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Archive for November, 2013

Two dishes off an extensive menu can’t even make up a sample to draw a reliably accurate conclusion, but hello we are talking about food so I’m going to judge anyway haha.

I think Urban Bites does great vegetarian but meat eaters ought to think twice.

My mezza platter had a tasty variety of delicious dips, falafels and salads (yes, I love mezza so much that I can have it as a main course!) but K’s grilled chicken was dismally skinny, dry and tough. Sad.

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Mezza Platter ($22)
hummus, motabal, labneh, fattouch, tabbouleh, falafel

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Farrouj Meshwi ($14)
charcoal-grilled half spring chicken, fries (or rice), specialty garlic sauce

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Lebanese Bread ($6)
garlic mozzarella

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Urban Bites Mediterranean Cuisine
161 Telok Ayer Street
6327 9460

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Tandoor Restaurant

At Tandoor Restaurant, every meal begins with an appetising story.

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The Indian restaurant at the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre has unveiled its first revamp after 28 years. Boasting contemporary interiors, a new Head Chef and a menu that pays homage to the colourful stories that make up India’s rich culinary heritage, diners are taken on a journey from the moment they are seated as Tandoor’s servers bring India’s folktales to life, explaining the menu like knowledgeable storytellers.

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Four different dinner gourmet trail menus are available, priced from $48++ to $78++ for your choice of soup, kebabs, main course and dessert, plus receive exclusive coaster souvenirs at the end of the meal!

Samosa Chaat
fried pyramid-shaped pastry shell stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas and topped with sweet yogurt and tamarind chutney

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I was very impressed with the kebab sampler as every morsel on my plate was incredibly delicious, from the fresh meaty grilled lobster and prawn to the soft tender chunks of ocean perch. Not forgetting the classic vegetarian paneer cake and jalepeno corn kebab, the latter which I didn’t even know existed in the Indian culinary world till that evening! I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for corn kebab from now on.

Shahi Lobster
lobster marinated with creamy cheesy garlic, enhanced with spices and grilled in tandoor
Mahi Rai
grilled ocean perch marinated with mustard and carom seeds
Honey Dill Grilled Prawns
jumbo prawns spiced with red chillies, honey and flavoured with dill leaves
Paneer Chupa Rustom
crispy savoury cakes stuffed with cheese
Jalepeno Corn Kebab
american corn seekh spiced with jalepeno chillies and cooked in tandoor

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Curries made of chicken, lamb, fish, prawn, vegetables and beans are common, but what about mango curry?! A Tandoor exclusive, the mango curry with its queer mix of sweet ripe mangoes in a savoury and spicy curry is as unique as it sounds! Officially the most memorable curry tasted ever.

Goan Fish Curry
chunks of ocean perch cooked in a tangy spiced coconut curry
Kadhai Prawns
stir fried prawns cooked with crushed spices and bell peppers
Mushroom Mattar
combination of mushroom and green peas curry
Palak Paneer
cottage cheese with spinach
Mango Curry
a unique ripe mango curry from the mangalore region of india
Dal Makhani
black lentils slow cooked overnight with tomatoes and garlic, finished with butter and cream

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Indian Breads
naan, garlic naan, lachha parantha (multi-layered whole wheat bread baked in the tandoor), tandoori wholemeal roti

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like Indian desserts, which are often too sweet (I’m just generalising) and disagreeable with my palate. Can’t say Tandoor has cured my dislike, but at least the handmade bailey’s and saffron pistachio kulfi were manageable…

Triple Sensation Dessert
bailey’s kulfi, rose and elaichi panna cotta, gajar halwa (traditional punjabi dessert made with grated carrots and milk)

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Another Triple Sensation Dessert
(I made up this name since this was an additional order haha)
saffron and pistachio kulfi, rasmalai dumplings made from cottage cheese, gulab jamun (deep-fried reduced milk balls immersed in rose flavored sugar syrup)

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Special thanks to Cheryl for inviting, and kudos to Amanda and Yan for spending TGIF with us!

Tandoor Restaurant
#B1, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
11 Cavenagh Road
6730 0153
http://www.tandoor.com.sg/

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Back to Onaka x2

Remember I said that I’ll go back to Onaka again and again? Empty words they are not, as we’ve been back a couple of times for brunch (lost all my tofu scramble/eggplant bacon photos, oops) and dinner!

Worthy of mention is the stuffed tofu, a hearty starter with a delish sauce which I wish my mom can whip up at home. Unfortunately, she’s not a good cook (she admits it!) and this seems to have been taken out of the recently launched new menu (oh why why why~).

Stuffed Tofu ($8++)
steamed tofu, brown rice and mushroom stuffing, edamame, shimeji, tamari and sesame dressing

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Omega 3 Rice ($18++)
organic brown rice, seared salmon flakes, steamed edamame, freeze dried sweet corn, orange soy sauce

Also worthy of mention is Omega 3 Rice — but for completely different reasons. $21 for such a meagre portion of flaked salmon is overpriced, period.

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Pear & Salmon ($22++)
seared 47°C salmon, asian pear julienne, soft boiled egg, spring onions, pine nuts, sesame-soy dressing

This one needs no mention. Definitely still my favourite dish at Onaka!

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Onaka Restaurant & Wine Bar
#01-32, Alexandra Retail Centre
460 Alexandra Road
6270 2012

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Claiming to serve the best chicken rice in “town” literally, The Fullerton Hotel’s Town Restaurant is presenting a Chicken Rice Festival Buffet ($53++ per adult and $26++ per child) till November 24, 2013!

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The signature Hainanese chicken won a lot of praises from my mom, who’s my official “chicken rice taster” that evening. Tasty, tender, juicy, it’s comfort food to her. According to the culinary team, the secret to achieving maximum juiciness and tenderness of the meat is by poaching fresh chicken in hot water for 50 mins before soaking it in ice water for another 20 mins. Serve it with rice cooked with pandan and lemongrass, and voilà, the ‘national dish’ of Singapore!

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Other local variations of chicken rice include:

Ayam Penyet with Sweet Java Chilli Sauce
crispy fried chicken, sambal sauce, achar (cucumber and shallot pickled salad)
Chicken Devils’ Curry
blue ginger, lime juice, candlenut, chicken and bacon bone, pickled white radish
Chicken Nasi Briyani
saffron basmatic rice, spice flavoured chicken, papadum, mango pickles
Ayam Cincalok
braised spring chicken, preserved spicy shrimp paste, pineapple achar, prawn crackers

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In addition to the spread of chicken rice dishes, there’s an assortment of barbecued seafood and meat every Thursday to Saturday ($89++ per adult and $44++ per child). Honestly, it was quite disappointing as I noticed that the food has already been pre-grilled so basically the chef will just heat up whatever you order. Not surprising to be served tough and dry salmon huh. Anyway, I played smart after that and specifically requested for the fresh raw seafood to be grilled instead! What a world of difference it made, seriously.

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And the desserts made me happy again (as sugar usually do) haha. Chocolate fondue, chocolate tart, chocolate mousse, a really dense chocolate pudding, raspberry tart, walnut mousse cake, bread and butter pudding, nonya kueh, and an alcoholic-tastic tiramisu you must try!

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Thank you, Joyce, for the invitation! It’s great to see you again : )

Town Restaurant
Level 1, Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
6877 8128

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Most Saturday nights, K and I will find ourselves at Brownice because I’m absolutely obsessed with their black sesame ice cream! I love it so much that I’ll make a call to the outlets (Sin Mong and Zhong Shan Mall) first to check whether black sesame is available before dropping by. Talk about #foodocd haha.

It’s eggless, creamless, milkless, so don’t expect the texture to be conventionally creamy and silky smooth. In fact, my favourite BS is rather gritty and coarse, but so intense and fragrant!! Other flavours we swear by are peanut butter caramel, chendol, green tea (K loves this), dark chocolate

And yes, we were there again last night!

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The waffles are bread-like doughy, not exactly light and fluffy, so Creamier still reigns supreme imo : )

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Brownice Ice Cream
#01-03 Sin Ming Centre
8 Sin Ming Road
6456 6431

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At Quayside Fish Bar & Bistro, the seafood is air flown in on the day itself so freshness is guaranteed 99.99% of the time (I dare not say 100% haha). I like that they offer a customization option: diners can pick their favourite items and choose how they’d like it done. Of course there’s also a proper ala carte menu to fall back on and recently, a revamped Summer/Fall 2013 menu was launched with close to 20 new additions so there’s something for everyone. Ok, maybe not everyone (I can’t help it if you hate fish), but definitely for all seafood lovers!

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Even drinking a cup of cappuccino reminds you that you are in a fish restaurant aye?

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Hokkaido Scallops Crudo ($19++)
uni sashimi, salted caramel green apple crumbles

Soft and sweet scallop, creamy uni (!!!), an interesting sweet and salty and sour (if only there’s something spicy in it too!) crumbles… Really, what’s not to like?!

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Yellowfin Tuna Tartare ($18++)
horseradish marinate, organic beetroot tapenade, purple shiso, avruga caviar, crostini

Another no-fail and fun starter was the tuna tartare. Pile cubes of marinated tuna on a crostini, add a splash of colour with the beetroot tapenade, give it a luxurious spin with caviar topping and there you go, your self-assembled pseudo bruschetta!

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Tiger Beer Battered Turbot ($24++)
green tea-white truffle scented shoestring fries, wasabi infused yuzu shoyu, tartare

Although I’m adamant that fresh seafood should not be fried, I concede that the battered turbot was pretty good. Light and crispy crust with juicy white meat within~

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Chilli Crab Linguine ($28++)
qsfb’s signature

Chilli crab pasta seems to be an ‘in’ dish for chefs to whip up these days! The soft shell crab was gorgeous but not so much the more-sweet-than-spicy sauce…

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Pan Roasted Chilean Cod ($39++)
feta cheese corn grits, “charcoal” asparagus, blood orange figs sauce

Cod fish, I love! Fresh and tender cod fish, I love even more! Plus the “black” asparagus gave it a new look –> how many times have we seen cod paired boringly with mash and/or greens right?

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Black Sesame Cheese Pound Cake ($9++)
supposed to be green tea gelato but it was definitely pistachio gelato on our plate instead

Initially I was expecting the homemade tiramisu but it was unavailable so I was told we’d be having the dessert of the day (some pistachio trio which sounded calorie worthy as well). Then I guess there was a mix up in the kitchen and we were served this absolutely divine black sesame pound cake instead. It was sooooooo good! Soft, fragrant and still warm from the oven (clearly freshly baked and not heated up in a microwave). Simply lovely.

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My thanks to Hui Shan and Elvi for inviting and arranging the tasting!

Quayside Fish Bar & Bistro
#01-11, Quayside Isle
31 Ocean Way
6268 8633

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Prego

Prego has been a part of Raffles City Shopping Centre (technically it’s part of Fairmont) for as long as I can remember but somehow it’s one of those places which end up on my “KIV” list. Came in handy when BFF and I couldn’t decide on a dinner venue so Italian cuisine at Prego it was. Pleasantly surprised that it was almost full on a weekday night and there was a nice buzz to the huge restaurant. This also seems like a popular place for birthday celebrations as we spied at least three birthday cakes being served during our meal.

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Capesante in Crosta ($28++)
parmesan crusted scallop, pumpkin puree, truffle dressing

Our first choice for starter was unavailable (hate it when this happens! Inability to deliver what’s on the menu is my restaurant pet peeve, humph) so we settled for the scallops which were good but nothing to shout about.

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Ravioli ($30++)
spinach and ricotta ravioli, brown butter, sage

There’s only one stuffed pasta (which is the only type of pasta I like) under primi piatti so of course the ravioli was the chosen one. Like the scallops, this was decent in a carbs-I-don’t-mind-having kind of way.

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Merluzzo ($42++)
baked cod fish, artichoke, pomodorini, kalamata olive, mashed potato

I’m sure regular readers are sick and tired of me raving about (almost) every single cod fish so I shall restrain myself today… Not. This was excellent!! Love the freshness, the fatty oiliness, the soft and buttery texture, and how it literally melted in the mouth with every bite! Satisfying.

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Tiramisu ($14++)
“Our House Signature”

There’s no way we can skip tiramisu as the perfect ending to our meal. It’s my second favourite dessert ever (guess what’s first?) and Prego’s rendition gets two thumbs up! So moist and the proportion of  ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese is just right. If only there’s alcohol in it, lalala~~

P.S. BFF recently went to Valentino and she reported that Prego’s tiramisu is nicer! I believe her : )

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Prego
Level 1, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
6431 6156

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