Dinner @ Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood Restaurant 万隆华和海鲜菜馆

July 29, 2017 in Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

What was supposed to be a farewell dinner for my colleague has since become a team dinner because my colleague decided to stay on. Which is good of course!

I was sharing my bad experience at a tze char place when my colleague highly recommended Ban Leong. And thus, we were off to Ban Leong for dinner. But working in Paya Lebar, we had to drive to Thomson area. And driving to Ban Leong is least recommended because it’s not easy finding a parking lot.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), we ordered:-


1) 苏东仔 (above) – Baby squid. This is a new dish compared to my usual dishes that I order for tze char. And it’s honestly pretty good! Akin to eating chips cause it’s so crispy. Keke.

2) 麦菜 (above) – Mai cai.

3) 铁板鹿肉 (above) – Hot plate venison.

4) 虾酱鸡 (above) – Prawn paste chicken.

5) 醉虾 (above) – Drunken prawns.

6) 啦啦 (above) – Clams. This was okie. Nothing exceptional.


  

7) 辣椒螃蟹 (above) – Chili crab. This was the bomb! When we were re-confirming our order, the waitress said we have placed order for one 1.3kg crab ($60 per kg). One crab? Unaware that 1.3kg was really big, I nearly asked to increase to three crabs. Thanks goodness I didn’t cause the pincers were bigger than my fist! And it was so good.

8) 馒头 (above) – Fried bun. Beautifully fried bun to eat with the chili crab gravy!

9) 干炒寿面 (above) – Birthday noodle. And it was upon the staff’s recommendation that we ordered the noodle. And we enjoyed it. You know how some dishes just warm the soul? This dish did exactly that for me; Good old comfort food.

My team left Ban Leong feeling full and satisfied. Would I recommend them? A big yes from me for the food. But that’s also provided if one don’t mind the lack of air-conditioning and difficulty in parking.

I am unable to provide the price of the dishes because it was a treat from my supposedly leaving colleague. But I managed to get wind from the staff that dinner was an estimated $280 which included the 7 of us getting a drink (non-alcoholic) each.

BAN LEONG WAH HOE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 万隆华和海鲜菜馆
122/124 Casuarina Road, Singapore
6452 2824, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 11:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 6
Mon – Thur : 17:00 – 23:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Fri – Sun : 17:00 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Service: 7

Dinner @ J.B. Ah Meng 新山亚明小厨

July 8, 2017 in Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

It being one of my girlfriends’ birthdays, we decided to meet up to celebrate. However, we decided on having zi char because my clique of secondary school friends preferred messy eating affair with big portions as compared to eating daintily off big plates with small portions. Keke. And between white beehoon and black beehoon, birthday girl chose the latter. Keke. And thus, reservation was made for J.B. Ah Meng.

However, making the reservation wasn’t easy. I tried calling on a Monday evening (7pm) but none of my seven calls went through; Line was either busy or wasn’t picked up. Called again on Tuesday evening (6.30pm) and managed to get through on my first attempt. Phew. And with that, reservation was made for Saturday for 8 people.

And from an interview article which chef-owner Wang Feng did with Michelin Guide Singapore, I learnt the meaning behind their shop name; Johor Bahru being a general term for Malaysian zi char while Ah Meng was his nickname. And yes, the article came about because J.B. Ah Meng was given the Bib Gourmand award in 2016. Not to be confused with Michelin Star award.

It was thankful we made reservation because there was a long queue. One of my girlfriends (who obviously isn’t a foodie cause she didn’t know J.B. Ah Meng was popular) said “The queue was so long (that) I thought something happened.” Haha. So yes, reservation is strongly recommended because the restaurant would assign tables to those who made reservation first. And being assigned to a table right at the entrance, we noticed the queue was always there. Even when we left at 9pm.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Sambal kangkong, $12 (medium) (above)

2) Fried egg with tomato, $12 (small) (above) – Think thick, fluffy and creamy egg omelette. Really good!

3) Fried garlic chili clams (lala), $16 (small) (above) – One of the signature dishes. We ordered this in small serving because not all of us ate clams. But these were fat and juicy. Very nice.


  

4) JB san lou bee hoon, $14 (large) (above) – Probably the iconic dish of J.B. Ah Meng. Available in $7, $11 and $14, this was so good that we ordered a second plate after finishing our first. Mixed with squid and soy sauce, the beehoon was fried flat like a pancake such that it was crisp and slightly charred on one side. And as the dish’s name go, this was served as 3 pancakes. A must order.

5) White pepper crab, market price (above) – The staff spoke in bullet speed when she told us of the different prices. Seeing that we were a big group, she recommended us to get 3 crabs. Prices started at $54 for crabs with little roe, $75 with medium roe, etc. We went with $75 although I don’t think we saw much roe in our crabs. But this dish, which is also 1 of th 3 signature dishes, was perfect! Meaty Sri Lankan crab stir-fried wok-friend with white pepper, ginger and spring onions. The gravy was on point.

My girlfriends and I loved the food. However! We left the restaurant determined not to return even if we craved for the beehoon because of the atrociously bad service. Knowing that J.B. Ah Meng is afterall a zi char place, we were still fine with having difficulty in getting the staff’s attention to place our orders or having to self service by bringing our cups to the counter to top up hot water to our Chinese tea or waiting close to 30 minutes before our first dish was served. But it was how they managed our missing order that was seriously bad.

We had our orders taken at 7.20pm. But when our last dish salted egg yolk prawn ball (咸蛋虾球) was still not served at 8.20pm, we enquired with Staff A. But Staff A brushed us with “那个需要多点时间 (That needs more time).” Since we were still in the midst of eating, we were fine with waiting. And that’s also when we placed our additional order for the beehoon.

But when our second plate of beehoon arrived and the salted egg yolk prawn ball was still missing, we enquired again. This time, with chef-owner Wang Feng who came over after noticing our raised hands. But he said “那个需要时间. 每个桌子也在等. 我们会一起出 (That needs time. Every table is also waiting. We will serve it together).” And so, we waited again with his assurance.

However when we noticed groups, seated at least 45 minutes after us, were served the salted egg yolk prawn ball with no sign of more salted egg yolk prawn ball coming out from the kitchen, we knew something was wrong. Unfortunately, Staff A told us to ask his boss. But when chef-owner Wang Feng saw us approaching, he went into the kitchen. That’s when Staff B came to settle us. And it’s Staff B that really agitated us. He tried to bullshit us with excuse that orders placed at the same time get mixed up at times. We understand that. But we ordered at 7.20pm and it was already 9pm. After which, Staff B talked more bull before asking if we want to cancel the order if it’s checked that our dish is not prepared yet. Like seriously? Shouldn’t that been checked when we enquired earlier?

So my girlfriends and I asked how long it would take if we chose to wait it out. And Staff B rudely replied “I don’t know. Just wait.” What? He should at least have the courtesy to say he would check with the kitchen.

And the kitchen indeed missed out our order. Not surprising. So we canceled the dish since it made no sense to continue waiting when we had already finished our dishes. And sitting right at the entrance, people in the queue must have mistaken that we were hogging the table.

But when my girlfriends and I were taking out cash to foot the bill, Staff B started blabbering about how it’s our fault, etc. Like what!?! Seriously? And he was saying everything in a loud rowdy voice. Honestly, that was uncalled for. It got us mad; We enquired thrice but all 3 times we were casually brushed aside. We were just looking for a honest answer of “We missed out the order. We will tell the kitchen to do it now.”

I doubt people will reconsider not visiting or stop visiting J.B. Ah Meng because of the bad service. And just to be clear, we were not asking for fine dining level of service at zi char place. But the restaurant should at least look at better managing such situations. Just be upfront honest. Our time is as precious as yours.

In any case, J.B. Ah Meng was dropped off the Bib Gourmand award list in Michelin Guide Singapore 2017. Which I am glad that happened too. Let’s hope J.B. Ah Meng improves their service standard cause I honestly felt the food was good.

J.B AH MENG 新山亚明小厨
534 Geylang Road, Singapore
6741 2418
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 17:30 – 02:30
Ambience: 5
Value: 6
Service: 5

Snacks @ Emperor’s Puff 皇帝饼 (Sydney, Australia)

July 1, 2017 in Asian, Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

My colleague and I were having dinner near Darling Harbour when she mentioned we could get custard cream puff in the area for desserts. And that sounded very good. Thus, we made our way to Emperor’s Puff which was located in Chinatown Sydney.

I wouldn’t say Emperor’s Puff is a shop. Rather, it’s a hole-in-the-wall window-in-the-wall. Ha. Sandwiched between Emperor’s Garden Restaurant and Emperor’s Garden Cakes & Bakery, one could also easily identify the shop by the snaking long queue.

And it’s probably because my colleague and I reached at 8.30pm that there were only 4 groups in front of us. With the queue moving pretty quickly, it was our turn to order in less than 10 minutes.

As per the shop’s name, there’s only 1 item on the menu. Costing only AUD0.35 for 1, my colleague and I decided to order 9 pieces at AUD3 for sharing. Anything less (than 9 pieces) seemed too few while 18 pieces was too many after our heavy dinner. Keke.

Our 9 pieces were packed into a paper bag. And because the pair of customers in front of us ordered 18 pieces, I got to know orders of 18 pieces were packed in boxes.

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Eating these warm balls with piping hot custard cream in the cold nights of May was such a delight. I couldn’t help but start humming. Friends know I tend to bop or hum when I am happy with the food. Haha. And I liked that the custard cream within was not too sweet.

I definitely recommend coming by for these affordable custard cream puff if one is in the area. Though I wouldn’t say these are exceptionally good to make a special trip for.

EMPEROR’S PUFFS 皇帝饼
96-100 Hay Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 21:00
Ambience: NA
Value: 7
Service: 6