Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Back in Kuro Maguro

We headed back to Kuro Maguro over the weekend for a fuss free lunch of their donburi. Without the office crowd, the shop was actually kinda peaceful and a pleasant place to eat at. Today, we picked their premium aburi wagyu meshi and sansyoku meshi. The latter featuring the trinity of akami, chutoro and otoro from their hon maguro. Hence sansyoku.

It dawned upon me that this was one of those places where the quality of the ingredient held more weight than the skills of the people in the kitchen since it was that quality (in this case, the wagyu and their hon maguro) that really mattered for their rice bowls. Both bowls were delicious, fatty and flavourful. Not to mention pricey.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sri Lukshmi Naarashimhan, Changi Business Park

I hope I got the name of the stall right. We were at Changi Business Park and were getting lunch. A co-worker recommended the Andhra meal from Sri  Lukshimi Naarashimhan. It's the stall with the big words 'Vegetarian' in the basement food court (1 Changi Business Park Crescent). I'm guessing that it's a region variant of the South Indian rice meal that is based of Coastal Andhra.

Anyways, this kicked butt! Let's see - the paper cups on the left were from top down sambar, some spicy curry and rasam. The ones on the right were buttermilk and payasam. The little plastic container above is as you might have guessed - ghee. Paired up superbly with the spicy daal powder/podi on the rice. Not sure what the vegetables dishes I had on the side were called. The left item was cabbages and carrots and the green stuff was made of beans I think. And a nice splash of creamy dal on the side. Damn this was good!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Double Feasting at Salted & Hung

Yes, this was Double Feasting and not double fisting down at Salted & Hung (12 Purvis Street, tel : +65 6358 3130). A pseudo medieval themed communal dining event headed by the chefs Tan Huang Ming (previously Lolla, currently Park Bench Deli) and Drew Nocente. One can sense the undertones of gluttony that's woven into the theme.

In retrospect, this event was a laudable effort by the team behind it. Even though timing of the service could have been fine tuned and well, the food had hits and misses.

I got suckered into ordering a Fallen Angel stout. A mocha chilli stout that's $20. Rather expensive and I was hoping for some of those heat like Cottage Delight's Fiery Furnace but that was not to be. A lot of mocha in there though.

rye bread, wagyu butter 
The first up from the feast was rye and wagyu butter. Bread was amazing and the wagyu butter elevated it. But - it could have been improved if there was some salt in the butter. Now I don't know what actually was used for that butter or if it's truly just wagyu fat, this stuff melted really fast in room temperature.

Cold cuts came next. Not bad altogether but I thought the outstanding one was the lardo with honey.

cured mackerel
horseradish creme 
Their cured mackerel was awesome - rich and flavourful with a soft yet firm texture. That being said, it's for those that would enjoy the fish.

pigeon pie
The pigeon pie was a bit of a bore. I was initially imagining a hot pie but it was a cold one. The fillings were pretty much how they looked and it could have been pork for all I know. The choice of meat was wasted on this one and at this point, we were starting to feel the creeping effects from the fat/suet/oils accumulated from what's been served so far .

chorizo & spice glaze
Next came the roasted quail. These were great. Some people had their's a bit too underdone for their preferences but mine was good. Wouldn't have minded more of these.

pork & shellfish chowder
clams, limpets, prawns
This tasted like a regular seafood chowder. Which is to say that it was seafood-y. In a nice way. It was not bad but at this point I sense that everyone was holding out because there was more food to come and no one really wanted extras of the chowder going around the table. A small portion of this stuff was filling as it was.

We were given dates for some "palate break" from all the richness. These aren't the Medjool dates that's more commonly available I think. It was less sweet and the sweetness was actually manageable.

braised jacobs ladder
roasted root vegetables
Tonight, I learnt that there is actually a dish of braised beef short ribs known as Jacobs Ladder. What it needed was some salt and it would have been much tastier. The laws of diminishing returns have started its work at this point for what we could appreciate from the food. And man, those onions were really sharp.

armoured turnips
roasted in butter, topped with cheese
Ploughing through the diminishing returns, we were faced with turnips in butter and at least a trio of cheeses. There were Mozzarella, Feta (or some goat's cheese) and shaven aged Gouda from the chef's private stock.

suckling pig
duck, coppa & black garlic
The most visually arresting dish arrived at this point. Stuffed suckling pig. Under the crisp skin was lined with coppa and the stuffings were maybe minced duck and pork with black garlic. I'm guessing that it was the last ingredient that made this item unexpectedly sweet. Again, some salt would have elevated the flavours considering that most of us were stuffed at this point. For a restaurant called Salted & Hung, these guys were really careful with salt.

elizabethan lemon cakes
lemon curd
There was a lengthy intermission before the sweets arrived. I had been expecting their lemon cake to be something refreshingly tart like those that they once did in the defunct Lollapalooza but these Elizabethan lemon cakes were what we people of today would know as cookies. So I guess these were considered cakes during the Elizabethan era. At this point, I think most of us would have appreciated it if the accompanying lemon curd were more tart than sweet.

goat's milk & honey
Followed by something which was supposed to be goat's milk and honey. Couldn't taste the honey and those flakes in there tasted like granola bits.

berry tart
vanilla cream
This was the point of time people were starting to want to leave. This "tart" was actually good with the pastry, berry compote and vanilla cream. The compote was tart, fruity and nicely balanced the other ingredients. There was also some meringue in there which I felt was quite unnecessary.

I suppose it would be fair to say that some animals got more equal opportunities to showcase themselves than others. The dinner was almost 3 hours, lengthy by any considerations for people in this part of the world. I think we liked some of it while some of the later servings ended up becoming part of the sequence of motion we had to go through to get to the end.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Café & Meal MUJI, Raffles City

My first meal from the cafe in Muji (#02-020/22, Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, tel  : +65 6264 4189). The setup looked similar to the one we had previously visited in Hong Kong though the offerings were different. Their cafeteria styled food here was decent that I wouldn't mind if I had to eat them again, however it's not exactly something that I would get any cravings for. In fact, it's so comfortable seated at the higher spectrum of ordinary that I'm not sure what to even say except that it's 'not bad'.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Philly Shack, Clark Quay

This was a new establishment (3A River Valley Road, #01-01B Clarke Quay) that claims to do Philly cheesesteak sitting right on the very premise that Butchers Club Burger used to be. My keyhole view into the future whispers to me that a trend is about to recur.

We ordered their regular cheesesteak, one with Provolone and the other with Cheez Whiz. The cheeses were fine and the sandwiches were edible. In retrospect, I would have picked the one at Park Bench Deli over this any time. Actually, I would even pick Yellow Submarine over this. 

What I didn't think much of was that their meat wasn't exactly tender/juicy and the careless preparation left bits of silverskin and sinews in the shrivelled overcooked slices. While that was pretty much the only gripe I had with the sandwich, impressions took a major plunge. Even though the bread was kinda nice.

We asked for hot sauce. They responded with a basket of selections which was honestly, overwhelming especially when they didn't know what was what.

The onion rings were simply a waste of money. There's more batter than onions and whatever onions that were in the rings barely registered flavour. This was mostly grease and deep fried flour.

But their chocolate bourbon shake was rather good. If I were to ever return, it'll be for this shake. Incidentally, it was also the best dip for their fries; not ketchup or chilli nor any of their hot sauces. You heard it here first.