Sunday, December 25, 2011

24 Dec 2011 - Chongqing Grilled Fish

She was nagging about going to Chongqing Grilled Fish, about how good the fish was, and how much she wanted him to try it. Felt more like it was her who wanted to eat it again.

Ordered a mid-sized "mala" (spicy and numbing) "golden" grouper $28++, one serving of kelp $2.80++, a bowl of rice $0.80++ and 2x iced water, $0.40++ each. Grand total of $38.10.

The grilled fish was served in a shallow pan of mala soup and beneath the pan was some burning pieces of charcoal to keep the soup bubbling. You could still see some charring, and that probably provided the meat with the marvellous BBQ smell. Grilled fish in soup, huh? He usually has fried fish, or steamed fish with some dressing or gravy. The soup managed to diffuse flavour to every bit of the fish, it was some tasty grilled fish indeed. Now he feels like buying some mala soup base for "yong tau foo"... Maybe this could be done at the next class gathering too.

Hopped to Ji De Chi across the street, and had some dessert. Durian Sago and Bean Curd as per last week, and a bowl of cold Sesame "Smoothie". $9...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

17 Dec 2011 - Xian De Lai Shanghai Cuisine and Ji De Chi

Was supposed to have dinner at Chong Qing Grilled Fish, but he got distracted upon noticing "free-flow crabs" advertised by Xian De Lai (XDL) Shanghai Cuisine. No prizes for guessing where he went for dinner.

XDL offered steamboat (hotpot) ala carte buffet. Each serving was a small portion, help you reserve enough space to have a bit of everything. $19.90++ per person, $5++ surcharge for the soup base.

Some items were quite good. Scallops were sweet and did not have traces of sand, and meats were well marinated, tasted good even after cooking in the soup. Crabs came in halves. They were small but well cleaned and really sweet. Vegetables came wilted and protruding out of the plate, touching the tray and table. Very unappealing.

Did not like the service much though. Had wanted to sit inside, but the waitress lied that there were no more seats. She then joyfully proceeded to usher the people who arrived after them to levels 2 and 3. While taking his orders, she skipped away to pull customers into the shop, very rude. Orders never arrived in full, reminders were like you speaking to thin air. The only reprieve was one polite lad, who would top up their soup and drinks, and also repond to thank yous.

She claimed to be on diet, but prodded him to move up several shophouses to Ji De Chi (JDC).

Durian Sago, $6. Rich, fattening stuff for her.

Beancurd came free, Christmas promo of Durian Sago and Beancurd. Smooth and had a nice smokey flavor. Made him regret ordering his Mango Sago.

Mango Sago, $4. The pomelo bits balanced out the sweetness of the mango puree. But he was already too full to enjoy this...

All in.

16 Dec 2011 - Gathering with U-mates

The group agreed to have a dinner gathering at Sizzler, Suntec City Mall. Three out of six attendees managed to meet up two hours before the stipulated time. These people sat at Coffee Bean to catch up while waiting for the rest to turn up. It was recalled that the same thing happened at the last gathering, the same few people reached earlier than agreed, and met up at the same Coffee Bean branch. Lots of chatter ensued, and nobody realised how much time had passed. It was time to get some seats at Sizzler.

It was quite a long wait, probably got seated at around 8pm. Immediately attacked the salad bar. Ok, no quite, it was after ordering a medium well Sizzler Steak.

First blood. Had some artichoke hearts, beetroot and assorted mushrooms later on. Totally forgot about their picture.

The main course of 225g steak. Most of the group had their steak done medium rare, but their stake turned out dry. Oddly, his medium well steak was very juicy, meat was still red, and juiced the plate all over. He was the only one who ate his potato skins too. This set cost $29.99++.

After dinner, they went for some drinks at Paulaner.

Probably because they haven't met up for quite some time, people kept wanting to continue their conversations. So they left for Xin Wang Hong Kong cafe before they lost their voice to the loud music.

Each had yet another drink, and someone also ordered a fried bread thingy to share. Check out that oily thing.

Mocha + coke + beer + green tea in one evening, the stomach's sure to throw tantrums the next morning. And it did.

Monday, December 12, 2011

11 Dec 2011 - Classmate's Wedding

Or should he say ex-classmate. Met up with the rest of attendees from the class at 1pm and headed to the venue. It was held at the void deck, nicely decorated and had yummy food aroma wafting around the area.

Cute wedding door gift that contained chocolates, the butterfly lock was especially interesting.

Super-charged Nasi Briyani. Left to right, chicken, beef, mixed vegetables, and fish. He loves beef cooked this way, soft and tender to the bite. Totally enjoyed the curry lunch.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

10 Dec 2011 - Lai Lai Casual Dining @ NEX Mall

As always, he loves sleeping in on weekends. On this Saturday, they managed to pull themselves out at around 1pm for lunch. Took a bus to NEX Mall to settle the craving for Taiwanese braised beef noodles from Lai Lai Casual Dining.

Ordered 2x Special Set A ($12.90++), upsized to the largest bowl of noodles ($4++) and opted for tendon and meat mix ($1++). Worked out to $17.90++ per person.

Milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls. Sweet and aromatic.

Braised intestines, presentation's a little messy as compared to the outlet at Liang Seah Street. Had the same gamey smell though, perhaps it was meant to be that way. Otherwise, it was well softened and tasted fine.

Crispy chicken chunks with fried curry leaves on the side. Some of them felt dried and others seemed under-fried. He thinks that he had enjoyed better ones at Liang Seah.

Huge bowl of mung bean vermicelli, with big chunks of beef as usual. Unlike her usual self, she was unable to finish the serving. He had to help her with 2 piece of meat and the whole bundle of vermicelli.

He stuck with the springy Taiwanese style noodles. Similarly, this had lots of meat, but 2 or 3 chunks were like 3/4 fats. Not really edible, unless you could swallow the whole thing. This was the only meal he had for the day, so full that he could do without dinner.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

07 Dec 2011 - Domino's Pizza

Had an early dinner and since they had some coupons, an order for Domino's was placed online to last the night. Cash was the only payment option. Got an extra large Hawaiian and two Lava Cakes for $30.87.

Was monitoring the GPS, Great Pizza Service tracker, and within 5 minutes, the order was processed. Things followed through smoothing, preparation, baking, packing and the likes. Within 20 minutes, the food had arrived at his doorstep.

Huge pizza box that couldn't go through the half-opened gate.

Complimentary onion rings. A little soggy, but still well-received.

Who has the larger wheel? Pizza versus onion rings for comparison's sake.

Each box of Lava Cake cost $3.80.

Can you see the passion flowing? It was a little salty, the non-dessert person doesn't know if it's supposed to be this way. But the contrast somehow complimented the sweetness of the chocolate filling.

26 Nov 2011 - McCafe

Missed this post as the images were stored in another folder on his mobile.

Visited McDonald's for the 1-for-1 6pcs McNuggets promotion. Had a total of 4 boxes for $8.40. Cost per piece probably worked out to about the same as the 20pcs set.

Additionally, she had the mochaccino + cheescake set at McCafe. These cost around $7.

Oreo cheesecake at weird angles.

"Mural" in the empty cup. Coffee with friends makes a happy person?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

03 Dec 2011 - Red Pot and Ma Maison

Got out of the house on this day to retrieve a key for a friend. Apparently, the friend's obnoxious colleague had withheld the key on purpose. Had a long wait before they finally could go off for a meal.

Enticed by the advertisement of rice noodle set with 15 sides, they walked into Hong Guo at Bugis Junction. Ordered some drinks to quench their thirsts first.

Salt rimmed mango margarita, $3.80++. Mock-tail version. The waitress initially got him a glass of some lychee drink, and left him trying to figure out which part of it was mango.

Mango freeze, $3.80++.

Shanghai dumplings, $5.80++. This dish had fillings of mince meat and chestnut.

The mains, $8.50. Condiments such as scallions, dried baby shrimp, were also included in the count. Anyway, this had prawns, 2 or 3 pieces of squid, ham, cuttle fish shreds, button and shiitake mushrooms, quail eggs, can't remember them all. Meat and eggs were to go into the big bowl of hot soup first, followed by the vegetables and lastly, the rice noodles. Just a regular bowl of noodles, he wouldn't eat this again at that price.

Went for a walkabout after the meal, and she had a ball of a time at the cosmetics department. Shan't go too much into that else it will never end. Let's view a picture of Christmas lighting outside the departmental store.

Had dinner at Ma Maison after her friend knocked off from work. It means "My House" in French, thanks to googling on his Android. The menu cover seemed to be of leather.

The table setting. Someone help name the design of the lamp-head? It has slipped his mind. The place was dimly lit and had soft music, love the ambience.

Starter of garlic butter escargots, $9.50++. The aroma was so distracting that the middle-aged couple at the next table kept looking over.

The soft and chewy morsel lasted for merely a few seconds. But the garlicky smell lingered in the mouth.

Tonkatsu for $15.90++. Lightly breaded, so it was not too oily. Meat was also succulent. He doesn't really have tonkatsu much, but enjoyed this. The shredded cabbage refreshed the palate, gearing him up for more food. Just kidding.

Black pepper sirloin steak for $22.50++. The beef-eater had this medium well, yet it was still juicy enough. It was a 200g portion, but looked slightly bigger than what they usually have.

Beef Stroganoff for $14.80++. Her friend had good comments for the beef, and lapped up the sauce with the omelette rice.

Monday, November 28, 2011

25 Nov 2011 - Genki Sushi, Orchard Central

Met 2 ex-classmates for dinner, with the intention of having just 2 servings of sashimi. Bumped into two colleagues in the queue, and they were subsequently allocated tables just next to each other.

One would usually expect the food to be circulated on conveyor belt, but this restaurant had an interesting concept. An iPad for each table, where one may place an order of 4 items maximum at one go. The orders would then be delivered by train, a refreshing play on the conveyor belt system. 3 levels of tracks, the lowest level was the regular conveyor belt to circulate the wasabi, while the upper 2 levels were the railway. When you had retrieved the food from the train, you're supposed to send the train back to the kitchen, so that they may deliver food to others.

Had some chutoro (medium fatty tuna $15.80++), salmon ($5.80++), kajiki toro (swordfish belly $5.80++) and must say that he's really impressed. The slices were thick, firm and fresh, so good that even the two ladies enjoyed the sashimi.

Had some sushi, but the rice was not well pressed and fell apart easily. The one with prawn roe was also loosely topped, ended up spilling quite a bit of them.

No pictures, because his mobile went dead. Why? Played too much FIFA...

Monday, November 21, 2011

20 Nov 2011 - Dining on Harvest of the Sea at Spices Cafe

Read online about an interesting "Harvest of the Sea" buffet at Concorde Hotel, priced at $48++ per person for a weekend dinner. Coupled with 15% discount for some credit cards, the pull factor just got stronger.

Checked out the inclusive a la carte menu for crabs while waiting for the single serve of lobster halves. He would go on to eat 5 different styles of crabs, cold, chilli, black pepper, steamed and butter.

While the lobsters were taking their time, he drew first blood. The salmon sashimi was really delicious, probably of the better variety. The crab was probably mud crab, claw was good, but the torso piece he had was a little mushy. Nobody can guarantee a perfect crab though.

Next plate was of smooth and juicy oysters. They would have another round of plumper ones later on. Bit into some sand/shell bits, but hey, it's seafood alright.

For the sweet toothed. He would be too stuffed with crabs and miss the fondue.

Her platter of cold seafood. Prawns were fresh and had crunch.

Then came the order of butter crab. Those shreds were probably egg wisps. The dish was very tasty, and was still dripping with butter.

Steamed crab was done with Chinese wine and egg whites, he liked it that the meat was moist and flavorsome. Notice that they were served the torso, but it would be claw-fest later on.

The lobster halves arrived, spicy sambal for him and cheese for her. Spoke to the manager and found out that these were from Indonesia, probably spiny lobsters. They didn't do Maine or Boston lobsters. Nevertheless these were succulent and went well with their toppings and had them wanting for more. Unfortunately, these were single-serve, and would cost ~$29++ each for additional orders.

From eyes of the other half.

Flipped the cleaned out cheese lobster for a mugshot.

Beef rendang, soy chicken, stir fried clams and lamb. Turf after surf for her.

He continued with his seafood feast.

Another shot of the pastry spread, about to be attacked.

Shot of the seafood counter, sporting an intermittent blue glow from under the ice.

She returned with slightly healthier stuff from the salad and cold cut counter.

He too, felt that it was time for some salad... with maybe some salmon sashimi, maybe some chicken, and perhaps also some smoked duck...

Crab and scallop soup, she was starting to engage the brakes...

Or so he thought. She sprung a fruity surprise. Kiwi and strawberries were really sweet, he seldom got any that tasted this sweet from the regular supermarket.

Tried some cheese, and heaped on a few slices of freshly replenished braised sea cucumber that was still steaming. Sneaked in 2 pieces of ebi tempura on the way back to the seat.

Felt that it would have been a wasted trip not to have black pepper crab and chilli crab, so those were placed on the order.

Black pepper crab that warmed the stomach. This time round, they were given 2 or 3 nicely cracked claws, as compared to just 1 in the previous crab dishes. An incident occurred here when he was trying to twist the pincers apart. The swollen meat snapped towards him and dirtied his shirt a little, but his mind was on the claw on the floor. What a waste.

She continued with another round of dessert while he took his time to polish off the crabs.

Was trying to catch his breath from downing the fiery black pepper crabs when the chilli crabs arrived. It was all meaty pincers, probably 4 or 5 of them.

Rotated the serving dish to be sure. No assistance of any sort was rendered to him, and she was laughing at him while he struggled with the claws. The numbers nearly overwhelmed him, but it was he who prevailed in the end. OK, no more mud crabs for a long long time....