Monday, September 28, 2009

Casuarina Curry:

I had always fancied a prata breakfast. Plain ol Indian pancake, yet so tasty and addictive. Spending 1.5 year at Seletar Camp, it was sad that the famous one at Jalan Kayu just didn’t live up to its name anymore. Fortunately, there’s still Casuarina!

Located near Upper Pierce Reservoir, Casuarina Curry could be a little hard to reach, but you would be surprised by the crowd on a Sunday morning. It had been quite awhile since I last visited and they had renovated the place quite neatly. Cleaner, bigger and air-conditioned, not a bad place to eat flattened dough!


The simplest but still most popular of them all, the one here was hot and fluffy, has that little elasticity when you pull them apart, yet still retaining a crispy texture on the surface. With curry or sugar? Heck, it even tasted good on its own!

Sweet Prata

I actually wanted to have a prata bomb, a variant that used double the dough in a single piece with hidden melted sugary butter. Alas, they did not serve it here but the guy suggested an alternative, one that came with egg and condensed milk within. Thin and elongated, the combination of sticky sweet taste and eggy aroma was quite an interesting one.

Curry Mutton

I gotta have this everytime I come! Served in bite-sized cubes, it was tender and well-marinated with a good proportion of lean meat and tendon. The sauce was also thicker and richer than the standard ones, which went even better with pratas. Made for the mutton lovers!

Sad to say, the drinks here were really not up to standard. Teh Tarik and Chino were either too bland or sweet, should really put in more effort to complement their good stuffs. Somehow, its getting harder to get a decent piece of prata and Casuarina wasn’t really that tempting to drag myself down with a long bus ride every week. Anyone knows of a good one that is easily accessible?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Seafood International: Fresh from the tank!

We celebrated my dad’s birthday some time back and since we rented a car for the weekend (yup we don’t own one), we decided to go somewhere far and unreachable from home. We were on the verge of considering going JB but oh well, East Coast was far enough!

I had been here once many years ago, when it was still housed in the old big splash building. Shifted and renovated, the seating arrangements were more spacious and generally more clean than what I remembered. After confirming a table, we went straight to the marketplace!

The selling point of this place! At the entrance, there were rows and layers of tanks filled with live seafood. So you basically went shopping with a trolley, going through the selections with a personal helper at your side, who would bring out the preys of your choice, weigh them, and also made recommendations on cooking methods. There was also a vegetable fridge where you could get your fix of greens, as well as desserts and fruits counters!

Boiled Live Prawns ($7.70/100grams)

You don't really need much skills in cooking this. Fresh jumping prawns scalded briefly in boiling water, eaten with a dash of soy sauce. The sweetness within released with crunchy meat and "paste" in the head. Pure tasty!

Stir-fried Baby Kai Lan($3.20/100 grams), Chilli Beef with Basil Leave ($16.00)

The kai lan was pretty standard, fried with garlic and has a nice "wok-hei"ish taste. I don't really like the beef though, overwhelming chilli with spicy but no basil leave taste. Quality of beef slices was alright, reasonably tender but lack of the desired beefy flavour.

Steamed Deep Sea Red Coral in Soy Sauce($14.10/100 grams)

Steamed fishes were one of my favourite dishes in a Chinese dinner. The smooth tender meat drizzled with light soy sauce, I could down bowls of rice with this! More affectionally known as 东星斑 to the Chinese, this was supposed to be one of the best breed of fish to be steamed.

Unfortunately, my parents felt that the quality didn't match the hefty price tag and that it could have tasted much better. To me it was already good enough, but perhaps thats because I had not eaten enough fishes to tell a really nice one!

Black Pepper Crab ($5.02/100 grams)

Unlike the national favourite Chilli Crab, my parents preferred something more fiery in taste, so they opted for black pepper style instead. Since the quality of crabs were hardly comparable in Singapore, the plus points would really depend on how well the sauce was conjured. The version here was good, but short of outstanding. Still, who doesn't love succulent crab meat?

Steamed Tapioca ($4.00)

Though you could hardly went wrong with this, its really hard to get a perfect one steamed to the right texture and hardness. This wasn't close, but still a sweet way to end off the seafood fiesta.

Total bill for 3 was $230.26 after taxes. It had been a long time since I last had chinese seafood in Singapore, but given its comfortable air-con surrounding, I'm quite sure its pricier than most of the seafood restaurants out there. But I guess it was fun to shop for your dinner!
Monday, September 14, 2009

Paulaner Brauhaus: Mega Pork Knuckle!

Note: I actually wrote this article for a school publication that will be printed next week. So you guys are reading it first hand!

I remembered when I was still a kid, my parents brought me to this restaurant that had huge, bronze vats, served large chunks of pork with crispy skin and drank something cold and bitter which I didn’t understand why my dad could drain mugs of it. That was 10 years ago. Now it was about time for a revisit and my turn to drain that “cold and bitter” thing!

Paulaner Brauhaus is arguably the most well-known German restaurant in Singapore. Located at the prominent corner of Millennia Walk Times Square, it recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, serving handcrafted beers from the in-house microbrewery over the years.

The 3 levels restaurant was divided into 2 sections. The ground level was of pub setting with a live band stage, singers entertaining the crowd with pop and classic renditions. Office executives from the nearby towers were often seen here chilling out after work, as well as the occasional groups of drinking buddies catching up with one another over a beer or two.

The two upper floors were the main dining hall where food took centre stage. Traditional Bavarian décor and architectural design were prominent throughout, the wooden furnishing and dimmed overhead lamps provided a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Staffs were friendly and eager, familiar with the menu and taking down our orders promptly.

Complimentary Bread

Warm and fluffy, it was served with butter and a pate which tasted rather like luncheon meat, not bad at all.

Roasted Pork Kunckle ($29.50)

If you were going for the sole purpose of this, either share it with someone or come with a really empty stomach, because the serving was simply humongous. The size of two adult fists, it offered truckload of meat attached to a single rod of bone. The skin was wonderfully crunchy and came with a sinful layer of sticky fats underneath. The lean meat was juicy and tender, with the pepper sauce complementing it well.

Unfortunately, the knuckle wasn’t evenly roasted enough, resulting in parts of it being overly hardened and tough. The accompany side of Sauerkraut was a refreshing relief from the pork, simmered warm and nicely soured. The slices of bread dumpling were different from what Chinese would call dumpling, as it was simply bread with bits of meat in it.

Pork Cordon Bleu ($27.50)

This was more of a letdown. The meat was too tough for our liking and we could barely see or taste the cheese within. But like the knuckle, the serving too was large and piled with fries, which was piping hot and remained crunchy right to the end.

Paulaner Brauhaus Lager from the Tap ($12 for 0.3L)

And how could you not have a mug of their signature Lager? Crisp and light, it washed down everything nicely with a satisfying burp!

I guess I was really hungry..

Total bill for two was $69.04 after 15% Citibank discount. Paulaner Brauhaus is probably the closest you could get to an authentic German brewhouse. Warm atmosphere, generous portion and fresh beer from the tap all year round, it would definitely be a great hangout for a casual meal with friends. Drink up!
Monday, September 07, 2009

NTU Canteen B: Wow Wow West!

So I had been in school for a month now, mealtimes had always been a pleasent adventure exploring the different canteens and stores. So first up: Western food at Canteen B!

Can B is one of the two largest canteen in NTU, the other being Can A over at the North Spine. I usually had my lunch here due to its close proximity to most of my lessons. There's always a mega crowd during lunchtime, as not only students but also nearby office workers who whould drive here for cheap parking and food!

The western is actually a branch of the store at NIE canteen with slightly different menus. One of the best part about it is that all main courses are cooked upon order, so you always get your food sizzling hot!

Cheese Fries ($2.00)

One of the better cheese fries I had. The fries were what my friend would described as "very-Mcdonalds-like", skinny and golden yellow, the cheese sauce was good and not watery either. Great for sharing among the table!

Chicken Cutlet with Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti ($3.50)

The cutlet was well breaded and crunchy, revealing juicy meat inside. Good stuff! The pasta and sauce were lukewarm, understandable to cut hassle and queuing time. Colelaw was rather refreshing and again paired with good ol fries.

Chicken Chop with Bolognese Spaghetti ($3.50), Grilled Fish Set ($4.00)

One of my friends opted for the chicken chop that looked equally good with brown sauce, mashed potato and salad. The fish was also pretty decent with two strips of dory. And its always a plus point for them to be served hot. I know I'm asking a bit too much for the price, but it will be really nice if they put in abit more effort for the pasta. But honestly, it was good enough for a student lunch.

More canteens soon!