TAB @ Orchard HotelSpecial thanks to Kimberly and Vivian for the invite, as well as the three amicable gentlemen behind TAB who nourished us so well!
TAB's doors swung open sometime this August and has been a play lab for local acts to hone their performances and popular overseas acts to reach out to more audiences. For that, TAB already stands out from the rest of its kind. Its lofty food aims include both a gastrobar and New York Deli concept.
Perched on the second floor of Orchard Hotel, it offers a view of the other side of busy Orchard that I tend to neglect.
Pub Grub accompanies alcohol to a T. Most if not all the time, it is deepfried to awaken the tastebuds and whet the appetite for alcohol further. No surprises in its offerings except one...read on to find out more!
Cinnamon-Sugar Cheese Tortilla ($10)
Cheese-baked tortilla with sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon
An interesting combination of cinnamon and cheese which made this taste like bak kwa churros. Probably it sounds odd but it was a delicious carb fix to start off with.
Buffalo Wings ($12)
Crispy deep fried chicken wings with a coat of fiery cayenne pepper sauce
Fiery and crispy was lacking in these usual suspects at a pub dinner but these was just fine otherwise.
Fried Calamari ($12)
Spice-coated squid rings served with citrus mayo
Made no attempt but the companions seemed to like it.
Fried White Bait ($13)
Seasoned whitebait deep fried bait accompanied by citrus mayo
TAB's version is less crunchy than the rest, at least the white bait flesh can be tasted.
Mains are always meant for the hungry. Pub food in particular barely interests me (with the exceptional few) mainly becauce the focus is usually on the drinks and ambiance. TAB tries to change that perception.
Chicken Parmigiana ($18)
Breaded chicken breast oven-baked with a topping of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, with mashed potato and sauteed vegetables
Meant for the ravenous, the portions justify that. A humongous portion of breaded tender chicken breast (inspired by the Japanese katsu) with a layer of sinful cheese. The potato mash came across a tad dry though but otherwise, it was one really filling mains!
The Brit favourite.
Fish & Chips ($16)
Beer-battered Dory Fillet with homemade fries and a curry mayo dip
The fillet was somewhat too mush, yet that is characteristic of dory.
Soaked in Mexican beer, the fish fillets are fried till an irrestible golden brown. I adored the curry mayo dip but it can honestly do with a bit more fire.
Mega whooper loved the double cooked fries! Their fries were slightly sweet and tasted almost like sweet potato.The second place in Singapore I know that double cooks its fries for the extra crisp and crunch. The fries are available ala carte as well. They were so good, I ended up shamelessly stealing them from the other table.
Tab Burger ($16)
Burger topped with cheddar cheese, cornichons and caramelised onions, with salad and homemade fries on the side
Impossible to resist signature beef burger. The portion is similar to a Mcdonald's burger and deliberately shaped no bigger than one's fist as one of the owners liked the idea of holding it up and munching on it rather than daintily using a fork and knife. (A faux pas I made!)
A decent attempt made of a bar burger, TAB's version is juicy with herbs embedded. Once again, the fries stole the thunder and glory.
Seafood Marinara Pasta ($20)
Seasonal seafiid with pasta in marinara sauce. Choice of linguine, angel hair or spaghetti
Made slightly spicy but I found this a tad saucy and slightly sweet. The pasta came with a school of seafood figuratively, scallops, fish fillets, prawns and mussels made this an underwaterworld gathering.
Cocktails are my best friends. House pours are usually watered down if not overladen with liquor which makes it a balancing act to fit each person's tastebuds. Cocktails are most definitely ladies drinks as they appeal either in colour or description or choice of ingredients. TAB has a bartender who makes his rounds nightly to tease and tempt patrons with whimsical requests. Throw him any theme (or how you're feeling) and he'll be able to concot something within the parameters of his bar. Talk about flexibility! A great pity he was not on duty that night, if not I'd have asked him to give me a taste of paradise. Morton's tops the list for martinis and Heatlounge at Royal Scotts Hotel for Caiprinha.
Kudos to TAB for having a range of different cocktails, apart from the universal language of cocktails. Infact, they have taken the liberty to conjure up a range of cocktails with comfort ingredients.
Gin, Fresh Cucumber, Elderflower
When I first saw the cucumber sticks, I thought "rabbit food". The cucumber essence within the drink was barely discernible apart from the refreshing aftertaste. Yet when removing the cucmber sticks, it tasted really like diet food.
Caipirinha De Maracuja - Passionfruit Caipirinha ($18)
Fresh limes, golden-ripe passionfruit
Inspired by the cult film, "City of God", TAB gives this national Brazilian drink a twist with passionfruit. I am a self declared fan of Caiprinha but found this version too flat and watered down.
Charlie Brown ($18)
Smooth peanut butter, vanilla, vodka
I was looking forward to this all night long! Peanut butter anything is sheer delight. Tasted a weebit reminiscent of Baileys, this packs a nutty lethal punch.
How about Hello Kitty next with a splash of cherry blossom?
First Wives' Club ($18)
Bourbon, mangoes, rose
Acquired with a potent cough mixture finish.
Hansel & Gretel ($18)
Fruits, jam, cream, vodka
A clear table favourite with the kitsch cherries blended into it and barely chocolatey despite the outlook. Loved how this tasted just like a cocktail version of Blackforest cake. A must try!
Food unconsciously becomes part of the package when it comes to choosing a place to chill, though company still ranks tops. Overeasy is one of those watering holes that I consider a favourite and places like Chamber put me off because of mediocre food. TAB tries to offer more than decent food and different drinks to please the hungry alcoholic.
I hear they are working on expanding the menu to include pizzas, desserts and more drinks too. Only dinner is available at present.
Totally irrelevant...but the toilet slogan got me laughing. The Men totally do not get it...!
As of November 18 2010, Happy Hour at TAB is from 5pm - 8pm, or 9pm for DBS card holders. DBS card holders also enjoy 10% off their F&B bill, 1-for-1 on selected Martinis and a free main dish with every three main dishes ordered. You may want to drop by for more details!
Closed on Mondays.
442 Orchard Road
#02-29 Orchard Hotel