Tiong Bahru Market: Chwee Kueh, Char Kway Teow, Duck Rice, Chendol

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We got 6 for $2.40. The kueh was very creamy. Cai po is their specialty (their cai po is authentic!). The kueh and cai po were doused in oil. This dish is a must try!

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We got the $3 plate. Not impressive. A bit sweet and not salty. The kway teow was very soft. They used very small cockels. I would not recommend you trying this dish.

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We paid $5 for char siew and duck breast with rice. The duck skin was not crispy. Its meat was smooth and tender. The gravy had a strong aroma of star anise.. The rice was a bit under cooked. But overall, not bad. The duck meat was smooth and succulent. This is a must try!

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We paid $1.80 for a bowl of chendol. The red beans were very small and the coconut milk was thick. I would enjoy it if it was less sugary. They have other deserts like dou suan and cheng teng.

Yu Kee (友记): Duck with Rice and Kway (Bishan Kim San Leng)

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The rice tasted like it was boiled in duck broth. The duck meat was tender and full of juice. The duck gravy was not very aromatic. We ordered (additional) char siew and egg. The char siew was ordinary. The kway soup has a herbal taste. I really liked the celery in the soup which gives a crunch and kills any meaty taste. This cost $12 (for 2 person).

I would recommend this place to anyone who loves herbal soup, meat etc. I saw a really long queue for chicken rice (boiled chicken I think) a few stalls down. I will probably try the chicken rice next time I come to this Kim San Leng branch.

Dian Xiao Er (店小二): Roast Duck, Spinach, Chicken, Yam Ring, Slice Fish, Tofu

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Dian Xiao Er is known for their herbal roast duck. This is the Ten Wonder herbal roast duck. The duck meat was tender. It’s like biting into a sponge, there’s so much herbal sauce in the meat itself. I could taste the dang gui (当归) in the meat!

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Chinese spinach in superior stock and herbal chicken. The spinach was very ordinary. The chicken was succulent and the gravy was quite concentrated.

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This is the yam ring. It’s basically yam paste in deep fried batter. The middle is filled with cashew nuts, celery, onions. Not impressive.

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This is old style steamed fish slices. It is not bad. The meat was fresh and the sauce was very unique.

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This is the tofu dish (not sure about the name of the dish). It tasted like seafood fish cake more than tofu. Not bad but I don’t think I will order this again.

I prefer Dian Xiao Er to Din Tai Fung as they have more variety of dishes. We paid around $200 for these dishes , 8 chrysanthemum teas (quite large) and 8 bowls of rice (their rice are really soft and “pang”). Around $25 per head. I will definitely be back to try their other dishes.

 

Chocolate Origin: Lava Cake (Ang Mo Kio)

Yesterday after dinner, we had a craving for something sweet. Since we were in the area, we decided to get Chocolate Origin Lava Cake. I have heard that their Lava Cake is legendary from my friends.I have tried their cakes before and they never disappoint. It’s like richness of cream, cocoa and cake exploding in your mouth.

You can choose to have your Lava Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ($5.50) or just the Lava Cake ($4.95) alone. I have tried their Lava Cake with the vanilla ice cream which wasn’t impressive. Thus, I opt to go without the ice cream. To add, it’s also cheaper.

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The Lava Cake tastes best when it’s piping hot. The chocolate filling is smooth, creamy and not too sweet which is what I love about the lava cake here. I have tried the salted caramel lava cake from Cali “Grill and Bar” in Holland but the taste was confusing. I still prefer the original chocolate lava cake.

I would recommend the Chocolate Origin Lava Cake to anyone and everyone! Who doesn’t love hot chocolate flowing out of a cake?

 

 

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰: Pork Chop, Fried Rice, Xiao Long Bao, Kailan, Vegetable and Pork Dumplings (Bishan)

Last night we went to Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰 for dinner. We reached there around 7.30pm and waited 45 minutes to be seated.

 
The waitress will give a paper to order with your number on it. Wait until your number flash on the screen then you will give your paper to the waitress to be seated.

We ordered seven dishes. Pork chop 炸排骨 ($9.50), Pork chop fried rice 排骨蛋饭 ($12.80), Shrimp Fried Rice 虾仁蛋饭 ($12.80), Shredded Pork Fried Rice 肉丝蛋饭 ($10.80), Kailan 三味芥蓝 ($12), Xiao Long Bao 小龙包 ($10.30 for 10) and Steamed Vegetables and Pork Dumplings 菜肉蒸饺 ($12.80 for 10).

 
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The Pork Chop was juicy and not oily. There was no gravy. The natural juice from the meat gives the flavour.

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Shredded Pork Fried Rice:
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The Fried Rices were fried with eggs. The rice used were the short grain type commonly found in Japanese cuisine. I found the rice a tad too oily for my liking. The shrimps were very fresh. I also liked the shredded pork as it was soft and juicy like the pork chop. The pork chop on the fried rice is the same pork chop from before.

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The Vegetable and Pork Dumplings were moist and full of flavour. I like the way the ingredients were packed tightly to fill all space within the skin. The skin was quite thin.

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The Kailan was crunchy. The vegetables went well with the deep fried garlic and the white sesame seeds. I liked that they shaved off the the bottom of the stalks (Kailan stalks are generally difficult to masticate).

20160324_202318.jpgThe Xiao Long Bao was a disappointment as the meat tasted too strong and the meat juice was too salty. The size of the dumplings here are quite small.

We had Jasmine Tea 茉莉花茶 ($1 per cup) which is free flow. The jasmine tea was thick and bitter.

 
The food here were not impressive. I would not recommend this place. There are many other Chinese food places with better food and better prices. I would recommend Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant (瑞春点心餐厅). They have really good Xiao Long Baos!

Astons: Prime Sirloin, Cream of Mushroom (Sembawang Shopping Centre)

My friend and I were at Sembawang Shopping Centre yesterday and we went to Astons for Prime Sirloin.  As carnivores, we love our meat. Especially steaks.

Prime Sirloin (below)

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We chose medium done as we like our meat tender. Medium done sirloin was just nice. The middle of the steak had adequate red juice (below).

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One problem was the tendon. It was thick and tough as you can see (above).  You can choose two side dishes with your steak. I love potatoes so I got the potato salad and the baked potato. I really liked the potato salad’s sour cream and red chill pepper sauce. It was very refreshing. I however, felt that the baked potato’s portion was too big and the potato too bland. I paid $14.50 for this.

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I also ordered the Cream of Mushroom. The soup was thick and creamy yet it lacks flavour. I like the bread as it has lot a of fresh garlic on it (can’t really be seen above). I paid $3.50 for this.

I would recommend this place to all meat lovers. I will definitely be back to try the other cuts of beef!

天外天潮州鱼头炉’s Zi Char (Ang Mo Kio)

天外天 is known for their steamboat and I really wanted to try their fish broth!  I am Chinese but I have never eaten steamboat in my life (even during Chinese New Year) as my family are not fans of steamboat. This is probably the reason why I was stoked when I got there. We got there around 6pm and there was already a queue. How it works is that you have to order and pay before they assign you your table.

We ordered white rice with Hae Chor (虾枣), Broccoli with Scallop (西兰花带子), Seafood Crispy Beancurd (海鲜脆豆腐) and Salted Egg Pork Ribs (咸蛋排骨). We didn’t order steamboat as it takes quite long to arrive. I WILL definitely try it next time.

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The rice was served in small bowls.

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The Hae Chor has a crispy skin and is soft and crunchy on the inside from the yam paste and water chestnuts. It is bland so you have to eat it with the sweet sauce which tasted like salted maple syrup to me.

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The Broccoli and Scallop was a serious let-down. The gravy was dull and the scallops tasted like the frozen type from NTUC.

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This is another deep fried dish. The tofu is different in the way that it tasted like fishcake. Not bad but have to go with the mayonnaise for taste.

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Last but not least, the pork ribs! This is the star of the four dishes. I like salted egg pork ribs but his one is on a whole new level. Firstly, their pork ribs are boneless. Secondly, 天外天 used salted egg paste instead of gravy which contains so much flavour. Lastly, the meat was so succulent. I would only recommend this dish out of the four.

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Three bowls of rice and four dishes cost us $44.30. (This is the receipt, above)

Most of their food are fried which may not suit some people. From this experience, I can tell that Zi Char is not their forte. Still, I will be back for their pork ribs and fish head steamboat that I have yet to try.