Sunday, November 17, 2019

[Tasting] The Gong by Drinks & Co. @ Duo Galleria

Within a few minutes walk from Downtown MRT Station, The Gong by Drinks & Co. is one destination where you could get good food (and drinks) at reasonable price. The menu has a range that spans from charchuterie, salads, bar bites to mains from the grill, Western styled and right up to Asian favourites. Was invited for a tasting and let's see how's the experience, shall we?

welcome to The Gong

I arrived right in time for starters. For drinks, I had their housepour red of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cocktails, beer and non-alcoholic beverages are available too.

Gong Salt and Pepper Squid @$17
Florets of Cauliflower @$14
Crispy Chicken Karaage @$18

From the photos, you'd probably realised that I was late to the party! Hahaha, true to that. Nevertheless, I particularly enjoyed the cauliflower which had burnt cauliflowers florets tossed in pesto sauce and garnished with radish, grapes and mint leaves. Tasty!

Now, let me have a sip of the wine.

cheers for surviving through the week

Was I hungry? Yes! So let's bring on the mains. For the meatatarian, there's the Mixed Meat Platter. It's one of The Gong's Signature Board, and there's satay (chicken, beef), New Zealand lamb rack (grab this!), grilled Australian beef and two types of pork sausages. These were served with a side of mesclun, olives, a dollop of grain mustard and a small bowl of mint yoghurt sauce.

Mixed Meat Platter @$56
Australian Beef
lovely lamb rack

The lamb rack was tender, evenly cooked and pink. Non-gamey and so good to eat. Sauce was not necessary.

Then, out came the pizza. We tried the local-inspired Zul's Satay Pizza and the western-styled Assorted Mushroom Pizza. I liked both, actually. The satay flavours were on point when eaten together with the cucumber cubes and raw onions. The Assorted Mushroom Pizza were earthy, aromatic and had a certain finesse to it.

Zul's Satay Pizza @$24
Assorted Mushroom Pizza @$26

If pizzas still had yet to satisfy your hunger, then there's fried rice and hokkien mee. Ooh, I was so eager to try The Gong's version of hokkien mee. The verdict? Pretty good for both but I do like the Hokkien Mee more. The fried rice was really generous with the crab meat, and the tobiko not only added colour to the dish, the tiny crunchy roe made the texture more interesting.

A mouthful of the noodles that had been simmered in flavourful stock was simply comforting. The pork slices, julienned chives, fried eggs in the mix plus a dab of the sambal completes the picture. The spice was not overpowering so it supported the overall flavours of the hokkien mee. Then, finish off with a sip of smooth red.

Crab Claw Meat Fried Rice with Tobiko @$14
Hokkien Mee @$14

Have I told you that The Gong does a pretty neat job for its duck and pork too? Oh, I didn't? That won't do. Let's have a look at the Barbeque Smoked Duck Breast and Iberico Pork. The duck breast looked amazingly pink, with tender meat and balanced taste. The baby corns were good too.

Barbeque Smoked Duck Breast @$24
Iberico Pork @$24

For the Iberico Pork, pile those eggplant puree onto a slice of pork and top it with a pickled onion. Pop this into the mouth and be amazed with the flavours. Like how they'd say it, fireworks. Sharp, tangy, sweet, smokey and savoury.

And of course, we rounded up our meal with dessert; chocolate lava cake and tiramisu. Both classics.

Chocolate Lava Cake @$13
Tiramisu @$14

The Gong is a lovely place for a meal and after work drinks. Spacious, and unpretentious. Hearty food and ample selection of drinks. Pretty accessible as it is just minutes away from Downtown MRT Station.

Happy Hour

Thank you Kris for the invite and Amanda for introducing us to the delicious food of The Gong by Drinks & Co. Thank you Jason and the service crew for taking care of our table and Head Chef Wan for the good meal.

The Gong by Drinks & Co

Address: 7 Fraser St, #01-59/60 Duo Galleria, Singapore 189356
Contact: 9619 4568
Business Hours:
Daily 11am to 12am

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

[Tasting] Mischief @ Esplanade Theatres on the Bay

Mischief is about 10 to 15 minutes from its nearest MRT, and that would be either City Hall MRT or Esplanade MRT. Expect American flavours and lots of alcoholic beverages. Lots.

Great place to chill, watch soccer with a beer tower (or two) and your best buddies.

it's a sign

It was a clear Sunday evening, and we opted for the great outdoors. To cool down from the heat, they brought us a beer tower. Yay!

Housepour Tower @$59.90 per tower (Promo: 2 Towers @$99)
here is where the action is
let's clink our glasses and cheers~

Nearby, we could hear musicians rocking it out at the Esplanade outdoor stage. Though we couldn't see the sunset, the air cooled down a bit and it was time to heal our famished tummies.

let's grab some food!

Can you guess what we had? Fried food and burgers? Absolutely, right!

Started with two fries; the Atomic and Truffle Maximus and then realised that, hey....the burgers also came with a side of fries. Thus, we ended up with fries party that night!

Atomic Fries @$14
Truffle Fries Maximus @$18

The Atomic Fries had sriracha sauce but it was really really mild. Its taste was somewhat cheesy rather than spicy. The Truffle Maximus had sauteed mushrooms, shaved parmesan and a large dose of truffle oil. Because of the mushrooms and shaved parmesan, I enjoyed the truffle fries more.

There's sio bak on the menu, and known as Crackling Pork Belly. Served with a side of pickled gherkins and a sauce made of garlic, onion and oregano that's reminiscent of Thai namjin sauce.

Crackling Pork Belly @$12 
Buttered Clams @$18
Enjoy 500g of Korean flower clams, cooked in sauteed garlic, lightly browned in butter with a splash of white wine. Beware of the cracked shells in the buttered clams though.

Delighted to know that Mischief burgers are made using 150g wagyu patties, and served with onion rings (only two rings!) and a side of fries. All burgers are lovingly sandwiched between toasted brioche buns.

Mamacita @$20
The Mamacita has pepper jack cheese, custom roasted chili blend (what was this? Sambal ah?), sriracha mayo sauce, crispy shallots and spring onions. Said to be for serious spice freaks but I thought it was rather mild. More spicy than the Atomic fries but nothing that we can't handle.

look at this beauty

Loved the colours of the Mamacita. So vibrant! The beef patty itself was all of natural flavours and moist. The onion rings was sweet and nicely fried. A tad greasy but so good.

Stomers @$24

Stoners has slow cooked mushrooms with herbs and melted cheese, arugula, extra virgin olive oil and a touch of ketchup. Okay, it's a mushroom cheeseburger! Classic taste and pretty good. But am favouring Mamacita more.

Stoners - an insider view

And then, there were crispy nachos, courtesy of Chicken Farm, a sharing platter comprising of nachos with cheese, guacamole and salsa, popcorn chicken, and chicken wings done two ways; Prawn Paste and Buffalo Wings.

nachos, guacamole, pickled chilies, sour cream, salsa

The Chicken Farm has enough food on it to feed six full grown adults. Chicken wings, nachos and beer. What more could we ask for?

The Chicken Farm @$48

Still feeling thirsty? Let's try some cocktails. There was Mochatini which tasted of Bailey's, Kahlua and espresso with some cocoa crisps for decoration, the Soju Slushie which tasted of yuzu and soju and my favourite, Coronarita of sweet blended strawberry slushie and Corona beer.

from far left to right to front: Mochatini @$22, Upside Down Soju Slushie @$26, Coronarita @$22
Mochatini for the coffee/milk chocolate lovers

In between of drinks, food and making merry, why not try your hands on the electronic darts machine or have a game of beer pong? Mischief has a corner for these activities.

how to play?
the challenge begins!

For the darts machine, one need to purchase a card for $12 with $10 stored credits for the game. Just inform the staff and you're good to start. Each game of darts is $2 credit and for 2 players, that'll be 2 x $2. Chose the countdown 701 points and we had maximum fun (and some wrist action, hehe).

Eat, drink, play and repeat. We also sampled the Wagyu Beef Brisket and boy, it was good.

Wagyu Beef Brisket @$32

Slow-cooked 24hr wagyu beef that's tender, and properly crusted with black pepper and served with a side of salad and fries. We ate a mountain of fries! The brisket was leaning more on the sweeter note.


Many thanks to Jereme for the invite and Mischief for feeding us and plying us with drinks.

The darts machine was entertaining. Thank you Marc, Rachelle, CK and Tiara for playing.


Address: 8 Raffles Ave, #01-10/12, Singapore 039802
Contact: 6532 0106
Business Hours:
Sunday 5pm to 12mn
Monday 5pm to 11pm
Tues-Thurs 5pm to 1am
Fri/Sat 5pm to 3am

Sunday, November 10, 2019

[Tasting] TEN Sushi by Marusaya ( TEN Sushi & Bar ) @ 60 Robertson Quay ( The Quayside )

TEN Sushi by Marusaya (or also known as TEN Sushi & Bar) is located at Quayside, Singapore’s most sophisticated riverfront restaurant and bar community. Was invited for a tasting on a Friday night, and boy, it was buzzing! Hence, do make your reservations early.

restaurant's signage

Sushi food model on display (食品サンプル)
browsing the menu

Liked that the restaurant made it super easy to order for the first-timers. For example, there is a huge placard introducing the bestsellers, and on first page of the menu, are its signature dishes.

TEN Sushi is a casual sushi restaurant by Marusaya specialising in premium sushi with majority of its ingredients flown in from Japan. Helmed by Chef Hirai, TEN Sushi offers quality sushi and contemporary Japanese cuisine. Marusaya in turn, is a specialist in natural dashi based cuisine.

iced green tea 冷たいお茶

We began our meal with fresh oysters from Sakoshi Bay, Hyogo. Thick, fleshy, briny and creamy. Satisfaction guaranteed! These oysters were presented beautifully and came with toppings of either ikura or tobiko. Either way, the oysters were already good to be eaten on its own. The addition of tobiko gave it some crunchiness to contrast against the soft flesh, while ikura added continuous bursts of umami! A glass of wine/sake will complete the picture.

Japanese Oysters @$28++/$49++ for 6/12 pieces respectively

Sakoshi Bay Oyster 坂越湾牡蠣

The oyster fan in me was feeling satisfied after slurping up two of these good sized Sakoshi Bay oysters.

Next up, was the unagi roll. One could order the small roll (4 pieces) or the regular (8 pieces). The eel roll was lightly glazed over with a special teriyaki sauce.

Unagi (Eel) Roll ウナギ巻き寿司@$18++/$32++ for 4/8 pieces

The unagi sushi is actually a pretty big piece, hence each person could do two pieces to allow some space to try other sushi. The unagi was soft and tender with some savoury sweetness from the teriyaki glaze. Sushi rice was nicely vinegared.

closed up view of a piece of unagi makisushi

Another bestseller at TEN Sushi is the TEN Assorted Sashimi Deluxe. The sashimi set comprises of maguro (tuna), sake (salmon), hotate (scallop), ika (squid), amaebi (sweet prawns) and seasonal fish (2 kinds).

TEN Assorted Sashimi Deluxe @$58++

For the tasting, there were a few upgrades in the sashimi and we got some sea urchin and instead of a 5 pieces of sweet prawns, there was one large one (botan ebi?) in its stead. I only had the chance to try the some of the sea urchin, scallops, hamachi, salmon and squid. The tuna belly was snapped up pretty quickly.

For the meat lovers, you'll enjoy the A4 Wagyu Aburi Sushi. The raw slices of the wagyu looked enticing enough but we exercised patience as the beef needed to be seared, then glazed before we could indulge.

before the sear
searing in progress
A4 Wagyu Aburi Sushi @$18++/$44++ (2/5 pieces)

Thought that the small mound of rice underneath the seared beef slice looked kinda cute. The beef was of a nice chew and had a good oily mouthfeel. While not melt-in-your-mouth, the flavour was good and mild. Enjoyable.


For more makisushi, there's Aburi Salmon Avocado Roll. Seared salmon layered ontop of sushi rice, with a piece of chunky creamy avocado, and topped with sliced onions, some green onions and tobiko. Mayo at the side.

Aburi Salmon Avocado Roll @$20++ for 8 pieces
with sauce
let's eat!

If you're feeling adventurous, one could also leave it to the expert hands of Chef Hirai for the Omakase Sushi platter. There's a 12-piece sushi omakase as well as Sushi Box for 12 or 24 pieces.

Omakase Sushi (12 pieces) @$49++
uni sushi, ebi sushi
tuna belly, kanpachi with spicy yuzu
salmon, tako and unagi

The sushi box was beautiful. Nicely arranged and easy to take photo! I can see that there's uni, toro, hotate, kanpachi/hamachi, squid, octopus, salmon, tuna, ebi and unagi and negitoro maki in the box.

Sushi Box (12 pieces) @$49++
Sushi Box (24 pieces) @$98++

To end, I'd recommend the Dashi Miso Soup. Well balanced savoury miso soup with mild sweetness. So comforting!

Dashi Miso Soup @$4++

I had a good meal at TEN Sushi. Thank you Jennifer for the invite and TEN Sushi for hosting the dinner. Thank you Mr Ueda and Mr Takuya for introducing TEN Sushi and to share with us more about the food. Special thanks to Chef Hirai who prepared the food for us that day.

Remember to make your reservations to avoid disappointment. Happy eating!

TEN Sushi by Marusaya

Address: 60 Robertson Quay, #01- 09, Singapore 238252
Contact: 6735 0383
Business Hours:
Daily: 5pm to 3am
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