Posts Tagged ‘Shark’s Fin’

Wedding Lunch at Min Jiang @ one-North

I partook in my cousin’s wedding over the weekend at Min Jiang Restaurant. It was a lovely wedding. The atmosphere was relaxed and the food was very good. Most importantly, my cousin was a smiling bride all the way without a hint of stress etched on her forehead. The bride and groom stayed in the restaurant the whole time. Not only did they have time to mingle with the guests, they had time to eat too! In my opinion, this is how weddings should be like. For my own wedding, I intend to have time to savour all the food (that I painstakingly chose) and mingle with all the guests!

Scroll down to see photos of the sumptuous banquet we were served at Min Jiang.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Solemnization Ceremony Solemnization Ceremony

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Tea Drinking Ceremony

Tea Drinking Ceremony – These were done on the 1st floor, with the banquet being held on the 2nd floor.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Lovely rose table decorations

Floral table decorations. Love the red rose petals.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Combination of Lobster Salad with Duo Flavors (2)

Combination of Lobster Salad with Duo Flavors

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Double Boiled Superior Shark's Fin in Supreme Chicken Consomme

Double Boiled Superior Shark’s Fin in Supreme Chicken Consomme

One of the best Shark’s Fin soup I have eaten in a long time! It shouldn’t even be called a consomme because it was thick with collagen. The amount of shark’s fin served in the soup was extremely generous. Here you see me scooping 1 portion of fin out. There were several more portions in the soup. The Partner as usual abstained.

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Min Jiang Legendary Wood Fired Beijing Duck served with Homemade Crepes

Min Jiang Legendary Wood Fired Beijing Duck served with Homemade Crepes

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Stir fried prawns & scallops in XO Chilli Sauce

Stir fried prawns & scallops in XO Chilli Sauce

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Steamed Red Garoupa with Golden Mushrooms and Black Fungus

Steamed Red Garoupa with Golden Mushrooms and Black Fungus

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Braised 8 Head Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Seasonal Vegetables

Braised 8 Head Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Seasonal Vegetables

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Braised 'Mee Pok' Noodles with Shredded Duck in XO Chilli Sauce

Braised ‘Mee Pok’ Noodles with Shredded Duck

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Chilled Cream of Fresh Mango and Sago Pomelo with Ice-cream

Chilled Cream of Fresh Mango and Sago Pomelo with Ice-cream

Lunch Wedding at Min Jiang @ one North - Second Floor Second Floor

Min Jiang at One-North

No. 5 Rochester Park, Singapore 139216

http://www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/dining-en.html

Thai Village Restaurants (Leisure Park)

The 1st stop on our Festive Gourmet food trail was at the Thai Village Restaurant at Leisure Park. Prior to this, I had never been to any Thai Village Restaurant before. All my colleagues who heard about my impending visit advised me to try out their fantabulous Signature Shark Fin soup. 

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Thai Village signature braised shark's fin

I have to confess, while I feel guilty for eating shark’s fin, I haven’t really made real attempts to stop eating them. The shark’s fin served was huge! I have never seen such a huge portion in a bowl before! The dish totally surpassed my expectations in terms of size as well as taste. The soup was ultra flavourful thanks to the way it was prepared, and if not for the fact that there were more dishes to be served, I would have finished the entire bowl. I definitely finished every single strand of shark’s fin. The worst thing to do is to waste it by not touching it and imagine that you have done your part to save the sharks.

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Prosperity Yu Sheng with special Wasabi Sauce (5)

Can you believe it, we did a Lo-Hei, in the middle of November! It was hilarious! If there’s one thing about Lo-Hei, it’s that everyone loves doing it (even if they don’t like eating it). And I love the HUAT AH right at the end!

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Prosperity Yu Sheng with special Wasabi Sauce

锦绣生花庆有余 – Prosperity Yu sheng with special wasabi sauce  This Yu sheng served here is extra unique due to the special wasabi sauce used. I think we didn’t do that great a job of mixing in the wasabi as there were only 5 people at our table. I didn’t get any wasabi while the person next to me had his mouth on fire. The table did get its fair share of the fun as well, what with all the flying bits.

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Salted egg yolk with sweet wintermelon center roll

迎春接福双喜到 Salted egg yolk with sweet winter melon center roll – An interesting combination. I don’t think the flavours quite blended, but on their own, they were nice.

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - (10)

Too busy devouring the sharks fin soup. Didn’t manage to get a picture before the fish was all ladled out…

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Thai style Assam Fish

 富贵浮云阿参鱼 Thai style Assam fish – The fish was very nice as it was tender and had a strong taste. There is a tendency for flavours of fish cooked in curry to be overwhelmed by the spices in the curry, but I am glad to say that the spiciness was mild enough so that I could enjoy the fish. Paired very well with the seafood fried rice. My friend, a Thai Village enthusiast informed me that Thai Village serves an even better version of fried rice, but too bad we didn’t get the chance to sample that.

Thai Village @ Leisure Park - Thai Village signature seafood fried rice with crab meat

金银珠宝满华堂 Thai Village signature seafood fried rice with crab meat

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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!!!

Mandarin Hotel Wedding Dinner

It’s always a little tough to take pictures of the food during a Chinese wedding dinner because there are 9 other hungry diners all eager to earn back the Ang Pow money they gave away. With them staring at you and giving you the evil eye, getting a shot of the entire dish intact, without an arm or a spoon in the way is quite a feat!

I like attending weddings. Contrary to some other people I know of, I do enjoy the food very much. These are dishes I would not normally order on my own, so I treat wedding dinners as a grand restaurant dining experience. It’s also nice to see the wedding couple’s photo album, especially if they’ve had their shots taken in exotic locales. I’ve even heard of couples that book a tour package overseas, and at every stop, instead of visiting the sights like the other tourists, they get their wedding photos taken. That is so cool, but imagine the hassle of having to dress up every single day for 5 – 10 days?!?!

Here are some photos I snapped during my cousin’s wedding at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. I totally missed out the baby abalone dish, probably because I myself was too engrossed in trying to fight for the largest piece! I loved the dishes that my cousin chose, some of them were quite unique in that I’ve never seen them being served before in a Chinese wedding.

Mandarin Oriental - Combination Platter

 Combination Platter – My perennial favourite has to be the crispy pork skin. Nothing like crispy fats to whet your appetite! I also loved the crispy silver fish!

Mandarin Oriental - Shark Fin double boiled with conpoy

Shark Fin double boiled with chicken and conpoy – I am not one of those people who would abstain from having the shark’s fin soup. My reason is, the shark is already dead. Not eating it would be a greater waste of its life. If we want to stop the killing, let’s not kid ourselves that we are doing a big deal by abstaining. The Partner has been abstaining from eating Shark’s Fin for the last 10 years. Did any of his friends change their actions because of this? NO.

If you want to stop the killing, let’s see some major action, such as starting a campaign, or writing letters to the government or something. Do something that is more visible and impactful than just simple abstaining, which is in my opinion, a lazy way of kidding yourself that you did something good.

Mandarin Oriental - King Prawn

King Prawns – Nicely presented, and tasted really good. The prawns were still piping hot when served.

Mandarin Oriental - Crispy Roasted Duck 

Crispy Roasted Duck – The house sauce paired very well with the duck, which was moist and succulent.

Mandarin Oriental - Fillet of Cod (2)

Fillet of Cod – Man how did my cousin know I love cod??? This is not the usual type of fish served during weddings, which I normally dislike.

Mandarin Oriental - Fillet of Cod

Mandarin Oriental - Chilli Crab Mantou 

Mantou with Crab – Instead of the usual fried rice or Ee Foo noodles that are served at this stage, we were presented with crispy mantou buns. I think I ran out of adjectives to describe how wonderful this dish was. Mantous are always a good conveyor of sauce. Look at the chunks of crab meat! Mandarin Oriental - Tiramisu

Tiramisu – Lastly, the dessert. Thank god it wasn’t the icky sticky Or Nee (yam paste), which I find to be too cheapo for a wedding.

Well, it was a wonderful dinner. Congratulations to my cousin on finally getting married. As you can see, he is a modern man with modern tastes!

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