Sunday, 12 August 2018

Mui Kee Congee – Comforting Hong Kong Congee

Mui Kee Congee

Mui Kee Congee originated from Hong Kong has reached the shore of Singapore. It was brought over by Les Amis Group, owner of multi concepts dining establishment known for its quality.

Mui Kee Congee

Mui Kee Congee is renowned for their silky-smooth congee filled with old school ingenuity. In Singapore, they signature congees are Parrot Fish Belly and Homemade Pork Meatballs. Worried that the fish belly is too fatty, I decided to order Sliced Parrot Fish Congee ($9.80) plus an add-on of Meatballs ($4).

Sliced Parrot Fish Congee plus meatballs

The congee is silky and smooth, with a lingering charred flavour in the fish. At first, I thought it was burnt, however, I later found out that it was due to the high fired used at the beginning to fire up the fish slices. The congee is added afterwards. Each slice of the fish is thick, firm and have a good bite to it. While the homemade pork balls are juicy and succulent. Let’s just say that I have two signatures congee in one bowl.

Sliced Parrot Fish

Meatballs

The congee does not come with you tiao, so you have to order it separately. Crispy Dough Fritters ($2). Definitely, a perfect pairing to give the congee a contrasting crispy texture and also helps soaks up the flavour in the congee.

Crispy Dough Fritters

One of the side dishes that I ordered is Drunken Chicken in Shaoxing Wine ($10). The flesh of the chicken is on the firm side and you can taste the Shaoxing wine absorbs into the inner part of the meat. Very good and appetizing indeed.  

Drunken Chicken in Shaoxing Wine 

For vegetable, we ordered Poached Kai Lan ($8). Though the oyster sauce is solid, the kai lan was overcooked. It was missing the crunchy bite to it. Drinks, Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea ($3.50). The tea has a nice smooth milky texture; however, it can be better if the tea is darker.

Poached Kai Lan
Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea

The décor of the restaurant has a modern Cha Chaan Teng feel to it. Seating is limited, so sharing table just like in Hong Kong is kind of a norm here. Service is efficient and the service staff tried to use Cantonese in taking your order. However, feel free to switch to English or Chinese to your convenient. Expect long queue during lunch and dinner time, the rest of the time should be very normal.

Overall, Mui Kee Congee expansion to Singapore brought with them the culture and taste of Hong Kong dining. Definitely worth a visit if you are craving for Hong Kong Style of Congee.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25
  
Mui Kee Congee
1 Scotts Road
#01-12, Shaw Centre
Singapore 228208

T: +65 6737 2422
IG: @Muikeesg
OH: 11.30 – 15.00, 18.00 – 22.00 Daily.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Element – Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party [MEDIA INVITE]

Element – Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party

To celebrate Singapore 53rd National Day, Amara Hotel Singapore presents Funology SG53 Buffet and Durian Party, available at Element from 3 to 9 August 2018.

Durian Party - Mao Shan Wang

The main attraction of this celebration is the durian theme party. A fresh durian stall is set up at Element on Tras Street, serving Mao Shan Wang, D24 and Kampong durians during my visit on 3rd August. My personal pick is the D24, where I enjoy the complex bittersweet flavour of the flesh. They will rotate the durian each day, depends on the supplies. Give it a try and let me know which one you like better.

Durian Party - D24

Durian Party - Kampong Durian

Inspiring the nostalgic feel on this National Day celebrations, childhood favourites food like Muah Chee, Putu Piring, Old School Snacks, Potong Ice Cream with bread and seasonal fruits like mangosteen, duku-langsat, rambutan and longan will be part of this special line up.


Putu Piring
Seasonal Fruits

On the 9th of August, there will be fun-filled activities including old-school games such as tikam-tikam, tin throwing games; taking photos on a trishaw; meet the Samsui Woman; and free caricatures drawing. The National Day Parade will also be shown live on TV at Element.

With the Fun comes the food as well. Highlights of the buffet spread are:

Durian Panna Cotta

Everything Durian. The durian bonanza continues in the desserts section, starting from durian cake, durian panna cotta, durian pudding, durian crème puff, and durian swiss roll. My favourite is the durian panna cotta, as it uses the during pengat as the topping, and you can really taste the durian.

Durian Cake & Durian Puff

Durian Pudding

Durian Swiss Roll (at the bottom) with other Durian Desserts
Chocolate Truffle Cake (at the top)
Save some space for their signature Chempedak Crème Brulee and Chocolate Truffle Cake that are awesome.

Chempedak Crème Brulee

The Seafood Spread. Boston Lobsters, Oysters, Alaskan King Crabs, Mussels, Clams, Scallops and Prawns. The Boston lobsters and oysters are fresh. But I personally like the Alaskan King Crab here, where you taste the freshness and briny sweetness in the flesh.

Chubby Botak Koala picks for Seafood Spread

Boston Lobsters

Oysters

Mussels, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and Clams
Below are the condiments

Mussels, Scallops and Prawns

Laksa. The spices in the broth really pop up and the rice noodle is well cooked. I did not have chilli in my laksa, for spicy lovers, you might need to put a few dollops of sambal in it. You can make it more atas, if you add the lobster into this laksa Yum Yum.

Laksa

Peking Duck. Crisp skin, tender and succulent, the best part, one of the Chef will do the wrapping for the Pecking duck. All you need to say is how many pieces you want.

Peking Duck Station

Peking Duck - Ready to Eat

Drunken Chicken. Well marinated with rice wine and I like the sweetness from the wolfberry. Make sure you get the meat that is soaked, so you can really taste the wine in the chicken.

Drunken Chicken

Proscuitto and Cheese selections. I love prosciutto. For me, this cured ham has the salty umami taste to it that just opens up my appetite. I can have this at the start or end of my meal. Paired it together with rock melon, I am a happy man. With so much durian pastries for desserts, I need something salty to end the meal. The cheese board sure provide it.

Proscuitto with Rock Melon

Cheese Selections

Overall, it was indeed a fun dining experience. I started with the savoury buffet spread at first, follow with fresh durians and desserts from the buffet line. I also got my caricature done as well, complete with solid muscles on both arms. So check out FUNOLOGY SG53 Buffet & Durian Party at Element, Amara Hotel Singapore till 9th August 2018.

Thank you very much to Amara Hotel Singapore team for the tasting invitation.

Chubby Botak Koala Caricature

FUNOLOGY SG53 Buffet & Durian Party
When: now till 9th August 2018.
Time: 18.30 – 22.00
Where: At Element and Element on Tras Street
Price: SGD 88++ per adult; SGD 36++ per child (6 to 12 years old).
For reservations and enquiries, call: +65 6879 2607

Promotion:
2 persons dine free for every 8 other paying guests.
Free flow of iced tea with a group booking of 53 adults.
Old-school games and activities are available on the 3rd and 9th August.

Food & Drinks: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Event)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and Above

Element Restaurant
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088539

T: +65 6879 2607
IG: @AmaraSingapore
OH:
Breakfast, Daily: 06.30 – 10.30
Lunch, Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 14.30
High Tea, Sat & Sun: 11.30 – 14.00 (1st Seating), 14.30 – 17.00 (2nd Seating)
Dinner, Daily: 18.30 – 22.00


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Oscar’s – Singapore Peranakan Buffet [MEDIA INVITE]

Singapore Peranakan Buffet at Oscar's

To mark Singapore 53rd birthday, Chef Alex Siah of Conrad Singapore has collaborated with renowned and award-winning Singaporean Chef Shermay Lee. This collaboration will present three new signature Peranakan dishes which will be featured at Oscar’s buffet line from 3rd to 31st August 2018.

Singaporean-Peranakan Buffet
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore

I was fortunate enough to have a front-row seat to this gastronomic experience and also chat with Chef Alex, hail from traditional Peranakan family in Melaka and Chef Shermay the 6th generation of Peranakan in Singapore on their inspirations to these Peranakan dishes. These next three dishes are co-created by Chef Shermay and Chef Alex.  

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao)
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao). Peranakan version of stewed pork belly. The pork belly is well marinated, slightly sweet and tender. Unlike some pork belly that is overcooked and fall apart, the version here maintain its shape nicely, has a nice bite to it and it is a perfect companion with the soft and fluffy lotus bun. Oink Oink!!

Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (Kong Bak Bao)

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger. 
This dish is inspired by Chef Shermay fondness for Burger as one of her comfort food. Hoping that Buah Keluak Burger can be her next comfort food. In creating the beef patties, Chef Shermay uses her grandma’s Buak Keluak recipe (with the spices) and mixed it together with minced beef. The result is the juicy, delicious patties with signature Peranakan buah keluak.

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger.
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore
 

The Black Gold – A Buah Keluak Beef Burger.

Charcoal sesame bun is used as the vessel of the beautiful patty, topped with a generous spread of the buah keluak paste. Watch out the subtle kick of chilli at the end that will tingle your taste buds. It sure is a Black Gold Slider.

Check out the Buah Keluak Paste, with Emping

Nyonya Chicken Curry Pie Tie. Pie Tie is one of the Peranakan dishes that everyone loves. Who does not like that crispy cup filled with turnip, dried shrimp, egg and nuts. I definitely do and I always have hips of this dish when available. We know that if regular Nyonya curry is used to fill the pastry, the crispy cup will not be able to hold it and it will become soggy.

Nyonya Chicken Curry Pie Tie.

The version here uses the same spices for making Nyonya chicken curry. However, instead of the lemak version, the recipe is tweaked into the dry version of the curry. It is then loaded into the crispy cup and the result is tapas bite size of Peranakan Nyonya curry. Yummy.

The following three dishes are created by Chef Alex Siah, hail from traditional Peranakan family in Melaka. Fish Otak-Otak, Passion Fruit Mayo and Black Tobiko. The surprise here is that the otah is served chilled as appetizer.  The otah is moist, rich and filled the combination of spices and coconut milk. The passion fruit mayo, achar and black tobiko gave this dish contrasting texture and flavour to balance the creaminess of the otah.

Fish Otak-Otak, Passion Fruit Mayo and Black Tobiko.

Udang Chilli Garam, Spicy Prawn with Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil. The prawn is fresh and crunchy. The spiciness level on this dish definitely on the high side. The balsamic vinegar here assuming the role of assam, while the truffle oil provided the attractive aroma that catches your attention to this dish at the beginning.

Udang Chilli Garam, Spicy Prawn with Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil. 

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese. Inspired by this English dish, Chef Alex created the Peranakan version of this English traditional breakfast dish. The base of this dish is potato and cabbage cake, topped with chicken rendang bolognaise and fried egg. Definitely an interesting dish.

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese.

Bubble & Squeak with Chicken Rendang Bolognese.

For desserts, Chef Shermay Lee created Potong Ice Cream while Chef Alex Siah served up Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka. There are three flavours for the Potong Ice Cream, gula melaka, pandan and coconut. I picked gula melaka potong ice cream. It is served sandwiched between two pieces of wafers and it just brings back the memory of your childhood when you are eating it. Meanwhile the Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka is pungent, creamy, filled with durian flavour. The gula melaka syrup actually enhances the flavour of the durian further.

Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka and Gula Melaka Potong Ice Cream

Durian Pengat with Gula Melaka and Pandan Potong Ice Cream

Overall, it was definitely an enjoyable tasting experience. The dishes by Chef Shermay are homelier with international influence inspired by her version of comfort food. Meanwhile, Chef Alex dishes are edgier and inspired by local dishes from his broad overseas experience. Although the style of these dishes is different, the signature and element of Peranakan Heritage remain strong on all the dishes. Come and Experience Peranakan Buffet at Oscar’s, Conrad Centennial Singapore. Cheers!!

Please note that ever-popular Oscar’s buffet line up are still available.

Peranakan Buffet at Conrad Centennial Singapore
When: August 3 to 31, 2018
Where: Oscar’s
            Conrad Centennial Singapore, Lobby Level
Price:

Meal
Day
Time
Price
Lunch
Monday to Saturday
12pm - 2.30pm
Adult: S$59++
Child: S$29.50++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Dinner
Sunday to Thursday
6pm - 10pm
Adult: S$78++
Child: S$39++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Friday to Saturday
Adult: S$88++
Child: S$44++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of homemade lemon barley
Sunday Brunch
 Sunday
12.30pm – 3.30pm
 Adult: S$178++
With free-flow of Champagne, Premium Wine Pairing, Gin Bar, Craft Beers and homemade lemon barley
 Adult: S$128++
With free-flow of Sparkling Wine, Wine Pairing, Gin Bar, Craft Beers and homemade lemon barley
Adult: S$98++
Child: S$49++ (6-12 years old)
With free-flow of Soft Drinks, Tea, Coffee and homemade lemon barley


For Reservation:
Please call +65 6432 7481/63;

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 & Above

Oscar's
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7481
OH:
Open 24 Hours for A la carte menu
Buffet Breakfast: 06.00 – 10.30
Buffet Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Buffet Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00
Supercharged Sunday Brunch: 12.30 – 15.30


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Palsaik Korean BBQ – #Porkgasm in Johor

Palsaik Samgyupsal

Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ in Johor Bahru is a Pork Belly centric Korean BBQ restaurant. Palsaik means eight colour and samgyupsal means pork belly. So, it means eight colour pork bellies. For those from Singapore, this is the same concept as Eight Korean BBQ in Singapore.

Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ - Johor Bahru

The first Palsaik open its door in South Korea in 2007. It started to open other branches in South Korea and begin its overseas franchise expansion in 2011 in Los Angeles, California. In 2012, Palsaik opens its first branch in Melbourne, Australia followed with Mount Kiara and Scott Garden, Malaysia in 2014. The JB branch is open in April 2015.

Palsaik Outlet

A quick search on Uncle Google for the best Korean BBQ in Johor Bahru, Palsaik pop up as one of the highest rating, so we decided to give it a try when we were in JB.

Part of the Dining Area - 2nd Floor

We ordered Palsaik Hansang, Executive 8 Colour Set (RM128). This consist of 8 flavours / marinate of Pork Belly (Ginseng, Wine, Pine Leaves, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, Hot Pepper); Vegetables, Salad, Ssamjang (Special house sauce and cucumber) and Soup. For the soup, we choose Seafood Soybean paste soup, instead of Clear Clam Soup and Kimchi Soup.

8 type of marinate

Vegetables

Salad, Ssamjang (Special house sauce and cucumber) 

Once the order is placed the service staff brought out a long wooden plank with the 8 type of pork belly on it. The BBQ chef will then come to your table and start cooking your food.

The Table

First to the grill is the kimchi (mixed between cabbage and beansprout), followed with the mushrooms and pork bellies. The first four flavours that went in are ginseng, wine, pine leaves and garlic.

The Start - Kimchi and mushrooms


Ginseng, Wine, Pine Leaves and Garlic Pork Bellies on the hot plate

Once cooked, the pork bellies have a slightly charred exterior. When you bite on it, it has the right balance between the fats and meat, that will open up your appetite. Although it is yummy, it is missing the melt in your mouth feeling. When I asked the service staff about the origin of the pork belly, they told us that they use Malaysian pork. But for Malaysian pork, we can say that the standard are still good.


Second part - Almost cooked and cut

Pork Belly Cooked

For the ginseng marinate, the flavour of the ginseng is very subtle. The wine marinate is bolder, as you can smell the aromatic wine flavour before you bite the meat and it absorb thoroughly in the flesh.  For the pine leaves marination, it has a slightly bitter taste to balance the fats, while the garlic actually tastes sweet, not pungent.

8 Flavours of the Pork Bellies

Ginseng, Wine, Pine Leaves and Garlic Pork Bellies
The second wave of pork belly cooked are herb, curry, miso paste and hot pepper. The herb marinate is very flavourful filled with mixed dried seasoning. The curry marinate taste like German sausage curry, which is dreadful. The miso pork belly is good, but it can do with more generous miso seasoning and finally, the hot pepper pork belly, tasted like marinated in sweet chilli sauce.

Herb, Curry, Miso paste and Hot pepper Pork Bellies

Our choice of the eight types of marinates are wine, miso, pine leaves and garlic. Kudos to the staff who did the BBQ, our pork belly are awesome and done perfectly.

For the seafood soybean paste soup, it was rather bland and disappointing. The vegetables are overcooked and almost tasteless. We suggest that once it is cooked, give it a good stir, have a taste and ask them to add the soybean paste if you find it under seasoned.

Seafood Soybean Paste Soup

We had also ordered Mul Naengmyeon (RM18) – Buckwheat Noodles in Chilled Broth. It actually taste better than expected. The clear broth is robust and with a good touch of vinegar. The noodle is springy and the iced chilled broth make this dish so refreshing. A must order dish here.

Mul Naengmyeon

Mul Naengmyeon

The restaurant is spacious, complement with a mix of brick and black wall decoration. The vibe of this restaurant is fun and friendly, and this is also reflected in the attitude of their service staff.

Part of Dining Area - 1st Floor

Overall, Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ is definitely one of the place to consider for Korean BBQ in Johor Bahru. Best part, the price is only a fraction compared to the similar Pork Belly Centric Korean BBQ in Singapore. Geonbae!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 9.5/10  
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: S$26- S$50 (RM75 – RM150)

Palsaik Korean BBQ
51, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2
Taman Sutera Utama
Skudai 81300
Johor, MALAYSIA

T: +60 7 556 3833
IG: @Palsaik_Malaysia
OH:
Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 22.30
Sat & Sun: 11.30 – 23.30


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