Black Pepper Crab at Long Beach Seafood, Madam Tussauds at Sentosa, and Kok Sen Restaurant

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If you enjoy eating crab, then a trip to Singapore means you have to try either their chili crab or black pepper crab! We tried both in Malaysia last time, but this time S and I decided to just go on our own for lunch. It is said that the Black Pepper Crab dish was first created by the chef of Long Beach Seafood and therefore, the restaurant is known for this signature dish. We decided to take the bus to the King location and it wasn’t hard to find.

 

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We enjoyed a sleeve of Tiger Beer which is Singapore’s official beer. Cold and refreshing!

 

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We also shared a plate of Pea Shoots to get some veggies intake. The veggies were fresh and flavoured with a nice garlic broth.

 

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The crabs are ordered by the kg and they serve mud crabs here. I believe ours was under 2 kg which honestly isn’t too much shared between two if you’re only eating this. In fact, the mud crabs aer quite small compared to the BC Dungeness crabs we have in Vancouver. Only the claws are big. We decided to go with the Black Pepper Crab and it was full of pepper flavour. S actually found it a bit too spicy but for me it was just right. It would be delicious paired with a bowl of rice! I can’t quite remember how much the crab was per kg, but our whole meal came to over $100 SGD. So definitely not cheap, but the ambiance in the restaurant is also pretty nice. Be warned that they will place peanuts on the table which cost $2 SGD and towelettes are $1 SGD. You better check your receipt to ensure you don’t pay more. A great spot to try chili or black pepper crab regardless!

 

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After lunch, we headed to Sentosa. You can choose to take the monorail, cable car, or walk. At VivoCity, you can purchase tickets for the monorail which gives you a round trip journey and unlimited use of the Sentosa Express around the island for the day if you purchase the Sentosa Pass. However, as the weather wasn’t too hot that day, we decided to try walking to Sentosa from VivoCity on the Sentosa Boardwalk. It actually only takes around 15 minutes if you walk leisurely, and there are gardens along the way and also covered up top in case of rain. If you walk quickly, it’s probably only 5 minutes. I actually quite enjoyed this option as we got to enjoy some scenic views along the way.

 

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Finally, we arrived at the resort. As we had been here last time we visited Singapore and had purchased a fun pass, we had already done many of the activities on the island. You can check out my post from my visit two years ago if you’re interested in the activities on the island. This time around, we targeted some new activities.

 

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We decided to check out Madame Tussauds this time around. The wax museum featured famous legends from both North America and Asia. Before we even started the wax museum, we were able to take the Spirit of Singapore boat ride which takes you around Singapore in a boat. Sort of like a kiddie ride at the amusement park, but it was actually quite well made with all the famous sights being showcased. Tickets are normally around $40 SGD if you purchase at the venue, with around a $10 SGD discount if you purchase online. However, if you purchase through KLOOK, it only costs $20 SGD. Savings are quite good and the ticket also includes Images of Singapore LIVE, a 30 minute live actor-led show. If you pay another $3.50 SGD on KLOOK, you can also visit the new Marvel 4D Cinema which wasn’t open yet when we visited.

 

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You’ll find famous politicians like Obama!

 

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Sports players like Yao Ming!

 

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And of course the famous Bruce Lee!

 

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When we were exiting the wax museum section, we also noticed there is a Virtual Reality Racing experience. Here, you can pay an additional fee to race in one of two full sized virtual reality car simulators. You can choose to be on Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel’s team. S could not miss the opportunity to sit in one of these cars, so of course he paid for the experience. I believe it was roughly $20 SGD or so, and he said it was well worth the price.

 

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As our ticket included Images of Singapore LIVE, we decided to check it out as well. The show is only 30 minutes and we were actually able to learn a bit about the history of how Singapore came about. There are live actors who will take you back in the day while you walk around their staged sets. Unfortunately no pictures allowed though. If you have some time to spare, then it’s worth checking out after the wax museum.

 

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After an afternoon at Madam Tussauds, we headed towards the beach area. Looking for a quick snack, I suggested we see what special menu items were available at McDonalds. We found Sweet Corn Soft Serve, so had to give it a try. The flavours were interesting but I personally wouldn’t get it again. The soft serve itself was creamy and smooth like their typical vanilla cone but with a subtle corn flavour.

 

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We decided to end our trip at Sentosa by checking out the beach. There are a few beaches on the island, but we wandered to Tanjong Beach which has the least activities. It’s nice and quiet and the perfect place to unwind after a long day. We were able to catch the sunset here as well.

 

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After Sentosa, I had made plans to meet my exchange friends for dinner. They decided to take me to Kok Sen Restaurant 國成球記菜社 which has been listed on the Michelin Bib Gourmand. The restaurant therefore has become very busy and you’ll be expected to wait for a seat. The restaurant is not fancy inside as you’ll be sitting on stools without air conditioning. However, the food is delicious! We started with the Romaine Lettuce Stir Fried with Fermented Beancurd. It was slightly spicy but not overbearing.

 

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Cereal Butter Squid

Next up was the Cereal Butter Squid which was probably my favourite dish of the night. There are plenty of squid buried underneath the mountain of crunchy crushed cereal. This was the perfect dish to pair with rice!

 

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Sliced Fish Soup

The Sliced Fish Soup came in a clear broth with deboned sliced fish, choy sum, and mushrooms. The broth was flavourful despite being very clear.

 

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Hot Plate Tofu

I believe the Claypot Yong Tau Foo is famous at Kok Sen, but I don’t remember if it was sold out or why we didn’t order it. Anyways, we ended up with the Hot Plate Tofu which had plenty of tofu, shrimp and vegetables in a thick savoury sauce.

 

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Yang Zhou Fried Rice

Lastly, we had the Yang Zhou Fried Rice which had shrimp, barbecue pork and egg. Flavourful dish but nothing too special. Overall, the food at Kok Sen was pretty good and all dishes we tried didn’t disappoint. Just be prepared to wait if you don’t have reservations! I believe the restaurant has been around for 3 generations now, so the locals must love it!

 

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Kok Sen is located on Keong Saik Rd, and there are actually many bars around this area. We decided to go for drinks with my friends after dinner. Remember, drinks are not cheap in Singapore though so be warned that you’ll be ready to dish out around $20 for a cocktail. We ended up going to Potato Head which has a rooftop bar. Luckily in the evenings, the heat dies down a bit, but it’s definitely still quite warm for us! We ended up enjoying some delicious cocktails and called it a night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken’s Chinese Restaurant – ChineseBites Media Event

NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food was free, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Last month, I was invited by ChineseBites to do a tasting at Ken’s Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant has been around for many years and serves traditional Chinese dishes as well as some HK style cafe dishes.

Fish Soup with Winter Melon & Dried Scallop 瑤柱冬瓜粒魚湯

Chinese dinners always start with soup, and we got to sample the Fish Soup with Winter Melon & Dried Scallop. Flavourful with lots of ingredients and great for a cold rainy night.

Ken’s Specialty Chicken 南軒走地雞

Ken’s Specialty Chicken was tender with a nice layer of jelly under the skin.

Lobster with Konnyaku in Hot Pot 芋絲龍蝦煲

One of their signature dishes is the Lobster with Konnyaku in Hot Pot. This was very flavourful with the lobster cooked just right and the konnyaku noodles soaking up the delicious broth. A must order!

Crab with Garlic & Spicy XO Sauce XO 金蒜炒蟹

We got to sample two of their signature crab dishes. The first was the Crab with Garlic & Spicy XO Sauce. The sauce is more of a dry sauce and great if you love spicy flavours. I could eat the whole dish if I didn’t have to share!

Golden Dungeness Crab 金沙蟹

The Golden Dungeness Crab was one of my favourites as I love crab or lobster that is coated with a salty egg yolk batter. Very flavourful but some found it to be too filling because of the egg yolk. I loved it though!

Braised Fatty Layer Pork 杭州東玻肉

The Braised Fatty Layer Pork seems like a must order at ChineseBites events, and this one didn’t disappoint. A good layer of fat to meat ratio but I did find that this one felt more oily than others I’ve had.

Pan Fried Chicken Fillet with Spicy Thai Sauce 泰汁煎雞扒

The Pan Fried Chicken Fillet with Spicy Thai Sauce was quite average for me as I didn’t find it too special. The chicken was quite tenderized, but nothing too special with the sauce as it tasted like store bought Thai sweet chili sauce.

Malaysian Style Fried Rice 馬拉臘味炒飯

I actually quite enjoyed the Malaysian Style Fried Rice as it had a bit of a kick to it. Good amount of ingredients in the rice.

Black Pepper Diced Beef Tenderloin 七彩黑椒牛柳粒

I was pleasantly surprised with the Black Pepper Diced Beef Tenderloin as I find that this dish can be easily overdone. This was however delicious with the beef extremely tender and cooked to a nice medium to medium rare. The colourful peppers also made the dish visually appetizing and tasted great.

Baked Seafood on Rice 焗海鮮飯

Lastly, we had the Baked Seafood on Rice. This was quite average with a nice layer of white cream sauce and melted cheese. Nothing too special compared to your typical HK style cafes.

Overall, there were some hits and misses, but I would highly recommend trying their crab and lobster dishes. A great casual Chinese restaurant for families but ambiance is rather dated. Reasonable prices and some great dishes though.

Ken's Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Singapore (+ Dinner in Malaysia) & Taiwan Trip (Day 4)

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Day 4 in Singapore started of with breakfast at the Mayflower Market & Food Centre. As we had moved back to the aunt’s place, we were in the Ang Mo Kio district. This is a residential area so the food centre is filled with locals.

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The great thing about eating at the hawker centres is that everyone can choose what they want and eat together. S chose to order from Jin Song which offers a variety of noodle dishes.

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He got the Wonton Char Sew Mee, which is really barbecued pork on top of wonton noodles. It comes with a side of wontons with soup in it and you can dip your noodles or pour the soup onto your noodles. Quite tasty and only around $2 SG.

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For myself, I ordered from this stall which features only three noodle dishes. The stall did not have an English name…

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I got the Laksa which was for a cheap price of $2.50 SG and filled me up. You will find that each stall’s laksa broth is quite different. This one was strong in seafood flavours with ingredients like cockles being prominent in the flavour. It was also topped with various fish cakes. I got a grass iced grass jelly tea as my drink.Yum!

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After breakfast, S’s aunt drove us to the Singapore Zoo. As you can tell, we were driven around quite a lot on our trip, but getting around by public transit in Singapore is very easy too. Check the zoo’s website for easy directions for public transit. The admission fee for adults if you purchase at the booth is $32. It’s cheaper online or if you purchase with their self-serve kiosks at the front. You can save around 10-30%. The cool thing about the zoo is that it has an open concept exhibit where you can get pretty close to the animals. You’ll find monkeys just jumping around which is pretty cool. I also loved the shows that they put on, such as this elephant show. Be sure to scan the schedule and plan out the shows you want to see.

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The park is huge and offered a variety of exhibits. You can really see animals from all over the world including these cute koala bears!

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My favourite had got to be the polar bear exhibit! Watch the feeding show and you can watch him swim and catch his fish. I’d also highly recommend purchasing the tram ride which is $5 SG for adults which includes unlimited rides. It’s great when your feet is getting tired and the tram will take you to different zones where you can get off and continue by foot to see the animals in more detail.

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The Singapore Zoo itself can take you pretty much the whole day to see if you want to walk around casually. We weren’t in Singapore for long though, so we decided to check out the River Safari the same day as well. This costs $28 but I believe it’s cheaper when you buy a package which gives you access to both the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. However, we found this to be huge disappointment… This showcases many marine life animals, but we found the exhibition to be very small and animals underwhelming.

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We also paid an additional $5 SG for the Amazon River Quest Boat Ride. This was really just a log ride that allows you to view various animals along the way. However, many animals were sleeping and it was difficult to take pictures of them while the boat was moving. Would skip this in my opinion.

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The best part of the River Safari was probably the Giant Panda exhibit. Inside, you can find the red panda. So cute!

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You will also find the two giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Super cute but hopefully you catch them when they’re not napping!

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After the zoo, S’s aunts picked us up and told us we would be going to Malaysia for dinner. Apparently you can drive to Johor Bahru (also known as JB), one of the closest cities in Malaysia to Singapore. It is less than an hour drive and similar to how we visit Bellingham from Vancouver. You just need to go through customs which is a pretty fast process. We went to KSL City Mall as the aunts wanted to do some grocery shopping and we visited Taste Better.

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They are famous for their one-bite durian puffs. You have to eat them in one-bite because the durian cream inside will explode if you don’t! So good! Even though I’m not a fan of durian, these are delicious!

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After grocery shopping, we drove to Restoran Chua Kee which is famous for their seafood. S and I really wanted to eat crab, so the aunts suggested this spot. It is open concept so you sit in beach chairs. It was relatively clean in my opinion, but just leave your favourite dress behind if you’re visiting here.

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At the grocery store, we had purchased a peeled coconut. This is super cool! They peel the whole coconut so you’re left with all the pulp and juice inside! Only downside is the coconut wasn’t super soft.

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S got this Kickapoo Joy Juice Soda which apparently is American, but highly distributed in Singapore and Malaysia. It tasted like mountain dew.

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We started off with a fried fish and seafood dish. Not bad.

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This was fried butter coated chicken. A bit sweet and and very tasty!

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Some veggies with chili. Fresh and loved the kick of heat.

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We also shared a bowl of shark fin soup.

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We also had this large seafood bowl which consisted of mussels, prawns, and cockles. It had a generous amount of this thick sauce which I wasn’t too fond of.

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As for crab, we started off with the salted egg yolk crab. We loved the coating and this is by far one of my favourite salted egg yolk crab. However, I found that the crabs in Malaysia to have rather small legs compared to the ones in BC. Only the claws had lots of meat.

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We also got the famous Black Pepper Crab. This was so delicious! But at the same time it is very spicy, so be warned. I wanted to keep eating it but it was really too spicy for me.

After dinner, we crossed customs again and headed back to Singapore. Customs again was very quick compared to the one we have at Peace Arch. Who knew our trip to Singapore would take us to Malaysia as well! A fun trip to take if you have some spare time in Singapore.

Details:

Mayflower Market & Food Centre: 162 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, Singapore 560162

Singapore Zoo & River Safari: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826

Taste Better @ KSL City Mall (Malaysia): 33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru

Restoran Chua Kee: 67, Jalan Kacang Panjang, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru 81550, Malaysia

 

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen

Sweet Potato Bread with Olive Oil & Vinegar, Kimchi, and Sea Salt

Scallop

Roasted Cream of Winter Cauliflower Soup

Butter poached king crab leg, trout caviar, truffle oil

Short Ribs

West Coast Seafood Cioppino


Yes, it’s my long overdue posts from Dine Out Vancouver 2012 that should’ve been uploaded long time ago! Well they are coming along! Here’s another dine out I went to. This one was a $38 set menu at the Kitsilano Daily Kitchen. This restaurant is so interesting because they change their menu everyday! I believe they post the menu up at a certain time, but if you don’t have a look beforehand, then you are going in for a surprise! Pretty cool twist, I personally think! Upon waiting for our food to arrive, we were given a jump fried squid as our amuse bouche. It was delicious as it was cooked in just the right amount of time, so it wasn’t hard to chew at all. We were also given complementary bread, which was a sweet potato bread with some complements to go with. We only used the olive oil though, as we thought kimchi and bread would taste funny..Maybe should’ve given it a try! The bread was alright, but it was a little on the mushy side. I’ll give props for it being different from bread that we are usually given though! Since the restaurant changes menus all the time, I couldn’t go online afterwards to look up the menu names, so I can’t quite remember the full names of the food. The scallops were cooked perfectly, and overall, I think they do a really good job with their seafood. The cioppino had very large pieces of fish in it, and they were very fresh. I found that the scallops in the cioppino weren’t cooked as well as the ones for the appetizer though. Perhaps it is because of the way it is cooked! The cioppino was cooked in a tomato base and had three types of sausages in it, which were all very spicy! For dessert, I did not get a picture of it, as we had it to go, but it was a chocolate tart, which we found to not be anything extraordinary. I know that most chocolates are paired with some sort of salt, like “salted chocolate”, but this was had a very strong salty taste to it, that became unpleasant. I have to say the dessert was my least favourite part of the meal, especially because it was nothing special. The place is kind of hidden as there are no large signages, so it was quite hard to find. You probably would’t notice the restaurant if you were walking by. However, the inside is very classy, like fine dining, but not as fancy as the downtown restaurants. Still has a very modern vibe to it though! Not bad and a great place to go if you want a surprise!

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Empire Seafood Restaurant 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家

Finally uploaded my pictures of my feast at Empire Seafood Restaurant in Richmond in the London Drugs Mall. Around a month ago, the Alaskan king crabs were in season, and almost all Chinese restaurants were offering feasts of crab for a great deal. This is actually only one way of how the crab was cooked. This one was done with garlic. There was also one that was fried with batter. Both so delicious! I think the crab season is ending soon now, so get all the crab you can before the prices rise again!

Empire Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Chinatown in San Francisco

Shrimp

Mussels

We decided to go try some Chinese food in San Francisco, and of course the place to be was in Chinatown! This restaurant had a lot of people in it, so we chose to go in. The food was delicious although the environment wasn’t all glammed up. Prices were also reasonable. We also had a dish of crab, but I forgot to take a picture! I guess I was too busy eating!

Crab House at Pier 39 San Francisco

Fish and Chips

Steamed Mussels

Crab Cakes

Went to the Crab House in San Francisco, and it was right by Pier 39! It had an amazing view of the Fisherman’s Wharf and the decorations inside the restaurant were funky! All sea-related things hanging off the ceilings and walls. The seafood was extremely fresh and tasted delicious! Too bad I didn’t get to try the crabs they were famous for. I saw many other tables around us order them and it was funny because they were given bibs to wear!

Crab House on Urbanspoon

Todai Sushi and Seafood Buffet

Todai Sushi Seafood Buffet

Caesar’s Salad, Crab Legs, Variety of Sushi, Mixture of Shellfish

Mussels, Squid, Ribs, Mushroom, Prawn Tempura, Udon

Variety of Desserts including Cream Puff, Tiramisu, Cheesecake, Matcha White Chocolate, Creme Brulee

Green Tea Soft Ice Cream and Banana Whipped Cream Crepe

So I found that you guys really enjoyed my post from the Wicked Spoon buffet, so I decided to upload the rest of my pictures from buffets. I didn’t think they were as great as the Wicked Spoon, but they were still really good! Another buffet I went to in Las Vegas was Todai: The Sushi and Seafood Buffet located inside Planet Hollywood. They had a larger variety of sushi and seafood to choose from including crab legs! I also really liked how they had a section where a chef would make you udon instantly and you could choose what you would like as ingredients. They also had a dessert section where a chef would serve you soft ice cream and also instantly make you crepes with different fillings you could choose from. The variety of desserts were also great! A little pricey for the buffet, compared to the Wicked Spoon, but I guess seafood is expensive! The wait was also very long (at least an hour), but I had this on Christmas and Las Vegas is famous for those long lineups at buffets! If you want seafood and sushi in Vegas, this is the place to go!

I’m going to keep posting other pictures of food I had from a few places I traveled to this past year, so be sure to check back often!

Todai (Planet Hollywood) on Urbanspoon