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Thomaschan
This is Thomaschan living in West Coast. I am a StudentI like to hang out in Orchard, Yishun, Clementi. Japanese, Singaporean, Cantonese/Hong Kong are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café and Dim Sum, Steaks and Grills, Sushi/Sashimi.
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Thomaschan  Level 3
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New Kid in the Block Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Steaks and Grills | Brunch

Set up by The Bakery Depot which brings you familiar brand names, like Cedele and P.L.T Sandwiches, PODI is a new venture to introduce pure-offbeat-delicious-infusions through adventurous combinations of flavours and ingredients. Just before the grand opening on the 25th October 2013, a lucky group of foodie-bloggers were invited to their pre-launch event at Raffles City. What happened subsequently was a gastronomical journey which lasted for about 3 hours.

Check out their signature Duck Berry Waffle - a brilliant creation featuring gourmet duck confit, blueberry compote, egg and maple syrup vinaigrette set upon freshly baked waffles. Verdict: Waffles were a tad dry, but surprisingly, flavours and textures complement one another. But seriously, who in the right mind would have thought about throwing duck, blueberries, eggs and waffles together? Well, definitely not me. I really gotta award points for their creativeness and boldness.

 
Have I mentioned that it's an all-day breakfast affair at PODI? For brunch lovers, like yours truly, I would never stop rejoicing at the sight of beautifully cooked eggs. Do try their Baked Egg Pots - eggs baked in a tomato-based sauce with a choice of either chorizo and goat cheese, or spinach and leek. We had the former selection, and the flavourful combination is enough for me to ask for seconds.

 
Stuffed French Toast is your normal kopitiam breakfast up a few levels. Served with salad and maple syrup, their rendition of the classic French toast consists of eggs, smoked ham and brie cheese sandwiched between spinach brioche. We loved how well the melted cheese went together with the freshly-crusted bread.

 
Never a big fan of Beetroot Carpaccio, Prawn & Crab Spinach Salad managed to hit the right spot with its fresh, crisp salad leaves, juicy cherry tomatoes, grilled prawns and crab meat, drizzled with peppermint and lemon vinaigrette. Verdict: Refreshing salad that serves as a healthy appetiser for what's to come, but it definitely lacked the "oomph" factor. Suggestions could be made to incorporate nuts or pomegranate seeds for extra textures.

 
Shoestring Fries were the first dishes to be served, shortly after we took our seats. Okay firstly, these fries doesn't qualify as shoestring fries at all. Secondly, the fries with nori seaweed were really bland. I mean, potato fries are clearly not health food, so make it the way it should be made - by adding more salt. Truffle fries were merely borderline.

 
Pastry pot was a first for myself. The following dish, Chicken Pot, features chicken thigh simmered with potato and seasonal vegetables. I would say, this dish would do just the trick for people who are craving for lighter flavours. Definitely a winner for health-gurus as well.

 
There is little doubt that Argentina Sirloin Steak was very well presented, but unfortunately, it tasted half as good as it looked. Moreover, we weren't given steak knives to cut through the portion of hard and tough sirloin. On a side note, the chimichurri sauce was awesome enough to compensate the let-down.

 
We totally love their Spicy Prawn Konbu Pasta - a brilliant combination of aglio olio tossed with spicy prawns and prawn oil. Well, if only there were lesser oil and more konbu (kelp) infused into the dish, it would be perfect.

 
King Prawn with Herb Butter was the second disappointment of the dinner. The smoky aroma, derived from the fresh prawn meat off the grill was indeed arousing to our palates, but unfortunately, the mushy texture was a huge turn-off.

 
The dinner ended off with their renditions of Whoopie Pie - two cake-like cookies with a creamy, orange earl grey flavoured filling, and Mexican Spiced Hat - nigella-spiced meringue thins with 2 scoops of ice-cream. I am not a big fan of the latter as it was too sweet for my liking, however both are great desserts to be shared.

 

 
Restaurants specialising in breakfast and grills do not qualify as novel concepts, however their bold and adventurous infusions of ingredients might be a draw for everyday diners. Talking about food-wise, most of their food items are reasonably priced between S$14 to S$25. Provided that it just launched recently, there are definitely improvements and slight tweaks needed to attract more crowds (and the older ones) in.

Once again, thank you to the kind people at The Bakery Depot for the invite to the pre-launch event.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Duck Berry Waffle
 
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 4  |  
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 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Beer Butt Chicken? Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Pasta | Steaks and Grills | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads

Roadhouses are a common sight in larger countries like the United States, Canada or Australia, where passing travellers would take a bite or a night's rest on the way to their destination. But when it comes to having a roadhouse in Singapore, it would be almost impossible and impractical (and I wouldn't go on grumbling about the lack of living spaces locally), not until you visit BLooiE's Roadhouse Bar and Grill. Nestled in the serene vicinity of Science Park, this casual restaurant which was opened by a Canadian named Sarge Sargeant, serves authentic Western affair in their large air-conditioned space, completed by recreational facilities, such as a stage, billiard table and a full-fledged bar. Diners could otherwise opt for al fresco dining - a great opportunity to enjoy their meal under the night sky while enjoying the breeze.

I wouldn't go so in-depth into the 12-year history of the restaurant, but I know some of you might find it difficult to process: why BLooiE? Okay, I didn't get the part why it's a complete mess of capitals, but "BLooiE" was actually the name of their beloved hush puppy, which unfortunately had passed on. Oh, by the way, Sarge has an absolute amazing Taiwanese wife, Fiona who is the proud owner of Lee's Taiwanese.

Let's start off with their signature Beer Butt Chicken (S$38.80), which is definitely a MUST order. The reasons are no less than a whole chicken marinated with spices, herbs and infused with the most amazing alcoholic drink - beer. The chicken will be then prepared for a long, slow grill to gastronomical perfection (with a can of beer up its ass).

 
Needless to say, the slow grilling process has produced a tender, juicy and flavourful chicken meat that tears off easily from the bone. This dish is completed by fresh salad and their famous cajun fries, which taste so good in their home-made cheddar cheese dips. As always, good things are worth waiting for - Beer Butt Chicken has to be ordered one day in advance.

 
Compared to other pizzas, BLooiE's rendition of thin-crusted Pepperoni Pizza (S$22.90) has slightly more cheese to crust ratio, which accounted for its gooey, flowing cheese. Lovely for sharing with your best pals along with a few pints of draft beer.

 
BBQ Chicken Wings (S$13.90) were pretty good with its smoky flavour amidst the mild spiciness, but unfortunately, were marked down for the tough, overly-chewy skin.

 
Blackened Dory (S$18.90) is marinated with cajun spices, then pan-fried to a nice crisp on the exterior and soft inside. It is completed with seasonal vegetables and dipping sauce. I can't remember which sauce came with which dishes, but pair the dory with their home-made mushroom sauce, you would thank me for that.

 
Their 250g N.Z Striploin steak (S$29.80) was grilled nicely to our requested doneness with really pretty grilled marks. However, the steak we had was a combination of disappoints - tough, gnawy and juiceless. I wouldn't doubt the chef's ability, as Fiona revealed the recent change of suppliers could be the cause of lower meat quality. Nevertheless, the dish is completed with mashed potatoes with seasonal vegetables.

 
BLooiE’s Bacon Mushroom Cheese Burger (S$16.90) was the second highlight (for myself) during the meal. 180g of grilled beef patty is sandwiched between two home-made burger buns, alongside with the beautiful combination of mushroom sauce and bacon. Now, pair it up with some cajun fries and salad, and you got a typical America casual dinner.

 
Good quality cocoa does not flow as much, because the cocoa content outweighs the liquid/milk ratio. And that's what BLooiE's used for their Molten Chocolate Cake (S$6.80). Exterior was a little crusty, which probably resulted from over-baking. Other than that, the textures and flavour is worth for any chocolate lovers asking for second servings.

 
Once again, I would like to express my thanks to Openrice for organising this food tasting session, as well as, the kind hostess, Fiona who accompanied and entertained us throughout the event.

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Beer Butt Chicken
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Great Place for Ribs Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : American | Steaks and Grills

The snaking, long queue at Tony Roma's always put me off when I was hunting for dinner at Suntec City. Despite recommendations and ravings from most of my friends, I never really knew what was so good about their famed baby back ribs. Paradoxically, being a true blue Singaporean, long queues never fail to repel me away (and that is probably why I haven't tried out Dim Ho Wan and Krispy Kreme yet.) Anyway, it was my friend's birthday.. and Tony Roma's was selected.

With more than 150 outlets worldwide and two locally, Tony Roma's take pride in their baby back ribs which are marinated with home-made sauces and then, slow-smoked to mouth-watering perfection. Other signatures include char-grilled black angus steaks, seafood and other varieties of entrees and salads. After the long wait, looking at the menu already calls for some serious drooling to start.

 
For those who cannot decide what to have, have their St. Louis Ribs Sampler (S$38.90) which allows you to try the best of everything. It includes a dozen of ribs, featuring four of Tony's Signature Sauces: Original BBQ Sauce, Carolina Honeys, Blue Ridge Smokies and Tony Roma’s Red Hots, together with a selection of two side dishes. Out of the four, BBQ sauce and Red Hots are my favourite: for the former, nothing beats the original, while the latter has a distinct spiciness of four different types of peppers and Tabasco sauce, among the aromatic smoky flavour. Good to share between two persons.

 
Out of 10 diners at Tony Roma's, at least 8 would opt for their famed Original Baby Back Ribs (full, S$38.90). I mean, who would opt for something else other than a dozen ribs lined with tender, lean pork loin, basted with their original BBQ sauce? With comparison with the meatier cut of St Louis's ribs, baby back ribs triumphed in terms of tenderness and sweetness. The ribs come in 3 different sizes, and is completed with two side dishes as well.

If you love the ribs at Tony Roma's, be sure to try out the Stickybones ribs at Morganfield's (Star Vista).
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Baby Back Ribs
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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GRUB never taste so good Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : Restaurant | Burgers and Sandwiches | Brunch

Nestled within the lush greenery of Bishan Park, GRUB is a casual bistro that offers responsible eating, an initiation which promotes the usage of natural ingredients, without the addition of preservatives, additives or flavourings. Moreover, the head chef Melvyn and his wife, Amanda, who are better known as the people behind Cookyn Inc., also believe that responsible eating starts with good practices by the farmers, fishermen and artisanal producers.

For a start, I do not really understand why the name "grub", but they made finer dining in the park possible without having to burn a big hole in one's pocket. One more thing, they operate on a "first come first serve" basis, which means they do not take reservations. Hence, do prepare for a long queue if you are later than their opening hours.

 
Have a try at their Grilled Chicken Thigh Burger (S$12) - a beautiful rendition of marinated chicken thigh, peanut butter aioli and fried enoki, sandwiched between two sesame buns, or GRUB Cheeseburger (S$13) - a signature which consists of freshly minced beef patty and melted Monterey Jack cheese.

 
"Our promise is that everything that appears on your plate has been carefully thought through and weighed out to give the best balance between quality and affordability."

Want something more brunch-like? Pulled Beef Burger (S$12) would be your best bet. A combination of marinated beef shreds and mustard sauce, topped with a sunny side-up is sure to brighten anyone's day. Oh, and every burger set is completed with a cup of French fries.

Well, if you were to ask me which is my favourite burger among the three, it would definitely be the one with grilled chicken thigh. Tender, juicy and savoury, now what's better than that?

 
Besides burger affair, GRUB serves a wide variety of Western dishes as well, like Slow Roasted Pork Belly (S$15), churros, and Pan Seared King Salmon Risotto (S$15) - a combination of risotto and chimchurri, the salmon flakes nicely with a fork and overall, the dish was creamily satisfying, without being overly heavy on the palate.

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pulled Beef Burger
 
Spending per head: Approximately $18(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Hidden Gem in the West Smile Dec 17, 2013   
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Categories : European | Bakery | Café | Brunch

There aren't many noteworthy cafes in the west, hence the recent addition of W39 was more than welcomed to the people residing in the near vicinity. Jointly opened by two sisters, this cosy, brightly-painted bistro and bakery sits quietly within the residential area of West Coast, bringing little hints of nostalgia - a cheery invitation for people from all walks of life. Despite being a newly opened cafe, seats during weekends are already hard to come by without prior reservations.

 
For starters, which other places can you find a S$9 Eggs Benedict? More importantly, quality does not lose out compared to the average rendition. Toasted brioche, topped with bacon and two beautifully poached eggs with hollandaise sauce is completed with a serving of side salad. Coupled with your favourite cup of caffeine, now, what better ways are there to celebrate a beautiful weekend morning?

 
If you're looking for something more filling, look no further than their Hearty Breakfast - a top-seller, and also my personal favourite. It encompasses an array of breakfast ingredients, including toast, eggs, sausage, mushrooms, salad and two sunny side-up. I have no complains, except that the eggs were a little poorly executed. Nevertheless, kudos to their overall presentation and taste.

 
Meals are never completed without dessert (which explains my expanding waistline). We shared a slice of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake (S$6.80) - a brilliant executed dessert, whereby the flavour is a nice balance between sweet and salty. Just check out this piece of art, and try not to drool.

 
Besides brunch menu (available only on weekends and public holidays) and desserts, W39 serves a variety of tapas, appetiser and mains, as well. Their signature dishes include their chef's special Nyonya Mee Siam and Wagyu burger. It's all been raves up till now, and I definitely foresee myself coming back to W39 frequently.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Eggs Benedict,Cakes
 
Spending per head: Approximately $20(Breakfast)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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