Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vatos Urban Tacos @ Beach Road, Singapore

Korean + Mexican = Match made in Heaven...

My sister in law and family were visiting Singapore (yay!), and staying in the new J.W. Marriott South Beach (amazing hotel BTW)... so, me and hubby were in the area, looking for some caffeine.

Coffee finally in hand, we were wandering around when we chanced upon Vatos Urban Tacos. It's quite hidden-tucked away in a corner of a beautiful old colonial style building, near the new office block:
Old facade with a renovated interior...

"MISS, NO OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINKS ALLOWED", I was informed...

Once I had negotiated the terms of my entry** with the friendly, but very "by the book" wait staff, we proceeded to examine the menu.
(** I parked my coffee on a stool, and put it in the corner like it had done something bad, and promised I wouldn't drink it while I was on the premises)
(Look, it's not like I like breaking all these rules but we hadn't planned on having a meal - Vatos looked interesting so we just went in to try it)

I love Korean food, and I also love Mexican food.
But Ko-Mex fusion? Well, I've never tried it before and had my doubts on how it would work - both cuisines are spicy, but with distinct flavor profiles.

First up that day, we tried the Honey Tequila Chicken Wings (S$ 19++).

The crispy wings came coated in sweet and spicy honey tequila sauce, served with deep fried jalapeno slices, and blue cheese dipping sauce on the side. With just a few deep fried jalepenos and some optional blue cheese sauce, I didn't find it very different from the usual Korean fried chicken (albeit very well done).
Sticky sweet deliciousness...


For our main, we tried the Korean Po Boy Burrito (S$ 21++).

Slices of Galbi short rib, and Korean pork belly, wrapped up with Mexican Rice, black beans, cheese, sautéed kimchi, cilantro lime crema, ssamjang aioli, Asian slaw, cilantro, onion, pico de gallo, and Sriracha mayo... it was a nice mix of tender meat and punchy kimchi flavor - would definitely order again. :D
(I recommend sharing this though, as the serving is quite big)
A log/burrito...


The dish that really stood out to me though (still craving now) was the Kimchi Carnitas Fries (S$ 19++).

Seasoned fries, topped with braised pork carnitas, sautéed Kimchi, melted cheese, topped with sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, and onion was an amazing mix of crunchy carbs, tender meat and sour spicy kimchi. So, SO, SO delicious.
I Love You, Deep Fried Carbs...


The inside of Vatos is just like any hipster resto-bar - comfortable and dimly lit, with a mix of industrial fixtures and exposed brick walls. It wasn't very busy as we were there at an odd hour on a weekday:
Interior of Vatos...


Overall, we both really enjoyed our meal there, and looking to returning soon to try more dishes, as well as the beer-itas. Next time, I'll remember to go without a rule breaking coffee in hand. :)

So, it's: Good selection of delicious fusion Mexican-Korean food, very conveniently located (near Esplanade MRT) BUT a bit expensive, friendly but sometimes blur service....


Summary Information:
Vatos Urban Tacos @ Beach Road, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Sun – Thurs 12pm – 11pm
Fri – Sat; 12pm – 12midnight

Phone: +65 6385 6010

Address: 36 Beach Road Singapore 189677
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Seth Lui.com
- Daniel Food Diary.com
- Lady Iron Chef

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Horizon Bistronomy @ NOL Building, Singapore

Fusion is not always a bad word...

It's pretty rare that I get to go out for lunch, as work is generally quite busy.

Lunch for me is usually a quick run to the nearby food court for takeaway, then back to office to enjoy my meal in the comforts of my office's pantry area with my colleagues. So, what a treat it was for me and my team-mates to go out for lunch at a nearby restaurant.

It turns out that Horizon Bistronomy has been opened for quite a while now, but I never noticed it before as it is located on the ground floor of the NOL building, which I don't pass by much. They serve fusion food (Asian/French/Italian) which is kinda passé, so I had my reservations.

Outside Horizon...

While there were interesting items on the a la carte menu, we focused on the Lunch set options:
- the Pasta/Risotto lunch set ($16.90++), which comes with a drink and choice of one starter and a pasta/ risotto for your main, OR
- the Main lunch set ($24.90++), which comes with a drink and a premium starter (eg. angel hair pasta with crab meat, tobiko and truffle oil) and heavier options for your main (eg. Duck Confit).

For my starter, I choose the Caprese salad - it was beautifully arranged and tasted refreshing, with the slightly sweet tomatoes pairing well with the mild pieces of mozzarella.
Cheese, Tomato, Basil deliciousness...

For my main, I chose the cauliflower risotto with Kakuni pork (Japanese style braised pork). The risotto was so delicious! - al dente grains of short grain rice, cooked to creamy perfection.

As for the pork, it was also absolutely delicious - tender texture, with a nice mix of savoury and sweet, pairing perfectly with the risotto.
(I was in a food coma after that, but it was totally worth it)
 
 Cauliflower risotto with Kakuni Pork...
 

I enjoyed the food there so much that I returned soon after.
During my second visit, I chose the Value Lunch instead - a small but very well priced selection of pastas.

That day, I chose the Laksa Pasta ($ 7.90++). It usually comes served with Mussels, as I understand, but that day they (ran out? and) served it with Soft shell crab instead (which I certainly don't mind). While it was just a tad too oily, but overall it was very enjoyable - fragrant, lightly spicy laksa sauce and al dente pasta. The crispy little morsels of tofu puffs added a nice texture too. The serving was pretty generous and I (again) fell into a (happy) food coma after.

Note: For the value lunch, you only get a main (no starters or drinks), but considering the serving size and ingredients, I think it was super worth it)
 
The Laksa Pasta...
 
As for the décor was nice but not too formal, and the service was always friendly - great place for a work lunch or a casual dinner date.
(Better to sit inside though I think, while it can get a bit noisy when it's full, the outdoor seating can get a bit warm)


So, it's: Really delicious fusion food, reasonable pricing, friendly service BUT nothing much bad to say :) I just wish it was opened on weekends!....

Summary Information:
Horizon Bistronomy @ NOL Building, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 11am-11pm
(Closed Sat and Sun)

Phone: +65 6884 6884

Address: NOL Building, 456 Alexandra Road, 119962
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- NAHMJ

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Sow & Reap Cafe @ Viva Vista Mall, Singapore

Waffles are life...

We were in the area visiting a friend, and stumbled upon this café in a secluded location (new-ish shopping center at the base of Viva Vista condominium).

Secluded location...

Once you walk past the many empty shoplots - there is this cute and cosy little café, Sow & Reap:

A nice surprise at the end...

There are not many options on the menu (pretty much a burger, a pasta, some brunch options, a savoury and a sweet waffles, sandwiches, home made ice cream, and some baked goods like croissants and cakes)... Still, its more than enough to choose from.

They also have some daily specials like Herbal Chicken with Brown rice - doesn't fit on the more Western theme of the main menu but hey, whatever works, right?

We felt like brunch so we ordered the big breakfast ($15.90). The serving was big enough and everything was lovely - I especially liked the moist scrambled eggs and crusty slice of bread.

Certainly a hearty breakfast....

The highlight for me though was the Homemade Meatballs with Buttermilk Waffles ($14.90) - loved how crispy the waffles are, while still being moist inside. At first I thought the combination of scrambled eggs, spicy meatballs and cranberry sauce was a bit weird... but somehow it works! (Nice combination of savoury, spicy and sweet)
A rather eccentrically topped waffle...
 
The coffee was also decent, served in a oh so hipster mason jar cup ($5? - oops I forgot the price for this).

Caffeine is my only addiction (thankfully)...

Overall, I enjoyed the food there, and have been back a few times for the waffles which have been consistently yummy. :) Service is always friendly too - really feels like a very nice, homey café.

Cosy décor inside...

So, it's: Good food at good prices, friendly service BUT secluded location, there really isn't much else to do at this "mall"....


Summary Information:
Sow & Reap Cafe @ Viva Vista Mall, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Tues to Sunday 9am-9pm

Phone: +65 6250 1220

Address: 3 South Buona Vista Road, #01-41 Viva Vista Mall, Singapore, 118136
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Cannot find any :(

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Park Bench Deli @ Telok Ayer Road, Singapore

I love carbs...

I usually try to avoid the CBD area like the plague on weekdays (as it just gets suffocating-ly packed), but had no choice one day - there were errands to be run, so I was in the area for lunch.
Interior of The Park Bench

A friend had introduced me to The Park Bench Deli quite some time ago, and I was craving a good sandwich, so we headed straight over.

I was initially surprised that it wasn't too hard to get a seat although it was in the middle of lunch time. I suspect this is due to the slightly higher price point - while the serving size is rather large, the simplest savoury sandwich (Fried Egg, Bacon and Cheddar on Brioche) is $10++, and goes as high as $17++ for a Meatball sandwich.
(Note: For an extra $5++ you can "Make it a Meal", with an added side of tater tots and a drink)

Looking out onto the busy street


My sandwich

That day, I opted for the Cheesesteak ($16++). It came with a generous amount of juicy sliced beef, sautéed onions and cheese sauce, nestled between some deliciously crusty bread. I really enjoyed it, but would struggle to finish it on my own for lunch.

Cross section of my Philly Cheesesteak


My hubby had the Cubano sandwich ($16++) - a tasty mix of savoury pulled pork, cheese, smoked ham with a little zing from the sauce (tasted like it had pickles in it?).

Cross section of the cubano sandwich

The tater tots we got on the side were absolutely delicious! So crispy on the outside, while still moist inside. It was also great that it wasn't too salty or greasy, which is usually the problem with such deep fried goodies.
(Note: They have proper Sriracha sauce here, and it goes very well with the tater tots - gives an extra spicy "kick")
Delicious Tater Tots



So, it's: Decent selection of delicious sandwiches, convenient location, friendly service BUT a bit pricy (although the serving size is worth it)....


Summary Information:
Park Bench Deli @ Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 1030am-10pm
Saturday 1030am-4pm
Sunday Closed

Phone: +65 6815 4600

Address: 179 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore, 068627
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Patissez @ Holland Village, Singapore

Trying something new...

"When one door closes, another opens..."

As our favourite (convenient) Sunday brunch place was no longer available**, we were forced to look for a new place to go to. After racking our brains, we headed over to Patissez, a new-ish café located on the Ground Floor of the new Raffles Medical Center in Holland Village.
(** They suddenly decided they don't want to be open on Sundays anymore)


Outside Patissez

Overall, it's nice inside, although I did note that about half the tables are equipped with hard, uncomfortable, wooden "You are welcome here, but please don't stay too long" stools.
(We quickly swapped out our stools with the nearest available cushion-ed chairs once our buns started aching)

Interior of the café

The coffee was decent - I had the Iced Cappuccino (S$ 6), and The Husband had the Flat White (S$ 5):

Caffeine, my best friend

There was a decent (but not extensive) selection of brunch items and mains. After some deliberation I chose the Corn and Zucchini Fritters (S$ 15), which was served with smashed avocado, kale pesto, poached eggs and a grilled tomato.

I didn't like the kale pesto, which I found had a slightly bitter aftertaste, but was completely wowed by the so simple but so perfectly cooked, smoky grilled tomato (A pity there was so little of it though). As for the fritters, I enjoyed them - 3 generously sized pieces, which were moist in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside.

Zucchini Fritters


Interior of The Pattissez

The Husband had the Get Pig'd (S$ 20) - Pulled pork served with eggs benedict, bacon jam, atop a crusty sourdough slice and a side of spinach.

At first we were a bit disappointed by how small it was for the price, but it turned out to pretty filling as there was quite a lot of meat packed onto that little plate. The pulled pork was ever so slightly dry/ stringy but overall, it was enjoyable.

Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

When I was preparing to write this post, I looked around online and there seem to be quite a mixed bag of opinions on this café. Apparently, the "famous" milkshakes here are way too sweet? I didn't try them, but just FYI so you can manage your expectations before you head over.
:)

So, it's: Decent food at ok prices, convenient location (just steps away from Holland Village MRT), friendly service BUT some of the seating is very uncomfortable (hard wooden stools)....


Summary Information:
Patissez @ Holland Village, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon to Wed 10am – 6pm,
Thu to Fri 10am – 10pm,
Sat to Sun 9am – 10pm.

Phone: +65 6262 3616

Address: 118 Holland Avenue, #01-06, 278997
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Lady Iron Chef
- Daniel food Diary
- Lirongs

Herd of Bots?

How weird...

What a strange place the internet is...

It seems like a travelling herd of bots visited my blog, poked around and did not return...
(Look at high it spiked on that one day! Wow...)

Sudden spike in stats...


Ah well. It was interesting/ nice having such amazing stats, if even just for a day
:)

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!
(TGIF)

Cheers,
J
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