TOMAHAWK OF A STEAK
If you like your steaks huge, you will love tomahawks (main photo), which are huge bone-in rib steaks that weigh more than 1kg.
Skirt rolled out its Jack Daniels dry aged 30 days sher red label MS4-5 tomahawk this week, aged in-house after the Australian wagyu rib is soaked in single-barrel Tennessee whiskey. It is available only on Tuesdays and a tasting of the first batch this week is promising.
The 1.2kg tomahawk ($199 for 1kg) is supposedly for two or three persons, but it can easily feed four if you are having starters and desserts too.
The whiskey permeates the meat, its distinctive flavour making the beef taste rather unique.
But if alcohol-flavoured meat is not your thing, the restaurant also serves a Mayura station MS8-9 full-blood wagyu tomahawk ($388 for 1.2kg). This boasts better fat marbling (MS stands for marbling score), which results in better flavour, especially for meat near the bone.
WHERE: Skirt, W Singapore - Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way MRT: Harbour Front OPEN: 6 - 11.30pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 6pm - midnight (Fridays, Saturdays, eves of public holidays and public holidays) TEL: 6808-7278
HOKKIEN MEE WITH YUMMY STOCK
With all the dire talk about the dying hawker culture in Singapore, it is heartening to see youngsters going into the profession and doing a good job too.
One of them is Mr Terence Chee, a 20something guy who runs the appropriately named Xiao Di Fried Hokkien Mee stall in Serangoon North. Xiao di is Mandarin for "little brother", an affectionate term for a boy. That is how many customers saw Mr Chee when he started working for a hawker stall seven years ago as a teenager.
His fried Hokkien mee boasts a better-than-average stock, which is the basis for a good plate of noodles. Without that, the noodles just have no flavour to soak in.
Each $5 plate comes with a decent amount of prawns, squid and strips of pork belly. It is a pleasure, too, to bite into crispy bits of deep-fried lard.
The only problem is that I like the egg in my Hokkien mee to be fried till almost charred before the stock is added, and that is not the case here. But so few hawkers cook it that way these days.
Fried Hokkien mee takes time to cook, but you do not have to stand in line here. You get a buzzer after you place your order, so you can wait at your table. More hawker stalls should use this nifty gadget.
WHERE: Xiao Di Fried Hokkien Mee, Guan Hock Tiong Eating House, Block 153 Serangoon North Avenue 1 MRT: Kovan OPEN: 11am to 8pm (Tuesdays to Sundays). Closed on Mondays PRICE: From $3.50 a plate
TASTY SPA FARE
Because it is located inside a spa, Tangerine does not readily come to mind when one is looking for good food in Resorts World Sentosa. Which is why the Thai-accented restaurant in Espa is ideal for escaping the crowds that throng the integrated resort daily. It is quiet, the ambience is lovely with views of lush foliage surrounding a man-made pond and service is attentive.
The food, by Bangkok-based chef Ian Kittichai, is good too. It is wholesome and, more importantly, delicious - which helped it clinch the casual dining prize at last week's RAS Epicurean Star Awards.
My favourite dish is the Asian Bouillabaisse ($22), a flavourful soup packed with plump Hokkaido scallops, king prawn and seabass, as well as florets of baby kailan. The generous amount of seafood, which is fresh and cooked just right, makes this a good-value dish too.
The Thai-Inspired Sous Vide Pork ($18, photo) is prettily plated, with thin slices of pork loin laid out on the plate and topped with colourful bits of vegetables and edible flowers. A sour and spicy Thai dressing perks up the flavours and makes up for how dry the lean meat is.
For mains, there is Seared Boneless Beef Short Rib ($34). Short rib, which has quite a bit of fat, is not something you'd expect on a spa menu, but the tender meat is so delicious, I'm not complaining. And the dish does come with a healthy-sounding quinoa salad and green pepper corn jus.
WHERE: Tangerine, Level 1 Espa, Resorts World Sentosa MRT: HarbourFront OPEN: 11.30am to 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays). Closed on Mondays except public holidays TEL: 6577-6688
NEW DISHES AT GRISSINI
Grissini, the five-month-old Italian restaurant at Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel, has boosted its menu with new dishes while keeping its popular Josper grilled items such as octopus ($36) and lamb rack ($38).
Not all the dishes work for me.
The Veal Shank ($30), for example, is nicely tender, but the brown gravy is rather flat. I prefer the more multidimensional flavours of an ossobuco, where veal shank is braised with vegetables that add acidity and sweetness.
But the Australian Rock Sea Salt Crusted Baked Wild Seabass ($98, photo) is excellent. The 2kg fish is baked whole and yields enough meat for four. This is a healthy dish too, as the fish is so tasty that all it needs is a little lemon juice or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for flavour.
The new menu also offers more pasta dishes and the Acquerello Risotto ($24) is delicious. Acquerello is an Italian company that produces aged Italian carnaroli rice that is supposed to be ideal for risotto because of its high starch content.
Here, the rice is cooked with green nettle, which does not sound appetising, but turns out yummy and not overly rich. It is topped with a pan-fried Hokkaido scallop that, despite being well-cooked, is firm rather than rubbery.
WHERE: Grissini, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 392 Havelock Road MRT: Outram OPEN: Noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 6.30 to 11pm (daily). Sunday brunch from 12.30 to 3.30pm TEL: 6233-1100