Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eng Kee Bak Kut Teh 永记肉骨茶

Eng Kee Bak Kut Teh
Blk 341, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
#01-04, Teck Ghee Court market & Food Centre

The Childhood memories..
The familiarity of the smell, the taste and the environment that brings me back to the time I 1st met Mr. Pig Trotters.
He is medium built, all muscled up and not fatty. His body nicely tanned and well proportioned.

He than introduced me to his sister, Ms. Bak Kut Teh. On 1st encounter, she puts on a peppery attitude, but when u get to know her better, she brings out the sweetness and fragrance of a well simmered broth.

I count it my blessing to know them. Since than, I have not met another other siblings as well liked.

I have my share of Bak Kut Teh's and pig's trotters. Yes, including the few Bak Kut teh stalls along the stretch of Balestier (including founders), Sin Ming, etc.. but I still turn back to this stall.
Although BKT and Pig's trotters is a dish which is branded as a Local delight and widely available throughout coffee shops, food courts, and restaurants, but I find it hard to find any which meets my satisfaction level.

Eng Kee's BKT+pig's trotter's is like a comfort zone for me. I know that it is able to satisfy my cravings, not put on too much calories on my body, and not cause much impact to my wallet.
I would not dispute that there are possibly better ones out there. But this is by far, the better one that I have tried and scores well for Both of the dishes.
If you happen to live in the North, do consider checking this place out.
PS: waiting time for Queuing and food to be served is around 20mins. They are closed at night, so, visit them in the late morning or during lunchtime to avoid leaving the hawker centre with an empty stomach

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Halia Restaurant- Dining in lush greenery

Halia Restaurant
location: Botanical Garden

I tracked down Halia as an optimum choice for a fine dining experience with a live jazz band for my friend's Dad's birthday dinner.

Halia is situtated in a perfect spot amidst lush greenery without the greetings from bugs.
The atmosphere is fantastic. Perfect as a romantic dinner location. But be sure to come with a thick wallet. Fine dining never comes cheap.

Starters: Foie Gras with spring roll
perfectly done.
not over cooked, not raw. Fatty and fresh, not gelad.

I'm posting this post as part of my tummy log. Not going to say too much on it as I don't recall the names of the dishes and didn't get to taste much.
But to sum it up, the starters and mains are really good. The chef is really skilled and experienced, therefore able to control the temperature and cooking time of the meats very well.
I guess this is also why people in the high society often dines in fine dining restaurants, not just for the fact that they can afford it, but also most importantly is the attention and dedication that goes into the dish.

Desserts are not their strong point. I could easily get better desserts elsewhere. So, do give the desserts a skip to lessen the impact on your wallet.

Overall, a great dining experience mainly from the ambiance, great service and chef's culinary skill on the meats. But for the costs of it, I don't see myself returning here unless it is for very special occasions where I have set aside the budget

Dim Sum High Tea Buffet

Jade Restaurant
1, Fullerton Square
The Fullerton Hotel
tel: 6733-8388

Dim Sum screams excitement for a whole lot of people especially those born with Chinese taste buds. I'm influenced with the English fare but would never forget and often reminisce on foods derived from the Chinese origin.

The Piping hot steamed pork dumpling that oozes sweet soup with a light prick in the skin.
Slurpy good especially when accompanied with sliced ginger soaked in vinegar.

The Wasabi Prawn.
I've had bad experience with a similar dish served at Chinese banquets by chefs who try to imitate the innovation of fusion cuisine but failed at it. So, I was rather skeptical at trying this dish. But upon a third persuasion by my friend, I decided to give it a try..
my verdict.. yes, its rather good and interesting. But make sure u try your Wasabi prawn dish at renowned restaurants like here to have good memories of it.

Fried Cheese Dumplings.
- cheese is wrapped around the sticky glutinous rice ball dough and than deep fried and lightly dusted with sugar powder.

Fried Spring Rolls

Braised Chicken Feet

Steamed Prawn Dumpling
the prawns are really fresh, sweet and succulent.
This dish would be perfected with a slightly thinner skin, but is ok on a overall and still gets a passing mark from me.

Abalone Siew Mai
Yes! It is really mini abalone on top of the Siew Mai
The abalone is done well that it retains its natural flavors and easily chewed.
well done on this dish!

Chicken Soy Sauce noodles
a tad too oily and a slight disspointment on the taste. It is not horrible but I would suggest you to make good use on your tummy space by trying out other dishes instead.

Char Siew slices.
Tasty and not oily. 1 of the dishes that you should order.

Pan fried carrot cake:
- the thing about spending more on carrot cakes which is 1/3 the portion of a regular plate of carrot cake lies in the texture.
the reason behind people being willing to spend the bucks is the authenticity of the food ingredient. One gets to feel the real texture of fine hand shredded radish in the Pan fried carrot cakes served in Chinese Restaurants.
This dish is simple and real.

The crab and spinach soup in light chicken broth
my kind of soup.

Sweet and sour soup.
Pretty good as well. Tasty but not overwhelming.

The Dim Sum high tea buffet here is pretty decent and not as pricey imagined.
They adjust the price quite often, so do your research or give them a call for a pricecheck.
But the price at this time when i ate is $32-$36++, the average total cost is about $40 per pax