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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
Xing Wei Chua

It seems like if there is anything good coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the fact that we seem to have been a little more motivated to try out F&B establishments that are pretty much fixtures in the neighbourhoods that they are at — established names that have been around for decades that not only serves the food items on their menu, but a slice of heritage and memory for those that goes through its doors; something which also inspired our recent visit to Steeple’s Deli.

Have heard about Charlie’s Corner for quite a while, and their rendition of the fish & chips is probably one that they seem to be very proud of. Being on the menu since their establishment in 1979, the Charlie’s Famous Fish & Chips still seem like a dish with a recipe that is very much relevant even to this day — something that not all establishments can pull off for an extended period of time. Much of the appeal for the fish & chips here lies in the batter; the fish itself is pretty flaky, and considerably void of a muddy odour, but I absolutely like how thin the batter was with this one — nothing too thick with pockets of air trapped within. Instead, the batter sticks closely to the fish encased within; all that without disintegrating as separate elements which makes it pretty neat to have. Even the fries are delicious here; still retains its crispness despite being left there for a while. Liked how they also provide more than just the garden greens on the side (which was a tad too bitter for my liking despite the drizzling of Goma dressing for flavour), but also a grilled tomato and corn that provides a refreshing zing and slight sweetness that cuts through the heaviness of the fried items.

Needless to say, Charlie’s Corner seem to be a spot where a lot of memories are held for some — overheard some conversation from another table reminiscing the good times they have had here over the years while having pints of beer at their table (because they were that loud; not that we wanted to hear 😅). That being said, there is something about the rustic charm of Changi Village that makes Charlie’s Corner a pretty unique spot with a heritage here ...

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Had been following this stall for quite a while — originally known as Cafe Wok Inn and subsequently as Mr. Fish & Chips at PoMo, they had since shifted out to Blk 125 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh ever since PoMo had closed for its revamp, and the stall had now recently re-opened its doors at Blk 206 Toa Payoh North under a new branding; now known as Master Chippy — a location that they had once been located in as Cafe Wok Inn.

Stuck to my standard order of the Tilapia for my Fish & Chips here — patrons can now pick between two sides, which I went for the Truffle Fries and Coleslaw. Glad to say that the fried fish still features a crisp beer-battered exterior; all that with the Tilapia still having its juices locked in and being flaky and sufficiently moist — pretty consistent standard from their days at PoMo when their operations had stabilised. Liked how each order also comes standard with crisp, fried crumbs of flour that are similar to the crunchy bits of fried batter that comes with the combo meals at Long John Silvers; fun to crunch on and provides a good break from the fish & chips. Truffle Fries are fairly decent; the generic fries are a little bit on the softer side here but it does come perfumed with an evident hint of truffle and shaved cheese over the top that further enhances those flavours, while the coleslaw comes served chilled; provides a refreshing crunch with a slightly milky hint of flavours in the mayo that it was mixed in.

Must say that they are one of the few establishments that are treating the pandemic really seriously — probably the only establishment I have encountered thus far that seals their dine-in cutlery (yes, metallic ones) in plastic wraps individually. Also recall that the couple running the stall to be very hospitable, friendly and passionate from their PoMo days — glad to have seen them expand their operations; pretty sure the residents around the area must be stoked for their return back here, considering how long a way they have come since moving out from here years ago!

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Have been waiting to give Homeground Grill & Bar a revisit for a while — pretty amazed by how the grilled meats that they have been serving up and how consistent the standards were during my first revisit some months ago.

Pretty torn between their Charcoal Grilled Whisky Ribeye and the Deep Fried Pork Chop but then ended up with the latter; and with good reason. Described as “savoury pork chops coated in buttermilk biscuit, paired with housemade coleslaw”, the Deep Fried Pork Chop is a dish I will gladly recommend on any visit here. Grilled pork chops have been notorious for being terribly dry and tough if not done well, but the fried pork chops here are absolutely delicious — not only was the flesh tender and sufficiently moist, it’s also the fried batter that is a winner here; crunchy yet crisp, the batter comes with a slight sweetness amidst the savouriness of fried food which was absolutely addictive. A dish that is difficult to give a pass on whenever I am here!

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Checked out Jimmy Monkey Cafe’s newest outlet at PLQ 3, which is located within the compounds of Park Place Residences at PLQ at Level One facing City Plaza and is open to public.

Whilst being known for their specialty coffee and comforting brunches at one-north, their PLQ 3 outlet serves a brand-new dinner menu.

Featuring elements such as Lemony Sumac Potatoes, Roquette-Hazelnut Pesto and Roasted Roots with the Sticky Honey Chili Sakura Pork Belly, this item may be the priciest dish on their dinner menu at S$34++, but is pretty well-portioned as “Bigger than small” plate that can work as a item to be shared at the table. The highlight here would be the pork belly; liked how the cut that they have used here comes with a good mix of lean and fatty meat that provides for some bite amidst the gelatinous fats that is melt-in-the-mouth — all drenched in their sticky honey chili that feels like a savoury sambal that is lightly sweet in its body and carrying a moderately-fiery kick that tingles the taste buds, providing a punchy flavour for the dish. The roasted root vegetables are crisp on the outside, and comes with a soft crunch; goes pretty well with the sticky honey chili, but it is the pesto that provides a refreshing and aromatic zing that takes most of the heaviness away from the sambal, fatty parts of the pork belly, and root vegetables.

Pleasantly surprised by their somewhat contemporary plates at PLQ 3 — a refreshing change from their usual brunch plates served at one-north; a quiet getaway from the hustle & bustle from the main PLQ area, though only outdoor seatings are available here.

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Ordered something convenient because my family was craving for pizza over the weekend. Not the first time having the Laksalicious Pizza; the first time being sometime in the middle of the Circuit Breaker because we have had a disappointing pizza delivery a couple of weeks prior from another joint.

Opted for the Hand-stretched Thin Crust for both pizzas; thought the thin crust was a little thicker for the Laksalicious Pizza than the Sambalicious Sardine Pizza (but oh well; the inconsistency spells hand-stretched might be really a thing here).

Between the two, the Laksalicious Pizza would certainly be my pick; can’t get over how the rempah spices are brought out so evidently in this one — all that amidst that creaminess and cheesiness which seems to hint of a similar base used in their Ocean Delight, not to mention the usual stuff one will find in a bowl of Laksa such as prawns, de-shelled cockles, half-boiled egg and a slightly spicy kick that should work well for those with moderate tolerance to spiciness. The Sambalicious Sardine Pizza is much like a forgotten child amidst their marketing campaign; lesser heard of and honestly, less exciting to have — just a tad too salty and greasy for our liking with the sambal and sardine verging on overwhelming the cheese, making it a little dull in comparison with the punchier Laksalicious Pizza.

Would say I am not one who actually bothers much about their pizzas usually, but to have the Laksalicious Pizza twice speaks a little about how much I actually like it considering it’s a Pizza Hut creation, and that’s pretty rare.

From Meat & Greet; a western food stall that is situated within the compounds of Sprout Hub in City Sprouts at Henderson Road just a stone’s throw away from Bukit Merah Town Centre. Located within an old school canteen, Meat & Greet also shares its compounds with Pyroast (a stall serving specialty coffee), LOK-KOL (a stall serving Lok Lok) and o-kome (a stall serving rice bowls).

Serving up some interesting starters in its menu, the main focus here for its dinner menu would be their meats — the Beef Brisket is undeniably delicious here; probably one of the most tender and juicy ones I have had in a while and being sufficiently flavourful and not too gamey. Liked how the meat just does not come across as hard to chew apart, and it paired well with the caramalised onions — the sweetness cutting through the gaminess of the meat for a balanced flavour. Each main comes with a choice of two sides, of which we opted for the Cajun Fries and Magic Mushrooms; the former being quite a surprise given how their Cajun Fries are being served in the form of Curly Fries, while the Magic Mushrooms comes as a medley of various mushrooms that provides an earthy and light sweet crunch of various textures. A pretty good spot that is situated away from the crowds; I know I may have missed out the value-for-money lunch deals but thanks to @foodforfoong for the recommendation — somewhere that I am actually looking forward to return to!

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From the new Steakgrill which had opened its doors recently; hidden within the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio at Blk 408, it is located just a stone's throw away from 409 AMK Market and Food Centre, slightly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of AMK Hub and the town centre.

The highlight here would be the beef dishes; offering different cuts of beef, patrons would also be entitled to two of the signature sides for every order — opting for the doneness of medium rare, we picked the Mac & Cheese and Crispy Fries for our order, with Mushroom sauce for our choice of sauce (the other being Black Pepper). Going straight for the meat, the slab of steak was done with a pinkish centre; carrying a balance of leaness and fattiness, the meat was easy to chew without needing much effort in slicing through, whilst not being particularly gamey and well-seasoned with pepper and salt over the top. The mushroom sauce provides a creamy, earthy note with chunks of mushroom to chew on, while the sides were also pretty on point — the Mac & Cheese being a crowd pleaser with the use of nacho cheese-esque cheese sauce that laces the macaroni, yet blanketed with a layer of melted cheese for more flavour and a stretchy texture, while the Crispy Fries reminds me of those usually served at Long John Silvers with some excess batter for an extra crunch. At $22, this may not necessarily be the cheapest steak around, but certainly one that is well-priced for its quality given its location in the heartlands — a convenient location for quality steak at the price point, and a spot that I would not mind picking for satisfying Western in the comfort of aircon, away from the hustle and bustle of crowded town centres and shopping centres alike.

Hidden away within the Crawford Lane neighbourhood, Italian Osteria X is a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria which does primarily takeaway orders. Pretty impressed by the one-man show situation here; the same guy who takes your orders and gives your recommendations at the table is also the very same person who would man the counter, make your pizzas, clear your tables and also serving other customers — a very humble, small-scale operation that showcases the passion and effort behind his craft.

The Parma "Garden" features elements such as Parma Ham, Arugula and Mozzarella; the dough being made freshly in-house and it shows — the pizza crust is light and fluffy, giving a firm bite but not overly dense nor stodgy, carrying a slight char without being that burnt bitterness. Smothering a tomato-based sauce over the pizza crust, the sauce provides a refreshing, tangy base for the cured meat and melted mozzarella; the latter being all gooey and stretchy — a pretty balanced flavour profile which gives contrast to the savoury pizza. Attempting to cut through the savoury notes of the pizza as well would be the arugula; the bitter undertones of the leaves help to further balance those flavours, providing even more contrast to the pizza. At $19.90 for a 12-inch pizza (also the only size available for all the pizzas offered here), this is certainly a steal; no doubt the crust seemed to have some difficulty holding up the weight of the toppings with the toppings closer to the centre sliding off the pizza, but it is in no way soggy or too wet. A hidden gem in a quaint, sleepy estate, we wish the folks behind Italian Osteria X all the best in serving quality, affordable pizzas at the foot of a HDB block.

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Pretty surprised how this was located within a Prime Supermarket; a concept that seems to be a new addition to the newer outlets located at Buangkok Square Mall and Blk 461 Yishun Avenue 6, Fishy People Cafe serves up only three items — all of which being fish-related dishes such as Fish & Chips, Fish Soup and Poke Bowl.

Was pretty impressed by the Fish Soup as well as this; the former being a clean-tasting, tomato-based version coming with a choice of either sliced, fried or mixed (mix of both sliced and fried fish) — pretty refreshing. The Fish & Chips was undeniably a stunner; whilst coming slightly more expensive than that served in a coffeeshop or food court at a price of $10.00, this was one Fish & Chips that is of a decent quality for its price — not particularly greasy, generous portions of fish with a crisp batter that is not too thick, and crisp fried that are well-seasoned. Have had many renditions of Fish & Chips elsewhere, but this is certainly more than what I would expect out of a supermarket's diner — one that surpasses that of some coffeeshop stalls and even cafes that serves similar dishes up. And now, I am only left with hoping for a Prime Supermarket to open in my neighbourhood...

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From the newly-opened Wursthans Switzerland; a new dining establishment serving up Swiss cuisine featuring grilled meat and sausages which recently opened its doors at PLQ Mall besides Starbucks and Mom's Touch.

Opted for the Swiss Sausage Meal which comes with a choice of sausage (went with the Cheesy Chicken Sausage), Rosti, Roasted Vegetables, choice of sauce (we picked the Spicy Chipotle) and Iced Elderflower Tea. Coming with disposable utensils by default, the main star here seems to be the sausage; the Cheesy Chicken Sausage is pretty decent — pretty bouncy and snappy with oozy cheese within without being overly salty. The Spicy Chipotle sauce matches the sausage well, helping to provide a slight zing and a light kick of spiciness to help ante up the flavours of the sausage; a level of spiciness that should not be of a big issue to those who may not have a high tolerance to spiciness. The Rosti was decent; though coming a little small, the Rosti features potatoes that comes rather thinly-shredded. Not as crusty as the ones served by Marche (pretty much a standard to compare considering how most have had their first Rosti there), the Rosti here also carries a slightly heavier char in terms of flavour, though thankfully was not burnt. Roasted vegetables were also decent; providing a balance between the Rosti and the sausage, the vegetables carry a slight char and provides a crunch as well. A rather decent eat, though not something I would rush back for to have again.

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Bacon Curried Rice, Raisins, Tomato Basil Paste, Organic Jammy Egg, Caramelised Onion, Sour Cream. One of the new items available at Atlas Coffeehouse which had since reopened after an extensive renovation which carries a different look from before.

Essentially almost akin to Pineapple Fried Rice spiked with chunks of bacon all over, the rice comes slightly sweet yet with a hint of curry spice, made savoury from the bits of bacon that speckled throughout the entire bowl. The Organic Jammy Egg is done to a texture where the egg yolk is a little hardened but still creamy, though not oozy and flowy like a typical sous-vide egg; I would have probably preferred having it sous-vide or molten to allow the yolk to better mix into the rice for better flavour. That being said, the caramelised onions were extremely on-point with its sweetness — a very distinct note that works extremely well with the rice while the sour cream, though a little unnecessary for me, does help in providing a slightly neutral flavour yet adding some creaminess into the dish. Everything is still done as per standards familiar to Atlas Coffeehouse, Colombus Coffee Co., and Lunar Coffee Brewers; pretty excited to give the other new items a go another time.

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Crispy Brown Rice Crusted Salmon, Seafood Miso Tamarind Broth infused with Dried Chili, Daikon, Bamboo Shoot, Braised Eggplant, Leek Tempura. From FarmAppetit; a new establishment which had taken over the former premises of KEK Seafood Pandan Gardens.

Serving up pretty much Western fare with their very own twist, this item comes with a Japanese influence and a very slight local twist. Really enjoyed the Seafood Miso Tamarind Broth; a savoury and light broth that was pretty clean in terms of flavour and easy to have — went well with the flavours of the salmon which was fresh and came with a brown rice crust that gives it a good crunch. Other items such as the Daikon provides a soft bite, while the bamboo shoot gives a crunch; the Leek Tempura also giving a good bite whilst being crisp and all. Pretty liked how this dish was just something that warms up the heart; very clean notes yet with a variety of textures. A little pricey considering the neighbourhood it is located at, but a place that is certainly a hard find in this area of Singapore.

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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