Here at @truecostsingapore, it’s a tale of two steaks. For the special occasion enjoyer or the baller, True Cost offers a Wagyu Tenderloin A5 for $45.90++. If you’re looking for a more modest but no less beefy steak, they have you covered with a two hundred & fifty gram cut of Grass-fed Ribeye for $32++. Although the tenderloin is much more luxe than the ribeye, both steaks are pretty MOOvelous in their own right.⠀

As for the Grass-fed Ribeye of undisclosed origin, it was quite under-seasoned for our tastes. Just a little more salt, and this felicitously fatty and truly tender steak would’ve been world class, but felicitously fatty & truly tender is a compromise we were more than willing to take that evening. However, the demi-glacé that was served with both steaks was certainly the most lacklustre component of both steaks. It was banally bland, and urgently requires serious beefing up.⠀

Still, at under fifty bucks for a cut of Wagyu A5 tenderloin and thirty five for a sizeable slab of ribeye, True Cost is truly MOOving to give consumers a cut of the good life for less cost.

Here at @truecostsingapore, it’s a tale of two steaks. For the special occasion enjoyer or the baller, True Cost offers a Wagyu Tenderloin A5 for $45.90++. If you’re looking for a more modest but no less beefy steak, they have you covered with a two hundred & fifty gram cut of Grass-fed Ribeye for $32++. Although the tenderloin is much more luxe than the ribeye, both steaks are pretty MOOvelous in their own right.⠀

True Cost’s Wagyu Tenderloin A5 does not suffer from the problem of lacking intramuscular fat that most tenderloins do, as this Wagyu A5 cow is PHAT and has incredible intramuscular fat running through the steak. Fat is flavour, and this tenderloin was fabulously flavourful and tremendously tender. All that was needed to fully flesh out the breathtaking beefiness was salt and pepper, and this A5 Wagyu tenderloin will get your loins quaking. The roasted potatoes were equally exquisite, with moist and fluffy potato innards that were adequately herbed & seasoned. The baba ganoush, while tasty, was a little out of place on this plate.⠀

Still, at under fifty bucks for a cut of Wagyu A5 tenderloin and thirty five for a sizeable slab of ribeye, True Cost is truly MOOving to give consumers a cut of the good life for less cost.

@truecostsingapore Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche ($13.50++) was undoubtedly the most unique dish of the night. Chopped up raw scallops were tossed with chopped up mango, avocado, thinly sliced pickled onions, ponzu sauce and what looked a whole lot like chili oil. Even though the scallops had been chopped up, they still retained most of their original firm texture, proving their fantastic freshness.⠀

The avocado added a creamy luxuriousness not normally associated with scallops, but it worked wonders here, while the sweet & tangy mangoes added their appealing qualities to the ceviche, and the crunch & sourness of the pickled onions kept everything back from getting cloying. However, the combo of the piquant ponzu & chili oil was the truly inspired element in the dish.⠀

The ponzu supplies the bold umami flavour that binds everything in the plate together, and the chili oil is what sets this dish aflame with its slight spiciness. With the chili oil and the sour & salty ponzu sauce operating in concert, the ceviche hits every major flavour profile: sweet, salty, sour, spicy and umami. Well, maybe not all since there was no bitterness. ⠀

Thanks to the sauces, True Cost’s Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche is certainly one of the most ambrosial appetisers I’ve had this year. And to think it’s less than twenty bucks even with tax & service charge! A true steal from True Cost, and you’d truly be robbing yourself if you didn’t try True Cost at least thrice.

Hello fresh oysters my beloved. I was fretting over where to celebrate my birthday a few weeks ago, when google’s search algorithm decided to do good instead of evil for once and recommended @truecostsingapore to me. True Cost had me hooked by posting their entire menu on their website, prices and all, but what sold me were those prices. Note to all restaurants: post your full menu with prices online if you don’t wanna go bust. Thank me later.

This ponderous platter of a full dozen Japan Emperor Oysters was only forty four dollars before additional GST & service charge, roughly coming in at about four bucks an oyster. It ain’t the absolute cheapest in town, but the stunning freshness & magnitude of these Japanese oysters justified the price several times over. These stellar shellfish were humongous, barely able to fit into one slurp, and most importantly, fresh. They were briny, creamy, smooth and absolutely perfect with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of Tabasco. Even though I like my oysters the traditional Tabasco way, the mouthwatering mignonette was superb enough to lure me away from the Tabasco. The sweetness of the shallots harmonised with the sourness of the red wine vinegar, making this sweet & sour sauce a capable complement to the luxurious oysters.⠀

Sure, you pay a cover charge of ten bucks per diner at dinner to dine at True Cost, but the savings you stack on food and especially drinks makes that cover charge a measly afterthought. When it comes to dinner & drinks, True Cost might just be my true love.

Authentic Korean fare in Fortune Centre? That’s right, The Asia 2019 Korean Food exists, and it’s run by an elderly couple in their sixties. Expect all the Korean staples like kimchi ramen and kimchi stew along with some other slightly less Korean dishes, like curry rice & udon. Their main calling seems to be grilled meat on a hotplate, and I got the Pork Belly Set ($15 nett).⠀

A decent portion of thinly sliced pork belly is stir fried with thinly sliced onions & leeks, served on a sizzling hotplate with the sauce served separately. The banchan (side dishes) are pretty decent, encompassing kimchi, beansprouts, pickled ginger and a fluffy omelette roll, and the set is completed with a bowl of white rice & soup. The pork & onions are competently caramelised, but the sauce on the side was the one that provided most of the flavour.⠀

The sauce was an interesting cross between black bean sauce and gochujang, resulting in a deeply savoury flavour, but had a touch of unpleasant bitterness. I can’t fathom why The Asia 2019 didn’t just stir fry the pork, leeks & onions in that superb sauce, as it would’ve resulted in much better flavour assimilation into the meat & veg, plus the bitter edge of the sauce would’ve been cooked out.⠀

The banchan was pretty decent, with the omelette roll being notably airy & bouncy. Although I’m not entirely convinced that this Pork Belly Set was fully worth fifteen bucks, my belly & hunger were fully satisfied.

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@wildfireburgers.sg has been around for quite a while, and their burgers have consistently been in the elite tier of the burger rankings. I can’t even remember the last time I had Wildfire, and after devouring their Triple Bacon Cheeseburger ($24++ for double patties, making this a Triple Double) I’m wondering why I’ve been robbing myself of the pleasure. ⠀

Wildfire gets its name from the flames that leap out of the Binchotan charcoal fired INKA grill, and if you peer into the kitchen you’ll get to see a fire show every few minutes or so. The intense heat sears the patty in a jiffy, locking all the meaty moisture of the beef within the patties, while still putting a charming char on the patties. Speaking of the patties, these thick, juicy beef patties are crafted out of fine Aussie grain fed Angus ground beef topped with cheddar cheese. That combo delivers a brilliant balance of fat that brings flavour and beef that delivers satisfying meatiness blanketed by creamy, delicious, salty melted cheese.⠀

Perfect patties aside, the triple in the Triple Bacon Burger comes from the trifecta of crispy bacon bits, baconnaise (bacon mayonnaise) and bacon jam. The crispy bacon bits did well, but could’ve fared way better if they came as strips instead to maximise the crunch. The bacon jam & baconnaise, on the other hand, were absolutely awesome. The smokiness & savouriness of the bacon infused every morsel of burger with its porky smokiness, and every meaty mouthful was marvellous.⠀

The brioche burger buns were flawless, being delightfully doughy yet airy and bouncy. However, since they had been toasted with butter on, this Triple Double of mine got too cloying too quickly. Perhaps Wildfire should look into providing a fresh contrast to all the meaty madness in the burger by way of a few crisp leaves of lettuce, or maybe even a few pickles. Still, this Triple Double Bacon Cheeseburger is putting up GOAT tier performances that earn it a spot in the hall of fame.

Here’s another recommendation from fellow @burpple #tastemaker @wobblethebui, who is an eminent expert on noods. Grandfather Food Empire Bak Chor Mee always has a long snaking line, partially due to its popularity, but mostly due to there only being one aunty cooking one order at a time. Despite turning into a grandfather while waiting for my bowl, the wait was worth it.⠀

I ordered the medium option for six bucks and it’s easily the biggest and most satiating bowl of bak chor mee (minced pork noodles) ever. This bowl is like the deep end of a pool: it’s a lot deeper than it looks. The bowl was full of perfectly cooked mee pok (flat noodles), coated in a smashingly savoury & spicy sauce. It’s stunningly savoury, slightly sweet & sour, and unbelievably umami due to the inclusion of ti poh (dried, fermented sole fish) powder in the noodles. The sauce is undoubtedly the powerhouse of this bowl, and boy does it contain a lot of power.⠀

Besides the mountain of springy noodles, Grandfather was equally generous with the minced pork, sliced lean pork, meatballs and sliced Chinese mushrooms. The soup on the side is equally exhilarating, with a rich, porky sapidity that’s clean and clear of any offensive odours, but somehow manages to maintain a noticeable tinge of sweetness with every sip.⠀

While it isn’t the most legendary bowl of bak chor mee ever, you can definitely tell your grandkids stories about this one.

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Weirdly enough, the older I get the more I appreciate the traditional sweets, especially Nyonya kuehs. I didn’t expect to find Nyonya kuehs in Bugis, but thanks to a tipoff from @wobblethebui, I found The Nyonya Kueh, a tiny little pushcart stall in the same coffee shop as the famous roast meat merchant.⠀

I’ve only tried their ang ku kueh, pulut indi and kueh salat so far, but all of them have earned the most prestigious Asian accolade of ‘not too sweet’. The pulut indi’s (left) slightly crunchy coconut shavings are sweetened with gula Melaka for a molasses flavoured sweetness, and the blue pea coloured glutinous rice is fluffy & sticky, but not mushy. The ang ku kueh is a universal crowd pleaser with its marvellous mung bean filling and delicate, sticky skin that’s coloured red. ⠀

However, my favourite is probably the kueh salat, with the same excellent glutinous rice as the pulut indi, but with a delightful kaya custard layer. I have no idea why the kaya custard layer on top is purple instead of green, but I do know that it’s sweet, creamy, chock full of pandan aroma, and an absolute winner.⠀

With The Nyonya Kueh, the early bird gets the kueh, as these sweet treats sell way faster than hotcakes. And at an average price of a dollar & twenty cents apiece, these toothsome treats are an amazingly affordable indulgence.

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Albert Food Court is positively blessed with an abundance of excellent hawkers. The most famous of them all might just be New Rong Liang Ge with its roasted meats. The queue is always between seven to ten people long, but it somehow never feels like a frustratingly long wait before you get your plate of roasted meats.⠀

My plate this time was the char siew & roast pork rice, for the low, low price of four dollars. The price is a steal considering the piquancy of the pork on this plate, and the portions are actually quite alright. The char siew, despite being inconsistently fatty, with some pieces having a smidge of fat while others were almost all fat, was consistently delicious. The char siew marinade had caramelised nicely during the barbecuing process, giving a charred, smoky and slightly crisp exterior while the majority of the meat stayed moist & tender.⠀

The roast pork (siew yoke) was fairly decent too, with a thin but crunchy rind, a well spiced marinade that had successfully infused the meat layer with its aromatic & flavourful qualities, and no porky odour from the well rendered fat. The sauce ladled over everything was superb too, with a honeyed sweetness backing up the savouriness & essence of the herbs in the sauce. The old cucumber soup, unfortunately, was banally bland, but at least it was only $2.50. Perhaps the other soups fare better, but that’s another matter for another visit.

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The soft shell crab also got me hankering for a nice drink, and Konjiki Hotogisu just happens to have a very fetching Gekkeikan Nigori Cloudy Sake on standby. It’s sweet, rich and thick for a sake, and it’s definitely a capable partner to the light clam broth. More interestingly was the little sampler of special clam rice that isn’t even on the menu that they served with our sake. Honestly, if they served full portions of that stellar special clam rice, I’d gladly pay top dollar for it, and I’d be absolutely addicted to it. It’s subtly but undeniably umami, it’s unctuous, it’s fresh and it’s tremendously tasty.

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I don’t remember what broth @konjikihototogisu used for the Chili Crab Ramen ($19.90++ a bowl, but I do remember it being different to the clam broth. It might’ve been a standard pork bone broth considering its richness, and it’s still a robust broth despite not being as unique as the clam broth.⠀

The same springy thin ramen is topped with a slice of servicable chashu, and a whole soft shell crab that’s jazzed up with copious dollops of chili crab sauce. Ideally you’d wanna fish the soft shell crab out of the ramen the minute it’s served to preserve the crunch of the soft shell crab, but you do wanna mix some of that charming chili crab sauce into the ramen for a spicy & sour kick. The chili crab sauce is egg-cellently eggy, tangy and sufficiently sweet, making it a perfect pair with the crunchy soft shell crab. Konjiku Hotogisu’s Chili Crab Ramen hits every major flavour & texture, and I’m getting hit with cravings for seconds of this.

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We’ve had pork broth, chicken broth, seafood broth and even the occasional fish broth ramen in Singapore, but how about clam broth? @konjikihototogisu is a Michelin Starred ramen restaurant that has its Singapore outpost run by the same company that runs Ajisen, and the clam broth is its unique selling point.⠀

There are two choices for the clam broth, shoyu (soy sauce) and shio (salt). I chose the Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen ($15.90++), which has chashu & ramen immersed into the clam & pork bone broth, and garnished with porcini duxelle and white truffle oil. The clam broth is notably lighter than a standard all pork bone broth, but there is still some weight & richness to it due to the inclusion of some pork bones. It’s subtly sweet & briny from the hamaguri clams (Asian hard clam), and it’s a light but still tasty broth. The porcini duxelle adds earthiness & umami to the ramen, while the heady perfume of white truffle oil will intoxicate your sense of smell.⠀

The thin noodles are cooked perfectly with a delightful bite to them, but the chashu was completely unremarkable. Still, at well under twenty bucks, this light bowl of ramen would do solid work as a hangover remedy.

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