Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stewed Beef Soup

If you are a vegetarian; please skip this post. There is one of the most famous & popular stewed beef soups near my office (thank goodness). It is located at the Satupradit Pier on Rama III. Since my department has several people who do not eat beef; we take the opportunity to eat at the stewed beef soup restaurant when these people have meetings out of the office.

The stewed beef place is nothing special; there is no nice decoration, no nice tables and chairs and no nice menus. It is situated in a crumbling building and we never sit inside because the ceilings are very low, it is very hot and we never know if the building will collapse while we are eating stewed beef soup.

We normally sit on the sidewalk where the lovely fumes flow by from the big 18 wheel trucks leaving and entering the pier. There were also about 10 stray dogs that look that they have not eaten in several months and have skin problems passing by our table.

The place is really scary; but this does not stop the swarm of people coming to eat at the stewed beef soup place everyday. We even had to fight for a table when we arrived.

Here is the famous beef cooking woman. I warn you; there is only beef. Stewed beef, raw beef, beef balls, cow inerds, etc. The combinations are endless to what kind of beef you want in your soup. Not only the beef but also; noodle or no noodle. What type of noodle. Or how about rice instead of noodle. Aaaaahhhh, I wanted it all!

Here was the basket of fresh beef choices sitting on ice. It was amazing to see how quick the woman was at making the hundreds of beef soup orders.

The first order was stewed beef with raw beef soup (no noodle) with a bowl of rice on the side. The stewed beef and raw beef were so tender. The soup had a little blood to add colour and flavour (which was very tasty). I am sure they cooked the broth for many many hours with all the other parts of the cow.

The second order was stewed beef with tendons (no noodles) with a bowl of rice on the side. The stewed beef with tendons melted in the mouth.

We were very hungry that day.

As usual; you will always find people who will say that they know a better place for stewed beef soup; for example, the one on Ekamai. For now; I will not argue to where is the BEST stewed beef soup in town. However; I have to say that THIS particular stewed beef soup restaurant is absolutely amazing! What is also very nice are the huge portions; not like at other beef noodle soup places.

The service at first was non-existent because the place was packed with people. However; once we waved them down, they were very friendly and very fast with the orders. This place is simply fantastic!

Satupradit Pier, Rama III
Tel: 01-907-1283 or 02-682-0156

Friday, June 25, 2010


I had a lunch date with my ex-boss & current boss. I know that might sound strange; but lucky for me, we all have a good relationship. We decided to meet half way and a place that is close to both our offices. So, I chose Kuppa for the rendez-vous. I have not been to Kuppa in years (I really mean...years).

When Kuppa first opened many years ago; it was the talk of the town. No one saw that type of concept, design or food in Bangkok. It was a smash hit right away. It was practically impossible to get a table in those days.

The concept was a mix of fine restaurant on one side & a basic bistro like restaurant on the other, coffee roasting factory with a pastry corner all rolled into one. It had a art gallery on the mezzanine floor. It had a gift shop. Overall, it had a lot of things for everyone.

The design was a chic industrial factory feel; with lots of wood, steel & glass.

The food was a mix of creative Thai and Western food.

When the food scene in Bangkok exploded; we simply forgot about Kuppa. It was a good time to return to see what was new.

The first dish was pasta with prawns. The prawns were fresh, large, firm & succulent. The pasta was cooked perfectly. The prawns & pasta complimented each other very well and tasted delicious.

The second dish was roasted duck pizza. A unique topping for pizza; the shredded duck was tender and tasty. The sauce was rich & flavourful. The crust was thin & crispy. A nice pizza.

The next dish was pumpkin & feta cheese pizza. One vegetarian dish out of the selection. This was a nice change from the normal pizza toppings. The pumpkin was sweet & tender, while the feta cheese was savoury & firm. The contrasting flavour & texture was a nice combination for the pizza. The crust was thin & crispy. An interesting and yummy pizza.

The dessert case. Kuppa is known for their desserts. They serve huge portions of their dreamy desserts. They are very tempting even when you ate too much. We ordered the brownie with vanilla ice cream to share. The only issue I have with the desserts is that they are very expensive. However; it does not seem to bother most of the people who eat at Kuppa because everyone I saw had a dessert.

Kuppa has not changed one single bit over the years. It is still as popular as ever. I would not say that it is the best food in town but it still hearty and good. There is nothing to complain about because Kuppa is still very consistant in their product in terms of still having very friendly & efficient staff as well as the food. Still highly recommeded for a cozy place to meet friends for something good to eat & drink.

39 Sukhumvit 16
Bangkok, 10110
Tel. 02-2580194

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crystal Jade (Paragon, Singapore)

For our last lunch in Singapore we had a lunch date with a couple of friends. We decided to go to one of the best restaurants for dim sum...the Crystal Jade in Paragon Mall.

Crystal Jade is a very famous chain of Chinese restaurants in Asia. We have several good ones in Bangkok but the ones in Singapore have different types choices that we do not get in Bangkok.

The decor is very unique for a Chinese restaurant. It actually has no signs of being a Chinese restaurant. It's more like a cocktail lounge. The main colour scheme was purple & black. The chandeliers were not hanging from the ceiling but they were standing which was a nice touch. The spot lights were strategically placed so they highlighted the food; but the room overall was dark & moody. This is not normal for a Chinese restaurant because normally they have bright & ugly florescent lighting.

The first dish was steamed spicy rice rolls. The steamed rice rolls were tender & chewy. The sauce was flavourfu & spicy (but not as spicy as we eat in Bangkok)

The next dish was deep friend tofu skin stuffed with minced shrimp. The tofu was deep fried to a golden brown and was crispy. The minced shrimp was tasty & tender. The combination was very nice.

The next dish was steamed gluttonous rice in pandan leaf. The combination of gluttonous rice, dried shrimp, pork and peanuts made this dish very yummy.

The next dish was shrimp dim sum. The dim sum skin was so thin that you could see the shrimp; which is a good thing. The shrimp was very fresh, plumb and juicy. I do love these little things.

The next dish was minced pork & peanut dim sum. I really liked this dim sum; lots of flavours and textures.

The Riesling was the perfect wine to go with the Chinese food. The wine actually complemented the food.

The next dish was deep fried line fish. The fish was deep fried to a golden brown. They were very crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Not a lot of flavour but very nice texture.

The next dish was deep fried chicken in a basket. The chicken was very tender & juicy. The chicken had a really amazing flavour. I am not sure; but it could have been an OX sauce.

The next dish was crab dumplings. The dumpling skin was thick & firm. The filling was soft & tender. A lovely dish. The broccoli was a nice touch for added colour and texture.

The next dish was a steamed fish in soy sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly; still raw in the middle. Its always amazing how the Chinese know how long to cook a fish. The soy sauce was very light and tasty. I hate then the soy sauce over powers the entire dish. This dish was perfect.

The next dish was deep fried minced pork rolls. Deep fried to deep brown. The pork rolls were crispy on the outside but the minced pork was tender, moist & juicy. I could eat tons of these things.

The service was very efficient; but not on the friendly side. Not to say they were giving us attitude. It was more like they were robots. No emotion when taking the orders or when serving the food. Maybe because the restaurant was so busy that they do not have the time to be friendly. On the other hand, it did not ruin the lunch in anyway. It is something I just noticed.

Crystal Jade is a highly recommended restaurant!!!

290 Orchard Road #05-21/24
Singapore 23
Tel. +6567346866

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mandarin Oriental Breakfast

I am not a big breakfast eater. However; there are times when I cannot resist big breakfast if everything looks so good. An example of a really big & nice breakfast was at the Mandarin Oriental. The breakfast was served at the 'corporate lounge'.

There are two offerings; the first is from the hot dish menu. A menu consisting of 10 hot breakfast dishes that is prepared for you. The menu choices for example was eggs benedict, omelette, pancakes, congee, etc. I first ordered french toast and the second order were waffles. Both were well made and tasted very good.

The second choice was a buffet of fruits, pastries, breads, cereals, yoghurts, jams, etc.

The bread & pastry area.

The ham and cheese area.

I ate too much for my own good but I had no regrets. The service at the lounge was outstanding as usual. With a lovely breakfast like that we were ready to play tourist in Singapore.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine (The Marina Bay Sands, Singpaore)

We were lucky that our hotel was very close to the latest talk of the town in Singapore...the opening of The Marina Bay Sands resort & casino. We could see the huge thing from our hotel window. We decided to have dinner & gamble at The Sands for our second evening in Singapore.

Typical our luck; Singaporeans were practicing firing canons, flying Blue Angels in the sky, marching bands and marching military for their National Day (which by the way was one month away). Due to all these activities; the traffic was horrendous. So, we decided to walk to The Sands for our dinner.

The Sands is an amazing monster. It is absolutely huge. It reminded us of Las Vegas in style and size. We first entered the new & enormous shopping mall (YES, another shopping mall in Singapore and I am sure it is going to work); but they were not finished with the construction and most of the shops were not settled in to open yet. Then we entered the casino....

Once we entered; we were shocked at the shear scale of the thing. It is massive!!! The casino has several floors. The ground floor is for the masses. As you go higher; it is for the very rich and then the very very VIP rich. Private rooms for the big spenders.

Singaporean citizens have to pay $S100 to enter the casino. Typical Singapore government, they want to other people to lose their money but not their own citizens. Foreigners have to show their passport and go through in a different line.

We decided to eat at Imperial Treasure. Several good & reliable sources in Singapore told us that this chain of restaurants right now has the best Chinese food in town. The Sands has attained the best chefs in the world to have restaurants in their casino. So, Imperial Treasure being in The Sands is a good sign (by the way, all the restaurants are on the 3rd floor of the casino; so you have a terrific bird's eye view of all the gambling).

Like everything in The Sands; the restaurant is huge. The restaurant was packed with every well dressed people; who looked like they had money to burn in the casino after dinner. The decor is modern with red, black and white as the main color scheme.

Before ordering the food; we looked at the wine list. We heard that all the restaurants in The Sands had a fantastic wine lists. Imperial Treasure's wine list did not disappoint. They also had two sommeliers giving suggestions. The wine list consisted of wines from all over the world; but the list had a huge and very expensive Bordeaux collection (its obvious that there will be big winners in the casino to buy these wines). However; what caught our eye was a wine from Spain...2004 Flore de Pingus. This was a wonderful find and was also reasonably priced. When we ordered the wine; the sommelier knew right away that he was dealing with people who knew their wines. On top of that; the sommelier told us that we ordered the last bottle. This vintage got 97 points from Parker. All I can say is that the wine was wonderful!

The first dish was crispy chicken. The chicken skin had a lovely shiny glazed deep burgundy colour. The skin was very crispy. The meat was so tender & juicy. A very delicious dish. Who ever thought chicken could taste as good as this?

The second dish was spicy tofu with minced pork. This dish was good with good ingredients; but we were very disappointed because the waiter asked if we wanted this dish spicy. We said yes. But between our table and the kitchen, a mis-communication occurred. The spicy tofu dish arrived not spicy at all. This dish lost its spark.

The third dish was stewed beef cheek. The beef cheek was so tender and we cut through it like butter. The beef cheek tasted so so good.

The last dish was egg noodle with spicy eggplant. This dish was recommended by the waiter and we are glad we took his advice. The egg noodles were tender yet firm. The spicy eggplant was delicious. The combination was a winner.

The food was amazingly delicious, the waiter we had was very friendly and funny, the prices were surprisingly affordable. A very good experience.

After dinner; we decided to go try our luck and gamble. Wow, did the times change the slot machine. I used to remember that all you needed to win was to get three cherries in a line. Now; the slot machines are so sophisticated that we did not understand what we needed to do. We lost $S4! Shocking; we stopped right away.

Bayfront Ave.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mandarin Oriental Lounge (Singapore)

We were very very lucky to get a very good rate at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore. We always wanted to stay at this hotel ever since it opened several years ago but the sky high price kept us away. With our stay at the Mandarin Oriental, we were upgraded to the corporate floor. Included in the upgrade is the use of the exclusive 'Corporate Lounge'.

The bedroom is where we slept; but the concept for the lounge is that the lounge is the center of all of our activities...check in/ out, high-tea, champagne & snacks and where our breakfast is served.

The lounge has huge windows that gives spectacular views of the Singaporean skyline. The lounge has huge sofas as well as dining tables & chairs and private meetings rooms. At the lounge, this is where we could relax after a long day of shopping with several glasses of champagne & hot snacks.

The decor is a mixture of dark & light wood, glass and metal. Since it is the Mandarin Oriental, the design has antique and modern Asian touches.

The hot snacks chance every day. This day; the choices for example were, crispy pork, satay, fish wrapped in pandan leaves, etc. Everything went very well with our champagne (actually, several glasses of it).

The lounge is a great idea. The service is friendly and very attentive. They treat you very special. Hope we can afford to stay at the Mandarin Oriental on our next visit to Singapore.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jam Coffee Shop (Ion, Singapore)

The latest very modern, very enormous and very chic shopping mall in Singapore opened so we wanted to see what the latest buzz was about. We actually never thought a city like Singapore could handle another huge shopping mall, but leave to the Singaporeans to make it work.

After lunch and walking around Orchard Rd. We wanted a coffee. We were amazed that every single coffee shop in Singapore was full. I am not joking!!! Every coffee shop in every shopping mall was full. We even stopped at the latest & chic tea room and there was at least an hour wait for a table.

We finally ended up at latest chic and enormous Ion Mall. We went to look at their new book shop and noticed that they had a very nice coffee shop called Jam. Surprise, surprise, it was full. We decided to look around the book shop but at the same time, I kept a hawk's eye on the coffee shop to see if anyone was leaving. When I noticed that a couple was leaving, I immediately flew over to the table in lighting speed.

The coffee shop is very nice since there are very large windows to let in the sunlight as well as give nice views of the city life. This is rare because most coffee shops in most of the shopping malls have no windows and your only view are the shoppers.

The first order was an iced latte.

The second order was hot coffee (which was soooo hot that my friend could not drink it for several minutes).

Loads of yummy pastries to choose but I was strong and did not order anything.

The staff was friendly and but the service is a bit slow. However; we could cannot blame the staff, the weekend crowd can be a problem.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fluffy Cakes (Takashimaya, Singapore)

My mother was living in Singapore many years ago and when I used to visit her; there was a cake that I could not resist. I used to have it everyday. So now, whenever I return to Singapore, I have to stop by the only place I consider that makes the best cakes in Singapore (unless someone can tell me where else I can go for better ones).

The place I now go to is the food court in the basement of the Takashimaya Mall on Orchard Rd. You cannot miss the women who specialise in blending, pouring, stuffing and baking these delicate cakes.

The cakes come in two different shapes; the first one is in a shape of a fish. The fish cakes are stuffed with chocolate and laughing cow cheese (my favourite).

Because so many people stop by and buy these delicious cakes. The cakes are never sitting around long enough to get cold. The women are constantly making cakes. Whenever; I ordered the cakes, they are hot, slightly crispy on the outside yet fluffy, soft and tender on the inside.

The second shape is the round shape and they are stuffed with either red bean or crushed peanut & sugar (my other favourite).

I always buy one peanut (round shape) and one cheese cake (fish shape). Here is the fish shaped cake with cheese before I stuffed it into my mouth. Every time I eat these wonderful cakes, they brings memories of the old days in Singapore.

Located in Ngee Ann City; Orchard Rd.