@ Keisuke Ramen Lobster King: 3C River Valley Road, #01-07 The Cannery, Clarke Quay, 179022
Keisuke has made its mark in Singapore. Having 11 eateries, it is unlike other chain restaurants offering the same menu. Each Keisuke eatery specialises in a particular Japanese dish. And by specialise, the Keisuke restaurants deliver such an experience to the palette that it is no surprise people stand in line before restaurant opening hours to get a bite.
I heard of Keisuke Ramen Lobster King from a colleague who is one of the biggest ramen fans I know. From the way he described the noodles and broth, I just had to pay a visit. He also told/warned me of the usual legendary queue forming before the store opened, so it being my birthday, I took the opportunity to request for my non-queue-loving friends to dine here. A dear friend stood in line at 5.30pm, and boy, were we blessed to get the last table of the first seating when its doors opened at 6pm.
The menu is simple - four variations of lobster broth to choose from, with an option to add extra toppings to your noodles like pork slices or bamboo shoot, and some side dishes to choose from.
We picked gyoza and fried chicken for sides. The fried chicken was interesting because it was served with a dip, mixed at your table. Made of mashed eggs, mayonnaise, radish and pickles, we thought the dip was better than the fried chicken!
The lobster broth takes at least 6 hours of simmering, which explains the thick, full-bodied broth; very flavourful, a tad salty, but nonetheless enjoyable. My noodle with the rich lobster broth option was served with the straight noodle while my friend's miso soup order was served with yellow curly noodles. The pork slices were soft and melt-in-your-mouth too. And the classic egg, needless to say, was great (hands up for those who love eggs with gooey centres!) Oh! One thing to point out, prices of the ramen range from $13.90 to $15.90, so the bowl of noodles don't actually come with lobster meat, just lobster based broth. :)
The complimentary beansprouts were a great appetiser - I have to admit I ate a third of a jar. :P Having a container full of hard-boiled brown and white eggs offered for free as well was interesting - we found ourselves trying at least one of each to try differentiating them. And, *drumroll*, taste wise, there was no difference, at least to our tastebuds. Lol~
Overall a positive meal to get you started on the Keisuke journey. Our tip for you would be to go early to beat the queue! Okay, which Keisuke experience next?
Classic homely comfort food. That is what a simple bowl of porridge embodies. In Singapore you would find stalls aplenty - in coffeeshops, hawker centres and food courts alike, serving a colourful array of dishes spread across the display counter. While you can choose to have steamed rice to go with the dishes you pick, most offer porridge as an alternative for something to warm your stomach with.
About a quarter of a bowl of Teochew porridge is made up of what is know as 'porridge water'. The rice grains are cooked with A LOT of water. When ready, the porridge grains are still intact, as opposed to Cantonese porridge which is prepared with a lesser amount of water, making the porridge texture starchy. Teochew porridge is also often cooked with sweet potatoes. No seasoning is used in cooking Teochew porridge, hence flavourful dishes to go well with it.
While there are usually more than 20 side dishes to choose from, the few must-haves to pair with Teochew porridge include salted eggs, preserved vegetables, braised pork belly, steamed pomfret, dried shrimp and steamed peanuts.
With so many braised, fried, steamed and stir-fried dishes to choose from, it's always great to have a Teochew porridge meal with a group of friends or family so you could order a wider variety of dishes to share. A meal would set you back at about $4 to $12 per person - fish dishes usually cost more.
Some places to recommend for Teochew porridge:
1. Ye Shang Hai Teochew Porridge
55 Lengkok Bahru, #01-387, Singapore 151055
2. Heng Long Teochew porridge
1006 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534744
3. Crystal Cafe (porridge buffet)
131 Killiney Road, Singapore 239571
@ Hua Bee Restaurant: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore 162078
Tucked away in a corner of one of the iconic buildings from old Singapore in the Tiong Bahru estate is an old mee pok stall in a coffee shop (locally known as kopitiam) which is more than twice my age. I was in the area to actually have lunch at one of the hipster cafés when we walked past the old school kopitiam. My family and I couldn't pass up on the mee pok on this rare outing to Tiong Bahru, so guess what, we shared an order of the usual brunch - pancakes, sausages and eggs at the café, and moved on to a bowl of mee pok each at the kopitiam. Lol.
This 2nd lunch really brought back memories having lived in Tiong Bahru for a short year or two growing up. Everything from the floor and wall tiles, to the marbled furniture and even the ceiling fan take you back in time and is fully representative of Singapore years ago. If you are in Singapore on a holiday and would want a feel of how ambience was like, visiting this kopitiam has to be on your to-go list.
Back to the food, mee pok is a type of noodle, flat and about about a third of an inch wide. The thinner version is known as mee kia. To make it easier, just remember mee pok is like fettucini, and mee kia, spaghetti. There are a whole range of other noodle types like the yellow noodle and bee hoon (vermicelli). The noodles are then mixed with a sauce which is a combination including lard, soy sauce and vinegar. For those who opt for non-spicy noodles, ketchup is usually part of the sauce. How well the sauce is put together usually makes all the difference. Minced meat (pork), fishballs and fish cake slices make up the toppings. When you order, simply name the noodle you want and if you want to have it spicy or not. This noodle dish is generally known as mee pok, so people would ask "Do you want to have mee pok for lunch?"
Mee pok can easily be found - probably 99% of kopitiams and food courts offer mee pok ranging from $3 to $6 a bowl.
The mee pok at Hua Bee average to be honest. The best part of it were the fishballs, and for me, the ambience makes up partly for the food. Something interesting you would find at this kopitiam is that the section behind the wooden wallboards where I was sitting actually open up to a different world - Japanese eatery Bincho. With just a counter peeking from the side, I had to ask how to get beyond the kopitiam with the wooden "wall". Check it out when you are there!
We did a visit round Tiong Bahru to show you the quaint estate. Click here!
Milk Tea with pearls, 50% sugar level
That was our unanimous order for this challenge.
Welcome to Soak In Singapore's very own bubble tea taste test!
For our foreign friends (or friends who do not know what milk tea is):
Bubble tea is a popular beverage that originated from Taiwan. The beverage is milk based tea shaken with sugar and tapioca balls (loosely called 'pearls').
They are usually sold in takeaway kiosks with prices ranging from $2.50 to $5.50 per cup depending on which beverage flavour and toppings (add-ons) you order. While you can pick from a choice of teas such as black, green and oolong, fruit syrups and malt flavours (such as Horlicks) are part of the ingredient list in a bubble tea kitchen as well. Other than the traditional pearls as an add-on, you can now also find other toppings like grass jelly, konjac jelly and aloe vera to choose from at bubble tea houses. When you place your order, you can choose how sweet you’d like your beverage – 0%, 25%, 50% or 100%(for those with a sweet tooth).
Okay, with the definition aside,
It is time for our challenge:
We have with us four milk tea of the same order (with pearls, 50% sugar level) but from different brands, Jessica and I were tasked to taste individual beverage (and their pearls) and rate them out of 5, 5 being the best.
I personally love bubble tea, hence, I am really critical of the taste of the beverage and just like all tests, there are some brands that surprised me (both in good and bad ways) while others lived up to their brand images.
Our 4 brands of bubble tea were as follow:
Our verdicts for each round of bubble tea we tasted are listed below:
Bubble Tea #1 (KOI):
Too sweet! But the pearls are appropriately sized and really chewy, it's basically the beverage saving grace.
Jess' rating: 2.8
Rae's rating: 3.5
Bubble Tea #2 (Each-A-Cup):
Are we drinking tea flavored water or actual tea? It's really diluted. Jess thought the pearls were good, I had a different opinion.
Jess' rating: 3.0
Rae's rating: 2.7
Bubble Tea #3 (A-Gan Tea):
I personally had a rude shock when my taste buds touched this one...
Jess' rating: 2.0
Rae's rating: <1.0
Bubble Tea #4 (LiHo):
This one was alright, is it weird that I knew which brand it comes from just by tasting it?
Jess' rating: 2.8
Rae's rating: 2.4
Well, that was really fun! Each brand does have unique qualities and strengths and the most wonderful part is that we can get them all here in Singapore whenever we feel like!
I'm just beyond excited for the brand GongCha to hit the shores of Singapore once again, who agrees with me that it'll be one of the most epic comeback ever?!
Note: We were not paid to sponsor any of the brands and comments that were given in the video were purely based on individual preference
@ Canton Paradise, Marina Bay Sands
The one dish that hits me (every time) I visit Canton Paradise, it would be the salted egg yolk fish skin topped with roe! *Drool!* Very crispy on the inside, coated with a light layer of salted egg yolk with bursting bits of fish roe - your mouth and tastebuds celebrate the all encompassing experience!
Apart from the traditional dim sum baskets of siew mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumplings with a distinct yellow skin wrapped on the outside) and har kao (steamed shrimp dumplings), what sets this cantonese eatery apart are the twists and variations done on some of its dishes. The XO fried carrot cake is a must-order for me - large cubes of soft yet chewy radish pan fried with egg, beansprouts and a host of condiments - something different from the traditional one-piece carrot cake in dim sum joints. A variation of the chee cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) is the one served with preserved turnip, which I usually pick over the usual shrimp and char siew (barbecued pork) filling.
Chinese roasts are also the pride of the Cantonese. Other than the usual meats (the roast pork belly and roast duck's great!), Canton Paradise also offers barbecued pork belly drizzled with honey sauce (don't mistaken char siew for this dish when you order - which happened to us lol~). The charred meat and layer of fat gives it a juicier bite than char siew, which uses leaner meat.
Elyn's a fan on the char siew bo lo bun (baked buns with a crispy outer layer with pork filling) because she likes the meat filling which is sweeter.
Homely soups and hearty stir fried dishes are also earmarks of the Cantonese cuisine. Canton Paradise is a good bet for a satisfying meal.
Another dim sum joint to visit for a classic experience would be Red Star Restaurant (click to watch our visit) for sim sum rolled about on trolleys, and some dim sum trolley chasing to hunt for the ones carrying your favourites!
@ Koh Grill and Sushi Bar - 435 Orchard Road, #04-21 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 238877
Opening hours: 11.30am-10pm daily
One of the few foods that I crave for from time to time is the Shiok Maki (Shiok: a colloquial expression to describe something that is well, more than awesome) rolled out at Koh Grill and Sushi Bar. What I love about the makis here are the chunky seafood slices, near-perfect flame searing and confident pairing with a creamy sauce carrying a tinge of sweetness. To top the combination off is an explosive spoonful of bright orange fish roe for a delightful pop-in-your-mouth experience.
There are a couple of variations of the Shiok Maki with combinations of shrimp, salmon, unagi (eel), swordfish and soft shell crab. Prices start from $16.80 a plate! Another dish I would pick off the menu usually would be the salmon head soup. The soup is rich and flavourful, while the fish head meat fresh and flaky. Slurp~~
From the queue forming even before the eatery opened, be sure to be there early or during off-peak meal times to avoid waiting in line!
Definitely a shiok place to visit! ❤
In conjunction with Singapore Food Festival, Singapore's first ever Tea Festival hits us this weekend (22-23 July) at B4, ION Orchard! Organized by local heritage tea retailer, The 1872 Clipper Tea Co, the event will be showcasing 17 homegrown tea and lifestyle brands; guarantee to quench the thirst of any tea enthusiasts!
Besides checking out the latest tea collections, expect quali-tea bites and also learn more about tea via a series of workshops. Best of all admission is FREE, Isn’t that tea-rrific? The highlight of the event will be divided into four elements, i) Tea Market : showcase of our very own tea vendors, ii) Teapitiam: tea-themed pop-up café iii) Tea Room : tea themed workshops and craft sessions iv) Tea Museum.
We are extremely stoked be able to attend the Private Media Preview one day prior to the start of the event, so here's a sneak peak of the festival. Be sure to check the event, especially if you are around the vicinity!
1. TEA MARKET
Just in time for National Day, The 1872 Clipper Tea Co launches Classic Hawker Beverage Flavours Tea such as Bandung, Chocolate Malt, Longan & Pineapple. We had a taste of the Bandung Tea (Rose tea infused with cream) & we love it! And did we mention the packaging design is so old school adorable? Loves!
Collaboration Tea offers artisanal tea blends with customizable labels for any occasions. Alongside, they will also be launching two tea products, Marigold Black and ‘Thank You for Being Our Bridesmaid” – a clever gift idea from the Bride to the bridesmaids which pairs tea with jewellery.
Hush Tea is not just a tea brand but social movement that brings the world of hearing and deaf together. Through the workshops conducted, we are empowered through silence, where each TeaMood tells a story, our story. It is heartening and inspirational to know how they are contributing and uniting the community – both the deaf and hearing. Kudos!
Organic Tea Company Infusion-de-vie specializes in blending organic tea leaves and traditional Chinese herbs to restore vim, vigour and vitality. In this festival, they are also launching four new blends and two cold-fresh-brewed flavours. These cold brews which are charmingly packaged in a wine bottle sure caught everybody's attention!
Lifestyle Brands : Tea related titles at BooksActually, Tea apt knick knacks at Naiise and unique handmade ceramic tea wares at Mud Rock.
Other Tea Brands:A.muse Projects (Pictured above), Juan Tea, Pin Tea, Tea Chapter
A playful twist on our local Kopitiam (Coffeeshop) term, this 'pop up' teapitiam offers modern tea bites of all time favourite classics and modern reinventions.
One Kueh At A Time - Classic Soon Kueh & Vegan Beetroot Soon Kueh , all handmade based on a 30 year old family recipe
Inthebrickyard - Asian-inspired classic cakes like Ondeh Ondeh, Pulut Hitam. Festival exclusive flavours like Earl Grey Lemon & Earl Grey Lavender Chocolate Tea Cakes
Birds of Paradise - White Chrysanthemum gelato with Cacao Ribs and festival exclusive flavour : Chamomile & Torch Ginger Blossoms
Bird Bird - Ugnuts or ‘Ugly donuts' which features 1872 Clipper Tea Co’s Tea blends of Blissful berries and Jasmine Green Tea in two festival exclusive flavours, Berry Pockie & Macpash.
Other bites: Shermay’s Singapore Fine Food & The Naked Finn (Pictured above - Chilled Piquant Beehoon topped with Dried Sakura Ebi)
3. TEA ROOM
Featuring a special line up of tea-themed workshop and activities where attendees will learn more about tea culture. Some of the workshops include 'Floral Arrangement in a Teapot' by The Botanist and Her Thieves, 'Tea Towel Printing Workshop' by MessyMsxi, 'Tea Brewing Workshop' with Juan Tea.
For the full list of workshops and sessions and the prices , please visit : https://www.facebook.com/pg/sgteafest/events/
*Registration required , click here to register.
4. TEA MUSEUM
Photo exhibition of tea’s history and its marriage with our local culture throughout the years contributed by Tea Chapter, one of the oldest and biggest traditonal tea houses in Singapore.
Date: Sat 22 July - Sun 23 July 2017
Venue: B4 ION Station, ION Orchard
Time: 10am - 10pm daily
Admission: Free to Public
**PHOTO CREDITS : Mostly @LKKBEN (Ben) , Rest (own)
In collaboration with Singapore Food Festival & in conjunction for our Nation’s 52th birthday, McDonald’s Singapore turns some of our local favourites into a limited time menu, with a twist of course! Today we cheong (Means: headed with speed) to McDonald’s for lunch at the day of its launch. So without further ado, let’s check out this exclusive menu!
Nasi Lemak Burger
The sweetish sambal sauce was the binding element that made the burger 'Nasi Lemak'. Sambal spicy level is mild and very friendly, definitely manageable for those who don’t take spicy food.
Verdict: Sedap (Means: Delicious), No 'Nasi' (Means: Rice) but got the Nasi Lemak feel la!
What’s in it? Almost everything you imagine a cendol will be ; there’s green jelly, red bean (or issit toasted coconut?) and gula melaka! I think this will be most acceptable item in the entire menu especially those with sweet tooth. Pity it melts really quickly and towards the end we felt we were having milk shake instead! (Hence we did not have time to take a photo!)
Verdict: Quite Shiok (Means: Exclamation for expression for approval)
The Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2017 is back and bigger (and pricier) than ever! Amidst the high rentals, controversial Halal certified food stalls & illegal workers arrest, we present to you 8 hyped items we tried and tell you what’s yay what’s nay! We are looking to do another segment on the true blue traditional foods in Bazaar, so be sure to stay tune for that!
Stall Name: The Raclette Factory ( Stall No. 78, near end of Blk 12 Haig Road)
Price: $12 (Raclette Set), $40 (Family Platter)
Pro : The trending warm gooey melting Cheese from France & the pan fried potatoes
Con: The sky-high price & insane queue (be prepared to wait 20 mins or more)
UNICORN STARLITE DRINK
Stall Name: Rainbow Works (Stall No. 29, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd)
Pro : Definitely Insta-worthy & you get a free pink balloon !
Con: The inflated price tag and the amount of sugars / calories in this drink
Verdict: 2/10 (if you are health conscious) , 7/10 (if you a social media aficionado)
ROASTED MARSHMALLOW ON A STICK
Stall Name: The Wicked Cream Co (Stall No. 26, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd)
Price: $4 for 3 cubes on a stick , add on for premium flavours
Pro : Taste as good as it looks (We recommend the Salted Egg & Charcoal Lemonade Marshmallow, Gula Melaka is the hot fav!)
Con: Nothing except don't spend too much time taking pictures like we did or they'll fall apart haha
THAI MILK TEA SOFT SERVE
Stall Name: Loco Loco (Stall No. 7, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd)
Pro : Darn solid Thai Milk Tea Softserve topped with crusty cornflakes. As authentic as it can get!
Con: None except we wish there were more
Stall Name: Loco Loco (Stall No. 7, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd)
Price: $5.50 (Chicken or Beef)
Pro : Perfect molten egg yolk centre! Crispy goodness, best eaten fried
Con: Too little meat on our scotcheggs, at time it felt we were just eating eggs ; Meat to Egg ratio can be improved
Stall Name: Happy Rollies (Stall 130, 131, 132 opposite Blk 12 Haig Road, Mini-Sou)
Pro : Can't think of any
Con: Melts in an instant, below average tasting & texture plus the swirls needs major work. Miles apart from those Rainbow Tower Softserve you get in Japan/Korea.
Verdict: 2/10 (Disclaimer : Opinions are made based on the day where the machine was not working well, we paid $4 instead of $7 for missing flavours)
Stall Name: Happy Rollies (Stall 130, 131, 132 opposite Blk 12 Haig Road, Mini-Sou)
Price: $6.90 (medium), $12.90 (large)
Pro : Great thirst quencher to beat the heat and crowd!
Con: A little passe (2016 food fad)
THAI MILK / EARL GREY / MATCHA TEA
Stall Name: Broti (Stall 27, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd)
Price: $4 for a large cup
Pro : Value for money! We all loved the Earl Grey the best! Plus it’s not overly sweet!
Con: Not enough ice, we like it ice cold!
Verdict: 7/10 (for Thai Milk Tea) 7.5 /10 (for Earl Grey
Other interesting looking creations (we saw but did not try) :
RAINBOW “HANDSOME BURGER’
Stall Name: WORD (Stall 30, opposite Tanjong Katong Complex, Engku Aman Rd, Stall 50 near end of Blk 12 Haig)
What other people are saying about the burger: ‘Overly Seasoned’, ‘Cute’, ‘Thick juicy quite salty patty’,’Abit salty’
Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar is happening from 26 May 2017 (Fri) to 24 June 2017 (Sun)
Nearest MRT: Paya Lebar MRT
For a list of stalls which are halal or not, please do refer to this website!
@Casuarina Curry Restaurant and Catering: 187 Macpherson Road, Singapore 348545
It was a Monday and come on, who says we need TGIFs to celebrate?
We headed down to the Casuarina Curry outlet down the road from our workplace and its wonderful because it is open till midnight daily! Everyone had a different craving that evening so we got to try (even though we know how each tastes like) a little from everyone else. Roti prata (aka roti canai) is a hot favourite as a breakfast or supper option. The all-important dough kneaded and fried on a hot plate with ghee needs flipping and tossing skills to give a light, flaky prata with that bit of crisp. Ooo~! Because every local would know a good prata or dish when he sees one, every dish led to exclamations of "oohs" and "ahhs" when the food was served. The pratas at Casurina Curry failed us not! Curry gravy is a must to go with pratas - fish curry or dhal curry is usually served on the side, but you could request for mutton curry if you prefer.
The perfect prata ally - teh tarik, which is 'pulled' milk tea, poured between two cups a distance apart. This repeated action makes the tea smoother to drink, and creates a nice froth that mounts the top of the glass.
At $0.80 to $4 for a prata in Singapore, (pick your filling, from egg, cheese, mushroom, banana.......), just take my money!
What makes Pearl happier is thosai - a flat, large, thin, crisp 'pancake' folded like a loose wrap, made with a light batter spread evenly across a hot stove, scraped off, and folded. When stuffed with soft potatoes cooked in a blend of spices, you get masala thosai. It comes served with a series of dips like a coconut dip, that enhances the simple yet comforting flavour of thosai.
Our friend Alain, who's usually the life of a dinner conversation, was really focused on his plate of fried Maggie noodles. It must have been really good. Usually shops or stalls selling pratas also offer noodle and rice dishes, together with a range of different protein options cooked in different curries.
Watching myself eat in this video actually makes me want to pay another visit, and yes, that fried Maggie noodles is on my to-order list.