Foie Gras in Sichuan Restaurant? New Menu Dishes Launch @ Chengdu Restaurant

Author: Alexius Chua

If you love your Chinese dish to be more than just tongue-searing spicy, then Chengdu Restaurant could be your favourite EAT destination. This Chinese restaurant pays homage to the capital of Sichuan province by doling out authentic Sichuan cuisine of the fire-breathing variety since its opening – mala hotpot, mapo tofu and kungpao chicken. A wise choice, as its Asia’s first city to be designated a ‘City of Gastronomy’ by UNESCO in 2010.

Chengdu Restaurant

The new menu showcases a myriad of taste profiles the complex Sichuan cuisine has to offer. Kicking in is the savoury appetizer of Roasted Foie Gras ($42.80). When presented, a cloud of white smoke billows, spelling an ultra-luxe ensemble of pan-seared foie gras with king oyster mushrooms, spring onions and red pepper flakes. It is dramatic, different (ain’t foie gras a French cuisine?), and nevertheless surprisingly quite refreshing considering the rich, fatty meat.

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It is common belief that chicken feet is full of collagen, if it’s true this Chicken Feet with Pickled Peppers ($13.80) is a snack for beauty. Cooling and refreshing, the sourly sweet and slightly spicy cold chicken feet tastes different from the braised ones you would expect from the dim sum places. Preparation wise it is also much more tedious and testing on the culinary skills of the chefs.

Chengdu Restaurant

I enjoy biting into the jello-like beef tendon in the Braised Tendon with French Bean ($26.80). Slow-braising for 40 minutes gives the meat a fork-tender texture. Along with quail eggs and green chili mixed with a flavourful piquant sauce, this pot may look innocent, but is deceptively quite spicy.

Chengdu Restaurant

My own personal favourite, the Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs ($22.80) is finger-licking delicious. The premium pork ribs are simmered for 45 minutes with ginger, peppercorn and 5 other special spices, before being fried and tossed with other spices to give that mouth-watering flavour reminiscent of Sichuan streetside shaokao (barbeque).

Chengdu Restaurant

For the soup base we have the Sichuan Style Spicy Pot and Fish Fillet Sour Soup. The Sichuan Spicy Pot ($28.80) screams in-your-face hot, with a medley of black tripe, luncheon meat, quail eggs, starch noodles, prawns, squid and others that can usually be found in mala hotpot joints. Be sure to order the Sour Plum Drink before tackling this bowl of burning lava.

Chengdu Restaurant

A milder, less aggressive and slurp-able version is the Fish Fillet in Sour Soup ($22.80). A spicy and sour soup of boneless sole fish fillet in a majestic yellow broth, I find the soup appealing to me in such a way that it tinkles the senses while making it irresistibly wholesome. It would be my favourite amongst the dishes if only I am not such a big carnivore.

Chengdu Restaurant
74 Amoy Street Singapore 069893
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat, 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10.30pm. Closed on Sunday
Tel: 85339928
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chengdusg
Instagram: @chengdusg
Hashtag: #chengdusg

Have a 3-Course Uniquely Singapore Fiesta at Porta

Author: Alexius Chua

Mod-sin food makes me happy. I attribute it to the familiarity of the local tastes and the hearty modern European cuisine. Local born and bred talent Executive Chef Alex Phan has curated a 3-Course Uniquely Singapore Menu to celebrate SG54 and the nation’s bicentennial milestone on 8 and 9 August at Porta.
Starting with the salad, the Truffle Rojak Salad has a tangy kick from the tamarind shrimp paste and aromatic sprinkling of peanut crumbles. Alternatively, there’s the Chef’s interpretation of the Peking Duck, served salad-style. The flavours are deep and soulful, and with loving tender bite of duck meat.

Porta

There’s a variety of mains available and so much to love at Porta, but the Black pepper Crab Linguine wins my heart. The dish is as simple as its name: linguine tossed with chock-fuull of sweet succulent meat of the blue crab from the Atlantic Ocean.

Porta

For the carnivores, there’s the Char Siew Rib Eye Steak. Served with quinoa and Japanese cucumbers on the bottom camouflaged with vegs on the top, the rib eye prepared to the doneness we asked for and tastes exactly like char siew.

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The more sensational dish is the Pork Belly served in 2 styles. The creamy salted egg yolk infused with chilies and curry leaves is punchy and sets off the sweetness of the pork, but it’s the tender sous-vide meat with crispy crackling on the skin side that rounds up the experience. It’s exquisite and unexpected in taste and texture.

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For desserts, you can relive in the good ole’ days with the familiar Bandung Parfait, or indulge in a re-interpretation of Milo Dinosaur. I understand why the Bandung Parfait is such a crowd favourite, it is light, delicate and airy, chunky peanuts on top with a sugary soft bottom. But my personal biasness still goes to the Milo Dinosaur, it’s a superb texture play with a combination of crumbled Milo sponge cake, served in house-made caramel condensed milk

porta

Porta @ Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street Level 1 Park Hotel Clarke Quay Singapore 237983

3 Course Uniquely Singapore Menu
Date: 8 & 9 August 2019, Thursday & Friday
Time: 11am – 3pm / 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Price: $58++ per adult / $28++ per child 5 to 11 years Children below 5 years enjoy a complimentary Kids’ Dish of the Day
Details on: https://www.parkhotelgroup.com/en/clarkequay/promotions/national-day

Review: Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence with Vaccaria Seed

I am a bad cook and most of the time, I am always seen eating unhealthy stuff. When I crave for any noodles or soup, I will opt for instant options and they are quite bad for health. What’s worst? I suffer from low blood, anemia, and borderline protein level.

However, recently, I was introduced to something instant and more importantly, very nutritious and good for health! It is none other than Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence. The double-boiled chicken essence (滴鸡精) is a traditional health supplement that originated in the south of Taiwan.

The chickens they used for the essence is free-range and they are fed without any chemical and hormone. They are rich in high-quality protein and essential amino acids, and the best part? The flavours are tailor-made with various herbs so that they can meet the different needs of the individuals.

You can check out their website under the products tab to see which chicken essence suits your body best. There are also chicken essences that are suitable for children too.
The packaging is so luxurious that you can even give them to your elderly at home, or someone who has just given birth!



I suffer from very bad monthly menses cramp so I was introduced to Chicken Essence with Vaccaria Seed.

The addition of vaccaria seed to the chicken essence helps to soothe my body – especially during the time of the month by promoting blood circulation to remove blood stasis*, the ripe seeds has properties like soothing the liver and regulate the Qi in our body.

*Blood stasis is a condition used in Chinese medicine, it is described as slowing or pooling of blood, which may cause pain or other symptoms.

chicken essence singapore

Preparation is very easy. There are 20 packets in a box and you have to keep them in the freezer so that they will not spoil.

Take one packet out of the freezer and put it into a bowl that has a lid.

chicken essence singapore

You can either choose to boil it again or be like me, use the lazy-but-easy method – microwave it!

chicken essence

Once the chicken essence is thawed, take it out and enjoy it!

tian yuan xiang chicken essence

You know how herb-y some chicken essence smell? Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence smells nothing like them. In fact, it smells & tastes like some yummy homemade double-boiled soup! SLURPS! My husband gave it a try and he is now a fan too!

tian yuan xiang chicken essence



After drinking it for a few days, my body feels refreshed and energized. Even the cramps were greatly reduced! I may still have mild cramps as and when but it is definitely a lot better.

We are all too busy fighting the cooperate health, drink Tian Xiang Yuan Chicken Essence as an alternative to boost your health!

You can find Tian Yuan Xiang at:

101 Thomson Road, #B1-24A United Square, Singapore 307591 (Novena MRT)

Tel: +65 6200 6789

Opening Time:

Sundays to Thursdays and public holiday: 10:30am-09:00pm

Fridays, Saturdays and eves of public holiday: 10:30am-09:30pm

Official website: www.qchicken.com.sg

Japan’s Fluffiest, Jiggly Gram Pancakes Now in Vivocity, Singapore

Author: Alex Chua

There are 2 very famous (or Insta-famous) pancake shops in Osaka, Japan, and Gram Café & Pancake is one of them. This pancake has made its rounds in social media, and I am always reeking with insatiable pangs of hunger whenever I see my friends jiggle the fluffy towers on Instagram story. Why I didn’t make that pilgrimage when I was there 2 years ago? Finally, my dream has come true. This famous soufflé pancakes specialist has opened its doors in VivoCity, the very first in Singapore, on 16 June 2019.

gram pancakes

Easily the world most recognizable pancake, the signature Premium Pancakes ($17.90) consists of three lofty 4cm thick wobbly pancakes stacked together. Soft, airy and oh-so-fluffy pancakes, coupled with the melt-in Gram original butter, whipped cream and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup only makes the united combo sinfully luxurious and scrumptious.

What’s so special about the pancakes at Gram Café & Pancakes is that these fluffy discs are slow-cooked on low heat and whipped full of air, resulting in a fluffy texture similar to a cloud or cotton candy. Everything – the butter, sauces and cream toppings – are made in-house, so that only the best, controlled ingredients are paired with the pancakes for maximum enjoyment on the taste buds.

The Premium pancakes are prepared upon receipt of order, and sales are limited to 3 times a day, with 30 servings each time at 11am, 3pm and 6pm.

gram pancakes singapore

Besides the premium dish, other noteworthy items include the Rich Tiramisu Pancakes ($15.90). Inspired by the traditional Japanese dorayaki (doraemon food-love), the chewy texture is very much akin to a dorayaki. The espresso-soaked pancake is layered with rich mascarpone tiramisu cream with dust of cocoa powder on top. Personally I like my pancake light and fluffy, but the chewy variation still tastes pleasant on my palate.

gram pancakes singapore

If you want a pancake as a meal and not just dessert, try the savory Chilli Bean Pancakes ($18.90). Chilli bean sauce and cheddar cheese is served on pancakes with sausages, potatoes and salad. To some they say the chilli is quite potent, but for me it’s pretty mild. I like the light meatiness of the sausage, not overpowering the already soft pancake base.

gram pancakes vivocity

Finally, for something non-pancake type is the French Toast of Chocolate Banana ($12.90). The classic Danish French Toast is topped with fresh cream and maple syrup, with creamy vanilla ice cream, fresh bananas and rich chocolate sauce. I like the slight crunchy texture of the toast, but if you are in Gram Café & Pancake, you shouldn’t even think of skipping the pancakes selection.

Gram Café & Pancakes
VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk #02-110 Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (last order 9pm)
Contact: 86666277

Dine and Prosper at Ho Fook Hei, the New Cantonese Eatery @ Great World City

Author: Alex Chua

While you might not think much when you pass by Ho Fook Hei Soy Sauce Chicken 好福气豉油鸡, think again. Located at Great World City, this unassuming eatery serves a medley of authentic Cantonese specialties prepared with time-honoured recipes passed down from generations.

If you’re wondering what does ‘ho fook hei means’, it means prosperity and good fortune in Cantonese, and that’s what you can expect when you order the Specialty Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken 招牌玫瑰露酱油鸡. Juicy and tender, the chicken has that distinct floral fragrance imparted from the rose wine. Understand that two batches of chickens are prepared daily to ensure freshness. To elevate the braising liquid flavour, the same pot of braising liquid is kept and topped up each day, and the chef will taste the liquid each time to make necessary adjustments. Such attention to detail is admirable, and the soy sauce chicken gains the depth of flavour over time.

If you want just a simple yet utterly satisfying one dish meal, there’s the Specialty Rose Wine Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles 酱油鸡面. The springy Hong Kong-style egg noodles and the moreish homemade Crunchy Chilli Sauce paired perfectly well with the shimmery chicken.


Ho-Fook-Hei


My personal favourite dish is the robust Honey-Glazed Black Barbeque Pork Belly 吊烧黑金叉烧. Not discounting the fatty portion of the meat, it renders the luscious meat with a perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavour in each bite.


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The Deep-Fried Prawn Rolls (Hei Chor) are crispy, flavoursome and not too oily. Generous with the fillings you can see the chunks of prawn meat inside each piece.


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The hand-wrapped Shrimp Dumpling is HUGE in this bowl. Again, pretty generous with the filling, and the prawn is plump and juicy. With the soup its quite a comfort dish for a rainy day.


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The Cod with Old Ginger Sauce has that comforting and familiar flavour, and the fish is steamed to perfection, rendering the flesh pretty much melt-in-the-mouth.


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This Sea Bass with signature Nonya Assam sauce is so delicious, it is wiped out at our table very quickly. Fresh and sweet, the fish paired well with the very appetising sweet-sour-spicy Nonya Assam sauce.

Ho Fook Hei
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-141 Great World City, Singapore 237994
Tel: 6219 2262

Kazbar Hosts Food & Beer Pairing with Lebanese ‘Diamond’ Beer Almaza

Author: Alex Chua

Kazbar, known to serve authentic Middle Eastern cuisine in Singapore over the last 16 years, has recently launched the Lebanese beer Almaza along with a food and beer pairing event. Stands for ‘Diamond’ in Arabic, Almaza is born in 1933 and still remains as Lebanon’s leading beer till date. This is a match-make in heaven, since Kazbar patrons can enjoy the full Lebanese cultural experience with the incorporation of their national beer.

‘With Almaza, we want our customers to be able to enjoy a wholesome experience, from the spices, the food and drinks to the ambience and the attentive service’ said Angeles, owner of Kazbar.


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During the launch event on 9 May 2019, beer sommelier Charles GuErrier showcased how some of the crowd favourites from Kazabar can be paired with Almaza beer to bring out the flavours of the dishes. He also gave a little background of its history, the brand’s DNA (Almaza is a beer for people who take fun seriously!), and a lesson of how to correctly taste beer.


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Our first dish is a light Middle Eastern appetizer served fashionably on a cocktail glass. The Cold Mezze is a fine ground chickpeas (hummus) with tahini sauce, garlic and lemon juice, accompanied with a stem of sliced vegetables as dips. The pairing of the light and crisp Almaza helps compliments the subtle flavours of the hummus without dominating it.


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Next, the Hot Mezze we had the Jawaneh – middle eastern style charcoal grilled chicken wings served with homemade harissa. While others find the wings quite fiery the spiciness level is still okai for me. The pairing of the Almaza helps tempers the heat and bringing out the savoury flavours of the meat<br />
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Our last dish is a crowd pleaser, the Grilled Meat platter, featuring 1 lamb chop, 1 lamb kofta and grilled minced lamb flavoured with middle eastern spices. The umami is strong in this hot main, not to mention the oiliness. This is where the Almaza beer helps to cuts through the oils of the dish, and cleanses the pallet so that you don’t feel the heaviness. I personally fine this beer quite suitable for meal with many courses, as it helps reset the pallet without the lingering taste of other beer.


kazbar


All in all, it was a pretty gratifying experience and a learning opportunity from a IBD Certified Beer Sommelier who had over 20 year experience in the food and beverage industry. Moreover, I had found a perfect spot if I had a sudden craving for Middle Eastern food in CBD area.

Kazbar
25 Church St, Singapore 049482
Phone: 6438 2975

OLLELLA X Ah Ma Homemade Cake launches Artisanal, Traditional Kuehs and Cakes

Author: Alexis Chua

Indonesian kueh specialist OLLELLA and Ah Mah Homemade Cake, the purveyor of castella cakes, joins hands for the first time to bring their delicious traditional offerings under 1 roof. The products in this new concept store are handmade and prepared daily on-site, ensuring the products are fresh and in its best quality. For me, who am not a fan of kueh, I am pleasantly surprised that I took more than my fair share of kuehs and cakes. In fact, I had these kuehs for dinner and am not complaining!

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The new partnership wrought OLLELLA to introduce 4 new products, the D24 Durian Dadar, Kueh Bugis, Kueh Salat and Kueh Wajik. We absolutely adore the D24 Durian Dadar ($2.50). Made with pure D24 durian flesh and freshly grated coconut, the filling is flavourful and rich while not overpoweringly so. One thing to note – the pandan crepe is prepared fresh on the spot and pairs with the filling very well.

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Shaped like a fruit, the Kueh Bugis ($1.50) has a chewy texture; its moist coconut gula Melaka filling is aromatic and tasty. While the Kueh Salat ($1.50) features a kaya custard layer with a glutinous rice base infused with freshly extracted blue pea flower water and santan, giving the kueh a green, blue and white hue. It’s good for breakfast. Last is the Kueh Wajik ($1.50), which uses premium gula Melaka and rich santan glutinous rice, possesses that ultra-chewy texture.

ollella-ah-ma

Ah Ma Homemade Cake created the Pandan Brown Cake ($11) so the castella-cake lovers can enjoy the best of both pandan and gula Melaka worlds. The interplay of the pandan leaves aroma and sweetness of the gula Melaka, coupled with its soft texture and slightly crunchy surface (sprinkle of crushed gula Melaka and shredded coconut on top), you can be sure that I will be queuing for it next time.

ollella-ah-ma-img

Other than the new items above, the new concept stores also offers popular kuehs such as Rempah Udang, Rempah Ayam and Kueh Dadar, and a medley of castella cakes (from chocolate to pandan and marble). Among the 3 kuehs, Rempah Ayam ($2) is my personal favourite. Featuring shredded chicken braised in herbs and a medley of spices, the Rempah Ayam tastes akin to Lo Mai Gai – satisfying and filling at the same time.

OLLELLA X Ah Ma Homemade Cake
Outlet 1: VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #B2-K7 Vivocity, Singapore 098585
Outlet 2: Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road, #B1-K4 Tiong Bahru Plaza, Singapore 168732

Strangers’ Reunion: Redefining Café Dining with Quality and Upcycled Ingredients

Author: Alex Chua

Home-grown cafe Strangers’ Reunion, located at Kampong Bahru Road just 5 minutes’ walk from Outram Park MRT, is set to redefine and elevate café dining experience with a new all-day brunch menu.

Best-known for serving some of the best coffee and all-day brunches in town, this time the new brunch menu features inventive cooking method with a conscience. Using fresh, seasonal and upcycled ingredients and sauces homemade from scratch, the resulting dishes reveals a level of sophistication more often associated with fine dining establishments. Now that’s more than a cuppa in a café scene.

strangers-reunion

Take the Salmon Skin Chips ($11.90) for instance. This moreish appetiser utilises salmon offcuts and trimmings from the café’s homemade coffee smoked salmon and deep-fried it to become a dish by itself. Studded with goma, avocado coulis and coffee-smoked salmon puree, it presents a juxtaposition of nutty, salty, sweet and sour flavours without being too overwhelming or oily.

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The Snapper Ceviche ($13.90) contain a combination of snapper chunks cured in lime juice, avocado, cilantro and red onions. Light and refreshing, it is the perfect starter dish for a brunch date.

strangers-reunion

For the vegans and cauliflower fans, the Roasted Cauliflower Salad ($14.50) is the choice pick. It comes in 2 ways – charred to yield caramelised florets with deep hazelnut notes, and pickled in rice wine vinegar infused with black pepper and bay leaves. We had the caramelised ones and it is crunchy and irresistible. It’s just so good I am almost a vegan-convert by this dish.

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Coming to the mains, the hearty Pork and Broccoli ($21.90) satisfies me thoroughly. Taking a leaf from the upcycling philosophy, the tender roasted meat uses the under-utilized pork collar ends and broccoli stems as accompanying greens. Complemented with 3 sauces – broccoli puree, coffee shoyu and burnt onion jus to give an extra depth of flavour. Simple, straightforward and in your face delicious.

strangers-reunion

Here’s the savoury protein – Pan Roasted Chicken Breast ($21.90). Chicken breast cloaked in a house-made jerk sauce and accompanying succotash of greens. I like how the sauce compliments and further accentuates the succulent meat.

strangers-reunion

Here’s a dish common in the café scene, Strangers’ Coffee Smoked Salmon on Toast ($18.90). Well, not quite so. The house-cured salmon is cold-smoked with spent coffee grounds and hickory wood to give the aromatic coffee-smoked salmon, while an espresso-infused crème fraiche is slathered on toasted sourdough bread. Sounds too caffeinated? It is not, the coffee is used just to give that light coffee aroma.

Undoubtedly one of THE go-to cafes for its quality coffee, now the café – in its cool tones of greys, whites and wood – can include inventiveness and upcycling to its name with the introduction of the all-day brunch menu.

Strangers’ Reunion
33/35 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169355
Operating Hours: 9am – 6pm daily

Feast on Thai Food at The Great Baan Ying Brunch

Author: Alex Chua

Now I don’t have to travel all the way to Bangkok just to indulge Baan Ying.

Launched on 26 Jan 2019, the Thai specialty restaurant opens its first ever Singapore outlet in Royal Square, conveniently located near Novena mrt. In conjunction with its opening is the introduction of The Great Baan Ying Brunch (#TGBYB) – a weekend semi-buffet consisting of 1 main course along with a buffet spread of 12 to 15 delectable appetisers, sides and desserts on rotation every week.

Affordably priced at $38.80++ per adult and $19.40++ per child (four to ten years old; kids under three dine free; child price includes complimentary fruit juice), this is enough to draw me in, being a big fan of Baan Ying’s ala carte omelette rice and fried fish dishes. As for semi-buffet, this is something new for me.


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The main brunch attractions, the 6 mains are the Bone-in Iberico Pork Chop, Angus Beef Steak, Grilled Large River Prawns, Pan-fried Salmon Steak, Junior Omelette Fried Rice and Junior Omelette Fried Noodles. Me and my friend tried the Iberico Pork Chop and Grilled Salmon, both were well-proportioned and plating wise rather straight forward. The moist and tender salmon is served with homemade Thai seafood sauce to give it an umami edge, while the juicy pork chop is perfectly marinated with Aunty Ying’s secret blend of Thai spices. Do note that you have to top up an additional $9.80 for the pork chop, but its definately worth it.


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The Great Baan Ying Brunch features a plethora spread of Thai-riffic appetisers, sides and desserts. To keep up with the healthy, I started my meal at the DIY Thai Salad station, mixing and matching ingredients like peanuts, dried shrimp, cherry tomatoes, long beans and either tangy green papaya or green mango. The end result is a refreshing and colourful salad. Nothing beats some physical DIY activity, especially when it comes to buffet.


baan ying singapore


A traditional house-made rice cracker with a rich and luscious coconut, pork and shrimp dip, the Kao Tung Na Tung (Crispy Rice with Pork and Shrimp Dip) is easily one of my favourites. The crunchiness of the crackers and the savoury, meaty dip goes very well with beer.


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Not to forget the Mini Larb Moo Tod (Deep Fried Spicy Meat Balls mixed with toasted ground rice). Can’t go any closer as these succulent balls are just too easy to down.


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For desserts there are Rainbow Ruby, Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk and Coconut Jelly. Shaped like a delicate flower petal, the Coconut Jelly are just so refreshing and delightful to pop into the mouth.


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My verdict? The Great Baan Ying Brunch is value-for-money with lots of quality, tasty buffet spread and a mains to boot.

Baan Ying
103 Irrawaddy Road, Royal Square @ Novena, $02-07 S329566

beGIN: Chic New Bar at Boat Quay for an Innovative Gin Fix

Author: Alex Chua

beGin takes a typical gin – usually drank in a traditional English-style habitat with upholstered furnishing – and gives it a chic new spin. Situated upstairs Singapore’s oldest traditional English Pub – The Penny Black, beGin is the only speakeasy bar that houses over 50 gins from different countries. Gin lovers can sample the vast selection in different ways (neat, with tonic or in fashionable cocktail) and pair it with savoury British-Indian small plates. Expect colours, delicious bites and upbeat music with friendly bartenders tucked inside this rustic, moodily-lit speakeasy.

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Starting off the course is the Royal Chatanee (S$4), which consists a medley of mild to punchy dips – Tomato, Chilli & Ginger Chutney, Asian Salsa and aromatic Spiced Cilantro Mint & Coconut dip. This grazing platter with refreshing dips is good to awaken the palate for subsequent courses.

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Popping into the Crab bomb-a ($13 for 5 pieces) has that savoury oomph of seafood satisfaction. The curry sauce, hidden within the light hollow crisp, is made with beGin’s in-house spice mix for that unique kick. Very addictive and easy to pop in a few.

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Appearance can be quite deceiving. BeGIN’s bestseller the Samboo-sa Pasties ($11 for 3 pieces) is a modern interpretation of the humble curry puffs. The chicken has that fiery tandoori masala taste, encased in a fluffy crisp choux pastry for that lovely crunch.

begin bar boat quay

A definite crowd-favourite, the nacho del goa ($15 for 5 pieces) is a twist to the classic butter chicken. Sitting atop nacho-shaped papadums, the prawns are coated with buttery northern Indian Sauce and onion yogurt. It’s not enough to pop in just one of these tasties.

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The Cheeky Nigiri is perhaps my personal favourite among the delectable bar bites, partly due to its tender meatiness. Made of beef cheeks, yellow sushi rice and vindaloo sauce, this can simply be a meal of itself.

begin boat quay

Enough with the food. Now for the drinks. LAVENDER ($25) is inspired by HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s luscious lavender garden. A dome once lifted releases smoke that unveils the dignified, feminine cocktail. Taste of floral and, with its opal pink, slightly girly drink, but I love it still. No judge.

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For those who are into adventurous drinks, the Jagmohan ($25) is a curry and clove spiced tequila mix. Essentially Northern India in a drink, this unassuming cocktail is exotic and tastes of spices, completes with the tomato, chili and ginger chutney on the side with fried crisps.

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KOKO ($23) is that decadently well-balanced cocoa-infused rum die-hard chocolate fans would find irresistible. Performed with a ‘fire’ show – igniting the dehydrated orange atop the rum – this fiery concoction is creamy, mellow-sweet cocoa and tastes just like a dessert by itself, which I simply adore!

beGin
27a Boat Quay, The Penny Black Upstairs, Singapore 049817
Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 5pm – 1am