Sunday, April 29, 2012

The French Burger from Hippopotamus

Hippo French Burger

Here was the French Burger from Hippopotamus. What made it French? That thick slab of foie gras on top, as well as some port-based sauce. It tasted like it sounded, even if it wasn't quite the concoction that Daniel Boulud is known for. One of these days, that will have to be worth a try.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Fruit Plate on Singapore Airlines

SQ Fruit Plate

I got the raw vegetarian meal on the way up, so I grabbed the fruit plate above on the way down. No, I didn't eat any of it before I took the photo; they were surprisingly stingy with the fruit in that center tray. The nearly three hour delay due to bad weather in Hong Kong tonight didn't make this a very fun flight either, especially when I was stuck in a middle seat at the back of a full plane...and not on one of their A330s with the power-outlet seats.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Dinner From the SQ Lounge at HKG

Noodles and Shumai

Of course, these were just your everyday noodles and shumai from the SilverKris Lounge in Hong Kong. But they had Cantonese chili oil here, so that helped to perk it up. Check out the line below, by the way - do you think that the airline is going to charge any excess baggage fees?? Side note: it looks like A. Hereford Beefstouw is either shut down or under renovation.

Excess Baggage Fees

Lunch of the Streets of Shenzhen, China

Duck Noodle Soup

Here was lunch off the streets of Shenzhen again today. This bowl of noodles had a duck-based broth as well as a bunch of random duck innards like liver and intestines, I believe. Admittedly I skipped past some of those, but this light soup was what I needed in my belly, especially when paired with some of that chili and vinegar.

Dumplings

We later got some dumplings that hit the spot - again, using vinegar and some chili seeds. Yum - we should have gone back to get another plate...or maybe tried their potstickers instead.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Street Food Near Baishizhou Station in Shenzhen

Southern Beef Noodles

We headed out of the hotel tonight to try to find some dinner, and ended up basically picking up little snacks off the streets near one of the train stations, like this little bowl of beef noodles above for 5 RMB (US$0.80). This was apparently done up in a more Southern Chinese style, which I'm told was only mildly spicy rather than being the overpoweringly spicy stuff found a few provinces further north. But it was savory and refreshing, and I gulped this thing down in a flash.

Salt Baked Quail Eggs

These were just your everyday quail eggs, but it was just interesting the way that it was presented with this giant salt-baked tub. Perhaps more amusing was the "Classcial [sic] Wine" that I picked up along the way; it was carbonated and not exactly drinkable...although it's not like I could expect much when it was only 7 RMB (US$1.10), and served in a can with a straw, no less.

Xiao Chao

Finally, I noticed a number of stalls selling these so-called xiao chao noodles, which look like any other plate of stir-fried noodles. But this guy threw in some flaming hot chili peppers that made it a delight to eat. Xinjiang yang rou chuanr was of course all over the place too, but I was pretty let down by an eggplant that I got, which was covered in so much garlic that I could barely eat it.

A Walnut and Beef Soup from China

Walnut and Beef Soup

Yep - those are walnuts in my soup. We had a full banquet for lunch today, which included a lot of tasty things including a chicken and fish (separately) done up in a light Southern Chinese style, as well as a dish that included some rather fragrant matsutake mushrooms, if I identified it correctly. But I hate walnuts, and of all things, they put them in this soup above. Fortunately, it hardly tasted of walnuts (I basically just drank the broth), but this was the first time I'd seen something like this before.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Noodle Soup for Breakfast in China

Noodle Soup

I have no idea if this is what people usually eat for breakfast here in Southern China. But aside from the obligatory congee, it was the only thing local that I could spot in the hotel's spread this morning. It wasn't anything special - it was quite bland, actually. But I suppose that those fishballs were tender, and it was just the light pickup that I needed to start the day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Country Cookshop, Shenzhen, China

Roasted Pigeon

I'm sure that there is a more fitting name for this place in Chinese, but I can't read the characters, and these were the English words underneath it (I thus can't read the address either, but the phone number is 2690-0603). Anyway, I needed a quick dinner after having checked into the hotel tonight, and the concierge said that I'd find a dai pai dong down the street if I kept walking a bit.

I asked them for some of their signature items, and they told me to get the oysters (fresh but way too much garlic on the top that I had to scrape off) as well as this pigeon (the skin was deliciously crispy, but the meat was a bit gamey until I dipped it in some of that salt on the side). None of this was necessarily anything that I'll go back for right away, although I suspect that I may very well end up back here one of these nights given that they have a Xinjiang yang rou chuanr section in the back of the menu, and they are open late.

Also worthy of note is that local beer in the background. When I first saw the label, I thought it had a peculiar name: Mons. I kept wondering what the heck "Mons" was (perhaps being similar to that other Chinese beer, Reeb). It was only a few minutes later that I realized that I was reading it upside down: the brand name was Snow. And now that I've looked it up, not only have I had this before, but apparently it is one of the best selling beers in the world despite only being sold in China. Interesting.

The Raw Vegetarian Meal on SQ

Raw Vegetarian Meal

Whenever I order a special meal on SQ, it's usually the Hindu one. And I certainly do like it, but I've been eating some pretty artery-clogging stuff over the past couple of weeks, and really need to eat a little better. So I tried going for the Raw Vegetarian option on today's flight. After all, what could be more healthier than that? (As long as one avoids the ice cream that they hand out afterwards!)

It turned out to be, well, a salad for a starter, a salad for a main course, and a fruit salad for dessert. It certainly wasn't anything to go nuts over, but it did the job of being healthy. I'll likely opt for this again in the future, especially since the stuff that I eat on the road usually isn't the best stuff for me.

The other interesting thing to note was that this 777 was of the same setup as the flight that I took to Delhi two weeks ago: only two cabin classes, with business class using those narrow but flat seats, while economy class still didn't have any power outlets, even if the upholstering was no longer purple. I was hoping that maybe they'd re-do all of their planes with those new economy/business class seats that they've been so proudly advertising, but I can only assume that this is SQ's preferred (and cheaper) configuration for flights of this duration.

My First Visit to HK's Itacho Sushi

Grilled Fatty Salmon

Itacho, a sushi chain from Hong Kong, has had outlets in Singapore for a while now, but I never really had much interest in going there before. Yet I needed lunch at Changi Terminal 3 today, so I came here (despite the fact that I was on a flight up to HK, of all places) given that it was going to be a much healthier alternative to Ramen Champion downstairs.

Fortunately, it was generally better than I was expecting. Sure, my expectations were pretty low, but I ate most of my selections with ease. The fatty salmon pictured above, in fact, was so literally full of fat (the healthy kind, right?) that I had to squeeze a bit of the lemon onto it to help cut through it. Now, admittedly I still won't really make any effort to come here again, but at least I finally tried it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Concubine Crab from Red House Seafood

Gui Fei Crab

When one has visitors from out of town who want to get local seafood, it's basically a textbook move to get them the quintessential Singaporean chili crab...or as an alternative, maybe black or white pepper crab. But our guests had those already, and were intrigued by lesser-known variations like the ones done with salted egg yolk, butter, or this claypot version above. I'm not sure why they called it gui fei (or concubine) crab here at Red House, but it was basically crab bee hoon (like Uncle Leong's, not Sin Huat's).

It's been a while since I've had this stuff, so I really can't make much of a comparison. But the flesh was surprisingly sweet (naturally, that is), while the broth was milkier than I was expecting. It didn't have the kick of the black pepper crab that we had the other night, but it certainly was healthier. One of these days I'd be interested in trying that Malaysian kam heong style; I don't think I've had that before.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tokyo Pasta Mario, 313@Somerset

Prawn Mushroom Mentaiko Cream Pasta

This was an unplanned visit. We were actually on our way over to Piao Xiang when I noticed the "Pasta Mario" signage from a distance. It turns out that these guys took over Go! Go! Curry's old stall (313 Orchard Road #05-01), presumably given how Go! Go! had since moved into the location of Grill Fish Nagato at PARCO Marina Bay. (Sister stall Huhu Udon was still at 313@Somerset, in case you were wondering.)

Not to be confused with Da Mario Pizzeria down at Robertson Quay, this was a food court stall selling Japanese pasta, like this mentaiko cream rendition here. I was pretty discouraged at first, given what appeared to be a bowl of dishwater for soup along with terrible clump of noodles. I wasn't happy that they threw on that scoop of shichimi togarashi without even asking me either.

Fortunately, the noodles were firmer than I was expecting, while the sauce was rich. It was still a far cry from Youmenya Goemon, but at least it was a lot better than it looked.

One on the Bund, Singapore

Pan Fried Dumplings

This place is delicious. Indeed, I was so impressed after a couple of business meals here over the past year or two that I knew that I had to come here again on my own time (80 Collyer Quay, 6221-0004). The problem though is that it's at the upscale Fullerton Bay Hotel, which makes it rather pricey too. Hence, we came down here for dim sum today, which, at around S$8 (US$6.40) a plate, wasn't cheap either. But at least it was a bit more sensible than paying for their regular menu, which features things like Sichuan saliva chicken for a whopping S$32 (US$25).

Either way, the food is fantastic. I gobbled every morsel up with ease, especially with that Cantonese chili oil. The chicken soup in particular was savory, fragrant, and refreshing. And while the prices are high, at least one gets a great view of the Marina Bay Sands as well as very attentive and competent service. I'll bet you that a good part of the price also goes to feeding the huge electricity bill that they must be getting for keeping those high vaulted ceilings of Clifford Pier cool too. One of these days I'll have to come here for that Peking Duck given how much the wood burning oven's aroma pervades the restaurant.

My First Taste of Black Garlic

Black Garlic

Ever since stores around town started carrying those nicely packaged boxes of fermented Black Gold garlic from Korea and Japan, I've been intrigued...but not so much that I'd be willing to pay for an entire box, especially when I only wanted to try one piece. We were given a couple of bulbs the other day though, so I finally gave them a try this morning, eating them straight up. It was a great way to start the day, I'm sure.

To my surprise, they were sweet. Or maybe put more precisely, they were tangy: a bit like Fruit Roll-Ups, but garlicky. And the texture was kinda similar too...or at least, a bit like gummi bears. I won't really go for this stuff again (and hopefully I won't stank all day now), but I'm sure that some enterprising ramen chef has done something with this that would be worth trying one of these days.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

US$10 For This Serving of Broccoli??

US$10 Broccoli

That's no joke. That paltry serving of broccoli from Long Beach Seafood above cost a whopping S$12 (US$10). We busted out laughing when it arrived, as it looked as if someone had eaten most of the plate already, but the waitress confirmed that that was indeed the "small" serving. Wow. (Sorry for the unsightly scraps around it, but I just had to capture this in the moment.)

Well, at least it had a nice smoky aroma that made it taste better than anything I could make at home. And for a guy that has willingly paid unnecessarily high prices for Japanese fruit, I really shouldn't complain. But still, that is quite a ripoff. On a more positive note, I really liked the spicy taste of the black pepper crab here...although don't get me started on the industry's prices for that either.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strictly Pancakes, Prinsep Street, Singapore

Hawaiian Pancake Set

I'm not one to really care much for pancakes. But I guess that when they are needed, this would be the place to get them (44A Prinsep Street, 6333-4202)...it's not like there are that many pancake houses in Singapore anyway. Today, they were only offering a short selection of simple pancakes like the set shown above.

I suppose that it did the job, even if they charged S$1 (US$0.80) for more maple syrup, which meant that we had to use those little half-full shot glasses sparingly. Now that I think of it, that batter was strangely crumbly, which I didn't care that much for either. But at least it was better than anything that could come out of an automated machine.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My SQ Fruit Plate from Bangalore

Fruit Plate

That photo may look a bit phallic, but it was the fruit plate that the staff saved for me just before landing at Changi (they didn't seem as willing to save me a hot meal as they did on the way out, although this leg was shorter by an hour). And it's too bad that they were still using those old blue reclining business class seats on this redeye flight. Being able to put one's legs up didn't help much when the seat in front of you could lean so far back into your space.

The new Bangalore airport was definitely light years beyond the old airport at least. Yet the usual red tape still applied here: the hardcopy itineraries, the baggage tags, etc. Some of the staff really went out of the way though: in the process of trying to get my itinerary printed, one guy helped me jump the queue to get my boarding pass and escorted me up to immigration, all while refusing a tip. Note for future reference: the lounge there was very, very small. They had a shower, but even then it was very cramped.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Raiding the Chaat Station at Dinner

Bhel Puri

It turned out that the local office here was having a small company party tonight, so I stopped by the strangely blue-lit venue before heading to the airport. It was the usual spread of curries and such, but they also had a chaat station, and I plowed through every single thing they had there, including pau bhaji, pani puri, samosa chaat, and the bhel puri above. What a nice light snack after all of those darned kebabs this past week. I'm getting really sick of all of this meat.

Another Run to Barbecue Nation in India

Kebabs from Overhead

Man, I'm getting really sick of all of these kebabs. And for some reason, our company keeps setting up meals at kebab chain restaurants. This time, I tried to stay away from the meat; or at least, I kept to fish and shrimp. And I got an interesting masala cola with spices in it - basically it was a Coke mixed with jal jeera. I still barely touched the "main course" spread of curries afterwards.

My South Indian Breakfast at the Hotel

My South Indian Breakfast

Here was my breakfast at the hotel this morning. They had little cards explaining where each one was from and what it consisted of, so I tried to stick to items from the south. They were fine, but for idli, it's hard to beat Murugan.

And yes, that is a little bottle of Yakult, which I needed this morning, if you know what I mean. I thought I was going to be able to get away without incident all week, but last night it finally caught up to me...fortunately, only mildly.

Kudla Restaurant in Bangalore

 Kane Masala Curry and Red Grain Rice

My colleagues suggested this Mangalorean seafood place tonight (16 Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, 6599-5970), especially while I was down here in Karnataka. And the front page of the menu here basically said that ladyfish was the thing to get here, so I got it in curry form. I loved it. It was light with the crispness of fresh ginger and chili slices. The fish was a bit bony but definitely tender, all going down well with those huge grains of red rice. That was probably the best thing that I've eaten all week. Either that, or I've just gotten really sick of eating at kebab chains.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mainland China in Bangalore, India

Chindian Food

The title above may sound weird, but that was the name of the restaurant: Mainland China. We needed to get some food before going into a meeting this afternoon, and the only choices were effectively KFC or this place, a nationwide chain that is apparently considered to be one of the best Chindian restaurants around. Of course, being Chindian, I wasn't expecting it to resemble anything from China.

But it also didn't seem to resemble other forms of Chindian food that I've had before. I liked this better, including some kind of a fish in a mustard sauce that went great with rice. They also started us out with some "dim sum" that was effectively a cross between shumai and xiao long bao (think: open top but with the soup filling inside). It used chicken, but was a lot better than I thought it would be.

A Paneer Tikka Sandwich on JetKonnect

Paneer Tikka Sandwich

JetKonnect, the low fare arm of Jet Airways, was selling sandwiches on today's flight down to Bangalore. I went for the vegetarian option, which was a paneer tikka variety that was much spicier and better than I thought it would be. (No, I normally wouldn't order cookies, but I had to get it since they didn't have any small change.)

Next time I need to remember to bring a hardcopy of my flight though. As nice and big (and clean) as the new Terminal 3 at Delhi Airport may be, I wasn't expecting them to still need paper printouts in order to enter the airport. At least I remembered to get those little tags for my hand carry luggage this time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Not Just Paranthas in Delhi, India

Clockwise from bottom: Aloo Pyaz Parantha, Nihari Ghosht, and Jogiya Tarkari

That photo may look terrible (sorry, it was really dark in there!), but I assure you that it was delicious. This was a chain across the Delhi region that, as the name suggests, specializes in parathas, but also has a number of various other items, be they chaat, kebabs, curries, or biryani.

We opted for a few parathas to go with a couple of curries, all of which were savory and piping hot. I particularly liked something called nihari ghosht, which was a turmeric-based lamb curry that was so thin that I sometimes just spooned it straight into my mouth as if it were a soup (it was so savory that it was like drinking the juice from steamed clams).

Of course, it was meant to go with a flatbread, which they suggested olive kulcha, indeed paired very well. We also got some kullad lassi, which I was told was the proper way of serving this beverage, complete with toppings that one has to scoop out with a spoon. What a good break from all of the kebabs we've been having over the past few days.

A Rajasthani/Gujarati Thali from Rajdhani

Rajasthani/Gujarati Thali

Mmm...now that was more of what I was looking for. Our colleagues today originally wanted to go to some linen-strewn restaurant, but I told them that it'd be good if we could get something more down to earth and local, so they suggested getting these vegetarian thalis from a chain called Rajdhani, which specializes in Rajasthani and Gujarati food.

One got the entire experience, including a hand-washing process done tableside at the start of the meal (given that one is supposed to eat with one's hands) to getting tons of refills (having a business conversation at that time was tough when we kept getting interrupted with more food) to closing it off with yet another pan, of which I got a sweet variety this time but admittedly still wasn't huge on. That last bit aside though, I'm glad that we ate this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Great Kabab Factory in India

Place Setting

No, there is no food in that photo yet (aside from that stack of raw onion slices in the background), but any other photo would have looked like a mess given that they kept coming by to ladle out a seemingly unlimited supply of kebabs and food - a bit like a Brazilian churrasco. It was good, but it was also like that Barbeque Nation place where one can't get too carried away with the kebabs, lest there be no room left for the main courses of curry and rice. Note to self: next time get the sweet pan on the way out rather than the non-sweetened one, or else the soapy taste becomes way too strong.

A Quick Snack at Haldiram's in Delhi

Special Dahi Bhalla

I needed a quick snack this afternoon, so what better than to pop by an outlet of Haldiram's that I saw the other night. This one didn't have the racks full of sweets though: this was just one long counter, serving stuff fast-food-style - complete with places for sitting down...a bit like Komala's.

Pau Bhaji

I grabbed a couple of chaat, such as the dahi bhalla at the top, which were deep fried balls of lentils covered in yogurt. It was refreshing, particularly with those shreds of fresh ginger. I later went for my usual pau bhaji, which was a bit salty in this rendition, but nonetheless still spicy enough to wolf down. Yum.

Monday, April 09, 2012

A Random Chicken Tikka Kathi Roll

Chicken Tikka Kathi Roll

Some colleagues wanted to take me out for some street food for dinner tonight, and we ended up going to maybe four different places spread out across town, one of which incidentally wasn't even on the streets but at the top of a mall's food court. Either way, they wanted me to try these rolls, which they said were different from other kathi in that they used greasy paratha rather than a dry roti. It was also filled with egg and spices, and came with a mint chutney. It was good, but I was more impressed with a couple of outdoor kebab shops that they took me to later, which included some spicy yet tender varieties that I normally would have loved if I hadn't eaten so much grilled meat just earlier today for lunch.

New Delhi's Punjabi By Nature

Kastoori Kebab

The name of this place may sound a bit like two hip-hop artists coming together, but it was actually a rather upscale chain serving Punjabi food. My colleagues got me this kastoori kebab, which I didn't do a good job of putting in perspective in the photo, as the thing was pretty thick (imagine filling a sock and you get the idea). And it certainly was delicious, with tender bits of chicken seasoned and grilled with a nice smoky aroma, reminding me a bit of Bukhara. Indeed, they even had a dal here that was so creamy that it seemed very similar to Bukhara's too. And we didn't even have to fight for a reservation here.

North Indian Paratha for Breakfast

Paratha

We got to our first meeting a bit early today, so we parked ourselves at a cafeteria downstairs for a quick breakfast. When I asked my colleague for a typical local breakfast, he suggested idli, which struck me as a bit odd given that they were more of a South Indian thing. Since we were in Delhi though, I told him that I wanted something from the north, to which he suggested a paratha.

Not to be confused with a Singaporean roti prata, this was a thick and greasy thing folded over and stuffed with things like potatoes (I think it was just a coincidence that it was laid out like a happy face with that curry and yogurt on a yellow plate). It was good, but I prefer the much lighter and fluffier idli.

Sanjeev Kapoor on SQ Business Class

Awadhi jheenghey, bhien palak, rajimah anardana, and zaitoomi pulao

That meal may look rather sloppily put together, but that wasn't SQ's fault. If anything, it was great that they were able to accommodate my special request to wait to serve my meal until 30 minutes before landing...and an express version at that without any starter nor dessert. Why? This was a redeye flight to Delhi, and I needed as much sleep as I could get, seeing that it was only a five hour flight (meaning only about 3-4 hours of uninterrupted sleep...sometimes you just wish flights were a little longer!) before a full day of meetings ahead. Anyway, this guy is one of the celebrity chefs on SQ's International Culinary Panel. The saffron prawns in particular were fresh, while the kidney beans as well as lotus stems with spinach all helped the rice go down.

What was perhaps more interesting to me were the business class seats (I upgraded with miles given that I was taking redeyes both in and out), which were not the gigantic lounges that I got last time, nor the old school blue recliner seats. These were not the purple SpaceBeds either, so I guess this was their replacement of those, especially seeing that the lie flat seats were still on an incline. Worse, my seat was broken so I didn't even get to recline (and hence sleep properly) at first, although I moved to another seat that eventually flattened halfway into the flight. Is it just my bad luck, or is a lot of equipment on SQ in need of repair lately?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Traditional Hakka Rice, Tanjong Pagar Market

Lei Cha Fan

Lei cha fan places are rather hard to find these days. So when we saw these guys while wandering through Tanjong Pagar Market (6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-22), I figured that this would be a good chance to see if they'd be any different from the few other places around. Fortunately, I liked it. Compared to the rather bland Thunder Tea Rice chain, this was just a touch saltier and greasier...in a good way. And unlike Hakka Zhong, they provided enough broth to drown my entire bowl. I'll come back.

Five & Dime Eatery, River Valley Road

Spinach Tamago

In spite of what its name might suggest, this place is rather upscale...so much that its prices have discouraged me from coming here for some time now (297 River Valley Road, 9236-5002). I suspect that the name was chosen not to characterize its prices, but rather to invoke a classic sense of nostalgia instead. And it worked, making it a nice place for a lazy weekend brunch, in the same sense of Marmalade Pantry, or the now defunct Whitebait & Kale.

The menu in many cases exhibited a mild Japanese influence, such as this spinach tamago above. Granted, the sweetness of the egg was a bit of a personal turnoff, but they were ultimately trying to emulate tamagoyaki after all, and I definitely liked the onion dressing and shichimi-seasoned potatoes that they had on the side. The you tiao churros that we got were likewise a bit heavy and burnt, but I still wolfed it down either way.

Either way, the service was generally speedy, and one certainly can't complain about the charismatic decor of the place. Still, this is more than I would prefer to pay for food, so if I come back here again, then I hope that someone else is paying.

Friday, April 06, 2012

KFC's Bandito Pockett and Egg Tart

Bandito Pockett and Egg Tart

KFC Singapore has probably offered these things for a while now, but I hardly go into KFC, so this is my first time with them. Yes, that is indeed a pocket with two "T's," making you wonder if the marketing lead might have had an affinity for a certain glam rock drummer. Either way, it was pretty nasty: just a piece of boneless fried chicken shoved into a wrap with some kind of sauce.

The Portuguese egg tart, on the other hand, was a surprise. It was light, flaky, and buttery - so much that I gobbled it up in seconds. No, of course it couldn't compare to Lord Stow's, but hey, considering that this was from a fast food chain, it was a lot better than I had thought it would be. I'm not sure what a colonel from the South was doing in Macau though. Mexico might be understandable, but Macau?

Menya Musashi Has Opened in Singapore

Shiro Chashu Ramen

Menya Musashi from Japan just opened a shop at Raffles City Shopping Centre yesterday (252 North Bridge Road #01-16), and there was already a huge line forming when they opened today. They were only running a limited menu for now, so that tsukemen that I saw in their advertisement was not available yet. I thus went for a bowl of their white chashu ramen just to see what their most basic broth was like before complicating it with the red or black versions.

I'm so glad that I went with the white one in the end. Why? It was all about that broth. It was impressively rich and thick, but more importantly, it was smoky too, giving it a depth that distinguished it from the rest (it reminded me a bit of the now defunct Kusabi's uobushi with its ground fish powder, actually). And of course, tasty fatty chashu and quality noodles never hurt either. I'll definitely have to come back for the other versions, especially when they finally get a full menu on board.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Imperial Herbal Restaurant, Singapore

TCM Veggies

Remember that old Bourdain episode where he walked into a restaurant in Singapore and had the in-house doctor give him a prescription of food to eat for dinner? Well, these guys moved over to VivoCity (1 HarbourFront Walk #03-08, 6337-0491), and we came down here tonight to see the doctor, who is only here at certain times, and who one has to pay an extra S$15 (US$12) to see.

Now, I tried Traditional Chinese Medicine for the first time at Eu Yan Sang about a month ago, as I had this annoying cough that would not go away despite all of the antibiotics, codeine, and Robitussin that I could throw at it. Granted, the ground up Chinese medicine only improved the situation mildly, but it didn't taste as bad as I had thought; it was in fact mildly sweet rather than bitter, so I figured that this place would be similar.

I was wrong. The lingzhi soup that this lady gave me was nasty; it was so bitter that I struggled to finish it. And sadly, most of the stuff that she prescribed to us wasn't even available tonight, so we had to fall back on basic things like noodles and such. OK, the veggies that she prescribed above were fine (excluding the long human hair that I found in it), but otherwise this was not anything that I'll go for again, especially since she told me that I should stop drinking beer (oh no!).

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Gravadlax from IKEA Singapore

Gravadlax

Ugh - IKEA. It's like eating at a high school cafeteria. Although I'll bet you that your high school cafeteria wasn't serving gravadlax...unless you went to high school in Northern Europe. Anyway, it's not like this was anything special, but I just liked how I was able to get these cuts with all of the seasonings on the edges. I guess it's like getting the edges of roast beef. And it was a heck of a lot cheaper than getting it at Caviar House & Prunier.

Pho Stop in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Pho Beef Feast Combo and Summer Rolls

After noticing their writeup in the latest issue of 8 Days, I knew exactly where I was going to have lunch today, as there was finally another phở shop in the city (21 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-01, 6221-4001). Honestly, I wasn't expecting much, which was probably a good thing, seeing how they only provided two stingy leaves of basil, which were pathetically wilted at that. There were hardly any bean sprouts either, although at least there was some sawtooth herb.

No, it wasn't anything that I'll make an effort to get again, although now I know where to go if I ever get a late night craving for phở: they are open late (until 10 PM Tue/Wed, midnight Thu/Fri, 1 AM on Sat), in part surely just for selling drinks to the after-work crowd. In that sense, this place kinda reminded me of getting late night phở at PhoChine back when it was still at Wisma Atria. Now that I think of it, it was of fairly similar quality too.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mojito-flavored Mentos from Malaysia

Mojito Mentos

There must be an alcoholic working in the Mentos product design team or something. The same teammate who brought back those nasty Red Bull-flavored Mentos from Indonesia a while back had since discovered a mojito flavor in Malaysia. But this one tasted much better, as it actually did taste like limes, sugar, and mint. There was no rum flavor though; indeed, the label even went so far as to say "No Alcohol."