If you enjoy feasting on hot and spicy Sichuan food, then why not head over to Xiao La Jiao Restaurant (literal translation: Small Chilli Restaurant!). I guarantee you it’s worth a visit.
Managed by the Creative Eateries Group, this casual dining restaurant specialises in spicy Sichuan dishes, blending sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty and aromatic effortlessly into a range of dishes.
Highly recommended dishes to try include the Chuan Style Spicy Chicken, Sichuan Boiled Beef and Ma Po Tofu. The restaurant also serves street vendor-style offerings like Sichuan Guo Tie (this is the Chinese version of the Japanese Gyoza. Well, kinda), Sichuan Wantons and the Rainbow Dumplings.
And if you’re confused by the extensive menu, fear not! The restaurant has a top 10 section in its new menu to help you out! Alternatively, the restaurant manager can also lend you a helping hand.
This is what we had for dinner:
Above: Pork Steamed Dumplings
Above: Sichuan Guo Tie (to dip in Vinegar Sauce with Ginger)
Above: Dumplings in delicious gravy. Sorry I forgot the exact name of this dish.
Check out the full Menu here: http://www.xiaolajiao.com.sg/content/menu.pdf
Most importantly, the food is reasonably priced too. What’s more, Sichuan cuisine is world-famous. Read the paragraph below extracted from the Restaurant’s official website:
“So famed is the cuisine of Sichuan, that its capital, Chengdu was the first Asian city to win a UNESCO listing as a City of Gastronomy in 2011. With Sichuan cuisine gaining significant momentum in large cities like Beijing, Shanghai and even London, Creative Eateries has endeavoured to make Xiao La Jiao an authentic showcase of this distinctive, yet versatile style of Chinese cooking. With its bright interior décor and floor to ceiling windows, the restaurant has the ambience of a humble teahouse restaurant which makes dining at Xiao La Jiao a comfortable and casual affair”
Personal Rating for Food: 4.5/5
Personal Rating for Service: 4.5/5
Would I recommend this eaterie? Yes! You’ll surely love Sichuan food.
Xiao La Jiao Restaurant
#03-05 112 Katong
112 East Coast Road
Telephone: +65 66363736
Bus Lines: 15, 16, 31, 36, 43, 48, 76, 135, 196, 966
Yeah, this was the amount of food we ate! A 10-course dinner.
I had a really delicious Chinese New Year “Lo Hei” dinner at the lovely Lei Garden Restaurant with my colleagues. It is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Singapore serving first-class Cantonese cuisine. It’s a tad pricier than most restaurants (eg Jumbo Seafood Restaurant) but the food you get here is par excellence!
We booked a huge Private Room for our Chinese New Year dinner. To get a private room, you need to order a minimum sum of S$1,600 for dinner. And the room is yours (together with a waitress/waiter) for the evening.
We chose the S$1,600 menu for 10 pax per table; 4 tables in total. This amount does not include the government tax and service charge. With drinks (wine, cocktails and Chinese Tea) included, our bill doubled up pretty quickly!
What makes this Cantonese restaurant stand apart from the rest of the chinese restaurants is its location. As you enter this bustling enclave of retail shops, restaurants, and nightspots, it’s difficult to imagine this was once a convent which, at its founding in 1854, consisted of a lone, simply constructed bungalow. After decades of buildings and add-ons, this collection of unique yet perfectly blended structures — a school, a private residence, an orphanage, a stunning Gothic chapel, and many others — was enclosed within walls, forming peaceful courtyards and open spaces encompassing an entire city block.
An evening out at CHIJMES is exquisitely romantic.
A note on the name:
CHIJMES is pronounced as ‘Chimes’; the ‘Chij,’ as noted, stands for Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, and the ‘mes’ was just added on so they could pronounce it ‘Chimes.’
Lo Hei/ Yu Sheng: Yusheng or Yee Sang (Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng) aka Prosperity Toss or Lo Hei (Cantonese for 撈起 or 捞起) is a Teochew-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Yusheng literally means “raw fish” but since “fish (鱼)” is commonly conflated with its homophone “abundance (余)”, Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, Yu Sheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. It is a mandatory dish that the Chinese partake in during every Chinese New Year.
And now, please seat back and enjoy the dishes!
Above: The Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng”
Above: Raw Salmon. This is to be added into the Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng” just before tossing!
Above: With all the additional ingredients added in to the Treasure Platter “Yu Sheng”, everyone at the table will now stand up, speak a few words of blessings and prosperity wishes…before tossing the ingredients sky high with their chopsticks. This symbolizes Good Luck ;-) Seriously.
Above: Doubled-boiled Sea Treasure in Deluxe Clear Soup.
Above: Panfried Live King Prawn with Light Soya Sauce.
Above: Live Sea Grouper Prepared in Two Ways
Above: Braised Sliced Abalone with Dry Oyster and Black Moss
Above: Baked Venus Chicken in Lei Garden Special
Above: Poached Seasonal Vegetable with Silver Mushroom
Above: Braised E-Fu Noodle in Abalone Sauce
Above: Chilled Fresh Mango Juice with Pomelo and Sago (Dessert).
Above: Specially Prepared Chinese Golden Pastry. It is rice crackers actually.
Above: White wine, anyone? The Oyster Bay white wine is not cheap here. S$200++ per bottle at this restaurant!
Personal Food Rating: 5/5!
Above: The huge Private Room that could accommodate 40 persons!
Lei Garden Restaurant - Chijmes
30 Victoria Street #01-24
Tel : (65) 6339 3822
Restaurant’s URL: http://www.leigarden.hk/English/local_detail.asp?id=5635AF31-4625-4400-8949-9BB92E13E1B9
Lunch : 11.30am to 3pm
Dinner : 6pm to 11 pm
It is a well-known fact that Hong Kong has the best Dim Sum restaurants in the world. But hey, Singapore is not lagging far behind. Not when we have the Tung Lok chain of restaurants here.
Tung Lok Signatures offers a combination of signature dishes from the various restaurants under the Tung Lok Group. Specialties include its trademark Lobster and Grilled U.S. Kurobuta Pork.
Let me introduce you to Tung Lok Signatures Restaurant @ Vivocity which servesd impossibly delicious Dim Sum. The BEST that I’ve tasted here in Singapore. Not kidding.
An ala carte Dim Sum for Lunch for 2 persons costs approximately S$150.00 (inclusive of drinks/beer).
So, without further ado, let’s go on a virtual food tour of this rad eaterie…. Don’t drool ;-)
Above: Fried Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Rolls) with Bean Sprouts…sprinkled with Cognac XO liquor - with Pork Floss as toppings. Delish!
Above: Steamed Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Rolls) with Prawn fillings.
Above: Har Kow - a Dim Sum staple. Must try!
Above: Scallop Dumpling (with Fish Roe toppings). Yum!
Above: Deep Fried Bean Curd Skin with Fish Paste Fillings. Ooh la la!
Above: Steamed Radish Cake. Another winner.
Above: Siew Mai - another Must-Try Dim Sum staple.
Above: Prawns and Mushroom Dumplings (I think). Sorry… I can’t remember the name of this dish.
Food Rating: 5/5
Tung Lok Signatures @ Vivocity
1 HarbourFront Walk
Telephone +65 6376 9555
Nearby Stations: HarbourFront
Tung Lok Signatures @ The Central
#02-88 The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Nearby Stations: Clarke Quay
Sun & PH 11am-3pm;
I am not kidding you when I say that Hock Lam Beef Noodles is by far the BEST beef noodles I have ever tasted. In the world. And trust me, I have tried many different types (including the Vietnamese Pho). But nothing…NOTHING can compare to Hock Lam’s! No wonder the founder’s daughter, Ms Tina Tan quit her high-paying banking job to run the business. This businesswoman has expanded the business to 4 outlets island-wide now. We sincerely hope she’d be able to expand her operations worldwide because the rest of the world really needs to try just how rad this dish is.
My foreigner friend rated this dish: 9/10! He was simply blown away by the beef noodles. I asked him “have you tried beef noodles before?”. His reply “No. This is really the best noodles I have ever tasted”. And he doesn’t lie.
Seriously, you guys need to check it out for yourself.
Here is an article which appeared in THE BUSINESS TIMES
- written by Tan Teck Heng | Tue Oct 2 2012:
You cannot deny that a recipe that has been around for 101 years has staying power.
Throw in fourth-generation owner Tina Tan’s branding savvy to the tried-and-tested Hock Lam beef noodles, and you get a winning formula.
The flagship stall in China Street has the look of hawker fare given a 2.0 upgrade, joining the ranks of Ya Kun; google the Hock Lam Beef name and you will be pointed to a put-together website, complete with YouTube video marking its centennial.
Ms Tan, who ditched a high-paying banking career to take over the stall in 2005, said: “My father took a year to pass me the recipe, and there’s no recording of it as he doesn’t want to leak it.”
Spurred to make the career switch because her father’s failing health would have meant the end of a legacy, she went from a desk job to 16-hour-days preparing ingredients - she slices up 60kg of beef herself - and managing the daily operations. She has no regrets.
The manpower issue continues to dog her. The prep work is brutally labour intensive: the chilli, for instance, takes five days’ work because of the addition of blue ginger, which has to be hand-shredded, squeezed, then sun-dried and de-veined with scissors.
She adamantly refuses to cut corners on this, saying it is part of educating the younger generation of customers so a heritage is not lost.
But the chilli definitely complements the beef slices, which are briefly scalded so they remain deliciously pink and tender.
Going for the noodles in soup is a good choice. The broth is characteristically Teochew with a mild, simple herbal flavour.
If you still prefer the dry version, add some pickled vegetable garnish. It is juicy and a tad too salty, but does the job to moderate the thick sauce so it does not get too heavy.
Despite staffing problems, Ms Tan has expanded to a total of four outlets; a new branch at Alexandra Retail Centre offers an extended menu which will be rolled out to other branches soon.
Her brother Ken has joined the business.
To those who gripe that $6.50 to $8.50 for a Hock Lam original is too steep, Ms Tan has this snappy comeback: “Why is one more willing to pay more than $15 for a bowl of ramen with three thin slices of pork?”
Fine, she’s got us there.
** End of Article **
We dined at the Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC) outlet. This is possibly the most upmarket of all the outlets. For 2 pax, it can cost almost S$60.00 to dine here if you choose 2 set meals with 1-2 additional dishes e.g. vegetables like what we ordered.
Per set meal comprising of 1 bowl of Beef Noodles, 1 side dish and 1 drink costs about S$15.00.
But hey, for such wonderful food, we don’t mind paying a little bit more!
Above: Long Beans with Chye Poh (Pickled Vegetables). Their signature dish. Highly recommended. It is truly delish!
Above: Spicy Chicken Nuggets. This comes as part of the Set Meal. Really succulent yet, so crispy!
Above: Coleslaw. This also comes as part of a Set Meal. You have an option to choose either Spicy Chicken Nuggets or Coleslaw as your side dish.
Above: Fried Pumpkin. My friend apparently loves this!
Official Website: http://www.hocklambeef.com/blog/
Food Rating: 5/5 (yes, I am serious)
HOCK LAM BEEF
Far East Square:
22 China Street, #01-01, Far East Square
Tel: +65 6220 9290
Monday to Sunday & PH: 10.00am – 9.00pm
949 Upper Serangoon Road
Tel: 6285 6119
Monday: Closed | Tuesday to Friday: 5.00pm to 11.00pm | Saturday, Sunday & PH: 10.00am – 11.00pm
38 Seah Street
Tel: +65 6339 9641
Nearest MRT station: Esplanade, City Hall
Alexandra Retail Center #02-24
460 Alexandra road
We recently celebrated a friend’s birthday at the rad American Club here in Singapore. For information, the Club is not opened to the general public. Membership is strictly for American citizens residing here OR for corporate memberships (i.e. American organizations with an office in Singapore). AND, it is not cheap to join the American Club either :-)
Needless to add, any place with the word “American” needs high level security. Security at the American Club is extremely tight. You are not even allowed to take photos of the area! And have you ever been to the American Embassy? Oh boy, when I was there recently, it looked like Fort Knox! I was trembling at the sight of guards holding automatic guns!
Above & Below: The Lobby of the American Club. These photos which I have uploaded onto my blog have been checked and approved by the Club! Yes, they actually checked the photos that I took before allowing me to move on…
Anyway, back to the American Club… We held the birthday celebration at the Club’s 2nd Floor Restaurant (yup, it’s literally called that)..and yes, it was located on the 2nd Floor! ;-)
The Club has a restaurant serving buffet, another cafe next to the swimming pool…and then there is the posh 2nd Floor Restaurant serving a la carte and set meals.
We chose the Set Meal. Per set meal (depending on which ones you choose) cost an average of S$35 which is really value for money. We chose the most expensive ones in the menu.
This is the most expensive Set Meal in the Menu:
Above: For starters, we were served an array of the best warm breads available…from the Chinese Man Dous to Oatmeal bread et al. It was so delicious that we ordered another basketful of bread!
Above: This is my Asian Tapas consisting (from left): Hunan Bean Curd wrapped with Sliced Roasted Duck + Deep-Fried Prawns tossed with hot Pumpkin Sauce + Steamed Chicken Dumplings. Verdict: It was sooo yummy that I was so tempted to order a second round of the Asian Tapas!
Above: My main dish: The 80-Hour Braised Szechuan Style Beef Brisket with White Rice. Seriously, I don’t think they actually took 80 hours to cook this because it was still not tender enough when I ate it. A chunk of the beef brisket almost choked me! It was really difficult to chew! Sigh.
Above: Mango Pudding for Dessert. This was perfect!
This is the cheapest Set Meal in the Menu costing approximately S$25.00.
Above: My friend had Dim Sum. It’s almost similar to my Asian Tapas…but the dumplings were not as expensive, I guess. Haha.
Above: This is my friend’s main dish: Japanese Seafood Ramen. He said it was good. Whatever that means! He’s a man of very few words…
This is Set Meal 2 i.e. The In-Between. Not too expensive and not the cheapest in the Menu!
Above: Corn and Radish Soup. I was told this was - delish! ;-)
Above: My friend’s main dish - Stir-Fried Beef with Yam + White Rice. Again, the verdict given for this dish was - delish!
Above: Aloe Vera with Ice Cream for Dessert. Looks yummilicious!
Above: Coffee, anyone?!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRACE!! ;-)
The lovely 2nd Floor Restaurant.…
The view of the gorgeous (and inviting!) swimming pool at the American Club as seen from the 2nd Floor Restaurant…
If you have an opportunity to dine at the Club, I encourage you to check out the 2nd Floor Restaurant.
Welcome to one of the most beautifully-decorated restaurants here in Singapore - the opulent One On The Bund Restaurant at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. The Restaurant takes its name from an area in Shanghai (The Bund) which is somewhat reminiscent of Singapore’s colonial heritage.
Note: Shanghai is a big city in China. And Singapore is NOT part of China. Singapore is a country. Just wanted to make this known now because I have met some really strange foreigners who asked me “Is Singapore part of China?!”. I almost fainted in shock and disbelief when I heard them say that. Yes, American tourists!
Upon entering the restaurant via a long red-carpeted walk-way - reminiscent of a fashion show ram (!) - you will pass by some lovely eye-catching Imperial Chinese art treasures (belonging to Chef Calvin Yeung himself!) and life-like Imperial Chinese soldiers! The unique decor of this posh restaurant certainly is impressive! See photos below.
Our Group dined inside the “Private Room” which is not your usual type of private rooms! It is not a room per se, but it was located at the side of the restaurant. See photo below. You can also dine outside - al fresco style - overlooking the Marina Bay Waterfront. We kinda wished the Private Rooms overlooked the Marina Bay Waterfront. I mean, for the price that we paid to dine inside the private room, it would make sense right?
Ah yes, it was a big group of us that dined here.
And, the food is beyond amazing!
Above: For our Appetiser, we had fresh Prawns chilled with Ice Cubes…and Leafy Vegetables in a really delicious sauce. It was yummy!
Above: Fish Maw Seafood Soup. Initially, the Restaurant wanted to serve us Shark’s Fins Soup (an expensive Chinese delicacy soup). But there were VIOLENT reactions from my Group who felt that this dish ought to be banned (sigh!)… I ended up choosing the more eco-friendly (haha!) but equally delicious Fish Maw!
Above: Black Pepper Tiger Prawns served with Glass Noodles. Another winner! No words can describe how fantastic this dish is.
Above: Huge Black Mushrooms with Vegetables served with Plain Rice. A simple dish but oooh, so mouthwatering! The mushrooms were also succulent.
Above: Roasted Peking Duck.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the signature dish of this restaurant (a MUST-TRY!) is the famous wood-fire Roasted Peking Duck. Briefly, the duck is roasted slowly with Apple tree wood chip for a distinctive flavor and then sliced to perfection before the eager diners. The whole process takes around 45 minutes! So you must be prepared to wait ;-)
You then place a portion of the duck meat onto the wrap (I call it “popiah skin”), mixed with a slice of cucumber and drizzled it with the sauces (including the sweet sauce) provided. Then wrap it up and eat it! ;-) See last photo above to watch how I do mine.
Above: Dessert!! Chocolate Fudge Cake.
Above: Apple Martini for drinks. Mine! Wanna share with me? ;-)
The bill came to over $2,000 per table because of the drinks we ordered. The Set Dinner itself cost $1200 per table for 10 pax (before all relevant taxes).
Food Rating (including Ambience, Food and Service): 5/5 !!
The service accorded to us was par excellence, baby! So attentive. This is the price you pay for dining in such an exquisite restaurant.
Incidentally, this Restaurant has been voted one of the top BEST 5 restaurants here in Singapore and in Asia by CNNgo.com.
One On The Bund Restaurant
The Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay
Tel : +65 6221 0004
Above: The beautiful restaurant overlooks the enthralling Marina Bay Waterfront. If you are coming here, remember to choose the tables outside instead of sitting inside!
Above: Our host from the Orchard Hotel chose this starter dish to kick-off our Cantonese fine dining experience
Amazingly, Hua Ting Restaurant has been in existence in Singapore since 1992 but I have yet to try out the food here….until our hosts from the Orchard Hotel/ Millenium Hotels & Resorts Group invited us for a lovely lunch one Friday afternoon recently. It was indeed a fine culinary experience beyond compare!
Our hosts, with the recommendation from the Master Chef himself chose the Restaurant’s most famous dishes for our lunch. We were left awestruck by the quality of each dish. I would definitely drop by to check out the rest of the dishes in the menu soon. And yes, including their Dim Sum!
Hua Ting Restaurant serves deliciously intricate Cantonese delicacies and is truly an exquisite restaurant that combines authentic Cantonese recipes with modern flair.
Their service was also par excellence!
Truly, it was one of the most amazing business lunches I have ever enjoyed!
Food Rating: 5/5
HUA TING RESTAURANT
Mondays to Fridays
Lunch 11:30am - 02:30pm
Dinner 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Saturdays, Sundays, Eve of and Public Holidays
Lunch 11:00am - 2:30pm
Dinner 6:30pm - 10:30pm
Dress Code: Smart casual, no shorts and slippers
Special Menus - Vegetarian
Children’s Facilities available - High chairs
Contact Number: +65 6739 6666
Orchard Hotel Singapore
442 Orchard Road
T. +65 6734 7766
F. +65 6733 5482
Above: Really Tasty Soup! (with Cordyceps)
Above: Cod Fish with Vegetables and Tempura-Style Vegetables!
Above: Emerald Bean Curd with Mushrooms
Above: Fish Paste Noodles. Unusual but so delish!
Above: Hot Dessert - Fried Pancake with Red Bean
Above: Hot Dessert - Double-Boiled Harsma (very good for complexion)
Above: Cold Dessert - Coconut with Aloe Vera and Dragon Fruit
Above: Hot/Cold Dessert - Snow Fungus. Super delish!
One of the things I really look forward to most is feasting on a delectable Dim Sum meal on weekends.
There are several great Dim Sum eateries in Singapore. But for today, I will be recommending the Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant located on the 35th Floor of the newly-renovated iconic Mandarin Orchard Hotel.
The food here is tasty and delicious. And it’s really worth giving yourself a treat occasionally at this lovely restaurant with a sweeping view of Singapore. The service is also above average. The servers are all very friendly and efficient. I have no complains. It made dining here enjoyable! ;-)
Our Dim Sum (a la carte) meal for 2 persons came up to S$90.00! We only had 6 dishes of Dim Sum and 1 Fried Seafood Mee Sua (Noodles). See photos below. Yes, it is pricey. But the food is really good. So I am not complaining!
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Here are my all-time Dim Sum favorites:
For those with a huge appetite, I highly recommend that you choose the Restaurant’s Weekend Dim Sum Brunch Buffet priced at S$78.00++/pax. You’d be spoilt for choices with 120 Dim Sum items to choose from!
Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant
333 Orchard Road
Mandarin Orchard Hotel Singapore
Tel: +65 6831 6262
Monday to Friday
12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dim Sum Brunch
Saturday, Sunday & public holiday
11.00am to 2.30pm
Monday to Sunday
6.30pm to 10.30pm
Dining Reservations: 6831 6288/62
Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl_Ew3j0AIo
And here’s the sweeping view of beautiful Singapore from the 35th Floor of the Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant! Enjoy the view! ;-)
I must admit that I am not a good cook. To be honest, I can’t cook. At all. I was kicked out of Domestic Science Class (read: Cooking Class) in school when the cake I was baking caught on fire. It really wasn’t my fault! Really.
Many years later, I wanted to impress a guy I was dating with my (non-existent) cooking skills. Tried to whip up some fancy Fried Noodles (like those that I’ve tasted in some rad Chinese restaurants, ya know?). Heated up the wok for about 3 minutes, then poured in some cooking oil onto the wok. BUT - lo and behold, and to cut a long story short, my kitchen caught on fire! Sigh. Thank God for circuit breakers and prayers! Yup, I almost burned down my whole place. Now, THAT was a very traumatic experience.
Hence, I gave up cooking… and decided to eat out! Oh, what pure joy! Being able to taste the best food in Singapore! So, here’s a recipe of one of my favorite all-time Singaporean dishes. If you can cook a mean dish of Fried Fish Noodles with XO, pleeeeaaaaasssse DO invite me over for a meal! ;-D When it comes to good food and great wine, I am NOT shy! ;-)
意面 (Fried Noodles), enough for 1
Dried Cuttle Fish
1/3 Cup Evaporated Milk
Green Vegetables (Chai Sim, or ANY Green Vegetables e.g. Lettuce)
1 Cup of Water
A Few Slices of Ginger
Oil, for Greasing
1 tbsp of XO Wine (To Be Added Last)
Salt (Seasoning A)
Sugar (Seasoning A)
Sesame Oil (Seasoning A)
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce (Seasoning B)
1/2 tsp of White Pepper (Seasoning B)
1/2 tsp of Sugar (Seasoning B)
1 tsp Salt (Seasoning B)
1 tbsp Shaoxing Jiu 邵兴酒 aka Chinese Cooking Wine (Seasoning B)
How to make XO Sliced Fish Noodle Soup
Marinate sliced fish with seasoning B for at least 30 minutes (You can marinate it for one whole night to get the full flavour);
Heat oil in wok.
Fry ginger and fish until 50% cooked.
Pour in water and bring to boil.
Add in noodles, evaporated milk, cuttle fish and seasoning A.
Cook for 3 minutes or until the noodle gets soft.
Add in green vegetables and,
Cook for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat.
Add in 1 tbsp of XO wine and stir well before serving. (This is optional)
Note: The evaporated milk is used to get rid of the fishy smell, and make it tastier.