Sunday, January 26, 2014

Eats in Busan, South Korea

This was a whirlwind trip to Busan and Geoje Island for me so I will just let the pictures do the talking.

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Great steak from CX and noodles @ The Wing, HK

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Beef Bap

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Cheap and delicious Baskin Robbins ice cream

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Delicious croissant like pastry with chocolate sauce and whipped cream@ Cafe Bene

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Twigim Soboro (bread filled with red bean paste and deep-fried) from Michelin recommended bakery Sung Sim Dang

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Interesting Wild Shrimp Burger @ Lotteria

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Largest dessert spread I've seen in a hotel buffet @ Lotte Hotel Busan

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Pork Leg & Belly

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Crepes @ the ever popular Crepe Ein's

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Niku Don & Breads from Paris Baguette

Monday, January 20, 2014

Li Bai IV - An Invite

The year of the horse will be upon us in less than 2 weeks and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to try out a few CNY dishes at Li Bai, courtesy of the kind folks at Sheraton Singapore.

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Turbot Fish "Yu Sheng Loh Hei"

My first lou hei of the year and a relatively pleasing one at that. Instead of the usual salmon, Li Bai uses the turbot (大鲽鱼 or 大菱鲆), which is a relatively pricey fish and stands out with its firm texture. Definitely a good way to start off the festivities!

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Braised Superior Bird's Nest with Crabmeat and Crab Roe

In an effort to ensure the sustainability and welfare of sharks, Li Bai has put bird's nest on the menu as a substitute for shark's fin. And this dish definitely looks absolutely decadent and mouth watering on paper. But in reality, the execution was far from perfect. Granted, the bird's nest was nice and silky whilst the crab meat and roe was in abundance but the whole thing started out nicely salty and turned bland somewhere after the second or third spoonful. Talk about consistency issues.

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Salted Egg Lobster and Sauteed Fillet of Lobster

I appreciated the aesthetics of this dish and applaud the simple flavours of the sauteed lobster fillet, which was lightly salty coupled with a nice crunchy texture. The salted egg yolk variant was, however, too overwhelming and masked the inherent sweetness of the lobster. Prawns would have sufficed in my humble opinion. But nonetheless, still a pretty decent eat.

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Stewed "Eight Treasures" Chicken with South African 5-head Abalone and Sea Cucumber

Instead of the usual peng cai, Li Bai has introduced the Stewed "Eight Treasures" Chicken with South African Abalone and Sea Cucumber. Apart from the sizable and chewy abalone, I can't really comment on this dish as my serving only consisted of chicken skin and salted egg yolk - probably not the best representation.

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Water Chestnut Cake with Pan-fried Nian-gao

The water chestnut cake didn't sit well with me due to the presence of a singular foreign taste mixed into it. The nian gao (年糕) fared better in my humble opinion, coming across as sinfully pleasing with a similar texture to that of 九层糕.

Thanks once again to Sheraton for the invite!


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: NA
Food: 7/10
Value for money: NA
Overall: 7.25/10

Address: B1 Sheraton Towers Hotel

Contact: 6839 5623

Opening Hours:

Monday to Saturday: Lunch, 11.30am to 2.30pm

Monday to Sunday: Dinner, 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Sunday: Yum Cha, 10.30am to 2.30pm

Website: http://www.sheratonsingapore.com/li-bai

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wah Lok Part IV

Decided to catch up with a couple of my ex colleagues over dim sum one Saturday afternoon @ Wah Lok.

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Interior

Reservations are recommended, especially for weekend dim sum as the place can be very popular and tables extend out towards the walkway leading up to the main dining areas of the restaurant.

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Steamed Carrot Cake

The carrot cake wasn't as smooth as I remembered it to be but I liked the bits of dried prawns atop which gave it flavour. 

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Century Egg & Pork Porridge

Now, the porridge was rather disappointing. Stodgy and rather bland with bits of pork and century egg. No wonder there was leftovers.

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Steamed Crab Meat Dumplings

This was pretty decent with the skin translucently thin and chock full of crab meat paste. But to be honest, it tasted pretty similar to the steamed prawn dumplings so I'm not too sure if its worth the slight price premium. 

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Steamed Scallop Cheong Fun

Silky smooth cheong fun coupled with sizeable bits of scallops, what's not to like? Well, more scallops would always be welcomed.

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Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling

The deep friend prawn dumplings came a nice crisp shell that didn't carry the residual oil taste. Add the fact that the prawns were crunchy made it all the better, especially with a dollop of mayonnaise.

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Steamed Beef Balls

I personally didn't quite take to the beef balls even though I'm a fan of beef. It lacked that beefy punch (bland!) and the texture was rather soft. But on the upside, I did like the addition of water chestnuts for that extra crunch. 

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Meat Platter

Our meat platter consisted of roasted pork, BBQ pork and roasted duck. The roasted pork skin was crispy to a fault and evenly salted with an excellent fat to meat ratio whilst the BBQ pork sported a nice sheen over rather lean meat that didn't come across as too sweet. On the other hand, the roasted duck was a tad dry but compensated a little with its crisp skin. 

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Steamed Prawn Dumpling

The ubiquitous dim sum dish; har gao (虾饺). Translucent skin with a wee bit of elasticity enveloping a chunk of crunchy prawn. What's not to like?
 
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Steamed Custard Bun

With a semi sweet molten center and nuances of saltiness all wrapped up in a reasonably delicate bun, the steamed custard bun was a nice sweet treat after all the preceding  savoury ones.

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BBQ Pork Bun

One of Wah Lok's signature dishes and one of my personal favourites as well, the BBQ pork bun sported a crusty sweet top with delectable morsels of BBQ pork cocooned in a soft and warm bun. Very good!

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Baked Custard Pastry

Another one of my favourite dishes, the 美人腰 was obviously over baked this time round, as evident by the burnt nuts. But the pastry was still flaky and the custard filling, smooth and sweetly satisfying.

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Bill

Dim sum for the 4 of us cost about $125, which isn't too expensive for the quality that Wah Lok offers. It is heartening to note that Wah Lok has managed to maintain its consistency even as competition heats up and traditional rivals (ie. Royal China) have fallen by the wayside.


Final Verdict:

Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:7.5/10
Value for money:7/10
Overall:7.125/10

Address: 2nd floor, Carlton Hotel

Contact: 63118188/9

Opening Hours:

Lunch 11:30 am - 2.30 pm (Mon - Sat); 11 am - 2:30 pm (Sun & PH)

Dinner 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Website: http://www.carlton.com.sg/dining_wah.htm