Sunday, May 06, 2007

National Museum Cafe

National Museum Cafe
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
Singapore's proximity to Australia (relative to the UK's) means that flat whites pop-up here occassionally; like in the National Museum cafe.

This is decent coffee, with great roast beef prices only at prices a little bit higher than that seen in Australia.

Their carrot juice is velvety smooth, frothy and deliciously spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg - innovative and apt touches (the Middle East recalls spices and juices).

National Museum Cafe

National Museum Cafe
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
Pretty good. Nice roast beef sandwich, pretty good coffee (flat whites!!!)

Soup spoon

Soup spoon
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
It looks gross, but it's quite nice. It's soup served in a bowl made from bread. I had the Boston Clam Chowder.

Hainanese Steam Boat - Yet Con

Hainanese Steam Boat
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
Hainanese establishements line Seah (or Purvis, I can never remember) Sts. Yet Con is one of these that I've seen but never dared to enter. My lack of Mandarin inhibits me visiting such Chinese places as inevitably I'm forced into, "Dui bu qi, wo bu jiang hua yu" in my forced Beijing accent. I shouldn't let it stop me, because it's the minority that do not speak English as well. But I feel this expectation that somehow my language should be genetically transferred and I'm somehow 'less Chinese' because of this.

But after Peranakan with K&K, we have dinner here. They order, surprisingly, in Cantonese while the floor manager bosses everyone around in loud Hainanese. He looks almost like my grandfather and the languages enveloping me remind me so much of growing up in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur.

Steamboat is their speciality here and a dangerous looking gas burner fires up and a bowl of clear chicken broth arrives. We cook the prawns, pork and blood-red cockles to our liking.

We order a plate of chicken breast (no skin) as one of us is a little fanatical about what he eats.

The bowls of chicken rice look too good to pass up and upsize mine to a larger one - the waitress chides me gently in Cantonese as she's already prepared a small one.

To finish we poach some eggs in the broth and drink the soup.

Peranakan food - Joo Chiat Rd

Peranakan food
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
I love Peranakan (Straits Chinese) food. Why? Because I love the richness of Malay spicing and sauces and the tang and lightness of Chinese cooking techniques.

I'm eating with my friends K&K who discovered this a while ago. We eat Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken Curry with Keluak fruit), Beef Rendang, Sambal Kangkong with small shrimp or scallop and the highlight: Assam Pomfret. The fish was soft, translucent and perfectly cooked. The meat tender yet firm; the sauce tangy but rounded.

I had a dessert of sago gula melaka. The coconut milk was not from a can (but perhaps not freshly made that day either) but the gula melaka (palm sugar) was of high quality. Lots of caramel and other hidden subtle notes blended aromatically.

They served with a nice touch - the gula melaka was poured over a ball of shaved ice; very cute.

Sushi Tei - VivoCity

Sushi Tei
Originally uploaded by daveyll.
I'm discovering all these cool restaurants conveniently located in these giant shopping malls. I know this doesn't give me kudos because they are so accessible, but they're usually quite good!

When Singapore tries to be authentic, they go all out - you can end up paying $12 for a currywurst, but it will be authentic.

Sushi Tei is one of the numerous Japanese 'family restaurants' around. A mark above Sakae sushi, I was quite pleased with the value and quality of the food. It's one of those all-encompassing establishments - here you can find sushi, sashimi, donburi (rice dishes), yabemono (sp? paper steamboat), curry rice, yakitori, kushiage (deep-fried skewers) and ramen. Usually in Japan each category would have its own establishment.

I enjoyed myself, the uni was delicious and fresh and the wasabiller roll so cute (albeit a little bland). Good ambience as we sat by the balcony overlooking Sentosa Island - now if only all the tourists sheltering from the rain would move away so we could actually SEE the view.

The salmon and scallop carpaccio stole the show with the roasted sesame oil, yuzu and succulent fish doing it for me.

I'm annoyed...

...because I had to throw out a piece of buffalo mozzarella I spent $8 on.