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Seth.Lui
This is Seth.Lui .
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Not as bad as everyone thinks OK Oct 03, 2013   
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Categories : American | Restaurant | Seafood

Boston Seafood shack is a relatively new casual seafood concept housed in Star Vista mall, brought to you by Creative Eateries, the same people behind famous local chains like Bangkok Jam and Siam kitchen. Boston Seafood Shack looks poised to compete against the big shots like Fish & Co and Manhattan Fish Market.

I'm going to be perfectly honest with my readers; prior to the tasting session at Boston Seafood Shack, I did some online research on the restaurant and boy, were the results far from flattering. If you looked up hungrygowhere.com, you'd probably still see the nasty reviews up there. I promised myself as a food writer that I will never sugar coat a truly bad experience, if not that defeats the point of a review. This might be awkward hmm.

Nonetheless, one of the main reasons why they invited food blogger Melissa (melicacy.com) who in turn brought me along is because Boston Seafood Shack has committed to change. The previous service crew team has been served fried cuttlefish (fired), the head chef has been replaced and the recipes have been tweaked. Even the ordering format has changed from a fast-food counter style to table menu ordering like a proper restaurant. These guys are serious about getting back on track.

Meeting the chirpy PR team of Reza and Eileen, I'm glad the experience started out well with these amicable fellows. The restaurant interior is clean, brightly lit with a lot of natural sunlight from the glass windows, and has a casual nautical theme associated with western seafood.

So how does the food measure up?

 


First up were portions of Mussels/Clams with Garlic Bread ($12). These came with spicy white wine broth, a very classic seafood dish and loads of garlic. The white wine reduction was pretty well done, not tasting any of the alcohol and pairing well with the shellfish. The ample diced garlic and spice made sure there was not much oceanic taste from the clams/mussels. My only gripe is that serving pot was not wide enough, and wanting to dip garlic bread in the white wine sauce below all the claims/mussels proved as challenging as wrestling a polar bear.

 
Crispy Soft Shell crab ($11). Paired with lobster sauce. This was absolutely value for money, getting TWO crabs at $11. Usual Japanese restaurants probably do the same tempura soft shell crab in the range of $8-$10 for ONE. So getting this is quite worth the money. The crab is crispy and batter is fragrant akin to tempura. Douse it with the lobster sauce to get a nice compliment of crispiness and wet seafood flavours with each bite.

 
What American seafood restaurant is complete without Fish and chips? Melissa, a.k.a the bottomless pit, ordered the Wild Snapper Premium batter fish and chips ($14). I've to say, the fish is pretty... normal. Nothing really exciting about the red snapper, but nothing really bad either.

 


Boston Seafood Bucket ($17). A fried mix of calamari, oysters, prawns and fish and chips. Eating the entire bucket can get a bit repetitive on the palate, with every item fried in the same batter and giving similar textures. The portion's pretty big though and the price is quite reasonable.
Lobstah roll

Lobstah roll

 


Boston Premium Lobstah Roll ($14). Oh yea, the photo looks as good as it tastes. This was my favourite item at Boston Seafood Shack. The lobster chunks were huge in this bun roll and the creamy lobster mayonnaise sauce was refreshing after all the fried goods. The lobster wasn't shredded finely and served with loads of mayonnaise to musk the lack of meat like other places do to save cost. This is the star buy here.

 


Seafood Grilled Platter ($24). Grilled red snapper, prawns, calamari, corn and buttered rice. Compared to the fried seafood bucket, this provided much more variety in taste and texture combining fried and grilled elements with staple rice. I felt the snapper wasn't fresh enough though, as grilled seafood needs to be really fresh to bring out the natural flavours. Compared to Fish & Co's seafood platter which no doubt everyone will use as a gauge, this dish still has improvements to make.

 


From top: Baked Seafood Marinara pasta ($14), Crabmeat Porcini Cream Sauce pasta ($14). I was really full by this point, but the bottomless pit somehow managed 2 more pastas. The seafood marinara sauce tasted like the cook misread 2 teaspoons of basil as 2 barrels. The herbs were just too overpowering and I hope this was a one off mistake.

The Crabmeat Porcini was a completely different experience, with generous amounts of crab meat mixed with springy porcini mushrooms and light, tasty cream sauce. This was a pretty good pasta even after so much food.

There were a few hits and misses at Boston Seafood Shack, and I am glad to say that this restaurant is not as bad as the internet puts it out to be. They had a rocky start, but not now anyway. Some of the dishes like the Lobstah Roll and Crispy Soft Shell crab have very generous portions and serve value for money. If you eat with an unbiased stomach, Boston Seafood Shack is worth a try if you're in the area.

Expected damage if you eat normally: $20-$30 per pax

More reviews at:
http://sethlui.com/category/food-review-2/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Lobstah roll
 
Date of Visit: Sep 25, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Fusion | Café

Open Door Policy is another one of those places you hear a lot of people talk about and want to see what the fuss is about. And there is a lot of fuss.

Located at the Tiong Bahru Neighbourhood, this seems like an odd match. The food is average I would say, but atmosphere is very appealing.

Tried the 48hr braised beef cheek, tender but slightly gamey in taste. Roasted chicken was rubbery in texture.

Apple crumble was very nicely baked though, crusty and fragrant vanilla custard on top.

The entire experience and more photos can be read at my blog:
Braised beef cheef

Braised beef cheef

 
For full review and more photos, please visit http://sethlui.com/food-review-open-door-policy/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Apple crumble,beef cheek
 
Date of Visit: Sep 08, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $35(Lunch)

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

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Homely, Korean Food OK Sep 07, 2013   
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Categories : Korean | Restaurant | Army Stew

Suyuk Boilex Pork

Suyuk Boilex Pork

 
Bigmama doesn’t have the polished skills of a professional restaurant, which really does resemble home cooking a lot. However the problem is I don’t really have a affinity to Korean home-cooking since I’m Singaporean, so I couldn’t really appreciate the homeliness of the dishes. Also, Bigmama might have tuned a few dishes to suit Singaporean preferences as the taste profile differed from the ones in Korea. It’s a smart business move in a way, but then it starts drifting away from being authentic which conflicts the entire style.

In terms of affordability, I don’t think it’s as cheap as some other reviewers put it out to be. The simple menu is also roughly $10-$12 for single portion of mix rice or noodles, which is in the normal restaurant range compared to food court Korean food which is about $7-$8.


For full review and more photos, please visit http://sethlui.com/food-review-bigmama-korean-restaurant/
 
Date of Visit: Sep 05, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $40(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Classic Cantonese Restaurant Smile Nov 12, 2013   
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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Hotel | Dim Sum

The Regent hotel has retained much of its original heritage styling, but has through the years done modifications and minor refurbishing to keep with the times. Simply classic.

Summer palace is as old as the hotel itself, and retains much authenticity of Chinese semi-fine dining.
Having only 2 of us, we sampled the 5 course Power Lunch Set Menu ($52/person, minimum 2 person).

The dishes are all deeply-rooted in Chinese cuisine, with minor modifications to keep it more interesting and premium. The dumpling skin for example comes infused with Spinach in the skin.
Chef's selection dim sum

Chef's selection dim sum

 
1st course: Chef's dim sum selection - excellent dim sum, but don't eat the presentation garnish vegetables, it spoils the taste.

2nd course: Double Boiled Seafood Soup served in Golden Pumpkin - my favourite dish. Clear soup double boiled to really get the flavour essence concentrated, it paired lovely with the stronger sweet, soft flesh of the pumpkin bowl that could be easily scooped with a spoon. The crab meat, prawns and scallops inside were also soft and tender, meticulously cooked separately due to varying ingredient cooking times.

3rd course: Pan Fried Wagyu Beef with Soya Sauce - Being a Canton restaurant though, this is a distinctively Chinese dish with a premium touch to it. The beef was definitely tender and thankfully the soya sauce was not overpowering enough to mask the beef flavour completely.

4th course: Fried rice with seafood - Topped with dehydrated deep fried rice grains, the fried rice had a crunchy bite that brings an element of surprise to this common dish. A simple dish that can't go wrong.

5th course: Combination of Desserts which were Osmanthus Jelly, Mango Pudding with Pomelo, Sago Dessert. Another Chef's special, the first 2 are time-honoured Hong Kong desserts that anyone who trained in Hong Kong needs to know. Special highlight to the Chef's own creation of a Sago dessert, containing lemongrass jelly, aloe vera and lime juice with bits of fruit. A very refreshing jelly that clears your palate after the meal.

Food blog at http://sethlui.com
 
Date of Visit: Oct 29, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $60(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Australian / New Zealand | Bars/Lounges | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills

New Head Chef Dallas Cuddy promises to bring change to this Australian Streak restaurant, making ingredients from scratch with a fine-dining touch. He even grows his own herbs outside the restaurant... ... WUT?!

The Prime Society serves one of Singapore's best Australian beef cuts, with quality steaks from Mayura Station, Rangers Valley and Cape grim- the best you can get from all over Australia. In Mayura station, they feed the wagyu cows marshmallows and sing to them. That's better than how my mom treats me.

Although some of the breeds are good, don't bother with the inferior cuts like tri-tip or petite tender, instead go for the time tested flavourful cuts like Sirloin or Ribeye.

Also perhaps the staff didn't inform the guests properly which is a service oversight, but some of the steaks like the Cape Grim sirloin was intentionally seared to produce a charred exterior, which might look burnt but is the way it's done to introduce a mutli-layered flavour.
steaks

steaks

 
I recommend:
Starters
-Truffle chicken liver parfait pastry ‘cigar’ ($5/piece)
-Salmon ceviche, whipped roe and anchovy pastry ($13)
Main
-Mayura Station Full Blood Wagyu Sirloin cut ($110)
-Cape Grim Grass fed Black Angus- Sirloin ($58)
Dessert
-Baked lemon and honey cheesecake, blackberries and burnt meringue ($10)

More photos and the full review at http://sethlui.com/prime-society-singapore-food-review/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Cape Grim Grass fed Black Angus- Sirloin
 
Date of Visit: Oct 08, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $120(Dinner)

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

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