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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Project 2012

It's been a long time, too long, since I've updated anything. Working on a small project, hoping to get phase 1 done by first quarter. Looking forward to unveiling it. Meanwhile, small food reviews are available in my facebook page. Just look out for the albums labelled "eats". Till next time.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Swa Garden

540 Macpherson Road
Phone : +65 6744 5009

Old school Teo Chew restaurant that has witnessed countless Grandparents’ major birthday celebrations. One such occasion was seated beside my table, a sea of red festivity with the occasional black rebel. Chairs and tables were utilitarian of old, as were the glasses and teacups. I especially enjoy the salmon orange stained table cloth. With such festivities abound, the noise level was expectedly above average, not the best place for a romantic night out.

The pink and yellow polo teed staff were ruthlessly efficient as they poured the tea, which was distinctively fragrant, served iced water and almost mind read what I wanted to order. Such service could over come from years of dedication to the art of food serving in a place like this. No fuss, no muss, no waiting.

Like the service, the food was served lighting fast. We were the last table seated in a full restaurant and the food arrived when our conversations have barely started.

Fish Maw Soup
Though a little bland, the natural and clean taste of the brown stew was a great way to start our dinner.

Braised goose
A must order signature dish, plump, juicy sliced of goose sat atop a small hill of beancurd. Flavourful without excess fat, the beacurd soaking up the braised gravy delivering a pleasant satisfaction.

Oyster Eggs
An ordinary dish when made well is almost always something special, This was the case with this simple pairing of eggs with oysters. Shallow fried, the beaten eggs had risen to envelope fresh succulent oysters gently so that all the wonderful juices were captured within the egg wall.

Prawn/Crab roll
The ubiquitous Prawn roll was ordinary but well executed. The slight less common crab roll on the other hand was a moist ball of delightful crab bits, encrusted within a golden brown coat.

Steamed Promfet
Another must have Teo Chew dish of fresh promfet steamed with salted vegetables and tomatoes. What makes their gravy, or soup better than most is the use of lard as a base for the fish. It is the most pricy course but well worth it. I later found out this dish is included in the set meal and would cost a lot less.

White Steamed Prawns
A last minute addition, as the dish traveled from the kitchen, its unbelievable fragrance made heads turn as I noticed the envy of the table of reds as they eyed our serving plate of orange and white freshness. Such simplicity when confidently paired with fresh ingredient often produces the most wonderfully delightful results. I still remember the crunch of the prawns as the rice wine sauce sweetens my mouth.

Yam Paste with Pumpkin in a Water Chestnut Broth
The reason I was there. Soft deep dark yams beaten to submission to present its true flavours, paired with sweet pulpy pumpkin, covered with a clean water chestnut broth. The concoction was delightfully sweet but not saccharine. What sets this apart from the thousands of wedding dinner desserts is the water chestnut broth with its natural sweetness. I dare say this is the best version of one of my favourite dessert of all time.

With the lighting quick service, homely food and excellent dessert, no wonder this place really pack in the crowds. Reservation is highly recommended for weekend and holiday dinners.

Ambience - 2/5
Service - 4/5
Food - 7/10
Price - $15-50 per person