Korean food aficionados rejoice! Sarang, previously known as the heartbeat of Seoul has recently undergone an overhaul and since reopened as a revitalized, much improved upscale and decidedly chic Sarang, Korean Bistro. Modeled after the modern contemporary restaurants in the posh and upmarket district of Gangnam, Sarang is the first to introduce the avant-garde concept of Korean Tapas in our country, which is indeed a fresh and exciting addition to our vibrant local dining scene.
Apart from serving up tapas in their menu, Sarang will also be rolling out Korean cocktail pairings of Soju and Makgeolli, for a whole new dining experience that you will appreciate with Master Chef YY’s customized food creations.
The space along the balcony of the 7th floor, sports all the trappings of a well-tended garden, with planter boxes, lush greenery and largely Mahogany fine-grained furniture all included. And if any of the quirky light bulbs or unique steel framed chairs catch your eye, you probably will not find an identical piece in Singapore as every single item here has been specially imported from Korea, with the sole purpose of maintaining the uniqueness of Sarang.
Sarang means ‘to love’ in native Korean, and this affectionate term is translated in every aspect of this Korean bistro. From the careful conceptualization of the menu, which is an amalgamation of both Korean and Singaporean influences, down to the plating of every dish and even the potted plants that fringe the perimeter of the outdoor terrace, every little detail has been thoughtfully designed and purposefully orchestrated to augment your Sarang experience.
Classic Tapas – Pairings (Soju Bomb and Makgeolli Sprite)
Sarang Japchae $7 [must try!]
This classic Korean dish of sweet potato noodles is one that I always order at Korean eateries and I am most pleased to say that Sarang’s version is by far one of the best I have had. Bouncy, chewy and QQ with a slight sticky texture, these noodles were spot-on and every bite was peppered with a whiff of sesame oil that was most appetizing. Complimented by the crunch of shredded carrots, onions and black fungus, this dish was every bit as colourful in its presentation as it was in flavor.
Spicy Chewy Rice Cake $7
Putting his own unique spin on a popular street snack in Korea, Chef YY’s spicy rice cakes are different from what you may be used to, especially if the instant version of Tukbokk is what you usually have. With a stronger intensity of flavors that interplays and injects excitement to your palate, these cylindrical rice cakes are sure to whet an appetite. But for those who are not too accustomed to spicy foods, you have been warned.
Opened for barely one month but already making waves on Instagram, Department of Caffeine is the newest addition to the row of cafes in the Duxton enclave. Tucked away at the beginning of Duxton road, this edgy coffee joint with an industrial-chic groove, blends together the hard metallic steel of their chairs with a cosy homely vibe lent by the majority wooden paneled walls and tables. Its appeal is inviting and the entire space seats about 20 people quite comfortably without intruding on your neighbour’s personal space as some smaller joints usually do.
And ‘taking their food and drink seriously’ as they claim, the weekday menu boasts of well thought-out comfort fare that is simple yet satisfying. Centered around mostly sandwiches, their offerings include Pulled Pork, Meatball, Fish Finger and Mushroom, all served with a side salad for $13. Mains such as Roast Chicken or Poached Salmon Fillet come with a choice of 1/2/3 salads for $13/$15/$17. Desserts are either homemade cakes and pastries from the counter or Buttermilk Waffles with Ice-Cream at $12.
Fact is, it is not easy to eat clean, be healthy yet still feel satisfied and full. People tend to shun salads because they assume that it is ‘rabbit food’ and not meant as human food. Others on the end of the spectrum, drown their greens with copious amounts of high-fat creamy dressings and cheese, deluding themselves that all salads are healthy and wonder why despite having salads for lunch and dinner, they are still not losing weight.
Well, here at The Lawn Grill & Salad Cafe, you can expect to eat hearty portions of real food, that is full-bodied in flavor, without bursting your calorie count for the day. Owner Jonathan was inspired by salad bars back in California and brought the concept back home here to Singapore. It is all about fresh greens topped with premium grills accompanied by zesty flavorful dressings that are not caloric-laded. The best part? You get to customize your own salad, choosing up to 5 toppings and one of the many homemade dressings that The Lawn’s kitchen has specially concocted for you, all for just $9.90!
All grills are prepared upon order and are still sizzling even as they reach your table.
Looking to add more lean meat and protein to your diet? Go for the chicken breast meat that is done three different ways- a subtly sweet Maple Chicken, the fragrant but slightly dry Chicken with Herb Infusion or the newly added Mojo Cheeken with a tinge of orange zest and Indian spices.
Feel like having fish instead? Try the amazing buttery melt-in-your-mouth Butter Dory or be adventurous with the Fresh Fruit Dory that has a citrus bite. Alternatively, for the vegetarians, fret not because you too have a choice between the char-grilled Asparagus & Eggplant or the plus-sized earthy Portobello Mushroom packed with umami flavor.
Premium cuts such as the Ben’s Beef Rub and Aceto Balsamico Beef Cuts require an additional $2 but remain as one of The Lawn’s top sellers simply because discerning customers appreciate a well prepared steak and are willing to pay for good quality.
We were very fortunate to be able to have a taste of most of their grills and my top pick goes to the Butter Dory that was so delicate and smooth. Loved how the rub of Italian Parsley, Kosher salt and butter brought out the natural sweetness of the John Dory and complimented the firm white flesh that simply melted in my mouth. I always have a soft spot for Portobello Mushrooms and naturally had high expectations, which The Lawn delivered in taste. Thick, ‘meaty’ and grilled to perfection, these babies will have any meat-loving carnivore on his knees, begging for more.
Saveur has long been synonymous with affordable French cuisine since the successful start-up of their flagship eatery along Purvis Street. With their no reservation policy, the waiting time before one gets a table has been at least half an hour and even up to an hour during peak hours. The full house which is bustling every single night speaks volumes about their popularity and appeal to the masses.
About a month ago, to meet the high demand for Saveur’s recipe of quality French fare at inexpensive prices, owners Joshua Khoo and Dylan Ong opened a second branch right in the heart of town, at level 1 of Far East Plaza. I personally never got down to the Purvis outlet as the queues have been a large deterring factor so I was extremely psyched to hear about a second outlet opening.
Moving onto the food itself…
Saveur’s Pasta $4.90
This highly raved about appetizer, also a Saveur signature, won me over instantly with its elegant presentation and how every single strand of pasta was twirled neatly in its characteristic roll. The key to thoroughly enjoying this exquisite dish is to first ‘untangle’ the pasta before mixing it all up so that every part is covered with the concoction of chilli oil, minced pork sauce and finely-chopped sakura ebi. An extremely refreshing and oriental take on regular pasta and this was sure memorable.
Duck Leg Confit $10.90
My choice of main was a slightly flattened duck leg confit sitting on a bed of homemade potato mash and sauteed shitake mushrooms on the side. A superbly crisp browned skin with succulent salty meat which was also fork tender and delectably delicious. Mmmmm.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it right now! And for just $10.90, this was an absolute steal and a must try! The mashed potatoes too were creamy and smooth, complimenting the French classic perfectly.
Pan-Seared Sea Bass $14.90
My sister’s pan-seared sea bass was another winner with its freshness and rich flavours. I especially enjoyed the diced saute potato crabmeat that added a salty rustic touch to the overall dish. One does not usually get such good quality fresh fish at a mere $14.90 price tag. For a more premium alternative, go for the Cod at $24.90, which is still unbelievably affordable for cod in my opinion.
Scroll down for details of the giveaway!
I hope some of you managed to sample the Lipton X Canele High-Tea sets that were offered at the Lipton Pop-Up Cafe which took place last week at Plaza Singapura Atrium! It was an interesting experience for me as I learnt more about tea-pairing with different types of food. And if you had read my post HERE, you would know that I had also specifically singled out two flavours of teas which I enjoyed most- The Russian Earl Grey and Forest Fruit Black Tea!
Thanks to Lipton, my readers too will get to sample my two favourite Lipton tea flavors from the 3 X LIPTON GOODIE BAGS which I have up for grabs for fellow tea enthusiasts!