Tempura Tendon Tenya Asakusa Tokyo @ Orchard Central

Tempura Tendon Tenya Asakusa Tokyo is a top chain outlet in Japan specializes in tempura. This is one food outlet that I always patronizes in every of my Japan trip without fail. In Japan, Tendon Tenya (天丼てんや) is just like any of their comfort food outlet where you can easily find one near you. Similar to our fast food outlet like McDonald’s, KFC or Burger King.

When I came to know that Tendon Tenya has set up its first chain outlet in Singapore on 15 October 2020 at Orchard Central, I am certainly excited to get my craving fixed and of cos to review on the food standard here as well. 😉

Brief history of Tendon Tenya

As with any new opening of outlet coupled with the travel restriction, the constant long snaking queues forming each day has really detered and delayed my visit. Until one fine heavy rainy day, I decided to try my luck and pay a visit just before their opening hours at 11.30am.

Thankfully, I am lucky to avoid the queue when I was there. Guess what, after that, the snaking queue started as expected. 😯

Menu items include their signature rice bowl, set meals, noodles, appetizer, side dish to dessert.

Premium Tendon

Their highly popular (人气) item comes with 2 x Tempura Prawns, Squid, Kani Kama, Pumpkin, Lotus Root and French Beans, glazed with Special Tenya’s Tendon Tare.

Seafood Tendon

Tempura Prawn, Anago, Scallop, Red Fish, Pumpkin and French Beans. Great for seafood lovers.

Prawn Tempura Cold Udon Set Meal

Prawn lovers, you may order their prawn tendon which comprises of 3 x Tempura Prawns, Pumpkin, Shimeiji Mushroom and French Beans with add-on choice of soba or udon either served hot or cold to your liking.

Tori Tempura Cold Udon

Tempura Chicken, Chicken Karaage, Tempura Egg, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato. I love the chewiness of the udon. It is really hard to find a good chewiness udon in Singapore and their udon here is by far closest next to what you can get in Japan. 👍👍👍

Chawanmushi

Steam Egg with Special Dashi, Prawn, Chicken, Shiitake Mushroom and Kani Kama.

Tamago Yaki

Japanese-style Omelette made with Special Dashi served with Grated Radish (Daikon Oroshi).

Green Salad

Baby Spinach Salad with Cherry Tomatos and Tempura Prawns. Quite refreshing.

Ikageso

Fried Squid Tenticles, the Perfect Snack to go along with any Rice or Noodles.

Tori Karaage

Tender juicy chicken fried to perfection. Oh, this is power! A must order in my opinion. Really damn crispily delicious. 👍👍👍

Overall, food quality is comparable though you will not be able to expect the same kind of quality standard as in Japan. For now, this is definitely the next best thing outside Japan for your immediate fix.

I would not mind going back when my next cravings desire comes along. Ermm….Maybe not in the near term until the novelty wears off or when they opened up more outlets in time to come.

Ninja Chirashi (ちらし丼) @ Blk 824 Tampines St 81

For those of you who loves to seek comfort in warm rice bowl, you may be pleased to know that there is a new kid in town, Ninja Chirashi selling affordable and quality Chirashi Dons to satisfy all your donburi cravings.

Coincidentally, this F&B outlet replaces the exact same spot as in the earlier The Flourist Café. Importantly, this joint offers simple, good and delicious Japanese donburi at wallet friendly prices.

Ninja Chirashi Don

Thick salmon and tuna chunks combined with Japanese cucumber, tamago and topped with ebiko mixed in with their secret recipe Japanese sauce. Seafood items are freshly served atop their vinegared rice.

Aburi Salmon Don

Fresh salmon slices covered in their special homemade Mentaiko sauce and ebiko, tenderly blowtorched to perfection. (My personal favourite item.)

Other than mains, they do offer a limited selections of sides as well.

Pitan Tofu

Chilled Japanese Century Egg with Cold Tofu. It may seem weird to some given the unique combination coupled with this dish being served cold on top of that. Trust me, this is heavenly!

Chawanmushi

Japanese steamed egg custard, a savoury dish and a great starter to your meal.

Tamago Mentai

Fish roe omelette mentaiko gives you a sweet and savoury sensation with each mouthful.

With the thoroughly attractive pricing, it is really a no-brainer to give it a try especially if you are a hugh fan of Japanese rice bowls. 😉

The Coconut Club @ 28 Ann Siang Road

Ever thought of a restaurant selling only nasi lemak?

Well, The Coconut Club is one such place, an atas (high end) nasi lemak restaurant. Interestingly, people come here only to have nasi lemak and nothing else.

You can choose to go with a set where all set come with a serving of coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg & sambal.

Chicken Breast Set

The quarter chicken breast is fried to perfection. Sambal is power and I love the fragrance of the coconut rice.

Chicken Leg Set

For those who do not like breast meat, you can opt for their chicken leg and it is also fried to perfection.

Otah Set

The charcoal grilled fish paste with chunks of batang fish marinated with traditional herbs & spices, wrapped in banana leaf is definitely a must for otah lovers.

Fish Set

Indian Mackerel fish fried to golden perfection and served with additional kicap manis on the side. I love the sweet tangy kicap manis sauce especially when dipped it with the fish meat. It just exudes another layer of sensory flavours. Power!

Kosong Set

Alternatively, you may order separate ala carte menu and enjoy it with the Kosong Set which comprise only the coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg & sambal.

Beef Rendang

Flavourful dry curry containing fork-tender beef brisket (melts in the mouth type), slow cooked and braised in spice mixture and coconut milk. Another not to be missed dish.

Sambal Sotong

Cuttlefish stir fry in spicy chili paste. Uniquely tasty coupled with the tenderness of the cuttlefish.

Ladies Fingers

Okra stir fry in dried shrimp paste. Great for veggies lovers.

Sambal Kangkong

Water spinach stir fry with chillies and shrimp paste. Not too bad but I still prefer it to have a heavier shrimp paste and with more spice for the kick.

Tauhu Tempe Sambal Lado

Bean curd and fermented soybeans stir fry in hot and spicy mixture. The dish looks daunting with the spice with its name but unfortunately, the spice level is hardly noticeable. Spicy lovers will be disappointed with the spice level. 😔

Fruit Rojak

A seasonal special item. The sauce is somewhat different from the usual rojak sauce that we are used to. Overall, it is still tasty.

I would highly recommend you to try this place if you feel like splurging & pampering yourself with a high end nasi lemak at a nice cozy ambience environment.

Of cos, there are always cheaper options for a solid power nasi lemak which you can consider too should your next craving comes along.

Cheap & Good Yuan Yang Fried Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kuey)

I am sure most of us have had fried carrot cake or better known as “Chai Tow Kuey” before. This is one of those comfort local food that can be easily found in any of the hawker centre.

Chai Tow Kuey is a popular breakfast dish in Singapore, widely enjoyed by young & old.

This savoury carrot cake has no carrot (the orange color carrot that we are used to), the key ingredients of the cake is rice flour and white carrot (some called white carrot).

Chai Tow Kuey is typically served black (fried with sweet dark soya sauce) or white (original) and fried with garlic, eggs and preserved radish known as “chai poh”.

Some stall owners will offer variations to the traditional Chai Tow Kuey with additional ingredients like prawn or squid. For those who like to have the best of both world (white and black carrot cake on the same plate) can order the yuan yang carrot cake to satisfy both cravings at one go.

Not all carrot cake stall owners offer yuan yang option. Even if they do so, it does not come cheap. It (normally) costs at least $5 or more for a plate.

Recently, I chanced upon Hock Soon Carrot Cake at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre offering cheap and good yuan yang carrot cake at only $2.50 a plate! 😲

Best of Both World at just $2.50

You may be pleased to know that you get to enjoy both quantity and quality at the same time at the stated price. I can safely vouch that you will unlikely find another one such stall selling cheap and good yuan yang Chai Tow Kuey.

If you have been looking around for cheap & good yuan yang carrot cake, mai tu liao (wait no more)!

I love mine to go with more chai poh and chilli. What about you? 😉

Menbaka Kyoto Fire Ramen @ Cineleisure Orchard

I was supposedly going to enjoy this famed Menbaka Fire Ramen shop near Nijo Castle in Kyoto last Dec 2020 if not for Covid-19 that thwarted my travel plan. 🤣🤣🤣

When I first heard of the brand’s first and only international outlet opening in Singapore, I was extremely excited to try it out.

As usual, the visit has always been deterred by its ever long snaking queue especially when the novelty first arrives here. It has taken a while for me to finally visit the said outlet on a weekday and I came specially 10 mins earlier before the opening hour at 12pm.

Oh mine, look at the snaking crowd forming even before the shop opening. 😯

This is a dining experience as you would have seen videos of Menbaka Fire Ramen over social media,

where diners sit at the counter in anticipation waiting for their ramen bowls to be lighted up with big flames.

Wow! This is definitely insta-worthy!
Menbaka Original Shoyu Fire Ramen

This is their signature Shoyu Fire Ramen with their chicken broth. I love the smokey aroma (just before eating) when the hot burning oil is being poured over the bowl of ramen. The noodles texture are equally springy coupled with the green onions fragrance.

Kara Miso Fire Ramen (Spicy)

For those who enjoy spicy ramen broth, you may go for the Singapore-exclusive version of the Kara Miso Fire Ramen as it is specially curated for the local’s love for spicy food.

You may even consider to add-on additional items; Ajitama Egg & Chasu to go with your bowl of fire ramen.

They do offer a couple of sides as well.

Kyoto Menbaka Fried Rice

Why fried rice in a ramen restaurant? In Japan, it is a common sight that fried rice is often paired with ramen as it just complement well with one another somehow. 😉

The fried rice is tastefully done with the smokey aroma a.k.a wok hei and comes with generous serving of chasu along with it. This is definitely a pleasant surprise though it is not one of their recommended item on the menu.

In-House Charcoal Karaage

This is something unique and rarely seen. Though visually not attractive but is certainly heavenly as the karaage is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You can even get to taste the wasabi flavoured sauce which gives it a nice surprise.

Chashu Croquette

Creamily smooth mashed potato with diced chashu. Their croquette is really champion.

Pork Gyoza

Another great starter. Tasty and goes extremely well with the vinaigrette dipping sauce.

Tuna Tataki

Their monthly special item, seared tuna. This is really good stuff.

Though I am not able to compare the actual standard against the “real” authentic shop in Kyoto (for now), I am definitely more excited and eager now to want to go to the real source to experience the true authentic flavours of Menbaka Fire Ramen in Kyoto when travel bubbles resume. 😀

Goobne Chicken @ Great World

Another price-friendly option for Korean cuisine will be none other than Goobne Chicken, Korean Oven Roasted Chicken.

Goobne literally translated to “baked” in Korean, started out in South Korea in 2005 specialising in oven-roasted chicken baked to perfection without the use of oil and hence its name.

Outlook of this restaurant is simple yet stylish. Just like any other fried chicken restaurant you see in South Korea.

As its name goes, it is definitely a no-brainer to go for their oven-roasted chicken when you are here. 😉

Goobne Original

Their original oven-roasted chicken, the true pride of Goobne! Perfectly done. 原汁原味! 👍

Goobne Soy Garlic, oven-roasted chicken that is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and garlic to provide a flavourful and delightful dining experience.

Goobne Soy Garlic

This is certainly one of the better soy garlic flavoured chicken that I have had (better than 4 Fingers for sure 😯).

Could you tell which is which? 😊

Goobne Galbi, their signature Korean-styled barbeque sauce that gives a pleasant mix of sweet and savoury flavour.

Goobne Volcano

An extra spicy flavour that pushes your taste buds to the limit. Spicily tasty.

Goobne Deep Cheese

Experience a sensational mix of cheddar, cream and blue cheese powder coated on the oven-roasted chicken. Cheese lovers will enjoy this version. 👍

Soy Garlic Chicken Ball

Oven baked mixture of minced chicken, bread crumbs, spices and seasoning, rolled into bite-sized balls. Tastes more like Korean Ngoh Hiang or Tsukune (Japanese chicken meatball skewer) to me. 😀

Other than oven-roasted chicken, Goobne do offer an extensive range of Korean cuisines on their menu too.

Seafood Jjamppong Noodle

Spicy Korean seafood soup served with noodles. There is this particular charcoal smokey aroma (liken to that of a Korean wok hei) that stood out distinctly from this dish which I loved.

Seafood Jjamppong Soup

Spicy Korean seafood soup served with vegetables. An option for those who prefer carbo free. 😊

Korean Fish Cake Soup

Thin Korean-style skewered fish cakes (eomuk) served in a savoury broth of seafood, fish balls, chilli and vegetables. This is a must have during winter whenever I am in Korea. A great tummy warmer.

Japchae (Glass Noodle)

Stir-fried glass noodles with thinly sliced beef and mushrooms. Similar to tang hoon alike.

Kimchi Pancake

A crispy fried pancake that perfectly combines the spicy, savoury, and sour flavours of kimchi, wheat flour and scallions, served on a hot plate. Think of it as a Korean Orh Luak. 😉

Volcano Cheese Rice Cake

Korean rice cakes drenched in spicy volcano sauce, served with fishcakes (eomuk), egg, ramyeon and cheese.

Though the dish name may sound intimidating, the spice level is nowhere near to samyang sauce. This is one of my favourite item here.

Cheese Kimchi Fried Rice

Stir-fried rice mixed with finely chopped kimchi, chicken and vegetables.

After mixing up

Overall, the food quality is of reasonable standard and importantly wallet friendly. Do give it a consideration the next time you are looking for alternatives. 🙂

Legendary Hong Kong Restaurant @ Jurong Point

With the recent Singapore & Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble being put on hold, thoughts of travelling to Hong Kong for an authentic food trail just vanished into thin air.

Think of dining in Hong Kong, “Cha Chaan Teng” (literally meaning Tea Restaurant, 茶餐厅 in Cantonese) will immediately popped up on one’s mind. Outlets like Tsui Wah, So Good Cha Chaan Teng, Honolulu Café and many others that you may know of will surface.

Fret not, for those who are “stuck” here can still relive the same authentic cha chaan teng dining experience at Legendary Hong Kong Restaurant.

This restaurant is “hidden” along the vibrant “Mongkok” (旺角) district in the Western Region at Jurong Point, Singapore’s first Hong Kong themed shopping and dining street, and you will get to experience the rustic old Hong Kong ambience feel.

For that moment, you would have thought that you are right in the heart of Hong Kong!

Typical hallmark Hong Kong cuisine will include the Hong Kong styled roast meats, dim sum, polo bun, HK styled toasts, rice and noodles.

Custard Crust Bun with Butter (冰火菠萝包)

The Chinese name of Custard Crust Bun “Pineapple Bun” made a lot of people thought there is a pineapple in the bun which is not the case here as the crust of the bun looks like a pineapple and hence its name.

A piece of good quality butter is the perfect companion for a fresh from the oven custard crust bun. The ice cold butter and hot crispy bun creates the complicated combination of hot & cold, soft & hard, sweet & salty – a deadly concoction. 👍👍👍

The usual standard suspects of a dim sum menu as follows;

Sauteed Turnip Cake with XO Sauce
Steamed Chicken Claws & Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce

Enjoying the best of both worlds. 🙂

Rice Roll with Prawns & Chives
Pan-fried Bean Curd Skin Roll Stuffed with Shrimp
Bean Curd Skin Rolls in Oyster Sauce
Congee with Shredded Pork & Century Egg

I love the smooth and gooey texture of the congee. Comes with a good serving portion size.

Glutinous Rice Bun with Cured Meat

This is one of my personal favourite item that I will always order whenever I dine here. Savoury glutinous rice wrapped with thin beancurd skin. Really power.

Piggy Bun with Egg Custard

As good as it tastes. Really adorable. Kawaii. 🙂

Braised Beef Brisket

Tenderly good and the braised gravy will go extremely well with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Tossed Beef Brisket Noodle

For those who prefer in the noodle form, this is one such option. Just loved the beef tenderness. Tastes so good. 👍

Braised Assorted Vegetables with Preserved Taro Sauce in Clay Pot

This is one dish which I find stand out. The preserved beancurd has a uniquely flavourful acquired taste that brings up this dish. Similar to nonya chap chye.

Wonton Noodle in Soup

A must order dish especially dining in Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng. Somehow, their noodles are just so smooth and springy in texture coupled with the savoury shrimp wonton. The soup too has a hint of the “raw” noodle taste that goes just right when consume as a package.

Sorrowful Romance Rice (黯然销魂饭)

I love this catchy dish name. Reminds me of an old movie dated back in 1996 “The God of Cookery (食神)” casted by Stephen Chow and Karen Mok. Basically, BBQ Pork & Sunny-side up Egg on Rice. However, the dish name just brings it to another level. 😃

The food quality is authentically flavoured and certainly able to handle your fix should your next craving for Hong Kong cuisine comes along.

One Kueh at a Time @ 230 Pandan Loop

Ever thought of a place that sells only soon kueh?

What exactly is Soon Kueh?

Soon Kueh is a popular Teochew snack, originally made using bamboo shoots, turnips, dried mushroom and dried shrimp for the umami flavour. Over time, this dish has been simplified without the bamboo shoots. Having said that, there are still stalls that sells soon kueh with bamboo shoots as main fillings.

Recently, I chanced upon a place that specializes and sells only soon kueh, One Kueh at a Time @ 230 Pandan Loop. Interestingly, this place is located off the beaten path in an industrial area instead of the usual shop in a neighbourhood centre.

Upon reaching the destination, you will come across the above guardhouse.

Once you go past the guardhouse, continue and walk towards the glass door as there is no signages to direct you to One Kueh at a Time.

At the glass door, press the automated door open button and tada….you are already in it before you knew it.

This is the interior after opening the glass door. It looks like a big kitchen with a nice cozy homely environment which exhibits a different feel from the outside.

The Menu

One Kueh at a Time offers fusion crafted soon kueh as can be seen from the menu.

Ticket Number

Immediately after placing order for your soon kuehs, you will be given a queue ticket after upfront payment made. Thereafter, you will just have to wait patiently for the soon kuehs to be served once ready.

Their soon kuehs are shaped like mandu, different from what we are used to seeing and importantly, visually inviting.

My personal favourite is still their classic flavoured soon kueh. Their soon kueh skin is the key differentiator in my opinion. The texture is thin, chewy, stretchy and nicely done. Similar to the traditional old-school crystal dumpling (古早味水晶包) which I have had. I must admit and agree that their soon kuehs are really champion as with the high price tag. 😯

This is definitely bringing soon kueh eating to a new level. If you are a true blue die-hard soon kueh fan, you got to experience it for yourself.

For me, experiencing it once for the sake of novelty is by far I will go. What about you?

Pink Candy @ Beauty World Centre

Ever since my last Korean dining experience at Ajumma’s, I kinda fell in love with Korean cuisines subconsciously. Hence, I have been paying more attention in looking out for other venue where I can find good and affordable Korean dishes.

Interestingly, I found one such dining outlet, Pink Candy Roof Top Garden on the 4th floor of Beauty World Centre. This is not a usual restaurant as it is a stall operated in the hawker centre.

You will be surprised to know that the food quality is of standard and prices are affordable too.

What makes this place unique is the roof top garden view at night time that gives it a nice alfresco feel.

Beautiful view from the roof top garden

Having said that, there is no prize in guessing what I will have next as these are the usual suspects from any Korean cuisine. 😊

Ginseng Chicken

The taste is pretty authentic and value for money. The chicken meat is fork tender and falls off easily from the bone. Not forgeting the flavourful kimchi banchan that serves along with it.

Beef Bibimbap

A simple all in one dish. Some serve using hot stones and this brings me back to Jeonju, often referred to as the Home of the Bibimbap where I had my first experience with this dish.

Cold Noodle

Certainly a great way to cool off on a hot and humid weather. Definitely brings back fond memories when I was first introduced to Jeju seasoned aster cold noodle.

Soft Seafood Tofu Soup

A great way to spice off on a cool evening. The strong flavoured seafood aroma simply whets your appetite and perfect with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Pork Cutlet with Rice

They are extremely generous with their pork cutlet serving. Can’t help but reminds me of the pork cutlet I had in Namsan Tonkatsu at the foot of N Seoul Tower.

Kimchi Fried Rice

A dish that can never go wrong whenever you are in doubt.

Gimbap

A typical Korean seaweed roll that is a well loved Korean street snack.

Spicy Rich Cake + Ramen

Sweet and mild spicy rabokki. Another form of common street snack.

Beef Bulgogi

A sweet based flavoured main dish that goes extremely well with a steaming bowl of white rice.

Korean Kimchi Ramen

My personal all-time favourite dish. A must eat item whenever I am in Korea.

Soy Sauce Chicken Wing

No Korean meal is complete without a fried chicken order. Somehow, Koreans are always champion when it comes to fried chicken.

Fried Dumpling

Most times the mandu that we seen is huge in size. In Pink Candy, it goes the unconventional way with size that are not commonly seen. The mandu still gives you the crunchy feel with each bite.

Overall, food quality is decent given the attractive price point. So, do not be surprised to find snaking queues forming when you are here and be prepared to brave the queue even at late dining hours. 😯

Is it worth the wait? Ermm… I will leave you to answer this question. 😉

Lim’s Fried Oyster @ Berseh Food Centre

What exactly is fried oyster? A.k.a Orh Jian or Orh Luak.

Orh Luak is simply cooked using batter, made with mixture of tapioca starch, all-purpose flour and sweet potato starch and added ingredients like eggs, fish sauce and importantly the star item, oyster. 😀

This is one of those traditional food item which you can find easily in hawker centre or neighbourhood coffee shop.

There are a lot of variations when it comes to Orh Luak. Some stall holders offers seafood items like prawns or squids as alternative ingredients whereas some prefer to have oyster omelette to avoid the gooey batter.

There is this particular stall located in Berseh Food Centre, Lim’s Fried Oyster that serves up tasty and well executed Orh Luak.

You may be pleased to know that the oysters served here is huge. You can’t miss it by its sheer XL size. 😀 Not forgetting the power chilli dipping sauce that gives it the extra punch too. This is without a doubt one of those stall that I will return to when I needed my Orh Luak fix.

So, what makes this stall unique?

To me, I believe the main differentiating factor lies with the batter and the control of the fire by the person cooking it.

If you have been to this stall, hope you find it worth your while to do so. If you have not, why not give it a try and see if it is as good as your favourite stall that you often patronizes.