Pub Grub

Pub Grub

Pub grub has evolved. It has gone from being a suspicious looking pile on your plate that you'd down with a pint and pray to God that you wouldn't die afterwards, to becoming tasty fare that wouldn't be out of place in a decent restaurant. Here's a list of the pubs with grub so good it convinced me to put my pint down and take a picture.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Besides drinking well to achieve & maintain holistic health, one must also eat well. @spectre.sg has that covered with their bevy of appetisers, beginning with the sumptuous Sambal Smoked Duck ($22 before additional 10% service charge). ⠀

Of course, no bar is complete without fried chicken, and Spectre’s Popcorn Chicken ($12+) is truly poppin’. These crisp lil chicken bites are served with a house-made sriracha aioli, and you won’t stop poppin’ till they’re all gone. And finally, the last starter we had was the Pandan Chicken ($14+). This ubiquitous Thai staple is incredibly aromatic, tremendously tender to the point where I thought they turned the chicken into a paste, much like otah.⠀

With savoury stunners like these to start every therapeutic tipple time at Spectre, you simply can’t lose. Thank you for boosting my will to live, @spectre.sg & @geekyelephant!

Besides drinking well to achieve & maintain holistic health, one must also eat well. @spectre.sg has that covered with their bevy of appetisers, beginning with the sumptuous Sambal Smoked Duck ($22 before additional 10% service charge). ⠀

We’ve all heard about the importance of eating our greens, but what about them reds? The weird yet wonderful Watermelon Sashimi ($16+) has stunningly sweet compressed watermelon slices paired with a crunchy, refreshingly zesty fennel salad in a calamansi, kombu & makrut lime dressing. The contrasting combination of sweet & sour excel at opening up your tastebuds & activate your salivary glands while delivering satisfying crunches.⠀

With savoury stunners like these to start every therapeutic tipple time at Spectre, you simply can’t lose. Thank you for boosting my will to live, @spectre.sg & @geekyelephant!

Besides drinking well to achieve & maintain holistic health, one must also eat well. @spectre.sg has that covered with their bevy of appetisers, beginning with the sumptuous Sambal Smoked Duck ($22 before additional 10% service charge). ⠀

Besides considering the mental health of Spectre’s patrons, co-owner @thisisinch has also deliberated upon their physical health, creating a spicy, sapid sambal without the usual cornerstone of hae bee (dried fermented shrimp), instead replacing it with tomatoes to make it edible for those allergic to shellfish. The result is a sweeter but no less scintillating sambal that sets the smoky, delectable duck ablaze with spice. The tapioca chips strewn all over the dish was utter genius, as the addictively crunchy bits were a fab foil to the meaty duck. ⠀

With savoury stunners like these to start every therapeutic tipple time at Spectre, you simply can’t lose. Thank you for boosting my will to live, @spectre.sg & @geekyelephant!

@hambaobao is no more, but save your tears, they’ve simply rebranded as @lils.taproom. Now they do a lot more than burgers, but you know they gotta keep a couple of burgers around since that was their original claim to fame. We started our beer & munchies dinner out with a tale of two potatoes: a Mont Blanc Café Noir Miso Roasted Japanese Sweet Potato Salad (good god that was a mouthful & a half), and a Rich A$ian. All dishes here cost eighteen bucks each, $17 each when you order three, and $16 each when you order five. All prices are before an extra 10% service charge, and there’s no government thef-sorry, taxation here.⠀

While the sweet potato salad was muted, the Rich A$ian was fabulously flashy. These thick, homemade hand cut fries were deep fried to perfection and doused in a meat sauce that gave ‘zha jiang mian’, Lao Gan Ma, and most regrettably, a mound of trash leaves (coriander). The hand cut fries were stunningly stellar, and they were the quintessential French fries: a fluffy, soft interior coated in a remarkably crisp exterior that stayed crisp for an astonishingly long time. As for the meat sauce, it was scrumptious, but the textural differences between bits of minced meat were too drastic. I fully appreciate the concept of having larger & smaller bits of meat for textural variation, but it would work better if the size difference wasn’t as drastic.⠀

Still, Lil’s is a piquant playground of flavours, and their tasty new dishes are very innovative. Thanks for the invite, @lils.taproom!

Before we get too smashed on these charming cocktails, let’s take a quick interlude to savour the new appetisers that @interconsin @thelobbyloungesg has rolled out in their menu revamp. The trio of Singapore Style Chili Crab Sliders, Mushroom Arancini and Satay Panggang are priced relatively reasonably (for a hotel at least) at $22++, $24++ and $28++ respectively.⠀

Last but not least, the Satay Panggang was just as sublime as the other two. The grilled satay sports a superb smokiness that enhances the stellar spice marinade on both the beef & chicken satay, making for some sumptuous skewers. Lobby Lounge’s satay is easily the most tender & juicy satay I’ve ever had, slipping off the skewers smoothly with little fuss.⠀

These new appetisers are very capable companions to the exquisite new cocktails, and thanks for letting me sample it all @thelobbyloungesg! And thank you to @accela.comms for organising this tasting!

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Before we get too smashed on these charming cocktails, let’s take a quick interlude to savour the new appetisers that @interconsin @thelobbyloungesg has rolled out in their menu revamp. The trio of Singapore Style Chili Crab Sliders, Mushroom Arancini and Satay Panggang are priced relatively reasonably (for a hotel at least) at $22++, $24++ and $28++ respectively.⠀

The Mushroom Arancinis were awesome, but of course they were. They’re deep fried balls of mushroom risotto, they were never going to disappoint. Each grain of expertly cooked risotto had a terrific texture & bite, and the risotto grains fully absorbed the sumptuousness of the mouthwatering mushroom cream. The redolent risotto is rolled into balls, lightly breaded and deep fried to perfection. Eat it at its mushroom-y best, or spice up your balls with the scintillating spicy tomato chutney, and pair them with any and all cocktails.⠀

The Singapore Style Chili Crab Sliders features three deep fried mantous amply stuffed with shredded Dungeness crab meat and a slice of zucchini. The Dungeness crab meat was fresh, slightly sweet and briny, and there was a lot of it, but unfortunately the same could not be said of the chili crab sauce. There was a distressing lack of it, but what little fleeting flashes we did taste suggested that it was a tangy concoction. Lobby would probably do a lot better to provide a little bowl of sauce for diners to sauce to their hearts content.⠀

These new appetisers are very capable companions to the exquisite new cocktails, and thanks for letting me sample it all @thelobbyloungesg! And thank you to @accela.comms for organising this tasting!

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Burrata is rather remarkable, but @antidotebar.sg found a way to make it downright divine. How, you ask? Well, first you aburi (flame sear) the cheese ball, then you season it with miso paste and chive oil for maximal flavour. Anti:dote’s Aburi Burrata ($28++) was so good that I largely overlooked the charming cocktail it was paired with. If you manage to get an alcoholic like me to pass over alcohol in favour of something, you just know that something is truly exceptional.⠀

The Aburi Burrata is exceptional indeed, as the molten, impossibly stretchy cheese is flavoured with the deep sapidity of the miso. The normally mild flavoured burrata is transformed into a creamy, rich and umami flavour bomb, which is so supremely savoury it fulfils a primal need. The chive oil perfumes the burrata with an intoxicating herby aroma, and adds complexity to the cheese with its herbaceous properties. Even the Crystal Bread provided to complement the burrata was perfect. A crusty exterior conceals a slightly crisp interior, and these bread slices hold up very well to the luscious wetness of the burrata. The Aburi Burrata was perfect. Perfect. Everything. Down to the last minute details.⠀

Thanks for hosting us @antidotebar.sg, and thanks for letting me tag along @wobblethebui!

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As for the food pairing, the recommended Smoked Flamingo Tea Hamachi ($24++) was a memorable clash of contrasts. The Hamachi (yellowtail) is smoked for a deeply umami aroma & flavour, which is fully fleshed out by the little dollop of Kristal Caviar, and the savouriness was contrasted by the refreshing zestiness of the yuzu ponzu. The soft textures of the chopped sashimi were countered by the crunch of potato nest lattice, which does provide more satisfaction by way of the starch.⠀

Thanks for inviting me @wobblethebui, and thanks for the hospitality @antidotebar.sg!

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The recommended food pairing for the Ancient Love Affair was the Hokkaido Scallop Dumpling ($24++), which has chopped scallops wrapped up into a delicate little dumpling and garnished with Kristal caviar & tom yum crisp. The delicate dumplings are slightly sweet & briny from the scallops, before the caviar pops off with its highly prized briny sapidity. Take a bite into the branch shaped tom yum crisp mid chew, and experience how the dumplings transform from a delicately sweet & salty affair into a riot of sour, spicy and sensationally savoury. Absolute genius from the chef here, and I found myself contemplating seconds.⠀

Thanks for the jio @wobblethebui and thanks for having us, @antidotebar.sg!

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Normally, I’m indifferent to chicken kaarage on a Japanese restaurant menu, but @sakabaigokochi exceptional Chicken Kaarage ($10++) is so good that you need to order at least two portions. No seriously, these gargantuan globs of deep fried chicken are so divinely delicious that I was utterly mesmerised by every juicy bite.⠀

The large chunks of chicken are deep fried till perfectly cooked, no mean feat considering the size & girth of each piece, yet all of them retain a reservoir of juice within, unleashing all that moisture the minute you bite into it. It’s seasoned simply yet sublimely with salt & white pepper, and each morsel of bird is utterly infused with savouriness. There seems to be a deeper, underlying layer of umami that permeates the chicken and makes it so satisfyingly delicious, and it might have something to do with the marinade these chickens are prepared in. I don’t know what Sakaba Igokichi is putting in the marinade, but they’re definitely doing it right.⠀

And of course, the batter was breathtaking. A tremendously thin layer of batter coats every cut of chicken, and every bite elicits an audible crunch. The brilliant batter is crunchy, scrumptious and could easily be the gold standard for all fried chicken batter.⠀

Despite being and sounding relatively simple, Sakaba Igokichi’s captivating Chicken Kaarage is simply spectacular. Instead of chomping on these chickens while you’re guzzling beer or sake, I propose that you pair these robustly flavoured poultry parts with an excellent Japanese whisky, like a Matsui Single Malt.⠀

Look, we’ll never find out why the chicken crossed the road, but I definitely crossed the road for @sakabaigokochi divine Chicken Kaarage.

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Ordering a salad at an izakaya sounds kinda dumb, but hear me out on this one: @sakabaigokochi veg are well worth the order. Plus, both of them are under ten dollars a pop. Start your bender out right with the intriguing Smoked Radish Pickles Potato Salad ($7++), which is exactly what it says on the tin and more. Boiled potatoes are mixed with smoked radish bits in kewpie mayo and seasoned heavily, and there’s some diced avocado on the side. ⠀

Make no mistake about it, this is definitely drinking food, as the saltiness from the potato salad will drive you to drink, and the more you drink, the more you will hanker for this sublime salad. The smoked pickles were made all the difference here, as their stunningly smoky & charmingly crunchy qualities elevated the potato salad in something unctuously unique. The supreme smokiness of the pickled radish, combined with the starch of the potato, and the creaminess from the avo makes for a trifecta of tastiness. Plus, once you’re good & sloshed from all the sake and you can’t quite taste anything, the smokiness from the radish quick revives your tastebuds for another round.⠀

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As for the Rendang Prata Pizza ($18++), minced beef is cooked in a redolent rendang that’s attractively aromatic and complex, blending the aromas of spices with salty & sweet flavours for maximal flavour projection. Rendang traditionally does go really well with crispy, fluffy prata, so this combo feels and tastes so deliciously right.

Thanks for the invite @wobblethebui, and thanks to @kevin._.ngan & @thekongsee.sg for the great night with great food!

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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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