Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chatterbox @ Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Cuisine: Chinese
Price: SGD32 per person without alcohol (what I paid for)
Visited: 29 May 2011
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Value for money: 2/10
Services: 5/10

As we were in Singapore for a short period, we ought to find a place for the best Hainanese Chicken Rice which is famous in Singapore. We had been recommended to try Chatterbox which is situated on 5th floor of Mandarin Orchard Singapore. First of all, I must say that it was pretty hard to find where it is about. Secondly, the price was wow.....SGD27 for a signature set of chicken rice: you must be kidding me. I would have got that for less than THB100 in Thailand for the amount. Ok, let forget about the price and not so friendly services and go straight to the food.

Chatterbox @ Mandarin Orchard Singapore

The Atmosphere

Story of the Legend

Good thing about Mandarin Chicken Rice was well cooked rice. It was jasmine rice and well cooked rice allowed them be identified piece by piece giving good texture and fragrant. Chicken was surely tender. I kind of like the dipping set, especially the ginger one. It was definitely an enjoyable set of chicken rice but how wonderful would you expect from just chicken rice though (6/10).

Mandarin Chicken Rice (top view)

Mandarin Chicken Rice (side view)

Surprisingly, we did see lots of takeaway too. Just wonder how would it taste when this chicken rice has been prepared and stored for sometime, would it still present the taste of legend. Indeed this is a very place for chicken rice, may be just a try but not a return journey.

Takeaway Set

Chatterbox @ Mandarin Orchard Singapore
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
238867 Singapore

Open Hours: 10:00am - 01:00am for Sunday - Thursday and 10:00am - 02:00am for Friday and Saturday
Tel: +65 (0) 6831 6288

Monday, July 25, 2011

Iggy's @ Hilton Singapore Hotel, Orchard Road

Cuisine: French
Price: SGD113 per person without alcohol (what I paid for)
Visited: 30 May 2011
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Services: 7/10

Iggy's Restaurant @ Hilton Singapore Hotel is another famous fine dining in Singapore which is awarded rank 27 in The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards by S. Pellegrino. The restaurant is named after its owner and respectful restaurateur Ignatius Chan. The atmosphere of this restaurant is rather a cosy type, not so relax as it was really quiet but can be enjoyable still. Iggy's keeps its decoration simple but with hint of elegance. Along each wall there are many painting and canvas for decoration that are rather impressive.

The tedious thing about the place was the booking system that requires visitor to put down deposit for the meal in advance and another confirmation via SMS on the day. Not sure if others also experienced in the same way as us. Additionally, food may be great here but services here are sure strange as each staff looked really stress (perhaps because of the atmosphere) and we didn't even see once that one of them smile: haha....but never mind though.

Iggy's @ Hilton Singapore Hotel

The Atmosphere

Table Setting

Delicious Bread and Butter (on top with grated cheese)

Amuse Bouche of the meal was Tomato Garden. I have to admit that personally I am not a fan of tomato at all. Hence, this dish could be a nightmare for me but it turned out to be supremely good. This was a combination of fresh tomato, granita from essence of tomato, mozzarella, and edible flowers. Thick and rich from mozzarella went really well with refreshing granita. I love this (8/10).

Tomato Garden

Tomato Garden (Close-up)

Coming to appetiser courses, Salmon, Savoy Cabbage, and Basil Seeds was kind of tangy due to frozen orange. Refresh and purify hints and well balance (8/10).

Foie Gras, Figs, Tarragon, and Cassis was surely one of the best foie gras. Purely smooth and delicate. Sweet scent and fragrant of fig was irresistible (9/10). 

Salmon, Savoy Cabbage, and Basil Seeds

Salmon, Savoy Cabbage, and Basil Seeds (Close-up)

Foie Gras, Figs, Tarragon, and Cassis

For our second course, we firstly had Cappellini, Sakura Ebi, Konbu, and Scampi Oil. Nice but disappointed as I was not touched by this kind of taste. It was rather typical for us. Feel really like stir-fried noodle with shrimp but well made (7/10).

Next one was Spaghettoni, Lamb Ragout, Fava Beans, and Thyme. We like this one more. Bacon was super crisp. Spaghettoni had great texture. Light flavour of tomato and tender lamb were delightful. The highlight was yoghurt, truly enjoyable (8/10).

Cappellini, Sakura Ebi, Konbu, and Scampi Oil

Spaghettoni, Lamb Ragout, Fava Beans, and Thyme

Next was main course. Duck, Carrot, Sesame, and Natural Jus was undeniable tender with perfect cooking. The carrot and orange sauce was pleasant. But rather normal in fact (8/10).

Wagyu Tenderloin, Pink Garlic, and Mushroom looked rather like a normal piece of steak at first sight. It turned out to be a super tender and max juicy piece of beef. What more would I want (9/10).

Market Fish, Fennel, Caper Berry, and Pernod was rather strange. It tasted delicious. It was hard for me to describe the taste of this dish. There were many scents mixing when tasted. haha...what do I know really? But it was great (8/10).

Duck, Carrot, Sesame, and Natural Jus

Wagyu Tenderloin, Pink Garlic, and Mushroom

Market Fish, Fennel, Caper Berry, and Pernod

Dessert was my favourite part of the meal here. Beer, Salted Peanuts, Milo, Potato, and Marshmallow was eccentric. But well balanced with milo (8/10).

The second one was Rhubarb, Salted Sable, Vanilla Beans, and Blood Orange. The ice-cream was just vanilla. It was then furnished with rhubarb and orange to combine sweet and sour scents together (8/10).

Last one was Apricot, Moroccan Spices, Argan, Almond, and Rose. The best of this meal it was. A bizarre texture and taste. Rather sour but great with yoghurt and spices. Truly savoury (10/10).

Beer, Salted Peanuts, Milo, Potato, and Marshmallow

Rhubarb, Salted Sable, Vanilla Beans, and Blood Orange

Apricot, Moroccan Spices, Argan, Almond, and Rose

Iggy's @ Hilton Singapore Hotel, Orchard Road
The Hilton Hotel Level 3
581 Orchard Road
238883 Singapore

Open Hours: 12:00pm - 01:30 (last seating) for lunch on Monday - Friday, 07:00pm - 09:30pm (last seating) for dinner on Monday - Saturday
Tel: +65 (0) 6732 2234

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ohana Fresh Cafe @ Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok

Cuisine: Cafe
Price: THB190 per person without alcohol (what I paid for)
Visited: 16 July 2011
Dessert: 3/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Value for money: 2/10
Services: 5/10

Having heard about Ohana for a long time, we only this time had a chance to give it a quick visit and by all means it was a really quick visit. First thing to bear in mind for anyone, there is no parking space for this cafe. Hence, take BTS to Phrom Phong station or just park somewhere and walk: not so hard but cannot be annoying. What we rather impress was the atmosphere. It gives a relaxing and homey ambient within greenery. 

We found that many people do come here for a chit-chat with friends, some even come and stay for a long time with their work. As we had a glance at the menu, it was rather simple with things like typical pastas, salads, sandwiches, and home-made desserts such as chocolate lava, waffle, and other pastry.

Ohana from outside

Ohana: Fresh Cafe @ Sukhumvit 24

The Menu

We decided to go straight to desserts without trying any food. We had Chocolate Mauna Loa and Strawberry Waffle with Cappuccino, without thinking as they are presented on the first page of menu: presuming they must be good ^^. Bad toss this time perhaps for us.

Chocolate Mauna Loa was the typical chocolate lava cake that comes with vanilla ice-cream, of course. Texture was great: firm but soft on the outside while runny chocolate came out from inside. Nevertheless, the quality of chocolate flavour was not so rich as we had expected for the price we paid for. The vanilla ice-cream was acceptable but not creamy and contained icy bits. However, this is still better than the bad experience we encountered with After You (4/10).

Chocolate Mauna Loa

Strawberry Waffle on the other side was a big piece of waffle filled with whipped cream and strawberry that came with vanilla flavour ice-cream on top with honey syrup. We personally admitted that the best part of this dessert was the ice-cream but what do we know about food. The waffle was kind of soft and soaky and flavourless. Strawberry was not of good quality but what would we expect. Lastly the honey syrup, from our perspective, just ruined the overall flavour of this dish (2/10).

Cappuccino was perhaps the most reliable one here though we are not a coffee expert. Strong, rich, and foamy (6/10).

Strawberry Waffle


Sugar Set

We were not impressed with this cafe though the rumour said it supposes to be a good one. It might, on contrast, be just a bad day for us. Perhaps we will give it another try when a chance comes by. But a specific choice for a meal here is surely not in our list, given its rather high price and quality we get.

Ohana: Fresh Cafe @ Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok
50/4 Soi Sukhumvit 24
Sukhumvit Road
Khlong Ton, Khlong Toei
Bangkok 10110

โอฮานา: เฟรช คาเฟ่ @ ซอยสุขุมวิท 24 กรุงเทพ
50/4 ซอยสุขุมวิท 24
แขวงคลองตัน เขตคลองเตย
กรุงเทพ 10110

Open Hours: 08:00am - 07:00pm daily
Tel: +66 (0) 2661 1930

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Din Tai Fung @ Central World, Bangkok

Cuisine: Chinese
Price: THB340 per person without alcohol (what I paid for)
Visited: 15 July 2011
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Value for money: 6/10
Services: 5/10

The famous restaurant of Taiwan "Din Tai Fung" has been opened on the 7th floor of Central World not so long ago. We wished to try out when we heard that there would be a great Chinese restaurant from Taiwan going to open on the space. As everyone may know, the queue has been ridiculously long ~ 30-45 minutes to be seated. Nonetheless, we were lucky to be there early this time so no queue.

We were at first impressed with the open kitchen. This surely show how hygienic they are. Secondly, services were also not so bad and rather friendly: indeed above the standard for this kind of restaurant in Bangkok. The atmosphere is also rather good. The high ceiling gives a more relaxing feeling. Many windows also make the place look larger than it is. Perhaps, just the table that is too small. We would recommend that you may consider ordering a few dishes at a time, eat them then order more. We experienced that food did come out really fast. This place is also wonderful for tourist as Central World can be accessed easily via BTS Siam Square station.

Din Tai Fung @ Central World, Bangkok

The Store Front

Window Display of Samples

The Open Kitchen

We, of course, had to try the famous Steamed Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) - เสี่ยวหลงเปา. Truly speaking, this was a nice one but not amazing. The skin was really thin. Pork stuffing was soft and juicy. However, Crystal Jade @ Erawan also serves Xiao Long Bao as good as this (7/10).

Steamed Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Xiao Long Bao in Vinegar Sauce

The second dish was Shrimp and Pork Wanton Served in Superior Chicken Broth - เกี๊ยวกุ้งน้ำ. The soup was light and refreshing, delightful in fact. The main difference of wanton was the filling was loaded with shrimp, otherwise it was just a wanton (6/10).

Shrimp and Pork Wanton Served in Superior Chicken Broth

The last one was Special Braised Beef Soup - ซุปเนื้อตุ๋น. We love this one. The beef was super tender. The soup was wonderful, strong flavour of herbs but not so thick in the texture (7/10).

Special Braised Beef Soup

Overall picture of this famous chain, Din Tai Fung, is great. It was perhaps that we went out of busy time, i.e. 04:00pm, hence we were lucky to be seated right away. If we have to queue for 45 minutes like others during lunch or dinner, that would absolutely not be the case. You may probably want to give it a try anyway to see how the legendary taste like. Another thing is pricing which is rather high for its value. Otherwise, services are friendly and hygienic is good. 

Din Tai Fung @ Central World, Bangkok
Central World Shopping Centre Level 7
4/1-2, 4/4 Ratchadamri Road 
Pathumwan, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330

ติ่น ไท่ ฟง @ เซ็นทรัลเวิลด์ กรุงเทพ
ชั้น 7ศูนย์การค้าเซ็นทรัลเวิลด์
4/1-2, 4/4 ถนนราชดำริ
แขวงปทุมวัน เขตปทุมวัน
กรุงเทพ 10330

Open Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm daily
Tel: +66 (0) 2646 1282

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sukiyaki Iao Hua @ Rama 4 Road, Bangkok

Cuisine: Chinese
Price: THB250 per person without alcohol (what I paid for)
Visited: 15 June 2011
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 3/10
Value for money: 8/10
Services: 3/10

Nowadays, sukiyaki market in Thailand is in fact dominated by the giant chain MK Suki. However, the one that has brought sukiyaki to Thailand is Sukiyaki Iao Hua @ Rama 4 Road, which is still a favourite place for many Bangkok local: claimed to be the first to open for more than 50 years. This place may have the old fashion perception to new generation but do not underestimate this old place. The famous beef is really unrivalled: tenderness at supreme level. Although, the ambient of this restaurant is not so enchanted, the taste is not like what it looks. It is located pretty close to MRT Samyan, hence, travelling here is not so difficult. We would encourage anyone to give it a try.

Store Front of Iao Hua

Sukiyaki Iao Hua @ Rama 4 Road

Overall, selection of ingredients to be put into the pot is at ok quality but do not ignore the beef which is a must try one if you do not take beef.

Dipping Set

The Famous Beef with Eggs

Tofu with Pork

Shrimp Ball

Prawn Dumpling

Fish Dumpling

Seaweed Wrapped Prawn

Shitake Mushroom

Jew's Ear

Eringi Mushroom



Just put them all together

Done!!! Ready to be Eaten

Dipping Beef

Additionally, deep-fried dishes here are pretty good, ranging from dumpling to prawn cake to spring roll. They are all filled with a lot of prawn. Yummy indeed.

Deep-fried Prawn Dumpling

Sukiyaki Iao Hua @ Rama 4 Road, Bangkok
842-846 Rama 4 Road
Si Phraya, Bang Rak
Bangkok 10500

สุกี้ยากี้ เอี้ยวฮั้ว @ ถนนพระราม 4 กรุงเทพ
842-846 ถนนพระราม 4
แขวงสี่พระยา เขตบางรัก
กรุงเทพ 10500

Open Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm daily
Tel: +66 (0) 2234 3548, +66 (0) 2637 0032
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