Category Archives: I Was Here

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.

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).

The Yoghurt Place @ Ngee Ann City

Yoghurt from The Yoghurt Place
The Yoghurt Place
Basement 2, Ngee Ann City
391A Orchard Road
Singapore 238873
Website: http://www.theyogurtplace.com/

 Bf and I visited The Yoghurt Place at Ngee Ann City after our dinner.  Service was friendly; they actually let us taste the yoghurt before we even said that we wanted to buy.  Sort of a marketing strategy:- try before buying!  We tasted at least 2 flavours (raspberry and strawberry) before we finally decided to buy (coz they were having a 50% discount on the 2nd cup). We paid something like S$5.10 for 2 small cups of yoghurt.  

One thing I like about the yoghurt place is that you can choose 2 flavours for each cup of yoghurt, regardless of its size. 

The Yoghurt Place claims that its yoghurt “contains less fat, less sugar and no preservatives yet delightfully smooth and creamy and that it is freshly made.” I thought that yoghurt simply contains less fat and less sugar than ice cream and that’s why diet-conscious people eat yoghurt in place of ice cream?   Freshly made or not, it’s a matter of opinion.  To me, freshly made means they have to make the yoghurt in front of me.  I spotted at least 3 tubs of plain yoghurt in the freezer.  Perhaps what the company meant was that they do not keep the yoghurt for too long and that’s why it’s fresh compared to the yoghurt you get in the supermarkets. 

Although the yoghurt is indeed soft and smooth, I don’t like the yoghurt.  It’s simply plain yoghurt with toppings.  The strawberry yoghurt is not strawberry flavoured; rather, it is plain yoghurt with something like strawberry jam on it.  True, the topping is not sweet and if you mix everything up, you do get strawberry flavoured yoghurt. 

Skip the ordinary flavours like strawberry, blueberry etc.  These you can get similar quality in the supermarkets at a lower price.  Instead, go for the other flavours like blackforest, cappuccino, chocolate hazelnut, choco beans and cookie crumbs.

Etna Restaurant & Pizzeria

Etna Restaurant & Pizzeria
18 Raffles Quay #01-68/69/70
Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
Tel: (65) 6220 5513
Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm (Monday to Saturday)
Website: http://www.sicilia-mia.com/

Bf and I went for our romantic Valentine’s Day at the most unromantic venue… Lau Pa Sat! The first time when I heard we’re having dinner at Lau Pa Sat on V-day, the first thing that came to my mind was “We’re having satay there?” Hehe… before you really dismiss it off as an unromantic venue or think that we’re eating satay, think again! We had it at a very cosy restaurant called Etna Restaurant & Pizzeria.

This restaurant was recommended to Bf by his colleague (an Italian no less), so I told him that food should be quite good there if his colleague says it’s nice.

They had a set dinner for V-day which we had a look-through before we went to the restaurant. However, after arriving at the restaurant, we were informed that we could also order a-la-carte if we wanted to. Going through the menu and calculating the costs, we decided that we were better off eating a-la-carte since we are both small eaters. What we ordered for sharing was the Salad Rugola (S$18), Tag. Nero Seppia (S$22) (squid-ink pasta), Grigliata Carne (mixed grill) (S$32), 2 glasses of Prosecco (S$18) and 1 San Pellegrino (sparkling mineral water) (S$6). Our total bill came up to S$113 for everything.

We were also served an entree of cured meat, cheese, salami and bread sticks (complimentary). Food came quickly and service was great!

The Salad Rugola (rugola is also known as rocket salad) was served with thin slices of parmesan cheese and a good dash of balsamic dressing. The cheese was not overpowering and the balsamic dressing tasted great on the palate. Overall, a good choice for a starter.

Then we had the Tag. Nero Seppia – better known as squid ink pasta to the uninitiated. If you’re thinking squid ink as yucks, think again! I don’t know what other herbs or spices they added to the pasta and squid ink but it was very flavorful. Within the pasta, you could also find pieces of prawns and squid. Be careful when you have this dish – squid ink does not come off your clothes and if you get it on your skin, it will be there for quite a while.

Then we were served the Grigliata Carne – mixed grill. Since the dish came with a piece of lamb, pork, chicken and beef, we specially asked for no beef and the waitress suggested that we replaced that with another piece of pork or chicken. Good service in the sense that they asked us our preference rather than just simply dumping another piece of meat to replace the beef. So we asked for chicken. Our verdict? The chicken breast was nice – a bit on the dry side though. Pork was overcooked and it was placed under the piece of lamb, so some of the lamb’s juice went into the pork. Overall, not that nice except for the lamb which bf said was excellent. Unfortunately we did not have much space for desserts.

Overall, lovely dinner in a romantic setting (despite it being in Lau Pa Sat). Service is attentive without being intrusive and friendly (they kept pouring us our Pellegrino when the glass is half full). Value is good giving the quality of the food we had. It’s better to stick to the pasta and skip the mixed grill. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the Italian names of the food – they have English description of the food underneath the names. If you are still not sure, you can always consult the friendly waitress/waiter there. And yes, we will definitely be back there again.

Otah and Nasi Lemak from Lee Wee & Brothers

Squid Otah Assam Fish Ikan Bilis
Lee Wee & Brothers Foodstuff Pte Ltd
Outlet 1:
Basement 1 Tangs Plaza
Tel: 6235 9122
Outlet 2:
#B1-K16 Tampines Mall
Tel: 6789 9122
Outlet 3:
Blk 209 Hougang St 21 #01-02
Hougang St 21 Market and Food Centre
Tel: 6280 9122
Outlet 4:
Blk 51 Old Airport Road #01-79
Tel: 6348 9122
Outlet 5:
Blk 254 Jurong East St 24 #01-33
Tel: 6565 9122
Outlet 6:
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road #01-38
Tel: 6464 9122
Outlet 7:
Blk 90 Whampoa Drive #01-639
Tel: 6254 9122
Website: http://www.leeweebrothers.com/

I personally tried the otah from the stall’s outlet at Kovan FC (can’t remember the date).  What I loved about its otah is that if you ordered the prawns otah, you actually get a few small pieces of prawns; and if you ordered the squid otah, you actually get a few small slices of squid inside your otah.  You get the idea. 

And you would think like you have to pay more than S$1 to get a stick of otah like this.  Well, you can get it at S$0.60!!  Excellent value for money!

They also have nasi lemak, assam fish, ikan bilis, chilli sauce, etc. for sale at their stall. If you want, you can ask them to cater for you or even cater the food for your BBQ.  Check their website for pricing details and order form.

Fa Ji Minced Meat Noodles

Fa Ji Minced Meat Noodles
Stall No. #01-05 Hougang St 21 Market & Food Centre
Opening Hours: 7am to 10.15pm, closed on Wednesday

I had a bowl of minced meat noodles here on 20 December 2007.  A bowl of noodles will cost you a minimum of S$2.70 (one of the cheapest minced meat noodles in town) and a maximum of S$3.20.

I, small eater that I am, ordered the smallest one with my favourite bee hoon (a type of noodles).  What came with my bee hoon were minced pork, 3 fishballs, 3 slices of fish cake and 1 pork ball with extra vinegar of course.

My verdict? Great value for money; wish they have given me a few slices of sliced pork; more sourish vinegar and spicier chilli.  Overall, the taste is not too bad really; I just love my vinegar that’s all. 😀  Definitely a will-come back again.

Sky Dining In Cable Car

Sky Dining
Sky Dining
The Jewel Box
109 Mount Faber Road
Tel: (65) 6377 9688
Website: http://www.mountfaber.com.sg/main-skydining-facts.htm
Opening Hours: 6.30pm to 8.30pm, daily

Bf treated me to a birthday dining experience on the cable car at Mount Faber on 6 Dec 2007.

We first checked in at HarbourFront Cable Car Station and then took the ride from there to The Jewel Box @ Mount Faber.  This ride is complimentary by the way which is great for people who take the NEL.

We then dropped off at The Jewel Box and presented our receipt to the staff there.  There was a little mix-up with our order (we didn’t want beef which was one of the dishes on the menu and had earlier informed them of a change but this was overlooked).  BUT the staff quickly went to the kitchen and got our order right!

The staff then put a table into one of the cable cars and we quickly boarded the car.  A photographer of theirs came along and took our photo just before our car took off.

The cable car would be travelling from the Jewel Box to HarbourFront Station and then to Sentosa Station before returning again to the Jewel Box station.

We were served the Cream of Tomato Soup served with Garlic Crostini and Smoked Salmon Salad With Mascarpone cheese.  The soup was nice and you can hardly taste the garlic in the crostini.  I don’t really like the taste of mascarpone cheese in my smoked salmon but I finished it anyway coz I was hungry. 😛  Even took bf’s share! Hehe!

One round was sufficient for us to finish our soup and salad and the staff at the Jewel Box station quickly cleared our dishes as soon as our car arrived.  Another staff quickly served us our glasses of wine and our Pan-fried fillet of Salmon with Honey Miso served with sauteed garden vegetables and mashed potatoes (for bf) and Pan-fried chicken served with sauteed garden vegetables (for me).

Again, just before take-off, we were given copies of our photos (1 4R, 2 2×2 and another 2×2 in small photo frames).  We were told that prices would be given to us during our last round.

By the time the car reached HarbourFront station, bf and I were already feeling the motion sickness.  We barely touched our main dishes and we quickly decided that we would get off at the Jewel Box station.

We got off and paid S$30 for the whole package of photos.  And then we were shown to the restaurant and given our desserts of chocolate brownie and our tea. 

Both of us thought they would serve us the remains of our main dishes and wine but nope, we were only given our desserts.

Overall, thumbs up for the excellent service! Go for the experience of dining in a cable car. It’s really something.  But our advice would be simply inform the staff that you would be taking only the 1st course in the cable car and the rest of the meal in the restaurant.  That way, you will thoroughly enjoy the dinner.

Note: This review can also be found on The Local King.

East Ocean Teochew Restaurant

Mixed Vegetables in Claypot Fried rice In Bamboo Fried Chicken Boiled Live Prawns from East Ocean Teochew RestaurantSeasame Ball Dessert
East Ocean Teochew Restaurant
1 Scotts Road #02-18
Shaw Centre
Tel: 6235 9088
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, Mon to Fri; 10am to 2.45pm, 6pm to 11pm, Sat & Sun

My bf and I had dinner here on 5 December 2007.  We were attracted by the beautiful dessert shaped like a bear (see last picture above) that I simply wanted to try.  However, when we went up to the restaurant, I was a bit disappointed to see that the beautiful dessert wasn’t on the menu.  I guessed it was only for lunch. 😦

Nonetheless, we ordered our food after mulling over the menu for quite some time. So many food, so small stomach!  Finally, we ordered the mixed vegetables in claypot (see picture 1 above), fried rice served in bamboo (see picture 2 above), fried chicken with fried garlic topping (see picture 3 above), boiled live prawns (min. 300g) (see picture 4 above).

Mixed vegetables was served in a claypot as you can see.  And it came with tang hoon (glass noodles) and assorted vegetables like cabbage, carrots, corn, etc.  Quite soupy so you can order it like a soup dish.

The fried rice served in bamboo is not the usual fried rice with char siew and peas.  This one is first fried with dried shrimps (hae bee) and then put in the bamboo to keep it warm.  Quite yummy!

Next dish was the fried chicken topped with fried garlic.  I loved this dish very much as the chicken skin was crispy and the fried garlic gave it a very nice flavour.  Excellent!

My bf’s favourite dish would of course be the boiled live prawns.  Although the prawns were merely boiled, the freshness of the prawns was enough to make this dish taste great!

At the end of your meal, you would be given 1 complimentary seasame ball for each customer.  Luckily, we cancelled our order for our dessert.

We were both too stuffed at the end of our meal.  Considering the 4 dishes we ordered, we paid less than S$100 for everything.  Quality was good and service was attentive and excellent (they cleared our dishes whenever needed and topped up our water without us asking; we were also given 8 cups of Chinese tea (I think it was tie guan ying)- 4 before meal and 4 after meal). Thumbs up!

Note: This review can also be found on TheLocalKing.

Unique Fruit Juices from Tian Cheng Shen Shui Gan Zhe

Tian Cheng Shen Shui Gan Zhe
Tian Cheng Shen Shui Gan Zhe
Blk 209, Hougang Street 21 #01-22
Hougang St 21 Market and Food Centre

This is one of the stalls that sells very unique fruit juices.  Imagine having a glass of dou miao (pea shoots) combined with a bottle of yakult.  It’s supposedly good for your skin. And this glass of juice will only set you back for S$2.50!

Other unique flavours include beetroot juice (for slimming – S$2.50), bittergourd and apple (S$2), wheatgrass (S$3).  This stall also mixes potatoes and even cactus in its fruit juices! How unique can you get!

Gelatissimo

Tiramisu from Gelatissimo
Gelatissimo
1 Scotts Road #01-01
Shaw Centre
Tel: 6736 1618
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm, daily

I’ve walked past this ice cream outlet lots of times and have always been tempted by the sight of their numerous ice cream.

Finally I took the plunge and had a single scoop of tiramisu for S$4.30 with my bf. The single scoop was quite big and indeed value for money in that sense.  BUT! The ice cream was definitely too sweet for my tastebuds.

Service here is excellent! They let us stay way past their closing time; I think the company’s policy here is not to chase the customers away.

  • If you pay using your UOB credit card, you get 10% off all gelato products.  Valid until 31 December 2008.