Everything Else, Food Hunter

Beef Noodle X Lunch

beef noodle

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Kway Teow | Sliced beef | Beef ball | Bean sprouts | Chinese parsley | Tart chilli sauce

The tenderness of the beef is always something to look forward to in a bowl of beef noodles. With a variety of cuts to choose from (triple, brisket, tendon or frank), it is hard to get tired of this dish.

Not only that, there are other parts of the beef noodle that is yummy. The soup entices me with its herbs and spices brew. Plus, the tart chilli sauce is unique of the beef noodle. Made of grated lengkuas (galangal root), squeezed lime and cincaluk (pickled shrimp), the slight sour and spicy taste helps add a different dimension to the taste and not make eating the beef too much on the stomach.

Oh my. I’m now craving for a good bowl of this again.

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Food Hunter

Ayam Penyat Ria @ Far East Plaza

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A friend of mine have never eaten Ayam Penyat before and I decided to bring her to try it. Originating from Indonesia, the chicken is marinated in different spices and subsequently fried. It is smashed (“Penyat”) and served with a fried bean curd, fermented bean curd and chilli.

The outlet we were at was the branch from the original one at Lucky Plaza. Though the outlet was small, there was no long waiting time and service was prompt.

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The chicken was crispy and juicy but to my dismay, it looked rather small and did not satisfy my hunger.  However, it was well seasoned and you could taste the turmeric powder. The chilli sauce was spicy and packs quite a punch. But be warned for those with a low tolerance, or you might end up a fire breathing dragon!

Fried and oily aside (which my friend loved it), I think the way how the chilli is prepared makes or breaks this dish, and it is something to excite the taste bud.

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Food Hunter

Toss & Turn @ Ion Orchard

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Before an extensive 4k walk to church, I wanted to pack some healthy food for dinner and was craving for a good sandwich and salad. Having passed by this place a couple of time, I decide to try Toss & Turn, a soup and salad bar by Cedele.

Packed in a designer style wrapper, the combo was a mixed grain loaf with chicken avocado and with a side salad.  One bite and you get the flavours from the roasted chicken and the freshness of the vegetables. The avocado had a slight sweetness to it and the good thing about it was that it was slightly mashed and not too chunky on the mouth. 

On the other hand, the salad was piled with lots of goodness; edamame beans, purple and green lettuce, carrots and croutons. The plus to it was the free flow sunflower seeds and pomegranate dressing that I could add to my salad from their counter. The pairing of the sweet and light dressing with the sunflower seeds and the croutons added a nice dimension and texture to the crunchiness of the salad. If you think that pomegranate dressing is too wild for your taste bud, the counter also serves other types of dressings, like the usual Caesar, Thousand Island to the fruity or less heavy kind for the salad.

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I was surprised that the portion of the food left me feeling quite full from the hearty meal! Judging by the stream of people that visit this outlet from office people to school going students, it seems to hit the right notes to appeal to people to eat their greens. I even went back a second time to try to create my own salad to take-away.

However, their service was a let down as I was kept waiting at the cashier while the staff was busy minding other customers and errands. While the regular salad portion was huge, their food prices is a bit steep ($9 for a regular bowl, $7.80 for half a bowl) just for greens and I think having it too many times seems like high maintenance? Maybe I’ll stick to buying fresh veggies from the supermarket and tossing them myself.

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Food Hunter

Nyonya & Baba Peranakan Cuisine @ Vivocity

peranakanAyam Buah Keluah | Sambal Kang Kong | Nyonya Chap chye | Hu Piao Soup

Many years back, I used to be hooked on a drama titled “Little Nyonya”. There were scenes where the Nyonyas would prepare delicious Peranakan meals and desserts and it always looked so good! Their food is all about fresh ingredients, good preparation, spices and the riches of flavours. But TV show aside, my family decided to head to Nyonya & Baba Peranakan cuisine to celebrate my mum’s birthday.

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peranakan2Achar | Keropok | Belachan chili

peranakan4Nyonya Chap Chye

peranakan5 peranakan7Ayam Buah Keluah

Needless to say, the food for the dinner set was good and it was refreshing to have  achar and keropok as a standard appetizer. The set came with vegetables, meats and soup. On an interesting note, the rice was served by the waiter who would scoop from a pandan infused tub of rice so you can inform them on how much you want and not be eating too much carbs!

One of the highlights was the buah keluah, which I usually look forward to in a Peranakan meal. The buah keluah is actually a poisonous fruit with hydrogen cyanide, and it is quite deadly if consumed without prior preparation. The way to eat it is to scrape out the flesh from the inside of the fruit and eat it either on its own or by mixing it with some rice. It usually is served in a thick curry sauce and it has a nutty taste.

peranakan8Sambal Pomfret

peranakan9Babi Pongteh

peranakan10Puloh Hitam | Chendol

The dinner set ended off with a choice of puloh hitam or chendol and that in itself was quite a task for the stomach. It was quite decent price-wise, but what is more important was the time for my family to eat together, and that’s what matters. (:

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Food Hunter

구이가 Guiga Korean BBQ Restaurant @ Tanjong Pagar Road

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Banchan 반찬 (clockwise from top)

yeongeun jorim | nakji bokkeum | deodeok muchim | sigeumchi namul | gamja saelleodeu| baechu kimchi| kimchi oisobagi

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It looked like a scene straight out of a movie: rainwater surging towards us from all directions and, horror of all horrors, we had nowhere to seek refuge.

Caught in an unexpected flash flood, all we wanted was something hot. Something right off the grill. Something… Oh, something like a good ol’ Korean barbecue. We found ourselves stuck along the five foot way of the row of shophouses, trapped between rising water levels along the main road and what other than a homey and inviting looking Korean barbecue restaurant. Of course, we couldn’t resist.

Guiga Korean BBQ Restaurant is the new kid on the block among the row of Korean eateries you find along Tanjong Pagar Road, and we find, being new is not always a bad thing.

We ordered the chicken in soy sauce and were served an array of banchan to kick start the meal.

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There is always much anticipation as raw meat hits a hot grill. The sizzle of the meat; the smoky aroma that wafts into your consciousness; the sight of the meat turning from pink to a dark caramel colour, with slightly charred bits at the tips; the heat rising off the grill; the explosion of flavours and textures as you bite into a lettuce-wrapped bite-sized piece. This moment of gratification, knowing that the short wait for the food to cook (certainly felt like an eternity to us) and the sacrifice made to smell exactly like what we just ate was all worth it.

The chicken was tender and well seasoned with soy sauce. Every bite delivered a combination of the juiciness of the meat with a hint of the charred grilled flavour. Eaten dipped in a little tangy and savoury dipping sauce, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, every lettuce wrap we had was a parcel of crunchy, meaty textures. As is the Korean custom, the helpful service staff laid out the meat on the grill for us although we could have very much done it on our own. This gesture is what good service is about, since customers definitely wouldn’t want their hands dirtied with raw food.

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Guiga is definitely worth a visit for some good quality Korean barbecue in a homey, family business setting. If you are a night owl looking for food, this place is open till 6 am! What we appreciated most was that the banchan were considered as ‘service’ and we did not have to pay for them as a result. Of course, you could always say that the cost was accounted for in the price of the food, but it always helps to think of the cup as half full, no?

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Food Hunter

U Mariánského Obrazu @ Praha, Czech Republic

Svíčková na smetaně

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Vepřo-knedlo-zelo

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Svíčková na smetaně 2

Svíčková na smetaě

Pečená Kachna 

Vepřo-Knedlo-Zelo 

Staropražská česnečka s opečeným chlebem 

Velkopopovický Kozel 10% (Tmavé) 

I confess it was quite a mouthful to say all of this when I first entered U Mariánského Obrazu. This restaurant serves delicious traditional Czech food at such affordable prices and the local beers are a must try! Though the Svíčková na smetaě is my favourite, these bread dumplings fill you up fast.

If you want a slice of Prague and are willing to travel out of the tourist areas, I would recommend this place. Kudos to local Czech friends for introducing this place to us!

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