Astons Cathay Again...

Yup. Just before the Chinese New Year come and we welcome in the new lunar calendar of the ox, my friend craves for more beef. Hopefully we don't offend any ox deity. Lol.

It seems like lots of people have found out of this location of the fairly cheap good food in the city. In the past, most youngsters use to converge on Plaza Singapura's Cafe Cartel, due to its cheap and yet "good" food (and free bread) it provides. I believe the sudden surge of crowd in Astons is due to the people being more aware of its presences in the sleepy and silent building. However, since Astons can provide cheaper and great tasting food that Cafe Cartel, I don't see why the regular people make their pilgrimage to this location, to savour some tasty steak.

Charbroiled and BBQ Chicken with Baked Potato and Potato Salad

Black Pepper Steak with Potato Salad and Fries

Seems to me that even thought Astons menu have Black pepper steak. Its just a version of the normal sirloin steak, but with black pepper sauce instead of its normal mushroom sauce. This I don't understand, why would they classify this as another dish. Instead, shouldn't they just have sirloin steak with choice or black pepper or mushroom sauce.

Ribeye Steak with...well you know
Yes. We are Potato Fanatics

Look at that beautiful marbling or medium rare doneness

I would say this visit to Aston's was a very pleasant one. Even with the long queue, we did not wait for long before we were served in the queue. That's right. The waitering staff came to us with menu and inform us to select own choice of meal, so that they can cut down preparation time and serve us better. True enough. Not long after we placed our orders, we were ushered to our table (too bad for the group in front of us, but going to Aston's with a crowd of 9 is just to plain dumb). Soon after the meals followed.

Apparently, there was some mixed up with the sauces in our order and we ended up with a complimentary baked potato again. Yes. This also happened in my previous Cathay visit. Still service is prompt. Soon all the meal arrived excepted mine. Then this man without the regular staff uniform served me. Too my pleasant surprise its Mr Aston Soon himself. Damn. I should have chat with him and took a photo.

Rating on the meal I had? Best Aston's visit by far. The Ribeye was grilled to perfection with even doneness and marbling. The steak doesn't bleed, proves that I has rested long enough, plus the fat just seeps out of its juicy succulent meat when I place it in your mouth. Heaven. Maybe Mr Aston grilled the steak himself. Lucky me.

Astons Specialities (Cathay)
2 Handy Road #04-03
The Cathay Building
Tel : 6887 5889

View Larger Map

500 Visits and Counting

Woot! I've just cross over the 500 views barrier on this blog. Thanks for all the support from the regular patrons. My dad surprised me with a semi-pro camera which he just bought. So good bye to all the low resolution pictures in the near future. However, its not mine so some photo will still be taken by my K750i.

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

I will be blogging a lot on my previous dinnings over the Chinese New Year period, so stay tune for more updates...

Special Fried Rice?

Looks like "ink squid" fried rice

This is a new dish offered by the canteen in my hall in NTU. Its called cedar fried rice. Hows the taste? Rather aromatic by taste wise not much different from your normal fried rice.

View Larger Map

Victor's Kitchen @ Sunshine Plaza

I had a dim sum craving and heard some good reviews on this place on television and forums, thus me coming here. It was around tea time and been a weekday, it wasn't as pack as the other times I've passed by it. This being my treat to my friend who stole my prawn in crystal jade post, we proceeded to order a few dim sum as snacks.

Slams of food reviews and awards

Siew Mai
There were suppose to have four, but my greedy
friend ate one before i could take the photo

Prawn dressing in sexy see through lineage
aka Har Gao or Prawn Dumplings

Custard Buns

Yuan Yan Tea

What can I say. This place is good. The Siew Mai was nice and tasty, thought the lack of prawn was a bit disappointing. The Har Gao was a bit of a disappointment. The prawn was fresh and tasty and exceptionally crunchy and had a bit in it, the skin also was firm and didn't break apart when I lift it off the bamboo steamer. However, the skin was a bit too thick for my liking and the wrapping did not retain a little soup/sauce in it. This is the first time of me trying custard bun, not knowing what to expect. To my surprise, its rather good, being savoury and at the same point sweet. We washed everything down with a cup of yuan yan tea, though I wished mine to be a bit more"thicker".

With all that said. It is still definitely worth to come back here to try more of its dim sum from its premium category.

Victor's Kitchen
91 Bencoolen Street
#01-21 Sunshine Plaza
Tel: 9838 2851

View Larger Map

Houseman @ General Hospital

I was visiting my grandma when she was warded in due to a leg operation, when i discovered this rare gem by chance. Located in the houseman food court in GH when I tried this dumpling noodles. The noodles is rather ordinary, however the dumpling is of another league. Each dumpling is packed to the brim and extremely crunchy. Crunchy? You may have thought it was a fried dumpling, but no its a soup base dumpling. How can a soup base dumpling be crunchy? You may ask. Well the secret lies in the contents of the dumpling. Filled to the max of the wanton wrapper is filled with 50% grounded pork and 50% of julienned black fungus, there are also bits of water chestnut. That explains the crunchy texture, which can be quite addictive and makes you wanting to return to GH for the wrong reasons.

Bits of black fungus which seems to be lining uniformly with the mince pork
(Sorry about the poor photo)

View Larger Map

Astons Specialities @ Katong

Tuck under the small shop house next to Katong Mall, lays the first Aston's cafe which I've visited and by far my most favourite one. Now. Word of caution, this place will (I stress WILL) be pack at lunch and dinner hours, so go earlier or be prepared to wait for a very very long time. The staff here are please and polite, though they can be forgetful and miss some of your orders sometimes. Not complaining, since Aston's provide such budget meals for my enjoyment.

Sirloin Steak with Fries & Coleslaw

Sirloin Steak with Fries & Potato Salad

Fried Chicken Cutlet and Lemon Chicken
w/ Potato Salad and Fries (they forgotten about my fries...)

If you notice. Compared to the Cathay experience, Katong branch seems to shear their steaks better. Just look at the differences, the grill marks are beautifully done, dark and perfectly even. Also the steaks seems less dry and much juicer than their Cathay cousins.

Not only are Alston's steak good. They do their chicken dishes just as good. The above dish is called Double Chicken, its basically any two chicken dishes which they offer on their menu and only for $9.90 if I remembered properly. The lemon chicken is uniquely nice, with the chicken marinated in lemon and later grilled to perfect tenderness. Not some low grade chicken grilled and lemon sauce poured over it. Each bite into the meat is juicy and explodes with lemon flavor which isn't too sour or sweet, but just nice. The fried chicken cutlet is even better. Its a butterflied of the chop size, thus looking humongous huge. The cutlet isn't too dry and is evenly coated with bread crumbs. Upon sinking in your teeth, the fats flow out. ***Yum! Yum!***

Also note. Not a lot of people notice this, but Aston's also sell loafs of bread at the front of their shop. Not the fanciful sandwiches, but whole loafs of bread (regular, coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, etc). What so nice about them is that after eating so many "regular" supermarket bread, there loafs in Aston's are thick slices of bread. Not the hollow lumpy ones in the supermarket, one single slice is thick and filling with the "uuumh" feeling. Meant to be eaten with steaks, but I don't see why can we make great sandwiches or garlic toast with it.

Aston's Specialities
119 East Coast Road
(Opposite Katong Mall)
Tel: 6247 7857


View Larger Map

The Old is the New

For all the people who have withstand the poor low quality pictures of the foods I've been blogging, I have good news. Apparently I've dug up my old K750i and it can produce sharper pictures then my "new" W910i. Both are 2.0 Mega pixel phones, only difference is the feature of auto focus. I seriously didn't think this feature alone will make so much difference. Will definitely only buy handphones that include "auto focus" feature.

Taken from W910i (see below for picture of hp)

Taken with K750i (see top for pic of hp)

So all future pictures will be sharper and better, if you see low resolution pictures its properly me blogging on my previous dinning.

Mr Bean @ NTU

This is a super dated post. I apparently ate this like last semester. Its beats all the unhealthy Old Chang Kee curry puff that I've been gobbling down. Of course all these franchise can't beat the famous hawker food, but it provides the ease of access to the public at any place. (Too bad its at the south spine of NTU).

Good thing about school food ---> its cheaper than outside
Soybean Drink & Cheese Soybean Cake

View Larger Map

Reconstructed Surgery

My adorable friend with him imagination mind of his own world and reality wandering into the abyss of thoughts a normal human being usually will not venture. This time he's a surgeon performing plastic surgery on his "subject".

Looks more like Frankenstein Chicken

Well his quite health and doesn't eat the chicken skin (seems quite wasted since KFC's main selling point is its crispy skin). Well will try Dallas or Poeye soon.

Double Double-Cheese Burger

What do you get when you combine two double cheese burgers together. Well you get a "unofficial" quarter cheese burger from MacDonald's. Since a Big Mac already cost $4.25 on the menu and consist of 3 buns (carbohydrates), 2 beef patties (protein) and 1 cheese slice. 1 Double cheese burger instead consist of 2 buns, 2 beef patties and and 2 cheese slices.

Now to the assembly instructions. (This way vary from person and person, but this is my personal preference). Approach the MacDonald's counter and order 2 Double cheese burger. Then instruct the cashier that you want a special order where you combine the burger together. However, you only want the two top and bottom buns, patties and cheese; no pickles, tomato sauce and onions. Don't worry the cashier will be usual and give you the "wtf" face and usually inquire his manager, whom will usually come to you ask the order again and finally give the go ahead. (Funny to see the cashier instruct the manger who in turn confirm the order, then to go to the kitchen and repeat the order to the assembler. Yes. "Cooks" in MacDonald's are seen as assemblers in my eyes, since they only stacker orders, instead of really cooking. Lol!)

So the construction will be from bottom to top. Bottom bun, cheese slice (no. 1), beef patty (no. 1), cheese slice (no. 2), beef patty (no. 2), cheese slice (no. 3), beef patty (no. 3), cheese slice (no. 4), beef patty (no. 4) and finally the top bun.

Now. For the main star...

Definitely Grease Bomb (Stretchy Cheese)

Fountain of Cheese

Doctor our patient is bleeding to death

My NTU hostel and workplace

Explosives to health destruction

Even distribution of cheese and beef

What! Its over...*sad*

Firstly. Yes! Quarter cheese burger is very filling so be prepared to be filled. So comparing with the Big Mac, double the number of patties, 4 times the number of cheese slices and since I only ate the same number of buns (Didn't overload carbohydrates). Cost wise its better then ordering a Big Mac. Yes. Its definitely more fats, due to the additional cheese and patties, but I'm comparing it from a cost point of view. In addition, you don't eat MacDonald's more than once a fortnight. Do you? (In case any of you are going to complain that Big Mac is healthier due to the lettuce in it. Come on. That miserable amount of wrinkled lettuce, go eat some proper greens.)

Roasted Meat @ NTU

Huge Plate of MEAT!!!

Studying has been stressful and tiring. Need for energy for the longer days to come. In case you thought that is just a normal roasted meat rice, you are wrong. This is roasted meat with added roasted meat. Stun! You guys! Lol!

View Larger Map

Random Japanese Food @ IMM Food Court

Finally I have a chance to blog about a bad food. Which isn't a good thing since I would have to go through eating it in the first place. Don't be deceived by this photo. Horror awaits you in the darkness.

Don't judge a book by its cover

I first ate the fried chicken its rather good and the skin is crispy. Rather good for food court standards. There even bits of tempura scattered on the chicken. Coleslaw is also good, not watery and still crunchy, one of the better coleslaw I've eaten. Then to the Omu Rice. The egg looks rather plain, not the rich yellow which I come to expect. I dug in and ate the rice. Hmm...Rather weird taste. As I've never eaten omu rice I don't know what to expected, so I decided to get a second opinion and ask my friend to taste it. He said its not good. However, I still finished it cause rather wasted since I've paid for it. Now thinking about, I could vomit at the tase of it.

Crystal Jade Kitchen @ Suntec

Blame all the japan food, same old western and shitty canteen/food court dishes I've been eating recently. Being Chinese sometimes ones just wanna go back to one's roots of simple and yet complex flavours of Chinese cooking. I've always wanted to treat my friends to some good Chinese restaurant place, but just didn't have the time and opportunity. Oh well this will do for the time being.

Crystal Jade Kitchen (Suntec)

Sorry to my friend if I'm over assertive on this special set which Crystal Jade was prompting. Its just worth much better then the other $126 set in their regular menu, plus its only $20 more for so much difference.

Seafood Thick Soup w/ Crab Meat

Rather disappointed with the soup. I thought it would be brimming with seafood like prawns, crab meat and shellfish, but it contains rather few "strands" of crab meat and tons of tofu cubes. The soup doesn't even any where near being flavourful with seafood aroma, I however taste rather sour and blend.

Sauteed Prawns w/ Salted Yolk

The sauteed prawns with salted yolk was rather good, with every plump and juicy prawn evenly coated with salted yolk. Heaven for people who like strong savoury flavours. This could easily up your cholesterol for the whole week. The prawn is so good, I licked and ate the whole shell, would have eaten the whole head if not for the eyes. (Btw. Someone ate my second portion. Ending with me eating one prawn ***Evil Eyes Stare***). The prawns heads are also trimmed, removing the sharp razor points, plus for good service.

Pork Ribs in Sweet and Sour Sauce
(Should have been Sauteed Frog with Dried Chilli and Nut in Claypot,
but my friend doesn't take seafood :P)

The pork ribs are rather good, thought a bit tough. I've tried better ones. Sauce is not too thick or over powering sour. Love the onions though. Its rather soft, not the hard raw ones that you lazily stir fry.

Crispy Skin Chicken

Average crispy chicken, nothing to brag about.

Braised Beancurd w/ Bailing Mushroom

The beancurd is really good, braise till its soft and all the sauce is infused into it. One bite and all the sauce just flows out into your mouth. Simple yet good stuff. The Bailing mushrooms has the texture of abalone, sort of a poor mans version of abalone. Hahaha!!!!

Fried Mincemeat Tofu (too bad their roasted duck was sold out)

This dish is another of my favourite on that day. The tofu is fried in a batter so thin that its like the flaky skin of a spring roll. Once you bite into it, all the flavours of mince meat and its fats burst into your mouth. Heavenly. Only complain is the sauce that comes with it. Its a cross of thick sauce and soya sauce. I would recommend the chef to change it to honey and lemon or lemon mayo, to better suit the dish. Don't get me wrong. The tofu is good enough to eat it by itself.

Yang Chow Fried Rice

The yang chow fried rice was ok at best. It wasn't oily nor was the rice clumping. However, it just lacks the fragrant and flavour of a nice plate of fried rice.

Almond Cream

I like this almond cream, its rather thick and not too sweet. Just the way I would like it. Though some may think otherwise. It all comes down to individual taste buds. I am one who dislike overly sweet stuff and prefer natural sugar sweetness. The very subtle sweetness.

There is actually one more dish of Deep Fried Soon Hock, but I forgot to snap a photo of it. Its crispy to the bone and yet tender in the flesh. I basically ate the fins. *Crunch* *Crunch*. The sauce is also just nice, not too salty and complements the fish very well.

The food is not bad in a overall and the staff is very friendly and helpful. They made the necessary changes and recommendation to fit our satisfaction. Not like some other Chinese restaurants whose staff are rude and look down on student as if they can "afford" the food in there. Though with some minor disappointments, I strongly recommend Crystal Jade Kitchen's Suntec branch. The service and food is good and you will not be disappointed.

Crystal Jade Kitchen (Suntec)
Suntec City Mall
Tel: 6338 3511

View Larger Map

Sakae @ Marina Square

Due to the constant nagging of someone on my msn screen, we all decided to got to Sakae to get our fill our (more like someone's) sushi craving. I suppose I don't need to elaborate in Sakae Sushi buffet much since it hasn't change much over the year (except removing half serving of soft shell crab from the buffet selection. Yah! I know this is damn long time ago!). Apparently, its a long time since I have eaten Sakae Sushi and only yesterday did I realise that per person is allowed a single red plate per buffet. Thumbs up.

Unagi Maki

Sun Maki

Lobster Tama Maki

Hana Maki

We selected these amongst the premium maki (red plates). Unagi Maki is rather ordinary, but with extra twisted of crunchy salmon skin in it. Sun Maki is similar with the California Maki, but with extra avocado in it. Those Sakae version isn't as creamy as what I would prefer. The next two maki are really not bad. The Lobster Tama Maki with its stuble sweetness of the tama and flavourful richness of the lobster flesh combines saltiness and sweetness in perfect harmony. Finally, the main event. Hana Maki. This dish is simple yet so elaborate at the same time. Its simply a rice with salmon sashimi enveloping it, with cream cheese and ebi roe topped on it. One word. Orgasmic. More cream cheese would up the level to out of this world.

Other things to note are the Kani Chawanmushi, Soft Shell Crab Hand Roll, Fried Tofu, Hotate, Gyoza and Salmon Nabanzuke. Works out to be around $18 for student, including service charge and gst. Thanks to Jinhui for the treat. :P

No. 6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-207 Singapore 039594
Tel: 6336 8201

View Larger Map

BigO Cafe @ Wheelock Place

After the meal at Waraku some of us were craving for some dessert. So I tag along, though I'm not really a sweet tooth. Most of the places were packed, so my friend introduced us, to this place near at wheelock.

The place is packed with Teens, can be rather noisy at times

Rather cozy
(How i wish i can have a counter top like this at home)

Mud Cake

Bailey's Me!

Some Sundae

Dessert here is good, but not fantastic and have rather quirky names like indecent obsession and g-spot. Price wise its rather pricey for ice cream which isn't above Swensen's standard and the cake is rather dry for my liking. Bailey's me consist of a cheese cake and ice cream with a shot of bailey's poured round it. The sundae is nice with brownies chop up into cubes mixed with chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips and whipped cream drowsed with chocolate syrup, extremely sinful and can be rather filling. The mud cake is looks more like a block of ice cream instead of being the fudge cake which I seem to remember with a mud cake should resemble. They also serve westerns here which I didn't get to try. Service here is prompt and good, staff are very polite as well.

BigO Cafe
501 Orchard Road
#02-04/05 Wheelock Place
Singapore 238880
Tel: 6737 8472

View Larger Map

Waraku @ Heeren

This is my outing with my ns mates. Long time since I met them, since ORDed. Lol. Most of them are working and some schooling. How I miss the aimless stress-free days. Sian....

Thank goodness for the reservations i made

Rather soft, yet crispy skin the way all tofu should be made

Tonkatsu Wazen

My previous experience with the Tonkatsu in waraku seems bigger...

Gyu Yanagawa Wazen

Honestly both Wazens are rather big, which consists of a main dish, rice and noodles (choice of udon or soba). Since the dish contains two carbohydrates, one could easily share this with another and order some other side dish. I actually ordered the Ika Maruyuki (no photo, forgot to take ;P), but the squid turn out to be overcooked and tough and the sauce isn't as bubbly hot as the image in the menu. Rather disappointed. Their set meals are not really that attractive, their lunch special seems better.

260 Orchard Road
#05-04 The Heren
Singapore 238855
Tel: 6834 1123

View Larger Map