Thursday, 29 August 2013

Good Year Seafood Village – Tasty Food at Secluded Tampines Ave

Goodyear Seafood Village is located in Tampines Avenue, just off Tampines Link nearby the temple. Although this place is slightly secluded, don't be surprised when you see a full car park especially during dinner time. We actually have know this place for a while back, as their traditional fish head steamboat is very good. However last year the food quality fell dramatically. It seem that everything is back to the good times, with new signature dishes to tantalise your taste buds.



The current Goodyear Seafood has two sections. There is a section which is air-conditioned which filled up quite fast, and the coffeeshop / outdoor. This review is based on our two recent visits to this establishment.

Assam Fish Head ($25). One of the Chef's recommendation dish. The fish head is fresh and done properly. The Assam gravy which was thick, tangy, slightly spicy and sweet really opens up your appetite and really goes well with the white rice.

Assam Fish Head

Bak Kut Teh – Pontian Style ($11) & Kidney and Liver for BKT ($5). One of the recent addition to this restaurant. The BKT is has a stronger herbal flavour compare to the Teochew BKT version, however the herbs not as strong as Klang BKT. The soup is very comforting, while the meat is tender and huge. Little Devil and I actually like the extra care in the way they serve the liver and kidney. To ensure that it is not over cook after they blanched it to the right doneness, they serve the soup separately. So when you eat the liver and kidney, you will get the right texture.

Bak Kut Teh – Pontian Style

Kidney and Liver for BKT

Salted Egg Fish skin ($15). What else can you ask for? Crispy fish skin with the saltiness of salted egg. This dish basically just speak for itself. Cereal Beancurd ($16). The egg beancurd is fried properly and the soft texture of the cereal is just so inviting to accompany the rice or other dishes. The price of the beancurd is slightly overpriced though.

Salted Egg Fish skin 

Cereal Beancurd

For the vegetables, we tried Bean Sprout with Salted Fish ($10) & French Bean ($7). The bean sprout is quite oily but has a good “wok hei”. The French Bean is fresh and crunchy, topped with mince dried prawns. Simple yet delicious.

Bean Sprout with Salted Fish

French Bean

During our first visit, the service staff recommended German Roast Pork Knuckle ($22). This dish is actually quite disappointing. The skin is not fried evenly as some of the skin is chewy instead of crispy. The sauce and the pork knuckle seems does not goes well with each other. Although the staff is very proud of their pork knuckle, I personally would not order it again.

German Roast Pork Knuckle 

Service in this establishment is very minimum. There is only two service staff that take the order, so during the busy period, it is very difficult to get their attention. The rest of the support staff will help in delivering food, getting rice or drink and clean up the table. So do keep your expectation of the service in check. At least there is no Service Charge popping up in your bill.

Overall, Goodyear Seafood Village is a Zi Char establishment. They have some nice dishes on their Chef's Recommendation section and the BKT is definitely a must try. Price is very reasonable and the best part is they do not charge GST and Service Tax. For weekend dinner, just make sure you make reservation if you want the seat in air conditioned section. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 6/10

Good Year Seafood Village
15 & 15B Tampines Avenue
Old Tampines Road
Singapore 529788

Tel: 6583 9515 / 9642 5800
Op Hours: Daily, 11.00 – 22.30


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Tim Ho Wan @ Toa Payoh – Hot off the Oven

Tim Ho Wan (THW) officially opened in the heartland. After much fanfare opening of its first overseas outpost in Plaza Singapura, THW has made inroad to the heartland. The residents of Toa Payoh now can rejoice and licking their chops in anticipation to savour the popular Baked Char Siew Bao.


After reading about their soft opening from RubishEatRubishGrow on my blogger buzz, Little Devil and I decided to try our luck on Friday (23/08) pre-empting that the queue won't be so long. So far, we have not tried the Plaza Singapura outlet yet, as we don't want to queue and we don't work near town area. Lucky for us, we can now claim that “We don't need to line up at Tim Ho Wan”. Understanding that it is currently on soft launch mode, we kept our expectations in check.

The décor of the restaurant is very simple, light wooden colour and Zen like. The decoration is similar to the THW at IFC Mall in Hong Kong and Plaza Singapore(which I saw when I passed by). For review of Hong Kong Tim Ho Wan @ IFC Mall, click here. Small table size and limited personal space is something to remind you of Hong Kong, but be glad you are given a slightly bigger personal space here. This place can sit maximum about 100 customers.



First out from the kitchen within 10 minutes of placing our order are Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver ($5.50) and Vermicelli Roll with Sweet and Sesame Sauce ($4.20). The Vermicelli Roll on the Pig's liver filling is slightly thinner than I remember. It is smooth in texture and the pig's liver is cleaned properly, no foul smell, silky, juicy and tender. For sweet and sesame sauce, it has the right thickness, smooth and goes well the with sauce, tasted like one of Littledevil's favourite street food in Hong Kong.

Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver 

Vermicelli Roll with Sweet and Sesame Sauce 

For traditional Dim Sum, Prawn Dumplings / Har Gao ($5.50) and Pork Dumpling with Shrimp / Siew Mai ($5). Har Gao here is fresh and juicy with a sticky, soft and resilient skin. What we find interesting about the siew mai is it tasted better after you let it rest a while. Slightly chewy and flavourful with a wolfberry uniquely placed on top to add sweetness to the siew mai.

Prawn Dumplings / Har Gao

Pork Dumpling with Shrimp / Siew Mai 

Beef Ball with beancurd skin ($4.20). This dish left a lasting impression during our visit in Hong Kong. They add a little tangerine skin into the ball to create a distinguish taste. When the first order came, the beef ball is over steamed until the beancurd become dry and the supposed unusual flavour of the tangerine aroma did not come out as expected. We ask the a couple of service staffs, if it suppose to be like this. Finally the Executive Chef came out to check with us, graciously accept our feedback and insisted to make us a new batch. This is what I call service. Kudos to them. The result of the second batch is nice tender juicy beef balls with its distinct tangerine skin twist.

Beef Ball with beancurd skin

Finally come the time for reckoning the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork ($4.50). It's thin crispy crust with the texture of a 'Bo Luo Bao', is simply amazing and melts in your mouth. The filling has a familiar sweet juicy char siew flavour chopped pork. Yummyyy, I can say this is as good as the one in HK. If you have to wait in line, this is something that you can look forward too.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 


Steam Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce ($5). It has a nice rich flavour from the abalone sauce, unfortunately the chicken feet is slightly mushy instead of springy and crunchy comparing to the ones that we tasted in Hong Kong. Hopefully they can do something to get back its crunchiness. The presentation with parsley and cut chilli, show that they are trying to twist Singaporenise in their dish.

Steam Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce 

For desserts, we have Mango Pomelo Sago ($5) and Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake ($3.50). The mango sago is thick, flavourful with a nice combination of sweet and sour. The pomelo taste is somewhat missing. Osmanthus cake is like a jelly, with visible Osmanthus flowers and wolfberries in the jelly. It is very flavourful and it is not as sweet as we thought it is going to be.

Mango Pomelo Sago 

Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake

Service is very good. Their service staff is very friendly including the trainee. According to the service staff, they are going to open take away counter on the 1st floor in the near future. At the moment, they only entertain dine in. If you want to take away after you dine in, you can order but you need to pack yourself due to the company policy. Styrofoam box and plastic bag will be provided FOC.

Overall, we like what we saw. Although all the food is not one hundred percent of the Hong Kong standard, it is close enough, especially on the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork. I hope the line will not be as long as the one in Plaza Singapura in the future. All I can say is that from the soft launch, it can only gets better. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10 (Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, 9/10)
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10

Tim Ho Wan @ Toa Payoh
450 Toa Payoh Lor 6
#02-02, ERA Centre
(opposite building of the bus terminal)
Singapore 319394


Tel: 6483 2000
Website: http://www.timhowan.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/timhowan
Op Hours: 12.00 – 20.00
No Reservations, Everybody must queue.
The menu, see below.

The Menu :)



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant – An Evening with Mooncakes and Wine

In welcoming the Mid-Autumn Festival 2013, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Atrium, together with their F&B Team and OpenRice Singapore organise a Mooncake tasting for the selected reviewers in OpenRice.com.

Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore is currently helm by Chef Cheung Kin Nam. A native Guangdong Chef with more than 30 years experience in China and Hong Kong, is renowned to be a master in desserts and confectioneries. This year, Xin Cuisine presents four new delectable gems of mooncakes, together with its Signature collection of Mini Egg Custard with Egg Yolk.

While the evening kick off with us savouring the delicious finger food, the star for the night is definitely the mooncakes.


For the traditional selection, you will have While Lotus Seed Paste with single / Double yolk, Assorted Nuts with X.O. Sauce (homemade X.O Sauce), Teochew Yam Paste with Single Egg Yolk and of course, the Signature collection of Mini Egg Custard with Egg Yolk.

Traditional Mooncake

I personally find the taste of the mooncakes here is very subtle, not overly sweet. For those who like different texture in their mooncakes, the Assorted Nuts with X.O sauce will be a good choice. It is crunchy, slightly sweet. The homemade X.O sauce is delightful and not overpowering like those you get from the bottle.

While Lotus Seed Paste with single / Double yolk

Assorted Nuts with X.O. Sauce (homemade X.O Sauce)

The Signature Mini Egg Custard, has a delicate creaminess in its flavour with a nice blend between the saltiness of the yolk and the sweetness of the custard. As the colour of the yolk and custard are similar, it is hard to distinguish in between both of the ingredients. While the Teochew Yam paste looks great in the picture, I did not manage to taste the Teochew Yam Paste as I was distracted. Judging from the speed its gone from the plate, I can only assume that it must have tasted great.

Signature collection of Mini Egg Custard with Egg Yolk

Teochew Yam Paste with Single Egg Yolk

For the Mini Snowskin mooncake, I personally prefer the Passion Fruit Paste (with Mango) and Peranakan Durian. The Passion fruit taste combine the unique flavour for passion fruit and mango, the tangy, sour and sweet. Let's just say you can't go wrong with mango.

Mini Snowskin Mooncake

From Left: Passion Fruit Paste, Soursop & Chocolate Crunch,
Green Tea Lotus Paste with Chivas Chocolate

Champagne Chocolate & Pandan Lotus Paste

Middle: Black Sesame Paste with Peanut and Chocolate

Xin's Peranakan Durian uses Blue Pea flower for the natural purplish colour in the snowskin to combine with the durian filling. Well, it feels like you are actually eating durian. We tried our best to extract information from the F&B team on what type of durian they used, however to no avail. Seems that it is one of those secret where “they can tell you but they have to kill you afterwards” :(

Peranakan Durian

For wine, the general rule of thumb is traditional mooncakes goes well with red wine, while the white wine or sparking wine goes well with snow skin mooncake. However, don't hesitate to mix and match as it is all depends on personal preference. As I am in alcohol free diet, I was not able to enjoy the wine.

Overall, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant deliver a notable combination of tradition and creativity of mooncakes. Don't hesitate to give it a try as it might be suitable to your palate. Cheers!!

Thanks to Xin Cuisine Team, Holiday Inn Atrium Team and OpenRice for the invitation to this mooncake tasting.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10 (Mooncakes)
Value: n/a
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a

Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant
317 Outram Road
#04-00. Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore
Singapore 169705

Tel: 6731 7173
Op Hours:
Mon – Sat: 12.00 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30
Sun: 10.30 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.00

Promotion:
Xin Cuisine with Openrice has an exclusive promotion. 30% off the mooncakes when you quote “OpenRice Mooncake Promotion” (Valid for first 100 boxes until 30 Aug Only). For details click on the following link: http://sg.openrice.com/singapore/coupon/detail.htm?couponid=3080


For Mooncakes Menu, click here: http://bit.ly/XinCuisine

Monday, 19 August 2013

Itacho Sushi @ Changi Airport – Creative Sushi Restaurant

Itacho Sushi is a concept from Hong Kong-based F&B group specialising in Japanese cuisine called Company Taste of Japan Group. Currently this group has 7 dining concepts with more than 100 outlets in Hong Kong, China, Macau, Singapore, Japan and Australia. Currently there are 6 outlets of Itacho Sushi in Singapore and many more to come.

Itacho Sushi is a Japanese dining concept that mainly focus on sushi. You can find both traditional theme and also the modern creative sushi as well, such as roasted sushi and other modern influence creations as well. While sushi is the main theme, do not fret, you can still find other Japanese dishes in their restaurant.




After Little Devil and her BFF had a wonderful dining experience in Itacho Sushi @ Ion Ocrhard, they insisted their hubbies to give this place a try. So we end up in their Changi Airport T3 outlet and we let LD and her BFF in charge of the ordering.

Spicy Salmon & Beancurd Sushi ($1.20 ea). A unique combination of crunchy beancurd on top of the sushi rice with spicy salmon. Nice presentation, the beancurd is crispy however you might not be able to eat the sushi in one bite.

Spicy Salmon & Beancurd Sushi 

Yellow Tail with Black Truffle Sauce ($2.40 ea) and Fatty Salmon sushi ($1.70 ea). The fresh fatty salmon kind of melts in your mouth, while the black truffle sauce gave the yellow sushi more earthy flavour to the sushi. Even the salmon sushi ($1.20 ea) is just fresh and succulent. Yummyy

Yellow Tail with Black Truffle Sauce and Fatty Salmon sushi
Salmon Sushi
Yellow Tail with Sea Salt ($2.40 ea) and Yellow Tail with Citrus Junos Sauce ($2.40 ea). Unlike the black truffle sauce, we find it difficult to detect the sea salt in this sushi. While the citrus junos sauce is very subtle, a definite tasty 'marriage' with the yellow tail.

Yellow Tail with Sea Salt  and Yellow Tail with Citrus Junos Sauce

Supreme Sea Eel ($6.50 ea). What a gorgeous presentation. Generous slab of eel, on top of tiny sushi rice. Basically a must try for eel lover like myself, but it can be a challenge to consume.

Supreme Sea Eel

Roasted fatty salmon sushi ($1.70 ea), roasted duck breast sushi ($1.50 ea), roasted kagashima wagyu beef ($4.80 ea). This is actually the first time I ate roasted sushi. The roasting created a slightly crispy texture on the outer and reduce the possibility overwhelming fat overload from too much fatty salmon. Delicious. The wagyu beef basically melts in your mouth. While the roasted duck breast has a springy yet succulent texture to it.

Roasted fatty salmon sushi, roasted kagashima wagyu beef
&
 roasted duck breast sushi 

Roasted Swordfish ($2.80 ea), roasted squid leg ($1.20 ea) & Salmon with Soy Sauce ($0.40 ea). Again, the roasting component create a different texture and taste to the normal swordfish that we know. Very distinct but yummy.

Roasted Swordfish, roasted squid leg & Salmon with Soy Sauce 

Grilled Pork Sushi ($1.30). Yup, grilled pork sushi! My first time trying this, the pork is just tender and juicy. Not to the point that it melts in your mouth, but it is good enough (according to LD and her BFF that the ones that they tried in Ion actually melts in the food). The sweet sauce is very subtle and inviting.

Grilled Pork Sushi 

Roasted Foie Gras ($7.20 ea). The Foie Gras is is crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. As the portion is small, the Foie Gras has become too dry and thus it does not have the melt-in-your-mouth effect. You can give it a miss. Roasted Egg ($2.40) is a combination of sweet tamago with a bitter charred. Not something you can find in every Japanese restaurant.

Roasted Foie Gras

Roasted Egg

Sea Urchin with Rice ($15 ea). A must try for sea urchin lover. It is just you, the sea urchin and rice. Little Devil loves this and always order it when she has a chance.

Sea Urchin with Rice

Anyway, if you still have some space if your tummy after the sushi above, you can try their Green tea soba with scallops ($6 ea), or Sweet potato ($3) and Home made milk pudding (caramel) ($3 ea). The soba is al dente, however the taste is just average. The sweet potato will be better if serve hot with crispy caramel coating. While the milk pudding is soft, but subtle in taste.

 Green tea soba with scallops

Sweet potato and Home made milk pudding (caramel)

The decoration for this place is quite simple and zen. Service is average. It took them a while before they take our order or even get their attention when we need something or when we need to place more order, even when the restaurant is no longer crowded.

Overall, Itacho Sushi is a good place to come for your sushi experience. Price varies, starting from as cheap $0.40 up per sushi. Of course expect to pay premium when you want premium cuts. The best part is you will be assured of the fresh ingredients. Final note from LD, she feels that the ION Orchard branch is better than this branch. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 7/10


Itacho Sushi @ Changi Airport
65 Airport Boulevard
#03-30/31 Changi Airport, Terminal 3
Singapore 819663


Tel: 6241 8911
Website: http://www.itacho.com.hk/ (HK website in Cantonese & Japanese only)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Itacho-Sushi/158303486802 (for Singapore)
Op Hours:
Sun – Thu: 11.00 – 22.00
Fri – Sat: 11.00 – 23.00



For the location of their other branches, check out their Facebook Page.