Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Fat Belly – Home of Flat Iron and Onglet [MEDIA INVITE]

Flat Iron Steak @ Fat Belly

Flat Iron and Onglet are the words that are foreign to our ears and you will not even associate it with a steak cut. While we are familiar Ribeye, Filet Mignon, Tomahawk, Sirloin, Striploin, and even T-Bone, you will hardly ever hear the two types of cuts mentioned above. I personally only get to know Flat Iron about a year ago, and Onglet only when I visited Fat Belly.

Fat Belly - Opening Hours

Flat Iron is a flat muscle off the shoulder blade. It is a trendy, tasty cut that recently found in the early 21st century. With a modern cutting technique, you will get a delicious, well marbled and super tender meat. Meanwhile, Onglet is a French name for skirt steak. It is the cut under the rib, surrounded by tough membrane that needs to be removed before cooking. After the removal of the tough membrane, it still needs to be cooked properly to produce a delicious steak.

Location: Hidden inside Sugarhaus

Fat Belly, a boutique casual steakhouse by the folks behind Sugarhaus. Our host, Stanley mention that Fat Belly main intention is to entice and teach steak lovers on these underappreciated cuts.

The Lower Seating at Sugarhaus

The Menu at Fat Belly is very focused. Three type of cuts, USDA 150 day Grain Fed Angus Flat Iron Steak ($35 for set, $22 for a la carte); USDA Grain Fed Angus Short Rib Steak ($38 for set, $25 for a la carte); and Wagyu Mable Score 4-5 Onglet Steak ($50 for set, $38 for a la carte).

For sets, you can choose a side dish and a dessert, normally priced at $5 and $10 to $12 respectively.

First up is the Flat Iron. The sensation on the first bite is bursting with flavour. The jus from the meat also burst into your mouth. It is tender with a little springy texture, follow with melting in your mouth sensation. Kind of giving you the sensation when eating pork jowl. Yum Yum!!

USDA 150 day Grain Fed Angus Flat Iron Steak

Next up is Onglet. With wagyu marble score of 4 -5, you can expect it to be a succulent meat. Of course, the process of itself from butchering, prep work (sous vide) and grilling it play a part in the final result. Tasted like filet mignon with a lesser juice. The meat just slowly falls apart when you chew it.

Wagyu Mable Score 4-5 Onglet Steak

Both of the steaks are cooked to medium rare, served with sea salt and homemade chimichurri sauce, we personally like ours with sea salt only. There is also a small portion of salad with balsamic vinegar dressing with each steak.

Our Dinner

For the sides, we sample Creamed Kale, Truffle Fries and Sautéed Thyme Mushrooms. All of them are very well executed and it just depends on your preference. We strongly recommend the creamed kale. The combination of cream and cheese are just absolutely addictive. We first polished up the kale, then I used the balance of the sauce as a dipping sauce for the truffle fries. The bowl is squeaky clean after we polished the sauce off.

The Sides - Up Close

Dipping the fries with Creamed Kale

For desserts, Foie Gras Chocolate Bar is just too attractive to pass. While the sticky date pudding is highly recommended by Stanley.

Before we ordered the Chocolate Bar, we were briefed about what to expect and how the desserts might taste like, so we might not be over surprised by it. Instead of anticipating the foie gras as the main ingredients, the dark chocolate is the main attraction. The excellent rich and crisp dark chocolate coating will set your tongue wagging, leaving the creamed foie gras to linger in the background. The tangy apple jelly helps to balance the ‘jelakness’ in this dessert. Interesting dessert indeed.

Foie Gras Chocolate Bar

Foie Gras Chocolate Bar (Check out the Chocotale Bar Fillings)

Sticky date pudding was moist, however, it is missing the oozing feel when you cut through the pudding. The Honey Milk Ice Cream nicely complemented the pudding and goes well with the painted chocolate and crunchy cereal.

Sticky Date Pudding

If you decided on the ala carte menu, I strongly recommend you try their waffle and ice cream. I visited Sugarhaus before and their waffle got everyone nodding in approval.

Waffle from the last visit

Located inside Sugarhous, Fat Belly seating is more of bench seating with the view of the open kitchen, where you can see the Fat Belly team at work. However, you can also choose to seat on the normal table for a more casual setting. Don’t expect fine dining service, instead of more friendly and casual café service that serves sumptuous food.

The Bench Seating at Fat Belly

Overall, it was definitely a memorable experience. We fully recommend the Flat Iron steak and the creamed kale. We’ll definitely come back to try out their Short Rib Steak in the future. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Sihan (Fundamentally Flawed), Stanley and Fat Belly team for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Fat Belly
10 Jalan Serene
#01-04 Serene Centre
Singapore 258748
(Hidden inside Sugarhaus)

T: +65 6314 2247
IG: @Fatbellysg
OH:
Sun – Thu: 18.00 – 22.00
Fri & Sat: 18.00 – 23.00

Menu Available Online

Thursday, 24 May 2018

AquaMarine – Ramadhan Iftar Dinner [MEDIA INVITE]

Ramadhan Iftar Dinner
(Image Credit: Marina Mandarin Singapore)

It is the time of the year again where our Muslim friends welcome their holy month, known as the Ramadhan.

In collaboration with Garuda Indonesia, AquaMarine will be presenting a special Ramadhan Iftar Dinner Buffet from 16 May to 14 June 2018. Part of the menu is curated by Guest Chef Vindex Tengker, a renowned celebrity chef and also Vice President of in-flight services for Garuda Indonesia.

Guest Chef Vindex Tengker

I was fortunate enough to taste the spread on 17 May 2018 and the following are the dishes that will wowed you.

Middle Eastern Roasted Whole Baby Lamb with Mint Yoghurt, Spicy Tomato Salsa and Chilli Dip. (Available on Friday and Saturday night only). The meat from the lamb is tender and succulent, almost absent of the gamy flavour. With more than 20 ingredients marinated the lamb, the meat is tasty and aromatic as well. I personally think that no dipping sauce is needed for this dish.

Middle Eastern Roasted Whole Baby Lamb with Mint Yoghurt, Spicy Tomato Salsa and Chilli Dip


Roasted Baby Lamb (Left) - Gulai Kakap Medan (Right)

Ayam (Chicken) Bertutu. Originated from Bali, this dish is very popular when it uses Bebek (duck) as the protein. The original recipe takes a long time to cook, so this is their express version. The spices consist of aromatic ginger, turmeric, galangal and lemongrass infused well into the chicken. The flesh of the chicken was so succulent, you will be coming back for second servings. I actually have to come back three times as before I can get my share as this dish was very popular on the night.

Ayam Bertutu

Rendang Padang, the notoriously famous beef curry. The beef is tender, succulent, accompanied with thick curry sauce. Definitely, a “Rice Thief” dish and will make you go Moo Moo.

Rendang Padang

Gulai Kakap Medan. The tangy and spicy flavour of the dish will perk up your appetite. The flesh of the red snapper is thick and the meat is firm and flaky. As this dish uses the whole fish, you can choose which part of the red snapper you like. Hint, fish head curry lovers, this dish is a must try.

Gulai Kakap Medan

Sate Lilit, Balinese style minced Spanish mackerel. The meat of the fish is firm, infused with the paste made from shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric and other ingredients. There is a touch of richness in the meat, as coconut milk and grated fresh coconut are added to the mix.

Ayam Bertutu Roulade & Satay Lilit
Plated by Guest Chef Vindex Tengker during the cooking demo

Kolak Pisang, the traditional Indonesian dessert with coconut milk as base and also known to be a favourite Ramadan dessert to break the fast. Main ingredients here include banana, sweet potato, attap seed (palm nut) and coconut milk. Brown sugar and pandan leaves are used as well to create the aromatic version of this dish. I like the version here as they have toned down on the sweetness compare to those we normally find in Indonesia.

Kolak Pisang

Es Campur, Indonesian ice dessert, similar to ice kachang in Singapore. Ingredients include avocado, jelly, palm nut, chopped jackfruit on top of shaved ice bind with red banana syrup and sweet condensed milk. This dessert brings back my childhood memory of es campur in Jakarta. I realised the crunchy jackfruit and the creaminess of avocado are the missing ingredients from the ice kachang here, which is the factor that make Es Campur yummy.

Es Campur Station

Es Campur - Chubby Botak Koala's Creation

Other Indonesian dishes not mentioned above are Gado Gado, Nasi Goreng Kampung, Kampung-style Slow Braised Leg of Lamb, Ayam Penyet, Mie Soto and Sop Buntut. These dishes will be rotated daily and accompany the exquisite spread in AquaMarine.

Nasi Goreng Kampung

Foie Gras, Sous Vide Egg with Mushroom Espuma
Part of Creative Line up at AquaMarine (Must try HINT HINT)

Overall, I was astonished by the quality of the Indonesian dishes here. The Middle Eastern Roasted Whole Baby Lamb and Ayam Bertutu definitely got my pick here. To our Muslim friends, Have a Blessed Ramadhan! To our non-Muslim friends, come and enjoy the authentic Indonesia food here. Cheers!!

Part of Desserts Table
Dates available during Ramadhan Period

Ramadhan Iftar Dinner Buffet
When: 16 May to 14 June 2018.
Where: AquaMarine at Marina Mandarin Singapore
Time: Dinner, 18.30 – 22.00
Price:
Sun – Thu Dinner: $72++ per Adult, $36++ per Child
Fri, Sat and Eve of PH Dinner: $82++ per Adult, $41++ per Child
Other:  Diners can also look forward to exquisite cultural performances on selected days

For enquiries and reservations, visit www.meritushotels.com/marina, call (65) 6845 1111 or email: aquamarine.marina@meritushotels.com.

RAMADHAN LUCKY DRAW CONTEST
To top it off, every paying adult for this promotion will stand a chance to win:
• First prize: 1 pair of return air tickets to Bali (excluding taxes and surcharges) on Garuda Indonesia + 2-night stay at Alila Seminyak with breakfast
• Second prize: 1 pair of return air tickets to Belitung (excluding taxes and surcharges) on Garuda Indonesia

To qualify for the contest, diners are to complete a lucky draw voucher, as well as like and share the contest post that will be published on the Marina Mandarin Singapore Facebook page.

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 & Above

AquaMarine
6 Raffles Boulevard
Level 4, Marina Mandarin Hotel
Singapore 039594

T: +65 6845 1111
IG: @marinamandarinsg
OH:
Breakfast: Daily 06.30 – 10.30
Lunch: Mon to Fri, 12.00 – 14.30
Lunch: Sat, Sun & PH, 12.00 – 15.00

Dinner: Daily 18.30 – 22.00

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Yakiniku Heijeon – Premium Japanese Wagyu Buffet

Japanese Wagyu-Kalbi and Wagyu-Harami at Yakiniku Heijoen Singapore

Yakiniku Heijoen Singapore, or also known as Tokyo Yakiniku Heijoen is part of Yakiniku outlet originated from Tokyo, Japan. It has more than 30 outlets, showcasing the best of Japanese cuisine.

Tokyo Yakiniku Heijoen

We were enticed by their Premium Japanese Wagyu Beef Buffet. Priced at $59.90++ with more than 58 items to choose from. Located at Itadakimasu by PARCO, it is one of the restaurants that showcase Japanese cuisine.

Menu Yakiniku Buffet

Two main wagyu cut offered for the buffet are Japanese Wagyu-Kalbi and Wagyu-Harami. Kalbi is the cut from the ribs, known for the beautiful marbling where you can expect the melt in your mouth experience.

Japanese Wagyu-Kalbi and Wagyu-Harami 

Japanese Wagyu-Kalbi and Wagyu-Harami 

Meanwhile, Harami present slightly meatier flavour. Expect a bit more bite and beefy feel to this cut of the meat. Because it is high-grade wagyu Wagyu, the difference is very subtle. Both cuts come with two types of marination, sweet BBQ sauce and garlic salt. We tried both and we like the sweet bbq sauce better as it presents a more familiar yakiniku flavour.

Japanese Wagyu-Kalbi and Wagyu-Harami on the gril

Next on the list are their Jo-Kalbi (US Kalbi), Beef-Harami (US Harami), regular Beef Kalbi and Beef Rosu. Straight away, you can feel the difference in the meat, going from OMPH… to OHHH... Expect a meatier and beef flavour in these cuts, but on the positive side, you won’t get overwhelmed very fast.

Jo-Kalbi (US Kalbi), Beef-Harami (US Harami), regular Beef Kalbi and Beef Rosu

Beef-Tongue (Gyutan), a must order here. Thinly sliced with a huge round area. If you cook this just right, you get a tender with a slightly chewy texture.

Beef-Tongue (Gyutan)

Large intestines, for someone who likes a challenging cut. A combination of chewy and fatty. If you grill it long enough, you will be rewarded with a crisp and complex flavour of the offcut.

Large intestines

Aside from the beef, the Pork Kalbi and Pork Rosu are not to be underestimated. We personally like the pork belly. Fatty and pack the oink oinkness. There is also chicken selections if needed.

Pork Kalbi

Pork Rosu

Not meat lover can enjoy their seafood selections as well. Scallop, Mackerel, Squid, and Shrimp. The scallops and prawns are juicy and plump, however, both took a long time to cook.

Shrimps and Scallops

Side dishes, vegetables, rice and soups are part of the menu as well. The Gyukotsu soup is clear yet robust. It is good to wash up the oiliness from the meat.

One of the sidedish

Gyukotsu soup

Gyukotsu soup

The décor of the restaurant is very modern. The front part of the dining area is very open while the back area is more private and separated with partition or bamboo curtain. Service is efficient and the service staff always tried their best to explain to you the cuts of the meat.

Part of the dining area

Table Setting

Overall, Yakiniku Heijoen Singapore is definitely a place you must consider for Japanese Wagyu Buffet Yakiniku. They also serve higher grade wagyu cuts in the ala carte menu. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80.

Yakiniku Heijoen Singapore
100 Tras Street
#03-11, 100AM, Itadakimasu by PARCO
Singapore 079027

T: +65 6538 2981
IG:

OH: Daily, 11.00 – 15.00; 17.00 – 22.00 (LO 21.30) 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao – Tea Time Special

La Mian with Scallion Oil served with Dong Po Pork Belly


Crystal Jade Group of Restaurants is one of the biggest restaurant chain in Singapore. They have numerous brands under their umbrella and their food standards are consistently good in each establishment.  

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Great World City

We visited Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Great World City on a weekday afternoon, and only then realised they are having a Tea Time Special. $10.80 for La Mian plus Dim Sum. This is applicable between 3 PM to 5 PM on weekday.

Tea Time Special

I ordered La Mian with Scallion Oil served with Dong Po Pork Belly plus Pan-Fried Pancake with Scallion. For starter, the pancake is aromatic and fluffy, it gave a light feeling for the start of the meal before the heavy noodle dish.

Pan-Fried Pancake with Scallion

The La Mian is springy, bouncy with a good chewiness in it. The combination of fragrant scallion oil and braising sauce from the Dong Po Pork Belly integrate nicely with the noodle. Meanwhile the pork belly just melts in your mouth, however, it feels kind of too heavy for tea time meal. Let’s just say you can skip dinner after this.

La Mian with Scallion Oil served with Dong Po Pork Belly

LD decided on La Mian with Mince Meat & Mushroom in Spicy Sauce plus Beijing Steamed Pork Dumplings. The pork dumplings are bite-size, meaty and juicy. The flavours are decent, but it did not WOW us.

Beijing Steamed Pork Dumplings

The texture of LD’s La Mian is similar to mine. Springy, bouncy with a good chewiness in it. However, the strong-flavoured of the meat and mushroom combination in the sauce is not to my liking

La Mian with Mince Meat & Mushroom in Spicy Sauce

On top of the sets, we also ordered Drunken Chicken and Stewed Bamboo Shoot. The aromatic Shaoxing wine sips through to the bones of the drunken chicken. It is good but it will be better if the chicken pieces are a bit more plump and succulent.

Drunken Chicken

Meanwhile, the stewed bamboo shoot has a crisp and crunchy texture. It absorbs the braising sauce nicely and absents of any bamboo pungent smells. For those who likes bamboo shoots, this dish is a definitely a must order.

Stewed Bamboo Shoot

The décor of the restaurant is simple and modern. The brown wooden elements are used for the tables and walls, while red colour is used for the chairs. The service is efficient, considering we visited during tea time where it is considered break time in most Chinese Restaurant.

The Dining Area

Overall, it sure is a good deal to visit Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao during tea time. You get to enjoy their La Mian and Dim Sum at a fraction of the usual price. Cheers!!

Please note that other branches of Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao might offer different promotion. Please check with the respective branch.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 8.5/10  
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11- $25

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#02-43 Great World City
Singapore 237994

T: +65 6738 5595
IG: @Crystaljadesg
OH: Daily 11.00 – 22.00


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