Wednesday, July 31, 2013


C says:

Brill took over the space at TripleOne Somerset that was previously occupied by Black coffee house. It usually looks forlornly empty, but something on their chalkboard menu - Pig Parts Don, made me mildly curious enough to try it one day.

As luck would have it, the pulled pork and pig intestine don wasn't available that day. I ended up ordering the Roast Beef Don instead. Strangely enough, they also had Gado Gado on the menu, and A, having had a satay gravy craving for a while, got that.

The beef don completely underwhelming. Slices of bland roast beef were placed on top of regular (I.e. not short grain Japanese) rice, with a strange onion gravy/puree. There were a few slices of pickled daikon and carrot, and some Chinese spinach that tasted like it was on the verge of going off.

The Gado Gado was deconstructed, and at best very ordinary. Just tasteless boiled vegetables for dipping into a bowl of satay gravy.

The only thing that was worth eating was their version of soft boiled eggs on toast, which they termed Onsen Tamago Toast. It was served in a soy dashi broth with a few drops of spicy sesame oil. The eggs were cooked well and the Japanese twist was quite pleasant.

Overall though, I simply don't know what they're trying to be. Japanese-named foods but with basic local element, and some Indonesian thrown into the mix. The menu and concept are confused, and it shows in the end result.

A says:

Meh. It's okay. A bit pricey. And there and many other places around the area I'd rather eat at.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Rabbit Stash

C says:

From humble beginnings as a private chef and later setting up shop at Pandan Valley condominium, Chef Matthew has now moved The Rabbit Stash to a cosy new home at Alexis condominium at Queensway, just down the road from Anchorpoint. We went there for dinner one evening with W, and had a very enjoyable meal.

They generally do multi-course tasting menus, ranging from 5, 7 and 9 courses, but you can also order off their a la carte menu. We went for the 7 course, which was $98.

We started with a simple salad followed by a lobster broth. The salad was somewhat forgettable, but the lobster broth with crab meat was very tasty - clean and flavourful without being too rich.

Next was foie gras with jamon. The foie didn't have as crisp an exterior as I would have liked, but I liked the pairing with the jamon that gave it a lot of depth.

The next two dishes were right up my alley - fried prawns with an assam sauce, and a glazed chicken wing. It helped that both had hints of Asian flavours, and were executed very well.

Apparently Chef Matthew is known for his meats, and that definitely showed in the main courses. A had the lamb rack and I had the ribeye. Both were outstanding - cooked perfectly with a dark charred crust and a perfect medium rare interior, and very flavourful and well seasoned. Based on the portion sizes of the earlier dishes we assumed that the main would be equally petite, but these were proper main course sizes.

After palate cleansing sorbets (or, herbal jelly for me), dessert was either a donut for me, or chocolate fondant for A. The fondant was delightfully oozy, but I still preferred my donut.

I like the atmosphere here - not too fancy or posh, it feels almost like a private dinner at someone's house. Given the generous portions of the meat main courses and the quality, the price tag is actually pretty reasonable for a 7 course dinner. All in all, a very understatedly pleasant dining experience.

A says:

They do the meats here perfectly. Everything else ranges from average to good. So my recommendation is that you definitely come here to have a 2- or 3-course meal.

The Rabbit Stash
354 Alexandra Road
#01-07 The Alexis
Tel: 9858-8607

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PasarBella - Le Patio and Huber's Deli

C says:

Our second trip to PasarBella, at lunchtime on a Sunday, fared much better than our first. We got there as Le Patio was finishing the crust on its massive paella, so I put in an order and waited about 10 minutes for it to be done.

For a pan that massive (about 1 metre in diameter), I’m impressed that they managed to attain a great consistency to the rice, and a good crust as well. The mussels were a bit small but the prawn was fresh and the chicken pieces were tender and succulent.

A’s hot dog from Huber’s Deli – a pork dog with sauerkraut and mustard, was a surprising hit. The sausage had quite a nice snap and on its own was quite salty, but was perfect once you had it with the sauerkraut and other condiments.

La Patio also makes dessert crepes – Nutella, salt caramel and lemon & sugar. A had the Nutella and I made a beeline for the salt caramel. A’s was predictably good, but my salt caramel was divine. The crepes were light and thin, they were pretty generous with the sauces, and most important of all, the salt caramel was a proper one with no shortage of salt.

I reiterate that I’m generally quite pleased with how PasarBella has turned out. I’m sure that the tenant mix will change and evolve in time. It remains to be seen how a buffet hotpot place like Maru Shabu will fare in a “farmers” market, but so far I’m quite happy with what they’ve put together.

A says:

Superb hot dog. Definitely my go-to choice here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


C says:

After our experience at Brooklyn Fare, we wondered whether, if we were willing to shell out the same amount of money, we would get as good or similar experience at a top Japanese restaurant, like Tatsuya? We decided to treat ourselves on a special occasion, and went for the omakase at Tatsuya for my birthday.

We started with a selection of cold items - the ones that stood out were a cube of smoked goose, and incredibly tender cooked abalone.

Then the whole uni topped with caviar arrived. This was truly decadence in every mouthful. As if the uni wasn't already flavourful enough, the dollops of caviar made it even more luxurious and intense.

The sashimi course was next. We had a few slices of kanpachi topped with some flavoured oil and chives, a few pieces of ark shell, flounder, prawn and a chunk of toro. The kanpachi was really good; the rest were a bit lacklustre.

The next dish was a braised one - eggplant and balls of yam with a couple of pieces of eel. I daresay, best eel I've ever had; perfectly cooked and completely boneless.

Next up was a grilled belt fish, in a butter sauce. This was quite subtle and needed the squeeze of lemon, but the fatty fish completely melted in your mouth. Simply delicious.

They must have had a shipment of uni recently, because the next course was an uni chawanmushi. As with the previous uni course, this was proof that eggs of all kinds are the best foods, and even better when paired together.

The highlight of the meal was the sushi course. 5 pieces of expertly constructed aburi sushi. The 2 killer standouts were a scallop and foie gras one, and a prawn with mentaiko. The flavours of those are still haunting us now. Insanely good.

We cleansed our palate with a tuna belly soup. However, before dessert, the sushi chef noticed that we still looked a bit hungry (trust me, portions were quite small), and asked if he could make us another couple of bites of sushi. No pics of these because they were meant to be handheld and eaten at one go - a nigiri sushi topped with negitoro and uni (again), and a temaki with mentaiko and chopped salmon skin.

Finally satiated, we ended with fruit and, as a bonus request, ice cream. The fruit was apricots and insanely honey-sweet musk melon, and the ice cream that we couldn't refuse was a vanilla caramel one from Hokkaido.

The damage was pretty bad, but this was an excellent meal. Definitely too steep to come here except for a special occasion, or if we've been particularly austere for a while. Maybe next time, instead of a full omakase including the cooked items, we may go with just the sashimi and sushi, since those are what they're apparently so good at.

A says:

Amazingly good meal for an amazingly high price. Probably the best prawn sushi I've ever had though. Same with the scallop and foie gras one. I would definitely recommend this place if you have bucketloads of money to spend on food.

22 Scotts Road
Goodwood Park Hotel
Tel: 6887-4598
Open daily: 12 noon - 3pm; 6.30 pm - 11 pm

Friday, July 05, 2013

More treats from Lek Lim

C says:

We went back to Lek Lim Nonya Kueh recently, to satisfy a craving for some of the items that really made an impact on us the last time, namely the chicken curry puffs, glutinous rice and steamed yam cake. The glutinous rice and yam cake were as good as I recall. While I still like the thin crisp skin and the flavour of the chicken curry puffs,  they've had their chilli level toned down, following feedback that they were too spicy. I find that slightly disappointing, since the spiciness really set them apart from other curry puffs, but I appreciate that my spice tolerance is higher than the average Joe's.
Together with a host of other local food vendors, Lek Lim will be at the SFF Village (booth number 2) for the Singapore Food Festival, in a bid to introduce their kuehs to a new generation of fans. They will be selling some of their signature kuehs, as well as their pineapple tarts and almond cookies, that are usually only sold over the Chinese New Year period.

Both were delicious. The pineapple tart pastry was buttery without being too crumbly, and the pineapple filling was nicely balanced – not too sweet nor too tart. The almond cookies looked as though they would be filled with almond paste or similar, but they were actually just buttery cookies with chopped almond bits baked into them. These were really fragrant and light, with a tender crumb. I love that both are bite-sized – they’re really addictive and great for snacking, but disastrous for my diet.
I’m definitely ordering these come Chinese New Year, but in the meantime you can try them at the SFF Village, which will be held from 12 to 21 July. I’m not very sure about the details, so check out for more info.

A says:

Very delicious. I like.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Naked Finn

C says:

We've tried to make last minute dinner reservations on a Friday and Saturday here for quite some time now, to no avail. When we finally came here on a hazy Thursday evening, we realised why. It's located in a little standalone building of its own, and indoor seating is minimal, with only a few small tables and limited bar seating.

It's both a bar and a seafood restaurant, so they specialise in simply prepared seafood as well as sorbet-based cocktails. They have a few sampler platters for 2 and 4 persons, but we opted to order a la carte to try more things.

I personally think their Chilled Piquant Vermicelli is reason enough to plan a trip here. I honestly don't know what they put into it because it looks so plain and bland, but trust me - it's packed full of tart flavour and is truly addictive. Next time I swear we're having one plate each.

The chilled kangkong was pretty good too. Definitely the first time I've tried kangkong prepared this way - lightly blanched and served as a salad with a tart dressing and topped with fried shallots.

The littleneck clams came in a clear barramundi broth. The clams were meaty and fresh, and the broth was light but flavourful. Still, it was a bit too subtle for A.

It got increasingly more aggressive after that, though. The grilled baby squid packed a ton of smoky flavour, although A found the tiny spines still inside the squid just a tad disconcerting.

The grilled prawns with white wine and butter were the highlight of the meal for me (together with the vermicelli). The prawns were super fresh, were full of delicious head juice, and seasoned just perfectly to enhance but not detract from the prawny goodness.

The grilled diver scallop was also a winner. Possibly the sweetest and meatiest cooked scallop I've ever had, and again cooked and seasoned perfectly.

We shared a portion of the African lobster, which was again very fresh and well cooked, but seeing that I'm not a huge lobster fan, I'll gladly trade this for more bee hoon next time.

They're known for their sorbet-based cocktails - so created so that the drink can stay cold without the dilution caused by ice cubes. We had 2 delicious cocktails, one honeydew-based and one pear-based. For dessert, we had a homemade coconut sorbet that was the very essence of coconut - milk, flesh and water all rolled into one.

Because they're also a bar, they apparently serve supper after 10 pm. Currently it's a prawn noodle soup that looks absolutely to die for. Like all places that are in the running for our Best Of list, we're already planning our return visits for both dinner and supper.

A says:

Beehoon is awesome. Will be back for that. The only problem with this place is that it's so small, it's hard to get reservations. Parties of 2 should book at least a week in advance for Fri or Sat.

The Naked Finn
41 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks
Tel: 6694-0807
Monday - Thursday : 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday & eves of PH : 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Supper & Cocktails:
Monday - Thursday : 10:00pm - 12:00mn
Friday - Saturday & eves of PH : 10:30pm - 2:00am
Sunday : Closed

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Nana Curry

C says:

Along with Amara Shopping Centre's transformation to 100AM, Nana Curry, which used to be a stall within the food court, has expanded and is now a legitimate restaurant on the 3rd floor of 100AM. Although they're open on Saturdays, they tend to run out by dinner time, so on a Friday off we came here before the 12 noon lunch rush to satisfy my curry craving.

They have a pretty good Buddy Meal deal - $13 for a curry vegetable, curry chicken, 2 portions of rice or bread, and 2 glasses of barley. This was perfect for us, since I love the chicken and A likes the vegetable.

The curry is as good as I remember. The chicken is considerably spicier than the vegetable, which is precisely why I like and why A prefers the veg. It's a proper potent curry that's still thin enough to slurp up every last drop of gravy.

Not something I can have very frequently, but if I ever crave a curry that hasn't been dumbed down, this is where I'll be heading.

A says:

One of the best curries in Singapore. Also, the spiciness isn't dumbed down like most places nowadays. It doesn't burn in the mouth, but on the way down. I expect it will burn on the way out too. (Ewwww... heh heh).

The only problem here is actually the wait, which is good and bad - good because the food comes out piping hot, bad because you have to wait damn long for it. Oh and the curry sells out early so there's little chance for having a late dinner here.

So ultimately, if you like hot, spicy curry and have time to wait, this is the place to go.

Nana Curry
100 Tras Street
#03-14, 100AM
Tel: 6694-8108
Open daily: 11.30 am - 9.30 pm (or until curry runs out)