Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wanton Story: Jack of all Wantons?

Wanton Story is one of the many micro-eateries at the basement of Bugis Junction. They had an unusual range of fillings for wanton and xiao long bao, such as miso fish and oyster. I'm not exactly a conservationist, but I believe some things are better off with their original taste. My mom and I were looking for a bite so we decided to give it a try.


I felt that the overall standard of Xiao Long Bao in Singapore is getting better, with it gaining popularity and more places making them over the years. This one has the juicy soup filling inside but was let down by its a tad too thick skin.

Just to share a bit of personal experience, I feel that one of the criterias for a perfect XLB is to have a tip that is not harden. This will requires alot of effort for the master to produce something really thin after all the folds and yet not easily broken. Sad to say, I have yet to see any XLB of such quality in Singapore.


The chilli wanton was only average with again disappointing skin. Luckily, the pork filling was flavourful enough and made up some lost points.


Now this was a surprising find. Minced pork rice is more of a taiwanese dish, so how does this fit into a eatery with mainly native China food? My only guess is that they wanted to add in a simple rice dish but couldn't quite decide on what it would be, so voila!

The minced pork toppings was rather commendable, bearing some resemblence in taste to the really nice ones I had in Taiwan. However, the rice was overcooked and too harden to my liking, if only they had used soft japanese pearl rice instead. Also, portion of minced pork could afford to be slightly more generous.

Overall, it was 10odd dollars for the both of us. Not exactly expensive and given its novelty of innovative fillings, it could spark off some interest. Sadly, it was a master in none of its items and did not leave a lasting impression on me.
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zam Zam: Mega Murtabak!

I think this should be a pretty well-known eatery. With more than a century of history, something got to be special that made it still standing after so long right? As it was near my girlfriend's house, we decided to explore it on a weekend night!

Call me a pampered Singaporean, but I was slightly overwhemed by the heat coming from the kitchen on the 1st floor. Unwilling to eat with hot air blowing at me for the entire meal, I ventured upstairs and discovered an entire seating area with aircon, and its looks cleaner and less greasy than downstairs too!

Teh Tarik

Nothing extraordinary, but still pleasent to drink. I haven't really figure it out, but anyone care to enlighten me, what exactly is this difference between teh cino and teh terik?

Mutton Briyani

Actually I didn't intend to order this (Was initially going for the mutton murtabak), but i thought I should give it a try since they recommended their briyani selections as well. First of all, the portion was really huge, my plate was overflowing with rice, burying a giant chunk of mutton. Taste-wise, the mutton was quite tender and well-flavoured with curry, but the rice wasn't really to my liking, being too dry and lumps sticking together.

Sardine Murtabak

Man this is one mean murtabak! The sheer size of it was already an eye-opener, to think that we went for its small size. (I saw even more mega ones on other tables..) The sardine spilled out as we opened the middle, while we realised it was made with an egg prata and another suspected piece of plain one. The texture was the chewy type, satisfying with its thick layer and mouthfuls of sardine!

Egg Prata

Out of gluttony, I ordered another piece but was surprisely told that they didn't sell plain, so i had to settle for a egg one instead. Again, it was only okay and not as good as its murtabak.

I couldn't remember the exact amount, but i think it was lower than $13 for the both of us, which i find to be reasonably cheap for their portion, aircon surroundings and prompt services. But I have to say this, I was extremely thirsty after the meal. Will probably return for its mutton murtabak, but go easy on the MSG please?
Sunday, April 12, 2009

Taiwan Part 3: 士林夜市!

Finally! The legendary night market of 台北! We made our way there on the 3rd night, famishing and eager for a taste of the famous street snacks that we had heard so much about. The sights, smell and sound was simply fascinating with so much action going on!

There were seats within shops that you patronise or certain areas that are open to everyone, which is good if you want to have a mixture of items from different stores. Apologies for the poor quality of food shots as they didn't turn out well, partly due to my rushness with 4 friends waiting to 开动!

炸鸡扒 (TWD50/piece ~ SGD2.50)

豪大大鸡扒 had the longest queue and my other friends who came before said it tasted the best among all. We opted for original flavour but you can sprinkle other powders such as curry or seaweed for something different.

The coating was crispy and sprinkled heavily with 五香粉, while the meat was tender and juicy. And it wasn't even thigh meat! Our conclusion was that Taiwan's chicken was of a different breed that made even fillet tasted that good! Other than that, the portion was humongous and would easily fill you up if you ate one by yourself!

棺材板 (TWD50/piece ~ SGD2.50)

This is essientially a piece of thick toast that had been deep fried, cutted a well in the middle and filled with creamy sauce and toppings of your choice. We thought it was only average until we had a better and more authentic one in 台南

大肠包小肠 on the left (TWD 40 ~ SGD2.00)

大肠 is actually glutinous rice that resembled a large sausage, cutting it into halves and wrapped around a meat sausage, accompanied by chinese pickles and special sauce. Shiok!

招牌综合冰, 巧可力布丁冰

We headed for desserts after our round and settled for this ice shop with enticing options. The fruits were fresh and sweet, just what you expected from a place with rich fruit harvest. The chocolate pudding was unique and wobbles softly in your mouth. Very refreshing!

Just for you info, 士林夜市 is generally seperated into two areas. One is the food hall that housed all the snack shops I shown above, and the other is a shopping area where you can get many fashionable clothings and interesting buys, either from big brands or street vendors. The best thing to do? Grab a 鸡扒, eat and shop at the same time!
Monday, April 06, 2009

Taiwan Part 2: 饶河夜市!

The 2nd night of Taipei was spent it at 饶河夜市. Though less famous than its 士林 counterpart, its still flooding with fantastic snacks! It was raining in the evening but luckily for us, stopped as we approached the market. Stores were setting up for business and the crowd built up over time!

Chilli Crab (One portion, approx 4 small crabs for TWD 100 ~ SGD5.00)

No this is not your Singapore big Sri Lankan chilli crab, but small ones that had been deep fried and was really crunchy and bursting with flesh, marinated and topped with a special blend of chilli sauce. It could be troublesome if you choose to seperate the meat from the shell, but it was so crunchy to me that I managed to eat it like a soft shell crab! We gave the large prawns a miss as we were simply lazy to peel them..

胡椒饼 (One for TWD45 ~ SGD2.25)

The best pork pastry ever! The long queue at the store was everlasting! When we finally got our hands on the pastry, my friends and I were so overwhelmed by it that we simply ate in silence and "enjoyed the moment". The flaky outside was baked to a golden brown and sprinked with seseame seeds. When you sink your teeth into it, scalding juice simply squirt out (I'm not kidding, few of us kanna the "squirting") with piping hot peppery-flavoured minced meat. Oh my oh!

There were many similar stores selling smelly beancurd and stuffs, so being the kiasu Singaporeans, we went for the one with the largest crowd!

蚝煎, 臭豆腐, 鲁肉冬粉

The oyster ommelette was very different from our version, drizzled in a sweet chilli sauce before serving. Frankly, we felt that the sauce overpowered the oyster flavour and would be better if we had asked for it to be served seperately.

The smelly beancurd was also different from HK-type, less deep fried and more juicy, nevertheless equally outstanding! We ordered the minced meat tang hoon out of curiousity and was pleasently surprised by its simple-ness and yet delicious combo.

Next stop, 士林夜市!