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mollymia
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Long queue for these comfort food Smile Oct 31, 2015   
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Categories : Korean

 
A shot of the crazy queue just to show off how popular Andong Zzimdak is on a Friday night. They even had to stop the queue at just 8 plus because they're almost out of chicken.

 
The restaurant is pretty small and cozy, and would be perfect for a small gathering of friends to enjoy some yummy braised chicken.
As the name of the restaurant suggest, this place is famous for their Andong Jjimdak, which literally translate into steamed chicken of Andong, for jjim means steamed or braised and dak means chicken in Korean.

 
Hot Citron Tea - $2.50

If you're dining at a Korean restaurant, it definitely has to be either criton tea or barley tea, right? And I'm definitely team citron. Very reasonably priced at just $2.50 for a standard mug sized, the tea wasn't overly sweet or thick but brewed just nice with the right amount of yuzu peel bits for those who loves to munch of them.

 
And there was so much food for 6 of us, I can't even....

 
Chicken Karaage - $9.90

Well, who says you can't make yummy fried chicken when you're supposed to be selling jjimdak? These fried chicken bites, although a little 'off' because they're Japanese (karaage, yeah?), were still worth my tummy space. Fragrant with a slight savoury taste, the battered skin was fried still crisp while the insides still tender. How can one possibly resist a piece of piping hot, boneless fried chicken?

 
Spicy Dokboki - $9.90

Although the tteok wasn't the softest and chewiest I can find, it was still quite enjoyable as the gravy was indeed spicy enough, as compared to some other places which serve the gravy sweet. It would be perfect if the tteok was cooked softer, which I reckon can be done easily by just leaving it to cook for just a tad longer before serving.

 
Mini Seafood Pancake - $9.90

Chewy and packed full of seafood (I tasted shrimps and squids), I like how it comes in very manageable (almost) bite size and each bite gives you as much seafood as the pancake batter itself.

 
Boneless Jjimdak (Large) - $59.90 [Medium at $49.90]

Even though there is a chili icon next to the dish (as compared to 3 chili for Mayak Jjimdak, the supposedly spicy one) and there's this huge piece of red chili staring at you in the picture, I find this not spicy at all, just a comfortable savoury braised flavour. Will definitely return to try the Mayak Jjimdak another day.

The chicken bits are served boneless with skin and pretty tender and well braised. My first try of the glass noodles was an NG as it wasn't well mixed in the gravy, hence extremely chewy, like rubber. After mixing it well into the gravy and giving it ample time to soak up the moisture (and flavour) of the gravy, it became so much softer while still retaining its QQ (chewy) texture.

So a small note to everyone, remember to mix the glass noodles into the gravy before you eat them!

 
Seafood Jjimdak (Medium) - $52.90 [Large at $65.90]

Similar to the boneless jjimdak but with prawns, mussles, squids and boney chicken parts. I find that the chicken in this jjimdak is significantly less tender than those in the boneless chicken, most probably due to the chicken parts. The mussels (my favourite shellfish), though on the small side, were still pretty fresh and chewy. The prawns were also pretty big and fresh, but peeling them when they're drenched in gravy is really not something enjoyable and nobody went for them until M took it upon himself to peel all the prawns for us.

For full detailed review, visit http://molly-mia.blogspot.sg/2015/10/mias-review-andong-zzimdak-media-tasting.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  boneless jjimdak,chicken karaage,mini seafood pancake
 
Table Wait Time: 45 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Oct 23, 2015 

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

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Categories : Malaysian | Halal | Noodles

For full review, visit http://molly-mia.blogspot.sg/2015/07/mias-food-trail-review-penang-culture.html

Penang Lor Bak - $7.95Well, I was expecting a pot of braised pork, and was surprised when it turned out as ngor hiang! Crispy on the outside with savoury and flavourful minced chicken meat inside, the lack of pork didn't effect its taste at all. Pairing up with a good dip of chili, this is just the dish to go for if you're not a fan of the distinctive 'pork smell' like me. Bronze BBQ Platter - $18.90

I'll find the satay, albeit flavourful, is a little too tough and dry (I took the mutton) and the squid a little too rubbery.

The disappointment of being slightly overcooked aside, the taste still packs a punch. The sambal, though not exceptionally spicy, is still strong enough to give a comfortable spiciness as you chew, with a slight hint of sweetness in the aftertaste. Penang Assam Laksa - $7.95

I'm not a fan of assam laksa at all, for I don't appreciate the sourness of the dish. But I love the extremely chewy (QQ) noodle that resembles the mouse tail noodles, which apparently is a characteristic of the dish.

I so want to fish out the noodles and dunk them in the prawn mee soup! HAHA!Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee - $8.95

Once again, I was expecting something close to our popular local delights, Hokkien Prawn Mee, but was surprised to see a bowl of prawn rice noodle soup.

Needless to say, the kway tiao (rice noodle) was soft and smooth, and the broth flavourful with the sweetness of the prawn heads and chicken bones that were used to boil it. With a quick mix in of the chili paste, this yummy bowl of prawn mee is complete!Black Pepper Mantis Prawn - $10.95

After munching down a few pieces of it, I still couldn't really tell that they're mantis prawn. But who really cares when the taste is absolutely heavenly? The battered, fried pieces of the mantis prawns were then tossed in a savoury black pepper sauce that is so delicious! This will totally go well with a bowl of rice, I'll tell you.Premium Crab Meat & Salted Egg Fried Kway Tiao - $14.99

As mentioned in my food trail post, this is my favourite dish at Penang Culture for the day. Those crispy fried bits you see covering all over the kway tiao are actually fried salted egg bits, which added to much texture and flavour to the savoury, soft and slightly chewy fried kway tiao that's tossed in generous serving of seafood.

 
Coconut Milkshake - $6.95

I'm not a fan of coconut, but this drink is still pretty okay for me. It's more towards the refreshing taste of a coconut water than the heavy creamy texture of milkshakes in general.

 
Rambutan Juice - $4.95

This is like a less acutely sweet version of the rambutan cocktail blended up with ice and served to you as it is. A really good choice, even if you're not really a big fan of rambutans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Supplementary Information:
food tasting event
 
Recommended Dish(es):  black pepper mantis prawn,premium crab meat & salted egg fried kway tiao,rambutan juice
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 28, 2015 

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

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Mia's Review: Bricks'N'Cubes Cafe Cry Jun 11, 2015   
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Categories : Café | Ice Cream and Gelato | Burgers and Sandwiches | Kids-Friendly

For full review, visit http://molly-mia.blogspot.sg/2015/06/mias-review-bricksncubes-cafe.html

Attracted by their avengers-themed burger set groupon deal, I took great pains to persuade T to drop by with me on a Sunday early afternoon, and found the café absolutely deserted. Frankly speaking, I was really surprised, judging from the fact that there is a groupon deal ongoing and I've expected a huge crowd on a Sunday.

And first up, their service didn't really impress me much. I had to walk to the counter myself to get a menu from the staff, and get reminded by him, albeit in a very polite tone, that I have to return to the counter to make my orders.

And the real first impression killer was the menu. The menu book really.... sucks.

It's just a worn out clear folder slotted with crumpled papers with dish names and prices printed on them. You don't even get to see what the dishes (will/may) look like when served.

 
Avenger's Burger Set

The result of a collaboration between a few brilliant local chefs, these colourful buns are made from natural ingredients, with no artifical flavouring, no gluten and no trans fat.

 
Each set comes in 4 different coloured mini burger but there's only 3 flavours to choose from: Grilled Chicken, Grilled Fish or Classic Beef.

 
Needless to say, this is indeed an instagram-worthy dish! Such adorable looking mini burgers with such bright colours.

But the good things end here.

The buns are pretty, but dry and hard, especially the outer skin. There seems to have a slight tinge of flavour in the buns (especially the orange bun, with a hint of citrus flavour) but it really didn't add any brownie points to the dish.

The grilled chicken was pretty poorly done, with a strong 'frozen chicken taste' to it and thick globs of fats under the slightly slimy skin (the chicken definitely wasn't fully cooked on the grill, but probably in a microwave).

Grilled fish, albeit better than the chicken, was still nowhere near good. Just, acceptable and not as bad as the chicken.

The french fries were also slightly soggy and dry inside. Didn't taste like they were freshly out from the fryer either.

 
Rocky Beef Burger

T chose a beef burger and his only comment was: At least the food is (temperature) hot.

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 31, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
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 1  |  
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 3  |  
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 2  |  
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 4  |  
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 1

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Not my favourite, but still good! Smile Apr 01, 2015   
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Categories : Japanese | Ramen

For full review, visit http://molly-mia.blogspot.sg/2013/09/mias-review-marutama-ramen.html

 
 
Their choices of ramen flavour is not really extensive. A very typical menu of an authentic humble ramen-ya. I ordered for myself a daikon and their Nama Karashi Ramen while Airmeli got a Tori Dango and their Aka Ramen.

 
Daikon - $4

Yes, you might feel that $4 for 2 pieces of radish (although they're quite big pieces) is pretty much a rip off, but I didn't really care much for the pricey-ness of it because:

1. I really love daikon

2. They're really damn awesome!

The daikon is served almost piping hot in a rich & flavourful savoury broth, which tastes like tonkotsu/chicken broth, and is cooked down extremely well to be amazingly soft throughout. Each and every bite is 'stuffed' full of the savoury taste of the rich broth. I need not even chew on them, but just pushes my tongue towards the roof of my mouth to mash it up and release the broth that was soaked up within.

Heavenly. Definitely a must try for all daikon lovers out there.

 
Tori Dango (Chicken Meatball) - $5

 
The Tori Dango is definitely a disappointment, and yes, it's not worth the $5. I expected the dango to be of, well, chewy dango texture. (duh!) But the first bite brought nothing but disappointment to my face. Nothing in this meat-packed ball is chewy. Instead, the entire meatball is soggy and crumbly. A soft bite to the surface easily breaks the dango in half and a few more bites just literally crumbles them into distinctive separate chunks in your mouth. Not my favourite kind of texture in a meatball.

However, from a cooking noob's POV, I also wonder if it's because they're using a lot of real chicken meat and very little flour.

As for the taste wise, I can't fault them on it but shan't commend them on it either. It's a "typical" meatball taste, flavourful yet nothing distinctive that screams: I'm a chicken meatball! I guess the only thing that hinted it's chicken and not pork is the crumbly texture.

 
Nama Karashi Ramen - $12

It looks just like a normal chicken broth ramen, yeah? But it's actually spicy ramen! This is one thing that is kinda intriguing to me. A 100% non-spicy looking spicy ramen!

The broth is rich, flavourful and has the spiciness level just right for me.

I think I'm just an average spicy food eater, and I do not like to eat challengingly spicy food as I believe it doesn't do justice to the ingredients and preparer of the dish. smile

Comparing the richness of flavour to Santouka and Ippudo, Marutama is definitely smack in the middle. I feel that their broth is definitely richer than Santouka's yet still manageable for me, unlike Ippudo's, which almost killed me.

Went Ippudo once, and plans never to return.

I do get a little thirsty while eating the ramen, due to the salty flavour of the broth, but I'm attributing it to the fact that I'm more of a lighter taste person. My preference for lighter taste is blatantly hinted in my obvious dislike for Ippudo's ramen.

As for the noodles, it hovers between chewy and hard imo, deviating slightly more towards hard. I'm a chewy (softer) noodle person, and Marutama's noodles really came this close to making it right for me. It was just a little bit too close to the hard side, but I can still accept it as well made noodles.

The char siu was also pretty well done, having a good mix of lean and fatty meat, cooked to a savoury tenderness.

I'm also rather disappointed that the ramen wasn't served with menma (bamboo shoots) and it wasn't offered as an additional topping or side dishes either.

And as seen from the picture, the ramen doesn't come with the flavoured egg (typical of many ramen shops) but need an additional $1.50 for an add on.

 

 

 
Just look at the pictures, need I say more? The $1.50 is a MUST SPEND!

I do feel that Marutama does their flavoured egg better than Santouka and Ippudo. smile

And in addition, Marutama offers Kaedama for those big eaters. With leftover broth and an additional $2, you can get your noodles refilled and eat to your heart's content! I'm not sure if it's a full portion refill though, because there's absolutely no way I can ever go for a kaedama.

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  daikon,karashi ramen
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

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

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Kotobuki - Not the ramen, please OK Apr 01, 2015   
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Categories : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

The restaurant is extremely quiet for a lunch hour (actually the whole Zhong Shan Mall is) with only 4 tables occupied, including ours. A flip through the menu (HERE) was pretty impressive with the relatively large selection of choices, even with Chinese/Korean fusion such as Mabo Tofu and Kimuchi Buta Itame (shallow fried pork with kimchi). I was really tempted to get the Kimuchi Buta Itame set but decided to stick to my original craving of ramen in the end, and ordered their recommended Spicy Ramen (spicy pork bone base ramen). The server asked if we would like to have the chilli served separately, and we just nodded our head without any apprehension of her question. Should I say, thank goodness we did.

 

 
Spicy Ramen, $15.

And that's the chilli that was served separately on the small dish, which kind of resemble a watery otah paste. I was all about to dump the entire lot of the chilli into my ramen when I suddenly decided to test out the spiciness. Once again, thank goodness I did, because it's ridiculously spicy for a calm orange paste! And so, I became extremely cautious, picking up minute amount of the paste and stirring it into my ramen before tasting the soup, making sure that the spiciness is still within the acceptable level before going for the next bit. The end result of the spicy ramen looked just like a normal tonkotsu ramen, it looked exactly like the picture on the right, no tinge of the spicy redness at all. But I can assure you, it taste just as spicy, or even spicer (because I always dump a lot of tongarashi nanami powder) than any other red hot spicy looking ramen we find elsewhere.

 

 
And this two picture shows you the amount of chilli I've added into my ramen in total. It really wasn't a lot at all!

The ramen itself was kind of mediocre, with a badly done job for the noodles. The noodles still have the very distinctive taste of 'kee', the characteristic put-off taste of the yellow noodles we find in our prawn mee and lor mee etc. My colleague and I immediately made a face upon our first bite, and we immediately did the same thing. Added more chilli. Lucky us, we both decided to opt for the spicy ramen. I'd say the scary spiciness of the chilli covered up the 'kee' taste splendidly. The noodles' texture itself also has a lot of room for improvement, for I find it a little too tough and not Q (chewy) at all. I know some people prefer harder noodles, but not me. I've yet to go for my root canal and I can't chew well, alright?

Within the ramen were two pieces of charsiu, half of a flavoured boiled egg, menma (bamboo shoots), a handful of greens (I think they're spinach), and a generous topping of bean sprouts.

The charsiu was, OMG, friggin tough! I had a hard time battling with it, which left my colleague clearly amused and slightly bemused. I bit into the meat, hard, 3 times. All I've done was to left my distinctive bite marks on the piece of meat. After more biting, tugging, and chopstick twisting moments, I decided to give up and stuffed the entire piece of meat into my mouth for a long chew down. The meat itself was flavourful, slightly salty, which really wasn't too bad.

But oh please, I was expecting charsiu in my ramen, not bakwa!

The menma and flavoured egg was less disappointing, with the surprise find of a few extremely soft and tender pieces of menma in my bowl of ramen. The menma, although not chilly cold like straight out of the refrigerator, wasn't exactly as piping hot as the rest of the ingredient in the bowl either. So, I can't really decide if the chef has dumped the ready cooked menma straight from the fridge and directly into the ramen. Oh well, I hope not. The flavoured egg, although not as well done as Ippudo and Santouka, was still acceptable after the scare of the noodles and the bakwa charsiu. The outermost rim of the yolk has been cooked through to hard boiled standards, but the insides still remain watery crumbly, while the whites was fully cooked through. Not that bad.

Now to another most important aspect of the ramen, the soup base. I've tasted the soup prior to adding the chilli, just for a better gauge of the taste. I would say, it reminds me greatly of the ramen soup I had when I dined at places like Ajisen and Ramen Play. Tasty, yes. But truly good? Hmm, I can only say I merely drank up less than half of the soup and my glass of Calpis wasn't enough to quench my thirst thereafter.

With this as my first dining experience at Kotobuki, I won't say that I'll never visit this place ever again. But the next time I have a ramen craving, I probably won't choose to go there.

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $20(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
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 1  |  
Environment
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Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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