ku de ta, bali

there is something poignant in a dark night spent beach-side, with the wind roaring through and a lonely spotlight going out toward the sea. even the trash on the beach looks like speckles of glitter.

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the lawn grill & salad café, buona vista

great grill-and-salad in biopolis – at the nanos building, which really is respite from what has been a long drought of appetizing food options in the area. the denotation of salad café raises connotations of maniacally sparse eating – but I think it’s more accurate to say that this place does a mean grill, and serves up a great selection of salads on the side (or beneath, to be completely pedantic).

we were spoiled for choice by the many options – and then bowled over by the quality of the food, before leaving literally bursting at the bits. the portion sizes are large, the prices reasonable for what is really good cooking – which showcases the quality of produce used here – and that makes for good eating well worth visiting, especially in a gastronomically-barren area such as this one.

it’s a smallish cafe at the corner of the building, which initially raised apprehensions about the food – surely we are all too familiar with that breed of convenient-but-really-mediocre-cafe that somehow proliferate near workplaces. this place differs from that pre-prepared-cold-cuts sort of place though – the open kitchen shows you the chefs cooking up the meats from fresh, and the salad options are still crisp (I have a fear of wilted and browned salad leaves from being left out too long).

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potato head beach club, bali

generally good food – and better atmosphere – at this sprawl of a beach club in the seminyak area of bali. I’m not one for drinking – almost a complete teetotaler – but I do like a nice place to lounge about and have a bite, and this place fits the bill. the food came in rather large portions – certainly larger than you’d expect at places like this, which casts aspersions on options in singapore – and though our orders spanned the spectrum of terrible to really good, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting this place at least once if you’re in the area. the prices were fair, the menu sufficiently extensive, and service very friendly. an accessible and enjoyable sort of chilled-luxe.

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east 8 – new york fusion tapas + bar, town

great fusion at the arcade of the hotel grand park city hall – one of the best meals I’ve had since coming back to singapore, both in terms of taste and innovation. it makes me very nostalgic for london, where there were great restaurants like this one popping up everywhere, and flavours were new and exciting. it’s meant to be new-york-inspired, but I think the casual-chill (and hipster in very much the right way) vibe is one that applies to most excitingly vibrant cities, and very welcome in the singapore foodscape. the food comes in tapas-like portions, which means your bill potentially runs high, but most of the flavours are bright and clean, and it makes for a great night out.

I was really hoping that this meal would shine – it is celebration weekend for my partner and I – and it didn’t disappoint. service was cheery and friendly, and this place has so much design quality – I said above that it was hipster in the right way, and you see it in their details: the wooden coasters, the grass in the al fresco area, the fancy-and-dim lighting, and the furniture. I’m a sucker for good design.

but let’s talk food – we started with a marinated hamachi and caviar, which was slices of raw fish in a rather japanese-chinese style dressing. this was unusual – it was reminiscent of fish I would marinate for cooking, without the cooking bit, and the dressing was tasty, but overwhelmed the caviar. the soy yuzu beef that came later was brilliant though – thin slices of ribeye in a tangy dressing alongside a nicely-bitter salad, this was tender and beefy in the best way.

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