Hookerlily and I met Jasper Aston Lim and his friend, who started their own food blog, Six And Seven, and Daniel Food Diary for dinner. I was ecstatic to see Jasper again! You should see the silly grin on my face.
Impt info: (1) The China Square is NOT China Square Food Center (CSFC); they are a block away. CSFC is along Telok Ayer St. I so stupid, parked my lorry at CS, had to walk over. (2) You order the food at the cashier, then you proceed to the food counter to collect your food. During lunch time, this eatery is buzzing but quiet at night.
As for ambience, I’d say it’s mostly an eat-and-go place, but there are few sofa chairs that allow you to sit comfortably and chat. It’s a good choice to eat here first then go somewhere nearby for drinks. (After this meal, Hookerlily and I went to Merry Man, our usually hangout.)
We shared the Italian panini ($9), consisting of salami, picnic ham, cheese and mayo, and BBQ Chicken panini ($9). Eating panini reminds me of the days in New York where I had my Ah Beng International Training Camp. New Yorkers just eat sandwiches for lunch. In general, I don’t like panini–because they are usually hard and dry, no teeth, old man–and i don’t like salami, so I tried only a bit of BBQ chicken panini. It tasted excellent, sweet from the caramelized onions and the bread. The BBQ sauce softened and moistened the bread. The cheese provided the salty to the sweet. However, I thought the chicken could be more substantial. I like my meat.
The other three specialties of the eatery are: roasted chicken with choice of two sides ($10 for quarter, $15 for half chicken); Pork ribs with two sides ($15); and fish and chips ($11).
The star is the roasted chicken, which is marinated for 12 hours, coated with seasonings imported from Australia, and roasted slowly so that the fat drips out, making it almost fat-free, while retaining the moisture in the meat. The chicken tasted good, but a bit bland for me. I cannot escape my destiny… obesity! I need fat food.
The Pork Ribs, imported from Brazil, is braised in herbs and spices for three hours before grilling. The homemade BBQ sauce has pineapple and blackberries–anti-oxidents! prevents aging–and the sauce really tasted good, very smokey on the ribs. The meat, Hookerlily commented, fell off the ribs so smoothly. But I used my hands lah, I ah Beng! Dunno how to use fork and knife. But while the sauce was good, it didn’t penetrate into the meat completely. Still, I sucked the juices off my fingers and wanted to bite my fingers off. Cannibalism is hot.
Daniel and I voted the beer-battered dory fish as our favorite. My reasons: the flesh was thick and fresh while the batter was thin and crisp and–look–no oil on the wax paper at all! Incredible. I can’t help it! My destiny of obesity and cheapness! Eat deep-fried food! And cheapest one of the three specialities.
As we were leaving, Hookerlily the SPG just had to flirt with the angmoh boss, who also owns Dallas, which we love. Her eyes suddenly lit up and she said gleefully to him, “I’ve the VIP Card from Dallas, you know. Wink, wink.” Yeah, I need to give her some tips on how to flirt. (ps: I saw the boss’s wedding band. Sad.)
Anyway, the boss informed us that the food is what he used to eat in Australia as a child, so he’s bringing Australian cuisine to Singapore. To me, it seems like Australian cuisine is very similar to Singapore’s, very ja-pa-lang. The roasted chicken is quite French; ribs very American; and fish and chips with vinegar, very British. I like the affable boss, because when the joint first opened, he actually worked on the floor for a few months to see if there are any problems.
Final verdict: Reasonable prices with high-quality, tasty food are the two main selling points of the eatery.
Rating: 3.484/5 fish and chips