Sunday, 3 July 2022

Central Thai ECP –Thai Food with An Awesome View [MEDIA INVITE]

Central Thai at East Coast Park (‘CT’) is a Halal Thai restaurant located within a short walking distance from East Coast Park Area F. If you are coming from the city direction toward the airport, it is at end of East Coast Park. It is not even close to the East Coast Lagoon or the East Coast Seafood Park.

Central Thai Entrance - Early Evening
Centra Thai Entrance - Evening
The “secluded” location offers a great view of the Singapore Straits. The crowd is minimum and the parking is also free, almost like your own private beachfront. Occupying a sole property, CT offers indoor and al-fresco dining settings. To avoid the hot scorching weather in the early evening, LD and I decided on air-conditioned indoor seating. However, once the sun set, I suggest you choose the al-fresco seating area to enjoy the cool breeze.

The View - Early Evening
We started the meal with Thai Prawn Cake ($9 for 2 pcs, $17 for 4 pcs). They are huge and each one of them is about as big and as thick as my palm. The exterior is crispy, while the interior is bouncy. The seasoning is sufficient, LD and I did not even dip it in the sweet chilli sauce provided.

Thai Prawn Cake
Thai Prawn Cake
Thai Prawn Cake
Clear Tom Yum Prawn Soup ($18 for Regular, $25 for Large). We have the regular size. The broth is robust and tangy but not overly spicy. The prawns, sliced fish and mushrooms are fresh. LD feels that the soup can be spicier and more sour, however, I like this mild version. It is acceptable to those who can’t take too much heat.

Clear Tom Yum Prawn Soup
Thai Spicy Basil with Minced Chicken ($16 for Regular, $21 for Large). At first, the dish looks super spicy, especially with the bright red colour covering the chicken. However, LD assured me that it is not the case. The minced chicken is juicy, while the heat is more of a sambal-like. Not that full-blown spiciness like in other Thai restaurants. It can do with a bit more basil though.

Thai Spicy Basil with Minced Chicken
Steamed Seabass with Spicy Lemon Sauce ($34 fresh, $42 Live). When this dish reaches our table, it just looks very appetizing. Once it reached our table, the smoke just keeps coming out from the boiling broth, giving this dish a mystical arrival and the WOW factor.

Steamed Seabass with Spicy Lemon Sauce 
The fish is so fresh, and the flesh is soft and velvety, while the broth is aromatic, tangy and acceptable spiciness for me. Basically, both of us devour the whole fish and left it with bones only. A complement to the chef!

The Flesh
Stir-fry Four Heavenly Kings ($16 for Regular, $20 for Large). Lady fingers, eggplant, petai and long bean, cooked with onion, capsicum and prawn paste sambal. It is aromatic, LD like it but I don’t like any of those vegetables.

Stir-fry Four Heavenly Kings 
Pineapple Fried Rice ($14). It was one of the best dishes of the night. The rice is al-dente, fragrant and evenly coated with the fried eggs. The diced pineapple is evenly spread, while the cashew nuts and prawns added different crunchy textures to the dish. A must-order dish here. LD commented that it is a childhood type of must-eat Thai dish when she is young and it has been a while since she had a decent one like Central Thai’s.

Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice
Our dessert is Mango Sticky Rice ($8.50). It is served with pandan-flavoured sticky rice. The mango is sweet and bursting with flavour. While the pandan sticky rice is a touch too soft (like being overheated in a microwave). The mango and sticky rice taste good with coconut milk.

Mango Sticky Rice
Mango Sticky Rice
For the drinks, I have the Iced Thai Milk Tea ($4.60) and LD ordered Thai Lemon Grass ($4.60). We ask for our drinks to be less sweet and they acceded to our request. Both the drinks tasted very solid and the portion is very big. If you come in a big group, you should order the drinks in a tower.

Thai Lemon Grass & Thai Milk Tea
The décor of the restaurant is simple, functional and Thai-inspired. I like the natural light entering the indoor dining area during the day.

Indoor Dining Area
Al Fresco Dining Area
Overall, we like the food at Central Thai. They are tasty and delicious. However, for those who like their Thai Food bold and super spicy, you need to inform the service staff when you ordered. The current spiciness level is targeted towards a family-friendly level. Our picks are Thai Prawn Cake, Steamed Seabass with Spicy Lemon Sauce and Pineapple Fried Rice. Cheers!

Evening Atmosphere
Thank you very much, Parveen for the invite and Central Thai team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

Central Thai – East Coast Park
1300 East Coast Parkway
East Coast Park Area F
Singapore 468964

T: +65 6443 5510
OH: Daily, 11.30 – 22.30
Menu Available here

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Picanhas’ X Panquecas’ – Steak & Pancakes For The People [MEDIA INVITE]

Picanhas’ is a steak house known for serving the secondary cut of Brazilian picanha steaks, which uses a rump cap cut. Although it is part of the under-used cut of the beef, it is very popular in Brazil or part of the cuts served in Brazilian Churrascaria (Brazilian Bbq).

Picanhas' 
In May 2022, the folks at Picanhas’ opened the dessert-focus outlet, Panquecas’ next door, offering their signature items in sweet and savoury variations. Combining their ethos from Picanhas’ and Panquecas’, their motto is “Steak and Pancakes for The People”.

Picanhas' X Panquecas' Menu
LD and I tried the current special at Picanhas’, The Royal Couple ($78) consists of 200g picanha steak, 200g Angus ribeye, garlic mashed potatoes and chimichurri sauce.

The Royal Couple
Cooked to medium-rare, they look irresistible. The picanha steak is almost lean but has a nice light chewy texture. It reminds me of the texture of thickly sliced ox tongue. Meanwhile, the Angus ribeye has a nice marbling to it, with the fats in the middle. It is tender, succulent and easily melts in your mouth.

Picanha steak with chimichurri sauce,
Potatoes & Brussel sprouts
The mashed potato is creamy and velvety, while the homemade chimichurri sauce has a nice twist of spicy kick in it. LD and I notice that salt seasoning on the steak can be a bit heavy, so if you prefer a lighter seasoning, you might want to ask them to put less salt or put the salt on the side.

For the sides, we choose Potatoes ($7) & Brussel Sprouts ($7). The potatoes are double-cooked and drizzled with sriracha mayo. It has a crispy exterior with a soft and moist interior. I like the creaminess of the potato, though I am not used to the mayo.

Potatoes
The Brussel Sprouts are also double cooked, where the second part is deep-fried in oil seasoned with beef fats. The exterior of the sprouts almost tastes like the outer layer of a shallot. However, LD and I find the deep-fried of Brussel sprouts do not work for us. I think we will prefer Picanhas’ festive Brussel sprouts, boiled, tossed with charcoal butter, smoked sea salt and garlic bits.

Brussel Sprouts
Next up is Mentaiko Pasta ($19). Unlike regular pasta, the black colour pasta is made from crepe sheets, topped with onsen egg and chilli oil. On the side, it has mentaiko king prawns and furikake. The pasta has an underlying sweet & spongy texture, combined with onsen egg and chilli oil it becomes a sweet and savoury mix. The prawns are big, juicy and delicious. It is a creative and unique dish.

Mentaiko Pasta
Mentaiko Pasta
On a side note, I tried the pasta with chimichurri sauce, it was an awesome pairing.

Crepe Pasta with Chimichurri Sauce
The desserts are the creations of Panquecas’, the name which means pancakes in Portuguese. We started with Apam Balik ($14), Panquecas’ version of our local pancake. The moist crepe is loaded with ground roasted peanut, sweet corn emulsion, pasty cream and peanut butter crumble. It is super delicious and such a flavour bomb. The soft serve vanilla ice cream also topped with ground roasted peanuts gave a smooth and milky touch to the desserts. Yummy!!

Apam Balik
Apam Balik
The Velvet ($15) – Velvet-Red Crepe, Cream Cheese, Almond Biscuit Crumbs, Strawberry Pastry Cream and Lemon Glaze. Inspired by red velvet cake, this dessert is a flavour overload. You have different flavours such as sweet, creamy, cheesy, savoury and a touch of tanginess from the lemon while being balanced with the soft serve vanilla ice cream. It is a good dessert, but it was too overwhelming for us after finishing The Royal Couple.

The Velvet
As a Muslim Owned restaurant, Picanhas’ does not serve alcoholic beverages. Instead, we have a lovely mocktail such as Virgin Mojito ($12) and Alcohol-Free Wine, Elivo Zero Zero Deluxe Red ($12 per glass/ $48 per bottle) - 60% Tempranillo, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alcohol-Free Wine, Elivo Zero Zero Deluxe Red, Virgin Mojito & Popcorn
Earlier in the day, the service staff deliver a bowl of homemade popcorn as our appetizer, after we placed our order, to enjoy with our drinks.

The Indoor Atmosphere
The décor of the Picanhas’ is gastropub like, with an open kitchen replacing the bar. The service at Picanhas’ is definitely the highlight. They are a friendly bunch that are genuinely pleased to chat with you and also provide services from the heart. As we were seated outside, we can see the crew interact with passers-by like their regular customers or their buddies. Awesome.

The Open Kitchen
Al-Fresco Seating Area
Overall, it was a pleasure dining at Picanhas’ and Panquecas’. The picanha steak and ribeye combo are a must-try, while their Apam Balik is just a flavour bomb. Will definitely return for these two great dishes. Cheers!!

The Regular Menu
Thank you very much, Parveen for the invite and Picanhas’ & Panquecas’ awesome crew for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation) - They are Super Awesome
Ambiance: 7.75/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

Picanhas’
90 Club Street
Singapore 069458

T: +65 9122 4326
OH:
Tue – Sun, 12.00 – 15.00; 17.30 – 22.00
Closed on Monday.

Panquecas’
92 Club Street
Singapore 069460

T: +65 9754 1909
OH:
Tue – Sun, 12.00 – 15.00; 17.30 – 22.00 
Closed on Monday

Monday, 13 June 2022

NY Verden – Josper Grill Showcase

For the past 2 years, LD & I have been taking our walking exercises seriously. Since Singapore’s weather is unpredictable, hot and humid, we sometimes clock our steps by taking a stroll in Changi Airport, including Jewel. We pass by NY Verden Bar & Grill (‘NYV’) countless times as it is on our walking route, and the open concept Josper Grill is the one that catches my attention.

NYV Chef's Table with Josper Grill
NYV delivers Modern European cuisine with the elements of smoking, grilling and the pairing of wood-fire cooking with natural flavours from the season’s best products.

NY Verden
We finally make our way to NYV for an early dinner at the end of May 2022. It was before the dinner service rush, so we did not make any reservations. Once we were seated, the service staff presented the hardcopy menu and ask us to place the order through the QR code on the table.

Part of the Dining Area
Dinner started with Fine De Claire Oysters ($1 each), part of the promo when LD ordered Sourgal Moscato ($19 per glass). The oysters are medium in size, fresh, plump, juicy and brainy. It’s like tasting the ocean with each slurp.

Fine De Claire Oysters
According to LD, the Moscato is slightly sweet, fruity and with a touch of acidity. It is easy to drink and goes well with the oysters.

Moscato & Oysters
Signature Calamari ($19). From the look, I thought the batter going to be crispy but hard. However, I was proven wrong. The crispy batter crumbled effortlessly, allowing you an easy bite at the juicy and slightly chewy calamari. The aioli is creamy, solid and complements the fried calamari nicely.

Signature Calamari
Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata ($28). Supposedly smoked with apple or cherry wood. The intense beetroot flavour from the smoking process complements the creamy burrata. The pistachio and peas emulsion is very light, it softens the intense flavour of the smoked beetroot and enhances the flavour of the burrata at the same time. The crispy rice puff completed all the texture profiles on the plate. Absolutely Gorgeous!!

Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata 
Josper-grilled Sea Bass ($28). The whole seabass is butterflied and backbone removed, then grilled to perfection. The exterior is charred, while the flesh is moist, juicy and flaky. The fish is lightly seasoned and we just need to complete the taste with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Perfecto!!

Josper-grilled Sea Bass 
The Seabass flesh
Grain-Fed Black Angus Ribeye ($45). The steak is grilled in the Josper grill with Jarrah / Oak Wood. Delivering medium-rare doneness, as per our order. It has a nice charred externally, while the interior is succulent. The steak is more of the meaty type, not those with a high level of marbling and melts in your mouth. The masala wine and bone marrow juice combination are creamy yet acidic, while the grilled tomato is plump and bursting with juice.

Grain-Fed Black Angus Ribeye 
Medium Rare
During our visit in May, NYV was running a promotion of 90mins Free Flow Alcohol (beer on tap & cider) for all diners with a minimum spend of $100 in a single receipt per table. Please check on the poster outside the restaurant.

Free Flow Cider
Free Flow Alcohol Poster
The décor of the restaurant is modern, steakhouse like and with the view of the waterfall at Jewel. It is a nice place to dine, especially when the lights or show at the waterfall are happening in the evening. On the other side restaurant, there is a chef’s table, with a bar height table and stools. For this seating, you can see the Chef in action with his Josper Grill preparing your meal.

Dining Area with Waterfall View
The level of service is varied. Our initial service person is nice and friendly, while the one delivering our food has a stiff unfriendly demeanour.

Overall, LD and I enjoy the food at NVY. They are tasty, flavourful and perfectly executed. We like the Oysters, Signature Calamari, Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata and Josper-grilled Sea Bass. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80

NY Verden Bar & Grill
78 Airport Blvd
#03-227, Jewel Changi Airport
Singapore 819666

T: +65 8772 4227
OH: Daily, 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 22.30

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