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7 Unique Carbonara Dishes That Will Make You S-cream For More

Perhaps one of the most classic dishes of all time is carbonara. While it’s usually made with eggs, cheese, bacon and spaghetti, it’s not a common sight to see different variations of the classic dish we love. We’ve found 7 different carbonara dishes that are worth trying.

Symmetry Cafe

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Bacon is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Carbonara. However, here at Symmetry, they have added a twist to that by replacing bacon with a fresh chunk of halibut. They have 4 different menus and the Mentaiko Carbonara ($ 24++) comes under the weekday brunch menu which is available from Tuesday to Friday. The dish comprises a slab of delectable miso halibut, linguine, furikake, uluru, lemon gel and mentaiko. The fish is fresh and packed with flavor. Although it may seem like an odd combination, I thought that the halibut complemented the creamy pink sauce. My only gripe would be the pasta which was a tad too cooked for me.

Old Habits

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Opened 3 years ago, Old Habits got its name from its owners’ habit of collecting old items such as CDs, gramophones, telephones, sign boards, watches and even street signs. They have their own twist on the classic carbonara dish which replaces regular bacon with beef bacon. Topped with a creamy egg sauce, the Beef Carbonara ($ 10.50) wasn’t as flavorful as expected. Every bite yields a strong egg flavor. The pasta was cooked to the right texture but I felt that the dish was too salty. If you like beef, this might just be for you.

Address: 38 Telok Blangah Rise, #01-135, Singapore 090038

Phone: 9644 2777

Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm daily from Tuesday to Thursday. 11am to 1030pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 11am to 9pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/habitssg/

Creation Cafe

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This next one is one of my favorites. If you’re looking for value, Creation Café is king. We went during lunch time so we got our carbonara with a soup and a cup of iced lemon tea. The owners were very warm and it’s no wonder why they’ve been around for over 17 years now. The sauces are all handmade daily because they believe in upholding quality. For $ 11.50, I’d say the price is unbeatable, given the portions. Topped generously with ham, sausage and mushrooms, the carbonara earned an easy full rating from us. While the sauce is a tad sweeter than others, it can get a little jelak for some. For me, the creamier the better. Great service, great food and great prices. What’s not to like?

Builders at Sims

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Located just a 5-minute walk away from the Aljunied MRT, Builders at Sims offers a cozy cove for one to sit back and chill with friends. Like other cafes, they offer a decent spread of food and drinks. We got their carbonara which closely resembles the classic carbonara dish. The sauce was flavorful but not that creamy which may be a plus point for some. The pasta was done al dente, just right in my opinion. The dish is served with an egg confit resting on the pasta so make sure to burst it and mix it! On a side note, I’ve also tried and tested their Ratatouille pasta and French Toast; both of which are worth a shot. Note that they only take cash!

Address: 53 Sims Place, #01-160, Singapore 380053

Phone: 6747 1837

Opening Hours: 1130am to 9pm daily from Tuesdays to Saturdays. 1130am to 4pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buildersatsims/

La Strada Restaurant

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A popular choice for Italian food along Orchard Road would be La Strada restaurant. Unbeknownst to some, this Italian restaurant is usually fully booked and it’s not wise to simply walk in for a table. I arrived 15 minutes after they started operations and was lucky to grab the last table which wasn’t reserved. This is perhaps the most extravagantly-priced carbonara dish in this list but for good reason. The dish consists of guitar string spaghetti (chitarra), truffle butter, egg confit and ham crumble. For $ 28++, it was quite disappointing as the portion was rather small. However, the quality of ingredients used more than made up for it. I liked the extra layer of flavor from the truffle butter which is hard to miss. Although the salty ham crumble helped to cut through the cream, I would have liked to see more of it in the dish.

Pasta & Donburi

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These days, it’s not uncommon to see quality hawker food that gives restaurants a good run for their money. Pasta & Donburi is one such hawker stall. Run by Kenny, the hawker stall specializes in (you guessed it) pasta and donburi. What makes them stand out is the ingredients and sauces which Kenny makes from scratch daily. He doesn’t use MSG in any of his sauces. He shared with me that he works 16 hours a day (including preparation). What dedication! The sauce is more watery; it is not as rich as others. If you like something lighter on the tummy, this is the one to go for. Generously topped with bacon bits, this pasta offers great value for its price. The pasta was a little too cooked for my liking but it’s not a deal breaker. Highly recommended!

Address: 20 Ghim Moh Road, #01-53, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, Singapore 270020

Phone: 9176 8650

Opening Hours: 1130am to 230pm, 5pm to 8pm daily. Closed on Thursdays.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pastandonburi/

Grill & Pasta

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Situated in Sembawang Hills Food Centre, Grill & Pasta offers an affordably-priced plate of carbonara. Out of all the carbonaras featured here, this is probably the creamiest. I liked that the consistency of the sauce was not too sticky so I still managed to finish everything. For $ 7, you get a lot of pasta slathered in a rich cream sauce. While the pasta was a little overcooked, the generous portion made up for it. It could use more bacon though. Overall, I prefer the homemade sauce from this stall as compared to the sauce from Pasta & Donburi, but Pasta & Donburi offers the more value-for-money option. 

Address: 590 Upper Thomson Road, Sembawang Hill Food Centre, Singapore 574419

Hopefully, this list has helped you to figure out where to head for your next carbonara advernture. I’m a sucker for homemade and affordable food; my personal favorite is from Creation Cafe, what’s yours?

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.

Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to the cafes/stalls listed above. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

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Apple App Store In China Adds WeChat Pay Support

By | August 30th, 2017

Apple users in China who want to make purchases in the App Store and iTunes Store now have another payment method to choose from after the company began accepting WeChat Pay, a popular mobile payment service in the country.

Apple announced the new support for WeChat Pay via a statement to local press outlets such as China Money Network, with the WeChat Pay mobile payment offering joining existing payment methods for purchases within Apple’s app and music stores.

“We are glad to offer users in mainland China the option of WeChat Pay for their favorite mobile app or Apple Music products. We continue to be dedicated to provide multiple simple and convenient payment methods for customers within the Apple ecosystem,” Apple said in an official statement today.

WeChat Pay is an offshoot of the WeChat instant messaging platform and is part of a market which is dominated by Alibaba’s Alipay which accounts for around half of that market. Apple Pay, Apple’s own payment service has struggled to grab a foothold in China following its release in that market in early 2016.

Chinese users are simply not taking to Apple Pay in the same way those around the globe have done so far, with the likes of Alipay and WeChat Pay ensuring Apple’s own built-in solution is unable to compete as the company may have expected. Chine is a huge market for Apple and one that it has taken great pains to capture.

Whether Apple’s new support for WeChat Pay suggests it is beginning to lose faith in Apple Pay in China is unclear at this point, and given the international adoption Apple Pay has received. Apple will surely try to replicate that success in a market that has the potential to be a huge driving force behind its bottom line.

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Ka Soh: Bib Gourmand Zi Char

It is hard to write about an eatery when expectations are so high.   Firstly, Ka Soh has been around for a long time and is regarded by many as a Singaporean institution.  Mention fish head beehoon and har cheong gai and its name would invariably turn up!  And then, there is the fact that they are on the listed in the Michelin guide as a Bib Gourmand restaurant!  With these two accolades, you won’t be blamed for expecting the food to anything less than stellar.

That really is a problem.

If Ka Soh were an ordinary coffeeshop zi char, you would have thought the food was pretty good.  Their fish head bee hoon is still made the traditional way where fish bones are boiled till the stock is milky, slices of fresh snakehead fish and bee hoon are added and finally the creamy soup is anointed with a splash of chinese wine before it is served.  The thin layer of collagen that forms on the surface is a tell tale sign that milkiness comes from collagen and not from evaporated milk!

The soup is good but our kakis felt that it lacks the oompph when compared to the one served at the the original swee kee fish head noodle house. 4/5

Candice, the third generation owner told me that the soups at both restaurants are slightly different.  The one at this branch is lighter as the clientele are younger and want to have a soup which they can finish without feeling too full.   So the recipe has been tweaked a little to accommodate  the different palate.


Kurobuta pork chops

To appeal the the younger clientele, they also use more premium items like kurobuta pork to make their signature pork chops.  Honestly I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference since the meat has been marinated and deep fried.  It still has that sweetish savoury flavour and unlike the typical pork chops, there is no sauce to go with it. 4/5

The har cheong gai was very good, but when the reputation of the restaurant was built on it, you would expect it to be a head over the others which it wasn’t.  My gold standard for har cheong gai is still the one from Holland Village XO Fishhead beehoon.  4.25/5

What I like about their cereal prawns is that the shells have all been taken off so it is easy to eat!  The cereal was also nicely fried, well balanced and not oily.  4/25/5

The fried frog’s legs were very good.  This is quite unique to Ka Soh.  The legs were nice and juicy and covered with a sweet, piquant sauce which was delicious.  4.25/5

The orh nee dessert is worth a try as it is presented differently from other places.  Ka Soh makes their own yam paste and deep fries them in pisang goreng batter and serves it with a drizzle of syrup.  Worth trying unless you are a stickler for tradition!  4/5

Conclusion

The food at Ka Soh is good  and they do make the effort to make all their sauces and soup stocks themselves.  You will have a satisfying zi char meal there if you walked in without any expectations.

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New iOS 11 ARKit Demos: See Your Food Before Ordering In Restaurant, 3D Sculpting, Zombies Invasion

By | August 29th, 2017

Apple’s new ARKit framework bundled as part of the iOS 11 SDK is undoubtedly going to result in an array of new and powerful experiences making their way onto the App Store as developers get to grip with what’s possible.

Prior to it actually being officially available, we have seen a load of innovative ideas and demonstrations making it into the public domain, with a number of the latest examples showing how the technology could be used in restaurants, what a home zombie invasion would look like, as well as AR used for sculpting and creative purposes.

The individual projects created with ARKit have been exceptionally interesting to see over the last few months. One of the latest set to hit the public domain has arguably been the most impressive yet. The creators behind Kabaq have come up with an AR-based solution using ARKit which allow diners to instantly view a real-world implementation of the food that they are potentially going to order from an interactive menu. It instantly gives diners a real-world view of what they are ordering as well as any potential portion sizes.

For those who aren’t into food, or who think that technology of this nature has no place in restaurants, then how about using augmented reality to craft a stunning 3D face in Maker Studio? The demonstration shows a talented 3D artist using Apple Pencil and iPad Pro to put together a stunning face using Maker Studio augmented in the real world. The level of detail is truly impressive and really gives a sense of what is going to be possible when ARKit is used to its full potential after release.

And finally, as far as demonstrations using ARKit goes, it’s hard to not get excited about a zombie invasion in your own home. Thanks to the ARZombi game, it looks as though that will actually be possible thanks to augmented zombies breaking through doors and windows to chomp on your flesh. Use weapons, tools, and barricades to prevent it from happening, but when those zombies want your flesh, the chances are that they will get your flesh.

Check out all of the trailers and demonstrations for yourself and see which ones you are most excited about and looking forward to.

MakerStudio ARKit

Apple ARKit in Food ordering

ARZombi Game Trailer

(Via: @madewithARKit [Twitter])

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The Bird Southern Table & Bar, Marina Bay Sands: Not to Be Confused with HK’s Yardbird, This One Sells Atas Fried Chicken

To avoid being mistaken for Yardbird Yakitori restaurant in Hong Kong, the award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami has been renamed The Bird Southern Table & Bar at MBS.  Decorated in the style of barnyard chic, the gorgeous 190-seater restaurant serves Southern American food and cocktails with a bourbon base. In a nod to Singapore food heritage, The Bird offers low country laksa ($ 38), a skin-on snapper fillet on Carolina gold rice pirlau; and pandan mule ($ 20), a Moscow mule with vodka infused with pandan.

For appetizers, many order the classic buttermilk biscuits ($ 10, 4 pc), but we eschewed the carbs in favor for fats. The deviled eggs ($ 14, 3pc) is elegantly speckled with smoked trout roe. I enjoy dill as a herb very much, and in turn, I like the anise-like flavor it brought to the deviled egg, sharp with vinegar and mustard.

Butter lettuce & grilled mango salad ($ 18)

The fried green tomato BLT ($ 18, 3pc) is even better. The green tomato, done almost in a tempura style, forms the base; the middle consists of pimento cheese; and house smoked pork belly, tender and crispy, tops off the BLT.

Their signature is their fried chicken from their 100 year-old recipe. You can order it as a 1/2 chicken ($ 35) or 1/2 chicken with watermelon and waffles ($ 45).  They are big enough for 2.

The watermelon cubes are tossed with lime, lemon, mint and cayenne pepper: too sour for me. The Vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle is savoury and firm; and the bourbon maple syrup adds a wonderful complexity.

But how does the fried chicken fare? Excellently. The chicken is hormone-free and brined for 27 hours to maintain the moisture when deep-frying. The treatment allows even the chicken breast to be tender and moist to the bone. There is some blood on the bones, something that some Singaporeans mind, but we didn’t.

However, great as the chicken is, we wonder if it is overpriced. The day after eating The Bird, I ordered Arnold’s Fried Chicken for $ 26, feeding my parents and me; that’s half the price of The Bird’s. Eating fried chicken on two days, I could do a rather fair comparison between the two. The quality of chicken and the cooking are way better at The Bird, but Arnold’s spices are hard to beat. Next time I visit The Bird, I’ll probably try something else, maybe the St. Louis style pork ribs ($ 42), which I saw many people order and which comes as a huge portion good to be shared between 2 persons.

The mac & cheese ($ 14) comprises of 5 cheeses: white cheddar, yellow cheddar, parmesan, Leicester, and cream cheese. It’s beautiful. Just slightly pungent, it’s deep and earthy and dense. I also noticed many people ordering crispy brussels ($ 12), a bowl of interesting-looking black thingamabob.

The bold style of the savoury food is congruous with the desserts, dense and thick; however, this particular style doesn’t quite suit desserts because, after a full meal, a light and tart dessert is best.

There are many things we like about The Bird. Our favorite part is the clear and distinct direction of the food, full of character. Assertive and bold and robust. Clearly, the James Beard nominated restaurant excels in all areas. I won’t be surprised if it receives a Michelin Bib Gourmand next year.


MENU


The Bird Southern Table & Bar
2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-07 & L1-82 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
tel: +65 6688 9959
Lunch M-F 11am-4pm, Dinner daily 4pm-11pm
Drinks & light snacks 11pm-2am
Weekend brunch 10am-4pm
facebook

Food: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Value: 5/10
Decor: 8/10


You may be interested in…
25 Degrees Burger, Hotel G, Middle Road: Hollywood A-Listers’ Favorite Burger Joint from Los Angeles Now in Singapore
Bar-roque Grill, Tanjong Pagar: New Michelin Bib Gourmand Recipient, Meatcentric and Borderless
Venue by Sebastian, Downtown Gallery: After a Hiatus of 3 Years, Former Ember Chef Re-Emerges
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar Singapore: 3 Michelin-Starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Condescending Service, & Everything But the Signature Dishes


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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SAFRA Members Traveling To Thailand On AirAsia In Sep 2017 Can Redeem Cold Storage & Thai Massage Vouchers

Freebies when you book flights to Thailand

With the constant hustle and bustle of our busy little city, there’s nothing like a mini getaway to the Land of Smiles to turn any sort of crisis around. Just less than a 3-hour flight away, these happening cities lure us in with their interesting night markets, cheap shopping destinations, beautiful sights to see, and relaxing Thai massages.

Travel to Amazing Thailand on Air Asia

From shopping and eating your way through one or all of Bangkok’s vibrant night markets, to achieving ultimate zen up in the chilly plains of Chiang Mai – book your flights to Thailand on AirAsia this August-September, and redeem Thai massage and Cold Storage vouchers!

SAFRA members will get to redeem a FREE 90-minute Thai massage*(U.P. 800 baht) from Let’s Relax Thai Spa at any of their 12 Bangkok outlets – including MBK, Terminal 21, and Siam Square 1 – and also at other destinations outside of Bangkok, such as Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket.

For every booking of 2 passengers, you’ll also be able to redeem a $ 50 Cold Storage Voucher* – perfect for spending on snacks and travel essentials that you may need to tide you through your vacation. 

Image credit: Amazing Thailand

To enjoy these freebies along with your vacay, all you have to do is book your return flight to any of these aforementioned destinations in Thailand anytime between 28th August – 5th September 2017, and depart Singapore between 28th August – 30th September 2017.

Note: This promotion is open to SAFRA members only.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Thailand but never got the chance to, or if you simply want to return for a well-deserved break, now is your chance to do so! Find out more about the SAFRA promotion here.

Book your flight to Thailand on AirAsia here!

*Terms and conditions apply.


This post was brought to you by Amazing Thailand.

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iPhone 8 Wireless Charging To Be Limited To 7.5W [Rumor]

By | August 27th, 2017

Apple’s iPhone 8 is expected to be announced during a media event some time towards the middle of September, and even as we edge ever nearer to that happening, we continue to receive more and more leaks about what the device will bring to the table.

One of the things we strongly expect to be part of the iPhone 8’s feature list is wireless charging, marking the first time such a charging option has made its way to the iPhone following years of being available on even mid-range Android devices.

Apple’s own Apple Watch already supports wireless charging, and now, it would appear we have learned a somewhat puzzling fact about the iPhone 8’s own charging capabilities. According to a report by Macotakara, the iPhone 8 will be limited to 7.5W wireless charging. That particular revelation would mean that the iPhone 8 is not capable of the same 15W fast charging that current Android flagship phones boast, meaning that while charging via Qi-compatible chargers is possible, it will simply not be as quick to do so as offerings by the likes of Samsung.

It is unclear why Apple would make such a decision at this point, but we are sure there is a reason in there somewhere.

Macotakara cites an “information resource that is well versed in WPC” when making the claims, with WPC being the Wireless Power Consortium whose Qi 1.2.x standard would allow for 15W charging capabilities. If Apple is indeed shipping an iPhone that is not capable of fast wireless charging, then such a decision would certainly be curious, especially given the ultra-premium approach the iPhone 8 appears to be taking, not least with its expected $ 1000 asking price.

The iPhone 8 is expected to be announced alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus on or around September 12th, so any and all questions we have should hopefully be answered soon enough!

(Source: Macotakara [Google Translate])

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Schmear, Quayside Isle: American Bagels, Between One and Five Stars

Schmear at Quayside Isle, which is also known as the land of astronomically expensive condos, is a cafe opened by New Yorkers (according to their website), and they specialize in the New York “delicacy”—bagels. I lived in New York for four years and I still don’t understand the appeal.

Anyway, they hand-roll their bagels and bake them fresh daily. They recommend their bagel sandwich, the New Yorker ($ 8 + $ 3 bacon), with two fried eggs and melted natural cheddar cheese.

Seeing their facebook reviews are mostly 1/5 or 5/5 piqued our curiosity. Spoiler alert: Our experience wasn’t a 1 or 5; it’s somewhere in the middle.

Unfortunately, after we travelled all the way there, they ran out of their bagels. It was disappointing. It was also inconceivable. It’s like you go to a ramen restaurant and they tell you they are left with curry rice. I think proper management and planning are in order.

Let’s get the worst parts over and done with:

(1) the wait. Most of the patrons at the cafe were already served because it was almost 2pm. But we had to wait 40 minutes for the food to come. We asked two, three times about the food, and the answer was always “It’s coming.”

(2) The menu isn’t extensive. There is nothing much to choose from. There are parfait, acai bowl, french toast, pancakes, and then sandwiches.

The food, however, is not bad. Mr Fitness ordered the Philly cheesesteak ($ 18), hoping to replicate his good experience at Philly Shack. But he was disappointed. There is only a thin layer of beef and the scarce cheese is buried, unable to emerge from the dominant flavor of the sweet caramelized onions. It isn’t irredeemable but it can be better.

They grind steaks into patties for their steak burger ($ 18), which is topped with homemade BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and caramelized onions. It sounds thin so I added $ 8 for guacamole, bacon, and fried egg. That’s $ 26 for a burger.

I ordered medium, but it came medium-well done. But it’s still tender and juicy and the flavors work. It’s not bad.

After visiting the place, I went to their website and they recommend an interesting sandwich, Miss Saigon ($ 15), which is a New York-Vietnamese hybrid sandwich. It has BBQ pulled pork, Vietnamese pickles, mint, and coriander. Perhaps we should have ordered it, instead of the Philly Cheesesteak.

We didn’t eat much but we paid about $ 60 for two persons. That is quite expensive for two buns and a mocha. Overall, it’s an ordinary experience. We don’t regret it, but given the proliferation of cafes at accessible places, there is nothing to induce our return. If they aim to serve the nearby residents, then the cafe is adequate. Otherwise, they need to up their game. 


MENU


Schmear
31 Ocean Way, #01-03 Quayside Isle, Singapore 098375
Tel: +65 6334 3832
weekdays 8am-10pm, weekends 8am-2.30pm, closed Tue
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Food: 6/10
Price: 5.75/10
Ambience: 6.5/10
Service: 5.5/10


You may be interested in…
Epiphyte, Garden Cafe at Neil Road
Carol Mel Cafe, Tai Seng: When a Cafe Defies Predictions of Doom
Wheeler’s Estate, Seletar Aerospace Park
Mykonos On the Bay, Quayside Isle: Fantastic Greek Food That You Won’t Make You Koon in Sick Bay


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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Da Miao Hotpot 大妙火锅 – The Next Great Hotpot to Celebrate With

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Adding to the diversity Clarke Quay has to offer is Da Miao Hot Pot, a restaurant which first began in Chengdu, China. During my university days, I fell in love with this Sichuan style Mala hotpot that was numbingly good (also it helped me numb the stressors of academic rigours).

Despite my lackluster appreciation for the Chinese culture, I found the eclectic East-meets-West décor style oddly refreshing. At the entrance, two red lanterns hung on racks that are stacked with straw bowls, baskets as well as glass containers filled with Chinese herbs and spices. Beyond the entrance, you’ll find a multi coloured stage built in the heart of Damiao’s premises. Above the stage you’ll spot brass pots and pans hung above the ceiling. If I hadn’t paid attention to the tables that are equipped with the in-built conduction cooker, I could have almost mistaken Damiao as a mini Chinese museum.

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Unlike a number of restaurants in Clarke Quay, Damiao offers (thankfully) an all-indoor hotpot experience. You could still have the option of either dining window side or dine nearer to the stage where short performances are put on to entertain diners in the evening. If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of Damiao’s traditional performance by their “stage actors” while cooking your ingredients in their delicious soup bases.

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Take your seats and you’ll first be greeted with the conduction cooker with the words “Da Miao” embossed in red on top of it. The service staff rapidly placed a spread of condiments across our tables, such as chopped peanuts, garlic, chilli padi, coriander and spring onions. We were also given a little red can filled with sesame oil. Yes, it is a can! But why? Back in Chengdu, sesame oil is known to be the most commonly utilized condiment shared amongst diners across the day. This also implied that the exposed sesame oil faces a higher risk of unhygienic practices. Storing the sesame oil in disposable cans thus serve to ameliorate that health concern. So remember to crack open a can and have fun mixing it in with the other condiments.

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crabstick and seedyballs

We had the Damiao Traditional Yuan Yang Soup Pot ($ 20), which was essentially made up of a Fresh Mushroom & Pig Bone Soup and Damiao Special Spicy Soup that can each be ordered separately. If you’re worried about the level of spice of the Mala, fret not! The friendly service staff are more than willing to help you adjust the spice level to your preference. Feeling a tad overwhelmed by their selection of ala carte dishes? You could begin with the usual traditional hotpot ingredients, such as the Chicken Slices ($ 12), Fish Seedy Balls ($ 12), Crab Meat Stick ($ 8) and Luncheon Meat ($ 8).

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If you’re a hotpot veteran, you might like to pick from Damiao’s premium meats ingredients such as the imported Australia Prime Beef ($ 32) and Boston Butt ($ 13) – which is really just a playful term for pork neck meat. I can’t say the same for other hotpot places, but Damiao sure delivers meats that are of superb quality.

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Fresh Shrimp Paste ($ 18) ascended to one of my favourites in Damiao. Scoop up a spoonful of the shrimp paste and simmer for a while before coating it in the delicious sesame oil-condiment mix.

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If you’re feeling bold, venture into some of Chengdu’s exotic foods, including the Swine Trachea ($ 16) or even Fresh Tripe ($ 16). Just as the staff described, the Swine Trachea does have a crunchy bite to it, whereas the fresh tripe on the other hand, has a dense and chewy texture. However, both ingredients are neutral in flavour, so remember to dip it in the condiment mix for additional flavours! The service staff recommends cooking these ingredients for only a short while before savouring on these Chengdu delights. Aside from the pre-cooked ingredients, there are also a variety of finger foods to order from. Indulge in a bowl of classic egg fried rice ($ 3) or Minced Meat Dumpling ($ 4) while waiting for your food to be cooked.

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Helmed by an efficient team of chefs and service staff from Chengdu, Damiao is definitely your next go-to hotpot place to satisfy your mala craving. Though the traditional dishes (Luncheon Meat, Crab Meat Sticks) are slightly costly, I find the meats (e.g. Prime Beefs) in Damiao highly value for money. I would definitely be back not only for the hotpot, but also for the traditional Chengdu performances.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Sean Ng

Battling perpetual food coma while indulging in a menu that fills both the stomach and soul.

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The Bird Is MBS's Newest Restaurant With Chicken & Waffles And Half-Priced Cocktails

The Bird – American Comfort Food at Marina Bay Sands

MBS The Bird brunch spread

Fried chicken and waffles have each been major food trends in Singapore. From Korean fried chicken to waffles topped with everything from salted egg yolk to soft serves, Singaporeans have taken absolute glee in sniffing out new iterations of these classic foods.

And die-hard foodies, here’s another version to try – this time right in the heart of the glitzy Marina Bay Sands. Its newest restaurant is The Bird Southern Table and Bar, or just The Bird, and it serves up Classic American cuisine with a twist. Specialising in waffles and fried chicken in a “sure-win” combination, here’s why it’ll leave your tastebuds all tingly.

Appetisers

MBS The Bird deviled eggs and smoked pork belly

(Left plate top to bottom): Deviled Eggs and House-Smoked Pork Belly

Their Deviled Eggs ($ 14) are half of a boiled egg filled with yolk mash, dill, and chives, topped with smoked trout roe for a nice balance of flavours. You’ll finish this in a few spoonfuls, and we found ourselves licking our lips after we were done.

MBS The Bird house smoked pork belly

House-Smoked Pork Belly. Image credit: The Bird Southern Table and Bar

The Bird’s House-Smoked Pork Belly ($ 18) is a refreshing twist on the classic BLT sandwich. Instead of the usual bacon, lettuce and tomato, there is house-smoked pork belly, frisée – a leafy vegetable, pimento cheese – and fried green tomatoes respectively.

Think tender pork belly topped with smoky tomato jam, creamy pimento cheese and fresh sprigs of frisée.

MBS The Bird classic buttermilk biscuits

These 4 fluffy biscuits are served with a jar of honey butter and house-made jam

And to kickstart the feasting in true American fashion, try their Classic Buttermilk Biscuits ($ 10). These biscuits are baked and shaped more like scones, and are made with buttermilk rather than milk – this gives it a rich aroma and texture, whetting our appetites for the mains to come.

Mains

Behold, the dish of the hour: the Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles ($ 45).

MBS The Bird chicken and watermelon and waffles

A plate of sinful indulgence, served with honey hot sauce and bourbon maple syrup. Image credit: The Bird Southern Table and Bar

Good fried chicken is tender on the inside – and this fried chicken did not disappoint. In fact, we were told they were brined for 27 hours to seal in the moisture.

mbs the bird chicken and waffles

Onto the other star of the dish: the waffles. Its batter was made with a mix of cheddar cheese and herbs, which I enjoyed because it gave the waffle a savoury kick as opposed to having the usual plain waffle.

Finally rounding up the dish were watermelon cubes. Spiced with cayenne pepper and mint, it was a refreshing contrast to the richer waffles and chicken.

Tip: Eat it all together – cut a piece of chicken and waffle, drizzle the sauces all over and pop a slice of watermelon to finish it off. You’ll be rewarded with the explosion of flavours from this daring and unexpected combination!

If chicken and waffles ain’t your thing, opt for another comfort food – Macaroni & Cheese ($ 14).

mbs the bird mac n cheese

Image credit: The Bird Southern Table and Bar

The Bird’s version has 5 artisanal cheeses melted together for the ultimate cheesy goodness! Crispy herb breadcrumbs are sprinkled over the top to add even more colour and flavour.

Desserts & Drinks

Yes, this is a totally edible flower pot.

mbs the bird flower pot mississippi mud pie

You’ll be loathe to break this apart to eat!

At a glance, the Flower Pot Mississippi Mud Pie ($ 18) seems like just a flower pot, but it’s actually made of chocolate.

mbs the bird flower pot mississippi mud pie

The melted marshmallow goodness with oreo crumble

The “soil” is oreo and pecan crumble. Hidden inside is a layer of chocolate cake with melted marshmallow and chocolate ice cream dribbled all over. Finally, a flower made of icing and a gummy worm add to the dish’s aesthetic. Recommended for all you sweet tooths out there!

mbs the bird flower pot mississippi mud pie

We mauled the flower pot and chocolate ice cream and the marshmallow came oozing out!

mbs the bird salted caramel bread pudding

We also tried the Salted Caramel Bread Pudding ($ 15), a brioche pudding baked with moonshine raisins. But what really excited me was what accompanied it – Chantilly cream, whisky anglaise (custard cream), gooey caramel sauce and sweetened and spiced pecans.

The alcohol gave it zing, and the brioche wasn’t soggy, making for a great savoury dessert!

mbs the bird blackberry bourbon lemonade

For those of you who’d like to unwind with a drink, sip The Bird’s signature cocktail – the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade ($ 27). It’s a thirst-quenching mix of wild turkey bourbon, blackberry puree, lemon, cardamom and angostura bitters.

The alcohol is just strong enough to come through, but doesn’t overpower the fruity accents of the fresh lemon and blackberry.

BONUS: 4 of their signature cocktails – including this one – are 50% off every Tuesday from 6-9pm! For a full list of their promotions, visit their website below.

The ambience

mbs the bird basement restaurant

Image credit: The Bird Southern Table and Bar

The restaurant’s wooden tables and low hanging lights evoke a warm ambience and it was refreshing to see this rustic gem within the futuristic Marina Bay Sands.

mbs the bird alfresco bar

Alfresco bar at Level 1. The bar tables even have sockets underneath to charge your phones!

The main restaurant is located at the basement, but we especially loved the alfresco bar at Level 1! It boasts stellar views of of the outdoor promenade and the city – a great place at which to sip cocktails.

mbs the bird alfresco bar

Plus, the lights on the bar floor were intriguing – they’re made using whisky and bourbon bottles

The verdict

mbs the bird

(Clockwise from bottom left): Deviled Eggs, House-Smoked Pork Belly, Classic Buttermilk Biscuits, Macaroni & Cheese, and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles

One of the greatest joys of being a foodie is discovering flavours you would never have thought to mix. And while The Bird’s array of comfort food was already impressive, what really made it a winner was how it added flair to classic dishes like pairing chicken and waffles together.

mbs the bird restaurant entrance

Bringing a medley of flavours and new experiences, The Bird is worth seeking out. We would definitely recommend it for a nice, cosy dinner for family or friends where you can share the spread, or even for adventurous foodies who want to give their tastebuds a special treat!

Address: #B1-07, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Opening Hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM
Telephone: +65 6688 9959

Find out more about The Bird Southern Table & Bar!


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