Tan Yu specialises in grilled fish and can be found in over 70 major cities in China. It opened its first overseas flagship store in Singapore on 8 Dec 2017. In order to cater to the diverse tastes of local Singaporeans, Tan Yu makes use of a variety of cooking methods and offers 8 kinds of flavours for its grilled fish, such as mixed chilies, garlic, cumin, Thai style, spicy and pumpkin soup.
We have tried the restaurants at 313 Somerset (Basement 3) and at Bugis Junction (02-45). The décor is completely different in the two restaurants. The 313 Somerset one is dark, industrial, cute and quirky, and the Bugis Junction one is white, modern and airy. They obviously didn’t go for a standard look!
We ordered two grilled fish dishes: one with Green Pepper Flavour (which came with tofu), and the other with Mala flavour. We also chose the “golden combination” for one of them. For an extra $12.90, you can have golden enoki mushroom, crab stick, potato and lotus root added to the dish so it is a complete meal.
There is a choice of fish: we ordered the ‘Limbo’ fish (a Basa fish) at $45.90. You can also choose sea bass which costs slightly less ($42.90) or Qingjiang fish which costs slightly more ($48.90). We chose to have the Limbo fish filleted for one of our dishes. Limbo fish fillet is $40.90 and is well worth ordering if you don’t like fiddling around with fish bones as it is still substantial. Both dishes were really tasty, hot and spicy. The fish was fresh and surrounded with chilis and peppers which was satisfying as we were craving hot and spicy food!
Side dishes and Drinks
We also ordered two side dishes: the hand-made spring roll ($6.80) and the grilled double taste rice cakes ($7.80). The spring roll is often sold out – it is long and pencil like and tasty. The rice cakes are made to look like fish skin, but are mochi-like with a crisp exterior and gooey interior. They are topped with a sweet jaggery-like sauce which makes them taste like a dessert though we were happy to have it with our meal as it took away some of the heat from the main dishes.
A range of beers are served (from $9.80 for a Tsingtao, Asahi or Tiger Beer). There are also some great homemade drinks. We had the lemon and lime drink which comes in a carafe ($4.80). You do need a lot to drink with this meal if you go for the hot and spicy options!
Overall: Very tasty fish and a great meal to share among friends. One fish is probably enough for 2-4 persons, depending on whether you have rice and side dishes.
Eggslut is an egg sandwich restaurant at Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, #01-12/15, Singapore 228209. It has a ground floor frontage to Scotts Road and a sleek, modern interior. Eggslut originated in Los Angeles and also has restaurants in Las Vegas, Tokyo, Seoul, Kuwait and London.
Eggslut was launched by Alvin Cailan, a Filipino-American chef, in a food truck in Los Angeles. The food truck quickly became very popular and often had long waits of up to two hours. The term “eggslut” basically means a chef who adds an egg to every dish to improve them. The signature dish in Eggslut is called “The Slut”, a poached egg on top of smooth potato puree, served in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette which you dip into the egg mix.
There are usually long queues in front of the Eggslut at Scotts Square at peak hours. Umbrellas are provided in case it rains. We chose to go in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, when we didn’t have to queue.
We ordered the Fairfax ($12): cage-free soft scrambled eggs and chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun. It was delicious. The large portion of eggs were scrambled to perfection and tasted wonderful with the caramelized onions. We also ordered a Fairfax with bacon added on for $3. That, too, was delicious with good quality bacon. The brioche bun is sweetish, indulgent and tasty.
We had a side of truffle hashbrowns (S$4.50) which were crispy and tasted fantastic as they are fried in duck fat.
A cheeseburger is available for meat lovers with ground angus beef, medium egg (of course), caramelized onions, bread and butter pickles, cheddar cheese, and dijonnaise in a warm brioche bun.
The total bill for two Fairfaxes (one with bacon added), one hashbrown, and 2 bottled waters (at $3.50 each) was $38.50. The water was served in stylish containers – shame that they had to be thrown away!
Other drinks available: Orange juice, coke, coffee (but no tea!)
Overall: Delicious and a must for egg lovers
Favourite ‘must haves’: Fairfax and “The Slut” (+ the hashbrowns on the side!)
Fennel by Komala Vilas, at 413 River Valley Road, is described as a modern Indian eatery offering a tantalizing twist on traditional Indian cuisine. It is the sister restaurant of the well-known Komala Vilas of Little India. Komala Vilas is a no-frills eatery serving traditional South Indian food including excellent Dosa which we often recommend to friends who want to try very good South Indian food.
Fennel has an Indian tapas menu as well as traditional menu. It is vegetarian with some vegan and gluten free options so all the meat is plant based. It sounded promising so we decided to give it a try.
When we visited it around 2pm on a weekday, it was quiet and we were the only table of diners.
Tapas Menu at Fennel by Komala Vilas
We ordered the following dishes from the Tapas Menu:
Tapioca Rasam Pani Puri ($8). Crispy balls called puri are served with a tomato broth which you fill into the balls and pop into your mouth. These were quite tasty and a nice appetiser.
Mini Dosa Served with Tangy Gravy ($4). This is what Komala Vilas excels in. These are crispy crepes made with rice and lentil batter. There is a choice of peanut podi, coriander chutney, curry leaf, gunpowder and garlic cheese. We chose the coriander chutney dosa and this was the highlight of our meal.
Chilli Prata with Raita ($6). Flaky pratas was tossed in spiced flour, sautéed with capsicum and onions, then fried till crisp. This was quite carb heavy though tasty.
Paneer Chappathi Roll ($7). The Chappathi was stuffed with paneer (cubed cottage cheese), onion, sautéed capsicum, freshly diced tomatoes with a dash of cumin powder. This was probably the healthiest option that we ordered.
Vadai Curry with Coriander Beehoon ($6.50). This was Komala Vilas’ famous Vadai Curry combination served with a coriander beehoon. This was a bit on the heavy side, but the curry was good and spicy.
Kefir-Curry Vegetarian Chicken Satay ($6). This was made from plant-based Tindle Chicken with a peanut sauce.
Traditional Menu & Drinks
From the traditional menu, we ordered Uttapam ($4.40), a thick pancake. The array of sambar and chutneys served with this were all very tasty.
There are milkshakes, lassis, craft beers ($11 each) and tea. We ordered a masala tea ($4.40). When we noticed a small insect in it, we pointed this out to the waitress, who promptly took it to the kitchen and returned with the cup, sans insect, 10 seconds later. I think we could have fished it out ourselves.
Overall: Not a bad attempt at presenting tapas-style dishes, though we prefer the food at the original Komala Vilas
Chilli Pan Mee, which hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has a shop on 22 China Street, #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 049564. The shop is old fashioned, with cute banquette seating on one side of the wall.
Aptly numbered item A1 on the menu is its signature dish – the original dry Chili Pan Mee ($7.80) and I’d give it an A1!
Chili Pan Mee
The thick yellow noodles are topped with crispy fried ikan bilis, a tasty mince meat concoction, fried onion, ‘la pok’ (fried lard) and an egg with a soft yolk. As the noodles are dry, they are served with a clear plain soup cooked with green leaves. The soup stock tastes slightly of ikan bilis.
On the side, you get a dry chili paste which you add to the noodles. The noodles have a good ‘al dente’ texture. They are wonderful when you mix in all the toppings, plus one or two spoonfuls of the dried chili paste.
For those who are unaccustomed to the dish and are confused as to what to do, there are some diagrams and instructions on the wall on how to eat Chili Pan Mee. Basically, (1) add chilli, and (2) mix together.
A word of warning: Do not attempt to emulate the colour of the Chili Pan Mee on the posters by adding too much chili paste. The chili is tasty but hot!
We also had Deep Fried Wantan ($4.80) and Deep Fried Fuchuk (like a bean curd skin) ($4.80) which were good accompaniments to the noodles and gave it an extra crispy dimension.
There were some really nice drinks to go with it, including ‘umbra’ ( a Malaysian drink made from the kedondong fruit and sour plum), ice lemon tea and, of course, Teh Tarik.
One bowl of noodles is really substantial – we had difficulty finishing a bowl, delicious though it was.
Overall: Superb bowl of noodles. Will definitely return for more of A1!
There are other options (with soup, pork chop, curry, mee hoon kueh)
Binomio is one of our favourite Spanish Tapas restaurants in Singapore. There is consistent good food, friendly service and a lively, contemporary atmosphere. The tables are also nicely spaced out.
There is both a casual tapas bar area as well as a restaurant area. The menu includes popular, all-time Spanish favourites as well as more modern versions of dishes prepared by chef Gonzalo Landin.
We order Seleccion de ibericos ($39) to start. This is a cold cuts platter, featuring “lomo”, “salchichon”, “chorizo”, “jamon” and cheese, served with toasted bread and tomato puree. We had glasses of sherry to go with this. This was a simple and delicious – a perfect start to our meal.
We then had tasty Croquetas de queso azul ($14) and Croquetas de setas ($14) – blue cheese croquettes and mushroom croquettes. Croquettes are a staple on Spanish tapas menus, and are quite difficult to prepare. There is no potato in them: a soft, creamy bechamel-like mix is coated in breadcrumbs and fried.
The chef continued to wow us with the dishes from the seafood section: The first was Tallarines de sepia ($29), an unusual dish with grilled cuttlefish strips served with “sofrito” and veal vinaigrette.
We also had Gambas al ajillo ($27) – Tiger prawns confit in olive oil and garlic, “ajillo” style and Navajas al pil pil ($29) – Grilled fresh razor clams with “pil pil” sauce. Each dish was unique and flavourful and the seafood was really sweet and fresh.
“Earth” Dishes Tapas
From the “Earth” section, we had Terrina de queso fresco ($24), a fresh cheese terrine with black truffles, chives, honey olive oil & toasted olive bread. This was unusual, lighter than expected and really good. We were not as keen on Chuletas de cerdo iberico ($32) – grilled Iberian pork chops with cider and honey gel and roasted cabbage as the pork is served pink and we asked for it to be cooked a bit more as we are a bit squeamish about undercooked pork, but apparently that is how it is done.
We also had Nido de huevos rotos ($28) a crispy fried potato nest, topped with soft egg, jamon & chorizo. This was well done and tasty, but very rich.
A range of paellas requiring 30 minutes preparation time are also available:
A classic chicken and seafood paella – Arroz mar y montaña ($69)
Squid ink rice with clam and calamari – Arroz negro ($70)
Lobster and clam paella – Arroz de Bogavante ($86)
Chorizo, fava beans, chick peas and pork paella – Arroz empedrado de Almeria ($70)
To end our meal, we had a selection of mini Magnums (including prickly pear and olive oil!) on a bed of popping candy to share.
Overall: Binomio is a consistently good restaurant with a menu that changes at least four times a year depending on available seasonal ingredients, so it is somewhere you could go back to frequently to taste new inventive and delicious dishes.
Favourite Dishes: Gambas al ajillo (tiger prawns) and Navajas al pil pil (razor clams)
It has an extensive wine and sherry menu which complements the dishes well.
Kuro Maguro is at Guoco Tower, 7 Wallich Street #01-04, Singapore 078884. It was recommended to us by a Japanese friend living in Singapore who is very particular about sashimi. It claims to serve sashimi, including premium cuts of maguro, that’s fresher than that found in Tsukiji Market in Japan. The fish is selected, prepared and then flown in 3 times a week from Miura Misaki Kou.
Kuro Maguro Lunch menu
We decided to try the lunch at Kuro Maguro. It is only a small restaurant and you will probably need to queue to get in at lunch hour, but it is well worth queueing for. However, you have to like raw fish to eat here – the smell of it hits you as you enter! The lunch menu includes a selection of donburi (rice bowl) sets starting from about $18. The sets include miso soup, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), hot tea and fruit. There is also a list of specials for the day. We tried that day’s special, barbequed sting ray fin, which was warm and tasty and a good appetiser accompanied by an ice cold Kirin beer.
Subsequently, we ordered Toro and Salmon Ikura Meshi which comprised minced maguro, premium salmon and ikura in a rice bowl. It was a perfect combination of really fresh fish on beautiful Japanese rice. You can order additional toppings of Uni (sea urchin) ($10), Ikura (Salmon roe) ($12), as well as more maguro and salmon if you don’t have enough of it. However, we felt that there was more than sufficient on each of our rice bowls and, with the chawanmushi, miso soup and fruit, we felt very full by the end of the meal.
Other donburi sets which caught our eye were O-toro meshi (with premium maguro) ($29.80), Barachirashi with sashimi cubes assortment ($18.80) and Maguro yukke meshi – minced tuna topped with soft boiled egg ($21.80).
There are also sushi sets and roll sets starting from $15.80, including aburi teriyaki salmon roll – avocado wrapped with rice and seared salmon ($15.80), and Kisaragi Sushi set ($19.80) with 3 pieces of salmon, 2 pieces of aburi (torched) salmon, and 2 pieces of maguro. There is also a more extensive menu available at dinner.
Moreover, a range of alcoholic drinks are available, including Kirin beer ($7 a bottle), shochu and white and red wine (from $14 a glass).
Overall: Kuro Maguro serves very fresh fish on great rice – an affordable and high quality donburi. Will definitely return.
Bakalaki is a lovely Greek restaurant and taverna (though it is more a restaurant than a taverna really) at 3 Seng Poh Road in Tiong Bahru, with a spacious room and comfortable seating. There is a convivial, bustly, atmosphere in the restaurant and a good selection of wonderful Greek wines available by the carafe (from $38.90 for 0.5 litres).
We have been several times and have sat inside in their lovely, brightly decorated spacious room. During the busy Christmas season, we also sat outside on the verandah, which has a more rustic, taverna-like atmosphere. There is something decidedly cheering about being at Bakalaki, probably a combination of the décor, hospitable service and Greek food and wine. If you remove Seng Poh Road from view and imagine the blue Mediterranean sea in its place, you could quite easily transport yourself to one of the Greek islands. Picture gently lapping waves and imagine the sound of a lightly strummed bouzouki in the distant hills.
We always have our favourite dips to start. First, Tzatziki ($14.90), a refreshing Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and olive oil. Secondly, Melitzanos alata Agioritiki ($14.90), a smoky eggplant spread with red peppers. Lastly, my personal favourite, Taramosalata ($15.90), a typical Greek spread made with cod roe and lemon juice. These were large, tasty portions and very refreshing, served with grilled bread and pita. If you don’t want to be too full, which we often are, due to over-enthusiasm (euphemism for sheer greed), it is also possible to order a trio of dips (which come in smaller portions).
Other starters that we would recommend include: firstly, Dolmades ($16.90) which are vine leaves stuffed with rice, dill and mint. Secondly, Kolo Kithakia Tiganita Skordalia ($15.90) – zucchini sticks with garlic dip. Thirdly, Feta Saganaki ($16.90) – pan-fried feta cheese dressed with honey. Last but not least, Spanakopita ($15.90) – a Greek filo pastry with spinach, feta cheese, leeks and dill. The Zucchini sticks are very well done – crispy and sweet, and very more-ish, and you don’t have to feel guilty as you are eating vegetables and not French fries. The stuffed vine leaves don’t, however, appeal to some in our party as they can be quite sour, but the rest of us love them, so we ignore the Dolmades haters, and order them nonetheless.
In addition, we tried and would recommend two delicious salads: The first is Horiatiki ($20.90), a traditional Greek salad of tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onion, oregano, Kalamata olives, a large delicious block of feta cheese and olive oil. It was one of the best Greek salads we have had outside Greece. We also tried a salad by the name of Dakos ($20.90) made with Kytherian type wheat rusks (like croutons), topped with feta cheese, tomatoes, capers, olives, oregano and olive oil.
We had a few grilled skewers to accompany these (Chicken – $23.90 and Kebab – $25.90). The skewers were deliciously grilled and served with tomato onion, tzatziki and superb French fries (yes, we do eventually eat French fries and no, we do not regret it).
Additionally, Bakalaki also does grilled seafood like sea bream, prawn and squid, which are really fresh and beautifully chargrilled and go well with the salads.
If you still have room for dessert, which you probably don’t, we would recommend the Baklava ($14.90). This is a filo pastry stuffed with walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and Greek honey. We also recommend the Rizogalo ($11.90) – a creamy rice pudding with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Finally, the Giaourti ($12.90) – a Greek Yoghurt accompanied with fruit salad, honey and walnuts.
Overall: Authentic and sophisticated Greek food, in a convivial atmosphere. Good variety of reasonably priced Greek wines. Would return again and again….
We have been fans of Coriander Leaf since its early days at Clarke Quay. Since then, its dishes have evolved at Chijmes to include Chef Samia’s modern and innovative take on classic Asian dishes from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam dishes.
The dishes are small sharing plates presented under five distinct flavours: fresh, spicy, familiar, umami and sweet. What distinguishes it from many other Pan-Asian restaurants, is that there is not too much compromise on original authentic flavours. There is still a piquant “kick” to many of the dishes.
The restaurant, on the second floor of Chijmes, has several dining areas. Sadly, we walked through the attractive main dining room which has an open kitchen concept and an attractive bar area and counter dining, to our table in the cooking studios at the back. The latter was a bit lacking in atmosphere. It was reminiscent of an airport business class lounge complete with TV screen showing our departure timings (if only!).
We were provided with a complimentary starter of the ultimate Thai finger food: Miang Kham. A traditional snack from Thailand, introduced to the Siamese court of King Rama V by Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiang Mai (thank you Princess Dara Rasmi of Chiangmai!).
“Miang Kham” translates into a “one bite wrap” where a wild betel leaf is filled with an array of hot, sour, salty and sweet ingredients. This includes shallots, hot bird’s eye chilli, ginger, lime, roasted coconut, peanuts, dried shrimp and tamarind. These are then wrapped in a little parcel and popped into your mouth in a refreshing, hot, piquant bite. Historically, Miang Kham was part of a Thai welcome ritual, offered as a gesture of hospitality to visitors. Coriander Leaf’s Miang Kham was delicious and we were delighted to receive such an exotic starter.
From the ‘Fresh’ menu we ordered three vegetarian dishes: Muhamarra, labne and pita chips ($16), Watermelon, mint, pomegranate and Turkish white cheese ($14) and Pomelo, watercress, roasted shallot chilli dressing, fresh herbs, peanuts ($15). The Labne (a thick and creamy yogurt dip), and the Muhamarra (a walnut and roasted red pepper dip) went very well with the crispy pita chips. The watermelon dish was tasty and extremely refreshing and the pomelo dish had good strong, appetising, Thai flavours.
From the ‘Familiar’ menu we ordered an old familiar favourite of ours, Samia’s “signature frontier chicken” cooked with coriander seeds, chilli, yoghurt cream, arugula and lemon ($22). Alas, it appeared to have been cooked differently to a new, non-familiar, recipe. Not sure what happened there but we definitely preferred the previous version. It was accompanied by delicious garlic naan ($6 each).
From the Umami menu, we ordered crispy duck mandarin pancake with hoisin sauce ($18) and roast duck red curry with lychee, tamarind, fresh green peppercorn and coconut milk ($26). Both duck dishes were very well cooked and the duck was tasty and of good quality. The Thai curry was a bit on the sweet side for our taste, often the case even in Thailand, but was delicious nonetheless. We also ordered crispy whitebait which was very well cooked in a light salt and pepper batter.
There were many other dishes we would have loved to try but we were getting full at this point and decided instead to order a dessert sampler platter of three desserts:
Ice cream sandwiches, rose pavlova with alphonso mango sorbet and avocado ice cream with fried banana fritters. All were amazing and disappeared within seconds (though we were complaining of being too full minutes earlier).
Drinks: The restaurant also has a good bar with an extensive range of wines and interesting Asian cocktails to complement the food.
Wine by the glass from $15; bottles from $78 and Cocktails from $18
Overall: The best thing about Coriander Leaf is the variety of dishes and its strong, non-compromising interpretation of ingredients and flavours. There are also lots of vegetarian options available. Would recommend sitting in the main dining room for the best ambience
Favourite Dish: I loved the watermelon feta salad!
Coucou is a Swiss restaurant at 9 Craig Road with a very cute Swiss interior with cuckoo clocks on the white walls. They are timed differently, so every now and then, there is a cacophony of cuckoo-ing. It also has antlers as lighting (like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast).
For one evening, we felt that we had travelled again and were in Switzerland, which was happiness-inducing. There is very attractive outdoor seating too, though this may be a bit warm at lunchtime, so not as Swiss-like.
On our visit, we had a half platter of Assiette Valaisanne, a selection of Swiss Cold Cuts and Cheese, and that day’s special, Vitello Tonnato, to start. These went well with the Swiss cider (from apple, pear and quince – $80 for 750ml) that we ordered. Vitello Tonnato is one of our favourite dishes – it is cold, sliced veal covered in a tuna mayonnaise sauce. It sounds like an odd combination, but it works!
We also ordered a Green Salad with “Grand Pere” dressing to go with our starters. The salad costs $8 per person, and a serving for two came in a huge wooden bowl and was more than sufficient for our party of 5. It was a perfect complement to the cold cuts.
One of the highlights of the meal was our excellent main course – the Fondue Moitié-Moitié – an original Swiss recipe of Gruyère AOP & Vacherin, at $35 per head (minimum 2 persons). A serving for two was enough for five of us as we ordered other mains. The fondue comes in a large cast iron pot which is lit up in front of you so that the cheese mix becomes hot and bubbly, and you dip your bread into it using long fondue forks. You can also add on pickles, potatoes, or vegetables at $5 each to go with the fondue.
In addition to this, the other mains we chose were Rösti served with Veal Sausage and Onion Confit ($24) and Rösti Open-Burger with Beef Patty, Melted Swiss Raclette Cheese, Onion and Rucola ($32). Rösti is a typical Swiss dish consisting mainly of shredded potatoes which are sautéed or shallow-fried in a pan until they are a bit crispy. Both dishes were served in a pan and were very well cooked and presented. The veal sausage and beef patties were excellent quality and really tasty.
Although we were already quite full, we were tempted by the desserts which we saw at other tables and were glad we ordered them. Without a doubt, the highlight was the Meringue & Double Crème de la Gruyère – Swiss Meringues, Red Fruits, Gruyère Double Cream. This was a large serving and the double cream was really thick and delicious when combined with the fruit and meringues.
Overall: The service at Coucou is efficient and friendly and the food is authentic and of high quality. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening’s visit to Switzerland and will definitely return again soon.
Favourite Dish: Definitely the fondue! A must try.
P.S. There are also a large variety of wonderful and unusual (in Singapore) Swiss wines and organic cider to choose from.
The Masses, at 85 Beach Road, describes itself as a Franco-Asian restaurant that serves food that Monsieur, Mademoiselle and Ah Ma would love.
What we like most about it is that it has an innovative menu that changes fairly frequently. Other than a few popular staples, there are always new exciting dishes to try! The vibe is casual, with lots of posters, good music in the background (well, good for us 80s music-loving people anyway) and even French-style seating outside on the sidewalk to cater for the evening crowd. Picture the sidewalks of Paris whilst ignoring traffic and the building works along Beach Road.
The ‘Chef’ Menu
Our group were all quite ravenous on the evening we visited, so we each ordered the ‘Chef Menu’ (only available at dinner) which is priced at $65.
This started with homemade bread which included brioche and a very good sourdough, accompanied by umami butter, caramel kaya, truffle butter and miso butter. The bread was good and the spreads were interesting and tasty.
This was followed by a one-bite snack: a choice of either one oyster or one kueh pie tee. The oyster was really fresh, juicy and ours came with a traditional dressing (there was a choice of two dressings), and the kueh pie tee, served on a bed of roasted rice, was delicious too – filled with juicy sweet crabmeat. Both snacks were small and appetising and a good start to the meal.
After the snack, there is a choice of one of three starters: Foie Gras, Escargot or Char Siew Lamb Rib. This was a difficult choice to make as everything appealed to us so we each chose one of each. It was the first time we had tried the foie gras. It was cooked with cocoa nibs, spice and cherries which perfectly complemented the rich taste of the foie gras. This dish is one that we would definitely order again.
Chef Dylan is good in his combination of East-West flavours and this is evident in the excellent char siew lamb rib – another of the long-lasting items on the menu and obviously a favourite with the diners. We have tried this on previous occasions and it was again cooked to perfection, falling off the bone and not overly fatty, which lamb rib can be. It was served with a delicious lebanese-style mint labneh ( a thick yoghurt).
In addition, the final starter – the escargot, was new on the menu. There was a generous portion of escargot, beautifully presented with chanterelles on a hot plate and topped with a parmesan puff pastry. It was delicious, but a bit too rich and filling for us, as we are more accustomed to the traditional serving of escargot with garlic butter.
Of the four mains available, we chose the Dover Sole Meuniere and the Galician Striploin. The other mains were pork chop, and croquelet, which we did not try.
The dover sole was quite small, much smaller than the usual ones we see in England, but it was sweet and tasty, and deliciously served with clams, citrus fruit and capers. It is served on the bone, for those of you who don’t like fish on the bone, beware, as it is quite bony, but that was fine with us. Would we order this again? The majority of our group (i.e. all but the one who does not like fish on the bone) said yes – as it was light but very tasty, and the bread, snack and starters had already started to fill us up.
The striploin was quite tough and, for that reason, not to everyone’s liking. It was again served with a perfect complement of savoy cabbage, bone marrow, truffle rice, winter truffles and pickles. However, the meat, though tough, was very tasty and was topped with a delicious scallion yorkshire pudding (not sure why, perhaps it was missing from someone’s croquelet where its rightful place should have been but we’re not complaining). The verdict? Half of the group would order it again (the ones with stronger jaws) as it was really tasty, and the other half (wimps with weak jaws / blunt teeth) said that they wouldn’t.
We were all really full by the dessert course, and most of us opted for the lychee martini popsicles. These were a delight to have – refreshing and a perfect end to the meal. It was presented as a beautiful little ice lolly, made with vodka and topped with lychees and fresh flowers. In addition to this, one of our group had the valrhona chocolate mousse and mint ice cream which was also delicious. It was a heavier dessert, for those who still had space in their stomachs by the dessert course.
Chef Dylan grew up in a family of hawkers, and trained in European cooking. His creativity in his dishes is evident, and the price of his food is very reasonable considering the seasonal ingredients and creative cooking techniques being used. His combination of European and Asian flavours really works for us, and we would highly recommend a visit to his restaurant.
There are also wine pairing options for the Chef Menu for $34, and a choice of interesting raw wines and cocktails.
Other dishes we would recommend are the C&C&C&C pasta (crabmeat, chorizo, caviar, confit lemon and lobster sauce), zucchini flowers filled with cream cheese and mascarpone, purple cabbage (with scallop and ikura dashi and prawn head butter) and the duck confit served with wok-hey kuay teow. We will need to visit another time to try other interesting sounding dishes like the jerusalem artichoke, vichyssoise and pork pithivier.
There are also two set lunch menus priced at $33.90 and $45.90 if you don’t have time for a long, leisurely dinner.
Overall: The service is always great at The Masses and the menu is constantly changing which means we are always coming back to try new dishes!
Favourite dish: The lamb rib! (But I normally love the non-set-menu C&C&C&C pasta!)
Price : $$
*Our meal was $65 pp for the dinner set lunch and there are also two set lunch menus priced at $33.90 and $45.90.