Bedrock Bar & Grill – Best Way to use the Entertainer App

28 06 2015

Whenever someone talks to me about the Entertainer App (a subscription-based food app that offers 1-for-1 main course deals), somehow or another the conversation usually steers toward how using the app for a single meal at Fat Cow (a participating restaurant) will already cover the annual subscription cost of the app. While I’m a fan of their set lunch wagyu donburi and fatty foie gras don, the ala carte steaks/sukiyaki there were quite a disappointment. In its place, I feel that Bedrock Bar & Grill ought to be conferred the title for “best use of the Entertainer App”.

Frankly from the outside, Bedrock looks pretty uninviting, especially with the outdoor seats usually devoid of diners given the ample space indoors. Most people just walk past without so much of a second glance. In my humble opinion, it’s really one of the most underrated steakhouses around.

Complimentary bread here comes in the form of a warmed naan, served with butter and roasted garlic. The roasted garlic is insanely addictive and is semi-soft enough to act as a spread for the bread. I would totally buy it if it didn’t already come free.

Dining here this occasion as a party of 4, our initial inclination was to get 2 set lunches (priced between $38-$58++ and available on weekends) and 2 ala carte mains to get a better sense of what the restaurant had to offer. However, the wait staff advised us against it as the portions here were too large and insurmountable for the likes of us. Upon finding out that we were intending to use the Entertainer app, he recommended just getting 2 ala carte mains (a massive half kilogram porterhouse and a 400g ribeye), while complementing the meal with additional sides and dessert. That, he said, would provide the best deal and it definitely was on hindsight. We were truly appreciative of his sincerity, at the expense of the restaurant earning a smaller bill.

We started with the 500g Australian Grass-fed Porterhouse ($96++). The Porterhouse is a cut similar to a T-Bone Steak and you can think of both of them as a 2-for-1 cut, where you get a segment of tenderloin and striploin separated by a middle bone. The main difference between the Porterhouse and T-Bone is the location of the cut, with the Porterhouse having a larger tenderloin section.

Cooking a Porterhouse is less straightforward as the tenderloin segment tends to be smaller than the striploin, so heat control and timing becomes really important to ensure that the entire steak is evenly cooked. Some segments of the one we had felt slightly over but overall still well executed.

If you prefer a more marbled cut, the ribeye is the way to go. We shared the 400g USDA Prime Ribeye ($96++) and it really stood out for me.

Served with 5 accompany sauces; Red wine sauce, Bearnaise, Chimichurri (wikipedia: green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white vinegar), Whiskey with Mustard Seeds and Chili Oil, my favourites were the Chimichurri since I’m a garlic fan and the Whiskey with Mustard Seeds which had a nice smokey BBQ-sauce feel to it.

While I’m not a Mac & Cheese fan, the one here ($20++) was really satisfying and I can’t recall if I have ever had one that I enjoyed more. The macaroni was al dente, the Gorgonzola sauce had the right consistency and not overly soggy, the layer of Parmesan was crisp and contrasted well with the chewy macaroni and the infusion of truffle oil was icing on the cake, making the dish more aromatic and savoury.

Later that night, I headed to The Disgruntled Chef at Dempsey for dinner and had their highly acclaimed Mac & Cheese as well, but Bedrock still does it better in my book.

The Creamed Spinach ($18++) however, was less memorable.

Portions here are massive. We shared the Apple Crumble for 2 ($26++) between the 4 of us and it was more than sufficient. M loved the streusel but felt that the apples were too tart. Maybe I’m less picky but I thought it was well-executed and the sweetness of the apples was balanced.

For participating restaurants under the Entertainer app, the yardstick of a good restaurant is whether I would return even without a discount. To which I would gladly say yes to Bedrock Bar & Grill.

Bedrock Bar & Grill

Address: 96 Somerset Road, #01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore 238163

Tel: +65 6238 0054

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Ito Kacho – A Japanese-Korean styled BBQ that promises to salivate

21 01 2013

Having spent a white Christmas and New Year’s in Korea, I must have gone through quite a few BBQ meals but being on a budget, sad to say I didn’t get to have much premium fare this time round and I was craving some good quality wagyu and kurobuta badly (the black pigs in Jeju Island just isn’t the same as the ones from Japan). So the invitation to dine at Ito Kacho, a Japanese-Korean styled restaurant that specializes in BBQ meats, arrived at the perfect moment.

Barely a month old, it seemed that there were already a few who were in the know of this joint when I dined there on a Thursday night, unperturbed by the relatively extravagant fare (they specialize in wagyu after all). I guess Ito Kacho clearly illustrates the distinction between affordability and value, where an average meal costing $100 while unaffordable by normal standards, might still be considered to be of great value given the premium ingredients used. Of course, it’s possible to dine at Ito Kacho whilst on a budget to, if you stick to items such as their Kurobuta Ramen ($15.80++) but if you are planning to go for their signature BBQ, do be prepared to spend more as they offer mainly premium cuts of meat.

They take their meats really seriously at Ito Kacho. Nothing is left to chance and their Wagyu is air-flown in chilled rather than frozen, ensuring that the nice marbling doesn’t get damaged during the thawing process.

I’m not a fan of kimchi so I would personally avoid ordering the Kimchi Moriawase ($9.90++) aka Assorted Kimchi – Chinese cabbage, cucumber, white radish or the Namuru Moriawase ($8.90++) – Cinnamon fern, white radish, spinach, beansprout. The notion of paying for something that is usually given out free at Korean restaurants just doesn’t seem all that appealing.

The Dashimaki Tamago ($6.90++) wasn’t as sweet as how most Japanese joints do it so it’s great for those who love a mild eggy flavour. Personally however, I would rather save the stomach space for the noteworthy BBQ.

From bottom right clockwise: Kimchi Moriawase, Namuru Moriawase, Dashimaki Tamago

Likewise, the Jikasei Potato Salad ($11.80++) or Homemade Potato Salad was nothing to shout about, very much similar to all the other more affordable potato salads available elsewhere.

Here’s where the fun begins. For beef, we sampled the Wagyu Tomobara ($36/$49++ for 80g or 120g) which is the short ribs also known as kalbi (in korean) or karubi (in japanese), the Wagyu Kainomi ($22/$29++ for 80g or 120g) which is the flap or bottom sirloin, and the US Jo-Karubi ($22/$29++ for 80g or 120g), listed in order of decreasing preference. Wasn’t as charmed by the US Jo-Karubi as it was a little too chewy compared to the wagyu.

What’s so different about wagyu from other types of beef you might ask? I guess there’s many answers to this because they are really worlds apart. Some might metaphorically coin wagyu as beef foie gras, supple and delicate because of the substantial amount of fats that interlace between the lighter than usual colour of beef. For “normal” types of beef, you have a choice to cook it rare all the way to well done but the same cannot be said for wagyu. Given the high fat content, the fats start melting really quickly upon cooking and medium rare should be the furthest you should grill it for so as not to lose the luster of the fats. Personally, I guess when I do go for wagyu, I’m looking for the melt-in-your-mouth feel while for “normal” beef, I go for the immense meaty flavour that materializes when you begin to chew on a piece of steak.

From bottom left clockwise: Wagyu Tomobara, US Jo-Karubi, Wagyu Kainomi

It’s always a joy to eat wagyu but thread carefully, as many restaurants are guilty of sullying the name of the almighty wagyu by using a cheaper cut of cross-bred wagyu, which I believe does not offer the same flavour and texture as the pure breed ones from Japan. The commandment in George Orwell’s  Animal Farm stating that “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal” than others holds true for wagyu as well. Apart from the issue of being fullblood (aka cross-bred) or purebred, another issue one contends with when ordering wagyu is the Grade and Beef Marbling Score (BMS), which both relates to the quality of the wagyu. The Grade (scored from 1-5 with 5 being best) is scored based on marbling, shine & colour, texure & grain and sheen & quality of fat, while the BMS is scored from 1-12 (with 12 being best) and this quality gauge is a key determining factor on how wagyu is priced.

A separate matrix is used to score USDA (US Department of Agriculture) beef, which is usually categorized as “prime”, “choice” or “select”, in order of decreasing quality. The “prime” grade would be the Japan equivalent of a minimum of a Grade 3 or Marbling Score of at least 5.

The Kaisen Moriawase ($36++) is catered for seafood lovers, where you get a good mix of King Crab, Giant Tiger Prawn, Hokkaido Scallop and Squid. Not a fan of King Crab but definitely took to the grilled prawns and hokkaido scallops which were fresh, evident from its sweet flavours and firm textures.

The Boneless Chicken Leg ($9/$12++ for 80g or 120g) is worth ordering as well, which was naturally tender and made even more flavourful with the marinade.

We also tried the Tsubo-Zuke Kurobuta ($19++ for 180g), which is a cut from the collar or neck of a pig. Unlike the beef we had earlier, the pork collar had been marinated for a more pronounced flavour. I wouldn’t have thought that anything would come close to the wagyu earlier but I think that this grilled kurobuta was definitely on par in terms of palatable-ness and tenderness.

We had the Ishiyaki Bibimbap ($15++) as a staple. Nothing extraordinary, just the usual rice mixed with minced Meat, vegetables  dried Seaweed and sesame. I would actually recommend skipping this and just opt for white rice to go with the grilled meats since you can find better Bibimbaps elsewhere.

We ended off the tasting with a simple scoop of Ice Cream ($5.80++). There’s 4 flavours to choose from such as Black Sesame, Matcha, Vanilla and Chestnut (in descending order of preference) and I would suggest sticking to either the Sesame or the Matcha.

What Ito Kacho specializes in, it does really well. Other peripherals might not shine but that’s easily overlooked as you distract yourself with the ooohs and ahhhs of the sizzling BBQ meats.

Special thanks to Ito Kacho for hosting the tasting and Hungrygowhere for coordinating the event.

Ito Kacho

333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery #04-08

Tel: +65 6836 0111





Antoinette (Mandarin Gallery) – Of Surprises and Letdowns

1 02 2012

Despite being open for business for less than a year, Antoinette has already proven its mettle. Its marketing strategy has worked in its favour, having a classy name and luxurious store layout with a moderated price tag on its food has definitely drawn in the crowd. It does help that the man behind this venture is none other than award-winning ex-Canele pastry chef Chef Pang Kok Keong.

I popped by Antoinette about a week back for a meetup between my clique of Secondary 1-2 friends, as D was flying off to Spain for his exchange program the next week and its been really almost a year since our last gathering. As it was an early Saturday afternoon, no surprise that we had to wait about 45 minutes before we could snag a table, especially since Antoinette functions primarily as a tea lounge rather than restaurant, where customers come in to have their nice little tete a tete sessions over an all day breakfast and dessert. Something interesting we noticed was the severe disproportion of guys to girls ratio here. There were only 2 other guys in the entire filled restaurant! So we might have seemed a little out of place coming as a group of 5 guys (we came from an all-boys secondary school booyah!).

Anyways, with no complaints about the gender distribution of clientele,  we proceeded to order our mains. My personal favourite was the Gnocchi Carbonara ($18.50++), “Parisan Gnocchi sauteed with Caramelized Bacon, White Wine Cream Sauce, served with Poached Egg and Aged Parmesan Cheese”. Gnocchi is typically a small dumpling shaped pasta made with flour and potatoes, but from what I have read online, the ones served here does away with the potatoes but includes gruyere cheese to get that awesome taste and texture. A light pan frying after blanching secures its crisp outer layer and mildly chewy interior. The cream sauce resembles that of Canele’s Carbonara to me, which I find quite delightful because it doesn’t coagulate quickly but still manages to retain its flavourfulness. Something I also like about this carbonara is that the bacon is not the least bit salty to me, so you get to savour the meaty juicy goodness without overwhelming the mild cream base.

If cream is just not your thing, you can try the Gnocchi Forestiere ($18.50++), “Parisan Gnocchi sauteed with onions and an assortment of Field Mushrooms in a Pink Tomato Sauce with Italian Parsley and Aged Parmesan Cheese” instead. The tomato base doesn’t complement the gnocchi as well though and it’s a little too overpowering as well, blocking off the delectable morsels of gnocchi.

The crepes are done decently here, which I find it better than what is available at Canele. There’s 5 savoury crepes to choose from here, of which we tried the Nordic Crepe ($16.50++), made with Smoked Salmon, Capers, Red Onion and Dill Cream Cheese.

It definitely wasn’t my idea to order the Burger Royale ($18++), “Pan Fried Beef Patty on Brioche Bread, Mayonnaise, Home-made Tomato Relish, Lettuce, Red Onions, Mustard, Aged Cheddar Cheese, Chips and Petit Salad with House Dressing”. After all, who orders a burger in a french tea lounge?! That said, this Beef Burger exceeded expectations with a nice juicy and flavourful patty though I would have preferred the usual burger buns to the brioche used.

We had very mixed reviews on the Wild Mushroom Risotto ($24++), “Creamy Arborio Rice simmered with exotic Field Mushrooms & White Wine, garnished with crispy Serrano Ham”. For myself and H, it was probably our least favourite main of the meal, but to my other friends S, D and YQ, it was their favourite. The reasons why it didn’t suit me was because the risotto was rather one-dimensional and too mild in taste for my liking. I’d prefer a cheesier oomph!

We love to pamper ourselves once in a while, and there’s no better way than to have feast on dainty little desserts.

The issue with cakes coated fully in a chocolate mousse is that they are an enigma, you never know what you are going to find as you dig your fork deeper into its core. The signature Antoinette ($9++) is one such cake. Having not researched on Antoinette prior to this meal, I was going in blind on this one. I grazed my fork against the velvety milk chocolate lining the cake for a taste test. Nothing unusual, I thought to myself, the chocolate’s texture is just a little too thin. A deeper prodding of my fork this time, where is that bitter taste coming from? My doubts were confirmed when YQ mentioned it was earl grey. The ball-shaped protrusion is actually raspberry coulis (a thick french sauce made from fruits). I find too many things going on in this cake which leaves me slightly confused. Somehow the mix of sweet chocolate mousse, bitter earl grey and sour raspberry doesn’t work for me.

I’m more a fan of the Strawberry Shortcake ($8++). The sponge is light and the use of strawberries generous. However, still not as good as the orgasmic one from One Caramel.

There have been some mixed reviews about the Macaroons here. I managed to try 5 different types (Antoinette, Chloe, Passionfruit, Pistachio and one more I can’t recall), of which the Antoinette (tastes of white chocolate) is my favourite.

 

Mont Blanc is a common French Dessert made using pureed chestnuts and cream. I’m not sure if its the case of the Mont Blanc ($8.50++) here being too average, or the one at Flor Patisserie by Chef Yamashita being too good. Might be a little of both or the fact that I might seriously be pampered too much.

Overall, I like Antoinette. The gnocchi carbonara is reason enough to come back, not to mention the nice semi-atas vibes you get here. Sadly, I expected more from their desserts which failed to shine through today.

Bon Appetit!

Antoinette

333A Orchard Road, #02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery

Tel: +65 6836 9527





Coco Ichibanya – New Japanese Curry Joint in Town!

30 09 2011

*This was an invited tasting by Coco Ichibanya

You know whenever Japanese cuisine is mentioned, one immediately thinks of sushi and sashimi, and maybe to a lesser extent, ramen, soba and udon. But did you know that based on a survey done in 2005, it was found that the Japanese eat curry 125 times a year? Quite surprising huh?

Given Japan’s rich heritage, it’s fair to say that their obsession with curry doesn’t go back a long way. Curry has been a recent development for them and while most might guess that it was probably introduced to Japan by Buddhist Indian pilgrims or Chinese Monks who had visited India, you are grossly mistaken. Ironically, it was actually introduced to Japan by the British in the late 1800s-early 1900s when Japan ended its policy of national self-isolation and was categorized as a western dish. Ever since then, its popularity has grown, possibly due to the fuss-free and quick tasty meal it makes.

So the main takeaway is: Japanese curry is here to stay.

Enter Coco Ichibanya, Singapore’s latest Japanese Curry Joint. With over 1275 outlets worldwide, Coco Ichibanya is the largest curry house in the world! Just to give you a sense of how big this joint is, it’s parent company Ichibanya Co Ltd is a listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of about S$640m if I did my math correctly. Its first Singapore outlet at 313 Somerset isn’t large, possibly able to accommodate no more than 50 people, catering for quick casual meals that don’t break the bank within the $10-$13++ range.

Coco Ichibanya’s competitive edge lies in its highly customizable menu. Diners can choose from 5 different levels of curry spiciness, different extra toppings in addition to the already extensive menu, and all the way down to the preferred amount of rice. And apart from the 5 different levels of curry, there’s 2 other special curries available, a seemingly tomato-based non-spicy Hiyashi Sauce, and a mild Curry sauce.

My bubbly host May recommended that I try the Creamed Mushroom Omelet (guess Japs spell omelette differently)  Curry ($13++). Initially I was quite apprehensive, as the choice seemed a little too…interesting for my taste. You see I’m more of a traditional katsu curry kind of person but I’m glad I took her advice. The omelette was seriously perfect, timed perfectly such that the texture was silky smooth, just the way I like it. Protected by the outer layer of egg, the rice goes extremely well with the amalgam of creamy mushroom sauce and mild curry.

For the less adventurous, there’s also the more common Pork Cutlet Curry ($12++). We chose a level 2 curry and it was just the right level of spiciness for me. For cutlets, I believe there are 2 extremes, the overly lean types that will just cause you to keep swearing throughout a meal as you try to cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces and the fatty types that leave you wondering if what you ate was just a fried lard katsu. Coco Ichibanya’s cutlets leans more towards the fatty types, which I personally prefer over the overly chewy lean ones. However, compared to the Creamed Omelet Curry, this didn’t excite me as much.

Throw in a few more bucks and diners can opt for set meals, where you get an additional salad, drink and dessert in addition to your main course, which I feel is quite worth it. For drinks, go for the Calpis Water (a yoghurt drink), and the vanilla ice cream here is surprisingly yummy with visible specks of vanilla beans. Quite an unexpected surprise.

Though its operations have been running for a week or so now, the official opening date for Coco Ichibanya is 1st October 2011. Apart from the media launch event, I do believe that there’s going to be some sort of giveaway for the 1st 100 customers, along the lines of 1st customer gets a year of free dining, 2nd-50th get half year, 51th-100th get one month free dining. So if you are around the area, it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.

Thanks to Coco Ichibanya and Storm Creative Events for hosting the lunch invitation.

For more information about the launch event, do visit http://www.facebook.com/STORMsg

Bon Appetit!

Coco Ichibanya

313 Somerset #B3-25/26/27

Tel: +65 6636 7280





Fukuichi Japanese Dining – Away from the Orchard crowd

18 04 2011

Fans of Chef John Phua from the now-defunct Shinobu Dining Japanese Restaurant @ PSA Building will be pleased to know that he hasn’t disappeared from the Singapore food scene, and has returned to titillate our tastebuds once more, this time with his relatively new opening, Fukuichi Japanese Dining. The restaurant arm of a partnership formed between a Japanese and Singapore fishery, Fukuichi effectively cuts out the middle man within their operating stream, ensuring a reliable and fresh supply of restaurant produce is always readily available.

We were here to to celebrate C’s birthday. Back in secondary 1, I vividly recall the first time my dad picked him up to go school together with me. His maid carried out his bag for him, much like the recent debacle regarding the NSF and his maid…should have taken a picture and posted it on Stomp but after all, we are just Singaporeans with our pampered ways. It’s been so long since then and C is now a medical student. It’s really astonishing how many friends I know decided to take on the hippocratic oath, but sewing people up and performing rectal examinations isn’t my definition of having a good time. My only comfort is that at least I know or  just hope that good medical advice, potential queue cutting and perhaps even free consultations will be a given in future.

For our dinner, most of us had the Sushi/Sashimi Kami Nabe Course ($60/$68++ for 2 pax).

The first course of the Kani Tofu (Crab Meat Tofu) was excellent! Chilled silky tofu doused with a creamy century egg sauce. I’d recommend ordering this as a side if you decide to go ala carte instead.

Sashimi Moriawase / Sushi Moriawase

Kami Nabe (Choice of Seafood, Beef or Cod). The cod paper pot was quite good though I still think the one at Chikuwa Tei is better because the one over there is boneless and I’m a lazy prick. I didn’t try the beef but it looks appropriately marbled given the price range.

Sanuki Udon which must be simmered in the paper pot before eating.

Dessert of the Day was a Strawberry Mochi.

Some of my friends decided to go ala carte instead. The Hotate Yaki ($15++) or Scallops in Garlic Sauce garnered positive feedback.

Chawanmushi ($6++), one of the prettiest I have seen.

Inari Sushi ($4++) or sweet beancurd skin sushi had positive reviews too.

Tempura Udon ($15++) was so-so.

Fukuichi is a pretty nice place to grab a meal away from the bustling Orchard crowd. My only grouse is that unlike most casual Japanese restaurants, the variety of set meals on offer is rather limited.

Bon Appetit!

FUKUICHI JAPANESE DINING

111 SOMERSET ROAD, #02-11/12 TRIPLEONE SOMERSET

TEL: +65 6271 5586





Bedrock Grill & Bar – Restaurant Week’s Best Deal

31 03 2011

In the midst of so many (>80) reputable restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, it’s indeed a tall order sifting your way through the interminable list to finally shortlist restaurants that’s actually worth your while visiting. Firstly, we must talk budget, where you must consider if the restaurant’s normal set lunch is priced similarly or gasp…cheaper than the Restaurant Week’s set lunch. One of the better deals I spied on was Le Saint Julien whose normal set lunch is priced at $58++, really wanted to visit them but sadly my friend A’s craving for Oysters saw us dining at Oyster Bar on Restaurant Week Day 1 instead…rant rant.

Secondly, it’s also about location. We all know how busy Singaporeans are,  and according to an article “Don’t blame lack” by the International Labor Organization (2010), workers in Singapore clocked the most number of working hours per week among twelve nations in the survey. So, I’m guessing most of us have only 1 hour lunch breaks, unless you are an Investment Banker where you can eat as long as you want but OT till 4am, which severely limits our dining options somewhat. Even a student like myself isn’t spared, it’s so much easier to convince a friend to dine somewhere near school than at il Lido in Sentosa.

Lastly, I guess its availability. As beggars can’t be choosers, I’m sure that most of us still rather use Restaurant Week as an excuse to indulge in one of the less renowned restaurants that hasn’t been fully booked than eat at some economic rice stall right?

Having identified all these factors, one eatery seemed to fit the bill nicely; Bedrock Grill & Bar. With a normal set lunch going at $35 compared to Restaurant Week’s set at $25, affordability…check! Located at Pan Pacific Suites near 313 Somerset just a few bus stops down SMU, location…check! Bookings available…check!

I really wasn’t expecting much from Bedrock’s lunch because of 2 reasons. Firstly, the previous night’s Lawry’s dinner would surely have increased my benchmark for good beef and secondly, how good can a steak get when it’s priced at $25, inclusive of appetizer and dessert?

Bedrock’s interior has a rather rustic style, lots of wood everywhere. It’s no fine dining restaurant and doesn’t pretend to be, making do with a casual and cosy setting with professional and attentive staff. The only issue that concerned me was the smell of grease from cooking, which was evident once I stepped into the outlet. Thankfully the ventilator did its job after a while…or I simply got desensitized to the smell.

We were served a pita looking bread, together with butter and cooked cloves of garlic, my first time seeing it served with complimentary bread. I’m quite a garlic fan and thought that it really went well with the plain pita.

We were then served a Smoked Tomato Soup. Nothing memorable about it but it did well in simulating our taste buds with its tanginess.

Mesquite Grilled Half Chicken with Roasted Celeraic, White Truffle Butter and Taragon Jus. The skin was real crispy and enjoyable but I found the meat to be a little dry. The tau kwa looking cubes are the Roasted Celeraic, a root vegetable of the celery family, which tasted much like radish.

For the uninitiated, steak is just steak but to the connoisseur, steak can be likened to wine, with many unique tastes and textures. There’s so many factors to consider when choosing a steak; breed, cut, feed used, aging method and whether hormones are used etc. Today I will be focusing on the feed used, where there are 2 main types; grass (duh!) and grain (corn, barley and wheat). Of course grass is a cow’s original staple but the reason why many farmers choose to feed their cows with grain, which is not supposed to be part of a cow’s diet, is because grain like corn is inexpensive and fattens the cows up faster and gives the meat better marbling, moreover it does not require large amounts of grazing land, hence driving up profits for these cow farmers. But as no panacea is without side effects, grains cannot be properly digested by cows, resulting in bloating and discomfort for the cows. Furthermore, grain fed beef is supposedly less healthy than grass fed beef because it has a higher level of saturated fat etc…I shan’t go into the technicals.

There’s some debate on the difference in taste between grass fed beef and grain fed beef, and even within the category of grain fed beef, cows on a pure corn diet would possibly taste different from a cow fed with a mix of barley and corn. Personally tastewise, I prefer grain fed because it’s fattier and more marbled and even though it’s more unhealthy, I guess the age old adage of “eating once in a while” does hold true…that’s what I keep telling myself at least.

Having gone on about the differences in cattle feed, the one I had here was a gorgeous Grilled 150-days Grain Fed Ribeye Fillet Steak. Let’s just say that it’s a whole different league from what you’d ever get from Astons. The meat was well marinated enough to eat on its own without the overly spicy black pepper sauce. The hand cut Fries were really good as well.

For dessert, we were served a Wedge of Chocolate Valrhona Flourless Cake with Hazelnut Nougatine and Creme Fraiche. Best chocolate flourless cake ever! I really loved the inclusion of a thin layer of Creme Fraiche aka sour cream sandwiched within the cake which gave a really flavourful aftertaste, ensuring that the chocolate didn’t overwhelm the palate. The icing sugar decoration was also a nice touch, simple yet awfully effective.

For that affordable steak meal, I’d seriously recommend Bedrock Grill & Bar.

Bon Appetit!

BEDROCK GRILL & BAR

96 SOMERSET ROAD, #01-05 PAN PACIFIC SERVICED SUITES

TEL: +65 6238 0054





Izakaya Nijumaru – Is it still a Secret?

24 02 2011

Despite being around for quite some time, I’d still consider Izakaya Nijumaru a tightly held secret amongst the food blogging community, relying solely on word of mouth in garnering its loyal following over the years. If I hadn’t read about it while food blog surfing, I’d definitely have been oblivious to this hidden gem myself.

Izakaya Nijumaru has a simple dining concept; tasty food at affordable prices while offering an extensive selection. The menu is almost entirely in Japanese so if your romaji sucks and you have no idea what’s the difference between an aji and an ika, you will probably find it much easier to just talk the menu through with one of the many “aunties” who are standing around, though they will probably just recommend you something super generic and safe like the Nijumaru Bento or the Unajyu Set.

Started off the meal with a Japanese staple of Chawanmushi($5++). Silky smooth with no visible trapped air bubbles, that’s all I can ask for and that’s what I got.

Ever heard of Japanese Yong Tau Foo? Well, today’s my first time trying it. It’s called Oden($8++) and comes with 7 pieces, from fish cakes, egg, konnyaku (yes its not only used to make Japanese Jelly if that’s what you are thinking. There’s a fine dining chinese restaurant called Xi Yan on Craig Road which serves Salivating Chicken with Konnyaku Noodles which is rather good, but that’s a story better left for another day…) and some other types which are unknown to me. I can imagine this would go down really well on a winter’s day.

I like the Nijumaru Bento($20++). It’s created for people just like me, people who want a bit of everything, from assorted sashimi to tempura, braised pork belly and grilled saba fish. The sashimi was fresh, especially the salmon. I also loved the grilled saba fish, lightly charred and fatty. Was expecting much more from the braised pork belly though, I felt it was a rather tough and rubbery to chew. Tempura was decently executed.

Unagi lovers will be pleased with the Unajyu Set($20++). Two thick slabs of unagi over a generous bedding of rice. The unagi was really quite charred on one side, but my friend dismissed this quickly and rebutted, “aiya same as eating bbq”. Guess it was just too irresistible for my soon-to-be doctor friend, despite being acutely aware of its carcinogenic properties.

So if you are ever hankering for a casual Japanese meal in town, I’d recommend you give those casual Japanese chains you know so well like Sushi Tei, Sakae Sushi or Waraku a miss and try Izakaya Nijumaru instead. After all, every meal is an adventure!

Bon Appetit!

IZAKAYA NIJUMARU

5 KOEK ROAD, #02-10 CUPPAGE PLAZA

TEL: +65 6235 6693








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