Category Archives: Snacks

Anjappar Authentic Chenttinaad Restuarant

biryani
Anjappar Authentic Chenttinaad Restuarant
102 Syed Alwi Road
Tel: 6392 5545
76-78, Racecourse Road
Tel: 6296 5545
Website: http://www.anjappar.com.sg/

Bf and I visited the branch at Syed Alwi Road on 26 January 2009 for dinner.  They’re quite easy to find – directly opposite Mustafah Shopping Centre, along a row of shophouses.

Service was a bit slow; maybe because the place was crowded. We ordered 1 Mutton Biriyani (S$8.50), 1 paper dosa (S$3.00) and 2 cups of “masala” tea (S$2 each).

Bad choice of restaurant man! Bf’s mutton biriyani was tasteless and the mutton smell so strong that even he didn’t like it. My paper dosa was normal but I could get a cheaper one from Komala’s, with more sauce.  The tea was light with hardly masala taste.  The interesting part is that you get to mix the milk and the tea yourself (usually they serve it pre-mix).

Anyway, am not too sure if it was the tea or the dosa I had here but I had a wee bit of stomach upset the next day. Bf had no problem but we certainly won’t come back here again as the food was not tasty at all.  There’s no service charge but they charge GST on the total bill.

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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

The Roti Prata House

The Roti Prata House
246M Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574370
Tel: 6459 5260
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day

My family and I were in the vicinity, and we spotted The Roti Prata House.  The signage said “Recommended by The New Paper” and we were thinking it must be not bad. So we went in and ordered 4 crispy roti pratas and 1 nasi goreng with ikan bilis and mutton keema.  We also ordered 3 drinks – 1 teh alia (tea with milk and ginger), 1 teh chino and 1 ginger tea.  I’m not sure how much each item costs individually but we paid S$10.30 on the whole. 

To my horror, the roti pratas came out exactly not what I expected!  I wanted roti pratas that are crispy, somewhat expecting them to be like the Jalan Kayu version (that was mum’s expectation too).  When the poor guy was serving the roti pratas to us, mom kept commenting, “I prefer the Jalan Kayu ones.”  I could understand as the ones that were served to us were brown literally.  Crispy pratas, true, but they never mentioned that they deep fried the pratas to make them crispy!  Imagine when you bite into the pratas, a wee bit of oil oozed out.  I think they used cold pratas and deep fry coz not only was it a bit oily, it came out as chewy too.  I was hungry so I had to finish the pratas but it was definitely a horrific experience. 

Dad enjoyed his fried rice with ikan bilis and mutton keema.  Actually, it wasn’t mutton keema per se.  They just fry the minced mutton together with the rice and gave him ikan bilis toppings.  Not bad really except that they put a lot of pepper in the fried rice, probably to mask the mutton taste. 

Drinks are totally out of this world – in the sense that they are all too sweet.  Mum’s ginger tea came out like the teh alia – she was expecting plain tea with ginger.  More a miscommunication I think.  And she said it was too sweet – she doesn’t take sweet stuff, so it really depends on your taste.  No complaints from Dad so I guess the drink is okay for him.  My teh chino was half milk tea and additional milk on the bottom half.  Overall, it was too sweet for me even though I had a sweet tooth.  It’s better to ask them not to make the drinks too sweet and then later on, if you want to sweeten the drink, you can always add more sugar (which is easily available on every table). 

I finally found the New Paper article on the web (http://www.singaporefood.com.sg/rotiprata/) but just keep in mind that the crispy roti prata is not what you see on the web.    ST Foodies Club also recommended the pratas here (http://www.stomp.com.sg/stfoodiesclub/lifeeats/Hawkers_RotiPrata/index.html). 

Sadly, I won’t recommend the crispy pratas here.  You can definitely find better quality pratas elsewhere.

Funny Lasagna

Funny Lagsana
Funny Lasagna
Block 127, Bukit Merah Lane 1 # 01-230
Alexandra Village
Tel: 6270 5464
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm, daily

THINK of your favourite pasta dish. Carbonara, say, or maybe squid ink and the always dependable puttanesca.

Now imagine it remade into a lasagna, the ingredients layered in sheets of pasta and held together with a creamy bechamel sauce.

Sounds good? Well, Romania-born chef Peter Bontoi thinks so too. He’s started Funny Lasagna in Alexandra Village, serving 15 kinds of lasagne, alongside the pizza and pasta he’s known for.

The 39-year-old chef has been in Singapore since the mid-1990s, when he came here to cook at the now-defunct Il Piccolo in Bukit Timah.

He’s done things in reverse, going from big to small. He bought over the restaurant and ran it until it became a casualty of the post-9/11 economic slump in 2001. Then he opened a food- court stall in Anchorpoint but left after falling out with his business partner. He’s now found his niche in a Bukit Merah coffee shop.

Like his pizzas and pastas, the lasagne might win him a whole new following. They are generously portioned and the prices, between $5 and $8, won’t cause heartburn.

Neither will the lasagne. The secret, he says, is in the bechamel sauce. He makes this classic sauce of milk thickened with flour and butter with less flour so it doesn’t sit heavy in the belly.

He also livens up the sauce with tangy tomato or pungent squid ink so, despite the humble surroundings, this is not a one-sauce-fits-all type of place.

The squid ink ($7) is the best of the lot. Homemade sheets of inky black pasta are layered with remarkably unchewy pieces of squid and a sauce that’s dark as night. It’s an intense, savoury lasagna and very moreish too.

Those not quite ready to go over to the dark side might like the Pesto-Salmone ($7), made with a flavourful pesto sauce and slices of smoked salmon. Equally good is Spinach ($6), with chicken and mushrooms thrown in and tomatoes in the sauce. This gives the bechamel a hint of tart and saves the dish from being too cloying.

Another winner is the Puttanesca ($6), brightly flavoured with briny anchovies, tart capers and olives. A hit of chilli in this one is very welcome.

Sampling 15 lasagne in one sitting is no laughing matter, but the sauces are light and interesting, and the different lasagne distinct enough from one another.

All Bontoi needs to do now is create a four cheese lasagna, with lashings of gorgonzola, parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta.

Note:

This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.

Post-Makan Note:
Bf and I went to visit this place on Saturday (8 March 2008).  Fortunately, I knew this place pretty well, so it wasn’t too difficult for me to find it.  If you are not that familiar, just look out for the huge AIA building.  Turn left (AIA building will be on your right after you turn in) and then turn left again.  If you’re driving, you’ll pass this coffeeshop at Blk 127 on your left.  Turn left into the car park.
 
My advice to you is come prepared, especially when you’re driving.  Traffic here is always horrendous; it’ll be difficult to get in and get out.  Parking is always a nightmare.  Coupled with those, you have to wait a long while to get your food.  So come before you’re really hungry.
 
The coffeeshop that houses Funny Lasagna is deserted except for 1 drinks stall and Funny Lasagna.  When we arrived there, I was a wee bit surprised coz half the coffeeshop was not even lighted up.  My first thought was that “Is Funny Lasagna open”?
 
Fortunately to my greatest delight, it was opened!  I was overwhelmed with the many varieties of pasta and lasagna that it was a bit difficult to decide.  So after pondering a little while, we ordered Aglio Olio and Chicken Lasagna.  We wanted to order 2 desserts, Panna Cotta and Tiramisu.  But Chef Pontoi told me “mei you” (don’t have). 
 
After a long wait and watching several people “chasing” for their food, our food finally came!  The first dish, Chicken Lasagna, went to the wrong table and finally ended up on ours.  I love the tomato taste and that the lasagna wasn’t too cheesy.  Portion was just nice for me (small eater) and it costs only S$5! I can’t really taste the chicken in the lasagna; probably it was covered up by the tomato taste.   I gave it thumbs up coz the lasagna didn’t give me that heavy cheesy filling after I gobbled up the food.  Smooth lasagna and excellent value for money.  You can never imagine getting such quality food in a coffeeshop at such a fantastic price.
 
Bf’s Aglio Olio came next.  It came smelling great but what I didn’t like about that dish is that they added black pepper in the pasta.  Aglio Olio is supposed to be spiced up with chilli flakes and not cut chilli or black pepper.  Next time if I order this dish, I will ask them to omit the black pepper so I can taste the pure taste of olive oil and garlic.  Portion is again good for small eaters and it costs S$5 too!
 
We also ordered a Carnivora pizza (Pepperoni, Sausage, Smoked Turkey Bacon, Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce) to-go for my brother.  After 2 blank looks, I finally got the message that to-go pizzas only come in large sizes (he speaks very softly and gently and it’s difficult for someone with hard hearing like me to understand him).  The large size costs S$12 (small one costs S$6; there are only 2 sizes available).  At first glance, the pizza was a bit pale; probably just need more time in the oven.  After interviewing my brother, he said he didn’t like the pizza coz he tasted the fat bacon and the pizza wasn’t crispy.  I toasted the left-over pizza the next morning and I love the cheesiness of the pizza.  The pizza crust is also thin and crispy (maybe because I toasted it).  If only he would bake it in a wood-fired oven….then I would be in pizza-heaven.
 
Anyway, overall, I love the food and the varieties of pizza, pasta and lasagna.  Excellent value for money!!  Be prepared to wait at least half an hour for your food.  Take note of your table no. so that he doesn’t get your order mixed up.  Next up, squid-ink lasagna (S$7)!  And next time I’ll call at least 1 day in advance just to make sure he has desserts before I go (by the way, he only has 2 desserts:- panna cotta and tiramisu).

Fries from Yella Fellas

Yella Fellas
#B1-K6 Bugis Junction
230 Victoria Street
Singapore 188024
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily
Website: http://www.yellafellas.com.sg/index.html
 

If you love fries, then you’ll love Yella Fellas.  Yella Fellas is all about fries, fries and more fries! The times they are a-changin’. They have more than ketchup and chilli. As a specialty Fries shop, we make our own sauces, some of them a right tasty meal. Heard about Dutch War Sauce? It’s a delicious blend of the local spiciness that locals here know and love with a twist. And you pay only S$3.80! What about Poutine Sauce? A Canadian favourite made with premium beef sauce and cheese, it’s a taste you’ll love at a price of S$4.90!  They also have a special set of fries to suit our local palate – the Spicy Chilli Crab! At a price of S$4.90, you simply should not give this a miss! Oh did I mention that they have the Brussels Mussels (S$5.90)?  If you’re into mussels, you get the Yella Fellas fries with mussels in white wine cream sauce.  However, this dish is available only on selected days. If you just want plain fries with your sauces, order the YellaFellas and pick any of these sauces for free – tomato ketchup, chilli sauce or malt vinegar.  Else, you can pay S$0.50 and get 1 of the 18 sauces available – cheddar cheese, nachos cheese, garlic yoghurt, herb mayo etc. – just to name a few. I like this place for its most innovative ways of serving an ordinary plate of fries and for its reasonable prices.  There are simply too many sauces for me to try everything in 1 go – so I’ll be sure to go a few times to suss the best sauces.

Bak Kwa from Lim Chee Guan

Lim Chee Guan
Main Branch:
203 New Bridge Road
Tel: 6227 8302
Outlet:
1 Park Road #01-25 People’s Park Complex
Tel: 6535 0927
Website: www.limcheeguan.com.sg (under construction)

If you want to eat bak kwa (barbequed pork), this would be THE place to go to.  If you don’t believe, try queuing for a packet of their bak kwa before Chinese New Year.  Be prepared to wait at least an hour before you can even place your order.

What I like about their bak kwa is that it’s made of minced pork, and not sliced pork.  Although many will argue that sliced pork is the most authentic bak kwa, I take into consideration my parents’ poor teeth when they try to bite into a piece of sliced pork bak kwa. 

Now, what I don’t like about their bak kwa here is that it tends to be a little bit sweeter than the Kim Hock Guan’s one.  Perhaps this helps to make the bak kwa last longer. 

What’s interesting here is that they bother to separate the non-spicy rou sui (mini bak kwa) from the chilli ones.  Most bak kwa stores I know don’t do that, so you get a true mix of everything including the beef ones.  So generally I don’t buy rou sui as mom does not take beef. 

Prices as at 20 January 2008 go for:- S$12 for 300g of non-chilli mini bak kwa, S$28 for 600g of non-chilli minced pork bak kwa and S$29 for chilli minced pork bak kwa.  Be warned – prices here do go up as it draws closer to Chinese New Year.

  • If you pay using your UOB credit card, you get a complimentary voucher for a 150g pack of fish or chicken floss with every S$300 spent.  Valid from 8 January to 21 February 2008.