Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brizo Restaurant & Bar : Crazy about Crabs

There were chocolate buffets, durian buffets, and then now at Brizo you have the crab buffet. Featuring 19 different kinds of crabs cooked differently, this buffet is one you might be attracted to if you are mad about crabs.

Cooked in many ways to suit different palates, you can find a spread that includes our Singapore Chilli Crab, Butter Crab, Soft Shell Crab, Pepper Crab, Steamed Crab and even Park Hotel's signature Heavenly Fragrance Crab, just to name a few. While not all were suited to our palates, we did like the Heavenly Fragrance Crab that had each piece of crab coated evenly with dried shrimps, chilli and curry powder - very fragrant and flavourful. For one with a lighter palate, opt for the Steamed Crab that is steamed fresh with egg white, ginger and XO brandy.

While we felt not all the crabs were fresh (most of the meat were stuck onto the shell), and that the crabs were not of the same consistency in sizing, we did enjoy the variety that was offered. Needless to say, if you like big pincers, crab roe and quality - this buffet clearly isn't for you.

Should the crabs really not appease despite the wide variety, the Laksa with Crab Gravy just might. We enjoyed every bit in the bowl, except for the crab claw which we felt could have been de-shelled for easier consumption. The buffet also showcases a variety of seafood like salmon sashimi, prawns and shellfish, to which we were honestly not very impressed with. The sashimi to begin with, were sliced shoddily, and the scallops were not the least fresh.

Lastly, the dessert section offers a spread of local desserts such as Nonya Kuehs. Apart from those, cakes and macarons were also spotted alongside the spread of colourful indulgences. Again, we felt that the desserts fell a bit off par despite the variety.

A tough shell to crack indeed, this buffet at Brizo is either a hit or a miss. Like we mentioned earlier, if you like quantity and variety, this is all for you. Otherwise, if you are the sort that won't tolerate petite scanty pincers, we suggest you take a step back and settle for places that will serve you crab by the kilo. The Crazy about Crabs Buffet runs from 3 July - 31 August 2014 - crab or crap, you decide.

Brizo Restaurant & Bar
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Singapore 237983
+65 6593 8855

This was an invited media tasting.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Best known for their PERi-PERi sauce and their flamed grilled chicken, Nando's has been expanding quickly to almost every part of Singapore. With 9 outlets island-wide, Singaporeans can expect to feast on delicious grilled chicken marinated in a secret 24-hour marinade, paired with their signature PERi-PERi sauce made from 100% natural ingredients.

Ranging from Lemon & Herb to Extra Hot, each PERi-PERi sauce offers a different level of heat and intensity to suit your tastebuds. From least spicy to the most spicy - Lemon & Herb, Mild, Hot and Extra Hot.

One's visit to Nando's isn't complete until you have tried their PERi-PERi Chicken. Offered in different PERi-PERi levels and in different portions (1/4, 1/2 or whole), one can also opt for an additional 2 sides or 1 fino side to complete the meal. We suggest you stick to 1/4 chicken and 2 sides if you are having it alone as the portions at Nando's are quite hearty.

With an extremely wide selection of sides ranging from their signature chips with PERi sprinkle to Mediterranean Rice, one will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing their sides. But if we really had to pick, we would go for the chips which came golden and crispy, as well as the pumpkin and grilled corn.

For a healthier option, we would recommend going for the Butterfly Chicken Breast which came charred at the right places and was succulent and juicy despite it being chicken breast. Nando's also uses A-grade chickens which are trimmed of most of the excess fats.

And of course we saved the best for last. Espetada - tender flame-grilled chicken thighs stuffed with garlic, parsley and feta cheese, skewered alongside mixed peppers. We couldn't fault this dish based on appearance, as well as taste. All the flavours complimented each other and each piece of chicken thigh was juicy, tender and stuffed generously.

Undoubtedly a restaurant that will leave you having a 'chicken-tastic' time, we like how Nando's plays around with one ingredient (chicken) and offers a variety of different dishes that is bound to suit one's tastebuds. And of course the best part will have to be being able to customise the level of spiciness you want your chicken dish to be - there's absolutely no reason to not enjoy a customised meal.

23 Serangoon Cental
NEX, #B1-41/42/43
Singapore 556083

This was an invited media tasting.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Fat Cat

New kid on the block at Holland Village is The Fat Cat, who recently made a move from its previous location at Jalan Riang. The casual bistro aims to serve 3 different kinds of cuisine - Thai, North Indian and Western. That said, their extensive menu offers more than 100 different dishes ranging from curries to pizzas.

Setting our expectations pretty high since they seem to be able to offer almost anything, our first go at the Thai menu proved otherwise. We tried the Clear Tom Yum Soup, which was so clear, it was almost like water. But i wouldn't lap this one though, because of its choking spiciness - an overkill i would say.

Moving on, the Pineapple Rice came served with chicken franks instead of chinese sausage, as described on the menu. This was something i would have least expected since they could have possibly stocked up on better substitutes. The Penang Beef Curry was the most appealing dish we tasted on the Thai menu, although i felt that the beef cuts used were wrong hence it wasn't as tender as it should have been. Nevertheless, the comparison was made with the Clear Tom Yum Soup and Pineapple Rice - both were a complete lacklustre.

From the Western menu, we had a go at the Lamb Shank that came served with fresh greens and mash on the side. The lamb was tender and flavourful but the herbs used didn't quite manage to cover the overpowering gamey taste. The mash on the other hand, came with lumpy bits of un-mashed potato pieces in it. Perhaps they could have added a little more effort to ensure the smoothness of the mash - after all, it is called mash and not potato salad for a reason.

Lastly, we had the Chicken Masala with Garlic Naan from the North Indian menu, which i personally think were the only things that made a mere passing mark out of everything else we tasted. The Garlic Naan, was charred and crispy at the right places, and the Chicken Masala complimented each other nicely. 

Truth be told, i feel that The Fat Cat seems to be biting off more that it can chew by offering 3 different cuisines. Having too much on their plate resulted in dishes that were delivered with evidently not much attention given to the method of cooking and quality of ingredients. And if i had to pick at least one item on the menu which i think was worthy of my calories, it would be the Chocolate Lava Cake, which sadly wasn't made in-house. Furthermore, i wouldn't think twice about having dessert if the main courses do not even entice. In retrospect, i'm not exactly sure how the cat grew fat because i certainly wouldn't waste my calories on food like that.

The Fat Cat
17D Lorong Liput
Singapore 277731
+65 6465 1107

This was an invited media tasting.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Arossa Grill & Wine Bar

Overlooking the city lights on Scotts Road is Arossa Grill & Wine Bar. Helmed by Chef Chiaki Watanabe, who simply cooks with the believe that simplicity is key, the restaurant offers a spread of Italian cuisine picked up by the chef herself over years of experience.

Arossa boasts over 120 labels of wine available in store that compliments the meal. Apart from that, the 60 seater restaurant also has an ambience we think would be perfect for a first date if you are really out to impress. From private rooms and brick walls to classical music, the restaurant gives off a medieval vibe without looking overly cluttered despite the open concept kitchen.

As starters, we were served the Lasagne di Melanzane which consisted of baked eggplant, topped with aplenty of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. We liked how the cheese and tomato complimented each other and also took away the natural bitterness of the eggplant. The other antipasti we gave the green light to is the Calamari which was served with Aioli Sauce. Each piece was coated evenly and seasoned minimally to bring out the freshness of the squid.

For mains, we especially enjoyed the Guanciale di Manzo, beef cheek braised in red wine and honey. The tender slices of beef atop the beautifully scented truffle mash was a spot-on description of heaven on earth. The Salmone however, was a little disappointing. Plating wise, it felt as if i was looking at more greens than fish. And even though we felt the salmon was cooked almost perfectly, we wished for the fish portion to have been a tad bigger since it was served as a main after all.

As for desserts, the votes were clearly for the Tiramisu. At Arossa, this Italian classic is deconstructed. You won't find layers of ladyfinger and mascarpone, instead what you get is a just everything in a bowl, topped off with fresh strawberries and caramelised nuts.

As a whole, we did enjoy our dining experience at Arossa Grill & Wine Bar a lot. And like we mentioned earlier (and will repeat again), we like how they set the ambience perfect for a date which will clearly impress. This also means we highly recommend you don't tag your kid along for a meal here unless you do not mind all attention to be on your kid instead of the food.

Arossa Grill & Wine Bar
6 Scotts Road
Scotts Square, #02-01
Singapore 228209
+65 6636 2951

This was an invited media tasting.