Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hosoi Teppanyaki House

This should be the most expensive teppanyaki I ever ate so far. Could have been more expensive if we ordered 2 "high class" set meals instead of one.

We arrived quite early that day and strolled in circles (literally) before deciding to take Cheryl's recommendation. But we had got different objectives. While I was trying to spot for good food and ambience, L was trying to spot for the handsome chef Cheryl mentioned. Oh wells...

From the outside, the place has impressive interiors exuding style and glamour. But surprisingly, as we approach the podium, we were greeted in Mandarine. I wonder which part of us looked like China people. As it was still early, we were the only ones there the moment we stepped in, and we were ushered to this particular table at the back, which I would refer to the "low class" table hereon

Not long after that, some 3 ang mohs came in and they were lead to another table near the entrance, which conversely, is the "high class" table. Then followed by another pair of casually dressed Singaporean chinese coming to our table, then another few rich looking men came in and sat where the ang mohs were.

Soon we started to suspect that they judge their customers by their appearance and segregate us according to our perceived spending power. Utensils at the high class table were of the fine dining setup like they had napkins but ours was similar to the foodcourt teppanyaki with only paper serviettes (tissue paper) to contend with. Our suspicions were later confirmed when I order the "high class" lobster set meal. They changed my cutlery and gave me the silky red napkin which the high class table is using.

Another ridiculous thing we were absolutely unhappy with is that they actually cooked the food all at the high class table. We were completely ostracised. And the supposedy teppanyaki experience turned into a normal a la carte dinner.


High class appetizer: The overcooked lobster (not bad still)


Low class meat: messy teppanyaki chicken and fish.


High class soup: campbell clam chowder


Low class miso soup and white rice


High class main: chewy sirlion steak (this was the best of all)


Low class vegetables: average bean sprouts and kai lan.


High class dessert: red bean crepe weird-combi with fruits


Alacarte appetizer order: inside-not-very-cooked goose liver (still nice)

Name: Hosoi Teppan-Yaki House
Venue: Suntec City Mall Central (#B1-058) Near the fountain area

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tony Roma's Restaurant - World Famous Ribs

While doing all these, we often have to sacrifice our hot and juicy food as they eventually turn cold and dry after photo taking. This french loaf is the first thing served for us to munch on before the mains come in. The presentation kind of resembles the fries in Swensens and makes us want to think if it were fries then it would be better. I beieve the idea is to have some free teaser-appetizer. The sauce, if I remember correctly, should be sour cream [but I need to check again]. Strange.


But of course, we ordered our own appetizer aptly named the "Appetizer Sampler". And I totally agree on its description (roughly) "We want to make it easier for you so we call it the Appetizer Sampler". On the other hand, there wasn't too much of a choice to pick from; or maybe that could be difficult for some people.


Everything here is sweet-and-sour. We got here the cheese sticks, wings and potatoe skins. I like the wings best because of its strong sweet flavour. The cheese sticks were interesting because they don't look like they are. However, it's not well done at all it's the kind of (pause) ... (back) I was away the last few moments trying to figure out what cheese was that and I was astonished the list of cheese so I give up. It's plain, whitish and close to tasteless. The sticks alone taste like fried soft rubber, you have to dip the dressings to go with it which includes the sour cream (again), thousand island and [insert last dressing]. Finally, the potatoe skin is just, well potatoe skins.


We were so lucky we didn't order the majestic Roma Feast or the double rib set meal (you will see why). Instead, we went for the fish fillet plus rib and the grilled chicken plus rib set dinners. Each of them also come with a choice of sides. Ours came with a bunch of potatoes -- Mash Potatoe, Fries, Baked Potatoe -- in decending order of rating, and a Vegetable Salad.

We figured that they must have an enormous stockpile of potatoes in their kitchen and making potatoe meals was their forte. In a single session, we were cornered into eating 4 potatoe products! Eat it whole, eat it sliced, eat it mashed and eat the peel! Ok, At least they used super fresh crunchy vegetables for the salad which I enjoyed.


But so far, we haven't talk about the world famous ribs! That's because we really only liked the fish that was warm and juicy, definitely above average. The ribs, tasted like char siew. If you are a char siew lover, you will like the ribs. And if you ordered the Roma Feast is x4 char siew while the double rib set is x2 char siew. I quite like char siew actually, but not choke on the whole piece and not with bones.

It doesn't matter if you ordered the Baby Ribs or the St Louis Ribs with extra spice. They taste they same like sweet char siew. But not the lousy type, maybe abit below the chinese restaurant standard. I believe the chinese, or asians, knows better when it comes to pork. And any chinese will know that you don't make Char Siew out of ribs, you make Bak Kut Teh.

I think seriously believe "World Famous Ribs" is a misnomer. They should take it down and remain as "America's Famous Ribs" (which I know the Sun Tec outlet is correctly using it). I don't mean to be critical here, I've tried other ribs before like I know Cartel serves XXL ribs that tasted as bad for me. But at least they don't claim a "World" title.

Name: Tony Roma's
Venue: Suntec City #B1-007

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh 松发肉骨茶

We had this bak kut teh 2 weeks ago but did not post until now because we lost some of the photos in between last post and this one. We wanted to post in a chronological way that's why we delayed this. Unfortunately, we still cannot find them. =(

Initially L and I wanted to revisit the "Fisherman" fish and chips restaurant in the building across the street, but after we crossed over from Central (legally via traffic lights), this bak kut teh shop just appeared suddenly on our right and changed our mind.

This building opposite Central @ Clark Quay is where a handful of food shops and restaurants reside inconspicuously. The promising Song Fa Bak Kut Teh is located at the better corner of the building which I would think is a prime location, or we would not have patronised it.

bak kut teh

I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasism of the staff there who were all young people. The concept of having young adults serving up a traditional and Ah-Pek (old uncle) gave new life to the place (intentionally or not).

The Bak Kut Teh here is the average nice-to-eat, and the average good-value-for-price. It's more like a furnished kopitiam than a restaurant but it was cool enough to enjoy without sweating all over. You also get the usual "free flow" of Teh. Nothing special, but at least it's an enjoyable experience. We actually sat there and chit chatted away.

pig trotters

More and more people came as the time passes and soon the place is filled with office workers coming after work and foreigners trying out the "exotic" delicacy. So we can tell it's a popular place afterall.

Name: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Venue: 11 New Bridge Rd #01-01 S059383