30 May, 2008

Tea Cosy - A HGW Outing

Nestled inside a shop called Eclectic Attic, that sells all things vintage sorts of collectibles, antiques and clothes and accessories to furniture and knick-knacks, you will find Tea Cosy. At first glance, one may miss Tea Cosy as the whole shop décor here is intentionally messy, making the place feel like an attic. A little crammed and cluttered, the cafe area is barely noticeable amidst all the objects in the place. But when one takes the trouble to peer inside, you will realise that they had place settings at the tables. You will be astound to realise that everything in the cafe is for sale besides the food you dine – from the decorations on the table, including the bell to ring for service (and it doesn’t come cheap mind you), to the wooden chairs that we were sitting on – talk about experiential home furnish shopping!

Starter was the Home-made Creamy Mushroom Soup. Every spoonful comes with generous bits of mushrooms although I rather prefer them in thick and big slices – quality for quantity. Soup was also slightly on the salty side. Surprisingly what I felt was better was the piece of toast that went along with it. It was toasted with Mayonnaise that gave it a sweet creamy taste, something different from the normal toast that comes with soup.

The Decadent Salad consists of Foie Gras, Prawns and Eggs. One of Tea Cosy’s reputed dishes – my expectation of it was heightened – although it didn’t wow me, expectations of a salad was met. The vegetables were fresh and the dressing was a good compliment to it, but the prawns could have been juicier and foie gras bigger.

Not sinfully satisfied, I opted for the Signatured Pan-fried Foie Gras as the main. Topped with pineapples and aragula leaves and with what tasted like orange marmalade on the side, the foie gras goes well with the juices from the pineapple and aragula to create a bittersweet combination, but on its own, the oily aftertaste wasn’t exactly pleasant. This is not the best rendition I have tasted but Tea Cosy is the cheaper option if one does not have a big pocket to burn but still crave for some sinful delight.

Not filling enough, we ordered an extra serving of Laksa Pesto to share that comes with quite a few prawns, and is said to be of reminiscent to Wild Rockets rendition – amidst more watery. Coming to the end of the dish however, one will probably find the gravy extremely salty due to the residues of the dried shrimps used for it. To be honest I wasn’t impressed with this dish.

We wrapped up the night with some desserts that I felt the portion was more suitable for their High Tea – petite. They were nothing extraordinary, and probably the only thing that impresses me was the name used for the chocolate brownie with ice-cream combi – Ebony and Ivory.


Food: 3/5 (Food was ok. Nothing impressive)
Service: 3/5 (Service was slow, and the temp they hired wasn't up to scratch)
Ambience: 4/5 (Nice vintage setting, perfect for high tea I reckon)
Price: 2.5/5 ($49/pax seems pricey for average food)
Total: 12.5/20
60 Orchard Road,
#05-10 Plaza Singapura (Besides Spotlight)
Singapore 238839

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27 May, 2008

TETSU - "LIVE" Kushi-style Restaurant

Following my virgin taste testing session that took place at Persimmon, HFB was honoured to be invited to another launch at TETSU ("哲"), which has just opened its doors at Tanglin Mall.

Japanese cuisine aficionados will rejoice a first of its kind authentic Kushi-style Tempura along with Tonkatsu menu, prepared “LIVE” before their eyes. Seated at specially designed counter bars that are in close proximity to the chef who deftly prepares their Tempura and Tonkatsu, diners get to enjoy a visual feast right before their eyes.

Diners can have a choice from a wide array of freshest seafood, meats and vegetables prepared either Kushi-age style (Skewered with Breaded Batter) or Kushi-tem style (Skewered with Tempura Batter).

In order to recreate the most authentic Japanese dining experience, TETSU has partnered up with one of the most established restaurant groups in Japan with 48 restaurants and employing over 1400 people.

The Hana Group, renowned for their authentic Japanese cuisine and has been advising TETSU in all aspects of their restaurant.

The night was kick-started with an appetiser off the menu, the Cold Tofu with Century Egg and Ebi Roe. It was surprisingly a good dish to start off with as the combination of the heavy century egg and soft tofu attempts to tickle your palate along with the salty exploding sensation of the ebi roe when one bites into it.

The Edamame ($4.00) like others are nothing to shout about, but something that stood out was the aestheticism of the dish, which is visually evident in all the subsequent dishes – it is only then that I found out that TETSU prides itself on offering the most authentic Japanese dining experience, taking it down even to the smallest of details.

The layout of the Kaiseki sets and even the art of serving up these gourmet sets are specially formulated in Japan, to ensure that diners can get the full “LIVE” experience, at the best value. In addition, much of the restaurant’s tableware are all specially flown in from Japan.

Moreover, the good thing about the Kushi-age Soft Shell Crab ($3.00 per serving) is that it does not come oil soaked, although I would prefer it to be slightly meatier.

One might also be intrigued to know that in TETSU, one also get a choice of three dips for their deep-fried food – Tonkutsu sauce, Japanese Mayo and Curry Salt.

Onsentamago To Tofu Salad, or Half-boiled (Hot Spring-styled) Egg & Tofu Salad ($13.50) is another dish that is dedicatedly prepared by the chef – using their bare hands to measure the temperature of the water cooking the eggs, and the eggs only taken out of the cooking water when the water is too hot for their hands to handle.

The only non-authentic dish that we tried that night was probably their Salmon Carpaccio with French Dressing ($18.00). Although the salmon was very fresh and comes with a very nice bite, I feel that the dressing was slightly too sour for me – let’s just say that I prefer sashimi the way it is.

Highly recommended was their Rosu Katsu (A set served with Salad, Pickles, Rice, Miso Soup and Dessert cost $24.50). Similar to Tonkichi, one is also given a bowl of Roasted Sesame Seeds to grind and add to the Tonkutsu sauce.

The sampling of their second deep-fried dish convinced me that their cooking and preparation technique is indeed accomplished. Although I pride Tampopo’s Black Pork Katsu to be the best in taste of texture due to its marbling fats, TETSU’s version comes a close second - one do not really sample the oily aftertaste in the batter.

It was then I was told that TETSU’s chefs have undergone intensive training in the chain’s headquarters in Japan. The attention paid to the preparation of Tempura and Tonkatsu is meticulous – TETSU chefs strictly ensure that all preparation techniques, from marination, to the type of batter and oil, to the time of frying, adhere to their timeless traditional Japanese recipes.

The Roll Sushi ($18.00 for 6 pieces) was another item that was painstaking prepared in many process. One would probably mistook it for a salmon roll sushi if one weren’t told that the filling also consists of scallop and tuna, as the saltiness of the cooked salmon seeks to over-whelmed it. However having said that, it was still a pretty enjoyable sushi roll due to the crunchy batter and the aromatic Sesame Seeds and pairing of Ebi Roe.

The Kushi-style cuisine is very popular in Japan because the skewer-style makes it easy for customers eat and enjoy their sake, shoju or wine at the same time.

However to be honest, by the time the Kaiseki Set Course B ($45.00) consisting of 4 Assorted Appetisers, Stick Vegetables, Kani-Suki (Paper Pot Crab Sukiyaki), Kushi-age or Kushi-Tem, Udon and Dessert arrived, I was pretty much filled up and my palate started to fail me. So I shall let the pictures speak for themselves.

However, one thing I remembered clearly was the very unique Japan-imported Udon that gives one a very chewy bite – one has to try it to truly understand what I mean.

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 TETSU for their generous hospitality.

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26 May, 2008

Yoguru - Probiotic Culture

While Frolick has been making waves in Holland Village, Yoguru has been garnering their own horde of fans over at the other side of the island at Kallang Leisure Park.

They have position their yoghurt as the healthy non-fat choice of dessert with no preservatives and addictives added, which I reckon will strike a chord with all the health conscious. Produced fresh right in their store daily, Yoguru’s menu currently only consist of two flavours, Original and YoguBliss – the latter a fruity mix of Dragonfruit & Pomegranate which are famed for their anti-oxidants.

If one is in a dilemma of which flavour to savour, fret not as Yoguru offers a choice of both flavours in one serving – think of it as “Twist” from McDonalds – where one gets to sample and enjoy both flavours at the same time! Texture wise, Yoguru’s yoghurt is rather creamy and smooth, but I reckon Frolick’s version is silkier. Taste wise I always associate Original flavoured yoghurt as sour – somewhere along those produced by Yami Yoghurt – but Yoguru’s version was surprisingly sweet, in fact the Original is sweeter than that of YoguBliss which gave me a pretty mixed feeling.

Price starts from $3.30 for a regular serving of Original to $9.30 for a jumbo take home version of the YoguBliss – toppings are charged separately ($1.20 for 1 choice, $1.80 for 2, and $2.20 for 3 toppings). And for those who think that Yoguru’s location isn’t as convenient, you might be pleased to know they have plans to expand to town – so look out for it!

Food: 3.5/5 (Smooth and creamy but prefer frolick's smooth texture)
Service: 3.5/5 (Staff was approachable and helpful)
Ambience: 4/5 (Nicely furnish with tables for sit-ins)
Price: 2.5/5 (Pretty costly for a slightly average yoghurt with topping)
Total: 13.5/20
5 Stadium Walk,
#01-10A, Kallang Leisure Park
Singapore 397693

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22 May, 2008

Sydney Part 5 - Pictures Galore

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3

Click here for Part 4

It is the Euro Champions League Final tonight (Yes, Food Bloggers watch soccer too!) so I shall keep the words short tonight and let the pictures do the talking. Some leftover photos from my Sydney trip earlier this year.

Entrance of The Sebel, Pier One, venue for the wedding - right under the Harbour Bridge

Entrée of Chilled Prawns, Smoked Salmon, Saffron Aioli

Sides - Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes

Main of Barramundi, Bok Choy and Chilli Crab Sauce

Main of Grain Fed Sirloin Steak, Sauce Bernaise and Roasted Kipfler

Makoto Sushi Bar, Most Delicious Meal of the trip IMHO

Green Tea

Mixed Sushi Platter is OMG Wonderful!!!

Spider Roll

Fisherman's Soup - Crab, Yabby & Mussels

Oscar Cafe, undergoing some renovation

Cesar Salad with Chicken Cutlet

Hawaiian Pizza

Cafe across Coogee Beach


Two things I cannot resist in Australia - One of them is Cheese

The other is Chocolate!!!

Topped it off with a Chocolate Milk Shake!!

My friend brought me to this place for Burger

This is Kamara Chips (Sweet Potato) with Aioli Dip

Ford Freakout -
⅓ lb Ground Beef, Bacon, Avocado, Salad, Relish and Aioli

Situated right under the Distinctive Coca Cola Neon Board, any idea where this is?

Kings Cross Road, the infamous Red Light District of Sydney :)

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