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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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Rochor Thai Food Tasting Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Thai | Café

Nestled along the bustling streets of Joo Chiat, Rochor Thai delivers authentic cuisine from the Land of Smiles to our local food scene. Helmed by a passionate food enthusiast, Joel, the exciting menu consists of traditional flavours crafted with modern Thai elements, such as their speciality green curry and pad thai talay. Hence, it was indeed a pleasure when Openrice.com invited yours truly to Rochor Thai for another food tasting session recently.

So what's on the food tasting menu?

Before dinner, an amuse-bouche ("mouth-amuser" in French) was served. Unlike appetisers, this single bite-sized creations are usually free and can be served out of the menu, according to the chef's selection alone. Joel's amuse-bouche was brilliantly crafted - cold noodles topped with pork floss, infused with the star flavours of Thai cuisine in a bite-size, namely sour, spicy and bitter.

 
Som Tum – Green Papaya Salad Central Thailand Style ($6.80) was served as an appetiser. It didn't pack much of an "oomph", but it did make a good preparation for the palate.

 
Gaeng Kaew Wan Gai - Chef's Special Green Curry with Chicken Thigh and Thai Eggplant (S - $11.80, L - $18.80) was my favourite dish of the dinner. The unique blend of green curry and coconut milk was made from scratch, and for those who do not take spicy food, this is a great option to go with.

 
Tom Yum Talay/Po Taek – Hot & Spicy Seafood Soup with Thai Herbs/Clear Spicy Sour Soup with Holy Basil and Kaffir Lime Leaves (S - $8.80, L - $15.80) were pretty standardized with the average flavours and ingredients. Just a warning not to be fooled by the clear colour of the latter, as it packs quite a deadly degree of spiciness.

 
Pad Kee Mao Goong - Stir Fried Thai "Drunken" Style Prawns (S - $16.80, L - $24.80) alongside with Gaeng Phet Pla Krapong Daeng - Dry Red Curry with Red Snapper Fillets (S - $16.80, L - $24.80) served as good side dishes for the dinner. Snapper fillets were Girlfriend's favourite, but it just seemed too average for myself. Oh, and the prawns weren't that "drunk" anyway.

 

 
Pla Nin Pao – Salt Baked Whole Tilapia served with Spicy Coriander Sauce ($22.80) was succulent and juicy. Personally, I didn't adore the flavour of the coriander sauce, however the fresh sweetness of the tilapia makes it good enough to eat it on its own.

 
Hoay Lai Pad Prik Pao - Clams Flambe in Chilli Jam and Chef's Stock (S - $14.80, L - $22.80) was the chef's attempt to deviant away from the boring preparation methods of clams. I'd say it was a good enough attempt, as traces of overcooked clams were present.

 
Kor Moo Yang – Seared Pork Collar served with Aromatic Dried Chilli Sauce ($12.80) was excellent. The meat was seared just nicely to lock the juices in, which presents no less than a satisfying dish. Great to eat it without the sauce as well.

 
Pad Thai Talay (S - $7.80, L - $14.80) - Everyone's favourite street food from Thailand. I have never had pad thai before, prior to this, but "impressed" might be just the fitting word to describe Rochor Thai's rendition.

 
Khao Niew Ma Muang - Mango Sticky Rice ($7.80) and Tab Tim Grob - Thai Red Ruby ($4.80) are served right after the meal. The former has an added nutty crunch to its sticky rice, while the latter was an awesome version of the common red ruby. According to them, the red coloring comes from the natural pigmentation of beetroot itself.

 

 
In a nutshell, Rochor Thai serves authentic Thai dishes, infused with both modern and traditional elements, in a much cosy environment. In my opinion, the food whipped out here is much better than those mainstream restaurants.

Once again, I give my thanks to Openrice and Rochor Thai for their hospitality and food tasting session.
 
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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.
 
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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)

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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
 
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 4  |  
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 4  |  
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 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
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Beer Butt Chicken? Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Pasta | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads

Roadhouses are a common sight in larger countries like the United States, Canada or Australia, where passing travellers would take a bite or a night's rest on the way to their destination. But when it comes to having a roadhouse in Singapore, it would be almost impossible and impractical (and I wouldn't go on grumbling about the lack of living spaces locally), not until you visit BLooiE's Roadhouse Bar and Grill. Nestled in the serene vicinity of Science Park, this casual restaurant which was opened by a Canadian named Sarge Sargeant, serves authentic Western affair in their large air-conditioned space, completed by recreational facilities, such as a stage, billiard table and a full-fledged bar. Diners could otherwise opt for al fresco dining - a great opportunity to enjoy their meal under the night sky while enjoying the breeze.

I wouldn't go so in-depth into the 12-year history of the restaurant, but I know some of you might find it difficult to process: why BLooiE? Okay, I didn't get the part why it's a complete mess of capitals, but "BLooiE" was actually the name of their beloved hush puppy, which unfortunately had passed on. Oh, by the way, Sarge has an absolute amazing Taiwanese wife, Fiona who is the proud owner of Lee's Taiwanese.

Let's start off with their signature Beer Butt Chicken (S$38.80), which is definitely a MUST order. The reasons are no less than a whole chicken marinated with spices, herbs and infused with the most amazing alcoholic drink - beer. The chicken will be then prepared for a long, slow grill to gastronomical perfection (with a can of beer up its ass).

 
Needless to say, the slow grilling process has produced a tender, juicy and flavourful chicken meat that tears off easily from the bone. This dish is completed by fresh salad and their famous cajun fries, which taste so good in their home-made cheddar cheese dips. As always, good things are worth waiting for - Beer Butt Chicken has to be ordered one day in advance.

 
Compared to other pizzas, BLooiE's rendition of thin-crusted Pepperoni Pizza (S$22.90) has slightly more cheese to crust ratio, which accounted for its gooey, flowing cheese. Lovely for sharing with your best pals along with a few pints of draft beer.

 
BBQ Chicken Wings (S$13.90) were pretty good with its smoky flavour amidst the mild spiciness, but unfortunately, were marked down for the tough, overly-chewy skin.

 
Blackened Dory (S$18.90) is marinated with cajun spices, then pan-fried to a nice crisp on the exterior and soft inside. It is completed with seasonal vegetables and dipping sauce. I can't remember which sauce came with which dishes, but pair the dory with their home-made mushroom sauce, you would thank me for that.

 
Their 250g N.Z Striploin steak (S$29.80) was grilled nicely to our requested doneness with really pretty grilled marks. However, the steak we had was a combination of disappoints - tough, gnawy and juiceless. I wouldn't doubt the chef's ability, as Fiona revealed the recent change of suppliers could be the cause of lower meat quality. Nevertheless, the dish is completed with mashed potatoes with seasonal vegetables.

 
BLooiE’s Bacon Mushroom Cheese Burger (S$16.90) was the second highlight (for myself) during the meal. 180g of grilled beef patty is sandwiched between two home-made burger buns, alongside with the beautiful combination of mushroom sauce and bacon. Now, pair it up with some cajun fries and salad, and you got a typical America casual dinner.

 
Good quality cocoa does not flow as much, because the cocoa content outweighs the liquid/milk ratio. And that's what BLooiE's used for their Molten Chocolate Cake (S$6.80). Exterior was a little crusty, which probably resulted from over-baking. Other than that, the textures and flavour is worth for any chocolate lovers asking for second servings.

 
Once again, I would like to express my thanks to Openrice for organising this food tasting session, as well as, the kind hostess, Fiona who accompanied and entertained us throughout the event.

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Beer Butt Chicken
 
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 4  |  
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