Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pioneer Seafood

Tucked away on the island of Tuas (yes, it is so far away i refer to it as an island) is Pioneer Seafood. A restaurant with a strong heritage, Pioneer Seafood offers an array of signature dishes in their menu that has grown through the years. This includes dishes such as the Steamed Crab White Custard and Prawn Fillet with Macadamia Nuts in Orange Sauce.

We tried the Baby Squid Stuffed with Pioneer XO Sauce. The miniature squids were fresh and it went well with the XO sauce. However, the XO sauce definitely stood out more when accompanied with the squid, which i felt shouldn't have been the case.

A signature at Pioneer Seafood is the Steamed Live Crab with Egg White Custard. Unfortunately, i found the silky smooth egg custard too bland for my liking. Also, the steamed crabs tasted ordinary and there wasn't anything special except the fact that they were pretty fresh.

Finally a dish worth raving out is the Seafood Fried Rice with scallops, prawns and squid. The rice was very aromatic and well cooked. Together with the sweetness of the seafood, each mouthful was bursting with flavors.

Another dish which both my partner and me enjoyed was the Prawn Fillet with Macadamia Nuts in Orange Sauce. The size of the prawn were pretty huge and there was a lot of bite and texture accompanying the sweetness of it. Coated with a tangy orange sauce, fresh orange chunks and crunch from the nuts, this dish is something i recommend to try.

Steamed in their special assam sauce, the Steamed Red Garoupa in Pioneer Nonya Assam Sauce was also another mediocre dish out of all that we tasted. The freshness of the fish was covered by the heavy and slightly spicy sauce and the whole dish emphasized on the sauce instead of the fish.

Overall, i'm not exactly sure if i would come back to Pioneer Seafood given the location. It is pretty far away from where most of us live, and the fact that none of the dishes was especially fantastic (good enough to make me come back), it will probably have to take a lot more for me to head back down again.

Pioneer Seafood
71 Pioneer Road
Tuas Amenity Centre, #02-01
Singapore 639591
+65 6863 3933

This was an invited media tasting.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Common Thread : Havaianas 2014 Collection

After the closing of the popular Havaianas store at Ion Orchard comes the birth of the latest multi-labels street casual fashion retail - Common Thread. As the phrase suggests, the concept of the store stems from the idea of enhancing shoppers' experiences under a single retail outlet.

This store brings in several brands of street casual international fashion labels from the likes of France, Brazil and so forth. They have everything you need - ranging from accessories such as pouches, sunglasses and watches, comfortable clothes, to lifestyle shoes, and most importantly my favorite brand of flip flops, and also the only brand my feet deserves - Havaianas.

Since its launch, the store has put up displays of the upcoming Havaianas 2014 collection. I have to say, the designs are absolutely fun, quirky and also pretty. It is a pity that they do not have them in store just yet, and the earliest they'll arrive will be in December to early 2014.

Girls will definitely love the blings from the Luxe Collection which features colors such as rose gold, silver and gold with swarovski elements added for that extra luxurious look. While people who do not get enough of the camo trend will be delighted with the wonderful camo-printed designs which are bound to make sure you are still "in-trend" despite being decked in casual flops.

And for those (like me) who insist on standing out from the crowd - customize your Havaianas! With a pretty wide selection of studs/charms available at the counter, you can easily customize a unique pair which you probably won't see on someone else. Fun, easy (yes, they stud your flops for you) and one-of-a-kind.

For a store with such a concept, you will not be disappointed and will definitely leave Common Thread with something you like. Which also reminds me that i should set a date to head back down to pick out Christmas gifts before everything gets wiped off the shelves.

Common Thread
2 Orchard Turn
Ion Orchard, B2-18
Singapore 238801
+65 6509 9042

This is a sponsored product review.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ramen Champion : Great World City

The ramen wave has taken Great World City by storm with Ramen Champion opening their third outlet. And of course with every new outlet comes new types of ramen from various ramen stalls. If you do not know by now, Ramen Champion is a place where you can easily find almost any kind of ramen under one roof.

The Special Tonkotsu Ramen from Tonkotsu Itto - the soup was flavorful and the noodles were thin. The only thing i didn't like was that the pork tasted a bit gamey, and honestly when it comes to ramen, the pork is an essential part of the whole bowl.

We also tried the Sapporo Miso Special Ramen from Bishamon Zero that was slightly spicy. However, the eggs from Bishamon Zero were cooked slightly better than Tonkotsu Itto (in that sense that the yolk was more runny). The cha shu (pork) did not have a gamey taste as it has been seared slightly. I also liked the fact that there was corn in the ramen, which gave it a lot of texture and bite.

My pick of all the bowls we tasted would be this - Special Sukiyaki Ramen from Butaou. The sweet broth with a generous amount of thinly sliced pork belly and tender pork belly pieces is something someone can't complain about. The only spoiler was that the egg does not come as a whole, instead they give you some sort of a half-boiled egg which you are meant to mix into the soup. Still, the best of all the ramen i've tasted at Ramen Champion till date.

Last but not least, the Pork and Vegetable Ramen from Miyamoto which neither of us fancied. The noodles were too thick for my liking, and there was a massive load of vegetables (two times more than the noodles). The egg however, was served as a whole and had a molten runny yolk when broken into. Unfortunately, the egg alone couldn't save the whole bowl of ramen.

There are also a few side dishes that are worth a shot - the assorted gyoza from Bishamon Zero and the Spicy Chicken from Butaou.

Having tasted the other outlet at Changi Airport, i reckon this new outlet does ramen a lot better. And if you want to know the winning combination, go to Butaou to get your Special Sukiyaki Ramen. After which, head on to Miyamoto to get an egg (or two), which you can order ala-carte. Top it all off with a beer and you should be satisfied. Or i will be, at least.

Ramen Champion
1 Kim Seng Promenande
Great World City, #01-22
Singapore 237994
+65 6235 1295

This was an invited media tasting.

Friday, November 15, 2013


A French and Japanese smart casual dining restaurant, LP+Tetsu located at Tanglin Mall is by far the most affordable French cuisine in town by a French Michelin starred chef.

We had a go at their French Yusheng, as well as their Japanese version, to which both tasted different. The French included a generous amount of shaved truffle and caviar, which i didn't really fancy. It wasn't bad, but just not the kind most Asians would be able to appreciate. The Japanese version however, came slightly closer to our Chinese Yusheng. With tuna, scallop, salmon and seafood, both the partner and i enjoyed the latter more. 

The "Bento Box" is what defines Japanese cuisine at LP+Tetsu. Served with fresh cuts of sashimi and breaded pork loin which was crispy on the outside and juicy within. However, there didn't seem to be any wow factor in this box.

Compared to the "Bento Box", the French dishes were definitely more rave worthy. The set "Encounters" features everyday ingredients such as salmon and duck breast. For starters, we gave the Sushi Sanma a try, which had a bit of smoky flavor from the fish. For the mains, the Duck Breast which was seared nicely and still pinkish on the inside and served with fresh berries is something i will definitely recommend.

Overall, LP+Tetsu does French cuisine better in my opinion. Prices are extremely reasonable given the quality of the (French) food they serve. The 72 seater restaurant is normally full on the weekends hence reservation is recommended. 

163 Tanglin Road
Tanglin Mall, #03-18
Singapore 247933
+65 6836 3112

This was an invited media tasting.

Monday, November 4, 2013

East 8

On top of my list of favorite tapas places in Singapore as of now is East 8. The Singapore meets New York City concept restaurant snugged in the corner of Grand Park City Hall is a hidden gem.

The 50 seater restaurant builds a bridge from New York City to Singapore with their Asian Fusion cuisine. The "East meets West" inspired culinary experience takes Asian dining to the next level with a modern twist.

Featuring an extensive menu of cocktails, East 8 has some pretty interesting ones you wouldn't want to miss out on. Our favorite was the K-Town (Watermelon Soju) that came served in half a melon, literally. Another that we couldn't stop at just one was the East Village, which is sparkling jelly sake with fresh raspberry and highly addictive.

We started off with the Yellowfin Tuna Chunks, topped with lemon avocado - the dish was so good we dived in for another portion. The fresh tuna chunks seasoned with what seemed to be fragrant sesame oil is something you must order. The Kimchi Fuji Apple Salad was also a pretty good change as compared to normal salads, topped with a generous amount of bacon. The only downside was that the bacon bits weren't crispy enough.

One of the must try dishes in my opinion is the Baked Sweet Paprika Pork Ribs which was so tender they fell off the bone easily. Also, the Marinated Chilean Seabass which was cooked in miso and wine and served with buttered mushrooms on the side. Last but not least, the Spiced Mid Joint Wings tossed in chili, lime and lemongrass, which were of the right spiciness and reminded me of Thai cuisine.

And to round the meal up, i recommend the Fried Banana Tempura, drizzled with white chocolate sauce, toasted almonds and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfect crispy battered bananas, delicious thick white chocolate sauce - i couldn't ask for a better dessert.

To sum it all up, East 8 is a place that i will come back to again and again and again if the food standard and quality remains. I like the fact that the place is quiet (perfect for chilling out) and the food they serve are not the mainstream tapas you get elsewhere.

East 8
10 Coleman Street
Grand Park City Hall, #01-21/22
Singapore 179809
+65 6338 8289

This was an invited media tasting.