Atlas Bar: More than just that Gin Tower

0
COM

With Singapore Cocktail Festival out of the way, life dulls down to a certain state of normalcy and I can finally catch a breath or two without having to sip on my fancy old fashioned in between.

Still, life and food revolves around the general bar-hopping practices, and if there's one thing I've noticed in terms of bar trends - standard of food is of paramount importance to the viability of the bar. Especially if you're looking to retain your drinking cliente for longer periods. Some of my recommendations for good tipples paired with equally satisfying nosh, include Tippling Club, Employees Only, new kid on the block, Cracker Jack, Neon Pigeon, 28HKS and Sugarhall. What's next?

For drink chasers whose bank accounts are more of less self-replenishing, there's a gleaming gem in the Gotham building that has just opened up to stupendous response. For realms of pleasure that extend beyond the regular truffle fries, look to Atlas Bar.

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017: Chasing Stars (or Guest Bartenders) Part 2

0
COM

Took a day's breather from the roll call as yours truly is currently winging SGCF duties on barely 4 hours of sleep. *groans*. If I could be an inanimate object, it would be a piece of rotting wood, a little bit of moss on the side to elaborate on the fermentation process. BUT, I'm back with a vengeance! 3 days into the festival and we've hit the halfway mark. If you've been reserving your liver, or if you've got the means of a back-up generator, here are some of the guest shifts and events that you should definitely drop in for!

Singapore Cocktail Festival 2017: Chasing Stars (or Guest Bartenders) Part 1

0
COM

The pivotal moment for me in my cocktail foray came when I first took a deep incestuous whiff of  that Kaya Toast Cocktail at Bitters and Love (as if recreating scenes of smothering myself in Naz's smooth locks. I think I'm going to need a moment). That was many moons ago, my love for sweet things dwindling down to a dull but omnipresent mode; the fixation switching tides to tipples that are a bit more persuasive, more lethal. But, you're not here to listen to the story of my journey to alcoholism. You're here to read up about my recommendation for this 6 mad days of a journey to a thousand tipples.

If you haven't already heard (where have you been?), Singapore Cocktail Festival comes back with a bang this year, with the same mad-house antics of International guest bartender shifts and workshops happening all around town with the exception of the Festival Village on 99 Beach Road working as the heart of the festivities. No more wristbands. Good God!!! Just good old bar-hopping sans the restrictions of having to manage expectations with $14 cocktails. That being said, most bars will be running promotions on the specialty cocktails curated just for the festival, so do keep a look out at all the 45 participating establishments dotting the island.

Don Meijin: Look past the Chilli Crab Tendon

0
COM

Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder at Ramen Champion; the through-bred recruited their newest contender, wait, WHUT? A specialist donburi joint which does only Japanese rice bowls.

Before you go on to discount this manoeuvre as a sell-out, hear me out, the long queues at lunch are justifiable given it's wallet friendly fare with a certain respect for quality.

[NEW] Sweetfish: Hits the Sweet Spot with their Poke Bowls

0
COM

Let's lay it all out on the table shall we. I am probably the most stoic character you'll know, where the subject of poke bowls are concerned. I look to my colleagues in dismay when they foot $18 to get a bowl of pathetically portioned fish cubes tossed in too much marinade parked over plain white rice, which may have been packed steaming hot in some instances. Deadly sin there and might I add, it irks me that joints touting this fad food be popping up like rabid bunnies all over the island.

Then came along Sweetfish, which may have just successfully flipped the switch on my cruel and cynical mentality. Californian inspired instead of the usual Hawaiian ahi poke influenced, it's frankly much healthier and fresher in vibes with each order being marinaded to order.

Ninja Bowl: Indulge in their NEW brunch nosh

0
COM

Once again, Ninja Bowl satisfies Singaporeans need for constant innovation in the brunch fare department with the addition of 5 new dishes to it's menu. Was I blown away? Not really, the 'ingenuity' fostered by a clever permutation and combination technique of it's long time signatures such as the Gyu and Tama as well as the Ebisu (read here). Still, I waxed lyrical after my meal since every dish presented me a refreshing facade. The Japanese flair represented, more forthright than before.

[NEW] Philly Shack: Home to the Philadelphia Cheesesteak

0
COM

It's been awhile folks, and I apologise for my absence. Here to make up for me playing hooky, I'm going to tell you about this new joint in the Clarke Quay precinct that I've had the privilege of suffering the weight of its entire menu. (Then again, this only came to mind whilst preparing to head out to Zouk's Official Opening Party over the weekend, so that's a blessing in disguise!)

Philly Shack arose when the owners of now defunct Butchers Club decided to take matters in their own hands and do a spin-off on their own concept. As a result, a new fast food joint, Philly Shack was born. Touting the Philly Cheesesteak as it's MVP, the rest of the menu highlights the regular American fast food joint fare, everything from Buffalo Wings, Onion rings to Burgers and Boozy milkshakes. Making it the ideal pit stop for a hunger-pang-busting lunch, chillax after-work spot to convene over drinks or a late-night closer when one is intoxicated.

Inaniwa Yosuke x Machida Shoten Collaboration Menu: Think I just found my favourite Udon

0
COM


I've heard word about this place even before I set foot in the joint. And that my friends, is the hallmark of a business's success, the power of the word-of-mouth. Thanks to my side-line activities *ahem*, I had the privilege to try out Inaniwa Yosuke's infamous udon.

We started off with the largest set in the house - The Tempura and Ajikurabe Set ($32) which comes with Tempura, tsuke udon with both syoyu and GomaTare dipping sauces, kake udon, creme caramel and the whole she-bang. For that price, this set is a whopping steal and is sufficient for two peckish diners looking for a quick afternoon fix. Having had an age old history that concerned the Emperor's decree to continue udon production solely for the royal family, you know for sure that you're in for the real deal. The noodles were finer than commercialised renditions with a slippery edge and glistening appearance, the very epitome of Akita craftsmanship and skill in Inaniwa udon making.

I much prefer the Tsuke Udon, the coolness of the strands accentuated when dipped into simply made syoyu sauce with a scatter of scallions and accompanying wasabi.



We were also fortunate to be given the chance to try the Inaniwa Yosuke X Machida Shoten Collaboration dish with the broth single-handedly prepared by the talented folks of the latter establishment also based in Japan Food Town. A rich Tonkotso broth, this is one to leave a pleasant oleaginous finish to your meal, the clever infusion of yuzu lightening the flavor, balancing out the finesse of the springy udon to the robust but intriguing broth. This is served with Kakuni Tamago, stewed Hokkaido beef yielding to the bite with little resistance while the flavored egg cooked in shoyu injects a high level of comfort. A definite must-have within the short 2 week span of its collaboration.

Tokyo Dashi Maki Tamago ($12)
I think it's not required that I wax any more lyrical about this place. The simple bullet-point listing, substantial evidence enough to prove that Inaniwa is worth a visit anytime. Heed my advice and scoot on over now!

Inaniwa Yosuke
Japan Food Town
Wisma Atria
t: 6262 3279

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11 30am - 3pm; 5pm - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 11am - 3pm; 5pm - 11pm

Wildseed Cafe & Bar: Where the kaya toast reigns supreme

0
COM

There's an alarming trend in brunch food these days. Slap on an egg onto any dish, a door stopper piece of toast, handmade roti, freshly toasted waffle with a complimentary blob of cream/custard masterfully dashed across the plate and you've got a $16-worth brunch dish. Go forth and snap that money shot while canoodling your $6 cup of #latteart in oblivion, before returning back to the harsh reality of life later, realizing that the damage done to your wallet was only in aid of experiential value. Yes, I'm a cynic at most times, but cafe culture and the mediocrity of it's offerings foster those sentiments.

Hence, if you're out to pay for the experience, you might as well take the journey up North to the tree-lined roads of aerospace park surrounding former Seletar Airbase. Go BIG or go home. Here you'll find The Summerhouse, a multi-concept F&B destination 'confined' within an 11-hectare cluster of gazette conservation bungalow, also home to the newest cafe - Wildseed Cafe and Bar.

WTF (We Talk Food): let's talk Barachirashi Don

0
COM

I too, honestly, cannot wrap my mind around the establishment's name. WTF easily becoming the butt of all jokes. But name aside, WTF does one of the most legit and comfortably priced Chirashidon bowls you can find in this part of town. Barachirashi Don ($18.90) served in a wooden bowl is a treasure trove of ingredients with everything from scallops to ikura, amaebi, tuna, scallops tossed in a scrumptious soya dressing over rice.

The joint is simple, down-to-earth and awfully souless if I might add. The al-fresco area charming those tipple-lovers looking for a little peace and quiet while willing to endure the distressing heat; whereas the humdrum indoor seating area is monotonous but offers a plain view of the kitchen augmented by roaring burst of gas for flames. If you're looking for a place to impress your date, this is not one of them. Instead, visit when the hunger pangs hit and you've exhausted all other choices in the region.