25 April, 2007

Made from Hong Kong Too?

Recently it has come to my knowledge that more and more HK-styled café are sprouting around the island. I have been to a few, and even blogged about it once, but so far, none has been impressive. But before it crossed your mind that I have finally discovered the elusive one, I regret to inform you that not only did I not find one, I have learn in disgust that there exist another one of those wannabes who disguise themselves as a HK-styled café, serving overpriced food with ghastly standards and equally bad service.

Situated along the now well known stretch of Cheong Chin Nam Road, fellow foodies please be forewarn not to be fooled by the brightly lit signboard, and my seemingly delicious looking photos. The HK-Styled Milk Tea was average, as compared to the price I pay for it – and to think this was its only saving grace.

I ordered a bowl of Oxtail Soup (Nú Weǐ Tāng) and was looking forward on chewing the bony, gelatinous meat that usually comes with it.

Noticed the word ‘usually’ – because their version does not come with it, and when I questioned the apparently rude waitress from China, she merely dismiss it with - that their version simply contains Nú Weì, or Beef Taste and no oxtail in it – the bones are thrown away after they have gotten the beef stock – my version of the story is that they merely used beef stock cubes, and I wasn't born yesterday. When the Pork Chop Baked Rice came, the serving was small and unimpressive.

Dig deep inside and you will find that the fried rice was plain and tasteless, and even when you go along with tomato-based sauce, it wasn’t in harmony. Even though they are offering 20% discount for all diners, I say you can have my last $12, but you will never see the back of me again!!!


Food: 1/5
Service: 2/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Price: 3/5
Total: 8.5/20
18 Cheong Chin Nam
Singapore 599742

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16 April, 2007

Made from Italy

Do you remember the days when Ah Hock would be ringing his bells selling ice cream and kids would rush down from their HDB blocks after dinner just to satisfy their sweet tooth? Well, I was one of those kids. Then, the flavours were only Vanilla, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Raspberry – with the choices of having it on two pieces of soft and fluffy bread, or in between biscuits. Now these Ah Hocks can only be found in the middle of Orchard Road and instead, swanky new ice cream parlours sprung out all over Singapore, including Island Creamery, which I have blogged earlier.

On top of the flavours of the old, you get fanciful names like Tartufo, and ice cream are refined and repackaged as Gelato from Italy. Call it whatever they wished, but the child in me can never resist the temptation of a smooth and soft Italian ice cream after work, at Venezia.

Beware though when you wished to takeaway, as the gelato is made fresh everyday with no preservatives, the quality will dipped after 3 days, and also, gelato is served from a different freezer than American style ice cream - a forced air freezer - which is usually held at about -15°C. This allows the gelato to be served immediately after being extruded from the gelato machine - the "forced air" maintains the product at a steady temperature. Therefore, you may serve ice cream from a gelato freezer but you may not serve gelato from a freezer at home, as the gelato would become too frozen, and texture too flaky for liking.

Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Price: 3/5

Total: 15.5/20
Guthrie House,
1 Fifth Ave, #01-01

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08 April, 2007

Made from Hong Kong


I had lunch at Victor's Kitchen on Saturday and tried a few more dishes that was not mentioned in my last post. A pity that I did not take any photos though.

The Deep Fried Spring Roll was simply awesome! Freshly fried and thus crispy and burning hot, every bite gives you a crunching sensation. Although I would prefer it to come with some sweet sauce rather than the vinegar dip that comes with the dish.

The Phoenix Porridge, or Century Egg and Chicken Porridge was also very yummy. Not starchy unlike most congee, the porridge was easy for the throat to slurp down. Indgredients were also generous with huge chunks of century egg and big pieces of chicken strips. However the only drawback is that you would have to finish it as soon as possible or it would start to turn watery.

Saving the best for the most deserved would be Milky Custard Bun. The dough is soft and fluffy and the egg custard was sweet and runny. What gave it the "Oomph" was the delightful salted egg yolk in the midst of it. A simply fab combination!

After reading and hearing so much raving reviews about this dim sum place, I am surprised to realise that it is located near my workplace. Situated at ground level of Sunshine Plaza (Not to be mistaken for Sun Plaza at Sembawang MRT), this outlet is tiny compared to all other grand Chinese restaurant we are familiar with.

It is at the corner of this mall that you will find Victor’s Kitchen. Having numerous experiences as a dim sum chef, Victor and his wife moved to Singapore from Hong Kong since last year.

Because of the limited tables available, make sure you come early if you do not wish to wait too long for a table during weekday’s lunch, or a weekend brunch. For the price I was paying, I was blown away by the sheer number of quality items they served.

For the Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce, I would prefer whole black beans be used to bring out more flavour instead of bits of it, but nevertheless, it was very tender and tasty still. The Tasty Queen Size Siew Mai was also incredible.

The skin is soft and the size is just right - any bigger and it would be too filling. The Char Siew Cheong Fun was simply delicious.

The rice roll is smooth, and texture so soft. To top it off, the Zha Leong (Doughstick wrap in rice roll) version was even better.

With one bite, you have yin of the smooth rice roll, and the yang of the crispy doughstick - the combination was simply unbelievable. Without a doubt, the one item that a diner never fails to order during dim sum would be that of Har Kau, or the prawn dumpling. At Victor’s Kitchen, the Victor’s King Prawn Dumpling is known as his specialty.

The huge prawns were juicy and the skin of the dumpling soft - yet does not fall off easily (unlike many I have experienced that falls off, the moment I picked them off from the steamer). The other laudable mention is the Chicken and Sausage in Glutinous Rice.

The rice is so fragrant and soft, and I simply find the ingredients irresistible – from the tender chicken chunks, to the Chinese sausages, to the juicy mushrooms and the tasty salted egg yolk. If you are a dim sum fan, you would know what I mean when I say that you would never get such a high quality dim sum for such a price.

Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 5/5

Total: 15.5/20
91 Bencoolen Street,
Sunshine Plaza, #01-21
Singapore 189652

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04 April, 2007

Where's the Dragon?

I'm all for truth in advertising and proper labelling, until I came across an article that states officers from Wales have ordered the Black Mountains Smokery in Powys, to change the name of its Welsh Dragon Sausages on the grounds that they are made with pork, not dragon meat. It seems reasonable to expect consumers to know that the dragon is a symbol of Wales. Beyond the lack of common sense, what I find weird is the supposition that the mention of an animal in a brand name implies that the product contains that animal.

I just hope that the authorities don't start regulating the Chinese names of foods, as one of my favourite foods, is 龍蝦 (Mandarin Translation Lóng Xiā), literally "Dragon Shrimp" or commonly known as Lobster.

Despite no trace of Dragon in it, the sweetness and the texture of a Lobster Sashimi, is simply heavenly. If you think Otoro is premium enough, Lobster Sashimi will dispel all truth in it.

What’s more, with the leftover Lobster head and tail portion, you can have an additional dish of Fried Lobster Noodles with Chicken Broth (although personally, I prefer to have Lobster Congee instead, which unfortunately they do not served). Simply deserve a full rating !!! Unfortunately, business was too crowded that night and service was slow and lacking in standard. However it was still a worthwhile trip!

Food: 5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 4/5

Total: 15.5/20
Chin Huat Live Seafood Pte Ltd
105 Clementi St 12
Singapore 120105

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