1 August 2011

Ban Lee Siang @ Jalan Ong Kim Wee, Malacca

I have always love holidays for the simple fact that I rarely feel guilty indulging in food round the clock. Hmmm...not that I do feel guilty even on a daily basis...but well...I digress. 

The last weekend was spent with a short road trip up north to Malacca. Which was basically a eat-and-eat trip and although I am into the Peranakan food (with lots of belacan), I made it a point to try something different this time round.

Having been to Jonker Street a few times in the past year, I vaguely recall this street vendor in his mobile cart displaying a variety of lok lok items for sale. Unfortunately, I could not muster enough courage to dip and eat by the road side.

Armed with my research, the group of six of us took a taxi to Jalan Ong Kim Wee for the acclaimed satay celup, Ban Lee Siang (which I heard is the fierce rival of the other equally, if not more well known Capitol).

Upon seated, there will be a pot of satay sauce ready to be dipped into. And judging from my observation, the pot remains the same pot throughout the night regardless of the different groups of patrons at the same table.

So rule of thumb, no double dipping!

And then you take a tray and pick up from the wide array of varieties at the fridge. There's inlards, fried tau pok, fishballs, sotong balls, prawns, otak, sausages, kang kong etc etc etc to take your pick from!

We also ordered servings of bread and cucumber to dip with the rich satay sauce.

Overall, it was a good dinner with our selected sticks of goodies dipped in its hot pipping satay sauce which is a unique experience from your typical hot pot soup. 

However, do go with a sturdy stomach (if you have) since 2 out of the 6 of us did not quite survive the after dinner experience. I did good, as usual.

Till the next holiday,

20 July 2011

Bistro One Zero Three @ Pasir Panjang

Bistro One Zero Three has always been greatly raved about by a friend who proposed to his girlfriend with the help of one of the Bistro's owner. 

And so since I was at Vivo City and most of the eateries seem to have perpectually long queue, I made a short trip down to Bistro One Zero Three which is a short 5 minutes drive away.

Granted, ambience is cosy given it's 'family run' nature and service is generally impeccable. I would have enjoyed my meal at this unpretentious if not for something about the food that does not quite agree with it.

Amongst the four of us we had a fish and chips, a salmon dish, a chicken dish and apparently its signature pork (pardon me but I can't quite remember the dishes now).

I had the salmon and unfortunately, the sauce which I suspect was prepared mainly with balsamic vingenar, was the sourest sauce I ever had and which was far too overwhelmingwhen paried with a fish dish. I can only vaguely recall this meal as a sour one. Which was a pity really given that the salmon was pan fried to a decent tenderness and the mashed potato smooth and creamy.

But fret not. Maybe I was just unlucky that day. Perhaps you will have better luck with the pork neck and/or chicken thigh.

Do give it a try if you're looking for somehwere homely, quaint and unpretentious.

26 June 2011

Seafood Paradise - Changi Airport Terminal 2

The Paradise Group is one of the few restaurants that seems to be able to maintain a consistent standard be it at its more high end outlet (i.e. Taste Paradise) or even a simple stopover for desserts at its many Paradise Inn outlets.

Seafood Paradise, for those who recall, is the pioneer of the group which has its roots at Defu Lane industrial estate area. Despite its humble beginnings from the somewhat famous creamy butter crab, the 'paradise' is currently widespread islandwide.

With its latest branch (or so I think) newly opened at Changi Airport Terminal 2, the location definitely makes it all more convenient to bring the family out for a nice seafood dinner instead of the usual East Coast Seafood cluster.

The restaurant is well lighted and ventilated although like your typical chinese restaurants, the service runs very tight during the dinner crowd.

For a table of 7 adults, dinner comprised of 2 appetizers, 2 crabs and 5 main course. Considering we are relatively big-eaters, all of us were stuffed (in a good way) by the end of the meal.

Anyway, here's a quick recap of the meal.

Teochew Prawn Roll ($8.80)

Crispy-fried Baby Squid ($10.80) - These baby squids fried and coated with honey bagged a good punch in terms of smell and favour and was one of the dishes that we just could not get enough off.

Shark's Fin with Crab Meat Soup ($15.80 per serving)

Chilli Crab ($48.00/kg) + Deep Fried Buns ($3.60) - I have always been a fan of No Signboard when it comes to chilli crabs but this is a fierce contender with its fairly spicy and thick chilli gravy with a generous amount of egg stirred into its making. Dipped with some deep fried buns, what more can one ask for?

Creamy Butter Crab ($48.00/kg) - I was initially a little hesitant about ordering this dish worrying that it may be too fushion for comfort. Surprising, the sauce with a mild mixture of butter, cream, curry leaves and fried garlic was the highlight of the meal. I can't quite describe the taste but man, do go for this the next time you are at Seafood Paradise, it was that good.

Coffee Pork Ribs ($12.00)

Prawns with Salted Egg Yoke ($16.00) - A cholestrol busting dish but a perfect compliment to plain steam rice. One bite into the succulent salted egg yoke prawn with one mouthful of rice...yum....you get the idea.

Hot Plate Spicy Squid ($14.00) - We all love how soft and easily chewable the squid was drenched with some XO chilli sauce served on a sizzling hot place lined with banana leaf to aid its fragrance.

Coral Clams with Asparagus ($16.00) - The 'vegetable' dish of the day.

Stir-fried Mee Sua ($12.00)

I am sure for easterners, there is now another alternative to a more than decent seafood :)

That is all folks! I'll try to do more regular updates if schedule permits.

Changi Airport Terminal 2
Level 3
Tel: 6214 9655

14 June 2011

Gandhi Restaurant @ Chander Road (Part II)

It's Gandhi time again...my interim comfort food!

So...I have previously wrote about how Gandhi is one of the best indian banana leaf restaurant locally and my position still maintains.

Coming during the weekdays is always a good idea when the crowd is thinner and the ambience not as hectic.

This time round, we went directly after work at say 8 plus in the evening and unfortunately the fish cutlets were already sold out. Regardless, we ordered the usual rice with flower crabs, curry fish and sambal eggs.

Oh yes, food aside, service today was exceptionally friendly and a constant (almost instantaneous) refill of the papadum. 

For the clueless (i.e. me a couple of months ago), you will first be served with banana leaf with the standard 'side dishes' of vegeable dal, cabbage, indian style sambal, rice, curry and papadum.

Next, you can either go to the food counter to choose your additional dishes or order on the spot. Since I'm unadventurous, fish curry, sambal eggs and flower crabs it is.

Now, let's turn our attention to the flower crabs. It's strange how the gravy/sauce actually makes the dish taste like a rendang or rather, flower crabs rendang. And it's addictive given it's savoury and non-spicy nature. This is a must have.

 So there you have it. A splendid meal at all but approximately $16.00 with 2 drinks.

8 June 2011

Durians @ Balestier

Tucked along Balestier Road (between Quality Hotel and a Chinese Temple), this inconspicuous durian stall offers one of the best durian I've tried.

For a start, you can choose your Mao Shan Wang  and inform the boss whether you like it bittersweet or just bitter.

And so bittersweet we chose.

As you can most probably tell from the photo, the flesh is rightly firm and tender with a strong structural taste of bittersweetness. 

Not your watery and/or hald-ripe and/or tasteless nonsense.

But for S$30 a pop (which may explain the 'value-added' service of bottled water and tissue boxes readily available), this is one durian that's meant for the occasional indulgence.