Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time-Out Sydney Part 1: Gumshara Ramen

Eating is our 1st love.  Travelling goes second.  Mix the ingredients together...The Hungry Trotting Couple...happily ever after.

1st stop is about 5-minute-walk from Aaron's Hotel @ Haymarket (the hotel location was superb, thanks Toinx!).  We opted to go Japanese on our first day in Sydney even if we're surrounded by Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai food places.  (Yes, Haymarket is Chinatown)  Here's the reason why we can't resist Japanese as our first meal.

A nice, hot bowl of ramen for a chilly weather.  The soup was not your ordinary soup.  It's thick, aromatic and tasty.  They also gave us the option if we wanted a bit thinner in texture or more spicy, but we preferred to eat it the traditional way.  Spring onion on one side, seaweed flake on the other, and finally, the pork spare ribs!  It's ambrosial. 

 Pork Spare Ribs Ramen - thick soup (limited number of bowls per day as per the lady at the counter)

Good piece of meat...lots of meat...enough fats...i felt my cholesterol was going up to my head...and the outer side was crispy and it was really flavorsome.

Look how thick the soup was mouth-watering...the soup was just made from fresh bone marrow and water that was cooked for hours.  I salute the chef who had been stirring the big, deep cooking bowl.  They do made sure you get something from your soup.  It's rich in collagen and good for your skin...if only going to the dermatologist will be as exciting as gorging this bowl....

Miso Noodle - hubby's choice.  The same soup was used with dashi stock.  Hubby always love miso.  The pork was tender, lots of veggie with it, but he attested that mine was always :). Like everywhere in Oz, BIG portions, so bring lots of hunger, or share.

Slurp, Chomp, Slurp, Chomp...done...till the next meal, MATE!

Price in AUD (about *1.3 SGD)
Pork Spare Ribs Ramen = 14.50
Miso Noodle = 11

Gumshara Ramen
Eating World Foodcourt
Haymarket, Sydney

Friday, March 19, 2010

Time-Out: hiatus

I won't be able to post for 2 weeks.  I'll be exploring the world of food...@  Down Under...Australia, here we come!

Stay tune for my food posts and in the meantime, happy eating!
I'll be home....soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time-Out: Malacca, Malaysia - a weekend food trip

Malacca, being a former Dutch colony, had always been interesting for hubby. 
One day, we hopped into a bus on an early morning @ Beach Road and can't wait what's in-store for us.  As soon as we arrived,  We dropped our bags at Hotel Equatorial - good location, but the room was so-so and then off we go to start our journey.  We went to all the tourist spots and must see...

Fort A Famosa, Stadthuys, Maritime Museum, Sultanate Palace = check!

Of course, another agenda was....EATING!  We just can't leave Malacca without trying these...

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Balls (4/5) - at Jonker Street.  We were so happy that they immediately accomodated us in a vacant table and they tried their best to talk to us in English.  And yes, we got our orders right. 

We love the sticky texture of the balls and a very efficient way to eat rice.  The chicken and chili were great but nothing spectacular.  Singapore still is our place to be for chicken rice.
To wash off the heavy lunch, we walked around and Ta-Pao KOPI-C.  This is how an Ang Mo takes his
 kopi along the street.

Since we were in Malacca, only for the weekend, it was too much for a day, so we headed to the hotel, lied down and got ready for supper.  It was easy to navigate around the area of the hotel and lots of eating places were available.  However, we have to go for this eatery everyone is bragging about...

We forgot to research how to get there so we took one of these nicely decorated Malacca rickshaw.

Me, sounding very touristy: 'We need to get to Capitol Satay Celup'. 
Rickshaw driver: ok, 30 ringgit.

Hubby and I boarded the vehicle and enjoyed the trip.  As soon as we arrived, wooah, they ain't joking...the queue was long! 

Driver:              hotel? *signalling to go back*
Hubby:            let's get down here and just look for other eating places.
Me:                ok (sounded disappointed...trying to transmit to hubby...can we please wait???)

I was successful and...we joined the queue with his grumpy face.  After waiting for about 1 1/2 hours, we got our table yippeee!  It was very busy so I didn't even bother taking so much pictures and I was hungry then. 

Satay celup (4.5/5) is your typical steamboat where all items from fish balls, tofu, veggies, meat to prawns were stuck on sticks and dipped in a deep pan of sizzling and spicy peanut sauce.  There's a huge variety of food and they refill the frozen area fast.  The peanut sauce was one of the best we've had.  It's thickness and less watery made it tasty thus, constant stirring was necessary.  This is not an eat-all-you-can place but you pay per stick.  The big prawns, were taken out from the kitchen and provided on the table.  Per stick costs around 60-70 cents ringgit (i think) regardless of the item.  

When done, they count the number of sticks and multiply with the cost...Ta da.  It's cheap and reasonable as you pay only what you ate instead of charging a fixed amount.  Overall, it was worth the wait.

And it was a bountiful weekend.  Looking forward to the next trip...and eat outs...soon.

Capitol Satay Celup
Chung Wah Chicken Rice Balls
Malacca, Malaysia

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Dunearn @ NUSS Bukit Timah Guild House

We don't meet up with our friends so often due to our busy schedule...but once we get the chance, we would treat ourselves in a high degustation we wouldn't forget. 

Haven't seen these friends for a long time, it was nice to catch up and reminisce in a nice quiet place nestled in Singapore Botanic Gardens.  The place is a bit small and reservation is advised.  A smart casual works well with the simplicity and elegance of this place.
(check out the dress code)

The Executive Deal was tempting to everyone.  With two 5-course set dinners and a bottle of wine for 88 dollars, how can you say NO to that?  Without thinking twice...DEAL! (note: March set menu)

Cold Appetizer (4/5) - Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll with Glass Noodles and Grilled Kurobota Pork Cheek with Honey Dip
I love the dip.  The delicious sauce was a smart choice for first impression.  The paper roll was heavenly thin and absorbed the dip nicely.  The Kurobota cheek was thinly sliced so it was not enough to savor the meat.  Overall, it was a good mix.

Soup (2/5) - Oyster Chowder with Curry Dust
The soup was so-so.  Even though it's creamy, it was a bit bland.  Thank God for that electronic pepper grinder the waiter walked around with.  2 pieces of oysters and a teaspoon of smooth mashed potato gave the works.
Warm Appetizer (4/5) - Baked Salmon with Tomato Coulis
The small portion of this salmon helped us to get a headstart.  The rich tomato sauce was a delight.

Intermezzo (5/5) - Apple Sorbet with Jelly

It's time to cleanse our palate and prepare our tastebuds.  We were provided a small glass of apple ice that was sweet and refreshing.  I don't mind a light dessert before the main treat.


Grilled Australian Sirloin with Truffle Red Wine Glaze on Bed of Leek (4/5)
Serving portion was just right. The meat was juicy and sumptuous lying on the leeks. Steak was cooked just the way i like it, soft, a bit bloody...yummy. There's not much fat in it, but i got a piece of tendon though. I guess, I was not too lucky.

Braised Lamb Shank infused with Cep Mushrooms served with Seasonal Veggies(5/5)
Wooah...this was everyone's reaction when this dish was place on the table.  It was humongous! The lamb eaters were happy to commend...the meat was tender and it just came off from the bone easily. They were satisfied.

Duo of Poached Threadfin and Seared Scallop with Roasted Baby Carrots and Ginger Cream (4/5)
The dish looked well made up.  The fish and scallops looked smooth and soft.  The foodie who indulged on this had a big grin on her face after the first bite. That said it all.

We were served coffee and tea to ease our stomach.  Then, the fun part...


Yam Gateaux & Mango Cream with Peanut Royaltine (5/5) - not a fan of yam other than yam paste, I like this yam ice cream cake as it was rich and full of taste.  It's not too sweet and you can crunch on a few yam bits in the gateaux. 

Thanks Harris for the information.  We were able to exchange the dessert for half the price of our dessert choice in the menu.

From left to right
Battered Valrhona Chocolate with Raspberry Coulis & Vanila Gelato (5/5) - I got the longest plate and was excited to get my dose of chocolate. I got four pieces of chocolate balls nicely placed on cute teaspoons with raspberry sauce. I put a whole piece in my mouth, and ooofff...the oozing chocolate was luscious and rich. Everytime i popped one in my mouth, it feels like heaven.

Double Baked Brownie Cheesecake with Macadamia Nut Ice Cream - This was mouth watering. If only my stomach can take another dessert...this would be my choice.
Ice Mocha Tiramisu Wild Berries (4/5) - Hubby had his usual Tiramisu, but frozen this time.  The layout was pretty, accompanied by raspberry sorbet on the side. This tiramisu suited his standard of what it should taste like...lots of cream -not diluted with mushy cookies- and the presence of so-called "the espresso punch". 

Service was excellent.  The waiters were attentive enough and took care of us.  Anybody who wanted to join us to try out the April Set Menu? :)

Price Summary
Executive Dinner Set = 39.80
Executive Deal  = 88
 *two 5-course set dinners with a bottle of housepour wine (red, white -> you can choose chardonnay or sauvignon blanc)
You can exchange your dessert by topping up 5 dollars (or half of the original price)

The Dunearn
NUSS Bukit Timah Guild House
1F Cluny Road

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wild Honey

Remember those days when we would sit down for hours on an early morning, enjoying our eggs, bread, with a cup of coffee?  Those were the days...

Now, breakfast, are just nice-to-have in our daily routine.  We take it for granted and would rather get additional minutes of sleep instead of eating good breakfast.  Hubby and I confessed that we don't give time for this very important meal but we try to grab a cup of cereals or take muesli bars while we start our day in the office. 

Wild Honey is bringing back the good old days.  We were at Mandarin Gallery on a Sunday and saw this place with long queue.  We've decided to go back on a quiet day.

Now, we understand about the queue.  You have to order upfront and pay for your meal.  There are no menu cards, only blackboards where all the items from mains to pastries were written and posted around the counter.

They have 2 IPOD Touch in front of the counter for the pictures of there food items.  I guess, this contributed to the long queue.  Who wouldn't want to know how their meal would look like before ordering unless you're up for a surprise like us.

This place focused on all-day breakfast menu.  The idea was to introduce the good old breakfast around the world.  You can choose from Japanese, Thai, Swiss to Tunisian, you name it, they have it.  We kinda like the concept.

 European (3.5/5) -  I've chosen the typical Eggs Benedict with style.  We got 2 thick slices of their homemade bread, which is tasty enough to be eaten alone but still goes well, with sauteed mushrooms, poached eggs, which i'm not a fan but liked the consistency of this one, cheese and few slices of Prosciutto topped with melted cheese.  This should be called Italian instead of European.  They do sell loaves of their homemade bread for take away for DIY eggs at home.

Pan Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Bacon  (4/5) - The goat cheese made this salad the pick of the night for hubby.  Cheese was smooth and mild, good for those who doesn't have acquired taste for strong cheeses yet.  Bountiful slices of bacon and pine nuts made this dish interesting.  The greens, toasted bread pieces, and light dressing completed this salad. The portion was big as mains.

The place was "gezellig" (more than cozy).  It's a good place to hang out while chit chatting with friends and sipping cups of cappucino on a weekend.
Price Summary (in SGD):
Breakfast Menu - European - 18
Goat Cheese Salad - 15
Cappuccino - 6
*There is service charge even if you have to order upfront.
They bring your meal to your table.
Wild Honey
#03-02 Mandarin Gallery
opens daily from 930 am to 930 pm

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spizza for friends!

The secret to our happy and contented relationship is a dash of pepper, a pinch of salt and a LARGE WOOD-FIRED PIZZA to share.

We talked, sort out things with pizza.  We reminisce, laugh and cry over pizza.  Yes, pizza had been a great instrument to our no-fight relationship to date.

We've tried several pizzerias around Singapore and we have our favorites.  If we don't have the money for the additional pizza toppings,  we would travel to Bukit Timah or walk along Chinatown to reach this humble place.

Pizzas were named after lovely women.  The names are enticing enough for you to choose your lady of  the night.  And there's no limit!  You can have as much ladies as you can.  Margherita, Rosa, Pamela, Ursula, Claudia, etc...they have wide varieties to choose from.

It was love at first sight with Laura (4.5/5).  It's not a normal 4-cheese pizza.  What's special about Laura is her generous amount of Gorgonzola for our eating pleasure.  The strong aroma of Taleggio gave  the 'eat-me, eat-me' feeling.  Scamorza balanced out the texture and Mozzarella was chewy and went well with the crust which is neither too thick nor too thin. Indeed, Laura was lovely!

As meat lovers, we asked for cooked ham as additional topping.  This was a good choice as the ham slices were mild enough to retain Laura's taste.

Aside from the pizza, the other reason to travel all the way is the $1 topping.  Laura was covered well enough by the ham pieces!  We know a few pizzerias charging about 4-8 dollars for every additional topping.

Parmigiana(2/5) - big enough to share for 4 or more.  Overall, it's a bit bland.  And i guess, it was not a good idea on our part to have cheese overload in one night.  Even if it was a Friday.
Commodo (5/5) - worth mentioning...yummy salad!  The portobello mushrooms were tasty and gave flavors to those healthy greens.  The big pieces of feta cheese made it more appetizing.

We did get a nice discount the last time we dine there. (*it pays to be regulars*)

Price Summary (in SGD):
Laura - Small: 17 Large: 21 (applies for all pizzas)
Parmigiana - 14
Commodo - 11 (applies for all appetizer)
House wine by the glass - 12

 If there's still a few dollars left in your wallet, do try their Tartufo. Yummy :)
29 Club Street or
271 Bukit Timah Rd (Balmoral Plaza)
12 pm - 230 pm
6 pm - 1030 pm
*Ambiance - We prefer Balmoral (Bukit Timah). It's more quiet and outdoor seats are available.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food For Thought @ Queen Street

Hubby and I would go to FFT @ North Bridge Road every now and then since they serve the most delicious sandwich. *to be posted*. They are -among others- collecting money for clean water projects.  Eating for a good cause you say?  Can it be better for foodies, since we're able to enjoy eating and help the world at the same time. The only minus is you end up with your clothes smelling like your food as the kitchen is totally open and their exhaust ventilation is not really up for it.

We were happy to find they opened another branch @ Queen St.  The all-white walls, wooden tables and chairs gave this bigger space a very inviting look.  The shelf containing interesting items for sale,  made this place feels like home.

Check out the customized chandelier. We love the idea!

This branch has a slightly different menu compared to North Bridge.  Sandwiches are served only from 2-5:30 pm.  They don't have our favorite sandwich :-(.  The basil pesto chicken is a good alternative.

We went there with our friends for dinner. We were in for meat (Rrroahhh) and who doesn't want to try a menu item called "REALLY GOOD STEAK"?

Really Good Steak with blue cheese butter (4/5) - juicy, tender and tasty. The blue cheese, as always goes well with steak.  I would love to have the blue cheese in sauce instead of butter form.

Oisin Pork Ribs (3.5/5) - it's OK but not great.  The ribs had lots of fat and less meat.  I found it a bit dry and less tender.  Tony Roma's still the #1 in our list. :)

We were not able to grab some of their cakes as it was almost movietime.  We won't miss it next time for sure.

Price Summary (in SGD):
Really Good Steak: 25
Pork Ribs: ~24
Iced lemon tea: 3.50
Sandwiches: ~10-15
Water is free, but a donation jar on the counter
                       for their clean water project
No service charge

Food for Thought
8 Queen Street,
Opens Mon-Sunday
T: 6338 9887
*do call if they're closed for an event

Friday, March 5, 2010

Turkish Cuisine

I'm carrying over some of my food blog posts from my Multiply account (yes, i was a secretive food blogger before). :D

I have deleted the original pictures of the food and kept this collage to save a few kilobyte. :) Click the picture to enlarge.

Check the pics from the top (then left to right)

Apple Tea (3/5) - the usual teapot with, not the usual teacup...a shot glass.  It's my first time to try a turkish tea and indeed it was sweet.  I've read online, Turkish takes their tea with beetroot sugar and tea is considered a social drink.  I'm not a fan of sweet tea.  As a kid, grandma made me appreciate and love Teh-O-Kosong.

Kunefe (4/5) - no space for dessert, but we still ordered Kunefe after a mouth-watering tale from our server.  With his story, everything sweet except chocolates comprises this dessert .   It's hand-made, fresh shredded wheat flakes called kadayif , baked in an oven and immediately served hot with cream, syrup and pistachios.  How can you skip dessert?  Simple verdict: sweet and interesting  A must-try.  Serving is good for 4 or more.

Adana Karavan Chicken (5/5) - a perfect pick.  Served with eggplant puree (mixed with yogurt).  Chicken pieces were delightful and plenty enough for my hubby to steal a few pieces on my plate.

I'm not sure what hubby ordered that time.  I think it was Doner Kebab (lamb) (2/5)- All i remember, it was not exceptional.  Hubby has been picking stuffs on my plate that night. 

Price Summary(in SGD):
Tea: ~ 2 - 4
Kunefe: ~ 13
Adana Karavan Chicken: ~ 19
Lamb Kebab: ~15

Turkish Cuisine
03-004 Suntec Mall
*another branch in Upper East Coast
(beside Chat Masala) - more inviting ambiance :)

Yes Natural F&B Restaurant

*Recommended by a vegetarian friend (it must be good!)

A day-off from my foodie partner, I went with girlfriends to this place in Geylang.  I haven't been to any vegetarian place so I was excited to eat au naturel.

They have normal mains like fried rice, tom yam noodles...but i really have to write about these exceptional items.

Pocket Salad (5/5)
made of organic pea sprouts, Alfafa (legume family) and other leafy veggies (what else?!?). The dressing was the secret ingredient that made this yummy!

Special Mixed Veg Cake (3.5/5) -This didn't look mouth watering when it was placed on the table ...but once we digged in, noodles, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms were nicely mixed in this pancake. What's more, the generous amount of cheese made us love this. Who says vegetarian dish can't be sinful? :D

Overall, it was satisfying.  I don't mind my tummy "going green" once in a while.

Price Summary (in SGD):
Pocket Salad : 4.50
Special Mixed Veg Cake : 9.00

YES Natural F&B Restaurant
57 Lorong 27 Geylang
11:30am - 3:00 pm
5 pm - 9 pm

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chat Masala

Hubby loves indian food.  in hawker centres, he would go to indian stalls to get his satisfying meal.  I noticed that my European friends appreciate indian cuisine.  It's the aromatic spices and the manner of cooking which makes every inch of the meat, vegetables, or whatever they use, full of taste.

Chat Masala at Upper East Coast was our weekend choice for an indian fare.

Pakoras (4/5) - Onions and curry leaves, dipped in a batter of flour and deep fried. A snack/appetizer indians must-have (based on my observation when dining out with my indian teammates), the serving was big enough for four people. Hubby and I were very hungry from our travel to the restaurant so we've emptied the plates in a few minutes. Verdict: Fried stuffs always taste good.

Butter Chicken (3.5/5) - a must-have for people like me.  This dish was the start of my appreciation of Indian food.  Full of flavor and less spicy than masala dishes, it goes well with nice naans.  The sauce was good enough to finish the naans.  Chicken pieces were so tender and just melt in your mouth.  Not-enough chicken slices though. 

Palak Paneer (5/5) - love this dish!  Aside from its nutritional value, who wouldn't love cottage cheese? The cheese was so smooth and the smoothest we have tried in Singapore.  Spinach curry was fantastic. This is a good alternative for no-veggie-since-birth like a friend of mine...NOEL??? :)

We've finished it up; with a glass of lassi...yummy....BURP.

Overall, this is our second favorite indian place in Singapore (we'll blog the first soon!)

Price Summary (in SGD):
Palak Paneer = ~6.80 or less
Butter Chicken = ~10-15
Palak Paneer = ~10-15
Lassi = ~3-5
Naans = ~2-4 per piece (depending on the type)

PS: Naans texture and taste were good (no pictures)
*Pictures were taken from a camera phone

Chat Masala
158 Upper East Coast Rd
630-1030 pm

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

B Bakery

Tucked in a quiet street between Beach Road and North Bridge Road, a small one-letter bakery caught our eyes.  This was how we spent our month-end Friday night away from the hustle and bustle of malls and restaurants in Singapore.

Praline Mousse (5/5)- we love the soft, crunchy texture of the praline, mix it with dark chocolate and light creamy mousse, we got the best Praline in town!

Carrot Cake LCP (2/5) ARP (3/5) - Hubby liked this because of its traditional taste.  It didn't get a passing mark from my taste buds.  I find it dry and too fruitcake-like. 

We chit chat and enjoyed the quietness of Friday.  After we satisfied our sweet tooth, we headed home blissfully.  It was a great start of our weekend.

Price Summary (in SGD):
Praline Mousse $4.80
Carrot Cake - $3.50
NO GST/SCharge
*They do serve mains and sandwiches (~$15-$40)

B Bakery
15 Bussorah Street
Mon-Wed 930 AM - 6 PM
Thu-Sat     930 AM - 930 PM
Closed on Sun and PH

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oso Ristorante

We celebrated our 6th monthsary as husband and wife and Valentine 2010 in a nice posh place in Bukit Pasoh, Singapore.  ARP has been away for a month so we catch up by indulging in OSO Ristorante.

I heard this place from a friend, who always has good finds in terms of eating places.  It's very me, I maximize Google's power to give me all the reviews I can get.  So days before the BIG DATE, I already know what to order for me and hubby.
7 pm was very early for the Bukit Pasoh crowd.  We were invited in OSO's bar (Baretto) for drinks while we listen to the band.  After we gulp our drinks, we were directed upstairs where the restaurant is situated.  I requested for balcony table as the ambiance is much romantic which suited the occasion.