Two superheroes, a brother, friends, an opera, and green tea

23 04 2011

Three Philip Steins and an iPhone 4. I shared this dinner with Brother, Spongebob's best friend, and Green Lantern.

A LINE is always a good sign.  Rachael Ray told me so.  Friendship told me so.  And for the few times I did get another one of Friendship’s recommendations – 4 FINGeRS Bonchon Crispy Chicken at Ion Food Hall at Ion Orchard – there was always a line.

Sometimes, it took quite a while to get to the front especially when some couple would choose to take their sweet time debating on the merits of soy garlic against hot & spicy, with total inconsideration of the people down the line.

Now serving one of Korea's influences on Singapore, Bonchon Crispy Chicken!

Whenever that happened, I’d whip out my camera and would just take photos.  With much care I must say, especially after being told to stop taking photos at a couple of establishments.  So when I noticed that someone was slowly approaching me right when I was trying to establish focus on the restaurant sign, I hurriedly took the snapshot and pretended to just be reviewing my camera’s photos.

“eNTeNG!  Having dinner here?”  the slowly approaching someone asked.  I lifted my head up from my pretend business with the camera, and smiled at the familiar face now in front of me.  The Boy Wonder!

“I’m here with friends.  I’m treating them to dinner.  I’m just here to get chicken and fries.  Care to join us?  No, join us!”

Finally, 4 FINGeRS Crispy Chicken has landed! This was one of three boxes.


Clever marketing ploy all over the box top.

So after The Boy Wonder was done with his dinner at 4 FINGeRS, he moved to Food Opera, Ion Orchard’s high-end food court, where my friends and I were at.  It was the second time I was picking up the tab.  I had such a great time having lunch with them at CareShop de Café that I felt we had to have a repeat.  And yes, on me.

Once settled in my seat after having ordered my Fishball Mee Kia Soup (with extra mee kia!) and a tall glass of Fresh Lychee Juice, I made a belated realization that among those sharing the table with me were two of my superhero best friends – The Boy Wonder and Green Lantern – and Brother!  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

My friends, on the escalator ride that would take them to the subterranean foodie heaven that is Food Opera, the high-end food hall at Ion Orchard.


Queuing up in front of the Teochew Fishball Noodle Soup stall. The Boy Wonder snapped this shot.


Brian's "bee hon" noodle soup was chockful with tofu!


Brian and that big bowl of noodles!


Patrick, Brother, and Brian


The Boy Wonder is in the house!


Green Lantern's "mee kia" noodle soup had a lot of vegetables and seafood rolls and meatballs.


Green Lantern and that big bowl of noodles!


Exactly where I wanted to be... Sharing the dinner table with friends, including two superheroes and a brother! Food Opera was full that night but we seemed to have perfect timing and found this long table just when it was being freed up.

We capped the night off with coffee at Starbucks on the second basement level of Ion Orchard.  “Coffee” actually turned out to be Green Tea Latte over ice for everybody.  Green Lantern asked for it – it’s his favorite! – and everybody else ended up wanting to try the same, save for Syvil who had the lone hot drink.

The verdict on the green tea latte over ice?  Unanimously favorable, with a high chance of repeats.  As to the night overall?  Priceless.

Dinner's done! My friends and I now head from Basement 4 to Basement 2 for Starbucks!


That's a lot of Green Tea Latte over ice! It's Green Lantern's favorite Starbucks drink.


I clipped the newspaper article that announced Starbucks's re-design of their cups. Before I left Manila on the 13th of March, the cups weren't changed yet. It was in Singapore that I got my hands on the new ones!


Patrick, Brian, John & Syvil, Green Lantern, and Brother


What I wore to dinner. And how I wore my hair!


I met up Brian and Green Lantern at Muji first. Then, we picked up Brother and the rest of the group at Havaianas.


Green Lantern and Patrick on their ride home.


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Fishball Noodle Soup and Oyster Omelet

31 03 2011

Li Xin Fishball Noodle (Mee Kia) Soup at Ion Food Hall


FattyWeng Fried Oysters Oyster Omelet at Ion Food Hall

WITH PROBABLY the brooding persona of a melancholy madman on a mission, I approached my gastronomic adventure in Singapore armed with a weapon.  A checklist!

On it I have names of delicacies I should try, restaurants I should go to, and places where to shop – prioritized in that order.  Good thing I had the pages of my kikki.K DAILY NOTES notebook to serve this purpose.  Bought at kikki.K’s store in Singapore, it’s yet another one of Friendship’s thoughtful gifts.

By the end of day one, I had already ticked off chili crab, though all of my friends said I still had to have Jumbo Seafood Gallery’s version (and I did a couple of days later).  Halfway through day two, I had managed to put a check mark beside a couple more items – Fishball Noodle Soup and Oyster Omelet.

While both could be had at nearby friendly hawker stalls, I chose to look for them at the Ion Food Hall at Ion on Orchard, the mall nearest my hotel.

My fishball noodle soup is actually called Fishball Mee Kia Soup, “mee kia” or yellow wheat vermicelli noodles being my noodle of choice.  Served in a huge white bowl, it was almost overwhelming, chockful with seven of the biggest fishballs I’ve ever seen.  The fishballs were a delight both in texture and taste.  They were firm but characteristically soft and smooth and tasted with a hint of sweetness that could only mean they were made from more pricey fish meat.  To fire up the experience, I would dip each fishball – and subsequently lace the noodles – in the soy-chili dipping sauce that came with.

Seven large fishballs all in a circle


Soy-chili dipping sauce. I finished this!

I watched and waited – breathless in anticipation – while the chef whipped up my small portion of oyster omelet.  I’ve never had one in Manila so having it in Singapore was doubly thrilling.  With one quick motion of an experienced hand, the egg batter was mixed with a thin mixture of potato starch and ladled on to a hot griddle.  As the thick egg wrap formed with the heat, the rest of the ingredients, the freshly shucked oysters in particular, were thrown in in the (heated) frenzy.  A few more quick moves with the wrist and the savory omelet was plated and topped with freshly torn coriander leaves.  I stared at it and told myself, “This is their small portion.”

Ion Food Hall also goes by the name Food Opera.


Their small portion of the oyster omelet is not small at all!


The amount of oysters they put was very generous!


Lots of fresh coriander on anything makes me so happy.

I ate the omelet at a leisurely pace, as if making up for all those times I had put off ordering one in Manila.  It was so good that I felt I had to ration it – doling out a small piece each time for dramatic effect.  With my fork, I lingered, almost teasing each juicy oyster before I put them in my mouth.

I found it fitting to pair these hot dishes with something fresh, something raw that still had all of its enzymes intact.  I proceeded to Juice Bar and asked for fresh tomato juice.  They chucked in the juicer huge wedges of the brightest red plum tomatoes and after a couple of zaps, handed me the best tomato juice I’ve ever had.  Perfect.

Fresh tomato juice!


The look of satisfaction


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.