Sunday 30 April 2023

Meat N’ Chill – 8th Year Anniversary A la Carte Buffet [MEDIA INVITE]

Meat N’ Chill celebrates its 8th year anniversary by throwing All-You-Can-Feast A la carte buffet with free flow of Hofbrau beer. This LIMITED TIME ONLY anniversary barbeque buffet will showcase Meat N’ Chill (‘MNC’) Signature dishes for you to savour.

Known for its succulent ribs and gourmet steaks, MNC is also not shy with its serving portions for its main meals.

Here is the short version of the menu for the All-You-Can-Feast A la carte buffet:

Mains: Smoked Duck, Picanhas Steak, The Meanest Pork Ribs in Town, 14-hour Smoked Brisket, Pork Belly and Australia Grass Fed Striploin Minute Steak.

Sides: Grilled Pineapple, Grilled Shrimp, Sausage, Mac n Cheese, Grilled Bread, Garden Salad, Cherry Tomatoes, Buttered Corn and Truffle Fries.

Drinks Hofbrau Beer or water.

We have tried the pork ribs at MNC a few times already. It is well-marinated, tender and succulent with a bouncy bite to it. The texture of the meat is not soft and mushy, instead, it has a nice bounciness to it. Just the way LD like her bbq pork ribs. The sauce is sweet with a solid tanginess to it.

BBQ Pork Ribs, Minute Steak & Grilled Pineapple
For the steak, we both picked the Picanhas Steak compare to Australia Grass Fed Striploin Minute Steak. Both of the steaks are cooked to the point of medium rare, however, the tender and juicy texture of the picanhas steak won us over. The minute steak is harder and will need more chewing.

Smoked Duck & Picanhas Steak
Picanhas Steak
The 14-hour smoked brisket is just irresistible. The cut of the brisket is thick and it delivers that Melts-In-Your-Mouth sensation, infused with the smoky flavour. #Beefgasm. Must Order!

14-Hour Smoked Brisket
14-Hour Smoked Brisket
Moving to the sides, we strongly recommend grilled shrimp. It is crunchy, lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked. We wanted to order more, but looking at the dishes crowding the table, we exercise restraint.

Grilled Shrimp
Mac n Cheese, loaded with bacon, mushroom and more cheese. It is delicious, but the downside is it only come in one size which is big. Better if you come in a big group to share this.

Mac N Cheese
The sausages are tender and juicy, while the grilled pork belly is a bit hard to our liking. I prefer my pork belly to be thick and slowly grilled over the fire to let the fats melt.

Pichanhas Steak, Sausages & Pork Belly
I always like to have grilled pineapple when consuming huge amount of meat. Not only it is good as a palate cleanser, but it also helps to minimise the “jelakness” from all the fats. The cherry tomato marinated with balsamic vinegar also provided a well-balanced side dish for the buffet. Served chilled, the sweetness of the tomatoes is enhanced with herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. LD simply love their tomatoes so much that she tried to ‘fish’ out from Chef.

Grilled Pineapple & Marinated Tomatoes
The truffle fries have a crispy exterior followed by a soft interior, but it can be better if MNC added a bit more shaved cheese on top. The grilled bread brings a nostalgic feel of traditional coffee shop Western food, of course, the version here is much better.

Grilled Bread, Truffle Fries, Ketchup, Buttered Corn and Garden Salad
The Garden salad is fresh and simple, while the buttered corn can do with more charred in it.

To spice up the dishes, you will be served different sauces such as mushroom sauce, red wine, bbq sauce, ketchup and salt flakes.

Not forgetting the Free-Flow of Hofbrau beer.

Hofbrau Beer with The Spread
Image Credit: Meat N' Chill
Overall, the All-You-Can-Feast A la carte buffet allows us to try out different signature dishes by Chef Bruce in MNC. It is available for limited time only. So don’t miss out on it. Cheers!!

Meat N’ Chill All-You-Can-Feast A la Carte Buffet
When: From 27 April 2023 (Limited Time Only)
Day: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Only
Time: 12.00 – 14.00; 17.00 – 20.30 (By Reservation Only)
Price: $59.90++

Thank you very much Protegie and Meat N’ Chill Team for hosting us.

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Budget per Person: $51 - $80

Meat N’ Chill – Steak N’ Ribs Restaurant
805 Bukit Timah Road
#01-04. 6th Avenue Centre.
Singapore 279883

T: +65 8812 4455
IG: @Meatnchill
Tue – Sun: 11.30 -14.30; 17.00 - 21.00
Closed on Monday.
Menu available online

Friday 14 April 2023

Issho Izakaya – Family Friendly Izakaya

Issho Izakaya is a concept by Neo Group serving an extensive array of Japanese dishes. Issho is a Japanese word for together. Issho Izakaya (“Issho”) aims to be a place for family and friends to come together and enjoy a good meal. Under the guidance of Japanese Chef Consultant Takayuki Fukushima, the culinary team also serve an impressive line-up of kushiyaki.

Issho Izakaya @SingPost Centre
This review is for the SingPost Centre outlet. The food offering is very extensive and here are some of the must-order items.

Sushi Tacos. The seaweed sheet is coated with tempura batter and deep-fried in the shape of a taco shell. It is then filled with sushi rice and toppings. My picks for the toppings are Unatama ($6.80) – eel & tamago; and Lobster Salad ($6.80) - chilled lobster chunks. The eel & tamago have a sweet and umami flavour, while the lobster salad is crunchy and refreshing.

Sushi Taco - Lobster Salad
Sushi Taco - Unatama
Sashimi Moriawase ($44 for 15 pcs). Some of the sashimi will change depending on the season. The sashimi is always fresh and beautifully plated. I like the use of lime here, as it gives a refreshing taste compared to just dipping the sashimi into the shoyu.

Sashimi Moriawase
Tako Karaage ($8.80) and Salmon Skin Chips ($6.80). I like the thickness of the salmon skin here. It is thick, crispy and you can feel the “shiokness” through the crackling sound when you bit into it. Meanwhile, the Tako Karaage has a nice crisp and addictive chewiness.

Salmon Skin Chips & Tako Karaage
Kushiyaki – Black Angus Ribeye Foie Gras ($8.50). An amazing combination. On the first bite, you get juicy succulent ribeye. Followed by creamy, fatty texture and melt-in-your-mouth sensation of the foie gras; Then repeat. Let’s just say 1 stick will not be enough. Of course, the Black Angus Ribeye ($7.50) is another option for those who don’t like foie gras.

Kushiyaki – Black Angus Ribeye Foie Gras 
Kushiyaki – Black Angus Ribeye Foie Gras
Black Angus Ribeye Foie
Hotate Yaki ($4). Plump and juicy scallops, grilled to perfection. Tsukune ($3) is the standard for judging Japanese Kushiyaki or Yakitori. It is crisp externally, followed by sweet marinated soft minced chicken packs with flavour. Nicely done.

Hotate Yaki
Shiitake ($2.80). Plump, juicy and bursting with mushroom umami flavour.

Buta Bara ($4). Grilled Nagano Pork Belly. Juicy, crisp and #Porkgasm. Tori Kawa ($4.50), it delivers a combination of charred crisp externally and chewy skin texture internally. Yummy.

Buta Bara
Unlike other izakayas that will heavily season their kushiyaki because they want you to drink, Issho just lightly seasoned theirs and allow the natural flavour of the proteins or vegetables to shine.

Tori Kawa
Tori Kawa
During lunch hour, Issho offers lunch set menu as well. LD like their Bara Chirashi Don Set ($25.90). The chopped sashimi is fresh and the portion is generous. Served on top of Japanese rice, together with appetiser, Japanese clear soup and desserts, it is a good combination for lunch.

Bara Charashi Don
The service is friendly and helpful. The décor of the restaurant is Japanese-centric with an open concept. The diners can see clearly the view outside the restaurant, and the same goes for people outside looking in. While most izakaya you can feel it just cater to the adults and drinking crowd, Issha is also suitable for family and office dining destinations.

Overall, we have visited this outlet a few times and we like it. The food is good, reasonably priced and friendly environment. Make sure you order the Kushiyaki. Kanpai!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - 80

Issho Izakaya @SingPost Centre
10 Eunos Road 8
#03-103, SingPost Centre
Singapore 408600

T:+65 6592 1218
Mon – Fri: 11.00 – 15.00, 17.30 – 22.00
Sat & Sun: 11.00 – 22.00
Menu and Other Outlet info available from their website.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

88 Pocha – Korean Street Food in Pojangmacha Setting [Media Invite]

Pojangmacha or more popularly known as Pocha is a popular night spot in South Korea since the 1970s, where customers can enjoy Korean street food offerings with their alcohol at a reasonable price. I did not manage to see this during my last trip to Korea but seen this often enough in Korean dramas, where the characters eat and drink by themselves under the tent. Usually, they will sit on plastic chairs and dine on red plastic foldable tables.

88 Pocha
88 Pocha is a concept by Food Palace Group Pte Ltd, the company that brought Niu Dian to Singapore (Click here for the Niu Dian full review). The name 88 Pocha is inspired by the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea, where the nation achieve 4th overall ranking, their best ranking till today. Helmed by a South Korean chef that has been a long-term resident in Singapore, he recreates his favourite and popular Korean street food with a twist.

Front Dining Area
It is easy to spot 88 Pocha in Holland Village, you can see the 88 Pocha inflatable balloon man waving at you. Just like the Pocha setting in Korea, the furniture used are plastic stools and foldable plastic tables in red and blue colour. In the outdoor dining area, you can see the 1988 Olympic Tiger mascot toasting the diners, while the indoor walls are decorated with the menu and soju posters. The dining experience is completed by K-pop music blasting from the speakers.

Indoor Dining Area
Part of Indoor Dining Area
We started the meal with Gimmari (4 pcs, $8.88) Korean deep-fried seaweed rolls. The version here is glass noodles wrapped in seaweed. It is crispy, tasty and has a nice chewy glass noodle texture in it. It can be easily mistaken for a mini version of Korean blood sausage. But based on the serving size and price, I will not consider to order it again.

Gimmari Fillings
Tteokbokki ($11.88). Plump and chewy rice cake. LD says the sauce is thick and it absorbs into rice cakes and fish cakes. The spiciness level is moderate, though it can be better if they amp up the spiciness level.

Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon ($11.80). A dish made famous by Hwasa, a member the KPOP group Mamamoo a few years ago. When this dish was served, the truffle aroma will be the first to reach your senses. I like the combination, served with cheese and fried egg. The noodle is springy (QQ), and completely coated with strong jjajang sauce. I had difficulties melting the cheese and mixing it evenly. The result, I have half the noodle with cheese, and the other without. It’s like having 2 noodle flavours in a bowl, which was nice.

Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon 
Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon with the Hidden Cheese
Truffle Jjajang Ramyeon
Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll ($15.88). A jumbo-size egg roll, filled with tuna. The egg is fluffy, perfectly cooked and the tuna sits in the centre nicely. I am not a fan of canned tuna due to the smell, however, the version here is almost absent of the fishy smell. I think the ketchup on top helps as well. This dish definitely worth the price and it will go well with alcohol. Yummy!!

Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll 
Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll
Half Fried Chicken ($15.88). It has a crispy exterior, followed by juicy and succulent flesh. Even the breast part is juicy as well. The chicken is well marinated, we ate most of it without the dipping sauce. For those who like a dipping sauce, it has a thick, sweet flavour but not spicy.

Half Fried Chicken
Half Fried Chicken
LA Galbi (8 pcs, $18.88). The beef ribs are well-marinated, juicy, easily come off the bone. While the meat is tender, it also has a slight chewiness in it. Definitely, a finger-licking good dish.

LA Galbi
LA Galbi
To end the meal, we have Red Bean Bingsu ($12.88). In all the previous bingsu that we tried previously; the shaved ice texture is always very smooth like snow. The version at 88 Pocha has a texture like crushed ice. The toppings are unique, you have red bean, fruit loops, mixed fruits, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce. The instruction from the service staff is to mix it vigorously, basically stab it. Hidden at the bottom of the crushed ice is the condensed milk. Surprisingly, all the topping works well together, creating a unique flavour on their own.

Red Bean Bingsu
Red Bean Bingsu
Red Bean Bingsu - After Mixing
To accompany our meal, I had diet coke ($2.88), while LD choose Earl Grey Highball ($18.88). LD says the highball have a hint of earl grey tea and they are very generous with the alcohol portions.

Earl Grey Highball
Diet Coke
Overall, we had a nice dining experience at 88 Pocha. Most of the main dishes are delicious and they incorporated the latest trend in Korea as well plus the atmosphere is just great. The Tuna Cheese King Egg Roll. Half Fried Chicken and LA Galbi are the must-try. We’ll definitely come back if we are in the area. Geonbae!! Cheers!!

Menu 1
Menu 2
Thank you very much Protegie and 88 Pocha Team for the invitation.

Food & Drink: 7.75/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50

88 Pocha
26A Lor Mambong
Singapore 277685

T: +65 6235 9950
Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 15.00; 17.30 – Midnight
Sat – Sun: 11.30 – Midnight

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