Monthly Archives: January 2013

Steam Sia

Being born in the 80s, Steam Sia, a modern bistro bar which promises to be a blast from the 60s to the 90s, sounded like such a cute concept that I had to try it.

On entering the eatery, I didn’t quite get the sense of being transported back to the past. Yes, there were old-school paraphernalia on display (some of which were for sale), the tables were of the coffee-shop grey/white marble-topped and wooden-legged variety, and the food served in traditional metal crockery. But it felt like a random hodgepodge of items put together in a dimly-lit room, with nothing to unify them or draw one’s attention. The theme certainly could have come up stronger.

While customers can help themselves to childhood games and free-flow kachang puteh snacks, the waiters did not encourage us to do so. If I had not learned about it from blog reviews I’d read, I would have thought those were just another of the exhibited mementoes (for seeing, and not for touching).

The food had its hits and misses.

Our starter of seafood stuffed ‘sailing boats’ (i.e. oven-baked potatoes topped with seafood) (SGD 8.90) was creamy and delish but the deep-fried calamari with herb mayo dip (SGD 9.90) ordinary.

For the mains, the asian offerings (aka Asian Harvest) fared better than the western ones (aka Western Delight). For example, the nonya chicken curry (SGD 12.90) was quite a delight as it was tasty and thick and served with soft bread, but the signature grilled salmon with fruit salsa (SGD 18.90), while well-presented, was too dry.

A note: Steam Sia charges service charge but not GST. Also, water is not served free.

This was one of those places I think people may want to try for the novelty, but I don’t think there are strong reasons to visit again as the food was just okay and the ambience not fantastic.

Steam Sia
http://www.steamsia.com/
5 Hindoo Road
Singapore 209107
Open 12pm – 12am daily

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Marche

I’m sure everyone (and their mother) has visited Marche, the Swiss market concept restaurant.

But I think many of us, myself included, have kinda forgotten about it and chosen to eat at all the other new restaurants sprouting up everywhere.

Recently I decided to pay the restaurant a visit and it brought back so much memories!

The food was just as good as before, especially the very filling savoury crepes, well-marinated roast chicken leg, and of course the crisp rosti, succulent sausages and sinful pork knuckles! The desserts were great too, including the bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce (with specks of vanilla beans) and creamy chocolate mousse.

The open airy eating space and very friendly service also put me in a relaxed and good mood.

Want to re-live the good ol’ days when Marche’s card payment system (where you charge your purchases to a card that is handed to you at the entrance, then pay based on what your card has chalked up when you exit at the cashier) seemed super high-tech and you had your first unforgettable taste of rosti (mashed potatoes and fries, step aside!) in Singapore?

Why not pay Marche a visit? I know I’ll be back again soon!

Marche VivoCity
http://www.marche-restaurants.com/en/marche-vivocity
1 HarbourFront Walk, Sky Park
#03-14
Singapore 098585
Open Mon – Fri 11am – 11pm; Sat and Sun 10am – 11pm
Also at 313@somerset and Raffles City Shopping Centre

db Bistro Moderne

It’s been awhile – more than 9 months to be exact. In this new year, I hope to capture my food adventures more diligently!

So, I finally made it to db Bistro Moderne at Marina Bay Sands by French chef Daniel Boulud of 3-Michelin-stars fame.

One plus to highlight is the professionalism of the email reservations team as they were really prompt in responding to my queries and making the reservation.

Being named a “bistro”, you would think the place would be more casual, but almost everyone was dressed to the nines! I guess in the Singapore context, the “casual” comes from the fact that the bistro did not offer a butter knife with its complimentary bread and butter?

Speaking of the bread, we were offered three types of which one was this really yummy and soft pretzel roll! Unfortunately, that was probably the nicest thing I ate.

We started with soup as we wanted to leave our appetite for the mains. The mushroom soup (SGD 15) was pretty good as it was richly packed with mushrooms and not so much the cream filler that many restaurants use as a cheap substitute. The French onion soup with gruyere croutons (SGD 18) was alright; nothing to shout about.

Our mains were, for lack of a better word, lacklustre. I’ve eaten much better at 2/3 or even half the price. We had Boulud’s signature Original db burger (SGD 42) with its indulgent patty of sirloin, braised short ribs and foie gras, as well as the New Orleans Casserole (SGD 38).

The burger did not live up to our expectation. The combination of different meats confused us, and aside from the use of the chi chi foie gras, there was no hint of the premium tastes we had hoped to get for the price paid. The parmesan bun was dry, and the accompanying fries ordinary. (C’mon db, you can do better than that on the fries. I’ve always been amazed by the homemade fries I’ve eaten in all sorts of eateries in France, ranging from the high-end to the bistros, but these just didn’t make the mark. I don’t suppose you use frozen fries, but these sure tasted like them.)

The casserole was alright (a word I seem to use alot here), packed with generous portions of mussels, clams, sausage, mushrooms and greens in white wine and served with garlic fries, but again there was no “wow” factor.

I love my desserts, but we were too disappointed with the food and decided to take our dessert stomachs elsewhere.

There’s nothing very wrong with this place, but nothing very right either, so I guess I won’t be hurrying back anytime soon.

db Bistro Moderne
http://www.marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Restaurants/Celebrity-Chefs/DB-Bistro-Moderne/
B1-48, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Open
Lunch: Mon-Fri 12 – 5pm
Brunch: Sat-Sun 11am – 5pm
Dinner: Sun & Mon 530 – 10pm, Tue – Sat 530 – 11pm