Monday, April 26, 2010

Newton Food Centre

Singapore's famous Newton Food Court!

I had arranged to meet up with old friends at Newton Food Court. I've heard many good things about the food but have never actually been until now. Upon arrival the place was packed. We looked high and low for a free table until we spot a couple vacating theirs and some of us being the "kiasu" people that we are, rushed forward to grab the table in competition with other unlucky diners looking for a seat that night. We won that round.

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Drinks - Lime Juice and Soya Bean

Amongst the many shops at Newton Food Court the boys always go for "Marge Simpson's" shop (Stall number 69). They call her Marge Simpson just because she has big hair that was piled up high just like Homer's wife! I wanted to take a picture of her (hair and all) but she has this "don't-mess-with-me" attitude and I was too scared to ask! haha

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The famous Sambal Stingray. For those who's never heard of Stingray or Ikan Pari in Malay this fish is awesome as it is made up mainly of meat and cartilage. The meat taste sweet and moist and is ideal for grilling - wrapped in banana leaf over a charcoal BBQ or even in curry. Sadly however it's hard to find stingrays in seafood markets in Sydney. They normally have skates instead and the meat is much tougher than that of stingray's, making it not as ideal for grilling.

Back to the food. I found the sambal pretty tasty. It had a good blend of spices and a hint of dried prawns which gave the sambal susbstance. It went really well with the perfectly cooked fish.

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Another favourite amongst the locals - Oyster Egg Omelette. However the ones we had were pretty ordinary in taste with some parts over-cooked :(

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Sambal Squid - The squid was stir-fried in sambal, onions and green onions. I found this dish pretty ordinary as there was nothing there to excite the taste buds.

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For sustenance we had ordered the Fried Rice. The rice had prawns, chicken, eggs and the usual frozen peas and carrots with a side of slightly pickled green chillies. This was a very tasty dish and I couldn't help myself from going back for seconds. One of the better dishes of the night.

Newton Food Centre
Newton Circus
Singapore

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sushi Burger

It is just taking too long to blog about all my eating adventures during my trip in Asia that I have a list of new eats piling up. I've decided to alternate my posts to include one of each to take away the boredom.

During the first weekend back we flew to Melbourne to attend a friends' wedding. The wedding was held at Ascot House, a beautiful heritage home situated in the suburb of Ascot Vale, but that's for another post.

Today I wanted to blog about Sushi Burger. Recommended by my cousin Ms Gadget, this place is GOOD.

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Hamburg Sushi ($7.50)- A nice thick slab of tasty beef and pork patty sandwiched between two rice patties. The rice was delicately seasoned and cooked al dente like pasta which I loved. Just delicious!

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Kani Croquette Burger ($6.50 eat-in) - A cream croquette with crab meat. The potato was very smooth and creamy. I didn't see any crab meat though but it still tasted delicious!

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Highly recommended was the Yakiniku Bento Box ($18.50) served with rice and miso soup. I had ordered the yakiniku chicken which was simply delicious. The chicken had been lightly floured and deep-fried which helps coat and keep the delicious sauce on the meat. Every bite was just heavenly.

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Fi had ordered the Salmon Bento ($18.50). I found the salmon very bland and tasted like it was braised in water but Fi said it was OK.

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Dessert time! Green Tea Wagashi ($3.50 each) I've never had wagashi before and found this to be similar to mochi but with the sponginess of marshmallows! Yum!

We headed back to Sushi Burger to get some take-away before we left for the airport (yes we loved it that much!). We pretty much got the same sushi burgers we had the first time round and bought extra desserts. I choose the Latte Wagashi ($3.50) which as you can guess has coffee in it. This was delicious and the second most popular wagashi here after the green tea which had sold out :(


167 Exhibition Street
Melbourne 3000 VIC

03 - 9650 9877

Lunch
Tues - Sat 12pm - 3pm
Dinner
Tues - Sat 5.30pm - 9.30pm

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mos Burger / Peranakan Museum

Mos Burger has always been a favourite lunch option when the need to recharge hits me after my arduous hours of shopping. It's a healthy fast food option compared to the likes of McDonald's and KFC. Before meeting up with Ms S for a visit to the Peranakan Museum, I decided to have a quick snack to keep my energy up.

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I ordered the Unagi Rice Burger ($3.70) but unfortunately found this disappointing. The unagi was pretty ordinary, almost on the brink of being tasteless and I abhorred the rice patties which were bland and very starchy, (eurgh!) tasting like sawdust. In the end I only ate the unagi leaving the rice patties behind.

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Ice Milk Tea *$2.45) at MOS Burger is always a welcoming treat especially in Singapore heat. The tea comes in Lemon and Peach option as well and you're welcomed to add your own milk from the provided milk caplets (the ones you find in your hotel rooms).

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Mos Burger @ Raffles City
#B1-38, Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel +65 6338 7355

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The Peranakan Museum, situated less than a 10 minute walk from Raffles City, was an interesting and informative visit. There were exhibits on the history of the Peranakans, their customs and traditions (some of which we still practice in my family today).

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There were many artifacts that were collected and researched (thanks to Ms S above who actually contributed to the creation of the museum). I learnt a lot more about the customs and traditions of my own culture which I had never known before. It was interesting to see the exhibits like crockery and dining set which actually look pretty much like what my family and relatives would have in our own houses. If you would like to understand more of the Peranakan culture I would highly recommend a visit to the museum.


The Peranakan Museum
39 Armenian Street
Singapore 179941

Opening Hours:
Monday: 1pm - 7pm
Tues - Sun: 9.30am - 7pm (to 9pm on Fridays)

For Admission Charges click here

Monday, April 12, 2010

Toast Box

Toast Box, an offshoot of the BreadTalk Group, caters to the growing number of traditional coffee and toast lovers reminiscing of yesteryears. Cousin M and I joined the queue at 10.30am to get our brekkie before another day of more eating.

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Traditional (Nanyang) Coffee

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Roti Kaya or Kaya Toast - Toast Box version has a super thick slab of artery clogging butter. Too much butter in fact that I couldn't really taste the kaya (kaya = pandan flavoured coconut jam). Now if only they had an equal amount of butter to kaya... that would have been a completely different story.

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Half-Boiled Eggs - This was a staple dish when I was growing up. My mum would force feed us until we were sick of half-boiled eggs just because it was "good for you". Now I finally understand why. These were slightly over-cooked but still good nonetheless.

A set of Roti Kaya, 2 x half boiled eggs and traditional coffee will set you back SGD4.20

To find a Toast Box outlet - click here.

I had mine at:
Raffles City
252 Northbridge Road #B1-44A
Raffles City Shopping Centre

Tel +61 6339 4434

Monday, April 5, 2010

Imperial Treasure Cantonese Restaurant

My uncle, a die-hard-foodie who travels the world to eat, has offered to bring me out for dinner on one Monday night (yay!). He said "Meet me at Heeren at 6.30pm and I'll bring you out for dinner". Dutifully, I arrived at our meeting point at 6.30pm on the dot with my bags of shopping from a whole day out on Orchard Road. One can never walk along Orchard Road and not buy something. But I have to say, things are not all that cheap as compared to my previous trips or maybe I've just grown "wiser" (read : older) and have to factor in paying for a mortgage amongst other things associated with adulthood. But that's a story for another day...

I was perplexed when we headed off to Terminal 3 (T3) Changi Airport but all was revealed when we walked up to the Crowne Plaza Hotel situated in the vicinity of Changi Airport which is linked to T3 via covered walkways. Imperial Treasure, situated in the lobby of the hotel was half full when we arrived. Not bad for a restaurant situated all the way at the airport I thought.

Uncle C was greeted by name upon entering the restaurant and spoke to the waitstaff like old friends. I later learnt that he eats here at least once a month plus whenever he sends off his travelling friends and relatives at the airport, he would take the opportunity to dine there. He then proceeded to order our dishes without even having to look at the menu. I was impressed, however this meant that I didn't get the chance to peruse the menu and note down the names of the dishes he had ordered. Hence the names of the dishes below are just descriptions obtained from Uncle C.

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We start off with Wasabi Prawns. The prawns were huge in size and were very fresh. Deep fried in special batter (that somehow didn't turn soggy) and smothered with wasabi-mayo. This dish was truly and amazingly delicious. My teeth biting through the crunch of golden batter was pleasantly greeted by the fresh, succulent prawn. The wasabi-mayo added a delectable touch to the taste and brought about a certain zing to the whole experience.

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This was the best Roast Goose I've ever tasted. The meat was tender, succulent and cooked with just the right amount of seasoning that it enhanced the natural flavours of the meat. Plus when you bite into a nice crispy skin with some fats still attached.... you would have thought you died and had gone to heaven.

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My favourite of the night was the Braised Beef Cheeks w/ Spinach. The meat just melts in your mouth. I also loved the sauce which was a reduction of the broth used to braised the beef cheeks. The sauce was rich and smooth and went really well with the spinach too. I lapped everything up, sauce and all, that by the time I was done with it, the plate looked rather "unused". Now, if only that had come in a larger bowl...

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2 Layered Tofu w/ Chinese Mushrooms and Kai Lan - The tofu sat on top of a bed of kai lan and topped with beautifully cooked chinese mushrooms. Unlike the typical plain tofu, the tofu in this dish had been mixed with eggs which resulted in a richer and more flavourful dish.

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The top layer of this dish was just tofu whilst the second layer had a mixture of spinach and tofu.

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Salted Fish Fried Rice - I have a penchant for Salted Fish Fried Rice and this was GOOD! Even though my stomach was about to explode from all those rich food, I had somehow managed to finish a bowl (I can't just give up and not try it right?) and I was glad I did. The fried rice was cooked not only with salted fish but it also had salted duck eggs, salted eggs and normal eggs making it a triple egg or double salted egg and salted fish fried rice. Deliciously yummy! We packed up the rest for Uncle C's son, Tim.

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"A meal is never complete without dessert" says Uncle C and I whole-heartedly concurred with his statement even though I was stuffed to the brim. Dessert was a Green Apple and Sour Plum Jelly topped w/flecks of Strawberries and Sour Plum. The sourness of the jelly cut through the heavy meal we had and turned out to be a nice ending to this beautifully sumptuous meal.

I love Cantonese cooking when it's done beautifully. Much thought had gone into the selection of produce and the combination of ingredients used in each dish. The ingredients complemented or enhanced each produced that was used. Furthermore, the styles of Cantonese cooking also enhance the natural flavours and juices of each ingredient. I have to say, Imperial Treasure has succeeded in this aspect and I thank you for cooking and serving up great food. I am not surprised Uncle C has become such a regular patron and I would be too if I lived in Singapore.

Imperial Treasure @ T3 Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
#01-02 Crowne Plaza Hotel
(next to Changi Airport T3)

Tel: +65 6822 8228

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri
11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Sat-Sun & Public Holiday
10.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm