Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A (Not So) Late Night Ebeneezer's in Hong Kong

Ebeneezer's Kebab

Yep, that's a hotel desk phone in the background. I was running late for a series of back-to-back conference calls tonight, and I hadn't eaten yet. Fortunately (or not!), there was an outlet of Ebeneezer's nearby, so I grabbed a "spicy" kebab and brought it upstairs to stuff my face while dialing in. I'm not proud of this, but I ate it so quickly that I wished I had gotten two of them, all while grease dribbled down my arm. But hey, as the wrapper says, it's "healthy!"

Ms Tang Cafe in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

Cilantro Broth

I'm not sure if I completely understood the story about this place, but apparently it's a bing sutt, or an old school coffee house that was originally from Yuen Long wayyyy out in the New Territories. The family has since expanded to Kwon Tong (55 King Yip Street, 2617-3238), and it still draws long lines at lunch time. So the local team suggested that we come here earlier in the morning.

They told me to get this bowl of soup noodles, which came in a selection of toppings and broths, including a popular tomato-based one. I got a cilantro-based one with beef and century eggs, and I liked it despite being borderline salty (the spicy hot sauce on the side kept it fun). Having looked it up just now though, it seems like they are famous for some kind of bun or sandwich. Maybe I'll get that next.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Zhanjiang Fishing Port in Shenzhen, China

Picking Seafood

To be clear, this isn't an actual fishing port, but rather just the name of the restaurant (50 Leyuan Road, 755-8222-6908). It's a very old school place that almost seems out of place in shiny modern Shenzhen now, but this street has a few big restaurants where you picked your live seafood out front before they took it in the back to cook it. Yes, I liked what we had, including a tasty steamed flatfish, crispy salted shrimp, two types of clams, and scallops with mung bean noodles on top (despite the loads of minced garlic on it!). Plus, it was relatively close to the Luohu border crossing so that I could quickly get back down to Hong Kong afterwards.

Yuefu in Shenzhen, China

Some kind of fried pastry

This is a small local chain of Cantonese restaurants that my local teammate in Shenzhen suggested for lunch today. Yeah, I was happy with pretty much everything they brought out today, be it the light yet savory soup to open, the flaky pastry things above, or even the fragrant green tea that we got. I particularly liked their har gow which featured some particularly firm and bright red shrimp as well as the guotie which not only came out with an attractive round crust but also was filled with a finely minced stuffing. Thumbs up!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Brass Spoon and Pho Bar in Hong Kong

Premium Raw Beef Noodles

Hong Kong doesn't exactly sound like a place to get Vietnamese phở. But the SCMP did a story about a few upscale places that have popped up, so I went over to Central for a shootout after work tonight. Brass Spoon (10 Pottinger Street, 2804-1811) was unique in that the broth was slightly earthy, but more importantly, the premium meat was deliciously tender and tasty, making me very happy with it, even if I didn't like the noodles.

Beef Noodle

Too bad I didn't like the next place, Pho Bar, though (24 Li Yuen Street West, 2109-2028). The broth here was way too dark for my liking, and while there was certainly a variety of cuts of meat (not to mention skinny noodles), the bowl just didn't come together...not as phở, anyway. It tasted more like a Chinese or Thai beef noodle instead. I'll stick to Brass Spoon, but just need to remember that they close early at 7 PM.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Midrange Japanese Watermelon and Ruby Grapes

Midrange Japanese Watermelon and Ruby Grapes

"Midrange" may sound like an odd descriptor for a small watermelon and a bunch of grapes that cost a whopping S$38 (US$28). each. But in the grand scheme of pricey Japanese fruit, this was relatively cheap, and possibly even low-end. They were both disappointingly rather unremarkable in taste too (those grapes, for instance, weren't as unique as Kyoho, and frustratingly had tiny seeds in them too), even if they were still much more consistent and delicate than your everyday cheap ones. The only thing that was kinda unique was the super thin watermelon skin, which was less than half a centimeter thick.

Big Fish Small Fish at Punggol East Container Park

Dory

We finally made it out to that container park off Tebing Lane today. I was rather disappointed to find that the menus on most of those seven vendors looking rather boring; this fish and chip shop was the only one that looked half-interesting (50 Punggol East #01-K35).

Actually, it's more of a fish and *crisp* shop - if you're using British English, that is. Yeah, basically they were thin American chips, done in house, and not a bad job of them either. And buried underneath all of that was a bit of fish too: nothing to go nuts over, but having things like a salted egg dip (in addition to malt vinegar - phew!) kept it fun.

It definitely doesn't beat Smith's though for a proper serving of fish and chips. Indeed, halfway through this meal I started to think of those thick cuts of potato (as well as their delicious halibut) from Smith's. But this waterfront place is pretty cool in the late afternoon, especially with so many stalls nearby selling beer too.

Camelicious Pasteurized Camel Milk from Dubai

Camelicious Pasteurized Camel Milk from Dubai

I've tried camel meat before, but I don't think I've tried camel milk. So I was very curious to see how this bottle from Dubai would taste, figuring it to be relatively mild yet hopefully still rich. To my surprise, it smelled a bit like leather goods (yes, like a purse, jacket, or shoes). It wasn't overwhelming, but like goat's milk, certainly had a unique signature. I wonder how this would taste fresh on the farm.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Nasi Lemak Burger at McDonald's Singapore

Nasi Lemak Burger

Well, I finally tried it. After hearing about people either loving or hating this thing, I landed squarely in the middle. It wasn't as bad as some people said, and it really did taste like nasi lemak, sans rice (and the Bandung McFizz drink wasn't that bad either). But I don't think I'll be coming back for this again either.

Actually, I left most items on this tray only half-eaten, but I did take the Chendol McFlurry with me so that I could finish it. Somehow that McDonald's soft serve just went well with gula melaka. If I were to come back for any of this, it'd probably be for that ice cream, or perhaps the coconut pie with its crispy exterior.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taste Affair at Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore

Sake Butter Clam Spaghettini

This hawker stall at Amoy Street Food Centre has been getting some attention because the chefs come from a small chain of casual French places in town. I've never been to one of those outlets, but I was kinda curious about this place, if anything because they were one of the few places near the office that is open early for breakfast (7 Maxwell Road #02-128).

Still, I never made it here for breakfast, and instead came here for lunch today. If I really wanted to nitpick, I could argue that the mushroom and egg in this bowl were kinda clichéd. I could question why the clams were seemingly treated as more of a topping rather than being done together with the noodles. I could also whine that it was just a tad heavy on the garlic.

But hey, this was only S$6 (US$4.40), which is quite a steal. More importantly, they didn't overcook the noodles here, and generally handled everything with care (reminding me a bit of Ah Bong's, actually). That means that I will be coming back, in particular to finally try their breakfast, especially since they seem to be open on Saturdays too.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tokyo's Shitamchi Tendon Akimitsu in Singapore

Signature Tendon

This shop from Asakusa has finally opened its doors at Plaza Singapura (68 Orchard Road #04-65, 6264-3390). I didn't realize until I got there that it was run by Japan Food Holdings, which has brought in a ton of other Japanese brands including Ajisen, Musashi, Kazokutei, Keika, Butao, Osaka Ohsho, and Yonehachi, often with mixed results. The free chawanmushi and tubs of bean sprouts and cabbage on each table (a la Keisuke) weren't very encouraging either.

So it was to no surprise then that I didn't like this bowl. I tried not to hold any preconceived notions based upon how run-down those other brands have become over here, but this bowl was just too soggy and oily, and honestly made me feel kind of gross afterwards. Actually, I've never been that big of a fan of tendon in the first place, but if I had to eat it, then my preference is for Kohaku, especially since I'm told that Tensho has gotten dramatically worse since I last ate there too.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The White Pepper Crab from JB Ah Meng

White Pepper Crab

We went to JB Ah Meng's new air-conditioned location today (534 Geylang Road, 6741-2418) and decided to give their white pepper crab a try given how they seemed to be famous for it. And yeah, it was smoky and fragrant, and the meat in those smaller crabs that they gave us was more tender and sweet than the usual big ones. The bee hoon was almost a requisite item to go with it (not as crispy as Yong Kee's but tastier), and we also got some fried eggplant thing that was fine but not as great as online reviews made it out to be. Perhaps more interesting was the fact that they had pictures of Ferran Adrià's visit to this place plastered all over the wall and menu.