Wow Wow West

Wow Wow West

For all the best the West has to offer that can't quite be nailed down to a specific regional cuisine.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

@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.

Before y’all start, yes, I know full well that paying fifty four dollars before service charge and tax for a beef goulash is insane. But hear me out: @interconsin @thelobbyloungesg Angus Beef Short Rib Goulash is the best damn goulash you’ll ever savour. The Lobby Lounge know full well that the asking price is astronomical, so they’ve stuffed the goulash full of sublime sapidity, and colossal chunks of Angus beef short rib.⠀

Angus beef is prized for its intense beefiness mixed with a proportionate amount of fat, and short rib is a notably fatty cut. Combine those two factors, and you get fabulously fatty chunks of beef that are full of flavour. Those short ribs are stewed low & slow for about twelve hours, absolutely tenderising all the fat & meat into a wobbly, nearly melt in your mouth beefy marvel. Yes, I cut into that hunk of beef with a spoon with minimal strength required.⠀

The stew itself was stunningly stellar, with the robust & supremely savoury beef stock getting upgraded by the tangy tomato purée. The beef & tomato combo is further enhanced by the carrots & potatoes leeching their sweetness & starchiness into the liquid, sweetening it and thickening it for a ridiculously robust stew. I kid you not, when I took a first bite out of this beef goulash, I slumped back into my incredibly comfy seat to contemplate life and the utter marvellousness of this brilliant beef goulash.⠀

The Lobby Lounge’s Angus Beef Short Rib Goulash is undeniably expensive, but it’s so heavenly that it should be a dish you save for special occasions, and then chase down with the sterling Spice Lane Old Fashioned. Thank you for changing my life with this glorious goulash @thelobbyloungesg, and thank you for the invite @accela.comms!

1 Like have a massive menu that matches their mammoth portions, and if you’re in the mood for noods, prepare to be spoilt for choice. Out of the dozen, yes a FULL DOZEN, choices of pasta, we chose the Grilled Chicken Marinara ($14.90++). A whole heaping helping of spaghetti is tossed in a mouthwatering marinara that’s homemade, and garnished generously with grilled chicken chunks and cherry tomatoes.⠀

I rather relished the homemade tomato marinara, as it was tasty & exceptionally well balanced. The natural tanginess of the tomato is balanced out by the sweetness of the sauce, and it is all salted superbly for maximal savouriness. The marinara is also gloriously garlicky, but I didn’t really notice any basil. Just like with every other dish, Charlie’s is incredibly generous with their protein portions, and there was an abundance of juicy grilled chicken in the pasta.⠀

Charlie’s is the quintessential American diner: the food may not be revolutionary, but it is definitely delicious, hearty and supremely satisfying. The portions will fill the hole in your stomach, but the bill won’t burn a hole in your pocket.⠀

Thank you for the hospitality, and thanks for the jio @eatwithkeat!

3 Likes Surf & Turf will subvert your expectations. Instead of having steak & lobster or shrimp, they’ve replaced it with…chicken and fish. Yup, Charlie’s Surf & Turf ($18.90++) is the healthy version of the usually hearty & occasionally heart stopping land & sea combo.⠀

A chargrilled chicken fillet teams up with a grilled fish fillet for a protein partnership that’ll get your bulk started strong. The fish fillet manages to retain an acceptably firm & flaky texture inside, while the chicken is seasoned sufficiently & is remarkably juicy. While the black pepper sauce both proteins are drenched in is sufficiently savoury, Charlie’s missed a prime opportunity to do a unique sauce specific to the Surf & Turf that suits both chicken & fish well, like a lemony herb butter.⠀

Still, for two ponderous protein portions & two heaping helpings of your selected sides, just under twenty bucks is quite the steal. Thanks for having us, and thanks for the invite @eatwithkeat!


For the grand finale, we had @iox_sg Kansas City Salsiccia e Pepperoni, which sees a pair of meaty, juicy and subtly spicy Italian sausages slapped over a mound of charred & caramelised sliced bell peppers and onions. This dish has nothing to do with the American city of Kansas City, and I have no clue as to why all the dishes are named after cities in the USA. What I do know is that at twenty three dollars before an additional ten percent service charge, these big sausages are best shared.⠀

The Italian sausages bear a striking similarity to its distant relative, the Spanish chorizo. However, the salsiccia are less spicy and more herbaceous, with an emphasis on oregano. The meaty links possess a solid, bouncy texture that is the ideal for all sausages, and the pork within is ground finely enough to be smooth, but just coarsely enough to retain a meaty chew. While there isn’t much of a sear on them, it’s really a non issue as the sausages are already good enough as is.⠀

Now you may be wondering: where’s the pepperoni? Well, it’s a slight typo, but the peperoni, which is the word for peppers in Italian, are the red & yellow bell peppers mingling with the onions. Pepperoni, the beloved pizza topping, is actually called ‘salamino piccante’ in Italy. #themoreyouknow. ⠀

Language lesson aside, the bell peppers have been charred just enough for the skin to blister, and for the pepper to go soft & release its sweetness. The competently caramelised onions add even more sweetness to the veggie medley. The combined sweetness is perfect to counteract the salty, spicy juices from the sausages, and you’ll wanna get a forkful of vegetables in between stuffing your gob with the meaty sausage.⠀

Italian Osteria X’s sausage fest is stupendously simple, but so stunningly stellar. C’mon, stuff these salciccias into your mouth. You know you want to.


The only kind of American BBQ that I’ve ever managed to sample in Singapore are racks of succulent ribs, but then I discovered in Joo Chiat, with their US Prime Beef Brisket ($33 before additional service charge & GST). Thirty three bucks is a hefty price, but it’s a hefty serving too. Hidden underneath the two behemoth brisket slices are another two smaller slices, for a total of four(!) sizeable slices of brisket. Of course, it wouldn’t be an American serving without sides, so you get your choice of two.⠀

The brisket is marinated in Smokey’s secret dry rub, and then smoked & slow roasted for a whole lotta hours. Contrary to what Instagram or youtube might show you, a waterfall of beefy juices didn’t come gushing out of the beef when I sliced into it. However, it’s still acceptably moist and tender, and there’s a LOT of fat within. Cutting into these thick briskets are light work for even a butter knife, and the beef doesn’t require that much chewing. The spices & seasoning have fully permeated the brisket, resulting in a savoury and peppery flavour profile in addition to the smokiness.⠀

The flavourful brisket was excellent on its own, but I ain’t gonna say no to some barbecue sauce. Sweet & salty, the sauce enhances all the delicious qualities of the brisket and turns it up to eleven. The sides were just along for the ride, being neither memorable nor terrible. The crunchy coleslaw was a nice interlude between beefy onslaughts, but I felt it could’ve been zestier for better effect. The crisp sweet potato fries were fresh out the fryer and were rather decent, but I didn’t realise that they cost an extra three dollars. Oh well.⠀

If you’re looking for some barbecue that screams MURICA, you’d best make your way briskly to Smokey’s for brisket.


Cod was created to be the perfect fish for fish & chips, so I was glad to find out that utilises that flaky fish. The Cod & Chips ($24++) is a gargantuan meal, built from three colossal cod fillets battered & deep fried, along with a whole heaping helping of shoestring fries. In all honesty, it’s more cod & fries than cod & chips as the fries are a far cry from proper thick cut chips, but I’m just being pedantic at this point.⠀

Chips or no, the battered cod was absolutely stunning. Look at the subtle off white shade of the fresh cod. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my god, it even has crumbly bits. Yes indeed, the cod has everything needed to make you sweat profusely with pleasure. The firm, flaky fresh fillets of cod were the polar opposite of the deafeningly crunchy batter that encased it. Speaking of the batter, it’s truly beautiful. Crunchy and impossibly airy, it adhered to the cod rather well and made this dish oh so memorable.⠀

However, the brilliant batter was its own downfall. All that crunch came at a price, and that price was the absorption of a copious amount of oil. Truth be told, the first and second giant fillets were down easily & eagerly. It wasn’t until I cut into the third that the greasiness hit me like a truck, and my heart & arteries started begging for mercy. At that point, I was desperate for something bland, or something sour & zesty to cut through the grease, but all I had were fries that exacerbated the problem.⠀

With that said, I still firmly believe that this cracking cod & chips is downright decadent. Just don’t conquer it solo, share the love around instead.

1 Like

Croquettes are delish, but what if we really made ‘em ball out? answers that question with their Squid Ink Balls with Japanese Uni, which are priced at $26++ for a trio of balls. Since there were eight of us, we added on another croquette to make it two pairs of balls, but I don’t remember how much it was.⠀

The mashed potato filling within was charmingly creamy and velvet smooth. Enhanced by the savoury properties of the squid ink that’s been mixed in, the potatoes were satisfying savoury and umami. The exterior shell is delightfully crispy, and the uni carefully draped over adds a crazy amount of rich, briny creaminess. Still, close to thirty bucks for a trio of bite sized croquettes is pretty hard to stomach.⠀

For something a little more satisfying at the same price, the Grilled Argentina Prawns with Pisto and Pipirrana Pickle fits the bill. Kissed by the flames of the grill, these smoky shrimp are remarkably fresh and grilled just right. They are salted lightly, instead relying mainly on the pisto for flavour. Pisto is the Spanish offshoot of ratatouille, but a little spicier, more tomato-y, and the veggies within are diced into small bits. It’s spicy, tangy and salty, and it uplifts the flavour of the prawns.⠀

Not gonna lie, most of the appetisers at Lumbre were rather underwhelming, but the entrées are where it starts to get good.

@buttrmilksg is a halal certified Southern style fried chicken joint in Kinex. Yes, there are four malls in Paya Lebar, but Kinex is the awkward one that always gets left out of everything. Still, it’s where Buttrmilk have decided to set up shop, so that’s where I was.⠀

When I hear Southern style fried chicken, I think of chicken & waffles, therefore making Buttrmilk’s Hot Clucker combo ($14 nett) the glaringly obvious choice for me. A buxom, plumptious breast is pushed up by the jalapeño & cheddar waffle, and the lubricant is served on the side. As it’s a hot & spicy affair, the Buffalo Hot Sauce is the lube of choice, and it’s perfect.⠀

For what it is, these voluptuous chicken titt-um, I meant chicken breasts, are exceptionally moist. That could be attributed to the buttermilk brine that they marinate in overnight, as well as the brilliant batter. The breast is a real handful & mouthful, and you’ll have to stretch your jaw a bit to get a full gobble. It’s deep fried flawlessly, managing to lock in the precious little moisture of the chicken breast while cooking it just right.⠀

The chicken is a tad tasteless on its own, but the Buffalo Hot Sauce is the ideal lube for it. Spicy, smoky, sweet, salty and sticky, this flavourful sauce compensated for the shortcomings of the chicken. The jalapeño & cheddar waffles were fantastically fluffy, but I do feel like they could’ve been crispier on the outside. While the jalapeño slices within exploded with sour spice every time I bit into one of them embedded in the waffle, the cheddar cheese was conspicuously absent.⠀

For fourteen bucks, its a sufficiently satisfying boob job. Sure, there could be more buffalo sauce served, and the waffles could be just a little crispier, but it’s a decent deal all around.

1 Like

It is Wednesday my dudes, which means that it’s time to post some beef wellies. Gordon Ramsay was right, beef Wellington really is a showstopper, and it’s the centre of attention at every dining table it’s served on. @cherki_sg Pangium Beef Wellington ($30++) is no exception, as it comes pre-sliced in half for an epic cross section.

A massive slab of beef tenderloin is basted in Cherki’s proprietary pangium nut paste, and wrapped in mushroom duxelle and puff pastry. As you can see, that beef tenderloin is done to a delicious albeit uneven rare, and it really put the tender in tenderloin. The knife sliced through with light work, and chewing it was delectably easy. Pangium nut paste (aka buah keluak) tastes a bit like black truffles with a hint of black olives somewhere in there, so it made for a perfect fit with the earthy, moreish mushroom duxelle.

The puff pastry was fantastically flaky, but as expected of a beef welly, the bottom was quite soggy due to the juices of the tenderloin rendering out during baking. The savoury sauce poured over the welly exacerbated the sogginess, even though I appreciated its salty qualities. A easy fix would definitely be to put that sauce into a ramekin on the side. And of course, more sauce please. As for the soggy pastry, the only solution I can think of would be to sear the bottom on a screaming hot dry pan to try & evaporate some of those juices.

The Chinese mushrooms on the side were a nice touch, but they were a bit undercooked as they were slightly bitter. Despite the 3 faults of Cherki’s Beef Wellington, I was suitably impressed by it. Better yet, with #burpplebeyond, you can even get TWO beef wellies for thirty bucks! Yessir, @burpple Beyond’s 1-for-1 applies to ALL mains here! Now that’s the robbery of the decade!


And finally, we have @harryssingapore Beer Battered Fish & Chips. A single gargantuan slab of unidentified white fish is encased inside that ethereally airy beer batter, and it is DUMMY THICC. No seriously, the fish fillet is thicker than your average steak. The fish is firm & flaky, which makes it the ideal subject for fish & chips, but it’s not as moist and oily as I was expecting. In fact, it can be a little dry in some spots.⠀

Unlike the other entrées, the fish & chips being insufficiently salted isn’t that big if an issue due to the presence of the tartar sauce. I’ve always been an aficionado of tartar sauce; something about the combo of mayonnaise, lemon juice, pickles & dill just appeals to me on a deep level. Alas, there just isn’t enough tartar sauce to go around.⠀

The other important component of fish & chips are done excellently. The chips were a thing of beauty, and they were spiced & salted sensationally. So good, in fact, that we had no qualms about scarfing down every last fry.⠀

And for the last time (for now), thank you so much for hosting us @harryssingapore & @burpple!

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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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