28 December 2013

Ah Loy Thai

I have to start by disclaiming that this is not a story about authentic Thai food. This is another story of how I found a gem by following the long queue. Ah Loy Thai located at the basement of Tampines Mall always had a long queue every time I passed by. Like always. Being the typical Singaporean, I made the assumption that the long queue means good food. I am a good follower.

The unassuming hole-in-the-wall that contains the gems.

The pineapple fried rice ($7, below) had a wok hei taste, and the pineapples, prawns and raisins were a great infusion to entice the tastebuds. The eggs were to die-for. Although it tasted more like Chinese Zhi Char fried rice, it made me wanted to go Bangkok immediately. 4.5/5

The Tom Yam seafood soup ($7.50, below) was really spicy. One sip and it set my tongue and belly to flames even faster than I could say "sa-wa-dee-kha". And I think they must have been best friends with their supplier because there were a lot of fresh ingredients: prawns, mushroom, lemongrass and chock-ful of squids. It was like a bottomless pot of ingredients. The soup brought out the essence of the ingredients and the spiciness was well balanced by the sourness. 4.5/5

Loved the Phad Thai ($7, below) which was well done : not too oily and had a wok hei taste to it too. Umani packed thin flat noodles were flavorful and delivered the punch. Again, generous amount of eggs, prawns and beanspouts. This is like my perfect Phad Thai. 5/5

And before we thought the meal would not get any better, the butter calamari ($8, below) arrived. Hail the butter calamari! Every bite was a burst of sweet and savory. Although it's sinful, it's addictive and tasty. 5/5

Meat is very important in a meal so we ordered the pandan chicken ($10, below). Hmmm the chicken was a little tough (frozen meat?). Would give this a miss if we had known. 3/5

Although the food was more like Chinese Zhi Char rather than Thai Thai in my opinion, it's really irresistible and tasty and had us swooning. These were really simple, nothing over the top dishes but that's all it takes to make us contented. And also make us work harder at the gym thereafter. And all these for only $13 per pax which is value for money! There is no service charge or Gst. It would have cost more if we went to other Thai restaurants. There is another outlet at Bugis Shaw towers but I haven't tried it before. Despite the long queues during meal times, this is stuff that I would not regret queuing for. Ok I need to wipe off the drool on my keyboard now.

1 December 2013

Oyster Bar and Grill Wharf

My Halloween themed post. Erm yes, I'm late for the party. 

Anyway, this trip to Oyster Bar and Grill Wharf took place close to Halloween last month. Looked like they put their thinking caps on and were on the beam.

Did I mention they have 100 flavors of mojito? Wicked.

For the non-drunkards, there is the non-alcoholic version of mojito. I have only one liver so I am not going to try all 100 flavors. However, I thought the watermelon mojito ($15.80, below left) and the non-alcoholic peach mojito ($10.80, below right) were refreshing, bittersweet and sufficient to set the stage for the night. Now I'm thirsty. 4.25/5

Being seated at the bar meant an exclusive ticket to spy at the chefs preparing the food. However, we were too engrossed in our bitch session (hey it's Friday!) to care about what was happening in the kitchen. 

If there was only one thing we came for, it would be the oysters. After all, this is named Oyster bar. I am no expert in the field of oysters. From the poster on the wall, it seemed like Wharf got its oysters from Australia and US. The fried oysters ($9 for 2, $16 for 4) were a basic introduction. Succulent oyster meat hid within the breaded crumbs and above the slightly salty savory sauce. 4/5

Ajillo- a Spanish dish that's garlic and olive oil infused. The menu has a variety of Ajillos - prawn, sausages, oysters. We got the Scallops and Mushroom ($12.50, below) which arrived on our table sizzling and bobbling hot. The drenched scallops in the salty broth were bouncy, and fresh. Scallops are my thing and I am usually in charge of finishing them. I am not a big fan of mushrooms honestly and I had left the honor of settling them to my dining companion. However no complaints were lodged against the mushrooms. Overall, a dish slightly above average in my opinion. 3.75/5

Since we were seated at the bar, some bar food would be appropriate. The truffle cheese fries ($14, below) set the bar high in my food diary for truffle fries. I liked how it wasn't overpowering with the typical pungent smell of truffles, and also the lightness of the cheese flakes that decorated the fries. 4/5

We were surprised that our chicken wings ($14, below) arrived faster than the indicated cooking time in the menu of 20 minutes. These were sumptuous and addictive, but a tad too expensive for standard fare. 3.75/5

I was impressed by the efficiency of the kitchen and wait staff. Food was served rather quickly and the dirty dishes were cleared promptly, as if there was some hidden sensor in the dish that sent a signal to the waiter when the dish was empty. I like the chill vibes of this place and would not mind returning again to try more of its famous oysters.

60 Robertson Quay
#01-01 Singapore 238252

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