Posts Tagged ‘innards’

雙人徐 Shuang Ren Hsu (Taiwan –Taipei)

On the 2nd day of our sponsored whirlwind trip to Taiwan, we were brought to a modern establishment that specialises in Zha Jiang Mian 炸醬麵 / 炸酱面. For some reason, I was expecting a sort of traditional noodle house as I was informed that Shuang Ren Hsu specialises in traditional tasting 炸酱面, Imagine my surprise when we stepped into a small restaurant that looked the exact opposite of traditional. It even had a huge wall mounted projector screen showing some video.

ShuangRenHsu - ZhaJiangMian

I think this photo above epitomises how avant-garde Shuang Ren Hsu is! Who would have thought of pairing 炸酱面 with red wine?? Why not? In fact, that is the question posed by the owner of Shuang Ren Hsu who joined us for lunch. This is definitely not your 15 minute 炸酱面 stall. The average customer spends more than an hour dining here, replicating the “French” dining experience by pairing the dishes with various wines, luxuriating over the meal as well as conversation. I love this wine pairing concept with Chinese food, and the idea of savouring the meal through several courses!

The average Chinese person eats faster, way faster than the average Westerner. This is partly due to the fact that you have to eat quickly in communal dining or you might just end up with the scraps. I’ve never really appreciated this and I like to buck the trend by taking my time to savour every morsel. I loath it when people tell me I eat slowly. If I’m in a good mood, I tell them that the French take 3 hours to ENJOY dinner. That instantly puts things in a different perspective doesn’t it? If I’m in a bad mood, I ask them why are we eating so fast like dogs?

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天命庵 (Destiny) (Taiwan – Taipei)

Okay….for the 1st time ever, I shall be posting food reviews of restaurants that only have Chinese names! Google Translate has been my best friend this past 2 weeks. It translated 天命庵 into Destiny Um. Ummmm, I have no idea what Um is, so I have shortened it to Destiny. Not to worry, I have also translated the address into English so that you can still find Destiny!

The first thing that strikes you about 天命庵 is that it is a very tiny little place. You feel as if you’re entering a Japanese home, that just happened to have lots of tables and chairs. A well known architect Ye Yuqing was tasked to reproduce the Japanese elements of the place and it is deliberately small to keep the crowd numbers down.

Destiny Eatery (2)

For my 1st evening in Taipei, I was glad to be able to huddle up near to my two fellow diners and to get to know them better.

Destiny Eatery - (2)

These are the prices of the dishes on offer. If you want the skewered meats, they are mostly NT100, which is equivalent to about SGD$5. We stuck to mainly the skewered stuff even though there are rice or noodle sets as we wanted to try out all the different types of meats. If you’ve been to an Izakaya, you’ll know how it’s like.

Destiny Eatery - Skewered Meats (2)

The first of our skewered meats to arrive. If you ask me, 天命庵 is like Innards Palace! I have absolutely no problems eating any sort of innards and off parts, but really, the one that stumped us all was GUMS. Pig’s gums!! Like literally the gums that hold the teeth, or used to hold the pig’s teeth in this case. That’s the very elegant sounding 天梯, for when you need to order it in Chinese.

The gums are the two leftmost skewers. Actually, they didn’t have that much of a taste, but they had an extremely tough and rubbery texture. But I would definitely recommend anyone to try it just so that you can say you’ve eaten GUMS.

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Rumah Rasa at Bay Hotel

*Media Invite*

When you think of hotel restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French cuisine tends to come to mind. So it was quite refreshing to discover that the newly opened Bay Hotel just opposite Vivocity boasts of an Indonesian restaurant! If you ask me, a tourist searching for local Singaporean food would find more similarity in Indonesian cuisine than say Japanese cuisine, so having an Indonesian restaurant in a hotel sounds like the most logical thing to do.

It was a pretty cosy lunch as there were only 3 other bloggers (Yumyumformytumtum, HoChiak and Oyster Diaries) and Dennis She of Publicist PR Communications who hosted the lunch. OH btw, I discovered after lunch that both Yumyum and Oyster Diaries hail from the same JC as I. Is it a small world or what?!

Anyway, back to the food. Rumah Rasah believes on delivering authentic and ibu-esque flavours. Therefore, short cuts go out the window. The rempah paste is made from scratch. Rempah is the building block of any dish and how good the rempah is will dictate how great the dish is. Also, if you order the belado dishes (belado is a chilli-based sauce), you will notice that the belado is laboriously-prepared using a variety of fresh ingredients like chillies, chilli padi, garlic, red shallots, calamansi and toamtoes.

Rumah Rasa - Soto Ayam Madura (A hearty chicken broth with Shredded Chicken, Bean Sprouts and topped with a Potato Croquette) $8 Soto Ayam Madura (A hearty chicken broth with Shredded Chicken, Bean Sprouts and topped with a Potato Croquette) $8

We started the meal with this Soto Ayam Madura. It’s a thin broth that packs a punch. Kind of reminded me of French onion soup, where one doesn’t find many onions in the soup yet you know it’s distinctly onion soup. I find it to be quite different from those you get at the hawker centres, in that this doesn’t taste oily or fattening. The begedil/potato croquette was very tasty as the potato was super fluffy.

Rumah Rasa - Udang Petai Belado (Prawns Stir-Fried in Chilli gravy with Petai Beans) $18 Udang Petai Belado (Prawns Stir-Fried in Chilli gravy with Petai Beans) $18

Here you can see the Belado, which looks very similar to sambal, yet isn’t quite. The prawns were fresh tasting and succulent. I personally don’t like the Petai Beans aka smelly beans, but I found that the bitter flavours infused into the prawns and complemented the sweet prawns.

Rumah Rasa - Ayam Korma (Chicken simmered in Mild Yellow Curry) $14Ayam Korma (Chicken simmered in Mild Yellow Curry) $14

Believe them when they say it’s mild, cuz the curry really was very mild to the extent that it tasted more like spiced up gravy. I did like the chicken however, which I found to be very tender.

Rumah Rasa - Ayam Panggang Berkakak Jakarta (Grilled Chicken served with Rumah Rasa's Spicy Sauce) $14 Ayam Panggang Berkakak Jakarta (Grilled Chicken served with Rumah Rasa’s Spicy Sauce) $14

Love the grilled chicken! The chicken didn’t even need the spicy sauce on the side as it had been marinated in a sticky sweet sauce itself. Very tasty and tender. Finger licking good, if I may borrow the phrase.

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