About orionstar

Easily amused, easily interested, easily bored. Always looking out for new experiences..The world is so vast...

A New Table and Satay Burgers

The hubby is hooked on this local TV series called “118” which he had been glued to the TV, episodes after episodes (via Toggle), for quite a while now. With a huge cast of veteran (like Chew Chor Meng, Pan Ling Ling, Chen Tianwen etc) and new actors/actresses which I dunno half of them, this series is set in Tiong Bahru against the backdrop of a kopitiam called (“118″) and depicts the lifestyles and idiosyncracies of the various characters/families. Occasionally, I will watch the series with Gary. It’s probably the TV series with the longest number of episodes (some 200 over) but each episode is only around half an hour.

Being inspired by the show, the hubby had suggested having lunch at Tiong Bahru market today. Although the kopitiam is fictional, there were a few scenes that were filmed at actual locations at Tiong Bahru. Maybe the hubby just wants to get a “feel” of the place after watching coming to 100 episodes so far. LOL!

We had the famous chwee kueh, Hui Ki’s fishball noodles, lor mee (dunno which stall) and  Lee Hong Kee’s roast pork and roast duck combo. OMG! That’s a lot of food but the hubby, who has a larger capacity, had the major share and managed to finish everything. The chilli-vinegar gravy with a generous serving of pork lard for the fishball noodles packs a fiery punch. The over-generous heap of garlic, vinegar and sliced chilli combination in the lor mee is too over-powering for me. I gave up after 2 mouthfuls. The queue at Lee Hong Kee is long but I didn’t find their roast meat that big a deal. In fact, the roast duck was quite salty. The only plus point is, the crisp of the roast pork skin.

A short walk around the vicinity had helped relieve the stuffed feeling. The weather is merciless. We gotta brace for hotter weather ahead.

To prepare for my further studies, I had decided to get another study table. I have an existing one but it’s a little too cramped. Made a mistake of getting a table with built-in shelves on top of the table. Had initially thought that these shelves would be practical for my stationery and other things but after a while, I find that they give the table a rather cluttered look. Anyway, I decided an extra table would provide extra space for any readings or books as part of my studies.

In fact, I had spotted a decent-sized table that was on offer at V-Hive (Plaza Sing branch) but was informed that there was no stock for the colour of my choice. The sales guy said that if there is available stock of my preferred colour, someone from the store would call me, likely end of the month.

Since our afternoon is available, we decided to pop by IKEA and if there’s a suitable table at a reasonable price, I will get it. Long story short, I found a table that I like but was turned off by the extra price for delivery and assembly. That is an extra $100!!! Perhaps I should just wait for V-Hive to call me. The price of the table is around the same and they do not charge for delivery and assembly.

I had managed to persuade the hubby to drop by Tampines and check out the V-Hive branch there. Who knows the stock had arrived? The hubby was initially reluctant but right away agreed when he thought of getting this satay burger from the pasar malam. This burger was recently featured in the papers so he is keen to try it.

Thank goodness, there is available stock of the table that I wanted. How come nobody call me ah??

After purchasing the table, we had joined the very long and slow queue at the “Famous Satay Burger” stall at the pasar malam nearby. Can you spot me in the queue? Quite obvious ah.. LOL..

For someone who hardly perspire, I was almost melting in the heat. Can feel my sweat streaming down my back. My hair is a horrific nightmare, matted and flat with sweat. No way for any selfies…

The process is rather slow. The newspaper article must have given them a surge in popularity. I observed that they had made a batch of burgers first before serving but yet the queue is still moving slowly.

We had queued for around 40mins just for a deer burger and chicken burger. The satay sauce is quite rich and tasty. I had thought the deer patty would be more tender, having eaten a rather tender Springbok burger at Borough Market in London, but it’s quite dry. Maybe it was overgrilled? The chicken patty is slight better. The satay sauce is the key otherwise these burgers would just be normal if the sauce had been the usual bbq or something.

It’s back to work tomorrow. Sigh. Feeling the blues already. Guess I am not the only one. It’s the end of the Jun holidays so I supposed many teachers and students would also dread going back to school. Another 3 weeks more before my no pay leave starts… Counting down now…

Day 3 (and last day) of a short leave: Quality time with the hubby

How fast 3 days had passed, just like that.

Had woke up slightly earlier than my usual work day. That’s cos I had scheduled for a health screening in the morning. The hubby had taken leave too. Yay! At least I won’t feel so bored at the health screening and after that, we can spend some quality time throughout the day.

It’s been a while since my last comprehensive health screening. As we get older, health becomes more important and I think it’s good to get a check now. Better to detect something now than later, and if thank goodness, there’s nothing, at least a peace of mind.

So I went through the usual drawing of blood for the various tests, x-ray and this time, I had included a breast and liver ultrasound.

I HATE pap smear. I don’t understand how some ladies can say that they don’t feel a thing? You have got an armour down there or what? Yes, the doc can be very gentle and skillful but the very act of scraping, which I don’t need to go into details, must have a feeling somewhat? Anyway, it was really uncomfortable for me and as much as I hate it, it is still a necessary test.

My health screening took about 2 hours. The hubby suggested a dim sum lunch at “Red Star” (54 Chin Swee Road). Said he hasn’t been there for a while and wanted to visit it again. The last time we’re here was probably 7 or 8 years ago. It’s that long. It was a Sun then so it was very crowded.

This time, it was less crowded. Probably we had arrived slightly earlier than the usual lunch hour and it’s a weekday. Red Star could be one of the very few (or only?) Chinese restaurant that still serves dim sum through the traditional push cart. Even the interior decor look rather dated. I felt as if we had stepped into a restaurant in the 80s. 

Have no idea why Red Star is still so popular. The food must have been good during their heyday and somehow the hype still lives on. I didn’t find the dim sum impressive.

The texture of the cha siew baos can be fluffier and softer. The suckling pig and jellyfish combo is the most disappointing. The meat is rather dry and the jellyfish has a rather weird taste to it. It’s not the usual tart vinaigrette mixture… Something different and it’s not to my liking. Had realised that it’s ginger. Urgh, don’t like it with jellyfish. And why must the suckling pig comes with the jellyfish? Without the jellyfish, it might cost slightly lower instead of $18 and for a rather weird-tasting jellyfish…

In fact, there are many places that sells better dim sum than this. If this is a small eatery in the corner, perhaps this standard of dim sum can be considered as decent but this is supposed to be an acclaimed restaurant. A number of pictures and articles reflecting their (past) glory were evident outside the entrance.

After lunch, I suggested that we checked out the National Museum instead of watching a movie. Gary had booked a 8pm (which was later changed to 7pm) reservation at some bbq buffet at Tenkaichi. I am not that fond of bbq meat but the hubby was trying to convince me that it’s a good deal cos there’s some SG50 promo and the main draw for him is the wagyu beef. In any case, we have quite a lot of time to spare in the afternoon.

Before the museum, I need to drop something off at SMU… My next milestone in life would be here, though only for a year, but that calls for a separate entry.

Once that is done, we headed to the museum. I was hoping to catch the Lee Kuan Yew Memorial exhibit which ends this weekend.

It’s a rather small exhibit highlighting the life and career of our first founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and his contribution in developing our country to today.

Among the items on display was the state flag that covered his casket, the rosewood rostrum from which he had made the national day rally speeches during the 70s and the now famous red box whom he had kept his work until the last time he was hospitalised before passing on.

Footages of some of his speeches (only excerpts) were shown and hearing him speak and rally the crowd only proves the great orator that he is. The energy, dynamism and ferociousness. The hubby said he felt inspired after watching these footage.

It didn’t take us long to finish viewing the memorial exhibit. I had decided to check out the museum shop. Of all the souvenir shops at key (often tourist) attractions, my favourite is the museum shop. There are many items, like batik prints, which I find rather nice as well as things that are uniquely Singapore. Stationery and other memorabilia such as badges or pendants, shaped like, for example, the colourful 9-layer kueh (九层糕) or the animal playground series or T-shirts/ tote bags with common Singlish phrases, really resonates with me and I am sure, many other locals.

The hubby isn’t keen to check out another exhibit- “Singapura: 700 years”. Think he is done with museum visit for today. Ok, we still got a few more hours before dinner time.

Ahh… let’s check out Kki Sweets at SOTA. I had come across some pictures of their lovely cakes and found them really pretty. Was there a few months ago but by the time we had arrived (late afternoon on a Sun), all their cakes were sold out! For real?!

I am not gonna make a wasted trip this time. Thankfully, there are still a number of cakes on display. Oh my, they look so dainty and … quite perfect actually but pricey for that size…Many have some fruit in them. If there are any cakes that can deceive me to think that they are light and don’t contribute more to the waistline, which obviously they do, these are definitely the ones. Haha… An ideal cafe for me should be cosy and quaint with a touch of old-school vintage or like this, clean, neat, minimalist.

We had gotten ourselves the Amalie (Champagne mousse with white peach) and Antoinette (White choc mousse with mango), and some tea. The hot tea is served in a clear glass cup with an equally clear strainer filled with fragrant green tea leaves. Mine has some apple bits in them. I am supposed to let the tea leaves infused in the hot water for a few mins, remove the strainer and place it in a smaller glass cup next to it and drink the tea from the larger glass cup.

I didn’t expect to watch a movie but in the end, we still did. While sipping our tea, Gary found out that the “Terminator Genisys” is showing and insisted in watching. So we had managed to squeeze in the next 2 hours with a movie and just nice, head to dinner after that.

The movie is just ok for me. Some parts of it don’t even make sense. The hubby said that’s always the case with time travel type of movies. Well, you throw in time travel, killer robots with human flesh that can morphed into another “person”, lots of shooting and explosions…there’s really no need to crack one’s head to seek any logical explanation for all these…

These terminators seem damn hard to destroy. Perhaps there are some women whose cervix are made of these “Terminator”-type metal, that’s why they feel nothing during a pap smear? LOL…

A lovely sunset spotted at the car park of the dinner venue. The orange sun reminds me of a salted egg yolk. :)

Dinner was just bbq meat with some sashimi and other cooked items which I don’t really enjoy. I don’t eat beef but beef lovers would rejoice at the wide-spread of different cuts of beef. The cooked items was really normal and too many deep-fried stuff. Can you imagine if I tell you that, of the some 10 or so variety of items ranging from fried rice, fried udon, breaded prawn, deep-fried calamari, takopachi etc, my favourite is the kimchi. Funny right…

The night’s still young for the hubby. He had joined some colleagues for a drinking session. I am ready to call it a day. It’s definitely a day well spent. Totally enjoyed it!

 

Day 2 of a short leave: Exploring Raffles Place…after 10 years…

Yes, seriously… I had actually took the afternoon to explore Raffles Place and its vicinity. People working in that area or maybe others may be wondering, what’s there to explore, it’s just a business district, are you a tourist or what?

Just like how your first love or first home holds certain memories, mine include first work place or rather, area. Hence, being a rather sentimental person, I would often reminisce those times, dated as far back as 20 years ago (!!) before I entered the university, when I was working in this area. Much of the memories stemmed from the quiet “me” time where I would often spend part of my lunch time by taking walks in general/window shopping/browsing mags at the bookstore, as well as of course, some work experiences, some good, some bad.

To recollect those times…….

The year was 1995. My first temp job was at Tanjong Pagar area (near the Amara Hotel) but that was really brief. A longer stint, still temporary, was at an off-shore bank located in Standard Chartered Building. Though the role is mainly admin, data entry, make coffee, collect stuff, post letters, order stationery, that sort of thing, it was the first time I am exposed to an office environment. It’s literally a shift from sitting at my desk in the classroom to my assigned desk with a computer, stacks of paper and people busy from morning till evening trying to make a living. This is the real world. I was nervous and excited at the same time.

Being a newbie to the working world, my youth and inexperience was apparent. The nicer ones treated me well, and was understanding and tolerant to me. If I am in their shoes, I think I might not be that patient to someone of my age in current times. Many others just treat me as a kid. To be honest, there’s really very little stress in the temp job so I had pretty much enjoyed working at that time.

Oh, and I remembered my first alcoholic drink was a lime margarita at one of the bars along Boat Quay in the mid-afternoon! I entered uni shortly after that. Sadly, I never kept in touch with anyone there. Not enough the nice ones. If only, there was Facebook at that time. Don’t say Facebook, mobile phones (don’t even talk about “smart phones”) were not even very common!

Shortly after graduation, I was hired by this small local firm which had since closed down. Their first office was at Republic Plaza. I really hated the elevators there. On my first day, I entered the lobby of the floor which the office was located and was surprised that for a rather huge lobby, why is it so sparse and where is the receptionist? I’d only realised later that most of the offices at that floor are quite small-scale and while there are provisions for a proper lobby (in event if this floor is occupied by a single company), there is really no need for a receptionist to cater for these multiple companies. I admit I was shocked when I entered the office, which is only 1 unit by the way, of my new job. It’s small, cramped and as a gauge, I would say it’s the size of my study room and bedroom combined. And it fits 6 people!! Thankfully we moved to a larger unit across the road but with slightly more colleagues. At least I have a proper desk, drawers and my own direct line.

I quit in 2003 and since then, I had never worked in town. It’s also since then I had hardly passed by or be at Raffles Place except for one or two meetings which I would just arrive and leave. Never had the opportunity to explore Raffles Place and see the huge difference between now and 20 years ago.

Of course, MUCH had changed!

Buildings such as Hitachi Towers, Clifford Centre and OUB Centre are familiar. The basement of OUB Centre had totally revamped to a huge food hall of sorts with many food stalls. Most of these building are connected via a large underground network, which was already in existence back then, but now there are a lot more retail stores, small eateries, mobile carts and other services. No wonder I often hear those who worked in town lamenting about not being able to lose weight and/or save money! LOL!!

Ahh… I note a rather significant change or more specifically, new additions. There are now traditional garden swings, park benches and tables at the grass patch right outside both the main entrances of the Raffles MRT stations. Interesting. But I noticed such swings in other areas in town as well. Not sure if there will be permanent or just for SG50.

I sat briefly on the pink swing. It’s quite a strange feeling actually. If this is a park where there is a wider space of green around the swings, I would have felt relaxed. But there were quite a number of people walking by or sitting around the grey stoned peripheral of the grass patch. It’s also quite warm and it’s best I don’t relive the “roasting” cycling experience the day before.

Quite a number of these cows in iconic outfits, with our pioneer generation in mind as part of the SG50 commemoration. There’s the samsui lady who helped lay the foundation of our buildings rain and shine, the kacang puteh man who is a common feature outside the movie theatres of the past, the trishaw man who used to ferry people around as a mode of transportation but seems to cater more for tourists today, and a few other professions.

While most of the buildings have done some reno/revamp, the one place that still remain quite constant is “The Arcade”. The interior seems the same as I’d last remembered. Guess not much or no rework had been done? Some of the shops/services had been around for a long time like the money changes, the watch shop (at the entrance) and a book shop aptly named “Longlife” which seems to have a long surviving power.

Next, I crossed the link to the Collyer Quay area. Had passed by more retail and eateries. The revamped link is now called “OUE Link”. I recalled I like this nasi padang eatery that used to operate along this link. It’s gone now. Not sure if they are still in business in another location.

The old Clifford Pier is now replaced by several new developments including a swanky office building and a hotel. I recalled being invited to lunch by one of the nicer colleagues during my temp job days at the Change Alley Tower (that looks like Changi’s control tower). It’s not just a treat for me, my then-colleague thought it would good for me to experience what a business lunch is like and how they talk shop. Hee…I am afraid I was really there for the food. Don’t have a clue in most of the things that they were discussing… But she’s really nice and had invited me to a few other business lunches where I get to savour good (and sometime, expensive) dishes for the first time.

Wow… this area is quite nice. Believe even so at night. Kind of reminds me of the wharf area at Melbourne City where there are several restaurants and bars facing the water. In this case, a pretty awesome view of MBS.

There are also these weird-looking benches created by a Danish artist, Jeppe Hein, called “modified social benches” scattered around this area. What’s the underlying message? That our society is kinda twisted, bent or even broken? Well, you can try sitting on some of them…

Some 3 hours later, I think I should be heading home to prepare dinner. It’s been an interesting exploration of Raffles Place. While I had expected many changes, I am still amazed. Can’t imagine what is like during peak hours. The rush, the hustle, the crazy vehicular and human traffic, and the lunch crowd… Oh my… I dun really miss all that… LOL…

Day 1 of a short leave: A hot afternoon at the beach

Yesterday was Day 1 of 3-day leave. Had been clearing work leave before I start my next milestone in life. Will talk more about that in a new entry.

About a month plus ago, I had joined some colleagues for night cycling from East Coast Park (ECP) to the Marina Barrage and back. There is a bridge connector which makes getting to the Marina Barrage area very convenient. The path is relatively straight without much slopes so not much effort is required. The weather is cool with a certain eerieness in the air especially at the remote parts towards the end of the ECP and nearing the Marina Barrage.

Since I had checked out the night view of the Marina area, which was lovely, I’d thought why not check out the day view. Afterall, I have the entire afternoon free. Sounds good for some leisurely cycling ya?

What the hell am I thinking?? I had barely made it halfway and I had caved in at around the 8km mark from hom, and decided to just lie on a bench facing the beach.

The weather’s too freaking HOT!! I’m perspiring like crazy and my skin feels very warm and is starting to turn a little red. Any longer in the sun, I’m gonna be burnt despite slathering lots of sunscreen on myself. It might not be very obvious in the picture above but my face was turning pink. I feel like a shrimp that was about to be bbq-ed..

Despite the blazing sun, the sea breeze is pretty strong. There’s something calming listening to the waves thrashing against the shore and the salty scent in the air. The beach’s very quiet except for some workers picking up dead leaves and cutting grass, and a very small handful of cyclists and rollerbladers.

Here I am, lying on this uncomfortable stone bench but feeling very relaxed. I haven’t had this sort of feeling for a long time. Thankfully, my sunnies had helped shield the bright sun rays, and I’m trying hard not to think of rubbish but positive thoughts. It’s rare that I have this opportunity to literally sit (or lie) back and relax so I am not gonna waste it by spoiling that moment.

After 15 mins or so, I had cycled further to Bedok Jetty. Some people were fishing. Can smell a fishy hint in the air. I would have love to sit at Bedok Jetty for another good 10mins but I give up. It’s just too hot.

I turned around and made my way back. On the way, I passed by this area where th air was super thick with smoke. Geez, what’s going on? It’s just a group of people having a bbq. I thought I’m crazy cycling in this heat of the afternoon, and there are people bbq-ing??

Anyway, I think they are not too good at starting fires cos usually I thought it will be ready to bbq if the fire is in a calm state, if you know what I mean. But the fire at their bbq pit was just dancing wild. They must have been very hungry cos there were a TON of chicken wings, placed very close to each other, and had covered the entire surface of the grill, being bbq-ed.

The ride back was quite unpleasant. I don’t have to mention about the weather again cos yes, it’s just hot hot hot. My water bottle’s low on water. I would love for a tall glass of ice-cold coke. No, that’s all sugar which would wash my cycling efforts for that afternoon down the drain. Ok, ice-green sugarless green tea sounds good as well. I NEED A DRINK!!! ARRGHH!! Next time, I would bring a bigger bottle.

Had finally reached home and quickly took a shower… That felt really good!

I’d still want to cycle to the Marina Barrage again. Might be better if I do that in the evening/night…

The hubby’s 41st birthday celebration

Gary’s actual birthday was last Saturday. The dinner at Ginzawa was a pre-birthday treat. On the actual day, dinner was prepared by me! Plus a birthday cake too!

Had whipped up drunken chicken, stir-fried kurobuta pork (black pork) and sweet potato leaves stir-fried by this awesome sambal chilli made by my bff.

The drunken chicken was prepared the day before. Need to marinate the cooked chicken in a mixture of chinese wine and sugar with a just a bit of salt. this will help infuse a stronger wine flavour in the chicken. To ensure tender chicken meat, plunge the boiled chicken into a large bowl of ice-water before marinating it in the wine-sugar mixture. I love this dish and it’s not difficult to make.

The other 2 dishes are normal stir-fries. For the pork, I had to take care not to over-fry it otherwise it will become tough. A huge waste for good pork like kurobuta. The sweet potato leaves are best fried with sambal. I have never ate this type of vegetables before until the “Soup Restaurant” came along.

Gary’s birthday cake for this year is soft and fluffy Japanese cheesecake. It’s a 3-step process so you need to factor in some time and patience for it.

Gary loves this cake a lot. So much that he literally wiped out half the cake all by himself in a short span of 2 days. He said it’s very light. That’s only the texture. This cake is a load of rich (and fattening) ingredients- Cream cheese, butter, sugar, eggs, cream……. It is definitely NOT light. Just cos it’s your birthday cake, it doesn’t mean you chomp it all up in such short time. Tsk tsk… Anyway, there’s 1 slice left in the fridge. Guess that will be gone soon. Have some control ok!!

Maybe next year I will bake a vegan cake? Think the hubby will hate me… LOL!!

Pre-birthday treat for the hubby!

The hubby turned 41 yesterday but his birthday celebration started on Fri evening. By “birthday celebration”, I meant a quiet affair, just the 2 of us, usually over a meal. So earlier this week, I’d asked Gary what would he like to eat for his pre-birthday celebration dinner. It’ll be my treat. He chose “Ginzawa” at Palais Renaissance. Said he wanted to try this place for a while. Now even more so cos there is a 1 for 1 omakase set promotion from Citibank which ends this month. Sounds good.

We had reserved online a week earlier, which we had gotten an email confirmation but I’d received a call the next day, saying that it’s actually full-house. In any case, we managed to get a table for 8.30pm. Think something is wrong with their online reservation system.

We had started off with an appetiser platter. My favourite are the sea grapes seaweed. That’s the one that looked like moss-green little beads stringed together. They are rather crunchy and slightly salty. Quite similar to caviar actually. The fish above the lonesome tiny crab, that reminds me of pickled herring, has a very fishy aftertaste. Urgh, not my cup of tes.

Next comes the dobin mushi (teapot soup), one of my favourite soup in a Japanese restaurant. I like that this soup is lightly flavoured unlike the saltier miso-based soup. This is the first time I had dobin mushi as part of an omakase set. There are a shrimp, chunks of fish, golden mushrooms, some shimeiji mushrooms, a sliced carrot and a ginkgo nut. Quite a lot of stuff crammed in that teapot!

This sashimi is very fresh. 2 slices of yellowjack, 1 botan prawn and 2 really FATTY otoro (tuna belly)!!!

Oh my, this gotta be the fattiest otoro sashimi that I had eaten. Check out the marbling! It looks like one of those premium beef (Wagyu, Kobe etc) right? Gary literally went to trance mode (i.e. eyes closed, slow chewing, totally in his own world) after sinking his teeth in these fatty slices. He had even attempted to scam a slice from me! Just cos I said it might not be too good that this otoro is so fat, it doesn’t mean I am not eating it! Tsk tsk…

This chawanmushi topped with a dollop of uni (sea urchin) and finely diced black truffle is really rich. That is quite a substantial heap of truffle. I supposed the uni is fresh and of good quality but I still can’t get used to its taste.

As I don’t eat beef, I got a thick slice of grilled cod instead. Another fatty fish so the flesh is so tender (largely cos of the oil).

Last item (excluding dessert) is a small bowl of chirashi but with only 3 ingredients- minced tuna belly, scallops and shredded snow crab meat. Pretty good!

This set costs $180. A rather hefty price which I typically won’t indulge unless I plan to pamper myself (that’s once in a blue moon kind of thing) or there’s a promotion like this 1 for 1 from Citibank. Gary was truly satisfied and he can’t stop thinking about the fatty otoro. Kept saying it’s so good. LOL!

Guess this meal still can’t beat the dinner that I’ll be cooking him on his birthday… Haha… Of course lah, it will be filled with love ok!

Hanamidori (Plaza Singapura): Yummy Chicken Soup for the Soul

We were actually heading towards Tsukada Nojo and I am glad that we had made a stop at “Hanamidori” (#04-01, right at the corner). It is newly opened, just 2 weeks ago. At 5pm, it’s a little too early for dinner so the place is quite empty but the original intent is to head at the front or at least middle of the horrendous queue at Tsukada. In any case, we had decided to give this new place a try.

We had settled down at one of these traditional tables, where there is a gap beneath to place your feet in while seated on a thick straw mat. You’ll need to remove your footwear. However, ladies wearing very short skirts should settle for the normal tables cos there really isn’t much room to maneuver your legs such that you won’t reveal too much of erm, yourself. I prefer these tables cos they are situated against the window and it’s nice to eat with a view. Can do a little people-watch from the top..

Of all the Japanese chicken collagen hotpot places we had tried (Tsukada Nojo and Torikin), the set from Hanamidori is the best value per person in terms of the quantity/variety as well as quality.

Here, appetisers are served unlike Tsukada Nojo and Torikin. Served upfront are “Tori Soboro Tofu”, “Tori Tataki”, “Atsuyaki Tamago”, “Tori Chawanmushi” and mixed teppanyaki comprising of grilled salmon and scallop. All are pretty good except for the grilled salmon but I’d always find the meat from grilled salmon rather dry so I am not fond of it.

Next, a medium-sized hotpot was placed on the grill on the table. Inside the pot were some chicken parts simmering in light coloured soup that smells really good. The server would place some chicken in a bowl filled with a kind of ponzu vinegar sauce, and then scoop some of that wholesome soup into shot glasses. For taste, there are also diced spring onions, some kind of ponzu paste and lastly, according to the server, a mala (麻辣) dip which is far from the tongue-numbing fiery Sichuan mala sauce.

The zesty ponzu vinegar sauce complements the natural sweetness of the tender chicken. For a slight zing, I had also added some of that mala dip which is not spicy at all. I prefer to let the soup sit in the shot glass for a while before consuming. The consistency of the soup would be slightly thicker and I thought that brings out the flavour of the soup.

Next, the minced chicken, which came in a solid lump, was deftly shaped by the server into tiny balls with a wooden spoon and placed into the soup. This was followed by some more chicken thighs added into the soup. The amount of chicken served here is definitely more than Tsukada Nojo and Torikin. Again, add a bit of ponzu vinegar and mala dip… super nice!

The veggies (lettuce, cabbage asparagus, enoki and shimeiji mushrooms, Japanese pumpkin, broccoli, carrots) and tofu are added next. That’s quite a variety of items from the garden. In addition, there are also chicken dumplings in different colours. All into the soup now!

Each set includes a small teapot of soup which we had used up. For the final part of the course, a little more soup is added, enough to lightly stew some (already cooked) rice with egg and spring onions to make it into porridge. By then, I am already quite stuffed but is still able to stomach a little more porridge.

I didn’t include a picture but there’s also dessert in the form of a bite-sized piece of collagen pudding.

This set is definitely more than sufficient for 2 pax. Unless you have a very large appetite, it might not be necessary to order other items if it’s just for 2 pax. This is definitely my favourite place for Japanese chicken collagen soup. For a thicker consistency like the soup served at Tsukada Nojo, you can add additional collagen at extra cost, of course.