By The Fire – Affordable Gourmet Food in Hawker Bar
After serving affordable french fare in Bukit Timah, 28-year-old Chef Immanuel Tee has opened his second hawker stall in a Alibabar Hawker Bar in Katong (and we heard the third outlet is coming!). By The Fire @ Alibabar Hawker Bar is helmed by his business partner Alexander while Immanuel still spends most of his time in Immanuel French Kitchen. Both of them used to work together when they worked in Guy Savoy.
A good bar snack is this plate of Little Squid ($9.90) deep fried with a lightly seasoned batter. The textures are manifold: meaty from the baby squid, crunchy yielding to soft from the fried bits of batter, tangy from the Thai sweet dipping sauce. It’s hard to find Scotch Egg ($6.90) in Singapore because it requires a lot of work. Even though the eggs that day looks slightly too cooked to get that oozy ramen-style flow, I quite enjoyed it. Coated with crusty minced pork, seasoned with garlic powder and paprika, the accompanying purple coleslaw is delish!
Keystone’s Seaweed Pasta ($8.90) features angel hair pasta cooked in aglio olio style with shio kombu and sakura ebi. I’ve become completely addicted to sakura ebi. There is a great combination of flavours, but just a little salty in taste. I like the Squid Ink Pasta ($12.90) more. Black pasta, tinted with the squid ink cream sauce, is stunning to serve. And the delicate marine flavour from grilled scallops added delectable depth to this dish.
The BBQ Pork Ribs ($14.90) is truly a bargain. For this generous portion, you probably need to pay double the price if you were to visit a restaurant.The ribs are confit in duck fat while the BBQ sauce consists of oyster sauce and Chinese wine. However, I find the sauce slightly sweet and the ribs were not fork tender as expected. The accompanying Mac and Cheese with bacon bits fares better. Honestly, I thought the mac and cheese can be an appetizer by itself. I wished for something lighter to pair with the ribs, the purple coleslaw would probably work.
The food here is grilled over a Japanese binchotan charcoal grill which is said to bring out the flavours of the ingredients. Grilled Hanger Steak ($19) is a treasure. The charred onglet steak is tender and served with brown sauce, shallot confit and crispy potato. Other mains we tried include Grilled Pork Cheek ($15.90) glazed with Japanese curry oil served with potato and pumpkin salad. It was rather disappointing because the meat was dry and oily.
By The Fire
Address: Alibabar Hawker Bar, 125 East Coast Road, Singapore 428810
Tel: 9185 4824
Opening hours: Weekdays 12pm to 3pm; 6pm to 10.30pm. Weekends 12pm to 11pm.
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