Sunday, May 20, 2018

Langra and Kesar Mangoes From India

Indian Mangoes

It's Indian mango season again! Mustafa had the usual alphonso and banganapalli varieties, as well as dusheri and pairi. But fortunately they also had two that I haven't tried yet: langra and kesar. I wasn't getting my hopes up for langra: it was green on the outside and yellow on the inside. But it turned out to be impressively sweet like a Thai honey mango, all with just a hint of richness. The kesar, on the other hand, looked much better with its bright orange flesh inside. And it was more complex than the langra with a tinge of mustiness (in a good way). Thumbs up to both.

Side note: Raj has shut down (oh no!), although at least it was Murugan Idli Shop that has taken its place with a now much larger venue.

Bangkok's Took Lae Dee in Singapore

Pad Thai

The team that brought Tim Ho Wan, Tsuta, and Kam's Roast to Singapore has now opened an outlet of Tok Lae Dee (18 Tai Seng Street #01-34, 6272-2000). I haven't been to the one in Bangkok, but it literally means "cheap and good."

And cheap it is. They have a basil chicken for only S$3.80 (US$2.80), and it's plated on nice porcelain while you sit in air conditioned comfort. Other menu items include basics like green curry or the pad thai above, which you could spike with the standard array of Thai condiments.

It was certainly better than most of the Thai chains around here. Plus, they have a cool counter for you to sit at if you'd like. Here's to hoping that they expand into the city soon, preferably as a 24 hour place like they are in Bangkok.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Menya Masamune Has Finally Opened in Singapore

Abura Soba

After trying these guys at a small stand in Sentosa last year, I was eager to see them opening a permanent shop here in Singapore. It finally opened (86 Tanjong Pagar Road, 6909-6349), and to my surprise, they were offering this abura soba above. The chashu wasn't as tasty as I had remembered it being, but the bowl was otherwise fine, especially when spiked with some vinegar and chili oil. I'll have to come back here one day to try their soups though.

Friture Martin Zwerts from Holland in Singapore

Small Frites

After finishing that chicken at Oporto, I went around the corner to check out this chain from Holland, which has also opened up a stall in Holland Village, of all places (3 Lorong Liput #B1-07). Yes, the fries were indeed unique, as the oil and potato somehow made for an almost pastry-like feel. It in fact left such a good impression that I nearly went for another serving. Next time though, I'll pass on the mayonnaise, which was rather sweet (cue: John Travolta's lines from Pulp Fiction about Amsterdam).

Australia's Oporto in at Holland Piazza, Singapore

Quarter Chicken

I haven't been to Nando's in ages, but I was kinda curious about this competing chicken chain from Australia, which has opened in Holland Village (3 Lorong Liput #01-01). I went straight for that quarter chicken above, and fortunately, the meat wasn't anywhere as dry as I thought it would be, despite how horrible it looked. Still, the chili sauce and taste of the chicken were forgettable. I am kinda curious to try their Bondi Burger one day though.

Janggut Laksa: The Original Katong Laksa

Laksa

I don't eat laksa very much, but these guys from Marine Parade have a stall up at Wisma Atria's Food Republic, and I've been curious about it for a while. Yes, I was happy with this bowl, particularly since they cut the noodles short enough that one could eat it all with a spoon. Their otah was rather boring though.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tokachi Tontaro at OUE Downtown Gallery, Singapore

Butadon

It looks like the Sama Curry folks have opened a butadon shop (6 Shenton Way #03-20, 6224-1470). To be honest, I've never been a fan of butadon, but at least the rice was of good quality, the meat was tender, and they didn't make it unnecessarily sweet. The amount of rice that they gave in that small bowl above was almost laughable though, so I topped up with their spicy tomato butadon, which I ended up liking a lot better. It was just the right amount of heat to keep it interesting. Next time I'll get that, but I have to remember to pay for the increased portion of rice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

China's Alati Skewers in Singapore

Chuanr

Not to be confused with an identically-named Greek restaurant on Amoy Street, Alati is a chain of Xinjiang chuanr shops from China that has opened up at Novena Square 2 (10 Sinaran Drive #01-22, 6358-3989). But it's not a restaurant here; it's more of a stall doing a lot of takeaway orders.

Either way, it was better than I thought it would be, especially since they skewered their lamb with alternating chunks of tasty fat. And the chicken skewers - something I normally wouldn't have ordered - were impressively tender, all while carrying a nicely grilled aroma.

To be sure, I still like BBQ Box better, but these were distinctive enough that I'll come back to give it another go. They close at 9 PM each day though, so that means that this place won't be available as a post-drinking option.

Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee at Lucky Plaza, Singapore

Soup Bak Chor Mee

A former teammate once told me about a famous soup-based bak chor mee place in Bedok. I could never get myself over there, but fortunately one of their family members has set up a stall at the Asian Food Mall in the basement of Lucky Plaza (304 Orchard Road #B1-038).

I was surprised by how garlicky the soup was. Well, that's probably what made it unique, but I was hoping for something like Tai Hwa instead. This was so garlicky that it tasted more like bak kut teh. In that sense, I was put off by it.

That said, the noodles were nice and firm. And once I stopped thinking of it as bak chor mee, it was pretty good with its nicely delicate meat (maybe I should think of it more like bak kut teh ramen). But I still won't be getting it next time. Instead, I'm going for their dry fishball version.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

My First Time at Paul Martin's American Grill

Classic American Burger

It's only when I looked it up just now did I realize that this small chain was started by the guy behind both Fleming's Steakhouse and P.F. Chang's. Anyway, this slightly upscale - but not too formal - place is focused on "clean, real food ingredients," even if it was in a slightly commercialized chain. And I generally liked what I had, including that burger above, its cole slaw accompaniment, as well as some deviled eggs that I started with. Now, admittedly I didn't see a lot of other things on the menu that appealed to me, but if I do come back then I should remember to try the grilled artichoke.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

King Noodle in Lawrence Square Shopping Center, Santa Clara

#2

I had never heard of these guys until the other day when we went to Jang Su Sang next door. And upon looking at the menu, I realized that it was yet another Tung Kee-spinoff. It thus made for a great top-up after work today (3577 El Camino Real, 408-261-8188).

Naturally, I went for my favorite #2, which of course is based on the same numbering system as TK Noodle and Luu's. At first it looked encouraging as they brought out the lemon wedges separately from the bowl. But then I noticed that there was no basil: a huge penalty in my books.

Worse, the taste was unnecessarily spicy yet not deep enough. The texture of the beef was odd too, featuring overly tenderized cuts as well as some gristle. This was easily the worst of the three Tung Kee chains. I still like Luu the best by far, followed by TK Noodle. Then again, maybe the other menu items here fare better.

My First Taste of Soylent and Bulletproof Coffee

Soylent and Bulletproof Coffee

No, I didn't mix Soylent and Bulletproof Coffee together. It's just that I happened to see these at stores out here within days of each other, and was curious about how they (individually) tasted given how much I'd heard about them. Plus, I just had an Impossible Burger a few weeks ago, so I might as well continue to try more of this new tech-driven food that I've been hearing about.

Soylent wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Granted, the taste was rather synthetic, and the ingredient list looks like something I might see on a medicine bottle. But a "meal replacement" it was not, as I was hungry within a couple of hours, even if it certainly was convenient to drink while rushing to get to work this morning. I won't be getting it again.

The Bulletproof Coffee was rather acidic and even sour, but it was also very rich. Of course, the butter contributed to it, but I wonder how much of it came from the special coconut oil. Now, I don't drink coffee with butter frequently enough to make a good comparison, and I don't know if my brain felt more alert than usual like it was supposed to. But I didn't feel sluggish at least.