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@Duxton

Blurry burgers.

imageIt was Friday night and we had our mind set on burgers. ‘De Burg‘ and ‘Omakase‘ seemed far and we wanted to have something new again so I suggested the ‘Blur Guys’ down at Tanjong Pagar that I wanted to try out for quite some time now.

I had the ‘Prime Beef with Streaky Bacon‘ burger on a wheat bun and must say I was more than positively surprised and equally impressed. The thick patty was grilled perfectly to a rose and juicy medium, had the right texture and tasted fantastically beefy. It was stacked rather minimalistic with just a thick layer of gooey and salty gruyere cheese and some likewise good and salty bacon, which maybe could’ve been a tad more crisp. The truffle mayo was tasty but too strong and dominant that it nearly overshadowed the great meaty flavours. Thankfully it didn’t so completely and therefore now I have another delicious burger on my list which is worth the calories. “Sidewise” and unusual for a burger joint they didn’t have any fries on their menu but served potato salad instead. That wasn’t a real deal breaker for me but if you prefer your burgers with the fried sticks aside you might want to opt for their Boat Quay branch as I have seen on other blogs they should have them there for you.

I liked ‘Two Blur Guys’, it’s a small burger/cafe joint with some really tasty burgers. The beer selection offers some rare choices like ‘Vedett‘ as well, which makes it a great first stop into a night out and I will surely stop by here again soon.

Two Blur Guys
1 Tras Link
#01-13 Orchid Hotel
Singapore 078867
Tel: +65 6636 4183
http://www.streetdirectory.com/twoblurguys/

More of that Caribbean feeling.

imageI wanted to try out ‘Lime House’ since I had heard about it mainly because I didn’t have much of a clue what real Caribbean food actually is and so today I met two friends down here for an early lunch.

It turned out we didn’t pick the best of days as they just had a big party the night before and ran out of the ‘Crab & Callaloo‘ (Crabmeat Dumplings) and the ‘Curry Goat‘ which I initially wanted to order but after a quick brainstorm shuffle I had my choices switched around and ended up having the ‘Red Snapper Eskovitch‘ as main. The extra thick fillet of fish had a nice curry like crust and was still perfectly moist and soft. The coconut cream was overly rich and creamy and the pickled vegetables even though a refreshing contrast seemed a bit out of place but in a nutshell it was still a tasty dish.

imageAs side I tried the ‘Fried Plantain‘, a cooking type of banana, that I really liked actually. It was slightly sweet, like caramelised and had a great firm bite, pretty starchy and oily but an awesome change for a side. The ‘Caribbean Fish Cakes‘ were also super tasty, very small but delicious.

‘Lime House’ is nice, nestled in between with the other shop houses on Jiak Chuan, using turquoise colours for that slight Caribbean feeling and serving up some things different. The food is tasty but nothing I’d necessarily crave for, however that ‘Curry Goat‘ has made me curious enough to come back soon and give it another shot.

Lime House
2 Jiak Chuan Road
Singapore 089260
Tel: +65 6223 3130
http://www.limehouse.asia/

Restaurant Week 2013: Buyan буян

imageThe second reservation during Restaurant Week was at Buyan, the Russian place up at Duxton Hill.

The set menu started up with the ‘Borscht‘ which was great, the root taste wasn’t too strong or sour and it was loaded with brisket beef fibre. It was my first time to try this and I actually really really liked it. Because we don’t come here very often we added another two à la carte starters for sharing. First the ‘Khachapuri‘ that I found out about on another blog recently and which was my favourite dish of the evening, thin and  seemingly light dough with amazing salty cheesiness inside. I could’ve eaten that for the rest of the evening, no problem.

imageSecond add on were the ‘Pelmeni‘, smallish cooked Russian dumplings, that even though filled with a close to hardish meat mince, tasted great and the chilled sour cream and the beetroot dipping sauce made for some awesome condiments. Perfect skin too. For main I chose the ‘Lamb Shashlyk‘ which was a bit of a let down. The meat was quite tough and far too well done and the barley, onions and peppers were oily and soft.

imageThankfully they ended the set dinner greatly with their ‘Blinis‘ which reminded me strongly of an old fashioned apple strudel which, because of the paper thin crepes came across a tad lighter, with lovely baked apple and cinnamon flavours. Nice finish.

I’ll never get this iPads for menus thing as I usually prefer not to touch surfaces which others visibly handled with their butter fingers before but I generally liked the place. All food except the disappointing main was great but for just S$30++ for a three course dinner (excluding our extra starters) I don’t want to complain too much as this was anyway a great deal. Nice dark wood interior and great service on top might bring me back here for more cheese cake.

Buyan буян
9/10 Duxton Hill
Singapore 089593
Tel: +65 6223 7008
http://buyan.sg/

Hey Dude, where’s my Dumpling Nazi?

imageI read and heard so much about ‘Jing Hua’ a.k.a. ‘The Dumpling Nazi’ and so a friend and I paid the place with the apparently so grumpy guy a visit. To my surprise the shop seemed to be freshly renovated and really didn’t have anything from an old traditional eating house anymore.  My biggest disappointment though was the missing impolite uncle scolding us or something, which I was so looking forward to.

The disappointment continued with the food. I’m a huge fool for ‘Xiao Long Bao‘ (小笼汤包) but I simply couldn’t eat those, thick doughy skin with overly greasy and lardy soup inside. We actually left most of it back in the basket and rather ate the crispy ‘Guo Tie‘ (锅贴) and boiled ‘Jiao Zi‘ (饺子) which were actually quite tasty, pimped with a generous portion of scallions.

imageWe knew we over-ordered heavily but since it was something unusual we also got what they called ‘Chinese Pizza‘ (三鲜盒子), which was pretty much a crispy curry puff-like pastry filled with your usual dumpling mix – pork meat and scallions. This tasted quite great and was really something else.

imageMy favourite however was the ‘Zha Jiang Mian’ (ひき肉みそのせ麺 ) which besides the fact that it could’ve used another scoop of the thick soy bean sauce came pretty close to awesome. Meaty, sweetish, great textures and brilliant unusually thick noodles, that even that I was already stuffed, I wished my bowl would’ve been was bigger.

If it wasn’t for the noodles, I wouldn’t bother coming back here to this formerly traditional place that obviously got transformed into a faceless eatery with oversized pictures of their signature dishes hanging on the walls like otherwise only a big fast food franchise would put up. But I’m hooked now and just have to learn how to ignore that people here are so polite.

Jing Hua Restaurant at Qun Zhong Eating House 京华小吃
21 Neil Road
Singapore 088814
Tel: +65 6221 3060
http://www.jinghua.sg/

A proper ending to a Mexican day.

imageTelling good friends about my Mexican lunch planted the idea of tacos into their brains that they had to have ’em before leaving for their U.S. trip in the morning. As my earlier experience was nothing I necessarily wished to repeat we played it safe and went to my all time favorite.

My lunch had been late and I wasn’t too hungry so I took the chance to try some of the small new dishes they had introduced. Starting with the ‘Tostaditas de Cangrejo‘ which were truly amazing. Big piles of sweet crab meat in a light creamy dressing. The avocado came hardly through but the chili splinters hit in nicely. Cold and spicy, a great dish.

imageI wasn’t actually planning on having tacos again but then they had a new special one on the menu that changed my mind. The ‘Taco de Callo de Hacha‘ had some nicely pan charred fresh scallops with a great texture, pickled onions and grilled corn which gave it all an oddly interesting and crunchy texture. Nicely done guys, nicely done.

Lucha Loco – Mexican Taqueria Y Garden Bar
15 Duxton Hill
Singapore 089598
Tel: +65 6226 3938
http://www.luchaloco.com/

Octopus and Taco Thieves

imageAfter a while I finally came back to ‘Lucha Loco‘ for a friend’s farewell party. For starters I had the ‘Ceviche de Camarones y Pulpo‘ a fantastic refreshing dish full of fresh and sweet prawns and octopus. The texture of the octopus was amazing and just on the spot, firm without being chewy and the lightly sour taste of the lime juice together with the cilantro and herbs made this simply delicious. My favorite non-taco dish here. 

imageFor my taco selection this time I went for one of their specials, the ‘Taco de Barbacoa‘ with lovely tenderly braised lamb meat that was juice and strong in taste. A great taco but I would have wished for some more mint in the salsa as it nearly disappeared between all the the other flavors.

imageBy default I had the delicious ‘Taco de Carnitas‘ but this time I also ordered the ‘Taco de Pescado‘ which I didn’t have for a long time. It usually is a little bigger than in the picture but my colleague stole a piece from this nicely grilled snapper before I could stop her. The smaller size didn’t change anything, it still tasted great. The fish was moist and slightly charred on the outside and the combination of the freshness from the salsa and the spiciness from the chipotle made this work perfectly.

Another dinner much and well spend with great food, strong drinks and an outstanding friendly service. Still my kind of place, thanks a lot.

http://www.luchaloco.com/

Lucha Loco – Mexican Taqueria Y Garden Bar          
15 Duxton Hill                  
Singapore 089598                  
Tel: +65 6226 3938

Taco Mania at Duxton!

1367584433808Today my colleagues decided to go down to ‘Lucha Loco’, one of the few proper Mexican restaurants in Singapore, for some afterwork drinks and dinner. Unfortunately we didn’t have a booking on a very busy Friday which delayed our order by approximately one hour ish.

My first taco was my all time favorite the ‘Taco de Carnitas‘. The thick slice of pork belly is simmered nicely until juicy and tender and – I know I say that very often but – melted away in my mouth. To the soft pork they added crunchy ‘Jicama‘ or Mexican Turnip which added not only a different texture but also freshness to it. All this was finished with a drizzle of spicy cilantro mayonnaise and fresh lime juice. Delicious and still number one.

1367584684336My second choice fell on one of their monthly specials, the ‘Baja Fish Taco‘. The fish was red snapper, fried in a thin but super crispy beer batter and still lovely moist on the inside. The salsa was mixed together of hot chilis, fresh mint and ripe and nicely sweet mango and worked just great with the fish.

1367586256315I then finished my three course taco sample menu with their ‘Taco de Chorizo Con Res‘. This one had a chunky mix of chorizo sausage and slow braised beef that tasted amazing and was heated up by some chopped red onions and a pretty fiery  sauce.  

1367585749657 Finishing all these plus some sides I obviously wasn’t hungry anymore. Regardless I ordered the ‘Elotes‘, a Mexican style grilled corn cob which I always wanted to try. This was super good and filling too. It seemed that after grilling they dipped it into some spicy melted cheese and if this wasn’t enough, rolled the sticky cob in cotija cheese after. Goodness and so much better and spicier than I thought.

I find the concept of this place simply brilliant; due to the busy bar area you get much more buzz than in your usual restaurant which makes it perfect to start a night our or to end a long week at work. The drinks are different, tasty and actually quite strong and the food on the menu is no other than delicious. It’s not the cheapest of places but well worth it I suppose. Great stuff.

http://www.luchaloco.com/

Lucha Loco – Mexican Taqueria Y Garden Bar          
15 Duxton Hill                  
Singapore 089598