Cheap and Good – With a Pinch of Salt

Now one of the jokes among ourselves is that every time we visit a nice new food outlet, it will have close down by the time we go back there for a second visit. But happily this was not the case with this little pasta place with a cute little name “With a Pinch of Salt” at Tanjong Katong. The last time I was there must have been something like 5 years ago?

Anyway I was in the mood for pasta but it has to be cheap and the place should be air con, what with the sizzling heat that we have here. So after some thoughts, we decided to head down to Tanjong Katong to try our luck and happily, it was still there. Same old place. Same old girly decor and like the previous visit, some people were having a birthday celebration there.dsc_1795

The thing about this place is that beside the cheap and good food, the owner seems to doesn’t want to take things too seriously with all these cute little messages everywhere.dsc_1798

Beside pasta and pizza and other nice stuff, the Chef also whips out mean cookies. We were given some to sample and much as I want to buy them, I knew I will finish the whole lot in double quick time so I had to regretfully pass. Perhaps nearer to Chinese New Year.dsc_1793

And since I was only craving for pasta, I had a seafood aglio olio pasta. The price of each plate of very decently sized pasta cost only between $9.90 to $12.90. Really good value for money.dsc_1796

We also had a plate of mussels in white wine to sharedsc_1797

The food are not fantastically great. But at the prices they at and with such portion, I can’t complain. And service was excellent too.

I found out later that they have some really good stuff which we did not order so I think I will be heading back soon instead of waiting another few years.

Pizza Capers

I always love to visit new food outlets especially pizza outlet. There this place at East Coast Road called Pizzacapers which claimed to originate from an Australian chain. Me? I have never heard of the place prior to this and the quite empty place didn’t inspire any confidence. But what was great were the many witty slogans and quirky scribbles on the wall and place mat.
So we decided to try them out. We started off with the Parmesan crust which comes with a choice of dips. Taste great especially with the Guacamole dip. 

We also ordered the Capers wings which are chicken wings in a spicy sauce and deep fried. This is just like the many hot wings that are available everywhere and not that great or spicy but they do use fairly large chicken wings though.

Of course, we saved the best for last. The pizza. They had a promotion ongoing, there were 6 of us and so we ended up with 4 regular pizzas to share. Their pizza is the traditional type which is just what I like best. Not for me the thick dough type of pizza. We wolfed down the pizza in double quick time!

The nice looking interior of the restaurant.

And they served Australian beer too!

Maekhong Thai Cusine

One of the find while walking along Tanjong Katong Road. This little Thai place at one of the corner.

It serves the usual Thai food plus a steamboat set. Being greedy fellas, we ordered both.

The steamboat which comes with a plate of vegetables

A plate of mixed food stuff

And a serving of some special beef. I think we had to pay separately for this

We could have a combo soup so we went for the Tom Yum and the herbal

Of course for M, no Thai food is complete without mango salad so we ordered that as well

Believe it or not, the kids have tried the Thai style crabmeat chicken wing so we ordered it specially for them

We also choose to have some fried rice instead of the usual white rice. This is pork floss seafood rice

The Princess must have her tungfen and this came with big prawns.

And I must have my Thai otah. This came aluminium wrapped and was filled with seafood.

Price is reasonable and food is fairly good. No complaints here. A great place to go for nice filling dinner.

Patara Fine Thai Cuisine

Lots of food to eat during this period contributing to the increase in the waistline. No choice somebody got to sacrific for the sake of not wasting all these food.
Some of the more interesting and memorable ones in the next few posts starting with this set lunch at the Patara Fine Thai Cuisine restaurant at Tanglin Mall. The last time I went to this restaurant was when it still has an outlet at Raffles City which was like a gozillion years ago. Now there is only 1 outlet left and more disappointingly no more dessert buffet.
We ordered the special lobster set lunch promotion which cost $88.00 but paid only $68.00 under an OCBC credit card promotion.
This is a four course meal  which comes with this starter comprising a chicken popiah, a fried prawn, a “gold” pouch wanton and a choice of pomelo, papaya or mango salad. I opted for the pomelo salad. The portion was much smaller than I like but it was kinda expected since they have the “Fine” food tagged on to the restaurant name and I have come to associate “Fine” with less.

Next up was the Tom Yam soup. There was a total of 1 prawn, 1 scallop and a few slices of cuttlefish and fish. But it was not too bad although not spicy and sour enough for me

Following that was the main course which comprised a green curry with an option of chicken or beef. I had the beef. The curry was a bit sweet in my opinion.

The main course – olive rice, stir fried vegetable and 1 lobster. The lobster wasn’t that fresh. In fact it was quite hard, the flesh I mean. Maybe because it was stir fried and not steamed? The olive rice was also so so and definitely not up to what I expected from the place. I can get much better food from the many small Thai  eateries that is now all over town.
Dessert was a choice of Red Ruby or Mango sticky rice. Since there was 2 of us, we each had one.  
The red ruby was not red at all. In fact it was so colourful. A bit sweet but rather satisfying.

Unfortunately, I can’t said the same of the mango sticker rice. It was rather bland. How they got something so simple so wrong I don’t understand.

All in, after tax and service charge, we paid more than $180 for both of us but more than the price, it wasn’t really worth the money. The standard of the food was so so and in fact plain ordinary. The service was good and impeccable of course, as befits a restaurant of its standard but other than that, the money could have been better spent on 4 similar meals at Thai Express and I will dare say without much difference in quality.

Bruno’s Pizzeria & Grill

The last time we were at this particular outlet in Tanjong Katong, it was known by another name. Now it is called Bruno’s Pizzeria and Grill. That last time, we were the only customer. 1 other customer walked in and then walked out but this time round, the place was packed. Luckily, we had been forewarned and we had made a reservation. 
We ordered 1 pizza to share and individual portion of various type of pasta. The average price per dish was about $20.00 but it was certainly worth the money as the portion was fairly large. The pizza was one of the best I had in a long while. 

Black Ink Squid Pasta
Mussel Pasta
Prawn Pasta

So I hope the next time we get round to coming back here, it will still be around. Somehow, those Italian places that we have dined at in recent years – by the time we decide to go back, practically all of them (except the chain outlet like Pizza Hut or the hawker centre/food court outles) have closed down or change owner. Let’s see. there were Finalmente Gastromomia at Macpherson (heard that they moved to Goldhill, still there?), Artz Pizza.. gone with the golf driving range, VI Pizz (replaced by Bruno) and Olive Restorante (closed down together with the spa at Labrador now under new management). Maybe we are a jinx to these places?

Jai Thai Restaurant

I love the thrill of going to a new food outlet. You never know what you gonna get. Hit or miss? I also love Thai food. So last week while out hunting for cheapo Thai food, saw this little place tucked among all the eateries along East Coast Rd.How come I never see it there before? Wonderful, can kill 2 birds with one stone.

Tom Yum soup

So we walked in. At 7pm on a Saturday night, it wasn’t exactly crowded so I was like “oh dear”. The wait staff was most helpful though. Maybe a bit too helpful. He didn’t stopped us when we started ordering.  He walked us through the menu and recommended the Beef Kway Teow soup. And then of course we have to order our favourite Thai food. So we had our usual Tom Yam soup and mango salad; picked another 2 of the Chef’s Special from the menu (prawn cake and pandan chicken) and then because we also love seafood, we ordered the Crab Tanghoon and to round it off a plate of olive rice plus a plate of stir fry kai-lan. On hindsight, that was probably a bit too much for the 3 of us so we were quite relieved when we were told they had ran out of crab so we cancelled the tang hoon dish.

Mango Salad, prawn cake and pandan chicken
Olive Rice

Since there were only 3 of us, we ordered small portion for everything except the Olive rice. We finished almost everything except the rice and 1 piece each of the prawn cake and pandan chicken. The prawn cake and pandan chicken are sold in pieces (minimum 2 pieces). We made a mistake and ordered 4 thinking they were like the usual fare at other places but these were huge pieces and the 3 of us could have easily shared 2 pieces.

Beef Kway Teow

The beef kway teow soup which was supposing their ‘trademark’ dish tasted like our bak kuh the soup. The kway teow was the usual thin type found in Thailand and Vietnam. It wasn’t really that great. I tasted better Vietnamese beef kway teow at a little stall in Golden Shoe Cooked food centre but again, everything in this place seems to be ‘upsized’. The bowl was supposed to be for 1 but the 3 of us shared it and still couldn’t finish it which means we had to struggle to finish the rest of the food and thus leaving us with no room for deserts.

Anyway, final verdict – very reasonable price for the portion served. We paid around $60.00 for the 3 of us. Service was good. Food came pretty fast and above all, tasted fairly decent. A place that I couldn’t mind popping in now and then for lunch or dinner.