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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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Categories : French | Roasted Meat

The recent addition of Poulet to Bugis+ (formerly known as Illuma) was a welcoming one, with long queues expected during lunch and dinner hours. Under the Thai Express Group which houses several household brands such as Xin Wang, New York New York and Kiseki, Poulet is a contemporary French-themed bistro which offers casual dining at much affordable prices.

 
Nestled at the mall's fourth floor, Poulet features a 60-seat open dining area inspired by modern alfresco setting in France, furnished with classic wooden tables and chairs. Diners can also catch the chefs in action through the open kitchen.

On their 2-page menu, expect to find a variety of appetisers, main courses such as Braise de Carnard and Oxtail de Bourguignon ($15.80), as well as classic French desserts. And of course, as the name itself suggests, Poulet Roti (roast chicken) is their star dish, which well, makes it a must try for starters.

The house signature of Poulet, their roast chicken (S$28.80 for whole) which was marinated and slow roasted until golden brown using a traditional recipe, was very well savoury and flavourful, while the chicken meat in itself was tender and moist. The best (and addictive) part was probably the home-made mushroom sauce. Prior to this, didn't i thought that creamy sauce and roasted chicken complements one another so well. But now I do. It's obvious, if you are here at Poulet, don't miss out their star dish.

Before that, we ordered their Country Side Mushroom Soup (S$5.80) which proves to be the best I have ever tasted. The cream of wild mushrooms, together with Idaho potato was so flavourful and incredibly creamy, you wouldn't want to waste a single drop.

 
What is French cuisine without the company of the prized Escargot de Bourgogne ($8.80)? Served with tomato fondue and almond garlic butter, these 6 Burgundy snails did not die in vain. Well.. sadistically speaking. Unlike the previous escargots I have had, their rendition of the garden mollusks did not leave a strong aftertaste which was very well enjoyable.

 
Mediterranean Stewed Lamb Shank (S$15.80) was delightful with soft, tender meat infused with flavours derived from its own jus and orange. It is completed with root veggies such as onions and carrots. Portion-wise, my girlfriend can barely finish three quarters of it.

 
Slow cooked to ensure that the intense flavours of onions, garlics and potatoes are captured into the tender white meat, Braise de Poulet (S$13.80) might be just another option for you if you prefer a healthier alternative to the roasted version. Only thumbs down is probably the sheer size who might not satisfy a grown man's stomach completely.

 
What is a good meal without desserts? Truthfully speaking, there aren't a lot of choices for desserts at Poulet. Hence we chose the one that seems the most appetising to us - and yes, that's Tiramisu (S$7.80)! I wouldn't qualify this as the better ones out there, as the sponge fingers layer was so drenched in espresso and had an overpowering taste of rum syrup, resulting in the whole dish being too soggy. The top layer of mascarpone cheese dusted with espresso powder was delightful nonetheless.

 
All in all, Poulet proves to be a good place to have decent French cuisine without having to burn a big hole in the pocket. Thumbs up, I will definitely be back.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Poulet Roti,Escargot
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Porridge/Congee | Dim Sum | Chinese Noodles

"Sorry, we are closed" are the four words that hit me hard when the service staff at Taste Paradise told us. To be honest, we did went all the way to town to try their highly acclaimed Custard Bun and Baked BBQ Pork Pastry. My insatiable craving for good dim sum was growing gradually, I whipped out my iPhone immediately, punched in "best dim sum in Orchard Road", and lo-and-behold! Imperial Treasure came out next.

Establishing their first restaurants of Imperial Treasure in 2004, it has since garnered numerous ravings and media interviews, and has opened more than 10 eateries and bakeries under Imperial Treasure's trademark, serving authentic Chinese cuisine with great passion.

Looking at their extensive lists of Shanghai/Hong Kong dim sum, Xiao Long Bao (S$4.80 for 4) struck my eyes like a pretty girl across the street (okay, this makes no sense). I mean, who wouldn't love these delicately crafted steamed pork dumplings? Their version has a smooth bouncy texture to the dumpling skin, which is thin, yet strong enough to hold the succulent fillings in. And as with all the good food - One is never enough.

 
Egg Tarts (S$3.30 for 3), Fried Carrot Cake (S$4.20 for 3) with radish chunks and Siew Mai (S$4.80 for 4) are good, especially the former which presented my kind of flaky crust with soft, pudding-like egg custard. As for the latter, the ones at 126 Eating House still reigns in my best Siew Mai list (well, if there is).

 
Beside Siew Mai, Shrimp Dumplings or better known as Har Gau (S$5 for 4) are a necessity 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. It is official, this is the best Har Gau I have ever had.

 
Happiness is defined when you tear gently into the Custard Bun (S$4.20 for 3) and beautiful, luscious yellow custard flows out slowly. You caught a whiff of custard and decided to sink your teeth in one. Or do you bite into it straight away, leaving a delicious mess of custard? But in any way, Imperial Treasure definitely know how to make your day with a custard bun!

 
All in all, Imperial Treasure is definitely a keeper and has no doubt, secured one of the spots in Best Dim Sum in Singapore. Fuss-free, accessible and affordable dim sum fix? This is it.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Har Gau,Xiao Long Bao
 
Spending per head: Approximately $15(Tea)

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

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Categories : Japanese

In the quest of searching for authentic kushiyaki, a Japanese classic inclusive of bite-sized delicacies skewered and grilled, I am deeply honoured to be invited to a private food tasting session at Sumire Yakitori House. With 15 outlets in Japan itself, Singapore was chosen to become the first venture outside the country, as it was seen as a growing hub for food (among other things). Their initial concept - a yakitori bar, was originally targeted at men, who enjoyed their wide range of beer and sake while having yakitori. However, the President of Sumire - Mr. Yuzawa Tadanori, thought that good food is best shared. Since then, the bar concept is molded into a restaurant, catering for people from all walks of life.

Their first local outlet is seemingly difficult to find, girlfriend and yours truly had to pace the mall and search the directory whilst trying to locate the restaurant for the first time. Well, it wasn't that difficult to navigate around after knowing it is nestled at the edge of Bugis Junction, just across Bugis+. Upon arriving (anonymously), we were greeted loudly by the chefs and service staff with smiles hanging on everyone's faces, and it was noted that greetings would be given whenever customers enter, leave or when food is being served. On a side note, these people are probably the happiest service staff I have ever came across. Another plus point is awarded to the open kitchen concept where trained professionals prepare your grills, and cosy interiors, which exudes a typical Japanese restaurant "feel" and even evokes a sense of nostalgia, if you have been to Japan.

 
Sumire Yakitori House is one of the growing numbers where iPad menus are utilised, besides the use of traditional paper menu, providing great convenience to both the technologically-savvy and tech-illiterate. Being on our virgin trip to the restaurant, one of the friendly staff kindly assisted us with the menu and introduced us some of their signature dishes. According to prior research and recommendations, Bakudan Korokke (S$6.90) is one of the most recommended dishes. Also known as the "bomb", the homemade potato croquette leaks out a stream of velvety smooth yolk from its crispy exterior of potato and breadcrumbs when opened up (which was similar to molten chocolate cake or custard bun). Being texture and flavour-rich, this dish is indeed a gastronomical explosion.

While waiting for the next serving to arrive, which took less than 5 minutes on a weekday night, we munched on some cabbage, served with Shio-Dare sauce (salt dressing) and sesame seeds to aid in digestion. Highly known for it's rich and natural vitamins, cabbage has excellent age-defying and beautifying properties among other benefits. At Sumire, the first bowl of cabbage is complementary, while subsequent servings are priced at S$1.90 each.

Potato salad (S$3.90) is a recommended appetiser to prepare your palate for what is to come. The clever texture-full combination of assorted vegetables mixed with mashed potato will make you drooling for seconds. I had a hard guess on the shredded decorations around the salad, which I thought was beancurd skin. Mr Shin, the humble managing director of Sumire, kindly enlightened me that it was actually fried wanton skin. I actually felt stupid for a moment.

 
Their signature yakitori is an obvious choice to order off the menu. At Sumire, most skewers are either grilled with Shio (salt) or Tare (teriyaki sauce), serving the best of both worlds. We had the highly recommended Negima (S$2.90) - tender and succulent chicken meat skewered in-between leeks, Nankotsu (S$3.90) - chicken soft bone (also known as cartilage) and meat which proved to be a tad dry and tasteless to my disappointment, Cheese Tsukune (S$4.90) - a great combination of minced chicken infused with teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise and cheese. Interestingly, their tsukune comes in "men" and "female" sizes, the former comes in bigger sizes, whereas the latter presents a smaller bite for the demure.

 
A short interview with Ms Felicia, the HR manager of Sumire, reviewed that they have incoming plans to gradually introduce the variety of yakitori. Diners, like myself, can look forward to grilled seafood and beef skewers in time to come.

Tamago Mentai Cheese (S$7.90) makes to girlfriend's favourite list, and the answer is obvious - soft, runny mentai cheese encased within the classic Japanese omelette, makes for a perfect starter.

 
Mentai Cream Udon (S$8.90) is a huge recommendation by myself. This big bowl consists of chewy udon, thinly sliced cucumbers, seaweed and mentai, in a creamy base. As with all the creamy pastas, less is more, making sharing a wise choice. For desserts, try out their signature Sumire Ice Cream (S$3.90) - vanilla ice cream drizzled with black sugar and dusted with soya bean powder. The picture will say the rest.

 

 
In a nutshell, there was no doubt that Sumire makes quality and authentic Japanese food affordable. Derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the world "smile", Sumire Yakitori House hopes to promote that "smile is priceless" and that their restaurants, which encompasses both food and services would bring smiles to everyone's faces. And you know what? They did it.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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New Kid in the Block Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Steaks and Grills | Brunch

Set up by The Bakery Depot which brings you familiar brand names, like Cedele and P.L.T Sandwiches, PODI is a new venture to introduce pure-offbeat-delicious-infusions through adventurous combinations of flavours and ingredients. Just before the grand opening on the 25th October 2013, a lucky group of foodie-bloggers were invited to their pre-launch event at Raffles City. What happened subsequently was a gastronomical journey which lasted for about 3 hours.

Check out their signature Duck Berry Waffle - a brilliant creation featuring gourmet duck confit, blueberry compote, egg and maple syrup vinaigrette set upon freshly baked waffles. Verdict: Waffles were a tad dry, but surprisingly, flavours and textures complement one another. But seriously, who in the right mind would have thought about throwing duck, blueberries, eggs and waffles together? Well, definitely not me. I really gotta award points for their creativeness and boldness.

 
Have I mentioned that it's an all-day breakfast affair at PODI? For brunch lovers, like yours truly, I would never stop rejoicing at the sight of beautifully cooked eggs. Do try their Baked Egg Pots - eggs baked in a tomato-based sauce with a choice of either chorizo and goat cheese, or spinach and leek. We had the former selection, and the flavourful combination is enough for me to ask for seconds.

 
Stuffed French Toast is your normal kopitiam breakfast up a few levels. Served with salad and maple syrup, their rendition of the classic French toast consists of eggs, smoked ham and brie cheese sandwiched between spinach brioche. We loved how well the melted cheese went together with the freshly-crusted bread.

 
Never a big fan of Beetroot Carpaccio, Prawn & Crab Spinach Salad managed to hit the right spot with its fresh, crisp salad leaves, juicy cherry tomatoes, grilled prawns and crab meat, drizzled with peppermint and lemon vinaigrette. Verdict: Refreshing salad that serves as a healthy appetiser for what's to come, but it definitely lacked the "oomph" factor. Suggestions could be made to incorporate nuts or pomegranate seeds for extra textures.

 
Shoestring Fries were the first dishes to be served, shortly after we took our seats. Okay firstly, these fries doesn't qualify as shoestring fries at all. Secondly, the fries with nori seaweed were really bland. I mean, potato fries are clearly not health food, so make it the way it should be made - by adding more salt. Truffle fries were merely borderline.

 
Pastry pot was a first for myself. The following dish, Chicken Pot, features chicken thigh simmered with potato and seasonal vegetables. I would say, this dish would do just the trick for people who are craving for lighter flavours. Definitely a winner for health-gurus as well.

 
There is little doubt that Argentina Sirloin Steak was very well presented, but unfortunately, it tasted half as good as it looked. Moreover, we weren't given steak knives to cut through the portion of hard and tough sirloin. On a side note, the chimichurri sauce was awesome enough to compensate the let-down.

 
We totally love their Spicy Prawn Konbu Pasta - a brilliant combination of aglio olio tossed with spicy prawns and prawn oil. Well, if only there were lesser oil and more konbu (kelp) infused into the dish, it would be perfect.

 
King Prawn with Herb Butter was the second disappointment of the dinner. The smoky aroma, derived from the fresh prawn meat off the grill was indeed arousing to our palates, but unfortunately, the mushy texture was a huge turn-off.

 
The dinner ended off with their renditions of Whoopie Pie - two cake-like cookies with a creamy, orange earl grey flavoured filling, and Mexican Spiced Hat - nigella-spiced meringue thins with 2 scoops of ice-cream. I am not a big fan of the latter as it was too sweet for my liking, however both are great desserts to be shared.

 

 
Restaurants specialising in breakfast and grills do not qualify as novel concepts, however their bold and adventurous infusions of ingredients might be a draw for everyday diners. Talking about food-wise, most of their food items are reasonably priced between S$14 to S$25. Provided that it just launched recently, there are definitely improvements and slight tweaks needed to attract more crowds (and the older ones) in.

Once again, thank you to the kind people at The Bakery Depot for the invite to the pre-launch event.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Duck Berry Waffle
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Great Place for Ribs Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Steaks and Grills

The snaking, long queue at Tony Roma's always put me off when I was hunting for dinner at Suntec City. Despite recommendations and ravings from most of my friends, I never really knew what was so good about their famed baby back ribs. Paradoxically, being a true blue Singaporean, long queues never fail to repel me away (and that is probably why I haven't tried out Dim Ho Wan and Krispy Kreme yet.) Anyway, it was my friend's birthday.. and Tony Roma's was selected.

With more than 150 outlets worldwide and two locally, Tony Roma's take pride in their baby back ribs which are marinated with home-made sauces and then, slow-smoked to mouth-watering perfection. Other signatures include char-grilled black angus steaks, seafood and other varieties of entrees and salads. After the long wait, looking at the menu already calls for some serious drooling to start.

 
For those who cannot decide what to have, have their St. Louis Ribs Sampler (S$38.90) which allows you to try the best of everything. It includes a dozen of ribs, featuring four of Tony's Signature Sauces: Original BBQ Sauce, Carolina Honeys, Blue Ridge Smokies and Tony Roma’s Red Hots, together with a selection of two side dishes. Out of the four, BBQ sauce and Red Hots are my favourite: for the former, nothing beats the original, while the latter has a distinct spiciness of four different types of peppers and Tabasco sauce, among the aromatic smoky flavour. Good to share between two persons.

 
Out of 10 diners at Tony Roma's, at least 8 would opt for their famed Original Baby Back Ribs (full, S$38.90). I mean, who would opt for something else other than a dozen ribs lined with tender, lean pork loin, basted with their original BBQ sauce? With comparison with the meatier cut of St Louis's ribs, baby back ribs triumphed in terms of tenderness and sweetness. The ribs come in 3 different sizes, and is completed with two side dishes as well.

If you love the ribs at Tony Roma's, be sure to try out the Stickybones ribs at Morganfield's (Star Vista).
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Baby Back Ribs
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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