Thursday, September 29

Lawry's The Prime Rib

Hello everyone!

It's a hot and hazy day and I can't really focus in the afternoons so I figured I might as well blog about my recent (and first!) trip to Lawry's (:

I've always wanted to visit Lawry's even though I can't eat their prime ribs because I heard that their seafood dishes and side dishes are not bad too! In any case it's a good place to go to because Jeffrey can have a nice slab of well-cooked meat to try to fatten up a little (he's lost a lot of weight from being ill for 2weeks last month!).

The warm and extravagant interior of Lawry's. I don't feel comfortable at posh places and Lawry's was pushing it a little because I felt that the reception we got was slightly cold but I guess it got better after we settled in.

Two kinds of warm bread with salted butter.

Their famous "spinning bowl" salad. How it is prepared is that a very skillful waitress will push a cart and park next to your table and she'll start by pouring all the ingredients and sauce into the big bowl, then she will spin the bowl and start tossing the salad while the bowl is kept spinning! (: Quite an ingenious way to mix salad! (: The salad tasted pretty average (:

This is the special Lawry's seasoned pepper that the waitress will encourage you to add to your salad to make it taste slightly better! Since I love pepper, I did as suggested and true enough, the salad tasted a tad less average (:

 The two kinds of sauce for Jeffrey's main dish!

Okay so how this works is that a little silver cart will be pushed next to your table. The waiter/ waitress will ask you how you like your meat to be done and they'll cut a slab of meat for you ON THE SPOT! (: Cool!

Somehow the waitress/ waiter will manage to get your beef done the way you want it to and slice a portion off this bigger chunk for you.

This is Jeffrey's "The Lawry's Cut" which is supposedly their most popular cut! Jeffrey said that it was one of the best pieces of meat that he's tasted because it's so tender and the sauce went perfectly with the meat! Coming from a person who dislikes sauce with his meat, I think the sauce must really have complemented the meat well! He had mashed potato and yorkshire pudding as side dishes as well. These three items and the salad come as a 'set' and it costs $83.

 Extra yorkshire pudding for me! (: It actually tastes like light, french toast.

My main dish was the Cajun Fish & Chips ($31) which was much better than I'd expected! The batter didn't taste oily and the fish was fresh and juicy! I loved the fries as well because they were thick and not over-fried but I wish they were more heavily salted though. Definitely a good alternative for those who don't want to eat beef!

To me, this was the highlight of the meal - watching the preparation and serving of Lawry's Crepe Suzette ($29). Again, one or two of the restaurant staff will push a cart next to your table and prepare this orange-lemon crepe with banana slices and vanilla icecream in front of you! I don't mean to oversimplify this very elaborate process but it's essentially a more complex rendition of how the staff put together an apple crumble at your table if you order it at Swensens! Yups it's interesting to watch and most importantly, the crepe tastes good so please order it when you visit Lawry's! (:

If I'm not wrong, there may be an ongoing 1-for-1 lunch promotion on weekdays so people who wish to indulge in very good beef, please don't hesitate to try Lawry's during lunch hours on weekdays! You'll not regret it! (:

Sunday, September 25

Royal China

Hello everyone! (:

I'm feeling pretty happy right now because I have some time before dinner to blog about my recent trip to Royal China! I've been wanting to visit Royal China for a very long time but somehow I never had the chance to do so till September holidays!

My first visit to Royal China was actually a couple of years ago in London! Jeffrey and I were living at Bayswater area where Royal China was located at so we decided to pop in one afternoon for dimsum since we saw that it was perpetually crowded (hence we deduced that the dimsum served there was probably good and we were absolutely right!). I remember paying quite a bit for our dimsum meal in London but because the quality was so fine, we decided that it was worth every pound! This kind of explains why I was so keen on trying the dimsum at the Royal China outlet in Singapore!

As you can see from the photos above, the predominant colours in this restaurant are light (baby?) blue and white. Though my favourite colour is blue, I am not particularly fond of light shades of blue but I guess it's better than other colours.

 Each cup of refillable chrysanthemum tea costs $2 which I think is quite reasonable (:

 Char Siew Pork Puff ($4) - crispy, delicious, and a great starter to the meal!

A bowl of warm fish porridge with crackers ($6.50) to share. It was pretty alright though I felt that it could have done with a tad more sesame-oil flavour? Oh and I wish it had slices of century egg too!

I'm not usually a soup person (except when I visit Soup Spoon)  but the lady waitress convinced me to give their special soup of the day a try and I did. I completely forgot what the soup of the day is called but you can guess by looking at the condiments in the soup above! Each pot of soup costs $14.

Yam and prawn puff with some minced meat ($4.80) - I thought this was average.

Cheung Fun with scallops and charsiew ($4.80). I LOVED the cheung fun with scallops! The sauce was perfect!

2 very skinny spring rolls with some kind of meat inside ($1.60 each). I don't think I've ever seen a dish like this before but it tasted so-so.  

Prawn dumplings aka hargaos ($4.80). I think this is a staple dish at dimsum meals and I was not disappointed by this at all! (: Loved the freshness of the prawns. 

Oooh this is the dish that everyone should try - scallop dumplings ($4.80)! I think all scallop lovers will fall in love with this particular dish - the scallops were soft and fresh and they were absolutely delectable!

Chive dumplings with prawns ($4). I usually stay away from chive dumplings because the taste and smell of chives can get very strong but this was quite well done (: I don't think it was overpowering and I would like to try this again.

Mango eggyolk custard buns ($4) - this is a MUST try too! (: The mango taste was quite subtle but it was definitely present and it gave a little twist to the usual eggyolk custard bun (:

Because we had room for more, we decided to go ahead and order a plate of lobster noodles ($88) and boy were they generous with the lobsters! The dish itself is above average and it satisfied my craving for noodles! I wouldn't recommend ordering this for two mainly because of the sheer portion size but if you are a fan of lobster noodles, you should give this a try (:

When the bill came, I was pretty surprised that our meal wasn't as costly as I had imagined it to be (probably because of the London experience). In fact, the prices for dimsum are comparable to Crystal Jade's and it is no wonder that many people flock to Royal China for dimsum because it is not unaffordable! (: The ambience, service and quality of food are unquestionably good and I will definitely be back for more dimsum in future! 

Alright that's all for now! (: I hope you'd a great weekend! Have a good week ahead!

Saturday, September 17

Pique Nique

Hello everyone! (:

How's your weekend coming along? Mine's alright so far apart from the fact that my neck is STILL aching after a week! =( I thought the ache would go away but the bugging ache is still there so I think we'll go on a pillow hunt tomorrow to get a new pillow that might hopefully cure my neck aches so that my neck won't feel so disjointed to my body!

Anyway, I'd like to blog about Pique Nique (pronounced as 'picnic' if I'm not wrong), the not-so-new restaurant that took over Macdonalds in Takashimaya Shopping Centre!

My good friends and I decided to meet up last week at this new restaurant because all of us have never been to Pique Nique and we were curious to try their food! It definitely helps that this restaurant is highly accessible since it's smacked right in the middle of town so everyone was more than fine with convening at this place! (: The seating capacity is quite small though so if you are going in a big group, I'd suggest going slightly earlier than the usual rush hour to ensure that you get a seat. I think the place is SUPPOSED to look slightly homely yet outdoor-sy at the same time so that everyone can have a piquenique! However, I didn't think that the piquenique feel came that strongly and I felt that the layout of the restaurant could be improved such that the seating capacity at some tables could be slightly more flexible but that's just my opinion!

We loved the look of the menu! (: Pique Nique serves quite a wide spread of western food so you will be spoilt for choice if you are a big fan of western food! (:

 Remember I told you that I am currently on a cappucino craze? This is exactly what I ordered at Pique Nique! Pique Nique's cappucino ($5) is nothing out of the ordinary, in fact it's quite flat if you were to ask me so coffee lovers may wish to give this a miss.

Their classic vanilla milkshake ($8) fared a little better though I still maintain that the best milkshake I've tasted to date is from Once Upon a Milkshake! This milkshake is more milky and less icecreamy than others that I've tasted so it's good for people who feel that milkshake shouldn't taste like melted icecream!

 According to my friend who ordered the hot chocolate ($6.50), Pique Nique's is extremely sweet, so much so that he couldn't finish his drink! =S I didn't try so I'm not sure if it's really that sweet (my tolerance for sweetness is very high) but I'll advise people who have low tolerance for sweetness to stay away from this drink!

 Farmer's Breakfast ($10), or at least that's what I think it's called. One nice thing about Pique Nique is that it serves all day breakfast so people who love having breakfast dishes should pay this place a visit if you are looking for a cheaper and less filling alternative to the nearby Wild Honey!

As usual, I'd the classic eggs benedict ($12) which was so-so. I think the hollandaise sauce isn't particularly nice nor was it flavourful but the eggs and fries helped to enhance this dish so it was generally okay (:

 If you're looking for a warm and filling dish, order the carbonara mac & cheese ($13), which was possibly one of the safest dishes that we had that night! It tastes like ovenbaked mac&cheese with bacon and it was good! (: I love macaroni!

I think this is the cajun dog ($11) and it's basically hotdog bun with fries! This portion is just right for someone with a small appetite!

I completely forgot what this dish is called but I know that it's an omelette dish ($8.50). I think this is suitable for people who are there for a snack or just want something to nibble on because the portion size is abysmal! The toasts and eggs tasted only average but it's safe food to order nevertheless.

 This is the bacon dogg ($9) which, in my opinion, is not worth it at all because it looks like a normal (overpriced) hotdog bun to me! I still think that IKEA serves the most value-for-money hotdog buns and the best thing is that they taste very good (according to family members)!

I didn't mean to save the best for the last but this is a MUST ORDER when you visit Pique Nique - Waffle with Salted Caramel Sauce and Rocky Road Icecream ($10). The waffles were SO well done: crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and the combination of warm salted caramel sauce and cold ice cream REALLY hit the spot! (: All of us LOVED this dish and it made me almost wish that I had ordered it for my main course! I'll definitely go back for more waffles! (: 

Alright that's the end of my post on Pique Nique! I hope that you'll have a great Sunday ahead! (: Goodnight everyone! (:

Wednesday, September 14

Lei Garden (CHIJMES)

Hello everyone (:

I'm taking a break from work so I decided to blog about my family's recent trip to Lei Garden! If you haven't already realised, most of us (meaning the 5 kids in the family) prefer non-Chinese food so if we actually make the effort to have a Chinese meal at a nice Chinese restaurant, you can probably guess that it's someone's birthday or that we're celebrating some event.

Initially, we wanted to go to Royal China for dinenr but the restaurant was booked for a private event that night so we made a reservation at Lei Garden instead. Turns out that this was a pretty good choice too so we didn't regret it one bit!

If given a choice, I'd always order chrysanthemum tea with sugar because I think the others are too bland for my liking. So far, I think Soup Restaurant serves the most fragrant chrysanthemum tea! I suspect it's got something to do with them adding a flower in each tea cup!

The famous Crispy Roasted Pork Cubes ($14.80) which you MUST order when you visit Lei Garden because it's truly divine (according to the rest at dinner of course)! Please don't miss or skip this dish when you visit Lei Garden!

Another must-try dish would be their Peking Duck! We ordered the whole peking duck ($62) and it was just sufficient for us (: I absolutely love dipping the cucumber sticks into the sweet flour sauce and I always cheat for this dish by making Jeffrey eat the duck skin so that I can steal his crepe! haha

Possibly the most expensive vegetable dish I've had in my entire life - broccoli with scallops ($72) - but it was truly worth every cent! Both the vegetables and scallops were fresh and we were honestly surprised by how generous the serving of scallops was! If you're a broccoli lover like me, you should order this dish - it'll not disappoint!

Next comes the most lacklustre dish of the night - stirfried vegetables ($22). Perhaps we ordered the wrong kind of vegetables or we specified the wrong style of cooking, hence it didn't taste as good as we hoped for it to be!

Another of their signature dishes - steamed beancurd with ginko nut ($24) or more commonly known as Tofu Ensemble. The presentation was most interesting and we actually felt that we'd to be more careful when taking our share because we didn't want to destroy the beautiful presentation! The tofu itself tasted pretty okay, I wouldn't say that it's fantastic but it's definitely something nice to try.

Snow fish fillet with greens ($72). This dish was loved by all because the fish fillet literally melted in our mouths! I liked how the vegetables are not overcooked and retained their crunchiness! Would love to have this dish again!

Last but not least, we'd stirfried noodles ($42) and it was pretty okay. I'm a noodle-lover so naturally I'm biased towards noodle-dishes but I would suggest you ask the waitress to recommend other noodles/ rice dishes if you aren't very keen on stirfried noodles!

Lei Garden's version of Mango Sago ($6), which tasted slightly different from the usual because of the bits in the Mango Sago. I can't recall what they were but they were nice-tasting.

Their special dessert for that day was this dish which I call Cold Yin Yang ($7), which was made up of fresh almond cream and black sesame paste. I am not a fan of fresh almond cream but I guess my desire to try something that was not on the menu overcame my dislike for almond cream and I ordered this in the end. The most interesting thing about this dish is that it's COLD! I would think that it would be served warm but cold is good. I would say that this dish is only average so perhaps you would like to stick to their more popular desserts. 
I think the dishes were mostly hits and we only had very few misses, which means that most of us had a delightful time at Lei Garden (: I hope that we'll be able to visit other Chinese restaurants together for more yummy Chinese food!

Alright it's time to head to bed. Goodnight and have a good rest of the week! (: