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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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Categories : Desserts and Cakes

Every time I walked pass the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar located at the ground floor of Vivocity, I cannot resist but take a few more whiffs of that chocolatey goodness lingering even beyond their doorsteps, just to excite my sense receptors. As someone who looks after his calories, it is even a sin to think about walking into the bar. The story goes on and you all know how it ended when I had this entry up.

My girl, Peiyi and yours truly decided to give it a first try for tea-time. With the help of a friendly staff, we managed to get a table in the middle of the bar in not more than a few minutes. The seatings were quite cramped however, and would be no doubt, slightly uncomfortable for longer chill-outs/talk-cock-sing-song sessions.

Peiyi ordered their popular Hot Chocolate drink (S$7.50) topped with marshmellow bits, which comes in this cute-looking "hugmug". It is true when they say marshmellows and hot chocolate are a couple made in heaven. I can totally justify that. This is a real treat.

 
For me, I had the Chai Latte which was a little too tangy for my liking, nothing else to rave about, except this unique dispenser, where the drink flows out from below when pushed against the mouth of a cup.

 
The "main course" was Chocolate Pizza, topped with nuts and marshmellows and drizzled generously with pure melted chocolate sauce. It came slightly late (approx 20 mins), but it was worth the wait. The ingredients complemented each other, and the texture was that good (imagine melting marshmellows on a bed of soft pizza crust). Before we know it, this lovely creation was gone. I could say that this is the best chocolate pizza I ever had.

 
"Chocolate is not just about taste. It’s a symbol of different aspects in our lives – of romance, of sensuality, of decadence. These aspects actually create the new chocolate culture of Max Brenner."

Extracted from their menu about "A Chocolate Love Story"

 
Yeah. It was that good.

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar was a "Willy-Wonka" delight. Although it is on the slightly pricier side, I am definitely going back for their highly acclaimed Chocolate Souffles and suckao, but it had to wait until my guilt subsides.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chocolate Pizza,Hot Chocolate
 
Spending per head: Approximately $20(Tea)

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

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Irresistable Prawn Noodles Smile Feb 21, 2013   
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Categories : Food Court

Recently, my distant relatives from Malaysia came over to visit my family, as well as to take the opportunity to tour around our little island. Being their "tour guide" for the entire trip, food - especially traditional Singapore cuisine is something not to be missed on the itinerary. The first places that come to mind for good, yet affordable food are hawker centres and food courts, such as Food Republic - an upscale food court by Bread Talk, which offers popular international cuisine.

Besides the usual scrumptious foodfare like Hainan chicken rice, laksa, satay, roti prata (and the list goes indefinitely), Singapore's version of Hokkien Mee, or prawn noodles is also a must-try for any tourists, and the straw-hat chefs at Thye Hong Hokkien Mee definitely know how to whip out a plate of oh-so-good Hokkien Mee, set upon a dried banana leaf.

The white/yellow-paired noodles were nicely cooked, being just al dente with the right firmness and texture, and is drenched in plenty of flavourful stock, which makes licking the plate so irresistable. It is then topped up with fresh juicy prawns and squid, as well as the usual add-ons of lime juice and homemade chilli. Prior to online research, most diners had mixed reactions towards the chilli, some complained that it does not pair with the noodles, some complained that it is not spicy enough, but for me, I thought that it was alright - nothing to be make a fuss about.

 
What amaze me the most is the chef's ability to cook a big wok's amount of Hokkien Mee (S$4/6/8). It is definitely not simple to control the quality especially at such huge portions, but I'd say that they did it quite well (although the last plate of the batch might be softer.) Therefore, if you missed the batch, you would have to wait up to 15 minutes. But again, peak hours might be an ideal time to visit Thye Hong to ensure that there is a fresh batch of piping hot noodles every time.
 
Spending per head: Approximately $4

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

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24 Hours Dim Sum Fix Smile Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Dim Sum

Conveniently located at 126 Sims Avenue, this old-style Cantonese restaurant is just a few minutes walk away from Kallang MRT. One of my favourite makan places in Geylang, with more than 70 quality yet affordable dim-sum dishes to choose from, 126 Eating House is a must-try for all dim-sum lovers.

You must try their signature King Siew Mai (S$4.20), four steaming hot mega-dumplings, exploding with succulent prawn, pork and mushrooms. They also comes in smaller bites. Food orgasm, period.

 
Prawn Dumplings (S$3.20), better known as Har Gau is also a must-try when it comes to dim-sum. A good Har Gau's wrapping must be thin and translucent, yet be sturdy enough not to break when picked up nor stick to the paper. Wrapped together with the right amount of fillings, this dish clearly demonstrates the chef's skills. Pretty impressive.

 
Pork Ribs (S$2.50), another one of their classics tasted so good. The meat is well-marinated and tender.

 
The only dish that gave me a slight disappointment was the Fried Seafood Rolls (S$4.00). It is excessively oily and I have expected the skin to be crispier. The filling was okay though.

 
Every visit, my father will surely order the Chicken Feet (S$2.50). The sauce which comes with the item achieved a perfect balance of thickness and sweetness and complemented the chicken feet well.

 
We had their Char Siew Cheong Fun (S$3.50), roasted pork wrapped in rice noodle roll, which came in both steam and fried styles. However, the sauce on the steamed version was a little too salty for my taste.

 
We ordered some assorted porridge to go with those savoury treats. Their signature Claypot Frog Porridge (S$5.00) is my favourite among the three. The generous amount of frog meat is soft and tender, yet preserving it's springy texture.

 
Try out their Honey Lemon (S$2.50) with jelly bits too. One drinks it out from a big "take-away" container instead of the usual cups, definitely one of the must tries as well.

Opened 24 hours daily, 126 Eating House is a place not to be missed for your dim-sum fixes.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chicken Feet,King Siew Mai,Frog Leg Porridge
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 2  |  
Price
 4

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Your Late Night Dim Sum Fix Smile Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Dim Sum

Speaking about dim-sums, my makan buddies are forever raving about Swee Choon, a well-known and established local restaurant which has opened its doors since the 1960s. As a huge dim-sum lover, I knew I would be sorry if I gave this a miss.

Located at the heart of Jalan Besar, in the district of Little India, Swee Choon is well-known for delicacies such as xiao long bao, la mian and various Hong Kong and Shanghai dim-sum. Opened from 6pm to 6am to serve your dim-sum cravings even at the wee hours, be not surprised to see long queues starting at approximately 5.30pm.

One of their signature creations, Swee Choon Mee Suah Kueh (S$2.00 for 2) - deep fried vermicelli cake with crispy brown skin, while the interior is soft and steamy. Although one might think that noodles and cakes are not quite a match, but I dare say that this uniquely scrumptious dish will prove you wrong.

 
Their Fried Custard Pumpkin (S$1.80 for 2) is decent with a slight tinge of sweetness. However, the skin is too thick and starchy for my liking.

 
The classic Siew Mai (S$1.80 for 2) is slightly longer than standard and tasted decent, the meat is a little over-minced, resulting in the lack of different textures. I prefer the ones at 126 Eating House much more.

 
My favourite is their Red Bean Paste Pancake (S$4.80) - sweet red bean paste enclosed in a thin layer of crispy skin. Trust me when I say the crunch is loud and how I wished they'd serve a scoop of good chocolate ice cream with this.

 
Another must-try is their signature Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun also known as "Liu Sha Bao" (S$3.00 for 3). The rich sweet custard explodes when you sink your teeth in it. The saltiness of the yolk and sweetness of the custard complemented each other, making this one of their winning dishes.

 
Another of their speciality, Swee Choon Big Pau (S$1.60) is another winner. Big fluffy chinese bun filled with minced pork, a piece of chicken, egg and half a shitake mushroom. Best to eat it while it's hot.

 
We also ordered the Sichuan Chilly Oil Wanton La Mian (*S$4.80). The noodles were a tad too starchy for usual la mian, but the wanton is good.

 

Lastly, we had the Fried Hor Fun w/ Shrimp in Creamy Egg Sauce (*S$4.80). Delicious dish with fresh succulent shrimps in an abundance of creamy sauce (just look at that eggy goodness!)

 
Overall, Swee Choon proved to be worthy of a dim-sum paradise. A great dining place for family gatherings or friends outings. Or if you simply want to have your late-night or early hours dim-sum fix, Swee Choon is the place to head to.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Mee Suah Kuay,Custard Bun,Red Bean Paste Pancake
 
Spending per head: Approximately $15

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

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Best Pizza I've Ever Had Smile Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Italian | Pasta | Steaks and Grills

If you are a fan of the world-renowned iron chef Mario Batali, Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza are the places you should head to. Mozza, Batali's (together with Nancy Silverton and Joe Bastianich) first venture into Asia is exactly similar as they are in California, hosting two top notch restaurants under one roof.

Recommended by one of my buddies, I decided to give a little surprise by bringing my significant other, Peiyi to Pizzeria Mozza for her 22nd birthday dinner after a pampering pedicure and manicure at Marina Square (with a surprise cake from her friends).

Different from their classy counterpart Osteria, Pizzeria Mozza has a more vibrant and noisy ambience. Asked by the reception staff whether we mind getting the counter seats else we had to wait, we decided to go for the counter, where a full view of the pizza chefs working their magic unfold before us. Since most of the items on their awesomely-designed menu are foreign to me, I requested one of the friendly service staff to recommend some food items.

We had their insalate (salad), Nancy's Chopped Salad (S$20.00) - a creation by one of the founders, Nancy Silverton who was also awarded the prestigious Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. The salad consists of basic greens, red onions, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, drizzled with oregano vinaigrette. It has an interesting combination of flavours and textures, but overall, the salad is a tad too sour for my liking. Another downside is the price, usually I do not order salad as their cost price is less than a few bucks, moreover twenty is definitely overpriced.

 
Pizzeria Mozza's Wednesday Special: Pesce al Forno (S$34.00) is wrapped in radicchio and salsa verde. It has a slight sourness which complements the sweet taste of the fish. Meat is soft and tender, no less flavourful. Definitely one of the must tries here.

 
Pizzeria Mozza is well-known for its pizza prepared and cooked using the traditional oven. And of course we had to order one of their speciality pizzas - Nettles, egg, Salame Gentile & Caciocavallo (S$30.00). People, especially kiasu Singaporeans love thin-crusted pizzas, because it comes with more toppings. But unlike any of your usual pizzas, this has a greater crust to ingredients ratio. Turning you off already? Let me tell you, that the pastry used is created by the celebrity chefs that founded Mozza, this thick crust is tasteful and so crispy, yet fluffy on the interior. Matched with the crunchy and nettles (I have officially fallen in love for these almighty leaves), salami, top-grade cheese and finished with a runny sunny-side up, three words - Best Pizza Ever.

 
It is needless to think whether I am re-visiting Pizzeria Mozza again, but I would really love to try out the classy Osteria Mozza. In total, it is a well-spent S$100 out of my pocket. Definitely will be back for other speciaility pizzas!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pizzas
 
Spending per head: Approximately $50

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

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