Prata Cafe, Evans Rd: This place has its own 10-page thread on the Makansutra forum. A makan session happened in July but I was in China at that time, husband went and reported that he loved the food. I just had to try for myself too so one hot weekend afternoon, we went. Loved the sedap Indian rojak and my Milo Dinosaur which came in a tall glass heaped with a montain-high pile of Milo powder. The dry mutton curry and fried beehoon was so-so. The prata kosong was leaden and chewy, maybe they made too much in advance. The mutton murtabak was a better choice, it came piping hot and the dough layers were finer and more crisp.
Moomba (1/2): Husband and I came here when we were in the middle of a fight. My face looked like thunder, and husband's was equally stony. The atmosphere must have been so awkward that the manager was moved into giving us complimentary glasses of port with our desserts. But even in the midst of a cold war, we ate well and picked from each other's plates. Eat first, continue to fight later. Husband's Kurobota pork chop was as satisfying as ever and I loved my fig and cheese salad.
Burger King (1/2): sometimes you need to have a whopper.
Silk Road (1/5): We ate there four times in January, but lapsed in the months after. The noodles are as good as the ones I've had in China, husband cannot seem to get enough of their dan dan noodles. The cod fish with soya crumbs is a new favourite.
Kaisan (2/6): We stopped going to Kaisan for a while because husband didn't like their new style sushi. Well, Peter has left, and the place is now sticking firmly to the classical style.
Now is the season for the migratory Sama fish. This silvery elegant fish swims northwards towards Hokkaido during the summer season. The journey somehow cleanses the liver, and the liver itself builds up new fatty stores. This is very important, because this fish is prized because of its liver. Johnson, the shy but hugely talented chef in charge of cooked food, grilled the fish with a little salt until it was just so- the skin yielding with a slight crackle to reveal the bubbling liver along one side of the fish. The white flesh is sweet and fine but, tinged with the incredible elemental flavours of the liver, the fish takes on an incredible taste that gets afficionados oohing and aahing with rapture. The first time I ate it, I was a little taken aback with its strong flavours and aroma. It reminded me of my first taste of truffles and buah keluak. After the fifth or sixth bite, husband and I were competing over the dish. Too bad we ordered the last piece. We had to return the following week when new supplies came in.
Other goodies sampled: Hokkaido uni, aji best eaten as sashimi or grilled with salt. From Johnson's side of the kitchen came a healthy and delicate dish of steamed chicken with fresh chopped ginger, a little appetiser dish of braised radish peel, house-cured pickles and the dish that I would always associate with him because his version is simply the best I've had in Singapore- grilled eggplant with miso paste topping.
Tatsuya, Crown Prince Hotel: where we defected to when husband didn't fancy pretty sushi. The food was very good as expected but the delivery was a little too slick for us. The prices were also quite astronomical compared to the more reasonable bills that we have been used to at Kaisan.
No Signboard, Esplanade (1/3): They never seem to have the big-sized Sri Lankan crabs. One of my friends opined that maybe it is a deliberate lie, told to customers to force them to order other dishes. On this occasion my white pepper crab came with one fleshy claw and one 'watery' claw. We asked the manager over, he took one look at the plate and offered to bring another. Wonder what happened to the table that got the other claw. Otherwise a most enjoyable finger-licking-thumb-sucking meal, especially coupled with the stir-fried dou miao and oat prawns.
Crystal Jade (2/ 17): Ever reliable and consistently good Korean food at Ngee Ann City justifies braving the weekend shopping crowd for. At the airport I had my last fix of cha xiu bao before taking off to Bangkok.
Peperoni, Greenwood Avenue: Husband was having trouble deciding whether we were eating at Greenwood or Greenleaf. Mimi made the decision for him by puking on the car floormat when we were driving past the junction of Greenwood Avenue. We decided on Peperoni because they had pizza and beers. The portobello fritter with chicken (above) is yummy-mummy too.
Estiva Gelataria, Greenwood Avenue: Personally I found their gelatos too sweet, maybe I just don't get gelatos. Even my ever-hungry Rufus did not fancy any of it.
Royal China (1/3): Back for the crispy aromatic duck wrapped in pancakes. And more treats like braised goose webs. And individual pieces of crab claw steamed with huatiao and egg white- my first encounter with this style of cooking was in the 90's London, Mayflower employs this method for its fabulous whole Scotland crabs but Singapore restaurants have never heard of it. Now one can get this style everywhere it seems, which is a good thing, who would seriously object to seafood-infused custard, no?
Shatin Kitchen, Geylang: My makan friends have sniffed out yet another great cze char restaurant. This place is a more posh than the usual kopitiam-syle places. The place had air-con, the waitresses changed our plates frequently and the food, when it came, were beautifully presented with some courses served in individual portions a-la fine dining places. The food was a refreshing change too. The menu highlighted the house special which was sturgeon. Not the roe of course, but the meat of the majestic fish served up in different styles. Sturgeon cartilage with salt and pepper, stir-fried sturgeon fillets with salt and pepper. Also the intriguingly named Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which was fresh scallop tossed with egg whites. Other winning dishes were the braised lamb and deep fried assorted morels and mushrooms.
This was also the occasion when the number of bottles of wine consumed almost matches the number of diners. We are now the makan and minum gang.
My friend slurp has posted many lovely pictures here.
Zambuca, Pan Pacific Hotel: Once in a while husband would suggest eating Italian, because pasta is his second favourite food after maguro sushi. He decided that we will eat at Zambuca. It turned out to be a failure because although restaurant looks very classy, the food was no better than what Spageddies dishes up down the road. My seafood risotto came with porridgey gluey rice and overcooked tasteless pieces of seafood. Husband complained that his pasta sauce tasted like canned tomato soup. We left without touching most of our food.
Pontini's (1/2) Copthorne Waterfront Hotel: Where we escaped to after running away from Zambuca. There is a young new chef in place and his cooking is assured and confident. Salads were bright and flavourful, and mains were exemplary. My truffle rissotto was rich and decadent, husband's roasted cod was silky and equally indulgent. Sitting by the window and looking down at the action outside Zouk's was very entertaining too.