Monday, June 30, 2008

Cheok Kee Duck Rice: Quack Like Never Before

With all the newspaper / magazine articles and clipplings, plus all the good words coming from peers and fellow food lovers, this duck rice stall deserve its right reputation.

Duck Rice

Duck Rice,   S$3 nett,   

"With great Lor comes great Duck Rice." To start off, the ducks, by their appearance, are tempting already - with wholes of them hanging high up at the stall, drawing visibly long queues of regulars.

Duck meat were soft and exceptionally well braised, and with the addition of the sticky sweet Lor (gravy), we need not explain further. You just have to try this for yourself!

But since the Duck Rice is so flawless, why rate 'four-and-a-half hearts' then? That's when we compare to the even heavenly Duck Porridge!

Duck Porridge

Duck Porridge,   S$3 nett,   

Better be early, else end up in disappointment if you want to try this Duck Porridge, as it would usually be sold out by 8 p.m. Such silky tasty porridge can never fail to get you craving for more. The Braised Duck slices blended in perfectly with this thick goo which melts seamlessly in your mouth.

A place you would not want to miss if you're a duck fanatic. Ducks can't taste any better than this.

Cheok Kee Duck Rice - East Coast
Cheok Kee Duck Rice - East Coast
Stall 29, East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway, (S)468960
(+65) 6445 4222
Mon - Sun: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lerk Thai: Lacks Aroma

It was one of those occasions when you have no plans of where to eat.

Lerk Thai
We were walking past the ground floor of Paradiz Centre, and we decided to hop into one of the smallest branches of Lerk Thai. It was bright, clean, and able to house only a maximum of 30 customers I suppose.

Kway Teow Tom Yam Talay

Kway Teow Tom Yam Talay,   S$6.90++,   

The Tom Yam broth was the clear, see through type, loaded with prawn(s), few pieces of squid, mushrooms, beansprouts, and a handful of Kway Teow as the main. Soup was sensational sour and spicy, but however, the portion wouldn't be enough to fill even a 5 feet tall guy. Then again, S$6.90 (restaurant price) with seafood? You shouldn't expect much.

Pahd Thai

Pahd Thai,   S$6.90++,   

The fragrance of Thai's famous Fried Kway Teow wasn't very well carried out by this restaurant. Noodles felt bland and "old" - like they've been fried over a forgotten period of time. Dried shrimps and chilli flakes were very spicy, and they seemed to convey the message, "tasteless? Fear not! Add these in to mask everything."

Pahd Woon Sen

Pahd Woon Sen,   S$6.90++,   

This was a little better than the Pahd Thai. Quite a lot of vegetables plus few chicken pieces, fried together with Tang Hoon (glass noodles). Moisture and taste obtained the passable mark.

Gaeng Kiew Whan Gai

Gaeng Kiew Whan Gai,   S$7.00++,   

A good dish of Green Curry takes pride in gentle spicyness, yet maintaining its thick strong flavour of the coconut milk. This was, yes, not very spicy, but definitely not flavoursome enough. Worse, it was served barely warm.

Lots of the dishes were just 'not fragrant enough'. Taste wise, they were nearly clean forgotten as soon as we stepped out of the restaurant. Probably it was due to the allocation of substandard chefs to a less patronised branch of Lerk Thai. Apart from all, the prices were reasonable enough for a bet at another branch.

Lerk Thai - Paradiz Centre
Lerk Thai - Paradiz Centre
#01-06, Paradiz Centre
1 Selegie Road, S(188306)
Sun - Thur: 11 a.m. - 10.30 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Waraku: Casual Japanese Dining

We chose the branch at The Central © over the one at Cuppage in hope to catch a glimpse of Singapore River through the window seats, but our hopes were dashed due to the overwhelming crowd during dinner time.

Oh well, the interior (without the window seats) wasn't too bad - warm and friendly. Moreover, the food and company made this dining experience an enjoyable one.

Beautiful Lady

Beautiful Lady,   S$6.80++,   

We've never dared to try Sake, 'cos we've heard how unbearable it could actually taste for some. However, we fell in love instantly upon the first sip of this strawberry flavoured Sake. Sweet and subtle, the alcoholic taste wasn't too hard on us.

Matcha Float

Matcha Float,   S$3.80++,   

We were expecting thick milky Matcha kind of drink, but this was the fizzy soda kind, with a scoop of Matcha ice cream on top. It's subjective, but we didn't like it.

Cha Soba

Cha Soba,   S$9.80++,   

The memory of Waraku's Cha Soba has always been very vivid from the day we first tried it. Still as impressive as before, this simple plain dish never fails to leave us in great satisfaction.

Yakitori Don

Yakitori Don (Regular),   S$9.00++,   

Yakitori (grilled bird) is a Japanese type of skewered chicken, and I usually enjoy Yakitori by biting the meat off those wooden sticks. But here, the bite-sized chicken pieces were presented in a gob together with Japanese rice, stir-fried onions, cabbages, and seaweed. Something we felt lacking was some sauce, to make the dish less dry and more appetising.


Sakura,   S$18.80++,   

The Sakura set comprises of a massive bowl of creamy soup Udon and Hotate (scallops), plus a hefty bowl of Japanese rice topped with shredded egg and salmon roe.

We sure ate to our fill as we savoured every thick chewy strand of Udon with the concentrated cream sauce, whiffing the strong aroma of the cheese. Hotate were sweet tasting, but the freshness was quite unknown due to the heavy masking by the sauce. On the other side, rice bowl bacame boring once the juicy fish roe ran out.

Potato Mochi Cheese

Potato Mochi Cheese,   S$8.80++,   

Even the name itself sounded tempting enough. Hot cheese oozing out with every bite of the deep fried Potato Mochi. Simply celestial!

Tonpei Yaki

Tonpei Yaki,   S$6.80++,   

Sliced pork meat with Japanese white cabbage, covered in soft golden omelette, dressed in Okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. The Tonpei Yaki turned out to be a mix of appropriate sweetness and saltiness, and it served as a modest side for sharing.

Just by judging from the crowd inside and queues outside, Waraku is no doubt one of the popular Japanese restaurants in Singapore. Delicious authentic Japanese cuisine, sizable portions, that comes with affordable prices too.

Waraku - The Central
Waraku - The Central
#03-89/97/98, The Central ©
6 Eu Tong Sen Street, S(059817)
(+65) 6327 8860
Mon - Fri: 11.30 a.m. - 11 p.m.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bakerzin: Grab Your Main Course Elsewhere

Hmmm.. The sounding name in desserts which Bakerzin had built up..

Dessert Displays
Just in case you were still hesitating, the enticing dessert displays are bound to clear all your doubts and lead you straight into the restaurant.

A clean-cut decor extended its warmest and unpretentious welcome. The only unexpected was a much tighter space.

Café Affogato with Rum and Raisin Ice Cream

Café Affogato with Rum and Raisin Ice Cream,   S$6.80++,   

A shot of espresso added to a scoop of ice cream, with choices of caramel / chocolate / manjari / sumatra white chocolate / vanilla / rum and raisin flavours. It was a pretty combination between awakening bitterness and lingering sweetness.

Tomato and Cheese Bruschetta

Tomato and Cheese Bruschetta,   S$8.80++,   

Thick cut country bread layered with tomato slices topped with molten cheese, every bite was a defined hard crunch - too hard perhaps, and too dry for our liking. Mesclun salad made a pleasant side though, with young supple leaves dressed in complimenting olive oil.

While deciding on our main courses, we realised that our choices were unknowingly narrowed down to pastas only, as we mentally striked out the sandwiches, pizzas, and especially the 'just like home' section. Sorry, but we simply couldn't imagine Assam Prawns or Braised Pork Belly with cheesecakes and strawberry mousses.

Seafood Pasta

Seafood Pasta,   S$15.80++,   

Flooded with a plethora of tiger prawns, squid, mussels, and clams, this dish has indeed fulfilled its name as 'Seafood' Pasta, unlike some others with crappy crab sticks and pathetic minces of shrimps. The linguine was soaked in delicious tangy tomato and white wine sauce, cooked till Al Dente. Portion wasn't big, but able to satisfy yet leave some stomach space for the not-to-be-missed desserts.

Every dessert looks alluring, and with Bakerzin's clever marketing strategy to 'wholesale' their Dessert Tapas, the struggle of choices becomes so much easier. You could order three tapas / ice creams / sorbets from their petite range for S$9.80++, five for S$15.80++, or even seven for S$21.80++! Great for sharing in a group.

Vanilla Crème Brulee, Coupe Cheesecake

Vanilla Crème Brulee,   (Dessert Tapas) 3 for S$9.80++,   
Coupe Cheesecake,   (Dessert Tapas) 3 for S$9.80++,   

We enjoyed the Vanilla Crème Brulee, made of a burnt caramel layer above the chilled custard. It would have scored more if there were more mouthfuls. The Coupe Cheescake consisted of cheesecake base crumbles, covered with lightly cheesecake flavoured ice cream and strawberry sauce. A unique creation we would say.

Banana Pizza with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Banana Pizza with Cinnamon Ice Cream,
(Dessert Tapas) 3 for S$9.80++,   

This came in two slices of caramelized bread bases, melted cheese and bananas, plus an additional scoop of Cinnamon Ice Cream. We liked the hot and cold composite, with a fragrant toast taste of the flaky crumbs.

Though we only pinched a small taste of Bakerzin's renowned desserts, we could already tell that they were good. With an already stable speciality, Bakerzin could perhaps work harder by offering a wider array of (less weird) main courses.

Bakerzin - Vivo City
Bakerzin - Vivo City
#01-207, Vivo City
1 Harbour Front Walk, S(098585)
(+65) 6438 8700
Sun - Thur: 10.30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 10.30 a.m. - 12 a.m.