For my name day earlier this month, I really wanted to celebrate with a good buffet, so me BFF and I opted for the Japanese-inspired international buffet at the long-established Triple Three at Mandarin Orchard.
Named after the hotel’s address (333 Orchard Road), Triple Three’s buffet spread, which has a few live cooking stations, covers a huge area so one has to check out every corner and nook so as to not miss any of its extensive offerings.
The first thing that had us at hello was this gorgeous Honey Glazed Ham, flanked by cute Yorkshire puddings. There was roast beef too but it wasn’t as enticing as this hunk of a ham here!
This massive Grilled Grouper was hard to miss too, and its tasty meat really went well with rice.
The cold cuts section was right by the roasts. Its selection of meats including parma ham and smoked salmon, just to name but two.
My game plan though was to focus on the seafood-on-ice section where I could have all the utterly huge, fresh and juicy Sakoshi Bay oysters from Japan that I could eat…
… and, most of all. succulent Alaskan King Crab legs as well! (So good and yummy!) The station is also filled with other under-the-sea delights such as prawns, mussels, clams and crayfish.
Another popular Japanese-inspired counter is the Yakiniku (grilled meat) live cooking section. This evening, we had this heavenly grilled Wagyu beef with vegetables that was simply da bomb!
The sushi and sashimi counter is understandably another popular section especially when you can order to your heart’s content items such as freshly sliced yellowtail sashimi or wagyu beef sushi made on the spot.
As focus was to be on just a few stations, counters I had to forgo include the Asian wok-fried favorites, Japanese tempura, and I’m sure there was even a pasta station…
Our tummies practically had no room for this rather tempting Indian section although I couldn’t resist a scoop of the fragrant balmastic rice (which I ate with the grouper fish) and a piece of crispy papadum.
And we’re still not done: There is a decent looking cheese section…
…an impressive bread stand (although the buns and rolls we picked were surprisingly tough…)
…and a good range of pretty and delicious-looking cakes and pastries.
Last but not least, there were healthy fruits to end your feasting, along with premium machine-brewed coffee (or tea if you prefer).
We love to stuff our faces but the primary reason my pal and I have not been indulging in hotel buffets is because buffet prices can be quite hefty these days. During my birthday week however, there was a Triple Three promotion whereby for the weekday dinner of $88++, the second adult gets 50% off if you pay by DBS, POSB and UOB cards. That was why we picked the spot and we ended up paying about $78 each which was decent for such a good spread.
So overall, an enjoyable experience at Triple Three just like the last time when I was there yons ago. Would definitely visit again.
“You wanna go so far north for lunch?” That was my response when a pal suggested going to The Art at Cashew Road on her off day because “the bread is very good”. So off we went as the casual dining restaurant, located within Assumption Pathway School (APS), is just a bus and MRT Orange line+Blue line away.
The Art, or Assumption Restaurant for Training, is the Catholic educational institution’s culinary skills establishment that allows APS students—some of whom have special needs—to learn cooking and baking techniques, as well as to gain experience interacting with real customers.
The restaurant is located deep inside the Assumption school premises. Once out of Cashew MRT station, we entered via the front gate of Assumption English School, followed the covered walkway for some distance till we reached and climbed a short flight of stairs. The Art can then be seen atop a “hill” (which faces a football field), and after signing in at a guardhouse—it’s a school after all—we finally arrived at the dining establishment after climbing yet another flight of stairs.
For a place sited far from the main road, The Art was quite a busy place during lunchtime, though not exactly packed. Still, my lunch mate was crestfallen to discover that the “very good bread” was already sold out by the time we sat at our table. “Must come early at 12 next time!” she said. Yes, m’am.
The lunch menu is relatively simple: soup/dessert of the day (each $3); six choices of mains ranging from Deep-fried Breaded Chicken with Cheese Sauce ($9/set $13.50) to Daily Roast (done medium; $15/set $19.50); mocktails ($3.50), and hot beverages ($2-$2.50). It also contains a special Tea-for-Two set (2.30pm-5pm, $12 nett) that comprises 12 pieces of petit fours and two hot beverages.
Interestingly whilst we were there, there was also a “Food Street” where pop-up stalls were set up along the restaurant’s al fresco area. These are manned by APS students, selling fare such as prawn noodles ($4.50), curry chicken ($4.50) and assorted desserts ($1), and which you can order at the table. This is only available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12pm-1.30pm.
We decided to go for a la carte and my friend ordered Fish N Chips ($12) while I opted for the Daily Roast ($15). The tasty Fish N Chips came with crispy French fries, salad and tartar sauce, and my friend had no complaints about it.
I had no complaints about my beef steak either, which was served with mushrooms in cream sauce, potato/carrot combo and some greens. Beautifully done medium, the steak was tender and juicy, and enhanced much by the lovely gravy.
We had actually wanted to order dessert from the Food Street but by the time we finished our mains, the stalls had already closed shop! Luckily. there was a deli counter filled with a variety of cakes, so we ended up with Tiramisu and Black Forest cakes, both of which were very well made. I also had a coffee ($2) to end my meal. (If you order the 3-course set meal, coffee comes along with the dessert).
And oh, there was good news re: the “very good bread”. By the time we ended our meal, the kitchen came out with a couple of huge pita-like bread that were topped with pesto, cheese and olive oil for the deli counter. It wasn’t the bread my friend was looking for but since we came all the way here, we bought one each. And let me tell you, the fragrant bread was really, really good – you can eat it on its own or dip it into thick chicken curry or a creamy soup.
The Art, which has a cosy ambience, also serves set dinners (from $16.50) on Friday nights (except last Friday of the month) and porridge buffet (from $12.50, only on last Friday of the month). These are however by reservations only. The daily menu is also subject to periodic revisions.
All in all, The Art is a nice place to dine in and service by both students and volunteers was good. It is definitely worth going the long distance (if you don’t live or work around the north-west, that is) for its quality food items including freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries. My mains/dessert/coffee meal came up to $24 which is decent, especially with a delicious steak in the mix. Will be keen to try its porridge buffet one day…
The Art is located within Assumption Pathway School at 30 Cashew Road. Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays (during school terms). Lunch – 12pm-3.30pm; Teatime – 2.30pm-5pm; and Dinner – 6pm-9.30pm (on Fridays and by reservations only). For Reservations, call +65 6892 6187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit www.aps.edu.sg/theart.
If you love grub and grog as much as I do, joy is being in a hall filled with hundreds of fine food and drink booths offering samples for anyone who’s keen to have their taste buds tickled. I was hence delighted when Musings on the M49 was invited to the 3rd annual Speciality & Fine Food Asia (SFFA) and Restaurant, Pub & Bar Asia (RPB) 2019 where I could do exactly just that!
Held at Suntec Singapore from 17-19 July and featuring more than 200 artisanal food and drink producers, the trade show is primarily a platform for producers to network and forge business opportunities with people in the food service, retail and hospitality sectors. It was truly a global affair as there were exhibitors from Canada to Spain, Taiwan to Uzbekistan. It was also good to see much local representation with many Singapore producers showcasing their locally-crafted fare – from cheese to beer to mead.
Thanks to organiser Montgomery Asia, a specially curated media tour was arranged for us to check out a diverse range of products on display. Here’s a selection of the goodies that yours truly had the pleasure of sampling.
FINE GRUB @ SFFA2019 & RPB2019 (Selected)
Meats from Spain
Though this Provacuno (Spanish beef industry) booth says “Beef from Spain”, the professional chef doing live demonstrations prepared a few different meat dishes for visitors to try including beef kebab, roast lamb skirt and a veal item. We only had time for the first two but the wait was absolutely worth it – both meats were succulent and absolutely juicy and delicious. (www.provacuno.es)
Dried Fruits & Nuts from Uzbekistan
Truth be told, I noticed Uzbekistan only when they play in an Asian World Cup qualifying round. At their pavilion, we learnt that the Central Asian country is also known for being producers of high-quality dried fruits (grapes, apricots, melons, etc), nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc), jams, as well as flour and sugary confectionery. The samples we tried were definitely good and tasty. (http://uzkand.uz)
Cashew Cheese Crafted in Singapore
We were also introduced to Kroodi cheese, the first plant-based artisanal cashew cheese in Singapore. Created by Claudia Cani, an Italian based here, her cheeses are “dairy-free, lactose- free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and preservatives-free.” Now I love cheese and I love cashews, but the cashew-based cheese took a while to get used to. Still, I’m always game to try new types of cheese. Purchase is available at kroodi.com and RedMart.
Pastry, Baked Goods & Tea from Taichung, Taiwan
Taiwan food fare is very popular with Singaporeans and seven foods companies from Taichung, Taiwan’s second largest city, were out in full force to promote their products. Items include various Taiwanese pastries and handmade baked snacks such as tasty almond cookies and pure milk shortbread, as well as fragrant milk tea and coffee drinks. (www.taichung.gov.tw)
FINE GROG @ SFFA2019 & RPB2019 (Selected)
Gin & Natural Mineral Water from Sri Lanka
One of the first fine grog we tried was from Rockland Distillery. Colombo No. 7 (www.colombosevengin.com) is a Sri Lankan take on a London dry gin, flavored with seven spices and botanicals including juniper berries, curry leaves and cinnamon bark. With a ABV of 43.1%, the gin when taken neat is complex and vibrant. At the same booth, we also got to sample Olu Tropical Water (www.oluwater.com), a “natural mineral water sourced from the cloud forests of Sri Lanka”. One thing for sure, it definitely tasted better than your regular tap water!
Blueberry Wine from Michigan, USA
Hailing from Michigan, USA, Vintas Sapphire Blueberry Wine carries much fruity aromas and is sweet on the palate, though not as sweet as a dessert wine. With an ABV of 11%, it’s easy to drink and goes well with the generous cheese and dried fruit platter provided. It would certainly pairs well with meat and dessert items as well. (www.vintas.com.sg)
Mead Made In Singapore
“It’s not beer”, screamed a banner at the Lion City Meadery booth. Well, beer it’s definitely not but mead is still an alcoholic beverage that is basically made from fermented honey, yeast and water. Two local mead-loving lads decided to start their own craft mead brewery and now has three flavors available – Classic, Spiced and Hibiscus Blueberry. Visit www.lioncitymeadery.com for the outlets where you can find their mead.
Gin & Sour Beer from Norway
A Norwegian gin that really took our breathe away was the Harahorn Pink Gin which looks more orangey than pink. At 38% ABV, it has robust citrus aromas and floral undernotes. Its taste is wonderfully smooth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. We also got to try a fascinating Norwegian sour beer-which I forgot to ask how to pronounce its name-that is yet to be in the market. And oh, the booth used really lovely glasses for tasting. www.detnorskebrenneri.no/www.nordicbev.com)
Luxury Chocolate Wine from England
Made in England, Rubis Chocolate Wine (www.rubiswine.com) is exactly what you expect it would taste like – a rich tasting fine red wine blended with premium chocolate. Good enough to drink on its own or over ice, you can also make cocktails with it (just add Schweppes tonic water, for example). It can also be used for tiramisu, or added to ice cream and coffee. Currently available at The Rubis Kiosk @ Raffles City Shopping Centre B1.
Ending the Day with Coffee & Ice-Cream
My media session ended at two live demonstrations. First, it was to be served a yummy cappuccino by a robotic barista from homegrown company Crown Coffee Robotics (www.crowncoffee.co). Think of it as a sophisticated coffee vending machine where you can actually see the coffee being made. Then it was off to the live demo of the artisanal made-in-Singapore vegan, plant-based ice cream by Smoocht (www.smoocht.com). I tried their durian flavor which was served on the smallest wafer cone I’ve ever seen. And yes, it was good and flavorful. Just wished the sample was bigger…
The event was certainly interesting and Musings on the M49 was glad to have some spare time to check out other booths (especially those hawking local and foreign beers.) Here’s to the next SFFA and RPB Asia!
The next Speciality & Fine Food Asia and Restaurant, Pub & Bar Asia trade show will take place from 29 Sept – 1 Oct 2020.To register as a participant or visitor, visit www.speciality-asia.com and www.rpb-asia.com.
Long Beach’s Famous Chili Crab Is Still Da Bomb. [Dish Display Photo by Marguerita Tan]
Whenever anyone asks for good seafood restaurant recommendations, Long Beach is often than not among the top three choices. My food pals and I used to go all the way to East Coast Seafood Centre just for Long Beach, before the relatively more convenient Dempsey outlet became our favorite. It was at a Dine @ Stevens media event that we learnt that Long Beach now has a new outlet at 30 Stevens Road (located to the far left of Hotel Mercure). Musings on the M49 was invited for a media tasting and to say that yours truly couldn’t wait to check out the new outlet was an understatement.
Long Beach @ Stevens is relatively small compared to their other outlets but it has an elegant, pristine look that one would expect of a restaurant within a hotel property. My foodie buddy and I were led to a side stall table which was cool as it has a reflective wall which was very handy for us to check whether we had food bits or sauces on our faces every now and then! Before the dishes were served, our drink orders were taken and seafood-feasting essentials such as paper aprons, plastic gloves and finger bowls were readily provided.
The first dish served was the Golden Stripe Lobster, which is basically Canadian lobster stir-fried with sweet cereal flakes. The thick meaty flesh was extremely fresh and succulent, coming off the shell easily, and the flakes were so crispy that we were happily spooning it and eating it on its own.
The Popular Chili Crab was up next and seriously this is and has always been Long Beach’s star item. Besides the fact that huge, fresh Sri Lankan crabs are used, it is the magnificent gravy that has the right amount of tomato and chili – not too sweet, not too hot – that make this one of Singapore’s most popular dishes. We have eaten at many different seafood places—from restaurants to hawker zi char stalls—and truly Long Beach’s chili crab is still arguably the best.
As we were plowing through the crab, we were actually asked by the manager if we’d like them to peel the crab meat for us. We were rather puzzled ‘cos this was the first time we heard of such a service but—just like durian is more enjoyable when you eat it off the shell and not from a styrofoam box—we politely declined as one of the joys of eating chili or pepper crab is to dig out the meat directly from its shell with your mouth and hands (and preferably without gloves)!
Of course another joy of eating chili crab is lapping up the delicious gravy with either Fried or Steam Buns, or white rice if you are a “fan tong” (Cantonese for “rice bucket”; also slang for “idiot”.) I’m a “fan tong” but when it comes to chili crab, it’s mantou for me and I’m glad the buns served are not the mini ones but decently medium-sized and served warm, soft and yummy.
As if being deep-fried and smothered in a thick rich pepper sauce isn’t enough, the Famous Black Pepper Crab, another Long Beach signature dish, was actually served with an extra bowl of black pepper sauce. The manager explained that when customers request for the crab meat to be peeled for them, the extra pepper sauce is used to pour over the meat. Ah-so. Well, the pepper on the crab was already sharp and robust enough and we were more than happy to eat it the old fashioned way—with our hands. Of course if you are having a business meeting or other important meet-ups, asking for the meat to be peeled is probably a good idea ‘cos chili/pepper crab eating can get rather messy as you know.
Last but not least, we came to the “health part” – a vegetable dish in the form of ClaypotMushrooms with Baby Cabbage, which is a delicious combo even for this carnivore. It’s definitely a change from our usual choice of stir-fried kangkong or kailan.
Most of the dishes served are quite big portions, so having a companion or two to share is probably a must unless you have a huge appetite. Besides the usual seafood suspects, other specialties at Long Beach @ Stevens include Thai Emperor Prawn, BBQ Live Golden Phoenix Fish, Live Canadian Geoduck, and Classic White Pepper Alaskan King Crab. Most items have fixed prices but some are priced at market rates, so be sure to ask for a rough estimate of the seafood item before ordering.
Usually I would have beer with seafood but as it was lunch time, I decided to go with lime juice instead which I kinda regret immediately as it was a tad too sour for my taste but as I was so focused on eating, I kept forgetting to ask for sugar syrup. My pal went for a coconut which was a better choice especially when half-way through, the offer to “dig out the meat” for her was given. Needless to say, she readily said “Yes!” A coconut is always good as it is like a refreshing drink and sweet dessert rolled into one.
Besides the great food, the service at Long Beach @ Stevens is also top-notch, rather outstanding for a Chinese restaurant. Our plates were replaced at regular intervals, water topped up without our asking, and a waitress was thoughtful enough to give us straws for the water glasses so that our hands would be free to tackle the food. Every effort was made to ensure that diners are as comfortable as possible as they tackle the art of eating crab, which is very good service as far as we are concerned.
So, good to know that there is now a Long Beach in town that we can consider if our regular go-to outlet at Dempsey is packed. It’s definitely a nice place for big friends or family gatherings, or an intimate chow-down with a fellow seafood-loving friend.
Long Beach @ Stevens is at 30 Stevens Road #01-10 (next to Hotel Mercure on Stevens), Singapore 257840. Opens daily 11am-3pm / 5pm-12am. Tel: 6445 8833 or email email@example.com
It’s always fun to see creative people making something out of nothing — whether it’s as simple as folding cranes out of paper, or making a cartoon character come to life with balls of rice. So it was great to know that to mark its Asia debut on Starhub TV Channel 436, lifestyle specialty channel Makeful HD is launching the #MakefulInspires movement—in collaboration with IKEA Singapore—that will showcase talented Singapore makers through short clips shown on their channel , as well as a series of workshops that aim to stir passion and creativity in every Singaporean.
At the Makeful HD launch held at IKEA Tampines, Musings on the M49 (MOTM49) got to meet three of the five local makers featured in the Makeful shorts. These are scheduled to be shown in eight slots daily on the channel inbetween regular programming starting from October and will also be shared on Makeful’s various digital platforms.
Makeful Shorts’ Artist: Food Artist Shirley Wong (@littlemissbento)
Food Artist Shirley Wong with her panda bento creation [Credit: Marguerita Tan]
First up was Ms Shirley Wong, famously known as @LittleMissBento on Instagram (ISG) and highly popular for her amazing character creations for Japanese bento lunch box sets, which range from cutesy Disney creatures to Japanese manga icons. It was nice to meet the affable food artist again as I’m a big fan, faithfully following her every creation on ISG. For the launch, Shirley had specially made the cute panda set pictured above, which seriously can make adults, let alone kids, eat all their vegetables obediently!
Ms Wong revealed that she only works towards creating a “designer” meal once every day, which means, yes, her family gets to eat “normal” looking food too. She also disclosed that she does do sketches of what she plan to create the night before as it will easier to visualize it as well as knowing what ingredients she will need. When asked by MOTM49 what characters are the most difficult to make, Ms Wong said, “Definitely the manga characters as you have to get the whole look right, from the eyes to the hair.”
Makeful Shorts’ Artist: Bespoke, Up-cycled and Handmade Furniture Maker Jackie Tan of Triple Eyelid Studio (@tripleeyelid)
Bespoke furniture maker Jackie Tan from Triple Eyelid Studio
Next up was the thorn among the roses, Jackie Tan whose company Triple Eyelid designs custom-made furniture based on materials that the clients provide which can range from beer crates to leftover marble stabs. That is seriously very cool considering we all need to do our bit to reduce environmental waste as much as possible. Take for example the 50 bespoke mooncake crates pictured above which he made from reused wood for a corporate client.
Another creative item he made was using the bottom half of an old manual sewing machine and simply attached a wooden top on it—and voila!—a unique and totally usable table! The special phone stands on the right were what the media received in our goodie bag. Lovely.
Makeful Shorts’ Artist: Paper and Mixed Media Craft Maker Aida Haron (@aidaville)
Aida Haron with one of her works. [Credit: Marguerita Tan]
One of Aida’s crafted pieces. [Credit: Marguerita Tan]
Memories are big with Aida Haron and hence just hand her a bunch of colored pens, colored papers, various embellishments, and photographs, and she can create a handmade scrapbook layout for you. The former flight attendent loves to remember the good moments in life and would like to help others to remember theirs too, which brings her much joy. Aida’s art pieces come in all forms – it can be as big as wall plaques or as handy as greeting cards such as the ones below.
Makeful Workshops and Contest
Aida Haron at her workdesk. [Credit: Makeful Asia]
As part of the #MakefulInspires movement, Aida will be the first local maker to kick off the series of quarterly Makeful workshops. Starting on Saturday October 13, 2018 and to be held at IKEA Alexandria, the Aida Haron craft-making workshop is exclusive to Makeful fans, Starhub subscribers and Aida’s social media followers. There will also be a contest from October 15 where members of the public will get a chance to win an IKEA Gift Card worth $1,000. For more details, visit Makeful’s Facebook page @bemakeful.
Shirley Wong totally engrossed in her next creation. [Credit: Makeful Asia]
Don’t forget to catch the Makeful shorts on Singapore makers on the Makeful channel or its social media platforms.
Makeful HD, part of Blue Ant Media, is available via Starhub TV Channel 436.
A church mate and I wanted to try something off the beaten track for dinner one evening but we didn’t expect it was going to be that tough to find Gemmills. Technically its address is 110 Amoy Street but to locate its entrance, you need to first get into Amoy Alley, then turn right into a back alley off Gemmill Lane to find this quaint little wine bar that serves all-day dining.
The place was small and dim, but still rather charming thanks to its rustic decor. Tables are tiny too and we reckoned Gemmills is more popular as a place to wine rather than to dine. Its one-page Mediterranean-influenced menu is not extensive, not exactly cheap either, but fascinating nonetheless. Half of it were appetizers priced between SGD$6-$12, most seem very vegetarian (albeit healthy sounding), and “meaty” main courses ($18-32) seem to comprise mainly two fish dishes ($32) and one whole roast chicken ($50). Besides desserts (@$12), there is a decent selection of wines, cocktails, beers and ciders, juices, gourmet coffee and tea.
Since it’s a wine place, we kicked off with the house wines which were just $10 per glass during Happy Hour (5-7pm, Mon to Thu). I love my red but my friend’s white was quite bland. Luckily they served water as well so my pal was happy to go with that thereafter, while I had another glass of red.
As one of our starters, we ordered a House Baked Sourdough ($6) served with herbal butter which was quite nice. Although the crust was hard as rock, the inside was super soft and tasted really yummy with the butter.
We also had the Cold Cuts Board ($18) which was actually sufficient as a dish by itself. Lots of delicious slices of different kinds of ham, a generous dosh of salad, and even came with sourdough bread. Service was on the whole great but we felt that the waiter could have helped by letting us know how big the portions for each dish is, and – as there is bread with the cold cuts board – that we may not need to order a separate bread item (unless we wanted to). Still, they were considerate enough to give us two tables considering the amount of food we ordered. As you can see, the platter above plus our wines took up a whole table by itself. I’m not kidding when I say the tables are small…
We also had an Endive Salad ($10), a neat medium-sized bowl piled to the brim with slices of endives, hazel nuts, feta cheese and burnt honey. I don’t think I ever ate an endive in my iife but for this carnivore, this salad was one of the best “cow food” I’ve ever eaten. Crunchy, sweet, tangy and fragrant, just so many flavors in one dish.
Being a carnivore, I would have gone for the roast chicken item but at $50 and a whole chicken at that, there was no way the two of us could finish it. So instead we went for the Barramundi ($32) served with acid onions, leeks and salmarejo. The portion was so small – it was less than 2-in square – both of us were glad we didn’t order this as a main each! And the wood plate itself – gorgeous as it is – took up a quarter of the table! All said, the fish was very very well-cooked, thankfully. Soft, fresh and extremely tasty. For the price though, we could have order two or three other appetizers.
All in all, the quality of the food and the quaint ambience – dim as it was, I assume it’s brighter in the day – made Gemmills a nice experience. We were later told by the waitress that it’s managed by the same people who also runs Maggie Joan’s next door and Moosehead. Cool, two more places with good food (we assume) to try out in future then.
Gemmills is at 110 Amoy Street, #01-02 (entrance via Gemmill Lane). Opens 12nn-11pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-12mn (Fri) and 6pm-11pm (Sat). Closed on Sundays.
Had a gathering with ex-colleagues from my TV days a couple of Wednesdays ago and the venue of choice was Plonk, a rather cool food and wine bar in Serangoon Gardens. Housed in a two-storied terrace house, the place certainly looks warm and inviting, with service staff greeting you at the entrance.
Downstairs is where the bar is with a long table in the centre. Upstairs, dining tables are spaciously placed but what is really captivating is the number of colorful artpieces and stylish photographs that lined the walls as decor.
The food and ambience at Plonk is described as Mediterranean with a dash of Australian. The extensive menu with clearly-named categories seems to cater much to large groups as sharing is much encouraged starting with the “Sharing is Caring” appetizers; the meat, seafood and pasta items in “The Main Attraction”; a variety of salads in “A Healthy Kick”; 10 kinds of pizzas from “In Crust We Trust”; and finally, four dessert choices in “the Grand Finale”. Beverages wise, there’s a wide selection of wines, beers, cocktails and gourmet coffees to choose from.
As there was six of us, sharing was the obvious choice. We kicked off with the appetizers as of course those came first. The Housemade Beetroot Yoghurt, Hummus And Pesto Dips Served With Toast ($16) was lovely although I can live without the beetroot yoghurt which others seem to enjoy. A very nice starter was the Patatas Bravas With Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise ($12, seen top right), which are potato cubes fried in a spicy tomato sauce and so good that we ordered another plate.
Another delightful item was the Seared Halloumi With Watermelon, Shallot And Accompanied By Raspberry Reduction ($13). The mini slabs of halloumi, a traditional semi-hard white cheese originating from Cyprus, were deeply savory and its unique flavor further enhanced by the robust shallot and sweet watermelon.
Being a big fan of prawns, the Polenta Crusted Prawns With Chilli Mango Salsa ($14) was a real disappointment. Not that the prawns weren’t fresh – they were – they just tasted bland. Not even the chilli mango salsa, which is decent, could add any kick to it.
One thing for sure, Plonk’s pizzas are very good and best of all, they are all thin-crust. We first ordered the Truffle ($25) which is generously sprinkled with forest mushrooms, shaved parmesan and (we think) dashes of truffle. It was delicious and it didn’t take us long to decide that we should order another one for our second round.
Our first “add-on” was a pasta – we had the Seafood Linguin Aglio Olio Style ($24) that came with jumbo prawns, calamari, blue mussels and baby scallops. The pasta was delicious but as every person took a piece of seafood each, all I can tell you that they were all fresh and tasty.
So glad we ended on a great taste – we had the Four Cheese pizza ($25), a bright yellow beauty comprising mozzarella, blue cheese, cheddar and parmesan. Every bite was a delight. We only later learnt that it’s 1-for-1 pizza on Tuesday evenings. If we have known earlier, we would have come a day earlier. Never mind, next visit will be on a Tuesday for sure.
My choice of poison for the night is this Italian beer. Peroni Nastro Azzurro is a Euro pale lager is crisp and refreshing. Created in 1963 with the finest hops, the name – I googled -means “Blue Ribbon” in honor of an Italian ocean liner which crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest time in 1933. Better than naming it the Titanic I guessed, haha! Good beer.
Besides the good food, what really made our evening really great was the fact that we had the whole second floor to ourselves, making lots of noise (as always) without bothering everyone else. We thought it must be a quiet Wednesday night until we trooped downstairs after paying up and saw that it was packed like sardines on the ground floor.
All in all, Plonk was a delight – from its great pizzas to the artworks adorning its wall to the attentive service. We paid $26++ each which was really decent considering the amount of food we ordered. Definitely a place we can make a return to.
Plonk is at 7 Maju Avenue, Serangoon Gardens Estate, Singapore 556685. Opens daily from Mon-Fri (11am to late) and Sat-Sun (9am to late).