Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cheng Tng @ Qing Xiang Ting Hot & Cold Desserts [清香亭冷热甜品] - 22 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh Hawker Centre

On a warm and sunny day, it's hard to resist the temptation to simply walk past the dessert stall without buying anything! And it's all the more difficult when it had also been awarded a certificate of excellence "in the culinary arts on Cheng Tng"; a thirst-quenching sweet soup adored by many Singaporeans. 

I knew i have to get my hands on a serving even if it risks adding another kilogram to my weight! 

Priced at only S$1 a bowl, this would likely be the cheapest cheng tng you can ever get in Singapore! For my case, i topped up another 50 cents for extra gingko nuts; necessities for the ageing brain. 

Other than the low price, my taste buds could not make out what was so excellent about the cheng tng; there was barely the hint of longan in the broth, a main player for this dessert, with even mom commenting that it tasted like the thinner version of sugary syrup used for ice jelly! 

Maybe i should not be too fast to point the accusing finger at Singapore Media Press, the awarder of the excellence certificate as that certificate was dated seven years ago! 

=====

Location
Blk 22 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh #01-47, 
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre

Map
As above

Price
Cheng Tng (Basic) - S$1.00
Above with Gingko Nuts - S$1.50

Monday, July 29, 2013

Black Fried Carrot Cake @ Xin Ji [鑫記菜頭粿] - 22 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh Kim Keat Palm Food Centre

Again and again, i was left utterly disappointed with my recent selection of carrot cake stalls; none so far has managed to match the epic one i had near my block, which sadly pulled down the shutters after a rental spike. 

But, the seeking continues! That hungrygowhere app on my phone was frequently utilised in the search for nearby good eats and it brought me to block 22 lorong 7 toa payoh yesterday! 

Manned by an elderly couple, i was suspecting this would not be the sweet, caramelised black carrot cake diced up into hundreds of tiny crunchy pieces that i always prefer. 

I was right in my suspicion! More often than not, you would see me writing how much i hate this, why did i even choose this, blame the hungrygowhere reviewer who recommended this etc etc. 

Weirdly, that's not the case; the meal was a nostalgic journey back to my childhood. A simple plate of fuss free carrot cake that downplayed sweet sauce and retained the traditional flavour well loved by the older generation! 

Not my 'type' still, although i have to give it some credit for the nice recollection of childhood memory.

=====

Location
Blk 22 Lorong 7 Toa Payoh #01-60,
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre

Map
As above.

Price
S$3 a plate

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sukiya (すき家) - Eat All You Can Sukiyaki & Shabu Shabu! @ Bugis Plus +

Fans of Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu would love to hear of this buffet version, perfected with an unlimited supply of premium pork, chicken and beef! 

Offering a selection of four basic soup bases, i could not remember what got into us that day as we decided to go with sukiyaki and touyu miso for our pot instead of their signature shabu shabu! Thinking back, it could likely be the novelty of trying something different. 

I was deliberating whether to post this picture as the soups didn't appear to be very appetising with all the frothy bubbles. Nonetheless, at least this would give you a rough idea on the pot used. 

The above bowl of mish and mash was served at the same time which i presumed was for the sukiyaki stock. It was a return trip back to the kitchen since the expensive meat was our ultimate aim and we had not allocated any stomach space for the fresh vegetables! 

Personally, i was eyeing the stuff at the healthy bar! Why bother giving me a standard bowl when i can take what i like from the bar like cheese tofu, cuttlefish balls etc?!

Not exactly healthy stuff if you ask me but the important thing is that you can pile up as much as you want! Do note that you don't get fish meat or fresh prawns; a major disadvantage when Chinese steamboat restaurants in the nearby Liang Seah street are offering a much wider variety.

Of course, i am aware that Sukiya is marketed nothing less than a Japanese restaurant and hence would have targeted a different clientele. Moreover, the high level of freshness (for the food) and overall cleanliness of the place have, no doubt, won it many loyal customers. 

My not-so-healthy selection from the healthy bar!

OOOoooooo our premium, thinly-sliced meats! Hardcore beef lovers can choose to top up S$6.90 for a serving of wagyu beef platter! I was already very satisfied with my beef even though i would likely order the wagyu the next time i am at Suki-ya. Must try mah! 

Before starting the feast, always visit the dipping sauce section and create your own concoction to go with the meat! Sadly, goma tare (sesame sauce) was not available and i had to make do with the delish spicy peanut sauce. 

I love mine with chopped spring onions! 

Guess i don't have to explain further on what you should do with the meat. Overall, i had to admit i was surprised by the high quality of meat given its very wallet-friendly buffet prices.

Concluding the filling meal with a bowl of self served vanilla ice cream (tasted similar to McDonald's ice cream, albeit a creamier version) peppered with rainbow sprinklers and cornflakes! 

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Location
201 Victoria Street,
#04-14/15, Bugis+

Contact
6884 5778

Price
Lunch (Adult) - S$16.90
Dinner (Adult) - S$20.90
Lunch (Child) - S$12.90
Dinner (Child) - S$15.90
Extra S$2 for weekends, PH and eve of PH
[Subject to GST and Service Charge]

Additional Information
Turn up early for dinner, especially on weekends, as the queue can be terribly long! It doesn't help that you can peer into the restaurant and see other diners enjoying their sukiyaki and shabu shabu. I waited for a torturing sixty minutes. :(

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Olidfy 2 by - Speed Up the Ageing Process!

Ageing - growing old is a natural process in human life although many of us could not accept the reality, and would try all sorts of methods (orthodox or otherwise) to retain or revert to our youthful state. 

Therefore, i was assuming that the above iPhone application (heard it is on android too) would not be as popular as its terrifying 'Vampify' sibling. I am actually incorrect in my assumption; the app gained quite a strong following and there must be only one reason. 

To see the aged face of a friend or family member and to laugh heartily after that! In case you are wondering, the ah-ma in the picture is my elder sister who has always received compliments of appearing to be the youngest among us three siblings! 

No present for guessing who this smiling ah chek is! 

An option in the app allows the grouchy me to record a message, complete with animated expressions typical of an elderly person and then save it as a video file. Imagine playing it back in my twilight years! Those flashbacks would be so memorable!! 

You can also choose to age twenty, forty and up to sixty years in the free version! Pay a nominal fee to gain access to an additional century of pain, suffering and wrinkles. 

Alex, the sporty one, agreed to be the model showing the different phases in life; above is the future him with an extra twenty years to his boyish look. 

Him again, at the supposed age of sixty eight years old when he would have experienced life in its good and bad, bringing him relentless worries and also unmeasured happiness. 

Oh my god! I can so imagine him looking like this sixty years later; sitting with one leg on the chair, digging his nose and spitting anywhere he desires!

Fun? So what are you waiting for?
Download the app and enjoy the ageing process! 

^_^

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another Stopover Point - Ming Ang & its Super Delicious Ma Ti Su (or Heong Peah) @ Yong Peng, Malaysia

In my many road trips to Peninsular Malaysia, there's one town the coach would definitely stop for a short 30-minute break; Yong Peng (永平). More often than not, the rest area would be scheduled at this place known as Lucky Garden.

No no no, i am not going to talk about lucky garden, for which many Singaporeans are familiar with. Topic today concentrates on another similar commercial entity just a few hundred meters; Ming Ang (明安熟食广场).

What's so special about this Ming Ang? Given its objective to serve as a comprehensive resting / toilet point for travellers (many of whom are Singaporeans); prices are in fact comparable to Lucky Garden, meaning overpriced!

But, it beats having to stopover at boring Lucky Garden every single time i travel up north to places like Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands etc. Plus, an alternative for food options is always welcome! 

By the way, i am loving the flavourful lor mai kai (glutinous rice chicken at RM 480 each) in Malaysia although the meat came complete with bones! The same could not be said of the big bun (RM 4.80); pathetic filling and thick with dough. 

However, the biggest draw for me is the stalls selling freshly baked sesame horse hoof pastries [also known as Ma Ti Su, Beh Teh Sor (馬蹄酥) or Heong Peah(香餅)]! I first chanced upon Ming Ang a few years ago and the aforementioned pastries were unforgettable!

There was another vendor selling pineapple cake in  and i bought a box simply because every piece cost less than S$1! A similar one would likely be in the range of S$2-3 in Singapore! 

My haul back to Singapore! Don't be mistaken; two packs of Heong Peah were missing from the picture. My record was eight packs. 

I could not remember exactly how much i paid for the Heong Peah; should be less than RM 10 a pack. In the case of the pineapple cakes, it RM 18.80 for twelve pieces. 

Personally, the pineapple cake was a total letdown! I could not accept the pastry flaking all over me as i gave a very gentle bite! Not only that, it was not buttery and the paste tasted nothing like the marvellous ones from Taiwan; strangely, the first thought that came to mind was Nonya style pineapple tarts.

Ahhh! The signature ma ti su; the appetising fragrance of freshly baked sesame seeds, those crunchy layers of paper thin crust that didn't overwhelm like many in the market and i just could not stop relishing the maltose filling that was, thankfully, not sickeningly sweet! 

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Location
lLot 1523, Batu 1/2, Jalan Muar, 
83700 Yong Peng, Johor

Directions
For motorists, just go your normal route to Lucky Garden but instead of stopping, continue driving ahead and you should see Ming Ang just two hundred meters away.

Coach-Takers
So far, i have come to the conclusion that almost all coaches under the brand name of Five Stars and Konsortium would stop at Lucky Garden. Coaches under Transtar and Grasslands seem to prefer Ming Ang more. 

Additional Information
As usual, there would be a supermarket stationed in Ming Ang where you can spend all your remaining ringgit on local foodstuffs for family, friends and colleagues back home.

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