The thing about brunches is that you want them lazy, and you want them long. You get both of these at The Disgruntled Brasserie, with a five-course brunch set ($48++ per pax) and optional free flow of boozy drinks (additional $38++ per pax) that delivers some incredible bang for your buck. The plates are pretty and the portions generous, making it a great way to lounge around with your friends over the weekend, especially around the fabulous Ann Siang Road area which always seems like a uniquely different part of modern Singapore.
Having gone to Japan twice in the past year, I must say that I miss the food already. When I was in Hokkaido, I had the privilege of stopping at cities across the island from Hakodate, to Kushiro and Obihiro. Each city, famed for its own selection of produce was unique to my heart. Fast forward to my dinner a week ago, Hokkaido Izakaya at 95 Tanjong Pagar Road is as the name suggests a casual Japanese bar restaurant that serves a selection of Hokkaido’s produce on its menu. The vegetables, cheeses and wines come from Furano City, the beef from Kamishihoro City, the seafood from Yakumo Town and the oysters from Akkeshi Town. While I have not been to each of these cities, the allure of sampling ingredients specially flown in for the menu is simply a tempting offer.
Diners familiar with Tras Street will be pleased to discover the newest kid on the block, Buttero. Pitched as a locale for easy-eating Italian grub, prepared and served in wholesome big flavours, guests can look out for a casual and fun eatery that is meant for all.
When you first step into Buttero, be greeted by the gigantic mural on the wall. Crafted by the highly revered Belgium street artist Caratoes, this artpiece is a fusion of both Western and Native American references, where large graphic lines are introduced to symbolize a tepee and the boundaries her iconic female character needs to be free.
Start the meal with a cool Peroni Beer
I first begin the meal with the restaurant’s Pulled Pork and Waffle Fries [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][$8]. A three cheese sauce playfully immerses the hearty waffle fries within layers of pulled pork that simply screams ‘delectable’. Although the use of thyme might have been a little too liberal, the rustic cut and slightly smoky flavours are key here. You might want to hold back on the herbs if you find it a little too strong.
The Zucchini Fritters and Chopped Pork [$20] was unique for me, and something that is well worth the first order. Shaped like mini potato cutlets, with good texture and a slightly sweet, green yet savoury centre, these were nicely paired with the accompanying sauce of ricotto, torn basil and charred lime which added poignant flavours to the dish.
The House Made Gnocchi and Sauteed Sprouts [$21] was a favourite for me. Apart from the luxuriously soft and tender gnocchi pieces, I was more impressed with the sauteed sprouts that was nicely seared on one side yet carrying a sweet and slightly charred flavour. I would gather that the use of New Zealand honey, zest and sage were key in bringing out a harmonious combination of flavours.
If you are in the know, go for a little something off menu. The Barley Risotto and Clams are a winner. Sweet clams in all their gorgeous juices are well steeped into the barley grains, further infused with touches of herbs, chopped tomatoes and what I suspect would be a good use butter or white wine. Still, an excellent dish that is easily shared around the table.
If you are craving for a fish to share, there is the choice of a whole Salt Crusted Barramundi [$34]. The decently sized fish serves 2-3 persons. Fresh, with a good use rosemary, garlic and lemon marmellata to bring out the flavours, I would say this is worth the order.
Lovers of steak might opt for the The Dirty Steak [$34]. This 200 day grain fed Angus Flat Iron Steak from Australia is lovingly dry rubbed with spices, only to be cooked in hot coals for that slightly charred, brown colour and smoky flavour. The first bite will reveal the liberal use of spices that border the nutty and punchy, packed with a little heat, to sharpen the meat’s flavours. It definitely is one dish that goes beyond convention for me and I look forward to discovering more of such variants around Singapore.
For dessert, go for the Cannoli [$12]. Flaky pastry piped with a good amount of whipped ricotta, these were sublimely delicious to say the least. While it may not be the lightest and crispiest cannoli out there (I had a fabulous serving from Mike’s Pastry in Boston), I would say this is still worth the calories. How could you refuse a flaky pastry drizzled with warm chocolate sauce over the top?
Milk Chocolate Rosemary Pots [$12]
Executive Chef Logan Campbell and me
Buttero at Tras Street is one place worth the visit. For the dishes I tried, I was pleased with the use of spices and herbs to distinctly bring out key flavours that would strike a chord on the palate. Although this method may be a little too strong for some, I would say that it definitely makes Buttero stand out from the crowd. Portion sizes for its large plates are big and easy to share, while its Cannoli is a must have if you there. All in, this is one place I would love to hang out with friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Thank you Buttero for the invitation.
|54 Tras Street
Reservations : 6438 7737
Mon to Sat Lunch : 12pm to 3pm
Mon to Sat Dinner : 6pm till late
Tucked along the streets of Duxton and across Neil Road lies a nondescript Japanese restaurant that has been silently serving guests a selection of experiential Japanese fare that aims to add a little zen. With an entrance that blends in calmly with the surroundings, one might even not notice the presence of Hanayoshi Japanese Restaurant. However, a visit to the restaurant might tickle the tastebuds for all those seeking simple, clean cut Japanese culinary flavours in an ambience that is minimalistic and different. Chef Mitsuo Ishii, as a former personal chef of two Japanese ambassadors to Singapore, now helms the kitchen with a goal to please palates while maintaining a level of authenticity that is fundamental to Japanese cuisine. And for those keen in letting the chef decide the menu for the day, Hanayoshi brings in the Omakase – a culinary creation according to the chef’s fancy for the day.