Tastebuds

A food blog from everywhere!

Macau: Noodle and Congee Corner at the Grand Lisboa

While on a few-day trip to Zhu Hai, we took a day trip to Macau, and that was when I encountered the BEST NOODLES THAT I’VE EVER TASTED.

Now, true, I’m not a noodle aficionado by any means; in fact, I tend to steer away from all things pasta. I guess my aversion resulted from too many tasteless, under/over-cooked noodle specimens in the past. But at the Noodle and Congee Corner restaurant overlooking the gambling floor of the Grand Lisboa hotel in Macau, the crowning versions of the stuff may just have changed my mind.

The restaurant, like just about everything touristy in Macau, was extremely spacious. My dad and I were seated at a 6-person table! Facing the dining room stood the glassed kitchen through which diners could scrutinize the chefs at work, shaving and kneading and stretching noodles into huge vaults of boiling broth. Very entertaining to watch!

Knife-shaved noodles with grounded meat sauce, pre-mixing

And post-mixing; the grounded pork sort of congregated all on one side

Here’s our first order, knife-shaved noodles with grounded meat sauce. This type of noodles’ name comes from the way that they’re made: chefs hold a huge rectangular wad of dough  and use a knife to shave individual strings of dough into boiling water in quick succession. Because the noodles go in one string at a time, each bowl contains all spectra of cookedness, making it a rather texturally inconsistent dish. I didn’t find this to be a bad thing, cause it made the experience all the more interesting. The noodles were mostly thicker than average and quite chewy with a few overcooked strands. The sauce wasn’t thick enough to thoroughly enrobe the noodles, but that also meant that it carried a nice balance of savoury porkiness and wasn’t too strong.

Dan dan noodles

Our next noodle order: dan dan noodles with peanut sauce. The noodles here were hand-pulled, resulting in basically a never-ending strand!

Dad trying to find an end to the endless mass of noodles

Haha. We had a fun time trying to split this between the two of us. The very impressive feat was that all the noodles had practically the same diameter; it’s amazing seeing that such uniformity can be achieved in something handcrafted. Unlike the previous dish, because the chef flung the hand-pulled noodles into the boiling broth all at once, they all have the same consistency: slightly chewy and spring. The broth wasn’t too spicy and I think it could have been thicker and more peanuty, but those are just my preferences. Overall, a very impressive bowl of noodles!

Marinated cucumbers

Fried egg wrapped pork pancake thing

In addition to the noodles we also ordered sides of marinated cucumbers (which were nice a refreshing, and sweet!) and a deep-fried egg wrap with pork filling (not very interesting). We didn’t try the other half of this restaurant’s namesake, their congee, but the noodles definitely stole the show!

 

 

August 14, 2011 Posted by | Chinese, Macau, Restaurants, Travels | Leave a comment

Singapore: Bosses Restaurant at VivoCity

Omg, more malling! Yeah, we basically just went to malls during our whole time in Singapore. Sorta lame, eh? We should have gone to Malaysia or done something less materialistic. Oh well.

During our second whole day in Singapore, we headed off to VivoCity and had lunch at the Bosses Restaurant. My parents got a laugh out of the restaurant’s Chinese name, which is rather catchy and creative. It translates into mafia.

When we first sat down they gave us this small plate of fried fish skin as an appetizer. I didn’t try any…I’m sort of skimmish around fried stuff.

According to our waitress, this place is known for their dim sum, so we ordered some. Their mushroom dumplings were very good. It had a filling of various mushrooms and daikon, I believe, and a glutinuous rice wrapping. The wrapper wasn’t too thick and doesn’t distract from the filling, which was slightly crunchy and provided nice texture constrast to the gooey chewy wrapper. The whole thing tasted even better dipped in chili sauce.

Our other dim sum order was their custard egg yolk bun, which was AMAZING. The egg yolk custard inside was runny (unlike the thick, mash-like stuff that you get in some places) and had a wonderful sweet-salty taste. The bun encasing the filling was pretty normal but it accompanied the smooth, velvety filling just fine. My only complaint is that they served this way in the beginning of the meal and, not wanting to eat sweet stuffs before the mains, my bun cooled before I got to it. Not the most optimal way to enjoy steamed buns…

The gailan was good. Crunchy and savoury.

Chili crab is one of Singapore’s specialties but I don’t think this was the right place to try it. Firstly, it was expensive, much more so than what can be gotten from a hawker place I’m assuming. And secondly, we didn’t really like it. The sweet and spicy chili sauce was rather overwhelming…we couldn’t taste the actual crab meat, which somewhat defeats the purpose of eating crab. So yeah, not exactly what we expected.

The Bosses Restaurant seems like a pretty upscale place and if I lived in Singapore I would like the place, but it’d have to be an occasional indulgence since its prices are rather high.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Chinese, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Singapore: Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Suntec City

Open kitchen

That night we had dinner at Suntec City. In the mall’s basement area around the Fountain are tons of restaurants. Most of them were rather sparsely populated, but Crystal Jade had a sizeable amount of customers so we went in there.

We started with the cucumber salad, which was very simple and refreshing. However, I found the one at the Crystal Jade in Harbourfront in Hong Kong to be better since it was fancier.

The beef and tofu hot pot was pretty good. A bit spicy, with nicely marbled + thinly sliced beef. The other ingredients inside were somewhat uninteresting but not bad.

The panfried pork bun had a flavourful filling but there was no soup! >=(

Yeah, I didn’t eat much that night due to that chocolate block from Canale. My parents had lots of other stuff that I didn’t try, so I’ll just post the images below.


Beijing dumpling


Scallion pancake

January 5, 2010 Posted by | Chinese, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Lu Gang Xiao Zhen (Bellagio)

Lu Gang Xiao Zhen (Bellagio)
Address: #77 Ti Yu Xi Lu (West of Teemall)
Tel: 8559-3009

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A looooooongggggg while ago (yeah, I’m really behind on restaurant posts), my dad and I visited Lu Gang Xiao Zhen, a well-known restaurant specializing in Taiwanese cuisine. This restaurant has been around for a while and I have received recommendations for it from friends, so we figured that it was time to give it a try.

The restaurant’s decor was sort of modern and bright. However, space was a little tight, but that didn’t matter cause the food was amazing.

Firstly we had the Oyster Pancake with Spicy Sauce. All right, I guess not ALL of the food was perfect cause this wasn’t that great. Maybe doughy, chewy, and fairly bland pancakes is an acquired taste. There weren’t a whole lot of oysters, and sauce wasn’t very spicy either.

The stir-fried lily petals with celery was very nicely done, though. The vegetables were crisp and crunchy and refreshing. If you’ve never had lily petals before, you don’t know what you’re missing. They are definitely one of my favourite vegetables and I’ll be posting another recipe up for it sometime soon, hopefully.

Then came the star of the meal: Three Cups Chicken. From what I gather, this is a Taiwanese specialty where the chicken is cooked with three cups of different sauces of some sort. Well, whatever the name entails, the dish was awesome. Each piece of chicken was nicely coated in the sweet, salty, savoury sauce. Even the garlic at the bottom of the pot tasted nice. Yep, this is the sort of dish that people dream about at night…

To end our meal, I ordered a peanut crushed ice. Though it took quite a while before it arrived, the wait was worth it. This concoction tasted basically like peanut butter ice cream: sweet with a salty tinge to it. So if you like peanut butter, this is definitely the dessert for you.


And we couldn’t finish it! Sob.

To sum up, we had an awesome meal. Usually I don’t walk out of restaurants filled to the brim but this time, I did have to hobble out precariously because the food was so good! I quite look forward to going back.

November 28, 2009 Posted by | Chinese, Guangzhou, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Cafe de Coral

Cafe de Coral
Address: Everywhere
http://www.cafedecoral.com/web/show/show.jsp?ppid=10

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Sorry for not having posted for sooo long…it is so difficult finding a suitable proxy these days that I usually guiltily just give up…sigh, guess this is just China.

Anyways, a super long while ago when I was in Hong Kong and was feeling miserly after a day of impulse shopping, I decided to get some cheap dinner.
So the natural choice had to be Cafe de Coral!

Cafe de Coral is a very popular HK-style fast food restaurant. They have branches everywhere these days…I guess their main appeal is that they serve cheap, good food, the former of which is a rarity in HK.

The ordering system was a bit confusing…they have different lines for different categories. I didn’t want to appear like a tourist so I ordered one of the few items that I was able to read off the menu: curried beef brisket!

It was quite good, actually. The curry flavour was there, the beef was very tender, and the portion was quite large.

In addition to the curry I also had a HK-style bubble tea. What is a HK-style meal without bubble tea?

So overall, it was a nice cheap meal. If you want to have a taste of what HK locals eat, Cafe de Coral would probably be a good bet.

October 24, 2009 Posted by | Chinese, Hong Kong, Restaurants, Travels | Leave a comment

Hot Pot at Grandview

Hot Pot at Grandview Mall
Address: 8th floor, Grandview Mall (above the arcade)

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A few days ago we had lunch at a hot pot restaurant in Grandview Mall (sorry, forgot the name again…). When we got there at noon the place was pretty empty, but it did fill up somewhat during our meal. The restaurant is pretty dark and has a rather…cryptic design. Definitely not your typical hot pot restaurant.

First they served us complimentary drinks: water (lol) and a small glass of plum juice. The juice was pretty fresh and pulpy. It tasted sweet and sour and was somewhat catchy; a you sip some and then you want more sort of idea.

Unlike traditional hotpot, here diners are provided their own individual pots. For my soup base I had mushroom broth.

For my sauce, I had the sesame sauce. It came at first with a LOT of oil that I scatted off before taking the photo…

We ordered a moderate amount of food but godly, their portions were quite small for the prices that they were charging! True, the ingredients do seem more fresh and the choices are more upscale than typical hot pot places but honestly, it was quite pricey…


Clockwise from top-left: fish (really boney), fried bean curd, lamb, mushroom combo, beef, and wood ear.


Clockwise from top-left: venison, fish, bean curd, wood ear, beef, mountain yam, meat ball combination (handmade and pretty good), and beef marrow (somewhat slimy).


Vegetable combination (18 RMB!)

In the end, it was a decent meal. They had some pretty unusual offerings such as venison and beef marrow, which were interesting experiences. The leftover broth at the end was excellent. However, I think that really, for the same general hot pot experience I would go somewhere cheaper next time…

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Chinese, Guangzhou, Restaurants | | Leave a comment

Shanghainese Restaurant at Citic Plaza

Shanghainese Restaurant at Citic Plaza
Address: 3rd floor, Citic Plaza

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One night we were in the mood for Shanghainese food, so we headed to the Shanghainese restaurant on the third floor of Citic Plaza. Sorry, for again I have forgotten to grab and business card and as a result have totally forgotten the name of the establishment…But Citic Plaza…it’s not that hard to find.

The restaurant was fairly small in Chinese standards and on that weekday evening it wasn’t very crowded either. The atmosphere was quite all right but I was a little peeved that the table next to us was producing an unpleasant amount of cigarette smoke; I hate smoke.

Anyways, on to the food. First, tea was served. Their tea cups here are quite unique, as can be seen by the photos. However, I think it only had an aesthetic appeal, as the taste of the tea wasn’t enhanced in any way.

Then came two appetizers (which we didn’t order but weren’t free either), salted peanuts and marinated vegetables, suan cai. The peanuts were somewhat unique; instead of simply roasted peanuts crusted with salt these ones had a layer of some other spice added. I can’t remember how they tasted anymore, but there was something different about them…and the suan cai was just suan cai, nothing special.

<img src="http://a4k2nw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pIov9YDaVOAeJHh8VuproKsjy9SLh6sVnCSuqRtCZ4YI6vYRgZK-tKYaWAov-XIDoG8OZinV8V

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Chinese, Guangzhou, Restaurants | , | Comments Off on Shanghainese Restaurant at Citic Plaza