@whatthefishsg is a novel concept, whereby the traditional large party classic of a Sichuan style grilled fish is scaled down to cater to chronically forever alones like me. Normally they have a choice of fish, but on the night I tried their food, they were left with sea bass so that’s what I had.

$12.80 gets you the front half of a fish bubbling away in your choice of broth along with a bowl of rice, and the fish is large enough to feed one starving man. They have add ons for a dollar each, and I decided to fortify my Simply Garlicky broth with some Chinese cabbage and sliced lotus root. The Simply Garlicky broth is simply sapid, slightly spicy and incredibly garlicky. That’s right, there’s more than enough garlic in the broth to annihilate Count Dracula about twenty times over, and it flavours the fish spectacularly.

Now we get to the bad news. Remember when I said that the sea bass served was enough to sate a starving man? Well, I lied. Sort of. While the size of it passed the eye test, it turned out to be more bones than meat. I know sea bass is a bony fish but bloody hell, there were more bones in it than a hardcore adult actress. Additionally, the fish wasn’t scaled properly, so every odd mouthful would contain a fair amount of scales. Add that to the fact that the sea bass was slightly past its prime, and I was ready to drop the bass.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept, and the stellar Simply Garlicky broth, but the fish itself…what the fish, man.

I’ve professed my adoration for @sushirosingapore stellar shrimp tempura before, but I just discovered that they have it in nigiri form too. The standalone version is five for five dollars, but the nigiri clocks in at a pair for $2.30++.⠀
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The same commendably fresh shrimp are battered in a airy, crunchy tempura batter before being deep fried till the right shade of golden brown. The well cooked, mildly vinegary sushi rice helps to absorb some of the moderate amounts of oil that the tempura batter absorbed, and really turns the satisfaction factor up to eleven. â €
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Dunk the shrimp in some ponzu sauce, drop a diminutive dollop of wasabi on top, and you have a simple yet stunning sushi that practically demands fourth & fifth servings. All that at just under three bucks a plate. This has been the best trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever.

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@sushirosingapore occasionally do limited time promos, and this pair of thick cut unagi nigiris ($4.90++ a plate) were rolled out to celebrate Singapore’s 57th National Day. I adore unagi as is, but THICK CUT unagi? Oh yes please, I’ll take your entire stock.⠀
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The naturally oily, mildly briny slices of freshwater eel were brushed with teriyaki sauce, broiled impeccably, and glazed one more time with teriyaki sauce. The result is a deeply umami slice of unagi that’s supremely satisfying in every aspect: it’s stunningly sapid, smoky, tantalisingly sweet, and fabulously fatty. The best part is the extra T H I C C cut of eel that gives so much more for your teeth to bite into, and much more substance to satisfy your gluttony.⠀
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The only caveat here is the lack of consistency. My first order of unagi was divinely sublime, but my second order brought me crashing back down to earth. It was half eel flesh, half eel pin-bones. The marvellous mouthfeel was ruined by the plethora of bones in the thick slice of eel, and I was torn between trying to spit the bones out or just swallow & hope for the best.â €
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Still, don’t let my slightly subpar second serving of eel, or the fact that the promo period for these thick beauties is over, dEELete any cravings you may have to try Sushiro’s unagi offerings. They’ll have you fEELing electrified, I promise.

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If you’ve never tried raw cuttlefish before, you definitely have to. @sushirosingapore Cuttlefish with Soy Sauce ($2.90++) is a great, safe option to test the waters with, as Sushiro’s fresh sashimi grade cuttlefish is a pretty safe bet. So, what’s the difference between cuttlefish sashimi & squid sashimi?⠀
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Firstly, raw cuttlefish has a hard, almost unrelenting chew as opposed to the soft, snappy bite of raw squid. Cuttlefish is great resistance training for your jaw muscles, as you do need a copious amount of chewing to break it down. Well then, why go through the arduous effort just to eat something that sounds inferior to squid? Well, the flavours of cuttlefish is worth chewing for.â €
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Squid is quite mild tasting, but cuttlefish has more complexity. It’s briny, very subtly sweet, and it’s surprisingly creamy. The cuttlefish breaks down after chewing into a creamy mass that coats your palate, making for a very interesting mouthfeel. It’s definitely an acquired taste due to the odd texture, but I quite enjoy it. One thing I didn’t enjoy was the addition of grated ginger to this. All that chewing made the ginger even spicier, and it went up my nose eventually. Yeah nah, keep the ginger off the sushi and over to the side, thanks.

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Some sushi snobs sneer at @sushirosingapore , but I find it to be a satisfactory sushi spot perfect for getting your sushi craves satiated. Two of their basic sushis ($2.30++ each) are paragons of Sushiro’s entire philosophy: simple, passable sushi that’s affordable.⠀
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The Broiled Fatty Salmon Belly comes as a single nigiri, which is understandable considering the cut of salmon and the pricing. The salmon belly was indeed fatty, and blowtorching it seared some of the fat and added a little char, enhancing the flavour of this fatty fish. Next to no chewing was required, as the fat in the salmon belly starts to melt in your mouth, causing the slice of salmon belly to disintegrate. The grated ginger topping was quite weird atop the salmon belly, almost akin to finding a shark in a tree. You don’t know how it got there, but you just know that it’s not supposed to be there.⠀
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The Tuna With Soy Sauce met expectations, with two nigiris sporting decently sized slices of akami (lean tuna). The tuna was nice and fresh, with an enjoyable meaty bite. Brushed down with soy sauce and garnished with scallions, all that was needed was a dollop of wasabi. Sushiro’s selection is extensive, so there’s a lot more stellar sushi than the torched salmon belly & tuna to savour.

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I’ve always regarded @shakeshacksg French Fries as one of the best in the business, so I was quite pumped for the limited edition NY Steakhouse Fries ($6.90). The fantastic fries are drizzled with the same horseradish peppercorn mayo that goes on the burger, and these fries are topped with crispy bacon and scallions.⠀
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Maybe the Suntec outlet was having a bad day on the Friday evening I went, but the fries were cold and stodgy. A far cry from the usually hot, crispy outside and fluffy inside fries that I’ve come to expect from Shake Shack. The horseradish mayo was the exact same one applied to the burger; and as such it also lacked punchiness. Also, I thought I was smart in finessing more sauce by ordering the sauce on the side, but I’m dead certain I actually got less sauce and ended up looking like a bozo.⠀
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It’s a bit sad that the best element here was the crispy bacon bits. It’s the same applewood smoked bacon that goes into the Shack’s burgers, but it’s extra crisp & coarsely chopped up into pretty sizeable bits here. Sadly, the Steakhouse Fries are only really good for one try and one try only. Stick with the cheese fries instead.

@shakeshacksg new New York Steakhouse Burger sounded extra promising, so I made my pilgrimage to the best fast food burger chain in Singapore to wrap my jaws around this promising burger. The NY Steakhouse Burger (double patty, $15.90) is a regular smashburger that’s been beefed up by the addition of grilled portobello mushrooms and crispy deep fried onion strings, and sauced up by horseradish peppercorn mayonnaise.⠀
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The combo of beef, crispy onion strings & mushrooms takes me back to the good ol’ days of American steakhouses like Sizzler & Ponderosa, where the steaks would be smothered in a heaping helping of fried onions & mushrooms. Here at Shake Shack, a burger is the one getting smothered instead, and it is utterly glorious. ⠀
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The delicious smashed beef patties are glued together by melted white cheddar, and the slices of portobello mushrooms give the beef an even more satisfying chew and a deeper, earthier umami flavour. The fried onions were absolutely inspired, as their crunchy qualities stood out in a burger with nothing but soft textures and kept your palate from experiencing textural fatigue. The onions were a delectable combo of sweet & salty, further exalting the already intense flavours.â €
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Unfortunately, the horseradish peppercorn mayo was a flop. While I did detect a smidge of horseradish in the sauce, along with a notable pepperiness, it lacked the pungent taste and intense heat expected of horseradish. As such, the burger’s greasiness did get out of hand at times, and I had to rely on swigs of the Shackmeister Ale to cleanse my palate. I really wish that the Shack was more bold with the horseradish, its spiciness & strong flavour would have been perfect for this burger.⠀
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Still, apart from the dissatisfying mayo, I’d still stake good money on this steakhouse burger.

Din Tai Fung style fried rice has dominated the fried rice hawker scene in recent years, and Chef Wang Fried Rice is yet another new entrant into the arena. As you might’ve guessed, the chef-owner is a former DTF chef, the egg fried rice is very distinctly DTF style, but there’s a twist here.⠀
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Besides the standard egg fried rice, Chef Wang’s special is a lineup of sambal fried rice. While it may seem painfully pedestrian, Chef Wang’s rendition is rather redolent. At seven bucks flat for this plate of Sambal Shrimp Egg Fried Rice, you get a small-ish serving that’s big on flavour. The Japanese rice grains are fluffy, slick and well separated, and they’ve hoovered up all the spicy & salty goodness of the sambal added into the wok frying process.⠀
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Each individual grain of rice is delightfully spicy and incredibly umami, as the savoury qualities of the sambal have fully transferred over to the rice. The scintillating rice is well streaked with eggy bits, and six bouncy & fresh shrimps are mixed into the rice for the essential protein portion. The wok hei is strong with this rice, and the smokiness elevates the salty & spicy rice and the subtly sweet shrimp with extra oomph.â €
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While the portion is a little diminutive, seven dollars for this delicious dish of fried rice is reasonable enough. Hell yeah I’m always DTF. Down To Feast, yeah.

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@vingeeksg doesn’t have much on their food menu, but what they do have is optimised to complement the wines on tap. It don’t matter if you got a red, white, rosés or sparkling, you’ll definitely find a vino nibble that’ll suit your wine. If you’re looking for a universal crowd pleaser no matter what wine you get, then look no further than the Jamon Ham Croquette ($18++).⠀
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While each croquette is on the diminutive side, there are five of them. Each croquette is essentially a piece of mozzarella cheese that’s breaded and deep fried, so it’s impossible for deep fried, molten stretchy cheese to disappoint. However, that ain’t quite enough yet, oh no sir. What goes best with cheese? That’s right, cured meat. In this case, each bite sized croquette is crowned with a long ribbon of Jamon ham. The smoked paprika mayo smeared beneath the croquettes weren’t out in sufficient quantity to make an impact on the flavour, which is a pity as a smoky, mildly spicy mayo is perfect with these fried darlings.⠀
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The Jamon Ham Croquettes are so delicious that you’ll want to hog one whole plate to yourself. In the (paraphrased) words of Sandor Clegane from Game of Thrones: Here I am. Bring me one of those croquettes. Think I’ll take two croquettes.

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Hey there, whatcha got planned this weekend? Nothing, you say? Well you’re in luck, @vingeeksg Bottomless July is here till the last weekend of September! For $60++, you can drink as much as you like on Friday & Saturday evenings, but the only caveat is that you gotta stick with one wine all night.⠀
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However, they do have all bases covered. Prosecco, red, rosé, and white wine are all available for you to choose. Feel a little ebullient on that night? Get yourself some of Tini’s Brut Prosecco. Delightfully bubbly, dangerously light and refreshing, and bursting with citrus aromas & flavours, this straightforward bubbly is adequate enough for celebrating the arrival of the weekend.⠀
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Feeling a little more moody instead? Order Siete Soles 2016 vintage Sémillion Chardonnay. A heavy, silky smooth body from the Chardonnay balances out the high acidity from the sémillon in the blend, and the notes of green apples & orange peel mask subtle notes of tropical fruit that never quite reveals itself. Sémillon is a rarer varietal of wine, so it was nice to sip a well balanced blend that’s a decent showcase of sémillon.⠀
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There’s no need to whine when you could be sipping on wine, and Vin Geek has a whole lotta wine for you.

Most people go to @vingeeksg for the innovative wine dispenser, but I was there for the boozy bottomless July. Yes, bottomless July in August, because Vin Geek extended it till the end of September. For $60++, you can drink as much wine as your liver will allow from 6-8pm on Fridays & Saturdays. The catch? You can only choose one wine from their house-pour selection. However, if you get a very amicable service staff on a quieter night, they might just let you try all 4 house-pours.â €
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House-pours generally get a bad reputation as cheap crap, but Vin Geek’s lineup is anything but garbage. I present exhibit A: Siete Soles 2015 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend. Provocatively full bodied and smooth, this fruit forward wine was loaded with aromas & flavours of cherries & plums, underpinned by the hearty, heady aroma of oak.⠀
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While it is rather tannic & dry on the palate, giving it a little time to breathe does mellow it out a little. While it isn’t a brilliant bottle of vino, Siete Soles’ Cab Merlot blend is decent enough for a freeflow slammin’ sesh.

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@maruhachi2020 has absolutely invaded & occupied my insta & Facebook timelines for more than a year now, so I simply HAD to try it to get it out of my head. Fortunately, they’ve got a stall conveniently located near Bedok Mall, and they’ve got their signature Black Pig Katsu Set ($15.80 nett).⠀
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If social media is to believed, they’ve hired a tonkatsu specialist from Japan to create their recipe. It’s a noteworthy recipe, mind you, with passably moist & tender pork enveloped in a crunchy panko breadcrumb crust. As expected of the black pig, it’s fattier than a standard porker, giving you a juicier & tastier pork cutlet. However, it’s seasoned quite sparsely, instead overly reliant on the tonkatsu sauce for adequate salinity and a much needed tinge of sourness.⠀
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The spicy mustard on the side was a great aid in combatting the fatty richness of the pork, and added a hearty heat to every bite. With a mountain of cabbage, a bowl of miso soup, and a bowl of rice to accompany the tonkatsu, it’s a simple meal that works well. While Maruhachi’s tonkatsu is far from memorable, there’s no denying the impressive value here. High quality, expertly executed tonkatsu for well under twenty bucks? Yep, that’s excellent value alright.

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