Saturday, 6 March 2010

Binge - Cheap Great Eats At 313

I did not join the crush when 313@Somerset first opened, but over the last 2 weeks, I have pottered over a few times for a spate of tastings. I wasn’t too hot on the shops ‘cos I’m not much of a shopper, and you can get the same brands in most other malls – perhaps with the exception of uniqlo. But I must say the eating is good!

For one, I love with the ramen at Ramenplay (#B3-04-06), a casual restaurant set up by Breadtalk and Japanese partners, Sanpou Co. The main draw there is obviously ramen, and let me put it down from the outset that I was impressed by each oversized bowl of ramen they served. Each is made with pinpoint precision laid down by the Japanese chefs heading the kitchen with almost religious zeal. The stocks are rich, all cooked for 12 hours and involve a special recipe while the handmade noodles are very fresh and firm yet yielding to the bite. They use only Japanese eggs which are braised till the whites are soft not runny, and the deep orange yolk just creamy. Excellent stuff!

Must try the wafu shoyu ramen ($10.80) has a clear light soup made with a stock using three kinds of fish, with meltingly tender slices of pork belly in a special sauce and in Japanese ‘cha su’ sauce and pork jowl. The sanpou tonkotsu ramen ($14.80, yummilicious pic above), a house speciality, has a delicious milky miso-based soup made with pork sinew and bones. The dish is topped with pork, spring onion, pickled bamboo shoot. How good is it? Put it this way – I was craving for the noodles the next day, and the one I tried to satisfy myself with at MOF just couldn’t compare. And though it just opened in late January, lunch time sees queues outside the restaurant. A fabulicious 'must'.

Nearby is Muthu’s Flavors (#B3-02/03), a casual, new generation restaurant by Muthu’s Curry. It’s food is served like Thai Express – nifty single serves for the individual. But you can get larger communal dishes in the traditional way too. Decked out in orange and white – very bold and fun – the restaurant serves up good Indian food which is really lighter than the weigh-you-down ghee laden meals we’re used to. And it’s good for a quick meal that won’t hurt the wallet.

What did I like? From the appetizers, it was the pappadum bruschetta ($5.50) using pappadum they make from scratch and topped with tomatoes, coriander and onion – very refreshing, and morumoru vendakai ($7.90) which is okra marinated in chilli and cumin and deep fried nice and crispy. For mains, the tandoori chicken, served with a flavourful pilaf and fresh salad was enjoyable and the masala mussels which was actually very good even though I had my doubts at first. The famous fish head curry is also available here of course ($25).

And for desserts, my vote went to the marsala chai ($6.90) which was more a crème caramel with masala tea flavour. For all its innovativeness, the masala Coke ($3.90), a house specialty, just didn’t do anything for me. I preferred the Masala tea ($4.50) – sometimes you just don’t need to fix things that ain’t broke.

Finally, The Icing Room (#B2-52)- an over the top frou-frou ‘Victoriana meets Hello Kitty’ styled tea room which gets you drowning in pinkness. Nice for the girlies to catch some afternoon tea and be blown away with pink drinks like glorified bandung and blitzed berry with jellies. The Icing Room is all about gorgeously decorated cakes – think Japan mall food halls.

Four special cakes by Japanese consultant patissier Shin Horie is the highlight, of which Mango Paradise and Caprice, a rich chocolate and raspberry mousse cake, was my faves. The other draw that gets queues going on weekends is the ice it yourself cakes. How this works is, you buy an unembellished cake (a surprisingly good vanilla sponge with fresh light cream) and you get to decorate it with a range of coloured icings, gels, and basic decorations (3 sizes ranging from 4-8 inches, at $12.80 to $28.80). This ‘personalised’ cake then gets packaged in a box – pink one of course, and you get to take it home. It’s….well, cute. Nice cakes. Saw a young teenage couple there, all sweet and romantic. Unfortunately the boy was in pink. Sigh…. It just didn’t work that well….
- Ee Waun


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Simply Fabulicious Copyright © 2009 Cosmetic Girl Designed by Ipietoon | In Collaboration with FIFA
Girl Illustration Copyrighted to Dapino Colada