Tian Lai Seafood Garden @ Gelang Patah

Gelang Patah has a few nice dining place. One of them is Star Chef Restaurant. The other is Tian Lai Seafood Garden. I been to Tian Lai twice and so far I been pretty impressed by the quality and quantity of the food served and at Malaysian prices too. Not inflated tourist price.

Their house special is the Pork Rib Curry. This is like a cross between Japanese curry and rendang. It come served is a claypot and the pork ribs are stewed until so tender that they are almost like mutton rendang.

I understand their fish are very fresh but we have made it a habit not to order fish for dinner as they are usually overpriced. Instead we have everyone’s favourite, crab! Black pepper crab.

Not very nice looking but taste is real good. Almost like the Still Road black pepper crab.

Other items that are real good are their hotplate tofu and sambal kangkong. These basic zhi zhar staples are well executed and is a must have side dish.

Prices are very reasonable despite the quality and quantity. Service is good depite the place being packed or at least it was the last 2 time I was there. 

KinMoo The Thai Noodle House

I like my Thai Wanton Mee. Unfortunately I don’t go Thailand often enough to eat those there. But luckily there are a number of outlets now in Singapore like the super long queue impersonator Soi 19 at Ang Mo Kio and my favourite little stall at Old Airport Road. Most of them are sited in either a food centre or a coffeeshop and with the long queue, waiting for the noodles is a very hot tiring affair.

So I am happy that there is now a little cafe right smack in the middle of town that serves Thai Boat noodles including the Wanton Mee. And of course the place is air conditioned! Welcome to KinMoo, the smallest little eatery I seen with just a handful of tables. But what it lacks in tables, it make up for in a full size menu. But I was there for the wanton mee only so that what I ordered:

At $7.50 a bowl it is not exactly cheap but hey, for the air con, it is worth it! And it comes with 3 dumpling, 3 slices of finely cut char siew, half an egg and lots of pork lard! M ordered their Tom Yum Noodles

and we also had the Tom Yum soup.

I swear this has got to be one of the best wanton mee I ever tasted. M loves her Tom Yum noodle too. My only complain – not enough. I can easily polish off 1 more bowl – maybe their signature BaaMee Haeng Cha Kang Rao. Next trip then!

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.

Colbar Cafe

I finally managed to drop in to Colbar at Portsdown. Its fame has preceded it and I was looking to the visit.

First impression when I first arrived was good. There was the old style shop front much like those I seen in my army days in the rural areas. There was a big counter and a few small table. DSC_0046

Next to this place was a room with a few dining tables. Very nostalgic looking like an old school canteen or those sarabat stallDSC_0047

Amazingly, these place was relocated from its original location at Jalan Hang Jebat and the premises was moved piece by piece and restored to 100%. At least, that what these history boards said.DSC_0048

The place served mainly beers where I believe it got its fame as a place to chill out. It also serves food –  the ubiquitous Western food cooked the local Hainanese style as well as local zhi-zhar food.  By and large, the food served remind me of the Western food served at those Western food outlets at our hawker centre and Hans.

Egg Omu12524361_10209405141309285_4216225832588270725_n

Hor Fun12439406_10209405141069279_8334338193621468858_n

Sirloin Steak1618589_1329120223768572_5238955164279648416_n

Grilled Chicken12717888_1329120177101910_980777788768870641_n

The serving are quite standard.  But the prices are not. The zhi-zhar prices per dishes ranges from $7 to $9. The above sirloin steak cost $22.90 and the grilled chicken which the ladies claimed was more fried than grilled cost $11.00.  For a place without aircon, it is pretty pricey. And how about taste? Let’s put it that way – I tasted much better similar food at hawker centre for half the price. And if I have to pay so much for these type of standard, I might as well go to Hans.

The only saving grace was the large selection of beer from all over the world.12809741_10209405140469264_1768161526601856356_n

 We had 2.12901042_10154025764624395_3908265612733439386_oI supposed it is a pretty cool place to unwind after a hard day work and relaxed with the gentle breeze but definitely not the place to go if you hanker for a good dinner.

Bedok Marketplace

Many years ago when policemen worn shorts. Bedok Marketplace was known as Simpang Bedok. There was a wet market where the food stalls are now and the ground floor where the supermarket now stands is a food centre. Or at least that what’s I remember of that one time I went there in the mid eighties before it was closed down and went into a very long phase of transformation.

After the market and food centre closed down, Far East Organisation took over but that venture didn’t last long. Over the years, while the shops surrounding it flourish and became a halal food hub, the food stalls on the 2nd floor floundered.

Now there is a new operator. The place is still called The Bedok Marketplace.DSC_0606

But it has gone up market a bit. Much like Pasar Bella, there are now less stalls but each stall sells pretty interesting stuff. I like to think of this as the Salut or Essen equivalent of the East with  more and better options include local food like Seng’s Wanton noodles and bak kut teh although the latter was not open when we were there in the night.

Beside food, there is plenty of nostalgia as the dress are decorated like shop houses of the early days.DSC_0602 DSC_0600 DSC_0608

Appearance is nice but how about the food? First glance the prices look very reasonable with items starting from below $10.00. And there are beer outlets, local food like wanton mee, frog porridge, bak kut teh. Also several interesting looking western food stalls and 1 seafood stall and 1 ice cream pancake.

Definitely will be back to check out the food.

Expensive but Good – The Coastal Settlement

I heard about this place for quite some time. Ran past it a few times even. All I know about this place was the food was good but expensive. And from the outside, it didn’t look very great. But anyway, stuck for a place to have dinner at 8.30 pm on a Friday night and in the Changi area, found ourselves there after failing to get a parking space at Changi Village.

There was no parking space available here as well but there was valet parking. Thank goodness. So we strolled in. The first thing that hit me was it was quite a big place. What we saw the few times we ran by was just the small little side porch filled with overgrown plants. And the next thing was the many curios and old stuff placed haphazardly all over.

Like these pair of bicycle high up on the wallDSC_0489

Or this scooter on one shelf.DSC_0495

There was another scooter behind this and another one on top.

Then there were the old stuffs like this old manual typewriterDSC_0492

This gramophoneDSC_0493

And a rotary telephoneDSC_0491

Many other stuffs lying around.  Sort of remind me of Ban Mai Chai in Thailand.

Enough of the curios. What about the food? When I said expensive, it really is. For instance, this plate of mee goreng cost $16.00. It did come with 4 fairly big size prawn but still $16?12573884_1283740654973196_8925626677015893659_n

The “pizza” though was fairly decent priced at $23 although I will hesitate to call it a pizza12654195_1283740698306525_4472092777071056715_n

That stir fried wagyu beef on top of a naan like crust. It is definitely not the usual pizza crust. The oil from the beef seeped through and it became quite a messy affair to eat this.

I like the fried chicken wing but they are too small. And cost $14 for 3!12642734_1283740731639855_2838350166839854650_n

Back outside, there were 2 nice cars “parked” along the five foot wayDSC_0497

Unique place to eat with nice atmosphere.  Generally the food is pretty decent but at these prices for local food, I rather continue going to Essen.