Saturday, March 24, 2012

Now for a Japanese Smoke Out.... at Kazu Sumiyaki

Cuppage plaza, one of the few old buildings on Orchard Road, a bit dingy but still retains its 80s' charm, it houses some Japanese establishments which include restaurants, night clubs and massage parlors. Cute Cute, a lover of Japanese food, happened to be exploring Cuppage Plaza and looking out for great Japanese restaurants when he chanced upon Kazu Sumiyaki. When he was first there, he was so surprised to see that the place was packed and reservations were needed. The whole of Cuppage plaza was so empty but yet this place was packed to the brim! Cute Cute decided to make it a date night out with Cuchi to impress her with this new find....
Right in front of the action
The lions requested for the counter seat as they enjoy watching the masters at work. Surprisingly, the prices of the yakitori skewers are very reasonable. What caught their eyes was the foie gras which is very affordable. Kazu also has their own seasonal menu which changes frequently.
From left: Foie Gras, Bacon with leek, Chicken, Asparagus wrapped with ham

From left: Squid tentacles, pork belly, chicken ball, beef ball

A unique utensil just for skewers
Now the food took sometime to come so the lions just enjoyed watching the masters at work as they take out the food to be bbq in various ways.
The main chef of Kazu
Stewed fish dish
 The skewers were wonderful, nicely charred and each emitting their own unique taste.
Scallop with leeks
Lamb chops

Pork with basil, beef and enoki
Loving every item that they ordered, the lions were really enjoying their meal and the time passed so fast that they found out that they were there for already one and a half hours. Extremely delightful, cosy but bustling little place, Kazu Sumiyaki does really know how to impress the diners.

Here is our review for Kazu Sumiyaki

Food quality: 8.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 8 pawprints out of 10 (There's limited seating so always call to make reservation)

Specials that you should try: Foie Gras, Squid tentacles, chicken and beef balls

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address
Kazu Sumiyaki
5 Koek Road, #04-05  
Cuppage Plaza
Tel: 6734 2492

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Solving the Happy Crab Conundrum

Most Singaporeans would affirm that the best eats on the island can be found in the oft-maligned streets of Geylang.

On one occasion, Cute Cute and Cuchi happened to passed by a humble-looking stall along Lorong 31 selling only barbecued crabs. Being huge fans of crabs, they were rather curious about the stall as they had never come across a stall selling just barbacued crabs in an island more famous for her chili and black pepper versions of the crustacean.

They inquired about the operating hours and were shocked to find out that the owner opened for just over an hour (6pm to 7pm) everyday! Wth! Were the crabs so popular that they sold out in one hour? Is it even profitable running a business like that?

They decided to head back one evening to do a taste test with Mr Hammock and Ms Jelly. They were already disappointed when they heard prices were $25, $28 and $30 respectively for each crab based on weight. It was not exactly cheap and remembered being quoted $15 for each crab the previous time.
From online food forums, it seemed that prices were rather inconsistent here.

Singha checking out the much-hyped crabs
Hmm... the crabs are already red before they are barbecued.
Prior steaming involved?
Humble barbecue set
They ordered 2 crabs, one for $28 and the other for $30. The cheaper crab tasted really mediocre, albeit its freshness. Now, the $30 crab, on the other hand, had a mouth-watering hint of natural sweetness. Overall, it was not exactly a life-changing epicurean experience and at prices like that,
Cute Cute does not foresee a return visit. The crabs were tiny.

The question remains - is it really that difficult to barbecue crabs? Are we paying more for the skills of the hawker to cook the crab that way? Judging from the many customers taking away crabs by the boxes, it seems to be quite a hit.

Oh crab! Any thoughts peeps?

Happy Crab
609 Geylang Road
Lorong 31 Singapore 389548

Smoke Out at Sarnies

Feeling blah? Let's Smoke Out!

To celebrate their second anniversary, Cute Cute and Cuchi decided to partake of a Smoke Out at Sarnies along Telok Ayer Street. It's really rare that a cafe in Singapore would do something special like this just for the sheer thrill of it.

The Smoke Out started in the early evening as the diners sat casually around the small but carefully assembled smoker. It got off, quite honestly, to a rather slow and sputtering start. But there were no complains from the good-natured diners as they mingled, bantering boisterously and taking in the cool evening air.

Let's get the fire started man.

Cute Cute and Cuchi were rather thrilled too as they did not expect the wines that night to be from Portugal. Ah... it took them many years back when they backpacked in that beautiful country and they were introduced to the very friendly importers of Portuguese wines in Singapore.

Telok Ayer Street on a Friday evening
Smoke Out in session
Damp apple wood chips, tea and charcoal.
Sarnies Coffee - one of the best in Singapore,
well-balanced and really smooth with fruity notes
and pleasant acidity.

Don't touch me baby, I'm smokin hot!
Portuguese Vino Verde
Tea smoked Salmon Fillet with asparagus and
brown caper butter
Second course smoking right up ....
Smoked duck a la minute
Smoked duck and porcini mushroom risotto
with Portuguese red wine
Dawg, I lurrve this smoking hot party!
Brownie topped with vanilla ice-cream
accompanied by Port wine
It was certainly a most memorable affair. One rarely get the opportunity to sit alfresco under the stars in the midst of heritage buildings enjoying a casual Smoke Out session. In all, the 3 courses with wine pairing at $39 for dinner was also a steal.

136 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068601
Tel: 62246091

Friday, March 16, 2012

Get the latest scoop at The Coffee Daily

Feeling Nostalgic?

Soak in the laid-back 80s vibe with a cuppa in hand at Coffee Daily. Simplicity rules with mismatched chairs (including a wooden rocking one), concrete and old faux marble flooring and exposed pipes running across bare white walls in this quiet joint in Serangoon.

Pardonnez-moi but the washroom's pretty as well.
Smoked Duck Ciabatta
Flat White & Long Black

The long black was smooth with a slight hint of acidity and fruitiness. The flat white was a little too milky for liking though. What was outstanding - the sandwich surprisingly!

Here is our review for The Coffee Daily
Coffee quality: 6.5 pawprints out of 10
Food quality: 7 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 7 pawprints out of 10

The Coffee Daily 
75 Brighton Crescent
Singapore 559216
Tel: 62848894

Retrolicious at Kombi Rocks Diner

After a fulfilling tete-a-tete session, the eight hungry coffee aficionados decided to head for dinner for more fun and sharing. On the recommendation of Mr Husky, the much-admired walking hawker guide, we made our way to the north for what he promised would be a unique but value-for-money meal. Sounds good! With our interest piqued, we finally stepped into Kombi Rocks Diner.

A retro-looking diner housed in a shophouse along Yio Chu Kang Road, Kombi Rocks is the old Koon Kee Restaurant. The establishment is indeed very proud of its heritage with menus extolling the virtues of recipes handed down 3 generations since 1971.

It was a blast to the past! The gang took some time admiring the old memorabilia, vintage collectibles, Beatles posters, bikes and vintage kombis parked at the front.

The diner is purportedly well-known for their signature wok-hei horfun and mee goreng on top of other Chinese and Thai fusion dishes. Mr Husky did the ordering and all of us chuckled in amusement when the first dish appeared. It seemed like something out from the first course of a wedding dinner. When the fish maw soup came out next, there was a roar of laughter.

Fish Maw Soup
Stir fried brinjal

Chicken in Red Wine
Gigantic Root Beer Float in old school jar
Overall, it was a good meal with great company. The only disappointment was the much-hyped wok-hei horfun. It wasn't the best that we had and the wok-hei flavour wasn't really pronounced or strong enough.

Couples getting hitched might want to rent one of the cute kombis and vintage beetles here. It would definitely be quite a show-stopper.

Kombi Rocks Diner
66 Yio Chu Kang Road, 
Serangoon, Singapore 545568
Tel: 62881206