Thursday, 16 January 2020

Kyoaji Dining – CNY 2020 [MEDIA INVITE]

Kyoaji Yu Sheng 

Celebrate this Chinese New Year with Kyoaji Dining. Kyoaji means “Taste of Kyoto”, Japan’s former capital city and the seat of the Imperial Court over a thousand years. Executive Chef John Phua and his team drew inspirations from the rich culinary tradition in Kyoto and fuse it with different cooking styles and ingredients from around the world.

Kyoaji Dining Entrance

Part of the Dining Area and Chef's Table

This year, Kyoaji Yu Sheng ($48++, U.P. $68++) is a reunion culinary creation that you can look forward to. Combining the usual shaved vegetables of carrot, radish and cucumbers with Kyoaji ingredients such as seaweed, bonito flakes, danmuji (yellow pickled radish), gari (pink pickled ginger), mushroom, pomelo, almond flakes, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Kyoaji Yu Sheng 

The final topping is the salmon sashimi, dressed with oil and Kyoaji’s homemade plum sauce. It delivers a refreshing and delicate crunchy texture in the Yu Sheng. Best of all, the homemade plum sauce just continues to tease your palate to keep scooping this delicious Yu Sheng until finish.

Kyoaji Yu Sheng 

During this Chinese New Year period, Kyoaji will also be serving XO Sauce Chawan Mushi ($15). The smooth and silky steam egg served with the topping of fragrant and fiery XO sauce, scallops, prawn and crab stick.

XO Sauce Chawan Mushi

We also tried dishes from their regular menu. Toumorokoshi Kakiage (Corn Tempura, $15). Crispy exterior followed with sweet, juicy and bursting corn kernels. A quick dip in tempura sauce introduces a delicate savoury flavour that accentuates the sweetness of the kernels.

Toumorokoshi Kakiage (Corn Tempura)

Gyuniku Aburi Maki (Seared Beef Roll, $30). Nice mini bite-size of sushi. In between the sushi rice and seaweed is a sweet pickled radish, topped with nicely torched thick beef slices and mentaiko sauce.

Gyuniku Aburi Maki (Seared Beef Roll)

Gyuniku Aburi Maki (Seared Beef Roll)

Zuwai Kani Tama Mushi (Snow Crab Meat Steamed Egg, $16). Unlike the XO Sauce Chawan Mushi, the snow crab meat steamed egg is a delicate version of chawan mushi. The smooth and velvety egg, create a base for the natural sweetness of snow crab meat to shines and the earthy flavour from the mushroom. In between bites, it is good to scoop some of the tobiko for the salty burst of the sea.

Zuwai Kani Tama Mushi (Snow Crab Meat Steamed Egg)

Bento ($35), part of the lunch menu at Kyoaji. A complete set of meal consists of Salad, Chawan Mushi, Eel, Tempura, Sashimi, Pickles, Rice, Soup and Desserts. The sashimi is fresh, while the tempura is crunchy and juicy. I like the unagi here, as it is plump, juicy and the sauce is just right. Nicely complementing the rice.


Overall, Kyoaji Dining will provide you with an alternative place to celebrate this Chinese New Year. Meanwhile, their unique and delicious takeaway Yu Sheng will complement your gathering or reunion dinner nicely. Cheers!!

Our Meal

Note: Kyoaji Yu Sheng $48++ (U.P $68++) will be available from 16 January to 08 February 2020 for dine-in and takeaway. *t&c applies. 

Part of the Dining Area

Part of the Dining Area and Entrance to One of the Private Room

Private Room
Thank you Kristine and Kyoaji Team for the tasting invitation. 

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 9/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above

Kyoaji Dining
111 Somerset Road
#02-05/06 Triple One Somerset
Singapore 238164

T: +65 6694 4068 / 6694 3058
IG: @Kyoajisg
Mon – Fri: Lunch, 11.30 – 15.00 (LO 14.30)
Mon – Fri: Dinner, 17.30 – 22.30 (LO 22.00)
Sat, Sun & PH: 11.30 – 22.30 (LO 22.00)

Monday, 13 January 2020

Chaoniu HotPot – Teochew Beef Hotpot

Teochew Beef Hotpot

Teochew Beef Hotpot is one of the must-try dishes in Chaozhou and Shantou area. I tried it during my maiden trip to Shantou and I love it.

Chaoniu Beef Hotpot

The first thing that I notice when having Teochew Beef Hotpot is clear broth soup base. Next is the freshness of the beef. In Shantou, they only use fresh beef they get daily from the abattoir, unlike the frozen stuff that we normally get. The master cutter in each restaurant will only slice the beef upon order. The freshness of the beef together with the knife skills deliver a #beefgasm experience not to be missed when you are in Chaozhou and Shantou.

To our surprise, a few days after we return to Singapore, we saw Chaoniu Hot Pot. We posted in on FB and “jio” a few “makan kakis” to check out this place. In total there was 5 of us.

The Menu - Part 1
Image Credit: Chaoniu Hot Pot

The Menu - Part 2
Image Credit: Chaoniu Hot Pot

We ordered Beef Feast Set ($168). This includes the neck, sirloin, tongue, topside, flank, blade, leg, beef ball, burdock, beef organ, tripe, tendon, vegetable platter and beancurd platter. For the soup base, we choose the ChaoShan Beef Broth ($15).

ChaoShan Beef Broth

While we are waiting for the order to come, we went to choose our sauce. Once the soup is boiled, you need to have a plain bowl of soup first topped with spring onion and coriander to warm up the tummy.

The Sauces

The Sauces

Each portion of the meat served comes with a coin. This coin will tell you the cuts of the beef and how long it should be cook to get the optimum flavours. The beef parts, tripe, beef ball, vegetable platter and beancurd patters did not come with the timing so you cook base on your liking.

The Cheek

It is best to cook one type of cut at a time. The process is that you put the meat in the big strainer and dip it base on the suggested time. While the meat is swimming on the hot broth, stir it with your chopsticks so it is evenly cooked. Once cooked, lift it and portion it with your makan kakis. Repeat the same process for the other cuts of beef.

How to Cook The Beef

The Leg

The neck and sirloin are our favourites cut due to the nice marbling and fattiness in the meat. We ordered extra plates of these. Flank has a nice fattiness, but the meat texture is a bit chewy.
The Neck


The blade provides us with a crunchy texture of the soft bone when you bit into the meat, while topside is the lean part of the cuts.

The Blade

We notice the beef is not the same as those we tasted in Shantou. In Chaoniu, the source of the beef are mainly from the US and it came frozen, before it is thawed for cutting and serving. Due to the conditions in Singapore, it is not possible to get fresh beef like in Shantou.


The meatballs are bouncy, crunchy with a slight chewiness. Tasted like tendon meatballs you commonly found in “Bakso” in Indonesia. The offcuts like tendon and liver are surprisingly good, though I find the tripe is chewier to my liking.

Tripe, Burdock, Beef Organs, Beef Balls and Tendon

Beef Balls

Beef Organs


The beancurd platter and vegetable platter provided a great variety. We like seaweed and black fungus.

Beancurd Platter & Vegetables Platter

For the finale, you should order their glass noodle. It is served with their special homemade sauce and topped with pork lard. Yummy!!  I don’t recommend their knife sliced noodles as it is hard to cook and become lumpy.

Glass Noodle

Glass Noodle with Special Sauce and Pork Lard

At the end of the hotpot, the service staff will serve you desserts FOC. On that night it was white fungus with wolfberries.


The décor is simple and function orientated. The dining area is spacious, but the sauce area is congested. You have to take turns to take get the sauce. Our service staff was friendly and very helpful and show us how to cook the beef and even help us cooked the glass noodle. Don’t expect HDL standard of service, but they are good enough.

Overall, it was nice to found Teochew Beef Hotpot in Singapore. For those who never been to Shantou, this will be a good experience. Beef lovers, this is place is a must-visit but leave your non-beef eater friends at home as they will only able to see you eat. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: 7.75/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

Chaoniu Hot Pot
195 East Coast Road
Singapore 428900

T: +65 6909 8783
IG: @Chaoniu_hot_pot
OH: Daily 11.00 – Midnight

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Goldleaf Restaurant – Chinese New Year 2020 [MEDIA INVITE]

Goldleaf Reunion Abalone Yu Sheng.

Goldleaf Restaurant (‘Goldleaf’) is founded in 1971 by a group of Singaporean businessmen who wanted to preserve the taste of old-school, family-style Chinese cuisine. Over the last 49 years, Goldleaf Restaurant has been faithful in preserving this tradition by serving Goldleaf’s customers “Comfort Food” including its staple Taiwanese-style porridge.

Goldleaf Restaurant 

Goldleaf Restaurant @ Katong Plaza

This Chinese New Year, Goldleaf offers 4 set menus: Abundance ($388+ for 4 pax), Happiness ($488+ for 6 pax), Prosperity ($688+ for 8 pax) and Auspicious ($888+ for 10 pax). At this tasting, we tried a few dishes from each set menu.

Chinese New Year Set Menu

Goldleaf Reunion Abalone Yu Sheng. The first impression that comes to mind is crunchy and refreshing. Instead of using salmon sashimi, Goldleaf uses abalone that adds natural sweetness and crunchiness. The plum sauce is made in house focusing on lower sugar level. Keep your taste buds ready for crunchy jellyfish and surprise lychee bubble that pops in your mouth.

Goldleaf Reunion Abalone Yu Sheng

Goldleaf Reunion Abalone Yu Sheng - Ready to Eat

Fish Maw and Crabmeat in Superior Broth. Thick and robust soup. The natural sweetness from the crabmeat really stands out, bodes well with the tasty broth. Usually, you need to add vinegar to remove any fishiness in the soup, I like mine without the vinegar.

Fish Maw and Crabmeat in Superior Broth.

Braised Broccoli with Scallops. A nice combination of crunchy texture from the broccoli with the sweet bouncy scallops. Add to the mix black fungus, mushrooms, mini corns, carrots and wolfberry for a medley of flavours and texture.

Braised Broccoli with Scallops

Sautéed Prawns with XO Sauce. The version of the XO sauce used here is leaning towards the flavour of Taiwan. It is aromatic but without the spicy punch of dried scallops and chilli normally found in Hong Kong style of XO sauce. The prawns are deep-fried, giving the shell a solid crispy texture, followed with firm yet bouncy flesh of the prawns. The XO is on the mild side and thus allowing the flavour of the prawn to shine.

Sautéed Prawns with XO Sauce

Sautéed Prawns with XO Sauce

Deep-fried Seabass in Sweet & Sour Sauce. A superbly fried seabass. It is lightly coated with flour and deep-fried till all the parts are crispy. The sweet and sour sauce is on the lighter side and complements the fish nicely.

Deep-fried Seabass in Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Steamed Red Snapper in Hong Kong Style
. It is nicely done. The fish texture is firm and flaky. The special soy sauce accentuates the flavour of the fish, together with spring onions and chilli.

Steamed Red Snapper in Hong Kong Style

Golden Cereal Prawn Balls. Instead of prawn balls, our dishes use whole deep-fried prawns. The golden cereal is aromatic, crispy and sweet, allowing you to bite into the prawns without deshelling it. Some people will like it; however, I find the sweetness level in the cereal mix a bit off-putting for me.
Golden Cereal Prawn Balls

Stewed Taiwanese Noodles with Crab Meat. A delicious noodle dish. The noodle is al-dente, a bit oily but the packs with strong Umami flavour from the crab meat and dark soy sauce. I like the bak choy and the popping texture of the tobiko as the final topping in this dish. Although you are full, don’t miss out on this dish. Yummy.

Stewed Taiwanese Noodles with Crab Meat

Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts and Goji Berries. Very smooth and silky yam paste. The sweetness level is around medium, just nice for me. Though it is good, I prefer my yam paste where I can feel the fibres.

Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts and Goji Berries.

We also tried Goldleaf signature dish Stewed Pork Belly with Mustard Greens. I can’t say NO to pork belly, especially when it is cooked in the form of my childhood favourite dish. The pork belly is well marinated and steams till it melts in your mouth. The secret is the mustard green below where it absorbs the essence of the pork. Put this on a top of steam rice, you will be asking for more rice in no time. My ultimate “Rice Thief” dish.

Stewed Pork Belly with Mustard Greens

Stewed Pork Belly with Mustard Greens

Overall, Goldleaf presents a homely version of Chinese New Year dishes executed. It sticks to its expertise in serving “Comfort Food” and we really enjoy the meal here. Cheers!!

Goldleaf Restaurant - The Origin

Part of Dining Area

Part of Dining Area

Thank you very much, Kristine for the invite and Goldleaf Restaurant Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above

Goldleaf Restaurant
86 East Coast Road
#01-02 Katong Square
Singapore 428788

T: +65 6344 1735
IG: @Goldleafsingapore
OH: Daily 11.00 – 14.30, 18.00 – 22.00

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