Monday, March 28, 2016

Mi Casa Singapore

Mi Casa, which means 'My House' in Spanish and is started by Micah Jarrod Lim, the chef and also the owner, he used to work in different hotels before starting this hawker stall. He is running this stall with his dad as his assistant.

I was there slightly after 12 pm on a weekday. Micah spotted me when i stood in front of the stall looking at the menu board. When asked for a recommendation, he suggested that i should try Seafood Paella and for half a portion that is for a single serving costs $8.00. He also recommended Roasted Pork Cheek at $8.30. Single portion of Paella with Garlic Roasted Chicken or Meatballs or just veggies for $5.80 is also available. Another interesting dish worth checking out is Grilled Octopus at $8.80. 

Then, he informed me that he was still in the midst of preparation and he would only be ready in about 15 minutes and i was asked to come back in a bit. I happened to be seated near the stall, he pointed at me while talking to his dad and this prompted me to approach his stall. He said, his dad would serve it to my table later. He added, we provide restaurant standard foods and services too. I took notice of a 'Self-Service' right there. 

The Roasted Pork Cheek came first. It was in a good portion and is served with preserved white radish and garnished with zesty sauce. The perfectly Roasted Pork Cheek has got a good crunch, the skin part was delightfully crispy and still has its tenderness beneath. This is indeed good value, such a dish is definitely costs a lot more if is eaten in a proper restaurant.

The Seafood Paella came much later. It was still quite a massive portion even though it is meant for a single pax. The rice was cooked well to infuse with flavor and to give it a slightly sticky texture and is served with ingredients like prawns, clams, chicken chunks, peas and slices of tomato.

They will be moving to a shop at 102C Jalan Jurong Kechil Singpapore 598602 at the end of April and will be renamed to Mi Casa Kitchen & Bar.

51 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-199 Bukit Timah Food Centre SINGAPORE 588215
Operating Hour: 11.45 am to 2.00 pm (Wed to Sun) / 5.45 pm to 9.00 pm (Tue to Sun)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Yong Seng Satay : Get your Pork Satay here

This stall has been around for about 80 years and they are one of those stalls that are serving Pork Satay which is not quite commonly available these days. They also serve Chicken and Mutton Satay, all are at 0.50 cents a stick. Like most stalls, it is prepared upon order and it took a good 10 minutes when it was served to my table even though i was the only customer at that time. 

You could spot the chunks of fat in between the well-marinated pieces of meat to give it the desired tenderness but the meat was a bit too lean thus a little too chewy. It was served slightly charred for a rather light smoky flavor, it would be nicer if it is more charred for a more intense flavor.

It was served with a chunky peanut sauce, its level of spiciness is somewhat reduced by the sweetness of pineapple puree added, a typical Hainanese way of serving their satay and it is not a common find these days. 

Though these traditional Satay might not be the best that i ever tasted but it is good enough to satisfy a crazy crave.

116 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-123 Bukit Timah Food Centre SINGAPORE 588172
Operating Hours: 11.30 pm to 8.00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Penang Signature : Assam Laksa

This stall is the newest kid on the block amongst the other stalls in this food centre. They have only been around for about 3 weeks and there is only one item on their menu, which is Assam Laksa for $3.50. You could smell the rather distinctive flavor of Assam Laksa from far. The stall is manned by a young chap all by himself. Though he is not too chatty but quite friendly, i was told that he is a local and his wife is from Ipoh, that is why he gotten the recipe of Assam Laksa from. He mentioned that he is using 2 types of fish, he acknowledged that one of them is Sardine but he refused to reveal the other type of fish listed in his recipe which is likely to be Mackerel or Kembung, he said it is their secret. Assam Laksa is also known as Penang Laksa over in Penang.

Their business seemed to be slow even though it was lunch time then with no queue. There was no customer when i went back after eating to talk with the young owner. I guess perhaps not too many locals are able to appreciate the special flavor of Assam Laksa which is distinctly different from the local laksa. It is not as spicy as expected but tangier, it could be quite a refreshing choice if you like it but you might hate if it is not your cup of tea. As compared to the other Assam Laksa i have tasted so far, this one somewhat reminded me of what i had when i was in Penang. This has to be one of the better ones that i have came across in Singapore.

Their choice of noodles is really close to those served in Penang. It looks a bit like thick bee hoon that normally use for our version of Laksa and also for those Fish Head Bee Hoon but the texture is different, it is more chewier and springer. I was told by the owner that they have it specially made to give their Assam Laksa a more authentic feel. The soup has a well-balanced sourish taste, with bits of shredded fish and chunks of pineapple also slices of tamarind, onion and cucumber, it was then topped with a thick sweet prawn paste to serve.

When i told the young owmer that his Assam Laksa is really nice and i could see his face brighten up. I wish him all the best and hopefully his stall is able to survive well and still around when i visit again.

116 Upper Bukit Timah Road #02-28 Bukit Timah Food Centre SINGAPORE 588172
Operating Hours: 12.00 pm to 8.00 pm (Daily)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The really Hungry CEO

It happened again. Another website, The Hungry CEO, has copied my picture, removed the watermark and used it for their article. Even though they has credited to Ceil Joven but it is not linked to my blog. I could not help but wonder how many of my pictures are circulating online on different websites now. It is definitely not okay to just credit, they should proper permission should be obtained in using it. They do not seem to bother to even make an effort to eat it themselves and take a picture for their review on the article. Now, how trustworthy are their reviews that appeared on their site? This is simply acceptable. They should practise responsible writing.

The picture appeared on one of their articles. 

The original picture on my blog with the watermark.

I have requested Zayne Seah, the writer to remove it and he responded by doing so.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Din Tai Feng : Has the standard dropped?

I could not quite remember when was my last visit to Din Tai Feng, it was probably about 5 to 6 years ago or even longer. I used to be quite a fan of their Chilli Crab Xiao Long Bao as well as their Pork Chop Fried Rice, i have tried their main branch in Taiwan as well as the different branches in Singapore. I strongly felt the standard was much higher in Taiwan as compared to those in Singapore then.

I decided to re-visit after such a long while. I went to their branch at Jurong Point and there was quite a number of customers waited there during lunch. I was told that a table for 3 has to wait at least 20 minutes and a number was assigned and it will then displayed on the LED panel when the table is ready. We filled up the order chit while waiting for the table. 

We were served tea upon seated down. The Jasmine Tea is free-flow and is charged at $1.00 per pax. I would suggest to skip ordering drinks and stick to the Jasmine Tea. The service was rather attentive and the waitresses have been topping it up quite frequently.

We ordered the original Xiao Long Bao and Crabs filling Xiao Long Bao, both were served at the same time. I took a couple of minutes to shot some pictures and perhaps i took a bit too long, it was lurk warm when i tasted it and both did not manage to impress me much.

Their signature Fried Rice with Pork Chop is always the must order whenever i visit. It was still good though, this has to be the best dish amongst all that we ordered. The rice was nicely coated with egg but not as grainy as i like it to be but the Pork Chop was good, nicely marinated thus very flavorful with a desirable tenderness. 

Their Braised Beef Noodle was the biggest disappointment. The beef though tender but very lacking in flavor, same as the broth but the texture of noodles was not too bad. 

I do like their Dumplings in chilli oil, it was slightly spicy with a nice hint of vinegar taste. The skin of the dumpling was a bit too thick but the filling was quite tasty. I actually quite enjoyed it.

The Stuffed Green Chilli was not too bad as well but a bit pricey.

The overall experience was quite a disappointment and for the same amount that we paid, i would rather visit Legendary Hong Kong in the same building.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Guang Zhou Wanton Mee

This humble noodle stall is amidst of other stalls in this food centre at Toa Payoh Lorong 7 and they have been around since the 50s though not at the same location. The stall is manned by an elderly lady with a younger man. That lady was rather friendly and chatty too. She asked, 'Have you ever eaten a really old school wanton mee?'. I said, 'I have eaten so many versions till i am not sure what exactly is old school wanton mee'. Auntie pointed to a poster and asked, 'Do you want to learn how to cook wanton mee or happen to know a friend that is wanting to learn? We are teaching for free.' She continued to say, 'We are doing our part to keep the hawker culture going.'

Amongst the other choices of Lor Mee, Chicken Chop Noodle, Fish Soup and Fried Rice, i decided to go with their Wanton Mee as this is their signature dish.

For just $2.50, it serves with a substantial portion of noodles, a few slices of nicely grilled char siew, some greens then a handful of fried pork lards together with a bowl of soup with 3 pieces of wanton in it.

Apparently, i could not quite tell what is so old school of their Wanton Mee as it tasted quite similar to some of those that i have eaten but it was quite tasty and i enjoyed it.

Block 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7 #01-41 Kim Keat Palm Food Centre SINGAPORE 310022

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lai Lai Heng Wanton Noodle

This is an unassuming noodle stall in this food centre that with a constant long queue. Most of their customers are residents staying in the vicinity and most of them will go for their signature wanton mee. For just $3, it comes with a substantial portion of noodles with soup and also fried wantons, a few slices of char siew and some greens. The noodles were cooked well to achieve a desired springy texture and served in a pool of soy based sauce, the taste was further enhanced by the chilli added. Both the soup and fried wantons were pleasant-tasting though i would have prefer the soup wantons a bit more. As for the char siew, it tasted just fine. 

You should give it a try if you happen to be in this food centre for lunch. Please take note that their off day is indefinite but they will usually announce it on their facebook page.

Block 409 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 #01-03 Teck Ghee Square Food Centre SINGAPORE 560409
Operating Hours: 5.00 am to 8.30 pm 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Master Chicken : better than average

This stall used to be at Old Airport Road Food Centre under another name before moving to this food centre. Jason, the stall owner, used to be one of the pioneer chefs of Dong Feng Fa Hainanese Chicken Rice chains before starting his own stall and that somewhat explained the certain similarities in taste. The standard is definitely on par if is not better. 

The texture of chicken has its desired tenderness and it was served lightly drizzled with sauce which enhanced the flavor. The chilli was quite good though it might not be the best that i have tasted. The rice was rather good as well, it was grainy and not greasy with a slight hint of chicken broth. Overall, it is not disappointing and it is worth a try if you happen to be in this food centre.

Block 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7 Kim Keat Palm Food Centre #01-18 SINGAPORE 310022
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (Tue to Sat) / 9.00 am to 3.00 pm (Sun)