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

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

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

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

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

tim palace

tim palace

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

tim palace

tim palace

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

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

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

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

char siu

char siu

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

roast duck - second helping

roast duck - second helping

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

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

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

appetizer station

appetizer station

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

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

appetizer station

appetizer station

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

cold flower crabs

cold flower crabs

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

sushi/sashimi station

sushi/sashimi station

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

i skipped the sushi.

appetizers

appetizers

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

braised small abalone with brocoli

braised small abalone with broccoli

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

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

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup

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

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam was decent competent dish.

scallops & celery in xo sauce

scallops & celery in xo sauce

the scallops & celery in xo sauce was pretty good.

crayfish

crayfish

crayfish was poor!

crayfish

crayfish

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

char siu pao

char siew pao

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

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

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

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

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

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

honey ribs

honey ribs

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

honey ribs

honey ribs

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

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

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

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

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

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

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

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

dessert station

dessert station

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

sea coconut & longans

sea coconut & longans

i took the sea coconut…quite refreshing.

lotus seed red beans dessert

lotus seed red beans dessert

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

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

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

the sea cucumber & scallops were pretty good.

c.h.e.f andy

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

Tim Palace

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

OPENING HOURS:

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

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

 

 

Protected: RI G20 Monthly Dinner by Chak Joo @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

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RI Friends Monthly Dinner @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

we had our november RI friends dinner @ ban heng harbourfront centre on 24.11.2014. 🙂

this was the smallest turnout, with 7pax.

i had not been to this ban heng outlet before. the last time G20 had a 23pax dinner at ban heng at orchard central, food was quite average.

this outlet has 2 ala carte buffet menu – one pried at S$28.80++ here, and the other at S$21.80++. from what i can see the main difference is for the S$28.80 menu you get to pick 1 order of abalones, crabs, froglegs, live prawns, scallops.

we took the S$28.80++ menu.

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck was passable. but c/w the beautiful roast duck at both canton paradise star vista & canton paradise J-cube or with the noodles restaurant at centrepoint, this would be a poor & distant cousin.

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken was average, competent.

#3 garlic spinach

#3 garlic spinach

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

liked the vegetables, #3 garlic spinach & #4 sambal kang kong.

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock was a standard dish. it was done well. 🙂

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce was also done well. i personally would prefer fish head & meat with black bean bitter gourd, but this was as good as any good zi char, say kok sen at keong saik street or hong kong street chun kee at commonwealth crescent or ah orh at bukit merah.

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns was good like any good seafood restaurant.

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

surprisingly the #8 sharks fin soup though gluey like any served at weddings in yesteryears, had very tasty stock. this was much better than ban heng orchard central.

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions was also a competent dish. not so different from what my family used to have often at ah yat turf city (now grandstand) long in the past.

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork. all my friends liked this a lot. we had a second order. meat looked great, was tender & tasty & skin was crisp. i would say presentation & taste-wise still a tad below what i had recently at tunglok central.

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery – passable, nothing interesting.

#12 char siew

#12 char siew

#12 char siew looked & tasted great. of the 2 dishes, my friends liked the roast pork better.

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach. this was quite good dish also. the braising sauce though was nothing like the really good brown sauce served in good cantonese restaurants say ah yat abalones forum restaurant for abalone dishes (also goose web & spiky sea cucumber dishes) or at chao yue xuan.

#14 deep-fried ilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce was an interesting dish. it had less meat so some friends preferred the soon hock dish to this.

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest. scallops were average & overall this dish was poor, below par, not even comparable with a good yam basket say at ah orh w/o expensive scallops.

#16 chai poh with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd, i think this was really poor.

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup. this was a pretty good soup.

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab was quite the usual seafood restaurant standard, for sure better than spices cafe.

pulut hitam

pulut hitam

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

self service dessert were quite standard. aloe vera with jelly was quite refreshing & pulut hitam the usual.

overall, food here was better than ban heng orchard central but not as good as (service especially) peach gardens miramar (menu had wider spread though at ban heng harbour front). for S$28.80++ pax it was 2/3 the price of spices cafe w/o the lobster. i guess quite an ok deal.

c.h.e.f andy

Sumptuous Alluring Omakase @ Hachi on 22Nov2014

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

my wife’s good friend couple bought us a wonderful super delicious omakase dinner at hachi on 22.11.2014. 🙂

my wife & i had been to hachi several times. we introduced the restaurant to them & said we would buy them dinner there, but they sprang this superb omakase on us & bought us instead.

in fact we had never take this S$188pax premium omakase here (restaurant said it’s a new menu started 2014). every time we just took the S$118pax (now increased to S$128 pax) omakase, which was also pretty good. well no complaints. ^^ 🙂

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 japanese persimmon with persimmon leaf

#1 japanese persimmon

#1 first course was a japanese persimmon came shielded with persimmon leaf. dish was beautiful & exquisite, feeling of koyo (autumn colours). persimmon was very sweet but could not recall the other items. there was goma (sesame) sauce.

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tam ago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, seaweed

#2 second course was ayu fish, tamago, ginkgo nuts, chestnut, crispy sweet potato, dish of seaweed. such delicate & beautiful plating. 🙂

ayu is a tasty but flaky (falling apart) fish, not my favourite but ayu shioyaki (鮎塩焼) is a very popular dish (see photo of the open grill here). in small bites for this starter, it was quite nice.

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu

#3 third course was a steamed tai (seabream) on braised tofu. sea bream was very sweet & tasty. tofu was excellent, very crispy outside & smooth consistency inside.

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 sashimi moriawase 1pax = botan ebi, sawala (spanish mackerel), chutoro, ika, kinmedai, tai, hamachi

#4 the next course sashimi moriawase for 1pax kinmedai 金目鯛 (japanese golden eye sea bream – see photo here), tai (sea bream), hamachi>> was a real treat. i have not taken sawala before & probably not kinmedai (as sashimi) too.

the kinmedai was really good. 🙂 and of course the chutoro, botan ebi etc etc. ^^

we had really good sashimi moriawase just last week at sumiya on 16.11.2014 which included uni, awabi & akami.

and of course mikuni’s chirashi don sashimi quality was top draw.

but to have this sashimi moriawase as part of an 11-course omakase was truly luxurious, sumptuous. 🙂

the sashimi moriawase for GOTO’s kaiseki was not too bad, but it was expensive & not as good value.

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake

#5 fifth course was crispy sweet potatoes on steamed sea bream on japaenese rice cake in a very tasty starchy mountain yam soup. simply yummy. i drank the whole thing.

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 very large (3in), firm & tasty oyster

#6 sixth course was a large (3in), firm & tasty oyster. 1 of us found it sandy. it was ok for the rest. it was evidently good enough though as we finished the oysters before i thought of asking the restaurant to replace the oyster. i like this dish very much.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura - anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

#7 excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper

#7 next course was an excellent tempura – anago (conger eel), very good hotate, shiso 紫蘇 leaf (also called oba), and red pepper.

the konbu (昆布) which japanese use for dashi (clear soup stock) is not edible.

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with xavier, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 ohmi wagyu (近江牛) with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes

#8 eighth course was ohmi wagyu (近江牛) – among the top 3 japanese wagyu – with caviar, jalapeño chilli, sweet potatoes.

taste was simply sublime, out of this world. ^^

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes - a palate cleanser

#9 hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser

#9 next was hokkaido momotaro tomatoes – a palate cleanser.

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni (each diner can pick 3 types of sushi)

#10 the server brought us a tray of 10 to 12 sashimi. each diner can pick 3 types of sushi. my selection of sushi = kinmedai, hotate, uni. the hotate was really good, very huge, plump & sweet. the uni & kinmedai too of course. 🙂

wife had uni, negi toro & kinmedai. the 2 friends each had botan ebi, hotate & uni. 🙂

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert - yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 dessert – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice

#11 i guess dessert was the least tantalising of the omakase – yuzu ice cream, kiwi fruit, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, cheese cake slice. it was a bit more quantity than quality, good standard & substantial, but not like say japanese melon.

overall this hachi premium omakase was much superior in quality of ingredients & taste c/w the kaiseki we had at GOTO on 23.10.2014, which cost a lot more.

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good Chirashi Don Set @ Sumiya on 13Nov2014

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

in search of good chirashi don. 🙂

today fundonate friends met to discuss some matters. decided to meet for lunch at sumiya, level 12 orchard central on 13.11.2014.

i thought it might be the previous kuirya penthouse location, & it was. anyway sumiya is owned by the same RE&S group, which owns kuriya dining & also ichiban boshi, kuishinbo etc.

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

ponzu salad

ponzu salad

chawan mushi

chawan mushi

S$18.80 chirashi don set

S$18.80 chirashi don set

the photos of the lunch set, in particular, the chirashi don looked exciting. & it was.

it came in a set with chawan mushi (not so good), a ponzu salad, pickles, miso soup & a mochi, quite similar to ginza kuroson. 🙂

the chirashi don was excellent. 3 fish (salmon, maguro & hamachi) cube-cut sashimi & heaps of ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe) & avocado. the sashimi were very fresh & sweet.  the cube cut made it looked like bara chirashi. this were quite big cubes though, really good sashimi. vinegared rice was very good too.

2 other friends ordered anago don & fish of the day (maybe amadai?). forgot to take photos.

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

12 pieces amaebi S$14.80

they had this 12 pieces amaebi for S$14.80, so i had to order it. 🙂

there was a shelling fee of $5 if we wanted it shelled. we of course decided to D-I-Y! 🙂

i never knew amaebi looked kind of anaemic & unappetising with shell on. but they were good, very fresh & sweet when shelled & eaten, like any good amaebi. 🙂

overall i was very impressed & would certainly come back for more.

this S$18.80 chirashi don set was definitely superior to the S$25 barachirashi don set at flying squirrel (no comparison i think), better than the S$17.90 chirashi don lunch set at tonkichi (also no comparison).

i couldn’t decide if this was better than the S$20 chirashi don set at ginza kuroson! i think both were equally good, and though kuroson had better quality cuts, this one at sumiya was really very enjoyable.

with tatsu, though it was not quite like for like, but as an overall dining experience, i think this set was more enjoyable than the S$40 expensive chirashi don at tatsu.

compared with chikuwatei & momoya, this quantity was smaller, but hey the flavours & freshness were better even. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

23pax Dinner @ Ban Heng Orchard Central on 25Apr2014

1902929_10152348756429494_180431386195832186_n

braised small abalones with broccoli

had our dinner get-together for 23pax at ban heng @ orchard central on 25.4.2014. we had 3 tables. sure looks like our monthly dinners are gaining traction and we have sustainable numbers coming together to catch up each month. 🙂

i had never been to ban heng, the original at boon keng & the now many new outlets. they have a weekday ala carte buffet at S$26.80pax i emailed the link to the organiser & he arranged to do it at the orchard central outlet.

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chilli crab

10313848_10152348755769494_2136392099350962134_n

sharks fin soup

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stir-fried frog legs

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drunken prawns

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stir-fried scallops with asparagus

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garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon

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deep-fried soon hock

we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above. for me the best dish was the abalone. 🙂 it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.

the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, though these days there were more talks of worthwhile calories & worthwhile cholesterol and focus was more on quality than quantity. 1 friend i asked during dinner said pretty much the same, that relative to price it was ok. another friend commented on FB post afterwards – “The food was actually quite satisfactory for the price and place”.

1 place though i would consider a whole lot better than (after trying) ban heng would be the ala carte buffet at peach garden.

the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers), but it was not a dish that the ladies took much nor the rest.

the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.

the drunken prawn was among the better dishes. 1 lady on my table commented that it had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawns were quite ok.

the frog legs were a bit below par (say) c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.

likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty.  i do a much better tasty dish using IQF frozen razor clams from giant, but of course i always prefer razor clams to scallops for this garlic steamed preparation.

the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.

the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. this was also a standard dish at many restaurants. couldn’t say it was poor but while the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.

10274227_10152348756614494_6248572823945955837_n

roast duck

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steamed sea bass

the lady who commented on the drunken prawns went to spy on the other tables…haha…& we ordered the steamed seabass & the roast duck. good food-spotting, well done!

the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 🙂 though 1 friend commented that soon hock was a better & more expensive fish…but it goes to show that quality of cooking/preparation is equally or sometime more important than quality of ingredients. 🙂

the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. 🙂 (but compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!) it prompted the lady friend to say perhaps the trick was to mine the non chef recommendations.

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stir-fried baby kai lans

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spinach with superior stock

the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average. the baby kailan had very good wok hae. & the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.

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thai deep-fried tofu

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prawn cocktail salad

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braised goose

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hae chor

10294413_10152348756534494_6515834032046957718_n the deep-fried tofu with thai sauce was much below par, both the tofu & also the sauce.

the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.

the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.

the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not “pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. my own teochew braised duck is also more flavourful than this. 1 friend asked whether one could tell between goose & duck. couple of us felt that (say) when eating goose in hong kong the more gamey & fragrant taste was quite apparent. 🙂

desserts were provided on a self-serviced buffet table. the ice jelly was quite refreshing. i had 2 helpings topped up with sea coconut. 🙂

overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together.  ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too.  it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.

c.h.e.f andy

Forgettable Meal @ Kilo at Pact on 21Nov2013

belly pork rice bowl

belly pork rice bowl

a quick post. 3 of us had dinner after movie at kilo at pact on 21.11.2013. 🙂

nothing much to be said about this place. its a place i would not go & would not go back. that’s just me & my choices. nothing wrong with the place. guess it is kind of hip. kilo is co-located with a boutique fashion? retail shop & a salon. no idea what is “pact” in the name? food i guess is jap-western?

3 of us were watching Thor The Dark World (2013) 4.30pm show at orchard cineleisure taking advantage of the S$4 ticket for “senior citizens”. well, i for one much preferred watching the late evening show using maybank 1 for 1. as i told my friend, it cost S$9.70 (S$2.40+S$1.40+S$1.40+S$4.50) to park at cineleisure & S$1 to get into cbd at 4pm+. completely made no sense to me but i figured my friend is thrilled by the thought of paying S$4 as senior citizen, not the $ (whether tickets or parking but just the thought) – i am shaking my head – & so be it! 🙂

kilo at pact

kilo at pact

belly pork over rice (like japanese don)

belly pork over rice (like japanese don)

kilo at pact

kilo at pact

the belly pork don was pretty good & tasty actually. it was very small portion – 1 friend said “jiak boy pa” (not filling) – & cost S$17++=S$20nett. 🙂

the belly pork was soft, just slightly sinewy (not the texture i like) unlike the smooth texture of dongporou or kongbakpao. the braising sauce which was also drizzled over the rice was slightly sweet (japanese style) & made it quite tasty. so it was good actually but a “nothing” kind of meal for me, like a foodcourt dish but good tasting & cost S$20. not something i would try myself & certainly not go back. however the place maybe hip or cool & people may like it. cannot tell. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Nice Food & Ambience @ Ochre at Orchard Central on 25Feb2013

antipasti platter

antipasti platter

a friend close to me now resident at Cupertino California with his family came calling and a few of us arranged to have a quiet 5pax dinner.  I had an expiring 50% discount voucher from Kitchen Language which owns Ochre, Salta, Kumo etc so decided to do dinner at Ochre @ Orchard Central. 🙂

Ochre has a nice dining setting & ambience. It was one of the restaurants that had earlier offered palate discounts so I frequented it quite a few times then. The food was good for the price after palate discounts and as Ochre does not charge service, I used to provide the equivalent 10% in tip to the waiting staff.

For this evening, we had 7 dishes-

  1. antipasti platter
  2. beef carpaccio
  3. seafood linguine
  4. meat-eater pizza
  5. sous vide beef cheeks & kurobuta pork
  6. osobucco on a bed of risotto
  7. funghi risotto

using UOB Kitchen Language 50% discount voucher, we paid S$124nett for 7 dishes for 5pax, so its just S$25nett pax, truly great value for such food quality & ambience. 🙂

the anitpasti was good & substantial – with buffalo mozzarella, parma ham with rock melon, smoked salmon with caviar, artichoke. olives & cherry tomatoes with feta cheese.

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the beef carpaccio with rockets & parmesan shavings was also good.  the seafood linguine though was really average. I think I consistently do mine better!

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the meat-eater pizza was again very average (pizza not my thing but currently I like quatro fromage (4-cheese) pizza after trying a very good one some time back at Alfresco Gusto)- which is not saying so good for an Italian joint to have very average pizza & pasta..well, can’t have everything cheap & good I guess..

the duo sous vide beef cheek & kurobuta pork was quite ok, and actually my friends quite liked this savoury dish.

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the osobucco was the usual good for osobucco in most italian joints, but the bed of risotto not good – not creamy & “pang” (fragrant”) as it should be. clearly they were not good at risotto as the next dish – a funghi risotto which like a vongole dish should define good risotto & pasta dishes – was mushy & not fragrant, again below par!

The restaurant was maybe 40% full on a Monday night & we had a good quiet table though likely not for the other diners as we were laughing quite a bit & quite noisy. 🙂

after dinner we moved to the lobby level and had a nice cuppa to continue our chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Lunch @ Tonkichi at Orchard Central on 22Mar2013

chawanmuchi (茶碗蒸)

chawanmushi (茶碗蒸)

had a simple pleasant lunch with my sister at Tonkichi @ Orchard Central today.

we were both eyeing the Friday special chirashi don lunch set when we passed by the other day, so we just ordered that – 2 sets.

the shortage of foreign workers is  showing up clearly in many economic sectors in Singapore, not least the restaurant service sector. we saw only 2 waiting staff, they were both well-trained and efficient but very busy as there were quite many tables taken up even though it was just 12.30pm – that maybe a good thing actually.

we were quickly given our chawanmushi – to keep us occupied. this was good. texture was very slightly dense but of smooth consistency, sweet-tasting and the chicken was good, no ginkgo nuts.

chirashi don

chirashi don

it was a rather long wait after the chawanmushi starter, just about 1/2hour. luckily we were not in a hurry.

chirashi don

chirashi don

the chirashi don has 7 pieces of sashimi – 2 salmon (good), maguro (ordinary), 2 tamagos (good) & 1 amaebi (good), and the vinegared rice was good too. I would consider it a good quality chirashi don set at S$15.90++ by most comparison. However the S$20++ chirashi don set at Kuroson would beat this hands down in terms of both sashimi quality & quantity & overall set quality which also includes free refillable green tea (hot or cold).

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Tonkichi @ Orchard Central

the set also included a tiny soba – quite irrelevant carbo load but no harm having.

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watermelon – looked slight pale but was sweet & juicy

the watermelon was juicy & sweet.

given a choice, I would always go to Kuroson, but if I am in the area (Orchard Central), I might just do this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Lunch @ Sarang Restaurant at Orchard Central on 20Mar2013

korean banchan (side dishes) comprising kimchi, peanuts & kimchi carrots

korean banchan (side dishes) comprising kimchi, peanuts & another veg kimchi

had lunch with my sister today. I had 2 xS$30=S$60 deal.com Sarang vouchers (which I paid S$30 for) expiring soon so we decided to lunch there.

I don’t frequent korean restaurants much these days. My family are mostly carnivores aka meat-eaters and for barbeque beef we generally prefer the Japanese-style korean barbeque yakiniku restaurants. One of my wife Lisa’s favourite yakiniku place is Aburiya. We used also to go to Chang & Hyangtogol but find them rather expensive. Though we all like banchan, those very nice free & refillabe korean side dishes, but they cannot be our sole motivation for having korean.

Sarang at Orchard Central served a very small banchan, comprising just peanuts (which was very nice & we duly had our free refill of peanuts), and the usual cabbage kimchi & another vegetable kimchi.

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kimchi belly pork with tofu stew – S$15.80

We ordered the kimchi belly pork.  Though I would have liked it with a lot more soup (like the kimchi chigae which I always like and order at Aburiya & Watami),  this belly pork was differently done (not just boiled like in kimchi chigae to add base to the soup) & very much better, had very good “mouth-feel”(口感) in texture and taste.

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spicy sotong (squid) – S$11.80

We also had the spicy sotong (squid) which was a generous helping. It might be too spicy for some but was perfect for me.

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galbi (korean beef ribs) – S$24.80

We also added the usual galbi – korean beef ribs. It did have a bit of fat & tendons but it was a very nice dish which I liked a lot and was as good as that served at Chang (though I would need to confess that was many years ago). I guess the chef was a bit modern in his approach so his banchan was not quite the traditional big spread of side dishes, his sotong (squid) was accompanied by thin white noodles & this galbi dish also came with a cup of smooth potato mash (not in picture).

The meal comprising 3 very good dishes & banchan came to just S$34nett (about S$26++) using the vouchers.  I think the prices were actually quite fair for the quality of food offered even though I am unlikely to frequent soon without the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy