Monday, November 29, 2010

Wagyu burgers at The Landing Point: Best burger in Singapore?

with Ainie and Kin

The Fullerton Bay Hotel...a grand dame? Well, it looks the part, feels the part, but this beautiful hotel is almost brand new.

The lobby was formerly the Clifford Pier lobby...where weary travellers would wait for their ferry or boat. It used to be a dank place, now swankified by the hotel. The decor is very nice. And the feeling a mix of colonial and local, with a good airy feeling due in no small part to the large almost wall to wall windows. These windows also allow the magnificent new Marina Bay area to present itself.

The Landing Piont is a curious little place...more like a lobby bar than a restaurant, and indeed it carries a sort of truncated menu...but no less complete with nice meals.

The lounge chairs were perhaps more suitable for a tea time tete-a-tete rather than a business lunch. But we were there for lunch, and there was another table also having luncheon.

All three of us had the Wagyu Cheeseburger.

This was an interesting concoction...beautiful wagyu, which looked like it had been hand chopped and pattied, with either aged cheddar or blue cheese, a small serving of salad - rocket, onions, tomato, and truffle fries. Quite decadent.

The sesame bun was very nice and perhaps a bit unusual as well. Peppered with black and white sesame, it was light, fluffy. The patty was rather large, and cutting the burger open, revealed the full ingredients:

The patty was delicious. Soft, tender, smooth...yes, smooth...the wagyu was very well done. In my medium rare example, some of the rarer inner parts was full flavoured...almost like foie gras. The rest of the burger was excellent. The sauce - a kind of barbecue sauce was present to provide support to the wagyu, and was noticable, but at no point was intrusive as sometimes sauces are tend to do. This indicates to me the chef is top notch, going for balance and the wholesome experience instead of making any one masterpiece ingredient stand out. Nothing to nitpick even if I was in the mood to.

The truffle fries were also very good. I suspect the fries are cooked in I caught a crispy bit amongst the fries. Made it all the more delicious. And coupled with the truffle oil. It was rather good.

Overall, one of the best burgers I have eaten in a long time.

The Landing Point
The Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay Singapore 049326
Tel:6333 8388

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Comfort food: Wantan Mee

Wantan of my favourites...especially for breakfast, and indeed one which I have for that important morning meal at least once a month. I dislike the regular style of wantan mee offered by many hawkers where they add tomato sauce into the sauce. For me, wantan mee must be served sans chilli (with chilli, it can be good, but I feel its a variant. I actually like the one served by the famous Joo Chiat wantan mee store with copious amounts of chilli, but another story for another day).

For me, when served dry it must be accompanied by black savoury sauce. When served in a soup, there is no comparing to what the folks in Hong Kong cook up...especially in my favourite Mak's Noodles in HKG.

But in this part of the world...Nanyang as they call us...I prefer the KL style, thick noodles, springy, drenched in a black sauce, with a generous serving of rendered pork fat, and pork lard crisps. I can forego the char siew if its not up to par...and they often are not. And have a double portion of wantan.

Indeed this is what I usually order at my favourite wantan mee store in Tajong Pagar. I have written about Lucky Wantan Mee once, but this is the other store along the same corridoor, and facing the different direction from Lucky.


And the double wantan portion?

These were not as good as Mak's...not by any stretch. But good enough to keep me returning at least once a month...sometimes more often. The skin is thin, light. The meat fragrant...minced pork with minched shrimps. And perhaps a touch of crushed dried flounder.

For me, this is comfort food...satisfying. And keeps me coming back for more.

No name Wantan Mee and Ipoh Horfun store
same corridoor as Lucky, but at other end...operated by an elderly couple.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paradise Dynasty: Really a growth of a dynastic force in Singapore gastronomy

with Larry and SJX

The Paradise Group is a fairly recent entrant into the gastronomic world in Singapore. Starting out as a coffee shop by the current owner's grandfather, he transformed it from a little cze char stop Defu Lane to a huge empire it now is. It boasts of many superb restaurants in our little island...from Paradise Inn serving cze char style food, but in a restaurant styled environment, to upmarket, fine dining Taste Paradise in Ion. Also at Ion, they opened another concept restaurant in the form of Paradise Dynasty...specialising in northern Chinese cuisine. The advertising tagline for Paradise Dynasty is the now familiar 8 flavours of Xiao Loong Pao.

The decor is quite well executed, but decidedly Chinese.

I had been curious about the XLP for a this is one dish I have found where my reference standard is curiously in New York City, in a little Chinese Restaurant in the ever-shrinking Chinatown called Joe's Restaurant. It was the best XLP I have ever eaten. Forget about Din Dai Fung. They don't make the grade for me, not the Singapore outlets, nor the one in Shanghai...I haven't been to Taiwan to try them at their home turf. At the minimum in Singapore, Lao Beijing serves a version I find enjoyable. As does Pu Dong Kitchen in Balmoral Plaza. Both of which I have blogged before.

Dynasty offers a sampler of 8 XLP in a steamer, with all 8 flavours. But as both Larry and JX had already tried those, and are familiar with the flavours, we zoomed in on the original flavour and the garlic.

They look quite similar...especially when not placed next to each other in the same steamer...

Verdict? Quite good. Indeed...I guess at least the same level as Lao Beijing, which is quite high praise indeed, as this would rank it best in Singapore. The skin was springy, resilient, and had a nice stretchy consistency. The soup within is quite delicious. And the meat sufficiently succulent. Joe's in NYC offered something at a different level...better in almost every way. I have it on good good friend Danny's mother - a pure Shanghainese herself had declared it to be even better than in Shanghai. Danny had once lived in NYC, and had introduced me there when I visited some 15 years ago.

We tried some rather interesting dishes when we were there too...for interesting combination, like a cake...of 3 different types of egg...salted duck, regular chicken and preserved century egg.

I found it quite nice...though not mind blowing. The combination of flavours from the eggs were quite interesting.

Cold chicken drunken with Chinese Rice wine, a favourite of Larry's:

I found this to be good. As good as the standard bearer offered by Soup Restaurant. Nicely balanced wine soaked chicken. Cooked perfectly...not too well done, nor too raw. The chicken remained fragrant, tender and sweet.

We also had the chicken in a ma-la style sauce:

The ma-la sauce is quite similar to those I have eaten in Beijing. The pepper provides its heat, not in the usual caspicum style stinging sensation, but in a pungent, numbing sensation to the tongue and lips. Strangly pleasant.

A deep fried batter fish was also in our menu:

This was similar to the one offered by their sister restaurant...Paradise Inn...and we loved this dish just the same. The fish was fresh, nicely cooked within a outer crust batter which was crispy, crunchy and very tasty.

We also shared two styles of ramen...the signature lamien:

Nothing to shout about. De Rigeur lamien...about the same level as Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Loong Pao. But perhaps a tad below as the soup was not as rich tasting.

The ma-la lamien was a bit more interesting:

Served with beef slices, it was a departure from the norm. The sauce was the same spicy, numbing style. And proved to be quite a good coupling with the lamien. The beef slices were not as tender as they could have been, but the slight chewiness of the beef was not a hinderance to the enjoyment of this dish.

For desserts, the Red Bean Pancake:

A bit less sweet than traditional offerings, the red bean paste within was nice and fragrant. But the pastry was quite ecellent. Made almost like filo pastry, with many was light, crisp, fragrant. The texture was marvellous. Very nice.

Overall, Paradise Dynasty is another feather in the Paradise Group's cap. Consistently good to excellent and sometimes exceptional food, in a nice beautiful environment with good service. Definitely a mainstay in the culinary map of Singapore.

Paradise Dynasty
2 Orchard Turn #04-12A ION Orchard Singapore
6509 9118
Mon–Fri: 11am – 10pm Sat–Sun & PH: 10am – 10pm

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More CKT: Hill Street, now in Bedok

with Eddie

Hill Street of the favourites in Singapore. For me, the memory of the old "chef" frying his cKT in his old store in Hill a park opposite Funan...interesting, the pedestrian bridge is still there, but the hawker center, as they were called those days, is gone.

Anyway, I didn't feel the CKT, even when fried by the old gentleman, see pic above, is better, to my tastebuds, than Outram Park (now in Hong Lim Temp Market). Outram Park remains my favourite.

The wok hei is there, as is the fragrance of the pork lard and the pork lard crisps. But compared to Outram Park, I feel it falls slightly short...the almost there but though not quite magic kind of thingie. In the final analysis, the balance of greasiness, with the flavour of the egg, the bite of the lap cheong (chinese sausage), the tenderness of the kway teow and the mix of KT and mee is just right with Outram when done by the older chef. Its the small things which make a great dish.

So is the Hill Street worth the calories and cholestrol? For me, its a yes. But a bit far to drive from my home. But if I had to rank them, my rank would be Outram Park perhapd with Dong Ji in Old Airport Road, then Yong Huat, then Hill Street. But don't compare with Penang CKT...that's on another galaxy...totally.

Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
Blk 16, Bedok South Road, #01-187
Opened for lunch till about 4pm. Then around 6pm till all he runs out of food.
Closed on Mondays
Mr Ng 90421312

Monday, November 15, 2010

Eighteen Chefs: humaritan organization or eatery...or both!

Eighteen Chefs is an interesting place...looking more like a cafe or part of a hawker center than a fine dining establishment (btw, they don't make any claims of fine dining...). But within the eating place is an establishment with a heart. Set up and modelled after Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, the current owner Benny Se Teo set out to provide ex-convicts with an opportunity to serve the community and make a living for themselves outside of crime.

However, an interview with The Sunday Times in 2007, said that he would want the restaurant "to be knownfor its food rather than its support for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders". So if you want to read about Benny, and his amazing life and is your friend. I continue with the food:

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon...and the place was quite busy. The ordering system is to peruse the menu, write your order on a small piece of paper, pay up at the counter, help yourselves with the cutlery, water, chilli and tomato sauces. And the food will be very quick time.

My mom had the seafood spagetti.

Done aglio olio style, the slightly softer than al dente spagetti was tossed with seafood and red and green caspicum. The seafood was fresh, the prawns were nice and crunchy. If I were to rate this dish, it would be rated home cooked...nice, but not really up to the standards of a real Italian kitchen.

Edward had the chicken chop.

The chicken was cooked very well. The terriyaki sauce was a tough salty, but went very well with the chicken. The salad which accompanied the dish was excellent. Green apples, raisins, potato on a bed of lettuce. Fresh, crunchy, well done and good salad dressing.

I had the fish and chips

What was interesting was the fish was described in the menu as root beer batter fish and chips. The chips were de rigeur - a bit dry, lacking the texture and mouthfeel of really good french fries. The fish batter was very crisp when delivered, but it softened rather quickly...perhaps pointing to the fact that no preservatives were used. The taste itself was a bit unusual...the sweetness imparted by the root beer was still apparent, and to my palate, that was a bit too domineering. I would have preferred the more traditional beer batter. The purpose of the beer or in this case root beer, is to provide the gas to allow the batter to rise...causing a light and crunchy, crispy batter. Beer imparts a slight malty flavour which in my opinion goes well with the fish. The root beer, left this coy sweetness which to me, was not a good combination.

I save the best for last. Kin had the burger...

And for me, this was the crowning glory of our lunch. Instead of a beef patty, the chef elected to use slices of beef...I guess, marinated in a teriyaki like sauce, and pan fried before being formed in to a "patty" and placed in between the bun. The bread itself is worthy a mention...light, fluffly, and lightly toasted to be slightly crisp outside, but still a bit moist and fluffy inside. Nice. The cajun style fries which came with it was also excellent, as was the dipping sauce.

Overall, good, home-styled food, cooked well, but not exceptional.

Eighteen Chefs
Tiong Bahru Plaza
302 Tiong Bahru Road,
Singapore 168732
6272 0961
Daily 12pm - 10pm

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Char Kway Teows...a comparative study...Singapore Version

Char Kway Teow...I guess this must be the dish most Singaporeans would miss after being away in Ang Mo countries for a least, for me, this is what I crave most. I mostly prefer the Penang sweet sauce, sometimes with large prawns, crab meat. Flash fried over super hot wok. But since I have been in Singapore longer than my early childhood days in Penang, I have grown to love the Singapore version as well. I do have my favourites, but an important ingredient is for the CKT to be fried in a super hot wok to create the wok hei, with pork lard as the oil of choice, and liberally sprinkled with pork lard crisps. Yum! I don't mind if its dry or a bit wet. I can appreciate both sweet versions preferred by the Teochews or the non-sweet ones. But I do need my dose of chilli.

Amongst my favourites are the Outram Park CKT, now in Hong Lim; an old store in Old Airport Road (not the famous one, but one serving their CKT without the sweet black sauce...I forget their name. The Margaret Drive uncle. The little store at the corner in Amoy Street. And Yong Huat.

Though generically I lump them under CKT, I actually prefer to specially order the Char Bee Hoon...why? two reasons...because CBH is less commonly requested, I can be assured that the "chef" fries my order on its own...this is possibly the single most important criteria for a good wok a large serving will quench the fire easier than a single serving. And I actually feel the bee hoon, being not made with oil, oily in texture and taste. CBH are offered by all my favourites at Outram Park, Amoy and of course Yong Huat.

The owner of Yong Huat is a short stocky man...robustly built, and looks very strong and sturdy to me, with a bunch of thick black beard reminiscent of Kwan Kong. He is a jolly fellow...with a deep strong voice.

The CBH:

Both very well fried, with a wallop of pork lard for super flavour. Great wok hei. And topped with those immensely gorgeous, delicious pork lard crisps. Super greasy, but super good.

How does it compare to the others? Well. The standard bearer for me is Outram Park when fried by the old man...mind you, his son...aka young man is no spring chicken...having lived, I believe, no less than 55 years. But there is something magical about the CBH fried by the old fellow. Somewhat more special. The chilli he used is based on pepper and less on chilli...and the appearance of the CBH and CKT, even with "keh hiam" is uncharacteristically not red. The older fellow fries early in the can catch him at his wok from about 7am till about 9:30 when his son takes over.

The Margaret Drive uncle, who btw, speaks quite good English, and now practicing his wok in Telok Blangah makes a CKT which is wetter, sweeter. And the chap at Amoy, again only when the old man fries the CKT/CBH himself is excellent.

And what about the Hill Street chap who now practices in Bedok? For me, good, but below the standards offered by the gang above.

Can I rate them? Well, no...I love them all the same. Sometimes one more than the other, but the order in which I love them changes often. Fickle? Perhaps, but I rather see this as the ability to appreciate.

I savour the CBH and also the CKT. But I do limit myself to no more than once a quarter to indulge in this hugely greasy, heart attack inducing meals...except when I am in Penang...but that is another story.

Yong Huat
125/127 East Coast Rd S428810
Time: 0800 - 2000
Owner: Mr. Pang Weng Hong
Handphone: 96301370

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soht and Baay: Thai reference?

Soht and Baay opened with much fanfare at ION Orchard. The restaurant had almost no frontage at all at its entrance at level 4 of ION...just a counter, and a glimpse at the beautifully decor promised what was within. I had been slightly discouraged by this lack of ability to see the dining area, and the menu at the counter indicated the prices were on the higher side of Thai cuisine in Singapore.

But try I did...and came away fairly impressed.

The glass buddha theme continues one enters at level 4, there are two small private rooms on the right, behind the glass buddhas above, and the waiter leads one up a flight of stairs into a large, bright and airy dining room upstairs.

We started, as in many high end dining establishments tend to offer these days an amuse bouche.

This was quite like the Miang Kana I had several times in Bangkok...but instead of kana (kailan), it was served on a leaf of lettuce. The taste was rather good. The characteristic Thai mix of tastes - sweet, sour, salty and spicy were all in abundance. Good way to open the appetite, so to speak.

Also getting popular is the Thai Lemongrass drink.

This is not a difficult drink to make. Start with a few sprigs of Thai lemongrass...which is more flavourful than the Malaysian or Indonesian ones. Smash the bulb, put in boiling water. Let the concoction boil for a while. Set aside to cool. At home, I like it slightly sweetened with honey. But the version served at Soht was sweetened with sugar syrup....I found it a bit too sweet, and the lemongrass not pungent enough. Canton-I just downstairs of Soht and Baay serves a nice version, and in my opinion, a bit more concentrated with lemongrass flavour than here.

We started with the standard Thai Pomelo salad:

The pomelo was left as large chunks. Sweet, fresh, with a slight tinge of sour. And the sauce was thick, sweet, spicy. All the Thai flavours. Great salad.

The rice was, with a bit more attention to detail and care than most. It was moulded into a heart shape...not totally essential, but a nice touch, nevertheless.

I had the Tom Yum Kung, and Michelle had the Talay.

Tom Yum, is a standard bearer of Thai cuisine, and a rather complicated soup to prepare, requiring a whole array of ingredients blending together in a nice, almost magical way when done right. This tom yum was nearly there. I would have preferred it to have a bit more bite...more phet, as the Thais would say - phet meaning spicy. The sourness and the depth of the soup was quite satisfying. The prawns were reasonably fresh, but lacked the crunchiness and sweetness that one gets if one was dining along the klong in Bangkok.

We had some tanghoon with river prawns:

I have just written about my Lerk Thai review earlier this week, and my feelings towards my favourite Soi 5 establishment is still dear to me and not changed. The woonsen served by Soht and Baay is somewhat similar to Lerk Thai. The noodles were nicely cooked. The prawns fresh, and quite similar to the ones used in their Tom Yum. De rigeur dish. Not specatacular, nor poor.

We also tried the Phad Phet Kapow Kai

To me, this is the quintessential Thai dish, if there was one...more than the Tom Yums, and Som Tams. The Phad Phet Kapow is my all time favourite. Though my preferred protein is pork, Soht & Baay only offered it with chicken. The dish was rather good, good kick from the chilli padi. But a bit on the salty side, and the Thai Basil (kapow) did not manage to come through as strongly (fragrantly) as I would have liked. But still highly enjoyable. A recent sampling at Aroy Dee Thai in Sunshine Plaza offered a more authentic version, which I preferred. More authentic, and street like...while Soht's is, perhaps too refined.

Phat Phet Kapow Moo at Aroy Dee Thai

And finally the dessert. This was beautifully presented...

Khao Niau sticky rice...another Thai favourite and standard bearer. The rice was rather interesting...three types of flavoured sticky rice was offered, in three beautiful pastel colours. Lovely.

Interesting and good tasting Thai. Authentic tasting, excellent service. Good cooking with fine ingredients, though a bit pricey.

Soht and Baay
2 Orchard Turn #04-11 & 05-01 ION Orchard Singapore
6509 6058
Mon–Thu: 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10pm
Fri–Sun: 11.30am – 10pm

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fresh Roast: Papa Palheta

with Prof Massi

One of my former colleagues told me about this place, and said that I would love it. So at the next available tea-break, I made arrangements with my friend Massi, who was looking for an espresso machine, and Papa Palheto carried Synesso and we appeared about 4pm-ish on a Friday afternoon.

The entrance is via Hooper Road, and parking seemed to be easily available...and as one enters, one gets the feeling one is tresspassing on a chillout party or something...the entry is at the back of the shophouse. The decor is quite interesting, with vintage objects all over. In the center was this huge Synesso machine...a 3 grouppa machine, no less.

The friendly Marcus chirped in his English accent, he looked Chinese, but the accent was quite British Isles...and we ordered two piccolo lattes. Interestingly, there is no fixed price for the coffee. There is a tipping jar, and a small note saying they would like $3.50 per cup, but totally up to us...or something to that effect. Interesting.

Nice latte slightly better than the other, though both were made by Marcus. Perhaps due to the milk, the latte was a bit round, and fat. And I could hardly taste the coffee.

We started chatting, and I found they roasted in-situ. Marcus cheerfully showed us the roaster...a nice batch roaster - capable of 3kg each roast, though, he intimated, they usually roast in batches of 2kg. He also told me they were opening another branch right by the river, where Kallang Waterworks used to be, and will get a 5kg Probat roaster for that location. Make mental note to visit when open.

I tried two further shots of coffee...both espressos, this one from their Terra Firma blend: Brazil, Guatemala, Ethopia, Sumatra Mandeling.

Nice, full bodied coffee. The specs on the crema is indicative of a nice, short pull. The quantity, is probably right on the mark as a single espresso. On the palate, it was nice, round, with excellent mouthfeel. Slightly lacking in acidity perhaps, and as a result can be a bit dull...perfect for me as an after dinner espresso. I bought 250g for my home brewing.

Very interesting, relaxing place, though a bit small. But quite a good place to relax, drink a cuppa or two and learn about coffee.

They also conduct cupping sessions on the first Sat of every 10am. I will have a short report on the cupping session later.

Papa Palheta
140 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 229840
Enter by Hooper Road
Tue to Sun (Mon closed for roasting)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thai Fusion: Lerk Thai

This is an invited review by the fine folks at Lerk Thai

Fusion cuisine. Sounds exotic. One of the first times I tasted a meal touted to be fusion was at the Fischerzunft in Schaffhausen in Switzerland. The restaurant has one Michelin star and was quite an experience. But fusion cuisine need not be lofty. We actually eat quite a lot of fusion cuisine here in Singapore. Even my native Peranakan cuisine is a fusion of Malay and Chinese. But we seldom think of it this way.

When I got the invitation to do the tasting at Lerk Thai, I was intrigued by their fusion style cuisine. Interesting methot. There were many such fusion restaurants that literally dot Bangkok. And almost every western or European restaurant (read Italian, French, Spanish) in the city is usually able to whip up a local Thai the cooks are usually Thai. I also have a few Italian-Thai favourites in that city. But I believe this is the first, anyone has tried to do such a fusion in Singapore (perhaps there are others, but I am not (yet?) aware of them)

So off to the Centerpoint store I trotted. Occupying the place which was vacated by another Thai Restaurant, Lerk Thai was decorated more like an upmarket cafe. Service, when we were there...this is afterall a Media Lunch...was excellent. Brisk, quick, polite, and the wait-staff were very knowledgable.

So how's the food? In a simple pronouncement...good, with some qualifications.

First off the menu was specially designed by the chefs - Head Chef Sompran Saengard, and ably assisted by dessert chef Kachai Preedaporn. And deliberately fusion and interesting.

We started with Thai Salad

This was a twist of the traditional Som Tam. We also had a sampling Som Tam, and this was testament that the chef could excecute well without the fusion cap on. But the Yum Hait Gai Krob was interesting. Prepared live by Chef Rattakan Peapoo, it consisted of a combination of 3 mushrooms (shimeiji, golden and straw) in a som tam style dressing and topped with crispy chicken strips. I found this dish to be quite excellent. The textures were particularly pleasing to the palate - the soft, almost mushy mushrooms complemented well with the crispy chicken. The sauce was quite well done.

The next dish was a soup:

Tom Yum Talay Num Sai...this is a version of the traditional Tom Yum...done with a clear soup. Seafood ingredients of prawns, cuttlefish, sliced fish and mushrooms were added to a very nice stock which I suspect is chicken based. The soup itself was tasty, with a sharp tart and spicy note. And the seafood was reasonably fresh, and cooked just right.

The following dish came with a bit of fanfare. The head chef Sompran himself preprared this live:

I found this a little less intriguing. The beef was well braised - soft and tender. Sompran had braised this carefully in a pressure cooker, and had used the shin of beef - traditionally a tough cut, but rendered tender and almost jelly like by the cooking method. On its own, the beef was rather tasty. The spagetti was done on the soft side of al dente...I would have preferred a firmer pasta. But the part which I had some trouble with was the lack of sauce. The spagetti was almost nude...on its own. And the beef stood by its side...seemingly a bit lonely. I would have liked the dish more if Sompran had drenched the spagetti with his braising liquid.

Thai Tang Hoon is a hot favourite of mine. One of the restaurants I frequented when in Bangkok is a curious place called Soi 5 Eating House...right by Sukhumvit Soi 5. They do a very nice tang hoon with river prawns...and in the traditional method...a mini-wok lined with herbs and pork fat, then tanghoon, prawns tossed into the mix with generous portions of peppercorn. Then baked.

The Woon Sen (tang hoon in Thai) served in Lerk Thai, though nothing like the Soi 5 version, reminded me a bit of that.

The tang hoon was cooked perfectly. Characteristic in its springy texture, clear, and had well absorbed some of the gravy tossed into the wok during the frying. Nice.

We next sampled a chicken dish.

Doesn't look like chicken? Well it is, and I found the dish to be quite spectacular. Slices of chicken is probably tenderised with a hammer, and coated with a batter. The batter is dipped in a bed of sesame and deep fried. Kailan is also juliened and deep fried to a crisp consistency. The combination with the spot of mayonaise is superb.

Morning Glory is a standard Thai dish...stir fried, with some fish sauce, and chilli, it serves as an excellent tasting meal with rice.

What is different with this dish was that instead of leafy parts of the vegetable, the chef elected to use the stems. These were sliced into strips, and flash stir fried with soy sauce. The stems remained crunchy and fresh tasting. Quite nicely done, I must say.

And finally the dessert. This was the highlight of many. The full selection of traditional Thai dessert is offered. But as an innovation, Lerk Thai also offered smaller portions as a trio, so that diners can do a tasting of the various desserts.

For eg, like the above combination of Thab Tim Krob (Red Ruby with coconut milk), Lord Chong Naam Ka Ti (Chendol with Brown Sugar and coconut milk) and Ma Muang Ban Sacu (mango with pomelo and sago).

And one of my favourites - the glutinous rice with mango

More traditionally portioned desserts were also available, like the Tago shown below - Thai Pudding with coconut jelly in a pandan cup.

The desserts all taste good...a bit on the sweet side, but this is par for the course for desserts, especially Thai desserts.

Overall, this was an excellent menu. My only hesitation on the taste was the spagetti. The other dishes are all definitely quite good.

Lerk Thai Restaurant
176 Orchard Road, #01-59-62
tel: 67352292