Wednesday, May 25

Ikyu, Yong Siak Street

Lunch at Ikyu to satisfy a barashirashi craving. I can't quite put my finger on why, but the experience was pretty meh, despite great service and commendable sushi and barachirashi. FYI the wait staff seemed genuinely interested in our kids and went out of their way to befriend them. I highly suspect it was the dim lighting that made for a draining experience. Weird huh?

From the lunch sets, the nigiri sushi KW had boasted different aburi-ed fishes, molded to perfection. I can imagine an omakase session here might be payday worthy.

My suitably satisfying barashirashi boosted a myriad of chopped fish, dusted with bonito flakes. Sorry I can't recall or distinct the fish used but rest assure, it wasn't down run-of-the-mill cuts.

For the sets, we were delightfully surprised by the appetizer - beef and potato curry croquettes still warm from the deep fryer. However, the desserts - matcha ice cream and watermelon balls - were uninspiring and dull.

Likewise, the nabeyaki udon was pretty insipid, and the chicken karagee batter-thick and clumsy. Clearly, cooked food is not their forte.

I wish I had better things to say about Ikyu, maybe you have better luck with their omakase.

Monday, May 23

Burrito bowl from Guzman y Gomez

Burrito bowl - Steak chipotle, brown rice (+1), Jack cheese, black beans, and salsa. 

Fiesta in a bowl. Tasty and filling. Will be back for more. 

Friday, May 20

Old Street Bak Kut Teh @ Alexander Retail Centre

Alexander Retail Centre (ARC) is our default place to hunt down food after client meetings since we are stuck in that part of town. Options are limited but beggars can't be choosers, especially beggars who are strapped for time and just need something to fill the empty void in their gut after long meeting.

After one similarly long meeting, one colleague pleaded for bak out teh (comfort food) and we all agreed for the need for meat. I opted for the premium loin ribs (go big or go home), and we ordered a bunch of sides to disguise our gluttony share such as braised pig trotters, kai lan with oyster sauce, dough fritters and braised eggs.

All in all, a good serviceable meal. The braised pig trotters tender and full of natural collagen, the kai lan with oyster sauce providing some green relief, and the taut dough fritters just waiting to be given a good dunk. 

I very much enjoyed the premium loin ribs, though it did come at a costly $11.50 for two long staking bones. I especially love dunking those ribs into thick sweet soy sauce, which has been insidiously laced with chill padi.Very few things top the primal satisfaction of tearing meat off the bone. The broth is peppery with sufficiently oomphy, and you would inevitably find yourself slurping up the soup and scalding yourself silly.

Wednesday, May 18

YPG Gala Dinner at Capella Hotel

Before Lucas was born, KW and I could still sneak out for ice cream date nights, but these days, our kids have hijacked our date nights. Well, not that we mind as we don't have alot of time with the kids during weekdays anyway. 

Our first night out away from the kids turned out to be a fundraiser - Young Professionals’ Group (YPG) Gala Dinner - at Capella Hotel. YPG is a non-profit organization which was established to provide financial support, guidance, and advice to students planning to further their education, and the organisation is also supported by my company as part of our Give initiative. 

A simple yet elegant flower arrangement 

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Timbale

Basically this is a vegetable stack. It was nice, not the sort of thing you would harp about. Just the sort of dish that made you feel better about ingesting all those cocktail nuts earlier. Ugh, nuts are really my undoing. 

Pan Seared Sea Bass with Crispy Risotto and Seafood Ragout

I was rather impressed with the mains - my pan seared sea bass was well-cooked, but it was the crispy risotto (interesting!) and seafood ragout (reminded me of lobster bisque) that truly livened up the dish.

Beef Tenderloin, Crispy Polenta with Sautéed Vegetables 

KW's beef tenderloin was pleasantly pink too. It ain't no ribeye but it serves it's purpose to feeding us, I mean him.

Mango Pavlova with Chantilly Cream and Fruits

Meringues are not something I would usually go for, but this Pavlova was quite dreamy especially with that luscious Chantilly cream. 

Don't we look happpppy? HAHA!

The theme was Mad Hatter, but the hat I ordered from Etsy didn't arrive in time so a ruffly headband provided enough whimsy for the evening. To my relief, there weren't any hiccups at home so definitely encouraging to venture out into date night territory soon. Stay tuned. 

Monday, May 16

Tanuki Raw, Orchard Central

Tanuki Raw recently re-opened at Orchard Central with a brand new menu that serves up "modern, playful Japanese-meets-food-truck style cuisine." Admittedly, I liked what I saw on paper - a Fat Samurai disguised as a deep-dish pizza (not going to be that stealth after ingesting this I'm afraid) and Salted Duck Egg Char Siew Don (am always such a sucker for salted egg stuff), but in reality, my favourite dishes were the uncomplicated lets-not-beat-around-the-bush dishes.

The Good

Case in point: the Foie Gras Truffle Yakiniku Bowl was satisfaction seared and served in a bowl.  And that was quite a generous piece of foie gras too. It was so good we ordered another bowl.

Truffle Sweet Potato Fries fresh from their Mothership (the deep fryer) served alongside truffle aioli. You say "aioli," I say "mayo..." When I see the Firstborn pick on them, it makes me feel a wee bit better that these are made of sweet potato. #LiesItellmyself

The Not-so-Good

I am afraid the Salted Egg Char Siew Don was a zero-sum game. The sauce was weak and the char siew while tender was forgettable. Salted egg sauce needs a DFF (deep-fried friend) to cling onto, so texturally, this was a mismatch.

Golden Kani Maki - soft shell crab rolled with fresh snow crab, mozzarella stick and cucumber, topped with golden salted duck egg hollandaise. The soft shelf crab was like the teacher who picked on you back in school - cold, tough and stodgy. The entire dish consisted of one too many flavours and everything melded into an indiscernable mess.

And the "What Were You Thinking?!"


Instagram This Maki - When I saw the name, I thought of the frat Fung brothers from Broke Bites. This roll would make sushi chefs cringe and it isn't for the purist of heart. Fried yakiniku steak, bacon and tamago, smothered with malted cheese, mayo and onions. There was a lot going on and all I remember is, this tastes like something you would order and polish off with no recollection if you were drunk.

I wouldn't rule out Tanuki Raw but I would stick to the safer dishes in the future. Ok, maybe I will order the fat Samuri that wasn't available this visit too. #OldFartOut

Thursday, May 12

Bakes by Better Butter

A couple of weeks ago, Eve from Better Butter (Facebook and Instagram) reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some baked goodies. I normally turn down restaurant invites and tastings, but I have a soft spot for small time business owners slash home bakers. I also don't mind sharing the love, especially when they come in 2x2, topped with toasted marshmallows.

I was gifted threeitems - Smores, Lemon Bars and Pretzel Peanut Butter. Perfect timing as I had a potluck to attend and I thought these treats would make a great contribution. Work has been depressing crazy these days so not having to worry about preparing a dish was a lifesaver.

The Smores were a unanimous crowd favourite! Chewy brownies topped with torched marshmallows. Nuke them for 30 seconds for full effect.

Lemon bars were somewhat clumsy. I liked the lemony flavour but the layers between streusel topping, lemon curd and cookie base was indiscernible. One friend found the lemon flavour lacking, while another thought it was just right. Different strokes for different folks.

Eve mentioned Pretzel Peanut Butter were a treat for kids and she was right. Russell ate three in a go. Now, I normally don't let the kids take too much sugar but these were a rare treat. Anything homemade calls for seconds - and thirds :)

What I learnt from Eve is the end goal of Better Butter is to create a name, so that she can start supplying bakes to old folks homes and orphanages, so that those who are not as fortunate can enjoy the little treats in life too. Serious ambitious for someone who is wise beyond her years. In the midst of chasing down cheese tarts and salted egg croissants, I do hope we all find time to support the little guys such as Better Butter.

Tuesday, May 10

kith, Millenia Walk

kith at Millenia Walk is the group's latest baby and we popped by one Sunday lunch. Its is a warm, sunny and happy placethe service is great, and the food is above average. I have pretty low expectations for cafe food so I am just glad what they serve here is a lot better than the outlet at Sentosa Cove (ugh, hard to forget that chicken breast). The family ordered a bunch of stuff but I only took pictures of food I ate/shared (side note: I really don't get why people take pictures of food they don't eat).

I had a super hearty Super Salad with quinoa, greens, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers and a hunk of chicken leg. I loved how healthy and satisfying it was. 

Never one to pass up on a good burger, KW ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger that had good meat on them buns. I only noticed later on that didn't come with fries, and that is also one of the reasons why PS Cafe's Brunch Burger still tops it.

The Carbonara that we ordered for the kids was excellent. The adults partook in it with great enthusiasm. Nom Nom. We were tempted to get another plate but desserts warranted some space in our stomachs. 

These chunky Sea Salt Chocolate Cookie went straight for my heart. Dark and decadent, the bastard child of cookies and chocolate truffles (sorry, still riding on the latest season of Game of Thrones). 

Despite my love for all things coffee, the Kith Espresso Jelly is not something I would typically order. Perhaps the consistency of jelly is not something I can get on board with. This dessert was quite special though; the intermingle of gula melaka, coconut cream and espresso jelly made for a unique blend. 

My sister was quite pleased that she managed to reserve a slice of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake - apparently it is one of their signature cakes. Well, I thought it was was quite disappointing.The brownies were dry and the buttercream was mono-uno-dimensional. 

The matcha chocolate cake on the other hand was spot on. Ever since our Japan trip, I feel like I have re-gained my love for all things matcha. The bittersweet sheets of matcha sponge, mousse and chocolate ganache made for a deeply layered slice. 

kith at Millennia Walk is a pretty cool place to swing by. There's lots of seating, lots of warmth, just bring an empty stomach and order that Carbonara pronto.