22 September, 2010

Wendy's @ Liat Towers

Most people in our island probably came to know about Wendy’s at Liat Towers for the wrong reason. And HFB wouldn’t deny that it was such that pique his curiosity to find out about them for the right reason – their food offering that is. The Frosty Float ($2.60) was promptly served and from the first sip it tasted ordinary, but HFB was pleasantly surprised by how smooth Wendy’s signature frozen dairy dessert call “Frosty” was by his second slurp. One can also enjoy Frosty on its own ($1.50 for small, $2.40 for medium).


Wendy’s Chili ($2.70), made from Minced Beef, Kidney Beans, and Mixed Vegetables, to my surprise, was light on the palate – it was told that Wendy’s boil the meat to remove as much fats as possible before adding the rest of the ingredients.


This was definitely a healthy choice, although HFB thought the removal of fats took away some flavours along with it.


The burgers were next and HFB sampled the ½ Pound Double with Cheese ($8.25 for Combo). At one glance, one would discover that Wendy’s Burgers came with square burger patties – “they don’t cut corners”, that was what HFB was told. It was when HFB took his first bite at the burger that he had a HUGE dilemma – should he finish the ½ pounder, or save space for the rest of the menu? One might wish to know that Wendy’s uses Kaiser Buns instead of soft buns that go amazingly well with the beef patties. The patties were robust and provided a good bite, although an added char-grilled would have sealed the deal.


The Shrimp Supreme ($6.70 for Combo) was a pleasant find. Not something HFB would normally associate with burgers, the crusted shrimp was surprisingly full of flavours. However, HFB thought a much thicker patty would do it justice.


The Premium Fish Fillet ($6.65 for Combo) though was disappointing – it seriously lacked flavour and seasoning and its patty – a tad thin for a good bite.


HFB though enjoyed the refreshing fact that Wendy’s offered Baked Potatoes ($3.10 - $3.50) with a variety of toppings to choose from, such as Cheese & Cheese, Broccoli & Cheese, and Sour Cream & Chives.



Perhaps HFB was slightly filled at that point, but he actually enjoyed the latter the best. For a fast food restaurant to offer a decent salad is rare, but to offer one that tasted appetising – now that’s a good thing! HFB thought the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken ($6.50) was really fresh. A mixed between Romaine and Iceberg Lettuce, they were crunchily yummy! Not to mention the grilled chicken was really tender and luscious. To nitpick however, HFB did found the dressing a little lacking – the Anchovies, Capers and Garlic weren’t evident enough to pack a punch.


Alternatively, one can opt for Wendy’s Garden Salad ($4.70) and an added selection of their Spicy Chicken as topping. Nothing was noteworthy here though, plus HFB did find the chicken a tad too fiery spiced.


Wendy’s Nuggets ($6.60 for 6 pcs Combo) came with a nice chunky bite, while the fries surprisingly retained its crustiness despite being non-oily.


The Fried Chicken ($7.50 for Combo) came with a choice of regular or spicy. Thumbs-up for the fact that each bite into the chicken didn’t leave a trail of grease around HFB’s mouth despite its crispy crust!


HFB liked the Twisted Frosty with Oreo the best – the rest being Twisted Frosty with M&Ms and Strawberry Frosty Shake ($2.80 each). Those with a sweet tooth would welcome the sugar-rush from their desserts!


P/S: If one is a coffee drinker, one would be in for a nice surprise of their coffee at $2.10 each. Hint: Wendy's franchise is taken over by the Kopitiam Group.

Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Julie, Fiona, and Wendy's for their hospitality.

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07 September, 2010

Tetsu Japanese Restaurant - September Mushroom Promotion

With a new Head Chef, Chef Tetsuya Yoshida, a Tokyo native, at helm at Tetsu Japanese Restaurant, features a new special Japanese gourmet mushroom menu for the month of September. With September being the mushroom season in Japan, Tetsu has gathered mushrooms from the different prefectures of Japan to Singapore. To add icing to cake, these rare mushrooms have been paired with sake.

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The evening commences with Matsutake Dobin-mushi, or Pine Mushroom Teapot Soup ($15.80) paired with Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjou ($39.00 per botl / $6.50 per glass).

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A very refreshing dish that is light on the palate, however HFB did find the ingredients a little lacking.

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The sake complemented with a light body that harmonies the dish. The Kuro Toryufu Chawanmushi, or Black Truffle Chawanmushi ($7.80) is similarly paired with Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjou. Although not a new combination to avant-garde Japanese culinary scene, the dish is still greatly adored by many, HFB inclusive. Simplicity is the key to bring out the best in truffles (which by the way was imported from Europe and NOT Japan), and chawanmushi is one such perfect medium to showcase its aroma. With a drip of truffle oil to intensify its flavours, this dish is a winner.

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Next up, HFB was introduced to the Abalone Mushroom and Eringi with Mentaiko Mayonnaise Sauce ($19.50) paired with Bunraku Yume Ginjou Namachozoushu ($42.00 per botl / $5.50 per glass). HFB really loved the texture of the eringi mushroom, the largest species in the oyster mushroom genus. Coupled with the mentaiko sauce, the saltiness heightens the dish to a different level.

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The light body, fruity aftertaste of the sake then provided a perfect finishing. This was by the way HFB’s favourite sake that night.

Subsequently, the Charcoal Grill Assorted Mushroom (Abalone, Eringi, Maitake, Bunapi) ($18.00) paired with Bunraku Yume Ginjou Namachozoushu was served. HFB loved Japanese grill, but would usually find the result of grilled mushrooms to be dry and disappointing.

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While he would love for the sauce to be separate rather than spread over the mushrooms, the result was that it gave the mushrooms moisture even when grilled.

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Aesthetically, the Shiitake Nikuzume Kushi-age, or Shiitake Mushrooms stuffed with Minced Pork and Prawns, with Japanese Sweet Sour Sauce ($9.00) also paired with Bunraku Yume Ginjou Namachozoushu looks really lovely. Taste wise, the dish wasn’t terrible, in fact it was tasty! But HFB did felt strongly let down by the final result - the mushroom was simply overwhelmed by the meat and prawns in both taste and texture – definitely not a dish he would feature to showcase Shiitake mushrooms.

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Going by the name of Matsutake with Wagyu Tataki ($28.50) paired with Oku no Matsu Junmai ($42.00 per botl / $5.50 per glass), mellow full-bodied sake that goes well with stronger dishes, expectations were heighten. Probably a dish that most meat lover would have no complains about, one cannot really go wrong with this dish. While a thick slice of succulent Australian marbled beef wrapped around a prized mushroom, HFB thought the maid-of-honour once again stole the limelight from the bride at the altar. The aromatic earthiness of the mushroom was distinctly missing from the dish.

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The finale was that of Truffle Ice Cream ($5.80), and cream is another great complement to truffles. Not forgetting that real vanilla beans were used in the production of ice cream, HFB thought a little indulgence was nice conclusion for a relatively healthy meal.

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Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pris, Racheal, and Tetsu Japanese Restaurant for their hospitality.

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