30 July, 2008

Have You Sign Up Yet...

for the 1st Makan Session organised by HFB at Tetsu – more than 20 people have signed up thus far.

Closing date for the sign-up is Friday, 1 August (Yes, you have 3 more days!!!), so email HFB your Name, Contact Number, and the No. of Pax to hisfoodblog@gmail.com now if you are interested.

Oh and do let him know if you have any dietary restrictions with regards to the menu. Hope to see you there!

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27 July, 2008

7th Storey Hotel Hainan Charcoal Steamboat - Till It Last

Upon hearing that the one of the oldest hotels in Singapore will make way for the new Bugis MRT station for Downtown Line by the end of December, HFB cannot help but make his way to the quaint 7th Storey Hotel to sample their popular Hainanese Charcoal Steamboat and inimitable, or so they say, Hainanese Chicken Rice.

A reservation for two was made a day before the dinner, but even then I was told that only tables on the outside (or back lane rather) was available – is the food really that great that business is so fantastic, or are Singaporeans just like me curious to have a last experience of their food?

We ordered the standard steamboat set for 2 ($29.00), which consist of Vegetables (Bao Pek, Cabbage, Tang ‘O’, Golden Mushroom, Button Mushroom and Abalone Mushroom), Seafood (Sliced Fish, Sea Cucumber, Cuttlefish and Home Made Fishball, Prawns), Meat (Sliced Chicken, Fishball with Meat Stuffing, Fish Maw with Meat Stuffing), Yam and Tofu, and additional orders of Sliced Beef ($9.80) and my all time favourite steamboat item – Cockles ($6.80)!

Do not be deceived by the portion of the beef though as we realised it was stacked on top of a pile of veggies below. With no MSG added in the soup, customers start off with a clear, almost tasteless soup base – similar to Japanese and their Shabu Shabu hotpot – no fanciful Tom Yum, or what not flavours that one gets nowadays from novelty steamboat places.

But this sits in totally fine with me as it enables me to taste the natural freshness of the ingredients provided without the encumbrance from the soup. At the end of it all, one also usually gets a nice tasty soup base concocted from the essence of the ingredients, unlike those that comes with strong flavours to begin with, and way too salty for consumption towards the end. We also ordered a small portion of Steamed Chicken ($11.80) and a bowl of Chicken Rice ($0.80) to share.

One would probably like the fact that the skin doesn’t come across as excessively oily, but taste wise it didn’t exactly wow me – it kinda lacked flavour and wasn’t as tender compared to the many I have tasted.

However, what did won my heart was the rice itself – it was fully flavoured with ginger and garlic (more so the former) and wasn’t overcooked – just the way I like it ‘al dente’ style – with a bite to each grain. Overall, I paid $58.20 (with a 10% discount) inclusive of taxes and miscellaneous which was pretty expensive if you ask me. The ingredients were fresh but wasn’t exactly of high quality and portion was small. Also the chicken was disappointing.

Whatever that is worth, is probably the experience knowing that this place will be demolished soon – so catch while it last!

Food: 3.5/5 (Fresh ingredients and rice was good)
Service: 3.5/5 (Reservation was easy and service was ok)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (I am a sucker for anything retro)
Price: 2/5 (Expensive and small serving)
Total: 12.5/20
New 7th Storey Hotel
228 Rochor Road
Singapore 188451 [CLOSED]

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23 July, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Desserts @ Ice3

Apple Crumble w Cinnamon Ice Cream & Caramel Syrup

Choc Brownie w Choc Ice Cream, Choc Fudge & Choc Chunks

Waffle w Vanilla Ice Cream & Choc Fudge

Rum & Raisin Ice Cream on Oreo Crust w Raisins,
Almond Flakes & Butterscotch Syrup

Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!

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21 July, 2008

Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun - Smooth & Silky


Small talk: Have you signed up for HFB's first makan session yet? - Details can be found here. Places are limited!!!


If you mentioned authentic Ipoh Hor Fun, you probably would be thinking of this or this. And what sets them apart from this (the bastardised version) lies in the Sar Hor Fun (or
沙河粉). Local-produce Hor Fun somehow just doesn’t seem to meet the mark in terms of smoothness and silkiness factor. This is where Tuck Kee steps in to bridge the gap.

Located just 2 stalls away from Ah Kow’s Mushroom Minced Pork Mee, it is interesting to see which among the two has a longer snaking queue during lunch time, even though a small serving of Tuck Kee’s Crayfish Hor Fun comes knocking at $5 per plate, $6.50 for medium and $9.50 for large – surely there must be good reasons! Rated "Die Die Must Try" by Makansutra, the highest accolades for a stall, I dare say Teck Kee's rice noodles is probably the closest you can get in terms of texture – It’s so smooth that it slips down the throat easily! I had the medium serving (not very filling though) and what came with it was a pretty good size Crayfish.

The flesh was firm and meaty but then again that’s all that is to it. Instead I thought the Big Prawns were much sweeter and less “rubbery” compared to the crayfish.

The gravy sauce was kinda disappointing though – I feel that it is not robust enough to go with the already plain Hor Fun.

Perhaps one is meant to dip the noodles and ingredients in the chilli sauce for a stronger flavour but I would probably be back for them only when I have a craving for smooth Ipoh Hor Fun.

Food: 3.75/5 (Best Sar Hor Fun around, but gravy was disappointing)
Service: 3.5/5 (Efficient despite long queue)
Ambience: 2.5/5 (Food Centre - Very humid and crowded during lunch)
Price: 2/5 (Expensive for hawker standard, serving wasn't big)
Total: 11.75/20
Block 531A Upper Cross Street
#02-41A, Hong Lim Food Centre
Singapore 510531

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20 July, 2008

HFB's Virgin Outing


Small talk: One of my readers and his company is organising a charity project - "Colour their Lives". They will be baking cookies @ $15/jar. You can find out more details here.

In addition, HFB will be also be collecting donation during the dinner on their behalf - please support!!!


Dear HFB reader,

Yes, you read it right – HFB is organising his virgin makan outing and he wants YOU, yes you, who are reading this post right now, to be a part of it.

Venue: Tetsu (#03-18 Tanglin Mall)
Date: Friday, 8 August 2008 (Yeah we can celebrate National Day too!!!)
Time: 7.30pm
Price: $40 nett only (No GST, no service charge, etc)

Sashimi Moriawase, Mixed Platter Sashimi
Kami Tofu, or Century Egg with Tofu
Kajiki Tataki, or Seared Swordfish with Special Sauce
Dakonni, or Braised Radish with Special Sauce
Hire Katsu (Kushi style)
Ebi Age (Kushi style)
Soft-shell Crab Age (Kushi style)
Beef or Scallop Age (Kushi style)
Grilled Cod Fish w/Miso
Udon (Hot)
Lotus Root (Tempura style)
Mushroom (Tempura style)
Green Capsicum (Tempura style)
Dessert of the Day
Hot/Cold Green Tea

If you have not read his previous review here, you might want to know that Tetsu is a first of its kind, authentic “LIVE” Kushi-style Tempura restaurant located in Singapore, that has the chef prepares the Tempura in close proximity right before your eyes.

To reward HFB’s faithful readers, he has negotiate a deal with the management for a $40 nett only off-menu set dinner worth $120!!! What’s more, the first person to register for this event (and show up of course) will also win himself/herself a $10 Delifrance voucher!

Seats are limited, so what are you waiting for?!?! Email HFB your Name, Contact Number, and the No. of Pax (Spread the love) to hisfoodblog@gmail.com today! If you have any dietary restrictions with regards to the menu, do let him know in advance in your email – HFB and Tetsu will try their very best to accommodate your wishes. Closing date for the sign-up is Friday, 1 August. Seeya at Tetsu!


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17 July, 2008

All Natural Kitchen - Happy Food Makes One Happy

Since we are on the topic of healthy chicken – coincidentally on the same week, I was invited to visit All Natural Kitchen. Believing that happy food is created using natural ingredients and a pair of happy and dedicated hands – Kenneth, owner aka a happy chef (and a very cute and hunky one as well) saw a market for healthy, natural food for people who want a shift from the American junk food and the greasy Chinese takeaways.

Using homemade sauce (look out for the White Yoghurt Dip – slightly sourish but so zesty & tangy) and natural ingredients (no MSG, artificial enhancers, colourings) prepared with minimal fuss – what one gets are dishes that allows you to enjoy the food in its original state. From brown rice to grilled meats, sandwiches to wraps, each item listed on the menu guarantees one to enjoy their meal guilt-free! As we were rushing for time, we decided to go with the Toasted Tortilla Wraps and Sandwich that are filled with GENEROUS serving of Juicy Roast Chicken, Lettuce and Tomato Salsa.

My first thought was that he was merely trying to win me over with the amount of ingredients he dished out, but as I observed later, the big-hearted portion applied to all his customers – so much so that I began to wonder how does he meet his profit margin?

My verdict – I love the natural ingredients, the chicken is juicy and tender and one REALLY does achieve a sense of “happiness” after eating his food! However, between the wrap and the sandwich, I definitely preferred the former. The bread was slightly dry and flat which I believed was due to it being exposed to the air for quite some time.

Given a chance, do also give the Roast Chicken in Olive Oil and Rosemary a try – it looks really good and value-for-money. Interestingly, if you thought All Natural Kitchen is situated in a posh health bar, you might be surprised to find out that it is actually located at the 2nd level of Amoy Street Food Centre, just so that you get to enjoy these healthy foods at reasonable prices.

Grippingly, there were also copies of the latest issues of various lifestyle magazines for those in the queue to read – utterly considerate if you ask me.

So girls, what are you waiting for - do pay him, or rather the stall a visit, and I promise that you will be gushing with joy for the day!

7, Maxwell Road
#02-110 Amoy Street Food Centre
Singapore 069111

Opens for breakfast and closes by 3pm

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

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14 July, 2008

The Chicken Rice Company - Sakura Chicken


Small talk: New poll --> Please vote!!

I live by the principle that “Good Food is Always Sinful, and Healthy Food is Never Good” so much so that the people around me foresee that I wouldn’t live past 50 due to my impending heart problems. Enter The Chicken Rice Company that sets to dispel this line of reasoning.

With a special breeding technique using advanced Japanese farming methods – the chickens are reared in climate-controlled environments and totally free of antibiotics, growth promoter and chemicals. Hence a menu that offers diners a healthy rendition of the local favourite with no compromise on the flavour and enjoyment factors is born. The Chicken Rice Company is the only chicken rice operator in Singapore to use Sakura Chicken in all their dishes.

Opened in end-May and presently located at Newton Food Centre and Lau Pa Sat, HFB is honoured to be invited by them for a food tasting. The Chicken Platter for Two ($9 for ¼ chicken) when served has noticeably less fat underneath its skin – similar to what you get from Kampong Chicken at Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice.

No doubt one won't be getting that succulent gelatin, or jelly-like texture when biting the skin, the flesh is remarkably tender, succulent and surprisingly sweet-tasting.

Carefully concocted and subjected to stringent recipe tests, The Chicken Rice Company has also put together their special brand of Chilli Sauce that consist of quality Vietnamese Chilli Padis, and hint of Calamansi Juice. In addition, they also came out with a separate Spring Onion-ginger Sauce that is an invigorating mix of spring onion, ginger, garlic and shallots. Therefore one can either dipped their chicken in both sauces separately, or a mixture of both for a combination of spices.

The rice ($0.60) is pretty fragrant and although one does not really taste the oily residue when consuming the rice, I do find the rice slightly mushy – I prefer it to be more al dente – firm and grainy.

For more healthy options, one can also order their Green Vegetables ($3.00). Garnished with fried shallots, I find the vegetables really fresh and crunchy. Although I reckon some would probably find the vegetables too “green”, I personally love vegetables that are not too over-cooked.

Overall, I believe the arrival of Sakura Chicken would be a delight to the health conscious that has been shunning Chicken Rice for ‘oily’ reasons. With a slight twitching to their rice, I surmise The Chicken Rice Company will be a force to reckon with in the industry in time to come.

Stall 57, Newton Food Centre,
500, Clemenceau Avenue North,
Singapore 229495

Stall 18, Street 2,
Lau Pa Sat Festival Market,
18 Raffles Quay,
Singapore 048582


Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank The Chicken Rice Company for their generous hospitality.

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09 July, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Desserts @ Marriott Hotel Lobby

... where you can find one of my favourite -
Strawberry Jam Cheese Cake

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COLBAR Eating House - An Over-rated Colonial Bar


Small talk: HFB celebrates yet another milestone today - this is his 200 posts. Thank you all for your support!!!

What started out in 1953 at Jalan Hang Jebat (a mere 5 minutes from its present location) as a canteen and unofficial mess for the old British army troops in Portsdown Road – it was literally dismantled part-by-part, and reused for the reconstruction of the new COLBAR – Colonial Bar for short, further down along 9A Wessex Estate – to make way for the construction of Ayer Rajah Expressway.

To salvage this part of Singapore’s history, roof tiles, timber screens and solid timber swing doors were reused as treasures for this rejuvenated iconic eating place.

However, to redevelop means to inject new life, and consequently a new outdoor terrace evolve to provide diners with an alternative experience of alfresco dining.

Still a cult hit with the expatriates’ community, this place also seems to attract locals with a penchant for nostalgia.

Essentially a dining place that offers basic staple food in an enchanted setting of large field and colonial houses nearby – it even comes with an old-school tyre swing near a tree that we as kids used to see in our neighbourhood playground.

For $9, we ordered one of their most popular dishes, Chicken Curry (we swap the steam rice for 2 slices of White Bread instead) and honestly I wasn’t impressed. Although ‘lemak’ with coconut milk, it tasted slightly sweet for my liking and portion wise it was pathetic – and my favourite potato was nowhere in sight.

The other popular dish, Pork Chop with Chips and Mushroom ($9) was another disappointment. Although the fries were homemade, its mushrooms were normal canned mushrooms. The pork chops were also slightly tough and tasteless without the gravy except if you chew on the part near its bone – which my dad dutifully took care of it.

Undeterred, we figured the Pork Cutlet ($11) could be better and we would just about right – chips and mushrooms were still the same but taste wise the cutlet version was just slightly tastier. However, the outer layer of bread crumps was all puff up from the meat, which should not be the case as one end up eating the two separately.

We also ordered a few Asian dishes such as the Bee Hoon in Cantonese style ($6). It was bad to be honest as the vermicelli was tasteless and definitely no hint of ‘Wok Hei – I would rather eat my own brand of charred version anytime than this tasteless fare.

The Fried Rice Special ($5) was a total joke to be honest. A dollar more from the “normal” version that comes with additional ham and a sunny-side-up, the rice was served lukewarm and probably pre-fried. The only saving grace was probably the runny egg yolk.

The only thing I like about the Fried Bee Hoon ($5) was the generous servings of vegetables, however that is probably to compensate for this very oily dish.

In my opinion, if you can overlook the overpriced yet mediocre food, COLBAR actually provides a very nice environment for families with kids, as well as dog owners to chill in during a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Food: 2.5/5 (Barely decent)
Service: 4/5 (Orders came fast and staff were surprisingly quite friendly)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Nice and somewhat enchanted dining experience)
Price: 1.5/5 (Not value for money for the quality of food served)
Total: 12.5/20
9A, Whitchurch Road
Wessex Estate
Singapore 138839

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