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FreiBurgern.

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BBQ Bacon Burger

Okay, so I am actually gonna take up writing again. The great thing is I have a lot of material to practice on as I still took loads of pictures during my year off, made notes about almost every mentionable meal and also have collected a big library of audio reviews, that I’ll try to transfer piece by piece onto digital paper. So don’t be surprised if there are some backdated reviews popping up in between. This one’s a rather recent one and a place I wanted to try for a while now. derfreiBurger was one of the places leading the rise of burger joints (the newer ones are mainly food trucks) in Freiburg and is located conveniently in a side street along Schwarzwald City. It’s a pretty tiny place with only few seating options; some bar kinda seating, a big shared table or if you’re lucky enough a little booth area for 4-5 people. It’s like a little fast food restaurant, where someone put some extra effort in, giving it a bit of a more homely feel.

Against my instincts, I went for the BBQ-Bacon-Burger (EUR5.80), that comes with a fried onion ring and loads of bbq sauce. When it flew out the open kitchen my first impression was, that there’s something off with that patty to bun ratio. Don’t get me wrong the meat is definitely big enough for that price, it just gets a little lost in that huge roll, which doesn’t do it actual justice. They get the freshly baked buns from a local bakery and use only fresh, well-seasoned beef for their burgers and you can actually taste that extra bit of craftsmanship. I also enjoyed that sweet and crispy onion ring very much and absolutely loved their homemade smokey bbq sauce. That last one was important because there was loads of it, like close to sloppy joe’s kinda loads (so you better like it saucy). For me, the bacon strips could’ve used a couple more seconds on the flat pan to crisp up but were nice and salty anyway. Pretty good.

So the place is tiny but also not meant for you to spend hours in it, the people working behind the counter are genuinely nice and the food is mostly homemade, pretty tasty and for that very very reasonably priced. So to sum things up, I maybe would have wished for a thicker and juicier patty in general but in that price range this is a great burger overall and I’ll probably come back and check out some other menu items, like that Chilli-Cheese-Dog that caught my eye. Thanks for the delicious burger and all the best.

Get Your Grub On!

derfreiBurger (closed on Sundays and public holidays)
Schiffstraße 16
79098 Freiburg
Germany
http://www.derfreiburger.de/

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A night out in BrisketTown.

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Meatfest: Ribs, Brisket and Pulled Pork

Our day in Williamsburg was coming to an end, but we really wanted to have some good old American BBQ before heading home and calling it a night. Our first try was at Fette Sau, but the last guy in the queue reckoned it was going to be at least a one and a half hour wait so I quickly checked the internet for alternatives, found a place called BrisketTown, sealed the deal. The place was kinda cold and super dark (so I have an excuse for the bad pictures) but the bar ladies were really nice and welcoming and got us a booth ready within five minutes.

We ordered a Meatfest mixed plate with all the meats but turkey and a medley of sides including collard greens, mac & cheese and coleslaw. I really did like their brisket, tenderly smoked and nicely spiced with a salt and pepper dry rub. The pulled pork was good but didn’t really blow me away, but the ribs again were outstanding. They had a dark and delicious spice crust and were bright pink with a smokey taste, just falling off that bone with ease. Fantastic stuff. Of the sides, I liked the mac and cheese and the collard greens the most. The vegetables had a slightly bitter touch and the strong fiber gave a nice bite in contrast to all the soft meats. Solid, no thrills address for some good old smokey barbecue with nice staff in a good location.

Get Your Grub On!

BrisketTown – Delaney Barbecue (open daily)
359 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn
NY 11211
United States of America
p: +1 718 701 8909
http://www.delaneybbq.com/

Tandoori-ing it.

imageWe didn’t really know what to do for lunch and so when passing by the newly opened Zaffron Kitchen at Westgate we thought let’s just give it a try.

Yet another shop where you have to order your food via iPads which is still pretty alien to me, especially at places where you partially eat with your hands. I still managed to place our order only using my pinkie and soon after the first plates were coming in. The start made the Fish Tikka, which to my surprise was made of thick and juicy salmon chunks. It tasted great, less flaky than usual but also richer because of the fattier fish. I thought this was a brilliant twist to an old favorite.

imageWe also ordered the Tandoori Malay Chicken Tikka, which was marinated in yogurt and coriander. The coriander didn’t come across very strong but it was still a darn tasty piece of chicken, rustic charred and tender.

imageLast but not least was a first timer for me, some Tandoori Gobi. The cauliflower was super nice, slightly spicy with a bite and together with the fresh and crunchy onions and some drizzled lemon juice a great change up to the meaty dishes.

I undoubtedly enjoyed this place a lot, so much actually that I got on my colleagues nerves, raving about it all day long. It’s setup like a modern gastro bar with simple and elegant interior in a bright and light room. Food was great too, meat, vegetables and bread, everything on spot and service was kind and fast. You’ll see me back here again soon.

Zaffron Kitchen
3 Gateway Drive
#01-13 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6465 9880
http://www.zaffronkitchen.com/

Premium Wagyu cuts at Boat Quay.

imageI was very happy to receive the invitation to a food tasting from the people behind new ‘Arashi Yakiniku’ 嵐 down at Boat Quay and so made my way down there today directly after work. It is nestled in between the shophouse pubs and restaurants along the riverside, offering in- as well as outdoor seating for a more scenic setting. We were greeted warmly by the staff and shortly after food started flowing to our table.

The menu started up with their ‘Wakame Miso Soup‘ (わかめ味噌汁) which had a light delicate broth with some soft tofu bits and seaweed floating around in it. This proofed to be a great palette cleanser throughout the whole meal as well which was perfect to slurp on between the different meats. We also had the ‘Namuru‘, a selection of small vegetable starters like pickled crunchy bean sprouts, squeaky spinach and shimeji mushrooms.

imageNow it was time for the main act and the starting round was a selection of Australian Wagyu cuts (オーストラリア和牛). First we had the ‘Beef Tongue‘ (中落ちカルビ) and I didn’t really know what to expect as I had never tried this before and to be honest tongue also never sounded too appealing to me. To my surprise it was actually super nice to eat and pretty delicious. It tasted much more delicate than I had expected, with a solid and strong beef flavour, fire kissed crisp on the edges but still lovely chewy and firm. Together with the dipping salt and freshly squeezed lemon this was a lot of fun to eat and one of my favourite and most surprising dishes of the entire dinner.

imageAfter this promising start we continued with more premium cuts – ‘Sirloin‘ (サーロイン) and ‘Ribeye‘ (リブアイ). The sirloin was nicely marbled causing the meat to be wonderfully soft and just melting away in my mouth. The ribeye on the other side had a great charr and a much more robust texture and flavour to it, while still being perfectly tender. Alongside these meats they served their special ‘Arashi Sauce‘ which was refreshingly sweetish and spicy. I couldn’t figure out where the heat was coming from and the chef keeps the recipe very close to his chest so I had to enjoy it unknowingly the ingredients. Normally I wouldn’t touch sauce with these kind of special meats but this was just too good to ignore so I gave it a fifty-fifty dipping ratio. We also had some veggies to go with it all – shitake, leek, pumpkin and asparagus – which  even though nothing overly exciting worked nicely together with the other, sesame vinegar sauce and added some nice texture and taste diversion to the meal.

imageLast of the “aussis” was the ‘Harami/Outskirt‘ (牛ヒレ) that had hardly any marbling and therefore was of much darker colour. The flavour had a more solid taste, down to earth, genuine beef, more rustic and familiar, which was a great alternative in between the other more posh cuts.

imageThis all has been pretty great already but then the chef did send us some platters of their A4 grade Japanese Ohmi Wagyu (日本のウ牛(和牛)) which gave us a second upwind and excitement. The ‘Karubi/Short Rib‘ (カルビ) had a light taste with a certain nuttiness to it. It was delicious, just the thick streak of fat could have been a bit thinner for my liking but gave it all an interesting chunky texture.

imageNext we got to make the direct comparison between the Australian and the Japanese version as the  A4 ‘Sirloin‘ (サーロイン) and ‘Ribeye‘ (リブアイ) came out to our table. The sirloin was the peak of indulgence, so rich and marbly that I reckoned it was best to be consumed in small portions, not to be too overwhelming. Crazy good.

imageEven though I didn’t think it could have gotten much better the ribeye surely proofed me wrong and became my unrivalled winner of the evening. Still madly rich like meaty butter this cut was perfectly separated into three different sections of goodness – from a darker, meatier and deeply beefy tasting piece, over the thick middle section of a pure melt-in-your-mouth streak of fat onto the thickly marbled end piece. Outstanding.

imageAll those premium cuts of beef were accompanied by their simple but delicious ‘Garlic Fried Rice/ Ninniku Chahan‘ (にんにくチャーハン). Unfortunately not using the typical Japanese sticky and roundish grains, the rice still had a great bite to it, fragrant and loaded with heaps of fried garlic without being overly oily. Simple and savory comfort food.

‘Arashi’ is a casual place with a minimalistic interior that offers high quality food to moderate prices. We really enjoyed the Australian as well as the A4 Japanese beef cuts a lot and if wished they also can hook you up with highest grade A5 Wagyu, subject to availability and pre-order. A special thanks goes to Roysten for the kind invitation and hospitality and Nikki who helped us grilling our meats so perfectly. Best of success and thanks for a great night of indulgence. I’ll come back.

Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant 嵐
No.48 Boat Quay
Singapore 049837
Tel: +65 6535 2841

My kinda buffet.

imageA bunch of friends wanted to try out the ‘Korean BBQ’ at ‘Seoul Restaurant’ at Chijmes tonight and at first I wasn’t too excited because buffets and semi-creative restaurant names make me sceptical. The place however looked quite nice and they sat us in one of their separate rooms. The buffet they has on was à la carte buffet (?) which we had to leave our private room for as apparently it’s not available in there. Anyhow, back in the main room with the crowd we ordered loads and loads of stuff from the slightly reduced “buffet” menu.

All the food and meats were fairly nice and for the amount we ate at $50ish per person also pretty reasonably priced but the two outstanding dishes for me were the ‘L.A Galbi‘, soy sauce marinated bone in beef short rib and the chilled ‘Mul-naengmyeon‘ 냉면.

The ribs were rustic beefy, deep flavoured from the soy and even though a bit tougher to chew my favourite of the carnivore options.

imageThe buckwheat noodles were truly outstanding, refreshingly chilled with some crunchy textures from radish and cucumbers and the noodles itself had a weirdly awesome slippery texture, chewy and squeaky. Following a friend’s recommendation I used the entire accompanying mustard mixing it into the cold broth, which brought tears to my eyes, made it nose-cuttingly sharp and surprisingly fun to eat.

The place is good, value for money with a tasty selection of meats and other dishes and the à la carte buffet concept takes out the queues and battling for the most popular plates, usually longer exposed to the air than one wishes for, so definitely my clear preference on a buffet take. Just weird rules like the different menu for the private rooms is probably due for a makeover.

Seoul Restaurant 서울
30 Victoria Street
#02-01A Chijmes
Singapore 187996
Tel: +65 6338 8548
http://www.seoul.com.sg/

Good Star K!

imageIt was my highschool friend’s last night in Singapore and originally we planned to go to another dan dan mian place in Tanjong Pagar but on the way there we spontaneously opted for ‘Korean BBQ‘ at ‘Super Star K’ instead. I had never been here before but it looked cozy from the outside and was   packed with guests which always is a rather good sign. We ordered the ‘King Sized Beef Ribs‘, the ‘Seasoned Beef Ribs‘, the ‘Pork Belly BBQ‘ and my beloved ‘Kimchi Pancake‘.

The ribs and especially the marinated ones had a strong beefy taste to them which you don’t get from the leaner cuts. They were a bit chunky at parts but there were plenty of buttery pieces that were pretty yummy. I was a bit concerned about the pork belly as it was cut into thicker slices like they do at ‘Red Pig‘ but at ‘Super Star’ the outcome was mouth watering. Most of the fatty stripes melted on the coals and the ones that were left melted in my mouth, it tasted great and just how I like my pork belly.

imageI also was a fan of the ‘Kimchi Pancake‘. It had many onions in there but also big leaves of kimchied cabbage which gave the pancake it’s spicy signature kick. On the menu it said that from the third refill of side dishes on they do charge you for it but we didn’t even get that far to proof it.

I overall liked the place for the ambience and the food but will still continue searching for a barbie to match my Seoul experience. Til then this goes into the “Been There, Done That” box for the optional return visit.

Super Star K Korean BBQ Restaurant                                                                                                                75 Tanjong Pagar Road                                                                                                                          Singapore 088496

Truffle Shuffle!

imageMy two new friends’ that I got to know through my family had there final night in Singapore tonight so I went down to their hotel at Robertson Quay to have one last dinner with them. We walked around for a bit screening for something tempting to sit down. So we passed the Japanese BBQ branch of ‘Aburiya’ and quickly agreed that this was the one.

We started up our meal with the ‘Horenso Salad‘ which is put together from spinach leaves, Japanese cucumber, roasted garlic, lemon juice and crispy bacon bits. How great was that, nice and sour with crunchy textures in between from the bacon and garlic. The first meat that arrived together with the ‘Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms‘ was ‘Jo Rosu T.Shio‘, beef loin to be dipped in truffle salt. This was amazing. The meat was super tender, very lean but therefore less strong in taste but powdered with crazy salt it won another couple of notches in taste.

imageWe continued with ‘Wagyu Jo Karubi Tare‘ – short rib marinated in a special soya sauce mix. This was my absolute favorite of the evening as the marinade was delicious and due to the nicely marbled fat in this cut the beef just melted in my mouth. We ordered another round of this as well as an extra portion of the truffle salt from before which made it even more delicious. The final dish was ‘Tigerprawns in Hot Miso‘ marinade. The prawns were big and obviously watered properly as they were completely clean without cutting them up. They stayed nicely juicy on the fire and the marinade was mildly tangy, not hot though which was a bit of a bummer.

‘Aburiya’ is another proof that simplicity paired with high quality ingredient is a fantastic combination looking for perfection. Of course these kinda places are not for everyday dining but here you have the choice between many different meats, cuts and prices and so we ended up paying roughly 50$ per head excluding drinks which I regard reasonable for great stuff.

For more pictures check out my twitter (#aburiya).

Aburiya                                                                                                                                                                    60 Robertson Quay                                                                                                                                             #01-03 The Quayside                                                                                                                             Singapore 238252