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I’m guilty of associating drinking holes with bar grub, i.e. mediocre food. Which is why Harry’s new menu created by culinary director Chef Daniel Sia (from The Disgruntled Chef!) is such a pleasant surprise. Hits for me from the comprehensive menu include the fried fish skin (so addictive that I shamelessly hogged this), delectable golden brown crab and potato cakes (very smart of them to print “crab and potato” instead of “crab cakes” so that expectations are managed), and the sinful rum-spiked baked chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry bits! Other than these, K really liked the signature spicy wings too, as well as the hearty beef stroganoff pasta. The premium lager battered fish and chips were rather disappointing; the generous pieces of fish looked perfect but the one on my plate was too oily. Then there are the average dishes – charcoal and onion ciabatta bread (essentially carbs to fill the stomach) and mushroom flatbread (more carbs), skippable.

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Fish Cracklings
fish skin tossed with in-house spice mix, served with aioli

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Charcoal & Onion Ciabatta
served with imam bayildi (turkish eggplant dip) and marinated olives

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Harry’s Signature Wings
crispy wings dressed in a secret spice served with homemade chilli jam

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Crab & Potato Cakes
blue swimmer crab and potato cakes with a light crunch, served with sriracha tomato dip

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Mushroom & Truffle Oil Flatbread
crisp flatbread with garlic mayo, field mushrooms and truffle oil

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Harry’s Beer Battered Fish & Chips
fresh hake fillet with exclusive harry’s premium lager batter, served with mushy peas, raisin coleslaw and chips

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Beef Stroganoff
smoky grilled beef and penne pasta in creamy sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

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Sticky Date Toffee Pudding
served warm with toffee sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream

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My thanks to Hsian Ming for hosting dinner!

Harry’s Bar
#01-01, 3D River Valley Road
6338 7331

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First we have the term “Mod Sin”. Now there’s “Gastro-Botanica”, the contemporary cuisine created by Chef Jason Tan at Corner House that highlights both protein and botanical elements. We brought a couple of overseas friends there for dinner one night and what else can I say other than it was truly a beautiful meal? There is no ala carte; either you go for the elaborate degustation ($248++) or choose the mix-and-match menu (4 courses for $98++; 6 courses for $148++). We did the latter and left with happy smiles and full tummies!

From start to end, every dish was elegantly presented and the ingredients of high quality. I especially enjoyed the black sesame spheres (yes I’m naturally biased towards anything with the word ‘sesame’ but everyone at the table agreed that these were good!), 62 degree egg hidden in savoury-sweet onion puree (points given for the unexpected slice of shaved black truffle!), delicious fresh cod with seasonal white asparagus (any chef who can whip up fish with such crispy scales has my respect) and of course, both the desserts – chocolate “pebbles” plated to look like a winter garden, and a modern take of the traditional “kaya toast” with weak pandan but strong gula melaka flavour.

The staff packed petit fours for us (really too full!) and guess what greeted me the next morning? Salted egg yolk macarons! Brilliant.

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Amuse-bouche
fish cracker topped with tobiko, black sesame spheres, prawn on cornmeal cracker with avocado mousse

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French Royale Oyster
au naturel, plum granité, basil seed, caviaroli

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Carabinero Prawn (supplement $22++)
variation of best season tomato, vintage sherry, kristal de chine caviar

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Beetroot Collection
smoked eel, 24 months comté, horseradish, walnut & black garlic

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Oignon doux des Cévennes
62 degree egg, buckwheat, noisette croûton

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Maine Lobster (supplement $20++)
char grilled, burrata, yellow capsicum, trombetta zucchini, kristal de chine caviar

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sorry I can’t remember what is this dish. there were too much food!

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Free Range Chicken
champignon, romaine lettuce, sauce surf & turf

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Hokkaido Scallop
riso, seaweed, burnt leek, surf & turf emulsion

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New Zealand Cod “Crispy Scales”
white asparagus

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Cocoa “Pebbles”
white chocolate, meringue, crumbles

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My Interpretation of Kaya Toast
pandan, coconut, gula melaka, muscovado sablé and yuzu

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Corner House
1 Cluny Road, E J H Corner House
Singapore Botanic Gardens
(Nassim Gate Entrance)
+65 6469 1000

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… which (un?)fortunately didn’t manage to displace Hanare and Koji from my heart.

#1: Sumiya Charcoal Grill

I enjoyed dinner at Sumiya very much but lunch was a tad underwhelming, especially when there were so many gorgeous photos of the bara kaisen don on my Instagram feed.

Mix Bara Kaisen Don ($18.80++)
assorted seafood sashimi chunks on rice

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Lunch sets come with salad, chawanmushi and mochi for dessert, but I can certainly do without the frills (not even a mochi fan ha) if that means more fish on slightly dry sushi rice. The anago don was better – four long and tender (albeit thin) anago almost spilling out of the bowl, a beautiful sight!

Ni Anago Don ($16.80++)
simmered conger eel on rice

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#2: Manzoku Japanese Restaurant

Again, my expectations were (very) high due to the raves I read on Instagram (I’m an addict!!) lol.

Chirashi Set ちらし寿司 ($25++)
sliced sashimi on rice

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The chirashi don had thick slices of salmon, tuna, swordfish and amberjack, a couple of commercially produced (I guess) tamago, and a spoonful of ikura. Fish was fresh enough but the rice was strangely sweet and wasabi too “fake” (I mean artificial)…

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#3: Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant

Price tag being equal, I much prefer Hokkaido Sushi’s chirashi don to Manzoku’s. It may not be the best nor my favourite, but the generous slices of fish were very fresh!

Chirashi Don ($25++)

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Other than going cray-cray over bara/chirashi, I’ve also had a ridiculous infatuation with maki rolls. Of course, Koh Sushi and The Sushi Bar are unbeatable (to-date) when it comes to rolls but the special maki here is definitely worth a try! I love the contrasting texture from the crispy salmon and soft anago.

Special Maki ($25++)
crispy roll (anago & salmon)

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The highlight though was the platter of salmon sashimi. 20 pieces for $18++, what a great deal! And so fresh, soooo good!

Salmon Sashimi ($18++)
20 pieces

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Sumiya Charcoal Grill
#12-02, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
6509 9618
~
Manzoku Japanese Restaurant
18 Purvis Street
6734 4436
~
Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant
M Hotel Singapore Level 9
81 Anson Road
6221 3075

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Say hello to my recent food obsession: donburi bowls from Kilo at Pact.

More specifically, I’m heads over heels with the salmon quinoa bowl! The ingredients are simple but outstanding on its own – sweet fresh and crunchy corn kernels (nothing out of a can!), creamy and perfectly ripe avocado, well-marinated radishes and shimeji mushrooms, and incredibly flavourful quinoa. So delicious that I don’t even mind that the salmon tends to be overcooked (tried and tested thrice). I can’t make out what’s in the secret dressing though – shoyu? Mirin? Vinegar? WHAT?! Guess I’ll keep going back to figure it out haha.

K’s pork belly bowl is a near replica – just substitute salmon for pork belly, quinoa for sushi rice. He didn’t like this place on our first visit but has since changed his mind yay. The power of a pork belly bowl!

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Pork Belly Sushi Rice ($18++)
avocado, sweet corn, shimeji mushrooms, radishes, sugar peas, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, wasabi sprouts

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Pan-Seared Donburi Salmon Quinoa ($18++)
avocado, sweet corn, shimeji mushrooms, radishes, sugar peas, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, wasabi sprouts

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Kilo at Pact
#02-16/17/18/19, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
6884 7560

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I’ll be honest: Stellar‘s Sunday Wine Lust brunch is not for everyone.

If you are not into alcohol (who doesn’t????), skip this. With free flow wines and sparkling, it’s not called “wine lust” for nothing. Every week, different wine and wine makers are showcased and guests are invited to sample up to a selection of 12 different wines. Chosen favourites can also be bought at wholesale price tags!

If you prefer a big buffet spread, I think hotel buffets are more suitable and value for money. There’s not even a cold raw seafood section as the focus is on a la minute and live cooking stations. Really depends on what you are looking for: quality or quantity?

If you don’t care much for spectacular views during your dining experience, I suggest you close off this window now. At $110++ per person, brunch is pricey and part of that is the location. 62 levels above ground, fabulous views and ambience (my BFF’s friend received her marriage proposal there!) guaranteed!

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The carefully crafted food menu features a decadent spread with trademark highlights such as Stellar’s signature sushi station (quite a limited selection though), smoked salmon benedict (predictably my favourite!) and fresh truffle pasta (I wish I can steal the whole knob of black truffle from the chef haha). K, this blog’s unofficial meat taster, was in charge of devouring the fragrant claypot chicken rice, bloody wagyu rump and assorted cuts from the meat carvery. Brunch ended nicely with a gorgeous dessert platter (all the sweet little cakes were sooooo good!!) and we left with the conclusion that artisanal cheese is totally wasted on us (we just can’t appreciate them, sorry).

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Claypot Chicken Rice
classic with a twist served at the table

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Stellar Sushi
assorted nigiri and maki rolls

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Eggs Selection
smoked salmon benedict

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Truffle Pasta
creamy carbonara or olive oil aglio alio

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Meat Carvings
spatchcock chicken with peri peri, roasted pork belly with chilli apple sauce, rosemary roast leg of lamb, roast duck

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Slow Roasted Wagyu Rump
red wine or mushroom sauce

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Assorted Artisanal Cheese
served from the trolley

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Desserts
lemon coconut slice, orange carrot cake, chocolate tartlet, hazelnut praline cake, white chocolate raspberry cake, strawberry crumble, anzac cookies

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My thanks to Shasi for the kind invitation!

Stellar at 1-Altitude
#62-01, One Raffles Place
1 Raffles Place
6438 0410

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