Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 2 Sing

I am better, but appetite's still off. Everything tastes bad and bland. It is horrible to be sick when on holiday. You don't have the comfort of jumping into your car and heading for home anytime. We go out in the day and come back around 10.

To those who asked, we aren't staying in a hotel this trip. We are staying in Hub's SIL's almost-empty house in Serangoon, very near to a Jumbo Seafood Retaurant (recommended by a reader, Johnathan, for chili crabs). Near-empty because Fan's away in KL and her cardiologist hunk of a nephew stays here but we haven't yet met him the busy man that he is (see, Yi, told you doctors won't make good husbands).

I am saddened by what's happening in Malaysia. I always joked about the suppressive Singaporean government but now the political situation in Malaysia is dangerously oppressive. There's such a big difference between the two neighbouring countries. I know the excuse is that Sing is so much smaller. But compare simple things like, oh, even the vegetation. The trees look healthier and greener. People are dressed better. I walk in absolute freedom from fear of being mobbed. Nobody spits. Buses and taxis operate on schedule. Orchard Rd is so crowded yet pleasant, and many buildings are being renovated and upgraded. Tourists are everywhere, and the general atmosphere is upbeat (esp. with the casino coming up). Malaysia's economic outlook according to a banker is: GDP not even expected to touch 4% this year, ringgit expected to weaken further, forget about the equity or stocks market (and get out while you still can) and the political situation is expected to erode investors' confidence further, with even locals getting their money out of the country. Add to that the inevitable bail-outs of big govt owned institutions-- remember Bank Bumi, MAS and all those badly managed companies? There are dozens more waiting to be bailed. Where has all the money gone? I truly find it frustrating that the country is in such a mess. Are we going the way of Indonesia and The Philippines?

But this is a food blog. Unfortunately I forgot to get a USB card reader again. We ate lunch at the Imperial Treasure Teochew Cuisine in Takashimaya (expensive and not that good) and, true to my Hub's Shanghainese roots, dinner was at Din Tai Fung at the Paragon. And now I have to sign off because Ming needs to chat with someone special. Goodnight :)


Teochew tea in tiny cups, to cleanse our palate before we start the meal.

Roasted goose S$33. I swear it could've been duck. Although the skin was crispy, the meat tender and fresh, it just didn't have that lovely goosey flavor. Hub reminded me, first of all, this is not Hong Kong, second, the Cantonese people are best at roasting so why were we eating roasted goose in a Teochew restaurant?

The Teochews' signature dishes are simmered soy sauce dishes especially duck. Since we were having roasted goose, I chose simmered cuttlefish, pork and jellyfish instead S$18. For a formal restaurant like this, with 'Restaurant of the Year 2007' frames hung on the wall, I was very disappointed with the food. The cuttlefish was definitely frozen and it tasted bland, while the meat was just ordinary.

Recommended by the waitress, but so ordinary! Fish maw combo S$20.

Steamed beef balls, S$4.

Teochew fish noodles, S$30. Quite light and pleasant but still not worth the money.

Xiao long bao S$3.60. The 'skin' or wrapper was good but the sauce was too sugar-sweetish and very oily.

Dinner at Din Tai Fung, Paragon:

We tried the usual xiao long baos (good) and the crabmeat and pork types, which made me nauseous all over again. The crabmeat was so not fresh!! Gives me shudders just remembering it. The rest of my group ate without complains, and I'm disappointed that despite my fussy standards, only Wey has a discerning tongue. Okay, Ming's not bad too. But Hub, he just loves to eat, and it doesn't matter good or bad tasting.


This is a real Shanghai home dish, and I always order it when I see it n menus. But Din Tai Fung's ja cai rou zi is so..light and nearly tasteless. And look at that miserable amount of pork strips.

Ah, truly my favorite whether in Din's or Crystal Jade. Nice chicken soup, good hand=pulled noodles.






Frequent Reader said...

Din Tai Feng. Mmmm... Absolutely MARVELOUS~~~
Love the xiao long tang bao and handcrafted dan dan mian (noodles)..
Had them in taiwan... The ushers are mighty pretty and multilingual too.. Truly a great experience. *thumbs up and smacking ma lips*

Agnes said...

Get Well SOON!!!!! :D

Johnathan said...

Hi Terri

Its great to hear that you are getting better, keep it up on the light tasting food.

It is so coincidental that you are living near to where I am living (I'm at serangoon north). Anyway, the JUMBO near to you is where I had my ROM (Registrar of marriage) venue in 2007. Good value for your money as I always believe that if a restaurant can't cook good fried rice, the rest of the food can't be any better.

Since you are at serangoon, you might wanna check out:

1-Chomp Chomp (Beside the round about)
"Hawker" stalls in the open selling stuffs like bbq chicken wings, hokkien mee, oyster egg, etc.)

2- R.K. House
Sells indian mamak food, made famous by the "No pork" mp4 campaign.

3-Serangoon Garden Club, JUMBO seafood restaurant

A casual fine dining & wine bar. Does spanish, mexican, australian, etc. But the promotion for the month is australian cuisine.

5-Ice3 (Ice-cube really)
Sells great ice cream!!!! You may want to try the volcano eruption or the mocha mud pies (ice-cream too). IF you are a chocolate junky, you'll love it to bits!

6-Ji Fung Chicken rice
Worth trying chicken rice.

7-Pow Sing restaurant
Serves pretty good peranakan (baba & nyonya) cuisines.

8-Serangoon Food Court (Beside the round about too)
Sells all sorts but the kuay chap aka pigs organ soup are good! You may want to try the so-called famous guo tie there too (expensive for the quantity i.e. 10 for S$6 if they havent increase their price already)

OK, that's for now. At the mean time, drink more water and avoid those oily and heaty food. Eat light!GBU !

p/s-There will be a sunday service at my church tomorrow 845am, wonder if you would like to join (Baptist Fellowship Church). Drop me an sms or a call.

Mandy said...

hey Terri, if you can, check out maxwell hawker center, there's many hawker stalls there that serve good food. My favorite is the "tian tian" hainanese chicken rice. And of course Geylang for the frogleg porridge.
As for buffet, try Miramar hotel's Jap restaurant-Ikoi. Ala carte buffet with very very good sashimi. 35+ per pax regardless of lunch or dinner, 7 days a week. Need to reserve though.
Another good international buffet is at Grand Copthone Hotel. also 35+ per pax, maybe because it's not in the heart of Orchard, the price is reasonable and the spread's very good too. They have oyster, sashimi, chocolate fondue, BBQ at the outside etc.
Have fun!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

frequentreader: i don't know y i always end up at the same din tai fung in sing, n each time i'm time i'll try crystal jade, which i love in HK

agnes: thnx dear, am back to old self/stomach.

johnathan: i am panicking (sp?), so much to eat n so little time! looks like i was wrong about sing food. there's so much variety!

would really love to go to ur church 2mrw n see how service is like in sing churches. but my travelling companions all opted to sleep in, claiming fatique altho i don't hear any complaints when it comes to food. it's so nice of u, n such a great idea. if i can get them to go (they r all asleep now), i'll call u.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

mandy: yo, hub's aunt also told us about tien tien CR at maxwell. i am getting anxiety attacks at the thought of not being able to eat all i want before tuesday! now i c y u n OCT come back every year.

Johnathan said...

Hi Terri

There's another service at 945am. The 845am is the chinese service, I should've thought that you would prefer an english setting. Anyway, do make the most out of your trip. It seems apparent that you have fully recovered ;).

Keep posting!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

where's the church?

Johnathan said...

Hi Terri, the church is very near to your place. ITs like... prehaps 10mins walk. Nevertheless, you could take a bus 315 & 317 (going towards Yio Chu Kang road) at the round about. Drop on after one stop. The next thing is to take a cab, n go to lichfield road. The church is behind a bigger church (Trinity Methodist Church) :).

Greg Wee said...

How are you feeling now?

I know this is a food blog, but since you started it, Singapore's size has always been compared to M'sia's as a reason why it is doing better than the later. More like an excuse really. To this, I'd always reply, if you give the whole of Malaysia to be administered by the govt of S'pore, we'll be so light years ahead than where we are today. True or not? MAlaysia has so much natural resources & yet the govt failed terribly.

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