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Featuring Boufe Boutique Cafe (Tanglin), Benjamin Barker Cafe, The Marmalade Pantry (Downtown), habitat by honestbee, W39 Bistro & Bakery, iSTEAKS Diner (The Star Vista), FrapasBar by Saveur (The Cathay), HĒ Bistro and Bar, Meat n' Chill, Astons Specialities (Bugis+)
Thint T
Thint T

Often when there is an attempt to evolve the traditional fare, be it by upscaling it or infusing it with other existent concepts in cuisine, a grey area forms. Therein lies the risk where a concept can become dismissible without care, which was one that FrapasBar took boldly with its re-imagined French tapas selection and profound risottos.
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📍THE PLACE
Located just along the seams of The Cathay where the original Saveur used to be, a centerstage bar display, dim lighting and black marble tabletops make for a casual evening dinner with a flair
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🍽 THE FOOD
1️⃣ Sophia’s Risotto ($24) - I gotta tell you, when two of my favourite things to eat in the world coalesce, I might just fall prey to the old biased routine that judges simply based on whether its a standalone winner or a complete fucking disaster. In the case of Sophia’s Risotto combing otah-otah and risotto along with generous chunks of crab meat and mackerel, I’m proud to qualify it in the former category
2️⃣ Saveur Pasta ($9) - for a namesake dish hiding comfortably in the corners of the menu, this minimal serving of dry capellini wasn’t exactly a contender for a signature
3️⃣ Seafood Bouillabaisse ($16) - traditionalist fare made compact might have some setbacks, just saying
4️⃣ Salmon Tartare ($9) - this classic combination of salmon and avocado was made surprising with the addition of pickled ginger and honey
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🤔 THE VERDICT
The tapas are not an essential order despite the place having “Tapas” in its name, but do come here for the Sophia’s Risotto.

Significant decrease in the peripheral, nonchalance, acceptance of the inevitable, clocktowers under the sea. Guess the haze hasn’t (wait for it) *blown over* just yet. Haha. Haha. Haha. H
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📍THE PLACE
5 minutes walk from Sixth Avenue MRT, nearby landmarks include the sun, the clouds and the wind. One should also note the occasional sand shark rising from the depths to consume him/her whole.
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🍽 THE FOOD
1️⃣ Original Signature Pork Ribs ($22) - ribs weren’t as fork-tender as I’d expected them to be, but it was still delicious af
2️⃣ Cajun Fried Chicken ($18) - dry and bland, give it a pass
3️⃣ New York Strip Steak ($19) - one of the cheaper cuts on the menu, rather mediocre compared to other New York strips I’ve had
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🤔 THE VERDICT
Did not notice many customers at peak hour during my visit, which may be testament to the food, service and the location of the restaurant. Still worth coming down for their ribs, which are pretty damn good.

In light of the source of my eternal torment, namely the final paper on the devious mechanisms of Business Law, denial has bestowed unto me safe passage in writing to distract myself from the now. The only true shred of knowledge that I can confidently proclaim would be that it is illegal to commit a crime.
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May it please the court, my name is @thintbites and I am counsel for all things culinary in nature. The defendant, W39 Bistro & Bakery has, in retrospect, engaged in criminal behaviour that is unlawful in the eyes of the common law: serving disappointing food. It was an implied term that the dishes that the plaintiffs had ordered was going to be parts of a delectable whole. In accordance with Section 14.2A in the Sales of Goods Act which states that the “goods are of satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances”, the defendant had failed to deliver as promised, serving up dishes that were imbalanced in flavours, minimal in portion and lacking in any redeeming factors whatsoever.
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The Chef’s Special Assam Seabass and Fragrant Rice ($22) was unfortunately, anything but special. The assam gravy was simply too heavy and imbalanced, and for its price, was not of satisfactory quality. The Chicken Roulade ($22) had a glimmer of hope; in that it was a good attempt at a correct concept, but lacked the refinement and balance of a good dish. It was a roller coaster of flavours, but rather the kind of roller coaster that makes you dizzy and nauseous, leaving you lying on the cold hard ground. The only promising dish of the night was the Pork Cheek Quesadilla ($20), with meltingly tender pulled pork cheek in tortilla wraps. The Starter Platter ($32) will allow one to select from any four of their unimaginative starters, and ironically had to be the least value-for-money in terms of the anticipated quality of it all with bland fries, run-of-the-mill mozzarella sticks and sautéed mushrooms that were simply a tired attempt at a country classic.
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With that, I rest my case. Thank you your honour.

I have to get this out of the way before a table gets tossed over my head: I’m an old-fashioned kinda guy. Aside from the certain fact that I prefer my ducks to be pan-fried rather than sticking them in food condoms before placing them in a water bath, I like cash. I praise the beauty of physical currency, finding joy in rubbing two notes together like Rob Schneider hinting for a tip in Home Alone 2. Of course, none of this information would be pertinent if not for an article detailing my experiences at a larger-than-life bunker-esque food paradise that half the Singaporean population may be familiar with: habitat by honestbee.
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This is the epitome of smart-living. From your first step into the converted warehouse space to your premature exodus, everything is assisted, motivated and carried out with your mobile phones. As a person who is stuck in time trying to maintain a heritage whilst simultaneously innovating and completely fucking over the same idea in deliberate contradiction, I have never been fond of utilising mobile phones for anything other than aimless social media crawls and sprawls. And also for writing an endless stream of paragraphs pertaining to food whilst trying unravel the very notion of pretentiousness at its core. That being said, habitat by honestbee requires a smartphone, an Internet connection and half a monkey’s sanity to traverse in one piece.
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If there’s one thing everyone comes here for, it’s the Poofy Pancakes ($14) by Riz Labo. This ethereal creation features three Japanese soufflé pancakes that are ever so fluffy and almost wobbly to the touch. A dough jelly, if you will. Paired with a ridiculously light and supple topping of vanilla Chantilly cream, the plate was cleared in less than 5 minutes after an almost 2-hour long wait.
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We also tried the Char Siew Rice ($8) by Char, which was a very traditional serving of char siew Brazilian pork belly, bok choy, ajitama and Jasmine white rice. This was followed by a lovely Snapper Fish and Chips ($14.90) from Captain Snapper, which featured a lovely crisp portion of beer-battered snapper and some sriracha mayonnaise to go along with the quintessential chips.

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A steak is a steak is a steak. Nothing compares to the universal litmus test of a fantastic grill like a perfectly cooked steak. Juicy on the inside, beautifully pink in the center with an irresistible char from that which we know as the Maillard reaction. Of course, when we choose to step out of our homes rather than grabbing a 250g slab of ribeye at the butcher, we end up spending more than we want to, and rightfully more than we should.
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As with all things Singaporean, cheap is always good. At iSteaks (not another overpriced one-dimensional Apple product), one can expect to find a small and simple selection of steak cuts done right, paired nicely with a decent price tag. On the topic of pairings, iSteaks boasts a number of fine compliments to go along with your carnivorous desires. From steakhouse classics such as Country Baked Beans and Onion Rings to humble creations such as their Cinnamon Pumpkin.
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After eating at iSteaks ever since they were reeling in elongated 6pm queues every night in the heart of Holland Village, my all-time favourite order is a plate well decorated with a beautifully grilled NZ Striploin ($18/200g, $21/250g), alongside a warm buttery Baked Potato and a delectable serving of Macaroni & Cheese. Of course, one can opt for Steak House cuts of 350g and 450g, if you’re feeling a little beefy whenever.
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When we’re talking groups of four or more, look no further than their AU Wagyu D-Rump ($115/1.2kg), a luscious Australian Wagyu top sirloin steak with a marbling score of 4/5 (ms4/5) that can be easily shares amongst 4 hungry carnivores.

Located deep within the quiet enclave of Phoenix Park, Boufé Boutique Cafe is a charming little restaurant with a whimsically pristine setting that evokes memories of a Sunday brunch by the garden as transparent drops of dew cascade down a blade of grass, signifying the end of a rainy midsummer night. With that, I conclude the pretentious introductory passage and consequently begin the process of detailing my experience to share with you lovely readers in hopes of educating and perhaps even convincing a trip down to the location described. Talk about extra-pretentious writing, one might think that after 30 articles in the span of almost 2 months that I would cease this madness. For over 4 years, Boufé has stayed true to their philosophical approach on making every dish and ingredient in-house whenever possible. From freshly baked sourdough breads to a carefully brewed cup of coffee, the attention to detail that Boufé regards is a feat, one that would go on to serve fantastic food to hungry customers making their way into the stillness of Phoenix Park. Their steak dish, punningly named Steaks Are High ($20++) on their menu is a leaning tower of homemade onion rings rested on a seared Australian oyster blade beef steak served on top of two golden brown hash browns that are laid on top of a simple salad of roquette leaves. Quite a mouthful of words to say the least, or should I say “to say the most”. As unorthodox and rather amusing the presentation was, the oyster blade (more commonly known as the flat iron) cut was rather chewy despite being well-seasoned, and unfortunately, the onion rings felt more dry than crisp, almost as if they have been left out for some time before service. However, a triumphant duo from their Sides menu managed to pull through, with sublime Truffle Fries ($10++) that made for a wonderful appetiser alongside their Mini Mushroom Melts ($10++), which were marvellous. Great place to come down for a weekend brunch.

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Everybody knows Benjamin Barker when it comes to a topic regarding prim and proper fashion at an accessible point. Of course, my primary intent is to disseminate food culture and tasting notes, not discuss the intricacies of tailoring down to the weave. As such, one would also come to note that Benjamin Barker has a rather quaint and simplistic café concept that serves up food as comfortably fitting as a double-ply European cotton shirt. At Benjamin Barker Café, one can hope to find an array of modern-classic fares, as well as fusion dishes incorporating Singaporean flavours into more Western plates. With a distinctive day and night menu that provides customers with a more refined experience, the food and the environment more than makes up for a thoughtful day of work and play, be it discussing ideas or simply relaxing over a warm cup of Flat White ($5.50++). I decided to try their Mr. BB Burger ($20++), which featured a rather classic burger combination of organic Angus patty, caramelised onions, portobello mushrooms, vintage cheddar, jalapeños and hot sauce. The addition of the jalapeños and the hot sauce were a sublime addition to the warm meaty flavours of the burger, giving a much welcome piquancy to cut through the vintage cheddar. A rather comforting joint to just hang out or grab something delectable on a weeknight.

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With a familiar sense of extravagance and a notable place for wonderful casual French dining, Poulet has always been a delightful experience when it comes to good solid French fare. In terms of presentation and flavour, the food at Poulet is remarkably polished for a chain restaurant, serving up their popular roast chicken to satisfied customers all over the tiny little red dot. Albeit an unpopular opinion, their other dishes are a league above their classic rotisserie chicken when it comes to decadence and overall flavour with value-for-money. One of the must-tries at any Poulet restaurant has to be their Truffle Mashed Potato ($6.90++), a luxuriously smooth and creamy mash with a seductive punch of truffle in every bite. I really do mean it when I say that this is one of, if not the best side dish at any restaurant that I’ve tasted, period. Every spoonful is a magnificence, and one is almost never enough. After having tried their Pork Belly on their previous menu numerous times, a visit to the restaurant to sample their new and revamped menu was in order. Their Pan-Fried Salmon ($18.90++) was served quite simply with some sautéed mushrooms, celery, roasted potatoes and a velvety beurre blanc sauce, top with some alfalfa sprouts for a crisp round-off. Definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for an affordable casual French dining experience.

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After writing up on lesser-known upscaled, “mid-scaled”, midtown, uptown funk gon’ give it to you (???) joints for a while, there was one place that I’ve always wanted to talk about and promote simple because of how accessible and amazingly delicious their dishes still remain to be. The Astons name is of course, no stranger to Singapore’s bustling chain restaurant scene. From its humble beginnings in 2005 as a western hawker stall helmed by the very man himself, Aston Soon, to a global empire with 11 brands and 35 outlets worldwide. Of course, with a business as expansive as that, it comes as no surprise that delicious food and good quality can be expected when dining at any Aston’s outlet. With a vast menu including most recognisable western favourites such as Pork Chops ($12.90) and Surf & Turf ($21.90), the food at Aston’s is affordable and positively consistent. Their Chargrilled Chicken ($10.90) is one simply delicious blueprint for their Grillworks Chicken menu, featuring succulent and juicy chicken with crispy skin. My personal favourite at Aston’s is their Fiery Chicken ($10.90), a spicy take on their Chargrilled Chicken that promises nothing less than a savoury, spicy chicken packed with flavour. Served with two complimentary sides from their menu, the Fiery Chicken stands as my favourite chicken dish in Singapore that I’ve come to have by the dozens.

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The Marmalade Pantry, through its brand new outlet opening at the heart of the city in ION Orchard, as well as a collaborative menu with Singapore’s very own Genevieve Lee (runner-up of MasterChef Singapore) has caused quite a stir in the ever-bustling food community. With a second visit to the flagship ION Orchard outlet planned in mind, a prerequisite dinner at one of its original outlets located at the Oasia Hotel Downtown was in order. Chic, elegant and modern, The Marmalade Pantry’s decor combined with the architectural genius of high ceilings of the hotel lobby was more than a pleasant welcome to the establishment. Their Roasted Stuffed Chicken ($28++) showcases a beautifully stuffed French-cut chicken breast with sun-dried tomatoes and portobello mushrooms, served with some simply seared asparagus, heirloom carrots and roasted potatoes before being rounded off with a seductive Dijon Velouté sauce. Simple and well-executed, with the stuffed tomatoes giving the chicken a delectable savouriness when paired with the sauce altogether. Worth a visit for entertaining work associates or even a laid-back weekend dinner.

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When it comes to food that is a cumulation of various cultures and ideas that sprouted as a result of meandering from the norm (aka fusion food), there is somehow an inevitable formation of a grey area where the dishes become lacklustre and the fusion fails to even occur. Well thankfully, HĒ Bistro and Bar seems to lying comfortably, albeit just inches short of this uncertain area, serving up fusion dishes combining Western cuisine with Singaporean flavours. Their Har Cheong Kai 鸡-ken Cutlet ($22) arrives at the table looking like a simple chicken cutlet meal one can expect from a Western hawker stall, but a first bite of the crispy, golden-brown cutlet released that ever so familiar flavour of prawn paste chicken together with the thin but juicy deboned chicken drumstick meat. Served with a fresh salad, some fries (although written on the menu as criss-cut fries, I received straight-cut fries) and spicy chinchalok which gave a nice contrast of flavours. Their Chilli Crappy Pasta ($22) was however a fair bit of a let-down. The sauce was undesirably diluted and watery to say the least, and little of the actual chilli crab flavour was present. On the other hand, one of the sauces that managed to subdue my attention was the Kopi sauce used in their Kopi Ribeye Steak ($30), which seems to go surprisingly well with the beef given that coffee and meat is of course, a modern classic flavour combination. Suffice to say as a place serving fusion cuisine, there could definitely be more finesse in the execution of the dishes, despite its creative output.

5 Likes

Thint T

Level 5 Burppler · 58 Reviews

insert generic foodie bio (e.g. “a balanced diet is one drink in each hand!”, or “nom nom 24/7”) idk

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