Monday, 27 July 2020

Huay Kwang – Thai Wanton Mee and Fresh Prawn Dumpling

Wanton Mee - Large

I was introduced to Huay Kwang Wanton Mee (“Huay Kwang”) during the circuit breaker period by our friend C. At that time C was posting about the frozen wanton and prawn dumplings that he bought from Huay Kwang.

When Phase 2 started, LD and I decided to visit Huay Kwang and dabao the wanton noodles.

Huay Kwang Wanton Mee - The Stall

Huay Kwang served Thai style wanton mee with a signature twist on its own. There are two sizes of Thai Wanton Mee, $3.50 for small and $5 for large.

Wanton Mee - Large
Wanton Mee - Small

The egg noodle is thin, silky and al-dente. Each strand of the noodle is coated evenly with pork oil.  Patrick (the owner) cooked the noodle himself, then mixed the noodle with pork lard evenly using a scissor. Yes, instead of using chopsticks or tongs, he used a pair of scissors to mix the noodles and also to cut and distribute the noodles into individual bowl or container.

The Noodle

Toppings on each wanton mee include boiled wanton, char siew, pork lard, and boiled kai lan. The wanton is solid and well packed with minced pork. The char siew is sweet, with a crispy exterior and the meat is quite juicy, but it is definitely those fatty type of char siew. Through the pork oil enhance the flavour of the noodle, I find it is missing that extra umami flavour.

Boiled Wanton

For those who like it spicy, Huay Kwang offers their signature super spicy chilli flakes and pickled green chilli. According to LD, the spiciness rating is about 7.5/10.

The Char Siew

Not to be missed here is their Cantonese style Special Prawn Dumplings Soup ($5). Each of the prawn dumplings is filled with minced pork, a whole piece of fresh prawn and black fungus. It is crunchy, juicy and packs with flavours. The soup based is boiled with pork and radish, therefore the soup is naturally sweetened. If you ordered the dumpling soup, Huay Kwang will normally include a few slices of the radish as well.

Dumpling Soup

Fresh Prawn Dumpling

The Fillings

On my last visit, they run out of the prawn dumpling, so I ordered the fried wanton instead. It is very enjoyable, as the wanton skin is crispy and the fillings packs more punch compare to the boiled version. In the boiled wanton, the fillings are very dense. Meanwhile, the deep-frying process seems to loosen up the dense fillings and allowing the juiciness of the meat to shine. Yummy

The Menu
Image Credit: Huay Kwang Wanton Mee

One of the best things about Huay Kwang is their minimum usage of MSG. I tasted a few Thai Wanton Mee in Singapore usually I get MSG attack after the meal and need to neutralise it with coke zero. With Huay Kwang, LD and I did not encounter this. Kudos to them.

Overall, Huay Kwang served a delicious Thai wanton mee. On top of that, I highly recommend their dumpling soup and fried wanton, which is also available in the uncooked version. Cheers!!

The Wanton and Dumpling uncooked
Image Credit: Huay Kwang Wanton Mee

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: N/A (Coffee shop)
Budget per Person: $0 -$10

Huay Kwang Wanton Mee
Blk 3021 Ubi Avenue 2
#01-159
Singapore 408897

T: +65 9383 1597
OH: Mon – Sat, 07.30 – 15.00
Closed on Sunday


Sunday, 19 July 2020

Gaston Luga – A Backpack for Any Occasion [PRODUCT REVIEW]

Gaston Luga - PRÅPER - BLACK

The Gaston Luga backpacks are known to combine functionality with a stylish exterior. This Sweden brand drew inspirations from a traveller who customised his backpack to combine functionality with a stylish exterior.

For this Media Drop, I choose PRÅPER - BLACK model, it is a very neutral design suitable for both Men and Women.

Koko & Lala (from Team Chubbybotakkoala.com) Probing Gaston Luga delivery

Once I place the order online at www.gastonluga.com , the bag arrived within 1 week from the initial order. Gaston Luga office is located in Stockholm, Sweden. It does not have any physical retail outlet in Singapore; therefore, all transactions are done through their website. Each order will be dispatch through their regional warehouses. Gaston Luga offers Free Home Delivery & 30-day return on all items.

The Inner Packaging

My PRÅPER - BLACK in packed in a classy black outer box and place inside a black polyester pouch. There are also some mini touches such as paper wrapping on the strap and thick paper to maintain the shape of the bag. The packaging delivers the same feeling that you get when purchasing luxury products.

PRÅPER - BLACK - Backview

PRÅPER - BLACK model is made from PU leather and strong durable canvas. For the inner part of the back is lined with a red colour cloth with Gaston Luga prints. It fits my 15” laptop nicely, my 10-inch Kindle Fire, Nikon DSLR camera, extra lens, LED light and a powerbank. Check out what I fit in the bag during this test.

The Stuff

All In The Bag

Ok, I probably get a bit too carried away in stuffing this bag as the final weight is more than 7kg. This just to show how much space inside this PRÅPER. Don’t forget about the Gaston Luga Signature Passport Pocket at the back. Of course, you can put other important stuff inside if you are not putting your passport.


Gaston Luga Signature Passport Pocket

Gaston Luga Signature Passport Pocket

As I have broad shoulders and thick arms, I normally stretch my backpack straps to the limit, with PRÅPER, I still have a few holes to extend. Plus, the design of PRÅPER allows the bag to stand on its own nicely.

Taking my Gaston Luga for "Kai Kai"

While the backpack has many functional aspects, there are a few more functions that I hope that can be added. Such as extra compartments or pockets inside the bag. Plus, the canvas material allows white dust or dirt to easily stick to the bag.

Gaston Luga - PRÅPER - BLACK

Overall, I like the Gaston Luga PRÅPER - BLACK model. It is well built, well design, lots of space and comfortable. A nice travel companion to have. Cheers!!

How to buy your own Gaston Luga Backpack:
Where: Visit www.gastonluga.com
Promo Code: <CBKOALA15> - 15% Off Coupon Code storewide.
Others:
- From now till 17 August, you will get one free tote bag with every purchase of a backpack.
- Free Delivery and 30 days return.

Thank you very much Gaston Luga for arranging the Media Drop.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Oscar’s – Exquisite Lobster Nasi Lemak [MEDIA INVITE]

Lobster Nasi Lemak at Oscar's

Oscar’s at Conrad Centennial Singapore is officially re-open for dine-in. For the month of July, Oscar’s will be serving Lobster Nasi Lemak. The menu will include a welcome drink, starter, Lobster Nasi Lemak, unlimited sides and dessert. For a limited time, the Exquisite Lobster Nasi Lemak is priced at S$40++.

Scan QR Code for Menu

The dining experience starts with a complimentary welcome beverage. You can choose from Air Limau (lime juice) or Gula Melaka Iced Tea. LD choose the lime juice while I choose the Iced Tea. The gula Melaka infused its unique earthy and mild sweetness to the milk tea, while the lime juice is with a hint of sourness and it is not too sweet, quite refreshing!

Air Limau (lime juice) & Gula Melaka Iced Tea

For the starter, we have Kueh Pie Tee. It is served with braised turnips, steamed baby shrimps, fried shallots, sesame seeds and home-made signature sauce. The cup is crispy, while the braised turnips are on the crunchy side, topped with springy baby shrimp. The home-made signature sauce has a spicy and tangy taste to it.

Kueh Pie Tee

Kueh Pie Tee with home-made Signature Sauce

Set Main Course, Lobster Nasi Lemak with fried chicken wings, ikan bilis, peanuts, egg, achar and onion chilli sambal. The lobster is juicy and succulent, topped with sweet onion chilli sambal. I would say the spiciness level of the chilli sambal is about 5 of 10, with a hint of sweetness, so it was acceptable to me.

Lobster Nasi Lemak

The fried chicken wing is well marinated with rempah, served piping hot, making it just irresistible. Meanwhile, the coconut rice was lacking the richness of coconut milk, hopefully, after our feedback, the team will be pouring the coconut milk more liberally. Aside from the lobster, you also have achar, ikan bilis, peanuts and hard-boiled egg on the plate, creating a comfort dish that we all familiar with.

Lobster Nasi Lemak

The Lobster Nasi Lemak comes with unlimited sides including beef rendang, muar otah otah, sotong chili sambal, bergedil, green beans with dried shrimp and white garlic sauce, signature home-made prawn chilli and kerabu timun.

Unlimited Side Dishes

The Muar otah otah is served with steam egg, reminds me of Spanish baked eggs. The otah slices are moist with the rice balance of fish paste and sambal. The steam egg added a smooth and silky eggy coating to it that gives the wow feeling. If you manage to get the one with the yolk still runny, it will be the best. LD and I are going to try to do this at home for breakfast. Yum Yum.

Muar Otah Otah with Steam Egg

Next best dish is the bergedil. The potato is hand mashed, resulting in combo texture of mashed potatoes and chunk of potatoes as well. Since the bergedil is served hot, you can smell the fragrant aroma of the fried egg, we ended with 2 servings of this.

Bergedil
Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

The beef rendang is pack with spices, though I find the meat is on the lean side. The sotong chilli sambal has a very good springy, yet easy to bite. Meanwhile, the green beans are crunchy and loaded with lots and lots of dried shrimp, a rice thief dish.
  
Sotong Chili


Green Beans with Dried Shrimp and White Garlic Sauce

LD had the signature home-made prawn chili, at first, she feels it was not spicy enough. (Spiciness rating about 6 of 10). Chef Mandar power up the chilli, bringing the spiciness level to 8 of 10. Though she likes it with more heat, she finds the new mix of prawn chilli to be solid and it will be a “rice thief” dish. The acidity in the kerabu timun provided a good balance and palate cleanser from all the rich dishes.

Signature Home-Made Prawn Chilli
Desserts are durian puff, pandan milo tiramisu and ice creams. The durian puff has a light and fluffy pastry, while the fillings is pack with cream durian fillings. The milo tiramisu is solid and creamy. Though it can do with an extra sprinkle of milo. The raspberry ice cream is tangy and delightful.

Desserts

Pandan Milo Tiramisu

Overall, this Lobster Nasi Lemak dining experience just hits the spot for me. While the lobster is the star of the show; however, the supporting side dishes are incredible as well. Definitely worth a visit. Cheers!!

Lobster Nasi Lemak
When: now till 31st July 2020.
Time: Monday – Sunday, Dinner 6PM to 10PM
           Saturday – Sunday, Lunch 12PM to 2.30PM
Price: $40++
Where: Conrad Centennial Singapore, Lobby Level at Oscar’s
Reservation: Please call +65 6432 7481/63, email sinci.oscars@conradhotels.com

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

Food & Drinks: 8.25/10
Value: 8.75/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Oscar's
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7481
IG: @Conradsingapore @Oscarsatconrad
OH:
Open 24 Hours for A la carte menu
Breakfast: 06.00 – 10.30
Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Pin Ji Fishball Noodle – Delicious All Round Fishball Noodles

Pin Ji Fishball Minced Meat Noodles - Mee Kia


Pin Ji Fishball Minced Meat Noodles (‘Pin Ji’) is owned and operated by Keith and Michelle. The stall first catches my attention a month after it started its operation through social media post. Two things that attracted me were handmade fishballs and handmade fish dumplings. The best part is that it is located in the same wet market in Serangoon North that I regularly bring my MIL and auntie to shop.

Pin Ji Fishball Minced Meat Noodles - The Shop

When I visited them for the 1st time back in 2019, I was not impressed. The fishballs are bouncy, packs the fish taste yet slightly under seasoned. The meatballs were solid, peppery while the fish dumplings remind me of Song Kee version but not at Song Kee standards. The main problem was their noodles, the mee pok is overcooked, lumpy and slow. My auntie and MIL also wonder what so good about it and why there is a queue?

A few months after our first visit, I dropped by again and I noticed some improvements. The noodle had a bit of life into it. Slightly springy and with a little more bite. The seasoning on the fishballs has improved, it is bouncy, tasty and savoury. The meatballs have a better overall taste compare to the fishballs. The fish dumplings have a bit of gooeyness, with bouncy skin and flavourful fillings.

Mee Pok - April Visit

Mee Pok - April Visit

Mee Kia with Chilli - April Visit
           
On 1st April, before the CB, LD and I visited them again. This time around I feel Pin Ji finally get into their grove and all the key ingredients started to fall into its place. The only comment that LD has that time was their chilli was not powerful enough.

Handmade Fishball

Handmade Fish Dumpling

Handmade Fish Dumpling - The Fillings

Our last visit before writing this review as on 6 July 2020. I was impressed with the fishball noodles. I ordered the $5 version.  The texture of the noodle was just right. Springy, bouncy with a solid bite to it. Keith mixed the noodles with the ketchup or chilli, pork fats and black vinegar with care and ensure every strand are evenly coated. His timing on the cooking is spot on and so much faster compared to the initial period.

Mee Kia - July Visit

For the mix soup ($5), the texture of the fishballs is bouncy, crunchy, perfectly seasoned and packs with fish flavours. The same can be said with their meatballs. The fish dumplings tasted so so good now. The fish dumpling skin is QQ and slippery, while the ‘tee po’ (dried sole fish) are bursting from the dumpling. Awesome!!

Mix Soup  

Handmade Meatball

While Keith is doing the cooking, the soft-spoken Michelle is the one taking the order, preparing the tray and topping up the rest of the ingredients and condiments. The photo of the shop is taken in April, with the lady boss consent. No mask required at that time.

Overall, it was a great pleasure to see the journey of this young couple from the beginning till now. The fishballs, meatballs and fish dumplings are a must try. Keep it up!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Self Service)
Ambiance: N/A (Coffee Shop)
Budget per Person: $0 - $10


Pin Ji Fishball Mince Meat Noodles
Blk 153 Serangoon North Ave 1
#01-512. S550153

T: +65 9878 7995
IG: @Pinjifishballnoodles
OH: Fri – Wed, 07.00 – 14.00

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