29 May, 2007

Open Up, France!

Tucked at a quiet corner of a mega shopping mall, Vivocity, you will find a small café – Fre(n)sh. Shouting at the top of their entrance reads “Authentic French Café & Restaurant”.

French cuisine considered to be one of the world's most refined and elegant styles of cooking, and is renowned for both its classical or grande cuisine and provincial styles. Many of the world's greatest chefs are, or were masters of French cuisine. Although this French café is not some fanciful fine dining restaurant, they do served traditional French cuisine known as Tartines, or Open Sandwiches. I tried the Smoked Salmon with Avocado Tartine, and it was good.

But however it would have been better if the avocado was not in the form of a spread, but slice pieces from the fruit instead. The Crème Brulee was nevertheless outstanding – touched freshly only when you ordered; the layer of sugar coating was thin and burned to perfection.

Just a simple knock with the back of the spoon enables you to enjoy the sugar coated dessert – unlike others I have tried that comes thickly coated. If you wish to have a simple meal in a quiet environment, this is the place to be.

And I end off my first official entry on this blog with something I find rather amusing off the internet. Enjoy!


Food: 4/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Total: 14.5/20
1, HarbourFront Walk
#01-163, Vivocity

Singapore 098585

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17 May, 2007

Far Far Away

Back on the topic of my parents being far far away from home, I decided it was a good opportunity to invite a couple of friends over to my place for dinner. The last time I tried my hands on Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee was two years ago on National Day Celebration back in Perth (and that was my virgin experience as a hawker as well).

Armed with prior experience, I managed to whip up a decent plate of noodles for my mates – a pity though I did not prepare enough prawn stock to fry it wet.

Main Ingredients

Prawn (At least 1kg, save prawn heads for stock)
Yellow Noodle
Bee Hoon (Soak in cold water)
Bean Sprout
Pork Belly (Pan-fried for better taste)

*Bonus Photo

Just finish a conference in Swissotel, and did a panorama shot of the Marina area on the 51st Storey.

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15 May, 2007

Search for the Best Ramen II

Just when I thought my search for Singapore’s best ramen is over, out popped a certain Marutama Ramen – the first Southeast Asian outlet of an established Saitama and Tokyo-based ramen shop – that threaten to take over our little city by storm.

Reviewed by numerous foodies around the island, this outlet located at the 3rd storey of Central, is first popularised by the Legendary Chubby Hubby in this post in March. Tickled by the curiosity generated within, I finally decided to make a trip down to this ramen place just to find out what is attracting the long queues. It took roughly 20 minutes on a Friday evening to get a table, and within minutes upon ordering, my doubts were quashed. Served in an aromatic chicken based soup, diners can opt to add items in addition to the plain noodles like Ajitsuke Tamago, or the Egg Seasoned in Soya Sauce, and Char Siu, or the Sliced Roast Pork, or the Kakuni, the Pork Belly.

The noodles are springy, and the soup, though a tad salty (usually the case with authentic Japanese Ramen), was tangy and flavoursome. The Ajitsuke Tamago though still could not quite match up to the one I had in Hokkaido. The pork belly was pretty tasty, but a pity that the flavour was too overpowering on the soup. However what won me over that night was the Char Siu – cooked simply to perfection – the meat was so tender that it simply melts the moment you tasted in your mouth.

I can boldly claim it as the best pieces of Char Siu I ever had in my life. Topped the ramen with fried garlic (do not be a Kiasu Singaporean and add too much, for it spoils the taste of the soup) and sesame seeds provided on the table and you are guaranteed a nice sumptuous meal for the evening. You can bet every penny that I will be back for its Aka Ramen, or the Marutama Original Seven Nuts Soup Base Ramen with Coriander. Itadakimas!


Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Price: 3/5
Total: 15.5/20
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-90/91 The Central
Singapore 059817

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07 May, 2007

Assume Full Control

My parents flew to Sydney for my sister’s ROM leaving me with a house full of chores. However the encouraging thing that derived out of it was that I have assumed full control of the kitchen – enabling me the chance to whip out a decent plate of seafood pasta for lunch over the weekend.

What about you? When was the last time you cooked?

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03 May, 2007

An Authentic Teochew Farewell

A typical Teochew farewell can never do without a farewell dinner at an authentic Teochew restaurant. Made famous by the Dad, who has since passed away, the son has since took over the reins of the restaurant and vowed to continue the tradition of churning out bona fide Teochew dishes to loyal customers like my family, who have frequent this place for years.

Located at Mosque Street, Lee Kui Restaurant, or better known as Ah Hoi, or Crab in Teochew is famous for its Cold Crab. These meaty crabs are first steamed and then kept in the freezer giving the meat a firm texture.

Full of roe, a typical way to eat these crabs is to dip it into the sweet plum sauce. Next up was a controversial delicacy known to be served in special occasions - Shark Fin Soup, which has to be pre-ordered one day in advance.

The fins in themselves are said to be tasteless, but prized for its texture rather than flavour, noticed that these first grade fins are priced simply because it came as a whole fin and not in strands you get from lousy banquet dinner.

This was followed by my nephew’s favourite dish of the night – Assorted Deep Fried Dish – consisting of Seafood Cake, Spring Roll, Yam with Prawn Roll, and the best of all the Prawn Ball flavoursome and fried to perfection, everyone on the table were commenting how good it was.

A personal favourite dish was up next, and at Lee Kui, you simply has to try the Oyster Egg – generous serving of oyster, the egg was wet on the inside and crisp on the outside – perfect complement for your plain rice.

The Vegetables were also surprisingly tasty that night – especially the refreshing Mock Abalones that really tasted like the real stuff. The Fish with Black Bean Sauce though a bit spicy, was very fresh.

In additional, the gravy went fantastically well with the porridge that we ordered. Sensing that we were still pretty hungry, Dad ordered a plate of Fried Noodles with Shrimps and Pork Slices. A pity that it was pretty oily, if not I was pretty sure everyone would had an additional serving of it.

This was because we were all saving the best for last, and what Teochew dinner would it be, if it did not end off with the authentic O-Nee, or Yam Paste with Pumpkin and Ginkgo Nuts - Sinfully Oily, Sinfully Good - a pity that it would be sometime before our family could gather again for such a sumptuous dinner.

Farewell sister!


Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 2.5/5
Total: 13.5/20
8, 9, 10 Mosque Street
Singapore 059488

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