@thevoice.sg Pork Rib + Braised Pork Bento Set ($8.80 nett) is a tale of two halves. One half is decent, and the other is considerably less so. On paper, this mashup sounded like a world beater. Lu rou fan enhanced with pork ribs? Oh boy, it’s protein paradise!⠀

In practice, however, this bento which is really just a rice bowl was far from being what it could’ve & should’ve been. The lu rou (braised pork belly) is braised in a soy based stock, fully inheriting the umami from the stock. It’s shredded into small ribbons, and is ladled over the bed of white rice. While it was decently delicious, there wasn’t quite enough lu rou to fully satisfy.⠀

The pork ribs were the lacklustre half. As some of you may have already observed, these little riblets were fried to hell and back. The meat was sufficiently seasoned, so at least the tough overcooked meat has some flavour to it while you attempt to chew through it.⠀

At least this unfulfilling bowl is only $8.80. An L, sure, but at least it’s a small one.

Our happy ending was @alteregosg brownies, which came in a pair for $13++. Of course, a brownie without ice cream is like me without alcohol: utterly incomplete. Each scoop of ice cream is an extra five bucks before extra taxes, but it’s an extra five bucks we gladly paid.⠀

The brownies came in easy to handle bars, and my god these brownies were breathtaking. The insides were captivatingly chewy and fabulously fudge-y on the inside, almost like a decadent cake. It was gloriously chocolate-y, and each sweet blissful bite was certain to satiate any and all chocoholics and/or glucose groupies.⠀

The ice cream was unremarkable on its own, but it played a crucial role in unlocking the full potential of the brownies with its icy, creamy vanilla flavours. Absolutely ambrosial, and it’s the happiest ending I’ve had in a fair while. 10/10 fully worth the eighteen plus bucks for the price of admission.⠀

And for the final time (for now), thank you so much for the hospitality, @alteregosg & @burpple!

The other platter we ordered at @alteregosg was the Seafood Grilled Platter ($53++), which featured a grilled salmon fillet, dory fish, king prawns, squid and mussels. The seafood already made for a hefty portion, but Alter Ego decided to slap a whole mound of curly fries, salad and a corn on the cob just to make this platter even more ponderous.⠀

The grilled fishes were sublime. Seasoned spectacularly and jazzed up with the addition of herbs, the dory and salmon fillets were flaky, moist and incredibly scrumptious. The king prawns were delightfully fresh, and grilled to perfection. Keeping the shell on for grilling added even more unctuous umami to the crustacean, which balance out well with the natural sweetness of these large shellfish.⠀

The squid rings were stunningly fresh, but notably under-seasoned. Fortunately, the plethora of sauces that accompanied the platter rescued it, and the slightly out of place sambal chili was a match made in heaven for these bouncy squid rings. The mussels were tragically overcooked however, and these poor mollusks were chewy like rubber. Such a shame, it was all going so well.⠀

Alter Ego seems to be refocusing their menu for larger parties, and their platters are perfectly primed to take full advantage of this shift in strategy. A few improvements and tweaks, and these platters will absolutely dominate the market.⠀

Thank you so much for having us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

Besides poke bowls, @alteregosg decided to fortify their ricebowl by adding a trio of rice bowls to the menu. Beef ribeye, salmon and lamb chop were the protein options for the rice bowls, and we selected the promising sounding lamb chop ricebowl ($32++).⠀

The lamb chops on the meat platter were pretty decent, so they should be pretty decent here too, right? Well no, it turns out that Alter Ego might have something of a consistency issue. While the lamb chops were seasoned skilfully, it was as tough as Gandhi’s flip flops. Cutting through it was an arm workout on its own, and chewing it was enough to give you a jawline like Gigachad. These boneless lamb chops should’ve been cooked to medium or medium well, but they were so well done they were more like congratulations.⠀

Fortunately, the butter rice buttered us up the right way. Fluffy, moist, spectacularly seasoned and delightfully slick, the nice rice was utterly betrayed by the lacklustre lamb. Additionally, the corn on the cob & salad on the side were served completely undressed. Normally anything undressed elicits excitement, but undressed vegetables just disappoint me. Guys, please, dress your salad. Nobody wants undressed veggies. As much as I don’t wanna admit it, but this flawed lamb chop bowl isn’t remotely worth $32++ until Alter Ego remedy the shortcomings of this rice bowl.⠀

Once again, thank you so much for hosting us, @alteregosg & @burpple. I still love y’all @alteregosg , but I know that your food could be better because I’ve had better from your kitchen.

@alteregosg Mega Burger ($34++) comes with a mega price tag, but the burger has the size to match the asking price. Just look at the size of the thing! Two mammoth beef patties are topped with cheese, bacon and lettuce before getting. sandwiched between two dense brioche buns.⠀

I love burgers, and this big boi burger had me satisfied. The beef was adequately seasoned considering just how gigantic the patties were, and the patties retained their moisture well despite being grilled to medium well. The cheese was beautifully melted and added a rich creaminess that bound the salty bacon & beef together to the soft, dense brioche buns.⠀

While this was a tasty burger, I do think it has a little room for improvement. The beef patties could be seared on a much higher heat, as there wasn’t much browning on the beef. Additionally, the buns weren’t toasted quite enough. Still, Alter Ego’s Mega Burger is guaranteed to provide mega burger bliss.⠀

Thanks for hosting us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

And now for the meat of the matter. One of the items on @alteregosg recently altered menu is the Meat Grilled Platter, priced at $53++, and it is a massive marvel of meaty magnificence. Marinated grilled chicken breast, lamb cutlets, a ribeye steak and a few fried chicken winglets take up pride of place on this platter, and are escorted by the entourage of corn on the cob, assorted veggies and curly fries.

The little winglets were a couple of minutes overcooked, which was a bit of a bummer. However, the marinated chicken breast, which I was very apprehensive about, turned out far better. It was remarkably moist, peculiarly tender, and pleasantly palatable. The herbs & spices that the chicken had been marinated in had achieved their task admirably, infusing flavour into a normally tasteless piece of protein. The trick to keeping the chicken moist and tender was it being pounded thin, as it ensures that the chicken cooks through without drying it out. Fellas, always remember to beat your meat.

The stellar lamb cutlets hit all the right spots for me. A well managed gaminess, a whole lotta seasoning perfumed with copious amounts of herbs, and a tasteful tenderness are the keys to selling me on a lamb dish. These lamb cutlets hit all that and then some, mainly thanks to the cutlets being cooked bone in for maximal moisture & flavour. As for the ribeye steak…well, it’s the best cut from a cow, and there’s a felicitous amount of fat in it. And as we’ve established long ago, fat equals flavour. And this ribeye had lots of it, plus a tremendous amount of tenderness.

Of course, as delightful as the meats are, carbs complete it. Of course, there is nothing as completely perfect as curly fries, and these crispy curly potato twirlies were absolutely awesome. A perfect platter in my book of facts. Thank you so much for hosting us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

One of @alteregosg calling cards are their poke bowls, and they’ve very wisely decided to retain all four of them. Unfortunately, on the day I was there, they only had the Original Poke Shaker ($20++) and the Wasabi Yuzu Dragon (also $20++) available. While they’ve stayed on the menu, both poke bowls have been slightly updated to keep up with the times.⠀

The new versions of both see the addition of walnuts, the green noodle stuff that I can’t remember what it is, shimeji mushrooms, and a whole boatload of nori. However, the core has remained the same: chunks of fresh salmon, steamed rice, diced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, all garnished by a generous helping of tobiko (prawn roe).⠀

Unless you’re an anti-wasabi or anti-yuzu extremist, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get the Wasabi Yuzu Dragon over the original. Salmon sashimi just doesn’t feel right without wasabi, and the additional perfume of zesty yuzu enlivens all of the other elements in the bowl. The addition of almonds are absolutely inspired, as it adds a hard textural contrast to the all the soft elements in the bowl, keeping your mouth & palate fully engaged all throughout.⠀

For the justifiable price of twenty dollars, you can eat real healthy while getting your hunger satisfied. Thanks for inviting us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

Times are changing, and so are menus. A long time ago, @alteregosg got rid of the pulled pork dip, and most unforgivably of all, the loaded tater tots. However, they did keep their renowned Pizza Fries ($19++) on the menu. As you might’ve guessed, shoestring fries are blanketed by melted cheese and topped with beef pepperoni slices for a simple appetiser that works.⠀

The cheese is sexily stretchy, and the pepperoni is slightly spicy and satisfyingly salty. Best of all, the fries were crisp, salty and were role models for other potatoes to idolise. However, the serving of marinara sauce that used to arrive with every order of pizza fries was conspicuously absent. Yep, the pizza fries are just cheese and pepperoni. Unfortunately, the cheese was nowhere near sufficient to coat the mountain of fries, and so you’re really getting three quarters of plain fries in every order of pizza fries.⠀

The fix for this dilemma is astonishingly simple: add more cheese to the fries, get a large bowl, fill it with marinara sauce, and serve it alongside the fries so everyone can dip their fries into the tomato sauce for an enhanced pizza fry experience. And for nineteen bucks before additional charges, it’s the least anyone expects of these pizza fries.⠀

Thank you for having us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

Thanks to @rainraineeataway & @the_xw, I discovered @finerykitchen, yet another new-generation hawker stall selling Western food, and most excitingly of all, paella. Normally only found in European or Spanish restaurants, now you get to enjoy an individual serving of seafood paella for ten bucks flat in a coffeeshop.

As if the bargain price wasn’t enticing enough, the flavours are stellar. Sure, the solitary shrimp is slightly past its freshest, but its still quite acceptable. The grilled fish fillet, on the other hand, was positively divine. It’s herbed & seasoned spectacularly, and grilled flawlessly. The marvellously moist & firm fillet is topped with a creamy, herby & tangy sauce that just amplifies its lusciousness. The grilled squid were fantastically fresh and stunningly savoury, and these bouncy squid bits were an absolute pleasure to eat.⠀

I think that this might just be the first time where I’m complaining about having more seafood than carbs. That’s right, the piquant paella was supremely sapid, having absorbed the essence of the tomato-y seafood stock that it was simmered in. The rice is texturally great, albeit done a bit past al dente. However, the flavours are decidedly outstanding, and there simply isn’t quite enough of this exquisite rice to satisfy my need for heavenly flavours.⠀

Still, a paella this fab for ten bucks is an absolute steal of a deal. Finery Kitchen serves up some of the finest fare you’ll find round town, and you don’t even have to get into your Sunday finest to enjoy their fantastic food.

Besides shucking fresh oysters, @goodmangroupsingapore does have a small selection of cooked food. Considering that their Kinex outlet is quite a small place, I think we can excuse their lack of entrées on the menu.⠀

Out of the half dozen or so mains, the Goodman Classic Fish & Chips sounded the most appealing to me. At $12.90 nett, these fish & chips were decent enough for the price of admission. Two fish (probably dory) fillets are seasoned lightly, battered, and deep fried till they attain a glorious golden hue. The fish is decent enough, with just enough moisture retained and a sufficiently crispy batter. However, it does rely very heavily on the tartar sauce for sufficient flavouring.⠀

Truth be told, this ain’t really fish & chips, but just fish & fries. Still a decent chippy though, and I liked the coleslaw which was leaning towards the sweet end of the spectrum as a palate cleanser. With $1.90 oysters, affordably priced entrées, and nine buck pints of beer from the tap, the good lads at Goodman are doing some seriously good work.

Believe it or not, I actually found @goodmangroupsingapore while I was mindlessly scrolling around google maps. Anything to do with oysters has my curiosity, but Goodman had my full attention with one picture: a little board proclaiming that their oysters were only $1.90 nett a pop. As far as I know, $1.90 an oyster is the cheapest you can get in Singapore, so I hustled down to slurp on some shellfish sharpish. Thanks for wanting me to win for once, Google.⠀

The $1.90 oysters were actually a limited time promo, but the results were so good that Goodman decided to make it a permanent deal. And the best part about these oysters? They weren’t just some minuscule mollusks scraped off the keel of a fishing boat, oh no. These mammoth mollusks from Japan easily dwarf most other oysters out there. Yes, don’t adjust your screens: that is a platter, not a plate, and those lemon wedges are full sized.⠀

On average, these oysters will span from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your palm. They are exceptionally fresh, and pleasurably plump to boot. The briny, salty creaminess of the oysters are just downright irresistible with a splash of Tabasco and a squirt of lemon juice, and it’s all too easy to polish off these oysters in record timing. However, they can be pretty challenging as a one-biter, but that’s a challenge I’ll gladly accept.⠀

For just a dollar and ninety cents flat, you can savour the same oysters that Godzilla eats. If you’re looking for some massive mollusks that you don’t need to shell out too much for, the good men at Goodman Oyster Bar have you sorted.

The last time I sampled @mincedpork.bros bak chor mee, I was suitably impressed by the fantastic flavours of the Teochew Modern Pork Noodles, but was distinctly unimpressed by the puny portion. However, I am very pleased to announce that Minced Pork Bros take feedback seriously, and they upped their portion size to a truly respectable level.⠀

That’s right, this six dollar bowl of noodles now comes in super satisfying size, while retaining the same levels of sapidity that first won me over. The vivaciously vinegary sauce flavoured everything in the bowl, from the al dente meepok (thin flat noodles), to the minced pork, to the abalone. Tack on some crunchy lard cubes to this bad boy, and we’ve got a winner.⠀

Even though prices and inflation are going through the bloody roof, Minced Pork Bros have not cut quality or portion satisfaction. I respect that, bro. Respect.