25 October, 2007

What's the Fuss About this Chicken?

That’s right. Friends and colleagues working near my area have been telling me about this particular supposedly famous chicken rice stall – Wee Nam Kee – lined up along Thomson Road @ Novena Ville.

Read a few food reviews and indeed some were raving about it. Make a trip there and there was a crowd during lunchtime – surely this is a good sign! Alas, everything else went downhill from there onwards. The rice was fragrant enough, but a tad under-cooked, making it difficult to shallow.

The Roasted Chicken was pretty dry and tough as well and nowhere near the standard of Tian Tian Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Food Centre, which is known for it’s smooth and tender meat (although I have to highlight that they only serves Hainanese-styled Steamed Chicken).

We also order the side dishes like the Stir-fried Dou Miao with Garlic and Deep-fried Toufu and I was not impressed at all.

The Dou Miao were seriously under-cooked, and chewing the stem of the veggies proved to be a struggle. The Toufu was just as bad, as it came thickly coated with flour more like toufu fritters to me, unlike those find in Boon Tong Kee – that comes in small cubes that is easy to eat.

Along with drinks, the meal added up to $25.40, miscellaneous included – definitely not good value for money for 2 people.


Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 2.5/5
Total: 11/20
275 Thomson Road
#01-05, Novena Ville
Singapore 307645

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22 October, 2007

PS: I Love You

Being tucked in the secluded top of Dempsey Road, I finally found my way to PS Café for a dinner. A café it might be, it is housed in a standalone pretty colonial bungalow away from the main thoroughfare.

PS, which stands for Project Shop - a local mid-market casual clothing chain, attracts a surprisingly upmarket crowd. It is perhaps the glass façade and high ceiling that adds a touch of grandeur to the already nice ambience you get whilst sitting inside the restaurant. The staffs were also friendly and approachable.

However, the food did not seek to impress me that very night. The starter of salad was merely greens and some roasted eggplants that were zealously drizzled in olive oil – straightforward, nothing fanciful, nothing captivating.

The Thick Fries were surprisingly the best dish for the night. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it went well with the 2 dips that came with it – a BBQ flavour and the other, I perceived to be Sour Cream based.

The Tubular Pasta though was the letdown of the night. It seriously lacked flavour and was under-cooked – a couple more minutes would have achieved the Al-dente texture.

However I would admit that I am beginning to like the idea of having snow peas in my pasta dish. The dessert was also tortuously too rich for me. Profiteroles, or Small Cream Puffs filled with Ice Cream; served with Thick, Dark, Chocolate Syrup, is just not my kind of dessert after a heavy dinner.

Overall, a nice place to go for a first date, but skipped the pasta if you have to and go for the seafood and their famous brownie for dessert instead.


Food: 2/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Price: 2/5
Total: 12.5/20
28B Harding Road
Singapore 249549

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15 October, 2007

Read Between The Line

After hearing much fanfare about Shangri-La’s The Line buffet – formerly the old Coffee Garden – a hip eatery designed by US-based Adam Tihany, my family and I finally set foot at this chic white restaurant set against orange lighting (which explains why my photos turned up pretty badly, since it was very orangey dim at the Bar Area where we were seated) for Daddy’s birthday dinner.

Well-known as the mother of all buffets, The Line is famous for the variety of food it dishes out. However, it is often the display of yummy, succulent cold seafood counter that captures the heart of the patrons.

From Lobsters to Oysters, Prawns to Mussels, Crabs to Sushi, Yabbies (fresh water crustacian found in Australia) to Sashimi (remember to request for Salmon Belly), almost each and every serving was fresh and of high quality.

So much so that I have an extended appetiser, that went on...

and on...

and on...

and on...

and on...

And if you are counting, I gobbled down 20 frisky oysters that night, and boy, were they excellent! Besides that, they also had the grilled and carving stations where you could see the chefs grilling behind a big glass enclosure.

This is the place where the Grilled Fish and Prawns were served, as well as the very tender cuts of the Roast Beef were sliced up.

Other stations include the Asian counters such as the Indian and Chinese cuisine, where you could find yummilicious Satays that were tender and slides off the satay sticks effortlessly with a gentle pull.

While many considered the dessert station the highlight of the restaurant with its 1 metre tall Chocolate Fountain for its fondue and many other cakes and pastries I was personally not overwhelmed with it.

The filling for the Crêpe was way too sweet/sour for consumption and the 3 desserts that I picked up were not fantastic either.

Overall, paying $65+++ per pax to stuff yourself silly (simply because you have the tendency to try all the varieties available) is not worth it.

But if I were to come back again, I would be sure to find a table next to the cold seafood counter, and do the extended appetiser all over again.


Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 2.5/5
Total: 13.5/20
22 Orange Grove Road,
Shangri-La Hotel,
Lower Lobby, Tower Wing
Singapore 258350

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08 October, 2007

Buffet for Sashimi Lovers?

I have heard about this place from my colleague and such a coincident that one of my friends was nice enough to suggest Ikoi as the venue for my birthday treat (yes I know, I have been procrastinating about it). Apparently, this place is so well known that bookings have to be made 1-2 weeks in advance – talk about Kiasu Singaporeans! Located at the ground floor of Hotel Miramar, the outside of the entrance looks impressive, but a step into the restaurant revealed a cramped seating arrangement – definitely not a decent place to have your meals if you are the sort who wish to have conversation over dinner.

It did not help also that we were assigned to counter seats, as there were inadequate space for all the dishes we had ordered. Service was pretty inefficient that night as the place was packed with tons of hungry and noisy souls, and waiting time for certain dishes were slow as I suspect orders were consolidated before the food were prepared.

It was said Ikoi is the place for people who craves for Sashimi, as the serving they dished out was indeed generous.

However, I was not blown away by it. In fact I was left so unimpressed with the quality that I did not even ordered a second helping. Other dishes that left me indifferent were the Tempura and Shisamo.

Even though it was served hot, the batter for the Tempura was rough – not the best you would expect from a Japanese restaurant.

The Shisamo was dried up when it was served, and this I am pretty sure that they were prepared earlier and re-grilled when orders come in - the inside was also cold and the outside full of smoky flavour. The Yakitori was also slightly chewy for consumption.

To be fair, they have a decent number of dishes to order from but none really make an impression except for the Stewed Salmon Head that I ordered by accident.

Saba Shioyaki

Chicken Karaage

Agedashi Tofu

Foodies would know that the flesh from the Salmon Head close to its belly is of course the most tender and delicious.

Occasionally, they would also dished out complimentary dishes like the Kaminabe and Salmon Sashimi – items that we did not request for.

Salmon Sashimi

Seafood Soup

However, only one out of many items that was of standard is just not good enough.


Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 2.5/5
Price: 4/5
Total: 12.5/20

Hotel Miramar
401 Havelock Road
Singapore 169631

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06 October, 2007

Rant about Buffet

I was once a huge fan of Buffet - Seoul Garden used to be the favourite haunt for gatherings during my tertiary days, and gobbling for 4 hours was a walk in the park. As I started working and getting slowly involved in events and conference organising, buffet spread became a regular sight in my line of work. Slowly but surely, I begin to loathe the act of settling quantity for quality. You see, you will never come across a buffet spread that will gratify you in everyway. A premium one would probably lit up your eyes when you feast them on rows of dishes, but there will always be an occasional one or two that would throw you off guard! And the tendencies to stuff yourself silly to justify the premium price you pay is plain dense – as we all know you can never out-eat the All-You-Can-Eat restaurants. Eating is meant to be a joy, not a torture. It also does not help that my metabolism rate is working at its all time low – over-eating is no longer a bliss to behold. Mediocrity in food is not my cup of tea, if I cannot afford it, I can jolly well live without it – but paying less money for an average spread is just not me. And besides in Singapore, there is always the $2 bowl of Laksa waiting for me anytime in the hawker centre. So while I continue ranting, stay tuned for my following two posts on buffet establishments in Singapore.

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02 October, 2007

Search for the Best Ramen IV


Small Talk: Hey people!! I've added a poll to find out in your opinion, which Japanese restaurant dishes out the meanest bowl of ramen in Singapore. Do take part and let me know! -->

With one last hurdle to cross, I clenched my teeth… and finally made it to Netsuretsu Ichiban-Tei for dinner with a friend.

And surely I was there for their Tonkutsu Ramen that Desiree has been bugging me to try.

Located at the corner of Robertson Quay close to the hip-hop club, The Buttery Factory, This Japanese family restaurant serves a mean bowl of ramen.

The soup broth was rich and creamy, and the Soy Egg is one of the better ones I had in town – semi-boiled egg with runny yolk that also captures the essence of the soy marinate. The noodles are pretty similar to those from Miharu, slightly fatter and springy – call me prejudiced but I still prefer the thin noodles served in Marutama, which comes with a better bite, or the Italians will call it Al-Dente.

The Char Siu served was a generously thick slice, second only to Marutama. Despite being so, their soup-based is the best I have tried so far, trouncing even Marutama’s legendary Aka Ramen by a wide margin (I have since went back to Marutama to confirm it).

The Gyoza though came very charred, probably to capture the burnt flavour within when the stock is added over it, but presentation wise I think it will prove a turn-off to many ill-informed patrons.

Their Gyoza is differently a notch better to Miharu.


Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Total: 16/20
60 Robertson Quay
#01-13, The Quayside
Singapore 238252 [CLOSED]

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