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Featuring Two Chefs Eating Place (Commonwealth), Fynn's, Ramen Keisuke Tori King, Hatched (Holland Village), Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant (Bukit Timah), 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine (Marina Bay Sands), Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle 阿宗麵線 (Ximending), Taipei, Taiwan, Kau Kee Restaurant 九記牛腩
Casey  Tan
Casey Tan
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A great dish for a special date and or occasion, their Wagyu Beef bowl ($75) comes with Japanese saga A4 wagyu sirloin, sea urchin from Toyosu market, Kyoto mushrooms, French truffles and Hokkaido ikura. Topped with an egg, this was fantastic. There was no underlying fishinesses and the beef was tender with great mouth feel. A great example of Japanese culinary luxury.

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The toasted brioche is the perfect vessel for Canadian lobsters meat mixed with kewpie (nectar from the gods). Have it with the salad, the balsamic really does a great job at cutting through all that richness. Worth the queue’ foooosho.

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Is it their aromatic thyme cones? Ingenious botanical flavours or instagrammable ice cream with the prettiest pastel hues? Probably all the above. But those qualities are all cherries on the sundae. It’s a tried and tested combination that nails the fundamentals. Solid ice cream, cheery customer service and great locations with lots of foot fall.

Ps the spiced pear is a perennial mainstay on my cone.

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At Chen’s their mapo tofu don ($8.80) isnt super bold and strong but somewhat mellower and subdued, so it was a surprise when i encountered a really sear-my-tongue off spicy one when i visited chen’s recently. Maybe it was a heavy-handed chef or just a tweak to a recipe but wew, it definitely packed a punch. That was said, it was still hella flavorful and paired really well with their japanese rice…Just be sure to have some water on standby.

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I LOVE their Mian Yang rice noodles paired with their spicy pepper broth. On one hand you have artisanal hand-made noodles directly important from Sichuan and on the other you have a relatively clear yet robust chicken broth spiked with fiery Sichuan vine peppers. When combined, they provide incredible depth of flavour with silky, slippery mouth feel.

You get the option of ordering add-ons and sides. There are some hit/misses but the deep fried intestines and the ox tongue are a must-order.

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And while Ri Ri Hong at People’s Park is my general go-to, it’s also quite relatively inaccessible from my work.

For a quick fix, Food Republic at Wisma is a decent choice. It’s quite aromatic and the spice is tolerable. That being said, it is located at Orchard road so you do end up paying a small premium.

Din Tai Fung’s Rice Dumpling with Flavoured Pork(五香肉粽) is prepared with quality glutinous rice lightly flavoured with premium soya sauce. It’s also marinated by hand to avoid damaging the rice grains. There are about 15 different spices used in the making of the dumpling, and while I can’t taste them all they all come together very nicely. Costing at $6.50, it’s a good, albeit smaller alternative to the more expensive hotel ones.

DTF also has a sweet variant that’s made with mashed red beans but i prefer their savoury one.

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Located within Shang Ji Coffee Shop, don’t go with expectations of a rich, coconutty broth. This laksa uses anchovy as a base making it less thick and rich by far more drinkable. For RM7, you get a generous serving of handmade fishballs made with wolf herring, fried tofu, tofu skin and cockles, freshly shucked by the affable owners daily.

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Unfortunately it's served in Malaysia so this craving would have to wait till the next time.

Perfect with white rice, it's definitely something to order when you're visiting Shoon Huat in Johor.

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Stuffed with 40 grams of expensive Bird’s Nest and Jinhua ham, it comes served in a broth that’s been cooked with chicken, pork and Jinhua ham for maximum flavor.

Texturally, you have the smoothness of the quail contrasted with the gelatinous mouth feel from the birds nest. Costing $98++, it’s definitely not a daily thing, but for special occasions, it’s definitely a must-order.

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The wanton mee at Hw Wan Tan Mee is a prime example. The charsiu is average and the wantons are decent but it’s the noodles and accompanying sauce that make it real memorable.

The noodles are a perfect vessel for their spicy black sauce which comes with a liberal dressing of lard. Amazing mouthfeel all-round.

This place opens at 9pm till 5am so it’s the perfect place for a late supper after a customary JB massage.

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Tucked in quiet corner in seedy cuppage, Keira does a ridiculous Uni Pasta ($38) Served chilled, it’s rich, creamy and bursting with umami. The addition of ikura pearls do nothing to balance the flavors of the sea but heck I ain’t complaining. Best ordered to share.

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Good food must share

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