Showing posts with label .Area: Katong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label .Area: Katong. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Merci Marcel @ Katong - All-day Dining of Comfort Food with a French Flair in Merci Marcel’s 4th Outlet in Singapore


Merci Marcel's 4th outlet sits in the heart of Katong, their first venture into the East. Located in Santa Grand Hotel, the casual French restaurant is decked out in a fun new colonial and contemporary interior.


Early birds will be happy to have another spot to enjoy as they open every day from 8am into the night. Diners can expect a French tapas menu alongside speciality coffee, curated cocktails and French wines.


A centrepiece of this new outlet is the snazzy bar offering unique and vibrant selections of cocktails.

Salmon Crudo 4/5

To start, we had the Salmon Crudo ($20), which had salmon tartare on tangy pickled enoki with a dressing of cucumber gazpacho to be enjoyed with bread. I personally expected a bit more of this, but the clean flavour profile may suit if you're looking for something light.

Roasted Feta 4/5

The Roasted Feta ($16) is a decent sharing plate, with the slab of cheese served on a bed of poached pear, with slices of fresh pair, rosemary and a drizzle of honey and rosemary.

Ravioles de Royans 4.5/5

Merci Marcel's Ravioles de Royans ($20 for Small, $32 for Large) has been one of their most loved dishes since its opening. The adorable bites of French dumpling pasta are filled with Tête de Moine cheese, served with a creamy sauce and further topped with cheese florets.


It may look unassuming, but it gets more addictive with each bite. We loved how flavourful it was with the unadulterated taste of cheese, without being overwhelming.

French Mac & Cheese 4.5/5

Fans of mac & cheese got to try their rendition of French Mac & Cheese ($25). The creamy and lightly seasoned cheese macaroni is held within a buttery, flaky pastry, paired with ham chiffonnade and cheese crisps. Surprisingly, it wasn't as heavy as we thought, and we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of textures.

Marcel’s Waffle Iron Style “Croiffle” 4/5

The Marcel's Waffle Iron Style "Croiffle" ($11) was recommended by our server as her favourite on the menu for desserts. There's caramel, bananas and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to accompany the croiffle. While the combination was likeable, I preferred the croiffle to be served more warmly.

Chocolate & Whisky Pie 4.2/5

We ended our night with the Chocolate & Whisky Pie ($13). The crisp shortcrust pastry and mildly sweet yet rich chocolate filling will easily satisfy any chocolate lovers.

Photos and words by Jo. A girl who loves her Mala (麻辣) at Da La (大辣), discovering hidden food gems and a good cup of matcha latte. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Merci Marcel
171 East Coast Road
Singapore 428877
Tel: +65 6015 0906
Nearest MRT: Dakota MRT (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 8am - 12midnight
Sun-Mon: 8am - 11pm

1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop at block 99 (Stop ID 81181). Take bus number 10 or 32. Alight 7 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 18 minutes. [Map]

Monday, November 11, 2019

Butter & Spice @ Katong Point - Budget-friendly Northern Indian Cuisine


Butter & Spice at Katong Point serves up Northern Indian cuisine at budget-friendly prices. It also sets itself apart from others by offering set menus. Priced at $10, each set meal comes with a side of basmati rice and naan, together with a main that is of a smaller portion compared to an ala carte order, hence making it great for solo diners.

Chicken Tikka Biryani 4.5/5

Despite its small space, Butter & Spice uses a tandoor for their cooking. What is a must-order here, is definitely the Chicken Tikka Biryani ($8.40). Each biryani is prepared only upon your order. Brimming with herbs and spices, the piquant masala gravy served at the side brightens the dish with zest and adds a final punch of flavour to every spoonful of the biryani. The generous amount of chicken tikka given was unexpected. Each chunk was tender and moist, carrying a hint of smokiness atop of their spiced marination. The portion is good for two persons.

Lam Saag 3/5

Lamb Saag ($13) is similar to Palek Paneer but with Lamb pieces instead of cottage cheese cube. I really like the spinach, which has the right amount of garlic to bring out its flavour. However, the lamb cubes was a tad dry and too gamey for my liking.

Garlic Naan 2.8/5

To go with your curries, a selection of tandoori-grilled naan is available in various flavours such as cheese, garlic, and butter. We had Garlic Naan ($2.10). I feel it can be softer and fluffier.

Prawn Butter Malasa (Tasting portion)  3/5

 Dal Makhani (Tasting portion) 3/5

On the menu, there are also seafood and vegetarian dishes such as Prawn Butter Masala ($14) and Dal Makhani ($10). Both fall short of the robustness that I expect, which would usually leave my tongue tingling with stimulation from the spices if I met a good one. I was told there was no tomato puree inside the Dal Makahi, which makes it even milder and creamier. However, if you like curry that is buttery and creamy, this will work for you, especially given that black lentil is starchier than yellow lentil.


End your meal with their Masala Chai Tea ($1 add-on). Freshly brewed with chai tea and finished off with fresh milk, just the way they have it back in their hometown.

Written and photography by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.

Butter & Spice
Katong Point
451 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427664
Tel: +65 97776349
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 11am - 1030pm

1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop at Block 99 (Stop ID 81181). Take bus number 16. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Baba Chews Bar and Eatery @ Hotel Indigo Katong - Taking Asian Inspired Cuisine To The Next Level


Change is for the better and indeed Baba Chews Bar and Eatery at Hotel Indigo Katong has done just that. The restaurant has embarked on a new chapter, adding new Asian-inspired creations, combining Asian flavours with western gastronomy to its popular Peranakan menu.

Quinoa Salad 3.5/5

We started with the light and healthy Quinoa Salad ($17) which consists of a quinoa, feta cheese crumble, cucumber, beetroot, pomegranate, avocado, sunflower seeds, almond flake and micro cress. The lemon dressing gives it a zesty touch for a refreshing finish.

Otah Yu Tiao 4/5

Otah Yu Tiao ($12) sounds gimmicky to me. However I was totally wrong when it was put into a taste test. The combination of sandwiching the homemade otah in between the charcoal dough fritter actually works for me. It is definitely a welcome light snack to whet up the appetite.

Peranakan Pulled Pork Burger 4.2/5

An interesting Asian take of the burger is the Peranakan Pulled Pork Burger ($20). Instead of the usual beef patty, it is replaced with Iberico pulled pork cooked pongteh style, which is braised in fermented soybean sauce. It also comes with caramelised onions and cucumber with fries at the side. What impressed me is the softness of the bun that goes really well with the flavourful pulled pork.

Chicken Rendang Lasagna 4.2/5

The Chicken Rendang Lasagne ($18) may look rather unappetising but it turned out the opposite. It has never occurred to me that the rendang sauce can work so well with the lasagna giving the traditional Western fare a delicious face lift.

Barbecued US Pork Ribs 4/5

The Barbecued US Pork Ribs ($30) did not bring the same excitement I get from the more Asian flavours influenced dishes but the St. Louise spare ribs with homemade barbecue glaze is so tender that it fell off the bone with ease. It also comes with fries and coleslaw.

Laksa Salmon 4/5

Similar to the Chicken Rendang Lasagne, the Laksa Salmon is given an Asian twist by pairing a local sauce to the Western fare. The light laksa complements the salmon excellent, giving the dish a whole new dimension. It also comes with sauteed Asian greens and crispy beancurd puff.

Chilli Crab Tagliatelle 4.5/5

The dish that stole my heart goes to the Chilli Crab Tagliatelle ($20). Many restaurants have done this dish but it always turned out to be on the sweet side. I applauded the chef for getting the signature chilli crab sauce spot on with the right balance of spiciness and sweetness. Completing the dish, it comes with tempura soft shell crab, sous vide egg and fresh cilantro.

XO Pork Belly Char Siew Rice Bowl 4.2/5

A homely and comforting dish on the menu is the XO Pork Belly Char Siew Rice Bowl ($19). The rice bowl comes with homemade pork belly char siew, egg sunny-side up, fragrant Hainanese 'oil' rice and premium XO sauce. I personally do not think there is a need for the XO sauce and plain steamed rice will do as the rich flavours of the char siew sort of overpowered the other flavours. I am not complaining but a pity to see the effort goes to waste if it didn't help to create the harmony.

Baba's Chendol 4.2/5

For dessert, I decided to have the Baba's Chendol ($10). I have mixed opinions with the dessert. We are told that it is supposed to be eaten with chopsticks because the homemade pandan jello is purposely made into long noodle strand. I think it is a bit gimmicky and I also observe other diners ended up using the spoon for the dessert as the jello is toso slippy to be picked up by the chopsticks. However I applauded the idea of the red bean mousse which infused with the fresh coconut milk and gula melaka as the shaved ice melted, bringing the different characteristic of a bowl of chendol together.


Overall I have enjoyed the new Asian inspired cuisine by Baba Chews. It has kept the food familiar but yet added excitement with new tasty twists, by coming Asian flavours with a western approach. Now the expanded menu allows Baba Chews to cater for a wider group of diners.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Baba Chews Bar & Eatery
Hotel Indigo
86 East Coast Road
Singapore 428788
Tel: +65 67232025
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 630am - 11pm
Fri-Sat: 630am - 12midnight

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. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

Monday, June 4, 2018

Rakuya @ East Coast Road - Bringing Your Palate On An Adventure Across Asia


A new kid has moved into Katong offering Japanese fusion omakase. Unlike the traditional Japanese omakase restaurant, Rakuya brings you across Asia with its Asian influenced creations. It also brings an unique dining concept to the neighbourhood. 8-course omakase menu comes in three pricing - $48, $88 and $128 per pax.

Appetiser - Wanton Noodle 3.5/5

The omakase dinner at Rakuya started with the refreshing Amuse Bouche, a drink mixture of berries juice with orange peel, whetting up the appetite. The Appetiser is Chef's interpretation of wanton mee. The pasta is tossed in a light soy and goma sauce, topped with wanton skin and roes.

Butter Miso Asari 4/5

I was a little surprise by the use of the cracker base to pair with the Butter Miso Asari. The clever use of the butter miso accentuates the sweetness of the juicy clams. The combination actually works for me.

Salmon with Ponzu Sauce 4.5/5

One of my favourite dishes is the Salmon with Ponzu Sauce and White Truffle Oil. Every components on the plate tastes beautifully on the palate, working harmoniously together.

Mapo Tofu Chawanmushi 4.5/5

I was initially sceptical about the Mapo Tofu Chawanmushi. I thought it was fusion going a bit overboard. i was wrong after having it. It gives the traditional chawanmushi a whole new dimension and appreciation. The steamed egg is replaced with tofu while the foie gras substitutes the minced meat. Not forget the homemade mapo sauce that brings everything together. The finishing has a bit of spiciness with a little mala numbness at the end.

Tuna Curry Puff 4.2/5

The Tuna Curry Puff is a dish not seen elsewhere. The curry tuna is wrapped in a seaweed tempura shell. Have the tuna curry puff with the tempura dipping sauce at the bottom of the glass, for a burst of flavours and textures.

Pork Belly 3.5/5

The meat dish is inspired from the Dong Po Rou. The rich and intense sauce complements the pork belly excellent. However I thought the texture of the pork is far from the fork tender classic Dong Po Rou that it drawn its inspiration from. The pickled carrot is a welcome side to cut the richness though.

Bak Kut Teh Udon 4.2/5

For the noodle dish, we have the local inspired Bak Kut Teh Udon. Using Inaniwa udon, the broth is a cross between the herbal and peppery bak kut teh. It even comes with a piece of Kurobuta baby back ribs that has been cooked to tender, falling off the bone with ease. This is probably the most expensive bak kut teh I have eaten, topped with edible gold leaf.

Cream Puff with Orange Jam 4/5

For dessert, I have the Cream Puff with Orange Jam and Kaya Toast. As I shared with the Chef, the Cream Puff with Orange Jam has too many components at work. On the plate, there are curry meringue, coconut meringue and red beans besides the cream puff and orange jam. The dessert is too complex, losing the focus of the cream puff. For the Kaya Toast, yuzu kaya sauce is sandwiched between two crispy caramelized toasts. I find it really sweet but I enjoyed the crispy toasts. If you have a sweet tooth, you will like it.

Kaya Toast 4/5

I think Rakuya's Asian influenced omakase concept brings something new to the neighbourhood. One must dine here with an open mind as its not your typical Japanese omakase menu but more Asian inspired. If you are craving for some sushi and sashimi, they are also available on their ala carte menu. Every Tue and Fri is their delivery day, this is the best time to go for fresh sashimi.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

89 East Coast Road
Singapore 428790
Tel: +65 64407071
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 11pm

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. Walk down East Coast Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Celebrate The Lunar New Year With Baba Chews Bar & Eatery @ Hotel Indigo


With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, there is no better time than now to make plans for an abundant and hearty reunion dinner with your loved ones. Nestled in Katong and an occupant of the former Joo Chiat Police station, Baba Chews Bar & Eatery is an all-dining restaurant imbued with contemporary Peranakan elements, and plays a modern fusion to its selection of traditional cuisine from the Straits of Malacca, western favourites and local delights. This festive season, diners can relish in a scrumptious set menu specially curated for reunion dinner on 15 Feb 2018 to usher in the Year of the Dog.

Baba Salmon Yu Sheng 4.5/5

As with all Lunar New Year reunion dinners, we start off the meal with the classic Baba Salmon Yu Sheng ($48/$68) which comes in a platter of assorted vegetables and ingredients including the pickled radish, cucumber, pineapple, sweet turnip, corn flakes, and generous salmon slices. A tangy home-made kaffir lime plum sauce is poured over the Yu Sheng before tossing to good fortune and health.

Hee Piow Ting 4/5

Also known as the Paranakan-styled Fish Maw Soup, the Hee Piow Ting ($16 per bowl) comes with pork meatballs, fish maw and cabbage. While the minced meats in the meatballs boast a soft and tender texture, the pork-based soup has a rich but balanced flavour which makes for a comforting dish to have before the mains are served.

Red Garoupa Tempra Style 4.2/5

The Red Garoupa Tempra Style ($88) features a fried red garoupa fish with peranakan onion and chilli sauce. While the sauce adds a tinge of spice to the dish, it is not spicy and packs a rich savoury flavour to the fish, which retains a soft and moist texture beneath its crispy skin.

“Lobster” Carrot Cake 4.5/5

A local all-time favourite, the “Lobster” Carrot Cake features a stir-fried Singapore style carrot cake with a soft chewy texture and a taste familiar to many. The addition of lobster and silver fish brings a unique upgrade to the dish, elevating its entire taste with a subtle hint of crustacean sweetness from the lobster and saltiness from the silver fish.

“Ong Lai” Noodle 4/5

The “Ong Lai” Noodle comes in a bowl of sauteed tumeric noodle coated with generous amounts of curry cream sauce, and served with seafood and chopped abalone. The robust piquancy from the curry cream sauce is by no means an easy feat, while the addition of seafood and chopped abalone lends a refreshing zing to the edging spice flavour.

Pulut Hitam with Sesame Dumplings 4.2/5

One of the quintessential traditional desserts, the Pulut Hitam with Sesame Dumplings is a must-have to end off the meal on a sweet note. The black glutinous dessert soup is thick, gooey, and packed full of goodness. A gentle bite on the delicate skin of the dumpling oozes out a fragrant black sesame lava which is simply pure indulgence.


During Chinese New Year, most eateries and restaurants will be closed to celebrate the festive occasion. You will be glad to know that Baba Chews Bar and Eatery will be open throughout the Chinese New Year Holidays. From 16 to 18 February 2018, look forward to a sumptuous Chinese New Year a la carte buffet brunch ($42++ per adult) with a pantry laden with delights such as Seared Tuna Ahi, Prawn Shooters and Smoked Sea-Caught Fish from the chiller, a soup pot of Bakwan Kepiting, D.I.Y. Rojak and Kueh Pie Tee as well as desserts like the restaurant’s signature Nangka Cheesecake, Durian Mousse with Gula Melaka, Lychee Crème Brulee, Salted Egg Kaya Macaroons, assorted Chinese New Year cookies and many more.


Further complementing the spread in the pantry are the Baba Chew’s all-you-can-order menu of 12 mains, cooked a la minute. The season’s highlights include: Lobster Carrot Cake – stir-fried Singapore style carrot cake with lobster and silver fish; Conpoy Glutinous Rice – stir-fried glutinous rice with ‘lap mei’ (waxed meat), mushroom, dried shrimps and dried scallops; Chef Alvin’s special “Ong Lai” Noodles - sautéed turmeric noodles with curry cream sauce, served with seafood and chopped abalone; Tempura Niao Gow – fried glutinous rice cake drizzled with yuzu caramel sauce; just to list a few.
Words and photos by Crystal. A girl who likes to eat, photograph, and write about food, and dreams about travelling around the world one day. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Baba Chews Bar & Eatery
Hotel Indigo
86 East Coast Road
Singapore 428788
Tel: +65 67232025
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
All Day Dining Menu: 11am - 1030pm
Dinner Menu: 630pm - 1030pm
Bar Bites Menu: 11am - 12am
Weekend Brunch: 1030am - 3pm

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. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]