Tuesday 31 January 2017

Different Taste Cafe & Restaurant – Comforting Zhi Char Food [Media Invite]

Different Taste Cafe & Restaurant @ Frankel Ave

It come at a surprise to me when I received a tasting invitation for Different Taste Cafe and Restaurant ('DTCR'). I passed by Frankel Avenue often and even dine at the pizzeria nearby a few times, but I never noticed any Zi Char place there.

Apparently, the restaurant started from a cafe in a local bowling centre, and expanded to a full fledge restaurants with three outlets islandwide.

DTCR Recommended Dishes

We started the dinner with Penang Fried Kuey Teow ($5.50). One of the dishes that come highly recommended and it is a must try dish here. It has a solid Wok Hei (breath of the wok) and well fried as each strain of rice noodle are coated with eggs. The prawns are crunchy and the squid is springy yet tender. The heat from the chilli is sufficient for me, but if you need more, you can always add the sambal. Comparable to the Char Kway Teow in Penang indeed.

Penang Fried Kuey Teow

Curry Fish Head (S - $20, M - $26, L - $34). The signature dish of DTCR. A solid curry fish head, filled with delicious spices. Not much lemak as what you would expect from a peranakan version, but the tanginess really hits the spot. More like an Assam Fish Head instead of curry. Definitely best eaten with rice.

Curry Fish Head

Sunday 22 January 2017

Celebrate CNY 2017 with Boruto [MEDIA INVITE]


Boruto is a new concept Japanese modern kitchen plus Japanese Sake Bar. It is a sister restaurant of Tamashii Robataya, one of the few Robatayaki restaurant in Singapore. Unlike its sister restaurant, Boruto served Asian fusion, predominately using Japanese ingredients to go with their extensive list of Sake.

Boruto Japanese Sake Bar

The unit at Golden Castle Building that is occupied by Boruto, used to be a bank. The first floor is the Tapas Bar, complete with the view of its open kitchen. The second floor is the sake bar, mostly focus on drinks, a bit of bar bites and extensive display of sake in fridge and as well as their cold room Vault. Yup, they keep their sake in a vault complete with a security device, the vault was left by the previous tenant, so for the fun of it, they have reused the vault for their expensive bottles of sakes.

The Vault at Boruto

Sake Fridge in the Vault

Sake Collection in the Vault

While waiting for all our group to arrive, we nibbled on Sake Kawa Senbei ($8.80). It is a crispy salmon skin tossed with sea salt & chili powder. Solid crispy salmon skin, delicately seasoned and a good bar food dish.

Sake Kawa Senbei

To celebrate the year of the Rooster, Boturo curated the Chinese New Year Japanese Truffle Infused Yu Sheng with Salmon & Yellowtail Sashimi ($68 for 3 to 5 pax). A beautifully plated Yu Sheng, drizzle with truffle infused oil plus golden pouch. The Yu Sheng is just delicate and refreshing, while the truffle infused oil accentuate the flavours of the salmon and yellow tail sashimi. A good start to our main meal.

Chinese New Year Japanese Truffle Infused Yu Sheng with Salmon & Yellowtail Sashimi

A bigger portion for 6 to 10 pax is available for $98. There is also Salmon Skin Yu Sheng ($48 for small, $68 for large) and Japanese abalone Yu Sheng ($98 for small, $168 for large).

Monday 16 January 2017

Dolce Vita – New and Exquisite Italian Dining by Chef de Cuisine Marco Manocchio [MEDIA INVITE]

Dolce Vita @ Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Since December 2016, Dolce Vita has embarked on a New and Exquisite Italian gastronomic journey with their new Chef de Cuisine Marco Manocchio. Hailed from Rome, Chef Marco has curated the new menu in Dolce Vita to showcase modern and traditional Italian Cuisine using authentic Italian ingredients.

Dolce Vita Chef de Cuisine Marco Manocchio

First on the table is different selection of bread. My pick is the focaccia accompanied by different dip: Tomato pesto, basil cream and tomato cream. Of course, the conventional dip of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette is available as well.

Bread Selections with Dips

Antipasto was Insalata di astice ($36), lightly smoked lobster salad, endive, citrus, miso consommé. It is like a combination between salad and soup. The lobster has a beautiful smokey flavour, followed with sweet brainy flavour when you bit into it. The miso add a slight earthly flavour to the dish which was balanced by the grapefruit. The combination of flavours really wakes up your palate. A good start to the meal.

Insalata di astice

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Celebrate CNY 2017 with Joyden Concepts [MEDIA INVITE]

Joyden Concepts Festive Yu Sheng Platter with Abalone & Salmon Sashimi

For Chinese New Year 2017, Joyden Concepts presents to you its 'Prosperity Pomelo Feast'. One of the most sought after fruit during the Chinese New Year as it symbolise abundance and good fortune, and they will be presented in different ways.

During Chinese New Year, Pomelo flesh is most commonly used for Yu Sheng and desserts. This year Joyden Concepts took the extra step to use the Pomelo Pith as well. Pomelo Pith is the white colour cushion, between the skin and the meat of pomelo. To remove its bitterness and tartness, the pith must be soaked and washed over a few days repetitively. The result is a refreshing, tender and full-bodied that perfectly compliment any dish.

Lobster and Fish Maw with Pomelo Pith in Premium XO Sauce

Lobster and Fish Maw with Pomelo Pith in Premium XO Sauce (柚子皮XO 龙虾鱼鳔). The lobster is fresh and crunchy, nicely coated with the delicious XO Sauce. In this dish, the Pomelo Pith and Fish Maw soaks up the beautiful gravy from the lobster and the XO sauce like a sponge. The celery and carrots are there to add crunchiness to the dish. We personally feel that the pith absorbs the essence of this dish better compare to the fish maw and deliver that burst of flavours when you bit into it. Yum Yum, you might want to order a white rice to go with this.

Pomelo Pith in Premium XO Sauce

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pomelo Pith and Broccoli (海参柚子皮扒西兰花). A well braised smooth and crunchy sea cucumber paired with shiitake mushrooms. The gravy is robust, slightly gelatinous with good umami flavour. As the gravy is not overly heavy, you can actually taste a touch of bitterness in the Pomelo Pith, which is good to balance this rich dish. Usually bamboo pith is used for this dish, but I think Pomelo Pith made a perfect substitute.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pomelo Pith and Broccoli

Monday 9 January 2017

The Public Izakaya 2 – Authentic Izakaya in Singapore

The Public Izakaya 2

Izakaya is known as a Japanese drinking establishment that served casual and relative bar snack. While it is still popular as a watering hole, it seems that Izakaya in Singapore has churn up a higher grade / quality dishes to accompany the drinks. One of those Izakaya in Singapore that attracted our taste buds is The Public Izakaya 2.

The communal seating

After a few visits, we are confident to recommended some of the dishes here. For Starters: Reba Shoyuzuke ($8) is Chilled Chicken Liver Marinated in Sesame Oil. Has a close texture to the chicken livers in our chicken rice. But their version seems to be more smooth and velvety, almost to Foie gras standard.

Reba Shoyuzuke - Chilled Chicken Liver Marinated in Sesame Oil

The oyster is also worth to try. Nama Kaki / Oyster ($6 each) served with Momiji Oroshi & Ponzu. Fresh with a touch of acidity from the ponzu, helps to accentuate the flavour of the oyster. It is a good appetizer.

Nama Kaki / Oyster

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Celebrate CNY 2017 with Cherry Garden [MEDIA INVITE]

Cherry Garden Luxurious Pen Cai

Pen Cai (Pooh Choi / Peng Chai) which literally means “Basin Vegetables” is a traditional Chinese New Year dish from the old days. It was first created for the Emperor and has been passed down to the current generation. In the olden days, Pen Cai is normally served in wooden basin where it is assemble with the dishes from the festive praying offerings. In modern time, Pen Cai is served in claypot as it is easier to reheat and retain the heat as well.

In Singapore, Cherry Garden is known for its amazing Cherry Garden Luxurious Pen Cai (豪华盆菜). Singapore's largest traditional 'basin dish', weighing more than 25 kilogrammes and measuring up to 45 cm in diameter. Knowing it is Cherry Garden, you can expect the best ingredients are used for this Pen Cai.

This auspicious basin shown here is enough for 10 pax or more. It will take three rounds of serving to finish all the ingredients inside. 1st serving was lobster, braised four-head abalone, scallop and prawn.

1st serving: lobster, braised four-head abalone,
scallop and prawn

2nd serving was dried oyster roll, meatball with tangerine skin, cabbage and black moss

2nd serving: dried oyster roll,
meatball with tangerine skin, cabbage and black moss

3rd serving was sea cucumber, roasted duck, roasted pork belly, and mushroom. Not seen in the photos are conpoy (dried scallops), dace fillet, lotus chicken and waxed sausage.

3rd serving: sea cucumber, roasted duck,
roasted pork belly, and mushroom

It was definitely a superb dish, where all ingredients are cooked just right before it was assemble. Other than the ingredients, the highlight for me was the gravy. It is slightly thick but not sticky till overpowering. It tasted like a solid robust broth, flavourful and it is the key ingredient that binds the rest of ingredients together. Absolutely Delicious!!

Monday 2 January 2017

Looking Back at 2016

Wow, it is 2017 already. We have been too busy catching up with friends and celebrating, we only have time to pen out thoughts on last year after the new year.

Zucchini Tower by Joie

The elegance of Vegetarian Dining at Joie by Dozo definitely got our stamp of approval.

Suckling Stuffed with California Maki @ Golden Peony

Golden Peony and the newly revamped Summer Pavilion showcase the reason why they are the leading Chinese Restaurant in Singapore. My Dining Room tantalise our taste buds briefly, unfortunately the challenging market got the better of them.

Double-boiled Fish Bone Soup, Fish Maw, Wolfberries

Wokº15 Kitchen entrance to Singapore dining scene, gave us an awesome Chilli Crab to look forward too. Loves their combination of Chilli Crab with Fried Man Tou. Best part, the view of million dollars Luxury Yachts docking in the marina is just amazing. Truly a hidden gem.

Chilli Crab from Wokº15Kitchen

While we have been to many Korean BBQ joint, we manage to find something unique in Seorae. The Seorae Samgyeobsal, a High quality pork belly in special Seorae cutting. Porkgasm!!

Seorae Samgyeobsal from Seorae Singapore

Cafe Melba represents the Australian Dining experience for the year. A family friendly cafe hidden in the secluded Goodman Art Centre. Surprisingly, the quality of the food here actually taste better during their peak period in the weekend compare than the weekday.

Roast Chicken @ Cafe Melba

The newly revamped Grand Copthorne Waterfront offer a refreshing dining experience. Grissini represent their signature Italian Dining, while Food Capital and their Borderless Brunch spread are just remarkable.

Whole Tandoori Lamb @ Borderless Brunch

This year is also the first time I had more than 15 oysters in one seating. Learning difference between oysters from Europe, American and Australian during The Oyster Festival at Greenwood Fish Market. Definitely an invaluable food education.

Oysters @ Greenwood Fish Market

For those that are familiar with Omakase, you might want to try the Italian version in Your Italian Butler at Vita Italiana.

Lamb Chop from Your Italian Butler @ Vita Italiana

Overall, 2016 has been a remarkable year for Chubbybotakkoala.com. We broken through the barrier of 1 Million visitors milestone for our blog this year and going strong with more than 120,000 views each month.

We would like to wish our Readers, Fellow Influences, Business Owners, Marketing & PR friends from your continuous support in the year 2016.

Happy New Year 2017!!!


Chubby Botak Koala & the Little Devil

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