Good Muah Chee @ 天下小吃 Blk 79A Circuit Road Food Centre on 24Feb2016

muah chee

muah chee

hmmm…very nice muah chee!

again something i hardly take….

天下小吃muah chee

天下小吃muah chee

we had this after the U yong tau foo.

the proprietor said he doesn’t serve tea now as he is OMO (one man operation) too busy to manage.

we were still early so placed our orders & sat down.

there was quite a constant queue, not long but quite constant orders.

white muah chee

S$2.50 white muah chee

white muah chee

S$2.80 black sesame muah chee

the proprietor advised us to order 1 black & white each, no point to order the combo since we were ordering 1 plate each. it was cheaper that way.

at this price, the muah chee was i guess slightly more ex, but it was quite a good helping, and mush chee was nice, especially the peanut & black sesame with brown sugar dusting.

cannot really compare with japanese mochi, warabi mochi etc though.

anyway, quite shiok! i enjoyed it, together with great company of friends.

c.h.e.f andy

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

Heavenly Snacks (天下小吃)

Address:

Blk 79A Circuit Road Food Centre Stall 106

Operating Hours:

11.30am to 9.30pm (Tues –Sun), Close on Mon.

Ichiran 一蘭 Ramen Hakata & Green Tea Parfait on 28Feb2015

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

i seldom take ramen in singapore as it is too much carbs & i find it too expensive for me. i can get so much better food at those prices. it’s just my personal bias, haha!^^

in japan i had a few ramen, notably my favourite ramen ever hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) @ dotonbori osaka.

&  toyama black (富山ブラック) stall by menya iroha @ ramen village at kyoto station building.

since we were in kyshu, we wanted to try Ichiran 一蘭. so on 28.1.2015, after walking around tenjin underground city & buying excellent sashimi from mitsukoshi to feast in our hotel rooms, we went looking for & found Ichiran 一蘭 at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.

i don’t think any ramen can ever replace my favourite hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩). but ichiran was really good!^^

in japan, so many eating outlets used vending machines, wonder why they are not more popular in singapore? very few restaurants have vending machines.

 

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

we shared one ramen.

& selected firm (al dente), additional pork & vinegar. my wife liked this pork better as it was lean, unlike hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) & toyama black (富山ブラック).

noodles texture was superb, completely al dente!^^

the tonkotsu broth was fantastic, pork excellent, so overall a very good ramen.

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

after ramen, we shared a green tea parfait.

really excellent parfait, with green tea cake, green tea ice cream, green tea jelly, mochi, warabi mochi etc.

this day was for bites, so we had ramen, parfait, then went back hotel to have our sashimi omakase. in the evening we went to canal city, ramen stadium, & ate kushiyaki & ramen at yatai 屋台 at nakasu.

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Stroll Along Yunotsubo Kaido & Lake Kinrinko 金麟湖 on 26&26Jan2015

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

arrived yufuin 汤布院 bus station which is 20m from yufuin eki (train station) near noon time on 25.1.2015.

yufuin - view from yufuin eki (train station)

yufuin – view from yufuin eki (train station)

too early for check-in to Gettoan ryokan (after 3pm). as planned, we deposited our bags at the lockers & took a pleasant walk towards yunotsubo shopping street & lake kinrinko 金麟湖. weather was about 14degC, quite perfect!

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

we had earlier planned to have lunch at wasaku (or any nice eats we fancied along the walk). we found wasaku just short distance from yufuib eki, and had very nice bungo wagyu yakiniku lunch there. ^^

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yufuin

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo kaido shopping street

we past the 1/2 dried-up stream to yunotsubo kaido shopping street. the was just at the corner.

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yufuin-architecture

yufuin-architecture

there was some nice architecture highlighted by other bloggers, and of course lots of shopping. wife was interested in the sake cups.^^

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

yufuin-flower village

yufuin-flower village

there was this flower village.

yufuin-flower village

yufuin-flower village

yunotsubo shopping street

yunotsubo shopping street

honeybee parfait

bee honey parfait

there was this bee honey stall which others talked about.

got a parfait. the soft cream here was really nice, just like the excellent dairy in hokkaido (something to do with very good quality milk). as a parfait though, it was kind of “not the real thing”!

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko was beautiful, very serene.

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

we went back the next morning. the ryokan sent us right to the “doorstep”.^^

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

lake kinrinko

everything was so tranquil, so zen.^^

we had excellent lunch here at lamp sha sited right by & overlooking the lake.^^

snoopy chaya at yufuin

snoopy chaya at yufuin

on the way back we stopped by snoopy chaya.

we spied this the first day, and this was perfect after the lamp sha steak lunch.

macha

macha

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

we had macha & the real thing – an excellent parfait, with green tea cakes, mochi, the brown dusted warabi mochi, caramelised chestnut, red beans, cornflakes etc etc. this excellent!

when we got back to ryokan, we were offered another macha at the lounge & served with nice coffee & mochi.

c.h.e.f. andy

Nice Ryokan Stay @ Gettoan Ryokan月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 25-27Feb2015

Gettoan ryokan bridge

Gettoan ryokan bridge

except for the appalling kaiseki dinner on 25.1.2015, which was a complete disaster & a blot on an otherwise excellent stay, we were quite happy with the ryokan

we stayed at Gettoan ryokan from 25Jan to 27Jan2015. 🙂

ryokan is a bit secluded & way off from the main attractions like lake kinrinko 金麟湖, which is a 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo.

there is also no walking trails near the ryokan.

we called the ryokan after the check-in time 3pm & they picked us up from yufuin eki, also the hotel provide transport to town (they dropped us directly at lake kinrinko the next day at our request & provided us each with an umbrella), but not the return pick-up.

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

the service was good ryokan standard.

we had a reception party, & we had welcome macha & sweets etc in the ryokan room.

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

ryokan attached onset

ryokan attached onsen

our room had an attached external onsen.

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

& the ryokan has the usual public & very nice private onsen.

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

there was also free coffee & tea at the lounge area.

on the second day 26.1.2015, we returned from lunch & lake kinrinko, in addition to the free coffee & lake which was always available, the service staff served us macha & mochi.^^ really enjoyed that.

woods at back of ryokan

woods at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

the next morning, before having breakfast & checking out, we walked from the dining rooms area to a brook at the back just before the woods. very nice & tranquil environment.

c.h.e.f andy

OK Post-movie Dinner @ Shokudo Orchard Cineleisure on 16Jan2015

unagi salad

unagi tofu salad

went with friends to watch “the theory of everything” at orchard cineleisure on 16.1.2015. 🙂

it’s a movie about the lives of stephen & jane hawkings. really nice movie – wonderful script, acting, direction. i liked it very much! ^^

after movie, we decided to have a quick dinner at shokudo (食堂or canteen in japanese) at level 2.

we ordered 4 dishes to share for 4pax as we only wanted a light meal, and one friend had to leave shortly. 🙂 later we added a parfait for remaining 3 of us to share.

we had the unagi tofu salad. somehow we were chatting & missed the wafu 和风 dressing (a vinaigrette) or ponzu sauce until we almost finished. the salad was actually quite nice with the dressing.^^

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

saba tamago don

the saba don was quite tasty. saba was tasty & tender & the don (rice) was nice. 🙂

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

ebi truffle mentaiko ali olio

the ebi (prawn) mantaiko aloo olio looked anaemic when it came. my friends added the grated cheese & red chilli pepper & it looked a bit more appetising.

the truffle flavours were actually quite nice.

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

a deepfried tofu dish

we had a fried egg tofu with some cheese flavours topped with mentaiko. pretty ok. felt like the tako balls type preparation.

parfaitcc

parfaitcc

parfait

parfait

i always like the parfait in japan & also sun with moon. this was good good, with yuzu sorbet. mochi, green tea jelly & cornflakes…didn’t see any chestnut? anyway i liked this best.

the food was ok. the bill S$66 also about right for the food we had. it was a fun time with friends – movie, makan & chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Value 20pax Dinner @ Shin Yeh on 22Jan2014

咸水鸡 - similar to drunken chicken

咸水鸡 – similar to drunken chicken

organiser of RI friends’ dinner this month wanted to do it at a taiwanese porridge place & chose shin yeh,a tunglok restaurant. this dinner get-together was the most successful by far – we had initially 22pax, 2 could not attend last minute, still we had 20pax on 2 tables on 22.1.2014.

i had the amex palate discounts – 20% for 5-20pax. the restaurant called & i spoke with the manager who initially said we could not get discounts as we were 22pax. i gently told her it didn’t make sense – the worse case would be that we had our 20% discount for 20pax & no discounts for 2pax – & perhaps we should take our business elsewhere. the manager was sensible enough to say she would split the bill for us but that this was an exception. whatever! its a competitive world out there & business was not that great that evening. in any case as we finally settled as 20pax, no rules were broken!

i went earlier with the organiser to order ala carte from the menu (there was no discount for set menus & as always when festivity is near – CNY – set menus were very ex & often offer poor value).

we usually avoid appetiser & tea as they added heftily to the bill. in this case though tea was S$12 for the table (seemed like same S$12 for another number of diners on a table) so it was just S$1.20pax & very reasonable. we could have done without the S$5 appetisers which were just bah kua but anyway we reduced to 2 a table so just S$10 for 10pax. ok lah… 🙂

sweet & sour soon hock

sweet & sour soon hock S$32×2

pineapple prawns S$24

pineapple prawns

we picked 10 dishes.

#1 咸水鸡 – a cold dish similar to drunken chicken, was good. meat was sweet & good shaoxing wine flavour.

#2 we decided to take the staff’s recommendation & ordered 2 sweet & sour soon hock for each table. it was cheap compared with live fish, and the preparation made it quite tasty dish.

$3 another staff recommendation was the prawn with pineapple. this was good too. the prawn preparation was like a wasabi or salted egg prawn, lightly deep-fried. the pineapple added zest to the dish. 🙂 the staff suggested that this dish was more unique than taking live prawns.

三杯中卷 - 3 cup squid

三杯中卷 - 3 cup squid S$20

roast chicken S$36

roast chicken S$36

oyster egg

oyster egg S$16

pig trotters with squid & prawns

元蹄 pig trotters with squid & prawns S$28

#4 the 三杯中卷 (squid) was good too. 三杯 (3-cup) is a common preparation in taiwan & hakka dishes = 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup cooking wine, 1 cup sesame oil. & since we already had a cold chicken dish & another whole roast chicken, we picked squid instead.

#5 the whole roast chicken with five-spice salt dip was tasty enough with crispy skin. it was kind of small though.

#6 the oyster egg was ok average dish.

#7 the 元蹄 pork trotter with prawns & squid was good – great taste & texture, uncommon to have prawns & squid in the preparation but an welcome addition.

braised tofu with minced pork

braised tofu with minced pork S$28

some mushrooms dish

some mushrooms dish S$24

mustard green with dried scallops

mustard green with dried scallops

complimentary mochi

complimentary mochi

we ordered 1 tofu & 2 vegetable dishes.

#8 the braised tofu with minced pork was good.

#9 the mushroom dish was quite unique though the price was to me unattractive, S$24 for medium portion c/w S$32 for the roast chicken.

#10 mustard green with dried scallop was small but always tasty dish with the dried scallops (瑶柱)

the restaurant provided a free mua chee (mochi) dessert. we were quite full already so did not add any dessert orders.

food was competent, quite good really. the bill after 20% discounts came to S$594nett for 20pax or S$30pax, so it was really great value. the service staff were great – responsive, polite & helpful. shin yeh though can be quite expensive (e.g. the soup of the day was S$10pax so it really depends on the food & portions you order). we were able to order fish, prawns, chicken & pork trotters that were substantial & not costly, so we had a great meal, enjoyable evening get-together at very reasonable cost. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ramen Toyama Black (富山ブラック) & Greentea Jelly @ Ramen Village L10 Kyoto Station on 9.10.2013

ramen - tomiyama black (富山ブラック) from menya iroha

ramen – toyama black (富山ブラック) from menya iroha

i don’t take ramen much in singapore. think they are very ex like S$14++. 🙂

during my recent tateyama alpine route trip, i had ramen at the ramen village (拉麺小路) at level 10 kyoto station on 9.10.2013, the day i arrived at kyoto. there were like 15 stallsto choose from & we shared a 800yen (S$9++) at toyama black (富山ブラック) stall by menya iroha.

ramen - tomiyama black (富山ブラック) from menya iroha

ramen – toyama black (富山ブラック) from menya iroha

seriously eating ramen

seriously eating ramen

tomiyama black (富山ブラック) ramen stall by menya iroha

toyama black (富山ブラック) ramen stall by menya iroha

ramen village (拉麺小路) at level 10 kyoto station

ramen village (拉麺小路) at level 10 kyoto station

the ramen & broth were excellent very tasty! & so was the chashu & the egg which was tasty even though the yolk was not runny (didn’t have to!). 🙂 still my personal favourite ramen was at hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) at dotonbori osaka that served a 10″ softbone, i being the carnivore. 🙂

greentea jelly mochi dessert at L10 ramen village kyoto station

greentea jelly mochi dessert at L10 ramen village kyoto station

greentea jelly mochi dessert at L10 ramen village kyoto station

greentea jelly mochi dessert at L10 ramen village kyoto station

we also had the cheap version about 550yen greentea parfait (jelly & mochi) at a stall there. just for convenience. it was not really cheap as you could get the 900yen or 1000yen versions at kiyomizu or kawaramachi which had the soft brown mochi dusted with powder & macha tea.

c.h.e.f andy

Restaurant Week $35nett Lunch @ Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant on 19Mar2013

Menu-Restaurant Week $35nett set lunch at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant

Menu-Restaurant Week $35nett set lunch at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant

A friend bought lunch today. We had great time chatting about the charity he was actively leading last 25years, travel & food.

As it was DiningCity Restaurant Week (18-24mar2013), I suggested the $35nett lunch set at Kumo Kaiseki Restaurant. There was just a little confusion as many restaurants were awarded DiningCity Star (and Kumo Kaiseki was 1 of them), and this meant they charged additional S$15 & S$20 respectively on top of the standardised S$25++ lunches & S$35++ dinners. Most if not all ‘Star’ restaurants would simply indicate lunches as S$40++ & dinners as S$55++ to avoid confusion but Kumo did not. So we called up to make sure that we would be paying S$35nett and NOT S$50++ & that was indeed the case (good to be certain than have wrong expectations and be disappointed..haha..). 🙂

I have stopped going for Restaurant Week these days as there is nothing much on offer. S$40 lunches & S$55 dinners at the ‘Star’ restaurants like Oso, Gaia, Absinthe etc are not cheap and also usually restrictive on the menu items especially mains c/w their daily lunches. Last year for example, UOB had very good 1 for 1 Young Chef Creation Menu in many restaurants and you get a 4-course S$68 1 for 1 menu at Gaia vs a S$40 3-course Restaurant Week menu at the same restaurant! Even at La Cicala Gastrobar (which has no Star), the usual S$25 set lunch menu is to me better than the same-priced Restaurant Week menu.

This Kumo S$35nett menu looks good though.

I had a kaiseki dinner only once at Kumo using a $50 Kitchen Language (which owns Kumo, Salta, Ochre, Saltwater cafe) voucher. Kumo’s food is good but not great for the price c/w say Hachi, and if you are not overly enameled with kaiseki presentation, I think Kuriya Dining’s monthly sets offer better value. For me, none of them can compare with Mikuni using the Feed@Raffles card with 50% discount for 2pax, so I usually frequent Mikuni, but it is good to have a change once a while.

The first course, tai (sea bream) sashimi topped with ikura (salmon roe), was truly delightful in all departments – taste, colour, presentation! the jelly  (can’t remember what it is) went really well with the tai sashimi. every item (broadbean, petals & all) was edible. This dish was very impressive even for a full course kaiseki! 🙂

tai sashimi topped with ikura - so pretty (every item edible!)

tai sashimi topped with ikura – so pretty (every item edible!)

The lotus & prawn dumpling were ok & tasty, nothing to wow about. the bonito soup was also ok with a nice after taste.

20130319_122611

lotus & prawn dumpling in bonito soup

The main course comprised a braised saga wagyu shank & some vegetable items in batter & the usual gohan set of rice, pickles & miso soup. This really was quite so-so, very average taste wise.  As a braised item, one could not tell much between wagyu (& Japanese wagyu at that!) & normal beef.

braised saga wagyu shank & yasai furai

braised saga wagyu shank & yasai furai

also done this way it is more commonly served as an appertiser item (eg Dozo serves a japanese braised beef as an appertiser item in their 6-course lunches which maybe tastes same or better), and is no comparison with the modern european braised lamb shanks served in many restaurants here.

braised saga wagyu shank in miso

braised saga wagyu shank in miso

The yasai (野菜) furai (not a tempura batter) was a good complement to the braised beef.

yasai furai

yasai furai

Well at S$35nett (S$30++ just for comparison though Kumo actually does not charge 10% service) for such a lunch, I guess there was little to complain about except for the parking costing S$10 at neighbouring Amara Hotel. 🙂

sakura mochi with Japanese strawberries

sakura mochi with Japanese strawberries

The dessert was a nice red bean mochi which I liked & 1/2 a strawberry.

Overall, it was a very pleasant meal and also nice way of keeping up with a friend.

c.h.e.f andy