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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 : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

With highly accessible outlets throughout Singapore, I wouldn't be at the least surprised if Ichiban Sushi comes straight to your mind when someone mentions Japanese cuisine. At Ichiban Sushi, one might opt for a wide range of conveyor belt sushi and sashimi, a la carte, as well as various promotional platters, udon and rice sets.

It was quite some time I visited Ichiban, and I thought why not have a good dinner before my wisdom teeth surgery? And so I did. I am sure that those who had their's plucked out would understand the agony of not being to savour any kinds of food. Before the dishes and hot ocha had even arrived, the waiter(esse)s had already scored high, impressing us with their amiable and pleasant services.

 
We ordered the Ishiyaki Jyu Set (S$18.90) - a value set consisting a portion of oyako-don, pan-fried prawns and salmon, chawanmushi, miso soup, as well as a serving of fresh fruits. While the seafood was nothing to rave about (and a tad dry too), the Oyako-don (below) was spectacular. The chicken was tender and juicy, constantly tempting one to take the second bite. You know what's better? Pairing it with the roughly-mixed eggs, which complements the chicken so well, brings the Japanese classic up, yet to another level.

 
Sukiyaki Wafu Set (S$18.90) caught my attention the moment I looked at the menu. As a beef connoisseur, I do have a certain expectation of my steak. The Wafu steak was pre-cut to mouth-sized slices, enabling easier consumption and what's expected on your part is to control the doneness. Although the broth was slightly heavy on the salt, the succulent beef slices which I had it done medium-well, was nothing less than satisfying with a dip of egg yolk. It comes complete with a side dish of baked cheese and tuna, Japanese steamed rice, miso soup and fresh fruits.

What's better than having a good, hot sukiyaki in the winters? Oh God, I nearly forgot that Singapore is on summer-mode all year round.

 
All in all, Ichiban Sushi proves to be a great place for casual, yet quality Japanese comfort food in a friendly atmosphere.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Ishiyaki Jyu Set,Chawanmushi,Sushi
 
Spending per head: Approximately $20(Dinner)

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 4  |  
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 3  |  
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 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Taiwanese | Restaurant | Noodles

The aftermath of my previous Taiwan trip hit me recently when I had a sudden craving for Taiwanese delicacies, especially a good bowl of stewed beef noodles which tastes so good in its own right. One might say that Singapore has so many restaurants specialized in Taiwan-originated beef noodles, but most of them do not even come close to Lai Lai (literally translated as "Come Come"), a casual dining eatery which hails from Sheraton Hotel in Taiwan itself.

Beef Noodles, be it paired with flavourful broth or thick savoury gravy is a must-try, to satisfy my personal craving and not to even mention that they are specialized in this certain dish. The tender and juicy beef chunks is set to take the home-made noodles to another level, alongside with crunchy greens. Impressive indeed.

 
Most noodles/rice comes with a set meal at approximately S$13.90, which includes a side dish ranging from pig intestine to prawn fritters and a drink. Personally, I like to consume the food in between sips of their signature milk tea w/ pearls.

Beef tendon (S$10.90) is one of my favourite parts, these gelatinous connective tissues that are braised with brown cravy tasted so well together with the mild sweetness of carrots. Ooohh, somehow this dish relieves some memories of the curry beef tendon I had in Hong Kong previously.

 
All in all, Lai Lai proves to serve good, yet affordable Taiwanese cuisine.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Beef noodles
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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Best Lor Mee in Town Smile Feb 28, 2013   
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Categories : Hawker Centre | Noodles

Apart from the traditional toast sets and fried dough fritters, Lor Mee (鹵麵), is next in line when it comes to my favourite breakfast bites. The Hokkien-inspired noodle dish is served in a thick dark gravy, made of corn starch, spices, eggs and usually comes with various ingredients such as ngoh hiang, fish cake, meat dumplings and braised egg. It is best eaten with the usual condiments - garlic, chinese parsley and chilli, (vinegar too, but not for me), as it enhances it's taste. Although traditionally served with fried fish toppings, different adaptations and even methods of cooking have since been adopted by the many stalls, providing diners a wider variety of choices and selections of the original dish.

If you are looking for a good bowl of Lor Mee (or rather, any other local cuisine) in Singapore, do look no further than the highly acclaimed Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. After recent renovations, the hawker centre now serves tasty and hygenic food - in a much cleaner, spacious and satisfactory environment. It also features two of the best stalls in town if you want to have a bite of that starchy goodness.

More often than not, following your kiasu instincts and lining up for the longest queue is actually the best method in discovering great food. Well.. That is if you do not mind waiting up to 30 minutes during lunch hours, just to slurp down a bowl of noodles from Tiong Bahru Lor Mee. It is not difficult to understand why the long queue when you get your hands on their Lor Mee, the noodles are of the right texture, without being overwhelming chewy, and the braised gravy - the soul of the dish, is thick, smooth and of the right consistency.

 
It is served with the usual fried wanton, fishcakes, braised egg, ngoh hiang and crunchy beansprouts. Their Lor Mee comes in regular and large sizes at S$2.50 and S$3.00 respectively.
 
Other Ratings:
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 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 5

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Swiss Affair at its Best Smile Feb 22, 2013   
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Categories : Swiss | European | Desserts and Cakes | Pasta | Seafood | Steaks and Grills | Salads | Paella | Kids-Friendly

Marché is probably one of my most frequented restaurants, especially their Vivocity branch, which sits on the roof top garden, overlooking the harbour front and Sentosa island.

What makes this restaurant so special is their attentiveness to the details of the authentic Swiss culture - service staff are dressed in traditional costumes, a dimly-lit dining area with wooden tables and chairs, balconies and barrels, and not to mention, their lovely cow mannequins.

If it's your first time here, do approach the service staff and familiarise yourself with their paying system because Marché uses "credit payment" - where you first make your purchases with a card (valued at S$100) and pay before you leave the restaurant. Do be warned though, that if you misplace your card, you'll be charged the maximum of $100.

Now, without further ado, this is what I usually spend my credits on:

Rosti w/ Smoked Salmon (S$14.50) is an all-time favourite at Marché. Their signature pan-fried potato strips are crispy on the outside, soft and firm on the inside, and topped with their smoked salmon and a wallop of sour cream, this is definitely a must-try.

 
Crêpe with Blackforest Ham and Mushrooms (S$12++) was introduced to me by one of my mates when we had our little gathering some time back. How could I have missed this savoury treat! The skin of the crêpe is tender and firm, while the combination of thinly sliced mushroom and ham, dipped in their buttermilk sauce, just makes me want a second serving.


 
Grilled Salmon and Cream of Mushroom are two of Marché's many classics too. I highly recommend their mushroom soup as a starter to whet your appetite.

 

Do also grab a bottle of Bundaberg Root Beer (S$4.50) - Good Ol' Australian root beer, traditionally brewed to an old aunthentic recipe. Although overpriced (to be honest), it's one of the cheapest drinks at Marché.

 
Marché is a perfect place for gatherings, meet-ups, or even a romantic date. Although I would admit that the bill burns a slight hole in your pocket, Marché is still a place which I would definitely frequent again and again for it's the experience that counts, isn't it?

Tips: Do leave some stomach space for their signature ice cream crêpes and other desserts too.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Japanese Casual Dining at Watami Smile Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

Bromance buddies and fellow girlfriends had another dinner meet-up recently at The Star Vista, this time round being my second trip to this newly-opened mall at Buona Vista. The shops are pretty much opened for business, so if you have not stepped foot in here, why not plan a dinner outing and chill out with your family or friends? Eateries are in abundance in The Star Vista and they even boast about "The Star Performance Arts Centre" which includes a 5,000 seat auditorium equipped with the state of art technology, outdoor amphitheatre and even a private rooftop garden.

After an hour long queue at approximately 8.20pm, only then we were seated into the restaurant. I understand that it was a Friday night and that queues would be more or less unavoidable, but the management could have been better and it is clear that they were shorthanded - seats were empty with used dishes and cutleries from the previous diners piling up on the table.

Kushi Moriawase (S$13.80) - assorted array of finely grilled skewers which consist of chicken thigh meat, two sticks of nankotsu (chicken cartilage) with chicken breast, bacon-wrapped mushroom and spring onions. My favourite amongst all is the nankotsu. Bite into the lightly marinated breast meat and soft crunch of the bone - Yummy! The other various skewers fared normally, as I would prefer them to be slightly more glazed and robust in flavours, such as Shin Kushiya's.

 
I recommend the Tonpeiyaki (S$8.80), pork belly and cabbage wrapped in omelette-style drizzled with cheese, mayonaise and sweet sauce. The complex combination of so many flavours and textures was just simply mouth-watering and delectable. Anyway, this dish reminded me of tako balls (maybe because of the similar garnishes).

 
Watami has this deluxe set meal for 4 (S$129.00), which includes a variety of food items, such as appetizers, salads, sashimis and side dishes. For more information, please click here.

Sashimi Mori 3 - three kinds of assorted sashmi consisting of shrimp, salmon and scallop. The shrimp meat brings along a sweet distinctive taste with a soft chewy crunch, however the salmon and scallop was not fresh with a slightly slimy texture.

 
Irodori Chirashi Sushi - warm Japanese rice topped up with freshly diced assorted sashimi, seaweed, refreshing cucumber strips and crunchy roes. Personally I do not like the idea of having ginger and wasabi in my sashimi-don, so I took them out. Beautiful combination of colours, flavours and textures.

 
Chicken Katsu Tamago Toji - chicken cutlet with scrambled egg sauce is delicious as well. The batter was nicely crisped, while the interior remained succulent and juicy with the right amount of fat to meat ratio. Dip into the sweet egg sauce to enjoy a bite of heaven.

 
Tempura Moriawase - deep fried prawns and assorted vegetables were nicely fried, unlike Itacho's.

 
Sukiyaki Nabe fared normally, with nothing much to rave about.

 
Wafu Touban Steak was my favourite amongst the food items. The lightly-seasoned beef was tender with a nice thin layer of fat. I love it when you can DIY the steak and cook it to your preferred doneness. It also comes with two types of sauces - sweet and soy sauce, but one could definitely eat them wholely by itself.

 
Generally a nice place to have your weekly makan sessions with your family or friends.

Just a friendly tip - arrive early and skip the dinner crowds, you surely do not want to spend an hour queueing up. But if you happened to stuck in the queue, why not get some Taiwanese desserts from next door first?
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Tonpeiyaki,Wafu Touban Steak
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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