Sunday, April 24, 2011

24 April 2011 - Shrooms Lunch on Sunday

Bought 4 varieties of mushrooms together with littlest brother's request for some multi-purpose flour and unsalted butter to make his pancakes.

Got up around noon, the usual lazy weekend practice. Washed up and started preparing the meal. Each pack of mushrooms cost below $2, he apologises for forgetting the exact prices. Also observed that the mushrooms got gooey/slippery after the rinse.

After chopping off an inch from the bottom, King Oyster Mushrooms was cut across the stem to produce round slices. The flesh of this large mushroom was firm and balanced out the slightly gooey texture of this dish.

Enoki mushrooms, a soup favourite for them. Likewise, chopped an inch off the bottom before cutting out more manageable partitions from the top.

Bunashimeji mushrooms were more troublesome, as the stems were shorter and resulted in loose mushrooms. Processing them almost individually was painful.

Shiitake mushrooms had mixed reception. He appreciated the taste and its tender flesh, but she did not like the smell of it. Placed this on its cap and and sliced downwards.

Heated some olive oil in the pan, browned some garlic and salt before cooking the mushrooms. Hungriness is never patient, so the slow flame eventually became a medium one and the shrooms got cooked in no time. The eventual product tasted a little bland, he'll probably try adding some soy sauce next time. Black pepper was sprinkled before serving.

23 April 2011 - Old Hong Kong Taste

This time, they visited Old Hong Kong Taste at myVillage, in Serangoon Gardens.

The restaurant was more spacious than the branch at Square 2. Although located at the heart of private housing estate, the queue was also missing in comparison. Reached there around 1.30pm, and ordering without waiting for the 2.30pm 20% discount. Note that this discount is only available for orders between 2.30pm and 5pm everyday, except for Sundays, public holidays and eves.

Photos today are courtesy of her.

Similar table setting with slightly different tableware.

Chrysanthemum Pu-er Tea - $3++ for 2pax
Maybe a little disappointed that this was not the pretty see-through tea set.

Although the ambience was good, healthy amount of space and soothing music, the senior waiter kept casting lingering glances which caused some discomfort. Luckily, the food came quickly to bring their attention elsewhere.

Pan-fried Carrot Cake - $3.30++
Soft and fragrant, with bits of shiitake mushroom and chinese sausage to provide some bite.

Deep-fried Spring Roll - $3.00++
This contained some Chinese BBQ meat (Char Siew) in addition to some other fillings that he didn't manage to identify. It had a crisp crackle when bitten into.

Steamed Flour Roll with BBQ Pork (Char Siew Chee Cheong Fun) - $4.20++
The waitress drizzled some sweet savoury sauce right after serving. The diced char siew was juicy and kept him wanting for more, which didn't occur. The chee cheong fun was thin and smooth, easier to down than the thicker plain variety he always had.

Steamed Beef Ball with Bean Curd Skin - $3.80++
Huge minced meat balls with herbs, laid upon bean curd skins. Tender and smooth, without any bit of chewy sinew.

Deep-fried Prawn Paste Chicken Wing - $6.80++
Crispy skin without being too oily. Not too bad but not something he would order again.

Beef Brisket Soup with Turnip - $8++
Clear soup has always been appealing to him, and thankfully this tasted more vegetable than game. Tendons and meat were soft and tender, though he would have preferred his beef brisket in thicker chunks. This was also the first time that he's had beef tendons that were not braised with soy, but the gelatinous goodness was not to be underestimated.

Steamed Egg Yolk Custard Bun - $3.30++
Had this previously at Crystal Jade but all he remembered was a sweet tasting bun.

This was a bit of a pleasant surprise, the custard filling had the powdery texture of salted egg yolk, and the contrast of the sweetness and saltiness blended in very well. At least, it was to his liking. Thumbs up for this.

Ordered a lava cake to top things off. Heart Too Soft - $5.50++
Not too sure if he was already dizzy from all the food, but this brought about a few familiar tastes. The powder stuff was like Ovaltine, and the rich chocolatey lava cake actually tasted like Milo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

22 April 2011 - Old Hong Kong Kitchen

Bought a few Old Hong Kong dining vouchers online some time back. After 2 long weeks at work, he tried to reserve a table at Old Hong Kong Taste, myVillage on Good Friday. However, the receptionist told him that the vouchers could not be used on public holidays when the voucher only stated that it would not be valid only on Mother's Day and the eve itself. Trying to prevent himself from getting into conflicts after being in them so frequently in recent, he decided to avoid arguing. Probably not the best way to resolve things, but he needed some rest.

Luckily, he tried making the reservation at another branch, Old Hong Kong Kitchen at Square 2. This receptionist told him that the vouchers could be used. Double standards being observed here?

On Good Friday, they set out for Old Hong Kong Kitchen. There was quite a queue at 12.30pm, so they decided to browse the mall before returning slightly later. Informed the manager of their reservation, and they were shown their seats promptly.

A waiter came by to set their table, and during this, a few drops of water from the tableware sprinkled onto the table and him. The waiter apologised, but what's better was that he returned to dry the table and the tableware with a serviette. While waiting for the food, a discussion of whether the tableware should be dried before being set was started between themselves.

The table setting.

Got a pot of wolfberry tea with chrysanthemum. $3.20++ per pax. What irony, Mom makes this at home and he never wanted a sip, yet paid $6.40++ this day to drink it.

Close up of the tea's contents.

Pork and Shrimp Dumpling (Siew Mai) - $4.30++
He thought that the Siew Mai was well infused with the flavours of the shiitake mushroom, a fresh change from the usual porky taste. Shrimp lent crunch and made this all the more delectable.

Cross section of the Siew Mai, probably more shrimp than pork.

Here's another shrimp dim sum, Steamed Shrimp Dumpling - $4.30++
Each had a whole shrimp in the middle, while the rest of the filling was padded by diced shrimp.

The perennial favourite, Shanghai Meat Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao) - $3.30++
The version here seemed to have a saggy bottom as compared to some others they had before.

Yet another favourite, Steamed Chicken Claw in Black Bean Sauce - $3.30++
The Chinese name of this dish sounds grander, "Phoenix Claws". She never complains about the spiciness in this, but does it for every other dish. Both of them finished this up in no time.

Stewed Beef Ribs with Pumpkin - $4.80++
3 portions of beef, and matching slices of pumkin. Beef was tender, but more worthy of mention was the pumpkin. The outside had a little bite in it, yet the inside was soft without being mushy. Never recalled liking pumpkin so much.

Steamed Glutinous Rice Wrap - $3.80++

Unrolled into one large leaf, uncovering a mound of glutinous rice.

He thinks that it contained some salted duck egg yolk, and fatty meat mince. Decadent stuff... but it was well received.

Steamed Diced Chicken Buns - $3.80++
These looked like overturned buns, with the filling pressed into it. This consisted of minced meat with herbs, and topped with a wonderful shiitake slice and a chunk of chicken meat. When he flipped the chicken meat over, the underside of the chicken still looked raw, red and slightly transparent when the top was already opaque. He brought this to the attention of the waitress, who swiftly swept the plates and spoons off the table for a replacement. The waitress gave him no time for a picture. Well-trained. The replacement took very long, perhaps to ensure the doneness of the dish.

Remember the incident earlier about wet utensils? This time round, the spoons came dry, but with lint on them. This brought back the discussion on the tough lives of people in the service line, serving wet tableware or serving dried tableware with lint would do little to please their customers. He then decided to let this pass.

Steamed Chicken, Fish Maw and Pig's Intestine in Bean Curd Wrap- $4.30++
This was difficult to eat, especially when the bean curd skin was difficult to break off. Picked at the fillings until the whole thing was small enough to be finished off easily. The clear broth in the serving bowl was light, yet tasty.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

03 April 2011 - Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant

Alighted at Orchard MRT for her weekly invasion of the retail shops. She just had her online shopping delivered and still wanted to make more killings. Luckily this stopped with the purchase of a interior design magazine and her monthly dosage of the ViVi magazine.

As usual, she got hungry after all that walking. Despite his grumbling about having bought groceries and not cooking them, they went for dim sum that she craved. Inquired at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, but the waitress informed them that dim sum was not available. Browsed their way eastwards and finally made a pit stop at Plaza Singapura. Tried their luck at Crystal Jade again, but was realised that dim sum was served only in the afternoon.

In the end, they went next door, Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant.

Tea was served while waiting for the food. The service assistants were very attentive, kept topping up the tea as the water level dropped. $2.40++ for a pot of tea, free flow.

Ginger shreds that were not enough for his dim sum...

Drunken chicken was served refreshingly cold. This was not as tender as the Hainanese-styled steam chicken that they so dearly loved. Thick chunks of chicken at $6.80++, guess it soothes the ache of the price a little.

Generous chunks of beef brisket and tendon at $9.80++. Tendons and meat were well softened. The rich and decadent tendons really melt in the mouth, so good that the plate did not seem to provide enough.

Next came the Golden Fried Rice at $8.80++. Topped with floss, this had a sweet and slightly spicy taste. Not how he likes his fried rice. There were also crispy and sweet bits that he could make out, not too bad to chew on though.

Finally, dim sum. Pork dumplings for $6++ a basket. The soup contained within was tasty, did not have any hint of gaminess, and the first one burst on the first bite. 爆浆小笼包!

Guess what? The girls at the next table had the crab roe version of dumplings, and this made her want to pig out. So here you go, Crab Roe Dumplings for $11.80++. Each of the dumplings had crab roe mixed into the mince pork filling. He didn't feel that this was worth it, as the price was double that of the vanilla pork dumplings.

Last but not least, 10% discount on A la carte items with DBS/POSB credit cards.

Friday, April 1, 2011

27 Mar 2011 - SourMilk and Just Acia

Headed out to SourMilk on Sunday to redeem the last voucher they had. This time, she wanted to try and break the 260 grams limit that the cup was said to hold. Lo and behold, she got ~272 grams, 50 grams more than the previous time they visited. This time, they had green tea, tangerine and the original flavours. Looking at the topping makes him wonder if this has gone unhealthy.

After walking around town and causing some financial damage, her stomach took over. He initially suggested Fish and Co beside Park Mall, but both of them wanted to try something new instead. They came to the Dhoby Gaut underpass and got seated at Just Acia. Set meals came with free flow of drinks and ice cream, how good is that?

Looking at each other while waiting for the food... so he took a picture of the mugs.

His Mushroom Aglio Olio wa served first. This was watery instead of being oily. The garlic were also dry and clumped at the side. Didn't enjoy it.

Bulgogi set had deliciously marinated meat. This tasted much better than the spaghetti.

Soft-serve ice cream, 1 round for her and 3 rounds for him. There was only one young waiter doing the rounds at their area, that's why the empty plate was still in the background.

Scoops of different flavored ice cream - corn, yam, mango tangerine and strawberry.