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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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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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Decent Korean Food OK Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Korean

Located at the top floor of Jcube (previously - Jurong Entertainment Centre), a newly built mall which housed the second IMAX theatres locally and highly acclaimed olympic-sized ice skating rink that opened their doors earlier this year, Manna Story has made another of its nest there in the midst of cool air. Like most Korean restaurants, it boasts authentic Korean cuisine served in a homely environment. Bromance ZR, Tim and yours truly decided to have our virgin experiences (okay, that sounds pretty gay) right there.

On a typical Saturday night at approximately 7pm, we expected to see restaurants filled with diners, but it was barely half-filled when we got there. Upon ordering, one of the service staff served us an impressive platter of assorted appetizers, which usually in other restaurants - the most you can get is probably a maximum of 4. For the benefits of all kiasu Singaporeans, this is refillable but please do not waste.

 
My favourite was the peanuts (2nd row, most right) if you want to know. It is slightly different than the ones you would have in Chinese restaurants, this is harder and a tad more chewer. It was like popping sweets and trust me, it is addictive.

For me, I had their sizzling plate of BBQ Beef (S$13.80) with bowl of white rice, salad and soup. Quantity-wise, it exceeded my expectations, however quality-wise, it was a little dry and hard. There is a small 20% chance you could find a piece that is juicy and tender. Other than that? Keep digging.

 

We ordered their promo item - Kimchi Pizza Bab (S$8.80) for sharing. Although not exactly pizza, the name simply means Kimchi rice topped with melted cheddar cheese, tomatoes and capsicum. This is good, I love how well the cheese complemented the kimchi rice. I just wished that there was more kimchi in the rice.

 

Curry Pork Cutlet (S$14.00) tasted like their Japanese counterpart. Thick, juicy, curry-drenched pork katsu topped with carrot and potato cubes. Do you know what I wanted to say? OM NOM NOM NOM.

 

Mul Naengmyeon (S$11.80) was a disappointment according to ZR. This bowl of Korean cold noodles in plain broth (or water as some might call it) is better appreciated in smaller portions, and when not consumed in chilly weathers. For me, I definitely prefer the Bibim Naengmyeon (which they don't serve here) - cold noodles with broth made from beef.

 

The whole dinner costed us S$59.70, including service charge and prevailing government taxes. Is it worth visiting again? Well, maybe I might.. if I ran out of food to try.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 2  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Shark's Fin Expert Smile Feb 20, 2013   
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Categories : Dim Sum | Seafood | Zi Char | Kids-Friendly

Amidst all the blessings and well-wishes while tossing the Prosperity Toss, or better known as 鱼生 (yu sheng) and Lo Hei, our "HUAT AH" probably came out the loudest. It was noisy and rowdy, not to even mention - messy, with bits and pieces of the rainbow-colored dish flying all over the place. But again, that was exactly what the Chinese New Year atmosphere is supposed to be.

My paternal grandma's birthday was usually held right here in this particular restaurant, but somehow this year, we had it in Moi Lum Restaurant which was located at Maxwell Road. Hence, I thought fate brought me to Boon Lay Raja Restaurant once again, when my maternal relatives selected this place for our New Year's lunch during 初一 (beginning of the year).

 
Established in 1979 at Boon Lay Shopping Centre, they had since moved to Jurong East Central (beside Jcube) for better convenience and to accomodate the large dinner crowds. With an extensive menu of dim sum and Cantonese cuisine, they also specialize in seafood dishes, especially shark fin's soup which is proudly presented on their signboard.

Another favourite of mine is the Crispy Roasted Chicken, which was lightly salted just enough to enhance its taste and flavour. Unlike most roasted chicken which happened to be tough and dry, their rendition was juicy and had retained the smooth texture. If you happened to drop-by during this festive season, do try out their unique creation of fried prawns and strawberry sauce.

 
Besides your usual weekend dinner, Boon Lay Raja is also catered for a range of functions, such as buffet caterings, wedding banquets and functions. In addition, the dishes that they present certainly appeals to the elderly, not less the younger generations though.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Xiao Long Bao at its best Smile Feb 19, 2013   
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Categories : Shanghainese

I remembered the first time I had Xiao Long Bao, it was in this particular Crystal Jade restaurant and till today, the vivid memory of my awkward fumbling of these delicate art pieces still haunts me. Due to my virgin experience and ignorance, I didn't knew the existence of a small pouch of soup wrapped beneath the thin, delicate dumpling skin. At that time, I sucked at using chopsticks and the way I picked things up - it's to poke them. Things happened and my lovely Xiao Long Bao was ruined.

Recently, dear Peiyi and I had the chance to visit this famous Shanghai-nese restaurant during the weekdays. And oh my, customers were already queueing up, but again, lucky us for we were seated within 15 minutes. Those with bigger groups had to wait up to almost an hour (and again I stressed - it was a weekday!)

Xiao Long Bao (S$4.80 for 4) was glorious. The dumpling skin was just right and the broth complemented the juicy minced pork meat. Mother Kook called me stupid for not eating it with vinegar (which I don't, I detest the smell), but let me tell you that this beauties go well without vinegar and shredded ginger too. Just do not make the same mistake as me.

Pan Fried Pork Bun (S$4.00 for 3) does not lose out. Sink your teeth into these soft fragrant bun and savour the succulent fillings. I thought this yummy buns look like the classic Meat Pao, but just pan fried and upgraded like four levels up.

 
Ohh-la-la.

 
Salted Nanjing Duck (S$8.50) was a tad hard for my liking. Nevertheless, these beautiful duck slices were luscious with a thin layer of fat. Just look at the soft pinkish-red meat! However, I always preferred eating duck drenched in Chinese braised sauce, so this does not appeal to me much.

 
Lastly, we had Crystal Jade speciality La Mian with Braised Beef (S$8.50). The beef was so tender and juicy, especially the tendons, which I totally love them. (while girlfriend finds them fross. Weird.) Their speciality noodles were definitely one of the best in Singapore, with the spot-on chewiness. But what I wanted to praise most is what holds this entire dish together - the broth. Thick brown soup made of long-simmered ingredients, it brings forth a subtle sweet and herbal aroma that makes you want to devour this dish.

 
Besides ala-carte, Crystal Jade (Holland Village) also presents a South-Northern buffet experience which includes steamboat and a huge variety of appetizers, meat, drinks and dim-sum. The best part is that you get all the Xiao Long Bao you can eat!

A very useful tip - do your reservations! Walking in for the buffet guarantees near 0% you can get a table at dinner hours.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Xiao Long Bao,Pan Fried Bun
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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