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Anything Chinese or Japanesey
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

I remember one of my favourite street chows in hcmc being their steamed rice rolls, essentially their take on the local chee cheong fun. Seeing it on MOC Cottages’s menu won a big 😍 from me, yet elicitated a huge 😱 when we saw the $14 price tag. How much can they possibly zhng this $1 street food to warrant that price, I thought. But then, look at that HEAP of pork on the rice rolls. Discounting flavour entirely, just that massive pile of chargrilled pork makes it completely worth the buck. And then you factor in the soft, silky, smooth rice rolls, the bed of fresh herbs and greens, and an amazing nuoc cham sauce on the side — absolutely gorgeous. Ain’t gonna lie, this completely turned the tables after their lacklustre banh mi.


I know lotsa people swear by Koh Grill’s Shiok Maki, and though I found it pretty yummy I can’t say it was as mind-blowing an experience for me. I loooooved the smoky grilled unagi, aburi salmon, and omg that generous mountain of crunchy sweet tobiko; but I found the sauce too overpowering and overwhelmingly mayo-y. Those who love mayo would die for this I’m sure, and it definitely did help mask the overcooked and practically-lumped-into-conjoined-twins rice. But if it were up to me I’d definitely prefer one with a better proportion of sauce — have some balance for the whole dish.

Fans of Japanese grub rejoice: starting from the 15th September, Japan Food Town's got a whole lineup of yummy chow for you guys. As part of their Great Deal Fair till 24 September, you get to try 35 dishes from 12 of their 16 (yep you read that right!) restaurants — all starting from $8.50. You're looking at silky inaniwa udon by @inaniwa_yosuke_sg, crunchy and juicy Kaarage Don by Rang Meng Shokudo, and Wagyu Curry Rice by @hokkaidoizakayasg among others. If you're making a trip down, I'd highly recommend giving the inaniwa udon a shot. It's already rare to find them in Singapore, and much less one as decently priced as theirs. But if you're one for simple fare, their tamago's sure to please.


Seriously the dish that most impressed of our omakase dinner at Yoda Fish & Meat Market. Apparently a common traditional dish in Japan, this Sanbo Rice's really a mishmash of simple, fresh, and undeniably great produce. A bed of fragrant Japanese rice topped with chopped negitoro, creamy uni, crisp salmon skin, earthy toasted sesame, and sweet sweet ikura. Served with sheets of crunchy nori, so it's really like a DIY temaki. Fun, delicious, fantastic. The best part of it all? The moment those amber gems of sweet, briny ikura burst, lending an immediate umami boost to each bite.

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Coated in a thin, crunchy, golden batter, this simple dish of Ren-kon and Tamafura (deep-fried lotus root and onion rings) stole my heart. Great batter aside - and that's half the battle won, mind you - I loved how earthy and sweet the root vegetables were, holding firm on their own and shining through that batter. The lotus root for one still retained a kinda muted crunch, cooked al dente if you would call it such; and the onion - oh-so-moist, sweet, and just melting in your mouth.

And it was the most prestigious and poisonous of the edible species, Torafugu (Tiger Pufferfish), too! We got to try this as sashimi of course, but I have to say my highlight of the entire fugu meal was this Pufferfish Hot Pot — specifically, the porridge that came after. The nabe hot pot itself was really light-tasting: the broth was barely seasoned at all so that it may purely be the canvas on which the torafugu shone. What that means is a very healthy tasting and, for some, slightly bland dish. But, broth aside, it was interesting trying cooked torafugu this way. The natural chewiness of the meat doesn't really go away, instead lending to this nice bite and ensuring that the fish doesn't break apart at the slightest prod. Dip these indulgent slices into Guenpin's housemade ponzu sauce (which deserves a post on its own) and you've got yourself a mighty tasty meal.


Holding such such high expectations for this spot...I was really surprised to find that I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped to 😧 Popped by on an off-peak hour, and had to wait 30min for my bowl (there were 4 bowls ahead of us) which came with the tempura already entirely soggy and not holding a single bit of crisp crumb. Of course having sauce drizzled over it means it won't be mad crispy; but if it wasn't left out to sit and instead had sauce drizzled over right before it was served, shouldn't there be at least some crunch? Points to the tempura batter not being greasy at all, but it was so thick I could peel it all off as a single piece. Portion's generous and ingredients are well cooked so I understand why people enjoy this, though unfortunately I guess I'm just not one of them 🤔


Moist and fatty thin slices of pork, stacked together and packed with oozy melty cheese, and fried till golden and crisp. The breading stayed crisp throughout dinner, and the cheese remained melted and stringy for quite some time too. I thought the one I had at Tampopo was good; but this is definitely waaaaaaaaay more awesome.


Little golden potstickers, stuffed to the max with juicy mince and chives, pan-fried to a perfect crisp. The skin's thin, light, and surprisingly grease-free. Dunk that into some strong black vinegar, and top it with loads of shredded ginger: 😋😋😋

Dubbed the Chinese 🍕, it's essentially a flaky, buttery pastry, filled with flavourful, juicy mince and lots of chives. Aside from how plain delish this is (not that anyone could ignore that), I really liked that it wasn't oily, and didn't leave any unpleasant residual greasy mouthfeel. The initial silence, and sighs of approval that ensued, was a huge clue as to how much we all loved it.


Decided to see what really hype was about...nope, didn't get it. The chicken was really, really dry and tough, totally bland and unseasoned, and just so unappetizing. It's such a shame cause it was so exciting seeing them roast the meats right in front of our eyes! Seriously praying this is just a one-off, and that Iskina Cebu's way better than this.


Laksa Lemak (aka Siamese Laksa) should really be an amalgamation between an assam laksa and a curry laksa. Unfortunately Kuvo's Slipper Lobster Laksa Lemak (S$14++) leaned way to much towards the assam. While I loved the fragrance of the contributing spices and aromatics, most of it was masked by the insane sourness. Even the coconut failed to come through - it lent to a creamier texture, but not so much of flavour.


Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

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