Monday, November 23, 2020

Birdfolks Fried Chicken @ NEWest (Former Hong Leong Gardens) [Singapore]

Hong Leong Garden was a landmark at Clementi's West Coast area but it no longer existed. Taking over its place is NEWest; a mixed development that includes both retail and residential. I am not able to afford an apartment in a condominium; hence, the reason for my visit would have to be for the retail. 

Birdfolks; what's your first thought? When I heard the name for the first time, I was thinking if it's a bird shop where bird-lovers would congregate to purchase the feathery animals and gain knowledge on its care. 

The harsh reality is that it sells the birds, cooked! Technically, it's your typical fried chicken joint although this eatery also serves them in options like rice, salad, burgers and sandwiches. Grateful to the chicken? You can express your gratefulness for them by taking a nice photo using the birdcage backdrop, and uploading them to your social media.

A glass of teh-o first; I had such a hard time deciding what to have. I would love to try their fried chicken but the price tag of S$12.90 for two pieces was just too hefty! 

Eventually, I settled on the combo plate which included the fried chicken, nuggets, onion rings, fries and choice of a dip (truffle mayo, wasabi mayo or nacho cheese). 

As the dish was featured with an orange background on the menu (which I would share later nearing the end of the post), I am making a huge assumption that it's recommended. 

Onion rings didn't impress while the oregano fries would entice me better with a crispier bite. Nuggets were quite good even though it's not on the same level as the amazing ones from McDonald's; well, it would still do when you have a sudden craving for nuggets. Having said that, it's easier / faster for me to heat up the frozen nuggets from FreezePak

Fried chicken was obviously the highlight. Cut up into four bite-sized portions, I must say it's extremely juicy as you could probably attest from the above photograph. Taste wise, I couldn't help but found similarity with the Taiwanese Style Fried Chicken Cutlet from Devil Chicken which I personally enjoy very much and would occasionally purchase from the takeaway counter at Northpoint! 

Honestly, I am a big fan of creamy dips.... The truffle mayo dip was good with a strong truffle flavour; however, I always go back to the chilli sauce! To think that when I was a young adult, I couldn't even stand the spiciness!

My friend's 2-piece chicken; maybe I should consider this over the combo in my next visit. Problem is; Devil Chicken seems cheaper. 

=====

Address
1 West Coast Drive, 
#01-75, NEWest,
Singapore 128020

Map
As above. 

Operating Hours
Mondays to Thursdays - 11.00 am to 8.00 pm
Fridays to Sundays - 11.00 am to 9.00 pm
Public Holidays (PH) and Eves of PH - 11.00 am to 9.00 pm

Website
https://birdfolks.sg/

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Combo Plate - S$16.90
Teh O - S$1.80
(Nett)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Grasshopper in the Office (Again)

I was working in the office last week and while fumbling for some forms at my colleague's desk; a sudden movement caught from the corner of my eye made me jump and I took a closer look at the eventual spot it landed on.

A tiny grasshopper! 

As it's a Friday, there's no way I would leave the poor thing to 'starve' in the office! 'Kindhearted' me scooped it using my hands and brought it to the great outdoors where the man-made nature outside my workplace shall provide much nutrients (physically and mentally), and excitement. 

Look at its grateful expression; okay, it's more deadpan but I am not an animal whisperer and could only presume so much. Anthropomorphic presumptions can be quite dangerous though. 

While I am quite amused with having a grasshopper in the office, which isn't the first time, I am hoping I would not find any other non-human living thing in the office. It can be fun to break the routine sometimes, especially when one is busy, but I shudder to think what I would do if it is a snake. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

El Carbon Grill House (Halal) - Delish Lamb Chop @ Yishun Block 717, Food Loft Coffee Shop [Singapore]

Block 717 in Yishun is not far from where I stay but I am embarrassed to say that I had never ventured to the coffee shop in the same block until last week when I jogged over to check out a new shop selling baking supplies! 

Nothing much in the coffee shop as most shops appeared to be operational only in the daytime. Nonetheless, I did notice this western stall (with Halal certification), El Carbon Grill House, and its menu was so tempting; I returned to the coffee shop earlier to this week to give it a try, together with a friend whom I had not met for a year.

My order of lamb chop & sausage, salmon baked pasta and grilled Japanese squid with kicap manis sauce! I took plenty of time to take photos as my friend was late; blur him thought the block was in Sembawang! 

Grilled Japanese Squid with Kicap Manis Sauce
- I was expecting the squid to have the kicap manis (sweet soy sauce) spread on its body before grilling but turned out the slightly spicy sauce was separately dished out as a dip; an anticlimax if you ask me. Truthfully, I could do without the dip as the grilled squid had a nice, smoky flavour that was good on its own. Texture wise, it wasn't rubbery. 

Lamb Chop & Sausage
- my standard order in the past when it comes to Western food stalls at hawker centres / coffee shops was chicken chop but nowadays, I would make it a point to order pork chop if it is available or lamb chop if they appear appetizing on the menu.

At just S$12.00, it included salad, corn cob, spaghetti, slabs of lamb chop and a sausage. Wait, it's missing from the picture right?! Reason being they ran out of sausages and replaced with extra lamb chop instead. I am not complaining. 

Spaghetti was okay; cooked in the aglio olio style, it was al-dente and I cleaned it up in no time. If you prefer non carbohydrates, you can swop it with mashed potatoes, salad. What I don't understand is that I need to top up S$1.00 to change to French fries; would have thought spaghetti is harder to manage compared to French fries but who knows; maybe the French fries are made in-house? 

Coming to the lamb chops; I absolutely love it! They were delicious given the thickness of the meat coupled with the good, old flavour of slightly charred meat that was generously topped with herbs and spices. You know what's the best part when it comes to grilled meat? That irresistible layer of juicy fat!  

After fumbling a while with the fork and knife, I gave up and picked up the bones so that I can continue to gnaw at the pieces of meat that were hard to reach! 

Salmon Baked Pasta
- I just asked my friend earlier this evening if he likes the pasta. He said it's nice and while I didn't manage to take a bite, the one feedback I had was that that picture of the dish on the menu looked a lot more appealing.

=====

Address
Block 717, Yishun Street 71, 
#01-335, Food Loft Coffee Shop,
Singapore 760717

Map
As above.

Website
https://www.elcarbon.sg/

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Grilled Japanese Squid with Kicap Manis Sauce - S$9.50
Lamb Chop & Sausage - S$12.00
Salmon Baked Pasta - S$7.00
(Nett)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Anson Town Bistro - Serving Malaysian Food from Perak @ Gambas Avenue (Near Yishun / Sembawang) [Singapore]

With all of us not being able to travel out of Singapore for the time being due to the pandemic, it seemed like many of us are now spending more on either online shopping or food. Facebook is well aware of that and I did notice an increase in the sharing of articles on food outlets on my newsfeed.

Aside from Uggli Muffins that was a constant bombardment on my Facebook, another eatery that appeared pretty often was Anson Town Bistro; maybe because my sister and a few friends had also shared an article about the authentic Perak food it served. Since it's near Yishun, my family decided to check it out one weekend morning! 

For a commercial entity banking on authenticity, I honestly expected the atmosphere to be 'traditional' but it wasn't the case; not with the humongous chandelier hanging down from the ceiling! Anyway, ordering and collection were self-serviced; know what you want, order and pay at counter, take the pager and wait for it to ring before collection. 

We didn't have to wait too long! Within 10 minutes, most of the items we requested for were already collected and placed on the tables! Now, I have been to Perak but not specifically the Anson area which is about 60 kilometers away from the state capital of Ipoh. Hence, some of the dishes I had below might not be something I was acquainted with. 

Ipoh White Coffee
- many eateries in Singapore that offered white coffee as a beverage often means tearing open a 3-in-1 sachet from Old Town and pouring in hot water. Not this one at Anson Town as you can even opt to have gao (thick) or siew dai (less sweet)! Sadly, I still prefer my Old Town 3-in-1 white coffee...

Anson Special Chee Cheong Fun
- with ten types of chee cheong fun (some with curry, some with pig skin), you are literally spoilt for choice! The signature is this anson special which was dry and served, interestingly, with green chilli! 

Those dark bits in the rice rolls were actually meat and it was refreshing to have the chee cheong fun with the green chilli. The thing I didn't like was that the rolls were thicker, harder and not as smooth as the traditional kind we are accustomed to having in Singapore.

Plain Sweet Chee Cheong Fun
- this is similar to what we have in Singapore; doused with sweet sauce with toppings including sesame seeds and shallots! One of the better ones around but the best is still the one from Amoy Street hawker centre.

Meatball Porridge
- with a smooth consistency that's typical from the Cantonese style of cooking, this bowl of congee was plain with a light flavour that would be suitable if you decide not to have such a heavy breakfast. I would need some meat though and the meatballs sure didn't disappoint with their bouncy texture.

Fried Chicken Chop Nasi Lemak
- I am in a fix whenever I have too many options; therefore, I eventually went with the nasi lemak and only chose this chicken chop option (instead of chicken wing) because it has a thumbs-up sign.

Chicken chop was average; the rice was acceptable but what I found most baffling was the sambal chilli. There was this strong flavour that kind of overwhelmed the palate yet strangely addictive; I didn't particularly like it but I kept mixing my rice with the sambal chilli! 

Asam Laksa
- I don't crave for laksa except for maybe the famous one in Yishun and D'Laksa at KSL City Mall in Malaysia but this was ordered for sharing and I was encouraged to give it a try. 

Zesty with an intense fish flavour and blessed with an amazing so-shiok spiciness, this could in fact give D'Laksa a run for its money! If I really need to nitpick, it's only the consistency which was a bit watery even though it didn't compromise on the taste.

Rojak
- if you are someone who likes to try new things, do keep in mind the rojak from Anson Town as you can't find two ingredients commonly found in Singapore's style rojak; youtiao (fried dough) and tau pok (fried beancurd)! 

In their place were these pieces of cracker-like thingies. They were unique alright as ingredients to rojak although I do find them to be a bit on the salty side and in that regard; the usual youtiao and tau pok would do a better job in complementing the rojak sauce.

=====

Address
No.7, Gambas Crescent,
#01-07, ARK@Gambas, 
Singapore 757087

Map
As above.

Website

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Ipoh White Coffee - S$1.90
Anson Special Chee Cheong Fun - S$4.00
Plain Sweet Chee Cheong Fun - S$3.00
Meatball Porridge - S$4.00
Fried Chicken Chop Nasi Lemak - S$5.00
Asam Laksa - S$5.80
Rojak - S$4.80 
(NETT)

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