Bakerzin

creme-brulee1 pana-cotta rum-raisin
Bakerzin
1 Harbourfront Walk #01-207
VivoCity
Tel: (65) 6438 8700
Website: http://www.bakerzin.com
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 11.00pm, Sun to Thu
                                  10.30am to Midnight, Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays

They have 9 outlets in Singapore but we visited the one at VivoCity on 17 December 2008.

It was after dinner so I was looking for desserts (bf is not the desserts type, but I dragged him along. Hehehe!).

We were quickly shown a table where we were squeezed in between 2 other tables.  Space is cramped and you can hardly walk to the other side of the table without hitting the neighboring table.

Now I have 2 gripes about Bakerzin.  First of all, the wordings of the tapas menu came in red and were in small fonts against white background.  Given the dim lighting of the restaurant, I could hardly read the menu.  (Yes, I will be giving my feedback to the management there on this.) Fortunately, they had a menu outside of the restaurant and I had already perused and made up my mind what I wanted. 

My 2nd gripe was that the taking our order service is terrible! All of the staff seemed to be so busy that they didn’t even looked our way.  One even bothered to clear the empty table next to us but didn’t even bother to check with us if our order had already been taken.  Finally, one staff came along and asked us after 10 minutes! In the meantime, I almost walked out of the restaurant already but bf is more patient, and made me wait (I’m glad that we waited at the end).

Why I’m griping about the order taking service is becoz they managed to give me my bill immediately after our orders came! Amazingly fast! And collection of money was also very fast! If they can do that, why can’t they order my order fast too?

Our orders came quickly (we ordered caramel panna cotta, vanilla creme brulee and rum & raisin ice cream).  First impression was that they all looked so beautiful that I couldn’t bear to eat.  Second impression was that they all looked small, like toys.

I love all the desserts!! especially the rum & raisin ice cream which comes with rum-soaked raisins! Their rum & raisin won over Haagen Daaz’s simply becoz of their rum soaked raisin.  Taste-wise, it is almost the same.

Now I can understand why the place is always packed.  Simply delightful desserts at a reasonable price. And yes, I’ll definitely be back again!

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.

Hua Kee Hougang Wan Ton Mee

Wan Tho Noodles
Wan Tho Noodles
Hua Kee Hougang Wan Ton Mee
Old Airport Road Emporium & Food Centre
Blk 51 Old Airport Road #01-113B

Opening Hours: 12 noon to 12 midnight; closed on Mondays

 

 

There were a few things that caught my eye and prompted to try the noodles here.  First, I saw the char siew the guy was cutting – it looked red and a bit burnt on the outside.  My ideal char siew!

Second, there was a queue at this stall.  If there is a queue at a food stall in Singapore, the food must be good, right? And lastly, there were the numerous accolades pinned at the stall.  Must be really good, right?

Well, it’s half right.  The portion is really very good value for money.  See the picture above? That’s a S$3 portion!  The char siew didn’t disappoint me – it was really tasty.

But I didn’t like the noodles – it was too dry; not enough chilli sauce and other sauce to blend it in.  So that made the noodles kinda stick together.  The wanton was so so – not memorable.

Overall, if you’re looking for quantity, then go ahead and eat it.  Be prepared for a queue – I was in it for about 15 minutes during off-peak hours.  If you’re going for quality, you’re better off eating the Kok Kee Wanton Noodle at Lavender Hawker Centre..

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.

 

Heads or Tails

Heads or Tails Toast
Heads or Tails
01-37 Market Street Car Park
Tel: 6438-6428
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 7.30pm, Mondays to Fridays; 8am to 1pm on Saturdays; closed on Sundays

This master franchise of a chain from Bangkok offers Thai-style kaya, which is slightly different from local versions. The kaya is more watery – like custard – and lighter on the palate.

Opened earlier this year in Tangs’ food hall, it relocated to Market Street Car Park last month. Besides plain kaya, it has kaya flavoured with yam, pandan and vanilla (all at $1.70 per slice).

For those who want something more substantial, it also sells three Thai dishes every day. These include Thai curry, beef ball noodles and Thai mee pok (all at $4 each).

Must-try: Chilli paste with chicken floss (left, $1.70). The paste, the same one that the shop uses to make tomyam soup, gives you a kick like no other floss toast. There is also a hint of hae bee hiam.

Note :

This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.

Sungei Road Laksa

Sungei Road Laksa
Sungei Road Laksa
Blk 27 Jalan Berseh #01-100
Jin Shui Kopitiam
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm, off on 1st Wednesday of the month

They’re the ones who made eating a bowl of laksa without chopsticks famous. Charcoal-cooked laksa, topped with fresh cockles (I counted at least 7 in my bowl) and slices of fishcakes, all these make up a good bowl of laksa.

I’ve eaten this laksa since my growing up days and I think the laksa has been thinned in recent years.  Probably because Singaporeans are more health conscious these days, and the laksa is not so lemak now.  Still you can’t help but slurp up every spoonful of its flavourful gravy.  At S$2 a bowl, the portion is good for a small eater only.