28 November, 2007

Ulu Paradise

Just a week after the bad experience with Kenny and the rest @ Mellben Seafood, he suggested another place to satisfy our craving for crabs. We set off for the North Eastern side of Singapore to a deserted ulu part of Defu Lane.

After some good navigation skills, we finally located Seafood Paradise, right smack among the factory buildings.

And be prepared to make a reservation when you wish to visit this place as Singaporeans really travel for their food - the place was fully packed on a weekend, and some even had to wait for a table even though they make a booking.

To satisfy our hunger, we started with the Salted Fish with Fried Rice and what a great start it was! Each grain was coated evenly with eggs and fried thoroughly, such that no grain sticks to another. The flavour of the salted fish also brings out the best in this dish. My only fuss is that the rice was pretty oily and a bigger serving would probably kill the appetite for what is to come.

The only dish that we wished we did not order that night was the Frog Legs with Chicken Essence. It was a pretty straightforward steamed frog legs with the chicken essence poured over it – plain and pretty tasteless. This is the only dish we did not finish that night.

One of the original dishes we tried that night was the Broccoli with Scallops topped with Sunny-side-up. At first I have doubts about this combination but the twist of the egg white really did bring out a totally different savoury experience to this normal dish.

A must have dish for every visit has to be the Homemade Tofu with Assorted Seafood. The tofu is so smooth and silky and the pork floss combination heightens the dish. You will also be wooed by the prawns and diced sea cucumber found in the pool of sticky gravy with every dip of your tablespoon!

The Fried Beef was pretty flavoursome but I am not a big fan of tenderised beef. My take is that all good food should come in natural texture and “fake” tender beef is just taking the easy way out to achieve a standard.

The Cereal Prawns definitely beat those served from Mellben – it did not come as dry and each delightful spoon of cereal was scrumptious. The prawns are also not over-fried as the shell peel off cleanly – a sign that the prawns are fresh!

Saving the best for last is the signature Creamy Butter Crabs, served with delectable deep-fried man tous to mop up the gravy. The man tous in itself is another winner - so good that you can eat it on its own.

The gravy was richer and not as sweet compared to Mellben, and topped with fried coconut bits, another original rendition from them (although some disputed that it is topped with fried crab roe, or crunchy oat bits instead), this dish was definitely the highlight for the night.

The crab is also fresh and its flesh does not stick to the shell – another sign of a well workout crustacean.

Other signature dishes that you might indulged in are the Crab in Superior Stock with Vermicelli, as well as the Baby-back Ribs in Honey-pepper Sauce. This place is highly recommended!


Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3/5 (45mins before the food was served)
Ambience: 4/5 (Nicely renovated in the midst of a industrial park)
Price: 4/5
Total: 15.5/20
91 Defu Lane
10 Swee Hin Building

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20 November, 2007

"My Home"

Ma Maison, which means “My Home” in French serves Japanese-style Western food, is done up to look like an English cottage

– the quaint ambience is coupled with weathered wooden beams and panels, with racks of plates and crockery.

The windows are curtained with floral curtains giving it a charming vintage look. On a personal note, I love the look and feel of the menu - which what feels like leather.

We specifically came for its famed Hamburger Steak, which sits on a sauce that is simmered for 28 days – fully flavoured and very enriching. Topped with a Fried Egg and Moreish Potato, the beef patty is grounded nicely and finely grilled.

Sink your teeth into a thick cut and you will marvel how tender the meat is. The Potatoes also came with a bite – a nice contrast to the soft beef. The other celebrated dish is the Cuttlefish Ink Pasta, a dish that is shunned by many girls as the squid ink stained lips, teeth and tongue.

The pasta was done al dente, but I find the Cuttlefish pronounced flavour a tad too “fishy” for me. I also find the ink roughly coated – a touch of butter might enhance the dish better – and the serving of thinly sliced Cuttlefish and Mushrooms were pretty pathetic in my opinion.

When it was time to ask for the bill, you get a heavy brass key and key ring – a fitting end to make you feel at home.


Food: 3.5/5 (The hamburger steak was good but pasta was disappointing)
Service: 3.5/5 (Staff were very friendly but we waited 45 mins for a table)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Perfect for first date and Valentine's Day)
Price: 3/5
Total: 14.5/20
200 Victoria Street #02-51
Parco Bugis Junction
Singapore 188021

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16 November, 2007

Guest Review

Hello, I am Kenny Ong and I am your guest blogger for today. A little about myself – I started off in the hotel industry as a Concierge forte in food, before bagging the Asia Pacific Concierge of The Year for 2005, which took me to The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macau as the Chef Concierge today. In between that, I also worked on several projects for Makansutra, tasting food from both established and upcoming food stalls and restaurants around the island.


This famous stall at Ang Mo Kio is famous for its delicious crab cuisines. It has a wide variety of crabs and has its own unique recipe. Foodies all over the island will come here for its Crab BeeHoon and Butter Crab.

After a long wait of 1 hour 15 minutes, the Crispy Homemade Tofu was served – though not piping hot, and the skin is 'drowned' in oil and not crispy. But thankfully, the fillings were very 'rich' and generous, with Fish meat, Peas and small chunks of Carrot.

Next, the Braised Pork Ribs at first bite were cooked till pretty soft, but a tad oily. However after few more mouthfuls, the taste was distinctly similar to those Canned Braised Pork Ribs that you can find anywhere from the supermarket.

The veggies were the next to arrive and the Sambal Kangkong was probably the best dish of the night. The texture of the stalks is soft and crunchy while the Sambal Chilli is just nicely fried. However, the leaves are laden with plenty of oil!

The Potato Leaves though has only one word to describe - Horrible! This plate of vegetables should not even be on the food menu. The Sambal Chilli is watery and bland, and the stalks are hard and under-cooked. The potato leaves are so oily that the oil can be the main ingredient.

The Cereal Prawns was another major let down. The prawns were seriously dry and over-fried, leaving the shell hard and oily. It was pretty obvious that the dish was left to 'cool' down for a long time before being served to the table. The cereal was also dry, bland, to the extent tasteless.

The Black Pepper Crab was also another second-rate dish. The sauce was watery, cold and not 'Pepperish' enough. The essence of the sauce was also not fully captured by the crab meat, making it very 'divided' and 'individual' to eat. Although the crab was pretty meaty, it did not seem too fresh as the flesh sticks to its shell – an indication that the crab did not exercise and moved around too much.

The Butter Crab was none the better. The butter based sauce was not thick and cold, and was simply too sweet for consumption. The flesh was however tender and soft, but a pity that the size of crab was a disappointment.

Finally, the highlight of the night – the Crab Beehoon! I find that the soup base was not milky and thick enough. The taste of crab never fully ‘sinked' into the soup base, and the beehoon is cold and hard, not springy enough. The crab, was however soft and tender.

Horrendous and painful waiting time for some over-rated seafood. This will be the first and last time that I will visit them.


Food: 2/5 (Terrible Food Experience)
Service: 1/5 (Slow service and seriously understaffed. Staff not knowledgeable on what food had been sold out and informed us only after ordering)
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 2/5 (Definitely overpriced as it cost us $182.50 for 7 pax)
Total: 8/20
Blk 232, Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
# 01-1222 Singapore 560232

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11 November, 2007

Fatty Rice

Nasi Lemak, with roots in Malay culture, when translated literally means 'rice in fat'. The name is derived from the cooking process whereby the grains are soaked in rich coconut cream and then the mixture steamed. While traditionally a breakfast dish, this dish is now found everywhere at every time possible. Mentioned Nasi Lemak and Changi Village Road Food Centre immediately sprang to mind.

While there are several competitor stalls competing with flashy stall signage, there is only one International Food Stall with its rather plain and simple signage. The queue that morning said it all – this stall is legendary for its long queue, which appears to be perpetually attached to it, come rain or shine. It definitely serves one of the best renditions, with Adam Road’s Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak coming a close second. The Rice is fragrant, moist and subtly sweet – a sign that the coconut milk was thoroughly infused with the rice.

Because of the stall’s fast turnover, the Chicken Wings are always guaranteed freshly fried – crispy and juicy, and served piping hot. But what definitely caught my tastebud that morning was definitely the Sambal Chilli. A sure winner with its aromatic sweet, yet not so spicy chilli fried with onions that one cannot help but keep helping himself to it.


Food: 4.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 4.5/5
Total: 15.5/20
#1-57 Changi Village Market & Food Centre,
Blk 2 Changi Village Road,
Singapore 500002

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04 November, 2007

Cafe Where Happy People Meets

Themed as the café “where happy people meets” – Miss Clarity Café certainly lives up to it, with its loud and colourful interior décor, along with the tinge of ambience with candles on every table.

There is a wide range of food selection to choose from – Shelled Appetisers, Sides, Pasta, Risotto, Mains, Burger, Pizza, and more recently, Black Angus Prime Sirloin & Ribeye, as well as the prized Wagyu Beef. My group of friends order a few dishes to share and we had the NZ Mussels immersed in Tomato Gravy as appetiser.

The mussels were big and juicy but regrettably the gravy was thin and lacked in flavour. The Glutton’s Platter was just an assortment of Spicy Wings, Chicken Nuggets, Onion Rings, Crispy Wedges and Chipolatas – straightforward deep-fried finger food.

For my main, I had the chef-recommended Whole Roasted Chicken Leg, served with mouth-watering Mushroom & Potato Fricassee.

I had to say for $9.80, this is the best Roasted Chicken Leg that I have even tried. The flavour was captured nicely in its meat and despite not being a big fan of potato – I was won over by the aromatic starch.


Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Total: 13.5/20
5 Purvis Street #01-04
Singapore 188584
Tel: 63394803

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