Friday, 23 February 2018

Shabu Shabu at Talay Kata Orchard Central

If you want to enjoy Mookata or hotpot session in the comforts of a spacious and clean environment, Talay Kata would be at the top of my recommendation list as always. 

They are always coming up with different concepts to keep customers like me happy! Previously they have came up with a huge Seafood platter and cheese dip. You can read more HERE.

Recently, I had the chance to try their Shabu Shabu set. Let's be honest here, I have never been a huge fan of Mookata but when it comes to Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu? It's a solid YES. So I was definitely more than willing to try it out.

You can pick from different soup bases such as Beef, Duck, Tom yum, Chicken, Bonito and Salted Egg. We had the Beef soup which was recommended by the manager. The set comes with Crayfish, smoked duck, prawns, mussels, meatballs and a plate of thinly sliced beef.

Talay Kata used to serve several types of marinated meat, but they have recently made the decision to focus on non-marinated meat to allow eaters to experience the real taste, while being able to enhance the flavors through the use of spices and sauces. I personally lean towards non-marinated meat as they tend to be less salty. 

Their standard has really improved from my last visit. As the beef was thinly sliced, the meat was cooked within a matter of seconds and it was really easy to chew on. The soup, on the other hand, was not really impressive to me. I would have opted for Tom Yum, but I was relatively fine with it as long as I'm not drinking the soup. 

Their buffet spread was sufficient to satisfy my cravings, in fact I didn't even have the stomach space to finish trying every single item. I still love the fact that they have more non-marinated choices now. Unfortunately their stirred fried clams were unbearably salty for my palate. To give them some credits, the non-marinated ones were much nicer though.

If you don't want to drink the soup from the Shabu Shabu, they have 3 different soup flavors Shark's Fin, Green Curry and Tom Yum. The Tom Yum and Green Curry was lacking a bit of the spicy kick and was towards the sweeter flavor. For those who love Tom Yum but cannot tolerate spiciness, this is totally for you!

They also have a new waffle counter!! Having someone serve you at the waffle bar isn't in trend anymore. Seems like DIY is more fun! Look out for their instructions on the wall. 

Talay Kata surely has standards that are worth your spending, and did I mention? Starting from $16.90 nett per pax, you won't even have to burn a pocket in your hole to indulge in a delicious meal with your friend! That's really affordable and let me remind you, Talay Kata has restaurant standards which means you can enjoy your meal comfortably. Just beware that you might have quite a strong BBQ smell after walking out of the restaurant!

See how happy he is! :P

Talay Kata
181 Orchard Rd, 08-04/05, Singapore 238896
Contact: 6634 0551

This is an invited tasting session but all opinions are my own :)

Friday, 9 February 2018

Hao Lai Wu Steamboat & BBQ at Chinatown

Food videos ads on Facebook are really effective in luring you to visit the restaurant, and that's how I get to know about the new hipster steamboat place at Chinatown - Hao Lai Wu 好来屋 (Not Hollywood FYI). With a funky and colourful interior, it is surely inviting to step into the restaurant. I was however mainly drawn to the illuminated crystal steamboat pot which was a very new and interesting concept.

I tried touching the pot and it really doesn't burn at all, which will be really ideal for family with kids.

We chose Tom Yum and Chicken for our soup base (Extra $6 for 2nd selection). There was a free flow selection of meat and seafood to pick from, including the common steamboat and BBQ ingredients. Not forgetting the extensive variety of sauces and condiments to go along with your meal.

I didn't even pay attention to what was completely available at the buffet as we hurriedly dig in due to hunger. The starting impression of the meal was actually not bad, especially with the hipster interior design and decent spread of food available.

The pork belly was one of the better choices due to its tender meat (though it wasn't so fantastic overall). Unfortunately, the standards started to drop throughout our meal, the marinated meat started to get overly salty even when the grill was changed. Towards the end, I couldn't stand putting another piece into my mouth because it was way too salty and I had to drink quite a lot of water as compared to usual.

My friend also commented that the standards have dropped from the first time of her visit and she was quite disappointed with the soup. I felt that it was such a pity as it is really such a lovely place to settle your BBQ/ Steamboat cravings for an affordable price. Perhaps this was a hit and miss situation and hopefully they have better standards for their new outlet at Burlington Square!

Hao Lai Wu Steamboat & BBQ Price:
Lunch: $18.80+ 
Dinner: $23.80+ (Weekdays)/ $24.80+ (Weekends)

8 Sago Street
Singapore 059012

+65 62210065

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Hello Kitty & Friends Theme Park @ Sanrio Puroland Tokyo Japan

For all Sanrio lovers, you'll be very pleased to know that Sanrio Puroland is located at Tokyo, Japan - - an indoor theme park filled with all your favourite Sanrio characters including Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Gudetama and many others. As we had other plans on that day, we opted for a more affordable option and bought the afternoon passport at 2000 yen as compared to 3800 yen on weekends. Entry was only allowed after 3pm, but if you're only visiting the place for a short tour, I think it's worth your money!

We were unable to complete all the rides due to the limited time and focused more on photos and shopping instead. The rides didn't really appeal to us as they were more suitable for young kids. If I were a kid, I would love to be on those rides too!

Some of the special mentions include the Gudetama travel activity and Lady Kitty House which are perfect for photo-taking, but the queue for the Lady Kitty House was really long (about 45 minutes wait time). I thought it was still worth the wait for all these pretty photo opportunities!

As they only allow a certain number of people in at one time, you won't have to worry too much about people photobombing you.

Just a piece of advice: If you're not planning to buy the souvenir photo at the end, don't bother queuing to take a photo with Lady Kitty as they wouldn't allow you to use your own camera. The queue was quite a waste of our time. 

I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoyed the Gudetama section the most compared to the rest, partially due to the reason that it's uncommon as compared to Hello Kitty (I have already visited at least 3 Hello Kitty cafes from different countries). I grew to love this lazy egg character more as I decorated more Gudetama cakes over the time.

Each person will receive a Gudetama 'passport' to scan at every station - either a photo booth or game. We didn't have time to go through every single section but we played some of the games which was quite fun.


My dad always commented how I was always excited to window shop at Souvenir shops when we travel. And true enough, I was more hyped up about the Sanrio products at the store more than anything else. And we spent about an hour in the shop. Surprisingly, almost everything was reasonably priced. You know how souvenir shops always mark up their prices for tourists? This shop is nothing like that. In fact, I think some stuff are really worth the buy.

I visited this place with really little expectations and it turned out a lot more interesting than I thought! Is it worth it? This is really subjective though. I would say yes, if you're a Sanrio fan like us! Otherwise, the whole place might just feel very kiddy for you.