Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gin Khao

Gin Khao, a new establishment in the east of Singapore aims to serve up authentic Thai flavours that most Singaporeans love. The location is not the least accessible, so unless you have your own transport, i recommend that you hail a cab - because it's located right smacked in the middle of East Coast Park.

The restaurant's ambience is simple and kept minimalistic. As refreshers, the Thai Ice Rose Milk Tea is a good tweak to the traditional milk tea. The Coconut Mojito (non-alcoholic) on the other hand, is refreshing, consisting of lime and mint leaves paired with fresh coconut juice.

We had a few starters to try and were highly recommended the Gai Tod Tom Yum, also know as spicy marinated chicken wings. Although they were served crispy and golden brown, we felt that the heat from the spiciness we were expecting wasn't present and there was not even a slightest trace of tom yum flavour. Instead, they felt more like ordinary chicken wings. The Paw Pia Tod, deep fried prawn spring rolls which resemble cigar sticks, weren't too shabby taste wise, but came drenched in oil.

The best dish we all agreed on, was the Lard Moo - a warm minced pork salad with mint. The heat came from the chillies and the dish was packed with flavours and crunchy textures. We suggest pairing it with rice and for sharing because the portion came out to be pretty huge. From the grill, the Moo Yang, the grilled pork belly, isn't too bad a choice if you like your barbecued meat. The meat had a charred flavour that was pretty distinct and the dipping sauce was pretty addictive.

The Kung Ob Woon Sen is one dish we would recommend you to order when you are there, unless you are allergic to prawns. The dish features fresh prawns simmered in Thai garlic and pepper sauce on a bed of glass noodles that soaks up the goodness of the sauce - probably one of the more 'faultless' dishes from the ones we tried.

For desserts, we highly recommend you stick to the traditional ones like Mango with Sticky Rice and steer from the 'try too hard' creations like the Green Curry Gelato and Tom Yum Gelato which got my running hight and low for a glass of water to wash down the revolting taste on my tongue.

Although we sit on the fence about the food Gin Khao, the prices are relatively competitive, if not for the pretty secluded location. The basic Thai dishes like the Tom Yum Kung and Som Tam (Papaya Salad) didn't make the mark, which left us a little bamboozled. I mean, if you are serving authentic Thai cuisine, the basics should be gotten right, right? Oh yes, and parking is a tad expensive at Gin Khao, which leaves us sitting on the fence again as to whether a trip down is actually worth it.

Gin Khao
1020 East Coast Parkway, #01-01
Singapore 449878
+65 6604 8996

This was an invited media tasting.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Peach Blossoms: Dim Sum Brunch

I won't deny that i love my dim sum - shrimp dumplings with fresh prawns wrapped in translucent skin, steamed custard buns that flow and burst at your first bite and baked egg tarts encased in flaky golden crust. And i won't deny as well, that it gets even better when it's "all-you-can-eat".

The all-you-can-eat brunch at Peach Blossoms features an array of dim sum freshly rolled out in a trolley to ensure that your food gets to you piping hot. Their brunch menu not only features dim sum, but also exciting new dishes and soups that's bound to whet your appetite.

From the dim sum trolley, be sure to head for the Steamed Prawn Dumping (Har Gao) that's handmade with the freshest prawns. Also, the Steamed Chicken Dumpling with Black Mushroom (Siew Mai) that has excellent bite and flavour. Of course, not forgetting the Steamed Custard Bun with Salted Egg Yolk which oozes with goodness to the extent i guarantee you'll ask for multiple portions.

Also on the menu that's worth a try is the Whole Abalone and Wonton in Superior Broth. The soup is extremely thick and flavourful and the wontons are generously filled with shrimps. If you prefer something lighter on the palate, the Bird's Nest on Steamed Egg White is silky smooth and glides down your throat, promising to leave you with better complexion from the amount of bird's nest on top!

Other interesting dishes that's on the brunch menu include the Pan-fried Foie Gras with Smoked Duck served with Mantou, a dish that encompasses both the western and eastern cuisine. The Baked Losbter with cheese, although a tad salty, will leave seafood lovers in delight. And if you are a truffle lover, you will definitely enjoy the Egg Noodles tossed in aromatic truffle oil, topped with roasted tender slices of barbecued pork loin (Char Siew).

The dim sum brunch runs from 1 August 2015, which also means as soon as you have read this, the phone lines at Marina Mandarin are already open for booking. Not exactly the most affordable in the market at SGD 48++ for weekdays and SGD 58++ for weekends, the dim sum and dishes however, make it worthwhile - especially since you can expect lobster, abalone and truffle on the menu. And because it's 'all-you-can-eat', there's no excuse to have everything on repeat.

Peach Blossoms
6 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Mandarin Singapore
Singapore 039594
+65 6845 1000

This was an invited media tasting.