Chong Qing Grilled Fish

Special shoutout to all spicy food lovers, especially those with a penchant for Sichuan cuisine. I’ve been to CQGF for about 6 – 7 times and I am proud to say that they do not disappoint.

You choose your fish right at the start: Sea Bass, Carp, Snapper, Patin Fish, and Marble Goby. We chose the sea bass.

Next up would be the soup bases:

Spicy Fragrant (一品香辣)

Fermented Black Bean (干香豆豉)

Fresh Chillies (辣爽鲜椒)

Hot & Sour (黄金酸辣)

Mushroom Herbs (十里菌香)

Pickled Cabbage (酸菜香烤)

Spicy Numbing (川味麻辣)

We chose the ‘Spicy Fragrant’ with ‘Mild Spice’.

So this beauty of a sea bass was grilled over a charcoal fire first before being submerged in a fiery broth. Tender, white flesh, along with its slightly charred skin gives a real smokiness. On top of this, you can choose your own side dishes to add INTO the broth e.g. luncheon meat, enoki mushrooms, pork belly, beancurd skin etc. it’s slightly pricey but it is value for money.

Sea Bass with the Spicy & Fragrant Broth (Low Spice)

Next up, the fried mantou with condensed milk as a dipping sauce. The fluffiness of the fried mantou paired with the sweetness of the condensed milk brings you to sugar paradise. However, for health purposes, eat this once every few months.

Fried Mantou with Condensed Milk

Spicy food fanatics would love a dish of 辣子鸡. Marinated chicken pieces are first deep fried and then stir-fried with Sichuan chilli peppers, peppercorns, garlic, and ginger. Wash it down (again) with a glass of ice-cold beer but beware of the aftermath though because it’ll hurt. It could be a little dry so having fluids/soup on hand will be better.

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Chong Qing Grilled Fish has three branches in Singapore: Chinatown, Bugis, and Serangoon. The one I went to is at Bugis, on Liang Seah Street. A note to those heading there: do go early to queue and make sure your friends come on time as they will allow the party to go in only when everyone is present. Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Address:

1 Liang Seah Street, #01-05/06 (Bugis)

18 Mosque Street, #01-01 (Chinatown)

2 Maju Ave (Serangoon)

Nearest MRT:

Bugis MRT (EW12/DT14)

Chinatown MRT (NE4/DT19)

Serangoon MRT (NE12/CC13)

Opening Hours:

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Bugis branch

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Chinatown branch

12:00PM – 2:00AM (Mon – Sun) – Serangoon branch

Yakiniku Ohji – Japanese Charcoal BBQ

On the first floor of 321 Clementi sits a decent-sized restaurant specializing in Japanese BBQ. It was a working day lunch but thankfully the crowd was minimal.

BBQ buffets start at $19.80++ for a basic with 36 items, $29.80++ for 46 items, and $42.80++ for a whopping 62 items (high-quality too!). Do take note that there is an additional $2.50+ per person for the charcoal stove on the table.

We are big eaters so we went for second choice buffet and went straight for the meats! Classic favourites include sirloin, pork belly, marinated meat, US galbi, and many more.

And of course, we’re omnivores so there had to be vegetables. Leeks, onions, and mushrooms were a big hit with us. Having the charcoal stove was a big bonus as it gave the food a smokey aroma.

Grilling leeks over a charcoal fire makes them extra tasty because of the smokiness from the charcoal as well as the natural sweetness of the leeks itself.

It’s not cheap, but the food made up for it. Meat overdose, yes. But you’ll get your vegetables too!

Address:

321 Clementi Ave 3, #01-01

Singapore 129905

Nearest MRT:

Clementi MRT (EW23)

Opening Hours:

11:30AM – 11:00PM (Mon – Sun)

Kipos Gourmet

Special shoutout to: Chef Gan, Brian, and Daryl
(Thank you very much Chef Gan for the meal, Brian for inviting, and Daryl for hosting me despite being so busy! Thank you and I hope to be back soon!)

Kipos Collective (@kiposcollective) promotes a healthy lifestyle with their meal bowls. On top of a healthy and delicious meal bowl, quality ingredients are essential.

Ingredients are handpicked by their chefs to ensure freshness, quality, and ultimately, taste. Meal bowls start at a base price of $10 and the price increases based on what you add on. Order sheets and pencils are located at the counter and it is extremely easy to order! So here’s my order for reference:

Base (choose 2): Sushi rice, purple & green cabbage

Greens (choose 5): Spinach, cherry tomatoes, radish, cucumber, coriander.

Protein (choose 1): Sous-vide free-range chicken breast.

Dressing (choose 1): Roasted sesame.

Lux it up (choose 1): Onsen egg.

Crunch (choose 3): Crispy shallots, sesame seeds, tobiko (fish roe)

I also had a cup of iced organic apple tea for $3. Keep the glass cup and bring it back for a $1 rebate on your iced teas!

The vegetables are as good as it gets – the crunchiness of the radish, salad greens, and cabbage; the sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes; and the fragrance of the coriander – all good enough on its own without the need for a salad dressing. Sous-vide chicken breast is cooked till tender and moist and the slight tinge of vinegar in the sushi rice refreshes your palate. The addition of the “crunch” gives the meal bowl even more textures as well as the flavour from the shallots (an absolute favourite!). Last but not least, the bowl is topped with an onsen egg and my ritual is to break it and mix it into the rice below. The yolk was just a teeny bit overcooked but was still runny.

My second trip to Kipos was as good as the first. But this time, I went for their mentaiko salmon as it was highly recommended by my friends. True enough, it did not disappoint! I also went with a Yuzu Wasabi dressing which certainly packed a punch. The runny yolk (YES) from the onsen egg certainly aided in reducing the effects from the yuzu wasabi dressing.

Address:
7 Wallich Street, #B2-19
Singapore 078884
(It’s right next to Boost juice bar)

Nearest MRT:
Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15)

Opening Hours:
9:00AM – 8:30PM (Mon – Thurs)
10:00AM – 8:30PM (Fri)
11:00AM – 6:30PM (Sat)
Closed on Sundays.

Chirashi King Kong

A familiar donburi restaurant, with branches at Millenia Walk and Tanjong Pagar, Chirashi King Kong has its new place at Biopolis. Armed with their signature truffle rice that comes in every bowl, CKK certainly puts a new twist to Japanese rice bowls. For those working in Biopolis, it’s located at Neuros, just next to the prata shop.

There are a number of familiar favorites such as the Bara Chirashi Don (raw fish cut into cubes, marinated, and placed on top of rice), as well as the Unagi Don. I’ve personally tried three different bowls and I must say it triggers your senses.

Mentaiko Salmon Don

The very first one I tried was the Mentaiko Salmon Don. You can’t go wrong when there’s mentaiko and salmon. On top of that, it is seared with a blow torch before serving. The balance was surprising as I expected the truffle rice to overpower the entire dish. The acidity from the pickles help to clear your palate, and the mentaiko’s saltiness paired with the soft salmon completes the dish.

Unagi Truffle Don

The unagi don was pretty decent as the unagi was indeed..huge, and meaty. It was well-marinated with a sweet sauce. However, I could tell that there was probably a batch variation when it comes to the rice as the truffle aroma was a little stronger than usual. But it wasn’t overpowering, fortunately.

Assorted Fish Don

Lastly, the assorted fish rice bowl with thick cuts of sashimi. Salmon, swordfish, scallops, tuna, squid stuffed with shisamo roe, all on top of their signature truffle rice.

Address:
8 Biomedical Grove, #01-14
Neuros
Singapore 138665

1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-06
Singapore 082001

9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-17
Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista MRT (EW21/CC22)

Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15)

Promenade MRT (DT15/CC4)

Opening Hours:
11:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon – Fri) – Biopolis branch

11:00AM – 7:00PM (Mon – Sat) – Tanjong Pagar branch

11:00AM – 9:00PM (Mon – Sun) – Millenia Walk branch

Waa Cow!

It HAS been a while since my last post – a full 10 months. I’ve decided to come back on, but I’ll post little by little. And what better way to start of the year by indulging in a delicious bowl of Wagyu Beef Don! Shoutout to my foodie friends who encouraged me to continue blogging.

I’m sure most of my friends working in the CBD area have heard of Waa Cow and since I was in the area, I HAD to give it a try.

There are a number of rice sets but the highly recommended would be the Wagyu Beef Dons along with a few variants such as the addition of mentaiko, or even a truffled cheese version. The meat is so tender and juicy, and occasionally you’ll get tiny nuggets of fat that just melts in your mouth. I ordered the Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Don, so there will be a generous spread of mentaiko sauce right on top of the meat. It will be seared with a flame torch, so do not worry about that aspect.

Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Don

If you prefer a bowl without the mentaiko sauce, there’s always a traditional bowl of Wagyu Beef Don! Oh, and please add the onsen egg.

Wagyu Beef Don

Onsen egg = beautifully cooked. Rice was cooked perfectly, with none of your soggy nonsense. Pickles help to cut the richness of the truffle and the mentaiko sauce. There are number of ways to savour this beauty – you can choose to sample each component separately, each with a mouthful of rice, or break the yolk and mixing it in with the rice. Dee-lish.

Address:
5 Raffles Place, #B1-63
Singapore 048618

Nearest MRT:
Raffles Place (EW14/NS26)

Opening Hours:
Lunch | 11:30AM – 3:00PM (Mon – Fri)

Dinner | 5:30PM – 8:30PM (Mon – Fri)

Lunch | 12:00PM – 2:30PM (Sat)
Closed on Sundays.

Croissant [Bread] & Butter Pudding!

Yes it’s the festive season. Yes it’s nearing the end of 2017. Yes it’s Christmas!

(Well, 2 days ago it was)

I’ve always told my friends that baking wasn’t my thing, and that cooking is much more flexible as you can taste and season your food as you go along. I wasn’t a big fan of measuring ingredients e.g. 50g of butter, 200g of flour etc. Then I realized baking isn’t that tough after making this dish!

Bread and butter pudding is a pudding that is very popular in British cuisine. The concept is to layer slices of buttered bread, scattered with raisins, into an oven dish. A custard made by mixing eggs, cream, sugar and milk, normally seasoned with nutmeg as well as vanilla, is poured over the bread mixture. It is then baked and served with custard or cream.

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I’ve adapted my version from Nigella Lawson’s Bread & Butter Pudding Recipe. Instead of using bread, I’ve opted for croissants as these are packed with butter which will give me a crisp exterior. Oh! Serve with vanilla ice-cream!

Ingredients:
3 eggs
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup milk (do not use low fat)
1 cup cream
(1/2 – 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
(Nutmeg)
5 – 6 croissants
50g butter
A handful of raisins

Steps:

  1. Slice the croissants and toast them until slightly crisp. Once the croissant slices are done, tip them into a oven dish along with the raisins.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (356 F).
  3. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar into a large bowl.
  4. Melt the butter over low heat and pour it into the milk mixture while whisking.
  5. Pour the mixture into the croissant-filled oven dish.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Some things to take note of:

  • Vanilla extract and ground nutmeg was not used as I did not have time to get it but these are the must-use ingredients as it really lifts the flavour of the entire pudding.
  • This recipe can be adjusted if you have more people coming for a party e.g. more croissants, eggs, cream etc.
  • Raisins can be soaked in Marsala (like what Nigella did) or rum!
  • Instead of raisins, you can use bananas.
  • Addictive

Chibing Korean Restaurant

I must say I’m pretty happy with my workplace as it has good food around the area. Chibing Korean Restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, from appetizers, to chimaek sets, stews, pancakes, all the way to bingsu! It does sound like a perfect 3 course dinner. Chibing is ideal for big groups as their portions are pretty sizeable and can feed at least 4 people per portion (e.g. the stir fried chicken set we had). Top up with some side dishes and bingsu and you’ll be filled up by the end of your meal. You can head there for a light lunch (if you don’t want to head back to office with food coma to come), or dinner, where you can enjoy the full ‘3-course’ meal.

Their Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken comes adorned with lots of vegetables, so you will not feel guilty. Cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and spring onions are lined up side by side with the chicken right in the centre. The pot is heated up to a point where the staff will help you with the frying of the dish. When everything is mixed well, you can start eating.

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Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken

YES you can add rice when you have cleared most of the chicken dish and YES you can definitely request for cheese to be added. Mix everything together and you’ve got a well seasoned rice with gooey bits of cheese hiding inside.

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Thick Slices of Pork Belly

Chibing does not only have a la carte dishes to offer, but they have their Unlimited BBQ promotion which is about S$20++ for adults and S$10++ for children. For that price you will get unlimited pork belly (pretty thick slices as well), free flow of side dishes, soy bean paste stew (Doenjang-jjigae), rice, and steamed egg. A downside of this promotion is that you have to pay an extra $2 for lettuce and $3 for oyster mushrooms.

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Garlic, Pork Belly, Kimchi

​But I’m sure K-BBQ lovers go there for mainly their meat, and Kimchi is already a free-flow side of vegetables so I don’t think it will be an issue! The lady boss also taught as to place the kimchi towards the end of the grill, where the fat from the pork belly will accumulate and cook the kimchi, giving it added flavour. 3 of us shared 11 strips of pork belly and by the end of the meal we were thoroughly satisfied.

Address:
1 Vista Exchange Green, # 01-43/K4,
The Star Vista Mall, Singapore 138617

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista MRT Station (EW21/CC22)

Opening Hours:
Mondays – Saturdays: 11:30AM – 10:00PM
Sundays: 11:00AM – 10:00PM

Ayam Penyet

Ayam penyet, which means “smashed fried chicken” in Javanese, is an Indonesian dish consisting of a piece of fried chicken that is smashed on a pestle and mortar to make it softer, and served with sambal, cucumber slices, fried tofu, and tempeh. I’d dare say that ayam penyet is quite a popular dish here in Singapore, with outlets in coffeeshops, malls, and even schools (cue: NUS Science Canteen)! It will definitely be a hit for deep-fried food lovers AND those that love a good sambal.

My previous time at Ayam Penyet Ria was ages ago and it was a hit back then. Fast forward to 2017, it has since opened a number of branches – 2 in Lucky Plaza, and others at Far East Plaza, and Jurong Point.

Lucky Plaza’s Ayam Penyet Ria outlet on the 4th floor was the choice for dinner on a Friday night. Being early is important as within an hour or so, the seats were filled up really quickly – which shows that it is still a favourite!

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General Layout of the Restaurant

I’m quite a skeptical person when it comes to an original outlet having various branches throughout the island as there is a tendency for the quality of the food to deteriorate through the years. However, the food did not disappoint. The fried chicken was crispy, but the meat was a little dry but that could be changed with adjustments to the cooking time! Do take note that their sambal is quite spicy (even for me), so if you’re a moderate spice eater, beware!

To make sure the chicken is moist and juicy after a deep fry, you’ll have to poach the chicken first so that the inside is cooked through. The high heat from the deep fry process is meant to crisp up the meat as a whole, and not really meant for cooking the meat through. So if the poaching process were to be omitted, what you will get is a crispy but overcooked piece of meat. The Ayam Penyet Recipe from Bearnakedfood does this! What the chef also did was to marinate the meat overnight for more flavour and a more tender piece of meat.

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Ayam Penyet (Smashed Fried Chicken) – Comes with deep fried beancurd, cucumbers, tempeh, cabbage, and a dollop of sambal

Next up was Tahu Telor aka Beancurd Omelette, also another deep fried dish. This dish is part of the street food culture in Indonesia and it involves a mixture of beaten egg and tofu that is deep fried, and served with a peanut sauce. I am quite sure that the “high tower” shape is a new addition to this dish as normal tahu telors are pretty much flat. To get this “high tower” shape, just use a mould (it has to be metal of course; used soup cans are great, but remove the labels). I am not a big advocate of deep fried eggs as somehow I find that it takes away the flavour of the eggs. Nevertheless, it was still a great dish!

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Tahu Telor/Telur – Beancurd Omelette

Address:
Lucky Plaza:
204 Orchard Road, #04-25/26 & Level 1,
Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863

Far East Plaza:
14 Scotts Road, #05-22
Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213

Jurong Point:
1 Jurong West Central 2, #B1-06,
Jurong Point, 648886

Nearest MRT:
For Lucky Plaza and Far East Plaza:
Orchard MRT Station (NS22)

For Jurong Point:
Boon Lay MRT Station (EW27)

Opening Hours:
Mondays – Sundays: 11:00AM – 10:00PM

Food Tour (III) Prego’s @ Fairmont Singapore

Our final stop was to Prego’s at Fairmont Singapore. Chef de Cuisine Antonio Facchinetti made it a family-sharing styled lunch/dinner compared to the individual servings we had earlier on. Amazing dishes such as Insalata Caprese (correct me if I’m wrong!) – a dish with buffalo mozzarella that was so soft, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar; Plus my personal favourites, Penne Tartufate – penne with sautéed mushrooms and a truffle cream sauce, pasta was cooked al dente, sauce was not too heavy;  and Prego’s ‘House Signature’ Tiramisu, which was extremely light and had a great balance of coffee and liqueur.

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Insalata Caprese (Vine Ripened Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella)

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Penne Tartufate (Pasta with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms in a Truffle Cream Sauce)

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Cappellacci di Zucca

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Tiramisu

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With Maureen (misstamchiak)

There were other dishes that did not make it into these photo slideshow but they were great as well. I am so grateful to Maureen for organizing this food tour and picking the 10 winners too! Through this food tour I met 9 other foodies that had so much love for food, and the great lengths they go to arranging their food for a photo shot.

Don’t forget to check out the Accor Hotels Food and Wine Festival from the 4th to the 12th of November and there will be a total of 40 restaurants and bars taking part in this festival!

P.S. I ended the food tour at night with a Backstreet Boys concert at the Indoor Stadium. So darn good, as always.

Food Tour (II) Ellenborough Market Cafe @ Swissotel Merchant Court

Second stop was to the Ellenborough Market Cafe at Swissotel Merchant Court. Helmed by Chef Louis Tay, this restaurant aims to serve the best of Peranakan Cuisine, alongside Asian and International goodies. For the AccorHotels Food & Wine Festival, the Cafe will be serving a Tiffin Set for two.

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Hee Pioh Soup

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Stir-fried Chincalok Pork

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Lady’s Fingers with Sambal Belachan

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Ikan Assam Pedas

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Turmeric Rice

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Pièce de résistance: Durian Pengat drizzled with Gula Melaka

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Assorted Nyonya Kueh

 

Soup:
Hee Pioh Soup, also known as Meatball and Fish Maw Soup. As clear as it seems, every spoonful gives a burst of intense flavour.

Main Course:
Served with a main staple of Turmeric Rice, you’ll have Stir-fried Chincalok Pork, Ikan Assam Pedas, and Lady’s Fingers with Sambal Belachan. My personal favourite was Ikan Assam Pedas – fresh fish, and the broth was a fine balance between sour and spicy.

Dessert:
Assorted Nyonya Kueh. We were very lucky to be served an additional bowl of Durian Pengat which is topped with a drizzle of Gula Melaka (this will be on the a la carte menu during the festival). Sinful but oh so good.