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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bread & Hearth - Keong Saik Road, Outram Park

Bread & Hearth serves artisan bread baked daily, fresh out of the oven! One good thing to know is there are no preservatives were used in process. Although the b

I tried some of the food from Bread & Hearth over a span of 2-3 weeks so I decided to do a compilation of the food I tried.

Located at 18 Keong Saik Road, 089125.

This place can be a little hard to find if you never been around the area.

Nearest MRT: Outram Park, Exit H

Opening hours - Daily 8am - 930pm.

Good variety of breads, tarts, puddings and viennoiseries available.

Devil's Food Cookie - $3.80

I love the cookies. Rich dark chocolate flavour cookies with crushed walnuts. These cookies have a hard outer layer and a chewy center. Very addictive.

Their coffee menu are above the counter so look up for the prices!

Latte - $5 a cup.

Bread & Hearth mixes their own coffee blends and their coffee has a rich nutty flavour. I also love that fact that the coffee is not sour at all (I hate sour coffee). It really does complement the breads and pastries well like they mentioned. The hot coffee are served with a piece of financier cake - sponge cake with shredded coconut filling. Yum.

Bacon Egg Mayo (Pain De Campagne) - $9

My favourite sandwich here. Anything with bacon goes! This rustic bread has a crackly crust and a slightly chewy interior filled with bubbles. Pain De Campagne contains 20% dark rye flour. The dark bread has a kind of fragrance that I really like. The bread is drizzled with olive oil and layered with cheese, bacon strips, lettuce and egg mayo. A very flavourful sandwich.

Lemon Chicken Sandwich (Herbaceous Ciabatta) - $7

This has a crispy crust and a chewy interior and it is much softer than pain de campagne. The aroma of the herbs goes well with the lemon chicken. The bread is also drizzled with olive oil and the basil in the sandwich adds another kind of fragrance to it.

Ham and Cheese Sandwich - Jambon Fromage (Pain Au Tomate) - $8

If you ever order the Jambon Fromage just go with the default baguette. I chose pain au tomate bread which is sour because of the sundried tomatoes and on top if it, mustard is used as a spread here. You can imagine how this is more sour than it should be.

Matcha Orange - $2.80

The bread are toasted when you dine in. If you are having takeaways, do request for the bread to be warmed up. (It just makes the bread 10 times tastier) The warm matcha bread has a crispy crust and a chewy interior. The bread is pretty dense and there is a subtle green tea aroma lingers in the mouth. The citrus orange peel is a pleasant surprise. 

Lemon Meringue Tart - $6

Real lemon juice are used to make the lemon filling. I think the different flavour is well balanced. The sourness of the soft lemon filling with the sweet meringue on a mildly sweet, thick buttery crust.

I purchased some viennoiseries and breads back home. Their breads can be only be kept till the next morning (no preservatives) so it can last till breakfast.

Pear Danish (Pain Au Poire) - $3.20

I love viennoiseries. 

Basically viennoiseries are bread that has laminated dough (a lot of layers) and the most common viennoiserie is the croissant. This one comes with sweet custard and pear slices. Sweet.

Butterhorn - $3.50

I really like this one. Sugar coated, crispy and showered with a lot of caramelized bread crumbs on top! A little messy to eat because it is very crispy and flaky.

Pizza puff- $6.50 Not the ordinary cheap pizza bread. Love the layered crust, topped with pineapples, capsicums, onions, mushrooms and cheese on top. Mildly sweet and salty. 

Croque Monsieur - $4.50

I find this one pretty ordinary. Cheese on the top and more grilled cheese and ham in the middle. I guess if you like grilled cheese and ham then this might be the bread for you.

Viennese Chocolat - $2.80

This is a soft and fluffy white bread with lots of chocolate chips. I expect it to be super sweet but surprisingly it tasted only mildly sweet and I was told that they used dark chocolate chips for this.

Overall, I think they serve excellent coffee and good bread. This place gets pretty crowded during brunch hours but is a good and quiet place to chill in the late afternoon/evening/night on a weekday. They provide free public wifi only when you check in via their facebook page.

Great news is that they do not have service charge and there is a 10% discount for UOB cardholders for dine in.

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.