Alibabar the Hawker Bar at the junction of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road seems to be a prosperity ground for any hawker start up with the likes of Aston and Saveur, which move on to opening their own restaurants and branches. The latest tenant is By the Fire, opened by Immanuel Tee by started Immanuel French Kitchen at Bukit Merah and his partner Alexander Chong who helmed the kitchen at By The Fire.
Little Squid 4.2/5
The Little Squid ($9.90) comes with Thai sweet dipping sauce, is a good starter to go with a bottle of beer. The lightly battered squid is deep fried to a crisp exterior while the inside is still tender. Very enjoyable and addictive.
Scotch Egg 4.5/5
The Scotch Egg ($6.90) is not a common item on most restaurant menu and I am glad By The Fire decides to serve this. The breaded minced pork with soft boiled egg and purple cabbage coleslaw is not only beautiful on the plate but palate too. I have tried a couple of scotch egg elsewhere but nothing beats this, especially the well marinated minced pork.
Keystone's Seaweed Pasta 3.8/5
A popular dish at By The Fire is the Keystone's Seaweed Pasta ($8.90). Top mark for the concept using angel hair pasta cooked in aglio olio style, shio kombu and sakura ebi. Although the dish came across a bit too salty, I can tell this is a very good dish with the rich and complex flavours that worked harmoniously.
Grilled Pork Cheek 3.5/5
It was a hate and love affair with the Grilled Pork Cheek ($15.90). The grilled pork cheek confit glazed with Japanese curry oil, served with potato and pumpkin salad literally melted in the mouth. However, it came across too oily.
BBQ Pork Ribs 4/5
Squid Ink Pasta 4/5
For the price and portion, I think the Squid Ink Pasta ($12.90) is quite value for money. The spaghetti pasta cooked in squid ink cream sauce, served with grilled scallops, spring onions and bonito flakes will be a delightful slurping goodness for the hungry stomach.
Grilled Hangar Steak 4/5
Last but not least the Grilled Hangar Steak ($19) is cooked perfectly to medium rare. The charred onglet steak (200gram) is served with brown sauce, shallot confit and crispy potato. As the hangar steak is quite tough, I would say this is cooked to a nice tender bite.
Overall, By The Fire serves up some delicious and affordable dishes that is comparable to restaurant quality. It is definitely a place I will not mind going back again.
By The Fire
Alibabar the Hawker Bar
125 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 1030pm
Sat-Sin: 12pm - 4pm, 6pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take exit A. Walk to bus stop at Blk 99 Old Airport Road (Stop ID 81181). Take Bus 10 or 32. Alight 6 stops later opposite Roxy Square. Walk to the junction of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes.[Map]