Sunday, 25 March 2012

Our featured restaurant this week is Old Hong Kong tucked comfortably away at a corner of Raffles City. I suppose that the name is suggesting that what is served at this place is traditional, hence, good. In order to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to check out this place. 

How's that for tradition? So flipping through the menu, I decided to order some dim sum items. Just for those who are not familiar with how these restaurants work, let me share with you. For ordering of dim sum, you will typically be provided with a sheet of paper indicating all the food items that the restaurant serves. So after killing some of your brain cells deciding what to eat, you pass these order chits to the service staff who will  go get the stuff you ordered, and you simply just tuck in. This is like a standard procedure or perhaps even a universal workflow for ordering dim sum? It's the same when I had my dim sum in Hong Kong. Well, let me know if there is like a different method. First up...

Char Siew Pau
Yes. Char Siew Pau is a popular steamed dim sum item. Made of flour or specifically pau flour, it is soft and a little springy in texture. Tear it into half and you will be able to see the rich and thick char siew filling spilling out of it. Char Siew is actually Chinese-styled barbecued pork, which is rich in flavor. Next up...

Shrimp Siew Mai

This is another item that I always order when I have a dim sum meal. I simply love this little dumpling that is filled with pork, shrimp and topped with roe. This is one of the traditional items that you will find on the menu at all restaurants serving dim sum though they vary in quality. For me, the dim sum here is not bad though I thought that it was a little lacking in flavor. For those who prefer something not too rich, you should try it.
Har Kau

Yet another popular item that you should order when you eat dim sum. Har Kau, typically means shrimp dumplings. Generous portion of shrimp enveloped in smooth, translucent and thin skin. Though I have always preferred Siew Mai to Har Kau, this was good enough for me to want to pop another one of this into my mouth. So it has been good so far and I am still waiting for my favorite dim sum item to come.
Chang fen

Finally, my wait is over. My favorite item is finally placed in from of me. This is similar to the normal Chang Fen that we have always had but this is slightly different. How so? The typical ones are usually stuffed with either char siew or prawns. This one, however, is stuffed with You Tiao, or fried dough fritters. Simply irresistible. I have come across Chang Fen stuffed with other interesting fillings such as squid paste, pork intestine, etc but I really can't recall where.
Traditional Baked Chicken with Rock Salt
Well, as this name suggests, this dish is assumed to be a simple one.. just chicken and some salt. Oh no, it is a difficult dish to prepare as this dish is really Simplicity at its best. Oh well.. I should just leave it at this to keep you wondering what the taste is like. In any case, my pick is... DO TRY IT.

Steamed Chicken Feet and Pork Rib Rice
The final dish to end the meal came. I was actually worried about how I was going to finish the rice since I thought it would be quite a large portion. No worries, it is not that big and so obviously, I did not have any problem gobbling it down rather quickly. Well well, actually I think that the picture looks better than it actually tasted. There was not much sauce on the rice, hence it was a little too dry for my liking. The portion if meats used to topped the rice was quite generous though personally, I thought it was a bit bland. Overall, my pick for this dish is average, do try out other main dishes instead.

So to sum up my dining experience at this restaurant, I thought that it was quite an enjoyable one and I would surely revisit it. A good place for family dinners over the weekends. It was quite crowded when I visited this place for lunch so I suppose you have better make a reservation if you are planning to dine over the weekend. Cheers!

Old Hong Kong Legend (
252 North Bridge Road #02-18
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103
Tel: 6336 3038
Business Hour: Opens daily from 10.30am to 10.30pm

Saturday, 24 March 2012

This week we will be talking about a bistro called Aglio Olio. I suppose as the name suggests, you might have guessed right that their signature pasta dish is none other than Aglio Olio.

Aglio Olio is actually in Italian, meaning garlic and olive respectively. The pasta that is often used in making a good Aglio Olio is either spaghetti, vermicelli or angel hair. These are generally really thin strands of noodles. My favorite among the three is angel hair. In our local context, these noodles can be said to be that of 'laksa noodle, bee hoon and mee sua' respectively.

So here I am, walking in for dinner at about 7.15pm on a weekday. The dining area is somewhat small but I must say that the ambience is one that is very relaxing and cozy. I am greeted by a friendly service staff who leads us to our table and hands us the menu.

What I always appreciate at a dinner place is set menu. So here, there are two different dinner sets. One is a normal set for 2 persons  @ $33.90++ and the other is a wine dinner set going for $39.90++. For me, I do like their lemonade so I chose the former set. The normal dinner set for 2 includes:
            • 2 Soups
            • 1 basket of garlic bread
            • 1 basket of chicken wings
            • 1 pasta
            • 1 pasta / pizza
            • 2 drinks

What I really like their lemonade is that it is not too sour nor is it too sweet. Its just really cold and refreshing especially after spending a long tiresome day in the office. I suppose it is less sharp in taste as compared to Auntie Anne's where I feel it is not that cold, sharper in taste and a tad too sweet for my liking. In fact, I ordered a second one soon after this arrived at my table.

Here comes the soup of the day. Hmm... well the soup of the day is clam chowder. I guess it is the typical kind of soup that you get everywhere. Nothing fab about it. I would actually say that the clam chowder that is sold at Mos Burger. The soup is served with...

Yup. Nicely toasted garlic herb bread which carries with it a tinge of garlic butter taste. Oh well, the clam chowder soup did taste much better with this. 

This is a killer. Really. This place serves seriously good  chicken wings. I would say it is a MUST TRY! The wings that are served here are really crispy and tasty. I suppose the wings are well marinated over quite a bit of time. the tender meat under the skin is also tasty, unlike some places where only the skin is crispy cos it is heavily dusted with tonnes of powder but the meat inside is tasteless. the wings here are good in and out though the health conscious ones might think it is a little too oily. Oh.. come on.. 

Hmm.. Awesome. This is not part of the dinner set but I was having a craving for something loaded with cheese and I thought.. "Hey, we might as well get it too!". The fries is nicely fried. Thick strips of crinkle-cut fries deep fried to perfection, served crispy with a generous serving of cheese and mayo. You seriously won't regret it. 

Here comes the star of the night. I chose the Bacon Aglio Olio as I wanted to have something tasty yet simple. This is classic. Here, when you place your order for an Aglio Olio, you get to choose the level of spiciness. It determines how much chilli padi is thrown into the pasta. Please do not be over adventurous with the level of spiciness if you are an average chili-tolerant person. Al dente pasta tossed in olive oil with a  mild garlic flavor and bursting fiery taste of the the little ones, a.k.a chilli padi. Nice.

You can choose to have your Aglio Olio plain, or with other ingredients such as ham, bacon, seafood, etc.

It was indeed a good dinner I had and I would definitely revisit them again. Check them out too!

Aglio Olio - Singapore's Version of Pasta
3 Pickering Street #01-40/41
China Square Central
Singapore 048660
Tel: 6327 3622

Aglio Olio Bistro
8 Shenton Way #B1-14
Singapore 068811
Tel: 6226 1622

Sunday, 18 March 2012

This post is going to quite a lengthy one. Not because I am long winded but because I have taken so many pictures while dining at this fantastic place, Bumbu.

Someone actually recommended me this place which serves Thai and Indonesian cuisine. As mentioned in my previous post, I LOVE buffets. This place actually does serve ala carte buffet. All for the price of $16.80+. Just in case if you are wondering which '+' this is, it is for the service that is rendered to you aka service charge. They do not charge GST here so that means you get to save 7% of your bill. Sounding good? It just gets better.

So here I am finally at the door of this place that promises a good dinner.

44 Kandahar Street
Ordering a drink can be quite tough seriously, especially when you are looking for something that pairs off well with the food that is to come. So here's my pick...

Ayer Bandung - $2.50
And after a major discussion with my fellow dinner mates, we are ready to order. We decided we would order almost everything. Laughs. First up...

Seafood Fried Egg Salad
Let me comment a little on this dish. Well, if you are an egg lover, you probably might like this dish. For me, it was alright though not a dish that I would go for the next round. Slightly spicy, good portion of seafood and generous serving of eggs.

Black Pepper Beef
Black pepper beef was okay but that is because I ain't a big fan of stuff cooked in black pepper sauce. So I suppose that all you Black Pepper lovers out there would appreciate this dish more than me. The only compliment I would give is that the tenderness of the beef slices is amazing. It is so tender if it had bones, the meat would definitely fall off the bones.

Stir Fry Baby Kai Lan Thai Style
Now, I must say that this dish is really quite good. Like seriously. One of my picks to go for the next round. Though I suppose they might want to add some sliced chilies in to spice it up a little.

Steam Fish Spicy Sauce
Okay, it is thumbs up for this dish. Firstly, there are no bones in it. That was kind of the first question that I asked the manager while ordering. The fish is smooth and boneless and served in mild spicy sauce. The combination is really good. One of the must try.

Sambal Kangkong
Well, Sambal Kangkong is sambal kambong after all. A typical dish that we are all familiar with so there is nothing much to boast about this dish. But we still love it anyway, though it is not very spicy.

Fried Fish Slice House Chilli
Hmm... this dish is another must try. For those who prefer fried fish instead of steamed ones, this dish is one that you might really like. Well, at least I did. What is nice about it is the chili. Their house chili is really tasty and spicy as compared with the sambal that they use to fry the kangkong with. Nice.

So while we cleared the food and waited for more to arrive at our table, I managed to get a couple of shots of the interior. I like this place, not only because it is a shophouse, but because it's interior is tastefully decorated with ornaments that allows you to travel through time.. back to the past.

The whole feel of this place is one that is traditional yet modern in its own unique ways. When I peered up from my seat, I managed to catch a glimpse of the little Tiffin carriers that our seniors from the older generations would remember so well. I still remember carrying one when I was little though of course it was one of those plain metal ones where you would 'ta-bao' food in and not one of those beautifully decorated ones sitting along the sides of the wall.

Tom Yum Soup

More dishes is being served now so it is back to our dinner. Here is the Tom Yum soup. An essential if you are one who appreciates Thai cuisine. Unlike other restaurants who serve this dish, I must commend Bumbu for serving it with a really generous portion of seafood.

Gado Gado
My all-time favorite. Indonesian Gado Gado, a dish mainly made up of vegetables such as cubed potatoes, blanched long beans, some lettuce, quartered hard-boiled egg, crispy tempeh with peanut sauce (similar to the satay sauce) poured over them and topped with keropok.

Tahu Telor
Hmm... another popular Indonesian dish that I would say 'Must Try'. They serve crispy fried pieces of tahu or tofu topped with fried egg, tossed in a mild sweet and spicy sauce. So the name of the dish is a direct translation of what you would find in the dish.

Cold Tofu with Preserved Egg
I did not try this dish because I really do not take preserved egg aka century egg. But from the comments that I heard from my dinner mates, it was supposedly not too bad so I guess century egg lovers might want to give it a try.

Durian Sticky Rice - $4.00
Enough of main dishes now, wished I could have more but I have to leave what space I have left in my stomach for dessert. So first off the list is my choice of Durian Sticky Rice. It is quite similar to what you will find in Bangkok where their most popular dessert would have to be the Mango Sticky Rice. The rich flavor of the durian with its creamy textures blends very well with the slightly grainy sticky rice. Topped with coconut cream, it is one of the best dessert on the menu. My take is you got to try it unless you are allergic to durians.

Sago Gula Melaka - $3.00
Another favorite of mine. I am a big fan of Gula Melaka or what is known in English as Palm Sugar. Gula Melaka is extremely popular in the state of Malacca in Malaysia. The taste of pure coconut palm sugar is quite similar to brown sugar except that it has a tinge of caramel or butterscotch taste which is lacking in the brown sugar. therefore, it is often used in savory foods or desserts. My pick on this dessert served is just an OK. You can try it but I have tasted better ones.

Tapioca Coconut Cream - $3.00
Hmm.. this is another good choice for dessert. Young steamed tapioca that is soft and smooth in texture topped with coconut cream.

Ice Blended Avocado - $4.00
To end the night, the final order is the Ice Blended Avocado. I suppose my take is the same as that of the Sago Gula Melaka. So my conclusion is that the Gula Melaka that they use is not sweet and rich enough else these two desserts would taste really yummy. But nonetheless, you may want to give it a try if you have never tasted Ice Blended Avocado before.

So, to end my post, I would say that it is a great joy to dine at Bumbu. For me, I would definitely visit them again. Cheers!

Bumbu Restaurant, Thai-Indonesian Cuisine ( 

  • 44 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198897. Tel: 6392 8628, Opens Daily: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm. Closed on Mondays. Free Parking after 5pm.
  • 20 Cross Street #01-25 China Square Central, Singapore 048422. Tel: 6536 8636, Opens Daily: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm. Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

I have always been a big fan of steamboat. Though there are plenty lining the streets in Bugis, I have never really liked it because I always doubted the quality and cleanliness of these places. So there we go... with that out of my options, there is not much choices available except higher-end ones such as Coca Restaurant. However, the only problem with that is, I am a big eater and generally I prefer the 'All you can eat buffet'.

Lately with one of my favorites at Heeren closed, I am forced to seek out other alternatives. Here is one that I found which is seriously not too bad. Although there is a time limit for this buffet, which is 80 minutes, I never have an issue with the limit and have never left the restaurant feeling hungry.

First, be greeted by friendly service staff as you approach the restaurant. After being seated, you will be asked to make a choice of steamboat base, namely: Kimchi, Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu. Alright, so what's the difference you might ask? Kimchi, as we all know, is a spicy soup base. Sukiyaki is a soup base that is sweet and generally well-liked by most. Shabu Shabu is a light soup base which is slightly salty and is good if you like to have some bowls of soup with your meal. My preference have always been Shabu Shabu but this time 'round, I decided to try something different and so... I chose Sukiyaki.

On the left side of the pot, the clearer soup base is the Shabu Shabu. On the other side, the darker soup base is Sukiyaki. Basically, if you want to cook noodles such as Udon, it is much better to cook it in Sukiyaki. This is because Sukiyaki has a unique taste and is sweet so the noodles will be cooked with a distinct taste and much more flavorful. 

This buffet counter is situated in the middle of the restaurant. Don't be fooled by the appearance of a small counter. What's on the counter is basically our typical steamboat items such as leafy vegetables, tofu, beancurd skin, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, crab sticks, udon, ramen, vermicelli, frozen meatballs, cheese balls, corn, carrots, fish cakes, cheese tofu among other items. But it doesn't matter how huge the counter is to me. What I really want is the free flow of meats. 

Here is typically what I will choose to soak in the hot soup. One of their specialty is the meat ball that you see in the picture. Don't be fooled by the appearance, it is what's in it that will surprise you. 

A great feast is about to start. Now, there is free flow of meats at this wonderful place. The choices of meats available are beef, chicken and pork. All you need to do is to tell the service staff how many trays of meat of your choice you want. Usually, I will go with two trays of meat to start my meal with but feel free to order more although you might want to take note not to waste food

The top picture is trays of pork and the picture below is trays of beef that you can order. There is no limit on the amount of meat or number of trays that you can order so just feel free to order. Just remember: DO NOT WASTE FOOD!

Also, to compliment your cooked vegetables and meat, do prepare some condiments to go with it. There is a choice of Ponzu sauce or Miso sauce. Ponzu sauce is similar to soya sauce whereas the Miso sauce is a bean paste sauce which is richly flavored and goes very well with meats. Just add a little spring onion, radish and chilies to it and you're on your way to a great meal.

As I was mentioning earlier about their specialty, the cheese meat ball. Let me tell you more about it. It is really not one of those meat balls that says contains cheese and after eating a whole load of them, you start thinking to yourself, "Hmm, so where's the cheese huh?". This little ball is seriously world's apart from those. One important tip to eating this little ball is to first use your chopstick to poke a hole in it before sinking you teeth in it. You really do not want to scald your neighboring table diners, let alone your dinner date. Making a hole in it first reduces the pressure so when you bite it, the melted cheese in it does not spurt out and you do not embarrass yourself. 

The little ball that has been fished out from the ocean of Sukiyaki

A glimpse to the inside of the little ball

Close up shot of the cheese that is overflowing from the little ball

Continue fishing out your cooked vegetable, food items and meat from the pot and dip it into a bowl of beaten egg or into your little bowl of 'power' condiment to compliment your food. I am just enjoying myself dining here.

Lastly, and most importantly, the price of this buffet is approximately $15.90++ for lunch and $24.90++ for dinner. You may always give them a buzz to either check out the buffet price or to make reservations. Also, iced or hot green tea can be ordered to wash it all down at $1.90 and it is refillable. My take on this place is that it is good if you want to enjoy good steamboat and also a place for large groups of friends catching up with each other over dinner.

Suki-Ya (all you can eat sukiyaki & shabu shabu)
112 East Coast Road #03-05 Katong Mall                                                      Tel: 6636 3789
6 Raffles Boulevard #02-138FG Marina Square Center Stage                   Tel: 6337 9969
4 Tampines Central 5 #B1-02 Tampines Mall                                                Tel: 6789 6166

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Here is a place that offers fine Italian dining, mouth watering desserts and exclusive champagne to wash it all down. Now, that is what I call an awesome evening. Located at the basement of Orchard Central, this chic bistro boasts a spacious and posh interior. A place that you can choose to have business meals, family dining or even just chillin' out with friends. So here's the real deal. 

I have been to this bistro several times and it has always been a pleasant experience. Served by friendly service staff, a glass of cocktail and good food, what more can one expect. Let me share some of my favourites...

One of my favourite salad that I choose to kick start my meal is this. Classic Caesar Salad tossed lightly in its dressing. It's the whole experience of warm flowing egg yolk with toasted crouton and crispy bacon. Well, I wished I could have several more plates of this for dinner but no, there is much to try. Light, delicious and authentic.

What's next? Although I have tried several of their appetizers, there is this particular one that is really addictive. I have been ordering it almost every time I dine there. It is good if you want to have something to share with your dinner companion. This is really a must try when you visit this bistro.
Pan seared Prawns on Semi Sundried Tomato Puree & Scallops on Onion Confit topped with Avruga Caviar Lemon Butter

And now, moving on to the mains. There is a wide variety of mains to choose from. There's a selection of pastas, pizzas, meats, fish and seafood. Get what you have been craving for throughout the day. I have tried most of it and if you crave a pasta, I would recommend the Carbonara. Well, not a cream person? Fret not, there is also the pasta that is served in pesto sauce. So there you go.. spoilt for choices. Here's what I think is a must try...
Pan seared Cod fish with Potato Gratin, Carrot Puree glace with Veal Jus

For me, nothing beats having a dessert to end my meal. Something sweet and light perhaps? Or something heavier like a Marble Cheesecake with Apricot Coulis & Berries? Hmm.. maybe also a  Banana Panacotta topped with Raspberry Coulis and Berries? My choice is still the...

Traditional Italian Tiramisu topped with shaved Chocolate
To end the night, chill out at their wine bar. With light pop music playing in the background and huge comfortable arm chairs, it is just the perfect way to laze the evening away. There is a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on their menu. So take your pick. My choice...

Looking good? Nah.. Its tasting good and feelin' good at Covelli. So pop by and check out this place either on a weekday or a weekend. Either way, its good!

Covelli Italian Bistro & Wine Bar
181 Orchard Road #B2-13/22
Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Tel: 62386400