Saturday, February 17, 2018

Aunty Esther's Salted Egg Fish Skin Crisps

Aunty Esther's Salted Egg Fish Skin Crisps

I'd never heard of Aunty Esther's before. But yeah, it was good, especially since it was spicier (and less sweet) than The Golden Duck brand behind it. But The Golden Duck also had a richer egg flavor. Even so, the differences aren't so memorable that I'd go out of my way for one brand over the other, and no, I still wouldn't wait in line for Irvin's.

Friday, February 16, 2018

My First Taste of Singapore's Tenderfresh

Chicken Wings

In all of the years that I've been here, I'd never heard of Tenderfresh. But today I learned that this local fried chicken chain has 120 outlets at food courts across the island, and that they've been around since the 80's. The thing to get was that chicken wing above, which I particularly liked for its salty and crunchy batter, all while still keeping the meat moist. But I didn't care for the salted egg version in the background, as the coating didn't really have much salted egg flavor, and just ended up making the batter soggy in the process. I'll eat the normal chicken wings again though.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Takumen is Serving Sapporo's Ramen Wabisuke Now

Wabisuke Ramen

Takumen just added Ramen Wabisuke from Sapporo to its lineup. Apparently it's a Michelin Bib Gourmand, but I wasn't a fan. The thick broth, while respectably complex in both taste and texture, was just a tad too sweet for me. The straight noodles, while cooked nice and firm, didn't do it for me either. And the rest of the bowl felt like I was just ingesting carbs rather than being anything pleasurable. I'm not sure if these guys botched the preparation or not, but if this is how it is supposed to taste, then I won't be getting that again.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rounding Out Hokkaido Marche's Gourmet Hall, Singapore

Tsukimi Tororo Soba

We now bring you back to our regularly scheduled programming at Hokkaido Marche. There were two more stalls that I had to try before finishing it all off. The first one, Sobaya Maruki, is a soba shop that also claimed to be 130 years old. It was better than I thought it would be, with those firm quality noodles and fresh prawns. I'll probably still end up going to Yomoda more frequently, but at least the menu here was much simpler.

DIY Kaisen Don

The last shop remaining for me to try was Kaisen Natsume, a seafood shop. They featured a DIY kaisendon, so I grabbed two types of fish from Hokkaido on a bed of sushi rice. But my first bite was a total disappointment; I couldn't taste the fish as it was drowning in a sesame dressing. The grilled items looked better but I don't know if I'll come back to try them. After having tried all of the shops here, my favorite is still Ajisai, followed perhaps by Maruki or Shirakaba Sansou.

Friday, February 09, 2018

No Signboard Geylang's Dry Prawn Bee Hoon

Dry Prawn Bee Hoon

We went to No Signboard's Geylang outlet tonight, particularly for their crab bee hoon that the other No Signboard outlets don't seem to have. But the crabs were going for a whopping S$80 (US$60) a kilo, so we figured that we'd get the much cheaper S$26 (US$20) prawn version instead, hoping that it would taste similar at a much cheaper price. And the good thing was that it was indeed deliciously savory and well-rounded, while the prawns were naturally sweet. Yes, this was a good deal as long as you didn't order other things like veggies, beer, and dessert, which ended up pushing the bill back up to three times that amount.

The Hungry Caveman From China at Orchard Central, Singapore

Chuanr

When I saw a sign for this place at Orchard Central earlier in the week, I dismissed it, thinking that it was some paleo diet place. But afterwards I realized that it was a chuanr chain from China called Jianshi Mouge. I immediately put my Hokkaido Marche streak on hold and zoomed up to the 6th floor for this place instead (181 Orchard Road #06-25, 6634-8871).

The decor was rather tacky, but in the center of each table was a rectangular grill like at LDM, yet with a chain and gear mechanism that automatically rotated your skewers for you. They also gave you three plastic packets of peanut, dry chili, and chili sauce for you to use.

It's too bad then that the food wasn't anything to get me excited. Sure, the lamb was tender and with a decent amount of fat, but the seasoning skewed toward the sweet side, particularly those mushrooms above. Their "special fried noodles" were nothing special either, as it seemed to be just instant noodles. I'll stick to BBQ Box for my chuanr fixes instead.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Asahikawa's Yakitori Tsuyoshi at Hokkaido Marche, Singapore

Butadon

Yes, if you haven't realized by now, I'm making my way through every stall at Hokkaido Marche. Today's stall was this yakitori shop from Asahikawa, but set up Tori-Q style with pre-cooked room temperature skewers sitting in a glass case, dunked in an excessive amount of tare sauce and shoved into a bag. Yes, it was disappointing, but at least the tsukune were tender.

They also seemed to be known for their butadon above. The good thing was that the rice was wonderfully pearly and smooth (and fortunately without being excessive on the sauce), while the pork that had an occasional bit of tasty crispy fat. But some parts of that pork were terribly dry, the service was incredibly slow too. So I'm not rushing to come back, even if it was better than Butahage.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Sapporo's Donburi Maruya at Hokkaido Marche, Singapore

Special Oyako Don

I went back to Hokkaido Marche today to try out some of the other stalls, and somehow ended up at this donburi shop, which claims to have been around for 130 years. I was disappointed then to find that their oyakodon above was rather unremarkable. Sure, the egg was tender, but was ultimately rather boring to eat, especially with those cubes of chicken breast in there. I had a chance to try their curry the other day too and didn't find it to be anything special. Seriously, if no one had told me that this place had such a long history, I never would've guessed.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Hakodate's Ajisai at Hokkaido Marche, Singapore

Shio Seabura Ramen

Not to be confused with Ajisen, Ajisai is the other ramen shop at Hokkaido Marche that featured seabura ramen. Yep, those are little bits of pork lard floating on top. Admittedly, it wasn't anywhere as rich as I thought it would be, tasting more just like some tender minced meat instead. But it was still tasty, especially with their extra salty (in a good way) broth. Now, I am not a big fan of curly yellow noodles, and the limp gyoza here were a bore, but they had a squid ink option that sounded interesting enough to come back for.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Japanese Keema Curry Rice at Ippudo Tanjong Pagar Centre

Keema Curry Rice

Ippudo had an odd non-ramen item at their Tanjong Pagar outlet (5 Wallich Street #01-15, 6584-0087): this keema curry rice, which looked interesting enough with its poached egg and wad of cilantro. I've actually never had the Japanese interpretation of keema curry before, but this struck me as rather similar to Okinawan taco rice given that it also used ground beef. The portion was actually rather small but at least it came out in lighting speed. I was in and out of the place in no more than 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Sapporo's Shirakaba Sansou at Hokkaido Marche, Singapore

Shio Ramen

Don Don Donki's new "Gourmet Hall" opened recently, so we went to go check it out today (181 Orchard Road #B2-11, 6634-0211). Seating was very limited, but we managed to snag a couple of spots in front of Shirakara Sansou, which seemed to be rather popular in Sapporo from I gathered online. I grabbed their shio ramen, which had a respectably savory broth and tasty chashu, but not so much that I'd get it again.

I would, however, be happy to come back to try their other items, including a shoyu ramen that looked even better, as well as another ramen shop called Ajisai that had an amazing-sounding "Pork Fat Noodle Soup." There are other stalls here doing soba, yakitori, and donburi, but I'm hitting the ramen shops first. Indeed, I even spotted Keisuke-san here this morning, presumably checking out his competition.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Modern Toilet Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan

Urine Mango Juice and Ice Cream

I'm a bit embarrassed to have come to this tourist trap. I was actually trying to find another one of those shaiziniu stalls, and Google Maps showed one here. But it was gone.. Still, right above that location was one of those infamous toilet restaurants that have been in Taiwan for some time now. The English signage was amusing enough, including things like "try our crap!" and the "Modern Toilet Turd Sub Sandwich." Out of both amusement and curiosity, I went upstairs, even though I knew I wouldn't like the food (108 Xining South Road Lane 50, 2311-8822).

Modern Toilet Poop Meatballs

It took some time to find some poo-shaped dishes in fact, as most of the menu featured straightforward things like hot pot and even pasta (to be honest, the look of those made me want to vomit even more). I tried to find the most offensive-looking things nonetheless, like the "Modern Toilet Poop Meatballs" above and the "Urine Mango Juice" served in a little porcelain urinal. I'll confess that the meatballs were tender enough that I finished the whole plate, but yeah, I wanted to puke afterwards. Good thing that I didn't get the "Bleeding Hemorrhoid Strawberry Milk" and "Taiwanese Urine Beer" too.