Thursday, 18 January 2018

Ellenborough Market Cafe – Prosperity Dinner [MEDIA INVITE]


Yu Sheng - Design 1

From 5 February to 2 March 2018, Celebrate Chinese New Year with Prosperity Set Menu at Ellenborough Market Cafe, curated by Executive Chef Louis Tay.

Yu Sheng - Design 2

The starter during this period is, of course, Salmon Yu Sheng. Just check out the five photos, just to show how adorable the five Yu Sheng design. Taste wise, all the fresh and pickled ingredients works. The plum sauce is not overly sweet, together with the oil, it bound all the ingredients nicely.

Yu Sheng - Design 3

Yu Sheng - Design 4

Yu Sheng  - Design 5

Double-boiled Fish Maw with Dried Scallops and Cordyceps Flower. A signature Cantonese double-boiled soup. Clear and robust broth, filled with the umami flavour from the fish maw and dried scallops. The dried fish maw is used here, instead of the fried fish maw. You can taste the springy texture and the collagen when you bit into it. Delicious and good for your health and beauty as well.

Double-boiled Fish Maw with Dried Scallops and Cordyceps Flower

Imperial Herbal Chicken. A traditional dish, done to the best. The Spring Chicken is deep fried at first, before it is wrapped and steam. The deep frying locks the flavour of the chicken, while the steaming allows the nutrition from the herbs and flavour to sip into the chicken. Most of Imperial Chicken I ate before always too liberal with the dates turning the dish to be overly sweet. The version here just hits the spot for me.

Imperial Herbal Chicken

Hong Kong Style Fried Garoupa. Similar to the Imperial Chicken, the fish is deep fried first, then steamed. You can expect the combination of the crisp exterior with fresh fish flesh. Instead of the usual soy sauce, the sauce is very complex include crispy roast pork, onion, mushrooms and paprika.

Hong Kong Style Fried Garoupa

Wok-Fried Asparagus with Pearl Scallop in XO Sauce. The scallops are big in size, juicy and sweet bodes well with the crunchy asparagus. The XO sauce gave this OMPH in this dish. I was hoping this dish to be dryer so you can taste more of the XO sauce.

Wok-Fried Asparagus with Pearl Scallop in XO Sauce

Braised Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Australian Broccoli. I personally like the braised sea cucumber here. Not only the braising sauce absorbs nicely, the crunchy texture complements the abalone and broccoli as well.

Braised Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Australian Broccoli

Fried Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf. A mouthwatering and al-dente rice. It is aromatic and appetizing as well and makes you forgot that you are full.

Fried Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf

Dessert is Double-boiled Hasma with Red Dates. One of LD's favourite desserts. The portion of Hasma is very generous, Together with longan and red dates to flavour the soup, it definitely gives the Prosperity Dinner a sweet ending.

Double-boiled Hasma with Red Dates

Spring Revelry – Prosperity Set Menu
When: 5 February – 2 March 2018.
Price: Menu A, $788 ++ for table of 10;
Menu B, $988 ++ for table of 10;
For reservation or enquiries:
Call: +65 6239 1847 / 1848
Email: dining.merchantcourt@swissotel.com

Spring Revelry – Prosperity Buffet
When: 5 February – 2 March 2018. , Lunch and Dinner.
Price: Lunch: Adult, $60++ ; Child; $34++
Dinner: Adult, $80++ ; Child; $40++
For reservation or enquiries:
Call: +65 6239 1847 / 1848
Email: dining.merchantcourt@swissotel.com

Thank you very much for Swissotel Merchant Court for the tasting invitation

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Event)
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and Above

Ellenborough Market Cafe
20 Merchant Road
Level 1, Swissotel Merchant Court
Singapore 058281

T: +65 6239 1847/1848
IG: @Swissotelmerchantcourt
OH:
Buffet Breakfast: Daily, 06.30 – 10.30
Buffet Lunch: Daily, 12.00 – 14.30
Buffet Dinner: Daily, 18.30 – 22.00
Buffet High Tea: Sat, Sun & PH: 15.30 – 17.30
(Ala Carte Menu is available upon request)


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Ah Ho Teochew Noodles – Delicious Traditional Fishball Noodle


Ah Ho Teochew Noodle - Mee Kia

I stumbled upon Ah Ho Teochew Noodle when the Wanton Mee shop (See Da Jie Wanton Mee review here) at the beginning of Sam Loeng Road was not opened on that day. I decided to stop at this coffee shop just to get a quick bite.

Ah Ho Teochew Noodle - The Stall

Since there is a short queue at this stall, I decided to join the queue. While queueing, something caught my eyes. Why would a normal noodle shop allow you to order Fried Tee Po ( Fried Flat Fish) separately, the traditional ingredients for Teochew Noodle soup that is bitter yet give the distinct OMPH taste to the dish.

As most of the customers ordered soup noodles, I decided to order Mee Kia Soup (Large- $4.5 each). Another sign of promising noodle shop is they allowed you add the pork lard yourself, WOW.


Mee Kia Large

First slurp, the soup is robust and the combination of the sweetness from the pork bones and the Oink Oinkness from pork fats. The noodle is cooked to al-dente and each ingredient which include minced pork, sliced pork, fishball, fishcake, fish dumplings mushroom, tee po and pork lard added multiple layers of taste in this dish. Definitely a lot of ingredients for a simple bowl of noodle.


The Noodle

The minced pork and sliced pork are tender and succulent. Fishballs are bouncy and tasty, slightly better than average fishball noodle shops. The fish dumpling is smooth and crunchy. The Tee Po is crispy, crunchy and definitely add to the complex flavour of this dish. Yum Yum.

The Fish Dumpling

The Sliced Pork

Overall, the Teochew Fishball Noodle in Ah Ho is definitely something to savour. I have returned here once more with LD, and she agrees with me, the fishball noodle here is good. So if you are Fishball Noodle lovers, you need to check out this place. Cheers!!

Note: When I was doing my prep work for this review, I notice that Ah Ho has been around since the 1970s. Some said the quality has drop compare to the past. However, I only tried Ah Ho recently and I still find them to be very good. A lot of the elderly order Kway Teow Soup, but I just like my noodle better.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: N/A (Self Service)
Ambiance: N/A
Budget per Person: $0- $10

Ah Ho Teochew Noodles (亚河潮州粿条面)
12 Verdun Road
Verdun House, Kim San Lee Coffee Shop
Singapore 207278

T: +65 8127 4249
OH: Thu – Tue: 08.00 – 14.00 
Closed on Wednesday

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Golden Peony – Welcoming Auspicious Year of the Dog [MEDIA INVITE]


Trio of Dessert: Crispy Jujube Pastry, Japanese Sweet Potato Puree with Pearls (In the glass)
& Fried 'Nian Gao' with Sweet Potato and Taro.

From 5 February to 2 March 2018, the award-winning Golden Peony will welcome the Year of the Dog and showcases Executive Chef Ku Keung's innovative creations.

Leading the spread for this year Chinese New Year dishes is Fortune 3-D Meringue ‘Yu Sheng’. This gigantic size Yu Sheng is designed based on this year auspicious animal, topped with superb ingredients such as New Bedford Scallop, Salmon Crispy White Bait and Fish Skin.

Fortune 3-D Meringue ‘Yu Sheng’
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore

I like the Yu Sheng here as you can clearly taste each of the ingredients and the sweetness of the sauce is just right for me. This year, the Bedford scallops with golden foil creates a unique and meaningful touch, it is like receiving a golden coin for the new year.

Fortune 3-D Meringue ‘Yu Sheng’ (for 30 pax)


Yu Sheng

Up next is the Double-boiled Cordyceps Flower Soup. Cordyceps Flower is known for its benefits in helping your body respiratory functions and anti-ageing. Double-boiled in a young coconut with black chicken, it gave the soup natural umami sweetness. Instead of black chicken pieces, it is made into black chicken meatball which is tender and juicy. A New Caledonia Obsiblue prawn is added to give the soup sweet and brainy taste.

Double-boiled Cordyceps Flower Soup

The next dish, showcasing the famous X.O. Chilli Sauce with Lobster. Stir-fried Half Lobster topped with crispy X.O. Chilli Sauce. The X.O Chilli sauce is crispy packs of punch. Paired with the lobster, it helps to enhance the taste of the lobster flesh. It has almost the same taste as Bi Feng Tang style of cooking.

Stir-fried Half Lobster topped with crispy X.O. Chilli Sauce

Fortune Eight Treasure Stewed Duck. I personally think that it is the highlight of this year CNY menu. A traditional Shanghainese dish, the whole duck is de-boned then stewed in braising sauce for a couple of hours. It is then stuffed with “8 Treasures”, wrapped with lotus leaf and dough and baked further. Total cooking time is about 5 hours.


During the tasting, this dish was served table side. It is flambee with Chinese wine to seal all the flavour. The result is a melt in your mouth duck meat, with healthy fillings like black fungus, ginkgo nuts and shiitake mushrooms. Yum Yum.

Fortune Eight Treasure Stewed Duck

Fortune Eight Treasure Stewed Duck (Individual Portion)

Braised Australian Abalone in Japanese Beancurd and Black Moss. The Abalone is served in Japanese Beancurd, making it looks doubled in size. The abalone is well braised and soaks up the delicious braising sauce, which was rich, robust and packs of umami flavour. The natural sweetness of the Japanese beancurd skin and prawns fillings inside gave a contrasting taste compare to the savoury abalone.

Braised Australian Abalone in Japanese Beancurd and Black Moss

Every year, Executive Chef Ku Keung always come out with a new and exciting stuffing for its suckling pig dish. This year Roast Whole Suckling Pig with Shanghainese Sticky Rice, Fritters and Chicken Floss which commonly eaten as breakfast in Shanghai. The sucking pig is thin and crispy, goes well with the unique flavour of the stuffing.

Whole Suckling Pig with Shanghainese Sticky Rice, Fritters and Chicken Floss

Whole Suckling Pig with Shanghainese Sticky Rice, Fritters and Chicken Floss
Individual Serving
The trio of desserts is just delicious and beautifully presented. On the top, Crispy Jujube Pastry, consist of sweet almond tuile with fluffy sweet potato pastry ball. In the glass, Japanese Sweet Potato Puree with Pearls and on the side Fried 'Nian Gao' with Sweet Potato and Taro. What a sweet ending to the meal.

Trio of Dessert: Crispy Jujube Pastry,
Japanese Sweet Potato Puree with Pearls (In the glass)
& Fried 'Nian Gao' with Sweet Potato and Taro.

Overall, it was indeed an impressive line up for Chinese New Year at Golden Peony. Kudos to Executive Chef Ku Keung for coming up with the creative creation again. Do consider Golden Peony for this year Chinese New Year gathering.

Thank you very much to Conrad Centennial Singapore for the tasting invitation.

Usher in the Year of the Dog at Golden Peony
When: 5 February to 2 March 2018
Where: Golden Peony and Festive Takeaway Conrad Centennial Singapore
Reservation: www.connoisseur.sg or call Golden Peony at +65 6432 7482 / 88
For Festive Takeaway: Email: sinci.festive@conradhotels.com / call +65 6432 7489
The CNY Menu and Brochure are available at www.connoisseur.sg

Food & Drink: 8.75/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 9/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above

Golden Peony
2 Temasek Boulevard
3F, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7482/88
OH:
Mon – Sat: 11.30 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30
Sun: 10.30 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30


Monday, 8 January 2018

Jalan Petaling – Famous Malaysian Street Food in Singapore


KL Seafood Hokkien Mee

Jalan Petaling Famous Malaysian Street Food (“JP”) in Serangoon Garden is another culinary showcase by Long Jiang Culinary. JP is inspired by the famous Petaling Street, popular for its food heaven and shopping in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Jalan Petaling Famous Malaysian Street Food

A must try here, of course, their KL Seafood Hokkien Mee ($8.80). A signature dish of Jalan Petaling in Kuala Lumpur. The version here definitely comparable to the famous joint in KL. The unique thick yellow noodle absorbs the sweet, thick dark soya sauce gravy. You can taste the “Wok Hei” plus a generous portion of crispy and fragrant pork lard gave a nice burst flavour between bites. The seafood is fresh, complement the noodle nicely.

KL Seafood Hokkien Mee

KL Seafood Hokkien Mee

Claypot Stir-Fried Silver Noodle (Mee Tai Mak- $6.80). One of the most common dish found in “Chee Cheong Kai”, a popular nickname of Jalan Petaling given by the local. The Mee Tai Mak, cook in the similar dark gravy and served with a raw egg. The raw egg added the smooth silkiness in this dish. I find this dish a little too sweet and the Mee Tai Mak feels slightly mushy to my liking. I like it when the silver noodle is harder as it got more bits to it.

Claypot Stir-Fried Silver Noodle (Mee Tai Mak)

Seafood Lor Mee ($8.80). A dish that I was particularly fond of during my frequent visits to a Malaysian restaurant in Clayton, Victoria. I loved this dish because of the thick, silky robust broth that is filled with egg. In JP, the noodle used is the same as the KL Hokkien Mee. The broth is tasty but a bit more diluted and missing the OMPH. I know it is not fair to compare, however, I prefer a thick gooey Lor Mee style gravy and more punch in it.

Seafood Lor Mee

Seafood Lor Mee

Steamed Rice Roll with Yong Tofu and Curry Gravy ($6.80). The rice roll served in different ways, but the one with curry and yong tofu seems to be the more appetizing. Nothing much to say about the rice roll as it is factory made, while the curry is spicy and aromatic. Not a lot of coconut milk is used in the curry, as it has a lighter texture.

Steamed Rice Roll with Yong Tofu and Curry Gravy

The yong tofu are homemade with a good bounce and it is delicious. JP used minced pork and salted fish fillings, instead of the regular fish fillings. The Yong Tofu also served per piece at $1 each. You can choose from Stuffed beancurd, Stuffed Eggplant, Stuffed Bitter Gourd, Stuffed Chilli, Stuffed Beancurd Skin.

Yong Tofu

Rice Roll with Sweet Sauce

During our multiple visits, we found that Hakka Soy Sauce Chicken (SGD $16 Half, $30 Whole) is highly recommended. The braising sauce is robust and aromatic, while the chicken is braised just nice. The skin of the chicken is silky, smooth and springy. The meat is just succulent even for the breast part. At the cuts closer to the bone you can see some trace of blood. This is common and it shows that the chicken is cooked just right. The braising sauce is also a perfect companion for the white rice. Yum Yum.

Hakka Soy Sauce Chicken - Half

The Bak Kut Teh ($8) here is definitely the JB style. Herbal with a slight hint of pepper. The pork ribs are on the thinner side or less fat, resulting some of them tasted dry.

Bak Kut Teh

Located on the second floor of myVillage, the restaurant is filled with lots of natural light and nice outdoor scenery. The décor simple, following the current trend of industrial vibe. Service is a combination of self-service with the sauce and chillies, plates and cutleries while there are always service staff to take and serve your orders.

Part of Dining Area

Overall, Jalan Petaling is definitely a place worth a visit. LD and I have returned here several times and the food is easily likeable. Their signature KL Hokkien Mee and Hakka Soy Sauce Chicken are definitely on top of my recommendation. Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7.25/10
Ambiance: 7.7510
Budget per Person: $11 - $25, $26 - $50

Jalan Petaling
Famous Malaysian Food Street 茨廠街美食
1 Maju Avenue
#02-01/02, myVillage
Singapore 556679

T: +65 6634 2288
IG: @JalanPetaling
OH: Daily 10.30 – 22.30


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Paddy Hills – Creatively Curated Cafe Menu

Berry Muffcake

Paddy Hills is a quaint cafe located at one of the shop houses along South Buona Vista Road. Our monthly food hopping kakis decided to do the “Journey to The West”, so we have even coverage around Singapore.

Paddy Hills

Paddy Hills

From the outside, Paddy Hills is set up in the minimalist industrial décor. Combination of steel and wooden furnitures together with the neon sign just reaffirm the funky look of this cafe. The furniture indoor slightly deviated from the outdoor, however focusing more on comfortable décor with a slight 80s theme. Since Paddy Hills occupied the corner shop house, the left side of the wall has huge windows, and it allows the natural light brighten up the cafe. Hint: best place to sit and take your IG Photos.

Interior - Paddy Hills

While waiting for other kakis to arrive, we started with Lotus Root Chips ($10). Paper thin sliced lotus root chips sprinkle with Pop Rocks and Sumac Powder. Definitely, have the look for a healthy appetizer followed with airy crispiness from the paper thin sliced lotus roots. The pop rocks and sumac powder is very subtle, it can be mistaken for lack of seasoning in this dish.

Lotus Root Chips 

The complete meal started with NZ Mussels ($20). NZ Mussels cooked with Guinness Stout, Bacon Crumbs and Italian Parsley. I like the flesh juicy mini NZ Mussels. However, the gravy is just too salty and bitter. It is possible that the saltiness derived from the jus of the mussels while the bitterness is due to the reduction of the stout. I think a serving of fries or bread will help to balanced the gravy.

NZ Mussels

Christmas Burger ($26). A creative dish by Paddy Hills. The turkey breast patty is juicy, sandwich between brioche bun, Gruyere cheese, bacon and cranberry mayo, it sure tastes like Christmas. The fries are seasoned with salt and vinegar gave this burger the acidity to offset the “Jelakness” feel to it. It is best to use your hands to eat the burger and don't try to slice it.

Christmas Burger

I actually dipped the fries from the burger to the broth of NZ mussels. It turns out nicely and offset the excessive bitterness and saltiness in the broth.

Crispy Pork Belly ($26). I almost flipped when this dish was served. At the first sight, the pork belly was skinless. It's like you are deprived the best part of the pork. Instead, it was sliced and roasted separately to create a healthy pork skin crackers. The pork itself is juicy on the lower part, while slightly dry on the top (fat) part. The roasted purple cabbage, confit garlic puree and apple jus definitely jazz up the plate for flavour. Not sure if the caramel popcorn makes any difference in this dish.

Crispy Pork Belly 

Uni Truffle Pasta ($35). This is a serious Fine Dining Standard. Al-dente homemade squid ink spaghetti cooked with tangy tomato cream. Finished off with generous servings of uni, serrano ham and Himalayan truffle is just a sight to behold. Yum Yum.

Uni Truffle Pasta

Duck & Waffles ($25). Crispy Coffee Waffle with Crispy Duck Confit topped with a fried egg. I was amazed by the red apple sheets. I am sure there is a machinery involved in making the red apple sheets, but it sure gives the WOW factor in the plating. Though the overall dish is delicious, the waffle seems tasted a bit burned, like it was left a bit too long in the waffle maker. Other than that, it was just delish.

Duck & Waffles

For dessert, Berry Muffcake ($23) is a must order. A cross between Muffin and Pancake desserts, topped with Berries, Compote, Yoghurt Balls, Vanilla Ice Cream. The muffcake have the exterior of the pancake followed with the interior of a muffin. They are moist, crumbly while each of the toppings has its own unique characters: sweet, savoury, tangy, fruity and awesome yoghurt burst of flavour. This is signature dessert at Paddy Hills and it is a must order.

Berry Muffcake

For Caffeine junky, the coffee is not to be missed. My iced Americano is well balanced, minimum acidity and easy on the palate. The beans are sourced from Tiong Hoe, which we are familiar with.

Iced Americano

Service is friendly and accommodating. We did not make a reservation for our visit, they manage to slot us right it. Also, if you can see from the photos, the portion of the servings is big.

Overall, I really enjoyed the visit to Paddy Hills. The dishes here are creatively curated, delightful and definitely a sensory treat. Although the execution is not perfect, it sets the standard for cafes in Singapore. Definitely a destination for a superb Cafe Hopping Experience. Cheers!!

Sharing the calories for this hopping trip are: Ivan Teh – Running Man, Purple Eats, The Artic Star, Jelly Loves Food, Msginginly, and Her Pen & Fork.

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50, $51 - $80

Paddy Hills
38 South Buona Vista Road
Singapore 118164

T: +65 6479 0800
IG: @Paddyhills.sg
OH:
Mon – Fri: 10.30 – 17.00, 18.00 – 21.30
Sat & Sun: 09.00 - 17.00, 18.00 – 21.30


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