Saturday, December 27, 2014

Seoul Garden Hot Pot - Somerset

Location: 8 Grange Road, #B1-08 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard S239695

Opening Hours: 12pm – 10:30pm

I didn't know that Seoul Garden started a Hotpot chain until my friends brought me there. We shared out hot pots to try out everything. Great news for all my Muslim friends - Seoul Garden Hotpot is certified Halal.

Kimchi Mandu Hotpot - $10.90

Choose between two kind of soup bases - Kimchi/ Miso

We picked Kimchi. Generous amount of mandus to be found. Filled with chopped prawns and minced chicken. The kimchi broth is pretty rich, not those diluted soup from some shabby food stalls.

Kimchi Chicken Hotpot - $11.90 + $1 (Upgrade to Kimgaru rice)

Okay seriously guys, just give that $1 already. The Kimgaru rice is addictive. Fragrance of the sesame oil and seaweed makes the rice appetizing. Usually I would have some leftover rice but these are so good I finished it all.

Chicken slices are tender. Other ingredients include mushrooms, zucchini and glass noodles. 

Kimchi Bokkeum Bap - $11.90 + + $1 (Upgrade to Kimgaru rice)

Okay the final verdict is Kimgaru rice is a must try here. Bokkeum Bap was filled with seaweed and kimchi and chicken.

Baby octopus, Nakji - $4.90

It tasted like the usual nakji but not as sweet as those sold in the sushi section of Fairprice. Very small plate of banchan. Not very worth it in my opinion.

Cold cinnamon tea - $3.30

At first the cinnamon taste was too strong for me. The ginger made it slightly spicy. 

However after eating the hot pot, my tongue was numb and I can't feel anything so it turned out fine. Still, it is not a pleasant cup of tea.

Seoul Garden Hot Pot is not that fantastic but they serve decent food and provide fast service. It is a shame they don't serve free flow banchan (side dishes) No queue here during dinner time on a weekend so it is a good place to pop by when everywhere else is crowded.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ah Yat Abalone Restaurant - Bugis

Location: Hotel Grand Pacific #01-06, 101 Victoria Street, 188018 (Opposite of Bras Basah complex)

My friend and I bought the Groupon deal which cost $45 for 2 pax (Weekday Lunch buffet) inclusive of GST.  (but excludes the order of peanuts, towel and Chinese tea) 

Important things to take note: 

1) Leftover food is chargeable at $5 per 100g and no takeaways are allowed.
2) Reservation is required 
3) Groupon mobile verification is required before the start of buffet
3) Additional payment of $10 nett for peanuts, towel and Chinese tea even if you don't want it.

When we arrived at the place, we were guided to the upper level of the restaurant for the buffet.

Buffet starts 11.15am - 3pm (last order at 2.30pm) We arrived at 11.30am on a Wednesday in the restaurant and there weren't a soul to be found. (except the servers) The crowd started pouring in later around 1230pm.

Peanuts, a pot of tea and wet towels. ( We chose Pu Er Tea)

After all the charges, it cost $27.50 nett per pax for a weekday lunch buffet. We chose from the list of items available on the green sheet and passed it to the server.

Century Egg and Pork Congee

Starting with a bowl of hot porridge to warm up the stomach. This is a small bowl, like those soup bowls from the hawker centres. It is actually better that one not to have all the carbs filling up the stomach. Pretty average tasting though.

Deep-fried Crispy Dumpling with Salad

One of my favourites. Big juicy prawns with hot crispy skin dipped in mayonnaise. Highly recommended.

"Ah Yat" Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

This taste like the usual Har Gow I always have. Big prawns.

Steamed Crystal Dumpling With Chives

The glutinous skin is a little too thick for me but still hot and juicy. Love the chives.

Steamed Custard and Salted Egg Buns

This is a must try. Very rich and well balanced salted egg custard. Not too sweet nor salty and the buns are soft and fluffy. Sadly, I only ate one basket of buns because it fills me up too much.

Steamed Dumpling in Chilli Oil

Loved these babies. The chilli oil is good.

Steamed BBQ Pork Bun - Char Siew Bao

Ordinary Char Siew Bao with thick skin. Very filling.

Baked Mini Egg Tart

The crust is too thick, soft and tasteless. Egg custard filling tasted more like sugar. A big nono for me. 

Steamed Rice Sheet Roll with Shrimp - Chee Cheong Fun

I think Ah Yat really serves good prawns. Anything with prawn in it is good here. Smooth Chee Cheong Fun with appetizing sauce.

Steamed Fish Roe Siew Mai

Finally a decent Siew Mai with real filling! I really dislike Siew Mai with minced up fillings with unidentifiable taste. Fresh chunks of prawn and pork within so it is really worth the try.

Steamed Pork Ribs With Black Bean Sauce

Pork ribs are served with chunks of yam. 

Steamed ShangHai Dumpling

This basket of Xiao Long Bao is disappointing. The pork filling is mushy and watery. Why would you place a slice of carrot under it? Maybe it is just me but I tasted better from Canton Paradise so this is not that fantastic at all.

To sum it up, I think the dim sum buffet is value for money only if you can eat a lot to make your $27.50 worthwhile. Servers are pretty friendly and efficient. (maybe because we were the first) I'll definitely recommend trying the Deep-fried Crispy Dumpling, Salted Egg Custard Bun and Steamed Fish Roe Siew Mai.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chiso Zanmai - Clarke Quay

I went to Chiso Zanmai on a Monday afternoon with some of my friends. 

6 Eu Tong Sen St, 059817 (The Central #02-17)
Located at Soho 1, at the end of a corner. It can be a little hard to find but it is pretty close to Goods of Desire on the second level.

Adults: $14.99++
Free flow drinks $1.99++ 
We spent $20 nett per person for a lunch buffet from 12-3pm. I would recommend a weekday lunch because it is cheaper than the dinner buffet and there isn't much of a crowd.

The place is huge. The food counters serves a variety of cooked and raw food. 

The drinks bar serves free flow instant coffee, tea and soft drinks.

There aren't exactly a lot of variety of sushi but nonetheless delicious.

Got some chicken and eggs for the hot pot.

There are also free flow pork and beef shabu shabu available.

Okonomiyaki, Potato Croquettes and Vegetable Tempura. I would recommend the potato croquettes. Very creamy potatoes and crisp batter!

The cooked food available are pretty ordinary so I would recommend you guys to eat more from the hot pot!

Ramen and Udon noodles are available.

If you love spicy broth, go for the Tom Yum soup base. It just makes all the ingredients 10 times more delicious. Tom Yum ramen is great!

Each person is entitled to a $5 portion worth of sashimi (Around 6 slices with kelp  so remember to collect it near the cotton candy area.

Time for some dessert. Soft serve ice cream is available with toppings like raisins, marsh mallows, cornflakes and syrups like chocolate and caramel. 

*I tried putting soft serve in root beer and it was awesome! 

You can also find mochi, chocolate brownies, cheese cakes, fruits and other sweet treats.

Make your own cotton candy time.

Check out this cool cotton candy machine!

I read a lot of reviews that the variety of the food is limited but for me it is a great deal considering that it is $20 for so much food! I definitely think I ate more than $20 worth of food and I will be back for a second visit.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gifts from Tokyo

My friend bought me some gifts from Japan so I thought I would share with you guys.

These Tokyo Bananas have been popular on social media sites for a while now and I finally got to try them.  I googled them up and it turns out a box of banana is pretty expensive, around $28.

Tokyo Banana (東京ばな奈)

Opening the Package. Really elegant and minimalistic wrapping. I love the design and layout.

The box looks amazing as well.

12 banana cakes neatly arranged in a box.

Best consumed within 7 days of purchase.

The tokyo banana has a fluffy sponge cake with banana custard in the middle. 
(*Sorry about the lighting.)

Banana puree was used to make the custard and you can expect them to be super smooth. I actually don't really like banana but this is pretty good. Great quality with natural ingredients. 

Here are 2 other flavours I tried: Tokyo Banana Caramel キャラメル味(Left) and Tokyo Chocolate Banana チョコバナナ味 (Right)

Cool print on sponge cake.

This chocolate banana version. It is chocolatey but the chocolate does not overpower the taste of the banana.

If you don't really like the banana taste, I would recommend the caramel flavoured banana. The custard tasted more like toffee than banana. 

After trying out the different kind of Tokyo bananas, I think I know why they cost so much. This sweet treat requires much work to make. It is exquisite - from packaging to taste. A great gift for your loved ones.

Next up more sweet stuff.

Hokkaido Creamy Milk Cake. Another beautiful packaging.

Initially, I thought there is a difference between the baby blue and yellow pack but they tasted the same.

Tasted like steamed cakes. Buttery and milky with a soft, fluffy cake.

It gets a little too sweet and cloying on the second cake. I need a cup of hot Matcha.

Another Hokkaido treat: Shiroi Koibito - Chocolat Blanc Langue de Chat

This one has got white chocolate. 

The biscuit is soft and crumbles easily. Smooth white chocolate sandwiched between 2 milky and buttery biscuit with some coarse sugar. 

The thing I like about Japanese food is the details and thoughtfulness they put in to make the products. Many thanks my friend! :)