Malaysian food

All about malaysian food (also international food) from a malaysian point of view. A Petaling Jaya (PJ) boy myself, most of my favorites are in PJ area. You name it, from snacks to gourmet food to hawker to fine dining, I'll try to cover. Even drinks eg. beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks, etc.

Friday, February 04, 2005

2004 - Singapore food for xmas and new year

After a hiatus of 3 years away from singapore, it's now back there for rekindling of memories and catching up and what better time than xmas and new year.

Strange but I kinda feel the food has depreciated in quality during this time, or maybe my taste buds have been atuned to malaysia too much and more fickle but here are some of my experiences.

NYDC cafe restaurant (, Holland Village - popular chain for desserts (mudpies and cheesecakes), available in places like Wheelock place, Suntec and Holland Village. Me never giving up to find the ever perfect cheesecake, I decided to give this place a try. Hearing that their popular cheesecake seller is the Big "O" cheesecake, I passed on it knowing how mixed flavors on cheesecake is confusing and not authentic 'cheese'. So I tried the 'Ally's new york cheesecake' ($6.10), which turned out to be non-exciting... at least it was not made up from those crisco, gelatin tangy fake tastes...passable. Supposedly made with only Philly cream cheese from the USA and a secret recipe.
That boney cake ($8.95) - french vanilla ice cream with elmer fudge (aka ugly cake) and all chocolate accessories.... a sugar rush for sure. This reminded me instantly of Malaysia's Ms Read's first experience... rich and sinful.
Hot chocolate elephancchino ($5.95) - nydc's supersized hot chocolate, made with yummy Hershey's chocolate sauce. Topped with whipped cream. A rich hot cholocatey drink that kept me weight-conscious throughout the night.
Saw lots of newspaper/magazine reviews framed up on the walls, one caught my attention...titled 'Best cheese cake'. Glancing upon it, seems like the 2 most mentioned names for cheese cake are Hilton and NYDC. But many have missed upon the superb ones from Moxies in Clarke Quay, Hyatt Regency, Mortons of Chicago in Marina square, Triple 3 restaurant in Mandarin Singapore, Black Angus and Salut Restaurant. Well, looks like these locations will be my targets on my next trip.

Coffee club, 3rd floor new wing, Paragon shopping center - friend recommended me to try the cheese cake here. And sure enough it was better than NYDC, richer and just right. Sinful it was not.

Prego's, Swissotel Westin Hotel, City Hall MRT- a popular pasta italian restaurant in the past, I think the crowd has left this place of the past. Not surprising though, as my christmas dinner was nothing to shout about, considering after the many comparisons I bring from Malaysia which are much better IMO. The pasta was raw and not tender to me. Still, the honeydew with sliced porsciutto was as expected, sweet and yummy.

Island Cafe, 4th floor, CK Tang, Orchard Road - a quiet restaurant at the highest floor of the newly refurbished shopping center, this was nicely tucked away at the baby department section. The menu was a mix of asian and western fusion mix, interesting. I had the asian platter and black pepper tanghoon.

Chin Wah Heng seafood, East coast - my usual favorite in the past, had it many times before. But unfortunately, times have changed. Cooks must have changed or something amiss... the food was bland and inexcusable.
Sweet sour/spicy crabs was so bland, I think the cooks left out some sugar, salt or spices. Dipping the fried mantaos were totally unexciting like it used to.
Deepfried cuttlefish yu tiao was still ok... dipped in with the rojak-like or mayonnaise sauce was still a treat. Well, like I say... can't go wrong with deep fried food.Mussels was another unexciting dish... missable. Prawns were fresh. Still, I much prefer them deep fried (can't appreciate steamed dishes). Still, the place was packed and with queues. Well, dun be fooled by appearances.

Silver shell cafe, Rasa Sentosa Shangrila Hotel, Sentosa island - a new year's eve dinner costing a whopping $65++ per head, it was a no-choice decision on such a day where every restaurant was capitalising on the festivities. So, I filled my stomach to the brim from appetizer to dessert for 2 hours! Here are some of the buffet selections that I gobbled. The quality was good and satisfying.

Crystal Jade shanghai/szechuan cuisine, Suntec City fountain area - within these 3 years, Crystal Jade variations have popped up everywhere. We see crystal jade restaurants for steamboat, HK cuisine, chinese dishes, korean, china cuisine, etc. in all the popular shopping centers. Anyway, back to the selections I've tried. The noodles are really to be missed.... urrghh... they are just too spicy or pungent for my liking. The char-chian-mian was just too much black bean paste. It's ironic that my first char chian mian was in Korea and tasted the best ever.... and to think this originated from China. Anyway, however, the dim sum was nice. The fried dimsum and banana/red bean puff was superb. The siow lung pao was nice and explosive in one's mouth... there was no meaty smell which I despise.

Shihlin taiwan street snacks stall, basement, Plaza Singapura - a long queue was forming and noticing newspaper article reviews stuck on their counter, I had to join in this new sight's curiosity. Of course, I ordered all 3 items on the menu. The 'handmade oyster mee sua' ($3) was a little weird... a mix of Oh-chian and sweet sour gravy tastes. The 'crispy floss egg crepe' (RM3) was nice... light and tasty... but then again, anything with floss can't go wrong... hehehe. The XXL crispy chicken ($3) tasted boring compared to its preparation and appearance. This was the favorite for the queue and the newspaper reviews though. It was just like any fried breadcrumb with peppery seasoning.

Scotts Foodcourt, Scotts Shopping center, Scotts road - a popular food court to both young and yuppie. The name was so popular that it was brought over to KLCC foodcourts. Some stalls have changed due to changing economies and tastes. Gone is my favorite indian stall Komalas which serves prata and boms and the fried chicken chain stall (Carona chicken). Still there, was my wife's favorite beef noodles (which till today, I dun understand her obsession with this. She had 2 helpings within this 1 week of stay, one before we left for the airport!). My choice was a mistake... a wantan la mian from a new taiwanese stall.... it was bland and uninteresting, much different from its picture on the stalls' signboard menu.

Angie's choice, basement, Paragon shopping center - a favorite must try is the durian roll or puff. My whole hotel room was filled with durian smell, just by eating it in seconds! The whole roll is filled with durian meat. The mango roll was filling and refreshing too.

Nooch, basement, Paragon shopping center - a usual haunt but originated from Wheelock Place, I had to retry the standard of this place again. As expected, the standard has dropped. My thai spice rice was not a motivation for more to come. I think KL has set a new bar for food in asia.

Sanur, 4 th floor, Takashimaya shopping center - a popular indonesian restaurant. With not much choices around Orchard Rd for dinner, decided to retry this place. Ordered the usual and popular Tauhu telur, fried chicken and gado gado. Tauhu telur was expectedly nice but the rest were boring. Chicken was bland. Gado was light and alright. Wife complained the combination was too dry with rice. But then again, looking at the menu and the other diners' tables, all dishes were mostly dry. The avocado chocolate drink was sweet and thick, not my liking (wife's).

Wines from basement Paragon shopping center - Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2004 ($35+) was a nice medium bodied white, great for my friend's steamboat lunch. Tomasello Wine's blueberry wine ($35+) was a refreshing sweet change in wine. Recommended for fun.


  • At 8/4/06 10:35 AM, Anonymous Jazztazz said…

    I feel that you should attempt to try out the "true hawker stalls" instead of sticking to the "touristy-like" food outlets. Given that you seem to have once been familiar with Singapore, perhaps you should have gone to the more authentic shops/outlets that you would have known if you were indeed as familiar with the island's food scene as you so claim. Do not make generalisations that sow discord and project an air of arrogance, with limited expertise, experience and exposure. Your claim that KL has set a new bar in Asia? I think one should check that your claim is valid before making such a presumptous statement. Facts, my dear Watson. Not cockiness.

  • At 8/4/06 7:10 PM, Blogger Bernzie said…

    Jazztazz, it's too bad you feel offended by my opinions of the food. But ask anyone, Malaysia is synonymous with good food (better food) than Singapore. And it's not only the hidden or secretive places... they are everywhere, it's not a hit and miss. Nevertheless, I'm not a food expert and merely my opinions of food I've tasted.... and to each their own. If experts and facts you want, Anthony Bourdain or Makansutra you should seek. Cheerio!


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