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Penang Travelogue: Bak Kut Teh

IMG_5464To most Singaporeans, Bak Kut Teh shouldn’t be the unknown. Pork Ribs served in delicious peppery broth, who could resist. Yet, how many knows of the difference between Singaporean and Malaysian BKT. Since I was in Penang for holiday, a place unparalleled for its diversity and quality in hawker fare, I was in luck to give Malaysian BKT a try.
IMG_5467Bak Kut Teh (Malaysian style): Visually, the difference is distinct. The clay pot is overflowing with ingredients. Besides the mandatory pork ribs, this particular style comprises of mushroom and beancurd skin as well. In addition, as compared to the slightly translucent looking soup of Singaporean BKT, the broth here is brown and clear looking instead. Taste wise, the broths are poles apart. The soup here tastes distinctively of herbs but yet, definitely still delicious in its own way.
IMG_5465Fried Lotus Slice: I seriously believe that despite us being close neighbours, we sure have distinct palates and culinary talents as well. Who would have known that sliced lotus roots would taste so delicious sautéed with vegetables and you tiao? This is definitely the work of a hidden culinary prodigy.
IMG_5474Steamed Pomfret with kway teow and bee hoon: As if brunch isn’t bizarre enough, our steamed pomfret appears on a bed of kway teow and bee hoon. And just like this, you can have your protein and carbohydrates all in one single dish. One key aspect that ties the dish together is the light and savoury sauce that the crew will not hesitate to refill for you.
IMG_5484Hokkien Mee: Once again, we agree to disagree. Another variation to a name that we’re familiar with. This dish was so popular and delectable that the boys wiped out the plate within minutes. 

Zealand Seafood
62 Gurney Drive 10250 Penang
Opening hours: 6.30am – 2.45pm, 6pm-11.30pm

Hoshi, Japanese Buffet in the West.

If you’re a typical Singaporean, nothing can go wrong with Japanese Buffet. Our love for Japanese cuisine and buffet meals are both fulfilled and relinquished at the same time. The dining industry have seen a rise in restaurants offering buffets specializing only in Japanese cuisines. From teppanyanki to sashimi to sushi to sukiyaki, such restaurants provide a variety of Japanese dishes that you can choose from.

Tucked away at the far west side of our sunny island, not many locals would have heard of Hoshi Japanese Restaurant. Located at IMM since 1993, I could recall my family heading to this restaurant for our occasional fix for Japanese teppanyanki  in my younger years, probably when sushi chains such as Sakae Sushi were not the trend yet. After almost a decade, we’re back to this restaurant but with a whole new perspective of Japanese food.
IMG_3931Sashimi: If you’re a fan of Sashimi, you should be able to discern the quality with your sight and taste. Having tried fresh salmon sashimi from the fish markets of Hokkaido in Japan, nothing else in Singapore could be on par with that level of quality. So without being unreasonable, there is certain standards that we can distinguish for our local sashimi. Coming from an affordable buffet pricing, do not expect A* for their sashimi obviously. The slices are good enough to satisfy your sashimi cravings and do not carry any weird odour. But visibly, you can tell that the sashimi they have are not top-notch in terms of freshness.
IMG_3938Teppanyaki Salmon: This is what my brother and I grew up with. Only a handful teppanyanki restaurant serve their salmon fillets with a special sweet and grainy sauce that makes the dish delectable and appetizing. This could probably be the only thing that my family would return for.

Personally, there will only be two reasons for me to dine at this restaurant. One, if I’m at the West side of the island and two, the teppanyanki salmon. A friendly advice, one would enjoy their experience much better on off-peak weekdays. The service is more prompt and teppanyanki dishes are served as per ordered.

Hoshi Japanese Restaurant
IMM Building
2 Jurong East Street 21
Singapore (609601)
Tel: +65 6425 0520

Taipei Travelogue Part 2: Hello Kitty Sweets

What To Eat Ah, in Taipei (Restaurants):


IMG_2404Tiramisu: The tiramisu here is reasonably done. Soft and airy layers in between coupled with the taste of coffee. However, having tried the version at Taipei101, my expectations of the coffee dessert has definitely risen. In comparison, the former lacks depth in flavor and texture.
IMG_2394Hello Kitty Pudding: This pudding is a complimentary dessert that comes along with the dessert set. Milky, sweet and jelly-like. Need I say more?
IMG_2381Red Tea Pudding: I’m not sure what I was more intrigued by, the bottle or the red tea. It’s not everyday you see your dessert set in a dolly bottle or a red tea flavored dessert. Must be a Taiwan thing. Well, after the novelty of the dessert wears off, you will realize that they could be stronger in the red tea flavor. Or maybe I’m just abit of a sweet tooth.IMG_2379Cheesecake: According to my friend, “it doesn’t taste nice”. Rough irregular texture and lacking in a sweet milky flavour. Guess the Hello Kitty face is the only thing that’s sweet of this dessert. IMG_2378Chocolate Tart: I cannot remember the exact name of this dessert so this is just a rough gauge. The crust of the tart is not too hard and the dark chocolate is sweet and overwhelming. Not sure whether my friend could even finish this plate. IMG_2375One of the three must-go restaurants in Taipei, I suggest that you only go for the interior design or design of the dessert. The menu offers savoury main dish as well but is pretty over-priced and there is a minimum spending of 300NT ($12 plus) per customer required. I recommend the dessert set that comes along with a Hello Kitty Pudding and a drink. Save the thinking, save the eating. This Hello Kitty Restaurant sure has its buzz worldwide, but definitely not due to the quality of its food.

Hello Kitty Sweets
No. 90號, Section 1, Dà’ān Rd,
Daan District,
Taipei City, Taiwan 106
+886 2 2711 1132
Operating Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm
Nearest MRT Station: Zhongxiao fuxing station

Ambush, a flavour of Europe

With a tomato as a logo, this restaurant is a simple casual dining place that provides a variety of European cuisines. From the bratwurst to pasta, Ambush aims to cater and please several palettes at once. Tagged with affordable and reasonable prices, the dishes may not be top-notched but definitely worth it.
IMG_8931Cream of Chicken Soup: The soup is fragrant and of course, creamy in texture. Although it could be more generous with the chicken essence, it is still a bowl of comfort for the tummy.

IMG_8959Salmon pasta with Chili Crab Sauce: This dish totally caught me and my taste buds by surprise. If you’re a fan of chili crab, you have gotta have a go at this dish. It is literally eating pasta with chili crab sauce, just less thick and strong than the actual sauce they serve with the crustacean.

IMG_8964Bratwurst Sausage with Cranberry Rice: The bratwurst is savoury and crave-worthy. The rice is deliciously addictive and the bits of cranberry provides a unique fruity sweet taste.

IMG_8969Baby Scallop Fusilli with Fish Roe Cream: Another creamy pasta that works wonders with your palates. The cream sauce is full in flavour and overwhelming with the help of the baby scallops. Keeps you wanting for more. 

IMG_8973Chicken Sausage set with Rosti: The chicken sausage tastes distinctively different from the bratwurst with a slightly grainy texture. It carries a less hearty and meaty taste than the latter. Ambush’s rendition of the rosti is commendable but pales in comparison with the ones at Marche.

Ambush (Junction 8)
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8 Shopping Centre