Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gangnaroo Korean Restaurant

Tel: 6538 2837 / 9820 6889

A small but mouth watering lil hole in the wall home style korean fare run by a Korean couple.

The restaurant I think is more well known for their soupy dishes (hotpot / steamboat - call it what you like), although they do have your usual bibim bap and pajeon.

I was happy to see that they were pretty generous with their side dishes (ban chan). Just ask them and they keep refilling ... FOC.

They serve Jeongol as well as Jjigae. Jeongol was originally a dish for upper-class Koreans and members of the royal court, while jjigae was a simpler dish for commoners.

What's interesting is that they have the Budae-jjiggae (Army Base Stew) - During the Korean war people had little to eat. Most people had to fill their stomachs with the food distributed on the street called Kkulkkulijuk (meaning "pig's gruel"). People made this dish by combining left-over Spam and hot dogs from U.S. Army restaurants and whatever else was available. All the left-overs were put into pot with water and boiled. (Pretty disgusting eh!)
Restaurants usually use ramyeon noodles, ddeok (Korean rice cakes), sausages, meat, and goch'ujang paste for a hot and spicy taste, which Koreans like the most. To get the right taste of this dish, Spam sausage should be added.
We ordered the Spicy Pork Jeongol

Da Mario's not so Fantastic

60 Robertson Quay #01-10 The Quayside
Tel: 6235 7623

Recently went down to Da Mario's to see what all the rave is about since so many of my friends asked me to go down ...

My review ... it really is average.

We went there and it was full of people, service was a bit slow and I had to do the help my self stint to get my chilli flakes. I wouldn't say that they are overly attentive ... perhaps it was a busy night ... but when isn't it busy?

Breaded Mozzarella Sticks - $10 - Deep fried breaded mozzarella sticks with arrabiata sauce. I don't think anyone can go wrong with this ... unless of course the restaurant served it with maybe ketchup or something ... but then of course I think some people who love ketchup would probably love the combination!

We also had the Carpaccio di Manzo - $19 - Thin slices of raw beef tenderloin on a bed of rocket salad seasoned with fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil and Grana Pando cheese, shaved. I think it would have tasted a bit nicer if they had added some sea salt on it and perhaps some balsamic. Of course that is the way I prefer it!

On we go to our main course - of course I had to have the carbonara - $16 ... I didn't quite like it cause I prefer my cabonara's super rich and tasty, I think it makes a difference if you use cream cheese versus Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano.

We also ordered a Sole Mio Pizza - $22 - Tomato, Cheese, Rocket Salad, Parma Ham and Shaved Parmesan Cheese. We felt that the base of the pizza was way too soft ... The texture kind of tasted like it wasn't fully cooked yet, but when we looked around ... everyone's pizza was just as white! Could be the type of Flour they use or the technique they use to make the dough. But to be fair, they were extremely generous on their toppings! It felt more like a salad with bread, than a pizza.

Dun mind the pictures .. was way too hungry so had to eat first!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ba Yu Ren Jia

We like to eat China restaurant food. Not the normal chinese Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew restaurants, but the Sichuan, Beijing restaurants that have been sprouting up in Singapore in recent years.

Having tried most of them in Chinatown (South Bridge Road, New Bridge Road and Smith St), and having read good reviews of this place, we decided to venture here. Lavender. Near Textile Centre. 791, North Bridge Road! I'm not too sure what Ba Yu Ren Jia means, but Babelfish says Ba Yu Ren is Palestinian Chongqing. So Ba Yu Ren Jia means Home of a Palestinian Chongqing person? Dunno man.

We came on a Saturday night. We could see it was quite popular with the China Chinese community. I think we could have been the only table of Singaporeans. Ba Yu Ren Jia offers 2 dining options - $13.80 Mala Steamboat (which we didn't try), and ala carte (which we did).


I had intended to order the cold cucumber appetizer, but it turned out to be stirfried, with sichuan peppers (aka prickly ash) and dried chillies. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it was ok.

Marinated Chicken Feet

Tangy Chicken Feet with pickled celery, peppers and chillies. Quite hot and tasty, but it was rather tough. Maybe it's supposed to be like that.

Kou Shui Ji (Saliva Chicken, Salivating Chicken, Mouth-watering Chicken)

The first time I had Kou Shui Ji was at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Pao. It was delicious, and I've been a fan ever since. The Kou Shui Ji at Ba Yu Ren Jia is the best I've ever had. The chicken (and cucumber at the bottom) was covered in a most fragrant, spicy, numbing hot sauce!

Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu is quite a common dish in Singapore, and it can be found in many restaurants, coffeeshop zi char stalls and is also cooked at home. However, it was only in recent years that I've discovered that the Ma Po Tofu I've grown up to know is not really Ma Po Tofu! Ma Po Tofu is not just tofu in a spicy minced meat sauce. It needs the all essential magic ingredient - Ground Sichuan Pepper. Yum. This Ma Po Tofu is also the best I've ever had.

Tan Tan Mian
After mixing it up, the noodles were covered in a thick peanut sauce. Delicious. Better than the one at Crystal Jade. Also the best I've ever had. I've ordered Tan Tan Mian in different places and very often, it turns out quite differently. It made me google to find out what Tan Tan Mian really is. Wikipedia says peanut sauce in Tan Tan Mian is a modern adaptation, but modern or traditional, it was still damn nice!

Sichuan Beef Noodles
This was good too, but the amount of beef was too stingy. Ok, good but nothing to harp on about.

Total bill: $44.70 for 3 persons, including 2 cups of chinese tea. We were also charged $1 per person for 1 small saucer of sichuan pickle and 1 small saucer of peanuts, and another $1 per person for wet paper towels. Quite a rip off, but ok, at least there's no service charge and GST.
So, it's recommended I'd say. Better than any other Sichuan restaurant we've gone to. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the chef used to be from the fine Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant. Go eat!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hakka Yong Tau Fu @ Jalan Peel

Wow, you gotta eat here ... although the place isn't like a classy restaurant or anything but it's really worth it ... besides Yong Tau Fu, they had Vinegar Ginger Pig's Trotters and Assam Fish. We paid around 3o plus ringit .. Rice and drinks included as well.

If you want to go ... I guess you'll just have to ask them to bring you to Jalan Peel near Sekolah Yaakon Latif 1 &2.

Or just head down and hope you find it! There's another YTF stall in the back called Wah Kiow Yong Tau Fu... it's passed Carrefour and you come into a left hand fork in the road ... I think you go left if I remember correctly.

Bee's @ Menara TM Asia Life Building

Some colleagues and I went out to lunch today and had the set meal at Bee's.

Pretty decent stuff!

For $8.50 Ringgit!!!! You get curry chicken rice and a ice lemon tea...... Check it out! It's a pretty big plate of food!

Porto Romano

Well, we were supposed to go down to Restoran Yu Ai, but unfortunately we didn't know it closed so early, so we headed back to Mont Kiara for some mediterranean food.

Well of course I couldn't resist ordering the french onion soup, and it seriously wasn't french onion soup ... they should've just called it onion soup. There was a whole bunch of oregano and italian herbs in the soup that Onion Soup would have been more appropriate of a name for it.

I had the Lamb Shank, no complains here; it was pretty decent and tender, the portions was huge. I should have ordered salad rather than the side to be a pasta. Oh I asked for some tobascco for the pasta but they didn't have any; what they do have though is their own blend of hot sauce...which basically taste like a mix of chilli padi, vinegar and other spices.

My cousin went ahead and ordered the Paella Risotto. Actually, it was pretty decent... it's not like the usual Risotto where it's all mushy like gruel or porridge.

Well, head on over to check it out. Supposedly they have another outlet in town.