Steamed Large Bamboo Clams with garlic (SGD 10 each). This clam is much bigger than the other species of bamboo clams commonly served at seafood restaurants (those typically cost SGD8.80 elsewhere but only SGD8 here). These were great, chewy and tender, like very good squid. The addition of some mung bean vermicelli (tung hoon) on the top was a little unique, but it was good, as it soaked up the flavoursome clam juices, and was delicious.
Steamed Fish head with Sticky Red Sauce (SGD14). I am not sure what this sauce really is, but it tasted very savoury and fragrant with garlic. There was also some vinegar I think. It reminded me of that dish of braised lamb ribs which I had in a mainland Chinese restaurant.
So, this was yet another affordable and yummy meal.
On the way back to Singapore, I ended up at the business lounge. There was an interesting array of food, and I chose the guo cuon (spring rolls), made with rice sheets. The one on top contained prawn, a spring of spring onion, rice vermicelli, and lots of bean sprouts and basil. It tasted... very green. Even the fish sauce couldn't spice it up enough for me. The other one contained grilled beef, which is much better, but was a little too chewy for my liking.
Cha Gio / Prawn Spring Rolls (roughly SGD2.80). 2 whole prawns in each roll, with some other things like vermicelli and vegetables. This was crispy and well-fried. I was too full to eat more than 1 piece though.
The can of coke we had was relatively more expensive, at SGD1.80 each.
So the 3 of us had a very decent meal for SGD4 each.
The chilled seafood. There was also chilled crab, which I skipped since I have been eating waayy too much crab in the past few days (read: crab beehoon and crab claypot).
I had some mains, but they are not usually my favourite part of the buffet. Then dessert, which all looked and tasted divine.
If you get here early enough (between 5-7 pm), they serve complimentary mini wagyu burgers (usually SGD5 each) with each drink that you order. We arrived slightly past 7 pm and were too late to take advantage of this promotion.
I tried to charm my way into getting a free burger. The first waiter said he couldn't because they've already refused other tables. POUT. This waiter is an idiot. I will try again. And this time, the waiter checked with the manager and... SUCCESS! Free burgers! Ooh, they were piping hot, toasty buns with tender and fatty patties with onions too. Delicious. More so cos they were FREE. Even more so cos I managed to get something despite the difficult circumstances.
DINNER AT BOAT QUAY
This new Thai place was not too bad, and very cheap. It's on Circular Road, which is just behind Boat Quay.
Pad Thai for SGD5.90. It was quite a generous portion, and quite spicy. Not a bad choice for a post drinking binge.
Pandan chicken (SGD3.90). 4 pieces of crispy greasy chicken. Not fantastic, but pretty good value for money.
We didn't have room for dessert.
UNSCRUPULOUS TAXI MAN
At 930 pm, there were many taxis trawling Circular Road, but all refused to stop as they were clearly cruising for on-call fees (if you call to book, it earns them an extra 3 dollars).
Fine. So I stop this silver premier cabby and say, I will pay you the on-call fee if you take me. I thought, saves me the time to call, and he gets the full fee rather than to share it with the taxi company.
BUT, this unscrupulous cabby insisted on being paid an extra SGD5.20, being the fee for advance booking of more than 30 mins. His greed knows no boundaries! I am appalled at his audacity.
I didn't want to argue. I asked for a receipt.
He wrote one out... and left out his taxi licence plate number.
With a cup of ice-cold unsweetened soya bean milk (also SGD1!), I had a filling and yummy breakfast this morning.
Sometimes, the best things in life can be had for just SGD1.
DH's order of unagi nabe (eel hotpot) (SGD 12.80). It was served with a raw egg that you cracked into the pot. Baby loved the soft slightly boiled egg, and wanted more, but DH had gobbled most of it up.
Steamed Home-made Tofu with Spinach and Gingko Nuts (SGD8.80). We order tofu whenever we eat out with Baby so that he gets to try some of our food too. This tofu was excellent. Soft and wobbly and smooth. Tastes definitely home-made.
Braised Seafood Claypot (SGD18.80 for each individual serving). This contained deer tendon, a slice of abalone, fish maw, scallop, mushroom and broccoli. It was rich and savoury and really good.
Now, this is what we really came here for. Crab Bee Hoon, soupy version (SGD35). This creamy milky broth is like the fish head bee hoon one gets, but it is much sweeter and more flavourful because of the whole crab that it is cooked in. Ginger slices and spring onions help to make this a warm, comforting meal. Slurpiliciously good.
And again, a very affordable meal.
This was another dish, apart from the celebrated crab bee hoon, that was present on almost every table - Steamed Frog Legs in Brand's Chicken Essence (SGD26 for 2 frogs). It was tasty and the frogs tasted like very sweet and tender chicken. This dish came with a wax burner underneath to keep it steaming hot until the very last bite.
Finally, the piece de resistance. Crab Bee Hoon (SGD 56). A whole steamed crab (full of roe and sweet crabby flesh) tossed in sticky, slippery, garlicky, fragrant bee hoon. It was simply the best. It was like very very well-fried Hokkien mee, but sweeter than you can imagine, because of the crab.
As there was no menu, and I didn't dare to ask the chef how much the dishes cost ( I heard that he hates that!). I was so worried that we would get ripped off on this meal. However, I think SGD113 for such a great seafood meal is indeed worth it.
My usual chamomile tea, with the petit fours that they serve.
I love caneles.
I would give this place extra points for great service - it is polite, discreet, always obliging (honey for my tea, extra caneles for my sweet tooth).
DH and I each had a skewer of salmon belly, which was served with spring onion and ponzu (vinegar) which cut through the oiliness of the fish. This was an interesting way of serving salmon belly, and I think it worked well.
This was FANTASTIC. DH and I had 2 skewers each of this grilled foie gras with caramelised apple (SGD8.80 each). The exterior of the foie gras was very crispy, with a meltingly wobbly and decadently creamy interior. It was well complemented by the tart green apple slices.
This order of nankotsu (chicken soft bone or cartilage) (SGD2.80 each) puzzled me a little. It costs more than say, chicken balls and about the same as the mushroom and pork skewers, so I thought it was something exotic. But, this is just pieces of bone! And, it tasted like bone. Do the Japanese really eat this?
Enoki mushrooms wrapped with belly pork skewers were great too. They were juicy and fragrant.
I like this little pot. It lets me count the number of skewers I have consumed. 22 skewers at the end of this meal... which is nowhere near my personal best.
Editor's Note: This post has been published at AsiaOne WIne and Dine: http://wineanddine.asiaone.com.sg/reviews/restaurants/japkor/20070619_001.html