Archive

Tag Archives: Western

Meatball Grand Prix.

imageIt was the second night of the F1 Grand Prix and a friend and I had scouted the walkbout areas for suitable spots to catch the best views of the race when we both became pretty hungry but didn’t want to have any of the standard event foods like the overprized underaverage burgers and such. At the Esplanade we ran into ‘Sauce’, a place I heard does everything meatballs but had forgotten about again.

We had two servings of meatballs to start with – the ‘Classic Italian‘ (beef and pork) with ‘Firehouse Arrabiata‘ and the ‘Old School Beef‘ with ‘Green Market‘ pesto. Both types were actually great, the meat tasted pretty good and they had the perfect consistency, nice and fluffy. The arrabiata sauce, slightly tangy was full of sweet tomato flavor and the pesto with it’s slight bitterness wasn’t bad either. Unfortunately the portions were rather small so we added their meatball sandwich to our order. We had the ‘Classic Italian‘ version again so the meatballs obviously were the same. The bread on the other hand looked promising but was a boring slouchy something, which was quite dissapointing knowing they prepare the much more difficult meatballs rather well and then cock up on the bread sourcing. I probably would also recommend to take it easy on the cheese as it strongly overpowered the great meaty taste.

Anyways, meatballs top, sandwich flop! The service was messed up but let’s just blame that on the customer overload during the formula 1 and the outer and interior design isn’t really worth mentioning either. However I’ll probably give it another try for a quick meatball snack.

Sauce Bar
8 Raffles Avenue
Singapore 039802
Tel: +65 6837 2959
http://www.saucebar.com.sg/

Birthday Blunch at Dempsey.

imageA friend from Hong Kong came over on her birthday for a business trip this week so we gathered the troops for a birthday brunch/lunch at ‘Dempsey House’. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I saw some tired faces in our round but nothing that a ‘Pineapple Pitstop‘ or a ‘Bloody Mary‘ couldn’t fix.

It felt a bit too late for brunch so I ordered their ‘Braised Pork Shoulder Rigatoni‘ which came on a nice looking, interestingly shaped plate. The pasta was slightly past al dente but the pork was braised nicely, tender and soft. The creamy tomato sauce glazing it all was quite tasty and light with a meaty flavor but I wished they would’ve been a bit more generous with it. Aside I had their ‘Coleslaw with Green Papaya‘ which in contrast to the pasta was lovely crunchy spicy and a mix of textures and Western-Asian flavors.

‘House’ has a great setting within the greenery on the back of Dempsey Hill. Today the service somehow was irritatingly slow and seemed slightly confused, the food and drinks though were nice but as in most places up here a bit on the pricey side. Still a good choice for weekend mornings.

Dempsey House
8D Dempsey Road
Singapore 249672
Tel: +65 6475 7787
http://www.dempseyhouse.com/

Brunch hunting in Tiong Bahru.

imageA friend and I wanted to catch up over brunch and went scouting through Tiong Bahru as we hadn’t been to any of the not so new places that had opened around here some time over the last year or so.

Since ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’, ‘ODP’ and ’40 Hands’ seemed rather packed at the time we just walked around the corner to ‘Flock Café’ that a friend who lived around here had recommended, parked my bag at a free table and ordered their signature ‘Pork Cheek & Gruyère Sandwich‘ and two sunny side up.

It looked pretty good and because it was already way after official brunch time I hastily took a huge bite. The bread was apparently ciabatta and even that toasted it was very soft, more like a turkish flatbread and could’ve used a couple of more minutes on the grill. I was starving hungry but would have taken the time but at least it tasted nice. I didn’t think much of the gruyère cheese which unfortunately wasn’t entirely melted but the braised pork cheek they used was really tender and super moist also due to the fat soaking from the cheese, meat and juices into the bread and forming a little grease puddle under it. There was supposed to be mustard but I didn’t taste anything and actually didn’t look for it either. It all tasted good but after I had finished it up I felt rather unpleasant and a bit like a greaseball.

It’s actually a nice place, like all these new hip and stylish brunch joints but maybe some more eggs and other breakfast options from the menu would have been a better choice for me today. Now that I have been here already I will most likely check out the other cafes around the area first but might come back to ‘Flock’s’ eventually.

Flock Café
78 Moh Guan Terrace
#01-25 Tiong Bahru Estate
Singapore 162078
Tel: +65 6536 3938
http://www.flock.sg/

Back for the groin…ehm, loin.

 imageI came back to ‘Intrepid’ to meet with two friends over lunch and to try their ‘Char Grilled Kangaroo Loin‘ I had spotted on my last visit. I must have overlooked the elevated price of S$38 back then but since I was already here I clenched my teeth and ordered it anyway.

It was a very generous portion and looked delicious which would’ve been fine if my friend hadn’t pointed out its’ resemblence to a male p…hallus. Again clenching my teeth and having a laugh I deconstructed it a little bit on the plate to destroy any misleading similarities and started digging in. There was some light salad and an amazing side of pan tossed veggies with barley that had a great new texture and tasted fantastic, well seasoned and light. The roo loin was wrapped in thicker slices of parma ham which added some salti- and smokiness. The meat was perfectly grilled to a medium – medium rare, was tender and soft and had a light gamy flavor. The peach chunks sprinkled on top reminded me more of baked apples but fitted the richness of the meat nicely nevertheless. Fantastic dish.

I liked coming back here, a nice place for brunch, lunch or just hanging out over a coffee or a beer and if you take the time to have a chat with the people running it you quickly realize they are very passionate about what they are doing, their food, their ingredients and everything else which you can feel and taste as well. Besides, most other mains are rather moderatly priced below or in the early twenties so it’s not just a place for special occasions. Good on ya guys.

Intrepid Gastro Bar
40 Pekin Street
#01-01 Far East Square
Singapore 048770
Tel: +65 9068 8297

Good looks just aren’t enough.

imageWe were extremely lazy today and so we just walked down to ‘Harry’s Bar’ for lunch.

They had updated there menu with a couple of new items and I was excited to see ‘Scotch Eggs‘ being one of the appetizers. Not exactly according to my diet plan but I had to try them. Whilst we waited for our food I realized that they had brushed up their presentation as well, fancier food arrangements using nicer plates and wooden boards. Unfortunately the food didn’t really live up to the new style. The actual eggs looked pretty weird all bubbly and dried out and had no taste. The meaty layer around them was some sort of sausage that looked a bit uncooked (even that it wasn’t) due to its’ bright pink color. I wasn’t crazy about the taste either and maybe some well seasoned minced meat would have worked better here. The crispy shell though was quite nice, not greasy at all and not too thick either. Overall still a rather disappointing choice.

imageNext was the ‘Salad Nicoise‘ that I had before and which they now also presented in a more refined way using quail eggs and a bigger rectangular plate. I always liked that the tuna here was not the tin kind but thin slices of actual tuna loin but this one today looked and tasted like microwaved. I also found quite a few of withered salad leaves in there which for S$15+ was a big letdown. Upsides were the light citrusy dressing that gave it all a refreshing taste and the crunchy green beans that had a lovely snap to them.

I don’t know but maybe they should have put a little less effort into choosing the new tableware and focus on improving the quality of the food instead. If something tastes great I don’t necessarily mind its’ appearance but if it just looks pretty with no taste to back it up all efforts were in vain.

Harry’s
1A International Business Park
#01-01
Singapore 609933
Tel: +65 6570 5253
http://harrys.com.sg/

Finally a decent Reuben!

imageI had seen a bunch of pictures of sandwiches from this place from many fellow bloggers that I couldn’t get it out of my head, especially since their subs use coleslaw or sauerkraut on them. I somewhat expected a modern sort of deli but this was a rather plain subway style kind of joint, where I had to order at the counter and my name got called up once my sandwich was ready.

I wasn’t that hungry but just to be on the safe side I ordered the large version of the ‘Corned Beef on Rye with Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut and Russian Dressing‘ or as I would have called it the ‘Reuben‘. Large here meant nothing else than an extra slap of corned beef (could’ve been much bigger for my liking) which was wonderful juicy but a bit streaky at parts. Sauerkraut must be my favorite sandwich topping in the world and also on this one here it just gave the perfect sour note to the saltiness of the beef and the cheese, everything was tucked in nicely. All that was balanced out by the creamy fruitiness coming from the Russian dressing but best of all was that the bread was awesome too, all buttered up and toasted right, just nice. Mainly because of its’ light color I had my doubts that it was actually rye bread, but then again I’m not a baker whatsoever. I also did get a fat slice of pickle with my sandwich but made a personal note to anyway order some extra ones next time as one simply just wasn’t enough.

I’d love this place to be closer to my work or home but for me to make my way out to MBS regularly just for a sub in such a simply setup place they better up the ante on the meat and sauerkraut. Still, it was pretty good.

Sweet Spot Deli
Bay Level, #01-30 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018956
Tel: +65 6688 8584

Dude, Where’s my Marrow?

imageWow, my friend was really super hungry so everything had to be decided rather quickly and be at best around the corner. From the places I had lined up close by most weren’t open so we head over to Jalan Besar to check out ‘Suprette’ in the basement of the Kam Leng Hotel I had read about. We were greeted warmly by the staff and the interior seemed nice and cosy, something similar to a small bistro.

My friend had the ‘Suprette Burger‘ and I ordered the ‘Hanger Steak & Marrow‘ which was the actual reason I had this place on my radar in the first place. When it came to the table it looked pretty tasty, all meaty with a mountain of golden fries. The hanger steak was brilliant, even though cooked slightly over medium and somewhat coldish, it had this rich beef flavor, more rustic and was completely lean which was totally my thing. The fries on the contraty were like hot sticks, crispy and so perfectly salted that I didn’t touch the salt shaker even once for the whole dinner. One thing I missed though was the bone marrow which I thought to remember from pictures of other blogs. I wasn’t quite sure so I asked the staff if it maybe was incorporated into the sauce or something which I didn’t really get a proper answer to and the sauce surely was creamy and delicious but nothing about it really reminded me of buttery marrow. After i had finished up my meal another gentlemen approached us and told me politely that I would now get a two dollars rebate as normally this dish was including half a grilled bone of marrow which they ran out of about a week ago. Usually I would have said something but I wasn’t really in the moment then and actually was quite puzzled realizing I just ate a multilated dish and only was told about it afterwards. Not cool man.

At last ‘Suprette’ really is a nice place close to home with some wicked free flow fries and great steak but honestly, this situation could have been handled so much better. I think it’s ridiculous to hold a grudge over something tiny like half a missing bone so when I’ll eventually get over this tragedy in my life I will return here to finally try a flawless and completely intact hanger steak and this time I just buy myself an extra portion of marrow for the two dollars that I saved tonight.

Suprette
383 Jalan Besar
Kam Leng Hotel Lobby
Singapore 20900
Tel: +65 6298 8962
http://www.suprette.com/

Spaetzle = Home

imageIt was my sister’s birthday and my mom had booked a table at ‘Restaurant Roessle’ in Waldenbuch where we met family and some of my sis’s friends. They had changed their menu slightly since I have been here the last time but all the old favorites were still there.

I ordered the ‘Rinderfillet Jaeger Art‘ (beef fillet with mushrooms) and remembered to order it rather rare what my recent visit at the ‘Bootshaus‘ had teached me. The first cut into the lovely charred meat proofed that this was the right decision as it was perfectly rose and juice in the center with a surprisingly strong beefy taste for a lean cut like this. The mushroom sauce was rich and creamy but tasted so delicious I completely wiped it off the plate using the tasty handmade spaetzle (local type of pasta). The spaetzle were soft, fluffy and light and were sprinkled with in butter fried breadcrumbs that coated them with more texture and flavor. Home.

‘Roessle’ had been around for some generations and offers a very nice selection of regional specialities in a more up market atmosphere which also has it’s price tag and makes it a place for rather special occasions. Also the service is more than friendly and the salad bar is awesome, just saying.

http://www.landgasthofroessle.de/

Roessle – Landgasthof Hotel
Auf dem Graben 5
71111 Waldenbuch
Germany
Tel: +49 7157 7380

Steak at the river.

imageAfter my Germany trip had kicked off with the beautiful wedding of my beautiful sister I had to face reality and go to Heidelberg for a week’s work. On Monday evening then I went together with a colleague to meet some friends that just had moved back to Heidelberg from India. We met for dinner at the ‘Bootshaus’ and were lucky enough to get a seat outside on their little terrace overlooking the banks of the Neckar river.

I had their ‘400gr Rumpsteak‘ which was fantastic. The meat was very lean but still had a very strong beef flavor and was nicely juicy. The charred crust of the steak was super crisp from the broiling and added a nice new texture to the humongous piece of meat. The kicker was their garlic/herbal butter that was extremely creamy and tasted heavenly together with the beef. The side salad was good but drowned in dressing and the roasted potatoes were perfect crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. I loved this steak but I wished I had remembered that a German medium always tends a little more towards well done.

I liked this place a lot as it was particularly nice on this scenic sunny afternoon sitting on their terrace, overlooking the river and enjoying great quality food served up by their very attentive and friendly waiters.

http://www.dasbootshaus.com/

Das Bootshaus
Schurmanstrasse 2
69115 Heidelberg
Germany
Tel: +49 6221 25396

Closeness ≠ Goodness

imageWhere to go when you don’t have much time? Close! That’s right, and that’s exactly what friend’s and I thought yesterday and made our way to ‘Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar’ at Goldhill Plaza.

Not really feeling like anything else I ordered ‘The Pervert‘ from the ‘Burger Office’, pretty much their bacon cheese burger. I didn’t hold my hopes up too high as I had their burgers before and wasn’t too impressed. I asked for a spicy sauce when ordering but this request got lost somewhere in the process which wasn’t too bad as the standard bbq sauce is quite tasty and sweet. The toppings in general were okay, the veggies were fresh with a bite, the extra grilled onions were nicely soft and the bacon had a good salty taste but definitely could’ve been way crispier. The bun was soft and too sweet but the biggest letdown really was the beef patty. Even though much firmer than the last time, it actually was pretty lame, under seasoned and tasted like nothing much. The peppered fries were alright but nothing to rave about either.

It seemed to have become quite a popular place in the meantime but if I should come back here then only for the Thai stall which has some pretty tasty dishes to offer. Sorry ‘Burger Office’ just not my thing.

http://www.pigsflykitchenbar.com/

Pigsfly Kitchen & Bar (Burger Office)
1 Goldhill Plaza
#01-05
Singapore 308899
Tel: +65 6352 7484

Porky Pork with Porkish Pork

imageAfter a nice sunny day at the beach we were craving some juicy burgers from and made a little detour ‘De Burg’ in Bukit Merah before heading home. Business was already going well which pushed the waiting time up to thirty minutes but being in Asia for some time now I don’t really mind waiting if it’s for some great grub.

I ordered the ‘Singhjector‘ which was next in line of my to try burgers even that it was quite difficult for me not to have their fantastic ‘Choco Lamb‘ burger again. The ‘Singhjector‘ truly was pork galore with a super juicy and well seasoned pork patty, some wonderful crispy and salty Canadian bacon and Iberico chorizo which I couldn’t really work out from all the other ingredients. The smoky cheese and the sweet bbq sauce gave it all a nice finish and the only thing I missed was maybe a little bit of lettuce. At the same time my friend had ordered a ‘Pork Knuckle‘ from neighboring ‘Stew Küche‘ – from which I took some crackling and slipped it into my burger. The birth of the ‘Singhjector – Heart Attack Edition‘.

If you like pork, this is your burger; juicy, salty goodness with great quality ingredients. It didn’t really need any modifications but when I saw my three pork ingredients burger next to the pork knuckle it just came naturally. Thanks again for keeping up a constant high level of quality burgers. Still the best on the island I reckon.

De Burg Food and Drink Private Limited
119 Bukit Merah Lane
#01-40
Singapore 151119

Meat Heaven is Close

imageThe evening of the actual farewell party had arrived and to kick off the night we had a guys dinner before meeting up with the girls for some drinking games in Wan Chai. My mate chose the ‘Blue Butcher’ which was just a 2 minute walk away from the apartment that I had rented for the weekend.

For starters we had besides others the ‘Truffle Fries‘ that were actually made with real truffles rather than truffle oil and tasted great and crisp.

imageAnother one was the ‘Bone Marrow‘ that came together with delicious crusty toasted bread, some arugula with caper berries and sea salt. Putting all ingredients together this became a delicious combination of flavors.

imageThen we had the ‘Compressed Organic Tomato with Burrata‘ which consisted of green and red tomatos that were skinned and glazed with a light tasteless oil as well as a knot of burrata cheese. The cheese was light with only a very little creamy center which I liked but real burrata fanatics might feel let down by. The tomatoes on the other side were refreshingly cool and had a clean tomato-y taste with a nice texture. This was pretty okay but still kinda just tomatoes.

As mains we ordered the ‘Australian Wagyu Bone in Ribeye‘ 32 ounces rare and the ‘Free Range Charred French Chicken‘. The steak was absolutely amazing in quality and taste. It had a strong char on the outside so the fat had melted and the inside was wonderful red and moist with a lovely marbling and a good fatty flavor mixing with the beef aroma. Brilliant. The chicken came accompanied by some crunchy caramelized carrots and was wonderful moist and glazed with slightly sweetish sauce. Tasty stuff.

The ‘Blue Butcher’ is a stylish and modern place that sure comes with a price tag but therefore you’ll get a great ambience and some amazing food. Nothing for every day dining but definitely a place for a special night. Pretty good.

The Blue Butcher
108 Hollywood Road
Central
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2613 9286
http://www.bluebutcher.com/

The Roo Burgers are in Town

imageI had read about ‘Intrepid’ on other blogs and friend’s facebook posts and since then couldn’t get those ‘Kangaroo Sliders‘ out of my head. So when my friend asked me what my plans for dinner were I made this a suggestion and so we went. We had a bit of a hard time finding the place as it didn’t have a big sign yet but when you find the Water Gate of Far East Square and look very closely it’s exactly next to it.

Naturally we started with the famous ‘Kangaroo Sliders‘ and they looked pretty darn good coming out of the kitchen. As kangaroo meat gets tough and dry very fast they broiled it to a medium rare. I usually prefer my burgers medium to medium well but the meat was of such good quality that medium rare was perfect and kept the patty moist and juicy. It was lean and had this distinct venison like flavor lifted up a level by the saltiness of the prosciutto that was “melted” on top. The bun was lovely fluffy and the host told us that they are making them from scratch freshly every day just for this dish as well as the crispy chips which maybe could have used a pinch more salt.

imageAs seconds I ordered the ‘Pork Sausage‘ which seemed to be some sort of special as it was off the usual menu. The “dog” came in a proper baguette bun, not that usual soft mushy stuff and the sausage had a great snappy casing, the meat was firm, well seasoned and tasted nice and porky. I found the sprinkled crackling on top was a great idea but maybe would have been even better if it was roasted instead of fried. The most delicate and special bits here though were the thinly sliced fennel slices that unfortunately were a bit overpowered by the sausage and the cubes of baked apple that had a fantastic sweet cinnamon flavor.

imageRecently we always seem to order beyond that hunger feeling and this time it was the ‘Crab Cakes‘. They were fully packed of sweet crab meat with a super crispy crust in which was a tad too much frying oil left. The cakes were accompanied by a salad of mixed leaves, tomato, creamy avocado as well as black and salty caviar that popped nicely in my mouth and tasted like little drops of sea.

I quite liked it here with the Aussi twist they took on the dishes and the very friendly and kind staff so I might be coming back to try their ‘Kangaroo Loin‘ and the brunch items. Thanks guys!

Intrepid Gastro Bar
40 Pekin Street
#01-01 Far East Square
Singapore 048770
Tel: +65 9068 8297

Seven Hours, Fourteen Dishes.

imageThis was on nearly every Singaporean based foodblog the last couple of weeks and since a friend asked me to go and I had never been on one of those events we went early Saturday to start with an early lunch.

Where to eat first was already decided before we even arrived  – the ‘Porchetta Sandwich‘ from the ‘The People’s Pig’ (USA). This was one good start of the day. Eventhough they only gave out half sandwiches, those were delicious. The suckling pig like roast meat was juicy and pleasantly fatty with a sweet and spicy chili jam on top that gave the whole thing a bit more punch. The bitter flavor of the arugula balanced out the fattiness and spice and to top it off they added a nice piece of crackling which I would have loved to be bigger. The Inside of the ciabatta bun was dipped in the pork jus which gave the sandwich an even meatier taste. So we were off to a good start.

imageWith the pork sandwich half way down we strolled a few stalls further for the ‘Tacos‘ from ‘Tacombi’ (USA). First disappointment was they didn’t offer the ‘Beef Tacos‘ anymore as they apparently didn’t turn out right in this climate. Second disappointment was that the ‘Fish Tacos‘ weren’t really that good. The battered and fried fish was super dry and so was the tortilla they used. Even though the chipotle sauce was quite tasty and the red cabbage was nice and crunchy I felt unsatisfied.

imageNow it was time for some Asian food and so we head for one of the longest queues all the way at the end ‘Phan Rang’ (Vietnam) with their ‘Banh Xeo & Banh Khot‘ combo. ‘Banh Xeo‘ I already had before in Vietnam and these ones were really tasty filled with crunchy sprouts and vegetables and fried crispy on the outside. The ‘Banh Khot‘ were like little egg tarts with prawns and I wished they would’ve been a bit longer on the heat as some of them were quite raw inside tasting like undercooked omelette but overall still not bad but I didn’t envy the chef, assembly-line-frying both dishes without a break.

imageSwitching back to western cuisine we opted for the ‘Soft Shell Crab Burger‘ from ‘Euro Trash Food Cart’ (USA) and yet another dissapointment – they ran out of their beef paddies so we had to go for the plain crab option. This slowly started to seem like a pretty “incomplete” event. Luckily even without the beef paddy this was a pretty awesome burger once I did get over the fact that I ate a whole crab with everything in and outside, I’m weird like that. The crab was crispy and still moist inside and the thousand island like dressing gave it a nice fresh touch. Just the bun was more the sweeter kind which I found slightly odd.

imageFurther on the western trail we arrived at the ‘Swamp Shack’ which sold ‘Shrimps & Grits‘ and their so called ‘Smothered Chicken‘. The shrimps were mega crunchy with a very dry batter which held up pretty well against the gravy and the grits which was like a corn polenta, nice and fluffy yet very filling. The chicken dish had the same gravy with mashed potatoes but I had a hard time finding some meat in there. Good comfort food with the grits as my favorite component.

imageNext up was ‘Soto Tangkar‘ by ‘Pak Haji Diding’ (Indonesia). The soup was quite rich and a tad spicy but the beef didn’t really cut it as it was too chunky and tough for my preference.

imageNow this was one of my highlights of the day, the ‘Seafood Tostada‘ from ‘La Guerrerense’ (Mexico). On their sign they offered two different kinds but our crispy corn tostadas came with everything on it they had in stock. The seafood topping was a cevice of fish, crab, shrimp, tender octopus and delicious sweet scallops that must have just hopped out of the sea. This was then finished off with a big cajun style marinated shrimp big chunks of avocado and a spicy shrimp lemon juice with peanuts. So delicious complex simplicity.

imageUntil now we had stayed away from the Indian stalls as many of them seemed to sell quite filling stuff but this one looked pretty interesting and so we tried the ‘Litti Chokha‘, little charcoal baked buns with a mix of tomatos, potatos and eggplants as well as some mint sauce to go with it. The buns were harder on the outside and crumbling on the inside and soaked up the condiments pretty good. I really liked the vegetarian chokha as it was nicely light and suited the buns well.

imageAs they had both, beef as well as pork jerky we ordered the ‘Hainan Fen‘ from ‘Hai Ya’ next. Apparently a very common dish from the Hainan province in China but I had never heard about it here. Thick eggs noodles were topped with a multitude of ingredients – beef and pork jerky, cilantro, chives, peanuts, sprouts, little shrimp, squid and a soya based gravy. I realy liked it, especially the jerkies and peanuts and even the tiny shrimp weren’t as fishy as I thought. One thing I would have loved to have missed though was the squid which was also some kind of jerky, pretty strong in taste and hard to pick out as it camouflaged itself as noodles.

imageEnough of the filling dishes we went back to India and tried the ‘Chicken 65‘ from ‘Abhishek’. This fried chicken was covered in a wondeful spice mix with a citrusy fragrance and the sweet spiced dipping powder took it all to the next level. That was awesome and I just wished lean chicken breast was more popular in Asia as that would have made this even better.

imageAfter all those hearty dishes it was time to check out the dessert corners of the fairground and so we started with ‘Kue Pancong‘ (Indonesia) that were lightly baked coconut cakes in a special shape topped with white sugar. I love coconut so this was right up my alley, maybe just a little dry.

imageThe next sweet affair again came from India and was offered by a Singaporean stall named ‘Heaven’s Indian Curry’. They offered a dish called ‘Putu Mayam‘ or ‘String Hoppers‘ which was basically freshly pressed and steamed rice noodles topped with bright orange sugar and grated coconut (also available with chicken curry). This was great and tasted quite light cause of the steamed noodles and the dessicated fluffy coconut with a sweet cover of orange caramelized sugar. If you missed the fair their shop is at #01-15 Ghim Hoh Market and Food Center, 20 Ghim Moh Road.

imageBefore washing all that wonderful stuffing down with the one or other Warsteiner we had one last sinful dish, the ‘Sticky Rice Banana‘ from ‘Nam Bo’ (Vietnam). I was lucky queueing up at the right time as the staff on the fairground told me this is by far the most popular stall and waiting can be rather long during peaks. I really like Thai ‘Mango Sticky Rice‘ and thought this might be similar but here they wrapped banana chunks in glutinous rice before grilling it over coales wrapped in bana leaf and finishing it with a thick sweet coconut sauce and sesame seeds. Eventhough I would have wished for more banana this was a lovely closer to an endless seeming feast and so seven hours and fourteen dishes later (I didn’t count the seconds of ‘Porchetta Sandwiches‘) we finally capitulated and didn’t move too much for a while.

I really enjoyed my first food fair experience even with some sold out items and complete stalls being closed like the Danish pork buns which I was so looking forward to. What really pissed me off was that they re-opened on Sunday again. Dang!

http://www.wsfcongress.com

World Streefod Congress 2013
Singapore F1 Pit Building & Paddock
1 Republic Boulevard
Singapore 038975

Tuscany Fantastico in Bianco et Nero

imageA colleague friend came into town on a transit to the Philippines and so we rallied the troops and all went together to ‘Pietrasanta’ in one of the black & white houses down at Portsdown Road. We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and the manager and seated on a big table inside.

As my main I chose the fish special ‘Grilled Sole‘ which I saw floating by to another table earlier. The fish was huge and looked super tasty with it’s nice chars from the grill. Following the managers recommendation I drizzled some of their fancy olive oil on top and together with the lemon and the pepper it tasted absolutely great. The kicker on this was that after it came from the grill they put the sole on a wooden board coming from an olive tree so when turning the fish over, the second half offered a completely new flavor, smokey and with an oaky taste to it. Very happy that I sighted this.

imageBefore this lovely fish we shared a variation of antipasti like the ‘Scamorza con Prosciutto‘. The cheese was lovely smokey and melted but still firm and wrapped in a salty cover of crispy pan fried parma ham.

imageWe couldn’t get enough of the ‘Tagliere Di Salumi e Formaggi‘ which was a cold cut platter of delicious parma ham, juicy and light mortadella, two types of salty and nutty salami and a centerpiece of parmesan that tasted lovely milky.

imageAnother starter we ordered was the ‘Acciughe Fresche Fritte‘ which were freshly imported anchovies fried in a light batter. Other than usual the tiny fishes were properly cleaned and only fried for a very short time so they were still moist and tasted like eating them in Italy.

imageLast but not least we had the famous ‘Burrata‘ a huge deformed mozzarella cheese ball filled with a mixture of the same as well as heavy cream. I loved the outer shell of this as it had a weird yet nice texture and tasted like strong milky white blob. The others preferred the inner core which I found too creamy to eat too much of it. The burrata was accompanied by an extra plate of juicy tomatos, arugula and parma ham which in combination with the nice olive oil made this a brilliant appetizer.

imageDuring the entire dinner we were exceptionally well taken care of by our head waiter and all the other staff and after we had finished everything we received a digestive including a freeflow of freshly baked biscotti and chocolate covered roasted almonds.

I had been here before but didn’t remember it being this nice. The food was fantastic and proper down to earth home cooked Tuscan cuisine and the service was memorable friendly and attentive. A great piece of Italy in traditional Singaporean heritage.

http://www.ristorante-pietrasanta.com/

Ristorante Pietrasanta Pte. Ltd.
5B Portsdown Road
#01-03
Singapore 139311
Tel: +65 6479 9521

New Pizza Joint in Novena

imageA friend and I were in a hurry as we wanted to go watch a movie and therefore needed something quick and dirty for dinner. We decided to try out a recently opened pizza place at United Square in Novena, ‘Extra Virgin Pizza’ just next to the future location of ‘Wee Nam Kee’. The increasingly popular concept of restaurants making you place your order before sitting down is not really mine but since we needed to rush anyway I didn’t mind this once.

I usually try the ‘Margherita‘ when I first visit an Italian place as it gives you an opportunity to judge their skills with the most basic ingredients yet very difficult pizza but since I had to be quick on my feet I went with the ‘Prosciutto & Arugula‘. Literally five minutes later it was already sitting on my table; steaming hot. It was a quite night for them but I found this still pretty impressive.

On top of the speed I was also positively surprised with the taste.The parma ham was of good quality but did lack a bit of the the strong nutty flavor parma usually has. The arugula was mildly sharp and not too bitter and they didn’t go too strong on the parmesan cheese which nicely covered everything under a salty cheesy blanket. I ate the toppings off one piece to get an idea of what a ‘Margherita‘ would taste like and also that one was a winner. The sugo was fruity and close to sweet and actually tasted like real tomatos and the dough was thin, crispy charred and crunchy on the outside crust which was slightly to fat for me but nevertheless was seasoned well and tasted great.

I am happy to have another respectable pizza place close by as I can’t stand most of the deliveries here which overload their pizzas with meats and cheeses. If I would need to pick something negative about this place it would probably be the price as a 26 dollar pizza – even that not unusual for Singapore – simply is too expensive, especially for a ‘fast lane diner’.

http://www.extravirginpizza.com/

Extra Virgin Pizza                                
101 Thomson Road                    
#01-14 United Square Shopping Mall
Singapore 307591            
Tel: +65 6247 5757

Fair Trade for Pie

imageI was on my way home from a short business trip to Melbourne and didn’t have a single meat pie during my whole stay. I knew there was one cafe at Tullamarine Airport that had one just perfect for my last minute fix but when I finally arrived there I had to realize that the cafe had turned into an Italian deli. After searching the entire airport in vain for pie I finally capitulated and was pretty disappointed, it was an Australian airport after all. Thankfully I passed ‘Bar Pulpo’ which offered ‘Bocadillos‘ the tasty sandwiches I new from Spain.

I went for the ‘Serrano with Zamora Cheese‘ and asked them to put it into the oven quickly so the cheese could melt. This thing was beautiful. The generous slab of serrano ham was lovely nutty and the cheese added it’s deep salty but not overpowering taste. This all in a perfect piece of baguette which had it’s own taste, nicely spiced and soft and firm at the same time. I just say I entered the plane very happy and content so I would recommend this to any hungry traveller passing through here.

Bar Pulpo by Movida                                                                                                                                Departure Mall Melbourne International Airport Terminal 2                                                               Departure Drive                                                                                                                                      Tullamarine                                                                                                                                                    Victoria 3045                                                                                                                                               Australia

Bella Italia in Shinagawa

imageAfter a long day at our Tokyo office one of my colleagues and I went to ‘Vento’s’ pretty much only because it was the most convenient and only two minutes from both our hotels. We sat down outside and I felt a bit bad being in Japan and having Western food already on the second day.

My regret only lasted until my beautiful ‘Margarita’ showed up. This was without lie one of the best pizzas I have ever had in my life; pure brilliant simplicity. I haven’t had tasted such a fantastic and sweet tomato sugo in a very long time. The pizza was not overloaded with cheese so I was able to really taste all of the few ingredients as well as the thin dough. It was so thin that the area in the middle became juicy tomato-y goodness whilst the outer crust stayed chewy and tasted like very well seasoned pizza bread.

Service was very friendly and fast and the outside seating was just the right thing to do after a day locked inside an air-conditioned meeting room. Most importantly the food was outstanding so I give this place a double thumbs up. Bueno!

http://www.bar-grill-vento.com/english.html

Vento Italian Bar & Grill ヴェント高輪
1F Keikyuu Shopping Plaza Wing Takanawa West                  
4-10-18 Takanawa Minato-ku    
Tokyo 108-00                          
Japan                                                      
Tel: +81 3 3441 7952

Humongous Pizzas!

FxCam_1367668025133 I spend the whole day on roller coasters with friends at Universal Studios and as the day got older we got tried and really hungry. So solve the second problem we went to ‘Peperoni’ on Zion Road, which is in one of the shophouses just opposite of Great World City. I have never been here before but really liked the seating outside, a bistro feeling.

Since I never had but always wanted to we ordered one of their massive 21″ mega pizzas half half. One half with ‘Capricciosa‘ (shitake, ham, artichokes and black olives), the other with ‘Prosciutto Grudo di Parma‘ (parma ham and rocket). This thing was tremendous, just like the pizzas from the opening scenes of Roseanne. I loved it, the dough was pretty thin, very crisp on the outside rim and more and more juicy towards the inside of the pie. The sugo tasted great and nicely tomato-y and was covered with the right amount of cheese; maybe not exactly but close. The parma ham was from good quality and had a delicious nutty taste nicely accompanied by the bitterness of the rocket salad and covered with a lot of salty parmigiano reggiano. The ham on the ‘Capricciosa‘ half tasted quite good but could have been cut a bit thinner and even though I always would prefer button mushrooms or chanterelle the shitake were thin and tasty. The black olives were good and heaps and so the only neglected ingredient were the  very few carciofo or artichokes.

FxCam_1367669352558 As our first dessert we had the ‘Tiramusi‘ which was quite nice and not too heavy. I found the ladyfingers a tad too big which made it taste a bit watery and they also could have gone a bit heavier on the kahlua and the coffee. Not bad but also not outstanding.

FxCam_1367669528588My personal choice was the ‘Panna Cotta‘ which was actually pretty darn good. I’m not big with desserts other than ice cream, but if I come across this one I usually get it. It was spotted with vanilla grains and super light so I totally forgot that it’s pretty much pure cream. The sour fruity berry sauce was a great combination to the sweetness and made this a nice closer for the dinner and a long day.

I really have to mention our outstanding waitress, who was super friendly, fast, attentive and overly helpful with all our requests. It’s kinda sad that great service really stands out that much but that’s how it is and this one was awesome.

The ‘Peperoni’ branch on Zion is a really nice and casual place to come with friends and to enjoy some of the better pizzas (and service) in town. I’ll come back, grazie mille.

http://peperoni.com.sg/

Peperoni Pizzeria          
56 Zion Road  
Singapore 247781              
Tel: +65 6732 3235

Fat Boy’s Soft Boy!

imageYesterday was Labor Day and I was still apathetic from the cycling in the morning. There was obviously a little to little oxygen in my brains and a little too much around my belly as I was absolutely starving but couldn’t make up my mind on what to eat. Thankfully my mate called and took this difficult decision off my hands by asking if I wanted to join him and his friend for some burgers at ‘Fat Boy’s’. Pants on, spinning the Bajaj and there I was.

They were a bit in a hurry so I ordered a ‘Make-My-Own-Burger‘ on the fly. I went for a beef patty with jalapenos, monterey jack cheese all topped with a fried egg and smoked chipotle sauce. The burger was super juicy also because it was pretty raw but as I didn’t indicate my preference when ordering I had to blame it on myself. The patty was slightly under seasoned and really really soft but tasted super fresh and surprisingly light. The monterey jack tasted awesome and I had to pad myself on the shoulder for that extra thirty cents I had invested in this. I hardly tasted the egg but the spiciness of the jalapenos together with the smokey heat of the chipotle sure made up for it.

I really liked it for it’s taste but found bun and especially the patty way too soft for a burger and as it was medium-very-rare it had nearly the consistency of beef tartar. Thankfully it was good quality meat so it still came out pretty tasty. If now only the bun had held up all the way til the end.

‘Fat Boy’s’ is a nice open front joint with friendly people working there that serve up fresh and tasty food. On top I found out that they also have Nutella on burgers which proofed a brilliant choice last time at ‘De Burg’s‘ so I might just come back here to try their twist on it.

http://www.fatboys.sg/index.html

Fat Boy’s – The Burger Bar        
187 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574335