Dinner @ Wangdaebak Pocha 왕대박 포차

April 3, 2017 in Korean

For someone (ahem, me) who loves my Korean food as much as Japanese and French, I certainly have been neglecting my appetite for Korean cuisine. My last eat out for Korean food was in… September 2016! Gasp.

And because of that, when my friends suggested Italian for a recent meet up, I counter-proposed with Korean. And I am thankful they were up for it! 1 clique cannot have more than 1 picky eater. Luckily I am the only one. Haha.

As taken from Wangdaebak POCHA’s website, it’s opened by the same owners of Wangdaebak Korean BBQ. And POCHA is an abbreviation of Korean words that translates to ‘Korean street food wagon’.

Reservation was made for a Saturday dinner. However, the problematic issue about dining in Telok Ayer area on weekends was the parking. It’s very difficult! My friend took almost 30 minutes to find a lot, although my other friend was luckier; Parked within 10 minutes.

The interior decor of Wangdaebak POCHA was designed to reminisce the Korean street scene back in 70’s and 80’s. It was also after our dinner that I realised (from their Facebook page) that one could also borrow Korean games to play.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), we ordered:-

1) Corn in mayonnaise, Complimentary (above) – This only came complimentary with the order of certain dishes.

2) Kimchi soup, $17 (small) (above) – There’s pork, tofu, glass noodle in the soup too.

3) Honey soya chicken, $22 (above) – Crispy fried chicken in honey soya sauce. I wasn’t too pleased to see shoestring fries occupying half of the served plate. But that said, I thought the chicken was not too bad. Though I wish they were more generous with the pickled radish cubes (not pictured).

4) Spicy pork knuckle, $43 (above) – Homemade pork knuckle with special spicy sauce. This was really spicy. Even for my friends who take spicy food. But because it was oddly addictive, I was washing the sauce off the pork knuckle with my soup before consuming in order to save my tongue from the spiciness. Haha.

5) Spicy pork belly with baby octopus, $39 (above) – This should cook in less than 10 minutes. Am mentioning this because my friends and I were so engrossed in our conversation and eating the other dishes that it took us almost 20 minutes to realise our gas stove’s canister was low on gas. Haha. It suddenly dawned on us that something was amiss because our neighbouring tables ordered the same dish and they were already halfway tucking into their cooked pork belly and baby octopus while our dish refused to be cooked despite mixing it continuously. And I enjoyed this dish. Been watching quite a fair bit of Korean cooking shows and I was craving for baby octopus. So yeah!

6) Ham & pork spicy noodle soup, $39 (above) – And it’s written on the menu that soup refill (second time) is at $3 and extra noodle at $3.

I enjoyed my time much at Wangdaebak Pocha. The set up of the eatery created an ideal ambience for catching up with friends over food and drinks. And for the lucky few who works in the area, lunch menu (pages 1, 2, 3) is available.

However, as Wangdaebak Pocha is for diners to experience the olden days of Korean street scene, do note there’s no grilled items. For BBQ, one would have to head to Wangdaebak Korean BBQ. Which is a good thing cause one wouldn’t leave the eatery reeking of smoke.

93 Amoy Street, Singapore
6220 0322, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Fri : 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Tue : 17:30 – 00:00 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Wed – Sat : 17:30 – 01:00 (Dinner)
Service: 7
Sun : 17:30 – 23:00 (Dinner)

Dinner @ Manpei

October 10, 2016 in Japanese

While doing my usual homework of sniffing out searching for new eateries, I got to learn about Manpei from the online Japanese magazine, Oishii. It wasn’t an article about them. Instead, Manpei had placed an advertisement. Good marketing move. Keke.

With my recent interest in oden, I got my InstaGram GirlFriend (IGGF) to have dinner with me. And coincidentally, she had also read about Manpei from Oishii too! Great (foodie) minds think alike. Keke!

Reservation was made for Friday, two days prior to our dinner.

However, when we arrived on Friday, we were told our reservation was made for Thursday! Impossible. When the lady repeated our reservation details over the phone, I clearly heard it was for Friday. Hmm…

But thankfully my IGGF and I always meet for early dinner. We were the first to arrive at 7pm, and decided to go with table seats instead of our favourite counter seats.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), we ordered:-

1) Cream cheese, $9 (above) – I love my cream cheese, and this was served with fermented fish liver. It was a first for me to see such a combination, and it surprisingly worked out even though both fish liver and cream cheese were salty. Yes… Somehow, the dish wasn’t overly salty. Instead, the saltiness was balanced out by the creaminess of the cream cheese. But my IGGF didn’t enjoy this as much as I did.

2) Nattou aburaage, $7 (above) – Nattou, fermented soy beans, is really an acquired taste. It’s either one enjoys it, or don’t enjoy it. We ordered this because we know how to appreciate it. Keke. But my IGGF said this taste better with some fermented fish liver (from our ‘cream cheese’ dish).

3) Oden soup takoyaki, $8 (above) – And these would be octopus balls; Ball-shaped Japanese snack made of wheat flour batter with filling of octopus. This was certainly different when served with soup.

4) Deep fried squid leg, $7 (above) – Before my IGGF and I ordered this, we spied to see what other tables (of Japanese patrons) had ordered. Haha. We like to check if we are trying the ‘must order’ dishes. However, we were a little late cause we only saw empty black rectangular plates. So when our second round of orders were served, we were very excited to see we had found our answer. Yes, deep fried squid legs served on black rectangular plate. Keke. And this was really good! A must order.

5) Chicken tar tar sauce, $12 (above) – This was ordered upon the staff’s recommendation. And yes, this is a must try! Even the shredded cabbage tasted great!

6) Clam with butter, $10 (above)

7) Grill yellowtail neck, $14 (above) – Unfortunately this, which was from the special menu, was a let down. The fish was not fresh. Needless to say, we chose not to finish this and saved our stomach space for other dishes.

8) Fish soup, Complimentary (above) – We were surprised when we were served this. “From the kitchen”, said the staff. And it was really good although it wasn’t easy eating this as there was lots of bones. My IGGF and I joked that this must have been given to make up for the disappointing yellowtail neck cause the complimentary fish broth was not an item from the menu. Hmm…

9) Oden with options of:


(A) Steamed cabbage roll, $4 (above)

(B) Yam cake ($3), white radish ($4), egg ($3) & boiled kamaboko ($3) (above) – Skip the egg. I was expecting soft boiled (ramen) egg, but this was hard boiled.

(C) Chikuwa fishcake ($3), kombu seaweed ($2), kurumafu ($3), mochi kinchaku ($3) (above)

10) Custard cake, $6 (above) – This was pretty unique. Don’t think I had something similar unless I forgot with my goldfish memory. Ha. And what I thought was made with tapioca flour should be sago skin.

It was a pity we ordered the grilled yellowtail neck. Cause if we didn’t, our dining experience at Manpei would have been awesome instead of great. (^^lll) But I would still recommend Manpei. Go easy on their oden and stick to the cooked dishes. Their oden items were average. Ie, not outstanding. I had better elsewhere. It’s also a personal preference that I preferred the items to be served individually. But their cooked dishes were good!

If I need a place to go for supper, I would definitely return to Manpei. There are still items on their menu which I would like to try if my IGGF and I weren’t already feeling full. Like the hokke atka mackerel, salmon fried rice, deep fried gyoza and stir fry squid with ink! =p

59 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore
6222 2983
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 04:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Sun

Dinner @ Beauty In The Pot

September 16, 2016 in Chinese

I was asked about my steamboat experience at Ma Fu Yuan when my friends exclaimed “But you need to try Beauty In The Pot. You haven’t tried the best if you haven’t gone there.”

Frankly, I think I did hear about Beauty In The Pot. But the restaurant name didn’t sound interesting enough to get me interested. I didn’t quite get the hype over collagen soup too.

However, my friends highly recommended Beauty In The Pot. And since it was located very near to my work place, I decided to get my colleagues to head over for dinner one day. And the opportunity came when I arranged my own birthday gathering with my colleagues. Hahaha. Yes, that was back in August.

And for my birthday celebrating at Beauty In The Pot, my colleagues and I had decided on the dinner date at least 3 weeks in advance. But I was a little slow in making reservation. When I tried to make reservation on Chope 10 days before our dinner date, I was not able to as Chope required reservation to be made at least 14 days in advance. And when I phoned the restaurant, I was told by the staff that they only had 5.30pm and 9pm time slots.

It was coincidental that we had a work event on the Friday my colleagues and I planned to have our steamboat dinner. And so, I confirmed reservation for 5.30pm for 8 people since we would be able to leave work earlier. Keke.

Upon arrival at the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were allocated a big square table where we could sit around with 2 on each side. That certainly allowed the big group of us to talk properly as compared to being seated at a long rectangular table where people would break off into smaller groups. I certainly gave it to the restaurant for taking note of such detail during their design development stage.

And we were given ziplock bags to contain our hand phones and aprons to wear! The latter was definitely much appreciated since I can be pretty clumsy. I always stain my white clothes. Ha. And my colleagues were amazed that they could use their (touch screen) mobiles even though it was enclosed within the (thin) ziplock.

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

1) Twin flavours broth, $25 (above) – Beauty collagen soup, spicy nourishing soup.


2) Condiment, $2.80 (per person) (above) – Condiments and free flow of rice was chargeable at $2.80. This was keyed in by the staff when she assisted to set up our table-assigned iPad which was to be used to place our orders.

3) Soft bone pork meat ball, $8 (full portion) (above, top)

4) Black pepper mushroom ball, $8 (full portion) (above)

5) Fish ball, $8 (full portion) (above, top)

6) Cuttlefish ball, $12 (full portion) (above)

7) Ebiko and prawn paste, $16 (above) – Golden mushroom rolled with pork. Do let the staff handle this. The staff knew I wanted to take photograph, and was kind to wait for me before proceeding to mix the paste thoroughly before putting it into the soup as small(er) paste balls.

8) Fish tofu, $1.80 per piece (above) – And one would need to order at least 2 pieces as a minimum. And this was pretty interesting. It’s a fish (meat)-tofu paste but shaped as a fish.

9) White and hon shimeiji, $8 (full portion) (above)

10) Enoki mushroom, $7 (full portion) (above)

11) Chinese cabbage, $6 (full portion) (above)

12) Baby chinese spinach, $6 (full portion) (above)

13) Fried fish skin, $11 (full portion) (above) – I love this stuff. And it’s not necessary to put it into the soup.

14) Fried beancurd skin, $9 (full portion) (above) – Another of my favourite. To eat this, one should dip it into the soup for only 3 seconds such that it’s still slightly crunchy. Any longer (in the soup) and the fried beancurd skin will be too soggy.

15) Prawn dumpling, $10 (full portion) (above)

16) Pork roll dumpling, $6 (full portion) (above)

17) Fresh sea prawn, $26 (full portion) (above) – The staff asked if we wanted assistance in deshelling the prawn. To which we said “yes!” So the staff took the plate back and returned with shelled prawns. Nice!

18) US kurobuta pork, $19 (full portion) (above)

19) Sliced pork belly, $14 (full portion) (above)

20) Handmade la mian, $2.70 (above)

21) Potato wide vermicelli, $6 (full portion) (above) – This was interesting. Thick and chewy (cause it’s pretty starchy).

22) Yuzu drink, Complimentary (above) – And at the end of our dinner, we were served a jug of yuzu drink which allowed the 8 of us to have at least 2 shot glasses each.

23) Birthday dessert, Complimentary (above) – And during the course of our dinner, we heard at least 4 rounds of birthday song. 1 of my collegaue went “Wah, I didn’t know you brought so many people to celebrate your birthday!” Haha. Lame. =p But of course, my colleague wasted no time in informing the staff that we were there to celebrate my birthday. So yes… The staff came with a dessert which tasted very similar to Taiwanese shaved ice (vanilla flavoured), a bunch of balloons, and crowded round to sing me a birthday song in English, Chinese and Cantonese. I think it’s Cantonese. Am not too well versed with my dialects lah. Ha!

So was my friends right with their raves of Beauty In The Pot? They certainly are! Service was great. Jugs of soup were placed on standby on a side tray beside every table which the staff would very often come over to top up our soup. Nice.

Steamboat is always enjoyable in big groups, and I really liked that the restaurant put in much thought in the seating arrangement. In a way, it felt very much like a reunion dinner. Haha. And coming in 8 was certainly the optimum number cause for the full portion, the restaurant gave 8 pieces. Just nice. 1 piece for each of us. Ha.

So really, with their professional service and good quality of ingredients, it explains why one need to make reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. Will definitely be back for more team dinners since Beauty In The Pot is just 2 streets away from my work place! Just got to make advanced planning. Else, I am sure my colleagues and I can hop by when we work late and need a late dinner venue since Beauty In The Pot opens till after midnight too. =)

11 Tanjong Katong Road, OneKM, #02-21, Singapore
6702 2542, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Thur : 11:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Thur : 17:30 – 01:00 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Fri – Sat : 11:00 – 03:00
Service: 7
Sun : 11:00 – 01:00