Thursday, 30 July 2015

Media Invite: Food Tasting at Palette

With the dearth of foodcourts in the Cityhall precinct, we were really excited with the opening of Palette at the newly restored Piazzo, the shopping atrium of the grand Capitol Cinema.
A new bar-restaurant-foodcourt concept by the Breadtalk group, this is probably the one and only of its kind to open in Singapore. Like a food court, you get to walk around the different stalls and see how the food is prepared before using the tablet to place your order, like what you will see in Japanese style family restaurants. Food is delivered to your table and payment is made upon exiting the establishment.


Ten specially curated food brands were brought under one roof- 6 local, and 4 famous ones from Malaysia and Hong Kong. The four, Ah Koong Restaurant, Hok Kee Authentic Hong Kong Noodle & Congee, Ah Yat Seafood and Little Nanyang, were brought in from overseas to offer diners a bit more choices without deviating too much from local food fare.
Hok Kee is one such example. With HK style wanton noodles catching on in recent years, many would certainly welcome the introduction of this 65 year old HK noodles house from Yuen Loong. Their Wanton Noodles ($8) will no doubt give their competitors a run for their money.
Fishball noodles would be the biggest highlight of our dinner. Originally from Johor Bahru, Ah Koong Restaurant's fishballs  are known to be huge and have a bouncy texture. The parang fishballs were also unmistakenly higher quality with a decent amount of wolf herring meat to flour ratio, unlike many of the generic ones that we have from other food courts.
The dried Fishball Noodle ($7.90) was certainly one of the best i have tried in Singapore. The mee-pok was specially made in their factory in Johor Bahru. Once cooked al dente, they were tossed in a potent mix of chili and their signature black sauce, with fragrant blanched minced pork, spring onions and a dose of sesame oil. The Ah Koong restaurant is also the group's sole outlet in Singapore, with the other five outlets scattered over Johor Bahru.
Another of my favourite dish was the Satay Ayam Madura ($8.50) by Indochili. Usually only available in Indonesian restaurants, I was really glad that they brought this into Palette. The potent sauce was a combination of kicap manis and a thick bed of sweet-savoury peanut butter, which was distinctly different from our local version.
The foodcourt also boasts a bar, the 90 Gastro bar that serves original cocktails that could rival Raffles Hotel or CHIJMES next door. We tried the 1686 ($17, which made reference to the number of seats that the old cinema could accommodate), the Cabaret Oasis ($17, a nod to the cabaret screenings in the haydays) and the Musical Express ($17, same namesake as one of an old local production). We were particularly drawn by the latter which was a concoction made with pandan and banana infused rum, boiled pandan syrup, banana liqueur and milk. It tasted almost like baileys, while the bananas adding a tropical touch and the pandan syrup a local twist. Kudos to their originality!
I also enjoyed the Golden Chilled Mango Soup with Sago & Citrus Fruits ($8) from 90 Gastrobar. Like their cocktails, this was given an interesting but simple makeover. Mango ice cream, mango puree and coconut milk were blended, resulting in a evenly mixed and chilled mousse with soft texture. It was refreshing and was a delightful finish to our dinner.
While prices at Palette are priced slightly upmarket, it made up for it by removing the fuss of finding seats in the usually crowded Cityhall, which makes it a decent place for gatherings.

This post is brought to you by guest writer @ramenking2015

Palette at Capitol Piazza
13 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza, #B1-20/27 Singapore 178905
Tel: (65) 6384 3359
Website
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