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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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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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Authentic Shanghainese Cuisine OK May 03, 2014   
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Categories : Shanghainese

Xiang Man Lou Chinese Restaurant  香满楼上海菜

Xiang Man Lou Chinese Restaurant  香满楼上海菜

 
Xiang Man Lou ('XML') is a tiny Shanghainese Restaurant located at Temple street squeeze between the Temple Inn and a slimming studio. You can be sure that you probably passed this restaurant a few times without taking notice of it. I certainly missed it when I try to locate it, not to mention the non-English or non Hanyu pinyi signboard. Yup, if you have not figured it out until today, now you know Chubby Botak Koala can't read Chinese smile

XML served a traditional Shanghainese Cuisine. Quick research online, it seems that Shanghainese Cuisine uses alcohol freely in their cooking, from entrée to desserts. You basically can associate the drunken chicken, drunken duck or anything soak / cook wine to the Shanghainese cuisine. They are also known to be very bold with their flavour, so be prepare to expect super salty, spicy, tongue numbing and even nectarous flavor.
Xiang Man Lou Chinese Restaurant  香满楼上海菜

Xiang Man Lou Chinese Restaurant  香满楼上海菜

 
My recommended dish for XML are drunken chicken (醉鸡), braised pork knuckle(红烧圆蹄), fried frog leg in a mini-pot (干锅牛蛙), Chef's Golden fried rice (金沙炒饭), and mini rice ball with rice wine (桂花酒酿小圆子).

For the drunken chicken (醉鸡), XML uses the bone-in chicken whole leg, which consist of drumstick and thigh. It was soaked with rice wine over a period to time and the result is tender, succulent and full of flavour meat with light aromatic wine taste.
Drunken Chicken (醉鸡)

Drunken Chicken (醉鸡)

 
The Braised pork knuckle (红烧圆蹄) has a nice brown colour and looks lean. It is easily cut to smaller part with fork and spoon, due to the long cooking process. When you bite into it, the skin seems to melts in your mouth and the meat is very tender. The sauce is slightly salty, and it goes well with rice. Yummy!
Braised Pork Knuckle - in piece (红烧圆蹄)

Braised Pork Knuckle - in piece (红烧圆蹄)

 
The fried frog leg in a mini pot (干锅牛蛙) is nicely executed. The frog legs are succulent and the combination of the sliced vegetables and potatoes make this dish close to a comfort food. The spiciness level of this dish was much lower compare to the original version as we were blown off by the spiciness from the other dishes.
fried frog leg in a mini pot (干锅牛蛙)

fried frog leg in a mini pot (干锅牛蛙)

 
Fried frog leg

Fried frog leg

 
Chef's Golden Fried Rice(金沙炒饭) is one of the item not in the current menu. The nicely served round shaped fragrant fried rice gives a al-dente texture with enough 'wok hei'. The wok hei-ness combined with ingredients such as lap cheong and prawn, gives a perfect taste and it is not oily at all. According to manager, it is a very popular dish with Japanese tourists.
Chef's Golden Fried Rice(金沙炒饭)

Chef's Golden Fried Rice(金沙炒饭)

 
For desserts, mini rice ball with rice wine (桂花酒酿小圆子) is a must try, as it is a traditional Shanghainese dessert and of course it nicely prepared. Ingredients consist of mini rice ball, wolfberry and osmanthus flower. Slightly on the sweet side, but combine well with a fragrant low alcohol rice wine.
mini rice ball with rice wine (桂花酒酿小圆子)

mini rice ball with rice wine (桂花酒酿小圆子)

 
The sweet and sour whole fish (糖醋松子鱼) here is a feast to the eyes. The meat was sliced skilfully, that when it was fried, it come out looking like the pineapple skin. Although the presentation was just gorgeous, it is a pity that it is slightly lacking in taste. The fish is coated with too much flour and the sweet and sour sauce was just too heavy.
The sweet and sour whole fish (糖醋松子鱼)

The sweet and sour whole fish (糖醋松子鱼)

 
If you really wanted to tried some original Shanghainese spicy dishes, deep fried chicken with chilli (歌乐山辣子鸡), seasoned dry beef with pepper(干煸牛肉) and fried Chinese cabbage in Mini-pot (干锅包菜). The are just mind blowing spicy or tongue/lips numbing in some cases. Furthermore, they are super salty too. However, these are the flavours that you will get if you are dining in China. So for our PRC friends, these dishes will remind them of home-cooked food.
deep fried chicken with chilli (歌乐山辣子鸡)

deep fried chicken with chilli (歌乐山辣子鸡)

 
seasoned dry beef with pepper(干煸牛肉)

seasoned dry beef with pepper(干煸牛肉)

 
fried Chinese cabbage in Mini-pot (干锅包菜)

fried Chinese cabbage in Mini-pot (干锅包菜)

 
This dish is considered the lighter side of the cuisine, sauteed prawn served with vinegar (清炒虾仁) is a good option. The prawn is small in size, however it is very sweet and crunchy. If you dipped it in vinegar, it will add the tangy flavour into it, but made the prawn feel more crunchy.
fried Chinese cabbage in Mini-pot (干锅包菜)

fried Chinese cabbage in Mini-pot (干锅包菜)

 
The restaurant is simply decorated and very minimalist. Most of the tables catered for small to medium size group (4 to 6 people). Service is all right and the food came at a regular interval.
Dining Area

Dining Area

 
Overall, XML served traditional Shanghainese cusine, they also provided some other Chinese dishes that cater to the locals' and tourists taste buds. If you are not used to heavy flavours, I suggest you inform the service staff when you order. Ask for less salt and tone down on the spiciness. If I am around the area, I won't mind coming back for their drunken chicken and fried rice. I'll check out their Xiao Long Bao next time as well.

Thank you very much to OpenRice and management of Xiang Man Lou for the tasting invitation. Cheers!!

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala dining experience, click here:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/05/xiang-man-lou-temple-street.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Braised Pork Knuckle - in piece (红烧圆蹄),Chef's Golden Fried Rice(金沙炒饭),fried frog leg in a mini pot (干锅牛蛙),Fried frog leg,mini rice ball with rice wine (桂花酒酿小圆子),Drunken Chicken (醉鸡)
 
Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Lunch Menu OK Apr 28, 2014   
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Categories : Japanese | Sushi/Sashimi

Sun with Moon

Sun with Moon

 
Sun With Moon Japanese Dining and Cafe is a combination of Japanese Dining C with cafe concept. As far as I know, it has been in Wheelock Place for a number of years, however, I did not have the chance to visit it till today.
Logo

Logo

 
Located on the third floor, the dining area are segregated into two section. The section closer to the window are filled with natural lights that come through the window. While the section closer to the entrance has more of café setting, less natural lighting but are more cosy and comfortable. Nice atmosphere.
Seating Area near the window

Seating Area near the window

 
Bench Seating Area

Bench Seating Area

 
I decided to order Tonjiri Saba Shioyaki ($17.80 ) while Little Devil ('LD”) decided on Shokado Bento ($36.80). Both lunch come with the desserts and coffee or tea.
Tonjiri Saba Shioyaki set consist of sliced pork in miso hotpot and grilled mackerel with salt. The broth of the hot pot is very robust, think and full of flavour. The sliced pork belly is slightly lean but tender. The portion of the grilled saba is slightly small, nicely grilled. Juicy with a resilient texture of the first. To accompany the meal is a bowl of white rice and a couple of grapes and agar-agar.
Tonjiri Saba Shioyaki set

Tonjiri Saba Shioyaki set

 
The Pork Belly Miso Broth

The Pork Belly Miso Broth

 
Grill Saba Fish Filet

Grill Saba Fish Filet

 
LD's Shokado Bento is more glamorous. Consist of 3 kind of sashimi, prawn tempura, salmon sushi, sushi roll, beef steak and mini udon noodle. The sashimi cut is quite big and fresh, the same can be said about the tempura. The sushi are combination of fresh salmon sushi and grill salmon suhi. However, we notice the sushi rice is slightly hard. The beef steak is also slightly tough and it does not melts in your mouth. A disappointing bento set.
Shokado Bento

Shokado Bento

 
Udon part of Shokado Bento

Udon part of Shokado Bento

 
The ice cream and coffee or tea are served after the meal. Service level are quite ordinary.
Overall, we find that the food in Sun with Moon is just alright. My Tonjiri is nicely executed as the broth are rich and robust, however the rest of the food nothing to be marvel about except for the freshness of the ingredients. Great atmosphere, but not sure if I'll be back though. Cheers!!

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala experience, click here:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/04/Sun-With-Moon-Wheelock-Place.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Tonjiri Saba Shioyaki set,The Pork Belly Miso Broth,Grill Saba Fish Filet,Udon part of Shokado Bento
 
Spending per head: Approximately $32(Lunch)

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

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Categories : American | Restaurant | Pasta | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches

The Chop House

The Chop House

 
The Chop House is a casual dining eatery under the umbrella of Wooloomooloo Group. The same HongKong group that set up Wooloomooloo steakhouse in Swissotel the Stamford, which I have a memorable experience with their tomahawk steak a few years back. 

 
We have been wanting to try out this place since its opening, but there is always something that block our path. Anyway, since Little Devil's ('LD') BFF have a craving for lamb chop, we finally pop in there.
At first they allocate us in the centre dining area, seated at a table for 4 but the size is about 1 square metre which is more appropriate for table for 2. The atmosphere was gorgeous, with the view of Sentosa through its floor to ceiling glass windows. It is very romantic atmosphere, but anticipating the space to place our food, we request to be move to a bigger table.
The Bar & Dining Atmosphere

The Bar & Dining Atmosphere

 
We started the dinner with Crispy Calamari ($14) and Mussels Mariniere ($19). The calamari is tender yet slightly springy, coated with crispy batter. Seasoning is inconsistent, where some part can be bland while the other can be very salty. The Mussels Mariniere are perfectly executed where you can taste the wine in the broth. Unfortunately it was missing something to soak up the beautiful broth such as a bread or fries.
Crispy Calamari

Crispy Calamari

 
Mussels Mariniere

Mussels Mariniere

 
For Mains, LD ordered Australian Grass Fed T-Bone Steak (400g, $49). T-Bone steak consist of two type of cut, short loin (the small part) and tenderloin (the larger part), which created a challenge in cooking both of them to the right preference (ha.ha, one of the challenge in Master Chef Korea). As usual, LD loves her steak medium rare, and they only manage to deliver medium rare on the tenderloin side, but overcook the short loin part to medium. The meat are tender and juicy, and the creamy mash potatoes that come with it just so smooth, creamy and so delicious. Honestly, the mash potatoes are actually better than the steak, so we ordered another side of creamy mash ($7).
Australian Grass Fed T-Bone Steak

Australian Grass Fed T-Bone Steak

 
For my main, I have the USDA Prime Ribeye (200g, $36). It is cooked to medium rare as ordered. The meat is slightly chewy, not as tender as I expected from USDA prime ribeye. Sautéed potatoes are good and so does the accompanied peppercorn sauce. Portion is slightly small 200 gram, I wish they offer the 300 gram version. For the price I'm paying, I find the New Zealand standard steaks are so much better compare to the USDA in term of tenderness and price point.
USDA Prime Ribeye

USDA Prime Ribeye

 
LD's BFF ordered Australian Double Lamb chops ($31). She said it was quite disappointing as the meat is tough and one of them are charred.
Australian Double Lamb chops

Australian Double Lamb chops

 
For additional sides, we have the French Fries ($7) and creamy spinach ($8). Fries was double fried, probably with duck fat as it has that distinct crispiness and did not become soggy through the dinner. While the creamy spinach with onion is just smooth and tasty.
French Fries,  Creamy Spinach &  Creamy Mash

French Fries, Creamy Spinach & Creamy Mash

 
The Drink menu here is very extensive. Our choice for the drink of the night is Cool Mint ($8) – lychee, lychee juice, mint sprigs, ginger ale, and soda. Serving is quite huge, about 500ml.
Cool Mint

Cool Mint

 
The food menu offer quite extensive range, but it seems that the burger and their beef lollipop (braised beef shank size for 4 person) would be the better option compare to the steak. We decided to skip desserts here as we find what's on offer not enticing enough. The service is very good throughout and their service staff are very accommodating.
Chop Chop The Bill

Chop Chop The Bill

 
Overall, we find the food that we had during this visit did not really wow us. It just seems to be odd where the sides dish are so much better than the main meal. In this case the creamy mash, creamy spinach and French fries are the star, instead of the steaks. I'm not sure if we will return, maybe when we can't find better creamy mash in other place, we might just unconsciously return here.

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala dining experience, click here:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/03/The-Chop-House.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Cool Mint,Crispy Calamari,USDA Prime Ribeye,Australian Grass Fed T-Bone Steak,Australian Double Lamb chops,French Fries Creamy Spinach & Creamy Mash
 
Spending per head: Approximately $75(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Restaurant | Desserts and Cakes | Pasta | Burgers and Sandwiches | Brunch

 
Ever wonder on how Singapore looks like in the past? Or do you want to re-live the past of Singapore atmosphere in the 70s? Or are you are looking for a quick escape from the hectic Singapore? The Coastal Settlement is the place to be. Located in an 'ulu' (not easy to reach) location, off Loyang Ave opposite entrance of Changi Air Base, this place is not easy to reach if you are not driving. However once you are there, you will be rewarded with the relaxing olden days environment.
Entrance to the restaurant

Entrance to the restaurant

 
The menu in The Coastal Settlement has impressive offering to satisfy the palate of different customers, starting from local flavour such as nasi lemak to your steak and eggs.
Bamboo cup for the utensils

Bamboo cup for the utensils

 
We started with Portobello Fries ($15), Crumbed Portobello slices with truffle mayonnaise. The portobello mushrooms are sliced to fingers size, coated with bread crumb and fried. It has a nice crispy texture and retaining the juicy mushroom inside. Nicely executed and a must try for mushroom lovers. The truffle mayonnaise dipping was just too overpowering and cover up natural taste of portobello. Personally, just a normal mayonnaise or the Japanese version will be good enough.

 
For our main brunch, I had Rosti Sausage with fried egg ($21), while LD ordered Steak and Eggs ($32). The rosti is nicely done, with the crispy outer part while maintaining the moist internally. The sour cream provide a counter balance to the rich rosti and sausage. The baby spinach are dressed with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Yum!! Rating

 
LD's Steak and Egg ($32) consist of 250g Angus Rib Eye, Scramble eggs, truffle fries, mesclun  and veal jus. Yup, this is a huge one and I end up finishing 1/3 of it. The scramble eggs are smooth and fluffy. The steak was of a good size, cooked to medium rare with nice charred mark. It is juicy and tender, but not the better cut of Angus steak though. The truffle fries is not to our liking, however it goes well when we dip in to the sour cream on the rosti.

 
To accompany my brunch, I ordered a latte ($6). Nicely presented with a latte art finishing. The coffee is smooth, bold with a little acidity at the end. According to the service staff, they use home roasted beans, but decline to let me know from which roaster. LD's homemade lemon barley ($7) came with a lemon wedges, not slices. If you want more lemon flavour, just squeeze it.

 
Service is good and efficient but not extraordinary. We did not need to wait long for our food as it came at a regular interval. The dining atmosphere is just fantastic, feels like we were transported back to the 70s. We were so amaze by collection of 70s items, we just can't stop taking pictures. A very nice place indeed.
the environment

the environment

 
Overall, The Coastal Settlement really provide us with a location sit down, relax and transported back to the 1970s in Singapore. For those that who don't know what the 70s are like, it can be an educational visit as well. The food are quite good so your tummy will be well taken care off. Getting here might be a challenge, however if you know how to get to Change Village by public transport, The Coastal Settlement is just a couple of stop before the bus interchange. Cheers!!

For the complete Chubby Botak Koala dining experience, click the link below:
http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/2014/03/the-coastal-settlement-reminiscing.html

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Portobello Fries,Rosti Sausage with fried egg,Steak and Egg,Latte & Homemade Lemon Barley
 
Spending per head: Approximately $48(Lunch)

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

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