Archive for the ‘1.3 Casual Restaurants’ Category

IZA | The Skewer Bar – Siglap Izakaya opens past midnight

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Having lived in the East all my life, I’ve always wondered why something similar to Holland V isn’t available in the East. The Siglap area has always struck me as an area with very good potential, but after decades, it still hasn’t grown or changed much from what it was years ago and it still maintains its laid-back and quiet feel. There aren’t that many outlets open past midnight, so it doesn’t have the buzz that Holland V brings. But I suppose there’s some good in that too because it means it isn’t that crowded, crazy and pretentious?

But anyway, with the recent opening of IZA, a casual Izakaya bar nestled in the heart of Siglap, us living in the East have a new outlet to go to if we want to dine out late. IZA is open daily from 6pm – 1am, with last order of food at 12.30am. IZA has paired up with The Skewer Bar, which first opened an outlet in Geylang, to offer a mix of kushiyaki skewers as well as Japanese-inspired classic dishes. Japanese-inspired meaning the food is local, with Japanese elements to it. Or you could think of it as Japanese food that has been localised. Again, not a bad thing if you’re craving for Singaporean comfort food.

Prices are pretty affordable, especially if you go for the rice bowls and noodles, which cost around $7.90 – $12.90. Table treats, starters and skewers seem reasonably priced too. Not a bad place to go if you want drinks and a variety of bites.

Let me start off with the items I enjoyed the most during my tasting session. I actually enjoyed the rice bowl and noodles very much, even though the skewers are supposed to be the highlight.

Iza - Unagi Don

Unagi Don $12.90

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Where to have an affordable Christmas Dinner for about $30+!

Christmas Dinner

Christmas is a time for celebrating, but the last thing you want is to feel like a pauper the rest of the year. If you want to have a cheap Christmas meal and you don’t want to cook, here are some restaurants and cafes to consider. Also read my article on 15 places to have Festive Afternoon Tea, because afternoon tea is cheaper than Festive Buffet Lunch or Dinner!

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Big Sake Bar–They actually do a mean Omakase

With a name like Big Sake Bar, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they only do alcohol. But in actual fact, Big Sake Bar has a pretty extensive izakaya menu, and interestingly, they also do an 8 course Omakase for $88 nett. $108 nett gets you the omakase set with a Tokkuri (carafe) of sake from your choice of 3 premium sakes.

To enjoy the omakase, you would need to make an advanced reservation, the omakase is only served at the main sushi counter and that area only seats 6. You will be able to watch Head Chef Andy skilfully prepare each dish right in front of you. Speaking of Chef Andy, beneath the young-looking and quiet exterior lies a person with some serious knife skills. Although he does not have formal culinary training, he has worked at Ricciotti and The Sushi Bar before taking on the role of head chef at Big Sake Bar.

The omakase is only available until the end of 2017, so you better be quick about it. Scroll down for pictures of the delicious dishes.

Big Sake Bar - Sashimi Platter

Sashimi Platter

Thick slices of very fresh tasting swordfish, salmon, seared salmon and botan shrimp. Doesn’t require much more description than that. Shipments of fish from Japan come in 3 times a week.

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Five Nines Restaurant reopens at Cuppage Plaza – 6 course set menu at $49

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Five Nines (999.99), which used to be at Keong Saik Road, has now reopened on the 4th floor of Cuppage Plaza. Previously focussing on European cuisine, it has now shifted to serving affordable European-Japanese fare prepared with seasonal ingredients flown in from Japan several times a week. Lots of Japanese businessmen frequent Cuppage Plaza for the numerous Japanese restaurants there, so this is probably one of the reasons for the shift into Japanese-inspired food. Five Nines is a sister restaurant to Kappo Shunsui by Chef Tomo Watanabe, who led his restaurant Shunsui in Tokyo to Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand fame from 2015 to 2017. The culinary team at Five Nines is led by 37 year old Head Chef Takashi Ohkawa who has close to 2 decades of experience from restaurants across Italy and Japan.

One of the highlights of Five Nines is its $49++ 6 course set menu. If you want to experience a bit of fine dining (food-wise), $49 is about as affordable as it can go in Singapore. See pictures below for my experience. You will have to make an advanced reservation for the set menu though as ingredients are limited.

Five Nines - Marinated Botan Shrimp and Couscous Salad

Marinated Botan Shrimp and Couscous Salad

If you’ve never had this, this raw shrimp tastes totally different from any cooked prawn you have ever eaten. When you bite into it, it has a certain firmness yet spring to it. This was prepared such that even the shell could be eaten.

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Antoinette– The new Hakka-inspired dishes taste fantastic!

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You may know Antoinette for it’s dainty and delectable desserts, but did you know that Antoinette serves up delicious mains as well? These are not just a few savoury dishes to cater to those that happen to be hungry, but a full-fledged menu that you would find in a good restaurant.

Award-winning Chef Pang Kok Keong is always experimenting with new dishes. You can tell when he makes it a point to come up with a cake collection launch every single year. Recently, he decided to create Hakka inspired dishes so as to showcase his culinary heritage. When you look at these dishes, you’ll wonder, are these Western dishes, or are these Asian dishes? Therein lies the excitement of dining at Antoinette’s, some of the new dishes are so different, you’re kept on your toes wondering what’s coming next!

Take a sneak peek below of what the 6 new dishes are like. The revamped Antoinette menu will still feature some classic French dishes as well as these 6 new special dishes. So glad to know that my favourite Nougatine crepes are still available, although only during tea time and weekend brunch. One of the best crepes I’ve ever had!

 

Antoinette - Bread and Butter  (2)

Bread Basket $5

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