Tuesday, March 27, 2007

[Singapore 2007] Superdog at Vivocity

Visited Singapore again in February during Chinese New Year.

Super Dog
Super dog and chicken sausage

Tried the much raved about german bratwurst topped with chilli. At S$7.50, it was not cheap. The chicken sausage meal was on offer with a voucher so we got one too. Both 'sausages' looked and tasted like hotdog. I much prefer butcher's style meaty, chunky sausages. The home-made iced lemon tea was so diluted I keep wondering whether I was actually drinking one.

Spotted Kuching's kolo-mee restaurant across Superdog. Tapaued home the deluxe version (the only version served at Vivo City's outlet), S$6.50. Speechless when I took first bite. This is the famed Kuching kolo-mee?? Not even close. The noodle's texture was fine but the sauce/oil it was tossed in has an unnatural sourish taste. Maybe the minced meat was off as it tasted a little sour too but you can't tell cos it's cooked in black soya sauce. Soy sauce turned acidic if cooked for too long or under too high a heat. Came home, ate my quarry kolo-mee, fully satiated and goodbye forever Jia Xiang. Burp burp, hee.

[Brunei] Thai Food at KNY Kitchen

KNY Kitchen
MIL's birthday celebration. Food was average.

Highly recommend:
Thai lime juice

Chinese New Year in Brunei

Chinese New Year in Brunei is a simple affair. At least for me and my family. We have our reunion dinner on the eve, chap goh meh (15th day) dinner, again and visiting friends and relatives.

CNY Food
Tasty dishes served at one of my auntie's open house on the second day. That's when all my relatives congregate. Easy for ang-pow giving duty.

Lion Dance1

It just so happen the lion dance troupe from the Chinese Association stopped at a neighbour's house, we invited them to do an impromptu performance for us.

Lion Dance2

Young girls and boys strutting their stuff. Got experience or not?? Walau eh, all that we could hear were, tong tong tong, chang chang chang. No rhythm whatsoever. The 'lion' made the usual round of the house and off they went. Well, at least that remind us we are celebrating Chinese New Year.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

[Brunei] Vintage Rose Cafe

Y's another birthday meal with me.

Venue this time is Vintage Rose Cafe in Kiulap specialising in western cuisine.

Vintage Rose

I had roast rack of lamb served with mashed potatoes, assorted steamed vegetables and black pepper sauce (aboutB$25).

Y had Dato's Favourite which is roast rack of lamb served on bed of home made spinach pasta in creamy carbonara (about B$29).

Good food, good ambience and generous portion. Great place to go for pasta and steak.

[Brunei] I Lotus Restaurant

I Lotus Restaurant situated in an isolated lone building near Perumahan Rakyat Jati. Despite it's out-of-way address, business is brisk.

These pictures were taken on my good friend's birthday in October 2006. The menu hasn't change and no new items were noted on recent visit just last week.

Must try:
Spicy chicken in lotus leaf
Bake and fried mushroom

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

[Brunei] Chocolate Hi-Tea Buffet @ The Empire Hotel and Country Club

I have always enjoyed passing my time in Empire. Be it brunch, lunch, high tea or dinner, no meal has ever failed me. Not to say everything is executed well but all my dining experiences have been pleasant ones.

Empire1 Settings

Empire silver service Crockeries, cutlery, teapots are by Asprey

Empire savouries Savouries

Empire Sweets Array of chocolate desserts, macarons and scones

Empire window Window view

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

[Singapore 2006] Desserts

Godiva @ Vivo City

The much raved about chocolate ice-blended. Cost a bomb. Tasted bland to me. Bad day for the cheery-faced serve staff? Give me a mocha ice-blended from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf any day.

{Gelato/Ice-cream} Bravissimo vs Haagen Daz

Black sesame and D24 durian

Green tea and double chocolate cookies

Both ice-cream chains are everywhere. They tasted average to me. I much prefer green tea with adzuki bean from Haato (formerly known as Pokka). I get my fix from the outlet at Meidi-Ya supermarket. For black sesame, I prefer Azabu Sabo at Marina Square. For chocolate ice-cream, only the 66% at Canele tickle my tastebud (that's another post altogether).

Canele Patisserie @ Robertson Walk


Also a must visit for me in Singapore. It's just a short walk away from Liang Court. Canele is my default purchase, the shop is not named after it for nothing. Best you could get this side of universe. Rectangular pastry is Le Royale and the dome top pastry is Jupiter. Both were executed excellently. Sandwiched between the cakes is rose and rasperry jam. Somehow the combination doesn't work for me. No fireworks above my head when I first tasted.

[Singapore 2006] Imperial Treasure Nan Bei Restaurant

Imperial Treasure Nan Bei Restaurant
Level 4, Ngee Ann City

Imperial 1
Left: Roasted goose served with plum sauce
The beautiful amber coloured skin is wonderfully crispy with just a thin layer of fat underneath it. Meat is moist and seasoned well. A joy to eat.

Middle: Spicy sesame paste la mian (pulled noodle)
The best I have ever tasted so far in Singapore; till I get a chance to visit Silk Road. Broth packed a punch, the ma (spicy?) and la (hot) flavour orchestrating in your mouth till you wanna sing home to mama.

Right: Spinach Beancurd with seafood (also comes in assorted mushrooms version)
Our waitress highly recommended this dish. God she's right. Yum, yum, yum is all I can say. Beancurd so silky it will slip down your throat. The seafood fresh and springy (hope it's not from the bicarb, I didn't taste any). Spinach is well, spinach........

Imperial 2

Left: Xiao long
Default order in a la mian shop. Average taste, can't tell the difference from a Crystal Jade version.

Right: Pan-fried meat bun
It's bun with the same xiao long filling. I actually prefer this to xiao long.

Other dishes I have tried are fried rice stick with beef, fried la mian with crispy eel strip (dry version) and beancurd in crab roe sauce. All are quite tasty. The dry fried eel la mian is not on the menu (they serve the soupy version) but they are happy to accommodate my request. Beancurd in crab roe sauce is only available when crabs are in season. The first time I tried it, I almost fell off my chair. I can taste HEAVEN!! It's the tastiest thing I've ever tasted apart from my favourite Amedei Chuao. Not to be missed!

Monday, March 12, 2007

[Singapore 2006] Tampopo at Liang Court

Left Char siew (barbequed meat) ramen in pork bone stock with mentaiko and braised egg
Right Spicy black pig ramen

I absolutely love the ramen at Tampopo situated on the same level as Meidi-Ya supermarket. My must visit everytime I am in Singapore; both the supermarket and Tampopo.

The stock is flavourful from long time simmering, the char siew tender and the egg was extremely tasty with the yolk perfectly undercooked such that they are just set and not runny. The famed black pig air-flown from Japan was sliced paper thin, the texture is tender yet crunchy, an unusual combination. You have to taste it to understand how it can be so.

On recent visit I tried the Omu rice (tomato fried rice covered in fluffy omelette) served with salad on the side. It was supposed to be Princess' lunch but she keep asking for my noodles -_-

[Singapore 2006] Faster than Fast Food - Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice

Duck rice
Deboned duck and beancurd for 2 persons

Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice
South Buona Vista Rd

Soon as we placed our orders, the auntie waitress shouted towards the back of the shop and our rice and duck arrived within SECONDS; ferried by another wait staff. Wow, talk about efficiency.

Apart from duck, there are only beancurd and kangkong available as side dishes. Drink wise only lime and barley are on offer.

Everything were cold apart from the rice which is only warm. I can't say the food is tasty as they were a little bland for my taste.

Good for a quick bite if you're in a hurry.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

[Singapore 2006] Food Republic at Vivo City

Grabbed a quick breakfast before heading for the airport.

Food Rep
Big king had dry tossed noodles with barbeque meat and dumpling soup. We passed by a 'freshly made' steam rice roll (chee cheong fun) stall and couldn't resist. Got the barbeque meat version.

I opted for Toast Box's set breakkie. Consist of two soft-boiled eggs, kaya toast and kopi-O (coffee with sugar).

None of the food was anything to shout about and we stayed away from the food court on recent visits.

We decided to try Kopitiam/Banquet last week and the experience did not fare any better than Food Republic. I did not even bother with the pictures.

[Singapore 2006] Nyonya Buffet @ Princess Terrace

A delightful meal experience at Princess Terrace @ Copthorne King's Hotel, Havelock Road in Singapore. I went sometime in November last year (2006).


The spread of food is quite minimal but the standard of food more than made up for the lack in varieties. The fish and prawns were cooked to perfection which is very rare in buffet and they still taste great towards the end of the evening.

Popiah and rojak were the evening's major disappointment with the filling soggy for the popiah and the rojak sauce is too weak. Rest of the items on the above picture were average.

The porridge was labelled "double fried porridge". Don't ask, why the double. It looked a mess but great on the palette. The dried cuttlefish had both flavoured and lent a nice aroma to the porridge. Rest of ingredients unidentifiable......... Princess polished off two bowls by herself @@

Penang laksa was only average as my neighbour cooks a killer version, woohoohoo.

On the far right is mee-sua (a type of fine thread noodles) in herbal duck soup. The soup base was weak but meat fell of the bone beautifully, even the meat lacked in taste. More herbs will be a tad better.

I absolutely adore the nyonya kueh and the kaya, best I have ever tasted! I've never been to Penang so unable to compare with the local best. But those offered were good enough for me. Heard the Nyonya kueh chef ONLY prepares kueh and nothing else. Oh someone learn from him and come to Brunei to open a shop please..........

The normal Chinese tong-sui (sweet soup) was a let-down. The red bean fool was too sweet and the peanut fool was so salty I could have sworn they have mistaken the salt for the sugar.......

Highlight of the buffet was a nice-looking chef pulling tea (tarik), haha, he even let me took several pictures of him doing the 'stunt'. The teh-tarik was VERY good, he did not show off for nothing hehe.

The environment, tiny space I must say.