Thanks to @rainraineeataway & @the_xw, I discovered @finerykitchen, yet another new-generation hawker stall selling Western food, and most excitingly of all, paella. Normally only found in European or Spanish restaurants, now you get to enjoy an individual serving of seafood paella for ten bucks flat in a coffeeshop.

As if the bargain price wasn’t enticing enough, the flavours are stellar. Sure, the solitary shrimp is slightly past its freshest, but its still quite acceptable. The grilled fish fillet, on the other hand, was positively divine. It’s herbed & seasoned spectacularly, and grilled flawlessly. The marvellously moist & firm fillet is topped with a creamy, herby & tangy sauce that just amplifies its lusciousness. The grilled squid were fantastically fresh and stunningly savoury, and these bouncy squid bits were an absolute pleasure to eat.⠀

I think that this might just be the first time where I’m complaining about having more seafood than carbs. That’s right, the piquant paella was supremely sapid, having absorbed the essence of the tomato-y seafood stock that it was simmered in. The rice is texturally great, albeit done a bit past al dente. However, the flavours are decidedly outstanding, and there simply isn’t quite enough of this exquisite rice to satisfy my need for heavenly flavours.⠀

Still, a paella this fab for ten bucks is an absolute steal of a deal. Finery Kitchen serves up some of the finest fare you’ll find round town, and you don’t even have to get into your Sunday finest to enjoy their fantastic food.

Besides shucking fresh oysters, @goodmangroupsingapore does have a small selection of cooked food. Considering that their Kinex outlet is quite a small place, I think we can excuse their lack of entrées on the menu.⠀

Out of the half dozen or so mains, the Goodman Classic Fish & Chips sounded the most appealing to me. At $12.90 nett, these fish & chips were decent enough for the price of admission. Two fish (probably dory) fillets are seasoned lightly, battered, and deep fried till they attain a glorious golden hue. The fish is decent enough, with just enough moisture retained and a sufficiently crispy batter. However, it does rely very heavily on the tartar sauce for sufficient flavouring.⠀

Truth be told, this ain’t really fish & chips, but just fish & fries. Still a decent chippy though, and I liked the coleslaw which was leaning towards the sweet end of the spectrum as a palate cleanser. With $1.90 oysters, affordably priced entrées, and nine buck pints of beer from the tap, the good lads at Goodman are doing some seriously good work.

Believe it or not, I actually found @goodmangroupsingapore while I was mindlessly scrolling around google maps. Anything to do with oysters has my curiosity, but Goodman had my full attention with one picture: a little board proclaiming that their oysters were only $1.90 nett a pop. As far as I know, $1.90 an oyster is the cheapest you can get in Singapore, so I hustled down to slurp on some shellfish sharpish. Thanks for wanting me to win for once, Google.⠀

The $1.90 oysters were actually a limited time promo, but the results were so good that Goodman decided to make it a permanent deal. And the best part about these oysters? They weren’t just some minuscule mollusks scraped off the keel of a fishing boat, oh no. These mammoth mollusks from Japan easily dwarf most other oysters out there. Yes, don’t adjust your screens: that is a platter, not a plate, and those lemon wedges are full sized.⠀

On average, these oysters will span from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your palm. They are exceptionally fresh, and pleasurably plump to boot. The briny, salty creaminess of the oysters are just downright irresistible with a splash of Tabasco and a squirt of lemon juice, and it’s all too easy to polish off these oysters in record timing. However, they can be pretty challenging as a one-biter, but that’s a challenge I’ll gladly accept.⠀

For just a dollar and ninety cents flat, you can savour the same oysters that Godzilla eats. If you’re looking for some massive mollusks that you don’t need to shell out too much for, the good men at Goodman Oyster Bar have you sorted.

The last time I sampled @mincedpork.bros bak chor mee, I was suitably impressed by the fantastic flavours of the Teochew Modern Pork Noodles, but was distinctly unimpressed by the puny portion. However, I am very pleased to announce that Minced Pork Bros take feedback seriously, and they upped their portion size to a truly respectable level.⠀

That’s right, this six dollar bowl of noodles now comes in super satisfying size, while retaining the same levels of sapidity that first won me over. The vivaciously vinegary sauce flavoured everything in the bowl, from the al dente meepok (thin flat noodles), to the minced pork, to the abalone. Tack on some crunchy lard cubes to this bad boy, and we’ve got a winner.⠀

Even though prices and inflation are going through the bloody roof, Minced Pork Bros have not cut quality or portion satisfaction. I respect that, bro. Respect.

For something as simple as Margherita pizza that’s built on only four elements, it’s crucial that every single element is of high quality. The pizza dough, mozzarella, tomato sauce base, and basil all have to be spot on, otherwise you’re gonna have a bad pizza.⠀

@maddpizzasg Margherita ($11++ a slice) is excellently executed, with topnotch ingredients. The dough, as you already know, is quite excellent. The tomato sauce possesses a beautiful balance of salty, sweet & sour, possessing enough salinity to enhance the flavours of everything else. The sweet & sour qualities whet your appetite, creating a satisfyingly well rounded flavour package and gets you eagerly chomping at more pizza.⠀

The mozzarella is mild in flavour, but is melted down for major stretchiness & creaminess. The cheese gives the pizza most of its weight, and the mozzarella satisfies superbly. I enjoyed the fresh basil on top of the pizza, which injected a powerful punch of fresh herbal flavours into every bite.⠀

The Margherita is a pizza of few components, but there’s a reason why it has stood the test of time and is a certified hood classic. Madd does a mouthwatering Margherita pizza, and you ain’t gonna get a bad pizza at Madd Pizza.

@maddpizzasg is a great pizzeria for a date night, or even a boys night out with up to seven of your homies, but it is decidedly NOT an ideal location for photography. Don’t let my crappy photo dissuade you from trying Madd Pizza’s pleasurably piquant pies, which they very conveniently sell by the slice.⠀

Madd’s Pizza Romana Al Taglio are Roman style pies, and you can expect them to come in rectangles instead of circles. The salami ($13++ per slice) features a most agreeable abundance of salami arrayed atop a thick blanket of melted mozzarella. The stunningly stretchy mozzarella cheese is creamy but mildly flavourful, making it the ideal partner for the slightly spicy & splendidly salty salami. While I do wish that there was a bit more char on the salami, it’s quite fetching as it is. The moderately sweet & sour tomato sauce provides an extra depth of flavour to help the pizza attain its satisfying umami.⠀

The real MVP here is the Roman style dough. Due to the high hydration of the dough during the 48-hour fermentation process, the dough base is dry and completely grease free. The party trick of Roman style pizzas is the unique juxtaposition of the light and charming crispy crust where the dough contacted the pan, and the soft chewiness of the dough within. While I don’t remember the pizzas I had in Rome being this thick, I was supremely satiated by the bready yet airy & light pizza dough. Come to think of it, this pizza is texturally similar to a ciabatta.⠀

The salami pizza at Madd is simple, but it is simply stellar. Good pizza, Madd awesome, and I’m now a bit mad for Madd’s pies.

The Turks are known for their delightful desserts, and the most iconic sweet ending is arguably baklava. @mavirestaurant.sg baklava ($12.90++) follows the straightforward recipe: multiple layers of phyllo pastry sandwiching coarsely chopped pistachios and sweetened with a good deal of syrup.⠀

While I thoroughly enjoyed the flakiness of the phyllo pastry, and the abundance of chopped pistachios within, these baklava bits were barely large enough to qualify as one-biters. At $12.90 before taxes for a quartet of these puny pieces, I probably wouldn’t get this again.⠀

However, I would get the Fistikli Kadayif again. At a dollar ninety cents cheaper per serving ($11++), this dessert is far more satisfying in size. The little crispy threads are called Kadayif, which is shredded filo dough. It’s baked until the lattice turns crazy crispy, and then topped with a charitable amount of chopped pistachios & showered with the same syrup. It’s basically a baklava, but less flaky and much crisper. Definitely the superior dessert if you ask me, and is best savoured with a glass of hot, strong Turkish tea to rinse all that sugar down.⠀

And for the final time, thank you for the invite, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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Shish kebab is definitely the most popular kind of kebab, and @mavirestaurant.sg certainly prides themselves on that. Their chicken shish kebab ($21++) has marinated lean chicken cubes grilled over the same charcoal grill that produced the Adana kebab, and served with butter rice, some veg and a slice of flatbread.

While the chicken has a superb smokiness to it, I found it a bit under-seasoned. It certainly wasn’t as sumptuous as the lamb, even though the hints of herbs & spices were definitely there. However, the most glaring lapse here is that the chicken is terribly tough & dry. Even though the menu states that the shish kebabs are slowly chargrilled on skewers, it definitely felt like the chicken got put on blast. The dryness is compounded by the fact that a lean cut like breast was used for grilling, which amplified the dry chicken problem.

As such, I found myself having to resort to using the hummus or the excellent tomato sauce from the Güveç to lube this dismally dry meat. The butter rice was nice and superbly seasoned, but didn’t provide enough moisture to ameliorate the dry chicken. Skip the chicken and go straight for the lamb, fellas.

Thank you for inviting us, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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When someone mentions Turkish cuisine, the first thing that springs to mind for most are kebabs. Juicy, well seasoned meat sliced from an enormous hunk of meat slowly rotating on a kebab grill. However, the more traditional version is meat wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal, and that’s what @mavirestaurant.sg has to offer.⠀

The lamb Adana Kebab ($26++) is minced lamb marinated with assorted herbs & spices and grilled over a charcoal grill, and served with rice, a slice of flatbread, and some veggies. The minced lamb retains its moisture even after grilling, and each juicy bite of tender minced lamb offers little resistance to your jaw. The inherent gaminess of lamb is obscured by the herb & spice mix, which flavours the lamb spectacularly. And of course, the charcoal grill has imbued the kebab with its smoky goodness, heightening the already ambrosial aroma of the meat.⠀

The bulgur pilaf was incredible, and outperformed the already decent butter rice by a significant margin. Each grain of bulgur was like a supersized couscous, and had an addictive bite to it. The bulgur was cooked in a tomato sauce, and had a tastefully tangy edge to its savouriness. The veggies on the side were sadly neglected though, as they were completely undressed and looked as if they had seen better days. Still, the lamb kebab & bulgur pilaf were more than enough to make this dish a smash hit.⠀

Thanks for hosting us, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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I haven’t had a pide since my university days of getting shitfaced at three am, and pides aren’t as common in Singapore as they were in Australia. @mavirestaurant.sg savoury Sucuk & Egg ($23++) takes me back to those delightful drunken nights, and had me hankering for a cold pint of Cooper’s Sparkling Ale. Alas, Mavi is a hundred percent halal, so there’s no booze to be found.⠀

Even without the booze, this sucuk & egg pide was plenty palatable. The pide dough is formed with a hollow center for any number of fillings to be packed into, and that’s what makes ‘em so alluring. The dough itself is moderately chewy, a little bready but still moderately dense. Of course, if the pide had no fillings, nobody would bother with it. That’s where the sucuk & egg come in. ⠀

As the more astute of you may have already guessed, sucuk is sausage. Or more precisely, sucuk is a dry, spicy & fermented sausage enjoyed in the Middle East & the Balkans. Slices of it are arrayed atop the egg that’s been poured into the cavity like pepperoni on a pizza. The egg & sucuk are baked along with the dough, and the beaten eggs acquire an airy, spongy texture akin to a frittata. The sucuk gets that marvellous Maillard reaction, and goes crisp around the edges and expels some of its spicy oils as it cooks.⠀

The result is a charmingly chewy and stupendously satisfying bread dish. The chewiness of the carb-laden pide dough is cushioned by the soft, delicate sponginess of the egg. And for salt, a little spice and a smidge of meat, the sucuk delivers its sausage-y goodness. This is perfect as a sharing dish, but it’s also perfect for hogging all to yourself. Don’t be a sucuk-er, get your pide today!⠀

Thank you for the invite, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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While rice is a capable complement to the sublime Güveç, there is a superior pairing. Güveç starts with a G, and so does Gözleme. Yup, it’s a match made in flavour heaven. @mavirestaurant.sg Gözleme ($13++) is shaped like a slice of pizza, and is just as irresistible as its Italian counterpart. The flatbread is stuffed full of spinach and feta cheese and baked till hot n ready.⠀

The feta cheese flavours the Gözleme quite well with its inherent saltiness, and adds some creaminess to the carb laden mix. Feta isn’t a great melting cheese, so don’t expect any cheese pulls. But what it does is make the Gözleme richer, heavier and more delicious. The spinach does help to bulk up the bread, and make this a very healthy side dish. Ordinarily, the Gözleme would be quite unremarkable, but pair it with the Güveç, and its final form is unlocked.⠀

The unleavened bread used in the Gözleme soaks up all that terrifically tasty tomato sauce, and it turns into a cheesy, tomato-y carb delivery vehicle. The unleavened flatbread does possess a fair bit of chew, but the tomato sauce from the Güveç softens it up and injects even more deliciousness into it. While these two aren’t a pair that springs to mind immediately, trust me when I say that they belong together.⠀

Thanks for the invite, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!⠀

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While the Turks are renowned for their shakshuka, I would argue that Güveç, its lesser known cousin, deserves all of the recognition that shakshuka gets, if not more. Or at least @mavirestaurant.sg rendition ($32++) does deserve that fame. A stew of chicken, bell peppers and other veg baked in a tantalising tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese, the Güveç is as every bit as hearty as it sounds.

Mavi’s Güveç is portioned into a claypot and baked till ready in a stone oven, which does require quite a fair bit of time to achieve. But when it’s ready, oh boy oh boy is it a thing of beauty. The tasty, tangy tomato sauce bubbles away gently under the beautiful blanket of browned cheese which also conceals the bell peppers & chicken stewing within the sauce. The chicken is only slightly salted, so it’s entirely up to the tomato sauce to carry the entire dish. Or in this case, claypot.

Fortunately, the tomato sauce is a bonafide MVP, carrying & flavouring this entire stew with its charming combo of Turkish spices, tanginess & umami. The paprika provides a nice hint of heat to the simmering stew, while the cumin adds its strong, unmistakable earthy, nutty & warming qualities to add a new dimension to the Güveç. Added to the sweet, sour & salty characteristics of the tomato sauce, the herbs & spices round out the flavours well and make it a truly robust stew.

Unlike the kebabs, the chicken chunks in the stew were simmered to perfection. The chook was juicy & tender, and had soaked up a great deal of flavour from the terrific tomato sauce. The bell peppers had been stewed thoroughly, becoming soft and losing their sharpness in the process. And to top it all off, the melted cheese adds that luxurious richness to the entire stew. While the Güveç is perfect with the butter rice on the side, there is a dish that is purpose built to pair with this stew.

Thank you for hosting us, @mavirestaurant.sg & @burpple!

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