Mad for Garlic @ Suntec City

Mad for Garlic is Korea’s first garlic-themed Italian restaurant. Their main ingredient used is Garlic and hence the name. With its unique & innovative menu with garlic-specialized Italian cuisine, it really differentiates from the traditional italian cuisine. Something interesting I must admit especially if you are a huge fan of garlic. Non-garlic fans fret not, Mad for Garlic’s creative preparation method of removing the garlic’s pungent smell and unique way of cooking Italian cuisine with a Korean twist have won both the garlic and non-garlic lovers.

Their menu caters for starter, pizza, pasta, steak and dessert.

The restaurant interior is also furnished with garlics garland.

Crab & Lobster Cream Pasta – crab meat, lobster meat and garlic cream sauce. It’s like carbonara and not too creamy. Portion a bit small though but good enough for one consumption.

Arrabbiata – garlic, bacon, red chili pepper, tomato sauce and grana padano. From the look, it seems spicy but looks are deceiving. Tastily done. However, it would be perfect if it goes with fettuccine instead.

Dracula Killer – sliced baguette served with garlic, anchovy and shredded grana padano. Similar to having escargo dip. The garlic just works well with the sliced baguette. The baguette also tastes delicious even eating on its own.

Meatatarian Pizza – guess no elaborate introduction just from the pizza name. Comes with sweet white sauce, bockwurst sausage, ham, mushrooms, onion and black pepper. Pretty unique with the sweet sauce taste on the pizza. Tastefully done.

Garlic Sizzling Rice – fried rice with pickled garlic, bacon, onions, green and red bell peppers, flying fish roe, served on a sizzling pan. This is one dish which you need to order. The rice is literally dancing on the sizzling pan when served, coupled with the strong garlic aroma that whet one’s appetite.

Garlic Steak (Rib-eye, 220g) – Mad for Garlic best-selling rib-eye steak served on sizzling plate. Try ordering the medium-rare garlic steak and experience the steak tenderness coupled with the garlic chips for the garlicky feeling.

Having done with the mains, time for some desserts. There are 3 types of cheesecakes on the menu, plain cheesecake, red velvet cheesecake & white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Seems common but when I saw the cheesecake factory logo printed beside it, it leaves me with no choice but to have a go at it.

Cake lovers would know what I mean.

The white chocolate raspberry cheesecake was simply beyond description with the first bite. I am now looking forward to go back and try the other 2 cheesecakes anytime soon.

American Express Platinum Card holders, you may be pleased to know that there is currently an ongoing promotion* when dining in Mad for Garlic.

  • 50% discount when dining with 1 other guest
  • 35% discount when dining with 2 other guests
  • 25% discount when dining with 3 other guests
  • 20% discount when dining with 4 to 19 guests
  • 15% discount when dining alone

* Promotion is subjected to the terms and conditions under Love at Dining privileges as at 22 Apr 2017.

Bon appetit!

Cafe 2000 @ 81 Anson Road

Cafe 2000, located on the 1st floor of M Hotel is one outlet that I enjoy going as a member of the Millennium and Copthorne Group Ala Carte Dining Program. You get to enjoy a tiered discount for dining at their allocated dining outlets.

  • Member alone 20%
  • Member with 1 guest 50%
  • Member with 2 guests 33%
  • Member with 3 guests 25%
  • Member with 4 to 19 guests 20%

Cafe 2000 offers Asian and Western cuisine. They provide for both buffet & ala carte dining. I always see the restaurant crowded with people having buffet. For me, I prefer to go for their ala carte menu instead. To me, hot foods are more palatable.

Seafood Tom Yum Soup with servings of mussels, prawns, squids & mushroom

Chicken satays served with cucumbers, onions and rice cakes coupled with peanut sauce with pineapple

I love especially the Premium Seafood Fried Rice – wok fried fragrant rice with dried scallop confits, prawns, squids, mussels, sliced fish served with whole ‘live’ lobster.

Oven Roasted Cod Fillet with Foie Gras, served with grilled asparagus and mash potatoes. The cod fillet simply melts in your mouth type.

Seafood Arrabiata – sauteed with prawns, squids, mussels in spicy tomato sauce.

Aromatic Mushrooms – sauteed forest mushrooms and garlic tossed with truffle oil.

The Carbonara with bacon slices, ham, onion, cream and parmesan cheese is another worth trying pasta dish.

If you prefer something not so messy, their Linguine Aglio Olio would be a good choice too. The fragrance of the pasta with basil pesto, sun-dries tomatoes, chilli padi, garlic and extra virgin olive oil makes it so inviting that leaves you no leeway for hesitation.

Alternatively, you may also choose to add on seafood item like prawns, squids or mussels to your Aglio Olio if you do not like it plain (as above).

The Wok-Fried Beef Hor Fun – wok fried flat noodle with sliced sirloin beef and thick egg white gravy is shouting out for attention as well. The tenderness of the beef is just so perfect with the wok taste.

Hainanese Chicken Rice served with tender poached chicken breast, fragrant pandan rice, comes with clear soup and condiments of chili sauce, dark soya sauce & minced ginger.

Premium Lobster Laksa – “Live” rock lobster in rich spicy coconut gravy with bean sprouts, prawns, fish cakes and cockles.

Old Fashion Nasi Goreng Kampung – Spicy Malay style belachan seafood fried rice topped with sunny side egg accompanied with grilled satay, oriental pickle and prawn cracker.

Crispy Seafood Noodle – deep fried crispy noodle with assorted seafood & thick egg white gravy.

Artic Halibut Noodle Soup with Brandy – Deep Fried Halibut Fillet with Thick Rice Vermicelli served with Brandy by the side.

Fish & Chips – prime quality dory fillet served with french fries, home made remoulade, malt vinegar, tartar sauce & tomato ketchup.

Their Norwegian Salmon served with buttered garden vegetables, potatoes and chive caper hollandaise is another not to be missed item too. Loved the baked salmon fillet. Perfecto….

Their local fried seafood kway teow is another highly recommended item on the menu amidst other local food items that they offer. The generous serving of seafood is really worth the price it charges.

Grandma’s Chicken Curry – Briyani served with Mango Chutney, Achar and Papadum

Lobster Bak Chor Mee – interesting concept with onsen egg.

Cafe 2000 do have a vast selections for desserts too in their menu.

Espresso Amaretto Tiramisu served with chocolate pistachio biscotti.

Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake comes with carrot, sultana, eggs, cinnamon, walnut and cream cheese icing to see through a satisfying meal.

Crunchy Hazelnut Klimt Torte served with fresh strawberries, blue berries and crunchy hazelnut provides a great finale to a well deserved meal.

The Chocolate Molten Lava Cake serves with vanilla ice cream, mango and strawberry gives the entire meal a happy ending closure.

Food prices are on the higher end as compared to normal restaurant. Good to pamper ourselves once a while.

Super Meat Balls @ Blk 226 Ang Mo Kio Food Centre

From young, I have always been exposed to eating home-made meat balls. It has been a long long time since I last had such great and tasty meat balls. I used to have those meat balls marinated with minced pork meat, wrapped with quail eggs, coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. Such a dish is usually prepared during festive occasions like birthdays celebration or reunion dinners, etc.

Recently, I happened to chance upon this particular economical rice stall in Blk 226 Ang Mo Kio Food Centre that sells very tasty deep-fried meat balls. The meat balls are freshly prepared on every Mondays and Thursdays only. Their meat balls are made with marinating minced pork meat, flour, spring onions, water chestnuts, carrots, garlic and portion of white pepper before deep frying it. You can literally smell the meat balls fragrance from afar during frying. 

These are the super tasty meat balls @ $1 each which is a must order when at the stall. You can eat it on its own or as a food companion to your rice with other dishes. The meat balls are only available on Mondays and Thursdays. So plan your visit to avoid disappointment.

Overall, this stall can be classified as one of those cheap and good place for your next food hunt.

Itching to try?

Bon appetit!

Uncovering places for good Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is considered as one of the most famous dish for a Malay-style breakfast.

Traditionally, nasi lemak is served with a hot spicy sambal sauce and usually includes various garnishes, including fresh cucumber slices, small fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts and hard-boiled or fries egg. It can also be served with other accompaniments like fried chicken wing, fish cake, otah, fried vegetables, luncheon meat, beef rendang, mutton rendang, sambal squids, sambal prawns or any other food ingredients that you like. 

There are a couple of stalls that serves really good nasi lemak which you can consider trying out.

1. Aliff Nasi Lemak @ Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre.

The ikan bilis are super crispy and serves with basmati rice.

2. Hon Ni Kitchen @ Blk 216 Bedok North St 1.

This stall serves cheap and good nasi lemak. Rice is fragrant with power chilli sauce. The deep fried chicken wing and luncheon is a must dish to have. Also, you need to try out their chicken otah too. 

3. International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak @ Changi Village Hawker Centre.

There is always a long queue sighted at this stall. Their nasi lemak is super champion. The fried chicken wing is a “killer”. This is a must item to have.

4. Punggol Nasi Lemak @ Tanjong Katong

The sambal chilli is damn steam. Rice is super fragrant with the pandan leaf taste. I like the fried ngoh hiang the best. Only comment, be aware of the high price for your plate of nasi lemak.

5. 一流香椰浆饭 @ Lor Ah Soo Market.

Another cheap and good nasi lemak stall. This stall closes usually by 9.30am so you need to be there early to join the queue if you want to try it out.

Mon Bijou @ Claymore Connect

Mon Bijou is a new cafe in a new mall, Claymore Connect just adjacent to Ochard Hotel. It is a modern French Bistro that serves French pastries and desserts.

The cafe decor is pretty unique, relaxing place to be in for light meal and over drinks.

Salmon and Dill Cream Sauce – Pan seared salmon with seasonal vegetables and dill cream sauce.

Chicken Parmo – Crispy chicken thigh with bacon bechamel and parmesan cheese and fries.

Aglio Olio with Fresh Prawns – Sauteed fresh prawns, garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Wagyu Beef Cheese Burger (180gm) – Cheesy wagyu beef patty, arugula, onions, tomatoes, gherkins and fries.

Crab Cake Benedict – Bkue Swimmer Crab Cakes, Two Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce, Sauteed Spinach, Homemade Hash Brown, Croissant.

Out of the Blue – Crispy Halibut Fillet with Truffle Fries and Spicy Tartar Sauce.

MB Brioche French Toast – The ultimate breakfast indulgence baked to perfection.

Food quality on the whole is delicious and of standard. Similar to cafes like Dean & Deluca and Boufe. If you run out of places to go, you may consider this as an alternative option for your next cafe dining.

Bon appetit!

Soya Sauce Chicken (酱油鸡)

There are many ways of cooking a chicken, you can roast, poach, braise, steam, deep-fried and so on. However, there is this particular stall, Chew Kee Eating House @ 8 Upper Cross Street, specialises in soya sauce chicken dishes.

Soya sauce chicken is a classic cantonese meat dish. Chicken is braised with watery soya sauce and texture of the meat is juicy and flavourful. It is commonly sold as soya sauce chicken rice or soya sauce wanton noodle in the stalls.

Amongst all the soya sauce chicken stalls I have tried, I must give due recognition to Chew Kee’s soya sauce chicken. The chicken meat is super tender, succulent, intensely marinated & the black sauce gravy is so tasty that you can even drink it on its own. The popular dumpling soup which you will find on almost every table, has a very unique homebrewed taste, minimal MSG enhancement and comes with 6 plump pork dumplings that possessed a lovely nutty crunch.

Must try : soya sauce chicken noodle and dumpling soup.

Prices are affordable and reasonable. So, if you have no specific meal plan in mind, why not give it a try!

Another outlet for soya sauce chicken will be none other than Liao Fan Hawker Chan @ 78 Smith Street where you get to enjoy Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles.

Other than soya sauce chicken, you will also be able to have “char-siew” and roast pork.

Ever since the stall became to known as the “World’s cheapest Michelin-starred eatery”, snaking queues have been seen daily crowded with tourists and locals.

Naturally, I had to try this so called Michen-starred eatery. I must admit that the noodles texture are springy coupled with the tender chicken meat makes it a perfect match.

You can also have additional add-ons like a plate of bean sprout or a bowl of wontan soup to go along with your meal

The only downside is the long waiting queue and the entire dining ambience compromises the experience.

Well, if you are ok to squeeze and be rushed with your meal, then you may consider giving it a try. 😉

Dean & Deluca @ HillV2

Dean & Deluca is a chain of upscale grocery store. They take pride in offering the cosmopolitan New York lifestyle and unique shopping. This multi-channel retailer of gourmet and specialty foods, premium wines and kitchenware also houses a cafe and in-house bakery serving a variety of gourmet fare such as soups, salads, sandwiches and all-day-breakfast menu.

Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Wagyu Beef Lasagna

The New Yorker

Ancho Chicken Quesadillas

Linguine Pesto Prawns

Mushroom & Cheese Omelette

Margarita al Mozzarella Di Bufala

Frutti Di Mare (Seafood)

Cheese Burger Pizza

Angus Beef Ribeye

Linguine Aglio Olio Prawns

Smoked Salmon

Shoyu-Maple Salmon

Linguine Carbonara

All American Breakfast

2 Eggs Ciabatta Toast

Fish Taco

Herb Roasted Chicken Sandwich

Smoked Salmon Benedict

Orange Caramel Cake

White Chocolate Yuzu Cheesecake

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Food is tastefully prepared. Overall, a great dine out place.

American Express Platinum Card holders, you may be pleased to know that there is currently an ongoing promotion* when dining in Dean & Deluca @ HillV2.

  • 50% discount when dining with 1 other guest
  • 35% discount when dining with 2 other guests
  • 25% discount when dining with 3 other guests
  • 20% discount when dining with 4 to 19 guests
  • 15% discount when dining alone

* Promotion is subjected to the terms and conditions under Love at Dining privileges as at 31 Mar 2017.

Bon appetit!

Champion & Power Fish Ball Noodle (鱼丸面)/Minced Pork Noodle (肉脞面)

Fish ball noodle or minced pork noodle (also known as Bak Chor Mee) is often referred and used interchangeably.

The only differentiation, in my view, is on the ingredients offered with the noodles. There are way too many variations in the ingredients being adopted and prices for a bowl of noodle can easily ranged between $2 to $18.

Below are some of my experiences pick (in my own view) on where to go for a bowl of champion and power fish ball/minced pork noodles.

1. Jalan Tua Kong Lau Lim Mee Pok @ Simpang Bedok. This is located at the far corner of the coffee shop after the carpark gantry.

This is one of the 2 stalls in Simpang Bedok which you can consider. Prices are relatively pricy.

2. Jalan Tua Kong Ah Lim Mee Pok @ Simpang Bedok. This is another stall that is facing the main road and also located in a corner shop immediately after carpark gantry.

This stall is equally power. Love their pork lard with the noodles.

3. 汕源 Fish Ball Noodle @ Cheng San Market Food Centre, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10. They do have a couple of franchise stalls island wide.

This stall serves cheap and good fish ball noodle at only $2 per bowl. The noodles are springy with bouncing fish balls.

A must try!

4. Seng Kee Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle @ Serangoon Garden Food Centre.

The fish maw mee pok soup @ $10 a bowl is a good option to experience as well.

5. 鼎记 Teochew Mee @ Blk 283 Bishan St 24.

Their signature noodle is worth a consideration too. Noodles are springy, mushrooms are thickly sliced with nice braised flavour and succulent when eaten.

6. Minced Pork Noodle stall at Kopitiam Changi Airport Terminal 3.

So far, only this particular Kopitiam stall can make it compared to other Kopitiam outlets.

7. Punggol Noodle at Lor Ah Soo market.

Their soup is MSG free with the natural ingredients flavour taste. Noodles are springy too.
8. Leng Huat Fish Ball Noodle @ Taman Jurong Market, 3 Yung Sheng Road.

This stall is super power too. The mee pok texture is different from the rest as the mee pok width is slightly broader. Maybe that brings out the flavours. Also, the soup is damn steam too. Try and experience it.

9. Thye Hong FishBall Noodle @ Blk 233 Bukit Batok East Ave 5.

Another cannot afford to miss type. There is always a perpetual queue at anytime of the day. Only operational from morning to early afternoon.

Something is very right about this stall that patrons keep coming back here. I must say, the mee pok is really power!👍 👍 👍

10. Fei Zhu (肥猪) Teochew Handmade Noodle @ 505 Beach Road (Beach Road Food Centre)

The dry mee pok at this stall is super flavourful. The sauces concoction blends extremely well to give the distinctive flavour. The medium and large portion will have the soup and the ingredients separated from the noodles and the soup taste is really power. You simply got to try it. 

Bon appetit!

Where to find traditional Claypot Chicken Rice (砂煲鸡饭)?

Claypot chicken rice is typically served with sliced chicken, salted fish, chinese sausage and vegetables. Usually it is serve with dark soya sauce.

Traditionally, the cooking is done over a charcoal stove, giving the dish a distinctive flavour. The salted fish enhances the taste of the claypot chicken rice. Due to the time consuming method of preparation and slow cooking in a claypot, you will have to wait a period of time (typically 20-30 mins) before the dish is ready.

It is difficult to find traditional claypot chicken rice as most places uses electric stove to heat up the pre-cooked rice with ingredients on the claypot in a bid to save time for diners.

Good news is that there are still such traditional claypot chicken rice in town.

1. Geylang Claypot Chicken Rice, located at 361 Beach Road, opposite The Concourse (was originally at the corner of Lor 33), is one of the place you can go to.

To avoid long waiting time, call the shop (Tel : 67443619) half an hour in advance to make prior reservation and the piping hot claypot chicken rice will be served when reached. You can even add on other dishes offered to go with your meal.

A bowl of lotus root with pork ribs soup is the best complement for your rice.

Other dishes like french bean with shrimp paste, fried beancurd skin & tofu prawn are a good companion too.

2. The other traditional Claypot Chicken Rice stall, as good as Geylang Claypot Chicken Rice, located at Blk 283 Bukit Batok East Ave 3 is worth a visit as well.

The stall uses boneless chicken thigh meat compared to whole-cut chicken depending on individual preference/liking.

3. Not forgetting one other equally champion stall, Yew Chuan Claypot Rice @ 505 Beach Road (Beach Road Food Centre).

This stall is pretty generous with the salted fish. The chilli sauce is also super power. Definitely worth a visit too.

Which will you go for?

Enjoying Japanese cuisine

I love Japanese food. This is one of the key reason I choose to visit Japan for holidays to enjoy the truly authentic and purest cuisine. Well, you can find some good Japanese food here in town too.

Following are my pick list for your consideration. 

1. Takujo Japanese Dining @ Emporium Shokuhin located at Marina Square. You will get to experience modern Japanese cuisine while dining in an intimate setting. 

If you are yearning for a good & light meal, try out the Kaisen Don Set. 

Followed by a slice of Valrhona Chocolate Mousse – Valrhona dark chocolate mousse on a hazelnut crunchy base, with champagne chocolate ganache.

Sounds steam, right?

If you would like a cozy dinner, you may opt to go for one of the 3 dinner set offered in their menu.

As we happened to know the boss of this restaurant, I had the privilege to experience their specially crafted menu (something like omakase) which is not in their standard menu.

Duo of French Oysters – 2 varieties of imported french oysters, shucked to order & with a dash of ponzu

Salmon roe with uni (sea urchin)

Flamed A5 ‘Miyazaki’ Wagyu – top grade A5 ‘Miyazaki’ Japanese wagyu beef, lightly seared

Hamachi Kama & Daikon – yellowtail cheek with savoury sauce on a braised radish

Unagi Kabayaki Don – grilled eel in homemade bbq sauce

Lobster soup

Topping off with the Japanese Tofu Cheese Cake is the way to a happy ending for a delightful evening.

2. The Sushi Bar, a casual restaurant serving fine Japanese food, located at Ngee Ann City on Level 5. Love the sashimi as each piece is thickly sliced to savour its richness. 

5 Kind Sashimi – Salmon, Tuna, Yellowtail, Swordfish, Squid

Aburi Kaisen Chirashi Don – Torched sashimi over rice

Wagyu Don

Scallop Mentaiyaki

Pitan Tofu

Hotate Salmon Aburi

Ika Geso Karaage – Deep fried squid tenticles

Amaebi Karaage – Deep fried sweet shrimps

Salmon Aburi Roll

Soft Shell Crab Roll

Sirloin Steak 

Wafu Spaghetti

Garlic Fried Rice

Kaisen Chirashi Don – Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Yellowtail, Scallop, Salmon Belly, Salmon Roe and Tamago over rice

3. Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant located in Dempsey Road is another ultimate experience for traditional Japanese cuisine.

Try their Rakuichi bento above ($48.80).

The bento sets are value for money. This place is good for lunch and slightly pricier for dinner.

4. My personal all time favourite place is Hakumai Sushi & Omakase located at International Plaza. The specialty is their Omakase. You can read more in detail in my other experience on “Japanese Dining – Omakase” which I will not elaborate here.

They do offer value for money bento set for lunch and dinner too.

Specially crafted bento meal.

Hope the pictures above is good enough to tempt you to head down for the savoury experience.

If you are really lost on what to order, go for the chirashi bento set or the hakumai bento set. Else, any bento set will still be a good choice! 😉

For pasta lovers, never leave this place without having a go at their uniquely crafted ‘Truffle Angel Hair’. 

5. Lunch bowls at Tanuki Raw located on Level 4 of Orchard Central. 

Foie Gras Truffle Yakiniku – Pan seared foie gras, US black angus short rib, onsen egg, truffle soy sauce and black garlic brown butter over Tanuki Raw’s signature mixed rice

Tanuki Kaisen Chirashi – Uni, tuna, negitoro, salmon sashimi, aburi salmon belly, scallop, sea bream, swordfish, white tuna, yellow tail, ikura, tamago and ebiko over Tanuki Raw’s signature mixed rice

Uncle Hiro’s Chicken – Fried boneless chicken marinated with Uncle Hiro’s take on local flavours. Served with smoked ketchup

Spam Wham – Thick cut spam fries deep fried, piled high with umami cheese, black garlic brown butter gravy, guacamole, onions and sour cream

Tanuki Aburi Maki – Salmon and scallop wrapping a roll of snowcrab, unagi, cucumber and avacado. Torched wasabi mayo, Tanuki oko sauce, crispy katsuo flakes and chives

6. Another place is Ikoi Japanese Restaurant located in Miramar Hotel. Patrons usually opt for their ala-carte buffet which is more value for money. You may try as many dishes on the buffet menu so long as you have enough capacity. Simply put, you order, they prepare and you eat upon serving. 现点现做现吃。

The salmon dish is the opening dish before you start and only served once.

I love their fried rice the most. You really need to eat to understand what I mean. 

Try it when you dine there.

Bon appetit!