PEr FYI

May 1, 2018

El Cerdo, Kuala Lumpur…make me want to roll my eyes

Precisely five minutes into the first dish, I realised that this heavily romanticized chopping of piglet with a plate experience was a bona fide tourist trap. Me, I’m all about taste and that’s why El Cerdo just doesn’t do it for me.

The food is grotesquely overvalued. I’m brashly oversimplifying things here, but all that we’d ordered – frito de queso (cheese), toger prawns (wrapped in bacon), guiness ribs, deep fried squid, half a roasted suckling piglet and champinonless angelo were only mediocre.

El Cerdo is overpriced, underwhelming and easily wayyyyyy overrated. Plus, there are plenty of better restaurants nearby. Avoid. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 5, 2015

Bar Celona Tapas & Rice, Macau…the Iberian ham 36 and 45 are almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying

For such an acclaimed restaurant it is surprisingly unassuming. Set upstairs in a de-script building on a quiet street in Macau it’s even almost difficult to locate. Inside, there’s a casual and relaxed atmosphere rather than stuffy with decor in dark and earthy colours.

The Iberian ham 36 and 45 (well-aged for 36 and 45 months) were thinly sliced (nearly, but not quite, paper thin) rashers of ham, each slice visibly interlayered with fat and lean. That was certainly a  flavour that is almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying. The savoury olive muffins were also a crowd-pleaser. The unique flavor of these little breads is a slight departure from a traditional sweet muffin. The octopus leg gelatin style with potato and olive oil and the baby cuttlefish with artichoke were also pretty good. The former, though not my favourite dish, was an interesting combination that worked. The baby octopus, had stronger, if not more common flavours and was also quite nice. Again, however, both were qualified rather than resounding successes. A taste of the suckling pig is definitely necessary before you walk out those doors. Very different from your traditional Chinese Suckling Pig. My only fuss was that while the meat was amazing, the skin was tough and not exactly crackling with its crisp. The paella topped with generous amount of seafood shone less brightly amongst the rest of the stellar dishes served that night. The crispy egg with bone marrow and truffle is far from a simple egg dish but the crystal bread with olive oil and tomato was somewhat unremarkable.

Is Bar Celona Tapas & Rice a fine dining experience with top notch service? Nope and nope. Is it an satisfying and solid choice in Macau? Sure is. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 5, 2015

Catalunya, Singapore…food misses the spot

Have you ever eaten somewhere that everyone told you was the absolute best, only to find yourself wondering: Is that all there is?

It happens. Sometimes, the restaurant in question is operating on a dated reputation it no longer deserves. Other times, you’ve fallen victim to hype, gleefully perpetrated by those whose job it is to report objectively. The end result? You’ve now wasted precious time and money.

This place is a honeypot for the rich and famous – and it knows it. For one, the eyes have it here at Catalunya. Situated on the unobtrusive ground floor of the Fullerton Pavilion, the splendid view of the iconic MBS is always spectacular, by day or night, and adds wow factor to any meal.

The suckling pig is cute to look at  but is nothing compared to the crispy smooth skin, succulent meat, depth of flavours of the Chinese style suckling pig. The selection in the tapas menu mean there is something for everyone, from the tapas virgin to the more adventurous gourmand.

Commenters tended to define “overrated” with an algorithm that included ample amounts of hype, high prices and overly long wait times. Catalunya’s food though acceptable, fails to live up to the first two of these three factors. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 13, 2014

Ratchanonsee Seafood, Bangkok…..the suckling pig is a work of art. This is the mona lisa right here

“And on the Seventh Day, before God rested…He made Ratchanonsee Seafood and asked them to create barbeque suckling pig – Honggong style.”

Okay, so maybe it REALLY didn’t exactly happen like that in the big book; maybe that’s hovering my foot over that invisible line that we all love to cross every now and then.  BUT!  I can tell you that this was really a heavenly experience from beginning to end.  This place is the Alpha and Omega of what is defined as REAL suckling pig. It is INSANELY good. INSANELY. It’s sweet, the crispy skin was roasted perfectly, covering a surprisingly generous portion of tender porcine goodness and super juicy. Very little fat too. Love it.

To be honest, I haven’t tried many of their other dishes. Their suckling pig is all I need. I’ve sampled the deep fried pastry prawn fish, garoupa fish deep fried with chilli sauce and oyster omelette. All three were tasty but not nearly as mind-blowing, life-changing, paradigm shift causing as their suckling pig.

One word of caution…don’t expect a restaurant environment. It’s far from it. And oh yes, CASH ONLY. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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