Expensive & Very Average Chirashi Don @ Tatsu Asia Square 2 on 7Nov2014

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

had a 5pax family dinner for a special occasion at tatsu asia square 2 on 7.11.2014. 🙂

daughter was keen to explore the different chirashi don. decided to try this place even though i was not impressed with the photo of the S$40 chirashi don on the website menu.

since we were there, might as well try some of their recommendations.

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

years ago (almost 20years coming to think of it), my wife & i used to enjoy mezzanine japanese food at the sushi counter with 50% hyatt card. the aji sashimi usually cost about S$45 for the whole fish before discount. & before that, even earlier we had great aji sashimi at unkai at nassim hill, can’t remember the hotel now but i think it was at the current site of ‘the nassim’ (condo).

i don’t know the current price of aji sashimi at sushi restaurants as seldom take now, but S$35 seemed reasonable (though at first the server say S$25 to S28 depending on size, but later became S$35).

the aji did not disappoint. it was very sweet. the presentation though was somewhat disappointing. i told the server they should serve the sashimi as a whole fish like most sushi bar & also in japan, but i get it that they might be offering what they thought was good service by serving up the flesh & having the bones deep-fried. usually sushi bars would serve the sliced sashimi with the fishbones whole, then when you finish the sashimi they would take it away to deep-fry. unkai even did it better by “pengkang” i.e. bbq which was not as convenient as deep-fried but tasted a lot better. 🙂

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

we ate up the deep-fried fish head & bones.

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki was a recommended dish, it was good & a dish i would order if i come again (not likely though!).

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

the menu showed kaizen (海鲜) chirashi don as S$40 & aburi (torched or flamed) don as S$50. i asked the server & she confirmed that both had exact same ingredients. i guess one needed to pay for the labour & torch. we decided to order 3 chirashi don.

i would say this was a huge disappointment (which was not unexpected i having seen the website photo). it was a good chirashi of course. the fish were fresh & sweet. they were very thin slices though & w/o any quality sashimi cuts.

compare this with the chirashi don at mikuni which has 2 pieces otoro, botan ebi, uni at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). actually there was just nothing to compare! or the S$20 chirashi don set at ginza kuroson.  granted kuroson’s is only for lunch & the sashimi cuts were just as thin. or with the sashimi & unagi don set at sun with moon.

i have not yet tried the chirashi don at flying squirrel & sushi kou, but they are around S$25 & it looks to me the quality would be better than here at tatsu.

salmon skin temaki

salmon skin temaki

the salmon skin temaki was also a recommended dish. it was simple but nice & tasty.

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice – S$13

our helper does not take raw fish. so we ordered a seafood fried rice plus a crayfish teppanyaki. these were good restaurant standard. though the japanese preparation with lots of mayo not my favourite.

tenderloin teppanyaki

tenderloin teppanyaki – S$28

aburi salmon maki

aburi salmon maki

my other daughter ordered a beef tenderloin and a aburi salmon maki. tenderloin was 200g size & quite tasty. & the maki was again good standard.

banoffee cake

banoffee cake

we got back home for the banoffee cake which i made for the occasion.

the cake was quite perfect this time, not so sweet with a bit more bananas, very well balanced cake.

c.h.e.f andy

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Drunken (or Drunkard) Fried Rice @ Siam Central Charlotte Street on 27Aug2014

basil fried rice with beef,

basil fried rice with beef

there is this drunken fried rice that every singaporean student must have taken at siam central charlotte street london.

my son brought me after the college ceremony on 27.8.2014.

i ordered the fried rice with beef, & my son ordered fried rice with pork & tom yam seafood soup.

basically, it was a spicy fried rice with egg, fresh chilli and thai holy basil. there was no wine in the rice so i wondered why drunken. it was later that i found out that a pad kee mao dish = “drunken stir-fry” dish (pad = stir-fry, kee mao = drunkard) it referred to the more intense, piquant taste of the dish, saltier and spicier etc, favoured by a drunkard (with dulled tastebuds?? haha)

tom yam talay

tom yam seafood

i did not try the tom yam seafood. my son described it as between the very good tom yam talay at patara & the so-so one at thai noodle house.

basil fried rice with pork

basil fried rice with pork

the fried rice was indeed intense & flavourful & a bit oily, and the serving of beef & pork was quite large.

i was having an almost full-blown flu & my tastebuds would have been dulled, perhaps even more than drunkards. anyhow i did not find the fried rice too “exceptional”. i told my son (& of course he did not agree) that the fried rice was like the old holland road stall or any good zi char stall. i guess perhaps it was better. 🙂

for sure, it was not to be compared to crystal jade spicy seafood fried rice (which is my gold standard). i actually think my own seafood fried rice is also better. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Seafood Fried Rice

#8 spicy seafood fried rice

spicy seafood fried rice

wife had appointment & children eating out this evening.

no dinner plans. found a packet of leftover rice (1 bowl maybe) in the fridge. don’t feel like doing anything else so did a fried rice in double quick time. 🙂

defrosted a packet of prawns (about 10 pieces), shelled & cut off the heads & kept for stock. defrosted a large squid, took off the red skin, dice-cut the body. i seasoned both the squid & prawns separately with little bit fish sauce & white pepper. then put a piece of butter on pan on medium high till quite hot then fried the prawns. then removed the prawns & fried the squid.

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

for the rice, i added 2 tablespoon olive oil, put on medium high heat, added 2 tablespoon garlic & 1.5 tablespoon of the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. then i added the rice & break up the crumby parts with the ladle & let the chilli coat the rice grains. immediately i pushed rice aside, cracked 2 eggs & let the white firmed a bit, then spread over the rice, and mixed for 1 minute. then added the prawns & squid & off the fire, tossed a little & put out on the serving dish. then i added the chopped spring onions. voila!

the whole process including defrosting the prawns & squid, about 15minutes. 🙂

after whatsapping the photos, both son & daughter decided to eat some before going out, so we polished off rather quickly. 🙂

#8 spicy seafood fried rice

spicy seafood fried rice

i did the same fried rice with more elaborate preparations recently during a 9pax 12-course dinner for my friends on 15.7.2014 which everyone liked it a lot. this evening’s was i think just as good.

looking at the photo of the real thing – crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice, i guess it was still kind of far off. both my children though liked it quite a lot, and they felt the rice was very good too. the rice were individual grains well coated not mushy & nice & fragrant. good wok hae! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

12-course Homecooked Dinner for 9pax on 15Jul2014

#1 cured salmon

#1 cured salmon

an update for memories.

did a 12-course chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014. what’s notable this time were 3 new dishes – salted egg prawns,  steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼 & seafood fried rice. dishes all good, except lava cake was disaster as lava cake though taste was good (for a brownie…haha..). 🙂

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#1 cured salmon & #2 steamed oysters were quite new dishes too, served for the first time during my recent lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu for RI friends on 2.7.2014.

the very fresh salmon fillet was bought on the day itself & brined in salt & sugar solution for 4 hours. nice colour & tasty.

the large oysters were IQF (individual quick frozen) from sheng shiong just S$11.95 for 1 kg pack, steamed with 2 teaspoon light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil, sliced ginger & chilli padi for 2 minutes.

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken was quite sweet & tasty. this time though the chicken tasted a bit gamey. i used kampong chicken from sheng shiong for the first time couple weeks back. no gamey taste then.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 was dry brined with sichuan spicy chilli sauce, sugar & various spices for 48hrs, simmered for 15minutes & poached for 1/2 hour. it was tender & tasty. i liked it. 🙂

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 – the pork belly was done 5hrs using the crockpot braising method starting cold & on low, so the very slow braise from slow rising temperature produced a very tender belly pork, thinly sliced & drizzled with the mildly sweet sichuan spicy sauce, which was key in this preparation. this was a crowd favourite. 🙂

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb was the best i did, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. 3 day miso marinade & 5hrs in 90degC oven. many liked this. 🙂

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7  the poor man’s buddha jumps over the wall was another favourite. this time (also last 11pax dinner on 14.6.2014) was the best. it had very tender pig trotters & belly pork, thick mushrooms & limpets. 🙂

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns. was quite excited doing this for very first time. prawns was deep-fried. paste was done using salted duck egg york, curry leaves & milk. prawns were very fresh but less crispy as it was done at 4pm like 4hrs before serving & set aside with paste added on in pan before serving. too much milk, paste not viscous enough & salted egg flavour was too dilute. will improve next time. 🙂

#9 steamed japnese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass – another first time dish, basically repeating the steamed oysters method on the fish, using light soy sauce, olive oil, sliced ginger , orange peel & chilli padi. quite successful this one, fish very fresh & tasty w/o fishy taste (even though the fish was frozen for more than 1 month in freezer). 🙂

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 romaine lettuce was good as usual. 🙂

#11 seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice

imperial treasure lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice was another new dish, and it turned out to be a crowd favourite also. 🙂

buttered prawns & sotong were done separately. the key was again the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. rice was also pre- fried & set aside. when serving, rice was returned to pan then seafood added, heat & served. 🙂

no comparison with the real thing of course – seafood fried rice from crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao! haha. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

#12 tofu cheese cake was good as usual. 🙂

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

lava cake was outright bad though even if the taste of the “brownie” it became was good. 😦

not much lava leh, even though i followed the same timing as my much earlier efforts (checked back the records, last time was on 28.8.2014) which were mostly good ones much also had a few failures then.

mango flan

mango flan

friends brought a very nice mango flan, small seeded lychees & strawberries. 🙂

a very fun evening get-together! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Below Par Tapas Set Dinner @ Tapasan Dorset Hotel on 28Jan2014

4 tapas

4 tapas

bought a deal.com voucher so went with a friend on 28.1.2014 to use it before expiry on 31.1.2014.

the S$29.90 voucher for 2pax tapas dinner set include selection 4 cold tapas, 2 hot tapas, paella & drinks at tapasan at the new dorsett hotel at bukit pasoh.

the ambience was great. we sat at a table alongside the long glass windows facing new bridge road.

choice of drink included stellar artois or hoegaarden beer. my friend ordered the spanish beer & i ordered a guava juice. we arrived restaurant at 8.45pm. website said last order 9.30pm but the spanish server informed that they ran out of paella & would replaced by a seafood fried rice & they were about the same. i told her paella & seafood fried rice were not the same. anyhow she gave us an extra guava juice to make up. service & attitude were ok, nothing great.

cheese balls

cheese balls

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seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

the 4 cold tapas (ham, cured meat, salmon, cheese/egg) were ok i guessed, but i should really say below par for a decent tapas restaurant. likewise the hot tapas of cheese meat balls & fries with egg/sausage pieces. and of course really it was quite meaningless to have seafood fried rice at a tapas restaurant instead of seafood & chicken paella in the dinner set menu. the fried rice was of ok to good standard, so as a meal it was ok.

my idea of a good tapas restaurant was la cicala at club street which served excellent S$25pax set lunch included 3 tapas, main & coffee, but i think it had closed for sometime already.

to be fair, price-wise at S$29.90 net for 2pax dinner (a good paella alone could cost that much, well that was if we actually had a good paella instead of substituted seafood fried rice), food was ok-ish & really i should not complain, but i would not want go back for sub-par food even at cheaper prices. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Comfort Food to Return to @ Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao at Taka on 2Sep2013

saliva chicken (口水鸡)

saliva chicken (口水鸡)

we had our G8 dinner at crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao @ takashimaya on 2.9.2013. 🙂

the food was mostly excellent overall for the price, though 1 of our friends could not take fatty food and was just having plain chicken soup lamian & another could not take some of the mala dishes.

salt water duck (咸水鸭)

salt water duck (咸水鸭)

4 coloured xialongbao

4 coloured xialongbao

抄手 - spicy dumplings

抄手 – spicy dumplings

for starters we had 2 cold dishes, saliva chicken (口水鸡) & salt water duck (咸水鸭). both were very good! 🙂 the saliva chicken was mala (麻辣) with peppercorn (花椒), & very flavourful with a kick but you must like mala to enjoy! the duck was good & tasty but still not the standard of shin yeh, tunglok’s taiwanese restaurant at liang court.

the xiaolongbao at crystal jade is very good, and they were having 50% discount for the 4-coloured xialongbao – vege (green), mala (orange), truffle (black). usual (plain) – so 4 for S$3.10 instead S$6.20. we ordered 4trays x4 for 8pax. the spicy dumpling here was also very good, c/w the spicy dumplings we had at royal china. 🙂

stir-fried beef

stir-fried beef

sichuan song fish head (剁椒鱼头)

sichuan song fish head (剁椒鱼头)

for mains, we had a stir-fried beef (the usual bicarbonate tenderised version) with 2 mushrooms & black fungus – this dish not so “lak ku” (in demand). the 剁椒鱼头 (sichuan version using song fish head) fared much better. it was very good but i still prefer the HK style or chilli black bean sauce style, like those at 香港街 stalls or food centres.

plain chicken soup la mian 清汤拉面

plain chicken soup la mian 清汤拉面

beef brisket + tendon lamian

beef brisket + tendon lamian

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for carbo we ordered 2 seafood fried rice. this my new love affair. rice was very “tiok tiok” (means al dente not mushy each long grain separate & not sticking together) very fragrant & with lots of seafood ingredients. we ordered 2 portions (2xS$14.50) for 8pax.

we also had 1 plain chicken soup la mian 清汤拉面 for 1 friend who could not take fatty food, and 1 beef brisket + tendon lamian to share. it was very good but 1 friend like me preferred the HK ngaolammeen (牛腩面) – why cannot find in Singapore leh?

aloe vera with wolfberries

aloe vera with wolfberries

sesame dumplings in ginger tea 姜茶汤圆

sesame dumplings in ginger tea 姜茶汤圆

all 3 desserts we ordered were good. the osmanthus aloe vera with wolfberries was very refreshing. so was the almond taohuay with black jelly (forgot to take photo) & the sesame dumplings in ginger tea 姜茶汤圆 were just great! 🙂

dinner was S$194 for 8pax, just over S$24pax. we had a jolly good time & good food, a bit heavy on the carbo side though. haha! 🙂

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