Posts Tagged ‘casual eateries’

Ssikkek / Ssik Sin Korean Grill BBQ at Tampines One

Since I am in the Korean BBQ mood, I decided to post this review of Ssikkek Koeran Grill BBQ located at Tampines One. I shall confess that prior to this visit, I had no inclination to visit any Korean BBQ restaurants because my impression of them thus far was that they were waaaaay too expensive as compared to other restaurants. I often felt that a few slivers of meat could cost tens of dollars at Korean BBQ restaurants, and why would I want to pay that when I can get a good whole steak for the same price at Western restaurants?

That was until I visited Ssikkek Korean Grill BBQ at Tampines One. I tell you, the pricing is crazy! CRAZY LOW that is! It costs only $14.90++ for lunch and $24.90++ for dinner for unlimited servings of Korean BBQ items!! The pricing reminds me of Seoul Garden, but I think this is way better, especially in terms of service rendered. The truth be told, I was a little apprehensive about the quality of the food, given the spartan looks of the restaurant and the affordable pricing, especially when most other Korean BBQ restaurants are way more expensive. But luckily as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Ssikkek BBQ (22)

Look at my BFF looking so excited about barbecuing so many pieces of meat. Think guys would love Ssikkek Korean Grill because they can just feast, feast and feast on the unlimited amounts of meat!

Ssikkek BBQ (6)

You get about 10 different types and cuts of meats to choose from. There’s stuff like pork bacon, marinated beef short ribs, pork belly, marinated chicken etc. If you go during lunch hour, there will be less selection of meats.

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GardenAsia and Cafe Bistro

One of the best perks of my job is that I have a bunch of fun loving colleagues who love exploring new cafes and eateries during our lunch hour. This totally fits in with the theme of my blog, which is to share with you all the unique cafes and restaurants in Singapore, even if this means having to traverse to the ends of Singapore to bring you something interesting!

GardenAsia is literally at the end of Singapore as it’s in the Kranji / Neo Tiew area. Just across the waters is Malaysia already, and if you venture even closer to the edge of Singapore eg at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve, you might just end up on the Malaysian cellular network! Best to visit GardenAsia and it’s Kranji Countryside if you have a car, because buses are almost non existent on these farm way routes (except on weekends I believe), and you can bet your 2nd last dollar that an empty taxi won’t be cruising along here. Oh you might want to try the Kranji Shuttle, but that only operates every 1.5 hours. But it’s definitely worth a visit to this part of Singapore to get some urban reprieve.

Bistro @ GardenAsia (6)

The first thing that you are likely to chance upon at GardenAsia is this man-made pond next to the non-airconditioned Bistro @ GardenAsia. The pond isn’t much to look at, but it’s still interesting for being different. Even though it was scorching hot, we didn’t feel the heat sitting under the blissful shade in the cafe area. I wonder if it is because of the water effect?

Bistro @ GardenAsia (8)

We didn’t have lunch at GardenAsia because if you will believe it, we were farm hopping that day. We did stop for a couple of snacks just to test out the food though and I must say I’m impressed enough to want to make the cross country trip again on the weekend! Check out these crispy chicken wings. Perhaps I had to share these with my colleagues so I could only have one piece, but these were piping hot and very tasty! The skin was lightly crisp and the wings didn’t leave you with a greasy feeling.

Bistro @ GardenAsia (5)

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Nakhon Bedok

This place is amazing. Every time I pass by Nakhon during dinner hours, it always has a snaking queue! The Bedok Nakhon is located at the left end of a HDB block. Once, I tried to get a seat at 9pm on a Sunday night, and I had to wait at least 20 minutes! This is despite there being a coffee shop on the opposite end of the HDB block. A couple of my friends have eaten at the Nakhon Hougang/Kovan branch and they like the food due to its home-style cooking and very affordable prices.

Nakhon

There is not much seating, which is partly the reason why the dinner queues are so long. I was here on a Friday afternoon for lunch at 1.30pm and the crowd was pretty manageable. We got a seat immediately. The food was also served surprisingly fast, especially for my beef noodles. Like within 2 or 3 minutes after ordering.

Nakhon - Beef Kuay Teow $4

Beef Kuay Teow $4

I’m not very adventurous when it comes to Thai food. I usually stick to my favourites like Beef Kuay Teow, Phad Thai or Green Curry with Rice. I don’t mind the taste of Tom Yam soup but it is usually too spicy for me, not just at Nakhon, but at Aroy Thai and Thai Express as well. Beef Kuay Teow is so super safe, I don’t even think it’s Thai! You can get this dish at Chinese Cze Char stalls!

This beef kuay teow  was pretty tasty, as all fried kuay teow are apt to be. It wasn’t overly oily, the noodles were firm and had a nice bite. There were numerous slices of beef which were tender, not overcooked, but I thought could do with a bit more flavour. Eggy bits dotted the dish. For $4, I thought it was a steal, considering the fact that it could actually cost more at Cze Char stalls, not to mention that Nakhon’s environment would be at least 1 notch higher than a coffee shop. They also have chicken or pork kuay teow, also $4.

Nakhon - Basil Seafood Rice $8 Basil Seafood Rice $8

My father was going to order the Seafood Fried Rice $6 when the waiter recommended the Basil Seafood Rice. This one I thought was quite expensive for a setting like Nakhon. Granted they gave 2 huge pieces of squid, 1 mussel along with some prawns and fish, but for $8 I would expect double the value of the Beef Kuay Teow!

My father said the dish was acceptable. I tried the squid, and I found it to be kind of soft on the inside. I wonder if it was because it was undercooked. I did like the slightly sweet gravy that was provided though.

Nakhon - Fish Cakes $6 Fish Cakes $6

A friend once told me he would not ever order such fish cakes as they are more flour than fish. I have to agree with him on that, there are no slivers of fish, nor a texture of minced fish. It really is more cakey than minced fish. Maybe Thai fish cakes are meant to be just normal fishcakes with a stronger fish essence? I’d actually tasted Nakhon’s fish cakes before but because I wanted something to nibble on, I insisted on ordering this even though my father asked me to take the salad. So I guess you could say that for a fishcake of this sort, it was enjoyable for me. Didn’t try the sweet sauce with diced peanuts as my father had walloped the entire thing. Blah.

These were the dishes I had 2 days ago. On a separate occasion, when accompanying a gluttonous friend, I ordered the Thai Red Ruby dessert on his recommendation just to be sociable since I’d already had dinner. That was way below expectations. While the red rubies were delightful to the eyes and pretty enjoyable as they were crunchy on the inside yet sticky on the outside, the milky liquid they sat in was severely diluted. Also, I was expecting a generous amount of the red rubies, but it was not to be.

I think Nakhon is still worth a try since it is on the whole pretty affordable. There are hits and misses but if you stick to the safe dishes, you shouldn’t be disappointed. I’m quite keen to try out more of their dishes soon so watch this space for more updates.

Nakhon Bedok Branch

Address: Blk 136 Bedok North Ave 3, #01-166 Singapore

Tel: +65 6245 5548

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