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Featuring Char (Jalan Besar), Umi Nami, Dohkie - The Cookie Dough Shop, 88 Hong Kong Roast Meat Specialist, Ramen Nagi, Bao Makers, L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro (Duxton), Teru Sushi, Springleaf Prata Place (The Rail Mall), Chirashi King Kong (Tanjong Pagar)
Sean Chen
Sean Chen
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- Uses Farmhouse UHT full cream milk
- Brown sugar was very dark and concentrated with strong hints of the molasses
- Pearls were hard and barely chewy
Overall, average brown sugar boba milk at a slightly steep price.
Price: 5/10
Taste: 5/10
Overall: 5/10

The first thing that hit me was the rich porky scent of the Tonkotsu broth. Taking my first slurp of the Tonkotsu broth, it was a bit too thin for me and I would have preferred it to have been richer as well. Overall, the flavour from the pork was evident though and I would definitely request for a richer broth in future..
Kakuni (Wikipedia: A Japanese braised pork dish which literally means 'square simmered') had a strong sweet teriyaki glaze over it. Both the char siew and the kakuni were not the most tender and were in fact, quite tough. However, both did have a hearty distribution of fat, making the meat more flavourful. I particularly enjoyed the kakuni as it was soaked in a rich, slightly sweet, very umami and thick sauce.
The noodles were exactly as I had ordered, thin and firm but felt that the broth did not coat the noodles all that well.
Spicy paste was only mildly spicy but very umami and savoury. Ordering double the spice, the broth was initially very pleasant to drink but after awhile, I was starting to sweat; will still order twice the spice in future though.
The Ajitsuke Tamago while well-cooked with a partially gooey yolk was one of the less flavourful ones I had.
Overall, I was slightly disappointed partly because I went in with high expectations from the rave reviews online and partly because this bowl failed to deliver. The components of the ramen were above average at best and I definitely would not pay $22.25 for this. If I do come back though, I will definitely opt for the kakuni over the char siew.
Price: 6/10
Taste: 6/10
Overall: 6/10 (Above average bowl of ramen but may be overrated)

More pictures at
1) https://www.instagram.com/p/B1TIxpnA5mW/?igshid=1bh8f482vr89c
2) thankgodjournals.blogspot.com

- Mountain dew maple-flavoured syrup was used and hopefully butter (And not margarine) from a tub
Even though the waffle was drenched in the maple syrup, the edges were still crisp and nicely toasted. The slightly saltish butter definitely goes well with maple syrup, a tried and tested combination. The waffle was thin and slightly chewy. The fillings I ordered may have masked the flavour of the waffle as I could not taste the coconut flavour.

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1DgVjzAxFu/?igshid=2g8ye3qsz3ai

- Eggy, saltish cheese
- Cannot really taste the smoke
- Kaya on its own is not too sweet but definitely not the most fragrant
- French toast wasn't too oily but slightly soggy
Overall, do not order this expecting your typical Western-style french toast. This is more traditional in that thinner layers of bread are used, making it more soggy. It is also very eggy. A comforting and satisfying dish, with layers of egg, saltish cheese and sweet kaya jam to cut through both the egg and cheese. However, felt that the egg could have been more infused into the bread as it seemed like 2 separate layers here.
Taste: 6/10

Iced Chocolate ($5.80++)
- Surprisingly bitter and barely sweet, quite refreshing as I expected a sweet and thick chocolate beverage
- Tastes as though they added a load of Hershey's cocoa powder; Still had the powdery mouthfeel nearing the end of the drink
Overall, I think this was a surprisingly good beverage but do not get this if you're expecting a sweet ice blended chocolate like the kind you will find at Starbucks or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Taste: 7/10

Considering the rave reviews that this restaurant has garnered online, I think and hope that the sub-par dishes I ordered were an exception and not the norm. Would I try this restaurant again? Perhaps... considering the wide variety of options offered. As of now though, would I recommend it? Definitely not... I think there are far better quality and affordable food in the West.

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1AQ5IkAAwi/?igshid=gj2mu19s2481

(Part 1 of 2)
Note:
Includes 10% service charge + 7% GST

Crispy Pork Belly ($17.80++)
- 'Garlic rubbed roasted pork belly, 200g, Mesclun salad with mustard'
- Very thick and meaty cut of pork belly
- A bit saltish and hence the mustard complemented it a lot
- The mustard provided was more tangy than usual and produces a much more mild burning sensation in your nose
- Skin was not crisp
- Salad greens were bitter so the sesame dressing definitely made it more palatable but would have preferred more
Overall, an average portion of pork belly. Far better ones at a more affordable price can definitely be found at Hawker Centres.
Taste: 6/10

Herb Marinated Lamb Rack ($36.80++)
- 'Marinated with Italian Herb, red mashed potato, garden vegetables with pink peppercorn sauce'
To start, you get 3 racks of lamb (Or like 3 bone-in cuts of lamb) which was quite substantial. Unfortunately, it was laden with fat throughout which I will usually gladly consume along with the meat but the amount of fat in my meats was almost proportionate to the amount of meat that was on the racks of lamb. The meat itself was very gamey (I'm personally OK with the gamey taste) and very very tough to cut, especially with the blunt butter knife given. The very first rack I tried was essentially fats and meat so tough it couldn't be chewed, a huge waste.
The mashed potatoes here (Served in both Mains we had) were buttery and had a nice truffle fragrance. This was the best thing on the plate. It comes with some oven-roasted vegetables such as zucchini which was very chewy and slightly dry. The sauce was not spicy (Don't think it was meant to be), thick in consistency. I preferred the red wine sauce provided with the Roasted Game Hen though as the alcoholic and slightly acidic nature helped to cut through the richness of the meat.
Taste: 3/10 (I will really advise against ordering this)

Roasted Game Hen ($17.80++)
- 'Garlic herb roasted half spring chicken, with red mashed potatoes, summer vegetables & red wine sauce'
This was quite moist, similar to the one I tried at 4+U Bar+Kitchen but could have been more tender. Really love the sauce here which was sweet, tangy and had a strong alcoholic taste. If I had to compare this with the Chef Roast Chicken Sharing Platter ($28) at 4+U Bar+Kitchen, would prefer the roast chicken as the meat was slightly more moist and a lot more tender.
Taste: 6.5/10

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1AQbZsAxRa/?igshid=mqlul6h8imfc

Signature Kaya Pandan Muffin ($1.90 Ala Carte, $3.50 Set which comes with coffee/tea)
- Comes with some sort of whipped cream at the top, think it was just meant to make the muffin look better as the cream was tasteless
- Strong pandan flavour, quite moist on the inside
- Could not quite taste the kaya
- Quite buttery, nice if you like pandan
Taste: 6/10

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0-4pGsAvD3/?igshid=11yhnjnjtdny

Tajima Wagyu Rump ($48++)
Comes with a side of bread that was slightly hard on the outside, soft on the inside + Salad greens with walnut and a vinagrette dressing

Starting off with the salad, felt that the salad did not need the dressing as it became too sour. The bread was slightly hard on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, a good compliment to the steak sauce and their mustard dressing. I quite liked their mustard dressing as it was not overpowering.

Moving on to the main, their initial serving of fries is simply huge. With a bright golden hue, it was very tempting to devour all the fries immediately, especially since it was unlimited. They were very crisp and crunchy; I know that they are just fries but it was strangely addictive.

Now, moving on to their legendary secret sauce...
Before trying this, I have heard that you either like it, or you don't and that it is very addictive if you do happen to like it. To start, the sauce really does not taste like any other sauce I've tried. It was slightly tangy and acidic, with hints of mushroom and onion. Having strong umami flavours, it definitely paired well with their golden fries. If they served unlimited sauce as well, I just might have asked for another portion of fries, definitely a winner for me.

On the menu, this Tajima Wagyu Rump (Grade 7/8) is 'known for its high degree of marbling and flavour'. To me, it was certainly a fatty cut of beef, but not due to the marbling. The cut I was given had a strip of fat on one side of the beef, sort of like a striploin. This provided a richer flavour to the beef but not the 'melt-in-your-mouth' tenderness that one will get from high quality Wagyu. Beef was slightly burnt, chewy (Ordered medium-rare) and had lots of beef flavour. A sizeable portion was given, but don't order this expecting a very tender cut of steak.
Taste: 8.5/10

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0xg0qKAeXO/?igshid=48afowsenv6d

King Kong Bowl ($14.90)
- Bluefin tuna belly, Minced tuna belly, Salmon roe
Toppings: Scallions, Jellyfish, Preserved vegetables, Wasabi
The truffle-infused soya sauce rice was very flavourful and had a hint of sesame seeds.
Love the flow of juices that the ikura provides, minced tuna was cold which I liked as it helped to provide more depth to the dish, but was not memorable tastewise.
The dish is overall really good and value-for-money but I needed all the wasabi they provided to cut through the soya sauce added to the rice which was slightly excessive after awhile
Price: 9/10
Taste: 8/10
Overall: 8.5/10

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0lbyjrA5Rh/?igshid=5wi2fqas4ckr

Salmon Mentaiko Bowl ($9.90)
As I had just tried the same dish from Bao Makers ($14.80) earlier, I personally love this dish a lot more as it is far better than the one at Bao Makers.
The mentaiko flavour here was a lot stronger and a lot creamier. The salmon was only partially cooked, torched on the outside and raw on the inside, providing a contrast in textures to the dish. A substantial amount of salmon was also provided (Slightly more than that at Bao Makers).
Overall, while the rice was still overly saltish after awhile and required the wasabi to be mixed into the dish, would definitely come back again for this.
Price: 9/10
Taste: 9/10
Overall: 9/10 (Must-try)

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0lbyjrA5Rh/?igshid=5wi2fqas4ckr

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(Part 5/5)
Note:
- All prices are EXCLUSIVE of 10% service charge
- Will not be rating the price as I have no comparison when it comes to Turkish Cuisine

Baklava ($6++)
- Comes in 3 bite-sized pieces
Baklava's crisp and crunchy pastry was soaked in sugar syrup and had strong nutty notes (I'm pretty sure it was almonds), complementing the flaky sweet pastry. This baklava was very simple and a good pastry to satisfy one's dessert cravings but I felt that I have tasted better, was far too small and was just a tad too sweet for my liking.
Taste: 7/10

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0KWJLZApWf/?igshid=1vaj1kge8k15v

(Part 4/5)
Note:
- All prices are EXCLUSIVE of 10% service charge
- Will not be rating the price as I have no comparison when it comes to Turkish Cuisine

Kunefe ($12.90++)
'Künefe (kyoon-eh-FAY') is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with thin noodle-like pastry, or alternatively fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese'; Typically topped with pistachio powder as well
As my virgin experience eating this warm pastry dessert, it was very creamy (From the whole cream), subtly sweet and crunchy. Its quite dense and stringy with the entire exterior having a texture similar to that of the light crunchy ends of a Min Jiang Kueh (Chinese pancake) combined with the bite of Hong Kong Crispy Noodles. While the dish was drenched in sweet syrup, the cheese within the pastry helped to cut through it, making the dish not too cloying, a comforting dessert to end off the meal. If you had a hearty main, can be shared amongst 3-4 pax.
Taste: 9/10 (Must-try dish)

See more at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0KWJLZApWf/?igshid=10fgfy005wxjl

Singaporean foodie & baker IG: @thankgodforf00d

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