I had heard good things about The Butchers Club (TBC for short) in Hong Kong and its famed dry aged beef. So when it opened up a branch in Singapore late last year, I dropped by one weekday afternoon to have a go at the burgers.
Occupying a decently sized unit at Clarke Quay, TBC was decked out in an industrial themed setting; cement screed floor, high table tops with metallic bar stools, downlights and "graffiti" art adorning part of the walls.
Duck Fat Fries - At $8 a pop, this was one rather expensive packet of fat wedges with a sprinkling of salt. Deep frying in duck fat was suppose to make the wedges more fragrant but it didn't seem to have much of an effect, to me at least. Decent but no great shakes.
Signature Burger - As the name suggested, this was TBC's signature burger. The beef patty came across as tender and pink in the center, smothered with a layer of melted cheese, topped with a crisp bacon and wedged between two buns; the top one was soft but a tad dry whilst the bottom bun was so crisp that I almost punctured a hole in my mouth when I got ambitious and tried to stuff in a sizable piece. That aside, I felt the overall flavour leaning towards the salty side and the beefiness of the patty did seem a little overwhelmed by the cheese. Final verdict? Overall flavour was pretty good but bordering on expensive and Suprette still does a better burger in my humble opinion.
$60 for two (after a 15% credit card discount) isn't exactly cheap especially with the smallish sizes. Service is decent but I guess if I'm craving for a burger, Suprette would be still be my go to place.
Met up with friends for dinner @ Stuttgart Blackforest Cafe, a cafe smack in the middle of town apparently specialising in pork knuckles and Blackforest cake.
Housed within Hotel Rendezvous along one of the walkways, Stuttgart invokes a very comfortable feeling from its cottage like decorations; plenty of wooden fixtures, life sized wooden nutcrackers amidst a cottage facade backdrop.
Pork Schnitzel - 2 large fillets of pork schnitzel; coated with bread crumbs and coming across as a tad dry. Palatable but average at best.
Pork Knuckles - I went with the single portion of pork knuckles and it proved to be rather sizeable. Sporting a crackling crisp skin but a tad dry and chewy meat with bits of fat, this dish could do with a wee bit more salt in my humble opinion. It didn't quite help that the meat came across as rather porky as well.
Blackforest Cake - And Stuttgart's claim to fame, it's blackforest cake. Moist with a significant taste of kirsch and plump cherries at the bottom; topped generously with chocolate shavings but didn't come across as overly sweet. Pretty good and one of the best I've had in a while.
We had two 1 for 1 main course vouchers which brought down our bill to ~ $82 for 4pax (~ $126 without the vouchers). Food was average at best but I did fancy the blackforest cake quite a bit and will definitely be back - but only to do a takeaway on the cake.
After my disappointing sandwich at Melt Bar, I had all but given up hopes of finding something similar to that of Toastface Grillah in Perth. But as luck would have it, I chanced upon Park Bench Deli one weekday evening.
Occupying a small shop along Telok Ayer Street, Park Bench Deli's industrial themed interior gives off a hip vibe, with the day's offerings pasted on a huge board on the wall. Seating is rather limited and you have to order and make payment at the counter.
Patty Melt On Rye - Pink in the middle and a perfect medium rare, the beef patty came across as tender and well seasoned (a tad overly salty though), topped with gooey melted American cheese and sweet grilled onions, all layered between two slices of crackling crisp rye bread. Pretty delicious but Toastface Grillah's sandwiches still take the cake.
PB & J - PBD's take on the classic PB & J was pretty interesting. Crusted with cornflakes for that extra crunch, the first thing that hits you is the peanut butter, with the sweetness of the jelly helping to cut through the smooth richness. However I would have appreciated a little more peanut butter and jelly for a more robust flavour. It was also a little annoying to have the cornflakes stick to my teeth at times. Not as good as the one from Artistry in my humble opinion but good enough!
My stomach threatened to explode after consuming both sandwiches but it was worth it, especially since the food was reasonably priced at $24 nett. I'll definitely be back to try their grilled cheese and cheese steak sandwich!
The opening of Emporium Shokuhin sometime late last year injected quite a buzz to the F&B landscape; a huge Japanese supermarket with its own customised aged beef facility, a live seafood market and of course, seven different Japanese dining concepts. The seafood wine bar, UMI VINO most appealed to us so that's where we headed for dinner one weekday evening.
Located within the confines of Emporium Shokuhin at one of the corners of Marina Square Shopping Mall, UMI VINO carries a certain coziness to it with its high ceilings, open concept seafood displays and muted colours. Tables are spaced adequately fair apart to ensure a comfortable communication space.
Homemade Crab Cakes - I was hopeful this would turn out as good as Morton's but unfortunately not. Although the breaded crumbs gave the crab cakes a crisp exterior and they came stuffed with quite a substantial amount of crab shreds, I couldn't quite make out the sweetness of the crustacean. Decent but hardly satisfying.
Scallops A La Plancha - Like the crab cakes, this was one of their signature dishes and it unfortunately failed to impress as well. Grilled on a hot plate (ala plancha) and sporting a touch of golden brown on the surface yet a little raw in the center, the texture was just right but the whole dish was drenched in way too much olive oil which overwhelmed the natural sweetness of the scallops (if any). Rather disappointing for $18 (3 moderately sized pieces).
Sakura Ebi Tiger Prawn Pasta - This smelt really good but faltered in the taste department, most unfortunately. The sakura ebi was a tad crisp but overly salty while the chilled angel hair pasta came across as a tad thick, soft and bland. Topped with a few pieces of crunchy but less than sweet tiger prawns. Average at best.
Baked Sea Bream Pie - The sea bream pie was surprisingly the best dish of the evening. Served with a huge puff pastry enveloping the entire dish (poke a hole through and the whole thing deflates) and a slice of fresh sea bream sitting in a pool of creamy, mildly sweet sauce, it was pretty decent and a little nostalgic on my part to be honest.
Dinner was a disappointing affair and on our part, the both of us forked out about $101 for the generally average quality of food and smallish portions. Service wasn't stellar either so there's really no reason to return in my humble opinion.
Pince and Pints opened with much fanfare and rave reviews some one and a half years back and has apparently been very popular ever since - so much so that they have expanded upwards to the second floor and overseas to KL. We were intrigued by the limited offering of Truffle Lobster Roll so dropped by one Saturday afternoon for lunch.
The place isn't big (first floor seats 46 while the upper level seats another 30) and is a hotbed for noise due to the rather crampish and enclosed interior. But by virtue of a reservation, we managed to snag a rather nice corner seat with a fish tank (complete with a singular lobster) as a backdrop.
Lobster Roll - To do a comparison, we started off with a regular lobster roll. Served with a rich but not too heavy garlic aioli sauce, the lightly chilled lobster meat came across as crunchy and sweet, on a mildly crisp and sweet bun that could do with more time on the grill and definitely alot more butter. The accompanying regular cut fries were decent.
Truffle Lobster Roll - For $10 more, the truffle lobster roll was only available for a limited period of time (till end January). And in contrast to the regular lobster roll, the crunchy and sweetly succulent lobster meat was served warm instead of chilled, with truffle shavings, a small dollop of caviar and a truffle sauce that boasted a fair amount of truffle oil and bits of the real stuff. I personally couldn't get enough of the rich truffle sauce that went extremely well with the fries. However, as with the regular roll, the bread wasn't crispy or buttery enough for my liking.
Two lobster rolls cost us ~ $148, which is relatively expensive given that The Naked Finn serves a slightly more delicious rendition of the regular lobster roll at ~ 40% cheaper. A pity the rolls are only available during lunch. Maybe The Naked Finn could consider offering it for dinner as well.