When you open the lid of the disposable bowl containing the Pork Ragu Tagliatelle ($18+) from Moosehead Kitchen-Bar, it looks like another ordinary pasta dish.
But once you taste the housemade tomato sauce, you know it is not. The tanginess is well-balanced and you can see finely diced onion and carrot in the flavour-packed sauce. There is also a rich meatiness from the generous amount of minced pork.
The tagliatelle is a tad overcooked for my preference and breaks easily, but the flavoursome gravy makes up for it.
At Moosehead, the tomato sauce is prepared in-house thrice weekly and cooked for three hours at a time. The Pork Ragu Tagliatelle is made using braised pork shoulder.
The restaurant serves what it describes as edgy food that centres on Mediterranean flavours with influences from around the world.
The Fried Chicken Sandwich ($12+) is worth ordering. The panko-coated chicken cutlet arrives hot and crispy. The house sauce packed with tomatoes keeps the fried chicken from being cloying. Moosehead prepares its cutlets from fresh boneless chicken thighs which are marinated for 24 hours.
For a lighter option, go for the Spicy Tuna & Quinoa Bowl ($18+). Each spoonful is a lovely play of textures, derived from the firm tuna cubes, vinaigrette-dressed quinoa, fresh rockets, creamy avocado slices and crunchy toasted sesame seeds.
The combination of ingredients makes the dish tasty even without the dressing of the soya-based sesame sauce with Korean chilli and fresh chilli padi that is packed on the side.
WHERE: Moosehead Kitchen-Bar, 110 Telok Ayer Street
INFO: WhatsApp 9833-4979 for delivery or takeaway; minimum spending of $50 with flat delivery fee of $5; delivery hours: Mondays to Saturdays, noon to 2pm, 6 to 8pm; go to mooseheadproject.com
Kota88's menu is likely to appeal to meat lovers - from Sup Baikut (Indonesian-style pork ribs and salted vegetable soup, $18.88+) to Sate Babi (pork satay, $18.88+ for 10 sticks).
The restaurant serves Chinese-Indonesian fare influenced by Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien cuisines.
Sup Baikut comes with three large pieces of spare ribs that are fall-off-the-bone tender.
The soup is well-balanced by salted vegetables that keep the meatiness in check. It is cooked for three to four hours and left to rest overnight before salted vegetables are added.
Sate Babi is a combination of charcoal-grilled skewers of pork, intestine, skin and liver.
The pork skin skewer is exceptionally tender and scraped clean of excess fat. The intestines are also well-marinated with no meaty odours.
Roasted meat lovers can go for Nasi Campur Babi (pork mixed rice, $14.88+), which comes with char siew, roasted pork, one stick of satay, ngo hiang, siomay (siew mai), braised pig ear and egg. The restaurant uses Thai Hom Mali rice, which is distinctively fragrant.
For a less decadent choice that still tastes decent, try Nasi Bebek Panggang (roasted duck rice, $10.88+). The duck is well-seasoned such that the flavours penetrate the meat.
WHERE: Kota88, 01-02, 907 East Coast Road
INFO: Go to Kota88 restaurant's website or call 6242-2645; minimum order of $55 with delivery fees from $7.90; delivery hours: 11am to 9.30pm daily
EXQUISITE DIM SUM
Get your dim sum fix from Cantonese restaurant Yan.
The Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns ($8 for four pieces) are made in-house and features custard prepared from salted egg yolks, not salted egg powder.
When I tore one open for a video recording, the bright yellow salted egg lava spurted onto my mobile phone. But there was still plenty of that savoury filling left inside the bun for tasting.
Order the Pork and Prawn Dumplings Topped With Fish Roe ($8 for four pieces) if you love siew mai. The housemade dumplings contain generous pieces of bouncy prawn meat.
For a value-for-money set meal, go for Pan-fried XO Carrot Cake & Char Siew Bento ($10.80), which comes with two crispy prawn dumplings and housemade char siew.
It is a steal considering the carrot cake is prepared from scratch with ingredients such as white radish, preserved Chinese sausage, egg and housemade XO sauce. The large cubes of carrot cake retain their shape through the frying and are moist and tender on the inside.
The restaurant also has a meat-free selection such as Sze-Chuan Style Stewed Beancurd With Minced Omni Pork and Spicy Sauce ($22).
Prices for Yan's delivery menu are nett.
WHERE: Yan Cantonese restaurant, 05-02 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road
INFO: Go to Yan's e-store, call 6384-5585 or WhatsApp 9769-4283; delivery fees are $10 for orders below $80; free to one location for orders above $80; delivery hours: 11am to 9.30pm daily (last order at 9pm)