Lunch @ Ho Rang I // CLOSED

November 18, 2017 in Korean

Whenever I have craving for Korean cuisine, I would conveniently head to Your Woul Korean which is located somewhat near to home. And while craving for Korean cuisine recently, I headed back to the restaurant only to realise it’s renamed to Ho Rang I with interior refurnished too.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), my friends and I ordered:-

1) Side dishes, Complimentary (above)

2) Grilled pork belly, $26 (above) – Samkyub sal. With the restaurant’s interior refurnished, they have since removed the table’s in-built grill. And let’s just say I was disappointed to have our pork belly grilled in the kitchen.

3) Half chicken with soy sauce, $30 (above) – This was seriously good. Skin was thin and crisp while meat within was tender and juicy. And there was a slight sweetness to it too. It was also this dish that reminded me that while a restaurant may change its name and interior, it’s (real) identity lies with its food. So yes, chicken was as good as I last had blogged about it.

4) Spicy seafood noodles, $18 (above) – Jjampong. I realised the noodle plays a very crucial role in determining whether the dish is good or bad. And this made the mark! Definitely recommend it. Now… Can someone help me ask what brand of noodles they use? Keke.

5) Ginseng chicken stew, $29 (above) – Samgye tang.

6) Signature pork rib stew, $46 (above) – Gamja tang.

7) Korean army stew, $42 (above) – Budaejjige.

8) Bottled makkeoli, $25 (above)

And with my repeated visit to Your Woul Korean Ho Rang I, I still have the same issue with the restaurant where complimentary water or Korean tea was not provided. But that aside, we still enjoyed our dining experience at Ho Rang I. I would still recommend Ho Rang I.

165 Thomson Road, Goldhill Centre, Singapore
6251 0123, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 10:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 17:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8

Dinner @ The Summerhouse

January 30, 2017 in European

Located in a colonial bungalow, The Summerhouse is part of One Rochester Group’s multi-concept (food & beverage and lifestyle) destination. The rest being Wildseed Cafe and Poppy Floral Studio. And in all honesty, I was very excited to learn about The Summerhouse. Finally, food scene in the North is getting exciting.

With a girlfriend’s birthday coming up, reservation was made for a Saturday evening.

Located in Seletar, one can say The Summerhouse is not located in the most accesible area. To reach, one could either take the bus or travel by car or taxi. We took the taxi. And upon arrival, one should head up to level 2 where the main dining area is located at.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Collective farming menu, $128 (min. 2 orders) comprised of:-

(A) Kelong rojak (above) – Prawn, rojak flower, Thai basil, pistachio, burnt lemon.

(B) Taco (above) – Tri tip beef tartare, passion fruit brown butter, pickled chilli, mint.

(C) Uni pasta (above) – Uni-soy sauce ice cream, ikura, toasted nori. Seriously, I have no idea why this dish was named ‘uni pasta’ when one don’t see the (physical) sea urchin and pasta. And the thing was… We chose the $128 set menu over the $98 set menu for this dish. Very misleading. And yes, we were disappointed.

(D) Buttermilk sourdough (above) – A very thin slice. Am not too sure why we were given additional slab of butter (not pictured) when we have no other pieces of bread to slather it on.

(E) Beetroot (above) – Raspberry pickled beetroot, barley, black sesame, fried shallots, ricotta. A dish created for 2 to share. This is probably why the restauran require at least 2 orders for the set menu. And I liked this, though my girlfriends didn’t like the sourness in it.

(F) Panzanella (above) -Eggplant, mild goat cheese, coriander oil, tomato broth.

(G) Buckwheat porridge (above) – Bacon, parmesan, chinese spinach, sunflower seeds.

(H) Grouper (above) – Carrot pesto, orange blossom hollandaise, nasturtium.

(I) Inka grilled mayura beef (above) – Pickled pumpkin, kranji mushroom, earl grey jus, grapes. And we were told the cows were fed with chocolate.

(J) Flower (above) – Guava yoghurt sorbet, lychee-coconut mousse, raspberry puree, rose meringue.

(K) Sourdough (above) – Rye ice cream, honey, milk, plum. I liked this! I enjoyed the clever usage of different textures in the dish.

2) Botanic, $17 (above) – Cured seabass, rojak flower, basil, hazelnut. Erm, 4 small pieces for $17? Like seriously?

3) Iberico pork, $36 (above) – 72-hour sous vide collar, lemon creme fraiche, chamomile onion, chervil sauce.

4) 1-bun, $14 (above) – Butter bun, Christmas flavour ice cream.

Helmed by Chef de Cuisine Florian Ridder who previously worked at Alma by Juan Amador, The Summerhouse is a farm-to-table restaurant. Besides collabrating with Singaporean and Malaysian farmers, there’s also an in-house edible garden curated by award-winning food garden specialist Edible Garden City (yes, the same people behind Open Farm Community‘s).

Unfortunately, I won’t recommend The Summerhouse. Appetisers consisting of kelong rojak, taco and uni pasta were served together, and one can say our dinner started on a bad note with that disappointing ‘uni pasta’ dish. The Summerhouse seemed to go along the concept of being a fine dining restaurant, but they failed to deliver with its food and service. There’s a difference between server who introduces the dishes with much passion and one who is merely reciting what’s memorised. So yes, a waste of the beautiful space.

Perhaps I am harsh on the newly opened The Summerhouse. But to me, a restaurant is deemed to be prepared and ready once it’s opened for business. I don’t mind splurging on food, but the meal needs to be worth my hard-earned money. My girlfriends unfortunately don’t share the same philosophy in food as me, and were feeling more bitter in spending so much on unsatisfying food.

Personally, I think The Summerhouse would fare better as a bistro; Do away with the pretentious I-am-a-fine-dining-restaurant atmopshere and serve purse-friendlier set menu that has fewer courses but with heartier portion.

3 Park Lane, Singapore
6262 1063, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Wed – Sat : 18:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 8
Sun : 18:00 – 21:00
Value: 6
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon, Tues

Dinner @ Sushiro Singapore

June 12, 2016 in Japanese

It has been a while since I felt compelled to write about a place as soon as I can. And yes, I wasn’t pleased with my recent dining experience at Sushiro. But for the record, it’s not entirely the eatery’s fault. These days, many seem to get carried away about wanting to show they’re one of the first few to check out a new place, or wanting to show they are ‘in’ by giving the impression that they are dining well.

After seeing drool-worthy shots of Sushiro’s chirashi (rice bowl) on instagram with many using words like ‘best’, ‘yummy’, ‘awesome’, ‘will come back for more’ in their raves, I was curious. Now… If one have been following my reviews of Japanese cuisine closely, one would know I am not a chiraishi person. I mean, I do eat chiraishi since I have a girlfriend who loves her chiraishi and would bring me to her favorites. But I won’t go hunting for them, specifically. However, Sushiro was located at Thomson Plaza. And that’s in my area!!! So I thought “Why not!”

Reading that there’s always a long queue with some suggesting on instagram that it’s best to come at odd hours, I decided to drop by on Sunday mid-afternoon. And I got my crossfit coach to head down with me cause he’s probably the only person I know who eats at odd hours (since he conducts lunch classes). And!!! I figured with him being a big protein loader, we would order a lot. Which means I get to try many dishes. Yeah! Haha.

However, when Coach and I arrived at 3.30pm, we were taken aback to see they were closed. But it was really my bad for not checking properly. Apparently Sushiro closes at mid-day to take a break. However, what I wasn’t expecting too was that they occupied a kiosk unit. So yes, that explained the long queue too as they have limited seating capacity with only 15 chairs.

Coach and I ended up snacking elsewhere before coming back at 5.30pm as Sushiro reopens at 5.45pm for dinner. And at 5.30pm, a queue had already formed! Thankfully we were the 14th and 15th person in the line. Couldn’t imagine if we had to wait for second seating.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Mekajiki, $6.80 (3 pcs) (above) – Swordfish belly.

2) Salmon explosion temaki-zilla, $6.80 (above) – Temaki meaning handroll and zilla being upsized, this was Sushiro’s upsized handroll. I didn’t really like this though. The salmon sashimi was served marinated, but not with soya sauce. And it tasted slightly weird cause the sauce was… Sweet? But if one does the mathematics, 3 pieces of salmon sashimi cost $4.80 at Sushiro. At $6.80 with more than 3 slices of salmon used for the handroll, this was of better value. If one can get past the marinate, that is.

3) Japanese style glazed duck with onsen egg on rice, $14.80 (above) – Wanting something different, I went with the duck. And because Coach and I were sitting at the counter, we got to realise the portion was small before our dishes were served just from watching the chef prepare the food in the kitchen. Despite that, I still couldn’t help but feel disappointed when my rice bowl was served. Those on instagram should have clarified that ‘ingredients were overflowing’ because the bowl was small, and not because of generous serving of ingredient. o_O And this was so so. I didn’t manage to see the egg preparation, but with no stove, I highly suspect the onsen egg was achieved by microwaving. But that’s my guess. In any case, if one dine during lunch, one has the option of making this into a set by topping up $3 for additional shiro miso soup and salad, or $5 for shiro miso soup, salad and sashimi.

4) Bara-chirashi don, $12.80 (above) – Assorted seafood cube over sushi rice. Frankly, when this was served, I felt really guilty towards my coach. It was a really small bowl containing roughly 1 cup of rice (Trust me, I am quite good at eyeballing the portion of my food). So one can imagine how small the portion was. It did not fill us up. I overheard the guy who was sitting beside me telling his girlfriend that he was still hungry. And yes, he was eating the same bowl of chirashi as us. I guess all the non-realistic raves on instagram did Sushiro a big disadvantage. We came with high expectation, only to be left extremely disappointed. And cause we were sitting at the counter where we witnessed the action within the kitchen, I wasn’t impressed to see the sushi rice kept in a large plastic tub. I would have preferred if a hangiri (Japanese wooden tube) was used. But okie, maybe it’s a little over the top to expect that from them. But when eateries decide to go with an open-kitchen concept, they should know better that they will be subjected to discerning eyes of patrons.

I guess it’s no surprise that I won’t recommend Sushiro. I mean, it makes no sense to queue for 15 minutes (or longer) for a rice bowl that doesn’t fill one up. And the food at Sushiro is certainly not worth making a special trip to Thomson for.

Though to be fair, I saw others ordering the sushi which portion looked fine and the price was reasonable. So if one is at Thomson Plaza and only wishes to eat sushi, one can check out Sushiro if the queue at Sushiro isn’t as long as compared to Sushi Tei which is at Level 2 of Thomson Plaza.

301 Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Plaza, #01-113F, Singapore
9450 1020, Facebook
Overall: 5.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon, Wed – Sun : 11:45 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 5
Mon, Wed – Sun : 17:45 – 21:30 (Dinner)
Value: 5
* Closed on Tues
Service: 6