Monday, August 30, 2010

Vina Acecook's Oh! Ricey Phở Gà

Vina Acecook Oh! Ricey Phở Gà

I don't remember which store I bought this at (it's been sitting in the pantry for a while), but I remember *why* I bought it: it was actually made in Vietnam. I figured that maybe it'd be a bit more truer to form than the instant stuff made by Singaporean brand Koka.

As you can see from the photo though, it wasn't really that different. And this thing was loaded up with so much salt that it probably did me in for the day with this bowl alone. Well, it achieved the goal of providing a thin hot savory soup, which is what I was really after tonight. But I won't bother with it again - clearly it's not the same as the real thing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Keisuke's Refreshingly Light Shio Ramen

Shio Ramen

In an effort to try out the rest of the menu here at Keisuke, I finally got around to ordering the shio ramen, whose broth was surprisingly light...in a very good way. It was chicken broth, but so delicous that it was like mom's chicken soup (or maybe the free chicken soup that one gets at the end of the meal at Ichigo). Indeed, it was so refreshing that this could easily be suitable as hangover-recovery medicine. Gotta like those little bits of coarsely ground black pepper inside, not to mention of course that deliciously seared pork.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

233 Quan An Vietnam, Joo Chiat Road

Phở Bò and Gỏi Cuốn

I needed something refreshing this afternoon, and Vietnamese food seemed like it would fit the bill. So I went down to Joo Chiat, where I recalled seeing this place (233 Joo Chiat Road, 9457-9351) a few weeks ago. I grabbed the requisite bowl of phở and a side of gỏi cuốn, plus bánh mì since they were offering it.

They were fine, even if the broth was on the light side and the rice paper was a bit soggy from having sat around pre-made for a while. The bread in the bánh mì was crisp and airy, but I was hoping for the usual pâté and fresh chili pepper version rather than the fried egg and sweet sauce that they used here.

Well, it all did the job in the end, but I kinda prefer the place up the street instead. There's at least another Vietnamese place or two in this area that I haven't tried yet, so I'm kinda curious how they would fare too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Katsu Sando from Ginza Bairin

Katsu Sando

Meidi-ya was selling katsu sando from Ginza Bairin today, with one version featuring cheaper minced meat and the other one using full strips of pork. I thought I was going to like the minced one better, but it was just too mushy, especially given that these sandwiches had been sitting around for a while. The other one was only marginally better...next time we'd better just go to the shop itself for some fresh ones. I liked the little swipe of mustard inside at least.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kusabi, The Central, Singapore

Uobushi Shouyu Tonkotsu Tsukemen

Yet another ramen shop from Japan has opened in Singapore (6 Eu Tong Sen Street #01-68, 6225-9415), this one at the former site of Azabu Sabo at the Central (and interestingly, it looks like Pizza Al Taglio next door has given way to a new outlet of Gayatri).

This one was unique, as they featured some kind of a fish powder in the uobushi broth. Some people would probably find the borderline-grittyness to be annoying (not to mention the fishy taste), but that was precisely what I liked so much about it. It was ramen with an edge.

I'll definitely be back, especially since there were a few other items on the menu that looked worthy of a try; they even had nikumaki available. My favorite ramen shop in town is still Keisuke, but this one was a worthwhile competitor.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pokemon World Ramen from Japan

Pokemon World Instant Noodles

Yup - Pokemon World instant noodles. They tasted pretty nasty, but it was interesting to see how it was marketed. They'd probably go well with that Hello Kitty drink.

Tsuru Tsuru Tei Udon at Liang Court

Bukkake Udon

Here was the bukkake udon from Tsuru Tsuru Tei, one of the little stalls at the basement of Liang Court. I didn't really care for the toppings they used, but at least the noodles were nice and firm. Apparently these guys are related to the folks at Tampopo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Aji Zukedon Set from Shinjuku

Aji Zukedon Set

This was the aji zukedon set from Shinjuku's list of specials. I'm not sure why it came with that little pot of shabu shabu veggies behind it, but the light taste of that helped to offset the zukedon, whose marinade was stronger than I was expecting. It was also strangely more expensive than that aji teishoku from last time, which seemingly provided a lot more fish and food. Still, this was exactly the cleansing meal that I needed after eating a bunch of oily food in the past day or two.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ippudo Tao, UE Square, Singapore

Kuro Ramen

Ippudo has opened another branch in Singapore, but this time under the puzzling name Ippudo Tao (207 River Valley Road #01-55, 6887-5315), apparently after some taiko drum group or something. Regardless, the family lineage still showed, as evidenced by the presence of their Goma-Q on the menu. Still, the ramen selection was slightly different - this one above was the tao kuro, or black ramen.

It was tasty (and I liked the crudely cut noodles featured in this one), but it still wasn't kogashi ramen. Well, I'm not complaining. Even if the taste of Keisuke sings to me much more, these guys are open late, which means that I'll easily come here over Ohsho or Noodle House Ken now. Note to self in case I need it later: last order from Mon-Thu is at 11 PM, Fri-Sat is at 1 AM, and Sunday is at 10 PM.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Kodomo No Nomimono Children's Beer

Kodomo No Nominono

Yep - you read that right: children's beer. I was merely looking to taste something new at Nirai-Kanai when I figured I'd give this stuff a try. It literally translated into "children's drink," so I wasn't expecting it to come out in a beer bottle, be served in a little Japanese beer glass, and come complete with some head on top.

It tasted like apple soda, but the idea of positioning faux-beer toward kids was a bit disturbing. (I suppose that one could also bundle it with some of those candy cigarettes to extend this bizarre concept.) Only afterwards did I realize that I had seen this before: at a toy store in Tokyo. Well, as least now I got to try it...and sadly, it was tasty enough that I'd get it again.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Taris Zeytin's Olive Oil from TA-ZE Singapore

TA-ZE Olive Oil

Cool - a Turkish olive oil shop has opened up at Great World City (1 Kim Seng Promenade #B1-13B, 6737-8307). I'm far from being any kind of olive oil connoisseur, but lately I've become particularly fond of extremely pungent ones; the dark green ones that are so strong in their fruity, grassy taste that they almost sting a bit...as if one were almost biting into the olive tree itself. A few from Spain and Italy come to mind.

Unfortunately, all four of these in TA-ZE's sample pack were more mild than I was hoping for. Even a giant cheapo bottle that I got from Carrefour was stronger in taste than these, if more processed. But lack of boldness aside, these Turkish ones were more natural and polished - and pleasantly so. I just hope that I can find something stronger from them next time.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Few Snacks from the Capella Singapore

Capella Benedict

Here were just a couple of items from the Capella on Sentosa this weekend. The Eggs Benedict above was definitely a cholesterol bomb, but their rendition included a hollandaise sauce that was laced with truffles, so at least there were some smiles to accompany the artery clogging process.

Chips and Salsa

The chips and salsa from the bar were a bit deceptive though. It looked great when it first came out, but it turned out that the guacamole was processed, while the salsa was disturbingly tangy - it almost tasted a bit like ketchup. Well, it's not like I could have expected much given the difficulties of finding good Mexican food around here.

Antipasto and Cured Meats

At least the resort itself was impressively posh, and most of the food was right up my alley. The service was sometimes a bit spotty though, which was puzzling for a place as upscale as this. Either way, it achieved the goal of feeling like we had left the country when we were really no more than just 15 minutes away from home.