November 29, 2012

Ootoya's Sumitori Bento ~ Healthy Take Away!

Very often, we are so bogged down by work that lunch is usually a quickie affair of takeaway from the nearest food centre. No doubt the takeaway food can be delicious and satisfying, but what about those days when you crave for your favorite dish from a particular restaurant and can't afford time for a sit-down lunch? Restaurant takeaway is the answer! It's exactly what I did!

Ootoya Japanese Restaurant offers a takeaway menu with a good selection of bento set and donburi. Charcoal grilled chicken! Shogayaki pork! Hamburger steak! These are only a few of the many items on the menu crying out to me to stop my mid-day hunger pangs.

Ordering is just a call away, simple and easy! As Ootaya only deliver with a minimum order of 20 sets, I went over to the branch at Orchard Central to collect my order myself. It's convenient for me as my office is located at the next building.

Ootoya Healthy Take Away ~ Sumitori Set (S$12.40++)

My previous trip to Ootoya was not really tummy pleasing (read here). So this time round, instead of being adventurous, I decided to remain faithful and ordered my favorite charcoal grilled chicken.

I was a little disappointed to see that the chicken thigh was a bit over-charred on the outside. Fortunately, the meat is still very juicy and flavorful. I can detect a nice but not overpowering scent of black pepper in the seasoning. Coated with sweet and sour sauce and then charcoal grilled to smoky tenderness, I would say it's an enjoyable piece of chicken.

Why is this called a healthy take away? Because the sumitori set comes with Gokoku Rice! A mixed 5-grains rice combining brown rice, barley, black sesame, white sesame and corn, it contains grad vitamins, minerals and vegetable fibers that your body needs. I love this interesting combination of textures! Tasty and healthy, it's my definition of guilt-free carbs. :)

The set also comes with potato salad, bacon with onions, boiled hijiki seaweed, cabbage, carrot and pickles. All the portions look pretty small, but it's very substantial for me when I finished up everything. *pats tummy*

Eating and working at the same time is not an healthy option, but at least my choice of food is. :)

Okay, now... continue with more work! 一緒に頑張ってね!

Ootoya Japanese Restaurant

Orchard Central, Unit #08-12, Tel: +65 6884 8901

Suntec City, Unit #B1-057, Tel: +65 6837 3718

Clementi Mall, Unit #03-53, Tel: +65 6659 2644

Changi City Point, Unit #01-30/31, Tel: +65 6636 1228

November 25, 2012

{Recipe} Quickie Tom Yum Chicken Wings Soup

I've never like tom yum soup until recently. Maybe it's the November rain. Maybe it's the change in my taste buds. Hot, soupy, sourish, spicy, appetite whetting, it seduces me to an addictive high. Am I going to forget my all-time love, chicken wings? Definitely not! Just be adventurous and have them snuggle together. Not exactly authentic, but who cares? I'm not a conformist, I'm a food experimentalist! I've a feeling that this love affair will not stop anytime soon.

For a quickie in 15 minutes, just follow the recipe below.


Tom Yum Chicken Wings Soup

  • Mid-Joint Chicken Wings x 8 pieces
  • Shimeiji Mushrooms x 1 packet
  • Crabsticks x 5 pieces
  • Green Vegetables
  • Tom Kha Paste x 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger x 3 slices
  • Chili Padi x 2 stalk (optional) 
  • Fish Sauce

  1. Bring 500ml of water to boil in a pot.
  2. Stir in tom yum paste, dissolve well.
  3. Add chicken wings and ginger, cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, wash and cut the shimeiji mushrooms, crabsticks and green vegetables. 
  5. After 10 minutes, add in the ingredients in step 4 above.
  6. Bring to boil, add chili padi and fish sauce to taste. Serve and enjoy!

P/s: I would have added in some lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves too, but they were not available at the small supermarket near my house. If you can managed to buy them, do add some into the soup for greater flavor.

November 22, 2012

Ryoriya Sangokushi ~ Japanese Style Taiwan Cuisine

A place serving Japanese Style Taiwan Cuisine? What do you think it'd be like?  
Ryoriya Sangokushi will give you the answer to that question.

Located in Robertson Quay with a nondescript shopfront, I might have passed by this eatery numerous times without giving it a notice. Fact is, it has already been around for a couple of years! Perhaps you, like me, have easily missed this simple looking place among the many fanciful restaurants and watering holes which surrounds it. I'm glad my friend brought me here for dinner one evening, cos he knows how I love Taiwan and its food. It's good and cheap, he said.

As I stepped into the eatery, the design of the interior reminds me of a Japanese Izakaya (drinking place) or Ramenya (noodle house) with its huge counter fronting an open kitchen, and the bookshelf of magazines and manga (Japanese comics). Furniture is minimalist, with shades of meadow green brightening up the dark wooden interior.

As stated on the cover of the menu, Ryoriya Sangokushi serves Japanese style Taiwan cuisine.  I was expecting fusion food marrying both Japanese and Taiwanese influence, but realized it wasn't the case as I browsed through the menu, which is pretty extensive for an eatery of its size. It offers familiar Japanese starters like edamame, as well as Taiwanese dishes like spring onion pancake, oyster omelette, sanbei chicken, and home-style sauteed tomato with eggs. Not exactly fusion in food, it's more of fusion in concept ~ Taiwanese & Japanese food served in a Japanese style decorated eatery. There is also a good selection of beers and sakes which you may order to go along with your meal.

Deep Fried Fish Skin (S$9++)

Food is served very quickly after we placed our order. We started our dinner with a serving of fish skin which is deep fried to a non-oily, crispy perfection. It's served with a chilli dip by the side, but I feel it's good enough on its own.

Sliced Pork with Garlic Sauce (S$16++)

A cold dish of pork is up next. Thinly sliced and served with garlic sauce, this is strangely addictive and easily had me reaching for it slice after slice. The garlic lover in me would prefer the garlic taste to be a tad stronger, but my friend felt that it's already very strong. The fresh crunchy cucumber serves as a refreshing palate cleanser.

Taiwanese Stewed Pork Meat with Rice (S$4++)

Taiwanese minced pork rice is one of the dishes which I must eat whenever I visit Taiwan. There is something just so comforting about stewed meat in savory sauce served over a bowl of white rice. The version here use pork cubes instead of minced meat. Stewed until tender yet retaining some chewy bite, this had me polishing off the whole bowl.

Spicy Stewed Egg Plant with Minced Pork (S$14++)

Sweet, savory and spicy all at the same time, this is another appetite inducing dish which will go great with a bowl of white rice! Unfortunately, I'm already quite full by then to stomach more rice.

My friend and I were glad we did not over-order as the food portion here are very hearty. I was stuffed by the end of the meal. With its simple, affordable food in a casual, unpretentious environment, Ryoriya Sangokushi does hold its charm against the other dining options in the area. I believe this will not be my last visit. Thanks to my friend for introducing this nice place to me.

Ryoriya Sangokushi
Address: 30 Robertson Quay, #01-03 Riverside View, Singapore 238251
Contact: +65 6238 8962
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am - 2.30pm / Dinner 6pm -10.30pm Daily

November 19, 2012

Trattoria Italian Kitchen ~ Quality or Quantity For You?

It was a raining afternoon, the perfect weather for a hot, piping bowl of Chinese fettuccine in soup ban mian. Craving has to be satisfied, so, together with some colleagues, I made my way over to the foodcourt at 313@Somerset. We were almost there when my colleague was attracted to the set lunch offer by Trattoria, a casual Italian bistro, and suggested that we try it out. Since this colleague is sort of the baby boy boy, being the youngest in the company, my other two colleagues and I decided to give in to him and have lunch here instead. Haiz... my ban mian would have to wait. It will be an Italian meal.

The set lunch starts from S$9.80++ for a main course and includes a soft drink or coffee/tea. There is a good selection of main course ranging from pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches. You may also choose to upgrade your meal, by having add-ons like soup, side salad, dessert or gelato at an additional cost cost of $2.50 to S$3.50++.

Pumpkin Soup

We decided to have the add-on order of soup of the day, which is pumpkin soup. It happened to be Halloween that day! Haha! Pumpkin soup on Halloween, I wonder if the kitchen has specially planned this.

Though strongly flavored with the sweetness of pumpkin, I find the soup too thick for my liking. It doesn't helped that the consistency is not smooth too. My other colleague shared the same sentiments, but boy boy loves it and even finished most of my remaining bowl for me. It's the way he likes it, he said.

Panino Salami

Boy boy finds the toasted sandwich of salami and melted cheese a tad too dry. He feels that tomato should have been included to make it juicer. The portion is good though, as this growing boy boy who has a huge appetite finds it filling enough.

Grilled Salmon Spaghetti

The grilled salmon is competently done, not too dry and retaining a bit of tender juiciness. What disappoints, is the spaghetti in tomato sauce. Other than being tangy, the tomato sauce tasted very flat. There is no depth to it, making me feel like it's just tomato puree straight out of a can. I had to add lots of chilli flakes to make it more palatable. Luckily, the spaghetti is cooked al-dente. My colleague who ordered this same main as me also didn't like it.

Spaghetti Al Funghi

The spaghetti with sauteed mushrooms seems to use the same tomato sauce as the above judging from its appearance. My colleague who ordered this finished up everything. In her exact words,  the food is ordinary and okay. Perhaps she's an easy eater.

Would you go for quality or quantity? The food quality may not be good here, but the quantity is. Portions are generous which makes it tummy filling, though not mentally fulfilling. I was still craving for ban mian after that. :p

Here's a shot of me, wearing orange for a change lol. There may be food which doesn't impressed, but there will always be wonderful food out there waiting for me to find it, to taste it. The PinkyPiggu will continue to explore different eating places and share her dining experiences with you. Stay tune yo! :D

Trattoria Italian Kitchen 
Address: 313@Somerset, Orchard Road, Singapore 238895
Contact: +65 68344833
Opening Hour: Sun-Thu 8.45am-11pm / Fri-Sat 8.45am-12pm

November 15, 2012

Parco Caffè ~ Makankakis Goes Italian!

It's that time of the month again, and it's Italian this time.


Almost every month since last year, I'd join fellow food lovers from the Makansutra forum in their monthly dinner gathering. I will always remember the feeling I felt when I attended my very first Makansutra dinner: The food is served, everyone at the table took out their cameras, everyone started taking photos, everyone is... like me! For once, I don't feel like the alienated one taking photos of the food before I start eating. Well, most of my friends don't behave this way, so you can imagine how happy I was, as I discover this company of makankakis.

Dinner is usually Chinese cuisine and venues can vary anywhere from old-school restaurants to hotel fine-dining. This month, November, is one of the rare month when we have Italian food and Parco Caffè is the place.

Parco Caffè not only serves up classic Italian cuisine, but also authentic Asian favorites as well. For you who like to complete your dining experience with a drink or two, you'd be happy to know that the restaurant is quipped with a full bar and wine selection.

My dining companion, The Hungry Cow, and I made our way to Raeburn Park, where Parco Caffè is situated. The ulu idyllic sounding Raeburn Park turns out to be not a park, but an office block which was once home to Gan Eng Seng Secondary School. Located behind the now defunct Tanjong Pagar railway station, it's just a stone's throw away from the CBD area.

As usual, we were on time, but early. Haha yes, dinner seldom starts on time. Being the usual me, I started camwhoring while waiting for the other makankakis to arrive.

It’s pretty obvious The Hungry Cow doesn’t enjoy the camera as much as I do. Lol.

I also took many shots of the restaurant because it looks so gorgeous and romantic. The set up is reminiscent of a garden with the generous use of foliage, which gives guests the experience of dining amid an al-fresco area without sacrificing the comfort of air-conditioning. Perfect for someone like me who loves outdoor greenery but cannot stand the Singapore heat.

 Finally, the dinner is starting!

The Hungry Cow brought along a bottle of white wine this month cos I prefer to drink white. 

Pizza Parco Caffe
7” inch favourite Parco pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, hoishimeiji mushroom, Parma ham and black truffle spread

This is how I like my pizza to be: Crisply thin crusted with parma ham! The parma ham is not too salty here and goes very nicely with the mushrooms. I can’t really taste the black truffle spread though. I would also love to have some rocket leaves on my pizza, but this is nevertheless enjoyable just the way it is. I polished off 2 slices!

Parco Chilled Cappellini
Chilled Angel Hair pasta tossed with eggs roe, spring onion, parmesan cheese, truffle oil and fish liver Bottarga

What a refreshing dish! Nicely chilled and bursting with fish roe in every bite, I enjoyed this pasta tremendously. My only gripe is that the portion is way too little. Can I have more pleeeeease?

Branzino con Patate
Roasted sea bass cube served on purple mash potatoes, black olives, capers and extra virgin olive oil emulsion

The sea bass is my favorite item of the evening! Very fresh and delicately flavored, the flesh is moist and meltingly tender. Instead of the usual potato for mash, purple potato is used. I would have mistaken it for yam paste at a first glance.

Costina d’Agnello
Roasted AUS Lamb chop crusted in bread crumb and Italian herbs served with mixed vegetables caponata

The serving of lamb chop marks the last of the savory courses for the evening. Not too gamey, it is served medium rare and the doneness of mine is just nice. However, one of the plate from my table has to be sent back to the kitchen as it’s almost raw. There’s also inconsistency in the thickness of the meat, The Hungry Cow’s slice is noticeably thinner compared to mine.

Parfait al cioccolato
Double chocolate and cherry jelly Parfait

This dessert looks so dainty and sweet! The cherry parfait is sandwiched between layers of chocolate mousse and crowned with a macaroon. It looks sweet and taste even sweeter. I’m still hungry a dessert person and yet I couldn’t finish it. It somehow made me crave for something simple, like good old classic tiramisu.

Overall, my dining experience here is a pleasant one. Many thanks to TianTianChi for yet another wonderful evening.

Looking forward to the December Makansutra grand dinner next month!

Parco Caffè
Address: 10 Raeburn Park #01-28, Singapore 088702
Contact: +65 6223 6338
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am - 2:30pm  / Dinner 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Other Makansutra Dinner Posts:
Tonny Restaurant @ Geylang ~ A March Makan Dinner
品珍私房菜 Yummy Recipes ~ A Yummy Makan Night
Grand Makan Session @ Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck

November 12, 2012

Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice ~ A League of Its Own

Some of you have the impression that I eat only atas restaurant food, as I blogged mostly about restaurants and cafes, but this is absolutely not true! If you are following me on Instagram (check out my web profile here), you will see photos of food which I enjoy on a daily basis. Yes lah, I also enjoy my bbq chicken wings, bar chor mee, wanton mee, among the many other local delicacies. One of which I do not get tired of is.... Chicken Rice!

As much as I enjoy chicken rice from the bastion of Hainanese cuisine, Yet Con, as well as big boys like Wee Nam Kee, Boon Tong Kee, to high end offering by Meritus Mandarin's Chatterbox, the one chicken rice place which succeeded too in capturing my heart is one which is not too far from where I live... Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice. It is located in the coffeeshop of Blk 925 in Yishun, just a few minutes walk from Northpoint Shopping Centre.

The first time my friend brought me here, he urged me to take the chicken breast part which is much healthier compared to the drumstick that I always prefer. I don't like chicken breast as I find it too tough and dry, but my friend assured me it will not be the case here. After much coaxing, I finally gave it a try and yay! the chicken breast here did proved me wrong. It was really tender and moist! Since then, whenever I try a new chicken rice place, I will judge it by its breast meat. Afterall, most places can serve a tender drumstick, but not all can serve a tender breast too, right?

Usually I will be here at dinner time, trying to reach not too late, as the chicken can be sold out as early as 7plus in the evening at times. Unlike other chicken rice stalls which hang up the chicken, this stall hang up the chicken bones instead. I always thought it looked like rows of white snakes from afar. Scary. Anyway, the stall assistants told me this is their tradition: "20 years already, don't change one".

The taking of orders is really systematic here. This guy at the cashier will ask you if you're eating here or takeaway, number of person eating and your table number, before taking down your food order. After which you pay, take the receipt, return to your table and the servers will bring the food to your table in less than 5 minutes! Talk about efficient fast food concept in a coffeeshop!

On the evening of my most recent visit, I ordered my usual chicken drumstick rice. A S$3.80 portion consists of a drumstick, rice and soup. Most places will charge you additional if you order the drumstick, but this stall charge a flat rate regardless of which part you choose. This is the only chicken rice stall I know which practice this. Very out-of-the-norm, I would say.

The chicken meat is thoroughly cooked to the bone here, with no sight of the pinkish blood which can be seen at some stalls which undercooked the chicken to keep it tender. Though this is thoroughly cooked, the meat is still very very smooth and wonderfully soft to bite. It is served deboned which makes it convenient to eat. The soya sauce which it is bathed in is also not too salty.

I like to mix the rice with a bit of black soya sauce and lots of chilli sauce. The rice here is pretty normal and not as fragrant as some of the other chicken rice place I've tried, but still palatable. The overall combination is always satisfying.

If you live in Yishun, or happened to be in the vicinity, why not give this chicken rice stall a try? I hope you will enjoy it, as much as I do. :)

Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice 义顺925海南鸡饭
Address: Blk 925 Yishun Central 1, #01-249 Singapore 760925 (Yong Yun 81 Yishun Foodcourt)
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 8pm Daily