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Yakinikutei Ao-Chan

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Happen to be in town and craving for better than average yakiniku (grilled meat)? Head to Concorde Hotel where Yakinikutei Ao-Chan is located on the second floor.

The layout is such that it’s rows of cushioned booths, with one row not more than 4-5 booths on one side. There’s a high wall next to each booth so it feels like you’re in your own space because the adjacent table (across the isle) is quite a distance apart.

If there’s only two of you and it’s your first time here I’d suggest getting the Prime Beef Course to share as it has a mini sampler of 3 different beef cuts, ox tripe, ox liver and ox tongue, together with a bowl of plum rice, ox tail soup, and a scoop of ice cream. Do not like tripe and liver? You may exchange it for pork or chicken.

Prime Beef Course, $45.80.

By sharing one meal between two people, you can order other items on the menu or seasonal items such as the A5 Hokkaido Snow Beef.

Toro Karubi, $42.

Oh my oh my. These things melt in your mouth! It’s so sinful cos of the extensive marbling of the beef but so worth every calorie. Apparently this is the Hokkaido Snow Beef where the meat is said to melt in your mouth like snow flakes.

Oh, they offer free flow tea and water (both of which are not on the menu).

Menu below:

I like Yakinikutei Ao-Chan because the their atmosphere is great and the quality of their meats are great. Price wise I think it’s justified, though I’ll only visit this place again if there’s a special occasion.

Concorde Hotel, #02-22/26, 100 Orchard Road, S(238840)

Mondays to Fridays: 12pm to 230pm, 6pm to 11pm

Saturdays and Sundays: 3pm to 1030pm

+65 6735 6457

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Straits Cafe, Hotel Rendezvous

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Straits Cafe at Hotel Rendezvous is no stranger to the fellow Singaporean. It’s buffets are well known for its selection of peranakan food and durian desserts. I visited them a few years back and left with a good impression, so when my friends jio-ed me for a weekday buffet dinner, I immediately agreed.

All stations in Straits Cafe buffet are rather small and limited, but thankfully the quality makes up for it.

Cold station. They’ve got oysters! The crabs were really fresh as well – Whole, large chunks of meat coming off after the shell is cracked. As for sashimi, they didn’t have salmon belly, which was a little disappointing.

Assortment of cooked food which had more hits than misses. The chilli crayfish meat was tough although the sauce was good.

Apparently, they claim their laksa to be award winning. Well award winning or not, the laksa was fantastic. I had two servings of this.

Beef hor fun. The hor fun had the wok hei taste which was pleasantly surprising. However, they precooked everything and only topped the sticky gravy over the hor fun upon order, so the dish wasn’t hot till shiok kind.

Make your own Kueh Pie-Ti. They didn’t have the sweet sauce which I thought was crucial to the dish!

Make your own Rojak. This was pretty good, except that the you tiao was a bit too dry and hard. I personally prefer the moist yet crunchy type.

Dessert station. Durian desserts are definitely the star of the buffet. The rest of the desserts were ordinary.

The ice cream corner was quite good though! Loved the black sesame and coconut ice cream.

My must tries:

  • Laksa
  • Durian pengat
  • Cold crab
  • Kung pao beef
  • Coconut ice cream

One thing I really appreciated was that they refilled their dishes very promptly. You know how there are buffets that take forever to refill their dishes, especially oysters, or limit each serving to a couple of oysters per person? Straits Cafe certainly doesn’t do any of that nonsense.

However, the buffet dinner (Mondays to Thursdays) cost $50 before taxes, which I’m not sure is worth the price given its variety. The buffet focuses on local fare, and unless you’re an oyster, crab and durian person, it’s going to be hard to make your money’s worth.

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Before I end, I would like to state my almost horrible experience with Straits Cafe. The restaurant had initially  arranged for a hard-to-maneuver, hard-to-eat-from corner sofa seat for my party of 4.

Since I was early, and seeing that the whole place was still empty, I requested to be seated at a proper table instead. To my amusement, the staff told me that everyone had also requested for a proper table and therefore they couldn’t move me to a proper table.

My first reaction was like whut is this guy talking about. You mean everyone who made a reservation called in to dictate that they didn’t want a sofa seat? (Or it so happens that everyone was eating with an elderly or toddler and remembered to tell the restaurant so they could make “special arrangements” which is of course is just a normal table seating). By the way there’s only ONE sofa seat in the restaurant so everyone knew to avoid that?

So after a couple of minutes of reasoning with him, he finally gave me a proper table while still insisting that I should have called in to state my demand of not wanting an inconvenienced seat (erm.. do you heard how ridiculous this is?). By the end of my meal which was two hours later, I still noticed empty tables around.

So guys, if you ever dine at Straits Cafe, make sure to tell them that you do not want the sofa seat.

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The Assembly Ground, The Cathay

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If you’re thinking of a full day shopping trip in town, why not start your day with The Assembly Ground? Located at The Cathay which is a good landmark for the start of your shopping trip, The Assembly Ground serves coffee and food to start your day right.

The Assembly Ground has got a very relaxing interior. It is one of the better designed cafes in Singapore.

Truffle Scented Mushroom and Egg Pizza, $22.

You can’t really go wrong with this combination of truffle, mushroom and egg. While the crust was light and crispy, I would prefer if there were more mushrooms though. The pizza does get boring towards the edges, and unfortunately I couldn’t bring myself to finish the ends. The pizza was also served on a metal tray, which can be a little hot to the touch if you’re not careful. 

Salted Yolk Chick ‘N Waffles, $19.

Southern fried chicken with waffles, my comfort food. With so many elements on the plate, you kinda don’t know which one to chiong first. I went for the potato gratin and wow! It went beyond my expectations. The potato gratin was soft, flavourful and nicely layered. 

The main star of the dish, the southern fried chicken, was crunchy and not at all oily. Dip it into the salted egg yolk sauce for that oomph!

The charcoal waffle was a little disappointing because it wasn’t warm enough to melt the butter so I had to cut the butter into bits and fit them into the waffle squares. 

I think the best way to eat this dish is to combine everything together – waffle, fried chicken with salted yolk sauce, and potato gratin on top. Yummy.

The Assembly Ground offers a rather extensive lunch menu with local touches such as Bak Kwa Carbonara and Rendang Mac and Cheese. Would love to be back to try these dishes out.

2 Handy Road, #01-21, S(229233)

+65 6733 3375

Weekdays: 11am to 10pm

Weekends: 10am to 10pm

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