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Japanese

TripleOne Somerset: Eat, Relax & Grocery Shopping

By | Food, Japanese, Spas | No Comments

If ION’s the heart of Orchard Road, then TripleOne Somerset’s the peaceful, idyllic corner – but still filled with many lovely establishments to fulfill your basic needs!

I do my hair at Salon Vim in 313, which is just opposite TripleOne. I often park my car at either *Scape or the open air carpark just behind 313, and these two parking spots means that Triple One is just a short pedestrian’s crossing (or two) away – and I often visit the area to pick up groceries from NTUC Finest, since Cold Storage in 313 has moved away and there’s practically no other supermarket in the area!

If you decide to park in Triple One though, it’s pretty convenient too, especially if you are watching a movie at Cineleisure. For comparison:

*Scape’s parking fees after 5 is fixed at $4.90 for the first 3 hours + $1.95 for next hr,
Cineleisure’s at $4.50 for the first 3 hours + $1.60 for each 30mins block
and TripleOne’s $4.50 for the first 3 horus + $1.50 for each half hour block.

You know there are times when you can hardly find parking at the other places and just when you’re giving up + want to park at Mandarin – stop! Park at TripleOne instead – confirm empty one at night. *thumbs up* I am le parking queen of orchard, hahahaha. *wriggles eyebrows at Tricia*

Enough talk about parking (I’m such an auntie), let’s go on to the my next favorite thing about TripleOne. FOOD.

There are some hidden gems in this area, I tell you. I’ve been to AppleBees when it first opened – it was disappointing and I never tried it again thereafter, but since then, many other eateries have popped up and these satiate my palette a little more!

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Let’s talk about Daruma Ramen, which is located on the 2nd floor (#02-15). The Daruma doll (達磨) – without wikipedia – is a goodluck charm, and also a 不倒翁 (roly-poly) and that is represented by the little table numbers which swing about behind the cute Daruma icon! I wasn’t too far from the facts after I wiki-ed it – you can read up on the Wikipedia if you are keen on knowing more ; )

I’ll not deny the fact that I am an EXTREMELY picky eater – and my heart has been sold to Ippudo Ramen when it comes to Japanese noodles. And surprise, surprise – Like Itacho, Daruma did not originate from Japan – instead, it’s from Hong Kong, and has been on Tatler’s top 5 ramen places list!

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The minute I tried a mouthful of Daruma’s Tonkotsu ramen, I was pleasantly surprised! The noodles were springy albeit “hongkong-ish”(what my husband said), and the broth was sweet and tasty. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but I’m won over. I just visited Daruma 2 days ago with the husband and he said it wasn’t too bad! (He’s the more discerning eater, I’m just.. picky.) The pork belly was melt in your mouth, while the servings of clouded fungus was huge! You could ask for no spring onions / chili as I did. The best item was the soft egg – done Japanese style – you only get half an egg, but it’s already good enough! In fact, the portions for the ramen was just right for me – enough to satiate me, but not so much that it makes me too full.

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The restaurant was pretty quiet when I arrived at 2pm, but that’s fine with me – I love quiet places! The prices were pretty friendly too, at just $15.90 for a set meal combo and $7.90 for a rice meal combo. It opens from 12-3pm for lunch, and 6-10pm for dinner, so don’t go too late! ; )

And next, my favorite place to buy buns from – Imperial Treasure Bakery. Ever since I sunk my teeth into one of their famous char siew buns… I was hooked. I had to return every time I came by Somerset – these buns are medium sized, and perfect for nibbling while reading a comic or surfing mindlessly on the computer! How I wish I have one to munch on as I’m typing away ;_;

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Other than Imperial Treasure’s Bakery, you’ll also find Imperial Treasure: Windows of Hong Kong and Imperial Treasure: Steamboat Restaurant.

Windows of Hong Kong is a 茶餐厅,offering cantonese bites – noodles, barbequed meats, porridge (said to be cheaper than the one at ION!) and the likes, while their Steamboat Restaurant offers steamboat (doh!) from 11am – 3pm, then from 6pm – 3am. YES, 3AM!!! Their affordable and delectable dimsum however, is only available in the afternoon session, so yes – if you’re looking for Steamboat in the middle of the night, you have THIS! I’m gonna try it out someday. Imperial Treasure’s known for their great quality of food, so I sure hope I wouldn’t be disappointed! ; )

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Other than Daruma and the Imperial Treasure food establishments (which took up the entire first floor), there’s also Fukuichi (#02-11/12, 11.30am to 3pm & 5.30pm to 12am), Togi Korean Charcoal BBQ & Salad Bar (#02-16, 11:30am to 3.00pm & 6:00pm to 9.30pm). Togi has been highly recommended by a few friends, but I’m not a fan of Korean restaurants – so if you are… do check it out! I like the decor already. ; ) Fukuichi has a Sake bar, and I think it is an excellent spot for hosting client lunches and dinners!

TripleOne is a small mall, but small as it may be, it also packs in a few beauty services, from nails, to hair, and also, two spas. The quiet location means that you can get your facial done in peace… and also not get spotted by anyone from your car to the salon XD even if you are bare faced XD

I had a facial at LifeSpa, which has been around for a good 13 years and is kept busy by their faithful regulars even after moving to TripleOne from Scotts Road. It is quite hidden away at a corner and you’ll have to find their entrances near the lift (next to Neuglow). They have 20 over rooms, and I spotted one with a view as I was going off!

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They carry two brands mainly – Decleor and Lilac, which is their house brand and I picked Decleor’s Aromaplastie Facial Therapy ($220 for 90 mins). Decleor’s facials are mostly handwork, as they don’t believe in using machines and this particular facial includes a 100% natural multi-vitamin mask to boost skin fitness & immunity. It also comes with a hands & back massage which I quite enjoyed!

I believe that a salon is only as good as the therapists they hire, and my therapist, Gina had really good hands – warm, skillful, just the right amount of strength – and I was in sheer bliss and zzz-ing away, especially after inhaling the essential oil’s scent. They also had a heated bed! Ask for it to be turned on if you are cold. I wasn’t too cold, which was a plus for me since I usually start shivering at massages.

You can find a list of their services available here. I think I need a body massage very soooonnnn…………

There was one week where they had a Public Garden Flea on the 16th floor – I tell you, TripleOne somerset is a really great place to hold a flea! Airconditioned, natural sunlight, and ample parking – there should be more fleas held here soon, please! I picked up more washi tapes during the flea, XD *stop me, somebody*

The selection may be tiny, but if you hate the crowds in Orchard Road (especially during the school holidays!), then be sure to hop by TripleOne for some chill time. Be it relaxing, shopping (for groceries) or finding a place to have lunch, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the quietness of this place! Check out their services directory on their website – all the opening hours are listed there too! ; )

P.S. – Randomly, I think I need a better app for collages – PicFrame’s compression is HORRIBLE on the mac! -_-”

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Random Weekends

By | Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Japanese, Life, Randoms | 2 Comments

The month passed by in a flash… O_O;

{ Bro’s birthday at Jumbo Seafood, East Coast }

Shark's fin with crab meat, yum!

Shark’s fin with crab meat, yum!

Bamboo Clams :p

Bamboo Clams, my fave!

Jumbo's Mee Goreng - this was alright.

Jumbo’s Mee Goreng – this was alright.

Cod fish, Baby Kailan

Cod fish, Baby Kailan

Deer Venison. I didn't like this one at all.

Deer Venison. I didn’t like this one at all. Tasted really gamey… pass.

Boiled Prawns!

Boiled Prawns!

Jumbo's Chilli Crab & Mantou - yeah I know about them losing to Gordon Ramsay hahaha. But that's okay, I still enjoy it! I have an insane love for seafood. Seafood over poultry anytime please.

Jumbo’s Chilli Crab & Mantou – yeah I know about them losing to Gordon Ramsay hahaha. But that’s okay, I still enjoy it! I have an insane love for seafood. Seafood over poultry anytime please.

Dad & Mum <3

Dad & Mum <3

The little bro turns 23, and that's my grandma between me and my mum!

The little bro turns 23, and that’s my grandma between me and my mum!

{ i-Weekly’s Beauty HQ at Hotel Re! }

Had the honor of being Larry’s demo model for i-Weekly’s Beauty HQ event, where he was also the speaker and spoke about taking care of your skin for all ages. And and and… Ann Kok was a guest speaker too!! Guess who had the privilege of meeting her?! XD

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Sadly the pic’s a little pixelated cos it was kindda dark (backlight bah). Still. That woman doesn’t look like she’s aged in any bit. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to them… “I’ve watched your shows when I was young!” – sounds like I’m saying they’re old. But really, to look like this at her age, wah!

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{ Benefit’s Porefessional Summit }

Yina and I were invited to become Spygals for Benefit’s Porefessional Summit, and to also perform makeovers on 2 fans! This was my second time putting on makeup for someone and I was feeling really lost… for all of 5 minutes. Thankfully my makeover model had great skin, was young and nice features to begin with XD

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Gosh I can’t believe Phoebe is 10 WHOLE YEARS younger than I am. Please vote for #TeamEvonneandYina!!!

There were also 2 flash mob performances right outside Tangs…

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And part of the flash mob were these really adorable Vespa scooters with sidecars, decorated with Benefit’s stickers! They came rolling in fetching the (model) spy gals in the side cars!

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Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to act pretty on the scooter, along with the SpyGal’s Porefessional Kit!

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{ Special Purchase Offer – COMPLIMENTARY BROW WAXING! }

If you’ve missed out the chance to take part in the event, fret not!

Benefit’s giving our readers special benefits – For the month of August, with the purchase of any Benefit Products from either Sephora Ngee Ann City (Taka) or Robinson’s at Raffles City, you’ll be entitled to a complimentary brow waxing service/voucher!

Terms & Conditions apply:

  • Complimentary brow vouchers are redeemable with any purchase of Benefit product (no minimum purchase)
  • Readers need to quote your respective names to our Beauty Advisors on duty, i.e., “SpyGal Renee” or “SpyGal Evonne”, etc, to redeem the voucher
  • Appointment booking for the complimentary brow service is necessary, and only valid at Robinsons Raffles City or Sephora Ngee Ann City
  • Voucher redemption is valid from 1 August 2013 onwards at selected counters only
  • While stocks last only

And right after the event, I rushed off to attend a wedding dinner – congrats on your matrimonial union, Wendy & Vincent! Many happy travels ahead for you guys as Mr & Mrs Ow! ; D

It was one of the funnest wedding I’ve ever been to – the entire table kept ourselves entertained so well, and I’m grateful for the friendships made during my time on LiveJournal – I love all of you!

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And thanks to my photographer friends on the same table too, hahaha. Especially Ron for this OOTD shot – I’m wearing H&M (dress), Jeffrey Campbell (Heels) & TheVelvetDolls (Box Clutch Bag).

{ Love Bonito’s Sale @ Novotel Clarke Quay }

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The girls and I trooped down to LB’s sale at Novotel and shopped to our hearts’ delight! Wished I went on the first day though, all the nicer designs were all snapped up : ( I left with 2 dresses which fit me very well, whee! Thanks Rach for the invite ; D And also to my girls for such a fun day out!

I’m missing the the fruit loaf from Linger Fingers which was free for us to sample over at the LB sale! *hungry now*

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The initial plan was to head over to TFBB for brunch, but alas, it was full and SO VERY HOT that afternoon, so we shelved that crazy idea (TFBB only has outdoor dining tables, no air-conditoning and the heat was unbearable) and headed over to Marutama instead!

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Yum, that was Estrella’s Teriyaki Chicken don for just $9 SGD!

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The rest of us ordered the Zenbu Nose, which was everything in a bowl – Char Siew, Kakuni, Tamago (they make the best!), Seaweed & Spring Onion! Obviously my order was done without spring onions, haha but it tasted really really good.

I must say, Marutama’s standards have improved by leap and bounds – I’ve stopped coming for quite a while because it was just too salty and gave me a headache whenever I ate it. But I actually went there twice in a week because it was just so delicious again suddenly! I think it was even better than my first time to Marutama.

Random Rambling…

My weekends have been getting progressively happier because… my skin is finally turning better! I have plagued by pimply skin again recently, it was the worst in my few years – the pimples just.. popped out. and wouldn’t stop popping all over my face! I had no idea why this happened and it was really depressing (Yes Yina, I finally know how you feel!) It was so bad that the make up artists (Larry Yeo, and Karen from Shiseido) who had worked on me previously when my skin was better all commented “以前不是这样的…” T________T I know, I tell that to myself too.

After a few weeks of trying to let it heal by itself (to no avail, obviously), I went to an aesthetic doctor I trust (from word of mouth, not sponsored or anything), and was prescribed some antibiotics instead of hormone pills as I have plans to conceive, and also went for a facial at his clinic. Main reason I went to him was because he’s a doctor – I feel… safer. That, and the fact that he has two dips in Dermatology! After reading Bunbun’s article I’m sure everyone’s a little warier of where they go to for facials. I must admit, extraction was never been this painful before.. but that’s also because my face was really clogged up this time round, nothing to do with the therapist’s skills (they are wonderful, by the way!) :'( owch! But the pain was worth it, as within 2 weeks of medication + after that facial, my skin’s condition really took a turn for the better! My friends could tell, and I was SO happy. It was much less oilier, my pimples flattened, reduced, and I’m just left with pigmentation to fight – no problem there with great concealers!

I’m now on a second round of antibiotics, as the doctor thinks my skin can be even better… and I’m really hoping that I’ll have Jayne Tham / Shiberty kind of flawless skin soon! *sparkles all around* I’ve reduced my skincare as well, to simple stuff – still using bifesta make up remover / shu uemura for heavier make up, fancl washing powder, kiehl’s calendula toner, and endocare gelcream. Plus eye cream from Lancome! ; ) I’m looking forward to testing out new products when my skin problems are much more settled.

The condition of your skin can really affect you in so many ways. I was feeling down for quite a while as I didn’t really enjoy taking FOTDs and then having to filter or edit the pimples out massively… and also with such clogged skin the makeup just didn’t sit right on my skin anymore and I felt like my reviews were all affected – sometimes it wasn’t the product not working, but my skin acting up. So now that my skin is better… Beware guys, incoming face parade! XD

Okay sorry for the looooong rambling. It just feels good to have better skin and know what it’s recovering, you know?!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! ; ) I’m gonna have a great week ahead, with lotsa time for myself as there are lesser events these 2 weeks. I’m really psyched to get the chance to meet Anna Sui in person later on!

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$50 SGD Omakase at Teppei’s Japanese Restaurant

By | Food, Japanese | 5 Comments

Remember my post about Lunch at Teppei’s?

I was left wanting more (wanted to try the ala carte and omakase) and most of all, I wanted to jio (gather) my friends down for a good time! And so happens I was given the chance to head back for omakase even though the waiting list was 3 months long (can you imagine, the next slot’s in July/August already!)

$40, $50, $60 Omakase?

“Omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you” – you decide a price, and the chef will decide what you’ll be eating! The menu changes all the time so you don’t know what you’ll be expecting and that’s half the fun in having an omakase meal.

We were curious about what the differently priced omakase had to offer and were told that:

  • $40 – more fried stuff
  • $50 – additional wagyu beef
  • $60 – additional wagyu beef, uni (sea urchin) + some other sashimi, and oyster!

Considering that I don’t really eat raw food (raw shellfish aside) nor oyster, I went for the $50 omakase and so did the rest of us (it was the oyster lol).

So what does the $50 Omakase get you?

After we were what my husband would term as “explosion full”, we counted a grand total of… 15 dishes! And yes I was really super duper uber full from the two servings of starchy stuff (two noodles!)

Tea’s free, Asahi draft costs you $9 per glass and prices are before GST & Service Charge (7 % + 10%).

Parking in the hotel at night costs you $3 per entry as opposed to $6 for an hour and a half.

Let’s run through the dishes one by one!

1 – Appetizer 前菜・サラダ

I’ve seen this appetizer served during lunch before – the difference is that it’s no longer free flow (haha) and this time round it has more greens. It is a mixture of beans, dried seaweed and I honestly couldn’t tell if it was pork, chicken or fish – but it’s nice nonetheless, and goes really well with rice! You don’t get rice till the 2nd last dish by the way.

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2 – Appetizer 2 – Seaweed Jelly 前菜・若布こんにゃく

I found this a little bland – like Rei (our friend) said, like grass jelly but blander. It does have a distinctive seaweed taste and is very light.

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3 – Edamame 焼き枝豆 & Inari Sushi いなり寿司

They were served together, so I classified it as one dish.

It was my first time trying out Edamame. hahaha. And I do like washing it down with beer. I sorta let out the satisfactory “ahhhh” after having the beer. Asahi draft, me likey. I was half contemplating finishing the inari sushi’s rice but ate it all up anyway. The Toshihikari rice from Toyama (Fuji) was delicious!

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4 – Sashimi 刺身

Remember I said something about not eating fish sashimi? I told the chef my preference (okay, I told the waitress with a pained expression on my face like as if I’m allergic to fish hahaha) and they gave me something else instead.

So everyone got this set which includes Salmon, etc etc AND prawn + scallop. They praised the freshness of the prawns and I was bummed that I missed it out because…

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I got an entire serving of scallops. HAHAHA. Not bad, eh? I really love scallop anyway. They were just a LITTLE fishy, but thanks to a little suggestion from the fellow patrons, I tried it with oyster sauce and all fishiness went off. It does really go better with oyster sauce, use that dip instead!

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5 – Chawanmushi サツマイモ・茶碗蒸し

As noted by my husband and le resident chef of our group, Miya, they seem to have used agedashi tofu sauce on the chawanmushi! And the little surprise was the sweet potato at the bottom of the chawanmushi. Yummy, and the first time I found that in chawanmushi. Does make the egg dish a little more interesting – there were also yuzu strips and it lent the dish a little citrus twang which was lifting (and surprising)!

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6 – Clam Soup / Asari Soup バターアサリ•スープ

The broth for this seemed a little more hearty than miso-salty, and I like it like this! Clams were sweet, and I didn’t squeeze the lemon so my broth stayed the same even though the lemon slice was in my soup the entire time.

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7 – Grilled Yellowtail ぶり

I surrendered my portion to Miya XD

I think they took one whole fish and chopped it up in pieces so you get different parts around the table. Some contained bones, so be careful! I tried a little bit of it and decided I didn’t like it – but I gladly finished the entire portion of mashed daikon ; D

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8 – Tempura 天ぷら

The tempura was supposed to be fish, but I requested for ebi instead so…

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My uber delicious ebi ; D

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Don’t be afraid to ask or tell them if you have a particular preference. I was rather worried that the chef may be insulted by my requests but he was smiley to the end. Should have treated him to some sake! (but too bad no one was drinking sake)

9 – Scallop sashimi with Wasabi ホタテのマリネ

I was apprehensive of this dish due to the wasabi content, but on the whole (since it was such a small dish!) the spiciness was tolerable and in fact, went EXTREMELY well with the raw scallop. The result was an alternative for chuka hotate – difference is, one used the edges (the skirting) of the scallop while Teppei-san’s version used the scallop meat itself.

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10 – Uni Beancurd 海胆・豆腐

I didn’t like the taste of Uni so I skipped this once again, especially since there was wasabi on top of it. The beancurd was silky smooth!

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11 – Wagyu Beef 牛肉炒め

The way it was sliced and marinated made it feel and taste more like pork, but I love the marinade and the texture of this. Star of the night. I had two plates! Oh god I can already feel those pimples coming. (My body isn’t able to take beef very well and I’ll sprout pimples when I have digestion issues :( )

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12 – Somen noodles そうめん

Somen’s kindda like soba noodles, but smoother – in shoyu broth, with seaweed, chicken and the soup base has a special yuzu chilli in it! The very sharp Rei pointed out that the soup was citrusy and spicy – Teppei-san told us the ingredient and I think it has Miya getting ready to hunt down the special spice in Isetan scotts tomorrow, hahaha. Portion was small and as much as I didn’t want to finish it… I ate all the noodles. Just too good and I seemed to always be one mouth away from finishing it entirely, haha.

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13 – Smoked Radish 燻製大根串

I loved the crunchy, smoked taste of this. Super like it. The only thing I didn’t like was that there was only one on a stick for each person. The bunch you see was for 4 of us, put together for photo taking purposes only hahaha.

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14 – Rice or Noodles

For this we were presented with 4 options from 2 categories.

  • Rice – Sashimi Don, or Spicy Fried Rice
  • Noodles – Soba or Udon

My husband naturally went for the spicy fried rice スパイシーな炒飯です but the portion was so huge he only managed to finish 5/6 of it. That’s not too bad right? The spicy fried rice comes with an oozy egg (oh how I’d love it if it wasn’t spicy) but you can request for the egg to be fully cooked (it didn’t turn out fully cooked but better than raw yolk!). You can choose to tabao this dish if you like.

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I chose the udon naturally (I’ll pick noodles over rice anyway though I love both)and it was super silky smooth! It came with seaweed, rice cakes and.. and… apparently, that’s Taro – Yam! The chef said “tonight, you cannot sleep!” (something like that) – I gave him a quizzical look and he flexed his arm and said “powerful!”. What was that!?!!? Yam is an aphrodisiac ah?! LOL

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And the best selection of the night had to be the sashimi don 刺身丼 Miya chose. She was mad happy that there was negitoro! It was also the most visually appetizing dish of the night lol.

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15 – Ice Cream

You are allowed to pick from these flavors:

  • Matcha Ice Cream (green tea)
  • Sesame Ice Cream
  • Yuzu Ice Cream
  • Walnut Ice Cream
  • Calpis Ice Cream

It was a waste that Estrella wasn’t there or she would have been super 感动 (moved) by the Calpis ice cream, hahaha. I picked Yuzu, Yang picked Walnut and Miya got Matcha.

Conclusion? Pick the Matcha! or maybe the Sesame or Calpis. Yuzu was refreshing, but I preferred the Matcha which was just right – it didn’t taste powdery like other places’ and the walnut was a little too “american” for a Japanese restaurant.

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We also ordered some ala carte side dishes because my husband was feeling peckish (seriously!?).

Behold, Mentaiko Omelette チーズ・オムレツ…

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And the buttery squid (ika!) バター・いか

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These were great! I’m looking forward to dining here with my dad and bro – they would definitely enjoy dining at Teppei’s!

Bumped into Elaine (sugar73) during dinner, who went with the $60 Omakase – she had a sushi platter which looked like this:

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The next most visually appetizing dish after the sashimi don. I wouldn’t have liked it (so much fish!) but I know you guys would appreciate this picture. The picture alone looks so umami, yes? ; D

Take note though, that all the omakase courses on different days will have different dishes and what I ate is just a visual guide as to what you may expect – I had no idea what we were having till the dishes were served to us!

Ended the omakase session with Miya and I requesting Teppei-san to take a picture with us. He was being very typically Japanese with his v^^v and there was even another picture where he 扮鬼脸 behind us – I decided not to upload that, hahaha.

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On the overall, the meal was super value for money – I don’t think you can find anywhere else serving omakase at such great prices – and the 830pm slot was perfect – it meant that you could take your time to eat as there was no one else waiting after that (the 630pm slot had 2 hours to eat and cleared the place by 845pm, while we ate right till 11+ pm (gasp!).

Teppei-san, his other chef Steven and the staff were super friendly as well and dinner was filled with laughter and great conversation. Somehow somewhere it was mentioned that Miya was a great cook and since she happened to have some of her marvelous home cooked food with her (which was actually meant for me to bring home), Teppei and his staff tasted it and gave her a compliment! Teppei-san said he could feel that she cooked from the heart, gave her the thumbs up and his staff mentioned that “很有妈妈的味道”. XD!

The japanese text you see on this post were all contributed by Miyabi. Thank you so much!

Also, thank you Yiwen, for calling me to tell me that there were available slots! Much appreciated. Quick, call them up and make your appointment now!

Teppei Japanese Restaurant

1 Tras Link
#01-1863 Orchid Hotel
Tel: 62227363
Opens for:

Lunch: 12pm – 230pm
Dinner: 6pm – 1030pm

P.S. – I left the place smelling like a walking tempura – please make sure you head home straight to shower or arent going anywhere after dinner if you are visiting this place! Alternatively, drop by and do take-aways (of their ala carte items)- they do allow takeaways during lunch / dinner times, and I think that’s a great option for those who are unable to dine in or get a slot for omakase! I’m totally craving for an onigiri right now.

Bara Chirashi, Teppei Japanese Restaurant!

Lunch at Teppei Japanese Restaurant in Orchid Hotel, Tras Link

By | Food, Japanese | 6 Comments

Met up with my pops for lunch a few day ago and I usually bring him to a Japanese restaurant because he has a fondness for Japanese food – especially sashimi. Teppei Japanese Resturant doesn’t serve sashimi for lunch (only dinner), but it earned itself quite a few raving reviews from my wedding photog/lunch buddy Ron, and also Daniel’s Food Diary, and thus we decided to give it a try.

The first hurdle, was describing to my dad how to get there. My old man only comprehends the simplest of English sentences (“yes”, “no”, “15 dollar for one hour” (err, he works at Bishan prawning) and he doesn’t really recognize road names – he is able to read the alphabets off the signs, and that’s exactly what he did when we met the second hurdle – when he got lost on what he spelt as “a… n… s… o… n… 7 (seh-bern)… 9 (nai)” to which I laughed out loud to and exclaimed in chinese “you turned into the wrong lane!” (你走错路了啦!). Hahaha.

Location, ERP, Parking and The Queue

I also had to convince him to just give this restaurant a try before giving him instructions – it’s located in Tanjong Pagar and he was asking about ERP, but thankfully for us, we entered the CBD between 10am – 12pm and paid nothing to ERP. Yay, score!

Then we couldn’t find roadside parking (coupons!) along Tras St, but in Orchid Hotel – where the restaurant was located – parking lots were aplenty thankfully, at 11.45am that is.

I am unable to recall how much parking cost me, but I believe it was along the rates of  $2.45 – $3? Honestly, I’m perfectly fine with paying that rate – at least my car is in the shade instead of being in the hot sun and scorching my own butt when I get into the car after a hearty meal.

Teppei Japanese Restaurant

1 Tras Link
#01-1863 Orchid Hotel
Tel: 62227363
Opens for:

Lunch: 12pm – 230pm
Dinner: 6pm – 1030pm

So I managed to meet my dad up along Tras Link (both of us were in our own cars and waving at each other comically, lol) and the parking was settled pretty quickly – then we got to the queue. It was… alright, but I honestly wasn’t expecting a queue of around 10 pax? Teppei is located _just_ beside the Keisuke King ramen place (which I didn’t really fancy) and I think they’ve effectively stolen the queue over after opening!

They only open at 12pm for lunch, but they actually let all of us in at 11:50am. Teppei is a counter seating only restaurant, so it’s pretty tiny and fits about 16 persons max. This is probably the reason why dinner reservations are usually encouraged and your probably have to reserve about 1-2 weeks in advance for a seat (or so I heard)!

The foooooood

teppei-japanese-restaurant-singapore-tras-street-orchid-hotel-5 You will be presented with a menu, and ordering is brisk – it seems like people in the restaurant along with us were regulars, and in the blink of an eye, it was just me and my dad staring at the menu for quite some time, with my dad wondering why there wasn’t sashimi on the menu (sorry dad, for not telling you earlier lol).

Luckily for my sashimi loving dad,  there was the special of the day which wasn’t on the menu – the Bara Chirashi, which was assorted sashimi served on top of rice. Basically, Sashimi don (I would assume, but I could be wrong and slammed by food critics here lol)!

I settled for the mixed set, and the way your food was being prepared and served was that you get a placecard for the item you’ve picked, and it is placed at the counter in front of your seat where the chef can see it (I didn’t get the sea eel tempura set! what I ordered was on the other side) and he would serve the items to you one by one.

You pick your own appetizers off the table, and you are served miso soup (standard for sets), tempura dip (the Bara Chirashi sets don’t get this) and also, a beer mug full of chilled Japanese tea awaits you even before you’re seated!

The appetizers are stored in 3 containers before you, and I think every 2 seats share a set of 3. My dad scooped out all 3 while the picky ol’ me picked what I thought was good enough to be lunch alone.

Appetizers - I'm sorry, I don't know the name of each appetizer, but I would gather - pickled veggies, bean sprouts, and this delicious stew which has ALL my favorite ingredients in it...

Appetizers – I’m sorry, I don’t know the name of each appetizer, but I would gather – pickled veggies, bean sprouts, and this delicious stew which has ALL my favorite ingredients in it…

The above mentioned stew, which was OH SO GOOOOOD. Okay, I have a thing for soups and this thing had everything I loved in it. I was ready to skip the tempura and just have this plus my bowl of Japanese rice for lunch.

The above mentioned stew, which was OH SO GOOOOOD. Okay, I have a thing for soups and this thing had everything I loved in it. I was ready to skip the tempura and just have this plus my bowl of Japanese rice for lunch. I asked around, and instagrammers told me it seems like tonjiru, which means pork miso soup – but it was more ingredients than soup so I am really unsure. Thank you Yumeko for the recipe!

Chef Teppei preparing the Chirashi Don!

Chef Teppei preparing the Chirashi Don!

Very obviously, the most popular dish at $16.

Very obviously, the most popular dish at $16.

Bara Chirashi, Teppei Japanese Restaurant!

Bara Chirashi, Teppei Japanese Restaurant!

Dry Sake, which my dad loved. He thinks this one's fab!

Dry Sake, which my dad loved. He thinks this one’s fab!

No picture of my tempura lunch because it came in bit and pieces, but here's one of Teppei-san hamming it up for my camera with a V. Hahaha.

No picture of my tempura lunch because it came in bit and pieces, but here’s one of Teppei-san hamming it up for my camera with a V. Hahaha.

I think my dad’s Bara Chirashi looked fab, but the tempura was alright to me – perhaps I didn’t fancy fried food? But everything’s freshly made, and you can taste that from the crispiness of the batter, ahhhh. I would gladly return, probably to try out the Niku set or the giant prawn set (both $19.90 SGD) – and I would love to take away their Onigiris too! I love Onigiri!

In case you need a reference, here’s the menu picture I hastily snapped with my iPhone.

Photo 29-4-13 12 23 53

Sorry about the lack of food pictures – it was just me and my dad in a crowded place – I could feel the eyeballs from the people in the queue outside!

The queue (wave 2) which went beyond Keisuke's shop front. Yikes!

The queue (wave 2) which went beyond Keisuke’s shop front. Yikes!

My recommendation? Make it for the first batch (come at 11:30 – 11:40 am) or make it for the 2nd lunch crowd batch, at about 12:45 pm – the queues are shorter at these timings! I hope to head back and devour more food – in fact, I’m plotting a return on WhatsApp right now!

Read more reviews about this place on HungryGoWhere too! Sorry I wasn’t able to help much, I’m just happy to have tried this and I’m still drooling after the appetizer.

food-pique-nique-lunch-1

Makan-ing into 2013

By | Brunch, Chinese, Food, Japanese | No Comments

Wow. These have been stuck in my drafts since November 2012.

Jones the Grocer

333a Orchard Road
Level 4 #21-23 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore, 238897
Tel: +65 6836 6372

(they have a branch in Dempsey as well, and they’re also opening a new branch in ION come Jan 2013! Check out their other addresses here)

Believe it or not this was my first time at Jones – my request for Dean & Deluca got turned down, hahaha. We went to the branch at Mandarin on a late Saturday morning, around 11+ almost 12 me think? And it was just starting to get really full. By the time we left, there was a looooong queue! Staff were friendly and swift in getting us seats – didn’t really like the cold metal chairs though – my ass was freezing!

I’m sorry I don’t have much to say about the food because I wasn’t too hungry, but the sauteed mushrooms were delectable though a tad oily. The duck confit pasta was meh (in my friend’s opinion) but the bread with bacon was nubbad! I’d actually like to try more stuff but I find the items on the menu a little expensive for me.

(Haiyah, you all see picture okay, I’m not a good food blogger, I can only tell you I like or don’t like, haha. Seriously not as if my tongue’s some bench mark – if anything’s horribly rancid I’ll definitely make a big hoo haa about it. haha.)

Pique Nique

391A Orchard Road,
Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) #B1-01/02,
Singapore 238873
Tel: 62386705

Pique Nique’s owned by Sugar Daddy Group, started by famed Chef Pang Kok Keong who also owns Antoinette, and since I love Antoinette so much, I guess this was a safe choice for me andddddd it didn’t disappoint! *glee*

I loved the Eggs Benedict – points for the soft english muffin (I really dislike toasted, hard bread) and I’m pretty new to Eggs Benedict, so my taste buds may be a bit off – but I like how it tasted, it wasn’t too jelat for me even after two eggs and I’d definitely be back for the other items on the menu. Estrella had the beef goulash and she seemed to be quite okay with it – no violent objections there so I’m guessing it’s all good and I’ll be able to drag her back here to eat with me again. XD

I was just that little bit turned off by the chair seats though – it was stained quite horribly (don’t see that in Antoinette yet!) and there were actually hairs poking out between the seat and the arm. Urm. I’m sure I left some behind myself, but it should really be well maintained.

Lailai Casual Dining

23 Serangoon Central
#B1-30/31 Nex
Tel: 66344808

Lai lai is a taiwanese eating place, and has two other outlets at Jurong Point, and Bugis. I used to frequent the Bugis branch but I never really ate beef then, nor did I really like the taste of the beef noodles so all I had back then was 卤肉饭 and it was also what I had again after almost 3 years of eating at this place!

We both ordered the 卤肉饭 (Braised Pork Rice) set, which was super delicious – and ordered a side dish each. Saba fish for him, and Oyster Sauce Kailan for me.

Mooooo.

BRAISED PORK RICEEEEEEEEEEE! <3 <3 <3
Didn’t think the braised egg was any nice, but the braised pork was <3 <3 <3! [/caption] [caption id="attachment_11112" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Saba fish – beware of the bones!

Oyster sauce kailan was FAB. I know it looks soggy and not that chewy, but it’s better then vegetables with too much of green taste in it. This was soft, with just a bit of crunch, but just what I like. <3[/caption] Lailai is a relatively affordable dining place, and I can't say how authentic this Taiwanese food place is because I've never been to Taiwan (gee...), but it seems like the boys love it. *shrugs* And oh a really sad thing. I just got back my blood test results and it says that I have borderline high cholesterol. Sigh... cutting down on the seafood for now. : ( This is what 20+ years of high cholesterol seafood + no exercise does to you! I do wish that more eateries would offer a brown rice option though - it's so hard to eat clean outside. Here's a 2013 inclusion (hence the post title, haha)

Tonkichi at Isetan Scotts

350 Orchard Road
4F Shaw House
Tel: 66816723
http://www.pokkafood.com.sg/tonkichi/

Tonkichi is by Pokka Foods (same people who have brought you Domani and Rive Gauche) and members have a 20% off for their birthday months, and since it was Miya’s birthday month, we trooped down to town on a Sunday (I love town on Sundays – lesser people!) and had a very filling dinner!

Tonkichi prices are about $18.90 – $34.90 (agar agar there) and it can be quite expensive. Our total bill came up to $240 after a 25% discount. The food was quite not bad, but the service… Well I can’t tell if they’re short on staff or just really busy – the meals arrived sporadically and the worse was Marcus’ meal – his ramen arrived almost 15 minutes after everyone else’s was served, and then his karaage took another 10 minutes. And his tempura oyster took another 10 minutes. But that was the first time I’ve experienced such service (I’ve been there 3-4 times?), so… I’ll just say it was a bad day for them.

[caption id="attachment_12005" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Sapporo Draft beer, $11 for 2! Sapporo Draft beer, $11 for 2!

Curry side order - to go with your rice! Good for 2.

Curry side order – to go with your rice! Good for 2.

tonkichi-shaw-isetan-katsu-sets-4

tonkichi-shaw-isetan-katsu-sets-5

tonkichi-shaw-isetan-katsu-sets-6

My teriyaki chicken set was awesome - it came with a side of sashimi, and stewed pork, which was SUPER DELICIOUS. If they had the pork and the rice alone, I'd take it!

My teriyaki chicken set was awesome – it came with a side of sashimi, and stewed pork, which was SUPER DELICIOUS. If they had the pork and the rice alone, I’d take it!

Gindara Set

Gindara Set

The Gindara set came with a generous serving of Agedashi Tofu and also the fantastic stewed pork which came with my set!

The Gindara set came with a generous serving of Agedashi Tofu and also the fantastic stewed pork which came with my set!

tonkichi-shaw-isetan-katsu-sets-2

Cheers, guys! Hope you all had a fantastic week too : )

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