Monday, 31 May 2021

COCA – Thai Steamboat at Home [MEDIA DROP]

COCA - Hotpot Set A

COCA Restaurant is a well-known Thai hot pot restaurant in Thailand, Singapore and abroad. My first experience with COCA Restaurant in Singapore is at the Ngee Ann City outlet, followed by the branch at Suntec. COCA Restaurant hot pot is known for its fusion between Thai and Cantonese Style of Steamboat and it has stood the test of time against the new wave of steamboat restaurants.

COCA Hotpot
Image Credit COCA

Now, you can bring home COCA flavours with COCA home delivery. LD and I get to try their Hotpot Set A ($82, serves 3 to 4 pax +). This set includes the following:
-Complimentary Mala Fried Rice
-Complimentary Mala Fish Skin
-2 soup bases (we got Signature Hua Diao Phoenix Pot and Tantalizing Tom Yum)
-Prawns, Thinly Sliced Pork Collar, Chicken Fillet
-Chicken Meat Paste, Shrimp Wanton, Fishball with Roe
-Chinese Cabbage, Local Lettuce, Emperor Shiitake
-Signature Green Noodle
-COCA Thai Suki Sauce

The delivery comes in 2 bags. One for the cooked food, soup base and room temperature ingredients, while the other for cold and chilled items. The soup and suki sauces get additional shrink wrap to prevent spillage. A good first impression.

The Packing
The soup base: Signature Hua Diao Phoenix Pot and Tantalizing Tom Yum. I personally like the Hua Diao Phoenix Pot. The milky colour soup is robust, sweet and flavourful. It is suitable to cook any ingredients in it. The tom yum soup base is aromatic, spicy but on the sweet side. For those who like more sourish type, you might need to add some lime and chilli, to kick it up a notch.

Signature Hua Diao Phoenix Pot and Tantalizing Tom Yum
For the meat, sliced pork collar, chicken fillet and prawns. The pork collar is juicy and succulent, but don’t expect those Iberico melt in your mouth type. The chicken meat is tender and absorbs both types of broth nicely. Meanwhile, the prawns are fresh and crunchy. It is also partly de-shell, so you can enjoy it without getting your hands dirty.

Sliced pork collar, Chicken fillet and Prawns

Sliced pork collar

Sliced pork collar - Cooked

Prawn
Chicken Meat Paste, Shrimp Wanton, Fishball with Roe. Surprisingly, the chicken meat paste is juicy and succulent. This reminds me of the handmade chicken meatballs that I ate in one of the famous Japanese restaurants in Singapore. The shrimp wanton is crunchy, as good as that popular Thai frozen wanton brand. The fishball with roe is crunchy, bouncy followed by bursting ikura flavour.

Chicken Meat Paste, Shrimp Wanton, Fishball with Roe

Chicken Meat Paste
The complimentary Mala Fish Skin is crispy, it remains crispy even after a few hours. It packs the mala punch, those mala lovers won’t be disappointed. The same can be said with the complimentary Mala Fried Rice.

Mala Fish Skin & Mala Fried Rice

Mala Fish Skin
The portion of the vegetables are generous. The green noodles are a must-have for a Thai style hotpot. LD & I will usually order a few plates of this when we are having hot pot in Thailand. The COCA version here is just awesome. This green colour noodle is tasty and al-dente. It is crunchy and bodes well with both soup base. Another way to eat this noodle is to toss it with the signature COCA Thai suki sauce.

Chinese Cabbage, Emperor Shiitake & Local Lettuce


Signature Green Noodle
Overall, it was a pleasure having a Thai steamboat at home. While we miss travelling to Thailand, at least this steamboat can satisfy our longing for the steamboat there. For Hotpot Set A, the portion is good for 4 small eaters. However, if you are a big eater, I suggest you order more ingredients. The generous soup portions are more than enough for the add-ons. Cheers!!

Thank you very much Jennifer Yeo Consultancy and COCA Team for arranging the delivery.

Food & Drink: 7.25/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Drop)
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

COCA
5 Stadium Walk
#02-01 Leisure Park Kallang
Singapore 397693

T: +65 6241 3833
IG: @Cocasingapore
OH: Daily 11.00 – 20.00

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Bowls & Bites – Delicious, Health, Wholesome Meal [MEDIA INVITE]


Truffle Beef Bowl 

Bowls & Bites is a new concept by the folks behind Black Fairy Coffee. Bowls & Bites (“BB”) aim to deliver an enchanting experience through good food and drinks. Located in CBD, BB offers a hearty, wholesome and nutritious meal followed by an extensive Happy Hour and value alcohol offerings.

Bowls & Bites
We started the tasting with BB signature Truffle Beef Bowl ($15.90) with additional Foie Gras ($3). For the base, you can choose between Pearl Rice, Brown Rice or Salad. The toppings include medium-rare beef tenderloin that delivers a lean yet tender protein, onsen egg, boiled broccoli and furikake Together with diced foie gras and truffle oil, it’s like a flavour bomb happening in your mouth.

Truffle Beef Bowl 
I realised the base sauce for this beef bowl is on the sweet side. Luckily, each rice bowls are served with apple salad. It is crunchy and slightly sourish, mixed with dried cranberries which helps to balance the rice bowl perfectly. There is an option to get the large version for ($8.90), it is good to have it on its own or as a main meal.

Beef Tenderloin

Apple Salad with dried Cranberry
Mentaiko Salmon Bowl ($14.90). Brown Rice, Salmon topped with Mentaiko sauce, onsen egg and broccoli. The brown rice is tasty and crunchy, the mentaiko sauce paired well with the salmon. The salmon is a bit overcooked of my liking, as it tasted dry without the mentaiko sauce.

Mentaiko Salmon Bowl

The Salmon
Rustic Beef Stew ($14.90). This is one of my comfort foods. A huge chunk of beef, stewed with potato, carrots and herbs. BB uses a leaner cut of the beef, however, I tasted three different parts of the beef: the lean meat, tendon and also the fats. The broth of the stew is on the lighter side and soaked up nicely by the toasted ciabatta. For small eater, this dish can easily satisfy two people.


Rustic Beef Stew

Rustic Beef Stew
We washed down the meal with refreshing Lemongrass Pandan ($4 for cold) and Grapefruit Pomelo ($4 for Cold).

Grapefruit Pamelo & Lemongrass Pandan
The furnishing of the place is simple yet attractive. A combination of a gold colour steel base and walnut are used for the high table and chairs. There are two seating areas, inside the China Square Food Centre and outdoor, just beside the entrance to the food centre. However, most of the glass window and walls are covered with alcohol promotions.

Part of Indoor Dining Area

Food Menu

Drink Menu
Overall, Bowls & Bites cater to the CBD dining trend. It provides a delicious, healthy and wholesome meal for lunch, followed by long happy hours for the after-office hour crowd. The Truffle Beef Bowl and Rustic Beef Stew is a must-try. Cheers!!

Note:
- This Media Tasting is conducted before the Phase 2 Heightened Alert.
- During this P2HA, Bowls & Bites only catered for Islandwide Delivery only, from 10AM to 8PM daily. Order through WhatsApp 8444 0352 or visit order.tabsquare.ai/BowlsandBites
- Check out Bowls & Bites FB page for more details here.

Thank you very much Protegie PR and Bowls & Bites Team for hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

Bowls & Bites
51 Telok Ayer Street
#01-03 China Square Food Centre
Singapore 048441

T: +65 8444 0352
IG: @Bowlsnbites.sg
OH:
Mon – Fri: 10.00 – 20.00
Sat – Sun: Closed

Monday, 10 May 2021

Enjoy Eating House – 10 Course Local Experience High Tea Set [MEDIA INVITE]

Goreng Pisang With Coconut and Gula Melaka Dip

Enjoy Eating House and Bar @ Mercure on Stevens recently launched 10-Course Local Experience High Tea Set, priced at $30 per person. This special treat is available on weekdays from Monday to Friday, 2:30pm to 5.30pm only. The good news is from now until 31st May 2021, there is an opening promotion of 20% off.

High Tea Menu
Image Credit: Enjoy Eating House & Bar



We start by choosing non-alcoholic drinks from the list. I got the iced Thai Milk Tea less sweet and LD chose iced Pandan Lemongrass Tea less sweet. For those who want something with alcohol, you can go for a glass of prosecco or house pour for $8.

Iced Pandan Lemongrass Tea & Iced Thai Milk Tea
The first plate that arrived is small bites. Hand-rolled Chinese Ngoh Hiang, Crispy Vegetarian Spring Roll and Shiok Prawn Patty. We can guarantee you that the ngoh hiang here is hand-rolled on the premises, as we saw one of the chefs doing it on site. It is thick, crunchy and wrapped with crispy beancurd skin. It is served with the traditional sweet sauce.

Shiok Prawn Patty, Crispy Vegetarian Spring Roll & 
Hand-rolled Chinese Ngoh Hiang 

Hand-rolled Chinese Ngoh Hiang
The vegetarian spring roll is crispy, filled with glass noodle and vegetables. The prawn patty is thick, dense and bouncy; however, the seasoning is a bit too strong. You need the sweet chilli sauce to balance the saltiness.

Shiok Prawn Patty, Crispy Vegetarian Spring Roll & 
Hand-rolled Chinese Ngoh Hiang 

Shiok Prawn Patty
Steamed Mackerel Otah. Moist and spicy chopped otah, wrapped with soft white bread and topped with chilli garnish. The taste and flavour spot on. If only the otah as thick as one slice of bread, this otah mini sandwich will be very SHIOK!!

Steamed Mackerel Otah

Steamed Mackerel Otah
House Braised Kong Bak Bao. The braised pork belly is fork-tender, robust, infused with all the spices and dark soy sauce and slowly melts in your mouth. Describing this in one word #Porkgasm.

House Braised Kong Bak Bao. 

House Braised Kong Bak Bao.
Fried Mantou with Singapore Style Chilli Crab Sauce. If you love Chilli Crab, you will love this dish. A bowl of thick, spicy and savoury Singapore style chilli crab sauce, served with 1 (one) fried mantou. Ok, portion-wise, it is just not balanced. If you just dip the fried mantou into the sauce, there will be a lot of sauce leftover. Therefore, I decided to tear the mantou and drink the sauce like a soup. Yum Yum.

Fried Mantou with Singapore Style Chilli Crab Sauce

Chubby Botak Koala - Chili Crab Soup
Wok Fried Carrot Cake with Prawns. A local favourite dish upgraded. I said upgraded because it comes with 3 huge prawns plus an equal serving of the eggs and carrot cake (not sure how many eggs they use) and coated in thick black sweet soy sauce. The carrot cake is a bit bland, well-compensated by the burst of flavour in the eggs.

Wok Fried Carrot Cake with Prawns

Wok Fried Carrot Cake with Prawns
We finally reach the sweets. Assorted Nyonya Kueh (4pcs), Goreng Pisang With Coconut and Gula Melaka Dip; and Chendol Panna Cotta. For the Nyonya Kueh, we had 2 different types of Kueh Lupis and ongol ubi. The kueh lupis is sticky and bouncy, while the ongol ubi is coated with fresh coconut shavings.

Assorted Nyonya Kueh (4pcs), Goreng Pisang With Coconut and Gula Melaka Dip;
Chendol Panna Cotta

Assorted Nyonya Kueh 
As the Goreng Pisang is freshly made, it has a light and crispy exterior. The banana inside is firm, yet soft, with a touch of sourness. The gula melaka and coconut cream complemented the goreng pisang nicely.

Goreng Pisang With Coconut and Gula Melaka Dip
The chendol panna cotta has a soft and wobbly coconut base. The chendol topping has the perfect texture, delicate, but not mushy and flavourful. The gula melaka sits between the base and chendol, bind the ingredients nicely. One of the best chendol panna cotta we ever tried. LD gives her two thumbs up!

Chendol Panna Cotta

Overall, it was a great high tea experience. Instead of the scones, sandwich, tarts and cake, we have ngoh hiang, fried carrot cake, kong bak bao, goreng pisang and chendol panna cotta. Absolutely must try. Cheers!!


Thank you very much for Protegie PR and Enjoy Eating House & Bar Team for hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 8.5/10
Value: 8.510
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Enjoy Eating House & Bar @ Stevens
30 Stevens Road
#01-07 Hotel Mercure on Stevens
Singapore 257840

T: +65 8511 1478
IG: @Enjoyeatinghouse
OH: Daily 11.00 – 23.00
Menu Available Online

Monday, 3 May 2021

Kakurega – Modern Yakitori and Sake Bar [MEDIA INVITE]

Shime Saba Aburi 

Kakurega (The Lair) is a new Japanese Sake Bar, which opens in December 2020, in Smith Street, Chinatown. Kakurega in Japanese means a hideout. As a sake bar, it is a place to get away after a busy day at work or think of it as a place to meet up to enjoy charcoal-grilled yakitori and sake.

Kakurega - The Lair
Kakurega occupied 3 stories of the shophouse, with a seating capacity of 50. It has four private rooms: 2 larger ones able to seat eight diners and their other two can accommodate four diners. The ambience is cosy with modern Japanese restaurant decoration. We were seated on the second floor, where one side of the wall filled with sake bottles.

Private Dining Area 8 Pax
Image Credit: Kakurega
We started our tasting session with Eihire (Sun-Dried Stingray Fin, $7.80), Kawaebi Karaage (Deep-Fried Kawa Shrimp, $7.80) and Kawahagi (Dried Leather Jacket, $6.80). The kawaebi karaage is my favourite, as it is crispy and crunchy The Eihire and kawahagi almost have the same texture, but the kawahagi has a softer and enjoyable compare to the usually dry eihire. All these three side dishes are nice to enjoy with beer or sake.

Eihre, Kawaebi Karaage & Kawahagi

Eihire
To accompanied the starters, we were served Kakurega house sake, Issyou Koufuku Junmai Ginjo ($98 for 720m, $168 for 1800ml). According to LD, the sake is light and easy to drink.

Kakurega house sake, Issyou Koufuku Junmai Ginjo
Shime Saba Aburi (Flame-Seared Cured Mackerel, $10.80). Plump and juicy mackerel fillet. You can taste the vinegar cured in the mackerel and the lightly torched infused a touch of smoky flavour in the fish. Delicate and reduced the fishy flavour in the mackerel, served with crunchy seaweed on the side.

Shime Saba Aburi 

Shime Saba Aburi
Gyu Tataki (230g Meltique Beef with Garlic Chips, $18.80). It is a good value from the price point. The beef is tender, covered with sweet and tangy sauce. In a certain cut of the steak, you sometimes get that unpleasant bite of the muscle, which is a bit hard to chew. For the garlic chips, Kakurega should use sliced garlic, which has a bigger and wider surface instead of chopped garlic, to give the dish more class.

Gyu Tataki

Gyu Tataki
Hotate Mentai (Scallop with Mentai Sauce, $6.80). One of the best dishes of the night. A huge plump and juicy scallop covered the delicious mentai sauce. It is so good, you will be asking for more. Yum Yum.

Hotate Mentai 

Hotate Mentai
Niwatori Karaage (Deep-Fried Chicken with Sesame Dressing, $6.80). An unusual version of karaage served at Kakurega. Usually, tori karaage is marinated in mirin and oyster sauce, resulting in a sweet taste of the chicken meat. However, here, the chicken meat tasted tangy, almost like the cured saba. The exterior is crispy and served with sesame dressing and the usual Japanese mayonnaise. Not sure if I will order this again though.

Niwatori Karaage

Niwatori Karaage
We finally reach the Yakitori section. We started with Apsara Bacon (Asparagus wrapped in Bacon, $3.80) and Mozzarella Chizu Maki (Creamy Mozzarella wrapped in Beef Short Plate $6.80). The asparagus and bacon is a classic yakitori combo, consist of crunchy asparagus wrapped in crispy and salty bacon. Yum.

Aspara Bacon & Mozzarella Chizu Maki 
The creamy mozzarella wrapped in beef short plate impressed me. Juicy beef cuts covered the sticky and chewy cheese. Juicy and delicious, though you must eat this fast before the cheese hardens.

Mozzarella Chizu Maki & Aspara Bacon 
Buta Enoki (Enoki Mushroom wrapped in Pork, $3.80) and Tori Momo (Chicken Thigh, $3.80). LD and I were quite surprised when we bit into these two sticks. The taste is very subtle, almost unseasoned. When we ask the manager, they said due to the feedback from the customer, they have tone down on the salt seasoning. LD ask for red pepper powder to spice up these sticks. Regular izakaya and yakitori fans, please take note when you order the yakitori, you might need to have them salt it more to get the taste that you are used to.

Buta Enoki & Tori Momo
Chashu Ringo Sauce (Pork Belly with Apple Sauce, $6.80). Not the usual bold, sweet and sticky chashu sauce, instead the focal taste comes from the apple sauce. You can see the apple puree on top of the pork belly slices.

Chashu Ringo Sauce 

Chashu Ringo Sauce 
Overall, it was a unique yakitori experience at Kakurega. It is not the traditional Japanese yakitori style, instead, Kakurega dares to challenge the norm to come out with a new, creative and healthier version of the yakitori to pair with their sake. If you are looking to try something new, give Kakurega a try. Kanpai! Cheers!

Private Room for 4 Pax
Image Credit: Kakurega
Thank you very much Jennifer Yeo Consultancy and Kakurega Team for hosting us.

Promo details: All-You-Can-Drink Liquid Buffet @ $59
Kakurega (The Lair) has just launched an All-You-Can-Drink Liquid Buffet. 
2 Hours Free Flow of Selected Japanese Sake & Asahi Beer
Yamagata Issyou Koufuku Junmai
Yamagata Issyou Koufuku Junmai Ginjo
Hakkaisan Honjozo
Asahi Draft Beer
Available Monday to Saturday, 5pm -10.30pm

Food & Drink: 6.75/10
Value: 6.75/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and above.

Kakurega (The Lair)
12 Smith Street
Singapore 058926

T: +65 6223 0102
IG: @kakuregasg
OH:
Mon – Sat, 17.00 – 22.30
Closed on Sunday
Menu Available Online

Our Popular Reviews: