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Showing posts from November, 2006

Unsatisfied lunch at Ikukan

Ikukan - Yasai Udon
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. No, it's not the restaurant, it's me.

You see, I am not well. In fact, I am suffering a bout of stomach virus. Luckily for me, the symtoms are mild but it has begun since last Friday. The past few days of indulging did nothing to help matters and I finally saw the doctor today and got some medication. Under strict orders from the mean doctor, I was to abstain from eating too much, so as to allow the body to detox. As a rough guideline, I was to eat half the usual amount of food. That is such misery, I tell you.

I could have skipped the lunch appointment but I was on MC and I also did not want to miss out catching up with friends. Instead, I fought hard against my heart's desire and ordered what seemed to be least dangerous item for my stomach. The yasai udon, with an additional poached egg, was my order. The soup was light yet flavourful, udon was chewy and overall, it made a stomach warming lunch and up…


This is a delayed review on Kaisan, a Japanese restaurant in an inconspicuous location within Raffles Hotel. One would think such a restaurant probably charges an arm and leg but that is not true in this case.

I was there for lunch and there are a few bento set lunches that are extremely good value for money. Price ranges from $30-$45 and there is plenty of food in each set. I could barely walk out standing upright, without a bulge from my tummy.

Sushi gozen set was what our clients ordered for the whole table. We started off with sharing of fresh vegetable sticks paired with individual servings of a miso-base dip. Crunchy and juicy, my palate was cleansed and geared up for the main courses.

Sashimi was fresh. We were there on a Thursday and I expected no less. Each slice was of an optimal thickness, sliced expertly so you do not get a chewy or grainy texture. The yellowtail, or hamachi, was firm yet creamy; definitely the highlight for me.

Then came the simmered dish of silken t…

Pu Tien

I know naught about Heng Hwa cuisine but I do know when there is good food.

There is a reputed restaurant serving up authentic Heng Hwa food along Kitchener Road. In fact, this restaurant is doing so well that a competitor set up shop just a few doors down with almost the same name. Beware of the fraud! The real deal is closer to Jalan Besar, called Pu Tien Restaurant.

I was not really expecting much from this dinner, actually. In fact, if not for my mom's interest to participate, I would have given this a miss.

Luckily I went, how else could I have found out I enjoyed Heng Hwa food?

Cliche as it is, this was a case of "can't have cake and eat it too"; not every one of the eleven dishes is worth highlighting but based on the few that stood out, I could find myself back again.

Deep Fried Squirrel Fish with Sweet sour gravy
.... is a new twist to the regular sweet sour fish. Deftly sliced to resemble a squirrel, the entire fish was floured and deep fried to a light g…


* This could become a pretty long post so bear with me *

I just became a part of the unofficial "Lunch Bunch" and I am not complaining. Our inaugural lunch could not be held anymore apt than Iggy's, the 4th best restaurant in Asia (yes, we are starting on a very high base here).

Anyway, since Iggy's came into my radar screen, I have just been waiting for the right opportunity to come so I can have an excuse for gluttony. Such a restaurant with such a reputation is not one to go with just anybody; you need good company, people you enjoy hanging out with and look forward to chilling with for the next couple of hours. The foodies are just the right people so I definitely was looking forward to the lunch more for the company than the food really and with that expectation, I will lay my conclusion upfront - food's great but pretty pricy and not a place to come often so I will need a special reason to return.

After we were seated and served with water, a server came arou…

What kind of a donut are you?

I don't usually partake in such things but somehow, I feel different today.

You Are a Boston Creme DonutYou have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Egg tarts

Egg tarts closeup
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I attempted egg tarts again last Saturday. Although I did not like the browning that happened on the top, they received rave reviews from all who tried. My dad claimed these are "head to head on with Ang Sah Lee's" (referring to our favourite egg tarts from a particular bakery at Serangoon Gardens). So I am sharing the recipe with you. If you have some tips on how to achieve the smooth and sleek yellow tops, please let me in the secret too!

Egg Tarts
(Makes 15)

Ingredients for Pastry:
150g all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 ½ tbsp icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 egg yolk
100g butter

Method for pastry:
1. Sift flour, salt, icing sugar & corn flour together.
2. Rub butter lightly into sifted flour till mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add egg yolk to form a dough. Chill dough in refrigerator for ½ to 1 hour.
4. Divide dough into 20g portions. Roll dough out thinly and line each tart tin, pressing down to an uniform thickn…

Birthday lunch at Da Paolo

Birthday lunch at Da Paolo
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. Da Paolo at Cluny Court holds a special place in my heart just because it is the first restaurant I ate at in Singapore as a working adult.

I remembered how excited I was to find out there are actually restaurants away from the Orchard Road strip. When I got there, I was even more surprised to see how secluded the area was. Inside the restaurant, waiters looked so professional with their white uniforms and neat black aprons. The restaurant kept lighting on the dim side and we sat al fresco. The mild night breeze kept me comfortable and I enjoyed that cosy and intimate dinner with a couple of rather new friends.

Anyway, I have not been back to that outlet since and thought of it when prompted for a lunch venue in view of my birthday.

Business was brisk for lunch that Saturday, but I was not expecting otherwise. We started with an appetizer of calamari and soft-shell crab (S$19) while waiting for my lil' sister to join …

Best Business Lunch?

I have been running dry on free business lunches for a while now but the curse finally broke today and I had one at Tower Club today. Not only was the view fantastic (advantage of being located at the 62nd level), the food was excellent too!

Initial reservations about the food disappeared with the first course. Not wanting to have anything too heavy, I chose to have a plain salad over the fancy aki tuna tartare and parsnip soup. It was a wonderful surprise, to be presented not only mixed greens but the chef thoughtfully dressed it up with generous additions of pomelo, mango cubes, granny smith strips and avocado chunks. Though there were many components to the salad, they all seemed to hold hands in unison, and the result was nothing short of clean-tasting and a simply delicious start.

The note started off high and only went higher with my main course of salmon. There was a Japanese slant to this entree, evident through the enoki mushrooms, edamame and eggplant. But they worked a…

Ocean Trout at Doc Cheng's

Doc Cheng - Tandoori Ocean Trout with Wild Rice risotto
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. The ocean trout has a distinctive rosy pink/orange flesh and the flavour is more subtle and less salty than salmon. It is one of my favourite fish to eat and I can still remember when my love started. It was during one of the meals during a school trip to Perth, Australia, and we all had a whole baked trout wrapped in foil for lunch by the lake. I remembered picking at the small fine bones but the flesh was a peachy pink, creamy and soft, signs of a truly fresh catch and worth all the tedious picking of bones.

Yet the trout is lacking its presence in many of our restaurants so needless to say, while I am disappointed at that fact, I typically pounce on the trout item when I see one with no second thoughts.

The mother and I went to Doc Cheng's for dinner and guess what I saw on the menu?

"Tandoori Ocean Trout with Wild Rice Rissotto and Smoked Tomato Coulis".