Archive for the ‘1.3 Casual Restaurants’ Category

[Chinese New Year 2017] Gu Ma Jia’s homey and affordable CNY fare

And just like that, Christmas and New Year are over and it’s time to think of how to celebrate Chinese New Year. This year, Chinese New Year falls on 28 – 30th January 2017 (Saturday – Monday), that’s like less than 4 weeks away! This means you have to start planning for your reunion dinner pretty quickly.

If you are looking for a restaurant serving casual homey fare that is affordable, for your reunion gathering, you might want to consider Gu Ma Jia restaurant located at Tai Thong Crescent. Gu  Ma Jia prides itself on serving food with less oil and less MSG. Two set menus will be available during this CNY festive period.

The “Peace” set at $599++ includes

  • Yu Sheng
  • Crab Meat and Fish Maw
  • Steamed Red Grouper with Soya Sauce
  • Braised Duck and Sea Cucumber
  • Broccoli with Macadamia Nuts & Fresh Scallop
  • Stir-Fried Prawns with Superior Sauce
  • Steamed Lotus Leaves Rice
  • Dessert – Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest

The “Prosperity” set at $768 includes

  • Yu Sheng
  • Cold Platter
  • Sea Cucumber, Crab Meat & Bamboo Fungus
  • Stir-fried Broccoli with Chinese Mushrooms & Abalone
  • “Ginseng Fortune Chicken” – Double-boiled Chicken, Roasted Pork, Scallops, Sea Cucumber and Fish Maw with Ginseng in a Claypot
  • Steamed Prawns with Gu Ma’s Home Made Sauce
  • Steamed Red Grouper with Soya Sauce
  • Seafood Fried Noodles
  • Dessert – Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts

Session Timings for set menu on Chinese New Year Eve (27th Jan 2017):

  1. 12pm – 2pm
  2. 2.15pm – 4.15pm
  3. 6pm – 7.45pm
  4. 8pm – 9.45pm

I had the opportunity to sample some of the dishes from the two CNY set menus. I have to agree that the cooking style is more homey and less seasoned as compared to other Chinese restaurants in Singapore. If you want to taste the natural flavours of the food and not have them obscured by heavy sauces, Gu Ma Jia would be up your alley.

Gu Ma Jia CNY 2017 - Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest

Longan Wolfberries Sea Birds Nest 

The dessert was one of my favourites not only due to visual appeal but because of the generous amount of jelly. And as can be seen from the colour of the jelly, it’s flavoured as compared to some versions out there where the jelly is tasteless.

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[Christmas 2016] Festive Italian classics with a British twist at Jamie’s Italian

If you’re looking for homey and hearty dishes this festive season instead of the usual turkey, you might just want to consider making a reservation at Jamie’s Italian. You can feast on dishes such as Porchetta, Roasted Baby Chicken, Seabass and even Wild Mushroom Pappardelle/Gnocchi if you go for their festive lunch/dinner menus at only $49.90/$65.90 respectively. The festive set meals also come with a glass of bubbly upon your arrival which I am sure will set you in a very Christmassy mood.

You may also want to know that Jamie’s Italian Singapore will be donating a portion of the proceeds from all kids’ meals sold to the Singapore Children’s Society. Jamie’s Italian Singapore will also spread some Christmas cheer with a children’s Christmas party for youths from Sunbeam Place. Customers are invited to donate gifts for the less fortunate during this festive season at designated toy-banks set up with easy access at both restaurants.

Check out the following pictures and description of the dishes to help you make your choice! Some of the dishes are only available for lunch while some are available only for dinner. Check with www.jamiesitalian.sg for the full set menus.

Jamie's Italian Christmas - (22)

The Christmas menu will be available from now all the way to 31 December 2016

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Kaiserhaus–Enjoy Game meat at Singapore’s only Central European restaurant

Did you know that Kaiserhaus is Singapore’s only restaurant serving classic dishes from Central Europe? If you’ve been to Germany, Austria or Hungary and want to reminisce, you just might want to check out Kaiserhaus. And if you do so by 24 November, you’ll also get the opportunity to sample their Game menu dishes.

The game meat used at Kaiserhaus is sourced from sustainable free-ranging farms in Europe. These farms boast vast expanses of land, allowing the animals to forage on a natural diet, thus improving the quality and flavours of the meat. People who don’t like strong flavours tend to shy away from game meat, thinking game to be reeking of animal smell. Personally, the game dishes I tried at Kaiserhaus are not so exotic tasting that you need to steel yourself in advance. In fact, it is a good thing to have more flavourful meats, why would you want bland tasting food? (Can never understand people who say lamb tastes “lamby”, well don’t eat meat then?!)

Kaiserhaus - Ungarische Entenleber (Linguine in lemon butter sauce with Hungarian duck liver, drizzled with a trifle of cranberry glace) $25

Ungarische Entenleber (Linguine in lemon butter sauce with Hungarian duck liver, drizzled with a trifle of cranberry glace) $25

Doesn’t strike me as a game dish, but nevertheless a very good version of duck liver aka foie gras. I seldom come across duck liver served with pasta, but it was a very good idea to pair the 2 together as they complimented each other very well, with the tart and sweet cranberry glace helping to cut through the greasiness.

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Tsuta Singapore: Would you enjoy world’s first and only Michelin-starred ramen eatery?

Japanese one Michelin-starred ramen eatery Tsuta will be throwing its doors open to welcome diners in Singapore come November 6. The brainwave of owner Yuki Onishi, Tsuta opened in Jan 2012 in Sugamo,Tokyo. Within a short span of 3 years, it was conferred a one-star Michelin award in 2015, and currently remains the world’s only Michelin starred ramen eatery. Interestingly, it’s called Japanese “Soba” Noodles in Japan, rather than “ramen” because of the higher quality of noodles. 

Tsuta Singapore Char Siu Ajitama Shoyu Soba $22.80  (2)

The outlet in Tokyo is a 9-seater establishment. Apparently, hundreds of hopeful diners in Japan begin queuing at 6 am for a ticket to dine at the restaurant even though the restaurant only opens at 11am, and only serves a maximum of 150 bowls of noodles daily. We are slightly luckier in Singapore because Tsuta Singapore at Pacific Plaza seats 18, and is open from 11am to 10pm.

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Le Binchotan : Bincho-tan smoked food, even desserts!

After reading good reviews about Le Binchotan, I was excited to be able to get the opportunity to check out Le Binchotan a couple of weeks back. Le Binchotan is a French-Japanese tapas bar and restaurant, helmed by Chef Atsuhiko Hagiwara from Ginza Tokyo restaurant en.terrible, together with Singapore Head Chef Jeremmy Chiam. At first glance, the dishes appear to be predominantly French/Western, but you soon realise where the Japanese bit is : Japanese ingredients like uni, daikon and miso being infused into the dishes.

Le Binchotan (2)

The selling point about Le Binchotan is that their meats and seafood are smoked over bincho-tan (aka white charcoal made from oak). Done well, this imparts to the food a nice smoky flavour, elevating the food to a different dimension. Bincho-tan is the preferred choice of Japanese chefs as the charcoal burns at a lower temperature for a longer period of time compared to ordinary charcoal.  I read that some people find the smoky flavour at Le Binchotan to be on the heavy side, however I on the other hand thought it was hardly noticeable. What impressed me though were the innovative dishes, surprising us with ingredient parings that you don’t normally see together, or presenting the ingredients in a new way.

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