The Ascot Revisited

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The seed had been planted. The shameless facebook burger porn activity luring me into its webs. It was not long after my previous visit that I found myself once again threading light-footedly into it's comfy realms.

This time round, accompanied by my family, we savoured a whole round of new dishes. The BLT Sandwich ($14.00) with additional chicken ($4.00) was honest and simple comfort food. With sizable portions, generous portions of succulent grilled chicken, silvers of beautifully fried bacon together with crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes; this was a joy to eat.

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Despite the major lovin' that I was showing for The Ascot, cracks did appear, to my dismay. The Fish and Chips ($20) was disappointing, slightly fishy in flavor, the beautifully battered sticks had too uniform a shape that made the whole affair seem a little to.. structured. Perhaps a different choice of fish would have fared better, something with a slightly flakier texture like skate. Despite it's momentary failure to please the hungry diners, the accompaniments of mushy peas and double fried fries were sure winners. The former, well seasoned and thank goodness mint was left out of the equation; the double fried thick cut steak fries combined the best of both worlds, a crispy exterior with fluffy starchy goodness encapsulated within.

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But one would have to agree that the showstopper of the night had to be the Ascot Burger with fries ($18.00/ $25 with a pint of Stella Artois). The soft buns a perfect platform for the alchemy of bacon grease, creamy guacamole and sweet mayonnaise. The patty itself, a 160g carnivorous treat that could have used a little more help in the seasoning department, also, the mince could have been grounded down a little finer to aid the texture of the patty. Aside from that, I was a happy camper enjoying riotous mouthful after mouthful of salty, sweet, creamy and soft goodness, all at once.

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My second visit to The Ascot gets the thumbs up again. Slowly but surely, I've set my mind on eating my way thru this menu, so feel free to join me!

The Ascot
The Grandstand
200 Turf Club Road
Singapore 287994
Tel: +65 64620881

Kome Japanese Dining: a night of pleasant surprises

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Thanks to Hungrygowhere and Kome Japaneses Dining for the invite.

Some say that the secret to happiness is to have no expectations. In fact, I came with none; and when I say none, I meant zero knowledge of the place; not even knowing the distance from the main road to the inner depths of the country club (my chosen decision to walk in, one that I slowly came to regret as beads of sweat rolled down my spine). Piece of advice for the next adventurous diner, catch a cab in and after you've eaten your fill, roll out; it's a much better way to aid digestion.

We warmed off the night with tiny tipples of Yuzu Shochu, a citrusy blend of sweet liqueur that is popular with the ladies. Undeniably so, since it's deceivingly saccharine image steers people away from it's secretly potent nature that will kick into gear, a little later into the night. I much prefer this over the Blueberry Shochu which has a more medicinal taste to it.

Just a bit of background information before we start off the feasting, Kome Japanese Dining is situated in Keppel Club (nearest MRT being Telok Blangah), helmed by Chef Albert, a whimsical looking, tiny but resolute man and managed by Bobby, of happy go lucky personality, unfazed by pressures of any sort. With such soulful people holding the reigns, you can be sure that Kome serves the absolute best quality Japanese food.

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The Sashimi Moriawase was the first testimony to my theory. On the platter were tuna, tuna belly, salmon belly, yellow tail, yellow tail belly and scallops. Chilled down to a perfect temperature, these were a joy to eat, fresh, sweet and ultra smooth on the palate. The yellow tail belly (the one that looks suspiciously like swordfish) stole the show with it's stranger-like appeal and mysterious airs.

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Next, we were hit by a medley of grilled items. Firstly, the Grilled seasonal fish which I single-handedly devoured to the bone. Despite not being too big a fan of fish that hasn't been filleted, the meekness of the flesh and it's milky sweetness was a cause for unseeded temptation for me. I went back for more till there was nothing left.

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The Grilled Yellow tail cheek, which some raved about; wasn't my favorite. Served with grated daikon and a lemon wedge, this massive chunk took the fans of this prized-cut by surprise. Dang, the fish it hailed from must have been quite a monster.

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My favorite of the night was the Grilled Salmon Belly, it's glistening fats underneath that crisp skin beckoning to me. The soft flesh yielding quickly to the heat from our mouths, melting to into a pile full of umami goodness.

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Kome Japaneses Dining is popular for it's buffet Shabu Shabu where monkfish is used as a major ingredient in their stock base. This results in an intense sweetness of the broth with slight hints of the sea well incorporated. Unlimited servings of topside beef are also provided to diners together with a fine selection of vegetables. For our tasting portions, we were given Alaskan Crab as well, a delicacy that was well enjoyed by my fellow companions after being poached in the delicious soup-base. I must have had two bowlfuls of this liquid gold, because apparently I was stuffed there after. Yes, it was that good.

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A sizable portion of Grilled Cod Fish greeted us next. Presented with a sweet teriyaki like sauce, I found this dish underwhelming, the beauty of the cod fish weighed down by the one-dimensional sauce it was plonked it.

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If melt in your mouth, uncomplicated fattiness is your thing, go for the sublime Foie Gras off the ala carte menu. Each mouthful garnering swoons of satisfaction and lust around the table as it delivered desired bursts of fats with a more complex flavor complimented by it's gentle tossing in a sweet sauce.

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Last savory dish to grace our visit was the Beef cubes which didn't cut it for me. It's artificial softness suggesting a heavy use of tenderisers and again it's sauce, very one dimensional and one-noted.

On the dessert front, we were treated to a refreshing number to conclude the night of over-indulgent feasting. The Yuzu Sorbet was delicately sweet and mildly creamy, it's assertive sourness, bothering on a tinge of bitterness refreshing the fat-laden palate. A great finale to this meal.

Overall, Kome Japanese Dining proves to be quite a treasure trove, a hidden find which blew me out of the water with it's simple unadulterated food paying homage to the quality of the ingredients with a quiet reverence. Though it's location may be a bit daunting for some, it's food still serves as a major draw factor, a fact blatantly observed from the room packed full of regulars on a usually quiet Tuesday night.

Kome Japanese Dining
10 Bukit Chermin Road
The Keppel Club
Singapore 109918
Tel: 6273 0118

East 8, New York Fusion Tapas + Bar : Let's get cosy

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Looking for a quiet and intimate venue for drinks in the city hall region. Look no further than East 8 New York. Tucked away near the entrance of Grand Park Hotel on Hill Street. We've got a bonus in tow as well... they've got tapas style food for creative sharing as well. And if you take your food seriously, this tight knit menu, offering some really unique dishes really appeals the more discerning diners. Serving a diverse menu of Asian fusion tapas dishes, chopsticks are provided to establish it's Asian inspiration (don't worry they have forks and knives too if requested for).

In fact, everything in East 8 looks deliberately planned, the details in the fabric all works of 2 talented graphic designers, Emil and Steven, who resided in New York for about 5 years. From the tiny patches of green astro turf installed amidst concrete grounds to the clever use of height juxtaposition within its small indoor seating area (kind of resembles a loft apartment), to the tastefully designed menus, it seems as though the owners neurotic efforts to translate New York living into the restaurant design was seamless; creatively constructed and artfully presented.

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We settled in on a quiet Thursday night for a couple of drinks and just one Tapas dish to feed the hungry companion. On the drinks menu, there were plenty of sake and shochu-based cocktails, tying in with the Asian representation of New York being used as pivotal point. The East 8′s signature espresso tiramisu whisky cocktail, was delicious, like having a dessert in a cup. Whereas my Soho Noho ($18) was a well balanced circus act of citrus flavors hailing from the pink grapefruit and lime spotted with refreshing bursts from the fresh mint. With the cocktails nailed, the prospects of this young establishment were looking good.

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Then came our one and only dish of US Pork Cheek braised in Asian Style reduction was a comforting dish to have for the night. Tender, the rich flavors of porky goodness melding together with the gentle sweetness of the simmered down soy reduction. We were happy campers nibbling down on this dish. The usage of chopsticks for that informal sharing session with a few bouts of sticks over the delectable meat injecting a bit of playfulness. Again, well played...

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East 8 New York is not cheap, having small dishes and bespoke cocktails, the figures add up slowly but surely. Is it worth it? Yes, definitely. A haven for those seeking a little private space boosting some mean design, compelling menu and sophisticated drinks to match, this is pretty much a go-to place. I'll be sticking around for more.

East 8 New York Fusion Tapas + Bar

10 Coleman Street
#01-21/22 Grand Park City Hall
Tel: 63388289

A declaration of hazy love: Two Blur Guys

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Yes, it's apparent that the the Two Blur Guys will appear a little 'blurer' in light of the recent haze problem which has seen my Facebook feed come to life with up-to-date reports of the current PSI Index. With record high levels that spiked high above the hazardous level 300, it's a cause for major resentment among many disgruntled workers, who on the hindsight get the enjoy the comforts of air-conditioning most of the time. So if you aren't a blue collared worker or a construction worker of sorts, please keep your complaints to yourself. Let's deal with this in a more matured way.

So back to the story of the Two Blur Guys, basically it is what it is. A collaborative act between Anthony, blur guy #1 and Chef Jimmy Chok (from Bistro Soori), blur guy #2. Within the cosy innards of their well packed New York concept cafe comes the likes of good food, beer and pastries. A strange combination that has somewhat garnered lots of attention to its humble abode. After you place your order at the counter, reserve a bit of humility, do not gawk and DO NOT underestimate the power of multi-tasking, this would probably take place as the friendly service staff smiles at you, returns you back your change, and turns his back to cook your burger to a perfect medium rare state.

Here at Two Blur Guys, the Prime Beef Burger($12.50) is kept simple, with just smears of truffle mayonnaise on the pillowy soft buns toasted to a crisp, they don't crowd the palate, allowing the true flavors of the beef patty to shine through. The prime beef grounds mixed with a special blend of spices could have used a little more work as the result was a slightly chewier patty. But the sweet relish and the pungency of the gruyere cheese really helped to pull its weight.

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I had the Pulled Pork Burger ($11.50) which came with potato salad and mesclun salad on the side. For those who are super gung-ho about their crunchy truffle fries or thick cut chips... just let it go, this gangster creamy concoction of boiled potatoes, chives and sour cream (may have been a bit too heavy handed with pepper in this instance) may just be hit you in all the right spots.

The pulled pork was soft, tantalising and renders a burst of savoury juices with every bite. Topped off with gruyere cheese and sweet mustard mayonnaise sauce, these worked hand in hand to create some sort of a burgasm in my mouth. I felt... pleasantly dirty. Licking my chops and wiping the grease off the corners of my mouth with an impending weakness at the end of the deal.

Take my word for it and head down to this humble joint for your burger fix right in the heart of town now.

Two Blur Guys
Orchid Hotel
1 Tras Link #01-13
Tel: 6636-4183
Mondays to Saturdays: 11am to 9.30pm

Cha Cha Cha: Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong?

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My recent endeavours into Mexican food have seen some major disappointments and some other temporarily high points in my otherwise mundane life. Today I introduce to you one of my regular haunts when the Mexican cravings hit home hard. Cha Cha Cha, located at Holland Village has the benefit of it's convenient location, hence drawing in the crowds of expatriates that tend to flood into the area almost every night; however faced with direct competition from El Patio just next door, I report with much conviction that the former does a much better job of highlighting the authenticity of Mexican cuisine and at cheaper prices too!

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Service is fast and friendly at this no-frills joint so don't worry about having to expend unnecessary energy getting the attention of a waitstaff. And for the famished, food arrives with a sense of urgency and piping hot to the table as well. That's two ticks right there.

We ordered the Pitcher of Lime Margarita ($40), flavors of fresh lime and a generous dosage of tequila muddled into one slushie of a drink, perfect for the warm tropics. You're, almost always, guaranteed a fun night sharing (might I add) with friends.

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My Chicken Burrito ($16), essentially a flour tortilla filled with rice, topped with melted cheese and chili con carne, served with refried beans, guacamole and sour cream comes to the table with the sense and sensibility of a sumo wrestler, chubby and mean. You'd certainly do well in ordering this signature dish, the mixture of textures, flavors and contrasting temperatures of it's condiments creating a sweet dance of sensations on the palate. All was good till the refried beans which I did not fancy. Random note, avoid eating too much beans should you be on a date. These tend to make you gassy.

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My friend's Beef Fajita ($21) stole the limelight with its smoking hot entrance, served on a sizzling plate accompanied with warm tortillas with a garnishing plate of lettuce, salsa mexicana, sour cream and guacamole. Hearty in flavors, but a little bit of a scrooge when it came to tortillas.

Cha Cha Cha isn't the cheapest Mexican Joint around (it also isn't the most expensive). But I like its unpretentious ambience, faultless service, and overall dependent food.

Cha Cha Cha
32 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village,
Singapore 277690
Tel: 6462 1650

Operating Hours: 11 am to 11 pm Daily

Crystal Jade: A little bit of home.

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Disclaimer: A major thanks going out to Ms Samantha Yap from Crystal Jade Culinary concepts Holding and Hungrygowhere for organising the tasting.

On a typical weekday night, you'll find Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao crawling with people. Throngs of people, groups of hunger driven crowds. Located at the ever-popular Holland Village (made more accessible by the Circle line), the La Mian Xiao Long Bao represetative of the Crystal Jade group is just one of the 21 concepts with over 100 outlets across 18 major cities in the Asia Pacific region; and it's evident that despite it's mass expansion and rolling-in-the-dough expeditions, Crystal Jade's high level of quality control and act of preserving the fine art of Chinese cuisine have kept customers coming back for more.

Arriving at the crest of a balmy afternoon, I was greeted with a flash force of cold air as I entered the premises. All around me, tables were full, comfortably housing diners tucking into their early dinners. Instead of the South Northern Steamboat buffet, the few of us were steered to sample the ala carte menu. But just for your information, the Steamboat buffet is offered daily (at a different price through the weekends and public holidays) with a fixed seating timing (5pm -7.15pm, 7.30pmpm - 9.45pm, 10pm - 12am). Look forward to a good variation of soup bases, an unlimited selection of ingredients from sliced meats to pork dumplings and their famous homemade la mian! Not forgetting the free flow of Xiao Long Baos... yes you heard me right. I see a magical liberation of pants buttons and a loosening of belts occuring.

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Foodwise, we began with the Steamed Soupy Xiao Long Bao ($5.20 for 4 pieces), a dish that needs little recommendation. Delicate parcels of sweet broth and pork mince, this held up to the chopsticks test pretty well and I adored that the skins weren't so chalky, dry nor thick. The broth inside was well balanced in flavor resulting in a terribly addictive snack of sorts. Now I understood why some were hooked to the steamboat buffet.

Next, we had the Chicken marinated with Chinese Wine and Wolfberry ($9.00), basically a bowlful of health benefits rolled into one smooth and luxurious chicken dish.

The Spicy & Sour Thick Soup in "Sichuan" style ($7.50) made much more of an impression on me. Despite it's devilish hot looks, this soup was neither too sour nor spicy, even without the addition of chili oil or vinegar, the flavors were right up my alley.

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Another favourite here is the Braised Pork Belly served with pancake ($14.80), I was taught to sandwich the gelatinous mass of fatty goodness between the steamed buns but seeing that the buns weren't exactly cut out for the job, I went ahead to devour the proteins first before using the "pancake" to mop up the sauces. I reckon it was a good move since the pork belly wasn't that heavily spiced, leaning towards a more mellow and sweet twang; and hence the plain pancakes would definitely have drowned out the flavors even more.

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But the show stealer of the night was definitely the Sauteed egg white with fish meat and Conpoy ($13.50), cooked to resemble crabmeat, this dish was best savoured piping hot. Harbouring slithers of chinese ham and conpoy (dried scallops), these injected bursts of savoury chewy goodness to the porridge like dish. Simple yet with an air of secrecy and tight balance, I would have worked through a second bowl with ease.

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The Spicy Chicken with poached La Mian (9.80) was a mix of fiery heat and tang. Such that the final outcome of this carby dish left me feeling more refreshed than full, very appetite whetting. A great dish for the ladies.

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We drew a close to the night with their very famous Mango Pudding ($6.00), it's price justifiable by the fact that two mangoes are used in every single bowl of pudding. One for the custard and the other chopped into bits and strewned through the chilled smooth custard. A luxurious way to end the night.

For me, dining at Crystal Jade has always invoked memories of my childhood, after church lunches, engagement dinners and the list grows long. And with my most limited foresight, I see many more enjoyable dining experiences closely linked with kindred spirits to be built in the future. So stick around Crystal Jade.

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Holland Village
241 Holland Avenue
Singapore 278976
Tel: +65 64630968

Lustings for Shashouka : Wild Honey

It was late night.

I was craving breakfast. No, to be more specific, Shashouka eggs. Lashings of bubbling savoury goodness in earthern claypots, memories of work and all that good food at Hangry Cafe in Balmain, Sydney hits me like a brick. I needed my fix... fast.

Wild Honey was my solution.

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Wild Honey has been doing considerably well for itself over the past couple of years. Expanding out from it's hole in the wall venue in Mandarin Gallery to a much more spacious branch in Scotts Square. My past two visits (here and here) have been extremely well recieved by both me (the delighted consumer) and my companion. This time, a mere 2 years later (oh how quickly time zips by); I am once again floored by food presentation, portions sizes and variations of breakfasts served up.

Let's take a quick look at some of the items ordered around the table.

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Breakfast Hangover
scrambled eggs, smoked speck, roasted vine ripe tomatoes, swiss cheese and smoked paprika aioli on grilled ciabatta with breakfast potatoes

this hearty dirty dish would definitely aid in some form of recovery. Essentially a made up version of the Golden Arches's Big breakfast; it's a winner for anyone looking for something simple.

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Monte Cubano
pressed toasted foccacia roll with spiced pulled pork, virginia ham, dill pickles, swiss cheese, arugula, coriander mayonnaise and mustard

didn't get to taste this one. But looks wise.. a pretty neat package of delicious stuff.

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Last but not least, the straw that broke the camels back. My Shashouka, which I happily dug into along with a glass of house chardonnay. Shashouka is a culinary contribution that traces its provenance to the ancient lands of Tunisia, an egg dish poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and spiced with cumin; Wild Honey's version of the classic was studded with chorizo sausage and served with signature brioche and Isreali Salad. Instant gratification. Middle Eastern food cravings, done.

Wild Honey
6 Scotts Road
Level 3 Scotts Square
Tel: 66361816

World Street Food Congress 2013: The Food Jamboree

1 Venue
10 Countries
37 Street Food Masters

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For the first time ever, the World Street Food Congress is held in Singapore and is a recent cause for thrills and excitement stirred up amongst the overspilling throngs of locals that call themselves foodies.

In a bid to give street food more credit whilst preserving old traditions at the same time, the congress put together by Mankansutra (a local food enthusiast company); have gathered 37 stalls from all over the world (mainly inspiration drawn from founder, K F Seetoh's travels) and placed them on common grounds for the general public to feast and make merry. Sounds like a dream, yes it is!

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Located at the F1 Pit Building and Paddock, the World Street Food Congress is easily accessible via public transport. Take a MRT to promenade station and walk on over from Milennia Walk shopping center. Or you could easily find a lot at the Singapore Flyer carpark or the Esplanade should you be driving on down. Whatever it may be, make sure to work up an appetite before this as the Jamboree can prove to be a mind-boggling oasis for the fussy eater.

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When done right, dining alone radiates confidence and both defiance of constricting social norms. But in this very instance, screw being single! Grab a partner, maybe two, or even a group of wranglers, the more the merrier cause the larger your group, the more food you get to sample. And with so many mouthwatering options being dangled like carrots in front of a ravenous donkey, it doesn't take more than a second to decide on your favourites.

Here are some of mine...

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Shrimp and Grits from The Swamp Shack. Despite it being my very time sampling the ever so popular grits, I was surely taken by it's gritty cornmeal like texture. savoured with the sweet and slightly acidic tomato sauce on the top, it sure hit the comfort food status quo. The Shrimps were well battered and fried, resulting in a thoroughly crisp texture, unfortunately the use of salt was quite overwhelming.

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The Soft Shell Crab Burger from the EuroTrash Food Cart. Object of desire created by Charles Thomas from Portland, Oregon. Mainly devoured by my friend, this burger with light-crispy soft shell crab served with spicy mayo-yogurt sauce was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. oh yes, I sure wished the burger was 10 times it's usual size. Look forward to this one.

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We moved on the Asian delights after the two. Strangely, we notice a lack of representation of the Korean and Japanese street foods. Where were the Korean rice cakes and chicken BBQ Skewers, the sticks of yakitori or even the sweet taiyaki? Maybe we'll leave that to the next time. Presenting to you the Hoy Tord from Hoy Tord Chao Lay. Essentially a crispy griddle fried seafood/oyster omelette pancake; this was a work of art. ephermeral in texture, the eggy, starchy omelette with gorgeously crisp sides ( derivant from skills that can only described as 'a flick of the wrists')lay on a bed of lightly seared beansprouts. I'm not being a tease over here, but this was good, no, to-die-for.

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the Seafood Toastadas from La Guerrerense was next on my agenda. Braving the snaking queues, I locked my order in and let my anticipation grow like a balloon about to burst. With the words "make it spicy", I invite a small cheer from the kitchen. Okay, now I'm starting to regret this. Their tostada with sea urchin, pisto clam, salsa and avocado was an epic adventure rolled into one small and expensive package. Sabina Banderas Gonzalez and her legendary toastada food card from Ensenada in Mexico has quite a big following; from the media, to food giants, such as Anthony Bourdain voting it one of the '101 Best Places to Eat in The World'. And spicy it was.. my mouth inevitably bursting into a mountain of flames as the spoonfuls of homemade salsas from the many colourful jars perched on display, took its toil. Heed my advice and just go with a medium spicy level to enjoy the freshness of the seafood.

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The Porchetta Burger from the People's Pig, also from Portland, is another crowd favourite. The melt-in-your-mouth pork belly lending no resistance to one's bite. Surprisingly light in the spice department as well, with only fennel and garlic lending to the flavors, this dish gives full credit to the pork. The handful of peppery arugula providing that bit of leverage from the overwhelming fattiness.

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last but not least, we headed to The Swamp Shack for more creole inspired soul food. The Smothered Chicken features chunks of stewed meats sitting on a fluffy bed of spicy mash. Well seasoned. Hearty. Stuff that makes you want to roll around and sleep in it. I'm such a tease.

The World Street Food Congress Jamboree will end this Sunday the 9th June. So if you're planning a visit any time soon, make it quick as I reckon the procrastinators will surely choke up the area. Bring an empty stomach as well, and if in the case, you're lacking one, plan your food adventure, it doesn't take that long (look through the instagram feeds with the hashtag #wsfc for some drool-worthy photos)... My must tries would be the soft shell crab burger and the seafood toastadas.

World Street Food Congress 2013
Date: 31 May 2013 to 09 June 2013
Venue: F1 Pit Building and Paddock, 1 Republic Blvd, Singapore 038975
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm daily
Website: http://www.wsfcongress.

Media Tasting: La Brezza @ the St Regis

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Stashed away beside the picturesque swimming pool of the St Regis Hotel, lies the little charmer La Brezza. All business with an airy ordinance during the day, the trattoria style Italian diner takes on a more romantic and magical aura once the night sets in.

During my last visit, we got to taste the new menu yet to be launched, designed by La Brezza's new chef, Stefano Arrigoni, previously of Ochre at Orchard Central. Gregarious with a slightly cheeky smile at hand, Chef Stefano hosted the table with ease, guiding us through his vision with a delightful Amuse Bouche to start. The Carosello "LaBrezza" Special was a sight for sore eyes and lovely introduction to the night ahead, the langoustine tartare being the most memorable.

Kick starting the night, the Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops wrapped in Pancetta with Truffled Angel Hair Pasta and Caviar sauce($32). Despite it being a bit uninspiring, it was tell tale signs that it was back to basics with Chef Stefano, his style translating into a well executed scallop dish. The truffled angel hair pasta serving as a dreamy bed to the perfectly seared plump scallop.

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Next up, we dived into the shallow dish of Tuscany style tomato soup with king crab and basil foam($18), check out that generous serving of shredded king crab flesh! Cooked with a light handed amount of dried spices, this version proved to be a little more tangy and aromatic as compared to the usual robust tomato soup I've had, thus serving as an excellent compliment to the delicate crab.

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Now what is an Italian joint without a good pizza at hand? La Brezza does a very mean version of the Proscuitto Pizza ($38), topped with caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and more cheesy goodness in the form of stracciatella (another soft cheese); it's as if the whole mountain of ingredients in perfect ratio to each other formed a perfect amalgamation of flavors condensed into a compact package, a thin slither of blissful union. The sweetness of the caramelised onion exalting the smoky savouriness of the aged proscuitto used.

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Graduating to the mains, we were served a Slow cooked Australian Lamb Rack ($48) , crusted with Kalamata Olives and served with a vincotto sauce. Firstly, I walloped the Vegetable Caponata with gusto, Sicilian in origins with a delightful mishmash of aubergine and celery, it reminded me so much of ratatouille. The lamb in all honesty was a little too well done for my liking. Despite it's less than pink complexion, it was undeniably tender; probably attributed to the fact that the lamb was slow cooked for long hours on ends using the sous vide technique before seeing the light of the charcoal barbecue.

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The pasta selection at La Brezza is exceptionally liberal in its use of indulgent ingredients. Take for example the taglionlini with Boston Lobster, Sun-dried tomato, Italian Basil, served with white wine and tomato sauce ($48), you get an entire lobster perched on the side of the plate, one that has decidingly been murdered back in the kitchens and poached with much dignity once your ticket reached the fly. *dang*. Despite it's incredulous expense, I did not fancy the dish. The second pasta however fared a tad better in my books, the Homemade whole grain pappardelle with Ragout of slow cooked Venision and Pecorino ($40), was more robust in flavor, the tender venision ragout coating the pappardelle in a glistening christening of meaty juices.

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But nothing spoke as loudly to me that night as the Barolo Wine and Pecorino Risotto, sous vide Oxtail and sweet saba reduction ($38). Slightly purplish in tone due to the use of Sweet Saba (grape juices) reduction used to cook the risotto rice in, this perfectly tranquil dish of tender grains combined with the delicate oxtail flesh and finally finished off with paper thin shavings of Pecorino cheese over the top. Blissful gratification with every spoonful.

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Our mandatory Italian get-away dessert, Tiramisu was a bit of a hustle, the creamy lusciousness of the mascarpone cheese ruined by the large amounts of air incorporated into it's make-up, the use of the siphon largely abused in this case. Disappointing in this case albeit for the good mix of flavors within the soaked sponge fingers.

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La Brezza offers up a truly Italian gastronomical experience with a variety of dishes spanning across the geographical map of Italy. Despite it's slightly wallet-unfriendly prices, quality made it justifiable. Definitely a place you can consider for a special occasion dinner. For those sussing out a good deal, La Brezza does deliver an extremely value for money Prosecco Brunch available every Sunday from 12noon to 3pm. Read more over here

Thanks to Jesmine, Senior Marketing Communication Manager of St Regis Singapore and the Hungrygowhere team for organising the tasting.

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La Brezza
29 Tanglin Road
The St. Regis
Tel: 65066888