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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 : 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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Heritage Food Smile Mar 06, 2013   
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Categories : Chinese Soup

With origins tracing back to more than a decade and 15 outlets in local-wide, I am sure that Soup Restaurant or better known as 三盅两件 for the older generations, is not a stranger to most of you. Mama Kook loves their traditional "Chinatown heritage cuisine", especially their Samsui Ginger Chicken, Beggar's Bowl Tofu and Ah Gong Potato Leaves, just to name some. Hence more often than not, we frequent this restaurant for our weekly family dinner.

Soup Restaurant's highly-recommended, signature dish - Samsui Ginger Chicken (S$15.90) is savoury and flavourful. The tender chicken meat was steamed with simple seasoning and is served boneless for easier consumption. The secret lies with their special ginger sauce, a fragrant but not too over-powering mix which complemented the chicken well. Seemingly less oily than the usual hawker chicken, it proves to be a healtier alternative as well.

 
One way to savour this dish is to wrap it with fresh crunchy lettuce, topped with a slice of cucumber and generous amount of ginger sauce. As seen below:

 
We also ordered the Hometown Tofu (S$8.90) - freshly hand-made tofu garnished with greens. The tofu skin is slightly crisp, but the inside remains soft and silky. However, I still prefer their Beggar's Bowl Tofu.

 
Another speciality, Ah Gong Potato Leaves (S$8.50) - sweet potato leaves sauteed with sambal belachan (spicy shrimp paste). We never failed to order this dish whenever we visited. It also comes in a non-spicy verson - Ah Ma Potato Leaves.

 
Soup Restaurant only dishes up 30 servings of Hand Chopped Minced Pork w/ Salted Fish (S$8.90) per day. It is tender, flavourful and has just the right amount of saltiness. The addition of chestnuts into the minced mixture provide an irresistible crunch.

 
Peiyi ordered the Double Boiled Tian Chee Chicken Soup (S$7.90) which helps to detox/cleanse and rejuvenate one's body. It is a tad bland for my liking, I reckon the amount of herbs (especially Tian Chee) used is of small quantities.

 
Soup Restaurant is generally worth the bucks and is likely to be popular especially among the older generations who lived through the "samsui" era, as the flavours would probably evoke their nostalgic memories. For the younger generations like me, while taking a bite of that succulent Samsui Chicken, try to understand the stories and heritage of our ancestors, and savour a piece of history.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Samsui Chicken,Beggar's Tofu
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Fuss-free Hotpots OK Mar 06, 2013   
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Categories : Sichuan | Restaurant | Chinese Steamboat/Hot Pot | Kids-Friendly

Chicken Hotpot was something we always wanted to try at Serangoon Nex - the ingredients coupled with boiling broth looks appetizing, their concept of "Shanghai-nese buffet hotpot" is refreshing, what else? Oh yes, televisions screening them as a featured restaurant and what typical Singaporeans look for in a "die-die-must-try" makan place - snaking long queues.

The Shanghai-inspired restaurant has a couple meal going on for approximately $30+, which includes the Spicy Prawn hotpot and Chicken Claypot, along with a jug of thirst-quenching fruit punch/soft drink.

The Spicy Prawn hotpot is recommended for chilli-lovers looking for an intriguing fusion in their mini-hotpot. French fries in sambal broth?! Don't be alarmed like yours truly. It was my virgin experience trying out this unique combination as well, and trust me when I say that it is addictive. Prawns-wise, the meat lacks in juiciness and appears to be slightly overcooked. For health gurus, just a friendly warning that the gravy will be quite oily to take in.

 
Their signature Chicken Claypot was the highlight of the entire meal, with tender and succulent chicken meat simmered in thick and flavourful base over long hours. It is paired with crunchy celery, capsicums and onions. However, the amount of chicken meat was rather disappointing, if not, paired with glass noodles, the Chicken Claypot would make a perfect choice for any individuals looking for inner warmth in a chilly weather.

 
Not enough? Grab some ala carte items (S$1+ to S$3+) and cook them in the refillable broth!

All in all, Chicken Hotpot is not really "wow-inducing", but it would do fine for people looking for convenient and fuss-free hotpot meals, else the slightly hefty price.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 2

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Categories : Taiwanese | Restaurant | Chinese 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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Uniquely Oblong Smile Feb 28, 2013   
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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes | Ice Cream and Gelato

Anyone who understands me knows that I love desserts and good ice-cream (even better if it is hand-made) tops the list. Alright, I mean who doesn't fancy a scoop or two of these delightful creations on a hot humid weather, such as in Singapore?

Nestled quietly at the basement of Balmoral Plaza, Oblong Ice Cream is easy to be missed, but venture inside this humble mall and step into this cosy haven - a place ideal for studying or just chilling out with mates. They also provide a small comic/magazine stand for reading pleasure and also delectable selections of chic music playing softly in the background.

Oblong's uniquely named ice cream (Tarik the Teh is an interesting one) is rich in flavour and has a thick creamy texture. Some of my favourites include Milo, Rum & Raisin and their best-seller - Lychee Martini.

It goes for S$3.00 per scoop with additional 60 cents if you ordered the star flavours.

 
We also had the Plain Waffle w/ 2 scoops (S$9.00). Rum & Raisin and Chocolate are our choices and boy, they surely do go well with the piping hot waffle. Just a heads up - to ensure only the freshest is served, they make the batter upon ordering. However, the batter was a tad over-mixed and has an overwhelming eggy taste. And.. I would prefer my waffles to be crispier and drizzled with hot fudge though.

 
Similar to most local ice-cream shops (e.g. Island Creamery), have your photo taken for free and leave an everlasting memory here in Oblong Ice Cream.

 
Take a break and slow down the pace of your life. Grab some ice-cream and your favourite comic book. Relax. Oblong Ice Cream is such place to head for.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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