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Western Grub

Western Grub

Everyone's favourite, be it if you are a child, teenager or an adult. Food that we will never get tired of and leave you wanting for more!
Xing Wei Chua
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From 私房菜 by MJS Food Culture; a newly-opened concept at Upper Weld Road that is a stone's throw away from Jalan Besar MRT Station — the concept features both Chinese (mainly local tzechar offerings) and Western dishes under one roof; the interior featuring and eclectic mix of styles that doesn't sit very comfortably with me but still pretty plush overall.

Didn't really expect much from here but the Fish & Chips were definitely above average and came pretty presentable even. The fries here are more in the thick, soft and fluffy side rather than the crisp, criss-cut ones that I would prefer; that being said, the fries are well-seasoned with salt nonetheless. The fried fish were actually pretty decent; though the batter was slightly thicker, it was crisp with the Fish being flaky and smooth — pretty fresh I would say. What was the most intriguing would have been the salad dressing; it features a slight sweet yet tart flavour reminiscent to mango — quite refreshing overall.

Opted for this and it's certainly satisfying; the Pork collar being immensely tender yet without a porky stench — the Mustard & Sage sauce providing an additional tang to cut through the meatiness overall. While there wasn't an option to choose the two sides (the sides aren't stated on the menu as well), the baby potatoes came spot on just like how I will do them at home; a little sprinkle of salt and a bit of rosemary for some flavour — slightly roasty with a crisp skin while with a soft interior. I am not one who likes peas, but I could get past a few spoonfuls of peas here — it's actually pretty well-executed, considering how it did not actually taste half as "green" as what had expected them to be.

From SAGE Restaurant & Bar at Parc Sovereign Albert which replaces the now-defunct Parc Cafe & Restaurant — this new restaurant is seemingly more like a gastro-bar concept which serves bar grub as well as contemporary French cuisine on their menu.

Served with elements such as Lemon Sabayon, Asparagus, Smoked Bacon and Parmesan and Spices Fume, this dish is being served with a dramatic entry where the fumes would escape the jar once the lid is open the provide a smoky aesthetic typical of similar dishes at fine dining joints. That being said, the dish felt like it lacked integration; a good concept but somehow the ingredients were each playing their own tune — the lack of a runny egg yolk despite the egg being sous-vide also seemed to be a little disappointing; you know, the little heartbreak one has when they like that egg yolk and it just doesn't flow. That being said, probably an item that would do well if they could refine their execution a little.

Hadn't dropped by M Seven Cafe in a while; pretty surprised how the Rosti actually left a more lasting impression than their Pasta. Crisp Rosti that's all crusty without being too greasy, while the sour cream helps to cut through the grease and savoury flavours pretty nicely. Sunny side-up was satisfyingly flowy, while the salmon was pretty decent — pan-fried with a considerably crisp skin and flaky flesh that carried the natural flavours of the fish well. While costing $12.90 ala-carte, this item is a steal for the set lunch promo here at $11.90; comes complete with a drink of your choice (which I went for a Flat White). Works great for the occasional treat for office workers and students alike in the area.

Yishun was a town that Woodlanders rarely make their way down to, but the recent opening of the various stores at the South Wing is probably going to draw the crowds back here. Amongst the list of F&B concepts opening here are Gyoza-Ya, Kanshoku Ramen Bar (opening soon) and Big Fish Small Fish; just a selection of my favourite eateries around.

Glad to report that Big Fish Small Fish's new outlet is a hit; not only are they able to keep to their previous standards set at the Punggol Container Bistro branch, they also had introduced a number of new dishes that makes their menu look more extensive than before (think fried fish with rice and fish sandwiches). Fish was flaky as always, with the moisture of the flesh still retained within while the batter was crisp without trapping too much oil within — pretty good on its own. The potato crisps were also crispy without being soggy; not particularly greasy as well — one can help themselves to the free-flow sauce bar which feature quite a number of sauces to go along with the crisps, but my favourite has to be the curry mayo that carries a good hint of the flavours of the spices whilst being creamy; also fits those who have a low tolerance for spiciness considering how it's not exactly spicy at all. A place that I would really look forward to revisit soon, especially given how it's not too far away from me now that they had opened at Northpoint City!

From The Great Mischief at The Great Madras at Madras Street, a new Spanish Tapas concept that is run by The Black Hole Group which operates other F&B concepts such as Santap, Working Title, Afterwit and The Mad Sailors which are popular with the Muslim community here.

The Bikini Party is essentially their variant of the Bikini Sandwich — Black Truffle Paste, Cheese and Turkey Ham between toast. Quite decent for something that could hardly go wrong; crisp toast with melted cheese with ham and a hint of truffle aroma in between. Quite something within what was expected and presented on the table.

The portion size seemed pretty generous here — the thick-cut fries were crisp on the exterior, whilst being soft and fluffy within. Makes for a good snack while waiting for the other items to arrive on the table.

From Butler's Steak — Butler's Steak shares a space at Jiak Chuan Road with Bao Makers currently; Bao Makers operates in the morning, while Butler's Steak takes over from the evening. Butler's Steak serves up steak, burgers, sides and desserts; a menu that is entirely different from Bao Makers.

The Butler Steak is a Black Angus Flat Iron Steak that is available in limited portions daily — we specified ours to come medium rare. Done with pinkish center, the steak was a little chewy at certain parts especially with some veiny bits. Liked how it did come with a bit of salt to help enhance the flavours of the beef a little, while the beef wasn't in any way gamey. The Butler Steak also comes with salad on the side served in a glass container as well.

From Charcoal Man Street Eats at ION Food Opera which prides itself over the charcoal-grilled meats that they have on the menu — the outfit also owns Charcoal Man Sumiyaki at Bedok Point which opened over the weekend, serving up more Japanese-style eats.

The Chargrilled Hainanese Pork Chop came with Fries, Baked Beans, Soft Roll and Coleslaw as standard sides — the main star (the Pork chop) comes with an evident hint of smokiness that I particularly enjoyed; this version sees that tangy Tomato sauce that is carefully drenched over the moist and tender Pork Chop. Fries were well-seasoned for flavour, while the baked beans were a tad more generic; the coleslaw is noticeable creamier and thicker than the usual, while the soft roll wasn't my cup of tea (slightly mushy from the moisture within the display cabinet they were steamed in). Overall, a decent eat at $7.90.

Returned to South Union Park again because they seemed to have added in a new dish to their menu recently. Yet another dish that is hard not to fall in love with here — those plump, seared prawns that delivered a good bite and provided a hint of crustacean sweetness, the Risotto that isn't too wet nor dry with bits of breadcrumbs within for a crunch whilst carrying a tangy (from the Basil Pesto) yet slightly sweet flavour of carrots with bits of small, chopped up pieces of carrots for a bit of texture. A dish that again manages to impress — one that encompasses all aspects from execution to flavours and texture; a new favourite found!

From Kyodai, a new hole-in-the-wall Japanese fusion eatery at Hotel Bencoolen which primarily serves the takeaway crowd — the eatery has five counter seats situated along the walkway of Hotel Bencoolen to cater to dine-in customers, though the counter tables are a tad high in comparison to the stools (they would be re-adjusting the height of the counter soon however).

The Gyoco is a fusion of Taco and Gyoza — seaweed, sushi rice, shabu shabu beef that is cooked with wasabi butter all encased in a taco shell that is similar to a Gyoza wrap. Sold in twos, the Gyoco is actually pretty crisp, while the entire package was not too messy to eat save for the stray pieces of Gyoza skin that broke off whenever we took a bite. Flavour-wise, the dish was actually more on the buttery side, perhaps due to the wasabi utter used while mostly savory from the Gyoza wrap — not too bad actually.

From Meat Market, a new eatery that specializes in wood-grilled meats at Hougang One that is situated right opposite Thai Super Bowl. The place offers a wide variety of meats available in pre-determined sets or in the form of "Build Your Own" platters where patrons can mix-and-match the meats, sides and sauces according to their preferences. Other items such as Sandwiches and Pasta featuring their wood-grilled meats are also available.

Opted for the Pork Collar, while picking the Truffle Fries for my choice of side and Honey Garlic for the sauce. The Pork Collar was tender but could have been juicier — the meat somewhat feels more broiled than actually wood-grilled here, lacking any crusty bits on the exterior whilst also short of any form of smokiness. The Fries were decent; more of the slightly limp sort seasoned with truffle salt, while the sauce was actually pretty garlicky amidst the sweetness, though didn't really last after a few dips with the meat.

PS: it's incredibly strange how the area around the kitchen carries a strong, smoky smell that most patrons aren't quite willing to sit within the area, yet the Pork Collar seemed to lack of any smokiness in its flavour. Also, the some of the seats here are placed in an odd positions, blocking the path of the service staff from collecting the food off the window and also the door leading to the kitchen — really strange placement of seats here.

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