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madamechewy
This is madamechewy .
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madamechewy  Level 4
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Categories : Chinese Steamboat/Hot Pot

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/08/02/jpot/
JPOT, part of the Jumbo Group, was founded in 2009 and in my opinion, is one of the best steamboat restaurants in Singapore. Even though Hai Di Lao service standards and frills are absent, service is nonetheless polite and efficient and the food standards are comparable.
JPOT employs the use of technology to speed things up and free staff for other tasks. When you arrive, get your queue number from an automated machine. A wait staff will lead you to your table once your number appears on the screen. Upon seated, you can proceed to browse and order from the electronic menu on the iPad affixed to each table. The system will calculate the total spending (excluding GST and service charge) which we find helpful to curb overspending due to over-zealous ordering.
Condiments are displayed a la buffet style and include chilli padi, fried garlic, fresh garlic, ground peanut, roasted sesame, chilli oil, garlic oil, sha cha sauce, sesame oil, sesame peanut sauce, garlic chilli sauce, soya sauce, Chinese parsley, spring onion and leek.
What we like about Jpot is how hygienic everything is- individual pots and thongs are provided for each diner. Unlike large sharing pots where you can opt for 2 soup bases, at JPOT, you only get one. However, with individual pots, you have total control, and do not have to coordinate cooking times with your dining companions. Soup base choices include Superior broth, herbal bak ku teh, silky porridge, laksa, tom yam and vegetarian. I hope that they’ll have Mala soon!
The quality of the soup bases are excellent, and the ingredients sparkling fresh. I had the Herbal broth ($5.80), a calming, comforting soup with layered flavors. It didn’t take long for the food to arrive; we had Seaweed ($2.50) and Tang-O ($4.80).
Fishballs ($5), Sliced Toman Fish ($7.80), Vermicelli ($2) and Sea Cucumber ($9.80).
Grain-Fed Ribeye ($12.80) and Prawns ($10.80) deshelled and deveined for convenience.
Fried items and dim sums are also available to give your palate a break from hotpot food. Spinach Beancurd ($4.80) and Fried Shrimp Dumpling ($5.80) never fail to grace our table when we are at JPOT.
Not only does JPOT have a wide variety of offerings, the food is utterly scrumptious too! We could eat here again and again, without getting tired of it. To stretch your dollar, go for the set lunches which start from an incredible value-for-money $16.80++. The Vivocity outlet is particularly crowded on weekends, hence do make reservations well in advance!
Supplementary Information:
e-shelled Prawns, Jumbo Pork Ball, Herbal Broth,
 
Recommended Dish(es):  de-shelled prawns,Herbal broth,Jumbo pork Balls,spinach tofu
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 23, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $33(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Italian | Ice Cream and Gelato | Pasta

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/25/bottura/

There’re no lack of Italian restaurants in Singapore, but newly open Bottura sets itself apart by combining wallet-friendly, homely dishes with quality and finer details you’d expect from much more expensive places.

The casual Italian resultant, conveniently located in Suntec City, is opened by Luca Bottura, a 5th generation descendant of a family that runs restaurants, pizzerias, bakery shops and a catering business in Bologna. The decor is modern and can accommodate 144 diners at one time.
The menu features a spectrum of Italian classics and traditional homemade Italian recipes from the Bottura family’s kitchen. You can be sure of the restaurant’s authenticity when its dry ingredients, used in the making of fresh pastas, bread and pastries, along with kitchen equipment are imported from Italy. Oh, and did I mentioned that the chef and pastry chef are from Italy too?
We started the meal with a generous platter of antipasti, Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter ($22), comprising of appetizing cold cuts from Emilia Romagna, premium cheese, stracchino and orange marmalade. This is my first encounter with stracchino and I adore it. The delicate cheese is made in house and tastes sparklingly fresh. Even hubby, who is adverse to cheese, gave 2 thumbs up.

Have a glass of red wine to accompany the antipasti. Bottura’s house pour, Chianti ($8.50/glass), is smooth and it’s quality is way above average compared to house pours served at most establishments. Seriously bang for buck!

Stracchino makes another appearance in Parma Ham Piadina ($12) along with rocket leaves. An obscure Italian flatbread in Singapore, Piadina has a smoky aroma, crisps texture, and goes well with a multitude of ingredients. Made in house, the Piadina at Bottura is absolutely commendable.

I usually avoid lasagna because I find them too rich and heavy, hence was pleasantly surprised by the Polenta Lasagne ($18). Made with thin polenta sheets that melt in the mouth, traditional ragu and béchamel sauce, this rendition has light texture, but full flavor. Its comfort food at its finest, without the guilt!

Pastas here are freshly made with a rustic handmade element. The Egg and Squid Ink Tagliolini ($16) with shrimp and zucchini, twirled it way into my heart. Cheese fans will love the Four Cheese Gnocchi with Rocket Pesto($14), chewy nuggets doused in sauce that is not at all cloying. Do note that pasta pictured in this blog post are of tasting portions.

Clocked in cream sauce, the Ravioli with Ham and Mushrooms ($14) were expertly crafted- each parcel is constructed with thin pasta sheets, unlike the usual overly-thick suspects. The Tagliatelle with traditional ragu ($15) is another gratifying dish-crumpled ribbons of homemade pasta tossed in hearty minced meat sauce.

For the fickle-minded, the Degustation Set ($18) of 6 pastas, including a glass of Italian red or white wine, will be most suitable. It’s available on weekdays after 5pm on all day during weekends.
We could not wait to sink our teeth into this enticing pizza. Set your taste buds ablaze with Arrabbiata Pizza ($18 for 12 inch) with elements of tomato, capers, chilli padi, mozzarella and rocket. For something refreshing, go the Rock Melon, Parma Ham and Mozzarella Pizza ($24 for 12 inch). The pizza base is outstanding- nicely blistered and paper thin, boasting crusts that crackles with each bite. Luca, who has a diploma in pizza making under this belt, spent several months experimenting to perfect the pizza base recipe. It’s evident his efforts paid off.

Moving onto sweets, the alcohol-free Tiramisu ($8) is children-friendly and has airy mascarpone while Fresh Mignon Pastries ($2.50/ piece) with Marsala come in bite size portions.

Moving onto sweets, the alcohol-free Tiramisu ($8) is children-friendly and has airy mascarpone while Fresh Mignon Pastries ($2.50/ piece) with Marsala come in bite size portions.

To ensure freshness, Gelato ($5/scoop) is made in-house by the pastry chef every couple of days. With 16 flavors to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Coffee here is excellent as well, prepared with Italian beans and a coffee machine revived from the 60s.

On weekdays, take advantage of the value-for-money set lunches which start from $14.50++.

Cooking enthusiasts will be thrilled by the retail corner, which stocks award-winning olive oils truffle oils and balsamic vinegar from Italy. A selection of wines and coffee beans are also available. All items are imported directly (no middle-man cost) and are exclusive to Bottura.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pastas,Pizzas,gelato,cold cuts
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 06, 2015 

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Categories : Sichuan | Restaurant | Chinese Steamboat/Hot Pot

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/19/hai-di-lao/
It took us a while to find the entrance to Hai Di Lao @ Clarke Quay (a lift tucked in a corridor), but better late than never! The famous steamboat chain from China is well-known for its mala soup base, quality ingredients, stellar service and notoriously long queues. In Singapore, the chain has gone from strength to strength, opening its second outlet at 313 Somerset.
To avoid waiting for hours, I made reservations 3 weeks in advance for Sunday lunch. Upon stepping out of the lift, we were impressed with the superb service. Staff greeted us with enthusiasm and led us to our table. Along the way, I was drawn towards the manicure room (complimentary service) and board game tables. Snacks are provided free of charge and a children’s playroom is available to occupy kids as well.
The restaurant itself is nicely decorated in black and red. Once seated, the waitress assigned to our table handed us aprons, spectacle cleaning cloths and ziploc bags to protect our mobile phones. For ladies with long hair, a hair tie is provided. The sauce, pickles, fruit and dessert counter is chargeable at $4 per pax.
We ordered a double-flavour hot pot comprising of Mala spicy broth and Chicken soup ($22).
We ordered the following in full portions (half portions also available) on the IPad. The food was faultless and oh-so-fresh.
Golden Pomfret ($19), Black Pork ($16), US Beef Slices ($18) and Handmade Shrimp balls ($16).
Fish balls ($8), assorted mushrooms ($18), fried tofu skin ($10), potato slices ($4), bamboo shoots ($7), lettuce ($6) and Chinese Cabbage ($4)
Kung Fu Noodle performance with rock music. Very entertaining!
Watermelon slices and Chilled Almond Beancurd from the buffet counter.
Service was attentive, prompt and efficient, a standout from many other casual restaurants in Singapore with splotchy service standards. What impressed us is Hai Di Lao is the ability to manage crowds well. Our bill totaled to $203 for 4 pax after tax and service charge. Pricy hey, considering you’ve gotta cook yourself.
Supplementary Information:
andmade Shrimp balls, Mala Broth
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Handmade Shrimp balls,Mala Broth
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 11, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $51(Lunch)

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

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Tapas,drinks and Zi Char Smile Jul 14, 2015   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine

For pictures and full review pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/14/third-place-medtech/

Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Select Group launches a new dining concept, Third Place @ MedTech, which features eating house, cafe, tapas and Zi Char to gratify both the working crowd and foodies.

In the day, Third Place offers lunch seekers nearby convenience and a variety of dining choices from 12 food stalls serving local and international cuisines. When night approaches, the venue transforms into a Zi Char and tapas bar, complete with service.

The tasting started with signature Tapas and right off the bat Third Place did not disappoint. Beef Me Up ($14) is a definite carnivore’s dream- fork-tender and flavoursome.

Upping the luxe factor is Krab’s Ocean Drink ($18), a seductive Alaskan Crab Leg paired with red wine.

We moved on to Third Place’s Zi Char creations. Offering diners a whole myriad of flavours and textures, the Five Blessing Platter ($80) consists of prawn and salted egg yolk wrapped with fried shredded popiah skin strips, jelly fish with sweet and spicy sauce, fried enoki mushrooms seasoned viciously with salt and pepper, mango prawn roll and papaya salad. Portion is good enough for 10 people to share.

Rollicking in complex gravy, the Nonya-style Steamed Red Grouper (seasonal price), tantalised our taste buds with its assam spices.

Coated with orange sauce, the Prawn Ball with Macadamia Nut in Orange Sauce ($18/$27/$36) leans towards the sweet side. The prawn balls themselves were crunchy and succulent. Whole macadamias were a welcome addition with its nutty goodness.

Clocked with peach sauce, the fried Pork Rib with Honey Peach ($15/$22/$30) was a match made in heaven, delectable and tender.

Limited to 30 servings per day, the Beancurd with Hon-Shimeiji Mushrooms ($12/$18/$24) has textured skin enveloping silky tofu. Prepared in an un-fussed approach, the Stir-fried Assorted Vegetables ($16/$22/$30) is another healthy-tasting dish that will appeal to both adults and children.

Despite feeling quite full already, the arrival of Third Place’s Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab (seasonal price) enticed me into committing a calorie-busting sin. We ravenously dug into the utterly divine creation, where the sauce is definitely the star, enhanced with curry leaves for that extra oomph. The sauce clings onto the shell well, thanks to its spot-on creamy consistency. I can’t detect much cheese but I beleive its the key to perfecting the sauce’s wonderful texture. Lick off or mop up the sauce with the sweet flesh of the crustacean, both ways are equally delightful.

A competently executed rendition of Singapore’s favourite crab dish, Third Place’s Chilli Crab (seasonal price) is impossible not to love!

Select Group collaboration with beverage partners brings forth more savings for consumers. The yummy Alska Ciders we tried are priced at $9 per bottle (can be up to $15 elsewhere).

Third Place is the venue to visit when you just cannot face those over-familiar shopping mall dining options. I can see it being a nice spot to gather with family, friends and colleagues. Westies, do take note of this new eating haunt! I recommened dressing light, as Third Place is an alfresco set-up. Zi Char is available Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 10pm.

Supplementary Information:
Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 02, 2015 

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Categories : Bakery | Café

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/27/the-dispensary/

We visited The Dispensary during lunchtime on a Saturday and were surprised how quiet it was. We welcomed this scene; after a tiring work week, all we want for the weekend is peace and yummy food, without having to hustle for it.

Occupying the shop house of an abandoned Chinese Medical Hall, the bakery cafe preserves traditions by using antique-looking items as decorations. It stops there though. Food and beverage offerings are Western-styled.

The soup of the day, Clam Chowder ($6.50) did a good job of whetting our appetites. Served in an old-school red rooster bowl, the sweetness of calms will appeal to the most discerning palates. The accompanying toasts were presented in the same fashion, on an old-school metal plate.

The breakfast options were alright, not particularly outstanding but not unpleasant either. The eggs in the Mushroom Scramble ($14.50) were moist, but could be fluffier. I prefer the Sausage and Eggs ($14.50), featuring juicy, bouncy and flavorsome sausages.

Check out their pastas if you want to jump start your day with a carbo boost. Smoked Duck Aglio Olio is available in 3 sizes ($12.50/$16.50/$20.50) and is perfectly al dente and fragrant. It would have been better with more garlic, but nevertheless my taste buds and tummy were gratified. Alfredo Mushroom ($13.50) was creamy but not cloying, and thankfully firm, unlike the usual soggy suspects.

Presented in a dim sum basket and sprinkled with parsley, the Sweet Potato Fries ($7.90) were enticingly crispy on the outside and soft inside. We also like that it was not overly oily.

You cannot miss having desserts (served on nostalgic plastic red rooster plate), especially the Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake ($6.50). While the portion is a little small for the price, this slice of heaven is divine and is something you’d want to eat over and over because it’s neither too sweet nor salty. The texture is light and melts in the mouth like dream. Its buttery short crust pastry is excellent too. Trust me, you won’t want to share it. And you shouldn’t.
This is the first time I’ve encountered Black Velvet Cake ($7) so had to try it despite my exploding belly. It’s essentially the same as Red Velvet, but black, rather than red. Nothing exceptional, just a decent slice of moist sponge, jazzed up with cream cheese and chocolate crunch.

Other cakes available are Chocolate Banana, Blueberry almond cheesecake, Chocolate marble cheesecake, New York cheesecake, Carrot cake and Chocolate Brownies. Cupcake options include Oreo, Nutella, Lychee, Red Velvet, Valrhona Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel.

We washed down all the food with Iced Lemon Tea, Iced Honey Lemon ($4.50) and Iced Chocolate ($6.50). The lattermost was too diluted for my liking.

Overall, we felt that The Dispensary’s offerings average, nothing spectacular, save for the Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake. The benches are metal chairs are not the most comfortable, hence we left immediately after finishing our food. On the plus side, The Dispensary does not have GST nor service charges.
Supplementary Information:
Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Fries, Clam Chowder
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 22, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $26(Lunch)

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

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