Mad For Garlic: A food review

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Greetings! i have return with one of our typical posting…Food review time.

This time the Fishies had ventured to the Mad For Garlic, a place that specialises in pizza, pasta with a heavy hand in garlic.

As we only had 4 people we were most conservative in our order to prevent ourselves from over-ordering.

We started with a cesar salad. The veggies were crunchy, the sauce was slighty lighter than the typical sauce I was used to, but it was good paired off with freshy grated cheese. Crutons were not oily, looks like it was toasted with oil and not deep fried. Bacon came in chunks which was good as well.

Next up was Dracula Killer (photo on the lower right corner). It was a miss for us, although it was recommended on other sides. According to the menu it was garlic cooked in olive oil and anchovies served with soft baugette. Regrettably, we did not like this. We felt that stewed garlic was soft but did not go well with the bread. In fact everyone prefered the bread more and we ended up just dipping it in the garlic infused oliver oil. We also had a question: Where are the anchovies?
The anchovies were not served together in with the garlic, olive oil mix which I felt was disappointment as well as cheating my money.

We order 1 pizza initially, however as it was a thin crust pizza we came to realise we needed another one for us to be properly filled. The 2 were Four Cheese and  Sausage & Ham . Pizza wise, I would say it was pretty decent.

Initial reaction of Four Cheese was of shock for us, because it had the strong smell of blue cheese. However I thought the creamy garlic sauce made the pizza even heavier, considering it was already a four cheese pizza. But as it was shared among 4 adults, it was still pretty acceptable.

Sausage and Ham were well liked by the rest, but not me probably because it had a sweet, teriyaki/bbq type sauce as it base. As previously mention, I am never fan of sweet in my savoury food. But I do like the black pepper bits of the pizza, although I got choked by it a couple of times.

So overall it was a satisfying meal. But it wouldn’t be a place I will go out of my way to eat.

Having said that we got a $10 return voucher for paying with a DBS credit card, so we would be going back to sample some stuff.

Sanji Kagoshima Ramen 面家三士

Food, food, food!
another food review from the Tea-Flavoured Fish! Last saturday was a eating day for the us, the LandLady Fish and me. After the long-finned fish and Fishuui left us, we meet up with our October Cousin, Songster and Captain Kerk for ramen at a ramen-ya nearby.

Menya Sanji is fairly new establishment located on the first floor of Orchid Hotel, round the corner of Tonkotsu-Ou a popular ramen place that attracts a queue every dinner time. Having eaten at Tonkotsu Ou before we decided to give Sanji a try. The soup is all pork bone based and alllows variations by putting behind seasoning.

Being the safe one, I had the orginal tonkotsu shouyu ramen with added Seaweed topping:

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Songster tried the original spicy:

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Captain Kerk had the special Black sesame Soup:

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and the LandLady-Fish had the Gyokai Ramen (tonkotsu soup mixed with bonito stock):

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When the noodles were served we went around tasting everyone else’s soup. The original soup was flavourful but not oily or too salty. As ramen is something that is very full-bodied/heavy I usually find the ones that I have ate, it too salty for me, so either they have scaled it to suit the Singaporean taste-buds or they are the “lighter ramen”. The soup was fragrance, and did not have the pork-ish over taste that some pork-based soup has, so it was soupy (as opposed to some ramen soup that is more gravy like), but not watered down.

The Spicy version, was nice, however it was not spicy at all. However you have to consider the fact that we are Singaporean and chili is a common spice in South East Asia and most of us a a higher tolerance to spicy food. Despite that the chili oil and spice added a hint of spiciness, with a little more flavour that the original soup did not have.

I had mixed feelings regarding the Sesame Soup. On one hand it had the same pork bone soup-base, on the other hand instead of using shouyu (soya sauce) they added black sesame to it. It reminded me of Black Sesame Paste (芝麻糊), a popular dessert that has grounded black sesame cooked into a paste. As much as the soup was nice it reminded me of the dessert too much, and I don’t like mixing my mains and my desserts.

The Gyokai ramen was pretty good. I have taste the very strong bonito flavour in the soup. It doesn’t clash with the pork based soup. However as I am not a very big fan of fish, I don’t think I will order this.

LandLady Fish and I personally think that the noodles is a winner here. It is springy, and goes down well with the soup. Unlike some noodles like would expend and start to disintegrate into the soup causing the soup to be starchy, this noodle  did not, making this an enjoyable eating experience.

However the char-siew (sliced pork pieces) were kind disappointing. They were tough and lacked flavour, so it probably was not braised long enough. However as I usually think the soup and noodles are more important aspects of ramen, it did not marr the experience too much.

So overall we had a good meal, although the location was rather cramp and we were seated under a spotlight making it extra hot. So if you are tired of queuing for Tonkotsu-Ou do drop by Sanji, you will not be disappointed.

Okada Coffee in Singapore

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Last weekend found the four fishies at Okada Coffee, another Japan exported eatery.

As the name suggest it is a cafe, that offers main meals. However the fishies were there to sample their Hi-Tea set.

The set startes off with scones.
Not the best scones I have eaten (Twinning in Bangkok still tops), however still better than other more expensive establishments we had been before. It came warm and fluffy on the inside, however the outside was a little too hard, causing a mess when we tried to cut it. My biggest complain would be that they did not serve it with cream, just jam, which was a disappointment for this fishies. Overall the buttery taste made it a pleasant start.

The bottom layer of the tiered tray contained sandwich, beef meatball/pork katsu, butter cookie sandwich, coffee muffin and the top layer had Chocolate raspberry cake, some raspberry tart and a matcha cake.

Food wise, I don’t think this place had left an impression. The sandwich was normal, but I never undertook the need to put cream into sandwiches. It was the first thing I ate, so it was probably saved from the fate of being soggy. The meatballs were ok, I am saying this because I am bias as I am not the biggest fan of hamburg meatball, but it wasn’t dry and the sauce was pretty tasty, but not overpowering giving a balanced taste. I did not try the katsu version, as it was for my non-beef eating fishies, perhaps they would like to leave a comment about it.

I loved the cookie though, despite the fact that there as a layer of cream sandwiched between  the 2 pieces. But…it is butter cookie!! What is not to love about butter cookie!! To add on, the cream was pretty lite, and does not feel heavy and there was a sprinkling of walnuts inside adding to the fragrance.

I would say that the coffee muffin was the winner of the bottom layer. I think the sweetness is just right, with the accompanying aroma of coffee. The size was a winning factor as well, too big and it would have been too much. I scraped off most of the cream though spreading a thin layer at each bite (it lasted for 3 bites anyway), it was refreshing, I suppose it was suppose to be like milk coffee?

The Top Tier:

The chocolate raspberry dense cake…thing…was too sweet for my liking. I managed to finish half of it because of the raspberry jam filling it has. The sourish jam cancelled the sweetness, making it bearable for me to eat. once my cake had no more raspberry, I stop eating. It was unfortunate that our dear Fishuui did not have raspberry jam in her cake, which may have been a mistake by the kitchen.

No comments on the raspberry tart thing…it was just that unmemorable (or actually not worth mentioning)

The mini Matcha Cake square was the favourite of the fishies! It was light and fluffy, with the hint of green tea that make a good cake memorable. Could have easily eaten a whole slice. The lack of azuki (red beans) make the cake less dense, and light on the palate.

I would say that the tea is disappointing though. It was really bland, like too much water for one teabag? even though was let the teabag seep in the pot, it never got stronger.

The coffee, which one of us drink, was described as aromatic, but light. Typical of japanese food, I took a sip, it was good, and did not have any linger sour taste, but it was light.

Overall, this place did not impress. Although we may be tempted to come back and try the mains. But I think with a bit of money you can be presuaded to have hi-tea somewhere else.

 

Okie…stay tune for more Fishies eating adventures!

Food Review: Tsukada Nojo (塚田農場)

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Lately one of the malls in Singapore had an expansion, with it came new eataries hailing from the region. Notably(at least to me) was Nana’s Green Tea and Tsukada Nojo. I will describe our adventures at Nana’s in another post but yesterday the fishes went to Tsukada Nojo to try their fabled Bijin Nabe (美人鍋) that is filled with collagen!

Beside having only 1 branch in Singapore the venue had limited sitting as well, resulting in Long queues everyday. Nonetheless this fishie went and joined the queue ard 4.30pm for thr dinner service at 5.00pm.

So we a bijin nabe that served 4, 3 Nikumaki Oinigiri (riceballs wrapped with meat), 2 siew mai and an assortment of drinks.

The selling point of this place was their chicken broth base which was made by cooking chicken and bones from Miyazaki until it disintergrate, forming a thick base. It is then cooled into pudding (shown in photo above), when applies to heat it starts melt back into soup form. then veggies are added to form our dinner for the night!

The soup was good! the flavour of the chicken was there without overpowering feel of oiliness that you sometimes get with chicken soup. This is the soup you would be craving for when you are sick. The veggies made the soup sweeter, rounding out the meaty taste of it. After the veggies were done, we added the Mochi Mochi noodles into the soup, with the prawns! The prawns were fresh, and the noodles had a nice chewy texture that went well with the soup. But by then the fishies were all too full to completely enjoy it.

All in all it was a good trip with a moderate bill (hotpot is at $25/pax), would queue up for it another day but not that soon.

Vanilla バニラ

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Lunch set + dessert at vanilla gastro bar & cafe at Recency House.

It is a day that I finally brace myself to go try out the food at this little shop that is all plain white and decorate like a cosy house with fine wines.

I have their lunch set that was priced at $10.90 that comes with a drink. (choice of soft drink, tea or coffee). Despite being a small shop, the lunch set selection is pretty decent and I have a hard time choosing and decided that I will have smoked salmon with tomato and basil pasta.

First to come is my cup of tea that was serve in a sweet tea cup. It was out of my expectations to see it served in a nice flowery teacup as I have expected that the tea comes in a plain white tea cup to match the atmosphere of the store. A normal cup of twinnings tea bagged earl grey in such pretty cup brighten up my day for the food.

The pasta came and it was served in a claypot. I was pretty amused with the use of claypot as to me, claypots are just for Chinese food. The presentation of the food added marks to the taste of it. To my surprise, the pasta is spicy. For the 1st mouth, I can’t really say I will like the dish, but after a few mouthful of it, the taste grew in me. The spice level is comforting and it did not steal the limelight of the smoked salmon and tomato taste. What was lacking was that the basil taste was sadly covered by the chilli padi spice. Besides just plain salmon, real chopped bacon bits are added in. Overall, it is a nice fusion combination. And added points is that the food is served piping hot!

With such nice tea cup, I couldn’t resist but to order a dessert too. I ordered a vanilla dirt cake ($8.90) that comes in a flower pot with gummy worms. It is rather cute. The taste was pretty light. It is vanilla creme with chocolate cookie crumbs. The crumbs acts as soil for the presentation of the dessert. And hence it has a name as dirt cake. The downside of the dessert was some parts of the cake is still in semi frozen state. It is a dessert that you have to take time to eat it off slowly seeping up a cup of tea or coffee.

Overall, the place is decent for chill out.

PS: They have a wide selection of wines too

Nana’s Green Tea

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Gotten in love with this Japanese franchise outlet for their matcha. Always wanted to try hot ones but end up ordering cold versions instead.

Food is good as for now. I like the maguro don I have ordered. Decent pieces of maguro slices that match every mouthful of rice in nice proportions. The black sesame soy sauce is a blast of taste to ricebowl. (p.s. the don is good even without the sauce)

Ordered shiratama float matcha, a matcha latte topped with a scoop of matcha ice-cream and shiratama, rice balls. Not bad. Just the ice cream was a bit tad sweet for me. Loved the rice balls but somehow the taste was more like our tang yuan.

Well, very fulfilling food for comforting myself moodiness.

The Tasty Table

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The Tasty Table is a small eatery tucked away in a corner of Mckenzie Rd in Little India. Sandwiched between a Thai restaurant and Pizzeria it is easy to miss, but you probably wouldn’t regret ever discovering it.

Ran by 3 Danish ladies, the food served is predominately danish/european style. The ingredients are fresh and and flavours are light. Even heavy food like their Steak & Shiraz pie is well seasoned and does not leave your mouth dry and thristy like some pies do.

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The only draw back of the place is its limited sitting. Where you can either choose to sit outside by the road or the bar seats indoors.

They do a variety of takeaways though. Not only items on the menu but home cooked meals that are frozen for you to buy back to the office or home when you are feeling hungry.

All in all The Tasty Table is a good find and a highlight for the lunch goers in the area

teadot

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Had a drink with salt&vineyard on Friday evening at teadot at Nex. Despite living so close, it was my first time there! I had Lavender and Earl Grey ice tea with fluffy blueberry pancakes while salt&vineyard had Matcha Gravity and we shared a citrus cheesecake.

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The drinks are pretty good and sweet enough for me. (haha I have a sweet tooth actually.) I actually had the combination of Earl Grey and Lavender before in Starbucks Japan but that was a latte. Teadot’s blend is actually much more refreshing and has this cool after taste which is perfect for Singapore’s weather. However, my tongue started becoming a bit numb. I wasn’t too sure if it was the drink or because it was too cold.

S&V’s Matcha Gravity actually reminded me of a drink that I had in Uji, Kyoto, Japan. With that, it means that their green tea had a certain standard and quality. After all, Uji is known for their matcha.

The pancakes, we suspect, was from one of those pre-made packets and warmed up when served. But not that it is bad. In fact, the pancakes were really fluffy and yummy! Makes me want to know what brand did they buy. :X Not to mention it smelled amazing too. And a plus to the fact they served a brand of butter that both of us loved. :X

The cake stole the show. It was soft and fluffy and very very refreshing. It was a surprise to me when I first tasted it. I was expecting an “omg cheese!” reaction when I ate it. But it turned out to be not very cheesy at all. It is soft and fluffy and reminded me of those Japanese cheesecake. I think it should have went very well with S&V’s Matcha Gravity.

I think, we found a new place to hang around. 🙂 And also next time, we are going to have the warm drinks so that we can get a polar bear tea art in our cuppa.

German food in Singapore

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Dinner with my fellow dried fishes at the German restaurant Brotzeit! The platter (bottom frame) consist of a schiztel, crispy pork kunckle, and assorted sasuages. Included in this set were 2 side which we choose Spicy potatoes wedges and sauteed vegetables (top left frame), in the frame was also Morzellra salad.

Overall we left the food was ok. But the meats were kinda dry. The salad was fresh, with crunchy lettcues and a light sauce.

Another feature is their range of beers avaliable. Cherryking and Ochabake ordered the beer mixers which is beer with either Mango or Banana juice.

Rather interesting. But I felt the banana one had a sweet after taste compared to the mango one which was more bitter more like beer.

Overall it was a pretty good experience, however as I havent had german food before it is rather hard to make a good judge.

What do my other fishies say?

This looks yummy! If only we can find figs in singapore that are not too expensive

Martetatin

According to my boyfriend, this is the most delicious thing he has eaten in the last few months. Isn’t that reason enough to make this salad? If a simple salad can please your boy more than Roast chicken with obscene amounts of garlic, Shakshuka, Momofuku pork buns or Lamb Ragout, don’t make a big effort anymore and just stick with the easy salads for this summer.

Its colours are bright and it looks so fresh and festive. Summer finally started in the Netherlands this week. It’s really sunny and hot and everyone ditched their jackets and long pants and switched to short skirts and trousers. This salad is really light, which is nice when it’s so hot and moreover, it helps you keep looking good in those short skirts.

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