Three years ago, I blogged about one of my most memorable Robata experiences which was forged at Tamashii Robataya. Three years later, the same people behind the quaint Japanese establishment along North Canal Road have since opened a new dining concept a street away serving up Japanese-fusion tapas and sake.
The name Bōruto, which translates to “vault” in English, pays tribute to its former occupants of the space- which was formerly a bank. The gated safe that was once used to keep locked safety deposit boxes, now stores the restaurant’s most valuable sake bottles which can easily cost up to several thousands each.
Notwithstanding the hype surrounding all the alcohol that is served in this bar however, Bōruto does also serve up some fancy fare that has both looks and substance. While Spanish tapas has already made a name for itself here in Singapore, Japanese tapas on the hand, is a novel idea that has not quite been explored yet.
Helmed by Head Chef Angus Chow, who has a fairly extensive culinary background in both Japanese and Spanish cuisine, we knew we were in good hands as we watched him deftly and skilfully plate each dish, from our front row seats at the bar counter.
Opened for almost a year now, Rise & Grind Coffee Co. located at the annex of Bukit Timah Plaza has been the answer to the prayers of all the people staying in the western part of Singapore- decent breakfast offerings in the mornings, quality lunch and dinner items, affordable pricing and great coffee. Judging from the crowds that Rise & Grind Coffee Co. packs in on both weekdays and especially weekends, it seems that this cafe has gotten the winning formula.
The menu here is never dull, which is why despite having eaten here for a couple of times, there is still always something new to try. The menu is refreshed periodically and so during my recent visit two weeks back, I did get to order a few items that I have not tried before.
First up was the Sweet Potato Fries $10 served with Mentaiko Mayonaisse and sprinkled with nori seaweed and spring onions for a pop of colour. Crisp, not too oily and sufficiently satisfying, this was certainly great to snack on while waiting for our mains to arrive. Great for sharing as it might get heavy towards the end. The RGC Honey Wings $9 was also another appetizing option. Crunchy to bite with just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the savoury fried batter and juicy meat.
Nestled in the vibrant shop houses of Little India lies Roots Kitchen & Bar, a casual fine dining restaurant that promises quality European food whilst keeping it affordable and delicious! Despite its seemingly inaccessible location, diners can be assured as the restaurant is literally a stone’s throw from Rochor MRT station. For those who might be driving, do remember to come early as there are limited parking lots along the stretch.
Although Roots may have a comparative duller shopfront to its restaurant counterparts, its interior décor is indefinitely charming with a warm, cozy ambience befitting of this hidden gem. The preservation of brick walls, as well as the clever use of wooden tables, aid in creating the humble, rustic setting. Combined with warm hanging lights and a romantic candle centerpiece, all the elements set the mood for a lovely dining experience.
Food, of course, does not fall short as the Egg & Truffle Mousseline $4 appetizer had already gotten our eyes and taste buds excited! Served in adorable egg shells, the truffle infused mousseline was smooth, creamy and almost weightless. The sautéed mushrooms residing at the base gave the dish a nice earthly depth whilst the herring caviar was unfortunately somewhat forgotten in the process.
An offshoot of the “Salt” brand by celebrated Australian Chef Luke Mangan, Salt Tapas & Bar located at level 1 of Raffles City Shopping Centre is all about Spanish modern tapas with an Aussie twist. Not too long ago, the restaurant also introduced a new weekend brunch menu featuring hearty brunch items, paired with a glass a Sangria and accompanied by groovy beats- guaranteed to give diners a laid-back and enjoyable weekend experience.
We started with an Egg Berentine with Bonito Flakes $14– essentially an amalgamation of two classic brunch essentials- the Benedict and Florentine. Only difference this time is that one does not need to choose between ham or wilted spinach. Every element of this dish is made in-house, even those toasty muffins that the beautifully poached eggs were resting atop of. Complete with a buttery and creamy hollandaise sauce which was seasoned with dashi broth for a savoury finish, this whole plate was quite hard to fault.
For something different, order the Pork Belly Sliders $13 which were small in size but big on flavours. We were enthralled by the myriad of textures from the slow-cooked till tender bbq pulled pork and that sinfully-juicy slab of pork belly stacked and smothered with some mustard, finished with slices of cut red chilli for a fiery burst.
Located within the majestic premises of Marriot Tang Plaza, lies an international buffet restaurant by the name of Marriot Café. Prior to its renovation years ago, the restaurant now features matt-finish wooden dining tables, sleek pendant lightings and soft carpeted flooring that sums up the whole contemporary design concept. For families or couples that prefer a slightly more laid-back, cozy environment, do opt for the sofa seating which is cleverly hidden behind the salad bar for a more intimate atmosphere.
Apart from the stylish décor, the restaurant also boasts of its open kitchen concept where chefs would cook and serve you piping hot food on the spot at their respective cooking stations. If you are equally as lazy as me, feel free to indulge in their signature dishes, such as the crispy roast pork, braised beef cheek and assorted cold cuts, before heading back to the live cooking stations.
On top of all that, the restaurant has also got your seafood cravings covered with a cold seafood station featuring the freshest and finest seafood from across the world! Not to be missed are the extra plump and juicy oysters that coat your palate with a burst of oceanic sweetness, and the prized Boston lobster with a seductive row of creamy, orange roe lining the tender meat.
Sashimi lovers can rejoice as they pile their plates up with a seemingly endless flow of tuna and salmon sashimi that gets replenished prior to running out. If you are the kind that requires the extra bit of rice for a more substantial, full-bodied feeling, I would gladly assure you that the colourful California rolls, traditional maki rolls and assorted gunkan maki would have you spoilt for choice!
From 3 March to 30 April 2016, Marriott Café will be having an Italian-themed buffet that features an odyssey of Italian delicacies flawlessly crafted by Italian maestros Chefs Christian Frigo and Daniele Trivero. Get your fork and knife ready and be prepared to be blown away by bold, authentic Italian flavours that the duo has to offer!