Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Hosted on the Patio – Revisited

People Montage

Actually, this is not the 2nd time I’ve been to Hosted, but rather at least around 10 times, thanks to the fact that there are very few restaurants around my office area. The last time I posted, it was for a colleague’s farewell party. This time round, it was to celebrate another colleague’s birthday.

We took up an entire row of tables, amounting to about 15 people. I was amazed to find that the entire Hosted was packed to the gills, with another 2 big groups of people also celebrating and event of some sort. I guess when people start asking what’s good to eat around Mapletree Business City, Hosted’s name starts coming into mind, which is good for them as for the last half of a year, the place has never been more than half full.

They used to have a set lunch menu where you could choose a mains from the main menu and add $5 for a soup, dessert and drink. Not anymore. Now, for $20, you get to have a soup, choice of one of 2 mains and a dessert. If you like the main course offered in the set menu, this is definitely better value for money than ordering from the main menu. Since there are only 2 main courses to choose from, it’s a good idea to call in advance to see what they are serving that day.Hosted - Tomato Soup (3) Hosted - Tomato Soup

Soup of the Day – Tomato soup. Initially, it seems the soup is slightly sour. But it actually grows on you such that in the end, I finished the entire bowl of soup. It tastes so healthy too, with detectable bits of pureed tomato.

Hosted - Dory Fish with Mash

Pan-fried dory fish with potato mash and diced veggies – Absolutely loved the fish. Tasty, tender and cooked just right. Every mouthful bursting with flavour. The potato mash was also very delicious, wish there was more of it! The diced tomatoes on the side added a nice zing to the whole dish. If there’s any grouse, it would be that the fish was too oily. After finishing the whole dish, I noticed a pool of oil at the side of my plate!

Hosted - Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio Pasta with chicken – Didn’t try this but heard that it was pretty good but not as good as the fish.

Hosted -Lemon Curd Dessert Crumble

Lemon Curd Dessert Crumble – Interesting dessert. The crumble is nice. Beneath it was the lemon curd. In general I don’t like custardy textures mixing around with hard textures. Ignoring that, I thought the lemon curd taste was pretty good. Well I finished the whole bowl. I’d prefer a chocolate cake any day though.

Hosted - Bacon Sandwich

Ok this was what someone had some months ago. It looks like all bacon but I believe there was some meat hiding somewhere in there…

Hosted - Capellini Vongole

Capellini Vongole $20 – It was just so so. With Vongole, I am always looking forward to a flavourful tasting broth, but this one was pretty bland. This was also taken some months ago and I don’t know if they have since improved their cooking.

Hosted - Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup

Hosted - Fries

Yummy Fries that came with the burger! They sure aren’t stingy with the fries. I love fries that look like these. Crispy exterior with a fluffy interior. Never mind if they are not fluffy inside, they must definitely be crispy outside! I just hate soggy fries!

Read about my previous visit to Hosted on the Patio!

Hosted on the Patio

Mon – Thu:     11:30am – 2:30pm  |  6:00pm – 11:00pm
Fri – Sat:         11:30am – 2:30pm  |  5:30pm – 12:00am
Sun:                Closed

Happy Hour:   6:00pm – 8.00pm (Mon – Thu)

991B Alexandra Road #01-10
Singapore 119970

Tel: (+65) 6276 7337
Fax: (+65) 6276 7336

Email: bookings@hosted.sg

http://www.hosted.sg

http://www.hosted.sg/menu.html

Gastromania Feast @ Far East Square !!!

And what a feast it was! If you think tackling a buffet requires skill, think again! It’s nothing compared to the Gastromania Feast at Far East Square organised by OMY! The makan session lasted FOUR AND A HALF HOURS and saw us chomping through EIGHT restaurants and eateries! I ate enough for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the next day’s breakfast! Seriously, I don’t think I’ll be thinking about food for the next few days….

Far East Square has come a long way. The 61 shophouses that made up most of Far East Square date back 170 years when Telok Ayer Street was a landing site for Chinese immigrants arriving in Singapore by boat. Yes, the river used to come much closer back then. Opened in 1999, it is now a heritage conservation project with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, and pubs, as well as shops, pushcarts and kiosks.

These are the 8 eateries we covered!

  1. Zhou’s Kitchen
  2. SPRING JuChunYuan 聚春园
  3. Garuda Padang Cuisine
  4. Shin Kushiya
  5. Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta
  6. Mirchi – Taste of India
  7. The Original Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow
  8. Oni cupcakes

First Stop : Zhou’s Kitchen

One of Tung Lok’s numerous restaurants, Zhou’s Kitchen is designed to replicate the experience of dining at home. The place feels casual and features all-time Chinese favourites such as Clam Soup with Cabbage, Beancurd with Dried Shrimps and Curry Fish Head.

Zhou's kitchen - Pork shank with mantou (4)

For our Gastromania Feast, we were served 2 humongous platters of pork shank together with piping hot steamed and fried mantous (buns). I can never resist fried mantous and yesterday was no exception! The mantous were pretty good, with a crispy exterior and a fluffy inside.

Zhou's kitchen (2)

Of course, this being a blogger’s meal meant that we all had to have our fill of photo taking first, (almost 5 minutes worth I think!) before the patient waiter could start dividing up the meat for us.

Zhou's kitchen - Pork shank with mantou (3)

Close up shot of the pork shank. I took slices from different parts of the shank. Some bits were really flavourful and tender, almost melting in my mouth. However, other parts were rather tough. It was lucky I took more than one slice because quite a few bloggers had complained about the same thing too.

2nd Stop : SPRING JuChunYuan 聚春园

SPRING JuChunYuan

Next, we hopped across the walkway to SPRING JuChunYuan, which is housed in the building of the former Chui Eng Free School, one of the first chinese free schools in Singapore, established more than 150 years ago. To be frank, I have passed that historic looking building many times over the years, but I hadn’t paid close attention to it so I was quite shocked to find that a restaurant now resides in it!

JuChunYuan itself is brand name with an equally rich heritage, dating back to 1865. Did you know that Fo Tiao Qiang, aka “Buddha Jumps over the Wall” was created at JuChunYuan in Fuzhou China in 1876???? When the restaurant manager told me that, it kind of sent goose pimples down my arm to realise that I was dining at restaurant with such a historic legacy!

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (2)

This huge tureen of shark’s fin, abalone, scallop, sea cucumber, fish maw and more costs a whopping $1288!!!! The waiter carrying this must be really careful, or else…

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (6)

And this here costs $128 since this is 1 person’s portion out of a possible 10.

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall

Gotta have a closer shot of the abalone, scallop and sharks fin….

SPRING JuChunYuan - Buddha jumps over the wall (3)

Ok we didn’t get to sample the $128 portion. We did however get to sample some of the renown Buddha Jumps over the wall. There is so much goodness in there that even the blogger sitting next to me who had a sore throat joked that it had been cured. Notice the pretty teapot with the dainty tea cups in the background. I think I drank more than 20 cups of tea in the short span of time because they were oh so dainty!

SPRING JuChunYuan - (3) 

3rd Stop : Garuda Padang Cuisine

Garuda, established in 1976, is supposedly the most successful and one of the largest Padang cuisine restaurants in Indonesia. Together in a partnership with TungLok Group, they have now expanded into Singapore as well.

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Fried chicken with blue ginger floss

We got to sample their signature Fried chicken with blue ginger floss. Each portion usually goes for about $5, but the picture above shows 2 portions. I found the chicken to be average. It was slightly salty, but I suppose if we had tried it with rice, it would be just nice. I liked the blue ginger floss, which had a nice crunchy texture to it and gave the chicken quite a unique flavour.

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Lime Soda

You have to try their lime soda if you go to Garuda. I love the zing that the lime gives to the soda. It was really refreshing!

Garuda Padang Cuisine - Selection of dishes

Many other dishes to choose from…

4th Stop : Shin Kushiya

I am quite well acquainted with Shin Kushiya, having had the opportunity to be invited to the myVillage Shin Kushiya branch some months back. Shin Kushiya is famous for its Kushiyaki. Prior to October 2006 when they first started, there was no other restaurant featuring the Kushiyaki dining concept. Kushiyaki by the way is the Japanese term for “Charcoal-grilled skewers”. Some might ask, what then is Yakitori? Well that refers specifically to charcoal-grilled chicken skewers.

Shin Kushiya

If you visit the Far East Square Shin Kushiya branch, you get to watch the chefs hard at work. Top left photo: Bloggers checking to make sure that their tools of the trade are still working alright…

Shin Kushiya - 4 different types of kushiyaki

Ebi Shiso Maki (Prawns), Buta Bara Yaki Miso (Pork Belly), Black pepper yakitori (chicken), Tomato Maki. The experience this time round was not as fantastic as at myVillage. The yakitori in particular I felt was tough and dry. I still love the tomato maki though. Every mouthful is indeed a burst of sweet flavour and goes so well with the salty bacon wrapped around it. 

Shin Kushiya - Yuzu Cooler

We were served Shin Kushiya’s signature drink, the Yuzu Cooler. It was as good as the previous time and is a definite must order! I just love the citrusy yuzu with the soda water. Makes you feel as if you’re having something healthy…

Shin Kushiya - Kuro Goma Heaven (Black Sesame Ice Cream)

Kuro Goma Heaven Black Sesame Ice Cream – I am not that big a fan of black sesame fillings when it comes to Chinese desserts. Surprisingly, I loved the flavour of this ice cream. It’s like eating green tea ice cream, you either love it or hate it. You are supposed to pair the ice cream with the black sesame paste on the side to get a more intense flavour. But I think, green tea ice cream is still my favourite.

5th Stop : Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta

Are you still with me at this point??? We were all asking ourselves the same question by the time we reached the 5th stop! But plod on we must!!!

Next up was Mont Calzone Pizza & Pasta restaurant. You can enjoy hearty Italian cuisine at reasonable prices in this laid-back pizzeria. Apparently, all pizza selections can be made into calzones. I’ve only ever tried the calzone once in my entire life and that was in the US. A calzone is like a humongous curry puff, with pizza filling instead of curry of course.

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Black Truffle pizza (2)

The Black Truffle pizza. As I’ve said time and again, anything that has an egg looking like that will get me weak in the knees. I was quite glad to be sitting closest to this pizza heh heh heh! Unfortunately, this isn’t the best version of black truffle pizza I’ve eaten. The texture of the pizza was pretty hard such that at one point when I was slicing it, the pizza slice nearly flew off my plate! Also, I could hardly detect the truffle flavour.

After the black truffle pizza, I had to rest a while so I didn’t try out the other dishes. They do look good I must say, especially the sambal marinara pasta, which must be quite unique!

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Smoked salmon pizza

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta -Sambal marinara pasta

Sambal Marinara Pasta

Mont Calzone pizza & pasta - Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

6th Stop : Mirchi – Taste of India

With renewed vigour, we moved on to Mirchi – Taste of India. Mirchi is owned by the Harry’s Group, and specialises in authentic Northern Indian cuisine, both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian.

Mirchi - Tandoori platter (2)

We got to sample the Tandoori Non-Vegetarian Kebab Platter which comprises of an assortment of fish tikka, chicken tikka, lamb kebab and prawns spiced with tandoori masala. Of the 4 meat items, I am surprised to say that I actually liked the fish tikka the most! As you know I am so fussy with fish, but this fish here was tender to the bite and tasty! I would have gobbled it all up if I hadn’t had to save space for the other items. The prawns were quite good too. I liked the succulent texture and the spices. The chicken was so so. The lamb was not so good. It tasted dry and lacked flavour. I tried to enhance it by adding some mint sauce to it, but the improvement was only marginal.

Mirchi - Lassitude (Lassi with attitude on the left)

Not a fan of lassi so I shan’t comment further. We were offered some seed looking things that had a minty flavour. Apparently you eat this to cleanse your palate.

7th Stop : The Original Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow

169700_193384380673581_122017127810307_757640_6101520_o(2)

Hock Lam street used to be where Funan Centre is now. Can you see the red fire station right in the middle of the picture? That fire station still stands along Hill street to this day, but sadly, Hock Lam street exists no more. In fact, before the Original Hock Lam Street stall was located in Hock Lam Street, 98 years ago it Tina Tan’s great granddad used to sell his delicious noodles on foot around Chinatown, carrying the heavy pots of soup on his back!

Hock Lam Beef - Tina Tan showing us how to prepare the noodles (3)

Think most people know of this famous Beef Kuay Teow place, especially if you’ve worked in the Shenton Way area. Did you know that it is now being run by the 4th generation? That’s Tina Tan, the 4th generation carrying on her family business. Several years ago, Tina Tan quit her $10k/month job just so that she could continue running the family business. That’s testament to how much love she has for the business, which must have been a huge part of her growing up years as well.

Hock Lam Beef - Original mixed beef kway teow with soup

We got to sample a smaller version of the Mixed Beef Kuay Teow with soup. I have to agree, the soup is damn flavourful! The soup is boiled for 24 hours, and the beef is hand sliced and not machine cut so that the fats are all adequately removed! The soup is therefore flavoured from the meats and not from the fats. Everything is done by them with the exception of the Kuay Teow, which is bought from a special supplier. I just love it when food is cooked the old fashioned way and with love. I don’t mind having to pay more if I know I’m getting quality and not something that is machine made and mass produced.

Hock Lam Beef - Mr Tan

Mr Anthony Tan, Tina’s father explaining the intricacies of his business.

8th Stop : Oni cupcakes

And finally, the last stop!!!

Oni cupcakes was set up in 2008 and offers cupcakes specially designed by in house bakers.

Oni cupcakes (3)

The pretty cupcakes elicited excited squeals from many of the bloggers. Don’t you agree they just look so cute?? I couldn’t decide which flavour to choose so eventually I took the chocolate one with the pink frosting. Unfortunately, I thought the cup cake was pretty average, bordering on dry to be frank. After that, I didn’t want to try anymore.

Oni cupcakes

I can’t get over the fact that they look so darn cute! Whoever Daniel and Jaslyn are, congratulations on your wedding! Maybe I should come back again for a second try.

The End!!!

AND AT LAST, we ended our culinary feast at Far East Square. Special thanks to the OMY team for putting this all together. I had a lot of fun sampling all the food and making friends with the other bloggers. It was definitely a well spent Saturday afternoon. Thanks OMY!

Now excuse me while I recuperate from a bulging tummy and from writing this long post!

Oh Please remember to vote for me at http://contest.omy.sg/let-the-feast-begin-gastromania/. I’m picture number 5, aka 365days2play! You stand a chance to win $50 and you will help me to win $500!!!

Casa Verde at Botanic Gardens

Recently, I received an email from a lady living in Australia asking me for recommendations for 2 “must visit” cafes in Singapore when she is here. After thinking long and hard, and taking into account proximity to tourist locations, I finally recommended Casa Verde at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

I love Casa Verde because of its unique location. It’s right smack in the middle of the Botanic Gardens, which means you get to dine in lush greenery, with the sounds of some fountains to aid your digestion. The breakfast at Casa Verde is quite good, and very affordable. An English Fry-up aka Big Breakfast aka Gourmet Breakfast costs only $14! If you come before 11am, you get a drink thrown in as well. There are some local favourites like Laksa and Mee Siam too, but I’d rather go to a hawker centre for that.

Seating is a bit of a problem on the weekends when everyone descends upon this place, children, dogs and more. If you don’t mind not having the free drink, you can still enjoy the all day breakfast at other times of the day.

Here’s what we enjoyed for brunch some months ago. We arrived just after 11am so we had to order from the lunch menu.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs (2)

Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast (Choice of fried or scrambled eggs, mushrooms, back bacon, Cumberland sausages, has brown, grilled tomato & 2 slices of toasted country bread served with butter and preserves) $14 – You know I have this love affair with eggs, I just can’t resist posting close up shots of eggs. I think for $14, this is a pretty good deal! My favourite breakfast joint Epicurious still takes the trophy, but this is not too bad either. Only thing is, they don’t have baked beans.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up (2)

This is also part of the Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast Set, just that I have chosen eggs done sunny side up instead of scrambled. I like it that the bacon used is back bacon. Streaky bacon just feels too oily and sinful for me when not cooked by myself.

Casa Verde - Toast with butter and jam

Lovely warm toast to go with all the eggs.

Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia (2)

Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia $12 – There are not that many pescetarian options at Casa Verde so my father was forced to order this despite not liking tuna all that much. In the end, the tuna mayonnaise was a bit too creamy to his liking. We have eaten really good tuna mayonnaise sandwiches before at Egg3 Cafe and this one at Casa Verde didn’t quite match up.

Casa Verde - Club Sandwich

Casa Verde Club Sandwich $12.50 – Loved the chicken within the sandwich. It was tender and flavourful. Tomatoes and lettuce tasted fresh and complemented the chicken well. Once again, the chef was rather heavy handed with the mayonnaise. If you don’t like too much of it, be sure to tell them in advance.

Casa Verde by Les Amis Group

Crowded crowded crowded! This was 1pm on a Sunday!

Botanic Garden

Dining amidst greenery is a really good way to spend a lazy weekend

Casa Verde (by the Les Amis Group)

Visitors Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road Singapore 259569

Tel: 6467-7326

Sundays to Thursdays: 7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11.30am – 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 9.30pm)

Fridays, Saturdays and eves of Public Holiday

7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11am– 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 10pm)

http://www.lesamis.com.sg (click here for menu and prices)

Casa Verde Facebook

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