Sunday, November 28, 2021

Trying Out Fresh Hawthorn Berries from China

Fresh Hawthorn Berries

I never knew what a hawthorn berry was. I mean, I know what Chinese haw flake candies taste like, as well as the hawthorn drinks that I come across at places like herbal tea shops. But I'd never seen the original fresh fruit before. So when Cold Storage had these on display the other day, I grabbed a box.

They are not very easy to eat, mainly because of a cluster of small seeds in there. They are around the size of grape seeds, but firmer like an apple seed. And I never knew this until now, but apparently both apple and hawthorn seeds have a bit of cyanide in them, although you'd have to chew on a lot of them to reach toxic levels.

The flesh was not as juicy as I had hoped, but mushy and powdery instead. Yes, that made it reminiscent of haw flake candy, but without the added sugar, so it was much less sweet. I didn't get very far with this box before throwing the rest out.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ah Gu Kaka Wa (Guochang Chuanweiguan) at Djitsun Mall

Chuanr and Ganbian Sijidou

From the exterior, this place seems rather odd (5 Ang Mo Kio Central 2 #01-01, 6757-3358). Lit with neon and furnished with Minion and Pokemon chairs, the Latin letters on the signboard say Ah Gu Kaka Wa, and yet the Chinese characters say guochang chuanweiguan.

But the chuanr on the menu looked promising, and my hunch was right: the chicken skewers in particular are the closest that I've been able to find to the now defunct Alati. It was a smaller portion, but the meat was moist and tender like Alati, and it was seasoned just right too. The pork isn't bad either, but I'll pass on the mutton and beef next time, especially since the former was dry and didn't even taste like mutton.

BTW, their ganbian sijidou is one of the better renditions around town, especially since the chili peppers were delightfully thin-skinned and crisp. They have quite a few other things on the menu, including kaoyu, suancaiyu, and jigongbao. I'm not sure how those fare, but the beer was impressively cheap.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Yummy Yum Authentic Thai Salad at Golden Mile Tower

Clockwise from left: raw prawn yum, vermicelli boat noodles, blue crab yum, golden mushroom yum

It's worth taking a second first to clarify the name of this place (6001 Beach Road #B1-69). They serve Thai "salads," but we're not talking about plates of leafy greens. It's basically your choice of protein (including raw blue crab and prawns like I got above), done up in either a larb or yum style (get it?), the former of which was fun with its rice powder, while the latter was refreshing with its chopped chili peppers and tomatoes.

They all come out in tiny S$2 (US$1.50) portions, which makes these salty spicy sour morsels perfect for sampling along with some beer. They also have boat noodles, sticky rice, and some impressively tender grilled skewers available. Yummy indeed, especially at the extra spicy Thai level. If you're having trouble finding them, look for the brown Thai Street Food Market signage in the basement.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Boeuf on Telok Ayer Street in Singapore

Hanger Steak

As the name suggests, this is a beef place (159 Telok Ayer Street, 8950-5975). And the prices aren't as outrageous as I would've thought; indeed, that wagyu hanger steak above carries a lunch price of just S$22 (US$16). Of course, it was very lean, but it was also tender and decently charred, going along nicely with those potato-ey fries. Yep, I was happy, and am thinking of coming back here to check out their tartare next.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Freehouse on Gemmil Lane in Singapore

Stracciatella and Toast

This place (10 Gemmil Lane, 8800-3103), first and foremost, is a craft beer bar. But they also have a list of small plates to go with your drinks, and the food was impressively good. That stracciatella di bufala above, for instance, not only came with toasted Starter Lab bread, but also sat in an orange prawn oil that made it savory and aromatic. I also had an heirloom tomato that they sliced and topped with things like burrata, basil oil, and dukkah, as well as fried capers. The food was playful, and the staff was friendly. I'll be going back.

Zuru Zuru Mazesoba at Kanpai 789, Singapore


Kanpai 789 is a craft beer bar that has sat at the corner of Robertson Walk for a while now (11 Unity Street #01-11, 8738-7996). They used to serve Thai food at one point in time, but it wasn't particularly memorable. Yet this week they started advertising this mazesoba under a Zuru Zuru brand, and it was better than I thought it would be. I didn't even need to add any of the vinegar and chili oil that they provided because it was seasoned just right. Yes, it was comparable to Kokoro, Kajiken, and Kanda Soba.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Rice Sando Tokyo at Plaza Singapura

Sunny Hamburg

The name of this stall is strangely stylized with a hashtag: "#ricesando tokyo" (68 Orchard Road #B2-45). And these rice sandwiches didn't really look very appealing on the menu either. But it was created by the Kohaku team, as well as folks like the guy who brought Tamoya and Kokoro down here, so I figured that maybe it was better than it looked.

Not really. I mean, I'll admit that I kinda liked the mayo and onion at the end, in the same way that Sushiro's shrimp with avocado sushi is a guilty pleasure of mine. But the beef had zero appeal for me, and the seaweed and rice quickly became a difficult mess to eat, not unlike MOS Burger's rice burger. I don't think I'll come back.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Mikan Shootout Between Haya, Arida, and Suga

Haya, Arida, and Suga Mikan

Don Don Donki has had a variety of mikan available recently, so I picked up one of each bag to try them out. The Arida variety was my favorite, not only for being plump and juicy, but also because it was tangier than the other two, which were just plain sweet. I still prefer tangerines over mandarins though; Meidi-Ya has some awesome ones from South Africa that are pretty affordable too.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Myung Ga (Ming Jia) II Korean BBQ at Bukit Timah Plaza


There are a lot of Korean restaurants at Bukit Timah Plaza, eh? Here was one (1 Jalan Anak Bukit #B1-55, 6469-5123), where we got that plate of gunmandu above. The banchan spread was limited but I liked the kimchi and egg in particular. And the mul-naengmyeon was pretty good too, especially with all of the groud sesame seeds that they topped it with. I wonder why they didn't provide any mustard though.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Chicken Fricassée from Café Aux Bacchanales

Chicken Fricassée

I take back some of my praise for Aux Bacchanales. I'll still eat the chicken fricassée above as well as the seabass meunière from last time. But everything else that I've had here since then has made me raise an eyebrow, as it just reminded me of mess hall food. Well, the lunch sets are nicely priced at least, and they even have a wine pairing option. Pro tip: be sure to get a three course lunch with the wine pairing since it also includes a dessert wine at the end for the same set price.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Dosukoi x Donpachi Japanese Izakaya Dining & Sake Bar


I was wandering through Cuppage Plaza after work and stumbled across this little izakaya tucked away in the corner of the basement (5 Koek Road #B1-23, 6733-6847). Yeah, I was happy with the food, even if it didn't blow me away either. But there is definitely more to explore here, including not just the impressive list of specials that they had available today, but also all of the other places in the building. It's been so long since I've explored the gems inside.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Sichuan Alley on Telok Ayer Street, Singapore

Chuan Hung Noodle has reinvented itself as Sichuan Alley (51A Telok Ayer Street #01-01). But it's still run by the Birds of a Feather people, which (I only realize now) includes the chef that was behind Pang's Hakka Noodles. Anyway, I came here for that dish above, which is paofan, but in a suancaiyu broth. They made it a bit more upscale too: instead of thin slices of fish, one gets a big grilled piece of barramundi, garnished with things like red radish slices, cherry tomatoes, and kale. I was happy with everything that came out, including a refreshingly cold eggplant and green chili salad that I got to go with it.