Tasty Tastings

Tasty Tastings

All the tasty treats devoured during Tastemaker tastings go here.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Of course, a bistro wouldn’t be complete without a couple of fish options, and @yummochowsg has grilled salmon as well as fish & chips to choose from. Both fish dishes have two options each, and one of each involves mentaiko.

The Fish & Chip ($30++ u.p.) is a decent albeit pedestrian serving of the British classic. Of course, the thick cut chips are substituted by thin shoestring fries, which does irk me just a little, but I can’t deny that those fries are quite addictive with their crispness. The batter on the fish fillet was up to scratch, with the thin layer producing enough crunch while not absorbing too much oil. The fish fillet itself was a little too soft inside, occasionally bordering on mushy, but nothing particularly egregious. The fish was lightly seasoned though, and it relied heavily on the toothsome tartar sauce to make it delicious.⠀

Here at Yummo Chow, you can really make your #burpplebeyond work overtime for you. I appreciate the invite, @yummochowsg & @burpple!

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Of course, a bistro wouldn’t be complete without a couple of fish options, and @yummochowsg has grilled salmon as well as fish & chips to choose from. Both fish dishes have two options each, and one of each involves mentaiko.⠀

Starting off with the Grilled Salmon Mentaiko ($34++ usual price), we were quite pleased by how well the salmon was cooked. The skin was crisp enough, while the salmon flesh itself was still moist and in no danger of being overcooked. Even if the salmon were to be dry, there’s a deluge of mentaiko mayo on top that aids in lubrication. The Mentaiko mayonnaise is the exact same one that’s used on the crayfish, but it somehow tastes a lot better here, possibly due to the flavours of the salmon reinvigorating the mayo. Served with smooth, savoury mashed potatoes and a well dressed side salad, this is a dish that checks off all the nutritional checkboxes.

Here at Yummo Chow, you can really make your #burpplebeyond work overtime for you. I appreciate the invite, @yummochowsg & @burpple!

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I like big racks and I cannot lie, you other brothas can’t deny. When I see pork ribs on the menu, I usually wind up ordering that, and @yummochowsg Baby Back Ribs were no exception. This big ol’ rack is glazed in bourbon sauce, and served with thin cut fries & a side of salad.⠀

Despite what it says on the menu, the bourbon sauce tasted a lot more like a kicap manis (sweet soy sauce) one. The flavours were certainly more kicap manis than bourbon, and the colour definitely supported that. Still, the sweet & slightly savoury glaze was quite complementary to the pork ribs. The pork ribs suffered from a peculiar problem that I’ve only encountered once before: the meat was tender and had no trouble falling off the bone, but it was dry overall with nary a drop of the meaty juices you’d expect from a rack o’ ribs.⠀

My best guess is that it was sous vide till fully cooked through, and then left to sit until someone placed an order. Upon an order of ribs, the fully cooked ribs would then be glazed with the sauce, and then seared till the pork sports a comely char. It’s a process that makes perfect sense, but the catch is that you have to sell a lot of those ribs in order to maintain tiptop quality. Ribs aside, the shoestring fries were acutely addictive its crisp shell, and the salad served its purpose perfectly as the palate cleanser & guilt killer.⠀

I’m gonna be honest here: Yummo Chow is one of those restaurants that many people wouldn’t even consider if it weren’t for #burpplebeyond. The food’s decent, but the prices are steep. Forty two dollars for this rack of ribs is slightly shocking, but it becomes incredibly affordable with the one-for-one deals on Burpple Beyond.⠀

Thanks for hosting us, @yummochowsg & @burpple!

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@yummochowsg is one of the six HUNDRED AND twelve partners on #burpplebeyond, and you can stretch that Burpple Beyond membership to its fullest here. Most of their mains are covered by Burpple Beyond, so you can enjoy two entrées, like this plate of Chili Crab pasta ($34++ usual price), for the price of one.⠀

There are infinite iterations of chili crab pasta out there, but Yummo Chow’s is definitely one of the most outstanding ones. The sauce managed a fine balance between liquidity & thickness, coating the strands of al dente spaghetti superbly without being too viscous. The sauce was spicy and slightly sour, a notable & quite enjoyable difference from most other versions which tend towards the sweeter end of the spectrum. The pasta is topped off with a generous helping of shredded crab meat, and for extra authenticity points, Yummo Chow even gives you two fried mantous to mop up that scintillating chili crab sauce with.

Thanks to Burpple Beyond, you get two plates for the price of one! Thanks for having us, @yummochowsg & @burpple!

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If you’re on a low carb diet, Kazoku also has your dietary needs catered for with the Kazoku Salad ($13.90 nett). The same felicitously fresh octopus, salmon, swordfish & tuna from the delicious chirashi don is cubed up instead of sliced, and the rice is subbed off for a massive mound of mixed lettuce and cherry tomatoes, dressed in what tastes like a balsamic vinegar dressing. The sour notes of the vinegar are an excellent foil to the briny seafood, and the crunch of the fresh veg contrast the soft chunks of seafood excellently.⠀

Thanks for the invite, Burpple & Kazoku!

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@artbox_singapore is back after the unspecified virus of unknown origin, and besides an arcade(oh yeah it’s gamer time), lots of booths selling all kinds of clothes & trinkets, and live music on the mainstage, Artbox has organised a staggering array of restaurants and other food & beverage merchants for the food street. Better yet, @burpple has linked up with Artbox to form the Burpple Food Street, and yes, you can use #burpplebeyond sweet af 1-for-1 deals here!⠀

@properconcepts.sg is one of the nine merchants operating at Burpple Food Street, and @rappu.sg, one of their concepts, has created a trio of cute onigiris specially for Artbox! Pick from the trio of crab, prawn, and wagyu beef onigiris, or don’t! Just get the Onigiri Trio ($18 nett) for all three of them. It’s no surprise that the wagyu onigiri was the runaway success, with the sapid shoyu marinating the beef bits superbly. Contrasted with the spice from the roasted green chilies and the hit of freshness from spring onions, this was a perfectly balanced ball of rice & deliciousness. The deeply umami prawn onigiri was no slouch with its prawn head mayo, and the crab one was pretty zippy with the inclusion of pickled radish to contrast the briny crab flesh.⠀

Of course, the onigiris alone aren’t enough, so get the exclusive Burpple Beyond 1-for-1 with @featherbladesteakhouse (another Proper Concepts brand) Meatballs for eight bucks. Now you might think that these are just Ikea meatballs, but that’s like thinking that the Aston Martin is a nice car. Oh no sunshine, The Feather Blade’s meatballs are proper balls. They’re meaty, juicy and supremely succulent, and the majestic mushroom sauce and the cranberry jam uplift the beefy flavours with creaminess, earthiness & sweetness. ⠀

These meatballs ball so hard that nobody can keep your balls out of their mouth. And they come in pairs.⠀

Thanks for the invite, @burpple!

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And now we have my absolute beloved bar bite of the night at @sake.toshi, the Japanese Oysters Kaarage ($24+ service charge for 6). Six astonishingly gargantuan Japanese oysters are coated in batter and deep fried. Sure, oysters are an acquired taste, but once you’ve acquired it, you’re gonna love these fantastic fried oysters.⠀

I want to know where they grew these mammoth mollusks, because on god they are MASSIVE! There’s absolutely no way you can make this a one-biter, it’s at least a two or three biter. If you can fit this whole thing into your mouth in one go, call me ‘cause I wanna know what dat mouf do. That aside, the batter coated the oyster is remarkably thin, and as such, doesn’t absorb all that much oil.⠀

Normally when you deep fry something, you use ingredients that are a little less than fresh. Not these oysters, oh no, they’re so fresh that if you want ‘em any fresher, you’ll have to fish ‘em out the sea yourself. They’re P H A T, creamy, briny and utterly unctuous, and they’re deep fried just enough to firm up the texture of the flesh, but not enough to cause shrinkage. Just splash a dash of lemon juice, and that’s all you need. The mayonnaise on the side was completely surplus to requirements considering just how scintillatingly sumptuous these oysters were.⠀

Thank you so much for the invite, @sake.toshi & @burpple

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And last but not least, the Scallop Ikura ($24+ service charge) are Hokkaido scallops tempura’d & deep fried, and garnished with mayonnaise & ikura (salmon roe). The scallops are fresh, sweet and sensually soft, while the briny ikura be poppin’. It was near perfect flavour wise, but I doubt I’ll be paying twenty four dollars for this again as the scallops were pretty small for Hokkaido ones, and there’s only a pair on a stick.⠀

Thank you for hosting us, @sake.toshi & @burpple!⠀

If you’re feeling a little extra, they have Uni Seaweed Tempura ($24+ service charge for a pair). Tempura seaweed is the crisp bed on which a dollop of uni (sea urchin gonads) lies, seasoned simply with a dash of shoyu and truffled caviar. It’s briny, creamy, rich, salty and the height of hedonism, contrasted against the crisp of the deep fried seaweed.

The other platter we ordered at @alteregosg was the Seafood Grilled Platter ($53++), which featured a grilled salmon fillet, dory fish, king prawns, squid and mussels. The seafood already made for a hefty portion, but Alter Ego decided to slap a whole mound of curly fries, salad and a corn on the cob just to make this platter even more ponderous.⠀

The grilled fishes were sublime. Seasoned spectacularly and jazzed up with the addition of herbs, the dory and salmon fillets were flaky, moist and incredibly scrumptious. The king prawns were delightfully fresh, and grilled to perfection. Keeping the shell on for grilling added even more unctuous umami to the crustacean, which balance out well with the natural sweetness of these large shellfish.⠀

The squid rings were stunningly fresh, but notably under-seasoned. Fortunately, the plethora of sauces that accompanied the platter rescued it, and the slightly out of place sambal chili was a match made in heaven for these bouncy squid rings. The mussels were tragically overcooked however, and these poor mollusks were chewy like rubber. Such a shame, it was all going so well.⠀

Alter Ego seems to be refocusing their menu for larger parties, and their platters are perfectly primed to take full advantage of this shift in strategy. A few improvements and tweaks, and these platters will absolutely dominate the market.⠀

Thank you so much for having us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

And now for the meat of the matter. One of the items on @alteregosg recently altered menu is the Meat Grilled Platter, priced at $53++, and it is a massive marvel of meaty magnificence. Marinated grilled chicken breast, lamb cutlets, a ribeye steak and a few fried chicken winglets take up pride of place on this platter, and are escorted by the entourage of corn on the cob, assorted veggies and curly fries.

The little winglets were a couple of minutes overcooked, which was a bit of a bummer. However, the marinated chicken breast, which I was very apprehensive about, turned out far better. It was remarkably moist, peculiarly tender, and pleasantly palatable. The herbs & spices that the chicken had been marinated in had achieved their task admirably, infusing flavour into a normally tasteless piece of protein. The trick to keeping the chicken moist and tender was it being pounded thin, as it ensures that the chicken cooks through without drying it out. Fellas, always remember to beat your meat.

The stellar lamb cutlets hit all the right spots for me. A well managed gaminess, a whole lotta seasoning perfumed with copious amounts of herbs, and a tasteful tenderness are the keys to selling me on a lamb dish. These lamb cutlets hit all that and then some, mainly thanks to the cutlets being cooked bone in for maximal moisture & flavour. As for the ribeye steak…well, it’s the best cut from a cow, and there’s a felicitous amount of fat in it. And as we’ve established long ago, fat equals flavour. And this ribeye had lots of it, plus a tremendous amount of tenderness.

Of course, as delightful as the meats are, carbs complete it. Of course, there is nothing as completely perfect as curly fries, and these crispy curly potato twirlies were absolutely awesome. A perfect platter in my book of facts. Thank you so much for hosting us, @alteregosg & @burpple!

When someone mentions Turkish cuisine, the first thing that springs to mind for most are kebabs. Juicy, well seasoned meat sliced from an enormous hunk of meat slowly rotating on a kebab grill. However, the more traditional version is meat wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal, and that’s what @mavirestaurant.sg has to offer.⠀

The lamb Adana Kebab ($26++) is minced lamb marinated with assorted herbs & spices and grilled over a charcoal grill, and served with rice, a slice of flatbread, and some veggies. The minced lamb retains its moisture even after grilling, and each juicy bite of tender minced lamb offers little resistance to your jaw. The inherent gaminess of lamb is obscured by the herb & spice mix, which flavours the lamb spectacularly. And of course, the charcoal grill has imbued the kebab with its smoky goodness, heightening the already ambrosial aroma of the meat.⠀

The bulgur pilaf was incredible, and outperformed the already decent butter rice by a significant margin. Each grain of bulgur was like a supersized couscous, and had an addictive bite to it. The bulgur was cooked in a tomato sauce, and had a tastefully tangy edge to its savouriness. The veggies on the side were sadly neglected though, as they were completely undressed and looked as if they had seen better days. Still, the lamb kebab & bulgur pilaf were more than enough to make this dish a smash hit.⠀

Thanks for hosting us, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol. Insta: @okwhotookmyusername

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