Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alexandra Village II

Alright! Time for more goodies from Alexandra Village! Seriously, thinking about it, everytime I go there, I only eat from the stalls from the back row facing the carpark.

Well, because everything is there! You've got the beef stew, the mutton soup (check this out they even have mutton SPAGHETTI), the chicken rice, the avocado milkshake and the famous tze char (forgot the name but you'll surely notice it at night.).

Also on that row are two good stalls selling yummilicious food. The first stall is Roasted Duck Rice. I've seen this stall around for a long, long time when I was still a young kid but I never got down to trying it out because I'm not really a duck person (and also duck fat and skin is darn hard to remove from the meat). Okay I know, I know the good part is the crispy skin with the fat but don't go throwing tomatoes at me now! I just like it fat-free okay!

As usual, there's an array of advertisements plastered on the glass panel and many "fans" eating their duck rice. Frankly speaking, the duck is seriously good. I didn't take the skin but the meat was well roasted and tender.

The gravy, however... is distinction. Comon, how many times have you heard of a good duck rice stall, went down see check it out, watch them slop a big scoop of nice-smelling, delicious-looking thick gravy on your rice but when you try it? It tastes like... tasteless starch? This gravy is thicken to the right consistency, good portion of oil, and taste super good! It's just very tasty and flavourful, trust me.

The chilli is also another plus point. It's slightly sourish and thus freshens up the dish a little and making it less boring (wouldn't it be boring if everything was salty?)

Go try it out!

Next stall is the well known Lien Fa Shui Jing Pau which was previously at Tiong Bahru food centre. I never liked shui jing pau in the past because whenever I eat them, there are always "stones" or "sand" in the shui jing pau. I'm not really sure what they are though, but I don't like them.

So what prompted me to try it out this time? Well, my dear mother told me it's really good and plus, she told me they have red bean and yam filled ones. Must go!

I felt that the shui jing pau is nice cause the filling is TOTALLY DELICIOUS! It's very tasty with a strong yet not overwhelming dried shrimp flavour. It's also not too oily and the radish is still slightly crunchy. The chilli also has dried shrimps in it and goes well with the pau very well. And of course, no "stones"!

I don't really like the red bean and yam filled ones though cause I felt that the sticky skin prevented the flavour from fully dispersing.

So there you go! Two more nice stalls for you guys to try out. I'll definately be back there to try out the rest of the goodies soon.

Alexandra Village

With all the revamping of food centres going on, most of them despite looking new and spanking clean, has lost much of the old atmosphere which had once made them special. Not to mention that most of them had also lost their much treasured stalls, making the new "kopitiams" just a skeleton of it's old self retaining their names.

Thankfully, there are still gems to be found on this little island. One of which is Alexadra Village Food Centre which is still a good ol' food centre with loads of old stalls still around, most of them selling deliciously good food.

One stall I vividly remember my parents frequenting when I was still a kid was Soon Lee Beef Soup. This stall which is tended by two ladies serve a lip smackingly good beef stew. The kind which is still served in a claypot and heated over a flame, definately hard to find these days.

Well of course they also do sell other items but what I usually go for is the beef stew which contains soft, well stewed beef, tendons, carrots and potatoes in tasty, rich gravy.

The beef is really soft and very well marinated holding a strong flavour in without sacrificing it's beefy taste. The gravy, however, is what draws me back time and again. Eating here, you will not feel cheated by gravy which look thick and dark but taste bland and starchy. The gravy is rich with beef flavour and spices with just the right amount of saltiness and sweetness.

Splash it on some rice and you're good to go!

Just a few stalls away is also an awesome stall which sells avocado milkshake. Yeap, you heard that right. It's AVOCADO milkshake.

Decorated with various foodie recommendations and well arranged fruits, this stall is the first stall to come up with this fantastic concoction. The avocado milk is a thick, light green milk and taste really good. I don't really know how to describe it but I think it's a touch of pandan juice, evaporated milk and avocado blended together to make a drink that is rich and sweet yet not too much to turn you of after a few sips. Instead, I find it suprisingly addictive and I usually order two at a go!

Well, invention will definately lead to copycats and a few other stalls in the food centre has "copied" them by selling the same drink, no doubt noticably lacking in flavour. This original stall is the colourfully decoratoed one beside the duck rice stall at the corner. If I'm not wrong, they also have durian milk which I'm definately gonna try the next time round. It may be a little bit pricey at $2 a cup, but please go for the original stall because the other stalls just don't make it (trust me I've been there).

In the same row, there's also a famous duck rice stall and shui jing pau stall which I'm going to cover in my next post. Not to mention that there's also the famous clapot laksa, tze char, carrot cake, mutton soup, chicken rice, bak kut teh with Da Zhong Guo (which sells good chinese pastries), Lina's confectionary (which sells darn good curry puff and lapis kueh) and a famous Ang ku kueh stall in the vacinity.

Wow, now that's quite a mouthful isn't it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Maxwell revealed!

Yes, here I am once again stripping Maxwell food centre apart bit by bit, going back again and again to slowly reveal it's well kept food secrets.

"What's on the menu this time round yummie?!". Sweet stuff of course! Savoury stuff, Hmmm, not in the agenda today.

Having read about Maxwell's famous onde onde, which incidentally ranks 2nd just behind's, I knew I had to try it out and since I had a Saturday morning all to myself, why not?

Well, I DID find a stall selling onde onde and it DOES have alot of newpaper clippings and foodie recommendations on the wall. However, I can't really read the chinese words so I don't know if it's Xing Xing's tapioca cakes. But seeing that it's the only store selling onde onde, I just went ahead and bought some.

The onde onde looked errr, a little unappetizing though. I thought onde onde were little plump balls coated with grated coconut but what greeted me was a tray of... flat balls with leaking gula melaka. Seriously! ALL the balls were sort of punctured! I still got some though.

Despite it's bad (really bad) appearance, this onde onde was actually quite good! Don't get me wrong, it still ranks behind Sgkueh's. But it's soft (but more chewy than Sgkueh's) and has a good proportion of gula melaka in it. There's also a little crunchy bit of gula melaka left in it. I feel that the dough is not flavoured though, meaning that they use little sweet potato and a high ratio of glutinous rice flour, creating just a bland dough.

i also bought their mua chee or mochi which was, unexpectedly good! I mean, it's not extraodinarily good just better than average. The skin was quite soft but what bought me over was the filling. Instead of the usual peanut and sugar filling, the filling here has been cooked in shallot oil, giving it a very fragrant taste. Not bad!

I also popped by one of our favourite stalls selling tong shui, or chinese desserts for some. This stall sells peanut soup, tau swan and red bean soup with peanuts, sago and brown rice.

We accidentally chanced upon this stall a few months back and it has been one of our favourite stalls since. Most people get the peanut soup but what we crave for is the red bean soup.

Not usual, boring red bean soup mind you! This red bean soup, with the peanuts, brown rice and sago gives the soup a very good and special taste. It's really good, trust me. and besides, you can also add in rice balls for an additional cost. Yummy!

I'm stuffed! By there's still so much more in Maxwell to unrevel! Don't worry, I'll be back again... soon.

And ending the trip to Maxwell with *drumrolls* min jiang kueh! Oh yummy!

Dear min jiang kueh,

Sometimes, I sit beside the window staring blankly into the landscape and wonder, "How can I ever, ever, live without you?"

From your greatest fan,


Peanut soup
Maxwell food centre Stall 57

Friday, November 17, 2006

Damn good kueh

Being in Amoy Street food centre, I had the pleasure of tasting the best nonya kueh in Singapore ever. I had previously read about Sgkueh's super duper good onde onde which was No.1 one Straits Times onde onde list and of course, the reviews on ST Foodies made me crave it even more.

Sgkueh is opened by a guy called Michael Tan who finally opened a stall front in Amoy Street after previously selling his kueh from home. When I first heard of, I had my doubts about the kueh being sold in a store with such a corny and commercialized name. But after reading reviews, man, that durian onde onde is getting harder and harder to resist.

There's quite a variety of kueh being sold there including the traditional onde onde ($1.20 for 3), sweet and savoury Bingka Ubi, Tapioca kueh and a spunky variety of creations including durian onde onde (80c each) and differently flavoured kuehs w/ or w/o coconut including sweet potato kueh, mocha kueh, tau swan kueh, red bean kueh and some others which I may have missed out. These go for 60c each for the ones without coconut (bigger portion) and 40c each for those coated with coconut.

Being quite full from the min jiang kueh and wanton mee already, I only ordered the traditional onde onde, durian onde onde and much talked about sweet potato kueh which does not contain artificial colourings by the way.

What I read did not prepare me for what came next. I have never, ever... ever, tasted such soft onde onde, ever. The onde onde is soft like a custurd that you have to hold it delicately with your fingers. Pop it in your mouth and mash it with your tongue and feel the softness coupled with warm gula melaka. I'm telling you, I was in heaven at that moment.

The durian onde onde was larger in size but similar in texture with warm, real durian oozing out the moment you bite into it, oh's like.. Omph!

The sweet potato kueh was of course, amazingly good. Not too sweet, good real sweet potato taste and soft like silk. I would think that the other kuehs carry the same, heavenly texture.

Sgkueh really does sell darn good, melt-in-your-mouth kueh which I think is a result of a very high sweet potato/tapioca to glutinous rice flour ratio. In fact, their the best I ever tasted! I know I'm a fan of Bengawan but sorry boys, these guys are of a different league. It's a pity that I'm stuffed from the wanton mee. The next time round, I'm gonna buy ALL of the kueh and sample them one by one. Till then, wait for my review!

7 Amoy Food Centre Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 069111

Opening Hours
10.30am to 3pm. Closed on Sundays.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cheap and Good!

Just a short stroll away from Maxwell food centre is Amoy Street food centre, another food haven and one which I feel has much more hawker goodies than Maxwell. Step into the food centre during lunch time and you'll be greeted by long queues formed at several different stalls, each of them having their own "fans".

Among these are Sgkueh which sells a variety of damn good kueh and which I will cover in a seperate post, and Tai Seng Noodle House which sells a assortment of noodles including wanton mee and pork rib noodles. These two stalls stand side by side and despite being there on a Saturday morning, queues were already formed at both stalls.

Being the wanton mee fan ourselves, we quickly jumped into the queue when we saw the long queue and the many pink plates scattered around the surrounding tables (so S'porean right Haha!) I've heard, or rather, read much about this Tai Seng Noodle House praising it for it's generous helping of noodles and ingredients and boy I wouldn't have believed it if I haven't tried it myself!

The stall is tended by a lady who does all the cooking and serving herself.

Look at the assortment of sauces!

Since most of the customers were ordering the pork ribs noodle, we added that as an extra ingredient.

What I read is true to every word. The lady grabs a handful of noodles, cooks it in hot water, uses the tongs and grabs a whole bunch of char siew and fried wanton without any care to the amount, and throws a large amount of vegetables in. And besides that, she gave us a huge bowl of soup with at least 5 wantons.

So including the added pork ribs the set looked like that. How much do you reckon it will cost?

Let me tell you. $3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cheap right! Such a good deal I'd say! Given a choice between Kok Kee's and this, I'll be hard pressed to choose which to have.

The sauce is pretty good and one of the good sauces I've had, not the usual bland black sauce. The noodles, however, I find too sticky and they clump together making it hard to separate and eat.

The char siew isn't the roasted kind and is pretty average but the braised pork ribs is really quite good, which explains why everyone is ordering it. It's well braised and tasty and I even got a big piece of tau kwa, which was at the right saltiness by the way.

I didn't try the fried wanton though but the boiled ones were pretty good and the soup base was slightly sweet. I suspect that there's sugar in it.

Hey considering it a $3 dish, I would say it's pretty good! The next time round though, I'll just get the pork ribs noodles.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A piece of childhood goodness

Birthday posts aside, just the other day Qin and I headed down to Chinatown or rather, Maxwell food centre, for lunch. Yeah, sure Maxwell food centre has loads of goodies, but what I usually go down for is only for its darn good min jiang kueh.

Yup, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Min jiang kueh IS my favourite food, "What?! Comon!" I hear you say? Don't worry I still love my chocolates :)

When I say min jiang kueh I'm sure what comes to your mind is a slightly yellow triangular piece of pancake with peanuts or red bean filling inside. But this min jiang kueh I'm introducing to you is different in the sense that it is pandan flavoured, making the kueh very fragrant by itself.

I still have vivid memories of eating this kind of pandan pancake when I was still a kid and there was a stall selling them beside the clinic. I didn't know what it's called or what it's made of, only knowing that the combination of peanuts and pandan flavoured flour is a darn good one. Oh well, I guess I've been addicted to pandan and peanuts since, prefering sweet nonya kuehs and min jiang kuehs to sponge cakes or waffles. Sad to say, since that stall moved, I haven't seen a single place selling that certain kind of pancakes anymore.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this stall a few months ago while having lunch at Maxwell food centre! When I saw the shape and colour of that piece of min jiang kueh sitting on the table I was so happy! I was literally jumping for joy that THERE IS still a place that sell it!

The stall is called Ong Pandan Pancake and is located at the last row of Maxwell food centre near MND building. Firm to the bite and slightly chewy fragrant pancakes rolled up with sugary peanuts, red bean, kaya or coconut filling laid out on a large wooden chopping board just as I remembered. They sell the triangular kind too but I only buy the rolled up ones as they have more filling and are nicer to eat IMO. I also only order the ones with peanut filling. I guess it's a childhood thing :)

Min jiang kueh fans or not, go grab some cause it's super good! Even Qin who is not a min jiang kueh fan drags me down sometimes just to grab some :)

Maxwell food centre
Ong pandan pancake (Signboard only writes Pancake)
Located at the last row of stalls near the MND building side
Rolled up pieces go for 40 cents each while triangular pieces go for 50 cents each. Just buy the rolled up ones :P

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Suprise suprise!

Yes! I'm finally going to reveal what made me so busy for the whole of last week. Since it was my gf's 21st birthday, I wanted to give her a nice suprise and thus, the past week had been hectic as I feverishly thought and carried out my ideas.

*Snores* Okay okay! I'll stop beating about the bush! Don't you fall asleep now.

On the day of her birthday, I suprised her by bringing her to Harbourfront for dinner. Haha, I lied about dining at a fabulous restaurant but instead, this was what I planned!

Yup! Sky dining a.k.a Cable car dining. She told me about it before and I think its just so romantic dining on a cable car. Needless to say, she totally loved the experience and the pleasant suprise :)

What I can say is its a really nice experience but you can start to get nausea during the main course when the cable car is a little bit shakey. The food isn't that good too but well, I guess it's for the good service and the nice ambience.

Food served included Tomato soup w/ garlic crostroni, Grilled chicken and Pan fried fish and Apple Crumble at the end. I thought all of them were pretty okay except the Pan fried fish which was -.-

After dinner, I finally gave her the suprise which I had planned so hard for. The "top secret" mission which I talked about previously.

First off, I created a birthday card each for Qin and my mum. Don't think that they look easy to make. It took alot of time mind you!

I was also creating and experimenting with Angel cupcakes in my kitchen trying out my own recipes on different frosting and fillings and have proudly came up with these!

Blueberry Angel cupcakes w/ blueberry cream cheese frosting and Chocolate ganache Angel cupcakes w/ molten chocolate filling and another w/ a combination of both. I tried the cupcakes myself and think they were damn good! Not trying to sell myself here but my friends thought they were good too.

Qin also love chocolates and so I went to get Royce Bitter Chocolate and their much talked about Chocolate Potato Chips.

The bitter chocolates were TO DIE FOR. It totally melts in your mouth and sends you to chocolatey heaven. Seriously. The chocolate potato chips were not that nice though.

And last but NOT LEAST. I made a caricature using Photoshop which was really hard work. Got a photoframe from Ikea and decorated it with pebbles and paint.

Put it all together with a touch of creativity and this is what you get!

I arranged twenty-one 100% handmade-by-me cupcakes at the well-cleaned car boot lined with blue cotton cloth and created smoke using dry ice. Not bad aye?

Well, that's all for our 21st birthdays. Hope you enjoyed my posts! :)