Thursday, 1 December 2022

Victor’s Kitchen – The Best Casual HK Dim Sum in Singapore

My first review of Victor’s Kitchen (“Victor”) was way back in 2013. Since then, Victor’s has opened up another branch at Chinatown Point, survived the C-pandemic and even has island-wide delivery with oddle. I guess it is time to review the restaurant again.

Menu / Order Sheet 1
We visited after it pass the busy lunch hour, so we almost have the place to ourselves. Once you step into the shop, you can help yourself to the order sheet, 1 for the food and another A4 size board to order the drink. Once you are done, just submit the order to the counter.

Menu / Order Sheet 2
The drinks are the first to come. I ordered H.K. Summer Iced Ying Yang (Milk Coffee with Tea, $3.80). I decided that I need a bit more kick instead of the usual milk tea. The Ying Yang is silky and smooth with a touch of bitterness and kick from the coffee. Victor is probably the first establishment in Singapore that put ice outside the drink, to ensure the purity of the H.K. Summer Iced milk tea / ying yang. LD ordered the H.K. Summer Iced Milk Tea ($3.80) and they are still as good as before, 100% HK taste.

H.K. Summer Iced Ying Yang (Milk Coffee with Tea)
“Bo Lo” Butter Buns (2pcs, $5.50). It is served warm with Lurpak butter on the side. The fluffy bun is coated with crispy and delicious pineapple crust. It was comforting and yummy. Perfect for any time of the day. The best part is no need to queue or wait very long for the bun to be ready.

“Bo Lo” Butter Buns 
“Bo Lo” Butter Buns 
Victor’s King Prawn Dumpling (3pcs per set, $5.90). The Har Gao is still jumbo in size. It is plump and juicy, while the skin is smooth and a bit sticky, with a bit of bounce to it.

Victor’s King Prawn Dumpling (Har Gao) 
Tasty Queen Size Siew Mai (4pcs per set, $5.50). The diced pork is firm and solid. When I bit into it, I can taste the fatty part of the pork used, to ensure the fillings remain juicy. Yummy.

Tasty Queen Size Siew Mai 
Xiao Long Bao (3pcs per set, $5.50). The skin is soft, while the pork filling is juicy and filled with broth as well. The taste is good, but not to the level of their har gao or siew mai.

Xiao Long Bao
Fish Porridge with Century Egg ($7.80, subject to availability) An unusual combination, but it works. The congee is silky, yet gooey and tasty. The fish is fresh, thickly sliced and firm. I like, that they did not put too many century egg in the porridge therefore not overpowering the fish.

Fish Porridge with Century Egg 
The Sliced Fish
Chicken Feet in Abalone Sauce ($5.50). If chicken feet are not your thing, I suggest you still try the abalone sauce. It is robust and packs with umami flavour. It is so good, I mixed it with the congee and the vegetables that we ordered. The skin on the chicken feet is sticky, as it absorbs the abalone sauce, I enjoy sucking it off the bones.

Chicken Feet in Abalone Sauce
Seasoned Vegetables ($5.20). The kailan is soft, yet it retains the crunchy texture of the vegetables. I don’t know how they do it, but I find the vegetables serve here are sweet.

Seasoned Vegetables
Crispy Golden Shrimp Rolls ($5.30). Crispy and crunchy. It is very tasty and you can enjoy it without the dipping sauce.

Crispy Golden Shrimp Rolls 
King Prawn Cheong Fun ($5). The jumbo size prawns are wrapped in thick yet a smooth rice sheet. Due to the thickness of the cheong fun, the sauce was not absorbed well into the skin.

King Prawn Cheong Fun
Chicken & Sausage in Glutinous Rice ($6.20). It took longer to steam, so the rice only comes when we are almost full. The glutinous rice is soft, yet sticky, while the chicken and sauce fillings flavoured the glutinous rice although it was very light.

Chicken & Sausage in Glutinous Rice 
Chicken & Sausage in Glutinous Rice 
I ate it with the complimentary XO sauce given at the start of the meal. The spicy and solid flavour of the XO sauce provided another dimension to the lighter dishes.

XO Sauce
Golden Egg Yolk Lava Bun (3pcs per set, $5.30). The signature dish that made customers flock down to Victor. They are one of the pioneers and still the standard-setter for Liu Sha Bao in Singapore. The bun is soft and fluffy, and the golden egg yolk lava just oozes out from the centre of the bun. The blend of the golden egg yolk is just superb, thick, rich and packs of punch. Yum Yum!

Golden Egg Yolk Lava Bun 
Golden Egg Yolk Lava Bun 
LD ordered Steam Ginger Egg Custard ($5) for dessert. It is not on the paper menu, but it is displayed on the poster at the restaurant. It is smooth and eggy followed by a slight ginger aroma and taste. I was hoping the ginger taste to be stronger.

Steam Ginger Egg Custard
Steam Ginger Egg Custard
The service staff are friendly, however, don’t expect restaurant standard. No décor in the shop, it is functional and they maximise the seating space in the limited environment

CBK Verdict: The changes at Victor’s have been very minimum. They still served solid dim sum, with minimum fuss. I must say for the quality of the food, Victor still kept their price increase to the minimum. Definitely, a must-visit HK-style Dim Sum in Singapore. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

Victor’s Kitchen
91 Bencoolen Street
#01-49, Sunshine Plaza
Singapore 189652

T:+65 9616 6077
OH:
Mon – Thu & Sun: 10.30 – 22.00
Fri – Sat: 10.30 – 21.00

Other Location
133 New Bridge Road
#B1-33 Chinatown Point
Singapore 059413
Menu Available Online + Online Order

Sunday, 27 November 2022

Morsels – Fall Menu 2022 [MEDIA INVITE]

Morsels, a hidden gem located in the lush greenery of Dempsey Hill is owned and operated by Celebrity Chef Petrina Loh. A true-blue Singaporean, she has won tons of accolades and is recognised for her achievements in her culinary journey. The recently awarded 2022 World Gourmet Awards Chef of The Year (Female) is the icing on the cake.

Morsels
The menu at Morsels is designed with washoku mindset strongly influenced by Japanese cuisine. It is simple yet complicated and thoughtful, put together with sweet, sour, salty, bitter and full of umami flavours in mind. Completing the experience on the plate, each dish is artistically presented.

Welcome to Morsels
Chef Petrina incorporated a lot of Asian elements such as Traditional Chinese Medicine; fermentation with Korean Sauce Maestro for making soya sauce, gochujang and doenjang; not forgetting the Western herbs, some can be found planted around the Morsels. In short, you can expect Asian-inspired tasting dishes with unusual ingredient combinations that will tease your palate and make you gasp and say WOW, Freaking Awesome!!

Table Setting
The theme for Morsels Fall Menu 2022, is to continue to drive food with nourishment given the post-pandemic and the new wave of Covid. The ingredients use spans from spices to build immunity, and Chinese herbs to replenish and low use of white sugar and produce that are high in inflammatory. Be ready for Nourishing yet Bespoke experience.

Kithcen & Part of Dining Area
Our adventure at Morsels begins with Snacks. Seasonal oyster with tamarillo shrub, pear cucumber vinaigrette and pickled cucumber. While most restaurant usually goes with traditional vinaigrette dressing, Morsels incorporate Asian inspired vinaigrette. The result is plump and fresh oysters, accompanied by tangy, yet smooth and refreshing dressing.

Seasonal Oysters
Seasonal Oysters
Negitoro – sea dust, calamansi kaffir vinaigrette and glutinous rice crackers. A lovely chopped maguro mixed with Otoro Miyu (fat), seasoned with citrusy flavour vinaigrette. I like the chewy texture of the chopped maguro and its seasoning. The glutinous rice cracker is crispy, yet I can taste a bit of chewiness in it. The sea dust made from Aonori seaweed, katsuboshi powder and Shijimi togarashi added a mystical umami flavour to the bite.

Negitoro
Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino. The foie gras cappuccino mixed with black truffle. served with mini duck fat madeleine, poha (crispy flattened rice) dusted with five spice powder. The blend of foie gras and black truffle is smooth and creamy. The pillowy madeleine is a nice touch, while the poha provided a crisp texture to the dish and contrasting flavour to tone down the richness of the foie gras.

Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino
Truffle Foie Gras Cappuccino
The snacks come with the wine pairing of Champagne Bonnet-Ponson Extra Brut. For the non-drinker like me, I get to try NON wine alternative, salted raspberry and chamomile. It is slightly dry, fruity and tastes like wine, only without the alcohol.

NON wine alternative, salted raspberry and chamomile (Left)
Champagne Bonnet-Ponson Extra Brut (Right)
We proceed with Small Plates. While Snacks are plated in a single bite or individual portions, Small Plates encourages communal dining and sharing between diners.

A touch of Morsels
Hamachi Kombujime - tigernut milk, cilantro kosho, tobiko & kombu oil. At a first glance, this dish reminds me of ceviche, a Peruvian cured fish dish. At Morsels, the hamachi is cured in kombu for 3 days, served in tigernut milk (a superfood with high calcium) topped with tobiko, mizuna leaves & steam and kombu oil.

Hamachi Kombujime 
The sliced hamachi has a firm texture and is covered in a nutty milk like broth, which is a bit sourish and peppery. When you eat the hamachi together with tobiko and rice balls, it delivers a nice popping texture together with an umami flavour.

Hamachi Kombujime 
Burrata - Kuri pumpkin, Kabocha gazpacho, Brazil nut furikake & Thai basil oil. For this dish, Morsels combine sous vide Kuri pumpkin from Spain, known for its nutty flavour, with Kabocha pumpkin gazpacho from Japan, known for its sweeter flavour. Plated on top of the Artigiana burrata are spinach, friseé lettuce and Brazil nut furikake.

Burrata
An interesting combination of pumpkin and burrata. It is difficult to taste every ingredient on this plate in one go. I started with creamy burrata with sweet pumpkin gazpacho. Then I scoop the burrata with soft pumpkin slices with olive oil. Afterwards, the spinach and friseé are added into the scoop and I can taste the bitter texture of the dish and a crunchy texture. Franky, the overall dish is a bit confusing, yet I just can’t stop scooping. The overall flavours are on the lighter side and I thought a touch of salt will enhance the overall flavours.

Burrata
Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn - daikon kimchi cake, raspberry gochujang sauce, brown butter granola. The prawn is crunchy and cooked to perfection. The tofu look-alike is Morsels interpretation of Chinese carrot cake, and I enjoy sweet and mildly spicy raspberry gochujang sauce.

Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn 
Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawn 
The wine pairing for Small Plates is white Katogi Averoff Inima Negoska 2019.

Katogi Averoff Inima Negoska 2019
Venus Clams - fig chicken broth, cabbage kimchi, pickled wakame. The fresh Venus clams are cooked in nutritious fig chicken broth, cabbage kimchi and pickled wakame. It is served with 2 slices of crispy bread. Totally love the bisque-like broth of this dish, it is just a flavour bomb. You have a sweet, salty, sour and umami plus not forgetting the plump clams. How I wish there is a spongier bread or you tiao just to soak the broth. Yummy!!

Venus Clams
Venus Clams
The broth & bread
Moving to the Carbs; Jeju Live Abalone - fermented sakura ebi sauce, somen, shallot oil. Served chilled, the somen is coated in shallots oil and topped with fermented Sakura ebi packed with umami. While most of the Korean Abalone that I tried before was usually hard, chewy and almost tasteless. However, the abalone in this dish is tender, tasty and with a slightly chewy texture. Yummy!!

Jeju Live Abalone
Jeju Live Abalone
Jeju Live Abalone
The wine pairing for the carb is red Domaine Julien Cote De Nuits – Villages 2019.

Domaine Julien Cote De Nuits – Villages 2019
Next up are the Mains. Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod -fermented Puy lentils, umami shallot crunch, pickled baby radish & sambal matah. This dish is inspired by a Parsi dish, Patra ni Machi is a fish dish, spread with a generous amount of green chutney and then wrapped in banana leaf and steam cooked.

Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
The Ling Cod is cooked to perfection, soft and fork tender, while coated with green chutney, aromatic fried shallots, umami sambal matah and coconut milk. It can easily be mistaken for a green curry dish; however, the taste is different. The slightly sourish chewy lentils provided a contrasting texture to the Long Cod, while the pickled baby radish balanced the creamy richness of the coconut milk.

Patra Ni Machi Sustainable Ling Cod
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll - foxtail millet, sebago jus, brussel sprout kimchi. A delicious nicely cooked Wagyu Chuck Roll which is rich and melts in your mouth. The foxtail millet is cooked till it reaches the gooey point and mixed with goji berries. The root vegetables and Sebago potato jus accompanied this chuck roll and brussel sprout kimchi on the side to balance the richness of the wagyu.

Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll 
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll
Toriyama Japanese A4 Wagyu Chuck Roll
Chef Petrina is a fan of bitterness; therefore, Morsels sweet ending comes with some bitterness, richness, and spice as well. We end the meal with Mochi - Namelaka chocolate, buckwheat Guinness cream, candied ginger. The dessert plate is served with a ring made of Namelaka chocolate ganache, homemade mochi, candied young ginger and buckwheat crumble. The buckwheat Guinness cream was then poured into the middle of the ring, creating a mini dam. While the chocolate ganache is creamy and packed with cocoa flavour, it was overpowered by the bitterness of the Guinness cream and spicy candied ginger. An interesting flavour, but not my type of dessert.

Mochi
Mochi
While the food served at Morsels is of a fine-dining standard, I enjoy the relaxing and comforting atmosphere and décor of Morsels. Instead of those glamourous, formal dining ambiance, Morsels looks like a mini diner in a fishing village in Korea or Japan. The décor of Morsels epitomises the personality of Executive Chef / Owner Petrina Low and its cooking philosophy. No boundaries, inspired by the world, simple yet sophisticated and artistically presented.

The Bar & Part of Dining Area
Part of Dining Area
Overall, it was an eye-opener to dine at Morsels. The depth of flavours in the simple looking-food is amazing. I learned and tasted new ingredients such as tigernut milk, tamarillo shrub and Patra ni Machi inspired dish. Definitely, a must-visit place for an awesome dining experience. Morsels Fall Menu 2022 is available until February 2023. Cheers!!

Morsels Fall Menu 2022
Dinner Menu
Sharing set menu: $128 per pax (2 snacks, 4 smalls, 1 carb, 1 main, 1 dessert)
Omakase: $158 per pax (12 course); 5 glass wine pairing available at $100.

Thank you very much Kristine, Executive Chef / Owner Petrina Low and Morsels Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 & Above.

Morsels
25 Dempsey Road
#01-04
Singapore 249670

T: +65 6266 3822
OH:
Lunch, Tue – Sat: 12.00 – 15.00 (Kitchen LO 14.30)
Lunch, Sun: 11.00 – 15.00 (Kitchen LO 14.30)
Dinner, Tue – Thu: 18.00 – 22.00 (Kitchen LO 21.00, Bar Closes at 22.00)
Dinner, Fri – Sat: 18.00 – 22.30 (Kitchen LO 21.15, Bar Closes at 22.15)
Closed on Sunday Dinner & Monday.
Menu available online

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