Sunday, 20 September 2020

AWADH – Authentic Lucknow Cuisine [MEDIA INVITE]

Zaffrani Malai Phirni or Rose Phirni

AWADH is the first and only Indian restaurant in Singapore and South East Asia that serve authentic Lucknow cuisine. Their Master chefs belong to the famous Qureshi family of Master-chefs from Lucknow, trained to create the culinary spread fit for the Nawabs (Emperors). 
AWADH
AWADH gastronomic creations use more than 120 spices, all of which worth their weight in gold. The chefs trained on the ancient secret recipes and “temper” the dishes with aromatic herbs, spices, flavoured ghee and saffron. Located centrally in Orchard Road, AWADH is easily accessible from all parts of Singapore. 

Spices use in AWADH
While waiting for our feast to start, we whet our appetite with homemade lassi and pappadam. 
Homemade Lassi
Pappadam
Murg-Multani Shorba ($14), AWADH signature chicken soup officially kicks start our tasting session. Tasted like robust chicken soup with a touch of curry. The peppery heat at the end warms up your throat and tummy in preparation for the upcoming feast. 
Murg-Multani Shorba

Murg-Multani Shorba
Tandori Macchi ($22) is a chargrilled boneless piece of fish gently marinated in tandoori spices and thickened yoghurt. The fish is well marinated, firm and hold its shape nicely. When you bit into it, the texture is moist. It is a bit salty, so you might want to dip it with the tomato bell pepper chutney to balance the saltiness. 
Tandori Macchi
Tandori Macchi - The Fish
Gosht Galawat Kebab ($27). A staple in Awadhi cuisine, melt-in-your-mouth mutton patties with a blend of over 25 rare spices complemented with Mughlai paratha & yoghurt mint chutney. The patty is moist, soft and packed with a lot of spices. However, the strong and bold flavours in the kebab might not be suitable for everyone. 
Gosht Galawat Kebab
Kurkuri Okra ($16). A delicious crispy ladyfinger. I must confess that Okra and Me do not get along, However, as the okra is deep-fried, I gave it a try. It is crispy, lightly seasoned with spices while removing the sliminess in the middle part. Yum Yum. 
Kurkuri Okra
Tandoori Lehsuni Jhinga (Special Order Only). Garlic marinated prawns chargrilled in the tandoor oven served with a mint sauce. Crunchy tiger prawn, nicely seasoned with a nice smoky aroma. The mint sauce on the side enhances the flavour of the prawn beautifully. 
Tandoori Lehsuni Jhinga
Reshmi Broccoli ($19). AWADH version of baked creamy broccoli. A combination of creamy and crunchy that is easy on the palate. 
Reshmi Broccoli
Bhatt Ka Murgh ($24). Pan-seared bone-in marinated chicken served on a hot plate. This dish is sizzling when it arrived on the table. The chicken is fork-tender and nicely marinated meat easily fall off the bone. One of the best dishes of the day. 
Bhatt Ka Murgh 
As we have completed the starters, we are ready to move on to the Main Course. Yup, the dishes above were only starters. Frankly, we were about 70% full and we were re-arranging the space in our tummy. The main course in Indian cuisine are the dishes that paired with rice, naan, paratha and roti. 
Our Staters - Flatlay

Bhuna Gosht ($27). Mutton cooked with fried onions and tomato paste and a blend of aromatic spices. A fork-tender mutton dish with thick and creamy gravy. The spices almost covered all the gaminess of the mutton, making it acceptable to most diners. 
Bhuna Gosht
Murgh Makhni Jehangiri ($23). Popularly known as butter chicken; succulent pieces of chicken in a mildly spiced creamy tomato gravy. Tender and succulent chicken pieces, cooked in a rich buttery and tangy gravy. 
Murgh Makhni Jehangiri 
Lehsuni Motiya Saag Paneer ($20). Seasonal green vegetables with a choice of corn or cubes of cottage cheese. LD and my favourite greens in an Indian restaurant. This time it was served with corn (cottage cheese version also available). The seasonal green vegetables are smooth and creamy, followed with a crunchy burst of sweetness from the corn kernels instead of the usual savoury cottage cheese. Our first time trying this, and it is just yummy. 
Lehsuni Motiya Saag Paneer
Sultani Dal ($19) A combination of yellow and red lentils tempered with cumin and green chillies, best complemented with crisped buttered tandoori roti. It is light and tasty, works well to balance the rich naan. 
Sultani Dal
Some of the Main Courses
AWADH Murgh Biryani ($25). Biryani fit for the Royals. Boneless pieces of chicken, marinated in a blend over 40 spices, layered with basmati rice and slow-cooked “dum” style for 6 hours. 
AWADH Murgh Biryani 
The result is amazingly fragrant basmati rice with fork-tender chicken pieces and explosions of flavour in each bite. I like the texture of each grain of the rice remain al-dente and not mushy. 

The main meal also served with Plain Naan ($6), Garlic Naan ($7), Ulte Tawe Ka Paratha ($8) and Rumali Roti ($8). While we are familiar with naan, Ulte Tawe Ka Paratha, the signature Lucknawi paratha is a something you should try here. It is tasty and it has that extra chewy texture. 
Naan, Paratha & Roti with the Mains

Main Course
Meanwhile, the Rumali Roti is light, paper-thin and fluffy at the same time. Perfect to soak up those delicious gravy. 

Finally, we reach the finish line with desserts. Apple Jalebi ($12). AWADH unique take on the common jalebi dessert, granny-smith green apple slices covered in a spiced batter and steeped in sweet syrup. A combination of crispy and crunchy texture. The sourness from the apple reduces the sweetness from the sweet syrup. 
Apple Jalebi
We also have a shot of Zaffrani Malai Phirni or Rose Phirni. Phirni is a rich and creamy Mughal milk pudding. Zaffrani is cardamom flavour, while Rose Phirni is flavoured with rose essence. LD enjoyed the Rose Phirni, however, my taste bud does not agree with cardamon flavoured phirni. 
Zaffrani Malai Phirni or Rose Phirni
AWADH at Centrepoint Singapore is decorated in a combination of Indian and Persian flair. The tables are covered with black table cloth with the chairs are red. The bar and live band area are the main attractions in the restaurant, but during this covid-19 period, there will be no live band. 
The Bar
Overall, we are delighted to have tried the food at AWADH. Although the dishes look familiar, you can taste the difference of the unique multi-layer flavour from extra spices used in each of the dishes. Definitely worth to try. Cheers!! 
Live Band Area
Thank you very much Kris for inviting us and AWADH Team for hosting us. 

Food & Drinks: 8.25/10 
Value: 7/10 
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation) 
Ambiance: 7.75/10 
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80 

AWADH 
Royal Indian Dining and Lounge 
176 Orchard Road 
#01-33H, The Centrepoint 
Singapore 238843 

T: +65 9385 5337 / 6909 9971 
IG: @Awadhdining 
OH: Daily 11.00 – 23.30
Full Menu available online



Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Golden Peony – Curate Your Own Menu [MEDIA INVITE]

Chilled Cream of Avocado, Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Bean, Coconut Pudding.

September brings an exciting dining experience at Golden Peony. Curate Your Own Menu! Create your bespoke dining experience at Golden Peony curated from celebrity Chef Ku's new menu. A 5-course lunch from S$48++ per person or 6-course dinner from S$68++ per person.

LD and I tried their 6-course dinner menu.

We started with the delicious century egg prawn roll for appetizer. Crisp exterior followed with springy prawn meat. In the centre of the prawn roll are bak kwa, century egg and wasabi mayonnaise. A good way to start. 

Century Egg Prawn Roll
London’ Duck Pancake Roll, Parma Ham, Pineapple, Crispy Beancurd Skin Swan Pastry with Chili Crab Meat. An individual portion of a mixed platter. You start with the chewy homemade pancake skin that wraps the juicy and succulent London Duck. This homemade pancake skin is specially made to provide extra chewiness and to reduce the possibility of the skin drying out easily. 

London’ Duck Pancake Roll, Parma Ham, Pineapple,
Crispy Beancurd Skin Swan Pastry with Chili Crab Meat
.
On the top, there are few slices of the roast London duck to savour with the plum sauce or even with the shiso leaf. The swan pastry is light, crispy and crumbly. It is filled with Singapore's Signature Chilli Crab that packs a solid punch. 

Crispy Beancurd Skin Swan Pastry with Chili Crab Meat
Crispy Beancurd Skin Swan Pastry with Chili Crab Meat
Double-boiled Baby Abalone Soup with Sea Whelk, Conpoy and Bamboo Pith in Mini Golden Pumpkin. A beautiful plating for this soup dish. The chicken soup is double boiled with the pumpkin. The broth tasted clean, with natural sweetness from the pumpkin and filled with the essence of the chicken. The abalone added a subtle flavour of the sea and the chewy texture in the soup together with the bamboo pit.
 
Double-boiled Baby Abalone Soup with Sea Whelk,
Conpoy and Bamboo Pith in Mini Golden Pumpkin
Double-boiled Baby Abalone Soup with Sea Whelk, 
Conpoy and Bamboo Pith in Mini Golden Pumpkin
Steamed Halibut, Capsicum Preserved Chili. The steamed halibut has a firm and buttery texture. The fungus and asparagus added an extra crunch to this dish. While I am not a fan of chilli on my fish, I do appreciate the multi-layers that the sweet picked chili brings flavours to this dish. Surprisingly, the sweet pickled chilli did not overpower the original flavour and still able to taste the freshness of the fish. 

Steamed Halibut, Capsicum Preserved Chili

Steamed Halibut, Capsicum Preserved Chili
Baked Kurobuta Pork with Bacon and XO Chili Sauce. Chef Ku version of pork roll. Kurobuta pork is wrapped with bacon in infused XO Chili sauce and baked. Although the pork roll is fork-tender, the XO sauce flavour is overpowered by the sweetness of the onion. Plated with the pork are broccoli for contrasting crunchy texture and tangy red currant berries, that will cut through the sweetness in the sauce. 
Baked Kurobuta Pork with Bacon and XO Chili Sauce.
Baked Kurobuta Pork with Bacon and XO Chili Sauce.
Stewed River Prawn with Crispy Egg Noodle Ball, Ginger, Spring Onion and Egg Gravy. When I cut through the egg noodle ball, I can hear the beautiful crunchy sound. Even after allowing the noodle soak and absorb the rich prawn infused egg gravy, I can still taste the crispy texture of the egg noodle in each bite. The gigantic river prawn is fresh, juicy, sweet with a hint of bitterness at the end. Totally love this dish. 

Stewed River Prawn with Crispy Egg Noodle Ball, Ginger, Spring Onion and Egg Gravy
The River Prawn
Chilled Cream of Avocado, Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Bean, Coconut Pudding. A Smooth and creamy avocado cream paired with vanilla ice cream. The bouncy heart shape red bean and coconut jelly adds a twist and contrasting flavour to the dish. Awesome dessert to round up the meal nicely. 

Chilled Cream of Avocado, Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Bean, Coconut Pudding
Overall, it was a sublime creation by Executive Chef Ku Keung and his team at Golden Peony. The menu is delicious and well balanced. Yummy!! 

Curate Your Own Menu 
When: September 2020 Onwards 
Time: Lunch 11.30 – 14.30; Dinner, 18.30 – 22.30 
Where: Golden Peony 
             Conrad Centennial Singapore, Level 3 
Price: Lunch, 5-course menu for $48++ per person 
          Dinner, 6-course menu for $68++ per person 
Reservation: 
Call 6432 7482/88 or Email Sinci.GoldenPeony@conradhotels.com; or 
Menu available here

Thank you very much Golden Peony Team & Conrad Centennial Singapore for hosting us. 

Food & Drink: 8.5/10 
Value: 8.5/10 
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 
IG: @Goldenpeony
OH: 
Mon – Sat: 11.30 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30 
Sun: 10.30 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30 

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Chng Kae – Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncake [MEDIA DROP]

Chng Kae - Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes

Chng Kae (pronounced “Cheng Kae”) in Hokkien for Banker is a new player in this year Mooncake scene. Although it is a new establishment, Chng Kae is helmed by an experienced entrepreneur, especially in the Durian Mooncake business.

This year, Chng Kae introduced Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes ($98 for box of 4). Each of the mooncakes is filled with 100% Pure Mao Shan Wang Puree, encased in a thin delicate layer of blue-white marbled design snowskin. The blue-white marbled design reflects traditional Chinese earthenware that was perceived as luxury items in the Tang Dynasty. 

Chng Kae - Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes
I like their purple tin box, feels very nostalgic, like the traditional mooncakes. To ensure the temperature of the mooncakes remains optimum, the mooncakes are delivered in an insulated thermal bag. 

Chng Kae - Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes
When I first bit into the mooncake, I can taste the solid high-quality MSW durian puree slowly melts in your mouth. The snowskin is very thin and dissipate without affecting the flavour of the MSW. Super Solid, Super Delicious, Yummy!! 

Check out the Durian Puree
CBK Verdict: Die Die Must Order. Durian lovers will go gaga for this!! #duriangasm 

Chng Kae - Qing Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncakes

Chng Kae Quan Hua Mao Shan Wang Mooncake 
Order from: www.chngkae.com
Order 3 boxes & above for FREE Delivery 

Thank you very much Chng Kae for the super yummy Media Drop. 

Chng Kae 
1 Senoko Ave 
#03-03 Food Axis @Senoko 
Singapore 758297 

IG: @Chngkae.sg

Monday, 31 August 2020

Yu Cun – Claypot Curry Fish Head

Claypot Curry Fish Head
Yu Cun is a local zi char restaurant specialising in Claypot Curry Fish head, using only premium and fresh fish. It was recommended by our friend C, for a quick lunch. 

Yu Cun
A must-order here is, of course, their Claypot Curry Fish Head ($30). The fish head is fresh and covered with lemak rich curry and loaded with ladyfingers, bean curd skin, eggplant, long bean and tomato. The curry absorbs into part of fish nicely, yet it was not overpowering and you can taste the actual fish taste. The low fire keeps the curry warm and nice to eat. Definitely a “rice thief” dish. 

Claypot Curry Fish Head
In terms of spiciness, I find it very manageable (CBK spiciness ratings at 5/10). LD thinks the dish can add extra heat, as the chilli and spice is simply not powerful enough. 

I suggest you order the Fried Beancurd Skin ($3.80). We added it into the curry fish head, let it soak for a minute before taking it out. The beancurd absorbs and carry the rich curry nicely, plus the crunchy texture making it very addictive. 

Fried Beancurd Skin
Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetable in Soy Sauce ($9.90). Yu Cun version of pork belly braised with mei cai. The pork belly is fatty and tender, while the gravy is salty infused with mei cai flavour. However, as a Hakka, I find this dish a bit watery and lacking the OMPH factor. 

Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetable in Soy Sauce
Marmite Chicken Wing ($11.90) is just delicious. The chicken was deep fried till crispy and evenly coated with sweet savoury marmite sauce. I can have the whole plate on my own. 

Marmite Chicken Wing
As we only order limited dishes, I end up ordering Ice Jelly ($3.50) for dessert. A nice and refreshing dessert. 

Ice Jelly
Service is friendly and efficient. Order is placed through tablet instead of the service staff. The restaurant is very open and remains cool even when the temperature was searing hot outside. If you are coming for lunch, I suggest you come around 11.30 to get your parking spot. 

The verdict: A must try place for claypot curry fish head and zi char. From the small batch of the dishes that we tried (4 out of 90 plus dishes in the menu), the taste and quality have been good. We look forward to our next visit. LD will definitely be asking them to increase the spiciness of their curry fish head next time around. Cheers!! 

Menu 1

Menu 2

Food & Drinks: 7/10 
Value: 7.5/10 
Service: 6.25/10 
Ambiance: 6/10 
Budget per Person: $11 - $25 

Yu Cun 
Claypot Curry Fish Head 
147 Upper Paya Lebar Road 
Singapore 534849 

T: +65 6286 0491 
IG: @Yucuncurryfishhead 
OH: Daily 11.00 – 23.00 (LO 22.00)

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