Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House

Since the opening of Tanjong Pagar Centre, we’ve noticed from the directory that Blue Lotus Chinese Grill House would be taking up a space in the mall and had been eagerly waiting for them to open. While the other restaurants and eateries have commenced operations a few months ago, the hoardings were still up at Blue Lotus.

Other than their outlet at Sentosa, we also heard that the Blue Lotus group opened a Chinese Noodle Bar in Science Park not too long ago. Finally they are making their presence felt in a more central location, where more people can drop by to enjoy a drink and good food after-work conveniently.

Prior to this visit, we would take a quick glance whenever we passed by the space for any telltale signs on when would they be ready for operation. Finally when we saw that there were staff inside the unit, we went to check out if they were opened to public. We were probably there on the first few days of its operations, with the flower stands lined outside.

Although Blue Lotus features Chinese dishes, they are done with a twist like the first tapas item: Crab balls, Chilli Pomelo Sauce. The deep-fried meat ball – made with shredded crab meat, removed the hassle of eating the real crab without taking away the shiok factor when I dipped the crab meat into the tangy mildly spicy sweet and sour sauce.

The addictive sauce was also the key ingredient for Chilli Pomelo Australian Blue Mussels, Fried Mantou. Although this dish has the same base as our earlier tapas, the plump and juicy mussels offered different texture from the fried crab meat balls. We also enjoyed dipping the fried mantou into the chilli pomelo gravy. In fact I wished we could have more mantous to slurp up all the remaining gravy.

After two seafood dishes, we tasted their Hickory Smoked Honey-glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly. I’m not a fan of Cantonese style roasted pork belly but this Josper oven version was tender and moist.

For mains we had the Fermented Tofu Barley Risotto, Pan Seared Barramundi with pickled chilli sauce. This dish seems less Chinese than the others but is probably playing on the idea that Chinese meal cannot go without rice and here its in the form of barley risotto?

We ended our meal with Durian Creme Brulee made from D24 Pure Durian, Fresh Fruits. I think there’s no need to elaborate on this dish as this would probably be a love-it or hate-it dish.

[17th Aug 2017]

Tried other dishes on my second visit to Blue Lotus including Chicken Skin, Chilli Yogurt Dipper and Grilled “San Bei” Pork Jowl 24 hours sou vide marinated spanish pork jowl, “San Bei” sauce, fried ginger, seasonal vegetables.

Loved the crispy and paper-thin chicken skin which was presented like sails. =) I’m really enjoying the tapas dishes here!

The pork jowl was tender but the flavours are not really exciting enough for my taste bud.

Finally I tried a staple Chinese dish Braised Hokkien Noodles, Pork Lard & Seafood. The gravy was quite sweet and I don’t expect any wok-hei from restaurant establishments, but it’s a decent effort. Some of their other staples are only available for lunch with limited selections available for dinner.

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Five Ten

If I were asked to make a guess as to why this place is named Five Ten, I would probably thought it is because the shop operates only from 5pm to 10pm (maybe some co-sharing of shop space concept?). Little would I have guessed that its because their dishes are priced at either $5 or $10. To set the record straight, they are opened for lunch too.

The menu here features dishes inspired by Taiwanese street food and are meant to be enjoyed like small plates (tapas style). From the $5 selections, we ordered the Tau Kwa | Century Egg deep fried tau kwa, century egg, house special sauce and Fried Chicken | Seaweed Mayonnaise sesame & soy marinated chicken, nori mayonnaise.

Thankfully the tau kwa used is not the fermented tofu that is a famous street food in Taiwan. Though there is still a fermented element in this dish in the form of century egg which is more palatable to me. The tofu with a light batter topped with crispy shallot topping paired with a dark savoury sauce was a decent start. However the fried chicken (tenders) was surprisingly addictive, as we quickly polished it up – generously dipping the crispy chicken into the small dollop of nori mayonnaise.

The other 3 dishes were from the $10 selections. Starting with the Grilled Squid | House Glaze grilled squid, house-glaze, kalamansi which was a tad small in portion and mostly the tentacles. Although flavour-wise it was acceptable and the squid was chewy, I can’t help but think that I could get a whole squid if I paid a little more at some eateries.

Another dish we tried was the Steak | Crispy Garlic Oil | Pickled Chinese Cabbage seared sirloin steak, house pickled cabbage, garlic crisps where we got about 4-5 slices of the medium-rare steak. It was tender and juicy.

The most value-for-money dish was undoubtedly the signature dish – Lu Rou pork braised in special house sauce. The pork was soft and well-braised. Plain rice is also available on menu. If you do not wish to let the gravy go to waste, drizzle it over the rice and you would have a filling meal. PS if you visit during lunch, the Lu Rou Fan is available at $10 and comes with a sou-vide egg.

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Nespresso Limited Edition Capsules – Intenso and Leggero on Ice

At the point of writing this post (in Nov 17), I have a record backlog of Nespresso Limited Edition Capsules posts to be completed. The next few months would see Nespresso introducing a whole slew of limited edition capsules – faster than I could drink!

This is also the first time (in my 8 years of drinking Nespresso) that they introduce capsules for the Summer to beat the heat. These 2 capsules Intenso and Leggero were meant to be prepared as per normal coffee but served cold by adding ice cubes.

The concept would be the coffee would be remain strong so that it would not be diluted after the addition of ice cubes.

Nespresso didn’t indicate the intensity of these capsules but provided precise instructions on how to prepare them.

  1. Add 90g of ice cubes
  2. Extract Espresso 40ml into glass
  3. Add 90ml of cold water and stir well.

However other than trying out the recommended method, I tried to do ice coffee cubes.

The Leggero is a mild coffee which was rather fruity and a tad acidic in taste whereas the Intenso is a rich coffee with deep roast flavour. My preference was Intenso over Leggero.

These ice coffee capsules are certainly a welcomed introduction to all Singapore Nespresso fans. We could quench our thirst with iced Nespresso coffee as we try to survive the sweltering heat…

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Kumoya Singapore X Cinnamoroll Pop-up Cafe

Most character cafes in Singapore does not seem to be able to sustain its hype and draw in constant crowd. Hence I thought it was a nice concept to work with a cafe to do a pop-up featuring a particular character for short stints like this one featuring Sanrio‘s Cinnamoroll*Pop-up was held from 17 May to 13 Aug 2017*

To be honest I was mentally prepared that the food would look better than it tasted and was also prepared to pay a slight premium for the cost to decorate the cafe with the cutesy mascot (& friends).

The menu specially curated and designed (styled) by Little Miss Bento featured the protagonist from the drinks, to meals and even desserts. Naturally with a huge gang of ladies, we took quite a while to finish snapping the photos. Till the point where the cotton candy started drooping and poor Cinnamoroll grew “beard” at the chin hahaha.

The Fun with Friends Cold Pasta main dish cost the same as the dessert Cinnamoroll Berries Fantasy Parfait. Somehow oddly I felt that the dessert was more value-for-money due to more customisation such as the printed macarons, the meringue clouds and the cyan coloured soft serve twirl.

However I think most fans would agree that its not exactly about the taste of the food, but more for the ambience and photo opp!

We had a great time taking tons of photo at the sweet-candy coloured place.

Following the Cinnamoroll pop-up, the same cafe play host to Miffy from 5 Oct to 31 Dec 2017. Working on same concept, the food would be designed by Little Miss Bento as well. So Miffy fans can plan for a visit soon.

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Two Chefs Eating Place (Commonwealth)

It has been a while since I last visited Two Chefs Eating Place, at least a few years gap and the crowd seems to have grown exponentially. I didn’t recall ever seeing such long queue at the place in the past and was glad that we had made reservations for a table for this visit.

The Drunken Cold Cockles covered in generous amount of chopped garlic, chilli, spring onion and doused in the special sauce, is one-of-a-kind. I haven’t seen this dish replicated elsewhere. The strong mixture of flavours can be a tad daunting for the less adventurous eaters, although it was meant to minimise the briny taste of the cockles. Conquer your fear of Hepatitis B (or better still get yourself immunised if you are regular cockles eater) and you will be rewarded with a chance to change your perception of how refreshing cockles can taste.

The other signature dish is the Butter Pork Ribs with Milk Powder. The fried pork ribs are coated in a generous pile of slightly savoury milk powder before being served. This dish usually had us scooping for the milk powder even after finishing the meat. The Hae Zhor (Prawn Rolls) was nicely fried to golden brown skin without drying out the fillings.

Instead of our usual order of Herbal Chicken (which is also a perennial favourite amongst the crowd here), we ordered the Assam Fish Curry. The slightly sweet, sour and tangy taste of the curry goes well with plain rice while the fish meat was firm and fresh.

With some space left in our stomach, we added a plate of Deep Fried Squid. Once again this dish had a bit of Thai influence with its sweet and sour taste.

If you are looking for some innovative tze char dishes, this place would likely fit the bill for their cockles and milk powder pork ribs.

116 Commonwealth Crescent
#01-129
Singapore 140116
Tel: 6472 5361

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Redpan

Sundays are for sleeping in till late morning. Having gotten special passes to access the Singapore F1 Circuit Tour meant I had to get up early for it.

After completing the tour, I decided to reward myself with a good lunch by stopping by redpan in Marina Square.

The mall had somehow been in the doldrums since its major revamp a couple of years ago. However Redpan was one of the eateries that has brisk business on a weekend. Redpan is a partnership between DP Architects x GRUB. I was quite fond of GRUB’s noodles – until they closed it.

Over at Redpan, they specialise in offering modern fusion dishes. I tried the Prawn & Hae Bee Hiam Pasta tagliatelle tossed with housemade spicy shrimp paste &
sautéed prawns and Seared Salmon in ‘Laksa’ Gravy seared scottish loch duart salmon, smashed potatoes & laksa sauce. The pasta was slightly spicy and not too oily. I liked that they used tagliatelle which is usually paired with rich creamy sauce instead. i was not that impressed with the salmon with laksa gravy. I felt that the laksa gravy didn’t go well with the fish. We have curry fish head locally but not laksa fish right?

Round up my meal with dessert of Banana Donuts ‘Milo Dinosaur’ with milo crumbs, condensed milk & hazelnuts (top up with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream). The dessert has a good mix of textures as we munched on the warm donuts, with crunchy peanut, chocolately Milo and creamy vanilla ice-cream in every mouthful.

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Chen’s Mapo Tofu

It is hard to believe that Chen’s Mapo Tofu could be a distance relative of the two-Michelin-star Sichuan-Japanese restaurant Shisen Hanten. One is a fine-dining restaurant housed in a hotel along Orchard road while another is a casual set-up located right smack in the financial district area.

But this gives us the chance to try the parent restaurant’s signature Mapo Tofu at an affordable price. Ordered the signature combo with 1/2 size Mapo Don and 1/2 size Dan Dan Mien.

For folks who don’t take spicy stuff, there are some items that are non-spicy available, like the Chuka Don (Chop Suey on Rice Bowl) – stir fried seafood and vegetables on riceChukadon is a popular Japanese fast food dish which is similar to our Mui Fan.

This joint is a decent place offering a comfortable aircon dining environment in the CBD area. However if one could endure the harsh weather and venture to the nearby Tanjong Pagar cluster or Amoy hawker centre, you’ll be rewarded with much better food choices.

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