Enough noms for a family of four … or two ravenously hungry young people.
So today MH took me on a little trip into Bishan Park to eat at Grub. Right from the moment I lumbered out of the car and spotted this standalone restaurant nestled in the greenery, a small voice in my head said, ‘You WILL like this place’. The decor is modern and spacious, a lot of greys and wood, not unlike something you might scroll past on pinterest, and the lush greenery of the park is right at its doorstep. As we rounded the building I realised the place was packed, and this was 3pm on a Sunday afternoon; not what I was expecting!
Not hard to spot!
We were told by the staff that if we would like a table outside on the verandah we would have to share with another couple, because the majority of tables were 4-seaters and ‘all the 2’s have just been filled’, he said. We could sit comfortably inside – a nicely sized air conditioned space, high ceiling, top-to-bottom glass window – but the inside section was to close at 3:30 and we would have to share with someone else eventually. Quick glance around: the only verandah seats available were with a couple who had very inconveniently decided to sit side by side. In other words, sharing would be one big awkward affair – if I wanted to have a meal sitting opposite a complete stranger I might as well have gone speed dating.
We decided to opt for the table inside, and we were really lucky because a couple on a 2-seater outdoors left in not more than 10 minutes, so we snagged that. I don’t think the rather uptight guy in charge of seating was so pleased with our insistence at getting that table, but come on, we were ready to go some distance to get an exclusive table for a chill sunday brunch. Not have some stranger stare straight at me when I have that bit of sauce on the corner of my lips.
We got lucky, but I would greatly suggest making a reservation to avoid reluctantly having to share a table, or be turned away altogether.
Now, the food!
We were both famished, so we went on a bit of a rampage.
You had me at ‘hello’. Or ‘mentai-llo’. Ha. ha. Whatever.
When MH first suggested ordering these because ‘they’re good!’ I said okay without actually knowing what mentaiko was. Then these babies showed up (the service is amazingly prompt!) and I realised, ohhhh, its that pink thing you find on sushi! That’s as far as my understanding of mentaiko goes so I’mma google it for you ya:
So … it’s roe. But don’t be turned off if you’re not a roe fan, or can’t stand to eat fish eggs after watching Finding Nemo! The pleasant pink sauce on this sauce is so smoothly pureed you don’t get the usual crunch you find in roe, and it’s more salty than … sea-y. Trust me! You’ll never know it’s eggs! Okay I should stop talking.
Seriously, though, these fries were some of the best things I’ve ever had. When MH popped the first one in my mouth and the burst of salty flavour hit me, I let out a small roar of happiness. Yeah, it’s roaring good (hahahaha in the mood for substandard puns today). The mentaiko sauce is outstanding; salty and creamy without being overbearing, and wonderful on fries. The fries, too, were the ordinary skinny kind, but done well: not oily at all, nicely golden and no charred brown ends (some folks like those but me no no), and, of course, not soggy and sad.
These are yours for $9 – certainly not Mcdonald’s-fries-prices, but I assure you, this might shock your senses into never eating Macs fries again, so good are they. Also, they’re great for sharing (if you eat this all on your own you might get hypertension and … die. But die happy you shall); easily good for 4.
DO NOT MISS THESE FRAISE. ^
I like quesadillas. Not very much, but quite much. That ranks it anywhere between Fishball noodles (I-would-call-in-sick-to-satisfy-this-craving) and Fish & Chips (I-am-agreeable-with-this-…-sometimes). However, I don’t have very high standards for them; one of my favourite places to eat them are at KFC. Don’t smirk! KFC Cheesy Meltz are honestly the bomb. But, I digress! Back to side #2: Pork Quesadillas.
Here’s some help for you if you need it: Kay-ser-dee-ya. Yea, ya. Not lah.
These were nice; not great, but a nice side. The tortilla was well done (I like them 80% doughy 20% crackly) and the cheese was nice and … ah, it was basically nice. If you’ve got other cravings, go for them though, I wouldn’t call this a must-try. At $8, a dollar more could get you the Mentaiko fries, which you haven’t fully lived till you’ve tried.
Next, out come the big boys:
Not the best I’ve had.
For the mains, we both chose burgers: Pork steak ($13) for him, Grub cheeseburger ($13) for me. I guess part of me still longed for the highs of the Shake Shack burgers in NYC that so captivated my heart and stomach. (Read about it below!) Well, this fell far short of that. I was quite disappointed with the mains, considering the sides were quite exceptional. To be sure, they are plated beautifully, and by now you must have gathered that a meal at Grub is a mighty pretty affair. The pattie in both burgers were to me a tad too tough to be very enjoyable – mine especially was dry, and the cheese was not as melty as I would have liked. To be fair, I’ve been spoilt plenty by the burgers I’ve had in NYC, so … this may have been a pretty okay burger, but I just thought it was quite underwhelming. The pineapple in the pork steak burger was a nice touch, and the pork, though a little tough, was rather tasty. Not too bad. Although for better bang for your buck I would recommend Burger Shack in Bukit Timah for a bigger range and better taste.
Lastly! Dessert. *nom* We had churros, which, sorry, I haven’t got a picture of. Hands were probably too sugar-coated to jeopardise my phone with by taking a picture. You can see them in the first picture on this post, though! For $9, the price is a little hefty, but you have to admit it’s not easy to come across good churros just anywhere. Unless you’re in Disneyland. Do not miss the Disneyland churros. Don’t say I never say.
The churros were well fried, not too oily and not so over-done that they crackle rather than crunch. They were generously covered in sugar and went superbly with the dips – dark chocolate and something I thought was a sort of milk sauce, but I’m referring to the menu now and turns out it’s ‘tangy creme anglaise’. Er, okay. Tasted like milk to me. The dips really catapulted the dessert to the level of remarkable, and you won’t get enough of them. They don’t look like much, but they’re probably good to share between 2 or even 3. Nicely sweet but swinging slightly toward the savoury side … a nice balance.
Me Thinks: Such a pretty affair, and a great place to wind down, preferably with small eats and a beer. I don’t think I would go back for the mains, though. The location is amazing, so beautiful. I imagine it would also be lovely in the rain. I repeat this important fact: MUST TRY THE MENTAIKO FRIES!
So! That was our sunday spent at Grub. At the end of it I was so full I could’ve rolled down the steps, so we spent the rest of the evening strolling most of the park in stunning weather. I’m so impressed with Bishan Park; it’s so beautiful, so large and is so well-equipped. Also, there are so many dogs!! It definitely deserves a proper post of its own; also to rescue this blog from becoming an exclusively food blog.
Cheers (To parks and recrEATion x)
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1