Friday, December 19, 2014

Food Trail At Clarke Quay!

I am glad that just 2 weeks back, I was once again invited to another food review!
This time round I am proud to announce that Food & Travel Magazine actually got me to join them on their food trail at Clarke Quay! This is actually a great exposure for me because I will be featured in their magazine next year, with my blog post being featured as well! 

For their Food Trail this time round, we went exploring 3 restaurants at Clarke Quay, which are known for their night bars and clubs, and not forgetting the abundance of restaurants, serving different cuisines to satisfy everyone's tummy! 


The first stop which we all gathered at was "BAYANG Balinese Cuisine"

BAYANG is a true Balinese Indonesian restaurant offering great tasting, authentic Balinese cushiness with an added touch of opulence. On top of all the mouth watering dishes which they serve, they also stock a fine selection of wine, beer and spirit for diners. To top it off, the ambience of the restaurant was pretty nice and welcoming as well, definitely have the Balinese feel to it! 


We must never forget that operating a restaurant is not all about serving food food only.
It is the overall ambience of the place which affects the diners' appetite greatly as well.

In BAYANG, I am glad to say that I love how wooden furnitures was used to bring out the traditional feel, since authentic Balinese Indonesian dishes are the specialties. Also, with the usage of traditional Balinese ornaments and decorations, it does brings out the whole ambience dominantly. 



To kick start the food tasting session, we were being served Iced Lime Juice and crackers while we wait for the main dishes to be prepared (which did not take too long to be served as well). 



The first to be served on the table was the Appetizer Platter

Served warm in a long wooden platter, feast your eyes on a colourful combination of grilled prawns, spring rolls, crispy begedel and aromatic chicken sate all individually flavourful and piquant. It is amazing how BAYANG was able to conjure up with such an appetiser, with every bite being so flavourful and fulfilling to the taste bud. 

Definitely a great start to a meal, and I am sure this is able to feed 2-4 person as a starter.


I love it when dishes are being served with sweet and spicy sauce, and I feel that it definitely complements this appetiser as most of the items are fried. Thus, with the sweet and spicy sauce, it actually lightened the oiliness of the dish. 


Next up, we were served SOTO AYAM MADURA

I love how flavourful this soup was and rich in taste yet it is not too overwhelming. 
Personally I feel that this can be shared among two because it is slightly oily thus, it is better if its shared.


Moving on, we were served AYAM RENDANG
A traditional dish of Balinese Indonesian cuisine, I am very satisfied with what was placed on my plate. The thickness of the rendang was just right and it definitely is a dish that will go well with a bowl of white rice! Yum yum yum! 


A unique dish to me, we have Bebek Betutu, being brought to the table.
At first sight, I have no idea what was right before me, until the waitress told us that this dish is actually made up mainly of duck meat. This is surprising to me because I have no idea that duck meat was also used in Balinese Indonesian dish (or maybe I was just too ignorant haha).
 

When I first taste it, I was trying to figure out how I actually truly feel about this dish.
It tasted very foreign to me at first because the taste is no something which I am used to eat on normal days. However, the more I nibble on it the more I was able to accept the flavour and truly appreciate the uniqueness of this dish. This too, will also be a good complement to a bowl of rice. 


Beside the usual white rice which we get to eat on a daily basis, we are also served the traditional yellow rice as well, which is much more fragrant in scent. 


Lastly, we were being treated to IKAN BAKAR BALI, a whole BBQ fish basked with special sweet sauce. Normally I am not very into fishes because I am afraid of the fishy smell that some might give off. But, I have to try this dish before I am able to give my honest feedback about it.

So of course, I tried it!
And I have to say that, I am in love with this! 

The skin of the fish was BBQ to such precision that it taste of the charcoal smell, and it was very crispy. On the inside, the meat was very soft and sweet as well. To me, it taste as great or even better without the sweet sauce. 

In conclusion, I am very satisfied with the food that was served at BAYANG Balinese Cuisine. Of course, I will recommend you guys to head down for a meal together with your family because you will be able to order more of the dishes to try out. If I were to pick my favourite, I will choose the BBQ Fish as my "MUST TRY" dish! 

3A RIVER VALLEY ROAD#01-05

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 3:00pm, 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Sat - Sun: 10:30am - 11:00pm


Our next destination was "XIAO CHEN GU SHI" aka "故事" 
I believe that a lot of youngsters will actually be familiar with this particular restaurant
 because it is a relatively popular spot for the youngsters to have supper after they finish clubbing at Clarke 
Quay. 

XIAO CHEN GU SHI serves the famous Bak Kut Teh, which are very popular amongst the Chinese.
There is no greater enjoyment than to sit down with a pipping hot bowl of bak kut teh to invigorate your lunch time or to fill your tummy after a night's long of clubbing and dancing around.


The food was served in clay pots which I love because personally I feel that food which are cooked and prepared in clay pots, usually taste better . For example, clay pot rice has this unique charcoal burnt taste to the food, which is exactly what made it a yummy delicacy. Bak Kut Teh is no difference, thus this is something worth noting down why Xiao Chen Gu Shi is worth a try! 

We were served Bean Curd Skin first.
I will always order bean curd skin when I am having Bak Kut Teh because I feel that it is a good side dish to have to go along with the rice. It is not an oily dish, thus I feel that it is rather healthy and balance out the oily diet which we were about to indulge in when having Bak Kut Teh. 


How can we be having Bak Kut Teh, when we do not have bak kut (pork's rib) on the table?
Pork Rib's soup usually come in 2 different choices, depending on what the shop is serving. We have the usual white pepper soup base, which was the one we had during the food trail, and we also have the black pepper base which has the soup in darker colour. 

Personally, I prefer the white base soup better because it feels more authentic in term of taste and its not so overbearing in terms of flavor that it will mask the whole original taste of the rich soup. 




And then, we have my favourite dish of Bak Kut Teh, and that is the Pig's Trotters!!! 
I love love love Pig's Trotters! Yes, they are definitely not a health choice to have but, they are definitely yummy, and I love it when the lean meat is tender and cooked nicely with the base that it was cooked in. I can just eat it with a bowl of plain rice. It is such a good dish that we can eat it with the sauce with rice, or the meat with it alone! 

As mentioned that Xiao Chen Gu Shi serve their dishes in clay pots, as such I love how warm the meat was even after it took a while before we indulge in the dishes because we were all busy taking photos. The tenderness of the meat also left me speechless! DEFINITELY MUST TRY! 

3E RIVER VALLEY ROAD #01-08

Opening Hours:
11:00am - 7:00am  


The last stop of the day, we had Indian Cuisine at "RAS THE ESSENCE OF INDIA"
On a daily basis, I don't really eat much of Indian Cuisine, except for my all time favourite since young which is the Roti Prata. Other than that, I don't really frequent Indian Cuisine restaurants.

The first impression that the restaurant gave me was that it is rather modernised and i do love the overall ambience of the place, making me feel very comfortable to be inside. Thus, I guess it is a good start.

The reason that I hardly have Indian Cuisine is because they use lots of herbs and spices in most of their dishes, thus the taste could be rather overwhelming at times. However, I will like to say that I am impress with Ras. 

The first dish that we had was Mulligatawny Veg Soup, a curry and pepper flavoured lentil soup.
With a squeeze of lemon into the soup, it feels vey refreshing and light in taste. Yummy! 



Just like most indian restaurants, we do not miss out on having Naan on the table! 
We had both the original as well as the garlic ones. Personally, I love garlic a lot, thus no prize for guessing which one I prefer! Haha.



For starters, we had Tandoori Prawns, tiger prawns marinated with hung curd and spices.
This dish was served on the hot plate and when it first came out of the kitchen, smoke was fuming out from the hot plate and the smell of the dish just filled the atmosphere! 

It smelt so so good that I couldn't wait to taste it.
And this dish was to die for, given that it is just the starters, it taste marvellous!!!
I love how the spices and and the prawn meat was having a tango party in my mouth, filling it with rich flavours! 


Next, we also had Murg Tikka Dilse for starters, which serves us pieces of chicken marinated with yoghurt and dill leaf. Same as the prawn, the taste of the herbs was present yet not too overwhelming. I love how juicy the meat was given the fact that when it was presented to us, it seemed a bit dry as there was no gravy to this dish at all. 

Again, with the squeeze of lemon, it taste even much better! 


We also had Palak Paneer and Dal Makhani as well! 

This is my first time trying these 2 dishes, in fact, it's my first time seeing them and hearing them haha.
That's how limited my knowledge is in Indian cuisine, but I am definitely learning as I had this Food Trail!

Palak Paneer is a dish where home-made cottage cheese cues in spinach delicately flavoured with herbs. I must say that it tasted rather unique and addictive! I didn't even realised that the whole time, I was just getting spoons after spoons of it and place them straight into my mouth! I love how the cheese actually works so well together with the herbs and spinach. A dish well done indeed!  


Then, we also had Dal Makhani as one of the main courses. 
This dish is prepared with black lentils cooked overnight with cream and butter, a traditional delicacy from Punjab.

This is a bit of a contrast in comparison to the Palak Paneer.
The previous main dish was lighter in taste, however for the Dal Makhani, the taste was much more richer and dominant. It was also rather thick in texture too. 


We also had Kachi Mirchi Chicken, where pieces of chicken were prepared with green chilli and cashew nut paste, it is definitely a spicy treat unique to Ras. Honestly, I feel that this dish is the most relatable one to me because it tasted like chicken prepared in thick curry gravy. I love it so so much, maybe due to the fact that it was a rather familiar taste to me. However, I cannot rule out the fact that it is also due to the way it was prepared. 

I love how the herbs was present in presence, yet it does not dominates over the main focus taste of the whole dish. Yummy, would love to have it with rice!  


Speaking of rice, with the great hospitality of Ras, we also had Saffron Jeera Pulao, basmati rice cooked with saffron and tempered with cumin seeds, a delicacy from Gujrat. The rice was tasteful, and it goes well wight he dishes that was being served to us on the table. Defintely a great accompaniment!   


Last but not least, we are going to have a dessert to end the whole meal as well as this whole food trail! 
We were served a very famous dessert of Indian cuisine, which was the Gulab Jamun, where milk dumplings were dipped in sugar with honey sauce syrup, served warm. 

This dessert is a very sweet one, and I believe that not everyone is able to accept the taste because it is really very very sweet. However, I have to say that the dessert was rather yummy as it is warm and moist!

For those who wants to try out Indian Cuisines, I will say that Ras might just be the choice for you, with great ambience and food with rich flavours! 

3D RIVER VALLEY ROAD #01-05A
www.ras.com.sg

OPENING HOURS:
Mon - Fri: 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Sat - Sun: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm

_________________________________________________________________________________

I would love to thank Food & Travel magazine for having me and my plus one for this Food Trail at Clarke Quay, not to forget the 3 partnering restaurants which hosted every single one of us. 

Thank you so much and I do hope to work with everyone in the team again in the near future! 
As for my readers, do head down to Clarke Quay to patronise these restaurants now! 


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