PEr FYI

June 11, 2017

Nam Heong Vintage, Kuala Lumpur…chicken hor fun is amongst the league of legends

As Asians, we’re constantly searching for the newest and hottest restaurants with innovative cuisines and are adorned with the latest, most stylish decor. Yes, being up to date on the restaurant scene is fun – and a Singapore necessity- but at times we forget about the historical gems.

Nam Heong Vintage’s unique and retro feel will transport you back in history and keep you wanting to stop time to cherish their delicious eats.

Order this: The egg tarts make a good start. The filling is delicate and sweet. The shell is crispy, flaky and buttery. The Nam Heong chicken hor fun aka kai see hor fun consisting of super smooth flat rice noodles (kuey teow) and shredded tender poached chicken. The awesomeness lies in the incredibly flavoursome soup with that vivid layer of orange oil that comes from boiling the prawn heads. I downed the bowl in record time; slurping up every strand of the noodles and drinking up every drop of soup.

Don’t order this: signature chicken rice with steamed chicken. Nam Heong used to be famous for its chicken rice, but sadly it’s a dish which should finally be laid to rest here.

You would not want to miss the chicken hor fun, though. It’s way up there amongst the league of legends. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

nam heong kl2

name heong kl1

May 21, 2017

Va Fung, Macau…it’s surprisingly affordable and lip-tinglingly good

Dim Sum is arguably one of Cantonese cuisine’s finest contributions to the world. It’s one of the few types of foods I can eat repeatedly without tiring of it, because of its endless variety.

Don’t be put off by the nondescript appearance of Va Fung, this Macau number prepares Cantonese- food fit for a banquet and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have a big group, this is the place to come. All the classics are done very well here — prawn dumplings (ha gau), siew mai and Cheong Fun with shrimps and char siu – and quite a number of the items are really lip-tinglingly good.

What more could you need? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

va fung macau2

va fung macau1

 

February 25, 2017

Petit Jardin, Shanghai…check your expectations at the door

Petit Jardin is a younger version of the famous Jardin de Jade. Unlike the parent restaurant that serves authentic Shanghai -style cuisines, Petit Jardin offers modern Cantonese cuisine and it appears to be trying to walk a somewhat precarious tightrope.

They say the menu is, in fact, a window into a restaurant’s soul. Amusing enough, this must be the Mills and Boon of menus with ludicrously sounding dishes like “crouching cow and hidden hen jumping on the grill together”.

The trouble is we’re eating a spruced up, dumbed-down, nouvelle-cuisine version that tastes nothing like the original. The crispy black BBQ bun had nice filling but was practically hollow and a tad dry.

Petit Jardin’s not going to blow your mind or anything. Check your expectations at the door. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

petit-jardin-sha2

petit-jardin-sha1

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…

maxim-hk3

maxim-hk1

October 29, 2016

Tanjong Rhu Pau, Singapore…unequivocally delicious siu mai and near perfect pork bao

Pau or bao are probably the friendliest-looking food on earth. They are like faces made out of marshmallow; little smiley Michelin Men of deliciousness. How could you not want to stuff these little guys into your face?

At Tanjong Rhu Pau, there are plenty of hit offerings such as the tua bao (big pork buns), siu mai (shaomai)  and lo mai kai which are all near perfect. Steamed to perfection, the tua bao’s (big pork buns) fluffy white cloud-like pillowy softness give way, in this case to the flavoursome braised pork. The siu mai are most definitely a standout. These carefully assembled beauties are exceptionally tasty. Heaven.

Pau? Bao? Wow. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

tg-rhu-sin

April 16, 2016

9Goubuli, Singapore…come only for the novelty of eating in a Goubuli

Goubuli is famous for its steamed stuffed buns filled with minced meat and a bit of soup called goubuli baozi. Goubuli which means even the dog ignores, does give you the notion that the food is so bad that even when you throw it to the dog, they won’t touch it

The goubuli buns – though famous for their texture and fillings – were good but not as delicious as Din Tai Fung’s xiao long bao. The goubuli buns with wagyu and vegetables fillings are best.

Prices are on the high side nor food to die for, so I recommend you come only for the novelty of eating in a Goubuli.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

goubuli sin

December 6, 2015

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery, The Shore, Melaka…my most expensive food court meal of the year

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery is a food court which comprises different well-known food stalls. This Melaka outpost of the famed Kuala Lumpur eatery is a major dud. The prices are unconscionable. They are ludicrous, a poke in the eye from a chopstick dipped in salty Korean chilli sauce.

Here’s the chronicles of a lunch gone very wrong. The “thick and bland” Xiao long bao and har kow which flavour is akin to that of an overcooked McDonald’s chicken nuggets. The cost of the micro-mini siew mai, har kow and Xiao long bao is RM25. Meanwhile the very sour glass of RM10.50 apple juice would be a find…in a vending machine. This very expensive glass of apple juice has the honour of being the worst thing I have put in my mouth since the incident with the washing liquid when I was seven.

This food court is only affordable if you wear underwear lined in baby panda fur on a daily basis. Ultimately, this place is just “terribly, terribly sad”, “wallet-lightening” and a new kill-me-now low. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lot 10 hutong melaka 1

August 4, 2013

Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong…If I lived here, I would eat this everyday

When I was done with lunch at around 12.45pm, people were queuing to get a seat in this tiny restaurant at Northpoint where diners – a mix of Hong Kong families, elderly friends, and the odd solo diner – cram elbow-to-elbow. Michelin gave it a star in 2010, netting it the auspicious title of cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. In this simple, no-frills eatery with minimum service and fuss, simply sit at your table and choose what you want by ticking the options on a sheet of paper, and let the staff do the rest.

It’s definitely worth braving the queue for the outstanding baked bun with BBQ pork (cha siu bao).  They are usually served steamed but, here, they are baked: the slightly crisp sugar glaze around the crumbling crispy pastry bun contrasting with a savoury gentle stew of pillow-soft meat chunks swaddled in slightly sweet sauce inside. The perfectly steamed rich and plump pork dumpling with shrimp (siew mai) were piping hot and so, so, so good. The chewy bouncy vermicelli roll stuffed with fleshy shrimp (cheong fun) were excellent too. Doused with a sweet soy sauce, I loved this dish.

The dim sum here is the best in its class: simple, fresh and generally light on grease. If I lived here, I would eat this everyday. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

baked buns with bbq pork - tim ho wan

cheong fun - tim ho wan

siew mai - tim ho wan

 

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