FYR Cycene Ond Drinc (Fire Kitchen and Drink) @ Boon Tat Street

FYR Cycene Ond Drinc

Address: 19 Boon Tat Street

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 11.00am – 11.00pm Sat: 9.00am – 11.00pm Sun 9.00am – 4.00pm

Introduction

FYR Cycene Ond Drinc, pronounced as “fire, kitchen and drink”, is a new addition to the stretch of bars and restaurants at the Telok Ayer area. Thank you Amanda from Brand Cellar and the folks from FYR for hosting me and the event is absolutely wonderful, with more than ten dishes lined up for tasting.

FYR interior design is rather interesting, like an abandoned warehouse being brought back to life at night. Their design are very much focus on wood and earth. The plating of their grilled dishes are very well thought of. Perhaps the culinary concept of FYR is to bring us back to the stone age when grilling stuff on fire is the primative form of cooking and the way to enjoy food. Even their dishes are presented and served on stone slabs.

All of FYR dishes are whipped up in Charcoal oven and grilled over Lychee Wood that gives the dishes a pleasant smoky fragrance. Among the dishes that I tried, here is my top three – Ribeye Steak ($32), Lobster ($35) and the Pistachio Lava Cake ($10).

FYR Menu: Click to enlarge

Grain-fed US Holstein Cow Ribeye 365 days ($32.00++)

I always have a thing for flame grilled steak. When a piece of steak, especially the ribeye cut, is grilled properly over a flame, the usually chewy fatty tissue tends to soften and break down and the end result is a piece of melty tender steak. And this is the case for FYR. The steak is flavour with salt and pepper and it has a good grilling flavour on the outside and is tender and juicy on the inside.

i also got to try both of the sauce – the black truffle sauce and the foie gras sauce. I thought both are pretty good, but I can do without any too because just the steak is good enough. This steak got my favourite vote for the night. At $32.00, i think it’s rather worth the money. It would be perfect if FYR can just throw in a portion of carbo into the steak.

Whole Maine Lobster ($35.00++)

FYR is not using frozen, but live lobster for this dish. The lobster is too grilled and covered in a thick layer of black-peppery shallot lemongrass bechamel. This buttery milk sauce has a faint lemon grass flavour which doesn’t overpower the natural sweetness of the lobster.

Even after extracting the meat from the shell, i was scrapping the sauce just to enjoy it a little more. The texture of the lobster is excellent – bouncy and succulent, and I think the grilling plays a very big part in obtaining such a texture. For a guy like me, I think probably this dish can’t fill my tummy but I think it’s pretty good if it’s for sharing.

Baked Pistachio Melt and Pandan Ice Cream ($10.00++)

Many recommend this as the must-order dessert after trying it at FYR. It also comes with portion of handmade Pandan Ice-cream which i personally like it. It’s creamy and rich of pandan taste but it’s a tad little overly sweet. If only the sweetness can be reduced a little.

As for the lava cake, the sweet Pistachio fillings is lightly salted and taste like a mix of salted egg yolk custard crossed with molten white chocolate. The cake is excellent when they pair it with crushed Pistachio nuts that’s scattered all over the plate. The grilled mush mellow makes the appearance looks absolutely delectable when the melted mush mellow is mixed into the molten Pistachio sauce but to be honest, i think it doesn’t add on to the taste, except by making it unnecessarily sweeter.

Baked Bone Marrow and Five Spiced Half Chicken

There also another two worthy mention – Baked Bone Marrow ($15) and the Five Spiced Half Chicken ($55 and also comes with a striploin steak and grilled prawn).

Honestly this is the first time i tried bone marrow and it is actually great. This is like a less flavoured foie gras but with the same amount of grease and fragrance.

Scoop it up, mash it and spread it over the bread, and sprinkle just little bit of sea salt and you are good to go. Apart from the taste, little did we know that it’s actually very nutritious. Google it.

The five spiced grilled chicken, doesn’t go on its own but comes with a portion of striploin and grilled prawn and cost $55. I particularly like the chicken as I am impressed by how evenly the inside of the chicken was cooked using the grilling method and how soft and tender the meat is.

The appearance looks pretty ordinary but it’s actually one of the best grilled chicken that that i had. It’s a pity that i can’t order just the chicken alone.

This whole platter, including the five spiced chicken cost $55.00++

Conclusion

Among the dishes that I tried, those mentioned above are the five that I personally like. I had photos of the other dishes after the conclusion, if you are interested.

At a glance at the price of their main course, most of them are $30 and above, except for the seafood linguine $18, which i don’t exactly fancy. I wouldn’t use “cheap” to describe the price of main course but you can see that the ingredients used in each dishes are not cheap as well. For the same kind of quality showed in today’s food tasting, I actually don’t mind returning to FYR to pamper myself after a hard day’s work in the CBD area.

Other food photos of FYR

Seafood Saffron Risotto – $48.00. The tomato taste is so much stronger than the lobster broth. Gotta work on it.

Sample slices of their Iberico Pork Chop – $32.00++

Baked Freshly Shucked Oyster – $15.00++

Spiced Grilled Red Snapper – $25.00++

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Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo, the Yong Tau Foo that packs a punch

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo at Telok Ayer (福林豆腐园)

Address (Google Map): 127 Telok Ayer Street

Opening hours: Mon to Fri 9.00am to 6.00pm, Sat 9.00am to 3.00pm

East Coast Main Branch: 721 East Coast Road

Opening hours: Daily 10.00am to 9.00pm

Introduction

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo, was established in year 1994 and has since enjoyed great popularity among Singaporeans. People normally associate Yong Tau Foo with the word “healthy” and “plain”, but Fu Lin’s version is not quite the norm. It’s a different kind of Yong Tau Foo where it’s served with a bowl of thick bee hoon, topped with a serving of thick minced chicken gravy.

They have a few outlets in Singapore and their main branch is situated along East Coast Road, The branch at Telok Ayer is always full house during lunch time and this briefly gives an idea on their popularity.

Yong Tau Foo with Minced Meat Sauce

I like Fu Lin for two reasons – the sinfully unique style of Yong Tau Foo, and the freshness of their ingredient. It’s a little surprising to know that there is no pork in any of Fu Lin’s ingredients and therefore this also sets them apart from the Ampang Hakka Style Yong Tau Foo, which uses pork and fish as main ingredients.

Each piece of Yong Tau Foo is freshly fried and served with a good drench of their home made gravy, which is made from key ingredients like minced chicken, mushroom, garlic and sesame oil. The gravy is not overly cloying, which is an important factor when pairing with mostly fried items. Some may find the gravy a little starchy but I can deal with it.

Most bean stick items are popular because of the ability to absorb the meat gravy that makes them really delectable. My personal favourite is their Cheese Chicken Frank and Dough Fritters. Most people accompany their Yong Tau Foo with a bowl of smooth thick bee hoon or rice that’s drenched in their special braised sauce.

Pricing

Apart from being more unhealthy than a usual meal of Yong Tau Foo, the pricing of Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo also made it slightly less appealing. it cost $5.30 for a bowl of bee hoon with 6 pieces of Yong Tau Foo and it’s $0.70 for each additional piece. However, the boss once mentioned that he ensures that only the freshest and best ingredients are used in his Yong Tau Foo and therefore the premium price. Worth it or not? You be your own judge. Apparently judging by the bustling lunch crowd, many are still willing to fork out the premium price.

Conclusion

Personally, I think Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo is worth the visit for occasion sinful indulgence. Taste wise, some items are very similar to what I had outside, like their vegetables, carrot and radish. It’s the fried stuff and the meat sauce that made the difference. It’s a pity that it’s a little pricey if you compare it to a hawker price, but it’s still OK if we compare it to a high end food court. For me, I think it’s still reasonable to pay a little more for a unique meal of Yong Tau Foo. If I am around Telok Ayer area during lunch time, Fu Lin will definitely be at the back of my head.

Tim Ho Wan at Hong Kong Fortress Hill

Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong (添好運 / 添好运)- The One Michelin Star Dim Sum

English Address (Google Map): 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point

Chinese Address: 北角和富道2-8號嘉洋大廈地下B,C及D鋪

Opening hours: 10am to 9.30pm

Scroll to the end for address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Introduction

Firstly, i will bore you with a little bit of history of Tim Ho Wan (添好運/添好运). The main chef Mak Kwai Pui (麥桂培) of Tim Ho Wan was originally from a well established restaurant  under the Four Season group – Lung King Heen (龍景軒). He later opened Tim Ho Wan in year 2009 that offers 5 stars hotel Dim Sum at street price.

In less than a year, Tim Ho Wan was awarded one star by Michelin. By then, it already has a reputation for selling the best dim sum in Hong Kong. As we know, it had created a storm when they opened their first branch in Singapore.

I used to visit their branch situated between Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po station and that is the branch that was awarded the Michelin star. I remember it was not exactly a great experience. The place is really really cramped and the waiting time is crazy, and service is below average. My conclusion then is they are great for the Polo Char Siew Bao.

When i visited Hong Kong this time, I didn’t have the intention to visit Tim Ho Wan but i got some free time on hand and the location is rather near my hotel so i thought , “Ok I’ll give it another shot”. I visited their Fortress Hill branch for supper at around 8.45pm.

This branch is at least 4 times bigger than the one that I visited and it’s much more spacious and well decorated. It was almost full house but i still manage to get a table instantly. I only ordered a few items, and surprisingly, all of them hit the right spots.

Tim Ho Wan's Menu: Click to enlarge

Tim Ho Wan’s Menu: Click to enlarge

Char Siew Polo Bun (酥皮叉烧包)

The Polo Char Siew Bao is fluffy soft and topped with a thin layer of not-overly-sweet sugar crust. The Char Siew is covered in a warm thick and rich gravy. The bun’s crispy texture complement the Char Siew perfectly.

This is the exact item that was awarded with one Michelin Star and just one serving is always not enough. This is still the best item at Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong. However, i do hope that they can be more generous with the Char Siew fillings though. This dish cost HK$18 (S$2.90) while it cost S$5.25 in Singapore.

Beef Ball with Bean Stick (陈皮牛肉球)

This dish is pretty good as well for it’s soft steamed and well marinated minced beef. There is a well balance of fatty and lean beef in this combination and the steamy hot beef ball taste really fresh.

There are also Bean Sticks (Tau Kee) placed beneath the meat ball and they absorb the natural sweet meat sauce during the process of steaming. This meat ball is my second favourite dish of the day. This cost HK$16 (S$2.60) while it cost S$4.90 in Singapore.

Steamed Malay Sponge Cake (香滑马拉糕) 

This is one of the four heavenly kings of Tim Ho Wan and it’s well known for it’s soft fluffy texture. I had this in Singapore’s Tim Ho Wan and i actually like it, but it comes at a costly price tag of $4.45 nett.

For the same item, it only cost HK$15 (S$2.40) and therefore makes this dish much more enjoyable than having it in Singapore. The steamed cake is served piping hot and i enjoy the fluffy spongy texture with a eggy light brown sugar taste.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Meat and Prawn (美味鲜竹卷)

The ingredient of the Beancurd Skin Roll taste very fresh and flavourful and the shredded vegetable wrapped in the chewy Beancurd Skin actually enhances the overall texture.

The gravy that comes with it has just the right level of saltiness and does not overpower the main lead. It cost HK$20 (S$3.20) while it cost S$4.65 back in Singapore.

Conclusion

Actually I myself was quite surprise that the experience of visiting Tim Ho Wan’s Fortress Hill brand is vastly different from the previous visit (5 years ago) of the Sham Shui Po Branch. Comparing Hong Kong’s price to Singapore, their signature Polo Char Siew bun is mark up by a whopping 80%. I always have this philosophy that the taste of food is somehow link to the price and waiting time. For this visit, there is zero waiting time and realising Tim Ho Wan’s affordable price, everything appears to be better.

Their century egg congee is not the most flavourful. Those who enjoy something light may enjoy this porridge much.

For those who are already a fan of Tim Ho Wan, then this is a must-visit for you. And for those who think that Singapore Tim Ho Wan’s price is too exorbitant, this will be your chance to enjoy a better quality Tim Ho Wan at a much cheaper price.

Click here to view my full Hong Kong Food Itinerary and the 8 must-know about Hong Kong Cafe Culture

Map and Directions

Actually Tim Ho Wan is between the Fortress Hill and North Point Station but it’s more straight forward to walk from Fortress Hill.  It’s about a 7 to 10 minutes walk.

1. Come out from Exit B of Fortress Hill Station

2. Walk straight and turn left at a junction to Power Street

3. Continue walking straight until a T Junction and turn right on City Garden Road

4. Continue walking straight. City Garden Hotel will be on your left.

5. After passing City Garden Hotel, walk a little bit more and Tim Ho Wan will be on your right.

Scroll to bottom to see address and opening hours of other Tim Ho Wan branches

Other Tim Ho Wan Branches

Olympian City Branch

Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui [大角咀海庭道18號奧海城二期G樓72號舖]

Opening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

Sham Shui Po Branch

11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po [深水埗福榮街9-11號地下]

Opening hour: 8am to 9.30pm

Central Branch

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) , Central [中環香港站12A鋪(IFC地庫一層]

Opening hour: 9am to 9pm

Tseung Kwan O Branch

Shop 49, G/F., POPCORN 2, 9 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O [將軍澳唐俊街9樓POPCORN 2期地下49號] O

pening hour: 10am to 9.30pm

Great Angus Steak at Market Grill @ Telok Ayer

Market Grill

Address (Google Map): 208 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068642

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm, Closed on Sun

Introduction

Market grill is a relatively new western grill bar situated along the stretch of shop house along Telok Ayer road that is nearer to Amoy Food Centre. Their menu is extensive considering the floor area of the restaurant. Probably due to the small seating capacity, they do not take in reservation.

Market Grill is rather well known for their steaks and burgers. For their lower range steak, the choice of cut is interesting that they decided to go with the less well known cut such as the bavette. Bavette is a cut somewhere at the stomach of the cow and it’s a french term for flank steak. A flank actually quite commonly used in the Chinese cuisine for “stir-fried beef”.

They also offer another cut known as the Wagyu Rump. A beef rump is very different to American and British. To the British, beef rump is actually referring to the Sirloin cut while the American refers rump to the round of the cow, that is the cut at the lower back, near to the hind legs of the cow. I read online that some people said that it’s really tender so i have to guess that it’s a British rump. Care to share if you have better knowledge of Market Grill’ rump.

Their menu: Click to enlarge

200 Days Grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib

I ordered their 200 days grain-fed Black Angus Prime Rib that cost $150 at 1.10kg. If you read the finer print, this dish is actually good for sharing for up to three pax (which i did). A 45 minutes waiting time is required for the preparation of this dish.

The medium steak is served sliced for easy sharing and comes with a portion of thick red wine sauce and a portion of sarladise potato. To put it simply, sarladise means cooking it in fats (normally duck) and seasoned with garlic. The simple potato side dish is delightful as it absorbs the oil and it’s naturally flavoured by the fats and a tinge of garlic.

For their steak, it’s a 10 out of 10 for it’s appearance. The appearance itself explains why 45 minutes of waiting time is required. The steak is properly sliced to the appropriate thickness so that it’s chunky but yet not overly thick. The exterior is grilled to slightly charred that adds on a grilled fragrance with a simple and yet well-balanced marinate of salt and pepper.

The juicy and tender center

The medium steak is tender in the juicy center. Certain areas of the steak consist of small chunks of fatty beef. Although it’s not exactly melt in your mouth, it’s definitely not rubbery and the fats break down with little effort from the jaw. For more flavours, drizzle the thick red wine sauce over the sliced steak. For me, the steak itself is good enough.

Drizzle with Red Wine Sauce

Charcuterie Connoissuer Board

The outlook of this starter dish looks really sad, with a few piece of paper thin meat and slices of bread. However I will say that this starter is quite interesting but probably not something that Singaporeans will salivate over.

The Pate Forestier, which is a chicken liver paste flavoured with garlic and mushroom. It taste very much like foie gras paste and it goes very well with the toasted sourdough bread. This is my favourite among all.

Front to back: Pate Forestier, Duck Rilette, Rosette Superieure Saucisson, Chorizo Iberico, Veal Lyoner, Sourdough Bread

Duck Rilette is like the shredded version of duck confit, salted and cooked in fats. The Veal Lyoner (Lyon Sausage) taste very much like our cold cut ham. Nothing fantastic. The rosette superieure saucisson is a kind of thick, dry cured sausage that originates in France and there is a rather strong smell that is not exactly pleasant. Definitely not my favourite.

I guess I am not very used to such kinds of flavour, but it’s really an eye opener. All these come at a price of $28.

Onion Matchsticks

The onion matchsticks is actually onion rings. Sliced onions were coated in a thin batter and fried to crisp. It’s a little oily but really great to go with beer.

By the way, have you hear of a saying that matchstick can help to prevent tearing while cutting onion? Bite a piece of matching stick with the head facing out and it will absorb the chemical that caused tearing. Probably it won’t work though.

Conclusion

After reading this article from City Normads, claiming Market Grill to be the top 10 place for steak in Singapore, i decided to pay a visit. I’d researched on this place and the reviews are just so-so for the cheaper cut of steaks so i decided to try the premium range.

It turns out to be a good decision after all.

The non-overcrowding dimly listed restaurant/bar seems like a great place to chill out with friends after work while enjoying a reasonably-priced  meal (they do not charge 10% of service charge).

I didn’t have the chance to try their signature burgers so probably I’ll be back for those. For those who had their burgers, do feel free to share your experience with us.

The supposed signature Cod Fish Burger. My friend said that it’s quite flavorful but a little salty.