Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gastronomania Food Trail at Far East Square!

My oh my. I always thought I had a big appetite, and when I was offered the chance to go on a food trail, I thought, "No problemo, argentino! Bring it on! There ain't no feast too big for good ol' Jo!"

But...I was wrong. By the 4th stop I was stuffed. But I hung in there and managed to complete the ENTIRE trail without having bits of food oozing out of my ears. I weighed myself before I left the house, and weighed myself again when I got back. I put on a total of 1.2kg. (Which was quite little. I thought it would've been 3kg or something...)

Anyways, the food was really good at every stop and I totally wished I brought my lunch box so I could tapau the food!!! (Next time, next time.)

Food Stop #1: Zhou's Kitchen
Opened in 2007, Zhou's Kitchen was conceptualized to build upon TungLok's strength in Chinese Cuisine. This casual Chinese dining concept provides quick, fuss-free meals for locals (who we all know complain about everything, and are always in a rush for time. Yeap, always proud to be Singaporean!)

I guess they've succeeded. Even with a whole bunch of hungry bloggers raiding their restaurant early on a Saturday afternoon, their top-notch service was quick, but certainly not compromising on taste and quality.

We had the Zhou’s Kitchen Braised Pork Shank, which was served with Fried and Steamed Buns, and they were really yummy! I particularly loved the buns (I'm a sucker for mantous.) and the meat was very very tender. Although I'm not a big fan of pork shank in general, this was certainly well-made, and one of the other bloggers, HP, sure had a good time walloping up all the pig skin!!! COLLAGEN! COLLAGEN!
Drooling yet?
There are four outlets islandwide, and they also have hi-tea, lunch and dinner buffet! (Did you hear me say, BUFFET?! BOOO-FAAAY!!!)

Ala-carte Buffet at Far East Square :
Tel : +65 6877 1123
(Reservations are suggested, I've heard that they're always packed!)
Adult $20.80++
Child $12.80 (Below 12 years old)
(Minimum 4 persons)        


Adult $29.80++
Child $18.80 (Below 12 years old)
(Minimum 4 persons)  

Food Stop #2: SPRING JuChunYuan

Aptly located in what used to be Chui Eng Free School, SPRING JuChunYuan specializes in the well-known, award-winning dish that originated from FuZhou, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall.

I felt like royalty entering its premises, the court resembled a SiHeYuan (traditional Chinese architecture), and was beautifully designed and decorated. Not just that, the chef came out and introduced to us their signature dish, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, and informed us that it took over 3 - 4 days to prepare. He also mentioned that JuChunYuan in China was founded by chef Zheng Chun Fa, the 'first disciple' of the lady that made this dish for the very first time. He also modified it, increasing the portion of seafood and reducing the meat content, thus enhancing the flavour of the soup, making it richer and more savoury.

Fo Tiao Qiang (the Chinese translation of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall) is a rich combination of shark's fin, abalone, scallop, sea cucumber, fish maw, cuttlefish, pork tendon, flower mushroom, and other ingredients, and each serving is brewed individually in an earthen jar. For a serving of 10, they use a bigger jar, and an order must be made one day in advance.

Individual Serving: $198

Group Serving for 10: $1288
Other than their needless-to-say delicious signature dish, they also serve traditional Min cuisine, which is mainly represented by Fuzhou and Xiamen styles. Min (闽) cuisine is one of the top eight major cuisines of China, the other 7 being Chuan (川), Jing (京), Lu (鲁), Su (苏), Hui (徽), Xiang (湘), and Yue (粤).

So we were given the chance to try one of their other dishes, Xing Hua Bee Hoon. This was one of my favourites of the day. It was served with a special sauce made of garlic, red vinegar, and sugar. But it certainly does not leave that garlicy after-taste in your mouth. Also, the bee hoon was a special bee hoon prepared only in their kitchen. It is particularly fine, thus, reducing the oil content in the dish when they fry it. YUM!

Food Stop #3: Garuda Padang Cuisine
Pity Chun couldn't come along else I'm sure he would've enjoyed this very very much. We were served Fried Chicken with Blue Ginger Floss. Fried to a crisp, this tasty dish would be a perfect addition to any meal, or even one that could be eaten on its own.

Some of the other dishes. I needed a bowl under my mouth to collect my drool.

Ayam Goreng Garuda is made using only the freshest chicken, fried till golden brown with the grated Galangal, which is also marinated before frying.

And more...
Garuda Padang serves Minangkabau Cuisine. Basically, staple ingredients of the Minangkabau diet include rice, beef, fish, green leafy vegetables and chilli. Spices and herbs used also include turmeric, ginger and blue ginger (galangal).

It's a casual dining concept, with reasonable prices. The service staff are extremely friendly, and the ambience is laid-back and comfy. I'm definitely returning here.

Oh. Prices.

At Far East Square
eve of and on PH

Caught sight of this. PROMOTION!!! Hurry Hurry Go Go!

Wah... I've been at the computer for so long, but I've only got to Food Stop #3... 3 down, 5 more to go!

Food Stop #4: Shin Kushiya

To be honest, at this stop, I wasn't quite paying attention to what the manager was telling us with regards to the history of this dish. I was too busy enjoying my food! Haha!


I thought I heard snippets of "using coal imported all the way from Japan", "sealing natural flavours", "all natural ingredients"...
And they just had to top it all off... by serving...
Kuro Goma Heaven (which translates to A Piece of Heaven)

This is too much for me to handle. I want MORE ICE-CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For Reservations at Far East Square, call 6438 8991. They have five outlets all around Singapore but each outlet has a different promotion. So do call to check first!

Food Stop #5: Mont Calzone Pizza and Pasta

This is where my iPhone decides that it's FULL (from pictures) and all following photos would be off someone else's camera. Credits to Zoe-Anne Tay, who obviously takes MUCH better photos than me. Thanks girl!

Rustica Pizza
I have high standards for Pizza, and Pasta. When I saw the spread, I certainly headed for the Pizza first. First of all, it's Thin Crusted (which is not normally how I like my Pizza), BUT IT WAS SOOOO NICE. The mushrooms were droolsome. They had that mushroom taste still. I don't know if many notice, but mushrooms tend to lose their flavour in most dishes. But not in this one.

Parma Ham with Rucola Pasta
And then, despite being very full, I went for the Pasta. I asked HP if the Marinara was spicy (at that point of time, I didn't know it was Sambal Marinara) and he said "no."


IT WAS. Well, to me at least, because I don't eat spicy stuff and certainly not SAMBAL!
Sambal Marinara Pasta: SPICY!!
Lucky for me, there was the Carbonara to down the spicyness. The Carbonara was really creamy, and had a unique flavour. Definitely won't get jelat eating it. Can you imagine, I was already so full, but I could still enjoy the Carbonara! It kind of reminded me of the Carbonara I had in the Maldives... *reminisce*

Carbonara: Absolutely Delicious!

Food Stop #6: Mirchi
Stepping in, I was most awed by the decor and ambience of this venue. It felt very cozy, bohemian, and just like the perfect place to gather with a couple of close friends and chat away while slowly munching on bits of yummy food.

Such Pretty Lamps!

Tandoori Platter
Tandoori is something which I enjoy very much! And LASSI TOO! So I had a field day.
Mango Lassi. Slurp. I was tempted to finish Zoe's for her while she wasn't looking.
The word tandoori is the adjective meaning "pertaining to the tandoor" and is used to describe a dish cooked in a tandoor. A tandoor, basically, is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The heat for a tandoor was traditionally generated by a charcoal fire or wood fire, burning within the tandoor itself, thus exposing the food to live-fire, and smoking by the fat and food juices that drip on to the charcoal.

Is this why it's so tasty? Hm. Must be. Also, no oil is used at all, making Tandoori a very healthy dish. Not to mention, it's full of good spices like turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, masala, etc, which are said to be wonderful natural remedies for lots of ailments like runny nose, sore throat, and so on!


Yoghurt is also often served in Indian Cuisine, especially with its rice dishes. In this case, we had it in our Lassi, which is a popular yoghurt-based drink. Kinda like a Yoghurt Shake. More Please!!!

Food Stop #7: Hock Lam Beef Noodles
The ORIGINAL Hock Lam Beef has been around since 1911, and is the Pioneer of beef noodles in Singapore. This family-run business is currently being managed by its Fourth Generation and gets its name not from Mr. Hock Lam, but from the street which they originally opened on 100 years ago. Back then, there was Hock Lam Street. Now, there is Funan Centre. If you're as smart as I am, you will realize that Hock Lam translates to Fu Nan.

The family prepares the gourmet beef noodle dish by hand, in a premium, 5-star quality beef broth, using no shortcuts and allowing no compromises in flavour. I can vouch for the fact that their beef is really tender and superduper yummy! Even the Kway Teow tastes wonderful. And it's not like any normal kway teow that I've eaten before. That's because even the kway teow is made with their own special recipe! And can be found nowhere else! I bet if they could grow their own tou-gay they'd do so!

The Three Generations!
The Fourth Generation! (Not me, of course, Tina, the lady on the right!)
Hock Lam Beef can be found at the following locations:
1. 22 China St, #01-01, Far East Square
2. 949 Upper Serangoon Rd

Don't forget to Like their Facebook page for more great offers! Click HERE!

Food Stop #8: Oni Cupcakes
I was SO FULL after the Hock Lam Beef. 7 Main Courses! What A Knockout.

Ok, time for dessert!

We dropped by Oni Cupcakes and the cupcakes were soooooooooooooo Cuuuuuuuute!

Really. Stuffed. At. This. Point.
But couldn't help ogling at the cupcakes!
Act Cute only.
Tsk aww... Look at 'em! So Pweeettttyy!
The cream is really what tops it off! Tangy, flavoursome, and of course, really pretty!

AND THAT IS THE END OF OUR FOOD TRAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Joanne,
It was nice meeting you, and had fun feasting too!

steph said...

Hi there!

Am a friend of Nicole (who works in mt pleasant animals hospital)! Anyway, we were on the topic of blogging when she told me that she has a friend who's a blogger and always attend omy events! Guess what? I was invited to this exact food trail too but due to prior commitments, i couldnt make it. Otherwise, I would have met u too! Sounds like u guys had a blast :)