Old Boys Gallery

The latest addition to the neighbourhood of Kampong Bahru, Old Boys Gallery serves western-fusion cuisine with more than 50 different variety of craft beers and ciders to suit every palate. This was formerly an art gallery but has now been transformed into a bistro where food meets art – from graffiti art and wall murals to canvas paintings.

Of course, I was not there to check out the alcohol or art, but for the food! Always for the food ha.


We seldom eat fried food but when we do, sweet potato fries usually top our list. I love the version here! Fried to perfection and that curry mustard dip on the side is a flavourful bomb in the mouth.

Potato Head ($7.90)
sweet potato fries, curry mustard dip


There’s a good selection of bar bites – think wings, meatballs and fried food like fish fingers. Go for the “make your own triplets” if you are in a group, or not in the mood for a full meal. For $27, take your pick of three appetizers from the menu. It’s great value for money! Speaking of which, there is no GST or service charge so the food is really affordable.

OBG Crab Cake ($11)
sassy flavors of special crab cake with mango relish

Cremini in Disguise ($11)
breaded portobello mushroom topped with louisiana spices


Our choices were most satisfying – filler-less crab cakes, savory crunchy breaded portobello mushroom and addictive fried baby squid that’s a danger to the waistline.

Crispy Baby Squid ($11)
fried squid with tangy sauce to go with curry leaves


Chef introduces a special dish every month and when I was there, it was a delicious slab of miso cod. For this month, it’s a massive Knuckle Up meat platter for $69 nett. You get a huge ~1kg pork knuckle, chorizo/lamb/beef sausages, Australian ribeye, German potato with crispy bacon, sauerkraut and sauteed vegetables, woah. Beer is a must to go with that, so for every 3 pints of beer, the 4th one is on the house!

OBG Special
cod fish, vegetables, miso sauce


For something equally hearty for just for 1 pax, the handmade beef burger stacked with cheese, bacon, egg and caramelized onion will fill your stomach and heart. I swear, K was super happy with this, especially on a TGIF night!

Manster Burger ($17.90)
cheese, bacon, egg, caramelized onion, served with fresh greens and fries


Desserts are the only letdown. We tried the tiramisu and a ramekin filled with mousse-like chocolate. Too sweet and not impressive, head somewhere else for a sweet ending!

Devil’s Double Choc ($9)
served with ice cream


Thank you for arranging dinner, Amanda and Yong Sing!

Old Boys Gallery
67 Kampong Bahru Road
9187 0756


Walk past #20 along Bukit Pasoh Road and you will unknowingly miss breezy Seattle-style Humpback, the sister restaurant of Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall.


Buckets of oysters at the raw seafood counter are the star attraction. If you love your oysters (I don’t ha), you will be pleased to know that they are served as fresh as possible – from farm to table is the goal.

Oysters ($6++ each / Happy Hour $2-3++)
Kumamoto – Peale, Washington USA
Shigoku Fat Bastard – Samish Bay, Washington USA
Rocky Bar – South Puget Sound, Washington USA


It’s not all about oysters, of course. The seafood menu is deliberately kept small (but changing constantly) so that only the freshest will be purveyed.

Clam Dip ($10++)
cream cheese, ritz crackers


But let’s talk veggie first. Anything but ordinary, the “Garden” and “Pantry” selections are gems in themselves.

Carrots ($8++)
yoghurt, cumin salt


A random assembly of carrots with creamy tahini yogurt and a dash of cumin salt is magic, and I love the different textures in the seemingly simple kale salad.

Kale ($14++)
buttermilk, pear, kale chips, pecan nuts


The top veggie pick will be the grilled cabbage though. I have never seen such a combination before – cheese, quinoa and more importantly, chilli oil! Brilliant flavours.

Cabbage ($10++)
herb cheese, crispy quinoa, chilli oil


The seafood section focuses on inventive preparations – rainbow trout with intriguing almond milk, tender black cod with chestnut puree, and hamachi ceviche cleverly lifted with just a touch of yuzu. So many hits!

Rainbow Trout ($16++)
egg yolk, almond milk, pickled mustard seeds


Hamachi Ceviche ($22++)
avocado, yuzu, radish, almond


Cod ($20++)
leek, chestnut, vinaigrette


Beef Short Rib ($23++)
grain fed 120 days, carrot puree, broccolini


There are only two desserts on the menu. While the panna cotta infused with fernet (a type of bitter herbal liqueur) is interesting, the smooth rich and creamy chocolate mousse is the one we fight over!

Valrhona Chocolate Mousse ($8++)
berries compote, fresh cream


Fernet Panna Cotta ($8++)
bitter cocoa, orange


Special thanks to Marie for hosting dinner!

20 Bukit Pasoh Road
6750 4461

RedBank Bar & Grill

I tell you, I left RedBank Bar & Grill in a food coma.

That’s because it’s impossible not to over-order and over-eat when quality good ol’ American fare at pocket friendly prices is part of the deal! Located at the newly renovated Claymore Connect, RedBank Bar & Grill took over the space of what was previously Tony Roma’s and comes equipped with a life-size screen to telecast major sporting events.


Contrary to American cooking stereotypes, the focus is on the food, not the sauces. There is no need for special flavouring as the ingredients speak for themselves. The tuna tartare is the perfect example – fresh chopped tuna lightly tossed with a citrusy dressing, so refreshing!

Tuna Tartare ($20++)
tuna, shallots, herbs, lemon, olive oil


Rooted to traditional recipes and cooking methods that have been passed down through generations, the menu features many East Coast favourites such as Maryland soft shell crab, Virginia-style crab cake and the less common fried oyster biscuit. All three are delicious and I’d order these again in a heartbeat!

Maryland Soft Shell Crab ($18++)
with old bay seasoning


Virginia-Style Crab Cake ($18++)
crab, mayo, lemon


Virginia-Style Oyster Biscuit ($18++)
large oysters, butter milk biscuit


“Salad” sounds light and healthy but at RedBank, the cobb salad is one hearty dish that will satisfy both carnivores and ladies with a small appetite ha. Generous ingredients threaten to overflow the bowl!

Brown Derby Cobb Salad ($22++)
iceberg, avocado, egg, bacon, cheese, chicken


French Onion Soup ($15++)
fresh onions, cheese gratin


Typical American side orders like mac & cheese and home-style coleslaw are available but the hush puppies are the most interesting! These are nicely spiced handmade cornmeal fritters which taste somewhat like our Chinese “ham chim peng” (fried bread).

Hush Puppy ($12++)
cornmeal, onions, red pepper


Dishes from the restaurant’s Josper charcoal grill are featured prominently on the menu, bringing the typical American backyard grill experience indoors. The traditional outdoor barbecue flavor is imparted to many of its items like the large U.S. steaks (ribeye is huge and most value-for-money!), ribs and seafood.

Mixed Seafood Grill ($33++)
prawn, salmon, seabass, tuna


As if the serving is not big enough, each grilled meat comes with a side of fries while the seafood and poultry mains come with rice pilaf or fries.

Grilled Whole Seabass ($33++)


Grilled Deviled Chicken ($28++)
taragon, pepper, white wine reduction


Rib Eye ($45++)
300g steak


We were full but no way were we going to leave without desserts, especially when the tempting hand-crafted creations include NY cheesecake with speculoos base (the unanimous favourite, even for myself who’s not a cheesecake fan!), classic lemon pie (so sour, I love it!), chocolate chip tiramisu and creme brulee.

New York Cheesecake ($12++)


Lemon Pie ($12++)


Creme Brulee ($12++)


My thanks to Melody for hosting dinner!

RedBank Bar & Grill
#01-02 Claymore Connect
442 Orchard Road
+65 6694 5376

Sumiya @ Suntec City

There seems to be a trend for my Sumiya dining experiences – lunch usually borders on average but dinner are always much more enjoyable!


The new Sumiya branch at Suntec City boasts a unique circular Enomatic sake dispenser with 16 different types of Japanese fermented rice wine! Just get a post-paid card from the staff, insert into the machine, press your selection and drink away! The sake range from lighter, easy-to-drink brews to higher quality, more full-bodied varieties meted out in a tasting (20ml from $2.20++), half (60ml) and full (120ml) portion.


Freshness is key in Japanese cuisine and if there is only one dish you can order (I hope not!), get the bluefin tuna! It’s brilliant – a single cut of imported tuna showcasing three premium parts all at once, i.e. akami, chutoro and otoro. I adore it, of course!

Fresh Bluefin Tuna Sashimi Steak-Style ($68++)
three cuts of sustainably-farmed bluefin tuna in one – akami, chutoro and otoro; served with ponzu, spicy sauce and truffle paste


A simpler but no less delicious way to enjoy seafood at Sumiya is to order it isoyaki-style. Doused in a house-made soy-dashi broth and grilled in its shell over charcoal, the plump scallop burst with umami flavour tinged with a tantalizing smokiness.

Fresh Hotate Isoyaki ($11.80++)
half-shell scallop charcoal-grilled with soy sauce-dashi broth


The garden salad is forgettable and not that great value-for-money either.

Garden Salad ($14.80++)
assorted fresh vegetables, crab stick, flying fish roe and potato salad


Dried fish is a traditional delicacy among the Japanese for thousands of years and despite the name “dried”, the fish is actually very moist and retains its natural juices! A special fish-dry machine is used to achieve this – heat controlled at 30°C replicating the warmth of sun rays is emitted and intensifies the flavour of the fish.

Today’s Homemade Dried Fish ($28.80++)
renkodai, a type of sea bream


Another blast from the past is irori genshiyaki – an ancient Japanese style of charcoal-grilling fish. This entails skewering whole or selected fish parts and slow-grilling them vertically around a stack of smoldering charcoal for 20-40 minutes. I highly recommend the yellowtail collar – so juicy and tender with evenly crisp skin!

Salt Grilled Yellowtail Collar ($20.80++)
yellowtail collar grilled irori genshiyaki-style and seasoned with salt


One of the restaurant’s signature is “Can Can Mushi” (a.k.a. ryoshi mushi), a hotpot of sorts inspired by the way Japanese fishermen cook freshly-caught seafood in a tin can on the boat or on shore. Think of it as a Japanese-style steamboat! You can even pick the soup base – original clear broth, tom yum soup, and soy sauce miso-based soup with garlic and chilli. Not my favourite since I’m not a fan of steamboats in general ha.

Today’s Chef’s Ryoshi Mushi (open price, depends on customization of seafood)
“hotpot” filled with assorted seafood – kodai sea bream fish (market price), hiroshima oysters ($4++ each), prawns ($5++ each), scallops ($11.80++ each)


Desserts are worth a try too! With only 15 precious servings available daily, a pre-order of Sumiya Tropical Dessert is advised. The beautiful hand-carved ice bowl holds multiple colourful gems such as fruits, sago, azuki paste and even matcha ice cream!

Sumiya Tropical Dessert ($18.80++)
cubes of mango, watermelon and rock melon, sago, green tea ice cream and red bean paste in coconut milk sauce


Other indulgent treats include mango and yogurt with matcha ice cream and deep-fried moreish pumpkin cake. I can’t pick the best out of the lot because my sweet tooth loves them all!

Pumpkin-filled Karinto Manju with Matcha Ice Cream ($8.80++)
crispy deep-fried japanese cake stuffed with pumpkin, served with green tea ice cream and sweet red bean paste


My thanks to Rachel for hosting dinner!

#03-332 / 333, Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard, North Wing
6235 1816

Montigo Resorts Nongsa

An hour away from Singapore lies Montigo Resorts in Batam, a sprawling architectural expanse of white against the deep blue waters of South China Sea. The nearest ferry terminal is Nongsapura Ferry Terminal and it takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (Singapore) to Nongsapura Ferry Terminal (Nongsa), easy! There is even 2-way complimentary land transfers from Nongsapura Ferry Terminal to Montigo Resorts and back.

Moving around the resort is a breeze through the on-site buggy service, simply call and you will be picked up!


There are four types of villas – hilltop villa (highest viewpoint at the resort’s crest), hillside villa (between hilltop and seafront), seafront villa (unobstructed view of the sea), and spa villa (with private cabana). Most villas have the same structural layout so whichever you pick, it will be a safe choice!

Our hillside villa comes with a private sea facing infinity plunge pool (K totally maximized the use of it lol), master bedroom complete with king-size canopy bed, large modern bathing area with natural skylight, guest bedroom with two single beds, rooftop dining terrace (very Santorini-ish!) and a living room/kitchenette with basic facilities.

I didn’t want to step out at all!


On second thoughts, it’s such a waste to stay indoors all day and not explore the resort further. We opted for a fishing trip and it was so fun! The staff was really patient and genuinely wanted us to have a good time. Although it was our first fishing experience, I got lucky and caught two snappers, score! #lunchsettled

Other water activities include wake boarding, water skiing or mangrove tour and firefly sighting for a more laid back excursion.


With the fresh fish in hand, we headed to the kitchen of TIIGO beach club to prepare an Indonesian home-style lunch of gado gado and grilled snapper. On a side note, TIIGO’s a la carte menu features typical bar bites, tapas and sandwiches. The seafood medley of soy infused scallops, tuna carpaccio on watermelon and mahi-mahi ceviche is worth a try but avoid the club sandwich unless you like dry roast beef and smoked chicken breast.


With our tummies full, it’s time for our favourite activity – spa!!! We are huge fans of spa and massage (imagine going for massage sessions at least twice a day in Bangkok, that’s us!) so we were looking forward to this the most. The Montigo Spa has rustic little Sumatran huts acquired exclusively for the resort, with a steam bath and plunge pools – the latter perfect to lounge, wade or simply cool off in.

Other than massages, the comprehensive spa menu also offers facials, body wraps, scrubs, and even medi/pedicure! It was difficult to choose as I wanted to do everything ha. In the end we picked the “Montigo Signature Revival Journey for Him & Her” consisting of a refreshing facial, moisturizing scrub, firming wrap and traditional massage. That is 3 hours of pure bliss, my friends. Highly recommended!


Time to feast again ha. For dinner, we had private dining at a section off the main restaurant. Honestly it felt kind of weird and I think in-villa dining may be a better option! The chef put together a special menu for us – seared scallop, tuna nicoise salad, thick and chunky cream of mushroom (omg this was unexpectedly good!!), snapper with prawns, beef tenderloin and sago malacca with palm sugar, creme anglaise and vanilla ice cream. I was more impressed with the service than food – professional, intrusive and so friendly!


An all day dining spot, TADD’S is the place to go for breakfast the next morning. The buffet spread has lots of local delights from pastries and kuehs to noodles and prata. What caught our eyes from the a la carte menu was the traditional tahu tek – a delicious dish of tofu and egg omelette, carrot, cucumber, spinach salad and black peanut sauce. I was kicking myself for not ordering it the day before! Besides Asian selection, there is also Western comfort cuisine in the form of eggs hemingway (smoked salmon with perfect poached eggs on english muffin) and the signature beef burger!


Our special thanks to Montigo Resorts for organizing this trip!

Montigo Resorts Nongsa
Jalan Hang Lekir, Nongsa, Batam
Kepulauan Riau 29465, Indonesia
+62 778 7768888

Violet Herbs

Violet Herbs is too… Purple.

Seriously, I’ve never seen a more purplish restaurant before.

Disturbing colour theme aside, the food is pretty good, and the affordable price tag is another plus. The Modern European menu offers easy-to-like choices – I couldn’t decide on the roasted chilean seabass or red miso cod so K suggested that I get both, score! The former is delicious with soft and fatty flaky meat; the latter can do with less miso but still very agreeable to my palate, all thanks to the lovely buttery texture and plump eggplant coated with almond on the side. My seafood choices fare better than K’s grilled tenderloin – slightly overcooked (errr, he eats it rare…) so that’s a shame. For dessert, get the decadent nutella bar! It’s as good as it sounds, only if you are a chocolate/nutella fan.


Roasted Chilean Seabass ($32++)
saffron mushroom ragout, truffle egg fluid, kabanyaki lobster sauce, shiso cress


Marinated Red Miso Cod ($33++)
roasted pumpkin puree, almond eggplant, mix herbs


Char Grilled Tenderloin ($42++)
grain fed 120 days, herb potatoes, sauteed baby spinach, onion thyme reduction


Nutella Bar ($12++)
strawberry coulis, nutella tuile, pearl chocolate, bailey ice cream


Violet Herbs
81 Tras Street
6221 3988

Joo Bar

Korean food is not high on my list of preferred cuisine but Joo Bar is an exception only because it serves modern Korean bites, thankfully nothing too traditional, phew. Oh, and also because I really like makgeolli! Meaning ‘alcohol’ in Korean, ‘Joo’ is the first in Singapore to brew its signature makgeolli and the makgeolli sampler is the best way to taste-test this cloudy and light-bodied 6-8% ABV rice wine. Out of the five different flavours, my favourite is the tangy yuzu makgeolli, so good when it’s icy cold!

On to the food now. Creative starters such as the baby eel paper and house-made tofu chips sound tempting on paper. The former was a dangerous snack – I polished it off easily with the makgeolli in hand! The cracker-like tofu chips tasted nothing like tofu hmm, and the shrimp avocado salad was heavy on mayo and salt. Luckily that meant I had more stomach space for the delicious seafood risotto and soft tofu stew! If generous portions of carbs and soup ain’t comfort food, I don’t know what is ha. One of the recommended meat dishes is the slow roasted mangalitsa pork belly (I liken that to the meat version of otoro? LOL) but mom said it’s “ok, too fatty” so it’s a love-or-hate dish, I suppose.

Dessert is straightforward – there is bingsu but sadly unavailable so tiramisu it is! Very very moist and I love that they use makgeolli in it too!


Makgeolli Sampler Set ($35++)
original, yuzu, lychee, strawberry, passionfruit


Baby Eel Paper ($14++)
deep fried baby eel, chilli salt, lime zest


Tofu Chips ($14++)
guacamole, kimchi salsa, cucumber


Shrimp & Avocado Salad ($14++)
hass avocado, tiger shrimp, miso mayo dressing


Slow Roasted Mangalitsa Belly ($32++)
thick cut mangalitsa pork belly, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, spring onion salad


Seafood Gochujang Risotto ($24++)
shrimp, black mussel, clam, squid, red pepper paste cream sauce


Seafood Soft Tofu Stew ($24++)
black mussel, clam, shrimp, squid, egg


Joo Tiramisu ($12++)
mascarpone, shaved dark chocolate, cocoa powder, korean raspberry wine, makgeolli


Special thanks to Cherry for arranging dinner!

Joo Bar
5 Tan Quee Lan Street
8138 1628


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