Monday, October 20, 2014

GRUB Noodle Bar @ Rangoon Road

Special thanks to GRUB Noodle Bar for the invite!

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Our supper scene welcomes a new kid on the block - GRUB Noodle Bar, brought to you by the same folks behind GRUB, FIX and Cookyn Inc.

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The owners wanted to give diners an alternative dining spot to enjoy comforting delights, Amanda, one of the owners exclaimed how how it was to find a place to unwind after 10pm and tucking her kids in bed. They count themselves terribly lucky to have found a seafood supplier for most of the appetizers on the menu.

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One highlight of GRUB Noodle Bar is their support of local talent - Eeshaun, who was commissioned to do up a wall mural capturing the essence of the place will also have his paintings adoring their walls in time to come.

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Do grab a snap at this photowall - uber fun and possibly the IT thing these days. 

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Chicken Drumlets ($9)
coated with curry leaves, garlic and sesame seeds 

This hot chick gives Har Jeong Kai (Prawn Paste Chicken) a good run for the money with a batter so crisp and delicious, raveworthy and the drumlets are terribly juicy! Best consumed with a mug of beer and gives justice to 'hot chick'.


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Kang Kong Salad ($7)
tossed with nonya achar and house dressing

I am a thorough achar fan, toss it in my istimewa, nasi lemak, appetizer before main course and I gladly lap all of that up. The essence in it is mastering the sour and spicy properly and you are bound for a journey of no return - kang kong gave this a breath of fresh air, double the excitement with both texturally different vegetable ingredients and I was sold!

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Steamed Live Tiger Prawns ($14)
sake, garlic and ginger glaze

Think of a drunken prawn appetizer and this fits the bill to a T.  Be prepared to peel your way quite unglamourously though to tuck into these juicy prawns.

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Soft Shell Crab ($13)
deepfried with mayo and house seasoning

The seasoning for this is similar to the chicken drumlets, a job well done on the soft shell crab! A word of advice - eat it quick!

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Baby Cuttlefish ($9)

deepfried with basil pesto mayo

Another deepfried item to go with the beer guzzling or cider chugging. These bulb sized cuttlefish are easy to eat with its morsel sizes and has a delightfully light batter and delectable dip. The combination of pesto and mayo proved to be a winning combination - the creaminess of one with the mild salty and gritty of the other.

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Venus Clams ($11) 
beer, toasted ginger and lemongrass broth

Plump clams ready to be slurped from their shells and the lemongrass broth in itself was a clear stunner.

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Hokkaido Scallop ($15) 
mustard glaze and mandarin orange salad

Indulge in  a bar food equivalent of scallop caparccio with an inventive twist.

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Beef Noodles with 100% Hormone and Antibiotic Free 150 Day Grainfed Angus Ribeye ($19)
fresh egg noodles in their house sauce, 100% beef meatballs, minced beef, mushroom stew and a bowl of beef broth

Great broth is often the centerpiece of a bowl of noodle soup. Made using beef bones and vegetables, GRUB Noodle Bar’s wholesome broth is boiled for long hours to extract the full flavour from the beef bones. Other beef options include the brisket, rump and angus sirloin all sliced thinly to resemble a shabu shabu meal.

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Look at how thinly sliced and long the beef slices are!

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GRUB’s Assam Laksa ($13)

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With the Chef's roots from Penang, the broth is savoury with a tangy finish. Instead of mackerel, they have substituted it with tuna, a more cost effective but taste is not compromised. Noodles are the same used for laksa, given a more localised touch to it.

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They have a variety of light ciders and craft beers to go with the food.  

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Bottoms up!

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Spacious setting.

Look no further for comfort supper food in GRUB Noodle Bar, a cosy and down to earth joint. Best of all, they are localized to suit our palette. Word has it that the menu will be expanded with more noodle creations and I cannot wait.

Opening hours for GRUB Noodle Bar: 
Tues to Sun 7pm to 12.30am (closed on Mondays and last Tuesday of every month)

GRUB Noodle Bar
221 Rangoon Road

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Grand Pavilion @ Esplanade

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I'm not exactly sure when Grand Pavilion opened its doors at Esplanade but what I know is they have both the main dining area and a cafe to cater to different crowds.

It was a relatively quiet dinner with few tables occupied.

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Appetizers worth a mention - I loved these XO beancurd bits!

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Deep Fried Sesame Ball Egg Yolk ($5.40, 3 pcs)

Crispy fried sesame fritters with a generous dollop of savoury egg yolk filling, it was a gratifying dish for either a starter or dessert.

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Crackers to nibble!

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Whole Peking Duck ($58)

I love our local peking duck because it gets served both ways - one price, two dishes! I am usually not a fan of the egg wraps but they did it really nicely, crispy with a dollop of sweet sauce and sides of spring onions too.

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We had them chopped up, succulent meat with a mild gameyness. Otherwise, really good with rice.

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Coffee Pork Ribs ($31.80)

Sticky and sweet pork ribs infused with coffee, a finger licking good combination and it made it seem like a wedding dinner we were attending.

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Eefu Noodle with Mushrooms ($28.80)

This was perhaps the few times that my eefu noodles came with crabmeat and mushrooms, and the generosity of the chef made this such a value for money noodle dish!

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Braised Beancurd with Mushrooms ($22.80)


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Eggyolk Prawns ($43.80)

I always cave in to these cholesterol rich lovelies, the salted egg yolk batter made this so delicious! Best eaten hot and whole.

Grand Pavilion
Theatres by the Bay
Esplanade Drive #02-25/27/29

Coq & Balls @ Kim Tian

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Coq and Balls stands out for its outlandish name, one that never fails to elicit some amusement whenever I mention it. What it really is a gastro bar that has nothing to do with coqs or balls. Some ballsy idea eh? The walls are adorned with picture frames of the highly esteemed poultry.

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I found the coq on the wall.

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Coq and Balls Burger ($17)
Handmade wagyu beef patty, monterey jack cheese

Under normal circumstances I do not think much of wagyu burgers because wagyu gets battered to death in the patty. Well charred and excellently grilled burger, the bacon and cheese were the merry toppings on top. Just for this, I hold my horses on wagyu burgers being a letdown. Worth every cent and juice!


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Crispy Garlic Chicken ($16)
Bacon, chive

While it may have lost out on crispyness in this garlic laden dish, the major selling point of this is the bacon chive mash that was so rich, gritty and had some bite!

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Beer Battered Fish and Chips ($12)
Dory fish, straight cut fries, home made tartar sauce, coleslaw

A classic British favourite with the a beer battered layer. Beer can be tasted with every bite and in my opinion, few places execute it this well and Coq and Balls is one of them.

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Carbonara ($15)
Smokey bacon, egg yolk, parmesan cheese

I honestly was not expecting much from their pasta dish since it is a gastropub and I just wanted to try something new. Surprise surprise, I was in for an incredibly delicious one. Cooked al dente, the noodles had the right amount of bite and best of all, the carbonara sauce was hardly cloying. The raw egg gave it a creamier finish and I look forward to more of their pasta dishes.

pies

Pies ($10)

These are on the wall menu though not on the proper menu itself. Keep your eyes peeled for specials. 

chicken mushroom

Chicken and Mushroom

I would like to think of this as cream of a mushroom and chicken pie with its creamy gravy and buttery pastry. 

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Steak and Guinness Pie

This was heartier and still as gratifying of the full works of  good pie - great crust and enough butter! And if I may mention again, the bacon, egg and potato mash is divine!

The dishes we tried above are in the main menu and weekly there are specials to try as well. This is one place that stands out for being a gastropub and in more than a fries and chicken wings menu. Two thumbs up and definitely worth more than a visit.

Coq and Balls
6 Kim Tiam Road

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Artisan Boulangerie & Co @ Kiliney Road

Special thanks to Cheryl for the invite and Charissa for hosting us!

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I think my island has one too many french confectionaires or patisseries. The way to differentiate is to whip up a menu that includes the fads of brunch and be in for a road of success. Artisan Boulangerie and Co is the latest few to join in the wagon, offering salads and savoury dishes in their enhanced menu for an all day dining experience.

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Breadbasket

I am a bread kind of person, bread over rice and noodles in any circumstance so the idea of bread for dinner was definitely a welcomed idea!

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Artisanal Almond Granola ($12)

Next to overnight oats, I consider this a favourite. It is quite hard to find granola yogurt items this generous in portions. Hearty goodness!

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Beef Pie ($9)

This is a signature and I love a good beef pie.

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Bacon and Leek Quiche ($6.5)

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Goat's Cheese Spinach Quiche ($6.50)

Goat cheese is not for the faint hearted, this reeked throughout the quiche and probably overpowered the spinach even.

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Garden Pesto ($14)
Fine beans, sugar snap peas, mixed greens, edamame, sundried cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, homemade rocket pesto

A different kind of salad with edamame and peas instead of the usual leafy greens.

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Eggs Benedict ($19.50)
All butter brioche, smoked salmon, poached egg, hollandaise sauce

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ABC nailed all the elements of a well executed eggs benedict and truly nothing to fault with the generous slivers of savoury smoked salmon.

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Miso Salmon Filet ($22)
Sweet miso glazed, linguine, herbed smoked salmon sauce

I usually hesitate at pasta dishes in non-Italian places, more so in cafes or bistros because of the less than awesome experiences. ABC managed to present a very tasty pasta dish, the creaminess sent me into a food coma and the savouriness made it so gratifying.

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It came with a side of roasted potatoes, never say no to carbs. 

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Ribeye Steak ($32)
250grams, Australian, 100 day grain fed, black pepper sauce

Succulent bites in this chunk of man-food. It tastes good without the superfluous drizzle of sauce. The good things are always eaten best on their own.

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Lemon Tart ($6)

I found the tart base on the soggy side, the filling was hinging more on sweet than the tangy I was looking for.

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Chocolate Lava Cake ($8)

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Rich and gooey, it could do with more molten lava.

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Creme Brulee

Torched and caramelised, the custard was still on the cold side in my opinion.

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Moscato ($12.50)

My brunch staple always involves a swig of bubbly, moscato no less.

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Apple Beetroot Carrot (ABC Juice) ($7.50)

Cleanse your system with a juice high in antioxidents, this was a little raw to taste.

I left pleasantly with their savoury offerings and would consider this place for brunch! So much so I nudged the sister to head there for brunch one day and she kindly got me a box of eclairs and  macadamia pastry to taste!

eclairs

Priced at $4.50 each, the box fits 6 snugly.

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Vanilla Eclair

white chocolate

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Chocolate Eclair

coffee

Mocha Eclair

I found the choux pastry a tad dry which was a letdown since the fillings were promising!

french pastry

This, in comparison was a whole lot better, the macadamia nuts and filling were generous and delicious. Went well with the pastry!

Artisan Boulangerie and Co
Kiliney Road