Monday, February 6, 2012

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken


Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (Hao Da Da Ji Pai) is here in Singapore. Located in City Square Mall, this franchise is the third country after Hong Kong to have Hot Star Chicken. Always excited by fried chicken, I checked it out as soon as I got news of it. (though the post is very late)

Hot Star Chicken

The main characteristic of taiwanese fried chicken is that these chicken pieces are huge. For Hot Star, their chicken is HUGE indeed. Take a look, bigger than an average women's palm.
There's 2 flavors available, Original and Spicy and I got both. My first reaction after my first bite was "Hot !". Well, this is due to their policy where the chicken is thrown into the oil only after you order, so you gotta wait a while to receive your fresh and Hot! Hot Star Chicken. The chicken breast fillet stays moist and tender beneath the super crispy coating. After 15-20 minutes, it's less hot but still as moist on the inside with the outer layer retaining its crisp. No sign of sogginess due to moisture from the environment or the meat within.
Spicy Side
One thing they will NOT do is cut your chicken. It'll be presented to you as how you see it. You can cut it yourself if you want to, but they do not cut it for you. To show that they are serious, they have no scissors in the shop.(Just my conjecture)

Personally, I prefer the Original to the Spicy variant for the original gives the original(duh)  fragrance and flavor of the chicken. But both are equally and exceptionally crispy and juicy.

Plum Fries

I'll just keep it short. The fries are sooo crispy that stayed that way even after 15 minutes with a seasoning that is just slightly sweet without saturating your tongue. This plum fries is really an awesome snack. Too bad the serving is a lil' small.

Hot Star Fried Chicken
City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road, #B1-K7, Singapore

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Yoshinoya (Japan)

Gyudon (牛丼), or beef bowl, is a traditional and affordable meal in japan. Outside of Japan, arguably the most famous is Yoshigyu, or Yoshinoya's Gyudon. I love gyudon for its simplicity and good taste. However, I will be vocal in that this experience is highly volatile in Singapore, with it veering strongly to the negative side.

A recent trip to Japan have placed "Eating Gyudon" as one of the top on my "To do list". Thankfully I got to eat it. 

In Japan, Yoshinoya is not the only Gyudon Chain. There are competitors like Matsuya(松屋 - They call their Gyudon Gyumeshi(牛めし) which is essentially the same thing) and Sukiya(すき家). Here, I'm going to share with you what Yoshinoya is like in Japan.

24 Hours

Available in 3 Sizes: Reg, Large & Extra Large

Top - Gyunabe Don 
Mid - Butadon(Pork)
Bottom - Curry

Gyunabe Don (牛鍋丼) + Negitama (ねぎ玉子 - Leek & Egg)
Before anything you'll be served a cup of warm green tea (FOC).

So, what is Gyunabe Don? Nabe is hot pot/Japanese steamboat. So with Gyudon you have a bit of Nabemono(Hot pot dishes) along. As can be seen, in this bowl is a piece of tofu with some shirataki noodles(しらたき). A Negitama was added to go with my rice.

Just top the bowl with the egg

A generous helping of tender beef slices, white onions boiled to a sweet softness along with the nabemono, egg and leek. Whoa, This bowl of Gyudon is heavenly. Not to mention that it is very very affordable at 370 Yen(Approx SGD$6.20)

If you ever visit Japan, Gyudon is a must try for its good taste and affordability.
Here's a picture of the friendly worker who struggled to understand my japanese while I struggled to order and converse with him in japanese.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Ultimate Ramen Champion Part IV

Now for my return post, there is a second outlet of ramen champion in Singapore T3 now. Located opposite Kopitiam in T3, so it's not hard to miss. If you have your luggage+trolley with you, you will have to leave it outside the premise and the manager at the entrance will look after it for you.

Same concept if you've been to the one in Iluma, this time there is only 4 outlets- Ikkousha, Gantetsu, Riki & Gensuke. The 2 new ramen shops are very different from what was being posted on their facebook page initially. Anyways, lets get to the 2 new ramen :)

Riki Ramen - Nitamago Riki Ramen

You like veggies? You like garlic? If you do, you'll enjoy Riki ramen. The noodles are pretty tasty and every mouthful will have a crunch from the abundant cabbage and beansprouts. Crunch Crunch Crunch. 

The egg is done wonderfully here, the yolk is totally soft and gooey, finally an egg that looks like what was illustrated.

It does remind me quite a fair bit of Bario ramen back in Iluma. I'll leave it up to you which you prefer. Thumbs up for the nicely done egg :D

Gensuke - Ajitama Ramen

Dislike pork? Like Chicken? Gensuke specializes in Chicken Ramen. Everything in their menu have is targeted towards the bird lovers (or pork haters). Egg is done very well, so much so that the runny yolk was washed away by the soup.(Or did it run away?)
Case of the missing yolk

The noodles are very slippery and looks a little like instant noodles. Of course it is way better than instant noodles. Soup is distinctively different from the pork broth that you'll find in other ramen, the soup is a thick murky whitish color that is smooth and light on the tongue.Worth a try if you are looking for something different. 

If I'm not wrong, it is operated by the same guys from Ikkousha. Here's a picture of them posing :)


Another choice among the many other F&B choices in Changi Airport T3. Do check it out if you have the ramen cravings when you're in Changi Airport.
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Garrett Popcorn

What do you snack on when you go to the movies? Popcorn is one of my favorites and I am more inclined towards the sweeter variety. Otherwise, I see very little of popcorn in my life outside of theaters. That kinda changed when popular gourmet popcorn chain Garrett Popcorn started popping up all over Singapore. From Resorts world to Citylink mall to now... I kinda lost count. But you can find quite a few of them in one visit to town.

Storefront in Somerset 313

No, they do not sell it in that size
If I were to trim it down, you have about 2 choices. For the sweet toothed, Caramel Crisp Popcorn(or Caramel Crisp with your choice of nuts). For those who likes their popcorn savory, Cheese Corn. Feel free to ask for a sample before you take a plunge into getting a pack.

I think my choice of flavor is clear - Caramel Crisp!!!

It stays true to its name - Generously covered in caramel and crisp with every bite. It is a really good (and expensive) snack that leaves you wanting for more when it's gone.

I am not sure if you can finish the whole pack without feeling saturated, but I can't. If you can't, do take caution in storage for you'll lose the "Crisp" from the name.

Garrett Popcorn

313 Orchard Road, #01-38 313 @ Somerset                               Orchard Turn, #B4-46 ION Orchard
176 Orchard Road, #B1-09/10/11 The Centrepoint                      435 Orchard Road, #B1-50 Wisma Atria
Tampines Central 5, #01-32 Tampines Mall                            Kim Seng Promenade, #B1-06 Great World City
541 Orchard Road, #01-K1 Liat Towers                                     80 Marine Parade Road, #B1-83P Parkway Parade
26 Sentosa Gateway, #01-077, Universal Circle, Level 1 Resorts World Sentosa        
Raffles Link, #B1-26A CityLink Mall

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Super Mario 3D Land

*In this post, by 3D, I meant Stereoscopic 3D*

Maybe I'm weird, but I do enjoy 3D effects a lot. I do not shell out the extra dough every single time if the movie is said to be in 3D. However if a certain movie is shot with 3D in mind (think Avatar and the slightly disappointing Transformers 3: DOTM), I will go for it to experience it. Personally I feel that part of the reason why 3D doesn't catch on is that the content is not maximised for 3D, and of course having to wear the glasses is not the most convenient thing in the world(Especially if you are already required to wear it on top of your visually correcting glasses).

Nintendo 3DS, the successor of the widely popular Nintendo DS with a tongue in cheek name has a slow start since it's initial sale starting this year. Touting glasses-free 3D, the 3D does indeed work but has to be tilted to a proper angle for you to enjoy its effects. Otherwise, the 3D is indeed pretty amazing and can only be properly explained in person.

If you own a 3DS and am thinking of what to buy, or if you are thinking of getting one and thinking of the accompanying softwares to purchase, look no further than 

Super Mario 3D Land is the latest entry of Nintendo's flagship italian plumber. In short, this game is amazing.

Picture in 2D
Every single courses and levels in this game is superbly crafted from every perceivable angle possible. You'll be amazed at some of the courses where Mario is underwater, balancing on a bouncy rope, a flying human cannonball or just floating with the aid of a special equipment. The 3D lever of the game is turned up to max whenever I play with no side effects even after an hour or two. The game is really crafted with 3D in mind, from top to toe. In fact, some of the amazement is lost if you do choose to play in 2D(IMO). 

You'll find yourself delighted and doing something new in every new course. If you've been playing the Mario series from the NES era, you'll be glad to find some tidbits that the developers put in just to delight you. Oh and boy do Mario love to cosplay. Distinction between him and other cosplayers is that his costumes imbues him with various abilities.

Floating with the Tanuki Suit
As child friendly as it looks, the game can kick your ass if you are not careful or plans to just run and jump without thinking. There are just about as many traps for you to make you wonder if it's you or if it's the game. But thankfully whenever you start thinking that(i.e. die enough times in a course) you'll be given a permanent Tanuki suit that gives you invulnerability and gliding through the air. What a nice way to not remind us that we suck.

Nope you can't eat this can grow further
Isn't he tired of kidnapping the princess and seeing Mario every single time?
Certain things stay the same. If you are looking at story, you probably expected the story being Mario trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser and you are right again. Mario is still a vegetarian. No Best Story award for Super Mario 3D Land, but one for the immensely rich and satisfying experience that it provides with every course. It is currently the best game experience on the Nintendo 3DS, and arguably the most enjoyable 3D experience across all media.

I am still a little ways from completing the game and can't wait to get back to it. Bye now ^_^

* All images above are not mind and belongs to Nintendo and the various sources I took from including Joystiq & Kotaku*
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Apologies for the lack of updates, things have cropped up such as equipment failure and other events. I'm back and will try to update if I have awesome stuff to share. There might be some changes to my posts but I hope you guys enjoy my posts (both old and new).

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ramen Champion Update

Image from Ramen Champion SG webpage

Hi everyone, been to Ramen Champion Singapore held in Iluma yet? If not, check out the links below for my take on all 6 stalls there.

Following their success in Iluma, they are going to open a branch in Changi Airport T3 with 2 of my favorite Gantetsu and Ikkousha along with 2 new ones - Hakkakuya and Gyoku!

It'll be opening in November(anytime soon?). More food choices when you're at the airport now \(^_^)/

Previous reviews

The Ultimate Ramen Champion Part I - Menya Iroha & Tai Sho Ken

The Ultimate Ramen Champion Part II - Bario Ramen and Hakata Ikkousha

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Awfully Chocolate


* The comments below is purely the preferences of the author, and it is never in any way a way to incite a Dark vs White vs Milk Chocolate war. Eat what you love, and enjoy it. *

Life is short and bitter, but it is the little bits and pieces of sweetness that lights up our life. So, I can never really understand dark chocolate. To quote from one dark choco lover who told me " The darker it is, the bitterer it is, the better it is". I prefer my chocolate sweet and able to make me smile, not cringe at the bitterness.

In any case, this is a shop (sorry, a chain of them) which specialises in chocolate cake. It has now expanded their repertoire to include a range of other cakes and ice cream too. Of course they are all chocolate related according to their namesake.( Though it'll not be a good idea to create stuff according to the first word in their name)


Super Stacked Chocolate Cake

This is the evolution of their original product, a dark chocolate fudge cake. I will have to say, this is indeed a cake. No extra cream or whatsoever, dark chocolate cake constitutes about 50% with dark chocolate fudge filling up the layers. It did not live up to my expectations as from the ravings I read/heard.
Score : 3.25/5.0

White Chocolate Butterscotch Block

A Dark chocolate Swiss roll cake covered with mildly sweet white chocolate cream. In the middle and on top is salty caramel.

The salty caramel, blends in really well with the white chocolate. The cake however, tastes really simple and ordinary, and if I'm not wrong is the same cake in the super stacked chocolate cake. This cake satisfies my sweet tooth pretty well while not leaving you feeling too saturated.

Score: 4.0/5.0

Hei Ice Cream

Awfully chocolate's single flavor, premium dark chocolate ice cream. With the word 黑(Hei) in reference to the word dark. The ice cream is not black, but a velvety dark brown. Never once will you not be reminded that this is a dark chocolate ice cream, but the after taste is way too bitter. It takes the fun out of the initial richness and faces it a really strong and lasting bitter effect. Oh, to use the word premium for ice cream and charging accordingly, naturally I will have my fair share of expectations. My face became a bit 黑黑(Hei Hei= Black)  to find some ice crystals in the ice cream. 

The serving was generous for a single scoop, and I believe those who digs dark chocolate for it's bitterness will love digging into this ice cream.

Score : 3.25/5.0

White Chocolate Cupcake

The same cake you find(?) in the super stacked chocolate cake with a white chocolate flavored cream on top.

Score : 3.25/5.0


After more than a decade and expansion overseas, Awfully Chocolate definitely have its fair share of fans. Those who wants some chocolate in their life, but yet do not like it too sweet will love it. The price is a bit on the high side though, especially with the system of charging by weight. This means you must have spare cash if they accidentally cut a larger slice, so students on a budget, bring more cash. Dark chocolate fans rejoice for it will always serve as a good source of
nourishment for their needs.
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