C’s Best of 2011
We’re having increasing difficulty coming up with our annual “Best Of” lists. Quite often, new places that we try don’t blow us away quite as much as we’d expect, while old favourites still continue to impress. Plus foreign establishments don’t count, so some of the awesome places in Spain won’t make the cut.
On that basis, we’ve decided to cop out, and just pick some noteworthy places, both old and new, that made us smile.
Ju Shin Jung Korean Charcoal BBQ
Whether you come here for the exquisite Korean BBQ, or just a simple meal of some soup, rice and their delicious side dishes, this place never disappoints. Except when you can’t get a table on a particularly bustling weekend evening.
The fact that it’s a stone’s throw from our place is just the cherry on top.
Yes, the place can be a bit of a madhouse, and the fact that they don’t take reservations may put off some people who don’t like to wait indefinitely, but on the flip side, if you do manage to get there before 7.30 pm you’re more or less guaranteed a table without any wait.
It’s not fine dining, the tables are an inch apart so romantic it definitely isn’t, and their sole main course is a fairly basic cut of meat that may make steak snobs shudder. But I still think that’s all part of its charm, and their pate, truffle brie and salted caramel waffles make this a winner in my book.
Read about L’Entrecote here.
The only things preventing me from being a regular fixture at Bruno’s are the location, the fact that even though you have a reservation it’s still chaos when you arrive, and the sometimes erratic service times.
The food itself is excellent; prices even more so. The king prawn linguine alone is worth a visit.
Chinois by Susur Lee
Granted, we’ve only been to Chinois once, and haven’t yet made good on our intention to try their dim sum menu. But the one meal that we did have there was unexpectedly good.
Jiro-style ramen – Bario and Riki
Being a fervent tonkotsu ramen fan all these years, Ramen Champion (and Lucky Peach) opened my eyes to the lesser known varieties of tsukumen and Jiro ramen. Bario at Iluma and Riki at Terminal 3 get my vote for best ramen of the year.
What’s our Best Of list without Ember? It may be a cop-out, but we always leave Ember happy, and to me that’s one of the best indicators of how good a place is.
Given that we usually go to Jewel Coffee for dinner, we unfortunately don’t get to sample as many of their caffeinated beverages as we’d like. They’re on my Best Of list for the food, and in particular their awesome chicken wings which, depending on the mood I’m in, could dethrone Ikea’s as my all-time favourite chicken wings.
What do I like about them? They only use the mid-joint, which to me is the best part of the wing. It’s only very lightly floured because I hate heavy batter coatings. It’s seasoned with a very interesting Asian-esque marinade, served with an amazing kicap manis dip. It’s so tender and juicy that the meat just glides off the bone. Enough said. I’m salivating just writing this.
We also haven’t been back to Kazu yet, but the meal we had, ending with the burnt caramel ice cream, was truly outstanding.
A’s Best of 2011
Best ramen: Taishoken at Ramen Champion Iluma
I’ve recently gotten into the dipping style ramen and Taishoken’s is the best. From the latest standings, it seems Singaporeans prefer the conventional Sapporo style ramens so I doubt it’ll win the Ramen Championship. Hurry to Iluma before June to try it before it’s gone. Sigh.
Best $100 restaurant: Ember
Great service. Great food. And you can get a weekday booking just a week in advance. Still a favourite.
Best burger: Morton’s Bar
Expensive. But still the best burger in Singapore.
Best food at a coffee joint: Jewel Coffee
Okay. This one’s subjective. I wouldn’t say the coffee’s the greatest, but the combination of friendly staff and good food make this a fav of mine.
Best chicken rice: Wee Nam Kee at Marina Square
The food’s as good as the one at Novena plus it’s air-conditioned and you don’t get the crowds.
Best desserts: L’Entrecote
Best food blog: atetoomuch