Tuesday 30 April 2024

Chapters by Drinks&Co – A Star in Clarke Quay Rejuvenation [MEDIA INVITE]

Chapters by Drinks&Co (“Chapters”) is the latest concept by Drinks&Co as part of rejuvenation in CQ @ Clarke Quay. Chapters provide a unique and sophisticated dining experience for both indoor and outdoor. For the Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) diners can enjoy great food and experience while absorbing the beautiful view of the Singapore River day and night.

Chapters by Drinks&Co
Outdoor Refreshment Area
The indoor dining area showcases different chapters (area) of the restaurant, starting from The Great Hall with papers floating above, The Rainbow Bar, and also The Secret Chamber, hidden behind the ordinary bookcase.

Part of The Great Hall

The Bar
Once we were seated, we started our gastronomic journey with Chapters Singapore Sling Premium (Hendrick’s Base) [$26 HH / $29 REG]. Beautifully decorated, artistically made and pleasing on the palate. The best part, they also make it in mocktail version for me.

Chapters Singapore Sling Premium (Hendrick’s Base)
Our tasting commences with Chapter One – Starters and Bites. Authentic Singapore Satay, Chicken or Beef (per Dozen) [$38 / $34 Members Price]. Well-marinated chunky chicken and beef, juicy and grilled just right. It is bursting with flavours in each bite accompanied by solid satay sauce. Not forgetting the traditional sides, a medley of cucumber, pineapple, onions and ketupat.

Authentic Singapore Satay
Drinks & CO., Salt & Pepper Squid [$30 / $27MP]. The strips of deep-fried squid are crispy and crunchy. It is tossed with their special mix of chilli padi, spring onions, garlic, black pepper, sugar and salt. A squeeze of lemon bind adds a lovely twang to the dish. Watch out for the explosion of spiciness, especially if you bit into the chilli padi. This dish is also served with a healthy portion of salad, which can easily become a full meal on its own.

Drinks & CO., Salt & Pepper Squid 
Prawns & Chorizo [$28 / $25MP]. Taking inspiration from a popular Italian pasta recipe. This surf and turf dish is robust and packed with flavour. The prawns are crunchy, while the chorizo just solid. It is then topped with the mixed garnish of fried garlic, chilli padi and spring onion that spice up the dish. There are a few toasted sliced baguettes to carry the prawns and chorizo mix.

Prawns & Chorizo
Boxing Chicken in Teriyaki Sauce (5pcs) [$34/$30MP]. A dish that I have not seen in a long time. The meat of the chicken drumette is pushed to one side to create a lollipop. It is then deep-fried and coated with thick teriyaki sauce. It has a crispy exterior followed by juicy meat and yummy teriyaki sauce. It is a dish that is best eaten with your fingers. Yum Yum.

Boxing Chicken in Teriyaki Sauce 
Moving on to Chapter Two – Salad, Greens. Classic Tomato Bruschetta (5pcs) [$14/$14MP] Crisp sliced baguette topped with homemade tomato salsa and sweet basil leaves. The bright red colour of the tomatoes is just so inviting, together with the sweet and tangy flavour, it is just irresistible.

Classic Tomato Bruschetta 
Chilled Waldorf Salad with Aussie Wagyu Beef (125gram) [$48 / $44 MP]. A classic salad, that is hard to find nowadays. The combination of fruits, vegetables and nuts with a twist of sesame dressing instead of the traditional mayonnaise delivers a party in your mouth. It is paired with 125 grams of Aussie Wagyu Beef, making it a complete dish.

Chilled Waldorf Salad with Aussie Wagyu Beef 
Mixed Vegetables Curry Risotto (V) [$38 / $35MP]. A homage to Asian cuisine. The vegetable curry is rich, spicy and delicious; while the Arborio rice soaks up the essence of the curry. Do watch out for the spicy kick from the curry.

Mixed Vegetables Curry Risotto 
Accompanying my meal for this round is Virgin Mojito [$16]

Virgin Mojito
Chapter Three – Pasta. Tiger Prawns Aglio Olio (spicy, no spice, middle spicy) [$48 / $44MP]. Pan-seared giant tiger prawns, al-dente spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, olives, garlic, curry leaves, white wine and chilli padi is a recipe for an enticing pasta dish. It is spicy and packed with the essence of the prawns, you will be slurping all the pasta in no time.

Pasta. Tiger Prawns Aglio Olio
Japanese Wagyu Beef (75gm) Stirred Fried Udon [$58 / $52 MP]. A Japanese pasta dish. The udon is thick and has a nice crunchiness, while the black pepper sauce and bonito flakes power up this dish. Unfortunately, the Japanese Wagyu Beef seems lost among this strong and bold flavour.

Japanese Wagyu Beef Stirred Fried Udon 
Chapter Four – Pizza. Mentaiko Tiger Prawns Pizza [$38 / $35 MP]. Not your traditional Italian pizza but it is a crowd-pleaser. Thin-based crust, topped with big and crunchy prawn, mozzarella cheese, mentaiko sauce, shaved bonito and roasted kazimi nori. It is tasty and delicious.

Pizza. Mentaiko Tiger Prawns Pizza
Chapter Five – Mains. Beef Wellington [$65 / $60 MP]. A technically challenging dish, yet executed perfectly by the team at Chapters. The pastry is crisp and fluffy, while the tenderloin is cooked to the point of medium-rare. The bacon and mushroom spread infused the umami flavour to the tenderloin. Accompanying the beef wellington are tri-colour carrots, mashed potatoes, mesclun salad and cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar dressing plus the gravy. This beef wellington will get a nod from Gordon Ramsay.

Beef Wellington
Pan-Seared Lemongrass Halibut Fish (200gram) [$45 / $42 MP]. The halibut fish fillets have a crisp exterior followed by a moist and flaky interior. They sat on top of the mixed baby carrots and mashed potatoes, basked in the unique taste of lemongrass capers cream sauce. It is served with Australian mesclun salad and sour plum cherry tomatoes. There is a lot of flavour going on the plate, but the sour plum cherry tomatoes are not to be missed.

Pan-Seared Lemongrass Halibut Fish
Chapter Six – Kids & Dessert. Home Made Baked Red Dates Sticky Pudding [$22] & Home-Made Burnt Cheese Cake [$22]. Two lovely plated desserts. The home-made red dates stick pudding is soft and bouncy. It goes well with the berries and vanilla ice cream,

Home Made Baked Red Dates Sticky Pudding 
Meanwhile, the burnt cheesecake has a nice smoky flavour but missing the signature gooey and melting texture in the middle. The blueberries, strawberries and red grapes paired nicely with the cheesecake but the ice-cream seems to be the odd one out.

Home-Made Burnt Cheese Cake
Overall, it was a pleasure visiting Chapters by Drinks&Co, part of the rejuvenation of Clarke Quay. The food is delicious and the traditional cocktails and mocktails are nicely done. LD and I recommend their Beef Wellington, Chilled Waldorf Salad with Aussie Wagyu Beef, Tiger Prawns Aglio Olio and Mentaiko Tiger Prawns Pizza. Plus don’t miss out on Chapters Singapore Sling Premium. Cheers!!

Cocktail - Pina Colada
Thank you very much Kristine and Team Chapters by Drinks&Co for the invitation.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: 8.75/10
Budget per Person: $51 – 80; $81 and above.

Chapters by Drinks&Co.
3D River Valley Road
#01-08 Clarke Quay
Singapore 179022

T: +65 9619 4568
Sun – Thu: 12.00 – 23.00
Fri – Sat: 12.00 – 02.00
Food and Drink Menu is available online (click here)

Sunday 14 April 2024

Zhup Zhup by One Prawn & Co – The Ultimate Comfort Food [MEDIA INVITE]

One Prawn & Co, known for its Japanese Tonkotsu-style broth prawn noodles and earned a Bib Gourmand spot in the Michelin Guide Singapore 2022 and 2023, is rebranding to Zhup Zhup by One Prawn & Co (“Zhup Zhup”)

Zhup Zhup Store
Their famous Gao-Gao prawn broth has brought enjoyment to many diners and turned them into loyal customers. Executive Chef / Owner Gwyneth Ang and her team have expanded the menu at Zhup Zhup to include the ultimate comfort food.

The Menu
Claypot Lobster Paofan ($58), An entire lobster, prawns, Asari clams and Japanese rice poached in their umami-packed prawn broth. Topped with egg floss and Japanese rice that has been specially dehydrated (not fried) in-house for a lovely textural contrast.

Claypot Lobster Paofan 
The overall dish is so comforting, LD and I cleaned the whole claypot till the last drop.

Claypot Lobster Paofan - Individual Serving 
The Lobster
The Last Drop
The Paofan also come in the seafood version ($16). Poached in Zhup Zhup’s signature prawn broth, loaded with prawns and Asari clams.

Claypot Hokkien Mee ($14). Chef's recommendation, the yummy ingredients include prawns, Asari clams, thick vermicelli, yellow noodle, plus Zhup Zhup umami prawn broth.

Claypot Hokkien Mee 
It is an amazing Hokkien Mee. Pack with flavours and loaded with hips of ingredients. The ingredients are about the same as the cards, I wish they have the option of adding extra noodles.

Claypot Hokkien Mee 
Not forgetting, Singapore’s favourite Zi Char dish, Har Cheong Gai ($9). Crispy externally and the mid-wing fresh is juicy, succulent and bursting with prawn paste marinate. Yummy.

Har Cheong Gai
Overall, Executive Chef / Owner Gwyneth Ang and her team have created a delicious comfort food to add to their menu. Using their Signature prawn broth, the paofan and claypot Hokkien mee are amazing. The same can be said with their Har Cheong Gai. There are more reasons to visit Zhup Zhup as they are now open from 11.00AM to 09.00PM. Cheers!!

A full review of their Tonkotsu Prawn Noodles is available here.

Thank you very much Protegie Consultancy, Chef Gwyneth and Zhup Zhup Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Budget per Person: $11 – 25; $26 - $50

Zhup Zhup by One Prawn & Co
458 Macpherson Road
Singapore 368176

T: +65 9878 8897
OH: Tue – Sun: 11.00 – 21.00
Closed on Sundays

Thursday 11 April 2024

Boon Kee Kway Teow Noodle – Since 1976

Boon Kee Kway Teow Noodle. Huh? That is my first reaction. I never heard of that name before, although I am a regular patron of the handmade fishball noodle shop at Chia Chee Drive. I spotted a post in one of the Food Group and it proudly posted that Boon Kee Kway Teow Noodle (“Boon Kee”) has been operating since 1976.

Hidden in Jalan Senang, the secluded part of Kembangan, the coffee shop catered mainly for the surrounding residents. It is very easy to spot outsiders like LD and I, when we enter the coffee shop.

When I went to the stall to order, Ah Guan, the first generation is busy changing the water for cooking the noodle. I was served by the son, Ah Poh. I ordered Mee Kia, dry and non-spicy ($4). He then asked me if I wanted ketchup or black sauce. I decided on the black sauce.

Mee Kia, Dry, Black Sauce
For $4, the portion is very generous. The toppings of bak chor (minced pork), sliced fish cakes, fishballs and meatball covered the noodles. The black sauce and pork oil are perfectly tossed to cover the al-dente noodles. Luckily, I did not order the $5 version, if not I will be having a hard time finishing it.

Mee Kia with Dark Sauce (Malaysian Style)
LD ordered the Mee Kia, spicy ($4). Usually, she will ask to add ketchup to the noodles, however, in Boon Kee this is the standard style. They called it the classic. The noodle is al-dente and the portion is generous as well. Although the chilli is good, LD says it is missing a bit of OMPH!!.

Mee Pok, Dry with Chilli (Ketchup + Chilli)
I also ordered Fishball Soup ($4). We got around 12 pcs of fishballs. The fishballs are soft and bouncy, plus you can see some pork lard swimming in the soup. I personally like the meatball better than the fishballs.

Fishball Soup
The drink stalls seem to be run by the same team, as they all wear the red colour Boon Kee Kway Teow Noodle shirt.

Overall, it was a fruitful journey to Jalan Senang. Boon Kee version of fishball noodle is indeed the classic version. We will return to try their Laksa and White fishball noodle (pork lard + light soy sauce version) as well. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 9.5/10
Service: N/A (Self Service)
Ambiance: N/A (Coffee Shop)
Budget per Person: $0 – $10

Boon Kee Kway Teow Noodle
(Since 1976)
92 Jalan Senang
Singapore 418464

T: +65 9362 8578
Mon – Sat: 06.15 – 15.30
Closed on Sundays

Thursday 4 April 2024

Feng Xiang BKT – Klang Style Claypot Bak Kut Teh + Zi Char Delights [MEDIA INVITE]

Feng Xiang is a Klang-style Claypot Bak Kut Teh born during the pandemic 2 years ago. It started when Mr Harvey Ang, the co-founder was yearning for the robust flavour of his hometown Klang’s Bak Kut Teh and he was unable to “balik kampung” (go back home). Created with family heirloom recipes passed down through generations and the skilful use of 16 premium ingredients and herbs, Feng Xiang BKT evokes memories Klang’s signature taste. As Feng Xiang is well received by the customers, they have expanded to nine outlets around Singapore.

Feng Xiang @ Vivo City
We had our tasting at Feng Xiang Food Republic @ Vivocity. It is a restaurant within the Food Republic, with up to 60 seats.

The Menu Board
The Drink Menu
Herbal Bak Kut Teh (Soup) Regular $8.50. Served in a claypot, the ingredients include pork ribs, sliced pork, tau pok, enoki mushroom, shiitake mushroom and topped with fried beancurd skin. The broth is dark, robust and infused with herbs. The short pork ribs are juicy, succulent and infused with the essence of the broth. For a Klang-style BKT, I like the herbs to be very strong, however, the version at Feng Xiang is milder and can be easily acceptable by everyone.

Herbal Bak Kut Teh (Soup) 
Herbal Bak Kut Teh (Soup) - The Ingredients 
The Pork Rib
Bak Kut Teh (Dry) Regular $9.50. It is a sweet and savoury dish, cooked with string-thin cuttlefish strips, dried chilli and covered in the sweet dark sauce. The combination of caramelised sweet dark soy sauce, cuttlefish and dried chilli cooked in high heat, push that delicious and irresistible flavour into the pork ribs. What a “Flavour Bomb” and the best dry bak kut teh in Singapore.

Bak Kut Teh (Dry) 
Feng Xiang Pork Cutlet Fried Porridge $8.50. Signature fried porridge at Feng Xiang. The porridge is infused with shallots and hae bee (dried prawns), cooked at a very high heat. You can see the “fire show” when the chef cooks the fried porridge. The toppings include fried pork cutlet, pork lard, fried shallots and spring onion. The porridge is fragrant, smooth, creamy and not oily. The fried pork cutlet and pork lard provided a contrasting texture to the dish, and the generous portion can easily satisfy 2 persons.

Feng Xiang Pork Cutlet Fried Porridge 
Starting on 1st March 2024, Feng Xiang is introducing Zi Char favourites chosen by the Malaysian-born Chefs.

Har Cheong Gai (Prawn Paste Chicken Mid Wings), promotional price $4.90*, (original price $7.90) & Har Cheong Crispy Chicken Skin promotional price $2.90*, (original price $4.90). Har Cheong Gai is probably the most ordered dish in Singapore and Malaysia’s Zi Char scene. The version at Feng Xiang is well marinated, packed with umami flavour and crisp externally.

Har Cheong Gai (Prawn Paste Chicken Mid Wings) 
Since we always like the crispy texture of the Har Cheong Gai, Feng Xiang is offering the Har Cheong Crispy Chicken skin as well. It is super crispy and such umami overload. I like it as a snack, but it is also good to eat with the fried porridge. Yum Yum.

Har Cheong Crispy Chicken Skin 
Salad You Tiao, promotional price $3.90* (original price $5.90). It has a crunchy exterior, followed by bouncy and tasty squid paste. It is served with mayonnaise dip. Being adventurous, I dipped mine with dry BKT gravy and it was just amazing.

Salad You Tiao
Steamed Fresh Baby Squid, promotional price $6.90*, (original price $9.90). Steamed to perfection, the baby squid is fresh, tender and bouncy. The soy sauce, fried garlic and spring onion paired nicely with the squid. A must-order dish here.

Steamed Fresh Baby Squid

With the purchase of Bak Kut Teh Soup, Bak Kut Teh Dry, or Fried Porridge, you are entitled to enjoy any of the 4 zi char dishes at the promotional price throughout March and April 2024.

Overall, it was an enjoyable meal at Feng Xiang. The Dry Bak Kut Teh, Har Cheong Gai Crispy Skin and Steamed Fresh Baby Squid are our picks from the delicious food. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: N/A (Food Court)
Budget per Person: $0 – $10; $11 - $25.

Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh @Vivo City
1 HarbourFront Walk
#03-01 Food Republic @VivoCity
Singapore 098585

OH: Daily 10.00 – 21.00 Full detail of all Feng Xiang locations are available on their website or click here.

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