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Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

Crunchy, salty, oily, tasty, sinful…

Oh I love eating fried lard. I don’t eat it everyday, so when I do see it, I eat it. Um yum yum. Good food is often cooked with lard, or lard oil.

And I found it. I found a place you can get your lard fix any time you want – RedRing wanton mee.

RedRing Wanton Mee

RedRing Wanton Mee

First, about the wanton mee itself. It’s a pretty good plate of noodles. The texture of the noodles is the starchy,chewy kind which I like. They use this fancy automated noodle cooking machine to make sure each serving is cooked for exactly the same length of time. I found the sauce alright. It’s supposed to be a signature sauce, but to me it was nothing spectacular. The char siew was charred but I thought it could be a little more charred and could do with a stronger caramalised flavour. Overall it was definitely above average, but not the best I’ve eaten.

But the star of the show, for me at least, is the lard! Hawker stalls often leave tubs of chilli and spring onions for customers to help themselves to. Here, there is a tub of lard. Yes. You can help yourself to the lard. I kid you not when I say that customer before me covered almost the whole serving of noodles with lard.

Lard!

Lard!

I had just gone for a pilates class and thought it quite defeated the purpose if I overindulged, so I took less than I wanted, but more than I would usually find in noodles. Mmm…

My less than dainty, but not overly gluttonous portion of lard to accompany my wanton mee

My less than dainty, but not overly gluttonous portion of lard to accompany my wanton mee

As Schwarzeneggar would say, though I suppose he’d never eat gobs of lard at a go, “I’ll be back!”

RedRing Wanton Mee (Holland Drive Stall) is found at:
Blk 46 Holland Drive
Chiangs Swallow Coffeeshop
Often everyday, 830am – 8pm
Closed on first and third Tuesday of each month

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This is so overdue.

A day before Alyssa was born I went for high-tea with Del and Sharon at 10 Scotts at Hyatt Hotel Singapore.  Actually I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to make tea at first because the week before the gynae thought that baby might come early.  But in the end baby decided to stay inside a bit longer, so tea it was!

And what good tea it was!

At $43 it’s not the cheapest, but it’s good value for what you get.  Included in the price are a tiered tea set filled with delectable finger-food like prawn canapes, beef sandwiches, tarts and other yummy hor d’oeuvres. You can ask for refills for items you like (the whole tier, even, if you wanted). There’s also a buffet spread of sweet treats and some savoury options that you can pick from. Plus, you get a choice of two drinks, which at regular a-la-carte prices would add up to almost $30 already. So it’s quite worth it. (But I’ll add that I didn’t pay that day because I was given a surprise treat by Del and Sha :) )

Teatime treats tier.  T-t-terrific!

Teatime treats tier. T-t-terrific!

The prawn cocktail crostini on the right is super!

The prawn cocktail crostini on the right is super!

More treats at the buffet line

More treats at the buffet table

Sorbet in jars

Sorbet  & ice cream in jars

My favourite item would definitely be the very creative and delicious brownie and ice-cream combination that is presented like a flower pot. I’ve never seen anything like it! And it’s definitely a nice idea to re-create at home for a party. Topped with oreo crumbs and a real flower as a garnish, it really looks like you are eating soil, but very tasty soil at that. With a dash of rum, it was a decadent treat.  I was tempted to have another, but after eating everything else was quite full, plus I wasn’t technically supposed to be having rum since I was preggers :)

Our plant food

Our plant food

Decorated with a mint spring, flower and blackberries

Decorated with a mint spring, flower and blackberries

The place doesn’t get very packed, is peaceful, and welcomes children – there were quite a few mummies with babies around.  Nice place for a ladies & babies afternoon.

David getting into the tea time groove :)

David getting into the tea time groove :)

10 Scotts is located at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.
Afternoon tea is served from Monday to Sunday, 12-5pm. There are two restaurant seatings for afternoon tea:
1st seating: 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm
2nd seating: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

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We were at ION  around dinner time and I was hurrying to find a place to feed the hungry children that a) wasn’t crowded, b) didn’t have exorbitant prices, c) had food the kids would eat.

I stumbled upon Menya Musashi. There were a few restaurants around it that also fit the bill but Ellery wanted Chinese noodles and Asher wanted Japanese sushi, so I thought Japanese ramen was a good compromise (though because Ellery could see it was a Japanese place kept saying he didn’t want to eat Japanese noodles…oh well. Can’t please them all.)

This place has a unique ‘H’ shaped noodle that when cooked has a nice chewy texture. It’s also a bit thick, which suits me fine.

The boys had the regular chashu ramen, and I was pleased to discover the broth was rich and creamy. I ordered the Black Tiger Ramen that comes with black garlic oil, chashu, and lean pork. The garlic oil gave the broth an extra kick. I think there’s quite a bit of MSG used, though, because later at home we were all very thirsty.

Overall, while the ramen was good, I thought Hachifukumaru was a lot better. Still, since the food is decent and prices bearable I’ll probably come back again if we’re in the area and need to feed the kids quick!

Black oil chashu ramen

Black oil chashu ramen

White chashu ramen

White chashu ramen

Hungry boys

Hungry boys

Menya Musashi is found at ION Orchard, #B3-25.

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We went to OG to get some stuff and were looking for somewhere convenient to have dinner. We saw that there was a ramen place at OG and decided to give it a go.

What a good decision!

Hachifukumaru by the Nansuttei group serves up de-li-cious ramen. I ordered the Negi Chashu Ramen with black mayu oil, and from the first sip of soup I was hooked! Normally I prefer my ramen with pork broth as it’s creamier and has a richer flavour than chicken broth. This place uses chicken broth, but it is every bit as robust and creamy. Silky, actually, is what I was thinking. Creamy and silky. All the goodness from the chicken bones dissolved into the soup. Paired with the black garlic oil, it was perfect!

The texture of the noodles was just right too – chewy, just the way I like it, and the chashu was tender but still with a slight bite. Together with the broth, the bowl of ramen was absolutely moreish. I slurped up everything, and was sad to see the bottom of the bowl (even though there was an amusing picture at the bottom).

I am definitely, definitely going back.

Hidden at the back of OG

The entrance hidden at the back of OG

Negi Chashu Ramen with Black Mayu

Negi Chashu Ramen with Black Mayu

The sad end

The sad end. What is that guy saying? Is he mocking me or empathising with me?

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There’s been news about how new cafes have been springing up in old, but yet-to-become-hip enclaves.

One of the newest additions to the Bukit Ho Swee area is barely two-week old Sin Lee Foods. Located along a quiet HDB void deck, Sin Lee Foods takes it name from the coffeeshop that used to occupy its premises. I went to check out the place with Shan and Ben.

Sin Lee Foods

Sin Lee Foods

Took over an old coffeeshop

Took over an old coffeeshop

 

On my hit list was Chicken & Waffles. The chicken was fried food heaven.  The skin was crisp with crackling bits and the meat was juicy and tender.  It was served upon a waffle that looked beautifully done – smooth with no burnt bits.  However, I thought that the waffle could have been cooked a little longer to make the outside more crusty. The inside was moist, sometimes to the point of being mushy. The maple sauce went well with the waffles, but I decided that I preferred to leave my savoury fried chicken alone. As for the side, I liked their coleslaw very much. The cabbage was fresh and crunchy, with just the right amount of sourness. Overall, the dish with its sweet and savoury parts, felt like I was a lazy fellow eating my main course and dessert all at the same time. While generally good, at $21.90 I do find it on the high side for a hole-in-the-wall cafe located in such an area.  I think I will probably opt for the coffeeshop chicken cutlet instead.

Chicken & waffle

Chicken & waffle

Shan tried the the ABC grilled sandwich with spam fries. I didn’t try it, but spam fries sounds like a good, unhealthy idea to replicate home – the husband will love it!

Grilled sandwich with spam fries

Grilled sandwich with spam fries

Overall, I probably won’t be making the detour there again anytime soon as the place is kinda out of the way and the food is expensive.

Sin Lee Foods is located at:

Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
#01-164

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More on our staycation!

Flying Trapeze

The most exciting thing for me was probably the flying trapeze. Kids above 5 years can try, but Asher was more interested in playing with the sand, and it’s not Jon’s type of activity, so I did all three complimentary swings myself. And just as well. I only succeeded on the third swing! I took an introductory course in aerial circus arts last year and had learnt some simple tricks on the trapeze. Even though I expected the flying trapeze to be challenging for me since I haven’t exercised in a long time, I didn’t realise just how challenging it would be.

A moving trapeze is vastly different from a stationary one. And hooking your knees onto a trapeze hung at eye-level is totally different from hooking them onto one that is the height of your outstretched arms. At the pre-swing practice I needed the help of the assistant to lift my legs up to the trapeze; at circus class I can do it myself.

Struggling to get on the high bar

Struggling to get on the high bar

And that was just the start of the challenges. Even climbing up to the platform high above was tiring! Gosh. And then when I swung for the first time I realised how much my grip has weakened from when I was doing circus every week. I could barely hang on when swinging with the centrifugal forces I was experiencing. And with a moving trapeze it’s all about timing. I almost got my feet to touch the trapeze when I started to swing backwards and then couldn’t lift them anymore.

But it got better. I think my body was remembering what it felt like to exercise again. Second time, the climb up was less tiring, my grip felt stronger, and one foot had a good hold of the trapeze before I swung backwards losing the hold.

Third time was the winner. Swing! Legs up! Feet on! Knees! YAY!

Wheeeeeeeeee

Wheeeeeeeeee

I thought it was good for the boys to see me persevering, and eventually succeeding at it.

Food

We were there on Father’s Day, so all fathers received a free glass of beer. That instantly made Jon’s day :)

Cheers for Fathers!

Cheers for Fathers!

For dinner and breakfast we ate at the Silver Shell Cafe.  I liked that there was a children’s buffet table set at their height with kid-friendly food. They happily ate up their tortilla chips, pasta, chicken wings, and other such food.  Asher ate so much he said his belly was so full he could hardly contemplate dessert. Of course dessert won in the end.  He planted himself at the chocolate fondue station and helped himself to stick after stick of marshmallows, eating them straightaway after dipping them in the chocolate fountain.  So much for being too full :) Ellery, having less of a sweet tooth, was happy to take a few bites of some cake.

Kids buffet table

Kids buffet table

Frozen cake spotted!

Frozen cake spotted!

Jon and I had our fill too.  I was glad to eat medium rare beef for the first time in months, and loved their salad bar so much I chomped through two large servings of salad.

Definitely a fun and  yummy buffet for all of us!

Room

The third-floor room we had was very spacious. It could fit a king sized bed, the queen sized sofa bed, a cot, and still had a lot of space for the kids to run around. Perfect for our needs. I also thought it was very thoughtful of the hotel staff to provide a care pack for the kids.  They loved it!

Very spacious room.  This picture doesn't show where the sofa bed is cos I'm standing there.

Very spacious room. This picture doesn’t show where the sofa bed is cos I’m standing there.

So many beds, but all piled together for an afternoon nap

So many beds, but all piled together for an afternoon nap

Care pack for the kids

Care pack for the kids

Slippers, toothbrushes in kids size, and even a sponge because they know we have a baby with us!

Slippers, toothbrushes in kids size, and even a sponge because they know we have a baby with us!

Playing on their sofa bed :)

Playing on their sofa bed at night :)

Sleeping in

Sleeping in

If you get a good deal, Rasa Sentosa is really a great place for a staycation!

Rasa Sentosa

Rasa Sentosa

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I have found my favourite pulled pork sandwich and fish & chips place.  Sea Salt Caribbean Deli at Pasarbella has been a wonderful find that we have returned to again and again.  I stumbled upon it when I was exploring Pasarbella at The Grand Stand one day, and boy, am I happy I did. I love pulled pork.  It’s something I fell in love with when I was about 8 or 9 years old when we went to my parent’s Mexican friend’s house for a party.  I can still see the table covered with food, and Aunty Elena scooping out a portion of pulled pork from a huge silver pot.  She had cooked it herself, and it was wonderful.  I love how pulled pork is so tender and juicy, and with the right mix of spices it is oh so flavourful.

Sea Salt’s version, which is the Caribbean version obviously (not that I’m really sure what the difference is between the Caribbean and Mexican ones), ticks all the boxes when it comes to a pulled pork sandwich.  The shredded meat is beautifully tender without losing it’s bite, and is gorgeously juicy and robust.  The crusty thick-cut bread that it is served with is crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.  Spread with mayonnaise, it is perfect with the pork.  It’s a big sandwich, but that isn’t all.  It comes with a generous serving of mixed salad that includes a variety of greens like arugula, baby beet greens and frisée.

Pulled pork sandwich of your dreams

Pulled pork sandwich of your dreams

The other dish we love is the fish & chips.  You have a choice of fish, and we particularly like the sea bass for it’s sweetness.  The fish pieces are cut thick and chunky, so you know you are getting the real deal, and it’s good quality fish.  None of that thin processed fillet please.  The batter also doesn’t overwhelm the fish.  I don’t like when fish is over-battered and there is a sticky moist layer of unfried batter in between the crisp part and the fish.  Sea Salt’s fish was perfectly battered and fried when you order so it is served crisp and piping hot.

The part that the kids love most, and that I heartily approve of too, is that the fish is not served with regular potato fries.  It comes with a mix of sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips.  Yummee!  It’s another generous serving and great for sharing.

Fish with sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips

Fish with sweet potato fries, plantain chips and yam chips

Sea Salt is located in Pasarbella at The Grand Stand
200 Turf Club Road
#02-40/#02-K40

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