Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Two Man Bagels, Icon Village

I've been hearing about this shop (#01-12 Icon Village Altez, 16 Enggor Street, tel : +65 +65 65094125) on how they have the bagels in town and the great ingredients that's between their sliced bagels. Decided to come back to see if they're good. Honestly, we weren't too impressed. Maybe we had expected too much.

We had their Cow King - something with pastrami and the works. Certainly not the type of pastrami I had imagined though. It's not a bad bagel. Just a little hard, dry and badly constructed because everything just started falling apart as we tried to eat them. We've definitely had better bagels which held up better and weren't dry and hard.

The Salted which had their house brined briskets was pretty much in the same boat. Those briskets weren't very fatty and tasted like it had been cooked in dark soy sauce - which was pretty much the only flavour in them.

Monday, January 16, 2017

White chocolate nori ice cream from Tom's Palette

We haven't been in this area for a while and since we did, it was also a time to get re-acquainted with whatever's current news at Tom's Palette.

So we had this white chocolate nori (seaweed) which was unusual to say the least. There was a little bit of that umami from the seaweed that balanced off the rich sweetness from the white chocolate. Which was a good thing because for without, the white chocolate would have been much too cloying after a few mouthfuls. Interesting flavour with enough seaweed to match the creamy sweetness. I was glad that there was another chocolate sorbet which we used to "cleanse the palate" so to speak before getting back to more of the white chocolate.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Noodle Café, Golden Mile Complex

This hole in the wall (#B1-08 Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, tel : +65 3113 2003) joint for Thai boat noodles was a good find at the basement of Golden Mile Complex. While one cannot reasonably expect the same standards that can be gotten in Thailand, Noodle Café's rendition wasn't too shabby. We had some noodles and a couple of sides.

The first thing that reached our table was a bowl of fried lard.

Noodles come in regular portions or small ones. These are the small ones which are good for about two big mouthfuls. The above comes with broth. I could taste coconut in it and the rest was a little too complicated to describe. While the broth was not what I would have hoped for, it was pretty satisfying.

The dry option kicked ass from their chilli paste and ground peanuts. I got the bowl with beef liver. I should come back for the full sized portion of one of these because it was so damned good.

Because the small portions were really small, we tried a regular bowl of their tom yum egg noodle. The bowl came with ground peanuts, a handful of boiled bean sprouts, minced pork, a half cooked egg and a wedge of lime. Tasted like it had roasted chilli in it and the heat was respectably sweat inducing, but oddly didn't taste like tom yum at all. The whole tang and lemongrass thing was missing. Still, it stood on its own as a tasty bowl of spicy noodles that'll send tingles up the scalp.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Revisiting Cugini

We remembered liking Cugini and chance whisked us back. Three years sure went by fast.

Things seemed to have changed though. The menu got streamlined so it wasn't so much fun looking through wondering what else to try next. The people felt different and the food seemed to have changed as well. Did management change too?

One of the things we thought was exceptional was their calamari. Today's order didn't quite feel like that exceptional one that we had the first time. I didn't use the wrong verb. I meant feel, not taste. Which is the sum of the experience with the calamari rather than being just about the flavour.

I got duped into getting their  regolare pizza because prawns, Gorgonzola and Italian sausage sounded good. My mind was assuming Gorgonzola piccante but they were using Gorgonzola dolce. The young creamier variety which doesn't pack as much pungence. Couldn't tell that the cheese was in the pizza.

The only real gripe I had was for the crust of the pizza. It was so thin that it tore up as we tried to lift up a slice. So thin that it turned soggy in short order and didn't have the strength to hold even just tomato paste. 

Asked for extra Gorgonzola and it didn't help very much with the blue cheese flavours.

There was a risotto alla Siciliana which had lobster, asparagus and green apples. The flavours were pretty nice. It wasn't as lobster-ly as I had thought but that didn't preclude it from being tasty. I'm pretty sure there was some form of cream or cheese though.

Honestly, there was a let down because of the pizza and the calamari. We had expected those to be their solid performers. While I'm not writing Cugini off for the time being, my impression of them has undoubtedly diminished.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kam's Roast, Pacific Plaza

This would be the much hyped about Kam's Roast (#01-04/05/06/07 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road), offshoot of the Michelin starred Kam's Roast Goose in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Obviously, the name of the restaurant doesn't have the word 'goose' because the AVA does not allow the geese from China they are using to be imported here and they've replaced geese with duck.

We happened to be in the vicinity looking for dinner and I decided to walk over to see if there was a crowd. It happened that there wasn't a queue so I thought I'd lay my notions of this place to rest.

By the way, I would advise anyone interested in their shrimp roe noodles to give them a pass. If I had to make comparisons knowing where these guys came from, this was just pathetically embarrassing. Even the local Imperial Treasure beats this hands down. The portion of the roe was just sad and it wasn't worth half of the $7.80 that they charged.

So in Singapore, it's Kam's roast duck. It is understandably not in the same league as the roast goose in Hong Kong which was fattier and more flavourful. While this was a nicely done roast with tender meat, the same could be said for a number of other roast ducks in town as well. Thus the decision to use ducks might have reduced Kam's allure since we are pretty sure that we can find something similar as good elsewhere and sometimes, without paying as much. 

Kam's wanton mee was Crystal Jade standard. By that, I had meant that it wasn't on par with the ones that one can quite easily get in Hong Kong. Not the texture of those noodles nor the wanton which were not very flavourful. And the funny thing is, I hear that the noodles are imported. Hong Kong Wanton Noodle makes better wanton mee.

What was outstanding (and rather pricey) was their toro char siew. A belly cut of barbecued pork where the most of it was actually fat - the type that disintegrates in your mouth diffusing its meaty aroma along with the sticky caramelized sweetness from the glaze. One must love fat and pork to enjoy this.

I had no choice but to look back at Kam's in Hong Kong feeling that this local shop is a 'trying to be' rather than an 'is'. For all the publicity and their unabashed eagerness to exploit the Michelin branding, I had expected better.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice, Tiong Bahru Market FC

I gather that this stall (#02-82 Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road) is pretty popular judging from the queue. What's more, this shop had been awarded the Bib Gourmand by Michelin last year. Now I'm not sure if I've ever had chicken rice from them before but from this first impressions, I quite like this. The rice had managed to be both light yet quite flavourful at the same time. Chicken was tender, decently done but nothing very much out of the ordinary. Still, this looks to be a reliable place for me to get a plate when the craving hits.

What is different about these guys are the salted vegetables that they add on the side and an accompanying bowl of salted vegetable soup instead of the usual tasteless cabbage broth most people do.