Simple Quick Eats near ICA on 4May2016

laksa @ toastbox

laksa @ toastbox

went with wife to ICA (Immigration & Checkpoint Authority) to collect passport on 4.5.2016.

queue number a bit high & officer advised we go have lunch & come back later.

we crossed over the other side of kallang road via lavender mrt station & found toastbox at kitchere complex.

wife ordered a laksa set include iced barley drink for S$6.80. i ordered a kopi c gosong tik lok.

laksa @ toastbox

laksa @ toastbox

laksa was lemak, quite tasty, competent if nothing to shout about.

there were lots of taupoks & fishcake, few prawns & no “hums” (cockles).

S$6.80 include drink quite ok i guess in the comfort of aircon environment. my kopi c was S$1.80 already.

needless to say, it’s no comparison with a S$5 laksa & wei yi laksa, tanglin halt food centre la

old chang kee

old chang kee

after that we bought 2 chicken puffs at old chang kee. took with coffee when we got home. 🙂

always like old chang kee. 🙂

poh guan

poh guan

i saw this shop poh guan & decided to buy back some “tausapia”. they said their “low por pen” also good, so i bought 8 tausapia & 2 low por pen all S$1ea so S$10 in total.

poh guan tausapia

poh guan tausapia

i told the shopowner that i think balestier sells only S$0.60 ea but theirs seem bigger.

the girl was quite cheerful not the nazi type. she asked me to try it out & see. 🙂

hoong woh tong

hoong woh tong

this shop reminded us of hong kong guilinggao 龟苓膏,so we ordered small one @ S$5.50 (large @ S$8) to share.

gulinggao @ hoong woh tong

gulinggao @ hoong woh tong

it was good standard. but i tasted better even in singapore la.

they say traditional but the mint taste was kind of overwhelming, not what i like.

the guilinggao 龟苓膏 we had recently at xin cuisine was way better la

c.h.e.f andy

Great Roast Duck + Best Char Siew Noodle @ Joyful Palace 怡乐坊 Clementi on 30Jan2016

roast duck

S$19 for 1/2 roast duck

went to joyful palace 怡乐坊 for dinner last evening on 30.1.2016. ^^

i had great dumsum & laksa etc here previously.

joyful palace

joyful palace 怡乐坊

it serves hong kong roasts 烧腊 & also sichuan mala dishes & lamian 拉面. ^^

quite a good variety actually. 🙂

roast duck

S$19 for 1/2 roast duck

the S$19 roast duck was quite excellent. very flavourful & aromatic.

roast duck

S$19 for 1/2 roast duck

still, it was not as good as the roast duck at canton paradise.

char siew noodles

S$3 char siew noodles

what impressed me even more was the char siew noodles. this must be the best char siew i had.^^

& quite a good serving as well, for just S$3! ^^

i think i will try the 麻辣香锅next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Among the Best Weiyi Laksa 唯一辣沙 @ Tanglin Halt Food Centre on 24Mar2015

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

had been trying out laksa at different places last few days.

today i went to tanglin halt market & food centre & try out weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙 on 24.3.2015.^^

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

i was there at 11.55am but there was already a queue of 15 people.

the queue went plus minus a bit but when i finished at 12.30pm queue was just as long.

so many people cannot be wrong, can it?

i queued for 25minutes. weiyi had a good system with a board with numbers for the combination to order & the prices. & the guy was friendly, knew how to smile & be happy, which was sometimes lacking in other sellers.

weiyi also sells prawn noodles. today there was a sign “sold out” (at 12pm??). anyway i came for the laksa.

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

i asked for no. 6 which was chicken & cockles & taupok, S$5 bowl, & thick beehon mee. 🙂

there wasn’t a number combination with just cockles  & taupok. there was no purpose for me to try prawn combination. chicken with laksa was most uncommon so i wanted to try it.

S$5 laksa

S$5 laksa

the laksa gravy was excellent! a lot of hae bee as well. anyhow the combination of flavours – lemak, spiciness, taste – was excellent. i finished almost all the gravy. ^^

cockles were fresh & plump, taupok was soft & well infused with gravy & not falling apart. chicken was a lot better than i expected, very sweet & tender.

but of course, however good the chicken might be, it was no comparison with the poached chicken白斩鸡 at ah heng curry chicken noodle at hong lim food centre. likewise for heng kee curry chicken noodles.

& if it is between the excellent laksa gravy & excellent curry chicken gravy, i will go for the latter every time. just my personal preference.^^

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

weiyi laksa 唯一辣沙

just comparing laksa with laksa, this would beat the #02-141 stall at bukit timah food centre hands down.

it also made me appreciate the teck hin laksa stall at food loft @ clementi. i was asking myself was this really better than teck hin’s. i think the difference was quite infinitesimal. the taupok was much better becos the taupok at teck hin was still hard & not well infused with gravy. the gravy might be tastier overall, but really not by much. there was no queue at teck hin when i visited at 5.30pm & i don’t expect it will have a 15pax queue at 12pm. 🙂

& compared with sungei road laksa at jalan shui kopitiam at jalan berseh? it’s kind of difficult to compare. this weiyi version, like teck hin’s, was a lot more savoury & substantial. sungei road had more lemak & sweet gravy.

c.h.e.f andy

OK Laksa @ Bukit Timah Food Centre

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

had a S$4 laksa at bukit timah food centre earlier today on 23.3.2015.^^

it was 3.30pm. carpark was empty & many stalls were closed.

last time i came here was with a group of friends on our own hawker food tour in 2013.

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

stall #02-141

saw this stall #2-141 & the photo of laksa looked great, so decided to try it.

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

the laksa that came did not look quite as good.

i added S$1 “hum” i.e. cockles so it was S$4. cockles were good, fishball & fishcake ok, taupok was ok.

the laksa gravy was a bit too pasty. it did have a lot of haebee was flavour was ok.

by comparison, the laksa at teck hin fishball noodles at food loft @ clementi was distinctly better than this. 

and sungei road S$2 laksa still the best.^^

laksa lemak

laksa lemak

this laksa was not too bad really. but it is probably a standard of laksa you can get anywhere, and many places also better than this, so it was just ok, passable.

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

Good Laksa @ Teck Hin Fishball Noodles at Food Loft Clementi Ave 3 Blk 443 on 19Mar2015

S$4 laksa

S$4 laksa

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

teck hin fishball noodles

teck hin fishball noodles

food loft clementi ave 3 blk 443

food loft clementi ave 3 blk 443

decided to order the laksa from teck hin fishball noodles & a xiaolongbao 小笼包 from joyful palace 怡乐坊.

S$4 laksa

S$4 laksa

laksa was S$3.50 & i asked for additional “hum” i.e. cockles, so S$4.

these days, there are so many katong laksa around and many places sell good competent laksa. this laksa easily belong to the quite good category.

the cockles were fresh & plump, the laksa gravy was lemak & fragrant. there were lots of fish cake and taupok, only thing the taupok were not soft enough so not absorbing the gravy well enough.

need less to say, it was no match for the S$2 sungei road laksa. still on the whole, this really was a considerably good laksa. i would certainly take this again here.

c.h.e.f andy

4pax Fundonate Lunch Chat @ Qiji Funan on 4Mar2015

nasi lemak

nasi lemak – S$2.60

a friend arranged 4pax lunch relating to a fundonate charity fundraising matter.

we decided to go to qiji at funan digital mall on 4.3.2015.^^

qiji @ funan

qiji @ funan

My! it sure was crowded at 12pm – long queue like 15pax! 🙂

we ordered 3 nasi lemak, 1 mee rebus & a popiah to share.^^

popiah

popiah with prawns – S$2.60

qiji started in 1984 as hock heng at funan digital mall serving homemade popiah, laksa, mee-siam and nasi lemak. popiah was supposed to be the most popular.^^

we shared the popiah. it was ok, a good popiah. i did not find it especially good.

mee rebus

mee rebus

mee rebus was ok,

the nasi lemak was good. chilli very good. rice too was fragrant. fish was good, tasty & crispy, and chicken wings too. this nasi lemak was about the same as selara rasa, no2 adam hawker centre, and the neighbour no1 adam hawker centre. i guess i still prefer the 2 at adam road, of which i prefer no1 though no2 usually have the longer queue. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Protected: RI G20 14pax Monthly Dinner @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

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Lobster, Crab & Average Buffet @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

a friend organised the monthly RI schoolmates dinner at spices cafe, concord hotel yesterday on 31.10.2014. it was a really fun evening with a lot of interesting conversation. i am just quoting our great philosopher-

the analogy we cooked up to explain our senior moments. it was triggered by a friend’s reference to cloud storage as in the IT terminology eg Dropbox. our memory storage is in the cloud. it is just that we forget the password at times to unlock the specific memory storage. that’s why it helps to have shared storage in the cloud. if one forgets, another remembers. we need all the help we can get when our own neurons refuse to do the job.

see how fun our get-togethers are…with genius like this spewing jewels of wisdom…haha! 🙂

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

the dinner buffet came with 1 order only of 1/2 cheese baked gratin lobster (or alternatively abalone). they said 200g though it looked bigger. the preparation though was so-so, the meat didn’t feel bouncy so either it was not a live lobster or maybe slight overdone.

the abalone was small c/w say the 2in size & more importantly excellent tasting abalone at ah yat abalone restaurant in a 5-course dinner groupon deal costing only S$28.80.

pepper crab

pepper crab

butter baked crab

butter baked crab

thai basil crab

thai basil crab

the buffet also included unlimited order of crabs prepared 5 ways – thai basil, pepper, chilli, salted egg & butter baked.

the preparations were ok. for me, thai basil & salted egg were best, pepper ok, butter baked so-so. i did not try chilli.

the crab were the indonesian mud crab type or maybe vietnamese, not the large sri lankan crab. meat was sweet, not the very firm standard, but not falling apart also. i think “boleh la” – ok & really i seldom eat crab as they are really expensive in seafood restaurants, so it may actually make sense if you want to “whack” the crabs to come & makan here! 🙂

we were too busy talking & having fun & did not even order a second round, but i made sure i tasted most of it, well except the chilli crab. 🙂

cold appetizers - oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

cold appetizers – oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

appetizers - smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

appetizers – smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

the cold appetiser section had oysters(good), mussels(ok), scallops on shell(i did not want to try, it looked like just taken out of deep freeze & thawed just as 1 blogger commented), salmon belly sashimi (good), maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi (the last 4 i likewise did not want to try. the sushi looked like the supermarket type).

i also took smoked salmon (so so, i should say poor actually), and a marinated saba (ok). did not try the prawns & cold pasta.

fortunately, salmon belly sashimi was really quite good, and the oyster too, so that was quite enough for me.

satay

satay

satay was good, and they actually had the pineapple sauce (not so common these days).

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good, lemak. as good as any of the “katong laksa” around & the sungei road laksa. i had a second helping, maybe should have gone for a third.

i did not touch any of the cooked food. did not attract me, anyway, with lobster, crab, 2 helpings of oyster & sashimi & laksa, it was kind of enough, not too bad. 🙂

cheese & salad bar

cheese & salad bar

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

the cheese & salad bar was ok if limited. i took the brie & the blue. 🙂

the fruits were good. i had 2 helpings of pineapples & watermelon, and they had a lot of dried fruits like figs, apricots & prunes that i liked.

===============

overall, i find spices cafe buffet rather expensive, at S$54++pax for friday & weekend dinners. fortunately there was a 3paying 1 free promotion, so we paid about S$49pax nett for 13pax + 1pax vegetarian alacarte.

if you consider that a good 1/2lobster cost between S$20 and S$30, i guess then the buffet was not overly expensive.

buffet doesn’t attract me, and other than the lobster & crab (which were also so so for me), i would not normally do this buffet.

i would rate this as slightly above olive tree restaurant @ intercontinental hotel (S$34++ after 1 for 1 promotion) & the lunch buffet at edge @ pan pacific (S$43.50++ after 3paying 1 free) but not by much, and of course edge has far superior ambience & in a “higher class hotel” if that is even important haha.

anyway i would only go if i want the crab (i don’t need the lobster), & spices cafe has lunch buffet for senior citizen at S$23pax, so if i really want buffet i can go lunch w/o the lobster & crab. 🙂

for buffet, my favourite is still the semi buffet at equinox (after 50% feed at raffles discounts, that is), and even then i have not been there for the longest time! the view over marina bay skyline & F1 circuit is superb, and the main courses (which i avoid in other buffet) are ala carte orders & of fine dining standard.

the same goes for one ninety mezzo lunch at four seasons, another superior semi buffet. one ninety has better quality of buffet spread than equinox, & the main courses are also ala carte orders of fine dining standard. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

S$2 Sungei Road Laksa on 10Aug2014

Sungei Road Laksa S$2

Sungei Road Laksa S$2

first came to this sungei road laksa stall at jalan shui kopitiam at jalan berseh>10years ago.

have not been here for several years. today though 3 of us were enjoying the fu he turtle soup at berseh food centre, so decided to drop by for the laksa.

Sungei Road Laksa

Sungei Road Laksa

there was a 15pax queue at 2.30pm on a sunday. i waited about 15mins.  stall is closed every 1st & 3rd wednesday of the month.

Sungei Road Laksa

Sungei Road Laksa

the stall had 2 ladies preparing bowls of laksa & taking orders, and an older men cooking the noodles & ladling the gravy goodness from a charcoal fire pot.

laksa was S$2, with slices fish cakes & cockles, served with spoon & no chopsticks. i added cockles so it was S$3.

Sungei Road Laksa S$2

Sungei Road Laksa S$2

gravy was light, not too lemak nor spicy, but quite flavourful & intense, very satisfying. i also ta pao (take-out) 2 packets back.

there is another sungei road laksa at nearby kelatan lane but i have never tried it. will give it a try next time i am here, which unlikely to be soon though.

c.h.e.f andy

Pre-Wimbledon Semi+World Cup France-Germany Dinner@East Coast Lagoon Food Village on 4Jul2014

bakchormee

bakchormee

went to a friend’s house for a marathon evening of 2 wimbledon semis – Federer vs Raonic & Djokovic vs Dimitrov aka baby Fed. 🙂

we took the pleasant stroll to east coast lagoon food village. the last we came was during roland garros on 8.6.2014. 🙂

bakchormee

bakchormee

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

this time we tried the supposedly famours pig trotters at han jia bakuteh & pork leg. i wanted bakchormee so i skipped the rice & just had the trotters. according to my friend, this stall was quite good except that it was less good in the evening as the trotters got to be too soft.

braised pig trotters, taupok, chai buay

braised pig trotters, taupok, chai buay

my bakchormee was ok but not of the standard of tai wah bakchormee, jalan tua kong lau lim at bedok simpangjalan tua kong meepok tar at 6th avenue etc.

my 2 other friends ordered also taupok, chai buay + peanuts & kidney, liver soup. all were ok except the pig trotters. partly because  we ordered the lean trotters, but this was way below the standard of any good trotters stall like ng ah sio bakuteh, song fa bakuteh etc.

i had tried several stalls here after 4 visits including laksa, orh luah, satay, beef noodles, bbq chicken & now the pig trotters. except for the bbq chicken wings & orh luah which were good, i have to say that this food centre is way below par c/w with say maxwell road hawker centre, amoy street hawker centre, hong lim hawker centre & bukit timah food centre.

after dinner we enjoyed the top drawer sound system & music, this time jason mraz, & the wimbledon semis & world cup quarterfinals between france & germany. we left about 2am, skipping the brazil-columbia game. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Average Hawker Food @ East Coast Lagoon Food Village on 6Apr2014

orh luah (oyster omelette) - S$4

orh luah (oyster omelette) – S$4

went with wife to marine parade/changi coast road to cycle my new bike this morning.

decided to makan at east coast lagoon food village. the place was closed for S$1.5m 3-month renovation in aug2013 & re-opened in nov2013. i hardly went there even before renovation so didn’t mind to try out the place.

the food stalls were spread over a sprawling area. it’s probably good for ambience & but kind of inconvenient for getting food and didn’t look like too many seats over a large area, not so efficient.

east coast seafood centre orh luah stall

east coast lagoon food village no.12 orh luah stall

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orh luah (oyster omelette) – S$4

the orh luah at stall No12 was pretty good. i bought the S$4 portion & that was enough for 2 of us. i quite liked the egg & corn flour starchy part with egg. 🙂

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roxy laksa S$4.50

the S$4.50 roxy “one & only” laksa was quite disappointing, does not even have hum (cockles)! i hardly take laksa these days anyway, nothing like the very shiok curry chicken noddles @ hong lim food centre.

it was the usual “katong” lemak laksa now selling everywhere including hollandv.  laksa w/o hum was like meaningless to me (that is of course just a personal preference). in any case it was no different from anywhere else & my favourite is still sungei road laksa which was lots better than this & cost only S$3 PLUS it has cockles & you can “kay hum” – add cockles. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Expensive Average Buffet Great Ambience @ The Edge Pan Pacific Singapore on 24Jun2013

grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion)

grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion)

my dining quartet had this sudden spell of interest in hotel buffet. for this round, our hostess selected The Edge @ Pan Pacific Singapore, which had last year undergone a major renovation. lunch was S$58pax and there was an ongoing 3paying 1 free promotion for various credit cards, so the price worked out to S$43.5++pax. 🙂

i (& i think in fact all my dining quartet friends) had no fondness for buffet – yet there we were! I always thought buffet main courses “sucks” (pardon the language) & if I went to buffet I would just take very selected items from the appetizers or antipasti & the cheeseboard if they had.

The only buffet I thought worth going was the semi-buffet lunch at Equinox which served a selection of good fine dining main courses & great appetizer buffet/cheeseboard at S$59pax (so S$29,50pax for 50% Feed at Raffles discount for 2pax). Lately I have added One-Ninety @ Four Seasons, which I now think serves a higher quality semi-buffet than Equinox and at S$38pax w/o main course suits me fine (S$48pax with main course). 🙂 The other very good buffet is Basilico at Regent Hotel. I went during RestaurantWeek in 2012 & the antipasti was excellent. I think I should go back there to try again soon, talking about not having too many buffet..haha.. 🙂

I had tried The Line st Shangri-la & Carousel at Royal Plaza at Scotts but sad to say I didn’t think much of them even at 50% discount! I saw The Edge’s menu and didn’t think it was going to be any different.

kajiki (swordfish) sashimi with pickled ginger

kajiki (swordfish) sashimi with pickled ginger

the sashimi section was very limited for lunch! the kajiki (sword fish) sashimi was good, the salmon was ok, just average same as other buffet & not the best ones. I went back for a second helping of kajiki w/o the salmon. real nice! 🙂

DSCN5406 DSCN5407

there wasn’t much to pick in the sushi section so I just picked 1 maki (one of my friends liked the inari aburaage sushi though). that’s quite the same in most buffet. In Equinox I would pick a unagi (eel) & a ika (squid) sushi, and in One Ninety I had smoked duck but that’s about it.

chinese station - laksa was very good

chinese station – laksa was very good

the laksa at the Chinese station was very good – gravy was excellent only regrets no “hum” ie cockles.

roast duck & roast chicken at chinese station

roast duck & roast chicken at chinese station

I also took a slice of roast duck (very crispy skin & flavourful), & also 1 slice of roast chicken (good but ordinary, the ginger sauce was good)..

DSCN5409 DSCN5410

I did not take any from the malay/peranakan? station. there was a beef rendang and my friend thought the steamed rice (basmati?) was “super aromatic”. 🙂 I took 1 stick each of beef & mutton satay (above right photo). One friend thought the mutton satay was very good. it was kind of average ordinary to me. there was no pineapple sauce with the satay gravy.

DSCN5411 DSCN5412

there was salmon and grilled aussie beef tenderloin (medallion) at the western station (above left photo).

I asked the station chef who replied that the beef were medium to medium well. I ordered rare & he grilled on the spot for me.  it was super (top photo) – very sweet, tender, flavourful, well beyond my expectation of buffet main courses, even though tenderloin not my favourite. 🙂

I skipped most of the Italian station – the pasta, pizza & pork rib. My friend who bought lunch thought the rib was good & healthy lean. the other friend thought it was too dry. The 1 item i thought was excellent was the roast pork. I had 3 slices. 🙂

oysters, scallops, prawns

cold entre=oysters, scallops, prawns

my plate of oysters.scallop, prawn salad

my plate of oysters, scallop, roast pork, prawn salad

& not forgetting the cold entre station. I took 4 oysters (very sweet) & 2 scallops (good). the station chef told my friend the orange ones were female & tasted better than the all white male ones..lol. 🙂  i skipped the prawns but took the prawn salad – it was kind of  limited selection.

dessert - 9 layer cake & angkukueh

dessert – 9 layer cake & angkukueh

the dessert station was quite ordinary, and included chocolate fountain & nonya cakes.  i took my fav the 9 layer kueh (good) & angkukueh (not good – don’t like the shaved coconuts flakes, that one better for tutu kueh). I also helped myself with some brie at the cheese section & we all took quite a bit of nuts (macadamia, walnut, pistachio, pine nuts, sunflower seeds etc).

the ambience was great. there was good drinks like calamansi juice with sour plum, very good coffee & also tea selection. it was a fun lunch, food & company & trying out a new place (it was first time there for all of us).

At S$43.50pax after 25% discount, would I come back though? regrettably answer is no or very unlikely!

c.h.e.f andy