Best steak at a zi char place!

New Ubin Seafood is quite a deceiving name. It isn’t located at Ubin and the seafood wasn’t the highlight of our meal. You can expect the usual zi char dishes but the whole point of finding your way inside Sin Ming Industrial Park is this plate of Certified Chilled U.S Angus Beef Rib-Eye Steak.This plate of broiled steak was unforgettable. Accompanied with caramelised onions and potato wedges, it could have easily passed off as a dish in a fancy restaurant. Even Larry (trust this American to know his beef) gave it the thumbs up. I don’t think you even need to use any of the three sauces – pineapple sauce, mustard and ketchup – that were provided.

Now, the most authentic and incredible part of this plate of steak is that it duplicated the taste of the beef in another plate of beef fried rice. Such a brilliant idea to cook it in the remnants of the beef fats!

We ordered a few more dishes but they were just alright. Not sure about the crabs though! Either way, I would just order the $50 plate of steak that comes with fried rice and share it between 2 or 3! >:)

New Ubin Seafood
Block 27 Sin Ming Road (behind Block 26), #01-174
Sin Ming Industrial Estate Sector A, Singapore 575680

The Canopy at Bishan Park

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There is a little gem which sits in the lush greenery and annoying rattle of the construction site at Bishan Park – where we had a pretty pleasant alfresco brunch at The Canopy.

Two of us had the egg royalés ($12), they were surprisingly good. We had to wait a while for it, but the eggs didn’t disappoint- they spilled golden runny yolk at the gentle poke of the fork. It was a mouthful of delight – the melted cheese, salmon and hollandaise sauce. Even the muffins were fresh! The sautéed spinach from the egg florentine was well cooked too.
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If you want to give yourself a treat on a weekend and fill up your plate just a little more, you have the option of adding sides. They have a pretty good list to choose from. We had sautéed mushrooms, hash brown and sausages. The plain-looking pancakes were fluffy but it tasted quite one dimensional with the banana. Think strawberries and apricots still work with pancakes better 😉 The fruit juice was $10 but it tasted no different from what you’d get for $2 at a local hawker centre.

It is a place to chill out, so don’t expect tip top service. The staff are crowded indoors where the air-conditioning is, and it may take some frantic waving before you get their attention.

Additional bonus for animal lovers like me: pets are allowed. 🙂

The Canopy
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Bishan Park II, Singapore

A bit of everything

International buffets are usually a hit-or-miss for me because different cuisines don’t really go well with each other. Thus I didn’t have high expectations when we went to Todai in late November. The place was packed when we arrived, and we were really lucky to be offered a private room for the five of us.

My first instinct was to go for the rows of sushi that caught my eye when we were walking in. The california rolls and sashimi were great! I could just fill up on them and be happy without venturing into the other sections.

But I headed over to the roast counter after my first plate. Everyone was raving about the roast beef and I had to try it. I paired the roast beef with some cold cut meat and broccoli before grabbing an oyster to try too. Then came more roast beef and potato gratin that will remind you why you can’t live without carbs.Everything was well replenished all the time except for the chilli crabs where there was always a queue. I was in my lil happy bubble eating a year’s worth of cheesy prawns and scallops that I didn’t even consider about the crabs which were limited to 2 pieces per pax.It is a pity that the dessert section was very forgettable, or I wouldn’t mind going back again in a few month’s time.

Todai
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, #b2-01, Singapore 018972
Lunch buffets start from $42++ & dinner buffets start from $54++

PS: Todai was in the news recently because of a food poisoning incident. I think it’s probably a one off-thing as we had a lot of raw food that day and we were fine.

Fuji-Q Highland

One of the highlights of our trip to Tokyo was Fuji-Q Highland. We are roller coaster junkies and it was one theme park that we didn’t want to miss. There was only enough time for us to take three rides but the adrenaline rush from these three is probably more than what most theme parks can offer.

The first ride was Eejanaika, a 4th dimension roller coaster with the greatest number of inversions in the world. According to wikipedia, a 4th dimension roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster whereby riders are rotated independently of the orientation of the track, generally about a horizontal axis that is perpendicular to the track where the cars do not necessarily need to be fixed to an angle.

The 2 hour waiting line barely quailed my excitement to be on the ride. There couldn’t be a better way to start the day than a 4th dimension roller coaster ride with a Guinness world record! The 14 inversions on the 8th tallest roller coaster in the world definitely added more oomph to this crazy ride. Just think of it as ups and downs with alternate view of land and sky. 😉

Not the best panaroma shot of Fujiyama 😛

Fujiyama with Mount Fuji in the background

Fujiyama, the king of roller coasters was our second ride. It is the 8th largest drop at 230 feet, 7th highest (259 feet) and 3rd longest roller coaster ride in the world. You can almost feel the love everyone had for this ride while standing in the line, and you have to sit the ride to understand how an old school out and back roller coaster nails it even without any loops. I wished I didn’t tighten my seat belts so much that I missed out on all the air-time throughout the bunny hops which is like the highlight!

We only had enough time for one last ride due to the long queues and we chose Fuji-Q Highland’s new ride, Takabisha over Dodonpa. Opened on 16 July 2011, it is the world’s steepest roller coaster with a beyond-vertical drop of 121°. I felt that it was the least enjoyable, or should I say scary, ride of the three though. It starts in pitch darkness below it launches into a few crazy loops and makes its way up a 90° slope where you are perpendicular to the ground. It then takes its time to creep on top of the loop before it descends quickly down the 121° drop and zooms into a few more loops. It felt too deliberate at times and it was too well executed that it took away from the thrill factor. To think I thought it would have been the most scary ride!

Ack my hand looks awkward but obligatory churro shot!

Fuji-Q Highlands is about 2 hours from Tokyo and we bought the Q pack which was quite a good deal. 7,100 yen for a day pass as well as a return express bus ticket which you can choose between a few time slots. The bus terminal is also conveniently located in Shinjuku station which was quite near the hotel we stayed in. 🙂

Hippopotamus – not a place for tiny stomachs

We came by Hippopotamus because we were driving round the area and didn’t want to queue for Imperial Treasure at Marina Square. Faced by our lack of options and a sudden appetite for meat, we decided to check this place out.

At first Hippopotamus seemed like a family restaurant, especially so because we were there on a Sunday, but it’s not unbearable like Swensons so that’s all right. We ordered quickly because they had a large selection of steaks and we were hungry, but note that there aren’t any pastas or exciting salads on their menu. This place is not for people with tiny stomachs.

Don't compare it with the french, this warm bread when buttered is very decent

Hippopotamus beef capaccio

Hippopotamus Chicken Skewers

We ordered a few of their starters but not many because the mains each came with three accompanying sides and that was going to be filling enough. The chicken skewers were quite appetizing but they tasted suspiciously like something that came out of an instant ready-to-eat packet. The beef capaccio received mix reviews around the table – personally I found it bland but Eileen thought it had just enough taste.

Hippopotamus chicken salad

This place is not for light-eaters or for those who are regimental with their diets. Do not order a salad. Order a steak instead.

We ordered steak burgers, the hanger steak and rib eyes. The burger and rib eyes were juicy and awesome for the prices but the hanger steak was passable. I think the hanger was the only one that came from a ‘set meal’. What I love about Hippo is also their generous servings of sides. They offer french beans, basmati rice, fries, mash, ratatouille and gratin. Try their ratatouille and potato gratin. Unless you have a habit of eating steak with rice, which I doubt, I suggest you skip that.

Hippopotamus creme brulee

Hippopotamus lava cake

They weren’t bad but we hardly touched the desserts. They weren’t worth the tummy stretch. The acid test of a good dessert for me usually is one that will compel me to push the boundaries (literally) of my stomach even after an especially filling meal. We barely dug three spoonfuls into ours.

I heard Hippo’s a great place for their lunch sets where you can get pretty respectable steaks for about twenty a person. Not a place that I’ll get hot and excited about, but not a place I’d say no to going back either.

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill
6 Raffles Boulevard #01-204/205 Marina Square
6338 5352

Gyoza crazy moments in Tokyo

I would have been happy with normal gyoza, but the curious side of me ordered the different ones every time. This furry looking gyoza was delish! The use of takopachi ingredients – Japanese mayonnaise with seaweed and dried bonito flakes – brought a whole new level of yummy to the classic pan fried gyoza.

And we didn’t just stop at ramen joints to enjoy gyoza. A special trip was made to the gyoza food museum in Namco Namjatown. It was like a food place where everyone sold gyoza. You can either eat at the individual stores, or order takeaway and feast at a general eating area.

Here’s what we tried:

Mini gyoza in beer broth

Lemony gyoza

Shrimp Gyoza that are wrapped like spring rolls

A set of cheesy gyoza, cold udon and lemonade

Ah, I really miss gyoza!

Related post: A taste of Japan: Ramen

A taste of Japan: Ramen

Tokyo was a blast. None of our meals was disappointing even though we usually order by pointing at the pictures since we can’t read japanese other than the occassional characters that are similar to chinese.

I can’t tell you exactly what we tried but we went for quite a few ramen joints. Our first dinner in Tokyo was the spicy tofu ramen that was just across our hotel. We also had spicy cream based ramen that was flat like mee pok the next day for lunch, and I think the rainy day made the pipping hot noodles tasted even better. Priced between 15 to 35 SGD (750 – 2000 yen), most of them had strong flavor which can at times be too salty.

Shoyu RamenKara miso RamenCha-suCha-suCha-suOur friend in Tokyo also brought us to Santouka Ramen that was located in a discreet alley between the shopping malls in Harajuku. He mentioned that it is a popular ramen chain in Tokyo and the Japanese, especially young adults, enjoy eating ramen. There were the usual broth like shio (salt), miso (soybean) and shoyu (soy sauce) as well as kara-miso (spicy miso) and a dry ramen that you can dip into the sauce. It may not seem very special (i blame globalisation) but I don’t think it will be easy to replicate the heavenly cha-su anywhere else. The meat was so soft that it simply melted the moment we place it in our mouth and the fats turn into yummy goo that’s worth any extra cholesterol.

Wow, I just realise that they have two outlets in Singapore! Maybe I should try it soon to taste the difference. 🙂

  • 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-76, The CENTRAL, Singapore 059817
  • 21 Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace, Singapore 229452