Wednesday, October 26, 2011

F.I.S.H. @ 313 Somerset

Had to go all the the way to Heeren to purchase a pair of sandals. I know I'm getting old when the idea of hitting town on Friday night scared the hell outta' me. I mean, gosh, all that crowd? Plus I haven't really ventured around Orchard Road since 2 years back!

And I only know of those new buildings that sprouted here from the media and the drawings I had to do at work (yes, we did some projects there). I'm sooo gonna be lost.

So I got my younger cousin to accompany me. And we got another cousin to accompany us and it unofficially became some girls-night-out. And what happens when girls meet up? Gossip, shopping (it was SALE! season) and why, eat of course!

I was in total awe as soon as I stepped out of Somerset MRT station and ended up in this wholly new zone for me (turns out to be 313 Somerset). When we walked back from Heeren (which also changed), I discovered a neighbouring building which I've never seen before (that will be Orchard Central). And, oh, look! H&M (no, we gave it a miss)!

I must have lived in another era. Never knew Orchard Road looks like this now! Goodness. To think I used to come by here almost every weekend. For fun.

Anyway, to the food. My cousin had a meal here the week before and she can't stop raving about it. So she insist we dine there. Did some read-up prior to coming here and I saw some compliments about their salad bar. Free-flow salad, you say? Gimme!

Turns out, there's some promo of-sorts and the access to free-flow salad from the bar came free with orders of any mains. Cool! We chose to order a plate of starters to occupy us while we wait for our mains.

Char-grill Peri-peri Squid

I would much prefer the grilled squid rings to appear like THIS, actually. But then again, I'm happy enough that my squid rings were tender and required minimal chewing. I lunged straight for those with charred bits.

If only the squid is marinated or at least coated with the Peri-peri sauce prior to grilling; instead of having the sauce to be simply served on the side like that.


Mint, sugar, lime juice and soda. Sans rum of course. This is a halal-certified place so it's all mocktails.

This is such a refreshing drink, especially when one is having seafood for dinner.

Passion(fruit) tonic

Soda with passionfruit syrup. Another refreshing one. Sweet and tangy.

Double Yellow Line - Multi-Citrus soda
(pic courtesy of my cousin TimZahrah)

Another cousin's order. Citrus max. Good for her who loves her drinks sour.

Salad buffet - Plate 01

And now to my favourite food. SALAD. Free-flow. Wow.

Doesn't help that F.I.S.H has a decent array of salad at their salad bar. After placing our food orders, the server came by and hand us a small plate each. We gun for the salad bar.

I started with the nacho chips, topped with some sour cream and salsa. And later sprinkled with powdered parmesan cheese. Syiok!

To think that I almost ordered a plate of nacho chips for our starters. Thank goodness we settled for something else!

Salad buffet - Plate 01 (the other side)
(pic courtesy of my cousin TimZahrah)

Later on, I got intrigued by the Nicoise Salad which consist of baby spinach, thinly sliced onions and tuna. Been a long while since I last tasted baby spinach (this type of greens are considered pretty 'atas').

But all that tuna and onions… Dragon-breath alert!

The pasta on the right is something fusion: Spaghetti with 'Hae Bee Hiam' (spicy dried shrimps). It was mighty spicy! You can see bits of chilli seeds stuck on the strands of spaghetti . But it got pretty additive. You cant stop digging into this one!

To think that my cousin almost ordered this as her main dish (yes, it's on the menu)!

Salad buffet 02

One of my cousin and myself, we unofficially ordained ourselves as a goat & rabbit, given how much we LOVE our greens. So we jumped out of our seat as soon as we were given our small plate. Another cousin, she doesn't care much for her veggies so she's pretty contented with watching over our stuff at the table.

The both of us piled on our plates with the intention to share them greens between us. This plate here is courtesy of my cousin. She sure didn't hold back!

In the foreground is the Greek salad. There's red & green capsicums, cucumbers, olives and some cubes of feta cheese.

Salad buffet 02
(pic courtesy of my cousin TimZahrah)

I can't recall what the other 2 salads were but this one on the foreground looks like Shitake mushroom salad.

Another one looks like it had cucumbers and mango?? Sorry I really can't recall.

Oh, there's another one with some fusili pasta in it. I also can't recall what that was. My apologies.

Char-grilled Codfish Fillet w/ Cream Sauce
(pic courtesy of my cousin TimZahrah)

My cousin's order. There were some cubes of baked/grilled potatoes and tomatoes underneath those slabs of fish meat.

Char-grilled Codfish Fillet w/ Cream Sauce

I really wish that the fish meat gets more time on the grill. Not to the extent of the meat getting too dry but at least give it some charred edges and a bit of smoky taste. This one here doesn't live up to its 'char-grilled' name…

She also remarked that the sauce tasted a bit, 'meh'. You know, boring. Almost bland.

Baked Atlantic Cod w/ Teriyaki Sauce

This was a pleasant surprise, on my cousin's part. She had wanted to order one of those dishes with the king prawns but she was advised against it by the server (who was really friendly, btw). She was told that the prawns weren't THAT big, to start with. They really weren't worth the slightly hefty price tag.

My cousin got all flustered, since she hadn't made a choice for a backup order. She reluctantly ordered this, after much hemming and hawing.

When this arrived, she had a taste of the teriyaki sauce and her face immediately lit up. I had a taste too and I can see why. The sauce was pretty delish! And it sure didn't taste like your regular teriyaki sauce. Maybe it's their own rendition but to me, it taste a lot like the sauce for chili crabs, sans chili. Pretty much an oxymoron, I know but I hope you get what I mean.

Prawn Fettuccine in Basil Cream Sauce

I had been hankering for pasta for the whole week that time. So I was very much determined to order one that night.

I can't recall why I ordered this, though. I think this was the only one with cream sauce. I wasn't too keen on the Fettuccine though. Much too filling, imho.

There were so many pieces of plump, juicy prawns in this plate that there were more than enough to go around. Loads of garlic flavour. Nice!

Key Lime Pie

We were pretty full after our mains (and a 2nd round to the salad bar). But we insist on dessert. We also got too lazy to head elsewhere for it so we simply ordered off the dessert menu.

After all that cream, I'm definitely against most cream cakes. Even those chocolate ones. I recommend that we try the key lime pie to neutralise all the fishy aftertaste on our tongues.

When we ordered this, the server (yes, that same one) made a face and remarked, "Are you sure? It's VERY sour!"

We laughed it off, saying, "That's the whole point!"

When we dug in, all of us were like, "Wow!" The top layer was light cream. At the bottom was custard, both with pleasant lemon-lime accent. And that crunchy crust…

What a nice way to end our meal. Thanks for the company, gals. All because I need to purchase that sandals at Heeren...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Birthday Dinner - Chai Chee Seafood Restaurant

Got the day off on my birthday and hubby matched his leave with mine. My bro & parents fetched me that evening and told me that we'll be heading to Chai Chee for dinner.

Hmm.. I had planned to check out that other teahouse at Simpang Bedok but I guess I gotta' save that for another time. I kinda' miss the food at Chai Chee, too.

Thai Mango beancurd

My family never fail to order this. I wish I had snapped a photo of this the last time I had it years back, for this version here looks very different...

I remember that previously, the tofu was coated in batter ala british fish & chips and served with slices of ripe, yellow mango with mayo dipping sauce. More like an appetiser dish.

These fried tofu looked less appealing but it still tasted awesome! Despite all that watery-looking sauce at the bottom, these fried stuff remain delightfully crispy. I believe these are simply coated/dusted with corn flour, prior to frying.

And that pool of watery, brown sauce may look unappealing but it was yummy too! Sweet & sour; the flavour came off as refreshing. Much like Thai chili sauce w/o the chili (oxymoron, I know). And the slices of green mango salad at the side was very... Thai. Oh well, it's THAI mango beancurd after all.

Kangkong belacan

Same ol' stuff. Can't go wrong with this, I guess.

Shanghai Chicken

Ahh.... A perennial favourite with my family. The Javanese that we are, we like our food with a touch of sweetness.

Crispy deep-fried chicken fried in sweet, dark soy sauce. Ah, shall I mention the onions, chili padi & curry leaves, that give this dish its kick? That sauce... I LOVE it!

Butter Squid

When we wanna order squid, it was a toss between this and simply squid fritters. We asked the server for recommendations and the way he described this made us order this immediately.

I wish I can recall what he actually said but it sounded really appealing!

When the dish arrived, I wondered if the server mistakenly placed the order for the squid fritters instead. It looked pretty plain, didn't it? The taste didn't tell much either. Guess the butter prawns I had at Bali Thai that one time really raised the bar for me. All those buttery strands...

But the dish taste good, nontheless. I had it with some of the sweet & sour sauce from the fish and also from the Thai Beancurd.

Cereal Prawns

These were good but I dare say that I've had better.

Sweet & Sour Seabass

Their sauce was done nicely but we were too busy with the other dishes that by the time we got to eating this, the fish was no longer crispy.

Our bad. :(((

Shark's Fin Soup

Guilt aside (I'm really hoping they used mock shark's fin, there). :'(

Pretty plain on its own so it's best to follow the traditional way of eating this. With some black vinegar and a dash of white pepper totally lift the taste.

I wonder if this place has changed their cook or something. Ok, so we dined here on mid-week. The food seemed a lil' lackluster. Then again, maybe it's just me. Sigh.

My previous dining experience at Chai Chee Seafood Restaurant HERE.

Oreo Cheese Cupcake
(taken from my fren's FB)

Met a dear old friend of mine, the week before (will post about that later) and she pleasantly surprised me with news about her conducting the Haj pilgrimage this year.

She then lamented that she need to clear some baking ingredients before she departs so I jumped at the chance to order some of these yummy-looking things I saw on her FB page. Since my birthday comes on the week after that, I plan to give some to my family and distribute amongst my hubby's nephews & nieces. I know that all of them love their cookies & cream.

I kept this in the fridge prior to offering them to the family after dinner and they love it!. Myself, I 'secretly' kept 1 in the freezer and have it in the afternoon, since I'll be too stuffed to have it after dinner later. And boy, it was fabulous! Tasted just like ice-cream - that's loaded with cream cheese. And my dear friend here sure is generous with the cream cheese and Oreo cookies.

Just the way I like my cuppies. Will definitely order from her again!

Monday, October 10, 2011

BBQ Chicken @ Downtown East

I seriously have a lot more blog posts to come.… Madness!

Ok, when did I have this meal again?? Seriously it's THAT long ago. But I can still remember the meal itself pretty easily cos' this jolly well could be one of the longest wait for my main course to arrive - EVER!

How long was it? Well, let's see… Long enough for my son to run in and out of the restaurant almost 10x? The only saving grace was that it was weeknight so the restaurant wasn't THAT filled out, therefore I spare myself some embarrassment; having to run/scream after an active toddler.

Then again, if the restaurant wasn't crowded, why did the food take THAT long to arrive?

Beats me. One thing for sure, my hubby already gave his thumbs down, "This will be the first and last. No more." (referring to dining there). Which is such a waste. Cos' I like the food they offer and this is the closest branch to home. Pfft.

Then again, maybe I'm impartial towards this place because they are from Korea, serves Korean stuff and pay K-pop MVs the whole time. :)))

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Now on to the food.


Glad I ordered this. Cos' this didn't require any cooking. Maybe that's why it arrived early.

What do you expect from this? At least the chips ain't stale. My only gripe was that all the squiggles of mayo & cheese were on top, leaving the insides dry.

Anyway we ordered the promo set where the main course comes with a bowl of soup (of-the-day), soft drinks and dessert.

Thankfully the soup (out-of-can variety) arrived around the same time as the above chips so at least we managed to fill ourselves up a wee bit.

Korean Traditional Charboiled Chicken

When this FINALLY arrived, my face was all flushed from all that running and also embarrassment. I was really exhausted and hungry.

I-dunno-how-many-times my son kept running into the cake shop opposite and stopped right in front of the counter because of this sweet teenage girl manning it. She had no choice but to ignore him because her boss was in there. So it was totally one-sided on my son's part. Poor boy… :P

The chicken meat was tender and nicely marinated. After Popeye's mashed potato, all others just seem so meh. I was pretty apprehensive as to what might be served for the veggie on the side. We are usually at the mercy of the oft-changing 'veggie-of-the-day' when it comes to this kind of mains. Thankfully the blanched french beans and carrots were to my liking, albeit a tad bland.

Black pepper beef steak

My hubby's order. He only managed a grunt when I asked him how the steak was. I guess when you're miffed with such poor service (yes, there were other issues), nothing seems good anymore. Oh well…

My son finally sat still after my hubby strapped him down in thr stroller (he hates baby seats) and fed him those fries. What's up with toddlers and fries anyway? Any toddler out there who don't like fries?

Too bad the portion's a tad too small for sharing so hubby didn't get much of them fries.

By the time we're finally done with our mains, it's wayy past my son's bedtime and my hubby was eager to get home (crank alert!). But I reminded him of the dessert that comes with the promo set so we asked that to be served together with the bill. I asked about the dessert and it was a scoop of ice-cream per set. I forgot to place my choice of flavour and the server didn't even ask. Pfft.

Naturally, while waiting, my boy took the chance to take off and greet his 'ice-princess' (she still refused to acknowledge him, poor fella). When I came back to the table, I saw that my hubby had taken the chocolate flavour for himself, leaving me with the vanilla.

My son took interest in it so I shared it with him (what? I know it's already his bedtime and all but if I don't do that, the ice-cream will go to waste!).

Here are my previous dining experiences at BBQ Chicken (inc. at other branches):
01, 02, 03

I will be coming back for the Hot Hot Drums or Jerk Chicken. That's how much I like those. But not with my hubby, I guess.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Thai Cuisine

Ok, this was the same Thai-Muslim foodstall that I've blogged about previously. Apparently, I've gotten their name wrong that time. It was actually much simpler - Thai Cuisine.

Here are pictures taken from 2 separate visits to this stall.

Phad Thai

I've always wanted to order this favorite of mine. Finally got down to it.

I can still clearly remember my first (and still favourite) Phad Thai that I had at the now-defunct Magic Wok at Marina Square.

The noodles were already nice enough to be eaten on their own. Carried a hint of the palm sugar sweetness and briny taste from the fish sauce. After mixing in the condiments, the flavour of it never fail to make this a permanent order whenever I'm there.

…That good.

Phad Thai (condiments)

This rendition of the Phad Thai, meanwhile, while decently done, doesn't live up to that flavour that I was used to. Just too bad that I raised the bar that high.

But this dried chilli sprinkles are really as fiery and potent as they appear. It's no secret that these are bird's-eye chillies; dried and then crushed.

I only mixed in half of this, with the crushed peanut and a squeeze of the lime wedge. Some also add a bit of sugar to ease out the heat. I didn't. I wish I did, though.

The heat didn't inflame my mouth - tongue, gums & lips until I cleaned out the plate. And I made the grave mistake of ordering homemade lemon tea.

My lips hurt so bad that I start to imagine myself easing it all with some ice-cream from the mobile vendor in-front of a nearby school. But he was no longer to be found so I backtracked and ordered from a bubble-tea shop, a chocolate & cookie smoothie topped with ice-cream, no less. Gimme cream, more cream!

Fried Kway Teow

My colleague made a 'safe' order of simple fried kway teow. Even this come off as a tad bland. Maybe the cook need to be a wee bit generous with the seasoning. The fish sauce especially.

Anyway my colleague prefer a bit of heat with her food so she got herself a scoop of the chili padi bits floating in soy sauce.

Tom Yum soup (plain)

Another colleague felt like having the Tom Yum but forgot to request for carbs like some noodles in the soup or a bowl of rice on the side.

It's pretty important to have some carbs to help offset the full effect of the potent heat from this fiery soup. Cos' aside from the whole chili padi floating aimlessly in the bowl, there are also those crushed ones with a handful of their dangerous seeds at the bottom of the bowl.

Colleague learnt it the (very) hard way. She eventually had to purge everything out because it was too much for her stomach to handle.

Like me, she also made the grave mistake of ordering homemade lemon tea, which only worsen the effect.

Some months back, I think they came up with these lunch sets. Initially there were only 3, I think. Stir-fried beef, omelette & basil chicken. Either 1 will be served with rice, tom yum soup & a serving of stir-fried mixed vegetables ala 'chap chye'. At $5.50 each.

On another day, I came by and saw that they have made some slight changes; no more beef, but there are now 3 varieties of chicken dishes - regular chicken, basil chicken & chicken with brinjal (all stir-fried). The omelette remain.

Now, about that omelette. It cost the same as the chicken dishes. I really wonder why. Is it just plain omelette or does it have fillings? It seem to wrap around the rice, like the 'Pattaya' style.

Lunch set

I forgot to have my breakfast so I was pretty famished, come lunchtime. Took the opportunity to sample their lunch set.

Basil Chicken w/ rice

Was kinda disappointed to see that the meat portion was kinda' dismal.

But the taste was spot on. Like it enough to order the dish on its own next time (must be very hungry to attempt that).

Tom Yum soup (small bowl)

Comes in the set. Despite coming in a small bowl, there are still ingredients like surimi, fishball, a prawn & a couple of squid rings.

Mixed vegetables

This was prepared beforehand. Not that I really mind. Wouldn't have been sensible to fry a small portion of this whenever someone order a set.

The mix of 'chye sim', cabbage & carrots weren't over-cooked so they still retain a bit of their colour and crunch. Flavour, too.

Tom Yum soup w/ kway teow

Another colleague already aimed to order their Tom Yum and made a point to add kway teow for some carbs.

They use the thin version, similar to the one used for the 'Phad Thai' above.

As you can see, there's at least an order for the ubiquitous Tom Yum soup whenever we came by here. Served in different ways but it comes down to it being that fiery & tangy soup.

And yes, lesson learnt. No sour drinks ordered this time round. :P

Thai Cuisine
Blk 301 Ubi Ave 1
Yummy Food Point

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ayam Penyet Ria re-visited

My goodness, this and the next few entries are just soo long overdue!
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As always, it all stem from the oft-repeated (and dreaded) question: "What's for lunch?"

Someone mentioned 'Ayam penyet' and it's a toss between the mediocre offering at a nearby coffee shop and Waroeng Penyet at Marine Parade.

I realize that Ayam Penyet Ria at Bedok Point not only serves better food, it's pretty near too.

Our drinks

Es Chendol, Happy Soda (Bandung w/ soda), Ice-Lemon tea & Lava Boy.

The weather that day was pretty warm you see. Hence all the iced drinks.

Lava Boy

Similar to the 'Lava Girl' I had when I was here previously. Just different gender syrup flavor. This blue one is obviously blueberry with the 'tadpole' jellies & canned longans.

At the end of the meal, I end up regretting this drink order. As we know, tangy/sour drinks tend to crank up the effect of the heat from spicy foods; on our tongue.

As I went a lil' overboard with the 'sambal', I seek some solace from my Lava Boy, only to have my tongue burn even more intensely :'P

No wonder they were having a promo on Dutch Lady milk that time! At first, I don't see how milk and Ayam Penyet go hand-in-hand. Only as I left the restaurant do I realize, that is the very thing I need to help subside the effect from those chillies.

(I need to barge in and apologize if I seem to be blogging in American-English because I'm using my phone and the auto-correct is on)

Sup Bakso w/ Bihun

Beefball soup with rice vermicelli. Ordered by two of my colleagues who seem to seek something light and/or soupy.

Boneless Chicken penyet

My order. I want the chicken but don't bother with the hassle of picking the meat off them bones.

I can't say just how much I enjoy the nicely spiced batter and those crumbs. Which also goes well with the slab of fried tofu & tempe.

I took an extra helping of the sambal from the condiment counter and also poured on the sweet soy sauce. I enjoyed it so much that I took yet another portion.

Of course the heat didn't really build up until the end of the meal, when my lips numbed up and my stomach started sizzling. Oh, that lasted till' the next day, I tell ya!

Ayam penyet

Another colleague's order. Our designated driver. The one who suggested 'ayam penyet' for lunch.

He walked out of the restaurant really pleased, as he exclaimed, "That must be one of the best Ayam Penyet ever!"

Do you agree with him?