Friday, April 28, 2017

Tendon Tempura Kohaku - Another Tendon-Specialty Restaurant with a Long Queue! @ Suntec City Mall's Eat At Seven [Singapore]

As loyal readers would know, i am hardly a food connoisseur and rely heavily on foodie friends who make it a point to try out new places whenever we arrange to meet up; they do it simply because i can blog about it! So sweet of them right?!

Of course there were occasions when they also wanted to eat something new and especially for eateries that created a lot of hype; as in the case of Tendon Kohaku at Suntec City shopping centre.

We purposely took time off on a Friday as the queue was renowned to be terribly long and given my experience at Tendon Ginza Itsuki; i knew it's better to sacrifice my valuable time-off for a shorter wait.

Thankfully, it didn't take us long to enter the about 30-seater restaurant although one of my friends arrived slightly earlier to wait in the queue. 

Menu, to be shared towards the end of this post, wasn't much different from Tendon Ginza Itsuki with the exception of a spicy flavour for both original and vegetable.

To be on the safe side just in case the spicy flavour tendon was too hot for us to handle, all three of us opted for the original kohaku tendon! While waiting, feel free to indulge in the radish pickled in a unique concoction of ginger and yuzu! 

By the way, you have two rice options and whichever you choose has no impact on the price; it's a hard decision to make as both types of rice came from Japan and would definitely have nanatsuboshi white rice. 

Second rice option was nanatsuboshi white rice WITH 16 multi grains (including barley, millet, brown rice, corn and beans). For details of what the 16 grains comprise of, please refer to the above photo. I played safe again; white rice it shall be!

It didn't take us long to have the bowl of tendon placed on our table and the first thing i noticed was the extra bowl that served as backing for the tempura. Initially thought to be useless, we did realise after a few seconds that placing all the tempura on that separate bowl made it easier for us to enjoy the food! 

Overflowing with tempura, i know many of you would wonder what they are and here goes; two pieces of chicken fillet, two prawns, one piece of squid, one crab stick, one portobello mushroom, one slice of pumpkin, one ear of baby corn and one stalk of French beans. 

Generally satisfied with the tempura and special mentions included the two pieces of fresh and tender fillet which were actually chicken breast meat, the impossibly soft squid and the incredibly good baby corn! The tempura's batter wasn't thick even though i liked the prawns, my friends couldn't stand their alkaline (commonly known as kee) taste! 

Batter and freshness of the ingredients aside, the key determinant to make / break a tendon would be the brown sauce that doused the tempura and rice! It shouldn't be too generous to soak and break the texture of the tempura yet sweet and tasty enough to create a difference from the tendons offered in many Japanese restaurants. 

The sauce at Kohaku met the criteria and i really did enjoy the tendon! However, there's always a need to draw comparison with Tendon Ginza Itsuki and i must admin i prefer Ginza Itsuki for two reasons; the egg with runny yolk and the complimentary sides (miso soup and the absolutely delectable chawanmushi).

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By the time we left at 6.29 pm, the queue was 40-person long! 

Location
3,Temasaek Boulevard,#03-310/311 ,
Eat At Seven, Suntec City Mall(Tower One),
Singapore 038983 

Operating Hours
11.30 am to 10.00 pm
(Break between 4 and 5 pm)

Facebook Page

Menu
As above

Pricing
Tendon Kohaku - S$15.00
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

Additional Information
There's a second branch at Boat Quay! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I am a Singer Family Karaoke (我是歌手) @ KSL City Shopping Centre [Johor Bahru, Malaysia]

It's been a while since my last karaoke session and when no movie actually caught my attention at KSL City shopping mall, we decided unanimously on I am a Singer Family Karaoke even though i am hardly a singer! 

The excessive 'rules and regulations' with a prominent sign reserved for "no outside snack, drinks and liquor allowed". Strangely, it had the logo of Kbox Plus, which was the name of the previous karaoke company managing the premises. 

Rates from Mondays to Thursdays - as we didn't have the membership and there were only two of us' we opted for 2 hours of Package A at RM 60! It worked out to be close to S$20; technically it means i would have a better deal at Singapore's Manekineko Karaoke since it provides free flow drinks and snacks!

Knowing that most Singaporeans would travel to Johor Bahru (JB) over the weekends, i think some of you would benefit from the weekend rates as published above.

Whatever the case, the singing virus was activated and i had to fix it! On the way to our designated room, we walked past a convenience store; yes, there's one housed within the karaoke where you can buy your snacks and drinks; as an example for comparison, a pack of Super Ring biscuits is about RM 3.20. 

Room assigned to me; the space was good enough for about 3 persons and for the 2 of us, it translated into ample space for us to roll around. 

Furniture was relatively dated and one of the 3 microphones wasn't working too well; oh well, we worked with the limitations given to us. I suspected the furnishings and furniture were adopted from Kbox Plus. 

We were the first customers and the system for the standalone control panel had to be started. Please be assured that you would not be billed for the timing spent waiting for the software to load. 

Visually pleasing and easy to use interface on a big screen! 

It didn't take me long to navigate the menu and thanks to the training i received for hanyu pinyin when i was in school, i found it quite easy to find the singers and even the songs. Want to guess what's LRH? Hint - a singer.

Lee Rong Hao! By the way, this guy would be having a concert (An Ideal World Tour Concert) on 13 May 2017 at the Max Pavilion at Singapore Expo! 

I don't chase any singers / groups and would listen to songs played from the radio station like UFM 100.3. If i like the songs, i would take note and check them out on youtube. From the above, i can roughly sing like 3 of them. 

Screen saver - there's another outlet at Sutera Mall (closer to 2nd Link). Now, let me draw your attention to the lower portion of the screen. 

It's a permanent bar and aside from stopping / pausing the song and allowing the original singer to guide you in your singing, the most important feature is the time. 01:39:44 means i have an hour 39 minutes and 44 seconds left. It's darn useful as you can slot in another song when it's counting down to less than a minute! 

We had a great time belting out the songs and the system was actually not too bad despite the slightly rundown condition of the karaoke lounges. 

I also took this opportunity to belt out many Hokkien songs even though i am limited to old classics like 有影無 by 陳雷! Oh, the above photo just reminded me that WiFi was available! 

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Location
Lot L2-089, Level 2, KSL City,
Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad
80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Pricing
2 Hours - RM 60
(do refer to the rates i have appended in the beginning of the post)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jang Won Korean BBQ Charcoal Restaurant - Incredibly Priced Korean BBQ @ Johor Bahru [Malaysia]

I would never have thought of travelling to this part of Johor Bahru (JB) without a car but with GRAB, anywhere is possible and especially Jang Won Korean BBQ restaurant came strongly recommended by my sister's friend!

Do note that the restaurant is on the second floor and if it happens to be raining, as it did when we dropped by last Tuesday, be prepared to have raindrops falling on you as the staircase isn't sheltered.

Non-air-conditioned section of the restaurant - there's an air-conditioned area further in but the weather was rather cool and we figured outdoor seating would do just fine; at the very least, we wouldn't stink like hell after the meal

Another advantage of outdoor seating; you could look across the promenade where Singapore is! The three red-white pillars belong to the largest power station in the little red dot; Senoko Power Station.

A kid's playroom for those with hyperactive kids; however, the scale is much smaller than the one at Singapore's Ju Shin Jung and i doubt kids can self entertain for very long in the room. Oh well, better than nothing right?!

We deliberated a long while on what to have as everything looked so good and the pricing was way more economical compared to Singapore; to put it in perspective, a Korean seafood pancake (priced at RM 25) would have cost a ridiculous S$20 back home.

A plastic container of barley tea; hot was available for those who dislike cold drinks. Anyway, we decided on having a set known as Course B instead as it offered three types of meat and a kimchi hot pot!

The allure of charcoal-based grill; deemed to be the best way to grill meat, please be assured that there's minimal smoke emitted throughout our meal.

Complementary side dishes - 15 in total, i took a pick at every single one and my verdict would be that i am generally satisfied although the kimchi might be a tad too sweet for some. Even the cut seaweed had sugar sprinklers on them.

Steamed egg in a bowl which came with the course; this reminded me of Jeju's Hwaro Hyang restaurant where we had the island's signature black pork and the steamed egg was free too!

Lettuce for the grilled meat - as my stomach already had something before Jang Won, i knew i wouldn't be taking any vegetables; let the juicy meat fill my tummy instead.

Samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) - the first course!

The other two types of meat were dwaeji galbi (pork spareribs) and dak bulgogi (marinated Korean chicken). I thought the portions were relatively decent.

Kimchi hotpot - our last course! It was placed at the side and you may start the fire to warm up and cook the ingredients within when you are done with your charcoal grilled meat.

Pork belly was finally done and despite saying all this while that non-marinated meat doesn't elicit much of a favourable opinion; i believe i am eating my words today as it really depends on who grilled them as these were grilled perfectly!

I was as impressed with the pork spareribs and chicken bulgogi and it's obvious i couldn't stop my silver chopsticks from continuously sticking into the grill. p.s. the restaurant staff would automatically change the grill to a new one once they note the charred layer.

Starting on the kimchi hot pot with ingredients like tofu, sausages, luncheon meat, glass noodles, tteokbokki, enoki mushrooms and, kimchi.

Maybe it's my fault for assuming it was army stew as i didn't find it fantastic and thought the broth was a bit too thin for my liking. Nevertheless, i wouldn't have liked it as a kimchi hot pot too for the aforementioned reasons and having had really good tteokbokki at Dookki, i found the tteokbokki a bit too sticky for my liking.

Free scoop of ice cream in a cone for every customer! Notwithstanding the kimchi hot pot, i would be back for the incredibly priced Korean BBQ! I had the intention to go again today but Alex had stomachache. :(

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Location
K3-211, Block C, 2nd Floor, Perniagaan Stulang Laut, 
Jalan Ibrahim Sultan, Taman Stulang Laut, 
80300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
(Near Berjaya Waterfront)

Map
As above.

Operating Hours
11.00 am to 11.00 pm

Reservation
07-2266820

Pricing
Course B - RM 135
(Subject to GST)

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