Sandwiches

Sandwiches

Soft or buttery buns, sourdough bread or rye: justifying the consumption of these carb goodness by calling them sandwiches.
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

We all know PBD whips up stellar ones so I can’t say I was expecting any less, but I didn’t think I’d be THIS in love with their Pho French Dip ($18) special at their Sugarfin pop-up 🤤 Literally took my first bite and swooned. SO 👏🏻 BLOODY 👏🏻 GOOD 👏🏻 Let me try to explain this coherently: a generous stack of shaved roast beef + a crunchy herb salad + mayo, sandwiches in a fluffy French roll, served with a rich pho broth on the side. What really made this sandwich for me were the herb salad and broth. Now that pho broth’s soooo packed with flavour. Yknow the soup at the base of your stockpot, that’s collected all the meaty sediments, mushy veggies, and flavour? This broth is basically it. I’m not too sure what exactly was in that herb salad, but there was definitely beansprouts, coriander, and what I thought was morning glory. Fabulous crunch, super refreshing, and cuts through richness of the broth as well as the saltiness from the roast beef. Imho that herb salad really lifted the whole dish. If anything, I’d wish for a crustier French roll that’d better hold up to all that dunking.

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Let’s start with what I liked about this Tamago Sando ($7): I love how the homemade egg mayo wasn’t overly cloying or rich, so it was really light and easy to eat. The freshly cracked pepper was a great and discernible touch as well, keeping the sandwich from getting stale after the first couple of bites. What I didn’t quite like: the shokupan, as promising as it sounded, was neither fluffy enough nor toasted evenly. That meant a toast that’s not exactly soft or fluffy, not exactly crisp either, with extremely chewy crusts (I don’t mean that in a shiok way). It was very generously buttered, but without even toasting certain parts of the shokupan tasted solely of melted butter. I also found the sous vide egg in the centre a tad overcooked; so instead of a creamy, luscious yolk, we got a drier grainier one. This really was a very decent tasting sando and an exceedingly affordable one too, so really I ain’t complaining — I’m not that big of an idiot. But I definitely wouldn’t head down specifically for this.

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PBD’s Mushreuben’s essentially a beautiful golden sourdough sandwich of roasted maitake mushrooms, house sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Needless to say, as with every of PBD’s creations, this was tasty af — though not quiiiiite as enjoyable as their other sandwiches. The mushrooms, though wonderfully meaty and earthy, were a touch too peppery for me. Not in a bad way; simply a little unfamiliar to me. Perhaps it’s a result of the whole sandwich was unevenly salted, so instead of getting a good balance of seasoning we had bites that were insanely peppery and others that were just full-on drowning in salt. I’d take this as a one-off given their track record of fab sandwiches, though I’d prolly stick to a meatier option next time 😉

Korio’s take sees nutty slices of really good whole-wheat sourdough, holding together some oozy cheddar, American cheese, and caramelised onions. They’ve got the stringy, melty cheese part down pat, I love their sourdough as well, and that’s basically the makings of a really great grilled cheese sandwich already. I do wish there was a little more oomph in the caramelised onions though: either an intense savouriness (think French onion soup), or a slight touch of acidity and sugar (balsamic caramelised onions maybe?). Would’ve added a lot more complexity to this!

Breakfast Sammy ($9): crispy spam, sauce gribiche, chives, American cheese, brioche. Let’s start with the most humble, but also arguably the most important ingredient: the bread. So fluffy and buttery, with just a touch of sweetness, the lovely slices of beautifully toasted brioche are simply amazing. I would have them alone with some butter mind you, that’s how good they are. Then you’ve got the thin (but plenty enough) slices of spam, which are surprisingly tasty but not overly salty, hugging some oozy melted cheese. What really makes this sandwich extra special though, is the stellar housemade sauce gribiche. A classic French sauce, it’s essentially an egg mayonnaise — but in the most traditional emulsify-eggs-with-oil way and not straight outta a bottle. My palate’s not discerning enough to say if this is indeed an authentic gribiche sans mayo, so I’ll tell you this: I don’t like mayo, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. So if it is indeed mayo, please don’t tell me I don’t wanna know 😂

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While this isn’t a bad tonkatsu sando, I can’t in all honesty say it’s really worth the price tag. The breaded pork cutlet on its own was actually really good: nice little fat cap for those who like a lil of that; wonderfully thin and golden breading that’s not greasy at all; and meat that’s well-seasoned, juicy, and tender. The tonkatsu sauce sauce had a lovely balance of acidity and sweetness as well, helping to really cut through the tonkatsu. That said though, the bread was exceedingly average, the obviously supplier-standard shoestring fries left much to be desired, and the sandwich was fairly ‘petite’ (if you get what I mean). Was it tasty — yeah it wasn’t too bad. Would I pay $16.80++ — not when I’ve got a $10 bombass burger around the corner.

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But whatever you choose to call it won’t change the fact that it’s utterly delicious. The rendition sees black truffle paste, comté, and serrano ham snuggled between 2 slices of generously buttered, well-toasted bread. Just imagine your fave ham & cheese sarnies tszujed up in a fancy-ass, but extremely elegant, black tie suit: this is it. I like how liberal they were with the butter so you get that really moist, browned butter kinda caramelised notes on the toast. Parfait 👌🏻

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The sweet, mellow, soft roasted pears worked so well with the generous amount of crispy bacon and creamy ricotta, and when you put all that yumminess on a really good slice of bread — serious toast heaven. What I found to be an especially great touch, was the fried sage leaves liberally sprinkled over. It adds such a surprisingly earthy, savoury, and wonderfully herbaceous note to the toast, completely elevating it imho. What I didn’t really like though, was how sweet the caramelised onions were. They would’ve been fine in dishes without other sweet elements, but here, together with the roasted pears, it made the entire dish a little too sweet for me.

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Forgive the blurry cheesepull shot, my sister was so excited to try this she couldn’t stay a little still for the photo 🙃 I’ll say the feeling’s very well justified, cause this grilled cheese sandwich tasted every bit as good as it looks. The rosemary sourdough bread was so fragrant, with the right amount of tang in there, and boasted a wonderfully airy yet chewy and densedough, which tastes absolutely gorgeous when toasted. Put that winning bread with a combination of 3 cheeses that, together, offer just the right amount of that meaty mouthfeel, saltiness, and stringy melty oozy goodness — you’ve got a winner here mates 👌🏻👌🏻

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I generally try my very best to find even the slightest nice things to say, especially when I’m visiting a place whose branding and philosophy I really like; but I have to admit nothing good came to mind when we received our Salmon Smørrebrød ($16). It’s not that it wasn’t tasty, but these 2 toasts barely amounted to the size of my palm — I kid you not — with each slice of bread being no thicker than my finger (which is pretty small I assure you). Yes the bread was good, so was the housemade dill creme fraîche and the smoked salmon. Is it worth $16 though — I think not. My sister was so upset with this she wouldn’t stop ranting for half an hour. I mean think about it: if I could get a hefty grilled cheese sandwich that easily feeds 2 for $19, why would I order this?

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I’ll tell you now: no regrets. What we got was a whole lotta — basically a mountain — of juicy, earthy, meaty, and garlicky thyme mushrooms; a handful of fresh arugula; and a thick layer of creamy, rich, slightly tangy housemade ricotta; all of these sandwich between the yummiest slices of country bread. YUM. It seems quite steep at $18 for a meatless sandwich, but with the amount of attention paid to each element, as well as how generous the portion was really, I’d say this was worth every single cent.

Not that it isn’t good, but this is my exact sentiment. You’ve got slices of good ol plain white bread, nothing artisanal about that and basically what classic greasy American grilled cheeses espouse; and then you’ve got a rather atas blend of cheeses — emmental, brie, and parmesan cheese — melted to a soft, chewy, meaty centre, creamy yet flavourful enough. Yes it’s yummy enough, but at the same time I can’t help thinking it could be better either swapping the toast out for sourdough, or keeping the bread and throwing in some kraft cheese 🤔 still it is a pretty good bite with the side of smoky bacon tomato soup, and very decently priced at $11.

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

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