★ Restaurant Sühring, Bangkok

First dinner in Bangkok for a short weekend trip and first stop was Restaurant Sühring. Although Bangkok is a short flight away from Singapore and a shopping heaven for many Singaporeans who would swear to visit her a few times a year, I last visited in 2016. Restaurant Sühring was opened shortly after my 2016 visit and they made it into the Asia 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017, debuting at #13 and moved up to #4 in the 2018 list which was announced in Mar 18. We were happy to have secured our booking prior to the announcement. They are also awarded 1-Michelin star in inaugural 2018 Michelin Guide Bangkok.

The restaurant is set up in a house with four different sections: The Kitchen, The Dining Room, Winter Garden and Living Room. During reservation, we chose to be seated in the kitchen as we wanted to witness the actions right where it happens.

The Sühring “Erlebnis” (Experience) menu comprised of three Chapters.

Chapter One

We started with Storhappen Smoked sturgeon in a pretty gift box that opens up to unveil the light bites that took centre-stage.

It was then followed byKrabbencocktail Crab cocktail, Fischbrotchen Cured salmon in a mini home-made bun and Obatzdarollchen (a Bavarian cheese delicacyCream cheese made from Camembert cheese dusted with paprika powder. I’m absolutely loving the last snack for its crispy roll and rich smooth cheese, with the slightly sweet & spicy paprika coating. The paprika so reminds me of Hungary.

The next snack is a signature dish by the Sühring brothers – Currywurst & Molle Pork sausage topped with curry powder and curry sauce from a stall in Berlin/Crispy Potato with curry power/Cheers – German butterbeer, beer mixed with cider vinegar. This is said to be a tribute to the iconic Berlin sausage stalls lining the streets. It comes in a miniature takeout box for the sausage complete with miniature beer mugs~ In fact I bought a similar miniature mug from Hofbräuhaus in Munich and its sitting on my display cabinet.

Entenleber & Buchteln Hungarian duck liver and brioche served with Riesling Spatlese. The wine has a low level of sweetness which provided a balanced profile to the rich mousse-textured pate with a crispy, slightly charred toast.

Chapter Two [Fish & Meat]

River trout & horseradish/N25 caviar The N25 is a premium brand of caviar from a German-based company but their caviar are produced in China.

Brotzeit for sharing Brotzeit meaning “Bread time”. To me, this was the most amazing course of the night.  The home-made sour dough was made with imported German flour and yeast fermentation made a year ago. It is served with a variety of spreads – butter and schmaltz, cold cuts and a jar of pickles. I wished I could finish all the bread but had to save some space for the rest of the courses.

Leipziger Allerlei It was originally considered a poor people’s food and is said to have its roots in Poland from 1745. However the dish became popular in Leipzig after the Napoleonic Wars to protect the city from beggars and tax collectors. City officials hoped to encourage beggars and tax collectors to move on to neighboring cities and served this dish (instead of meat) as crayfish was very cheap back then and the vegetables could be obtained from the roadside. The version served here comprised of roasted root vegetables, peas, carrots, and asparagus, topped with morel mushroom sauce.

Seebrasse & Brokkoli Seabass was served with broccoli of different forms, including the broccoli, broccoli flower and broccoli puree, finished with brown butter foam at the side.

Last dish in this chapter was Wagyu beef sirloin/ramsons/fermented garlic. The ramsons and fermented garlic had an intense flavour.

Chapter Three [Dessert]

Sanddorn & Nougat

Rhabarber & Quark Quark is a traditional, creamy, vegetarian, unripened cheese tracing its origin to German-speaking and eastern European countries. In this dessert it is paired with ice cream sorbet made from elderflower and the sauce on the side is made from rhubarb flower.

Sussigheitenbox & Omas Eierlibor (Candy Box & Grandma’s Eggnog)

Eggnog is pretty much synonymous with Christmas, made from water, egg yolk, condensed milk and vanilla. The eggnog here was definitely one of the best I’ve ever had. It was rich yet not too over-cloying.

Candy box filled with apricot jelly, short bread with salted caramel, chocolate truffle and white chocolate with passion fruit wraps up our 3-hr meal. Managed to take a photo of the other dining hall – which were already empty while on our way out.

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The Green Market (TGM) @ Changi Airport Terminal 2

The Green Market (TGM) is a restaurant in the transit lounge of  Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, they are also one of the lounges available to Priority Pass members. Having used terminal 2 several times, this lounge is a hidden gem for travellers looking for a relaxing spot to enjoy a meal and rest. Nestled on level 3 of the terminal, it provides a cozy dining environment, away from the bustling crowd at the main foyer level.

As mentioned earlier, this place is in fact a regular Japanese/Korean restaurant which is also opened to members of public who wishes to dine there. Although I must say the pricing on their regular menu is priced with a slight premium. On the day of my visit most diners seems to be utilising their lounge access entitlements.

It is easy to ID folks who uses lounge access entitlements as they offer a specific menu – Corporate Set (for free, limited to 1 set per entitlement).

We tried the Mari Set An assortment of Korean rice rolls served with miso soup, the staff kindly advised us that this set is relatively small in portion and the Beef Shogayaki Set Sliced beef fried with ginger sauce and onions served with miso soup and steamed rice.

Served in a compartmentalised Japanese bento tray, it was a well-balanced meal with a small portion of fruits. I don’t take heavy meals before flight so this portion was just nice for me. The only slight downside of this lounge, compared to SilverKris (SQ lounge), is they don’t include complimentary alcohol drinks. Complimentary hot green tea is offered, although you can order ala carte drinks if you wish to. But the big plus is the peace and quietness here. Nowadays the SilverKris lounge is pretty packed and crowded. If you are looking for a place to wind down and relax before flight, this is a good option to consider.

With a full belly, we are set to jet off to Bangkok~

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Liberty Coffee Bar [Re-opened at new location]

Liberty Coffee Bar is back! They have set up a shop space at a new location within the vicinity (Jalan Besar area) of its former place. We’ve dropped by for a cuppa previously before returning again for a meal.

The menu was rather limited given the variety of food choices available in the area. But we were looking for a place to settle down and chill so that we could avoid the hot sun and settle down for a nice place to de-stress during lunch, after a tough week at work.

Opted for the Ragu on Ribbons pasta while the other jie-meis chose the Rodeo Hero sandwich (not pictured). Basically there were only 2 choices from the Pasta and Sandwich section to choose from. The Sides section have a total of 4-5 choices.

The pasta was pretty nice, the pasta felt freshly made with a rich beef and pork sauce. Portion-wise was a tad on the small side, but on the other hand such a rich heavy pasta may feel over-cloying when eaten in larger portions. So I would say it’s probably just nice for a lady’s appetite.

On a day without much diners, we felt that the waiting time for our food was longer than expected. I was finishing up my pasta when the sandwiches were finally served.

While coffee was their key selling point, we do hope that they could expand their menu to include a larger variety of food in future.

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SAMA Curry & Café

Hokkaido is often cited as the birthplace of Soup Curry. I first tried the Soup Curry in Sapporo, Japan last year (see post, Garaku). Happy to know that SAMA Curry & Cafe has brought the dish to Singapore.

We visited the outlet at OUE Downtown Gallery to reminisce about our winter holiday in Japan.  In order to savour the Soup Curry in Sapporo, we visited the shop twice, we were turned away during lunch service as they were sold out. We returned in the evening and queued for 1 hour before we get to try it. Turned out to be a wonderful experience trying out this lesser known dish (to Singaporeans at least) in Sapporo, other than ramen and snow crab.

As we arrived at 8.30pm at Downtown Gallery, the area was pretty much empty as most office folks have gone home. SAMA Curry offers 10 types of customisable curry for diners to choose from. From there, diners can then choose the spicy level (from 0-30), soup base (tomato, coconut, shrimp or japanese) and extra toppings if they so prefer.

Pictured above was the Moo Moo Hamburg Juicy Sapporo style hamburger patty floating amongst SAMA’s selected choice of assorted vegetables in our choice of Japanese (chicken) soup base. The hamburger patty was really juicy and tender, paired well with the soup base. For normal standard spice eater, level 10 is pretty much a piece of cake. You can taste a slight peppery taste in addition to the savoury soup curry.

Another bowl was Ocean Trophy Prawn, squid, fish and blue mussels swimming in SAMA selected choice of assorted vegetables in our choice of Shrimp soup base. For this one, the shrimp flavour in the soup base made it looked more orangy. It somewhat reminds me of the shrimp based ramen soup but with a tinge of curry.

Comparatively I preferred the Japanese (chicken) soup base as well as the more filling beef patty.

I was letdown by the quality of the rice offered as it tasted like ready-cooked rice, although we saw a huge rice cooker in the kitchen. At the time of writing this post, I also visited the outlet at Plaza Singapura, which had similar issue with the rice.

Tried the Oink Oink Delicious oinking pork, lazing about in SAMA’s selected choice of assorted vegetables. The pork was extremely tender and almost melts in the mouth!

While I personally enjoyed Soup Curry, it seems like this dish is still new to many Singaporeans. I hope that over time, more people would get to know this underrated dish. P.S Best enjoyed on a cold day as the soup curry helps to warm up the body~

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Typhoon Taiwanese Cafe

One of my usual go-to place for mid-price Taiwanese cuisine was XiMenDing by Creative Eateries. After they closed the outlet in Vivo, there wasn’t any eatery to fill the void. Until I saw Typhoon Taiwanese Cafe – also by Creative Eateries.

For a start, we were attracted to the Majestic Mango Peach fresh peach with honey mango cubes in jasmine tea. Although the portioning was larger than normal, sufficient to share between two person – it seems kinda pricey at $8.50++ for this?

I was happy to see the return of iconic dishes such as Lu Rou Fan and  San Bei Chicken in their menu. Hence my first choice was the San Bei Chicken with Sweet Basil served with egg noodles set. Also ordered a side dish of Taiwanese Sausage Stuffed Chicken Wings.

The noodles set seems pretty value-for-money at $12.90++ with a small appetizer, soup and a portion of fresh greens. Sadly I was disappointed with the rather tough chicken meat.

The stuffed chicken wing tasted slightly better but didn’t weigh up in terms of pricing because each wing worked out to be around $3.60+ per piece… I think I’m better off buying BBQ wings from food court…

Also tried the Taiwan Lu Rou Fan pork belly stew & braised egg served with rice. This was the more palatable dish compared to the chicken.  I would consider trying this again.

Lastly we round up our meal with dessert of Snickers Cake milk chocolate cream, italian meringue, brown butter caramel, salted peanut and mushroom meringue.  The dessert was nicely plated and I enjoyed the sweet-savoury combination.

Considering pricing and quality, I would probably trying them as a cafe for light snacks and desserts, rather than full meal. If I need to pay $8++ for a tea, I would make sure that I can sit there longer for a chit-chat session with my jie-meis to make my money well spent.

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Mui Kee Congee, Singapore

After a pop-up stint at Casa Verde in Singapore Botanic Gardens, Mui Kee Congee has finally settled into a permanent space in a more accessible location in Shaw Centre. As per most of the newly opened outposts, this one hailing from Hong Kong attracted strong interest from Singaporean –  as we are definitely fans of imported products.

Reports of long queue, with waiting time of up to 1.5 hours during peak period, definitely put me off in visiting them during the initial opening hype period. It was probably around 2 weeks later when I thought of them due to an urge to slurp a bowl of warm porridge, on a rainy Sunday evening.

My strategy worked as I only queued for about 15 mins before we got our seats inside the packed eatery. *I visited again in May with a longer queuing time of 30 mins on a weekday night. 

I hadn’t visited their original shop in Hong Kong, so I couldn’t make comparison and didn’t know what to expect. Other than a variety of congee, they also offered claypots dishes (to go with plain congee) and even noodles for mains. Side dishes such as cheong fun (during the day), fried dace fish cake, sliced raw hokkaido scallops etc were also available. Interestingly they shaved ice desserts as well. Personally I couldn’t stomach eating hot congee and rounding up with iced desserts…

From the list of side dishes, we tried the Soft centred century egg with pickled ginger and Fried bean curd skin.  Century egg is something unique to Asia and is a comfort food that goes well with the plain and simple congee. I had the best century egg at Hong Kong‘s Yung Kee. The ones served here indeed has a soft centre, still lost out to the version served at the once-famous roast meat institution. Coincidentally Mui Kee Singapore is located just opposite Kam’s Roast Singapore (another outpost from Hong Kong that was an offshoot of Yung Kee).  

The fried bean curd skin is somewhat like a ‘bean curd skin omelette roll’. The bean curd skin was folded into multiple layers and then pan-fried, I must say the one I had has a visibly less crispy skin than the ones I typically saw off famous blogs….Why?! What happened to the supposed cripsy skin? It was the same on my 2nd visit, although as a fan of bean curd skin I still ordered this side. 

Now for the highlight of the meal – the Congee. We ordered the Braised Baby Abalone Premium Congee and the Sliced Parrot Fish (add-on Dace fish balls) Congee.

The congee had silky smooth consistency where the rice grains have all been cooked till it “disintegrated” – the typical Cantonese style. You just need to select what ingredients you like to have inside your congee. The Dace fish balls were bouncy and chewy, one of the Chef’s recommendation. I found the normal sliced parrot fish pretty ordinary and not substantial in portion.

So on my 2nd visit (in May), I went for the Threadfin Belly which is supposedly one with “Wok Hei” as the fish and congee are cooked twice in copper pots. This version is a lot more aromatic and has a distinct smokey flavour with a hint of shaoxing wine? (my own taste bud tells me so). Between paying $18 for threadfin belly versus $20 for braised baby abalone, I would choose the former as it is more unique.

We also tried the Claypot Pork Liver with Ginger & Spring Onion. Many foodies may also know that KEK Seafood (aka Keng Eng Kee) serves a mean version of this dish as well, but I prefer the version here. The gravy is slightly less dark and less thick, and almost all the sliced liver were of similar thickness. This also resulted in better consistency in terms of controlling the doneness of the slices to ensure that every piece has similar  chewiness. If you like sweeter and richer version, than the KEK one would suit your taste bud more (somehow I didn’t blog about my visits to KEK).

There are so many side dishes to try that we couldn’t try everything that caught our attention in one visit. So here’s the Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce that I tried on my 2nd visit. The mushrooms were well-braised to a nice texture but it can be pretty filling, so be sure to have more people to share this side.

I must say I’m pretty addicted to the Mui Kee congee as their quality is much better than the congees available in Hong Kong style restaurants like Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure. I’m more than willing to queue at least 30 mins for a taste of the satisfying and heart warming comfort congee. P.S if you choose the premium congee and dishes, be reminded to keep track of the prices if you are budget-conscious… we spent $80 for our congee meal here. Of cos you can also enjoy a satisfying quality congee by choosing the less pricey ingredient option. 

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Escape Restaurant & Lounge @ One Farrer Hotel & Spa

It has been quite a long time since I last visited a hotel restaurant for buffet lunch. Escape Restaurant Lounge in One Farrer Hotel & Spa was one of the newer players to me.

They feature a comprehensive range of local delights such as Lor Mee, Roasted Meat, Chicken Rice, Fried Oyster Omelette, Fried Prawn Noodles etc.

Other than the usual Western dishes such as pizzas, they also have a section on Indian cuisines. Of cos not forgetting many Singaporeans’ favourite – Japanese sushi and sashimi.

The cold dishes include poached prawns, Gong-gong, clams and mussels.

My personal favourite had to be the good spread of desserts. All of us enjoyed the Chilled Durian Pengat~

As I visited them during the 1-for-1 promotion, it was pretty value-for-money. Although the place is located slightly outside of the downtown area, it meant that we could avoid the packed buffet restaurants where many training providers chose to hold their seminars in.

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