Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yum Cha at Serangoon Country Club

Ah, Yum Cha. I'm writing this post exactly one month since we were there and for the life of me, I can't quite remember what we ordered. However, as with most things we experience, while the details escape us, we usually remember how we felt.

We hadn't quite planned on going to Yum Cha but finding parking at Serangoon Gardens around 8pm was close to impossible. As we were literally starving, we decided to park at the country club (which cost us almost SGD 4 for about 2 hours) which would mean having dinner at Yum Cha located at the club itself. The service was very prompt and the servers professional and attentive. The decor and ambiance of the Chinese restaurant was pleasing enough, much like that of a good hotel's restaurant.

The first dish we had was some beef dish (let me see if I can find the receipt with the name of the dish) cooked with milky gravy. From the pic, it is pretty clear that food presentation was done very well. What is not clear however is how good this dish was. The Slog Reviews: 8.5/10. Bite-sized tender chunks of boneless meat bursting with "meaty juiciness" combined with the full rich milky flavor of the gravy. Very good indeed!

Next up was this dish that cost SGD 16. Organic vegetables and mushrooms. I wouldn't have ordered this dish if I had a choice but since I wasn't dining alone, my food companion had a say too and to my misery, ordered this dish from the menu. The Slog Reviews: 8.5/10. Although it is a tad bit expensive for just some veg, the fleshy thick mushrooms and the gravy more than made up for it. A must-try for mushroom lovers despite the price.

Ah, and the final dish, the dish which I had selected - cheese-baked lobster noodles. The cost was SGD 24 and the portion sufficient for 2. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. Nothing jaw-dropping about this dish except for the price tag. For that amount of lobster meat and the rather ordinary tasting noodles, I wouldn't suggest ordering this dish at all. If one wants lobsters per se, there are far better places to be having them. And as for the noodles without lobster, that's less than half the price. Conclusion? Do not order.

The total cost for the 3 dishes was about SGD 76.30 after a 10% discount (DBS credit card). As we have been thoroughly spoilt by JB food prices, I found the price a wee bit too steep for my liking although it was money well spent (heck, we were celebrating an unexpected revision of the Slog's humble wages!). To conclude, this yum cha outlet at Serangoon Country Club is definitely a place to consider if you have to bring the folks out or a Mother/Father's day celebration and cost isnt a consideration at all.

22 Kensington Park Road (Serangoon Garden Country Club)
Singapore 557271
Tel : 6343 1717

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: 9am - 3pm, 6pm - 11pm

Toy Story 3 (2010) Movie

Ohhhhh, "Pixar has done it again" sums up this movie nicely.

The Slog Reviews: 8/10. My movie companion had to watch it in 3D of course and I'll have to say that we both went away content despite the price of the 3D movie tickets. I can't give the movie 10/10 because my taste in movies have somewhat changed and I found the animation just a little too unrealistic and young. Gosh, I AM growing old...might that do with my birthday coming up next month I wonder. ( I am writing this entry on 23 July despite the post date which was when I entered the title of this entry so I wouldn't forget). But enough about me. In this movie, the whole gang is back from Mr PotatoHead to SlinkyDog and the indispensable Buzz Lightyear, Jessy and Woody. The villians or the really bad villian is Lotso Bear, a bear who was once loved by his owner but accidently abandoned and then replaced. A really detailed synopsis of the movie can be found here so I won't write anymore about that. Watch, if not for the 3D (which is nothing too outstanding unlike Despicable Me), for themes of faith, friendship and moving on explored in this movie.

Monday, June 21, 2010

She's out of my league (2010) movie

I haven't updated so long for various reasons. Primarily because I was out of the country (and we all know which countries block access to blogs) and also because I have been so busy at work that I haven't had the time and juice/energy to write an entry on top of all the writing I have been doing.

I have a teleconference starting at 4pm, 20mins later from now and I actually have to backdate this post written today on 15 July so that my posts will be in date sequence when I publish. Am I even making sense? What I meant was that I have 4 entries in draft forms unpublished from June and if I were to publish this post with the current date, those entries will appear below this post which wouldn't make much sense. Of course, I could move this post by amending its date to the appropriate date later but I fear I'll be buried too deep under the avalanche of work to remember or do that. We'll see, like everything else.

For now, I just want to talk about something else other than work so what better topic than a rather senseless comedy with no big names which I watched last night till 2pm "She's out of my league". Don't ask me why I stayed up watching this show - it's just one of those movies required for major "de-stressing"where my brain cells can take a 2 hours break.

The Slog Reviews: 6/10. A girl who is rated a perfect 10 (figure, face, law degree and event planner that makes at least 15 grand per event) selects a rather wimpy kid who is not a college graduate to be her bf because, as she admits, he is safe, he wouldn't hurt her like her ex who cheated on her did. She is attracted to his honesty, his goofiness and just when they are about to do the dirty, they have this huge fight because he admits to being disappointed that her flaw (webbed feet) is so minor. She screams at him that he is insecure yada yada and he walks out on her. In fact, he goes back to his ex-gf who had initially left him for another guy but now wants him back when she sees the perfect 10. And because it's a movie, the perfect 10 actually chases after this geek and tells him that in her eyes he is a 10 and he likewise at the same time decides he is good enough for her. This show is only good for some laughs...and moments that make you cringe and thank the stars you aren't anything like that wimpy kid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang (2010) Movie

My movie companion wasn't keen to watch this movie which is a family film but having watched and enjoyed the first movie (Nanny McPhee) way back in 2005 (was it that long?), I had my way and despite his initial reservations, we enjoyed this movie quite thoroughly.

The Slog Reviews: 9/10. The positive reviews (click here for the plot too) for Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang which is a spin off (and not a sequel since the plot and characters (save for Nanny Mc Phee) are different), are quite well-deserved. Despite the target audience being children, the movie managed to effectively engage and elicit laughter from the adults in the theatre throughout the movie. I particularly loved the ending of the movie, ah, now if only life would be just like such feel-good movies. A very good Brit movie to conclude and well worth the time spent watching it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hock Lam Street Popular Beef Kway Teow

We had lunch today at Hock Lam Street's beef kway teow newly renovated restaurant which is a far cry from their previous place. Co-incidentally, I had lunch there with my food companion a couple of weeks ago too (which is when I snapped these pics but never got around to blogging) so I had the opportunity to try both to the soup and dry version of the popular beef noodles.
Here is a picture of the menu - the options boil down to a combination of cow parts (sliced beef, tripe, brisket, beef liver, beef ball and tendon) that one selects. Although there are 3 options - small, medium and large, the servers tend to encourage one to have the medium portion. As I'm not a fan of innards, on my first visit, I ordered slice beef and beef balls in soup. The Slog Reviews: 6/10. The soup was rather light on the palate and the first thought that I had after a mouthful of beef noodles was that...I could have this same dish at a food court for lesser than SGD6, nevermind the history of this stall (as proudly displayed on the walls).

The second time, I decided to have the dry version which came with rather delicious looking gravy. The Slog Reviews: 6/10. All 5 of us ended up rather disappointed with our beef noodles which left us feeling far from satisfied. The standard of the beef noodles at Hock Lam is rather dismal and I wouldn't recommend the place to anyone looking for a satisfying meal. The quantity of noodles provided is sufficient but the quality of the gravy and all leaves much to be desired.

Address: Seah Street, a few shops down from Sin Swee Kee Chicken Rice.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Message from God

There is this application on FB called "Message From God" which comes up with pretty inspiring daily messages at least 7 out of 10 times if you click on the link. I thought that the message I got yesterday was the most inspiring thus far:

God wants you to know...that what you are most afraid of is where your greatest rewards are. If all you had to do was wish for something and you would have it, life would be pretty boring, wouldn't it? God placed barriers between us and what we want, so we can enjoy interesting and satisfying lives. God hid our biggest rewards behind the highest barriers - our deepest fears. God wants us to face our fears, and hold ground in their presence, and let them go, and that's how we get out biggest rewards. What are you most afraid of? Say it, just start by saying it.

Fishing at Nenasi in early June on King Chong's boat

Being really sick this month (June) didn't stop me from doing what I love most. I'd a fever of 38 for two days before the trip, lost my voice, was coughing madly and choking on phelgm but there was absolutely no way I was going to miss this fishing trip which I had been looking foward to. No way - no one (and there were many) and nothing (threats, exhortions, well-meaning advice) would stop me from going on this trip.

Not sure if other anglers feel the same but I feel akin to a soldier when I take up my rod and reel - my weapons against the fishes of the deep. The pic below is a shot of the "weapons" (each person brought or 1/2 sets) that the 8 of us used on the trip. Mr Brad and Ms G-Loomis set is amongst them but not my penn reel and shakespeare rod set which I'd kept after the first day.

On the first day, I landed about 3 groupers, 1 of which is the largest grouper I've caught to date. I caught the fellow somewhere late morning when I was just sitting there holding on to my rod to make sure it didn't get tangled with the other anglers' lines. I felt a jerk on the end of my line and I sprang up like a jack-in-the-box from my sitting position while jerking upwards on the rod to set the hook. The greasy grouper didn't stand a chance against the Bradmis whichI worked slowly and steadily - the grouper did give several hard jerks along the way up to make for its hideout but the hook had been set firm and pretty soon, it was lying on the floor of the boat. I am bringing my camera for the next trip and checking the shots after it's taken - the photographer this time had a Canon SLR and I can't say I am pleased at all with the picture below showing only half my fish!

The rest of the afternoon was quiet and I was too sick to go sabiking or jigging with my second rod and reel (the penn set) even though it was all set up. I tried for a while though but the rod tip of the shakespeare rod was too soft (this is the first time I've taken the 10 year old made in usa thing out to nenasi) and could not impart my actions effectively to the jig or sabiki. My friend on the other hand caught an ebek when jigging, filling me with hapless envy. The next trip in August, I'm determined to land me an ebek through jigging too. About 4pm, the boatman decided to take us to a tripletail spot as it was the triple tail season but unlike my previous trip to Rompin, this boatman didn't bring us to any secret spots and the deckie this time was most lazy and unhelpful. If you asked me, even though I paid about SGD100 more for the last trip, it was worth it because it was non stop tripletail action for an hour. Here, it was, "not enough bait fish", "catch your own bait fish" "wait for an hour without action". If I hadn't a prior experience that I could use for comparison I might have thought that this was normal fishing. Anyway, I did manage to catch 1 big fat bastard of a triple tail - that's me with Ms G-Loomis bent right over.

And the size of the tripletail on the other end? Only this. These fishes may not be too large in length but they are pure muscle as I've said before in my previous catch report (click here), and must not be underestimated. I was considered lucky to catch this tripletail because there were those who had a bait on without a bite at all fishing at the same spot as I was. However, it isn't about luck alone - it's about what I learnt from the past experience at Rompin from the very experienced boatman and deckie - tripletails go for bloody meat. Not just bait fish, but baitfish sliced and as bloody as possible. So try to slice up your bait fish instead of leaving them alive.

The next day, the boatman brought us for tripletail in the morning which I thought was strange because from my experience at Rompin, tripletails feed the most about 4-5pm. However, I wasn't going to be the smarty pants around since I still can't connect my leader to braided line with an FG knot (I'm hopeless at it!) so I joined the group near the unjung, used my hook to tear at the meat of my live bait till there was blood and lowered the bait into the water. Thanks to my fantastic ZeroRh+ sunglasses, I could see some distance into the water and as I was reeling back my bait to check on it, a fish came swimming out of nowhere heading for my bait. I stopped reeling and to my delight, the fish took my bait. I counted to five and jerked hard upwards to set the hook (oh, believe me I've learnt never to not set hook after that cost me the first prize in the fishing competition in Sabah). My friend's wife next to me said that the fish didn't look like a tripletail and from the action below, I could tell she was right. Despite the size of the cobia, it didn't have half the strength and fight of a tripletail. Anyway, this was a really small cobia, even compared to the one I'd caught before (click here) and it didn't go for any runs or put up much of a fight. Still, I was happy to have caught the cobia because cobia porridge is great! :)

These were all the fishes that our weapons had conquered - out of the pile, I caught more than half of the fishes. Haha. Okay, there's my cobia, my tripletail, my 3 groupers....and also, 1/2 of all the Huang Xiao Jies (the yellow tailed/finned bait fishes on the right which taste great deep fried - not sure what the eng name of the fish is). After catching the cobia, the rest of the afternoon was so quiet despite the boatman changing spots that I changed the rig to sabiki on the Bradmis and enjoyed massacring the Huang Xia Jie clans in the sea. Sabiki-ing when it's quiet can be very fun but one must learn how to remove the fish from hooks oneself or one would be an annoyance when one reels up 3 to 6 squirming small fishes on sabiki. 1 of the other anglers who had a lousy day the day before and today (1 fish each day) said that he wouldn't mind the huang xiao jies so while everyone ate lunch I sabiki-ed and he stood by unhooking the fishes. It was fun - not serious angling but still...fun :)

Anyway, how we divided the fish was by lucky draw with 8 piles for 8 anglers so that no one would go home empty-handed. However, as a concession, each of us were allowed to pick one fish we had caught to be put in our pile and of course, I picked the largest grouper I had caught to date and here it is after a 3 hours journey back in an icebox from Nenasi to my kitchen sink.

Here are the rest of the fishes that I got in the pile - not too many like the last few times but quite enough till the next fishing trip! :D

I can't wait till the next fishing trip! :D

Tokumika Jap Restaurant (second time) and Ice3

The thing about my food companion is that if he finds a place that he likes, he goes back there again and again. After our first visit to Tokumika and an almost daily request from him to eat there again, we ended up there once more on a Tues night after work. The place was deserted but filled slowly with 3 other couples which meant I could take a better shot of the interior of the restaurant with my camera phone.

My food companion loves sashimi and he ordered the Goshina Sashimi Set (5 diff types of sashimi) and a complimentary Tori Karaage (fried chicken). I ordered the beef sukiyaki again and the total cost of the meal came ot SGD 48.80 which I thought was pricy by JB standards. The problem with going over the causeway so often for good food is that I have a problem spending money in Singapore restaurants now. For eg, I thought that the rice and miso set at SGD 3 in Tokumika was pretty steep when, on hindsight, it should be considered pretty standard. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. People have told me that the mark of a good Jap restaurant is one where Japanese go to and in this aspect, Tokumika on the both occasions I have been there, is woefully lacking in. No complaints about the service and decor as before but unless it starts to attract the Japanese crowd or runs some promotion with some credit card companies, I don't see this place being on the list of popular/famous restaurants.

And no, the dessert below isn't from Tokumika but from Ice3 Cafe at Serangoon Gardens which we adjourned to after dinner. There was a promotion on the crepes (50% off every Tues) so we each ordered the same which took rather long (almost half an hour) to arrive. The reason, I suppose, is because the cafe only has 1 machine which makes crepes and each crepe can be customised by the customer. For eg, I chose peach filling, walnuts, chocolate sauce and walnut icecream for my crepe. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. An ice cream parlor more for teenagers than those past their prime - the crowd inevitably reminds one of one's age. Free flow of water (self-service) and a large range of ice cream which unfortunately, failed to impress the sensory buds (the first time we went to this cafe we had 8 scoops of ice cream!) again.

NB: Tokumika Jap Restaurant has been closed since end August 2010

Fish Soup at Chiang's Restaurant @ Geylang Lor 20

I'd posted pics on my Facebook account of the Teochew restaurant experience in Melaka, and a good friend who was Teochew recommended that I try the promfret dish at a coffeeshop located at Geylang Lor 20. So one day after work, I was struck by an inexplicable urge to have promfret and persuaded my companion for that evening to try out the food there too.

We managed to find the place without much difficulty and even secured a parking lot right in front of the coffeeshop. However, the friend who had recommended me the place had neglected to mention that this lorong had chickens/prostitutes and seeing them was a brutal reminder that there was a profession that had been around longer than mine (legal birds sometimes joke that our profession is the second oldest in the world, right after prostitution).

We asked for the menu which had very limited items and everyone at the coffeeshop seemed to be having the promfret soup or hotpot so we ordered a bowl of SGD10 promfret soup to share between the two of us. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. The soup was very tasty and there was a fair amount of thick fish slices. However, there were some slices which included the fine bones of the fish which made the slice quite inedible unless one scrapped the meat off the bones.

We also ordered the prawn omelette. The Slog Reviews: 8.5/10. This dish was done very well I must say - the egg omelette was light and fluffy and didnt taste the least bit oily. The prawns in the omelette were tender and somehow blended in very well with the egg instead of being hard individual prawn pieces. I would order that dish again if I went back to the restaurant

After dinner, because the fish soup and prawn omelette didn't quite hit the spot, I wanted to have dessert and the servers at the stall told us we could get dessert around Lorong 25. So we walked past the No Signboard restaurant and further along till we spotted a large white sign on the opposite side of the road that read Yong De and Famous Beancurd.

I ordered a bowl of beancurd with peanuts while my companion ordered a you tiao and soya bean milk. The total cost was slightly less than SGD 5 and proved to be a rather unremarkable finish to the night. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. The beancurd was ordinary to the point of blandness even wtih the peanuts. I wouldn't recommend going specially to this place for beancurd at all unless one is around the area. Rochor Beancurd tastes far better and is smoother.

A-team (2010) Movie

The Slog Reviews: 8/10. Everyone close to me is raving about this movie but while I found it full of action and humor with a decent enough plot (again, another movie attacking the integrity of the CIA), I wouldn't give it a 10/10 because one doesn't quite manage to connect or identify with the 4 characters. A movie that would be bettery enjoyed when watched on the big screen because of the action. If you want to read about the plot of the movie, click here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jonker 88 - the best dessert and nyonya asam laksa shop in Melaka

No doubt about it. If you are a dessert lover, esp a chendol lover, you cannot miss going to Jonker 88. I managed to snap a pic of the rather extensive menu while in the queue.

The pic below shows the dessert being prepared. Self-service all around so one is advised to have a friend go into the shop to secure seats first and have another friend queuing for the dessert.
Do not be deceived by the pic below of the interior of the shop which I took.At first, I wasn't sure if we had to queue first at the narrow entrance of the place for our dessert first before getting a seat but thankfully the heat forced me to enter the shop to see if I could get a table for my colleagues first so they didn't have to wait in the sun. And, every single blasted table was occupied with people standing around. Not a single spare table and I was desperate enough to unshamedly enlist the help of one of the servers to help me get a table.

Thankfully he pointed me to a table where the group of pp were about finishing their food and we managed to get a table. I queued outside for the dessert while another colleague queued outside for the laksa. The 5 desserts below, 2 bowls of baba chendol, 1 bowl of baba durian chendol, 1 bowl of EPC 8 precious chendol and 1 bowl of sago gula melaka cost RM13 only.

A close up pic of the famous baba chendol which is reputed to be the absolute best Baba chendol in Melaka. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. I am not a chendol fan so I have no basis of comparison. The dessert was quite sweet and should be eaten cold. As in, really cold with lots of ice (one can go back to the stall out front to ask for more ice in an empty bowl).

I have no idea what the E.P.C stands for but the dessert came with more ingredients than the baba chendol. Worth ordering? The Slog sits on the fence for the reasons mentioned above.

However, everyone agreed that the sago gula melaka (last item on the dessert list) was really good. The Slog Reviews: 8.5/10. Good stuff with the right amount of milk and sweetness.

Now, just opposite the dessert cart is the cart selling laksa and noodles. Both belong to Jonker 88 and are located at the front portion of the store. As mentioned, ideally you should go to Jonker 88 in a group of at least 3pax so 1 person can secure seats within the shop while 1 queues for dessert and the other queues for noodles. And believe me, the laksa from Jonker 88 is "solid" and should not be missed if one is there for dessert.

As we had just eaten at Hoe Kee and thankfully hadn't over-eaten, the 4 of us had capacity to share 2 bowls of laksa. First, the curry laksa. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. Very thick curry gravy with fresh fish cake and noodles. If I hadn't have to share, I would have cleaned the bowl - and oh yes, I asked for more gravy and it was free :) Excellent hawker fare.

However, what stole the limelight was the dish below. The most delicious nyonya asam laksa that I've ever tasted my whole life, or rather, the 4 of us ever tasted in each of our lives. The Slog Reviews: 10/10. Just ORDER! I'll be most grateful to anyone reading my blog if he/she can tell me where one can find such laksa or laksa 3/4 as good as the one below - the gravy wasn't thin and sour but thick and just slightly sour. How's that for starters. I have to stop writing about this meal now or else I fear that I may find myself driving up to Melaka this weekend for more of this dish!

The Slog Reviews: 9/10 for the overall experience at Jonker88. All the staff, from those preparing the food outside and those helping within were friendly and obliging. Whatever we asked for, more ice, more gravy, was given with a smiling face and FOC. Jonker88 was a great ending to our Melaka road trip indeed and anyone going to Melaka should visit this restaurant at least once for its excellent food and service.

The restaurant details are:

88, Jalan Hang Jebat,75200, Melaka.

Operating hours: 10am to 6pm (8pm on weekends)

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice at Jonker Street Melaka

The place to buy Melaka products back for the folks back home would be Tan Kim Hock Product Centre. There is no missing the place at all with its distinctive pink walls near St Paul's church.

The interior of the shop looks like this with cans of foodstuff stacked high. The shop probably has been fortunate enough not to have any accidents involving cans tumbling down and injuring customers within the shop. In any case, the shop does a pretty brisk business at all times given its very extensive range of food products.

After my colleagues had finished shopping, we went to Jonker Street for chicken rice brunch. We were prepared to go to either Chung Wah or Hoe Kee for chicken rice (with me leaning towards Chung Wah because I'd already eaten at Hoe Kee before) but when we got there about 11am, it was blazing hot and this, this was the queue we saw outside Chung Wah. I have to applaud those in the queue - it was so hot that I thought the soles of my sandals were melting yet there they stood patiently, waiting under the broiling sun to get into the coffeeshop.

We made a beeline for Hoe Kee which was thankfully far less crowded, provided shelter/shade for those in the queue and had some sort of system that moved customers along to tables pretty quickly. Thank goodness for alternatives - if Chung Wah had been the only chicken rice stall and it didn't take reservations...anyway, Hoe Kee. Despite the shop's facade per the pic below, the inside of the shop is spacious, clean and airy.

So, the lady told us they only had 3 dishes available - chicken rice, assam head and veg. I asked about the popular black bean soup and was told that it isn't available on weekends. So we ordered what the shop had. First, the assam fish. The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. The fish was certainly fresh and cooked well - not too tough or undercooked with a fishy taste. However, I fear that my taste buds have been thoroughly spoilt by the assam fish head in Muar so this dish here didn't stand out at all. Definitely not a must-order dish but a nice complement to a meal which would otherwise be just chicken and rice.

No one goes specially to a chicken rice place at Melaka and not have the chicken rice balls. I am not sure where the chicken rice balls originated from but while it is available (though not popular) in Singapore, THE place to have chicken rice balls is Melaka. The lady asked how many balls the 4 of us would like and we didn't know so she suggested 25 balls for the 4 of us. The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. The rice balls certainly looked delicious and 1 of my colleagues loved the softness of the chicken rice balls. However, I felt that the rice balls tasted pretty ordinary and I wouldn't go back to Hoe Kee for these chicken rice balls. The only edge these balls have over ordinary chicken rice would be that they are less oily I suppose and one would be able to measure the quantity of rice one has eaten.

As for the chicken, the Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. I'm not sure if it was the heat but the chicken wasn't particularly mouth-watering or tasty. Must try Chung Wah the next time I'm at Melaka.

The overall experience at Hoe Kee - 8/10 for the quick service, prompt delivery of meals, attentiveness of the staff and the decent food (and portions). The cost of the meal below was less than RM 50.
The restaurant's address and operating hours are:
Address: 4, 6, 8, Jalan Hang Jebat,75200, Melaka.
Off days: Wednesday of every fourth week of the month.
Operating hours: 8am till 5pm

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teo Soon Loong Chan Famous Teochew Restaurant in Melaka

When planning for this Melaka trip, my research on the net threw up repeatedly the name of this restaurant - Teo Soon Loong Chan Teo Chew Restaurant (TSLC). The restaurant even has a website which I visited and learnt that it was advisable to make reservations in advance. So I did on a Thurs afternoon and managed to get a reservation for the 4 of us at 6pm on Sat evening - the only time slot available. About 2.30pm after our lunch at Ole Sayang, TSLC called my msian hp number and emphasized that I had to turn up at 6pm or else the table would be forfeit. I assured the caller that I had driven the 2-3hrs up to Melaka and would not miss a meal at his renowned restaurant.

So after checking into the hotel about 3+pm, I arranged with the hotel to have a taxi come at 5.20pm to send us to the restaurant because I was paranoid I wouldn't be able to find the place or find parking - either of which would result us in missing a meal here. The cost of the taxi ride from The Majestic to Jonker Street was RM15 and we had to walk in still because most of Jonker Street was closed for the weekend night markets. I hadn't seen pics of the exterior of the restaurant but read that it was really erm, simple, and indeed it was. If I hadn't been looking out specifically for the restaurant, I wouldn't have known it was there.

The first point of contact was with the chef himself in a dirty apron (the dirtier the apron the better the food no?) at the open-air cooking area on the front left of the pic above. We asked whether we could take a pic of him and he was most obliging .

This is how the interior of the restaurant looks like. I counted the number of tables - 6 only. And there wasn't any space whatsoever for any additional tables to be set up.

On each table were condiments - sambal belachan (to go with their famous oyster mee), garlic and sliced red chilli in bean sauce.

Some of the dishes available are laid out along the far wall of the restaurant and the "rep" of each table goes there to discuss the dishes with the older boss. Initially we ordered soft shell crab, green veg and ngoh hiang from the array of food laid out in addition to their famous promfret dish, oyster mee, orni dessert.

However, I saw this tray laid out on the table next to the food counter and asked the elderly boss if we could have a bowl of tian ji (chicken in herbs). He said no at first on the basis that we had ordered too much. I promised him we would finish everything and he reluctantly agreed to sell us one bowl of chicken. However, 2 mins later he was back at our table telling us we really had ordered too much for 4 pp. So we asked him which dish he would recommend that we not have and he said the ngoh hiang.

The food was served pretty quickly - about a 10-15 mins wait. First, the the tian ji (chicken in herb-like sauce) I had to literally persuade the restaurant to sell to us. The Slog Reviews: 9/10. Everyone agreed that the gravy/sauce was tasty without being too salty and the chicken meat had absorbed most of the herbal taste which made for good eating. From the pic above, I gather that the restaurant had marinated the chicken for quite some time which explains why the meat was so full of flavor.

Second, the oyster mee dish with rich thick dark gravy. The Slog Reviews: 10/10. I don't take oysters but my colleagues who do said the oysters were very fresh and sweet. I think that this dish is the must-have item from this restaurant, if not anything else. The restaurant owner was very helpful in helping to distribute the rest if the noodles amongst the 4 of us and advising us to eat it with more of the belachan sambal paste.

The deep fried soft shell crab which was cut into many small pieces looked and tasted pretty ordinary when it was first served. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. That being said, we found ourselves picking at the pieces and eating the crunchy bits till the plate was bare. It's the kind of dish that doesn't impress the senses at first but tastes better the longer it is left on the table.

As for the veg, although it tasted fresh (which we all agreed tends to be the case for veg eaten in Msia), it really was nothing remarkable. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. If I had to order a veg dish again, based on the research of the net, the cabbage dish comes highly recommended and not ordinary greens like the one below.

This is how the promfret dish steamed with mushrooms and preserved plums looked like when it was first served. The fish wasn't remarkably big but the price was remarkable to me by Msia standards - RM 40! I believe that the fish itself is less than half the cost as this is one of my favourite fishes and I'd been eating it quite often last year...

1 of the restaurant owners, Ah Joo, was again most helpful and came over to help us dissect/debone the fish for easy eating. Good, polite and helpful service I must say!

I suppose Ah Joo must have lots of experience with fish becaue in less than one minute, the fish dish looked like this. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. Everyone agreed that the fish meat was fresh and that it had been cooked to perfection which is not easy for this particular type of fish - too long and the meat turns hard. Even though the price of the fish is rather steep, I think that if one drives all the way up to Melaka and manages to get a reservation at this renowned restaurant, one shouldn't forgo 1 of their signature dishes.

We also had the local mangoes (yellow skinned) which the "elderly" boss had recommended. The Slog Reviews: 6/10. Ripe but not exceptionally sweet or tasty. One should save one's stomach for more of the next dish.

The absolutely best orh-ni (yam paste) dessert that I've ever had in my own life. I love this dessert which is very very bad for the waistline and have tried many variations of the dessert at almost every Chinese restaurant I've been to. And none of all that I 've tried comes even close to the perfection of this dish served at TSLC.

The Slog Reviews: 10/10. How do I even start describing the silky smooth melt-in-the-mouth not too sweet yet just sweet enough yam paste?! This dish is a MUST HAVE if you are at TSLC. Do not, absolutely do not compromise forgoing this dish for any others served by the restaurant!

The Slog Reviews: 8/10 for the overall experience. It was a pity that they only had the 6pm slot for us to have dinner because we were rather stuffed from Ole Sayang in the afternoon. Contrary to reviews I have read on the net, the service was in fact rather good with Ah Joo and the others being helpful and friendly. However, maybe because I am not Teochew, the dishes didn't really hit the spot for me and I am not minded to give up going for satay celup for a meal here the next time I go to Melaka. Also, the cost of the dishes was rather steep by Msia standards - RM150 for the 4 of us. I would conclude that one should try the food at this restaurant at least once though - the orh ni dessert is really quite out of this world smooth. Slurp!