Friday, April 29, 2011

Burgers Galore @ The Handburger - 313 Somerset

I admit i am super slow when it comes to patronising food outlets that seem to be super duper popular in the beginning. Well, i figure that since it's attracting a queue, there must have been quite a lot of blog reviews from other people.

In addition, patience (to wait in a queue) is never my virtue.

The few reasons above explained my delayed visit to The Handburger! Totally love companies that play with words and come out with querky names - Handburger should be a mixture me of hand-job hand-made and hamburger right?

My purpose was to try their sliders package but you know how it is for the gang of four; more is never bad. Therefore, you have Kon ordering the Handburger Original and Alex having his usual Fish (Dory) burger.

That's not all! Top-ups were deemed to be necessary to get additional sides that are otherwise charged at a higher price. The dish of onion rings (S$4 top up) was not disappointing and had a special Indian spicy crunch to it!

They were found to be more similar to some Indian fried snacks instead of the thick, damn superlicious onion rings from Buckaroo!

Another top-up was for the buffalo wings that should cost S$8.80 (we got it at S$6). Having been exposed to both the sweet (Le Muria, Sun Asian Bistro) and spicy (Buckaroo, Sunset Grill) versions, these were considered as basically normal, deep-fried chicken wings.

Coming to the star of this post; the sliders package - a four-burgers-in-one combo (handburger original, battered dory, chicken caesar and pulled pork sliders) that is available only from 3.00-6.30pm on a daily basis!

Generally the four sliders had the standard slices of tomatoes and lettuce and what made the difference are the patty (obviously) and maybe some special sauces.

Small enough for a person with a large oral cavity to devour in one mouthful, i particularly enjoyed such sampler set so long the price is still reasonable. It also gives me the mental impression i am actually eating less for more.

(The Handburger Original Slider) My first bite resulted in an extremely fragrant taste that was so appetising as a result of fried onions (favourite) jam and barbeque sauce! Patty was definitely better than the wagyu burger in Aston's but not as good as the king of all burgers; De Burg Decadence.

(Pulled Pork Slider) Hmmm.... this was the least favourite amongst the four. An overdose of barbeque sauce that overpowered any other subtle flavour that might be pleasant.

(Chicken Caesar Slider) The first chomp was on a supposedly plain burger without any meat (i missed the chicken thigh). Kaoz, the burger was delicious even on its own! One key contributing factor (which i didn't mention above) was the unique caramelised onion bun. By the way, i dislike the chicken thigh patty; very plain tasting.

(Battered Dory Slider) Favourite! Crispy on the outside while remaining a moisturising softness within, the layer spicy-sweet tartar sauce turned out to a nice surprise for our taste buds and left a slight tinkling numbness on our tongues. Alex (the fish guru) loves it!

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Location
313, Orchard Road,
#B2-17/18/19, 313 Somerset

(Tel: 65096214)

Website

Price
The Handburger Original - S$7.80
Battery Dory - S$9.80
Sliders Package - S$10.80

Subject to GST and Service Charge

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Car on a Pick Up Lorry!

Imagine my shock when i stopped behind a pick up lorry (or truck as some people insist) at a traffic junction - it was ferrying a bloody Mitsubishi Colt Plus! 

My interest was piqued (rare sight in Singapore okay) and i was wondering if there has been any infringement on road safety! Hey, turning or u-turning is damn dangerous due to the higher center of gravity.  


After overtaking the slow moving pick up, i was relieved to find that it was carrying merely half a car. Phew..... at least the risk of any accident happening is reduced significantly.

Reminded of a credit card advertisement on tv a few years back, there's a possibility that the halved car is to be converted to a bed or some novelty item in a luxurious garden at Sentosa Cove! Realistically speaking though, it could be a replacement for a damaged colt plus.

The story has not ended yet!

The bulging sides were found to be almost on the verge of bursting!!! What kind of company uses normal hooks to secure a car?! Shouldn't the material be the heavy duty, industrial standard kind?



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wu Xiang (五香) @ Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang (合记五香贯肠), Maxwell Hawker Centre

Remember the feast i had a few weeks back in Maxwell Food Centre?

For a memory refresh, please click here! Back then, i concentrated on Tian Tian Chicken Rice as i was too tired (and sleepy) to comment on other dishes. I am still lethargic (as i have always been) but i guess it's better to blog this now instead of waiting for a few months down the road!

Let's focus on this plate of mish-mash this time. A rojak-like dish Singaporeans know as wu xiang (五香), it's a mixture of deep-fried ingredients health fanatics greatly abhor.

Apparently, there are two famous stalls selling wu xiang in Maxwell and it's my first time trying the one from Hup Kee. Strong endorsements by newspapers, makansutra and the green book should be assuring for a person who usually doesn't deviate from his usual favourite stalls.

Besides a waiting crowd that took a long time to clear, Mr Kon was faced with a pathetic offering that had been severely depleted due to a large order before him! It turned out to be blessing in disguise as the Gang of Four ordered too much (a common occurrence).

It's been a long since i had such a pleasant dipping sauce that had a slight tinge of aroma! Nowadays, many wu xiang stalls have removed this sauce possibly because it's pretty troublesome to make it. That's pretty sad because as a child twenty over years ago, the sweet sauce was an appetite enhancer that worked well for picky me.

Yes, Cavin used to be picky with his food!
What has happened to me over the years?!?!?

Though i am more 'accepting' of a wider range of food, this thing known as guan chang (贯肠) is never on the list. It's essentially some meat stuffed into the intestine of a pig! Euuuwww, i am Chinese but internal organs are way above me.

This was surprisingly tasty! It has some resemblance to guan chang but the 'wrapper' was the more acceptable beancurd skin. The five spices infused into the meat resulted in a stronger flavour that can only be described as uniquely appetising.

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Location
Stall #01-97,
Maxwell Food Centre

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday... To Me!

Thirty-one; that's the age i am officially at as of yesterday.

Unlike many other bloggers (i hate this term; machiam like boggers), i am not going to recollect what happened in the past one year! Some hits and misses but i thought it was a pretty bad year for me!

Having said that, i feel really fortunate to receive birthday blessings from family and friends - especially from buddies i have neglected for very long.

I am sorry and i will try to make up to you ladies and gentlemen as soon as possible! As usual, meeting up over food is always a good start! Haha.

Till then, take care and always maintain a cheerful smile! =)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nasi Lemak @ 156 Eating House [Star Hup Lee (星合利经济米粉)]

Nasi Lemak (椰浆饭) should be considered as one of the national dishes for Singapore!

It may not be as widespread as chicken rice but Singaporeans know where to satisfy their craving for coconut rice; be it the famous Punggol Nasi Lemak, Chong Pang Nasi Lemak or Changi Village Nasi Lemak.

My favourite stall is not listed above despite it having been in the same coffee shop for as long as i remember. The name (Hup Lee; 合利) might ring a bell for frequent patrons of hawker centres although i am not sure if they belong to the same company.

Anyway, Nasi Lemak is not as simple as it used to be. It has now evolved to include more than the basic coconut rice, ikan bilis, egg and chicken wing (or kuning fish) to cater to a wider scope of customers. Not exactly a good thing as the more things you offer, the higher the risk for a lapse in taste!

Therefore, my preferred combination is this 'original' mixture. Nothing less and nothing more. Hm.... maybe an additional chicken wing if i am really hungry!

The best way to eat it is to have a runny fried egg, poke it open, mix the runny egg yolk with the coconut milk infused rice and further blend them with the sweet-spicy chilli paste that we know as nasi lemak chilli! This ugly concoction is delicious enough to be eaten on its own!

Having the fried chicken wing is an enhancement to the overall experience! Each bite was juicy without being overly oily and the deep fried brown skin is delightful when dabbed with the chilli sauce.

Mom scrapped away the unhealthy skin which was such a big waste! Of course I gladly took the hint and put them in my mouth! Waste not want not!

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Location
156 Eating House,
Block 156, Yishun Street 11

Price
S$2.20 for my preferred combination that has a chicken wing, coconut rice, two slices of cucumber and a fried egg. It used to be S$1.80 six to eight years ago! Inflation sucks!

Additional Information.
It's a typical coffee shop with no aircon! And try to sit underneath the awning. The bird infestation in Chong Pang could be merciless in releasing their potent weapon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Birthday Treat (Pizza, Steak, Pasta, Chicken, Fish, Hot-Pan) @ Lenas (Serangoon Nex Mall) by Ministry of Food (MOF)

Like many Singaporeans, i joined the massive crowd descending on the latest shopping centre in Singapore a few months ago; the Nex Mall right on top of Serangoon MRT station.

The crowd was giving me a big headache then although i did manage to aim a few restaurants that seemed to be worth a visit in the future when the craze subsides. Lenas (Steak-Pizza-Pasta-Ice Cream-Beer-Wine) was one of the targets.

Well, the galore of saliva-inducing food pictures on the menu placed right outside was just too tempting! In fact, i had to control myself back then from stepping into the makan establishment.

Fast forward a few months later to today. My siblings and brother in law decided to treat Alex and I for a birthday meal in Lenas! Thank you thank you thank you! A free meal is always warmly welcome! :)

Shrimps Bruschetta
Never a fan of finger appetisers, i though this was not as bad as i expected it to be. The mediocre grilled bread was helped greatly by the cold creamy-sweet mayonnaise, fresh prawns and sourish tomatoes bits!

Smoked Duck Salad
It should not come as a surprise that salads are not my cup of tea either! I was rolling my eyes when my mom said she wanted a salad!

Thankfully, the smoked duck complemented very well with vegetables although i stand corrected that paying so much for vegetables (when you can jolly well DIY your salad at home) is just illogical.

Grilled Beef Patty Set
An additional S$5 for the set that came with pilat rice and salad (thought a soup was supposed to be included but i did not see it); i did not get to touch this! The next moment my eyes laid on it, the hot plate was empty!

12" Pizza (Italian Sausage and Mushroom Lover)
Add S$2.50 and you can have two flavours for a 12 inches pizza. Definitely desirable for variety lovers like myself. And it helps to spread the risk!

A thin crust that is well liked by many carbohydrates-hostile individuals and people who would like to save the carbos for other stuff. I belong to the latter. Ingredients wise, i don't really like this two-in-one pizza although i need to point out that the others begged to differ.

Personally, i felt that the cheese was insufficient and the flour taste was too overpowering! Like what i mentioned, the other family members enjoyed it!

Bacon and Onion Pasta
Given my great affection with onions, it should not as a surprise that i was quite impressed with this pasta. The sauce was not overly infused with tomatoes and yet maintained a gentle sweetness to it. If only the spaghetti was softer.

Grilled Salmon
Most of you might be familiar with the two free sides when you order a main course in Aston's Specialties. Over here in Lenas, you have to pay extra! And the management is so kind to give you options; you can choose not to have any sides. Damn sweet of them.

Mom (she's the only person in the family who will always order salmon or cod) asked for one side; the sweet corn. Not as chewy as the corn cobs in Aston's, it was overall still okay.

No complains as well on the grilled salmon. Maybe a bit dry but most importantly, it was devoid of any unwanted fishiness.

Breaded Dory with Two Sides
A huge chunk of fried fish that did not have a lasting impression on the fish and chips guru; Alex Chiu. For those who know him well, he professes to be an expert on fish and chips and fried rice! Kon and I seriously have doubts on his self expressed credentials! Haha.

Much as i am unwilling to pay for sides that should be free in the first place, i have to admit that the sides in Lenas are really generous in their servings. The whipped potato was easily three scoops!

Grilled Spicy Chicken
A comparison has to be made with the Chicken Cacciatore from F.I.S.H since it looked similar! It was not as succulent and tasty but the expert grilling gave a smoky flavour that my taste buds totally agreed with.

Mushroom and Ham in Egg Sauce
Another hot plate item; the order taker noted the wrong item!! I ordered mushroom in egg sauce! God knows where the word ham comes into picture! Anyway, i generally avoid conflicts and candidly accepted this.

Three of my favorite items in this hot plate! Eggs, mushrooms and onions!! Totally delicious even though i could easily get a comparable item in a typical tze char stall at maybe half the price.

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Despite the positive reviews on hungrygowhere.com, i would likely not order any main dish the next time i am in Lenas. Desserts are however a different story. Another entry on desserts would be posted in due course!

Location
23, Serangoon Central,
#02-01, Serangoon Nex

Price
Shrimps Bruschetta - S$9.80
Smoked Duck Salad - S$10.90
Grilled Beef Patty Set - S$12.80
12" Pizza (Italian Sausage and Mushroom Lover) - S$20
Bacon and Onion Pasta - S$13.50
Grilled Salmon with One Side - S$17
Breaded Dory with Two Sides - S$15.50
Grilled Spicy Chicken - S$11.00
Mushroom and Ham in Egg Sauce - S$13.80

Subject to GST and Service Charge.

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