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.
5 Hindoo Road
Open 12pm – 12am daily
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!
1 HarbourFront Walk, Sky Park
Open Mon – Fri 11am – 11pm; Sat and Sun 10am – 11pm
Also at 313@somerset and Raffles City Shopping Centre
Situated in the heart of Raffles Place, if you are here for lunch on weekdays do arrive early or risk not finding a seat.
Walking to my table, I noticed that almost everyone was having roast chicken. Majority wins, so that’s what I chose too.
The quarter roasted chicken with sides of either chips, vegetables or salad cost $10 nett.
The chicken with brown sauce was tender, its skin not overly salty, oily or fatty. I chose vegetables as my side, and it comprised a nice variety of cauliflower gratin, peas, sweet corn and mashed potatoes.
They serve other meats too such as fish and chips, pork knuckle and pork ribs, as well as rolls (although I did spot a housefly hovering about the rolls..)
All in all, a good place to go for a simple, no-frills, western meal. None of that fancy schmancy stuff, just solid grub.
51 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01 China Square Food Centre
Tel: 6224 5486
Open Mon – Fri 7.30am – 10.30pm; Sat 10.30am – 10.30pm