Category Archives: Seafood

Mont Calzone

Mont Calzone
38 Pekin Street #01-01
Far East Square
Tel: (65) 6557 2304
Website: http://www.montcalzone.com.sg/
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3.30pm and from 5.30pm to 10.30pm (Mondays to Fridays); 5.30pm to 10.30pm (Saturdays); closed on Sundays
 

Bf discovered this place as we were wandering around Far East Square, wondering what to have for dinner.

What caught his eye was the thin crust pizza that they had on a huge billboard outside the restaurant.  He, being an Italian foodie, wanted to try it.

On our first visit (we’ve been there two other times since), the waiter recommended the parma ham pizza (which has tomato sauce, mozzarella, parma ham topped with rucola salad and shredded parmesan).  I must say that the saltishness of the ham goes excellently well with the rucola salad and the thin crust pizza.  The crust is biscuit like and you can hear the crunch when you bite into the pizza.  Just be sure to catch the chef on a good day – he burnt the crust once.  The pizza is generously topped with the rucola salad.  At the cost of S$14.90 for an 8″ pizza (S$17.90 for 12″), it is suitable for 2 persons with small appetites to share.  Otherwise, just order a whole pizza for yourself.  I must declare that this pizza is the best value-for-money in Singapore.  Surprisingly, this is not a chef-recommended dish.

We also tried the Risotto.  Although the menu says their risotto is prepared with tomato sauce and seafood, we asked the waiter to inform the chef to prepare it with cream sauce and parmesan cheese instead.  But they served us the one with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese instead. 😦  Bf says that the tomato sauce is too heavy and masked the taste of the parmesan cheese.

We also tried the Aglio Olio but we had the chef do it in the classic style (i.e. with no shrimps but with dressing of olive oil, garlic and chilli).  I have to give this a thumbs down – the pasta turned out to be too dry and not spicy (even though we asked for spicy).  At S$12.90 a plate, portion is good for 1 person only (with small appetite).

Overall, I give the parma ham pizza 10 thumbs up for value and quality (if the chef didn’t burn my crust) but a so-so rating for the rest of the food.  But bf and I will continue visiting this place (because of the parma ham pizza) and we’ll continue to taste the other food items that they have on the menu.  I have my eye on their tiramisu already – just hope that they don’t disappoint.

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Pagi Sore

Kangkong Belachan Tahu Telor Ayam Bali  Cumi Bali

Pagi Sore
Far East Square Outlet:
No 88-90 Telok Ayer Street
Far East Square
(Opp PWC Building)
Singapore 048470
Tel:  6225 6002
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (Closed on Public Holiday)
                         11.00 am – 3.00 pm   6.00 pm – 10.00 pm
 
Jurong Superbowl Outlet:
No 1 Yuan Ching Road #01-02

Jurong Superbowl
Singapore 618640
Tel:  6266 3200
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (Closed on Public Holiday)
                         11.00 am – 3.00 pm   6.00 pm – 10.00 pm
 

My parents and I visited their Far East Square outlet on Mother’s Day (11 May 2008).  Whenever we eat at an Indonesian restaurant, we never fail to order the tahu telor and the avocado dessert.  These to us are the representation of local Indonesian food.

We wanted to order the Petai Pedas but sadly they didn’t have it available.  So we ended up ordering the Kangkong Belachan (S$8.80), Tahu Telor (S$8.80), Ayam Bali (S$5.80 per piece; we ordered 2 pieces), Cumi Bali (S$13.50), 2 alpukat (S$4.20 each) and 1 chendol and of course, who can forget the rice!.

The food came pretty fast considering it was a lunch-time crowd and on top of that, Mother’s Day!  We barely had to wait for more than 15 minutes before the vegetables start arriving.

The level of spiciness in the food is indicated in their menu – 0 spoon means no chilli at all, 1 spoon means not that spicy, 2 spoons mean spicier, etc.

The first to arrive was the Kangkong Belachan.  This dish wasn’t too spicy (they only had 1 spoon) which is great coz you’ll have some people who can’t take spicy food.  Quite an ordinary dish.  I mean you really can’t go wrong with this dish unless you used really lousy belachan to fry the vegetables.

Next came the tahu telor (deep fried bean curd with egg).  Again another fail-safe dish.  The tahu (bean curd) is soft on the inside and a little bit crunchy on the outside (because of the egg).  Not spicy at all.  They poured a special sweet sauce over the tahu telor but you don’t really find it overwhelmingly sweet.  Wish they could make it a wee bit spicier so you can have the kick!

After a short while, the chicken and the squid arrived.  Both were cooked in the same style – bbq with a kind of sauce spread on top of the meat.  I find the chicken nice but it was a tad too sweet.  Too much of the sweet sauce!  Not so crunchy despite being bbq.  Tasted more fried rather than bbq.

I love the squid!  It was done just nice; you know if you overcooked the squid, it becomes too tough but this was perfect!  A bit on the sweet side but not as sweet as the chicken.  Pagi Sore also stuffed the tentacles inside the squid before bbq.  I don’t know if this made the squid a wee bit juicier but it was good.

The rice…. I love the rice too! Each portion was served wrapped in a banana leaf so that you get the nice fragrance when you unwrap the rice.  Somehow, you can never stop at just one portion.  Even small eater like me had 1.5! 😛  They charge you S$1.50 for unlimited servings of rice for each person, so if you are a huge rice eater, it’s really worth it.

The belachan… they charge you S$0.30 for each small plate of belachan so don’t be too happy and order as much belachan as you like, thinking it’s free.  The belachan is nice BUT not spicy at all!  You do get the taste of belachan but somehow, I would have much preferred it to be spicier.  No kick if it’s not spicy! However, if you love the belachan here, you can always buy it by the bottle – 230g for S$7 and 380g for S$10.

We had the alpukat (avocado dessert) which is nice but always too sweet!  Very thick and I wish they would go easy on the gula melaka (brown sugar) which makes the avocado too sweet.  Dad enjoyed his chendol – no bad comments so I guess it must be nice for him.  He has a sweet tooth so if you don’t, ask them to go easy on the sugar.

I must say that I am pretty impressed with the service here – very friendly!  Mom was even given a stalk of rose after the meal and as a Mother’s Day special, we were each given a bowl of dessert on the house.  It was a cold dessert – white fungus, wolfberry and 1 more item I can’t describe (we call it lian zhi but I can’t find the English word for it).  Nice but I liked better the one I tried before at Crystal Jade Shanghai Restaurant.

Overall, excellent service and good value for money.  We paid something like S$70 for the meal and we felt so stuffed thereafter.  Most importantly, my parents love the quality of the food.  A definitely will go again restaurant!

Tian Jin Hai Seafood Restaurant

Steamed Sharks Head
Tian Jin Hai Seafood Restaurant
600 Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue
Singapore 829734
Tel: 9768 8818
Website: http://www.tjhseafood.com/
Opening Hours: Lunch 1130 – 1430 hours; Dinner : 1730 – 2300 hours; Weekend & P.H 1100 – 2300 hours

Tian Jin Hai is no newcomer to the food scene here. In fact, the seafood stall had quite a following during its 10-year tenure at the Kopitiam MacPherson at Jackson Centre.

When the hawker centre was closed in September last year, owner-chef Francis Yeo, 51, went on a month-long holiday in China and the plan was to reopen in the Rochor area after that.  But when he returned, he found that the shop space would not be ready for another four months.

Not willing to sit idle, he went hunting for another location. Chance took him to the Marina Country Club in Punggol where a restaurant space had been left vacant for more than a year since Taiwanese chef Huang Ching-biao’s Chinese eatery closed down. Yeo took it over and reopened Tian Jin Hai last December.

Although the seaside restaurant is not air-conditioned, it is a far cry from the cramped, sweltering Jackson Centre. It has a view of the Johor Baru industrial zone and the spacious premises can fit 30 tables and a bar counter.

And instead of hawker centre-type tables and hard stools, you now find tablecloths and cushioned chairs. But now that it is no longer a hawker stall, prices have gone up accordingly, from a couple of dollars to as much as $10 more.

Nonetheless, you can get a good meal here for about $35 per person, which is comparable to what you pay at other local seafood restaurants.

The dish to go for at Tian Jin Hai is the unique steamed shark’s head (starting from $30 each) which Yeo claims to have created.

It is an unusual dish as the head has no meat at all. Instead, stripped of its skin, it comprises a cone-shaped bone to which are attached thick slabs of what look like a firm gelatin and have the texture of sea cucumber.

Yeo steams the shark’s head Hong Kong-style in a lightly sweetened soya sauce. It sounds very simple, but the sauce is just perfect for the dish, covering up whatever bits of fishiness it might have without being overpowering.

The crab dishes here are pretty good, especially if you like your crabs huge and meaty. The crustaceans are priced at $40 a kg, no matter how they are cooked. Although the chilli crab here is very popular, I prefer the crab beehoon.

The giant crab (about 1 to 1.6kg) comes sitting on the beehoon and broth in a deep dish. It is not overcooked and you can taste the natural sweetness of the plump slivers of meat. The broth is delicious too and the beehoon soaks it up like a sponge.

Another winning dish is the salt-baked red tilapia ($35 a kg).  The whole fish, scales and all, is packed in salt and baked. When ready, it is removed from the salt crust and the scaly skin on both sides is carefully separated from the meat in whole sheets.

The fish is served standing on its belly, propped up by the sheet of scales on each side. This dramatic presentation, plus the white colour of the fish’s exterior, prompted Yeo to name the dish xueshan feiyu in Mandarin, which translates as ‘snow mountain flying fish’.

Looks aside, the fish also tastes lovely. It does not have any of the muddy flavour that characterises freshwater fish and the meat is smooth and moist.

Some of the cheap dishes are also done well here. The fried kangkong with cuttlefish ($10), for example, is cooked with just enough spiciness in the sambal.

The only drawback of the restaurant is its remote location. But there is a convenient way to get there even if you don’t drive.

The club runs almost hourly shuttle bus services from morning till 11pm to and from Punggol MRT station, as well as Compass Point, Rivervale Mall and Punggol Plaza during lunch and dinner hours.

Personal Note:

I’ve eaten at their stall in MacPherson Road for a long time and especially loves their chilli crabs there.  Standard has dropped a little over the years but still, it remains quite tasty. Am glad that I managed to find them again; although this time they’re located a bit further, I’ll be sure to visit them.

If you are adventurous, do try their famous steamed sharks’ head.  Personally, I have not tried it before because I find the smell of the dish too fishy to stomach.

 

Jones The Grocer

Pork Sausages Tapas Stilton Blue Cheese Tapas Portobello Mushrooms Tiramisu Cake Rogers Beer
Jones The Grocer
Blk 9 #01–12 Dempsey Road
Tel: 6476 1512
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 6pm, Mondays and 9.30am to 11pm, Tuesdays to Sundays
Website: http://www.jonesthegrocer.com/store/singapore
 

We first visited Jones the Grocer a few months back but as it was after our dinner, we had a walk about the store just to see the range of products that they had.

We loved what we saw, so bf and I went to Jones the Grocer on 16 Apr 2008 to have dinner.  Now, my 1st gripe of the evening started.  Not so much their fault I guess since they do not know if I’m a grocery shopper or diner.  But the waiters at the front door could at least be friendlier.  I had to approach them to ask for a table for 2 and they just told me that it was free-seating.  It being a Wednesday evening, there wasn’t much of a crowd, so we managed to get a nice table to ourselves.

Then my 2nd gripe began.  The menu was not as extensive as we expected it to be.  Given its wide range of pastas, sauces, herbs and all, we expected the menu to be wow! Instead, they had about only 8 main dishes on the menu, out of which 2 were pastas. And mind you, Jones the Grocer does not handle special requests.  For example, we wanted aglio olio (something which we thought would have been easily done since they had all the raw ingredients there) but the answer was “sorry, we can’t do that for you.  There are only 2 pasta dishes on the menu.”  Then I didn’t want peas on my pork sausages and the answer was again “sorry ma’am, we can’t separate the peas.”  Geez!

In the end, we finally settled on our order and we had pork sauages with mashed potato, peas and onions in caramelized gravy (S$21.50), tapas stilton blue cheese & tea soaked figs (S$9.50), tapas baked mushrooms with rocket salad (S$7.00), tiramisu (S$8.50), 1 glass of Pegasus Finale (S$12.00) and 1 bottle of Little Creatures Rogers beer (S$10.00).

Don’t ever order the pork sausages unless you like boiled pork sauages which has a strong taste of pig liver and an unnatural sourish taste (something like spoilt food) in it.  It would have probably tasted better if it’s sliced and then char-grilled with stronger sauce to mask the liver taste.  Definitely a please do not ever try!

The tapas stilton blue cheese & tea soaked figs was a much better choice.  It was my first time tasting blue cheese and I must say I enjoyed it immensely.  The cheese was saltish and you can actually taste a hint of a flavour that’s something like yeast.  Very smooth and creamy and the cheese taste isn’t that overpowering.  BUT the cheese didn’t go too well with the biscuits we were served (can’t remember which type of biscuits it was).  Could have done better with crispbread instead.  It was also my first time tasting tea soaked figs – you can’t taste the tea in the figs but what you get are soft figs.  Still, this dish is definitely much better than the pork sauages.

The tapas baked portebello mushrooms with rocket salad was another disappointment.  I don’t think the mushrooms were baked but boiled.  They even boiled the rocket salad which really spoilt the taste.  Am not too sure what type of cheese they put on top of the mushrooms but it was certainly bland and did nothing much to enhance the flavour of this dish.  The only thing I loved about this dish was that you could smell the portebello mushrooms as the dish was being served. 

The tiramisu was again another disappointment.  We were served tiramisu cake not the tiramisu dessert.  Too much cream and too little rum in this cake made it a huge disappointment.  I was so looking forward to having a good tiramisu dessert.

The glass of Pegasus Bay Finale was a delight for me.  I love dessert wines and this one didn’t disappoint me.  This wine came from New Zealand and it has a golden hue with hints of dried apricots, peaches, honey, scorched almonds and an aroma of beeswax.  Overall, a sweet and rich wine.

The bottle of Little Creatures: Rogers beer is a smooth drinking amber ale with an interesting mix of malts.  An Australian beer with a very strong taste of something like saffron.  Very different from the local beers that we’re used.

Service is not attentive at all; we were given a single glass of plain water when we first sat down.  No refill of the water glass at all even though the crowd was very sparse.  True, we did call the waitress a few times to place different orders but not once, did she top up our water glass.  Used cutleries were cleared pretty fast but as we had ordered more dishes, no replacement of the earlier cutleries were given and we had to take them from the seats beside us.

Overall, bad experience at Jones the Grocer.  I don’t think I’ll attempt another trip back to eat here, and if you must, I would recommend having a go at the tapas (although it’s a hit or miss) or having the cheese platter (S$19.50).  Choose from a list of Australian or New Zealand wines with a sprinkle of French wine.  I think we’ll be better off buying the premium raw ingredients from here and then troop off home to cook.

Ristorante da Valentino

Valentino Valtulina costine di agnello stufate agli aromi
Ristorante da Valentino
11 Jalan Bingka (near Rifle Range Road)
Singapore 588908
Tel: 6462 0555
Opening Hours: Noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm from Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays
Website: http://www.valentino.sg/index.html

The story: Ten years ago, Valentino Valtulina, who prefers to be known simply as Valentino, was working in a restaurant in Italy when his boss told him that an Italian restaurant in Singapore was looking for a chef and asked him if he was interested. Then 23, he jumped at the chance.

In Singapore, he worked in restaurants such as Cafe Cafe and Casa Roma and also as an executive chef at Cantina. Two years ago, he opened his own restaurant with his wife Patricia.

Valtulina, who applied for permanent residency in 2005, says that he likes Singapore as it is a vibrant and bustling city.

He says the people here like to eat and enjoy fine dining, so he was comfortable with going ahead with his 45-seater restaurant in Bukit Timah.

The food: Try the signature dishes which include costine di agnello stufate agli aromi ($33.90), stewed lamb ribs in light tomato sauce and aromatic herbs.

The dessert, torta chantilly ($8.80 per slice), which has strips of custard and cream-topped sponge cake sandwiched with chocolate and vanilla cream, is Valtulina’s favourite. It is baked by his sister, Perla, who opened the nearby Pasticceria Da Valentino, a pastry shop, in August last year. 

The restaurant also has pastries and pizzas besides pasta dishes.  Check their website for the full menu.

Note:

This review and pictures were extracted from ST Foodies Club

Monster Mash

Monster Mash
26 Lorong Mambong
Holland Village
Singapore 277685
Tel: (65) 6463 4610
Website: http://www.monstermashcafe.co.uk/

Extracted from Monster Mash’s website: “We’re not going to give you some poncey, ‘aren’t we funny’ narrative here, we leave that stuff to everyone else. What you need to know is Monster Mash is a British ‘retro’ Café, we give you what you’ve been wanting for years – great food, first class service and value – ‘top nosh at half the cost’ – ‘nuff’ said really!”

Having fallen head over heels with the British fish and chips on my first London trip some years back, I am really looking forward to tasting it again without having to go to London.  I’m just putting this up for the time being without any reviews till I get myself a bite of the famous fish and chips.  Just bear with me as I have a poor memory and I really don’t want to hitting myself on the head should I forget where this restaurant is.

But if you have already visited it, please feel free to drop me some comments.  Thank you!

La Chasseur

Le Chasseur
31 New Bridge Road
Tel: 6337 7677
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm daily

The name “Le Chasseur” brings to mind either French or Italian food but alas, you would be so disappointed when you realize it serves just home-cooked Chinese food (家常菜). 

My family and I went to this place on 4 March 2008 during lunch.  We tried the pig’s trotters in vinegar (dad’s favourite dish), stewed bitter gourd and the you tiao with sotong yesterday.  We also ordered 3 drinks and 3 bowls of rice to go with our meal and it costs us S$21.50. 

All dishes served at this eating place are in 1 standard size and the restaurant claims to have no MSG (Monosodium glutamate), no GST and no service charge. 

Dad said the pig’s trotters is not bad (although it’s not as good as Mum’s).  I am not a pig’s trotters fan, so I just basically go for the sauce.  The sauce is sourish enough (sour taste came from the vinegar) but I feel that it should be spicier (spicy taste should come from ginger and not chilli) to give it that oomph, so lacking in this dish.  This dish came with quite a few chopped up pieces of pig’s trotters in a claypot and cost S$7.50. 

The stewed bitter gourd costs us S$5.00 and came in a small bowl.  Portion was miserably little for 3 persons; but it should be ideal if you’re ordering for 1.  Taste-wise – the bitter gourd is soft but otherwise quite bland; no bitter taste of the bittergourd. 

Next, the you tiao (fried Chinese Crullers) with sotong (squid) – please, save your money for another dish.  This dish came out a bit cold.  Not only that, the you tiao was not crunchy and the sotong tasted bad.  Thumbs down for this dish! 

I ordered luo han guo (a kind of fruit – medicinal in nature) drink.  I don’t know if this drink is home made – but I’m guessing it should be because it is not sweet at all.  In fact, it was a bit bitter to the taste.  I guess all stuff that are good for your body always never tasted good.  The only good thing that we enjoyed for this lunch is the pig’s trotters. 

Next time we’re here, we’ll just stick to the pig’s trotters.  Overall prices at this eating place is a bit on the higher side – S$5 for hor fun/mee goreng, which I can easily get at S$3 elsewhere.  I also spotted a S$20 duck with salted veg soup!  Even egg omelette with tomato will set you back S$5. 

Taste-wise, they do not add MSG but I think the GST and service charges have already been included in the prices.