staking out my steak

By , November 20, 2008 12:04 pm

Here is the nicer picture – i didn’t waste much time going back to Tuckshoppe @ Balestier -inviting name for a coffeeshop right? 🙂 Apparently, there’re many Astons (with different suffixes like Specialties and Prime for the more upmarket and Express for the Kopitiam variety) littered around our little island.

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Makes me hungry looking at it. Oh and here’s my pick of mixed vegetables (which i shared with dan while waiting for my steak cos it was 2pm and a starving girl needs food Immediately).

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good steak at coffeeshop prices!

By , November 18, 2008 5:11 pm

If you’re wondering how that can be, that’s because it’s in one! 🙂

Astons Express is a stall in a coffeeshop at the junction of Balestier Road and Kim Keat Road. We’ve driven past it countless times since it popped up a few months ago and always wanted to try it. Dan recognises the name and the picture on their signboard, but we aren’t(that’s right – present tense cos I still don’t have the answer to that) sure if it’s just a little shop leaning on a big name.

It may subconsciously be the fact that citigroup slashed 50,000 jobs which reminded us to find a more economical way to feed Dan’s appetite for good meats, but the bottom line is that we finally made our first visit to the coffeeshop today.  

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I didn’t feel like western food or waiting so i opted for the quick and usually dependable mixed vegetables stall beside Astons Express. After i finished my yummy lunch (which I should’ve taken a picture of cos it was recommendation worthy too), Dan’s prime ribeye (extra cut) arrived. We knew it was a winner when the first cut came up looking like this :

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I think the litmus test for good food is when it tastes fantastic even when you’re full. This steak passed with flying colors – it was succulent, juicy, flavorful and Dan says it’s a perfect medium 🙂

Seeing how I will definitely be going back for my own ribeye, let me get a nicer picture because the picture i have (with sides of pasta and corn on the cob) doesn’t quite do the good food justice.

Going Korean :)

By , November 13, 2008 12:13 pm

I didn’t quite know what I wanted to eat, but I knew I wanted it someplace I’ve never been before. So Dan and I headed to Red Dot Traffic (on maxwell road) since we’re seldom at that part of town, hoping to see something that might inspire our tastebuds. After a brief walkthrough, we left the building uninspired and found ourselves along Peck Seah St. The authentic (meaning old school) signage of a Korean restaurant beckoned and we walked in cos we were by then inspired by our tiredness, indecisiveness and the late hour 😛

It was almost like walking into a restaurant in Korea (as far as my imagination goes) cos the TV was playing some Korean news and there was a couple conversing in Korean in the corner. We picked up the menu, placed our orders, and were rather surprised by the amount of tsking from the waitress. She was also muttering under her breath about the amount of food we ordered. In all honesty, four dishes really didn’t seem like much when we ordered.

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I found the cutlery very interesting – have you seen flatter chopsticks? Comfort must not play a big part in Korean culture. But it all contributed (rightly or wrongly) to our Korean experience.

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The couple at the next table had 2 big empty bottles of beer so we thought we shd get something alcoholic too – this tasted like Choya Umeshu with a Korean label.

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Korean appetisers which we didn’t order – it’s akin to crackers served in Thai restaurants I suppose, except that these could be 6 dishes by themselves. Very tasty and i liked the spicy kimchi and crunchy greens the most 🙂

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This was uber yummy – ginseng chicken with stuffed glutinous rice (didn’t know about the rice when we ordered it). The meat was falling off the bones and the soup didn’t have an overpowering taste of ginseng which was great. I suspect they might have been a little generous with the MSG tho cos the more soup we had, the thirstier we got.

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Very generous serving of grilled mackerel which was cooked just right so that the meat was moist and juicy. I ordered a rice with this :

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i’m sure you all know how rice looks like (tastes like Japanese rice) but i wanted to show you the interesting bowl with its pretty cover. My only gripe is that metal chopsticks scraping on a metal bowl is like fingernails on a chalkboard – not so comfortable for the other senses but I did mention about comfort’s role in Korean culture?

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No Korean meal is complete without kimchi soup although i was already kinda full by that time and couldn’t savour it in all it’s garlicky, spicy glory.

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Dan ordered cold noodles – that’s a rock of ice on his spoon, and sliced radish between his chopsticks. The noodles are fine in texture (like mee sua) and altogether a really strange dish i thought.

Totally stuffed by the end of the night – we could’ve fed 4 with all that food and it cost about 100. 

This is Chowon Garden Korean Restaurant at 2 Peck Seah St, Air View Building.

Dr Frog

By , November 5, 2008 3:47 pm

Dr Frog is unfortunately not in Singapore. It is a nice italian restaurant located next to a viewpoint between Lamai and Chaweng beach in Koh Samui. Uh huh – that’s where we disappeared to for a relaxing week 🙂

I know it’s odd to want to share about an italian restaurant in Koh Samui when I should be going on about authentic Thai food. However, the better Thai food we had was usually by candlelight, and candlelight provides such poor lighting for phototaking(altho it’s great for ambience). So here’re pretty pictures of the fantastic italian meal we had.

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duck spaghetti  – extremely tasty and the pasta had just the right texture. dan shared half of his meal with me cos i liked it so much 🙂

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safe (and boring) beef lasagne which was run of the mill sorta nice. and i shared half of my meal with dan cos i didn’t like it so much 😛

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the easiest way to tell if a restaurant can make good pizza, is if their margherita tastes good. and this tasted great. the pizza crust was done to perfection as was the proportion of cheese and tomato filling.

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the steak with blue cheese didn’t quite do it for me cos i thought the blue cheese tasted unrefined and the steak too aged. but dan polished it all off so i suppose he didn’t mind it.

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i’m not a fan of lemon tarts, especially hard and frozen ones cos i mind that it goes “thunk” when i hit it against the plate. the mister didn’t mind one bit.

in short, great pasta and pizza – which is what one usually goes for in an italian restaurant anyway, right?

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Oh and add to that a nice cocktail (mojito) with a cliff view – very relaxing if you don’t mind that you’ll probably be supremely stuffed if you had as much food as we did.

There’s great seafood in Koh Samui and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go fishing like we did and make a dinner of the day’s catch too 🙂

getaways are great.

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