Image: Garcons French Grill
This year, chef-owner Enoch Teo of five-month-old French stall Garcons@ Essen at The Pinnacle@Duxton will be focusing on expanding the Garcons brand. And by the look of the new dishes at two-week-old Garcons French Grill at Alibabar The Hawker Bar in Katong, I believe it is a good move.
The menu features main courses such as barbecued pork ribs ($14.90), which are honey-glazed and fork tender. It comes with three-cheese baked macaroni as well as corn and green pea succotash.
Another hit is the seaweed pasta ($8.90), which is cooked aglio olio style with shio konbu and sakura ebi.
I love the spicy kick from the La-yu chilli oil and the sweet crunch of the sakura ebi.
Add side dishes such as Scotch egg ($6.90), a slow-cooked egg wrapped in breaded minced pork and served with raisin slaw; and charcuterie platter ($14.90) with a generous portion of duck rillette and duck sausage, served with pickled gherkins and baguette.
The hearty dishes are good for sharing and are well-balanced in flavours and texture.
I'm looking forward to the next Garcons already.
WHERE: 125 East Coast Road MRT: Eunos OPEN: Noon to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm daily except Tuesday INFO: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Eunice Quek
Say what you like about truffle-flavoured dishes not using the real deal. Its aroma still turns heads when a truffle dish is served to a neighbouring table.
Kanshoku Ramen Bar in orchardgateway serves a truffle ramen ($16.90, above), among its tonkotsu ramen options.
The ramen is served dry, so it seems pretty much like those angel hair pasta with truffle dishes that you get at French restaurants.
The thin ramen is tossed in truffle oil and bits of real truffle and comes with two slices of tender charshu.
It could do with some corn or the classic ajitama, but that would require an additional $2 each.
Not enough truffle still? Complete your meal with a side of the black truffle edamame ($4.90).
WHERE: 01-06 orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Road MRT: Somerset OPEN: 11am to 10pm daily TEL: 6384-4770 INFO: www.kanshokuramen.com
Image: Eunice Quek
I've long given up trying to diet in the new year.
But I try to "eat clean" whenever possible. And since I cannot do without carbs, the bibimbap bowls at Paik's Bibim are a good option to get my greens as well.
The bibimbap does not come with an egg and is not served in a hot stone bowl. Instead, it has a variety of vegetables and a choice of meat (from $7.90) or seafood ($8.90).
I pick the pork bibimbap, which comes with minced pork, bean sprouts, mushrooms and julienned radish, carrot and cucumber (above). Mix everything with the spicy gochujang and it makes a filling meal.
Noodle options ($7.90 each) are also available, such as warm noodles with soya sauce and spicy bibim noodles.
The South Korean fast-food concept is by Korean celebrity chef Baek Jong Won, who started the Korean barbecue chain Bornga in 2012. Paik's Bibim also has outlets at VivoCity, Bedok Mall and CityLink Mall.
WHERE: B1-K2 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road MRT: Jurong East OPEN: 11.30am to 9.30pm daily TEL: 6684-5762
CRISP CROISSANT TAIYAKI
Image: Oyoge Taiyaki
I've been a fan of Oyoge Taiyaki's mochi taiyaki ($3 each) - fish-shaped pancakes with filling - since I tried them at its first outlet in Chinatown. Its 313@Somerset outlet still sells the mochi version of the Japanese snack and has a new addition of croissant taiyaki ($4.80 each, above).
While it lacks the fluffy layers of the usual croissant, the baked taiyaki still has a crisp, buttery and slightly sweet exterior. Filling flavours include azuki beans, apple as well as cream cheese and corn. The crowd-pleaser - Belgium dark chocolate - is my favourite as it is not too sweet and goes nicely with the buttery crust.
WHERE: B3-43 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road MRT: Somerset OPEN: 11am to 10pm (Monday to Thursday), 11am to 11pm (Friday to Saturday, Sunday and public holiday) TEL: 8828-1318 INFO: www.facebook.com/oyogetaiyakisingapore
A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on January 15, 2016. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.