Weekend Haunts: Vasco + Long Chim

Weekends are hard to come by, and when it does swing by, we hit hard and paint the town red. Whilst you're at it, make sure to get some good grub into your system; because nothing fuels the fun more than positive dining experience.

So, here are some places to check out over the coming weekend! Let's make a date.

Newly opened cocktail bar, Vasco located on Hong Kong street has got some mean grind, knowing that its current team spirit constitutes of those gregarious ones from leading local cocktail bar, The Cufflink Club; and with kitchen muscle provided by former executive chef of Esquina Tapas Bar, we've got a formidable force on our hands. 

Here at Vasco, it's all about the Latin American spirits and this translates freely into the food as well, the simple and concise menu featuring elevated Latin street food. 

We had the Pork Belly Skewers ($25) as well as the El Cubano Sandwich ($25), and were equally impressed by both. The former inheriting a strong smoky flavor from its quick time on the grill, the coating of honey mustard over the pork, caramelising to a bitter black in contrast to the sweet bell peppers that lay alternate to the nuggets of fat. As for the Cubano sandwich, words cannot describe my feelings of gratitude as I sank my teeth into the outer rim of the toastie. Yes, Midnight Cuban Sandwich, I have loved you for a thousand years; unfortunately, since you passed, I had to have someone to take your place, and sure, did he do a hell of a good job in satisfying my needs. It's perfect balance of press toast, tangy coleslaw, pickles, cheese and pulled pork making for a winsome amalgamation in the mouth. 

Wash it down with a Ultima Palabre ($24) or the Girl from Ipanema ($24), the former if you prefer a more herbaceous and orange bouquet, as it contains mezcal, chartreuse and orange bitters; and the latter if you're feeling exotic. Cachacaa, lime, passionfruit and the addition of brazil nut, that adds a slight cocoa note to the sweet finale - this drink is one to make a girl fall in love with you.

42 Hong Kong Street
t: 8799 7085

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 6pm - late
Sun: Closed

For those of you who are in town specially for the Singapore Grand Prix F1 race on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and so happen to be residing around the bay area, you should check out Long Chim at Marina Bay Sands. Helmed by celebrity chef David Thompson whose restaurant Nahm was awarded 7th place in San Pellegrino's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2015, expect to be well fed, if not, satiated at the end of your meal.

Coincidentally, Chef Thompson is back in town this week to launch his New Seasonal Menu so those planning a trip should be fortunate enough to watch the master in action behind the stoves.

Atmosphere wise, it is not overly ostentatious and has an energetic, bustling ambiance coupled with high ceilings and shady wooden furnishing contributing to the mysterious mood - exactly what you want from a modern Thai restaurant. 

We settled in after a quick perusal of the menu and jumped into a bold selection of mains that we assume would requite the growing hunger pangs. 

The Grilled Lamb Curry ($31) is served with a bowl of white rice; and I would highly recommend reconsidering sharing this with your partner too (it's too good, I want it all to myself). While the balance of the curry and its inherent spices was a thing of beauty, the real magic was in the grilled lamb ribs itself - falling off the bone with little defiance, it's gamey aroma not overpowering yet still mildly present to remind diners of the provenance of the protein. Solid recipe.

Continuing in the same route of success is the Stir Fried Soft Shell Crab ($27), the bright crunchy sprigs of celery providing bouquets of herbs with every rich bite of crispy deep fried soft shell crab sauteed in a light curry sauce. Was a tad too salty for me, but get in there with a bowl of rice, and you're good to go.

Last but not least, the humble Stir Fried Glass Noodle with Naem and Squid ($26) wowed us with its cherubic nature. Naem, cured pork that's a little sour from the fermentation process, is employed for its astringent role, and melds flawlessly with the mix of sweet and spicy from the fragrant glass noodles cooked in superior stock. Best dish of the night by far at Long Chim.

To round off the entire experience, skip the usual tea and coffee ceremonies and swing by the bar to get yourself a LC Blz. Based on unique balance of sugarcane from Chalong Bay Phuket Rum and luscious Tawny Port. The drink is smoothed out with a bit of pure coconut water and then set ablaze. Similar to Teh-tarik, the potent concoction is"pulled" between two stainless pitchers with deft hands and then served warm in a teacup with a stick of cinnamon. The result, is a heavily spiced, warm cocktail that whispers sweet nothings into your ear, reminding you of the extravagant meal experience you've just walked out of.

How does that sound for a perfect weekend meal?

Long Chim
10 Bayfront Avenue
#02-02 Atrium 2, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Operating Hours:
Daily: 6pm - 12am

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