26 June 2017

Peranakan Flavours

Peranakan Flavours is quite a low-key restaurant compared to its peers such as Candlenut/Violet Oon. They were originally in Ardennes Hotel, a boutique hotel along Jalan Klapa. Recently, they have moved to Tan Quee Lan street which is much more accessible from Bugis MRT station. 

Being an ardent fan of Peranakan food and a frequent visitor of Bugis, this was right up my alley.

The menu comprises the usual suspects: babi pongteh, buah keluak, though there were quite a few special ones that caught my attention.

Hae Cho




















Out of the appetizers, this Hae Cho ($16++) caught our attention. Wrapped in crispy fried beancurd skin, the fillings were substantial, made of minced prawns, pork and water chestnuts. The accompanying plum sauce elevated the overall taste of this savoury dish by giving it a sweet and sour note.

Laksa goreng
The chef's personal recommendation: Laksa goreng ($15++). Woah.

I can have this every day if only it doesn't give me clogged arteries. A twist to the soupy laksa, this comes in a dry version with a texture akin to hokkien mee. The thin noodles and other essential ingredients such as tau pok, prawns, egg are drenched in a thick home-made rempah gravy that packs a spicy umami punch. Very satisfying.

Sotong Hitam














Another chef's recommendation: Sotong Hitam ($18++). No woah for this though. The squid was a bit tough for our old teeth to chew. The lemongrass, which was supposed to be in the supporting role, was in conflict with the sweet black sauce. The result was an identity crisis that confused us.


The modest decor couldn't have been more ironic to the rich flavours of Peranakan cuisine. But it's ok. It was a delicious one-way ticket (albeit pricey) to food coma. 

Not trying to be a cheapskate but I think this place will bring in the crowds if the prices were about 33.33% cheaper. A promising establishment. 

















Address:  7 Tan Quee Lan Street Singapore 188096
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peranakanflavours/

8 June 2017

Welcome to Geylang Ramadan Bazaar 2017. The Theme is Unicorn.


If the last time you went to the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar was a few years ago, you need to visit it today. It's like a breath of fresh air with instagrammable inventions such as dragon breath (read: $7 Cheezels which has liquid nitrogen added so that you can spew dragon-like breath), galaxy drinks (read: milkshake with artificial coloring), unicorn tears (bubblegum milkshake), vampire blood (no idea about this one). 

Instagram has saved the Geylang Ramadan bazaar. It's actually a hipster thing to visit the Ramadan Bazaar nowadays. 

Just a week ago marked the start of a month of Ramadan fasting. It also marked the start of the annual Geylang Serai Bazaar which will end on 24 June.

The theme for this year is Unicorns!

A union of unicorns

As a non-conformist, I didn't get anything with unicorns. Here's the real (pun intended) food that I got:

1) Chicken scotch eggs with crackers in Peking duck sauce ($5)

Braved the "scotch-ing" hot bazaar for this scotch eggs. Basically it is eggs coated with minced chicken meat and fried cereal. While the eggs were delicious, the minced meat was so-so and quite flat in flavour. The prawn crackers that were drizzled in Peking duck sauce were good comfort food but nothing to shout about. 3/5


Location: Bazaar along Engku Aman Road

2) Raclette set ($12)

When raclette meets pototo. This was the most anticipated event at the Geylang Ramadan Bazaar and we queued 30 minutes for this. Unfortunately, the French-imported cheese is really just normal la. The potatoes are too salty for my liking. The price is too expensive for my liking. The queue is too long for my liking. 3/5


Location: Bazaar along Haig Road food centre side.

3) Big sotong ($7.50)

Because the queue for Raclette was too long, it was more efficient for me to go and scout for other food while my companion was queuing. Pro tip: Bring a group of friends and get them to queue at different stalls, and then meet to eat together. 

This big sotong caught my eye. The hot & spicy flavour is not super spicy. But I love the crispiness and chewy yet not rubbery texture. Satisfying crispy snack. 3.5/5


Location: Bazaar along Haig Road food centre side.

4) Thai fried ice-cream rolls ($4 for 6 rolls)

These ice-cream rolls screamed for my attention. The ice-cream is placed on a flat surface and mixed with fruits/toppings of your choice, and then flattened and rolled. It is gimmicky but there is something therapeutic watching them being rolled. Anyway, they are just like normal ice-cream. 2/5


Location: Bazaar along Haig Road food centre side.

5) Fried Oreos ($3 for 5 pcs)

4.5/5 when piping hot. 3/5 when cold. Deep fried Oreo that's coated with batter and topped with a crust of icing sugar. It's a burst of sweet and savoury in every bite. Who knew Oreos have a different side to them? 


Location: Everywhere

6) Fried milk ($5 for 6 pcs)

While the whole Ramadan Bazaar is trying to copy each other to be the best Unicorn, this stall caught my attention with its fried milk. The one and only stall that sells fried milk. There are 4  flavours available: (1) Original milk with salted caramel, (2) Pandan with gula melaka and shredded coconut (3) Thai milk tea with condensed milk (4) Mixed platter of the above. I don't like salted caramel and milk tea. So only left with option 2 - Pandan with gula melaka and shredded coconut. 

The texture is really interesting with its custard-like milk pudding that's enveloped by a super crispy golden outer layer. So you get a crispy yet soft feeling. I like the pandan flavour which is not overly sweet. 

Verdict: 5/5 for the first piece. 4/5 for second piece.. 3/5 for .. you get the idea. 



Location: Bazaar along Haig Road food centre side.

7) Katoshka double-fried russet fries ($5.90)

Finally something that I will return for. 6/5 this one is.

The russet fries are double-fried, making them crispy and yet moist at the same time. But the star is the special cheese sauce which is infused with herbs, making it rich, intense and addictive. So good..

I should stop writing about food in the middle of the night. 



Location: Bazaar along Haig Road side. Next to fried milk.

The griping thing about the bazaar is that it was super hot and the crowds were insane. I wished I brought a portable fan along. 

I wonder what would be the theme next year. But certainly not unicorns. As someone said, consistency is the playground of dull minds. We shall see..




6 February 2017

Soi 51 Mookata


Personally, a Mookata buffet usually conjures up images of menacing gas cylinders and splattering hot oil. I would classify it under "higher risk" food adventure, and unless the benefits are justified, I would not go near a Mookata anytime. Legend has it that Soi 51 Mookata has great value-for-money all-you-can-eat delicious Mookata buffet at $20 nett only! And $18 nett during promotion periods. That certainly outweighs the risk of me being burnt by a Mookata. 


The variety of food offered at Soi 51 Mookata is amazing. Besides the usual marinated pork, chicken and beef, I was surprised with the seafood offerings which include prawns, mussels, scallops, squid, bamboo clams, flower crabs. And they also have a huge selection of pork balls, Thai fish cakes, mushrooms etc. 


Taste-wise, we love almost everything. The barbecued marinated meats were excellent. They were tender and juicy. The prawns and scallops were succulent as well. Again, to re-emphasise the price point of $20 nett, it's really worth the money and there's not much to complain about the food standards.


Soi 51 Mookata has several outlets and I think most of them are located in coffee shops. Take your pick of "prime real estate" in the coffee shop and enjoy the open-air ventilation. Service is adequate and efficient. Though one should not be expecting restaurant type of ambience and service level.  We left with our souls satisfied, stomachs overworked. 


16 January 2017

Kam's Roast

吊起来卖 or "hang up to sell" in English
Due to stricter employment laws imposed by the ministry of manpower in recent years, Hong Kong Kam's Roast Goose's Michelin winning goose did not get its work permit in Singapore.

Oh I think I got the wrong ministry. I meant the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) didn't issue work permit to the goose due to potential bird flu scares.

Without the star performer, the Singapore franchise of Kam's Roast Goose, which opened at Pacific Plaza in Orchard featured other foreign talents such as the Malaysian roast duck, and Toro Char Siew (barbecued pork).

The Toro Char Siew was highly recommended by the media. It was supposedly based on a secret marinade that is developed by the Kam family and you might have to marry their offspring if you really want to know the recipe. Wow, the sweet sticky sauce that coated the charred caramelised bits didn't disappoint! However, it was let down by the char siew which had lean meat that was too tough for my liking, and had too little fatty portions. For the value, it is overpriced at $22.80 and I doubt I will order it again.

Toro Char Siew ($22.80!)
We got a roast meat combo noodle (with 2 meats which we chose roast duck obviously and roast pork). The roast duck was quipped by my friend as 有前途 (got hope). Indeed the first bite into the crispy skin and juicy tender meat gave us hope that this is the one. But reality soon hits us that it just tasted like a good plate of roast duck and nothing extraordinary.

Roast duck and pork combo noodle ($11.80)
Roast pork & Roast duck


The noodles were supposed to be flown in from Hong Kong daily. But we did not find it very different or unique.

Service was attentive even though food took quite some time to arrive. Which is puzzling because I thought not much cooking was required.

So Kam's Roast didn't turn out to be a life changing experience after all. The food was not bad but there wasn't much economic value. A bit of 吊起来卖 or as they say in English, "hang up to sell". I guess I won't be back anytime.
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