PEr FYI

January 30, 2017

6 Round, Pangyo, Seoul…the argument-ending KBBQ

KBBQ = a roll-your-shirtsleeves eating ritual in which diners grill different cuts of meat themselves over a tabletop grill, to be enjoyed with complimentary sides

In true Korean style, 6 Rounds offer their table top BBQ to allow you to cook your own meat, you can have everything from beef ribs to pork belly marinated in their house sauce, and scorched to your liking. The marinated beef, a Korean barbeque classic, marinated into an unmistakable tenderness, is much-lauded here.

Happy eating, people. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 26, 2016

Maxim’s Jade Garden, Hong Kong…desirable gastronomic option at HKIA

As the financial and now much-vaunted culinary capital of Asia, with one restaurant for every 600 people, Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita concentrations of restaurants in the world. Amongst all these restaurants, without a doubt, Cantonese food in Hong Kong rocks.

Maxim’s Jade Garden (located at the Departures Check-in Hall Mezzanine, Terminal 1 of Hong Kong International Airport) serves authentic Cantonese cuisine showcasing the best dim sum and local Guangdong dishes. Their shatteringly crisp baked barbeque pork pastry buns beats your everyday hamburger at its own game. It yields a super moist, fluffy interior and I would dare say, offers the ultimate bun experience.

With aeroplane food often a disappointment, Maxim’s Jade Garden is a desirable gastronomic option to spice up your journey. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 23, 2016

Restoran Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur…huge disappointment

Restoran Stadium Negara was originally situated near the national stadium – hence its name, but has since relocated to its present location in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Though famous for its steamboat, I wanted to try their other offerings and ended up having my appreciation of Tze Char food being dulled by this  “average” eatery serving culinary disasters. The hokkien style noodle is not hokkien mee without lard. Only then did I find out that this is a halal restaurant. The sweet sour crab was bursting with the flavour of wam Kuala Lumpur tap water. It was neither sweet nor sour  and the accompanying buns were too hard and not hot. The BBQ chicken wing and BBQ sotong were pretty ordinary.The steam prawns turns out to be among the only edible charm at this place.

I really do not like Restoran Stadium Negara. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 28, 2016

Hiang Ji Roasted Meat Noodle House, Singapore…a blatant rip-off

So what makes a bad restaurant? Obviously dreadful food is a hurdle, then there’s surly waiting staff, a dingy atmosphere, woeful decor and the crucial litmus–value for money. If there’s something that really niggles, it’s being ripped off.

To be fair, Hiang Ji in Toa Payoh, which I’ve taken a dislike to clearly isn’t the worst in Singapore. Rather, it’s the most disappointing.

I do believe in paying the proper price for food. So I’m not advocating dirt-cheap restaurants. Likewise, as I said, the very best restaurants are worth their huge bills, which is why I and many other people save up to go to them. But when places like Hiang Ji charge full whack for extreme portions, it really annoys me. A small sharing platter can be of different sizes and prices, depending on the kitchen’s whims and fancies. No amount of feedback nor complain will get them to change it for you.

A meal here could cost the price of rent in some cities. While that’s an exaggeration, it’s best to avoid this place and just go with the others if you’re going to spend the money and get the best roast meat possible. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 17, 2016

Wangbijib, Seoul…Oh sweet, heavenly MEAT!

There’s a restaurant with tabletop grills in every plaza, mall and food court in Seoul, cannibalizing another one’s business two doors down or across the street. Still, I love Korean BBQ and can’t complain about having so many restaurants to choose from.

Let’s talk food.

Now, let’s just pause for a moment to talk about this meat. Meat, though some may tell you otherwise, is not created equally. There are good cuts, bad cuts, good flavor, and bad flavor. Wangbijib invests in good quality meat and seasons them spectacularly. They’ve also got the meat selection, chargrill king short beef rib, thinly sliced marble beef kalbi and pork rib.  The thin cuts of beef were amazing. The hanwoo weren’t marinated and I relied heavily on the sauce to add flavour.

Warning: Make sure you bring a change of clothes to wear if you plan to go other places after eating here or at least some back-up perfume/cologne because you will smell like what you eat afterwards!!

The portion sizes here are generous, so come hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 9, 2016

Hanwoori, Seoul…as good as a K-pop hit

What you see is what you get with Korean food. It’s more flavourful than Japanese cuisine and it’s punchy, lively, honest cooking — a bit like the people.

The Hanwoori Korean restaurant in Seoul is known specifically for its variety of specialty meat dishes. The beef comes from respectable cows, the marinade sweet. Wrapped in a cool lettuce leaf, garlanded with spring onion and slathered in gochujang (fermented chilli and bean paste), it’s a mouthful that has it all – cool, hot, crisp, crunch, chew. Bliss.

It’s a dinner as good as a K-pop hit. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 28, 2016

Naughty Nuri’s, Singapore…pigs needn’t die for this dish

One of the most anticipated openings this year in Singapore, Naughty Nuri crashed and burned right out of the gate.

Naughty Nuri’s signature ribs were a whole of impressive-looking but dull tasting, not-even-warm and indistinct ribs. For me, pork ribs should have an exterior that’s caramelised and a little firm, giving way to a smoky, tender and moderately moist interior. The indistinguishable ribs served here should have been saved for someone’s pet dog. Pigs needn’t die for this dish. The saving grace is that the subtly spiced beef rending – slowed cooked short ribs in coconut milk – is really delightful.The falling-apart-tender meat and the thick, rich sauce was a heady combination.

Naughty Nuri’s calling card is, after all, the half rack and full rack sticky ribs. I don’t care for that and neither should you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 10, 2015

Bornga, Singapore…restaurant was not on top form

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Like all others korean barbecue restaurant, Bornga has similar ambience when you enter the restaurant. You can smell all meats burnt in charcoal grills. If only eating there wasn’t so knackering. Gosh but there’s a lot of admin with Korean food. Everything has to be dredged or dipped and rolled and dipped again. Fiddle here. Turn there. Flip this

The Dawaeji gohchuujang bbq (spicy pork fire-grilled) was hard and dry.  We also had the Woo samgyup (thinly sliced beef brisket dressed with born-ga’s special sauce). Marbled with connective tissue and fat, it’s damn difficult to cook brisket so that it’s tender yet moist and flavoursome. I swear blind by the superior Yangnyum dwaeji galbi (chewy pork ribs marinated with special house sauce to create an enhanced taste). Once you order other dishes — especially barbecue — you risk being inundated with so many plates you won’t be able to pay the haemul pajeon (pancake made from scallions n a variety of seafood) the attention it deserves

The busy restaurant took its toll on the staff, who weren’t as efficient as some other such restaurant we’ve been. Bornga wasn’t on top form, but it certainly still draws a crowd. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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