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Bring On The Carbs

Bring On The Carbs

Atkins-schmatkins. These pastas, risottos, breads, rice and noodles can all banish carb's bad rep.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua
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Two visits in three days. The first for the official launch party that happened last Friday night, the second on my own accord to have lunch on Sunday.
Shown above is our order of the Linguine with Sautéed Clams. It is a simple yet satisfying dish. I really liked the broth of white wine, garlic and parsley and wished there was more of it.
For a change, I have decided that the next time I’m here, it is a must to walk over to the market place and pick out a piece of steak or a sole fish (I spotted some lovely ones) and have the kitchen team cook it instead.

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H O S T E D
My second visit to this restaurant, this time courtesy of an invitation by Mango PR, cements it as one of my new favourite pasta places in Singapore. What’s more, if you can’t say no to wine pairing (and trust me, you shouldn’t), you can be sure Co-owner and Master Sommelier Ronald Kamiyama will ply you with some very excellent choices. We were grinning like the Cheshire Cat over his discerning selection, especially the exceptional and rare natural orange wine from Japan he pulled out for our final and very umami pasta.
Speaking of pastas, of the five Co-owner and Executive Chef Aun cooked for us last night, one of my top picks would be the NEW Jalapeño Pesto ($28++). Not to say the rest weren’t tasty because they all were but this is a must-try if you can handle hot food. It’s a brilliant combo of spiciness with a sourish note offset by a pounded mix of pistachios and pine nuts and ricotta salata.

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At $18++, they may not be cheap but I have to say, the steakhouse-style, thick-cut Truffle Fries are dangerously addictive. They are crisp on the outside and beautifully soft and mealy on the inside. The aroma of the truffle is strong and to make it even more intense, the fries come with a side of truffle-laced aioli for dipping.
Other side dishes you can also consider getting are the Green Asparagus ($20++) and Mac & Cheese ($15++) that I thought were executed on point.

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Strictly speaking, you don’t have to order this because they come complimentary with every meal. But I just needed to share about the garlic bread here because it is seriously fantastic. They come piping hot and filled with plenty of melted garlic butter. Even if you are on a low-carb diet, this is something you should not miss.

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This plate of sinfulness at “Tian Tian Seafood Restaurant” became a blip on my radar thanks to Caecilia (Instagram: @singaporeliciouz) who had posted about it some time ago.
I got around to trying it when my dad and I visited the seafood “zichar” spot along Outram Road this evening. To be frank, the dish is super simple - instant noodles stirfried with minced pork in a bit of sambal chilli and pork lard, then topped with a fried egg and luncheon meat. Anyone can probably rustle this up at home but it doesn’t change the fact that hoovering up those curly strands and chomping on the thick pieces of fried luncheon meat sparked joy in me.

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Here’s what I learned from the praise-worthy pasta that my friends Angeline and Milly ordered: Preserved lemon juice is nothing like the juice from an ordinary lemon.
The sharpness and acidity is blunted but the taste develops into something broader and wonderfully complex. It is the backbone of the luscious sauce that coats this plate of handmade spagettini, sea urchin, small cubes of clean-tasting Patagonian toothfish and shavings of “heart of palm”, festooned with shiso flowers.
In summary, a beautifully executed dish that’s light but not at all common or simple. Which makes it the ideal choice if you are after a less heavy main course in the weekday 4-course set lunch ($55++) offered at Preludio.

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H O S T E D
When you want pasta but also something unapologetically Asian, this “Hae Bee Hiam Spaghettini” can be found right smack in the intersection of that Venn Diagram.
Available at the newly-opened Relish at Frasers Tower, it’s a Mod Sin dish created by Owner-chef Willin a long time ago but has remained a firm favourite for many due to a simple reason - it is really shiok. The fragrance and moreish flavour comes courtesy of the spicy mix of minced dried scallops and shrimps (it’s just like an “XO sauce”) that the fine al dente strands of pasta are tossed in.

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Recently, I seem to be encountering some exceptional interpretations of the humble nasi biryani. Just prior to digging into the sensational one at Fat Fuku’s peranakan private dining last Tuesday, I had actually feasted on another delicious creation the Friday before. This was here at “Thevar” and that’s what’s pictured above.
The “Berry Pulao” by Head Chef and Co-owner Mano Thevar was sheer pleasure to eat as the grains were cooked light and loose, yet infused with an inordinate amount of fragrance and flavour from Indian spices. They were also infiltrated bountifully by cheerily sweet cranberries, softly-crunchy pistachios, chopped chives and wispy fried onions. A little dish of cucumber onion raita stood by in case some cool yogurty goodness was needed. I must confess, I hardly touched it as the rice had my full attention.

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H O S T E D
This is Head Chef Bertram’s take on our local prawn noodles. The fettuccine is cooked a tad softer than al dente but seems to go well with the seafood reduction sauce that’s quite umami. In terms of seafood, you can expect to find little neck clams, baby squid and crab meat.
I noticed that quite a few of the other customers seated around us had ordered this pasta for lunch. Looks like seafood pasta will always be an automatic choice for many.

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The rice noodles were fried a little clumpy the evening we were there but it was so tasty, all was forgiven. They threw in small pieces of “tau kwa” and more than a few prawns with the noodles, and served it with a pile of fat, crunchy raw beansprouts. I skipped sprinkling of the sugar and ground peanuts as I don’t like my Pad Thai too sweet. A squeeze of the wedge of lime was enough seasoning for me.

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H O S T E D
If you like truffle oil and happen to be fond of light, fresh flavours, then you ought not miss the Scallops & Cold Pasta, one of the many additions to the new menu at @bearded.bella.
The scallops are first seared before they’re arranged on a large serving of al dente angel hair. Entwined with the strands of pasta are gelatinously-crunchy chuka wakame - they are those bright green strands of seaweed visible in my photo. Both are marinated in a lovely blend of truffle oil and yuzu ponzu.
The aroma and taste of this dish veers towards the delicate. As it is served chilled, the pleasure of slurping up the slender strands of pasta is enhanced.
When the weather is sweltering and the thought of eating something hot makes your sweat pores worry, this would do very nicely.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
There is a new cafe in the heart of Orchard Road.
Opened by the same folks behind “Birds Of A Feather”, the food menu at “Halcyon & Crane” which is developed by a different Head Chef, shares the same overarching theme of Modern European with a Sichuan influence, albeit with a focus on healthful café fare.
At the hosted tasting this week, the two dishes I found to my personal liking the most were quite coincidentally, the ones with beef.
One of these was the Specialty Beef & Tomato Braised Rice. True comfort food is how I would describe it as the soft-cooked mixed grains of pearl rice, brown rice, pearl barley and kamut came swimming in a rich tomato, beef and beetroot broth dotted with ultra tender pieces of brisket. Rounding it all off beautifully: some Parmesan cheese and a 64-degree sous vide egg.
It wasn’t just me who liked this a lot. The other individuals from the media seated at my table also scraped their bowls clean.

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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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