Gourmet Trip

Gourmet Trip

The better and the best of the places I've eaten at.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

Italians, look away now for I have just put fish with cheese. Most people go to @commongrillsg for the steaks & other grilled meats, but I personally reckon that their baked rice is severely underrated. Baked rice is relatively simple in theory but hard to perfect in practice, and Collin’s comes pretty close to getting it right.⠀

The marinara sauce used with the rice is just the right blend of tangy & tasty, with just enough sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and just enough salt to flavour everything. And of course, who can forget about the cheese carpet that’s melted over all that rice? Cheese & carbs are unbeatable, but the barramundi fillet certainly makes it even better. The fish fillet was well cooked with crisp skin and a moist flaky texture, and the fish went quite well with the marinara drenched rice.⠀

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Collin’s is affordable, their prices are certainly rather reasonable when you factor in the quality & quantity of their grub.

@fangkocoffee is not your ordinary café, as they are an Indonesian café in a sea of Australian/European cafe’s in Singapore. Headlining their proudly Indonesian Chimken (yes, that is NOT a typo) mains menu is the Indomie Chimken, going at a super low price of ten bucks flat for this XL bowl.⠀

This Indomie Chimken is (in)famous for having twenty one (!!!) spice levels, and I took the sage advice of one of my friends who tried the level five and experienced Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell. Yes, I went with level one, and it’s already incendiary enough to provoke a light sheen of sweat. The slow creeping spice is mercifully tempered by the sweetness of what I assume is kecap manis tossed into the sauce mix, as well as the fabulously flowing soft boiled egg.⠀

The Chimken was definitely the main attraction here, as Fangko’s signature smashed chicken was possibly the moistest, most supple deep fried chicken I’ve had in recent memory. It’s simply but sufficiently salted, and relies on that fiery but flavourful chili sauce mix to give it that memorable feistiness. Seriously, ten bucks for fantastic fried chicken and a big bowl of spicy noodles? That’s a bargain and a half!⠀
Thanks for the invite @fangkocoffee!

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For the final dish of the tasting at @supplydemandnovena, we were served the Chorizo e Pancetta off the Exclusive Passholder menu that’s reserved for hospital staff, and medical students & staff at the school of medicine that Supply & Demand has set up operations in. At $15.90 nett, this simple but surprisingly substantial spaghetti will sate voracious appetites while satisfying the need for deliciousness.⠀

A generous portion of crumbled up chorizo sausages, diced bacon, onions and shrooms are tossed together with spaghetti in a secret, house special umami broth & olive oil. The spaghetti was slightly past al dente, but it was in no danger of turning mushy. The umami broth delivered, with the amply salty broth fully flavouring everything present. However, Supply & Demand might want to give people an option on the spice level, as the Chorizo e Pancetta is scorchingly spicy. My tongue was set aflame from the spice, and I reached out for my $7.90 cocktail quite often to try and battle the blaze.⠀

While Supply & Demand’s brand new brunch menu is the star attraction, their regular lunch & dinner menu is too good to be ignored. Thank you for hosting us, @supplydemandnovena & @marque.sg!

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Just to balance out the onslaught of meat, we got a portion of Pumpkin ($24++). The pumpkin was sweet & tender, and was roasted so well that even the rind was edible. The leek cream tended toward the sweeter side, but it was still quite addictive and we were busy scraping every last drop of it off the plate. I would say that the Pumpkin was more of a sweet dish, and could theoretically be a dessert.

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The regular menu ain’t no slouch either, with the Peri Chicken ($32++) being a fine example of how delicious chicken can be in talented hands. The large, joyously juicy chicken leg was meticulously marinated in a Pilot’s own peri peri marinade, and the salty spiciness of that penetrated deeply into every last morsel of chicken. It’s like a cheeky Nando’s but way better. The watercress salad on the side was an exemplary refresher, resetting your tastebuds to better appreciate the chicken. The sunchoke purée was sweet & creamy, and could be a cracking carb replacement.

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Before we get into the meat of the matter at @pilot.sg , we gotta fly in and meat-sorry, meet, the meatier starters. The Beef Tartare ($20++) was plenty palatable, but the savoy cabbage chips sitting on top of the tartare totally stole the show. The beef was quite delicious as it was seasoned in fermented chili butter, resulting in a slightly spicy & beautifully buttery beef experience.

However, the delicate yet divinely delish savoy chips flew away with our hearts thanks to the sweet prune powder sprinkled on it. The sublime sweet & sour flavour profile will whet your appetite, and it will compel you to get every last bit of that piquant prune powder sprinkled all over the savoy chips.⠀

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Before we get into the meat of the matter at @pilot.sg , we gotta fly in and meat-sorry, meet, the meatier starters.

Pilot’s Duck Menchikatsu ($17++) seems to be a celebrity, as everyone who’s ever been a patron here has ordered it. There are no surprises here; it’s superbly savoury shredded duck breaded with panko crumbs & deep fried just like a regular Japanese cutlet (katsu). The deeply delicious duck has lost a little moisture, but the sprightly spring onion aioli adds lubrication, richness & freshness to the brilliantly breaded & crispy katsu. ⠀

However, the Duck Menchikatsu felt like it had been left high and dry without backup. The inclusion of a coleslaw or a pickled vegetable medley would’ve made this a super starter. Heck, take this delectable Duck Menchikatsu, shove it betwixt the house baked milk buns along with a smear of the spring onion aioli and a fistful of ‘slaw, and boom you have a new entrée. I really do like the Duck Menchikatsu, but it currently has the most untapped potential out of all the small plates.⠀

Fortunately, Pilot Kitchen is an experimental restaurant, so they will probably make some improvements, and I will be making a return voyage when they do.

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@pilot.sg starters pull double duty as both appetisers as well as sides to the bigger plates (entrées). For the last carb laden starter, here is my crack. More precisely, my order of Hasselback and Crack ($14++). Taters are cut up like accordions, which maximises the surface area on which the Moroccan spice blend and thousand island inspired sauce can spread onto. The potatoes are baked until they get a crunchy exterior and a soft, starchy interior. There is no cocaine involved here, but the Moroccan spice blend is so absolutely addictive that it’s like crack. It’s simply scintillating with the savouriness & spice all delighting your tastebuds, while the sauce adds lushness & creaminess to the potatoes.⠀

With starters this sublime, we simply couldn’t lose.

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@pilot.sg starters pull double duty as both appetisers as well as sides to the bigger plates (entrées).

The best companions to an entrée are almost always carbs, and Pilot’s buns are meant to be clapped. The Homemade Milkbun ($8++) features fluffy, airy Japanese style milk buns baked in house, paired with the most stunning special butter ever. It’s rendered down mushrooms incorporated into butter, turning it into the most amazing compound butter. Mushrooms are naturally loaded with MSG, so this butter was unbelievably umami, rich and luscious. In fact, if Pilot Kitchen sold this butter in bulk, they’d be multi millionaires in about a month.⠀

With starters this sublime, we simply couldn’t lose.

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@pilot.sg starters pull double duty as both appetisers as well as sides to the bigger plates (entrées). Starting our night out right was the special of Cheese Balls ($16++), which was a blend of gruyere & pecorino cheese balled up, breaded and deep fried. It’s a bunch of deep fried cheese balls, it was always going to be fantastic. The gruyere melts marvellously, giving you that stretchy cheese pull, while the pecorino added saltiness to the balls. The pineapple ketchup dip was a flawless combination to the savoury cheese balls with its sweet & salty qualities, and the dip reminded me of sweet & sour sauce but more refined.⠀

With starters this sublime, we simply couldn’t lose.

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All of @estuary.sg fish entrées are dry aged, and they even had a seasonal whole fish for large groups to tuck into. Since there were only two of us that night, we chose the fillet of Japanese Hamachi ($34++) instead. I was quite excited to get my first taste of dry aged fish, and this fillet of dry aged amberjack certainly didn’t disappoint.⠀

Dry aging the fish has removed a fair bit of its moisture, and the flavours have concentrated and intensified. I’ve never had hamachi this flavourful before, and it’s so flavourful that some might find it too salty. The texture is the most noticeable change, as it loses the flakiness you expect of fish, and it turns into a firmer, slightly flaky texture as you cut into it. It’s like the texture of extremely tender chicken, crosses with the flakiness of fish. The fish skin was simply stellar as well, being remarkably crisp and thin, almost like a sheet of seaweed.⠀

The accoutrements were a capable pairing to the flawless fish, with the koji & olive oil dressing adding some lubrication to compensate for the moisture lost during dry aging. The sweet corn was a capable counter to the umami of the fish, and it keeps your palate excited & engaged throughout the entire dish. Estuary has such good mastery of fish dishes, and they’ve managed to elevate an otherwise pedestrian fish fillet into something quite stunning.⠀

Thank you for having us @estuary.sg, and thanks for setting up this tasting @scalemicroinfluencers!

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While waiting for your breathtaking beef Wellington at @bistrog.sg, engage in a three way. That’s right, order an Oyster Three Way from Bistro G’s Kushiyaki section. A threesome of oysters come in three different ways: one arrives unabashedly naked, one dons a coat of aburi’d cheese, and one wraps itself in a dazzling dress of grilled bacon.⠀

All three oysters are different yet they are similarly desirable. The naked one in the back is garnished with what I assume to be little cubes of pickled daikon & soy sauce, and that works wonders with the creamy, briny qualities of the plump oyster. The soya sauce adds extra umami to the oyster, and the pickled daikon add pops of freshness & tanginess to keep the salt levels in check.⠀

As for the cheese aburi oyster, Bistro G managed to fully melt & brown the cheese without scorching the oyster. Creamy cheese on top of a rich oyster sounds like too much of a good thing, but it was far from being surfeiting here. And the grilled oyster with bacon, come on now, it’s a grilled oyster with bacon & soft bits of leek for a little taste variety. It was always going to be great.⠀

When it comes to a ménage à trois, there can be a bit of trepidation, but here at Bistro G, a three-way is pure pleasure.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol. Insta: @okwhotookmyusername

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