25 December, 2008

Merry Christmas and Hello 2009!

Sorry everyone, HFB has been really busy over this period and will be taking a long break up north - all the way till first week of 2009 *HORROR*!!!

However, the good news is, HFB will be bringing you a series of posts from our neighbours above when he is back so do look out for it!! And do leave your comments while HFB is away (to let him know you guys are still alive) and Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

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19 December, 2008

Tenya - First Tempura Bar in a Singapore Foodcourt

People who are close to HFB knows that he is not a big fan of foodcourts. He usually associates foodcourts to expensive sucky food. The only good thing about them is that they are air-conditioned – not that HFB needed it, as you can always spot him in a hawker center or kopitiam eating away.

However, Tenya – the first tempura bar in a Singapore food court is set to dispel this negative mindset of HFB. Think Yong Tau Foo, where the freshest of seafood and vegetables are laid out for your choice on the counter to be “tempura-ed”.

Paired with steaming Japanese rice and their special sauce that complements the crisp of the tempura batter, lovers of Japanese cuisine will be delighted to know that they can now enjoy restaurants’ standard tempura at a food court prices (vegetable items are going @ $0.60 per pc, seafood items are going @ $1.80 per pc and Japanese rice is $1.00 per serving).

To cater to the working crowd, the management team has also came up with a few set meals for one’s perusal – consisting of two seafood items and three vegetables ($6.40 per set). However if one prefer to go ala carte, you can do so with a minimum of 6 items choosen.

With chef trained in Japan, HFB was not disappointed by the quality of food that was served.

Each individual tempura is crisp on the outside with a tint of light fluffiness on the inside. Although HFB’s initial fear was that the special sauce poured over the tempura would wreck a good dish, tasting it confirmed that his fear was unfounded.

A little sweet on its own, it complimented really well with the rice and the fried food. And if one is worried that the person you bring along is not a tempura fan, there are other options offered by Tenya.

The Unadon at $7.50, is of reasonable priced. Unlike many other Japanese establishments that tend to over-grill their eel, Tenya really prepared theirs with care. Although HFB preferred the eel slightly charred, he fully understood Tenya’s intention of doing so – so that one can taste the natural sweetness of the eel while retaining the moisture of its flesh. Oiishi!

Besides the fish, one can also opt for the Tori Karaage Don @ $6.20. This is a dish that HFB will never get sick of – deep fried chicken pieces. The batter was flavoured and the chicken was tasty, however be warned that it will turn soggy if you leave it under the air-con for too long.

Overall this was a pretty enjoyable tasting session as Tenya truly triumphed over the negative notion that foodcourts are for those who do not know how to appreciate good food. Till then, you will definitely find HFB back at The Food Place @ Level 3 having his tempura while sipping his glass of Ice Green Tea ($1.20 each)! *Refreshing*

252 North Bridge Road
The Food Place, Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jason and Kent for their generous hospitality.

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17 December, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - TETSU's Festive Menu

TETSU is introducing their Festive Menu this holidays (valid till 2 Jan) and it is going for only $58++. Since I have thoroughly reviewed about them before here and here, I will cut the story short and head straight to the food.

Trio of Kani Tofu, Swordfish Tataki & Sake Namazuke

The first two appetisers were wonderful
HFB especially love the kani tofu
but sadly the salmon came with a bit of fish scales

Sashimi Moriwase

Fresh and came chilled
but otherwise straight forward dish

Gindara Sukiyaki

HFB can never resist a serving of piping hot soup!
Cod fish was came thickly sliced and fresh

Rosu Katsu with Ebi Katsu

HFB is pleased that they have improved on this dish
He personally thought the Ebi Katsu is well executed that day!

Garlic Fried Rice

Looks can be deceiving!
It look unappetising on the menu but everyone loved it
because the garlic flavour was intense yet not overbearing

Homemade Goma Ice Cream

The texture felt more like sesame cream than ice cream - thick!
But HFB thinks they can do better with its presentation

Dragon Roll (6pc) - $18.00

This is ala carte and not inclusive in the set
Who can resist it? Everyone loved it!

Wakatori Teriyaki (Chicken) - $16.00

This is also ala carte and not included in the set
A new dish - HFB love the charred chicken skin!

Yaki Niku (Beef Tenderloin in Special Sauce) - $18.50

This is also ala carte and not included in the set
Another new dish offer by TETSU
Very Tender! But the sauce was slightly too sweet for beef
some of my friends felt it tasted like Char Siew

Deep Fried Flounder Fish - ???

This was something off the menu and not included in the set
Not too bad but there wasn't much to go around
Oh but HFB like the fact that the bones can be eaten - SHIOK!

Cold Udon

And who can forget about their chewy Cold Udon!
A must try whenever HFB visits them!!!

163 Tanglin Road
#03-18 Tanglin Mall
Singapore 247933

Telephone: 6836 3112
Business Hours:
Lunch 1130hrs to 1500hrs
Dinner 1800hrs to 2200hrs

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pris and Rachael for their generous hospitality.

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15 December, 2008

Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant @ Grand Mecure Roxy Hotel

Tucked behind the bustling bus stop opposite Parkway Parade lays Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel – and located at level two of what used to be a Thai restaurant is now Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant, opened in December 2007.

Honed by Master Chef Lee Tuck Seng, that brings with him wealth of culinary experience, including Gold Award in the FHA International Salon Culinaire, Jia Wei offers a modern and exquisite dining experience with a touché of traditional home-cooked fare. With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that Jia Wei is offering a Special Asian-themed Christmas menu and HFB is pleasantly glad when he received an invite from the hotel to sample their $78++ per pax Christmas Glow Menu and the $98++ per pax Festive Cheers Menu.

The complimentary Roasted Walnut with Sesame was pretty enjoyable – perhaps all of us were hungry due to the late lunch but it was finished up within minutes.

What’s a Christmas meal without Turkey – and thus lunch commenced with the Festive Turkey, Ham and Fresh Fruits Salad for both sets. HFB is not a big fan of turkey having bad experienced with them and Jia Wei’s version is not going to change my opinion any sooner. Now don’t get me wrong here – the turkey was juicier than most I have tried before, but it was the Wasa-mayo that did it this time round. The pairing just didn’t taste right – with the Wasabi too overbearing, but thankfully the fruit salad offered a much-welcomed reprieve.

If turkey is a must during Christmas, then equivalently, Shark’s Fin is a must during all festive Chinese celebration meals. The Christmas Glow menu offers the Superior Shark’s Fin Soup with Conpoy. A generous slab of Shark’s Fin was offered but HFB found the broth to be a little lacklustre from usual – even a dose of vinegar and dash of pepper didn’t help.

However, the Jia Wei Superior Shark’s Fin Soup in Hot Stone Pot was definitely the highlight of the day.

Unlike the former, this version came piping hot when served and the broth was inspiring and robust with flavours. The superior fins also aided to the consequence – and this dish alone is worth half the menu’s price.

While the Pan-fried Fillet of Pork Spare-rib with Special Sauce from the Christmas Glow menu came nicely plated, it tasted just like normal sweet and sour pork. It wasn’t bad – it just didn’t impressed me much.

However, none of that can be said for the Grilled Special Rack of Lamb with Chinese Wine (Festive Cheer Menu). This is the other dish that is worth the other half of the menu price. The essence of the Chinese wine is captured and fused nicely with the lamb, which essentially ridded the meat of the gaminess, piquant smell – that most people gets turn off with. Not forgetting the thick jello of fats that streaked right above the meat – simply OMG divine!!! In fact it was so damn bloody good that when it gets to the bone, HFB, without hesitation, threw all his dinning etiquette aside and started using his fingers to tear the meat off its rib *shy*.

When it came to the vegetables, HFB was slightly mixed when the Braised Dry Scallop With Sea Cucumber And Bamboo Piths (Christmas Glow Menu) was served. On one hand, one should be glad with the generous serving of scallops scattered all over it, on the other, noticed the word “scattered” was used – the presentation was less than ideal – not only the scallop, but the vegetables were disarrayed and no bamboo piths were to be seen. Although it didn’t look appetising, it did taste pretty good – the vegetables were really fresh, even as the starchiness of the gravy began to set in.

The Braised Bai Ling Mushroon With Broccoli from the Festive Cheers Menu had similar gravy, amidst serving portion differs. The Bai Ling mushroom, a rare species of edible mushroom that originates from the desert of China, had a very nice chewy texture with just a hint of woody taste. Once again, due to the cooking method, the flavours were trapped nicely within the mushroom. This is definitely a dish that all mushroom lovers would like!

Both sets happened to share the same noodle dish – Homemade Noodles with Prawn And Conpoy. The trick to really enjoy homemade noodles is plainly to slurp it finish as quickly as possible, like a Japanese to ramen, so that one can fully appreciates the texture of the noodles – any delay and chances are the noodles will turn soggy. The prawns were excellently executed – deep fried over hot boiling oil before having the gravy poured over – it was succulent! Although one might find the gravy blander, HFB thought having a third dish with starchy gravy was a little excessive.

Thankfully, the deserts were good – the Chilled Mango Pudding (Christmas Glow menu) was everyone’s favourite – it tasted good and was captivatingly decorated with dried fruits of many colours traditionally of Christmas.

Although HFB is not one to take to sourish lemon sorbet, he has to commend the Chilled Lemon Jelly from the Festive Cheers Menu. The mild sweetness of the jelly complements really well with the intense sorbet and within spoonfuls, one’s palate is instantaneously cleansed.

So what are you waiting for – both menus are available from now till 4 Jan 2008 and come with a complimentary glass of red/white wine.

And as if that is not good enough, the restaurant is also giving a 30% discount, valid from Monday to Thursday (except eve of PH and PH).

Level 2, 50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square
Singapore 428769
Call 6340 5678 for Reservations

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Keane and Shu Ling for their generous hospitality.

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11 December, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Tien Court @ Copthrone King's Hotel

Took part in LianHe Zaobao Lohas Food Trail @ Tien Court, 天厨.

Combination of Pan-fried Scallops & Crispy-fried Honshimeiji Mushrooms with Foie Gras

Double-boiled Black Chicken Soup with Chinese Herbs

Steamed Fillet of Cod with Chef's Special Sauce

Crispy-fried King Prawns with Lemongrass & Vegetables Salad

Traditional Fried Mee Sua with Pig Trotters and Chinese Mushrooms

Masterchef Ho Tien Tsai

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08 December, 2008

The BEEFY Series Part 10 - Black Angus

Located in the district of Orchard Road, this award winning steakhouse is the first of its franchise outlets outside of United States.

Since it’s opening in 1997, Black Angus has been in the business of satisfying the local market’s craving for a good beefy US steak – with the meat and other ingredients imported directly from the US. Styled like a US steak diner, there are even some tables fashioned after cubicle boxes, giving added solitude and comfort to diners. Dining al fresco is another dining alternative.

What one will love about Black Angus is that with every order of their steak, it is served with Crispy Haystack Onion String, Fresh Vegetable and your choice of Potato – accompanied by starter of choice like the Stuart’s Steak Soup, Baked Potato Soup, Garden Salad, or Coleslaw. Intense is the word best used for the steak soup – as chunks of beef cubes seeks to add to the already flavourful soup. Not forgetting the generous amount of meat within marks the start of a hearty dinner.

My dining partner, being a potato lover naturally indulged in the potato soup – completed with a dollop of cream, and some sprinkle of bacon bits, cheddar cheese and spring onions. HFB had a spoonful of it but didn’t exactly took to it – he found it too starchy to stomach.

10 oz Rib-eye Steak @ $39.90++ was pretty affordable and value-for-money if you ask me.

Serving of the steak was liberal and this is definitely the place to be if one is looking for a good cut of US prime steak.

It was thick, juicy and has a good beefy taste to it. Steak was well rested and came medium-rare but HFB would preferred a slightly more charred-grilled finishing to his steak.

Special mentioned goes to the onion string that is really well deep-fried and really delectable. HFB really enjoyed this side!


Food: 4/5 (Beefy & Juicy piece of steak)
Service: 3/5 (Staffs weren't exactly friendly, and one couldn't speak good English)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Warm lighting gives a romantic ambience, but can be noisy at times)
Price: 4/5 ($93.90 for a hearty dinner for 2)
Total: 14.5/20
1 Tanglin Road
#01-08, Orchard Parade Hotel
Singapore 247905

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