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Seafood Madness

Seafood Madness

Featuring Corner House, Bakalaki, Nakajima Suisan Grilled Fish, Chuan Kee Seafood (Lower Delta), db Bistro & Oyster Bar, UsQuBa - Scottish Restaurant & Bar, Tonkatsu by Ma Maison (Mandarin Gallery), Murphy's, IZY FOOK, Angeleno
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

M E D I A S H O O T
I had accompanied Alicia for a video shoot for Burpple at this “zi char” place tucked away in the light industrial estate in Upper Thomson area and concluded it to be a place I would return as a paying customer with my parents in tow.
Opened for business earlier this year, “Tian Wei Seafood” is a spacious eatery that is well-ventilated and cool.
In terms of whether they are the first in Singapore to come up with the “Mala Crab”, it is hard to verify but frankly, I don’t think it matters. What’s more important is whether the dish tastes good and I think theirs does. They prepared our portion with a medium level of spiciness and it turned out to really shiok. There was sufficient fragrance and hotness in the sauce, but at the same time, it didn’t overpower the inherent sweetness of the meaty Sri Lankan crab. I like that they cooked the dish pretty “wet” so there was a lot of “mala” liquid to sip on.

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I paid $51.10 for this table-ful of food for two persons. Easy to see why this eatery is my go-to whenever I feel like having grilled fish, right?
Because it is always large, fleshy and has an appetising smokiness and lightly salty taste, the Shima Hokke (dried mackerel) tends to be my usual pick for fish. It is served beautifully grilled, with a salad, rice, miso soup, pickles and an appetiser. Japanese tea is complimentary too if I am not mistaken.
As substantial and thoughtfully balanced as the set meal is, I rarely stop at it, preferring to add on whatever else catches my eye at the ordering station. They always have random types of fresh produce on display in the chiller (I saw plump oysters and huge prawns today) as well as other popular Japanese items. In the above spread, you should be able to make out the grilled Eringi (King Oyster Mushroom, $3.50), cups of Chawanmushi in mushroom and crab flavours and the Natto (fermented soya beans) I had to get as part of our meal.

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After seeing @kengengkee post about their Steamed Crab on Instagram, my parents and I decided to give it a try when we were there for dinner last Sunday. Well, we loved how its natural sweetness shone through in this style of cooking. There was nothing too rich or overpowering because the crustacean was topped simply with egg white and finished with a splash of Chinese wine. For freshness of crab, there is hardly a better litmus test either, and KEK Seafood Alexandra passed with flying colours.

H O S T E D
Sharply sour from calamansi lime and fiercely spicy, the “kampung” dressing is what makes this local version of Amberjack Ceviche completely irresistible to me.
It is one of the many dishes at Izy Fook that exemplify the culinary team‘s understanding of what would appeal to many Singaporeans’ palate, and very possibly, their expat friends’ too.

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Plump, juicy and succulent, the naturally sweet flesh of the fresh crustacean was superb on its own. But did it come naked? Oh no. Instead? it’s blanketed by a lusciously creamy kombu beurre blanc sauce and enlivened by pops of tobiko (cod roe). So of course, the Marron rose to even greater heights of deliciousness.

H O S T E D

After undergoing an extensive renovation, LeVel33 has a space that is divided up into sections that will suit every mood. Clients and business associates can be wined and dined at the formal Dining Room while friends and colleagues can chill out over sharing plates at the vibrantly-coloured seating area called “LeVel33 Social”. At one end of this section is the “Raw Bar” where oysters are shucked in front of you and other cold dishes and seafood items are prepared.
If you want to compare and contrast, order a mix but if you love plump, creamy oysters, I suggest zero-ing in on the Canadian.

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The newly launched Summer menu is studded with gems, of which the “Lobster Fondant” is one of the most captivating and divine-tasting in my opinion.
Delicate petals of blanched zucchini are meticulously arranged over a heart of what I call “lobster ice-cream”. Made from Blue Lobster, it has an thick mousse-like texture and is prepared with cognac, truffle and cherry vinegar to mouthwatering results. A springy piece of juicy, succulent lobster meat and a heap of extra large and creamy Oscietra caviar from Kaviari in Paris are the crowning glory on this savoury “sundae”.
Served alongside are lightly toasted slices of freshly baked sourdough which taste very good with the lobster fondant. But my friend Annette and I very happy to polish off most of this impeccably presented beauty sans carbs.

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Hand on my heart, these are the tastiest mussels I have ever eaten.
A bigger size isn’t necessarily better when it comes to this shellfish. So although they are on the smaller side, the “Bouchot Mussels” (it refers to the aquaculture technique used to rear them) are plump and creamy, and more importantly, have none of the fishiness and hard-to-chew bits.
Furthermore, this dish which is on Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy’s NEW Summer menu at Two MICHELIN-Starred “Les Amis”, carries a hint of curry in a sauce made from summer vegetables and raspberry vinegrette, which I think is genius.

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#Noshtalgia. That’s what’s last night’s meal was. I managed to hurtle back in time to a place my family use to hold family gatherings for celebrations (we hit the peak in the ‘90s I think), thanks to Louis. He had told me this place has the best white pepper crab in Singapore in his opinion, and since I hadn’t been there in forever and a day, somehow our conversation led to dinner being organised.
No Signboard Seafood does look a little different these days, but all I was really interested in, was the food. And boy, did it deliver.
We sipped on a delicious herbal soup with fresh bullfrog to start, which I swear is the best way to warm up for the rest of the meal. The white pepper crab was a stunner, featuring very good quality Sri Lankan crab cooked in a buttery sauce that was insanely fragrant and tasty (I had a huge urge to lick the plate clean but resisted). Each of our large bamboo clams steamed with glass vermicelli and golden-brown bits of fried garlic was flawlessly executed, and the accompanying dip of chilli, fresh herbs and raw garlic formed a most addictive combo with it. Louis shared that this restaurant’s “la la” (clams) stirfried in garlic and chili padi is his all-time favourite in Singapore and I can understand why - the dish turned out to be so appetising I wish we had tripled the size of our order. We had to get a serving of the restaurant’s mee goreng too since I had forgotten how the old-school style of fried yellow mee tasted. And yup, it was still cooked tomato-sweet, spicy and gunky with pieces of seafood and “tau kwa”, and still had the power to seal the deal for instant food coma.
The total bill for the three of us came to about $330, inclusive of a plate of sambal kang kong and a fresh coconut each. Thanks again Louis for footing it this time.

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The final course of pasta in our spontaneous “omakase” dinner was an umami celebr-ocean of fine strands of fresh squid ink tagliolini crowned with creamy uni, plump grilled Hokkaido scallops and Indonesian baby squid. Both @blueskiescottonclouds and I were groaning by then but we still managed to clean up everything on the plate.

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If you love prawns, you must try this dish.
Large and sweet, the specimens of crustacean from Vietnam were superb. After being grilled, they came with a housemade saffron aioli, forming a most delicious combo. We could not resist mopping up every bit of that aioli with the toasted focaccia (also made in-house).

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A seafood I like a lot is the octopus but some places don’t prepare it well, leading to tough rubberiness. Bar Cicheti is however, not one of those places. Their rendition of it was undoubtedly one of the most impressive I’ve had.
Besides boasting a spot-on tender bite to it, the natural sweetness of the octopus had the audacious company of a pull-no-punches salsa verde and a solid back-up chorus of chickpeas. Highly recommended.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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