An Introduction

An Introduction
The Simplest Aphrodisiac

Flavours of the Month

Flavours of the Month
Rocks Urban Grill & Bar

Overseas Trips

Overseas Trips
The Reason to Travel

The A List

The A List
Featuring the Best

Mad Jack Cafe II

27 June 2009

As I've started off on a previous post on Mad Jack, I'd do it here again in similar fashion. How crazy really can some of our Caucasian friends be - Botak Jones, Crazy Ang Moh (local slang for Caucasian, though used less frequently today) and Mad Jack - all offering "crazily good food" at "crazily good prices". Do they live up to their name? Thus far, I would say yes, pretty much so, but they sure are getting stiff competition from the Astons group, be it Astons Specialties or Astons Express.

Grilled Rib-Eye in Black Pepper Sauce: 3.25/5

The rib-eye was good, but not good enough if matched with its counterparts from Botak Jones or Astons Specialties. The tender beef slices were accompanied with a very tasty sauce, though it wasn't as spicy as I would prefer it to be. Comes with mashed potatoes and vegetables, but if you have read my blog long enough you wouldn't be surprised that I changed the latter for fries. The fries, by the way, were soft on the inside but crisp on the outside, and I like the light spices on them.

Blue Mountain Beef Burger: 3.75/5

Mad Jack declares this as the "tallest burger in town", but I wonder if this means in the country or more so in the Bukit Timah - Dunearn area. I could already think of the "U-CRAZY-WHAT?!" burger from Botak Jones (also featuring triple patties) and the "Barbarian Burger" from Changing Appetites (featuring two thick patties) as potential rivals to this claim. Personally I would prefer two thick patties instead of three thinner ones since, like the burger here, thinner patties don't exactly give you the fullest satusfaction of savouring the meat juices. Goodness me, I do sound like a seasoned carnivore.

The burger looked formidable on the menu, and so I was surprised when my mother gamely ordered this. Of course, she could only finish about half of it, leaving the rest to be cleared by the other two men in the family. On taste, I like the "handmadeness" feel from the patties because of the addition of onions and... some other things that I don't really know what they are (but you know there's more to it in the patties). An addition of a fried egg would be nice as well.

Grilled Chicken in Black Pepper Sauce

Both my father and the little sister had this, and it seemed alright to me. I'm not sure if it could really satisfy big-eaters like some of my friends (raise your hand up Justin!) though.

Regular Fish and Chips

My sister is too much of a die-hard fan of Fish & Co., so this fish and chips just didn't do for her. The rest of us however took a forkful and thought the fish was really fresh and the batter quite appetising. Subjective tastes indeed.

Chocolate Delight

Complimentary dessert if you're using a Citibank card (minimum spend of around $40 I think). I had this before and felt it didn't taste as good now because it was a tad dry. Still as rich though.


$13.90 for the grilled rib-eye in black pepper sauce
$7.90 for the blue mountain beef burger
$7.90 for the grilled chicken in black pepper sauce
$8.90 for the regular fish and chips
$2.00 for a can of soft drink
$1.50 for a bottle of mineral water
$2.50 for a cup of regular coffee

* Prices subject to 7% GST, no service charge.

6 Duke’s Rd (Bukit Timah Rd before
Coronation Plaza / Crown Centre)

Additional Comments
1. Opens till midnight daily.
2. Great place for group outings because it's a) Halal, b) cheap and c) has vegetarian choices (even mock burger!).
3. Has delicious looking cakes too. Click here for the full menu.
4. For card promotions, click here.

Swirl Gelateria

26 June 2009

I would have to say that it's pretty brave for a small gelateria to set up shop so close to the popular Island Creamery, but Swirl has been around for quite some time now and has its share of regulars. It was empty on a Sunday afternoon though, save for a young couple studying (their books, or each other, I couldn't exactly tell which). I was a bit too loaded up on lunch and settled for a single scoop.

Peanut Butter Swirl: 4/5

It doesn't look like much here, but it did taste good. The peanut butter flavour was just nice in a way that it wasn't too bland nor overwhelming. I like it for having that creamy feel as well. The only thing is that not many of the other flavours seem to be striking enough, and I think the only way Swirl can catch up with its nearby counterpart is to introduce more unique flavours. Remember though that it's also very much a cold slab gelato gelataria, which means they're probably putting their money on the way their ice-creams are being mixed with the toppings. They could always take a leaf out of Cold Rock Ice-Creamery's books, since Cold Rock ranks up there with my favourite Ben & Jerry's ice-creams because of their yummy flavours and extensive range of toppings.

And oh, other blogs are raving about the Marscapone and Chendol flavours from Swirl. Perhaps you could give those two a try as well =)

Around $3.50 for a single serving.

557 Bukit Timah Road,
#01-04/05 Crown Centre.

Shokudo Japanese Food Bazaar III

I hesitated about returning to Shokudo because it hasn't met my expectations in my previous two visits here (and here), but somehow or another I found myself walking back in with the hope that I would order something "right" this time.

Seafood Omu Rice: 3.75/5

And yes, I actually did. Something surprisingly simple too. I like the overall flavour of the fried rice with the fluffy omelette, as well as the fact that Shokudo was quite generous with the prawns and squids. Pretty okay for its price, ratings a bit on the high side but I would say that it's probably one of the better dishes here.

Plain Rosti

The best friend had this, and she said it was "alright".

The staff were pleasant and friendly, though overly friendly to Caucasians.

$8.80 for the seafood omu rice
$4.50 for the plain rosti
$2.50 for a can of coke

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Raffles City Basement


23 June 2009

I like it when my friends have great suggestions on where and what to eat because it shows that we share a common interest in food. It's even more heartening when they go on to say things like, "Here's a good place for your blog!" because it shows that they care about this humble little blog and want to be a part of it, no matter how big or small. In this post, thanks must go to the best friend for her great recommendation on Tampopo.

Stone Grilled Beef Curry: 4.75/5

This has got to be the best Japanese curry that I've tasted so far. I think it's the way the thick, sweet and slightly spicy curry gravy managed to gel so well with the cheese, which I have to add was baked to perfection. I can still remember the aroma of the curry as it was put before me and the way it got me soooo hungry and ready to eat.

The potatoes were soft enough for babies to chew on (then again, don't try this since they'd probably start screaming from the curry) while the beef chunks were, for most parts, stewed to a satisfactory tender level. The stone-grilled bowl kept the dish warm for a pretty long time (considering that we were spending a lot of time talking) but I'm not complaining because it only means that I got to savour every delicious spoonful of it.

Crabmeat Porridge

The best friend was curious about how this would turn out, and it didn't look exactly promising when it arrived. Until she did this:

Crabmeat, eggs and mushrooms were out in quite generous portions in this dish, but I have to admit it that I'm not much of a porridge person and this definitely couldn't compare to my beef curry. The best friend did mention that the broth was very good and I agree. Kinda reminds me of shark fin's soup actually.

Very prompt and attentive.

$15.30 for the stone-grilled beef curry
$13.50 for the crabmeat porridge

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Liang Court Shopping Centre, #B1-50.

Spices Cafe @ Concorde Hotel

22 June 2009

In a move to complement its à la carte menu, Spices Cafe at Concorde Hotel (formerly "Le Meridian Hotel") has introduced an enticing BBQ-inspired menu that is bound to whet that appetite of yours. With a selection of over fifty grilled skewers at affordable prices (read: from $1.90++ onwards), you would almost be spoilt for choice, if not to mention as well that I myself had an early dilemma of whether to go for a single dish or a variety of small sticks. In the end, I decided to go for the latter.

The interior of Spices Cafe is relatively simple but posh and comfortable enough for a hotel restaurant. For a Friday evening it was quite peaceful, but most welcomed if you're trying to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Service here meanwhile is excellent and certainly worthy of praise.

Complimentary Bread Basket

The complimentary bread basket was a sight to behold simply because of its sheer generosity. While there was only two of us, it looked fit for four, and we had to return half of it (clean and untouched of course) to the staff. Many of the bread slices were too cold and dry for my liking, but at least the softer butter buns made up for them. If you like your salads, there's also a salad bar which costs around $8++ per person.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa: 3.5/5

Loosely translated as "Special Fried Rice", the Nasi Goreng Istimewa was accompanied by a band of fried chicken wings, achar (Malay pickle), satay (grilled meat skewers) in peanut gravy, crispy ikan bilis in sambal chilli and a couple of breaded prawns. As an overall dish it was good but not necessarily spectacular, and it does remind me of the fried rice in typical room service menus in local hotels here. The rice was quite flavourful and the side dishes were good complements.

Assorted Mushrooms and Herbs: 2.5/5

While Daphne had her fried rice, I was busying myself with the skewer menu. She did point out one in particular that she wanted to try, this charming quintet of mushrooms, but it turned out a tad dry and almost devoid of the "herbs" that the menu seemed to promise. The black mushrooms were better than their light brown, wild counterparts.

Beef Meatballs with Caper Aioli: 4.75/5

The night's winner if you ask me. The minced beef was so juicy and tender and I'm close to salivating just staring at this picture once again. I went as far as making a suggestion to them that they could use this as a beef patty and I'm quite sure it would be a hit with beef burger lovers.

Crabmeat "Chang" Skewer: 2.25/5

This stick, sad to say, was pretty uninspirational and didn't have much of a discerning taste. It could almost be mistaken for one of those sticks from Old Chang Kee (a popular snack chain in Singapore) since they taste quite similar.

Chicken Tikka: 3.5/5

The chicken tikka was alright, it had a unique flavour with different spices vying for some attention from your tastebuds.

Fiery Chicken Fillet: 3.75/5

In contrast to the Chicken Tikka, the simple Fiery Chicken Fillet didn't quite try to tease your senses but it still tastes great. The fillet was tender while the spicy marinate quite delightful. The only problem? I had to stop myself from taking it all in one bite ;)

Marinated Lamb with Asian Spices: 4.25/5

If all mutton satays taste like this, I could eat them everyday. Well, almost. Filled with flavour.

Minced Beef with Spices and Honey: 4.25/5

I like the addition of a lemongrass stalk (or at least, that's what I think it is) because it gave the meat a nice aroma and an added flavour to it. The smallest sized stick though, but juicily good nonetheless.

Dessert Bar

I have to admit that I came to know of Spices Cafe only because of a promotion that Safra card members have and that is a free access to the dessert bar (worth $6++). The dessert bar wasn't as good as grilled skewers though, but it gave a nice, sweet end to a satisfying dinner. Of special mention is the French tart, the almond crumble and the mini éclairs, which I enjoyed very much.

Excellent. I like the way the manager handled his team and how all of them seemed so eager to attend to the customers. Service with smiles and politeness all around, well done.

$13.00 for the nasi goreng istimewa
$2.50 for the assorted mushrooms and herbs
$2.50 for the beef meatballs with caper aioli
$2.50 for the crabmeat chang skewer
$2.00 for the chicken tikka
$3.00 for the fiery chicken fillet
$3.00 for the marinated lamb with asian spices
$2.50 for the minced beef with spices and honey

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Concorde Hotel, Orchard Road.

Changing Appetites II

17 June 2009

It's a wonder to me how I ended up at Changing Appetites ordering a burger when I initially wanted to watch my weight and head to Esplanade's Stock Pot for soup. Burger instead of soup! Goodness me.

Thick Dynamite Burger: 2.5/5

This burger could not meet my expectations and I certainly prefer the CA Burger that has a beefy beef patty and crispy onion fritters. While the burger buns were toasted just nicely, and the fries cooked to a golden crisp, the chicken patties meanwhile were awfully salty. You would need a good number of glasses of iced water to get this down, not to mention that this is already (generally) an oily main course. On a closer look, the double chicken patties aren't that thick, they're quite thin to be honest.

And if you would prefer the "kids meal" version (haha, something I remember a waiter from Smokinn Frogz saying in a joking manner), you can opt for a lettuce- and tomato-less burger, just as I did. Talk of a diet, it all went out of the window!

Cajun Chicken Fajitas

Somehow or another, this is one of the favourites amongst the customers here, including Daphne's. Great for those who love their cheese, otherwise a bit too overpowering for those who don't fancy it much. This dish comes sizzling hot on a hot plate and served with a couple of tortillas to wrap your chicken in.

I've said it before, but I'd say it again. Try their desserts (especially their mud pies), I heard it's actually more satisfying than most of the main courses.

Very good and friendly.

$15.90 for each, subject to 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Marina Square #01-204.

Warong M. Nasir

14 June 2009

There was a Malay wedding at my void deck earlier today, and somehow or another the enticing smells of Malay dishes being cooked and prepared downstairs were more than enough to get a Nasi Padang craving going for the whole family. We initially intended to head to our favourite "Sabar Menanti", but I thought we should be a little bit more adventurous and try something new. Hence, Warong M. Nasir.

I made a reservation for us yesterday but realied that there wasn't much of a need to since it was still quite empty at eleven on a Sunday morning. I knew that they don't have much of a practice in taking reservations (I'm sure they won't during weekday lunch hours) but I tried anyways and I guess weekends are probably quite the exceptions. The indoor seating is certainly more comfortable than the tables facing the main road, though it's a wonder why they were playing some of the latest English pop tunes instead of... Indonesian music perhaps, to add to the atmosphere. By the time we arrived, most of the dishes were already out and everything did look real good. Admittedly, there's a wee bit more variety at Sabar Menanti as compared to Warong M. Nasir, but the usual dishes like the curries and rendangs were all there alright. It's good to come early too because I would like to think that it's the time when the food is at its freshest.

Bergedil: 4/5

For the uninitiated, these are fried mashed potato patties. Usually bergedils come with some minced meat, but most places even like Warong M. Nasir here would just settle with some onions, onion leaves and peppers. Overall it was alright, just not fulfilling its original identity as a potato and meat patty.

Fried Eggs: 3.75/5

It's just fried eggs yes, but I found the addition of onions and chillis within the eggs quite creative.

Fried Chicken: 4/5

I liked the fried chicken because it wasn't very dry and the marinate was quite tasty as well. I have to add though that this is one of the few dishes we had that seems better than Sabar Menanti's.

Tahu Telor: 3.75/5

Pretty good, but I normally have it without the peanut gravy and I prefer it that way. The tofu was soft on the inside while the flour covering was crispy.

Brinjals with Chilli: 2.5/5

My parents shared this, but they mentioned that it would taste better if the sambal chilli was cooked together with the brinjals rather than merely being added on top.

Beef Rendang: 2.5/5

It's difficult to make out what exactly it is from the picture, but underneath the gravy is thick slices of beef. "Rendang" shouldn't be confused with the typical Malay curry, inasmuch as coconut milk and spices are used to prepare it as well. I didn't quite like the rendang here because it had too much of a "satay" taste to it. Moreover, there was too much fats on the meat.

Very good and polite. The staff came by our table twice to ask if we had enough gravy to go with our rice.

Around $40 for all of the dishes, four plates of rice, two teas and one Coke.
If it isn't enough for you, you might like to get some Malay kuehs (traditional cakes) or biscuits found at the front counter.

69 Kiliney Road.

House of Sundanese Food

Me and Daphne were walking aimlessly around Great World City when we came by this restaurant and realised that it has been quite a while since we've eaten our favourite Tahu Telor. We only learned five minutes after placing our orders that they have run out of it (oh man!) but we stayed on and decided to give another dish a try.

Fried Stuffed Tau Pok: 3/5

The tofu alternative to tahu telor - fried beancurd (confused yet? tofu, tahu and beancurd: same thing, different names) stuffed with minced chicken, mixed vegetables and chestnuts. I didn't like this dish much because of the hard chestnuts, but Daphne liked it because she found them crunchy. Alas, the subjectiveness of taste.

Cumi-Cumi Bakar: 2.5/5

Otherwise known as grilled squid. A bit too rubbery for my liking and the seasoning was too uneven. Only the squid head tasted good.

Kangkong Tau Jio: 3.25/5

I'm not exactly sure what they call "kangkong" in Western countries, but a brief check on the Net turned out the term "water spinach". Instead of the usual sambal chilli, this restaurant cooks its kangkong with "tau jio" (fermented black beans) and it was quite alright. Thank goodness we asked for some chilli to be added though, otherwise it wouldn't make our tongues "dance" much, as their posters seem to promise.

Ayam Bumbu: 3.5/5

An Indonesian variation of the popular chicken curry. Although the curry wasn't served very hot, the chilli and spices used in it were tantalising enough for our tastebuds. The chicken was very soft and tender as well.

Very good and polite.

$7.00 for the fried stuffed tau pok
$2.80 for the cumi-cumi bakar (promotional price)
$5.90 for the kangkong tau jio
$5.80 for the ayam bumbu
$1.90 for a plate of white rice *gasp!*
--> ask for more while they're filling your plate if you're a big eater

*Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Great World City, #02-18.

Additional Comment
Certified Halal.

2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.