RI G20 Mar2016 Dinner – Good But Expensive Food @ First Culinary on 24Feb2016

cold dishes

cold dishes

it’s been a few months since our last G20 dinner at moi lum on 26.11.2015.

we did have another RI get-together attended by 28pax on 3.12.2015.

anyway this time the organiser arranged dinner at first culinary at ITE college central 2 Ang Mo Kio Drive on 24.2.2016. 11pax attended.

S$468 menu

S$468 menu

we had the S$468 menu.

food taste was good actually. but it was quite expensive for the type of dishes & ingredients. we paid S$55 each.

deepfried mantous

deepfried mantous

some didn’t like the longevity buns so we had the deepfried mantous instead. they were nice though they didn’t fit into the dishes & perhaps the original longevity buns would do.

deepfried mantous

cold dishes

the cold dishes was quite good standard. all were quite tasty. roast pork nicely done & standard of any good restaurants like tunglok, imperial treasure etc.

fish skin, baby octopus, ribs & the egg were all good. 🙂

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

our group now more environment conscious, so sharksfin changed to fish maw soup. bravo! 🙂

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

the fish maw was also very good standard, tasty, with good amount of crab & fish maw, not the gluey starchy type.

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

& the stock, soup base was good, so a sweet, tasty soup, beng thin standard la... 🙂

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

there was a wasabi & peanut sauce prawns.

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

both were very well down. same preparation deep-fried very nicely & added sauce. first time i had peanut sauce. it was good too.

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

we had a large soon hock, probably 1 kg size.

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

it was HK steamed 港蒸, very nicely done too, fresh, quite the perfect timing, very good.

abalone spinach duck web

abalone spinach duck web

the abalone dish was good standard but nothing special.

abalone spinach duck web

abalone spinach duck web

abalone is abalone, the duck web & brown braising sauce ok but nothing special, bot specially tasty..i had better la…

scallop broccoli basket

scallop broccoli basket

scallops & broccoli were all good. the basket was not yam basket but some potatoes, so so to me, no one took much.

yee meen noodles

yee meen noodles

yee meen noodles were pretty tasty.

sea coconut dessert

sea coconut dessert

sea coconut was the usual.

it was another wonderful evening of old friends coming together, great chat & sharing, strengthening of friendship & bonds.

overall the food was ok or good but pedestrian. nothing special except for the price, which was rather expensive at S$55nett each for the type of dishes. price was not outrageous but not great value also.

still between good value but mediocre food & this, i would rather have good standard food preparation & taste, and not so great value.

i heard hong kong people talking in the streets (actually in the MTR station), “sin you ho sek, yin hao dai sek” 先要好吃,然后抵吃…so first good taste, then good value la…

c.h.e.f andy

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

First Culinary Restaurant (ITE AMK)

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Sun: 10:30 – 15:00

Mon – Sun: 17:30 – 22:00

PHONE:

+65 64815500
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Protected: Tiang Chye’s Early Birthday Dinner @ Ah Yat Abalone Forum on 16Jul2014

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A Close Friend’s Birthday Dinner @ Ah Yat Abalone Forum on 16Jul2014

sharksfin soup

#1 sharksfin soup

a close friend celebrating his birthday. normally we would buy dinner. but this time somehow he bought some groupon deal & insisted on buying dinner @ ah yat abalone forum at hotel grand pacific on 16.7.2014. we bought him a cake instead. 🙂

sharksfin soup

#1 sharksfin soup

i had not been to ah yat abalone forum (but was a regular visitor to ah yat turf city for past many years until about 2 years ago), so this was a good choice for me to try out the food here. 🙂

#1 the sharkskin soup was very good (a surprise actually as usually sharkskin in such sets are no better than, or i should say usually poorer than a good lie tong), a very tasty stock, and much better than ah yat turf city. 🙂

chicken fillet with veg

#2 sliced chicken with veg

#2 sliced chicken with veg – this had to be the poorest in the set, quite edible but essentially a nothing dish, i guess understandably to make up the numbers…haha. 🙂

deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce

#3 the deep-fried fish fillet with thai sauce was again above my expectation. i had this couple times at chao yue xuan (a ah yat group restaurant at mohamed sultan) & they were mostly sickly sweet. this one was crispy & good. 🙂

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

#4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

#4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

there is nothing to say about the #4 chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms, competent like any usual veg accompanying a set.

small abalones baked rice

#5 small abalones baked rice

small abalones baked rice

#5 small abalones baked rice

#5 the baked rice with small abalones & mushroom was good. came with 3 small abalones & a thick slice mushroom. 🙂

glass jelly with dried longans

#6 glass jelly with dried longans

#6 glass jelly with dried longans was i guess better than the red beans, green beans often served at ah yat turf city & chao yue xuan just to make up the numbers for the set. 🙂

birthday cake

birthday cake

a friend went to pick up a nice looking cake from flo at taka food hall. 🙂

the groupon was i think S$29.80, which i considered a rather good deal for the quality of food, better than ah yat turf city S$156 for 4pax set on account of the much better quality sharkskin & baked abalone rice but not better than chao yue xuan’s S$38pax 8-course set. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. several photos courtesy of a friend

Good Value 7-course Set @ Ah Yat Turf City on 26Aug2013

braised abalone with mushroom & lettuce

braised abalone with mushroom & lettuce

had our dining quartet monthly lunch at ah yat @ turf city on 26.8.2013.  the host bought a S$156 voucher for 4pax 7-course set. a very good deal with lobster, abalone, soon hock etc. 🙂

i used to go ah yat at turf city a lot. they had 50% discount (now 40% discount) during weekdays & the cooking & service were good. i had not been there though for more than a year so i took a look with a friend at the tanks & the (discounted) prices. my favourite items razor clams was now $5.80 each (before S$4,80), frog S4.80 (before $3.50), boston lobster S$8.88/100g (before S$5.90/100g) & tilapia S$1.50/100g (before i think was S$1.10/100g)..anyway prices had gone up but still ok, probably i would come back for these ala carte dishes.

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deep-fried soon hock

deep-fried soon hock

for the set, we had braised sharksfin with crab meat. the soup was good with very generous helping of fins. the deep-fried soon hock was good as always, though i always prefer steamed for live fish (even for tilapia which has some “mud” taste). 🙂

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next was a mexican spiky sea cucumber (supposedly more expensive variety) with minced pork stuffing & brocoli. the brown braising sauce was good & the brocoli “to the bite” al dente=excellent, the sea cucumber though was rubbery, not sure why? but something was not right with the preparation, not soaked long enough or something.

butter baked boston lobster

butter baked boston lobster

butter baked boston lobster

butter baked boston lobster

ee-fu nooldes

ee-fu noodles

next came an impressive plate of boston lobster in 4 halves. the menu said garlic butter baked lobster & it came with a batter layer. i estimated 2x600g=1.2kg at the current discounted price of S$8.88/100g would cost S$125nett after 10% service & GST, so S$156nett for the set was very good deal.

my first bite though & i turned to my dining companion – “there is no taste in this lobster”..for a live lobster, it was really lacking in taste in this preparation. later we asked the server if we were to come back again could we change the cooking style to super sauce (上汤局). the reply was ok. it was a waste that we did not ask earlier!

the ee-fu noodles was plain but tasty & the 4 of us managed to wipe clean the plate! 🙂

almond birdnest

almond birds nest

the almond birds nest dessert was good too. i liked it. there were lots of birds nest which i did not care for much so i was not bothered whether they were fake or not. anyway it was a nice dessert.

this really quite a good deal, and i would come back again if the promotion is back. though if i were to make a comparison with the S$38 lobster & abalone set at chao yue xuan (another ah yat restaurant at mohamed sultan), just food-wise this would pale by comparison. the lobster made a huge difference. the one in superior sauce (上汤局) at chao yue xuan was par excellence, & the abalone was huge by comparison & very tasty. the stone pot garoupa soup was not sharksfin but was very good & in place of soon hock they had a very nice kurobuta & a chicken salad. chao yue xuan does have some negatives. we had a private 6pax table at a corner for lunch the other day & 1/2 the tables were filled in the small restaurant.in the evening sometimes there were tables occupied by tourist & the place looked messy c/w ah yat @ turf city.

anyway i liked both the sets & will do this again when the promotion is back. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Value Alacarte Buffet Dinner @ Peach Garden Novena on 20Aug2013

for this evening, we picked peach garden novena for our group dinner on 20.8.2013.

they had this $32.80 ala carte buffet, with 1 free for 3 paying. we had 16pax + 1 who ordered vegetarian ala carte, so we had 4pax free. there was a S$30 corkage/bottle so we ordered a S$65 bottle of white wine & had 3 other bottles corkage-free. 🙂

we thought the food was quite good & much exceeded our expectations of a ala carte buffet. the total bill including 1 bottle of white wine came to $38pax. jolly good! 🙂

salmon fish skin

salmon fish skin

roast pork

roast pork

deep fried eggplant with meat floss

deep fried eggplant with meat floss

vegetarian goose (素鹅)

vegetarian goose (素鹅)

for me, the fish skin was a nothing dish, can skip. 🙂 the roast pork (烧肉) was good with a mustard dip (but usual). so was the deep-fried eggplant with meat (not sure pork of chicken) floss. the vegetarian goose was i thought rather good in texture & taste – crisp & tasty! 🙂

sharksfin in sharks bone cartilage soup

sharksfin in sharks bone cartilage soup

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there were like 7 soups for the picking.  most had the milky sharksfin in sharks bone cartilage soup, fishmaw with sea whelk soup (above) or sharksfin with crabmeat soup. 🙂

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

we also had a tofu dish – ok crispy but otherwise average. 🙂

kong ba (梅菜扣肉)

kong ba (梅菜扣肉)

pan-fried venison

pan-fried venison

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

the kong ba (梅菜扣肉) was very good. the venison was the usual artificial bicarbonate tenderised meat version – ok but not my kind of dish. the kurobuta was  tasteless & forgettable – very odd really, as kurobuta is usually very marbled & tasty & not difficult to do.

deep=fried soon hock

deep=fried soon hock

minced ginger bating (巴丁鱼)

minced ginger pating (巴丁鱼)

wasabi mayo prawns

wasabi mayo prawns

we had both the deep-fried soon hock & the pating fish. the few good teochews loved the pating & especially the belly. 🙂 i thought it really odd that they served a 1/4 pating fish, and it looked like a 700g & NOT a 1kg pating. never seen it served that way before, so what they do with the tail portion? anyhow the fish was excellent..i could eat another portion myself!

the soon hock was a bit more mundane, a good competent version. some liked this better as pating, a fresh water fish, had more of a “mud” taste, though not by much. 🙂

the wasabi prawn was well executed & excellent dish, nicely lightly deep-fried & not too much wasabi mayo (the last time a friend bought dinner here, it was coated in thick green paste, probably by a trainee!) but this dish had become pedestrian being served in every restaurant from majestic to tung lok, paradise, crystal jade, imperial treasure etc. 🙂

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the 3 egg (egg, salted egg, century egg) spinach (“hoing chye”) was another competent dish, good accompaniment after all the meat!

char kuay teow

char kuay teow

ee-fu noodles

ee-fu noodles

for carbo, the char kuay teow was tops! very good wok hae & tasty. the ee-fu noodles were forgettable (& forgotten!)

pulut hitam with coconut ice cream

pulut hitam with coconut ice cream

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some of us had all 5 desserts. the 杨枝甘露, a popular dessert, was the only one not worth taking here. i had the pulut hitam with coconut ice cream which was very good & the jelly which was nice & refreshing. 🙂 the almond tau huay (beancurd) & the sea coconut were ok too. 🙂

it was another usual df3 (din-filled, food-filled, fun-filled) evening. the servers came twice to say that the other tables complained about our noise level but what to do? (not that many of us heard her anyway). 🙂

the evening was memorable & i really liked the food, so maybe start thinking about going back…haha. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Whole Suckling Pig Birthday Dinner Set @ Hung Kang Teochew Restaurant on 14Jun2013

longevity buns

longevity buns (寿桃)

was organising a birthday dinner for my brother & sister.

Whole Suckling Pig Birthday Set Menu

Whole Suckling Pig Birthday Set Menu

saw that Hung Kang Teochew Restaurant (韓江潮州酒楼) had a whole suckling pig birthday set for S$438+ so decided to do it there. Hung Kang is 1 of the old names like Yuan Xing (Guan Hin) & Tai Seng, but we had not been there for a while.

dinner started with longevity buns (寿桃).  nice touch for the mood so I didn’t mind it though everyone seemed to avoid carbo these days, but can always “ta pao” (take out) right? 🙂

appetizer platter

appetizer platter

the appetizer (& later even more so the longevity noodles & orh nee dessert  – oddly the start & the ends haha..) I would rate the poor dishes. the jelly fish was ok, spring roll was crispy so quite good, the pressed pig head meat was not my favourite but ok with the “kek you” (桔油) citrous dip & I took couple pieces. but the chicken didn’t quite belong there. should just have a salad prawns etc like most others do.

sharksfin with crabmeaat & fishmaw

sharksfin with crabmeat & fishmaw

the sharksfin with crabmeat & fishmaw was tasty, not the watery type so maybe in the “quite good” category. haha. 🙂

whole suckling pig

whole suckling pig

and the main event – the suckling pig – was good! I guess that was most important. many restaurants now do this very well, so it was not out of the ordinary but it was a great dish which everyone enjoyed. 🙂

DSCN5366 DSCN5365

the teochew steamed pomfret (斗鲳)  was very good too.  Many restaurants do not serve pomfret in the cheaper sets, and pomfret has a stronger taste (ie more fishy) than other more delicate textured fish, so its not easy to do it well. but this pomfret was excellent! real tecohew stuff! 🙂

cereal prawns

cereal prawns

the cereal prawns looked great & tasted good too.

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teochew stewed chinese cabbage

this teochew slow stewed chinese cabbage was wonderful, really nice – another excellent dish!

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longevity noodles

I didn’t quite like this longevity noodles. somehow it was far too sweet? too much sugar? places like say Chui Huay Lim do their teochew fried seafood beehoon so well & flavourful. this one was carbo we didn’t really need.

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looking at the photos, the orh nee (yam puree dessert) actually looked quite ok. unfortunately taste not there! it was not “pang” ie flavourful as orh nee went (maybe too healthy no lard?) so another carbo we didn’t need!

whole suckling pg

whole suckling pig

well, some misses but we did get to have our fix for suckling pig, and a had few other great dishes too! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy