Ash & Char – Relaunched & Revamped into a Chic & Modern Gastrobar

Author: Alex Chua

Ash & Char is a chic gastrobar located at McCallum Street, just diagonally opposite Amoy Street Food Centre. It is situated in a busy CBD area where the PMEs flocked around in daytime and chill at night. Specializing in Modern Asian cuisine, since its revamp this cosy gastrobar now features an Instagram-worthy interior along with handcrafted cocktails and comforting fusion good food!

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Formally a café, Ash & Char transformation adds a breath of fresh air to the premise. With 2 large lightbulbs ‘chandaliers’ mounted on the ceiling as centerpieces, laminating the tuxedo black tables that are matched with sleek black, gold and silver high stools, Ash & Char eases between a cosy venue for lunch during day time and a chill out place as the sun sets. It is so cosy I can literally hop onto one of the high chair with the refreshingly fruity Mixed Berry Bramble and people-watch.

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With a name derived from the techniques applied to the cooking (mostly charring and grilling), the owner obviously takes pride on the food and you can expect the food to be good. The Signature Char Siu is one of the many dishes in the menu we’ve sampled and simply love it. The honey and soy glaze is easy on the palate. The meat slices with charred edges are extra delicious and easily melt away in the mouth.

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The Creamy Smoked Duck Pasta is pleasing to slurp down. The duck slice is flavorful and got a bite to it, though I would prefer it to be thicker. Just remember to watch your waistline!

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One of the mainstays in the menu, the tangy and fiery Tom Yum Seafood Pasta is obviously a popular favorite among the patrons here as it caters to the local preference of spicy and sour taste. The seafood-tom Yum Gong pairing is succulent and authentically Thai, reminding of the time I had a similar bowl in an upscale Bar at Asiatique, Bangkok.

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A standard bar dish, the Fish & Chips here are quite different among other establishments is the herbs embedded within the batter that seasons the fish naturally. A lover of this English national pride, I can woof this fried goodies down with a good drink (alcohol preferred) anytime.

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Speaking of drinks, Ash & Char has got a new fruity alcoholic drink that would make you instantaneously fall in love like starring into a Birkin – the Santa Cruz de Alpera Blue Frizzante. Mid-night blue in color, this is an easy to drink wine with tropical notes which makes it suitable for an afternoon lazy tipper. Taste somewhat like the dessert wines (think Moscato), the bubbles touch just makes it a refreshing sensation in this sweet wine.

Ash & Char
Address: 21 McCallum Street #01-03/04 Singapore 069047
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am to 12am | Friday, 11am to 1am | Saturday, 5pm to 1am | Closed on Sundays
Contact Number: +65 8341 1951

Grissini’s New Head Chef Introduces Omakase Menu

Author: Alex Chua

There’s something strangely poetic and charming about Southern Italy. This Southern coastal region with Grecian white architecture and crystal blue waters brings more of yearning and stylish travelling than a gastronomic destination. And here comes Mirko Vinci, the new head Chef of Grissini, an Italian restaurant located in Grand Copthorne Waterfront, who wants to change all that with the introduction of the 5-course Omakase Menu (about $85++ per pax).

Chef Mirko has over 15 years of culinary experience and has honed his skills in renowned restaurants working alongside Michelin-starred chefs in Milan, London and Singapore. Capturing the culinary spirit of this lesser explored part of Italy, expect rich, full-bodied flavors with use of ingredients such as tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, seafood.


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The entree of Panzerotto Pugliese is a simple delight by itself. A traditional South Italy snack, the crispy thin dough – folded to resemble a calzone –is filled with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and virgin olive oil. A savory entree without making us too bloated for the subsequent dishes.





For Cold Starter, the Grilled Mediterranean Seafood Salad is pleasing to the eye and on the palate. Featuring a medley of fresh, sweet seafood which consists of squid, cod fish, prawns / shrimps, and octopus. The bouncy, tender texture comes with a surprising smoky, earthy aroma. Plated alongside cured black olives, asparagus shoots for a refreshing yet satisfying comeback.





The portion of Eggplant Parmigiana with Mixed Leaves & Pearl Tomatoes Salad is quite generous for a Hot Starter, but I am not complaining! The layered Eggplant Parmigiana tastes exactly like a lasagna (albeit a vegetarian version), with layers of smoky vegetal sweet grilled brinjal and homemade tomato paste. A comfort food for the soul.





My personal favorite is the Tagliolini, white inions, butter and sage sauce with sprinkles of shaved fresh black truffle. Unique and complex the sweet earthy flavors of caramelized onions mixed with the silky al dente tagliolini pasta are a perfect match-made of gastronomic heaven.





For the mains I had the Veal Scaloppine with char-grilled zucchini. With an expectation of a hearty meat veal dish, the dish is exactly the opposite of what I had thought it would be – pinkish veal is tender, delicate and distinctive. It is paired with grilled zucchini which gives that smoky and juicy flavor for a powerful dynamo.





The dessert that I recall with loving tender is the Chocolate Souffle Lava Cake with Sea Salt and Coffee dessert. Though the lava didn’t run, the mouthfeels of the rich but soft and moist chocolate soufflé cake is irresistible enough. The chocolate taste runs deep and neat, enhanced by the subtle sea salt and coffee flavors. It is a filling, well plated dessert.

Overall, the Italian Omakase Menu experience at Grissini is delightful and a smooth 5-course gastronomic ride. Totally worth a visit to celebrate life’s special occasions, or to experience an exclusive, private dining affair for two.

Grissini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169663

Serenade in Oktoberfest Feast & Fun at Brotzeit

Author: Alex Chua

Ahh Oktoberfest, the festivity of beer toasting, eating sausages and merrymaking knows no boundaries. Everyone’s favourite German festival is back with a bang at Brotzeit. Bringing authentic German experiences to Singapore from 13 September to 23 October, this occasion promises to be a gastronomic feast for the senses. It warms the tummy too.





Nothing evokes the communal Gemütlich experience better than Brotzeit’s Sharing Platter – the massive Oktoberfestplatte (S$138). Featuring oven-roasted pork knuckle, juicy beer-infused Bavarian honey ribs, whole roasted chicken & a flavourful one metre long Meter Wurst, or smoked pork sausage. Served with golden-brown wedges and tangy sauerkraut on the side, this boatload of succulent platter is good for a troupe of 6. Be prepared to get a little messy but that’s okay.


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Don’t pass up the ultimate Oktoberfest experience with the exclusive Gefüllter Schweinebauch mit SoBe (Stuffed Pork Belly – S$69). Available only from 1 – 23 October, this pork belly is oven-roasted with a crisp crackling skin filled with a deliciously moist bread stuffing packed full of flavour.





For someone who wants a bite while soaking up the cheery atmosphere, you can grab the Leberkäse-brotchen (Traditional meatloaf in Kaiser roll – $15). Simple meatloaf sandwich which comes with potato salad for an added starchy goodness. A good pick-me-up dish that would surely amp up your spirit.





The jolliness of Oktoberfest and its beer will leave you a little peckish. Take the Schweinsbraten (Roasted Pork in dark beer sauce – $28). A must try for all pork lovers, the tender pork collar is slow roasted in dark beer sauce to perfection, served with sides of soft potato dumplings and sauerkraut.

Of course, it is not Oktoberfest without a little fun and games! There will be traditional Oktoberfest games to win exclusive merchandise and diners who come in Dirndl and Lederhosen will receive a complimentary beer on Brotzeit. There are also family-friendly activities such as Face-Painting and a Gingerbread Décor Station.

Signature Party Days at VivoCity – Season Finale
18 – 19 October: 6pm – 10pm
20 – 21 October: 1pm – 3pm/ 6pm – 10pm

Step into a World of Flavour at .elia

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There’s nothing in the world that’s one size fits all. But if you’re looking for a restaurant that sells quality sandwiches, handmade pastas and steak while sipping superbly-brewed specialty coffee, then .elia is the right place. Bistro by day, restaurant by night, .elia brings a curated menu where signatures from abroad are delectably assembled with a personal touch. Located at 10 Jiak Chuan Road, this new 30-seater restaurant provides diners a modern twist to traditional fare such as tortellini and wagyu steak. Stripping off the bells and whistle, leaving just the essentials on the plate. Helming the culinary direction is founder-and-chef Clint Seah. His casual yet refined menu logs his travels, inspiration and culinary journey – leading to the birth of .elia. Since opening its door on 3rdAugust, this quant restaurant has received nothing but raving reviews. I can’t wait to join in for a gastronomic experience.


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Exuding a quiet charm, walking into .elia gives me an impression of bare monochromatic translucency – you can see all the way to the kitchen the minute you walk in. On the right side sat a long marble top; the drinks section where you can order their specialty coffee, exotic tea, and alcoholic drinks. The interior speaks chic minimalist with a splash of grey, wooden furnishing and natural light.


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Showcasing the best produce of each season, you can expect non-pretentious, honest freshly-made pasta and sandwiches (yes, even the bread is baked fresh!) just like the décor itself. Each type of bread and pasta is paired to its corresponding ingredients, bringing out the best in every dish.

For the weekday lunch menu (available on Mondays to Thursdays), the Panchetta (image above) is the must try. Cooked in brown butter and egg yolk with Italian bacon, you could feel the rich, exquisite flavour carried into the freshly-made trenette. Choose the lunch set to add hot coffee/ tea for just $1 – absolutely value-for-money.


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Come dinner time, elia morphs into a casual dining concept befitting for a place for a place for a romantic date or just hanging out with friends. Simple and elegant, the un-frivolous naming Octopus features a perfect mix of grilled octopus with sauteed kale, caramelised chili and macadamia nuts.

Surprisingly not chewy, I love the firm, crisp bite of the delicious octopus and the visually appealing composition of this dish.


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As a unyielding carnivore, the Wagyu Beef Shortribs is my personal favourite dish within the menu. Sous-vided and seared to a perfect medium-rare, expect an explosion of flavour with each mouthful.

Overall, this cosy restaurant indeed whipped up some interesting, gourmet food. It is a perfect place to organise for a small private functions too. Fun fact: .elia does not stand for perfect. In fact, the name means far from perfect. It recognises that there is more to life than being perfect, one of which is to remain humble and constantly seek improvement. A good principle for us to seek and remind ourselves to abide to, every day in our lives.

.elia
10 Jiak Chuan Road Singapore 089264

FOOD: BURG Kitchen Doles Out Juicy Handmade Hamburgs

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Author: Alex Chua

Are you a Japanese style hamburger fan? If yes then you would surely adore BURG Kitchen. The latest addition to top-rate Japanese restaurants Eat At Seven, BURG Kitchen doles out the juiciest hamburg with up to seven choices of sauces that customers can select from. Ranging from demi-glace, teriyaki with mayo and wasabi, to oroshi ponzu and ponzu spicy chilli, these delectable sauces compliments the robust flavour of the well-marinated meat itself. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Kataoka, who uses only quality blend of minced Australian beef and wagyu fats to boost up the texture and flavour.

Besides the hamburgs are other delectable main courses as well. Comfort food lovers, read on to find out more!


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Nestled deep inside Eat At Seven, this Japanese-French fusion-style restaurant is not prominently positioned unlike the usual makan premises. What it lacks in visibility it gains in privacy and cosiness which I personally enjoy. Tucked within the raw slabs of red and white concrete, wooden floorings and below the orange arch arcs are comfortable sofas and cushioned seats –its like a little enclave where you can coast around for a little breather, away from the peering crowds in the bustling mall. The open kitchen concept and long panel window at the entrance exudes a sort of modern and spaciousness without feeling too exposed. It is basically a dining oasis where family and friends can enjoy intimate chat over sumptuous, comforting food.


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The first dish, Penne Meat Sauce Gratin ($14.50++) comes with a single minced beef ball atop melted cheese. The cheese is stringy and not overpowering the tasty meat and tomato sauce penne. The dish is served with a bowl of rice and miso soup, making it a really satisfying meal.


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I love the presentation and aroma oozing from the Golden Curry with Handmade Creamy Croquet and Beef Meatballs ($15.50++). Aesthetically pleasing with its colour scheme of green, yellow, and red from zucchini, baby corn and red pepper. The curry has a creamy texture, and a runny onsen egg tops it off perfectly. A healthy, nutritious meal without feeling too green (note: bland) to the palette.


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The dish is something that makes me want to come back again with a friend to share. Marinated with pepper, nori and sesame seeds, the Chicken Wings with Spice Blend ($14.50++) gives a uniquely piquant kick and a crisp bite on the well-flavoured meat.


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Saving the best for last, the Cheese Burg ($19.80++) is a 200g patty consists of a blend of quality Australian minced beef with wagyu fats, well-marinated with salt, pepper, miso, sautéed onions, breadcrumbs and milk. Topped with Colby and cheddar cheese torched for a smoky tinge and gooey consistency, giving it a robust, meaty flavour to every bite. If you are a true-blue carnivore, the Original version ($18++) without the cheese topping is gastronomically perfect enough.

Heres 3 words to sum up BURG Kitchen – sumptuous, cosy and value-for-money. Whats more, every main course ordered entitle unlimited servings at the salad and dessert bar! Making this restaurant a steal for the Suntec office dwellers.

Burg Kitchen Address:
Eat at Seven, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-315, Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983
Phone: +65 6266 5338
Opening hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30 – 10pm (daily)

MEDZS Mother’s Day Special

Lavish your mother with great food this Mother’s Day by bringing her to MEDZS!

They came up with three very special family sharing platters.

First: The Greek XXL Seafood Platter ($49.80++) is in one word, sumptuous! Savour an eclectic range of seafood such as butter grilled king crab, salmon head, sea bass, sea bream, snapper, blue mussels and fresh live prawns!

Second: French Family Meat Platter ($48.80++)

Suitable for those with a love for all things meaty, this platter comprises of pan-fried duck confit, crispy pork belly, AUS Wagyu beef rump, roasted pork ribs with roasted wild mushrooms and roasted potatoes.

There is also a side of green salad to temper the taste.

No celebration is ever complete without desserts.

Third: The Desserts Platter ($21.90++)

As you can see from the picture, this platter consists of lychee rose panna cotta, churros with chocolate sauce, red velvet cake, earl grey creme brulee and chocolate brownie. The sweetest treat ever served in a platter!

I am holding a special drink which will be served to all dining mothers that day. Cheers!

It’s non-alcoholic so do not worry.

On a side note, they are having this promotion as well.

There will be 20% discount on ala carte food items on weekdays during lunch hours from 11am – 2pm.

And all beers and wines are on 1 for 1 promotion!

Ciders are probably my only favourite beer. And those two below are my all time favourite ever since I got to try them about 1 and a half year ago.

MEDZS’s Mother’s Day Sepcial Promotion is available on 12 May 2013.

MEDZS @ Millenia Walk:

9 Raffles Boulevard #01-46/47/55/56, Millenia Walk, Singapore 038596

Business hours:
Fri-Sat 11.30am – 1.00am
Sun-Thur 11.30am – 12.00am

Contact: 6337 7507

MEDZS @ Orchard Central:
181 Orchard Road #B2-01 to 03, 30 to 43, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896

Business hours:
Mon-Sun 11.00am – 1.00am

Contact: 6238 9028

The Muffet’s Cafe

I always find it a bonus for a cafe to be cosy on top of serving nice signature dishes on the menu.

I enjoy indulging tasty food at places where I find them comfortable, so today, I’ll be introducing you a place where you can add to your “favorite” list if share the same thoughts as me.

When I say that, you know I’ll definitely visit the place again!

I went Boxing Crab @ Sentosa for food tasting the other time and went back for another round with my family so you know I don’t lie! 😀

So the focus here isssssssss THE MUFFET’S ROOM CAFE!!

We will let the interior design speak justice for itself first.

Photos contributed by various photographers and they are changed ‘seasonly’. Some of them are taken by the young boss himself too (I am around his age and he’s already a boss when I am only an undergrad still :O).

Well, I personally like the bricked walls and frames a lot. It gives me a kind of homely feel.

That’s my boy in the little corner waiting for food.

Hidden meaning in the picture below. If you managed to find the promo that is.

Waiting patiently for the fooood.

Signature Beer Battered Fish and Chips ($14) with homemade sauces and homemade truffle fries as side.

The boyfriend could tell that the fries were homemade with just one bite and I was amazed.

He can totally be a food critic because he has high expectations for food!!

I am feeling kind of hungry again while blogging this.

Juicy and tender on the inside. Mmmmmmm..

*chew chew chew*

I LIKE THE FISH, THE FRIES AND THE TARTAR SAUCE!

So I’ll rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Boyfriend’s Muffeteers’ Spread at $18 including 2 battered and pan fish fillet, crispy mushrooms, handmade chips and fruity salad.

It is almost RARE for him to say thumbs up to any cafe but he praised the food we had that day.

You don’t have to worry about the hidden cost because THEY HAVE NO SERVICE CHARGE AND GST. Sooooo all the prices are flat rates 🙂

On top of fish and chips, they have pastas, burritos and other sides too.

Be their fan on Facebook now and enjoy 10% off total bill with a minimum of $15 spent.

Location: 12 Gopeng Street, Icon Village, #01-16, Singapore, Singapore 078877

Mon – Fri: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Sat: 10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Sun: 10:30 am – 8:00 pm

How to get there?

1. Alight at Tanjong Pagar station

2. Exit Exit C

3. Walk into Icon

4. Muffet’s Room is just around the corner

For more information:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheMuffetsRoomCafe 
Website – http://www.muffetsroom.com

Trust me, I’ll be back there for fish and chips again!