Wednesday 19 June 2024

H&C Café – A New & Better Choice for You [MEDIA INVITE]

H&C Café has launched a new menu focused on healthy, hearty, wholesome and delicious. To accompany the new culinary creation, H&C also introduced Fancy Chinese Tea range.

H&C Cafe

Part of Dining Area
There are 9 options for the Fancy Chinese Tea, and we only managed to try 3 of them.

Fancy Chinese Tea
Cold Brew Orchid Pu’erh Tea [$10.90] – Orchid Flower and Pu’erh Tea Leaves. I like the presentation; the bottle looks similar to XO Cognac. The tea has a strong Pu’erh flavour, is not bitter and with refreshing orchid aftertaste.

Cold Brew Orchid Pu’erh Tea 
Beau-tea-ful You [$14] – Mixed Dried Fruits, Rose, Strawberries and Dragon fruit & Tea-rrifically Healthy [$14] Chrysanthemum, Buckwheat Tea and Osmanthus. These teas are brewed using the Siphon method and poured into a glass teapot before servings. The Beau-tea-ful You is naturally sweet from the fruits and rose, with a touch of sourness from the berries. Meanwhile, the Tea-rrifically Healthy has a refreshing chrysanthemum flower with a slight bitter finish from the buckwheat. Each of the brews is only for 1 time only.

Siphon Method
Beau-tea-ful You 
Tea-rrifically Healthy
Moving to the food, we started with Crispy Squid [$18]. The squid is crunchy and the exterior is covered with spicy, sweet and savoury concoction. Once we drizzle the lime juice, the acidity brings a nice twang to the dish. A good start to the meal.

Crispy Squid
Hot & Sour Gyoza [$14]. The pan-fried chicken gyoza has a crispy and chewy texture. The tangy sour mustard greens soup, complemented by the sweetness from the cherry tomatoes opened up my appetite.

Hot & Sour Gyoza
Sticky Pork Ribs [$15.50]. Bite-size pork ribs, deep fried and coated with classic sweet vinegar glaze. The sweet and savoury flavour combo makes the pork ribs plus the longan make this dish irresistible.

Sticky Pork Ribs
Low Cal, Avocado Scallion Capellini [$22.50]. The scallion capellini is fragrant and smooth. The avocado, mushroom, nori and cherry tomatoes made the dish look healthy. Surprisingly, it brought up the nostalgic feeling, like I am eating high-end version of economic bee hoon.

Low Cal, Avocado Scallion Capellini 
Hot Sauce Prawn Pasta [$27.50]. The prawns are fresh and crunchy, while the capellini absorbs the rich and umami essence from the prawn and hot sauce. The kale adds a healthy and contrasting texture to the dish, while the egg confit helps to tame the spicy hot sauce.

Hot Sauce Prawn Pasta
Tomato Beef Stew [$19.50] served with sourdough. The beef cheek has a nice caramelisation and fork tender as well. The stew is light, tasty, tangy and a touch of Sichuan spice to perk up the stew. The crisp sourdough complements the stew nicely with its texture and to polish up the gravy. (*instead of sourdough, you can ask for scallion pancake).

Tomato Beef Stew 
Humble Grain Stone Bowl [$16.50]. A beautiful medley of vegetables and grains. There are mixed grains, potato, mixed mushrooms, fried kale, white sesame and scallion soy sauce. Each of the ingredients brought unique and tasty components to the dish, complemented by the charred from the hot stone bowl.

Humble Grain Stone Bowl
Salmon & Grains [$34]. Lovely seared salmon fillet with a crispy skin plated on the top of mixed grain tossed with scallion soy sauce. The charred Romaine lettuce adds a nice smoky flavour and crunchy texture. The avocado adds a rich creamy texture to the dish, while the squeeze of lemon binds all the ingredients together and remove any fishiness from the salmon.

Salmon & Grains
Squid Mixed Grain Rice Stew [$26.50]. A fusion creation that blends the East and West. The sour mustard green broth works well with the mixed grains, while the squid and cherry tomatoes brought exciting texture and burst of flavours to this dish. A delicious creation indeed.

Squid Mixed Grain Rice Stew 
Overall, I like the latest creations at H&C Café. The food is internationally inspired, creative and tasty, while maintaining the healthy and lower in calories principles. The Fancy Chinese Tea concoctions are also nice and easy to drink. Definitely a place to try. Cheers!!

Thank you, Kristine, Executive Chef Eugene and H&C Café team, for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

H&C Cafe
290 Orchard Road
#03-09 Paragon Shipping Centre
Singapore 238859

T: +65 9727 511
OH: Daily 11.00 – 20.30

Sunday 9 June 2024

Fi Woodfire Thai – A Modern Thai Culinary Concept with A Woodfire Twist [MEDIA INVITE]

Fi Woodfire Thai (“Fi”) Restaurant showcases a modern Thai culinary concept through the dynamic use of fire and curated for the local palate. To deliver a deep smoky richness, Fi uses a double-insulated wood-fire oven with Bincho-tan charcoal for longevity and heat stability, complemented by aromatic lychee wood.

Entrance - From Inside Robertson Walk
Entrance - From Outside Robertson Walk
Located at Robertson Walk, Fi is a cosy establishment that seats 40 guests. The restaurant is minimally decorated, merging simplicity and warmth. The main dining area is filled with high tables and chairs for a group of four or six. Meanwhile, the centrepiece of the restaurant is the long bar that double-up as a dining table that can seat up to a dozen of guests.

The Bar
We started our adventure at Fi with drinks. Thai Ice Lemon Tea [$8] and Sabai [$20]. The Thai Ice Lemon Tea is potent, thick and strong. I initially asked for no sugar, luckily the service staff recommended a bit of sugar, to remove the bitterness from the tea. A good recommendation.

Thai Iced Lemon Tea
LD choose a cocktail, Sabai. Sabai mean “to relax” in Thai, this cocktail mixes Mekong rum with a squeeze of lemon, simple syrup, and fresh basil leaves for a refreshing mid-day tipple. LD says it is refreshing and the bartender is very generous with the splashes of rum as well.

Sabai (Front)
Charred Corn Som Tum [$14]. Traditional Thai Som Tum complete with its ingredients Shredded Papaya, Cherry Tomato, Long Bean, Dried Shrimp, Onions, Chilli Padi, Garlic, Fish Sauce, Lime Juice and Peanuts. The salad is refreshing with a touch of spiciness and the grilled corn is absolutely delicious. Smoky, charred, sweet and juicy. A good start to the meal.

Charred Corn Som Tum 
Basil Minced Pork on Charred Eggplant [$18]. I usually don’t eat basil minced pork in a Thai restaurant, because it is usually very spicy. The version here is mild in spiciness, aromatic, sweet and packed with flavour. I also make an exception for the eggplant, the texture is smooth, crunchy with a nice smoky flavour and a nice grilled mark on the inner part. It provided an excellent base for stir-fried basil minced pork.

Basil Minced Pork on Charred Eggplant
French Poulet [$28] - Grilled Half Gg French Poulet, Chicken Liver, Jaew Sauce. The refined version of grilled Thai Chicken (Kai Yang). The French Poulet is juicy, succulent and the marinate penetrated to the bone. The meat from the breast and thigh are equally juicy. The marinated sauce is a bit sweet initially, but after a squeeze of lime, the citrus flavour just brings the overall flavours to life. It is best to be eaten with the raw salad.

French Poulet
“Moo Ping” Smoked Pork Ribs (500g Bone In) [$42]. Absolutely, ridiculously, super yummy. The pork ribs’ texture is fork tender, juicy, succulent, well-marinated with a lovely charred crust. It can feel a bit “Jelak” (Overwhelming), but it can easily be fixed with a squeeze of lime or dipping sauce. It is heavenly and finger licking good. #OinkOink #Porkgasm

Moo Ping
The Bones
Seafood Pad Thai [$18] - Shrimp, Squid, Egg, Tofu, Sprouts, Chives, Rice Noodle, Crushed Peanuts. This version here is Pad Thai which you get in restaurants / hotels in Thailand. It uses juicy big prawns. I find the taste of the pad thai is too bold for my liking, especially the sweetness level. Although it has a nice smoky flavour at the beginning, it dissipates from the dish after the second bite.

Seafood Pad Thai
Thai Milk Tea Panna Cotta [$12] - Thai Milk Tea Pudding Served with Coconut Ice Cream and Tea Jelly. A well-plated and well-constructed dessert. The milk tea pudding is dense and creamy. The tea jelly delivers a bold thick flavour of Thai tea, while the coconut ice cream binds all the ingredients nicely.

Thai Milk Tea Panna Cotta 
For spicy food lovers, please inform the service staff when you order the food. The kitchen can adjust the spiciness level for the Som Tum, Basil Minced Pork and Tom Yum. They can also serve cut chilli if needed.

Overall, we enjoy the food at Fi. Don’t expect a traditional street food in Thailand, be open minded to the modern interpretation of Thai Food here that are suitable to pair with their cocktails and drinks. Don’t miss out on their amazing French Poulet & Moo Ping. Chiyo!! Cheers!!

Thank you very much Protegie Consultancy and Team Fi Woodfire Thai for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

Fi Woodfire Thai
11 Unity Street
#01-07, Robertson Walk
Singapore 237995

T: +65 8776 1569
OH:
Wed – Sun: 11.30 – 15.00, 17.00 – 22.00
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays

Sunday 2 June 2024

Hey Kee – HK Style Seafood in Singapore

Hey Kee HK Seafood (“Hey Kee”) is a Retro HK Dai Pai Dong-style live seafood restaurant located in Guillemard Village in Geylang. Hey Kee occupied the ground floor of the main building, setting a lively retro Hong Kong theme complete with fish tanks filled with live seafood such as lobsters, crabs, prawns, clams and fish.

Hey Kee
The restaurant dining area is divided into “Indoor” and outdoor. Although you are seated indoors, it is decorated like you are seated outdoors, just like a Dai Pai Dong in Hong Kong. Filled with bright lights, signboard and they even include a barber shop for the fun of it. The outdoor seating is simpler, filled with round tables and red foldable chairs. There are huge air conditioners and retractable awnings to the diners cool and dry.

Outdoor Dining Area
This review is based on our two visits to Hey Kee.

Menu P1
Menu P2
Double Boiled Pig Stomach Chicken Soup with White Pepper [$36.80]. Hongkongers are known for their love of the soup. Therefore, we decided to order one to start our meal. The pig stomach soup is robust, sweet and with a hint of pepper. Unlike the Singapore version, the pepper taste is very mild, it is more soothing than spicy awakening. Meanwhile, the pig stomach is soft with a bit of chewiness.

Double Boiled Pig Stomach Chicken Soup with White Pepper 
Live Clam Black Bean Sauce [$25]. The clams are fresh, plump and juicy, while the medley of cut chilli, onion and a generous dollop of black bean sauce infused a familiar flavour in this dish.

Live Clam Black Bean Sauce 
Deep Fried Cuttlefish with Salt & Pepper [$20.80]. This is probably the dish that I associated closely with Hong Kong’s style of food. The cuttlefish is tender, brownish, and coated with aromatic salt and pepper that almost looks like a curry powder. The version here is very good

Deep Fried Cuttlefish with Salt & Pepper 
HK Street Style Shark Fin [$12.80]. A very generous portion of the HK Street Style Shark Fin. Don’t expect to be served real shark fin here, but the robust and gooey soup is very comforting. LD enjoyed this dish.

HK Street Style Shark Fin 
Signature Braised Lamb Stew with Beancurd Skin [$42.80]. A dish commonly served during the cold season in HK. The lamb is tender, not gamy and fork tender. I like the fermented taste in the gravy, the aroma and it blends nicely with thick cuts of radish. This beancurd stick is still a bit though, it needs more braising time to soften it and absorb the gravy.

Signature Braised Lamb Stew with Beancurd Skin
Temple Street Crispy Roast Chicken (L) [$39.80]. It is one of the dishes that you need to pre-order during reservations. The skin is paper thin, super crispy and coated with crispy garlic. The flesh is tender and succulent, even for the breast. It is one of the yummiest roast chickens I ever tried.

Temple Street Crispy Roast Chicken (L)
Steamed Fish with Chopped Yellow Chilli - Turbot [$108]. This is the first time I have a turbot for steamed fish. The fish is very fat and covered with the chopped yellow chilli. Surprisingly, the yellow chilli tasted sweet and tangy, almost pickled-like. Together with soy sauce, it infused sweet, savoury and umami flavour to the fish.

Steamed Fish with Chopped Yellow Chilli - Turbot 
Red Grouper – Steamed Hong Kong Style. The red grouper is different compared to the turbot. The flesh is firm and bouncy and it did not absorb much of the superior soy sauce.

Red Grouper – Steamed Hong Kong Style
HK Style Sauteed Chives with Dried Shrimp [$23.80] & Sizzling Kai Lan with Dried Prawns in Claypot [$23.80]. Two types of vegetables we tried at Hey Kee. They both have the same characteristics, crunchy and a bit oily. The dried prawns were supposed to add more flavour, but it seemed to be an overkill for me.

HK Style Sauteed Chives with Dried Shrimp 
Sizzling Kai Lan with Dried Prawns in Claypot 
Stir-Fried Lobster with Potato Noodles in Superior Broth – Australia Lobster [$148/kg]. This was a treat from our Thai Friends. The noodle is smooth, silky coated in rich and creamy superior stock. The lobster flesh is firm and bouncy. Well, I enjoy the noodle and the gravy, instead of the flesh of the lobster.

Stir-Fried Lobster with Potato Noodles in Superior Broth –
Australia Lobster
 
To the carbs, we tried Supreme Soy Sauce Fried HK Noodles (S) [$12.80] and Signature “Wok Hei” Hor Fun with Beef [$12.80]. Both of them are excellent. The fried HK noodles are thin, silky and loaded with umami flavours from the Supreme Soy Sauce.

Supreme Soy Sauce Fried HK Noodles (S) 
The Hor Fun is just heavenly. Solid “Wok Hei”, yummy seasoning, while the egg, beansprout and sliced beef complement the silky rice sheets nicely.

Signature “Wok Hei” Hor Fun with Beef
Signature Claypot Seafood Porridge [Market Price]. A signature Hong Kong Congee. The porridge is smooth, silky and infused with the sweetness of the seafood. The prawns and clams are fresh. It is a very comforting dish, though it is missing the you tiao.

Signature Claypot Seafood Porridge 
Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple [$22.80 Large]. We ordered this as the finale during our second visit. The deep-fried pork is crispy, while the sauce is sweet and tangy. The use of hawthorn in the sauce shows that they are not messing around with this dish.

Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple 
Service is good, friendly and efficient. However, once all your dishes are served, it can be difficult to get their attention. The boss also comes out to check on the quality of the food and to get feedback from the customers.

Menu P3
CBK verdict: Hey Key serves solid Hong Kong Dai Pai Dong dishes, plus the overall quality of the food is very good and very close to the taste that we get in Hong Kong. Don’t miss out on their Signature Claypot Seafood Porridge, Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple, Steamed Fish with Chopped Yellow Chilli, Temple Street Roast Chicken and the Supreme Soy Sauce Fried HK Noodles. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Menu P4

Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

Hey Kee HK Seafood
102 Guillemard Road
#01-01, Guillemard Village
Singapore 399719

T: +65 9891 0950
OH:
Daily 11.30 – 15.00; 17.30 – 22.30

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