Friday, December 15, 2017

Kushikatsu Tanaka in Clarke Quay, Singapore


This kushikatsu chain from Japan has opened an outlet at Clarke Quay (3A River Valley Road Block A #01-01B, 6258-3789). I haven't been to Osaka in a while, so it's a little hard for me to make a real comparison. But I liked that this place was casual and cheap, and yet still of reasonable quality, even if nowhere as high-end as Si Bon was. There are some other non-kushikatsu items on the menu that looked worthy of a return visit one day too.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fishball Story Has Been Expanding in Singapore

Premium Bowl

Not to be confused with A Noodle Story, this is a another Michelin Bib Gourmand stall that it seems to have spread to multiple stalls across the city. I was passing through La Pa Sat and figured that I'd give it a shot, especially since there was no line at the moment. I really liked the care that went into the ingredients, including the thin and nicely cooked noodles, firm fish balls, and even the well-rounded soup, which was a far contrast to the dishwater that one usually gets at other stalls. This is the standard that other fishball noodle stalls should strive for.

Hafudog on Robinson Road in Singapore

Breakfast Dog

I noticed these guys in passing yesterday (35 Robinson Road #01-03, 6203-1011). A quick glance of their wasn't that appealing given their fusion positioning. But then I noticed that they open at 8 AM, and even featured this breakfast dog. I liked it, mainly because of the care that they put into everything, including the eggs, garnish, and bun. I liked it enough that I'll come back to try the other ones.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Chibakara Ramen from Japan at Takumen Singapore

Chibakara Ramen

I've never been a huge fan of jirokei ramen. And somehow, I didn't even realize that I had ordered one at at Takumen 2 today. But I ended up liking it, mainly because of that super thick broth. It was more like a sauce actually, but it was good. The portions weren't excessive, and they also kept the raw minced garlic relatively well-contained in that spoon so I could easily remove it in one go.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

China's Tan Yu Charming Grilled Fish Has Opened in Singapore

Chongqing Cold Noodles with Chicken Slices

Not to be confused with Tanyoto at Liang Court, this chain from China has opened an outlet at 313@Somerset just a few days ago (313 Orchard Road #B3-30, 6509-8887). Their main thing is Chongqing grilled fish, but there was no way that I could finish an entire one as a solo diner. So I went for a bunch of sides instead, including those cold noodles above as well as some tofu and even some chuanr.

The chuanr were a bit lean and tough, but otherwise I liked the food enough to want to come back for the fish one day. I just need to remember to stay as far away as possible from the grilled eggplant, as it's totally buried under a thick layer of garlic (nobody is going to want to be anywhere near me for the rest of the day!). The dumplings have a heaping of raw garlic on top of them too.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Bun Mee Vietnamese Sandwich Eatery in San Francisco

Bun Mee Combo

This small local chain from San Francisco recently opened its outlet at the airport. And I nearly passed on it tonight as I was rushing to get to my connecting flight, but somehow it looked like it might have some promise, despite fillings like avocado suggesting that this was a more modern interpretation of Vietnamese bánh mì. I'm really glad I ate it, as its bread was extra crunchy and its ingredients were nicely seasoned. Normally I would've hoped that the garnishes would be more evenly spread inside the sandwich, but it wasn't a bad thing for my first bite to be a load of fresh cilantro and jalapeno peppers. Next time I should try some of their other variations.

A Bowl of Saimin at Kahului Airport in Maui, Hawaii


There was actually one more local dish that I wanted to get before leaving Hawaii, and that was saimin, an Asia-influenced noodle soup that I once had at a McDonald's in Hawaii many, many years ago. Anyway, today there was a stall selling it right outside the gate at the airport, so I quickly sat down for a bowl. My first impression? I loved how salty the soup was. It was no-holds-barred in-your-face salty, but in a clean way. And it went well with the cabbage, so I just kept drinking it despite breaking out in a sweat at this outdoor airport. The rest of the stuff in the bowl was unremarkable though, so I just kept drinking the soup. I'll admit though that the saltiness eventually got to the point where I couldn't finish the rest.

Local Boys Shave Ice in Kihei, Maui

Haupia and Hawaiian Rainbow Shave Ice

One local thing I wanted to get before heading back was Hawaiian shave ice. This shop (1941 South Kihei Road, 808-344-9779) was supposed to be pretty good at it, so I stopped by. The ice was much more finely shaved than a snow cone or even Southeast Asian chendol (yet not as much as a Korean bingsu), making it very easy to eat. Sure, the syrups on top were a bit sugary (mine were a combination of coconut, salted dry plum, and papaya flavors), but not annoyingly so. And the scoop of ice cream at the bottom was a nice touch, especially since my haupia coconut cream custard flavor was rather aromatic.

Da Kitchen Express in Kihei, Maui

Loco Moco and Deep Fried Spam Musubi

Whenever I asked people about good local food in Maui, this place kept coming up (2439 South Kihei Road #107A, 808-875-7782). I thus got their loco moco for breakfast today, and it was a lot better than I thought it would be, mainly because the sauce was surprisingly subtle. I won't be surprised if MSG or a bouillon cube was used to give it its depth, but it wasn't too heavy, even if the portions were still gigantic. I didn't care as much for that deep-fried Spam musubi in the corner though, as the glaze was really sweet.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi

Salmon Dynamite Roll

No, that is not a typo above; that's honestly how the place is spelled. And Roy Yamaguchi is like the poster child of Hawaiian cooking. So this place at the Marriott in Kihei (3700 Wailea Alanui Drive, 808-879-4655) is apparently a tribute to his family's roots in Maui. Admittedly, I didn't get a chance to try much of the menu, and that salmon dynamite roll above wasn't anything to get me too excited. But there was a surprising amount of heat packed into the "Phoenix" spicy tuna roll, and that was good enough for me.

My First Taste of Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi Salmon

Lomi-Lomi Salmon

Time for another afternoon snack, this time at a random general store. Instead of poke though, I went for this diced salmon thing, which is apparently served as a side dish at luaus. It kinda looks like pico de gallo salsa, and then many ways it kind of was, as this was largely just tomatoes and onions without a whole lot of salmon. And this one in particular was very salty. No, I didn't like it. I should have gotten their poke instead.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

A Quick Poke and Spam Musubi Snack in Hawaii

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Poke

Hawaii is so cool in that I can just walk into a random supermarket, head to the back counter, and grab a little serving of poke for an afternoon snack. It's healthy, cheap, tasty, and one has full control over how filling you want it to be by specifying the amount (these guys offered bowls if you so wished, complete with a range of toppings, unlike yesterday's simple set up).

This Hawaiian ahi tuna was delicious, as it had a punchy saltiness that didn't overwhelm it, all while being savory thanks to that limu seaweed. The Spam musubi had a bit of a glaze on it and wasn't anything special, but I had to get one while I was in Hawaii. I did get to try the octopus poke (free samples!), but I'm still glad that I got the fresh ahi above.