Alexandra Village Food Centre

2016 | 23 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150123

We love hawker centres in Singapore. There are simply so many great and cheap selections! We actually visited Alexandra Village Food Centre twice during our short trip here. All prices are in SGD (1 USD ~ 1.4 SGD).

Format is as follows:
Stall Name
<Plate Colour>: Dish name – Dish description (price) [comment] – rating

Clockwise from top left:

Nasi Padang
<black plate>: Sotong – cuttlefish marinated in spices ($3-4) [The cuttlefish has eggs inside it which gives it an extra boost of flavour.] – 8/10
<black plate>: Otak – fish cake grilled in banana leaf ($1/piece) [The Singaporean Otak has spices mixed into the paste so it appears reddish (as opposed to Indonesian Otak, which is white). Lynn loves this.] – 8/10

Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
< 3 red plates>: Set meal for 1 – hainanese chicken rice with soup ($3) [Singapore’s national dish! We love this! The hainanese rice is very fragrant and the chicken is moist and flavourful. We found this to be better than the famous Tian Tian Chicken rice] – 8.75/10

House of Desserts
<white bowl>: Durian chendol – pandan leaves, coconut milk and durian dessert ($2.90) [This is our favourite dessert here. The combination of chendol, coconut milk and durian is just perfect!] – 8.5/10
<white bowl>: Pear fungal – dessert with snow fungus and pear ($1.80) [This is very mild tasting and we couldn’t really taste much of the pear or the snow fungus] – 6/10

Teochew Braised Duck Rice
<2 white plates>: Duck meat with rice ($3) [Average. The meat is on the dry side.] – 6/10

Yong Kee Famous Fish ball noodle
<2 blue bowls>: Mushroom minced meat mee pok – dry chinese style flat noodles with soup on the side ($3/4) [Average. The pork flavour seems to be lacking and the meat is dry.] – 6/10

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Clockwise from top left:

Jin Pai zi Char
<on banana leaf>: Sambal kang kong – stir fried spicy water spinach ($6/8/10) [This is amazing; the sambal tastes homemade and well balanced. The kang-kong is cooked just right and we like that they provided more of the leafy part.] – 8.5/10

Star Yong Kwang BBQ Seafood
<hotplate>: Sambal stringray – spicy banana leaf stingray ($16/20) [Another one of Singapore’s must-try dishes. This dish is the main reason we came to this hawker centre. The stingray meat falls off the bone, they also put in a generous amount of sambal sauce] – 8.75/10
<bottom left white plate>: Cereal prawn – fried prawns with butter and cereal (wheat germ) ($26/38) [One of Lynn’s favourite dishes! We love how buttery and crispy it is] – 8.5/10

Hainanese Chicken Rice
<2 yellow plates>: Steamed chicken rice – hainanese chicken rice with soup ($2.50/3.50) [Average.] – 6.5/10

House of Desserts
<blue bowl>: Grass jelly attap seed – dessert made with Platostoma palustre plant and mangrove palm seed ($1.70) [Average, they used canned attap seed instead of fresh ones] –  6/10

Soon Lai BBQ Fish
<red hotplate>: Black pepper crayfish – stir fried crayfish with black pepper($24/36/48) [The texture and taste is very much like a giant-sized prawn. They used a lot of black pepper (which we love!)] – 8/10

Old Punggol satay
<white plate with brown wax paper>: satay – 3 different types of skewers (chicken, lamb and pork) ($0.60 per stick) [We don’t really like this. They are all chewy and overcooked] – 4/10

Grotto

Overall taste: 8.25/10 | 2017 | 37 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02114

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We came here during the dine out week and it was only $2 cheaper than if we were to order from their regular menu (see menus below).

We feel that their food is a little on the salty and heavy side, but still delicious and satisfying.

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+++ Focaccia (complimentary) [We never post pictures of complimentary bread but this was the best focaccia we had. The interior had a cakey texture and the exterior was like cookie! They served the same bread in Marliave but it was served cold and didn’t taste as good.]
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Piccata – mussels, lemon, capers, white wine ($10) [The mussels were extremely fresh and not overcooked. We both prefer it without lemon]
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Fonduta –  fontina cheese fondue, beef tenderloin tips, portobello mushrooms, aged balsamic, truffle oil ($10) [Lynn wasn’t a fan of it and found the cheese to be too salty but Jeff loved it.]
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+++ Carne – grilled beef tenderloin, reggiano risotto, asparagus, red wine sauce ($26) [The tenderloin was alright but their risotto and red wine sauce were *(#&*@ amazing.]
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+++ Anatra – apple stuffed duck breast, crispy leg, prosciutto, dried cherries, potato gratin, black truffle aioli, madeira ($26) [The duck leg was so moist, tender, and heavenly! We thought that the duck breast could be more rare. The potato gratin was soooo buttery.]
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Cioccolato – melting chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream ($10) [average]
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Budino – banana bread pudding, caramel ice cream, spiced walnuts ($10) [Loved the caramel ice cream. The bread pudding was so-so.]

Click menus to enlarge.

 

Aldea

Overall taste: 9/10 | 2016 | 31 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

This remains to be one of my favourite restaurants. Although it is only rated 1 michelin star, it is better than some of the 3 michelin starred restaurants in my opinion.

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

Pictured above:  +++ Hokkaido urchin toast – cauliflower puree, mustard seed & shiso {$16) [This is so good! plus I get to try Hokkaido sea urchin (uni) without travelling to Japan!]

Chef’s tasting menu ($135 pp)

Petiscos

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+++ Smoked sweet potato “blini” – ikura caviar, creme fraiche, flowers and herbs
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– – – White and green asparagus – preserved kumquats, spring garlic & hazelnut crumble
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+++ Shrimp alhinho – garlic, pimenton, red bell pepper juice & pressed shrimp jus

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Charcoal-grilled bacalhao – pickled pearl onion, white bean puree & cilantro [I found the fish to be slightly overcooked]
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Roasted Duck Breast – red and gold beets, pumpkin seed, duck confit & brown butter jus [it’s good but i’m quite disappointed on how little duck there was]

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– – – Queijo zimbros – roasted strawberry jam, walnut raisin toast and pickled green strawberry
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Matcha cake – pistachio brittle, sweet pickled cherries, sherry gastrique and bay leaf icecream