El Mero Mero – Exciting flavours with a stunning open kitchen

El Mero Mero

Chijmes near City Hall MRT

img_9551I might be writing less, but have not stopped trying out restaurants as the less better ones are now being archived into the instagram account; and only the really good or bad ones will get a post for itself (there’s really not much time in life to spend writing for mediocre or slightly above average restaurants that are unfortunately, usually the hardest posts to finish. So, yes El Mero Mero is one worth penning a thought for as its stunning beautiful open kitchen serves up one of the freshest, most robustly flavoured mains and starters.

img_9552img_9553img_9554Tiger Prawn Ceviche – Prawn, lime, tomato, serrano, avocado, red onion crunchy tortilla. Firstly, we need to laud the aesthetics of this starter over here. So daintily plated, with every coloured element so vibrantly pronounced, the tortilla also came in surprisingly loud, exciting colours, just in time to kick start a relaxing enjoyable weekend before it is over. Taste wise, this was the dope, so aptly cut through by the strong refreshing zest deep into the fresh tomato mash there, we just love this ceviche to bits as it whets the hungry tummy. $18.

img_9555Roasted suckling pig – Roasted pineapple, fried banana, cinnamon, tlaquepaque sauce. Perfect Crispy thick skin aside, this was interestingly fatless while that tender slab of meat there still tasted so juicy and lip smacking good; yeah I love it free of fats. What actually made us astonished was that banana flavoured savoury sauce that lifted the porky flavour greatly and that outrageously sweet pineapple cubes that made us fight over the last piece. How clever the chefs are as they manage to gel these many flavours together seamlessly. $42.

img_9556Premium Dorper Lamb – 8 hours roasted, pibil sauce, tiger eggplant, radish. Another slab of beautifully cooked lamb while that red sauce there seems to have a light Indian slant to it, and tastes so intense with all that spices punching hard on your palates, making it a memorable one. And the buddy literally finish every single drop of sauce. $34.

img_9562Our dessert – not any churros or pies on the menu but this refreshing, huge glass of margarita slush that only costs $9.90 as it is the happy hour! And this really tasted like an alcoholic sorbet with a coveted light sweetness that ended the meal perfectly!

img_9564And this is somewhere I would like to visit again someday! Maybe in the afternoon still as that happy hour is just too hard to forgo!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 4.5/5.

Riverside Grilled Fish 江边城外 – Fun if you are adventurous enough

Riverside Grilled Fish 江边城外

Rafflescity at City Hall MRT

One of the bigger names hailing from China with more than 40 outlets country wide, Riverside Grilled Fish has found a large cosy corner at Rafflescity. Ironic it is when I am actually quite intolerant of mala, abhorrent of Sichuan cuisine as I am not in favour for a torturing spicy cuisine that sometimes conveniently lack of fragrance, or rather overpowered by the overdose of capsaicin and pepper! Why would such cuisine exist when balance is obviously off the equation, the question I am always bewildered at. Well, but when made more refined by the more upmarket establishments, things are usually quite different and therefore the urge to give 江边城外 a go.

IMG_9017IMG_9018How it works here – choose your fish, then one of the 9 sauces that you like and then any toppings that you want to be stuffed underneath. Sea bass chosen over here. And for non mala fans, only one out of the 9 will suit us, as I chose the black bean sauce for the grilled fish to be smothered in. The friendly Taiwanese waitress knows the palettes here well, and seems to advise according to our accent as she must have known the locals can’t take these spices well. So a big nono for non mala fans as there is no spicy levels to choose from, just so as to retain the authenticity of it. $35 topped with sausage ($4.50), tofu sheets ($4.50), beancurd skin ($3.50), Green radish ($2.50).

Though the mala was forgone, that bean paste sauce tasted robust enough, lifted up by the adequate amount of spice in it. That redness in the sauce is indeed acceptable, that is able to accentuate the sweetness from the tender, moist sea bass that is still reeking of a beautiful smoke.

IMG_9022IMG_9023This Sichuan flat noodles, which I tried once in Sichuan couldn’t catch my attention at all with a pretty weak consistency in those translucent noodles. While the texture remains brittle here, its more refined preparation made it more palatable. I would have finished it if only that fragrant peanutty sauce was used solely without that mental chilli oil to interfere with the entire bowl. But well, respect is given to the origin of this dish. $4.80.

IMG_9020Egg fried rice, so much to finish in one tub.

IMG_9028Pan fried rice cake with Soya Powder. Very dense, highly compacted and topped off with a fragrant layer of egg, made into a enjoyable dessert when sprinkled with that lightly sweetened soy powder. $6.80.

It was an exciting and fun experience for me even after tailoring it to yield a milder experience which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Verdict: A good restaurant. 4.0/5.

Maziga Indian Grill & Bar

Maziga Indian Grill & Bar

3C River Valley Road near Clarke Quay MRT

Opened by the owners of Punjab Grill, but held in a totally different area that is filled with a more casual crowd, Maziga Indian Grill & Bar could be recognised by their tapas serving style, filled with theatrical effects for certain dishes while new, intriguing elements are thoughtfully introduced into most dishes to spice up the excitement.

IMG_9530IMG_9531Maziga Munchies
Masala Pasta Fries. $9.50.
Tava Grilled Bhavnagri Chilies stuffed with Amul Cheddar Cheese. $9.90.

IMG_9537IMG_9538Bite size Tapas – Sweet & Sour soya glazed Tandoori Jerky Lamb Ribs ($24.90). Tandoor Smoked Apple Salad crispy Soft Shell Crab ($18.90).

IMG_9543IMG_9544Veg Tapas – Paneer Chili Tikka ($16.50). Wok Masala Fries with Chili and sweet glaze ($9.90). One of my favourite cheeses, the paneer over here could have been cut smaller I reckon, so that a higher surface area could be flavoured up with the chili tikka.

IMG_9547IMG_9549Chit Chaat Bazaar – Mumbai Chowpatty Beach Ragda Pattie ($13.50). Old Delhi Golgappa Chaat with Chilied Jaljeera Oxide ($12.90).

Maziga Burgers & Chips & Pizza – Lamb Galouti Kebab in Maska Pav ($12.50). Amritsar Fish & Chips ($9.50). Naan Pizza topped with tandoori smoked chicken or paneer tikka ($12.50).

IMG_9552Main Course Veg – Wokfried Paneer Tacos that is stuffed with a dry masala of cottage cheese and corn ($16.50).

IMG_9553Main Course Non-Veg – Red Snapper ($20.50). This was actually the favourite dish of the night as the soft, tenderised snapper is lifted up beautifully by the creamy sauce reminiscent of a flavourful curry. I had almost one whole snapper on my own.

IMG_9557Desserts – Masala Chai Kulfi White Forest Candy Floss. $13.90.

We see the potential there with the meticulous cooking techniques displayed, but are slightly uncertain if it is wise to have too many fried dishes on the tapas menu as it may not pander to the general crowd.

 

Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant – Very American, delicious pancakes!

Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant

31 Purvis Street near Bugis MRT

IMG_8363Finally after so long, I managed to get a table here, or rather the queue was good at least. Visited Clinton Street Baking many months ago and the moment I was told that the wait would take roughly 2 hours, we skipped and this time round, though it is still busy it was just a comfortable 10 min wait, which makes its highly raved about pancake stack even more delicious and satisfying.

IMG_8350The good thing about the wait over here is that you get to go to the nearby air conditioned National Library and once there’s a table available, you will be notified with an automatic call. Very convenient, fast and most importantly you don’t need to wait along the torrid corridors. Settled down, took a look at the big menu and not really into an eggy brunch that day, C and I both went straight for the burgers.

IMG_8347Salmon Burger – House made, with avocado, tomato, baby arugula and tartar sauce, house slaw and gherkin. Yearning for something healthier, I went straight for the salmon burger which came as a surprise as I initially thought it would be a slab of pan fried salmon in it. Fried salmon patty used instead, this was made creamier and heartier by the blob of tartar sauce on top. I like this hearty burger dish. $23.

IMG_8349Black Angus cheeseburger – Swiss and cameralised onions on a toasted French artisanal roll, with hand cut fries and slaw. Big juicy patty, slathered over with the wet caramelised onions, rounded up nicely by fluffy buns and I like how those fried chips still have the skin untouched. $23.

IMG_8348IMG_8361There we go, Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter with wild blueberries. Almost every other table ordered this fluffy pancake stacks and everyone, at least on that day, chose the blueberry topping over the walnut and chocolate options. That’s quite straightforward for us, as logically the blueberries are needed to cut through that thick doughy pancakes and sweet Maple butter; but if you like to have an even sweeter or richer rendition, then get the chocolate as your topping. $18.

Hearty, delicious and good in serving sizes, and also not forgetting the frequent refilling of your water even when the restaurant is packed, this is one of the cafes that I like!

Verdict: A good cafe. 3.8/5.