Sunday, June 02, 2013

PasarBella at the Grandstand

I am having difficulty trying to reconcile what the theme for PasarBella is after hearing words bandied about like 'freshest ingredients' and 'gourmet farmers' market' against what I've experienced there. Does anyone honestly think that those things exist and that we could truly establish an artisanal market for niche produce? We hardly have farmers. What fresh produce? Everything grown or organic that is sold is imported. I certainly didn't see any home grown brands for produce. So as much as they like to call it a market, it's really more of a mall with a market theme and a glamorized food court attached.

And do we really honestly need another Shiraz kebab stand or another Da Paulo's anything down in Bt Timah? The prominence of established brands point towards what most of this country has been doing with malls and food courts. Cut and paste templates spending a whole load of money, a little bit of effort and no originality.

End of rant.

Start of another.

Here's a look at the paella from Le Patio. I'm not sure if these guys are doing Spanish or French, but it's probably just the aesthetic charm that they're selling. The hook that lured me into the queue was a large cast iron platter of seafood on top of rice. And judging from the queue, these guys seem pretty popular.

The first thing I was expecting was freshness and value in a real farmer's market. The stock for the rice was to me, sub par. A random paella I had previously eaten in a food court in the airport in Barcelona seemed much better tasting. No, I don't have a picture to back that up. And soft mushy textured prawns? This wasn't anything I would associate with fresh or great quality. Yes I'm also about to gripe about the empty mussel I had there as well. And no, the drumstick is not part of the box. That's another $2.50 you've gotta top up.

To be fair, the crepe was quite good. Then again, it was freshly made and one simply shouldn't mess up sugar, butter and a squeeze of lemon.

The veal dog from Huber's was actually quite boring. I appreciated the freshly toasted buns and certainly better quality sauces that they were providing, but the fillings of the sausage are smoothly textured factory processed protein matter. It ends there for me. No texture to look forward to each bite, not big on flavors neither. Not exactly gourmet if you asked me.


ceadsearc said...

try the oysters next time. pretty cheap.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. The concept of a farmer's market is fairness to both farmers and consumers, cutting off the middlepersons. But obviously Pasarbella isn't doing that. It's a hipster place and they are just jacking up the prices because it is a cool place.. That's why I refuse to go there. It's false advertising.

That being said, I heard they are dropping the name of a "farmer's market." And one of my contributors went there and had a great time.

Anonymous said...

I must say I agree with your rant.

Anonymous said...

I must say I agree with your rant.