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Archive for January, 2016

I don’t quite get the hype and raves over National Kitchen. Most of the dishes are average-nice but definitely nothing spectacular nor memorable. For a truly kickass Peranakan meal, I’ll head to Candlenut any day!

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Standard starters such as achar and rojak were good but not great. If you like refined hawker dishes, it’s time to make a reservation here.

Sambal Timun Nanas ($4++)
pineapple and cucumber with chillies, onions and lightly sweet rice vinegar

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The most special item we ordered was the “kimchiam” salad. I have never had this combination before – boiled prawns, sweet and slightly tangy starfruit, chewy dried lily buds, all tied together by a spicy chilli dressing. Interesting!

Sambal Kimchiam Udang ($15++)
lily buds tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing topped with prawns and starfruit

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Rojak ($7++)
guava, sour mangoes, rose apples, pineapple, cucumbers, julienne of pink ginger flowers, jellyfish and crispy crullers tossed in a sweet, sour and mildly spicy sauce

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We were expecting the chicken buah keluak to be served with a thick fragrant gravy (maybe I went to Candlenut too many times) but the diluted version here was disappointingly akin to… Chicken curry?

Buah Keluak Ayam ($23++)
classic nyonya spicy and tangy chicken stew and buah keluak nut infused with fresh root spices of lengkuas and turmeric

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I first tried the meatless meatballs back in 2013 at Violet Oon’s Kitchen and liked them a lot. Fast forward two years, the walnut and cheese “meatballs” turned out too mushy on my visit and could really do with a crisp crust.

Meatless Meatballs Rendang ($15++)
walnut and cheese dumplings braised in spices flavoured with kaffir and bay leaves in a coconut cream sauce

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The description of “cod in laksa sauce” already had me salivating and thankfully, the execution was exactly what I imagined it to be. The fresh slab of fatty cod went very well with the sinfully rich and creamy laksa sauce. May be overwhelming for some people but it’s right up my alley!

Cod in Laksa Sauce ($34++)
baked cod in a creamy laksa sauce drizzled with coriander pesto

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National Kitchen by Violet Oon
1 St. Andrew’s Road
#02–01 National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing)
+65 9834 9935

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My first yusheng of the Monkey Year was at Jade Restaurant where Master Chef Leong and his culinary team prepared a feast for the eyes and tummy!

Eight-Happiness Gold Rush Salmon Yusheng
champagne jelly, olive oil, peach dressing

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Jade’s signature yusheng with wobbly handmade champagne jelly, edible gold leaves, salmon, olive oil and peach dressing is always a sight to behold. During this festive period, dine-in orders of yusheng will feature calligraphic drawings complemented with auspicious greetings created by Chef Leong. So spot the two cheeky monkeys on your plate!

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Priced at $68++ (5 pax and below), $98++ (6-8 pax), $138++ (9-12 pax), orders should be made one day in advance. I’m going to ask my mum to order for our family gathering yay!

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My favourite dish is eight treasures fortune pen cai, a twist from the traditional featuring premium seafood such as abalone (I’m not a fan!) and fish maw (sooo good!) braised in a rich flavourful broth for approximately 3-4 hours in a claypot. I like that it is served individually instead of in a massive pot #portioncontrol

Eight Treasures Fortune Pen Cai ($58++ per pax)
six-head whole abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, chinese cabbage, flower mushrooms, roasted garlic, roasted pork

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Actually, now that I think (or rather, write) about it, my favourite dish may be the simmered boston lobster with ginger milk instead! (Yes, I’m a fussy and fickle-minded eater ha) Imagine fresh lobster meat simmered with milk, ginger, butter and a hint of lemon before being drizzled with a geneous serving of fragrant ginger milk gravy. It sounds a tad heavy but tastes surprisingly light and the sweetness of the lobster comes through.

Boston Lobster ($88++ per whole 700g lobster)
simmered with ginger milk

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If you need the daily dose of meat, try out the new roasted duck marinated in foie gras sauce and Chef Leong’s specially created sour plum guava jelly.

Roasted Duck ($23++ for quarter portion; $46++ for half; $92++ for whole)
foie gras sauce, sour plum guava jelly

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The best thing about the roasted duck is that it comes shots of refreshing guava granita and tart sour plum jelly!

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When Chef Leong wants to impress, he really goes all out. Look at this beautiful and delicate handmade golden bird sculpture crowning the dessert platter! Painstakingly assembled over 5 days using gelatin, wow.

Desserts
pan-fried rose-flavoured water chestnut cake
honey peach pastry ($26+ per box of 8 pieces)
sweet potato pandan-flavoured ‘nian gao’ tart ($28+ per box of 8 pieces)

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Although the sculptures stole the show, we still wiped out the ‘nian gao’ tart, buttery baked honey peach pastry and pan-fried water chestnut cake! These goodies are available as takeaways till 22 February 2016.

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My thanks to the Fullerton and Jade teams for their hospitality!

Jade Restaurant
The Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
6877 8188

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Long Chim

Happy New Year, lovely people!!

K and I spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Bangkok on a whim and omg we are so missing the food there! I’m still reminiscing and sharing our BKK eats on Instagram so check them out on my feed.

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In the meantime, on a related (Thai) note, I shall write about our dinners at Long Chim. Yup, dinnersss because we have already dined there a couple of times. Although the prices are as un-BKK-ish as it gets and there are mixed reviews about Celebrity Chef David Thompson’s “come and taste” (meaning of Long Chim) restaurant, you just gotta know the right dishes to pick and the kind of flavours you like!

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My favourite starter is the betel leaves topped with a pleasantly pungent mixture of dried prawns and fragrant toasted coconut, yums. This is our must-order at Long Chim! Skip the fish cakes ($17++) and spring rolls ($18++), very forgettable and not worth the price tag.

Dried Prawns Ginger Toasted Coconut ($14++)
in betel leaves

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A plate of pad thai will always taste so much better on the streets in Thailand, I’m telling ya. Long Chim’s rendition is just good, not great.

Pad Thai ($30++)
with prawns, peanuts and beansprouts

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The first time I tried the stir-fried curry soft shell crab, I love it! Crunchy and flavours were spot on. But on the second visit, it was too salty hmm. Maybe third time lucky?

Soft Shell Crab ($28++)
curry powder celery and onions

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Thai food to K = green curry ha. Both the beef (below) and chicken ($24++) versions are very delish!

Green Beef Curry ($34++)
chillies thai basil cucumber and roti

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Between the deep fried seabass (below) and grilled tilapia in salt crust ($34++), my vote is leaning towards the latter. Not sure whether we were lucky, but our fish was perfect. A 10/10 with incredibly tender and moist flesh!

Deep Fried Seabass ($45++)
three flavoured sauce

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Do you know that you can order off the menu items? Chockful of fresh prawns, the Thai omelette is one such dish that the kitchen can whip up on request. It’s simple, a little oily, always satisfying (to egg lovers)!

Prawns Omelette
off the menu!

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Don’t leave without ordering desserts! Seriously, I will go to Long Chim just for their durian and coffee ice cream. Fabulously intense and smooth, they are one of the best ice cream I’ve tried in Singapore so far (and trust me, I eat a lot of ice cream). Faultless.

Desserts ($12-15++)
durian ice cream, thai coffee ice cream, coconut cake

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Thank you for having us, Long Chim!

Long Chim
L2-02, Casino Atrium 2
(access via The Shoppes, Bay Level, L1)
Lunch: Mon – Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner & Bar: Daily 5.30pm – Midnight
+65 6688 7299

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