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biba8169
This is biba8169 . I like to hang out in City Hall, Tanglin, Orchard. French, Italian, Japanese, American are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Bakery, Café, cakes, muffins, strawberries, coffee.
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Categories : Italian | Hotel | Restaurant | Fine Dining


For a complete review, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/waterfall-cafe-ii-shangri-la-hotel-singapore/

 
The food trend is ever changing in the culinary world. The pace can sped amazingly from the widely known molecular gastronomy, haute cuisines, inspiring street food, eating wellness to the latest localisation trend. No one could foretell which one fits the sophisticated crowd and most defined the food culture of tomorrow – only time. However, it does seem to me that the more prevailing ones are the latter two. Evidently, initiatives for “eating well” have taken form.

 
If you still recall, I have reviewed the dishes at Waterfall Cafe sometime in August. Today, I brought my sista to make a discovery on their less-known breakfast menu. Naturally, only in-house guests will pop by for a breakfast but we drove our way there intentionally.

We didn’t want a brunch session even though it does look highly tempting to spend the afternoon on the couch at my favourite spot. The breakfast menu was a brief one but I thought the first meal of the day should be it – light and less complicated.

 

 
With a third of the menu presented with egg dishes, I was coaxed into having an egg white omelette by Sous Chef Kelvin Cha, who succeeded in uplifting my energy level with a light touch. I would think that the egg Benedicts make a good classic morning dish for most but you could opt for a more refreshing plate with a negligible 17 calories (approx) in each absolute white. I liked the finished egg with a soft curdy interior loaded with confetti mushrooms, fresh tomato dices and a handful of baby spinach. The 2 egg whites melded to form a very consistent texture and fastened with gold trimming that crisped in each mouthful. The opaque mass is made lighter with a less noticeable seasoning. If the notion of a perfect omelette is a moist and tender yield, then this came close except for some traces of slight weeping. Not to worry about the empty spaces in your stomach, it can be easily filled with the accompanying sautéed mushroom, a few baked potato wedges, some green salads tossed in vinaigrette; along with 2 crusty toast.

For a more elegant egg dish, ask for eggs in varied Cocotte version; Chorizo, Mushroom or Roast chicken that comes with toast as well.

 
If you are game for a eggless morning ritual, then the Pancakes and Waffles make good options, other than Asian selection – Chinese rice congee and Nasi Lemak. Here, Kelvin gave a green light on the more notable ones – Buckwheat waffles. Instead of chowing down nothing but a few traditional buttermilk pancakes, these rustic-looking girdle cake not only serves for healthier option but a new wholesome taste. As we know, buckwheat contains no gluten and so it can be quite tacky when buckwheat flour is called for in a recipe. Without ruining the dish, this old-fashioned recipe has evolved into a fashionable fare with crispier outside and a more complex texture. I fear having that intense earthy after-taste often found in the Japanese buckwheat soba, this one was more easy-going. Rather than an airy dough, the buckwheat cake makes a coarse statement with a dense texture. One may frowned at its dull appearance, but the caramelised banana and a swirl of gula melaka make it a toothsome dish. Don’t pass up the opportunity to have one. You will be glad to learn that these high protein grains is being studied to treat Type II diabetes, amongst other chronic diseases.

 

 

 
I see breads as staples I can’t do without on a daily basis, they are as critical as my main course. Aplenty of croissants, doughnuts and danish are placed neatly on the buffet table for everyone to grab. For those who are placed on a restricted gluten-free (GF) diet, they have a selection of GF cereals, muesli, millet puff etc. Not forgetting hot sausages as well.

Before wellness food takes the lead in the culinary world, it seems that I am enjoying minute pieces of them, if not everything – now.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  buckwheat waffles
 
Spending per head: Approximately $38(Breakfast)

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

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Categories : French | Bakery | Café | Desserts and Cakes

For a complete coverage, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/paul-maison-de-qualite-1889-ii-singapore/

 
It coincides with my recent met up with J, when they just launched their new menu. I didn’t expect that I could taste a new set of dishes until it has been announced publicly. Though I am not convinced that it would delight me the way my mum’s version with Pandan, but I am more than happy to give it chance, if not to find out how well they have execute the science of Guestology especially after all the bad reviews by many.

They have been drawing big crowds since the day they opened, which I have never doubt. Despite the lapsed in service, I am still seeing people making beeline at its entrance after peak hours. The main dining hall was bustling with high tea enthusiasts – conversations echoing the room. J suggested we take one of the tables outside the restaurant for a quieter time, much to what I agreed. We managed to get one with the help of a waiter – polite (checked). Without spilt seconds, another waiter came with 2 sets of menu and giving us ample time to decide (checked).

 
I hold the menu in my hand with great anticipation. Unmistakably, it was given a face-lift with a range of newer creation – still the French classics but now, some with a local twist. New faces includes specialty sandwiches: Pan Bagnat Club (S$16.90); open sandwiches: Salade Crevettes Mangue (S$19.90), Croque Truffade (S$19.90) – a simple toast topped with cheddar cheese, Béchamel sauce, truffles & mushrooms which most suits anyone with a less complicated desire. Then comes the Haute dishes: Hachis Parmentier (S$23.90) - a dish of minced beef/chicken mixed in buttery pureed potatoes and tossed with onions & herbs. The kitchen spent laborious hours on the dish, peeling each hot boiled & roasted potatoes by hand and mashed. You probably may wish to try this high level dish the next time you visit Paul, it looks comforting though less elaborated.

This time, a young lady dropped by to see if we are ready to order which I requested she check on us after a minute which she did so accordingly (checked). During the wait for the meal, glasses of water are served and refilled automatically (checked).

 

 
I am most curious to examine this new open sandwich to see if it is capable of spicing up my day. Having learned that the concoction took the team months to perfect, I am hoping that it passed the mark remarkably. Served with a handful of crisp seasonal side greens, this Tartine Poulet Curry (S$17.90) comes with a unique flavor rarely seen in a French bistro. Making a bold change to the regular Poulet Citron in the previous menu; this one has a nice but mild spicy marination. Though I find the coarsely chopped chicken meat a bit chewy and dry, the spices did distract my attention from the less attractive bird. The curry jelled quite well with the cheddar along with the crunchy diced zucchini and tomato, of which, the mass emits a strong and lingering flavor in each mouthful. Overall, the combination is a success for its balanced flavor, without a fierce domination. I was told that it has been well-received by many non-locals for its subtle curry taste. While it tasted good, I feel that the Campagne bread needs less toasting time, to avoid having a hard and edgy crust that bruised my gums. If you ever spotted me tearing – the underlying cause is not the curry, sure thing. But what warms me, is the hospitality that comes from the heart. This has never occurred nor I heard from others who have dined at Paul in the past, but today, I am having waitress coming up to me, asking if the food tastes good (checked).

 
J was seen enjoying the Pan Bagnat Niçoise (S$16.90) – a specialty sandwich made with Pain de Mie bread using tuna mayonnaise topped with rings of red onion, tomatoes and piling up high with fresh salad leaves and slices of boiled eggs. The burger appeared in its clean defining look, not a messy setup like a drenched American version. Accordingly, it pleases J who is won over by its fresh texture and natural taste, less obscuring. We selfishly eat our own dish, each singing in approval. We have nothing to complain about, if anything, it has to be the dessert.

 
Prominently pictured under the dessert section, I refused to flip the page, trying to nail down one Pandan treats. J gave a good laugh and left me with the decision rights. Should I point to my left or allow it to swift to the right, my eye ball swinging in pendulum. I had wanted a Pandan eclair but wish badly for the Pandan Millefeuille. J saved me from that ripping agony, chose the French puff pastry on my behalf. In less 5 minute, the Napoleon dessert arrived. My first impression – terrified. I felt intimidated by its unnatural green hue, the icing fondant has been awkwardly fabricated – simply a vanilla glaze. It left me wondering if the dish descriptions in the newspaper are reported correctly – the recipe has a Pandan-infused paste? Erm, we didn’t taste any Pandan flavor throughout, but a stronger gula melaka (palm sugar) custard cream, much to our enjoyment. I liked the puff pastry for its light, crumbly texture though not ultra flaky and stacked up with a thick layer of creamy paste in the middle. The cream is smooth but slightly over-candied and a bit weighed down. Unless you are a fan of gula melaka (palm sugar) treats, the Millefeuille Fraises will be a much better choice.

 
Undeniably, Paul never failed to charm the crowd with its traditional French cooking when they kept returning for those mouth-watering pies and pretty sweet patisseries. Its hard not to take a second look at them in the bakery window while making my takeaways. It is encouraging to note that for a business that spans 9 generations in history is accepting the notion that palate changes with time and cook closely with trend. With the big improvement in the overall service standard (I have “checked” many applaudable service point), I am sure they will win back some grouchy customers who had abandoned the brand after their first maiden try. I hope the service level will be this good in the new outlet at Ocean Financial Centre (Collyer Quay) which is slated to open in 2013, Q1. There and then, I would entrust myself to them whenever I needed a quick french meal.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chicken Poulet Curry
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Italian | Hotel | Restaurant | Fine Dining

For a complete write up, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/waterfall-cafe-shangri-la-hotel-singapore/

 
Getting my facts right has been quite a task over the weekend. I delayed in sharing my experience with the newly launched cafe as I didn’t want to fall trap into delivering unjust statement which I feel bad when I wronged someone. It sounds solemn but nothing catastrophic if this makes you wonder. Instead, I become able to recognize the reality; the fact that the culinary world has changed to evolve into something out of this world.

Not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows how our economy has globalized & flourish and people has changed their eating habits thereby allowing for a more refined agriculture - a chain reaction celebrated by some.

I clearly remember the defunct Garden Cafe a decade ago that offers buffet, of which its role has been taken over by The Line. It was a space no bigger than Waterfall Cafe and donned a dim and casual dining atmosphere. Today, the well-established hotel transformed its water-cave (formerly the Waterfall Terrace) into a new dining shell and named ~ Waterfall Cafe.

Presenting what has been seen increasingly popular – Mediterranean cuisines; yet emphasized greatly on a range of healthier dishes with the clever use of herbs & spices. I, like most nutritionally-informed individuals, can’t wait to chow on at the outlet; evidently mark the trending towards a more health conscious society.

 
The interior is reminiscent of the English home – a communal table that stands unfaltering in the roomy dinning space, surrounded by woody furnishing such as wall-mounted shelving that housed bottles of oil, spices etc. With close examination, one could see the minutiae of the designer - a mosaic motif flooring which brings about a contemporary interpretation of a traditional home.

Service has been gracious from the moment I approached the entrance and was shown to my seat briskly with water and menu handed to me without delay. The menu is brief but holds substance. It is worded in green and black fonts; I figured the former suits anyone with a vegetarian lifestyle while the latter satiate a carnivore appetite.

 
Instantly, I know I wouldn’t want to miss out on my greens which I added Prosciutto to it for a more flavorful touch. A sophisticated combination of oversize sundried tomatoes, sauteed juicy mushrooms, plumply figs encircled a heap of fresh & crisp baby spinach – the good olive bathe was so therapeutic to one’s mind.

 
But I was drive to frenzy by what’s coming next – fresh dinner rolls. These petite buns were delightfully pillowy and they came with varied choices of rye, wholemeal, plain that topped with black sesame, pumpkin seeds & multigrain cereals. The urge to eat them just got greater each time with a dab of spiced butter but I have to refrain myself cruelly.

 
The most anticipated comes the main courses – the grilled chicken dish appeared to have fought well with its rival; Iberico pork dish. The former was totally unbelievable. I could see meat juices oozing out from its incision and each portion was baby tender; given that it was a chicken breast which often taste dense & fibrous. Chef Kelvin Cha did a marvelous job to the meat, undeniably. More satisfying, I get to nibble some crispy broiled skin along with the well-marinated meat. While the spinach, mushrooms & figs buddy well with the chicken, I find them a little excessive. The fault was neither in the dish nor the chef, but the fact that I had them in my starter and it becomes repetitive.

 
When the Japanese take pride in Wagyu beef, the Russian did the same for Caviar and the French having the prestigous Foie Gras; so what about the Spanish? The new kids on the block – Iberian breed that makes a typical cured ham ~ Jamón ibérico and other cuts as dishes. This finest meat on earth was becoming a hit since AVA approved its import last year (the defunct Santi was among the first to offer and lately I have seen it on Bedrock’s menu) . Its beef-like, marbled texture emits a hint of sweetness. Although I am alarmed to see my chop being seared medium rare as I sliced, I must praised its silky-tender feel though not as buttery as Wagyu beef. In brief, this black Iberico pigs are reared to roam freely in the oak woods of Spain thereby having fats build into the muscles and they are on acorn diet being most desirable. Perhaps due to its breeding method, I find the meat having a wild aroma. Thankfully, the searing process has helped to breakdown the connective tissues & fats, making it melt-in-the-mouth. It also charmed me with a bed of sauteed corn kernels, carrots, zucchini and a few aromatic grilled pineapple wedges – soaking up the cinnamon seasoned sauce.

Until now, I still hesitate to give in to pork that is cooked PINK. I acknowledged the fact that Iberico pigs are carefully reared and are believed to carry no parasites. With chefs abide by the lawful cooking standard of 160 degree Celsius to conclude all harmful organisms have been wiped out, I am still skeptical but Kelvin’s clear explanation reassured me, eliminating the fear I had. But, if food safety is your concern, it wouldn't hurt by asking for a thoroughly cooked pork chop - after all, you must feel good about what you eat.

 
I am totally smitten by the strawberry flavored dessert. I felt weak at the knees every time these strawberry fruits appear before me (a big fan of American Greetings – first/second edition Strawberry Shortcake dolls since tender age). As such, it wasn’t a tough decision in picking my sweets here. At a glance, the chilly Coconut Cream Panna Cotta fits me perfectly. Not disappointing, the cream was gorgeously set and layered between the thick strawberry confit – not too wobbly or gelish; a big effort. I am mesmerized by the nice tropical aroma stemming from the coconut fruit. It didn’t taste heavy and not over-sweet. It was a challenge not to lick clean the confit but neither can I hide it in my coat nor bring it to the washroom, can I? Watching the thinly coated leftover in the shot glass was such an agony!

 
If you are wild about a glass of thick and creamy coffee, do ask for a Coffee Monster that dispensed a luxurious taste. The monstrous double espresso is sweetened with vanilla ice-cream with a touch of chocolate and hazelnut liqueur. Very addictive. You will be pleased to know as well that the cafe serves digestifs. It has become a growing trend among discerning diners to sip either aperitifs and digestifs before and after their meals. Digestifs are often sweet & sugary and it claimed to aid digestion after a full meal, hence they are more potent. Try zesty Limoncello Bottega or herbal Amaro Averna – S$16, grape-based Grappa – S$22 or Brandy – S$22; to name a few.

I applaud the increasing number of experimental and skillful chef, similarly to the many artisan producers of today. For without, we will never get to taste ingenious culinary creations that draw from the purest ingredients. The new age eating which includes but not limited to organic food, would allow this group of farmers to prosper and ironically, it could also mean inflating their prices due to demand & supply (although I hope it would be cheaper if it follows the notion on economies of scale). Pricing aside, these pesticide/GMO free produces are packed with more nutrients and more health friendly. With the introduction of spices and herbs piling with antioxidant properties, the dishes get enliven apart from eating healthily. It is a myth that a healthier fare equates a meal that seems dreary (unless you are referring to Gluten-free products – yes, they are awful. I had a strict GF diet 3 years ago) While I don’t see eating healthily would mean giving up marbled meat since Iberico pork has been considered healthy without genetically altered or hormones induced. And by spicing up your diet, you get a lot more vitamins and minerals. So, there is more than just meeting the tastebuds and surely, you have got nothing to loose!

I hope the opening of this organic cafe brings on a domino effect, feeding more needy souls with healthier range of food that excites the palate in conjunction with the introduction to new ways of eating our gradually lifeless cuisine.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Grilled Chicken Breast,Baby Spinach salad + Parma Ham,Coconut Panna Cotta/Strawberry Confit,Coffee Monster
 
Spending per head: Approximately $50(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Japanese | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Ramen

For a complete story coverage, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/hoshino-coffee-singapore/

Clear your doubts! Savory Souffle can be as achieving as its sweet cousins. Never had one, neither dream of one but this unusual main course held me spellbound. Now, I am in awe of it. Want to get one too? Yes, Hoshino Coffee has it.

 
This was my 3rd time near Hoshino - passing by twice when it first opened on 6 November, and the 3rd time being today when I finally set foot in the cafe. Absolutely no regrets.

 
Seriously impressive! You wouldn't believe that the queue speaks for itself. I'd thought, well, it could be that people are simply curious about what this 2 week's old is capable of. And when the line starts to form, more people just keep queuing without a single complain. It was a late lunch thingy after a movie show - making my way there like a supersonic. This is like crazy, the snaking line - almost a L-shaped by now is forming right before me. I have seen the same earlier in the morning at 11.10m (the outlet only opens at 11.30am, mind you!) when I drop by to ask if I could make a reservation for 3pm but was turned down politely which I clearly understand why, now. I know this is what I have to eat despite that nagging throat discomfort & joined the queue - determined to find out if they are as good as they claimed.

Never mind about the long wait as it is moving rapidly. I am no.12 in line and it took me slightly more than half an hour's time to get a table. Not sure if that sounds reasonable to you but at least it didn't irk me - surprisingly. Why was the line moving fast unlike the one seen at Ipuddo @Ion or Tonkotsu King @Orchid Hotel, in case you asked. This is because most of the diners came for a quick bite at this hour - tea/coffee & pancake/souffle or parfait and leave after they have been satiated and so, they seldom hoard the table. Anyway, I was told that they do not accept bookings on weekends and only allow 3-6pm reservation on weekdays. I guess this is fair.

 
The interior is not entirely small but having a 3 separate dining space. The main hall sits most of the diners with wooden table and leather padded seats. It emits a brighter and casual feel, probably the area is not constraint by a stiff ceiling but an architectural glass rooftop in the mall that illuminates the stretch with a natural glow of sunlight. There are 4 booth seats which is most ideal for a gals-get-together session, I figured. Another hall appeared slightly smaller, is a little cramp I find (praying hard my table wasn't gonna be there). Facing the open-kitchen, diners will be able to see the cook behind the stoves and barista making cups & cups of that aromatic Hoshino brew. There are a couple of table seats and long couch seats as well - the surrounding is a little dim. I'd prefer the smallest dining corner that comes with leather long couches - thick pocketed seats kind. A place that call up every sleeping bugs in you - warm, dim and laid back. It will be a disaster to place me there, I think I can glued for hours.

The menu was straight forward, without fanciful hard to understand dishes. Zoom right into my orders and wave for the staff, the lady clad in chef suit came to me (gosh, even one works in the kitchen has to take time to manage the hall during peak hours?).. aw.. but she was very well-mannered and patient when confronted with inquiries. In fact, no one was seen idling - all the wait person served with pride, promptly and in an unhurried manner. A remarkable service team (so much better than Paul when it first opened but heh they have improved too - I will speak separately in another post).

Totally famished but the food arrived in 20mins, saves me from antacid. Reasonably time I thought.

 

 
I admit I felt a little uneasy when I picked that unfamiliar dish - Fuwa Fuwa. But the truth tells me that feeling has been unwarranted. I was rewarded handsomely and much more than I could imagine for all those wait time I have spent an hour ago. The most raved about "fluffy savory soufflé" seriously did not put to shame. Not only that it enticed me with its huge golden puffy bonnet but I was completely sold by its astonishing delicate flavors This is one dish I wish I had on my last - cottony & airy, formidable without a trace of deflating. It is no wonder that people called it the "cloud", but I think it's me that's on Cloud 9 at every bite. Instead of baking it like an Italian classic with white sauce, this one has a tomato version in it. It was filled with incredible moments - spooning the whites like a mass destruction into that light feathery foam, trespassing to get to the bed of the baking dish. The gems hidden under these soft foams have never been so right. Tomato sauce infused - each grain was plump, tangy-sweet, not soggy. Its flavor was enhanced by strips of middle eye bacon and mushroom bits. Together with that eggy, Parmesan cheese soufflé, a divine marriage left unchallenged by the sweet version. Impossible not to eat, I think I can have 1 on every other day. A one to die-for dish at Hoshino Coffee.

 
A couple of spaghetti dishes if you like, other than "Omu" rice (omelette rice) or sandwiches. Of the 7, I had the Lobster Bisque Soup Spaghetti. A french dish but cooked the Japanese way for a lighter taste. Instead of highly seasoned, this one prepared with tomato and finely chopped mushrooms comes with a milder liquidized cream but rich crustaceans flavor. I find the soup a little offensive (even while its still steaming hot) while my dining partner finds it delicious, so I guess it's a mixed conclusion. It was not entirely bad - at least the spaghetti is cooked the correct way, I guess I just didn't have the mood for such a sophisticated seafood thing today.

 
String along with others, I ordered a pancake soufflé, this time a more familiar sweet version! Not the plain ones but a more elaborate classic with a tropical touch - mango. A second ultimate comfort of the day, the first being the savory soufflé! Almost every table goes for the plain; either a single or doubling up while very few had the more fanciful. Mine - dressed up with mango fruits and handmade whipped cream was a pure decadent! It was pity that the softee machine has broken down and I was told to change to a whipped cream instead. Can you imagine how well-received they are. I have been advised to remind the kitchen to start preparing the soufflé when I was half way into my main course. It was like taking a number queue to a soufflé! I was asked to wait for another 15mins by the apologetic service staff. Not an issue at all, I said to myself because the end result was a light and airy inflated sponge that was unforgettable. The only negative I had was the fruits. Upon checking, I learnt that frozen mango fruits are used while the kiwi are fresh produces. I'd prefer ripened fruits atop my dessert, not raw and crunchy. Worst, the mango has a weird over-frozen texture makes them taste rubbery. However, the homemade whipped cream was smooth and not cloying. Undeniably, these fluffy treats really know how to please anyone, including a group of Japanese ladies who are spotted beaming away at their Matcha soufflé. Well, in my case, I would opt for a plain pancake without toppings, else a softee if anything. But do not leave the place without a cup of Hoshino blend.

 
Whaff that strong Hoshino caffeine scent right in front of me - that was one of the distinct characteristic while waiting in line. Carefully selected coffee beans were roasted over direct flame and then hand drip to a good-bodied brew. The blend has got a rather pale flavor less rich as compared to Oriole's. Milder acidity but has a lingering smell. I guess the Japanese adores this light perfumery beverage, much than any of us. I am good for that 10g but if anyone wanted an extra brew, there is a 50% off for a refill.

I will back for another round of guilty pleasures! It is unquestionable that these notorious soufflé-style selections are truly to die-for. And you will be most glad to know that dining at Hoshino Coffee was never an aggressive experience but a slow and enjoyable process.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Fuwa Fuwa Fluffy Souffle,pancake souffle
 
Spending per head: Approximately $35(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Japanese | Sukiyaki/Shabu Shabu

For a complete story coverage & pictures; please visit:

http://www.epinosh.com/tsukada-nojo-singapore/

 
I am not obsessed with birds but one of my sisters often get bewitched by their meaty leg – weak! Oops…lol. (she better not read this..) Yes, I very much wanted to introduce this pot of fabulous collagen-based soup to her, they called it the “Beauty-Pan” or more formally Bijin Nabe ($25/head, min 2 to order & available only at dinner time). Never heard of it? Fret not, I’m here. Tsukada Nojo, pride itself in using the highest quality breed of free-range chicken which they titled; “Lord of the manor Miyazaki chicken” – cultivated from their own poultry farm. Sounds prestigious, doesn’t it? So, what’s the hype about? The first flagship outlet brought in by AP Company (Japan), has more than 120 outlets under its 13 brands. Particularly, Tsukada Nojo – under AP Company makes debut in Singapore on 31st Oct, 2012. I spotted the new restaurant – its name was first mentioned in the papers while announcing the opening of the upcoming Atrium@Orchard mall. Then the inquisitive me, just have to comb the world-wide-web hungrily and be rewarded with a stream of new discovery.

 
Having their own farm-house in Japan, AP Company raised its own Jidori at 4 locations in Miyazaki Prefecture. Farming process is difficult, especially when it was first achieved with a 3-way mating system in 2004. Carefully groomed without the use of hormones, the species are called “chicken estate steward” with good reputation for its chewy texture and rich flavour.

Unfortunately, Singapore has banned poultry imports from Japan. More directly, these prized Miyazaki chickens will never make it through the port gantry under AVA’s radar. Its a shame. So, where were these replacement from? Upon checking with the wait staff, these chickens parts are from our neighboring country – Malaysia. But the collagen puddings are imported from Japan – made from Jidori (chicken) bones that have been boiled for more than 8 hours to extract the pool of collagen.

 
Carrying the pot, the wait staff slowly lowered it on the table, onto the induction pad. Here, I saw a pot of silky “bean curd” stacked up like a mole hill which miraculously liquefied within a minute under high heat. I witnessed the melting process, unveiling chicken chunks hidden within the wobbling curd, bubbling by now.

 
One needn’t do anything, the friendly staff will introduce the plate of ingredients (mostly Malaysian produces) and placed them in the pot, sequentially (they claimed that the soup will somewhat taste different if the sequence wasn’t followed). Once the collagen pudding has dissolved, it will be served in a small cup for the guest to take a sip. Whoohoo – instant gratification! Seasoned only with salt, this soup’s the Real McCoy! Intensely rich in flavour & full of chicken aromas, very concentrated. The chicken parts (NOT Miyazaki) were good, despite the constant boiling and swirling in the broth – the meat still exhibit a springy texture, not dull and non-gamey. Then, the staff went on to add Tori Tsukuni – a combination of fresh pork & chicken minced meat into the soup, followed by yellow zucchini, winter melon slices, winter melon radish, black & white fungus. Next, add the yuzu peel to freshen up the soup (I didn’t taste the difference) before throwing in the deep fried beancurd pockets and loads of leafy vegetables.

 
To end the meal, choose between 3 types of ramen; of which I had the semi-cooked Thick mochi-mochi noodles. After a short swirl in the broth, the noodles turned springy and chewy in texture.

 
What could be more enjoyable when you have a sublime dinner and a great interior. A classic twist to a typical Japanese-style, the space emits the impression of natural and calm with the interaction of stones and wood frames. Photographs of their poultry farms backdrop the small dining room, interestingly.

 
This is the best quality chicken soup I ever had for a long time, especially soothing on a rainy season like now. It’s so comforting, sparing you from extreme thirst even after the pot has been scoop cleaned.

 
Alternatively, one can opt for a la carte small dishes like the popular sweet Tamagoyaki that tasted moist and custardy, or try various Nikumaki, salmon spring roll, grilled chicken wings, steamed meatball dumplings and perhaps coupled with ebi fried rice for a fuller meal. They even served Zosui (porridge) for those who prefer a bowl of soupy rice. Desserts such as puddings, sorbet and ice-creams are available as well. So, even if you are not out to have the Bijin Nabe, there is always a couple of something to choose from. For lunch, an array of ramen dishes will be offered but not the pot.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Bijin Nabe
 
Spending per head: Approximately $35(Dinner)

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

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