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Tasty Tastings

Tasty Tastings

All the tasty treats devoured during Tastemaker tastings go here.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong
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Beach Road Kitchen is doing a collab-bro with the head chef & his team from the Ritz Carlton Bali to run Indonesian Specialties, which will be dominating the bountiful buffet spread from now till 27 July. Monday to Saturday lunch is $60++ per head, while weekday dinner is $80++ and weekend (Friday inclusive) dinners are the dearest of the lot at $90++ per pax.

$90++ is well worth every last cent, believe me. The usual suspects of sumptuous satay are accompanied by more offbeat Indo fare such as piquant pork ribs turmeric curry, an Indonesian style seared tuna appetizer that was absolutely amazing, breathtaking beef rendang that’s real redolent, stellar sup buntut (oxtail soup) and of course, whole grilled pomfret or trout that’s perfect when paired with the astounding array of sambal chilies. Oh, and don’t forget the delicious dadar gulung (pandan crepe rolled up with sweet coconut shavings within), which is made fresh right before your very eyes.

Of course, Beach Road Kitchen still has most of their usual buffet lineup on offer. Fresh seafood, fabulous Fine de Claire oysters shucked right in front of you, thick slices of sashimi, charcuterie, piquant prime rib roast, insanely indulgent iberico pork grilled over charcoal and beautiful beef galbi shortribs are all right there, waiting oh so invitingly for you to ravage them.

But hurry it up, because Beach Road Kitchen’s Indonesian Specialities will only be around till the 27 of July!

Many thanks to @jwmarriottsg and @burpple for the invite to this extremely exciting Eatup!

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Before the Eatup at DePizza, I did a little reconnaissance round the internet and was delighted to find that DePizza has their full food menu up on their well curated website. As a result, I was tempted to try certain pizzas more than others. I had my eye on squarely on Mary Had A Little Lamb, but it was an unfortunate disappointment.

The little bits of Guinness marinated lamb was sufficiently savory, but it was hideously hard and stringy instead of being juicy & tender. The only real redeeming quality of it is the competently crafted thin crust, which stayed remarkably un-soggy no matter how long we took to devour the pizza.

On the bright side, DePizza is doing a special 1-for-1 pizza AND drink deal to celebrate their first anniversary which lasts till the end of this month. The drinks encompass a glass of their house pour wine, so this month of July is a real good month to get your pizza & wine on at DePizza.

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I’ve always thought of Food Republic as having average, overpriced food, but with their new, revamped flagship outlet at Wisma Atria boasting absolute gems like the Michelin Bib Gourmand awarded Ah Er Soup, it’s time for a reassessment of that thinking.

This bowl of Buddha Jumps Over The Wall was ONLY NINE bucks! The soup is rich, flavorful, delightfully herbal and utterly potent. Better yet, there were so many ingredients swimming around in there too. A whole tender chicken thigh, fish maw, abalone-you get the point. Hell, this fat man would jump over a wall for this bowl of beauty.

Also, someone was definitely moaning and screaming “Ah Er” repeatedly later that night. I ain’t gonna name names, but she knows who she is.

Thanks for hosting us @foodrepublicsg and Lena, and thanks for inviting me along @burpple!

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No, I’m not referring to a lone woman in a room full of men, but I’m talking about The Hideout’s Sausage Sampler ($28++). Now, it sounds deceptively simple, but if you don’t get it, you’re really missing out.

The majority of restaurants that serve sausages but don’t make their own will order sausages from either Huber’s Butchery, or Swiss Butchery, and I have a pretty good suspicion of which one it comes from. Either way, the chicken mushroom sausages, veal bratwursts, pork chorizo and and mini pork sausages are some stellar sausages. Each sausage has that patented, satisfying snap of a natural sausage casing, and savory, delicious sausage meat.

The Sausage Sampler goes best with beer, of course. Need I say more?

Thanks for hosting us @thehideout.sg and thanks for the invite @burpple!

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At last year’s Eatup (okay fine, it was last month, sue me) at The Hideout at District 20, we got to sample their extensive menu, which encompasses both Japanese and western cuisines. It’s also a beer bar with more than 50 different bottled beers to choose from, and 3 on tap.

Unfortunately, they don’t serve wine or hard liquor due to some dumb government regulation about their location and zoning, but at least they’ve got more than enough beer to keep you covered.

The star dish of the night is most definitely the foie gras ($18++). It was a touch overcooked, but it was still buttery and melt in your mouth with a beautifully seared crust. The tart mango salsa which was jazzed up by the addition of raspberry vinaigrette was the perfect foil to the rich liver, and the mushroom ragout added a savory and earthy quality to the richness of the foie gras.

Thanks for hosting us @thehideout.sg and thanks for the invite @burpple!

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If you’re looking for a cheeky night out, then look no further than Peperoni’s stellar Secreto Pork Jowl ($16++).

Some unfortunate pig from Iberia got his/her cheek lopped off to be grilled on Peperoni’s grill. Said Iberico pork jowl is simply seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper before its grilled to tender, melt in your mouth porcine perfection.

It’s a bit oily due to the high fat content of the swine, but the zesty and slightly sour apple romaine lettuce restrains it from getting overbearingly rich and cloying. It’s simple but surprisingly superb, just like Italian cuisine should be.

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You get a Caesar salad. Thank you, I already know I’m the funniest Russell round town, but thanks for the reaffirmation.

Of course, the undisputed winner in Peperoni’s Chicken Caesar ($17) is Peperoni’s stunningly delightful chicken roulade, which I’ve raved about in one of my other reviews. However, the accompanying parma ham strips and Parmesan crisps add even more savory enjoyment into the salad.

The creamy housemade thousand island dressing mixes wonderfully with the perfectly poached egg to coat the otherwise insipid romaine lettuce and inject even more creamy, full bodied flavor into the salad. This is one salad that’s perfect on its own as a light entrée, believe me.

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The salad bar. Yes yes, settle down now, I know that was an absolute banger. Trash tier jokes aside, Peperoni decided to do something completely out of the norm for a pizzeria with their new menu. Yep, they introduced a line of salads.

Put the pitchforks down please, it isn’t all sacrilege and blasphemy because the salads are actually pretty decent. The vegetarian friendly spinach & melon ($16) in the left bowl features baby spinach, seared watermelon cubes, cubes of feta cheese and pine nuts tossed in a pleasantly tart and mildly sweet raspberry vinaigrette. Searing the watermelons changes the texture radically, as the melon has a resistance and bite to it post-sear.

The kale & prawn salad (right bowl, $18++) seems kale, slices onions, cherry tomatoes, mango cubes and a trio of fat tiger prawns tossed in a Thai inspired salad dressing. The Thai dressing is pretty heavy on the lemongrass, which pairs up nicely with the leafy kale and the sour mangoes. It’s actually a very good starter to get your tastebuds primed and ready for the heavier stuff to come.

All in all, these two salads are perfect as both a light main, and an appetizer to be shared as the medley of flavors contained within are more than adequate to service both roles satisfactorily.

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Peperoni doesn’t just do the classic tomato base pizzas, they also do the more modern white base pizzas, like their proprietary prawn parma and chicken truffle, which can be seen here lovingly sharing the dough (large 12”, $24++).

The chicken truffle is built out of chicken roulade, onions, baby spinach and black truffle dressing. Granted, the truffle dressing is more scent than savor, but Peperoni are so generous with the amount of truffle dressing there that every bite is turbocharged with the strong, insistent scent of truffle. In this case, the old adage of ‘you smell more than you taste’ holds true. However, the winner is definitely the insanely tender and juicy chicken roulade chunks. I’ve never had chicken roulade this smooth, or tender, or bouncy in my entire life, and my God it was revolutionary.

I preferred the feisty and spicy prawn parma over the mild mannered chicken truffle however. A small smattering of shrimp are partnered with strips of Parma ham atop a cheese blanketed dough base, and garnished with rocket and a liberal dashing of Tabasco. The spicy Tabasco brings every single ingredient to life, and one does not go wrong with parma ham.

Now, who said that you needed to roll out obscene amounts of dough for a slice of the delicious life?

This was a hosted Eatup, courtesy of @peperonipizzeria, Agnes and @merissagoh of Les Amis Group, and @burpple!

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I have no idea why Peperoni Pizzeria named the classic Italian al cartoccio as ‘seafood misto’ ($34++), but I ain’t complaining. Regardless of the name, this hodgepodge of seafood swimming in a stunning, stellar broth that’s been wrapped and baked in parchment paper is indescribably indulgent.

Normally, the Italians would simply wrap all the seafood up and toss it all into an oven, but the seafood is all different and each has its own prerequisite cooking times. Fortunately for us, Peperoni wisely decided to cook each individual seafood component to perfection before assembling it all in the bay of broth for a quick journey into the oven instead.

The result is perfection. The prawns were fresh, firm and snappy, as was the squid. The huge halibut filets were moist and flaky while still managing to stay in a relatively intact piece, while the clams were simply perfect. But the winner is definitely the rich, sapid broth that’s just undeniably umami.

It took Peperoni months of research & development to get every single little detail of this dish right, from the time spent in the oven, to exactly when to put the butter into the broth. And it definitely shows, as the savory broth is so rich and luscious you would be forgiven for thinking that there’s cream within. No cream here sunshine, only butter. And it’s marvelous.

Peperoni’s new line of appetizers that have been baked in their wood fired oven are lit AF. Unfortunately, they had run out of their ricotta stuffed bell peppers, so we were left with their absolutely ambrosial trio of rosemary chicken wings, Italian sausages and garlic herb tiger prawns.

The chicken wings in the top right pot were jumbo sized and joyfully juicy. Those wings were wonderfully flavorful with the pleasant scent of rosemary and other assorted Italian herbs. It’s practically impossible to go wrong with sausages, and the Italian sausages are living proof of that. Both the delicious chicken sausage and a palatable pork sausage are chock full of wonderful Italian herbs and spices, and served in a shallow base of mustard cream to cut through the saltiness and richness of the superb sausages.

Now, the Garlic Herb Tiger Prawns sounds laughably simple, but they were unarguably well done. Meaty, fully built tiger prawns are baked in a simple garlic herb butter and pepperoni which adds so much fantastic flavor into the fresh prawns that break apart with a satisfying snap. The flavorful oil at the bottom is a perfect dip for bread, so make sure you order some of Peperoni’s bread to mop up all that lovely pepperoni infused butter.

This was a hosted Eatup, courtesy of Agnes and Merissa of Les Amis Group, Peperoni Pizzeria, and of course, Burpple!

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Chir Chir’s new curry fried chicken was a massive hit with all the Tastemakers there, with its ultra crunchy batter, juicy meat, and its tremendous tastiness.

The brown powder encrusting the sizable chicken parts is the curry powder, which tastes like a curious cross between the curry seasoning on instant noodles, and curry flavored potato chips. It may sound gimmicky, but that flavor ain’t no gimmick. When paired up with the sauce on the side that strongly resembled Japanese curry, it becomes one ultra crunchy and clucking delicious poultry pig out.

This was a hosted Eatup courtesy of @chirchirsg & @sixthsensepr! Thanks for the invite, @burpple!

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

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