Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perla's Pastry Boutique

I am not a cake lover. I do not like cream. To win me over with cake and cream means that cake's quite some cake. Among the many shops in Takashimaya's food basement is my surprise find, Perla's Pastry Boutique.


Chantilly Al Ciocolato Bianco

This is one of the shop's best seller. Soft sponge cake with fresh Chantilly cream (whipped vanilla flavored cream), custard filling between the layers of cake and topped with delicious white chocolate shavings. 

For white chocolate haters, the general complaint is that white chocolate is too sweet. In this cake, the sweet white chocolate complements really well with the cake and cream, thus creating a milky and light taste that is not so sweet that it saturates. This little wonder of a cake is one of few cakes who managed to win me over. Do try it, you'll not be disappointed with the cake. It looks real pretty as well.

*the flower is not edible, so please attempt at your own risk if you do not believe me*

Score : 4.25/5.0

Mixed berry tart

Buttery and delicious tart base, laden with a layer of custard, topped with berry jelly and an assortment of fresh blueberries and raspberries. 

The berries brings with them a sour zing to the tart, leaving the job of sweetness delivery to the biscuit crust and custard. A bit sour but still berry nice.

Score : 4.0/5.0


This is truly a surprise find for me, and I would not have bought the cake and tart if not for an occasion and the friendly staff. According to the delightful and helpful staff, the cakes are baked fresh from Italian restaurant Valentino and moved there. There's 3 shipment a day, so you gotta be fast if you want to order one without pre-ordering. They do deliver for a fee of $20 unless it's an order of over $x(I can't remember how much, but both you and I knows that it need be high). If you are looking for a nice birthday cake, Perla should have you covered with the various sizes available, the cakes reviewed are all of the "petite" size(serves 2-3, or 1 :D).

Perla's Pastry Boutique
Takashimaya Shopping Centre                                9 Jalan Binka Singapore 588902
B2 #08-04A                                                                  Tel : 6462 2760
Opens Daily from 10am to 9:30pm                           Opens : 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm(Tue-Fri)
                                                                                                      10an-10pm (Sat,Sun)     Closed on Monday 
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chai Ho Satay, Dried Pork


Satay, how I love these pieces of marinated meat on stick. This is a place where an awesome colleague of mine(who makes great dessert) introduced me when I was craving out loud about me missing satay. He told me that this is a famous shop, where during CNY it will sell Bak Kwa and then after that revert to satay. Located in Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre(right behind Clementi Mall), if you can't find it, look for the following : POSB, a yellow signboard , smoke and well, a queue. Please do not come on Monday- it took me two rounds to finally find the shop during my first hunt to finally find it - closed on Monday......

Determined, I went the next day during dinner time to really satisfy my craving, and I finally found the store opened, with a long queue. At about 7:30pm, I ordered around 20 sticks of chicken and 5 sticks of pork satay. There is no more ketupat for sale so unfortunately I can't say anything about it. After taking my order, the store owner told the lady " sorry, we are left with 16 sticks of chicken only", and the lady took it regardless with a few other customers leaving after asking " really no more ar~". At around 7:30pm, they are sold out...... It is just the start of dinner time and it's already sold out? I do not know if it is the normal situation, or there are many who come on a monday evening only to find it closed, and hence return the next day with "vengence" in mind and bought a whole lot before me. Phew~ Lets get on with the food proper.

Chicken & Pork Satay (38 cents each)

What is the magic to these satay that causes them to be sold out so soon? I guess I do not need to introduce what is satay to you guys. So let's keep it simple.

These satay looks good, with the nice amount of char and shine to them. Maybe my craving is making them sparkle even more, but it's how I see it. Not a single piece I got was overdone and poses an extra dose of cell mutation risk, each piece carries about the same adequate amount of cell mutation risk. Nicely done boss!

When I was about to dig in, I ran into a tiny problem. I can't find my pork satay! I have to concentrate to find the signature section of pork fat in the satay. Some swears by them, some swears when they see them, I swear a bit if it's really good or really horrible. After some scanning with 4 of my eyes, I finally found it

Pork? Chicken?

Chicken? Pork?
I sink my teeth into the pork satay, followed by the chicken one. They can stand alone well enough on their own. Not only do they look similar, their taste is pretty much on par with each other, with neither one besting each other. The meat is tender enough without me struggling to get them off the stick, nor were they many strands of meat stubbornly sticking to the stick after you remove them. This again shows the nice BBQ-ing skills of the boss. 

The chunky peanut sauce is good and serves it purpose in enhancing the flavor. But the satay can really do well enough by themselves for the flavor of the marination is deep enough. Chai Ho Satay is a really traditional, well-rounded performer in all areas of how a satay is being cooked. 

Score: 4.25/5.0

Chai Ho Satay, Dried Pork
Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bugis Street Ming Kee Chicken Rice - Porridge

Chicken rice is really a staple dish consisting mainly of a staple food in every coffee shop and/or food court. White or roast chicken, chopped and slapped onto a bowl of chicken stock infused rice. Different places do it slightly differently, but more often than not, the taste is pretty standard and tastes pretty good.

To me, the rice is the performer of the dish and not so much of the chicken. If the chicken is good, it is an additional bonus. I was brought to this place by a friend, who told me that this is the (arguably) "The Best Chicken Rice in town!". Is it really the best Chicken Rice in town?


Chicken Rice

After my 5-10 minutes of queue, I finally got to order their specialty. I see the owner chopping chickens after chickens with quick precision and then I see something that you don't see elsewhere. Another guy was drowning some chickens in water and lifting the previous batch up and passing them to the chopping board.

Cold and tender chicken with thick skin

When I bite into the chicken, it is cold. Cold not from hanging on the rack for too long but cold because they were in the cold water for a while. The chicken is very tender and moist, most likely a result of the cold treatment from the owners. So do not be alarmed if the meat is slightly cold. The chickens used here definitely enjoyed a good load of food with not much of running as the lack of exercise is evident on the skin. Hurray for some and :S for some. The serving of chicken is very generous compared to their competitors' serving.

The rice is like the chicken, soft and plump with every grain nicely separated. Coupled with their own sweet soy sauce mix on the chicken and rice, the rice is fragrant and ever so slightly sweet that I lament the fact that they do not give enough rice to match with their generous amount of chicken. I need more rice~

The chili is pretty good, not too spicy but yet with a slight kick. The weakest link is the soup, it is...... pretty bland. I'll let the soup slide since I am not really there to drink the soup but the Chicken Rice itself, which is good.

Score: 4.25/5.0


I have to say, this is indeed one of the best Chicken Rice which differentiates itself by serving cold chicken. The plastic utensils given are quite clunky and felt a bit like children utensils. I would have preferred the usual metal ones, but again, who cares if the food is good.

To get to this coffee shop by foot, you will walk past the following: Bishan Junction 8 --> Bishan Library --> Long queue at the Koi Bubbletea -->  Shop & Save Supermarket --> BLK 511 Coffee Shop. Hope this helps any who wishes to go by foot but just lacks a sense of direction generally. The sign is an unmissable neon green sign and if you decide to drop by around meal times, will have a long line of people.

Bugis Street Ming Kee Chicken Rice - Porridge
Bishan Street 13 BLK 511
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bon Chon 4 fingers Crispy Chicken

Chicken has got to be the most widely killed eaten birds among their avian brothers. We cook them in every other possible way - boil, steam, braise, roast and my personal favorite, deep fried.

Bon Chon 4 fingers crispy fried chicken, was inspired by Korean fried chicken, but it came from US. Why 4 fingers you ask? (I believe) If one is eating tasty  fried chicken the proper way, they will eventually utilise 4 fingers. But I know some who uses all 2, 3, 6, 8 or all 10. Besides fried chicken, there are also rice boxes and tofu for those who visits a fried chicken shop to get anything but fried chicken. Not me.


Soy Garlic Fried Chicken

There are 2 kinds of flavors available : Soy Garlic & Spicy. I've been a repeat customer here for many times and I recommend the Soy Garlic flavor.

I do not know how you count a piece of chicken wing as a piece, but normally if we do order a piece of chicken wing in the neighborhood coffee shop or hawker centre, we get the drumlet, the mid-joint and the wing. But in Bon Chon, a piece is either - 


Frankly speaking, I feel kinda cheated about the size:price ratio. But something pulls me back time and time again. The taste. Bon chon uses a double fried style on their lightly coated chicken, resulting in a thin and light crispy outer skin. Each piece of nicely fried golden chicken is then lightly painted with your choice of sauce.

Every bite is a crunch and delight with Bon Chon's own blend of slightly sweet and fragrant soy garlic sauce which is nicely soaked into the skin. An amazing thing is that the chicken here still tastes good and relatively crispy after quite some time(45 minutes)! This is amazing considering the chickens are covered with sauce; most fried items with sauces ladled on top or around can only but turn soggy and less tasty with every moving second. Sure the meat itself is not marinated, with the only seasoning coming from the sauce, but the crisp and the sauce adds all the savor to the chicken.

If you order a set, you will get a cup of soda and their crispy fries which looks like

The little seasoning of spices seems like a nice touch to the generic shoestring fries but I can't taste much of a difference. They do provide some thai chili sauce to go with the fries which levels up the taste a bit. 

Bon Chon's chicken is one of the better Korean fried chickens around town but patience you must learn if you want crispy fried chicken half-wings during the meals times, worth 
the effort it is.

Score : 4.5/5.0

4 Fingers Crispy Chicken
ION Orchard, #B4-06A
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Ippudo Singapore Ramen

You like ramen? I love ramen. Some look out for the broth, some look out for the tanginess of the noodles. Me, I look out for both of them. It doesn't make sense if the broth suck and the noodle tasty, or vice versa right?

Ippudo Tao, the largest ramen chain in the world, having outlets from Japan to USA and then to Singapore. Heard that getting a seat during dinner time requires patience. Guess I got lucky as I got my seat immediately when I reach :D

Wall of Ramen (Bowls)


Shiromaru Motoaji Ramen (with tamago)

Thin noodles in a silky smooth, opaque  pork broth with Pork loin char siew and cabbage and as the greens accompanied with some pickled Ginger.

The noodles here are of the thin variety, and is available in different softness according to the customers' preference. Medium was chosen for this bowl. The noodles was cooked according to the choice, neither too soft nor too hard. Not usually a big fan of thinner noodles and that includes bee hoon or vermicelli, the noodles here are give quite a good kick with every slurp.

Now, the pool that everything is soaked in. It provides a nice mix of flavors while not being too flavorful. This will be great for those who prefers a lighter palette for their food. Served in a white bowl just like the broth and it's namesake, the whole ramen comes with 2 measly slices of pretty good char siew. The cabbage gave the ramen a nice crunch while the black fungus( 
黑木耳 = Black Wood Ears?) is cooked to a nice soft texture. Yummy. This ramen is for everyone.

Score : 4.0/5

Akamaru Kasaneaji Ramen (with tamago)

Be firm!

Chose the firm noodles here as I usually prefer my noodles to be more tangy. I'd thought the thin noodles would turn soggy over time easily. But nope, it doesn't turn soggy that fast in the shiromaru pool, but I would still recommend the firmer noodles for providing a better bite. Mmmm~

The broth is the one from the shiromaru, but further improved upon by the addition of miso paste and garlic oil. This is for those who love their food to be flavorful, and that's me. Just like it's name, aka=red, it is served in a red bowl.

This is after stirring in the two wonder ingredients. The soup is now decidedly more flavorful and packs more punch. Do you like your food with more flavor? Take the red bowl instead, I know I do.

Accompanied by the same veggies, another difference with the Shiromaru ramen is in the meat. The char siew here is made of pork belly, and the slice I got is composed of 90% fat. IT IS GOOD, with flavor bursting from every inch of the fat. This is another supporting case where fat = taste in food.


What is this?

Do you know what's this? In it contains roasted sesame which this little container will grind, making the ramen so much more fragrant. If you've been there, but did not try using this, do give it a try. If you do not know how to use it, here's a hint for you: Spin

Unfortunately, the egg is not good. Maybe the farm where they got the eggs from have chickens which can't run, cause the yolk is not runny at all! But seriously, it is a bit too overcooked.

Score 4.25/5.0


It is a good place for ramen, even more impressive considering it's a chain of restaurant, where the longer the chain is, the higher the probability of a weak link in the chain. The price is a bit on the higher side for ramen, but it is worth a try.

Ippudo Singapore 
@ Mandarin Gallery and UE Square


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