Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Market Grill, Telok Ayer Street


My first encounter with the product of a certain Loh Lik Peng, restaurateur and hotelier, was a number of years back. At Restaurant Ember in Hotel 1929. And subsequently, Cocotte and Esquina. In retrospect, I have to admit that this man knows what people want, understands the concepts that work in the ever thriving F&B realm and sells those crystallized themes to the rest of us.

Market Grill (208 Telok Ayer Street, tel : +65 6221 3323) is one such conceptualization made material. I'm not too sure what people label them, but I personally think it's a rather clean concept with straightforward food with little frills, probably focused preparation from skilled kitchen staff and attention to quality. Of course, such things comes with a price tag to match. 


Their cod croquetas are balls of mashed potatoes and minced cod. Crispy on the outside, hot and soft on the inside. I'm sure those aren't very difficult to imagine. On top of that, seasoned with enough paprika to pack a little bit of heat. Not bad, but I guess these are one of those things that I'll never order again after having had them once.


We were rather looking forward to the lobster sliders. I mean, fresh live tank lobsters slain upon order so that we could have them stuffed brioche rolls at our pleasure. This is as fresh as freshness gets in this country. I think this is good. Good here means large chunky springy pieces of lobster mean tossed in a mayo-mix, looking as if it were about to burst out of the rolls. Even the fries tasted good. Expensive it is too.


They had run out of ox tongue which was what I had originally wanted, so I settled for a hanging tender. It came very nicely execute medium rare and no less. As the name implies, the meat is tender and has a very defined grainy texture. It was juicy, beefy and a lot more chewy than the regular prime cuts of meat. I thought that the exterior sear was well done to seal up the meat with that you know, umami meat crust that meat eaters generally like? Yes, that was pretty much what it was.

I did like the accompanying black pepper sauce they do, but I had to hold them in reserve for their 'salardais styled' duck fat potatoes rather than mess up the flavors of a nice piece of seared meat.


Lamb rack was also pretty good. The meat was laced with quite a lot of flavorful fat. So the trick is to eat them fast before the fat becomes brains. From this order, we discovered that the mashed potatoes that they do here are excellent. Milky and buttery in flavor, smooth and creamy in texture. Excellent accompaniment with the lamb jus on the side.


Banana rum pockets for dessert. But hey, I tasted no rum in those bananas? Fortunately, the rum and raisin ice cream was nice.

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