Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ryo Sushi 24 Hr Diner in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore


Not to be confused with Ryu's Japanese at Capitol Piazza, Ryo is a new sushi shop (1 Tras Link #01-06, 6443-3463) that has opened up right next to Sakari at the Orchid Hotel. Despite the name, they aren't open 24 hours yet. Nonetheless, the 24 hour moniker had me wondering: would it be a trashy place that one would go to after a night of heavy drinking, or was it more like getting sushi for breakfast at Tsukiji?

It turned out to be more of a proper sushi place than I thought it would be, with only eight counter seats available and the chef attentively watching your pace before making the next of your individual pieces. There were higher-end omakase sets on the menu, but fortunately, I was able to grab a limited availability lunch set at just S$18 (US$13), and I enjoyed the freshness and seasoning of it all.

Yes, thumbs up. It was hardly what I had expected given the (future) operating hours and white tile decor. And I'll happily come back if they can really keep prices down. Even for their more expensive normal sets, they were still less than S$100 (US$73), thus being much cheaper than places like Mitsuya. I can't help but wonder how Sakari next door is going to put up with the competition.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Terra-Tokyo Italian Restaurant on Tras Street, Singapore


The first time I tried coming to this place, it was completely full (it was not long after they got their Michelin star). I figured that it'd be similar today, so I wasn't even going to try. But when I was walking by on my lunch break, I literally stopped in my tracks and turned back around, as I could see through the glass door that there was seating available. The place was beautifully decorated, and they gave me a spot at the counter (54 Tras Street, 6221-5159).

So as the name suggests, this is an Italian restaurant done by a Japanese chef using ingredients from Japan. Well, most of it was: that beef above was from New Zealand, and I suppose that one couldn't really expect Japanese beef given that this four course omakase set was priced at S$59 (US$43)...although they did have much more expensive triple-digit tiers that probably got you some upgrades. Even at this (relatively) lower price point, the ingredients were still of high quality, particularly the Hokkaido scallops that they brought out as a starter. This was indeed fine dining.

But somehow the food just didn't do it for me. Of course he was being respectful of the ingredients, but nothing that they brought out made me pump my fist and smile about how awesome it was. Moreover, the service wasn't what I'd expected of a Michelin-starred place: the staff had a surprisingly cold attitude, and they weren't very attentive either. Now, I'm still happy to come here if someone else wants to pay the bill, but my wallet won't be returning.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Rasa Singapura at Tanglin Post Office, Singapore

Black Pepper Char Kway Teow

I was passing by Tanglin Mall around lunchtime today when I saw this place (56 Tanglin Road #B1-02, 9818-8102). It was a social enterprise that hired disadvantaged workers like the elderly and disabled. And they served local food in a homage to a hawker center that used to be across the street many years ago. Apparently the Makansutra dude said that the black pepper char kway teow was good.

That's exactly what I got, and I totally agree. It was delicious! Granted, basically all you tasted was black pepper, but I like black pepper (and it was much better than "normal" char kway teow, in my opinion). I inhaled this greasy spicy thing down in seconds and nearly ordered another plate. Yes, I'm coming back to try more of the menu items, particularly the kambing soup, which they offer in a "crazy spicy" option.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Los Jefes Taqueria by Belmonte Latin Foods

I'd heard of Belmonte market for a while now but only made my way down there today because we needed corn tortillas, and they're the only place in Singapore that I know of that sells them.

It turns out that they also serve hot food there, like the lengua tacos above. El Mero Mero is still my preferred choice in Singapore, but nonetheless this did the job.

If you come here (5 Ridgewood Close #G5, 9652-9274), do not go into the condominium parking lot, but rather just go to the end of the street, and the retail area is right there.

Hin Fried Hor Fun With Prawn Beef Sliced Fish

No, there were no commas on the signboard of stall #01-56 at the newly renovated Ghim Moh Market (20 Ghim Moh Road). It was just one very long name. And no, it didn't come with all of those proteins in one go. You basically picked one or two of them, so I got fish and beef.

But the protein isn't what makes this place good. It's the deliciously aromatic wok hei smokiness coming from those slightly charred bits of hor fun underneath. I'd be happy to wait in line for that again, perhaps focusing on just the fish and some white pepper next time.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pho Bo Beef Noodles...At Hard Rock Cafe??

Phở bò

Yep, the Hard Rock Cafe (50 Cuscaden Road #02-01, 6235-5232) has Vietnamese phở bò on its menu. I went out of sheer curiosity. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be, especially since they gave a generous pile of fresh green herbs. But the broth was boring, and they charged a whopping S$19 (US$14) too. I'd much rather pay for a taxi to go out to Joo Chiat instead.

Chang Sensory Trails Singapore 2016

Prawn and Green Mango Relish

Chang beer from Thailand is running a series of food festivals around the world, and today was their Singapore event. Strangely, it's only a one day event from 2 PM to 10 PM. So I got there right when they opened at 2 PM.

I probably should've known better, but most of the food stalls weren't even open yet. Only a few of them were available, so I didn't have much choice but to get this from Gin Khao. Yes it tasted fine, but all of the stalls were local, like Patara, Nara Thai, and Long Chim.

It would've been much more interesting if they had pulled in some restaurants from overseas (or at least had some guys doing boat noodles). Thus, there wasn't really any reason to come back unless I just wanted the cheap S$5 (US$3.70) beer.

My First Taste of Taiwan's Chun Chui He Tea

Taiwan's Chun Chui He Tea

For some reason, this bottled tea from Taiwan has been all the rage in Singapore lately, with 7-Eleven putting six bottle limits on purchases. There was some available at this shop today so I grabbed one to see what the fuss was about. Sure, it's got a few dimensions going on at both the tea and milk levels that made it interesting, but I'd much rather line up for the fresh stuff at Gong Cha instead.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant in Singapore

Miến Măng Gà

After all of that artery-clogging food in Malaysia, the thought of some light and healthy Vietnamese sounded like a good idea. So I stopped in Joo Chiat on my way back from the airport. This one (159 Joo Chiat Road, 6440-6959) was next door to Quynh Giao and had a pretty impressively wide selection available.

This chicken and bamboo shoot vermicelli sounded rather interesting, but it was laced with laksa leaf or something, which means that I won't get it again. But I'm still very encouraged by this place, and will probably try to come down here again for lunch one day. It's just too bad that they close at 10PM.

Restoran Megah Good Luck in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Curry Noodle with Roast Pork

A local colleague wanted to come to this set of hawker stalls for lunch today (1 Jalan SS24/11). She wanted this dish in particular, a curry noodle topped with roasted Cantonese pork belly. The broth was thinner than I thought it would be, but otherwise it tasted like it looked: mildly rich, spicy, and interlaced with cuts of crunchy fat-laden pork skin. If I heard it correctly, most bowls of curry noodle don't come with that roast pork, and that's what makes this place a bit more unique.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Restoran Bubur Goreng in Klang, Malaysia

Fried Congee

That brown mess above was our sole reason for making the long drive all the way out to Klang tonight. See, it's fried congee, which I requested given that that this is allegedly a Malaysian dish. Interestingly, my local teammates had never heard of it, and had to look it up online. It turns out that it's from the northern part of Malaysia and is not that common in KL...unless we drove out to this place (32 Lorong Lang, 016-6868579).

It was a lot better than the one at Royal J's back in Singapore. It was thinner in consistency and had lots of bits of lard and dried shellfish, among other things. Having said that though, it still didn't have any smokiness imparted from the wok like I had hoped. And in that sense, it became one of the least tasty things that we ordered tonight.

We had a lot more fun with other things like some steamed clams with sliced green chili peppers, or a steamed fish sitting in a brown sauce made of ginger puree. A fried noodle with mantis prawns was pretty good too. So no, I wouldn't make the trip all the way out here again just for that fried porridge (my local teammates weren't impressed either). But I sure wouldn't mind that those clams, fish, or noodles again.

Nonya Mee Goreng at Restoran Kwai Sun in KL

Nonya Mee Goreng

A teammate suggested this for lunch today, as there was a stall at Restoran Kwai Sun (5 Jalan SS 15/4G) in Subang serving a more unique take on mee goreng. I'm not sure exactly what made it Nonya (he said something about it being slightly sour if I heard him correctly), but this thing was delicious, with lots of crispy bits of fat weaved into it. I wolfed this salty spicy cholesterol bomb down in seconds and could've easily eaten a second plate while waiting for the rest of my teammates to finish. Nice one, and that chendol stall out on the street next to the rojak stall was nice and refreshing too. Yum.