Saturday, October 25, 2014

~ Restaurant HOME 家 @ The Rail Mall ~

Food Tasting: It was a rewarding trip to Restaurant HOME 家 @ The Rail Mall. Tucked quietly among the shop houses along Upper Bukit Timah Road, not only did we enjoyed a splendid dinner, sampling the dishes cooked up by renowned and award winning Chef Tan Yong Hua, we also made new friends.

家, as the name suggests, welcomes diners for a taste and feel of home. 

We started our meal with HOME's signature dish - Barbecued Peking Duck with Lychee Wood. The ducks are barbecued using Lychee wood in a specially custom-designed oven to ensure the Peking Ducks are perfect and of best quality.


Peking Duck Skin - This is suppose to be the best portion of the duck. The duck skin was crispy and thinly sliced. Dipping it into the sugar instantly melts in my mouth.


Barbecued Peking Duck with Lychee Wood (Half - $38++, Whole - $68++)

Time to get into action - making my own wrap with the Peking Duck. Personally, I am not a big fan of ducks mainly because of its taste and I find the meat tougher. I wonder if we spent too much time photo taking as I find the duck meat a little dry and stiff for my liking.


The good thing was the overall taste of the duck meat blends in nicely with the cumber slice, sauce and wrap. The sauce was not empowering and it compliments the duck meat giving it more moisture and sweetness.


Another signature dish from Chef Tan - Baked fish in Claypot. The fish is baked inside the claypot with ginger, lemongrass and spring onions for 8 to 9 minutes. This is done to retain the flavour within the pot. They also cooked up their own stock so that it will not overwhelm the taste of the fish.

Chef Tan also shared with us that the fish should be at least 1kg for best enjoyment. Unlike other restaurant that will separate the fish for their customer, at HOME, they do not do so. Once the fish has been cut, it will turn cold easily depleting the flavour of this dish. Instead, customers get to take the quantity and portion of the fish they like, just like dining at home.

Baked Marbel Goby in Claypot ($9 per 100g)

I'm in love with this dish the instance it was served. The aroma of the ginger was strong and fragrant. Digging into the fish was heavenly! The meat was tender, sweet and perfect with the ginger slice. I can imagine how well the gravy alone will go with the rice. Unfortunately, I have to reserve my tummy to sample the other dishes.


Bean curb is a common dish that we always order whenever we dine out as children loves them too. It is a comfort food where everyone can enjoy. I love the way HOME's homemade egg bean curb was presented. Green among the golden yellow. You can't really tell it is a bean curb with the thick layer of sauce on top.

Although the bean curb has been deep fried, I am amazed how the interior can retain its softness. With its unique flavour, it is a combination of softness from the egg bean curb and crunchiness from the little chunks of water chestnut and vegetables.

Homemade Egg Bean curb with Shrimp Paste, Crabmeat and Roe in Pi Pa Style ($18)

If I haven't been told that this is a duck dish, I would have thought this is roasted meat because it tasted just like it. The entire portion of the duck is fully utilized to avoid wastage. Using the left over duck meat and also its bones, they were deep fried and flavoured with chili, garlic and capsicum pepper fine salt. Meat is pretty tough but I like the overall taste.

Deep-fried Duck with Dried Chili, Roasted Minced Garlic and Capsicum Pepper Fine Salt ($10, second serving)

Lobster meat was juicy and tender particularly palatable since it was soaked in the gravy. The noodles is not the conventional "mee kia" that we find in our Bak Chor or Wan Ton mee. Instead, it was specially customized based on Chef Tan's recipe, to remove the alkaline content. The noodles is very Q, tangy and sweet. I will not mind having another 2 bowls of noodle serving in this case.

Stewed Golded Noodles with Lobster and Spring Onions wrapped in O Ba Leave (seasonal price)


SET LUNCH

Apart from the dishes you can order from the menu, restaurant HOME also provide set lunches where you can enjoy a complete meal that comes with a soup of a day, a noodle dish and dessert. (Price varies from $20++ to $26++). Check out HOME's set lunch menu here

Soup of the Day
It has been ages since I tasted dried vegetable soup. A simple dish with a flavour of home as I enjoy this soup when I was a child. Filled with dried vegetable, pork, honey dates and 南北杏, the soup was boiled for 1 hour. The soup turns out to be very sweet and refreshing.

Soup of the Day - Dried vegetable soup (菜干汤)

Noodle dish

There are 5 noodle set lunches you can select from. We got to sample 3 of them. 

If you love duck noodles, do give this a try as this is different from the conventional ones that you get to taste. 

Barbecued Duck with Lychee Wood served with Homemade Yellow Noodle

Roast meat is our personal favourite and needless to say we are bias when it comes to pork. :) The skin is crispy and its meat is tender and not too fatty.

Crispy Roast Pork with Homemade Yellow Noodle

It is always a challenge to decide what to have for lunch. This Abalone Ramen dish definitely going to give diners a welcoming alternative at an affordable price. A delicacy and indulgence for lunch!

Homemade Ramen with 8 Head Quality Amidori Abalone

Dessert

A unique dessert to end our meal. The cooling dessert, topped with mango dice is sourly yet refreshing. We thought it will be nice to be an appetizer too because the sourness helps to enhance our appetite. I believe having this after our meal aids in our digestion too.  

Chilled Rosella Flower Jelly with Diced Mango

Special thanks to Chef Tan Yong Hua (Restaurant HOME) and Hence (http://www.chubbybotakkoala.com/) for inviting us to the food tasting session. Hubby and I always learn something new learning from the experts and other food bloggers.

If you like to catch Chef Tan in action, he will be taking part in this year Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Hall 401 & 402 on 22 Nov 2014 from 11am-5pm doing his lychee wood roasted duck rice. Website: http://www.ultimatehawkerfest.sg

Restaurant HOME - 家
Address: 394, Upper Bukit Timah Road, S678046
Operating Hours: Lunch (12pm - 3pm), Dinner (6pm - 11pm). Open daily.
Website: http://www.restauranthome.com.sg/




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

~ Kranji Heritage Trail - Frog catching at Jurong Frog Farm ~

We hopped by Jurong Frog Farm earlier this month to visit the little amphibians. It has been a year since our last visit and the children love to see how they are doing. Once again, the we bought some feed, hoping to catch the frogs eating. Unfortunately, it seems they aren't the hungry lots and prefer to stay still to rest.


It was Children's Day weekend and we were lucky as JFF opened their "Catch the Frog" pen! All children were invited to hop in and join in a leaping fun while exploring the world of amphibians.

Putting on the gumboots that the farm has provided, the kids had a great time scooping and getting up close with their little friends.


Gladys was a little jittery at first but she overcomes her fears very soon. 

It was a slimy encounter. 

Soon the children were brave enough to grip the frogs with their bare hands. However, we do need to provide the kids a few tips while handling them.

- Be gentle to the little amphibians
- Hold the frogs with 1 or 2 hands at the waist area.
- Do not to squeeze the frogs too tightly even if they are slipping off from your grip.
- Most importantly, do not to throw or drop the frogs. Instead, gently place them back on the ground.



It was a fun, slimy and close-up encounter with the frogs and we will be sure to check the Jurong Frog Farm news page on what's croaking at the farm. ;)

JURONG FROG FARM
Operating Hours : 
Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday : 9:00am - 5:30pm 
Tuesday to Friday : Strictly by appointment only
Monday : Closed 

Address: 51 (Plot 56), Lim Chu Kang Lane 6, Singapore 718864
Website: http://www.jurongfrogfarm.com.sg

Monday, October 20, 2014

~ Ah Dong Teh House (阿东茶餐厅) ~

It has been more than 2 years since we dine at Tebing Lane (off Punggol East Road). Surrounded by nature and greenery, this little dining hideout has become a great spot for the residents of Sengkang and Punggol to relax and chill. We used to stroll or cycle along the Water Promenade Riverside Walk frequently before we moved. Being back here again definitely brings back a lot of good memories.

While some restaurants (e.g Popeye) remain, we spotted "newer" ones. Ah Dong Teh House (阿东茶餐厅) has been in business in the area for 2 years and gradually garnered its reputation and customer base.


Similar to other Cha Can Ting (茶餐厅) concept, Ah Dong's menu includes Western as well as Local delights. Set lunches are available and it also incorporated XO theme series of dishes which are their specialty. Prices of their main dish range from SGD $8 to $16.


Luncheon meat fried rice plus Ice milk tea for me.

Pork Chop noodles with sunny side up and vegetables for Hubby.

Fish N Cheez for Denver. Our boy often has a preference for western food.

Mac & Cheez for Gladys

Hot milo and tea for us as we savour our food.

Serving portion of the dishes is reasonable and the quality of the food is acceptable. As there isn't a crowd during our visit, we did not wait very long for our food to arrive. The longer opening hours provides diners another alternative location to head to while most of the eateries are closed. It is a nice place for families and friends to get together after a work out at the park for dinner or supper.

Ah Dong Teh House (阿东茶餐厅)
Address: 10 Tebing Lane, #01-03/04
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday (11am to 2am), Sat, Sun & PH (9am - 2am) 
*Last order at 1am
Web: http://www.ahdongtehhouse.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ahdongchacanting

Monday, October 13, 2014

~ Kelong Fishing, Prawning and Crabbing Paradise @ Pasir Ris Town Park ~

Birthday parties need not necessary have balloons, party games or be in an air-conditioned room to be fun. Last month, Denver received a special invitation to celebrate his friend's birthday by the fishing pond at Pasir Ris Town Park. It's been awhile since the kids went prawning and they were definitely thrilled and looking forward to a different experience.


Unlike the fancy birthday parties that we have attended, this is uniquely refreshing as we were welcomed by the clear blue sky, nature and waters. Checking out the site map, the fishing arena spread over a large area providing kelong fishing, lobstering, freshwater prawning, crabbing experience for the public. There is also a mini-mart, snack bar, bistro and eatery if you wish to grab a bite or drink.


House Rules to note

I love the little details that has been installed within the fishing pond to make it so welcoming. The huts and umbrellas to shelter visitors from the sun, little green patches, flower pots and ornaments blended in nicely with the surrounding of the park.


Crabbing and Prawning spots

Despite the hot afternoon sun, Denver and his friends were seated comfortably under the sheltered hut with their rods. While prawning consumes a lot of time and patience, having a group of buddies together took away most of the boredom of waiting. The boys even started a battle to see who will have the most catches at the end of the hour. The excitement and motivation comes whenever someone catches a prawn.


While families and children indulged in prawning and crabbing, you will not miss the fishing enthusiasts with their baits and rods, spending their day by the pond.



The hosts were very thoughtful and treated the children dinner at the bistro where they had cake cutting ceremony soon after. It was a small party affair with a homely touch. The kids sat outdoor enjoying the natural breeze and full view of the fishing pond.

After dinner, they headed to the Pro-fishing pond and received professional advice on how to cast a fishing rod and bait a hook. Looks easy but it took the children a couple of tries before they finally got it!


Gladys casting her rod successfully!



It was Denver & Gladys' very first fishing experience. Although the kids did not have any luck, big smiles were on their faces. Every time their rods started to pull, their hearts and ours raced. Parents were on standby mode waiting to help to pull the rod. It was extremely FUN!



We had an awesome time fishing and prawning. Our kiddos were so immersed that we had a difficult time persuading and convincing them that it was time to leave. Special thanks to the hosts for their great hospitality. This will be one birthday party that the children won't forget.


Pasir Ris Town Park only gets prettier as the sun sets - A little paradise for those who loves to fish and enjoy some peace and tranquility.

Friday, October 10, 2014

~ Canopy Cafe @ Marina Bay Golf Course ~



We chanced upon Canopy Cafe with the recommendation from a good friend. Located on the 2nd level of Marina Bay Golf Course, the Bistro serves a variety of dishes - from Western, Japanese to Local delights. Although the seating are in the open, with no air-conditioning, we do not feel the heat. Instead, we felt inviting by the cool, breezy wind from the surrounding lush greenery.



From the cafe, you can enjoy the unblock view of the only 18-hole golf course which is open to the public.


Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and the city landscape sets beautifully at the backdrop.

Hubby and I ordered 2 different sets from the Japanese menu. Each set comes with chawamushi, seaweed soup, salad and rice. Serving portion is reasonable and filling.


Gladys' favourite - Carbonara. Cheesy, creamy and sweet topped with bacon.

The quality and taste of the food at Canopy is acceptable and decent although nothing fancy. I like the variety available on the menu that gives us more choices to select from. What compliment the dining experience was the scenic view and fresh air. It will be a nice place to relax and chill after a long day at work.

Canopy Cafe
Address: 80 Rhu Cross, Singapore 437437
Telephone: 6342 5742 

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