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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 : Singaporean Chinese



i came tim palace few weeks back with my sis & b-i-l on 24.11.2015.
some RI friends wanted to try after reading that post. happens that a close RI friend was visiting from cupertino USA (same friend so was at my house yesterday for a homecooked pasta + steak lunch & we had a cuppa at ducth colony pasarbella afterwards).
so he arranged a 10pax lunch at tim palace today on 16.12.2015. ^^
salmon sashimi was bad, wrong colour & almost “sweating”. cold flower crab looked a bit better maybe it was ok this time. didn't try.prawn & sotong salad & the pickledd scallops tips were still ok. poached prawn was good too.
roast station though was quite ridiculous –
we had 10pax. we got a plate good for 2pax!! yes 2pax!! you just have to look at my photos last visit to see what we got for 3pax! so being not so silent & compliant type singaporeans, we told the manager & was served another 2 plates (top photo).
sharks fin was ok.mainly because the stock was tasty & so the dish overall was pretty good.
drunken prawns was good.prawns were very fresh, bouncy, good. herbal soup was good too.
abalone & broccoli dish was very competent. there were 9 abalones for 10pax. we told the server & manager, & got 1 more abalone, no worries la!
they served us 2 deep-fried flower garoupa., pretty ok dish.
steamed seabass with sambal sauce was good, very nice sauce & dish done well. ^^
the sea cucumber with yam was ok.
there was a last order (i think 2pm). i ordered the prawns since the other 2 prawn dishes were good.the
xo scallop dish was competent.small scallops, quite nicely done.
& we ordered the lala.lala was fresh but it was overdone. this dish below par.
one friend said my manila clams was so much better.
the cereal crayfish this time was quite fresh so pretty ok
honey ribs non-descript.not badly done, just very ordinary zi char standard.
spicy steamed chicken feet was ok but not the good dimsum restaurant standard, both the sauce & the texture of the deep-fried chicken feet.
2-egg spinach was competent.not the standard of uncle leong though.
sambal kang kong was good if ordinary.
i had both the sea coconut & the lotus seed red beans, quite ok both.
we had a great time, lot of laughter & fun.
food was pretty good re the price = it was S$20.90pax after S$5 SC (senior citizen 55yrs) discounts. there is an additional S$2 for the tea+peanuts (you get charged anyway whethe you take or not).
here is what i meant by service being pleasant if untrained.
we asked for 2 pots of different tea. they said cannot & they will charge. we told them we had 10pax so 5pax take 1 tea & 5pax take another tea, why cannot leh?
after talking to manager we got 2 pots – pu er & jamine..of course they can actually refuse, but they let us have 2 pots. in my opinion the best trained service is one where you know something does not really matter, & the customers are not asking something unreasonable, and you can be flexible & give it to them to promote goodwill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Dec 16, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $27

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

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Good Dinner Smile Dec 01, 2015   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Zi Char

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2015/12/01/good-dinner-chat-moi-lum-on-26nov2015/
an RI friend organised november G20 dinner at moi lum 梅林 at maxwell road on 26.11.2015. ^^ we had 11pax.
the last one we had here was almost 3 years ago on 16.1.2013.
restaurant has several couplets on the wall, a bit of chinese tradition.
restaurant was less than 1/2 full.
the 8 treasures duck 八宝鸭 is their signature dish.
i saw the leg was quite disproportionate, size like a goose leg. later i realized probably the stuffing caused it to look huge.
must say this dish was really excellent!
duck was tender & so very flavourful. this is for me a fine chinese dish. though it was not served as an individual dish, the preparation must be so fine & skillful & the flavour was exquisite. ^^
the next dish, yam basket, was rather poor though.
the yam has now fragrance 芋香.
this is such a common almost ancient chinese restaurant & now zi char dish. quite surprising.
made me recall what a good yam basket i had at ah orh according to my previous post, though i cannot really remember the taste now.
my friend seems to be ordering all the birds here – duck & chicken.
but this chicken was again excellent, probably their signature also.
it came with sticky rice & other tasty stuffing, forgot to take photo.
chicken was deboned. the server confirmed that. we were wondering how that was done. didn’t have the answer. :-)
this was so different from the usual roast chicken, and also the very processed roast chicken with roast skin & minced meat made into a pancake (some restaurants called it 金龙鸡) which i don’t like.
salted egg prawns were competent, ordinary.actually not that great, in my opinion.hk steamed flower garoupa came with a load of fried garlic.
fish was very good, quite expected of a good chinese restaurant. the garlic gave it some differentiation.
not a wow dish for me, unlike the 8 treasures duck 八宝鸭 & the chicken.
the chives dish i guess was new for us, don’t recall having it previously, but not my favourite at all.
a 3-egg spinach or a good fragrant garlic fried vegetable dish would do better for me.
we had a fruit platter to share.
& some red beans pancake also.
dinner came to S$31pax nett for 7dishes include dessert. quite doable. the duck & chicken were beyond my expectations. fish was very good & the other dishes so-so. so overall i supposed quite good but a bit incomplete, not in terms of food quantity (we all had a wonderful meal) but in knowing what good dishes the restaurant serve.
another way to look at it-having 2 outstanding dishes is better than having mostly above average dishes.
we all had good chats & a wonderful time together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Nov 26, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $31

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

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Categories : Singaporean Chinese

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2015/11/27/great-value-alacarte-semi-buffet-beyond-expectations-tim-palace-safra-toa-payoh-on-24nov2015/

went with my sis & b-i-l to tim palace @ SAFRA toa payoh to try out their ala carte semi-buffet on 24.11.2015.
buffet is S$25.80pax. the added attraction is S$5 discounts for SC aka senior citizens! ^^
there’s a S$2pax for water, tea & peanuts (S$2.50pax or more if other drinks). so it was S$22.80pax for 3 of us, S$27nett each.
roast duck was really, really good! very flavourful.
so was the char siu!. i think this one of the best char siu i had. as good as the excellent chargrilled pork neck at imperial treasure nanbei or (better in fact than) any other good char siu places.
had a second helping of roast duck. ^^
nothing much to say about the cold station. prawns was large, plump, fresh & sweet.
scallops & mussels all the frozen type, nothing worth taking.
the scallop tips (front) were quite nice. the prawn & squid salad were ok. sos so la!
the flower crabs were soft, mushy “nua nua”, the frozen type, not worth taking also. all these i took very little just to try.
salmon sashimi was ok. quite sweet. colour didn’t look that great.
i skipped the sushi.
i ordered most of the dishes that they allowed only one order.
small abalone with broccoli was good restaurant standard. no complaints.
sharksfin soup was better than most cheaper sharksfin soup, not very gluey & stock quite tasty.
sea cucumber with yam was decent competent dish.
the scallops & celery in xo sauce was pretty good.
crayfish was poor! meat has no taste. this dish (thumbs down)!
anyway no big deal, so we took it. the char siu pao were good!
i read that the deep-fried flower garoupa not so good, so we ordered the steamed seabass with sambal sauce.
seabass not such a great fish. but this preparation quite ok…so again a competent dish. maybe i will try the garoupa next time. don’t mind coming back again. the honey ribs were ordinary. as good as any zi char stall i suppose. not my favourite.cannot really criticise thsi dish, but the char siu was many times better than this.
surprisingly also the drunken prawns was very good. must be a very good quality shaoxing wine绍兴酒.
the braised lamb pot was competent dish, but no more.
lamb still retain the gamey taste, and not specially flavourful.
i would say it’s a robust dish like a beef stew, so unless the herbs & preparation is special (like say at majestic), it’s not a dish i am particularly fond of.
dessert station the usual fare, with fruits, custard puffs & red bean pan cake etc.i took the sea coconut…quite refreshing.
and a bit of the lotus seed red beans dessert. pretty ok.
the food quality & cooking were pretty ok, not that much different from (i would say better actually) say peach garden miramar’s ala carte buffet, and certainly better than the ala carte buffet at ban heng orchard central.
the outstanding dishes for me here were the roast duck, char siu(tops), drunken prawns, abalone.
the sea cucumber & scallops were pretty good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Nov 26, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $27

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

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Good & Value Wine Dinner Smile Nov 25, 2015   
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Categories : Singaporean Western | Restaurant | Pasta | Seafood | Burgers and Sandwiches

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2015/11/25/good-value-wine-dinner-greenwood-fish-bistro-on-19nov2015/
a friend arranged a wine dinner at greenwood fish bistro on 19.11.2015. 8 of us attended. ^^
the same friend arranged fun wine dinners at (1) zaffereno & (2) halia previously
this evening we had a S$69pax 5-course dinner w/o dessert & coffee.
as i don’t drink i look only at the food menu whether i want to pay that just for the food.
the restaurant was kind enough to offer juice etc.
i took the wine. prosecco was good. i liked the white after this best.
reds were quite good too. the restaurant gave me a cranberry drink afterwards too, a great gesture.
first course were some smoked canapes. these were very good!the smoked salmon & mussels were excellent…how to describe? smokey i guess, very flavourful.
the smoked trout (the server said cold smoked) was so-so, not so tasty.the second course cured salmon with avocado also very nice. it was though nothing special.
the 3rd course barramundi was excellent!
not sure if barramundi is farmed in singapore like the smaller local seabass. this one the meat is firmer, not so “hu” like falling apart.
however 2 of my friends complained that the meat was soft. the rest of us were ok…maybe they got the local seabass instead? just kidding.
the 4th course was a duck confit?
it was a huge disaster! meat was tough & not edible!
actually the server said it was sous vide then cooked in oven (maybe the server got it wrong, just don’t sound right!)..
firstly of course duck confit is cooked in duck fat..while the word confit is used loosely to mean slow braise like say pineapple confit or belly pork confit, for duck confit it usually mean strictly duck confit. & i’m not sure you can roast in oven after sous vide.
my own 5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange
i would think a cold pan method of rendering out the fat & crisping the skin w/o overcooking the meat makes a lot more sense (above photo)…notice the fat had rendered out..
restaurant was great to do a service recovery.
they replaced the dish with a octopus.
it was competent dish, not the best but i guess good enough.
you could say a fish bistro would do an octopus dish better than a duck dish?
but then for the last course they served a really “kick-a**” belly pork.this was one of the best i have taken! ^^
not really smoked but just a hint of a flavourful ham, very tender & delicious.
i have a tea brined belly pork in the fridge now. planning to sous vide then pan-charred the skin. see if i can get anyway close or similar to this excellent piece. :-)
thanks to our friend, we had many fun evenings trying out different wine dinners & spending great time together.
i am not sure how their service is on normal days but for this evening, i think service was really quite exemplary & they really tried their best (from offering non alcoholic drinks to replacing the 4th course – even though they did not have much choice with the duck being such a quite monumental failure).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Nov 19, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $81

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

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Nice Music OK Food  OK Nov 23, 2015   
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Categories : American | Bars/Lounges | Live Sports Broadcast | Steaks and Grills | Kids-Friendly

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2015/11/23/nice-music-ok-food-georges-beach-club-on-21nov2015/
a friend arranged a night out to georges beach club on 21.11.2015. ^^
7 of us went for dinner & drinks. another friend could only make it later for drinks.
many of us came here for the first time. it’s a family place right by east coast park fronting the sea, cosy & pleasant not really chic (not really sports bar type).
songs by the resident group la chicago for oldies like us. ^^
menu is the regular bar/diners menu.
we had a dozen pork & chicken satay, & added another dozen later.
satay was good, small but tasty.
& a georges platter.
chicken wins were ok, like any.
the ribs were like louisiana ribs, great taste & fork tender. though i felt it was just slightly sweet, the overall taste was great.
the sausage was not so popular among my friends, and what showed as lamb rendang on the menu tasted like oxtail to me. it was good though also not that popular with my friends.
the prawn tempura was more like ebi furai (“fry”), not a tempura batter, but nice actually.
calamari was good though not chewy, rubbery. competent bar food i guess.
the bbq ribs were the best food for me this evening so we added an order of 1/2ribs.
looking at the menu now maybe should have ordered the full ribs.
the lead singer has a quite powerful voice. we like the oldies. a relaxing & fun evening. few of us though adjourning to a friend’s place to watch nadal vs djokovic match at 10pm so we left quite early.
bill was about S$31pax nett for food & drinks. my friends don't drink much but price was quite ok too.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Nov 21, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $31

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

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