Dinner @ Kamoshita

June 15, 2017 in Japanese

One can say I was trying to find and try more oden places in Singapore. Thus the visit to Kamoshita. In fact, I’ve gone back twice. During my first visit, my friend and I ordered the omakase course which was frankly a let down. But I decided to head back despite the disappointment because the dishes ordered by the other customers (from the a-la carte menu) looked really good. We couldn’t order additional dishes then because we were required to order the same priced omakase course. Ie, We couldn’t order a $60 and a $100 omakase course each. Neither could I order the omakase course while my friend go a-la carte. So yes, we were too full during our first visit to order anything more.

Reservation for both dinners were made over the phone. And Kamoshita must have a database of customers’ information because they were able to mention my name after obtaining my contact number when I called the second time to make reservation. Nice.

As requested, we were given counter seats. Yeah! And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), my friend and I ordered:-

1) Omakase course, $60 comprised of:-

(A) Starter (above) – Boiled edamame.

(B) 3 kinds of appetizer (above)


(C) Bagna cauda (above) – Assortment of vegetables served with dipping sauce.

(D) Marinated seafood (above) – Sweet soy sauce soaked tuna with ikura.

(E) 3 kinds of Japanese flavour cheese (above) – Cream cheese soaked in miso, crab butter cheese cracker and smoked radish stuffed with cream cheese.



  

(F) 3 kinds of premium oden (above) – Prawn cake, tomato and half boiled egg.


(G) Fried dish (above)


(H) Cold inaniwa udon (above)

2) Avocado, $6 (above) – It’s my first to see avocado on oden menu. I didn’t even realise it was on the menu until the staff prepared the dish for a group of customers. And I must say it was quite a sight to see 6 halved avocados floating in the pot. So when I returned on my second trip, I just had to order it. I thought it would taste weird, but it was surprisingly tasty.

3) Tofu, $5 (above)


4) Lettuce & Iberian pork belly, $7 (above)


5) Potato salad from oden potato, $8 (above) – Another dish that was ordered because of my first trip where a slightly drunk customer raved about how good the potato salad was to her friends as she placed order for it. So yes, I ordered it out of curiosity. And she was right. It’s really good. Drizzled with yoke, I loved the texture and the addition of sprouts and bacon. A must order.

6) Rice yeast marinated salmon, $12 (above)


7) Ham cutlet stuffed with blue cheese, $12 (above) – Give this a miss.

8) Iberian pork spare rib dressed with spicy sauce, $12 (above) – This was really good. The meat was so tender that we easily removed it from the bone. My friend especially liked the sauce.

9) Kabayaki-grilled eel, $39 (above) – Wouldn’t recommend this too. This was average. Save the stomach space for other dishes.

10) Marinated salmon & sake lees soup, $15 (above)


  

11) Sea urchin, ikura & tuna masu bowl, $28 (above)

12) Inaniwa udon with oden soup, $8 (above)

  

13) Clay pot steamed rice with sea bream, $29 (above) – It’s written on menu that this would take 40 to 50 minutes. Thus, one should order this right at the start of the meal. And we liked this. We were also surprised at the nice packaging when we requested to pack our unfinished rice.

14) Green tea & red bean shave ice, $8 (above)

15) Home made cream pudding, $8 (above)

Would I recommend Kamoshita? I would. Honestly, there ain’t many Japanese restaurants that focus solely on oden in Singapore. So I was glad Kamoshita is one such restaurant. And I am even more glad that they served delectable dishes. And I am not referring to just the oden items. But yes… Just refrain from ordering the omakase course. Though the $89 and $100 omakase courses may be better than our $60′s.

In fact, if one is going to visit Kamoshita for dinner, do also order their miso grilled Iberian pork collar ($22). My friend and I didn’t get to try this. But the benefit of sitting at the counter was that we got to watch the staff preparing other customers’ dishes. And the smell of the grilled pork collar was divine. It’s a pity my friend and I were again too full to order and try it for ourselves.

KAMOSHITA
5 Neil Road, Singapore
6221 3950, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
Service: 7

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.

WANGDAEBAK POCHA
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)

Brunch @ Botanist Singapore

January 1, 2017 in European (cafe)

These days, I would think of checking out cafes when I spot promising ones. I checked… The last I went cafe hopping was 6 months ago! And from what others shared on instagram, Botanist Singapore caught my attention with their food. It looked appetizing. And from their website, I learnt that Botanist Singapore is opened by the same group behind Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters and Alchemist.

Instead of heading down over the weekend, my colleagues and I decided to take half-day leave to check out the cafe on a weekday afternoon. December lah. Office is quieter during Christmas period. So we could afford to apply leave with very short notice. Keke.

Botanist Singapore is a 15 to 18 minutes walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. One could easily identify the corner unit from the graffiti on the wall. And to enter, one had to come through the side entrance.

The stretch of shop houses along Neil Road had long yards in the front. So although my colleagues and I arrived at the cafe at off-peak timing of 1.30pm, the few tables within the small air-conditioned unit were fully occupied. We were led to the ‘front yard’ where an awning was installed to shield patrons from the strong blazing sun. Thankfully, they invested in a floor standing air-conditioner too,else it would have been stuffy. And one should manage one’s expectation to share table as the 4 long tables were communal tables.

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

1) Truffle fries, $8 (above)


2) Corn fritters, $18 (above) – Pan fried corn fritters, sweet tomato salsa, hummus, guacamole, poached egg, baby spinach tossed in yuzu vinaigrette. I didn’t really like this though. Maybe for $8, but not $18.


3) Baked egg, $19 (above) – Chorizo iberico, tomato relish, feta cheese, bacon, toast, baby spinach, egg. This was really good. I kept digging in with my fork, trying to get more mouthfuls of the bacon. Haha.

4) Meat of the day, $22 (above) – Pan roasted duck breast with szechuan pepper.

5) Seafood aglio olio, $23 (above) – Spaghetti with prawn, clam, squid, garlic, chili, basil.

6) Salmon & egg, $23 (above) – Pan seared sous-vide salmon, cauliflower fritters, sous-vide egg, saffron cauliflower puree. I ordered this because it was highly recommended by a friend. “The salmon is very good. You must order before it’s sold out,” he said. And indeed, the salmon was grilled to perfection. But it was hard to tell it was ‘salmon & egg’ that we ordered as the big plate just emphasized how small the salmon portion was. And I did not like the sides. It was written on the menu that there would be sauteed pea and asparagus, but ours got replaced with sauteed onion and long bean (without being informed). And the sliced long bean were too raw.

7) French toast, $18 (above) – Fried brioche, rhubarb berry marmalade, fresh berries, almond flakes, poached pear, vanilla ice cream.


8) Maple pancake, $18 (above) – Traditional pancake infused with maple syrup, creme fraiche, nuts, bacon, fresh berries. This smelled crazily good when it was served. Thick fluffy pancake with pieces of walnut within. A must order, although I would have preferred if they kept it as a pure sweet dish without the bacon, and used less powdered sugar.

9) White coffee, $5 (5oz) (above) – Latte.

Would I recommend Botanist Singapore? Well, only if one is in the area. I wouldn’t make a special trip to Botanist Singapore just to eat, considering that they are not conveniently located near any MRT station. And I reckon it may be hard to continue chilling at the cafe to chit chat with higher volume of traffic expected on weekends than weekdays. Yes, one would need to vacate for other patrons.

BOTANIST SINGAPORE
74 Neil Road, Singapore
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Tues – Sun : 08:00 – 18:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon