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Seth.Lui
This is Seth.Lui .
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Seth.Lui  Level 2
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Showing 1 to 5 of 16 Reviews in Singapore
Classic Cantonese Restaurant Smile Nov 12, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Hotel | Dim Sum

The Regent hotel has retained much of its original heritage styling, but has through the years done modifications and minor refurbishing to keep with the times. Simply classic.

Summer palace is as old as the hotel itself, and retains much authenticity of Chinese semi-fine dining.
Having only 2 of us, we sampled the 5 course Power Lunch Set Menu ($52/person, minimum 2 person).

The dishes are all deeply-rooted in Chinese cuisine, with minor modifications to keep it more interesting and premium. The dumpling skin for example comes infused with Spinach in the skin.
Chef's selection dim sum

Chef's selection dim sum

 
1st course: Chef's dim sum selection - excellent dim sum, but don't eat the presentation garnish vegetables, it spoils the taste.

2nd course: Double Boiled Seafood Soup served in Golden Pumpkin - my favourite dish. Clear soup double boiled to really get the flavour essence concentrated, it paired lovely with the stronger sweet, soft flesh of the pumpkin bowl that could be easily scooped with a spoon. The crab meat, prawns and scallops inside were also soft and tender, meticulously cooked separately due to varying ingredient cooking times.

3rd course: Pan Fried Wagyu Beef with Soya Sauce - Being a Canton restaurant though, this is a distinctively Chinese dish with a premium touch to it. The beef was definitely tender and thankfully the soya sauce was not overpowering enough to mask the beef flavour completely.

4th course: Fried rice with seafood - Topped with dehydrated deep fried rice grains, the fried rice had a crunchy bite that brings an element of surprise to this common dish. A simple dish that can't go wrong.

5th course: Combination of Desserts which were Osmanthus Jelly, Mango Pudding with Pomelo, Sago Dessert. Another Chef's special, the first 2 are time-honoured Hong Kong desserts that anyone who trained in Hong Kong needs to know. Special highlight to the Chef's own creation of a Sago dessert, containing lemongrass jelly, aloe vera and lime juice with bits of fruit. A very refreshing jelly that clears your palate after the meal.

Food blog at http://sethlui.com
 
Date of Visit: Oct 29, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $60(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Australian / New Zealand | Bars/Lounges | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills

New Head Chef Dallas Cuddy promises to bring change to this Australian Streak restaurant, making ingredients from scratch with a fine-dining touch. He even grows his own herbs outside the restaurant... ... WUT?!

The Prime Society serves one of Singapore's best Australian beef cuts, with quality steaks from Mayura Station, Rangers Valley and Cape grim- the best you can get from all over Australia. In Mayura station, they feed the wagyu cows marshmallows and sing to them. That's better than how my mom treats me.

Although some of the breeds are good, don't bother with the inferior cuts like tri-tip or petite tender, instead go for the time tested flavourful cuts like Sirloin or Ribeye.

Also perhaps the staff didn't inform the guests properly which is a service oversight, but some of the steaks like the Cape Grim sirloin was intentionally seared to produce a charred exterior, which might look burnt but is the way it's done to introduce a mutli-layered flavour.
steaks

steaks

 
I recommend:
Starters
-Truffle chicken liver parfait pastry ‘cigar’ ($5/piece)
-Salmon ceviche, whipped roe and anchovy pastry ($13)
Main
-Mayura Station Full Blood Wagyu Sirloin cut ($110)
-Cape Grim Grass fed Black Angus- Sirloin ($58)
Dessert
-Baked lemon and honey cheesecake, blackberries and burnt meringue ($10)

More photos and the full review at http://sethlui.com/prime-society-singapore-food-review/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Cape Grim Grass fed Black Angus- Sirloin
 
Date of Visit: Oct 08, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $120(Dinner)

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

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Well-known dim sum in Jalan Besar Smile Oct 20, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Dim Sum

Char Siew Pau

Char Siew Pau

 
Swee Choon is one of Singapore’s oldest established dim sum restaurants, having more than 40 years of heritage. What was originally a single unit shop-house at Jalan Besar has grown to occupy 4 connecting shop-houses and even has tables in the back alley.

I first came to know Swee Choon years ago because it opened till 6am, and was the perfect supper place for drunk party-goers. Strangely, the traditional dim sum model has always been a morning affair, but Swee Choon Tim Sum has managed to turn it around, only opening for business at 6pm instead. After clubbing, Swee Choon is fairly accessible from town and thus caters to the midnight supper gang. Families and youngsters alike patronize this popular spot along Jalan Besar.

If you haven’t heard of Swee Choon, you haven’t clubbed hard enough in Singapore.

Dim sum is known for ordering in variety so that everybody can share. I’m only highlighting some of the best dim sums I liked at Swee Choon, as there’s just too much too list.

Yam Paste with Pumpkin and Ginko Nut ($3.80). Yes, it’s a dessert but it was the first to arrive on our table. It’s a coffee shop, so don’t expect Swee Choon to serve dishes according to course order. Yam paste was at the thickness I like, not overly gluey, just the right sweetness and the portion was not too much to get jelat (sick of it). Coconut milk made it very fragrant as well.

Swee Choon Mee Suah Kueh ($2.00). This is Swee Choon’s signature carrot kueh mounted with Mee Suah then fried. Crispy mee suah on the top paired with the soft insides of the kueh makes the bite more multi-dimensional, rather than the usual carrot cake.

Red Bean Paste Pancake ($4.80). Red Bean paste has always been a childhood favourite of mine, which makes this pancake awesome. Swee Choon makes the pancake skin thin enough so that there is a good ratio of red bean paste to crispy pancake dough. A balanced bite of red bean and pancake with each rectangle piece. Perfection.

Prawn and Banana fritter ($2.80). Combining prawn and bananas might have sounded crazy at first, but this is a wonderful dish. Crispy fried, after biting through the crispy exterior you taste the soft banana flesh, then hit the firmer prawn meat. Banana and prawns lend a sweetness that oddly works together, making the fried dough more exciting. Swee Choon Char Siew Pau

Char Siew Pau ($1.80). Some places serve mini char siew pau for ants, but Swee Choon sticks to the big manly classic version. A classic dim sum order, you can’t say you’ve had dim sum without ordering char siew pau. Sweet pork filling and a pau skin that is bouncy and soft.

Har Kow ($2.40). I’m slightly irked here because Har Kaw used to be served in FOURS since the cavemen invented dim sum, but now it comes in TWOs at Swee Choon. Same goes for the Siew Mai. A good Har kaw is all in the skin’s recipe, which isn’t bad at Swee Choon, but I think Tim Ho Wan does it better.

This is just one of the subtle ways that Swee Choon tries to increase price, as well as serving some french fry looking, weird turnip appetizer ($1) at the start of the meal.Swee Choon Xiao long bao

Shanghai Xiao Long Pau ($4.00). Thank goodness the Xiao Long Pau still comes in fours. Swee Choon’s Xiao Long Pau is really good, with a firm skin that doesn’t just break and spill precious soup all over with merely a touch. You have to nip it firmly with chopsticks to break apart, then slurp up the soup and eat the Xiao Long Bao. Dip with vinegar and get some ginger strips in as well.

Fried Prawn Dumpling with Mayonnaise ($4.20). I’m perplexed that some dishes come in TWOs, some in FOURs and this one here comes in THREES. Gosh stick to some consistency. I like these fried prawn dumplings better than the Har Kow. Swee Choon’s dough for fried dim sum is consistently good. They fry upon order and everything comes crispy hot. The mayonnaise adds a bit of wetness to take away the monotonous fried dryness.

Pork ribs with black bean sauce ($2.80). Another cost cutting measure can be seen in the pork ribs here, where they hide yam cubes below the pork ribs. HA! Thought I wouldn’t notice did ya. I’ve been eating pork ribs with black bean sauce dim sum for over 20 years and no, yam has never been in the recipe. Although the pork and sauce does taste very tender and delicious, the amount of meat is pretty abysmal. I’d skip this dish as its not worth it.

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun ($3.60). This here, is the Pièce de résistance of Swee Choon. You must try it. The crusty, sweet and salted egg yolk filling, flowing with their soft pau is truly a delight and one of the best salted egg yolk custard bun I’ve had in Singapore. None of that raw eggy taste, the custard is very well made.

Overall, I feel that Swee Choon Tim Sum has maintained it’s standards through the many years, but has raised prices subtly. This is understandable in the rising rent and costs of ingredients in Singapore. The amount of dim sum variety here is also amazing, even serving some sze char dishes if you oddly came to Swee Choon Tim Sum NOT for Dim Sum.

Swee Choon Tim Sum is still one of Singapore’s oldest and most successful dim sum restaurants that won’t break a hole in your wallet. Fried dim sum dishes are still fried a la minute even with the increase in crowd and not pre-made. It embodies our local taste through the years, and is comparable to Hong Kong Michelin star dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan.

For more reviews and awesome recommendations, check out sethlui.com
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Liu sha pau,char siew pau,red bean pancake
 
Date of Visit: Sep 29, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Dinner)

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

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Fresh assam fish head curry Smile Oct 12, 2013   
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Categories : Shanghainese | Kids-Friendly

Assam fish head curry

Assam fish head curry

 
I’m an absolute addict for Assam fish head curry, this ambiguous ethnic curry that comes with that Assam spicy and sour kick. I was searching online with terms like “best Assam fish head curry”, and many of the food bloggers quote Gu Ma Jia as one of the best. Well, there’s no stopping me from arguably the best assam fish head curry in Singapore now is there?

Arriving by car at Tai Thong Crescent near Macpherson, my family very luckily stumbled upon a car park spot right in front of the restaurant. Normally though, I think finding parking might be an issue as the road there is single lane parallel park lots and I parallel park like Mr. Bean. If you can’t handle the stress of people waiting behind while you try to squeeze in, I suggest to just drive further down instead.

I made table reservations prior because of paranoia. Walking in, I gave my name to the counter girl who ironically doesn’t speak Mandarin in a Chinese restaurant. I’m all for foreign labour to fill the manpower shortage, but I guess you should learn the language given that 99% of the clients here are going to be speaking Mandarin, and some of the older generation doesn’t speak English. They don’t seem to have a very good book keeping of the reservations and had to ask me again for how many people, then randomly gave me a table that was available. Ok la, logistics is not Gu Ma Jia‘s strong point, but it’s the fish head curry that matters after all.

We sat down at our round table and THE Gu Ma herself took our orders. I could tell because she looks exactly like the cartoon caricature beside her logo. She really resembles a adorable typical Singaporean Aunty, with the small eyes and permed hair. She’s quite a good salesperson though, trying to push us more dishes and upsell desserts. Very aunty indeed.

So obviously, the dish we ordered first has to be the famed Assam Fish Head Curry ($25). I was actually expecting it to come in a big curry pot, but instead it’s on the typical fish heating plate. Doesn’t hold a lot of curry sadly. The red snapper fish they used was absolutely fresh; like still swimming in the curry fresh. Usually curries can afford to use older fish because the heavy curry spice would cover up the scent. Here however, the curry was a bit lighter which really lets the freshness of the fish shine. It’s also not overly spicy and would probably sit better with the general audience.

Gu Ma Jia Oyster egg

Oyster omelette ($12). I loved the Or-Luah here. It was pretty much all fluffy eggs and fresh, firm oysters without the gooey starch added. I love it without starch and this was right up my alley. More like a classic prawn omelette style but with oysters.

Kyoto Pork ribs ($20). This was very good ribs with a sweet tangy sauce and tender pork ribs. Not too sure why it needed to come in aluminium foil, perhaps it was baked which explains why the ribs were so soft. Apparently they used to drench rose wine in the pork then flame it, but alas that was a show of the past. Gu Ma Jia Spinach soup

Spinach Soup ($12). Gu Ma Jia‘s version of the egg spinach soup is literally, a soup. The usual style has a more starchy, thick soup and more like a sauce broth instead. Still, this was quite cleansing and refreshing to the palate after all the heavy curries and pork sauces. Have to get some vegetables into the stomach after all.

I think Gu Ma Jia has a very good balance of dishes, and the other items besides their signature Assam Curry Fish Head are quite underrated. A casual, homely experience suited for family diners.

It’s a good Assam fish head curry, but to me not the best. There can be, only one. Ocean Curry Fish Head in my opinion has a stronger, more flavourful Assam Curry, but their fish is not as fresh as Gu Ma Jia. Frankly I don’t think Ocean Fish Head curry is the best in Singapore either and my Assam Curry search will continue.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Assam fish head curry,oyster omelette
 
Date of Visit: Sep 22, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $28(Dinner)

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

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Not as bad as everyone thinks OK Oct 03, 2013   
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Categories : American | Restaurant | Seafood

Boston Seafood shack is a relatively new casual seafood concept housed in Star Vista mall, brought to you by Creative Eateries, the same people behind famous local chains like Bangkok Jam and Siam kitchen. Boston Seafood Shack looks poised to compete against the big shots like Fish & Co and Manhattan Fish Market.

I'm going to be perfectly honest with my readers; prior to the tasting session at Boston Seafood Shack, I did some online research on the restaurant and boy, were the results far from flattering. If you looked up hungrygowhere.com, you'd probably still see the nasty reviews up there. I promised myself as a food writer that I will never sugar coat a truly bad experience, if not that defeats the point of a review. This might be awkward hmm.

Nonetheless, one of the main reasons why they invited food blogger Melissa (melicacy.com) who in turn brought me along is because Boston Seafood Shack has committed to change. The previous service crew team has been served fried cuttlefish (fired), the head chef has been replaced and the recipes have been tweaked. Even the ordering format has changed from a fast-food counter style to table menu ordering like a proper restaurant. These guys are serious about getting back on track.

Meeting the chirpy PR team of Reza and Eileen, I'm glad the experience started out well with these amicable fellows. The restaurant interior is clean, brightly lit with a lot of natural sunlight from the glass windows, and has a casual nautical theme associated with western seafood.

So how does the food measure up?

 


First up were portions of Mussels/Clams with Garlic Bread ($12). These came with spicy white wine broth, a very classic seafood dish and loads of garlic. The white wine reduction was pretty well done, not tasting any of the alcohol and pairing well with the shellfish. The ample diced garlic and spice made sure there was not much oceanic taste from the clams/mussels. My only gripe is that serving pot was not wide enough, and wanting to dip garlic bread in the white wine sauce below all the claims/mussels proved as challenging as wrestling a polar bear.

 
Crispy Soft Shell crab ($11). Paired with lobster sauce. This was absolutely value for money, getting TWO crabs at $11. Usual Japanese restaurants probably do the same tempura soft shell crab in the range of $8-$10 for ONE. So getting this is quite worth the money. The crab is crispy and batter is fragrant akin to tempura. Douse it with the lobster sauce to get a nice compliment of crispiness and wet seafood flavours with each bite.

 
What American seafood restaurant is complete without Fish and chips? Melissa, a.k.a the bottomless pit, ordered the Wild Snapper Premium batter fish and chips ($14). I've to say, the fish is pretty... normal. Nothing really exciting about the red snapper, but nothing really bad either.

 


Boston Seafood Bucket ($17). A fried mix of calamari, oysters, prawns and fish and chips. Eating the entire bucket can get a bit repetitive on the palate, with every item fried in the same batter and giving similar textures. The portion's pretty big though and the price is quite reasonable.
Lobstah roll

Lobstah roll

 


Boston Premium Lobstah Roll ($14). Oh yea, the photo looks as good as it tastes. This was my favourite item at Boston Seafood Shack. The lobster chunks were huge in this bun roll and the creamy lobster mayonnaise sauce was refreshing after all the fried goods. The lobster wasn't shredded finely and served with loads of mayonnaise to musk the lack of meat like other places do to save cost. This is the star buy here.

 


Seafood Grilled Platter ($24). Grilled red snapper, prawns, calamari, corn and buttered rice. Compared to the fried seafood bucket, this provided much more variety in taste and texture combining fried and grilled elements with staple rice. I felt the snapper wasn't fresh enough though, as grilled seafood needs to be really fresh to bring out the natural flavours. Compared to Fish & Co's seafood platter which no doubt everyone will use as a gauge, this dish still has improvements to make.

 


From top: Baked Seafood Marinara pasta ($14), Crabmeat Porcini Cream Sauce pasta ($14). I was really full by this point, but the bottomless pit somehow managed 2 more pastas. The seafood marinara sauce tasted like the cook misread 2 teaspoons of basil as 2 barrels. The herbs were just too overpowering and I hope this was a one off mistake.

The Crabmeat Porcini was a completely different experience, with generous amounts of crab meat mixed with springy porcini mushrooms and light, tasty cream sauce. This was a pretty good pasta even after so much food.

There were a few hits and misses at Boston Seafood Shack, and I am glad to say that this restaurant is not as bad as the internet puts it out to be. They had a rocky start, but not now anyway. Some of the dishes like the Lobstah Roll and Crispy Soft Shell crab have very generous portions and serve value for money. If you eat with an unbiased stomach, Boston Seafood Shack is worth a try if you're in the area.

Expected damage if you eat normally: $20-$30 per pax

More reviews at:
http://sethlui.com/category/food-review-2/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Lobstah roll
 
Date of Visit: Sep 25, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Lunch)

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

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