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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Consistently Good Teochew Muay @ Shi Le Yuan on 14Jul2015

teochew muay at shi le yuan redhill market

teochew muay at shi le yuan redhill market

went with sis & b-i-l to shi le yuan 实叻圆糜 for mid morning teochew muay on 14.7.2015. this my second time. ^^

last time i was here was with my RI friends on 29.6.2015, 6pax costing S$43.

there was a queue of about 10pax at 10.15am.

steamed red garoupa

S$9.50 steamed red garoupa

i asked for mullet 乌鱼 or ngoh soon (little treadfin) but they did not have either. i saw someone ordered the steamed red garoupa. it looked ok so i ordered one also.

steamed red garoupa

S$9.50 steamed red garoupa

i guess it was very good really, especially at S$9.50. we do it a lot better at home though, hk steam 港蒸 with lots of scallions, cut chilli & sliced chinese mushrooms.

so i take this often at home buying red garoupa from chinatown market. it would cost S$6 to S$7 at chinatown market fishmonger stalls for this size (400g) so S$9.50 was pretty good.

pig head meat

pig head skin 猪头皮

we ordered the pig head skin 猪头皮. this was really good. texture was perfect & taste excellent.

shark meat

shark meat

shark meat 鲨鱼肉 was good too. i seldom take this dish. usually it is either fried stingray done in a similar way (which is very good) OR chilled shark meat 鲨鱼冻.

pork ribs

pork ribs

steamed pork ribs was good like last time.

salted fish minced pork

salted fish minced pork

& i just love the salted fish minced pork or 咸鱼饼. ^^

spinach

spinach

we had spinach. good too.

total was S$23 for 3pax 6 fishes including the red garoupa & 3 porridge. the garoupa & 3 porridge totalled S$11 so the remain gin 5 dishes only cost S$12. very good food at a really good price!^^

c.h.e.f andy

OK Zi Char Dinner @ Seng Kee on 1Feb2015

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

went to a friend’s place to watch australian open tennis finals between djokovic & murray on 1.2.2015. 🙂

i supported djokovic. my 3 friends all supported murray, though 2 of them betted against him. djokovic won. our common favourite is nadal. cannot tell how long nadal can still go on, though he had came back from injuries twice before.  between federer & djokovic i will support federer. but djokovic against anyone else i will support djokovic. 🙂

after the AO finals, one friend bought 4pax dinner at seng kee black chicken herbal soup, 467 Changi Road. i was here maybe 3yrs back, also a dinner treat from the same friend. ^^

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee occupies 2 corner units + one intermediate terrace unit along the terrace shop units adjacent to jalan masjid.

red snapper head

red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

we had a steamed red snapper 1/2 fish head. it was very nice. fish was sweet & tasty. i liked this dish best. ^^

steamed small squid

steamed baby squid

steamed small squid

steamed baby squid

the steamed baby squid was ok, nothing special. somehow the good teochew cold cooked baby squid was a lot sweeter & tastier, but i don’t get to eat that much these days. maybe still can get at teochew porridge stalls.

puay leng - spinach

spinach

puay leng - spinach

spinach

sambal kang kong

sambal potato leaves

sambal kang kong

sambal potato leaves

i liked both the vegetables. the spinach was very good, and the soup with wolfberries & egg was very tasty. same with the sambal potato leaves. loved it.

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

unfortunately the main event, crab beehoon, one of my favourite dishes, was quite poor. the beehoon did not have any rich infusion of crab flavours. just compare this with the very nice crab beehoon at ming kee on 23.3.2014. or house of steamed fish or golden spoon (though it seemed that golden spoon standard has also dropped substantially??).

there were lots of beehoon, but they tasted like any fried beehoon & not the best ones at that in terms of wok hae, but no hint of crab or shellfish flavours at all! where was the stock?

the crab itself was quit ok. a good, tasty crab, but not really special or outstanding.

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

the steamed minced pork salted fish was edible, but strangely felt like there was quite a bit of starch in the minced pork. also the pork was well, quite porky (not flavourful but porky). honestly my helper does this a lot better at home. anyway my friends who frequent seng kee every week gave their feedback to the server & the restaurant did not charge this dish.

臭豆 - petai

臭豆 – petai

臭豆 - petai

臭豆 – petai

otah

otah

the 臭豆 – petai was ok, quite a competent preparation but not a favourite dish for me.

the otah was pretty good for me (again otah not my favourite dish) but my friends who were here quite a lot thought it was poor.

the 4pax dinner came to S$140 or S$35pax. i thought it was quite ok in fact for the food we had, though the main event was the crab beehoon & that was a bit of a let down.

c.h.e.f andy

Expensive Mediocre Teochew Porridge @ Lim Joo Hin Eating House on 16Jan2015

teochew porridge dishes

teochew porridge dishes

went with sis & b-i-l to lim joo hin teochew porridge at bukit ho swee for lunch on 16.1.2015. 🙂

had not been here like forever, maybe 10years? reason is i always feel that teochew porridge is ultra expensive for nothing food. well, today was no exception, just a confirmation, so in a sense i was not overly disappointed since already expecting it to be so!

strange psychology!

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

place was bright & clean. not crowded yet at 12pm.

servers were rude & unhelpful, not rude in talking to you but rude in mannerism & ignoring you.

mullet 乌鱼

mullet 乌鱼

mullet 乌鱼 was still moist so soft. this not the usual style, her bun 鱼饭 or teochew chilled cooked fish should be cold & dry. meat was sweet & nice dipped in taojeo (bean paste), overall just average. unlike cold crab, we can do this easily at home ourselves.

braised duck

braised duck

braised duck was ok average. my own braised duck though is a lot better, more “pang” i.e. tasty.

"kor" her -method of braising fish

“kor” her -method of braising fish

“kor” her -this method of braising fish is rarely seen nowadays. the fish tasted like sardine (likely was) which was very different fish from the ones my grandma made 50yrs ago. the dish was just slight sour due to the sour dried veg, i think, which made it very appetising.

cabbage

cabbage

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

leek

leek

the vegetables were nice, especially the leek & “chiu kuay”, a gourd (my sis added 2 veg dishes later – “heng chye” spinach & “chiu kuay”).

3pax lunch cost S$47.40 for eating almost nothing. i am never coming back – well, maybe another 10yrs! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap & Really Good for Economic Rice @ Joyful Palace Clementi Ave3 on 2Dec2014

economic rice @ joyful place clementi av3

economic rice @ joyful palace clementi ave3

went for early lunch with a friend (friend’s guided food tour of old airport road hawker centre)

later we drove back to my place for coffee.

i totally forgot my coffee meeting with another friend at commonwealth mrt koufu at 3.30pm on 2.12.2014. after i sent my friend out to bus stop & got back, only when i checked my phone which was charging that i realised i was very late. anyway i managed to get to koufu 45mins late & we had a good chat.

my wife was not back for dinner & this friend was free so we went together to try out joyful palace, a coffeeshop at clementi ave 3 (clementi central locality). i had seen the economic rice when passing & wanted to try this.

economic rice @ joyful place clementi av3

economic rice @ joyful palace clementi ave3

economic rice @ joyful place clementi av3

economic rice @ joyful palace clementi ave3

i had the steamed fish. it was probably the cheap vietnamese pangasius, a cheap catfish, the common supermarket sutchi fillet. i also had the belly pork & spinach.

the fish was very good. of course it was not fine dining restaurant standard, but it was equal or better even than what you get at zi char places. the belly pork preparation was not my preferred braise, a bit sweet sauce, but it was really good standard. very nicely done. spinach was quite fine.

& it was just S$4.50!  and for that price & the quantity i had, this was excellent actually. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 12pax Suckling Pig Dinner @ Summer Garden SAFRA Mt Faber on 24Sep2014

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Great Suckling Pig Set @ Summer Garden SAFRA Mt Faber on 24Sep2014

#1 suckling pig

#1 suckling pig

a friend organised the sep2014 G20 12pax dinner at summer garden SAFRA Mt Faber on 24.9.2014. summer garden is part of qian xi group of restaurants.

the restaurant was empty save our table + 1 other table, like 10% occupied. it’s a waste really as the food was good & service ok.

the friend ordered the S$398 10pax suckling pig set. guess it was upsized to 12pax & we paid for 12pax, though some dishes like suckling pig was same size whether 10pax or 12pax.

#1 suckling pig was good! not better than hung kang or chui huay lim, but it was good, crispy skin, tasty. one friend commented no strong taste, not that i would mind a good porky flavour. 🙂

dried scallop crab meat sharksfin

#2 dried scallop crab meat sharksfin

#2 dried scallop crab meat sharkskin had good tasty stock & chokeful of ingredients. couldn’t say it was better than hung kang (which sharkskin fish maw soup was very tasty), but it was very good.

roast chicken

#3 roast chicken

#3 roast chicken was one of the best – very crispy skin & nice tender meat, tasty with the five-spice salt. as good as roland & better than yuanxing.

deep-fried soon hock

#4 deep-fried soon hock

#4 deep-fried soon hock good, very competent, as in most restaurants. wonder if it was 10pax would it be still 2 fishes. soon hock tended to be quite standard 600g size so not sure for 10pax they could find 1 larger soon hock or same 2 fishes.

wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 the wok grilled king prawns (13/15) was good. king prawns were large, 13 to 15 pieces per kg so 70g to 80g per prawn.  i would consider this better than the white cereal prawns at hung kang.

flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach

#6 flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach

#6 the abalone dish came with lots of ingredients – flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach. this dish would be superior to hung kang which had a bailing mushroom dish.

seafood heng hwa beehoon

#7 seafood heng hwa beehoon

#7 and my bowl of seafood heng hwa beehoon really chokeful of prawn, squid etc not sure if the rest got the same.

the beehoon was not tasty enough though, and did not have clams so not quite qualified as heng hwa beehoon?? perhaps the sauce was not mixed thoroughly, but the authentic heng hwa beehoon a friend cooked recently at his house was tastier than this one.

bird's nest

#8 bird’s nest

bird's nest

#8 bird’s nest

#8 bird’s nest with rock sugar was very good, not too sweet. i liked it, surprised me actually!

S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu

S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu

for me, the S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu was quite a good deal. i am likely to go back for a family dinner. 🙂

price wise it was cheaper than hung kang’s S$468++ “birthday” suckling pig menu. hung kang had the more expensive pomfret, but depending on taste, some may prefer the soon hock.

c.h.e.f andy