February 18, 2018

La Petite, Singapore…a laid-back neighborhood gem

La Petite is Singapore’s affordable, approachable, laid-back French restaurant.

The sauce in the escargots (6 pcs) with croissant and salad is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves.

In this age of Intagram, it might come as a surprise, then, that the most brilliant dish at La Petite is also the downright ugliest. To roll out a cliché: Looks aren’t everything. I had the Confit de canard w/gratin potato. Damn, it’s a good dish, both thrillingly new and comfortingly traditional.

La Petite doesn’t blow you away in in the same way that other spots like Les Amis do, nor does it intend to. It’s an assured, steady-handed restaurant. Tres bon, La Petite, tres, tres bon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

la petite sinla petite sin3la petite sin4





January 1, 2018

Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Singapore…just very, very good

It’s hard to imagine it now, but if you wanted to eat at a nice steakhouse in Singapore in the 2005, you didn’t have a lot of choice.

Dazzling modernity might not be an epithet that the casual visitor would associate with an Lawry’s today, but in 12.5 years ago, it was the jewels in the crown of Singapore’s restaurant scene. The dining area itself oozes character and charm. We dined in an unrushed, relaxed atmosphere, and the service looked effortless and matched the high quality of the food.

And the steak? There’s either good steak or bad steak, and this is firmly in the former camp. Nothing revolutionary, but exactly the food I love to eat. It’s a serious piece of meat, imbued with the sort of deep ferric tang that only experience can bring.

And so Lawry’s trundles on. You have to take your hat off to them, really. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lawry's sin2

lawry's sin1

August 27, 2017

Walrus & Carpenter Oyster Bar, Boston…damn delicious lobster roll

In Singapore, people treat lobsters like celebrities, and Boston has no shortage of them.

Named after the Lewis Carroll poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter Oyster Bar in Quincy Market Food Colonnade at Fanueil Hall Marketplace specializes in oysters, lobsters and other delicious seafood dishes. So, yes, these very public eating places, I’m all for them. I love the public — and can spend up to two or three occasions a month in close proximity to them without panic, vomiting or assault

The heart and soul of the menu and the reason to come eat here (or take out) is the pure and simple and elegantly delicious lobster roll. Order a lobster roll with a cup of chowder and the split top bun will arrive stuffed with chunks of impeccably cooked lobster meat which is ample, firm, tender and sweet, spot-on seasoning, and a meat-to-bun ratio that works. The winning key here is that the sandwich taste like lobster and not mayo. The creamy and comforting clam chowder also shines.

The downside? This teeny lobster roll is just enough to make you wish you had more. Just don’t try to share it…in fact, perhaps order two just for yourself.

This is the kind of lobster roll dreams are made of. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

walrus & carpentar bos2

walrus & carpenter bos1

July 29, 2017

Minetta Tavern Restaurant and Bar, New York City…The black label burger renders other burgers meaningless

This place opened in the 30’s so it’s wonderful to see the vintage décor of the old saloon-era interior intact. Being a full house, I sat at the refinished oak bar in the front of the room, elbow to elbow with other diners. The vibe is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic.

The food rocks as much as the scene. The US$33 Black Label Burger – selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pomme frites is without question a mind-blowing rivetingly intense experience. Named the best burger in America by CNBC, a continent full of burger connoisseurs, The Daily Meal,  calls it “the stuff of legend.”  The beef is a blend of four different cuts—short rib, skirt, brisket and rib-eye. It’s like eating a dry-aged steak in burger format. The bun was airy but not spongy. There is a chewiness and lushness in the same bite. Each bite of this burger was lingered over and savored. Even the fries were perfectly seasoned, and nicely crisped. It held to the quality of the burger.

This is now my must-go place in NYC, but frequent Minetta too often and I’ll be broke and really fat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


October 22, 2016

Simply life, Hong Kong…God knows it’s worth it

Make your way to Simply Life. Just follow the aroma of fresh bread and cakes to a bunch of tables packed with shoppers and office workers. God knows it’s worth it. There’s no denying that this charming cafe’s celebration of life paraphernalia is on point, with the place being decorated in European country style complete with benches and green turf.

The ample food offeing to fill your bellies is high quality: a handful of sandwiches and a lovely spread of baked goods. Light Bites, Small Plates, Large Plates, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the prices are kind. I had the bacon and beef burger with fried egg and cheddar cheese. My God, it is a tasty eggsplosion.

A steady stream of City slaves keeps this tiny treasure buzzing – and it’s easy to see why. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…




October 16, 2016

Wolfgang Puck Kitchen & Bar, Shanghai…food here is average – nothing compared to Wolfgang Puck everywhere else

The Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck is arguably the most successful chef moguls in history. The man was a celebrity chef before that term even existed. Shanghai has seen a slow and steady trickle of celebrity chef like Jean Georges, ventures over the past decade. And now, Wolfgang Puck has thrown his hat into the ring.

Less formal than Spago, but a step up from the Wolfgang Puck Cafe, the concept of Kitchen & Bar is one of offering dishes that Chef Puck enjoys cooking at home, and everything is shared family style.

The menu is what you’d expect and quite frankly very well priced. You’ll find a blend of the familiar and less familiar but all will come out beautifully constructed. The seafood in the lobster and shrimp roll is finely chopped, the vibrantly fresh seafood mingled happily with sweet curry, apples and dill. However, I usually have a love affair with BBQ ribs but then again, not all ribs are created equal. Hence it is with great disappointment that the BBQ pork ribs here at WP was below average.

Service has always been A+- it’s nice when a restaurant seems well managed.

WP would get 5 stars from me except for that BBQ ribs. I would give Wolfgang Puck another chance since I’m fan of the chef and I know he has high standards. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…




October 8, 2016

Watanabe Coffee, Singapore…bloody awful

Bad restaurants are, like colds and car breakdowns, things that just happen to me. I had a taste of that with Watanabe Coffee not too long ago.

Watanabe Coffee intends to evoke traditional Japanese and Western fusion cuisine. We tried so many items from the lunch menu but all bar none of the dishes went across the divide that separates average from awful. We couldn’t leave fast enough

Watanabe Coffee should consider closing down and reopen as the Museum of Unappetizing Lunch Servings. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


May 22, 2016

Saveur, Singapore…this is not a real restaurant

Here’s perhaps the main thing: Saveur, sadly, isn’t bringing much to the Singapore culinary conversation.

The food was not only inedible but fraudulent. That duck confit is almost totally free of taste or character, taken from a deli in Anywhereville. They’re not meant for eating.  With the dessert, you expected salted caramel lava cake and what you get instead is the dull texture and bland flavour of a wartime MRE. It tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde.

Savuer might have the worst service of any Singapore restaurant. A “poor” rating with a “chaotic” atmosphere.

It’s like we’re punishing ourselves for something. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

saveur sin

January 30, 2016

Jean-Georges, Shanghai…all the dishes fell just short of wowing me

Most foodies know about the lunch at Jean-Georges, which is often cited as the best value in fine dining.

One of the great things about 3-Michelin starred Jean Georges at the Trump Tower in New York is that the hospitality begins as you get out of the car, even before you enter the restaurant. Here in Shanghai, the service is professional and confident throughout.

This glorious restaurant at Three on the Bund has high ceilings and tall windows which were lovely, while the sweeping view of the Bund outside through the windows provided a nice contrast to the color scheme.

From the simplest dish of sea scallops with caramel used cauliflower, caper-raisin emulsion to the roasted beef tenderloin potato blintz apple-jalapeno puree, all the dishes fell just short of wowing me. Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but was it OMFG-I-will-sell-my-children-and-my-soul-to-eat-here-every-day good? Can’t say it. My lips don’t lie.

I’d take Jia Jia Tang Bao over Jean-Georges any day, star or no star. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

JG Shanghai

January 24, 2016

Fulton’s Crab House, Orlando…Wowowowow!

Fulton’s is a seafood-centric restaurant in the heart of Downtown Disney.

The colossal Alaska King from the waters of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, 1.25 pound of sweet crab with a hint of salt was real succulent appetizing quality and mouth-watering. It was the largest Alaskan King Crab legs that I’ve ever seen on a plate. The body itself is fairly empty and all of the meat is concentrated in the long thick legs. The legs must have been precracked because they were easy to crack open. Fulton’s Crab Cake – blue crab, maque choux, fried green tomato, remoulade was rich, filling and delicious. That is a bold statement, but it’s true… If I was going to die and it was my last meal, I would want this crab cake. Ok, maybe two crab cakes.

It is pricey, but crab is always pricey and also you’re in Downtown Disney, so that’s expected. Totally worth the splurge. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

fulton crab house 2 orlando

fulton crab house orlando


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