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

July 29, 2017 in Chinese

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.

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 @ 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

Brunch @ Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters

November 30, 2014 in European (cafe)

The team behind OZ Specialty Coffee has shifted from Thomson V Two to one of the shop houses along Upper Thomson Road, but under the name of Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters. Curious, I managed to come by twice. For weekday lunch and weekend brunch.

Comparing with their previous outlet, I liked how spacious their current one is. And with a proper kitchen, they offer a menu with more variety too. As my friend and I came before 4pm on both trips (dinner menu starts at 5pm), we decided to (only) try their brunch menu although pasta was also available all day.

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

1) Truffle benedict, $18 (above) – Brioche, smoked ham, wilted spinach & free range poached eggs served with truffle hollandaise sauce.

2) Shrimps & asparagus ragout roll, $18 (above) – Creamy shrimp and asparagus ragout in a French omelette served with salad.

3) Red velvet pancakes, $16 (above) – Red velvet pancakes served with mascarpone and fresh berries.

4) Salted caramel banana French toast, $16 (above) – Brioche French toast, caramelized bananas drizzled with salted caramel sauce & topped with whipped cream.

5) Latte, $5 (above) – The drinks menu for coffee was stated as ‘black’ and ‘white’. For a latte, it would be a 5oz, white with milk.

6) Hot tea, $5.50 (above) – With 4 flavours offered for the day, I went with ‘apple strudel’. And I liked the presentation where tea leaves were displayed at the side. However, since I don’t normally order teas at cafes, I did wonder if it was expensive for a cup of tea to cost $5.50 with no refill.

The food were pretty good. I especially liked the ‘shrimps & asparagus ragout roll’ and ‘salted caramel banana French toast’. And it was not just the food that impressed, but the ambience too. Dominated in white hues, I really like how spacious the cafe is. But do try to get seats at the counter or at the long communal table instead of the tables nearer to the kitchen where the natural light could not reach as much.

It was a pity they did not serve cakes (just breads) as we were hoping for some sweet treats after our meals. So while the prices may be a little on the high side, I will definitely recommend Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters. Yes, it’s worth making a trip down.

185 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 09:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7