Tag Archives: chicken

[FOOD TASTING] Samsara Gourmet – Novena, Singapore


I apologise for not writing much lately as I was pretty swarmed with work as I do not have any part-timers helping me since school reopened. At the same time, I was planning for my upcoming coffee pilgrimage and food trail in Medan and Sumatra. Updates will be more frequent on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/eatwithroy/) so if you guys like, can follow me there.

Recently I was invited for a hosted dinner at Samsara Gourmet, a hidden gem serving excellent authentic Canton cuisine at reasonable prices, with a head chef formerly from Tunglok Group. This humble 50-seater restaurant with a private room is owned by Ms Violet Lee, who was Miss Singapore in the 1980s, came back to Singapore after spending more than 2 decades in China building an empire.

After much checking out online, Samsara Gourmet is seriously out of the radar in the social media circle although fellow bloggers like Maureen (www.misstamchiak.com) and Derrick (www.sgfoodonfoot.com) have written on them some time ago. Location could be a factor and also lack of publicity, which is why I am writing this blog entry. The food here is so awesome that I really need to share it here.

Frontage. Simple reno.
Vegetarian Abalone Lou Hei. As mentioned in my instagram post, the veg are cut daily and really fresh and refreshing. An alternative to the regular sugar coated ones. The sauce is also made in house, a very nice rendition to the Lou Hei.
Vegetarian Platter. The mock char siew in front was really good, the middle mock goose with shrooms fillings was delicious and the top mock kidney was really crunchy and tasty. Great starter dish!
Fish Maw Soup. Served in individual bowls of $8 if I am not wrong. Full of ingredients, fish maw and chinese mushrooms sourced from HK and hand carried back. I didn’t even put any vinegar and white pepper which I usually do.
Samsara Gui Fei Chicken. Meat was very tender and skin was so smooth, it was pretty hard to kiap with my chopsticks. A must-order!
Pumpkin Prawn Ball is also another winning dish. Love how the sweetness of the pumpkin coated the large de-shelled prawns. Lovely!
Pork Knuckle Mee Sua was so good, I wish there were more. The mee sua is not clumpy and really delicious. Pork knuckle was really tender with the skin jellyfying in your mouth! Another must-order!
Claypot Chicken Rice. Wow this really wraps up the night. Rice was cooked to al dente, chicken was boneless thigh meat and very tender. Chinese sausage (Wing Wah) and mushroom were hand carried back from Hong Kong. Missing this quite a bit!

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: Truly authentic Canton food. They can also cater for vegetarian options. Really good.

Portion: Good.

Service: Very attentive. I hope it’s not because the boss was there.

Ambience: Nice and pretty chill.

Price: Considering the quality, very reasonable. At least much better than my reunion dinner at another restaurant.

RTE: Definitely!

Location & Hours:

Add: 38 Irrawaddy Road, #01-05, Singapore 329563 (On the right side of the lobby of Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre @ Novena)
Tel: +65 67343138
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am – 9pm, Sat: 9am – 6pm, Closed on Sun & PH

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/cDvZw1JtNRS2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Samsara-Gourmet-1519293228391002/info?tab=overview



Show this blogpost to enjoy a 30% discount off all a la carte dishes with min $50 spending for dinner only from 6-9pm. Valid till 29th Feb 2016!

Top 5 Cafes In Da Nang – Vietnam


Currently transiting in Ho Chih Minh City’s airport so I’m taking the opportunity to write this before I’m back to hectic schedules.

Vietnamese coffees are still pretty much using robusta beans and roasted till very dark with margarine and sugar. Sounds familiar? Yeah a little like Singapore’s Kopitiam coffee but this is pure 100%. No adding of corn or any form of fillers. That’s why the taste is always super bold, coupled with a nice caramelized finish. Arabica coffees are rare as they are usually double the selling price but most of the time, the baristas fail in their extraction. Anyways, holidays are meant to chill, hence I was cool about it. 😉

Anyways, my Top 5 list is base on mainly coffee, ambience and service. May differ from yours so just use this as a guide. You can check out my videos uploaded on my Instagram (@eatwithroy or #roydanang) or FB page.

No. 5 – Gopatel Hotel Coffee House

Ambience: Yes, it’s the cafe at hotel that I was staying in. Yes they have buffet lunch, tea and buffet dinner too. So you can go try if around that area. Not much of ambience but they do have full window seats looking out. Free wifi but slow.

Service: Service is ok.

Coffee: Vietnamese coffee brewed in batch. Served daily at the buffet was just really rich with flavour, really nice even with fresh milk mixed into it.

Add: 202 Nguyễn Chí Thanh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Tel: +84 93 5007707

No. 4 – Rafew Cafe


Ambience: I was debating with the guys if they meant ‘refuel’ or ‘review’ when naming this place. Anyways Rafew is tucked away within the city, walking distance from Gopatel hotel. Very instagrammable ambience, there’s a second storey overlooking the backyard. When I was there, it was very nice and windy. Really chill. Free wifi.

Service: Service was absent after the first order. No one came back to check on us. We had to pay our bill downstairs.

Coffee: No espresso based drinks, no Viet drip coffees. Only those pre-maid and iced coffees. Tiramisu can skip.

Add: 58 Hoàng Văn Thụ, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Tel: +84 90 5773721

No. 3 – Coffee Namu Namu


Ambience: Love the interiors of this place, very modern, has 3 levels and obviously I climbed to the top level. At the rooftop, you can see the Dragon Bridge afar and also the Ferris wheel. Very chill especially when the weather is as chilly now. Free wifi.

Service: Very good and always smiling.

Coffee: Finally some espresso drinks but latte was a little on the weak side. Not cheap though as beans are said to be Italian. Banana bread could be more moist though.

Add: Q. Hải Châu, 180 Bạch Đằng, Hải Châu 1, Q. Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Tel: 0511 3575808

Web: http://www.namunamu.vn

No. 2 – Pho Xua


Ambience: Super rustic and traditional Viet. Felt a little like entering one of the temples in Cambodia. There’s a second storey also.

Service: Not too bad and they stationed one person upstairs.

Coffee: No espresso based drinks, only Vietnamese drips or iced. This is probably one best local beans I’ve tasted so far;  rich, bold, flavourful, brown sugar finish. Good place for food too.

Add: 17 Phan Đình Phùng, Hải Châu 1, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Tel: +84 511 3894589

No. 1 – Cong Ca Phe


Ambience: Cong has a very nice rustic olden Vietnamese revolution decor and the name says it all. I totally love this place especially level 2 where you can see the Han River. Staffs are all don with green tshirt uniforms which fits in the whole branding very well. Free wifi. But people smoke inside the enclosed area which is bad for non-smokers.

Service: Pretty attentive and prompt.

Coffee: No espresso based drinks. Coffees are good and very creative. Love their Coconut Coffee Smoothie and iced coffee with fresh milk. Can try the coconut glutinous rice with coffee also.

Add: 1 hai chau 1, 98 Bạch Đằng, Hải Châu 1, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam

Foodtrail in Medan Day 1 – Indonesia


Ever since I started BLACK&INK, I never thought I would have time to actually travel. So the opportunity came during our National Day where it was a long weekend and hence we decided to rest during this period as we reckon many people would have left the country. So I quickly booked my tickets from Jetstar, booked a hotel at random and then off I flew to Medan on National Day itself. I was fortunate to have foodie friends in Medan to bring me around as Medan is totally non-accessible by public transport. Thanks to Wiwi (@zhoueats) and friends Leo, Tahbar and Mimi for your kind hospitality!

As usual I will post pics and describe below every pic what I experienced throughout the trip, day to day manner. Every pic was shot with my iPhone 5S. So let’s start.

Boarding plane
Landing Medan. Many farms.
Landed Medan
Medan airport. Very new.
Decor around the airport.
Gents hahaa
My driver hehe
Roads of Medan outskirts
Arrived at hotel Swiss Bellin.
Dusting will be helluva job man!
Long walkway to bathroom and small window
Room from the other side.
I hand carried all these on board… don’t ask me how. ;P
First stop. Satay with more than 40 years of history!
Satay or Sate spelt in Indon. Check out the pot of peanut sauce! Damn awesome!
No fine dining tables lah but street food is what I dig y’all!
Ok maybe not this street food on a hot day…. This is cockles sate or Sata Kerang… gulp! LS galore on first meal? SKIP!!!
Ordered chicken and mutton sates and one stick of intestines. Mutton was tough like hell but chicken and intestine were good. Love the sauce and fried shallots on top. Yums!
I dunno what went through my mind when I ordered this float from the roadside. But I survived. So can order!
The stall owner
Proceeding to 2nd stop
BPK Olakisat. BPK is Babi Panggang Karo which means BBQ Pig House and Olakisat is basically the name of the shop or area.
2pm+… so crowded… almost couldn’t get a table. Oh and one thing in Medan… no one shares table! You might get stares if you ask to share table hahaha
BBQ pork… tough like shit… Even bak kwa is more tender.
Pigs’ blood sauce to go with your rice. Taste very spicy and sour. Can try for one time. Indonesians fav.
Mashed Cassava Leaves. How come SG don’t have leh? Maybe it’s a little rougher than sweet potato leaves but it’s still full of nutrients!
Rice was uncooked. Quite bad. I had to add soup and hope it softened. No, it didn’t.
Damage around S$5.90. Not too bad but food wasn’t up to expectations.
3rd stop. Pilastro Cafe (@pilastro_mdn). One of the pioneers in specialty coffee in Medan and it was a great honour to visit this place.
Boss Benny is at the counter
Ordered a pour over. Pretty decent, something different from the regular dark roasts.
Deep fried cassava sticks. Quite yummy.
Wefie with Wiwi and me.
Enjoying my second cuppa of their in house ESP Blend espresso.
Ambience of Pilastro. Nice and chill. Leo and Mimi on the left.
Benny and me.
4th stop is an interval from all that eating and basically checking out this orpahange recommended to me by Leo.
Care takers are Pastor and his wife. Not much funding from the government.
Now they have about 90+ orphans and growing still.
Incomplete building cos lack of funding. This is proposed for the less than 3 year olds so they don’t fall down easily cos of the high steps.
There are bricks and cement but somehow still insufficient to complete the building. Seems like they need help in construction also.
Rain came down like my heavy heart.
Worship place
Kids, some can tell not normal.
So many of them
All the young ones the older orphans help to take care.
Wiwi cuddling an orphan who was left at the doorstep of the orphanage
With some of the kids
5th stop. Garuda Nasi Padang for dinner. SG also have one branch but not as good as this original one.
So many dishes to choose from.
Fried chicken on the spot is a MUST-ORDER!
Avocado juice with chocolate!
Some choose packet style cos they feel it’s more tasty.
Packet style… really damn good lah…
While others chose the share style and those you don’t eat they put back… When eating there, don’t consider any hygiene lah, just whack!
The beef rendang is da bomb man! Very very good!
Awesome fried chicken!!! Total damage came up to around S$25 which is considered expensive in Medan!
6th stop. Famous Poh Piah Jose Rizal. Located at Jalan Jose Rizal, for 40 years already!
Managed to find some seats but need to wait. Many orders!
Preparation in progress
Fried or steamed, each S$0.70. About 10cm long.
Steamed ones are really nice.
Drove around to see the other eating places. This is the famous Nasi Goreng place which is on Youtube. But didn’t get to try cos reserving stomach for next stop.
Famous restaurant for local food. Skip. ;P
7th stop. Ucok (pronounced as Wu Chock) Durian. You see the amount of durian, you know they are the monopoly. If you wanna eat durian in Medan, Ucok is the only place locals will recommend. And this place opens 24hrs!!! 3am you feel like some durians, take a drive and whack one your own or have some durian pancakes!
With the Durian King Ucok himself!
Durians are a cross between XO durian and D24. Bittersweet and texture is not bad. Only set back is that their seeds are big. And here, only 2 prices. S$3.50 for small or S$5.00 for big ones. So don’t complain lah, cravings satisfied. My first Medan durian!
Frozen durian and durian pancakes wrapped nicely for bringing home.
Wefie with Wiwi, Tahbar and Mimi.

Ok that ended my Day 1 in Medan. Gimme some time to write on Day 2, which is another day full of FOOD!!!


Yours gastronomically,

Big Roy

Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steam Boat Restaurant – Balestier, Singapore


I’ve been patronising this place for the longest time… maybe almost 2 decades… but since I’ve started eatwithroy.com, I have not written about this place at all! Maybe because they have been doing so well for so many years that I thought they do not need any more publicity. But then again, the other side of me is telling me that their food is so good, more people should know about it… hence this blog post! ;P

I’ve been to Whampoa Keng again recently and the food standards are still there. Really impressed with the way they have kept up the standards for such a long time since they started in Whampoa market! And they have since opened up at Rangoon Road as well as in Batam Island, Indonesia… which I will share some of the pics below. Check out the foods that I would order at this lovely restaurant.

Restaurant frontage. See the queue…
Main unit where the main door is
They took over the next door unit also where there are more seating.
The chilli sauce goes damn well with the fresh fish slices which we ordered.
Our order of Batang fish slices steam boat ($40.00). Lovely thick slices of boneless fish. Something I cannot get in China haha. The charcoal for steamboat is just what makes it so good. Love it!
Yummy yummy fish slices closed up. This soup is the typical teochew style where they use sour plum inside and loads of bones to boil the soup for hours.
Oyster Omelette ($10.00) – Yummy with loads of medium sized oysters.
Sauteed Spinach in Assorted Eggs ($13.00) – Cooked in lovely stock which makes this soupy veg dish so good.
See they use deep fried fish baits for making the veg more tasty.
Fried Clams with Spring Onion ($10.00) – Pretty good as the sauce thickens and coated all over the clams.
Deep Fried Prawn Paste Chicken ($10.00) – A must order. They have perfected this dish over so many years. Crispy and damn juicy inside.
Me and lady boss Doris. We’ve known each other for so long and this is our first time taking pic together.

Rating: 5/5

Taste: Been eating here more than a decade, always good and love the fish and soup!

Portion: Good size.

Service: Pretty good.

Ambience: Crowded. Be prepared to go out smelling like charcoal cos that’s what make the soup so blardy good!

Price: Total was $92.66 after discount. Reasonable fit for 4 pax.

RTE: Always!

Location and contact:

MAIN OUTLET : 554/556 Balestier Road Singapore 329872 (Next to Caltex Petrol Kiosk, Parking Available along Ah Hood Road). Tel: 6356 7371 or 9127 6550.

BRANCH OUTLET: 116/118 Rangoon Road Singapore 218396 (Farrer Park Mrt, Parking Available along Rangoon Rd). Tel: 6296 8843 or 9023 2854.

BATAM OUTLET: Komplek Paradise Center Blok J No. 14-15 Nagoya, Batam, Riau, Indonesia. Tel: 0778425557.

Batam Pics:

View from roadside
Wah got alfresco seating and also band playing on weekends!
Love the decor!
Inside the restaurant.
They can’t use charcoal there hence these avante garde table stoves!
The legendary Ah Keng! Also haven’t taken any photos with him after knowing him for so long!

[Media Invite] Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe – Geylang, Singapore


Loads of backlogs to catch up on as work has been really tiring. Was at Spicy Thai a few weeks back and was really surprise with the food quality at a neighbourhood area. I have revisited since and food quality was still there. Check out the pics below.


Restaurant Front
Inside the restaurant
BBQ Chicken Wings – 4pcs $6, 6pcs $9. Reasonably price and taste really good.
ChaOm (Dill) Omelette ($8.00) – Dill is good for detox and so I had a lot of this haha
Basil Black Pepper Crab (Seasonal Price) – Crabs were meaty ad fresh. Interesting method of cooking.
Basil Mussels ($15.00) – Fresh mussels in a lot of basil leaves. I love basil leaves!
Red Emperor Snapper (Seasonal Price) – If you like fish like I do, this one is a winner. Chilli and garlic flavour and freshness in the fish you can taste. Lovely.
Thai Walking Cat Fish in Spicy Lemon Soup ($28.00) – This is a dish full of collagen, so all ladies please note! Don’t care about the walking part which sounds spooky but the spicy lemon soup is just awesome!
Deep Fried Pork Belly with Garlic ($12.00) – If you like fat exploding in your mouth, this is it. Very tasty and non-stop addiction.
Lala Beehoon ($18.00) – Served on a hot wok, this beehoon is just so tasty with all the juices from the clams soaked inside. I must say the amount of clams used was really A LOT!
Tom Yum Soup Red ($7.00/$14.00) – Rich, spicy, loads of ingredients. An appetite opener!
Deep Fried Kang Kong with Special Thai Sauce ($10.00) – An innovative dish which I’ve never tried before. The dip sauce is the key here similar to a thickened tom yum soup but very nice.
Hommok (Thai Otak) $16.00 – Crowd favourite. Very interestingly served in a coconut. Finished every bit of it.
Desserts for us to share. Love the steamed tapioca!
Foodie friends lending their support for the tasting event
Foodie in action
Foodies with the boss of Spicy Thai.

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: Very good and very generous in using ingredients! Really good.

Portion: Above average.

Service: Pretty ok.

Ambience: No aircon. Outside may be cooler.

Price: Reasonable.

RTE: Already did!

Location: Blk 115 Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-35, Singapore 380115. Tel : +65 6747 8558. Opens Daily from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Foodtrail In Chiangrai Day 5 – Chiangrai, Thailand


Day 5 is the day I leave Chiangrai for home. Sad to leave such a nice city, the people are awesome. So warm and welcoming! Shall be planning another trip soon!

Setting off to the airport
But first, visit my fav coffee house first
Sitting inside this time
So nice…
But first, coffee
Trying some of the cakes at Chiangrai airport
This is actually quite nice but why Thai airways packaging? Hmmmm….
At Bangkok airport waiting for flight back
Lunch! Love it
Choc cake was alright.
Latte was so so only.

Alright that’s all for Chiangrai, definitely a must revisit place! Maybe I will organise one foodtrail tour! Anyways, stay tune for more blogposts locally in Singapore before I write about my trip to Medan. Stay tuned guys!


Yours gastronomically,

Big Roy

Foodtrail In Chiangrai Day 4 – Chiangrai, Thailand


Day 4 is a long day as I leave the mountains to explore more of Chiangrai. I’m already in love with the city and the scenery it has to offer. Can’t wait to check out more of what this little city has to offer!

Woke up to this view
Love the morning silence
Farmers getting dropped off to start the day’s collection
Back at the mill, they are getting ready to transport the processed beans to the courtyard for drying.
Old uncle still strong at this age.
Bad cherries are floated on top and pushed to the pool beside
But first, latte.
The good cherries are at the bottom and are being sucked into the pulping machine
Cherries getting pulped.
See the cherries being separated from the beans
Coffee beans!
Good and bad beans
Balance of the cherries collected at another place to be used as fertiliser
GM of Doi Chang Coffee Farm
Last selfie of the amazing view
On the way down the mountain
Found a resort with a very nice river view for lunch!
Wow they are famous for pies! What a discovery!
My lunch view
Ice Thai Milk Tea
america Friedn Ri
Coconut pie…. yums!
The lady who started it all, Mdm Charin
Just nice the flowers bloomed when I was there.
Got aviary!
He didn’t show off that day…
Bridge to get to the resorts… yes, they own all these lands!
Fruit farms behind
On my way back to somewhere near the city and spotted some amazing architechtures
and padi fields
So serene
On the roads less taken
A hugh Singha statue
Loads of flowers
Love the flowers.
A lake behind where people are fishing
Reach my other resort for the night
Love the landscaping!
Bridge haha
Love it!
Outside my room
King size bed
Simple, good enough for me to rest.
Mosaic tiles are nice
Bath room
Back at my fav stall but trying something different
Default chicken rice must order!
Ordered this glass noodles in dark sauce. Yummy!
After dinner night market walk
Wow more food!
Another row of food!
Didn’t try this cos long queue but looks very good dessert.
Thai desserts from the supermarket… yums!

Wow what a long and tiring day! This is my last night in Chiangrai, gonna miss this place! Watch out for Day 5!


Yours gastronomically.

Big Roy