30 April, 2008

Allauddin’s Briyani - Tekka Most Famous

After sampling the SHIOK Yakader Chicken Briyani a few months back, people all over has been asking me to try the most famous briyani stall at the other side of Tekka Food Centre instead. The queue at this stall meant nothing as I stood there waiting (Can you see the guy in front getting impatient).

And waiting for a whole of 20 minutes.

For those who still do not know, this stall is none other than Allauddin’s Briyani (no prize for those who guessed it correctly though).

For $4.00, what you get is also another plate of orangey red looking plate of Chicken Briyani that gets zero marks for presentation. At least Yakader’s serving came lined with banana leaf, what you get from Allauddin is just a Styrofoam plate with no achar (spicy pickled salad) in sight (not that I eat them anyway but at least visually it looks better).

In terms of the chicken, I would say they are both pretty similar in terms of taste and texture. So soft and tender was the meat that a simple tear at the lightest pressure of the fork will cause the meat to be easily separated from its bone. However, I will be inclined to find their rice overly moist and mushy from overcooking, as I expect the basmati rice to be slightly more firm and comes with a better bite. Having waited so long, I also decided to add an extra order of what they call “Lamb Cutlet” for additional $1.00 (although I do not see where the cutlet comes from). A nice savoury outer crust that was fried nicely to taste, it was disappointing though to find it soft on the inside with what seems like flour and onions and little of the lamb.

Overall, I felt that Yakader was the better of the two in terms of chicken briyani, however I would not hesitate to try their mutton next, which was ordered by the customers before me, as it looks pliable and succulent just by the sight of it. As Tekka Food Centre will be re-located to the Temporary Market along Race Course Road from May 1 onwards, Allauddin’s Briyani will be relocated to stall unit #01-189 and #01-190.

Food: 4/5 (Chicken was good but rice and lamb cutlet can be better)
Service: 3.5/5 (Long queue during lunch hours)
Ambience: 3/5 (Food centre)
Price: 3.5/5 (For $5, was expecting something better)
Total: 14/20
665 Buffalo Road
#01-297 Tekka Food Centre
Singapore 210665

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28 April, 2008

Peach Garden @ 33

... was the venue for our dim sum lunch today. The brainchild of two ladies, Angela Ho and Veronica Tan, this latest outlet resides within the 33rd storey of the Executives’ Club of OCBC Centre at Chulia Street (the flagship being at Novena Gardens and their second outlet at Thomson Plaza), and exudes modern sophistication while preserving an oriental charm vis-à-vis Chinese wooden furnishing, paintings and valued objet d'art.

Diners should also reserve beforehand to grab one of the limited tables beside the windowpane that offers a sight of the central business district and panoramic view of the Singapore River.

Food came fast and furious and before we knew it, our table was filled with the many baskets and plates. The Fried Carrot Cake with XO Sauce ($8.00) was well done – unlike those crispy ones you get from hawker centre, the outside was just slightly crisp and the inside, malleable. The flavour of the XO sauce was also captured nicely in the cake, however it should do better if it came less oily.

Since it should only be eaten when it’s piping hot, I took a bite into the Steamed Yolk Cream Bun ($1.20 each) – be warn though as before I knew it, hot steamy cream from the bun came squirting all over my fingers – another well executed dish! Their bun was definitely much better than the ones I tried at Victor’s Kitchen, however what I found missing was the lacked of bite of the salted egg yolk, which I can find at the latter.

The Steamed Rice Roll with Char Siew ($4.00) was up next but however it was disappointing – the texture of the skin was not as smooth and silky as I thought it should be.

To grade whether a dim sum restaurant is good or not, personally I feel that there are two tests it must pass – the Har Kaw, or Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling ($1.60 each) and the Siew Mai, or Steamed Pork Dumpling ($1.60 each).

While the prawn dumping was above average, the grading for the pork dumplings was disputed – most of us felt that it tasted more of prawn than pork, and it was hard to compare to the many we have sampled before.

The Baked Mini Egg Tart came with the flaky crust – the type I preferred compared to those that are hard and sturdy. However, for $1.30 each, I do not think they are value for money.

However, if you think that was bad, for $3.80 per (small) bowl, what you get is a very salty bowl of Boiled Porridge with Century Egg and Pork (as stated in the menu). Strangely enough, many of us thought that the meat tasted like chicken – not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing though.

Another disappointing item was the Steamed Xiao Long Bao with Dried Scallop ($1.30 each). A couple of us thought the skin were not as thin and smooth as those found in Ding Tai Fung and the soup was not as succulent as well.

The meal was rounded off with the highlight for the day – Baked Spare Rib with BBQ Sauce. For $7.00 each, expectations were high and everyone was looking forward to it. Presentation-wise, it was dished out fine-dining style like a piece of steak. Taste wise – the essence of the BBQ sauce is captured nicely in the meat – and for those who were luckier, where the meat came in fact with the layer of fatty meat, the marbling meat was a joy to behold (despite a step closer to having a heart attack)! However, for such a price, it would probably be a one-off dish I would try.

Overall, I felt that the expectations weren’t matched and Peach Garden is merely just a slightly above-average place for dim sum. Coupled by the fact that they missed out our order of Xiao Long Bao and the Spare Rib and also didn’t served us our additional order of Prawn Dumplings, I would probably not venture this place again unless by the coaxing of my makan buddies.

Food: 3/5 (Standards vary between items)
Service: 3/5 (Missed out on 2 items and didn't deliver another one)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Nice ambience + excellent view)
Price: 3/5 (Certain items are not value for money)
Total: 13.5/20
The Executives Club
65 Chulia Street,
#33-01, OCBC Centre
Singapore 049513

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26 April, 2008

Frolick - Politically Incorrect but Rightfully Yummy

Turned into Holland Village, one would probably missed a minimalist store furnishing decked in whitebut with its colourful slogans and buttons SCREAMING on the exterior walls, one cannot help but stand up and take notice of this new outlet in the vicinity – Frolick. Following right after another icy haven that opened in the surrounding areaCold Rock Ice Creamery, run by savvy young owners, May Chan and Lynn Ong, Frolick opened by Mr John Tan, 25, is essentially pursing the frozen yoghurt route.

At Frolick, customers are given free buttons with naughty slogans with every purchase, with mine suggesting “I Like It Topless”. This politically incorrect theme – an appeal to the now younger and rebellious generation – is also adopted in their various tabletops – “WE STAY HARD LONGER than ice creamand “POP MY CHERRY POP MY CHERRY POP MY CHERRY…” and serving size (Cup A, Cup B, etc). But with all the impishness aside, how does Frolick stand against the only other direct competitor in the market – Yami Yoghurt?

Its texture is definitely smoother and taste more refreshing, compared to Yami Yoghurt, which tends to get rougher and slightly heavier. I also discern that Frolick’s natural flavoured yoghurt is slightly sourer – a good dose to tingle the taste buds, thus will bring a nice complement if you pair it with a sweeter topping.

Food: 4/5 (Smooth and refreshing)
Service: 3/5 (Self-serviced)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Minimum tables available for dine in)
Price: 3/5 (Cup B cost $4.80 with one free topping, plus another $1 for additional topping)
Total: 13.5/20
241 Holland Avenue
#01-02, Holland Village
Singapore 278976

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23 April, 2008

Hai Kee (Soy) Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle

Across the road from Katong Mall – at the corner before the traffic light lies a coffee shop with a signboard that screams “126 Beer Garden”!!! Situated along East Coast Road – a gem is holed within this very cosy coffee shop – Hai Kee (Soy) Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle.

Formerly from Upper Cross Street, what strikes me amid the new and colourful signage was the doggy looking yellow board placed behind – rustic and oily facade – a trademark of tradition!

I proceed to order a plate of Dry Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle ($3) and I wasn’t disappointed by the noodles. The texture of the noodles was very pliable and bouncycooked just right to give it that extra bite. However, I was a little dismayed that some of the chicken pieces were smashed before being chopped up, so what you get are seemingly heaps of “flatten meat” that does not come with any bite in it.

It would be acceptable if it is done on a plate of mushroom and shredded chicken noodle – but not when one is having a plate of soy sauce chicken noodle. But for the two pieces of chicken that weren’t done that way, it was tender and succulent, and its skin – flavoursome. Given a choice I would rather make do with few pieces of the beefy chicken meat than heaps of such squash ones anytime.

Food: 3.5/5 (Would be excellent if beefy chicken meat was served)
Service: 3/5 (Order was served fast)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Cosy feel under the shelter, was seated outside of the coffee shop)
Price: 4/5 (The noodles itself is worth $3)
Total: 14/20
126 East Coast Road
Singapore 428811

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21 April, 2008


1. HFB conquered the chart in Yebber.com!

3. As of last week, HFB has over 20,000 visits and over 40,000 page views.
4. HFB gave out his 1st contest prize - congratulations to fuzk for his winning entry!
5. Last but not least, HFB has its very own domain - WWW.HISFOODBLOG.COM. By the end of the week, this new address will be available over the Internet. --> Bookmark Now if you have not! Although just a re-direction from the blogger site, its an indication that HFB is serious about this food porn business. :)

HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank his faithful readers for their support, and is looking forward to bring more gourmet info and food reviews to the general public.

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20 April, 2008

Coffee Master Cafe - A Refreshing Cup of Coffee

While waiting for a couple of friends to arrive for lunch this afternoon, another lunch kaki and me decided to go for a sip of a much needed drink on a hot Sunday afternoon. Since scheduled lunch was around Katong/East Coast area, we settled on iced coffee @ Coffee Master Café in Katong Mall.

Situated right beside Awfully Chocolate, coffee lovers have a choice of al fresco seating right at the entrance of Katong Mall, or the simple and quaint indoors which seemed to bring time to a standstill while you are at it.

My kaki had a special order of Iced Mocha Mint Latte that was meant to be hot coffee. The mint flavour was barely delicate, which explains why this combination should only be drunk hot.

The Iced Hazelnut Mocha I had though was absolutely great! In the vein of the rest that I have drank before, the drink came with enough punch of the hazelnut essence, but what sets it apart from the rest was the smooth aftertaste that is gentle to your palate, that was lacking in most.

So while I continue sipping my refreshing coffee and sampling more food around our island, stay tuned for the many wonderful and interesting reviews coming up along the week.


Service: 3.5/5 (Cafe was accommodating enough to prepare the special order)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Like the quaint quiet ambience)
Price: 3.5/5 ($4.90 for a refreshing iced coffee)
Total: 10.5/15
112 East Coast Road
#01-25, Katong Mall
Singapore 428802

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17 April, 2008

Crème Brulee - The HFB's Way

~ ¼ cup sugar
~ 2 cups cream
~ 1 tsp of vanilla oil
~ 4 egg yolks

  • Preheat oven 160 degrees C.
  • Place cream, vanilla oil, ¼ cup sugar and egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Stir (not whisk) continuously until well blend.
  • Pour mixture into 6-8 ramekins depending on size. (Note: I do not happen to have ramekins at home thus I used these cheap-looking metal container instead - does anyone knows where to get these ramekins for cheap?)
  • Place ramekins into cake pan or roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the pan (NOT into the ramekins!) to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake the ramekins for 40 to 45 minutes. Crème brulee should be firm yet jelly-like in the centre.
  • Remove ramekins from the oven and refrigerate them for AT LEAST 2 hours or up to 3 days.

  • To serve, remove the crème brulee and spread evenly a teaspoon of sugar on top of each. Using a torch, caramelise the sugar to form a burnt crispy top. Allow the crème brulee to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Bon Appétit!!!

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16 April, 2008

Friends @ Serangoon Gardens - The Verdict

Things didn’t get off to a good start when my name was not found on the reservation list – it happens despite Charles mentioning in his final email that reservation was done. Thankfully it wasn’t a big issue as the crowd have not set in and they managed to find us a table. It so happen that it was Friends “First Ever Barbecue Party” @ Chomps that evening, and we were told that they were only serving Barbecue Platter for mains and only the appetisers and desserts are available from the regular menu. As we were scrutinising the menu on what is available, one thing we did realise was that the tables were a little too close for comfort. Despite the classy décor and nice lighting to create a lovely ambience, the strident environment that evening marred it - in fact it stayed raucous throughout the whole occasion. Upon ordering, we were served the bread and butter almost immediately – it didn’t came cold but it wasn’t exactly warm either (I was actually looking forward to it as I clearly remember her mentioning “Enjoy your warm bread!”). Other than being soft, there wasn’t anything else noteworthy to mention about it.

Soon after, the Assorted Salad Platter with Condiments and Dressing came – straight forward dish as well and nothing much to compliment or picked on.

Then came the ½ dozen of Seasonal Oysters ($29.40), and I have flattering remarks for them – they were big, the flesh were plump and it was very fresh, although personally I would prefer them to arrive more chilled – and if they were any cheaper, I could have easily gulp down another dozen.

We waited a little while more before our platter arrived. For a platter for 2 ($49.90), diners have a choice of 3 items from the Hot Items (Roast Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Tomatoes, Grilled Pumpkins, Grilled Peppers) and 2 items from the Grilled Items (Rib eye Steak, Lamb Shoulder Chops, Assorted Sausage (veal or course pork), Grilled Chicken, Grilled Fish Fillet). A platter for 3 will set you back another $20 with an additional item from the grilled section. We opted for the potatoes, corn and peppers from the hot items list and rib eye steak and lamb shoulder chops from the grilled items.

The platter didn’t exactly impress me when it was served to be honest. Aesthetics wise, it didn’t look appetising, furthermore the whole plate was drenched with the meat’s natural juices that only signifies that the chef did not rest the meat before it was served. But at least the chef did managed to get his medium rare this time round for the steak.

Special mention also goes to the lamb chops, as it was char grilled nicely on the outside and succulent on the inside – and what’s best was the layer of marbling fats that was ever so flavoursome. We wrapped up the dinner with a similar dessert I had the last time – Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake served with Vanilla Ice Cream ($12.90).

And my mate who was not present at the previous outing gave the same conclusion that the aftertaste of the molten chocolate lava could be better (compared to this one, which she had tried with me).

Overall, this wasn’t as bad an experience as the previous one, but there are definitely rooms for improvement. Also, considering that this was the first time they are running this sort of operations, perhaps I could be more forgiving. Nevertheless, I feel that serving barbecue fare is displacing the original business model, which prides itself as a semi-fine dining place – where you do not need to dig deep into your pockets for good food.


Food: 3.5/5 (Oysters and lamp chops were great, but others can be improved)
Service: 3.5/5 (Staff was generally efficient although we have to remind them on 3 occasions that we were having warm water instead of iced water)
Ambience: 2.5/5 (Nice ambience but too noisy - would not recommend this place for dates)
Price: 3/5 (Barbecue food outside is not worth the money)
Total: 12.5/20
1 Maju Avenue,
#01-01A Serangoon Garden Village
Singapore 556679

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12 April, 2008

Prelude: Invitation to Friends @ Serangoon Gardens

It all started after I published this post on hungrygowhere.com about their Friends outlet in Jelita. It actually prompted Charles Lim, the Group Marketing Manager, to response.

I replied.

And we started corresponding via email (click image to view).

It's April 12th today - and I just came back from the dinner. Will there be more drama unfold? Will they be up to scratch this time round? Was I given the VIP treatment? What did I order? Stayed tuned as I unfold the mystery.

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