Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fu Lin Tou Fu Yuen Yong Tau Foo

One of my close friends love a good yong tau whenever I eat with her, YTF is the go to food, and Fu Lin Tou Fu Yuen is one of the favourites.

A huge selection is available, pick and choose. From boiled stuff to deep fried ones. Fish balls, meat balls, vegetables, etc.

Served at the table, a mix of deep fried, and boiled..

The deep fried ones are very crisply done. Very flavourful. The sauce is quite special, both the sweet sauce and chilli sauce is rather good.

The noodles are the thick bee hoon, with a nice lor sauce laced with minced chicken.

Highly recommended.

Fu Lin Tou Fu Yuen
721 East Coast Road
8.30am to 8.30pm

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lion D'or in Geneva

I have written about my experiences at the 1 Michelin starred Lion D'Or in Geneva once. Actually I eat there almost every year, and am constantly delighted with the quality of the cooking as well as the excellent service.

As it is SIHH season again, I had the opportunity to dine there again. I started with a lobster dish, Lobster “à la plancha”, medley of autumn vegetables artichoke fritters, roquette salsa

At first taste, I wanted to rise to my feet and applause the chef. The lobster was truly excellent. The flesh nice tender, but not so tender as it melts in your mouth. It has a nice, firm feel to the bite...I suppose al dente is the correct description. But yielding with pressure, and releasing a wonderful aroman and flavour. Very sweet meat. Magnificent. The vegetables served well as supporting cast, but the lobster was certainly the star.

My dining companion had the cannelloni with black truffles.

As the dish was presented to the table, I could already breath in the wonderful aroma of the fresh black truffles. Shaved in thick slices, and placed over the rolls of canneloni...the pasta, was of course cooked perfectly. And the simplicity of the dish made it all the more excellent. I tried one canneloni piece with a slice of truffle. Heavenly....unless you don't like truffles...but otherwise, highly recommended, despite the high price of CHF95+++ for the dish.

I had the whole sole from Brittany, sauteed in a butter mixed with meat sauce potato mousseline and wild mushroom enhanced with crispy sage petals

Also very good...though just short of the supreme excellence of the lobster and truffle pasta dishes. The sole fish was superbly fresh, and perfectly cooked, with the butter sauce permeating and embuing the meat with a wonderful mouthfeel and flavour.

For dessert, I had the souffle.

Ultra light, warm qunce souffle with a walnut biscuit and quince sherbert. Again quite excellent. The souffle was a bit smaller than I had expected, being used to the huge, airy soufles in Paris, but it was nonetheless very light, very tasty. The light quince flavour permeated nicely, and ably supported by the sherbert, which gave a more accute and sharp taste of the quince.

Overall, excellent plus plus restaurant and great cooking. A bit pricey as Michelin starred restaurants tend to be. Highly recommended if budget permits.

Lion D'or
chefs: Dupont & Byrne
Place P. Gautier 5
CH-1223 Cologny
+41 (0)22 736 44 32

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pontian Wanton Mee: a successful franchaise?

Wanton mee is a staple...for breakfast, lunch, snacks, though less so for dinner. Good ones are hard to find. And many versions exist.

I have written about the great ones at Eng's in Tj Katong and Fei Fei in Joo Chiat. But a version known as Pontian Wanton mee is also been popular, and now being franchised around food courts and hawker centres around the city. Today's review is on one of these franchisees, this one in Holland Village.

They offer several options. And ordering is simple by just calling out the numbers listed in the menu to the hawker. This is no 2, no chilli, no tomato, with a bit of black sauce, as this style is common in Malaysia.

The noodles are quite regular, a bit starchy, a slight kee taste. Not very springy.

I do prefer the very springy, slightly thicker noodles used in the KL style WTM. And the wonderful fragrance of the pork lard used to lace the noodles. Pontian, apparently does not use pork lard.

The dish comes with two boiled wantons, and two deep fried wantons. The boiled wantons are in the soup. I found it to be quite nice, with a hint of dried flounder. The deep fried ones seem to be made differently, more meaty, and the fabulous light, very crispy skin.

As I mentioned, the deep fried wantons are very good. Light, very crispy. Flavourful - both the stuffing which is pork based, and the crisp skin. Well done!

Enjoyable wanton mee, though not nearly the grail WTM I have been looking for, and still looking. Recommended if you are nearby, and want a WTM.

Pontian Wanton Mee
All around the island

This meal was sampled at Holland Village Food Centre.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ramen Play

Ramen Play is a chain store purveying Japanese cuisine in Singapore. Typically chain stores reak of chain store quality...which most of the time means yucks. But I have sampled the food at several Ramen Play outlets, and they have held up to the standards pretty well.

This dinner, I sampled the Butariki Ishinabe.

The serving is rather small, but delivered to the table, on a sizzling hot stone pot. Very aromatic. Premium Japanese Niigata rice is used, and in the pot, the pan fried and barbecued pork, spring onion, seaweed is laced on top of a raw egg. A sauce is drizzled onto the pot when the dish is served, and the entire ensemble mixed up. The flavours are very good. The pork retained a very nice smokey, slightly charred aroma, and crisp texture. The rice, also charred after a while has the wonderful burnt rice flavour. Very nice.

The ramen is also quite good. Yakiniku beef on a hot bowl of ramen

The broth was thick, flavourful, and very nice. Not too salty, as Japanese ramen tend to be sometimes, but magnificent umami. The ramen was slightly over cooked, but still rather springy, and tasty. The beef was quite gorgeous. Nice beefy flavours, good marinade.

We also tried the garlic chicken

Quite good too. The chicken is crispy, but still juicy. Judicious use of fried garlic flavoured the meat very well....not for those who do not like garlic, but I am a certified garlic lover, so it went very well for me.

Overall, a very nice chain store, reasonable quality of food.

Ramen Play Chinatown Point
133 New Bridge Road
6543 6686
(11am - 10pm) Sun to Thu
(11am - 10.30pm) Fri, Sat and eve of P.H.
*Last order: 30 mins before closing

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meng Kee Char Kway Teow

Good char kway teow is not easy to find. I have written about some of my favourites, and today, I reveal another.

But this stall is hardly a discovery. It is rather famous on its own right. Tucked in the corner of the coffee shop, in the morning, the owner's father does fried carrot cake, and she takes over from about 10:30am.

The char kway teow is rather interesting. Devoid of thick black, sweet sauce which characterise the Teochew style CKT in Singapore, this version is fried with black sauce, but used more sparingly, and the resultant ckt looks brownish. Lard is used to cook, and the flavour of the animal fat was aromatic, and quite flavourful. Some bits of crispy, slightly charred lard bits were found in the CKT, and this added dimension to the dish. The ingredients were fresh, the wok hei good, and I must say, this is a rather good dish!

I do recommend this CKT, and eaten with moderation is a rather nice one.

Meng Kee Char Kway Teow
Blk 22, Havelock Road
Beo Crescent
Mon to Sat 10.30am to 7pm
Sundays 10.30am to 4pm

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Christmas meal with great friends: Black Sheep Cafe

I have written about Black Sheep before...but good things like this little cafe stands to be repeated. So when a small group of friends decided to get together for Christmas, we decided to that a revisit to Ratha's little restaurant was in order.

We had Chef Ratha design a special meal...the rib eye, roasted, as I understand slowly. But I am ahead of myself...first the starter...

Very special. Fresh, succulent scallops, cooked to perfection...well, the shellfish was especially fresh, only a light searing was sufficient. Indeed the scallops were very delicious, but what made the dish special was the ingenious use of a some diced lup cheong (Chinese dried sausages) steamed, and sauteed. And with a leek fondue sauce. Very special and very delicious.

The roasted Angus Rib eye on asparagus with crabmeat-peppercorn béarnaise was the main course...a rather large portion...

The ribeye was slow roasted as a block, weighing some 2+kg, and sliced after roasting and resting into 8 portions. And then seared beautifully before serving. The sauce is magnificent, as was the meat. Truly beautifully well done, and wonderfully tasty. Definitely one of the better tasting ribeyes I have eaten.

And for dessert, Chef Ratha's speciality of a kalua souffle, with the soufle poured on the table.

Another truly magnificent dish. The soufle rose to the occassion...pun intended, and within a thin, slightly elastic skin was the light, almost frothy interior, which went beautifully with the sauce and ice cream.

A magnificent meal, the cooking was quite inspired. The company was superb. And the wine, an interesting shiraz from 2001 by Paracombe was delicious.

We brought our own bottle, and corkage is $15 a bottle, a rather reasonable price, in my view. Brilliant restsurant, highly recommended.

Black Sheep Cafe
Thomson V, B1-30
11 Sin Ming Rd