Friday 29 April 2022

Thai Village – Thai Teochew Cuisine

Thai Village is a Chinese restaurant in Singapore serving Thai Teochew Cuisine. Those frequent visitors to Bangkok will be very familiar with the Chinese cuisine served in Yaowarat (Chinatown in Bangkok) or any Chinese restaurants in Bangkok. There are 3 branches of Thai Village in Singapore, this one is located in the Goodwood Park Hotel Estate.

Thai Village Restaurant @Goodwood Park Hotel
Since we (plus 2 other “makan kakis”) are having a staycation at Goodwood Park Hotel, we decided to visit Thai Village for late dinner. We came in about 8+ and the restaurant is packed.

We kicked off the dinner with the signature dish of Thai Village. Braised Superior Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat ($68 for small). Basically, a shark’s fin is almost tasteless or likely to be fishy, with a chewy and crunchy texture. It requires a superb and robust stock to infuse the flavour into the fin and overall dish. In Thai Village, their stock is just absolutely amazing. It is thick, robust, filled with collagen and delivers the ultimate umami flavour. The crab meat added a touch of natural sweetness to the dish. Although the portion is small, it is good for 2 pax.

Braised Superior Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat
The shark’s fin soup is served with beansprout, Chinese parsley and black vinegar.

Beansprout & Chinese Parsley

Braised Superior Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat
with Beansprout and Chinese Parsley
If you are not a shark’s fin fan, you can order the fish maw soup instead. They still use the same stock base, delivering the superb and umami fish maw. I can attest to eat as I tried it at their Singapore Indoor Stadium Branch.

Crispy Beancurd in Thai Style ($18). Deep-fried egg tofu, topped with julienne young mango, chopped big shallots and Thai sweet chilli sauce. The beancurd has a crisp exterior followed by a smooth and silky interior. The young mango is crunchy and tangy, paired with spicy shallot and sweet chilli sauce. A nice dish to balance the heavy soup at the start.

Crispy Beancurd in Thai Style 
Baked Duck Web ($20). The original version of this dish is supposed to be braised goose web. However, due to the restriction of goose meat in Singapore, duck webs are used as a substitute. Presentation-wise, it does not look very appetising. However, do not judge the dish by the look. It packs of flavours and has a resilient texture. The duck web is gelatinous but not as good as the goose web.

Baked Duck Web
Salt Baked Chicken Drumsticks ($20). Kind of reminds me of the dish called 3 cups chicken. Tender and succulent chicken meat, with a nice charred aroma and flavour. You can taste the salt seasoning in the skin and the flesh. The strong flavour of this dish together with the gravy is best enjoyed with a bowl of white rice ($1.20). A perfect “rice thief” dish.

Salt Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Baked King Prawns with Vermicelli ($34 for small). A dish that I will normally order in a Thai Restaurant. The vermicelli is silky and bouncy, while the prawns are fresh and crunchy. Although this dish also comes in the crab version, I always prefer the prawns as they give a better umami flavour.

Baked King Prawns with Vermicelli
The décor of the place is outdated, seems like it is stuck in the 1990s. However, the ambience and the service staff bring this restaurant to life. Good service from the captain and service crew, friendly and with motherly care.

The Wine Chiller
Overall, a great place to satisfy your cravings for luxurious Thai Teochew Cuisine. Their Braised Shark’s Fin Soup / Fish Maw soup or anything that is cooked with their Golden stock is a must-order here. The price is on the high side, but you are paying for quality. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: 7.25/10
Ambiance: 6.75/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 & Above

Thai Village
22 Scotts Road
Goodwood Park Hotel
Singapore 228221

T: +65 6440 8251
OH: Daily 11.30 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.00
For Other Branches, click here.

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore - Deluxe Premier Room King Bed

Goodwood Park Hotel ★★★★★(5 Stars Hotel)
22 Scotts Road
Singapore 228221

T: +65 6737 7411

Room Type: Deluxe Premier Room, King Bed.
Room Size: 39sqm 
Stayed: March 2022
Booking: Trip using SVR Exclusive Voucher

Goodwood Park Hotel - Night View
The Goodwood Park Hotel is the second oldest hotel in Singapore, built-in the 1900s, it is filled with rich heritage and exudes class and luxury. Through the years, this grand old dame has hosted its share of well-known dignitaries and personalities from all over the world. In March 1989, the historic tower of the 5-star Goodwood Park Hotel was gazetted as a national monument by Singapore Preservation of Monuments Board, now known as Singapore National Heritage Board.

Ancient Fiat
Location (9/10)
Located at the junction of Stevens and Scotts Road, it is the beginning of the shopping area of Scotts Road. The hotel is just 7-minute walk to Tang Plaza, Shaw Centre, Ion Orchard, Wheelock Place and Orchard Road MRT station. The surrounding provides you with an extensive range of gastronomic delight, shopping and entertainment. For those who drive or need to use a Taxi or PHV, you can easily navigate away from the jam on Orchard Road.

Goodwood Park Hotel is perched on the hill at Goodwood Park Hotel Estate. Since it is built on high ground, there is no direct connection to the next building. So, when you are walking out from the lobby towards the estate entrance, there is no shelter to cover you.

Room (9.5/10)
Cleanliness (10/10). Space (10/10). Room Amenities (8/10). Ambience (10/10), Bed & Pillow (10/10), WiFi (9/10)

The Room
My first impression when entering the room was that it is bright, spacious and clean. I like the oval shape coffee table with a long bench, the white quartz working table and the white armchair. Since the room was refurbished in 2021, it has incorporated LED lights to make the room bright and lively. Not forgetting its heritage, the ceiling fan in the middle of the room.

The Working Table and Window
with Swimming Pool View
The bed is huge, soft and comfortable. Each side comes with two types of pillows, soft and firm. Usually, LD will complain if I move too much when I sleep, this time I can even jump on my side of the bed and she won’t be affected. Awesome.

The Bed & Armchair
From the window, we can see the whole swimming pool. It looks enticing, we decided to book a time for a quick dip in the early evening.

The Swimming Pool View
The size of the bathroom is not very big, however, the designer was able to maximise the allocated space. The bathtub shower combo is one way to save space yet allows dual functions in the bathroom. It definitely gets our seal of approval.

Bathtub Shower Combo
The Basin
Part of the bathroom amenities
Weighing Machine
Entertainment in the room consists of a 55” TV. Since it comes with an original remote, LD is able to mirror cast the K-drama to the TV and she is pretty happy about it. The WiFi signal is good, we can watch Netflix and stream K-drama without a hitch.

The 55" TV
Original TV Remote, Radio / Alarm
For refreshments, you get assorted instant coffee, assorted TWG teas and mineral waters. The mini bar is empty, which we use to fill with other drinks that we get from the nearby supermarket.

Refreshment, Coffee & Tea
In-Room Slippers
Dining (7.25/10)
In-Room Dining (6/10), English Afternoon Tea (8.5/10)
We ordered Truffle Fries and Prawn Noodle Soup for in-room dining. Though the taste is ok, however, there are some improvements needed in the execution and presentation. The fries are overcooked, and the cheese is not evenly spread as you can see from the lumps in the photos. They should have shaved the cheese instead of crumbling it.

Truffle Fries - Room Service
When the food is delivered to our room half bowl of the broth in the prawn noodles already been absorbed by the bee hoon. The kitchen should take into account the delivery timing and should have separated the broth from the noodle. Not a hotel standard that we had experienced before.

Room Service - Prawn Noodle
Since the room did not come with breakfast, we decided to go for early Afternoon Tea at L’Espresso. The weekend price is $62++ per adult and $36++ per child, with 2 servings of coffee or TWG Tea. Since we stayed in the hotel, there is a 15% discount for the 1st seating 11 am – 1 pm. The afternoon tea is very good with a great spread between sweet and savoury dishes.

English Afternoon Tea at L'Espresso
Roasted Pork Neck with Caraway Crust & Shalots Jus
My picks for the savoury are Chicken Shepherd Pie, Roasted Pork Neck with Caraway Crust & Shallot Jus, Laksa and Mini Croissant Sandwiches.

Part of Savoury Dishes
Part of Savoury Dishes
For the sweets, LD picks the plain scones, one of the better ones in Singapore. I like the Mini Pandan Donut and pineapple turnover. While the TWG tea is good, I strongly recommend their coffee as well.

Part of Sweet Selections
Part of Sweet Selections
Castella Cake and Mini Pandan Donut
Plain Scone and condiments
Other dining options operated by Goodwood Park Hotel are Gordon Grill, Min Jiang and The Deli. On top of that, there are other restaurants in the Goodwood Park Hotel estate such as Thai Village (*Click here for the full review), Alma by Juan Amador, Shima Restaurant and Tatsuya @Goodwood.

The Tea Set
Hotel Facilities (8/10)
The check-in process was fast, although LD has to wait until 3 PM as the room is fully occupied. There are 2 car parks, open air on the 1st floor and undercover in the basement. Do take note that there is no lift in the car park. Luckily, as a hotel guest, the parking is complimentary.

Reception & Seating Area
Seating Area on the 2nd Floor
The swimming pool is of a good size and the water is clean. It is divided into 2 sections, the shallow section for dipping and kids to play and the deep end for the proper swimming. There is also a gym in the hotel, but we did not get to try it.

Swimming Pool
The View to Our Room from The Swimming Pool
Services (7/10)
The overall services are warm and friendly. However, it seems to be a communication barrier between departments. We asked the front counter to book the afternoon tea for us, however, after 1 hour, we are unable to get a confirmation. Out of exasperation, I use Google reservation to confirm the booking even though I am staying in the hotel.

CBK Verdict
I am glad we choose Goodwood Park Hotel to use our SVR voucher. Although it is the second oldest hotel in Singapore, it just ages gracefully. The refurbishment project rejuvenates the rooms while maintaining the grandeur and history of the hotel.

We don’t mind coming back for a staycation and trying out the other restaurants. Cheers!!

Friday 22 April 2022

COCA Singapore – Fragrant Laksa Hotpot [MEDIA INVITE]

COCA Singapore recently launched a Fragrant Laksa soup base as a part of Coca’s hotpot buffet. Its laksa rempah is made daily along with a fresh blend of lemongrass, dried chillies, galanga and dried shrimps.

COCA @ Kallang Leisure Park

For this tasting, we get to try the Regular Buffet Dinner menu, which has more than 70 items to choose from. We tried two soup bases, The Fragrant Laksa and Hua Diao Phoenix Pot. We had tried the Hua Diao Phoenix soup base for home delivery before and we like it. The difference is when you eat at the restaurant, the service staff flambe the chicken with hua diao wine, before putting it in the broth for boiling. The result is a smoky aroma of the wine, without the alcohol.

Hua Diao Chicken Flambe
Hua Diao Phoenix Pot with The Flambe Chicken
The fragrant laksa soup base is aromatic and filled with rempah flavour, topped with a generous spread of chopped laksa leaves. While the aroma is fragrant and strong, it does not have a rich coconut milk flavour like the laksa dish that we usually eat. This is good as you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the coconut milk when eating your steamboat.

Fragrant Laksa Soup Base (Right)
According to the service staff, it is best to pair the laksa broth with seafood. Therefore, we ordered the prawns, clams, oysters and crab to cook in the laksa broth. The prawns are fresh and already deshell, leaving only the head and tail intact. We enjoy the crunchiness of the prawns without the need to get out hands dirty.

Prawns & Thinly Sliced Lamb
Prawn Cooked in Laksa Soup Base
The oysters are a must-order here. Each one of them is around the size of your thumb, fresh, plump and juicy. When you cooked it in the laksa broth, it also removes any trace of the fishiness in the oysters. After we cooked the prawns, clams and crab in the laksa broth, it adds additional sweetness to the laksa broth.

Seafood Loaded Laksa Broth
We tried three different sliced meat: beef, pork and lamb. The beef and pork are tender and succulent. For the lamb, if you can’t stand the gamy meat, you might want to give this a miss.

Thinly Sliced Pork & Thinly Sliced Beef
Thinly Sliced Beef
COCA is also known for their speciality fish glue and paste. We tried their fish glue, shrimp paste and fish paste. The shrimp paste is a must order as it was bouncy and packed with shrimp flavour. The fish glue tastes like fishcake, however, it is missing the bounciness. The fish paste turns out to have a similar taste as their fishballs, thus nothing to miss if you do not order it.

Fish Glue
Shrimp Paste
The fishball with roe is thick and bouncy, however, the roe is easily hardened, sticks together and missing the popping sound from the fish roe. I highly recommend that you order shrimp wanton and stuffed beancurd. They are awesome and delicious.

Clockwise: Crab, Stuffed Beancurd Skin, Thinly Sliced Lamb,
Fishballs with Roe & Shrimp Wanton
To ensure a balanced diet, you need to order vegetables. We like the Tang O and beancurd skin and mushrooms. The Chinese cabbage is good when you add this to the hua diao soup base as it adds sweetness to the broth.

Green Noodle & Vegetables
For carbs, don’t miss out on COCA signature Green Noodle and Thai mama noodle. The green noodle is already cooked, so you just need to blanch them with the broth. The crunchy texture of the noodle can easily be eaten in a dry or soup version, for LD, she loves it with Coca’s signature sukiyaki sauce. While the Thai mama noodle is just made for the laksa soup base.

Clams, Thai Mama Noodle, Luncheon Meat & Fish Ravioli
There are a lot of sauces and toppings to choose from. I find the sesame paste is good, while LD likes their Original COCA Sauce and Thai Seafood Sauce.

Clockwise: Cuttlefish, Tau Pok, Green Noodle, Quail Eggs, Fishball Noodle, 
Sliced Potato, Stuffed Beancurd Skin, Pork Liver
You can top up $8 per pax for Buffet Plus, which allows you the selection of Premium Soup Bases, Free flow selected beverages (fresh lime juice, ice lemon tea, lemongrass pandan and water chestnut) and one time serving of their dessert. The East Meet West, a scoop of coconut ice cream, topped with gula melaka and sago. It was delicious that I wanted to order more than one.

Drinks - Lime Juice, Water Chestnut & Lemongrass Pandan
The East Meet West
The décor of the place is modern and steamboat focus. The tables are closed to each other, so to abide by the safe distancing rules, their seating arrangement will look weird.

Part of the Dining Area
Overall, COCA latest Fragrant Laksa Hotpot is going to be a hit with the diners. I like the fragrant and aromatic flavours, with a manageable spicy level. The regular buffet dinner provides an extensive buffet spread, while the additional top-up for free flow of drinks and a dessert is worth the money. Cheers!!

Regular Buffet Dinner Menu 
Image Credit: COCA Singapore

Price and Timing
Regular Buffet Lunch Pricing
Weekdays (Mon to Thu)
Adult: $36++, Child: $22++, Student: $28++
Senior Citizen: $28++ (only valid from mon to Thu except eve of PH and PH)
Fri/Weekend/Eve of PH/ PH
Adult $40++, Child $24++
(Above prices include choice of 1 soup Double Treasure or Tom Yum). Top up $6++ for Laksa Hotpot broth (香浓叻沙)

Regular Buffet Dinner
Mon to Thu
Adult: $49++, Child: $28++,
Senior Citizen: $42++ (only valid from mon to Thu except eve of PH and PH)
Fri/ Weekend/ Eve of PH/ PH
Adult: $53++, Child: $30++

Premium Seafood Buffet (100 minutes All-You-Can-Eat Hotpot)
All Day
Adult: $82++, Child: $35++
(includes a glass of welcome wine and free flow selected beverages, 2 soups including 1 premium broth (Laksa), complimentary appetiser of the day, one-time customisable Mala Xiang Guo, array of unlimited seasonal seafood options, free-flow selected desserts.

Buffet Plus Menu
Thank you very much Jennifer Yeo Consultancy and COCA Singapore for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7 /10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80

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

T: +65 6241 3833
Mon – Fri: 11.15 – 15.00 (LO 14.30), 18.00 – 22.30 (LO 21.45)
Sat & Sun: 11.15 – 22.30 (Lunch LO 15.45, Dinner LO 21.45)
Please visit their website for other locations.

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