20 June 2014

Sho Teppan

Whenever I feel like cooking minus the dish-washing, I'll go to Sho Teppan, a DIY cum personal teppanyaki/shabu-shabu restaurant. 

The table setting doesn't make sense for groups more than 2 because you have to sit in a row, rather than opposite each other. It's kind of like a bar table set up with bar chairs that don't have a backing.  I would also prefer if there were shelves or something to place our bags on, instead of our slim thighs.

One can choose either teppanyaki or shabu-shabu, but I think not both. Because each person gets his own teppanyaki/shabu-shabu. There's a range of meats from beef to seafood. For teppanyaki, you can choose from 4 types of sauces: teppanyaki, teriyaki, black pepper, miso. For shabu-shabu, you can choose sweet or salty base. The sets come with salad in shoyu dressing which makes it salty, yummy and appetizing. 

Marbled pork shabu shabu set ($15.90++)
Layered pork teppanyaki set ($12.90++)

I got the teppanyaki with teppanyaki sauce. My companion got the shabu-shabu in salty base, which is boring and doesn't really showcase my cooking talent. 

Everytime when I say I have cooking talent, people start to roll their eyes/stare at me. To those who think I only know how to eat but not cook, I'll show them this glorious photo of my best work and let evidence speak for itself:
Best Sambal Sotong & Shrimp by Yours truly 
I am sure Gordon Ramsay would never say this of my works. 
Credits: Quickmeme.com
Or this.
Credits: Memecenter.com

End of bragging. Sorry I digressed.. I just had to.

Please don't assume a chef will appear and cook the raw food for you hor. Unless you are a real emperor. Then maybe. Otherwise, please mix the sauces with the raw food, stir and fry the food until it is cooked (brownish). Try not to over cook until it becomes burnt offerings. But if you really need help, the waiter can help to cook. 

The outcome (my cooking not the waiter's) of my teppanyaki was savory tender pork that was well marinated with the sweet and salty teppanyaki sauce. The sauce was delicious and brought out the best balance in sweet and savory for the chicken meat. The cabbage and shredded carrots were also delicious after grilled. 4/5

For the healthy eaters, the shabu-shabu (below) was not bad and would appeal to the veggie lovers. It was a bottomless pot of cabbages, tofu, tomatoes, mushrooms. Personally I think the sukiyaki base would taste better.  3.5/5

Definitely a place that I would go back again and again to settle my teppanyaki craving. Except that I won't recommend you to go there before shopping/dating cause you'll smell like your food.
I hope you are digesting the important info.. Yes set lunch is super affordable at $8.90++ only! 

Address: 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City SC, #B1-44B, Singapore 179103

13 June 2014

Octapas Spanish Tapas Bar

It was a dramatic and emotional Friday at work and I wanted needed to end it with alcohol at Octapas at Clarke Quay. 

I didn't take pics of the place because I didn't want to risk being beaten by some drunkard who caught me taking photos of him. So here're some pics of the place from Octapas website.

Red lighting provides the mood and ambience for relaxation. They have an alfresco dining area by the river..

As well as indoors that is set with bar tables..  Not really air-conditioned but I think it's cooler than outdoors.

We were seated right in front of the stage.. where a live band will perform at 10pm.

Since we are at a Spanish tapas place, we ordered lychee sangria ($15.50++, below). It came with a lychee fruit and tiny apple pieces, and tasted bittersweet. Just like my life on that miserable Friday. It was actually quite strong because I felt a little giddy after a while. Not because I'm a loser k.. My friend, who is a regular recurring drunkard experienced drinker and also a walking disaster when drunk  walking encyclopedia of alcohol, also found it strong.

The Grilled Octapas ($17.50++, below) which was grilled octopus and potatoes and supposedly seasoned with paprika. The reason why I said supposedly is because I didn't taste any paprika. The meat was a bit charred and tough. I suspect it was over grilled. You know, like how we over barbecue our food because we are not sure if it's cooked.. And the result is hard meat. The portion is rather small for 2 pax. 2.5/5

We ordered the Mariscos Paella ($38++, below). Basically it is seafood paella, comprising of squids, mussels, shrimps and fish. Served piping hot, the paella was quite tasty and they were quite generous with the seafood.  However I found the rice too mushy and wet. 3.5/5

We enjoyed the live band and they were seriously quite good! 

The music was a bit too loud for me but I believe it was because we were seated right in front of the band.
Overall, although the food was so-so, and the service was so-so (oh did I mention our prawns never came?),  it's still a great way to unwind and start the weekend with a live band. You can make song dedications too. Here's a short clip of the live band singing "All of me".

Life is better when you are drunk.
Because fish mermaids are too mainstream.
Address:  Blk D, #01-08 Clarke Quay,
River Valley Road, Singapore 179023

7 June 2014

Chocolate origin

This is the Best. Chocolate. Ever.

Just like Rihanna singing “where have you been all my life??"...  that was what I felt about my virgin experience with Chocolate Origin’s chocolate lava ice-cream.

A plethora of “omg .. omg.. OMGG..” was unleashed when I first ate it. It was a touching moment for me.

At $5 a cup, the Cuppa Lava Cake, which is chocolate lava vanilla ice-cream is totally worth it for that moment of ecstasy.

And I missed it so much that I want to write a love letter now (warning: mushy content ahead).

Dear Cuppa Lava Cake,

I love you.

I love how intense and rich you are, and the bittersweet feelings that invoked within me when I devoured you.

I love how you are hot and cold at the same time.

I love how your warm chocolate lava gives me moments of bliss and indulgence, and how the moist fluffy soft sponge cake absorbs the flowing lava.

I love your cold and sweet vanilla ice-cream that is waiting for me at the bottom of the lava cake.

I love how serious you are as a chocolate, and yet seem like a dreamy fairy tale to me.

I love how therapeutic it is just to say your name.

I love you.

It was as if I have been sleeping for the longest time.

Until I met you.

This is an apt representation of my love for Cuppa Lava Cake.

230 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction, B3-10A (near escalator near Subway)
They have outlets at Changi Village, AMK Hub and 313 Somerset too!

4 June 2014

Mellben seafood (Ang Mo Kio)

Pic from Mellben Seafood website
When I told mama I was going to bring her to Mellben for Mothers' Day, she thought I meant Melbourne. Oops.

Anyway Mellben also very good what. 

One of the ways you can tell if it is a family is if they love the same food. For mine, our love is seafood. Hence, no need DNA test. Hence, family dinners are easy to plan- everybody happy with seafood.

I have a social responsibility to warn you before visiting Mellben. 

Warning #1 - Queuing is unavoidable. Unless you go on weekdays which they accept reservations.

Don't want to queue? Can.. come at 10.45pm lor (time for last order)
Warning #2 - Waiting is unavoidable. unless you are some king. Or unless you saved the world. Then maybe. Otherwise...

After we got our seats, we waited for like 45 minutes for our food!

Warning #3 - No guarantee on the quality... Mellben will thank you for understanding.

Although the menu boasts of a wide variety of seafood, the main star of Mellben Seafood is the claypot crab bee hoon. 

But first, coconut juice ($4+ each) is always a must when we eat seafood. While it was refreshing, the inner flesh was a bit hard to scrap though. 3.5/5

Crab #1 - Claypot Bee Hoon crab

It was a unanimous thumbs-up for this. The buttermilk broth was robust and slightly peppery. I think there was also coconut milk but it was not very overwhelming or too much. The overall combination was savory and tasty. 

And the Bee Hoon - so silky and smooth that I had a problem holding them with my chopsticks. Awesome.  4.5/5

And not to mention the main star - the crab- very fresh and fleshy. Sweet and succulent. I only have one more word for the meat quality - solid!

As I am the princess, I have my crabs cracked and presented to me. I just eat. 

Crab #2 - Chilli crab

Mellben's chilli crab is seriously not for the wimps. The sauce is super duper spicy that it puts other chilli crabs in shame. My tongue was on flames. And soaking up the fried piping-hot mantou ($4+ for 10) in the sweet eggy spicy sauce? Shiok! But too spicy lah. Can only eat a few. 4.5/5

And guess what? I made a new discovery.. 

Some of the chilli crab sauce accidentally dropped into my bowl of Bee Hoon soup.. The outcome --> butter milk chilli crab sauce that's spicy and milky! And not overly spicy as compared to chilli crab only. It's like the combination of two power essences. Divine! Don't say I never share...

While the price depends on the daily market rate, the two crabs (1 kg each)  cost $110+ that day.

We loved the cereal prawns ($20+, below) too. Crispy and coated with fragrant cereals, the king prawns were huge, succulent and sweet, and full of wok-hei. The problem was there were too little prawns. We finished the whole thing including the cereals. 4.5/5

For a non-seafood change, we ordered the venison meat ($15+, below). The venison meat was gamey, yet tender and savory with the sweet soya black sauce. 4/5

Please don't misunderstand that we are a carnivorous family. We also ordered some vegetables such as bamboo shoots. Which was good too. Which I forgot to take photo.. 

Ok that's all we ate at Mellben. Looks little but actually it was a lot for 4 pax. We were damn full.. I guess the tummies in my family are all small and not very stretchable. 

Mellben AMK - Right at the ground floor of a HDB flat. 

Note: Mellben charges 7% GST but no service charge. 

232 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 S'pore 560233

3 June 2014

Concetto by Saveur

I always tell my younger brother that he is so lucky to have me as his elder sister. I believe he had an easier time getting into the same primary school as me because my name was in his application. (In Singapore, siblings get priority in Pri 1 enrollment.)

No link? Look at Concetto by Saveur. Because its name has a "by Saveur", it started with a bang. Even my hermit friend who doesn't care about who just opened a new restaurant, knows Concetto by Saveur is likely to be the same as its sister restaurant Saveur - cheap and good. Just like how Saveur has been able to satisfy masses with its good and affordable French cuisine.

The menu is made up of small plates for sharing, as well as pastas. We had a choice of hand-made or machine-made pasta. And of course hand-made pastas cost slightly more.

I ordered the creamy pork pasta ($9.90+, below) which is basically fettuccine, with confit pork, and a sous vide egg, covered in creamy carbonara sauce. We both agreed that other than the pork which was soft and fork-tender, the rest of the pasta was average. Normal cream-based pasta. I wished I could say more than normal. I guess I still prefer tomato-based to cream-based pastas. 3.5/5

The prawn aglio ($10.90+, below), made with tagliatelle, tiger prawn and sakura ebi, was labelled with an unfortunate nickname - high class mee pok. High class because it is costlier than mee pok. Maybe it was because we ordered the handmade pasta so it tasted different from the machine-made pasta we were used to. The other ingredients of the dish failed to impress us.  2.5/5

The service crew seemed to be very young and not confident enough, especially when I drilled asked them questions about the menu. 

Overall, guess I won't be going back anytime soon.. 

The Cathay
2 Handy Road
Singapore 229233
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