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Restaurant Gems

Restaurant Gems

My choice of standout dishes that are above typical cafe fare. They range from semi-formal to almost fine dining.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua
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One of new dishes on the menu at the brand new flagship outlet of The Marmalade Pantry is the “Curry Barramundi”. I see it as a creative take on the traditional curry fish head that is conveniently sized down for a single person’s serving.
There are two large, boneless pieces of the pan-fried fish so it’s easy to enjoy, and you get to choose how much of the curry you want on them as it comes in a little jug on the side. Speaking of the curry, I thought it was wonderfully fragrant, rich and thick. It tasted to me like a hybrid of Peranakan and Indian curries and was spicy but not overly so. As for the vegetables, the lady’s fingers and eggplant were cooked lightly while the baby tomatoes were left raw.


First world problems: When the chunks of Wagyu beef brisket in the “Spezzatino” are so big, they make the handmade parpadelle hard to find... 😂

After that momentary panic, my friend Alessia and I dug in and promptly fell into the kind of blissful oblivion you get only with food that is overwhelmingly delicious.

I love how deeply flavourful this Italian beef stew dish by Chef-owner Takashi is. And the beef brisket so tender each chunk just gives up and collapses whenever a cutlery so much as touches it. The broad ribbons of pappardelle hit the all-important al dente point of perfection and I’m not embarrassed to say I found myself obsessed with fishing for every last strand of it.

Bottom line: Order this you must.


Got an early dose of 年年有余 today with this 鱼. To be specific, a Snapper prepared Mediterranean style (serves 2, price; $45+).
Weighing about 600gms, it’s been panfried then smothered in a rich tomato sauce with capers and green olives. Served with the fish are four thick slices of fluffy sourdough which are perfect for mopping up the sauce.

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Potato and caviar. Not a combination you see everyday but oh my goodness, does it work beautifully. Those briny pops grab hold of the ultra soft potato and take it for a spin on the spark machine.
If you happen to see it on the menu, I suggest ordering it pronto.


It’s been a while since I had this at the hosted tasting. But the vegetable dishes by Head Chef Seumas Smith have left me with such an indelible impression I always make sure to recommend friends who’re headed there to order them.
Take this plate of carrots for instance - it made quite a journey before appearing here in all its glory. Every step was integral to the amazing flavour finale, beginning with the carrots being confit in butter, then charcoal-grilled in the INKA oven before the final stage where brown butter, black sesame seeds, parsley and honey were added.
I’m sure this and the other vegetable items have enough yumminess to please even the more hardcore meat-lovers out there.

I can’t believe I am saying this but sometimes, even I find the full-bodied creaminess of bone marrow a bit much. Thus, I think it’s rather brilliant of the chefs at @bedrocksg to blanket their dish of roasted bone marrow with parsley salad. This herbaceous topping cuts through the richness by layering on aroma and a lovely fresh spark.
At $25++ for three hefty pieces of bone, troughs brimming in marrow, plus a side of toasts to gob all that lusciousness on, I think this is a dish you won’t want to miss getting as a starter to share.

We found all of the starters that were included in our planned menu, to be superb. One of which was the Baked Camembert. It was covered with a garlic spread and embellished with salty bursts of capers. The combination of those with the lightly pungent and oozy melted cheese, made it impossibly addictive.
Order this to share as it will leave you to full to enjoy anything else if you attempt to eat one by yourself.


This is a favourite of the PR lady who hosted me for the lunch at @birdsofafeathersg. After tasting it, the “Sichuan Oxtail Soup” has gone on my list of must-return-for-more.
When you break it down, this is basically soup and bread but interpreted very deliciously by Head Chef Eugene See.
The clear oxtail broth is made by boiling the cut of meat-on-bone with scallion oil, leek, spring onions, angelica root, dangshen (the “poor men's ginseng”), yuzhu (fragrant solomonseal rhizome) and big chunks of radish, which accounts for its hugely satisfying depth of flavour.
Feather-light and flaky to the nth degree, the spring onion arlette is also Chef’s version of the classic 葱油饼 (spring onion pancake). I love how he uses laminated puff pastry so it harks of French croissants.
You can choose to heat things up by adding in the spicy and fragrant housemade sauce. I also found dipping the oxtail meat and radish in the sauce to be very tasty.


Take me back please, to this moment when the Steak Frites first appeared in front of us. These are the Victoria’s Secrets supermodels of food - their otherworldly perfection drawing eyes effortlessly wherever they appear.
But nothing, I repeat, nothing beats popping one in your mouth.
The amalgamation of melt-in-the-mouth steak tartare with the creamy brine of caviar on crunchy, salty fried potato is I-need-a-moment-gotta-close-my-eyes good. And that’s what makes this a real piece of heaven.


I’ve always considered the “Black Truffle & Fontina Cheese Pizza” here as a must-have. And then one night last week, we got really lucky and struck gold. Black gold to be exact because the game got upped with a truckload of freshly shaved black truffle. As you can imagine, that truffle-on-truffle action was lit AF.
Thank you Chef Dwayne for “forgetting” to stop when you’re having fun 😜


Now here is an absolutely ravishable eggplant.
Although if you ask me, I am not sure what exactly was done to it. I just know it’s sans skin but has a thin layer of crunch and beneath that, nothing but almost-melting softness.
When eaten with the luxurious miso cream and tiny bits of smoky dried chilli, the mouthfeel and taste was so wondrous I actually did a double take.


Achingly beautiful, this is is “surf & turf” taken to otherworldly levels.
Together, the velvety soft folds of fire-kissed beef and the sea urchin’s oceanic creaminess took my tastebuds on such a joyride, they ain’t going to stop talking about it anytime soon.


Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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