Friday, 9 September 2016

KATTO: A Healthier Choice Sashimi Rice Box


KATTO, which means "cut" in Japanese, was started up by two brothers. Together with a bunch of good friends of theirs, coming together to bring us quality food which they specialized in; Sashimi. Having family in fresh food trading industry, all the sashimi you see at KATTO were self-sourced and self-imported. That was why KATTO promised to serve only the top quality, freshest cuts.

Apart from serving premium fish, the rice they used were from Hokkaido. Premium Hokkaido Nanatsuboshi rice that's milled in Singapore to keep the freshness. Together with 18 other grains mixed in, steamed in dashi broth, their version of white/brown rice definitely bring your palate to another level. You could choose cabbage base too, if you're not a carbo loading person.

How does this Sashimi ricebox works? For $12.90, you could order 2 mains of 140gm, 2 sides and a base of 250gm grains/salad. Mains were definitely the different varieties of sashimi. As for sides, there were edamame, pickled mushrooms, seaweed salad, miso buttered baby corns, tomatoes, pickled radish, cucumbers etc.

My first box was with California Unrolled, Creamy Goma Tuna, paired with 2 sides of Seaweed Salad and Mushroon on top of a mixture of white and brown rice.

[1] California Unrolled (Salmon)

It felt like having a California hand roll the "naked" "undressed" version. I love how creamy this combination was. The sauce was umami. Every bite was filled with generous seafood goodness from the fresh salmon cubes and kani sticks. The crunchiness from the cucumber and the popping of roe in my mouth made every mouthful delightful! Nomnomnom..

[2] Goma Tuna

Fresh Tuna cubes soaked in this rich, sesame flavour. The goma dressing was so fragrant! With toasted almonds and sesame seeds mixed in the sauce, so good, you wouldn't want to waste a single drop of it. As the base rice was a little dry, this dressing worked really well to make the grainy rice softer too. 

[a] Seaweed Salad

- Seaweed were indeed crunchy but tasted too bland for me. Although seaweed was rich in minerals and helps in maintaining collagen in our skin, but if they don't do something to the taste, I guessed I would give it amiss on my next visit.

[b] Pickled Mushrooms

- Mushrooms, fungus with good source of selenium (antioxidant mineral) and protein, eating more do no harm :) And by chewing these sourish tangy mushrooms, it gave me more appetite to consume more KATTO as the vinegar clears my palate. I liked this choice of side. 

On my 2nd visit to KATTO, I've chosen Chicken Rice Chilli and Classic Shoyu for my rice box.

[3] Chicken Rice Chilli (Salmon)

- A twist of asian touch I would call this and KATTO team was really bold to make this flavour. Like how it was named, it tasted just  like our usual chicken rice chilli but with salmon cubes rather than chicken. The seasoning and spiciness wasn't too overwhelming to shadow away the glory of the fresh salmon so it was a rather interesting choice which eventually worked for me.

[4] Classic Shoyu (Salmon)

- Among all 4 types of sashimi which I tried, this was the most common yet safest choice. Sashimi with shoyu, a classic way of eating, this combi will never go wrong. It was light weight, but the crispy seaweed bits and sesame seeds mixed in did made the overall taste tasted better.

[a] Miso Buttered Baby Corns

- Lightly grilled on the surface, these baby corns were still crunchy when bite. They tasted buttery while sweet on the inside. They went really well with the chicken rice chilli salmon sashimi.

[b] Pickled Mushrooms

- This was my second time choosing mushrooms as one of the sides. I still love it.

If you have a smaller tummy space, mini boxes were available too at $7.90 each. For a mini box, you could get 70gm sashimi, 1 side on a 250gm grains/salad base.

** Dining experience at KATTO was enjoyable. My tummy was happy :) For $12.90, the portion was definitely sufficient for lunch and most importantly, a healthier choice compared to fried kway teow or roast meat rice :) 

I find the sashimi flavours bold yet unique. Kinda love these fusion combi that KATTO provides now and awaiting to see new flavours soon! I'm hoping for my onsen egg or maybe teriyaki chicken on the menu soon 😋 **

1 Fusionpolis Place
Unit 01-21/22 
Galaxis@ One North
Singapore 138522
Mon to Fri 11am - 8pm
Sat 11am - 2pm

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Our Proud 1 Star Michelin Hawker

[Liao Fan Hongkong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles]

Chef-owner Chan Hon Meng, recently received a 1 Star Michelin Award for his soya sauce chicken stall at Chinatown. A stall which I frequently patronized, was now bustling with even more crowd. Chef-owner Chan named his stall "Hongkong" because he learned the cooking ropes previously from a restaurant's Hongkong chef.

Borned in Ipoh, Malaysia, Chef-owner Chan was already in the F & B industry for 35 years. He worked 17 hours a day at his soya sauce chicken stall, 6 days a week. He prepared 180 soya chickens daily, currently 30 pieces more from his usual so as more customers could get their hands on it.

Chef Chan did not behave "on airs" or ignorant after receiving his 1 star Michelin award. Instead, he still humbling continues to operate his stall since the very next day after the Michelin award ceremony. 

Few days ago, my friends and I braved the queue just to get our hands on his food. We started queuing at 10.15am, there was already a long line infront of us but stall only operate after 10.30am! *woww* A lady stall assistant came over to take orders first in order to ease the crowd. We finally got our food around 12noon, fed our camera and tucked in!!

[1] Soya Sauce Chicken $14.00 (whole) $7.00 (half)

- Look at this gorgeous plate of soya sauce chicken! Tender, fat plumpy chicken meat with skin so nicely marinated and glazed. So yum and juice all locked in! The light soya sauce drizzled on top was packed with sesame sauce fragrance but slight salty for me.

[2] Roast Meat Platter $10.00 (Char Siew, Ribs and Roasted Pork Belly)

- Among all 3 types of roast meat, my best take was the char siew meat. They were nicely charred on the outside and contains equal ratio of meat vs fats. Fats' portion melts in your mouth and overall not overly sweet. Ribs was a little tough, I wished the meat was more tender. As for the roasted pork belly, the positive part was the crackling skin but negatively, the meat wasn't as flavourful.

[3] Oyster Sauce Vegetable $3.00 (small) $4.00 (big)

- A fresh greeny plate of kai lan vegetables, poached and drizzled with oyster sauce. Cooking time was just right where the leaves were not overlooked and the stems still gave us a good crunch. Best take was the loads of crispy garlic bits scattered on top!

[4] Bean Sprouts $2.00 (small) $3.00 (big)

- Using the same oyster sauce base/ drizzle as the kai lan vegetables, both plates tasted similar. Bean sprouts were very crunchy and for only $2.00, this portion was definitely generous.

[5] Plain "kosong" Thin Yellow noodles/ Rice noodles $1.00 per plate
[6] Plain Rice $0.50 per plate

- As we ordered sharing meat portions, our carbo all came in "kosong" (plain). I love the chewy texture of kway teow (rice noodles) most. The thin yellow noodles were springy and al dente too. As for the rice, it was so good with the braised dark sauce! I believe the base sauce used for tossing were the same for all 3. It was really savory and fragrant! Nomnomnom...

If you come on your own, you could simply order their 1 person individual portion. The price will eventually blow you off with the generous portion they give.

[7] Soya Sauce Chicken with Rice; At only $2.00 per plate

[8] Soya Sauce Chicken plus another meat choice with Rice (or) Noodles $3.50 per plate

*** A very enjoyable and delicious 1 star Michelin meal at lowest prices you could find in the world now. My many dining experiences here previously and now, Chef Chan kept his top standards. Food were still as good after he scored his Michelin! He believes there's no first grade food but only first grade chef who works hard to make good food. My only complain now was the queuing time. I used to get his chicken in 45mins previously, but now, it's at least 1.5hrs from stall opens and 2.5hrs during lunchtime. Nevertheless, I'll BE BACK!! :) ***

📍 Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken & Noodles 了凡香港油鸡饭面
Blk 335 Smith Street
Stall 02-126
Chinatown Food Complex
Singapore 050335
Thurs to Tues 10.30am - 7pm or till sold out
(Closed on Wed)

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Upcoming White Beehoon Trend

[Woon Woon Pek Beehoon ç¨³ç¨³ç™½ç±³ç²‰

There seems to be an increase in white beehoon stalls recently. One of which I tried recently was Woon Woon white beehoon situated at Changi village food centre. 

Managed by two young lads (good friends) whom left their desk bond jobs to become young hawkers, which was the recent trend.  The way I see them work round the stall, they definitely have passion in food. The stall was clean, neatly organized and signboards brightly lit to show customers what they actually have. As you could see from this price chart, there's different mix and match seafood varieties for you to choose from.

Our beehoon portion was $30.00, which could easily feed 3-5pax, especially girls. There's 3 whole crayfish, lotsa clams, sea prawns, snakehead fish slices etc. On top of these sea creatures, generous amount of chinese cabbage, garlic bits and crispy pork lards were added in. 

In this whole dish, the most important factor for me personally, was the broth. It was sweet, but sweetness came from the chinese cabbage. The taste of the cabbage eventually covered the crustacean /seafood base which I felt a pity. Probably portions could be adjusted or Woon Woon could improve their base broth. Beehoon did not slurp up the soup too so it may be good if they were pre-fried with abit of "wok hei" taste to improve the overall taste. Other than the above, sea prawns, crayfish were very fresh and firm. The clams meat were sweet too.

I also suggested to Woon Woon to add in other choice of fish such as batang fish/ snapper as they were more sweet compared to the tasteless bland snakehead. Boss told me they specially select these standard-sized snackhead slices so that they look good on the plate which I felt redundant. He even mentioned they took quite sometime to get the right way to remove the freshwater taste of snakehead. So I asked him:" Since it was so troublesome and tedious process already, why use them?". I rather pay extra dollars to enjoy better grade fish types. No offense but I do hope he take my suggestions.

** This whole new experience was rather a quick one. Hits and misses definitely have, as Woon Woon Pek Bee Hoon was rather new. But I believed if they fine-tune abit, results would surely improve! And having the stall at a large hawker centre attracts more crowd too from all parts of Singapore. We still did enjoy our food, great company and I would definitely patronize again to see if there's improvement in the broth :) **

📍 Woon Woon Pek Beehoon
Changi Village Food Ctr
Changi Village Road
Blk 2 Unit 01-52
Singapore 500002
(Monday closed)

[This was an invited tasting by Woon Woon Pek Beehoon. Thank you for hosting. ]

A Homegrown Brand In My Heart [Yu Kee Duck Rice]

[Yu Kee Duck Rice (友记家传鸭饭) ]

Yu Kee Duck Rice: An established brand which have been existing in our local market since 30years ago. Although I can't say I grow up with Yu Kee but my very first encounter with Yu Kee was when I moved into my new house at Punggol more than 10 years ago. Back then, Yu Kee had a stall in the coffeeshop just down my block. 

I could still remember how I love their well marinated duck meat which were really tender, especially with the thick savory duck gravy. The sambal chilli they offered, with silver fish mixed in in their recipe, was good too! Not forgetting to mention the soup that Yu Kee serving also. It was fragrant with lotsa herbal infusion, every mouthful I took I felt energized. Overall price for individual sets were reasonable too, affordable for every household.

A pity the stall moved away when coffeeshop decided to do a facelift but fear not, I could still settle my braised duck cravings at Waterway Point shopping mall which was only 10mins away from my house and sengkang hood have Yu Kee too! It's so convenient now because Yu Kee was almost everywhere in our heartland which I felt lucky as I could still enjoy my latest love, braised duck kway teow, conveniently :) 

📍 Yu Kee Duck Rice (友记家传鸭饭)
Waterway Point (West Wing)
83 Punggol Central
Level 2, Koufu Foodcourt
Unit 02-20/21
Singapore 828761

** More detailed info on Yu Kee website

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! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼

[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... 👍🏼👍🏼

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 :) 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

** 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.**

📍 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: 
👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Yummy
👍🏼👍🏼 Not too bad
👍🏼 Needs improvement
👎🏼 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.👍🏼👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼

[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. 👍🏼👍🏼

[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! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

[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... 👍🏼

** 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.**

📍 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: 
👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Yummy
👍🏼👍🏼 Not too bad
👍🏼 Needs improvement
👎🏼 I won't take a 2nd bite/look