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chefquak
This is chefquak . French, Japanese, Teochew are my favorite cuisines..
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chefquak  Level 4
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Hotel | Restaurant | Seafood | Buffet | Kids-Friendly

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2014/01/16/very-average-buffet-citibank-1-for-1-olive-tree-on-15jan2014/

6 of us went to olive tree for the citibank 1 for 1 S$68pax weekday buffet on 15.1.2014. i had not been to this place for umpteen years, so thought gave it a try. the evening was fun but the food was very average, not expensive at S$34pax=S$40nett, but i agreed with my “fussy” friend = no need to spend S$40 on average food even though price was ok. smile

the cold crayfish & scallops were not sweet (or like tasteless?) but quite ok if you add the hot sauce & tabasco (which means…)…the same with the cold flower crabs (nothing like teochew cold crab)..i took them with wasabi so it was ok..

the snails were good & oysters good too (i had 3 of each)..but 2 of my friends had bad tummy afterwards though i was ok.

the biggest letdown was sashimi! the photo above looked great, and i was telling my friend who didn’t take sashimi much that kajiki (swordfish) was 1 of my favourites & got him to take 2 pieces from my plate, but as it turned out it was the worst, completely tasteless! likewise the salmon. tako was average, not the good sweet ones.

the cold pasta & salad station was among the best. but this was also a station that most people gave a miss w/o trying. the spicy prawn salad was great & the chicken sausage risoni as well.
the prawn noodles station was self service which suited me fine as i took very little noodles & a lot of bean sprouts, prawns & fishcake & just enough of soup. i liked the very intense soup & had a 2nd helping, but i agreed with my “fussy” friend that the soup was too salty.smile

i also had some nasi padang dishes. the beef rending sambal chilli & ikan bilis with peanuts all quite average.

i skipped most cooked food stations in buffet (& that’s the reason i prefer semi-buffet places like the excellent one ninety, equinox & basilico where the main courses are served separately as fine dining dishes.

for olive tree though, i must say i liked all 3 main courses = braised lamb, duck & dory, all good dishes.

there was self service rojak station as well. i liked this too. & i had a helping of cheese. there was kikarangi, a light kiwi blue cheese i used to like. today somehow it was not so pungent, perhaps i have forgotten the taste..my “fussy” friend added – everything was not quite right..haha…we do all affect each other. smile

i not much dessert person so i found nothing in the wide array of dessert. the coconut & durian ice creams were very good though!

the restaurant was sadly only 30% full on a wednesday evening, so many of us were saying the cold seafood & sashimi were left-overs. anyway it sure looked like a lot of wastage!

the ambience was great except an untimely lion dance, which 1 friend described as louder than MS in a tennis grand slam (that was supposedly louder than a airplane landing). fortunately it was over in 10minutes.

the service was very good though. we were first seated in a corner & like all kiasu singaporeans we decided to park ourselves next to the cold appetiser station, but the lady server rearranged the tables to let us sit near but slightly off the station which was better.

the buffet also came with coffee, cappuccino, camomile tea etc.

i would rate this buffet below The Edge, but this was substantially cheaper at S$34 (only with the 1 for 1), but for me like my friend, the price was ok i won’t really come back here for this. equinox & one ninety are still the (semi) buffets for me.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Cold pasta & salad station, Rojak
 
Date of Visit: Jan 15, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $40

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Coffeeshop | Zi Char

See my full reviews & photos = http://chefquak.com/2013/11/27/just-average-zi-char-two-chefs-on-26nov2013/

4 of us continued on our zi char dinner quest at two chefs on 26.11.2013.

the zi char stall at a commonwealth drive had good reviews, but honestly i was quite disappointed. while it was better than woh hup at hong lim (which was bad!), it was far, far from the very nice dishes we had at kok sen. in my opinion,it was not even comparable to the forture restaurant at the old holland road coffeeship.

the only dish i really liked was the S$6 blood cockles – pickled raw cockles (腌血蚶) with lots of garlic. chopstickbut then i was about the only one eating them as my friends were not into this much & one felt that garlic was too much (though i liked). so it was not representative!

to me, the worst dish was the claypot fish head, though the photo may look ok. its a dish i had not taken for perhaps >10years or longer. though i think most are served cut up& deepfried, i still preferred the one i had 30 years ago at whampoa where they served the head whole & not deep-fried. two chefs did have assam fish head & blackbean sauce song fish head. surely those would be ok – it’s like anyone can do a song fish head, i remember 1 news report said 1 hawker centre had 15 stalls selling it!

the salted egg prawns were ok, tasty but oily, and really not my preferred preparation for prawns.

the golden mushrooms tofu was ok i guess, but quite poor in comparison with kok sen & muliangzai liang kee which were minced pork deep-fried tofu.

the 3-eggs heng chye was watery, taste ok.

overall, it was a very average meal a very average meal can get at any coffeeshop (like 6th avenue coffeeshop). maybe still have to try the muliangzai type of zi char stalls. i guess correspondingly the price is cheap $60nett for 4pax, but then kok sen was cheap too & very much better!
claypot fish head

claypot fish head

 
salted egg prawns

salted egg prawns

 
3-egg heng chye

3-egg heng chye

 
golden mushrooms tofu

golden mushrooms tofu

 
blood cockles

blood cockles

 
 
Date of Visit: Nov 26, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Dinner)

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

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Forgettable Meal OK Nov 22, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese

A quick post. 3 of us had dinner after movie at kilo at pact on 21.11.2013.

Nothing much to be said about this place. It's a place I would not go & would not go back. That’s just me & my choices. Nothing wrong with the place. Guess it is kind of hip. kilo is co-located with a boutique fashion? retail shop & a salon. no idea what is “pact” in the name? food i guess is jap-western?

The belly pork don was pretty good & tasty actually. it was very small portion – 1 friend said “jiak boy pa” (not filling) – & cost S$17++=S$20nett.

The belly pork was soft, just slightly sinewy (not the texture i like) unlike the smooth texture of dongporou or kongbakpao. the braising sauce which was also drizzled over the rice was slightly sweet (japanese style) & made it quite tasty. so it was good actually but a “nothing” kind of meal for me, like a foodcourt dish but good tasting & cost S$20. not something i would try myself & certainly not go back. however the place maybe hip or cool & people may like it. cannot tell.
kilo at pact

kilo at pact

 
belly pork rice bowl

belly pork rice bowl

 
belly pork rice bowl

belly pork rice bowl

 
kilo at pact menu

kilo at pact menu

 


 
Date of Visit: Nov 21, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $20(Dinner)

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

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Very Cheap French Food OK Nov 19, 2013   
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Categories : French | Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | European | Desserts and Cakes | Steaks and Grills | Kids-Friendly

our dining quartet decided to take advantage of maybank 1 for 1 set lunch promotion & dined at bistro du vin on 18.11.2013. the usual price for a 3-course set lunch including coffee was S$30pax. the menu had quite wide choices. there were couple items like pan-seared foie gras & 200day grain fed ribeye that required supplement – quite reasonable unlike some places where 1 in 2 items required supplement, however the supplement were separately billed & not entitled to the 50% discount.

i love leek & potato soup (& especially this one came with 2 kaki furai – japanese breaded oysters). however i was distracted by the rabbit terrine & ordered that. it was good, tasty, competent. i was happy with it. smile

1 friend ordered the leek soup which was good as expected though it looked just slightly thin & not so creamy & did not have foam (we were paying S$15pax for a S$30pax set lunch, so that was more than good enough i guess.. haha).

1 friend ordered the foie gras ravioli (the pink sauce didn’t look great or very appetizing to me like the beautiful pumpkin ravioli at al borgo did, but i think it tasted fine). the other ordered the baked camembert with sour dough. it looked ok but my friend said it was not as good as the other bistro du vin outlet at great world city.

for the main course, i ordered the beef ribs stewed in beer. again it was competent & the mash too, though in comparison my own spanish beef ribs was better because i had a very sweet & tasty vegetable ratatouille to match/balance the fork tender beef ribs whereas this one was very beefy & robust.

1 friend had the duck confit. he thought the black sheep cafe’s was better. 1 had the seafood bouillabaise with fish, clams, mussels, prawns. she said the fish was not great. anyway, bouillabaise & duck confit not my favourite. the smartest among us ordered the 200g 200-day australian grain-fed char-grilled ribeye – a S$10 supplement with no discount.it was ok really for the quality meat. i could smell the steak when it was served, & i had a small piece & it was excellent. chopstickchopstick

for dessert, i & another friend had the caramelised apple & raisin crumble with roasted apple ice cream. it was good, though it would please the eye better served on a dessert plate or long dessert dish. 1 friend had creme brulee which was recommended by the waiter & which she obviously enjoyed. the other had chocolate madaleine. the madaleine texture looked dense. i was about to say the ones at esso station looked better but my friend beat me to it. so this dessert was not good. i had cuppaccino & my other friends had coffee.

overall, at normal S$30pax for 3-course set lunch including coffee, the food was competent enough & i didn’t consider it expensive. with maybank 1 for 1 discounts, the lunch was S$15pax (excluding the supplement) with 2 free wine for 4pax, well you could not get that at a hawker centre or coffee shop. so it was very cheap & great value.

c/w au jardin which served a S$45pax 3-course set lunch include coffee (there was also a S$65pax menu), which was also having the maybank 1 for 1 promotion including wine, i would return to au jardin (which i was to happy to pay full price at other time) rather than bistro du vin. the latter was competent & average whereas au jardin was fine dining in both food & presentation (& of course quite different ambience). eg my lamb saddle was exquisite, even better than many good lamb racks i had before.

on the service, bsitro du vin was ok. the young male server was quite knowledgeable & responsive & answered my several questions on menu items & selection. 1 of my dining companion had poor opinion of the service though because he did not offer the wine to us automatically but only when asked & he replied that most people did not take wine during lunch. the attitude i think was ok, but maybe the training on managing customers was lacking here. but overall, the service again was competent & in my opinion rather better than many similar places.
200day grain-fed chargrilled ribeye

200day grain-fed chargrilled ribeye

 
baked camembert

baked camembert

 
duck confit

duck confit

 
seafood bouillabaise

seafood bouillabaise

 
apply crumble & ice cream

apply crumble & ice cream

 
foie gras ravioli

foie gras ravioli

 
creme brulee

creme brulee

 
3-course set lunch menu

3-course set lunch menu

 
leek & potato soup with deepfried oysters

leek & potato soup with deepfried oysters

 
chocolate & madaleine

chocolate & madaleine

 
beef short ribs

beef short ribs

 
rabbit terrine

rabbit terrine

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  leek & potato soup with deep-fried oysters
 
Date of Visit: Nov 18, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Nice Beef Noodles OK Oct 07, 2013   
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Categories : Thai

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2013/10/06/beef-noodles-thai-noodle-house-on-6oct2013/
thia noodle house

thia noodle house

 
green curry chicken S$8

green curry chicken S$8

 
beef noodle soup S$10

beef noodle soup S$10

 
fried rice with prawns S$9

fried rice with prawns S$9

 
beef soup w/o noodles S$10

beef soup w/o noodles S$10

 
wanted a quick bite, and crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao was full, so went to thai noodle house near coronation plaza on 6.10.2013. we all like the beef noodle soup there so it was a place we go sometimes when ran out of dining ideas & tired to go far.

the place was quite full, but turnover was quick too so we got our table for 3pax quickly. we ordered 1 beef soup w/o noodles to cut down the carbo. daughter wanted to try the fried rice & green curry chicken, so we skipped our usual favourite – the stir-fried basil beef & sweet potato leaves.

the beef soup noodles were good as usual. the braised beef briskets were excellent, beef balls, sliced beef & soup were great. though it was still not authentic like in bangkok, it was still the best we had (we tried e-sarn sometime back & though ambience was great, the beef noodle taste were poorer).

i didn’t think much of the fried rice & green curry chicken. it was like food court stuff, & a S$3 or S$4 fried rice from old holland road coffeeshop would be better. overall S$37 was rather ex for the quality of food we had whether c/w coffeeshop or hawker food. still, it was just because i didn’t like the food we ordered except for the beef noodles. it would be ok if it were the usual basil beef, sweet potato leaves, & deep-fried beancurd, so it depends on food orders & preferences.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  beef noodles
 
Date of Visit: Oct 06, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $12(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 2

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