Wow Wow West

Wow Wow West

For all the best the West has to offer that can't quite be nailed down to a specific regional cuisine.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

I had no idea that @refuel2 had baked rice, let alone such a competently composed one. For just $14.50 nett, you could get a fantastic fried fish baked rice just like I did. Two fat fried fish fillets are the crowning jewels on a beautifully baked bed of melted cheese that encrusts a heap of rice which has been bathed in a tangy tomato sauce.⠀

Refuel hit the nail on the head when they described it as comfort food on the menu. The sweet & sour tomato rice is the perfect base for the abundance of stretchy, delicious cheese. Sure, the colossal chunks of zucchini buried within the abundance of rice are kinda out of place, but at least they attempt to resist the ravishing richness of the deluge of cheese & carbs. As for the fish fillets, they were ethereally light & flaky in direct contrast to the cheesy rice richness. Absolutely fabulous fried fish, and I’d be ecstatic if it were served to me in fish & chips.

WTFish man, this baked rice has no right to be as delicious as it is, but you’re damn right it’s deliriously delicious.

At $32 for a four course dinner with a sizeable salmon fillet as your main, @wadodining set menus are pretty sterling value. Each and every course is quite generously portioned, ensuring that patrons waddle away sufficiently sated.⠀

The salmon, despite being under seasoned, was exceptionally well cooked. My father ordered it medium, and it arrived just so. Stunningly seared on the outside, while the internals remained moist and fantastically flaky. The skin was thoroughly de-scaled & was fried to an acceptable level of crispness, and the reverse side of the thick fillet sported a scintillating sear. I’ve already reviewed the coleslaw & mashed potatoes on the side, and the quality was constant over the different mains.⠀

With the salmon, I didn’t mind the lack of saltiness as much as I did with the lamb. That’s mainly due to the thick tomato basil purée that the salmon is perched upon, which gives the salmon a fragrant, herby aroma as well as a nuanced sweet & sour taste. Of course, more salt would’ve been excellent, but oh well.

And now, we finally get to the meat of the matter with @wadodining grilled lamb. The price of either a three or four course meal is primarily determined by your choice of main, and a 4 course dinner with a main of grilled lamb is $38 before an additional ten percent service charge is added on.⠀

For my lamb in particular, it was a curious tale of two lamb chops. The first that I cut into was just the right side of medium rare, as you can quite vividly see in the picture, and the second one was ten seconds away from well done. Needless to say, I vastly preferred the first chop for it’s sumptuous succulence, tremendous tenderness, and joyful juiciness.⠀

As with the rest of Wado Dining’s savoury dishes, the lamb was under seasoned. Which makes it even more remarkable as the natural gaminess of the lamb was mostly muted, instead possessing a clean, meaty quality to it. A little more salt, and a little more consistency, and these lamb chops would’ve been sublime.⠀

The coleslaw was tricky to eat, as some cabbage leaves weren’t cut down to a manageable size and were effectively about half of a leaf. The mashed potato was a satisfyingly smooth purée with a few chunks here and there for a little much appreciated textural variety. The taters were deliciously buttery even though they were crying out for a good salting, and I had absolutely zero trouble polishing it all off.

Like many other newly opened restaurants, @wadodining has a few improvements to make, but I believe that they’ve got amazing potential and I wish that they live long and prosper.

The crab cake is comfortably the more popular appetiser option on @wadodining menu, as expected. Sure, the crabby duo look kinda small & paltry in size, but do bear in mind that you’ve most likely downed a bowl of soup before this, plus you’ve got a full sized main course coming right up. And that’s not to mention dessert. All things considered, the portion size of the crab cakes are adroitly allocated.⠀

As momma always said, it’s what’s inside that counts, right? Well, yes. A creamy concoction of crabmeat cooked in a rich béchamel stuffs the crispy, deep fried casing to the gills. Yep, it’s pretty much a croquette. The crabcakes should’ve been fried for about 30 seconds longer, or in hotter oil. It was a little unappealingly pale on the plate, and one expects a little deeper shade of golden brown on a deep fried croquette.⠀

Like many of the other savoury items on the menu, I found the crab mixture within to be bland, and it was mostly creamy without much flavour. However, unlike the rest of the savouries, I didn’t mind it as much. Why, you ask? Well, the smidge of chili crab mayonnaise applied to the plate was a stroke of sheer inspiration. It’s a great example of how to adeptly infuse well loved local flavours into a western classic without any element feeling out of place.⠀

The chili crab mayo was almost a dead ringer for the chili crab sauces you’d get at an excellent Chinese seafood restaurant, with its brilliantly balanced sweet & savoury essences, and a slight but noticable sour tone at the back. Boosted by the creaminess of the mayonnaise base, this is a uniquely umami sauce. Shame there wasn’t quite enough of it, but what you do get is rather redolent.⠀

Despite the improvements that could be made, there’s no crab involved when I say that these crab-tivating crabcakes are decently claw-some in their own right.

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Bread is always good, and it’s at its prime when paired with stellar, salty serrano ham like how @wadodining did it with their bruschetta. For a little acidity, there’s a decent dollop of tomato paste on the bread, which adds a tasteful tanginess to this appetiser.

As with the bread that was served with the soups, the bruschetta was inadequately toasted. The tomato paste quickly soaks into the bread, which makes it go unappealingly soggy real quick. It seems to be a recurring theme with Wado: their dishes are acceptable, and their set menu is very attractively priced, but there are quite a few improvements to be made to each dish if they wish to live long & prosper.

Just like the mushroom soup, @wadodining pumpkin soup was served lukewarm when it should’ve been served blisteringly hot. However, unlike the mushroom soup, I found the pumpkin soup to be adequately seasoned.

The pumpkin soup was splendidly sweet and suitably salty, the creamy concoction pleasing the palate with every gulp. I’m not quite sure what the foam on top of the soup was, but it would appear to be purely cosmetic as I didn’t notice any flavour from it. The bread on the side seemed to be unfortunately overlooked, as it was un-toasted and unseasoned. It’s still a serviceable sponge for mopping up the last of your soup, but it could’ve been treated a lot better.

Cool, rainy days like this miserable Monday require some soup to spice it up. That’s where the newly opened @wadodining comes in hot with their selection of soups. Your choice of soup is included with Wado’s three or four course meals, and my dad picked the mushroom soup. Mushroom soup used to be my favourite soup, but I still appreciate a good bowl of it every now and then.⠀

While I personally feel that Wado’s mushroom soup could’ve been more salty and served scorching hot, it’s still decent enough with some room for the aforementioned improvements. It’s charmingly creamy with an abundance of finely blended mushroom bits for a tastefully textured soup. Most importantly of all, it’s a sufficiently satisfying soup that’s a balm for your weary soul.

I ordered @wearehopstationsg spiced lamb chops during quarantine, and they delivered alongside my order of two 2.5 litre draught beers. The draught beers were priced at a bargain of $28 considering that it’s 2.5 litres of decent craft beer, while the lamb chops were kind of pricey at $28, all before the $10 delivery charge. ⠀

The lamb chops were deliciously decent. It was more herb-forward than spice, but it worked well to combat the inherent gaminess of lamb. There’s a little pinprick of heat from what I assume is the paprika that was mixed together with the herbs. It was grilled to well done, but was acceptably juicy & tender.⠀

The lamb sauce (paging Gordon Ramsay, I repeat, paging Gordon Ramsay) on the side was rich & salty, and was a decent lubricant for the meat. However, the magnificent mint garlic aioli on the side was the lamb’s one true soulmate. It was mildly minty, but it was ravishingly refreshing from the heavy, salty flavours of the lamb. It’s almost like a tzatziki sauce, really.⠀

The roasted spuds & vegetables were a perfect accompaniment to the lamb, and were a nice break from the meaty onslaught that is the lamb.

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If you’re looking for a #meatymonday meal from home, @meatsmith_sg delivers islandwide right now. They still gotta clock that money & get that wealth, cause rent don’t relent. Unfortunately.⠀⠀
I don’t think they deliver any of their specials though, which is a shame because their specials like the Char Siew Pork ribs ($28++) are truly unique and well worth a try. The spice rub was exactly like char siew, with the familiar sweet & savoury flavours coming through. It does boast a cleaner, woody smokiness from the Jarrah wood that was burning in Meatsmith smoker that day though.⠀⠀
It was doubtlessly delicious, but I was quite unimpressed by the char siew ribs. That was all the fault of the meat on the rack, which was not fall off the bone tender, and it was lacking in juiciness as well. While there’s that sexy smoke ring around the meat, the meat itself was tough and required a fair bit of effort to get through. Our very knowledgeable waitress explained that this was most likely due to our rack of ribs being the leaner tail end of the whole rib.⠀⠀
Still, I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment with this rack. I’ve heard many great and wonderful things about @meatsmith_sg ever since they opened shop, and expectations were high. Especially since they proclaimed themselves as meatsmiths. They’ve got the flavours locked down real good, but they’ve got a fair bit of smithing to do when it comes to the tenderness of their rack.

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Not gonna lie, @marchesingapore lovely looking Easter menu has incredibly unlucky timing. It was originally supposed to run across three weekends, with the final day being Easter Sunday. But LHL just slapped Singapore with a lockdown that’s a lockdown in literally everything but name, so I really do feel for Marché.⠀

One of the more flashy entrées is the sumptuous Slow Baked Herb Crusted Lamb Shank ($29.90 before 7% GST). It’s quite gamey, but that brilliant brown sauce in the ramekin suppresses the odour very well, and adds a smooth, velvety savouriness to the lamb. The herb crust tasted a lot like garlic bread crumbs, and needless to say, the crust on the lamb shank was absolutely addictive.⠀

The lamb might be acceptably tender, but I wouldn’t know due to Marché handing out disposable plastic cutlery to every patron, doing away with the actual metal cutlery. As you can imagine, trying to cut through the lamb with a plastic fork & knife is a tall order. I appreciate that Marché was trying to do their part in combating the virus, but it wasn’t very well thought out. Slicing the meat with an actual knife before plating would be a better idea, definitely.⠀

The ratatouille gratin on the side was considerably easier to eat, and it was simply sumptuous. While some may not be a fan of assorted veggies, they’ll love it once it’s smothered under a blanket of majestic melted cheese. Pair this redolent ratatouille with the lamb shank and a glass of Chianti or Shiraz from Marché’s bar, and you’re Gucci.

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Ambush is an underrated chain restaurant that gets slept on because it’s a chain restaurant. They do have pretty piquant food, and apart from that brilliant blue cheese burger I had, their paella is decently delicious.⠀

The seafood paella ($15.20++) is far too wet to be a paella, and is really more of a risotto than anything else. That’s the most obvious downside to this dish, as the flavours were spot on. The tomato ragu was sufficiently savoury while subtly sweet & tangy, which makes for a well rounded flavour profile. The paella was very generously laden with clams, mussels, smoked sausage, a couple of shrimp, and a whole pile of pancetta. ⠀

The other issue I have is that the pancetta isn’t browned at all, which robs it of its true potential. Lost out on a lot of flavour there, and I don’t like taking Ls. Other than that, at under twenty bucks, this palatable paella is easily worth the low price of entry.

Remember folks, don’t judge a restaurant by its chain, judge it on its food.


There’s no such thing as a get rib quick scheme at as their beef short ribs ($25.50 before GST) are slow cooked to terrific tenderness. As you can imagine, slow cooked short ribs are the softest things on planet earth, second only to the bed every morning.⠀

I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I shook her off my bone-uh...lemme rephrase that real quick. As I was saying, all that was required for the beef to come clean off the big bone was a bit of jiggling & slight cajoling with a fork. There was a good deal of fat in there, but it was all so competently cooked that it melted in the mouth like butter. Additionally, the browning & char on the exterior was simply stellar.⠀

The only gripe I got with this rib is that it was under seasoned. Yeah I know, they provided some sumptuously sapid sauce on the side along with three different kinds of salt so you could season to satisfaction, I see it. I’d prefer if it came outta the kitchen already well seasoned as opposed to having to DIY, but different strokes for different folks I guess.⠀

What’s definitely indisputable is the value. For a behemoth beef rib like this, $25.50 with just an additional 7% government tax is a helluva steal. I’m serious, you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant doing gargantuan beef ribs this good for this little.

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

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