Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thunder Tree at People's Park Centre Food Court

Lei Cha Rice

In all the years I've been in Singapore, I don't think I've ever stepped foot into this building. But was nearby today, so I figured I'd go inside and see if there were anything interesting. This lei cha fan stall (101 Upper Cross Street #B1 Stall 8, 9839-6008) featured "mainly organic ingredients" and seemed healthy enough.

It turned out to be one of the better renditions of lei cha fan that I've had, especially since they seasoned those little morsels with a hint of fermented doufuru tofu, if I tasted it correctly. I left with a smile on my face, and would be happy to come here again.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Common Man Stan by Common Man Coffee Roasters

Veggie Wonderland

When this place (11 Stanley Street, 6877-4855) was suggested for a team lunch today, I thought it was a bit odd. A coffee place for a business lunch, really? Well, it turns out that there was booth seating in the back, complete with full table service. And the food was pretty good too, featuring a lot of fresh, local ingredients that were seasoned just right, making me very happy with that Veggie Wonderland plate above. But it was also a whopping S$26 (US$20), which means that I won't be going back for it either. I'd rather just make it myself at home.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

VietBox by Wrap & Roll at Suntec City Mall

Turmeric Fish Rolls

The Wrap & Roll folks have opened up a new place at Suntec City Tower 3 (3 Temasek Boulevard #03-348). But it's in a café format...and according to them, an "Aussie-Viet concept of modern relax [sic] and fun Asian dining." Either way, it was a self-service counter with comfy lounge seats.

The menu was largely the same with a focus on the basics like bún, bánh mì, phở, and cơm. But there was one interesting variety of (pre-wrapped) cuốn that I saw: the "turmeric fish." Wait, that's basically Chả Cá Lã Vọng!!

Except of course, that it wasn't. It was their version of it, and thus without that awesome bubbling hot oil, anyway. To make it worse, one of the pieces of fish that they gave me wasn't very fresh. But I'd rather come here than that Saigon Rolls place.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Park Bench Deli on Telok Ayer Street, Singapore

Broccoli Falafel Sandwich

These guys (179 Telok Ayer Street, 6815-4600) have been around for a while, but I intentionally avoided them. Why? For the exact same reason why I avoid Mexican and American barbecue places here, as I'd rather just wait for my next run home. Still, I was in the neighborhood, seeking something affordable, and somehow a sandwich didn't seem like a bad idea.

Most of the menu was rather meat-heavy, so I went for one of the few meatless options available: that broccoli falafel sandwich above. And it was lovely. Those falafel came straight out of the fryer, were dressed with thick bold cuts of tomato and lettuce as well as a squirt of tzatziki, and shoved into a crusty bun. It was so good that I wolfed it down quickly, promising to come back again to try the meat options one day.

Epilogue: no wonder why I liked this place! It's run by the chefs behind Lolla and Cajun Kings.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Shish Mahal at Village Hotel Albert Court, Singapore

From front: Shandheko Bhatmas and Hariyo Saag

This wasn't intended to be a Bib Gourmand day. But I was nearby and wanted some cheap beer and al fresco seats, and these guys had both (180 Albert Street #01-20, 6837-3480). Actually, the Michelin review talked about things like butter chicken, which seemed all too common around here. So instead I zoned in on the Nepalese part of the menu, which included those shandheko bhatmas pan-fried soybeans above, as well as a spinach dish called hariyo saag. I liked both, particularly the former, in part since those crunchy soybeans are in fact what I usually load up my condiment bowl with at Shi Li Fang (dragon breath alert though). It kinda reminded me of Chinese "tiger vegetable" in the sense that my condiments became my main course. Thumbs up!

Exploring Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre

Lao Sim Shredded Chicken Noodle

I don't know how I'd never come to this place before (127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh), but there are quite a few famous stalls up here. Lao Sim Shredded Chicken Noodle (#02-01) caught my eye for their fish dumplings, which turned out to be nice and earthy thanks to some shallots lurking in both the stuffing and broth, if I tasted it correctly. The portions weren't big, but the noodles were cooked nice and firm, garnering a thumbs up from me.

Chey Sua Carrot Cake

Next up was Chey Sua Carrot Cake (#02-30). There didn't seem to be any line at first, but only after placing my order (and then explicitly asking how long it would take) did they tell me that the food would take 45 minutes to arrive! Fortunately, it only took about 30 minutes in the end. Unfortunately though, it wasn't worth the wait, especially since the chili sauce was rather sweet. And that's candy-like sweet, which was a huge turnoff for me. The pieces that didn't have any chili on them fared better, but even then it was so mushy and pancake-like that I prefer places like Lau Goh instead. So that was a Michelin Bib Gourmand??

Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Finally, I rounded out my breakfast with a third course from Come Daily Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (#02-27). If the name sounds weird, it's because it's a literal translation from Chinese, and there was a 25 minute wait too (looks like it's Michelin-listed, but not starred nor Bib Gourmand). Anyway, there was a lot of stuff going on in the savory gravy connecting it all together, and it came with the added bonus of some crunchy pork crackling inside. I don't really remember Hong Heng well enough to make a valid comparison, but I ate this pretty quickly.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Yomoda's Hot Yuba Tamago Toji Soba

Hot Yuba Tamago Toji Soba

I shouldn't have gotten that. Sure, I like yuba, but ultimately that clump on top overpowered everything else in the bowl, making the noodles boring and even difficult to eat. Next time I'm sticking to Yomoda's plain seiro, which is better and cheaper than both Shimbashi and Nadai Fujisoba Nihachi, all with the added benefit of being next door to Rang Mang Shokudo.

O Banh Mi at Tiong Bahru Plaza, Singapore

Vietnamese Ham Sandwich

I'd been curious about this place (302 Tiong Bahru Road #02-113, 6352-8929) for a while now but never bothered going, figuring that it would probably be mediocre. So I was surprised to find today that it was better than I thought it would be, including both the phở and bánh mì. That said, it wasn't as crisp and refreshing as it could've been, and the soda chanh was sadly flat. But the service was impressively fast, so I might be back here if I'm in a pinch.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Montezuma's Dark Chocolate Absolute Black 100% Cocoa

Montezuma's Dark Chocolate Absolute Black 100% Cocoa

My taste for dark chocolate has grown over the past year, particularly since most other chocolate is usually just an excuse to eat sugar rather than chocolate itself. Lately I've been focusing on Lindt's 90% and even 99% when I could find it, but then this 100% bar was brought to my attention. It wasn't as bitter as one might think. But it was also a bit acidic, perhaps because there was nothing else to help mask it. Sure, I'll get that again (and would be curious to try other brands to see if the tastes differ), but I'll probably also be perfectly happy with 90% or 99% too.

Revisiting Pastaria Abate on Craig Road, Singapore

Porcini Ravioli in Burnt Butter

Somehow I nearly forgot about this place. But I was reminded of it the other day and thus came down here to get this porcini ravioli in burnt butter. It was cooked wonderfully firm, and I nearly wanted to drink the butter sauce if it weren't for the pinch of minced garlic in there.

Tagliarini Marinara

Actually, I've been here three times this week. The second time, I asked if they offered a larger portion given how the usual one is very small. And they did indeed: for just S$2 (US$1.50) more, they gave me that huge pile of carbs above. Total price of that upsized homemade tagliarini marinara? Only S$10.80 (US$8)! This place is such a bargain that I decided to come back for dinner.

Steak Florentine

And dinner I did indeed, but that's when the buzzkill set in. I overheard someone ordering a steak Florentine, so I got one too. But bistecca alla fiorentina it was not! (more like Jack's Place, actually) Granted, it was only S$15.80 (US$12), but next time I'll stick to the pasta.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Saboten's Shaved Padano Cheese Truffle Katsu

Saboten's Shaved Padano Cheese Truffle Katsu

Saboten is only offering this special cheese and truffle katsu for a few more days, so I came by today to give it a try. It was pretty small: just a little hockey puck-sized piece that can be eaten in just a few bites. Thus, it's meant to supplement your main protein rather than act as it. But I'm a cheap bastard. So my hack was to order this and add a basic set of rice, cabbage, and soup to fill me up.

The good thing was that they didn't overdo the truffle, thus avoiding being an all too overused cliché these days. But I also wished that they were a bit more generous with the cheese. Well, it honestly didn't make that much of a difference in the end. So if I come back, it's not because of the truffle and cheese, but because I figured out a way to get a meal for at least a third less than the usual sets that they offer.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Seng Huat Western at Zion Riverside Food Centre

Beef Burger Rice

For some reason, I was craving ground beef tonight, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money either. McDonald's thus seemed like an obvious choice, but the patties in their basic hamburgers are very dry. So I figured that maybe I'd try this guy's "beef burger rice" (70 Zion Road #01-12), and I was surprised by how much I liked it. The patty was juicy and tender, not to mention tasty given the minced onions in there. Plus, he grilled it nicely with a bit of char on the edges. That gravy was fortunately very light too, making it all go down well with the rice and egg. I liked it so much that next time I'm going to ask him if he can give me *two* patties!

Afterthought: hey, I just realized...isn't this effectively a Hawaiian loco moco?!?