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

Excellent Xiaolongbao 小笼包 @ Joyful Palace 怡乐坊 on 19mar2015

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

met a friend for a chat at food loft clementi ave 3 blk 443 this evening on 19.3.2015。

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

S$3 xiaolongbao 小笼包

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 dimsum

joyful palace 怡乐坊 dimsum

joyful palace dimsum

joyful palace 怡乐坊

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.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Average Too Ordinary Dimsum @ Timhowan 添好运 at Westgate Mall on 19Dec2014

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

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.

teochew dumplings, hargao & 马拉糕

teochew dumplings, hargao & 马拉糕

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

fu pei quin 腐皮卷

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

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.

c.h.e.f andy

Early Birthday Dinner @ Chef Chan’s Restaurant on 22Oct2014

#1 deep fried sliced pork with fermented bean curd & deep fried pumpkin with pork floss

#1 deep fried sliced pork with fermented bean curd & deep fried pumpkin with pork floss

my 2 close buddies organised an early birthday dinner for me & for my wife on 22.10.2014. 🙂

the friend suggested xiyan private dining. i looked at the menu. the cheapest was S$88pax, and it goes up to S$188pax. it didn’t make sense to me.

my wife & i had tried xiyan though it must be 10 years ago. only dish that impressed (as also for my friend) was the very nice hokkaido tomatoes. last year we went to hong kong & the guys came back complaining the food at xiyan private dining hk was expensive & average (i did not join that lunch).

knowing my “lor li lor sor” friend, if i were to say it’s too ex, we would go into a protracted dissertation good enough for PhD, so i simply whatsapped back “i would like to try chef chan’s 神厨三绝”..end of story. haha! 🙂

5-course menu = S$40pax

5-course menu = S$40pax

i looked up chef chain’s menu. the S$88pax for 4 looked about same or better than xiyan. i guessed i was biased. anyway since the guys really wanted to buy me a nice dinner why take the cheapest set, so i picked the S$80 for 2pax 5-course menu (above photo), which looked about alright. 🙂

chef chan’s restaurant was located at national museum. nice colonial building. nicely furnished & decorated interior.

#1 deep fried sliced pork with fermented bean curd & deep fried pumpkin with pork floss

#1 deep fried sliced pork with fermented bean curd & deep fried pumpkin with pork floss

#1 deep fried belly pork with fermented bean curd was quite an excellent dish. deep fried pumpkin with pork floss was pretty good too. it’s a bit like variation of deep-fried egg plant with pork floss which i liked too.

#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures

#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures

#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures

#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures

#2 braised compoy thick soup with 4 treasures was very average though, not tasty enough. i was expecting a much better soup at chef chain’s since 1 of his 3 signatures (三绝) was a soup. the ah yat abalone seafood soup was way better & most of tunglok & imperial treasures lie tong (例汤) would be better than this.

#3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans

#3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans

#3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans

#3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans

the #3 steamed cod with preserved olive vegetables & black beans was good. the flavours were excellent.

#4 chef chain's famous crispy roast chicken

#4 chef chain’s famous crispy roast chicken

#4 the signature chef chain’s famous crispy roast chicken. the skin was crispy & chicken breast was moist & sweet (a test of whether chicken was good, quite a few restaurants turned out dry roast chicken).

#5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf

#5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf

#5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf

#5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf

the #5 fried rice with seafood wrapped in lotus leaf was also a tasty dish & had a lot of diced prawns etc.

#6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates

#6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates

#6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates

#6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates

my wife liked the #6 doubled boiled pear & aloe vera with red dates served chilled. it was light, refreshing, not too sweet. 🙂

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apple millecrepe from classic cakes

apple millecrepe from classic cakes

apple millecrepe from classic cakes

my friend brought an apple millecrepe from classic cakes. it was good. initially i felt it was not as smooth & creamy as the one at lady M. but actually with the apples, there was a bit more bulk & the combination tasted better, c/w with eating what felt like all cream.

looked like there were only 2 tables for this evening. our neighbour was a well dressed couple about our age & they joined in singing happy birthday. the husband quipped that the children were away & no one reminded him to buy cake. so we offered to rent him our cake for the photos..haha just kidding! 🙂 anyway we got the restaurant to serve them 2 slices of the millecrepe. the restaurant followed up with a longevity bun (寿桃) with a candle & my friend took the photos for them. 🙂 great service!

overall, it was an enjoyable evening with my wife & close friends over a nice quite dinner & nice ambience. food was mostly above average, maybe not so refine as majestic & tunglok, and cheap & tasty as imperial treasure.

c.h.e.f andy

Ever Satisfying Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew on 17Aug2014

1/2 teochew braised duck S$28

1/2 teochew braised duck S$28

last time i came imperial treasure teochew at level 4 ngee ann city was on 1.9.2013. wa…almost a year now…

that’s the plus point about blogging. memories do not get better, but at least i can refer back. 🙂

i ordered the usual 1/2 teochew braised duck S$28, and charcoal broiled pork collar. children ordered the rest. 🙂

i think the teochew braised duck is exceedingly good, lots better than all the teochew restaurants like chui huay lim, or cheaper ones like mu liang zai liang kee. it was the usual moist, tender & very flavourful. i do a very good teochew braised duck myself. this though was somewhat different, the meat was tender but firm, not overcooked, and very flavourful. 🙂

charcoal broiled pork collar was good as always, though portion had shrunk!

虾饺

har gao (虾饺)

har gao (虾饺) always good here, thin skin, tasty filling. 🙂

har fun cheong  虾粉肠

har fun cheong (虾粉肠)

char siew fun cheong 叉烧粉肠

char siew fun cheong (叉烧粉肠)

the har fun cheong (虾粉肠) and char siew fun cheong (叉烧粉肠) were almost good HK standard, smooth skin tasty fillings. 🙂

this reminded me that the fun cheong at timhowan were also very good.

charcoal broiled pork collar

charcoal broiled pork collar

this was good – already said!

siew yoke (烧肉)

siew yoke (烧肉)

siew yoke (烧肉) was leaner & very good this time, very nicely pressed, good consistency, crispy skin & tasty. this such a standard common dish but surprisingly many other restaurants can still get it wrong.

chicken feet

chicken feet

this was ok competent.

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

this kind of too much bones & fat. taste was good but many places like royal china did a much better steamed pork ribs.

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

this was ok. did not leave any impression.

dried scallop egg white fried rice

dried scallop egg white fried rice

always enjoyed the fried rice here. this had less chilli & less robust flavours than the excellent spicy seafood fried rice at crystal jade lamian xiolongbao. have to put them both as my equal favourites. 🙂

the crystal jade version had inspired my own pretty good seafood fried rice. haha! 🙂

teochew fried kueh teow

teochew fried kueh teow

wife ordered the teochew char kueh teow. kueh teow was too soft but taste was pretty ok & there were quite many prawns. i am ok with this dish, not my favourite & for me neither was the one at chui huay lim.

salted egg custard bun

salted egg custard bun

this was good, better than the salted egg custard bun at royal china (with the strange mango concoction) but canton paradise might be even better than this.

total bill was S$186nett. not cheap at S$31pax nett for dim sum but a tasty enjoyable lunch with variety & quality of food to please all. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Quality + Great Value Alacarte Buffet @ Zen on 21Jul2014

salmon sashimi

salmon sashimi

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.

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi & maguro susghi

aburi salmon sushi

aburi salmon sushi

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. 🙂

kaki hoba yaki

kaki hoba yaki

breaded oyster

breaded oyster

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.

steak

steak

steak

steak

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.

thai style basil prawns & squid

thai style basil prawns & squid

kimchi buta

kimchi buta

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. 🙂

zen at UE square

zen at UE square

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

wagyu for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

kutobuta pork belly for shabu shabu

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vege set for shabu shabu

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.

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

unagi chahan

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.

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

creme brûlée

creme brûlée

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.

c.h.e.f andy

Below Par (for the Price) 4pax Dinner @ Restaurant Home on 25Jun2014

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

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.

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

#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.

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

#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.

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

#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.

herbal drunken prawns

herbal prawns

#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.

deep-fried soon hock

deep-fried red garoupa

#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.

roast duck

roast duck

#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.

cabmeat brocoli

crabmeat brocoli

#7 the crabmeat broccoli was another better dish, looked good, tasted great, more like the standards of tunglok or imperial treasure.

sichuan beef with rice crackers

sichuan beef with rice crackers

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

#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.

osmanthus jelly

osmanthus jelly

#10 the osmanthus jelly was pretty good, i guess not so far off timhowan which was better, but it’s just jelly.

fruit jelly

rosella jelly with diced mango

#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. 😦

c.h.e.f andy

HK Style Steamed Sausage, Mushroom & Chicken Rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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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.

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients-

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

Directions –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. place the chicken in a separate serving plate, and take out the rice & place in a large serving bowl. serve!

Protected: RI G20 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

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Great Teochew Food 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

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teochew braised duck

had our largest G20 gathering last evening at ah orh at jalan bukit merah on 20.2.2014. 🙂

it was the handy work of 1 of our friends, with his megawatt smile & shining hallo…lol…especially his ability to ring in the gals. we had 23pax (including 3 ladies) on 3 tables, a meeting (or eating!) record! it was 25, but 1 was held up in a meeting, another was ill.

ah orh had mixed reviews & mostly dated. most thought it was expensive for the food (it may still be probably but it often depends on food ordered).  anyhow there was a deal.com offer & the organiser bought 3 vouchers of S$150 worth at S$97.50 each – 1 voucher was allowed for each table. 🙂

some friends went early to order the dishes. we had in total 9 dishes & the cost came to S$23+ all-in (about S$180+ per table) after redeeming the vouchers, so it was in fact very good value-for-money even considering that we did not order the usual teochew pomfret, cold crab etc.

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deep-fried fish skin

there was deep-fried fish skin as table starter. pretty good!

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

#1 the braised duck platter (top photo & above) was good – moist, flavourful. i would say as good as imperial treasure teochew & better than muliangzai liang kee & chui huay lim. 🙂 the lor bah (braised belly pork) was good too.

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fishmaw soup

#2 fishmaw soup was tasty, but maybe just average. the one at beng thin we had recently was substantially better.

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ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

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ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

#3 the ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly) was very good – firm, flavourful. there was also good chilli & “seng ni cho” 蒜泥醋 dip. this was as good as chui huay lim, imperial treasure teochew & crystal jade.

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yam basket

#4 the yam basket was i supposed really excellent for this dish – yam was tasty & very crisp outside yet “sang” inside & very good combination in texture & taste with the fillings. a very good dish though yam basket not my favourite. 🙂

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kailan with ti poh

#5 the kailan with ti poh was competent. vegetable was fresh & crunchy. the ti poh (a teochew favourite condiment not so often seen) added to the attraction but perhaps the wok hae was kind of lacking a bit.

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teck kia fish with bitter gourd in black bean sauce

#6 not sure about this teck kia fish (竹仔鱼) dish, certainly competent but the fish had more bones than meat. at kok sen, they used some fish head & added chunky fish meat which worked well to accompany the black bean sauce & was much better overall by comparison.

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hae chor

#7 hae chor was quite ok, competent, nothing special.

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orh luah

#8 orh luah was pretty good, large fleshy oysters.

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orh nee

#9 orh nee was better than expected, tasty, i liked it but would have been better with pumpkin though. 🙂

company & fellowship were the key in our get-togethers of course, but we did come to eat & overall the food was quite good & the price of $23pax very reasonable after the deal.com offer, not much different from say muliangzai liang kee, and food we had here were better. 🙂 w/o the offer, it would cost about $30pax which was still not a bad deal, about same as what we had at shin yeh at our last 20pax dinner.

c.h.e.f. andy

Great Family Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew on 1Sep2013

braised 1/2 duck

braised 1/2 duck

my last post on imperial treasure teochew was on 17.3.2013.

daughter arranged family lunch, 7pax this time & went back to our favourite imperial treasure teochew on 1.9.2013. 🙂

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

i ordered the braised duck, pork trotter jelly, smoked sliced trotters & the pork collar char siew; and daughter decided on the dimsums. 🙂

the braised duck was fabulous. the restaurants, whether hua ting or here at imperial treasure, had a way of braising duck (maybe lower temperature) that made the meat tender & consistent yet quite firm not falling apart like overcooked (close to western way sous vide). 🙂

the pig trotter jelly was very good, tasty (though my children were not quite fond of it). western fine dining has a lot of jellied items as their standard fare for degustation as well.

the smoked trotters was also very good, and my children liked it better.

the bbq pork collar was super! 🙂 i read when trying my hands at cooking char siew (not very successfully though as a result  i developed a very good miso char siew recipe of my own) that pork collar was the best cut, as the fat was more distributed than belly pork.

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

steamed chicken feet

steamed chicken feet

char siew pao

char siew pao

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

har cheung (虾肠粉)

har cheung (虾肠粉)

carrot puff

carrot puff

咸水饺

咸水饺

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

har gao

har gao

i liked all the dimsums. 🙂 fried carrot cake always good with the chilli.  steamed chicken feet looked great though i did not try. char siew pao, an item we rarely tried at dimsums was good too. steamed pork ribs here was the best! very lean & much better than shang palace & also royal china. the har cheung (prawn rolls) was smooth & great. i did not take the carrot puff but it was in good demand too around the table. xiaolongbao was tasty but somehow felt crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao was still better. har gao was always good here! 🙂

yangzhou fried rice

yangzhou fried rice

dried scallop crabmeat fried rice

scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice

for carbo items, 1 of us didn’t take seafood, so we had a yangzhou fried rice w/o prawns only with char siew. first time taking that here but my son had always liked yangzhou fried rice, & my younger daughter liked it a lot too. i liked it too. our regular favourite scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice was not so overwhelming today but still more subtle vs the yangzhou fried rice. though i felt the seafood fried rice at crystal jade xiaolongbao was better than both. 🙂

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

& the salted egg custard bun (流沙包) here was the standard bearer, far better than the salted egg custard bun at royal china (which recently added mango which took away instead of adding to the taste)!

in total we paid S$218 for 7pax, kind of ex for dimsum but it was certainly a very gratifying family lunch. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Early Sunday Dimsum Lunch @ Royal China on 25Aug2013

char siew

char siew – S$14

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.

scallop dumpling

scallop dumpling

spicy mala dumpling (抄手) -

spicy mala dumpling (抄手)

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!

special cheung fun - 1 char siew, 1 scallop, 1 prawn

special cheung fun – 1 char siew, 1 scallop, 1 prawn

XO fried carrot cake

XO fried carrot cake – S$8.80

deep-fried mango spring rolls

deep-fried mango spring rolls

deep-fried mango spring rolls

deep-fried mango spring rolls

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.

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

char siew sou

char siew sou

mango salted egg custard bun (香芒流沙包)

mango salted egg custard bun (香芒流沙包)

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).

c.h.e.f andy

Really Nice Dishes @ Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao on 11Aug2013

special sauce chicken (口水鸡) la mian -

special sauce chicken (口水鸡) la mian –

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. 🙂

抄手 spicy dumpling

抄手 spicy dumpling

the 抄手 was good, though this dish is good too in many places like imperial treasure, royal china etc. 🙂

小龙包 - the best!

小龙包 – the best!

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!

beef brisket/tendon la mian (dry)

beef brisket/tendon la mian (dry)

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.

seafood fried rice - super good

seafood fried rice – super good

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! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Dimsum Lunch @ 迎 Joyous One on 11May2013

HK$38 BB pigeon

HK$38 BB pigeon

we completed our morning’s 5.7km 2hr hike at Dragon’s Back (Shek O Country Park) on 11.5.2013 a bit early & decided to make our way back to Tsimshatsui where we had made prior lunch reservation at 迎 Joyous One at Nathan Road. 🙂

we had wanted to take the HK$238pax 6-course set inclusive of a glass of wine, but that was not available so we settled down to a good dimsum instead, which could not go too far wrong in Hong Kong. 🙂

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we made the usual dimsum orders. the 潮州粉果. this was ok but i thought Timhowan was better. the steamed fu pei quin was quite good too.

steamed chicken feet

steamed chicken feet

steamed pork rib

steamed pork rib

the steamed chicken feet was good & much better than Timhowan (we later found the one at Lei Gardens was better than both). the steamed pork rib was also a lot better than Timhowan-the sauce was tasty but the pork rib pieces were just average but at least they were not mostly fat like at Timhowan.

mustard veg pig stomach soup

mustard veg pig stomach soup

mustard veg pig stomach soup was just HK$38! this was good we all liked it.:-)

the BB pigeon (top photo) was HK$38 & smaller than the one at 强记 which was HK$58..the skin was more crispy but overall i think 强记’s tasted better.

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the 香煎萝卜糕 was again below average.  it was really surprising that both Timhowan & here could not do this well. the steamed fishmaw was quite tasty, above average…I thought 糖朝 sweet dynasty was better. the 珍珠糯米鸡 was also below average, Timhowan’s much better though that had lots of glutinous rice & not enough ingredients.

char siew cheung 叉烧肠粉 -

char siew cheung 叉烧肠粉 –

the char siew cheung 叉烧肠粉 was good better than the liver cheung fun at Timhowan but i think many HK restaurants did this better.

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the 奶黄流沙包 custard egg bun was just average not as good as Imperial Treasure & Royal China. the 水晶包, a teochew dessert more commonly available in Hong Kong than Singapore was good, except they really should serve this & the custard bun last as a sweet but instead they served both first.

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we had 12 dimsum item + tea + 10% = HK$388 (about S$62 for 4pax). though I made many comparisons here, the lunch was really quite good overall with some pluses & minuses :-), very relax and very enjoyable, and of course it’s still much cheaper dimsum lunch c/w Singapore. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Lunch @ Lei Gardens(利苑) Mongkok on 13May2013

lobsters steamed with superior sauce (上汤局)

lobsters steamed with superior sauce (上汤局)

on the final day of our Hong Kong trip, we did not plan a restaurant to go to.

we first wanted to lunch at the seafood place Rainbow Restaurant at Lamma Island (南丫岛) after the excellent food pictures of mantis prawns, lobsters & what else in my friend’s Facebook set off our “tam chiak” (means greedy for food) cravings…alas we should have done that earlier as Rainbow was only open for dinner & we were taking the 8pm flight.

next we thought to go to Caprice @ Four Seasons, a 2 michelin star restaurant after looking at the online menu for Joel Robuchon, Pierre, Ember & Caprice set lunch. unfortunately Caprice was full for the Monday lunch.

we finally got Lei Gardens(利苑), which I always thought was among the best Hong Kong traditional chinese restaurants, especially their soup (例汤). the one nearest was at Tsai Yee Street洗衣街 ‎Mongkok outlet (as we were staying at Sam Shui Po) and that also happened to be the only 2 michelin star outlet (the other outlets were 1 michelin star). 🙂

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鲍汁凤爪 braised chicken feet in abalone sauce

CJ ordered 3 dimsum items. the first – 鲍汁凤爪 braised chicken feet in abalone sauce – was the best we had thus far c/w Timhowan添好运 & 迎.  the abalone sauce was similar to that for abalone & goose webs so it was very tasty. 🙂 I guess the preparation was different from the usual deep-fried then steamed with black beans chicken feet so may not be fair to compare.

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the soup (例汤) was good as expected,much better than Tao Heung 稻香 restaurants (which was also to be expected). however for this particular soup  it was no better than, & indeed not as good as, the many 例汤 I had at Imperial Treasure Nanbei (from green papaya to 鸡脚草). 🙂

小笼包

小笼包

the 小笼包 didn’t look that great, skin looked thick but actually it was very good, the sauce/soup was very sweet & the skin was normal thin. 🙂

2 small lobsters halved with golden mushrooms

2 small lobsters halved 上汤局 with golden mushrooms

JK was pining for lobsters so we ordered a HK$598 twin dishes combination (common in Hong Kong). the star dish was 2 small lobsters halved 上汤局 steamed in superior sauce with golden mushrooms – this was very good. 🙂

1/2 roast chicken - very crispy skin & tasty chicken

1/2 roast chicken – very crispy skin & tasty chicken

the 1/2 roast chicken had very crispy skin & was tasty so no need the usual 5-spice salt dip. in Hong Kong they called this the 龙凤 dragon phoenix pairing. 🙂

海斑 (garoupa) in claypot

海斑 (garoupa) in claypot

we had another HK$298 2-eats combination.   the 海斑 (garoupa) in claypot was also good tasting very flavourful. it was different preparation, not better than a steamed whole live garoupa but very good the way it was done. 🙂

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the other dish was a thick beehoon in seafood soup – no fish or seafood but very tasty like our good fish beehoon.

garlic heng chai

garlic heng chai

and in Hong Kong, always order vegetables. the garlic heng chai was very good & flavourful too. 🙂

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both JK & I were fan of 奶黄流沙包 custard egg bun. this was good, but I guess no better than Royal China or Imperial Treasure in Singapore.

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we had 3 dimsums & 6 dishes for HK$1320 for 4pax (about S$55nett per person). it was a premium to Tao Heung but for a great deal more satisfaction & “shiokness”.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Value Dimsum @ 1 Michelin Star Timhowan Fuk Wing Street Hong Kong on 10May2013

脆皮叉烧包 crispy char siew bun

脆皮叉烧包 crispy char siew bun

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 四大天王 - crispy char siew pao, pig liver siew mai, waxed meat pan-fried carrot cake, & a mala cake

Timhowan 四大天王 – crispy char siew pao, pig liver siew mai, waxed meat pan-fried carrot cake, & a mala cake

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. 🙂

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pan-fried carrot cake 腊味香煎萝卜糕

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 (left)

mala cake 马拉糕 (left)

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

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the steamed fu pei quin -苻皮倦 was good, quite ok. 🙂 the steamed pork ribs were much below par, more fat than meat.

糯米鸡

糯米鸡

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.

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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

桂花糕 osmanthus jelly

桂花糕 osmanthus jelly

the 桂花糕 osmanthus jelly was very good, very fragrant. 🙂

1 michelin star 添好运 Timhowan at 福荣街 in Hong Kong

1 michelin star 添好运 Timhowan at 福荣街 in Hong Kong

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! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Family Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant Ngee Ann City on 17Mar2013

har gau (蝦饺)

har gau (蝦饺)

See also my review on imperial treasure teochew on 1.9.2013. 🙂

had a really nice family dimsum lunch today @ Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant at Ngee Ann City today.

They are really packed. We managed to book 11.30am and supposed to clear out before 12.30pm. The food came really fast, and though we did not feel rushed at all still we did not have any problem leaving before 12.30pm after a very satisfying lunch indeed. 🙂

We ordered Su Min’s favourite har gau & fun cheung with prawns (or har cheung), pork neck char siew, braised duck, steam pork ribs, a teochew dumpling, and 2 deepfried dumplings. The entire lunch came to $79 for 4pax – a really great lunch, good food, good friendly if speedy service, and very enjoyable meal. 🙂

The har gau was very good, skin not soft or soggy, prawns fresh & firm. The steamed pork ribs were very tasty & have good pieces of meat, not too fatty.

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

The har cheung was one of the better ones, though still could not compare with the very good smooth ones we had in Hong Kong.

har cheung (虾肠粉)

har cheung (虾肠粉)

The hum sio gok was also very good, fillings were tasty & the dough nice & little sticky too (as it should be).

hum sio gok (咸水饺)

hum sio gok (咸水饺)

And the teochew dumplings were actually better than I expected. I had some not so great ones previously.

teochew dumplings (潮州粉果)

teochew dumplings (潮州粉果)

The pork neck char siu was slightly sweet but overall very good, portion was small but it was only S$8. I have tried cooking this before & I know pork neck is really the best part for char siu, much better than the loin or belly. 🙂

pork neck char siew (炭燒猪项肉) - S$8

pork neck char siu (炭燒猪项肉) – S$8

I could not remember the name of this crispy dumpling,  it was something I used to like much before but did not take often lately. It was still good.

crispy buns

crispy dumplings

The braised duck here & in Crystal Jade were always good. The portion (partially eaten already in the poorly focused photo below) was good for the price – just S$14.

teochew braised duck - S$14

teochew braised duck – S$14

We ended with the salted egg buns which we all liked. This was very good here. The salted egg taste was strong but not overpowering & it was not too sweet. One of the best I had – I liked this a lot.

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

I think Crystal Jade & Imperial Treasure have really improve Singapore’s dimsum & restaurant food quality at affordable price over the last 10 years, and now we have really good eats at prices that do not burn a hole in the pocket. 🙂

Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant @ Ngee Ann City

Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant @ Ngee Ann City

c.h.e.f andy