Aug 14, 2011

Chocolateria San Churro, Subiaco

The traditional churros con chocolate was my poison of the day in this chocolateria known to most as San Churro. I settled on Churros for One ($7.90) which was served with one dipping sauce of your choice and 3 churros. Dipping sauce choices include: White, Milk, Dark Chocolate or Argentinian caramel (dulce de leche).

I picked Cinnamon dusted Churros with Dark Chocolate - makes me feel slightly less guilty for indulging since Dark Chocolate  contains flavonoids and are full of antioxidants that lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

The rain was literally falling in sheets as I sat all snug and warm in this small cafe in Subiaco... perfect chocolate weather, if I say so! The churros arrived relatively quickly (it was an empty time of the day), and I was transported to heaven as this was set before me. Hot air rose from the pastry and I could almost smell the chocolate, it was THAT rich.

I personally felt the churros were a little overcooked. They were crunchy, more biscuit like than fluffy.  Maybe the Spains like their donuts this way! Still, it was a positive that there wasn't any leftover oil from  the flour being deep fried and they didn't employ a heavy hand with the cinnamon sugar.

Good grief, the chocolate dipping sauce. I'm not sure what to say, besides the fact that it was warm, rich, decadent and everything one needs a chocolate dipping sauce to be. There was more sauce than churro (to my dismay), but this was definitely a very satisfying treat while cozied up with a novel in the rain. Probably not a regular on my list - it's not cheap(!), but worth the detour for a guilty treat.

Recommended for cozy meetings, romantic encounters, girl's gatherings

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Chocolateria San Churro, Subiaco * ACROSS SUBIACO TRAIN STATION
1 Rokeby Road
Subiaco WA 6008
Tel: (08) 9388 2288

Opening Hours
Mon: 12 NN - 10 PM
Tue to Thurs & Sun: 10 AM - 10 PM
Fri & Sat: 10 AM - 11 PM

Note: San Churro also has stores in Fremantle, Hillarys Boat Harbour, Leederville, Rockingham and Northbridge.

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

Aug 10, 2011

Jean Pierre Sancho, Hay Street Perth

Pain au chocolat

I used to live down the road from a really good french pâtisserie along Nedlands. Of course, I fell in love with it - and since I now live in Perth city, I figure why not give Jean Pierre Sancho a try? It was after all, recently named Australia's best bakery on Sunrise News. So I took a 1.6km walk there (hey, it was a beautiful Saturday morning). 

Tucked in the corner of Hay Street and Shafto Lane,  I almost missed this unassuming cafe. 

I had to deliberate what to order... everything looked so good! I ended up settling for their famous Pain au chocolat with a soy latte set ($8.00). Since it was somewhat nice and empty, I settled into a sofa chair with my Kindle while waiting for my brunch to arrive. Joy! :D

To the amusement of the table next to me, I spent the next couple of minutes snapping photos of my food when it arrived. But look at that croissant! It deserves to be immortalized in pictures, if not in memory. Cos we all know the ultimate fate of food in one's tummies... anyway.

A minor gripe I had was that I wasn't offered the choice of having it toasted. And I was pretty sure the staff didn't toast it before bringing it to my table.

Buttery pain au chocolat
As you can see, the pastry is circled by a buttery shell that literally 'cracked' off the croissant with a nudge from my fork. In one intact piece too! Reminded me of a snake shedding its' skin. I found the pastry to be rather doughy. Could be quite bit heavy later in the day, in fact. The chocolate wasn't bad at all, but it just lacked a slight 'wow' factor.

Soy Latte

La! The coffee! When I took a sip of the coffee I just... sat there. And quivered. And sat there. And quivered some more. So smooth! So delightful! Just like silk! I can conclusively claim that Jean Pierre Sancho serves possibly the best coffee in Perth that I've had in a long while. The blending of flavors are very subtle as well, and OH YOU JUST HAVE TO GO TASTE THIS YOURSELF. I didn't care very much for the biscuit accompanying the coffee - it tastes like shortbread of some sort but it was much too chewy... I just left it uneaten.

Either way: GO THERE FOR THE COFFEE. Oh, and they sell macarons for $2, which is the cheapest I've seen in Perth so far. Not that I tried the macarons there, but probably worth going there for tea some day!

Recommended for Cozy tête à têtes, Work Lunches, Brunch, Lazy weekends

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Jean Pierre Sancho
878 Hay Street
(Cnr Hay Street & Shafto Lane)
Perth, WA 6000
Tel: (08) 9226 2434

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 6 PM
Saturday - Sunday: 8 AM  - 5 PM *** Now open Sundays!

NB. A second branch exists at 111 St George's Terrace and that has a higher rating than the one at Hay Street

Jean Pierre Sancho on Urbanspoon

Aug 7, 2011

Dessert Art

I seriously envy those who can create really pretty things in the oven. My artistic talents (what there is of them) is limited to Photoshop, creation of banners or whatnot and on occasion, wax figurines. Some people I know of are seriously culinary/ artistically blessed and I literally get a rush (pun unintended) going through their albums! Here are some of their masterpieces.

"Cookie Monster" cupcakes by Christine Tai
Honestly, how adorable! Featuring Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, these cupcakes were iced with much painstaking care.

Orange Poppyseed Cupcake by Christine Tai
Another one of Christine's amazing creations. This picture makes the cupcake look very refreshing and it definitely takes some incredible piping skillz to get that leaf as perfect as it is. 

Fudgy Chocolate Mud Cake by Weng Yee Khoo
That looks professional, doesn't it?! I think that my blood sugar level just went on overdrive looking at this picture. Honestly - chocolate mud cake and macarons. Extremely sinful! 

Chocolate Raspberry Friands by Su Lin
Chocolate and berries. Two of my absolutely favorite things to have for dessert. Just look at how the raspberries stud the chocolate friand quite uniformly... I think I've gone to heaven.

Croquembouche by Su Lin
A Croquembouche is a french piece of art (because honestly, who would want to destroy this by heaven forbid... eating it!?). It is often seen at weddings, baptisms and first communions (so says Wikipedia). 

An assortment of cupcakes
Anatasha is another one who is brilliant with them cupcakes. I daresay all toppings are handmade.

Tiramisu by Anatasha
Quite an interesting presentation of Tiramisu I might add. But it looks so pretty, who's complaining?!

Cappuccino Cupcakes topped with Marshmallows by Christine Tai
Honestly... phwoar. THESE CUPCAKES LOOK EXACTLY LIKE A CUP OF COFFEE WITH MARSHMALLOWS. I am totally blown away by Christine's handiwork. Aren't you?

Note: All images used here are copyright property of their owners!

About the Culinary Artists:
Anatasha is a full time student and an undercover culinary artist. What more can I say?

Christine Tai (Cupcake Decorator extraordinaire) is the proud owner of Little Cupcake Delights. You can see even more of her work in the gallery and support her by purchasing her cupcakes!

Su Lin (of the lovely friand and Croquembouche) has just graduated from her university education this year (2011). 

Weng Yee (creator of Mudcake with French Macarons) is the writer of I Heart My Bakes. She is a psychology student and lives in Perth, Western Australia. Follow her: Facebook

Aug 4, 2011

Ayam Penyet Ria, Bedok Point

Ayam Penyet, 'Smashed Chicken'

During the last few days I was in Singapore, my mum and I went to Bedok Point for a stroll since I hadn't been to the shopping mall at all. We came across Ayam Penyet Ria, which my mum said we should try since this place tends to be packed (How to tell the good places apart: There are always long lines waiting to get in!).  

Ayam Penyet Ria styles itself as a cafe (I suppose), but it resembles a fast food joint. That said, I have no issues against fast food ("Alas!", cries my thighs) - I do love a good McSpicy. When we entered the cafe it was rather empty, yet we were directed to a small two people table, barely 20cm away from two school boys (who were all sweaty and were starting to smell... although that isn't really the fault of the cafe I guess, but why on earth couldn't they have given us any one of the other 15 available seating places? OH YES because they had placed a reserved sign on all of them). Who on earth would have reservations for a cafe at 3pm, anyway? 

After some deliberation, we ordered their famous Ayam Penyet ($6.50), translated as smashed chicken. Now, now - If you're envisioning some arcade style game where people go around smashing chickens that pop out from the ground, STOP! The name is derived from the fact that the slain chicken (after marinating in their secret herbs and spices and whatnot) is smashed with a mallet before being deep fried. This dislodges the meat from the bones and make them literally 'peel' off the chicken with a few nudges from your fork.

As you can see, the chicken is served with deep fried beancurd, soybean cake (a Javanese delicacy known as tempe) and some vegetables. The whole dish is also topped with fried crumbs and served with a side of blacan-chilli relish.

The food: 
What can I say? Maybe it's because we arrived during a dead time that our food seemed to be of poor quality. The rice we were served was NOT HOT. Furthermore, it was clumpy yet dry, like rice that was cooked some time ago and just left in a huge bucket of rice with all the condensation and water vapour inside the bucket. Honestly, how hard can it be to serve proper rice in ASIA? :(

The chicken was very tender indeed - and each bite was full of flavor. The meat was very soft - but after I progressed past the first layer, I found it hard to swallow. The chicken meat on the inside was extremely dry and reminded me of the dry shredded chicken strips our old canteen lady used to put in Macaroni Soup. Although the cooking DID remind me of authentic Indonesian cooking (it was very similar to the crispy duck I got in Bali), I am pretty sure that this dish is a lot drier than what was served to me in Bali.

HOWEVER. The meal was not a loss. THE CHILLI. OHMYGOD THE CHILLI. I cannot say enough about it. My mother found it too spicy (and it was). But the combination of the spiciness and the sour taste was practically addictive. I found tears coming out the corners of my eyes and my drink went *poof* in a jiffy. But damn, it was worth it.

Perhaps the stall at Lucky Plaza serves food of better quality (since that seems to be the one people rave about). But having read some reviews, I think not. (P.S. I might still go back for the chilli!)

Recommended for: Students, Budget eats, People with lots of saliva, People who like to kill their tastebuds

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Ayam Penyet Ria
Lucky Plaza #01-45, 11 AM - 10 PM
Lucky Plaza #04-25, 12 PM - 9 PM
Tampines Mall #04-27, 11 AM - 9.30 PM
Jurong Point #B1-06, 11.30 AM - 9.30 PM
Bedok Point #B1-05, 11.30 AM - 1 AM

Aug 2, 2011

Ku Dé Ta, Marina Bay Sands

A banana towers over the Singapore skyline - "The Floating Banana" is what I call it. After all, it does look like a banana half suspended in mid air. Marina Bay Sands is one of the two integrated resorts in Singapore and was the most expensive integrated resort developed in the world as of last year.


Unfortunately, the food at Ku Dé Ta Restaurant takes a backseat in this place to see and be seen.

The environment was vibrant and noisy; if you're seated in the inside I hear it can be somewhat stifling (if you call to make a reservation, be sure to request for outdoor patio seating!). Then again, I'd even suggest you go there to knock back a few cocktails and enjoy the view - and just forget about the food.

We ordered a couple of their dishes that had been featured in the Sunday Times as pictured below.

Spicy 'Bo ssam' Pork Belly Salad
Spicy 'Bo ssam' Pork Belly Salad ($13): This was a delightful dish to start the night off. As its name implies, this salad is rather spicy. House made pickles and cucumber vinaigrette lend this salad a tang as well, which is a delight to the palate. The offerings of pork was rather pathetic. Then again, I'm not normally a salad person! 2.5/5

Crispy Skin Bamboo Steamed Duck
Crispy Skin Bamboo Steamed Duck ($58): I don't recall this dish being very 'crispy'. Slices of steamed duck decorated this dish, garnished with kaffir lime and blood plum sauce. Not Impressed :( 1/5

Wok-Charred Cherry Tomatoes & Tofu
Wok-charred Cherry Tomatoes & Tofu ($10): I genuinely enjoyed this dish. Each bite produces a burst of savory flavor in your mouth, and the texture of the wok charred cherry tomatoes (cooked till they were quite soft and bursting with juice) goes very well with the tofu. 4/5

Minced Muscovy Duck
Minced Muscovy Duck (No Longer on the Menu): I think the description says it all. Imagine your mini sang choy bao but at an exorbidant price - voila, you have minced muscovy duck. 

House-Cured Scottish Salmon Tartare
House-Cured Scottish Salmon Tartare (No Longer on Menu): NOOOOOOOOO why did they retire this dish :( The salmon simply melted in the mouth and went perfectly with the Avocado. Pickled seasoning gave the dish more of a kick and saved it from being bland. Simply lovely, and my favorite dish that night. 5/5.

Jumbo Softshell Crab
Crunchy Jumbo Softshell crab ($18): This was fried with green chilli mayonnaise to make it more tender and spice up the dish. By the time it arrived at our table however, the crabs were soggy. Go to Geylang or a good seafood place to get your fix for softshell crabs in my opinion. 2/5

Ku De Ta 40 Flavor Fried Rice
'forty flavor' fried rice ($18): Baked in lotus leaf, this offering tastes exactly like... *drumroll* the sticky peanut glutinous rice you can get at dim sum places. So not worth it. :( 1.5/5

We didn't stay for dessert, having been disappointed by most of their dishes so far. The view was great - but you have to pay extra if you're not a guest and you wish to go down to the boardwalk. 
Final Verdict: Having been to Ku De Ta, I think I shall stick to Equinox or Loof in the future.

Recommended for: Yuppies & Tourists

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Ku Dé Ta Restaurant, Singapore
1 Bayfront Avenue
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, North Tower
Singapore 018971
Tel (reservations generally required): 6688 7688

Opening Hours
Breakfast: 7 AM - 11 AM
Lunch: 12 PM - 3 PM
Dinner: 6 PM - 11 PM
(SkyBar, Club Lounge & SkyDeck open till late)

Jul 29, 2011

Everything with Fries, Joo Chiat

A bad knowledge of Singaporean Bus Routes brought us to Joo Chiat when we initially intended to go to Parkway Parade. Therefore, we (Significant Other and I) decided to give Everything with Fries a try (down the corner from Astons, Joo Chiat). Everything with Fries (such a catchy name) was created by the same connoisseurs that brought us Awfully Chocolate. They have two outlets, the first in Joo Chiat and another at Holland Village.

Being a Saturday Evening, the cafe was rather crowded when we entered. We were ushered in by a friendly waitress who took the time to explain the concept behind the name (with every main course, you get a side of fries that are seasoned with either one of five flavors - Curry, Herbs & Garlic, Salt & Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion or Original). You could also opt for a choice of shoestring fries (skinny fries, like that you get at Burger King) or chunky cut fries. 

The drinks were first to arrive - we ordered an Iced Lemon Tea and Lemon Soda. The Ice Lemon Tea was sweet - very sweet. In contrast, the Lemon Soda had a nice kick to it.

The menu offered a choice of 11 main courses - which isn't much, but just nice if the food is good. Our food of choice that night was the Wild NZ King Salmon ($18.90) and the Lamb Burger ($11.90). Both of us picked Shoestring Fries to go with our meals - the herbs we chose were Herbs & Garlic and the Salt & Vinegar... I suggest you bring 3 friends along so that you get to try every single seasoning ;)

Herbs & Garlic: (pictured with the Lamb Burger) The first bite of fries produced a cheesy taste with a light garlic aftertaste. After consuming half the fries however, I felt the fries were too salty with the seasoning and the delightful bite provided by the garlic was now causing a light sting on my tongue... I'm pretty sure I left with garlic breath that night.

Salt & Vinegar: (pictured with the Salmon) Personally I felt that the vinegar taste was absent in this dish... but I wasn't the one who consumed most of it. Significant Other found it average.

The fries were hot, crispy & not soggy - lovely, in other words (:

The Wild NZ King Salmon was as described in the menu. Overlaid with breadcrumbs on one side, it was crispy on the outside. Inside, it was a dream. The salmon was cooked sashimi style, slightly pink and translucent - it literally melted in the mouth. For $18.90, the portion size was generous as well. 

The Lamb Burger was amazing. Their handmade bun was baked with a light coating of butter that produced a slightly sweet crust surrounding light, airy bread. I was reminded of buns you get at the local market bread shops first thing in the morning! The lamb patty was handmade, thick and well seasoned. In between the patty and the bun was tomato and cheese - but with a slight twist. I dislike tomatoes in burgers. More often than not, they're not fresh or they uh... soggify the bun. The Everything with Fries incarnation is made with tomato relish - a godsend to people like me who love tomato based sauces and salsa but dislike the actual tomato fruit. Instead of a cheese slice, the lamb burger is made with cream cheese. Together... heaven.

A few notes - we weren't offered a choice between the Baby Caesar Salad or Coleslaw with our dishes (maybe they ran out of coleslaw?).  I also felt that the staff was 'pushing' us to have dessert even after we had decided not to - we took the menus they thrust into our hands just to humor them, but shouldn't it be a personal preference if I want dessert or not? Although, the next time I'm here I think I shall give the Nutella Tart or the Mille Crêpe a go. 

Ambience wise, Everything with Fries definitely needs to rethink the cafe design. The cafe is rather spartan, simply consisting of wooden furniture placed in a shophouse with white floors and stone flooring. I admit that the shophouse itself isn't very large per se - but I believe that the staff has tried to squeeze a table and chairs into every single square inch of the place. Even with a tiny gap between us and our neighbors, I'm pretty sure that Significant Other could have seen the high score on the Nintendo DS that the kid seating next to him was playing on (if he wished, duh). The environment would be much more pleasant if they had more spaces in between each table - at the expense of a possible longer waiting time during peak hours, of course.

Recommended for: Large Groups, Gatherings, Family, Yuppies

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Everything with Fries
458 Joo Chiat Road
S (427671)
Tel: 6345 5034

Opening Hours
Closed on Mondays
Tue - Sun: 12 PM - 10PM

Jul 24, 2011

The Tastings Room, Marina Square

The Tastings Room is a new establishment that opened on the 2nd of July 2011. Seeing that they were offering a 1-for-1 Pasta Deal, the boyfriend and I decided to have dinner here 2 weeks after it opened. The interior of this restaurant is more cafe-like than anything, with wooden chairs and tables. However, it gives off a classy vibe without being intimidating - I especially love the lights and the modern bar. The waitress that served us looked really young, but she was rather patient in explaining the numerous deals to us & service was definitely not an issue here.  

Describing themselves as a restaurant that specializes in gourmet food and wine, one would expect prices to be exorbitant. As of this post, every single main course on their menu is under SGD $30. On their website at the moment is a promotional wine retailing for $9.99 a bottle... need I say more? GO AND TRY THIS PLACE, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Fine, fine, I'll get on with the review.

I got the Truffle Wild Mushroom Spaghetti ($17.90) which featured spaghetti in a cream-based sauce with herbs, surrounded by mushrooms and crowned with truffle infused foam. Mix them together and voila!, a sinful hint of earthy smoky taste is incorporated into the pasta.

I liked this dish - I adore anything that has truffle in it. My only beef with it was that it was so rich and filling that I had to get the boyfriend to finish off most of it for me. Spaghetti always seems to be more filling than fettucini, penne, fusilli or other forms of pasta. Maybe it's a personal thing.

The boyfriend picked the Tomato Seafood Linguine which was a lighter and more refreshing choice. The tomato pesto that coated the linguine was lovely on the palate, and the seafood was fresh. 

Another thing about this place - I love the menus! They're adorable, colorful and filled with lovely quotes that make you want to order lots of wine, haha. If we had set aside more time for dinner I might have been tempted by the wines. Or the Chocolate Durian Cake. Or Aglio Olio. Or the Tiramisu. 

Somehow, I think a second visit (or three) are in the books. P.S. Eggs Benedict for $13.90! I <3.

Recommended for: Large Groups, Intimate Gatherings, First Dates (i.e. Everyone)

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The Tastings Room
6 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square 
#01-08 (It's outside Marina Square Shopping Centre) 
Tel: 6338 1829

Opening Hours
Sun - Thu: 10 AM - 10 PM
Fri - Sat: 10 AM - 12 MN

Jul 20, 2011

Top 10 Dishes to Try in Singapore

I admit it: I never liked hawker center food as a kid. I turned my nose up at hawker food staples such as Hainanese Chicken Rice & Char Kway Teow. Until I moved overseas. Suddenly, the grass (or rice) on the other side seemed greener. So nowadays when I return, I ensure that these are on my To Eat list.

Hainanese Chicken Rice
Image Credit: Sparklette
When my friends come to Singapore from Australia & other parts of the world, most of them know well enough to try 'Chicken Rice'. However, most of them don't get it either. "It's only chicken and rice... what's the big deal?" Or at least that's what I normally get asked! In this case, Aristotle has it spot on when he says "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Chicken Rice is not a uniquely Singaporean dish; it is easily found in Malaysia as well (although some establishments serve it as Chicken Rice Balls where the rice surrounds the chicken sushi style). 

Recommendations for Hainanese Chicken Rice Five Star (East Coast), Wee Nam Kee (Novena), Boon Tong Kee (Balestier)

Fried Carrot Cake
Image Credit: Best Singapore Guide
Fried carrot cake is more commonly known as Chai Tow Kway in Singapore. It consists of steamed radish cake that is then stir fried with eggs, garlic, soy sauce & cured radish. Two common versions exist: The White and the Black. 

Black Fried Carrot Cake uses sweet soy sauce and the egg is mixed in together with the carrot cake; this produces a sweeter taste and a more consistent texture throughout the dish.

The White version is not fried with sweet soy sauce, and the egg is fried in such a way so that it 'wraps' the radish cake pieces.

This dish is popular for breakfast & supper i.e. 'light' meals.

Recommendations for Fried Carrot Cake Ah Heng (Newton) , Chey Sua (Toa Payoh), Changi Village Hawker Center

The Traditional Singaporean Breakfast
Image Credit: I Can Totally Make That
AKA 'Kaya Toast'. Some might dispute this - if you google 'Traditional Singaporean Breakfast', images of Nasi Lemak and Mee Siam are also possible contenders. However, Kaya Toast almost always features on my To Eat List. I could have it for breakfast, tea time, supper... whatever!

Kaya is a coconut jam made of eggs, sugar, coconut milk, flavored by pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar. This delicacy is served on toast with cold butter squares sandwiched between the two toast pieces, resulting in a sweet milky taste upon first bite followed by the crispiness of the toast with a slight savory aftertaste of butter.

This is normally served with soft boiled eggs. With some soy sauce & a dash of pepper, the soft boiled eggs complements the sweetness of kaya toast in every way (yes, I've included a video on how to eat a Singapore style soft-boiled egg!)

Recommendations for Kaya Toast Ya Kun (several outlets around the island - I recommend the Far East stall & the one at Thomson Plaza), Killiney Kopitiam (also several outlets around the island)

Hokkien Mee *Uniquely Singapore*
Image Credit: Next Food Stop
When I started developing 'Hawker Food Cravings' in Australia, I was delighted to see 'Hokkien Mee' on the menu of an Asian restaurant in Perth. So I ordered it, mouth salivating at the thoughts of egg and rice noodle stir fried together with prawns. Already, I was dreaming of the spiciness of the sambal mixed with the lime juice.

Instead, I was served with the KL version of Hokkien Mee, which consists of egg noodles stir fried with dark soy sauce. The only other time I was served with egg and rice noodles when I ordered Hokkien Mee, they came in soup - Hokkien Mee Penang style.

So yes, I highly recommend you try the Singaporean Style Hokkien Mee - places to go are Nam Sing (Old Airport Road), Eng Ho Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (Ang Mo Kio), Geylang Lor 29 Fried Hokkien Mee

Bak Chor Mee *Uniquely Singapore*
Image Credit: Next Stop Ambrosia
Bak Chor Mee is also known as Minced Meat Noodle. It consists of springy flat yellow noodles that are lightly tossed in a mixture of chilli, oil/ lard, soy sauce and vinegar. Minced pork & mushrooms, meat balls & beansprouts often accompany this dish with lettuce added as a garnishing. While a common variant (Mee Pok, made with fishballs and sliced fishcakes) is also served in Malaysia, my malaysian friends still have not heard of Bak Chor Mee being served in their home towns. 

Most people normally eat their Bak Chor Mee 'dry' rather than in soup to fully appreciate the sauce that the noodles are tossed in. 

Image Credit: Sparklette
Satay is a delicacy that is familiar to most people. Variants of this appetizer exist in almost all parts of the globe; the Singaporean Style Satay has small chunks of meat that is grilled over a charcoal fire. They are then served with peanut sauce, cucumber chunks and onion as well as sticky rice. The meat is normally chicken, beef or mutton. 

Satay Recommendations: Lau Pa Sat (positives: cleaner choice & it's a historical landmark to boot), Newton Food Centre, East Coast Lagoon Food Village (personally, I'd choose East Coast  Lagoon because they have awesome BBQ Stingray here too & you can take a walk by the beach to burn off some calories after).

BBQ Stingray
Image Credit: Camemberu
Will You Excuse Me, I'm Drooling Just Looking At This?

I just L-O-V-E BBQ Stingray. Even though the sambal chilli is so spicy, I tend to end up in tears after a few bites. Some things are just worth your tears, and this is one of them.

I think a late night trip to East Coast Lagoon Food Village is on the books now!

Recommendations for Sambal BBQ Stingray: East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Newton Food Centre

Image Credit: Julian Li
Laksa in Singapore is not normally served with egg noodles (*shudder*), overcooked chicken pieces (god forbid) or bland soup that calls itself curry. Good Singaporean Laksa is made up of unique laksa style noodles that are cut up into shorter pieces and prepared nyonya style, with a rich coconut gravy and sambal chilli added to taste. Cockles, strips of fishcake and beansprouts are often added to this dish as well.

Take note: don't mix the sambal in with the gravy if you are unable to take chilli. My friend did so... to the peril of his tongue. He found it EXTREMELY uncomfortable to speak the next day because of a 'swollen tongue!'

Chilli Crab
Image Credit: Ladyironchef
The Origins of Chilli Crab is hotly (har har) disputed, with some claiming that it originated from Singapore whereas others state that Malaysia was responsible for the creation of Chilli Crab. The beauty of this dish lies in the gravy that is savory AND sweet and well... not very chilli-ish at all. Eggs are added at the end of the cooking process to create an egg sauce type texture and Mantou (fried bread) is normally served with this dish to dip into the gravy. 

Another popular variant of cooking crabs in Singapore is the Black Pepper Crab, which is not served with soup style gravy. Instead, the crab is coated with a fragrant pepper sauce and is drier in nature compared to the Traditional Chilli Crab.

Recommendations for Chilli CrabNo Signboard Seafood (Geylang), Jumbo Seafood, Long Beach Seafood (East Coast Parkway)

The recommended places have a few branches around the island however I only mentioned those with high ratings.

Beancurd / Tau Huey
Image Credit: AromaCookery
When it comes to Tau Huey I'm really particular. I normally don't like Tau Huey from most places other than the famous Rocher Beancurd outlet in Geylang. The beancurd here is silky smooth throughout and their fried bread offerings (you tiao) & Portuguese egg tarts are to die for as well.

This is normally eaten for supper or as a snack.

Recommendations for Tau Huey: Rocher Beancurd (Geylang) !!!!

P.S. Another Uniquely Singaporean dish that should have featured here is Lor Mee. Unfortunately, I have never quite acquired the taste for it.

Jul 19, 2011

Suanthai Restaurant, Killiney

Suanthai Restaurant was awarded Singapore's Top Restaurant in 2008 and 2009. I hadn't heard of this place before - so when my friend Pooh Bear Girl discovered that Suanthai offered an a la carte buffet (as described here), we decided to give it a go.  We visited Suanthai for dinner on a Friday night - although the tables on the inside were unoccupied, we ended up having to sit outside al fresco style since all the tables had been reserved. Definitely not a plus when temperatures are sweltering and you are seated right next to the busy, smoky road.

We (Pooh Bear Girl, Choir Boy and I) paid $19.90 per pax and added $1.99 for free flow of Ice Lemon Tea. For the price, you get a full selection of the 28 items on the standard menu (although some items may only be ordered once). 

Green Mango Salad - I found this offering to be somewhat mediocre. Texture wise this was a very crunchy salad, with tangs of sweetness hidden underneath the otherwise bland, cucumber-like greens (not a fan of cucumber here). This dish was a favourite of Pooh Bear Girl's however.

Deep Fried Egg Beancurd with Special Sauce - If you like the traditional Egg Tofu you get with combination mixed rice, you should love this dish! Think of it like Super Egg Tofu! The beancurd is deep fried to perfection, with a crunchy exterior and tofu that melts in your mouth. Yes, I made it sound like an M&M commercial. The sweet thai chilli with herbs complemented the beancurd to perfection, adding an extra kick to the taste.

Thai Papaya Salad - Really good salad :) Pictured on the top right of the introductory picture, this salad was crunchy and satisfying. The blending of fish sauce, sweet chilli and cashew nuts went very well with the papaya. It ended up acting as a palate cleanser between dishes because of its refreshing nature! I found the long beans to be slightly out of place but then again, that was easily solved.

Thai Spring Roll & Thai Fish Cake - Did Not Like; give these so called 'staples' a miss, in my opinion. The Thai Fishcake was overcooked and rubbery - I gave up on eating it after two bites.

Tom Yum Soup - One of the nicest Tom Yum Soups I've had in a while! This soup was authentic, if rather simple. We ordered the chicken Tom Yum soup - my only regret is that we didn't have sufficient storage space to order the prawn version of this as well. The chicken was nice and tender and the ingredients were well cooked. The soup was the perfect balance of sour & spice... I'm glad to say I didn't cry after finishing a bowl!

Green Chicken Curry - (bottom left of introductory picture) Nothing special, just your standard green curry. The green curry at Suanthai is sweeter and thicker than most places; definitely more coconut milk in this version. 

Boneless Stuffed Chicken Wing - These juicy chicken wings were practically bursting with flavour. The savory seasoning and stuffing could give KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices a run for their money. A Thai delicacy, I'd say this is a must try.

Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf - Hmm. I have mixed feelings about this one. The pandan leaves lent a very nice flavor to the chicken. However, the chicken was too dry - It would have been much better if the chicken was steamed rather than fried. Plus, this dish was literally bite size.... think of a KFC popcorn chicken. Or two popcorn chicken(s?) fused together (I don't know what is with these KFC analogies). 

Thai Style Chicken Satay - Definitely a must try as well. The chicken pieces are larger than the Singaporean style satay. Well seasoned with peanut sauce and sweet chilli, the thai style chicken satay reminds me of a kebab stick sans vegetables. 

Dessert - We tried all 3 desserts (Thai Red Ruby, Steamed Tapioca & Mixed Fruits). The steamed tapioca was a hit, the Thai Red Ruby a miss and the Mixed Fruits was definitely a welcome refresher after a heavy meal like this one.

Recommended For: Romantic Dates (get an inside table!), Intimate Groups, Boys/ Girls Night out

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Suanthai Restaurant
101 Killiney Road
Tel: 6235 4126

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 11.30 AM - 2.30 PM, 6 PM - 10 PM

Weekends: 12 PM - 2.30 PM, 6 PM - 10 PM


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