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midas400
This is midas400 living in Punggol. I am a engineer, work in Ubi. I like to hang out in Orchard, Serangoon, Tampines. Japanese, Singaporean, Cantonese/Hong Kong are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café and Roasted Meat, Dim Sum, Seafood.
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Categories : Japanese | Steamboat/Hot Pot

For full review & more photos - http://midas400.blogspot.sg/2014/03/bijin-nabe-at-tsukada-nojo-chinatown.html

Finally got to try this popular Bijin Nabe (Collagen hotpot) at the Chinatown Point outlet. We arrived at the restaurant at 6.30pm on a weekday and was told to join in the queue for a table.

 
This outlet operates differently from the PS branch where customers are required to leave their contact numbers with them to join the waiting list, and do not need to be physically queuing for the table. However, they do provide complimentary Japanese tidbits and magazines at the waiting corner for customers to kill time as the wait can be long sometimes.

 
In between the wait, we noticed some customers arriving with a 'reservation'...what? We always thought that no reservations was allowed for dinner after 6pm, but they were indeed being given priority to next available table when everyone in their party has arrived. Ok, we shall ask about it later. Meanwhile, we checked out the menu and decide what to order for our dinner.

We ordered the Must Try Bijin Nabe 美人鍋 Set ($25++ per pax, min 2pax to order), and some sides to go along with the hotpot. The friendly waitress took our orders when we have reached the first in the queue. Our wait lasted about 30mins with 2 groups of people jumping the queue with their reservations. Shortly after we placed order, our table was ready and we were being ushered in swiftly with the entire shop yelling "irasshaimase!!!"...officially welcoming us in to dine.
Table setting with built-in induction cooker and hotpot utensils.

 
The much anticipated collagen 'pudding' arrived with a friendly Jap waitress explaining what we're gonna be eating. The pudding-like Jidori soup was made with highly prized free range Jidori chicken, raised in a controlled environment in Miyazaki prefecture, Kyushu. The chicken bones were stewed for over 8hrs and left to cool to produce this collagen pudding. The pudding is imported on a daily basis directly from their Miyazaki farms.

 
When heated, the pudding gradually melted into a thick broth. The process took about 5mins, and we could already smell the aroma of the well made chicken soup. An organic chicken was revealed underneath the soup. The waitress then scooped up the chicken and a small cup of soup for everyone to taste the original flavor before the ingredients go into the hotpot. The broth was delicious!

The hotpot ingredients (4pax portion) has fresh prawns, minced chicken balls, Jap watermelon radish, zucchini, Jap beancurd, black fungus, enoki mushrooms and a variety of common veggies. All ingredients are carefully selected to make up the nourishing Bijin Nabe 美人鍋. The serving may seem somewhat lacking but looks can be deceiving, the noodle that comes with the hotpot set will fill up the gap later on.

 
The friendly waitress again, helped us with the cooking of the ingredients, explaining the origins of each unique ingredient and their nutrition value during the process. We didn't need to lift a finger! A couple of mins later, the Bijin Nabe 美人鍋 is ready to be consumed. We all eagerly dig in. Everything in this hotpot was oishii, I especially liked the crunchy watermelon radish!

The fresh prawns and some of the veggies that has an extremely short cooking time were left by the side for us to cook as we desire. The prawns were sweet and succulent!

 
The noodles (choice of egg noodle, mochi mochi noodle & rice noodle) was served last. The egg noodle soaked up all the goodness of the chicken broth and was utterly delish to eat.

 
We were filled to the brim by the time we're done with the noodles. And the side dishes served in between the hotpot session did helped to make us full as well.
Nikumaki Onigiri ($3.50 - $3.80++ each) is one of their signature dishes. It is a bacon wrapped rice ball with 4 kinds of toppings. I had the original one and it was very nice! Definitely recommended.

 
Do note that these rice balls are quite huge, please don't over order. One per pax is quite enough for ladies, maybe one more for big appetite guys.
Chicken Nanban $8.50++, is a Miyazaki specialty served with homemade tartar sauce. The fried chicken was uber tender and juicy, and pairs well with the creamy mayo-like tartar sauce...yums.

 
Fried Kagoshima Sweet Potato w/ Honey Vanilla Ice Cream $8.50++. The crispy, sweet and mushy potato fries were incredibly addictive to eat.

 
At the end of the meal, we were presented with a nice little dessert platter with a 'camera' in the middle, drawn with chocolate sauce, and the words 'Thank you for taking pictures!'. This is a little unusual as their drawings are usually chicken related. Perhaps we were really too busy taking photos of every single dish and sauces served here lol

 
The bite sized sweet treat was Lemon Orange jelly. Flavor changes daily based on the chef's mood...nice!
Just before we leave, we were given a name card each. Every customer becomes an Assistant Manager upon their first visit to Tsukada Nojo. Then they will be gradually promoted through the ranks (based on number of visits) until they attained the CEO status. Check out the number of 'employees' on the leadership board.

 
While making payment, we checked with the staff on their reservation policy. For Chinatown Point branch, reservation is allowed for bookings before 7pm. That explains it! We shall call up to book a table on our next visit.

Another piece of good news, only at Chinatown Point outlet, the Bijin Nabe is served all day on Sat/Sun!
Our dining experience at Tsukada Nojo was an exceptional one. Premium quality food, Jap standard warm service and down to earth pricing...we couldn't ask for more! A repeat visit is already in the planning lol

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Bijin Nabe set
 
Table Wait Time: 30 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 04, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $39(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Korean | Restaurant | Buffet | Korean BBQ | Kids-Friendly

Met up with sista at Kovan Heartland mall who is passing her homemade CNY goodies to me. She suggested dinner at this tiny Korean restaurant located at level 2.

 

 
Space between tables are pretty tight, I would not recommend this place for large scale gatherings. This place is more suitable for intimate groups of 2-6pax max. Some of the waiting staffs are Koreans, they speak good english. They have chinese speaking staffs as well.

This place provides complimentary Korean barley tea..

 
We ordered a Korean Army Stew and 3 smaller dishes to share among 3 persons. First up, the usual serving of assorted homemade appetizers. They were a refreshing start to the meal. I love to eat the Korean bean sprouts, mashed potato and spicy kimchi.

 
BBQ spicy pork belly $20++, marinated pork belly were prepared by staff and freshly grilled before serving to our table. Probably cos of the space constrain, customers are not required to cook the meats themselves. The freshly grilled pork slices were cut on the spot upon serving. I kinda like this arrangement.
BBQ spicy pork belly

BBQ spicy pork belly

 
BBQ spicy pork belly

BBQ spicy pork belly

 

 
The pork belly weren't exactly very spicy but certainly well marinated and full flavored. They were cooked just right with fragrantly charred exterior and tender juicy center...I enjoyed munching this delicious meat with and without the provided lettuce.

Seafood pancake $12++, pan fried to perfection with crisp edges and soft center, enveloping generous serving of fresh prawn, squid and veggies...wonderful dish!
Seafood pancake

Seafood pancake

 
Seafood pancake

Seafood pancake

 
Kimchi kimbap $7++, this was delish too. The rice was firm and had a nice chew to it, and the spicy kimchi has got the right amount of flavor to spice up the rice rolls...yums.
Kimchi kimbap

Kimchi kimbap

 
The main dish, Korean Army Stew Budae Jjigae hotpot $36++. This was cooked on the spot by skillful staff and left to stew for a couple of mins before serving.
Budae Jjigae hotpot

Budae Jjigae hotpot

 
Budae Jjigae hotpot

Budae Jjigae hotpot

 
When the wait was finally over, we dig in and discovered the myriad of ingredients inside this hotpot dish. There were pieces of pork, hotdog, luncheon meat, nian gao, noodles, baked beans, tofu, kimchi and other veggies...so much goodness in a single pot! All the ingredients were fresh and well flavored by the thick and spicy broth. An extremely satisfying dish.

We love dining at Hansik, this tiny eatery has quite a bit to offer for the discerning diners. No wonder meal times are always crowded, they have snaky queue even on weekday evenings. Staffs are all well trained and prompt with attending to diners need. Food is of good quality and reasonably priced. I would recommend this place for all Korean food lovers.

For detailed review - http://midas400.blogspot.sg/2014/02/dinner-at-hansik-korean-restaurant.html
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Korean army stew,BBQ pork belly
 
Date of Visit: Jan 24, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 2

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Birthday lunch at Sumiya Smile Dec 25, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

The year is coming to an end and we had celebrated the last birthday of the year with fellow evil sistas. The venue of choice was Sumiya, or rather the second choice cos The White Rabbit was reserved for a wedding event.

Sumiya, literally means 'charcoal house' in Japanese, is a casual dining style Japanese beer house that serves up premium charcoal grilled dishes to go with beer and/or sake. This place was formally a Japanese fine dining restaurant Kuriya Penthouse. The newly revamped establishment has an obvious retro vibe that transports the patrons back to the 50s - 70s with old school zinc cladded walls adorned with retro posters and ads. This place is dotted with vintage accessories such as the rotary dial telephones, copper crockery, plastic Coca Cola crates, shave ice makers etc. There is a traditional drum hanging on the wall by the entrance where the staffs would sound a round of drum for every visitor stepping into the restaurant.

 
The menu is presented in a roll-up newspaper style with clear description of food in pictures and elaborate text. They also have All-in-one set meals for groups of 2pax to 4pax, set lunches and other ala carte items. And, a separate menu for everything alcoholic.

 
We ordered the All-in-one set meal to share among the adults. The kids had set lunches to share.

Yokozuna set (serves 3-4pax) $168++
Includes assorted kushiyaki items, a grand looking sashimi moriawase platter, kani tempura, age dashi tofu, bikkuri chawanmushi, mini tonkatsu ramen, garlic rice, Singapore maki, assorted dried seafood w/ grill, soft shell crab spring rolls, pumpkin salad and desserts.

Assorted kushiyaki
Squid, cod fish & prawn, pork belly & chicken on skewer, saba fish & mixed veggies.

 
The ingredients used here is of superb quality and freshness. The chefs had made sure that every item is perfectly grilled with eye pleasing charred exterior and retaining the succulent juices in the food at the same time. Oiishi desu ne!

Sashimi moriawase platter
This impressive looking platter has fresh premium king prawns, seared Hokkaido scallops and 3 kinds of thick cut fish slices. Everything in the platter was intricately presented and utterly fresh to eat. Thumbs up!

 
Kani tempura
Nice, sweet and fresh with slight crisp batter...good.

 
Bikkuri chawanmushi
This is very special, it is a Japanese style steamed egg with udon as one of its main ingredients. Topped with king prawns, assorted mushrooms and greens, this dish was luxurious and surprisingly delish!

 
Tonkatsu ramen
Simple looking but big in flavor. The broth was divinely flavored and the ramen was perfectly springy...yums.

 
Singapore maki
Localized version of the popular California maki...nice.

 
Assorted dried seafood w/ grill
Several types of dried fish, squid and cuttlefish served with a hot charcoal grill for patrons to DIY their own 'beer snacks'. Its fun and yummy at the same time.

 
Soft shell crab spring rolls
Refreshing cabbage rolls loaded with crispy soft shell crab, mildly sweet crab stick, crunchy cucumber and tobiko roe. A perfect dish to freshen up the palates inbetween courses.

 
Pumpkin salad
The mushy Japanese pumpkin is oh so sweet and creamy...such a delight to eat!

 
Desserts
This set comes with 3 kinds of desserts, Kuzumochi, pudding & matcha ice cream. We liked the kuzumochi very much, its lightly fragrant and chewy in texture...quite addictive to eat. The pudding and ice cream were not too bad as well.

 
Overall dining experience was pretty good, service has been toned down from the fine dining kind of attentiveness to a more casual and friendly approach. Food quality did maintained its high standards and so are the prices. This is still a recommended place for good food and great service, definitely worthy of repeated visits.

For full review & more photos, please visit http://midas400.blogspot.sg/2013/12/birthday-lunch-at-sumiya-orchard-central.html
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Set meals
 
Date of Visit: Dec 08, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $58(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

I've been trying my luck with applications for food tasting with OpenRice for past months, this is the first time I got lucky and received my first ever food tasting invitation to sample the newly revamped menu from Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar (at Anchorvale CC). My friend, Wendy, was another lucky openricer joining me for this food tasting.

Brewbaker's is owned and managed by JPPepperdine group that also has Jack's Place, Hoshigaoka, Eatzi Gourmet etc. under its wings. It was previously serving a western menu and have now overhaul its entire menu to include Japanese and Jap/Western fusion cuisines.

 
Our Host from OpenRice for this food tasting session is Calvin Leong. He kicked off the session with brief intro of Brewbaker's and the people behind the scenes (Head Chef & Restaurant manager) running the show at the restaurant.

I checked out their new menu while the staffs are getting the food ready for us. Menu items are divided into numerous categories and food pictures are clearly labelled for patrons easy reference. There is definitely a good selection and variety in the new menu to suit most discerning palates.

 
Our dinner began with a Starter dish, Sashimi Caesar Salad $12.80++. Fresh tuna and salmon cubes and fresh greens tossed with caesar dressing and topped with crispy croutons. The salad dish also comes with a soy & wasabi sauce served on the side for customers to add flavor to the salad according to their liking.

 
I'm not a fan of Caesar salad as they contain cheese, however I find this dish alright after mixing it with some soy wasabi sauce. The ingredients used was definitely fresh.

The 2nd dish was an Appetizer, Atsuage Tofu $11.80++. Japanese style homemade tofu deep fried till golden brown and topped with lotsa bonito flakes. This tofu is not the typical silken tofu we are familiar with, but rather it has a denser and harder texture, more like our Chinese Tau kwa. The tofu alone is quite bland and must be eaten with soy sauce and some chili flakes to bring out its flavor.

 
This was another ok dish, nothing to shout about.

The main courses started appearing from the kitchen. First up, Carbonara Udon $12.60++. This is a fusion dish incorporating Japanese handmade thin-strand udon noodle with a western preparation method. It is topped with bits of crispy bacon and a perfectly cooked sunny side up with runny yolk.

 
I do not take carbonara but based on everyone's reaction, I knew this was the crowd favorite. Many were singing praises about the springy texture of the handmade udon. Thumbs up.

Next, comes another fusion dish, Kinoko Pizza $12.60++. This traditional Italian dish has been infused with Japanese flavor with generous topping of shitake mushrooms, tonkatsu sauce and shredded bonito flakes.

 
I had to give this a miss too as I don't eat cheese. My friend feedback that the pizza pastry is too soft, like eating bread with Japanese mushroom topping. She was not very impressed.

The 5th dish was a western dish, N.Z Beef Rib $21.00++. It was a huge slab of grilled beef rib topped with sweet BBQ sauce and served with crispy potato wedges & shredded cabbage.

 
This is the 3rd dish in a row that I don't eat cos I don't eat beef! I had gotten feedback from my friend again on her take on this dish. Meat was very tender but the sauce was a tad too sweet...not too well executed. I ate a few pieces of the potato wedges, they were good though..crispy exterior with soft mushy center, quite nice.

At this juncture, Calvin had realized that there will be at least 2 more main courses that I don't eat as they are gonna be beef dishes again. He requested the Chef to make something else for me. The Chef rushes off to prepare something for me after checking my food preferences.

The next main course was a Japanese hotpot dish, Beef Shabu Shabu (2 pax) $28.60++. I had a few sips of the broth before everyone started dipping the thinly sliced beef into the hotpot.

 
The broth was refreshingly sweet and the assorted veggies used were very fresh as well. Feedback from most people were positive for this dish.

The first item outside of the food tasting menu, Unagi roll (3pcs) $12.80++. Made specially for me by the Chef lol

 
The generous portioned unagi slices were extremely soft and well marinated...melted in my mouth like butter! The tamago, crabstick & avocado maki beneath pairs well with the yummy unagi. Truly lip smacking goodness!

More sushi items were served on our table, Matsu Sushi Moriawase $31.00++. Assorted fresh sashimi sushi platter to whet our appetites.

 
My fave item from this lot was the Amaebi (raw sweet shrimp) sushi...sweet and refreshing! Most of the other sushi were not too bad, fish was fresh but sliced a little too thinly though. The octopus was overcooked and chewy, not so nice.

We are now ready to move our butts to the Al fresco dining area to have our Charcoal grill dishes. Two sets of BBQ meats were served. Pork Belly yakiniku set $12.80++ and Ribeye Yakiniku set $32.80++. All meats are already marinated and ready-to-grill.

 
I had the grilled pork belly which was pretty good. The meat were very thinly sliced so caution is advised not to leave them on the grill for too long, else they will become chewy when overcooked. The accompanying veggies were all sweet and juicy, nice.

To end the dinner on a high note, dessert was served, Marble Cheesecake in Chocolate cup $6.50++. This was served with tropical fresh fruits and chocolate sauce.

 
I didn't eat this again but judging on the speed it was wiped out, I reckon the cheesecake was very yummy. I had a bite of the choco cup handle, it was not bad chocolate. The cup body was frozen stiff and hard to break so we gave up on it after trying for a while. The water melon and honeydew was good though.

We had a blast at the food tasting session. The OpenRice people were very warm and friendly and made the session extremely enjoyable.

Brewbaker's new menu will appeal to most people who loves Japanese and Western fusion food. They have good selection of dishes and variety was rather extensive. Prices are largely in consistence with most Japanese/Western eateries. Food quality are a hits and misses affair but you'll be fine if you know what's good to order. I would recommend this place for those to live nearby or those who drives as it is a little out of the way here.

*This is an invited tasting session.

For full review & more photos - http://midas400.blogspot.sg/2013/11/dinner-at-brewbakers-kitchen-bar-food.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Unagi Roll, Shabu Shabu
 
Date of Visit: Nov 05, 2013 

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

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Categories : Dim Sum

鸿食藝 Food Artistry is one of the dining & art jamming concept restaurants under Arteastiq. This place serves up traditional Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. This is the venue of choice for our November birthday celebration with fellow sistas.

The restaurant decor, inspired by olden chinese ways of the affluent community spending the day sipping tea and listening to chirping birds in cages, has a ceiling full of hanging bird cages painted in black, giving it a modern touch. In stark contrast with the all black ceiling is pristine white tables and chairs with some being 'caged' up in fuschia pink dividers.

 
We had a big group so we were allocated seating outside the pink 'cages'. Table setting is in consistent with the white theme with touches of black.

The menu, with food items being carefully divided into various categories. They have good selection of items in every category. There is also a Set menu with set meals available for 1pax - 8pax.

 
As the prices are on the steep side for main courses, we decided to order assorted dim sum dishes and 2 fried rice to share. The kids also shared 1pax set meals.

Instead of peanuts or pickles, we had Beancurd skin salad 凉拌豆腐皮 $3++ (charged as pickle dish on bill) served at every table. This was delicious, the springy beancurd skin is tossed with vinegar, chili oil and shredded cucumber for extra crunch.

 
This being the 2nd visit to an Arteastiq restaurant, I ordered Lychee Tea $8.90++ (cold) from the premium tea section and viola, this is how the tea set looks like...cute isn't it?

 
Other than just looking cute, this tea was bursting with lychee flavor and was refreshingly sweet. These delish teas were initially priced at $11++ and would come on a nice tray with a shot glass of sugar and a cookie/biscuit, similar to those we had at Museo. But they have since revised the price downward and do away with the nice presentation.

The first dish to arrive at the table was the Fried rice w/ crabmeat, dried scallop & egg white $16.90++. This pricey dish didn't score in the looks department but amazes us with rich flavors of crabmeat and savory dried scallops. It was perfectly fried with enough wok hei and the egg white compliments the crabmeat really well...everyone was singing praises after having the first mouthful!

 
The dim sum dishes started arriving in custom made Japanese style wooden steamers. We had the Custard & Salted egg yolk buns $4.90++ first, it was really good, with buns being soft and fluffy and the filling was thick and flowy. Thumbs up.

 

 
Shanghai Xiao Long Bao $7.90++, this was another stellar dish, the juicy marinated minced pork was swimming in a big pool of broth! We were all pleasantly surprised with the amount of broth these thinly skinned dumplings can contain. This is yummier than the Din Tai Fung ones in my opinion...must try!

 

 
Crispy mango prawn rolls w/ sesame seeds $4.90++, this was delish too. The skin was dotted with aromatic roasted sesame seeds and the savory prawn meat filling blends well with the tangy mango puree...yums.

 
The much anticipated Twelves beauties 金陵十二钗 $25.90++, consists of 6 pairs of the restaurant's signature dim sum. Impressive presentation!

 

 
The Sesame glutinous rice dumpling was not bad, nice and chewy with not too sweet red bean paste. The Crispy wanton was packed with crunchy fresh prawns and the savory Chicken wrap with crispy prata skin was pretty good though.

Dining experience here was very pleasant with fantastic food, chic & cozy ambiance and decent service from the waiting staffs. I highly recommend the dim sum dishes for those who doesn't have a deep pocket as they are great value for money!

For full review & more photos - http://midas400.blogspot.sg/2013/11/lunch-at-hong-shi-yi-food-artistry.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Premium Lychee Tea, Fried Rice with Crab Meat, Custard Buns, Salted Egg Yok Buns, Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, Twelves Beauties
 
Date of Visit: Nov 03, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $34(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
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 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 2

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