All posts for the month February, 2013

Fish & Crab Shack and Malaysian Food Street (RWS)

Published February 23, 2013 by piggie

My friend and I have a couple of Resort World Sentosa (RWS) vouchers to utilise before expiry date, and we settled for Malaysian Food Street and Fish & Crab Shack in RWS on separate occasions. For convenience sake, allow me to bundle them in one single post, although they are actually a couple of minutes walk apart.

Let me start with Fish & Crab Shack first.

This seafood restaurant is situated in the same building as Maritime Experiential Museum, patrons do not need to pay admission to the museum to access it. Their setting looks very much like a fast food restaurant, only that their prices didn’t look like one, and it’s basically self-service, hence they weren’t charging for their services (if any), but regulated GST was still a necessity.

I ain’t really a big eater, so was my companion, thus we each had one main course. We were targeting the much talked about Crabby Spaghetti, but it wasn’t on their menu anymore. They claimed it was a routine menu change, but I suspect they probably found it tedious or for cost efficient reason, they decided to discontinue it. Hence, I went for their other specialty, Fish & Chips ($10.90), while my companion settled for a Seafood Spaghetti ($17.90).

Fish & Chips $10.90

Fish & Chips $10.90

Frankly speaking, their Fish & Chips actually tasted better than its dull appearance suggested. Forget the chips, which tasted mediocre, and neither the salad tasted exceptional. The fish fingers were rather diminutive comparing to elsewhere I had tried, but it was nice because of its thick crust of crispy flour skin, making it somewhat different from other vendors in general.

Seafood Spaghetti $17.90

Seafood Spaghetti $17.90

I only managed to steal a bite off this order, this appeared to be the replacement for their more popular Crabby Linguine with Garlic Pesto, which was taken off the menu. My meal companion commented that it tasted normal, nothing exceptional. All I could add was, at least the prawn was fresh 😛 This order sported a very different set of ingredients from what I understood, which comprised of scallops, squids, as well as prawns. Personally, I viewed it as another mean of price hike.

I understand that Fish & Crab Shack had recently up-ed their price prior to our visit, for their ambience and quality, I found the food a bit pricey. The most ironic fact was, its name. There was hardly any sight of crab meat in their menu, my dining companion was obviously disappointed. Anyway, if I have to put it bluntly, we won’t have patronised this restaurant if not for the free voucher, and this couldn’t remain more true especially after we tried out food at Malaysian Food Street.

We did not order any drink from them, nothing special really. What we did was, we walked across the road to Malaysian Food Street and had dessert there, which proved to be a master stroke!

Fish and Crab Shack
8 Sentosa Gateway
Waterfront, The Maritime Experiential Museum
Resorts World Sentosa
Tel: 65778888
Mon – Thu: 10:00 – 19:30
Fri – Sun & PH: 10:00 – 21:00
Sat: 10:00 – 23:00

Now, let’s get over to Malaysian Food Street and review some of their nice food before I elaborate on the desserts! 😀

First of all, by now, I suppose RWS need no further introduction being a spin-off from Genting Malaysia. Naturally, and quite conveniently, bringing over the best of Malaysian food to their flagship resort in Singapore is partly good in promoting Malaysia I suppose (At time of writing, another Malaysian Food Eatery in Jurong Point had just established, but they are in no way related), and RWS even got the original Malaysian vendors over to impart their skill!

Klang Bak Kut Teh $8

Klang Bak Kut Teh $8

Until I tried this Bak Kut Teh at Malaysian Food Street, I didn’t have much good impression of the Hokkien-styled Bak Kut Teh. I tried Leong Kee @ Beach Road, Hock Kee @ Alexandra Village, and even Malaysian import Pao Xiang @ NEX, none gave me as good an impression as this one here. Alright, I confess I love more of the Singapore styled Teochew pepper-based Bak Kut Teh as I love pepper, but perhaps let me give a brief opinion on the above-mentioned eateries and sum up why I love this one. Leong Kee was too fancy with their ingredients, I merely want rib meat, not all those fatty parts such as pork trotter, hence I could not truly appreciate Leong Kee’s version entirely. Hock Kee’s soup was great, with rich and thick herbal taste, their version was no-frill, only rib meat, and nothing else. I could do with that, but the meat was a bit hard. As for Pao Xiang… seriously, only their soup was good, the rest could not make it, that included their services. Pao Xiang was drastically over-priced, their serving was extremely stingy, with the meat half-dipped inside a tiny bowl of soup. You know what that means?? Small bowl, meaning temperature of the soup also cooled faster, so unless you finish it within a few minutes, otherwise, rest assured you’ll be eating cold food. Not to mention too meagre soup to appreciate, it didn’t help when the provided burner barely produced much heat (seriously, might as well take that away altogether, and rebate us the much deserved discount). I mentioned the rib was ‘half-dipped’ in the small bowl didn’t I? That was the most inconsiderate part and their most vital mistake. The rib was too big to soak entirely inside the bowl, half of it did not absorb the essence of the herbal soup, and tasted rather dry, if not tasteless. Moreover, they also charged much more than Klang Bak Kut Teh at RWS Malaysian Food Street, more than $10 per head, that was before throwing in extras such as service charge and GST! Have I stated that they took more than 30 minutes to refill the soup? Well, I can understand if that was not a standard practice for Klang styled Bak Kut Teh (I’m not sure), I didn’t mind taking no for an answer rather than waited 30 minutes, don’t tell me they needed to re-boil a new stew or they needed to fetch the soup from Johor??

Back to Klang Bak Kut Teh at RWS, it still possessed the herbal fragrance of those mentioned above, albeit with a slightly diluted broth, which, in my opinion, was an integration of Hokkien and Teochew styled soup. But at least the meat was tender and every bite of it exuded that soup essence badly missed in some of the other outlets mentioned above. Without those fatty pig trotters, it was less sinful and more healthy. My order was the deluxe version which came with mushroom. Their standard set cost merely $6.50, including a bowl of rice. This was extremely reasonable for a tourist attraction. Honestly, it was very filling for me.

Fung Wong Confectionery

Fung Wong Confectionery (L-R: egg tart, chicken pie, roast pork bun)

Pardon me for the sorry state of the pastries. My mum clumsily dropped the box, considered myself fortunate the egg tart remained in one piece 😛 But that somehow revealed one fact, the custard revealed no crack. That normally means the custard was moist and not too dry. In fact, it had a rich egg taste while the crust was crispy, such quality is a rare sight in Singapore these days. The price was understandably a little high ($1.30), though honestly, there’s still a few outlets in Singapore offering better for less. I didn’t eat the chicken pie so I can’t write anything on that, but the roast pork bun ($.150) was normal, the skin was alright, but I thought if the filling inside could do better if it was more moist.

L-R: Almond Biscuits ($9.80), Sek Ke Ma ($6.80), Egg Cake ($7.80)

L-R: Almond Biscuits ($9.80), Sek Ke Ma ($6.80), Egg Cake ($7.80)

Egg Cake

Egg Cake

I also purchased some of their cookies. The Almond Biscuits ($9.80) is a big No No. Unlike its Macau counterparts, which generally came with genuine almond nuts and taste, Fung Wong’s Almond Cookies have an artificial taste with apparent overdose of Almond powder essence, certainly not worth its price tag. The Charcoal Toasted Egg Cake is a big delight, with rich egg favour enriched in the crispy (yes, crispy like a toast bread) fragrant cake, I found it irresistible to stop eating 😀 As for the Sek Ke Ma, which is a type of sticky egg cookies, frankly speaking, for its price, it’s very mediocre. I can easily get better stuff from their Malaysian competitors at half the price. There are 4 individually wrapped Sek Ke Ma inside the box, this at least provides some convenience since most people won’t be able to finish it in one serving. However, these traditional cookies painstakingly lack characteristics. The egg fragrance was importantly missing, and personally, I don’t like them adding sesame on it. I couldn’t find the usual crunchy feeling I normally expected from other brands, that so much sum up how poorly made these cookies are, certainly not something one can expect from an established confectionery.

Chengdol $2.50

Chengdol $2.50

This has got to be one of the best I could find at Malaysian Food Street! Penang’s chengdol is famous in this region, and having tried that famous mobile vendor’s version almost a decade ago, I dare say this is definitely a better one. I have sweet tooth, I love their rich coconut milk and syrup, which provided a strong fragrance even from a distance away. The syrup seemed to have totally smeared through the shaved ice, I almost didn’t notice any bland ice at all, and the toppings are quite generous too!

Ice Kacang $2.50

Ice Kacang $2.50

Just when I thought this dessert stall was only good at chengdol, I was in for another surprise. For, their ice kacang (shaved ice) was exceptional too! As seen in the picture, there were generous supply of atapchi (pine seed), with large size red bean, and the usual jelly as well as sweet corns, looks normal, I agree, but looks can really be deceiving. Trust me, it’s much better than anticipated. They added Sarsi (root beer) syrup, which provided a new dimension to this dessert, and like their chengdol, the syrup smeared through the ice, hardly any taste of bland ice. Superb!

With many local eateries already selling their versions of shaved ice (be it chengdol or ice kacang) between $1.50 – $2.50, I thought the price here was reasonable, taking into consideration this being a tourist spot.

Before I wrap up this post, another dish I would recommend here is Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice. I tried it but didn’t manage any picture. Again, it’s the best claypot rice I’d ever tried. Let me quote from their promotional leaflet: To ensure that the entire claypot chicken rice is thoroughly cooked and to keep its distinct traditional taste, Heun Kee uses a unique heated charcoal cover and each generously filled claypot is carefully tended over charcoal flame. The rice comprises three different varieties in order to produce a soft fluffy texture, and the delicious salted fish was soaked in fragrant sesame oil with a hint of Chinese wine. What I would like to add is, while their claim was justified, even the thin layer of burned rice at the bottom of the claypot tasted great!

All in all, not all stall prices in Malaysian Food Street are, in my opinion, considered reasonable, some are value for money, some maybe not. But if you are keen to giving it a try, please avoid Wednesday.

Malaysian Food Street
Resort World Sentosa
8 Sentosa GateWay
Hotel Michael
Singapore 098269
Operating Hours (each stall has their respective opening hours):
Mon – Thu: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm
Fri – Sat: 9.00 am to 00.00 am
Sun: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm

狮记面食摊 (Shi Ji Noodle Stall)

Published February 23, 2013 by piggie

Shiji-SAM_0866I discovered this noodle stall at Seah Im Road Food Centre by chance, before I realise it was voted one of the best braised meat noodle (Lor Mee) in Singapore (no, no, not really deserving a top 3 spot imho, it will be too flattering :P).

I believe they had just risen their minimum price to $3 from $2.50, but for $3, they are quite generous with the braised meat, pork spring roll (ngor hiong), slices of fish cake, half a braised egg, and toppled with abundant coriander leaves as well as garlic. The thickness of broth was mild, much to my liking, and the rich fragrance of the coriander leaves was a welcome element in good supplement with their garlic paste, giving the noodle a rich taste. Talking about the noodle, I thought it was the only sub-par (main) ingredient. They were using a rare thin flat type noodle, but they apparently failed to rid the alkaline taste from it, if it was not embedded with the rich taste of their broth, I’d render the noodle inedible. But credit have to be given to the other ingredients, which are surprisingly fresh & tasty. I guess these were the factors making them one of the better braised meat noodle in Singapore. The best, in my opinion, is a short bus ride away to Bukit Purmei… 😛

Shi Ji Noodle Stall
Seah Im Food Centre
2 Seah Im Road, #01-56
Singapore 099114
Operating hour: Mon-Sun, 10am – 8pm

Çaykur Black Tea

Published February 23, 2013 by piggie
Çaykur Black Tea.. avoid if possible

Çaykur Black Tea.. avoid if possible

So far, I have never review about drink, and I feel compelled to write about this for sometime. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exceptionally great, quite the opposite in fact, it’s an absolute disaster!

Perhaps in part, it was my fault, in taking for granted that all black tea are similar. While that can be said for Lipton, BOH, and BON tea (and if I remember correctly, Dilmah too!), the same definitely cannot be said about Çaykur, Turkey’s national tea maker. As we are probably aware, the others mentioned are producing fine Ceylon tea, and now I begin to understand why Ceylon tea is appreciated the world over. Trust me, I have tasted better Ceylon tea than all these mentioned, complimentary of some Sri Lankan ex-colleague who brought here all the way from home!

Çaykur not only lack the smooth and fragrant taste of conventional Ceylon tea (Orientals call it red tea, but most westerners call it black tea), if not somewhat bitter. Yes, bitter, contrasting to the usual sweetness a Ceylon tea possesses. It was suggested on their packaging that it goes well with sugar, lemon, or perhaps milk. Believe me, I tried them all, save for the addition of lemon, which added much needed acidic citrus fragrance to nullify the bitter beverage, the others simply failed, somewhat miserably, not unless I try adding more sugar or milk, but I doubt it can still be regard as a tea after that.

Make no mistake, I’m not allergic to bitter tea, in fact, I drank plenty variance of Chinese tea, which are certainly bitter than Çaykur, if not more health beneficial. But we don’t call Chinese tea a black tea, and we certainly don’t usually add milk to them.

In my opinion, Çaykur is not your conventional black tea. I’m not criticising the taste of our Turkish friends, perhaps they prefer a stronger blend. But to my dear friends who are accustomed to the ‘excellent’ silky Ceylon tea available in this world, take my words, don’t fall into any vendor’s cheap price tactic and acquire it. Trust me, you will regret it!

Tanglin Halt Western Food

Published February 5, 2013 by piggie
Chicken Cutlet $4.50

Chicken Cutlet $4.50

I have heard from various sources, that one shall count himself fortunate if he chance upon this stall being open for the day, as the two vendors are well into their 70s and may not have the will and health to sustain the hectic work throughout the week, never mind this stall was also voted 2nd in a local gourmet program for western food category some years back. So I thought, as I happened to be around there, I ought to give it a try since it was open that afternoon!

Pardon my picture, which was taken with my phone, somehow, it handled lighting in rather mediocre manner. However, I am not gonna pretend my order presented itself in absolute vibrant fashion. On the other hand, the quality itself was great, quite deceptive from its outlook!

Forget the baked beans and coleslaw, while there was really nothing wrong with them, but there’s nothing worth bragging about, what I can say is, the quantity were just adequate in not overtaking the limelight from the main course. But I do find fries carrying a heavier weight though, their quantity and presence somehow influence the overall opinion of the dish with significant impact, even though it’s probably bought off the shelf, it’s how (long) they were prepared that matters. Having said that, it is apparent I was rather satisfied with it. The best fries have to present a crispy crust while retaining a soft texture within, somehow McDonald’s done it, and the fries here weren’t too bad either. I dare say it was one of the best I’d tried, good enough to put many restaurants to shame. As for the main cast, personally, I found the cutlet a bit over fried, but nevertheless, provided an adequate blend with the chicken patty. What enriched that experience was really the gravy, which was provided in generousity. It was less peppery than norm, but came in mild sweetness, so unique that I ditched my usual craze for the chili sauce and savouring the cutlet with the gravy alone!

Tanglin Halt Western Food
Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre
Blk 448 Clementi Avenue 3 #01-11
Singapore 120448

Just a side note, I wonder how many knows the place Tanglin Halt? Back in the 70s, it’s synonymous with Queenstown, but those days, most residents, being dialect speaking, never addressed Queenstown by name, choosing to call it Tanglin Halt instead, despite it’s only a small road hidden parallel to Commonwealth Drive. And people actually categorise different part of Queenstown into Tanglin Halt 10 Floors, Tanglin Halt 14 Floors, Tanglin Halt 16 Floors etc, in relation to the flat levels in different part of Queenstown. And so, when Singapore’s MRT began to run along that vicinity, I was surprised to find the name Tanglin Halt totally omitted, our government chose to use the names Queenstown & Commonwealth instead, which, in my humble opinion, deviated from its true heritage.

And that’s why I couldn’t help wondering whether this outlet was originated from some part of Tanglin Halt, I will ask them when I revisit! ~ ^.^ ~