Western and European loves

Western and European loves

Cause these two aren't always distinct. From the affordable to the mindblowingly expensive shizzam, here's a sum of the yummies I've tried.
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

Me being me, seeing images of this itty bitty taco floating around my feed I was feeling a tad apprehensive about it. How good can an index-sized taco be to warrant the price tag of $7++? Only way to go: down it all in a single bite...then drown in sheer bliss. Ooooh this may be tiny, but it packs a fabulous punch. Super fresh, firm yet tender cubes of cured catfish, flavoured with tangy and sweet umeboshi, held in by a beautifully blistered and crisp taco shell. Oddly this really reminded me of our annual cny yusheng, but a more modern, contemporary sorta way. It’s fun, exciting, and really really tasty. I’d pay the whole $7 for this any time bruhs.

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We had their Falafel Burger ($13) which came with a huge falafel patty, grilled tomato steak, sour cream, chilli, onion, pickles, and aioli stuffed in a super fluffy pita pocket. As a whole, this was fabulous. The pita was amazing: warm and pillowy, thick enough to firmly hold all the ingredients in without being too dense or heavy, with a beautifully nutty sweet toasty fragrance. Every component was well-executed as well and came together into a comforting, mega satisfying meat-free meal. If anything, we found the falafel a tad salty. It balances out well with all the other components though, and I wouldn’t have noticed it if not for the unevenly spread sauces. All in all, I’ll definitely come by to try the other items on their menu if they sort out their service-related hiccups.

Whether it’s the crisp, browned (even blackened) bits that’ve patiently sat through the Maillard reaction, stubbornly holding on to all the delicious drippings, or the melt-in-your-mouth rendered fat that’s just pure gold and 200% goodness — there’s just something about the burnt ends of meats that’s so crazily sexy. Especially when they come serve with some sweet and sour beetroot pickles and a touch of tangy mustard sauce. So sinfully good 🤤

For $48++, you get this entire 500g wheel of spectacular French milk cheese, oven baked with your choice of sautéed onions and bacon/wild mushrooms/white wine, then served with either bread or steamed potatoes. Maaaan if you like all things creamy, rich, and goopy like I do, you’d love this to bits. The only problem you could possibly face with this, is that once you pull a warm one out of the oven and start eating it, it’s impossible to stop.

1 Like

The 1-for-1 deal applies to their 500g moules-frites which comes in 7 different sauces, and guuuuys I have to say this is SO WORTH IT. The portion’s massive. Each pot can easily feed 2 if you’re having other starters or drinks to go with. Though the mussels are smaller than the usual Australian ones, in exchange for size what we get instead are these beautiful orangey-yellow French Bouchot mussels that are bursting with flavour. Absolutely delicious. The Thailandaises here comes with a sauce of chilli, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, white wine and coconut, and was our favourite of the night. I would’ve liked the spices to come across more aggressively (perhaps with some galangal and a squeeze of lime?) and for them to hold back on the salt a little, but as it is this was really easy to eat and lovely to dunk the fries in.

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I mean we’ve got this piping hot pie of creamed kale, halloumi cheese and lots of meaty mushrooms, resting beneath this gloriously crispy, golden, noodle-like pastry. Textural contrast: ✔️ Super creamy and cheesy filling: ✔️ They’ve got the makings of the perfect pie really. Except...3 bites in it all got waaaay too salty. Perhaps it was just an off day for them (our thicc hashbrown also had seasoning issues that night), but what started off as a great dish turned out so salty we barely finished half of it. Which was a real bummer cause otherwise it was epic.

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No there isn’t — and that’s a declaration not an opinion, especially at Olivia. Thin slivers of cured, melt-in-your-mouth iberico, carrying hints of nuttiness and a touch of sweetness, paired with lightly acidic tomatoes and fabulous bread. Tell me, how can there be anything better?

If you like eggplants, stewed veggies, and olive oil, you’ll like this iconic Mediterranean dish: imam bayildi. To be fair I’ve not had this anywhere else so there’s nothing to compare Artichoke’s against, but their rendition is, without doubt, absolutely delicious. What you’ve got is a plate of eggplants stuffed with tomatoes and onions, simmered in oil till they practically disintegrate and melt in your mouth. It’s extremely confit-like, if not for the clearly roasted exterior and how the eggplant’s absorbed all the amazing flavours from its stuffing. All those intense flavours are then balanced out with dollops of creamy yogurt, and a generous glug of fruity olive oil. Grab some bread and tuck in to this, just trust me on it.

5 Likes

Don’t get me wrong, texture wise it was absolutely fantastic and I think this concept of a really thick hashbrown as opposed to the thin ones is a stroke of genius. It’s super crispy on the outside with that lovely golden crust, and the inside’s so pillowy and soft, it kinda reminds me of confit potatoes. The issue here though, is that our hashbrown was completely unseasoned. Which, to me, is a big...why guys. They’ve got this mountain of sour cream on top, which will a add a lovely chilled, creamy, and acidic contrast; but having no salt at all made it all really unbalanced and unpleasant. It could be a mistake that our portion wasn’t salted, but even if it was it’s such a rookie mistake idk what to say 😞

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Contrary to its namesake sea asparagus ain’t actually asparagus, and is actually a succulent commonly found at coastal areas. That means the veggie’s already naturally seasoned, and basically plump with salt water. Artichoke attempts to balance this intense brininess (I believe) with creamy labneh (exceptional btw) and pickled garlic, but unfortunately I still found the final dish overwhelmingly salty. The first bite was great, but as we went along even having it with bread wasn’t enough to mitigate the saltiness. Perhaps if the pickled garlic carried more zest and a touch of sweetness (it tasted more like raw garlic, so the pungency didn’t really help), or if there were a fresh squeeze of citrus, it would’ve been a lot more enjoyable.

1 Like

I’ve heard many wax lyrical about Artichoke’s latest dinner menu, specifically this Crab Toast, and well...I’m gonna add to the hubbub. It is, indeed, fantastically yummy. What you’ve got here is a little piece of sweet and buttery, toasted housemade brioche; heaped with a mix of blue spinner crab, Greek yogurt, mayo, cucumber, and chives; then finished with some fried chicken skin and a generous little mountain of ikura. I like that you get the really natural, sweet flavour of the crab from the crab-tzatziki salad, instead of a mayo-ridden kinda mix, with fresh crunchy cucumber that helps to lift it up. And then those briny ruby pops of ikura 🤤🤤🤤

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You know how snacks are like little tidbits of small talk punctuating an otherwise ho-hum chat; well, this Octopus, Crispy Pork Belly, and Potato Foam ($35) is basically a deep, intense conversation you just wanna keep delving into. You’ve got this blanket of ethereal whipped potato foam, that’s rather sensual actually, hiding chunks of crispy, unctuous pork belly and tender octopus so well every bite’s pretty much a surprise. I mean I LITERALLY don’t know if I was scooping up pork or octopus lol but really they were both fab anyway. Pulling it all into a harmonious explosion of flavours is a bed of sweet caramelised onions, and an exceedingly punchy beef jus. Every element is perfectly executed and complementary, there’s really nothing — nothing at all — about this dish I can possibly criticise. It’s just sooooo good.

5 Likes

Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

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