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Flavours at Zhongshan Park

Published June 12, 2014 by piggie

Flavour_bibiksI don’t usually like to blog about buffet, but guess I’ll just make this rare exception. As usual, most buffet restaurants have their hits and misses, and likewise I found at Flavours for their Afternoon with the Bibiks high tea. In the first place, $28++ is a reasonable price for a hotel restaurant, and under such circumstances, one cannot really expect loads of seafood. Yet, Flavours’ variety certainly did not disappoint. Despite branding it as Peranakan and Dim Sum high tea, they do serve a little beyond the main theme, with a very slight touch of Japanese and Western to go along.

IMG_2462-Flavours1Let’s look at my first platter, comprising Mee Tai Bak Goreng, Roti Jala with Chicken Curry, Chicken satays, fried carrot cake, Fish Tofu, Siew Mai, & Har Gau. The truly outstanding one here has to be their Mee Tai Bak Goreng, its appearance alone was already eye-catching, and fried to the right altitude, with enticing aroma that matched its taste. I found their fried carrot cake a tad plain though, blame it on my high standard perhaps, but ever since I tried Toa Payoh Lorong 1’s Chey Sua carrot cake (white), I never found any other pleasing. Siew Mai and Har Gau were satisfactory, above average, but may be it’s the mass-produced effect, I found them a little dry for my liking. I was initially impressed by the large satay, and greedily took a few sticks to satiate my desire. It turned out to be a slight disappointment. Firstly, I’d love the gravy to have more peanut paste (and more spices please!), but more importantly, the satays needed to be grilled longer until a little burnt, just so the meat could be more fragrant and offer some crunchiness on the bite. I understand it would be more sinful to the health, but this was how it was done traditionally. Just by grilling it lightly and rinsed with satay gravy doesn’t turn it into real satay, it’s just chicken stick that’s all, that failed to integrate with the gravy.

IMG_2464-Flavours2Alright, nothing to complain. I love sashimi, and these were just that little extra Japanese essence Flavours offer beyond their high tea theme. In-between, I also had steamed custard bun, steamed char siew bun, Kueh Pie Tee, kon-bak pau (Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Bun), tuna sandwich, egg sandwich, but non of these impressed me although mum was full of praise for their char siew bun and kon-bak pau. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s poor, just that these lack that oomph factor that stand out from the rest. There were also various hot dogs, Popiah, more sandwich varieties, gorang pisang, as well as nonya pastries which I did not take because I’d love to reserve my capacity for other more appealing food… 😀

IMG_2465-Flavours3These!

I always love pastries and desserts, and I must confess, despite the limited variety, Flavours satisfied me with their desserts, including their chocolate fondue! The Durian Pengat is a must try, and recommended by many reviewers for its aroma, in fact it was so good, it paled the sago pengat right beside.

I next made my own shaved ice, I’m not sure whether to call it ice kacang or chengdol, but I mixed everything miserably and created something too ugly to be pictured. But one thing I mixed it right would certainly be the following…

IMG_2467-Flavours4Rojak!

For a beginner, I couldn’t fault my own work, but if I have to be mean (to myself), I would like to quote Gordon Ramsay’s favourite phrase… LOL (it definitely is NOT “LOL”)! Partly, I’d blame the prawn paste. It’s not that bad, just that I found it rather diluted despite adding quite a portion. The better rojak in Singapore all have thicker prawn paste, notably Soon Heng Rojak over at Toa Payoh HDB Hub across the highway, whom I regard as the best in Singapore. Again, having tried that, I have to say sorry to Flavours, they have much room for improvement on this, notably their prawn paste.

WP_000743-ice-creamAfter Rojak, I had a cup of Chin Chow drink (Bandung also available) before taking a durian potong ice cream. I was a little disappointed with these ice cream option, I’m not referring to the flavour variety, but offering potong ice cream is a big step backward for a good restaurant in terms of image. I can understand price constraint, but I personally feel it will be better offering F&N Magnolia ice cream, they have durian flavour too! To me, those scooped ice cream not only offer better taste, but better image too!

Alas, coming to the end of this post, there is one thing I’d highly recommend, the staffs at Flavours! Their presence and spontaneity were simply outstanding as they thrived to please customers like me, who didn’t even bother to dress for the occasion. In part, perhaps because the restaurant was not congested (over a Sunday afternoon), but the waiters and waitresses cleared our emptied plate promptly, and was very helpful when my mum asked for coffee and sugar. Like I elaborated, the food quality can be further improved, but it’s already moderately good enough if I don’t view it as a restaurant. Also worth mentioning is their long high tea duration, from 1pm to 5pm, though I very much doubt I can eat that long. LOL! Needless to say, I skipped dinner that evening.

Flavours at Zhongshan Park
Level 1, Ramada Singapore
16 Ah Hood Road
Singapore 329982
Tel: 68086846
Website: http://www.ramadasingapore.com/dining

 

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永祥興豆腐

Published June 7, 2014 by piggie
酿豆腐,$4

酿豆腐,$4

一向很不喜欢到珍珠巴刹熟食中心,感觉上那一带是专坑游客的,价钱也在一般熟食中心之上,这样倒不如到冷气食阁用餐算了。但是那里倒是有好几摊专卖酿豆腐的店家值得推荐,其中一家就是永祥興豆腐。如果中午你到珍珠巴刹,看到排队的人龙最长那摊就是了。而且,永祥興的营业时间很拽,下午约1点钟才开始营业,大概3点钟左右就可以收档了,而通常排队就要等上廿、卅分钟,即使周日也不例外。由于酿豆腐手工制作很花时间,加上人龙不绝,所以永祥興都在作业时间之前准备了上百碗酿豆腐,然后在顾客点餐时只须过汤滤熟即可享用。即便如此,还是难以应付连绵不绝的人龙。

永祥興的酿豆腐没附加粉面白饭,就只是一碗洒上葱花的汤,碗内大概8大件左右,包括鱼丸、水豆腐、炸豆腐等,肉馅有鱼和猪肉,但是不能选择。汤里的 鱼丸滑溜溜,颗粒蛮大的,但相信这不是主要卖点。相比之下,其炸豆腐就好吃得多,即使沉浸在汤里还是能感觉那一丝酥脆与爽口。一碗下肚,就大概半饱了,香甜的大豆汤和那香辣的辣椒酱更是为这道传统客家美食锦上添花。摊主还热心地透露,要是吃了还想再添,可以无须再排队哦!

坦白说,永祥興在此营业几十年,周边的小食摊都换了好几代,能坚持那么久还有老饕不介意排那么长的队(约卅人以上),可见其实力。他们的酿豆腐算得上是新加坡最好吃的之一,但其实也不会特出多少。所以,个人的评价是,值得试但不值得排那么久的队。在珍珠巴刹的另一端,还有家培记酿豆腐,据友人透露品质相若,但就快得多,而且营业时间较长。而另一家高记的酿豆腐就有些另类,有点偏离传统,却也还不错吃,同样无须排队。

永祥興豆腐
牛车水珍珠巴刹熟食中心
People’s Park Complex Food Centre
32 New Market Road #01-1084
Singapore 050032
营业时间∶星期二到星期日,1pm-3pm