Monthly Archives: January 2014

Singapore: Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant (Orchard Central)

DeBCJw1389014980Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant
Orchard Central #11-05
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896
Tel : +65 6834 4888
http://www.tunglokseafood.com/restaurant.php

Tung Lok Group has many restaurants, two of which (Upper Jurong and Orchard Central) specialise in Seafood, and I must say they do it very well.

YgRuCf1389011017Every dish was lovely.

The edemame is a nice appetite wetter, as oppose to prawn crackers or peanuts.

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We ordered:

  • Deep-fried prawn in beancurd skin – The skin was so light and super crunchy, and the prawns inside were extremely piping hot, succulent and juicy.
  • Har Gao – which was very good quality chunky prawn meat.

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  • Pork and vegetable wonton in chili and garlic sauce
  • Deep-fried eggplant with pork floss – one of my favourite dishes of the day, the eggplant is tender and light and goes so well with the pork sweet/salty pork floss.

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  • Crispy baby squid, which is on a bed of rice crispy strands and melon bits.
  • Carrot cake – which again I really enjoyed.

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HHXlmH1389013640And now I’ve saved the best till last to write about – the

  • deep fried fish skin, with salted egg yolk – you have to arrive fairly early in the lunch sitting (so it is very advisable to book in advance for an early seating) to be able to order this dish. Once it’s sold out for the day, it’s sold out. The fish skin is fried to perfection, it doesn’t feel oily. It is obviously cooked with very fresh oil, quickly, taken out to drain, and then tossed in a yellow salted egg yolk coating. Truly delicious dish! Highly recommend this.

Food: 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Overall Score: 33/40
$$

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Singapore: Din Tai Fung (Paragon Shopping Centre)

Din Tai Fung (Paragon Shopping Centre)
290 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238859
Tel: 6836 8336

I have to say I visit Din Tai Fung Paragon fairly regularly when in Singapore. Din Tai Fung’s food is always fresh and feels very clean and healthy for the system. You never leave feeling like you’ve just eaten a heart-attack-on-a-plate.

I was surprised to see that the melon and prawn xiao long bao and crab xiao long bao were both on offer in Singapore’s Paragon Din Tai Fung outlet, the fish dumplings I ate at Din Tai Fung Taipei 101 Building were pictured on the menu but had a big sticker on it saying “not available”.

This time around we ordered:

  • melon and prawn xiao long bao
  • pork and prawn wonton in spicy sauce
  • vegetable wontons in soup
  • handmade noodles in special sauce
  • black glutinous rice and grass jelly dessert

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Xiao long bao, as expected had perfect thin skin, which still kept the soup inside as you bit into it. Still nice, however after tasting it at the Original Din Tai Fung at the Taipei 101 Building, the quality of the melon in this outlet I have to say is not as flavoursome for some reason.

The pork and prawn dumplings in spicy sauce was my favourite of this meal, the sauce goes so well with everything, and gives some punch! The vegetable wonton in soup was a light refreshing dish.

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lmXBJb1388878016Next, I was impressed with the plain handmade noodles in special sauce. Often with the word ‘special’ I am always a bit weary, but this was very tasty and morish, definitely made you want to go for another chopstick-full of noodles.

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Lastly I do love black glutinous rice desserts with the splash of coconut cream, and this was no exception it was done perfectly. Also I am not the biggest grass jelly fan I must admit, but the two actually go surprisingly well together.

Another satisfying experience at Din Tai Fung.

Food: 8.5/10
Value for money: 8/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 31.5/40
$

Singapore: Nara, Thai Cuisine

UgrBXa1389016713Nara, Thai Cuisine
ION Orchard Level B3
2 Orchard Turn #B3-21
Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6634 5787
http://www.narathai.com.sg

We went to Nara for afternoon tea. One set of food plus tea is $12.99 ++. We got two sets and a Nara Coconut ice-cream for $8.80++.

Below is the rambutan ice and two afternoon tea sets in the one tea stand.

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xz0uLU1389017096The first tier of the tea set is fresh fruit on skewers, and mango to eat with the sweet/salty sticky rice and coconut cream.

The second tier was indeed my favourite, I loved the round agar agar, it was coconut cream jelly on the base, with coconut water jelly on top with coconut flesh bits – delicious. Then was the coconut jelly with coconut cream, love letters (which are slightly sweet/salty) and the porkd1Uzxu1389017211 floss-like mini taco shells. Finally the mini jelly fruits are jelly surrounding yellow bean paste inside.

The third tier was the savoury tier. Two money bags, which are like fried wontons, two chicken skewers, rice flower with pickled vegetables inside and pineapple bits.

aQqpR91389017059The  stand out though, was not the afternoon tea sets, but the Nara Coconut Ice-cream. This is truly impressive. You get one scoop of coconut ice-cream, plus eight large glasses filled with various condiments (clock-ways from the top left):

  1. V6IbkN1389016942red ruby – chestnut in rosewater jelly
  2. palm sugar
  3. corn
  4. peanuts
  5. sticky rice
  6. aloe vera
  7. green jelly
  8. jackfruit slices

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I particularly enjoyed the red ruby and aloe vera jelly cubes.

Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 31/40
$$

Singapore: Chatterbox Mandarin Hotel (Coconut ice-cream)

4OHwmD1388875355Chatterbox
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
http://www.chatterbox.com.sg
333 Orchard Rd, 238867
Te: 6831 6288
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Chatterbox is well known for its good (but pricey) chicken rice! But I use to come to Chatterbox mainly for the coconut ice-cream. My memory a couple of years ago was coconut ice-cream in a young baby coconut, topped with toasted coconut and a cute cocktail umbrella on top, to boot!

… So with this memory in mind, I wanted to come to Chatterbox to reminisce and eat a yummy dessert.

It is still not bad… the young baby coconut flesh is still rather delicious. The contents OUg24I1388875152though have changed a little… The coconut ice-cream is more creamy and not as re-freshing as I remember it to be, and now they mix in chocolate bits and coco powder on the top. Still not too bad. Htw0pb1388875185

I really don’t like walnuts though. Really wish it was toasted coconut instead. And there are two lychees with pineapple in the center as added decoration.

It’s $12SGD ++ so comes to $14.10SGD.

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Not bad, but next time I get it, I would definitely say to please ‘hold’ the walnuts.

Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Overall Score: 29/40
$$

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Singapore: Hot Star – Large Fried Chicken (Global!)

GlHpWe1388792510Hot Star – Large Fried Chicken
Ion Shopping Mall (Orchard MRT)
2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
http://www.ionorchard.com/

Spotted!!

Ion Shopping Mall has a foodcourt in the basement. There are a number of international food outlets there such as Gelatissimo, Charlie & Co. Burgers and Becasse Bakery.

IU88ppN1388792659 was most happy with the Hot Star Large Fried Chicken find! It looks like Hot Star has gone global and is already in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Hopefully it’s world-wide reach expands further.

So, they have Large Fried Chicken, plain and with a number of other shaker flavours including chilli, garlic, bbq lemon and seaweed.

We opted for one garlic and one chilli ($4.5 SGD).

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I have to say it is a very tiny tiny shade not as good as the one in Taipei, but it still is very good. It is still a very large chicken cutlet and leaves no room for complaints! But I think the Taipei stall’s is slightly larger and more succulent. Delicious and satisfying none-the-less and a great ‘large’ hunger-satisfying snack!!

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Food: 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Total: 18/20
$

Singapore: Big O Restaurant – Spike D Dessert (Durians!)

lFvyVx1388874090 Big O Restaurant
290, Orchard Road
#B1-08, Paragon
Singapore 238859
Tel: 6836 1495
Operating Hours:
Sunday – Thursday, & Public Holidays:
11:00am to 10:00pm (Last order: 9:45pm)
Friday, Saturday, & eve of Public Holidays:
11:00am to 11:00pm (Last order: 10:30pm)

Durian is a fruit that is or isn’t your cup of tea, 7CZZPA1388874057usually there is no middle ground on this fruit. Personally, I love it! But I am very picky when it comes to things made from Durian. I only like things made from from the fresh durian flesh, otherwise count me out… (for example Dodol is a type of brown durian cake which I am absolutely NOT a fan of, but of course some people enjoy).

Now, on to where to get a durian fix! In particular if you’re wandering around Orchard Road, and either you’re like me and love a durian fix, ZKR76S1388874386or if you are a newbie and want to experience a ‘slightly nicer’ milder way of experiencing durian for the the first time, head to the Big O (located in the basement of Paragon shopping complex). It is the sister restaurant of NYCD.

I usually don’t come here to eat their savoury food, it is decent, but nothing to write home about. It’s straight to the “Spike D” luHJbP1388874549for me. This is a half circle of layers of sponge cake and durian cream, covered in a soft dark chocolate layer.

The best value is to visit the Big O during Monday – Friday between 3pm – 6pm to get their $7.95++ afternoon set (comes with a slice of cake and coffee/tea). gEY9VB1388874323

We ordered three afternoon tea sets with the follow cake options:

  • Spike D
  • Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake
  • Coconut Mousse Cake

The Spike D is of course one of their most popular cakes. However both the others are well worth trying as well.

TLxcwE1388874944The Baileys Irish Cream cake, tastes like a semi-baked cheesecake, whether it is or not, its a little hard to tell, chocolate biscuit base and dark soft chocolate  layer similar to the Spike D. The Coconut mousse cake (because I love coconut) was quite lovely. It has a soft sweeten whipped egg-whites on top (akin to a lemon meringue tart), a soft coconut mouse r9JPvI1388874416layer, a layer of plain sponge cake, with young baby coconut in the base of the cake as well.

Food (cakes): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 31/40
$

Other places in Singapore I’d recommend to get a durian fix:

Singapore: Saveur (French Restaurant) (2)

Saveur
14 Scotts Road
Far East Plaza #01-07B
Singapore 228213
http://www.saveur.sg/‎

Saveur’s tag line is “Quality Yet Afforable French Cuisine For The Masses”. They have two outlets. One at Far East Plaza and the other is in Bugis. For their price, it is definitely worth coming to pay Saveur’s a visit. I still think Le Amis Group of restaurant outlets still provides finer, quality french cuisine, however again re-iterating the price point, Saveur is extremely good value for what you receive.

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  • SAVEUR’S PASTA  – A signature of Saveur’s, pasta tossed with chilli oil, fine-chopped Japanese konbu & sakura ebi with minced pork sauce ($4.90 SGD). It’s only a few mouthfuls, but more than enough for a starter, vibrantly presented with the delicate little shimps and very tasty!

RvUQ6I1388875532For mains we ordered:

  • Duck leg confit, homemade mashed potato, sauteed shitake mushroom, orange YkX3LU1388875560segments & orange infused natural jus ($12.90 SGD)
  • A roulade of chicken thigh stuffed with foie gras-infused chicken farce,creamy basmati rice & parmesan sauce ($9.9 SGD)
  • Pork belly served with creamy green lentils, soft boiled egg & natural jus ($10.9 SGD)

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All the mains were very enjoyable. The duck fell of the bone and was very moist and the mash was very creamy and no lumps at all. The pork belly skin was crackling and the soft boiled egg complements the lentils and saltiness of the pork nicely. The risotto was very flavour-full, probably not the most appetising to view, but went very well with tender chicken roulade pieces.

On to dessert! We ordered: VIqPfT1388875648

  • TEXTURES OF CITRUS – Blood orange jelly with orange granite, freeze-dried pineapple, feuilletine, citrus segments & lime zest ($6.90 SGD)
  • CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT – Chocolate mousse with crushed hazelnuts, broken UCVVhS1388876157

raspberries, roasted rice puffs, chocolate tuile & praline ($7.90 SGD).

  • COOKIES & MILK – Cookie dough ice cream, milk soil, honey cloud, cherries kirsch & peanut butter ($9.90SGD).

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Overall I would say textures of citrus is my favourite when you taken into consideration presentation and taste. It is light and refreshing, especially in the Singapore heat, loved the blood orange jelly and orange granite. The Chocolate and Hazelnut, whilst nice, was I think, a pretty massive portion, considering the mousse is quite dense, and very creamy, so you can get chocolated out from this pretty fast.  With the Cookies and cream, the presentation is not all that, and the only exciting thing I did like about it was the pop-rocks. Big fan of pop rocks if done correctly. I’m not sure it showcased the pop-rocks that well and I’m not sure I could eat a whole cookies and cream dessert, but it was interesting to taste.

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Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 31.5/40
$