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x2dino
This is x2dino living in Bukit Panjang. I am a Executive, work in Toa Payoh. French, Thai are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café and Seafood, Steaks and Grills, Buffet .
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x2dino  Level 4
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Love at first bite Smile Dec 06, 2013   
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Categories : Fusion | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills

Hippopotamus is a chic casual dining outlet that serves up great value set lunches & dinners! Snuggly located at the basement of Marina Square, we fell in love with diners' heaven at first bite.

Sirloin Steak Set Lunch ($15.90++)
At only $15.90++, this was a real steal! The steak was meticulously prepared and grilled to perfection. The chewy and succulent texture of the medium-rare steak was a joy to savour. The potato gratin was a mouth-watering side not to be missed. The rich cheesy texture atop the soft and smooth potato slices made all the calorie intake worthwhile.
Sirloin Steak Set Lunch

Sirloin Steak Set Lunch

 
To end it on a sweet note, the set also came with a decent portion of carrot cake which was really yummy. Considering the price, I'm really impressed by the quality of food and effort they put in to whip up such a heartwarming meal.
Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

 
And did I mention, complementary chips and bread were served as well.

Mr Hippo will definitely give Steakhouses such as Jack's Place, Astons and the likes a run for their money!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Sirloin Steak Set Lunch
 
Date of Visit: Dec 03, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Categories : BBQ


The husband and I were surfing online for Bak Kwa deals recently and came across New Peng Hiang’s (NPH) promotion - $36/kg for their signature Minced Pork Bak Kwa. As bak kwa prices had sky-rocketed over the festive seasons, we thought this was a steal not to be missed lol And best of all, free delivery right to your door steps with minimum purchase of 5kg!

Although we were quite apprehensive about the quality and taste of NPH’s Bak Kwa initially as this was the first time we’re trying their product, we decided to take a leap of faith, and boy were we glad we took that plunge!

The texture of their Bak Kwa was really soft, juicy and chewy, much better than those from established brands like Bee Cheng Hiang and Fragrance. The taste was unique and left a sweet aftertaste lingering in your mouth – the result of a perfect combination of smoky flavours with a hint of honey and spices. The sides of all the Bak Kwa slices were nicely charred, a sign of quality control much lacking in some brands. The only disappointment, I feel, was that the Bak Kwa slices were a tad too oily…
Minced Pork Bak Kwa

Minced Pork Bak Kwa

 
Nevertheless, this is one brand we will definitely consider next CNY!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Minced Pork Bak Kwa
 
Date of Visit: Feb 03, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 5

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Categories : Korean | BBQ

Went as part of an Open Rice tasting session group for dinner. We've been to a couple of Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore now, but always felt that the ones in Malaysia offered better value in terms of quality and service. Not anymore.

The sight that immediately greeted us was a decor unlike most other Korean BBQ restaurants we've been to such as Sampo (see our Sampo review, lah), which tended to border more on the traditional. The first "Oh My Goodness!" of Oh Neul Han Jeon (ONHJ). Here's what you can expect:
The Contemporary

The Contemporary

 
The Traditional

The Traditional

 
As you can see, ONHJ smacks of a blend of the old and new, but the boss, Will, assured us that the food was authentic - which we would stamp a "double confirm" to. This brings us to the second "Oh My Goodness!".

Korean foodies will know the near-unlimited heaps of side dishes that come with each order, as well as the variety. At ONHJ, we must say that they don't disappoint in quality and uniqueness (not your usual fare of kelp, ikan billis, etc.) although the variety was a little toned down. The sides that found our way into our bellies included steam egg, two versions of kimchi(yes kimchi lovers, we're not talking about different vegetables like cucumber and cabbage, but two different kimchi styles), and tofu (there were also marinated onion chunks, but we didn't really fancy these). Mind you, when we say that these weren't the usual side dish fare, we don't mean the base ingredients per se, but are talking about the preparation and style. The bottomline was that the quality and uniqueness of the side dishes more than made up for the lack of variety. But the side dishes, as they were meant to be, were to be mere supporting casts to the main highlights: BBQ meat and other delectable mains.

We were treated to hearty potions of Galbisal (Premium Beef Short Ribs), Woosamgyeop (Thin Sliced Beef Brisket Marinated in "Secret Sauce" -> we tried digging this out of Will like the interoggators we were but failed miserably), Yangnyeom Moksal (Marinated Pork Collar Neck with Soy Sauce), Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake), Jokbal (Pork Knuckle Braised in Soy Sauce), and Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup with Pork and Ramen).

What made the meat grilling experience so different was that the grills ran on infra-red heating units instead of your conventional stoves (or charcoal stoves at some places we've been to). Will explained that this helps the meat cook more evenly and also at the right temperature since the unit automatically switches off upon reaching a certain temperature after a duration of time. Although he added that this helps removes smoke (and therefore fulfilling the important task of not making you smell like a piece of grilled meat), we still ended up smelling like Galbisal, allowing us to recapture the scents of an otherwise fantastic meal as late as 11pm after reaching home. Regardless, the food and side dishes deserved the third "Oh My Goodness!" of ONHJ (when your none-pork knuckle eating other half wolves down fat, skin, and everything else save bones of said knuckle, you know it's that good).

As usual, the proof is in the pudding and the sizzle is in the meat:
Galbisal Galore!!

Galbisal Galore!!

 
Note to Mushrooms: Galbisal Grilling in Progress

Note to Mushrooms: Galbisal Grilling in Progress

 
Jokbal that doesn't Joke

Jokbal that doesn't Joke

 
Yangnyeom Moksal Mamma Mia!!

Yangnyeom Moksal Mamma Mia!!

 
Will, deserved the fourth "Oh My Goodness!" not only for his hospitality, but generosity as well - having personally saw to the grilling, demonstrating the craft of savouring the Yangnyeom Moksal with wrappings of lettuce and bean paste sauce, and also offering us cups of Soju which he professed "complements excellently with the meat" akin to a perfect mariage of Pinot Noir and sweet meats. "Yah what, it's a food tasting session mah", is what everyone might say, but it's actually pretty easy to differentiate service from the heart from paid obsequious service solely meant to cast the restaurant in a good light. Will's service was consistently good, probably stemming from a well-placed pride in his establishment. We actually tested him out by shamelessly asking for more helpings of side dishes and soju pourings, but he aced them all. Lastly, we observed how he treated other customers that were not part of the food tasting and saw that the same service levels extended to them. Even if he really did "dress to impress" (which we didn't think so, of course), he would have deserved full marks for such meticulosity.

The fifth and final "Oh My Goodness!" went to Estelle, our host, and the great company we had at our table. As the saying goes, "Money can't buy you everything". Truth be told, we've dined in some of the fanciest outfits in Singapore (Au Jardin, Lawry's, Salt Grill and Sky Bar, among others), but the whole social atmosphere we experienced at ONHJ was priceless literally. It felt like a home thanksgiving meal that warmed the heart as much as the grill did.

We ended the session on as high a note as we had when we first started, maybe even more. Although we had an additional "Oh My Goodness!" in the form of a $50 parking ticket (yah, parking at Telok Ayer is crazy), the five pleasant "Oh My Goodness!" experiences truly made this one of the finest pancies in our repetoire of foodie fancies.

Five thumbs up!!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Jokbal,Yangnyeom Moksal
 
Date of Visit: Nov 23, 2012 

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 4

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Cravings satisfied Smile Dec 28, 2014   
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Categories : Roasted Meat

The husband was suddenly craving for Chakey’s Chicken and drove all the way down to the East just to satisfy his tastebuds (we live in the West, so you could image how much he was yearning to sink his teeth into the famous salt-baked chicken).
At $18.80 for a large chicken, I would say it was slightly above average pricing. However, for the taste and quality, it was all worthwhile. The chicken was extremely soft and tender. Paired with their signature sauce which was rich and aromatic, this dish definitely was addictive!

 

 
By the way, the shop does not have any dine-in facilities, so you could only do take-away and savour the marvelous treat at the comfort of your home.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chakey’s Chicken
 
Takeaway Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Dec 17, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Authentic Korean Cuisine Smile Dec 25, 2014   
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Categories : Korean | Restaurant

Ginseng Chicken Soup ($14++)

A hearty bowl of piping hot Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup was a much needed comfort food on a cold December night. At only $14++, this was definitely a steal! The soup had a slight garlicky taste and was rich in flavour. The chicken was soft and packed a punch!

 
The side dishes were quite authentic as well, especially their kimchi.

 
Overall, a warm and cosy family-run restaurant which serves up pretty authentic Korean cuisine.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Ginseng Chicken Soup
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Dec 19, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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