April 21, 2014

Simple, casual, good

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With a string of crappy yet fatty meals behind me, my last hours in Singapore were spent with friends at two different restaurants in the same neighborhood, with both offering simple, well-executed Western fare.

Brasserie Gavroche was the venue chosen by my friend L, who is an old friend I have known for (gasp!) almost 20 years.  She was a little apprehensive about picking a place, since she feels that my taste in restaurants is always very atas... and of course she had been told about the crappy meals that I'd been having...

The decor certainly looked like an old school brasserie, and interestingly the menus were sandwiched between plastic boxed in a wooden frame.  These have got to be the heaviest and the most unwieldy menus I've ever handled...

Getting fat with wasted calories

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Everyone who goes to Singapore ends up going for some type of local eats, most of which are cheap and cheerful.  I myself have my own list of place to hit, and it's still growing with each new trip I make.  But the reality is that Singapore, like any other city, has its fair share of crap restaurants.  For someone who is looking at restarting his diet, who desperately wants to make all the calories count, this can be infuriating.  There's nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, worse than having consumed a bunch of high caloric, fatty foods and didn't even taste good.

My first crap meal came while we were doing an excursion to Pulau Ubin, an under-developed island off the north-east cape of Singapore.  It was past 1pm and we were all a little tired, hot, and starving.  We had initially planned to take the ferry back to Changi Village and find a place there to eat, but for some reason my relatives decided to stop at the first restaurant they saw...

Season Live Seafood (海味活海鮮) is as obvious a tourist trap as I have ever seen.  It's only or so away from all the bicycle rental shops and 2 or 3 minutes away from the ferry jetty.  Anyone looking for half-decent food would normally have alarm bells sounding off in one's head about places like this.  But I decided not to protest...

Fried you tiao (炸油條) - these deep-fried Chinese crullers stuffed with cuttlefish paste failed.  Too dry from having been fried too long, and these also seemed to have been left out for a little while.

April 19, 2014

Getting nutty

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Tonight I finally caught up with Mr. and Mrs. Ho. I missed them on my last trip to Singapore, and by now they have moved into their beautifully restored conservation shop house, so I got a chance to see what 3 years of work (not to mention tons of mullah) looks like.  One of the places I was dying to go back to on this trip was Candlenut, and as it turned out, it was just walking distance from their house!

I was a little apprehensive about bringing Mrs. Ho here, because she loves Peranakan cuisine and I wasn't sure she would take to the more modern adaptations from chef Malcolm Lee.  I figured that Mr. Ho, on the other hand, would probably just happily lap most things up, and I was right!

Turmeric wings - really crispy and awesome wings.  Sooo tasty, except... neither Mr. Ho nor I picked up much of the turmeric... although I did notice a yellow hue underneath the skin.

April 18, 2014

Pork belly for Fat Donkey

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It's been a while since I last caught up with Fat Donkey, and I wanted to make sure this dinner happened before we both go off on our respective Easter breaks.  This was a celebratory dinner, and I told him that I'd take him out for some pork belly (and a bottle of wine, of course!). You see, Fat Donkey and his partner just completed the ABSA Cape Epic, one of the top mountain bike races of the world.  I followed their progress through 8 grueling days, more than 700 km and almost 15,000 m (that's 15 km!) of climbing.  They did an amazing job, finished ahead of their expectations, and deserve enormous respect.

Which was why I took him to Harlan Goldstein's Comfort .  I figured the food is good, the atmosphere is casual, and it would be perfect for our little get together.

Frikandel, mini Dutch sausage, curry ketchup, mayo and chopped onion - these skinless franks were deep-fried and tasted pretty decent, especially with the curry ketchup.

April 14, 2014

A feast for Babu

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It's Babu's birthday today, and some time ago I was given the mission of booking On Lot 10 for this occasion.  Babu has quickly become a big fan of David Lai's cooking, ever since I brought the Tiggers here for the very first time.  They have returned numerous times within the last year, and it seemed a natural venue for this feast.

Tonight was also a memorable evening because my godson Bear joined us for dinner.  David has never met Bear, and I've never dined out at night with Bear, either... so this was a first time for me.  I asked David to whip up some kind of pasta for Bear - since he obviously wasn't gonna eat all that fatty food the rest of us were taking in - and what arrived was a cheesy, vegetarian lasagna.  Mama Bear and I were a little bit apprehensive, since we didn't know how Bear would take to the cheese.  When he kept eating spoonful after spoonful, and ended up just about finishing an adult portion by himself, we knew David got himself a new fan.


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