Thursday, September 30, 2010
This one was a serious downer. Don't know which is worse. The service there (Downtown East), that morning or the food.
The porridge took 15mins to arrive. Maybe that batch ran out and when they finally served, they did it by the dozens. Same goes for the waffles, which were supposedly prepared ala minute.
The only fast one has got to be the breakfast platter, where the contents were at the food warmer, ready to be assembled upon order.
Those scones go well with the given maple syrup. If only they weren't so hard...
Not necessary to drag me here screaming & kicking but if I ever come back it'll only be for their American am Twister, simply because there's bacon (I love bacon). I had a feeling I might just crave for their waffles & egg one day.
Otherwise, just stick to McD or Burger King.
Kacang Pool Mustafa
Ah, my favourite food, from my favourite stall at Geylang Serai Food Centre. Imagine how much I suffered when I strictly avoided eating this throughout my pregnancy...
I love ordering from this stall (which sells only this, btw) because there are jars of these fragrant cumin powder which complement the spiced fava beans oh-so-well. It's up to us, how liberally we want to sprinkle on our dish (not too much I hope, the strong scent may just overwhelm the whole dish). You can see some of that powder on the top-right corner of my plate.
The runny sunny-side-up eggs are only cooked upon order and they'll mash some of the beans on the spot (you can see it done as you wait, it's self-service after all). As a result, the mashed fava beans has varying consistencies to tease the tastebuds.
This dish is a bad idea for lunch on a weekday, actually. Not good if you have meetings afterwards.
Beans cause flatulence. What more when paired with those raw onions. Flatulence + dragon's breath? You don't want to scare people away!
7-eleven Pocket Sandwiches
These fluffy things didn't taste all too bad. It'll be nice to get the freshly-made ones (do check the dates).
There are 3 varieties available: Chicken Ham & Cheese (always sold out!), Chicken & Mushroom and Tuna & Corn.
At only $1.60, these babies are more of a bargain than their the triangular sandwiches which easily cost more than $3 ea.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Hubby suggested having my birthday dinner somewhere nearby since we just knocked off work that evening. I suggested Manhattan Fish Market (MFM), since I'm keen to try out the White Sands branch. Besides, hubby did express interest in that place by asking me what their food is about.
Somehow on that evening itself, he grimaced when I mentioned MFM. He looked up to where Mad Jack Cafe is and said, "Why don't we just eat there?" Sigh. So much for looking though MFM’s menu earlier in the day...
We took the dinner set which comes with coke, soup-of-the-day, mains & dessert-of-the-day. There are 3 options for the mains: Lamb Chops, Rib-Eye Steak or Premium Fish & Chips. Both of us chose the steak.
I tell you, if he chose the fish & chips after rejecting MFM, he sure deserve a good socking in the face.
Since hubby went to the counter to make the order, it became somewhat a mystery to me as to what the 'soup-of-the-day' & 'dessert-of-the-day' could be.
Soup was cream of mushroom, which is thankfully, hubby's favourite (he's the picky eater, not me).
Grilled Rib-Eye in Black Pepper Sauce
Luckily hubby opted medium for us both.
And the steak was done nicely. Cooked outside and a nice pink inside. Too bad the meat wasn’t premium quality (with that price I shouldn’t ask for too much).
The black pepper sauce sure pack a peppery punch. I mixed in a bit of the sauce from the mashed potato when it gets too overwhelming.
Love the boiled veggies on the side. The sweetcorn lived up to its name. The mashed potato was alright. Guess I've tasted better.
Mad & Rich Dessert
I chose to have the set meal not only because it’s value-for-money but I want to have dessert without appearing 'too greedy' in front of the hubby.
I’ve been secretly hankering to have the luscious-looking Mad & Rich Dessert. Everytime I pass by this eatery on the way to the bank, that cake just seem to call out to me.
As I anxiously waited for the 'secret' dessert I tell myself that I can easily spare myself this anxiety by asking the server directly, what the dessert-of-the-day was. But all this wait seem to give me an adrenaline rush.
Imagine, what a pleasant surprise it was, to see just THAT being served at the end of our meal. I was grinning like the Cheshire cat!
I remember the tagline for this cake: "WARNING! For choc die-hards!"
And I have to agree. It was mad sinful, can? Hubby didn't even finish his. But I like! :)))
Save for the somewhat lacking service (manpower shortage), it was a pretty pleasant dining experience. Maybe because it's a weeknight.
Menu available HERE.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The plan to break fast with my old pals on the very last week of Ramadhan had been on for sometime. Somehow, being the last minute aficionados that we were; that very morning, we were still debating about where we should eat that evening.
In the end, we realised that we were on a pretty tight budget after all. We also want somewhere centrally located and we figured out that a buffet will be nice.
After hours of debating, it turn out that ALL of us were thinking of the SAME PLACE right from the start! Sheesh! -_-
This place was also the very same one where we break fast together, last year. I was around 7 months preggers then. I remembered that the food was warm and comforting. Just what one needs after a day of work & fasting.
Plain & Butter Naans
The naans here are free-flow. 3 flavours available - plain, butter & garlic. With each order, these will come piping hot from the kitchen and served to our table directly.
For each portion, every piece of naan will be quartered. We love these soft & fluffy naans (and sometimes with crispy edges) so much we don't really bother with the biryani rice.
Just these naans to soak up all the curries & sauces and wrap around all those veggies & meat. Yum.
(clockwise from top)
Gobi mutter masala - cauliflower & peas masala
Tandoori chicken that's totally covered with butter sauce
Cubes of paneer (Indian cheese) in butter masala gravy
(Bottom, with the curry leaves) Chicken in butter sauce (different from that of the paneer)
My favourite dish that night has got to be the paneer. Then again, I'm impartial to ANY paneer dishes. I LOVE paneer! The ultimate would have been palak paneer (cheese in spinach sauce).
That butter sauce that night was so creamy and smooth that I ladled some of the sauce over the tandoori chicken for added goodness (I'm weird like that). Even when the tandoori chicken had been good on its own.
And gobi. My favourite Indian vegetable dish has got to be anything with cauliflower. Especially aloo gobi masala (potato & cauliflower). In fact the soup-of-the-day had been this gobi soup, the flavour of which I accentuate with a good dose of chili powder. Really comforting.
Oh, the Butter Chicken was pretty good too. In fact, I'm loving any Indian dish with butter sauce as of now. Rich, creamy... Would have been good with rice, actually.
The fish was okayyyy only. The mutton was good, though. Really good. Meat was tender and not gamey. Plus the heavily spiced sauce goes really well with the naans. Shiok!
Also available on the sides were achar, papadums that would have gone well with the mixed raita & mint sauce.
For desserts, there were fruit custard (light custard with fruit cocktail), cuts of fresh fruits and the ever popular Gulab Jamun, a very sinful sweetmeat.
Extracted from wikipedia:
"... made of a dough consisting mainly of milk solids (often including double cream) and flour in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron..."
I chose to end my meal with a cup of masala tea (not part of buffet) to wash down all that richness as I chat with my pals, post-meal.
A meal here never fail to make me really contented...
Online menu available HERE and HERE.
PS: Do try to come before 8pm on weeknights cos after that, busloads of Indian tourists will come and dine there. The queue down the buffet line is pretty outrageous during that period.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Quattro roasted chicken set w/ fries (also available with butter rice)
It was hubby's birthday and he requested to come here after we fetched my bro from work, late that night. As it turned out, he had every intention to have the ayam penyet from that pretty famous 'Boombastic' stall (No. 29). Just too bad that it was closed that night.
Right across from that closed stall, I saw a couple of whole chickens being roasted on a rotisserie; at the front of this particular stall. Right beside it was the rotating kebab spit, where layers of chicken meat are stacked together and roasted before chunks of them sliced off for doner kebabs.
I then saw a lone Arabic-looking man working inside. Going by the name of the stall, guess it's safe to assume that he's Moroccan?
My dad chose to have his doner kebab roll (also available with thick pita breads). Service was a lil' slow that night because he seemed flanked by many orders (popular, I assume?) and it's just him manning the stall. And it's not self-service, mind you. He'll send the plate of food to your table, personally.
Taking a bite from my dad's roll, I tell you - the whole wait is so worth it cos' the chicken meat inside tasted fabulous! Tender chicken meat that's soooo nicely marinated, it totally hit the spot!
I quickly pointed out to my mum that this fella's specialty must have been his roasted chicken. I still can't get the sight of those 2 beautifully golden chickens rotating on the rotisserie, out of my mind. I've never been too fond of roasted chickens but that delicious chicken doner kebab got me all curious about how those whole chicken meat will taste.
And when I came back to the stall to make my order, imagine my surprise when I saw that there was only 1 bird left on that spit. I hastily made my order, seeing there there were a few others and I feared that I might have missed out on the very last piece.
True enough. He then took out the very last chicken and proceed to cut it up. Someone ordered a 1/2 chicken set, leaving another half. Take away the quarter portion that I ordered, that will leave another 1/4 portion for a very lucky person that night.
As the plate was being place on the table, I can't help whiffing a very nice aroma wafting from this bird. Lotsa' spices definitely. And that powdery thing on the chicken had to be cumin, for it smelt & tasted similar to the one available one the side; at my favourite kacang pool stall in Geylang Serai Market.
The skin carried the full-bodied flavour of various spices used to marinate this bird. And that thin skin was crisp from all that roasting. And the meat? Tender, juicy and really shiok!
The dipping sauce on the side wasn't really chilli sauce. It had this tangy flavour which complement the chicken really well. The fries on the side aren't really freshly fried. There's also some ok-tasting coleslaw on the plate. I wonder how the butter rice would have tasted like.
Besides the doner kebab and roasted chicken, there's also panini (sandwich) available -with chicken or tuna stuffing.
I'm so going back there for more of that chicken! Maybe a 1/2 bird to share.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
We have planned that the early birds shall choose the food to order. All these foods were chosen by my cousin & myself, based on our knowledge of the food here and what we assumed to be other peeps' favourites.
All dishes are medium-sized, save for the chicken dishes - which are small.
A favourite amongst most people, it's hard to miss out on ordering this.
Somehow, this plate of greens lacked the usual, flavourful depth.
Another favorite. What I notice here is that their hotplate tofu is listed simply under tofu ONLY. Maybe because there are other seafood dishes available so they don't really offer hotplate tofu with all the works.
Not bad, this one.
This one here is forgettable. Because I can't remember much about this dish. Blah.
I remember my family recommending this dish to me. They supposedly came here without me one time and ordered this and fell in love with it. I wasn't to impressed when this was served to me at first. It's just chicken cooked in sweet soy sauce.
In fact, when I (confidently) asked for this one, the waiter was quick to remark that this is simply chicken in sweet soy sauce (this variation must have not been popular with some).
However, this dish is da bomb for me too. The chicken is deep-fried till really crispy before being tossed into sweet soy sauce with chili padi, curry leaves and onions. Sprinkled with sesame seeds before being served.
My cousin got hooked on this (and insist on ordering this one) that night. My cousin's son couldn't help relishing this too. Even my husband liked this.
This one was pretty dismal. I remember we asked for a medium portion but I think we were served a small plate.
Though crispy, the chicken cutlet was on the thin side. The sauce, despite the eerie yellow tint, only carry a weak lemon-y flavour. Well, I wasn't expecting a lemon taste so strong that it'll remind me of detergent but the taste was seriously lacking here.
This was another disappointment. Sure the portion looks like there's a lot but the size of the prawns were inconsistent. Maybe they somehow ran out of the properly-sized prawns that Friday night?
Some of them were the oft-used medium-sized tiger prawns. But there were also the occasional small ones that seemed more suited for stir-frying with noodles or rice.
The cereal bits were alright but I'm sure I've tasted something better when dining here previously.
First time that I saw a crayfish inside my tom yam soup. Maybe because this is the medium portion?
Not exactly my favourite rendition of tom yam but it sure is chock full with ingredients. And honestly, those tiger prawns taste much better than the crayfish.
3-flavour fried seabass - $26
Translated from Malay: Ikan 3 Rasa. The sauce is of Thai origins. Sweet, sour, spicy. Was asked to choose between Seabass & Grouper. Chose the former, for it can get really crispy when fried.
The sauce was good. However, my personal preference would have been the sweet & sour. But this one help to add on some spice amongst the various foods ordered.
Just too bad that I was busy with the other dishes to fully focus on digging out the nicer bits from this fish. Hubby seem to love it, though. He ended up nibbling the bones.
Ended the dinner on a sweet note with a surprise birthday cake for my hubby, whose birthday fall on the next day.
Had to ask a favour from my cousin since I won't have the time (also to value-add the element of surprise). Gave the green light to purchase ANY chocolate cake. Personally though, I would have preferred cake from Prima Deli.
Not only was the cake bought from there, she had also chosen my favourite, the Belgium Chocolate Divine. Last I had that was during my karaoke cum hen-night cum birthday party, more than a year back. And it was yummeh!
The Belgian chocolate mousse and crunchy choco balls really did me in. Not surprisingly, the whole cake was gone by the time we left. Oh yeah. Licked clean!
Was pretty disappointed that the food was really not up to their usual standards (inconsistency alert!). However, I should have known better than to dine there at their most hectic period; where they're under pressure to have the orders of food cooked and served, all at the same time. To obviously very hungry customers, nonetheless.
Will come back on another time, during their lull period and order my favorites again... This place had been my favourite haunt for far too long for me to lose hope on them. :P