Not Your Usual Places

Not Your Usual Places

I like hunting for places that are not widely publicized, they could be newly opened or because they are ulu. Still, they can be surprisingly good too!
Miss Ha ~
Miss Ha ~

Now this is no longer about fear factor, but erm, crocodile’s dick? Let’s just say the bunch that night was all out for some exotic food. Dishes like this fits just perfectly to the speakeasy theme of The Dragon Chamber, which really pushes diners out of the comfort zone.

A chicken and pork based herbal soup double-boiled for 6 hours, featuring the crocodile’s penis. Expectedly, everyone was looking forward to a piece of the dick. Honestly, there wasn’t much taste to it. Again a slimy texture, this time round reminded me of some fats. Soup base was lightly sweet, with some Chinese herbs. For first timers, I would recommend sharing.

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How often do you have crocodile served on the table? If you are an adventurous foodie, this one is not to be missed! I had my reservations but my curiosity got the better of.

The Singapore farmed crocodile foot braised in a thick herbal sauce, served on a bed of kale. With the sides lit-up around with fire, I applaud them for the dish presentation.

Now, the taste. Started off with the herbal sauce, which was quite salty actually. Slowly and carefully, I took a bite off the webbed-skin which was slimy, but would remind me to be one that’s collagen rich. Tore off the meat underneath; was I tasting some tender herbal braised chicken meat? A true surprise to find out crocodile meat would actually taste like some lightly-flavoured white meat.

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Ah my kind of restaurant! Housed on the upper floor of The Riverhouse located right at the heart of Clarke Quay, Mimi, or secret in Chinese, truly exudes a sense of mystery as you walk through their unassuming entrances. As I entered the restaurant with a chic interior, I could already feel the type of playfulness that I am expecting in their dishes. Enjoy also the serenity of the Singapore river at the roof terrace while overlooking the bustling drinking scene downstairs.

Say what? Chinese tapas! First time in my life. This saucy egg and crab affair presented in “Yin and Yang” is Mimi’s interpretation of a de-shelled chilli crab. The second place I have ever come across eating chili crab without having to dirty my hands. Chili crab sauce here had a fine balance between heat spicy and tanginess, with generous amount of sweet crab meat. In the other half with the egg white sauce, reminded me of a Chinese dish, 赛螃蟹. Instead of the fluffy egg, it was made into a simple starchy egg sauce, which brilliantly exhibited the crab meat’s freshness. So good that we couldn’t help but to mop up every single drop with those mini golden fried mantous. At least, my guests were pretty impressed.

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The Gindara Nabe was a mixture of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, glass noodles and fresh Gindara, or cod fish slices. Softly textured without having to worry about fishbones. Cooked in a shoyu soup stock which I thought would have been rather salty, but surprisingly not. Perfect dish for a rainy weather.

Private room dining reservation is also available with average spending per person of $60.

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Contrastingly to the Una Tama Don, the Oyako Don was rather sweet, perhaps slightly losing the overall balance. However the chicken thigh chunks were well marinated with soy sauce and cooked till tender. Would have preferred a good balance of sweet and saltiness, just like how a normal oyako don would be.

Expect larger-than-usual portions over at Chef Peter’s place. I’d probably have issues finishing a Don by myself if not for my friends. The Una Tama Don had slices of freshly grilled eel, blanketed along with egg and onion over a bed of fluffy Japanese rice. Taste of Dashi stock and Mirin sauce could be detected amidst the savouriness. Unlike the common unagi chunks, the slices here reminded me of how eels are usually cooked in Chinese cuisines instead, as what we know as 鱔魚.

Thanks to the recommendation by my dear friend, we had a private dining opportunity at Chef Peter’s place. Started out as Kaiware Japanese Restaurant at Far East Plaza, to Mohammad Sultan Road, followed by Triple One Somerset and China Square Central, and now finally a private place at Hillion Residences, he has been known to be a veteran in Japanese cuisine.

Started off the dinner with a sesame tofu appetizer which had our minds blown. Mind you, it’s nowhere near the ordinary silky tofu but one that has a firm bite, and easily picked up with chopsticks. Served with cucumber and Kani strips, topped with tobiko and the best part, an aromatic roasted sesame dressing. That extra creaminess was simply marvelous. Chef shared that the tofu was specially flown from Japan.

Get teleported to Vietnam when you dine at the fashionably rustic @langnuongvietnam, especially with the low tables and knee-height chairs that are easily spotted on Vietnam streets. Have your food grilled over charcoal the Vietnamese way in traditional clay stoves, but don’t expect for any smoke extractor which means you might get smoke in your eyes like we did, or having to fight against smoke from neighboring tables.

Thanks to @eatigo_sg , we got the premium BBQ platter at 50%, i.e. $19.95. 🙌🏻 The platter comes with marinated pork belly, pork collar, chicken thigh, squid, prawns, and a vegetable platter of enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, brinjal slices and lady fingers. Portion was a little small though. Enjoyed the sweet, savoury, flavorful marinate that I even grilled the lettuce, for lining meat, which were soaked in the marinate. The friendly staff recommended us to try the green chili dipping sauce, spicy yet refreshing, sweet, citrusy, cutting through the meat oiliness excellently. The red chili was, on the other hand, fiery.

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Heard that the leg of poulet was a dish pretty well done and so I had to try. Cooked sous vide for 5 hours gives a whole succulent chicken thigh, even beautifully colored on the inside with pinkish-white chicken meat. So tender that was easy to rip the meat off. The chicken rub was crucial in dedicating wholesome flavours to it, an intense spicy pepperiness. Served along was charred baby corn and French beans, as well as the king oyster mushroom that completes the dish’s umaminess.

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Imagine a “fried rice” that’s not a fried rice afterall. An explosion of umami as the bowl was filled with sea urchin and Sakura ebi. Honestly, it felt like the limelight was stolen by the Sakura ebi, because there wasn’t really much taste of the uni.

It’s unique how pearl barley was chosen as the carbs. They were so bouncy when bitten, like a play on texture. The texture was made especially interesting when there’s also the salted dace and black bean Panko. Savoury, umami and crispy, a combination that would leave you craving for more. Chinese sausage was also added.

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My favourite starter of all! Look at how thinly sliced the hasselback potatoes are, baked so wonderfully such that the exterior was really full of crisp while the inside was kept soft. Aptly named as potato boat, the potatoes were loaded with smoky tartar, fried bacon and lumpfish caviar. The smokiness and acidity of the tartar toned down the potato starch ones while the fried bacon helped with some savory note. I would think that the lumpfish caviar contributed in terms of texture rather than taste as it is subtle, and a clean oceanic finish.

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On first look, this Negitoro handroll reminded me of a childhood snack where you could squeeze some cream into a mini ice cream cone just like this. Especially love the creative presentation and how exquisite this handroll was made!

It’s a rather oceanic appetizer; not my type of food especially with the raw minced tuna. Was expecting the yolk mousse to be very sulphuric and eggy, but instead turned out to exhibit a light creaminess! Topping it off was the wasabi furikake, as though an umami finish. All contained in a seaweed cone, though the seaweed flavour was really subtle.

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Foodie for life <3

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