Calling all instant noodle fans, have you rided the hype of the Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2013 by the Ramen Rater?

MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle, a Malaysia production, became famous overnight since it came in #7 in that list. The curry broth was said to be hot and fiery. It was sold out everywhere, many were buying in cartons, even in Penang. But we wondered, why don't they just buy the freshly made one? Isn't it available everywhere in Penang?

My Kuali - Penang White Curry Noodle

Thanks to my sis, I get to try one. She told me that the curry was awesome but the noodle itself was just okay.

Opening the package and you will find a square noodle block, accompanied by 3 sachets of seasonings - the non-dairy creamer, chilli paste and seasoning powder. 

The chilli paste was said to be made from fish stock, shrimp paste, spices and chillies. Once heated up, I just couldn't help but kept Ah Choo! Ah Choo!

We have a habit of using only 2/3 of each seasonings, but for this one, all in! I even reduced the water just to make sure that the soup would be gau gau.

I thought it was too plain so I added some frozen prawns. Voila! The noodle is now ready for me to devour.

My Kuali - Penang White Curry Noodle

Slowly stir in the chilli paste, notice how the curry turning red? It is no longer white curry!

My Kuali - Penang White Curry Noodle

Turned out, I had probably set my expectation too high, it actually wasn't that spicy. The laksa was really fragrant, better than many freshly made laksa out there. Without being told, I bet you couldn't tell that the curry was from instant noodle package.

As for the noodle itself, it seems that my sister and I always have split opinion on noodles. This one for example, I actually enjoy the texture of this noodle.

Next time if I see this noodle selling, I would surely buy some, but certainly not a carton, don't want to go botak yet (yes it contain MSG)!

Did you join the hype to buy the noodle too? What is your verdict?
We were out of idea what to cook at home and decided to go for tze char. There were so many choices but we did not want to travel too far, mainly because our stomachs already started growling. So, we decided on Hao Xiang located at the Varinice Eating House, Bukit Batok Central. The place was crowded during weekend but our food was served pretty promptly.

Assam red snapper ($25) -must try
The assam red snapper ($25) was not only hot but with addictive sweet sour tang. The base of the gravy was light, not those curry type, and it was really appetizing. Pouring the sauce over the rice was utterly shiok. I am a fan of okra, my only complaint was that the okra was sliced up too thin and too little.

Assam red snapper

Fried kai lan leaves with silverfish ($12 for medium portion)
Deep-fried or stir-fried? You get to enjoy both in this dish. The leafy foliage of kai lan was thinly sliced and deep-fried to crisp, then tossed with crispy silverfish. The stir-fried version was hidden below the dome of crispy kai lan.

Fried kai lan leaves with silverfish

Crispy boneless chicken in special sauce ($18) 
Fried food lovers will surely adore this dish. Other than the chicken wing, the rest of the meat were boneless and easy to munch on. You get to enjoy the crispy crunch in every mouthful, without worrying biting into any bones. The special sauce was a kind of dark sweet sauce, spread out evenly on the plate beneath the chicken. 

Crispy boneless chicken in special sauce

Braised beancurd in special sauce ($19)
Compared to the special sauce for the chicken, we found that this sauce was not that special after all. It was a blend of chicken stock, crab stick and egg, a bit similar to the sauce that you get when you order mui fan. The tofu was quite silky but with the price paid, we would rather order another plate of crispy chicken.

Braised beancurd in special sauce

Seaweed soup ($6 for medium portion)
You may not be able to see it from the picture but there were prawn and pork at the bottom of the bowl. It was a simple soup and we finished it anyway. 

Seaweed soup

Do you know that in Hong Kong, the restaurants charge you for chilli? Now I get to appreciate those chilli served free in Singapore restaurants, especially those well-made one. This sambal, perked up with the pungent belacan, was not easy on the spiciness either. I literally gulped down the whole bowl of soup to get rid of the burning sensation of my tongue.

Don't be fooled by the name, they do not only sell steamboat but tze char too.

Varinice Eating House
Blk 632 Bukit Batok Central
#01-134, S650632

Never a time I passed by Tim Ho Wan without seeing any queue (except when they were still close). Considering this is an outlet of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant (only the original outlet in Mongkok and Sham Shui Po are the ones with Michelin stars), perhaps seeing the notorious queue is not surprising at all. The first Tim Ho Wan was opened in 2009, by Chef Mak Kwai Pui, and the restaurant was awarded Michelin star in 2010. Although many of our friends told us that the dim sum sold in Singapore outlet do not taste as good as those sold in Hong Kong outlet, not all of us has the luxury to hop on and aeroplane to Hong Kong for the original version!

Browsing through the menu, we saw that the 3 monthly specials were new, so we ordered them all. Seems like to cater to the local taste buds, they concocted this spicy dish - jade wonton in laksa soup ($5). The laksa was not overly spicy, there were tau pok added too!

The second monthly specials was also a spicy dish - yam dumpling with chilli crab meat ($5). Despite being deep fried, the net-like skin doesn't feel very oily.

The chilli crab filling does not have enough kick from the chilli, more of a sweet version of chilli crab. It still taste good nonetheless.

We were hesitating at first whether to order this braised chicken feet with abalone sauce ($5) as we prefer chicken feet to be cooked in spicy sauce. We were glad we did, the sauce of the chicken feet was simply delicious. The chicken feet was not the 'puff up' version as it was not being deep fried. It was firm, smooth, and full of collagen which is good for your skin!

This baked bun with BBQ pork ($4.5) was one of the big 4 heavenly kings. The brittle-like sugary casing readily crumbled upon each bite. However, the BBQ pork was seasoned way too sweet, masking the original roasted char siew flavor. Perhaps it will suit you if you have a sweet tooth.

The steamed egg cake ($3.8) was also one of the big 4 heavenly kings. I wasn't fond of steamed egg cake before but now I am starting to look for the recipe! The surface of the cake was smooth with slight shine, beneath it was the spongy cake packed with mouth-lingering sweet aroma from the brown sugar, simply hit the spot!

Vermicelli roll with pig's liver ($5.5), one of the big 4 heavenly kings too. Too bad none of us were fans of pigs liver. The liver was cooked just right, not dried up but still tender.

Ends up, we preferred this vermicelli roll with shrimp ($5.5) than the one with pigs liver. The vermicelli roll was well made, it was thin, smooth and slippery.

Steamed or fried? We chose the steamed version. Biting into the chewy beancurd skin was the juicy and flavorful fillings of mince pork and shrimp ($4). The beancurd skin was well soaked-up in the gravy and absorbed all the goodness from the sauce.

The dumpling Teochew style ($4) have nice semi-transparent chewy skin, you can more or less see through the skin to get a hint of the ingredients inside. The skin was well-made, it doesn't stick to the teeth.

A close-up look. The amount of meat and vegetables was in good balance and the fillings was moist. I thought there should be some peanuts but I don't remember biting into any.

We ordered congee with lean pork, century egg and salted egg ($4.2), to fill out whichever stomachs that still shouting for more food! The congee was smooth, and the pork was cooked just right, neither too stiff to the bite nor dried up, every spoonful easily slided down the throat. A simple yet well executed dish!

I didn't get to try the rice with beef and fried egg ($6), my friend finished it all.

Our cold barley drink ($2) and hot chinese tea ($1.2) - the black and white combination. 

The restaurant name literally means 'increase good luck', such an auspicious name they have.

The restaurant does not accept reservation, so be prepared to queue for hours. However, I find it quite a pleasant wait as they prepared chairs for those in the queue to rest their feet. I saw people chatting, on the phone, browsing net etc, it was not such a horrendous wait at all. It is worthwhile to mention too that the service staff, despite the overwhelming crowd, was extremely pleasant and attentive. It was indeed a satisfying dining experience there.

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, shopping for Chinese New Year goodies was a pleasant trip, with the new year songs played in the air, cookies sampling of all my childhood favorites, and many vibrant coloured flowers, new year charms selling everywhere. To rest our tired feet, we went to Hong Kong Sheng Kee for a tea break. The restaurant was having a three desserts for the price of two promotion. 

My choice of dessert was always the cold one, especially if I wanted to feel refreshed. I was delighted to see my mango sago arrived with basil seeds on it! 

Mango Sago

This is what I usually do - find the basil seeds in every mouthful and try to bite the seeds. It was actually quite a challenge as the seeds were really small and slippery.

Mango Sago

We have two black sesame paste lovers at the table, and both of them chose yuan yang paste, which means you get to choose two flavors of paste in a bowl. There were four types of paste to choose from - red bean paste, black sesame paste, tripe wheat paste and almond paste. Below is the black and white combination, with the black being black sesame paste and white being almond paste.

Yuan Yang - black sesame & almond

And this, is the black and red combination, with the red being red bean paste. The sweetness was just nice, it doesn't make me feel guilty at all indulging in them. It seems to be a trend now to serve dessert that is not overly sweet, maybe due to the increasingly health conscious society. 

Yuan Yang - black sesame & red bean

We wanted something to munch on so we ordered yam cake for sharing. We weren't expecting much as we were there mainly for the dessert, but these yam cakes were really yummy. There were generous amount of fried shallot on top, adding the crunchy texture to every bite of the soft yam cake. Do you notice the yam cubes inside the yam cake? I prefer finding yam cubes in the cake rather than the all mashed up version. 

Yam Cake

One point to note is that there was no high chair provided in this restaurant, and the seating was a bit small, so if you bringing your little ones, be prepared to carry them throughout.

Eat all you want, pay as much as you wish! Does this sounds too good to be true? It is right here, at Annalakshmi! This is their buffet range, neither too much nor too little, just enough to fill your stomach to the brim.

After we were seated, we were asked by the polite service staff for the choice of our drink. There was no menu, no price list. We were a little bit disappointed that mango lassi was not available, but this blueberry lassi pretty much made up for it.

Blueberry lassi

The buffet line started with tomato rasam soup. The light texture, slightly sour soup easily stimulated our appetite.

tomato rasam

tomato rasam

Next in line was nuts pilav. The basmati rice was cooked in well seasoned broth, enhanced with spices and nuts.

nuts pilav

Chana Dal is a kind of split chickpeas, low in glycemic index, easy on waistline and nutritious. What a perfect combination! 

Chana Dal

Each of the naan was cut into four pieces. Although there were not much displayed here, it was refilled promptly once the basket emptied out.


Tandoori roti is similar to naan, except that it is made with wheat flour. Personally, I prefer naan to tandoori roti as it is more chewy in texture.

Tandoori roti

A friend once told me that yoghurt was commonly used in Indian cuisine as it has cooling properties, which balance out the heatiness from curries. This yoghurt has a consistency similar to yoghurt drink, it was not very sweet but more on the sour side. 


Lemon pickle has an intense sour and bitter taste, a little bit is enough to flavor your dish. Once I put a spoonful in my mouth and I learnt it the hard way.

Lemon pickle

Avial, originated from Kerala, is a mixture of vegetables, curd and coconut. The texture was rather thick without much gravy. Curry leave rice was fragrant, with a tad of spiciness from dried chilli. 

Avial and curry leave rice

The freshly replenished veg kheema. 

Kheema was traditionally made with meat, but this vegetable version does not lose up to the meat version at all! Right beside kheema was alu jeera, where the potato chunks were tossed with cumin seeds, turmeric and other spices.

kheema and alu jeera

When I first saw the word 'drumstick' on the tag, the first thought came into my mind was 'chicken drumstick'. However, this is an vegetarian restaurant, hence no meat served here. I later found out that drumstick is a kind of long shaped vegetable which possesses medicinal value.

Drumstick sambar

This round and thin papadum was very crispy. I could hear the papadum cracking up in my mouth with every single bite.


I love the mee goreng, it was spicy and flavorful. Wished I had a bigger stomach to fill them all in. Medu vadai is a fried doughnut-shaped snack made of urad dal batter. It was crispy on the outside while remain soft inside. An addictive snack indeed.

Mee goreng and Medu vadai

This creamy coconut chutney goes well with almost everything. It is a mixture of coconut stew with some other spices, usually served as a side dish for idli and dosa. 

Coconut chutney

The last in the buffet line were the desserts - fresh watermelon and parrupu pradhaman.

Parrupu pradhaman is a lentil based dessert originated from southern India. It has a sweet and nutty aroma. After the heavy dinner, I only took a sip of the Parrupu pradhaman.

Parrupu pradhaman

Overall, the food here were tasty and the environment was cosy. It was spacious so that we could easily move around, which is an important factor for having a comfortable buffet. 

The setting here was ethnic rich and colorful, with many art pieces and sculptures around the restaurant, some were even for sales!

Quietly tucked at a secluded corner, their front door seems to be always shut. If you do not pay attention, you may even thought that the restaurant was closed.

We were there without any reservation, and we were advised to do so in the future. 

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