Posts Tagged ‘lamb’

The Hitsuji Club – BBQ lamb lovers rejoice!

The Hitsuji Club - Satisfied customer

I thought I should post a picture of the Partner first. He totally enjoyed the meal at The Hitsuji Club because 2 things : MEAT and BEER. Need I say more?

If you know Japanese, you’ll know that “Hitsuji” means lamb, and that’s exactly what The Hitsuji Club is all about. They specialise in lamb, flown in straight from Hokkaido, and grilled right in front of you. Currently, about 75% of their clientele are Japanese expats, so you kinda know that this is the real deal.

Lamb by the way, is apparently quite healthy when compared to other meats. For example, weight for weight, it has about the same cholesterol as fish! I did not know that! Lamb is also rich in unsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals. Of course, this all assumes you only eat the lean bits and do not eat the fats. You can read more about the health benefits of lamb here http://www.the-hitsuji-club.com/pdf/lamb-is-healthy.pdf.

The Hitsuji Club - Premium Jingiskan Set $45

Premium Jingiskan Set $45 x 2

Most people will start with the premium Jingiskan and then perhaps top up with lamb chops or other cuts of lamb if they still have space. Pictured above is the amount for 2 pax. Take note that the premium cuts are grain fed lamb from Aussie, with the exception of the premium baby lamb chops, which are grass fed from NZ.

It’s not a bad price too for this amount of food and the service, considering that you’ll have to pay at least $30+ for a lamb meal in most restaurants.

The Hitsuji Club - Lamb Chops (2)

Baby Lamb Chops from NZ

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Pet friendly Sun Ray Cafe

If you’re living in the Serangoon area, you may be delighted to know that Sun Ray Cafe there welcomes furry guests. Although I presently do not own a dog or a cat, I can well sympathise with pet owners who find it really difficult to travel around with their pets in Singapore, much less find a place to dine with them. While I was in France last week, I was amazed to know that dogs are pretty much allowed anywhere! In the TGV train ride from Lyon to Paris, a dog was snoozing on the train table diagonally from me! No need to leash your dog or hide it in a doggie carrier! I don’t think we’ll be seeing that fairly soon in Singapore, but at least the pet-cafe scene seems to be hotting up.

Sunray Cafe - (27)

Sunray Cafe - (33)

A doggie perusing the daily specials while propping up the owner’s iPad.

Dave Lim (1)

At first glance, Sun Ray Cafe may not look like the typical place to get good 3rd wave coffee. After all, when the place was furnished a few years ago, Sun Ray’s focus was more on food. Now that they’ve gotten the food aspect on cruise control, their next goal is to get the word out that great coffee can be synonymous with Sun Ray Cafe.

In terms of certifications, they have it all as you can see from the picture above. That’s Dave Lim, the owner of Sun Ray Cafe.

Sunray Cafe - Cafe Latte $4

Sunray Cafe - Latte Art (2)

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South Coast @ MBS revisited

I had a good brunch with my parents and the Partner at South Coast some months back, and I was looking for a reason to return. The reason came along in the form of Australia Day. What has Australia Day got to do with me? Actually nothing at all. In fact, you should read about New Zealand Day instead. You see, the Partner hails from New Zealand, and if you’re from either New Zealand or Australia, or if you’ve lived there a while, you’d know about the “friendly rivalry” between those 2. Speaking of friendly rivalry, I have to ask South Coast why on earth they have a picture of a surfing kiwi bird on their website?

I happened to find out that South Coast, which is owned by an Aussie, was going to have an Australia Day party. So of course I had to attend, just for the laughs of it. Saw on their Facebook about this thong chucking game they were going to have and I really wanted to see that! My first instinct was of course to think that they were going to have an underwear throwing competition (you know those Aussies can think of anything), but then I realised that thong is Aussie slang for flip-flops! I could not find a video of Thong Chucking, but I did discover about Wellie Wanging

The Partner was not at all keen to partake in an Australia Day meal, especially when he heard that I wanted him to wear his All Blacks T Shirt there! Oh but partake he did, cuz I didn’t offer him a choice. In the end, we had a really good time there!

South Coast - Sugar Cured Angus Beef, Kangaroo and Lamb Pies, Sausage Rolls (2) We had the Australia Day Platter for 2 – Sugar Cured Angus Beef, Kangaroo and Lamb Pies, Sausage Rolls

South Coast - (12) Closer shot of the items

South Coast - (11)Sugar Cured Angus Beef

The sugar cured Angus beef had a really interesting flavour. First of all, I have never heard of sugar cured, let alone taste it. I’m mostly accustomed to the usual smoke/salt cured types. Obviously, the beef had a sweeter taste. Also, the texture seemed rather different, firmer yet squishy. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I enjoyed the sugar cured Angus beef nonetheless. I tried checking their usual menu and it doesn’t seem to be available on normal days.

South Coast - Sausage Rolls Sausage Rolls in the front, kangaroo and lamb pies in the middle

The sausage rolls that you get in Australia and New Zealand are very different from those available in Singapore, in that the filling is of mince meat. In Singapore when one hears sausage roll, one would think of a long sausage in a bun, like so. I like both types, but if you’ve never tried the Aussie/NZ version, you have to do so! Love these sausage rolls at South Coast. The mince was juicy and encased in a lovely pastry that wasn’t reeking of oil. For some reason the platter also came with some sausages. No complaints man, those sausages were TASTY!

South Coast - Kangaroo and Lamb Pie on the right Kangaroo and Lamb Pie on the right

Kangaroo and Lamb Pie was also nice. The pastry used was similar to that of the sausage rolls so it was enjoyable as well. The sausage rolls $14 are available in the normal menu. The kangaroo pies $18 are available too, but with pork instead of lamb.

South Coast - Fries Fries $8

We were still feeling a little peckish after the Platter for 2 so we ordered some fries to share. The fries were delicious and I just couldn’t stop eating them even though I ought to have been full enough. The fries were crispy on the outside and still fluffy on the inside, and they were served piping hot!

South Coast - Red Rock Beer

Red Rock Beer, and cartoon of Steve Irwin in the background

What’s Australia Day with no beer?

Red Rock Beer with Shenton Way in the background Ice cold beer after a hard day at work?

South Coast - (5) Most of the seating at South Coast is actually al fresco. I don’t like sitting inside as it is too dark and the fans are too strong

Shenton Way at twilight View of Singapore’s Central Business District from my vantage point at south Coast.

In the end, we never did stay late enough to see the thong chucking. Argh what a waste. If you’re in the vicinity of Marina Bay Sands, do check out South Coast’s menu. A number of items I would like to try out. Really, bone marrow fritters, that’s definitely what I will order when I go there again.

Read about my previous visit to South Coast for brunch.

 

South Coast (Australian Bar & Bistro)

L1-85 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore City, Singapore 018972

Open 7 days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
8am – midnight Mon – Thurs
8am – midnight Fri – Sun

Email enquiries@southcoast.com.sg

Phone +65 6688 7600

http://www.southcoast.com.sg

http://www.facebook.com/SouthCoastSG

Hiking in Flåm

In the end, it was a good decision to stay 2 nights in Flåm. I was a little worried that there’d be nothing to do in Flåm. Flåm is so small that during the off peak season, which was the time we were there, there were only 2 restaurants open, with only 2 set dinners to choose from and no ala-carte.

A lot of people try to rush the whole journey by hopping on to the next train back to Oslo but what’s the point of coming then? I say there are no prizes in reaching the finishing line first. The whole journey goes like this:

Bergen –> by train to Voss (1hr) –> by bus to Gudvangen (1hr) –> by cruise to Flåm (2hr) –> by train to Oslo (5hr)

Thanks to our leisurely pace, we had the opportunity to go “hiking”in the mountains. Here’s pictures of city girl roughing it out in the woods.

Hiking in Flåm (2)

First, picture of the view from my hotel Flamsbrygga. Damn cool view, if I say so myself.

Hiking in Flåm (3)

Proof that I was here!

Hiking in Flåm (4)

Before we can even get out of the hotel area… Check out the dancing people

Hiking in Flåm (5)

Didn’t get a chance to see the Tanjong Pagar Railway lines before they were removed so I found a substitute instead

Hiking in Flåm (6)

Keep your farts down

Hiking in Flåm (7)

The goal of the hike was to hike up to the Brekkefossen waterfall, a hike that would take about 2hrs, return.

Hiking in Flåm (8)

It’s no walk in the park. That white patch there is the waterfall

Hiking in Flåm (9)

Stopping to enjoy the little stream, possibly fed by the Brekkefossen waterfall or the numerous other waterfalls around.

Hiking in Flåm (10)

The partner got tired of waiting and moved to higher ground

Hiking in Flåm (11)

View of the residential area from up above

Hiking in Flåm (12)

It’s tiring business so we stopped for a break

Hiking in Flåm (13)

In the end, I never did get higher than this spot. The Partner went up further but it was really muddy higher up so we gave up. Ok specifically I gave up so he had to give up. I have this huge fear of heights and falling. You can see from the photo that the incline is quite steep, and coupled with muddy tracts and no real proper path, I was just too scared to go further.

Hiking in Flåm (15)

Hiking in Flåm (16)

Went back down to admire the mini waterfall since I couldn’t get up close to the real thing.

Hiking in Flåm (17)

Me looking wistfully at the Brekkefossen waterfall. Notice the stick I had in my hands. That was really useful in aiding my descent. If only we had found it while going up, we might have made it to the top. For my next trip, I’m definitely going to buy a hiking pole. I just googled for hiking poles and I realise that lots of seasoned hikers use it and it’s not just something for losers.

Hiking in Flåm (18)

Me giving the finger to the waterfall for being so unfriendly

Hiking in Flåm (19)

This river must surely be fed by the Brekkefossen waterfall, the volume is substantial!

Hiking in Flåm (20)

The river in slow mo

Hiking in Flåm (21)

Interesting sights along the way back too. Baby cow here sticking its tongue out at me

Hiking in Flåm (22)

Those horns look fierce. This is not a bull I believe, as bulls are normally not kept together with the herd

Hiking in Flåm (23)

Farmer trying to attract the lambs with the food bucket

Hiking in Flåm (24)

I don’t know why these lambs were so hesitant to go towards the farmer. We stood still to watch for a while and when we finally started to move, the lambs all turned around and scooted back and the farmer had to start all over again!

Hiking in Flåm (1)

After a hard day’s worth of hiking (we took 3 hours to complete the journey, with all the stopping and photo taking), it was nice to have a drink on our balcony overlooking the fjord.

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

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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!!!

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