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Thomaschan
This is Thomaschan living in West Coast. I am a StudentI like to hang out in Orchard, Yishun, Clementi. Japanese, Singaporean, Cantonese/Hong Kong are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café and Dim Sum, Steaks and Grills, Sushi/Sashimi.
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Thomaschan  Level 3
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Showing 1 to 5 of 98 Reviews in Singapore
Good Hang-out Cafe Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Café | Hotel | Vegetarian | Brunch

On the constant hunt of brunch places, we recently discovered Cali Cafe on some websites coupled with deals. Although it is located within a stone's throw from my residence, this casual American cafe somehow managed to hid under our "foodie-radar". And so on a beautiful Saturday morning, we decided to give it a try out. Nestled within Park Avenue Rochester in Buona Vista, Cali Cafe prides itself in healthy dining and whips out all-day brunch and popular food choices in California, such as Steak and Fries, and Baby Back Ribs.

Well, we settled down and had our drinks served to us shortly. Food came before we even warmed our seats. While girlfriend had their famous All-Day BDBH (S$18.60), also known as the "best darn breakfast on the hill", which consists of a wide spread of breakfast necessities - toasted bread, bratwurst sausage, baked potato , side salad and a personal choice of eggs (scrambled or sunny side-up), and crispy bacon or honey ham.

 
A platter of everyone's favourite breakfast items can hardly go wrong. The scrambled eggs were fantastic, together with the crisp of the toasted slices. Potatoes and salad were fresh and good, just that the latter had an over-powering taste of vinaigrette. It might be contested as "GDBH" (good darn breakfast on the hill), but definitely not the best.

Pulled Pork Bun (S$13.55) is a combination of tender shredded pork, lettuce and tomato slices sandwiched between two soft buns, it is completed with a relatively-strange combination of orange wedges and potato fries. There is no doubt that the filling was satisfying and tantalising, nevertheless, portion and price doesn't correlate in my opinion. After some research, it was found that the sides were used to be fries and salad, and was approximately S$2 cheaper. Oh well.

 
Overall, if Cali Cafe wants diners to return for their food, and not only when there are deals, they do have a lot to be improved on, starting with their cappuccino (which they screwed up badly). The probable factors I love about this cafe are the nett pricing for all the food (but again, prices might be factored in already) and their friendly and efficient services.

Until then, the hunt for delicious brunch continues.
 
Other Ratings:
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 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Old Favourite Wanton Mee Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Hawker Centre | Noodles

Listed under the Healthier Hawker Food Program, Boon Kee Wanton Noodles has existed in the same food centre since it's opening in 1980s. With the ongoing plans to pass on the family business to the third generation, Boon Kee has definitely etched its name on the foundations of its birthplace. No fancy presentations, no fancy prices, but no less the authentic flavours encapsulate in their signature Wanton Noodles (S$2.50).

What stood out from the rest is none other than the fundamental of this dish - the noodles. It has a good combination between eggy and springy, and has a good texture to it. What's better was that even after all the photo-snapping and waiting, the noodles doesn't turn soggy. Portions of char siew were a tad lean, but their crispy wanton were a good twist to a classic dish.

 
Ipoh Hor Fun (S$2.50) was a huge hit amongst us bloggers. The springy texture of the hor fun, paired with a generous portion of shredded chicken might just gave us enough reasons to call for seconds (if not for the other dishes that we have to leave some stomach space). Unlike the classic Ipoh hor fun, it lacks the addition of sliced mushrooms. Taste great, nevertheless.

 
More than a decade ago, one friend recommended me to the soya sauce chicken noodle (油鸡面), which has since became one of my favourite hawker fare dishes. Surprisingly, Boon Kee's rendition (S$2.50) matches the familiar taste in my schema, bringing much nostalgia upon savouring this delicacy.

 
Hoho, what is a dish of Chinese noodles, without its delicious counterpart, made of minced meat, chestnut and hints of spring onion? That's right, the answer is dumplings (S$3.50)! Try out their's and redefine your meaning of a good dumpling. Smooth, tender, juicy and succulent pretty much describe it.

 
Stay tune for part 2 of the Healthy Food Hunt! Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to SW CDC, as well as Openrice, for this great dining opportunity.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  wanton mee,ipoh hor fun,soya chicken sauce noodle
 
Spending per head: Approximately $3(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 5

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Dim Sum Haven Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Dim Sum

Ranked as one of the world's 'Top Ten Best Restaurants' by The New York Times, Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung is the one place to head for authentic Taiwanese xiao long baos (steamed pork dumplings). Its roots dated back to Taiwan 40 years ago, when Bingyi Yang stopped selling oil and switched to making xiao long baos for a living. Businesses grew quickly with customers boasting about its exceptional quality and taste. Today, Din Tai Fung has became a widely acclaimed, international brand, offering customers distinctive culinary and service culture.

It was the 60th birthday of girlfriend's father and I thought, what's better than to celebrate over a table of signature dim-sum. As expected, getting a table on Friday evenings is pretty difficult and they do not bother with reservations under 8 persons. However, orders could be placed beforehand to minimise waiting, so food arrived even before we warmed our seats.

 
Xiao Long Baos, or affectionally known as XLB (S$6.80 for 6pc) are obviously a must-order. Thin melt-in-your-mouth dumpling skin with exquisite foldings, encapsulating the tantalising and juicy pork fillings was a sufficient reason to order second servings. Recently, they introduced the steamed chilli crab version (S$9 for 6pc) which is 40% larger than the original and consists of succulent crabmeat in spicy broth. For myself, I still prefer the former. Both are eaten best with vinegar and ginger.

Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Buns (S$4.30 for 3pc) are clever twists to the original steamed buns, but lacks the "oomph", perhaps it was a tad too dry.

 
Shrimp Siew Mai (S$9.80 for 6pc) was slightly different from the normal steamed dumplings, their version was wrapped with dumpling skins in the shape of an auspicious money-bag, completed with a full juicy full shrimp on the surface. Amazing, yes, however, the high pricing is a minus point.

 
If there is one dish in Din Tai Fung that I had to label "under-rated", it would be their Goma Bun (S$3.60 for 3pc). Thick, flavourful black sesame wrapped within soft, fluffy bun was just purely amazing, or maybe because I was biased as a huge goma lover, but nonetheless, their rendition was genious.

 
Similar to their siew mai rendition, Shrimp Dumplings (S$7.30 for 6pc) consists of succulent shrimps mixed with juicy minced pork, wrapped with dumpling skins. Good, maybe, but definitely not awesome.

 
Besides dim sum dishes, Din Tai Fung serves a wide variety of enticing Asian delights like braised beef noodles, yang zhou fried rice and steamed chicken soup. This post is making myself hungry already, which reminds me to get lunch and search for more good dim-sum places. Recommendation guys?
 
Spending per head: Approximately $20

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

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Great Food, Greater Price tags Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Australian / New Zealand | Café

Lauching its first outlet in 1996, Jones the Grocer not only set the benchmark for premium Australia gourmet food, the iconic store also hosted Sydney's first and largest walk-in cheese room, serving a wide array of breakfast and brunch items, as well as atas gourmet food and desserts. Unlike other cafe or restaurants, Jones the Grocer serves breakfast daily (8.30am -12pm) with additional brunch hours (12pm - 3pm) on weekends. I am a brunch person, but getting to Orchard before 3pm seems like a tall order for either myself and my partner, as we both love to sleep-in late on weekends. Hence, dinner, it shall be.

The outlet that we patronised for our third year anniversary was nestled at the high floors of ION Orchard. As expected of a gourmet food store, Jones the Grocer has a lovely, elegant ambience with lighted candles and lovely wood furnitures, completed by a cold shelf of assorted drinks, such as fruit juice and wine, and dozens of cheese varieties.

 
Just be warned that their food ain't cheap at all, even with the exclusion of service and general taxes. A portion of Fish of the Day came with a hefty price tag at S$35 (not implying that I am a cheapo or equivalent). Nevertheless, it was with high hopes and expectations, when I walked into this restaurant that in my opinion - primarily serves tai tais or affluent businessmen. Shifting the focus back to the barramundi, with crushed potatoes and sauce antiboise (and adaptation of the French sauce), the presentation scored high, however the pan-fried fish was a tad moistless and overcooked, while the potato was very nicely done - soft, flavourful and the portion was just nice.

For myself, I had the Linguini (S$28) with forest mushroom, grana padano (a popular cheese variation in Italy), pangrattato (breadcrumbs) served in a light, creamy carbonara-like sauce. Tantalising and flavourful, their rendition was one of the best I had so far.

 
What is dinner without desserts? Girlfriend was raving about Marmalade Pantry's Sticky Date Pudding, until she tried Jones' version (S$14). Paired up with authentic vanilla bean ice cream and generous amount of luscious, flowing salted caramel sauce, one would never stop just at one bite. This dessert is sexy, alluring, tempting, and probably evil for anyone who is on a diet, but YOLO (you only live once).

 
All in all, rather than matching standards, it seems like they exert high importance on the presentation (and quantity, to a certain extent) and not so much on the quality. Please don't be mistaken that the food is not good, IT'S GOOD, but for the whopping price tag, one would naturally expect higher standards in terms of quality. Therefore, I would choose Wild Honey anytime over Jones the Grocer, unless the desserts call out to me again.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Sticky Date Pudding
 
Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 2

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Rochor Thai Food Tasting Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Thai | Café

Nestled along the bustling streets of Joo Chiat, Rochor Thai delivers authentic cuisine from the Land of Smiles to our local food scene. Helmed by a passionate food enthusiast, Joel, the exciting menu consists of traditional flavours crafted with modern Thai elements, such as their speciality green curry and pad thai talay. Hence, it was indeed a pleasure when Openrice.com invited yours truly to Rochor Thai for another food tasting session recently.

So what's on the food tasting menu?

Before dinner, an amuse-bouche ("mouth-amuser" in French) was served. Unlike appetisers, this single bite-sized creations are usually free and can be served out of the menu, according to the chef's selection alone. Joel's amuse-bouche was brilliantly crafted - cold noodles topped with pork floss, infused with the star flavours of Thai cuisine in a bite-size, namely sour, spicy and bitter.

 
Som Tum – Green Papaya Salad Central Thailand Style ($6.80) was served as an appetiser. It didn't pack much of an "oomph", but it did make a good preparation for the palate.

 
Gaeng Kaew Wan Gai - Chef's Special Green Curry with Chicken Thigh and Thai Eggplant (S - $11.80, L - $18.80) was my favourite dish of the dinner. The unique blend of green curry and coconut milk was made from scratch, and for those who do not take spicy food, this is a great option to go with.

 
Tom Yum Talay/Po Taek – Hot & Spicy Seafood Soup with Thai Herbs/Clear Spicy Sour Soup with Holy Basil and Kaffir Lime Leaves (S - $8.80, L - $15.80) were pretty standardized with the average flavours and ingredients. Just a warning not to be fooled by the clear colour of the latter, as it packs quite a deadly degree of spiciness.

 
Pad Kee Mao Goong - Stir Fried Thai "Drunken" Style Prawns (S - $16.80, L - $24.80) alongside with Gaeng Phet Pla Krapong Daeng - Dry Red Curry with Red Snapper Fillets (S - $16.80, L - $24.80) served as good side dishes for the dinner. Snapper fillets were Girlfriend's favourite, but it just seemed too average for myself. Oh, and the prawns weren't that "drunk" anyway.

 

 
Pla Nin Pao – Salt Baked Whole Tilapia served with Spicy Coriander Sauce ($22.80) was succulent and juicy. Personally, I didn't adore the flavour of the coriander sauce, however the fresh sweetness of the tilapia makes it good enough to eat it on its own.

 
Hoay Lai Pad Prik Pao - Clams Flambe in Chilli Jam and Chef's Stock (S - $14.80, L - $22.80) was the chef's attempt to deviant away from the boring preparation methods of clams. I'd say it was a good enough attempt, as traces of overcooked clams were present.

 
Kor Moo Yang – Seared Pork Collar served with Aromatic Dried Chilli Sauce ($12.80) was excellent. The meat was seared just nicely to lock the juices in, which presents no less than a satisfying dish. Great to eat it without the sauce as well.

 
Pad Thai Talay (S - $7.80, L - $14.80) - Everyone's favourite street food from Thailand. I have never had pad thai before, prior to this, but "impressed" might be just the fitting word to describe Rochor Thai's rendition.

 
Khao Niew Ma Muang - Mango Sticky Rice ($7.80) and Tab Tim Grob - Thai Red Ruby ($4.80) are served right after the meal. The former has an added nutty crunch to its sticky rice, while the latter was an awesome version of the common red ruby. According to them, the red coloring comes from the natural pigmentation of beetroot itself.

 

 
In a nutshell, Rochor Thai serves authentic Thai dishes, infused with both modern and traditional elements, in a much cosy environment. In my opinion, the food whipped out here is much better than those mainstream restaurants.

Once again, I give my thanks to Openrice and Rochor Thai for their hospitality and food tasting session.
 
Other Ratings:
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 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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