16 February 2014

Flor Patisserie @ Siglap

Hidden in the private Siglap neighbourhood, this outlet of Flor Patisserie is a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Great for those who want a secret date. 

I love the spacious layout, blue and white decor, as well as the large number of seats available. 

Topped with fresh juicy strawberries, the Napolean ($6.95, below) is a quarter milky flaky crepe cake, three-quarters sponge cake, that ends with a sweet crunchy base. It was really sweet and for a moment I was in a diabetic rush. Not for the faint-hearted. 3.75/5

To balance out the sugar rush from Napolean, get the Mango pie ($6.75, below). The sour zesty mango cubes on top of the moist pie would surely offset the sweetness of Napolean. The tart was more gelat than I would have preferred. 3.5/5

Love this quote - Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

42 Siglap Drive
Singapore 456167

11 February 2014

Swee Choon

Swee Choon is always the first on my to-go list for late night supper. After all, it opens till 6am. The Jalan Besar location isn't friendly if you don't own four wheels. We took a bus and still had to walk along dark corridors of shophouses before we reached Swee Choon. I don't like dark places because they are haunted. But still, we will bravely flock to it for its cheap and good shanghainese style dim sum. 

A visit at 11pm - we had to wait if we wanted to sit in the restaurant but they had tables available immediately if we sit at their back alley. No surprises for what an impatient person like me had done - take the back alley. Makeshift tables occupied the unglamorous back alley and we were seated at a table against a grey concrete wall that looked like it had been there since I was born. Can't help but I kept imagining that a toilet was behind it.

The regulars would know that Swee Choon is famous for its signature yellow egg yolk custard buns. I was dining with a friend who doesn't take the yellow gooey stuff so we skipped it. But I had tried it on another occasion and loved it. So would highly recommend it. 4.5/5

Another signature dish would be the Mee Sua Kueh ($2 for 2). Or translated into English, deep fried vermicelli rice cake. Writing about this now makes me want to go back and eat it again. An innovative dish which achieved a balance between crispness and softness (crispy at the top and softness towards the bottom). 4.5/5

The Xiao Long Bao (or pork minced meat dumpling with hot soup broth) ($4 for 4) is pretty decent. But sorry I have given my heart to Din Tai Fung's best Xiao Long Bao in the world. Compared to Din Tai Fung, Swee choon's has thicker skin which is less than perfect. Swee Choon's minced pork is also less tasty than Din Tai Fung's. But both have similar savory scalding soup broth. 3.5/5

We found the Char Siew baked pastry ($2.20 for 2) surprisingly delicious - the sweetness of Char Siew filling was just nice and matched the crumbly golden baked crust well. 4/5

We also ordered some Siew Mai ($1.80 for 2) which in my opinion, was so-so and nothing to shout about. 3/5

One thing I like the place about was the service speed. Before we could get our seats warmed, the food was streaming in non-stop. They also have a takeaway shop next to the restaurant which is very popular. 

Address: 185 Jalan Besar

6 February 2014

Sakura International Buffet

I don't usually go to buffets because it's difficult to find really good quality ones that don't make me feel ouch when I pay.  Nevertheless, there would be days when I am in a "i-want-to-eat-till-i-burst" mode or the fickle monster's "I want laksa but also sashimi" mode. Even though my wallet might not agree with my mood. So on my mission to search for a budget buffet, I came across Sakura and decided to give it a try since:
- it's probably the cheapest international buffet in Singapore ($26 ++ for weekend lunch). 
- it has 8k fans on Facebook. So can't be that bad right?
- it serves Ben & jerry ice cream. If the food cannot make it, at least we can still "piah" the ice cream to redeem the ticket price.

There are quite a few outlets in Singapore (Dhoby Ghaut, Pasir Ris, Admiralty Park, Clementi, Jurong, Tampines, Yio Chu Kang). I visited the Pasir Ris outlet. I didn't take pics of all the food but I thought the variety was quite reasonable. 

Sushi & sashimi counter

BBQ station.. Just need to clip the binder clip (found at our table) to the meat sign we wanted and the chef grilled it and served to our table. 

Pizza and Western food

There was a Asian counter serving scallop congee, crayfish, dim sum, noodles.

There was a local delicacy station serving Hainanese chicken rice and cooks laksa on the spot. Laksa was good!

There was a fried food station containing chicken wings, tempura prawns, fried dumplings. Tempura was nice!

Hot station serving chawanmushi, herbal chicken and soups (mushroom, "shark fin", radish)

Drinks station

Ice cream station

Fruits station

Desserts station serving the usual suspect durian puff, chocolate eclairs, fruit pudding 

The good:
- tempura prawn
- crayfish
- sashimi
- BBQ chicken satay 
- grilled Thai sauce prawns
- laksa
- durian puff
- ice cream
- lychee and mango puddings

The rest are not worth the calories. 

Overall rating: 2.75/5

Overall, I think it is an average buffet with excellent price. Don't go there expecting hotel standard. Don't "hiam" so much and you will find that it is actually "can eat lah". Set the expectation correctly to avoid disappointment. I don't mind going back during weekday which is even cheaper ($23++). 

2 February 2014

Bak kwa weekend

When my mother heard of the legend of how this year's record breaker queued for 7 hours for Lim Chee Guan's bak kwa (barbecued pork), she was like, "Aiyoh these people jia ba ka eng, normal days don't want to eat bak kwa.. now wait till prices so high, long queues during Chinese New Year then say want to eat. You all don't waste time to queue ah."

That was before she found out that her filial children had just bought bak kwa from Lim Chee Guan and Bee Cheng Hiang. Anyway since buy already, can only eat.

So I had the chance to eat these two major bak kwa brands side-by-side (literally, one hand holding LCG and the other holding BCH) and below are my personal comparison notes.

Lim Chee Guan (LCG) Sliced pork vs Bee Cheng Hiang (BCH) Minced pork

LCG - Not overly sweet. It is more savoury and smoky than sweet. (Win)
BCH - Much sweeter than LCG's.

LCG - Not too many charcoal bits. However, each piece had the smoky flavor. (win)
BCH - Not too many charcoal bits. Each piece has potential to be more smoky.

LCG - Not really an apple vs apple comparison since sliced pork is usually harder than minced pork. Anyway if we still want to compare, then this is harder than BCH's minced pork.
BCH - I always buy minced version from BCH because their sliced version is too hard. (Win)

LCG -Got the bak meaty feel and taste. (Win)
BCH - Got more caramelized sugar taste. But more moist than LCG.

Overall winner: LCG ! But if you ask me to queue for 7 hours, I rather buy BCH.

Actually, I still don't know why we eat bak kwa during CNY. One thing I know is the bak kwas and its other CNY accomplices had consumed my calories intake limit for the month. 

Worth mentioning : Not forgetting BCH's prawn rolls. They are my favorite CNY snack. Crispy rolls of spicy dried shrimps. Extremely addictive and I can't stop once I opened it. If anybody wants to plot for me to have clogged arteries and heart attack, they just need to feed me an endless supply of this. 

London | Baileys Fish & Chips

Fish and chips to London is like Hainanese chicken rice to Singapore. The  sinful deep fried stuff originated from England and was a staple in the olden days. Like how tourists google for the most delicious chicken rice in Singapore, we purposely researched on where was the best fish and chips in London. Which brought us to Baileys, the best fish & chips in London per Tripadvisor.

When we opened the door, we were greeted by a claustrophobic corridor of bar seats. Not really something we liked but never mind it's still more comfortable than taking the MRT train during rush hour. The greasy smell from frying the fish occupied every corner of the room and by the time we finished eating, we smelled like cod fish.

There was a lunch time special at £5.25. They called it Cod and Chips. Unlike Singapore where we used dory fish, the Londoners use cod fish. I made the unwise decision of ordering 2 sets of the same thing because 1 set is really sufficient for 2 people. Haiz when can I ever master sound judgment?

I loved how crispy the skin was, and how moist and flaky the flesh was. It simply disintegrated when my fork cut through. Loved the tar tar sauce provided. The chips were made from real potato and were crispy. Although it was very tasty, the serving was too big. By the time I was halfway, I already wanted to surrender. Nevertheless, it's still one of the best fish and chips I've ever had!

115 Dawes Rd
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