Saturday, March 28, 2015

not taipei/singapore: 8 PLACES TO EAT/VISIT IN SINGAPORE


I've been to Singapore a couple times before, but never had that much time to explore. Thanks to all of your great recommendations, I had a chance to explore some new Singapore must eats! There's nothing like going to a new place to get overwhelmed by all the information out there. You want to maximize your time in the short amount of time that you are there, but sometimes you don't even know what areas to go to, much less what restaurants. So here is a shortlist of the places I visited and would return to again - it's more of a four day itinerary of where I ate and went. Hope I get to return to Singapore again soon!

8 PLACES TO EAT/VISIT IN SINGAPORE!

(1) ONE FULLERTON ROAD PHOTO OPS
Sure, it's going to be a bit overpriced and a bit touristy, but if you want a lot of photo ops, then you can't beat the view of the Marina Bay Sands from across the river. If you walk along the pier, you can also get a picture with the iconic Merlion or the One Fullerton Road sign. If you don't have time or budget for a full meal, you could grab a coffee at Starbucks or dessert, or go for a stroll. Be sure to go around 9 or 11PM to catch the laser show that happens nightly from the Marina Bay Sands. I had chili crab at Jing the first night there, but thought the crab was slightly overcooked and tough to shell, so would opt for crab elsewhere, especially since you are paying for the view to eat there.






(2) SKY ON 57 at MARINA BAY SANDS


Opened four years ago in 2010, the Marina Bay Sands is an impressive hotel/casino/shopping center destination. I didn't get a chance to try the full buffet on the 1st floor, instead my family opted to eat at the smaller buffet area housed at Sky on 57. There's the typical array of hot western and Asian hot foods, continental breakfast items, porridge and sides and fruit and juices. You also got a choice of ordering two made to order items per guest- I loved the slow cooked farm eggs and enjoyed the spicy laksa (yup for breakfast!). My dad liked the ramen and the french toast was also really tasty. Didn't really get much of a view where we were sitting, but since we were hotel guests, we got to enjoy the infinity pool which is pretty amazing (and freaky for those of you with fear of heights) that feels like the water is spilling over into nothingness with a panoramic view of Singapore.





(3) HAINAN CHICKEN RICE at CHATTERBOX / MANDARIN ORCHARD
I had mixed feelings when our hosts chose Chatterbox as our place for Hainan Chicken Rice. It's listed online as one of, if not the most expensive places for Hainan Chicken Rice at S$27. The environment is upscale in the Mandarin Hotel, and there's lots of other things to eat like lobster laksa, but Chatterbox definitely has a smooth running operation. You can also shop or walk around Orchard Road afterwards.





This was a fun drink- Lychee juice with shaved ice with lots of lychees inside- but it was super sweet almost like drinking a version of canned lychees and the juice inside.


Hainan chicken rice (S$27)



(4) WHITE PEPPER CRAB at SEAFOOD REPUBLIC

I LOVED the white pepper crab that we had at Seafood Republic, a restaurant at the Resorts World Waterfront in Sentosa, which is Singapore's version of Universal Citywalk with a shopping/entertainment/retail area in front of Universal Studios. The white pepper crab was 10x better than the chilli crab we had the first night at Jing at Fullerton Road, and was worth getting your hands dirty for. The meat was sweet and the sauce had a lot of garlicky, peppery flavor, but wasn't prohibitively spicy. Also good to order were the cereal prawns, wasabi prawns, fried mantou, mee goreng.


Fried mantous to eat or dip in the sauce




(5) OSTERIA MOZZA at MARINA BAY SANDS/MALL

Sure you could eat Mozza in LA, but for those whose circles revolve around the east side of the Pacific Ocean, it was a great option to be able to have burrata and fresh pasta at Mario Batali's Mozza at the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Must orders are the burrata and the steak- so good! I felt the scallops were a tad on the salty side, but the servers were very knowledgeable and great at answering all the questions I had about the dishes when I was ordering, and good service makes up for a lot. Osteria Mozza was just included on the 50 best restaurants in Asia list, so they must be doing something right.


(6) LAU PA SAT

Thanks to you guys, I was given a heads up on these two food court areas. If you want to eat where the locals eat, then you can consider these. Lau Pa Sat is like an outdoor food court market with more international choices, while Old Airport Road felt more like Shilin night market with different hawkers and more local foods. Even though a lot of stalls were closed since it was the tail end of Chinese New Year's, it was possibly less crowded for the same reason, so easier to find seats and tables. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of Indian choices, and there were of course a ton of local options including hainan chicken rice, black and white carrot cake, hokkien mee, char kway teow and ice kachang.



"Black" stir fried carrot cake



Ice Kacang


Loved this- there's a huge pile of biryani rice underneath the naan, as well as some

Hokkien Mee


(7) OLD AIRPORT ROAD
Outdoor hawker food court, reminded me a little of Shilin Night Market in Taipei, though I have to say Taipei seems to have faster turnaround for the food than Singapore.







Wanton mee


Satay- I think we waited over an hour for these.


HK Crispy Seafood noodles 



(8) BOON TONG KEE - HAINAN CHICKEN RICE
One of my favorite meals of the trip, I would strongly recommend that you give the chicken rice at Boon Tong Kee a try. I got it to go (twice!) and while it was better the first time than the second, it was SO good. Boneless chicken with savory rice cooked in chicken oil and the sauces totally make it. I also loved the sauces so much that I brought back the extra packets that I had- the thick, sticky soysauce was the perfect balance of sweet and savory, almost like a reduced balsamic vinegar, the garlic and chili are essential complements to chicken rice.





Some great reads bookmarked for my next visit to Singapore!

30 Famous Local Foods to Eat in Singapore  - great descriptions about the dishes and lists a few places for each dish 


10 Singapore eats from Lady Ironchef

HUNGRY IN SINGAPORE

ONE FULLERTON ROAD
1 Fullerton Sq Singapore 049178 Bayfront, Raffles Place

SKY ON 57 at MARINA BAY SANDS
10 Bayfront Avenue, Level 57, Sands Skypark, Tower1
Singapore 018956
+65 6688-8868

CHATTERBOX at MANDARIN ORCHARD
333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
+65-6737-2200

SEAFOOD REPUBLIC
Resorts World Waterfront
26 Sentosa Gateway 01-292 Singapore 098138

OSTERIA MOZZA at MARINA BAY SANDS
2 Bayfront Ave #B1-42/46, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 
Singapore 018972 
+65-6688 8522

LAU PA SAT / TELOK AYER MARKET
18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
+65-6220-2138

OLD AIRPORT ROAD FOOD CENTRE
Block 51, Old Airport Rd, Geylang, Singapore

BOON TONG KEE
425 River Valley Rd Singapore 248324
+65-6736-3213

Monday, March 09, 2015

hotpot: i recommend NIPPORI SHABU SHABU 日暮里涮涮鍋



NIPPORI SHABU SHABU 日暮里涮涮鍋 (RI MU LI)
No. 3, Lane 220, DaAn Rd, Sec. 1
台北市大安路一段220巷3號
(02) 2704-7376

MRT: DaAn

hours: 11:30AM -3:30PM; 5:30PM- 10PM

$$ (about NT$380/person)

Kid friendliness: high chairs available and good seating for large groups. Older kids might enjoy cooking their own food. Small playground across the alley from restaurant.

Visit reviewed: 2/14/2015



Neighborhood hotpot place, reasonable prices, good sized portions. Family friendly seating, clean tables and environment, individual pots.  Can get busy, but luckily wasn't too crowded for a last minute lunch when we went with 10 people.


The Chinese name for the restaurant is 日暮里 which is pronounced Ri Mu Li in Mandarin, but translates in English to Nippori, which is an neighborhood/subway stop in Tokyo, Japan. So since I couldn't find an English name for the restaurant, I'll just call it as Nippori Shabu Shabu for my own reference (and those of you who can read Chinese can just refer to that!)



Chinese only menu- options start from NT$350 for kobe pork and sirloin beef options up to NT$800 for short ribs or NT$1000 for premium USDA beef. There's also fish and seafood sets. You can also order veggies and meats and whatever your favorite shabu add- in is ala carte.


With each set, you get a big bowl of veggies, a plate of thin sliced meat, and choice of rice, noodles or vermicelli rice noodles. The veggie plate includes cabbage, taro, straw mushrooms, tofu, shiitake mushroom, fishcake, fishball, tomato, all the usual suspects. What's good is everything is fresh and room temperature ready for cooking- I've been to some hotpot places where it seemed like that fish balls were still defrosting or just taken out of the freezer.




Pretty satisfied with the sirloin beef (NT$350) set. Some places cheap out with meat on their the inexpensive sets, but it tasted as good as some more expensive shabu places- the meat wasn't too tough or too fatty.

 


What's great about individual pots is that you can cook it however you like and perfect if there's a vegetarian in your group. But the table is also close enough that you can cook for others if there are kids or lazy people in your group.


I realized I was too busy eating and cooking to take a pic of all the veggies inside the pot- but you guys are seasoned eaters, you know how it works!


Complimentary red bean soup for dessert. Yum! Great way to end the meal.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

news: winter 2014/15 restaurant round up


Where did February go? I was so good at putting up new posts in January and now it's March. March is going to be busy... because I'm going to Italy for the first time! It's been a trip that's been over a year in the making and I'm very excited to be able to eat my way through Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice. A bit nervous too, but fingers crossed it will be a good trip.

Taipei has been a busy city with lots of new restaurants opening up recently, and I've been lucky enough to eat at some of them. To name a few that you might have been seeing your friends post on FB or Instagram. I know I didn't catch them all, so please add to the list below!

Recent new restaurants in Taipei (which ones do you want to see posts about first??)
  • RAW
  • mume
  • Ryugin
  • Bing 
  • C'est La Vie
  • Izumi by Sumi
  • Popeye at Maji Square
  • Glam Air
  • Texas Roadhouse 
  • Honey Pig Korean BBQ
  • Kura Sushi
  • Oven Maru Korean Chicken
  • Pizza Denise
  • Monteur Cafe
  • Joseph Bistro
  • Fat Angelo's (at ATT4Fun at Belgian Beer Cafe's old spot)
  • Botega del Vin (moved)
  • All Day Roasting Company
  • A Roy Dee by Sukhothai
  • Rebel Burger
  • Danny's What's Grill/ What's Green
  • Tim Ho Wan
  • Bite 2 Eat at ATT4Fun
  • Little New York Pizza
  • Ice Monster #2 and food court at Breeze Song Gao
  • 4th floor cafes at ATT4Fun
CLOSED
  • Yuan Yuan at Grand Hotel (moving 3/1 to 1st floor from 2nd floor but with a totally new menu)
  • Mayan Grill and Mayan Xinyi
  • Tavern 
  • Bakery 49 (will miss their clam chowder and gumbo and chicken and waffles from the first few months when they opened with the original chef from SF. where did she go??)
  • DN Innovacion (moved to Shanghai)
  • LMNT Cafe
  • BANCHANN at ATT4Fun (I'll miss the korean fried chicken there!)
  • Sumi Sushi in Ximending (reopening as Izumi by Sumi)
  • Dressed
  • Cyclo RenAi (2nd location still open)
  • San Yuan at ATT4Fun (reopened as Dancing Chilis in Neihu)
  • Dearlicious
  • Agnes B Cafe at Xinyi Hankyu
  • Yuzu Japanese Kitchen
  • Lago 
  • Bread Societe on Xinyi and RenAi (does that mean the whole chain is shut down?)

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