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Gourmet Trip

Gourmet Trip

The better and the best of the places I've eaten at.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Citrus’ Beef Rendang Baked Rice ($14.90++) is a seasonal special that’s on till 31 October, so get it before it’s gone. But is it really worth it to head so far out of the way just for this?

If you live in Sengkang, Punggol or Hougang, then perhaps. The beef rendang is undoubtedly the best thing about this dish, as the beef brisket was fully infused with the scintillating spices in the rempah that the brisket was marinated in, and the redolent rempah is a real delight for the nose & tongue. The beef was kind of dry and wasn’t as tender as expected, but then again they did chuck it into a broiler to melt all that cheese.

It was also charmingly cheesy, yes, ‘twas cheesier than my drunk pick up lines. I just wish that they poured on more of that ravishing rendang onto the rice and all over the melted cheese after baking the dish, as the current state of the dish is a touch too dry.

Nevertheless, it’s still a beefy, ren-dang brilliant dish.

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One benefit of @thecoconutclubsg still being on their soft launch phase is that they trot out an armada of complimentary side dishes as part of an ongoing guinea pig experiment on their patrons. Granted, this guinea pig experiment was extremely enjoyable, as the beef ribs and hae bi long beans were simply sublime.

The beef ribs had a nice overarching taste and scent of lemongrass and the spice mix was brilliant, but I found the beef too tough. A waitress explained that they didn’t want the beef ribs to be tender enough to fall apart at the slightest provocation but have a bite and resistance to it. Well, they accomplished that too well apparently. The green chili mix on the side was perfect for the beef, while the red chili mix was a bit forgettable.

The dried shrimp paste in @thecoconutclubsg was the most pungent and piquant one I had thus far, and it transformed a cheap veggie into a stellar superstar of flavor. Regretfully, I had to leave half of it behind as I was beyond stuffed by the massive Nasi Lemak, but the long beans are ready to have a permanent home on the menu as it is.

I don’t know when the soft launch is gonna last until, so hurry and roll up to The Coconut Club for some real good eatin’.

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After seeing @veronicaphua post about the newly reopened Coconut Club, I knew I had to do it to em. Oddly enough, I never tried them when my old office was a lot closer to their old premises, and now I’m mildly kicking myself for having missed out on the flavor fiesta.

They’re still in the soft launch phase, so the only main course is their signature Nasi Lemak ($12.80++). They’ve been known to have a consistency issue, but mine was absolutely amazing. The rice was thoroughly perfumed with the scintillating scent of coconut and it was fluffy and moderately moist. The perfectly fried sunny side up egg had a pretty yellow yolk that squirted its load all over the redolent rice as soon as my fork penetrated it, making the nasi even more lemak.

As a man of culture, I’ve always been more of a thigh man than a breast man. Even though the staff informed me that I had to wait an extra 8 minutes, I still chose the chicken thigh (although that was also influenced by the knowledge that I was gonna get a piece of fabulous, freshly fried chicken). It was utterly unctuous, with all the seasonings and spices penetrating deep into the meat. The stellar skin was a delight to devour, and I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Of course, nasi lemak wouldn’t be outstanding without the sambal chili, and Coconut Club did it perfectly. It was the perfect balance (Thanos approved) of spicy, sweet, savory and the consistency really hit the spot. The peanuts and ikan bilis were crazily crunchy and downright delightful to loudly chomp on, and I want The Coconut Club to sell the fish & nut mix in a bag for me to snack on.

The portion size of their Nasi Lemak looks deceptively small, but even without the stellar sides, I would’ve been rolling outta there like a coconut. That’s right, the Nasi Lemak’s portion size is yuuuuuge.

It may officially be their soft launch phase, but this ain’t their first rodeo. The Coconut Club knows what they’re doing, and what they’re doing is great.

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The main course of 5 Senses Bistro’s New Year’s Day meal was a slab of peri peri chicken thigh, and while it wasn’t the most amazing thing ever, it was still deliciously delightful.

The skin is charmingly crispy with just right with the right amount of charring around the edges. The skin is tantalizingly spicy and savory, and the peri peri marinade isn’t just skin deep, it penetrates all the way through the thigh fillet.

The juicy meat is packed full of flavor, and is an utter joy to bite down into. The grilled corn cob on the side could do with a bit of butter, but it was fresh and sumptuously sweet.

All things considered, it’s a fantastic entrée that’s more than earned its place on the ridiculously value for money $25.90++ 3 course set.

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That’s easy! With #burpplebeyond, you can have two lobsters for the price of just one! Besides the glorious grilled lobster, my dad and I got this here black pepper lobster.

This shellfish was stunningly fresh as well, and the flesh bore witness to its freshness with its striking sweetness. The black pepper gravy was the real star, as it was rich, silky, luscious and utterly umami. It was an intricate balancing act executed flawlessly, as the sauce was satisfyingly salty and peppery while still being delicate enough to not overpower the natural sweetness of the lobster.

The fried mantou was the perfect little package to mop up all that profoundly palatable pepper sauce. Indeed, it took my dad and I a considerable amount of willpower not to just lift the clay pot and chug the whole thing down. And to say that we were both...shellshocked by just how stupendously stellar the shellfish at Pince & Pints are is a bit of an understatement.

The lobsters here are worth every last pretty penny, and you can take that to the bank.

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Thanks to #burpplebeyond, celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday was extra sweet. We got two absolutely killer lobster sets for the price of one! Said sets were $72++ each, and each consisted of a lobster main and a drink (worth up to $14). Since a glass of Queen’s Bay Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc was priced nicely at $14, well, would be a bit of a shame if we didn’t get it, right?

I picked the grilled lobster with spicy seafood sauce (which is basically just Thai green chili sauce), and ‘twas a first class trip to Flavortown. Do not adjust your television, folks, you’re seeing this right. That is a WHOLE, large lobster all for me lonesome. Well, the regular price for this beaut is $58++, so they gotta make it worth the moolah.

And believe me folks, it is worth it. The colossal crustacean is fabulously fresh, and the strong, seductive sweetness of the lobster flesh is the most prominent flavor that’ll jump out at you even after it’s grilled to succulent sublimity.

The smokiness imparted into the lobster is just begging to be paired with the spicy seafood sauce. The sauce, as mentioned before, is essentially Thai green chili, but better. It’s spicy, zingy, tangy, and just perfection for the palette.

Say it with me folks, this is F L A V O R T O W N. And thank you #burpplebeyond, if it wasn’t for your insane 1-for-1 with the East Coast outpost of Pince & Pints, I would‘ve never experienced lobster utopia.

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Aussies are so batschnit crazy for schnitzels that Harry’s, a little chain that does virtually nothing but chicken schnitzels, is raking in all the dough.

The Famous Roman ($13) schnitzel wrap wasn’t exactly the best schnitzel I’ve ever had, as the wrap was sorely lacking in sauce, but the chicken schnitzel itself was decent enough. It was a little dry, but it was well seasoned, amply and evenly coated with an addictive crumb coating.

It could’ve been even better...if only they’d bothered to melt the mozzarella cheese within the wrap itself. Fortunately, bacon is there to save the day, as per normal. Nevertheless, at $13, it was a solid hunger buster of a wrap.

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Suspend your disbelief folks, cafés can and do pump out some utterly gratifying grub that didn’t come frozen from a factory. I would like to call upon Exhibit A, Suspension Espresso’s stellar sausage & black pudding roll that retails for sixteen dollarydoos.

The sausage meat was chunky and the texture was a lot like coarsely minced beef, and it was juicy and downright delicious. The black pudding mixed up within gives it that extra, massive flavor hit that had me diligently cleaning my plate of every last morsel of that filling. The richness of the meaty mishmash was countered by the rocket salad on the side with its sweet, stellar sun dried, roasted vine tomatoes. But wait, there’s more!

Order now, and you get an envelope of crazy crispy and fabulously flaky that cocoons that delicious meat mixture FREE! And on top for that, you get a ramekin of zesty, lip-smacking, delicious goodness that is Suspension Espresso’s homemade tomato chutney!

Roll up on this joint, suspend that stupid diet, and set your tastebuds ablaze with this stupidly sumptuous sausage roll.

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If you’ve never had an Australian meat pie, then you’ve effectively never been to ‘Straya. While the area around my hotel is kind of dead, there’s a ray of hope in the form of Adamstown Hot Bread Shop, which bakes up fabulously fresh pies, pastries, sausage rolls and loaves of bread on the daily.

Their traditional Aussie meat pie (A$2.40) might be on the salty side, but there’s no disputing its heartiness. A thick, salty gravy is burdened down with an avalanche of minced meat and thinly sliced onions, and it’s all somehow contained within a beautifully brown and flaky pastry casing.

It’s so awesomely Australian that once the meat pie is fully consumed, you will get an insatiable urge to pounce upon the nearest croc while yelling “Crikey!”

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This ain’t your average kaya toast breakfast. @thequarterssg Fwah! ($18) sees the good ol’ kaya toast get a new lease of life with a thick chunk of foie gras sitting on top of it.

The kaya works well as a substitute for the more common berry compote, and that buttery foie gras...oh baby.

The only gripes I had with this dish were that the scrambled eggs were exceedingly watery, and there wasn’t quite enough of the kaya to go round. But hey, it’s foie gras, and it’s pWHOArking good.

This was a hosted tasting courtesy of @thequarterssg! And thanks for the holla, @sir.fried.chicken!

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Lady Cake Boss can't survive on cake alone, which is why they're cooking up about a dozen mains to please potential patrons. One of them is the Spicy Mac & Cheese ($15 nett), which features a deep dish full of macaroni adorned in a spicy, tomato based sauce, a few shrimp and entombed by a blanket of cheese before it's all baked into a molten golden brown, stretchy state of perfection.

Now, for $15 nett, I was expecting a bit more than a trio of diminutive shrimp to make an appearance, and their inadequacy was exacerbated by the fact that there was an over abundance of al dente elbow macaroni packed into the dish. However, the flavor does not fail, and the spice is rather fiery and will cause you to reach out for your drink every now and then.

It isn't too overbearing to the point where you can't taste anything else, fortunately. You are free to fully savor the rich, slightly creamy and tastefully tangy spicy tomato sauce that clothes every last elbow of pasta, and that savory, stretchy and oh so satisfying golden brown melted cheese crust. Now will the real Mac Spicy please stand up?

Note: Lady Cake Boss is on the first floor of The Midtown, just a couple of shops to the right of the famed AM Bakery. I'd add the geotag in myself...if I had even the faintest clue as to how to do that.

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Don't worry, this raspberry Danish doesn't just taste good in the morning, it's pretty damn good in the PM too. I'll just quietly see myself out.

Cringeworthy jokes aside, AM Bakery's raspberry Danish is rather excellent. The buttery, flaky pastry is topped with a squirt of tart, high quality raspberry preserve. Pair it off with a cup of tea and you'll be as posh as a billionaire's spoiled wife.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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