Thursday, September 27, 2007

RamenTen @ HarbourFront Centre

I stumbled upon this place after running errands, and was hoping to find a quick, yet interesting, meal.

RamenTen (HarbourFront Centre, 2nd floor, next to Pasta Mania) appears to have just opened. It had all these congratulatory flower arrangements at its entrance, and everything looked clean and spanking new.

Well, then this might just be the first review of this place! :) Although, I have ascertained that it also has outlets at Far East Plaza and Ang Mo Kio.

Halal ramen. Hmmm. So no tonkatsu (pork cutlets) and no tonkotsu (pork bone soup). How will it fare?

salmon hana sushi (SGD3.90). This was not very good. The rice was hard, and the fish was thin. Interestingly, instead of a blob of mayonnaise topped with tobikko (flying fish roe), they put tuna mayo instead. That is creative. However, as you can tell from the photo, the sushi was, on the whole, rather poorly made, so I think I would skip this next time.

Dry teriyaki chicken ramen (SGD9.80) - this was a recommended dish. In the menu, it had a thumbs up sign, and the waitress specifically recommended this too. It was interesting. Dry ramen is definitely a localised invention. Ramen was fat, but springy. Thumbs up there. The sauce was a thickened up teriyaki sauce - slightly sweet, slightly salty. Went quite well with the ramen. The chicken was unfortunately dry and slightly powdery. So it didn't actually tempt my tastebuds all that much.

Overall verdict - I'd give this a miss, unless you are on a budget or you really have no choice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant @ Pan Pacific Hotel

DH and I eat here quite a lot, so I was surprised to see that I have never posted about this place.

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant (Pan Pacific Hotel, 4th floor) is one of the Japanese restaurants in Singapore. It's set in a traditional Japanese farmhouse, with paper sliding doors, a river of carp, water features, it's so quaint and lovely.

We usually come here on weekends, and end up having the great value for money ala carte buffet (SGD58 per person). We have the pan pacific dining privileges card, so we get a good discount.

We'll start with the sashimi platter (one serving only). It's fresh and nice. Although I would have preferred a more generous serving of their juicy salmon. The fish behind the yellow flower was toro, by the way.

Then, we'd have the chilled lobster with wasabi mayo (also 1 serving only). The lobster is refreshing, and sweet, and the mayo is just right, not too overpowering, not too heavy.

Then some teppanyaki items. Beef with garlic chips is always popular with DH. It's very tender and delicious. We'd usually also have some teppanyaki cod and teppanyaki salmon (not pictured).

Grilled items next - Grilled large prawns above, perfect with just a squeeze of lemon. We usually have some grilled salmon as well.

Soft shell crab - also eaten with lemon. It's not too oily and has just a little bit of batter, just the way I like it.

Mixed Tempura - I find the portion a little too big. But otherwise I find the batter quite nice. It is of course served piping hot and therefore always delicious.

Zaru soba - DH and I love this. We each order one serving, and it comes in a beautiful lacquer box. With nice toppings like sesame seeds, seaweed and spring onion. I like how the soba is nicely presented, and are always smooth and not clumpy or sticky like other places.

Chawanmushi - which I usually share with Cutie. We use this as incentive for him to finish his porridge quickly.

(Me: Want some steamed egg? Cutie: (emphatically)Yeah! Me: ok eat 1 spoon of porridge first. Cutie: Chey! -_-")

California Temaki - this is quite nice. I like the temaki as the seaweed is so crisp! Love the crunch when biting into it. Don't ever give me a limp one, thanks! :p We usually order a few temaki, the tempura prawn temaki is a favourite of mine. Then some sushi to round off the meal.

We usually have dessert as well - some musk melon, sweet and juicy and some ice cream, usually rum and raisin.

Cutie usually joins us at the table. He will insist on feeding himself and drinking by himself. I am always afraid that he will cause a mess. But, how will he learn otherwise right?

There is this cute wooden structure outside, which is something like a trishaw. Cutie loved it! He climbed right in, and refused to come out.

He was having lots of fun sitting in this. He is pretending not to notice when we called him to come out.

Look at Cutie animatedly waving his hands! This was the conversation between Cutie and DH:

DH: Come on, let's go. Daddy wants to go to Harvey Norman.

Cutie: No No No! Stay here.

DH: Come on, quick.

Cutie: No. Daddy GO AWAY!

Those last 2 words were uttered with such emphasis! It makes me laugh to recall it. (Cutie didn't mean to be rude or anything. To Cutie, "go away" simply means the opposite of "stay here".)

Mooncakes from Goodwood Park Hotel

Chempedek and durian mooncakes! Yummilicious!

I haven't been eating many mooncakes this year. I find that my throat gets really sore if I even eat a small piece.

However, I couldn't resist the goodies that DBiL bought.

Sorry for the ugly photo of half-eaten mooncake. None of us could wait to savour these yummy morsels. Even Cutie wanted to play with them (since they looked so inviting, with their bright and cheery colours!)... much to the obvious (and understandable) chagrin of everyone (Sorry! Cutie really didn't mean to throw that piece on the floor... He thought it was a ball and wanted to see if it bounced!).

Well, I am pleased to report that the mooncakes have disappeared (very rapidly) and I liked the chempedek best. The durian was lovely of course, Goodwood Park Hotel is famous for its durian offerings, but this chempedek one was quite special because it has bits of the fruit embedded in the filling so it provided an interesting chewy and flavourful texture.

Thanks DBiL!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hua Ting @ Orchard Hotel

Just as I was lamenting the fact that I haven't had a nice lunch in a while... along comes an invite to lunch at one of the best Chinese restaurants in Singapore - Hua Ting. Thanks V for the lovely lunch!

Hua Ting is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Singapore. And the food is excellent, in terms of execution and freshness. It's traditional Chinese food, served exquisitely in appropriate portions. Service is impeccable. This is the place you would like to take guests to if you wanted to impress.

This was a complimentary amuse bouche - phyllo pastry filled with minced meat and chopped mushrooms. It was tasty, yet light. Quite an interesting starter.

Assorted dim sum. Of course these arrived in lovely bamboo steamers, which I then placed on my plate. From left - chicken pie, prawn roll and carrot cake. The chicken pie was EXCELLENT. The pastry was delicate and slightly sweet. Not flakey, rather it was soft and melted in my mouth. The chicken filling was just right, and contrasted well with the pastry. The carrot cake was delicious, with the perfect ratio of egg and crunchy radish. It was well-fried, with a heavenly aroma of wok hei. The prawn roll was crispy and not oily, with a juicy prawn in the centre.

Roast Goose, one of the restaurant's specialities. It was tender and juicy, with a crisp light skin. Nice.

Roast Pork, another restaurant favourite. It was meaty and crispy, and perfect with the mustard dip.

Home-made spinach tofu - you may not be able to tell from this picture, but the tofu was actually in the shape of a heart. Aww. How cute. It tasted great too. Although I have to add that the tofu was an alarming jade green.
Grilled Honey Garlic Pork Rib - This was the piece de resistance. Wow. Just look at this hunk of protein! A carnivore's dream. It was tender and also quite fatty. There was a strip of fat all around, and the meat itself was also quite marbled with fat. You can imagine how tasty this was, since it was grilled to bring out the fatty meaty juices. Fragrant, delectable, and extremely sinful.
Fried Tung Hoon with crab meat and chives - I like this tung hoon, it was thick and slippery (like the korean tung hoon) and not the thin one which I grew up eating. This was delicious. Simple but totally yummy.
My favouritest dessert in the world - almond cream with glutinuous rice ball. Comforting, warm, sweet.
This was a lovely lunch, with a wonderful bunch. So, when is the next one, I wonder?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tung Lok Signatures @ Vivocity & MISC

No interesting meals lately.

All my meals have been quick, quick packed lunch-types. No money, no time for nice long luxurious lunches.


The last time I had a nice lunch was so long ago!

I remember it vividly... like a memorable occasion which has to date not been repeated.

DH was on leave, and decided to bring Cutie to join me for lunch at Vivocity. When Cutie saw me across the shopping mall... he SQUEALED so loudly and ran towards me with abandon, and flung his arms around me. So adorable.

We went to Tung Lok Signatures Restaurant (#01-57, Vivocity) and ordered the set lunch which costs about SGD50 or SGD60 per person.

Crab roe sharks' fin soup. It was very heartcloggingly rich. You can taste the rich, thick, gluey-ness of the soup with every sip. Yummy. Not for the faint-hearted.

Lobster in shell served with peppercorn cream sauce. This dish was a bit fusion-type. I wouldn't be surprised if they served me this in an Italian restaurant. It was very good as the lobster flesh was succulent and sweet. The cream sauce was aromatic and light and not too cloying on the palate.


Engrossed in the performance, but still keeping his mouth busy!

We were all told to come dressed in red and be seated by 430 pm. Fortunately, it was very cool, very nice weather.

Do you notice the resemblance between my 2 cuties?

I like this photo a lot. They both look very adorable. If only baby Cutie would keep his sunglasses on, then it would be such a funny shot.

I don't know whether Cutie enjoyed the performance more or the snacking more.

Almost every picture captured my Cutie eating something! And do you notice, how his posture has moved from sitting upright to slouching? He looks very comfortable, like he's watching TV at home!

Well, at the end of the performance, we all felt very patriotic. It's lovely to see how far Singapore has come, and I think this year's celebrations were very well-organised.


There is no purpose in buying expensive toys for children, you know. No purpose at all.

Since children always: (1) tire of the new toy almost immediately after receiving it or (b) prefer the cheaper toy.

Cutie's current favourite toy is his father's shoes.

Everytime DH comes home from work, Cutie would rush to wear his shoes.

Or, if unavailable, he would wear DB's shoes (ie Cutie's Jiu Jiu's shoes). And try to walk around the house.

So unhygenic and dirty! I should stop him right?

But, he is so happy!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kopitiam @ Vivocity

Lunch was a quick affair, as both JK and I needed to run errands for our respective babies (diapers, brown rice, quick stop at Toys'R'us... you know, the usual stuff for a busy working mom).

Vivocity has a number of food courts (including the famous Food Republic on the third floor). We went to Kopitiam at Basement 2 - for an easy quick meal.

My hotpot bak chor mee (SGD4.50) was better than I expected. I hope it's not MSG-laden. The noodles were a little soggier than I would have liked, but otherwise it was a tasty bowl of thin mee pok tossed in a delicious mix of vinegar, soya sauce, ketchup, chili.

And look at the generous array of ingredients. Pork balls, pork slices, minced pork, liver, sliced mushrooms and a fried pork wonton. All were nice, not too fatty, not too oily. They also add some bits of fried lard in this, so be warned.

The soup had a dumpling and an egg in it. Not too shabby at all.

Then we ran our errands and I was tempted to buy some mooncakes. Because, they even had this chinese orchestra performing next to their stand, can? Wow, this mooncake sale is serious business, man, with so many stalls vying for customers.

Chocolate Cake from Canele

This is the best cake I have ever eaten. It was dense and rich and not too sweet. See how elegantly it is decorated!

And it came in such a beautiful box - a flat tray with a box cover and gold ribbons, not those cheapo fold-it-yourself things.
Canele is the baking arm of Les Amis, with branches at Robertson Quay and Paragon. You might want to check it out if you wish to order a cake sometime.



Happy Birthday J!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vehicles for Cutie / Waraku @ East Coast Park

I am an extravagant parent.

bored or all tired out?
As you can see from this picture - Cutie is getting bored with his tricycle. Even though it's barely a month old!!


Mommy? Will you buy the car please? Please?
So, indulgent parent that I am, I bought Cutie one of those Flintstone cars. So named because it does not have any pedals or motors, and is run by leg power only.

Yayy, Mommy's buying the car! Vroom!

He seems to like it! So much so he refused to let others have a turn on it. Even when a very pretty mei mei asked him nicely. Which is so unusual because he is typically so generous when it comes to sharing toys. Especially with pretty girls. Yes yes, so it appears that he does like his new car, but let's see how long it lasts.

After hanging out at East Coast Park (which we seem to do a lot these days), we ended up at Waraku Japanese Restaurant (which we also seem to do a lot these days).

It was an easy choice, since it's convenient, air-conditioned and baby-friendly.

DH had the Waraku Hiyashi Ramen (SGD8.80) served chilled with a sesame dipping sauce. The nice thing about this is that they served 2 different types of noodles, soba and inaniwa udon (thin udon). There was also egg and prawns and julienned cucumber which provided an interesting crunchy contrast. It was a hit on a hot sunny day.

I also had cold chirashi udon (SGD12). This was served with slices of sashimi, seaweed and bonito flakes on top. It was an interesting take on chirashi sushi (which is slices of sashimi served on rice). The noodles were coated with a slippery substance like chilled egg white, but I can't really be sure what it is. I quite liked it, but DH didn't really care for the slippery texture.

Central @ Vivocity

Central (where people meet) (B2, Vivocity) has a few branches around Singapore, which I have seen but have never eaten at.

So, as PL and I were trying to decide where to eat, we decided to try this place out.
It is a little more expensive that other places - average mains of about SGD8, with their desserts an exorbitant SGD4 or SGD4.50. They also don't serve water. Uggh. Pet peeve of mine.

My braised beef noodles (SGD7.50) arrived in an interesting bowl - made out of 2 bowls joined in the centre. It was a good conversation piece, but it was a bit irritating because it made eating my noodles more difficult.

The noodles were not as springy as Hong Kong noodles should be. A little too fat and a little too soft. The beef was tender but I think they should have used more sinewy tendony cuts. This was alright but not fabulous. Oh, and they didn't have the right type of chili (Hong Kong style chili with the chili oil).

We also shared a plate of fried pig intestines (SGD6.80). PL gave this a thumbs up, as it was not oily, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I quite liked it too. But it had a strong porky smell to it, but I am not sure if it was just me since I seldom eat much pork these days and so the odour may have affected me more.

Maxwell Food Centre

MC and CT wanted to go to Chinatown to see a chinese physician since they both had neck and back aches.

I tagged along, even with any ailments or maladies, becaue they said they were eating at Maxwell Food Centre after that. Oooh! Maxwell Food Centre?! I'm in.

I also saw the tuinalogist. ("what on earth is that?" you ask. A specialist in tuina (the ancient form of Chinese massage) so I am told. It does sound a bit dodgy doesn't it?). He gave me a head massage to clear my sinuses and to make my eyes more sparkly. I think it felt a bit like the massage my hairdresser gives me. It cost SGD28. For that price, I usually get a hair cut as well!

No matter. I was here for the food anyway!

First up, char kway teow. Haven't had this in ages. This was very good. Very fragrant, good wok hei, and lots of ingredients.

This satay bee hoon was excellent. The satay sauce was savoury and tasty, and the ingredients were fresh and succulent. Love cuttlefish!

We also shared some poached chicken, some braised pork rib noodles, and had tang yuen dessert.

Count me in next time! There's lots more good food to be discovered in Maxwell Food Centre!

Marutama Ramen @ Central

I've been to Marutama Ramen (Central Mall, #03-90) before, but DH hasn't. So when he proposed date night (ie that he and I go out for dinner, without Cutie), I suggested this place.

DH had the signature Marutama ramen (SGD12) while I ordered the Aka ramen (SGD15).

The Aka Ramen (SGD15) contains springy chicken balls, some strips of seaweed, some chopped spring onion in a tasty slightly tangy stock made with 7 types of nuts. I ordered this with some trepidition as it contained coriander and I didn't like coriander all that much. If the coriander was minced and cooked as part of the stock, I would be doomed. Fortunately, it was just a sprinkling on top, which I removed with ease.
I preferred this soup base to the Marutama soup base because it was very unique. It didn't taste strongly of chicken, but it had a comforting hearty fragrance. The slightly tangy touch made this one very appetising ramen.

I ordered an extra boiled egg for SGD1. For instructions on how to cook the perfect wobbly boiled egg, see this post from Chubby Hubby.

We also shared some interesting sides.

Braised Pork Belly (SGD6). This was tasty but rather too fatty so we didn't finish it.

Yaki Pork Belly (SGD7). I highly recommend this one. This Grilled Pork Belly was crisp on the outside yet was tender and devastatingly delicious. With a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of Japanese chili powder, it was sublime. DH and I were still talking about it on our way out.

Don't forget to order the cha shu as well. It was still melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. DH and shared an additional portion for SGD4.

DH and I, whilst waiting for our food.

We didn't have to wait very long for a table, despite the queue. 2 seats at the counter were available, but the group of 4 in front of us had to pass, and the other couple in front of us wanted a table. So we quickly grabbed the counter seats. DH and I love to sit at the counter anyway. I like to see the Japanese chefs at work, and I think they also like to be appreciated.

Doesn't DH look a little weary in the photo above? I think it was cos he was so hungry.

He looks a lot more satiated and happy in this photo!