Sunday 22 May 2022

Itaewon Jjajang – Yummy Korean Chinese Cuisine

During our last staycation in Sofitel city centre, I noticed the presence of Itaewon Jjajang at Peck Seah Street. It seems the restaurant is always packed with diners from opening to closing time. This time around, together with “makan kakis’ we decided to give it a try.

Itaewon Jjajang
While waiting to be seated, we decided to order Set A ($45), which consists of Tangsuyuk, Jjajangmyeon and Jjampong Noodle. If you don’t like Jjampong, you can replace it with 1 Korean stew (kimchi, sundubu or doenjang). Set A is supposed to be for 2 pax, however, it easily feeds 3 to 4 pax.

Tangsuyuk, Korean Chinese version of sweet and sour pork. The crispy strips of fried pork looks pale, but it was super crispy. The sauce is sweet and tangy with a flowery aroma in the background. It is served separately, so the pork can remain crispy. The plating also included a sliced of dried orange, usually use for cocktails. Though the sauce is good, I find the pork is too crispy, you don’t get the juicy pork taste in each bite. More like crispy and crunchy only.

Jjajangmyeon. We ask for extra noodles (+$3) and fried egg (+$2). It was a wise decision indeed. The noodle is solid and bouncy. The sauce is not overly sweet and you can taste the diced meat in the sauce. Though the fried egg does not make much of a difference in the overall taste, it gives you additional shiokness to the Jjajangmyeon. Yummy.

Jjamppong. LD decided to went off chart and order level 3 for its spiciness. The service staff gave us the look “Are You Sure??”, even repeating the warning when serving the Jjamppong. The noodle is bouncy, but the broth is super spicy fit for those doing the spicy Korean noodle challenge. The dish is loaded with seafood and you won’t feel short-changed. The comment from Running Man is “Super Spicy but Shiok!!”

Seafood Pancake ($25). I am glad that we ordered this. Big portion with crispy base and edges. The seafood, spring onion and cut chilli cover all the top parts of the pancake. In each bite of the pancake, you get the crunchy texture, with an eggy taste and seafood flavour. It is one of the best Korean seafood pancakes that we ever tried. Two Thumbs Up!! 👍 👍

Seafood Pancake
Seafood Pancake
The side dishes include kimchi, Szechuan vegetables, yellow pickled radish and homemade pickled cabbage & cucumber. The yellow pickled radish and homemade pickled cabbage & cucumber are so good, that we asked for a refill.

Pickled Radish, Szechuan Vegetables,
Homemade Pickled Cabbage and Cucumber & Kimchi

Homemade Pickled Cabbage and Cucumber
& Pickled Radish
The décor of the restaurant reminds me of a casual dining restaurant in Korea. The main dining area is filled with solid wood tables and chairs. We were seated in one of the private rooms and it feels quaint and comfortable. We experience two different types of service. The one that handles the queue, is probably the owner or the chef. He is not that friendly and it feels like you are meeting the discipline master in your school days. Meanwhile, the rest of the service staff are super friendly and helpful.

Overall, the food at Itaewon Jjajang is delicious. We’ll definitely return for the jumbo Jjajangmyeon, seafood pancake and try their other dishes. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

Itaewon Jjajang
64 Peck Seah Street
Singapore 079325

T: +65 6223 1600
Tue – Sat: 11.30 – 14.30; 17.00 – 22.00
Sun: 11.30 – 14.30; 17.00 – 21.30
Closed on Monday

Thursday 19 May 2022

Co Chung – Delicious Vietnamese Food

We were looking for a Vietnamese restaurant with our friends that serve a good broken rice dish. A quick google search landed us at Co Chung at Boat Quay, which is the second outlet of Co Chung. The first outlet is located in B2, Plaza Singapura.

Co Chung @Boat Quay
Co Chung is founded by Aunty Chung (Mommy & Head Chef) and Khanh LV. Pham, the daughter in law. When Miss Pham settled down in Singapore with her husband, she decided to bring the authentic Vietnamese taste and made her MIL’s dream become reality by serving Aunty Chung version of Vietnamese food to the foodies in Singapore. I am glad they did.

The Bar
Pho Beef Noodle Soup ($11.50). We were impressed by the presentation. The pho is served in three parts, the rice noodle and uncooked sliced beef in the bowl, the boiling beef soup and beef balls in an Arabic Coffee Maker pot, and the dipping sauce. Once the pho arrived at the table, we took the photos in double-quick time and pour the hot soup into the pho.

Pho - When it is served
The hot broth slowly cooked the rare sliced beef, allowing it to retain the juicy and succulent texture. The broth tasted clean, yet sweet and robust at the same time; while the rice noodle is thin, silky and delectable. Not forgetting the bouncy beef balls that packed with flavours. It is probably one of the best Pho Bo that we ever tried in Singapore.

Pouring the Broth
Pho - Ready to Eat
Grilled Pork Banh Mi ($9.96). The baguette is light and soft. The pork is well marinated, tender and bursting with flavours. Meanwhile, the combination of the homemade mayonnaise, homemade pate, fish sauce, pickles, scallion oil veggie and cilantro made this sandwich a flavour bomb. They are very generous with the fillings, but I feel it can be better if the bread has a more crisp exterior.

Grilled Pork Banh Mi
Grilled Pork Banh Mi
Vietnamese Broken Rice ($12.50). The dish that leads us to Co Chung. True to its name, most of the long-grain rice on the plate is broken, while the grilled pork is well marinated, tender and bursting with flavour, just like the Banh Mi filling. Completing the broken rice dish are the homemade meatloaf (made from shredded pork and pork skin); fried egg and pickle. The sauce for this dish is made from special condensed fish sauce. It reminds us of the version that we usually have in a Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne. Yummy!

Vietnamese Broken Rice
Vietnamese Broken Rice
Bun Cha Ha Noi ($12.80). The dish made famous by Anthony Bourdain and past US President Barack Obama. The story goes that when Obama and Bourdain were in Vietnam at the same time, Obama reach out to Bourdain and ask him to bring him to try the local food. So Bourdain decided on a Bun Cha spot in Hanoi and the rest is history.

Bun Cha Ha Noi
LD and I tried this dish during our visit to Hanoi. I find the dish to be delicate and more like a Vietnamese version of somen. The thin rice noodle (like bee hoon) and fresh vegetables are dipped inside the dipping sauce made with fish sauce, sugar and vinegar; then filled with grilled pork, grilled meatball and green papaya pickle.

The Dipping Sauce / Broth
Since rice noodle is soft, light and silky, they acted as a sponge that absorbs the delicious dipping sauce. The grilled pork and grilled meatball are well marinated and delicious; however, it is not as fragrant compared to the one served in the broken rice and banh mi. There is an option to add the noodle, I regretted my decision not to add the extra noodle, as it is not enough to go around. However, I am glad I can to enjoy this dish without going to Hanoi.

Grilled Pork Belly in the Dipping Sauce
Vietnamese Nem Nuong ($8.50). Grilled minced pork sausage on a lemongrass stick. Looks like a chicken drumstick, aromatic and delicious. The sausage-like texture is firm, yet juicy internally. The charred on the exterior drew out aromatic flavour from the seasoning.

Vietnamese Nem Nuong 
Fresh Spring Rolls ($2.95 each, min 2). Our favourite appetizer in a Vietnamese restaurant, also known as summer roll. The skin is springy while the fresh ingredients filled the roll almost to the point of bursting.

Fresh Spring Roll
Thin Cabbage and Chicken Breast Salad ($9.50). Thinly cut cabbage, white onion, chicken, sweet and sour flavour. A healthy dish with a nice multi-texture. I like sweet and sour flavour, but it seems like missing something. Roasted peanuts maybe?

Thin Cabbage and Chicken Breast Salad 
Vietnamese Milk Coffee ($6.80, Cold). It is solid and powerful, yet absent of any bitter taste. It sure perks me up for the day.

Vietnamese Ice Milk Coffee 
We visited Co Chung at Boat Quay on a Sunday afternoon. While most of the shops in the neighbourhood are closed, Co Chung is buzzing with diners. The indoor area of the restaurant is decorated with Vietnamese lanterns, lights and clay roof tiles. The outdoor seating area is without decoration. The tables and chairs are made from solid wood. While the restaurant provides a tabloid-size printed menu, the order and payment were done through a QR code and app on your phone. The service was friendly and efficient.

Part of the Indoor Seating Area
The Menu
Overall, I am glad that we choose Co Chung. The food here is authentic and delicious and will return to try the rest of the dishes. One of them is Cha Ca La Vong, Vietnamese turmeric fish with noodles. Cheers!!

Cha Ca La Vong
Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Value: 7.25/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

Co Chung Vietnamese Restaurant
@Boat Quay
5 Lor Telok
Singapore 049018

T: +65 8876 8137
Mon – Fri: 11.00 – 15.00; 17.00 – 22.00
Sat & Sun: 12.00 – 22.00

Other Branch:
68 Orchard Road
#B2-20, Plaza Singapura
T: +65 8876 8137
OH: Daily 11.00 – 21.00

Thursday 12 May 2022

Alaturka – Authentic Mediterranean and Turkish Cuisine

We were looking for a place to celebrate LD’s & our Godson’s birthday. Surprisingly, our Godson choose Mediterranean cuisine and his mum made a booking at Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant.

Located in Bussorah Street, nearby the iconic Arab Street, Alaturka fits right at home. Helmed by the most experienced Turkish chefs, Alaturka served authentic and marvellous Mediterranean cuisine. They are also awarded the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand in 2016.

Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant

We started the meal with Hummus ($12.50) and Havuc Salata ($12.50). Whenever LD see a Hummus on the menu, it is a must-order item for her. The version here is smooth, creamy and packs with chickpea flavour. It is served with Ekmek bread that is soft and fluffy.

Havuc Salata is a Turkish carrot salad. The peeled carrots are cooked with olive oil and then mixed with yoghurt and garlic. If you don’t like the raw carrot taste, don’t worry, the garlic and yoghurt remove most of the raw carrot taste.

Havuc Salata
When we were ordering, we notice the next table ordered this balloon type of bread. After we find it on the menu, we decided to add Lavas ($6) to our order. Served piping hot and in a balloon shape, we were in awe and took lots of photos of it. It is aromatic and tasted light and clean, yet addictive. You can just eat that on its own and try to finish it while it’s hot.

Calamari ($18). Deep-fried breaded calamari, served with spiced mayonnaise. It was not a special dish, but everyone just enjoys it. Crispy exterior, followed by tender yet springy calamari rings.

Etli Pide ($24). Pide is like the Turkish version of boat shape pizza with a different selection of toppings. We choose the seasoned coarse-ground lamb and cheese. The base is crisp with a soft chewy texture, while the ground lamb is meaty, well-seasoned and absent of the gamy taste. The cheese binds all the ingredients together, giving it the deserving umami flavour and the delicate chewy texture.

Etli Pide
Next up are the meat platter. Karisik Kebab ($59 for 2) and Alaturka Platter ($79 for 2). Both the platter has similar grilled meat such as Kuzu Pirzolla (Lamb Chop), Tavuk Sis (Boneless Grilled Chicken Thigh) and Kanat (Chicken Wings). The Karisik kebab has Köfte (3 lambs and beef meatballs), while the Alaturka Platter has Adana Chicken / Lamb (Marinated minced meat, hand-formed skewer) and Patlican Lamb Kebab (Ground lamb and eggplant skewers). We also ordered extra Kuzu Pirzolla.

Alaturka Platter
Let me not bored you with the details, because at that time, I also did not know the specifics of it. Let’s make it simple, the chickens are juicy, succulent, super tender and well marinated. While most of the kebabs that I tried previously were dried, Alaturka version beat them hands down. They are moist, juicy and the seasoning is spot on. You can still taste the flavour of the meat, instead of being drowned by spices. The Lamb Chop is overcooked, but it was very forgiving as still remains juicy.

Karisik Kebab with extra Kuzu Pirzolla
Each platter is served with buttered rice, greens and house sauce. The rice is fragrant, aromatic and tasty. While the vegetables are tossed with a balsamic vinegar dressing. The house sauce is the must-try here. Instead of dunking your meat into it, I suggest you mixed it with the rice. It is just delicious!!

Karisik Kebab with extra Kuzu Pirzolla
For desserts, we settle on Kunefe ($15) A Turkish dessert made from shredded phyllo dough, butter, cheese, ground pistachios and milk. Absolutely love this dessert. The combination of the crispy texture, savoury and sweet as well. We described the taste like Chao Da Bee Hoon with Cream (in a delicious way). It is claimed to be Turkey’s finest dessert, I totally agree with them.

Alaturka has two dining sections, indoor and outdoor. The indoor dining room is a bit small, but it is decorated in traditional Turkish lights, carpet and plates. The outdoor area feels like you are dining in a Mediterranean restaurant near the beach. Although the place is packed, the service remains friendly and attentive. We brought a cake to celebrate our Godson’s birthday and they even plated nicely for us. Plus they took our photos with those fun placards and print a hardcopy for our memento.

Overall, it was our first time dining at Alaturka and we can’t wait to make a return visit there. The food is authentic and delicious, accompanied by friendly service. For those who never tried the Mediterranean or Turkish food, this is a good place for your first experience. For those who like it, you must visit Alaturka. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80.

Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant
15 Bussorah Street
Singapore 199436

T: +65 9434 6026 / 6294 0304
OH: Daily 11.30 – 22.30 (LO 22.00)

Monday 9 May 2022

Conrad Centennial Singapore – Executive King Room + Twin Room [MEDIA INVITE]

Conrad Centennial Singapore ★★★★★ (5 Stars Hotel)
Two Temasek Boulevard
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6334 8888

Room Type: Executive King Room + Executive Twin Room
(with Executive Floor Privileges)
Stayed: April 2022
Booking: Media Invite

Evening View from Our Room
We are back at Conrad Centennial Singapore (‘CCS’) for a staycation with our niece and nephew. After fulfilling its calling as one of the designated SHN hotels and delivering five-star hospitality to quarantine guests (You can watch the documentary video here), CCS is progressively opening up towards full operations.

Location (10/10)
The hotel is located in Marina Bay, next to Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre and is surrounded by three shopping centres Suntec City, Marina Square and Millenia Walk. These shopping centres are known as kids entertainments centre as they host theme playgrounds such as SuperPark at Suntec City, Pororo Park, Kiztopia and Nerf Action Experience in Marina Square.

Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre
These shopping centres also have a good mix of shops that caters to the whole family and also family-friendly dining.

Room: Overall (10/10)
Cleanliness (10/10). Space (10/10). Room Amenities (10/10), Family Orientated (10/10)

Our rooms are located on the 30th floor, with the view of the bay. As the booking is under family, the rooms are connected and the connecting doors are already open when we enter the room.

Executive King Room 
Executive King Room 
The layout of the Executive King Room and Executive Twin Room are almost the same. While the King Room come with a long sofa with the same length as the windows, the Twin Room comes with a shorter sofa, to provide space and separation between the two super single beds.

Executive Twin Room
Executive Twin Room
Each room received welcome snacks, consisting of dried fruits, cookies, chocolate and still and sparkling bottled waters. A welcome handwritten card by the General Manager added a special personal touch to make you feel extra welcome.

Welcome Snacks & Drinks
Handwritten Welcome Card
Instead of the usual working table, the room comes with a round table. It is paired together with the sofa, giving it a more holiday / family feel to the room instead of a business room. Of course, you are still able to turn it into a working space as the individual chair is well padded and allows you to focus on your work.

Morning Coffee with a view
The bed is firm with a touch of soft padding on the top. (Bed firmness rating 8/10) The pillows on the bed are huge and good for hugging and when you lay on them, it just cuddles your head nicely. There is also a pillow menu that you can choose from discoverconradsg.

Afternoon View 
As part of Hilton’s Hotels, CCS is also committed to reducing its environmental footprint. This can be seen through the change in their bathroom amenities. Instead of small individual bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, it has changed to a bigger and reusable size. The current choice is Byredo Mojave Ghost. For the bath soap and face soap, CCS still use Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea.

The Shower
Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash
Body Lotion, Hand / Face Soap
The bathtub was a hit with our nephew and niece. Once they see the bathtub, they keep asking when they can use it. They look forward to enjoying themselves soaking and playing with the bubbles there with the Conrad rubber ducky.

The Bathtub
Conrad Rubber Ducky
Bath Amenities
The mini bar offerings in the room have changed compared to pre-COVID time. The guest still received the complimentary Nespresso Coffee and Rottenfield Tea; however, they no longer have vast selections of alcoholic beverages and snacks. Instead, these items need to be ordered from the room service or enjoyed at the executive lounge.

Coffee & Tea
Gone are the complimentary plastic water bottles, instead the guest will receive the complimentary drinking water in the recyclable tetra packs.

Drinking Water in Tetra Pack
There was a turndown service in the early evening, to ensure we have sufficient supplies throughout the night.

Bedside Table with Conrad Care Pack

For the Young One
Upon booking, we informed CCS of the age of our nephew and niece. Since my nephew is below the age of 12, a special bathrobe and slippers are provided in the room for his use. Wow, what a great attention to detail.

Children Bathrobe and Slippers

Room Entertainment & WiFi (9/10)
We have 55 inches flat-screen TV, place strategically as the centrepiece for entertainment. With 55 channels to choose from, I am sure there is something for everyone. The WiFi connectivity is seamless, the download speed is good enough for everyone to play their games, watch Youtube and streaming without any glitches.

Executive Floor Privilege (8.5/10)
The Executive Lounge is open from 14.30 – 16.30 for Afternoon Tea and 18.00 – 20.00 for Evening Drinks. Reservations needed.

Part of the Executive Lounge
Do take note that there is an age limit for admittance to Executive Lounge. Children under 12 years old, can only be admitted for Afternoon tea. Evening Drinks are reserved for guests aged 12 years and older.

Since our nephew is below the age of 12, we brought him up for the afternoon tea. He enjoyed the spread of canapes, scones, cakes and fruits together with his orange juice.

Afternoon Tea
While our nephew is taking his nap, our niece went up with us to enjoy the Evening drinks (of course no alcohol for her). The finger foods and cheese selections are tailored to suit the alcohol and soft drinks. We get to enjoy the night view of the surrounding area.

Evening Drinks

Dining (8.75/10)
Breakfast (8.75/10), Sunday Brunch (8.75/10)

Breakfast is served at Oscar’s in assisted buffet mode. Guests can be seated indoor or outdoor. We arrived a bit later, so we get the outdoor seat, which is quite comfort with the morning breeze . The spread consists of baked pasty, salad, fruits, cooked food, local delights, waffle and ice cream. (YES, ICE CREAM).

Part of the Outdoor Seating
Overall, it was a good spread and good quality of food.

Part of Breakfast Spread
YUP, Waffle and Ice Cream for Breakfast
The Sunday Brunch is just awesome. Great selections of Fruitti Di Mare, Oscar’s Signature Caesar Salad Bar, Pan Fried Foie Gras, Salad Bar, Western Mains, Flavours of India, Local Flavous, Weekend Charcoal Barbecue, Roast Station and Desserts Station. The spread is just amazing.

Part of Fruitti Di Mare
Foie Gras & Roasted Angus Striploin
BBQ Lobster
Cocktail from Live G&T Station

Check out this video for the Sunday Brunch full spread.

Full details of the pricing and menu for Oscar’s is available here.

Hotel Facilities (9/10)
The swimming pool is located on the 4th floor and this time we get to experience it with the kids. The-20 metre size swimming is very spacious and each guest has sufficient space to swim or play with. The cabanas are a great place to rest in between swim and also to chill.

The Swimming Pool
The Conrad Spa and Fitness Centre are also located on the fourth floor. However, we did not manage to try it out.

Conrad Spa
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore
Fitness Centre
Image Credit: Conrad Centennial Singapore
For drivers, parking at the basement carpark is complimentary. You can get complimentary tickets from the concierge or reception.

Services (9/10)
The service team is very friendly, welcoming and efficient. I received an email upon confirmation to inform us of the check-in time plus the use of discoverconradsg, so we can plan on how to maximise our stay. (*reservation slot only made available 2 days prior to arrival).

Nephew with Conrad Mascot in Sakura Kimono

Overall: Highly Recommend
Conrad Centennial Singapore comes highly recommended for a family staycation. The location is strategic and they do take care of the young ones. We look forward to our next visit. Cheers!!

Thank you very much to Conrad Centennial Singapore for the Staycation Invite

Conrad Lobby

As an Executive Floor/Suite guest, enjoy the following privileges and benefits:
· Access to the Executive Lounge on Level 31
· Unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks available at the lounge
· Daily a la carte breakfast at Oscar’s at Lobby Level
· Delightful afternoon tea with finger sandwiches and cakes served in a stand
· Complimentary evening drinks with hors d’oeuvres
· Complimentary use of the meeting room at level 5 for two hours per day (subject to availability)
· Complimentary local calls
· Complimentary Premium wireless internet access
· 20% discount on all a la carte spa treatments

Executive Lounge
· Open daily from 2:30pm to 4:30pm and 6:00pm to 10:00pm
· Afternoon Tea: 2:30pm to 4:30pm
· Evening Drinks: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Kindly be informed that the Executive Lounge closes at 5:00pm to 6:00pm for sanitation.

Breakfast at Oscar’s
· Monday – Friday: 6:30am to 10:30am
· Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 6:30am to 11:00am

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