Prego’s

Friday nights are reserved for great food and company. Prego’s was our stop that night as we were looking for Italian food and a place that had a very lively atmosphere (and of course, a more central location given that we work at extreme ends of the country).

Our meal began with a bread basket of focaccia and ciabatta (hope I’m right), served warm with the usual bottle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Bread Basket – Focaccia, Ciabatta, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Next up was the Parmigiana di Melanzane, which was a baked eggplant with Mozzarella, cooked in a pomodoro sauce, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. The acidity of the tomato sauce certainly helped in finishing up the eggplant as it is a pretty heavy dish for a starter.

Parmigiana di Melanzane – Baked Eggplant, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Pomodoro Sauce, Basil

My dish, and possibly a personal favourite, was the Cavatelli con Nduja. The ‘Nduja is a spreadable pork salumi and it has a fiery taste because of roasted hot red peppers as one of its ingredients. This dish is spicy but the spiciness is lightly countered by the tomato sauce that it is cooked in. The hollow shells of Cavatelli pasta were cooked perfectly (al dente, of course!), and its shape allows it to hold the meat sauce, thus giving you a good mix of everything in every mouthful.

Cavatelli con Nduja – Cavatelli, Nduja Sausage, Red Onion, Pomodoro Fresco, Pecorino Cheese

Tonnarelli al Nero. The prawns were tender and cooked beautifully. Pasta was al dente, as expected. Compared to the eggplant starter, I found the pasta dishes much lighter, and the acidity from the pomodoro sauce somehow cleanses your palate to prepare yourself for the next bite and subsequent ones. 

Tonnarelli al Nero – Squid Ink Tonnarelli, Tiger Prawn, Garlic, Chilli, Filetto di Pomodoro

Go with a group of friends, or even bring your family. Eat good food, pop a bottle of wine, and enjoy your Friday.

Oh wait, today IS Friday. So why not check this place out?

Address:
Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road, Level 1
Singapore 189560

Nearest MRT:
City Hall MRT (EW13/NS25)

Opening Hours:
Breakfast:
Daily | 6:00AM – 11:00AM

Deli:
Daily | 6:30AM – 9:00PM

Lunch:
Monday to Saturday | 12:00PM – 2:30PM

Early Bird Dinner:
Daily | 5:00PM – 6:00PM

Ala Carte Dinner:
Daily | 6:00PM – 10:30PM


Chong Qing Grilled Fish

Special shoutout to all spicy food lovers, especially those with a penchant for Sichuan cuisine. I’ve been to CQGF for about 6 – 7 times and I am proud to say that they do not disappoint.

You choose your fish right at the start: Sea Bass, Carp, Snapper, Patin Fish, and Marble Goby. We chose the sea bass.

Next up would be the soup bases:

Spicy Fragrant (一品香辣)

Fermented Black Bean (干香豆豉)

Fresh Chillies (辣爽鲜椒)

Hot & Sour (黄金酸辣)

Mushroom Herbs (十里菌香)

Pickled Cabbage (酸菜香烤)

Spicy Numbing (川味麻辣)

We chose the ‘Spicy Fragrant’ with ‘Mild Spice’.

So this beauty of a sea bass was grilled over a charcoal fire first before being submerged in a fiery broth. Tender, white flesh, along with its slightly charred skin gives a real smokiness. On top of this, you can choose your own side dishes to add INTO the broth e.g. luncheon meat, enoki mushrooms, pork belly, beancurd skin etc. it’s slightly pricey but it is value for money.

Sea Bass with the Spicy & Fragrant Broth (Low Spice)

Next up, the fried mantou with condensed milk as a dipping sauce. The fluffiness of the fried mantou paired with the sweetness of the condensed milk brings you to sugar paradise. However, for health purposes, eat this once every few months.

Fried Mantou with Condensed Milk

Spicy food fanatics would love a dish of 辣子鸡. Marinated chicken pieces are first deep fried and then stir-fried with Sichuan chilli peppers, peppercorns, garlic, and ginger. Wash it down (again) with a glass of ice-cold beer but beware of the aftermath though because it’ll hurt. It could be a little dry so having fluids/soup on hand will be better.

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Chong Qing Grilled Fish has three branches in Singapore: Chinatown, Bugis, and Serangoon. The one I went to is at Bugis, on Liang Seah Street. A note to those heading there: do go early to queue and make sure your friends come on time as they will allow the party to go in only when everyone is present. Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Address:

1 Liang Seah Street, #01-05/06 (Bugis)

18 Mosque Street, #01-01 (Chinatown)

2 Maju Ave (Serangoon)

Nearest MRT:

Bugis MRT (EW12/DT14)

Chinatown MRT (NE4/DT19)

Serangoon MRT (NE12/CC13)

Opening Hours:

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Bugis branch

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Chinatown branch

12:00PM – 2:00AM (Mon – Sun) – Serangoon branch

Chirashi King Kong

A familiar donburi restaurant, with branches at Millenia Walk and Tanjong Pagar, Chirashi King Kong has its new place at Biopolis. Armed with their signature truffle rice that comes in every bowl, CKK certainly puts a new twist to Japanese rice bowls. For those working in Biopolis, it’s located at Neuros, just next to the prata shop.

There are a number of familiar favorites such as the Bara Chirashi Don (raw fish cut into cubes, marinated, and placed on top of rice), as well as the Unagi Don. I’ve personally tried three different bowls and I must say it triggers your senses.

Mentaiko Salmon Don

The very first one I tried was the Mentaiko Salmon Don. You can’t go wrong when there’s mentaiko and salmon. On top of that, it is seared with a blow torch before serving. The balance was surprising as I expected the truffle rice to overpower the entire dish. The acidity from the pickles help to clear your palate, and the mentaiko’s saltiness paired with the soft salmon completes the dish.

Unagi Truffle Don

The unagi don was pretty decent as the unagi was indeed..huge, and meaty. It was well-marinated with a sweet sauce. However, I could tell that there was probably a batch variation when it comes to the rice as the truffle aroma was a little stronger than usual. But it wasn’t overpowering, fortunately.

Assorted Fish Don

Lastly, the assorted fish rice bowl with thick cuts of sashimi. Salmon, swordfish, scallops, tuna, squid stuffed with shisamo roe, all on top of their signature truffle rice.

Address:
8 Biomedical Grove, #01-14
Neuros
Singapore 138665

1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-06
Singapore 082001

9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-17
Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista MRT (EW21/CC22)

Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15)

Promenade MRT (DT15/CC4)

Opening Hours:
11:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon – Fri) – Biopolis branch

11:00AM – 7:00PM (Mon – Sat) – Tanjong Pagar branch

11:00AM – 9:00PM (Mon – Sun) – Millenia Walk branch

Lean Bento

Most of the people I know are into healthy eating these days, me included. (Well, ONCE IN A WHILE.) Healthy food need not be boring, tasteless and lack of variety. It can be done well, if you set your heart to it! And I think Lean Bento’s doing a pretty good job!

Lean Bento’s located in a nice spot on Holland Drive, and I don’t think you will miss this shop as it has got a pretty big sign. It is also very near Holland Drive Market and Food Centre too!

(Check out their Facebook page or their Instagram page!)

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It’s not too big as you can see from the photos, but it is still cozy. High tables on the right, normal tables on the left. If you’re coming in big groups, do take note that you might be separated.

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Once you’re in the restaurant, the menu is there in full view, ranging from breakfast, to lunch & dinner, and finally desserts.

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Water, serviettes, and cutlery are available on both sides of the restaurant so you don’t have to go back to the same spot repeatedly.

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We were there for dinner so we had quite a lot of choices, from their normal sized bento to their mega-sized ones, also known as “Mega Hero Bento”. I decided on making my own bento set with chilli chicken, sushi multigrain rice, with sides of scrambled eggs, corn, and a salad drizzled with a honey miso sauce.

I love how the rice is cooked perfectly and it is neither soggy nor undercooked. If I’m not wrong, they used chicken thighs which are more tender and cooks better as compared to chicken breast, which will become dry and hard once you overcook it. It was seasoned well, but I believe they could go easier on the salt. Scrambled eggs was quite creamy, and personally I would have preferred the really creamy ones with only bits of cooked egg. Nonetheless, it is not very common to see cafes paying attention to a simple but difficult-to-get-right dish such as scrambled eggs.

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If you’re into healthy eating, or looking for vegan/vegetarian options, Lean Bento has it!

Address:
43 Holland Drive, #01-49, 270043

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista Station (EW21/CC22)

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 10AM – 9PM
Sat – Sun: 10AM – 6PM

 

Food Tour (III) Prego’s @ Fairmont Singapore

Our final stop was to Prego’s at Fairmont Singapore. Chef de Cuisine Antonio Facchinetti made it a family-sharing styled lunch/dinner compared to the individual servings we had earlier on. Amazing dishes such as Insalata Caprese (correct me if I’m wrong!) – a dish with buffalo mozzarella that was so soft, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar; Plus my personal favourites, Penne Tartufate – penne with sautéed mushrooms and a truffle cream sauce, pasta was cooked al dente, sauce was not too heavy;  and Prego’s ‘House Signature’ Tiramisu, which was extremely light and had a great balance of coffee and liqueur.

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Insalata Caprese (Vine Ripened Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella)

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Penne Tartufate (Pasta with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms in a Truffle Cream Sauce)

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Cappellacci di Zucca

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Tiramisu

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With Maureen (misstamchiak)

There were other dishes that did not make it into these photo slideshow but they were great as well. I am so grateful to Maureen for organizing this food tour and picking the 10 winners too! Through this food tour I met 9 other foodies that had so much love for food, and the great lengths they go to arranging their food for a photo shot.

Don’t forget to check out the Accor Hotels Food and Wine Festival from the 4th to the 12th of November and there will be a total of 40 restaurants and bars taking part in this festival!

P.S. I ended the food tour at night with a Backstreet Boys concert at the Indoor Stadium. So darn good, as always.

South Union Park

Hidden in the residential areas about a 7 minute walk from Kembangan MRT station, you’ll find situated in a corner a nice little bistro that sits about 50+ people comfortably. I learnt from Danielfooddiary that they opened in March last year and how the chefs were trained in fine-dining techniques and modified their dishes for a casual dining experience.

Scotch eggs are commonly part of picnic menus over in the United Kingdom and the sausage meat is normally seasoned with herbs such as sage (sage+pork are great buddies), thyme and parsley. Over here at South Union Park, it had an oriental feel to it because there were hints of lemongrass and ginger which were pretty new to me but still tasted great! (And the eggs were cooked well, with a runny centre!)

This would definitely be a recommended dish – Squid Ink Risotto ($26). Risotto cooked al dente, topped with generous portions of well-cooked squid, prawns, and clams. The slight citrus hit would be due to the grated lemon zest which does lift the whole dish. The best thing about this dish is the absence of a fishy taste. My past experiences with squid-ink related dish has been nothing but fishy, but not this time.

Another dish that is a must try would be Poutine ($12), a ducky, cheesy, potato-y bowl of goodness. Just think fries with duck gravy and melted cheese – that’ll get you drooling.

We decided to order one of each dessert – Brownie ($9), topped with a generous scoop of salted caramel ice cream, candied walnuts, and butter scotch; Passionfruit Carrot Fondant ($14), with frozen yoghurt and a carrot ginger purée; Roasted Pineapple & Coconut Parfait ($11), with butter cookies, coconut, and oat granola; Banana Chocolate Parfait ($8), with banana & chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and candied walnuts. (Photos of both parfaits are not displayed here, but it was delectable!)

The brownie is shown above, while the fondant is shown below.

Brownie was served warm with a soft interior. It was a combination of great textures – the nuts, the soft salted caramel ice cream, the warm brownie, all enveloped by gooey butterscotch.

The Passionfruit Carrot Fondant had an unique taste – an interesting amalgamation of flavours and ingredients such as a carrot ginger puree! I wouldn’t call this dish an acquired taste, but a one that plays with your tastebuds! The fondant was cooked perfectly, with a molten centre, similar in principle to that of a chocolate fondant.

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And here’s us, with our satisfied faces after a wonderful meal. Staff were all very friendly and ready to help. I’m definitely coming back because they change their menu every 6 months! So head down to South Union Park to give the dishes a try!

Check them out at instagram here!

Address:
101 Jln Kembangan,
Singapore 419139

Nearest MRT:
Kembangan MRT Station (EW6)
The bistro is a 7-8 minute walk from the station.

Opening hours:
Closed on Mondays
Tues – Thurs: 5.30PM – 10:00PM
Fri: 11:30AM – 10:00PM
Sat: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
Sun: 9:00AM – 9:00PM