinbai 津白i think) with enoki mushrooms. again a very simple dish & very tastefully (both sight & taste) done indeed! 🙂
egg white dried scallops fried rice is quite a standard dish in many good chinese restaurants. i used to love it a lot at imperial treasure nanbei, especially with the xo chilli sauce.
somehow this one didn’t wow, quite average to me, not much wok hae. i think i can do better than that myself. my favourite now is the spicy seafood fried rice at crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao.^^
a friend managed to reach when we were down to the second last dish, so he ordered a fried kuay teow. looked ok i guess, like the usual fare.
the sesame red bean pancake was another standard dish. it was done pretty nicely – look & certainly taste also.
the last item was the custard bun. pretty good but i kind of tired of them (like i was tired of the crispy charsiew bao at timhowan).
a very enjoyable dinner & evening with friends.
the price came to S$414 nett for 13pax after a 15% credit card discount=S$32nett. of course we did not order much food too. we did not order expensive ingredients so these were average dishes but very well executed. price was ok, about there i guess.
Expensive Below-par Food @ Lei Gardens Times Square on 5Apr2015
had expensive below par lunch today at lei gardens @ times square on 5.4.2015.
this was so different from the excellent lunch i had at 2 michelin star lei gardens at tsai yee street洗衣街 mongkok outlet in 2013.
they had 2 seating & we booked 11.30am. we went to have a short walk at the mid-level escalators & stanley street & decided to eat some small portion of roast goose at yat lok.
so maybe we were a bit full & not great appetite.
service was quite polite actually. these days service pretty ok though they were always busy to have much time with you.
we had a lie tong 鸡骨草例汤. HK$148 for 1pot, maybe should have the 1/2pot HK$98.
it was ok i guess, but these days, my helper made such great soup on the slow cooker at home. also my memory of 鸡骨草例汤 at imperial treasure nanbei was that it was such a tasty soup this one really paled in comparison.
we ordered the hicken feet braised in abalone sauce HK$42. wife & son preferred the usual dimsum deep-fried chicken feet which we found out was just hk$32. 🙂
my son said he did not realise how nice the dimsum at timhowan were until compared with the much poorer ones here. in fact i think all of crystal jade, imperial treasure, tunglok & canton paradise are better.
the radish pastry was ok.
the char siew fun cheong was poor. skin was very doughy & tough.
we took the recommendations which had the venus clams with sweet beans (top photo) & the noodles in lobster broth combination for HK$298.
the venus clams was the only dish that was good. the lobster broth noodles was tasteless, really a surprise for me. somehow the food did not agree with us.
Excellent Xiaolongbao 小笼包 @ Joyful Palace 怡乐坊 on 19mar2015
met a friend for a chat at food loft clementi ave 3 blk 443 this evening on 19.3.2015。
i wanted to try the laksa and order a S$4 bowl from teck hin fishball noodles for myself. my friend was having dinner at home afterwards, so we decided to just order a S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包 from joyful palace 怡乐坊 to share.
this S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包 (for 5 pieces) turned out to be pretty good.^^
the soup was very sweet, as good as any of the restaurants crystal jade, imperial treasure, canton paradise. skin was ok not the smoothest but pretty good still. meat was tasty, kind of a bit big but then what was there to complain if it was nice?
joyful palace 怡乐坊 is located at the food loft @ clementi ave 3 blk 443.
in addition to dimsum it sells the hong kong roast meats and also ramen with the roast as well as dan dan mian & mala chicken ramen.
not sure if i would try those if i am there, more likely to take the laksa.^^
Average Too Ordinary Dimsum @ Timhowan 添好运 at Westgate Mall on 19Dec2014
a friend cooked an excellent lunch today for 6pax on 19.12.2014. 🙂
after that 4 of us went to JEM (jurong east mall) to watch “exodus”. carpark was full so we parked at westgate mall which was linked to JEM at level 2.
after the movie we walked back to westgate mall & had a light dinner at timhowan 添好运 (still full from the excellent lunch).
we dutifully ordered the crispy char siew pao.
i must have had one too many of this. had much better crispy char siew pao at canton paradise several times. didn’t like it as much it now.
har gao was good but for me canton paradise’s har gao & imperial treasure teochew’s har gao were better.
马拉糕 was never my thing, even at hong kong timhowan outlet – an enigma to me. tasted like “wa kor kuay”.
teochew dumpling 潮州粉粿 was competent.
fu pei quin 腐皮卷 & fried carrot cake were ok.
anyhow overall the food was really mediocre, which to me meant a disappointment.
dinner was just S$39 but we had very little food for 4pax.
for me, there is no reason to have these average food when i can get better food at canton paradise, imperial treasure & crystal jade for largely the same price.
Drunken (or Drunkard) Fried Rice @ Siam Central Charlotte Street on 27Aug2014
there is this drunken fried rice that every singaporean student must have taken at siam central charlotte street london.
my son brought me after the college ceremony on 27.8.2014.
i ordered the fried rice with beef, & my son ordered fried rice with pork & tom yam seafood soup.
basically, it was a spicy fried rice with egg, fresh chilli and thai holy basil. there was no wine in the rice so i wondered why drunken. it was later that i found out that a pad kee mao dish = “drunken stir-fry” dish (pad = stir-fry, kee mao = drunkard) it referred to the more intense, piquant taste of the dish, saltier and spicier etc, favoured by a drunkard (with dulled tastebuds?? haha)
i did not try the tom yam seafood. my son described it as between the very good tom yam talay at patara & the so-so one at thai noodle house.
the fried rice was indeed intense & flavourful & a bit oily, and the serving of beef & pork was quite large.
i was having an almost full-blown flu & my tastebuds would have been dulled, perhaps even more than drunkards. anyhow i did not find the fried rice too “exceptional”. i told my son (& of course he did not agree) that the fried rice was like the old holland road stall or any good zi char stall. i guess perhaps it was better. 🙂
for sure, it was not to be compared to crystal jade spicy seafood fried rice (which is my gold standard). i actually think my own seafood fried rice is also better. 🙂
Quality + Great Value Alacarte Buffet @ Zen on 21Jul2014
bought 2xS$33.80 groupons & went with sis to zen at ue square for ala carte lunch buffet on 21.7.2014. 🙂
normal lunch buffet is priced at S$42++pax. i had also taken their lunch sets starting from S$16++pax (but some years back) & they were pretty good. quality of food & cooking had always been good here.
for the ala carte buffet, the main event was the wagyu shabu shabu. there was also pork & whole array of jap dishes. only set back was the lack of good sashimi other than salmon for the buffet. you could order them as additional ala carte orders & they were at good discounted prices too e.g. what looked liked a very good 10 piece sushi set was going for like S$18. i wouldn’t order that while i was having a alacarte buffet lunch though.
the salmon sashimi was good, probably about chikuwatei & momoya standard. anyway these days many places served good salmon sashimi. the aburi salmon sushi & maguro sushi were both good but the rice was so huge you could not order more w/o leaving the rice. anyway i set aside the rice for later dishes like the kimchi buta & ebi ika basil dish. 🙂
both the broiled oysters & the breaded oysters were good. we did not order additional as could not finish so much food!
also ordered 2 pieces ebi tempura (forgot to take pictures). good too. flour a bit much. we did not add orders.
unlike the sister restaurant en japanese dining bar, they did not serve beef carpaccio, but the wafu steak was really very good, very tender & sweet.
the 2 thai & korean dishes showed the quality of cooking here. kimchi buta was just ok but with lots of pork & belly pork. the basil prawns & squid was very good, the standerd of a good thai restaurant. i kept my rice for these dishes. 🙂
for the main event wagyu shabu shabu, the beef was excellent. perhaps azmaya was better. hard to tell, but this was very good anyway. 🙂
it came in 1/2 & full portion (200g). we had the full portion for 2pax but could not add more. we also ordered 1/2 portion belly pork. it was just 6 slices & it was very good. we just could not add more.
decided to take 1/2 portion of unagi chahan to share. it was still very large portion & we took about 70%. it was very flavourful with unagi pieces but no better than a good fried rice at imperial treasure or crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.
also shared a tofu cheese cake & a creme brûlée. both were good. creme brûlée a bit sweeter & we did not finish it.
the normal weekday lunch buffet price is S$42++pax & dinner S$52++pax. still ok i guess if you take a lot of beef. the S$33.80nett groupon deal was of course superb value. 🙂
just to add that the service was overall good. not always the most attentive, but very polite friendly when they served you. ice water was free unlike other places (tajimaya does not serve tap water & charges S$5.90 for 1 litre bottled water), so the S$33.80 groupon was all we paid.
HK Style Steamed Sausage, Mushroom & Chicken Rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)
when we go dim sum & especially HK, 1 of our favourites is 一口饭. it’s the HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭). 🙂
not many dim sum restaurants in singapore served this, & we used to go to shang palace because they did. the other dim sum there were also not too bad especially with the 30% discount on sundays before 12pm. still, we usually prefer imperial treasure or crystal jade.
i am planning a homecooked “fine” chinese course dinner for my friends, and was looking at what dishes i could include (say) to replace paella or pasta dishes. this dish looks fine if i can produce a decent tasty version. it seems to me that the sauce we were provided to drizzle over the rice is an important element, it is mildly sweet & not salty & really enhance the flavour of the rice & ingredients. obviously either chicken or pork ribs used has to be tender (not “old” or overcook), & tasty means good marinade as well. 🙂
there were many online recipes especially if googled in chinese, but hardly any showing the drizzling sauce style, and i was not looking at a claypot recipe or fried or baked recipe but a fragrant steam rice recipe. i found one here.
i added boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, kept overnight to soften, then cut in halves. i cut 1/2 chicken (about 1.5kg size) so (say) 750g. & marinated with the chicken marinade i prepared per below recipe. this went into the fridge for about 4hrs (i will do this overnight next time). i cut 2 chinese sausages.
i washed about 240g rice (3pax portion) using the rice measuring cup (1.5cups) & added an equal amount of mushroom water which i reserved earlier. the water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but the recipe asked to add less water as there was water in the chicken & also mushroom, so the rice would not be soggy. i then laid the sausages & mushrooms & also the 2 chicken feet & 1/2 the sliced ginger over the rice in the rice cooker.
i then switched on the rice cooker, and waited till steam showed the water was boiling. then i added the chicken pieces, let the rice cooked, added the remaining 1/2 sliced ginger & kept warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving.
meanwhile i prepared the drizzling sauce. it was very good.
i placed the chicken in a separate serving plate, and took out all the rice & placed in a large serving bowl. the chicken was very tender & nice. for this first attempt i was conservative in the chicken marinade so the chicken taste would be even better with a bit more light soy sauce & fish sauce. this i will do next time. the rice was very fragrant & tasty & the drizzling sauce further enhance the excellent flavours.
so this was a very simple dish to prepare, easy to reproduce, and i am decided to do this for the friends’ dinner. 🙂
1/2 chicken (750g)
sliced ginger (2cm piece)
drizzle sauce (important):
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water
marinade for chicken (used 1/2 chicken):
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fishsauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
- add boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, keep overnight to soften, then cut in halves. reserve 250g mushroom water cut 1/2 chicken (about 750g) & marinated with the chicken marinade. leave overnight in fridge.
- wash 1.5 rice measuring cup of rice & add an equal amount of mushroom water (about 240g). water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but add less water as there is water in the chicken & also mushroom. lay the sausages & mushrooms & 1/2 the sliced ginger & also the 2 chicken feet over the rice in the rice cooker.
- switch on the rice cooker, and wait till steam shows the water is boiling. add the chicken pieces, let the rice cook, add the other 1/2 sliced ginger & keep warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving. meanwhile prepare the drizzling sauce.
- place the chicken in a separate serving plate, and take out the rice & place in a large serving bowl. serve!
Early Sunday Dimsum Lunch @ Royal China on 25Aug2013
the children arranged early sunday dimsum lunch at royal china, a dimsum restaurant we all liked but had not gone for a while. 🙂
we booked 4pax at 11am on sunday 25.8.2013 & was advised we had to vacate by 12.30pm, quite usual. 🙂
some dishes i did not quite recall whether they were good or not. now that i record in the blog i can remember whole lot better. well, that’s why i blog. 🙂 the char siew was very good & a very good-sized helping at S$14.
i didn’t remember the scallop dumpling. it was good. the har gao was also good (but i forgot to take photo). i thought i remembered the spicy mala dumpling (抄手) usually came in a glass with quite a bit of sauce & was quite good. this time it did not taste good, especially the filling. i would not order this next time. the ones we had recently at crystal jade lamian xialongbao were very much better!
we ordered the special cheung fun which included 1 char siew, 1 scallop, 1 prawn – smooth & good as usual, liked it! i didn’t remember the XO fried carrot cake – cost a bit more at S$8.80 but liked this especially with the haebeehiam chilli. 🙂 also had the deep-fried mango spring rolls – the skin was great, crisp, somehow the prawn mango filling was not such a great matching. i can do without.
the steamed pork rib was very good as usual. my son ordered the char siew sou, the rest of us were not great fan of that. it’s competent but not my favourite. we used to like the salted egg custard bun. this time they had mango in it – mango salted egg custard bun (香芒流沙包). it was not a disaster, still taste of salted egg bun, but really it was a big minus to me.
the 4pax lunch cost S$89. overall we were quite ok with the dimsum lunch, nice environment, ok service (they forgot 3 of our orders), & generally good food. i would still prefer crystal jade’s 抄手, imperial treasure’s dragon beard carrot dumpling & fried rice at both places (very strangely there were no fried rice dishes on the menu).
Really Nice Dishes @ Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao on 11Aug2013
recently my children had been taking me places. 🙂
i guess it is quite odd that i have not been to crystal jade la mian xiao long bao at HollandV! anyway i had a really great lunch there on 11.8.2013, the day i was cooking a 7-course family dinner for 8pax at home. over-overdose of carbo! 🙂
every dish was good! so best among the good to me was the special sauce chicken (口水鸡) la mian. i am firstly partial to sichuan ma la (四川麻辣) dishes. and this chicken was so excellent & the noodles al dente & went perfectly with the chilli sauce. 🙂
the 抄手 was good, though this dish is good too in many places like imperial treasure, royal china etc. 🙂
the 小龙包 xiaolongbao was the best! the soup inside was so tasty & the meat & skin just perfect. this must be the best 小龙包 i had!
the beef brisket/tendon la mian 牛腩筋拉面(dry) was to me surprisingly good! though it is still no competition for me re my favourite beef noodles 牛腩牛杂面 in HK, & when my son ordered it i thought it couldn’t be as good as the one at SICC (which is very good)..but it was! the beef brisket/tendon were very tasty & very nice with the la mian.
the seafood fried rice again surprised me.i thought no fried rice was as good as imperial treasure’s, but it was! very good, just as good, maybe better. 🙂 we were super greedy so ordered 2 fried rice! the 6 dishes cost about S$80 for 4pax. be back for more soon! 🙂
Great Value Dimsum @ 1 Michelin Star Timhowan Fuk Wing Street Hong Kong on 10May2013
1 michelin star Timhowan 添好运 recently started a Singapore branch at Plaza Singapura queue reputed to be 1.5hrs long. I am not one to queue for dimsum. fortunately there was no queue when we arrived at the Fook Weng shop @福荣街 in Hong Kong just before 12pm on 10.5.2013. 🙂 there was some 5-6pax waiting though when we left the restaurant.
1 of my good friends, who was the chief instigator for this HK Eat & Hike (or maybe Eat & Eat) trip, was much fixated with Timhowan, so it was wise that the first thing we did was to satisfy her cravings. 🙂
Timhowan has 4 famous dishes 四大天王 – crispy char siew pao 脆皮叉烧包, pig liver siew mai, waxed meat pan-fried carrot cake腊味香煎萝卜糕, & a mala cake马拉糕, as in their paper placemats above. 🙂
I liked the 脆皮叉烧包 crispy char siew bun best! – fillings were that of a great charsiew pao & the crispy skin was unique. I also liked the pig liver siew mai (unfortunately I did not take a picture). It was good, but I guess somewhat less unique as many dimsum places like Star of Canton had abalone siew mai & the 1 michelin star Bo Innovation (& I am sure many others) had foie gras or caviar siew mai. 🙂
I was much less enthusiastic with the pan-fried carrot cake 腊味香煎萝卜糕. It was really quite average, too average. we have very good ones in Singapore like Imperial Treasure & Crystal Jade etc.
mala cake 马拉糕 was an enigma to me???…my very enthused friend obviously liked this, said it had very nice flavour (I wonder why haha?) 🙂 the steamed chicken feet – again this was ordinary & below par c/w many Singapore & HK dimsum place
the steamed fu pei quin -苻皮倦 was good, quite ok. 🙂 the steamed pork ribs were much below par, more fat than meat.
the 糯米鸡 was good & flavourful though the small amount of filling were overwhelmed by the very large helping of glutinous rice. still taste-wise it was better than the 珍珠糯米鸡 we had at 迎 later.
the 潮州粉果 was very good, both skin & fillings, again much better than we had at 迎 later. the har gao was good but usual I guess
the 桂花糕 osmanthus jelly was very good, very fragrant. 🙂
we had 12 dimsum items & total bill included tea & service=HK$208 nett (like S$33 for 4pax). well I guess that’s why we came to Hong Kong to eat! 🙂