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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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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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Probably the Best Laksa Smile Feb 19, 2013   
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Categories : Noodles

Laksa is one of the must tries in Singapore cuisine, but finding a good bowl of that spicy goodness is another story altogether. However residents in the north would point out a small corner shop hidden amidst Yishun Central, 928 Laksa - where queues are never-ending even at passed-lunch-time hours. Their speciality, and only item they sell is so well-known, that people from all across the island flocked just to satisfy their laksa cravings.

Now, you might think why it is called 928 Laksa, the answer is simple - it is located at BLK 928. In business for 15 years and counting, this humble shop has become a household name in the north, but has yet to expand much. Hence, be prepared to wait, as seatings are quite limited there.

 
Their signature laksa (S$2.50) is full of ingredients, thick beehoon paired with slices of fish cake, taupok, half hard boiled egg and cockles, garnished with laksa leaves. The most important item - gravy is just perfect with the right amount of coconut milk and chilli paste. It also brings along the rich fragrance of dried shrimps.

The homemade laksa chilli is superb, one of the best laksa chilli I have ever had. The spiciness is mild, but the fragrance of the sambal is so good. For diners who can't handle spicy food, do not fret as they sell drinks and desserts at a reasonable price, to "put off the flame".

Overall, it was a good bowl of laksa, I savoured it till the last drop of gravy. And I'd say it is on par with the famous local Katong Laksa. Not enough? Upsize your bowl of laksa for just an additional S$0.50.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Laksa
 
Spending per head: Approximately $2(Lunch)

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

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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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Hearty, Authentic Japanese Food Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese | Brunch

The everlasting hunt for food during our long breaks brought us to a homely Japanese restaurant down Casuarina Road at Upper Thomson. Whilst the cosy interior was decorated with traditional wooden furniture, Tamako Meal offers diners a quiet getaway from their bustling lifestyles. Passed down from generations since 1994, the restaurant serves hearty and authentic, yet affordable Hokkaido fare with impeccable hospitality and humble services.

 
Menu items include assorted appetisers, like chawanmushi (S$3.80) and potato salad (S$3.20), and an extensive selection of bento, udon and sushi sets. With reasonably priced delicacies, it is not difficult to understand why someone might want to order more than he could finish. Take for example, an unagi bento set or ten don cost less than S$10, and the quality, less the portion does not lose out to any other Japanese restaurants.

Skip the over-rated Casuarina Curry, opt for Tamako Meal instead. The exceptional quality for low pricing is not to be missed.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Tamako Meal
 
Spending per head: Approximately $10(Lunch)

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

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Haven amidst luxury Smile May 25, 2013   
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Categories : Desserts and Cakes | Brunch

Nestled within the premises of downtown Orchard, TheBigIdea Group's Marmalade Pantry integrates well into Ion's concept with its beautiful open-dining atrium - an enticing haven for diners, filled with chic furnitures and luxury comfort food, such as their legendary cupcakes, weekend brunches and dinner mains such as favourites Truffle Field Mushroom Risotto and Oriental Grilled King Salmon (S$26).

 
The latter was an innovating fusion of Japanese and Western with a slab of good ol grilled salmon and cucumber-paired soba noodles. For non-soba eaters like myself (partially because of the heavy wheat taste), fret not, for the "wheaty" flavour was toned down heavily in this smooth and crunchy delight.

 
One year has passed since my previous birthday, and lo and behold, I am back once again at Marmalade and had ordered the same dish - coincidentally. Seemingly fated to Seared Scallop Linguini (S$24), this tantalising signature was my first choice for the two occasions. The pasta was cooked slightly less than al dente this time round, but the succulent seafood and robust flavour of the dried shrimps were definitely a thumbs-up.

Pork and Fennel Seed Sausage Lasagna (S$24) was another favourite of myself (and "Dad-in-law" who literally wolfed it down in minutes), with all the parmesan goodness which is complemented by a good load of minced pork and mushroom slices. It comes complete with refreshing garden salad.

 
Out of the four, Classic Snapper Pie ($26.00) did not hit the mark. Hidden beneath the crispy crust was quite a miserable amount of snapper, piled together with fennel and mash. The snapper flesh was too dry and flaky for my liking, which gave me another reason not to order this in the future.

 
All in all, Marmalade Pantry is an ideal place to have a weekend brunch/dinner, or perhaps a relaxing afternoon high tea after a day of strolling in the world-class shopping district.

*Marmalade Pantry is having a 1 to 1 promotion for all mains (Mon-Fri, up to 2 mains) for all NTUC cardholders till 30 June 2013*
^^Oh well. Another reason to visit.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Seared Scallop Linguine,Lasagna,Cupcakes
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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