We decided to explore the eateries at Basement 4 of ION this afternoon. I don’t mean the food court Food Opera, but rather the little standalone street food stalls outside Food Opera.
Granted, if you want a proper sit down dining experience, you’re better off in Food Opera because apart from the stalls selling more substantial food like R Burger and the Thai stall, for the most part there isn’t any proper seating here and you have to stand around to wolf down your food. Not the most convenient if you’re laden with shopping bags.
Still, the array is so much more interesting and inviting than the rather generic and soul-less offerings at Food Opera. I was a bit stunned at the array of choices, and was wondering how on earth I was going to decide what to have, when we walked past the roasted meat stall. The glistening roast ducks being deboned and the huge pig in the window did it for me. We ordered the peking duck ($6 for 5 pieces) and the roast pork ($6 for very generous 6 slices).
This was really good, especially the peking duck. I think it’s a great idea to make peking duck pancakes available to the masses, rather than being forced to go to a fancy Chinese restaurant to have it. Plus the duck was really tender and juicy, with nice and crisp and not too fatty skin.
The slices of pork were a bit of a meat overload, even for me. It’s a really good deal though – all that meat for just $6. It's more than enough for 2 persons to have with rice for a very substantial meal. The skin wasn’t as crispy as I’d hoped, but the meat was really tender, not dry, and no stray bits of soft bone either (like you get in many hawker centre roast porks).
Some other things we had were:
- Tokyo Crepe Girl. A had a mushroom and cheese crepe, and a chocolate and banana crepe. He said the sweet one was way better.
- Korean bulgogi skewers. I had a beef and a pork. The beef was tough and dry, the pork on the other hand was deliciously tender and with the right amount of sizzling fat.
- Marvelous Cream. This is a marble slab ice cream place, where the ice creams are apparently made with 100% Hokkaido milk. We shared a yogurt flavour with frozen strawberries; the ice cream was good but the strawberries were too cold and too sour. They do some interesting pre-made ice cream puddings for take out. Maybe we’ll try those next.
If it's your first time (it was for me), I'd recommend just walking around all the stalls to recce what’s available. It’ll take more than a few visits to try everything that we want, plus R Burger and the takopachi stall are perpetually packed, so either we have to be patient and queue, or keep coming back in the hopes that the furore eventually dies down.
Modern Peking Duck – RAWK!
Tokyo Crepe Girl – stick to the dessert crepes
Marvelous Cream – Not worth $5.20 a scoop. I’m gonna try the Hokkaido soft serve stall next time.
To me, this is the best part of Ion. There’s loads of stuff I can eat here. The only problem is there are no bloody seats!
Modern Peking Duck
#B4-75 ION Orchard