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Thursday, November 21, 2013

[Travel]: Taiwan 13 Days Free and Easy: Taipei/ Taichung/ Tainan/ Kaoshiung/ Kenting!!!

Will be going for my year-end holiday soon!  This year, I will be going to Taiwan again for around 2 weeks and will be visiting the other parts of Taiwan that we didn't go last year.  Meanwhile, if you are interested to read up on our free and easy itinerary for 15 days in Taiwan last year, you may visit my summary photo blog-post HERE.  

Update:  Click HERE for our this year's free and easy 13-day Taiwan itinerary!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vintage High Tea @ House, Dempsey

Vintage High-Tea at House, Dempsey is only available every Thursday and Friday at 3pm.  For me, I could leave my workplace early after 12.30pm on the Thursday when we had the hi-tea gathering but a few of my friends had to take leave.  We met one another at Plaza Singapura first before taking cab over to Dempsey.  

 The correct "entrance" to the House.  Previously, we went down the wrong flight of stairs on the other side which is not linked to the restaurant.

 Entrance to the restaurant.
 The vintage hi-tea is at an affordable price of $30++ per pax which includes free flow of 2 choices of drink too - Vanilla Sky or Ginger Tea.

Squid Ink Beef Burgers
These mini-buns looked so cute but the buns were a bit too dry and hard.  Didn't really like this.  For those who don't take beef, they have Squid Ink Chicken Burgers too.  My friends who tried both felt that the chicken burger tasted better as the chicken meat was tender and went well with the pineapple slice and salad mayo.
Thin crusted pizzas

Cabbage Rolls - There were prawns, shredded chicken and carrots wrapped in crunchy cabbages.  Most of us liked this dish.  Thumbs up!

 Our table of 6 also ordered a bottle of French Farmgrown Apple Cider ($25++) to share.

  A thin slice of green apple was served together with the champagne in the glass.
The washroom is just located at the back where we were seated.  Ok.. not a very nice way to name the female washroom, but don't take it too hard lah!

 I didn't really try much of their desserts and these were what I had chosen.
One of my friends ordered their "Asian Sliders" for takeaway and she commented that it was really very nice!

I really enjoyed this session of gathering with my friends on a rare weekday afternoon when we were all free.  Love the nice ambience here and would definitely love to be back here again!  

House @Dempsey
8D Dempsey Road
Tel: 64757787

Vintage Hi-Tea
Thu & Fri : 3PM – 5.30PM

Saturday, November 9, 2013

OpenRice Food Tasting @ Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar, Anchorvale CC

I attended my first OpenRice Food Tasting session at Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar (managed by JP Pepperdine), together with my friend, Sam.  Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar had just revamped their whole menu, incorporating both Western and Japanese dishes.  Residents nearby can now get to enjoy Japanese cuisine at this location, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  

How to get here by public transport?  Recommended Route:
- From Sengkang MRT Station, transfer to Sengkang LRT Line.
- Board the Sengkang West Loop LRT and alight at Farmway Station.
- Take a 5 minutes’ walk over to Anchorvale Community Club

We walked down a flight of steep staircase to the basement, nearer to the sports complex side, and saw the restaurant at the end corner.

Exterior of the restaurant.
You may dine alfresco or in their main dining room indoor.  For us, we tried both!  Read on to find out more!  :)

We were seated near to the entrance of the restaurant and on our table:  The OpenRice signature smiley fan, a notepad, tissue pack, pen and a feedback form.

We introduced ourselves and this was our host - Calvin (on far right), from OpenRice doing some introduction and standing next to him, is the chef for the restaurant.
Sashimi Caesar Salad 
Tossed assorted lettuce with caesar dressing, topped with garlic-herb croutons and raw fish.  Wasabi sauce was served in a small dipping bowl and you pour the amount of sauce according to your liking.  This was quite a refreshing appetizer with all the crunchy lettuce, blended with the raw fish cubes and wasabi sauce.  
Atsuage Tofu
Grilled Japanese home-made Tofu topped with fish flakes. The tofu could taste quite bland when eaten on its own. The chef recommended us to dip it with soya sauce and sprinkled some chili flakes on it to give it more flavour.

Carbonara Udon 
The chef explained to us that this was a fusion dish.  The home-made udon was also very different from the thick ones that we normally have.  Their vesion of udon was long and much thinner, but still maintained the springy texture.  Served in a rich creamy sauce with crispy ham bits and an onsen egg, this was really "oishii"!
Kinoko Pizza
Japanese Styled Mushroom Pizza
The pizza texture was like that of soft bread. Eating this pizza, was like eating a piece of bread topped with mushroom, mayo and fish flakes. Would give this a miss the next time.
Unagi Roll 
(3 pieces for $12.80)
My friend, Sam requested for unagi roll as during the tasting session, there were a number of beef dishes she couldn't take.  I didn't try this but Sam said it was very good.  Could tell from the presentation, it looked quite tasty with thick slice of unagi wrapped over avocado/ crabstick and omelette sushi.

N.Z Beef Rib

I think this dish should be meant for those with huge appetite.  The beef rib was huge and I took a small slice, it was quite tender but the taste was a bit overwhelmed by the sweet BBQ sauce.
Beef Shabu Shabu (2 paxs) 
This was one of my favourite dishes for the night.  I love to swish the meat back and forth in the boiling broth.  Do not throw the meat inside the soup for too long otherwise it would become tough and spoil the taste.  I took 2 pieces of the sliced beef and cooked them just right, very juicy!

Matsu Sushi Moriawase

6 types of sushi ($31)
I tried a salmon roe sushi and a sweet shrimp sushi. The sushi were fresh.

After we were done with the above main courses, we proceeded to the outdoor seating for Yakiniku!  Why outdoor?  The main reason was to prevent the restaurant interior from having the smokey smell and also, to enjoy better ambience doing our grilling outside.  We all had fun "BBQ"ing alfesco in the cooling weather.
Pork Belly Yakiniku - Pork belly on Charcoal grill 
($12.80 for 1 pax)
Our table got a plate of sliced pork belly.  They were thinly sliced and would get overcooked quite easily.  I took a few slices of the pork belly and they were rather tough.  We were worried that the pork slices were not cooked totally and grilled them for too long and sometimes, we were busy taking photos and forgot to flip them over. 

Ribeye Yakiniku (BBQ) ($32.80)
The other table had a plate of beef slices and I took one cooked slice from them to try. It was quite a thick slice but the meat was tender and juicy. I would recommend this!
Marble Cheesecake in a chocolate cup - Served with mixed fresh fruits and chocolate sauce 
The cheesecake was uniquely presented inside a chocolate cup and it was wiped off by the four of us very fast.  The texture of the cheesecake was soft and not too dense.  I tried to break the chocolate cup with my fork and spoon but failed.  It was very hard and thus, we didn't eat the chocolate cup.  I suppose it was meant to just hold the cheesecake inside nicely.
Thank you OpenRice for the invitation and looking forward to more food tasting sessions with them in future!

Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar
Address: Anchorvale Community Club,
59 Anchorvale Road #01-06
Phone: 6886 1811

Opening Hours:
Mon to Thu: 1100 - 1530, 1730 - 2230
Fri - Sat & eve of PH: 1100 - 0000
Sun & PH: 0730 - 2200