Monday, 25 July 2016

The Replacement - Lodge & Kitchen (Malaysia, Johor Bahru)

 Eggs Benedict RM25.90
As new players continue to join the cafe scene in Singapore, a similar trend is taking place across the causeway. There are at least 10 cafes along the stretch of shop houses at Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. Both streets are just 15 minutes walk away from the causeway.
We visited The Replacement - Lodge & Kitchen which is a cafe along Jalan Dhoby. We arrived on a week day at around 11am. The cafe has a small seating capacity of around 25. When  we arrived, the cafe was half full. By the time we left at around 12 noon, the cafe was full and there was a queue! It as obvious from the tone and slang that all the customers in the cafe were Singaporeans!
Beverage Menu 
The beverage (coffee, tea, juices and chocolate) menu.
Brunch Menu
Brunch Menu
Churros with Salted Egg Yolk Dip RM16.90
We ordered the Churros with Salted Egg Yolk Dip RM16.90 for sharing. It was a pity the churros was not crisp. The salted egg yolk dip was delicious. But towards the end it became quite jerlak.
The Breakfast Platter RM29.90
The Breakfast Platter consisted of buttery scrambled eggs, sautéed mushroom, grilled tomato, chicken sausage and turkey ham pastrami served with museli bread. At RM29.90, it was so value for money considering that it would have easily cost around $18 in Singapore. Moreover, it was delicious. One of their best dish! Shiok!
 Eggs Benedict RM25.90
Eggs Benedict with beef pastrami which cost RM25.90 was disappointing. The egg (yolk) were overcooked and no longer runny. As for the beef pastrami, they were on the salty end.

Overall, the prices at the cafe was reasonable and we really liked The Breakfast Platter. Do give it a try! With the number of cafes nearby, we are so spoil for choice! =)

The Replacement - Lodge & Kitchen (Malaysia, Johor Bahru)
33, Jalan Dhoby
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Tel: 60 16 713 2714
Opening Hours: Daily 9 am to 7 pm
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 协裕面包西果厂(Malaysia, Johor Bahru)

Banana Cake (big) RM9.80
Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 协裕面包西果厂 is a well-known traditional bakery shop located 15 minutes walk from the causeway. If you know where Hua Mui Coffee Shop is, it is just further down the coffee shop. The bakery sells only banana cakes and buns, and no longer sell biscuits. Their cakes and buns get sold out pretty fast after each baking session even if its a weekday. It is so popular because the cakes and buns are baked the traditional way where wood is used as fuel. It takes a lot of experience to control the heat using this method.
I visited the bakery on a weekday at 10.45 am and was surprised that there was no queue. The reason was because there was only a few boxes of banana cakes left. The buns were being baked and would be ready only at around 11.15 am. Hence, we bought a few boxes of banana cakes and went over to a nearby cafe. I came back at 11.20 am and there was a queue of about 10 persons. The turnover rate was fast and I managed to buy the Coconut Buns and Kaya Buns. I wanted to buy more, but did not as the buns could not be kept for long (as the buns were placed into plastic bag without being allowed to cool down, condensation had form). By this time, the banana cakes were sold out. The next batch would be ready at 12 noon.
The prices of the buns and cakes are pasted outside the shop. I hope I get to try the curry potato buns and otak-otak buns sometime soon! 
Banana Cake (big) RM9.80
The Banana Cake (big) which consist of 10 slices of cake cost RM9.80. Its appearance is ordinary just like any other cakes. Never judge a book by its cover. The cake was oh so moist, soft and light. In terms of taste it was fragrant and not overly sweet! 
Coconut Buns RM3.70
I have not so much about the bakery's buns but have not managed to try any till this occasion.
Coconut Buns RM3.70
The Coconut Buns RM3.70 tasted even better than the Banana Cake. The bun itself was light and ordinary. The bomb was the coconut shreds in the bun which were still so juicy. With each mouthful, the flavours of the coconut and juice in it explodes in the mouth. The taste of it was right smack out of this world! You got to try this yourself!

As for the Kaya Buns RM3.70, they pale in comparison. Just purchase the coconut buns and banana cake!

Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 协裕面包西果厂(Malaysia, Johor Bahru)
13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
60 7 223 1703
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 7.30 am - 5.30pm
                           Closed on Sun
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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Shang Pin Hot Pot 尚品火锅 (Rendezvous Gallery)

Tomato Soup and Mushroom Soup $12
I am sure most of us have heard of Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅, the popular steamboat chain from China which has opened a few outlets in Singapore. But have you heard of Shang Pin Hot Pot 尚品火锅? I have heard from several groups of friends that the food at Shang Pin Hot Pot is as good as Hai Di Lao and its price is cheaper.
The steamboat restaurant is located at level two of Rendezvous Gallery next to Rendezvous Hotel. Given its location, I would have never known that there's such a place if not for word of mouth. This restaurant is located 5 minutes walk away from Dhoby Ghuat MRT station. If you are lazy to walk, you can take the Circle Line and alight at Bras Basah MRT station. The restaurant is located just 1 minute walk away from this station.
Condiments - Sauces and Fruits
There is a wide selection of sauces and fruits available for $3 per person. The sauces range from sesame, soya, peanut, leek flower, chilli, fermented bean paste, beef, mushroom to seafood. There are also sugar, salt, peanuts etc. Such a wide variety!
We chose the multi-flavour soup base consisting of of Mushroom Soup and Tomato Soup for $12. Personally, I like the Tomato Soup as it was well balanced in terms of sweetness and sourness. However, the tangy taste overwhelmed the sweetness towards the end of the meal. As for the Mushroom Soup, we found it on the salty side at the start. Towards the end of the meal, the it tasted more pleasant, complementing the Tomato Soup.

We also ordered the free flow drinks at $2 per person. The homemade barley was real thick and good. Totally justify the price tag.
Pork Slices $8, Shang Pin Beef $14
We ordered the Pork Slices and Shang Pin Beef for $8 and $14 respectively. The quality of meat was good and they were sliced thinly making them easy to cook via shabu shabu style.
Dumplings $5
Although the Dumplings $5 consisted of just chives and meat, it was surprisingly delicious!
Baby Cabbage $4, Fresh Tofu $4, Mushroom Platter $14
These were the other dishes (i.e. Baby Cabbage $4, Fresh Tofu $4, Mushroom Platter $14) we ordered.

We also ordered the Shang Pin Kongfu Noodle $3 which we waited a very long time for ... more than half an hour. It was essentially a flatter version of ban mian and more expensive considering the portion. The two of us had just 4-5 short strands of noodles each. If you come in a big group, be prepared to eat just 1 to 2 strands. I would advise that you cook the noodles for a long period of time for it to become soft. The texture of the noodles was surprisingly smooth and slippery. In terms of taste, it was like the good old days when qui lian ban mian noodles taste awesome! 

For the record, I have visited Shang Pin Hot Pot twice. The first was during dinner on a Friday. The restaurant was fully booked. Thankfully, we made reservations. The second visit was during lunch on a weekday. During lunch time, the restaurant was not full. But in terms of service, it was way better at night when they had full staff strength. The post content and photos are all based on the second visit. 

As for the question whether Shang Pin Hot Pot 尚品火锅  or Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅 is better? Well, I am in no position to compare as I have not tried Hai Di Lao before. So far, I like the food at Shang Pin Hot Pot =)

Shang Pin Hot Pot 尚品火锅 (Rendezvous Gallery)
9 Bras Basah Road
#02-02 Rendezvous Gallery 
Singapore 189559
Tel: +65 6238 7666
Opening Hours: Daily 12 pm to 12 am

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Monday, 4 July 2016

Dolce Tokyo by MOF: 1 For 1 Main Course Promotion (till 31 Jul 2016)

Source: Dolce Tokyo Facebook
Dolce Tokyo by MOF: 1 For 1 Main Course Promotion (till 31 Jul 2016)

- Valid daily till 31 Jul (Except eve of PH and PH)
- Valid from 3pm to closing
- Valid at 313 Somerset
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