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Categories : Japanese | Ramen

Whenever Sunshine Plaza is mentioned, I am sure that most of you would be thinking of Victor's Kitchen or Parklane Zha Yun Tun (Wanton) Mee House. Well, if you have missed my earlier post in 2011, there's another hidden gem in Sunshine Plaza and it is Ichi Tei Japanese Bento & Udon aka Ichi Tei!

Oh, since I am on this, I visited Victor's Kitchen 2 months ago. Standard has dropped, and their selection of dim sum and drinks has been decreased (which means several items on the menu are not available). It was a disappointing meal.

Back to Ichi Tei..

 
Ichi Tei located next to the Parklane Wanton Mee is a small eatery specialising in Japanese cuisine such as Bento and Udon set. It is a small shop unit with limited seating capacity and can sit up to a maximum of 22 customers at any one time. Sounds alright? Well, there are just 5 tables with 14 seats inside the shop unit while there are 2 tables with 8 seats outside the shop unit. I would not advise you to visit if you are coming with more than 4 persons.

 
Although Ichi Tei was just a small shop unit, it had a cozy and homely ambience. However, the chairs were not exactly comfortable.

 
The kitchen located at the back was just a small narrow kitchen.

Ichi Tei is managed by two persons; a husband and wife team. The husband takes charge of the back end; the kitchen and cook the food while the wife runs the front end operation and serves the customers (takes the order, serve, collect payment and clear the tables).

 
Disposable chopsticks and spoons are place on every table together with chilli powder. Two years back, I remember that the food used to be served on disposable bento plates for dine-in. I am glad that they have switched to something more environmental friendly.

The post shows a consolidation of food consumed over several occasions.

 
Beef Teriyaki Don $10

The Beef Teriyaki Don served with potato salad and a bowl of miso soup was listed on the menu as a 'Must Try!'. Personally, I thought it was just average with nothing much to shout about. The beef did not strike me as particularly outstanding. In addition, this was one of the most expensive Don set on the menu. Their other Don sets fared better.

 
Beef Teriyaki Don $10 - Potato Salad

The Potato Salad served in the Don sets was delish and left a deeper impression on me compared to the beef. It was essentially mashed potato.

 
Beef Teriyaki Don $10 - Miso Soup

Miso Soup was decent.

 
Chicken Teriyaki Don $7

On another occasion, I ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Don which was still as good as before. As with all Don set, it was served with potato salad and a bowl of miso soup

 
Chicken Teriyaki Don $7

 
Chicken Teriyaki Don $7

The Chicken Teriyaki was grilled in a Japanese styled oven where the heating element comes from the top. The chef had to adjusting the height of the pan to ensure that the chicken teriyaki was cooked. The Chicken Teriyaki was to die for - it was well executed and delish. The top layer where the skin was, was grilled till it was sightly charred resulting in an incredibly crisp texture. Beneath, the meat was tasty and succulent. With each bite, the flavours and juiciness are bound to satisfy your palate.

 
Shishamo Udon $7.50

On a third occasion, I ordered the Shishamo Udon which was not too bad. If you are a Shishamo fan, then this would be fore you.

 
Shishamo Udon $7.50

The Udon was not bad and the soup-base was light and tasty.

 
Shishamo Udon $7.50

The Shishamo were served separately with shredded Japanese cabbage and mayonnaise. The Shishamo were fresh and grilled till the ends were crisp. (Shishamo is capeline or what we commonly know as pregnant fish)

Overall, I would say that their food are not too bad. Ichi Tei would be a place worth checking out. The must try would be the Chicken Teriyaki Don. The Saba Don is also another item to try (based on my past visit 2 years ago). The service at Ichi Tei was prompt as it was just a small unit which can cater to limited number of customers. For such a small operation, you would be surprise that they offer quite an extensive variety of food. Although they have increased the price slightly compared to my visit in 2011, I am still of the opinion that is value for money. I noticed that during lunch time, a significant percentage of their customers prefer to takeaway the food as proper disposable bento plates were provided.

Do note, it can get quite warm if you are choose the table nearest to the kitchen.

Blogpost: http://foodiefc.blogspot.sg/2013/08/ichi-tei-japanese-bento-udon-sunshine.html
 
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Simply Delicious! Worth a visit!  Smile Sep 22, 2013   
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Categories : Korean | Restaurant | Korean Fried Chicken

Kko Kko Nara 꼬꼬나라 a Korean restaurant located at Tras Road, is only a stone throw away (i.e. five minutes away) from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. It is located close to the Maxwell Food Centre too.

 

 
Kko Kko Nara specialises in Korean cuisine and their signature dish is their Korean Fried Chicken which has been highly raved.

The restaurant was cozy and air conditioned. They have quite a small sitting capacity. When we visited during lunch time on Saturday, the restaurant was fully packed. I took this photo as we were leaving at 230pm, by then most of the customers had left and the restaurant was closing (230pm).

 
Each table has a box of tissue paper utensils and a metal bin for disposal of bones. I like their menu cover. It was artistically and colourful. The fried chicken looks so appetising!

 
The Ban Chan / Side Dish (반찬) were just normal - average. One of the rare occasions where I did not ask for more side dishes.

 
Since we were here, we just had to order the the signature Korean Fried Chicken! The Combo Chicken Set (S) $20 consisted of 9 pieces of chicken - 3 pieces of 3 different flavours chicken. The flavours were namely Original, Sweet and Special Garlic Soy Sauce Chicken. We notice that the price of this dish during dinner time was $25 instead of $20.

 
Having tried the Fried Chicken, I now understood why it had been so highly raved about. Each piece was crispy, crunchy, well marinated and fried. The meat were tender, and had the right blend of spices and sauces. In addition, the immense flavour had penetrated all the way into the meat. My favourite was the Special Garlic Soy Sauce Fried Chicken which was made of hand-crushed garlic and 41 kinds of ingredient with soy sauce.

In terms of execution, I thought that they did quite well. It's a common perception that its easyto cook chicken wings. But its hard to make one that's nice, well seasoned (with the flavours penetrating into the meat) and not oily.

 
We also ordered the Bu Dae Jji Gae (부대찌개) $35 to shared. The Bu Dae Jji Gae when translated, literally means The Army Stew. It was named this way as this dish originated during the Korean War. Back then, the Americans who assisted in the war brought their own food such as spam (canned meat), baked beans, sausages and hot dogs which was not introduced in Korea before. As the Koreans were facing a food shortage, they cooked a spicy stew which consisted of kimchi and gochujang (red chili paste) and mixed the American's surplus food into the stew. This was how The Army Stew / Bu Dae Jji Gae came about.

 
Kko Kko Nara's Bu Dae Jji Gae consisted of noodles, spam, sausages, mushroom, korean rice cake, baked beans, tofu, kimchi, gochujang and a mixture of vegetables. Red and Green Chilli were added to further enhance its taste.

Mix the Bu Dae Jji Gae and once it boils, this is how it should looks like. After that you can let it simmer and slowly savour it. The best part is that the longer the stew simmers, the more robust and flavourful it becomes. Kko Kko Nara's Bu Dae Jji Gae was 맛있어요 (delicious)!! We indulged endlessly into it. The more we dig into it, the more we love it.

Although the Ban Chan / Side Dish were average, the Special Garlic Soy Sauce Fried Chicken and Bu Dae Jji Gae were just simply delicious! I will definitely be back to fulfill my Korean cravings at Kko Kko Nara 꼬꼬나라 again. Price wise, although some may feel that its on the expensive end, I thought its quite value for money considering the taste and quality of food.

For full review and more photos, please visit http://foodiefc.blogspot.sg/2013/08/kko-kko-nara-tanjong-pagar.html
 
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Amazing, yummy meal!  Smile Sep 16, 2013   
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Categories : Dim Sum

Most of us would have probably eaten at Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 before. But did you know that Din Tai Fung first started out selling only oil?

Din Tai Fung was founded by a man called Bingyi Yang. He opened a shop in Taiwan called Din Tai Fung and sold cooking oil. In the 1980s, when the business went down hill, he and his wife decided to use half of the shop to sell steamed dumplings. Their steamed dumplings were so good that they eventually stopped selling oil and ventured into a full fledge restaurant.

Today, Din Tai Fung is an award winning chain of restaurant with branches in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United States and Thailand. In Hong Kong, several of its branches are awarded one Michelin star.

 
Din Tai Fung was brought into Singapore after Breadtalk Group won the franchise rights. The group also won the franchise rights to operate Din Tai Fung in Thailand. Currently, there are 14 Din Tai Fung branches in Singapore.

I visited the Din Tai Fung branch at Raffles City Shopping Centre (which is just next to City Hall MRT station) on a Saturday evening. As usual, there was a crowd waiting outside the restaurant waiting for their numbers to be called (this is a norm during weekdays too).

For those who have never been to Din Tai Fung, here's a tip. There is no need to queue, instead you should approach the counter, inform the service staff how many person you have and get the order form (with the queue number written on it) from the staff. After that you can fill in the form, according to the dishes you would like to order. You should also ask what is the estimated waiting time. If the waiting time is long, you can consider walking around before coming back to check if your queue number has been called.

 
Although the restaurant had a considerably large sitting capacity, the place was full. We waited half an hour before our queue number was called. Simple, clean yet classy ambience. In addition, I like their open kitchen concept. Its great to see how the chef prepare our food!

 
In another corner of the restaurant, the place had a classy oriental feel.

 
Its great that they had Chilli, Vinegar, Soya Sauce, pepper and toothpicks on every table. It makes it so convenient for customers and at the same time, free up some bandwidth for the serving staff to concentrate on other things. Win-win situation. Crystal Jade use to provide these at every table too. However during a recent visit to their Plaza Singapura outlet, I noticed that they had removed them.

 
The ginger slices immersed in vinegar is a must have when having their Xiao Long Baos!

 
The Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing $3.50 was superb! It is my favourite appetiser at Din Tai Fung! Whenever I patronise Din Tai Fung, I am definitely order this! It's made of seaweed, beansprouts, strips of spicy bean curd and rice vermicelli. The ingredients are then mixed and tossed in their special vinegar dressing. It's very refreshing and addictive as each ingredient gives a different texture and flavour. A must order.

 
The Steam Pork Dumplings aka Xiao Long Baos (XLB) $6.80 (6 pcs) are one of Din Tai Fung's signature dishes. The XLB were filled with pork fillings and rich and tasty juice. Although the skin of the XLB was wafer thin, it was able to hold the juice. Each piece of XLB is wrapped with a minimum of 18 exquisite folds. Do handle the XLB with delicate care to avoid breaking the skin. In addition, be caution not to scald your mouth when the hot juice ooze out. The XLB are best eaten with ginger slices and vinegar.

 

 
The Fried Rice with Shrimps & Eggs $10.80 is another of my favourite dish! It was executed perfectly. You would be amazed to find out that the it consisted of just rice fried with shrimps, eggs and spring onions.

The shrimps were fresh with sweet succulent flesh. Each grain of rice was well coated with flavour from the egg, spring onions and shrimps. In addition, they did not stick to one another and was not lumpy. Kudos to the chef for his skills (heat control, timing and frying).

 
The partner ordered the Special Braised Beef Noodle Soup with Beef Brisket $11. The beef soup was incredibly rich and well flavoured. However, the beef meat was disappointing. Several big chunks of beef meat were given. Although the meat were well flavoured, they were too tough and chewy. To put it simply, it was hard biting through the meat. Moreover, certain pieces had a thick layer of fat on it.

What I thought was amazing was that Din Tai Fung has so many branches in Singapore. Yet, somehow they manage to maintain the consistency of the food across all their branches. No matter which branch you patronise, the food taste the same! Not an easy feat to achieve. Although the Special Braised Beef Noodle Soup with Beef Brisket was a let down, the rest of the dishes were perfect! I will certainly be back for more!

Do note that Din Tai Fung does not accept reservations. Please click here to view the locations of the other 13 Din Tai Fung outlets.

For full review and more photos, please visit http://foodiefc.blogspot.sg/2013/04/din-tai-fung-raffles-city-shopping.html
 
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 4  |  
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Categories : French | Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | European | Brunch

Cocotte a 2 year old French restaurant located at the lobby of Wanderlust Hotel, is located in between Bugis and Little India MRT stations along 2 Dickson Road. I took about 15 minutes to walk over from Bugis MRT station cutting through Rochor Centre.
Wanderlust Hotel

Wanderlust Hotel

 

 
The restaurant managed by Head Chef Anthony Yeoh was recently named as one of the top 500 restaurants in the 2013 edition of the Miele Guide.

Cocotte had a unique environment. An assortment of chairs with different colours and rustic timbre tables of brown and white colour. It gave a bight cheerful and country style ambience.
Pastry Counter

Pastry Counter

 
Cocotte has recently opened a Pastry Counter and will be serving Brunch everyday. The Pastry Counter will be opened from Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 10pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 3pm.
Pastry Menu

Pastry Menu

 
The Pastry Counter offers a wide variety of choices with its prices displayed clearly next to it.

 
Our table dining table, I like the brown timbre table.
Shredded Pork Confit $15

Shredded Pork Confit $15

 
Shredded Pork Confit $15

Shredded Pork Confit $15

 
The Shredded Pork Confit Sandwich - Confited Free Range Australian Pork Shoulder, Wholegrain Mustard Dressing, Fresh Tarragon, Parsley & Cucumber with Toasted Country Baguette. The filling in the sandwich were delicious. However, the downside was that the toasted country baguette was too hard compared to the tender soft fillings. The shredded pork confit deserved a special mentioned. Coming from the pork shoulder, it was tasty, moist and incredibly soft and tender. In addition, the cucumber provided a nice crunch.
French Onion "Soup" Sandwich $10

French Onion "Soup" Sandwich $10

 
French Onion "Soup" Sandwich $10

French Onion "Soup" Sandwich $10

 
The French inspired French Onion "Soup" Sandwich blew me away. It consisted of Caramelised Onion Confit, Melted Gruyere Cheese, Thyme Leaves and Toasted Country Baguette. Instead of a soup, you get the dry version which is probably grilled with gruyere cheese on top so that it melts. I believe that gruyere cheese was used not only because it is 'the' cheese which is traditionally used in French Onion Soup but also because of its rich, creamy, slightly smokey and nutty taste. If you are a fan of French Onion Soup, you have got to try this!
Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

 
Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

 
The Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg was served with Garlic Roasted Potatoes and French Beans. As the whole the dish was well executed. The boneless chicken leg was grilled perfectly. Crisp cracking chicken skin with juicy tender meat. The partner and I also particularly like the roasted potato. At $12, it is cheaper in price than most of restaurants and I would consider this quite value for money considering the quality!
Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg With Fresh Herb & Garlic Butter $12

 
For desserts, we tried the Chocolate Tart, Pistachio Creme Brulee, Nectarine Tart and Citron Lemon Tart.

The Citron Lemon Tart was their best seller. On the first bite, it had a tangy sour taste that was too strong for my liking. The main reason was because this was made from lemon. However, I started to like it from the second bite downwards It is a light dessert and is the type that the more you dig into it, the more you will like it. Among the four, this was our favourite. This is best accompanied by a cup of hot tea!

The Chocolate Tart was made of 72% Valrhona - dark chocolate. Chocolate fans will love as it is made of intense thick dark chocolate; not diluted. The bitterness of the chocolate is followed by a slight hint of sweetness. Best to share this!

Overall, I enjoyed the dining ambience at Cocotte. Quiet and cozy, Cocotte is a good place for a chat among friends or for a date. Foodwise, the quality of food was top notch. I am still thinking (craving) of the French Onion "Soup" Sandwich.

For full review and more photos, please visit http://foodiefc.blogspot.sg/2013/04/cocotte-at-wanderlust-hotel-little-india.html
 
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Categories : Singaporean Chinese | Zi Char

Two Chefs Eating Place is a popular Cze Char stall in the West, in Commonwealth to more specific. Every weekend, Two Chefs Eating Place is bounded to be packed with a long line of customers queuing up. Their signature dish, the Butter Ribs 牛油排骨 has been highly raved about on the internet.

I have been itching to try Two Chefs Eating Place for more than two years. The travelling journey was the main reason why I had been procrastinating for so long.

 
I was thrilled when I got to know that Two Chefs Eating Place had opened a second outlet at Sin Ming (that's near Upper Thompson / Bishan). In fact, it's just located next to Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery which is the largest Mahayana Temple in Singapore. It would be timely to visit and try out their dishes.

 
Revamped Two Chef's signboard showing their signature dishes.

 
I believed that Two Chefs Eating Place either bought over or rented the entire coffee shop. The staff at the drink, roti prata and vegetarian stalls were all wearing Two Chef's uniform. The coffee shop was just half full during lunch time on a weekend. In fact, when we arrived at 1215pm, the place was literally empty except for another group of customers. There were many ceiling and wall fans that helped ventilate the place.
Menu

Menu

 
Menu

Menu

 
Two Chefs Eating Place's menu with over 79 dishes. If you are visiting for the first time, you might want to ask the staff to recommend their signature dishes. We ordered several of their signature items and did not have to wait long before the first dish was served to us.
Drunken Cockles 醉蚶 $6

Drunken Cockles 醉蚶 $6

 
The Drunken Cockles 醉蚶 which has garnered lots of rave reviews online was the first dish to be served. The plate of half-shelled cockles was served cold. They were covered with light soya sauce covered with lots of garlic, spring onion and chilli padi. The cockles were fresh with no sand in it and had just a slight raw taste. I thought that this was just an average appetiser. Nothing great to should about. And of course, your mouth will stink after eating this dish (due to the raw garlic). =P
Vegetable with Egg, Salted Egg and Century Egg 三蛋时菜 $10

Vegetable with Egg, Salted Egg and Century Egg 三蛋时菜 $10

 
The Vegetable with Egg, Salted Egg and Century Egg 三蛋时菜 was another dish that Netizen raved about. It was another disappointment; badly executed. The spinach which was supposed to be soft was firm and hard. The gavy which should have been so tasty due to the 3 eggs and spinach was tasteless. The chef failed to extract the flavours of the ingredients into the gravy. I had better ones elsewhere.
Hot Plate Beancurd $10

Hot Plate Beancurd $10

 
The Hot Plate Beancurd arrived sizzling hot. Executed slightly different from most other Cze Char stalls, instead of slices of round shaped beancurd, the beancurds (tofu) were long, rectangular in shape and were soft. The gooey brown gravy was tasty with lots of minced meat and egg underneath. The gravy complemented the rice well and was not overly salty. An average dish.
Honey Fried Chicken $12

Honey Fried Chicken $12

 
The Honey Fried Chicken, a signature dish recommended by the staff was outstanding. It was easily the best dish in this meal. The chicken was well marinated as the inside was tender and flavourful. It was deep fried till the outside was crisp. The deep fried slices of fried garlic added on top further enhanced the taste up a notch or two.
Butter Ribs 牛油排骨 $16

Butter Ribs 牛油排骨 $16

 
The Butter Ribs 牛油排骨 is the most popular dish at Two Chefs Eating Place. The Pork Ribs (I doubt that it was ribs, should be pork meat instead) were covered with milk powder and curry leaves. I had high expectations and was expecting to be blown away by this dish. Instead, I was left disappointed yet again. The meat was tough and distinct flavour of the curry leaves was not brought out. To be frank, there was no melt in the mouth sensation. In fact, we had difficulties finishing this dish. A member of our group who had been to Two Chefs Eating Place in Commonwealth and Sin Ming several times mentioned that somehow, their standard was way off their normal taste today. It seemed that its the norm for their standard to vary on different days. Anyway, I certainly did not know how to appreciate this dish and wonder why nearly everyone online had raved about this.

I know that there may be fans of Two Chefs Eating Place who may be reading this. But still I have got to say this; I left the place feeling extremely disappointed. I did not fancy any of the dishes I tried except for the Honey Fried Chicken. I do not understand the hype and thought that I had better Cze Char dishes else where. Overall, I was not satisfied with this lunch and found myself craving for more/better food (I was not the only one in the group who had this feeling).

For full review and more photos, please visit http://foodiefc.blogspot.sg/2013/04/two-chefs-eating-place-sin-ming.html
 
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