Thursday, 11 August 2016

Old Legendary Brand with a Twist

[Kay Lee Roast Meat - Tanjong Katong Branch]

Kay Lee Roast Meat, a renowned local brand for more than 30 years, created a big hype recently when lady boss, Betty Kong,  sold her business to AZtech group for $4million dollars.

AZtech group, aimed to keep this big name ongoing, had now expanded to another 6 more outlets across Singapore apart from the main store at upper paya lebar. Meats were roasted at central kitchen now but other items such as double boiled soups and dumplings were prepared at individual outlets.

Tonight, we land ourselves at Tanjong Pagar branch, to try out the taste of new Kay Lee. The interior decoration and furnishings were simple and neat. We started off with drinks.

[1] Drinks

[a] Iced Roselle Tea $1.50
[b] Iced Barley $1.50
[c] Iced Citrus $1.50
[d] Iced Honey Plum $2.00

- Among these 4 drinks, I love iced honey plum the most. Slight sourish yet very refreshing, it gave me more appetite to eat more! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[2] Salted Vege Duck Soup $4.50 per bowl

- Among the varieties of soup, salted vegetable duck soup was one of the top  choice since Paya lebar days as told by my friend. But the bowl I had, although packed with essence from the duck, it contained too strong ginger aftertaste, the soup tasted more spiced than salty. My personal vote still goes to Lotus root soup. Nevertheless, it's still tummy warming on a cold day. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[3] Kay Lee Savory Meat Roll $6.90 per portion

- "Ngoh Hiong" was how I usually called these meat rolls, were one of the snacks offered here. There's also crispy chicken, fish nuggets, breaded shrimps etc on the snacks menu. These ngoh hiong were very meaty, wrapped with the thinnest bean curd skin but if only there were more chestnuts inside to increase the crunch. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[4] Shrimp Dumpling Noodle/ Wanton Noodles $5.00 per portion

- If you let me choose between shrimp dumplings and wantons, I chose the first. Reason being I love shrimps thus love the combination taste of shrimps and minced pork, rather than pork alone which were usually the case in wantons. The black fungus added in the dumpling fillings increased the crunchiness too, I liked! Noodles texture was springy, goes pretty well with the light sauce and fragrant oil mixed in. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[5] Char Siew Noodles $5.00 per pax

- Char siew was nicely roasted to a beautiful color, then glazed with honey to give the sweet finish. Meat texture was abit hard and chewy as our portion did not contain much fats. Quite disappointed as char siew meat should have ratio of 50% meat: 50% fats to obtain that divine enjoyment on our palate. As for the noodles, it tasted better when I mixed in the braised soya sauce (lor chap) meant for the roast meat platter. πŸ‘πŸΌ

[6] Three Combi Roast Meat Platter $44.00 (comes with 6 rice)

- Char siew I had mentioned earlier so I just go straight to the roasted duck and roasted pork belly. Duck was nicely roasted, came with charred fragrant and skin with a crisp. Breast meat part was a little dry but dip into the dark braised sauce or plum sauce provided for a more savory taste. Pork belly well marinated with spices and the saltiness level just right. If only the skin was more crackling... πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

Other than the dishes mentioned above, Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint now serves traditional chinese desserts too but only at Suntec city branch. There were red bean cream with glutinous rice balls, ginger tea with glutinous rice balls and yam paste.

We were honored to enjoy these desserts tonight, all thanks to Ms Noelle, marketing personnel from Kay Lee, who brought them over to Tanjong katong branch for us to try out.

Among these 3, my vote goes to yam paste. It was so smooth and fine-detailed, texture really creamy. Happy it wasn't too overly sweet and its vegetarian too :) πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

** Overall experience at this Tanjong Katong outlet was pleasant. When Miss Noelle told us fatty meats were mostly sent to Upp. Paya lebar shop, we were really disappointed. We felt all outlets should standardized. Food items and prices wasn't same across all outlets too. Anyway, hits and misses bound to have, but I felt that this household brand for more than 30 years definitely have a way of survival for another 30 years! Maybe one day we will see Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint in foodcourts islandwide.**

πŸ“ Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
283 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437066
Tel: 6594 2204
Opens daily 
Mon to Fri 12noon - 9pm
Sat/ Sun/ PH 11am - 9pm
More details & outlet details here:

My jelly ratings: 
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Yummy
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Not too bad
πŸ‘πŸΌ Needs improvement
πŸ‘ŽπŸΌ I won't take a 2nd bite/look

[ This was a invited tasting session. Thank you Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint for hosting. ]

Char, not Cha Cha


Founded by Anthony and Alvin, these two brothers came from UK to Singapore, aimed to change our views of cantonese roast meats, the western way.

This highly-raved roast meat galore place moved down from Guillemard to this current 4-storey shophouse at Jalan Besar. New location was still as bad as previous because parking was a problem and mrt wasn't near. A dinner gathering with 3 other lady friends but got all of us exhausted just to get to this place, so inconvenient. Interior of grey walls and heavy metal chairs, the ambience was more like a cafe bistro.

Finally after we settled down, we "chop chop" ordered our food to cure the grumbling tummies. Our first dish was the signature char siew meat that every surrounding tables also had.

[1] Signature Char Siew $24.00 ($6.00 per 100gm, min. order of 300gm is required)

- Tender meat texture with sufficient fats, these glossy OVERLY SWEET honey char siew lacked CHAR! High expectations of a more roasted version but now they were just expensive braised "Lor Bak" (pork belly) to me, nicely marinated though! The chilli oil complemented really well with the meat.πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[2] Salted Egg Yolk Pork Ribs $14.00

- Boneless pork cubes were deep fried in batter and the end product looked like "popcorns" instead of the usual ribs. Meat texture was firm but not dry. The lacking part was the salted egg yolk taste as it was almost non-existence. They should name this dish "buttered pork cubes" instead. πŸ‘πŸΌ

[3] Prawn Paste Chicken Wings $12.00 (4 wholes)

- A commonly ordered dish at any cze char stalls, this was one of the best snack choice to go down with BEER! Lightly battered and marinated with chef's special herb recipe, they were quite yummy. A pity the deep frying dried out some parts of the wings, otherwise they would be perfect. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[4] Hobgoblin GOLD draft Beer $8.00

- A combi of 4 hops, with infused wheat and malted barley, this golden drink of 4.5% abv, definitely gave us the punch! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[5] Spicy 4 Seasons Beans $10.00

- French beans, one of my favourite vegetable choice always, I ordered it without any further hesitation. The French beans were still crunchy when served, which is good, but was overpowered by the five spiced powder added in the frying. The dried chilies did not contribute to any of the spiciness too (another white elephant) and I wondered why was this dish even classified as "spicy"?!!! Spicy level was 0... πŸ‘πŸΌ

** Business was really good as whole place was packed on a Friday night. But this first experience for me at CHAR, might be the last too. Food wasn't as impressive although this place was highly raved and staff wasn't attentive too. We had to remind the multiple staff on duty at least 3 times to get one request done. Hearing the dragging of heavy metal chairs throughout the whole 2 hours was very irritating too! As for food, I'm not sure if it's still the two owners manning the kitchen but I felt chinese cuisines should have its certain % of style kept, not all products suited the fusion way.**

πŸ“ CH叉R
363 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208994
Tel: 6842 7759
Tues to Sun 11.30am - 2pm, 6pm - 10pm
(Monday closed)
*Reservations recommended

My jelly ratings: 
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Yummy
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Not too bad
πŸ‘πŸΌ Needs improvement
πŸ‘ŽπŸΌ I won't take a 2nd bite/look

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Chillax Gastrobar: Mr Punch Public House

[Mr Punch Public House]

Mr Punch Public house, a gastropub along Seah street, was a relaxing place for friends gathering or after-work chillax. 

Well known for its violent puppet show, "Punch & Judy" since 16th century, this gastrobar was decorated with great memories of Mr Punch, displaying puppet figurines, statues and vintage posters throughout the space. As the owner loves toys too, the Mint Museum of Toys connecting to Mr Punch Public House showcases 5 levels of his personal toys' collections from all over the world. From vintage to present, I find myself back to childhood! Indeed it's an eye opener for all!!

Other than toys, Mr Punch introduced new food concept plus drinks menus such as sharing platters and punch jars to increase the awesomeness experiences for all customers.

For a start, we ordered the new appetizers' platter. Mix & Match any 3 items for $35.00* (*premium items incurred additional charges) There's total of 8 items for us to choose from.

Our platter choices were:

1a• Chicken Thigh Roulade
1b• Slow-cooked Pork Belly
1c• Custard-battered Squid Rings (+$4*)

- Chef cleverly uses chicken thigh instead of breast to keep the tenderness of meat. Tender chicken with foie gras mousse wrapped in, so sinfully good! Love the creaminess of foie gras lingering on my tongue! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

- Slow-cooked pork belly was so well marinated with their secret sherry sauce, every part of the meat absorbed the flavours. Other than being savory, the layers of fats inbetween the pork belly simply melts in my mouth without much biting needed. So yumz. Pair the meat with the red wine apple chutney to bring the flavour to a whole new level. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

- Custard-battered squid rings was deep fried till crispy and glazed with marmite. Not much of a surprise for this item. πŸ‘πŸΌ

[Bar Bites]

2• Teriyaki Charred Squid $12.00

- Char-grilled till perfection, this plate of squid was so good! Cooking timing was perfect, presenting infront of us was a soft tender whole squid that we couldn't resist eating it. Teriyaki sauce beneath added a little sweet plus salty aftertaste to this seafood dish and the flying fish roe scattered on top gave the extra popping crunch. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

3• Potato Chips Chicken $10.00

- Breaded Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, Tempura chicken you had heard of, but Potato chips chicken?? You heard it right! Potato chips! Deep fried chicken breast meat with crushed chips coated as batter. Creative but recipe needs improvement. Chicken was bland and dry, thanks to that korean inspired cho jang mayo dip which saved the dish. πŸ‘πŸΌ


4• Herb-crusted Barramundi $29.00

- This piece of barramundi fish served to us was meaty, succulent and texture so delicate. Already tasted good on its own with the crusted herbs, chef's homemade beetroot gel and tarragon purΓ©e on the side made the whole dish more interesting. Felt myself absorbing lots of antioxidants and vitamins after this, a healthier choice definitely. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

5• Seafood Linguine $32.00

- Linguine texture was good, al dente but taste wise, needed more punch. Sauce beneath was indeed sweet since cooked with so much seafood but still lacked that white wine fragrance and aftertaste I was hoping for. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

6• Bacon-wrapped Venison Loin $45.00

- The fragrance from the bacon fats eventually covered the overall taste of the dish. Chewing the dish can only taste pork. Venison loin was also too bloody for my liking. The pairing port jus was sweet and rich, too bad it didn't work well here, but I'm sure it's good with beef or duck dish. Ironically, the potato terrine and stewed mushroom sides were the highlights for us. πŸ‘πŸΌ


7• Banana Chocolate Cake $14.00

- Banana cake was too dense for my liking, wish it was fluffier. The surprise was the "pudding" sitting next to it. Forking through it then we realised there was banana custard hidden in it. Jelly-like texture, with the choco ganache, made us feel like we were eating chocolate flavoured "Tokyo banana" but a yummier version. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

8• Passionfruit Creme Brulee $14.00

- Creme brulee was smooth and creamy like tofu. The passionfruit purΓ©e and mango cubes may be very sourish but it helped to cleanse our palate after all the savoury food we had eaten earlier. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

9• Flaming Tiramisu $16.00

- A deconstructed tiramisu I would call this. Homemade Savoiardi (ladyfingers) were stacked on top of fresh cream and chocolate cake pieces. This dessert was heavily loaded with Sambuca so consuming too much made me felt drunk ;) The best way to enjoy this tiramisu was to dunk the fingers into the bowl and scoop up the chocolatey cream within! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

[To Chill]

10• Punch Jar: The Servant $46.00 p/jar

- For drinks sharing, it's most ideal to order a punch jar. There's two punch jars available for ordering; The servant & The skeleton. We chose the first.

The Servant comprises of rum, peach liquer, orange, cranberry, pineapple and lime juice. Tasted very fruity with hints of alcohol, more of a lady's drink than men. Whole jar can share among 4-6pax. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

** Our overall dining experience at Mr Punch Public House was an enjoyable one. Most of the food were good and ambience was comfortable. Staff were very attentive and courteous too! A great place to chill at after work and on weekends. If you're here, do go take a look at their rooftop bar, it's kinda cool :) Live bands available on every Friday too, featuring local talents. 

πŸ“Mr Punch Public House
26 Seah Street
Singapore 188382
Tel: 8339 8966

Opens daily
Mon- Thurs 3pm to 11.30pm
Fri & Eve of PH 3pm to 2am
Sat 11am to 11.30pm
Sun 11am to 6pm

My jelly ratings: 
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Yummy
πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Not too bad
πŸ‘πŸΌ Needs improvement

[ This was a invited tasting session. Thank you Mr Punch Public House for hosting. ]

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Affordable Japanese Tempura at Hana's

[Hana Japanese Restaurant]

Hana, which means "flower" in Japanese, is a modern Japanese restaurant situated at Forum Shopping Mall, away from the busy streets of orchard. Situated on level 1 and just infront of the lift, it's quite impossible for you to miss this restaurant. The interior of Hana was nicely decorated with koi fishes on the wall, drums of sake around the restaurant and a huge Sakura tree in the center. The whole ambience was romantic for some, cosy for many and somehow makes you feel like you're in Japan. 

Chef promised serving all customers with only the freshest seafood and using top grade ingredients. He said most of the time, they handpicked the freshest seafood themselves from Japan and flown back to Singapore the following day. *Wow* After hearing these words, our saliva already drooling~ Without further hesitation, we started our night with Chef's signature starters.

[1] Truffle Ikura Somen with Chef Special Sauce $15

- A chilled appetizer before the mains. Infused with strong truffle taste, the cold noodles tasted so good! Together with the crispy shrimps, crunchy cucumber & salmon roe, it's a starter that you would love at first bite. My most loved food item of the night. 

[2] Santen Chirashi Mori with Teapot Soup $28
(Kanpachi Truffle Premium Kaisen Bara & Aburi Salmon Cheese atop Chef's Special Pink Rice)

- This set of pretty rice bowls kept us going for more as they were so tasty. Totally no complains for the fresh sashimi but the highlights here were the pink rice underneath. I love the natural sweet aftertaste!! (Hack care about carbo overloading!!) Sip sip the teapot soup after the yummy bowls and its wonderland already! Soup was packed with seafood essence and tasted refreshing too after we added in the lime.

And if you think I stopped eating after the carbo loading?? NOooo.. More food came as we ventured through Hana's *New* Tempura Omakase set meal.

[3] *NEW* Tempura Omakase Set $38.00++ per pax

This set comprises of 7 courses, each served individually on board.

• 1 appetizer
• 1 serving of Assorted Sashimi (3 types)
• 4 Tempura (4 choices but seafood types subject to availability)
• 1 Dessert

We started off this set meal with a salad. 

(a) Sakura Ebi Salad with Chef Homemade Sesame dressing (Goma) & roasted cashew nuts

- Maybe you could find salad anywhere, but one with nicely executed goma dressing, it had got to be here at Hana. This specially in-house made sesame dressing was so fragrant, nutty and not overly salty! It indeed brought up so much flavour to the greens. 

(b) Fresh Sashimi

- We were served with 3 types of sashimi fish, choices varies everyday, depending on restaurant. Hana was so generous, look at the thick slices!! Fresh too!! Nomnomnom! 

(c) Tempura (4 types) 
All served with Green tea salt, Paprika salt, Teriyaki mayonnaise and Tentsuyu dipping sauce.

(i) Tempura Jumbo Prawn w/ Shiitake Mushroom

-  Big! Huge! Woww! These were the voices from all of us when these prawns arrived. First time getting such jumbo ones compared to other restaurants. Fresh and succulent prawn in truffle infused batter, so crispy and yum. You heard right! "Truffle batter"!! Only at Hana's! 

(ii) Tempura Mekajiki (Swordfish) w/ Sweet Potato Chips

- Swordfish meat was so fine and juicy while wrapped in the crispy tempura batter. The saltiness from the seaweed flakes made by Chef made this fish dish so savory, I completed it in quick 2 mouthfuls!! Sweet potato chips did bring up some sweetness in our palate after the savory fish. 

(iii) Tempura Scallop Skewers w/ Pumpkin fries 

- Texture of these tempura scallops were abit tough, needed more time to chew and swallow, probably because the deep frying dried out the moisture. It was a waste though, may be better off eaten raw. Instead, the companion pumpkin fries here became my preferred choice between the two. Love pumpkin's natural sweetness, even more love than sweet potato. 

(iv) Tempura Zuwaigani (Snow Crab) w/ Eggplant

- I usually had snow crab legs in sushi rice rolls or seafood on ice, first time having it as a tempura item. Crispy exterior and having its seafood sweetness still locked within, it's quite a delicious way to enjoy snow crab too! 

Lastly, we rounded up our meal with desserts. Despite we were very full already, we girls still managed to wallop up every bit of the desserts!

(g) Dessert Sherbet *ala-carte @$6.00ea*

Yuzu sherbet

- This citrusy dessert was so refreshing. Indeed suitable for clearing our palate after all the fried stuff. I strongly recommend this flavour to go with this tempura omakase set meal.

Kyoho sherbet 

- Compared to the Yuzu flavour, this grape-ssi one was sweet, tastes like our childhood bubblegum and a girl's choice definitely!

NOTE: This Omakase set was served with rice, onsen tamago and furikake (rice seasonings). Best of all, a bowl of umeboshi (Japanese plum) clear soup to clear off the oiliness after all the deep fried food. Tempura were all freshly fried upon order therefore whole course duration 2 hours, last seating at 8.30pm. 

Available only for SUNDAY dinner starting  from 27th July, fast fingers get this good deal!! For $38.00++ per pax, with food served which worth more than $80.00, you won't wanna miss this place!

πŸ“ Hana Japanese Restaurant
Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
Unit 01-17
Singapore 238884
Tel: 6737 5525