Friday, December 11, 2015

10 at Claymore

10 at Claymore is a restaurant in Pan Pacific Orchard, a very cozy place for a gathering of friends.  We were there for a buffet lunch, making use of their promotion of the 4th person dines free.

There is a mixture of western and Asian food, but more inclined to western, in particular meat heavy.  They offer different kinds of beef, mutton and chicken, as well as pork ham.  A mini version of Canivore that caters to all the meat lovers.

In addition to the items on display, they also have 4 ala carte dishes - Angus beef, lamb shank, turkey, and the award winning char kway teow with swimmer prawns.

Lamb Shank (2-person portion)

Angus Beef (6-person portion)

I tried the lamb shank and the Angus beef, both are not bad, though they are not of the top grade.  For the effective price of $36/pax, I think it is at least reasonable.

Last but not least, they have some good spread of desserts too.

I noticed from this link that they used to offer a more expensive lunch buffet, with a lot more seafood stuff, I don't know why they changed their strategy and decided to go for lower end of the customer spectrum.  Does it reflect the current economic situation?  Mmmh....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

National Gallery of Singapore

National Gallery of Singapore, housed in the old supreme court and city hall buildings, had finally opened its door to welcome her first visitors in November.  It is after 10 long years of renovation and preparation work.  For a limited period, Singaporeans and PRs had the privilege to have free access to the galleries.

I managed to book my free tickets for the last day, 6 Dec, 10am - 2pm time slot.  We arrived at the gallery at around 10.10am.  There was already a queue, for ticket holders.

People queuing to enter NGS

Luckily the queue moved fast, we got into the gallery at around 10.30am.  I like the kind of Roman-Greek style of architecture, which shaped the city hall and supreme court buildings.  It really felt good with all the big stone columns, high ceilings, etc.

National Gallery is divided into four major sections, DBS, UOB, SingTel and Ng Teng Fong galleries.  Each gallery has further sub-galleries.  Overall, you have quite a lot of galleries, too much for a single visit, I must say.

UOB City Hall Courtyard


The interior is spacious and modern.   I still remember when they came up with a few architecture proposals and asked Singaporeans to vote, I voted, and I also asked my friends to vote too.  I am happy that the proposal that I like is the one that was chosen, and that's what you see today.

NGS is specialized in the collection of South East Asian art work.  There are some gems in the collection.  One of them is a painting by famous Chinese painter Xu Beihong.

Painting by Xu Beihong

Xu Beihong's signature

Another one is a permanent gallery dedicated to Chinese contemporary painter Wu Guan-zhong.

Chinese Small Town by Wu Guan-zhong

Notre Dame by Wu Guan-zhong

There are also many paintings that are closer to our home, for example, old attap house.  This will bring back lots of good memories for our pioneer generation.

NGS is not just about paintings, the buildings are also part of an art heritage.  Look at these beautiful columns with Corinthian capitals, which were part of the former supreme court building.

Columns with Corinthian Capitals 

As NGS was just opened, there were many visitors on that Sunday, so it was a bit too crowded to enjoy all the art works.  However, I will definitely visit NGS again, when it is less crowded and have more time to enjoy the art works from our region.  And the good news is that NGS will continue to be free for all Singaporeans and PRs for the permanent galleries.

Monday, December 7, 2015

ComNam @ Raffles City

This place has always been crowded, so decided to give it a try, to see what Vietnamese street eats means.

Everything is self-service here.  You look at the menu, choose what you like to eat, then write down your order in the order slip, which is placed in a very old-fashioned (read 'Retro') mug.  Then you go to the cashier with your order slip and pay for your food.  The food will be delivered to your table, but you have to go and get your own bowls, forks and spoons, etc.  The good thing is that they don't charge you a 'service charge'.

As the place is crowded, you have to put your bag on your laps.  There is practically no space for any extra chair for your bag, so don't go there with a big bag, or even your holiday luggage.

We ordered the spring roll to share.  Vegetable and beef wrapped up with spring rolls skin.  The vegetables give a fresh sensation, while the beef anchors the taste.  I thought the slice of sausage on top of the spring roll is for decoration only, but actually it gives another level of sensation.  It is not as light as the vegetables, or as heavy as the beef, it is something in between, just like the clouds flying in between heaven and earth.

My main course is lemongrass with wagyu beef and rice.  The rice they use should be an import from Vietnam.  It is not as sticky as the short-grain, or as dry as the Thai rice.  You can tell it is new rice, which means from the fresh harvest this year.  Sesame is generously sprayed on the rice, providing a crispy and pop in your mouth sensation.  Wagyu beef is tender and soft, a direct opposite of the sesame.  Lemongrass, chili, spring onion, onion, mushroom, all the herbs and vegetables bring about another kind of sensation.  This bowl of rice provides you with a multi-level sensation experience.

The food overall is not bad, but do expect quite a bit of waiting, so just be patient.  I think ComNam and NamNam are under the same boss, as I see NamNam staff and ComNam staff cross-serve the customers all the time.

It is a good place for a taste of Vietnamese food.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Founder's Bak Kut Teh - 2nd Visit

We went there on a cool, raining evening, perfect weather for a bowl of hot Bak Kut Teh.  We were ushered in in a minute, as there was a table readily available for us.  As we had four people this time, we ordered a couple more dishes to try.

Prime Ribs

Pork Ribs

Prime ribs and normal pork ribs are the must-order dishes.  They are both good as usual.  For the soup, as I mentioned in my previous post, it is the same whether it is prime rib or pork rib.

In addition, we also ordered pig's organ soup, and pig's trotters.

Pig's Organ Soup

Pig's Trotters

The pig's organ soup is using the same soup as the prime/pork ribs too.  The pig's livers are good, very tender, just nice, but still fully cooked, not raw, you don't see blood bleeding out at least.  The intestines are not very good.  I will not recommend it.

The pig's trotter is not bad.  A thick layer of fat, but it is not greasy.  The meat will melt in your mouth, like the Don Po Rou.  They must have stewed it for many hours to have this kind of texture and sensation.


You Tiao

The lettuce and You Tian are not bad too.  Last time we tried the Choy Sim, which was very good, and the lettuce is quite decent.

Somehow this time, I think the soup is a bit diluted, and MSG was probably added.  Nevertheless, it is one of the good Bak Kut Teh in Singapore.