Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Lawn Grill & Salad Cafe – Come Meat Your Greens [MEDIA INVITE]

Thanks to Jonathan and The Lawn Team for inviting us for this food tasting.

The Lawn Grill & Salad Cafe is a unconventional salad bar, bringing the current salad eating trends from California, USA which serve tantalising premium grills with unique and wacky salad dressing to Singapore food scene. Forget about the cold and plain salads, get ready for mind blowing and healthy food to tingle your palates.


Located in Biopolis, The Lawn cater for the professionals working in the area during weekday and regulars on Sunday. Don't come on Saturday, as they are close. Although the indoor seating is limited, they are more than enough seating in the alfresco area.


Alfresco dining area

As The Lawn concept is based on a salad bar, the following is the SOP on placing your order:
  1. Choose Base: Salad Box or Olive Rice (for those that need their carbo)
  2. Choose your Grill (protein: such as chicken, prawn, dory fish, duck, beef or even vegs)
  3. For Salad Box, Choose your toppings & dressings, you have 26 type toppings (such as vegs,fruits, pasta, nuts, cheese, etc) and 9 types of dressing options. For Olive rice, you have a standard side salad with no dressing.

Ordering and Grill Station

The Menu
We were quite lucky that we tried most of the grills menu and all the 9 types of dressing. As a salad bar, the greens are as fresh as you can get. To make it easier, the Little Devil and I will just give you the run down of which grill pair with the dressing according to our taste buds.

For the grills, we like the Acento Balsamico Beef Cuts and Ben's Beef Rubs the most. The beef are tender and juicy, especially on the balsamico. Next come dory fish & prawns. Both type of the grill dory fish are generous in size, well marinated and not flaky. The garlic prawn here is suppose to be one of the most popular grilled ingredients. It is fresh, juicy with subtle garlic flavour thus we are not surprise on why it is the top seller. Our least favourite grill on the menu is the chicken. The Lawn uses chicken breast and they are cut to bite size, we find the meat is a bit dry and chewy. The marinate used on the chicken is quite good though. We can't comment on the duck and vegetarian grills we did not try them, those who had tried please give us your comments. :p

Pacific Dory with Salads - The Actual Salad Box

Acento Balsamico Beef Cuts

Mojo Chicken

Char-Grilled Garlic Prawns

For the dressings, Mi So Spicy is on top of the list. It started off with the subtle tom yum flavour, slowly the spiciness will come whack you from nowhere. Good with everything except for the beef. For the beef, we like the Honeyball dressing. The natural sweetness of the honey really compliment the seasoning of the beef. For fish, beachy peachy and manly mango are the best pairing as the fruity flavour in the dressing give a Mediterranean feel to the fish. For the prawn, wasahonie dressing will be a good choice. The combination of wasabi and honey bring out the familiar taste of wasabi prawn which you get in the most Chinese restaurant here.

The Nine Dressings
To complement the grill chicken, the maple peanut dressing goes well with maple chicken, while Red island goes well with the rest of other grill chicken. For those, who wants to try the maple peanut dressing, please be prepared for the sweetness that it brings, as some will find it overwhelming and for those with sweet-toothed, this might be a nice choice.

Maple Chicken
With the management always trying out new recipe for their grill, The Lawn will have a monthly special, and this month is a special grilled curry chicken set menu.

Curry Chicken

The olive rice is Teochew version of olive fried rice. It has comforting home flavour, just like what littledevil's mum cook at home. A good substitute for salad, however you don't get any dressing or toppings from this.

Olive Rice with Ben's Beef Rub

For those that need their caffeine fix, you can try their coffee here. They use the beans from the artisan coffee roaster Smittens.

The Coffee
Overall, The Lawn provide a refreshing and healthy dining options. It is definitely not your conventional salad bar. It is modern, trendy and bringing the funk into eating salads. We suggest that you go to their website, to check out their menu. We rate this place 7.5/10. Cheers and Eat Fresh!!.

The Lawn Grill & Salad Cafe
31 Biopolis Way,
Nanos #01-07
Singapore 138669

T: +65 6478 9739
OH:
Mon – Fri: 11.15 – 21.00 (LO 20.15)
Sun: 10.00 – 16.00 ( LO 15.15)
Closed on Saturday


Liberty Coffee – Unmasking the Mystery [CAFE CLOSED - FOCUS ON ROASTER]

Liberty Coffee
Artisan Coffee Roaster
37 Mactaggart Road
#06-01
Singapore 218409

Tel: 6392 2903
Website: http://www.libertycoffee.sg/ (but Still Brewing)


Friday, 28 June 2013

Melaka Grub List Part 1 – June 2013

Hidden Finds in Melaka

During our recent visit to Melaka to attend a function, we were introduced to Patisserie / cafe that serve the most fantastic Mille Crepe. In case you are wondering, Mille Crepe is a cake made from layers of crepes. In between it will normally have a fresh cream and coated with maple syrup or different variety of flavours. Surprisingly, this patisserie originated from Melaka itself, before recently opening their 4th branch in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Mille Crepe - Fantastic taste, but bad cutting by hungry people at home

Nadaje @ Plaza Mahkota
G-23, 25 & 27, Jalan PM 4,
Plaza Mahkota, 75000 Melaka.

Tel No : 06-2838750. 

Op Hours: Daily 11.00- 22:00
Must try: Mille Crepes Original and other flavours.
Other branches, check out the website.
For our Singapore friends, if you buy it back, they give you a freezer bag and ice pack. Guarantee fresh until you reach Singapore. Tried and tested by Chubby Botak Koala and the Little Devil.
Ratings: 9/10


Hok Kiew Bak Kut Teh
Jalan Melaka Raya 2
Melaka MALAYSIA
Ratings: 6/10
The BKT is the herbal style, similar to Klang type. However, the soup is a bit bland and the liver are overcook. Average at best.

 
Bak Kut Teh - Mixed

Sesame Oil Liver

During this trip, we also ate at the other popular place in Melaka such as:
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Kota Laksamana18, Lorong Hang Jebat, (Jonker Street)
Melaka, 75200, Malaysia

Op Hours: 7.30 – 15.00 (but normally close earlier as they run out of chicken)
Must try: Chicken Rice Ball and steam chicken with their chilli.
Personally it is good to try it once. The chicken rice balls are still done by hand. It is solid and not mushy. The chicken is more towards a kampung chicken style, resilient, have more chicken taste but the owner like to chop it until the bone is all over the place. If you are a frequent visitors to Melaka like us, the novelty will run out and you won't like to cue for so long.
Ratings: 7/10

The Famous Chicken Rice Ball

Steam Chicken


Restaurant Ole Sayang Baba Nyonya Food
199 Jalan Merdeka
Bandar Melaka, MALAYSIA 75000

Tel: +60 6 283 1966
Op Hours: Daily 11.30 – 21.30
This establishment is one of the renown Peranakan restaurant in Melaka. Unfortunately, they have become to famous for their own good. The quality of the food has been in steady decline, while the price has been going upwards. Tourist still flocking this place due to their names, but we personally don't think it deserve our stomach space.
Ratings 5/10






Hotel
Holiday Inn Melaka
Jalan Syed Ab. Aziz
Melaka 75000 MALAYSIA
(Located beside Hotel Mahkota, behind Mahkota Plaza)
The latest hotel in Melaka. Clean room, nice amenities, comfortable bed and pillows, close to everywhere and reasonably priced. We always enjoy our stay in Holiday Inn group, so this time around it is not much different. The best part I manage to watch the Champions League Final which was shown in the bar on a big screen.
Ratings 8/10

Food from the room service, Ratings 7/10.

Ox Tail Soup

Fried Kway Teow

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Bangkok Grub List Part 1 – May 2013

Bangkok is a second home to most of the Singaporeans. The country with 1,000 smiles and known as a shopping paradise or a quick escape locations for spa, fantastic food and best of all half of the price of what you will pay in Singapore.

This is in no sense a food guide in Bangkok, instead Chubby Botak Koala and the Little Devil blogging about the nice food we have in Bangkok recently. We hope that if you have have a good suggestion, please let us know. Cheers!


Hotel

Novotel Bangkok Platinum
(2nd Favourite Hotel currently)
220 Petchaburi Road
Ratchatevee
10400 BANGKOK
THAILAND
Ratings: 8/10
Located beside Platinum Shopping Centre. 3 buildings for Platinum Fashion shopping, IT Centre after that, Pratu Nam market just across the road, Central World within a few minutes walk with street food at night. What else can you ask for?

The View from the Hotel

Food

The Square Restaurant & Room Service
@ Novotel Bangkok Platinum

Pad Thai

Parma Ham

MK Restaurant (Thailand MK Suki Restaurant)
All over the place in Bangkok (most shopping centre will have an outlet)
Combination of Thai-Chinese Steamboat cuisine, and most people just love the chilli. A must-to-visit place for little devil whenever she is in town.
Must Try: Green Noodle, Roast items, Ping Pong, balls, and other steamboat food.
Ratings: 7.5/10


The popular Rugby Ball

Tang Jia Yoo
85 – 89 Yaowapanich Road
CHINATOWN
Sampantawong BANGKOK
THAILAND 10100
Op Hours: Daily 11.00 – 14.00, 16.30 – 22.00
Direction: Take taxi to Chinatown, look for UOB Bank sign on the left, turn left on the street after the sign. Less than 100m you'll see the restaurant on the left side.
Must Try: Suckling Pig, Fish Maw Soup, Fish Sashimi, Prawn Roll and Crabs.
Ratings: 8.5/10

Fish Maw Soup

Suckling Pig

Hua Seng Hong
371 – 373 Yaowarat Road
CHINATOWN
Sampantawong BANGKOK
THAILAND 10100
Op Hours: 09.00 – 01.00
Must Try: Wanton Mee, Roast Duck, Shark Fin Soup, Fish Maw Soup, Goose Web noodle. Most of the dishes here is quite good. The ice Chrysanthemum tea here is very refreshing especially to fight the hot weather in Bangkok.
Ratings: 8/10


Wanton Mee

Mix Platter

Limoncello Pizzeria
17 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Sukhumvit Road.
Kwang Klongtoey Nuer
Khet Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-651 0707
Op Hours: Noon – 14.00; 18.00 – 23.00
Must Try: It is a pizzeria, what do you think? Their price is half of the amount that you will spend in SG. Imagine those parma ham pizzas!!!
Ratings: 9/10



Fried Calamari

Parma Ham Pizza

Other food and drink that you must try if you are in Bangkok and available everywhere.

Mango with Glutinous rice

Thai Ice Milk Tea


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Everything With Fries – Where Eggs and Potatoes are the stars

The name of the restaurant says it all, every main meal serve in this restaurant come with fries. A refreshing concept from the founder of Awfully Chocolate, whom recently just open their third branch in Bugis Junction.


Thanks to our friend, Grace, the mother of a tiger baby who suggested this place for our makan session and catch up. Located in the 4th floor of Bugis Junction, the same floor as the cinema, this restaurant concept is casual dining. Basically, you won't miss it when you coming from the escalator.


Not sure on how the crowd was going to be that night, we arrived early and hungry. So we decided to order Skinny Wings ($6.90) first before our makan kakis arrived. The skinny wings is crispy on the outside, well seasoned, and juicy on the inside. Nice and yummy, I'll say. Lucky thing they arrived when we only started on the nibble, if not I sure will gobbled all up.

Skinny Wings
Now for the actual meal, I ordered the Char-Grilled Char Siew ($15.90) and the Little Devil ordered the Steak n Tulang ($25.90) on the special menu. By adding $3.50 each, we also get the famous The One Egg Soup and Lemon Tea drink.

For those that never been here before, the The One Egg Soup is a must try. Look yellowish in colour, the soup taste is unique, creamy, full of flavour with a little tangy twist. To top it up, it has the edges of the fried egg to add a different dimension in the texture.

The One Egg Soup
Now for the fries that come with every meal, you have a choice of shoestring or straight cut fries with the following flavours: Original, curry, salt & vinegar, sour cream & onion; and garlic & herbs. I tried the straight cut with curry, while the little devil get the shoestring fries with truffle oil as part of the special meal. The fries here sure did not disappoint.

My Char-Grilled Char Siew is tender, juicy and well marinated. The char-grilled add to the intensity of the flavour of the well braised pork belly. The garlic sauce is quite subtle and does not overpower the pork belly. The serving is quite generous, especially on the fries portions unlike the mini portions of the salad.

Char-Grilled Char Siew
For Steak n Tulang (Bone) is more like the meal for the carnivore. The serving is quite huge, compromising of steak, bone and fries that fill the plate to the brim. The steak is tender and juicy, but slightly overcook. The bone marrow make a nice pairing with the meat and the fries. It is so yummy, The Little Devil really clean the plate.

Steak n Tulang
Meanwhile our friend order the grilled pork chop ($13.90) and the cheese burger ($11.90). Unfortunately the pork chop is a little tough, while the sour cream fries is not crispy due to the sour cream coating. The burger is tender and juicy, but the portion is slightly smaller compare to the other mains.

Grilled Pork Chop
Cheese Burger
Since everyone quite stuffed with the mains, we decided to share the desserts. We reserved one slice of the mille crepe ($6.90) and Nutella Tart ($6.90). The mille crepe is made from layers of crepe, cream and maple syrup. However, the difficult part is to find the balance between the moist crepes and freshness of the cream. At a first glance, it actually looks very inviting. However, after the first bite, you realise that the crepe is a little too thick and the cream was slightly solidified that make the cake to become more condensed instead of airy. It is actually quite disappointing, considering the owner of this place made their name in patisserie.

Mille Crepe
The Nutella Tart has a solid fillings and crust. It is compact, thick and heavy. The Nutella taste is also slightly off, seems different from the taste that you know. Instead of finishing the meal on a high, the deserts was a let down.

Nutella Tart
Service here is good. The service staff here can easily be identified as they are wearing trendy pink shirts


Overall, Everything with Fries brings an interesting dining concept with different flavour of their fries. The food taste good and from a price point it is easy on the pocket. We would not mind coming back for more, especially for the unique The One Egg Soup, however we won't expect to much on the desserts. Cheers!!


Food & Drink: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10.

Everything With Fries
200 Victoria Street
#04-05, Bugis Junction
Singapore 188021

Tel: 6338 0135
Op Hours:
Daily: 11.00 – 22.00
Fri, Sat & Eve PH: 11.00 – 22.30


For Holland Village and Joo Chiat Branch, check out the website for details.