Tuesday, January 29, 2008

IKEA Restaurant: Everyone's Favourite

You should never visit IKEA with a full stomach, because you'll regret missing out the food served there. I guess many of us Singaporeans should be pretty familiar with this IKEA restaurant, and many of us wouldn't mind the long queues during lunch and dinner times (especially on weekedends).

Poached Salmon

Poached Salmon,   S$6.90 nett,   

The salmon meat wasn't really fresh, and they broke into brittle bits when we sliced our forks through it. Potatoes were a tad dry; broccoli was cold. However, the Chive Butter Sauce rounded everything up and brought them together in unison.

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs (10 Pieces),   S$6.50 nett,   

This is one of our personal favourites, and we are sure most of you agree. Beefy meatballs, dipped in heavy sauce and lingoberry jam - a classic combination that sends you craving for more.

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings (6 Pieces),   S$7.50 nett,   

We never fail to order the fried Chicken Wings from IKEA too. Hot yummy juice oozing out with every bite. These wings are less oily and much healthier than the usual fried ones you find.

Almond Cake

Almond Cake,   S$3.20 nett,   

The Almond Cake turned out to be surprisingly pleasant, especially for a non-nut-lover like me. This dessert was crumbly and delicious, and the top was coated with a rich moist layer of studded almond nuts.

Don't hold too much expectations for the word 'restaurant'. No pretty ambience and no serving waiters / waitresses - You have to wait for your own seats among the crowds; you have to queue up for your own food; you have to clear your own plates after the meal (though a lot of Singaporeans do not practice that). This place is self service, and it's more like a canteen kind of concept. Nevertheless, the prices you pay for the quick bites and resting place you get, are definitely worth your time and money.

IKEA Tampines
IKEA Restaurant & Cafe
Level 4, IKEA Tampines
60 Tampines North Drive 2, S(528764)
(+65) 6786 6868
Mon - Sun: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seafood Paradise: Not Just About Seafood

Tucked deep within the ulu industrial estates of Defu Lane, Seafood Paradise proves to you the reason which draws in swarms of hungry Singaporeans every evening.

Seafood Paradise
The nicely renovated air conditioned interiors took us aback for a moment. It was like stepping into "paradise" (well, almost) among the midst of unappealing factories and warehouse buildings (outside).

Braised Ee-fu Noodle with Crab Roe

Braised Ee-fu Noodle with Crab Roe (Medium),   S$15+,   

Springy brown Ee-fu Noodles, bathed in thick heavy crab roe ("fats" from small shore crabs). Who would have thought of such a delicious slurpy combination?

Claypot Drunken Prawns

Claypot Drunken Prawns,   S$6+ per 100gm (+S$2 Herbal Soup),   

One of the restaurant's most popular dishes (according to the staff), was delivered to our table in hot bubbling soup, served straight from a claypot. Find yourself savouring every bite of these juicy drunken prawns, accompanied with heavenly bursts of herbal fragrance.

Stewed Whole Chicken with Ginseng

Stewed Whole Chicken with Ginseng,   S$28+,   

I love chicken when they are stewed to extreme softness, where the skin, flesh and everything just slips off readily. This chicken had made it. However, the herbal taste of this dish overrode any possible presence of the ginseng (if it's even there in the first place) - so much so that I thought that the word 'Ginseng' shouldn't be placed in the menu (to deceive customers).

Braised Seafood Cucumber with Mushrooms on Broccoli

Braised Seafood Cucumber with Mushrooms
on Broccoli (Large),   S$48+,   

This Braised Seafood Cucumber with Mushrooms on Broccoli, was labeled as an immediate rip-off the moment we saw its pathetic portions. Sea cucumbers, given in stingy amounts, were disappointingly tough, rubbery and rather raw. Chinese mushrooms and broccolis fared slightly above average, but they were inexpensive stuffs. S$48++ for this kind of "no quantity nor quality" dish, is a definite NO-NO.

Original Paradise Steam Crab

Original Paradise Steam Crab,   S$3.60+ per 100gm,   

"Crabs Specialist", as what the restaurant claims itself to be. How could we miss out ordering any crabs from them? Indeed, they had lived up to their name.

Oringal Paradise Steam Crab offers meat that's succulent and sweet, which sends instantaneous relishes once you attempt your first suck. And underneath this hard-shelled creature, was a layer of smoothly steamed egg - modest, yet able to compliment the lusciousness of the crab. I liked the fact that the entire steamed dish felt very light and pleasant, not those heavy greasy ones.

Popular Chilli Crab

Popular Chilli Crab,   S$3.60+ per 100gm,   

After a research from the web, I found out that the Chilli Crab is an original creation from the restaurant, because they use sambal chilli. "Instead of being cooked with ketchup and vinegar, the chilli sauce here is flavoured with dried shrimp instead." No wonder it tasted different.

Deep Fried Bun / Man Tou

Deep Fried Bun,   S$0.80+ each,   

The Deep Fried Bun, or what we refer to as the Man Tou, is a MUST when you order chilli crabs. These buns, fried to crisp golden excellence, when dipped into the egg-thickened chilli sauce - "Shiok"!

Though seafood is an apparent focus of this restuarant, Seafood Paradise excels in other non seafood dishes as well. Creative menu, with vast choices. Service, however, was bad - probably because we were seated too far back in the restaurant, or probably because they do not charge 10% to your bill for that. As a point to note, please make your reservations beforehand, else you'll find yourself caught up in a human flooded wait.

Seafood Paradise
Seafood Paradise
Swee Hin Building
91 Defu Lane 10, S(539221)
(+65) 6487 2429
Mon - Sat: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rite Pizza: More Cheese Please!

For a change, I thought I would order something else rather than the usual Pizza Hut.

Winter Special

Winter Special (12" Medium),   S$30.50 nett,   

Judging from the name Winter Special, I supposed this was a pizza created exclusively for this season of "Winter". (Is it still winter now? I don't even know.) Anyway, it's just a wild guess. Back to the pizza - topped with cheese, lettuce, turkey bacon, lettuce, chicken ham, lettuce, cheesy sausage (no signs of it), lettuce, pineapple, lettuce, mayonnise, and lettuce. On the first look, I thought they had given me a vegetarian (lettuce) pizza by mistake.

Apart from the not very appealing sight, Winter Special turned out to pretty alright. One thing which caught everyone's instant liking was the pizza crust - fine crisp delivered the moment my teeth sank in.

Ocean Delite

Ocean Delite (12" Medium),   S$0.00,   

Since it was "Buy One Get One Free", this was free. Ocean Delite - a juicy mix of shredded tuna, onions, crunchy green peppers, covered with hot melted cheese, garlic powder and thin mayonnise. However, I thought that this failed to proclaim itself as a seafood pizza. There wasn't the slightest tinge of seafood greatness in it, at all. (Shrimps and crabsticks stated as two of the toppings in the pizza menu, were nowhere to be found.)

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings (3 Pieces),   S$4.50 nett,   

I was having some reservations when ordering this, because I was expecting just three small drumlets for the price of S$4.50. Luckily, to our delight, three pieces Chicken Wings really meant three whole pieces (inclusive of both drumlets and wings). Taste wise, it was considerably good (if you don't compare them to Pizza Hut's), with the sweet BBQ sauce smeared all over.

Mashed Potato

Mashed Potato,   S$1.50 nett,   

Fuffily mashed potatoes, a pity it doesn't come in any gravy. Initial mouthfuls were still acceptable, but the later part was it too dry to even continue.

Maybe we ordered the wrong flavours or from the wrong branch, because from the pictures here, I was expecting a whole lot more chunk of cheese. Rite Pizza didn't seem very truthful nor generous in the ingredients they gave. Nevertheless, the prices were pretty reasonable. No GST, no delivery charges - all nett from the menu.

Rite Pizza
Rite Pizza
Home delivery to all areas islandwide
(+65) 6899 3838
Mon - Sun: 10.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.