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Showing posts with label American. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2015

London: Literally Burger and Lobster @ Burger & Lobster, Soho

Have you ever wandered into a restaurant only to be confused by a menu that goes on for ages?  So have I.  That is until I started blogging.  But one genius has came up with a restaurant that serves 3 dishes and only 3 dishes with no options for sides whatsoever.  It is so simple that they do not even have a menu.  This is the famous Burger & Lobster and its £20 menu.  If its name does not give it away, the restaurant literally serves burger and lobsters.   Coming in for lunch at 2pm on Saturday, I was thankful to have waited for a short 15 minutes before being seated.  I have heard other people who have waited for over 2 hours!   

Diners at Burger & Lobster have a choice between the beef burger, the poached/grilled lobster and the lobster roll.  Jacques and I decided to share a serve of poached lobster and the beef burger.

The kind chefs in the kitchen help split them in half for us so there was no need for any cutting whatsoever.

The burger half:
We asked the burger to come medium rare to get the best of the juicy patty.  The burger came brilliantly red in the middle so it was no surprise that the first bite was intensely juicy.  Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, it was delicious!  Jacques on the other hand thought it was a little too red.  I can see his concerns as certain parts looked really red haha.

The lobster half:

To get the best of the lobster, we opted for the poached one.  Having it poached means you get a flesh that amplifies the naturally sweet-briny flavours of the crustacean.   Not to mention, the flesh stays extremely juicy if poached for the right amount of time.  Then comes the best part, the meaty claw!  Biting into its meaty flesh was every bit satisfying!  Almost like biting into a giant drumstick!  Dip it in the accompanying parsley butter for an extra kick of flavour!  

Burger & Lobster served me an enjoyable meal that day.  If the queue is not too overbearing,  I would definitely come back for another meal.  Thinking back, if I came back feeling really hungry, I might even consider ordering one lobster and burger for myself!  They were both amazingly tasty dishes.  In saying that, I admit that the lobster alone would might really small.  In fact, the body of the lobster was rather small, but remember so was my £20 pound note!  Thankfully their perfectly fried fries and salad made help complete the meal.

Visit 2:

Burgers & Lobster was an enjoyable meal for me back when I was in London. However, there was a lingering feeling of incompleteness as I have not been able to try their Lobster Roll which is the final item on the menu.  Fortunately I revisited the London and brought a couple of friends to try out Burger & Lobster. 

Lobster Roll 

Filled to the brim with sweet lobster flesh and served between a brioche bun brings heaven a little closer to earth.  It was essentially eating a lobster without the fuss of peeling the shells.  But is it the exact same? Well this is a definite no.  Nothing quite beats the flesh of the plump juicy lobster flesh you get from a freshly prepared lobster.  The Lobster roll was a convenient thing but for the best flavour, I would definitely call the Lobster which I did too :)!

Burger & Lobster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, October 18, 2015

London: Reminiscing NYC @ Shake Shack, Convent Garden.

One of the most random eats I did in London was at Shake Shack in Convent Garden.  It simply happened when I walked past by the market for the second time.  Seeing a Shake Shack and nothing eating there is almost like sinning!  So despite being  stuffed from the breakfast I had before, I decided to order the single Shack burger and a Salted Caramel Shake (they ran out of peanut butter !@#%).
First bite in and I was over the moon.  The yummy patty sandwiched between a shiny-sweet bun with a drizzling of secret "Shack Sauce"  was still as amazing as I remembered it to be.  Shake Shack's patty was simply scrumptious and this was a very basic combination that did wonders when it came to flavours.  Every bite was reminiscence of my trip to NYC last year.  It was sensational.  So much better than the gargantuan Shack Stack which I had last year. It is amazing how the folks at Shake Shack can mass produce something that tastes so good!  No meal at Shake Shack is complete without their Milk Shakes.  So if you are ever deciding between skipping the cola for an ice cream or vice versa, I tell you now to put both aside.  The milkshake at Shake Shack is the best of both worlds.  Thick, creamy and rich in caramel, it was slightly sweet but every bit yummy.  Good old fat ass moments I have to say.

For some reason, I was not so impressed when I first had Shake Shack at the Grand Central shop.  But a re-visit to its original location in Madison Square convinced me of Shake Shacks cult status.   Re-visiting Shake Shack in Convent Garden and I was convinced for the second time, that this is a truly delicious burger.  Definitely come here for a treat!

Shake Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bites: South American Ribs @ Subidoo, Subiaco.

A week of sudden rib cravings led me to dine at two American diners last week.  First was a meal at Ribs & Burgers in Perth city and the other at Subidoo in Subiaco.  The latter was my pick to meet up with a few colleagues over dinner.

To start we ordered a main size buttermilk fried chicken with spicy mayonnaise.

These crispy boneless chicken came out promising.  It looked crispy on the outside but it was missing the outer crust with a deep crunch. What also felt lacking was the memorable buttermilk fragrance.  Subidoo’s buttermilk chicken had a thin layer of crust rather than a crunchy batter. In saying that it came out really tender and still yummy.  Apparently buttermilk works as a tenderiser too!

Fish Tacos; battered fish, slaw, and chilli aioli.

This unsuspecting taco is one of my surprise favourites at Subidoo.  Its flavours were spot on! You have the acidity of the slaw, the creamy mayonnaise and the crispy fish.  Sounds like a sure win does it not?  However, it could be super-sized though to make it real American if you get what I mean.  The tacos were a little small.

That night we had three serve of ribs which allowed us to sample all their specialties.  The first of the three was the beef back ribs.

The full rack for $30 was a steal.  Imagine thick and juicy fall of the bone meat that is tender, slightly fatty with its edges mildly caramelised. Basting was rich, and its flavours all worked so very well together.  Delicious.  

The other two rib dishes were based on pork.  The Five Spice Ribs and the Cuban Style BBQ Pork Ribs.

The Asian inspiration in the Five Spice Ribs were pretty obvious.  It had notes of tamarind and was topped with some chilli.  The Five Spice flavour was present and to bring all the flavours together you have that fruity sweetness from the palm sugar which carries a natural caramel flavour.  It was decent but I did not feel quite as impressed as I was with the beef ribs!

The Cuban style BBQ Spare Ribs was also something which I felt tasted OK but did not really live up to my expectations.  With all due respect, I did not get the smokey BBQ flavours one would normally expect.  Perhaps it has something to do with the Cuban style barbecue? Never had that before haha.  

As a side, we also had the chargrilled corn.  Boy, these were so good.  Sweet corn perfectly cooked and simply oozing with the chipotle sauce.  The added sprinkling of cheese made dreams come true and it was all a very common flavour that everyone on the table enjoyed.  Except AC of course as he does not like cheese at all!

Subidoo is a nice place to catch up with friends over a meal in Subiaco as its casual and airy diner means you have a lot more space without the feeling of suffocating.  But if you are here for the ribs which is the specialty of Subidoo, you will feel disappointed (with the exception of the beef ribs).  The plate of porky ribs did not feel as though there was enough love present in the process of preparing the dish. Clearly enough from the picture, it felt as though the sauce and the ribs were two separate components from start to end.  Sauce poured on top of dry ribs?  I wanted ribs tenderised by slow cooking.  Then set it on a grill and baste it with the sauce repeatedly to initiate the fusion between meat and sauce.   Subidoo’s execution of the pork ribs was mildly flawed but its lack of attention to detail made it deplorable.   In hind sight, I would return anytime for those gorgeous beef ribs!

Click to add a blog post for Subidoo on Zomato

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Bites: American Barbecue @ Old Faithful Bar, Perth

Another RNR and a great meet up with some good old friends at the Old Faithful.  Here, one experiences American community dining where barbecue and alcohol becomes best friends. The bar and food area are separated so do not try getting your food from the bar.

The selection for drinks include a strong selection of whiskey. But a noob like me goes no further than the bourbon chocolate milkshake without the bourbon Need less to say, the bartender surprised that I am having no alcohol whilst most was always trying to get more.  In terms of flavour it was so chocolate-ty with a rich malt taste that reminded me of an old childhood drink called Horlicks. The only thing a little surprising was that with or without the bourbon, the shake still costs $14 which was on the pricey side. 

Food come straight from the counter, so do not expect table service.  The first attempt at ordering my food did not go to well because it seemed like a lot of the things we wanted was not available. No chicken wings, and no hot links. A problem that requires better management attention prior to service for sure. In saying that we managed to get our food sorted eventually. 

A shared platter of Big Sur came looking absolutely delicious.  Needless to say I was drooling!
One element aced without question by Old Faithful was the smokiness in each meat that was executed to a perfect intensity of the.  Brisket was juicy and the belly was exactly as you expect it to be, a little bit fatty, intertwined with the meat and at the same time it was all very juicy. No meat to my surprise was overcooked and dry. Everything here was superbly tender.  But other than that, the food did not go past the first base. Different textures were present as I went from the pork to the beef but I did not quite find them tasting substantially different enough (besides the smokiness) to make a big impact with the exception of the pulled pork which tasted sublime with the shaved onions and bread. Very happy with that! More importantly, among all the meat on the platter I enjoyed the bbq chicken the best. Tender, and superbly flavoured. Niceeeee!!!

On the other tray we ordered some sides to share. Blood sausages, corn bread topped with maple butter, deviled eggs and some pork chunks.  Most of my friends felt faint at the thought of the blood sausages but I am a big fan of this meaty coagulation.  More importantly, where it counts most Old Faithful had aced.  It was very well-seasoned and I enjoyed it. The serve of pork chunks were essentially deep fried breaded pork tossed in what felt like a mild hot sauce. Not bad but beware of chunks that contains nothing but fat. I love some juicy bits but a whole chunk of fat was a bit of a put off. 

Next were the devilled eggs which were a bit of an odd ball requested by Bel. I have to say though, it was a surprise win because the yolks were mixed together really well resulting in a fluffy filling for the egg white. Yummy :)!
Corn bread was, presumably meant to be a carb to go with the meat but it was not well received at the table. It tasted like day old muffin without sugar. I really could not make out what it was meant to be.  Eventually between wasting food and shoving it into our mouths, we went with the latter haha. 

At the end of the meal we received two cookies in place of two serves of pork crackle which had ran out.  The cookies were a nice gesture to compensate us for the lack of organization but it was not anything special or worth shouting about. 

Thinking back, I'm not sure how the math worked out and most of the table was confused too because a serve of pork crackle was around $9 while a cookie was $3.80. Presumably this was just a consolation prize and they had given us extra pieces of meat to make up for the difference paid for the crackling. Or at least I am hoping so because getting ripped of is not my idea of a good evening out!

Old Faithful is a nice addition to town especially in the bar scene where the staples are usually a boring chicken parmigiana, burger, steak or fish & chips. The venue was noisy as hell so be prepared for a battle of speaking on top of one another. Hey its a bar no? There was no dampener or opened windows to reduce the noise. Instead, the walls are graced by polished concrete and random art.  Saying all this it was a nice visit but it felt more of an afternoon venue after work rather than a late night one. Also, be prepared to smell like smoke when you are done. The venue was really smoky! Good thing though, the guy in the kicthen which I shall name 'butcher' looked super badass.

Old Faithful Bar & BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 25, 2014

NYC: Artichoke Slice @ Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, Gramercy

I was chatting to a couple of newly met friends when I asked "What would you recommend a tourist to eat in New York?", the prompt answer “Pizza” came first.  Without a doubt I enjoy crusty slices of pizza with generous toppings.  But with a city so bold so as to name a style of pizza after itself, it was clear that everyone will be calling their pie the best in town.  Online searches never quite worked either.  Too many haters out there.  So I fell back to a couple of Facebook schoolmates and the name Artichoke Basille’s Pizza came tops. 


They now have three branches and since I was about to dine at Gramercy Tavern, I decided to drop by for a slice of pizza at the Gramercy district branch. At 10.30am, there was absolutely no queue besides a granny.  Walking in I heard heard an old lady said, "I need this packed I cannot finish."  I was puzzled.  But not so after I ordered a slice of the infamous Artichoke slice @ $4.50.  

Stretched over two party plates.. wtfk was this monster?  American slice for the win.  It had a pretty good pastry that was cooked just nice.  Sadly though it did not sport the fragrance of a well-oiled pizza tray.  But I loved their tasty cream based sauce.  Very, very tasty.  It carried the hints of garlic, parsley and onions.  The stringy cheese topped the slices perfectly.  In other words, generous !  Then there were the little slices of translucent artichoke hidden the underneath but it was barely seen.  Weird to call this an Artichoke Slice. Could have had more artichokes :)! Toward the end I sprinkled some chilli flakes and really liked how it tasted.  Sprinkled more and more and more.  Oops.  Burnt tongue (and an ulcer soon followed =.=!)

Reading several reviews about Artichoke Basille's in the night got me annoyed when I found that many comments about this pizza place such as burnt crust, hyped for its hipster vibe, ridiculous queues and that sort of shit people make claims of were utterly untrue.  Coming in to see a granny at 10.30am, with no queues to eat a delicious slice of pizza reflected the credibility of the internet at times.  At Artichoke Basille's it was simple and tasty!  The only true part was the lack of artichokes which I was not really bothered by anyway :)!    Great stuff if you ask me!


Artichoke Basille's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NYC Bites: The Best Burger @ Spotted Pig, Greenwich Village

There are burgers and then there is THAT burger.  The one that you have been waiting for.  After looking at tonnes of websites including the Gothamist, NYCSeriousEats and a whole host of blogs, I was on my way to what could possibly be the best burger on the East Coast.  Welcome to the Spotted Pig.  A Michelin starred casual dining restaurant set within the Greenwich Village.

Expect to see pigs on the wall, on the counter, along the rails and when your dish arrive, possibly on your plate too. But no pig on my plate today, it was all beef!  When my cheeseburger came, I was thinking “Wow!  This looked exactly what I expected to see,”.  And it was even more to be honest.  
It was simple and lovely.  The bun came with the most perfect chargrilled marks and the thick patty was cooked to order; spot on medium with that lovely pink middle.  Its meat was absolutely tender and seasoned right.  Salt and pepper.  Then comes my biggest love.  The smear of Roquefort cheese.  This French beauty with them lovely mould spots have always been a favourite of mine.  The fragrance of the Roquefort paired with its tangy, sweet - saltiness just provided a depth of richness not achieved by the boring Swiss.  No insults :P!  That is why, whenever I go to Jus Burgers it was always for their blue cheese burger!With a burger patty between two buns and nothing else?  Damn it was heavenly.   

Then comes the fries.  WOW!  So thin and crisp that the picture barely justifies it.   Not to mention the mild garlicky rosemary flavour infused into the regular potatoes that is even harder to explain.  

Alright.  I tend to talk about minimalistic dishes and several restaurants that focuses on purity.   It is usually difficult to relate such characteristics to a burger considering all the other elements that are usual slopped on to a burger including ketchups, mustards, salad and god knows what else.  But when you are presented with a patty, bun and cheese, it was hard to be distracted from the quality of each ingredient.   Here it simply worked.  No need for any special sauce.  No Shack Sauce, Big Mac Sauce or whatsoever Umami driving the sales of other joints.  Just plain old burger with whatever you might want to add after.  

A class act?  I definitely think so if.  And that is a BIG IF you enjoy the Spotted Pig's take on the classic cheese burger as this one is not for everybody.  Instead the Spotted Pig's famous Cheeseburger is likely to please people who enjoy cheese and burger rather than the cheeseburger one normally gets  as the Roquefort is not for everybody.  For me? Spotted Pig, damn you are good.  I loved every bit of this cheeseburger meal and would definitely come back if I ever made another trip to NYC.

The Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 14, 2014

NYC Trip: Modern Dining @ Perry St., Soho

If you are like me.  A little keen, a tad random and hungry for some of the best food in town, you would most probably not score any seats in any 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Manhattan.  Restaurants like Daniel, Per Se, Jean Georges and co.  will require at least 1-2 months booking in advance.  But will you really miss out on much?  Probably not.  Whilst chefs like Daniel Boulud and Jean Georges still helm their 3 starred kitchens in the city, spinoffs like Perry Jean Georges and dB Bistro Moderne by Daniel Boulud are usually less popular but equally rewarding. 

Perry St. was my choice for a quick lunch and believe it or not, the restaurant offers a $28 for 3-course lunch all year round.  I was really wow-ed by the generosity and pondered on whether the food was really up to scratch.  Was it?


My choice of drink was the Cherry soda.  Smashing.  For a soda drink, it exceeded every expectation I had.  It made me wonder why everyone around me insisted on sipping on something like alcohol.  So mainstream :P
The usual formalities; Bread and butter.  Decent for sure but nothing beats the truffled butter and bread at Tetsuya’s in Sydney.

The appetiser was a celebration of summer.  Fresh mangoes, micro herbs, yuzu and La Tur cheese.  A vibrant salad with great flavours.  
Think ripe mangoes, strands of herbs, creamy cheese and a zing from the yuzu!  It was quite nice.  However, the thin slices of chilli did not really tickle my fancy and to a certain extent felt like an outsider rather than part of a family.  The spiciness was minimal and it added a really raw flavour to the over all dish.  Not the most pleasant taste!  Maybe pickled chill next time?

My main course was the sole reason why I chose Perry St which was 4 miles from my place over dB Bistro Moderne opposite my hotel.  The Perry St Fried Chicken.  I have always thought of fried chicken as a comfort food served in a bucket and with the eater in shorts with sandals.  I was wrong.
Tell, me that did not look spectacular!  I loved every bit of the chicken that Perry St produced.  It was not the most moist but the combination was flawless from start to end.  The crispiest chicken ever made served with a lovely creamed corn, grilled okra and a spicy sauce.  Exceptional.  Nothing I disliked on the plate as everything worked really well on their own or together.  Great stuff.

Dessert was a deconstructed lemon meringue tart.  It was pretty nice but I found the presentation a little sloppy.  But I think back and thought to myself, hmm $28 for a 3-course…. what am I even complaining about? Taste wise it worked but it did not quite have the complexity or thought like the appetiser or the main.  Decent but nothing to shout about would be my final verdict on the dessert.
Perry St. was a great host to me that afternoon.  A small price to pay for the attentive service and food I had.  The food despite a the ups and downs was enjoyable least to say.  Whilst some of my comments are a little harsh, I can tell that the majority would absolutely fall head over heels when presented with such food.   The meals I wanted to have at 3-star restaurant for lunch would set me back at least $150 without tax and tips!  So there you go, Perry St.  where one gets luxury for a steal :)!

Perry Street on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

NYC Bites: Pancakes @ Pershing Square, Midtown

Some say breakfast is the most important meal.  You know what?  I cannot debate that.  With me covering 15 odd miles a day on foot, I take every opportunity to fill the tank.  Situated opposite Grand Central Station underneath an overpass, the Pershing Square serves good old diner style meals to hungry travellers and to its fellow New Yorkers.

Breakfast was going to be simple that day.  Pancakes.  A simple dusting of icing sugar, a bowl of blueberries and a side of maple syrup gave the pancake. This gave the dish an impeccable yet stunning presentation.  I try not to be too easily contented but with these pancakes, I was very pleased because it was cooked to perfection. Imagine biting into a pancake and to be greeted by a crisp crust with a fluffy centre. How can one say no to that?!

Also, you will realise that there is no butter along with these.  In fact, there was no need for butter as each bite was filled with a buttery note (presumably it was mixed into batter).  Comparing the pancakes at Pershing Square to another pancake I had later during the trip at Johnny’s diner, this always cut through very cleanly.  It was not stodgy unlike the one at Johnny’s or my extremely bad experience at Sayer’s Sister a year or so ago in Perth.  I hate stodgy pancakes that sticks like uncooked batter to the knife.  The pancakes here were all class.  100%.

Whilst there is no blogger/promotional hype on this little eatery it was definitely worth the visit. So if you ever get a chance and are on the lookout for an early bite, the  Pershing Square at Grand Central starts serving at 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends.  

Pershing Square on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bali Trip: The Infamous Ribs of Naughty Nuri’s and a KFC Breakfast

It’s dark, smoky and located just along the road,  you can be assured that if comfort is your thing then you best be somewhere else.  But if you have a keen tongue for Ribs and an alcoholic adventure, please take a seat.  But for the rest of you who insist on not missing out, feel free to go to its younger sister called Nuri’s  in Batu Belig, Seminyak.  It might be much closer than the original Warung in Ubud, but in terms of taste, I’d prefer the former.  So, what about this little eatery has got Anthony Bourdain raving about it?

Easily, the Smoky Pork Ribs $R90,000 is where I will start.  Cooked to perfection, the meat fell off the bone effortlessly and I had no problems eating it.  No overly chewy bits that agitates the pleasurable moment.  Simply sublime.  When it comes to the sauce, it was full of flavor. You have sweet, salty and need I even mention, the great smoky flavors of a traditional charcoal grill.  For an unsuspecting eatery like this, simply outstanding if not for its already over-mentioned existence.

Sorry about the picture lol.  It was dark as hell in the venue. Also, while the chicken is basted with the same sauce I strong suggest AGAINST the chicken.   It was simply dry and tasteless on the inside.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe lady diligently flips the ribs on their smoky grill :)! 

Last but not the least, I find their Lychee Martini $R110,000  worth mentioning.  Putting their catchy performance at the new Nuri’s restaurant which involves the continuous chanting of “Shake! Shake! Shake! Shake!” aside, it was simply delicious.  The initial bitterness of the alcohol was complemented by a strong lychee after taste in each sip.  If not for my breath which was still burping of cognac and whiskey from the partying before, I would have been a happy drinker despite my continuous protest against drinking :)!  If you ever happen to take a trip down to Ubud, definitely consider stopping by Naughty Nuri’s.

Oh and I realized I forgot to mention about having KFC earlier that morning!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was called the KFC Bento and it was yums :)!  Little popcorn chicken and rice topped with spicy sauce.
Naughty Nuri's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bites: Miss Kitty’s Saloon @ Mount Lawley

Miss Kitty’s Saloon shot up to the top of my wish list when I saw the reviews of my foodie mates ChompChomp and Queen of Bad Timing a few weeks ago.  Consistently good American food is hard to find in Perth and most of the time, I cannot really differentiate Australian and American although there are some food which are undoubtedly American such as Buffalo Wings or the combination of Chicken & Waffles.  So when Miss Kitty’s rose to fame, I was elated and decided to pay a visit after many weeks of delay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe interior was kind of like an American diner.  Bit signs of American pride like Hershey and beers are available in super size form.  As we entered, a cheerful lady greeted us.  More importantly, she made our experience at Miss Kitty’s Saloon a pleasant one.  Fishman was amazed by her energy and the contentment she had from doing her job.  Over all, top notch treatment ;)!


For our drinks, we had the bottomless ice tea, chocolate (hot & cold) and coffee.  While most of it tasted good, it did little to differentiate itself from the rest.  It was IMHO typical.  But hey, typical is not a bad thing!  Yv on the other hand found little satisfaction from her iced chocolate.  She found it too plain and was no chocolaty enough!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHot chocolate with bottomless iced tea!  I do not think one can have refills because a jar is simply way too much! I think it is easily 500ml or more of liquid in one serve!


Before our mains came out, we called a few things to share:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWholemeal doughnut, custard, toffee apple @ $6.  While it was not the most fluffy doughnut on the inside, its consistency was good enough to enjoy.  But the highlight for us has got to be the custard toffee apple which had a good balance of spices, sweetness and saltiness that helped the dish shine. :)!


Buffalo wings, blue cheese, celery, carrot @ $15.90OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI reckon Buffalo Wings have got to be one of the more popular food to leave the US.  A good Buffalo Wing should have a mild crunch, with a good level of spiciness and acidity.  Delicious blue cheese dip is a MUST.  However, good Buffalo Wings despite its EXTREME simplicity seems like a chore for Australia.  OR was its originality tainted?  I know the lollipop wings at the Merrywell only carries a potency which Americans would dismiss with a sigh!  Fortunately, the wings here still carry crunch and a good amount of flavor although for me, its spiciness could go up one notch :)!  If I had to complain, it would be the size of the wings which a little smaller than desired!  Also, the rustic blue cheese dip left an unpleasant shock due to its chunky nature where blue cheese are still pretty obvious.  I loved that though :)! Strong, bold flavors!


As we chatted and nibbled through the wings, time passed really quickly.  To our dismay, it took awhile for our food to arrive.  Before I could raise the issue with the waitress, we were brought a bowl of orange slices.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile I definitely have enough money to buy my own oranges, it is little things like this that counts!


Our first meal to hit the tableOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteak ‘n’ Eggs, peas, fries.  For $19.50, this was great value.  I had a bit of everything I found this to be an absolute joy.  The steak was cooked spot on, fries crisp and oh my.  I loved that sauce that accompanied the steak.  It was a smoky ketchup that really went well with the fries!  However, if you expect a melt in your mouth steak, this is not quite there.  This was tender minute steak that did not melt unfortunately.  But it was good enough!  YH says that this definitely differed from his usual brunch but welcomed this. 


The little darling and Yv both ordered the same dish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStone baked mushroom tart, hollandaise, egg @ $16.  While I did not even have a chance to have a bite, the girls demolish this little meal in no time.  They seem to have loved everything but had no idea what this was going to be and expected a tart.  Instead, they mentioned that the tart pastry felt more like a little pancake topped with poached eggs, shrooms and an abundance of hollandaise.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy sister’s Chorizo, Slow-cooked Eggs, sweet potato hash, green sauce @ $17.  While my sister ordered this without much thought, she actually enjoyed it heaps but swapped the slow-cooked eggs for Fishman’s fried ones (she dislikes runny yolk).  The salsa was delicious and the sweet potato came out golden brown in a crispy batter.  There was only one piece of Chorizo but was yummy! One thing that concerns me though, is that this is definitely not a stand alone.  Its pint size appearance is all except filling!  The price though,is definitely right considering the level of effort required (making the sauce, slow cooking the eggs and frying the hash)!  But is is definitely not for the hungry peeps!  It is small like the mushroom tart.


My pick for the day was the Waffles & ChickenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach individual element is a star by itself.  Crumbled chicken was crunchy but still tender on the inside.  Salad topping was refreshing although sweet chili dressing felt like it was one from the bottle.  Waffles were cooked just right.  But does a collaboration of stars always work ?  Unfortunately, this pairing did not work for me.  More likely than not, it was a matter of personal preference rather than pure dissatisfaction.  I find appeal of pairing of waffles with chicken to be slowly diminishing in utility.  My past experience at Merrywell where a friend ordered the Chicken and Killer Bee Honey Waffle also ended up in devastation.  This (pairing) felt almost like a cult following rather than a norm.  Definitely not for me :P!  That does not mean everyone would not like it as I have seen other people enjoying it!


Filled to the brim by my main, drink and appetizers, I was fully satisfied.  We went in at 11.30am and came out slightly pass 1pm.  I enjoyed my meal here today.  Little darling who was concerned about her exams had little thought but the rest of us had enjoyed Miss Kitty’s Saloon.  The food here is different and most of the things we had today were really enjoyable with the exception of the Chicken & Waffles.  If I had come here again, I would definitely share a buffalo wings before enjoying the Chorizo or Mushroom Tart by myself.  In the event that no one shares, the steak ‘n’ eggs is definitely the way to go!


After months of delays, I have to say that I am finally glad to visit Miss Kitty’s Saloon.  It was great how the food here was good enough and the service was friendly.  This is definitely a promising eatery.  While I am less likely to come in for lunch, this place might be a great alternative to Merrywell @ Crown for dinner.  Perhaps next time :)!



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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bites: The Merrywell.

The Merrywell is one of Crown Casino’s latest effort to boost its image from what was an aged complex to a more upmarket complex.  This high end pub showcases the dynamic duo chefs Grant MacPherson and Sammy De Marco whom Fishman have seen on the television a couple of times.  With a fancy interior and a new courtyard area, the Merrywell clearly distinguishes itself from other more casual pubs.  Unfortunately, the crowd is still typical. 5 men all trying so hard to woo one lady hahaha.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalking up to the reception, we were served but was told that to get a sit on the inside, we would need to leave our names and they would call us back.  But guess what?  That is the worst system ever.  Some people take forever to come, leaving many sits empty!  In the end, the little darling, fishman and I decided to sit in the courtyard which means we had to order food from the bar.


When this restaurant first opened, there were rave reviews on food websites giving it a 90% approval rating and such.  Since then, it has plunged to 68%.  Rocking up to the bar counter to order my food, I totally understood why.  Wait for 10 minutes, lean over the counter and the grumpy lady tells you that this is not a service counter, go to the middle to order your food.  Head over to the middle counter, wait 10 minutes to be served and the next young lady says we do not do food at this counter.  It has now been 30 minutes and still no food.  The little darling gave them the WTF treatment and they UNHAPPILY served us.  Add this to half drunk blokes spilling their beers over her leg and that was a really bad and shit service.


For the purpose of this review, the quality of the food is kept separate from the service.

What really surprised us after we ordered is that Merrywell actually serves food quite quickly in contrast to what the reviews have mentioned recently.  Our wait for the food only look us 15 minutes.

For starters, we ordered a Mac and Cheese with in-house HP Sauce to share.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese delicious morsels of cheesy goodness definitely qualifies to be a Merrywell specialty.  It was crunchy with a balance of stringy melted cheese and macaroni making it absolutely yummy!  And for me, the HP sauce was definitely another highlight with a rich and tangy taste to it, elevating  the taste of the slightly bland Mac and Cheese.


The Lollipop Buffalo Wings were another specialty highlighted on the menu.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAComing from home where American Pub food is enjoyed for lunch, delicious buffalo wings are no stranger.  To start, I was really pleased with the celery although I do not really like celery.  The ones used were well aged and not overly old and fibrous.  The Buffalo wings were not dry and was well-cooked.  But my complain lies in the lack of robustness of the flavor.  I wanted more acidity, more heat and all the other intense taste which one would normally dunk in the blue cheese fondue to cool.  For me and Fishman, it could have been better.


For our mains, the little darling ordered mini Wagyu burgers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think these are easily one of the more impressive burgers I have eaten in awhile.  For me, it was the simplicity the stood out.  Its condiments were simple cheddar, BBQ caramelized onions, and pickles.  While the patty was not as juicy as other burger places like Jus Burgers, these little burger were impressive.



The Fishman as his names suggests, ordered the Roasted Tasmanian Salmon with Potato Pierogi, Pickled Beets, Sour Cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe said it was pretty good and I would have to agree.  It was also the first time I have tasted Potato Pierogi which is a potato filled dumpling.  All the elements of this dish worked really well although all I had was one bite.  What might be a little turn off was that the salmon felt a little dry.  To be honest, such thin fillet should not be cooked for too long!


For me, I ordered Granny Grecco’s Chicken Parma with Spaghetti and Napoli Sauce.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArriving at the table, one thing which instantly caught my attention was the intensity of the sauce.  The flavors of the ripened tomatoes were such a hit in this dish that the slightly soggy chicken parma did not bother me the slightest bit.  The pasta was smooth and plausible but I really did not care about anything because, at that moment, it was all about the sauce.  It was really a good sauce in my opinion.  Most places tend to serve a very light and subtle sauce which sometimes makes me feel that the tomatoes used was barely ripe but the one at Merrywell was really just spot on.


At the end, I was really satisfied with my food.  It was pretty much a class act for pub food.  However though, for $40, it might look a little pretentious because pub food is not only about quality, but QUANTITY.  The serving sizes at Merrywell was OK but nowhere near a typical pub.  Service is barely worth mentioning unless it is about its crappiness.  BUT, would I return?  To be honest, I would.  Perhaps not on a weekends without an inside booking and service.



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