nakajima suisan grilled fish, takashimaya

nothing fancy, but an oh-so-satisfying food store at the back of the takashimaya food hall – queues build up long and quick here during mealtimes, so choose to eat at an awkward time, or get ready for a bit of a wait.

this isn’t a place to linger – even if you were to ignore the death stares dealt to you by the horde of people queueing to take you place, the food is meant to be quick and cheap – and satisfies by fulfilling both those expectations and topping it with tasty, satisfying fare.

you have plenty of time in the queue to decide what you want to eat – and the menu is standard enough that you don’t exactly need to look at the menu, if you see what I mean: it’s a standard bento format with your choice of fish (cod, horse mackerel, eel and etc.)

when you do reach the head of the queue, you get to an efficient, japanese-sounding man who takes your order and payment, before waving you quickly to your seat.

I started with a chawanmushi, which was a great start to the meal – soft, smooth, custardy steamed egg, that was: (1) surprisingly unsalty, which is a common gripe; and (2) really surprisingly chockful of chicken, fishcake and gingko (my favorite part!). seriously cheap and good (even the fiance, who doesn’t usually like chawanmushi, shared this!)


and the bentos that arrived quickly after were just as satisfying. first of all, they don’t skimp on the rice quality here – it’s good, sticky-enough japanese rice, cooked well enough to maintain grain integrity. secondly, the fish comes in a generous portion (I’ve certainly gotten much smaller for much higher prices elsewhere), sauced adequately and tender.

the grilled cod had fatty skin that was blistered and charred enough to bring texture and interest. if you really want to fault it (but what for?), you could gripe that the cod fillet comes with bones (be careful!) and the unagi certainly isn’t fatty enough to be melt-in-the-mouth, but I would call you a grouch (which is rich, coming from me).

anyway – it’s about one step up from food court in ambiance but more than a few steps up for quality, and it’s certainly a nice meal to round off a long day.

Nakajima Suisan
#B2 (Takashimaya Food Hall)
Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road
Singapore 238872
$.5: less than twenty

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prime gyu-kaku, chijmes

decent bbq-it-yourself wagyu (and more) at this newly-refurbished outlet of the gyu-kaku chain at chijmes.

the once-chapel has been redone, with a long stretch of mid-ranging japanese restaurants serving a range of specialties, from ramen to tonkatsu. this one specialises in beef, of course, with the marbled styles dominating a menu broken up with sides and a couple seafood options.

it’s easy eating – a comfortable casual-ish environ and good slabs of meat. and is it just me, or can you stare at that meat-flipping gif forever?

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ssikkek korean grill bbq, novena

caution: lots of raw meat up ahead.

decent food-court-style buffet at united square – like a ever-so-slightly more sophisticated version of the secondary-school hangout that is seoul express.

I’m saying sorry upfront for only taking photos of the multi-colored bits of raw marinated meat – it was a large communal lunch not quite amenable to taking photos, and really – any pause in laying meat (and claim) to real estate on the grill results in someone swooping in under your nose to take your place.

plus, I was too busy eating to remember photos. but you know what cooked meat looks like, right? (full of excuses, I know.)

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the lawn salad & grill, tanjong pagar


just a quick reminder that I’m doing a london vegfest giveaway here!

great salads – and – more at this new branch in the central business district – a grown-up version of their first at the biopolis building. I’ve written about this place before – they do a mean grill atop fresh salads, in huge portions both gastronomically and conscience-satiating – but where the first branch was laid back (university-type is likely the best description), this is its shinier sister – sparkling in nordic white and wood and a beautiful felt-lined platform.

it’s great returning to a place to find standards have been kept up amidst expansion, portions are just as fantastic – and finding appealing additions to the menu: dessert and coffee for the hipsters.

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al hamra, holland village

great – and almost definitely one of the best places locally – middle-eastern/lebanese food in the expatriate haven of holland village. that latter description was particularly chosen – there seems a lack of local interest in the highly spiced flavours of this region’s cuisine, which probably accounts for the scarcity of places serving it. but I love it, and so this place made me right happy.

the food is great, nearly at the level of lebanese I used to get in london – whether a mark of authenticity I leave you to decide – and while expensive, it’s more than good enough for me to return.

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the home grill

some photos from a recent home dinner – mum’s a great cook, and while I wish I had the opportunity to cook more now that I’m home, it’s difficult to put up a convincing argument (even to myself) when the food’s so good.

this is another post dedicated to our multitasking george foreman grill, and it does an amazing job with crayfish, squid, sausages and pork; and we had loads of leafy greens and mash to go with. it’s a rainy sunday here in singapore – a crazy-heavy curtain of grey outside – and so a nice one for being indoors. see you guys tomorrow!


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ito-kacho, town

really good, really really good japanese grill-it-yourself hidden away in the mandarin gallery – which has a surprising number of decent restaurants (note to self: go back and have a look). my parents first came here on their silver wedding anniversary – gosh! – and were so enthralled with the food they brought us along the next week, and for very good reason. for all you fans of marbled, fatty beef, this is your place.

the prices here are on the steep side: you pay for the quality of the meat – it comes appetizingly dark, sliced just precisely so – for the great service and the quiet ambience for the restaurant, but it’s easily justifiable – just create find an occasion to come.

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