Archive for the ‘1.3 Casual Restaurants’ Category

People watch with Tortilla Wraps at Marriott Hotel’s Crossroads Cafe

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You know they say much has changed in Orchard Road as compared to a decade or two ago. Aside from the fact that so many new malls have sprung up, and the older malls having had a complete facade overhaul, even long standing shops have moved on and been replaced with newer ones.

But one place that has retained its prominent spot along Orchard Road is Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel’s Crossroads Cafe. I can recall walking pass the al-fresco Crossroads Cafe numerous times when going to Far East Plaza was then the in thing. It was always chockfull of people and still is even until today. If you think that the F&B industry is fickle, take a leaf out of Crossroads Cafe’s experience!

However, even though it looked like a great spot to people watch, it never crossed my mind to enter this place. I had this impression that you’d only go there if you wanted an alcoholic drink, given that so many Caucasians frequent Crossroads Cafe, and are often seen holding wine glasses or beer bottles.

But recently, I found out that Crossroads Cafe serves a full-fledge bistro menu. Think dishes like salads, burgers, pasta, steaks, breakfast and even local food such as Hokkien Mee and Char Kuay Teow! The menu is pretty extensive actually, you can purview it on Crossroads Cafe’s website here.

Marriott Crossroads Cafe - $Iberico Pork Secreto $35

If you feel like you might now want to visit Crossroads Cafe, now’s a good time to go because Crossroads Cafe is currently having an Indulgent Tortilla Wraps promotion from now until 30 June 2018. For about $30 – $35 ++, you can select from one of 5 different tortilla wraps. The torilla wraps will be served platter style to facilitate sharing, with the tortilla sheets separate from the ingredients so that you can customise your own tortillas.

The five flavours on offer are

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Greenwood Fish Market opens at Valley Point

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Greenwood Fish Market is going places! They have just opened a 2,700 sqft outlet in River Valley and this is on the back of a 4,100 sqft outlet at Quayside Isle Sentosa Cove opened in 2016. And guess what, they’re not stopping there either. A whopping 8,500 sqft outlet is set to be opened in Dempsey Hill by the end of this year, and finally one outlet in the East at Jewel Changi Airport come next year.

To think that this little seafood restaurant has stood the test of time, 10 plus years is a very good record for an F&B business in Singapore!  When I first visited back in 2007, it was so small I recall having to squeeze past numerous seafood refrigerators in order to access the main restaurant itself. But my boss at that time waxed lyrical about the place (and its $1 oysters on Tuesday) so we all wanted to go (and also because he was paying the bill).

I haven’t been back in years so it was good to be able to check out their new outlet at Valley Point Shopping Centre. The menu has obviously expanded over time and since I’m not the biggest of fish fans, I liked that is a wide selection of seafood dishes and meat dishes too. Fish lovers will obviously want to select a fish of choice and have it either pan seared, baked, steamed, chargrilled, battered or crumbed, and served together with vegetables and starch. Non-fish fans can go for seafood based pastas, burgers and even steaks.

Greenwood Fish Market - Chargrilled Mediterranean Squid $16 (1)

Chargrilled Mediterranean Squid with soba egg sauce $16.90

The small plates selection is worth looking at too and that’s where I felt like ordering everything. They have things like deep fried calamari, chargrilled Mediterranean squid, tuna poke bowl (why no salmon poke?), cold smoked salmon and swordfish carpaccio. Put 2 or 3 of these together and you have a meal sized dish! In fact, the chargrilled Mediterranean squid was so humongous, it could have been a meal on its own.

Scroll down for pictures of what I tried!

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Spice World Hot Pot opens in Singapore–Fancy a meat dress doll or a mala Teddy Bear / Hello Kitty?

It’s no joke, the number of hot pot restaurants that have been opening in Singapore of late. Just this week, I attended 2 media tastings of new hot pot restaurants. Well, Spice World Hot Pot from China will certainly make you sit up, not least from the spiciness of its mala hot pot broth. If it doesn’t creep you out, order the barbie doll dressed in wagyu beef, or how about a mala Teddy Bear / Hello Kitty sitting in your soup broth?

Spice World Hot Pot, founded in 2003 is one of China’s top 10 global hotpot brands. The Sichuan mala broth is its signature soup broth. No artificial flavouring, MSG or flavour enhancers are used, and instead, the soup bases are first brewed in Sichuan China using deep forest peppercorns from Hongya farmlands, chillies from Guizhou and Sichuan, before being further processed in Singapore.

Spice World Hotpot Singapore (2)

Yes you eyes are not fooling you, that’s literally a Teddy Bear shaped out of mala soup and beef oil. For the luxury of watching Teddy or Hello Kitty slowly melt into the broth, it will cost you an additional $9.90. Might be worth the price if you have many Instagram followers, and let’s be frank, it’s actually quite fascinating to watch poor Teddy plop into the soup and dissolve away….

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Strong Flour–Super delicious hand-made fresh pasta that gave me sleepless nights

It’s relatively easy to get good pasta these days. Just walk into an authentic Italian restaurant, and you’re quite likely to be able to get a good meal there for a reasonable price of about 20 dollars or so per pasta dish.

So when I tell you that I recently found an amazing restaurant serving great pasta, it means that this place really stands out from the crowd! It’s this place called Strong Flour, which opened in March 2017. It’s a small little cafe/restaurant at Katong V Mall, opened by the same people that run Group Therapy Cafe and Scoop Therapy, also located in the same mall.

Strong Flour - Making Pasta by Hand

So what’s so mind-blowing about the pasta? First up, they make all their pasta by hand. You can actually see them churning out the pasta using a hand-cranked pasta machine at the open kitchen next to the entrance. So not only is fresh pasta made by hand, it’s made just a short while prior to cooking. If you’ve only ever eaten dried pasta all your life, you need to try fresh pasta. The bite, and the flavour is just sensational. It’s why the Italians just need a few simple ingredients to adorn the pasta, because seriously with fresh pasta, you could almost eat it on its own.

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Unagiya Ichinoji–First unagi speciality restaurant from Japan to open in Singapore!

Yes, Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant and Uya Japanese Unagi Restaurant are both Singapore brands, but Unagiya Ichinoji is the first unagi restaurant hailing from Japan to open in Singapore! If you are a fan of unagi and simply can’t get your fill, you might just want to check out Unagiya Ichinoji.

Unagiya Ichinoji is opened by Miyagawa Honten, which is one of Tokyo’s most well-known unagi restaurants, with a history spanning 125 years. Miyagawa Honten operates 20 outlets in Japan, and its outlet in Meguro-ku Tokyo has recently been awarded Bib Gourmand in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2018. Unagiya Ichinoji is its first foray overseas.

So what’s the difference between the unagis? According to the media release, the unagis aka eels are first steamed then grilled. The sweet basting sauce (tare) is from a recipe that has been passed down for 4 generations.  I personally have not tried Uya, but I have tried Man Man Japanese Unagi. I would say that Man Man’s unagi have a crisper exterior, and a light and flaky interior. Unagiya Ichinoji’s unagi is firmer to the bite and less crispy.

The following are the various preparation methods we tried. You should go for the preparation method which best suits you. Ie, go for the Seiro Mushi if you want something really light, and go for the Mamushi Donburi if you want something with stronger flavours. The Hitsumabushi is kinda like the all-rounder to me.

Unagiya Ichinoji -  Hitsumabushi $19 (2)

Hitsumabushi (L) $32.80

Unagiya Ichinoji -  Hitsumabushi $19 (1)

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