2008 was certainly a fruitful year. And with the start of this food blog with OMY last June, it spelt many tasty treats and a bigger waistline. Here’s my Top 10 personal favourites of the year. No 大鱼大肉 for me，but mainly comfort food that were memorable and added levels of happiness after a tiring day of work. In alphabetical order….
Ah Chew Desserts (Liang Seah) – Mango Sago and Pomelo
In this variation, a touch of coconut cream is added on top of the usual evaporated milk, giving it fragrance and extra texture. The Mango Sago and Pomelo is made of fresh fruits as I have seen the staff cutting the ingredients on the spot. The sweetness of the ripe, juicy mango chunks is complimented by the refreshing, citrus pomelo pulps that bursts and crunch at every mouthful!
Hong Kong Street Chun Kee (Bt Merah) – Prawn Paste Chicken
Just a ten minute walk from IKEA, almost every patron was ordering the San Lao Horfun and Prawn Paste Chicken (Ha Cheong Gai) everytime I visited. The prawn paste smell was quite pungent (or aromatic if you look at it another way), and the crispy skin and well-marinated flesh made it a delectable comfort food.
Ice Cream Chefs (East Coast) – Ice Cream
This is where you can choose your own mix-ins for your ice cream, and then ‘fried’ on the spot. The conservative me had a Mrs. Smith with Banana Nut Crunch. The result was a smooth creamy rich ice cream with sweet/sour apples and a great chomp as your teeth sinks in to the crunchy bits.
Koi Café (Toa Payoh) – Bubble Tea
While the Bubble Tea bubble busted years back, it is slowly coming back again. Although you may not really predict what you can get in other stalls (too sweet or diluted), Koi Café’s milk bubble tea is consistently tasty and milky. Choose the mini-bubbles version (slightly bigger than sago) for a different bite. Just like how it is done in Taiwan, choose the sugar level from full (100%) to no sugar (0%).
Miharu (Gallery Hotel) – Sapporo Ramen
Eating the Ramen made me feel that I was in Tokyo once again as the homely ambience reminded me of little ramen shops in Japan. The Shoyu stock was very rich and flavouful, chashu soft and tender, and tamago with the delicately prepared runny yolk. Some may say the stock is too salty, but does warm your tummy on a cold day.
Por Kee Eating House (Tiong Bahru) – Black Bean Sauce Beef Horfun
The wok hei flavour, thick sauce and chewy tender beef suggested that the cooks were very skilled in frying them and controlling the fire so that it is not overcooked. The friend said it was even better than Geylang’s anytime, but the corn’s out of place. At $7 a plate, the heavier price may put some people off.
Pu Tien’s Restaurant (Kitchener Road) – Heng Hwa Bee Hoon
If you are a fried bee hoon fan like me, you have not tried the best until you tried the Heng Hwa Bee Hoon. It is cooked in stock with minimal ingredients like peanuts and clams, garnished with strips of seaweed. The surprisingly thin and tasty bee hoon is imported all the way from China, which assures diners of its traditional taste and quality.
Royal China (Raffles Hotel) – Har Kau
Hailing from London, Royal China with it’s unique turquoise and white décor has offers deliciously delicate dim sum. The Steamed Prawn Dumplings with its thin skin and fresh succulent prawn stuffing is almost to die for. Many other inferior versions come with flour or poor quality pork stuffing, but this is just the real good stuff.
Sun with Moon Japanese Dining & Café (Central) – Matcha Tiramisu
Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’in Italian. I swear this piece right in front of me said the same. “Pick me up! Pick me Up!” If you have tried making a Tiramisu your own (like I did), you would have realized it’s extremely challenging to have up fixed. While the Matcha Tiramisu stood firmly up, the soft and delightful cream crumbled right in the mouth.
Tom Ton’s (Central) – Black Pig Curry Rice
Rarity comes with a price. The Top Grade Black Pig Curry Rice came with a steep cost of $25.60. But my friend literally stopped for seconds and felt like he went to heaven after eating the pork culet, and remarked that the pork tasted as succulent and tender as chicken. Sure enough, the luscious meat within the special bread crumbs, dipped in mild spicy curry was simply oishii.