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madamechewy
This is madamechewy .
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madamechewy  Level 4
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Worth a try OK Jun 25, 2014   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Chinese | Hotel | Dim Sum | Seafood

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/25/royal-china-dim-sum/
To bid my cousin farewell prior to his 2-year study stint in France and Italy, I took him to lunch at the high-raved Royal China located at the prestigious Raffles Hotel. This is a popular restaurant; advance reservations must be made to secure a table.
My first impression on the service was, well, not good. No greeting whatsoever upon entering, not even a nod of acknowledgement.
Surprisingly enough, Royal China originates from London, which may explain the exquisite modern décor. Tiffany blue hues, pristine white dining furniture, tablecloths and china set the tone of sophisticated refinement.
The aunty waitress who took our order was friendly, brownie point for that. However, it was difficult to catch anyone’s attention when we needed our teapot refilled and we wanted to order more items later on.
Bite-sized Baked Egg Tart ($4.80) was very ordinary. Ever since I tried Yan Ting’s egg tart, I have never came across any that can match up to theirs.
Steamed Prawn Dumpling ($5.60). Fresh, flavorsome and crunchy prawns encased in smooth skin. Its simplicity at its finest. Mention-worthy were the size of the pawns, I had to take a few bites to finish a single dumpling.
I never pass the chance to order my favorite Liu Sa Bao/ Salted Egg Yolk Bun($4.80). Although Royal China’s rendition includes fresh mango juice (I dislike mango), it didn’t deter me from getting a basket. Molten, flowy golden liquid check! Pillowy buns check! However, this mixture of sweet and savory custard wasn’t my cup of tea.
Baked BBQ Pork Puff ($4.80) was another hit. Nibble the buttery, flaky pastry to reveal generous filling of lean pork meat. We like that the BBQ sauce was not overly sweet.
Other popular classics we had were Steamed Pork Dumpling with Wolfberry($5.60) and Pan-fried Bean curd roll stuffed with minced prawn ($5.60). Both were average.
I’d stop short of recommending the Wok-fried Cheung fun with homemade XO sauce ($8.80). It didn’t look anything like the photo in the menu which enticed us to order it, and lacked the robust flavor one would expect from XO sauce. Taste Paradise’s rendition is wayyyy better.
Century egg and lean pork congee ($6.80). Don’t you just love congee with chuck of century egg in them?
I love taro and I love scallops, so ordering Deep-fried yam puff with Scallop in Portuguese Sauce ($5.60) was a no brainer. While the morsels were a tad oily, the smooth yam, crispy crust and unique Portuguese sauce made up for it. Wished the scallops were thicker though, but then again, for the price, I consider it a good deal.

Having dined at Taste Paradise and Yan Ting, I wasn’t particular impressed with Royal China’s offerings and service. I mean, they were not bad, but they weren’t spectacular either. Worth a try but I’ll choose Taste Paradise or Yan Ting for my dim sum fix in a heartbeat.
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 22, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $36(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Categories : French | Restaurant | Seafood | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches

From a modest stall in a hawker centre to 2 restaurants, Saveur has certainly come a long way. The folks here pride themselves for bringing quality French cuisine to the masses at wallet-friendly prices.

Upon entering, I was impressed with the warm ambience as I expected monochrome, simple interiors, similar to the relatively unadorned branch at Purvis Street. It was already full house when we arrived at 12 noon. We left our name and contact details and left for some window-shopping. Approximately 10 minutes later, we received a call inform us that our table was ready. Its’ nice of them to provide this service instead of expecting diners to stand around waiting. Saveur does not accept reservations, so come early or be prepare to queue.

The menu is simple, with no French terms to confuse you. Prices are indeed very affordable, but portions are so small, so you will have to order quite a bit before your tummy is satisfied (I had 2 appetizers, a main course and a dessert plus shared a side with 2 friends).
Mushroom Cappuccino ($4.90) arrived in a cute coffee cup and frothy foam atop. Thick and creamy, bursting with earthy flavors, it warmed my digestive system for more to come.
The Instagram-worthy Saveur Pasta ($4.90) fell short of our expectations. Its essentially capellini tossed with chilli oil, fine chopped Konbu and minced pork sauce, glittered with Sakura Ebi. Sadly the pasta was overcooked, and the sakura ebi lacked crunch to give the starter its much-required texture.

W thoroughly enjoyed her pan-seared Foie Gras ($7.90) with creamy lentils and pickled pearl onion. The generous portion pleasantly surprised us.

As we heard good things about the Saveur’s duck, all of us ordered Duck Confit ($12.90). The leg sat on a bed of homemade mashed potatoes; on the side were sautéed shiitake mushrooms, orange segments and orange infused natural jus. The duck leg was well browned and crisp on the outside, while remaining tender inside. I like that the meat was not overly salty and the orange added a zesty kick that brightens the dish.

If you are not a fan of duck, other main course options include Pork belly ($10.90), Chicken roulade ($9.90), Sea bass ($14.90), Lamb shoulder ($16.90) and Beef Bourguignon ($16.90).
Potato Gratin side left a lingering garlicky flavor in the mouth. However, lacked a layer of golden crust characteristic of the culinary technique.

Cookies and Milk ($9.90) dessert arrived looking quite the enigma. Dig deeper and discover a patty of icy cold cookie dough ice cream, cherries kirsh, sparkling candy and peanut butter. Awesome combination of flavors and textures, accompanied with a fun popping sensation in the mouth.

Chocolate and Hazelnut ($8.90) was nothing to shout about. Chocolate mousse with crushed hazelnuts, broken raspberries, roasted rice puffs, chocolate tuile and praline. The mousse was pitifully normal and overwhelmed the hazelnut’s nutty aroma.

Overall, an OK place for a casual meal dates and catch-up with friends. I’s stop short of recommending Saveur for first dates or deep conversations, as the layout of the place is too cramped.

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/24/saveur/
 
Table Wait Time: 10 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 10, 2014 

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

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Categories : Bars/Lounges | Café

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/19/maison-ikkoku/
When I first heard about Maison Ikkoku, the first thing that came to my mind was the manga and anime series of the same name. The lifestyle destination has nothing to do with the popular Japanese romantic comedy; it’s a cozy shop house with a café on the ground floor and bar on level 1. There used to be a menswear boutique stocking indie labels but unfortunately it ceased operations in February this year.
The café is quite small; reservations recommended to avoid disappointment. Décor is a mix of vintage industrial. We would have loved to sit around and chat, but there was a queue outside, hence we left as soon as we were done eating. Its self-service here (no service charge), you’ll have to fetch your own water but food will be brought to your table.
Maison Ikkoku is well known for their quality coffee. G was pleased with her fragrant and not overly sweet Caramel Latte ($7).
The café is also popular for brunch items. G’s Instagram-worthy French toast with Caramelized Bananas ($15), arrived quickly despite the crowd. Inch thick brioche French toast with cinnamon soaked up the mouth-watering home-made caramel with sea salt sauce, with a dollop of sour cream and toasted walnuts. I suspect sour cream was used in place of traditional whipped cream to balance out the sweetness; however, the combi didn’t sit quite well with us.
Twisted French Omelette ($16) with spinach, chives, bell peppers and mild cheddar was not spectacular, but nonetheless appealing. Tangy cherry tomatoes, breakfast potatoes, salad with roasted almonds and sourdough toast complete this hearty dish. My only gripe? Potatoes were cold.
My slice of summer! The sight of rainbow cake never fails to brighten my day. We struggled to finish this massive Rainbow Cake ($10) which was served on a chilled plate. At the first bite, the cake was a little rough, but the moistness came through as we chewed. Texture-wise, it’s dense and slightly doughy. Unfortunately, there was lingering artificial aftertaste. Wished I had ordered the salted caramel cake instead.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 15, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $26(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Taiwanese | Chinese Noodles

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/18/lenu/
Paradise Group has gone from gone from strength to strength, opening a number of new outlets in recent months. Hubby and I visited LeNu (literally means “happy cow”) on a Saturday to try their Taiwanese braised beef noodles. The concept is frills-free casual dining; tick off the items you want on order sheet, then proceed the cashier for payment. Noodles will be served to your table.
We started our meal with some refreshing appetizers.
Chilled silken tofu with century egg ($2.90) was well-executed- delicately soft, silky tofu with a lovely combi of sweet and sour flavors. Seconds please!
I wasn’t too fond of the Chilled Cucumbers ($2.90), as I found them too sweet.
Since I have not travelled to Taiwan, I have no idea how LeNu’s offerings stack up to Taiwan’s iconic street dish. LeNu works on 4 “Jin” (essence), in the pursuit of perfecting authentic braised beef noodles- the broth, specialty noodles, premium beef cuts and signature dipping sauce.
On every table, there is a pot of homemade dipping sauce (I believe it’s made from fermented beans), freshly prepared every morning. The sauce is meant to elevate the taste and richness of the premium beef; however, we were taken aback by its saltiness.
Braised Wagyu Beef Noodles ($16.90), with fork-tender slices of beef. You can choose from authentic braised beef soup, braised beef soup with pickled cabbage, hot and spicy braised beef soup. The broth is flavorful and robust, bursting with beefy goodness, all thanks to the 18 hours of simmering. We preferred the Hot and Spicy Braised beef soup and Broad noodles over the Authentic Braised beef soup with thin noodles ($6.90). If you’d like more bite, go for the broad noodles; the thin noodles were soft and only slightly springy.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 12, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $20(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Cosistent , good quality dishes Smile Jun 13, 2014   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Restaurant | Dim Sum

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/06/13/crystal-jade-jiang-nan/
Crystal Jade Jiang Nan brings you culinary delicacies from the south of China’s Yangtze River. At this polished restaurant, you can savor 4 Jiang Nan styles-Sichuan, Jiangsu, Hunan and Shanghai, all served up with Crystal Jade consistency. The heart-warming food is not fancy schmancy, but they resonate with everyone from young to old. Service standards varies, warm and efficient on weekdays but sometimes splotchy on weekends.
I love dramatic entrances. Hong Kong Ying Yang ($4.80) is gimmicky, but I like it! The fragrant beverage came in a tall flask with dry ice flowing from the centre of the flask.
Sliced Pork with Golden Mushroom, Loofah and Black Fungus Soup in Casserole ($16.80). Healthy, flavorful soup which was not overly salty. We order this every time we visit.
Multi-flavored Dumpling Family ($12.80) is essential assorted pork, chicken and vegetable dumplings. My favorite was the French bean and pork dumpling.
Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple sauce ($13.80) was a tad too sweet; I could hardly detect any sourness.
Sautéed Prawns and Sweet Potato with Salted Egg Yolk ($22). We were impressed with the huge, succulent prawns coated with insanely delicious salted egg yolk. Holding its own are the creamy sidekick sweet potatoes, which added a touch of comforting sweetness to the otherwise salty dish.
Deep-fried Scallops with Spicy Salt ($16.80). Fresh, savory scallops tossed with coco pops. Wished the scallops were plumper though….
Steamed Sliced Sea Bass with Cut Chilli ($14.80). Despite the copious amount of chilli, it’s only slightly spicy. Flavors were captivating, while fresh sea bass was tender and flaky.
Sautéed assorted mushroom with asparagus and bean curd ($12.50)
Deep-fried spinach bean curd with assorted mushrooms ($12.80). It’s hard to go wrong with a classic Chinese combination and silky tofu.
Sautéed French bean with minced pork and olive leaf ($12.80). The seasoning is spot on and I can see this pleasing most palates.
We wrapped up our meal with bite-sized Pumpkin cake and Japanese glutinous rice dumpling desserts ($5.60). The cute pumpkin rice cake has a salted egg yolk infused skin and red bean paste filling. While the skin had a nice chewy texture, it was too thick and I grew tired from all the chewing after awhile. We could not detect any salted egg yolk flavor.
The unassuming Japanese glutinous rice dumpling (mochi) fared much better; it caught us by surprise with its exquisite texture and delicate strawberry and mango fresh cream filling. It’s like eating pillow-y clouds!
 
Date of Visit: Feb 27, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

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

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