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


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Restoran Chua Kee – Remarkable Seafood Zi Char


Signature Kwey Teow with Seafood @ Restoran Chua Kee

Gelang Patah in Johor is an industrial town where you hardly take notice unless you have a business interest there. Most of the time, you only glance through its name on the signboard when driving through second link towards the Senai Airport or connecting to E2.

Restoran Chua Kee

Well, next time you are passing by Second Link, you might want to stop by at Gelang Patah to visit Restoran Chua Kee (‘CK’). Located in close proximity to the Gelang Patah Second Link exit, it is known to serve delicious Seafood Zi Char dishes.

We have visited this CK a few times and the following are several dishes that are worth the detour:

Kwey Teow with Seafood (S-RM25/ M-RM35 / L-RM45). CK signature dish, plated with beautiful mussels in flower shape. The rice noodle is well infused with “wok hei”, topped with robust seafood flavoured gravy and vegetables. The prawns are fresh and they are generous with it as well. So far, we always order this dish when we are in CK because it is just so Yummy and a good carbo option.

Signature Kwey Teow with Seafood

Check out the size of the prawn

Signature Black Pepper Crab (Market price, around RM132 for 2 crabs). CK uses a big size mud crab, stir-fried with signature wet black pepper sauce. The crab is fresh and meaty, absorbs the flavour of black pepper nicely. The black pepper sauce just sticks to your fingers, so when you are putting the crab meat in your mouth, the sauce will stick to the flesh. This will add additional pepper kick to sweet flesh. A delicious black pepper crab.

Signature Black Pepper Crab

Signature Black Pepper Crab

Volcano BeanCurd (S-RM35 / L-RM45). Easily mistaken for Yam ring, CK uses the same method for their homemade beancurd. It has a crispy texture, followed with the hard version of the traditional beancurd. The stir-fry seafood on top, add to the complexity of flavour in this dish.

Volcano BeanCurd

Volcano BeanCurd

Steam catfish (Market Price). We will normally ask them to steam it in Teochew style and it never disappoints. The fish is fresh and steamed to perfection. The meat from the catfish is velvety soft and the combination of sweet and sour in the gravy just perks up your palate.

Steam Catfish - Teochew Style

Butter Pork Cubes (S-RM12/ M-RM18 / L-RM25). More like popcorn pork cubes. Aromatic, crispy and well coated with umami butter sauce. As it was deep-fried, some of the pork can taste hard, but definitely good to eat with white rice or on its own.

Butter Pork Cubes

Salted Egg Crayfish (Special Menu). Not a permanent item on the menu, as the supply of the crayfish, are limited. The flesh of the crayfish is tender and springy, provided a good canvas for the dry salted egg sauce.

Salted Egg Crayfish

They also served Salted Egg Crab, however, it does not give you the WOW effect, compares to the black pepper sauce.

Salted Egg Crab

We have ordered other dishes as well and they are pretty decent. 

Stir-Fried Vegetables

Restoran Chua Kee setting is a traditional non-airconditioned eating house in small town in Malaysia. In modern term, you can call this al-fresco dining in Kampong style. Service is efficient.

Menu Part 1

Menu Part 2

During the weekend, this place will be crowded during the meal time.  For peak period during weekend dinner, you will be limited to only order one style of crab per table. We suggest you come early during the weekend or after 8 PM, as the second delivery of crab only arrive around that time. Payment term is Cash only.

Menu Part 3

Menu Part 4

Overall, Restoran Chua Kee is one of the best Seafood Zi Char restaurants that we ever tried around Johor area. The dishes are generally very good and you can say it is worth the queue. So, give this place a try if you passing by Second Link. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 8.75/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Budget per Person: $11- $25

Restoran Chua Kee
No. 67, Jalan Kacang Panjang
Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru, Johor.
Malaysia 81550
(GPS: N 1° 26' 48.7''  E 103° 35' 16.3'' / N 1.44685° E 103.58786°)

T: +60 7 510 3198
     +60 12 761 0529
     +60 12 762 8255
OH:
Daily 11.30 – 23.00
Closed Alternate Wednesday.


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

One Bowl – Quality Traditional Cuisine in a Bowl [MEDIA INVITE]

Signature Char Siew Rice @ One Bowl Restaurant and Bar


Owner / Executive Chef Tammie Loke is someone who likes cooking and enjoys entertaining her friends with her culinary creation. Unimpressed with the drop of traditional food in Singapore, she decided to extend her hospitality to the public through One Bowl Restaurant and Bar.

The Sultan Hotel

One Bowl Restaurant & Bar

Conforming to its name, One Bowl focus on one bowl dishes, which allow the guest to enjoy satisfying meal individually as well as in a group. Those come in a group can experience more value through sharing their meal with each other, with offerings from mains to sides for sharing.

Part of the Spread on the Night

One Bowl Signature Char Siew dishes are definitely something that you must try. It comes in two version, Signature Char Siew Noodles ($9.90) and Signature Char Siew Rice ($10.90). The exterior of the char siew is crisp and nicely caramelised. The interior is fatty and the meat just melts in your mouth. #Porkgasm indeed.

 Signature Char Siew Noodles 

The noodle is similar to Thai wanton mee. The noodle is specially made, it is thin and springy, drizzle with sesame oil, soy sauce, fried garlic and spring onions.

Vegetable Soup

For the rice version, the char siew is served on the bed of garlic rice and egg. The garlic rice is aromatic with al-dente texture. I like the smokiness of this dish, while the vegetable soup definitely warms up your stomach.

Signature Char Siew Rice

Signature Char Siew Rice

The Char Siew also come in the side dish bun version. Signature Char Siew in Fried or Steam Mantou ($5 for 2 pcs, $12 for 6 pcs). One Bowl Version of sliders and we had the Fried Mantou version. The fried mantou offers a combination of crisp and fluffy texture with the melt in your mouth Char Siew. It is unique and irresistible creation.

Signature Char Siew in Fried Mantou 

Claypot Rice ($11.90) – Special Claypot Chicken Rice with salted fish and Chinese sausages. The dish is actually served in a ceramic bowl instead of traditional claypot. The lap cheong and yun chang gave the unique flavour to this dish and the chicken is tender and succulent. I like the generous bits of salted fish hidden in the rice. Feels like flavour bomb when you bit into it. The only thing missing here is the usual charred aroma from the traditional claypot, which is not easy to replicate without the claypot.

Claypot Rice

Pig Trotters in Vinegar with Ginger & Egg ($11.90). Stewed pig trotters in Vinegar served with ginger and egg. First slurp of the vinegar broth, you will be awakened by the tanginess of the vinegar followed with warmth from the ginger and the sweetness of the pork trotters. The meat just falls off the bone with the springy texture of the skin is just delightful. The hard boil eggs absorb the braising liquid nicely. It is served with a bowl of white rice to make it a complete meal.

Pig Trotters in Vinegar with Ginger & Egg

Beyond the main dishes, you side dishes are enjoyable as well. There are two type of tofu you can choose from: Braised Tofu with Ginger Sauce ($10) and Cold Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Eggs ($10). Don’t ask me to recommend which one is better, I personally find both dishes have its own uniqueness.

Cold Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Eggs

The cold tofu basking in premium soy sauce is smooth and silky just elevate the freshness in this dish. The additional of pork floss and century egg add to the umami flavour in this appetizer. Meanwhile, the braised tofu does wonders to slowly warms up your appetite and stomach, as the ginger flavour kicks in after each bite.

Braised Tofu with Ginger Sauce at the back

Ngoh Hiang ($13) is a straightforward traditional version. It is crispy externally and crunchy internally from the mini chopped chestnuts in between chunk of prawns and pork. It is served with spicy homemade chilli and sweet sauce.

Ngo Hiang

Desserts menu are limited; however, they did not overlook on the quality. The green tea / black sesame ice cream or Yuzu sorbet ($3.80) each has the quality of those served in a high-end Japanese restaurant. The Aiyu Jelly with Aloe Vera is indeed refreshing and it provides a good ending with traditional Tong Sui.

Desserts

The drinks menu is extensive. If you are into something milky and sweet, give their smoothies a try. The Mocha got my pick (Not on the menu yet).

Drinks: Ice Lemon Tea, Banana Smoothie, Mocha Smoothie and Shirley Temple

The ambience of One Bowl is quite special. The main wall is decorated with different motifs of bowls surrounded with spoons, each group of bowl and spoons resemble a sun.  Meanwhile, each table uses thick cut of woods that are uneven in size and length, makes you feel like that you are having a meal in a traditional rural village.

Bowls and Spoons Decor on the main wall

Part of the dining area

Overall, One Bowl Restaurant and Bar sure set a standard for the One Bowl Singaporean Cuisine. Those who like fatty char siew, you definitely need to add this to your must-visit list. For those who don’t like fatty food, you can definitely find something good to satisfy you here. Cheers!!

The Bar Section

Thank you very much to Ivan Teh Running Man for the invite; Annie, Tammie and One Bowl Team for hosting the tasting session.

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.75/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $11- $25, $26 - $50.

One Bowl Restaurant and Bar
101 Jalan Sultan
Lobby, The Sultan Hotel
Singapore 199002

T: +65 6291 9020
IG: @Onebowlsg
OH: Daily 07.30 – 15.00, 16.00 – 22.00



Sunday, 22 April 2018

665 Degree Fahrenheit – Awesome Steakhouse

Wagyu Tomahawk

Little Devil and I always have this routine that we celebrate our special occasions with a good treat at Steakhouses. This time around 665 Degrees Fahrenheit (‘665ºF’) got our pick.

665 Degrees Fahrenheit - Entrance

665ºF is a premium restaurant, part of the new and trendy Andaz Hotel Singapore.The menu curated by Chef Josephine Loke, whose resume includes Tippling Club, Open Farm Community, Pollen and Michelin two-starred restaurant Odette. 665ºF menu does not contain pork or alcohol. Meats are halal sourced and 665ºF serve sustainable seafood.

We ordered Crab Bisque ($20) and Lime-Cured Kingfish ($29) for starters. The Crab Bisque is the replacement for regular Lobster Bisque on the menu. It is smooth and creamy with a good touch of bitterness at the end. The smooth crab meat adds natural sweetness to the soup. I find the flavour does not differ much from the usual lobster bisque except for the crab meat in the soup.

Crab Bisque

Lime-Cured Kingfish, 665ºF version of ceviche. The kingfish is cured with lime, resulting in a combination of creamy texture with tangy flavour. The cucumber and watermelon radish balanced this dish with a crunchy texture and refreshing flavour. A good starter that opens up our appetite. 

Lime-Cured Kingfish

Together with the appetizers, we were served the signature bread. Hot mini baguette with garlic aioli spread. Crispy exterior with fluffy interior. Fortunately, the bread portion is small, if not we will have a problem eating the rest of the meal.

Signature Bread

For the main, we choose Wagyu Tomahawk ($160), with Garlic Mash Potatoes ($12) and Mushrooms ($15). The 1.2kg Tomahawk perfectly cooked to medium rare as per order. Since the steak is cooked under the high heat in the Pira grill, the exterior of the steak is charred and it seals the juice nicely. The interior is juicy, succulent and melts in your mouth. Definitely one of the best tomahawk we ever had in Singapore.

Wagyu Tomahawk - Medium Rare

The cut

For the steak, it comes with three different sauce Bearnaise, Green Peppercorn, and Mushroom. I personally prefer béarnaise and fresh lemon. While LD enjoy hers with simple mustard and salt.

Bearnaise Sauce and Lemon

The Garlic Mash Potatoes is thick and creamy, with a subtle garlic flavour in the background. I personally like my mash slightly lighter, to the point you can almost slurp it. Meanwhile, the sautéed mushrooms, provide a good earthy companion to the mains.

Garlic Mash Potatoes and Mushrooms

Dessert is Vanilla mille-feuille, strawberry compote ($28). All the dessert here is good for 2 to 4 pax. The filo pastry is light, airy and the best part the crème is not too sweet. The strawberry compote has the right acidity to allow us to polish off this dessert without any problem.

Vanilla mille-feuille, strawberry compote

The décor is a combination of class and cosy, with the stunning view of Singapore ‘s skyline. Another attraction of 665ºF is the open kitchen concept with the Pira oven and grill that can be seen from most of the dining area. Service was friendly and good, almost impeccable.

Part of the Dining Area
Main Dining Area

Overall, 665ºF is definitely one of the steakhouses in Singapore that you must try. The food, ambience and service are definitely worth the price. Cheers!!
 
LD's Mini birthday cake - complimentary

Note: 665ºF have revised their menu recently. The Wagyu Tomahawk is priced at $240 when this review is published. For the most updated menu, please refer to their website.

Food & Drink: 8.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and above

665 Degree Fahrenheit
5 Fraser Street
Level 38, Andaz Singapore
Singapore 189354

T: +65 6408 1255
IG: @Andazsingapore
OH:
Mon – Sat: 18.00 – 22.00
Closed on Sundays


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