How does a restaurant stand out from amongst the crowd? One way, as UNA at One Rochester has, is to open a European restaurant that serves up dishes from 3 cuisines – French, Italian or Spanish. Whether it’s confusion or a show of creativity, that’s ultimately for the diner to decide. My take? I’m always game for choice!
To put things short, UNA Tapas Bar is the reincarnation of the old One Rochester. What has changed is its dining concept (gone with the communal dining, in with the small plates). Many restaurants have indeed gone down this path and I wonder, is the concept of small plates a phase in the development of Singapore’s culinary experience or one that is here to stay perpetually.
In this humble food blogger’s opinion, Esquina serves up Singapore’s best tapas. Yes, it isn’t exactly the cheapest; yes, it isn’t the set in the most idyllic setting (say, set against a backdrop of the blue ocean) but the high quality dishes that the ever-busy kitchen more than makes up for these negatives. This is probably my 4th time to Esquina and up till now, I’ve not once felt let down. There have been no instances where I thought dishes could have been better. What you get is a small restaurant, with about less than 20 seats at the bar counter facing the kitchen brigade full on, a few tables along the five-foot way. I’ve read that there is a second floor with a few more tables. But trust me, the best place to be at Esquina is to be seated on one of the bar stools facing the kitchen. Unfortunately, the bar seats were all occupied on this occasion.
If you’re thinking of where you should head to for good coffee and brunch, then give La Ristrettos a try! I’ve first heard about La Ristrettos from an ex-colleague, E, and his girlfriend who have sung praises of it for a long time.
Chef David Thompson’s restaurant serving modern Thai cuisine in Bangkok, NAHM, is probably one restaurant that has been awarded with the most number of awards in the past year or so. A few months ago, it took the No.1 spot in the S. Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and a few weeks back, it took the honour of No. 13 on The World’s Best 50 Restaurants. That said, both lists are published by the same company.
On the topic of rankings, the irony is that while I claim to not take heed of them, here I am visiting one of Bangkok’s top restaurants according to a list. At least, there were reviews by other food critics on magazines, newspapers and other bloggers which seem to make dining at NAHM, a rationale choice. The reviews found on Trip Advisor seemed relatively positive too.
With heightened expectations, I walked into NAHM hoping that it would be a meal to remember.
Priced at THB 2,000 per person (about SGD 80), the set dinner menu allows you to pick items from the a-la-carte menu. The set dinner comprises of a selection of canapés, a choice of one dish from each section to be shared with diners on the table, followed by the dessert. The portion sizes are determined by the number of people ordering the set menu.
SabX Wanton Noodles
Much has been written about this particular Wanton Noodles establishment in Bangkok – SabX Wanton Noodles. The menu is relatively simple – (1) Dry version; (2) Soup version. Don’t you love it (sometimes) when there are less options to choose from, in the already complex life that we live.
For what it’s worth, especially with all the hype surrounding it, I thought of it as being fairly decent. Granted, it was different as compared to our local renditions – read: more spicy (the “kick” comes in depending on the amount of chilli that you add yourself. Do note that portions are small but are perfect for a quick meal almost any time including in-between shopping trips to Platinum Shopping Mall (SabX is located opposite it).
To get there by foot, on the road opposite of Platinum Mall, walk towards Shibuya 19 Mall and McDonald’s (against the traffic flow). When you see the big M (i.e. McDonald’s), turn right into Soi 19. SabX is about 200 metres down that street.
SabX Wanton Noodles
Soi 19 Petchburi Road, Pratunam,
If memory serves, there was more than just the one stall dishing up servings of Coconut ice cream at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Word on the inter-webs is that one particular stall, located between Sections 1 and 2, serves the best rendition. But to be honest, any cold ice cream on a hot day would taste as perfect as the next.
If you’re there, give it a try. At less than SGD 2 for a serving with your choice of toppings (the selection varies from stall to stall, but generally includes corn, peanuts, glutinous rice, sweetened kidney beans),what’s stopping you!
Pictured above: Symmetry Eggs Sur Le Plat
Thinking of where to have brunch for the weekend? Look no further than Symmetry, located near Bugis. In Singapore’s context, 1 year is considered to be a long time when you’re talking about the longevity of cafes. These days, it’s quite normal to see cafes open their doors for business and have them shuttered for good in the short span of a few months.
Symmetry, has defied those odds and for good reason too. The 3 brunch items that we tried were good – good enough to plan for a return trip.