Tasty Tastings

Tasty Tastings

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

I was always that weird kid who enjoyed braised pig’s intestines, and that exotic taste has followed into adulthood, where I’m now an average innard enjoyer. It isn’t everyday that you see a Thai restaurant featuring intestines on their menu, so I definitely had to get @khaohomsg Garlic Pork Intestines ($12++).⠀

While they could’ve been cleaned out more throughly, I definitely savoured the superb seasoning & masterful frying they’d been through. The texture of the intestines were delightfully chewy and incredibly satisfying to gnaw on without being rubbery. Deep fried intestines are definitely a fair bit chewier than the more common braised variant, but the texture is pretty damn satisfying.⠀

The deep fried garlic is awesomely aromatic & delightfully delicious, and the innards are scintillatingly salted. Despite being a little less clean than it could be, you don’t really taste any off putting flavours due to the bold aromas of the garlic and the strong seasoning applied to these tasty tubes. If you’re looking to get exotic for once, pounding Rung Mama’s gorgeous guts is a pretty good way to go.⠀

Thank you for the invite, @burpple & @khaohomsg!

While @khaohomsg stuffed wings were a bit of letdown, their Moo Yang (grilled pork strips, $12++ a plate) was moo-velous enough to save my night. As a matter of fact, it might just be the breakout star of the night.⠀

The meat is marvellously marinated, and each bite is a testament to that marination. It’s splendidly savoury and despite not being able to pinpoint the precise herbs & spices used alongside the godfather of all seasonings (salt), it’s subtly yet delightfully complex. The grilling adds an alluring smoky aroma to the meat, and said meat is felicitously fatty with its divine distribution of fat within the meat. This makes for some succulent slices of porcine that I was simply physically incapable of resisting.⠀

I don’t know why the Thai word for pork is the sound a cow makes, but I do know that I’ll be moo-ving to secure myself more of this majestic meat. Rung Mama can definitely bang out meat like a pro, and that’s why she’s a MILF. Yeah I said it, Rung Mama’s a Mother I’d Like to Feast with. What did you think I meant?⠀

ขอขอบคุณ, @burpple & @khaohomsg!

Ain’t nothin like a chicken wing, but what if said wing is stuffed and 🅱️oneless? @khaohomsg attempts to answer that question with their Peek Gai Yad Sai, which are a trio of boneless stuffed chicken wings. What exactly are stuffed chicken wings, and why are they 🅱️oneless?⠀

What if it told you that you could have chicken wings, but with more meat on them? Yep, that’s essentially the guiding principle behind Thai stuffed chicken wings. The bones are removed, and minced chicken(?) and glass noodles are stuffed into the chicken to make it resemble an overinflated rubber chicken.⠀

The batter was perfect: crispy, crunchy & just greasy enough without being disgustingly so. Unfortunately, the chicken wings themselves were anaemically seasoned and were rather tasteless even with the sweet Thai chili sauce amply applied. It’s a cryin’ shame, because everything else was bang on target: juicy, moist meat, beautiful batter, and portly proportions. Maybe next time.⠀

Thanks for the hospitality, @burpple & @khaohomsg!

The last time I paid a visit to @beerbasketsg, they only had the one outlet in Kovan, and their claim to fame food wise was having sambal stingray on the menu. Now, they’ve got bigger, swankier digs in Katong, and their new expanded menu has a whole lot more bar bites, and some new mains.⠀

One of their newer options for pub grub is this towering serving of portobello mushroom fritters ($11++). Chonky chunks of portobello ‘shrooms are cased in a thin layer of breading & deep fried for that glorious golden brown crust. The mushrooms could and should definitely be sautéed dry, or dehydrated in another way, to extract some water from the portobello before deep frying. Currently it’s a bit too moist, and the overly wet shrooms do obfuscate the luscious lemon & garlic aioli. Still a decent option when the beer munchies hit.⠀

Thanks for having us, @beerbasketkatong & @burpple!

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And now, we end with the starters...and a dessert. As you all already know, @thegoodburgersg onion rings are probably one of the best in town, and you should put a ring on it. That’s how good they are. The Golden Nuggets ($6 nett) are supposedly made outta Tindle fake chicken as well, but they somehow manage to hold up better than the Tindle in the burger. Perhaps it’s due to these nugs being one bite wonders, which results in less time chewing and thus less time for the Tindle to start dissolving into powder. The clown prince of fast food better watch out, cause these nugs are so damn good they might just have his beat.⠀

The reason why The Goodburger ain’t vegan is due to the cheese, and that’s a good thing. Seriously, why go vegan when you can have mozzarella sticks for eight bucks? They are standard issue stuff, but breaded & deep fried mozzarella sticks are a surefire winner no matter what.⠀

And finally, the churros ($6 nett). These are made from potato flour, so they are pretty dense in texture. In fact, these comely churros have a bite like a mochi ball, with a springy stickiness on each bite. It’s coated in an ample dusting of cinnamon sugar for a sweet ending, and a sweet ending we had alright.

Me, a bonafide om-nom-nom-nivore, having a completely meatless burger? Impossible. (See what I did there?) No, really, I’m going meatless for a meal, courtesy of the folks at @thegoodburgersg. Goodburger is flipping up a special Damn Shiok! burger to commemorate Earth Month, and it does live up to its name.⠀

The sauce in a typical Damn Shiok! burger is supposed to be a rendang rendition, but it’s much closer to a dry red curry due to the balance of the spice blend. That ain’t a bad thing, because the sauce is still superbly savoury & scintillatingly spicy. As with the last time, you definitely gotta order a double to approach the same kind of gastronomic satisfaction that a real beef patty would provide, as the Impossible patties are looser & considerably less dense than actual beef.⠀

Pair that up with rings of sweet red onion and the competently charred Impossible patty, and you will easily forget the fact that this is a veggie burger with zero meat in it. Thanks for having us, @thegoodburgersg & @burpple!

And now, we finally get to the main meat of the matter at @cubalibre.sg: the main courses. The tapas selection definitely dwarfs the entrée section, but the two most promising choices were the Crispy Roast Pork ($23++), also known as ‘Lonjas de Cerdo Asado’ on the menu, and the Mojito Chicken ($22++).

As you might’ve guessed, the redolent roast pork is the full sized variant of the roast pork bites we had earlier. Oddly enough, these thick slices of pork were considerably tougher than their more diminutive brethren. Perhaps cutting them down to a smaller size tenderised them slightly, or perhaps it was a bout of inconsistency. We’ll probably never know.

One universal problem that both dishes shared were the vegetables. I was actually rather pumped to find that @cubalibre.cq had put in a decent bit of effort & arrayed a marvellous medley of veg on the plate. There’s broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, asparagus, squash, cauliflowers & cucumbers coexisting on both plates, and that’s quite the rainbow of vegetables. Unfortunately, the effort ended up half baked, as the vegetables weren’t dressed at all. Heck, they weren’t even seasoned, unfortunately.

Still, despite unseasoned, undressed vegetables, Cuba Libre’s mains aren’t too shabby for the price of admission. Besides, Cuba Libre’s on #burpplebeyond, and two of these for the price of one? Consider me convinced!

Thanks for having us, @cubalibre.cq & @burpple!

@cubalibre.sg has been in operation since 2006, but they’ve only recently launched a two hour long alcohol free flow fiesta for $35++ on Mondays to Thursdays. Said alcohol includes cava, Prosecco, wines, beers & housepour spirits. Pretty good value for a boozy bonanza that lasts 120 minutes.⠀

But of course, where there is alcohol at a Hispanic bar, there must also be tapas. Head Chef Alex Moreno slings Colombian empanadas ($14++) as well as the fusion-y Beef Rendang Croquetas ($15++) for a beefy accompaniment to your drinks, and they’re decently delicious.⠀

The croquetas, were simply stellar. The redolence of the rendang paste is unmistakable, and the scent of lemongrass was also very insistent. The potato layer is pretty thin, which makes it all the more astonishing that it can contain the sapid, sumptuous, bounteous abundance of beef within. These luscious Latin lovelies are perfect for gorging yourself on as you get wasted on free flow booze for two whole hours, I tell you what. Viva la Cuba!⠀

Thanks for having us, @cubalibre.cq & @burpple!

@cubalibre.sg has been in operation since 2006, but they’ve only recently launched a two hour long alcohol free flow fiesta for $35++ on Mondays to Thursdays. Said alcohol includes cava, Prosecco, wines, beers & housepour spirits. Pretty good value for a boozy bonanza that lasts 120 minutes.⠀

But of course, where there is alcohol at a Hispanic bar, there must also be tapas. Head Chef Alex Moreno slings Colombian empanadas ($14++) as well as the fusion-y Beef Rendang Croquetas ($15++) for a beefy accompaniment to your drinks, and they’re decently delicious.⠀

Empanada pastry is made out of corn, but it very closely resembles our locally loved curry puff albeit less oily. I did feel that the empanadas, which have been stuffed full of shredded slow cooked beef, were a little bland. However, I appear to have been eating it wrong, as I didn’t slather on some of that spicy orange sauce smeared on the plate. Oh well, maybe next time.⠀

Thanks for having us, @cubalibre.cq & @burpple!


I don’t know why the Japanese are obsessed with tentacles (if you get the joke, good, and if you don’t, stay innocent my sweet summer child), but @hattendo_singapore Salt Grilled Tako (Octopus) will reel you in with its charm. While it does say salt grilled on the menu, I found it to be severely underseasoned, but there’s a dollop of salt flakes on the side to remedy that fault.⠀

What got me all wrapped up in the clutches of its tentacles is its stunning freshness, and the zesty yuzu dip on the side. A flake of salt, a dab of yuzu sauce, and this tentacle will never let you out of its clutches. The other appetiser was a bowl of truffle fries. Sure, truffle shavings on fries along with a truffle aioli dip is always nice, but Hattendo missed a massive chance to do something considerably more creative with their deep fried spuds.⠀

Since it’s a Japanese eatery, they could’ve gone with the common mentaiko fries, or perhaps a little more off the beaten path with stuff like wasabi fries. Heck, they could even go all out & do okonomiyaki fries. But then again, I’m only a guy who writes about food, what do I know?⠀

Thanks for the warm hospitality, @hattendo_singapore & @burpple!

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I say, old chap, shuck Mondays, shuck being poor, and shuck my life. When it comes to @hattendo_singapore Hiroshima oysters, though, you’ll only catch me sayin’ shuck yeah. Done four different ways, the naked mollusk starts at a base price of five bucks which is pretty expensive. However, the oysters are yuge, and they are fresh af due to them being airflown direct from the Land of the Rising Sun. Moderately briny & charmingly creamy, these mild flavoured oysters will please most.

The most recognisable of the four oyster varieties is definitely the ikura one (orange balls), which damages your wallet to the tune of $6 apiece. The salty salmon roe adds explosive saltiness to the base oyster, which does seem a little extra but hey more of a good thing is always welcome.

The third of the quartet is the Australian Lime Caviar (red pearl one), priced at $7 a pop. I didn’t try this one, so I can’t comment on the flavour. However, my educated guess would have the lime caviar cutting through the salinity of the oyster quite efficiently, as lime caviar (known to some as finger lime) is a little less acidic than regular lime.

The one I did try was the baller of the bunch, the Okinawa sea grape, quail egg yolk & dashi shoyu enhanced oyster. That one slaps for a hefty $8 per piece, but it might just be worth it. The quail egg yolk is a bit of overkill, as the oyster is already plenty rich & luscious as is. I’m not quite sure what the sea grape (a kind of algae/seaweed) adds to the mollusks, but the dash of dashi shoyu was inspired. The roasty saltiness of the soy sauce concoction accentuated the mild brininess of the oyster & lubricated the richness of it, enabling the shellfish to slither down your gullet like top quality silk.

While these big boy oysters will cause your wallet to take a shellacking, there’s no shucking way I’d say no to ‘em.

Thanks for having us @hattendo_singapore, and thanks for the invite @burpple!

The unexpected MVP of the night at @paddyfolks was most definitely the vegetarian friendly Truffle Shimeji Furikake Pasta ($14.90). We all know that mushrooms & pasta are a classic combo, but deep fried shimeji mushrooms & pasta? Yes, I can confirm that it works.⠀

Tempura shimeji mushrooms are already pretty delectable on their own, but when Paddyfolks skilfully seasons it with an ample amount of truffle oil, the aroma is exquisitely heady, and the light, crispy tempura is an excellent counterplay to the soft chewiness of the mushrooms.⠀

The al dente pasta below is utterly buried by the blanket of tempura shimeji, and it has also received the blessed rain of truffle oil, resulting in fragrant, sensationally slick strands of spaghetti. I must say, Paddyfolks showed remarkable restraint when drizzling on the truffle oil. It never got obnoxiously overwhelming as truffle oil tends to get when a touch too much is applied, but it was more than enough to lubricate & perfume the entire pasta bowl. It’s a simple spell, but quite unbeatable.⠀

Thank you for having us over, @paddyfolks & @burpple!

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

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