Two Days Trip in Jakarta – Dinner at Suntiang in Grand Indonesia (Day 1)

Interior of Suntiang

Exploration of our room took quite a while before finally settling down on the sofa for a short rest. One of our objectives for this trip was to enjoy one good massage and we started flipping through the directory in the hotel room. We booked a couple massage at 10pm which gives us ample time for dinner and strolling around the neighbouring complex.

Exhaustedly, we rested on the bed and unnoticeably, we had fallen asleep… The journey to our hotel has worn us out a little due to the bad traffic. We woke up in time just to catch a glimpse of the sun setting beautifully upon the central square. We pulled ourselves out from the bed to wash up a bit before going down in search for a place for our dinner.

From the hotel’s lobby, we can access to the Grand Indonesia’s West Mall without leaving the main building. The shopping centre is spacious and I would say “uniquely” designed that it becomes slightly complicated to explore. We had to go all the way to level 3 before going through the connecting mall to access the restaurants.

street-like restaurant on the dining level of Grand Indonesia Mall.

Be amazed by the interior design of the dining level as they have decorated to be like walking along an outdoor street – the entire stretch of it. Definitely much better feel compared to those Japan street or Hong Kong streets we have in Singapore’s shopping mall. I believe you can see that they really put in many efforts into designing the restaurants as well. Below are a few creative designs.

Fook Yew restaurant at Grand Indonesia Mall

Cafe at Grand Indonesia Mall

While we have wandered in the mall for so long and unable to decide which restaurant for our dinner (almost all looks appealing), we ended up at Suntiang. What is so special about them ? They are the first restaurant (maybe in Indonesia) to combine authentic West Sumatran recipes in Japanese style. They even had a conveyor belt for the food ! Below are some of the dish that we have tried.

Suntiang's Brocolli AgedashiBroccoli Agedashi – Japanese-styled tofu in miso soup with Broccoli.

Suntiang's Ayam PopAyam Pop – One of my favourite West Sumatran dish which can also be found in Nasi Padang. A Minang cooking style that involved marinating the chicken with ingredients and spices before boiling or at times fried. The chilli sauce helps to bring out the sweetness of the meat while the spiciness mingle with your tongue. A must try dish.

Suntiang's Sayur NangkaSayur Nangka – At its first sight, I was wondering if this is chunks of meat or bones. In fact, this is young jackfruit simmered with various spices. The sauce is nice but I could not accept the taste of jackfruit cooked with spices. I only managed to take a small bite out of it before giving up.

Suntiang's Gindara BakarGindara Bakar – Char-grilling the Gindara traditional Indonesian-style and set aside was a special mix chilli sauce to go with. The fish alone is flavourful. Try it with the chopped chilli and garlic sauce to enhance the taste.

Soon after dinner, we have to rush back to the hotel for our massage appointment at 10pm.

“Cold” Dinner and Creme Brulee Dessert at Ice Edge Cafe

What a day ! Rain has just plagued the entire afternoon and it was still drizzling even in the late evening. The weather was cold and wind just blow relentlessly. I was picking up my girl friend from work and we are heading towards Ice Edge Cafe for a dessert. But since I have not taken my dinner, we headed for the main course as well.


ice edge cafe seabassSea Bass – Seared Seabass, watercress Rissotto, edamame beans, tomato salsa and Lemon scent. Price $20.80.

The Seabass are pan-seared to golden brown on the outside while the locking the tenderness and juice of the fish meat within. Rissotto tasted slightly salty, but a good combination with the fish.

BBQ Pork Ribs. Ice Edge’s Special smoky BBQ baby pork ribs, roasted potatoes and salad. Price: $21.80.

Comes in a big serving (about 5-6 spare ribs). The pork ribs are covered with peppery BBQ sauce and the meat is tender. Potatoes are nicely roasted to golden brown as well. However, after eating half portion of the pork ribs, I started to get sick of the taste, maybe due to the overwhelming taste of BBQ sauce. Overall, the meat is good and I think should be sharing dish for two.

Fish “n” Chips. Ice Edge Fish “n” Chips served with fries, side salad and Tartar sauce. Price: $14.80.

My sister came to joined us for the dinner and ordered a main as well. The herbs battered fish is nicely fried to golden brown while still locking great flavours inside. Fries are very crispy as well. A dash of lemon is sufficient to make the fish more than delicious. Goes well with or without the Tartar sauce. Recommended for Fish “n” Chips lovers.

Creme Brulee with Two Scoop of Ice Cream. Price: $15.30.

We have chosen Belgian dark chocolate and Salted Caramel ice cream to go with the Creme Brulee. The Creme Brulee was served cold instead of warm, maybe it is Ice Edge’s way for the dessert. The Salted Caramel ice cream is really salty and took away taste of chocolate. Feels like eating a mouthful of ice seawater whenever I inserted a spoonful into my mouth. Belgian chocolate was a beauty. Dark chocolate with a hint of bitterness, good to counter the sweetness of the Brulee.

For those that are interested in desserts that they are serving, you can also take a look at my previous visit at Ice Edge Cafe for Mao Shan Wang Durian Lava Cake and 2 Scoop Profiterole.

Ice Edge Cafe
#01-10/11 Simon Plaza
2 Kovan Road
Singapore 548008
Opening Hours: 12pm to 12am daily (Last order at 11.20pm)
www.iceedgecafe.com.sg

Han Shi Fang – Steamboat and BBQ King at Upper Paya Lebar Road (汉食坊)

Han Shi Fang at Upper Paya Lebar

Apart from the Saturday Cafe that has opened recently near my house, another new Chinese steamboat restaurant, Han Shi Fang has surfaced along the same street. Apparently there was not much crowd due to its new opening, but we decided to give it a try as the steamboat looks decent.


The restaurant was not lavishly decorated and the interior looks more like a family-styled setting. Just felt some homely in here.

Herbal Soup Base (left) and Pork Rib Soup Base (right).

The concept is slightly different and it incorporates steamboat and BBQ together. While most of the steamboat restaurants are offering one soup base with BBQ, they are able to split the soup pot into two sections and offer more varieties of soup base, offering greater choices for your tastebud.
Of course, if you are looking into their Pork Ribs Soup Base and Herbal Soup Base, you will need to pay an additional of S$10 each for the soup base.

Unlike conventional steamboat, they are using ceramic pot, which takes longer time to heat up but also longer time to cool down.

What a feast ! Meat, Veggies and Seafood for only S$58.

Since we are not sure what to order, we went for the set meal which is S$58 for 2 person. In addition of their new opening, they are giving 10 % discount on the set meal which we thought it is very reasonable price.  That mounts up to a dozen of dishes including veggies, pork, lamb and seafood as well. One of the feature for the seafood, the prawn and crab are prepare alive, meaning to say it is still wriggle its legs while being served onto the table ! Those shown above are only a portion of the dishes and there was more to come later. Check out the live seafood below.

The live seafood  – Prawns and Crab.

Conclusion

Overall food experience was good. The staff are friendly and they served food in generous portion based on the price tag for the set meal. One of the must try dishes will also be their handmade dumpling which tasted really good.
Han Shi Fang – Steamboat and BBQ King (汉食坊-汤烤火锅王)
331 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Singapore 534949
Tel: +65 82238976

Opening Hours:
Till 11am daily

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint – Zhu Jiang Style Roast Meat

Even before lunchtime, there were already people queuing up to buy their special roast meat.

I was out with my colleague for a meeting with a client and it was near Upper Paya Lebar therefore we decided to lunch somewhere nearby. Throughout the years staying in Paya Lebar area, I have passed by the eatery almost every time I drove home and yet did not manage to have a taste of it. Finally, today we decided to give it a try. We was lucky because we queued up minutes before crowd came pouring into the shop for lunch

History of Kay Lee Roast Meat

The history dated back as early as 1931 when the first generation, Mr Ha, the father acquired “Zhu Jiang Style Roast” recipes in Guangzhou, China. In 1940, the father setup a stall in Old People Park, Chinatown. 20 years later, the recipes and cooking methods as passed down to his son, Mr. Ha Wai Kay, whom and continued the business. The second generation Mr. Ha and her wife setup a stall in 1974 in “Gong Seak Gai” (Current Chinatown) as a small stall known as Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint in a coffee shop known as Wantat Eating House which was forced to move to 189 Upper Paya Lebar Road due to Governments’Acquisition. In 2003, they moved again to 125 Upper Paya Lebar Road. Inherited with knowledge of uniquely spiced roasts, they made their fame in the neighbourhood which was still popular even till today.

In October 2014, the couple decided to sell the eatery to a conglomerate Aztech Group at a price tag of $4 million as their two children do not wish to continue this business. The deal finally came in two and a half years after they was put up for sale with an asking price of $3.5 million, with its recipe alone going for $2 million.

Related: Jie Bakery And Confectionery – Three Decades Of Traditional Bread



A plate of succulent mixed roasted meat right in front of me

We ordered a plate of mix of roasted duck, char siew and pork belly to share among two of us. Although it cost as a whopping $24, but I think it was definitely worthwhile.

The duck was simply fantastic. Although the skin was crispy and much to our surprise, the meat was tender and flavourful. You can taste a tint of herb taste without any bitterness.

Next was the Char Siew which really stands out of the crowd. The style was similar to those we can eat in Malaysia which the outer coating is in dark colour instead of the normal red coloured Char Siew we eat around Singapore. Although there were slightly more fats on it, but it does not stop me from popping it one by one into my mouth with a spoon of gravy filled rice. By the way, the gravy alone could maybe just make you eat a bowl of rice or two without the meats, it is that good.

Preservation Of A Heritage Brand

Although there were people who thought their taste will be much affected by the buy-over, the quality of food has definitely been sustained. While the couple Madam Betty Kong and Mr. Ha Wai Kay will still continue to work at the eatery without a deadline until the chefs are familiar with the recipes and cooking method. Meanwhile, Aztech Group plans to open at least 10 casual restaurants under Kay Lee name mostly in heartland malls in the next two years. One of the outlets that has been opened recently was at Suntec City Mall, Level 2.

For those that are keen to try out their duck specialty and roasted meat, below are their original outlet address and information.

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Singapore 534838
Tel: +65 6743 8778
www.kayleeroastmeatjoint.com

Operating Hours
Everyday from 10.30am to 8.30pm

Chia Bee Lor Mee for Midnight Supper !

Chia Bee Lor Mee
Chia Bee Lor Mee – Noodles and gravy are being packed separately.

Before my sister landed in Singapore from her trip in Bali, her SMS had already came in the afternoon,  asking if I would be interested in having Lor Mee as supper. Knowing my sister for so long, I believed it was not her idea’s at all but it was her boyfriend’s idea ! For me, eating is just life and there is no way I would reject any offer like this, especially for supper.

Our initial plan was to go down to North Bridge Road straight and dine at the coffeeshop, but after overwhelming response at home that everyone wants to have supper, we opted to takeaway and have it at home instead.

While I was driving near to the coffeeshop, I could already see many cars parking along the streets and once I turned into the carpark, you can immediately see an substantial amount of customer sitting inside the coffeeshop just having Lor Mee. Just could not wait to taste it.

Since it was my sister that went down to order for the food, I am not sure the separate packing of the noodle and gravy is normal or upon special request. Even so, I think there will also be lot of people that are requesting for the same takeaway manner since soaking the noodles in the gravy just kind of self-destructing the dish.

Chia Bee Lor Mee
Pieces of golden brown fried fish lined on top of the noodles. 

Once you open the lid, you will uncover a bowl of noodles covered with pieces of golden brown fried fish. Looks alone seems to be appealing but what about the taste ?

Chia Bee Lor Mee
All mixed up and ready to eat !

I had deliberately poured the noodle and gravy into a bowl instead of using the takeaway container so that I can “flip” the ingredients over for the photo. Some of the ingredients you can see here are the fish of course, half-boiled egg, strips of braised pork belly and bean sprouts. What we did not include in was the chilli, garlic and vinegar. As each of us have a different tastebud, we additional requested earlier over the counter that the seasonings to be packed separately so that each and everyone of us could put the amount that is adequate to each taste.

One of the discovery was that chilli, which really helps to bring the flavours into the Lor Mee, that includes saltness into the dish. The flat yellow noodles was much of a delight while the fried fish compliments the Lor Mee just right. It is a definite fulfilling supper.


Conclusion

It was a great pleasure having the Lor Mee not only you can experience a good variety of texture, e.g. soft, crispy, crackling bites on the fried fish slices, you can also enjoyed the generous servings of the ingredients. Meanwhile, the thick gravy does makes the Lor Mee much more appealing as well. Those that are looking for extra kick, you may want to put in more vinegar !

Chia Bee Lor Mee
10 North Bridge Road
Singapore 190010

Opening Hours:
Monday – 12.00pm to 8.00pm
Tuesday to Sunday – 12.00pm to 10.30am

Izakaya Nijumaru – A Hidden Japanese Restuarant


Cuppage Plaza was much seen as a dodgy on the physical appearance while the building itself is lined with Japanese restaurants and one that attracted my attention was Izakaya Nijumaru. Not because it has almost filled out the entire stretch of shops along the Japanese restaurant, but the crowd that was waiting for their turns. Though I am a person that does not really like queuing for food, I took a chance an waited for a seat.



After staying in Osaka Japan for two years, I have been a great fan of Japanese food that often I will ordered some much food that it takes two to finish ! Below are the some of the dishes I have ordered and finished. (My girl friend did helped me with a small portion 🙂 ). By the way, I have managed to lose the receipt and I could not remember the price.


First to come Chawamushi. One of my girl friend’s favourite. Served hot and comparing with the those you can eat in big restaurants, their chawamushi has one of the most Japanese authentic taste I had ate before in any of the restaurants in Singapore.

Agedashi Tofu. Nicely placed in a small bowl topped with sliced onions and seaweed.

One of my favourite’s Japanese food, Cha Soba.

Grilled Onions.

Grilled Pork Belly.

Ochatsuke with Salmon.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that though the restaurant looks pretty old and hidden right in the corner of Cuppage Plaza, I believed it deserved to be one of the best hidden Japanese Restuarant in Singapore.

Izakaya Nijumaru
5 Koek Road #02-10/12
Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
Tel: 6235 6693, 6235 4857

When Hot Stone Meets With Ramen – Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen at Liang Court

The ramen shop is bright decorated in bright red, tucked away in a corner of Liang Court. With a large bright red signboard, it easily attracts my attention while I was walking around the shopping complex to find a restaurant to settle down for my late night dinner.

Tonkotsu kazan ramen

Tonkotsu Kazan originated from Osaka, Japan, the same province which is famous for their kinryu ramen. Although the dish was created in Osaka, but they does not have a physical shop in Japan itself at the moment. Their signature dish is Ishiyaki Ramen, meanings Hot Stone Ramen. Ishiyaki was a traditional method used to make roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes and the combination of the two traditional cooking bring the ramen to a whole new creativity level.

For a “volcanic” feel, I opted for the Karamiso Ramen set. The noodle and ingredients are beautifully set in the sizzling hot preheated 300 degree celsius stone bowl and after their specialty Tonkotsu soup is being poured in, they covered it with a inverted cone shaped funnel. While the dish is “erupting”, there are white smokes coming out from the top of the funnel.

Beside there creativity, one of the focus will be on their specialty Pork Broth. The soup is being prepared early in the day by simmering the finest pork bones for long hours, skimming off all the scums to make a clear soup base. Soup stock from pork heads and vegetables like Chinese cabbages, carrots, Chinese leek, etc are also added into the soup to create a various flavours levels yet providing nutrition, calcium and collagen.


Here is the end product of the volcano ramen ! The miso ramen is topped with chilli spicy minced meat and garnished with thinly chopped spring onions. Definitely the ramen is hot and spicy, however, after continuously sipping of the ramen, it actually tasted quite salty. Furthermore, the portion of the noodle was not small either. I managed to save some soup for the rice (forgot to take photo 🙁 ) and both rice and soup blended instantaneously, creating another dish of it’s style. I will come back for more !

Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen
Liang Court #01-10
177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030
Opening Hours: 11am to 10.30pm daily
Tel: +65 6397 6636

Lunch at Jyu Jyu Japanese Restaurant in Melbourne

We got to hurry up to finish our lunch and reach the graduation ceremony by 2pm. My sis recommended this Japanese restuarant for lunch and I thought they could be better. Mentioned to be one of the better Japanese restaurant she has eaten before while in Australia.

Basically all the staff in this restaurant is Japanese, but they do speaks good english. The one in white is the owner and heard from my sis that he is very strict with the staff..

We got so hungry that we have ordered a meat bun to share among 3 of us ..
Surprisingly nice… lolx. Better than Singapore’s meat bun.
Actually I was hoping high standard for their food,  but yet it disappointed me totally. I ordered a Ten-don and the friend prawns & veggies should be very crispy. If you see the photo below… It is kind of oily and definitely soggy.
My mom order a Tempura Udon while my sis ordered a Gyuu (Beef) Udon.
jyu jyu japanese restaurant at melboure australia
Super expensive !!!

We are done with our lunch and now heading to the graduation ceremony ground by taking a short trip on bus.

Dessert at Liang Seah Street Tang Shui Xian 糖水先

Grass Jelly with Sweet Potato and Sago

At times, I thought using the most simplify ingredients can produce the greatest dish, but I was wrong on this dessert. It is a pure mixture of shaved ice and sweet potatoes without a tint of natural sweetness in the dessert at all. I would not recommend this dessert to anyone.

Durian shaved ice… Nice to eat but after the ice melted, it is like a overdose of milk mix…

Waffle n ice cream is nice , but the cocoa powder spolit it…