Monday, August 21, 2017

Lagnaa Barefoot Dining in Little India, Singapore

Clockwise from front: Manthira Kalaan, Chicken 65, and Palakkiya

This place got a Bib Gourmand a couple of years ago, and yet I had hardly heard anything about it. So we came here today for lunch to give it a try (6 Upper Dickson Road, 6296-1215). The floor mat seating upstairs was a bit of a gimmick, and the place clearly had a bit of a tourist inclination.

Ultimately though, the food was pretty good, including not just the kebabs above (a lamb one that we had was done with papaya to make it super tender), but also the curries, which came with a choice of spiciness from 1 to 6. The staff was a bit cagey about what was included in level 6, but the implication was that ghost pepper was involved. So we went for level 4, which was spicy enough to make your tummy warm (indeed, I started sweating a bit), but more importantly, it also had a lot of depth underneath to carry it through, rather than being sheer heat.

I can see why the Michelin inspectors liked the place as a result. Besides, the service was good and the place has some character too, including a rather witty menu. But the portions were frustratingly small...at least, compared to a place like Bar-B-Q Tonight where we could just pig out. In that sense, our go-to spot for such lunches is likely to be elsewhere.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Shiroebi Karaage from Tomi Sushi in Singapore

Shiroebi Karaage

To be honest, I'm posting this more just because it made for a nice picture than anything else. OK, these little things were a nice snack to go with their S$7.50 (US$5.50) happy hour beers, and the quality of Tomi Sushi in general isn't too bad considering the relatively low prices that they charge. The only exception might be the momotaro tomato special that they had today for S$8 (US$5.90), which featured half of a tomato that was disappointingly tasteless.

KL Traditional Chilli Ban Mee at VivoCity Food Republic

Signature Chilli Ban Mee

These guys opened just five days ago in the Food Republic food court on the third floor of VivoCity. The noodles were overcooked, and the accompanying soup was tasteless, thus making it worse than Kin Kin. But I easily forgot about all of that after tossing in some of that wonderfully salty and spicy dry chili, which they laid out in five huge bowls in front of the stall on a scale of 1 to 5.

Try the level of spicy!!! [sic]

The highest level 5 wasn't intolerable and could be readily eaten with a single scoop thrown into one's bowl. But my preference was for a heaping spoonful of level 3, which still provided heat but also more saltiness. If they sold that stuff by the jar, I'd buy one immediately. Side note: the Shi Mao Dao Yunnan Rice Noodle stall at the food court up here has sadly closed down. :(

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sibberi Bamboo Water and Maple Water From the UK

Sibberi Bamboo Water and Maple Water

I was a bit parched this afternoon, so I stopped by an outlet of SuperNature and was curious about these bottles from the UK. The bamboo one tasted a little bit like a cross between wood and tea. The maple one, on the other hand, was slightly sweet, and also thin despite being undiluted sap. Well, both were the light and refreshing things that I was looking for, but each one was also a whopping S$6.50 (US$4.80).

Ah Khoo Kopi Toast by Han's Singapore

Ah Khoo Kopi Toast

The way that these guys market themselves, it looks like some long-standing chain since 1976. But I'd never heard of it until I came to Our Tampines Hub today (25 Tampines Street 82 #B1-39, 6556-0089). I dug around a bit, and if I got it correctly, this is from the folks over at Han's Cafe, which *has* been around for about as many years, even if this local toast and coffee shop seems to be relatively new (sounds like a move right out of the TWG Tea playbook with its "1837" signage). Anyway, my kaya toast set above wasn't anything special, and I wished my coffee were a little stronger too. But this isn't exactly something that I eat very frequently anyway.

Popcorn on the Cob from Australia's Mulyan

Popcorn on the Cob from Australia's Mulyan

I spotted these at Little Farms in Singapore this morning: bundles of three ears of corn, but featuring dry popcorn instead. I didn't buy any, but the instructions said that you were supposed to peel off the kernels by hand and then throw it into the microwave. Sounds like fun.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Whole Foods Market’s Self-Serve Mochi Bar

Whole Foods Market’s Self-serve Mochi Bar

Whole Foods started this mochi ice cream bar (or perhaps more accurately, just an ice cream freezer) earlier this year. They were going for a whopping $2 each, but they weren't too bad, including the pineapple-coconut and mango flavors. It's interesting though that most "mochi cream" offerings that I've seen lately feature ice cream inside rather rather than the (non-ice) cream custard-like stuff from Cafe COMME ÇA ISM in Japan. I hope that we start to see more of the latter.

Koi Palace in Daly City, California

Typhoon Shelter-style Dungeness Crab

This Zagat and Michelin listed (that's listed, not Bib Gourmand nor starred) Chinese place was nearby and suggested for lunch today (365 Gellert Boulevard, 650-992-9000). It wasn't bad, particularly a lovely beef tripe that was boiled plain but accompanied by a deliciously simple Cantonese soy sauce and oil dip, all with the added excitement of some sliced jalapeno. That crab above was supposed to be typhoon shelter-style but was light on both the garlic and chili. I was still happy to be eating Dungeness crab nonetheless. Note that the line here is pretty brutal during a weekday dim sum lunch hour, so be sure to plan around it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Giant Hot Link from Home Depot in the US

Giant Hot Link

OK, that headline is a bit misleading, as Home Depot isn't exactly pulling a Costco and selling food. But there was a little "Food & Drinks" shack parked right in front of a local Home Depot today, and I needed a quick hot dog before jumping onto three back to back conference calls with Asia tonight. I was a bit worried at first when she slathered relish onto my hot link, but in the end I was still happy, mainly because she also threw jalapenos in there, thus covering up the taste of the relish. This went down the hatch in minutes.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews in the US

Royal Red Robin

If my memory is correct, the first and only time I've been to a Red Robin was 25 years ago. And I seem to remember it being a family restaurant. I suppose that it still is a family restaurant, but what got me interested in coming here tonight was that tagline about gourmet burgers and beer.

It's too bad then that I couldn't really taste the patty, as the bacon and egg covered it all up. It was also kinda slippery when you tried to put a mayo-slathered bun on top of a fried egg; the thing nearly slid right out of my hands. The thick fries weren't any good, nor did I like their seasoning salt.

Heck, if I'm going to nitpick, then I'll point out that I didn't like the beer selection either. In retrospect, I wish I had just gotten a plain burger with some raw onions; I didn't even realize that the "royal" above didn't have any onions when I ordered it.

China's Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in the US

Hot Pot

It may seem odd that I'd come all the way over here to the US to eat at a hot pot chain from China. But a teammate and I needed a place to eat, and there was an outlet nearby today. Interestingly, they don't encourage the use of sauces here, although you can pay for some if you'd like. The broth wasn't particularly spicy either, but it was salty and savory, making me happily gobble up the thin slices of lamb that we dunked in. I left totally stuffed, and also left the place smelling like B.O. given all the cumin in the air in there.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Thai Wanton Mee from Kin Moo in Singapore

Baa Mee Keow Haeng Moo Dang

I'm a pig. This is my third meal tonight. Granted, each one has been relatively light, but I needed just a little bit of carbs to finish things off. And I recalled that the portions at Kin Moo were pretty small, so I stopped on in, especially since there were tables available. This time I went for that bowl above, which came with an impressively generous handful of cilantro. It all went down with ease, especially after adding a quick dusting of the dried chili powder on each table. The Thai milk tea was better than I was expecting too, even if it still wasn't as strong and fragrant as I would've liked it to be.