Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ramen Santouka

The latest Ramen restaurant to hit the Japanese dining scene is Ramen Santouka (Central Mall, #02-76).

It serves ramen with pork bone broth, with a wide selection of meats and accompaniments.

DH stumbled upon this place when he had to take a late lunch near his workplace.

I am sure there have been several comparisons between this place and Marutama ramen already (ramen restaurants which originated from Japan, authentic Japanese chefs, both located in Central Mall).

Although we usually go to Marutama Ramen, due to an embarrassing incident, I have decided to avoid that place for a while... so it was really lucky that DH found this new Ramen Joint.

Embarrassing Incident

I was chatting happily with the lady cashier, who took our orders and served us too. She had a slight japanese accent, so I (naturally and presumptiously) assumed that she was Japanese. So everything that I said to her centred on how difficult it must be for her to relocate here.

As we left:

DH (whispering conspitorially) : tell you a secret...
Me (wide-eyed and innocent) : what, what?
DH: She wasn't Japanese.
Me (gasp of horror) : she wasn't?!?!
DH: Yeah when you said it must be so hard for the family when she moved here. She looked totally bewildered... and then she just continued the charade cos it would take more time to explain the mistake to you...
Me: I can never go there again!

So... as I said, it is really fortuituous that DH found Ramen Santouka.

The place isn't very big, but we figured by Japanese standards, it is considered quite large since there were about 4 tables that can seat 4, and several tables for 2 along the window. No counter seats... The counter was only for serving ramen.

Here is DH, aka Mr Mysterious, waiting for his ramen. He has informed me that he cannot be featured on this blog because he is a very important person who might be recognised by his adoring fans. Therefore, all photos of DH henceforth shall be blurred out or of focus like this.

DH ordered the house speciality - tokusen toroniku (sliced pork cheeks) with miso ramen (SGD19.50). There are only 80 servings of this speciality a day because only very little meat is harvested from the cheeks of a pig. DH ordered the upsized version for SGD 2 dollar. For dainty eaters, you can opt to downsize the noodles and save SGD1.

Can you see how thick the soup is? I do find it rather salty and intimidating. But it was nevertheless very tasty. The noodles were chewy and bouncy.

DH's sliced pork cheeks and condiments arrived separately from his ramen. I really like the pork cheeks. They were not very fatty, but were in fact very tender and chewy. A little salty though.

My own order of cha syu ramen with salmon roe don (SGD19.50). The rice was nothing to shout about, I just wanted to try something different.

My choice of spicy miso soup base was good. It was very tasty, and spicier than I had expected. They use chili padi you see.

The pork in the ramen were all different - 1 slice of cha syu, 1 short pork rib and 1 long pork rib. The pork ribs were fatty but tender. The cha syu was melt in the mouth tender.

Ramen is getting very expensive these days... With additional orders of boiled eggs, our lunch exceeded SGD50 with GST.

I quite like it, although I find the ramen rather heavy on salt, oil and taste. Maybe I will try the downsized version next time.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dinner @ Home

I made dinner!

Simple porridge dinner only... too much eating and feasting so made something light for DH and I.

We had plain porridge and simple dishes.

Steamed silken round tofu with minced chicken meat. I mixed in black olive leaves into the minced chicken for taste (aka Kana Chye). As an alternative, one could also mixed chopped up chye poh (preserved salty veg) or preserved choi sum (preserved kailan stems).

Omelette with Tomatoes and Onions. Not salty enough I think... but I liked the consistency and texture.

We also had boiled peanuts in soya sauce, preserved bean curd and bak kwa with our dinner.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CNY celebrations

Lots of feasting during CNY.

Fortunately my appetite has improved tremendously thereby allowing me to gorge myself on buttery pineapple tarts and other assorted goodies.

(Looking at photos of myself taken at my reunion dinner and then taken a few days later on the 3rd day of new year, I shudder to realise I have put on so much weight in a few short days that I am almost unrecognisable!)

Reunion Dinner

We wanted to avoid the crowds and the rush so we decided to eat dinner at home by buying home a large treasure pot (also known as "pen cai" literally pot of food).

It was decided by a very wise person that although this was a large treasure pot (meant for 6), filled to the brim with auspicious ingredients like abalone, fish maw (the slippery kind not the fried type), dried oysters, sea cucumber, it was still insufficient 'because for reunion dinner is supposed to be abundant. We cannot have only 1 dish". I tried to reason that the treasure pot is really many different dishes in 1 pot, which we could plate separately if so preferred... but I was overruled. Which was a happy thing since I also don't mind having lots of choices during dinner. I just didn't want too much everyone to go to too much trouble.

Ha Ha. So the good news was that there really was an abundance of dishes on the table that day! The not so good news was that we had to eat the leftovers for several days to come!

Our Treasure Pot (SGD268) containing all sorts of goodies. The braised pork knuckle was surprisingly good, tender meat and chewy gelatinuous skin. Loved the slippery fish maw best.

Our other delicacies - chicken curry, fried large prawns with garlic and chili, codfish with garlic.

We also had lo hei with abalone... I sliced the abalone! see how evenly and beautifully it is sliced? :)

2nd Day Celebrations at DS' New Place

DS' house is very nice... first time we were visiting her place. So we had to pick an auspicious day - like during CNY.

DS made this yummy rice with mushrooms, chicken and 2 kinds of sausages. It was delicious and we all wanted 2nd helpings.

DS woke up at 6 am to make this crispy roast pork. The skin was not oily and it was crackling and crisp.

DM's own home-made rendition of her treasure pot. It contained lots of goodies, fresh scallop, prawns, fish, abalone, fish maw underneath, and lots of other yummy ingredients. DM lovingly cooked each ingredient separately then layered them in this pot.

Hahaha... my contribution. The only non home-cooked dish on the table. I bought a roast duck with tang kwei from Dian Xiao Er. I was so lucky, my brother collected the dish on my behalf so I hardly did any work.

Photos of Cutie

I think Cutie had a good time this New Year...

Hanging out with his parents...

Visiting his relatives...

Although he was probably all tired out!!