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Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Walk past #20 along Bukit Pasoh Road and you will unknowingly miss breezy Seattle-style Humpback, the sister restaurant of Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall.

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Buckets of oysters at the raw seafood counter are the star attraction. If you love your oysters (I don’t ha), you will be pleased to know that they are served as fresh as possible – from farm to table is the goal.

Oysters ($6++ each / Happy Hour $2-3++)
Kumamoto – Peale, Washington USA
Shigoku Fat Bastard – Samish Bay, Washington USA
Rocky Bar – South Puget Sound, Washington USA

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It’s not all about oysters, of course. The seafood menu is deliberately kept small (but changing constantly) so that only the freshest will be purveyed.

Clam Dip ($10++)
cream cheese, ritz crackers

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But let’s talk veggie first. Anything but ordinary, the “Garden” and “Pantry” selections are gems in themselves.

Carrots ($8++)
yoghurt, cumin salt

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A random assembly of carrots with creamy tahini yogurt and a dash of cumin salt is magic, and I love the different textures in the seemingly simple kale salad.

Kale ($14++)
buttermilk, pear, kale chips, pecan nuts

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The top veggie pick will be the grilled cabbage though. I have never seen such a combination before – cheese, quinoa and more importantly, chilli oil! Brilliant flavours.

Cabbage ($10++)
herb cheese, crispy quinoa, chilli oil

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The seafood section focuses on inventive preparations – rainbow trout with intriguing almond milk, tender black cod with chestnut puree, and hamachi ceviche cleverly lifted with just a touch of yuzu. So many hits!

Rainbow Trout ($16++)
egg yolk, almond milk, pickled mustard seeds

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Hamachi Ceviche ($22++)
avocado, yuzu, radish, almond

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Cod ($20++)
leek, chestnut, vinaigrette

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Beef Short Rib ($23++)
grain fed 120 days, carrot puree, broccolini

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There are only two desserts on the menu. While the panna cotta infused with fernet (a type of bitter herbal liqueur) is interesting, the smooth rich and creamy chocolate mousse is the one we fight over!

Valrhona Chocolate Mousse ($8++)
berries compote, fresh cream

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Fernet Panna Cotta ($8++)
bitter cocoa, orange

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Special thanks to Marie for hosting dinner!

Humpback
20 Bukit Pasoh Road
6750 4461

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CBD folks, I’m envious of you again.

NUDE Seafood is such an ideal lunch spot – great seafood options (perfect for pescetarians!), affordable prices, real food fast, and more importantly, nutritious and delicious! Too bad it’s not in the vicinity of my office, sighhhhh.

Both the grilled miso-coated chilean sea bass and salmon home-smoked over hickory wood chips were excellent with silky-tender-smooth, melt-in-our-mouths texture. I loved the latter slightly more, just because of the delicate and subtle smoky flavour. We also tried the mackerel which ain’t too impressive (overcooked and dry) but the barley risotto saved the day! Some garlicky goodness there.

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Signature Duo ($30)
hickory-smoked salmon, miso-grilled chilean bass, forgotten grains, beetroot pickle

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Spanish Mackerel ($13)
herb grilled, barley risotto, house-made semi dried tomatoes

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NUDE Seafood
#01-02, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3
6443 1167

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The Catch Seafood Restaurant puts the foodie mantra “have food will travel” to a good test. It’s seriously the most remote, distant, far–flung (and whatever synonyms of ulu you can think of) restaurant we’ve ever been to in Singapore! With the aid of GPS and my bff Google map, we finally navigated to Johore Battery. Yes, the Singapore historical site because that’s where The Catch is located!

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Other than being a restaurant, The Catch also brings in live seafood from overseas (ask for a tour around the outdoor giant tanks!) and supplies them to hotels/restaurants. That’s why the food here is so affordable without much markup. The menu offers a vast variety of seafood delicacies (deep sea Alaskan king crabs and lobsters!) and classic local favourites – I counted more than 127 items!

Chef Marinated Cold Japanese Cucumber ($5++)
冰镇黄瓜

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Since there’s only K to divide and conquer with me, I was very careful when “curating” our dinner menu, making sure that I picked dishes which I know we will like as long as they are properly executed by the chef. From the appetizer section, we had a refreshing cold dish of marinated crunchy Japanese cucumber and then ditched the healthy plan for tender deep fried cuttlefish lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Both whetted my appetite for more!

Deep Fried Cuttlefish with Pepper & Salt ($8++)
椒盐鲜鱿须

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And “more” came in the form of these delicious golden discs of eggplant coated with salted egg yolk! Soft and creamy on the inside, crispy and thin batter on the outside, they were amazing – strong and rich in flavour but not overwhelmingly so!

Crispy Brinjal with Salted Egg Yolk ($6++)
黄金茄子

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K loves his soups, regardless of how crazy hot the weather is nowadays. The double-boiled peppery fish soup with bunashimeji mushroom and bamboo pith ($28++) was the highlight for him (and even for me, a non-soup fan!) — pure cuddly comfort liquid food in a bowl! Sorry I don’t have a good pic of it but just imagine how warm and soothing it is to the soul, ahhhhh~

Red Flower Crab Steamed with Egg White & Chinese Wine (seasonal price)
鸡油花雕蒸

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We ordered a couple of crabs prepared in extremely different styles. Steamed red flower crab may not as meaty as its counterparts but it was so naturally sweet and juicy! And if you are a carb junkie, that silky smooth egg white and decadent crab roe will suffice as toppings for multiple servings of plain rice! Then of course we had to try The Catch’s take on the famous chilli crab. Won’t say it’s the best in Singapore but it was fresh, big and super satisfying. Especially the thick fragrant gravy which my spoon kept going back for!

Chilli Crab served with Dough Fritter or Bun (seasonal price)
辣椒炒(油条或馒头)

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Unless you are the type with a personal vendetta against artificial truffle oil, I’d strongly recommend the sauteed lobster meat with truffle oil on egg white (do you see the theme here — seafood, egg, seafood, and more egg)! Simple yet elegant. Dinner went very well but ended on a weak note — desserts. The double boiled hashima with lotus seeds was tooth-achingly sweet and we left them untouched. Lesson learnt: stick to the savouries! Now I have about 101 dishes left to tackle!

Braised Noodle with Seafood in XO Sauce ($14++)
虾米酱茄子焖面

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Special thanks to Danny for hosting dinner!

The Catch Seafood Restaurant & Bar
27 Cosford Road
6546 2155

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It’s not an exaggeration when I say Brizo‘s latest promotion ‘Crazier about Crabs‘ is really all about crabs!

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K was hoping for some beef/chicken for his meal but (sadly for him, fortunately for me) almost everything is in one crab form or the other. In fact, the spread features 22 types of crab dishes and 26 kinds of seafood – heaven for pescetarians but not so much for K who is not that into crabs oops. Aprons and gloves are thoughtfully provided but using hands is always the best!

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Into its second year now (because the first year was a hit!), one of the new unique star dishes is the cooked-to-order ‘Crab in a Pan‘. Each pan contains a whole crab, prawns, clams, black mussels, potatoes, corn and sausages. We had ours cooked in bouillabaisse and it was hearty enough to be a meal on its own!

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Even though the variety is so wide, I made sure I tried every single crab! All-time favourites can be found – sweet-piquant chilli crab (a Brizo signature!), salted egg yolk crab (batter too thick, skip), butter crab (sauce too heavy, skip again), black pepper crab (I like this!), “heavenly fragrance” crab, steamed XO crab, Indian spice flower crab masala (the best out of the lot thanks to the aromatic gravy).

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There’s also crabmeat kueh pie tee, crabmeat fried rice, soft shell crab and baked crab in shell – all of which I didn’t try since I was saving stomach space for the more important stuff ha. Luckily for K, he found the laksa corner! Seriously, it was apparently so good that he had two servings! We balanced the savoury with sweets from the dessert corner – mini magnum (my first ever, un-un-un-un-unbelievable right) and homemade durian pengat hit all the right spots!

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Crazier about Crabs
Ends on 28 June 2015; Buffet dinner only
Wednesday to Thursday: Adult $68++ / Child $34++
Friday to Sunday: Adult $80++ / Child $40++

My thanks to Yan and Licya for arranging dinner!

Brizo Restaurant & Bar
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Singapore 237983
6593 8888

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I first came into contact with Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore a few weeks ago when they invited their media friends and business partners over for a house party.

Wait a minute, Hotel Jen? New hotel in Singapore? Nope, it’s the rebranded Traders Hotel with a refreshed identity inspired by the virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places!

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Boy, the team at Hotel Jen really knew how to throw a party – superbrunch (the spread was huge!), human foosball (we won, yay!) and lucky draws (no luck sigh). Anyway, we were told of the rebranding offer (ending Nov 30 so check out the “Weekend Staycation at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore” offer which expires 31 Dec 2015 instead!) at the party which sounded very attractive – $230++ for buffet breakfast in Cafebiz, 20% discount at Ah Hoi’s Kitchen, free WiFi etc etc – and I thought, K’s birthday is coming up so why not right?

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Actually, K’s birthday is at the end of this month but he will be celebrating it in Thailand (army duty for 2+ weeks!) so I wanted to surprise him with a weekend staycation. I even gave him an invitation card to complete the surprise – he totally didn’t see it coming!

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We were assigned a Club Room on the highest floor which is 25sqm size and comes with an en-suite bathroom. Honestly, the room (see above) looks quite “tired” right? So I’m glad to report that the rooms will be renovated (hotel will remain open) to feature modern, apartment-style furnishings such as a bay window sofa –> see mock up room below which was introduced to us at the party. Such a big difference!

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Our room faced the pool and we spotted our dinner venue! You can’t see it in the photo but the signage of Ah Hoi’s Kitchen is right above the yellow umbrellas ha.

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Poolside dining at Ah Hoi’s Kitchen was unexpectedly impressive! My favourite dishes are both crab-based – soft shell crabs stir fried with almond and just a handful of chopped chilli padi (so fragrant!) and the meaty salted egg yolk crab from Sri Lanka. The salted egg yolk sauce was rather magical – usually it gets overwhelming after the initial “shiokness” but the version here had a hint of spicy heat and balanced flavour. Simply 好吃!

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K is a gym junkie so it’s great that the gym is 24 hours and has decent equipment! We also took the opportunity to use the sauna, steam bath and whirlpool facilities located within the spa… Staycation bliss!

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Time always fly by so much faster during a staycation! We woke up not wanting to check out haha. Our breakfast at Cafebiz was very hearty because of the vast spread of food! Asian, international and local cuisines, made to order eggs any style, breads and danishes, cereals and fruits, hot dishes, and there’s even an ice cream section omg. I applaud the idea of having a “tapao” corner – guests can openly takeaway food and drinks from the buffet using the disposable boxes and cups provided, nice!

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The Club Lounge also offers breakfast but a smaller spread – continental and classic hot items such as eggs, bacon and sausages. Throughout the day, there’s free drinks and snacks, along with canapes and wines in the evening. Again, the lounge seems kind of old so I can’t wait to see how it looks after the facelift!

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I must really thank the staff at Hotel Jen for delivering a surprise birthday cake to our room! The soccer balls (K is a huge fan and plays every week) were such a thoughtful touch, thank you!

Other points-scoring aspects of Hotel Jen include fruit cups inside the fridge (conventional whole fruits are so yesterday and chilled fruits do make a difference!), refreshing infused water served in the lobby and at various places (Level 2, Ah Hoi’s Kitchen) and the useful mobile chargers displayed at the lobby (I always see guests camping by the chargers haha).

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And with that, our weekend staycation came to an end… Quirky cushions on sofa, see you soon! I’ll be keeping a lookout for the various room offers on your website!

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My heartfelt thanks to Wai Ling and the team at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore for making our stay so comfortable and memorable!

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore (Formerly Traders Hotel)
1A Cuscaden Road
Singapore 249716
6738 2222
hjs@hoteljen.com

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Out of nowhere we discovered The Boiler, a Southern American-inspired seafood joint located within the Tai Seng industrial area. We were there on a Tuesday night and the place – despite newly opened a couple of months ago – was absolutely packed, well done! A good sign of things food to come.

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The menu centers around a wide array of fresh live seafood cooked with homemade sauce options: “The Works” (mild, medium or ragin’ hot), “Garlic Butter” and “Peppa’ Butter“. All of them were tasty but since I’m usually in love with garlic butter, no prize for guessing which sauce was most finger-licking good to me haha.

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Because one was not enough, we shared two Boston lobsters ($75++ each) *bliss* Large and heavy, firm and succulent, I only wish we had a third one *wistful thinking* Also, I read somewhere that a lobster with long antennae is an indication that it has been fresh caught. The ones we had were fresh indeed!

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Nowadays, seafood restaurants (think Crab in da Bag etc) seem to like throwing assorted seafood into a bag and then dumping them again onto the table for everyone to dig in. I can understand why though – it’s a great show, it’s fun, it’s messy, so why not right? 🙂

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For a taste of all the crustaceans offered by The Boiler, get the specially customised Boiler’s Bombdiggity Bag ($139++ for 4 pax) which contains a party of air-flow Dungeness crab, prawns, mussels, clams, corn, chorizos and a side serving of fried buns (comparable to Momma Kong’s!) to mop up whichever sauce you choose. I thought I’d be partial to the crab but no, I kept reaching for the prawns – exceptionally toothsome, sweet and juicy!

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Starters and sides are not neglected, what with interesting items such as lobsicle ($15.90++ for half, $28.90++ for full) and chicks & waffles ($9.90++). The former is the first and only in Singapore (even trademarked!) – whole lobster on a stick, dipped and fried in the chef’s secret batter. Not impressed though, it was dry and tough so just stick to the real thing! The standout was surprisingly the fish & chips ($12.90++)! Ultra soft moist meat sealed within a crispy golden shell, very enjoyable.

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Chocolate molten lava cake was sold out so the alternative was CBD, i.e. crispy banana & durian ($7.90++). Decent end to a (more than) satisfactory feast!

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Thank you, Carrie, for the kind invitation!

The Boiler
18 Howard Rd
#01-06, Novelty Bizcentre
6635 1285

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I’m so glad that the recent food fad involves lobster rolls and not something chicken/beef/lamb which I don’t take. After being bombarded by the wonderful food porn on Instagram and food blogs, I’ve finally succumbed (yes, I’m weak when it comes to food) and had my virgin lobster roll experience at Platypus Lobster Shack! This place has been churning out lobster rolls for about a year (way before the craze started) so they must be doing something right!

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We were lucky to be seated at the counter where a “live” show was going on. Lobster rolls were deftly assembled with ease, laid out on trays with care, and promptly delivered to the hungry diners (including me)!

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Before the main highlights, we shared a bowl of thick and creamy bisque. Least memorable because the other dishes were just too awesome!

Urchin & Lobster Bisque ($16.90++)
roasted lobster & urchin broth, double cream, maris piper potatoes

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I was very curious about the crustacean bowl (limited quantities available daily) because I couldn’t quite picture it in my mind upon reading the description. This is probably one of those controversial love/hate dishes but for me, it turned out to be a really brilliant combination of lobster, rice, cheese, uni creme and caviar! Beautifully presented too. The taste reminded me of aburi sushi, believe it or not. Try and you will know what I mean!

Crustacean Bowl ($19++/starter or $26++/main)
uni creme, butter-poached lobster, japonica rice, honey ponzu, caviar, char-grilled cheddar cheese, sesame, chervil

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You can order the lobster roll as a standalone roll ($19.90++) or as a set which comes with a small side of truffle crisps and salad ($22.90++). Compared to the other restaurants serving lobster rolls, this is definitely one of the most affordable options in town!

Each roll holds approximately 100g of lobster meat and because I’m not a small eater (K always say I eat more than him!), I can easily down two at one go haha. It’s a good thing that there are so many different varieties on the menu – which means that I can feast on lobster rolls without getting bored!

The Traditional ($22.90++)
butter-poached lobster meat, roasted-garlic mayonnaise, chives, sea salt

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The traditional is a must-try for first-timers like us! The toasted bun was not the best around but still an adequate vessel for the butter-poached lobster meat tossed in roasted-garlic mayo. Simple and good!

Spicy diablo was our favourite, partly because we went crazy pimping it with burnt cheddar (additional $4++) and double lobster meat (additional $16++). Yes, double lobster meat omg!!! Our big fat roll was overflowing with all kinds of deliciousness, period. Words are superfluous.

Other add-on toppings include fresh wasabi creme, caviar, shaved truffles and sea urchin creme.

Spicy Diablo ($19.90++ without add-on toppings)
butter-poached lobster, home-made mayonnaise, piquant garlic, spice

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I’m honestly not a mayo lover so I was initially worried about not liking the rolls (ya, foodies will worry about such #firstworldproblems haha). If you are like me, fret not! There are two mayo free options on the menu – piquant garlic and the more intriguing red miso and sesame. Flavour was naturally sweeter and a welcome change from the mayo loaded rolls. I wanna try the garlic version next!

Red Miso & Sesame ($19.90++)
akimiso infused lobster meat, aged soy sauce, black & white sesame

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Here’s an open secret: there’s off-menu food items, such as the luxurious uni roll! Just ask for it!

The Uni Roll ($32++)
boston lobster, sea urchin butter, caviar & sea urchin cream

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Special thanks to Nick for hosting us on such a busy night!

Platypus Lobster Shack
3 Pickering Street
Nankin Row #01-31
6438 7961

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