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Gastronomical SATURDAY

backlog post: supposed to blog this on Monday but priority given to keep wife company :)

(Photo credits to Char Siu Bao & Katherine)
I didn't take any photos coz' was too stoned from lack of sleep and my Ricoh's with Xiao Long Bao in Bali :)

Char Siu Bao, a known foodie in our circle, decided to organise a Foodie Gathering for his gang from NewCreation (WOW team) and me, being another foodie, just have to join in coz' hey! it's good Singaporean food and I'm definitely interested to do my own reviews as well.

(the proposed food map)

It was quite an overwhelming show of attendance as we progressed along the foodie road map (shown above) and with all tummies rumbling, we proceeded to the 1st stop: Gourmet Corner located @ Philip Street to try out the Roasted Duck, roasted Pork Ribs and Char Siew.

The roasted duck meat was very nicely marinated with chinese spices penetrating every inch of the meat. The meat quality was very fresh, tender and succulent to the bite, complimenting the meat was the aromatic duck sauce which added to the entire pleasure of eating a simple plate of duck rice. One notable feature is that they have the 'black' rice which is normal white rice cooked with the sauces from roasting the ducks and it's a heavenly combination coz' it's not very oily overall. The subtle fragrance from chinese spices whiffed into your nose as the rice was passed around for everyone to try.

The roasted pork belly was a little ordinary by standards even though it was very tender and the skin crispy. I find the roasted pork belly from Imperial Treasures located @ One Degree 15 Marina Club much better, the taste more subtle and complexed at the same time.

Ha, I don't really eat Char Siu that often so I can't really do a review on the taste but from the mouths of the many who joined us that day, it seemed to have won accolades from them :) Overall, I would say that the roasted items from this stall is definitely above average and it's really popular during lunchtime so if you are free, do come and try it out for yourself!

(tucking into a heavy brunch)

Gourmet Corner
15 Philip Street. #01-00
Tan Ean Kiam Bldg
Tel: 6533 3033

Next up, Maxwell Market's Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice.

(the stall @ Maxwell Market and the really long queue)

The queue was unbelievably long.... and the wait for just 2 plates of chicken rice was nearly 45 - 50 minutes long! Thanks to the patient Q-ing of the ladies, the rest of the group got to enjoy this simply delightful dish that became almost synonymous with Singapore (I think we are more well-known for the Chilli Crabs overseas).

Firstly, I love chicken rice. 'White' chicken rice to be exact coz' it's considered a kind of cold cut meat. To do cold cuts well, it takes skills from the vendor to chill the boiled chicken to a good temperature that doesn't make it taste like you have just took it out from the fridge or too warm that spoils the balance between the steaming hot chicken rice and the tenderness of the meat. For one, I don't really like franchised kind of chicken rice like Boon Tong Kee's coz' I feel it's just too overhyped and the food seriously lack personal care in preparation. The best kind of chicken rice is from smaller vendors who make sure the food is prepped with love, like the chicken rice stall located at the basement of Katong Shopping Center where I would make time to travel from North to the East just to eat their chicken rice and their soup.

For Tian Tian chicken rice, the chicken meat was chilled to the right kind of consistency and it's very tender and juicy. The chicken rice is very fragrant and the chilli is an excellent compliment to the meal. Like they say: usually it's either the chicken can make it and the chilli cannot or vice versa but this time round, both the chicken and the chilli are winners in my book. The sweet reward of having to wait so long just for the chicken rice is to enjoy the sweetness in the chicken meat and the zest the chilli sauce gives to the meal.

(enjoying the chicken rice)

(only happy and contented faces here)

Meantime, while we waited for the chicken rice, we had a Hakka side dish called the chinese abacus or 算盘子 (fried yam with mixed veg like chinese mushrooms and carrots strips) and it was a surprising delight coz it's really good!

(chinese abacus)

Satisfied after eating one of Singapore's most famous Chicken rice, we headed down to Zion Road Hawker center for some good ole' Char Kway Teow. Yup, as you can already tell, it was really a very 'sinful' afternoon of eating all the good local food but it's okie, we are all blessed to be able to enjoy food as such and give Thanks to God for such amazing diversity of cuisines found on a small island such as Singapore.

(Q-ing for good food is not a waste of time)

When Char Siu Bao appeared with 3 piping hot plates of the famed fried kway teow in sweet black sauce, topped with juicy hums and crunchy bean spouts, there was an audible squeal of delight from the group as everyone started tucking into the piping hot serving of noodles. It's really good even though I didn't have any as I had too much coffee which suppressed my appetite by the time we reached Zion Road. By the smell alone, it makes you just want to ignore the calories and indulge yourself to a huge plate of this local delight!

It's no wonder that it caused quite a little stir among the group when they had a taste of this delicious fare :)

An interlude @ The Garden Slug cafe along Telok Kurau Lor. L followed after the Char Kway Teow meal.

Ran by 2 very young guys, the cafe serves desserts, snacks , sandwiches and different kinds of coffee. By this time, I think the entire group was already quite filled with all the good food they had earlier and were just chilling out in the stark but cosy ambience in the air-conditioned cafe. CY and I decided to try a Feta Cheese and Fresh sliced Tomato Panini bread toasted sandwich which I must say, it's simple and good. Period. No need for fancy sauces or dips, it's just the goodness of goat cheese balanced with the sweetness of fresh cut tomatos sandwiched between the toasted panini bread.

We have to make some skips along the foodie road map coz' some stalls are either not opened on Saturday (thanks to Char Siu Bao's earlier recce efforts) or we are just too full to continue eating. Overall, the foodie gathering was a success to say the least coz through it, we discovered cheap and good local food where we can always share and visit with our family and friends but more importantly, the fellowship and exchange between those who attended.

Thanks again to Char Siu Bao and Mrs Lian Rong Bao for taking time to share with us their food haunts and for organising it! I think there should be a Part 2 coz I heard there's a very famous Hokkien Mee which is a must-try also :D

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OMG. That's ALOT of food. You got me drooling over the keyboard.

Muffin Gal:
hahaha... and we din even complete the food trail... I'm sure you guys must be missing the local food back here yeah.. :D

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