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Air-conditioned setting, served ala carte style
Sean Chen
Sean Chen

Easily my 2nd favourite dish, if not on par with their famed Kong Bak Pau, would be their XO Prawn Vermicelli. While the price tag may be rather steep, generous amounts of vermicelli was provided. And if I could only use one word to describe it, it would be 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻𝗹𝘆. The glass noodles were coated with the right balance of white pepper, salt, oil and 'wok hei' notes that it was really just a burst of flavours. I did not try the prawns but one of my dining companions commented that it tasted fresh, albeit slightly overcooked. Honestly, I would have been more than content ordering just their Kong Bak Pau and this dish. Needless to say, highly recommended as well.

Their rendition of the dish stands on par or better than the hot & sour soups you get at Wedding dinners. Yes, while wedding dinners typically provide the more expensive Fish Maw version instead, the ingredients and consistency of the soup can be rated comparatively. With Westlake's version, no expenses were spared in providing a huge variety of bite-sized tofu, mushroom slices and bits of egg white. All of which were suspended in the soupy mixture which provided just the right level of starchiness.  Flavour-wise, it was certainly not salt and water. Those that can't handle their spice will probably enjoy this much more as well. Personally, while I do enjoy some heat, the soup was well-balanced as it is and I simply needed a dash of vinegar to cut through the sourness of the soup.

Introduced on 27th January this year, their Vegan Black N' White Cakeshake ($23++) consists of a 'soy-based chocolate shake with housemade vanilla frosting and mini chocolate chips on the rim, that comes topped with a slice of black-and-white cake, rice-based whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle'. Honestly, I am not a fan of their chocolate shake as I expected the chocolate to come out stronger and richer. Nevertheless, their 𝘃𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗯𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗧𝗮𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿. Most of the cake was moist and only subtly sweet. Also, despite Black Tap claiming that it is topped with a 'rice-based whipped cream', two of us that day agreed that we tasted a strong scent of coconut which worked really well with the moist cake. The only issue I had with it was the layers of fondant icing between the cake layers and on top of the cake. It had a sickishly sweet saccharine flavour that 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘀.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/black-tap-singapore-thick-beef-burgers-and-1600-calories-crazy-shakes/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Eg8TPnFeu/?igshid=uh7wt2oeigvb

2 Likes

Trying out both their falafel patty (Deep-fried mashed chickpeas) and their lamb patty in a salad, 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗮 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 to the otherwise beef overload I was starting to get from the burgers. I should emphasise that 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗖𝗿𝗮𝗳𝘁 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝘄𝗻 and is probably targeted at those craving for something lighter. Essentially, they are made by stealing the patty from the Craft Burgers and putting it on top off a generous plate of salad. It's not a separate salad dish as what I was expecting, hence the high price point.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/black-tap-singapore-thick-beef-burgers-and-1600-calories-crazy-shakes/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Eg8TPnFeu/?igshid=uh7wt2oeigvb

Despite The Cantonese BBQ Burger ($24++) being a creation exclusive to Black Tap Singapore's outlet and catered to local taste, this was 𝗺𝘆 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗮𝘃𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 burger. While the sambal BBQ sauce may have been an innovative fusion to say the least, the two bold elements sadly were not balanced and I tasted more of the tangy notes from the BBQ sauce than the sweet and spicy sambal we've come to know and love. Also, while the Cantonese Mayo with Black Bean and Garlic did had discernible earthy notes from the black bean, similar to what you'll find in Chinese cuisine, it just seemed to have been overwhelmed by the rest of the elements or simply did not complement the other dishes at all. The complete lack of harmony within the burger is a real pity for a creation with so much potential and I'm unlikely to order it again.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/black-tap-singapore-thick-beef-burgers-and-1600-calories-crazy-shakes/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Eg8TPnFeu/?igshid=uh7wt2oeigvb

'Four pieces of Nyonya rice pancakes served with warm banana sauce.'Ending off with desserts, we decided to try something new. Apom Berkuah is a traditional pancake predominantly made with rice flour, coconut water (Though there are modern recipes which use plain water) and coconut milk before being left to rise with the help of yeast. Thereafter, the batter is dropped onto a lightly oiled mould where it is then cooked over a low heat, like a typical pancake. Traditionally, the blue colouring atop these pancakes are made by boiling actual Blue Pea Flowers. On its own, it tasted like slightly sweetened steamed tapioca.The Kuah Pengat Pisang (Banana gravy) that came along with it though was the real deal. Made from Gula Melaka, Coconut milk, Pandan leaves and slices of banana, my tastebuds were pretty much dancing with joy at the abundance of aromatic and complementary flavours to discover. I have tried plenty of Gula Melaka and coconut milk based desserts (Lots of different chendols), but somehow it was done extremely well here. While I can only speculate as to what the secret may be, it is likely due to the combination of aromatic ingredients or the quality of ingredients used. At the end,  I couldn't help but guiltily gobble down spoonfuls of the sauce after the pancakes were finished. Needless to say, this is a 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁-𝘁𝗿𝘆 as well.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/restaurant-review-peramakan-keppel-club-harbourfront/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9orFltnIfd/?igshid=11mkd23pwoo1v

'Chicken braised in rich Indonesian black nut & Garam Assam gravy (2 nuts per serving).'There's an option to add more Buah Keluak nuts for an additional $1.80++ / nut. The Buah Keluak nuts are added together with the chicken and a small plastic coffee spoon / stirrer is provided to help you dig out the pitch black flesh. Without adding extra nuts though, the sauce on its own was spectacular and brimming with the slightly sour, tangy and earthy notes of the nut. Before I continue, I should probably 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗶 served on the side which had pronounced citrusy notes and was just spicy enough for one to enjoy. Despite their amazing sambal, I drenched my plate of rice with as much sauce as possible. In fact, all the dishes that day came with a sauce that had its own unique blend of spices, complementing the steamed rice well. With the restaurant offering 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘁 $𝟭.𝟱𝟬++ / 𝗽𝗮𝘅, Peranakan cuisine is probably not for those on a Keto diet.  A close contender for Best Dish of the Day, the chicken was also moist, juicy and tender. 

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/restaurant-review-peramakan-keppel-club-harbourfront/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9orFltnIfd/?igshid=11mkd23pwoo1v

'Shin beef, braised in spicy coconut sauce till tender. Served with Serondeng (Indonesian Spicy Fried Coconut Flakes).'

Most definitely the best dish that day, the beef was drenched in a fiery red sauce that was hardly spicy. Honestly, I was not the first who noted the quality of this dish. While I was busy sampling the other dishes, one of my dining companions who typically does not comment on the food unexpectedly opined that the beef was good. It was only after finally processing the comment that I realised how much I was missing out. A decent portion of beef was served in huge chunks that were absolutely 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗸-𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿. Don't just take our words for it though, this is truly a 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁-𝘁𝗿𝘆. Well aware that I'm starting to use the term 'fork-tender' quite frequently now, I still only mean it in the literal sense and 𝗜'𝗺 𝗴𝗹𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗰𝗮𝗻'𝘁 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘄. :)

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/12/restaurant-review-peramakan-keppel-club-harbourfront/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9orFltnIfd/?igshid=11mkd23pwoo1v

While this was mistakenly ordered on our part, it was probably the best rendition of a black pepper dish that I’ve ever had in a Zi Char establishment. The quality of the beef shone through as it was highly flavourful and tender without being chewy. The slight acidity from the red wine helped to cut through the richness of the meat as well while the black pepper was not too overpowering for me. In fact, I enjoyed the sweet and saltish contrast the sauce provided and found myself nibbling on the slices of onions and green pepper after all the beef was gone. If the quality of the beef shone through clearly here, I’m sure that their signature Pan Seared Wagyu Beef with Red Wine Sauce ($28++) would have fared even better and would certainly order this if I ever make a repeat visit.

Apart from these dishes which I highly recommend, the bulk of their dishes were decent with a small minority missing the mark. So just a friendly heads-up, I did 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 ordering their XO Stir Fried Asparagus ($18++) and Chocolate Cake with Berry Compote Stuffing & Ice Cream ($12.80++).

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/restaurant-review-wok-palace-fusionopolis-one-north/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9UI0NUHgM-/?igshid=bala4hl6vdpd

Again, the price relative to their portion size may be appalling but it becomes slightly more justified once you’ve had a sip. To be sure, I’m not a huge fan of ginseng and one of my dining companions did mention that it tasted slightly like MSG (was added into it). However, I took that positively as it meant that it was packed with loads of flavour though perhaps slightly too saltish. A thin film of fat / collagen could also be observed on the surface, attesting to the richness of the broth. In terms of taste, the ginseng was evident and pronounced but subtle enough to act as the underlying tone for the broth, complementing the strong chicken flavour. The thick chunks of sea whelk present also provided a nice chew, allowing the soup to linger for just that bit longer. It’s definitely worth trying for an elevated version of Chicken Soup.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/restaurant-review-wok-palace-fusionopolis-one-north/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9UI0NUHgM-/?igshid=bala4hl6vdpd

For anybody who cannot chew or perhaps despise chewing, this was made for you. Without any exaggeration, pressing the beef against the roof of your mouth will cause it to disintegrate into bite-sized pieces, overwhelming your tastebuds with a burst of flavour. In fact, I was pretty clueless as to why a knife was given until I tried cutting the firm and crisp tomato beneath with just a fork. While the tanginess of the tomato and the bitterness from the kale helped to cut through the fattiness of the beef slightly, the beef still overwhelmed the other 2 elements completely. This was not a bad thing however, as with the beef this good, I would have been equally satisfied to be served the beef on its own. All in all, the beef was 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗸-𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 and 𝗶𝗳 𝗜 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝟭 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗵, 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝘁.

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/restaurant-review-wok-palace-fusionopolis-one-north/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9UI0NUHgM-/?igshid=bala4hl6vdpd

In stark contrast to the Hei Zho tried at Le Coq, these had a chewier texture, akin to eating a thick fishcake. The skin was thin and crisp and was not overly oily as well. Despite being on the other end of the spectrum in terms of texture, I still highly enjoyed their version of the Prawn Roll which came with visible chunks of mushroom and orange bits (Which may be carrots or prawns?).

Full review at: https://liveeatbless.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/restaurant-review-westlake-queens-road-farrer-road-best-kong-bak-pau/

More pictures at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B80tA0UnwUK/?igshid=1lvasye43ejyk

IG: @thankgodforf00d

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