Monday, February 12, 2018

[Media Invite] A Reunion To Remember @ Millenia Walk

Had the opportunity to join in the fun of this year's A Reunion To Remember at Millenia Walk, thanks to Kilo Studio, Roy and Jennifer. Here is the link to the full promotion for 2018. Organized by Millenia Walk and this was the third consecutive year that the event is running.

Reunion Lunch @ Millenia Walk
mini sake barrel
sparkling sake

It was an affair to remember, with the tables setup in the middle of the mall foyer, and there were beverages booth showcasing sparkling sake and fresh hand brewed coffee. So excited that I was there early to learn more from the beverages booth.

Managed to try the Caramel & Raisin, and its acidity was just nice and the aroma of caramel was rather subtle. Was informed that the aroma grows stronger when the temperature lowers down. One could also drink the coffee almost akin to drinking wine.

Hand Brew Filter Coffee by The Bean Shop by
Dark Chocolate & Spice, and Caramel  & Raisins beans
sipping coffee like wine
Of course, I was drawn to the array of sparkling sake next to the coffee. There were three types of sparkling that was available at the event; Shirayuki de Ai Sparkling Sake (Hyogo, 7.5% ABV), Akazaru Sparkling Shochu (Kagoshima, 5% ABV) and Sawanotsuru Akane Sparkling Sake (Kobe, 7.5% ABV).

The Three Beauties (from left to right) - Shirayuki de Ai, Akazaru and Akane

Shirayuki de Ai, is said to be almost like the famed French sparkling and it is the only sparkling sake with beer hop added to it. It has a light straw colour to it and lots of tiny bubbles. Start with this as the other two had sweetness to it. The Akazaru sparkling shochu looked like water when all its little bubbles dissipated. It'll be trouble if one forgets and downed it all at one go! The Akane is immediately recognizable by its purple/red hue. Made from purple sweet potato and hence its purplish red tinge. Lovely bottle too because it's pink! Thank you Andrew from Kirei (who is also a certified sake sommelier), for taking the time to talk about the sake.


Had the drinks and was looking for some snacks before the lunch start proper. Lo and behold, there's Joe & Dough pineapple tarts making its round. Small round buttery crusts with not too sweet pineapple jam. Small enough to have it in one mouthful.

Joe & Dough golden pineapple tart

Of course, there was the customary yusheng toss that's a must for any CNY celebration. Plentyfull Blossom was beautifully laid on the large round plate awaiting for the moment.

Plentyfull Blossom - Yusheng with Yellowtail Hamachi by Plentyfull
in goes the dressing
in goes the hamachi
Altogether now, Huah Ah!

Next, we enjoyed a sit-down 10-course lunch. First course was of course the yusheng. Lovely yellowtail slices and the healthy tasting salad. Second dish was an equally healthy tasting 5 Elements soup served in a young coconut. The soup had a hint of coconut aroma.

A Reunion To Remember menu
1st course - Plentyfull Blossom Hamachi Yusheng
5 Elements Soup - snow lotus seed, bamboo fungus, chinese golden fungus and red date by elemen

Next up, was deep fried Oyster and Hotate Katsu from Saboten. Was anticipating this dish and it was well executed. The panko arrived crunchy and the gems inside was worth waiting for. The scallop was of a good size and sweet. The oyster was enjoyable with the tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon. So yummy, these 'フライ'!

Oyster and Hotate Katsu by Saboten
It was quite matching to have sake after having the fried food. The sweetness from the sparkling shochu was just lovely. The next course, was a green bowl from Tokyo Chopped Salad. First time having chopped salad and must admit, that I liked it! The sesame dressing was really good and made each bite of those chopped fresh greens so tasty! The beef was gentle to bite. Lots of stuffs inside the bowl. It had shitake mushrooms, broccoli, romaine lettuce, wakame, quiona, red onions and brown rice.

Premium Beef Tataki Salad by Tokyo Chopped Salad
Homemade Charcoal Beancurd with Golden Oyster Mushroom by elemen
The charcoal beancurd looked interesting and it tasted like a good regular tofu. The flavours from the deep fried oyster mushroom was enticing and the asparagus provided the crunch to the dish.

Next, we sampled moo ping from Thai Affairs. Enjoyed this rendition as it was perfectly marinated and the meat was flavourful without sauce. But with the sauce, it was even more tasty! I'll go back for this. The best moo ping I've eaten was from a small little boat that floated to ours in Damnoen Saduak. Mainly because the fats ratio was higher.

Signature Grilled Pork Skewers by Thai Affairs

Can you believe it that I had not tried Teppei Syokudo Kaisendon before? The Kaisendon has 6 different types of seafood in it, mixed with signature sauce and served on a bed of Japanese sushi rice with a huge dollop of wasabi in it. The concoction was highly enjoyable and the contrast of texture from the baby scallops/whelk was good. Mix a bit of the wasabi in, small amount at a time for added kick.

Kaisendon by Teppei Syokudo
The next carb, was the Mazesoba Chasiu by Uma Uma. The bowl had onsen egg, diced chasiu bits, spring onions, bamboo shoots, chili oil, leek and sesame seed. The chili oil wasn't that spicy and the springy noodle had a nice chew to it.

Mazesoba Chasiu by Uma Uma

Then, it was time for dessert. First up, is the traditional dessert by Beano. There's beancurd, grass jelly or ice jelly. I love those colourful balls. Sweetened and chewy. Enjoyed the beancurd the most. Ice jelly and grass jelly were refreshing.

Traditional Beancurd, Ice Jelly and Grass Jelly by Beano
And of course, ice-cream. Dark Gallery's 68% Ghana Single Origin. It was cocoa bliss.

68% Ghana Single Origin by Dark Gallery

Saturday, February 10, 2018

[Media Invite] Uoshin Zushi @ 82 Amoy Street

This stretch of road has plenty of dining and drinking places. The likes of Bochinche, Birds of a Feather, Sugarhall, Jigger and Pony are amongst the brands one could find along Amoy Street. If you're in the mood for Japanese food before the drinking starts, then Uoshin Zushi could be your choice.

Was invited to try their foods recently, and it was promising. The foods served at Uoshin Zushi is not the most authentic Japanese cuisine as it has elements of fusion in it. Think Japanese-themed family-style food. Even its music is mostly English songs.

sake bottles decor
Japanese doll
Its interior is wood-heavy and has a cosy comfortable atmosphere. The dining area is spacious and suitable for large groups gathering, as well as intimate dinner for two.

wood-centric theme
sashimi counter

We started the evening with appetisers of edamame and deep fried salmon skin. The edamame was plump and nicely salted. The salmon skin was interesting as it was of an unexpected colour of light golden brown. Relatively thinner than most salmon skin that I've tasted!

edamame @$3
fish skin karaage (fried fish skin) @$3

Since the side dishes are good with alcoholic drink, they do have Sapporo draft for just $8 for half pint, while there's a promo of $10 1-for-1. That's a no brainer of which is the better deal! So do go with your buddies!

Sashimi lovers, you'll enjoy the next one. A beautiful bowl of Natsu Sashimi (for 2 pax). It has two slices each of salmon, salmon belly, tuna, swordfish and scallop topped with tobiko. The version that we had was topped up for the third person. The additional top-up would be counted at ala-carte pricing.

Natsu Sashimi (5 types of fish two pieces each) - @$32

On the day of our visit, the Chef had decided to replace the tuna with yellowtail as the shipment of tuna that day was not satisfactory. The swordfish was also replaced with amaebi. Not an issue as I love yellowtail sashimi! The scallop was very very good as it was plump and sweet. More scallops please!

The Natsu sashimi was hugely satisfying. If you need something more filling, the potato salad could be an option. It was mixed with plenty of hard boiled egg, well seasoned and topped with tobiko. Lovely and one just can't stop eating it!

Potato Salad @ $2
If all the cold food is getting to you, why not warm up with a small bowl of miso soup. Nothing special from its appearance as it looked like any other regular miso soup. However, there is a difference as it tasted somewhat sweeter and not so 'edgy'. Reason being, this restaurant uses dashi to prepare its miso soup and while it drives up the cost, the brother and sister pair running the restaurant would like Uoshin Zushi customers to enjoy the premium ingredients while maintaining it as reasonably as possible.

miso soup
chawanmushi @$3

If you like aburi sushi as much as I do, then the next plate is for you. A beautiful 5-piece torched salmon with various toppings such as mentaiko, sweet sauce, mayonaise, ginger and black pepper that promises to tantalize the tastebuds. I think I'll get two plates of these please, thank you.

Uoshin Salmon Zushi @$8 

There's also grilled salmon fin with sea-salt on the menu, and these are the fin parts with fatty bits. Two pieces per plate.

Grilled Salmon Fin with Sea Salt @$5.50

There was one new item that we got to try. The salted egg tempura with garlic fried rice. The tempura consists of one prawn tempura and two pieces of vegetable tempura (brinjal and sweet potato). The batter was crunchy and slightly thicker and well coated with the salted egg sauce. A child of our friend tried the tempura and enjoyed it! It would have been great if there was less oil on the plate.

Salted Egg Tempura with Garlic Fried Rice

For dessert, we sampled the match and goma ice-cream. Didn't expect the ice-cream to be topped with red bean paste though.

goma ice-cream @$3

All in all, Uoshin Zushi serves lovely affordable, thick slices of sashimi and very good aburi salmon sushi. Recommend the sashimi, fried salmon skin, potato salad, and not forgetting the garlic fried rice.

Special thanks to Nicole and Uoshin Zushi for hosting and HGW for the invite.

Uoshin Zushi

Location: 82 Amoy St #01-00, 069901
Reservations: via Hungrygowhere
Contact: 6222 2600

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Chinese Kitchen 厨神私方菜 @ 20 Cavan Road

Hidden in an obscure location (at least for Westies like me), lies a popular place for Chinese cuisine. The venue is cafe-like but boasts a boisterous, lively vibe synonymous with celebratory dinners. Our group ventured out to this place to seek out the good eats. And to find out, what makes this place popular. +Ivan Teh @jellymagically @msginginly and myself gathered on a quiet Saturday evening to this part of the world that's somewhere near Lavender.

The Chinese Kitchen
Reservation is a must if you're heading there for dinner on a weekend. We barely managed to secure the 8pm dinner slot. Thanks Ivan for taking care of that aspect.

This place has its dishes curated by the former president of the Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs (Singapore), Chef Austen Ong. Wow, surely it is a privilege to be able to try dishes that the top guy curates!

If one takes a look at the menu, The Chinese Kitchen menu is said to be of modern Chinese classics. The way I see it, it is flavours of yesteryear's created in our times, using currently available ingredients.

Four Beauties of China (四大美女) - Wang Zhaojun, Yang Guifei, Xi Shi and Diaochan

From the outside, it was seemingly quiet. Open the entrance door and be greeted with lively banter, and boisterous diners making merry. There was a large group of diners in their fifties celebrating birthday, a few tables of family dining together, one with young children and a table of adults in their thirties enjoying wine. The place seemed rather popular with the silver age group.

drinks counter

Our modus operandi is simple. Each choose one dish to order. The motto is not to over-order. Kris chose the signature dish of Garoupa in Old Fifties Collagen Broth (standard size). Jen chose the Charcoal Grilled Iberico Pork Neck, and my choice was the Old Sixties Style "Hor Fun". Ivan chose small plates of Pork Trotter Jelly and Deep Fried Tofu Coated with Sakura Prawns.

signature dish
For drinks, we went with the staff recommendation of housemade herbal drink of luohan fruit. One jug of those serves 4 glasses. Just nice for our table. Can choose to have it warm or cold. The drink was thick and nicely sweetened. Good to have something cooling once in a while.

Luohan drink @$10 per jug
It was just a short wait before the food is out. As expected, the signature dishes arrived first. The Pork Trotter Jelly was very appetising and refreshing at the same time. The jelly was firm and flavours were balanced. I think I'd like this with wine too!

Pork Trotter Jelly, Passion fruit infused Cucumber (百香脆瓜猪脚冻) @$8

However, the cucumber wrestled the limelight from the trotter jelly. Well pickled and its taste was memorable. One of our favourite.

surprise star - passion fruit infused cucumber
Charcoal Grilled Iberico Pork Neck Fillet with Honey Pineapple Sauce (炭烤黑豚梅头肉) @$14
We love meats and the grilled iberico pork neck addressed this need nicely. It was a rather thin fillet, tender with light flavours on its own. A dip into the honey pineapple sauce jazzed the meat up to a savoury sweet, appetizing flavour. Yums.

Garoupa in Old Fifties Collagen Broth (五十年代老火炖汤红石板鱼) @$38

The signature dish of the Garoupa in Old Fifties Collagen Broth was served in a claypot. In it, there are chunks of fried fish, cabbage and some tomato. The broth was comforting and just rightly seasoned. Tasty but not too rich. In terms of similarity, it tasted somewhat like those charcoal fish head steamboat soup minus the yam.

Deep Fried Tofu coated with Sakura Prawns Crusts (樱花虾炸白玉) @$8 
The tofu was the last appetizer to arrive. It surprised me a little as I was expecting sakura prawns scattered onto the tofu. Instead, the sakura prawns are actually mixed into the thin batter coating the tofu. If you taste the tofu on its own, there's a hint of the sakura prawns flavour. Liked the flavour better after dipping it into the tartar/mayo sauce as it was a tad bland on its own.

Asked the young staff who was taking our drinks order on what is this "Old Sixties Style Hor Fun" and from his reply, it seemed that we should be expecting soft gooey flat noodles in braised sauce that's popular in the sixties. This plate of hor fun was also the dish that took the longest time to arrive at our table.

Old Sixties Style "Hor Fun" (六十年代炒河粉) @$14

Its appearance seemed simple. Light coloured braise sauce, well covering the noodles underneath. There are a few huge prawns, some lala (clams), greens and slices of meat. Dig in, and we found some thin hor fun (like those Ipoh hor fun kind) underneath. Yay!

old skool hor fun

Liked the hor fun and it was a pleasant comfort food experience. The crunchy kai lan was a bonus and there were chicken gizzard in there as well. Hints of wok-hei too.

Overall, it was a good experience, wholesome flavour and tasty food with reasonable pricing. The washroom is equipped with hand-railing. Useful for the older folks. Very thoughtful.

Friendly staff and good vibes all round. Expect to spend about $25 to $35 per pax.

厨神私房菜: The Chinese Kitchen

Location: 20 Cavan Rd, Singapore 209851
Contact: 6612 6024
Reservation: via Chope

All Rights Reserved. © Purple Taste
Blogger Theme by BloggerThemes| Theme designed by Jakothan Sponsored by Internet Entrepreneur