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Chubby Botak Koala
This is Chubby Botak Koala living in Hougang/Kovan. I am a Foodies, work in Ang Mo Kio. I like to hang out in Serangoon, Katong, Tampines. Singaporean, Chinese, Multi-Cuisine are my favorite cuisines. I also love Hawker Centre, Restaurant, Café, Bistro and Roasted Meat, Desserts and Cakes, Dim Sum, Something not too spicy.
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Your Backyard Cafe Cry Oct 26, 2014   
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Categories : European | Café | Desserts and Cakes

Lola's Cafe

Lola's Cafe

 
For those that passed by Simon Road regularly, Lola's cafe need no introduction. The same can be said for the cafe hoppers, this place is definitely in the list of the must try cafes. However, before you made up you mind to visit this place, the waiting time to get a seat here is also legendary.
Caffeine Dealer Operating Hours

Caffeine Dealer Operating Hours

 
I can't remember how many times we have said to each other when we drive home passing by Simon Road, we need to give this place a try. We were given a chance to try it out when we are not working on a Friday morning. Thinking that we might be able to get a table because it is still early, but after asking for a table, we informed that we might have to wait for 45mins. On a positive note, you don't need to stand there and wait, instead you can register your name and contact number in ticktok machine and they will call you when its ready.
Queue Machine

Queue Machine

 
While we were waiting, we decided to share a quick bite of wanton mee at the corner coffeeshop, ;p
The Counter

The Counter

 
Part of Dining Area

Part of Dining Area

 
Once we get the call, we were seated table for four and we have to share with another couple. We both decided to order Lola's Full Monty Breakfast ($15) and Honey Paprika Crispy Wings ($10).
Lola's Full Monty Breakfast

Lola's Full Monty Breakfast

 
The Full Monty Breakfast come with brioche bread, pork sausage, honey bacons, ham, scrambled eggs, garden salad and balsamic dressing. Sausage is moist covered with a crisp and springy skin. Eggs are creamy, with melted cheese on top. The bacon is crispy and coated with honey, which is good to cover the saltiness in the bacon. The ham also tasted sweet, as the honey coated bacon was placed on top of it. Salads with balsamic dressing provide a good balance to heavy and only proteins. We only hope that they give us more of the nice brioche. One is not enough, two should be the minimum.
Lola's Full Monty Breakfast - Close Up

Lola's Full Monty Breakfast - Close Up

 
Honey Paprika Crispy Wings, voted one of the best chicken wings by The Smart Local. It is crispy, but moist and succulent on the inside. However it tasted sweet as it is coated with honey. The paprika supposed to give the heat to the wings, but to minimum effect. We think it is all right, but nothing to rave about according to our taste buds. LD says that she really do not understand why others are so wowing so much about it.
Honey Paprika Crispy Wings

Honey Paprika Crispy Wings

 
For the drinks, we ordered Latte ($5), Sparkling Strawberry Fruit Tea ($5.5) and Mango Tango Green Tea ($5.5). For the latte, they used the beans from Dutch Colony. The Latte is subtle, smooth, with a mild acidity at the end. Its good. The fruit infused tea is slightly disappointing. Sparking strawberry tasted flat, missing the sparkling park. While the mango tango can be better if the tea is stronger.
Latte

Latte

 
Mango Tango Green Tea & Sparkling Strawberry Fruit Tea

Mango Tango Green Tea & Sparkling Strawberry Fruit Tea

 
Service is very good. The service staff are friendly and upfront. They manage our expectations properly, like informing us the estimated waiting time to get a seat. As the cafe are packed, it can be difficult to get their attention at times. However, once you get their attention, they attend to your needs promptly.

Overall, we find the food at Lola is good although the chicken wings are not to our preference as we are more of salty type of foodies. If the chance arises, we will come back to try other items on that menu. Cheers and Keep up the good work guys !!!

For the complete review, click here:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/10/lolas-cafe.html
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Lola's Full Monty Breakfast,Honey Paprika Crispy Wings,Latte
 
Spending per head: Approximately $28(Lunch)

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

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Sumptuous Mangalitza Pork Belly Smile Sep 25, 2014   
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Categories : Korean | Restaurant | Korean BBQ

8 Eight

8 Eight

 
Eight Korean BBQ originated from the USA open its first outlet in Singapore at the Central, Clarke Quay. The number Eight '8' represent eight different colour and marinate of the delicious Mangalitza pork belly, which is also known as the 'Kobe Beef' of Pork.
The Dining Area

The Dining Area

 
The first thing that you notice when you enter 8 is the setting. Set in chick industrial setting, it is a refreshing diversion from the traditional Korean BBQ restaurants that has been popping up like mushrooms in Singapore. The meat is cooked on angled grill pan by the well trained service staff.
Part of the Dining Area

Part of the Dining Area

 
The Tilted Grill Pan

The Tilted Grill Pan

 
For Oink Oink lovers like us, this place is a dream come true. A must order here is the whole 8 type of pork belly, 8 colours set ($98) which comes with Kimchi, Bean Sprouts, vegetables and Seafood Bean Paste stew. As we were keener to try the Army Stew, we ask to change and top up the difference of $6.
The 8 Colours Set. (From Left: Red Pepper, Miso, Curry, Herb, Garlic, Ginseng, Original & Wine)

The 8 Colours Set. (From Left: Red Pepper, Miso, Curry, Herb, Garlic, Ginseng, Original & Wine)

 
If you order items like us, the following is on how the order of the food will be. Korean Grill Squid ($18) and 8 Special Steam Egg ($12). The squid is quite huge and grilled with a touch of butter for taste. It is springy and tender, and comes with a soy and mayonnaise dipping sauce. Best eaten while it is hot. A unique cooking method that is different from most of the Korean BBQ, 8 will place their kimchi and bean sprout on the grill and it become a hot side dish. The steam egg is light and fluffy, but at side the stone bowl, the eggs can be a bit dry.
Korean Grill Squid

Korean Grill Squid

 
Special Steam Egg

Special Steam Egg

 
The side dishes are very limited, however it is free flow together with the wrapped vegetables. If you need sliced garlic or other condiments just ask the service staff.
Radish Block to Clean the Grill

Radish Block to Clean the Grill

 
Next will be the beef. You can choose from US Prime Beef or Kagoshima Wagyu. We tried their US Prime Beef Rib Eye ($58). The size is about 300 gram with nice marbling on the beef, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cooked to medium rare, it is tender and just melts in your mouth. Awesome!!
US Prime Beef Rib Eye

US Prime Beef Rib Eye

 
The army stew is decent as its objective is to fill up your tummy. Ingredients are pretty basic, instant noodle, sausage and luncheon meat cooked on seafood soup base with bean paste.
The Army Stew

The Army Stew

 
The Army Stew - Ready To Eat

The Army Stew - Ready To Eat

 
For highlight of the dinner, 8 type of seasoned pork belly: Original, Red wine, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste and red pepper paste. The first four has a more lightly flavoured seasoning, while the later 4 has a stronger flavoured seasoning.
Pork Belly on the Grill

Pork Belly on the Grill

 
Since the cooking is done by the service staff, the pork bellies achieve the right texture. It was cut to bite size and has a crisp texture and it just melts in your mouth. So Sinfully Delicious!!!
Pork Belly - Ready to Eat

Pork Belly - Ready to Eat

 
Our preference so far is: wine, original, herbs and miso. We find these flavour complements the pork belly instead of overpowering it.
Ginseng Chicken Soup

Ginseng Chicken Soup

 
We tried their Ginseng chicken soup ($25) and Seafood Pancake ($20) on different occasion, but we find them quite ordinary. The ginseng chicken soup version here has a light cloudy broth and the chicken is not stuffed with rice. The ginseng taste is not very commanding. Meanwhile the pancake taste very plain and a bit too oily.
Seafood Pancake

Seafood Pancake

 
Service is friendly and good. Each service staff was allocated between 2 to 4 tables, as they need to be in charge of the cooking so it is easy to catch their attention. In case if you are worried about the oil and smell get to your bags, you can put them inside your stool. The table are very small, so you hardly any space put your stuff on it. Unfortunately, you will come out for the place smelling like bbq pork belly, so not recommended if for lunch if you have to go back work afterwards.
The Exhaust System - too tall to make any difference

The Exhaust System - too tall to make any difference

 
Overall, we find this pork belly centric restaurant is excellent; it is one of my favourite. The pricing is reasonable and it has become a place to go to satisfy my sinful cravings. So if you are around Central, give this place a try. Gun Bae!!! Cheers!!!

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala experience, click / copy the following link:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/09/eight-korean-bbq.html
 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Ginseng Chicken Soup,US Prime Beef Rib Eye,Korean Grill Squid,The 8 Colours Set. (From Left: Red Pepper Miso Curry Herb Garlic Ginseng Original & Wine),Special Steam Egg,The Army Stew
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Sarnies – Solid Brunch  Smile Sep 19, 2014   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Café | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches | Roasted Meat | Brunch

Sarnies !!!

Sarnies !!!

 
I have been hearing about Sarnies when I chat with other food bloggers on the places to go for brunch. So when I have cravings for a good big brekkie, I decided on Sarnies.
Indoor Dining Area

Indoor Dining Area

 
When I looked at Sarnies weekend menu, it reminded me of a proper big brekkie that I used to had in Melbourne. Open up by sibling team from Aussie, Sarnies served wholesome food, healthy and organic food that will fill your tummy until it overflow.
Waiting for my grub

Waiting for my grub

 
My visit there was on Sunday and the place is about 3/4 filled. Placed my order and decided to sit at the two seaters at the back near the kitchen, where I can see the whole cafe and have a feel on what happening in the kitchen. The décor is simple, with combination of wooden furniture. Place is a bit cramp, but they manage to maximise the seating arrangement. Ambiance was good especially with their music selections.
The Fry Up

The Fry Up

 
I did not wait long before my 'The Fry Up' ($25.90) was on the table. Two fried eggs, home cured bacon, a pork sausage, homemade baked beans, grilled mushrooms and sourdough toast. Wow, the portion is so generous. Sunny side up eggs are done perfectly with the oozing yolk. Bacons are thin and crispy like chips but not to salty. Mushrooms were buttery, while the sausage is on the hard part, thus the juicy part is missing. Nice portion of sourdough bread. The best part was their homemade baked beans. Unlike the canned version that I have nightmare with, I enjoyed the Sarnies version. It is flavourful, good texture of the beans and tasted like American chilli beans.
Homemade Lemon Lime Bitters

Homemade Lemon Lime Bitters

 
To accompany my breakfast, I had homemade Lemon Lime Bitters ($7.50). My favourite drink. The Sarnies version use fresh squeeze lemonade to add a bit of zing into the drink. Nice and refreshing.
Latte

Latte

 
Of course I did not forget about to order the coffee. Latte ($5) was my choice and come with good latte art. It is smooth and creamy. Well balanced and not too acidic. With the natural lighting, I think it is one of my best latte shot.
Water Bar :)

Water Bar :)

 
Service is friendly and they looks like they are having a good time while they are working. For order, you need to go to the counter to place order and pay first. Self service water bar is available too.

Overall, a very good place that serve fantastic breakfast. Excellent portion! I will definitely be back for more. Cheers Mate!!!

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala experience, click / copy the link below:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/09/Sarnies.html
 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  The Fry Up,Homemade Lemon Lime Bitters,Latte
 
Spending per head: Approximately $39(Breakfast)

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

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Long Awaited Return Smile May 29, 2014   
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Categories : Thai | Restaurant | Steamboat/Hot Pot

MK Restaurant

MK Restaurant

 
MK Restaurant is one of Little Devil's favourite restaurant. Every time we are in Thailand, it is a definitely-must to have one meal in MK. So when MK re-open its branch in Singapore, she has been pestering me to eat there. We were discouraged by the waiting time at first and following that, we have a few trips to Bangkok, so there is no urge to visit MK. This visit was also by coincidence when we need to do something at 313@Somerset.
The Dining Area

The Dining Area

 
When you enter the restaurant, you will find the familiar feeling as MK Restaurants in Thailand. Starting from the furniture, decorations, even the cutleries and steamboat induction cooker and pot. Basically 95% “same same”.
Table Arrangement

Table Arrangement

 
However when you look through the menu, you will find some items from regular MK Restaurant not available here. Items on the menu are in three languages: English, Chinese and Thai. Apparently they are using the same menu as MK Gold, in Paragon Bangkok. Few of the favourite items, for example rugby and ping pong balls, that we like are not in the menu, great disappointment.
Table Setting

Table Setting

 
We proceed to order their signature dishes such as crispy roast pork & char siew ($12.90/small), jade noodles ($3), crystal fish egg ball ($4), shrimp wanton ($4.50), MK signature ball ($5), pork liver ($4), sliced beef ($16/large), special seaweed roll ($5) and mushrooms and vegetables.
Jade Noodle

Jade Noodle

 
Clockwise from top left:  Pork liver, Shrimp Wanton,  Special Seaweed Roll,  MK Signature Ball & Cry

Clockwise from top left: Pork liver, Shrimp Wanton, Special Seaweed Roll, MK Signature Ball & Cry

 

 
Tang O & Mussels

Tang O & Mussels

 
The broth are standard. Clear and subtle. The food also come in the dark red plastic bowl that you can stack as high as you can. The jade noodle is very springy with fried garlic on top. The Crispy pork and char siew has the similar taste as in Thailand, however as they are not using Thai pork, the meat is not as tender as those in Thailand.
Crispy Pork and Char Siew

Crispy Pork and Char Siew

 
For steamboat items, all the ingredients are quite fresh. The crystal fish egg ball has the crunchy taste in it, together with the shrimp wanton and MK Signature balls. The sliced beef has a good marbling and for the price, quantity given are quite generous. Of course having MK steamboat won't be complete without the MK Sauce. It was spicy and shiok according to LD. It seems they have gone through the re-branding to elevate their brand in Singapore. For Chubby Botak Koala, I sticks with light soya sauce smile
Crystal Fish Egg Ball

Crystal Fish Egg Ball

 
MK Signature Sauces

MK Signature Sauces

 
It seems that MK is really serious in relaunching its branch in Singapore. Half of the service staff are Thai and well trained. They brought with them the friendliness of Thailand in their service, and their professionalism ensure everything works without a hitch. I was impressed. Did I mention, they also bring their ice tea here as well.
Thai Iced Tea

Thai Iced Tea

 
Overall, I find that MK has done very well in the opening of a new branch in Singapore. It almost has not notice any difference whether you are dining in Singapore or Thailand. Price is very competitive, considering the location. Best of all, if LD need to satisfy her MK cravings, she can always pop by here for a meal. Cheers!!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Crispy Pork and Char Siew,Crystal Fish Egg Ball,Thai Iced Tea,Clockwise from top left: Pork liver Shrimp Wanton Special Seaweed Roll MK Signature Ball & Cry,Sliced Beef - Large,Tang O & Mussels,Jade Noodle,MK Signature Sauces
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Fusion | Hotel | High Tea | Desserts and Cakes | Buffet

The F&B team at Amara Singapore has recently relaunch ELEMENT, their restaurant – bar concept. Element offers first of its kind, multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-occasion F&B experience. In this review, Chubby Botak Koala & Little Devil will only focus on the International buffet selections.
Element

Element

 
The following are the selections available once you enter Element, Sushi & Sashimi counter, Bread counter, cold cuts and cheese (Woohooo, prosciutto with rock melon), Seafood (including lobster, crayfish, oyster, legs of Alaskan King crab, prawns, etc), live stations , roast selection, cooked food station and desserts.

 
So let's dissect the buffet range starting from the sushi and sashimi selection. In sashimi section you have the salmon, tuna, seabass for standard selection. These cuts are fresh, generous and delicious. It seems that the chef like me, and I get some cuts of salmon belly which was fatty & beautiful. The sushi variety are ever changing depending to the fresh cuts they have and the creativity of the chef.

 
For the bread, cold cuts and cheese, we zoom in on our favourite prosciutto with rock melon. We skipped the bread as we don't want to fill ourselves, however my MIL who had a bite of it said that it was good. In the background you can see there were showing Jamón ibérico ham. Unfortunately, it is only for ala-carte menu instead of the buffet.

 

 
Moving to the seafood section, we devour the beautiful fresh lobster, crayfish, oyster and leg of Alaskan King crabs. The taste of the seafood are combination of freshness and well executed cooking technique before it was chilled. The lobster and crayfish are solid and I did not taste any fishy smell. The oyster size are medium in size, however the quality is superb.

 

 
On the night, the live stations presented curry crayfish with fried mantou, Lap Mei Fan (sausage rice), ramen and tiger prawn tempura. The crayfish are bouncy and the mantou soak up the curry nicely. Lap Mei Fan (Sausage rice) is a good carbo option, where the rice are fragrant with tasty blood sausage and pork sausage slices. The ramen has springy texture while the broth was milky, robust but slightly peppery. We did not taste the tiger prawn tempura though.

 

 

 
The cooked food selection is quite limited about 6 dishes, However, the focus in Element is about quality not quantity. Most of the dishes are good, with lyonnaise potato, lamb navirin and Taiwan cabbage are our pick for the cook food.

 
While we have stuffed ourself silly with the seafood and sashimi, we only have little space for desserts, which included assorted fruits, chocolate fountain with marshmallows, assorted pastries, cold deserts and asian desserts. Luckily, we made the right decision focusing on the seafood and mains, as the desserts are quite ordinary.

 
The atmosphere of this place is very good and very open. We were seated near the bar section, which has an opening towards outdoor seating facing Tras street. The open air bar concept is good, but it does make you wonder if it is wasting the electricity and air conditioner. Meanwhile, the floor to ceiling wine chiller will sure catch your eyes. It works in multiple way, as wine chiller, partition and decoration.

Service is good when clearing the plate, however the staff knowledge need to be improve. When I ask them where the hidden ham come from, it took them ages to provide me with the answer.

Overall, the newly launch International buffet selections are a definite winner. The seafood are fresh, they have a wide variety of selections and the quality of the food are excellent. From the price point, it is value for money. Cheers!!

Please note that we visited Element in January 2014, so the Elements are still in Christmas atmosphere.

For the complete pictures and Chubby Botak Koala dining experience, click / copy the link below to your browser.
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/03/Element-Amara-Hotel-Singapore.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Cooked Dish Selections,Lap Mei Fan (sausage rice) & Tiger Prawn Tempura,Fruits and Chocolate Fondue,Sashimi Moriawase,Seafood,Curry Crayfish with Fried Mantou,Ramen,Bread & Cheese,Cold Cuts Selection,Seafood Selections
 
Spending per head: Approximately $65(Dinner)

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

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