For this Munchy Mondays, we have an interesting combination of food! How about some Australian Vietnamese food? Or an awesome, smoky Hawaiian cocktail? This entry features food from both near and far!
Fat Saigon Boy
by Julian Rosario and Tisha Haryanto
Here’s hoping you have a great Lunar New Year! This week we had the pleasure of eating at “Fat Saigon Boy”, a contemporary style Australian Vietnamese cuisine which only recently opened its doors.
Situated at 14 Ann Siang Road, it is positioned perfectly for the modern vibe the restaurant gives off. With the added benefit of being tucked in a restored shophouse, it provides an instant feeling of home when walking through the doors. It’s hard to put in words what exactly Australian Vietnamese cuisine is, but essentially it’s old meets new. Century old dishes with 21st century flavours – it’s safe to say no one does it like the “Fat Saigon Boy”.
The first dish that we were presented with was their signature BBQ Lemongrass Pork Vermicelli. A mouthful to say, but an even better mouthful to eat. After the mixing of the bowl and adding the sauce, the dish was bursting with flavour. Too many times have I been let down by dry overcooked pork and thankfully this was far from the case. The pork had been cooked to perfection, crunchy on the outside yet extremely full of flavour within. The vermicelli noodles were extremely light to eat and the vegetables crisp. This is a definite go-to meal for lunch and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something that is not too heavy.
The Duck Rice
This is not traditional duck rice; this is something far better. With two succulent pieces of lemonade glazed crispy roast duck, this was a real treat. The duck skin was ever so slightly sweet and the meat cooked until it was pink, making sure it was not dry and chewy. The duck was accompanied by a green chilli, coriander honey and lime sauce, as well as a fried egg sitting atop the rice. The sauce brought an extra zest of flavour and a minty spice to the entire dish, whilst the egg fancied up the rice. All the elements in this dish worked great together, with my only negative being the need for more chilli sauce.
The Beef Pho
Nothing about this dish was ordinary. Straight away I noticed the colour difference between the traditional broth and this Australian Vietnamese adaptation. Although usually served in a clear soup, this particular dish had a much darker colour. With my first sip I understood why. It was completely packed with flavour. By slow cooking both the meat and the bones in the broth overnight they were able to achieve a truly delicious soup to pack the other elements with flavour. Garnished with red onions, coriander, basil, and beansprouts there was a combination for anyone to be interested.
Iced Jasmine Tea with Honey Lime & Apple Yuzu Sangria
The Iced Jasmine Tea was the stand out drink from the selection we were given. The jasmine shines only in the aftertaste of it, whilst the honey and lime push through as the prominent flavour with every sip. A drink for anyone who is looking for something refreshing and palate cleansing.
The Apple Yuzu Sangria was the only alcoholic drink made available to us during our time, but boy was it a good one. Although not a strong alcoholic beverage, it made the perfect refresher to a hot Singapore day. The apple taste was not hugely apparent, as it seemed more of a fruity blend. Not necessarily a bad thing, as the whole glass was consumed shortly after being delivered.
Fat Saigon Boy is situated just next to Club Street on Ann Siang Hill. This tends not to be the cheapest place in Singapore, though we think you may be pleasantly surprised with the pricing of the meals. With the mains ranging between $10-$14 dollars you can expect yourself to be well and truly full to the brim after you leave. The service is top notch, the meals were delivered quickly, and the exceptionally kind staff are always ready to help with any questions or requests you have.
Fat Saigon Boy takes some classical Vietnamese elements and transforms the restaurant into a Melbourne-style modern dining experience. For those wishing to avoid the heat, the inside boasts a slightly industrial feel with unique lighting fixtures and old school ceiling fans. If you prefer to sit outside, the restaurant has seating out the front as well as in a gorgeous courtyard out back, with a red feature wall bringing the area to life. All in all, they nail the Australian Vietnamese vibe on the head. We would highly recommend this place for dinner before a night out at Club Street, as its open layout and energetic vibes will be the perfect start to the evening.
Fat Saigon Boy
14 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069694
Opening Hours: Mondays – Saturdays: 11pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
by Julian Rosario
If anyone feels like escaping the realities of school and shifting back into holiday mode, we have the place for you. By day, a thriving restaurant for all those in the business district and by night, Singapore’s only Hawaiian-themed cocktail bar. With Japanese inspirations, Aloha Poké is focused on providing authentic and traditional Hawaiian dishes. The wide selection of meals on the menu truly spoils their customers for choice, not only with food, but through the selection of traditional and signature cocktails only to be found at Aloha Poké.
When you think of egg custard, more often than not your mind does not cross into the savoury realm. This is one of those times where I was so pleasantly surprised to dig into the light fluffy mousse and be treated to a slightly salty experience. Atop the mousse sat a thin layer of century egg puree, which added an extra bit of bite to the blander flavour off the custard. To all those who do not enjoy the unique taste of a century egg, I do not recommend trying this dish. That being said, you adventurous types may just be in for a pleasant surprise.
There is only one way to describe this dish – simply divine. For those unfamiliar, this is basically spam sushi; caramelised pieces of spam, packed with flavour, sitting atop rice. The slightly sweet flavour brought on by caramelisation complimented the saltiness of the spam, the perfectly cooked pieces created a crispy layer outside, and left the inside soft and juicy. The rice cut down on the richness of the meat, balancing the flavour to create the perfect bar food. I found myself devouring these pieces of sushi with no desire to stop until the plate was empty.
The fresh, light Lomi-Lomi salmon is my recommendation for anyone looking for a quick, healthy bite. For all the sashimi lovers out there, the salmon is the standout of the dish, not being overpowered by the other elements. The onsen egg is a welcomed addition as its custardy yolk cuts down on the fishy flavour, giving the dish a wonderfully creamy texture. The rest of the salad freshened up the plate with vibrant colours, creating a truly appetizing meal.
The signature dish of Aloha Poké is essentially an upsized version of the Lomi-Lomi salad, just with a lot more ingredients. The two major upsides to the Ultimate Poké Bowl are the addition of the raw tuna, as well as brown rice. Both the tuna and salmon come in three flavours, wasabi mayo, spicy and original (with a mild marinade of sesame oil and soy sauce). My dish came flavoured with wasabi mayo tuna and original salmon. For those of you dreading at the sound of wasabi, do not be afraid. This marinade is far from spicy and is in fact closer to a mild mayo, adding an extra layer of flare to an already delicious dish. The brown rice turns this from a light salad into a healthy and fulfilling meal, whilst also acting as a great absorber of the excess sauce. The smaller condiments such as the dried grapes, almonds, walnuts and fish roe add a variety of textures to everything whilst complementing the spice with their sweetness. This is a dish I would recommend any time of the day, as nothing else on the menu is quite as unique as this.
Loco Moco (Beef Cheek)
Cooking beef cheek is by no means an easy feat, but Aloha Poké hit the nail on the head with this one. Extremely tender due to being braised in red wine, this piece of meat melted in my mouth. Like the Ultimate Poké Bowl, the beef cheek sat upon a bed of rice which soaked up all the excess juices, so nothing went to waste. The onsen egg went with the dish perfectly, as its creamy texture complimented that of the beef cheek.
Alcoholic Drinks (not for under 18s):
Passion fruit lovers beware. This will be your demise, and the reason you turn into a raging alcoholic. This rum and malibu cocktail manages to hide almost all the flavours of alcohol and sends your mouth into blissful paradise with fresh passionfruit, lemongrass and a hint of vanilla extract. Brought to the table with a flaming passion fruit on top, this unique cocktail really lives up to its name. This is a must for anyone heading to Aloha Poké.
When this cocktail was brought out to me I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. Covering the drink was a coconut meringue, which after breaking through and tasting, I mixed into the actual cocktail. The meringue was light, fluffy and thankfully not too sweet, bringing the drink a lovely balance. The different types of rum were not overpowering, but I found myself smiling after tasting the drink and realising that Aloha Poké is very generous with their alcohol content.
Big Island Ice Tea
A spin on the traditional Long Island Ice Tea, this was made with three different types of rum – white, aged and spiced. With these combined, there is a resemblance to the white crest cocktail (also rum based), but it differentiates itself through its use of Earl Grey syrup. The syrup brings an entirely new flavour in the classical long island ice tea, as the flavour of tea is quite prominent, something I haven’t tasted in a cocktail before.
When your taste buds have had enough of the sugar sensation this is where you turn – the Mauna Loa – the only cocktail I have ever tried that pulls off a smoky flavour so perfectly. Presented in a wonderfully themed tiki jar with a smoke filled glass on top, the unique look of the drink alone is something to marvel at. When the glass is removed from the top of the jar, the aroma of smoked bacon fills the air and a piece of smoked grapefruit floats above the concoction. The drink itself mirrors its aroma, as the honey spiced syrup explodes in your mouth and triggers tastebuds you didn’t even know about. This is another stand out on the menu because it is so different to anything else I have ever tasted. For all of those looking to try a new and exciting taste experience, this is my recommendation.
In terms of location (Amoy Street), the price for the meals and drinks were quite reasonable. With cocktails sitting at roughly $18 apiece, they are cheaper than many of the competitors in the area, with the added bonus being that they don’t hold back on the alcohol. The price of food ranges between $8-24, and although this is quite expensive compared to other areas of Singapore, you will find yourself feeling much better after enjoying a particularly healthy meal. These days’ healthy food comes at a cost, and if you’re willing to pay it, you shall not be disappointed.
Aloha Poké provides the closest thing to a true Hawaiian experience that you’ll get in Singapore, with every element sending me to a country I’ve never visited before, making me feel as though I was a on a pristine, sandy beach in Honolulu. Between the surfboard, tiki masks, pineapples and wooden bar stools, the atmosphere created was nothing short of excellent. Just be aware that the relatively small space might be a problem for large parties.
92 Amoy St, Singapore 069911
Opening Hours: Tuesdays – Fridays: 12AM–2:30PM, 5:30–11PM, 11:30PM–12AM
We are giving away 5 x meals from Fat Saigon Boy and 5 x sets of Aloha Poké Signature Cocktails!
To win: 1. Like our Facebook post if you’d like an Aloha Poké Signature Cocktail or Like our Instagram post if you’d like a meal from Fat Saigon Boy!
2. Tell us: What would you like to tryout at Fat Saigon Boy and Aloha Poké? (It can be something that we didn’t have!)