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jerjerjer
This is jerjerjer living in Dover. I am a Gamer, work in Orchard. I like to hang out in Dover. Japanese are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant and Sushi/Sashimi, Desserts and Cakes.
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An Italian Affair – La Strada Smile Jul 14, 2014   
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Categories : Italian | Pasta | Steaks and Grills

($40) Saffron-infused Lobster Risotto

($40) Saffron-infused Lobster Risotto

 
I’m totally not exaggerating when I say that La Strada has one of the BEST Carbonara I’ve ever tried in Singapore. And most of the other dishes on their menu are equally good too. The price range is slightly higher than Jamie’s Italian, but the quality of food here is so much better, as you would expect from a restaurant under the Les Amis group.

 
First up, the Risotto All’Aragosta ($40) – juicy Lobster chunks served with saffron-infused Risotto. Mmmm.. just thinking about it now stimulates my saliva glands! >.< If you're like me and enjoy indulging in rich, flavourful foods then this is a dish you will love. They probably used lobster bisque to cook the rice because it's just exploding with the taste of lobster and the strings of saffron hidden in the risotto gives the dish an uplifting quality.

 
One thing I also liked about this dish is that they don’t stinge on the lobster meat. I was delighted to find huge chunks of juicy lobster meat cooked to perfection.
($28) Blue Mussels

($28) Blue Mussels

 

 
It’s always good to eat in a group because you get to share food and try out more dishes that the restaurant has to offer. This pot of Blue Mussels ($28) is slightly different from the one I tried at Bistro Du Vin (also part of the Les Amis group of restaurants). This version is without white wine which makes it slightly less tasty, but I actually prefer it like that because the wine can be a bit overpowering.
($28) Homemade Guitar String Pasta in a Truffle Butter Sauce!

($28) Homemade Guitar String Pasta in a Truffle Butter Sauce!

 
And of course, the star of the show is the Chitarra alla Carbonara ($28)! The restaurant actually makes their own ‘Chitarra’ pasta which is literally translated as ‘Guitar String’ pasta. And I’m not sure if they actually make the pasta fresh on the spot, but my order took quite a while to come (20 – 30 min). It was well worth the wait though, because the pasta retained it’s fresh al’dente quality that you will not get from ordinary dried pasta that you buy from supermarkets.

The Truffle Butter Sauce is unlike anything I’ve tried before – thick, buttery and infused with so much truffle. And there are still more unique attributes to this dish! Next up is the crispy thin slices of Italian ham that is served with it, unlike other carbonara which uses bacon. And finally the Egg Confit which sits atop the pasta, unlike the usual poached egg which is just simply poached for 3 – 5 min, this egg yolk is slow cooked for about an hour and infused with flavours from the ham.

To think that the chefs went through all that trouble just to create this heavenly dish makes me respect them even more. And I think the price tag of $28 is really quite reasonable, although the portion may be quite small for some people. Just be sure to make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment because the restaurant can get really packed during lunchtime on weekdays.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chitarra alla Carbonara,Risotto All’Aragosta,Blue Mussels
 
Spending per head: Approximately $50(Lunch)

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

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An Indulgent Lunch Smile Oct 30, 2013   
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Categories : English | European | Café | High Tea | Desserts and Cakes

I know TWG has been around for quite some time already but this is actually my first visit (actually, mainly because I'm more of a coffee person, really mad). But since I was running some errands at ION, I decided to check out this posh looking tea salon.
Lobster Timbale

Lobster Timbale

 
They do not have a very extensive food menu, so I decided to try the Lobster Timbale ($28) - a towering cylinder of juicy marinated lobster meat tossed with avocado and intricately served on a bed of spinach shoots, arranged to look like a blooming flower.

The unique selling point about the food at TWG is that it uses tea to enhance the flavours and compliment the food. For the Lobster Timbale, the vinaigrette is infused with TWG's Love Me Tea which is a fine green tea imbued with lime blossoms and verbena (a type of flower).

Not only was the lobster meat very fresh and chewy, the texture of the avocado complimented the dish very well too. There is not much flavouring added to it so you get full the natural goodness of the lobster meat.
White Secret Tea

White Secret Tea

 
Since I was already having lunch there, why not try some their teas too? So I asked one of their smartly dressed staff to recommend a white tea that would go well with my meal. He was very helpful and suggested that I try the White Secret Tea ($23.50) which comes in TWG's signature shiny golden teapot.
White Secret Tea

White Secret Tea

 
TWG's Secret White Tea consists of a blend of YinZhen White Tea (literally means 'Silver Needle White Tea') which originates from the Fujian province in China and is one of the highest grade of white teas available. One whiff of the tea is like a summer breeze across a meadow of flowers in bloom. It has a fruity note and even after a couple of sips, the refreshing taste of the tea still lingers on your palate. Nothing like I've every tried before and it's definitely worthy to be named as one of the "most prized teas" in China. =]
Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

 
To end off my indulgent meal, I decided to order a freshly baked Strawberry Tart ($9.50). The sweet scent of strawberries accented by the fruity aroma of the Secret White Tea is simply a pairing made in heaven. Though the crust of the tart is not as crumbly as I would have liked it to be, the strawberries were definitely of good quality.

Overall, quality ingredients are definitely the main highlight of the food at TWG and having all your dishes infused with tea is an interestingly refreshing experience for your taste buds. My only gripe about the place is that the ambiance is too posh for my liking and can get a little suffocating and formal. But nonetheless, it was a great experience! lol
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Lobster Timbale,Strawberry Tart,White Secret Tea
 
Date of Visit: Oct 04, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $61(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 3

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A Blast From The Past! Smile Oct 30, 2013   
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Categories : Café

You don't even need to step into this restaurant to be amazed by the amount of retrolicious artifacts that fill up the space. The cafe's front door handles are intricately designed with a mini silver trumpet on each side and stepping inside is like jumping into a time warp back into the 60s.
C.A.N. Cafe

C.A.N. Cafe

 
From vinyl records, music labels and instruments, to lamps, helmets and even a vintage hair steamer, you can tell from the shear number of collector's items that the owner of this restaurant is very passionate about his antiques. He also mentioned to us that a customer once tried to purchased his vintage hair steamer thinking it was up for sale, but no way would an antique collector sell away his prized collections.
Ice Lemon Tea

Ice Lemon Tea

 
I ordered myself an Ice Lemon Tea ($5.50) which comes in one of those mugs that look like a honey jar. Unlike other places which serve their lemon tea with slices of lemon inside, C.A.N. Cafe chooses to throw in a whole lemon instead - cut up into quarters. While the tea was saturated enough, I felt that the lemons could be mashed up more so all that lemony-goodness can be infused into the drink. lol
C.A.N. Beeflicious Burger

C.A.N. Beeflicious Burger

 
As for the C.A.N. Beeflicious Burger ($9.90) which comes with fries, the beef patty tasted very homemade but was also rather dry. I tasted some curry powder added into the patty to give it a nice and warm flavour. But but some odd reason, it was a little fibrous too (you can see some of the fibers sticking out if you look closely at the photo). Interestingly too, the veggies they used seem to be cooked before they added it into the burger, making the texture a little sloppy.

Overall, C.A.N. Cafe is a great place to kick back and slouch on one of their many comfy sofas. And did I mention that some people even come here to do their wedding shoots? Well, it's definitely a very unique cafe and whether you are into music, antiques or celebrities, I'm sure you'll be able to find something in here that catches your eye. lol
 
Date of Visit: Oct 24, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Classic Carbonara Smile Oct 29, 2013   
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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes

After my bad dining experience here with the Pesto Pasta, I decided to give this place another shot since it's actually a pretty conducive environment where I can have a nice quiet and relaxing lunch on a weekday. =] Luckily the food turned out to be pretty good this time round.
Ice Lemon Tea

Ice Lemon Tea

 
There is something I really enjoy about Ice Shaken Lemon Tea - the shaking produces this layer of foam at the top and gives it a nice homemade taste. I also like how it is not that sweet and has a deep English tea taste to it, not at all like other ice lemon teas which just taste like sugar water.
Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

 
Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

 
The Spaghetti Carbonara ($13.50) has a "chef's icon" next to it on the menu, flagging it as one of their signature dishes here, so I decided to give it a try. It comes with a poached egg that is perfectly runny when you pierce into it with a fork.

They also use good parmesan cheese for the pasta sauce which doesn't make it overly salty like other cheeses. I actually quite enjoyed the fact that the sauce was a little bit grainy and clumpy (probably due to the egg) because this gives it a very homely taste, even though the menu describes it as a "smooth cream sauce".
Macaron

Macaron

 
If you like desserts, you should definitely try some of their Macarons which come in 6 different flavours - Rose, Chocolate Noir, Fleur De Sel Caramel (salted caramel), Feuilletine, Hazelnut, Cookies & Cream. A box of 6 assorted macarons cost $11.50 which would normally cost $2.50 per piece.

You will definitely find me back here again when I need a peaceful place to have some quality comfort food and a sweet treat! Although the service here can be pretty nonchalant, it is perfect for times when you just want to be left alone to indulge in good food. lol
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Classic Carbonara
 
Date of Visit: Oct 23, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Korean BBQ Lovers, Rejoice! Smile Oct 29, 2013   
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Categories : Korean | Restaurant | Korean BBQ

Kkongdon Korean BBQ

 


Just 10 minutes away from Toa Payoh MRT, SAFRA clubhouse is a convenient location where you can enjoy a whole host of activities including fitness, bowling, fencing and much to my surprise, a number of interesting dining outlets too.
Kkongdon Korean BBQ

Kkongdon Korean BBQ

 
Located on level 1 just next to the lobby, Kkongdon BBQ is quite easy to spot amongst the row of other restaurants along that corridor. And upon stepping inside, you will be immediately greeted with kpop music videos playing on the restaurant's LCD screens, adding to the Korean feel of the place.
Lotus Root (Yeongeun Jorim 연근조림)

Lotus Root (Yeongeun Jorim 연근조림)

 
I particularly liked the open salad bar concept where you have a wide selection of Korean side dishes (Banchan 반찬). I tried some of their non-spicy options like the Lotus Root (Yeongeun Jorim 연근조림) which had an interesting smoky and woody taste to it, and also helped myself to some refreshing Seaweed Salad (Miyeok Muchim 미역 무침).
The BBQ stove

The BBQ stove

 
I seldom eat Korean BBQ and was quite curious to see that the hot plate is elevated above the electric stove, and titled at an angle, with a gap at the end for excess oil to drain off. There are also these UFO-looking smoke vents which suck up all the BBQ smoke.
Pork Belly (Samgeopsal 삼겹살)

Pork Belly (Samgeopsal 삼겹살)

 
Meat-lovers will definitely enjoy this: Pork Belly (Samgeopsal 삼겹살) and Beef Short Ribs (Galbisal 갈비살). For just $20.80++ this set comes with 2 types of meat, free flow from the salad bar and 2 side dishes. It's actually a set meant for 2 persons, but I felt that the meat portions were quite small.
BBQ-ing the meats

BBQ-ing the meats

 
Check out the sizzling hot plate of meats! My colleague also BBQ-ed some kimchi which actually intensifies its flavour, making it more sour and spicy. I think that was also why our hot plate got a bit burnt mad The Samgeopsal 삼겹살 tasted very fresh and is great when dipped into some of their Ssamjang 쌈장 Korean sauce and wrapped in fresh lettuce leafs.

The Galbisal 갈비살 on the other hand turned out to be much too spicy because of the thick black pepper marinade. When we feedback this to the staff, they were very helpful and actually washed off the marinade for us which made it a lot less spicy and more edible.
Fresh prawns

Fresh prawns

 
Prawns are not included in the set, but this came from another table who ordered a different set from us. Well, the good thing about eating in a large group is that you get to share the food! By the way, water is actually chargeable at this restaurant although tea is free flow.
Kimchi Tofu Soup (Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개)

Kimchi Tofu Soup (Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개)

 
The set-for-2 comes with a bowl of Kimchi Tofu Soup (Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개) which sometimes contain tuna or pork belly. This version consists tofu, chicken and lots of vegetables - a firey, salty and sour soup for people who enjoy eating kimchi.
Korean Rice Cakes (Tteok 떡)

Korean Rice Cakes (Tteok 떡)

 
Another side dish which came with the set is the Korean Rice Cake (Tteok 떡) which is made of glutinous rice flour and drenched in more kimchi sauce. There were also some cockles in the sauce.

Overall, the food and atmosphere of the place is perfect for a casual BBQ meal and the prices are also pretty affordable. You could also order more meat or other side dishes if the set meal is not enough to satisfy your craving for meat. Definitely one of the recommended places to check out if you love a good Korean BBQ!
 
Date of Visit: Oct 14, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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