Quick Picks: Weekday eats that won't gnaw into your wallet.[Part 2] || The Ramen Stall, P.Bistro, Wolf

Second part of the quick picks features a medley of wallet friendly options, once more. Depicting some amicable halal certified establishments for group gatherings, and pish-posh settings in Palais Rennaisance for private meetings; then of course, there's no special occasion needed for breaking in the burgers - and Wolf tends to those unfussy cravings all too good.

Let's begin the tour with a trip down to North Bridge road, popular ramen stall located along Short Street in Rochor has recently expanded their territory to rope in the consumption efforts of the Muslim community. It's clever positioning in the Arab street precinct together with its recent granting of its halal certification, clearly a clever plot and not a mere coincidence. It is 10pm at night and the stall is flooded with throngs of hungry diners, the patchwork of ethnicity in the room a sure win sign that they've done something right.

Yes, that and sashimi of course. Sturdy boats carrying a myraid of fresh seafood docks at the table - Salmon ($9.90), Hokki Shell ($9.90), Sweet Shrimp ($15.90), Tuna ($9.90), Mekajiki ($12.90), Tako ($9.90), Tukimi Komochi ($8.90), expertly plated with pure aesthetics in mind. Everything is fresh and succulent, just the way its made to, apart from the Tako which beckons for a jaw implant at the end of the incessant mastication. The star of the show has to be the Tukimi Komochi which is essentially sotong stuffed with cod roe, revealing wonders in a tight roulade that burst with a sea-worthy explosion with every bite.

Potato Salad, Pumpkin Croquette, Grilled Edamame and Volcano Ramen
For starters, get crackin' on the Potato Salad ($5.90), Pumpkin Croquette ($7.90) and the Grilled Edamame ($6.90), these smaller dishes pacifying the appetite till the main character arrives on set.

If you must, the Prawn with Roe and Mayo ($7.90) is utterly divine if not slightly detrimental on the wallet because of the employment of tiger prawns. Each prawn, slitted and stuffed with a bechamel consistency of creamy mayo and savoury roe resulting a lewd experience that your palate won't even know where to look. I dived into 2 of these on a whim and noticed the dagger stares from all round the table. (my bad). Other enthralling starters include the crispy fried Hokkaido Chicken Strips ($8.90) and the Beef Wrap with Golden Mushrooms ($12.90) - the braising liquids on the latter, a kaleidoscope of mushroom juices combined with beef drippings absolutely lip-smackingly good. 
Prawn with Roe and Mayo
But what you're really here for is the ramen. So I shan't digress. Note that chicken broth is used here instead of the usual collagen laden tonkotso broth (which I'm so deeply infatuated with) - so don't expect to find any of that fat-laden, lip-coating jargon here at The Ramen Stall. Chicken bones are boiled for the longest time, on high heat to extract maximum flavor, a mild sweetness contributed from a mixture of vegetables thrown into the cauldron. This is served up in their infamously spicy dish, the Volcano Ramen ($11) - choose between 3 levels of heat and deliberate your decision again later after the spiciness causes a slight itch in your scalp. You've been warned.

Hokkaido Chicken Strips
Kimchi Ramen
I much prefer the tamer Kim Chi Ramen ($11) which carries spikes of fermented sweetness in its wake. Another must try offering is their Dry Ramen ($11) which adopts a Chinese style干捞面  flavor profile, sesame oil is rampant here. Avoid the Smoke Duck Fried Rice ($8.90), the kitchen's ability to recreate the same wok-hei effect without the use of lard obviously not working out in their favour.

The meal concludes on a high note with the Yogurt Ice Cream ($3.90) snuffing out the faint flames that have gathered at the tip of my tongue. Garnished with fruits, granola, chocolate bits and bobs ; the refreshing concoction is just what you need to tie in the meal.

The Ramen Stall
787 North Bridge Road
North Bridge Rd

For something a little more intimate, P.Bistro falls in the bracket of "let's get frisky without robbing your boyfriend's wallet". Situated in the swanky Palais Renaissance, P.Bistro offers up French bistro-style dining, fueled by a hodgepodge of French, Italian as well as Asian-influenced dishes. 

The Tangy Pomelo Salad ($12) is a great way to start the meal. The tamarind dressing elevating the usual suspects of cherry tomatoes, shallots, coriander and mesclun salad. My only gripe would be the pomelo which could have been shredded a little tinier to abet the distribution. For something more substantial yet in line with your low-carb, healthy diet, lay your hands on the Fresh Kulbarra Barramundi White Fish Fillet ($26) - pan seared barramundi meets seasonal vegetables on top a carpet of lemon butter sauce. Devilishly sinful duck leg confit is offset by a piquant Red berry gastrique in the Duck Confit ($28); oven roast French Castaing Duck leg withholding sufficient flesh in contrast to its crunchy golden hide to balance out the seemingly lard hampered dish. 

While the Nonya Dory ($18) seemed wildly popular that night amongst the rest of the tasters, I was not so sure about the Peranakan sauce that failed to resonant with the delicate flavors of the dory fish fillet. If you're a big fan of spicy and pretty much nothing else, this would tickle your fancy. The Asian Red Curry Seafood Pasta ($24) presents a platter of pasta just a wee bit undercooked and chalky from the use of packaged sauces. Consolation being the throngs of perfectly cooked seafood lining the bowl.

A trip to P.Bistro is incomplete without desserts, and I would implore you to try their Passionfruit Tart ($4.00) as well as the Coconut Pandan Chiffon Cake ($6.50), these two being the hallmarks of excellence, especially since owner and Pastry chef Min Yee has made the grand tour of culinary institutions including Le Cordon Bleu Paris and Ecole Lenotre to earn her Le Grand Diplome and Master certification respectively.

390 Orchard Road,
Palais Renaissance
t: 6734 9268


Finally, my last and best suggestion for a quick night out of town would be a trip down to Pasarbella at Suntec City. So, this 'farmers market' may give out slight hints of pretentiousness, but looking past the hipster paintings and outlandish booth decor, this place oozes passion. The most so, from Wolf, a burger joint handled by the same awesome peeps from Carvers and Co

Given that I did crown them the best burger of the year (look up my list for TOP 10 BEST BURGERS in SINGAPORE here), you'll expect more or at less the same from their latest venture. Arriving at collective on a Tuesday night, I was bewildered to see that the stall was postively buzzing, sending off electric signals in all directions, luring diners from all walks of life. 

The menu could compete in an open mic event, listen, wolf burger, Fried chicken burger, horlicks vanilla milkshake and candied sweet potato s'mores fries... yeh, someone drop the beat already. The Wolf Burger ($9.90) is your classic burger made with freshly ground secret mince patty served with classic American cheese and sweet sauteed onions. Now, this is simplicity in a bun and to be honest, one glance and resistance is futile,  though I must advice you to go during their down time as the crazy queue situation lead to a rather dire sear on the patty as compared to the usual dreamy circumstance on my burger at  maiden outlet Carvers and Co. For something a little more kick-ass, go the Fried Chicken Burger ($9.90) route - this will wreck any existing blueprints of a diet, it's salacious combination of super crisp buttermilk fried chicken and salted egg egg sauce with homemade slaw between pillowy buns leaving me breathless. 

If you've still got stomach space for more, give their 'heart-stopping' Candied Sweet Potato S'mores Fries ($8) and Horlicks Vanilla milkshake ($6) a go. I cant say much about the former since I have zero disposition to eating marshmallows anytime (blame it on the better half), but the latter is a thick and lulling concoction that will evidently wash all blues away.

More burger porn ensues. Need I say more?

Wolf Burgers
Pasarbella @ Suntec City Tower 2

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