All posts for the month January, 2018

Express by Chatterbox

Published January 29, 2018 by piggie

The history of Singapore chicken rice goes back many decades, but before the local hawker chicken rice fanfare gaining steam thanks to the popularity of blogging and reviews, Mandarin Hotel’s Chatterbox was said to be the pinnacle of this Singapore cuisine. I know our northern neighbour and probably China may lay claim on its origin, but that to me is insignificant, I’m sure by now the differences must be getting more diversified that it may no longer be an apple to apple comparison anymore. Anyway, the last time I patronise Mandarin Hotel’s Chatterbox was more than a decade ago, and to be honest, apart from some very positive impression then, I couldn’t remember in detail. So before I start, I need to reiterate I am not able to relate any differences between the Chatterbox in Mandarin Hotel and their subsidiary here. Let’s just take this as an independent review.

Express by Chatterbox is located in a rather inconspicuous spot in Downtown Gallery along Shenton Way. It’s half hidden behind the escalator on the ground floor, where one can easily overlooked. The ambience itself is probably half their outlet at Mandarin Hotel used to offer (I haven’t been there since they shifted from ground floor to Level 5 many years ago), and hence reasonably reflected in their price. In fact, Express by Chatterbox offers minimal services whereby customers order and pay for their food at the counter, and then given a number chit for their order. They then proceed to the food counter for their order when the number is flashed. As such, Express by Chatterbox doesn’t charge for services, and their price already included GST. However, it must be noted that their charges is merely a fraction they were charging at Mandarin Hotel.

Signature Chicken Rice, $8.50

Perhaps I have a weak recollection, but I thought the portion at Mandarin Hotel was a bit larger. Nevertheless, the quality of the chicken rice here is truly class! Although the prices still a little pricey comparing to hawker fare,  after all, I believe so is its rental, and a better ambience naturally. I suppose the portion of the chicken here is randomly allocated, but if you specifically asking for chicken thigh, you will have to top up $2. As can be seen from the picture, their chicken was adequately moist, and the meat was rather tasty. The fragrant oiled rice was delightful, all in all, Express by Chatterbox certainly did not fail.

Yang Chow Fried Rice with Fried Egg, $10.50

I also ordered their Yang Chow Fried Rice with Fried Egg, which was exceptionally tasty! Firstly, they are using fragrant oiled rice, so its taste already gained an head start. Next, they know what ingredients really bring out the taste in fried rice, notably roasted pork and shrimps. The accompanying egg was a disappointment though, I would personally prefer scrambled egg fried with the rice. As for the fried chicken, I love its crispiness, though somehow it just made this dish looked more like Nasi Lemak than a Yang Chow fried rice. But frankly speaking, identity aside, this is truly delectable.

Express by Chatterbox
Downtown Gallery
6A Shenton Way #01-04
Singapore 068815
Tel: +65 62200758

Opening hours:
11:00 hr – 21:15 hr


Fugetsu 鶴橋風月

Published January 10, 2018 by piggie

Fugetsu is the latest restaurant to join Eat At Seven in Suntec City, situated at the location where Nikunoji used to be. With a bragging right being Osaka’s No 1 Okonomiyaki restaurant, it certainly comes with a big reputation, and a history dating back more than 60 years. Their old shop is still in Tsuruhashi (鶴橋), Osaka, hence the name 鶴橋風月, but they now have close to 100 outlets in Japan, a few more in Taiwan, USA, and now Singapore.

So what is Okonomiyaki(お好み焼き)? On their website, they simply put it as Japanese pizza. I beg to differ, it’s more like an integration of fried noodle with different ingredient toppings ranging from seafood to meat. And in Japan, there’s actually two main variety, the Osaka-style, and the Hiroshima-style. The former is more popular outside Hiroshima, more fanciful and flavourful, while Hiroshima-style tends to be more layered, and with lots of cabbage. Needless to say, Fugetsu is Osaka-styled.

Grilled Edamame, $5.50++

For a starter, I ordered their Grilled Edamame. I’m not one who actually like Edamame, but it definitely exudes a very aromatic grill flavour, quite appetising too!

Fried Potatoes and Asparagus with Soy Butter Sauce, $8.80++

Although the name of this dish sounds like a vegetarian dish, but as seen in the picture above, there are slices of bacon too. The potatoes are delicious, but the same cannot be said of the asparagus, too old and rough for most diners’ taste, hard time digesting these.

Fried Noodle with Pork in Yaki Soba Sauce, $10.80++ (Regular)

This is the basic Okonomiyaki. Actually, there is only a very thin line between Okonomiyaki and Yaki Soba. The way I see it, is that Okonomiyaki usually has a poached egg on top, but this ain’t always the case. Besides, some restaurants offer both Soba and Udon noodle for their Okonomiyaki, my personal preference is that so long as it’s fried, I prefer it in Soba. To be honest, I have tried better and cheaper Yaki Soba in Japan, I only find this Fried Noodle with Pork in Yaki Soba Sauce average, mainly because of its lack of ingredients for its price, but noodle wise, good thing it ain’t too dry, moderately oily, and the pork is rather tasty.

Fried Noodle with Squid, Prawn and Oyster in Soy Butter Sauce, $20.00++ (Regular)

Up till this point, I was still satisfied with their basic Okonomiyaki, until I tried this…

The seafood are actually besides the point, but I simply love anything buttery, in fact I love to add butter when I cook my own spaghetti, and this simply nails it. Not surprisingly, the taste blend well with the seafood, though the price almost double with the addition of the oysters. Now this one here is really better than almost every Yaki Soba I’ve ever tried in Japan, not to mention Singapore.
By the way, Fugetsu in Suntec City ain’t their only outlet in Singapore, they have another branch in Changi Airport T2 too!