Midway Point

By , June 30, 2009 10:23 pm

Midway Point

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

By , June 30, 2009 12:22 am

I was wondering how I should introduce my favourite Xiao Long Bao place. Finally decided on the usual boring way straightforward announcement on the title.

It may be a tad embarrassing to admit this, but I only tasted these little morsels of heaven in my twenty somethings. I remember that first time, especially how the explosion of flavours in my mouth burnt my tongue. That aside, I couldn’t believe how something so seemingly simple could taste so good. Mere words wouldn’t do them justice.

I was rooting for Din Tai Fung to come to Singapore after having tried them in Hongkong and to my delight, they did!  For the most part, the quality of these dumplings are the same. But for sentimental reasons maybe, the place where I had them first will always taste the best – along 忠孝东路(Zhong Xiao Dong Lu) in the heart of Taipei city.

By the way, did you know that the ‘proper’ way to eat Xiao Long Bao (I use the apostrophes because I aso think that you should be able to eat food any which way you want, afterall it is your tongue that you burn), is to pick them up like this :

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See how good skin holds it contents well? Dip it in vinegar and ginger (optional), then place it on a spoon. Nibble the tip off, and carefully suck out the delicious broth inside. Savour it. You can either add more ginger and vinegar before putting the whole thing in your mouth, or do so without the condiments. 

My other favourites include this appetizer :

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Very refreshing julienned vegetables (mung bean noodles, seaweed, beansprouts and I think beancurd) in some sesame oil seasoning.

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Egg fried rice fried to perfection. There’s only egg and spring onion in there but it tastes like every grain has been seasoned and cooked with care. Eat it while it’s hot cos it turns oily once it cools. Please pardon the bad lighting. Feeling a tad lazy to color correct it…

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Beef noodles in soup – clear and flavorful broth, melt in your mouth beef and yummy noodles. 

I obviously can’t order everything I want cos there’s space limitation, but I also love the chicken soup (ranked the bestest home tasting chicken soup on my list), the chilli wanton, the steamed crabmeat and pork dumplings, and the braised beef noodle soup.

Din Tai Fung’s at Wisma, Paragon and Junction 8 (at least that’s where I go).

Enjoy!!

Tian Jin Guan 天津館

By , June 29, 2009 2:50 pm

We walked into this restaurant late morning one weekend and felt like we were transported to China. It could be the too many colours assailing my sight(Chinese New Year danglies inclusive); Or the pictures of celebrities from the 80s near the entrance; Or it could be the serving staff who all spoke with China accented Chinese; Or it could just be the chill and unhurried way about everyone who was in the restaurant.

We overheard a group of 60 somethings in the next table, talking about how it’s been a long time since they last met (Dan overheard that there were 3 horses, referring to the Chinese astrology signs and figured their ages out. He is very kaypoh aware of his surroundings that way).  It even seemed likely that they met at this very restaurant however long ago it was that they last met.

Enough of late morning leisurely gossip, here’s the food :

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I liked the way my chrysanthemum tea was served – there’s actual chrysanthemum swimming around densely in the pot.

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Beef noodles – very authentic (home made) noodles and the soup base had this strong but not off putting smell of spices. I’ve been here before and remember their other goodies to include炸醬麵 (Zha Jiang mian, noodles in sauce) and 煎餅(jian bing, fried pancake).

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Dumplings with pork and white cabbage – I liked the softness and elasticity of the skin, but thought the filling a tad salty. Oh and the hand in shot, belongs to a waitress who was trying to stop me from taking a picture of the food cos their restaurant rule forbids it. I believe I understood her at the same time I hit the trigger. Why didn’t my finger react faster right? Oh well. 

Good thing we’ve only the Xiao Long Bao left, and that was quite a disappointment cos the skin broke even before we managed to pick it up. (Not for my lack of chopstick skills!)

Will do my favourite Xiao Long Bao place soon.

Oh this is on Level 2 of Bras Basah Complex. I think it’s quite an experience to eat there more than that the food’s superb. Be forewarned that service is also very unhurried – not the place to go if you’re looking for a quick in out. 

Life’s A Beach!

By , June 19, 2009 2:59 pm

Life’s A Beach!

New Project :)

By , June 18, 2009 3:01 pm

New Project 🙂

Tampopo

By , June 17, 2009 10:48 am

Have you been to Liang Court lately? A karaoke place (Party World) has opened up there, as well as quite a number of new restaurants. My only gripe would be the difficulty in navigating around this shopping mall. Otherwise, there’s quite a lot to offer : a bookstore(Kinokuniya), a supermarket (Meidi Ya), an electronics store (Audio House) and a smattering of knick knack shops. Not much of a theme to the place but at least it’s brighter and more alive than it has been for the past decade! Must be the karaoke and restaurant combo 😀 Anyway I was at Tampopo, a rather famous ramen place located on Level 1 of Liang Court . It was previously located at the basement beside Meidi Ya – there’s another story there but I’ll save it for another post. It’s tempting to go straight to desserts, but here’s the rest of the savouries I had J Chilli Ramen

Chilli Ramen : this is the only picture that didn’t look like it was a bowl of chilli oil. I liked the texture of the noodles and the slice of pork was absolutely tender J tampopo2.jpg

Pork Cutlet : A tad too oily for my liking, but the batter had this nice flaky crispiness to it which was good. This is the normal grade pork – I would’ve gotten the highly recommended top grade pork but it was sold out… tampopo1.jpg

Matcha Chiffon Cake : I wanted to order another one after finishing this but it was also sold out- that was how good it was! Very light and very fluffy, with bits of red bean inside to complement the taste of matcha (you do know that the two go together like banana and chocolate, like peanut butter and jelly, like ham and cheese, like I think you get the drift…. Right? )

A friend bought me some more of the cakes to enjoy over the weekend – so sweet right? Thanks WY!

Gaga over Lady Gaga

By , June 15, 2009 10:41 am

Gaga over Lady Gaga

Sembonia Launch

By , June 12, 2009 11:02 am

Sembonia Launch

Hey Hey!

By , June 12, 2009 12:26 am

That’s greetings to you, as well as the name of this restaurant I visited last week. Actually,  we covered this steamboat place on the food show I co-hosted with Dasmond Koh a few years back.

I have to credit our scriptwriter cause she’s the one responsible for sniffing out these gems. (You’re the best Evelyn!!) Most of the places she has sourced out are still in operation today (ie: they aren’t one hit wonders) so it makes me look good when my friends ooh and aah at the places I recommend them hurhur

Hey Hey Steamboat is located at the basement of the refurbished Paradiz Center. It’s also where Singapore Pools is located, so if you win anything above SGD3000, that’s the go to place. I came by this bit of triva because my friends were thinking “I Struck Lottery” dreams aloud. But I digress – back to the food!

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While waiting for the soup to start boiling, we had the roasted pork (which came highly recommended by Terence Cao and Yao Dong – they are co-owners of the place I believe) and it did not disappoint – I especially like the tasty crispy bits contrasting with the melt in my mouth softness of the meat.

Aside from the usual steamboat fare of sliced meats and veggies, they also serve a variety of dim sum! It was a real novelty to cook their specially prepared char siew bao / siew mai  / har gao in the soup. The pretty yellow dim sum in the picture above, is custard bun! It’s hard to explain how strange it is to taste sweet custard in savoury soup but it was oddly not a put off to my tastebuds. 

Oh they also serve these drinks – can’t remember if it’s water chestnut with some herb or sugar cane. I just remembered it to complement the steamboat perfectly.

This is definitely another ooh and aah place to recommend if you’re looking for those from friends 🙂

What’s been up :)

By , June 5, 2009 12:59 pm

What’s been up 🙂

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