Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nude Seafood's Friday Feasts

C says:

On Friday evenings, Nude Seafood transforms from a casual establishment selling no-frills but well executed seafood to CBD lunchtime folk, to a proper restaurant serving dishes that could rival any fine-dining joint. 

The menu for Friday Feast, $68 for 4 courses, changes seasonally. They've just started the Autumn installment, which is the one we tried on Friday. 

First course was Four Variations of Japanese Pumpkin - roasted pumpkin, pumpkin croquette, pumpkin creme brûlée, and pumpkin seed tuile. 

Second was King Prawn and Capellini. The prawn was freshly caught just the day before, and cooked sous vide before a smoky char on the grill. The result was a perfectly cooked and super sweet prawn with a lovely smokiness. The capellini was tossed in a nutty wakame dressing, and was a nice earthy counterpart to the prawn. 

Third course (the photo really doesn't do it justice) was Salmon and Ikura. A disc of  sashimi-grade salmon was cooked at 45 degrees then flash seared on one side. It was served with ikura tossed with lime zest, and Japanese anchovies that were hickory smoked in-house. Another delicious dish - the lime added an interesting twist to the ikura, and I absolutely loved the smoked anchovies. 

Dessert was little chocolate and rum choux puffs with home-made vanilla ice cream.

I really like Nude Seafood, both their casual offerings and Friday Feasts. Even with their casual dishes, you can tell by the techniques and execution that the chefs definitely have fine dining backgrounds. Prices may be on the slightly higher side of affordable, but the quality totally justifies it. Not to mention the consistently great service. 

A says:

High end food in a casual setting. Which explains the small portion sizes compared to the price. We need to order 3 mains between the 2 of us to be full on a usual day, but for the Friday Feast set, you'll get just enough. 

Overall, I think many would consider it not worth it, but once you factor in the fine dining quality of the food, it definitely is worth the price. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lunch at Bincho

C says:

The lunch sets at Bincho, available daily even on weekends, are a slightly less extravagant way to sample what Bincho has to offer. Even better, most of their a la carte menu is still available at lunch time too if, like us, you can't resist supplementing your lunch sets with an extra side or two. 

We ordered the Beef Tongue Don ($38) and the Pork Jowl Ikura Don ($40). First is an amuse bouche and a chicken skin salad. 

Next up was karaage - fried drumlets coated in a sweet teriyaki sauce. Both the salad and the karaage were good, but were really just there to pave the way for the awesome mains. 

The beef tongue was sensational. It was perfectly cooked, so flavourful and so incredibly unctuous. Bliss at first bite. 

The pork jowl and ikura don was also amazing. The pork had a wonderful texture, and the flavour combination of the fatty seared pork, sweet glaze and savory ikura was heavenly. 

Even the black sesame ice cream dessert was simple but really good. 

We honestly can't get enough of Bincho. Always immensely satisfying, and now with the lunch sets, maybe just a little easier on the wallet. 

A says:


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Flock Ghim Moh

C says:

Flock Ghim Moh, a branch of Flock Cafe at Tiong Bahru, has a nice, easygoing vibe. The menu isn't very extensive, so I don't think we can come here that often without getting bored, but so far there are definitely some dishes worth coming back for. 

Like the waffles with scrambled egg and bacon. The waffles were super light and crispy, but what surprised me the most was the scrambled egg. A lot of places overcook their scrambled eggs so they're dry and rubbery (like buffet breakfast style). Here though, the eggs were silky smooth and creamy. Really good. 

The rigatoni with pulled pork was quite tasty too, but I found the pulled pork was a tad too sweet for my liking. I think it's because they also use it as a topping for one of their eggs Ben dishes, so the sweetness makes it more of a brunch offering.

I'm also impressed that they offer coffees other than lattes and flat whites here. They have a piccolo latte and, to my peasant surprise, a cortado too. 

Definitely a viable brunch or even dinner place when we're short of ideas. 

A says:

A much better option to the hipster-y one at Tiong Bahru.

Monday, August 10, 2015


C says:

Calling Bincho a yakitori joint is doing it a disservice. The term brings to mind casual izakayas serving all manner of (fairly cheap) food on sticks. At Bincho, on the other hand, the food is served not on sticks, but artfully sliced, plated and accompanied by the perfect condiments for each dish.

If, like us, you crave a full-on grilled meat experience, I would recommend passing on the omakase menus in favour of ordering from the a la carte menu. We had the omakase on our first visit and found it ok but not stellar. This time, on our second, we just went with a la carte orders and were completely blown away.

The neck was excellent. I expected actual bony portions of neck, but somehow they've managed to extract the tastiest fillet of meat from the neck - tender and juicy. Our first order was served with a simple ponzu sauce. 

When we ordered a second helping, they recommended it Miyazaki-style. Those massive sky-high flames? Yes, they were for the charred Miyazaki necks. This version packed loads of flavour, but I think I preferred the cleanliness of the normal ponzu necks. 

Not many places do chicken ass well; most of the time it's under-charred and therefore a bit icky, and the central cartilage isn't removed. Not so here. They were crispy nuggets of juicy fattiness, with all bones and cartilage removed. The hearts were also perfectly cooked, with a char yet still very tender. 

The marinated thigh grilled with cedar wood had a lovely fragrance from the wood and the light dusting of lime zest, and went really well with the mushroom salt. We also ordered the cock's combs, which turned out to be like tender bits of gelatinous cartilage.

One of their new dishes is the unagi clay pot rice. They advise you to eat one helping with just the rice and unagi, and another helping almost as a porridge, with dashi broth, freshly grated wasabi and sesame seeds. 

This was excellent. The eel was perfectly cooked - I dare say it was even better than the eel we had at the speciality eel restaurant we went to in Arashimaya. Adding the dashi turned it into the perfect comfort food to end the meal. 

I couldn't resist ordering the uni pudding for dessert. It was a base of creme caramel topped with maple syrup, and a couple of lobes of uni. It was a bit strange to have uni for dessert but it actually worked very well. 

This may be my new favourite splurge restaurant. Granted, it's not cheap (budget about $120 per person), but everything is executed perfectly. Try to get a counter seat, it's great watching the chefs work their magic right before their creations are placed before you. 

A says:

The omakase is overrated. But if you go early and order the right things a la carte, you'll actually get amazing food and amazing service.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Long Chim

C says:

At first glance, Long Chim is a bit puzzling. It's located at the posh side of Marina Bay Sands, directly above the casino, so you expect it to be quite fancy, and the decor certainly is. But then you get seriously old school music blasting from the speakers (Backstreet Boys? Ace of Base?!), and it all seems a bit incongruous. Eventually we figured that it's meant to channel the whole street food in Thailand vibe. It's strange but I like it. 

As for the food, we had all been warned that the food was unrelentingly spicy. While I was looking forward to it, the rest of the party wasn't. In the end, I think we ended being steered towards all the non-spicy dishes, so I was a bit let down on the spice front. 

Definitely not disappointed taste-wise though. Everything was very tasty and surprisingly not pretentious. The starters of fish cake and cured pork nuggets both packed a ton of flavour.

The chargrilled squid was really good, with very tender squid and a tasty rempah that was more spice than heat. 

Even the beef noodles with sriracha and the glass noodle salad were oddly not spicy. They were tasty but I can't help but feel like they could have benefited from a bit more heat. 

The only dish that packed some heat was a stir-fried soft shell crab, and even then, it was spicy simply relative to everything else. 

They do really yummy Thai-inspired cocktails, including one that channels all the flavours of mango sticky rice. Pity that the dessert menu is so uninspired though.

Their last orders are at 10.30 so it's a pretty good place for a late-ish meal. Next time I'm definitely going to seek out the spicy dishes. 

A says:

Surprisingly affordable. Great way to have Thai street food without getting diarrhoea.