Moc Quan, Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine at UE Square!

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Vietnamese cuisine is an uncommon sight in Singapore. While there is a saturated market that is brimming with Japanese, Chinese, Italian and all shades of American, visiting a Vietnamese place for lunch is definitely one of the more refreshing experiences for me. Therefore, when I headed down to Moc Quan Vietnamese Restaurant at UE Square, I have to admit that I was looking forward to a cuisine that would be both a surprise and new for my tastebuds.

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Cozy and quaint environment.

Moc Quan is opened by Chef Owner Jeff Khoo. Inspired by his love for Vietnamese cuisine, Jeff believes in the philosophy that the best Vietnamese food is available on the streets. As such, he spent three years learning from the various street hawkers the tricks of the trade before coming back to Singapore and sharing his passion with everyone.

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A fantastic way to start the entire meal is to go for the Goi Cuon ($8 for 4pcs) or the Bo La Lot ($8 for 4 pcs). These fresh vietnamese spring rolls are made with a choice of pork and prawns or beef and pork. If you go for the Goi Cuon, enjoy each piece with a homemade black bean sauce that wonderfully deepens the roll’s springy flavours. A very healthy and filling option.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent serving of Banh Mi Thit ($6.50) prepared by the restaurant. The French bageutte is baked fresh daily using a special oven which the owners brought back from Vietnam, ensuring a crisp crunch amidst a fluffy interior just like those found in the  country. Simple ingredients stuffed within like the vietnamese sausage and ham, with a serving of homemade pork pate complete the meal. Other stuffing like egg, barbecued minced beef, marinated sliced beef and egg and barbecued pork chops are also available. All the Banh Mi is served with cucumber, parsley, butter, pickled vegetables and Vietnamese chilli.

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For some Vietnamese seafood dishes, the Tom Nuong ($16) are a must try. These barbecued king prawns are brimming with smoky, sweet and zesty flavours that will leave you licking your lips and fingers. I was particularly enchanted by the deep, sensuous fragrance that simply had me craving for more.

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If you are in the mood for scallops, go for the So Diep Nuong Mo Hanh ($16). These pan-seared scallops served with a chilli lime sauce are a little sweet, spicy with just a touch of caramelized flavours that wonderfully complement the bouncy scallop textures.

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There is also the Ngheu Chem Chep Hap ($12). Clams and mussels are cooked in a sweet and spicy lemongrass broth that is deeply scented and well flavoured. Some may find the broth a little too strong in flavour, but it is one dish that would go excellent with rice. IMG_9905

What is Vietnam without Pho. Moc Quan presents a good range of 4 choices ranging from Sliced beef ($8.50), Brisket ($9.50), Beef meat balls ($8.50) and a mixed variant ($9.50). Fresh vietnamese rice noodles that are a touch springy, crisp and well flavoured as you slurp it along with some fragrant beef broth, proves to be a very satisfying all in one meal. I thought this presentation of Pho was pretty good and flavourful.

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Vietnamese Yogurt

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Xoai ($4.50) – a presentation of 2 types of vietnamese mangoes.

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Those seeking a more robust coffee experience might want to order the Ca Phe Sua Da ($3.50). The iced Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk is velvety smooth, with a nutty, creamy disposition that will seek to please.

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Hot Vietnamese Coffee

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Grinding of the weasel coffee beans; Water is then boiled; Coffee is then drained to the bottom flask before serve

I was actually keen to try the Cap Phe Chon ($28) also known as the Weasel Coffee. As one of the rarest drinks in the world, this particular brew is produced in the central highlands of Vietnam at Cau Dat, Trai Ham in Da Lat. Trai Ham weasel coffee has its weasels fed with the highest quality Arabica coffee berries, where the waste thereafter is well cleaned and processed. Upon ordering the weasel coffee, the entire brew will be prepared fresh in front of you. The coffee is light and thin, slightly acidic with a mild bitter aftertaste.

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Me and Chef Owner Jeff Koh

Moc Quan Vietnamese Restaurant is one place that lovers of the cuisine will come to appreciate. It was one of my first few times exploring this genre, and I have to say that it was certainly well received. With its relatively affordable price points, robust and deeply scented flavours, these are dishes that will be a good entry point for the unacquainted into Vietnamese cuisine. I would come back for some Banh Mi and Spring Rolls. And as what I’ve been telling all my friends, I think I just fell in love with Vietnamese coffee.

Thank you Moc Quan for the invitation

Moc Quan
81 Clemenceau Avenue
UE Square Shopping Mall
#01-23
Singapore 239917
Daily
9am to 11pm

Gourmet News : A Fantastic Pho, Vietnamese Buffet, Plaza Brasserie

Asian Food Masters make a comeback scene once again at Parkroyal on Beach Road’s Plaza Brasserie. Just two weeks ago, the restaurant ran a specialty Penang buffet where popular dishes are whipped up by chefs flown in from the Malaysian state to share the good taste with Singapore diners. From the 3rd to the 19th of June, Plaza Brasserie refreshes its concept once again with the Flavours of Vietnam making its way to the headlines of the restaurant’s buffet menu.

For these two plus weeks, Senior Asian Sous Chef De Tieu Trinh and Chef De Parties Hung Quoc Ha, guest chefs and both from Parkroyal Saigon in Vietnam will be recreating Vietnamese favourites such as the Deef Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Pan-fried Flour Cake with Prawns and Scallop and Vietnamese Beef Noodles Soup. To add to the spread, the restaurant will also be serving an assortment of Vietnamese Salads like the Bon Bon with Pork and Prawn Salad and the Duck with Banana Flower Salad.

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Rasapura Masters – The Iconic Marina Bay Sands Singapore Food Court

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Singapore’s modern cultural food heritage is perhaps the ubiquitous food centre where stalls featuring cuisines of all kinds are blended together. From the local favourites of Hainanese Chicken Rice, to the definite Char Kway Teow stall, or as I discovered yesterday at Rasapura Masters, Marina Bay Sands, regional favourites like Thai Mango Salad and even Phillipino cuisine of Grilled squid and pork belly, the food court is like a gigantic cauldron of varying tastes and delight. Continue reading “Rasapura Masters – The Iconic Marina Bay Sands Singapore Food Court”

Tims Restaurant & Cafe – I Wanna Have My Lamb Rack!

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Who says you cannot enjoy a delicate rack of lamb in the suburbs of the city. Especially with the idyllic setting of a street side bistro, a view that engages your meal up close with the happenings of the neighbourhood, and the occasional queue that forms for the desire to strike 4D. There we have it, Tims Restaurant & Cafe right in the middle of Lorong 4 Toa Payoh housing estate.

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The interior is furnished simply with the traditional yet homely feel of just good ol’ homemade food that is going to be served up to you. No quick buzz or stuffy environments, but just a relaxing atmosphere that will get to you the moment you sit down.

Ideal for those class gatherings you were always intending to have at a budget but just didn’t know where to go.

Continue reading “Tims Restaurant & Cafe – I Wanna Have My Lamb Rack!”