October 30, 2012

Crabs Night @ Kim's Place Seafood Restaurant

A shared post about The Star Vista's Complete Food and Restaurant Guide on Facebook somehow garnered 78 comments which eventually turned into not a Star Vista's visit, but a crab outing with my friends lol! So here we are, at Kim's Place Seafood Restaurant located at Joo Chiat Place, which is famous not only for their Crabs Specialties but for their Fried Hokkein Prawn Mee as well.

Cravings must be satisfied and these two crabs were the sacrificial crustaceans of the night. Poor crabs, they came all the way from Sri Lanka, only to end up in our tummies. Well, at least they are worth S$45 per kg each before their time is up.

Chilli Crabs (1.4kg / S$63+) is no doubt one of the iconic dishes of Singapore and a must-order for any crab feast outing. There's just something addictive about the sweet and spicy gravy that had us clamouring for more.

My favorite part has to be the pincers! Who can resist the plump, succulent flesh in every mouthful? Covered by the semi-thick gravy which has just the right balance of chilli and tomato, sweet and savory, the level of spiciness is just nice for me. This is one dish which I don't mind messing up my hands with. Challenging myself to suck the last bit of flesh out of its pincers and legs, slurping and licking the gravy from my fingers! Pure joy!

Fried Mantou (chinese bun) (S$3+) is the quintessential consort to chilli crabs. Dunk the warm, crispy yet with a soft interior mantou into the chilli crab gravy, pop it into your mouth and you'd understand why :D

Next up is the Black Pepper Crab (1.5kg / S$67.50+) which is served in a hot pot. The crab is steamed first before being married with the fragrant peppery sauce. This results in a birth of a delightful dish where the flesh still retains its moisture wonderfully. I also like that the sauce is not too dry, but it somehow seems to get spicier with each taste. Hot!

We were astounded by the Fried Hokkein Prawn Mee (S$16+) when it was brought to our table. It was the biggest plate that all of us has ever since seen in one serving! Topped with prawns, squids and generous amount of pork lard, the noodles here is the dryer version, quite unlike the slurpy versions which is served at most places. One of my friend felt that the noodles were a tad soggy, perhaps due to being stir-fried for too long. The beansprouts hater in me is glad that the beansprouts to noodles ratio is much lower too. Sambal chilli and calamansi further enhanced the taste of this flavorful dish.

Greens of the evening came in form of Stir Fried Potato Leaves in Sambal Chilli (S$12+). The texture is just nice with the right note of tenderness without being too mushy.

A glass of Homemade Barley with Gingko Nuts (S$2+) is perfect for cooling us down after the varying hotness of each dish we've ordered.

Here we are! Happily enjoying our crabs! Other than the Chilli and Black Pepper Crabs we ordered, Kim's Place is also famous for their innovative crab creations like Cheese Crabs, Dried Curry Crabs, even Nam Lu Chilli Crabs! There are more than 15 ways which you can enjoy the crabs here. An extensive menu of zhi-char (chinese style stir-fry) dishes are also available.

I would love to order the Salted Egg Crab too, but my friends' appetite are rather small. No prize for guessing correctly that the PinkyPiggu is still hungry after this meal. Haha yes, and supper at a dessert place followed straight after :p

Overall it was an enjoyable dinner. We did not have to wait too long for our orders to be served, service staff were quick with their recommendations and prompt in little things like changing plates for us halfway through our meal.

The founder of Kim's Place, Mr Tan Kue Kim, actually started out in 1965 in Jalan Kayu, where he masterminded the fine art of frying hokkein mee, before moving on to establish his own seafood restaurant. His son, Mr Yong Tan, now runs the place while the senior Tan is still frying hokkein mee at the outlet in Bedok South!

I'd like to mention that there is no service charge at Kim's Place. Regulars can sign up for a free membership card where you get 10% discount for future visits. You may also wanna check out the monthly wine & dine event.

Writing about crabs now is making me crave for crabs!

Well, this is the season for..... Hairy Crabs!!!

In a true-blue Singaporean Hokkein (not mee) style... "Mai Dan Liao" !!! (don't wait already) :D

Kim's Place Seafood Restaurant
Address: 43 Joo Chiat Place (Junction of Tembeling Road), Singapore 427767
Contact: +65 6742 1119
Website:  http://www.kimsplaceseafood.com
Opening Hours: 11am - 3am

October 24, 2012

{Recipe} The Prata Runway, Season 1 ~ Dressing It Up My Way!

Even though I live within close proximity of a few coffeeshops and fast food outlets, I always keep my kitchen well stocked with items like pasta, soba, frozen corn, eggs, and sausages. How easy it is to whip up something with whatever is available, when I don't feel like venturing out in the rain, when it's late at night, or when I'm simply being plain lazy to go out lol.

One of my favorite must-have in my fridge is instant frozen Prata in original flavor. Hot, crispy and ready in just a few minutes! It's wonderful on its own, but it gets boring after awhile. That's when I got creative and started to dress up the prata my way.

Be entralled by the burst of colors and flavors! Sweet or savory, the possibilities are endless!

Are you ready for The Prata Runway? Let the show begin!


 Prata #1 ~ The Sunshine Flower 

A cheerful marriage of sunny-side-up and sausages to brighten your day! 
You may use any flavor of  sausages to your liking.

  • 1 x Prata
  • 1 x Sausage
  • 1 x Egg
  • Olive Oil (for pan-frying)
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley

  1. Pan-fry the sausage. Remove from pan, sliced, set aside.
  2. Pan-fry the prata until crispy on one side and flip over.
  3. Break the egg on top of prata.
  4. Arrange sliced sausage on top.
  5. Cook until the bottom of the prata turns crispy.
  6. Sprinkle with black pepper and parsley. Serve & Enjoy!

 Prata #2 ~ Hearty Mushroom 

A hearty meal of mushrooms and sausages, with the lettuce adding some wonderful crunchiness.
Cheese lovers may wanna add more cheese to it. Me? I'm afraid of getting too fat lah haha! :p

  • 1 x Prata
  • 1 x Sausage
  • Fresh Button Mushrooms (sliced)
  • Lettuce (shredded)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil (for pan-frying)
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Pan-fry the prata on both sides until crispy. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Pan-fry the sausage. Remove from pan, sliced, set aside.
  3. Sauteed the sliced mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from pan, set aside.
  4. Arrange the shredded lettuce, sauteed mushrooms, sausages, cherry tomato on the prata
  5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve & Enjoy!

 Prata #3 ~ Strawberries Love 

For the sweetie in you ♥
I love Strawberries! I love Peanut Butter! Let's have them together! ♥

  • 1 x Prata
  • Strawberries
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Olive Oil (for pan-frying)
  • Peanut Butter

  1. Pan-fry the prata on both sides until crispy. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Spread a layer of peanut butter on the prata.
  3. Arrange strawberries on top.
  4. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve & Enjoy!

 Prata #4 ~ Kiwi Coolness 

Perfect dessert on a hot day!
Love the combination of kiwi freshness and the tanginess of the frozen yoghurt!

  • 1 x Prata
  • 1 x Green Kiwi (peeled & sliced)
  • New Zealand Natural Frozen Yoghurt in Forestberry
  • Almond Flakes (toasted)
  • Olive Oil (for pan-frying)

  1. Pan-fry the prata on both sides until crispy. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Arrange kiwi slices on prata.
  3. Top with a scoop of frozen yoghurt
  4. Sprinkle with almond flakes. Serve & Enjoy!

 Prata #5 ~ Rolling Kiwi Times 

Omelette is sweetened and paired with tangy green kiwi, all rolled within a crispy prata!

  • 1 x Prata
  • 1 x Egg (beaten)
  • 1 x Green Kiwi (peeled & cubed)
  • Lettuce (shredded)
  • Olive Oil (for pan-frying)
  • 1 x Teaspoon Sugar
  • Mayonnaise

  1. Pan-fry the prata on both sides until crispy. Remove from pan, set aside.
  2. Season egg with sugar and pan-fry on one side (do not flip over)
  3. Place the prata over the omelette before the top sets.
  4. Remove from pan once bottom of the omelette is done.
  5. Mix the cubed kiwi with mayonnaise
  6. Place cubed kiwi onto the omelette prata and roll it up
  7. Cut into thick slices. Serve & Enjoy!

There you have it! Simple dressed-up prata ideas which are great for anytime of the day. Do try out the recipes here or be inspired to create new ones on your own. Do not be afraid to experiment with different combination of ingredients.

Afterall, cooking is about Experimentalism :)

October 19, 2012

Bistro du Vin ~ A French Date with the Perfect Salmon

** Guest Post by BFF **

The second part of restaurant week is back!! After our adventure at The Sleeping Rhino, we are heading to Bistro du Vin @ Zion Road this time. Located a stone throw away from Zion Hawker Centre, this restaurant by the Les Amis group serves up French and European cuisine.

Cauliflower soup with fourme d’ambert (blue cheese). Pureed cauliflower soup with flavours accentuated by the blue cheese. Wonderfully perfect for mopping up with French loaves.

Scramble Egg with Mushroom and Chorizo on Toast
. Crunchy toasty bread. Check. Creamy soft eggs. Check. Oh so wonderful smoked chewy pork slices! Check! Do yourself a favour and use your hands to enjoy it in its entirety.

Baked Salmon a la ”Grenobloise” with lemon, capers, crouton buttersauce and salad. Time for some wiki help “A dish prepared à la Grenobloise (in the Grenoble manner) has a garnish of small croutons along with brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon.”

This perfectly done salmon with its creamy velvety texture, the capers adding a welcoming salty burst of flavours and fresh crisp salads dressed in vinaigrette is simply delicious.

Coq Au Vin with Mash. Huge hearty portion of braised chicken topped with mash potatoes and vegetables. The rich strong flavors of the wine braise and yummy chunks of pork belly bits comes thru into the chicken, leaving you wishing you had more of the braise sauce. And before I forget, the mash potatoes had a great buttery mouth feel at each bite.

Banana Crumble with Triple Chocolate Ice Cream. Toasty crunchy bits of banana crumble, caramelized bananas and a scoop of dark rich chocolate ice cream. Who can find fault with it?

Crème Brulee. Rich custardy texture intersperse with specks of vanilla beans, chewy caramelized top. This one dish had us wanting more.

Simply decorated with interesting photos and poster splashed across their walls, this place is perfect for a casual date or outing.

Bistro du Vin @ Zion Road totally lived up to our expectations, simple fresh and good quality ingredients goes a long way. We totally left the place satisfied and full and would definitely recommend this place.

Bistro Du Vin @ Zion Road
Address: 56 Zion Rd, Singapore 247781
Contact: +65 6836 6313
Opening Hours: Lunch 12-2pm / Dinner 6.30-10pm Daily

October 16, 2012

Ootoya ~ I Should Be More Faithful To The Chicken

Ootoya Japanese Restaurant ~ One of the more popular dining outlets in Orchard Central when the mall opened 2 years ago, commanding a queue during both lunch and dinner times. It serves affordable Teishoku (set meal which includes main, rice and soup) with a taste of Japanese home cooking, in a casual and comfortable environment.

Well, the queue has now migrated over to the Japanese buffet restuarant next door, but I'm still faithfully drawn to this lovely place. It never fails to lure me back numerous times with its smoky tasty char-grilled chicken. Somehow, I'm kinda grateful I don't have to stand in queue waiting to taste the oishii chicken anymore :p

But since I've always order the same chicken, I thought to be different and ordered something else this time.

The Sumibutadon (set S$23.50++ / a-la-carte S$20.50) looks enticing from the picture in the menu so I decided this is going to be it. The rice bowl of charcoal grilled pork comes with miso soup and side dishes of mushrooms, green vegetables and pickles if you ordered the set.

The pork loin is nicely flavored and drizzled with a sweet sauce which is rather appetizing and goes very well with the warm white rice. However, I find it a tad dry and prefer it to be less chewy. It's only 807kcal if I finish the whole set and I would say it's still worth the calories.

My dining companion went for Katsutoji (set S$23.50 / A-la-carte S$18.50), which is breaded deep fried pork cutlet simmered in special sauce with egg and sweet onion. He finds the sauce a bit too salty for his liking and I echoed the same sentiments after tasting it.

I'm a bit consoled when I saw this mini poster which is pasted on the wall next to our table. Well, at least I know pork is a power of nutrition and I'm getting essential nutrients like vitamin B1, fat and protein to feed and nourish my body.

I find myself reminiscing about my usual charcoal grilled chicken throughout the meal. Yes, I should have been more faithful to the chicken :(

You know what I'd be ordering when I return next :)

Ootoya Japanese Restaurant
Address: 181 Orchard Road #08-12, Orchard Central Singapore
Contact: +65 6884 8901
Opening Hours: 11am - 10.30pm (last order at 9.30pm)

October 12, 2012

The Sleeping Rhino... Yawnzzz...

** Guest Post by BFF **

It’s SINGAPORE RESTAURANT WEEK! Relatively valued priced 3-course set meals for both lunch and dinner across Singapore! This will be a first of a three part review of the participating restaurants.

First stop! The Sleeping Rhino! Located in Klapsons Hotel (be sure to check out the hotel lobby), The Sleeping Rhino is a bistro-styled restaurant serving local and European casual dining.

Hot Steamy Buns (no pun intended). This bread roll served piping hot has hints of dried shrimp infused in the bread, creating an interesting unami flavour usually not associated with this deceptively simple looking roll.

Roasted Mushroom Soup. Hot thick creamy soup with drops of truffle oil. By using roasted mushroom, the flavours of the soup is further intensified and concentrated.

Roasted Almond-Crusted Salmon Fillet
. Salmon fillet served on a bed of vegetables and mash potatoes. Unfortunately this dish had too many things gone wrong. Mash potatoes tasted exactly like KFC mash potatoes right down to the sauce, fish was over cook resulting in a chalky flaky texture. The almonds did nothing in terms of flavour to the dish and there was just a confusing mix of mustard sauce on top and white cream sauce at the bottom. Strangely we could not find the basil pesto sauce as described in the menu.

Double-Cooked Pork Rib
. Pork ribs coated with chef’s secret BBQ sauce, served with vegetables and mash potatoes (KFC styled). Cooked to the right doneness, the meat was tender but yet firm enough to gnaw it off the bone which I feel is the best way to appreciate ribs. The secret sauce was slightly caramelized on the ribs providing a nice sweet and tangy flavor to the ribs.

House Tiramisu. Decent average tasting tiramisu, nothing really to shout about here.

Overall it was a disappointing start to our restaurant week. My partner and I left the place feeling short changed as the portions were small and the food was just average at best. It felt like we had just eaten at café-cartel but instead at $35++ per pax.

The Sleeping Rhino @ Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel

Address: 15 Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore 089316
Contact: +65 6521 9000
Website: http://www.klapsons.com/dining.php
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 7am - 10.30pm / Sun & Public Holiday 7am - 11am