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Showing posts from November, 2012

San Guo Grilled Fish

So you might now be aware, we always go to Chong Qing Grilled Fish for our fix.  Prompted by a Groupon advertisement, I bought a deal for a set dinner at San Guo Grilled Fish located at Geylang, just to try a different restaurant for a change.

Not sure if it was due to its location, or that we went on a Saturday night, the restaurant wasn't crowded at all.  The set dinner comprised of steamed dumplings and jellyfish, both nothing special but edible.

The main deal is the grilled fish.  I decided not to go for hot and spicy this time because while we both enjoy the kick, it does get unbearable for us to really enjoy the fish proper.  So, I went for pickled cabbage (酸菜) and I thought it was a good choice because the heat didn't distract me from enjoying the food.

To be really honest, the taste of the spices on the fish was far more superior at Chong Qing but the ingredients and prices in general at San Guo is slightly lower. I will still go back to Chong Qing as my first choice …

Star Vista and lunch

It was just pure coincidence I found myself needing to fix a lunch appointment near the Holland Village area. Star Vista came to mind as I see the building everyday on route to work but never had a chance to visit.
It was just a few days post the grand opening so a lot of shops were not even open.  There are quite a lot of new interesting eating spots but I was not even in the mood to try new things.  A quick walk around later, I settled for Itacho Sushi.  The food there is dependable and reasonable quality for the prices they charge.
The service team was short-handed and there were a lot of unhappy customers. Fortunately for us, we managed to get by pretty unscathed.  My usual orders are lots of aburi sushis and then salmon belly sashimi.  Yums!

Kaixo, Basque-inspired Cuisine

After the dinner at Buko Nero, I chanced upon Kaixo and the Basque-inspired menu intrigued me. Though closed for service, the chef owner came out to greet me when he noticed I was examining the menu.

A couple of weeks later I made a dinner appointment with some of my ex colleague friends and we all went to Kaixo.

To be very honest, highlight of the meal for me were the chestnut soup and the pintxos.

The former was thick and creamy, almost purée like. Comforting for a cold night. (The other soup that we ordered, a pumpkin veloute with foie gras, was also proclaimed to be the better dishes.) The latter could do with crisper bread because they were a bit tough to eat. But the toppings reminded me of Spain. Good enough for me.

The rest of the dishes were average, nothing particularly outstanding, unfortunately.


Chong Qing Grilled Fish

Are men usually creatures of habit?  My Man is, especially when it comes to food.  He always goes to the same places (not many, either!).  So, I have decided to do a review on all places he has introduced me to :)

So first up.....Chong Qing Grilled Fish.  Essentially, the restaurant specialises in these grilled fish dish that is a whole fish rubbed with a mixture of spices, first grilled until the spices had thoroughly flavored the fish, then put into a hot pot to simmer with other ingredients.

One could choose the type of fish (seabass, grouper or carp), the size of fish (medium or large), the type of broth (there are a few types but I can't remember them all except ma la 麻辣, fragrant and spicy 香辣, pickled cabbage 酸菜 , fermented black bean 豆豉).  

He was introduced to Chong Qing Grilled Fish by a friend and has always gone back there since.  The restaurant has two branches, but we go to the one located at Liang Seah Street, which was always busy and packed at meal times.

We us…

Buko Nero, oldie but goodie

This was a dinner about 3 weeks ago.  It must have been at least 3 years since I last dined at Buko Nero.  I guess that's what happens when a restaurant requires far too advance of a reservation, I forget about it!
Nothing much has changed though, the key folks,Oscar, Tracy and her mother, they are still there. I thought the ventilation has improved but as the night progressed, I thought otherwise (hahaha, but I deal). Menu-wise, the favorite dishes are still on there and the 5-course set dinner is still a steal, albeit now at $55+.  We decided to go ala carte though, after a few items on the daily specials sounded appetizing.  But before the meal started proper, we were served our amuse bouche and the homemade foccacia, familiar and as good as before.

Appetizers included the tau kwa tower which had strong robust flavors, a light and refreshing burratini with pomelo salad, and a thick creamy broccoli and basil pesto soup (made without cream, Tracy always emphasizes that point). 

Red Velvet Cake for the Man

It was the Man's birthday last weekend and I managed to sneak an afternoon away to bake him a birthday cake. I was discussing possible flavor ideas with my team mates, leaning toward the chocolate direction (cannot go wrong with that!) when one of them suggested the red velvet cake, which was also fundamentally chocolate flavored cake.

I thought it was a great idea. The man loves unusual food so this would be excellent!

I didn't have any specific recipe and a few google searches led me to conclude the different recipes out there don't differ too much, and I picked out one from

As usual, I cut down sugar by at least 20%, and the cake wasn't compromised. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. :)

My only gripe was the generous use of red food coloring. Two whole bottles of them made me uneasy. Next time, I'll try to look for natural alternatives like beetroot.

Happy birthday B!

Chapati from Norris Road

The Man suggested trying the fresh made chapati from Norris Road since I haven't before.

Located in a corner coffeeshop, I got to enjoy soft, pliable chapati fresh off the griddle. Most people order the chapati with keema (minced lamb curry) but I ordered a side of mixed vegetable dal ($1.20) with two chapati ($0.80/pc).

The chapati itself has a nutty flavor but not much else. It was essentially a whole wheat bread, so having a side dish would be crucial to add some more flavors. The dal was very good, enhanced by addition of caramelised onions that was distinctly sweet and soft. The meal made a nice breakfast but 2 whole chapati could be a little heavy.

Oh skip the Teh halia from the coffee shop. The tea was weak and they use industrial ginger granules instead of fresh ginger juice.