Wednesday, August 30

Uncle Lim’s Café, Kuala Lumpur

1st Floor Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Imbi

Even local coffeeshops are going places these days. Set up like a café but serving local favourites – nasi lemak (coconut flavoured rice served with sambal anchovies, omelette, and on occasion, chicken wings), curry mee (noodles), assam laksa (Penang style noodles), and the typical thick milky kopitiam (coffeeshop) style tea and coffee . A nice change from the usual lattes, cakes and cookies from the cafes that one finds in the mall.

Roti Canai, Kuala Lumpur

Somehow, the roti (Indian bread) here tastes different. More commonly known as roti prata in Singapore, the ones made across the causeway tastes crispier, more chewy and comes with nicer dips including a dhal sauce.

Passage Through India, Kuala Lumpur

235 Jalan tun Razak T. 03-2145 0366

It’s a funky place alright, huge building with tiny dining rooms and passage ways to pass to get to your table. But have a closer look and you realize that it’s really a regular Indian restaurant trying to pass off as an upscale establishment with upscale prices.

Food was generally good – we had the chicken dum briyani – marinated chicken cooked with the rice to allow the flavours to infuse into the entire pot. The paneer (cottage cheese) tasted average. What stood out was the fish tikka, an oven baked dish that was rather divine.

This “upmarket” meal for two came up to nearly RM100 / US$28.

Tuesday, August 29

Uncle Leong Seafood

233 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 Street 22 #01-1194 T.6554-3453

I have been meaning to seek an alternative to Mellben to beat the lines and still have my crab and I think Uncle Leong is the answer. Managed by the younger brother of the owner of Mellben, it serves the same tasty rich crab noodle soup that Mellben does. I was told that the other house special was the butter crab with pepper. But we opted for a regular steamed crab instead and found that to be sweet and firm to the bite. Useful that Uncle Leong is right across from Mellben. Dinner for three was S$76 / US$47.50. Its good to call ahead for a reservation. But bring cash though, they dont take credit cards.

Monday, August 28

Salted Fish Head Curry

This is one of the most divine dishes I have ever tried. Salted fish head cooked in curry and left to stew until the fish disintegrates, and thickens and infuses the stock with its delicious flavours. Then add to this long beans and other vegetables. I cant have enough of it! Unfortunately this is also a local specialty that only Penang mothers know. So I will just have to wait till the next time my Penang friend’s mom visits!

Inle Myanmar Restaurant

111 North Bridge Road, #B1-07 Peninsular Plaza T. 6333 5438

This little hole in the wall was just such an excellent find. It has an interesting array of Burmese dishes including one of my favourites, mo hing ga (top)– a noodle in a thickened fish broth with lemongrass that I have only ever eaten in a friend’s home. I am no expert in Burmese food, since I have neither been there nor tasted Burmese dishes extensively but the café serves a delicoious enough selection. We tried the tea leaves salad (top left) – tasty and full of crunch from lentils that was added to it; the fried tofu was deliciously light and melted in your mouth; the curry (bottom left) tasted like a milder version of the curries we get here. The fried kway teow (fried rice noodles) that they claim to be typically Burmese, tastes just like the Penang fried kway teow, only with crunchy lentils added. The prices were easy on the pocket. Average cost per dish was S$5 / US$3.

Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice

401 Balestier Road T. 6254 3937

I used to like this place as a kid. Our family would have our dinners here almost weekly. Since then, it has gone upmarket. Its nice with table clothes and all but somehow, this does not extend to the food. The chicken though still flavourful, tasted like that from any other place. Also the stir-fry bean sprouts with salted fish did not taste half as good with the tiny portions served on a nice plate. Thankfully, my other favourite, the cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) tasted just as smooth. But give me back the old Boon Tong Kee anytime.

The jazzed up chicken rice comes at a price too – lunch for two was S$20 / US$12.50.

Hong Kong Café

2nd Floor, Orchard Cineleisure

I was in the mood for toast and chancing on this place was just perfect. I ordered one of my favourites - a newly acquired taste for the thick Hong Kong style toast slathered with peanut butter and condensed milk. Sounds disgusting but tastes heavenly. The perfect combination of toast with the rich peanut spread, with that tinge of sweetness from the condensed milk. Perfect with that cup of afternoon tea.

What stood out about the menu is the nice balance of Hong Kong and Singapore items. So there actually is a choice of Hong Kong style or Kopi-tiam (Singapore coffee shop) -style tea as we know it.
I only realised much later that this is actually part of the chain that also has a branch on East Coast Road that did not leave much of an impression. This place is certainly far superior in food quality and service.

49 Katong Laksa

49 East Coast Road

Its back to the Katong Laksa (Singapore version of curry noodles) debate once again. Based on what is available at that little corner with one too many laksa options, 49 Katong Laksa gets my vote. Rich but not too rich, just spicy enough and with noodles light and springy.

PS Café

25 Dempsey Road Tel. 6472 2080

Gorgeous place with plenty of glass panels that let the warm light and the luciously green outdoors into the restaurant. Food is generally so-so but the ambience and the amazingly green view makes up for it all. The chocolate cake that we had – was stacked real high with plenty to go around for all four of us!

Trattoria Lafiandra

46 Prinsep Street T. 6238 8746

We made a return visit to the trattoria after a long hiatus – taking a breather from eating here way too often – and pacing ourselves (for once) over the meal. The pastas here are just so delicious one cannot help but devour all of it way too quickly. This visit, I made sure I left room for dessert and helped myself to their profiteroles. Though a far cry from what I am used to in Toulouse – it was delicious nevertheless.

Wednesday, August 9

The Chocolate Factory

The Pier on Robertson Quay, 80 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-11 T. 6235 9007

The visit to the Chocolate Factory kind of made up a little for the average meal we had at Shunjuu. The place looks fairly new with the French chef putting together his next dessert creation behind the service counter. We tried the nutella pie – super rich. Then again, I have a soft spot for nutella. One can do no wrong with it. We also had the tiramisu that we found a bit soggy. Nevertheless, we like the café’s very laid back feel.


30 Robertson Quay #01-05 RiversideView Condominum
T.6887 3577

Shunjuu’s menu is fairly similar to that of Kazu’s, its specialty being sumiyaki (grilled food on skewers), only the grilled food at the latter is much better. The skewers though generally tasty, lacked the smoky flavour from the grill, the x-factor that sets Kazu apart.

The appetizer menu is extensive and fared better in the taste department. The tofu with century egg dressing (top) was quite delicious. And the fresh cabbage with a miso dip was very addictive.

However I was miffed when told that I was not allowed to take pictures of the food. I don’t quite understand this – afterall, I was paying for the dishes.

Saturday, August 5

Se Ra Bel Korean Restaurant

60 Eu Tong Sen Street #04-01, Furama City Centre T. 6536 0336

Apparently this is one place that has been around for ages, years in fact and supposedly a favourite with the Koreans on the island. On entry, the place was rather empty but for the few tables at the back of the large restaurant.

The myriad of starters, typical of Korean meals, were tasty. I particularly enjoyed the kimchi and asked for seconds (and thirds) very shortly after round one was served.

The dishes we tried: ginseng chicken soup was yums but my vote goes to Togi's version, the tofu soup was alright, bim bim bap (hot pot rice) was deliciously crusty and the grilled kalbi (rib), ordinary. For this last dish, I would rather hit Auntie Kim’s.

Generally ok meal – would I make my way back just for this – probably not. Am not a fan of the skanky carpark nor the extremely cold a/c that literally sucked the heat out of all our food way too quickly.

Friday, August 4

Seah Street Deli

Raffles Hotel Singapore
T. 6412 1110

I have not been here in ages. The only thing I can recall of this place was its huge servings and equally huge prices. But with this visit, this was not the case at all. The portions were manageable and the food looked yummy even. But for the fact that there were just the two of us, I would have ordered more of the appetizers to try. It was probably a blessing in disguise. Our order of a burger with the works and the foot long hotdog was ordinary. If ever I have a craving, I would rather make my way to some of my other fav places for burgers: Sunset Grill, Brewerkz, Botak Jones.


WhiteChurch Road (off Portsdown Road)

Chips and eggs… and a side of sausage. Where else can one find such homey food but at Colbar. I was here on a Sunday afternoon and it was totally chilled out. Nice, relaxing, tasty.

Thursday, August 3

Weiner Kaffeehaus

148 Neil Road T. 6226 3148

A piece of Europe right at the edge of Chinatown. You almost feel culture-shocked when walking into this place. Its done up bistro style with mirrors on one side, bar counter on the other and plenty of darkwood. If not for the Singaporean diners, its easy to mistake this for a cafe in Europe. Food served is European, Austrian to be precise. I had the lovely rich goulash complete with the dough ball which according to my lunch companion, was fairly authentic. But the Singaporean in me was missing the bread to sop up all that sauce. We also tried the chicken sandwich (not sure if this was Austrian in any way) which was really good and full of mayo (the friendly tasting kind). They also served very lovely coffee – we didn’t have room for caffeine but whatever free smells we got were divine.

A foodie friend who had the sacher torte was dissapointed though. The dessert tasted stale and dry and required loads of cream to mask of all of that.

Ohsho (Japanese)

#01-10 Cuppage Plaza T. 6735 7068

This is a late night haunt for those craving for ramen. Located in Singapore’s very own “Japan Town” – there is a deluge of Japanese eateries and bars in this area – its looks like a favourite for those seeking late night noodles, after work or hitting the pubs. The noodles are nice in general though I tend to find ramen a tad starchy. But what I thoroughly enjoyed was the fried rice. Hot, steaming and full of “wok he”, the heat from the wok, as the Cantonese refer to it. Surprising, coming from a Japanese eatery, but totally delicious.

Pierside Kitchen

01-01 One Fullerton T. 6438 0400

What must one have here? The crabcakes that is packed with crab bits and served with a sweet spicy salsa and the miso cod, done so well, the edges are browned just right to bring forth the full flavour of the Japanese bean paste. I have since extended my repertoire – good to haves also are the fish and chips, pasta, and the risotto (top).

Wednesday, August 2

Quan Ji (Zhe Char)

#01-19, Amoy Street Food Centre

My parents used to bring me here as a child for our weekend dinners. Its amazing how this single stall in the two-storey food court can take centrestage when it operates at night. I once counted more than 20 assistants just for this one place. Fortunately, its also one of a handful of stalls that stays opened in the late evening.

A favourite here is the fish noodle soup, so sweet, creamy and rich it leaves you craving for more. I once brough a friend visiting from the US, and thereafter, he insisted on having his dinner here every night for the rest of his stay. Other must haves are the prawn paste fried chicken, second only to the one served at No.5, and the fried tofu.

Auntie Kim’s Korean Restaurant

265 Upper Thomson Road
T. 6452 2112

Its rare that one can find a decent Korean / Japanese / Thai restaurant outside of the city belt but Auntie Kim’s is quite an exception. This restaurant serves up delicious Korean fare. Its barbeque meats and hotpots score pretty much on the high side with me.

My favs are the ribs and the spicy tofu soup. They offer to grill it for you if you have a small party. I have also tried their bim bim bab (hot pot rice) on another occassion and it was yums. This visit, they also served us a delicious new potato side, cotated in a sweet honey like sauce (left). Prices are reasonable (we paid about S$40/US$22 for two) and best part of it, you don’t have to brave the crowds in the city to have spicy Korean.

Tuesday, August 1

Hachi Japanese Restaurant

218 Orchard Road #03-03 Orchard Emerald T. 6734 9622

This is a restaurant with no menus. The only question we were asked was: "what do you not eat?". And the feast begins.

It started with a refreshingly crisp spinach salad, followed by a ladies fingers salad, way too much sashimi that was super duper fresh and totally addictive especially with the special dipping sauce made of soy, grated ginger and spring onions, an oh-so-fresh and way huge fresh oyster with a spicy dipping sauce, a palate cleansing tea pot soup, very ordinary brinjal dish, and then a huge braised fish each – I could not tell what it was but it was delicious, oxtail stew that was too meaty for my preference, and finally, a cold somen (noodle) that was simply lovely. We also had a touch of green tea ice-cream. It was only after the waitress checked that we had enough that the dishes stopped coming. Total meal was S$97 / US$57 per person. Heaven.