Cheerless Chow

Cheerless Chow

The less-than-decent chow spots that I had the misfortune of eating at while on my gourmet expeditions.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

The sakura pork ribs at @izyfook are some ritzy ribs, ‘cause they’ll beat your wallet up for fifty five bucks. And that’s before the ten percent service charge, AND the seven percent GST. Oof. Yes, oof indeed. Izy Fook has another name for them: Khao Kha Moo. Yes, the ‘moo’ may throw you for a loop, but it’s all porcine here. The extravagant ribs are draped over a bed of rice, and accompanied by a trio of half boiled soy marinated eggs, and...that’s it really.⠀

Due to the supreme quality of pork, and the braising process Izy Fook has put it through, these redolent ribs didn’t just fall off the bone with zero fuss. The rib meat damn near melted in my mouth, on god. They didn’t disappoint on deliciousness either, with this buxom, juicy rack slathered in a glorious glaze that tastes like a barbecue sauce with a distinctly Asian hook. Im gonna be honest with you, I have no idea what the Asian twist is. Hoisin? Kicap Manis? We’ll probably never know. What I do know, however, is that this is a sexy rack that you just wanna fook-I mean, fork. Get stuck into it with a fork. Yeah. That’s totally what I said & meant from the start.⠀

The eggs were too overcooked, as there was effectively zero flow & the yolks were mostly set. The rice was completely forgotten about, and was easily the dealbreaker of the dish. A little tender loving care, or heck, even just a judicious sprinkling of sauce on it, and it would’ve been all Gucci. Nope, nobody in the kitchen even acknowledged the existence of said rice, almost like the rice was the outcast bastard child of the family. Seriously, what did the rice ever do to y’all?⠀

Most of you will agree with me when I say that fifty five dollars is pretty fookin expensive for what the Khao Kha Moo currently is, and it’s way too Izy for me to advise skipping this one.

Well, I think we’ve found it. A hotpot that I thought was pretty poor, one that I ain’t hot for. It may be mildly colder weather than usual in Singapore right now, which means that it’s hotpot szn, but this still failed to impress. Sure, @izakayaniningashi is first and foremost an izakaya, so them having hotpot (the Japanese word is nabe, which makes every true blue Singapore snigger at the pronunciation) on the menu is pretty much a bonus. ⠀

While they were acceptably altruistic with the amount of chicken meatballs, thinly sliced pork belly shabu shabu, enoki mushrooms & Japanese silken tofu, they could’ve been a lot more lavish with the salt. The broth was basically all spice & nothing else. Even after letting all the ingredients stew in it for a bit, the broth was still banally bland.⠀

Not gonna lie, for $29.90++, I was expecting better from this hotpot.⠀

2 Likes

As you can see, the flaw with @paddyfolks Mentaiko Salmon Furikake Pasta ($16.90) is the obviously overfried portion of salmon. The fix is an easy one, all that needs to be done is to deep fry the salmon for about three minutes less.⠀

However, the combo of mentaiko paste, an onsen egg, and some hidden furikake made the pasta below awesomely addictive. Also, I’m almost certain that the sakura denbu that features in the tofu bowl is here as well, but the menu doesn’t seem to mention it. The condiments in the bowl mash up deliciously to deliver oodles of noodles, lubed up luxuriously by the runny, egg-splosive onsen egg.⠀

While Paddyfolks has a bit of work to do when it comes to deep frying fish, they’ve got their palatable pastas down pat.⠀

Thanks for having us, @paddyfolks & @burpple!

Not all mac & cheese are made equal, as @meatmaverick.sg (unfortunately) proves. When you think mac & cheese, you think of a salty, cheesy, gooey and scandalously sinful mess of macaroni in a rich, cheesy mess. Well, this was adequately cheesy, but it was utterly unseasoned.⠀

Remember: EVERYTHING needs to be backed up by salt. It doesn’t matter how sweet, spicy or sour your food is, it needs a measure of salt. This mac & cheese was skint on salt, and that resulted in a mouthful of empty creaminess. There’s texture, but virtually zero flavour. There’s a monumental void where the savouriness & deliciousness went missing, and that alone broke the whole dish.⠀

At five bucks for this serving, I was sorely tempted to demand my money back. Such was my distaste with the lack of seasoning that I couldn’t be bother to finish half of it, instead considering it better to let it go to waste. It was a waste indeed, as the cheesiness levels in the dish were quite acceptable, and the elbow pasta was quite al dente. Let this be today’s lesson kids: SEASON EVERYTHING LIKE RAMSAY’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

1 Like

I’m a sucker for specials, which is why I ordered a bowl of seafood don at @aburien.sg, which is much better known for its glorious grilled meats. There’s a Hokkaido seafood special running right now, and the Salmon Hotate (scallop) Crab Don is one of the mains on the menu at $28++.⠀

It’s passable, but the thing that really annoyed me was that the shredded crab was out of place in the bowl. It seemed isolated from the salmon & scallops, and felt more like an attempt to crank up the price to twenty eight bucks as opposed to being a component in a cohesive whole. If they had drizzled the same passably palatable teriyaki sauce on the salmon over the crab as well, this bowl would’ve fared far better.⠀

They’re generous with the shredded crab, and the scallops are ample enough, which does make up for the salmon slices being thinner than average. At @aburien.sg, you can’t beat their meat, and you can take that to the bank.

Of the tea-sorry, three, musketeers, the impressive sounding brown sugar boba matcha latte was the one that least impressed from @boberteasg. As @visualindulgence succinctly put it: it’s watered down. And he just came back from Taiwan, the land of 800 episode soap dramas and bubble tea, so he knows what he’s talking about...I think.⠀

It’s true. Sad, but true. The matcha latte was diluted, and tasted a lot more like milk with a bit of matcha flavouring. The trademark bitterness of matcha was missing, and that’s when I knew it wasn’t quite all it was made out to be. And considering that the cost is close to six bucks a cup, it just isn’t good enough at the moment.⠀

Still, the pearls (or boba, if you’re a young kid who knows nothing of the reign of Sweettalk) were the saving grace. Bouncy, charmingly chewy and appealingly sweet, these balls were a blast.

3 Likes

JJM is about a day old, which means they’ve still got plenty of time for improvement. Don’t get me wrong, their dishes are decent enough, but they’ve got a fair bit of untapped potential. Located within Hotel 1887 itself, they seem to be an extension of Hotel 1887’s bar as my beer came from the existing hotel bar. Pro tip: place is a little hard to find, so just walk straight down the Smith street stretch until you hit the outdoor seafood restaurant.

I’m basing these initial assumptions off their wine chicken ($7.90). The rice wine pleasantly perfumed the broth the chicken & mushrooms sat in, but the taste was lacking. More salt would definitely help, and throwing a few slices of lup cheong (Chinese preserves sausages) in for extra aromatics would be perfect.⠀

As for the chicken itself, it was slightly overcooked. Bear in mind that @jjmnoodleplace is a day old, and as such, has some ways to go with their food which is why I’m a bit lenient here. Also, portion sizes are pretty small, so don’t come hungry. Or come hungry, and pound down $2 shots of beer. That’s right, 200ml shots of what tastes suspiciously like Asahi beer are only $2! ⠀

SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS EVERYBODAAAAYYY!

2 Likes

The asparagus har gow (prawn dumpling) was likely the only noteworthy dish I had the night I tried the (relatively) new @sumdimsumsg. Fresh, juicy shrimp was encased in a serviceably thin rice flour skin alongside the tart asparagus. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.⠀

I liked these har gows, and I tried my hardest to like @sumdimsumsg. Believe me, I tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end it doesn’t even matter. I hate to say it, but the food just isn’t good enough especially considering both of its competitors just three doors down. I’m sorry darling, it’s not me, it’s you. I’ll be here without you.

In today’s edition of #meatlessmonday , we’re taking a look at @thegoodburgersg The Black Tie ($18 for one ‘patty’). I’ve already covered how the Impossible ‘meat’ is basically just btec meat, even though I’m impressed that they managed to get it close to real meat. Now, we’re diving into the meat (or lack thereof) of the matter, and taking a good look at how sharp the Black Tie is.⠀

The brutal truth is that the truffle infused burger was rather forgettable, and failed to hit the piquant peaks that the Classic & the One Night In Bangkok did. The truffle was purposely toned down, and the reasoning behind that (if I remember correctly) is so that the truffle wouldn’t overpower the burger. @thegoodburgersg were right, but not in the way they expected.⠀

The burger overpowered the truffle aroma present, and even then the burger itself wasn’t as punchy on the palate as the other two options. The rocket leaves were blasting all the other flavours in the burger outta the stratosphere, and it wasn’t very well balanced. The truffle aroma certainly needs to increase, and perhaps a little stronger flavouring on the burger would pay dividends. In its current state, I’d pass on the Black Tie.

1 Like

If you’re a mentaiko mayo maniac, then you’ll love @theoysterbank ambrosial Aburi Salmon Don. A few good strips of salmon are blowtorched to perfection before being drowned under a deluge of mentaiko mayo. Yes, there is rice somewhere under that mound, dude trust me lmao.⠀

However, if you like everything perfectly balanced, as it should be, the Aburi Salmon Don is too much of a good thing. Yes, you CAN have too much mentaiko mayo. Plus, at $17.90++ for a dainty ricebowl sized serving, you ain’t getting much bang for your buck. Their lunch promos look a fair bit better though.

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Bismillah Briyani is Michelin bib gourmand awarded for their briyani (duh), and of course I had to go see if it was the real life, or if it was just fantasy. The interior decor probably dates back to when the last of the actual bohemians sang a rhapsody, and it really shows.

Their signature kid goat briyani is fifteen (!!!) dollars for a regular sized plate. Fifteen? You GOAT to be kidding me, Scaramouche. Yes, all seven sizeable chunks of kid goat were stunningly sapid and tremendously tender, while the rice was felicitously fluffy and shockingly spicy. Still, it’s extremely expensive and not worth the moolah, especially if you’re just a poor boy from a poor family.

It’s not the price that is the reason why I’ll never go back, however. No, the food was quite remarkable, so it ain’t that. No, it’s because the most gargantuan fucking cockroach in Little India decided to smugly plop itself on the empty (thankfully) seat opposite me and engage me in a staring contest which it lost. After it scurried away, the putrid fucker actually tried to climb onto my shoe!

Mama, I just killed a pest. Put my foot down on its head, squished the bastard, now he’s dead. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how I knew I outstayed my welcome at Bismillah, and it was high time for me to didi mau. Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go.

Tl;dr: fuckin bugs man, them bugs are everywhere

2 Likes

Buffet Town’s Friday-Sunday dinner buffet is about $50 including all the plus plus-es, which is considerably cheaper than most hotel buffets out there. Still, this buffet’s only really worth it if you smash nothing but the oysters & sashimi. Everything else is either painfully pedestrian, or just substandard.

Okay fine, the tempura’s actually surprisingly stellar. Most of the grease has drained out of the prawn & pooled at the bottom of the basket, so you’re left with a crisp and relatively oil-light tempura. It’s oddly sweet, but it’s subtle enough to look the other way on. The lobster bisque ain’t too shabby either, with a nice briny flavour & and a subtle sweetness to flavour the restrained creaminess, but yeah.

Yeah nah mate, I ain’t shellin’ out fiddy for this again tbh fam.

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

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