Great Value Alacarte Semi-buffet (Beyond Expectations) @ Tim Palace SAFRA Toa Payoh on 24Nov2015

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

went with my sis & b-i-l to tim palace @ SAFRA toa payoh to try out their ala carte semi-buffet on 24.11.2015.

buffet is S$25.80pax. the added attraction is S$5 discounts for SC aka senior citizens! ^^

there’s a S$2pax for water, tea & peanuts (S$2.50pax or more if other drinks). so it was S$22.80pax for 3 of us, S$27nett each.

tim palace

tim palace

tim palace is at level 3 of SAFRA toa payoh clubhouse building.

tim palace

tim palace

it is quite large in capacity, good for functions, tour groups??

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

i did not have high expectation of the roast meat 烧味 station.

but surprise, surprise, the roast duck was really, really good! very flavourful.

char siu

char siu

so was the char siu!. i think this one of the best char siu i had. as good as the excellent chargrilled pork neck at imperial treasure nanbei or (better in fact than) any other good char siu places.

roast duck - second helping

roast duck - second helping

i actually went for a second helping of roast duck, after taking the other food! 🙂

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

i was quite tempted to taste the salt baked chicken 盐炬鸡, but really no space left. sigh!

appetizer station

appetizer station

nothing much to say about the cold station. prawns was large, plump, fresh & sweet.

scallops & mussels all the frozen type, nothing worth taking.

appetizer station

appetizer station

the scallop tips (front) were quite nice. the prawn & squid salad were ok. sos so la!

cold flower crabs

cold flower crabs

the flower crabs were soft, mushy “nua nua”, the frozen type, not worth taking also. all these i took very little just to try.

sushi/sashimi station

sushi/sashimi station

salmon sashimi was ok. quite sweet. colour didn’t look that great.

i skipped the sushi.

appetizers

appetizers

so, mainly prawn was good, salmon sashimi ok too, squid/prawn salad & scallop tips passable.

braised small abalone with brocoli

braised small abalone with broccoli

i ordered most of the dishes that they allowed only one order.

small abalone with broccoli was good restaurant standard. no complaints. 🙂

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup was better than most cheaper sharksfin soup, not very gluey & stock quite tasty.

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam was decent competent dish.

scallops & celery in xo sauce

scallops & celery in xo sauce

the scallops & celery in xo sauce was pretty good.

crayfish

crayfish

crayfish was poor!

crayfish

crayfish

meat has no taste. this dish (thumbs down)!

char siu pao

char siew pao

we did not order the char siew pao, but somehow it was marked on the order sheet, the marking very different from our order markings, think some previous customers marked on it.

anyway no big deal, so we took it. the char siu pao were good!

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

i read that the deep-fried flower garoupa not so good, so we ordered the steamed seabass with sambal sauce.

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

seabass not such a great fish. but this preparation quite ok…so again a competent dish. maybe i will try the garoupa next time. don’t mind coming back again. 🙂

honey ribs

honey ribs

the honey ribs were ordinary. as good as any zi char stall i suppose. not my favourite.

honey ribs

honey ribs

cannot really criticise thsi dish, but the char siu was many times better than this.

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

surprisingly also the drunken prawns was very good. must be a very good quality shaoxing wine 绍兴酒.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

the braised lamb pot was competent dish, but no more.

lamb still retain the gamey taste, and not specially flavourful.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

i would say it’s a robust dish like a beef stew, so unless the herbs & preparation is special (like say at majestic), it’s not a dish i am particularly fond of.

dessert station

dessert station

dessert station the usual fare, with fruits, custard puffs & red bean pan cake etc.

sea coconut & longans

sea coconut & longans

i took the sea coconut…quite refreshing.

lotus seed red beans dessert

lotus seed red beans dessert

and a bit of the lotus seed red beans dessert. pretty ok.

the food quality & cooking were pretty ok, not that much different from (i would say better actually) say peach garden miramar’s ala carte buffet, and certainly better than the ala carte buffet at ban heng orchard central.

the outstanding dishes for me here were the roast duck, char siu(tops), drunken prawns, abalone.

the sea cucumber & scallops were pretty good.

c.h.e.f andy

++++++++++++++++++

Tim Palace

Address : 293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #03-01 Safra Club Singapore 319387
Hotline : 6253 5515 (Reservation is needed on Saturday and Sunday)
Fax : 6253 0266
Email : timpalace@gimtim.com.sg

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 14:00; 18:00 – 22:00

Sat, Sun & PH: 11:00 – 14:30; 18:00 – 22:00

 

 

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Steamed Yellow Croaker, Japanese Seabass or 小黄鱼

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

bought yellow croaker, also called japanese seabass or 小黄鱼 at chinatown market, so decided to steam it for dinner on 7.10.2015. ^^

my helper does a very good hong kong steamed red garoupa. it is really of good zi char & restaurant standard. though the red garoupa we bought from chinatown market were not live (or swimming), they were always very fresh.

i was thinking of varying the hong kong steamed 港蒸style, & i had previously done very good tasting-

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

so i marinated the fish (a large one for yellow croaker maybe 600g+)with 3tbsp light soy sauce, 2tbsp olive oil & 2tbsp mirin (optional). & that’s it!

then it’s garnishes like sliced red chilli (i forgot to add sliced ginger), & cut spring onions near the end of steaming.

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

steamed yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼

i steamed in the steam oven for 12mins. if not using a steam oven, then similarly in a steamer for 12mins.

the fish was really excellent, very sweet & tasty & fine. 港蒸style小黄鱼 texture is finer than red garoupa & equally good.

the sauce was very tasty & not really so different from hong kong steamed 港蒸style, the same flavourful light soy sauce taste, not too salty, but it is a very good variation & equally tasty, instead of resorting to the proven style everytime.

小黄鱼 is also good served chilled similar to the chilled mullet 乌鱼.

we had very good ones at chao inn 潮楼 at kwun tong in hong kong on 3.6.2015!

fried yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼14.9.2015 fried yellow croaker, japanese seabass or 小黄鱼14.9.2015(2)

i also tried fried yellow croaker 煎小黄鱼 (above 2 photos), not too bad too!

that after trying a pretty good one at imperial treasure nanbei at taka on 23.8.2015.

but really, steaming is the best to bring out the freshness & sweetness of the fish la!

c.h.e.f andy

Interesting 8-course Chinese Dinner @ Mitzo on 5Sep2015

#3 lobster bisque

#3 lobster bisque

there is a ongoing UOB credit card 1-for-1 promotion at mitzo.

i came here for a lohei dinner in mar2015. it was an ok, in fact better than expected, experience.

as mentioned then, mitzo is also apparently positioned as an inventive cocktail bar, serving some cocktails from a teapot. 🙂

mitzo signatures set menu

mitzo signatures set menu

so we decided to try out the S$108pax (S$54pax after 50% discounts) 8-course signature set menu on 5.9.2015.

F1 complimentary cocktail

F1 complimentary cocktail

we were in luck this evening. F1 is round the corner & they were rolling out some new F1 cocktail, and for this evening, we stumbled onto a free F1 complimentary cocktail promotion. it tasted pretty good actually,  not too sweet. i think it was rum & some citrus & other concoction.

#1 trio of dimsum

#1 trio of dimsum

the dimsum trio was fine food. taste was pretty good, if not awesome. 🙂

radish puff

radish puff

radish puff was a very good pastry, and tasty.

breaded shrimp & foie gras

breaded shrimp & foie gras

the breaded prawn roll was a little heavy, & average.

crispy glutinous pumpkin in custard

crispy glutinous pumpkin in custard

the crispy glutinous pumpkin in custard was good.

#2 mitzo char siew

#2 mitzo char siew

the mitzo special char siew was good, but a tad too salty. it is not the standard of the chargrilled pork neck 炭烧猪项肉 at imperial treasure nanbei we had recently.

#3 lobster bisque with poached scallop

#3 lobster bisque with poached scallop

the lobster bisque with poached scallop was a bit of a fusion oddity. it looked gluey like a chinese sweet sour soup.

but the taste was superb! & with so much cut scallops & lobster pieces! this was the best dish this evening. ^^

#4 deep-fried prawns with creamy lemon

#4 deep-fried prawns with creamy lemon

the deep-fried prawns with creamy lemon sauce was good, very competent. a good crisp outside, tender & tasty inside.

#4 deep-fried prawns with creamy lemon

#4 deep-fried prawns with creamy lemon

its a regular dish like any wasabi prawns or salted egg prawns with a different dressing, ok but not awesome.

#5 oven baked chilean seabass with lemon grass

#5 oven baked chilean seabass with lemon grass

the oven baked chilean seabass with lemon grass was good standard.

#5 oven baked chilean seabass with lemon grass

#5 oven baked chilean seabass with lemon grass

not among the better chilean seabass i had, including oonboard SIA!

#6 pan-fried lamb chop with enoki mushrooms

#6 pan-fried lamb chop with enoki mushrooms

the pan-fried lamb chop with enoki mushrooms was very tender, except it tasted by geyland lor 9 horfun kind of chinese very tenderised kind of tender.

#6 pan-fried lamb chop with enoki mushrooms

#6 pan-fried lamb chop with enoki mushrooms

so i was just ok with the dish not not really my thing.

#7 seafood thick beehoon

#7 seafood thick beehoon

the other very tasty best dish of the evening was the braised thick beehoon soup, with prawns, scallops & cod.

#7 seafood thick beehoon

#7 seafood thick beehoon

i really enjoyed this. finish all the carbs.

#7 seafood thick beehoon

#7 seafood thick beehoon

shiok!!

#8 avocado ice cream & sesame dumpling

#8 avocado ice cream & sesame dumpling

the dessert was not really my type.

avocado cream with ice cream…i took just a little.

sesame dumpling

sesame dumpling

i always like sesame dumpling. still this time i did not finish it.

well, this not a set i would want to take too often. if the consideration were just money vs ingredients, this was certainly a very good deal!

c.h.e.f andy

17 Courses of Delectable Dishes for 16pax Homecooked Dinner on 26Aug2015

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

had an exciting evening with my friends on 26.8.2015. ^^

we had 16pax. i planned to serve asian dishes mainly buffet style, and a pasta, beef & lamb dish during the course of dinner. 🙂

a friend brought 清汤牛腩. it was my favourite for the evening. i had a good beef brisket noodles at imperial treasure nanbei few days back on 23.8.2015, one of the few authentic ones. still, that was a bit more beefy. i personally prefer this 清汤牛腩 style. sometimes homecook is the best! ^^

my wife could not join dinner this evening. she organised the quinoa pumpkin tofu salad for me & i mixed in the rockets when serving (so that rockets would not be soggy).

everyone loved the salad. 🙂

i did the spanish omelette. did not do this a the longest time & recently revived it when i served a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8px for my niece’s birthday.

this was a very popular dish among my diners.

i recently tried out a new preparation for cooking char siew & maybe found the right combination to reproduce easily very flavourful & tender, moist char siew. it is also easy to do, just put on a rack in a preheated oven for 20mins.

& it worked well, very tasty, well charred & quite tender inside. the ends were a bit harder than what i made previously because this roll of pork collar was thinner, so need to adjust the timing say to 18mins for thinner rolls.

i made a  ter kar tan 猪脚冻. it was a bit meaty & not as good as my head cheese terrine 猪头冻, but still a friend who cooked this also thought it was very good. i think the taste was good, i should use either pig’s head meat or a lot of pig skin as pig’s trotter is overly meaty & heavy. & the colour should be lighter, means less or no dark sauce.

my chicken ballotine was very good today, mostly finished.

the thai yellow curry grilled chicken thighs were very good.

there was a bit left though, and when i heat the curry sauce in the microwave & applied it to the cold chicken the next day, for me it was still excellent. 🙂

the thai red curry sotong (squid) was just as lovely. it’s a bit spicier & very good with the rice.

i did the vietnamese chargrilled pork collar w/o the beehoon, just with pickled carrots & peanuts. i tried it after cooking. it was very tasty. i think it was just as good as what i had at mrs pho recently. i think better actually.

but for this evening, maybe there were too much food, it was only 1/2 taken.

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

the braised belly pork was done together with the ter kar tan 猪脚冻, so it was just a small portion. the braise was very tasty & the texture of the belly pork was superb by those who take belly pork. nothing was left.

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

the friend made 3kg of beef briskets & tendons. so i guess we did have a lot of food.

i am not complaining as this was my favourite dish for the evening. 🙂

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

there was some leftover, so i ate the next day & enjoyed it just as much.

#11 helper's spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

#11 helper’s spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

my helper made the spicy black beans pork ribs. it was braised in the pan & then steamed in the steam oven. very tender & great sauce & flavours. it’s one of my perennial favourites. not much left afterwards.

#12 helper's sambal sauce seabass - this everyone's favourite

#12 helper’s sambal sauce seabass – this everyone’s favourite

my helper’s sambal sauce seabass was another dish that was everyone’s favourite. seabass has a slight mud taste & powdery texture, but with the sambal sauce, it was a very appetizing dish. nothing left.

#13 helper's blanched hk kailan with shitake

#13 helper’s blanched hk kailan with shitake

likewise the blanched hk kailan with shitake.

it was time for the pasta, beef & lamb dishes. my friends were all very full so we decided to forgo the pink sauce prawn pasta dish.

my tagliata was just simply fabulous. it was sooooo much better than the ones we had the other evening at the zafferano wine dinner, and haha i will say it again!^^ all my friends at zafferano were here this evening anyway. 🙂

& the pistachio crusted rack of lamb. everyone just loved it! those who eat lamb anyway.

actually we had the lamb at foc the next, and that lamb was a bit more tender than mine, but my lamb was a lot tastier. 🙂 also my pistachio crust was so good it was all mobbed up!

#16 queenie brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club - very nice

#16 another friend brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club – very nice

another friend brought a chempedak cake. i like the intense chempedak flavour. it’s a cake i like but won’t take often.

the banoffee (banana toffee) cake was a bit of a failure. the whipping cream was frozen & i heat it up just so lightly, a cardinal sin of laziness. should have just waited for it to get back to room temperature. it did not whipped well & caked up when set.

fortunately the cake itself was quite excellent & many friends liked it. it is indeed a very good combination of texture & taste, banana & toffee. i used very small amount of caramel so it was not too sweet.

it was a very fun get-together. i enjoyed doing all the dishes, and i also had my friend’s excellent beef briskets & my helper’s nice dishes.

c.h.e.f andy

Expensive Below-par Food @ Lei Gardens Times Square on 5Apr2015

venus clams with sweet peas

venus clams with sweet peas

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.

lei gardens times square

lei gardens times square

service was quite polite actually. these days service pretty ok though they were always busy to have much time with you.

lie tong 鸡骨草例汤

lie tong 鸡骨草例汤

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.

chicken feet in abalone sauce

chicken feet in abalone sauce

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.

radish pastry

radish pastry

the radish pastry was ok.

char siew fun cheong

char siew fun cheong

the char siew fun cheong was poor. skin was very doughy & tough.

noodles in lobster broth

noodles in lobster broth

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.

c.h.e.f andy

8pax Ala Carte Lohei Dinner @ Mitzo Grand Park Orchard on 3Mar2015

lohei

lohei

a friend organised a lohei dinner at mitzo, grand park orchard on 3.3.2015. 🙂

don’t think i have even stepped into this hotel since crown prince hotel was sold to the park hotel group in 2005. vaguely remember there was some ala carte buffet at long jiang restaurant here back then eons ago.

coming out of the lift on level 4, the entrance was a bit hidden, right at the end of the hall way.

place looked atas, with a japanese sounding name mitzo, and the waiting staff including at the welcome counter were mostly foreigners, took us a while to spot a singaporean. we were served by a spanish guy. must say the service was very polite & cheerful, and the staff were well trained.

it was only later that i read that mitzo was supposedly inspired by “mat zoe” 蜜枣 – honey dates used in cantonese double boiled soup & lie tong 例汤。whatever.^^

mitzo is also apparently positioned as an inventive cocktail bar, serving some cocktails from a teapot. 🙂

lohei

lohei

there were 8 of us.

we ordered a medium lohei. the lady who served us was i think filipino, and she managed to say a few auspicious messages like 年年有鱼(余),大吉大利etc, and some of them in english translations. an interesting diversion was when she used a cocktail tumbler to mix the sweet sauce & oil, not that it would make any difference to the lohei.

c/w with the lohei at char, the amount of salmon here was a lot more, i think 2x more. in terms of taste though, char’s lohei was a lot tastier & more refreshing, and altogether more enjoyable.

here because the end result was a bit too dry, we asked for more sauce & lady came & added what looked like the char siew sauce instead of the sweet sauce & oil, the result was not the taste we associated with lohei.

roast pork

roast pork

roast pork

the roast pork was pretty good. i think better than char but it was quite standard & not a stand-out c/w any of tunglok, imperial treasure, crystal jade, canton paradise.

char siew

char siew

char siew

char siew

the char siew was good. it was featured in their website also i guess one of the signature dishes? it was tender moist flavourful, slightly different from the one at char, not necessarily better. for me though, i prefer this (char’s was unique but sauce slightly on the sweet side).

soft shell crab in curry floss

soft shell crab in curry floss

the spanish waiter recommended the soft shell crab in curry floss. in fact we ordered all his recommended dishes.^^

the curry soft shell crab was good, competent. i liked the curry flavour. though it was kind of unrelated, i just happened to be making a curry miso lamb that evening (which turned out to be fabulous) in the oven at 90degC then 80degC for 10hours while i was dining.

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

the roast duck with truffle was good too, a good restaurant standard. my favourite roast duck though is the one at canton paradise.

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant was good, competent.

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

the scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice though was a bit below par, not enough wok hae. this a dish that i always order in imperial treasure nanbei or imperial treasure teochew at taka, so it was rather poor by comparison.

the food was actually quite authentic & better than my first impression that we were walking into an expensive atas place to eat so-so chinese food. i guess we were quite full & ordered very few dishes for 8pax, so we only paid S$30pax for the dinner.

but from what i saw of the set dinner & ala carte prices e.g. 1/2 roast duck was S$36 c/w S$26 at canton paradise, this place is certainly quite a bit more expensive. again it’s not comparing apple with apple as the ambience & location are quite different. 🙂

this not my usual kind of place for cantonese food but i don’t rule out completely also. not coming back anytime soon la…

c.h.e.f andy