Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Melben Seafood (Ang Mo Kio)

My sister raved about the Butter Crab from this place some time back - it's always so crowded that she and her friends normally order the food to go... so it seemed like the perfect thing to have when Gerry & I decided to visit new mummy, Daphne, and Baby Jonah one evening - mainly coz Daphne lives just a few streets away...

On my sister's advice, I called up the restaurant at 4pm to order the food. Told them I would pick it up at 7.15pm but they called up at 6.45pm to say that the food was ready for pick-up! So the food was a little cold by the time we settled down to eat but everything was still yummy...

The Butter Crab was surely the star of the day -

The gravy was so good that we ran out of mantou (fried buns) to wipe up the remainder of the gravy.

The Cereal Prawns were just ok -

Definitely a dish that does not travel well, the moisture from the steam made all the cereal soggy... Note to self : do not order cereal prawns for take away. Ever.

Another of their signature dishes is the Claypot Crab Beehoon -

So we opened up the container and pushed the crab around looking for the beehoon, but there was none. I told my sis about it later and she said the beehoon is packed separately and the auntie probably forgot to give us the packet of beehoon. Just as well, seeing how we were quite stuffed and beehoon would probably have pushed us over the edge :)

The soup was quite good, it's got a bit of a lemak taste to it... oh, by the way, this is my first time ever having Crab Beehoon.

A bit of an expensive meal at around $30 per person. But the crabs were quite big and very meaty so I think it's quite worth it.

If you ever want to try this place out, I highly recommend calling and ordering in advance, even for dining in. But take note, this place does not take advance orders on weekends. Definitely a must try!

Melben Seafood (Ang Mo Kio)
Blk 232 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3
#01-1222 Singapore 560232
Tel: 6285 6762
Operating Hours: Daily 4.30pm - 11.30pm

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I actually heard about this place a while back - a few people told me about the very good ramen place at the basement of Liang Court - but never had the chance till try it... until one Friday evening when I was trying to decide where to have dinner in the Clarke Quay area and remembered this place.

They were featured in Sunday LIFE! a few weeks ago for their Black Pig Ramen being the no. 1 ramen in Singapore, which resulted in a 15 minute queue for a seat. It was a good thing we weren't particularly hungry...

So of course we had to order their infamous dish - Kurobuta Pork Shabu Ramen $13.80++ (also known as the Black Pig Ramen) :

This is one of the rare times when a bowl of ramen that looks spicy actually was!

The fuss about this ramen is mainly about two things - the stock (apparently boiled for two days) and the pork (comes from the Black Berkshire pig which is regarded as the highest quality pork in the world).

The soup, while tasty, was not exceptionally so. The pork, was a little on the fatty side which is not quite a universal preference. I think the ramen did not live up to it's hype...

But what I did like was the Black Pig Tonkatsu $19.50++ :

The pork was really tender and there was hardly any fat in it. Also good that it wasn't overly oily which tonkatsu can get sometimes... much better than the ramen, in my opinion.

And for a side dish, we ordered the Tosa Tofu $7.80++ :

which was deep-fried tofu with bonita flakes. Interesting to have the bonita flake as the outer layer on the tofu, but the tofu inside was kinda tasteless.

The ramen is still worth a try, but what is a must-try is the tonkatsu. Be warned though - there will almost certainly be a queue, and this place gets kinda noisy as it's always crowded with families...

177 River Valley Road
#B1-50 Liang Court Shopping Centre
Tel : 6338 3186

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Asian Kitchen

On a particularly lazy and unimaginative evening, I ended up eating dinner here while wandering around Vivo City.

To be a little less boring, I decided to order something different so I went with the Zha Jiang Mian $7.00++ :

It was not too bad, with lots of minced meat sauce.

We also had Pork and Vegetable Dumplings $3.70++ to share instead of my usual choice of xiaolongbao -

and A had the Moonlight Hor Fun $9.70++ -

I was surprised it came with a raw egg on top - but apparently it's quite common... odd that I've never seen it served like that before. Not entirely convinced that the egg gets fully cooked this way...

Not ever my first choice to eat at, but a suitable alternative when it's crowded everywhere else.

The Asian Kitchen
1 Harbour Front Walk
#B2-29 Vivo City
Tel : 6376 9623

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brown Sugar Bistro Café (closed)

I decided to organise another Girl's Night Out and took the opportunity to try out Brown Sugar Café Bistro. Kinda forgot about this place after I read about it months ago, and came across it again when I was surfing HungryGoWhere - which is one of my favourite sites for reviews on eating places.

This restaurant is located in Stardus Clubhouse along River Valley Road, a most unlikely location for a restaurant... which surely brings to mind Wild Rocket, which is similarly located in an unusual location. Despite the compound having a small car park, none of us had trouble getting a lot.

It's a pretty small place, so if you do decide to come here, you have to make reservations. The decor is sleek and simple and the ambience chicly soothing.

We ordered two starters to share :

The Deconstructed Apple Salad $13.00+++ was further deconstructed when the stack fell as the waiter laid the plate on the table. He was suitably apologetic about toppling the stack but we decided to just take it as it is... the apple slices went well with the rocket leaves, walnuts and wedges of brie.

We also ordered the Foie Gras with Strawberry and Banana Compote $25.00+++ :

We were all pleasantly surprised by the amount of foie gras that was in the dish. We were expecting maybe one piece but there were four pieces! And each one was seared to "melt in your mouth" perfection.

For the main course, I had one of the Specials of the Day - Pan Seared Scallop $20.00+++ :

The scallops were amazingly fresh and tender. Looked like a really small portion with only five scallops but I felt it was a reasonable portion for that price.

Karen had the Duck Breast with Celeraic Puree and Raisin Jus $24.00+++ -

which she was quite unimpressed by...

Puiming had the Cod with Squid Ink Pasta $26.00+++ -

which she didn't like very much either...

and Meips had the Wagyu Burger #28.00+++ -

which I took a bite of and it wasn't very good. Not tasty and for some reason, cold... like it had been sitting in the kitchen for a while before being served.

After the amazing starters, we were slightly let down by the mediocre main courses. But we could not end a Girl's Night Out without having dessert and proceeded to order a few things to share...

The Chocolate Fondant $12.00+++ was pretty normal... I guess we're all kinda over this dessert already...

The Pear Tarte with Fig and Honey Ice-cream $12.00+++ was the second most popular dessert of the three that we ordered :

But the best dessert and pretty much everyone's favourite dish of the day was the Sticky Date Pudding. There is no picture of it as silly me accidentally erased it! In any case, it's quite an ugly dessert so the picture is not going to add to its appeal. I've never had authentic Sticky Date Pudding so I have no idea what it's actually supposed to taste like, but I can tell you this much - this dessert is yummy. As proof of that, it was the first dessert that we finished :)

The girls insisted that I make a mention of the service here so here it is. The service was inconsistent - one waiter was attentive but in general it was a bit difficult getting service, which is odd since this is quite a small place. The staff likely need more training... a bit silly to topple an apple stack, don't u think?

But the desserts are definitely worth the trip, so do try this place out.

Brown Sugar Bistro Café
277 River Valley Road
#01-04 Stardus Clubhouse
Singapore 238318
Tel: 6333 6612

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hyang to Gol

I love Korean food... but unlike most Singaporeans, my favourite Korean dishes are not anything BBQ'd but rather it's kimchi and soondubu (spicy tofu stew). My love for Korean food is all thanks to Janelle, who first introduced me to soondubu when I visited her in LA in 2001. Since then it's been a neverending search for good Korean food in Singapore...

Puiming told me that the food at this restaurant is not bad, and since her husband, Kisu, is Korean-American, I think her opinion is definitely to be trusted :)

I love it when all the side dishes are served... somehow the table is never big enough to hold all the dishes and it always spills over to the next table! The dishes here were just ok... I think the best selection I've had so far is at Ju Shin Jung.

For the BBQ we ordered Yangnyeom Galbi (Marinated Prime Rib) $30+++. Here it is all laid out on the hot plate bbq -

And here it is nearly cooked -

The meat was quite yummy. What bothered me was the obviously non-Korean staff working there. The waitress who took our order was Chinese (as in from China) and repeated our orders in Chinese. She was obviously a trainee and was fumbling while laying the beef on the grill... thank goodness another more experienced waitress took over from her.

We also ordered Gochujang Samgyeopsal (Chilli-paste marinated Pork) $22.00+++ -

And it wasn't as spicy as it looks.

Of course I had to order Soondubu Jigae $13.00+++ -

It's been a while since I had authentic soondubu so I can't say for sure how good this was, but it was spicy, and lots of ingredients in it and served piping hot, it's such comfort food.

The place looked expensive from outside but the prices were reasonable for Korean food. We ended eating so much that we were still quite stuffed the next day. The food was good, but not spectacularly so... if I need a Korean food fix, I'll probably go to Ju Shin Jung instead.

Hyang To Gol Korean Restaurant
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Level 2 Amara Hotel
Tel : 6220 7160

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gourmet Plus

Was looking for a place to have brunch in the East and decided to try out the stretch of eating places along Frankel Avenue... Cedele is tiny here and we couldn't get a seat so ended up trying this place which is right next door.

Not a terribly extensive brunch menu so I ended up ordering the pancakes which was around $10... and this is what came :

Just two pancakes, maple syrup and absolutely nothing else... not even a small wedge of strawberry. They were relatively fluffy pancakes, but 10 bucks just seems like too much to pay for two pancakes and nothing else. The very next day, I had homemade blueberry pancakes (ok, so it was really pancake mix) and they were delish!

K had the Scrambled Eggs with Salmon -

Isn't that a cute plate??

The food here just seemed a bit on the expensive side, especially considering the location and the fact that the food is really nothing to get excited about. Hmm, unlikely to come back here unless I'm stuck along Frankel Avenue and every other place is totally packed.

Gourmet Plus
117 Frankel Avenue
Frankel Estate
Tel: 6441 1120
Singapore 458232

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Yogi Hub (Madras Street Outlet)

It was on a Sunday afternoon that I decided to come here for lunch. A bit scary to venture to Little India on a Sunday but this place is pretty much on the outskirts so I wasn't too worried. My strategy was to park in the Tekka Mall car park (entrance along Dalhousie Lane) and take a very short walk to the restaurant. Quite a successfuly strategy as we encountered only a handful of the 'locals'...

The restaurant is really like an oasis and it's totally incongruous with its surroundings. The simple white theme makes it stand out from the older duller buildings around it, and the aircon was a welcome respite from the overwhelming heat.

Besides food from the menu, there are also Daily Specials which are written on the chalkboard just next to the entrance. From the Daily Specials, we ordered the La Mian $8.80 -

The la mian was slightly overcooked and had a bit of a slimy texture. But the soup was yummy... it looks clear and thin, but there's a hint of chilli that kicks in very unexpectedly. And I love radish in soup...

The Soup of the Day $3.80 was Pumpkin Soup -

It tasted ok but I was surprised by how big the serving was.

My favourite dish here was the Pineapple Brown Rice $7.80 -

I'm not a big fan of brown rice but I loved this! Besides the pieces of pineapple, there were also little crunchy fried bits... while eating, I described it as a little party in every bite :) The many flavours and textures totally distracted me from the taste of the brown rice... I'm so having it the next time I'm here.

A bit out of the way but it's got nice ambience and tasty food. Hmm, I need to go back again soon...

Yogi Hub (Madras Street Outlet)
16 Madras Street
Tel : 6298 8198

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee

During my blog anniversary, I was reminded by Joe that I haven't had much Hokkien Mee, considering that my blog was named after it... so I decided to order it when S and I had dinner at Tiong Bahru Market.

I love cheap hawker food - a huge plate for just $4.00!

My Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for eating Hokkien Mee is to mix it all up with the chilli and lots of lime so it looks nothing like this when I'm done... Yes, I do love my Hokkien Mee :)

This one was not too bad - moist enough without being too watery, chilli had a kick to it, and enough liao (ingredients) to keep me happy. It never fails to amaze me how much work goes into frying Hokkien Mee every time I see a hawker cook it...

Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
30 Seng Poh Road #02-01
Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre