Sunday, September 27, 2015

Montana Brew Bar - Go For the Waffles

A colleague had recommended Montana Brew Bar (MBB for short) so the wife and I made a trip down after work one evening to give it a shot.

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The Place

MBB occupies a small space on the first floor of PoMo and plays neighbour to an outlet of Ya Kun Kaya Toast. MBB attempts to distinguish itself by utilising earthy colours in its design and through the placement of warm lights. Seating is rather limited with space for approximately 20+ pax or so. How the place works is you place your order and make payment at the counter and the food will be served to you. One small gripe I had was that I couldn't order everything at once and request for dessert to be served later; not particularly flexible in my humble opinion.

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Southern Fried Chicken Waffle

This dish inevitably brought about comparisons with The Beast's offering of this classic Southern dish. First up, the chicken. MBB's chicken was a mess of spicy, a tad dry chicken pieces thrown together and topped with spicy mustard coleslaw; clearly in a totally different league from that of The Beast's juicy, flavourful rendition. The waffles were a totally different story altogether though. Whilst The Beast's waffles came across as hard and unpleasantly sourish, MBB's waffles were light and fluffy with a mildly crisp exterior. Maybe both eateries could contemplate working together?

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Umami Burger

At $14, this was honestly quite small and came adorned with cheese, mushrooms and bonito flakes. Which was all good because of the various layers of flavour except that the basic beefy taste was a little lacking. I liked the overall flavour but mourned the absence of the beefiness. The bun (apparently it's made from sweet potato) came across as soft and mildly sweet; no great shakes honestly. You have the option of topping up $2 to "upgrade" your fries to truffle fries, which isn't such a great idea in my humble opinion as the quantity of fries is very limited and the fries I had came seriously drenched in truffle oil (where's the QC?) with loads of fragrance but not much of a truffle taste. 

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First Bill

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Chocolate Banana Waffles

As the waffles were good, we decided to have another waffle for dessert; the chocolate banana waffle. And it came across as decent. The waffle sported the same light, fluffy texture as the one that came with the chicken earlier on except that this was darker in colour and had bits of what seemed like oreo crumbs wedged in random spots within the waffle. No chocolate taste whatsoever. The vanilla bean ice cream was relatively smooth with no discernible ice chips whilst the banana slices could do with more caramelisation. What I found interesting was the Nutella truffle butter that was sprinkled sporadically throughout; in the form of tiny clumps and mildly sweet.

Moral of the story? Stick to the original waffles.

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Second Bill

Overall we spent $38 for two waffles and a burger. Not too expensive and overall food quality is still decent. But I would skip the burgers in future and head straight for the waffles.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10
Service: NA
Food: 6.5/10 (7/10 for the waffle alone)
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 6.33/10

Address: #01-04, PoMo

Contact: 6659 6680

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-930pm

Coffee tea beverages 8am-930pm

Full food menu 10am-930pm


Sunday, September 20, 2015

La Strada - Excellent Carbonara

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La Strada has been around for quite a while but after our rather uninspiring lunch at Les Amis (sister restaurant under the same umbrella) a few months back, I wasn't too keen on dining at La Strada. But as fate would have it, I had an errand to run in the vicinity so decided to drop by for a quick lunch, seeing that the place was relatively empty on a Monday afternoon.

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The Place

Located just next to Bistro Du Vin (which serves great set lunches by the way), La Strada sports a compact, cosy interior with red tiled floors, wooden tables and chairs against a yellow backdrop. I opted for one of the 3 small tables by the window for a view of the adjourning walkway but do note that means the passersby see you as well.

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La Strada's signature Carbonara; didn't look like much but every bit an excellent dish. Beneath the thin, al dente, homemade guitar string pasta lay a confit of egg yolk which added to the creaminess of the dish when the yolk broke. Sprinkled with crisp but a touch overly salty lardo crumble (salumi, an Italian cold cut made by curing strips of pork with herbs and spices) for that extra crunch, this dish also boasted a rich fragrance and earthiness courtesy of the truffle butter sauce. Delicious without coming across as nauseating. But to be fair, I guess that in part has to do with the portion size, which was really quite small. I would probably need at least 2 bowls to fill myself up but at $28++ a pop, it's definitely not that affordable. One of the best Carbonara I've had to date.

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Served up in a bowl and dusted with chocolate flakes (not the usual cocoa powder), the mascarpone cheese to sponge ratio was pretty good but unfortunately, the bottom of the sponge came across as very soggy from soaking in too much of the Kahlua. Topped with coffee lookalike, chocolate beans. Decent but not outstanding.

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Lunch cost me about $54 and prices are undeniably on the high side for a relatively casual restaurant and the small portions. In this aspect, the set lunch @ $35++ does seem like a more viable alternative, just that you won't find the signature Carbonara listed as one of the options. Service came across as rather friendly and good. I'll definitely be happy to return for the Carbonara when the craving hits.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 7/10 (8/10 for the Carbonara) 
Value for money: 6/10
Overall: 6.75/10

Address: #01-13 Shaw Centre

Contact: 6735-6656

Opening Hours: 12.00pm to 2.30pm & 6.30pm to 10.00pm daily


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Suprette II - Still My Favourite Burger In Singapore Thus Far

I was craving a good burger and the wife happened to be on leave so we headed down to Suprette for lunch one weekday afternoon. Our last visit there was absolutely delicious so it was the natural choice for a burger fix.

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Chunky Chicken Chowder

This was part of the set lunch that the wife had and it came across as creamy but a wee bit too salty. However the chicken chunks were plentiful which was rather unexpected.

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Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

I had a bite of the chipotle chicken sandwich and it proved to be very decent; a tad creamy with a tinge of spiciness and sandwiched between two crisp bread halves. Served with shoe string fries and salad - all for $15 nett inclusive of a soup and a drink. A pretty decent deal if you ask me.

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Suprette Burger

And my sole reason for coming to Suprette, the namesake Suprette Burger ($20 for lunch, $25 for dinner), topped with bacon (+$3) and mushrooms (+$3). The hand chopped patty was done to medium well even though I had requested for medium rare but still came across as flavourful and juicy with bits of fat for texture. Add plentiful mushrooms, crisp bacon strips, a layer of gruyere cheese and two wonderfully buttery and crisp buns for the ultimate enjoyment. Oh and let's not forget the mountain of crisp shoestring fries (free flow if you visit during dinner but a single serving is more than enough for me).

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Lunch cost the both of us to the tune of $42.54, which was well worth the money in my humble opinion. A pity there is no option to have the burger as part of the set lunch (even with a top up) but in itself, the set lunch does represent decent value for money. But the draw (to me at least) is still undeniably the burger.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 7/10 (8.5/10 for the burger)
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

Address: 383 Jalan Besar

Contact: 6298 8962

Opening Hours:

Breakfast and Lunch
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 3:00pm
Sat - Sun 7:30am - 4:00pm

Dinner and Drinks
Sun - Thu 6:00pm - 10:30pm (Closed on Tuesday Evening)
Fri - Sat 6:00pm till Midnight


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Bread Street Kitchen II - A Revisit

After our first acceptably decent experience at Bread Street Kitchen some 2 over months back, we were back with a couple of friends to see if things had changed for the better (or worse). Reservations for dinner were made well over a month in advance (gosh!) and no, we didn't get the promised window seats even though we arrived earlier than requested. The place was packed with people and very noisy from people trying to make themselves heard over the bar music.

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Tagliolini, Lobster, Chili, Spring Onions, Parsley and White Wine

We started off with something from the hot appetiser section, the lobster tagliolini. Small pieces of crunchy (but lacking in natural sweetness) lobster meat coupled with a less than al dente (tad overcooked) tagliolini that featured an almost overwhelming alcoholic taste to it and finished with a mild punch from the chilli; average at best and definitely not something I would order again.

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Roasted Sea Trout, Summer Vegetables, Lala Clams, Aromatic Broth

The roasted sea trout is a rather interesting species as it looks very similar to salmon and the key difference is in the taste of the flesh, which is supposedly finer and more delicate. BSK's roasted sea trout dish didn't quite expound on the subtle flavours of the trout, choosing to roast the not very fresh piece of trout (mildly crisp skin) and pairing it in a salty, oriental style broth which masked the delicate flavours in my humble opinion. Palatable but hardly impressive. 

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Dingley Dell Pork Chop 10oz

The steak I had during my previous visit was pretty good but it had been a substantially "beefy" week for me so I went with the pork chop instead. A tad charred on the surface and along the edges of the fat and seasoned with a dash of salt; flavourful right down to the bone. Only issue I had was that the meat came across as a wee bit too dry and there was a huge chunk of fat in one corner which was pretty nauseating to consume. At $44++ for 10oz, the pork wasn't exactly cheap but thankfully it tasted a few notches above average.

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Our share of the bill came up to almost $132, which was rather expensive for the quality and quantity of food. The service staff tried to be friendly but came across as hurried and insincere in some instances.

At such a price point, I'm writing off BSK for now until things (general food quality and service) improve. Or until Beef Wellington gets introduced into the menu, which is a totally different matter altogether.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6.5/10 (nice place but noisy)
Service: 6/10 (dipped in the 2+ months since we last visited)
Food: 6/10 (7/10 for the pork chop)
Value for money: 5.5/10

Overall: 6/10

Address: Bay Level, L1-81, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 5665

Opening Hours:

Daily 11:30am - 5:30pm

Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm - 10pm
Thursday - Saturday 5:30pm - 12am