Posts tagged: Food Review

Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market – What To Do, How To Go, What To Eat

By , December 14, 2012

[Tokyo, Japan] Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場), the world’s most famous fish market, is the must-go for first time visitors to Tokyo Japan. This popular wholesale market is where you will experience the real-life seafood auction with some of the biggest and freshest fishes you have ever seen in your life.

What To Do
If you are willing to wake up early enough to take an expensive taxi ride over, go for the tuna auction. However, the total number of visitors a day is restricted to only 120.

Foreigners who wish to view the auction have to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis. A first group of 60 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:25 and 5:50am, while a second group of 60 visitors will be admitted between 5:50 and 6:15am. I hear of visitors going at 4am.

If you do not mind skipping the auction, Tsukiji Market stays open until 1pm, though the real action does not exactly happen beyond 8am, and many shops close after 10am.

The next best time to visit is probably 9am because the wholesale market inside Tsukiji is off-limits to visitors until after 9 am.

How To Go
Many tourists may make the mistake of stopping at Tsukiji Station itself. The nearest station to Tsukiji Market is actually Tsukijishijo Station, reachable by the Toei Subway Oedo Line (The Magenta coloured line). If you would take the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line to the Tsukiji Station, it would be about a 10 minutes walk.

You can take the Oedo Subway Line directly from Shinjuku Station to Tsukiji Shijo Station. The one way trip will take about 20 minutes and cost 260 yen (SGD$4, USD$3.32).

What To Eat
A sashimi and sushi breakfast is a MUST at Tsukiji. Imagine how fresh the fish would be since this is THE market where all the best sashimi comes from. Tsukiji’s most popular sashimi restaurants can be found in inner alleys of Building 6, reached by walking in from the main entrance. You can also ask directions from the friendly security guards around, or follow tourists armed with the Lonely Planet.

Although they are many sushi joints at Tsukiji, two shops attract the longest queue – Sushi Dai (寿司大) and Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司). Many chose to walk in random shops during their visits, without the queue, and their standards won’t be too far off.

Sushi Dai is the easily most popular joint in the whole of Tsukiji, with queues snaking at the side of the shop, and can take from 2 to 3 hours for your wait. Starting operations at 5am, the set of 10 pieces and 1 roll will set you back by 3900 yen (SGD$61, USD$50).

For something very similar in quality and a much shorter queue, move to a shops away at Daiwa Sushi, which is actually run by the son of the owner of Sushi Dai. It is said that the father and son team fish together and compete to see who can catch and make the best sushi in Tsukiji.

Full Post Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market – What To Do, How To Go, What To Eat

Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司)
Tsukiji Market Part 6 Building, 5-2-1 #6 (5-10 min walk from Tsukiji Shijo Station). Tel: +-3 3547-6807
Opening Hours: 5:00am-1:00pm (Closed Sun, some Wed)

Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場)
5-2-1 Tsukiji (Tsukijishijo Station, Toei Oedo Subway), Tel: +81 03-3542-1111
Opening Hours: Outer Market 5:00am-1:00pm, Wholesale Market 9:00am-1:00pm, Tuna Auction 5:00am-6:15am. Closed Sundays, holidays, and the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month

Other Tokyo Entries
Tsukiji Honten (Shibuya, Tokyo)
Menya Musashi (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Mutekiya Ramen (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
Sugamo Konaya (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Café & Meal Muji (Ginza, Tokyo)

5 Ways to Avoid Overeating at The Buffet Restaurant

By , December 13, 2012

Do you both love and hate buffets – love the variety and choice of food, but hate the feeling of overeating, with a sense of guilty and feeling plumpish at the same time. Not a good feeling to have, right?

How to avoid overeating at the buffet restaurant? The most important rule of thumb – Don’t feel the need to CONQUER every single food at a single seating! Sometimes when I see the amount fellow customers eat, I also get a bit terrified.

So I was invited to a buffet tasting at one of my favourite All-You-Can-Eat restaurant, Plaza Brasserie at Park Royal, as they have a new Thai cuisine promotion. (Read about their Crab Buffet, The Seafood Buffet, Dragon Feast and Grandma’s Favourites).

You may want to consider some of the following tips when you go for your next buffet experience.

Start the Meal with a Salad
Some may be thinking, “Shouldn’t we start the meal with the most expensive items – the crabs, prawns, oysters and meat?!” No, no, no. Preceding the meal with salad or soup can help curb appetite. Plus, filling up on fiber-rich foods first can help reduce overall calorie intake at a meal by up to 12 percent. Research shows that people who started meals with soup ended up eating less than those who skipped the soup.


Zesty Thai papaya salad to start the meal. Pile up those fiber first.

Order From The Live-Cooking Stations
When eating, your brain needs about 20 minutes to get the “signal” that you are not hungry anymore. I know some people hate queuing at the live-cooking stations, but the waiting gives you time to digest the food you already eaten. Plus, you can tell the chef to do a healthier version of any dish – less oil, less carb, and more vegetables. And I always feel better eating hot and fresher food anyway.


My order, Thai Beef Noodle Soup from live-cooking station – less kway tiao!

Do Your Research Before Going to the Buffet
Most reviews and credible food blogs should recommend the highlights of the buffet. Reading up on the must-eats can help you plan your buffet meat ‘strategically’, start eating with your favourite food types, and not waste calories on the yuckier food.


If you are going for this Thai buffet and need 3 recommendations, it would be Thai Beef Noodle Soup, Thai Fish Maw Soup and Steamed Thai Fish in Lime and Chilli.

Only Eat Food That You Like
I know some people will feel it is very “wasted” if you don’t get to try every food at the table. I think it is a far greater “waste” and injustice to your taste-buds and tummy if we keep stuffing with every single thing – good and bad. We should just enjoy the good food right? I have a friend who keeps eating fresh oysters and crabs at the buffet, despite the fact that he doesn’t really like them. Because he wants to feel his money is well-spent! “If not, very lugi!” How, like that?


May be seen as a ‘cheap’ dish, but this simple Thai style Kai-lan reminds me of this wonderful zhi char stall at Bangkok. Eat food that you really enjoy at the buffet, remember, you are not competing with anyone.

Spend Some Time Plating and Photographing Your Food
Place food on your dinner plate as if you want to photograph it later (or you can really instagram the food). You will find that you will end up taking less, and not pile up like a mountain. The time spent can also help you digest your food slowly. If not, focus on talking to the dining mates, rather than eating off your dining plate. A great conversation is the winning formula at the buffet table.


The smaller the plate, the better. Style your plate, make conversations with your friend, shoot a pic before you enjoy the food.

Full Post 5 Ways to Avoid Overeating at The Buffet Restaurant

Plaza Brasserie
7500A Beach Road, Park Royal on Beach Road (Nearest MRT Bugis), Tel: +65 6505 5710
Opening Hours: 6am – 12am Daily

Other Buffet Entries
Silver Shell Café (Shangri La Rasa Sentosa)
Chiso Zanmai (Clarke Quay Central)
10 at Claymore (Pan Pacific Orchard)
Sakura International Buffet (Admiralty Park)
Carousel (Royal Plaza on Scotts)

The Star Vista’s Complete Food & Restaurant Guide

By , December 12, 2012

One of the most anticipated malls in Singapore, The Star Vista has finally opened at Buona Vista! Are you excited or what? The Star is quite unlike any other. From a distance, the architectural design is spectacular and looks like a ship – probably inspired from the story of Noah’s Ark.

The lower 3 levels are operated by CapitaMalls Asia, and makes this the first naturally cooled mall in Singapore. That means no aircon when you walk outside the shops (and I was sweating a little)! But, it does feel like you are taking a stroll in the park with natural air.

Located above The Star Vista is The Star Performing Arts Centre, owned and managed by Rock Productions, and is one of Singapore’s largest performance venues with a 5,000 seat auditorium. This is also where New Creation Church ministered by Senior Pastor Joseph Prince will have its weekly Sunday services at the upper room after it moves out of Suntec.

For friends working at the Buona Vista, Rochester, One North, Biopolis and Fusionpolis, The Star Vista is probably a long-waited new lunch spot. And for church-goers at New Creation, this is where you will enjoy your blessed meals. (Read other eats at Rochester: B@Rochester, Obolo Galeria & Pies & Coffee.)

Here is a mall directory of the various Food places at The Star Vista. Good news as from the list, you will know there is no lack of food choices (Note: Not all shops are opened yet).

Basement 1
-18C, Canton Paradise Teahouse, Four Leaves, Fresh-Healthy Café, Marble Slab Creamery, Menya Musashi , Nando’s, Shake a treat, SOFRIES, Subway, Texas Chicken, The Manhattan Fish Market, Wrap & Roll, Xi Men Jie

Level 1
Boston Seafood Shack, Chewy Junior, District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant, dr Café, espresSOUP, Gong Cha, Hot Tomato Café & Grill, iBake, Itacho Sushi, Jamaica Blue, PappaRich, Pinocchio, Riciiotti-Pizza Pasta Grill, Sogurt, Trip-O’s by Whiteshop, NeNe Chicken

Level 2
Awfully Chocolate, BlackBall, Bornga, Brotzeit, CoCo ICHIBANYA , La barra, Lee’s Taiwanese, Morganfield’s, Owl Café, PORN’s, Senor Taco, Shiraz Lazziz Bistro & Bar, The Kitchen, Watami , Ya Kun, Youmenya Goemon

This brand new lifestyle destination does have a mix of tenants quite unlike the other malls in Singapore. For fellow foodies, here are 5 interesting food finds at The Star Vista. (And I still can’t believe I ate all of these in a single day. Abundance indeed.)

Full Post The Star Vista’s Complete Food & Restaurant Guide

The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green, Singapore 138617 (Buona Vista MRT)
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm

Other 5 Best Entries
5 New & Best Ramen Places in Singapore
5 Stalls To Try at Maxwell Food Centre
5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru
5 Oozing Food That Singaporeans Love
5 Ways to Avoid Overeating at The Buffet Restaurant

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar – Breakfast, Brunch, Bakes & Beer All-In-One

By , December 7, 2012

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar has one of the most interesting concepts – bakery with brunch items in the dawn, bistro in the noon, and transformed to a charming bar by dusk with DJs spinning at the side.

Getting a condominium at Nassim Hill has always been one of my dreams (let that be granted), but I now know I can now indulge nearby in a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict ($15 nett) and Country Scrambled Eggs ($16) at an ‘okay-price’ considering this is very prime district.

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar sits within the iconic Tanglin Post Office building, right opposite Tanglin Mall and near Gleaneagles Hospital. To get here, you have to get to the back of the post office, or climb up a flight of stairs from Swiss Bakery.

If this bar within a post office concept seems familiar to you, it is also done up by Imaginings who is also behind KPO, WALA WALA, Balaclava and 1128. Beer drinkers can rejoice because you can tap your own draught beers at the end of the counter. (I unfortunately, don’t drink beer.)

Considering I am not quite a carb-person, I fell in love with the Grimbergen Ambree bread ($8), a Grimbergen (Belgian abbey beers) infused bread created by Head Baker Audrey from Freshly Baked at Killiney Road. (No wonder the bread and cakes taste so familiar. The KPO probably approached her since they are ‘neighbours’.) The bread is very wholesome, full-bodied and hearty, with a slightly rustic feel to it. Extremely satisfying with the marmalade jam.

That same bread is also used in the Hot Reuben ($16 nett), a sliced corned beef sandwich with melted emmental cheese, sauerkraut (sour cabbage), onions and delicious Russian dressing. Warning: It takes two or more to finish this.

Full Post Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar – Breakfast, Brunch, Bakes & Beer All-In-One

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
56 Tanglin Road #01-03 Tanglin Post Office, Singapore 247964 (15 walk from Orchard MRT), Tel: +65 6835 1128
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00am (Closed Mon), Breakfast & brunch: 8am – 5pm, Lunch: 11am – 5pm, Dinner: 5pm – 10:30pm

Other Related Entries
TAB (Orchard)
Singapore Sling Boutique (Clarke Quay)
Social Haus (Tiong Bahru)
OverTime (Dempsey)
Infusion (Dempsey)

Epilogue Café – When Popular Bookstore Opens a Café

By , December 6, 2012

Popular Bookstore opens a café. Yes, the same Popular Bookstores where hungry, I mean kiasu parents hunt down assessment books and 10-years series for their adolescent to get a head-start of their successful life. Popular was my ‘saviour’ in that way too. (Won’t have cleared my Os and As without you, Popular!)

Epilogue Café within Prologue (at Level 4 Ion) provides a completely different vibe – quiet surroundings, lovely music, view of Orchard Road, artistic lights made of recycled books. Overall, a very cosy corner to read a book, drink a cup of cuppa or have casual business lunches.

In fact when I was there during a public holiday, the directors of Popular were having a lunch meeting there. Talk about working hard.

This new café concept offers not only gourmet coffee and cakes, but a plethora of Italian food selections such as soups, sandwiches and pastas.

Epilogue brings in a slight Asian twist to its special menu. I had a Rendang Chicken Set Meal ($11.90) which is really quite an interesting and workable combination with huge chicken chunks marinated in a sweet spicy rendang sauce topped on spaghetti. Thumbs up for this. The drink is an Iced Singapore Sling sans the alchohol.

Full Post Epilogue Café – When Popular Bookstore Opens a Café

Epilogue Café ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #04-16 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 (Orchard MRT), Tel:+65 6465 1477
Opens daily: 10:30am – 10:00pm
Branch: #06-01/02/03 Orchard Central

Other Related Entries
Raindrops Café (*Scape)
Charlie Brown Café (Somerset)
7 KICKstart BREWiches (Armenian Place)
Dann’s Daily Pescetarian Café (Eastwood)
Pies & Coffee (Rochester Mall)

Paris Baguette – Korean Bakery Finally Comes to Singapore, But Why Seoul Expensive?

By , December 5, 2012

Paris Baguette is finally here in Singapore! If you are thinking this is some French brand, nope. This chain is actually the top Korean bakery, receiving “constant love” for its freshly baked bread, cakes, sandwiches, desserts and brunch items.

It has over 3500 stores in Korea, US and China. None in France though, go figure. (Wheareas PAUL is really from France.)

Located at Level 2 Wisma Atria, Paris Baguette has replaced Ding Tai Fung (which has upgraded to Food Republic, or should I say downgraded) and attracted throngs of office crowd and the Korean expat community to land their support. Good chance to people-watch and spot a (almost) Girl Generation type customer.

Because it is newly opened, its self-service ordering system, service crunch, and lack of seats due to its popularity may throw you back a little. Customers were looking high and low for the menu sheet, only to find them lying around somewhere. Somewhere.

Indulge in a lazy afternoon with its brunch items, the best seller being the Cheese Omelette With A Difference ($18.00, and what a name). The omelette with spinach, gruyere and feta cheese is quite cheesy and yummy, plain in its own way, and heartily satisfying.

The Scrambled Egg Brioche Brunch ($18.00) is a photogenic dish with chorizo on toasted brioche, and the eggs evenly prepared and cooked. If we were to judge by the eggs alone, yes it is fresh delicious, but somehow lacks a punch. Should throw in a juicy sausage and some sautéed mushrooms.

Full Post Paris Baguette – Korean Bakery Finally Comes to Singapore, But Why Seoul Expensive?

Paris Baguette Singapore (Wisma Atria)
435 Orchard Road, #02-48 to 53 Wisma Atria, Singapore 239977 (Orchard MRT), Tel:+ 65 6836 2010, +65 6836 3010

Other Related Entries
PAUL Bakery (Ngee Ann City)
Maison Kayser (Scotts Square)
Brunetti (Tanglin Mall)
Delicious (Scotts Square)
Eggs & Berries (Changi City Point)

Peach Blossoms Marina Mandarin – Its The Seasons Of Crabs Again

By , December 4, 2012

Singaporeans love crabs. Look at the number of different crab dishes we indulge in, and the different seafood restaurants around. Well, crab lovers are in for a treat with over 20 different crab delights at Peach Blossoms this October.

Their Chinese Executive Chef Chan Shun Wong from Hong Kong has come up with two crustacean set menu, and ten à la carte crab delights. If not, you can just select from the array of Alaskan King, Sri Lankan, Cream, Meat and Flower, and ask to cook it just the way you want. Some of the favourites include Baked with Superior Broth, Stir-fried with Ginger and Spring Onion, or with Singapore-style Chilli Sauce.

My top recommendation is its Deep-fried crab ($12++ per person, or part of set menu). With a light crispy outer layer, the surprise is in its inside – juicy creamy crab meat with smooth fish roes. Some of the other versions I previously had can be dry, but Chef Chan’s creation is especially moist because milk is used to prepare the fillings.

Full Post Peach Blossoms Marina Mandarin – Its The Seasons Of Crabs Again

Peach Blossoms 鸿桃轩
6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 5 Marina Mandarin, Singapore 039594 (nearest MRT City Hall), Tel: +65 6845 1118
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm to 2.30pm (Weekday), 11am to 2.30pm (Weekend)
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Daily)

Other Related Entries
Si Chuan Dou Hua (UOB Plaza)
Old Hong Kong Legend (Raffles City)
Royal China (Raffles Hotel)
Yan Ting (St Regis)
Putien (City Square Mall)

Min Jiang – The Hairy Crabs Season Is Finally Back

By , December 3, 2012

Dear hairy crabs, I have waited for you for a year to be back. There are some things that I would have to wait for 300 days before I can savour again. One of which are the hairy crabs. These Chinese mitten crabs, which are Shanghai’s prized delicacy, only come during the days of Autumn.

Over at Min Jiang at Goodwood Park and One North, these hair crab creations are available from now till 30 November, not too long a period before they disappear back to the Yang Cheng Lake.

Min Jiang offers two special six-course set menus at $98++ and $118++ per person, for a minimum of two diners. If you have not tried these palm-sized creatures before, and am wondering “Why so expensive”, the Chinese can spend hundred of yuan just to have them. There are crabs, and there are craps – people would spend more to get their money’s worth for good quality ones.

My favourite version prepared by Master Chef Chan Hwee Kee is the Steamed Hairy Crab with Glutinous Rice Served in Lotus Leaves ($68++ each). For me, steaming works best for hairy crabs where the tastes and juices remain locked in, and the meat remains fresh and sweet. Imagine when some of the flavours of the crab meat flows and get absorbed by the glutinous rice.

Look at the rich bright orange roe – easily my favourite part in the entire crab. Do not remind me of the cholesterol level though. Just allow it to linger in your tongue while you relish the thick thick roe, a taste almost quite unforgettable. (I would best describe it as a texture similar to a creamy form of salted ice yolk but 10 times more delicate.)

The manager in charge Wai See was also skillful in cutting up the crustacean so you can eat it almost mess free. When I asked how long she trained for, she said “Ten years”.

The Baked Hair Crab Wrapped in Lotus Leaves is also a popular choice, while I did think that the smell of the leaves overpowered the true natural flavours of the crab at times.

Full Post Min Jiang – The Hairy Crabs Season Is Finally Back

Min Jiang
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221, Tel: +65 6730 1704
Or Min Jiang at One North, No 5 Rochester Park
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm (Lunch), 6pm – 10:30pm (Dinner)

Other Crab Entries
Peach Blossom (Marina Mandarin)
Putien (City Square Mall)
Mellben (Pasir Ris)

Uma Uma Ramen – Top Restaurant Iggy’s Opens a Ramen Shop

By , November 9, 2012

Another ramen shop with an impressive CV opens in Singapore – famous Fukuoka ramen chain, 59 years of history, helmed by Ignatius Chan, owned by Iggy’s the top restaurant in Singapore. He is also behind the high-end Kaiseki restaurant Yoshiyuki downstairs.

Looks like there is another reason to go to the rather Forum the Shopping Mall at Orchard now, other than Toys “R” Us and California Pizza Kitchen.

There isn’t very much to choose from as there are only two types of ramen – Uma Uma Ramen ($14) and Spicy Chasiu Ramen ($16).

The former is a spicy miso base, with Hakata-style noodles, and toppings such as charsiu, spring onions and black fungus. The later, is a spicier version at $2 extra, and there really isn’t too much of a difference. Extra tamago at $1.50.

If you like your noodles thin, non-curly and springy (like mee kia, similar to Ippudo’s version), chances are you will enjoy Uma Uma a lot. Not for the Sapporo ramen fans though (ie Ramen Santouka’s version).

Full Post Uma Uma Ramen – Top Restaurant Iggy’s Opens a Ramen Shop

Uma Uma Ramen
583 Orchard Road, #01-41/42/43 Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884 (10 mins walk from Orchard MRT), Tel: +65 6235 0855 Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3.30pm, 6.30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat); 11.30am – sold out (Sun)

Other Ramen Entries
Menya Musashi Kodou
Keisuke Tonkotsu King (Orchid Hotel)
Marukin Ramen (Scotts Square)
Marutama Ra-Men (Liang Court)
Ippudo Tao (UE Square)

Big Mama Korean Restaurant – Not ‘Gangnam Style’, but Home Style Cooking

By , November 7, 2012

It is very seldom that a woman in apron would come to your table to teach you how you should eat your food. Well, maybe at home, but we are talking about a Korean restaurant here.

Big Mama Korean Restaurant is not exactly ‘Gangnam Style’ (I know the song is hot, and it is Korean language colloquialism that actually refers to a luxurious lifestyle), but offers comfort ‘Home Style’ cooking.

And this new restaurant is also at Tiong Bahru. (Read: 5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru, new food places IKYU and PoTeaTo)

Former tutor and caretaker, Ji-young Nam Gung nick-named as “Big Mama” (looks like “Cooking Mama” in the Nintendo game), has set up a homely Korean eatery at Tiong Bahru after cooking for Korean students in Singapore for years. Her Korean dishes are in between authentic and creative, because half are inspired by her own mama’s recipes while others have been fine tuned to suit Singaporean taste-buds.

It was quite funny because my friends were all trying to guess who Big Mama was, then realised it was not difficult to point out. The one behind the cashier loh.

The restaurant looks quite minimal in terms of decor, but has groups of Koreans dining, an indication that this is worth your try.

There are two big pictures of the Dakgalbi (spicy grilled chicken) and Suyuk (steam pork belly) on the wall, which suggests that these are the two must-try dishes.

Big Mama or one of her staff would help you prepare the Dakgalbi ($15 per pax, min 2 pax), where marinated chicken chunks, Korean rice cake and vegetables are fried with a special homemade chilli sauce right in front of you on a grill.

Surprisingly, this is very delicious with the saucy chicken going extremely well with plain rice. Maybe it is also Big Mama is talking while preparing, which makes us feel right at home. Yes, she would tell us how to eat Korean food the right way. A tip is to NOT finish the ingredients, because Big Mama would fry it with rice (additional $3.00) if requested.

Full Post Big Mama Korean Restaurant – Not ‘Gangnam Style’, but Home Style Cooking

Big Mama Korean Restaurant
2 Kim Tian Road, Singapore 169244 (10 min walk from Tiong Bahru MRT) Tel: +65 6270 7704
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:0pm (closed on most Mondays)

Other Tiong Bahru Entries
5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru
IKYU (Tiong Bahru)
PoTeaTo (Tiong Bahru)
The Orange Thimble (Tiong Bahru)
Social Haus (Tiong Bahru)

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