My first time at Pasarbella though it has been around for quite some time. I have always been wanting to visit this place as it looks like those markets in London (e.g. Borough Market) that sell really fresh produce and everything just looks so yummy. So, instead of visiting one of the restaurants just adjacent to the market place, A and I decided to try the different stalls in the market.
We headed straight for Le Patio which has the longest queue as the seafood paella served here according to blogs, is really good and is one of the must-have before it runs out.
Cooked in a really huge pan – the largest pan I’ve seen so far (even larger than those in London), it definitely succeeded in attracting a long queue. And was it really that awesome? Nope! It came nothing near to Spanish food I felt. The rice was moist and not dry definitely, but not because it has been soaked in fragrant delicious broth but because it is just coated with LOADS of oil. Really oily plate of paella here and the broth came nothing near to fragrant. We couldn’t taste the seafood taste and really is a far cry from a good plate of paella. The seafood was however fresh but the bigger part of paella lies in the rice and its fragrance I feel. This definitely didn’t work for me. $13.50. If you want to have really good Paella, (Spain would definitely be the best choice) you can give Binomio a try. The paella served there is so fragrant as every grain is so flavourful and uniformly coated with their fragrant broth. That is real Paella.
Anyway, despite the not so good Paella, I like the rooster stand that they have which holds many eggs.
Then we walked around and saw this Bonheur Patisserie. I was in the mood for cakes and I have heard of this place before. It was once located in Tanjong Pagar and have moved to Pasarbella. I was a little skeptical when I saw the cakes going at three for the price of two. So we got three cakes as that makes more sense.
The chocolate kit kat cake would be the favourite of all. The kit kat bar is in the middle while there’s a really rich layer of chocolate ‘fudge’ on top with some round chocolate bits. It was chocolatey and delicious. The ‘fudge’ is creamy, smooth and rich. yummy.
Then the following cakes started to get disappointing. The strawberry earl grey cake. The word earl grey gives me the impression that this would have a very fragrant therapeutic feeling. But, there was no earl grey fragrance at all! The sponge was also slightly dry and I am thinking that this may have been stored overnight.
Got this strawberry dome thing which is just a normal piece of soft cake. Nothing special about it. The inside has a few colours and I think there were more than one taste. Really confusing to the palates I felt. Each cake is priced at $6.90.
Perhaps, Bonheur would have fared better in Tanjong Pagar and shouldn’t have considered moving here. They seem to have much more interesting cakes when they were still at Tanjong Pagar according to their website. Standard has definitely dropped if that was the original standard. After all, I believe Pasarbella only gets busy in the weekends.
One of the better looking coffee places would be the Dutch Colony. Not too sure if they are really good as we were full from cakes. They seem to serve good red velvet here but when I took a closer look, it can definitely not beat Hummingbird.
Oceans of Seafood
So the final stop was Oceans of Seafood. This place is slightly special as it is split into the western seafood and Japanese area. Guess they share the same source for their seafood. So we chose the Japanese for some sushi.
We got the california roll and spider maki. Maki were good as rice was soft and round while the ingredients are quite satisfying. Each maki costs $6. Then again, this is a standard that you can get in most places and definitely do not have to travel all the way to pasarbella.
The star sushi would be the hotate or scallop sushi. That scallop there is really fresh and slightly creamy. Luckily I spotted this on the menu and got A to get it as well. Yummy piece of sushi here. It was also served with an adequate amount of rice underneath.
The salmon aburi was also delicious. Top was lightly torched with a slight fragrance. I think this is one of the fishes that I would prefer aburi. The more expensive ones like chutoro or ottoro really has to be eaten raw. The whole plate costs about $30.
So, on the whole, did Pasarbella wow me? Definitely not. Any resemblence to Borough Market? And it’s a resounding NO! Would I be back? Not in the near or far future I think. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed by the standard of food served here. While the sushi that I had was decent, they were quite expensive for their standard. The patisserie was not bad and I only like one cake out of three while Le Patio was the biggest disappointment as I thought it would be really good. It should be called oily rice I feel. Then again, despite the many disappointments, it was still a fun hang out with A. At least, I’ve explored Pasarbella.