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Meat Smith @ Telok Ayer Street


I have lost count how many times I walked past Meat Smith and opted to dine at The Market Grill and finally decided to deviate from the usual path one lunch and found myself in between the metal door and a noisy room of dinners.


Welcome to the butcher's club, I quietly thought amidst screaming signs of daily appetizers, mains and weekend visiting chef cookouts. Clearly I have made numerous visits over lunch and the bewitching hour to visit is always after lunch hour.


Butcher calibre. 


We ended up sharing the communal dining table with two other parties and tried to continue conversation when I could barely hear myself.

Lemongrass and mint ($6)

A soda based thirst quencher, I was not expecting soda but this was really pleasant.


Beef Tongue

I must disclaim that I usually do not like animal's innards, with very few exceptions. And I can never imagine myself being tongue-less - like why would I even stomach another's tongue? Well of course, the exception was for ox and beef. And duck.

I sound like a horrific carnivore already and before I go even further, this is the single part of the animal that is crazy tender. So tender it amazes me. These were sliced carpaccio and served with a tangy and mildly hot sauce. Presentation took me aback but I loved it.


Their homemade sauces are the bomb, nailed to a complete T. I may never want storebought sauces after being so spoilt at Meatsmith. 


Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11)

I must set the record straight that I am no pulled pork fan prior to ordering this - most of the pulled pork dishes end up so braised, they were too soft and soaking in BBQ sauce, they usually are an unpalatable misfortune. Some how, I had some faith in pork rind and vinegar slaw for a different experience altogether.

Proven right infact, that pulled pork can taste so good. Too good infact. The smoky flavours of the pulled pork that had some bite, a droolicious lather of BBQ sauce and a wicked mouthwatering slaw topped with a crispy pork rind and sandwiched between two chewy buns.

Over a single sandwich and several moments of silence taking in all the flavours, this love for pulled pork got ignited and it had to be at Meatsmith's.

Nashville Fried Chicken ($10)

This red head was barely as satisfying as the pulled pork, unfortunately. Too much spice and at some point came across as too much. The same hat trick did not repeat, but the amazing buns did.


Cheese Burger ($16)
Meat Top Up ($10)

I can only trust the meat machine to order a meat top up for an already heavyweighter burger. And two patties drizzled with melted cheese was the ultimate foodie's guide. Loved that charred-ness going on, the juiciness of the patties and their homemade sauces. Mustard's up my alley and I wish I could swipe a bottle off the counter.


Even the greens taste exceptionally better, strange but soooo good!

Mississppi Mud Pie ($10)

Either go decadent or die trying. This rich block promises a sugar rush and a possible food coma with crushed oreo and velvety smooth chocolate mousse.


Thank you for the meaty times, a return is always on the cards.

167 Telok Ayer Street

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo @ East Coast Road


Yong Tau Foo is perhaps one of the most misunderstood local dishes ever - misunderstood to be healthy when it really is not all so. Unless it is all steamed or boiled and eaten without sauces, it is really like any other local dish that we all queue for.

I first chanced upon Fu Lin YTF at Food Republic's outlet and subsequently cleanly forgot about this. Word has it that they have gone uppity at Chinatown with a bar concept to boot, I was satisfied with its flagship at East Coast Road.

Cravings come and go and I had to silence it one evening and seriously, it was so crowded on a Sunday night even. I wonder where else do people eat?


Their wall of accolades. Almost certifying it a must try.


Signature noodle set - 6 pieces of yong tau foo and  bowl of noodles doused in minced chicken sauce.


 These, liked minded folk on a Sunday night.


Every single item is deepfried and this suited our national preference for deepfried food to a T.


Particular mention goes to this deepfried seaweed that actually tastes like Towkay Noy from Bangkok! Only missing out on spices for the extra kick.


Every additional piece costs $0.60 with selected pieces costing $2-3 each. Signature items include cheese sausage and ngoh hiang.


I enjoyed my bowl of laksa noodle cooked till al dente and that very tasty mildly sweet minced chicken sauce.

Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo
721 East Coast Road

FEA5T with Salt Grill and Bar @ Ion Sky

~Invited Session~

I was over the moon to be part of Salt Grill and Bar's fabulous fifth birthday - a FEA5T they promised with 5 different chefs under the Salt Group flying in for one night only. 



 Instead of the usual butter and seasalt, there's a SALT blend for breads! I get super stoked when a meal starts off differently, maybe if dessert gets served first that would be the most memorable meal ever. 


FFresh off the oven, these fresh bakes are aromatic and so soft! I had to remind myself not to lose my aappetite over bread and risk not having space for the other courses. Afterall, the evening was really very young even at 9pm!


Chef Shannon Binnie - Salt, Tokyo
Ayu, Grilled watermelon, Soy, Salsa verde 

A marriage of east and west in this dish with grilled watermelon and fish. Oddly, the concept of grilled watermelon worked for me with a mild charring and that sweetfish seasoned with a hint of soy - oiishi. 


Chef Ronald Li - Salt Tapas and bar, Singapore
Bacalao with butternut chutney, Batter pearl

Cod done two ways, in a confit and salted manner. The confit was coated in a crispy light batter and another seared over the grill and topped with butternut chutney and batter pearl. Both exhibited textures and wonderful flavour, kudos to our local chef for shining bright that night!


Chef MJ Olguera - Salt grill, Jakarta
Roast vanilla squab, Chocolate and bacon soil, Poached leeks, Yuzu sauce

An audacious creation of grilled baby quail and blood sausage.  While some may gawk at the usage of a baby quail, I thought it was a daring yet innovative intrepretation of game. Loved the elements that were put in the dish, an exceptionally clever usage of chocolate and bacon soil and yuzu sauce that barely looked the part. Sublime, is a huge understatement.


Chef Mathew Leighton - Salt grill and Sky bar, Singapore
Wagyu, Cauliflower, Horseradish, Beetroot, Watercress, Mizuna

I was most looking forward to this dish since beef is Salt Grill and Bar's specialty, done medium rare this melt in the mouth cut is as promised a luxurious treat. The cauliflower mousse was a particular treat, a smooth savoury mousse.

While I did not last till dessert, I had the pleasure of drinks for company. 


A soda based chiller to kickstart the festivities.


Another concoction for the night, an alcholic one before the booze starts rolling.


Penfolds was the official drink sponsor for the night and all of the courses were paired with wines from their vineyards.

2014 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling, Barossa and Eden Valley
2013 Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills


2012 Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz Cabernet, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley 
2012 Penfolds Grenache Shiraz Mataro, South Australia
Penfolds 10 years old Father Grand Tawny 

Chef Luke Mangan - "Salt" Restaurateur, Australia

Uber bummed to miss out on this but I had a spectacular and very delicious night out. Thank you Salt Grill and's wishing you more delicious and glorious years ahead! Now, I just need a ticket to Jakarta pronto and scoring a table at Salt Grill Jakarta. 

Eighty Days @ Marina Bay Link Mall

Around the eighty days remains one of those items on my bucket list that would be hard to strike off unless I went on sabbatical - the mere thought of that being in my retirement plan is enough to bring on unicorns and cotton candy happiness. And until then really, Eighty Days at MBLM hopes to bring a flicker of hope to us OLs that the dream is possible, a morsel away.

Armed with an interesting concept to boot - their miniature pizzas (or crackers as I'd call them), salads and burgers are inspired by destinations and each morsel takes you on a gastronomical ride. 12-13 pizza options are available daily and these get replaced every 80 days.

This 20-seat cafe has 12 or 13 pizza options which change every 80 days - See more at:
That fateful lunch, I visited a total of 3 places in an hour -

Peking Duck Pizza ($3.90)
Smoked Salmon Pizza ($3.90)

Both pizzas were served on a cracker no larger than the water tables. Portions are so measly, I could scream daylight robbery and with such slivers of ingredients, I say the peking duck had more bang for the lacking buck. 

This 20-seat cafe has 12 or 13 pizza options which change every 80 days - See more at:
Buffalo Burger ($3.90)

A dry miniature slider.

Unimpressive nibbles, these would not replace my wanderlust at all.
This 20-seat cafe has 12 or 13 pizza options which change every 80 days - See more at:

Eighty Days
8 Marina Blvd, B2 - 67 Marina Bay Link Mall

Hana Sushi @ Forum Shopping Mall


Marriage changes lifestyle, for better or worse it is relative but in my case, we have become such cinderellas that those late night dates that start with dinner, drinks and even two more rounds have become such a rarity, I hang my head low in shame.

So in a bid to revive this bit of romance, the Hubba and I stumbled upon this secret gem and have been making repeat visits.


And, somehow or another to save on parking, we eat around the area. The Entertainer App pointed to a show stopping amazing deal of 1-for-1 kaiseki or omakase at Hana Sushi.


First, we should have known better when the promotions outside the restaurant showed a variety of promotions - daily ones and they included shabu shabu buffet, omakase and unlimited sushi buffet. Any self respecting Japanese chef would not lelong (reads: sell for cheap) his craft this way.

Secondly, there were no japanese customers in sight. That already screamed volumes and we chose to brush it off.

Thirdly, there was no freshly grated wasabi. I was already crestfallen when my amuse bouche came in the form of fried salmon.

Since we embarked on this kaiseki, a mini one, we had no choice but to play along with the other courses and prayerfully not be bummed by the end of it.


These faux cherry blossoms were a good attempt at replicating dining in Japan. 


Fried Salmon

This was barely much with a drizzle of sticky balsamic. How Japanese this is, I had a ton of questions in my head.


Fried Salmon Skin

Two different shades in our plates, I suppose it was a case of over frying? Served with mayo, I was already unimpressed.


Gindako with Mentaiko Sauce

The last time I had something similar was at Sakae or even Sushi Tei. Nothing spectacular save for the fact that this was not fishy.


Sashimi Platter

The bed of icecubes bothered me, and best of all they appeared in an entire chunk.


I liked  the raw prawn enough, salmon and yellow tail reasonably and the marinated fish that I could not figure out what. And nobody explained what it was either. Lemon with raw fish, this was strangely not Japanese at all.


Grilled Eggplant

Another meh-dinary course, at this point we were almost wishing the kaiseki would end.


Miso Soup



The only time any waiter bothered to explain the dish was this particular course - and it went like this;

"Toona, Swordfish, Sell-mon, Eel and Egg."

And really, at the rate we stifled our laughter, I would have passed out of internal bleeding. Supermarket sushi standard and that stiff tamago only reminded me how much I missed the authentic egg custard.


Green Tea Icecream with Red Bean

Holy jeez, the meal finally ended with an overly sweet scoop of green tea icecream topped with red bean.

$68++ for two, hardly any value at all and we were already wishing for the Kaiseki somewhere at the start. I would hate to say this but kaisekis or even sushi are not their specialty, Nijyumaru brings to mind at half the price and double that satisfaction.

If anything like the higher end restaurants, my cup was constantly refilled.

Hana Sushi
Forum Shopping Center #01-17

Marmalade Pantry @ Oasia Hotel


Marmalade Pantry at Oasia Hotel is completely new to me, previously having been huge fans of their now defunct outlets at Palais Renaissance, Stables and even Ion! For a sunday night dinner, tables were particularly empty, given the proximity to Novena Square, I would have expected more crowd.


The interior for this outlet was kept simpler with hints of wood and their signature table posies. Until today, I have not figured its name yet!


Perhaps to entice travellers - most of the guests at Oasia Hotel are assumed to be medical travellers who seek treatment at neighbouring hospitals, there is a range of local delights - think laksa, hor fun, chicken rice and even fried rice! Prices are of course, not cheap. The only time I committed the folly of eating hotel standard chicken rice was for Chatterbox and perhaps only for Mandarin Orchard since it is world famous.


Caesar with Slow Cooked Egg ($24)
Crabmeat, Pinenuts, Parmesan Cheese


Giving a twist to the usual chicken caesar, this was created with crabmeat instead and I am actually loving this version more!


Spinach and Kale ($24)
Mozzarella, Red Pepper Pesto, Roasted Macadamia Nuts, Grapes, Fresh Basil

A less than desirable salad, the red pepper pesto hardly worked for me. Meaty salads trump, still.


Miso Lobster ($34)
Lobster chunks in Tobiko and Miso Mayo 


I made it a point to order out of comfort zone and try some new dishes. Miso Lobster and Lobster Risotto are the two newer items sighted on the menu and I was raring to try! Perhaps if lobster burgers are better than the rolls, I can opt for these cheaper alternatives.

This arrived in grandeur sitting prettily on a bed of fries - it's as good as waking up on a bed of roses. The lobsters tasted like slipper lobsters and the miso mayo had too much sweetness going on. I did not find an alternative to lobster rolls in this miso lobster.


Beef Cheek Pappardelle ($26)
Braised Beef Cheek, Confit Tomato, Parsley

I suppose old is gold, this beef cheek pappardelle was worth reminiscing the past with.


Baby Chicken ($28)
Slow cooked Whole Baby Chicken, Braised Celery, Rosemary, Garlic Roasted Potatoes 

Baby Chicken this was, in spatch cock size and was not fireworks kind of extraordinary. Far and few roast chickens have thrown me off guard with delight and this was certainly not one of them either.


Salmon ($28)
Sweet Potato Noodles, Sesame, Cucumber with Yuzu Dressing

Another sweet dish, the sweet potato noodles could do with a savoury dressing. The salmon was grilled just fine, the expected crispy skin and perfectly orange hued flaky chunk. 


Pork Chop ($32)
Mashed Potatoes, Apple Compote, Crisp Sage, Spinach and Bacon Fat Split Jus

At last we were talking right with this lovely seared pork chop that packed enough flavour and succulence. I enjoyed this right to the end and loved the techniques used. If I had to pick just one mains, it will be pork chops.

My first encounter with Marmalade Pantry was with their famed cupcakes, and till today I wonder if these sugary treats kickstarted a lifetime of obsession with a simple cupcake and frosting.


Cloud Nine ($4.90)
White Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese


Limonata ($4.90)
Tart Lemon Glazed Cake


Smores ($4.90)
Graham Cookies Lined Chocolate Cupcake Finished with Toasted Marshmellow and Chocolate Shards


These still bring a smile with their buttery sponge bases and delectable frostings that are a tad too sweet these days.

Marmalade Pantry's standards seemed to have taken a dip since their heydays, I may just stick with the sweets.

Marmalade Pantry
Oasia Hotel