November 29, 2010

Brownies from P.Osh

Good things come in small packages. The 2"x3" treats at P.Osh, a brownie shop conveniently located at Dhoby XChange, are one such example.
Trip Earle C.

Here, the signature chewy brownies are available  in a variety of flavors, ranging from mint mousse and dark chocolate to coffee caramel. I finally settled on the Trip. Earle C. ($3), which was topped with a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate swirls.

P.Osh's chewy brownie proved itself to be no less worthy than the cakey or fudgey versions which I am accustomed to. While it was pleasingly moist and not overly rich or sweet, what stood out for me was its lovely bite. Go give chewy brownies a try sometime if you haven't had them before!
P.Osh Premium Brownies

Aside from chewy brownies, P.Osh also offers Premium Brownies ($3.30) filled with pockets of melted chocolate and roasted walnuts which are more cake-. Nuked in the microwave for 15 seconds, this transforms into a sinfully dense and fudgy treat that would be perfect with ice cream. While both satisfied, I personally favor the chewy brownie over the premium version as it is less heavy on the tastebuds.

The stall also offers customized brownies, which start from $4 for a small piece. Though I have had even better brownies before, there is no doubt that those from P.Osh will make for a decent sweet fix.

#B1-40 Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station
Also available at The Old House, 1011 Upper Serangoon Road

November 26, 2010

Smiths Authentic British Fish And Chips

I've found a great place to relieve culinary memories from my trip to England. Judging by both the number of British customers in the eatery as well as my own dining experience, the food at Smiths Authentic British Fish And Chips certainly lives up to its name.
Haddock and chips

In addition to cod and haddock, fixtures on the menu of every fish and chip shop in England, chicken, dory, salmon fishcakes and sausages are also available at this dine-in/takeaway establishment. Like a true blue British fish and chip joint, Smiths' menu also includes side orders, spanning from pickled eggs and gherkins to baked beans and gravy.

EDT (29 Nov 2010): Plaice, scampi and halibut are now available on the menu!
The first thing that striked me when I opened up the triple-wrapped package of fish and chips was the sheer size of the haddock fillet. While a tad pricey at $16, the portion of haddock and chips was sufficient for two small eaters! Deep-fried a la minute, the golden batter encasing the fish was delightfully light and crispy. The firm and tasty haddock also pleased with its flaky and moist interior.
Haddock and chips

Though lacking the crisp exterior characteristic of well-fried fries, Smiths' rendition cannot be described as soggy. Seasoned just right with a sprinkling of salt and malt vinegar, these plump and pillowy slab-cut chips definitely won my nod of approval. I'm sure the British patrons of this joint would like them just as much.
Mushy peas

Intrigued by its unusual name, I also ordered a serving of mushy peas ($2 for an eight-ounce cup), a popular accompaniment to fish and chips in northern England. Although I am not a fan of the vegetable, this simple and healthy dish comprising marrowfat peas boiled into a thick and stodgy soup was strangely satisfying.

Given the artery-clogging effects of deep-fried food, I don't quite agree with Smtihs' tagline that "everyone deserves a daily portion". But one thing's for sure- Smiths is the place I'll be heading to whenever a craving for fish and chips hits.

P.S. I heard that the standard and portion size has dropped since my visit to Smith's in November 2010, but have not verified this personally.

Smiths Authentic British Fish And Chips
230 Tanjong Katong Rd
Opening hours: 12pm-11pm (Tues-Sun)

November 20, 2010

Kim Dae Mun Korean Cuisine

Kim Dae Mun is one of the few Korean food stalls in food courts that are worth their salt. Conveniently located at the food court in Concorde Hotel (previously known as Le Meridien Hotel), it is also one of the few eateries in Orchard which manage to provide tasty meals at wallet-friendly prices. Naturally, it is no wonder that this authentic Korean food stall draws snaking queues at lunchtime and dinnertime.

Potato Pancake 감자전 (Kamja Jeon)

Though a tad oily, the crisp Potato Pancake ($3.50) is pretty tasty when eaten with the tangy vinegar dip provided.

Spicy Korean Rice Cakes 떡볶이 (Ddukbokki)

While Ddukbokki is a popular street food in Korea, I'm not a fan of the soft and chewy texture of the cylindrical rice cakes. Nevertheless, this dish ($4.50) was admittedly well-executed, comprising rice cakes cooked to the right degree and gravy that was not overwhelmingly sweet or cloying. This dish is also not for those averse to spicy food, for the sweet Gochujang sauce definitely packed lots of fire.

Spicy Chicken Set

Like the other hotplate dishes served at Kim Dae Mun, the Spicy Chicken Set ($6.50) is cooked using water and not oil, making it an ideal choice for the health-conscious. Satisfying tender and well-marinated, the boneless chicken slices were spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. I also loved the sweet onion slices which took on a whole new taste dimension when simmered with sauce on the hotplate.

Every hotplate set also comes along with a bowl of fluffy and fragrant short-grain rice (served in a metal bowl!), soup, as well as a side dish. I have yet to try the spicy pickled cucumber, but I always opt for the fried anchovies over the kimchi, which lacks punch.

Kim Dae Mun Korean Cuisine
Concorde Hotel, Concorde Food Court
Opening hours: 10 am – 9 pm daily

November 16, 2010

Miki Yo!

Having learnt about Miki Yo! from Bella V, I decided to give their froyo a go when I was at Suntec City some time ago. 
Original flavor, with milk jelly ($4.20)

While I usually prefer to have my frozen yogurt plain, I was enticed by the attractive spread of toppings here, which spans from the typical assortment of fruits and nuts to lychee jelly and chewy honeydew mochi! I eventually settled on a small cup of original flavored swirl with milk jelly ($3.20+$1). Other flavors available include blackcurrant, green tea and strawberry.

Smooth and creamy, Miki Yo!'s froyo is very similar to Red Mango's, which coincidentally used to occupy the same stall space. As with most local frozen yogurt places, it was also unfortunately a tad sweet, so as to cater to the tastebuds of the masses who are unaccustomed to the tartness of real yogurt. The intriguing-sounding milk jelly was pleasant and tasted just like almond jelly.

Miki Yo!
Daily: 11.30am – 8pm

November 14, 2010

Astons Express

I rarely patronize Western food stalls in coffee shops or food courts. However, having heard favorable reviews about Astons, a chain establishment known for serving quality food at affordable prices, I decided to give its sister chain Astons Express a try one evening.
ieat Super Burger

Priced at $12.50 for a portion large enough to feed two small eaters, the ieat Super Burger featured a grilled patty, freshly hand-chopped from 200gm of sirloin steak, sandiwiched between two sesame seed buns along with two slices of melted cheese, bacon rashers, barbeque sauce and a drizzle of mayonnaise for a creamy touch. Not to forget, the mandatory tomato and romaine lettuce slices that helped to cut the grease.

Sizewise aside, I was unfortunately not bowled over by the ieat Super Burger as the beef patty could have done with more flavor. However, I loved the unconventional addition of battered onion crisps which provided a slight sweetness and much crunch to the burger!

Every order of the ieat Super Burger includes a complimentary side, with choices ranging from fries to baked potatoes. My friend and I did not regret opting for the onion rings, which were satisfyingly crunchy and not too greasy. But my vote will still go to those addictive onion crisps... if only they could be placed on the a la carte menu!

November 11, 2010

Malga Gelato @ Hokuriku Fair

Over the past two years, I've tried cold confections from various Japanese ice cream parlors at the seasonal Isetan food fairs.  Blue Seal is horrendous, Aso Natural Ice is acceptable and Mashuko Dowa's decent. But my favorite has got to be Malga Gelato, which is currently retailing at the Hokuriku Fair.
Passionfruit & Green tea

What makes Malga Gelato stand out from the rest is its slightly icy but delightfully soft and smooth texture. Every flavor I tried was a pure flavor experience, which can only be achieved when simple and natural ingredients are used. The Passionfruit sorbet was pleasingly refreshing, but I liked the intense green tea gelato even more!

Other flavors include black sesame, chocolate, kaga plum wine, pebbly strawberry and vanilla. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to get my hands on the natural salt gelato before the fair ends!

Hokuriku Fair
Isetan Scotts Supermarket
Till 14 Nov 2010

November 8, 2010

Forty Hands

Despite only having opened in October, Forty Hands is already drawing a steady crowd of caffeine addicts. Located in an old shophouse in the serene realms of Tiong Bahru, the cafe's name is derived from the mean number of people required in coffee production, from the plant to cup.
Drinks on the menu, brewed from certified Fair Trade coffee beans, range from $2.50 for a single shot of espresso to $8.50 for a large mocha. The iced latte ($7.50) certainly lived up to my expectations of a cuppa from a specialty coffee joint. Strong, rich and full-bodied, this definitely kept me buzzing for the rest of the day!
Aside from a variety of sandwiches, Forty Hands also offers a spread of croissants, ranging from pain du chocolat to almond croissants. Longing for a savory nibble at lunchtime, I opted for the ham and cheese croissant ($4.50). Sadly, the ham and cheese were simply sandwiched into the croissant, instead of being baked with the pastry. Better quality cheese could have also been used instead of processed slices. Nevertheless, the crisp-shelled croissant satisfied with its light and fluffy interiors, though it can't compare to its fabulously buttery counterpart at Mirabelle Patisserie.
Carrot cake, lemon ricotta cheesecake and scones (which looked more like rock cakes) were just some of the tempting sweet options. It wasn't an easy decision, but I eventually settled on the beautifully-assembled chocolate tart ($5) for dessert. Rich without being cloying, the lush-looking chocolate filling did not betray its appearance with its luxurious silky smoothness. If only the tart crust could have been more crunchy- or even better, replaced with a buttery pate sucree base!
As someone who is not a java devote, I am unlikely to return to Forty Hands soon, partially due to its not-quite-convenient location. However, this charming cafe definitely makes a good hangout for those who appreciate a good coffee. (Psst....there's WiFi!)

78 Yong Siak St #01-12
 8am-6.30pm daily

November 3, 2010

A&W: A Pictorial

Visiting A&W was a must on my itinerary during my family's short getaway to Indonesia. I had Googled the location of the A&W outlets in Batam before leaving Singapore, and I was definitely glad to hear from the tour guide that we'd be dropping by Megamall for some shopping! The lack of an information counter and the shopper-unfriendly mall configuration didn't help, but I eventually found A&W on the ground floor of the shopping centre.
The fried chicken was slightly dry. While the curly fries were nicely crispy/fluffy, it was a pity that they were overly salty.
A&W Strawberry Milkshake & the classic A&W Root Beer Float. Of course we had to upsize the latter.
Waffles with vanilla ice cream

This was the other A&W classic that I had been so eagerly anticipating. I would have been certainly disappointed to leave Batam without rekindling memories of having the same warm and slightly salty waffle with cold soft serve as a little girl. 

Though this was not the best waffle-and-ice-cream combo I've had, I relished every bite of nostalgia... if only someone would bring A&W back to Singapore! While the prices of the other items were comparable to those from fast food outlets in Singapore, this was a steal a 19090 rupiah (about S$3).
Waffles with strawberry ice cream

A better name for this would have been "waffles with soft serve ice cream and strawberry sauce".
Waffles with chocolate ice cream (waffles with soft serve and chocolate sauce)

Megamall, Batam