The Pelican: More than just waterfront views.


The Pelican situated along the waterfront that is One Fullerton boosts some amazing views of the harbour and the ever-changing skyline of Singapore. Step into it's cool vicinity and be greeted by inner city cool vibes enhanced by its' fire engine red upholstery and chic booth seatings.

Our choice for the hen's night dinner, we were all set for a full fledged gluttony experience.

Choosing to skip the starters, the ravenous group dove straight into the complimentary Sourdough bread which by my standards was a pretty darn good loaf, crisp crust with chewy moist innards. The unlikely  scattering of seaweed throughout the dough reinforcing the "under-the-sea" theme of the dining experience.

Our food quickly arrives at the table. The Pelican platter ($128) catching delightful stares all around, its' huge selection of raw oysters, Alaskan crab, clams, steamed whole lobster, prawns and mussels indulging most of our whims and fancies. As a main, this could feed 2, however if savoured as a starter dish, there's enough to go around for at least 5. Showcasing ingredients that don't appear to have been tampered with, the depth of flavors combined with the ethereally cold serving temperatures made for a luxurious experience; albeit the occasional flying crab and lobster head experiences.

For mains, we settled for the Skate Wing Chop ($36) and the Ribeye Cap Steak ($58). Skate, as I found out is the indigenous name for the Stingray which we locals have grown to love with it being smothered under a blanket of aromatically spiced sambal. In this case, it is served with a burnt lemon butter sauce and fresh herbs, a lighter take on the "classic", helping to accentuate the sweet flesh of the fish. I was sceptical at first, but grew to enjoy the firm, meaty texture of the stingray. Definitely a dish highly recommended. For a restaurant that explicitly focuses on seafood, I found the ribeye cap steak to be exemplary. Heavily marbled, this cut of meat had the flavor and juicy fat of a ribeye, with the tenderness of a tenderloin. The gorgeous plump slice of meat lying seductively on a bed of mashed baked potatoes that entailed another love story on its own. All in all, a fabulous meal for a tidy price and fantastic ambiance to boot. What's there not to like?

The Pelican
1 Fullerton Road, #01-01, One-Fullerton,
Phone: +65 6438 0400

Osia: Belly full of Surprises


It had never crossed my mind to visit Osia Restaurant ever. Situated just a stone's throw away from Joel Robuchon at Resorts World Sentosa, saving up the funds seems like an obvious choice. Helmed by Chef Douglas Tay, a seemingly young act in the scene given his sub-30 age; it may be a tough act on anyone's part to entrust a gourmet feast to such a young gun; but trust me, if you do, you're in for a treat.

For starters, we were treated to the restaurant's signature Stone Hearth Flatbreads served with Spiced Garbanzo paste that had been so cleverly contained in a toothpaste thing a ma jig. Points for novelty factor right there. The bread resembled a naan in its chewy composition and slightly stodgy center, not a winner amongst those who love a bit more aeration in their carbs.

The next course won me over with its stunning presentation. A conjugal bliss of Jamón Ibérico De Bellota, Air Dried Wagyu Beef Brisket, Burratina Artigiana served with vine tomatoes, rucola leaves and brioche. Up to your own liberty, mix and match the various fresh ingredients to create punchy flavors that perform a sweet dance on your palate. The Burrata cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar was deliciously rich and creamy; the salty iberico ham, a perfect foil for the cheese. A slight tangle of peppery rucola leaves helping to keep everything in check and cutting through the fat.

Lychee Martini Oyster - served complimentary from the Chef; I assumed this was to be a palate cleanser of sorts. The fruitiness and bubbly nature of the cool cocktail livening up the plump oyster. I could do with another half dozen of these.

The Mushroom Soup can't be faulted as well. It's flavors underscored by a sense of rich, woody, earthy spice.

Then it took me to the Pièce de résistance of the night. Polenta crusted foie gras with beetroot, rhubarb and riberry spiced compote. I'm lost for words. What worked was the mealy crust on the foie gras that added texture whilst the perky bright compote of ruby red substances imparting a dash of acidity and mild sweetness to the fat laden dish. This is a MUST-HAVE.

Moving on to main course, my friends has the Razor Clam, Atlantic Halibut, Hokkaido Scallop ($70). An intricate dish providing the diner an assortment of expertly executed seafood dishes. Complimented by several other flavors including black garlic paste, green onion puree, potato foam, iberican Chorizo and artichoke barigoule.

My Sea Perch with sesame ratte potato, soy milk curd and shiromiso glaze was another stellar dish which looked deceptively simple on the large platters but delivered hugely on flavor and execution. Slightly firm in texture, the fish itself had a beautiful fat content that melded well with the salty soy milk curd cubes perched on top. The sesame ratte potatoes were smashing, buttery with tattered edges that allowed the sesame spices to adhere with much endearment to its side. The pea tendrils that accompanied the dish, beautifully seasoned and a joy to eat even on its own.

Last but not least, my friend dived gregariously into his Bryon Bay Berkshire Pork Chop. This was the full works, a 300g bone in pork chop that had arrived freshly off the grill. Not for the faint hearted, the protein had a superior marbling stature and was deliciously juicy. Definitely for those with heartier appetites and more carnivorous preferences.

While the kitchen smokes and smolders, the dining room is a perfect scene of tranquillity, littered with lovebirds and rowdy parties. Yet the kitchen works its magic in churning out stellar dishes with an elegant, meticulous touch. Adventurous taste buds with food-geek tendencies should indeed give Osia a shot.

Resorts World Sentosa
26 Sentosa Gateway
Singapore 098139
Tel: +65 6577 6560

The Audacious Cakery: Weird is the word.


Audacious, it is to present a table full of sweets and desserts to four extremely judgemental palates.

Did Audacious Cakery eventually take the cake?

Unfortunately, not for me. 

Located in the newly spruced up Everton Park region, you're cocooned within its rather warm, softly lit interiors. The cafes' simple layout and charming decor fitting in with the "hidden-gem" theme of the neighbourhood: think clear glass panelled windows bathing the room in natural light. The menu, an impressive spread of sweets ranging from signature cupcakes, petite entremets to the more finicky macarons.

With the macarons ($2.50-$2.80), a variety of herbs and flavors take centerstage.  Sadly, these did not float my boat given their less than crisp shells and stingy fillings. Kudos to the Lemongrass and coconut combination though, I just wish there there was a slightly better balance of sweetness and muted acidity.

Moving on to the tarts; the Lemon Meringue ($5.80) and Chocolate Souffle Tart ($6.80); (for some strange reason, you can request for it to warmed up). Don't be fooled by its fuss free appearance, the former rebelliously flaunts the puckery nature of the lemon; creamy, buttery and gorgeously rich; this lemon tart was set to soar only to be knocked down by the mediocrity of the manufactured pate sucre base that lacked shortness and frankly, looked a little anaemic. With the chocolate tart, this was definitely the first time I encountered a choice of a souffle filling by a patissier and I was keen to try it out. Weird. The innards were ultra gooey, almost akin to a stringy soft cheese after being heated. Upon closer investigation, it was brought to our attention that the tart had been heated up before serving (apparently its been very popular eaten this way). I say NEH to the notion of direct heat since the egg white proteins would probably curdle and the crispy cookie garnish transforming into a chewy mess. Have it cold.

Then marched out the Cupcakes ($3.50). My favourite of the lot being the Black Sesame. Very potent in flavor, the cakes were in general very moist with a most huat kueh like texture. The fat-content in the Italian meringue buttercream could be toned down a notch as it left an oil slick on the lips after being noshed down.

Bottom plate (L-R): Forest Noir ($9.80), Chocolate Obsession ($8.80)

At this point, I'm thinking. I can't do desserts anymore. Yet, the allure of the mini cakes with their shiny glaze and petite garnishing tempts. Word of advice, stick with the cafes' chocolate offerings. The chocolate obsession being the star of the show with its slightly acidic dark chocolate mousse paired with a rich chocolate sponge. The Forest Noir, a spin-off the classic black forest cake may appeal to those who like a little alcohol in their desserts but certainly knocked my socks off with the extreme potent nature of the kirsch soaked cherries so deftly hidden within it's walls.

from L-R: Zacharie ($7.80), Faith, Strawberry Shortcake ($6.80)

Zacharie is a light cheesecake with a mango passionfruit jelly insert; despite it's pledge, I could hardly detect ginger in the biscuit base. For those who love the texture of tofu cheesecake, this is right up your alley. The Strawberry shortcake underwhelms with it's lack of general sweetness and depth of flavor.

Indeed, the food here casts good impressions with their attention to detail; regrettably, it doesn't deliver on a taste point of view. In this respect, there are loads of hits and misses with the desserts and it all depends on whether your choice matches up to your floating expectations. Good luck.

Audacious Cakery
Blk 2 Everton Park #01-161 
Singapore 081002

Jimmy Monkey: When I Miss Home


On the island state of Singapore, food trends are like waves breaking onto our shores, leaving us awash with new choices. We used to lament that finding a good cup of coffee was impossible; now the predicament is which cafe should we head to in order to avoid the crowds. And when I say crowds, that's an understatement. 

The 'Third Wave Coffee' has relinquished itself in a influx of cafes dotting the island. Common Man Coffee Roasters, Anthesis, The Bravery, Ronin, The Provision Shop, (working title) and the Le Mama Shoppe are just some of the new kids on the block that have joined in the game. While these fresh picks amuse the hippy youngsters always on the lookout for new spots to instagram from. I always turn to the usual suspects for my quick cuppa. Presenting to you my rock, Jimmy Monkey at One-North Residences.

There's nothing quite fancy about this space. High ceilings featuring some odd features (the still in-tact toilet bowl originally on the second floor)), warehouse aesthetic referncing with minimalist features. Here, it's a safe space, truly evocative of my dwellings in most Sydney cafes where you could slave away on your lappie half the day or craddle a good read without being disturbed.

                                                                                                                                                                    For something a little lighter on the palate and no less satisfying, order The Hulk - smashed avocado, chunks of feta and homemade dukka on sourdough. The interesting mix of middle eastern flavors and squeeze of fresh lemon juice lifts the dish with a citrusy and rustic nutty vibrancy. Definitely the best dish on the brunch table.

Heartier appetites can go for the Spaghetti with Chorizo and baby spinach. Al-dente with the perfect amount of seasoning makes this simple dish a crowd pleaser.

My mother very quickly worked through her Saint Joseph's Tartine, pausing occasionally to murmur through gorged mouthfuls; mostly swooning. The sauteed mix mushrooms is kryptonite, served on TBP multigrain sourdough and sided by streaky bacon. 

I was disappointed by my Breakfast Sandwich though. I'm guessing it's another case of food envy at work but still I cannot dismiss the underwhelming Kay's relish (with a name engraved next to it, you would expect it to be a real showstopper);  I could have used a little more of it and perhaps a little less acidity and more robustness. 

That mini detail aside, the coffee was perfect. Indulging me in all my caffeine nerdiness. 

Jimmy Monkey
9 One-North Gateway
#01-51 One-North Residences
Singapore 138643
tel: +65 6777 8470

"It doesn't have to be on Valentine's Day. It doesn't have to be by the time you turn eighteen or thirty-three or fifty-nine. It doesn't have to conform to whatever is usual. It doesn't have to be kismet at once, or rhapsody by the third date.
It just has to be. In time. In place. In spirit.
It just has to be."

Wings World: Shake your Tail Feather


Have you met anyone who's immune to the simple, glorious charm of a chicken wing? I haven't.

Wings World, a fairly new joint set in the heart of Joo Chiat area appeals to the chicken wing aficionados in most of us. With 10 different flavouring options including dry rubs and wet marinades, one would be spoilt for choice. Explicitly focusing on the wings, the menu as well as the ordering process is kept tight and simple; and I suppose the back of house management be a little more straightforward in its food preparation. Not discounting the fact that all sauces are made in house, the heartbeat of Wings World comes from the kitchen, which I imagine to be plastered in wall to wall tubs of over 75 different spices and herbs.

Outside, the space is comfortable. Simple wooden panelling and few tables and chairs thrown around, a perfect backdrop for a casual catch-up with friends or an intimate family dinner.

Here, the wings take centerstage. I had the Mild Buffalo and Italian Herbs in a basket of 6 ($5.95) whereas my partner had the Rajin cajun and the Mango Habenero. For me, my choices yielded great content; the buffalo seasoning, a good balance of heat and tanginess whereas the Italian herbs had a good bite and zest going on. With the dry rubs, I liked that the coating was an appropriately thin layer, avoiding the situation where you catch rogue lumps of MSG laden seasoning with one bite. Coughing fits... nah.. we don't want that. The Mango Habenero however fell on the sweeter spectrum of things which I didn't quite enjoy. Bring on the heat please. Point to note: the wings may lean towards the gym-rat, anorexic side so do increase your order quantity for maximum gratification.

Wings World
214 East Coast Road
Singapore 428913

Bistro Soori: The Silent Treatment


I was sore and defeated. "It's not going to happen" were the cataclysmic words that escaped her lips, with that, we shy-ed away from the doors of Burnt Ends; frowning in resentment at our failure to snag a coveted seat at the tiny eatery. 

Bistro Soori was just a few doors down. My stomach called the shots with it's undignified rumblings and we quickly made a scoot for the bar seats that offered an unobstructed view of the open kitchen.

On a weekday basis, Bistro Soori offers up a 3 course set lunch for an unparallelled price of $39.90. A real steal in my opinion. Further inspection revealed a menu that aims to please as many palates as possible; the starters, mains and desserts section each extending over 7 choices each. 

I started with the Sauteed Garlic Prawns, Mixed Greens, Red Wine Vinaigrette. Coming to appreciate it's smaller portions and hefty anchoring of greens only later in the meal when the three courses started to weigh me down. The sweet and bitter mix of greens together with the vinaigrette giving the dish unexpected depth of flavor. The prawns - politely seasoned with a wonderful sear on it's exterior.

The kitchen revs into its own gear. A bustle of service with the occasional awkward clang of plates thrown into the cavernous sink. There was one shortfall: the lack of showmanship you would expect from an open kitchen. There was neither the casual interaction between chef and diner nor the heated exchanges between fellow chefs. All that existed was a heat-load of bodies moving gracefully around each other, no words exchanged, a well-oiled machine. Befitting of it's pristine, cool and chic surroundings perhaps; but I would have loved to see a little bit of life injected.

An espresso cup of Tomato soup followed soon after the starters were cleared. Perfumed with absolutely no spices whatsoever; I gently nudged away the bowl of piping hot soup (burnt the roof of my mouth a little). Yes, there were the clean flavors of the tomatoes predominantly but the kitchen put zero effort into it's flavor profile. I might as well be biting into a tomato straight up.

His: Roasted Pork Belly, Spicy Sausage, Corn Relish, Mustard Cream Sauce 

This was received well apart from the corn relish that bordered on the overly sweet side. The pork belly could have used just a tad more time roasting as well.

My Duck confit was perfectly cooked, sided by a Asian influenced spinach and mushroom salad dressed to the nines in a Balsamic Reduction. I tasted a hint of Chinese rice wine amidst the dressing that added a considerable layer of flavor complexity. And one could also comment on the slightly overwhelming splash of dressing, but in the grand scheme of things and the dish's near perfect execution, that would be tantamount to splitting hairs. 

Lately, I haven't had much luck with desserts at restaurants. Always stumbling on dishes that look the part, but taste as though it was the after thought of a mad chef's crummy menu planning. Bistro Soori made an addition to that list.

Pandan Soufflé, Cookie, Strawberry Compote. This created stirs around the table every time a perfectly puffed version gets summoned from the heated enclaves of the oven. Yet what we got was a wet mess of eggy flavoured innards underneath that green sheath that suggested either an improper incorporation of the creme patisserie with the eggs whites or egg whites that were beaten way past their prime. My Caramelized Banana Puff, Rum Syrup, Vanilla Ice Cream didn't fare much better with over macerated bananas that looked clumpy and unappetising. (I spied rather whole looking banana slices on my neighbours table previously.. CONSISTENCY.. they probably scraped the bottom of the barrel on this order). To make matters worse, my puff pastry was raw. A slight tearing apart of the layers revealing a pastry chef's worse nightmare. 

I could have done without the desserts.

That being said. Bistro Soori charms by straddling Modern European culinary borders, reminiscing Asian inspired flavors and serving them up to their diners on a constantly rotating menu. Like an experimental kitchen, there are bound to be hits and misses which I've fully come to accept. The next time I return, I'll make a beeline for that Wagyu Beef Burger.

Bistro Soori
No. 2 Teck Lim Road
Singapore 088385
Tel: 6438 3802