Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ramen Zundo - Sydney

After a relatively stressful afternoon, hubby and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice hot bowl of ramen. We decided on Ramen Zundo in World Square as we had not been there before and were surprised to find quite a few patrons on the cold Monday night.

We ordered an egg each - this was absolutely gorgeous with a slightly runny yolk. Hubby got the Zundo Red whereas I opted for the Zundo Black. The Zundo Red was their famous tonkatsu based soup with spicy chilli oil. Hubby said it wasn't very spicy - I beg to disagree. Zundo Black was the tonkatsu based soup with garlic oil. It was absolutely deliciously garlicy, porky, collageny goodness. The noodles were cooked well. Loads of veges (if you like bean sprouts and cabbage) and the necessary seaweed accompaniments. Hubby also liked the pork pieces in it. I really really loved it!
soft boiled egg - $2
Zundo Red - $11.80
Zundo Black - $11.80
On the side, we also ordered gyoza. These were just average though - nothing to write home about.

gyoza - $7.90
Hubby and I were both quite impressed by the ramen here. Would definitely return when we're in the area.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 29/40

Ramen Zundo
Shop 10.30 World Square
644 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9264 6113

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice - Singapore

Singapore is pretty famous for Hainanese Chicken Rice but hubby didn't want just any old hainanese chicken rice, he wanted the absolute bestest in town. And so, we decided to go to the shop that Anthony Bourdain recommended - Tian Tian in the Maxwell Centre. There's normally a long line here (supposedly up to 30 mins), but I think we got pretty lucky, coming here at a random time, as we only had to wait around 15-20 mins.

Most people here order their hainanese chicken with rice sets ($4, or $4.20 for drumstick). However, hubby (having come here especially for this chicken) decided that he needed a half chicken ($12). We were initially thinking that half chicken would be like the breast and the thigh bits... but what came out was a MASSIVELY HUGE plate of chicken - the envy of all those in line behind us. Though I initially wanted to sample some more food at the Maxwell Centre, after looking at hubby's selection, all these thoughts instantly vanished.
I have to say, the chicken here is amazingly awesome! It's super super slippery tender with just the right amount of protein to fat to skin ratio. The sauce is also deliciousness. What I was a tiny bit disappointed with was the rice - I wanted it to have a bit more flavour, but hubby thought it was good enough.

Eyeing the other hainanese chicken rices offered at Maxwell Centre, the wait for this particular chicken is so so so worth it!

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Stall No. 11&12
Maxwell Food Centre 
Singapore, 069184
Tel: 96914852

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mozza Osteria - Singapore

We were looking for a place for a late night dinner in Singapore and though hawker centers seem like the likely option, hubby wanted something more special. We were way too late to book anything awesome in but being 11pm, we decided to rock up to Mozza Osteria at Marina Bay Sands without a reservation anyway. And as predicted, we were seated promptly.

Mozza Osteria is a restaurants by the the famous Mario Batali and is ranked No. 35 on the S.Pellagrino Asia list. Like all the other awesome ambiance restaurants, it means that photos turn out dodgy (due to my somewhat poor photography skills and hungry stomach).

The waiter had recommended the degustation menu but at 11pm, I preferred a-la-carte. We were served housemade warm bread - sour dough and wheat. Both were absolutely delicious! Crunchy crust, soft innards, and actually really tasty. The waiter did forget our olive oil and balsamic though but was apologetic the moment we asked for it.

The amuse bouche was a fresh ricotta lump on crackers, straight from their mozzarella bar. The ricotta was fluffy and light and just subtle in taste. Really creamy and perfect match for the crispy cracker.
For starters, we ordered the pane pomodoro ($28). This was fresh burrata cheese with thinly sliced cured ham/prosciutto and pickled ramps all served on just the right amount of bread. Loved it!
pane pomodoro - $28
The other starter we opted for was the grilled octopus with potatoes, celery and lemon ($25). The octopus was super tender and quite charred. The charred taste was very prominent but when combined with the other flavours, it was very yum.
grilled octopus with potatoes, celery and lemon - $25
Hubby and I both wanted pasta. He took the cappelletti di vitello ($62). This was chicken liver filled pasta blackened with black truffle sauce. ZOMG - it was heart-stoppingly good. The liver was really aromatic and smooth and creamy, and was encased with really really thin pasta. And the sauce? Unforgettable! Really really rich and strong in truffle flavour.
cappelletti di vitello - $62
My pasta was just as (if not more) deliciousness. The Celery Root cappellacci ($62) was small creamy tasty pockets of gooey goodness encased in the super thin pasta. YUM YUM YUM!!! And the creamy blue food mushroom sauce? ZOMG YUMness!!! Absolutely amazing. But like with all deliciously creamy and tasty things, both pasta were super filling and seemed to simply expand in our stomachs.
Celery Root cappellacci - $62
Though we were both really really full, we couldn't resist the dessert - the Piccolo Budino Caldo di Cioccolato ($22). The warm self-saucing pudding was really light and super chocolatey - gooey on the inside and crunchy crusty on the outside. It normally comes with a bourbon gelato but I don't like the taste of bourbon so we changed it to vanilla - with this really crazy salted caramel topping. I think that this is the best chocolate fondant we have ever had.
Piccolo Budino Caldo di Cioccolato - $22
We found the meal really delicious. Service somewhat lacking at times but it was late - the waiters were possibly all tired. It wasn't a cheap meal though, especially when you add in the ++ (service charge and tax). Definitely a good place for a splurge though.

Food - 9/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 31/40

Mozza Osteria
B1, 42-46 Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 8522

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jackie M - Concord (closed)

We had heard about how amazing Jackie M's cuisine was and yet, living 5 mins away from it, we had procrastinated 2 years before actually giving it a visit. Our procrastination ended just in time - as Jackie M was scheduled to close just weeks after our visit (to focus on her catering business).

I first ordered their iced milk coffee. I really like asian iced milk coffee - but this was definitely made from powder as there was undissolved powder left at the bottom of the glass. Hence, I was a bit disappointed by this - wasn't anywhere as strong or as flavoursome enough.

In terms of dishes, one that we opted for was the beef rendang. This came on a slightly smaller scale than expected. However, it was chockablock full of stringy beef and deliciousness spices and flavours. This was perfect when eaten with the roti. The roti here has got to be one of the best I've ever had - super super flakey, super super light, super super crisp, and super super soft all in one bite. Deliciousness!

I had also read about how their chai tow kway (fried radish cake) was amazing and hence, I simply just HAD to order it. I wasn't disappointed. Yummy stir-fry of shredded radish cake with garlic, beansprouts, chives, egg and preserved radish. Yes - slightly greasy but so subtly tasty when it all clings to that sweet salty sauce.
Hubby also wanted some greens so the Kang Kong was ordered. Slightly spicier than the type I like, but tasty (and oily) all the same.
In sum, Jackie M is slightly more expensive than most other Malaysian restaurants but it is still tasty. No doubt that their catering business (and takehome meals) will be just as tasty (but possibly just as pricey).

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 27.5/40

Jackie M - http://www.jackiem.com.au/