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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Smile for Out Of The Pan!!!=)=)=)

Food King here... YO YO!!
It has been some time since I've written a post. I have been busy with my assignments in school. So tiring and demanding... Let me complain a little before I start the post on Out Of The Pan. My assignment required three essays and each essay was limited to two pages. The definitions could not be found on most journals and I had to do quite a bit of research. I was struggling with my assignment and as a result, I was forced to spend less time with food queen (so sad...) so she has been going out with her friends. Anyway since I have completed my first assignment, I have some time to blog.

This is the second time that Food Queen and I have visited Out Of The Pan and it's really interesting to know that crepes can be made so deliciously. When I first got to know about crepes, it was served with ice cream. This is the first restaurant that I have eaten at that serves crepes as their main dish. What fascinates me most is the kitchen as they have a glass panel and curious passer-bys can enjoy the chefs making crepes and waffles. They even have a take-away corner. Interesting!

Although I love Out Of The Pan, it is quite pricey. Anyway I will talk more about the dishes and my view of the dishes.

Food Queen and I had a mega meal and it came with an appetiser and a drink.

We started our delicious lunch with potato salad. Food Queen and I love the potato salad a lot. Although Food Queen likes the mushroom soup when she tried it on our first visit,she prefers the potato salad. I asked her why and she told me that it tastes better and it has a bigger portion so I guess that it is also value for money.

For the main dish, we decided to try something different. Although I miss my Seafood Jungle Crepe, I felt that we should try something different. After much discussion, Food Queen decided to order Peking Duck Crepe and I ordered Coffee Pork Chop Crepe (If I correctly remembered... Will update this)

The Coffee Pork Chop Crepe had a mixture of a sweet and slightly bitter taste and it was really unique. It was coffee flavoured! I have only drank coffee before but have not tried a coffee flavoured dish. The bitter taste wasn't strong and the coffee scent was quite pleasant. Maybe they will have an espresso pork chop in the future? Haha! A bitter pork chop filled with caffeine! Just kidding...

As for the Peking Duck Crepe, the crepe tasted like the thin wraps that you eat together with the peking duck in a restaurant. It was just that Food Queen had a bigger portion as compared to those served in chinese restaurants. The peking duck was marinated and it came with a sweet sauce, so the overall taste was quite sweet.

After the meal, I suggested dessert and we decided on Jaffa Waffle, a chocolate waffle with orange sorbet.

The dessert came with four small squares of waffles stacking up together and a scoop of orange sorbet served at the side of it. After observing the chefs at the glass panel for some time, we also realised that the waffle presentation depends on the chefs’ creativity. Although it looks good and tasted unique, the chocolate waffle tasted bitter and it was too soft on the inside. The orange sorbet served with the waffle tasted nice but the two did not complement each other. Bitter waffle and sour sorbet… It just didn't taste right. We were not really pleased with the dessert. After eating the waffle, our throats felt so dry and we had to drink lots of water. It wasn’t so satisfying after all. We would prefer if they serve something sweet like a vanilla ice-cream.

Now let’s talk about the ambience at the restaurant. It is located at Raffles City and situated at basement 1 near the escalators and the fountain. I will have to say that they have a great location. It is based on an open air concept and they don’t have to worry about the lightings in the restaurant as it uses the lightings of the building in Raffles City. It is also a good marketing concept whereby people get to see you dine as they travel up and down the escalators. It is like 24 hours free advertising for Out Of The Pan. Patrons are blessed with nice d├ęcor hanging above their heads during festive season and they also enjoy a nice view of the fountain.

It can be quite crowded during the weekends and is a good place to relax after a long day of shopping, but as I mentioned earlier, it can be quite pricey. It is a good place for working adults but maybe not affordable for students with low income or allowances.

Now come the suggestions…

The restaurant can consider changing or adding new varieties to their menu. It can be quite dull after some time. The table at Out Of The Pan is slso a little too small and only a limited number of dishes can be placed on the table. If you intend to order sides, please request for two tables if possible. We didn’t like the way the food was served so quickly. We had barely touched our potato salads and our mains had already arrived. It was rather irritating as we had to find space to put our drinks. Oh… It was also because of the limited space on the table that we had to place our drinks and their salt and pepper at the side of the fountain. We were able to do that only because we were sitting just beside the fountain.

Nowadays students and youths are those who spend a lot so it makes sense to have a menu that caters to them. Student meals are so popular nowadays. Fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and KFC are doing that and they are so popular among the next generation. I believe that Out Of The Pan can just make a meal that is slightly cheaper to accommodate students.

Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience in Out Of The Pan and so did Food Queen. Food Queen added that it was nice but the crepes were not her cup of tea. She feels that the $22 spent on the mega menu could have been better spent elsewhere.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ponggol Nasi Lemak

Food Queen: I've only eaten Nasi Lemak about 3 times since I've been back in Singapore but so far I've enjoyed the one at Ponggol the most. It's called Ponggol Nasi Lemak but it's not actually at Ponggol. They have 2 outlets and the one I normally go to is at Upper Serangoon Road, and the other outlet is at 67 Brighton Crescent. Both outlets are closed on thursdays and they're opening hours are from 5 or 6pm to 3am.

Here's a little background info on Nasi Lemak (for overseas readers): it's actually a malay dish and the direct translation is actually "rice and fat". LOL. To my horror that's actually what one of my indonesian friends told me. But you're not supposed to translate it that way, it actually means 'rice in coconut milk' because of the way the rice is cooked in coconut milk.

The rice is really fragrant on its own and it normally comes with fish cake, a spicy sauce called Sambal, egg, ikan bilis (small dried anchovies), some type of spicy vegetables called Achar and Otah. Otah is fish cake that is normally wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. The most common type of otah is fish although you can find prawn and squid otah as well.

What I really like about this nasi lemak is that the rice is so good! You can eat it with chilli or without, both taste good just the same. I personally prefer chilli though (although the chilli there is so hot) because it gives an extra spice to the food that makes my tastebuds tingle. Be prepared to drink lots of water.

Prices here are at a range because you pay for what you order at the counter. They have lots of different stuff, from vegetable curry to deep fried wantons and sotong balls. I like my nasi lemak plain, with just chilli and ikan bilis. Another great thing about this place is the way they fry the ikan bilis. They have a unique way of frying it, because just by looking at it, it doesn't taste or look like the normal kind of ikan bilis. I don't know what the difference is but I really like it. If anyone knows, please email and let me know.

Nasi lemak also usually has roasted peanuts mixed with the ikan bilis. I don't like roasted peanuts mixed with the ikan bilis and I always have a hard time with the stupid peanuts because I just want the ikan bilis! Depends on your preference. I know loads of people who love the roasted peanuts... not me. Anyway, when I went there some time ago, they actually have 2 containers for the ikan bilis now. One was the ikan bilis mixed with the peanuts, the other was just ikan bilis. Yay, was so happy.

On the other hand, their portions decreased. They used to give more rice and now it's quite obvious that they've shrunk. I almost wanted 2 plates :(
Next time I shall ask for more rice, and 2 (or 3?) helpings of ikan bilis. My absolute favourite.

They also have otah, fried egg, ngoh hiang (some kind of deep-fried pork) and crispy fried chicken. Quite a large selection :)

Went there around 10pm and there was a long line. Oh goodness. The good thing is you don't have to wait long as they're pretty fast. If you go around 2am though, there's no queue.

At the end of the counter, customers can also help themselves to cucumber slices and chilli.

We also tried the Ha Gao at the stall next door. 6 for $3.60, so we decided to try. The prawn was so mashed up and it didn't taste nice at all. Sheesh.

Can't wait to go back for more! The nasi lemak here is considered one of my maximum shiokness dishes! (Shiok = ultimate pleasure)

Black Angus, Stuart Anderson

Hello everyone, Food Queen here and today's post is about Black Angus Steakhouse. I've always liked ribs since I was a kid and this is one of the places that my parents bring me to have good quality steak and ribs.

It's ironic because NZ is a western country yet they don't really have ribs there. They have Denny's, this restaurant and I think the food there is terrible. I have ordered ribs there before and they practically gave me bones. The quality of steak there was terrible! I don't know how Denny's survives in NZ and I can't understand why people would choose to go there and dine. My parents hate that place.

Anyway, it's been some time since I've been to Stuart Anderson so we decided to go there for lunch. 3 of us had the set lunch and my mum had the Honey Mustard Salad (Price: $17.90). The portion was good and I like the honey mustard dressing. The veggies was nice and I like the little square bread thingys.

I also like the ambience there, it's good for family outings because of the comfy round tables and they are able to accomdate many people. I like the comfy round tables cos it looks like your own private table kinda thingy. The lights aren't too dim or too bright, they give a warm glow.

For starters, we had the Wild Wild West Onion which is all deep fried and served like a flower, which is really cute. It's obviously fattening but so good! You need at least 4 people to finish it. There was a couple on our left and they could only finish like half of the onion which was such a waste. We finished ours but was feeling quite full after. Price: $16.90

The 3 of us had the Baby Back Pork Ribs as our main for the set lunch. I think the set lunch is really worth it because it comes with a starter, dessert, drink and a side order. I chose Baked Potato Soup for my starter and Coke as my drink. Out of all the soups, I like the baked potato soup the best because I find it quite rich. They put too many potatoes so I didn't finish but overall I give it a thumbs up. You can choose coke, sprite or iced tea for your drink. Mich had iced tea. For the starters, you can choose baked potato soup, stuart's steak soup, soup of the day or garden salad.

Dad had the Stuart Steak Soup. I don't usually order this because I find the soup too filling and I don't like the large pieces of steak they give in the soup. Dad likes it though.

Dad and I chose fries as our side orders and Michelle (CEO of Baboon Tribe) chose vegetables. Omg, that baboon. Who choses vegetables?! Eww. You can choose baked potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables or fries as your side order. Ok anyway.
I really like the ribs here, the meat is soft and tender and it kinda sticks to the bone, if you know what I mean. You're definitely paying for quality here.
Last time I came here they gave really little fries, which was a big disappointment. This time they gave loads of fries... too much, and I couldn't finish :( (I don't like wasting food). It came with coleslaw too (which I didn't eat).

I recently tried the 'famous' St Louis ribs at Cafe Cartel (will post pics another day) but Stuart Anderson wins hands down. At Cafe Cartel, the meat on the bone came off too easily and I finished the entire rack in 10 mins, which isn't really a good sign. Normally if I'm really enjoying my food, I eat quite slowly so I can savour each taste and enjoy the full richness of the food. Not quite for Cafe Cartel. For the price I paid at Cartel, I might as well have ate at Stuart Anderson, where the ribs are so much better. Cafe Cartel also gave too little fries and they weren't even hot in the first place.

GST and service charge was a killer though, $20 this time... Gee. I wonder if the 10% service charge actually goes to the staff, I know some places where it doesn't go to the staff and the restaurant uses it to pay for other expenses which I think is really unfair because we don't really tip much in Singapore and the restaurant shouldn't charge service charge then, because it doesn't go to the employees!

For dessert, all 3 of us had the Chocolate Cake. It was either cake or ice-cream and the ice-cream only had 2 flavours: chocolate or vanilla. The chocolate cake was much better this time, it was rather moist (last time it was really dry) and soft. It's always nice ending a meal with something sweet eh. I finished my entire slice (Mich and Dad couldn't).

Set lunches are from Mondays to Saturdays 11.30am to 2.30pm, except public holidays. All the mains for the set lunches cost $22.90 :) I went to the Tanglin Outlet, which is located at Orchard Parade Hotel. Phone: 67341181.

Also check out their current promotions (taken from their website):

1)Prime Burger Fridge Magnets Giveaway - Collect our limited edition "Prime Burger" fridge magnets when you order any burger at our outlets.
2)Far East Feast Card Promotion - Flash your Feast Card and enjoy 10% off your total bill when you dine at our orchard parade outlet. (Terms and Conditions apply)
3)CitiBank Promotion - Enjoy 4 set lunches for the price of 3, when you dine at our Orchard Parade Hotel Restaurant. (Applicable from Monday to Friday only)

All in all we had an extremely good lunch, definitely a place to go for ribs and steak :)