Thursday, August 28, 2008

Azabu Sabo: Hokkaido Ice Cream Aside

I'm sure many of you have seen plentiful Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice Cream kiosks located in town shopping areas, and most of those who have tried usually go for their signature Green Tea flavour. However, the strong taste of Green Tea could be very subjective. You either love it or hate it. Thus another flavour which we find is the best among competitors so far is the Rum and Raisin one. This is a strong recommendation (and not an advertisement!) from us - just get a scoop to convince yourself.

Anyway, so much so for their ice cream. Azabu Sabo also serve Japanese cuisine at several restaurant branches, and we decided to give it a go.

Azabu Sabo
The restaurant offers two dining sections, one inside the shop itself, and the other outside at the 'open area'. We were given the latter and it was pretty okay if you don't mind occasional stares from people at the higher stories or escalators.

Green Tea Milk Shake

Green Tea Milk Shake,   S$7.80++,   

A wonderful thick milky shake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. This should suit the general liking because the green tea flavour was strong enough to taste, yet at the same time, subtle enough to not overpower.

Sabo Style Teriyaki Chicken Bento

Sabo Style Teriyaki Chicken Bento,   S$11.80++,   

The portion was seemingly decent than what we would expect from a S$11.80 bento. There were generous slabs of Teriyaki Chicken, a mass of sweet minced (?) egg, shreds of seaweed covering the rice, some pickles and salad as sides, plus a bowl of clear miso soup.

Grilled Premium Rib-Eye Beef Steak with Wasabi Butter Sauce

Grilled Premium Rib-Eye Beef Steak with
Wasabi Butter Sauce,   S$19.80++,   

This, although one of the slightly higher priced menu item, with lots of (cheap) pickles and vegetables to 'fill in the space', the rib-eye steak was worth it all. Bite-sized premium beef cubes tenderly grilled to relish tasty juices inside your mouth. And for something different, it was served with plum rice and matching Wasabi Butter Sauce.

Caramelized Sweet Potato and Japananese Rice Cake with Matcha Ice Cream

Caramelized Sweet Potato and Japananese Rice Cake
with Matcha Ice Cream,   S$8.80++,   

We wanted an atypical dessert rather than those bowls of soft serve sundaes with sauces and lots of toppings which people usually order. Wrong choice, because the Caramelized Sweet Potato and Japananese Rice Cake turned out very disappointing. They were hard and tough to chew on, and we struggled our way through to finish it. Lesson learnt - just stick to the popular choices.

For a brand which specializes mainly in desserts, the food fared reasonably well enough. We might be dropping by again for some after-meal-desserts, and when that time comes, we'll be be choosing the popular ones.

Azabu Sabo - The Central
Azabu Sabo - The Central
#01-68/69, The Central ©
6 Eu Tong En Street, S(059817)
(+65) 6410 9578
Sun - Thur: 11.30 a.m. - 9.30 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 11.30 a.m. - 10.30 p.m.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

TCC: Eat, Drink, Chill

It's a friday night and you are out with your friends downtown. You want a place where you can have a nice dinner, do some catching up, and stay on long without getting the 'when-are-you-leaving-stares' from the servers. Then, you shouldn't give TCC a miss!

The relaxed ambience and comfy chairs already await you to snug onto them.

Oreo Mocha Frappé

Oreo Mocha Frappé,   S$7.90++,   

We don't usually choose this, but doesn't mean that it isn't good! We just happened to have cravings for chocolatey drinks that particular day, and our personal favourites are Peach Me Up and Matcha Mambo.

Chocolate Raspberry Frappé

Chocolate Raspberry Frappé,   S$7.90++,   

It's really a wonder how TCC did their drinks, because none of them ever seem to disappoint us. Chocolate Raspberry Frappé was a new menu item, and as usual, it got us squealing in delight with a sour fruity twist to its rich chocolate.

Smoked Salmon and Camembert Toast Salad with Apricot Sorbet

Smoked Salmon and Camembert Toast Salad
with Apricot Sorbet,   S$13.80++,   

A salad of smoked salmon and camembert cheese toast snaps in as a zesty start! Spread in blobs of homemade apricot thyme sorbet to give an uplifting sensation.

Tropical Tamarind Chicken

Tropical Tamarind Chicken,   S$17.50++,   

A tender piece of marinated chicken thigh soaked in warm tamarind cream sauce, which goes perfectly well with the tropical fruit salsa, asparagus, and the tastiest dauphinoise potatoes. What else could be better?

Banana Salmon Exotica

Banana Salmon Exotica,   S$20++,   

How does banana curry sauce with salmon and mashed potatoes sound? Weird, and perhaps too exotic for the general. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a taste so unique yet appealing in the piquant blend of everything.

Chicken and Turkey Bacon Lasagne

Chicken and Turkey Bacon Lasagne,   S$16++,   

Fork your way through a blanket of golden brown mozzarella cheese, with underlying layers of pasta sheets and generous servings of diced chicken and smoked turkey chicken trapped between - meltingly baked goodness.

Seafood Aglio Olio

Seafood Aglio Olio,   S$18.80++,   

Spaghetti Aglio Olio subtly flavoured with chilli and garlic accompanied with succulent pan seared scallops and fresh prawns.

Chic-Mex Pizza

Chic-Mex Pizza,   S$12++,   

This was more like a pizza toast - crispy bread crust topped with chicken chunks and turkey bacon, spiced up with capsicums and jalapeños peppers. The cheese however seemed to be a tad dry.

Smoked Salmon Avo-bayon

Smoked Salmon Avo-bayon,   S$14.50++,   

Citrusy smoked salmon draped with luscious avocado mash and drizzled with a thin layer of sabayon sauce, served between delicious baked walnut rye bread. It's gonna be a big pulpy mess!

Beef D'luxe

Beef D'luxe,   S$14.50++,   

You'll be amazed by how thick and juicy the homemade beef patty was. Grilled to tender excellence, the patty was well accompanied with nectarous braised apples, tomato slices, lettuce, and again, the delicious walnut rye bread.

Shrooms 'N' Cheese Sandwich

Shrooms 'N' Cheese Sandwich,   S$13++,   

The best sandwich we've tried by far. Meaty portobello, button and oyster mushrooms with velvety layers of melted cheese - this dish is sure to win the hearts of mushroom and cheese lovers.

Cocoa Mosaic

Cocoa Mosaic,   S$10++,   

An art piece so pretty that you wouldn't know where to start. Swirls of raspberry sauce and berries encompassing cubes of white, milk, and dark chocolate mousse melt subtly in your mouth. Sweet.


Devil-misu,   S$11++,   

It was quite sad to find out that the Ti-rum-isu in the old menu had been replaced by this. Along with the price hike, the Devil-misu was seemingly an upgraded version made from TCC's finest espresso and mascarpone cheese with a demonic kick of rum, served with berries and brandied cherries.

Nothing in TCC was labelled "yucky". Well, at least of all that we'd tried. We are loving everything here from the food, to drinks, desserts, and presentation. TCC had already earned itself a perennial favourite for hanging out and chilling among us and our friends.

TCC - The Atrium @ Orchard
TCC - The Atrium @ Orchard
#01-17, Atrium @ Orchard
60 Orchard Road, S(238891)
(+65) 6884 9223
Sun - Thur: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 11 a.m. - 1.30 a.m.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Changing Appetites: Just Your Luck

When we first tried out this restaurant in 2006 (yah, very long ago), they branded themselves as a Western and Japanese fusion, and we kinda liked it back then. But it seemed that since early 2007, the restaurant had revamped its tag line to "The All American and Dessert Cafe", which is not also exactly precise due to the infusion of Mexican influenced items.

Changing Appetites
Funky decor with bright colours and big vibrant wall murals were that something which stood out from the rest of other generic food joints like Carl's Junior, The Cafe' Cartel, and Swensen's along the same stretch at Marina Square.

Bonless Shanghai Chicken

Bonless Shanghai Chicken,   S$8.90++,   

As common as this dish may sound, it was too quick to prove me wrong. Deep fried crispy chicken tossed with sweet and spicy pineapple-citrus sauce and topped with sesame seeds, it was a delightful tangy twist when eaten together with the wasabi mayo dip.

Bacon Chicken Fajita in BBQ-style

Bacon Chicken Fajita in BBQ-style,   S$17.90++,   

Disappointment fell the moment this was served to our table - so much less enticing than what described and pictured in the menu.

Basically, it came in a hot plate filled with bacon basted in BBQ sauce and smothered with mixed grated cheese, laid in a bed of lettuce and topped with pico de gallo (a fresh condiment made from chopped tomatoes, onions, and chiles - typically jalapeños or capsicums).

Bacon Chicken Fajita in BBQ-style
And this is what you do with your hot plate ingredients. Wrap them up into the flour tortillas served alongside, add some sour cream, and munch it up! However, the result was extremely dry and the bacon was too rigid. We got sick after a while and we left it unfinished.

Classic Cajun-style Fajita (Chicken)

Classic Cajun-style Fajita (Chicken),   S$15.90++,   

Not much difference from the previous Bacon Chicken Fajita, just a little more moisture from the cajun marinated chicken and added cheese sauce. Still, not a recommended dish.

Cheese the Chicken

Cheese the Chicken,   S$14.90++,   

An all-time favourite in this restaurant. Just look at the layers of delicious nachos, tender grilled chicken, mango slices, and drizzled with cheese and CA's special mango sauce. Not a neat presentation, but it's this same mess that blow you off. The only complaint was that the cheese sauce seemed a little too cold and solidified when served.

CA Honey BBQ Steak

CA Honey BBQ Steak,   S$18.90++,   

BIG was our immediate reactions when we saw the 200g stirlon steak, but too large a size became a bad thing when the steak turned out unpleasant. The meat was a piece of boring rubber, and really tough to chew on. Thankfully there were other sides like the cheese nachos and baked potatoes to balance it off, and a slice of grilled pineapple to punch in some scanty juices.

Fusion restaurants always whip up some unique / weird combinations (whichever you call it), and it's either a bingo or a miss. For those who don't mind risking your taste buds, you could try your luck at Changing Appetites. Food is not entirely bad, but they all have one thing in common - the significant lack of moisture.

Changing Appetites
Changing Appetites
#01-204, Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard, S(039594)
(+65) 6339 7670
Mon - Fri: 11.30 a.m. - 9.30 p.m.
Sat - Sun: 11.30 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.