Cocktail DIY - Tequila Lemon

This is simple mix done by my friend (QS). Its surprisingly refreshing and good.

Tequila Lemon

1 Part Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 Parts Tequila
6 Parts CocaCola

1) In a whiskey glass. Place in order of lemon juice, tequlia and cocacola.
2) Stir briefly.
3) Garnish with a slice of lemon. Served chilled or with rocks.

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits @ Tampines

I took me years to try this place out, but I finally did. I've heard tons of comments on Popeye and how this is better than KFC. This is their first outlet in the heartlands and I could wait to try it out.

There is the option mild or spicy. Mild isn't spicy at all and spicy doesn't had the same kick level as the crispy chicken in KFC. Never the less, I prefer Poeye's mild chicken when compared to KFC. Firstly, the chicken not clobbered with thick layers of flour and the occasional fats which can still detect in the KFC. Secondly, though I like original recipe I find it a bit too salty at times, especially after one too many.

Mash and Biscuits
Even though Popeyes market themselves as "Chicken & Biscuits", what really shines its their mash. Its extremely smooth and has the consistency of custard, only that its savoury. The sauce over the mash is tasty and has bits of chicken and herbs within. It can be a bit salty, so don't wolf down the whole lot, but slowly savour it. The biscuit is crumbly and reminds me of corn bread, with a flaky interior. I feel that since its a bit savoury instead of sweet, the best way to eat it is to dip a bit of the sauce and consume instead of the jam that is provided.

I couldn't resist while I was passing by another day and got the large mash potatoes. The price difference between the large and regular was only a dollar. So why not.

The Handburger @ City Hall

Nope. That not me. I'm the ugliest duckling that hides behind the camera.

Its been the longest time since I've heard lots of good comments and recommendations, yet surprisingly not many food blogs have done reviews on this place. After finding much needed time and star alignments, I finally did the plunge and had the opportunity to review this place. Just a bit background information on The Handburger. Did you know that they are established by the same management as the Soup Spoon. Well. Now you do.

Intriguing Menu

Interesting play for they menu design. The clipboard reminds me of the waitress taking your orders in road dinners in America which the whole burger industry is born from. Now gone are the routes and up with the shopping malls, but its subtle touches like this that remind us of the root which we origin.

I bet you can't say no to these.

Beer Battered Calamari

The Beer Battered Calamari was huge and were piping hot went they arrived on the table. Each ring is cover with a chunky crust, which is crisp and not oily. Upon biting into the ring reviews a tender and not too elastic squid. There are also a variety of dipping sauces condiments that are paired with the calamari for your choice. Unfortunately, you can only choose one of of the whole array of assorted flavors which makes it rather disappointing. I went with the Garlic Aioli which is surprising better than the normal mayo or Tatar sauce that is commonly served. Its slightly similar to mayo, but with a bit spicy and garlic tangy in it. I couldn't stop dipping into it. Make sure that you eat these hot to truly enjoy them at their highest potential.

Pulled Pork Burger

When one think of burgers, the instead though is patties. The Pulled Pork Burger as the name suggests is shredded pork which is pulled from the bone, which the tender pork flesh is slowly cook to a tender. Each mouthful is a juicy meat is drowsed with homemade barbecue sauce that engulfs all senses. The slaw on top seems to be a mix of onions and skinless tomatoes which has a sweet and tangy vinegar slight sour, compliments the heavy and robust barbecue sauce. Striking a balance between sweet and savory. All these sits on a bed of coral lettuce, tomato and toasted rustic bun. Just make sure to pick your teeth later with all those gummy strings of pork stuck between your teeth.

Tandoor Chicken Burger

Have craving for Indian food or satay. Not to worry. Handburger has many burgers to satisfy anyone with any craving. As one would come to expect this burger would take many traits from what its name suggest, tandoori chicken. The chicken is fragrant and well seasoned, a little less spicy that what I expected. The thigh meat was marinated in yogurt cucumber, red onions, hand cooked masala sauce and mint mayo. Sits on a sweet mango chutney, coral lettuce, tomato and toasted spinach and parmesan bun.

Duck Leg Confit Burger

The French come to detest what of which is American food, the burger. Thus you don't see the presents of it in french cuisines. Asking for it would invite stares and a slap across the face. Interesting the people in Handburger beg to differ from tradition and includes this fusion burger into their menu. This is also one of the more raved burgers in Handburger.

No wonder praises of this are sang. The duck is tender and moist. The meat simply flakes off when cut into, shows a slight pretty pink. No pungent duck smell could be detected. Instead the pairing of the mandarin oranges bring this dish is a even new high. The impossible natural sweet of the thin wedges of oranges preach on the boneless duck leg confit makes prefect bliss that words can describe. The mix of baby snow pea sprouts and coral lettuce add texture and the much welcome of green. All sits on a toasted caramelized onion bun. Only difference between this and the original duck leg confit is that the skin here is limpy instead of the crispy texture that one would expect. Though this is a small trade off of a wonderful gastronomic burger. If there are 5 stars I would give a 7. Highly recommended.

I noticed that different burger buns are selected based on the respective ingredients that goes into making the burger. Shows that intricate planning and careful consideration was really taken to bring out the best of each burger. Not some random cash cow industry that churns out money.

All burgers comes served with a choice of either Straight Cut Fries or Chilled Stuffed Tomato for the sides.

Straight Cut Fries

The fries here are deep fried still with the skin attached. Its crisp in the outside and fluffy in the inside. Love the extra texture that the skin brings about compare the normal fries that we are accustom to get. The default dipping sauce is barbecue sauce, unless you request accordingly.

Chilled Stuffed Tomato

Bursting with natural goodness.

This is a rather unique dish. A chilled peeled skinless tomato is stuffed to the brim with coleslaw of purple lettuce, carrots and onions. The coleslaw has a minute nature sweetness and seems to be toss with a slightly sweet and mild vinegar. A splash of special carrot and sesame sauce to add for dressing. This dish is extremely unique and at the same time health, a must try for the health conscious. Taste wise it may not appeal to everyone, but I urge you to give it a try.

Lemonade Mint

This is basically crushed iced lemonade with mint. The mint does add a refreshing touch to the drink. However, I find it a bit too sour. If the drink were to be slightly sweet that would be the better.

Lychee Mint

The sweet fragrances of the lychee and the refreshing cool mint together with crush ice makes this a real winner drink. This two ingredient do not overpower one another, one can taste both lychee and mint distinctively. Really nice drink to wash down those greasy burgers. Makes all my friends jealous for now ordering this.

The environment is brightly lit and compact seating. Thus sitting can troubling if you were to go in large groups. The tables reminds me of the canteen and school diners that we have in your childhood days. Service wise the staff are usually young waiters and some are a bit slower to react, but do not let this falter the great kitchen staff that prepares your food. Due to the small kitchen, you may not to wait a while (depending on the crowd) for your meal to arrive. However, trust me its worth it.

Handburger dares to be difference and innovative, greatly differentiating the man from the boys. Breaking every rule that there is to making a burger and yet succeeding in across that thin line between gastronomic explosion and total disaster. It is not art here that we see, but a stroke of genius that makes creatively melts all the flavors together in present harmony. Proofing that there is more to it, then just plain hamburger.

The Handburger
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-77/78 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6334 4577

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Cafe @ Orchard Central

Crystal Jade has grown much over the years, from a simple Chinese restaurant to a fine dining and even confectionary. Expanding their business, while introducing new dining concepts and food to the masses. With all the ravage of Hong Kong food recently, its not surprising that Crystal Jade also decided to expand their business model into such entities.

Minestrone Soup in Hong Kong Style

Soup is nice is and flavourful. Vegetables are soft and adds natural sweetness of the soup. Though I prefer Kim Gary's version more, this is a bit too robust for me. The toast adds a nice touch, as one can dip and slurp up all those heavy flavours in the bread, rather than just drink the soup by itself.

Chilled Milk Tea

Angled Glass

Presentation wise. This is rather interesting. The milk tea is server in a vase which has a hollowed centre punctured into the glass. This cavity is filled with dried ice which chills the drink. Though well presented it does pose some negative points. Firstly, the serving cups are really small, more like shot glasses instead making it a bit tedious and tiresome to constantly pouring the next glass. Secondly, though the jug seems big. You are getting a lesser than what you expect due to the hollow cavity for placing the dried ice. Thirdly, I can be a pain to pour drink, especially toward the end. As it is impossible to no spill the water (originally hot water)from the dry ice into your drink, while pour the bit of remaining milk tea as the base of the vase. Seems rather wasteful to me.

Despite these, I would still recommend this drink. As taste wise its rather superior compared to other milk teas I've drank thus far. Its aromatic and milky, but yet not overly creamy that one can't enjoy the tea fragrant.

Red Bean Freeze

Think Hong Kong version milkshake and you are pretty close to what Red Bean Freeze represents. This is more like red bean under heaps of vanilla ice cream. It may take a while for the ice cream to melt of a drinks consistency, so mix it well. At least you can ensure that this drink will for sure be cold even till the end of your meal. Can be very sweet, so do take note.

Ocean Basket

The basket includes items like ebi prawns, fish fingers, fried mussels, crabstick, calamari and fries. Rather normal as one would come to expect from a seafood assorted platter.

Sauteed Pasta with Chicken in Spicy Sauce

Sauteed Pasta with Seafood in Spicy Sauce

These two dishes are about the same. Both are pasta with spicy sauce instead of the conventional tomato base that one will come to expect when one comes into mind in Italian cooking. Surprisingly the spicy sauce works wonders with the pasta, it has this sweet and yet tangy taste. The spicy level isn't that hot, thus non-spicy eater can also enjoy this meal. Comparing the chicken or seafood option for the topping. Chicken seems more economical and yet more filling to its seafood counterpart. The fried chicken is also very crisp and well done. Don't really turn soggy even with the sauce poured over it.

Giant Bowl Noodle

Don't let this photo is huge and when I say huge, I meant it with the word "extremely". This monsterous bowl of abomination is gurennteed to fill you till your satisfaction. With items like tempura prawns, fish fillet, tempura chicken chop , pork chop,cuttlefish, crabstick, mussel and a sunny side up to top it off; I doubt anything can trumph this bowl of noodles in terms of ingrediates. One also has the choice of japanese ramen, rice noodles or spicy noodles. Soup base is more of a milky chicken base soup, nothing to shout about.

Assorted Platter with Sides

Another hot favoured is this mixed grill which Crystal Jade offers. This is also fairly lots of items that are placing into the making of this dish. T-bone Lamb Steak, Chicken Chop, Fish Fillet, huge sausage accompanied by sides of sunny side up egg boiled vegetables, mash and corn. If you have a meat craving this is the one to get. All the meat are tender and the sausage oozes cheese when cut into. Satisfying and filling.

Rice Flour Roll with Sesame Sauce

Rice flour roll seems rather odd to appear in the dinner table, but I'm glad that my friend order this. The sesame and sweet dark sauces goes hand in hand and lifts what would be a ordinary rice flour into a little piece of heaven. Recommended.

Crispy Spring Chicken with Lemon Grass

The crispy chicken isn't bad and yet not up to what I had expected. Given that my friend was singing praises on it the whole time before we settled to dine here. The chicken was crisp at the outside, but was a bit dry in the center which I hope to be a bit more moist. Never the less, the taste factor is above average not too shabby.

The service here was pleasant. The waitress was well verse in the menu and had no difficulty recommending dishes that would cater to the taste of my group. Though they fumble at times, the well manner and quick service for the occasion of our requests on the birthday and accommodations were well met.

If one would compare this to Kim Gary, I still favor Kim Gary to this. But Crystal Jade does have some dishes that are unique to itself, why no give it a try and tell me how you guys think about it.

Crystal Jade Hong Kong Cafe (Orchard Central)
181 Orchard Road
#07-15 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Tel: 6509 3118

Yum Cha Garden

Yum Cha is has always been one of the dim sum places that I always wanted to try out. Situated in Serragoon Gardens Country Club this isn't one of the easiest location to reach. Yum Cha is quite unique in a sense that dim sum push charts are quite a rare sight in Singapore. Yet this white elephant can be seen here, really bring back memories of the past. The overall interior setting is brightly lit and comfortable.

Chilled Tofu with Sweet and Spicy Sauce

This is actually a dish that is served to you upon being shown to your table. Nope it isn't a complimentary dish and you still have to pay for it, think peanuts and tea fee in a Chinese restaurant. Surprising this is nice. The strings of cucumber adds lots of crunch and compliments the chilled smoothness of the tofu. The sour of the sweet chilli bring in the much needed kick to make this dish tangy.

Pork Ribs with Bean Sauce

This is rather average. Texture wise the pork ribs isn't at tender as what I would prefer. Properly due to the usage of leaner cuts of meat. Well some can see this as a more healthy option, though I still like mine with a bit more fat.

Phoenix Claws

Based on feedback. Lacks seasoning. (I don't consume chicken feet, thus not my comments).

BBQ Pork Buns

BBQ Pork Fillings

Overall taste wise its alright. Filling is juicy and tasty. However, I find the crust to be a bit thick and the filling seems to be lacking in volume.

Siew Mai

The siew mai in yum cha is not bad, there is even a whole shrimp within. Difference from other siew mai is that instead of crab roe there is shrimp roe on it. However, the roe was place when steaming the siew mai, instead of after. Resulting on the cook roe, which loses its original luster taste when eaten raw.

YUMCHA Prawn Dumplings

The prawn dumplings are good. Each shrimp is well seasoned and fresh. Biting into them gives out a distinct crunch (Super Q). No joke. The shrimp were all steam just nice to perfection. Though I prefer if the skin is slightly more thinner.

Xiao Long Bao

So delicate.

Don't let those juices flow away.

I haven't eaten Ding Tai Fung's Xiao Long Bao so don't just go screaming nothing best that. However, these in Yum Cha seems good enough for most. The dumpling doesn't breaks open when lifted from their bamboo steamers. Biting its top releases the pipping steam trapped within, to reveal its rich broth. Tops the meal.

Prawn & Mango Sesame Fritters

Similar to the prawn dumpling. What you get here is a whole prawn. The texture and crunch is really good, only difference is the present of mango in the fritters, though it seems lacking a bit.

Prawn Wanton Crisp

Same huge, yummy and crunchy prawns. Delicious.

Chicken Yam Puff

Crab Stick?

I'm a huge fan of yam puff. However, Yum Cha's variation was not to my taste. The crust was thin and lacks the wholesome taste of yam. The fill was half filled with shredded crab sticks, instead of mince meat which one would expect.

Shrimp Bean Curd Roll

If you were to choose between the mango prawn fritter, I'd prefer this. Mainly due to the crispy bean curd texture.

BBQ Pork Rice Flour Roll

This one really falls below expectations. The rice flour was too thick and makes the whole dish a let down. Even those you get in the wet market beats this.

Crispy Silver Fish

This dish is addictive and goes really well with beer. However, it can be a bit salt and after much consuming can be a bit oily.

Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice

Same disappointment as the yam puff. Was dry and lacks the sauce seasoning. They should stop the crab stick filling.

Even the Chinese wrap their presents

Paper Chicken Wings

This is good. The chicken is well marinated and the sauce sinks deep into the flesh making the chicken flavourful and fragrant. Though it can be a bit difficult tearing the chicken from the paper, as some of them tend to stick to it.

Century Egg & Lean Meat Congee

I love a hot steamy porridge to complete the meal and this doesn't disappoint. Century egg is creamy and porridge is thick and tasty. Just the way it love it.

Yum Cha Garden is average in my opinion and I probably will not revisit. Though their prawn dish are their strengths, they have too many misses for me to true recommend this place.