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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fara's Restaurant - Malacca Lok Lok Steamboat Buffet


Oh you guys won't believe how long we have waited to make our way down to try this.
And finally, the time has come! Here's the Malacca Lok Lok Steamboat Buffet at FRC!

So some of you are probably going "Errr... what's Lok Lok?"
Well, it's basically kinda like a steamboat/hot pot where you get to dunk and cook food in soup/gravy and boy oh boy it can get really fun and filling!

It's really popular in Malaysia (especially Malacca like duh). But you'd be surprised how difficult it is to find a Halal one even across the Causeway! When my Darling Wife and I visited Malacca awhile back, we found out we would have to travel about half an hour by cab just to reach the nearest Halal Lok Lok joint there. Hmmm.....

Well, we don't have to go so far now because we can get it without having to chop passport or pay expensive toll charges LOL


So the Lok Lok Steamboat Buffet is available only on weekends at Fara's Restaurant in Sentosa.
Before you start commenting stuff like "Aiyah all the way to Sentosa??", let us remind you that you probably can't get this anywhere else as close by. Anyways after you see the picture maybe you will see why it's worth it to make your way down.

As you can see, it's a Kampong-style thing going on at Costa Sands (Imbiah Walk) and you'll be eating literally in nature so you really get into the atmosphere. Al Fresco dining!!1

When you get there, the first thing you need to do is choose your soup/gravy favours and you have 4 to choose from... Satay, Laksa, Tom Yum and Chicken.

Satay and Tom Yum
Laksa and Satay
So we tried the ones that we figured we'd like the best.

The Satay is the one traditionally associated with Lok Lok Steamboat so that was a must. We could see why this was the staple at all Lok Lok places. There's just something about dunking food on sticks into Satay gravy that rocks! The gravy was tasty and the right consistency too! I was a bit worried that it would be too thick but not at all! You can even drink it as a soup!

The Laksa was pretty nice too! A great flavour that actually makes you wish you were having actual Laksa LOL but you're having Lok Lok Steamboat okay so don't get carried away.

As usual, we are somehow firm followers of Tom Yum and the Tom Yum soup here was super. Most people will probably choose Tom Yum too and it's little wonder why with a great tasting soup here at FRC. And the more and more you dunk stuff in, the tastier it becomes!!

So what exactly are we dunking?

Prawns

Fish Balls
Hot Dogs and Spicy Fish Cakes
Fish
Assorted Crab Meat
Sotong
Otah
Cocktail Sausages
Beef
Something for the kids!
Don't feel bad about eating the little faces LOL we've seen some variations like Star shapes and the lot but the kids are definitely going to love it! Something fun for them to enjoy!

There's also other stuff we didn't get to photograph because we were too busy stuffing our faces.
Chicken meat and Quail eggs are good examples. I think Quail eggs already we can whack 200.

And don't worry, there's other stuff too not just protein!

Assorted Mushrooms
Assorted Tofu
Assorted Veggies
I know that Veggie Bouquet looks too pretty to eat but you gotta have at least 2 servings of vegetables a day so please don't feel bad and eat your veggies!

They also have some stuff that you don't have to dunk or cook in the soup by the way. These are foods already prepared so just pick it up and eat it.

Mee Goreng
Nasi Goreng
Most of the time when we see Mee Goreng and the sort at a buffet, it's just a filler and not really that good but the Mee Goreng here was excellent! Kept going back for more when I should have been concentrating my efforts on the Lok Lok Steamboat! LOL


They've also got other cooked food (best part - it's fried!) for you to chomp down on. you could eat them as is with some sauce or you could even dunk them for a bit in the Lok Lok Steamboat!

And speaking of sauces....


They have 3 special dipping sauces for you and they keep in the style of the Asian spicy flavours we all know and love so much. But please pardon the picture quality... shaky hands cos too hungry!!

Right on top you have a Chili Kicap kind of concoction which had a bit of tang to it and was definitely on the spicy side! In the middle was a special mix of Sambal Belachan for all you Belachan lovers. Last but not least was a Sambal Tumis.

So how exactly does it go besides choosing which foods you wanna dunk into the Lok Lok Steamboat anyways?

So you remember we chose our stock right at the top right?
Choose between Satay, Laksa, Tom Yum and Chicken stock! And don't forget - You can choose up to 2 because they have a double steamboat thing going on.

Next, you  put your food in, let it simmer up a little bit and you dig in!




Looks good right? Tastes great too!
It's a simple idea and it's fuss free eating! Just choose, dunk and then devour! And it's really fun too! I'm sure you all agree it's always a bit more fun when you're cooking your food at the table and getting to eat it fresh and piping hot!

And if the pictures are not enough to entice you...

video
 
That's surely got to get your appetite running right!!!

After after a whole evening of stuffing your self with so much yummy food, if you still have space, then tuck in to some of the desserts they have there!


Even the drinks are served old-school style!!
I'm guessing that all the food you see above (both for the Lok Lok Steamboat and assorted food/desserts) are probably on a rotational basis. That means you might have a few different items depending on the weekend you visit but what's important to note is that the food will always be fresh and you'll always have a choice of which of the 4 Lok Lok Steamboat soup bases you'd like to enjoy!

Even if you drop by on a weekday or the weekend afternoons, they have an ala carte menu which you can enjoy in the air-con section of the restaurant! Spoilt for choice!

Prices are:
Adult - $29.90+
Child - $14.90+

Sentosa might be a bit of trip from the mainland but hey it's still better than traveling across the causeway am I right? Go early in the day and make a day trip to Sentosa with the family. And in the evening, make your way to FRC and enjoy some Lok Lok Steamboat to reward yourselves! If you're lucky, can catch the weekend fireworks display too!

And who knows, if we are lucky enough, they might open one on the mainland too!
Let's show our support and enjoy some Lok Lok!

Fara's Restaurant and Catering

30 Imbiah Walk 
Costa Sands Resort
Sentosa

Tel: 6274 9963
www.farasrestaurant.com
www.facebook.com/frcdining


Operating Hours:
8am til 11pm Daily

Lok Lok Steamboat only available on
Saturdays and Sundays 6pm til 10pm

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hee Kee Desserts


Our tastes and sense of adventure when it comes to food nowadays knows no bounds.
We used to stick to what we knew and what we were familiar with. Even if something new came along and was  Halal, it might take awhile for an idea to catch on. But now, anything is possible.

One particular thing that we all seem to fancy is dessert!
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't take at least a little enjoyment when indulging in their sweet tooth every once in awhile. Traditional Chinese-style desserts that are Halal is definitely a rarity in Singapore.

Well, finally we have somewhere to go to enjoy such delicacies!!

Hee Kee Desserts is located in Jurong Point which is quite a ways away for us East-siders so we made sure to cover the whole lot since we made the trip!

Traditional Steamed Milk Pudding ($3.50)
I know a lot of you are going "It looks so... boring..."
Well let me tell you - some of the best tasting things ever are the ones you least expect!

As plain as this looks, it was one of our faves! The milky flavour was divine and so smooth. It was not overly sweet so you can really taste the milk in the pudding. A lot of you might compare this to beancurd and it's pretty close but I'll prefer milk to soy milk anyday!

But if you REALLY insist on adding something to it, they have a Red Bean variation. Also, try the Almond Milk Pudding, Ginger Milk Pudding or the big one - Egg Yolk Pudding!
All traditionally steamed of course!

And just how smooth is the pudding?

Really smooth!!
Mango Cheong Fun ($6.00 for 2 pieces)
When we heard 'Mango Cheong Fun' we were a bit wary. The only 'Cheong Fun' we were familiar with was Chee Cheong Fun and we could not imagine any mangoes being associated with that. But oh boy were we surprised (in a good way).

The Cheong Fun skin was actually infused with coconut that you can actually taste!
And what awaits within the delicious white skin?


A nice big juicy piece of mango awaits you within! And what a combination when you eat the mango with the coconut-infused skin. You can really appreciate it if you're looking for a sweet and fresh flavour in your desserts.

I have to say that I was really surprised with this one. Not only was it something I didn't expect but I was very impressed with the innovative nature of the dessert. Damn creative right!

And speaking of innovative...

Durian Pancake ($3.30 per piece)
Hee Kee seems to be teasing us a lot by offering us stuff that is wrapped up.
First was the Mango Cheong Fun and now this. But we are not complaining! Far from it!!

Behold! The Durian Pancake! I actually nicknamed this 'The Golden Pillow' but then I realized that name was already taken... So instead... I shall call this... 'The Golden Cushion'!!

It's basically a coconut-infused crepe (that's oh-so-fluffy) that envelopes what is probably the favourite fruit of so many people. DURIAN!!! Oh yeah! The King of Fruits is ready to be devoured at Hee Kee and we recommend you enjoy it by ordering the Durian Pancake.


Now look at that. Super generous serving of durian all wrapped up within the crepe!
And just so you have a bit of variety, there's some whipped cream in there too but don't worry you durian lovers will still get to savour every single morsel.

And if you're looking for more durian, Hee Kee also has Durian Pudding and a few dishes that incorporate Sago with durian too!

Personally for me - as long as got durian means confirmed power!

Hee Kee also has other desserts with fruits as the main attraction by the way. They have a whole series called 'Manog Mania' and other desserts feature fruits like Rock Melon, Papaya and Watermelon too!

Durian Sauce with Sago ($5.80)
You all probably know we have a couple of obsessions here on The Halal Food Blog.
(I'm talking about obvious ones!) One of them is Poached Eggs and the other is... Salted Egg Yolks!
Maybe it's something about the 'runny' nature of the 2 but there's just something about them...

And the reason we mention this is because.. There's Salted Egg Yolk at Hee Kee!!

Salted Egg Yolks Glutinous Rice Balls in Osmanthus Sweet Soup ($3.80)
So here are these golden orbs of goodness... Dumplings made from glutinous rice containing some of the most delicious fillings ever known to man... Salted Egg Yolk! In fact you can see some already seeping out from the side there LOL

Okay so it's more of Salted Egg Yolk custard paste but it still counts and the salted egg yolk flavour still prevails when we take a big bite of those balls.


I don't know about you but I'm going ZOMG right about now...
And as always, we try to capture the perfect video of the oozing salted egg yolk but again we FAIL!!

But trust us. If you like Salted Egg Yolk, then try this dessert. Before this, we only had salted egg yolk for dessert in the form of a pau so this was a new experience for us. And the glutinous rice balls were not too thick so they had a good bite to them. Plus, they're swimming in a bowl of sweet Osmanthus broth which gives it a nice balance because it's really light.

Whole Coconut with Coconut Ice Cream & Peanut Crush ($8.80)
 If the first thing that comes to your mind when we say "dessert" is ice-cream, well they have it too!
And it's not going to be those sundaes that are over the top and too sweet... this is the natural stuff!

So you get a whole coconut complete with shell which they have hollowed out for you and fill it up with with really tasty coconut ice-cream! You can really taste the coconut flavour and the sweet flavour was just nice. They even have the coconut flesh which the scrape off the sides for you! Topped off with some crushed peanuts and you're all set!

And as an added bonus, they will serve you the coconut water from the coconut itself!
Nothing goes to waste here!!

Curry Chicken Ball ($3.80)
If you're like me and you need a little something else before you start on your desserts, fret not because Hee Kee also has something special in the form of their curry!

You can choose from the Chicken Ball (it's actually Chicken Luncheon Meat! ZOMG so good!) or the Curry Fish Ball. They both come with some really tasty curry and some tau kwa too! Perfect small bites to get you started on the road before your desserts!

And I have to say I was quite surprised by how tasty the curry was! To be honest it looked to be on the watery side but boy oh boy was it packed with curry flavour! Apparently it's a take on the popular Curry Fish Ball which is really popular in Hong Kong. Well, it made me wanna have prata after that!
LOL

Hee Kee really gives us the chance to sample and enjoy some traditional desserts because it's quite rare to find the ones that are certified Halal in Singapore. I'm talking about special desserts like Almond Paste, Taro Paste, Black Sesame Paste, Glutinous Rice Balls, Steamed Puddings and even Beancurds.

If you really wanna go all-out, they also have Birds Nest which is prepared traditionally in many variations like Red Date Soup, Rock Sugar and even Coconut Soup too!

If you're ever in the area, you should really drop by. In fact, it might even be worth making the trip all the way to the West because to be honest, the desserts here are pretty exceptional and we're glad that such a place exists that we can enjoy such desserts that we don't normally get to enjoy so often.

Hopefully they open one in the East or Central soon! *hint hint*

Hee Kee Desserts

JP 2, Jurong Point
1 Jurong West Central 2, #03-54/55

Tel: 6743 8480
www.facebook.com/heekeedesserts


Operating Hours:
11am til 10pm Daily


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Catch 'N Bite

So we received a message via FB to come down and try a new grab-and-go type joint.
The only thing was - it was all the way at West Gate Mall which counts as good as a world away for us here located at literally the other end of Singapore!

But believe you me - Catch N' Bite was always on our mind because we saw the pictures on their website and boy oh boy were we excited to try! And eventually, the day came when we had to venture all the way to the west for a project which meant finally getting to visit West gate Mall!!


The Catch 'N Bite menu is made up mostly of seafood.
Some come in sandwiches, some come in rice bentos and some even come as mini-tartlets.
But we had some items already 'targeted'!

Ultimate Lobster Roll ($12.90)


Ever since I started watching Food Network on cable TV, i kept seeing Lobster Roll this and Lobster Roll that and I really wanted one. So can you imagine how excited I was when I found out that Catch 'N Bite had Lobster Rolls?

And it's the real thing too because we saw a whole pan of the lobster sitting waiting to be enjoyed.

We noticed that the lobster was mixed up with a few other ingredients which kinda took away from the lobster a little bit. To be honest, it pretty much ended up becoming an Egg Mayo sandwich with some lobster meat in it instead of being an actual Lobster Roll.


You can see the lobster meat there is no doubt (see the pink morsel on the left?) but you you can also see more egg than anything else which was kinda disappointing. I know lobster is a very expensive and premium ingredient and you have restaurants serving Lobster Rolls ate 5x the price compared to here but I guess maybe a little less of the egg filler so we can enjoy the lobster itself would be nice.


We actually also felt the bread choice for the Lobster Roll was a little off. We're not saying it's bad bread but I guess it was more about choice of bread.

Lobster Rolls normally come served in a soft bun kinda like a hotdog bun and the Ciabatta bread used here was kinda hard especially when toasted (albeit lightly). Maybe a slight change in bread tactics might help?

But the bread they used was perfect for another item on the menu.

Crunchin' Shrimp Po Boy ($7.90)

Another temptation courtesy of Food Network - The Po Boy!

The shrimp has a nice coating so it gave them a nice crunch when you chomp down and the sauce went really well! But... missing the pickles which are supposed to be in there... Oh well...
But I actually found this more satisfying than the Lobster Roll.

They also have Fish and Chicken Po Boys too.
Actually they have one that we also wanted to try...


The Soft Shell Crab Po Boy was sold out!!
Oh well, at least we know what we're gonna try for the next time we visit!!

Anyways, we had some other stuff too! Went all the way so better try as much as possible!

Clam Soup ($4.90)

It was a bit more watery than we expected but then we realized that it was a Clam Soup and not really a Clam Chowder so less cream would be included. But it was still pretty tasty though! Probably because they used fresh lobster stock in here.

The clams were nice and plump and fresh too. Potatoes, carrots and celery thrown in like any good clam soup and you get a nice flavour of the ocean in a bowl. Wish they would have given small sachets of seasoning like salt and pepper for the benefit of those who might wanna tweak it a little.

Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream Tart
Crab Salad Tart
Garlic Mayo Shrimp Tart
Egg Mayo Ebiko Tart
The Seafood Tarts were these little mini-tarts with a baked shell and filled-in with an offering of seafood paired with some extras to make it a fulfilling bite. In fact, it's literally 1 or 2 bites to finish a tart so you and order a few if you'd like.

It's $2.50 per tart and they also have tarts like Shrimp Salsa, Pineapple Sauce Fish, Wasabi Mayo Shrimp and Mango Chutney Shrimp just to name a few.

Adam's Verdict:
Ultimate Lobster Roll 2.5/5 -- Crunchin' Shrimp Po Boy 3.5/5 -- Clam Soup 2.5/5

Seafood Tarts 1.5/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Ultimate Lobster Roll 2/5 -- Crunchin' Shrimp Po Boy 3.5/5 -- Clam Soup 0.5/5

Seafood Tarts 2.5/5

Azlan's Verdict:
Ultimate Lobster Roll 2/5 -- Crunchin' Shrimp Po Boy 4/5 -- Clam Soup 2.5/5

Seafood Tarts 3.5/5

Definitely something I might visit if I am ever in the area but I'll probably get a Po Boy.
PS this post is dedicated to one of our readers @Signora Su! Promised you we would visit the west!!

Catch 'N Bite

West Gate Mall
3 Gateway Drive #B02-K16

Tel: 64959935
www.catchnbite.com

Operating Hours:
10.00am to 10.00pm Daily