Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oasis Taiwan Porridge



In my attempt to bid a warm farewell to this 2 decades old iconic landmark of the Oasis (which happens to be closing soon), I visited on a warm weekday evening ladened with much nostalgia from my good old childhood days.



Nothing much has changed since I can last remember, save for some minor refurbishments and facelifts here and there. The interior is still as warm as ever, even with air conditioning.



Beancurd with Shrimp

The shrimps didn't taste particularly fresh while the tofu was small and tasteless. Add overly salty gravy to the equation and you get a below average dish for the price ($7).



Preserved Vegetable Omelette

The egg was overly fried as evident from the charred bits along the edges but the preserved vegetables weren't too salty, which was something I personally liked.



Bean Sprouts

Nicely fried with bits of salted fish in it to give it taste. However it did seem a little too oily and salty.



Stewed Pork

The stewed pork aka Mei Cai Kou Rou, was an off menu item and tasted decent at best. It didn't help that the meat was a tad too dry as well. Did I mention that it was expensive ($10) as well for the tiny serving?



Bill

I honestly don't know what to make of this place. The food is average and prices are astronomical. 1 meal here can buy me at least 2 equally if not more satisfying meals at the teochew porridge stall near my house. The only reason I can think of why people still patronise this place is nostalgia. After all, this place has been around for decades.



Likes: Nostalgic
Dislikes: Food average, expensive

Final Verdict:
Ambience:5.5/10
Service:6/10
Food:6/10
Value for money:5.5/10

Overall:5.75/10

Address: The Oasis, 50 Stadium Boulevard

Contact: 6345 0118

Opening Hours: Daily: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 4am

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jacob's Cafe



Hidden in the sleepy enclave of rustic Changi Village is a small and unpretentious diner by the name of Jacob's Cafe, which is seemingly popular judging from the healthy crowd size on a Friday evening.




Interior & Menu

Jacob's offers both indoor and al fresco dining although the bulk of the seats are in the al fresco area, with only about 4 tables indoor. The interior revolves mainly around wood, which gives the place a nice homely touch. They could do something about the indoor ventilation though, as the food fumes from the kitchen were rather evident.



Bread Roll

Although the bread roll wasn't complimentary, it deserves a writeup simply because it was excellent. This is probably one of the best I've eaten in a long long time (the best is still in France though). Crackling crisp on the outside yet warm and fluffy on the inside. Definitely good enough to be eaten on its own! Pity about the packaged butter and hefty $1 price tag per roll though.



Cream of Chicken and Corn & Minestrone

Both soups were a tad too starchy. The cream of chicken and corn had bits of chicken and corn in it but did come across as a wee bit too salty for my liking. The minestrone was well, average.



Stuffed US Roast Chicken

A special at Jacob's, I was enticed by the promise of roast chicken stuffed with rice, chestnuts and cashews - a blend of east and west. First looks, the chicken was slightly larger than average and spotted a healthy sheen on the skin. Sadly, it didn't quite taste up to my expectations as the filling was a tad soggy and didn't taste anything out of the ordinary. The meat was tender and juicy though. Overall a decent dish without all the bells and whistles. Please note that the chicken is meant for 2 average eaters, so if you have 2 big eaters, it would be best to order something else.



Apple Crumble & Pecan Pie

Imagine my surprise when I spotted pecan pie on the menu. Its probably about as rare as flash floods in Singapore. Surprise turned to disappointment as the crust was too hard and tasteless. The pecan nuts were a whisker too dry as well. A totally huge contrast from the ones I had in North America.
The apple crumble didn't quite meet the mark as well. Dry and tasteless would be most apt in describing it.



Bill

A very filling dinner cost about $48, which isn't too expensive if you ask me. Food is generally decent and very homely. Service is excellent and I've honestly never felt more at home anywhere else. At this point of writing, I've already been there thrice so I guess that says something?



Likes: Excellent service, homely environment
Dislikes: Food merely average

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10
Service:8.5/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6.5/10

Overall:7.25/10

Address: Block 5 Changi Village Road #01-2049

Contact: 65431106

Opening Hours:

Mondays to Saturdays:

9:00 am to 11:30 pm

Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hai Tien Lo Part V

Was back at Hai Tien Lo once again for a casual dinner. I shall dedicate this post entirely to pictures. I mean its like the 5th entry on Hai Tien Lo in my blog and I always order almost the same stuff so I guess you get the idea.



Peking Duck



Fish Noodle with King Prawn



Hai Tien Lo Tofu



Garlic Prawns



Bill

And finally something from TCC prior to dinner.




To see my previous writeups on Hai Tien Lo, please see here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Cheesecake Cafe



Heard quite a bit about this cafe and finally got a chance to patronise one afternoon. Located along East Coast Road, The Cheesecake Cafe, as its name suggests, primarily sells cheesecakes in a stunning Victorian interior which boasts a miniature cascading waterfall, roman pillars and plush sofas.



Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I personally like this the best as it was light and fluffy with a rather heavy hint of peanut butter. The cake could have been a little more compact though, coming across as rather soft at times.



Peach Jelly Cheesecake

This one was a little weird as the layer of peach jelly was a little too rubbery for my liking. I probably just can't get used to eating cheesecake with a layer of jelly like substance in between. However I must say that it was a rather interesting slice of cake.



Rum & Raisin Cheesecake

The rum and raisin rendition didn't impress me much as the alcoholic taste was a tad too strong for my liking.



Bill

All in all, a very nice place to hang out and have some cheesecakes, especially if you get seats inside. Prices are a tad steep though but service is very decent.



Likes: Decent cheesecakes
Dislikes: A tad pricey

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10
Service:6.5/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6.5/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 685 East Coast Rd

Contact: 6448-7725

Opening Hours:

Wednesday to Thursday: 4.30pm to 12.00am

Friday & Public Holidays: 4.30pm to 12.30am

Saturday: 3.30pm to 12.30mn

Sunday: 3.30pm to 12.00am

Monday & Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Icekimo



Chanced upon Icekimo as I was wandering through the Thomson area and since it was a warm afternoon, a scoop or two of ice cream seemed like a pretty fantastic idea.




Interior

Tucked in a quiet corner of Sin Ming Centre, Icekimo stands out from the other shops along the row with its cutesy pictures and interior. However, you would really have to know that this place existed as its not visible from any major road, which is a pity actually, given its comfy laid back environment.



Crepe with Ice Cream & Waffle with Ice Cream ($4.80)

The crepes and waffles weren't very good, coming across as flat and lacking in texture but the ice creams were noticeably quite good. Rich yet not overwhelming. I personally liked the blueberry cheesecake ice cream as it had crushed digestive biscuits within and was reminiscent of the cheesecakes I used to buy from KFC when I was a kid. Just in case you are wondering, Icekimo serves up other interesting flavours of ice cream as well, like Cempedek, Teh Tarik, Badung etc.



Likes: Decent ice cream
Dislikes: Waffles and Crepes could be improved

Final Verdict:
Ambience:/10
Service:/10
Food:7/10
Value for money:6.5/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: #01-03 Sin Ming Centre, 8 Sin Ming Road

Contact: 64557585

Opening Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm daily

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A dash of nostalgia

Poignant nostalgia hit me as I was digging through the old photographs taken during my college years overseas. Decided to post some random photos online to share and in hope that I would be able to re acquaint myself with the friends in the pictures, most of whom I've lost contact with. So if you recognise yourself or know someone in the pictures, please drop me an email here.






Please bear with this non food related post. Thanks!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Absolute Haven



Had the opportunity to attend a food sampling session at Absolute Haven, one of the up and coming culinary stars of the quaint Prinsep Street. Much has been said and written about this eatery which dishes out modern European cuisine amidst a chic backdrop.



Exterior & Interior Seating



Interior & Menu

There's an option of al fresco seating in the relatively small outdoor area or indoor seating in a much larger(and cooler) area which boasts clean lines, wooden pillars and oozes minimalistic elegance. Music was rather tasteful as well if I may say, a most fitting complement to the ambience.



Seafood Sampler ($18)

Almost every tom, dick and harry western eatery I know of has some variation of the seafood platter, be it in name, variety of seafood or otherwise. Which explains the lack of expectations for this dish. Even then, it was a disappointment. The prawns weren't fresh, the batter was too thick and the fries were too soggy. Probably the only positive aspect was the accompanying sauces - beetroot with mayonnaise and lime(?) with mint, both of which were unique in their own right. On a side note, the platter was huge, enough for about 4 pax to share (in the misery, (un)fortunately).



Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Salad ($7.50)

I had expected mushrooms covered by/mixed with a tower of spinach so this dish kinda screwed my expectations a little. The thinly sliced mushrooms were buttery and tasty whereas the button and shitake mushrooms came across as rather normal. The spinach was fresh but a little too soft from the balsamic vinaigrette. I liked the dash of cheese atop though.



Oriental Cod Fish ($24)

The name caught my eye. This is probably an example of modern European cuisine, European food with a fusion twist. Taste wise, the fish was fresh and well complemented by the sweet wolfberries and salty bacon bits. However, the meat could have been a little firmer for better texture.



Tenderloin Steak ($28)

The steak wasn't up to expectations. Period. Sure, it was done medium rare just the way we ordered it, but the meat was too soft, probably from the overuse of tenderizer? The lack of marination was apparent - the beef relied on the overly salty sauce to give it taste. Nothing like the pièce de résistance I had at Prive. I didn't quite like the accompanying potato gratin as well as I found it too dry and heavy on the palate.




Chicken Roulade ($20)

This was probably the best dish of the evening, simple yet close to the heart. Fragrant, tender and juicy, the chicken had bacon and spinach stuffed in between which added a slight salty dimension to it. The avocado salad really wasn't my cup of tea though. Very soft and mashed up, it reminded me of baby food. But I guess this really boils down to personal preference.



Victorian Creme Brulee ($8)

Aesthetics wise, the creme brulee was rather pleasing, especially when served with the rose petals. However, its texture reminded me more of egg custard than creme brulee, which is something rather weird. There was also a small rose bud embedded within, which came across as rather overwhelming.



Tira Mi Su ($9)

Another visually pleasing dessert, the tiramisu didn't impress with its pudding like mascarpone cheese mousse. It tasted really weird to me, but I guess thats personal preference as well. I couldn't detect any hint of liqueur at all and the cake was rather soggy from the espresso coffee at the bottom. It wasn't entirely disastrous though. At least it came across as light on the palate.

Overall, the food certainly isn't great but the soothing ambience and attentive service more than makes up for it. You won't have to worry about still or sparkling here as well as they serve natural strawberry flavoured ice water, a deviation from the norm.

*disclaimer: This tasting session was for the purpose of ascertaining the suitability of Absolute Haven for one of our upcoming events.



Likes: Good service, nice decor
Dislikes: Slightly above average food

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10
Service:7.5/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:/10

Overall:7.2/10

Address: 70 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188662

Contact: 6333 4358

Opening Hours: Tuesdays - Sundays, 11.30am - 10pm

Website: http://www.absolutehaven.com.sg