Monday, 19 August 2019

25 Degrees – Cheesy Mac Attack and Hollywood A-List Burgers [MEDIA INVITE]

Cheesy Mac Attack Burger

25 Degrees is a Gourmet American burger joint, originated from Los Angeles. It has been endorsed by A-List celebrities as their go-to burger joint. 25 Degrees is brought to Singapore by R&B Lab, a dedicated restaurants and bar management company headed by Michelin-Starred Chef Sylvain Royer. The same company that operates Ginett Singapore (Full review of Ginett Singapore available here).

25 Degrees

Following the success of Cheesy Mac Attack last year, the 25 Degrees team decided to bring back this burger for a limited time only. Available until 31 August 2019, the Cheesy Mac Attack ($18) is made from with US Angus beef patty, paired with a traditional thousand island dressing, topped with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh arugula, melted cheese and nacho cheese.

Cheesy Mac Attack Burger - The Burger

The signature of this burger is definitely the pair two superb mac ‘n’ cheese buns. The mac and cheese buns are crispy externally, filled with al-dente macaroni and loaded with nacho cheese. The patty is juicy and succulent, while the rest of the ingredients made this burger packs with creamy and cheese flavour.

Cheesy Mac Attack Burger

It is best eaten with a fork and knife, but if you like a finger-licking good experience, just dive right in. One of the most unique burgers that I ever tried. Yummy!!

Sides and Snacks 

While Cheesy Mac Attack is only available for a limited time. 25 Degrees regular burgers are endorsed by Hollywood A-List.

NUMBER ONE Burger ($14). This signature burger deserves the mantle as #1. In between the signature soft and fluffy buns are 200g USA Angus beef patty, creamy crescenza and gorgonzola cheese, strips of smoky bacon, caramelized onion, arugula and thousand island sauce.

NUMBER ONE Burger

The patty is juicy, succulent with solid MOO MOO flavour, while the cheese and thousand islands sauce add to the creaminess and umami flavour of the patties. The caramelized onion adds the delicate sweet flavour; while the bacon and arugula provided the salty and bitter taste that balances the burger nicely. Yummy!!

NUMBER ONE - The Burger

NUMBER THREE Burger ($14). For those who like their burger or food spicy with a bit of Tex-Mex flair. It uses the award-winning Monterey Jack cheese topped with jalapenos and spicy chipotle sauce. The mashed avocado did a little to dampen the fiery nature of the jalapenos as the spiciness just explodes between the bites.

NUMBER THREE - The Burger

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER ($14) – Chicken thigh, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, pickled daikon and spicy miso bbq. It looks like Japanese fusion burger, however, it simply taste like spicy boneless buffalo wings burger, without the crispiness of the fried chicken skin.

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER

For the Sides and Snacks, we sample a few items:
25 DEGREES WINGS ($8). Deep-fried wings, curly fries and tossed in sambal. Crispy, crunchy with a touch of local flavours. Addictive indeed.

25 DEGREES WINGS

FILTHY FRIES ($8). Double fried fries, caramelised onions, cheese and topped with bacon gravy.  The fries are crispy externally and moist internally, the cheese is rich while the caramelised onion adds to the sweetness to this dish. I don’t think the sweet and cheese works well together, I feel overwhelmed with this combination. I’ll stick to normal fries next time.

FILTHY FRIES

ONION RING ($5). LD has been having onion rings craving for the past few days. Luckily, the version at 25 degrees is superb. Crunchy externally, followed with a sweet and moist texture of the onion. Must order for onion rings lover.

ONION RING

The Hollywood burger experience will not be complete without the milkshakes. We tried CLASSIC MILKSHAKE CHOCOLATE ($10) and CHIPSTER SHAKE ($12). The chocolate classic milkshake has a solid chocolate flavour, without the overpowering richness. While the Chipster Shake tasted like salted caramel topped with crispy chips. You might want to finish the chips first before it gets soggy.

CLASSIC MILKSHAKE CHOCOLATE

CHIPSTER SHAKE

The décor is classic with Hollywood charm. The place is cosy, comfortable, yet chic and glamorous at the same time.

Hollywood charm - Part of Dining Area

Overall, 25 Degrees is an exciting burger destination. Cheesy Mac Attack is a great version of combination of a Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a burger. Meanwhile, the rest of Hollywood A-List endorsed menu come close to the Diners menu in America. Of course, 25 Degrees uses a higher quality ingredient. Don’t forget the Cheesy Mac Attack only available until 31 August 2019. Cheers!!

Craft Beers

Thank you very much to Ai Ling and 25 Degrees Team for hosting us.

Food & Drinks: 8/10
Value: 8.5/10
Service: N/A (Media Tasting)
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25, $26 - $50

25 Degrees
200 Middle Road
Hotel G Singapore
Singapore 188980

T: +65 6809 7990
IG: @25degreesinsingapore
OH: Daily 07.00 – 03.00
Menu Available Online

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Bar-Roque Grill – European Dining Experience

Bone Marrow

Bar-Roque Grill is a dining concept by Stefan and Nico, opened in 2013. Stefan, stands for Executive Chef Stephane Istel, a chef with extensive culinary CV. His last posting before he opens Bar-Roque Grill is Executive Chef of DB Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands when it first opens in 2010. Though Bar-Roque Grill has opened for 9 years, this is our first visit here.

The Painting in Dining Area

The meal started with complimentary sourdough bread. It has a crispy crust with a soft, pillowy crumb. The contrasting texture of the internal and external part of the bread is so nice, we leathered it extensively with the butter in each bite.  

Sourdough Bread with Butter

Entrée was Octopus Carpaccio ($24) and Bone Marrow ($22). It comes with very interesting plating, looks messy and yet attractive. The octopus has a nice smoky aroma, while the flesh is crunchy with a slight springiness in it. At the base of this dish is chickpea cream, together with virgin olive oil bind the rest of vegetables and crunchy almond nicely.

 Octopus Carpaccio

 Octopus Carpaccio

The Bone Marrow is just too attractive not to order. The whole bone is grilled then the extracted marrow placed on top toasted bread. The combination of crispy bread, creamy and gooey marrow dripped with garlic and parsley butter is just awesome. Although it is served with rock salt on the side, it is sufficiently seasoned by the chef.

Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

We can’t decide on which steak to have, so we ordered this trio House Dry Aged Beef Platter ($125) – Hanger, Striploin and Ribeye.  The Hanger / Hanging Tender Wagyu has a nice charred. The meat is lean, yet tender, succulent and you can taste the extra MOO MOO-ness in it.

House Dry Aged Beef Platter ($125) –  Ribeye (with Foie Gras), Hanger & Striploin.
Hanger / Hanging Tender Wagyu

The Striploin USDA Primes has slight chewy texture due to the tendon run through the meat. Meanwhile, the Ribeye Black Angus is juicy, succulent with a good marbling in it. It will be nice if the ribeye has a bit of char on it. All of the steaks are well seasoned and almost did not allowed me the opportunity to pair it with creamy and rich bearnaise sauce. Meanwhile, the baby romaine salad served with the steak is dressed with tangy dressing to offset the richness of the steak.

Striploin USDA Primes
Baby Romaine Salad

We decided to add Foie Gras ($14) with our steak order. It is perfectly done, crisp externally, soft and velvety internally. Unlike most foie gras dishes where it is served with the sweet berries or apple compote, the savoury version here provided something unique.

Ribeye Black Angus with Foie Gras

To accompany the steak, we ordered Sautéed Mushroom & Spinach ($16) as a side dish. A nice selection of mushrooms sautéed with spinach and chopped onion. Simple yet delicious.

 Sautéed Mushroom & Spinach 

For Desserts, we ordered the seasonal Rhubarb Pie. The crust is crisp and crumbly, while the rhubarb fillings exude natural sweetness to the pie. The pie is served with apple granny smith sorbet, balancing the sweet pie with the tanginess of the sorbet.

 Rhubarb Pie

 Rhubarb Pie

The restaurant décor is a combination of red, black and natural wood colour. I like the combination of classy feel with a touch of cuteness in it, especially the cute painting of a person drinking the wine. Service is friendly, professional with attention to details.

Part of Dining Area

Overall, Bar-Roque Grill gave us a wonderful dining experience. Octopus Carpaccio and Bone Marrow are not to be missed. Check out Bar-Roque Grill for European dining experience by Chef Stephane Istel. Cheers!!

Food & Drinks: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80, $81 and Above

Bar-Roque Grill
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
#01-00. Amara Hotel Singapore
Singapore 088539

T: +65 6444 9672
IG: @Barroquegrill
OH:
Mon – Fri: 12.00 – 14.30; 18.00 – 22.30
Sat: 18.00 – 22.30
Sun: 11.00 – 15.00; 17.30 – 21.00

Monday, 12 August 2019

Elixir – Classic Style Boutique Roasters [MEDIA INVITE]

Magic - Flow State Blend

Elixir is a boutique coffee roaster that loves and respects the good old full-bodied, bold and straight expresso roast. They aim to transport you back to the origins of the café culture in Melbourne, where the third coffee movement starts.

Coffee Machine in Elixir

Old full-bodied roast is my preference when it comes to my coffee. During the tasting session, Elixir served up two types of coffee bean roast. For the single-origin, I choose Americano ($5 for 7oz) to try out the full flavour of the roast. The Single Origin Antigua Santo Domingo, Guatemala. The tasting notes stated Hazelnut, cocoa, brown sugar, Rich, Intense and Full Bodied. I tasted smooth, full-bodied and absent of any fruity flavour coffee. Nice.

Americano - The Single Origin
Antigua Santo Domingo, Guatemala

After the meal, I ordered Magic ($5.50 for 7oz) using their Flow State Blend. 80% Brazil Cerrado, Naturally Processed, plus 20% Euthopia Yirgacheffe G2, Washed. The tasting note states Nuts, Chocolate, Treacle & Medium Bodied. I feel it works well with milk. The additional extraction in Magic, give the coffee more punch as the nutty and chocolate taste shines through the smoothness of the milk.

Chief Roaster Kenneth in Action

Magic - Flow State Blend

Food also plays a significant role in the success of an all-round café. We started the food tasting with Brulee French Toast ($18). 

Brulee French Toast

The thick toast is sweet and crispy externally, followed with fluffy texture internally. It goes well with the chantilly cream, while the acidity from the berries and pomegranate balance the sweetness nicely. The candied bacon adds crispy, sweet and salty flavour to this exciting dish. 
 
The Bar
Truffle Eggs Prosciutto ($24). I like every component of this dish. Fluffy and creamy scrambled egg, topped with chopped truffle. The brioche toast is thick, soft and fluffy, while the bitterness in the arugula, the saltiness of the prosciutto and the umami flavour from the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese complement the luxurious scrambled egg nicely. It is just awesome.

Truffle Eggs Prosciutto 

Grilled Halloumi (V - $18). This version of cheese starts to catch my attention when I first try it in Food & Hotel Asia exhibition 2018. The firm texture of the dish with a touch of saltiness is a perfect companion with any salad. Here, it is paired with Kenya beans, charred scallions, lemon preserve, baby corn and tahini aioli. The honey Chinese vinegar dressing binds the whole dish together nicely. A nice vegetarian dish.

Grilled Halloumi

Wagyu Beef Cheek Rendang ($22). Representing the local flavours, created using Chef’s special rempah recipe. Cooked to perfection, the beef cheek rendang just melts in your mouth. The butterfly pea coconut grains are rich and aromatic, but it can do with a more generous dash of coconut milk. The homemade achar works nicely cut through the richness in this dish.

Wagyu Beef Cheek Rendang

Wagyu Beef Cheek Rendang

Carbonara with Onsen Egg ($18). Pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and herbs. Perfectly executed and best eaten hot. The flavours from the pancetta, cheese, egg and herbs are creamy, rich and absolutely delicious. Best eaten hot.

Carbonara with Onsen Egg

Moving beyond the traditional café menu of food and coffee, Kenneth (the Chief Roaster) started to experiment with coffee flavours to create mocktails and cocktails. This is the introduction to the “New Era” coffee, creating a balance between the flavour profile of their speciality coffee and the characteristics of alcohol.

Black Smoke Rising ($12) for a mocktail. The strong smoky aroma from the torched bourbon. Full-bodied coffee flavour, sweet with a touch of tangy flavour.

Black Smoke Rising - mocktail

Cocktails:
Stormbringer ($13). Ron Zacapa 23 Solera, Bundaberg ginger beer, Double shot of Guatemala, Antigua Santo Domingo, Espresso. Tasting notes: Sweet, spicy, intense.

Cocktail - Stormbringer

Same ole’ situation ($13).
Woodford Reserve Kentucky, Bourbon whiskey, Gula Melaka, Homemade bitters with Costa Rica Las Trojas single origin. Tasting notes: lemony citrus, boozy, meant to be sipped slowly. Inspired by old fashioned.

Cocktail - Same ole’ situation

Killer Queen ($13). Disaronno hazelnut amaretto, Homemade cascara syrup from Finca Isnul, Huehuetanago, Guatemala, Toasted almonds grated over. Tasting notes: refreshing, light, a novel take on Italian aperitif cocktails.

Cocktail - Killer Queen

(*I did not taste the cocktails due to my medical conditions and likewise for LD as she is allergic to coffee).

Overall, LD and I agree that Elixir served nice food and awesome coffee. Coffee lovers and café hoppers must give this place a try. Cheers!!

Thank you very much Elixir Boutique Roaster Team and Protegie for hosting us.

Food: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 7.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 – 25; $26 - $50

Elixir Boutique Roasters
10 Jalan Serene
#01-04. Serene Centre.
Singapore 258748

IG: @Elixir.boutiqueroasters
OH:
Thu – Tue: 08.30 – 16.00
Closed on Wednesday.

Food Menu - Aug 2019
Image Credit: Elixir Boutique Roaster

Drinks Menu - Aug 2019
Image Credit: Elixir Boutique Roaster

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