Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mad Jack’s

C says:

We tried Mad Jack’s, between Serene Centre and Crown Centre, on Saturday night. Apparently they do a good and authentic Fish N Chips, but neither A nor I felt like fish and chips, so I had a grilled chicken chop with cream sauce, and A had the lamb chop.

The food wasn’t all that good. My chicken was alright, typical food court-style Western chicken chop with a pretty good cream sauce, but A’s lamb was a little tough and VERY strong in lamb flavour. In fact, we wouldn’t have bothered posting about it if not for…

DESSERT. We had their homemade Chocolate Delight cake with vanilla ice cream. If you come here, remember – they make the Chocolate Delight themselves, whereas the Chocolate Fudge cake is bought from a supplier. The cake was wonderful – typical old fashioned chocolate fudge cake that puts Lana cake to shame. It had a thick chocolately fudge layer on top and in the centre, and the chocolate sponge was really moist.

Next time we’ll probably go next door to Renaldo’s for food, and just have the cake at Mad Jack’s for dessert.

A says:

The place reminds me of the joints run by college students overseas. The young staff don’t strike me as super competent except for the Chinese dude with long hair. Maybe they were just tired from the long operating hours. One big plus is the Xbox for patrons to play with.

Food-wise, you can’t expect too much for the price you pay, but I think it’s the same standard as cheaper kopitiam Western stalls. The sides are much better, such as with the rocking fries, buttery mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. Still not worth the price unless you’re having the cheap burger.

The desserts (and my iced coffee) were really good and value for money though. The cake was way better than it looked and well worth it. Too bad they use Movenpick ice cream instead of Haagen Daaz. I likea the Haagen Daaz.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Buko Nero

C says:

Time certainly flies. Friday was Buko Nero night again, and this time we had:

Amuse Bouche: Ricotta cheese and Watermelon crostini
Melon, Rucola and Lamb Prosciutto Salad
Broccoli and Green Pea Soup
Lime and Plum Sherbet
A’s main: Rigatoni with Braised Cod and Salmon Ragu
C’s main: Wonton skin Ravioli with beef filling and red wine reduction sauce
Milk Chocolate Cake with Caramel and Toasted Almonds

The amuse bouche was quite refreshing thanks to the watermelon. The salad was great – the lamb prosciutto (parma ham) was surprisingly not that salty or strongly flavoured, just subtly smoky, and went perfectly with the sweet honeydew melon and peppery rocket. The soup was better than I expected, for a green pea soup, and the broccoli florets were nice and crunchy, not overcooked and mushy, but the soup was a tad too salty for my liking (cue Zhang Ziyi…).

A’s main was the standard set one, and while he liked it, it pretty much reinforced my view that I’ll always change the pasta dish in the set menu to either one of their specials, or a main course from the menu. The rigatoni was fine, tasted good and all, but it was nothing spectacular given that you know what Chef Oscar is capable of.

Like my ravioli, for example. I had this on our second visit to Buko Nero, before we started ‘atetoomuch’, and it was one of the dishes that sold me on this place. It was briefly on their fixed menu, and I was half hoping to be a pig and order it as a separate dish tonight, but to my dismay, it wasn’t on the menu anymore. Luck was definitely on my side though, because Tracy came and recited the specials for the night, and the ravioli was one of them! Woo hoo!! I think my joy was a little too evident though… think she got a bit freaked out… Anyway, the ravioli has a minced beef filling, and it uses wonton skin rather than pasta so it’s much lighter. It was served with some oyster and shitake mushrooms, and the sauce, which was a red wine reduction, was truly amazing. It was packed with so much flavour that your tastebuds just explode when you take the first bite.

Enjoyable as always. No luck so far in getting a reservation for September, because apparently they’re going away for a 3 week summer holiday, so all their regulars are trying to fit in one more meal before they shut down for 3 weeks. I’ll try calling again next week, but if unsuccessful, looks like we have to wait till October.

A says:

Food was good as usual. Prosciutto was the highlight for me. I had to go with the pasta this time cause I likea the salmon.

Our previous trip there

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Botak Jones

C says:

Our burger obsession continues. On National Day, we had a leisurely workout at the gym in the evening, so since we were halfway up north (Thomson), we decided to try the infamous triple patty Botak Jones burger at Ang Mo Kio. This is a no-frills American food joint, with the first outlet way out West in Tuas, and a new, slightly more accessible outlet in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 (Block 608, at Yue Hua Food Court, for those interested). It’s an interesting concept – it seems to be nothing more than a cursory Western food stall at a typical food court, but it’s more like its own restaurant, with a very extensive menu and lots of polite and competent waitstaff.

A and I shared a small helping of their Whoopass Chili Con Carne, Stuffed Jalapenos, 3 BBQ chicken wings and their “U-Crazy-What?!” burger (seriously, that’s what it’s called in the menu) – three 150-gram beef patties towering precariously with some onions and tomatoes. Add-ons like cheese and bacon are optional, so we got it with just cheese. Just to give an indication of their prices, everything we ordered cost us $29 only, which is pretty much the price of just one burger at Uberburger. Sorry, but I can safely say that I’m NEVER going back to that place.

My favourite was the Chili. It was awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good chili, or any chili really, and this one was right up my alley. Ground beef, slightly spicy, some tomato and pickle chunks, and topped with some diced onions. Not overloaded with annoying beans that seem to be present in so many chilis. The Stuffed Jalapenos were pretty good but not something I’ll order again. They’re quite filling, and I just ordered them to try what they were like. The wings were surprisingly good – they were nice and charred and the amount of sweet bbq sauce was just right, not slathered with sauce like some places.

The highlight was the burger, which was a lot better than I expected. I thought that it would just rely on its size to shock and impress, rather than its taste. Surprisingly, the beef patties were tender and weren’t dry. Next time we’ll share the Double though, the triple patty is just too much and too gelak. We ate till we were about to explode and still had to doggy bag some chicken wings and fries. There goes a good gym workout completely ruined…

We’ll definitely be back, cos I want more of the Chili. It’s only 5 minutes from the gym, so you can bet that in the near future, we’ll be negating yet another workout.

A says:

The sign says, “Damn good food at damn good prices” and I have to agree. The bun could have been better but the beef patties were great. We ordered the set which, for just $1 more, gives you loads of spicy fries and coleslaw. Definitely ordered and atetoomuch this time.

Just a heads up if you’re going for the first time, there are menus available at the stall to help you decide what to order. And look out for the jokes in the menu. Some of them are actually funny.