Mediocre S$15.90 Set Lunch @ Amirah’s Grill on 26Sep2014

hibiscus drink

hibiscus drink

a RI friend organised a 6pax lunch at amirah’s grill at bussorah street on 26.9.2014. 🙂

parking was horrendous at 1pm on a friday. 😦 after turning a few rounds, and finding no space at the roadside parking & the 3 open carparks and lots of traffic on the small roads, i got over to park at sultan plaza. anyway it was just a short walk. i was 10minutes late as in my whatsapp message. my 5 friends were already at the table. this happened a bit more often lately, i must not make this a habit, parking or traffic aside. 🙂

the recent reviews  (2014) on tripadvisor of this place were quite bad. the reviews on openrice & hungrygowhere were equally bad but more dated (2013).

i checked the website & they had this S$15.90 lunch set so i called & confirmed the lunch sets were still available & that it was 2-course + drink.  you need to ask for the set lunch menu though. we were not given until we asked specifically.

for the drinks, 2 friends had coffee, 2 including me had the hibiscus drink. it tasted like a rose syrup with nice mint, sweet but not overly, it was quite ok for me. 2 other friends probably had tea. i couldn’t quite recall.

chicken soup

chicken soup

the soup of the day was a chicken soup. it was better than a canned soup – i guess very few served canned soup these days. basically a minestrone with chicken stock, mediocre but a pretty ok soup actually.

chicken kebab with rice

chicken kebab with rice

there was a choice of mains. i picked chicken kebab with rice. chicken was tender & had grilled flavours but otherwise not much taste. the sauce added nothing to the taste. the vegetables – cauliflowers, carrots etc were just boiled vege. rice? not much taste.

beef kofta with rice

lamb  kofta with rice

the lamb  kofta with rice seemed quite ok too. basically a minced lamb kebab? they were often served in indian buffets, not really my kind of dish, but perhaps if done well with herbs, it could still be better than the chicken?

vegetarian wrap

vegetarian wrap

a friend who is vegetarian took a vege wrap with fries.

at S$15.90 which came to about S$18+, i guessed nothing much to complain about, and food was actually a bit more than passable.

the 6 of us were the solitary patrons. f&b is really a struggle in singapore with so much competition.  if i were to use the criteria we recently talked much about – worthwhile cholesterol & worthwhile calories, then this lunch didn’t really fall into the category. so far for indian food, the best i had was the S$19++ weekday lunch buffet at yantra at tanglin mall, though it is a bit more expensive. but i guess many restaurants in serangoon would serve cheaper & tastier food than amirah’s grill. i don’t know much about middle-eastern restaurants so cannot really make comparisons. i did have a most memorable middle eastern lunch at honey & co london with my son during my recent trip.

we had great fun. i really enjoyed these lunches & dinners with old RI friends. ambience was fine. we had the whole place to ourselves & we stayed & chatted for quite long after makan. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Good Thai Food @ Patara Fine Thai Cuisine on 19Jul2014

tomyam talay

tomyam talay

had not been to patara for a while. the last post on patara was almost a year on 29.7.2013.

we decided to take advantage of the ongoing amex promotion which gave 1 person free or 33% discount for 3pax.

tomyam talay

tomyam talay

the tomyam tally (seafood) was chokeful of ingredients, prawns, scallops, sotong & sliced coconut. flavourful but we thought it was far too spicy this time.

stuffed chicken wings

stuffed chicken wings

thai stuffed chicken wings not my favourite but they were good standard.

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

belly pork curry

we asked the chief waiter whether we should order the roast duck curry or belly pork curry. he recommended the later. it was a very good recommendation. the belly pork was very tender & the curry flavour was excellent.

alaskan crab legs in yellow curry

alaskan crab legs in yellow curry

we decided to skip the whole garoupa dish which we ordered every time & try something new. we picked the alaskan crab legs in yellow curry. it cost S$39++ same as the garoupa. we would have been much better off with the garoupa. this dish was very expensive with just about 5 crab leg sections. the yellow curry was too thin. to me it was not worth the price even with 33% discount.

thai olive rice

thai olive rice

patara’s olive rice was as perfect as ever. 🙂

overall the cost came to S$105nett after 33% discount, which was quite fine for 5 dishes, though i was not much into the stuff chicken wing & the alaskan crab was a rip-off!

c.h.e.f andy

S$19pax Indian Buffet Lunch @ Yantra on 9Jan2014

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this a quick update.

had lunch with couple old RI friends at yantra at tanglin mall on 9.1.2014.  i had lunch at yantra couple of times previously, on 1.8.2013 & before that on 10.6.2013. ambience was great & food was quite good & great value at S$19pax for mon-thurs buffet lunch. 🙂

the server placed a dish with garlic naans & tandoori roti on our table. i generally like both indian vegetarian & non vegetarian dishes & eating garlic naans & tandoori roti with the sauces & dahl. 🙂

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garlic naans & tandoori roti

garlic naans & tandoori roti

at our age we should be avoiding heavy buffet meals, but actually what was important was just picking the dishes one liked & having a moderate amount of it.  i picked couple of murgh (chicken) dishes, a lamb rogan gosht, and some battered prawns & had 1/2 naan & 1/2 roti. didn’t see paneer & fish dishes this time.the prawns were excellent & i had a second helping afterwards plus some vege dish & <1 tablespoon basmati rice, before taking some fruits. so lunch was in fact quite ok, not too heavy but nice tasty food.

we adjourned to the B1 foodcourt for a nice cuppa afterwards. very pleasant lunch, company & conversation. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Lunch Buffet (Yantra Update) on 1Aug2013

tandoori prawns

tandoori prawns

a quick update on Yantra’s Mon-Thurs S$19pax lunch buffet(my last visit).

went with my sister for lunch buffet on thursday 1.8.2013, and this time the food was par excellence. 🙂

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Yantra has a spacious, classy, quiet ambience.

curry chicken, tandoori prawns & fish curry - the 3 best dishes

curry chicken, tandoori prawns & fish curry – the 3 best dishes

the buffet was the usual spread. today though we had 3 excellent dishes – a tandoori prawns, fish curry & curry chicken. the prawns were large, plump & has nice bbq flavour – i took many.

fish curry

fish curry

the fish was fresh & tender & both the fish & chicken curries were great for eating with the naans & tandoori roti. really enjoyed this lunch. 🙂

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i don’t think much of dessert in indian restaurants, my impression being they are overwhelmingly sweet (sorry that’s just me!) so my last time here i did not visit the dessert station. this time my sis took the carrot & it was really nicely done, mildly sweet & about right.

c.h.e.f andy

Patara Update (using Creative Eateries 50% Vouchers for 6pax Dinner) on 29Jul2013

tom yam talay (seafood)

tom yam talay (seafood)

a short update since my last Patara post!

Creative Eateries group of restaurants (Patara, Tajiyama, Shabuya etc) left amex palate earlier but had taken the opportunity of GSS (Great Singapore Sales) to sell 50% dining vouchers. Patara Fine Thai Cuisine is 1 of my favourite restaurants (when the price is right! haha) so i bought some more vouchers (S$300 worth for S$150 price) when i last dined there. 🙂

for our monthly (almost) G8 dinners, we have tried several italian, spanish, indian, french restaurants, so this time the guys took my recommendations to try out Patara on 29.7.2013. 🙂

mixed appetizers (S$20)

mixed appetizers (S$20)

we had a mixed appetizer – 2 prawns fritters, 2 spring rolls & 2 pouch dumplings – quite good.

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second appetizer was a seafood salad.  this was really good – very generous helping of sweet plump scallops, grilled prawns & 2 salmon fillet, & very nice thai salad. must order! 🙂

deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce (S$39)

deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce (S$39)

the deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce was excellent as always – crispy & fresh! 🙂

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the tom yam talay was ‘lagi’ best here – full of scallop, prawns & sotong (squid) & suitably sour (see top photo & above left)

roast duck curry

roast duck curry

the roast duck curry was very lemak (lots of coconut milk) & tasty. the thick duck slices were nice but i would have preferred the ones with roasted skins – alas they don’t do it here these days.

aussie tenderloin beef panang curry

aussie beef steak panang curry

the NZ beef steak panang curry was another great dish! forgot to ask for gravy to be provided separately but anyway gravy was very nice too, though maybe in smaller dips. 🙂

olive rice

olive rice

as always olive rice was here was 1 of the best! 🙂 forgot to take photo of the mango sticky rice dessert!

total dinner bill for 6pax 7 dishes+1 dessert+ S$78 white wine+1 iced tea was S$349=S$199 with Creative Eateries GSS (Great Singapore Sales) 50% vouchers. 🙂 super deal right?

c.h.e.f andy

Marvellous Thai @ Patara Fine Cuisine on 19Jun2013

curry NZ sirloin

curry NZ sirloin

see also 29.7.2013 Patara update. 🙂

my wife bought some Creative Eatery vouchers. our favourite in the group is Patara Fine Cuisine @ Tanglin Mall. they serve 1 of the best tomyam talay (seafood) and olive rice.

when Patara was part of palate benefits with 1 person dining free, we went there often. for Thai food though, it is harder to order for 2pax to get the 50% discount, so we sometimes went in 3pax & had 33% discounts. The vouchers we used this time were purchased at 50% of the voucher value so it’s a better deal even. 🙂

tom yam talay

tom yam talay S$23 for 1 pot serving 2-3pax

we loved the tom yam talay here. 🙂 an earthen pot serving 2-3pax costing S$23 came with 2 plump scallops, 2 large prawns and many pieces of sliced squid, and the flavour was wonderful. 🙂

Thai betel nut skewers

Thai betel nut skewers – S$18

my wife liked the betel but skewers, like a Thai satay. it’s not my favourite but it was a nice dish nonetheless.

olive rice

olive rice – S$19

my other favourite dish here was olive rice, another superb flavourful dish, 1 of the few rice (carbo) dishes I would clean up the plate..haha. 🙂 the other place I would do that is (the fried rice at) Imperial Treasure. 🙂

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Thai stuffed chicken wings also not my favourite. however this one here was 1 of the best I had, the chicken was very crispy but NOT dry & the minced chicken stuffing was tasty.

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another look at my 2 favourite dishes. 🙂

curry NZ sirloin

curry NZ sirloin – S$27

& the best dish par excellence we had this time had to be the curry NZ sirloin (above & top photos). the beef itself was great, tender & done slightly medium rare, and the curry added such a wonderful combination of flavours. 🙂

we also had their delightful durian sticky rice dessert. the one here was a touch of class. it came in 2 aperitif glasses, 1 containing the durian sticky rice with coconut milk, the other with a coconut ice cream (regrettably I forgot to take a photo). they were heavenly taken together. 🙂 it cost S$15 & we shared among the 3 of us.

the lunch, 5 dishes + 1 dessert cost S$150, so it’s S$75 using the vouchers. I do find Patara a bit steep in terms of normal pricing (but I guess no more so than Thanying etc), but with the discounts it was a great deal! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy