Manhattan Fish Market 1-for-1

A week ago Manhattan Fish Market was having one-for-one deals and I was pretty excited as I find them a bit pricey usually. One for one is like the best time to try out some place new!

We were caught in a dilemma between 2 choices…namely:

Dory n Chips with Chicken Wings

Dory n Chips with Country Mushrooms

The posters presented a crazy tantalizing shot of the food and we decided we had to try it! We went to the Star Vista branch on 10th February around 4.30pm or so? It wasn’t dinner time then so the restaurant was sparsely populated and we could sit freely. After ordering our meal and waiting for less than 10 minutes, our food arrived! The sight of it made us so excited!

Manhattan Fish Market Dory n Chips

It looks good, albeit quite different from the one you see in poster, which is to be expected since in posters they don’t actually drizzle tartar sauce – it will make the fish soggy. They usually drizzle white glue instead because the visual appeal is stronger.

However I didn’t like the food as much as I thought I would – the fish was not as hot as I wanted it to be and my fries was bordering on cold. What made the fries warm seemed to be the dory on top of it, and the process of heat transfer from the fish to the fries meant that my dory wasn’t as hot as I would like it either. The golden mushrooms that we were looking forward to wasn’t seasoned well – just bland little mushrooms coated in batter and deep fried – no distinct flavour. The side salad was dry but I have not much complaints about it since I don’t plan to eat it anyway, so that’s okay, but when I checked with Ken, his fries were warmer than mine, though still nowhere near the hot and fresh condition that one usually expects.

Although the staff service is generally decent and the ambience is pretty good too, I don’t think I will eat Manhattan Fish Market again for 2 reasons. Firstly, it is possible that the quality of the food is not consistent across outlets or even within outlet between different batch – despite being served at the same time, one serving had cold fries while the other warm fries. I would personally rather not risk getting cold fries again – why waste your calorie count on substandard fries right? Also, for $13.95, I would rather eat the Fish and Chips in NUS Royals Bistro which costs only $11.90 and tasted about 3 times better…also without the trouble of travel?

I am not sure how your experience with Manhattan Fish Market is like but this is either my first or second time trying and as far as I am concerned…I am not going back in a jiffy. ^^”

 

Royals Bistro – NUS

Delicious, convenient and relatively affordable?

I am sure all of us ever had this experience: extremely busy at school BUT at the same time CRAVING for classy cafe-standard food? I have this feeling only too often – the more stressed and busy I am, the more inclined I am to have a good lunch or dinner! Consider it a form of compensation for myself for working so hard – I really need the extra food to make my day!

So if you are stuck at school feeling obliged to mug all day but really want some better food that is not your usual food court food, you have to give Royals Bistro a try!

We decided to have dinner at Royals Bistro for Valentine’s Day this year because, MIDTERMS be screwing up happiness since week 5.

Royals Bistro – Fish and Chips $11.90

One of the mains we ordered was fish and chips! The portion is pretty generous compared to external cafe standards – for the same amount of money you may get half to 2/3 the portion you get here! Bistro’s fish is deep fried to a crispy perfection and arranged tantalizingly atop a bed of golden fries that are equally hot and crispy! If you intend to go for Manhattan Fish Market’s one-for-one dory fish promotion: I will suggest you come here for this instead. The quality between the two restaurants cannot be compared. Basically the fries I got at Fish Market was lukewarm and “nua” (i.e. not crispy but kinda stalish tough) whilst the fries here are so much fresher! I also love their inclusion of a side salad drizzled with this tangy dressing (possibly balsamic but I don’t eat salad much so I don’t know).

Above is a top view of the fish and chips so you can appreciate the beauty of a seemingly balanced diet…and a false sense of healthiness created by the greens. But honestly, don’t care because the food is delish!

Royals Bistro – Fried Chicken Wings $8

If you are there and you are ready to indulge in food, why not give their fried chicken wings a try? They are deep fried to a beautiful dark brown perfection and smell so wonderful that I almost drooled at the sight of them! For $8, you get 6 pieces (which are really 3 pieces cut in half). The skin is very crispy and well seasoned while the meat remains tender and succulent,  with an occasional squirt of aromatic juice. The hot sauce provided is sour-spicy and goes very well with the chicken especially if you are the type to get bored eating chicken without sauce. Nonetheless, I like my chicken without sauce because I like to taste the unadulterated (?) taste of the chicken as I chew them contentedly.

Love is simple and love is fried chicKen.

Grilled Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce on Mash Potatoes

Ohhhhh just look at that beautiful grilled skin on the chicken! I always have to fight the urge to tear off the entire piece of chicken skin to shove it in my mouth. I LOVE CHICKEN SKIN and I love it more when it is grilled nice and crispy but without the burnt taste. Though I won’t mind them grilling the skin a bit longer just to make it more crispy, I am still very happy with my chicken. The black pepper sauce drizzled on it is of a thick consistency and packs a pretty strong peppery punch which is pretty delightful, especially with the mashed potato. What I appreciate most about the mash is that you can tell that it is not instant mash – it tasted fresh with a good consistency and a hint of buttery milky flavour. Eat it plain or with the black pepper sauce – there is enough mash for 2 people when I was eating my meal.

Neither of us ordered any drinks as the 3 items amounted to roughly $32 and we thought we would be slightly more frugal with the drinks HAHA. Maybe we will try the drinks soon and do another post…but till then, check out their menu below (I think they have updated the menu since this one though).

Royals Bistro Menu

You can follow Royals Bistro’s Facebook page here to keep yourself updated with their latest specials and promotions! They are located at NUS Utown, next to Subway! You can access Utown using NUS internal shuttle buses (D1/D2) I think or external buses like 96 and 196 that stops behind Utown… If you are ever confused, google it! 🙂

*Disclaimer: I paid for this meal in full and I am in no way sponsored or affliated with Royals Bistro. As usual, all opinions are my own, sponsored posts or not.

Pink Candy Korean Snack Bar Cafe

Happy Chinese New Year to all of you! On the eve of Chinese New Year today, we decided to be very un-Chinese by going to Korean cafe for lunch. Pink Candy is an aunthentic Korean cafe run by Korean owners, and the food is both homely and very very reminiscent of the food we all crave while watching K-dramas…

Located at the 4th floor of Beauty World Center, Pink Candy can be easily found at the rooftop hawkwer center at Beauty World that similarly sells delicious and affordable food!

This is how the Pink Candy looks like from the outside!

Pink Candy

To be very fair, I wasn’t all that impressed with the external decorations (or the name of the cafe itself) when I just saw it because Pink Candy doesn’t remind me of anything Korean-ish at all. It reminds me of like cotton candy and too many fluffy imaginary unicorns…like at the Bangkok Unicorn cafe. Somemore the glass door of the eatery was like covered in all kinds of posters and words, which gave it a very messy feel.

Pink Candy Korean Snack Bar

I like the fact that they serve healthy food – as healthy as outside food can get, anyways. Also, they definitely live up to the name of “Home-made food” because the entire ambience was really really homely almost like you are staying over at your Korean relative’s house!

Okay, let us not focus too much on the exterior, and go straight to the food that we managed to try today!

A quick glance down the menu of Pink Candy shows that the food is relatively pricey especially with regards to its location. The cheaper snacks like the Kimbab costs around $8.90, and the plate of gyoza costs around $12.90.

However, here is the redeeming point: the food come in pretty large portions – the Kimbab was a generous WHOLE roll which can definitely feed 2 people nicely! The gyoza was a generous ~12 pieces, whch really exceeded my expectations because wow, they are not only relatively big but also quite stuffed with japchae fillings!

Crispy gyoza – around 12 pieces for $12.90

The gyozas are a light golden brown and deep fried to absolute perfection: each bite brings about a satisfying crunchy sound. The fillings of japchae (Korean glass noodles) are well-seasoned and really interesting for gyozas since I am used to eating meat or vegetable filled gyozas.

The picture of the gyoza above shows what we got after we have already eaten 3-4 pieces…as you can see we were so hungry and eager to try the food that I totally can’t remember to take photos until I was reminded I wanted to blog about this. 🙁

I find their choice of light soy sauce instead of vinegar rather interesting since I have always been used to using vinegar. But hey, the soy sauce actually went pretty well with the gyoza!

Okay, next up, the famous Jangjangmyun, which is the traditional Korean black-bean sauce noodles. The photo below is how it looks like after the sauce has been mixed and and 1/3 of it has been wolfed down by a very hungry Ken. Again the portion is very very generous, and to be honest, I felt we over-ordered coz the noodles and the gyoza alone can probably stretch us to the brim of our stomach capacities already.

The noodles were really sufficiently chewy to give a good bite – I dislike soggy or overly soft noodles. This noodles is really of the just nice quality and was very very satisfying. I personally loved the black bean sauce that the noodles come with as the flavour hits all the right benchmarks – not too salty, not too overpowering, fragrant and not sickening. Sometimes some noodles taste really good on the first few bites but they get more tedious to eat after a while – this wasn’t the case!

Jang Jang Myun  – $12.90

Last but definitely not the least, my all time favourite, THE KIMBAB! I love love love sushi so I love kimbab which is like a more convenient form of sushi whereby one just tosses every delicious ingredient into the roll and YUMS. This Kimbab is one of the best one I have eaten thus far, though it is slightly pricier when you compare it to Hwang’s at NUS (but honestly, don’t compare as that is like insulting the efforts that Pink Candy owners put into preparing the food).

Do you guys see the two pieces of the kimbab with lettuce sticking out? I love love those end pieces because they are so genuine and beautiful – like I can just imagine Pink Candy’s chef rolling up the kimbab nicely. *emotional for no reason at all*

The kimbab was really delicious and filled with a lot of different stuffings, including egg, ham/bacon (I can’t tell HA), pickles, cucumbers, carrots and crab sticks. Ahhh, each moutful was like a bite of pure heaven…as you can see, I have already eaten 2 pieces prior to the picture which is why the plate looks emptier than it should be 😛

Kimbab – $8.90

On top of all those delicious food, we were also given free side dishes and free flask of drink that seems to be corn tea! It has a very fragrant smell but no flavour, which is okay, since the food has enough flavour by themselves anyway! The side dishes consists of kimchi, fishcake, macroni tossed in cream and sweet potato glazed with honey/sugar coating. It was all very delicious but we were so full that I couldn’t eat much of the sides apart frm the kimchi and sweet potatoes.

Overall, the food is really good and definitely worth the price you are paying. If your girlfriend or boyfriend is a fan of the Korean culture, then this is the place that is definitely worth going to if you want a taste of authentic Korean cuisine! Don’t bother with huge commercialized brands like Seoul Yummy (which is pricey as pricey gets) as this is really the real thing. The owners are the sweetest bunch I have come across and they make one feel so happy and contented eating their delicious food! When they gave me the food I replied “I will eat well” in Korean and the Unnie who served me the food smiled so sweetly and happily. The atmosphere, good food, and the service (as well as eating with your favourite people) will all make this a truly wonderful and memorable experience!

Address:

#04-03 Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, 588177