Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More Yummy Food

I've mentioned that a co-worker was in town recently.  This provided a good opportunity to explore some new restaurants/foods.  Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera along.  I've tried to nab other people's pics to provide some visuals.

We shared a set lunch.  It's quite common to order dishes here and share as a group. You get your own plate and then just take what you want.  Our lunch had some greens, large bbq fish, chicken rendang and I think some prawn cakes.  Very filling and a good lunch.  I found some sample pictures of food on another blog, Tummy Thoughts.


I'm not good at deciding on a random restaurant to go to.  Whenever I travel, I seem to walk around with whomever I'm with, pass loads of restaurants and just can't make the call on which one to visit.  After walking a few blocks, I said we'll eat at the next restaurant with people. (I've learned that more people means better food.)

Everyone had these large dishes on their table and it looked fun.  But we got the menu and there were a gazillion choices.  Finally I asked our waitress for a recommendation since I never seem to order the best thing from the menu.  She said the steamboat.  It's this giant metal contraption and works similar to fondu.  In the pic above, imagine a large metal bowl, but the bottom is inverted and creates a mini-dome in the middle of the bowl.  Under there are the coals and fire to heat the food.  You pour a water or broth mixture from a kettle into the outside which causes a "moat" surrounding the dome.  They provide chunks of pig lard to grease up your dome grill.  Then we had a plate full of raw meat (pork, shrimp, squid/octopus, scallops, mussels, clams) and a basket of greens, noodles and some awesome long and skinny mushrooms I've never seen before.  You can cook on the dome grill or in the soup/broth.  The veggies, noodles and mushrooms went in there and made an awesome soup to accompany the grilled meat.  Only challenge was trying to keep the raw meat from sliding down the dome into the soup. 

Din Tai Fung
This is a name of a restaurant rather than a type of food, but they are known for their dumplings and they're awesome.  I've been there twice now.

Don't be fooled! The dumplings may look small and ordinary but they are full of delicious goodness.  There are different combinations of contents, but they all have pork.  What makes them special is that they are also filled with a broth/liquid/something that bursts in your mouth.  To eat, you pick up the very tops with your chopsticks, lift (the weight makes them sag a bit) and insert whole into your mouth.  Enjoy!  You need to pick up only at the top because the dumpling skin is weaker below and you're likely to punch a whole and ruin the experience.  No worries, there are spoons for non-chopstick users :).  Apparently there are chains all over Asia. I found another blog that talks about a restaurant in Sydney and it looks to be pretty much identical to the one in Singapore that I visited.  Here's a link to "Grab Your Fork" if you're interested to learn more.  One fun fact is that they have an open kitchen.  The chefs hand make the dumplings and all wear surgical masks while doing it.

My co-worker is a big sushi fan.  I've tried a couple of rolls since being in Singapore but not full on raw fish.  We went to a Japanese restaurant and each picked a few different items.  Forgot to get some pics until mid-way through dinner.  It seemed small at first, but was pretty filling by the end.  We had some edamame, crab rolls with avocado, cucumber and rolled in roe (the bright orange fish eggs), saki, soft-shell crab (you eat the entire crab including the shell), salmon sushi, meatballs and miso soup.  Sounds like a lot, but each dish only had 2-4 items.  Again - blackberry pic.  Still mastering this function and hoping to improve the pics.

There was a restaurant at the same complex as the casino which was featured with the theme of Brazilian and Latin food.  It was a set menu with a couple options for your starter and main entree. I went with the three meat option as I don't always get a lot of straight-up meat in my diet.  My co-worker went with prawns (shrimp).  Usually prawns are the normal shrimp size.  How surprised were we when the plate came out?  They are huge! As big as your hand. A good meal, but not a new favorite. 

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