Monday, 23 November 2020

Garang Grill – A New Begining in 2020 [MEDIA INVITE]

Crispy Pork Jowl @ Garang Grill
My first encounter with Garang Grill was at their original location in Swan Lake Ave. It was a collaboration between Garang Grill and Chef Jeremy Cheok, which ended in 2019. In 2020, Garang Grill (“Garang”) begin its new adventure, fully managed by New Ubin Village at the latest location of New Ubin Seafood Village in Tampines. 

New Ubin Village
To deliver the Garang experience, a new Charcoal Grill Oven by Spanish Brand Mibrasa was brought in, known to deliver intense heat of primal charcoal flames in an enclosed oven. Helming the Garang is New Ubin Seafood’s head chef Cole Soo, who started at the group at Garang Grill back in 2017 under Chef Jeremy Cheok. 

Garang Grill
We started our Media Tasting with Crispy Pork Jowl ($12). One of the fattiest parts of the pork and well known its melts in your mouth sensation. This pork jowl went through a lot of cooking process, which include sous vide, deep-fried and finished off at the Mibrasa grill for flavour. The result is a beautiful smoky flavour, followed with a crisp exterior and melt in your mouth flesh. The sprinkle of salt flake on top, enhance the taste of the pork jowl. 

Crispy Pork Jowl 

Crispy Pork Jowl 
Garang Meat ($12) – Garang version of Yakitori chicken. It is smoky, tender and well marinated. The leek flavour is solid and gave additional sweetness in between the chicken. 

Garang Meat

Garang Meat
Chilli Crab Rillette ($12) – The reimagine entrée version of famed Chilli Crab. Infused with tomato paste, sambal rempah and butter. You can dip the mantou in the rillette delicately, however, I prefer to just slathered on my deep-fried mantou. A truly Singaporean entrée. 

Chilli Crab Rillette
Garang Prawn ($15). A deep-fried battered prawn, coated with sambal mayonnaise. It has a nice crispy exterior, bouncy flesh and coated with creamy mayo packs with signature fiery Garang spiciness. 

Garang Prawn
Togarashi Corn ($9). Supposedly a crowd pleaser dish, especially with the combination of the smoky aroma from the grill with sweet bursting corn juice. Unfortunately, the sweet bursting juice was missing from the corn. The kernel feels dehydrated, although the sea salt and togarashi powder perk up the flavours a little bit. Might need to work on the timing or a different type of corn. 

Togarashi Corn

Togarashi Corn
Moving on to the Mains with Classic Carbonara ($12). Garang version of the quintessential Roman pasta dish. Instead of the pancetta or bacon, Garang uses cubes of house-smoked pork belly and serve the pasta on a claypot. The pasta is al-dente and evenly coated with egg. It is a good dish; however, it can be a great & “atas” dish if they are more liberal with parmesan or pecorino cheese for the extra OMPH!! 

Classic Carbonara

Classic Carbonara

LA Galbi Beef ($18). The best dish of the night. Well marinated beef short ribs and barbecued till fall-off-the-bone tender. Served with iceberg lettuce and sliced green chilli, for the diner to build your wrap. The balance of taste between sweet and savoury is just spot on. The flesh is easily pulled off the bone either by fork or fingers. A must-order dish here. Yum Yum. 

LA Galbi Beef 
BBQ Pork Belly ($21). Duroc pork belly rubbed with cajun spices and grilled to pink perfection. It has a beautiful smoky aroma. On the first bite, you can taste the charred exterior with a tender and slightly chewy texture. However, it is difficult not to compare this dish with the entrée pork jowl. While the pork jowl is superb, the pork belly is slightly above average only. I was hoping that pork belly to be juicier. 

BBQ Pork Belly 

BBQ Pork Belly

BBQ Pork Belly
Argentinian Striploin ($38). Grilled to perfection for medium-rare. It is juicy, succulent with nice smoky curst externally. Unfortunately, someone forgot to season the steak. That little sprinkle of the salt will make a lot of difference and surely open up the flavours of the beef. 


Argentinian Striploin 
Both the BBQ Pork Belly and Argentinian Striploin are served with sweet potato mash and Garang slaw. The sweet potato mashed is plain and uninspiring, while coleslaw is very average. I feel both sides can be improved as it is dragging down the quality duroc pork belly and Argentinian striploin. 

Argentinian Striploin 

Sticky Date Pudding ($9) served with house-churned salted caramel ice cream. A great recovery and beautiful end to the meal. The red dates pudding is sweet and moist, nicely complemented with sweet and savoury flavoured ice cream. We were served half portion of the pudding; Frankly, I can have two portions of this delicious pudding. 

Sticky Date Pudding
Located in Tampines industrial area, Garang grill is back to its New Ubin Seafood element during the Sin Ming industrial area days. Don’t expect a cosy fine dining or bistro type, instead, this industrial / kampong atmosphere is where New Ubin Seafood at its best and thriving. 

CBK verdict: A must-try dishes here are the Pork Jowl, Chilli Crab Rillette, LA Galbi Beef and Sticky Date Pudding. For the rest of the dishes, it just requires a mini tweaking, to bring it to the next level. I’ll definitely be back to try out the other dishes. Cheers!! 

Thank you very much Kristine, Gretchen and Garang Grill Team for your hospitality and hosting us. 

Food & Drinks: 7.25/10 
Value: 7.5/10 
Service: N/A (Media Tasting) 
Ambiance: 6/10 
Budget per Person: $26 - $50 

Garang Grill 
18 Tampines Industrial Crescent 
#01-16 Space@Tampines 
Singapore 528605 

T: +65 9740 6870 (incl: Whatsapp & SMS) 
IG: @garanggrill 
OH: Daily 11.30 – 15.00 (LO 14.30), 17.30 – 22.00 (LO 21.45). 


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

George Town – Penang Style Tze Char and Craft Beef [MEDIA INVITE]

Rendang Crab @ George Town

George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer (“GT”) is a new restaurant in Boat Quay, that offers quality Penang style Tze Char. It is helmed by award-winning Executive Chef, George Tan; Hailed from Ayer Hitam in George Town, Penang. Chef Tan has more than 20 years cooking experience under his belt and won many accolades, including Asia Top Heritage Chef and his signature Rendang Crab won an award at Asia Top Heritage Food Award 2019 by IBF. 

George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer 

Located at Boat Quay, just beside the Elgin Bridge, this 50-seater al-fresco dining area showcases the charming view Singapore River. The settings of the restaurant is casual, where it feels you can just chill out and enjoy the dining experience there. 

Parliament House View

We started the media tasting with Crispy Pumpkin Prawns ($20). The prawns are fresh, fried to till crispy and evenly coated with creamy pumpkin sauce. The pumpkin flavour is a bit subtle, however, you can taste the natural sweetness in the sauce. 

Crispy Pumpkin Prawns

Crispy Pumpkin Prawns

Rendang Beef Cubes ($18). Super Yummy!! The beef cubes are tender, succulent, yet with a perfect chewiness making it enjoyable to bite. The rendang spices are aromatic, solid and absorb into the beef. What a “rice thief” dish. 

Rendang Beef Cubes

Penang Thai Style Squid ($15). The squid is coated with batter and deep-fried. It has a crispy exterior, followed with springy squid flesh. The Thai sweet chilli sauce gave this dish a contrasting taste and uplifting flavour. 

Penang Thai Style Squid

Penang Thai Style Squid

Signature Thai Curry Fish Head ($28). Charles, the boss of GT is very particular with his seafood supplies. For this Ang Go Li (white snapper) fishhead, he only gets this from 1 particular supplier. Although his supplier price is more expensive, the quality is guaranteed. 

Signature Thai Curry Fish Head

The fishhead is super fresh with smooth and firm flesh. The Penang style of curry fishhead has the unique tangy taste, just like their laksa. You can expect a hot and sour fish curry, like a mix between curry and tom yum. 

Menu 1

Kungfu Pork Ribs ($18). Deep-fried pork ribs coated with sweet chilli sauce. It is crispy externally, followed with succulent flesh. It is best eaten together with their homemade pickle, as it balances the sweetness and fattiness in this dish. 

Kungfu Pork Ribs 

XO Signature Hor Fun ($12). GT version of San Lou Hor Fun infused with GT signature XO Sauce. The hor fun is smooth, silky with a slight chewiness but slightly lacking in the Wok Hei department. The gravy not only packs of punch, but it also contains lots of “atas” ingredients such as dried scallops and dried prawns. 

XO Signature Hor Fun

XO Signature Hor Fun
While Chef Tan in charge of the kitchen, Charles, the owner responsible for curating the drink menu. Craft Beers are source from a local brewery, Brewlander, consist of LOVE (Wild IPA), RESPECT (Dark Ale), HOPE (Summer Ale) & PEACE (Hazy Ale). 

Tasting Flight 

The Craft Beer Menu

GT carries 4 types of white wines and 4 types of red wines in their wine list. However, don’t underestimate GT selections, as all wines rank highly on the wine point scale and serve in top restaurants in Singapore. GT also collaborate with locally distilled Gin, Compendium to create Chendol Gin and Rojak Gin. 

Wine and Gin Menu

Chardonay

Since we were around the Boat Quay area the week after the media tasting, LD and I together with 2 other makan kakis decided to drop by and try out their crab’s promotion of $15 per crab. 

Menu 2

Rendang Crab ($15 on Promo, 500gram). The first time we ever tried rendang style crab. The crab is fresh and solid. However, using the same spices as the beef rendang, we find the spices slightly salty and overpowering the natural sweetness of the crab meat. Each crab is cut to 4 pieces, enough to 4 persons to have a share of nice for 1 pax to eat on its own. 

Rendang Crab

After we finish the crab, we found there was a lot of gravy leftover. I suggest you get a bowl of rice, dump it in the balance of rendang gravy and give it a good mix. The result will be awesome, just like those Korean Fried Rice, but with Rendang Version. 

Black Pepper Crab. We love this version of the crab. Thick black pepper sauce coated the crab evenly, packs with punch. The mixture of sweet essence from the crab together with heat from the black pepper is just finger-licking good. Yum Yum. 

Black Pepper Crab

Black Pepper Crab

Barbeque Stingray ($18) with sambal sauce. A solid sambal paste slathered on the stingray. The flesh is smooth, juicy and easily peeled from the bones. One thing I don’t like about bbq stingray is the foul taste of the fish, however, there was none of those smell here. A very fresh fish indeed. The sambal paste is a bit heavy on the seasoning, but it is good to pair with beer. 

Barbeque Stingray

Overall, GT is a good place to enjoy Penang style Tze Char. The seafood selections are fresh and each dish are nicely executed. The beef rendang is a must-order dish. For those wine and beer connoisseur, this is a good place to indulge and do a wine and beer pairing. Cheers! 

Special Promotion (Choose 1) with any purchase of food: 
- $15 per crab (U.P. $40). The crab is around 1/2kg each, with 6 flavours to choose from. 1 crab for every 2 diners; or 
- $1 Live Canadian Oyster (U.P. $3 each). Limited to 6 per pax. 

Thank you very much Jennifer Yeo Consultancy and George Town Tze Char & Craft Beef for hosting us. 

Food & Drinks: 8.25/10 
Value: 8.5/10 
Service: N/A (Media Tasting) 
Ambiance: 8.5/10 
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80 

George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer 
81 Boat Quay 
Singapore 049869 

T: +65 6535 6277 / 9682 3826 
IG: @Georgetowntzechar 
OH: Daily 12.00 – 23.00 

Friday, 13 November 2020

Yaowarat Seafood – Thai Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Singapore

Deep Fried Garlic Pork 

The name Yaowarat is well-known to Singaporeans who have travelled to Bangkok, Thailand. It is also known as the Chinatown of Bangkok, famous for its street food, seafood, bird’s nest, shark fins and shopping. LD and I will try to drop by every time we are in Bangkok to stock up on the Chai Po and Kiam Chye from the Yaowarat wet market. 

Yaowarat Seafood
We visited Yaowarat Seafood was due to their FB post of steam milk crab that packed with lots of roe. When we made a reservation, we also place an order for steam milk crab. We were informed during reservation; they might need to check with the supplier if the crabs with solid roe are available. 

Live Crab Steam Hong Kong Style
On the day of the visit, Yaowarat inform us that the crab from the supplier is not loaded with crab roe, therefore they suggest to change the cooking method and they will adjust the price as well. So, we end up with Live Crab Steam Hong Kong Style ($72 for 500 gram). The crab is fresh and sweet; however, the roe is very minimum. Although you can taste the natural flavours of the crab, I find this cooking style is too simple, almost like eating crab at home. 

Live Crab Steam Hong Kong Style

The Roe
Chai Po Omelette ($8.90). If a Thai restaurant can’t do this dish properly, they do not deserve your hard earn dollar. The omelette is done just right here. It is light and fluffy with generous chopped chai po inside for that crunchy bite. 

Chai Po Omelette 
Seafood Cake ($7.90, 4pcs). Crispy exterior crumbs, filled with springy seafood paste. It is flavourful and chewy at the same time. If the fillings are denser, it will be deliciously addictive. 

Seafood Cake

Seafood Cake - The Fillings
Seabass Steam Thai Style ($29.90). Fresh seabass steam with lime, garlic, cilantro, chilli, fish sauce and sugar. A medley of flavours sweet, sour, savoury and spicy accompanied the fresh seabass in each bite. LD and I like seabass because of the smooth and silky texture of the flesh. 

Seabass Steam Thai Style
Do take note that Yaowarat cooking style is Thai Chinese. If you like your food very spicy (ala Thai Street Food spiciness level), you need to ask the kitchen to crank up the chilli level. 

Thai Kang Kong ($7.90). Stir-fried Thai style, meaning with garlic and a few teaspoons of fish sauce. The kang kong is crunchy, with a pungent umami taste to it. 

Thai Kang Kong 
Pork Satay ($14.50 – 5 pcs). Yaowarat version of Moo Ping, Thai Style Grilled Pork Skewers. The huge size of minced pork patties, marinated and grilled to perfection. The exterior is caramelised due to the sweet sauce and lightly charred flavour from the grill. Each bite is filled with juiciness and a total #porkgasm. 

Pork Satay

Pork Satay
A must-order dish here along with Pork Satay is their Deep Fried Garlic Pork ($12.90). Fatty pork belly with a crispy exterior and juicy, almost melt in your mouth flesh. The pork belly has the right fattiness and the bittersweet fried garlic just enhance the pork flavour further. 

Deep Fried Garlic Pork 

Deep Fried Garlic Pork 
Tom Yum Seafood ($28.90 – Large). Fresh seafood cooked in traditional Tom Yum style. Served in the traditional charcoal steamboat pot, the soup will warm over a long period. The seafood is fresh; however, the flavour lacks punch. We recommend you order it extra spicy to get the oomph. 

Tom Yum Seafood
On another occasion, LD ordered Thai Vermicelli Prawn ($35) takeaway. I find their version is very solid. The vermicelli is silky, bouncy and absorbs the essence of the prawns and spices. It is not watery and the prawns are fresh as well. One of the better versions of Thai Vermicelli Prawn in Singapore. 

Jasmine Rice 
Service is friendly and attentive when we went there for lunch. I like their frankness about the availability of their crab and their crab roe. Do expect a long waiting time during busy lunch and dinner period. The décor is very minimal and seating are limited, so you better make your reservation. Their food delivery orders are off the chart. 

Part of Dining Area
CBK verdict: a good place to dine for Thai Chinese Seafood. The seafood is fresh and some of their dishes are legit. I recommend their Thai Style Garlic Pork, Pork Satay, Steam Sea Bass and Thai Vermicelli. Cheers!! 

Food & Drinks: 7.5/10 
Value: 7.25/10 
Service: 6.5/10 
Ambiance: 6.25/10 
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50 

Yaowarat Seafood 
27 Teck Chye Terrace 
Singapore 545729 

T: +65 6858 5988 
IG: @Yaowaratseafood 
OH: Daily 11.00 – 15.00; 17.00 – 21.30 
Menu and Delivery Order is available online

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