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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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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Restaurant | Dim Sum | Noodles | Kids-Friendly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
To start off, we had the 豉汁蒸肉排 Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce ($4.20). This was not overly oily and marinated just right to produce soft steamed ribs. It can be easy to go overboard with the black bean sauce, as it's quite a salty paste, but this was perfect. Very good start.

Hearing so much about the 4 Heavenly Kings Dim sum (四大天王点心), a homage to old-school Hong Kong celebrities the 4 Heavenly Kings, it was time to see whether they live up to the name.

This is the 黄沙猪润肠 Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver ($5.50), which is quite rare in Singapore to use pig's liver wrapped in Chee Cheong Fun/Vermicelli Roll. I initially thought it was beef before popping it in my mouth, then the liver hit me. Now personally I hate liver, but in a bid for an objective view, the liver was about medium cooked still having some redness thus being tender and fresh. It was good for Chef Warren. We also had the prawn and char siew version of the this dish, which all had very fresh ingredients as well.

The chee cheong fun roll wrap for all of them was silky and smooth yet firm enough to hold all the ingredients in without breaking apart. Soak up more of the sweet soy sauce for a nice well-rounded taste. 酥皮焗叉烧包 Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

酥皮焗叉烧包 Baked Bun with BBQ Pork ($4.50).
OHMYGODWTFBBQ. Biting into the crispy sugary skin breaking apart to reveal savoury char siew brought me to wonderland for a few seconds. Traditional Char Siew Bao is with steamed white skin but this was more like when a Bo Lo bao 菠蘿包 and a Char siew bao got married and had a beautiful, delicious baby. This was in my opinion the best dim sum I had at Tim Ho Wan. Chef Warren found it a tad too sweet though for him though, but Chef Cheung explained later on it was intentionally made this way so the palate would crave for more buns. Sneaky.

香煎萝卜糕 Pan Fried Carrot Cake ($4.50). I'm pretty neutral about carrot cake because it's so starchy usually, but this was not as jelat and had bits of Lap Cheong (chinese sausage) inside giving it a sweeter fragrance. With the addition of meat inside, this became such a joy to eat.

Rounding up the heavenly kings is the 香滑马来糕 Steamed Egg Cake ($3.80). I originally thought this was a Singapore adaptation, but this has been on the Hong Kong menu since long ago as well. Extremely fragrant with Gula Melaka and coconut milk flavours, this cake had such a Q texture that if you pushed down on it flat, it would bounce back up. This was very fluffy and would break apart with a fork easily yet still retaining it's overall form. Not exactly a Malay cake fan, but this was on such a different level I became a convert.

鮑汁闷风爪 Steam Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce ($5.00), 家乡咸水饺 Deep Fried Dumpling with Salted Meat($3.80). These are specials exclusive to the Toa Payoh Tim Ho Wan branch. I really liked the chicken feet that was cooked till the meat skin pretty much dripped from the bone, but some people enjoy it firmer like Chef Warren. The Deep fried dumpling with salted meat however, was a complete miss for me. The dough was sticky and stuck to my teeth, the meat to bun ratio was damn imbalanced (can barely taste the meat), and the cloves marinate just overpowered everything. Just give this dish a miss and stick with the traditionals.

You know it's not dim sum until the Har Gao arrives. 晶莹鲜虾饺 Prawn Dumpling ($5.50) had very fresh huge prawns and wrapped in the same silky skin that's not overly chewy. The secret is in the technique and also the recipe that is well-guarded by Tim Ho Wan.

Mainstay of dim sum is the 鲜虾烧卖皇 Pork Dumpling with Shrimp ($5.00). A wonderful meat dumpling with fresh prawns, this was version was flavourful with a unique hint of wolfberries that most Siew Mai's don't have.

Another classic fried dumpling, the crispy 青芥末明虾角 Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling ($5.00) comes with Wasabi dressing and Tobiko roe which adds a slight spice to make the fried dumpling less common and expected to the bite.

杨枝甘露 Mango Pomelo Sago ($5.00) and 杞子桂花糕 Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake ($3.50). Even though we've had so much already, we struggled to move on to dessert since we've heard such praise. The mango pomelo sago was pretty average in my opinion, probably because so many famous Hong Kong dessert shops have already started selling this in Singapore. The Osmanthus cake however was quite unique to me and not really a cake. Within the jelly texture you can taste the wolfberries and the strands of Osmanthus flower, making a very refreshing light dessert. I loved this jelly cake.

Chef Cheung was very hospitable and came out to speak with many guests here for feedback and comments. He explained how they only used fresh ingredients which is the key cornerstone of their popularity.

With Tim Ho Wan's roaring success, it's only a matter of time till the next few outlets open. I've heard there will be more local flavour infusions in the next outlet, but Chef Cheung kept the details a secret. I'm guessing chili crab dumpling somewhere in there! Fresh ingredients and classic award winning recipes, Tim Ho Wan Singapore is definitely worth the slightly pricier dim sum. Skip the monthly specials and go straight for their famous dishes.

For full review and more photos, please visit
http://sethlui.com/food-review-tim-ho-wan-singapore-toa-payoh/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  BBQ PORK BUN,LIVER VERMICELLI ROLL,SIEW MAI,MALAY CAKE,CARROT CAKE,OSMANTHUS CAKE
 
Date of Visit: Sep 19, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Lunch)

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

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