Monday, November 18, 2019

Imperio Taqueria in San Jose, California

Cabeza y tripas tacos

I was walking down the street today when I saw a small convenience store on the corner. On the wall, it said that there was a taqueria inside. Surely enough, inside the Delmas Corner Market Store (101 Delmas Avenue, 408-293-1303) was a small taco counter that appeared to be independently owned and operated. There was no seating, but it was easy enough to walk across the street to the park. The cabeza taco was fine, but it was the tripas that really got me excited, as she made those fatty slices nice and crispy.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

My First Taste of Frikandel at Martin Zwerts

Frikandel Special

That brown cylindrical thing on the left is a frikandel, or a Dutch chopped meat sausage that is deep fried, split in half and covered in mayonnaise and raw onions. It basically tasted like it sounded, which meant that it was easy to eat, even if the mayonnaise was a bit sweet (come to think of it, most of the sauces at Martin Zwerts are a bit sweet). I have no idea if this was considered a good rendition or not, but I'm sure that it'd be great piping hot on a cold day after a guzzling lots of beer.

Sushiro's Shrimp With Avocado (and shhh...mayo!)

Shrimp With Avocado

Normally when I see a piece of sushi covered in mayonnaise, I'm the first one to jump onto a soapbox to shout "SACRILEGE!!" at the top of my lungs. But I have a secret to confess: I've eaten that thing from Sushiro above, and not just once either. Yes, I liked it enough that I've eaten multiple plates in one sitting. Why? First off, the mayo isn't as offensive as I would've thought, but more importantly, there are thin slivers of raw onion on top that just magically complements the avocado, shrimp, rice...and mayo. I still won't touch sushi that features cheese though.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Feather Blade on Club Street in Singapore

The Feather Blade Steak

I finally made it to The Feather Blade tonight (90 Club Street). The burger was sold out, so I went for the namesake flat iron, which was not only priced much lower than I thought it would be (S$21 or US$15), but was also served in the blink of an eye. And it was surprisingly tender and moist, not to mention fun to eat given that it was covered in butter and salt.

That said, I admittedly got a bit bored of the taste halfway through. Fortunately, a bit of salt and pepper on the table was enough to perk it back up again, and the sides kept it interesting too. But the prices also added up quickly, especially when throwing in some booze. That won't deter me from coming back here to try that burger though.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Toku Izakaya Bar at Midpoint Orchard, Singapore

Nasu Agepon

Every time I come to this place (220 Orchard Road #B1-06, 6734-2015), I stumble out of here with a solid buzz. Why? It's more of a bar than it is a restaurant. I mean, yes, it's an izakaya, but he mandates that everyone consumes alcohol, and children are not allowed here.

It's a drinking establishment. He has a wide selection of sake, with even the cheap ones being dangerously easy to drink. It's a small, cozy venue that encourages interaction with other patrons, hence fueling more alcohol consumption. Seriously, the next day requires a recovery period.

That aside, this guy used to be a chef at Nadaman, and the food is delicious. That fried eggplant above is one of my favorites, with its crisp skin yet creamy soft interior, all sitting in ponzu and topped with salty negi and sesame seeds. Yep, the savory bites encourage one to drink more booze too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Shiokoji Tonkatsu Keisuke in Paya Lebar Square

Shiokoji Pork Loin Katsu Set

Keisuke opened a tonkatsu place today (60 Paya Lebar Road #01-02, 6214-3345), and as the name suggests, it's marinated in shiokoji. I don't eat this enough to really spot much of a difference, but it was tender and moist inside with a light and crispy breading.

Being Keisuke, it came with things like his beansprouts and a fried egg, as well as a sauce bar (like what you'd find at a Sichuan hot pot place). But I found those unnecessary, as a simple dip in some salt was sufficient for me.

There were some other items on the menu, including a barely fried fish as well as some kind of a rolled pork and choose-your-own-vegetable thing. But I'll probably stick to his grilled fish shop downstairs, especially since one leaves here smelling like grease.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Beef Schnitzel Lunch Special from Marché

Beef Schnitzel

It turns out that Marché is doing lunch specials, with things like this beef schnitzel going at a significant discount. It sounded like a great deal, but after one or two bites, I didn't want to eat any more of it. Granted, at less than S$10 (US$7), one can't expect high quality meat. But it was so tough and tasteless that I left most of it uneaten, especially since that breading (which ballooned up like a chola bhatura) was all soggy from the sauce too.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Trying Out Arcade Fish Soup in Singapore (Kinda)

Arcade Fish Soup

Directly across from Hawkee (which incidentally has shut down already!) at Frasers Tower is a shop called Arcade Fish Soup that always had a long line (182 Cecil Street #02-15). I had never heard of it before, so I looked it up, only to find out that it was Hup Lee, the fish soup place at The Arcade (duh!) that has now commercialized into a small chain. Today I heeded my own advice from last time to get a fried fish version with milk added to the broth. But I didn't like it; the soggy batter got in the way of the fish, and I didn't like the broth either, as it was more sweet than savory. Too bad Hock Heng is gone now; I'm gonna stick to Chao Ting.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Anson Town Bistro on Changi Road, Singapore

Curry Pig Skin Chee Cheong Fun

Here's a shop serving chee cheong fun, but done in a "dry" style from the Malaysian town of Telak Intan, otherwise known as Anson Town (324P Changi Road, 6345-9689). Now, the one above probably isn't what one would consider to be "dry," but that curry was delightfully spicy and rich, making that pig skin on top go down with ease. They also had a signature version that really didn't have any sauce on it (it was white with brown spots due to some little pickled veggies, as far as I could make out), and it was easy to eat too. The service was fast, and I was happy to come here, even if the coffee was a bit watered down.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Keisuke's Sushi Delivery KOEDO in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Demae Sushi

Keisuke is doing sushi now, converting his old TORITAKE bar into a sushi place. Or rather, it's a sushi *delivery* place, meaning that there isn't anywhere to dine here. It seems like it's mainly doing catering, but there was a very small retail counter serving a small selection of boxes like this for takeout. I grabbed that box above and took it to the nearby park benches. I ate it all, but there wasn't anything that was uniquely "Keisuke" about it; it was just cold pre-made sushi, and it wasn't very cheap either. I'd rather just go up to Numazu Uogashizushi next door and sit down with freshly-made pieces.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Nanyang Chicken by Singapore's Nanyang Sauce

Signature Princess Chicken Noodles

I'm surprised that this place hasn't gotten more attention. It's from an old small-batch soy sauce brewer called Nanyang Sauce, who has since opened a small cafe (70 South Bridge Road, 6289-9288). It serves limited quantities of a soy sauce chicken that is delicate and tender. The noodles were nice and firm, and they even provided a side of soup with a pleasant sour plum tinge in it.

Yes, I liked it better than that Liao Fan Hawker Chan place, even if admittedly I haven't eaten that enough to make a proper comparison. More importantly though, these guys also sell their bottled products here; I tasted a bit of the dark soy sauce, which was wonderfully savory without being too sweet. They also have a salt that looks very promising, but it was so expensive that I didn't get to try it.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Matsuri Spicy Herbal Soup in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore


When I first saw the signs here for a "Japanese Mala Soup Noodle by Ramen Matsuri," I assumed that it was some kind of spicy ramen (1 Tras Link #01-07). But when I walked in, I was puzzled. The instructions said that one had to choose between Japanese glass noodles or upgrade to konnyaku. And there was a Subway-style counter with directions to select three veggies and one meat. What kind of weird ramen was this?? That's when I realized that they were doing malatang instead.

Well, that explains the back of their T-shirts: "Malatang Produced by Matsuri." One had to select spicy levels on a scale of zero to five. Figuring that it'd likely be toned down, I went for level 4. It turned out that they weren't holding back: level 4 was plenty spicy after stirring everything up from the bottom (they were grinding their spices in the shop). I was happy to see that it wasn't diluted, but I also didn't like it so much that I'll be rushing back.