Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ebisboshi Shotengai – Bishamon @ Great World City - [CLOSED]


Ebisboshi Shotengai, a dining establishment by Komars group Singapore. Under Ebiboshi Shotengai, you can experience 3 brand dining experience under one roof, which consist of Uomasa (for Seafood), Bishamon (for Ramen, Donburi and Curry Rice) and Bentendo (for Pasta, Rice, Steak and Pizza).

This time around, we went to Bishamon for a quick and simple meal after movie. For starters we ordered the Original Gyoza ($6.80), Mentaiko Gyoza (6.80) and Banzai Roll (10.80).

First come the Banzai Roll, which is quite a huge sushi roll with fried prawn, cucumber, avocado and tobiko. The prawn is fresh and I liked the huge roll. You can actually feel what you are eating, compare to those smaller sushi rolls.

Banzai Roll

The gyoza is pan fried to be crispy on the outside. The mentaiko give a different taste (nice and creamy) to the gyoza compare to the original. However I realise nowadays, I don't really fancy the leek taste inside the gyoza. So I find they are all right only.

Mentaiko Gyoza
Original Gyoza

I have tried Bishamon in Funan outlet before, so I have an idea of the standard of their ramen. This time around I veer off my normal order of Cha Shu Ramen, instead going with Yakiniku Miso Ramen ($14.20). First taste, slurp the broth. Nice and robust stock, feels that it has been boiled for a long time. The ramen is light and springy. The beef was slightly overcooked. After a few slurps of the soup, I started to regret ordering this dish. It seems that my taste buds that night just don't agree with the little pieces of corns inside the stock. I should have stick with my Cha Shu Ramen.

Yakiniku Miso Ramen

As we came in around 9pm, the restaurant seems to be in the closing mood. After being shown to our table, the service feels lacking. All the service staff try to look busy with their closing duty and trying to avoid us. The drinks takes ages to serve and refill, cutlery are not given with the ramen, the delays in serving the food. Not a very good experience of the service side.

Overall, I find that by combining three different brands under one roof is a good idea, it gives customers more dining option. I just find the except for the sushi roll, my taste buds seems to disagree with the food choice tonight. Service wise, need improvement. Other than that, if you are @ Great World City, you should give this place a try.


Food & Drink: 6.5/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10.


Ebisboshi Shotengai - Bishamon
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#01-22 Great World City
Singapore 237994

Tel: 6235 6190
Op Hours: 11.30 – 22.00 Daily

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Bazaar – Vibrant Flavors of India


Thank you HungryGoWhere.com for the invitation to this food tasting session.

The Bazaar is a recently opened restaurant on the buzzing eatery street of East Coast Road. Located directly opposite I12 Katong.

The décor of the restaurant have strongly illustrated the name Bazaar, with its vibrant and bright colors used in the décor, menu and kitchen. It is like a festival happening inside the restaurant. On the first floor, there is only 5 tables, and on the 2nd floor, they can cater for more customers and also use it for private functions.

What about the food? According to the owner, in which we had the pleasure of meeting briefly, their chef that come from North India, is with extensive experiences. So we can expect authentic North Indian Cuisine such as prata, naan, tikka or briyani, which is the most common Indian food we are familiar with in Singapore.

While we were waiting for our starters, we were served papadum and cracked black pepper papadum. Both fresh and crispy, but watch out for the kick on the pepper papadum.

Papadum
Cracked Pepper Papadum

For starters, we had Tandoori Aloo (made from potato, tandoori masala power and stuffed with paneer), Chicken Malai Tikka (Chicken Tikka, but with additional cheese in the marinate) and Paneer Tikka Pizza. FYI, Paneer is unsalted cheese, similar to cottage cheese with solid texture and commonly use in Indian cooking.

Tandoori Aloo

Chicken Malai Tikka

The first bite into Tandoori Aloo, you can feel the crisp on the surface and then softness inside. The tandoori spice is a bit strong, but well balance with the paneer. Unlike the Chicken Tikka, which normally looks flaming red, the Malai Tikka looks pale white. The chicken pieces are tender with a little charred. The Paneer Tikka Pizza is unique, The Bazaar version of pizza. It combines dough from the naan, tikka as the filling and paneer to replace the commonly used mozzarella cheese. Yummyy.

Paneer Tikka Pizza

For the mains, we had Chicken Tikka, Butter Chicken, Mutton Rogan Josh, Dal Makhini (Lentil with tomato puree), Fish Methi Malai and Palak Paneer. Most of the dishes were well cooked. The chicken and mutton are tender. The fish is pieces retains the texture and not fishy. For those the expect the dishes here to be subtle, you will find it to be the opposite. The chef does not shy away from the strong taste of spices and seasoning, as we found out in the Palak Paneer.

Chicken Tikka Masala

From Left: Butter Chicken, Mutton Rogan Josh, Dal Makhini  Fish Methi Malai and Palak Paneer. 

On the plate with Onion Chili Kulcha

To accompany the mains above we have Onion Chili Kulcha, Garlic Naan, Aloo Paratha (potato stuff paratha / prata) and Chicken Biryani. The naan and kulcha is soft and moist, with a nice flavour of garlic and onion respectively. The prata, with mash potato stuffing inside, is also good. Comparing to the other dishes, the biryani is quite subtle in spices with nice texture for the rice and tender chicken pieces.

Garlic Naan
Aloo Paratha

For the desserts, we had Gulap Jamun Tiramisu (Waffle ball with rosewater syrup) and Kheer – Rice Pudding (rice with milk, sugar and cardamon). The Kheer has a similar texture with pulau hitam, but it is white, milky and sweeter. The Gulap Jamun Tiramisu sweetness level is 10 / 10. The ball similar to doughnut, fried dough and soaked in the syrup, while the cream with coffee essence is there to balance the sweetness. For drinks, I have tried their mango lassi, which it suppose to help in putting out the fire, however I do not find their dishes very spicy. This is coming from a person who does not take chilli.

Kheer - Rice Pudding

Gulap Jamun Tiramisu

Mango Lassi

Service is good and efficient. Although there were a function on the second floor, you can find a waiter when you need them. The timing of the food coming out also good, you don't have to wait too long in between dishes. The food plating is modern and serving is generous. The price is relative to the other North Indian restaurant in Singapore.

Overall, I find The Bazaar served a good North Indian Food. It really give another dimension in the food scene along East Coast Road. Cheers!!


Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10.


The Bazaar – Vibrant Flavors from India
115 East Coast Road
Singapore 428804

Tel: 6344 0710
Op Hours:
Tue – Sun: 11.30 – 14.30, 18.00 – 21.30
Closed on Monday

Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge – Eating the Prince Charming


Geylang Lor 9, are known for 2 things. Frog Leg Porridge and Fried Beef Kway Teow. This time around, we went for the Frog Leg Porridge. There used to be an old Chinese saying that if you want to be a good swimmer, you need to eat frog leg. I don't really believe in this, but as long as it is nice, who cares?

Located in the corner of Geylang Road and Geylang Lor 9, it is on the opposite side of the red light district. So you won't be in an awkward situation if bring your family here for a meal. The only problem with this place is finding a parking place.

The Stall

We ordered one large pot of spicy version ($22), one large non spicy version ($22) and one large serving of porridge ($4).

Show Me My Frog Porridge!!!

For the spicy version, they use the dark sweet soya sauce, with dried chilli and spring onions. A little dash of wine to enhance the taste. The non spicy version is cooked win dark sweet soya sauce with ginger, spring onion and a dash of wine.

The Non-Spicy Version

The Spicy Version

The porridge is Cantonese style, which is smooth, gooey and the rice grain already disintegrates. Simple yet delicate, when you add the sauce from the frog into it, you just keep eating not stop. For those that never ate frog before, it taste similar to chicken thigh, but more delicate and not as tough as chicken meat.

The gooey porridge


Over the years, I find their quality of the food keep dropping compare to my previous visit. The service with attitude and ambiance does not help as the competitors are catching up with them. I personally will go for another shop, a few lorong away. Although the porridge there is not as smooth as this stall, their frog dish is of better quality with better service and environment.

The issue with frog porridge is that you won't be full for long. So, if you went there for dinner, you might want prepare other things for supper. Or you can have it for supper rather than dinner.


Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: n/a. (Seating on the back alley, so you can be the judge :))


Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge
Shi Cheng Frog Porridge
235 Geylang Road (Lor 9)
New Lai Lai Hong Yun Food Centre
Singapore 389294

Op Hours: Daily 11.45 am – 3.45 am
Closed Chinese New Year.



On the same Food centre you can also have the following:

Deer Meat Hot Plate - $10. The meat is lean and tender. But the portion is very small. (6/10)

Deer Meat Hot Plate

Sesame Oil Chicken (Ma Yiu Ci) $8. Uses chicken breast instead of legs or chicken wings. Almost no taste of the sesame oil and the meat is though (5/10)

Sesame Oil Chicken

Oyster Omelette (From the photo you can tell, it did not pass the mark) – 5/10

Oyster Omelette

Ice Jelly $3 – As refreshing as it is, it is basically not worth it. With 2/3 of the bowl fill with ice, you can get a better deal elsewhere. 5/10

Ice Jelly with unlimited Ice

Conclusion, just go there for the frog porridge. The others are just not worth you stomach space. Unless the Fried Beef Kway Teow across the road.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Brewerkz – Nice Grub in a Brewery


Brewerkz was established in 1997 by American Devin Otto Kimble and Chilean born Daniel Flores who modelled this microbrewery similar the concept of microbrewery happening in USA and Canada. Not only it serve attractive home made premium and seasonal beers, it also serve great American food.

Catching up with our friends that just migrate back from Australia to Singapore, we decide on Brewerkz. The good thing about Brewerkz is that you can come at any time and you can always find a seat. Of course, reservation will be recommended during the weekend. You can choose the air-conditioned indoors which can be a bit loud, or outdoor where you have the view of the Singapore river.

So what about the grub? For starters we, 4 adults and 1 toddler ordered Mussels ($38 for main size), Beer Chilli Cheese Fries ($19) and Fried Calamari ($17) to share. The mussels are cooked with Brewerkz beer sauce with herbs and garlic. It is also serve with garlic bread to go with the sauce. The mussels is nicely done. It tasted clean, juicy with a little bouncy texture. The combo of the fresh herbs and beer sauce is really something that you can either dunk the garlic bread into it or drink it directly using the shell of the mussels, in which I prefer.

Mussels with Brewerkz Beer Sauce
The Garlic Bread

Beer Chili Cheese Fries is basically fries, topped with signature Brewerkz chili and baked cheese. If you like Carl's Jr version of this dish, you will love this one. The fries cuts are quite generous and the cheese and chili just add another dimension to a fries. Yum Yum. The Fried Calamari is serve with marina sauce on the side. It is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Nothing special just an average dish.

Beer Chili Cheese Fries

Fried Calamari

The thing with the foods in Brewerkz is that the servings are just to generous. So each couple decided only order one main dish to share. We choose Beer Chili Bowl ($21) with white cheddar mashed potatoes ($9) on the side, while our friends ordered one of the double patties burger. For the little toddler we ordered fish and chips, from the children menu version.

Beer Chili Bowl

White Cheddar Mash Potatoes

Burger

The Beer Chilli Bowl contain the goodness of mince beef, black beans and beer sauce. Topped it up with melted cheddar cheese, and serve with corn bread. Yummy. The main theme for me today is 'chilli overload'. The mashed potatoes is unique, where they actually leave the potato skins on, to create a different texture other than smooth and creamy in the mash. As our friends' daughter's order never came, she actually polish up half serving of the mash potatoes as her main meal. The corn bread has a nice crispy texture on the outside. The inside part is a little dry instead of moist but it goes well with the chilli. If the corn bread is moist on the inside, I would prefer Brewerkz version of the corn bread compare to Kenny Rogers, as it is not too sweet.

Well well, the generous servings does not just stop at the food. For $6, you can have unlimited refills of soft drink, which we really make use off. I think each one of use had around four top up each. It is unfortunate that I have to abstain from alcohol due to my medical treatment, if not I will definitely go for the beer here.

Pit Stop Direction after all the refills

Service here is very friendly and fast. The catch is you have to catch the service staff attention first. During peak hours, the place can be quite pack, noisy and slightly dim. There is a good distance between each table so you don't need to worry that you will collide with anyone and you can enjoy yourself.

Overall, without realising it, Brewerks has become the place to go if I need to find a good American bar food. Their food quality has always been consistent and you can really have a good relaxing time having your meal or for drinks. Suitable for everyone and for every occasion. Check out their website for the beer and food menu. Well I guess, we be back for more then. Cheers!!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 7/10.


Brewerkz
30 Merchant Road
#01-05/06, Riverside Point
Singapore 058282

Ph: 6438 7438
Op Hours:
Mon – Thurs: 12.00 – 00.00
Fri – Sat: 12.00 – 01.00
Sun: 11.00 – 00.00

Monday, 21 January 2013

Muthu's Curry – Fish Head Curry in Modern Setting


Muthu's Curry, a well-renowned name in Singapore food scene and they are synonymous with a local dish called Curry Fish head. A dish that was invented by the Indian migrants in Singapore, but adopted by all walks of life in Singapore. A must-try dish in Singapore.

This time around, we brought our Chinese guests for Indian food feast. On a normal weekday, the restaurant is considered very packed. The restaurant feature bright and modern décor. In the center of the restaurant, you can see the main attraction of this restaurant. On one section, Tandoori Oven, used for naan, tandor and grilled dishes. Beside it, there are bain marie to display some of the cooked dishes for you to choose from.

So, to the food. We ordered:
Fish Head curry - $30. This is a must try dish in this place. The fish head is fresh and meaty. The curry here is more towards asam, more on sourness, lots of curry flavour different spices throw into the mix, but without the coconut richness in it. This dish itself with a white rice will make your day. However, over the years, it seems to be missing the “humph” factor.


Curry Fish Head

Butter Chicken - $10. Nice tender chicken thigh pieces, inside the rich buttery creamy sauce. A safe dish for those that not into spicy food. From the Tandoori Oven, we ordered Chicken Tikka. Marinated in yoghurt and spices before grilling. The meat become very tender with a nice char grill taste on the outside. Yummyy.

Butter Chicken

Chicken Tikka

Next come the Lamb Rack Annas, also from the Tandoori Oven. Instead of using lamb rack, they actually use a cheaper version of the lamb, which is lamb chop. The marination is all right but the meat still feel a bit chewy. I find lamb chop are better in direct heat on a grill plate or BBQ to let the fats melt.

Lamb Rack Annas

The special dish during the festive period is Tandoori Turkey. Turkey breast are known to be dry and though, but it seems that Muthu manage to get this turkey to be moist and tender. It seems the marinate of yoghurt, spices and lemon juice really bring out the best in this turkey. Christmas with Indian flair.

Tandoori Turkey

For the greens, we ordered Palak Paneer – which is a puréed spinach with curry spice and paneer cheese. It actually does look very appetizing, like a thick spinach soup or those bottled baby food. The taste however refreshing taste of spinach and paneer cheese, and a nice balancing dish after all those meaty stuff.

Palak Paneer

To put out the spiciness of all the dishes, I ordered mango lassi. This drink really cools your engine down and put out the spicy taste in your mouth. For hot beverage, you can order their Tea Masala.

Tea Masala

Service is a bit cold, as the waiters all look so serious without any trace of smile in the face. They take the order and deliver the food efficiently. Afterwards, it is a bit difficult to get their attention.

Overall, the standard of Muthu's curry has slip a bit compare to the first time I was there in 2002. However it is still a good place to bring your guest, and they food remain enjoyable. Bon Appetite!!


Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 8/10.

Muthu's Curry
138 Race Course Road
#01-01
Singapore 218591

Tel: 6392 1722
 Op Hours: 10.00 – 22.00 Daily

Friday, 11 January 2013

Hippopotamus – Simple and Comfort French Bistro Food [CLOSED]

Hippopotamus is a restaurant grill originated from France, especially the Paris region. This restaurant present a simple and non fuss dining experience, or like what I prefer to call bistro. Decorated with red colour, it looks a similar to American Diners, except it probably got more cosy chair and more intimate dining experience.



This time around we are here with a group of friends for Christmas dinner and had made our reservations. A bit of disappointment because we are placed in area near the front of the restaurant, where the chairs already outside the restaurant. We do felt that they should have given us a table inside because they are not crowded as it is a weekday. It was slightly uncomfortable with the people from the shopping area walking behind us. But with our jolly festive moods, we ignored the environment and look forward to the food, with a big group we have ordered a few starters to share.

To start, we have bone marrow ($11.90), escargots ($16.90), foie gras ($17.90) and combo platter ($18.90). The bone marrow cut into half and baked. The marrow taste creamy, buttery but a bit sticky. If you have not tried this before, it is good to give it a try. I don't particularly like it as I can't get used to the taste. The escargots / snails are cooked with herbs and butter. The meat come out quite easy, the texture a bit springy, similar to other type of snails. The herb and butter give it a nice rich flavour, a bit rich for my taste buds.

Bone Marrow

Escargots
The foie gras comes in a pate version. The texture is soft and creamy so it is easily spread on the bread. The Guerande sea salt really brings out the taste of the liver. On this particular pate, the taste a little bit strong and pungent than other foie gras pate that I have ever tried. Definitely not for someone that can't stand strong smell. (Sorry no photo, too busy eating).

The combo platter consist of “Rabas” style squids, cheddar and hot peppers munchies, chicken wings, and spring rolls. All served with Thai sweet chilli, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Unfortunately I was having a sore throat at that time, so I did not try this dish. With an empty plate at the end, I think it should have spoken by itself.

Combo Platter

Next come the French Onion Soup ($8.90). Believe it or not, this is the first time I ever tried and I seem to like the taste. On top of the soup of the soup is the combination crust of grated Gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese and bread. The soup is filled with onion sweetness combine with the robustness of the stock. Simple yet delicious, a true comfort food.

French Onion Soup

For the main, we ordered medium rare Prime Rib 1.2 kg ($139.90). Together with the steak come five type of sauces: Barbecue, Béarnaise, , Stewed Shallot, Pepper, and Roquefort Cheese. Other than the sauce, they also give rock salt. For prime rib sides come with 8 serving of sides, and we choose French Fries, Potato Gratin, Green Beans, Baked Potato, and steam vegetables. Some of them double portion.

Prime Rib Eye 1.2 kg
The Sauces
Side Dishes
The Prime rib is cooked as per our order and we distributed it nicely for 4 person. The presentation on a small tailor made stand with a black steel tray on the table is impressive. For the steak, it is tender and juicy but it does not melt in your mouth. Although it is call prime rib, I think the steak only come from standard grade of beef. The steak is not evenly cook as the meat closer to the bone can be consider rare very difficult to cut affected by the muscle. For the sauce, I find the béarnaise is the best to complement the prime rib.


On the plate, per person share 

The Aftermath

The notable mention for the side dish is the Potato Gratin. It is baked to crispy on the top and creamy on the middle. The cream goes well with the cheese. A must order side dish, if you are having a meal in Hippopotamus. The rest of the side dish is just average.

For some of us who still have stomach for dessert, we finished off the meal with roasted pineapple ($7.90) and combo desert ($10.90). The roasted pineapple is surprisingly delicious. Roasted in honey and topped vanilla ice cream. The honey and juice from the pineapple create a nice sauce for the dessert and goes well with the ice cream. Such a simple dessert but yet Yummyyyy!!!

The Roasted Pineapple

The combo desert come with crepe topped with chocolate sauce, floating island, scoop of strawberry sherbet, crème brulee and fruit salad. It is good that we are able to have a taste of multiple deserts on offer. The floating island, a fluffy soufflé, paired with vanilla custard, almond and caramel sauce is a nice and light desert. A good way to end the meal. The crème brulee is good with the evenly caramelised brown sugar. The Strawberry sherbet has a nice balance of sweetness and sourness of strawberry. While the rest of the desserts are of just average and personally think that you can give it a miss.

The Combo Dessert

The service is friendly and good. The service staff try to be as attentive as possible, however it can be very difficult to get their attention because of the design of the restaurant and the placement of tables given to us.

Overall, it is good place for a casual dining, if you are able to get the table inner side of the restaurant. Their food is fresh and simple, yet delicious. For the steak, I recommend to go for a normal and standard steak instead of the higher end. This is based on a few visit to this place. Price wise, it is similar to Jack's Place, but better in the food quality. Worth a try but don't expect the sky.


Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 6/10

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill
6 Raffles Boulevard
#01-204/205, Marina Square
Singapore 039594

Ph: 6338 5352
Op Hours: Daily, 11 am – 10.30pm