Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant: A Taste of Home
Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant (家味中餐馆)
Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel
Location: 50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square
Singapore 428769 (opp. Parkway Parade Shopping Centre)
Tel: 6340 5678

He received an invite from the nice people at Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel to do some food-tasting at their Cantonese restaurant, Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant (家味中餐馆) and I was asked to go along. Jia Wei has come up with two different Christmas menus: Christmas Glow Menu ($78++ Per Pax) and Festive Cheers Menu ($98++ Per Pax), both reinforcing their main theme which is "Oriental Christmas". We were being served both menus, but before that, we had a platter of their traditional Hong Kong Dim Sum which I had pretty much enjoyed:

I like the crunchy prawns in the Siew Mai and upon my first bite into it, I could feel the juices in my mouth. The Fried Prawn Dumpling has a nice layer of crispy skin, with a generous portion of fresh prawns within and I secretly wished I could have more of that.

The Crystal Prawn Dumpling above has a layer of skin which is made from glutinous rice, infused with spinach to give it the beautiful green you see. I did not particularly fancy the stickiness of the skin, as some of it stuck to my teeth. But nonetheless, the dumpling was really juicy and I could taste the freshness of the prawns used.

The last dim sum I tried off the platter was the Fried Prawn Dumpling with Mango. I liked the comination of prawn and mango, but my only complain was that the mango used was on the sour side and I could not really taste the prawns as I was engulfed with the whole sourish taste. I'm sure it would have been really tasty if the mango was sweet.

After we finished our platter, we were served the first dish of the Christmas menu: Festive Turkey, Ham and Fresh Fruits Salad (included in both menus).

The entire dish is slightly drizzled with a light wasabi-based sauce but I felt that it wasn't the best complement. The whole serving lacked the "Oomph" and the meat was not as moist as I had expected it to be. But I appreciated the fruits salad that came along because it added some sweet juices to the otherwise seemingly-dry dish.

Here comes the highlight of the Festive Cheers Menu: Jia Wei Superior Shark's Fin Soup in Hot Stone Pot.

It was my first time seeing a generous portion of high-grade shark's fin served in a hot stone pot. The purpose of the pot is to ensure that the dish is to be kept bubbling hot throughout the whole consumption period. This is distinctively more outstanding than the one served in the Christmas Glow Menu (note the obvious price difference):

Although the Superior Shark's Fin Soup with Conpoy wasn't as boiling hot when eaten, the broth was still delicious. It came along with a cute money-bag lookalike dumpling, topped with crab roe. I like the crunchiness of the dumpling and this is due to the water chestnuts (among other vegetarian fillings) which gave it a good texture.

And here's another favourite of the day, the Grilled Special Rack of Lamb with Chinese Wine (Festive Cheers Menu). It did not have the usual uncomfortable lambish smell as it was really well-marinated. The chef has used Chinese Wine as well as some Japanese Sake which made the meat exceptionally tasty and juicy. There were layers of visible fats within that piece of lamb but it did not stop either of us from wanting another bite more. Oh yes, it was that delicious.

I enjoyed the Pan-Fried Fillet of Pork Spare-Rib with Special Sauce (Christmas Glow Menu) very much equally due to the slightly tangy seasoning and the right texture of the meat. It was chewy to the bite, and yet it was not difficult to pull the meat apart.

The Braised Bai Ling Mushroom with Broccoli from the Festive Cheers Menu added a subtle touch to the entire menu and it was a nice detour away from the previous dishes which encompassed stronger tastes.

The Braised Dry Scallop with Sea Cucumber and Bamboo Piths (Christmas Glow Menu) was a slight disappointment though. The accompanying sauce was a little too conventional but the vegetables were crisp and fresh.

I particularly liked their Homemade Noodles with Prawn and Conpoy which is available in both menus. A portion came with two huge pieces of succulent prawns as well as some vegetables. For a moment, I thought I was eating baby lobsters. The noodles were exceptionally smooth and flavorful.

To put a perfect ending to the Christmas Glow Menu, we had the Chilled Mango Pudding:

I think it looks like a really beautiful piece of art which I don't wish to tear apart. But at the same time, I was eager to have a go at it, curious of how tasty this thing can be. It wasn't the usual kind of pudding, it had a mango flavor which was more suggestive rather than distinctive.

I preferred the Chilled Lemon Jelly (Festive Cheers Menu) which came with an incredibly refreshing lemon sorbet with lemon jelly and aloe vera bits:

We tried their Char Siew Soh and Har Gow as well:

I really liked the sweetness and moistness of the char siew within. It made me want to have another piece, and another piece.

The prawns were really fresh (as usual) but I wish the skin was slightly thinner.

We also had the XO Fried Carrot Cake, only that it was a mixture of carrot cake and yam cake because the carrot cake was almost sold out. I felt that this was rather bland and it simply did not make me want to have a few more pieces of it.

We had a go at their signature BBQ Platter which consisted of char siew and soya chicken. I enjoyed this, especially the sweet, moist and fatty char siew. The chicken was really soft and tender to the bite, I like.

We also had a sampling portion of their famous Beijing Peking Duck. There was a thin layer of fat below the crispy skin which made it exceptionally luscious, and the meat was drizzled with a slightly-sweet and scrumptious sauce. I felt that the whole combination was just oh-so-divine.

The setting of the restaurant was really very cozy, so much so that I felt like I was within the comfort of my own home. It made me want to visit the place again, and next time round I will bring along my family for sure.

Cheers to Keane and Shu Ling for being the wonderful hosts and for making all this possible. And not forgetting him, for providing good companionship.

The Christmas Glow Menu and Festive Cheers Menu will be available from 1 December 2008 to 4 January 2009 and all diners will get to enjoy 30% off prices of these two set menus when they dine in from Monday to Thursday (except 24, 25 and 31 December 2008 and 1 January 2009). Furthermore, you will also get a 10% off Yuletide Specialties takeaway items at The Lobby Cafe if you present your Jia Wei bill.

For this festive season, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel has also come up with promotions at their Feast@East Buffet Restaurant, offering diners a 30% off for lunch and 40% off for dinner from Monday to Wednesday (except 24 and 31 December 2008).

Remember to call and make your reservations people!
posted by An Economist Baker at 12:07 AM - 43 comments
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
New York New York!
New York New York!
Location: E!hub Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris Close, #01-03 Singapore 519599
Tel: 6583 2856
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 10.30pm

I hadn't met up with Wenjing for the longest time though we have been chatting on MSN every single day while we're both at our respective work zones. I enjoyed seeing her physically that day. Sounds a little funny, but yeah.
We went to have dinner at New York New York! at E!hub, the new entertainment hub located at Downtown East. It was my first time there and I was very excited as there are alot of different food outlets, some I have never seen before. We made reservation in advance to dine at New York New York! and I'm glad we did because the crowd started coming in after 7pm, forming a long queue outside the restaurant.

The setup and atmosphere of the restaurant are entirely similar to the one at City Link and Ang Mo Kio Hub. I visited the outlet at City Link sometime ago and it was filled to the brim with young teenagers in big groups. For the outlet at Downtown East, I found it to be more family-oriented.

Anyway, here's a look at what we had that night:

Wenjing's Hawaiian Chicken Chop:

We both felt that it came in a portion that was slightly too small. Looking at the proportion of the pineapple ring sitting on top of the meat to that flap of meat itself, you can imagine the actual size of the chicken chop. I tried abit of the meat and I wasn't blown away. It was well-marinated but it wasn't as tender or juicy as I had hoped it would be.

Here's my Mo' Mushroom Sandwich:

I could choose between White, Whole Wheat or Focaccia Bread. I had mine in Whole Wheat and it came in four thick and big slices. The bread slices were all toasted to a nice and crisp texture which I had really enjoyed chewing into.

I'm a sucker for all kinds of mushrooms and I was excited when I could smell the strong mushroom fragrance. There was quite a generous portion of luscious mushroom slices smacked below the warmed cheese. And I could savour the succulent mushrooms in every bite I took. It was indeed a light and yummy treat, although the portion was quite big and I had to skip one of the slices.

And we can't go without a dessert of course. So we had a Waffle with Chocolate Ice Cream, drenched with chocolate sauce and served with maple syrup:

I know the photos of the waffle make it look like it's really tasty. But, I'm sad to say that it was the worst waffle with ice cream I had. The waffle was a tad too tough and the interior was really dry and hard. We had to drench the waffle with a tremendous amount of maple syrup in the hope that it might become slightly moistened so that it'd be easier for us to swallow. The chocolate ice cream was really bad too. I thought the ice cream could make up for the sucky-tasting waffle but boy, I was so wrong. The ice cream had a really tough texture and it certainly did not taste chocolatey enough. I'm never going to give this another chance again. My favourite waffle is still from Cafe Cartel.

That day was really cold and my digital camera's lens had a layer of condensation initially and I thought my camera was going cranky after I saw this blurry shot:

In the cab heading to the train station:

After reaching Pasir Ris MRT station, we were still insistent on taking more photos before leaving for home. So we happily placed our stuffs on some tables and started snapping away. And 5 minutes later, the station had made an announcement of their last train leaving. So we ended up taking a cab back home instead. We would have made it for the last train if we hadn't took more photos. It's so typical of us to do such silly things. But it was fun. Hehe.

P.S. Wenjing: I can't wait for our next meet-up already. :)

posted by An Economist Baker at 1:06 PM - 6 comments
Monday, May 12, 2008
I Love You Mummy.
Thank you for keeping sane when I go insane.

Thank you for understanding when I misunderstand.

Thank you for tolerating when I get intolerable.

Thank you for keeping that smile when I frown.

Thank you for being there for me even when I'm not there.

Thank you for trusting me when nobody else does.

Thank you for being so patient when I get impatient.

Thank you for being so kind when I'm mean.

Thank you for your tender loving care Mummy.

Words can't express how much I love and appreciate you and I want to be a better daughter, for you.

* * *

My sister and I bought a Chocolate Banana Cake from Ah Teng's Bakery @ Raffles Hotel for my mummy.

Here's what the cake looks like:

I thought the chocolate squares around the cake look pretty cute too.

Mummy cutting the cake:

A cross-section of the cake:

There's banana custard cream and banana slices smacked between the two layers of sponge cake, and the cake's topped with dark chocolate. I thought this tasted better after taking it out of the chiller and leaving it in the open for about 10 minutes or so as it was quite dense right out of the fridge and I could not taste the different textures of the various layers.

After sometime, the cake turned much softer and I could taste very distinctively the softness of the sponge, the creamy banana custard, the slightly mushy banana slices and the delish dark chocolate. When it all went into my mouth at the same time, I let out an "Oomph" instantly. It tasted really divine. The whole combination was just so perfecto. I couldn't stop at one slice and I went on to help myself to another. And another. So I had a total of three slices. No wonder I'm feeling fattt.

Anyway, I think my mummy was really happy with the dinner, the presents, the cake and us today.

I'm happy when she's happy. :)

posted by An Economist Baker at 12:38 AM - 2 comments
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The Best Friend's 21st at Hog's Breath Cafe
Hog's Breath Cafe
Location: Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, Block A, #01-26/27, Singapore 187996
Cost: $15 - $40 per person
Tel: 6338 1387

Headed to Hog's Breath Cafe at Chijmes to celebrate the Best Friend's 21st birthday. It was a really pleasant gathering with the girls, and we spent the whole night eating and chatting away.

Here's what we had that night:

The Birthday Girl's Atlantic Salmon, marinated with a lime hollandaise sauce:

Sf's Jamaican Chicken, chicken breasts marinated in Caribbean seasoning, grilled and served over seasoned rice and finally topped with a warm creamy mango sauce. She had a (huge) baked potato for her side:

Here's ph's Chicken Dijonnaise, marinated grilled chicken breasts topped with avocado and smothered with creamy Dijon mustard sauce:

And this is bimbo's Boss Hog Double Burger, consisting of (thick) double beef , double cheese, tomato, onion, beetroot, BBQ sauce and seared with Hog's Breath Blacken seasoning:

Here comes my Hawaiian Hickory Chicken Burger!

Look at how big the two chicken breasts are:

The chicken breasts are basted with hickory smoked sauce, cheese, beetroot, tomato, pineapple and onion rings. I quite liked the sauce as it wasn't the normal BBQ sauce and there was a really tangy taste to it. I kind of expected the chicken breasts to be pretty hard to chew on, but the texture was just right.

One side of the burger was served with the pineapple and onion rings, with tomato and beetroot while the other side of the burger was slammed with the two huge chicken breasts and cheese. And the Hog Tail fries I had for my side were not too bad as well. The entire dish doesn't exactly scream fantastic but it's value for money I guess, considering the really huge portion. I couldn't finish one entire chicken breast and still had some curly fries left over.

I know I shouldn't be wasting food during such bad times when there's a constant rise in food prices but the portion was really way too big. The other girls couldn't finish their foods too!

I know we are such ironic people, said we were too full from the main dishes but we still went ahead and ordered one of their desserts, the Mississippi Mud Cake. We just couldn't resist the chocolatey goodness:

The super dark mud cake was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, with chocolate sauce drizzled all over. The cake was slightly warmed and it tasted superb with the ice cream. It was a dense and dark chocolate cake, definitely THE cake for all chocolate lovers. It ain't too sweet (which we liked) and the whole combination of the cake with ice cream and chocolate sauce was to die for.

This was the pretty birthday cake we got for the Best Friend:

And here's the happy Birthday Girl:

After all the eating, we went out and walked around, snapping shots here and there:

Lastly, here's all five of us:

To the Best Friend: I hope you had enjoyed yourself and like what we've got for you. Cheers to our 13 years long of friendship! :)

posted by An Economist Baker at 4:22 PM - 1 comments
About Me
Name: An Economist Baker
About Me: I'm a full-time Economics undergraduate and an avid baker who bakes as and when I feel like it. It is my dream to integrate these two important aspects of my life together, and I hope to have my own bakery cafe in the future.
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