Friday, January 30, 2009

7atenine (29th Jan 2009)

Had a chat with a familiar face from Saint Pierre Group. I am sure like almost anyone who loves food, would know that this eatery is part of Emmanuel Stroobant's work.

Coaster - DSC_1930

He had designed the menu, so that would definitely raised my expectation of the food here. However, I was informed all the food we will be served for the "lunch unlimited" were creations of the resident chef, Florent. As I wasn't able to catch all the names of the dishes I were served... I will try my best.

Parma Ham with melon

Parma Ham with melon - DSC_1958

A simple dish, that would done right by the right supplier. So no marks for having a good regular supplier. However, I like the fact that the melons are shavings and not a cube.

Beef on stone
Beef on stone - DSC_1972

We were informed that the stone was hot... and it was supposed to cook the raw beef and herbs wrap. I am quite impressed with the use of the stone, and of course using the herbs in it does make his dish different.

Ham Salad

Ham Salad - DSC_1983

okie... for me... this is a NEXT! dish. Nothing special... nothing unique, just another dish.

Archovies Something...

Archovies Something... - DSC_1997

okay... this dish is definitely not "Archovies Something..." but I loooooove these little fishes... and along with the cheese, I think it is Feta cheese, and a few pine nuts... it was yummy. :D

Pan fried fish

Pan fried fish - DSC_2014

How does one define a fresh fish? For me, it's lack of fishy taste. But to some, it might be the sea taste a fish might have. It would work very well for those who like the sea taste, as the salt WERE poured, not sprinkled. The flesh underneath the salty skin were rather bland. So it was a mistake to put the skin aside, due to the frist salty taste.

Seared Tuna

Seared Tuna - DSC_2047

The Tuna was a far cry from those found in Japanese restaurant. The Tuna were too cooked, and it became rather tough. And the eggplant side was too salty for my liking. This dish was banished to the cold palace after the initial taste test.

Grilled beef
Grilled beef - DSC_2065

What's good about this dish... the potato chip, the mash and the grilled beef? Well, I like the potato chip and the mash, the beef slices were okay. I do not like beef too much, but then this happened to be the best dish according to my dining partners. I beg differ. I still prefer my little fishes... :D

Today I was made super picky, because of the noises by the lion dancings done. I actually left without getting any dessert... and yeah.. I went for more food not much later...

Source of annoyance - DSC_2075

I do not like noise, I tend to be VERY picky when I am in noisey places. Some of things which I really do not like are the uniforms wore by the is jumpers and loose fitting clothings, instead of making it casual, I think it was sloppy.

.... DSC_1941

As the place is quite new, the menu was not done properly. It is not difficult to get the menu done, considering they have so many other "sister and brother" restaurants. The menu was badly done and obviously a rush job, which is forgiveable... till my next trip, which I will watch out for.

A chef should have his or her own style, but also open to suggestions. To change one's style of cooking to suit any one who walked in and gives their own opinions of food, would definitely not be the way to go. However, a person would only grow so much, without inputs from others. Chef Florent is a man who is definitely passionate about his food, and a person who need to listen without being defensive. In an Asian country like Singapore, we focus on healthy eating. Yeah, soya is important, as salt would be for him. But we do not pour half a bottle of it over the food we eat.

In closing, I definitely would give this place another try. Hopefully I have a less distracted atmosphere to enjoy or not the food he had prepared.

Hai Tien Lo 海天楼 (28th Jan 2009)

Greeted by friendly staff, greeting us with chinese blessings and wishes...

Service staff - DSC_1830

Togetherness Tray

Togetherness Tray - DSC_1813 copy

There were Candied ginko nuts, Red melon seeds, Candied ginger slices, Candied Water Chestnut, Candied carrot and Candied lotus root. My favorite were the water chestnut and the ginko nuts.

Salmon Yu Sheng with Wealth Japanese sweet prawn


As I had said in my earlier posts... I do not care too much for raw vegetables... and soaked in my least favorite plum sauce. So I was pleased when I saw the adding of sweet prawn and oso the salmon.


I just picked out all the prawn and salmon pieces, while the rest of my dining partners finished off the raw vegetables....

Baked diced abalone and chicken puff

Baked diced abalone and chicken puff - DSC_1857

This seemed like a normal chicken puff... I don't exactly think it is the best I tried. But definitely is one of the better one.

Steamed pork dumplings with laver

Steamed pork dumplings with laver - DSC_1879

This is different from the rest of the siew mai out there... I prefer the laver aka seaweed, to the flour skin which was used too often in other normal dim sum places.

Steamed prawn dumplings with wild mushroom

Steamed prawn dumplings with wild mushroom - DSC_1864 copy

Steamed Barbecued pork buns

Steamed Barbecued pork buns - DSC_1870

Deep fried bean curd sheet stuffed with dried oysters, mushrooms, prawn paste and chicken

Deep fried bean curd sheet stuffed with dried oysters, mushrooms, prawn paste and chicken - DSC_1874 copy

Steamed carrot cake with dried scallops

Steamed carrot cake with dried scallops - DSC_1888

I like this dish well enough... I like it not fried but steamed. Soft and soya... *yummy*

Classic Beijing Duck

Classic Beijing Duck - DSC_1899

Not the best beijing duck i had. I thought it was too dry and abit tough for my liking.

Soup of the day
Soup of the day - DSC_1914

I think the soup was well prepared... there are carrot, moss, white fungus and chicken meat in it. :)

Deep Fried prawns tossed in wasabi mayonnaise sauce

Deep Fried prawns tossed in wasabi mayonnaise sauce - DSC_1918

The prawn is fresh and firm, just the type of prawn I like. However, I felt the wasabi mayonnaise sauce was slightly lacking of the wasabi punch..

Fragrant Steamed Rice with preserved meat and dried oyster

Fragrant Steamed Rice with preserved meat and dried oyster - DSC_1922 copy

I was surprised when I saw this dish... there is nothing much to it.

The view from the window - DSC_1821

Hai Tien Lo is a good place to go for dim sum with a view. There are frenly staffs, the food is good. It is a rather easy-to-forget-and-i-would-not-think-of-it-when-i-want-to-go-for-dim-sum place.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crystal Jade Dining IN @ VivoCity (25th Jan 2009)

Reunion dinners are all about coming together as a family, frist to have good food, second to gather to spread and share all the news among relatives who rarely get together often. On this day, our choice was Crystal Jade Dining in VivoCity. I admit that this is my frist time going there. Might be the fact that I am not really into Chinese food, which I been having for the most part of my life. People had been raving about this place to me, that's for sure.

Reaching there on time, and having my table and cup of tea ready was already a postive point.

My Cup of tea....
My cup of tea... IMG_0087

"Fatt Choy" Salmon Raw fish yu sheng (鸿运发财三文鱼生)
"Fatt Choy" Salmon Raw fish yu sheng (鸿运发财三文鱼生) - DSC_1649 copy

I am not a big fan of yu sheng. I do not like raw vegetable too much.... unless it's drenched in thousand island sauce, which i had not been doing too often. I, would too often, pick out the raw salmon or any raw sashimi anything to eat, leaving the veggies for the people who enjoy them.
What I really enjoy about this dish is...

"Fatt Choy" Salmon Raw fish yu sheng (鸿运发财三文鱼生) - DSC_1690

tossing the yusheng, shouting out the good blessings and enjoying a mini food fight!!! :p

Suckling pig combinaion platter (乳猪烧味拼盘)
Suckling pig combinaion platter (乳猪烧味拼盘) - DSC_1705 copy

I only noticed that BBQ roasted pork has fat in them!!! *yummy* I don't like lean pork, duck or chicken. So, to me, I like it cause there is fat in the bbq pork.

Braised shark's fin with conpoy and crab meat (发财蟹肉干贝生翅)

Braised shark's fin with conpoy and crab meat (发财蟹肉干贝生翅) - DSC_1715 copy

*sigh* I might had been influenced by people who are against shark fin eating... this shark fin soup was not that great. I didn't detect any fins, conpoy or crab meat. But I did think that the chef was quite generous with flour. This soup was too starchy for my liking, so I added at least 2 tablespoons of vinegar into it, before I finished half a bowl of it.

Braised baby abalone with dried oyster and black moss (发财好市鲍鱼仔)
Braised baby abalone with dried oyster and black moss (发财好市鲍鱼仔) - DSC_1719 copy

I like! I like abalone, I LIKE dried oyster and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE black moss!!! I LOVE this dish... other than that cabbage at the bottom. Hahaha As I am seated in a table with people (young kids) who doesn't really think that dried oysters or abalone were treasures, I actually finished more than half of the dish myself... of course, I had to put up with the "eeee" and "yucks, you are eating hair" remarks left, right and front! BUT for one of my loves in life, I would willingly put up with those remarks. :D

Braised baby abalone with dried oyster and black moss (发财好市鲍鱼仔) - DSC_1722

The abalones were nice and chewy, the oysters were not fishy and well cooked *yummy* I am already drooling, just thinking about them. Mixed with a bit of moss... GIVE ME MORE ALREADY!!!

Crispy Salted Chicken (脆皮盐香鸡)
Crispy Salted Chicken (脆皮盐香鸡) - DSC_1750 copy

The skin of this chicken was good. As most of the people sharing the table were quite filled up, I was able to tear off the skins of most of the pieces and have them as it is. *glee* This chicken was cooked well, but as it was (to me) too hastily chopped up and arranged. It had lost alot of points due to its untidy presentation.

Sea Perch serve in Two ways (鲈鱼二味)
Sea Perch serve in Two ways (鲈鱼二味) - DSC_1741 copy

Sauted sliced sea Perch & Deep fried fish belly with pepper and salt
I like this dish. The salty taste of the sea perch was good. I think the sprinkle of the seaweed, fried onions and pine nuts were good additions to this dish. I prefer the deep fried fish belly with pepper and salt more than the sauteed slices.

Fried rice with Seafood and diced chicken served in Lotus leaf (团圆荷叶饭)
Fried rice with Seafood and diced chicken served in Lotus leaf (团圆荷叶饭) - DSC_1758

I think the rice were pretty hard... I picked out the seafood and corn to eat. Was there diced chicken? I didn't notice lor. I don't think there is any chicken in it.
Fried rice with Seafood and diced chicken served in Lotus leaf (团圆荷叶饭) - DSC_1758DSC_1770 copy

Therefore I assumed my chicken went out playing and forgot to clock in for its execution slot, hence the lack of chicken in my fried rice.

Chilled Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo (杨枝甘露)
Chilled Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo (杨枝甘露) - DSC_1792 copy

I always prefer to have a sweet ending to my meal. This is slightly sour, but it's the right taste. Lack of sago and mango bits did not take much away from this dessert.

I absolutely dreaded going for reunion dinner.... I do not like going for rush meals... Rushing thru meals made me moody! and easier to be unhappy about the situation and oso even more picky about food. We were told we had only one hour to eat this meal, so basically rushed thru the meal. When we were told that we were able to stay beyond the time slot, I slowed down my eating and was able to enjoy the food slowly.

I think in situation like these, whereby one had to rush thru meals and try to stay as happy as one can be, especially in front of elders, service staffs are very important. I am very happy that there is a lady staff by the name of Xiao Yan (from Shang Dong, China), and her manager Grace, had made my meal very pleasant, comfortable and entertaining.

Xiaoyan - IMG_0083

Great job, Grace and Xiao Yan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lao Beijing 老北京食堂 (Plaza Singapura) (16th Jan 2009)

Eight Treasure tea 八宝茶

Eight Treasure tea 八宝茶 - DSC_1407 copy

I like Eight treasure tea. I don't this version of it? Why? I felt it too light. The taste ain't there, it's like plain water with a pinch of seasoning... I tried putting the tea aside, so to brew it slightly longer. Instead of tea with heavier taste, i got cold water with some hints of tea in it.

Roasted meat

Roasted meat - DSC_1410 copy

We were served with some pork jerky or bak kau to try.... I think a better choice would be not to bring it out to let us know what's not good about it. I prefer mine slightly flatter, a bit more charred, and maybe a bit put in the microwave before taking it to be served? I doubt i will get any take out of this.

Deep-fried Silver Bait with seven spices 七味银鱼

Deep-fried Silver Bait with seven spices 七味银鱼 - DSC_1432

ahhh fried silver baits, I do like this type of snacks. I grew to like these after having quite a bit of them during my regular trips to HK. These are battered too much, the batter was too thick, there wasn't enough of seven spices to toss these properly to give it a better taste than what it had.

Steamed Juicy Meat Buns 小龙汤包

Steamed Juicy Meat Buns 小龙汤包 - DSC_1433

Xiao Long bao... okie... I am quite the horrible person today. I didn't like this at all. The skin was thicker than what i like. The soup was less than I wanted. Even with vinegar... it did not improve my like of it.

Sliced Pork with Garlic 蒜泥白肉

Sliced Pork with Garlic 蒜泥白肉 - DSC_1429 copy

Sliced pork with Garlic I absolutely looooooooooooove this dish. Why? Cause it's SUPPOSED to be very thin slices of boiled pork bacon. HOWEVER, this dish is just lean pork! Gosh LEAN PORK!!! But I have to say the garlic sauce was quite good. But LEAN PORK!?!?!? *can't get over this lean pork thing...*

Braised Spinach Beancurd 翡翠豆腐

Braised Spinach Beancurd 翡翠豆腐 - DSC_1419

I always like this dish. I thought that this would be a good dish... but the spinach was pathetic little. The beancurd is too hard... the innards are full of holes and hard. I know some zi char places can cook better!

Pan-fried shrimp, pork and chives guotie 三鲜锅贴

Pan-fried shrimp, pork and chives guotie 三鲜锅贴 - DSC_1445

What else can go wrong... these were not in the pan long enough. The skin is rather thick...

Deep fried seabass with home made vinaigrette 醋浇金目鲈

Deep fried seabass with home made vinaigrette 醋浇金目鲈- DSC_1439

I think this fish is good deep fried and with vinaigrette. I cannot say if it's fresh or not. I had to say this is the best dish, just because it's crunchy and heavily seasoned with vinaigrette.

Lao Beijing... gosh... it had been such a while since I been there. Maybe it's the gut feeling in me that had prevent me from going there... or did this place never did impress me in the frist place.
Looking back at this meal, I saw alot of people in the place. Is it the cheaper food, or better food, or even the good service they provide? I believe it's a cheaper food, not better food or the rather inconsistent service.

Senso Bistro @ Singapore Flyer (15th Jan 2009)

Our pride and joy went down... So in order to get diners down there, there were alot of offers going on.

Singapore Flyer - DSC_1283 copy

Taking advantage of the 50% off the menu, went down to Singapore Flyer to try this place out.

Name of the place - DSC_1282 copy

Pamesan cheese and Chilli flakes - DSC_1309 copy

4 Formaggi Pizza

4 Formaggi Pizza - DSC_1329

pizza with Mozzarella, Taleggio Cheese, Smoked Scamorza and Gorgonzola

Due to the fact that I valued my vegetarian friend's company, I chose to have a vegetarian pizza as a starter. I was quite apprehensive about the food I might get from this place, but the pizza was really good! Thin crust accompanied by 4 cheeses, indeed quite good. Totally dashed my fear of getting bad food from here...

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto - DSC_1340

Carnaroli risotto served with porcini mushrooms ragout and fresh thymeThe Risotto had slightly too much water... the grains are too hard. There wasn't much mushrooms ... I think there is less than 3 whole mushrooms in it. I wish they had not taken away the parmesan cheese flakes, so i can dump the whole thing in it to make it MUCH MUCH better. We did not even finish half the portion. I think it's even worse than the package thing I got from the NTUC supermarket, which i tried cooking at home.

Grilled salmon in lemon butter sauce

Grilled salmon in lemon butter sauce - DSC_1346

I like fish and i always like salmon quite a bit. They took off the skin of the salmon, which is my favorite part of the fish, after the omega 3! This is a super lean fish, i suspected it went to gym too often. The fact that they had poured a whole sack of invisible salt and spread too much pepper on it had made this gym-going salmon rather hopelessly not to my liking. I was hoping the mash would help, but it did not. I guess the sack of invisible salt was for the mash. I had already not like this dish.

Pepper - DSC_1361

Time for dessert!!! Maybe they will do better.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee - DSC_1379

Oven baked egg custard with caramellized sugar

I ever read on someone else's blog that their creme brulee's caramellized sugar top wasn't burnt properly, and I agree. The sugar top was too much, and wasn't burnt enough. We ended up with super sweet dessert. However, the egg custard was too soggy, and wasn't hard enough for my liking. And with the dish so shallow, it wasn't a good experience for me. I prefer a min of at least 5 cms of custard topped by a good burnt caramellized sugar top.


Pannacotta - DSC_1393

Double Cream flan served with raspberry coulisI like my dessert sweet than sour. Alot of people might like sourish dessert and I am sure they would like this raspberry coulis. But the double cream flan is slightly too hard for my liking. So only had a few spoons of this....

Pecan Torte

Pecan Torte - DSC_1367

This was a last min decision by my fren. It does seemed a bit too filling, esp after all the food we had. I like this pecan torte, maybe because I like pecan. It wasn't too sweet, but definitely qualified to be a good dessert still.

Singapore Flyer - DSC_1280

I desperately think that the Singapore Flyer so need to work again... why? it might just be the next best thing there.... (losing the best spot to the fish spa place there ...)