23 October 2016

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant | An unagi lover's dream come true?

Teppei-san strikes the Japanese food scene again after his wildly popular omakase restaurant (read review here). This time with an electrifying move to open the first unagi specialty Man Man Japanese unagi restaurant in Singapore. I love unagi and hence made a special trip to 1 Keong Saik Road to find out more.

Man Man restaurant is not very big. It's quite smoky and could do with better ventilation. You can choose to sit in front of the kitchen which you would be treated with a gory theatrical trailer of your eel being killed live, skewered and grilled in front of you. I would prefer to pretend that my food's previous life was not a living animal so thank you very much, I'll pick the seat near the door.

Theatrical smoke effect

I got the una tama don ($18.60+) which is basically grilled unagi, soft tamogo and rice, soup. The char-grilled unagi's firm sweet meat is perfect with the accompanying Japanese rice that is drizzled with the special soy sauce. The thin layer of crispy grilled skin soaked with sauce was just enough to add flavor without greasing up the dish. The fluffy tamago adds a different dimension of texture to the entire dish.

The portion is not very big. So if you are looking for a mega feast of fleshy unagi meat, you might be disappointed with Man Man.

Man Man's queue on Saturday noon was fortunately not too man man (慢慢) (about 20 minutes). But I would recommend to bring insect repellent, sunblock, sunglasses, portable fans, caps etc as the queue is not sheltered from the blazing hot sun and the wildlife.  

Overall, I would recommend the unagi lover to try this at least once in his lifetime. I would also recommend the unagi lover to stop eating unagi for the rest of his life after that. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unagi), unagi is an endangered species. Sorry for ending your dreams. Your sacrifice will be greatly appreciated by sustainability organisations worldwide. Thank you.

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant
Address: 1 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089109 

16 October 2016

Sumo Big Prawn Mee

The lobsters, crayfish and prawns of Sumo Big Prawn Mee have been making a huge splash on social media recently. Word has it that the newly opened stall has been dishing out humbly-priced $25 lobster prawn mee in the humble Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio hawker centre. I happened to be in the neighbourhood last week. Being a huge lover of prawn mee, I naturally joined the naturally super long queue to find out more.

Just by standing in the queue, the aroma from the cooking of the robust prawn soup has already set my noses working. I've always thought umami is a form of flavour. But on that very day, I learnt that umami is also a form of scent.

Sumo Big Prawn Mee offers five types: $5 prawn mee, $8 big prawn mee, $13 crayfish mee, $18.90 lobster mee (current price is $24.90 as the Asia lobster is out of supply season and they are using the more expensive Colombia lobster) and a $16.90 set meal (not available when I visited). I was not in the mood for an extravagant meal so I ordered the $8 big prawn mee. You can choose either bee hoon or yellow noodle or both. 

The soup is thick, robust and packs a punch of rich crustacean essence. The savoury soup is rather light on the other ingredients such as shallots. Hence, I could really taste the pure sweetness of the seafood in the broth. Slurped the soup to the last drop.

For $8, I got 4 big prawns. The meat is fresh and firm. Sumo Big Prawn Mee has also semi peeled the prawns, much to my convenience. There are also generous amounts of fresh la la clams which elevate the seafood flavours of the soup.  

Just take note that the queues can get super long during peak hours, especially on weekends. According to social media sources, the queuing time can be up to 1 hour.

Although the prices are more premium than your usual bowl of prawn mee, you can trust that the ingredients are also more premium. The long queues proved that premium pricing is a feasible feastible idea in a hawker centre setting. Especially for the $25 lobster mee which you get 1 entire lobster + prawns + clams. So cheap and good. I can't wait to try it some day.

If you are a prawn mee lover, I strongly recommend you to make the journey to the North to try Sumo Big Prawn Mee regardless of where you stay. It's definitely not your usual prawn mee.

Address: Blk 628 Hawker centre Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 #01-72 Singapore 560628

9 October 2016

Kushin Bo (Suntec City)

I love buffets but I think buffet restaurants love me more. It's not my fault that I was born with a non-expandable belly which makes me the ideal customer who contribute the fat profit margins to buffet restaurants. Still, it didn't stopped me from going to Kuishin Bo which I have been waiting to try for the longest time.

I was awed by the huge variety offered by Kuishin Bo. Fried tempura prawn, soft shell crab, gyozas, fish, fresh seafood such as prawns, scallops, mussels, assorted sushi, handrolls, yakiniku, paper hotpots, ramen, soba, udon, chawanmushi, soups etc.. Not to mention the desserts section which is equivalently amazing with its extensive range of cakes, puddings, mochis, konnyaku jelly, icecream (both soft serve and hard serve). To top it off, a chocolate fondue fountain! 

Fresh and juicy assorted sashimi - My most favourite part of the buffet
Fried stuff were pretty good too.

Fresh seafood 

Paper hotpot - Not as good as I hoped for

Ramen - You can give this a miss.
Self serve your soft serve

Surprisingly a very good intense lava cake

Milo is available. But it's a trap to make you feel full
There's a washing facility in-house. So convenient!

nth round
Die die also want to fill up all the 9 slots - The puddings are better than the cakes in my opinion.

For just $38.90++ during weekend lunch, you get a quality unlimited buffet. I like that the seafood and sashimi is fresh. Kuishin Bo Suntec City is also currently running a promotion where 2 adults and 1 child can dine for $84++. Good idea for family sunday brunches.

23 July 2016

Singapore Favourite Food Village 2016 : What to eat

Recently, the Singapore food scene has a seen a lot of fussing and buzzing. Besides the first Michelin awards which has its fair share of fuss and buzz, the Singapore food festival is also ongoing till end of July. I'm usually not a fad person but it's hard to ignore them. One of the highlights of the Singapore Food Festival is the Singapore Favourite Food Village which is held from 22 July 2016 till 31 July 2016. Featuring over 20 culinary partners, it features our traditional favourites and their modern interpretations. Think seafood LAKSAgna, Salted egg yolk prata, Chilli crab prata, Pulut Hitam Matcha dirt cake, Gula Melaka ice-cream etc.

Held in a temporary site, the Singapore Favourite Food Village is a short walk from the Bugis Mrt station (take exit A). My passion for food was undeterred by the rain (ok slight drizzle actually) on Friday night. 

Our little bellies could only eat 5 out of the 20 stalls. While you are judging, here's the 5:

1) Salted egg yolk turnip pudding chai tow kway (or fried carrot cake) -$6

This salted egg version only adds to the recent identity crisis that our favourite Singaporean food has been going through. First called a carrot cake (when it's neither a carrot nor a cake), and then called a turnip pudding by Michelin recently. Now it's being modified with salted egg yolk.  

I like this modified version more! The carrot cake is fried using the usual chicken eggs and then topped with generous salted egg yolk sauce. Surprisingly, the rich and briny salted egg yolk paired perfectly with the fragrant fried carrot cake with a tinge of sweetness. A must try!

2) Crackling roast pork - $12.90 for set with side and salad

This skin of this roast pork is roasted till it is very crispy and indeed crackles in the mouth. Other than that, I think it will taste better if served hotter. There's apple sauce or mustard sauce available to pair the roast pork. Be careful with the mustard sauce which is rather stinging. Try pairing with the sweet apple sauce. 

3) Wei Yi Laksa - $5

Wei Yi means "The Only One" and also a very famous laksa stall in Tanglin Halt. Which I've never tried because I am a lazy Eastie foodie who doesn't do the Journey to the West. 

To me, Laksa is all about the golden ratio of coconut milk to spices (shallots, candlenut, lemongrass, dried chillies, shrimp paste). I find Wei Yi's ratio leaning towards more coconut milk. I suspect it lacked one of the spices, making the taste a little underwhelming. But I can't tell which spice is it. Can anyone let me know? 
Tip: remember to stir the laksa first so that the flavours are mixed better. Even though it's not perfect, it's a very good bowl of laksa chocked with much tau pok, prawns, fish cakes. One of the best stalls at Singapore Favourite Food Village. 

4) Churros 

This is embarrassing.. My unadventurous friend bought for us the chocolate version instead of the ondeh-ondeh version. Yes an ondeh-ondeh churros they have! Anyway, the churros was wondrously crispy deep fried dough that's topped with a crackle-thin crust of sugar. Very nice with the warm chocolate. You won't regret trying!

5) Sea salt Hokkaido milk soft serve -$4 

Before leaving, end off with this rich creamy milky soft serve. 

I'll recommend you to upgrade to an Instagram-worthy version (biscuit cone plus candy floss) for a small price.

6) Extra - Old Chang Kee Rendang Puff - $1.80

Old Chang was located outside the tent area. Not sure why. Anyway they have a new Rendang curry pok which is really good other than the weird green crust colouring. It is more inclined towards tangy tones. 

The Singapore Favourite Food Village is on till 31 July 2016. Admission is free. Food is not free. Only 1 week left so chop chop curry pok. 

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