BBQ Chicken

The first time my wife and I took a walk through the E-Hub mall at Downtown East in Pasir Ris, we saw a very nice looking restaurant on the entry level floor.  The name of the place is simply “BBQ Chicken”. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and we finally had the opportunity to go back.

The place is very clean and very comfortable.  We were seated in a nice booth in the corner.  We took a look through the menu.  It’s packed with a lot of great choices.  You can get everything from salads to sandwiches to stuff off the grill.  Looking at the posters on the wall, I think their “main attraction” dishes are made with chicken quarters that are cooked over charcoal, possibly using some sort of light olive oil.  They did look tasty, but we were in the mood for something a bit lighter than that, so my wife got a chicken salad and I got the chicken tortilla meal.  We also ordered an appetizer called koshi.

My chicken tortilla sandwich was pretty good.  It was nothing spectacular, but it was very satisfying.  The fries were a big greasy, but that’s ok.  The coleslaw was surprisingly good.  My wife’s salad was fantastic.  The vegetables were fresh and the chicken in it was surprisingly tasty.  I think it must be prepared the same way as the grilled chicken.  The koshi dish can be seen in the picture above.  It is 3 shish kebabs of chicken mixed with onion and red bell pepper.  They were very good.  My wife liked them a lot and said she could make a whole meal of them.

I can’t say much about the place.  The food wasn’t extraordinary or unique.  It was just good.  We’ll be going back though, and next I plan on trying one of the grilled chicken meals.

Just Acia

Just Acia is a restaurant located in the Downtown East Mall in Pasir Ris, Singapore. My wife and I went to the mall to meet up with friends we hadn’t seen in months. Singapore is such a small island, but life gets so hectic that we still seem to only find rare opportunities to hang out with our friends.

When we arrived, the first thing on everyone’s minds was dinner, so off we went. One of our friends already had a place in mind that she said was fantastic, and had a great deal. We’re always keen to find places that are both “fantastic” and have a “great deal”. She didn’t disappoint!

Just Acia is on the ground level, back past a huge children’s play area. We’d probably never have even found it without her taking us to it. I didn’t even realize that the mall had a back area before tonight.

As we walked up to the restaurant I saw a sign that said all “set meals” come with freeflow (as in free refills) ice cream and drinks. That got my interest up, because free refills on anything isn’t common in Singapore. I was extra excited about the ice cream, because ice cream in Singapore is sold for a fairly high price. Most dairy products here are quite a bit more expensive than what I was used to in the US, because it all has to be imported. For those of you who don’t know and don’t care to Google it, Singapore is an island nation and a city-state.

When we got to the table and flipped through the menu, I was surprised again. The set meals were reasonably priced and the food looked really good. My wife placed an order for beef bulgoggi and I got the deep fried chicken, as well as a side dish of steamed dumplings. Right after ordering we were given cups and small metal dishes so we could start getting our drinks and ice cream from a buffet style bar near the front of the restaurant. The drink choices included Pepsi, Mountain Dew, some teas, cappuccino, lattes, and mocha. Again, impressive for the price.

By the time we sat back down our orders were hitting the table. The meal came with a bowl of rice (no surprise, this is Asia), a small bowl of broth soup (standard fare in Singapore), and a small dish of what I think was kimchi, though I could be wrong.

The food was fantastic! The first thing I tried was the dumplings. They were so much better than I had hoped. I’ve had a lot of dumplings in Singapore and these were the best so far. The deep fried chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It wasn’t over cooked, and it tasted like the oil they used was fresh. My wife and I swapped a portion of our meals and her beef bulgoggi was great as well.

The cappuccino I had after my meal was fairly strong. It was nothing special, but I have no complaints about it either. The ice cream also wasn’t anything premium, but it did have a good taste to it, and I wound up getting three servings.

The last thing I’d like to mention is that the staff is very friendly and very helpful. They were always smiling and always quick to ask if you needed any help. The only drawback I found was that the hostess seemed a bit hard of hearing. She spoke English, but she either didn’t listen to or didn’t understand what I said back to her. When we first approached the restaurant, two of our group had gone on ahead, with the rest of us lagging behind. I tried to explain that we were with the other two people, but she kept saying, “Group of four? Please come this way!” Finally, we just ignored her and walked past her into the restaurant to where our friends were waiting. Later, I stepped out for moment and when I came back, she asked me if I wanted to be seated, as if she hadn’t just seen me 4 minutes previous. Still, this is Asia, so you can’t expect everyone to be as proficient in English as a native speaker, so I can’t even call this a bad mark against the restaurant. It was just a minor annoyance that most foreigners have probably come to occasionally expect while traveling abroad.

All in all, this place serves some great food for a great price, and we’ll definitely be visiting them again.

Shokudo

This sign wasn’t thought through to well was it? I took this photo last night while my wife and I were walking up and down Orchard Road looking at the Christmas decorations and taking pictures. We were coming out of one of the malls where we’d stopped to have dinner at Subway. When we saw the sign we both cracked up laughing!

Apparently there’s a new Shokudo establishment that has just opened, but what exactly is on the menu? Judging by where the illustrated guy’s hand is, do I really want to know? Shall we have one serving or two?

My wife told me I should write about it. Shokudo definitely serves… interesting… food. A couple of months ago a new Shokudo Japanese Pasta restaurant opened at a mall downtown near Orchard Road. I think it’s called Cineliesure Orchard. When I had first come here in March for a few weeks we saw that it was being built. It looked like it was going to be a well set up restaurant and we were excited to see what it was going to be. So, a few months ago when it was finally open we went to check it out. The name of the place kind of put us off. Who associates Japan with fine pasta? There was a long line of people waiting to eat there though, so we thought it must be great! We were disappointed, unfortunately.

The service there was great. I’ll give them that. The employees are friendly, attentive, and our food was brought to us without much of a wait. Plus, it’s in a great location. Depending on where you sit you can look out onto the street below, which is usually bustling with people, or you can look out on the mall. The mall is designed so that the center is open from top to bottom, with stores around the outside edge of the building. You can see quite a bit from the railings, and from the tables in Shokudo. The prices were a bit steep, but from what we’d seen of the restaurant we took it in stride. Most good restaurants have high prices here. The food itself was the let down. I can’t comment on what my wife ate, except that she said it wasn’t very good. She didn’t even finish half of the dish. My dish had a bland, homogeneous taste. The whole thing tasted the same, from the sauce and what was in it to the pasta. It all had an overbearing, unpleasant fishy taste to it. I didn’t finish my meal either.

So, that was the first and last time we went to Shokudo. Now, for all of our pasta needs, we stick with Pastamania. It’s cheaper by half, and twice as good. Not to mention that there’s a Pastamania in sight of this Shokudo restaurant. The Cathay Cineleisure has a great movie theater in it. It’s the one we go to the most. It advertises that it has the only fully THX certified sound system in Singapore. Plus, it’s comfortable and shows all the new movies. So, when we want to eat pasta before we watch our movie, Pastamania is where we go.