Friday, October 25, 2013

Santouka Hokkaido Ramen at Orchard Cuppage Terrace

As part of our ramen hunt for the best ramen in Singapore, we check out Santouka Hokkaido Ramen, located at Orchard Cuppage Terrace smacked in the middle of Centrepoint and OG shopping centre.

Special Gyoza
Santouka has 2 type of gyozas - the chicken gyoza and the special gyoza which is is pork based and somehow priced higher. Though we had yet to try the chicken gyoza, their special pork gyoza is simply divine. The juice from the meat in the gyoza will squirt out as you bite into it - just like "小龙包“ (the Taiwanese famous soup dumpling which oozes soup with every bite). The best gyoza in Singapore I've ever tried. Highly recommended.

Tokusen Toroniku (Special Roasted Pork Cheek) 
Their roasted pork cheek are juicy, chewy and flavorful. It has both the smoothness of melted butter and the chewy bite. The dish is served roasted over lighted candles. Like their special pork gyoza, this is definitely not to be missed!

Chashu Ramen with Kara Miso - Small
I ordered their Chashu Ramen with choice of Kara Miso broth - which is the only spicy option available (The other being Shio, Shoyu and Miso). The broth may look scarily spicy in this picture but it's quite acceptable to me and definitely not overly spicy by normal Singaporean standard and you will still able to taste the sweetness of the pork based broth. Their chashu are lean and flavorful and the noodles were springy and just right. Their ramen dishes come in 3 sizes - small, medium and large for all appetites and we opt for the smallest size in order to try other dishes.

Shoyu Ramen - Small

Ajitsuke Hanjuku Tamago Flavored Egg
Flavored eggs is a must for ramen, and so it's no surprise that we added one each. It's so good that we are definitely not sharing.

The restaurant is small and a little squeezy but they have a bigger outdoor dining area. Be prepared to wait if you are coming in for dinner, and reservations is a must especially for dinner time or if you have a big group of more than 2. When we were leaving the restaurant at 7.30pm, the queue were a few metres long. Customer service is prompt and good, and needless say, their sides dishes are of high quality as well as their signature ramen dishes. This is definitely one of the best ramen restaurant in town.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Orchard Cuppage Terrace)
21 Cuppage Road
Cuppage Terrace
Tel: 6235 1059
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 12pm - 3pm, 530pm - 12am
                         Sat 12pm - 12am
                         Sun 12pm - 930pm

From online, it appears that they have another branch in The Central at Clarke Quay too.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Foliage - Taiwan Cingjing Old England Manor

Fall remind me of many things.

It reminds me of falling orange maple leaves, a la Jay Chou's song "枫" (缓缓飘落的枫叶像思念,我点燃烛光温暖岁末的秋天...)
It reminds me of mesmerizing sunset, tinting the sky golden orange paddle-pop shade against the blue sky.
It reminds me of my Taiwan Autumn trip last year.

Hence a #throwback post.

Old England Manor

Our dessert tray of Mont Blanc, macarons, scones, pastries and tea.

The sunset in Cingjing

Great week ahead, everyone!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ma Maison at The Central Clarke Quay

It's another happy gathering with my lovelies and a surprise belated bday bash for Jas. May all your wishes come true babe!


Ma Maison is a western Japanese fusion restaurant with 3 branches in Singapore - The Central and Bugis Junction and a cafe in Parco Marina. Ma Maison means "my home" in French where it promise to be more than a restaurant but also a place where diners can enjoy original home recipes featuring Japanese-Western Fusion dishes in a homely ambiance.

The Ma Maison restaurant @ The Central is in its Halloween theme now instead of its usual cozy country style.

Night view from our table

Now to the Food.  

Escargots Baked with Garlic Butter 
Jas swear that this is the best escargots in Singapore. I have to agree it taste pretty good with the one bite I had though I'm really not an escargot/gong gong expert food taster. The dish is served heated up with a small fire below it.

Clam Chowder Soup
The soup is light and only slightly creamy (ala Japanese style) but it still taste quite flavorful with mini bites of clam in almost every spoonful of soup. Definitely not the usual out-of-a-can rendition.

Japanese Scallop Carpaccio
Japanese fusion food at it's best - Italian style scallop sashimi in a light savory sauce drizzled with vegetables and interesting sprinkle of red preserved radish (ala chye poh). Highly recommended. 

Hamburger Steak
Ma Maison is known for its hamburger steak, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. The hamburger steak is thick but tender and juicy, topped with a sunny side up. The dish also comes in 3 sizes for all appetites and this is the smallest serving. Looks small but quite fulling.

Tonkatsu - Pork Cutlet
Meat galore - and it simply means more to share around. This tonkatsu serving is huge and comes in a set with rice and miso soup. The fried pork cutlet is well done with a crispy crust and tender pork.

Gratin with Salad and Prawn.
The gratin is warm, creamy and smooth with juicy bites of potatos, prawn, scallop in soft cream. The key word is juicy. It's so satisfying and sinful but so worth it.

I am usually not a tart person but their tarts taste really good. Their strawberry and blueberry tarts were sold out and so we went ahead with the grape tart and banana caramel tarts which both are simply delicious.

Ma Maison Grape Tart

Ma Maison Banana Caramel Tart

There's a key on every table in place of the bill.

Overall, the food quality is good, the service is good and the ambiance is warm and cozy. Highly recommended. 

Ma Maison @ The Central
6 Eu Tong St #03-96
Clarke Quay District
Tel: 6327 8122

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ippudo Japanese Ramen Dining at Mandarin Gallery

Bestie and I are on this new ramen hunt that started and our first stop is Ippudo ramen, since Ippudo ramen is already quite famous in Japan.

Ippudo allows customers to choose their preferred texture in terms of 4 different hardness of their ramen - from soft, medium, hard to very hard. Personally, I choose the hard texture and I really like it since it has more bite but not overly tough to chew. Bestie, who previously tried soft and medium texture and agree that hard texture goes better with the broth - softer texture that she had tried previous (for both soft and medium hardness) makes the whole dish less interesting and "ger-lak".

Shiromaru Motoaji
The range of ramen in this selection are prepared using the original tonkutsu (pork) broth, served with rosu chashu (pork loin), cabbage, kikurage and spring onions. I ordered Shiromaru Tamago, which comes with an flavoured egg. The broth is thick and flavorful without being overly rich and saltish. The ramen are thin and springy.

Featured Ramen - Miso Tonkutsu
Bestie ordered the featured ramen which is a miso and tonkutsu broth based ramen - served with pork belly chashu, pork loin chashu, cabbage, spring onions, japanese leek, and flavored egg. Basically, I don't think the differences are really obvious in the pictures (compared to Shiromaru Tamago above) but if you enjoy miso soup, enjoy pork belly, or simply prefer a twist to the tonkutsu broth - this is the dish for you.

Original Gyoza 
We also ordered their gyoza to try which is quite good. The gyoza skin is thin while the fillings are soft and well marinated.

Overall, the quality of both the tonkutsu broth and their ramen is pretty good. The initial queue seems pretty long but it moves fast - we got a seat in 10 mins. Would I revisit - definitely.

Ippudo Singapore @ Marina Gallery
333A Orchard Road #04-02-03-04. Mandarin Gallery.
Singapore 238897.
Tel: 6235 2797