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All posts for the month November, 2017

新故乡酒楼 Xin Cuisine

Published November 27, 2017 by piggie

据知新加坡雅庭假日酒店(Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium)的新故乡酒楼有一定的历史,但我初次听闻却只是几年前的事,而且还是从月饼开始的。新故乡酒楼主打粤菜,不过我这次前来是享用点心自由餐,而自近年来翻新后迎来了新香港总厨陈顺煌师傅,也带来新的点心菜色。

桌上的开胃菜,炸豆皮,偏硬,我不怎么喜欢

海鲜酸辣汤

我先来碗海鲜酸辣汤,一看就知道醋加了不少,口感酸酸辣辣,加上芫荽、带子、鲜虾,非常开胃!

竹笙鲜菌鸡片汤

小笼包

新故乡的小笼包卖相虽然一般,包皮不会太厚,不过包里的高汤还是没轻易渗出。

假日名牌流沙包

个人觉得流沙包只是一般,不过不失,松软的包皮还算爽口,才咬一口,蛋黄就迫不及待流出来了,我还是比较喜欢浓稠一点的蛋黄。

豉汁蒸鲜竹卷

一般的鲜竹卷大多着重于酥脆,不过新故乡的豉汁蒸鲜竹卷则拿捏得恰到好处,外皮微脆,内馅则丰实,在豉油的点缀下更为显得特别。

海鲜带子鲜芋角

海鲜带子鲜芋角由于要突显芋头的存在,我倒是觉得馅里的海鲜口感被压制了,好在酥脆的外层与芋头有相得益彰的功效(其实也就是佛钵飘香的翻版),总体来说还算不错。

三杯汁风尾虾烧卖

三杯汁风尾虾烧卖卖相佳,把虾放置在烧卖上,再加上虾卵,美观加分!而且,没想到烧卖在三杯汁的衬托下风味更是生色不少,这大概是我吃过最好吃的烧卖!

炭烧猪颈肉

港式烧腊无须多加介绍了,不过由于木炭已经逐渐被石油气取代,现下已经很少有炭烧烧腊。新故乡的炭烧猪颈肉肉质嫩,口感鲜甜,但若是外层表皮能烤得更为焦脆些就更是绝配了。

烧鸭双拼

嗯,炭烧猪颈肉加上烧鸭双拼可说是港式烧腊的精华了。这道烧鸭双拼其实指的是烧鸭与烧肉的组合,可是菜单上的翻译看似全是鸭肉。我本身不太喜欢鸭肉,对于这道菜色的鸭肉,我看还是持保留意见好了。至于烧肉肉质弹牙,不会过于干硬或肥腻。

招牌龙须火鸭卷

这道…不好意思,我不怎么记得,只记得表皮酥脆,但对于内馅鸭肉实在没什么印象,基本上是什么肉都大概都没多大差别的,因为酥脆的外皮有些喧宾夺主了。

豉汁百花酿青蚝

这道豉汁百花酿青蚝有点像烧卖,不过内馅换做青蚝,上头再加上香菇,口感虽不如烧卖出色,但加上豉汁带味,别出一般风味。

杏仁茶汤圆

甜点有限制每人一份,我选择了杏仁茶汤圆。这杏仁茶口感浓郁,却没有过度的杏仁香味,应该是原汁原味的杏仁汤,没有使用香精的关系。不过汤圆仅有一粒而已,要不是甜点有限制,我倒是还想再来几碗!

秘制龟苓膏

这秘制龟苓膏口味偏苦,我朋友颇有微词,不过我想所以才附加蜜糖呀!但她说其他餐馆的龟苓膏也没那么苦,我倒认为那可能是制作过程中加入糖浆的关系,而且良药苦口啊!哈哈~

坦白说,新故乡酒楼的点心自由餐菜色不算多,而且某些点心还有限制,但好吃的食物贵精不贵多,而且除非你很会吃,我觉得即使三人用餐(很多菜色都是一笼三个)也未必吃得完菜单上所有菜色,我即便没吃早餐,最后也还是吃到投降。很多点心店都趋向油炸食物,但新故乡却有很好的平衡。虽然新故乡酒楼的点心没获得米其林食探的青睐,但我吃过某米其林1星的点心铺总店,总觉得还是新故乡精致些,口感好些(当然也贵得多,成人$49.90++)。

新故乡酒楼 Xin Cuisine
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium (新加坡雅庭假日酒店)
317 Outram Road, Level 4
Singapore 169075
Tel: +65 67317173
Website: http://singaporeatrium.holidayinn.com/xin-cuisine-chinese-restaurant

Opening Hours:
12:00 hr – 14:30 hr
18:30 hr – 22:30 hr

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Gudetama Café

Published November 27, 2017 by piggie

Gudetama Café came to Singapore in Nov 2016.

This lazy egg, a Sanrio product, was a character designed for their Food Character Election back in late 2013. Surprisingly, it didn’t ended up being first, which was in fact, won by Kirimi-chan. Who is Kirimi-chan you asking? Good question, it’s still relatively unknown outside Japan, maybe within Japan too. But honestly, I don’t find Kirimi-chan charming, how it won really puzzled me. Anyway, Gudetama’s very passive attributes earned more fans even than many of Sanrio’s all time favourite characters, its character really calls out the internal desire in us to ‘nua’ (a Hokkien word for idling) amidst our busy endeavour.

Come 30 Nov, it’s going to be Gudetama Café’s first year anniversary. Although the fever has somewhat subsided, but given their prime location in Suntec City, you may still need to queue for a while during weekend dining hours, especially if you want one of their four specially decorated tables by the wall. I booked a table for a weekend lunch, and a couple queuing just in front of us wanted our table, however upon learning it was reserved, they disgruntledly walked away. Hence, it’s advisable to book advance if you are coming during peak hours.

Table 1

The 4 different semi-enclosures (Picture credit: Gudetama Facebook)

We were allocated table 1, so I guess that probably means we were one of few who made reservation for that time slot. The egg-shaped semi enclosure has a large Gudetama placard hung by the wall (each enclosure having a different Gudetama), with two Gudetama cushions on the seat, and a wet tissue box in Gudetama design.

Their menu in my opinion, doesn’t offer as much as conventional restaurant, guess that’s why they are just a cafe, not entirely a restaurant, and let’s not forget the main objective is to immerse in that Gudetama experience anyway. Each and every item on their menu certainly feature our beloved mascot with its passive but adoring look.

Truffle Fries in a Cone, $16.50++

To start with, we had a fries to share around. The fries came wrapped in a cone-shape container, although its appearance is far from appealing given the price tag, the taste was great. The Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the fries certainly raise the flavour up a few notches, particularly with the accompanied Aioli and Sriracha sauce. This was the first time I’m hearing these sauces, but I won’t say the taste was remarkable. We asked for chilli sauce too, and as a chilli lover, I was more impressed by the chilli sauce instead.

Big “NUA” Breakfast, $25.90++

I had their Big “NUA” Breakfast, featuring two eye-catching Gudetama sunny side on top of a piece of buttery brioche toast, baked beans in a Gudetama bowl, sauteed mushrooms, spicy pork bratwurst, bacons, and salad. I’ll be very honest, the taste is nothing outstanding, above average at best, the spotlight of course, lies on the cute Gudetama features.

Gudetama Lobster Onsen, $16++

Dad had the Gudetama Lobster Onsen, basically a soup with a Gudetama in it, reminiscing soaking in an onsen. Dad finished the lobster bisque inside, but struggled to finish the bread bowl. I guess he still like the soup, but he wasn’t quite enjoying the bread.

Eggcited Cajun Chicken with Waffles, $23.90++

Mum ordered their Eggcited Cajun Chicken with Waffles. This is a blend of dessert with main course, and came with buttermilk waffle and grilled Cajun chicken, as well as a Gudetama, with whipped cream inside the egg shell, salad, and maple syrup. I think as a consensus, we generally agreed this was the better one, in terms of taste, that is. The chicken still retained the tenderness, and their waffle was a delight in comparison with my toast and dad’s bread bowl. Seriously, I would have ordered this if mum wasn’t a step quicker than me.

Gudetama Café Singapore has unique items on their menu in contrast to their other franchise elsewhere (right now, I only know of Osaka and Taipei), in part because it’s a partnership between local restaurants The Soup Spoon and Joe & Dough after all. So, some of us may find the taste a tad familiar, but almost certainly not the look, in part, kudos to Little Miss Bento for the creative styling. However, if you think the cafe’s food are merely about having Gudetama theme, then you can be very wrong. What I find fascinating is that, some food here just ain’t what you think they are. Like, an egg may not be an egg, or noodle may not be noodle. We didn’t order those specialities during this visit, because I was skeptical about trying them in my first visit, but I will be more adventurous in my future visit.

Gudetama Café
3 Temasek Boulevard, 01-361
Suntec City Mall
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 66776195
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gudetamacafesg

Opening Hours:
10:00 hr – 22:00 hr

Ippudo 一風堂

Published November 8, 2017 by piggie

Akamaru Shinaji, $14.80++

Ippudo just opened a new franchise at Star Vista, offering 1-for-1 ramen on their opening day, 06 Nov 2017. This is a special franchise because they don’t just sell ramen like what their other outlets do, they also serve cafe-inspired dishes like Lasagna Gyoza, Hattendo cream buns, coffee, as well as exclusive ramen dishes Maze Soba and Tantanmen (I thought I just blog about Santouka serving Mazesoba and Tantanmen not too long ago, and now Ippudo following suit? These are about two of Singapore’s best ramen chain anyway!).

My dining companion and I deliberately arranged to meet 2pm to avoid a possible lunch crowd, but what we could not foresee was the massive student fans from the nearby institutions joining in the ramen craze, eventually we waited for a good 60 minutes, by then I was already in a state of famine.

We both ordered their Akamaru Shinaji ramen, the basic version that comes without Tamago (additional $3, which in my opinion was a tad expensive). It really came very promptly that I suspect they were already cooking it even before we placed order (at least for the noodle, so what left was probably adding the ingredients).

The broth was Tonkotsu, with special blended miso paste along with lots of lard. It was then added with garlic oil, and of course, as its name suggested, chilli oil. The broth offers a rich milky taste, so delightful that my dining companion, who usually doesn’t finish her ramen broth, literally gulped everything that came inside the bowl. As for the noodle, we were asked how we’d prefer the noodle to be done, we wanted it to be medium, and that’s exactly how it turned out to be. The noodle, my favourite Kyushu-style Hosomen, was accompanied by the usual suspect of charsiu made of pork belly and loin (2 small pieces), bean sprout, black fungus, and spring onions. As expected, Ippudo ramen is quite satisfying.

After the meal, we were each given a Hattendo matcha bun for being among the first 500 patrons, which would have cost $2.50 each if bought from Hattendo’s outlet at Tanjong Pagar Plaza. 😀

Subsequent Visit

On a subsequent visit, again to their Star Vista branch, I had this weekday lunch time set meal promotion, one of the chosen main course, plus an ice green tea for S$12.80++

I selected their Zero Ramen, presumably the very first creation of Ippudo’s founder, a Nagahama styled ramen.

To side track a little, we often associate Kyushu ramen with Tonkotsu broth, that is generally true. But Kyushu has 8 prefectures, each of them may have their signature noodles, and not necessary ramen. For example, Nagasaki is Champon, and Oita is Beppu Reimen. There is no question though, that Fukuoka is the main ramen battlefield, so in actual fact, Kyushu ramen is more synonymous to Fukuoka ramen than anywhere else. Ramen culture typically started from Yatai around post WW2 era. Yatai is those mobile carts which vendors dragged to populated spots and usually began business in the evening time. These days, Yatai in Fukuoka can be found mainly in 3 regions, the most famous Tenjin region, the lesser known Nakasu region, and last but not least, the more conventional but less touristy Nagahama region. Ippudo started off from a restaurant in Daimyo district, a few streets away from Nagahama and Tenjin, probably closer to the latter. What I didn’t know was that Ippudo started off with Nagahama styled unsophisticated ramen, that is, very simple Tonkotsu broth without much fanfare. Ramen, as we all know, was very much a China import, but throughout these decades, Japanese had so much evolution on them that almost each broth has a ‘secret’ recipe. So to speak, since Ippudo named the following ramen Zero, and specifically stated that it’s the founder’s first creation, expect no surprises.

Zero Ramen

Very basic ramen using typical Kyushu styled thin noodle, even the chashu looks very yesterday, lean and without much process. For this price, really can’t expect much, but I have to say, I can get for around ¥400 in Fukuoka, though not from Ippudo. I hate to compare, but even old school Ajisen Ramen can do much better than that for this price.

Spicy Black Tamago Ramen, S$22++

This one from Ippudo Westgate is delicious! I have a knack for spicy food, I love that peppery touch infused with meat miso paste, and the charshu in this bowl certainly doesn’t fail to impressed! Good thing the broth is not as thick as I first worry, and overall, it’s pretty appetising.