Monday, March 19, 2018

Aburi Sushi Heishirou from Kyushu in Singapore

Aburi Kajiki and Aburi Hotate

This place at Westgate Mall used to be an outlet of Ikeikemaru (3 Gateway Drive #03-05, 6369-9489). So I was a bit surprised to find it under a different name today, and featuring a rather boring-looking menu at that. It was so boring that I totally would've skipped past it had I not stopped to find that it was actually a kaiten sushi chain from Kyushu.

Their Singapore shop though, wasn't on conveyor belts. For some reason, they focused on aburi sushi instead, so I got those seared scallops and swordfish above. Both of them were tasty and fresh with nicely firm rice. I also got their signature tamagoyaki, which they made to order, coming out piping hot. The first few bites were good, but admittedly it was too much egg for one person to eat.

Pholosophy at Asia Square Tower, Singapore

Rare Angus Beef Slices Pho

The last thing I wanted before stepping out into the searing heat outside was a hot bowl of soup. But somehow a bowl of phở sounded fantastic this morning, and it looked good coming from these guys too (8 Marina View #02-14). The taste wasn't anything to blow me away, but they were super fast, and it did the job of filling me up given how puny that avocado toast was.

Avorush at Asia Square Food Garden, Singapore

Back to Basics

An avocado toast place has opened up at Asia Square (12 Marina View #02-23), and I liked it. That "Back to Basics" one above of course was very simple, but the bread in particular was on point, going very well with the avocado, salt, and chili flakes. And it was only S$5.50 (US$4.20). Granted, it wasn't very filling, and they took a surprisingly long time to make it. But it was still good enough that I'll be coming back to try the other varieties that they had.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

My First Taste of Thailand's Say Chiizu

This chain from Thailand started opening outlets in Singapore a few months ago  I randomly came across an outlet this afternoon, so figured that I'd give their "Hokkaido Cheese Toast" a try. It looked like just a normal grilled cheese sandwich at first. But the bread was much lighter and the cheese was much stretchier than an American grilled cheese sandwich.

It was a refreshing change at first, but the cheese wasn't very tasty, and perhaps more oddly, it started to get sweeter as I approached the center of the sandwich. I'm not sure if that was because there was sugar in the cheese, or perhaps sugar in the butter spread. But that's when I realized that this wasn't going to be anything that I was going to get again.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Chongqing's Xiangtianxia Hotpot in Singapore

Hot Pot

This hot pot chain from Chongqing opened an outlet at Clarke Quay last month (3B River Valley Road #01-06, 6265-9777). And yes, I liked it. The ingredients were of decent quality, and the service is both attentive and enthusiastic. Similar to Da Miao, they had little pull-tab tins of Sichuan peppercorn oil at their condiment bar, which incidentally also included some of my favorite spicy tofu skin. The dark mushroom broth that I got was refreshingly savory too, all without being too salty. And they had a nice shanzha hawthorn fruit drink too.

Interestingly, this place is on the same grounds as the former Faigo. And now that really does complete the cluster of five hotpot chains from China along the river: Haidilao is of course in its original location, Da Miao is still over on the other side of Clarke Quay, Lafu Huoguo is over at Riverside Point, and Tanyoto is over at Liang Court. I think we need a name for these five guys. How about The Hotpot Quintet? The Five Riverside Pots? The Huoguo Fivesome? OK, I give up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My First Taste of Sempalit Curry Chicken

Sempalit Curry Chicken

After a meeting in Sentosa this morning, I popped by the Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World to grab a bite before going back to the office. I came across this stall; I'm not sure if it's a recent addition or not, but I don't recall seeing it before, and I totally loved it. Apparently it's from a village called Sempalit in Pahang, Malaysia, and it was made less spicy to cater to the ethnic Chinese in the village. Indeed, it was less spicy than Nana Curry, and yet wonderfully salty with a rich hit of coconut. I liked it so much that I went back for a second bowl of rice so as not to let that lovely gravy go to waste. Thumbs up!

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Cheese Curry from Fujiyama Dragon Curry

Cheese Curry

The other day it occurred to me that I never came back to Fujiyama to try their spicy curry. So I hopped on over today and opted for a level 2 with cheese this time (yep, they've since migrated the spiciness to a scale of 1 to 5). But it still wasn't that spicy, and the brown Hideki Spice that they've since put each table was more salty than anything else.

I felt kinda gross after eating this salty grease bomb, and I left the place smelling like curry too. But at least it was fast, and I liked the paitan (which is now served in a cup at the beginning of the meal BTW). If I come back out of convenience, then I should remember get level 3 on the spiciness, upsize the multigrain rice option, and not schedule any meetings afterwards.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

An Oyster Omelette from Hong Kong Street Long Ji

Oyster Omelette

That oyster omelette above looked better than it tasted. The egg itself was nice and crispy, but it was topped with a goopy (presumably frozen) oyster and ginger mixture rather than being integrated into it. I guess this is a different style than the Teochew one that I was hoping for; I really wish that this one were spiked with the stank of some salty fish sauce instead. Anyway, this was from the cze cha at SkyVille @ Dawson (85 Dawson Road #01-02, 6252-4175); I think I'll stick to their har cheong gai chicken wings next time.

Friday, March 09, 2018

The Squid Ink Se'abura Ramen from Ajisai

The Squid Ink Se'abura Ramen from Ajisai

I finally made it back to Ajisai to try the squid ink version of their se'abura ramen today. After all, how awesome would it be to spike your pork lard broth with some savory squid ink?? Except that I'm not sure if the squid ink really made any noticeable difference, to be honest. That said, it was all still crisp and tasty enough for me to clear the bowl within minutes.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Sushi Shiki Hanamaru at Hokkaido Marche, Singapore

Sujiko marinated in soy sauce

The sushi shop at Hokkaido Marche has finally opened (181 Orchard Road #B2, 6634-0211). From a town called Nemuro, it's largely a conveyor belt chain. But here you order on a piece of paper from a rather wordy menu. I went for some of the more unique items, like those marinated salmon eggs above, as well as a number of items from Hokkaido. They were all of proper quality and priced similarly with Tomi and Ikeikemaru (before the latter went down the tubes at least). Still, that also means that it isn't affordable enough to be an everyday thing for me, so I won't be coming back here very often. But I am kinda curious about their tempura.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Keisuke's Bak Kut Teh Ramen

Keisuke's Bak Kut Teh Ramen

I wasn't intending to eat Keisuke's food two days in a row. And to be honest, the thought of bak kut teh ramen wasn't very appealing either. But yesterday I noticed a poster for a local movie coming out soon that interestingly features Keisuke's food, including this fusion dish, I assume. So I went over to his Suntec outlet today to check it out.

It was better than I thought it would be. It featured skinny Hakata-style noodles, like a slightly thicker mee sua. The pork was tender and fatty, and they even provided youtiao and chili padi to help cut through it all. In that sense, it was more bak kut teh than it was ramen, but the broth was also more earthy thanks to some grilled onions, if I tasted it correctly.

Perhaps the bigger surprise for me was the serving vessel: it was the same spherical bowl that he used to serve his lovely ebi ramen in. Seriously, I think the last time I'd seen one of these was before he so painfully took it off the menu almost eight years ago. Sigh, I really hope he brings it back.

Keisuke's Empty Bowl

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Keisuke Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime in Singapore

Duck Tsukemen Special

Keisuke has proliferated out to Holland Village (16A Lorong Mambong, 6463-4344), with this shop carrying an odd "hybrid duck ramen" tagline. I'm not sure exactly what was hybrid about it, but it naturally centered around duck, and used the same Keisuke formula of a nice decor, a spicy broth option, plus free bean sprouts and hard boiled eggs. As usual, I went for tsukemen so as not to go back to the office in a big sweat.

Normally I'm not a big fan of thick noodles, but dipping these into the dark duck broth worked well enough that I actually regretted not ordering a larger size. Those tender little meatballs were quite a delight too, but the sliced duck meat was underwhelming (despite the attached fat, it lacked taste). Ultimately, it was better than I thought it would be, but also not unique enough that I'd be willing to make the trek out here again.