The Circuit Breaker Chronicles

The Circuit Breaker Chronicles

Here’s food that I either took away or got delivered during this time when we can’t dine out.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

G I F T
Seafood feasting occurred last Saturday with my parents coming over to join us at our home for dinner because bossman @lambertchen had kindly arranged for a most generous delivery of @diamondkitchensg’ dishes. We are all familiar with the restaurant’s menu having dined there ample times since they first opened at Laguna Park years ago. So we knew what wonders we were to savour.
Instead of the more typical styles, we had the very fresh and firm-of-meat crabs prepared in Diamond Kitchen’s unique “Gan Xiang” and “Mongolian Sauce”. While the former was very aromatic and delivered a punch, the latter‘s equally addictive appeal came from its slightly sweet and savoury creamy sauce.
Also superb, the “Salted Egg Sotong”. What’s impressive was how the battered coating remained crunchy even after travel time and when it had cooled down.
Fried chicken wings don’t come more umami than Prawn Paste Chicken or “Har Jeong Gai”, and I thought Diamond Kitchen’s rendition was delectably bold in fermented shrimp factor. Shiok!
A wonderful dish to order if you love pork is the “Champagne Pork Ribs”. All of us found the boneless and extremely tender pieces of lean meat superbly tasty from a special marinade.
For vegetables, Lambert selected for us the “Three Eggs Spinach” and it was faultless.
The “Beef Hor Fun” from #DiamondKitchen is pretty much a legend in its own right. With a bold “wok hei” and large slices of buttery beef, this carb has been a perennial bestseller for as long as I’ve known the brand to exist. I’m pleased to say standards have been maintained.
We also got to slurp up another carb - the “Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon” which I’ve enjoyed a lot on previous occasions too. If you love seafood-based noodles, it is not to be missed. The serving we had contained an abundance of clams and the delicately sweet broth smelt truly inviting with the aroma of Chinese wine.

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So far, my favourite discovery for takeaway during this lockdown is @yakiniquest - a Japanese Yakiniku restaurant that has been on my wishlist for more than a year, ever since @taro.chef of Takayama told me he loves dining there.
I ordered dinner from them last Thursday for my whole family and everyone was just as enamoured by the quality and taste of their food even with the time it took for me to transport the bags home (I couldn’t resist the 20% discount for self pick-ups!).
All the meats in the bento boxes were exquisitely delicious as they were handgrilled only upon order and presented on a bed of Japanese Koshihikari rice. The side dishes were impeccably executed as well. Below is the list of what we enjoyed, and let me just add, ladyboss Tomoko-san and her team did an amazing job of packing everything into paper bags decorated with hand-drawn drawings and messages of heartfelt thanks.

1. Negi Tongue Bento ($29) - From first bite, I was floating on cloud nine because the slices of premium Wagyu beef tongue were gently springy and deeply flavourful. What’s more, smothered over them was a truckload of insanely fragrant Japanese leek marinated in salt, pepper and sesame oil. Highly, highly recommended if you are a fan of beef tongue.
3. Wagyu Premium Lean Meat "AKAMI" Bento ($29) - Because @taro.chef had shared this was one of his favourites, of course I had to include it. And yes, it was as much a mind-blower in its own way. Buttery-soft and rich in flavour, the slices of hand-grilled, sesame seeds-scattered Wagyu were a decent thickness and boasted a mouthwatering smoky, subtle sweetness.
4. Yakiniku Bento ($18) - Value-for-money option with strips of soy-based sauce-simmered Wagyu Short Rib heaped on the rice. It wasn’t as “sauce-y” as I’d expected, so I’d say choose this only if you are drawn to a drier style of Yakiniku.
5. Charcoal-grilled Tenderloin or “Hire” ($62) - On the pricier end was the premium cut of Japanese Wagyu. Limited in quantity, the prized beef came in large, thick slices for a luxurious mouthfeel. I was compelled to chew each piece ever so slowly with my eyes closed.
6. Miyazaki Wagyu Roast Beef ($38) - The fabulously silky-soft slices of gorgeous meat slipped down my throat in the most pleasurable manner. By the way, you can have this as a Gyudon with Japanese Koshihikari rice if you wish.
7. Wagyu Egg Omelette ($15) - Stunningly fluffy and gushing with dashi, the fat and slightly flattened bolster of oishii-ness was filled with tender Miyazaki Wagyu. Definitely an add-on not to be missed.
8. Beef Stew ($20) - A popular dish that’s been on @yakiniquest’s menu since they opened, it comprised of irregular pieces of beef simmered till tender in a sweetish sauce with radish and onions. I enjoyed it a lot, especially after throwing on the fresh Japanese leeks and spicy chilli powder that were packed alongside.

To place an order from @yakiniquest, please tap on their link-in-bio on Instagram.

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G I F T
We were very happy with the recent delivery from @marcys.sg. Kudos to the team for their new strategy and efforts 👏👏👏
Helmed by new Head Chef @ryan.gram all the food that arrived was well presented and more importantly, tasted as delicious as if you were to have it at the restaurant. Of course, you’ll have to discount the forgiveable temperature change due to travel time.
We went straight for the assortment of small plates first - each, a surprising delight that punched above its weight in tastiness. My favourite of them was the Burnt Milk Corn that had rows of naturally sweet corn come together with a refreshing cilantro yogurt and moreish chorizo crumbs ($12). Our tongues got tingling with the Calabrian chilli and Sichuan oil-dressed Marcy’s Spicy Clams ($16). It is a must-try for fans of 麻辣 (“ma la”). To cool off, we dug into the chilled Crab Rillettes with the accompanying baguette chips ($21).
Thanks for letting us try your new Oyster & Shrimp Po’Boy too. I think it was a well-crafted and tasty seafood roll. And with those crunchy fried oysters, sweet prawns, red cabbage slaw, pickles and aioli, a good-value buy at $19.
I remember swooning over the Rigatoni with red wine-braised octopus and beef tendon ($26) when we visited the restaurant shortly after their opening. The Lasagne version in their previous takeaway menu was fine but in my opinion, the original still beats it. Even when it had cooled down, there was no comprise to tastiness.
Having said that, the pasta dish did have a new rival for my affection - the formidable Mafaldine with anchovies in a garlic-strewn bone sauce, spiked with fresh lemon juice and Calabrian chilli ($24).
Our dose of protein that day came in the form of a hefty and juicy grilled Iberico Pork Chop. I relished every bite of the bold direction it took with sidekicks of an uncommon Marcy’s Mole (it’s like a very, very thick non-sweet chocolate sauce which has a touch of tang and heat) and spicy jalapeños ($36).

Thanks again for this delivered meal and for throwing in your signature cocktails too, @tonghann and Team @marcys.sg - @trishapotato @ryan.gram @daniel_raghani.

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G I F T
Last Friday evening, T.H. and I got to feast on a wonderful dinner, thanks to @mamayeowdevito as she’d sent over one of the newly-launched set menus from @gemmasteakhouse.sg - the “Mediterranean summer steakhouse” opened by Michelin Chef-Owner Beppe De Vito at the National Gallery.
Although they are most noted for their bistecca Fiorentina and prime meats, GEMMA’s menu also encompasses many other fine-dining dishes showcasing fish, seafood and vegetables too. Thus, it was a lovely trio of appetisers from the restaurant’s Curing Room that we kicked dinner off with. I had to take a moment to admire the presentation of the gorgeous Tea-Smoked Atlantic Salmon with Shaved Zucchini Trombetta, Sheep Panna Acida and Arugula before digging in. Equally stunning was the 12-Spices Swordfish Belly presented with Grilled Green Asparagus, Romanesco, Baby Artichoke Aioli and Smoked Paprika. Both were light yet flavourful - delicious. The Challans Duck Prosciutto, accompanied by Burrata Campana, Medley of Beetroots and Taggiasche Olives, exuded just as breezy a vibe on the palate.
It’s apparent GEMMA takes great pride in their carbs - the loaf of Altamura Bread and Hand-rolled Trofie Pasta were the evidence we had. The former was a little crisp and chewy on the outside yet pillowy within, and when slathered in the housemade Whipped Alpine Butter with Tarragon, even more divine. Resistance was no less futile for the latter as the dish of al dente pasta in cream sauce punched above its weight in the flavour department, thanks to the use of Smoked Scamorza Cheese and meaty Roasted Maitake.
As impressive as everything that preceded it was, @gemmasteakhouse.sg’s Signature T-Bone Fiorentina Steak showed us who’s the real star of the show. Weighing about 700gms with bone-in, the meat was smooth, buttery and rich. Do note this cut of meat requires a top up of $80 as the default steak in the set menu is a duo of a Jack’s Creek Black Angus Tenderloin (140g) and F1 Wagyu Ribeye (140g).
The sides were classic favourites done with a touch of Italian pizzazz. So while the Whipped Agria Potato was enhanced with Purple Sage and Fermented Parsnip, the Charred Broccolini arrived dressed in Garlic Salmoriglio and Pecorino.
We had Gelato for dessert but again, it wasn’t straightforward. Instead, it was spoonfuls of cold creaminess in unexpected flavours of “Truffle” and “Smoke” that slipped down our throats.

If you are keen to order, please tap on @gemmasteakhouse.sg’s link-in-bio on Instagram.

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G I F T
Hand on my heart, my jaw met the floor when I saw the meal Chef-owner @topdoghatch and @eatmefabulous had arranged for delivery. It was without question, a spread of stupendous presentation, taste and quality. Not only did it showcase the best of seasonal Japanese produce but also the skills of the talented team at @hashida.sg.
The Chirashi ($150) and Futomaki ($130) were heavyweights in every sense of the word as they practically burst with the top-notch seafood and other ingredients.
Packed neatly in an all-natural box, the former held chunky cuts of incredibly fresh sea bream, amberjack, chutoro, anago and cooked prawns. On them were uni and ikura galore. Crunchy kampyo, cucumber and some sweetish braised shiitake mushrooms joined the party on the bed of deliciously seasoned rice as well. Every bite was unadulterated pleasure.
So too it was with the fantastic fat bolster of Futomaki that strained at its seaweed seams with the goodness of chutoro, steamed uni, seabream, anago, amberjack, prawns, denbu, tamagoyaki, shiitake mushrooms, kampyo, cucumber, mistsuba leaf (Japanese parsley) and sesame seeds. Super oishii!

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(Media Gifting)
Fancy a Chinese banquet at home? The best deal I’ve come across lately is from @famoustreasure. If you call the restaurant directly at 9730 7548 / 6881 6668 to order their Takeaway Menu, and pick the food up yourself (address: 13 Stamford Road, #02-27/29 Capitol Singapore, 178905), you enjoy a crazy-value 50% discount!
Having dined there before, I knew what I wanted for our family dinner.
The Braised Rice Vermicelli with Local Lobster and Leek in Superior Broth 上汤蒜子本地龙虾焖米粉 was at the top of my list and so was the Deepfried Marble Goby with “Cinchalok” Sauce. I was right to guess that the former would travel well since the noodles and crustacean were packed separately from the soup, and the latter which featured their signature funky-savoury-tangy-spicy sauce I’d had twice and enjoyed a lot, was also given the same treatment which helped retain the crunchiness of the fish. My parents and I enjoyed both dishes very much. They were particularly fond of the lobster noodle broth as it’s fragrant and concentrated in seafood richness. Thumbs up too for the large and uber fresh lobster with its firmly succulent meat.
I couldn’t not order Famous Treasure’s Roasted Honey BBQ Pork either as it has quite a reputation. And deservingly so, given that the fat-striped pork was very tender and the sticky black sauce it’s prepared with, finger-licking good. Luckily the restaurant gave a little more of it on the side.
Another Chinese restaurant must-have for my family is the Crab Meat with Fish Maw Soup soup. At only $10 a bowl if you do the order-direct-collect-yourself method (usual price: $20 per bowl), there was no way I was going to skip getting it.
Really, this ongoing promotion is quite wonderful. It would be a shame to miss.

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(Media Gifting)
Have you ever tried your hand at making “Maesil Cheong” or Korean Green Plum Syrup? Me neither but I am so excited to give it a go!

Thanks to the newly-launched

𝘄𝘄𝘄.𝘀𝗼𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗸.𝗰𝗼𝗺

an e-commerce website for Korean produce and ingredients by @brandfitsg, you can purchase this nifty D.I.Y. Kit that includes a box of Korean green plums, Korean sugar, a sturdy glass jar and other paraphernalia. There are clear instructions provided to guide you through the simple process. After which, it just needs to be left to be fermented for 3 months for the natural sugar (or condiment) substitute to be born.

You can enjoy your homemade “Maesil Cheong” with a splash of water and ice, as a tea (just add hot water), or add it to salads, marinades and wherever sweetness with a Korean touch is required in a dish.

I’ll be making mine over this weekend and enjoying the fruits of my labour (quite literally) come early September. Yay!

(Media Gifting)
Hathaway at Dempsey is a Muslim-friendly Modern Asian restaurant in Dempsey that I was suppose to visit earlier this year. Since I didn’t manage to make it down, I accepted @ivanjohnting’s invitation try their food via delivery.
Although full in flavour, I found every dish very polished, surprisingly precise and clean in taste. Ingredients were of top quality and presentation was neat and well-thought out. Here’s what Ivan chose for us to try:

1. Octopus Bakar & Sambal Udang ($42) - Loved this seafood bonanza of smoky, very tender octopus and three massive prawns coated in a spicy chilli sambal. There’s a thin layer of silky mash at the bottom that caught all the juices, so scooping that up was a must. Definitely one of my top two favourites from the meal.
2. Ah Nya’s Fish Curry ($32) - This was my other favourite. Based on an heirloom recipe, it had a lip-smacking, spicy gravy and flawlessly cooked local barramundi from @kuhlbarra. Crunchy fried okra and toasted bread were served alongside - the former to be tossed into the curry just before eating, the latter to be dunked.
3. Nasi Ulam - Garnished with micro herbs, the yellow rice was fluffy and really aromatic.
4. Bone Marrow ($24) - Didn’t expect to see this but oh yes please! The melt-in-the-mouth marrow was accessorised with kicap manis and a layer of herbed crumb for bonus flavour and texture. A squeeze of lime added a welcome spark of cut-through.
5. Kale & Wing Bean Salad ($18) - What a healthy marriage of Western and Asian vegetables this was. Pomegranate, quinoa and apricot sherry vinaigrette were used to jazz up the perky crunchy greens.
6. Kueh Salat - Dessert went the traditional Asian route.

To order from #hathawaysg, please visit www.Hathaway.com.sg

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G I F T
The tireless efforts @mariehomefoods put in to realise their vision of creating something unique in look and taste has paid off. Their Fresh Coconut Cake is something they should be very proud of. 100% natural, it’s a dairy-free, low-sugar beauty that combines vanilla sponge with luscious coconut cream and an abundance of juicy young coconut meat.
Available in 2 sizes: “Mini 5” and “Baby 7”, it can be ordered via @mariehomefoods’ link-in-bio.

Thanks again Paul for reaching out to me about sending your fabulous cake.

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G I F T
What a privilege to be sent the Ozaki Wagyu “Sameer Special” Curry Rice by none other than the man himself. Clearly a possessor of the most discerning taste, @sameer.sain’s namesake one-dish-meal was nothing short of swoon-worthiness.
In the luscious curry of mild spiciness were large pieces of fork-tender @ozakibeef. Now, this is a Wagyu of a different league as the Japanese Black Cattle are bred and raised on a farm owned and managed by Mr. Muhenaru Ozaki in Miyazaki Prefecture. He employs only the most advanced techniques, such as giving his cattle a special feed made from 13 kinds of grains and avoiding use of antibiotics and steroids. He also raises them well beyond the average age to allow richer flavour to develop in the meat and greater evenness in fat distribution.
To complement the fragrant #OzakiWagyu Beef Curry, Chef-owner @nobu_hiro added a croquette and some burdock root pickles, both of which were lovely.
The simple looking Sugar Sticks proved a terrific sweet ending. Coated in ultra fine sugar, they had a firm crunchiness and a surprising richness. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were fried in beef fat 😋

Thanks so much again for the amazing surprise, Sameer.

G I F T
Regardless of what else you order, the one dish you must try from @part.thai is the “Tom Yum Spaghetti” ($25).
Before you dismiss it as a gimmicky fusion, let me tell you it works like a dream. The first taste of the pasta never fails to startle with its intense sourness and blast of spicy heat, rounded off with a little coconut creaminess. It’s also topped with large garlic butter prawns, so everything comes together like a perfectly wrapped gift.
To describe this dish as “Spectacular” would be an understatement. Truth be told, I was already a huge fan of it since I ordered it from @rishiarora last year during Circuit Breaker. But goodness, I swear the dish has risen to greater heights of tastiness this time.

Order is via DM on Instagram.

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When I learned from Chef Sam Wong that he was going to avail a few dishes from his @luckyhouse_privatekitchen menu for takeaway, it was a no-brainer which one I had to order straightaway.
When previously dining at his home, the Crayfish Horfun had been the finale I would pace the preceding courses for, so that my tummy would have ample room by the time it appeared on the table.
This tray, priced at $165, can feed 4 to 6 pax. And it travels beautifully with nary a compromise to the silkiness of the rice noodles saturated in the umami juices of the sweet crayfish, fried shallot oil and other seasonings. There is a hefty amount of the crustacean itself buried in the horfun, cut in big chunks - each, remarkably fresh and bouncy.
If you’d like to try @luckyhouse_privatekitchen’s cooking, this “lockdown lite” period really is the best time because there is no need to wait years. I heard from Chef Sam that come 1st June, he will be announcing a new takeaway menu. Therefore, I suggest following him on Instagram to not miss his updates.

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