I believe that food like good music and a good book is a solace to a person's soul. Food is both a science and an art - a yin-yang balance to your body and also an appreciation of colors, textures and sensory experience.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thai Son Vietnamese Restaurant

Thai Son Vietnamese (Broadway) on Urbanspoon

Here is another backdated food post of Thai Son. I was kinda swarmed by some sort of fruit fries entering and departing the restuarant which was not a totally pleasant experience for Gator - it was late spring then. Overall, the food was so-so.

I was looking forward to having some Bun Bo Hue noodles. But it was not a totally good experience for me. It was not what I expected. The broth was really very greasy. I had to pour away like 1/4 bowl of this oily mixture before I cook commence eating.

I know this doesn't look greasy - but it really is. It had this huge pork knuckle inside.
I was not too enamoured with the pork knuckle - it was kinda big and made eating difficult. But I did like the meat balls and also the slices of meat.

The broth came with a healthy serving of onions
Bun Bo Hue came accompanied with a healthy serving of meat leaves and bean sprouts

 I added quite a bit of mint leaves and bean sprouts to hopefully absorb the grease from the broth. But it did not really work. A thumbs down from Gator for this dish.

We also ordered a grilled pork chop with a side order of meat loaf. The portions were pretty generous. I like the meat loaf - thought it was better than Pho Hoa Hong actually.

I really like the grilled pork chop - done quite nicely.
My favourite part of the dish was the burnt bits from the pork chop and the meat loaf.

Overall Experience:

Deco: 2/5 - you basically want to eat fast and leave. A no fuss place.
Quality of food: 3/5 - I liked the grilled pork chops but the bun bo huy was a disappointment for me
Value for $$: $$$/5 - its reasonable and portions are generous. But overall, I had better food elsewhere.
Overall Experience: 3/5 - it was so-so for Gator. I want to try their Pho next time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodles, Aberdeen Centre

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle 洪師傅牛肉麵 on Urbanspoon

I have a backlog of food posts and so will be gradually write about them over the next few weeks.I have been to Chef Hung's twice and have a generally happy and positive experience.

One of the main highlights of this restaurant is their display of a moving bowl of noodles accompanied by chopsticks. It never fails to amuse Gator. I was told that when their restaurant first opened, there will be massive lineup outside their premise. But I had no difficulties at all during both occasions to get a table.

Chef Hung has won several beef noodle competitions in Taiwan.

The picture of presumably Chef Hung was displayed in all their paper place mats.
And this is their accolade - award wining beef noodles.
This time, ordered their Champion braised beef with noodle in tomato soup. Chef Hung claimed not to have MSG in their food and I believe that its true. I was not dehydrated hours after enjoying my bowl of noodles. Requested beef shank for one of the bowl of noodles. I was happy with the portions - I love the beef tendons in my noodles.

This pix is a bit blurry because of the steam from the noodles: beef shank

This one had no beef shank - spot the juicy tomatoes

Finally, I cannot resist ordering their chicken nuggets - I have to admit that their chicken nuggets were not as good as corner 23. It was fried but there was not much taste to their seasoning.

Crispy chicken nuggets - need more spice and taste to this dish

Overall Experience:
Deco: 4/5 - comfortable and private seating. I love their display of moving noodles - a centrepiece attraction. I also like sitting at the corner near the window.
Quality of food: 4/5 - I really like their noodles but felt that they should improve on their side  dishes are alright.
Value for $$: $$/5 - Its definitely more expensive than Cattle Cafe.
Overall Experience:  4/5 - I know a lot of people felt that their noodles are overrated but I had 2 positive experiences so far and I really enjoyed it. Service was polite, prompt and efficient.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cattle Cafe - Richmond

Cattle Cafe 牛仔餐廳 (Richmond) on Urbanspoon

I have been to Cattle Cafe on two separate occasions and on both occasions, I forgot to bring my trusted camera. So this time, its all photos from my mobile phone. I still prefer to use my camera because I love taking macro shots of food.

I went to Cattle during one of those occasions when I was too busy writing and reading and lost track of time to have an early dinner. I must say that I did not enjoy my first visit to Cattle. I ordered a fish soup noodle combo and did not really like it. Guess I did not choose my soup combination well enough. What Cattle Cafe offers is a variety of soup base - and you choose the ingredients that go with the broth. It was a mini disaster and I did not finish my food.

Ths time, we had fish noodles and beef. This is not from their combination set but I would say that this dish is quite something. The noodles are made from actual fish and there are generous slices of beef. What I really like was the broth - it was thick and flavorful. I wonder how Cattle made their fish noodles. I came across this blog in Taiwan about how the fish noodles are literally made from hand with just fish flour, dough and a wine bottle. Amazing. http://taiwanxifu.com/2011/03/30/tainan-fish-noodles/http://taiwanxifu.com/2011/03/30/tainan-fish-noodles/

I love the broth of my fish noodles - forgot to take a pix of just the noodles

I find this soup so comforting on a cold and rainy day.

The next dish was Cajun Boneless Chicken with steamed rice in honey and tomato sauce. I love this dish - the chicken was seasoned so well. But the sauce was extremely rich. You literally can get full just by drizzling the sauce with the steamed rice. I much prefer it if they serve it by the side though. This dish comes with a hot drink - you can pay a bit more for a cold drink or one of their speciality drinks.

The portions are enormous - the table beside me was asking me what dish I ordered because this looks so good.

I chose Horlicks as my hot drink - was a reminder of my childhood.

Finally, I can never say no to my mango slush. It is my litmus test to any bubble tea place.It was alright I would say - pretty average. Nothing to rave about. Can't beat the bubble tea at my favourite bubble tea joint.

I can't resist mango slush, even though its cold outside :)
Overall Experience:

Deco: this is just one of the typical cafes where you eat and basically hang out. Its not actually the best place if you want to have a private conversation.
Quality of food: 3.5/5. I had a bad experience in my first visit so I am a little cautious about choosing my noodle combination.
Value for $$: $$$/5. I think its pretty reasonable if you stay away from ordering their speciality drinks and side dishes. Some of the side dishes cost almost the same price as their meal.
Overall Experience: 3/5. I am pretty netural with this place. I know some people really love the noodle combos. But I much prefer the rice dishes. I also tend to refrain from ordering laska or tom sum soup base because I tend to make them at home and want something different when I venture out to eat.