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Food Review: Mel's Place

Some might say the East is Singapore’s food paradise. Well…with Mel’s Place Bar & Bistro located at Kuo Chuan Avenue (or A.K.A the junction between Still Road and East Coast Road), it is hard to object to that statement.

2A Kuo Chuan Avenue has always been home to food establishments. That being said, when a Dutchman, who has a daughter named Melissa, bought over the place, it came as no surprise when Mel’s Place was born. The establishment is definitely not your usual bar & bistro, from it’s food to its atmosphere and diverse crowd. For all you foodies, you will be excited to know that all its dishes are made in-house, and I do mean ALL, even their dessert. While you expect to be served fresh meals, do not expect them to be run of the mills bar food.

Being spoilt for choices, the Marketing Manager, Jeremiah Lim, came to the rescue and recommended the following dishes…

Dish #1: Rack of Lamb

Roasted Rack of Lamb, Potato Gratin, Sugar Snaps, Balsamic Red Wine Reduction

I am not one to eat lamb often, I usually stick to my trinity of meat - Chicken, Beef & Pork. For those who are, like me, unfamiliar with lamb, the rack is a cut of meat from the lamb’s rib cage. It was quite tempting to pull the ribs apart with our bare hands, but we decided against it, as we are civilised people.

The lamb was surprisingly tender and perfectly seasoned. The fact that there wasn’t much fats on the meat gave it the right amount of chew.

Dish #2: Lamb Shank Redemption *In My Opinion, a must try

Lamb Shank Braised in Red Wine Glaze, Buttered Mash Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables

Another lamb dish, but this time a cut of meat from the lower part of the animal’s leg – the shank. I appreciate the dish’s wordplay on The Shawshank Redemption; the top-rated film on IMDb, and it features Morgan Freeman.

Every element of this dish was tied together nicely, from the mash potatoes to the lamb. The meat was soft, and this time, it would melt in your mouth. On top of that, it did not give the strong aftertaste that lamb usually gives. The side of mash potatoes topped the whole dish off, especially for me, who is a fan of potatoes.

Dish #3: Macadamia Crusted Salmon Fillet

US Asparagus, Roasted Sea Salt Potato, Tomato Coulis & Souscaille

Even though Salmon is known to be one of the fattiest fish, this fillet of fish was baked just right, reducing the fat juices in the dish. The tomato coulis and souscaille gave the dish a unique flavour – something sweet and spicy at the same time. That being said, there was a good balance of flavour, nothing too overpowering, with the side of potatoes and the fillet mildly seasoned.

Dish #4: Kurobuto Pork Rack

Char-grilled Succulent Pork Rack, Potato Gratin, Sautéed Sugar Snaps Drizzled with Mustard Mushroom Glaze

Similar to the Rack of Lamb, the Pork Rack is the cut originating from the rib area of the animal. The meat and the sautéed mushroom glaze were a great combination. The glazed made the pork juicier, which might be slightly dry for some taste buds. To top the whole dish off was the potato gratin, which is apparently a favourite, and it comes as no surprise. The potato was soft, with a crisp cheese crust.

Dish #5: Supreme Beef Pizza with Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Spring Onion & Cherry Tomato

Having just had pizza the night before, I was worried I would be sick of another pizza dish. Turns out, pizza never disappoints.

The whole dish was just a perfect union of the ingredients, with the beef not being overpowering in its taste. Of course, when it comes to pizzas, you cannot forget the dough. I am a big fan of the thin crust, so it’s no surprised that I enjoyed this pizza, which was light with a crisp edge. This was definitely not one of those tough pizza dough you had to tear the apart.

Dish #6: Cold Angel Pasta *Must try for those who are looking for something different

Angel Hair Pasta with Iced Tiger Prawns, Ebiko and Wakame Served with Goma Dressing

In my opinion, this was one of the unique dishes on the menu, especially for a bar & bistro. But then again, we did say Mel’s Place is not your usual bar & bistro. While we might have been slightly hesitant about ordering this dish (I mean, cold pasta?), we definitely did not regret the decision.

The angel hair pasta is a very thin pasta, and I do mean VERY THIN (between 0.78mm to 0.88mm “thick”). As you can guess from the ingredients, this dish has a great deal of Japanese flavour, such as the ebiko (prawn roe), and goma (sesame) dressing. The delicate pasta was the perfect choice for the light flavours of this dish. Overall, the dish was light and refreshing on our taste buds.

Of course, no meal would be complete without its dessert.

Dessert: Mel’s Signature Lava Cake

Homemade Molten Lava Cake served with Vanilla Ice Cream

The key of a good molten lava cake is that first cut and you see that chocolate oozing out, and Mel’s Signature Lava Cake did not disappoint. Of course, you can do no wrong pairing it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I really appreciate the side of diced fruits, not just that it add colours to the dessert, but mainly because it made me feel less guilty about my sinful indulgence.

After trying some of their signature dishes, it is no wonder their regular customers keep coming back for more.

Apart from the good food, you can also look forward to game of pool or darts with friends, and also live bands on Fridays and Saturday (7.30pm to 11pm). If you’re a soccer fan, they have you covered with their match screenings.

So, if you’re looking for a chill place to unwind with a group of friends, we would definitely recommend Mel’s Place Bar & Bistro.

SIM GE STUDENT TIP: flash your SIM matriculation card and get 10% discount on food! #SIMmetry

Useful information

Address: 2A Kuo Chuan Avenue, Singapore 426897

Contact: 6440 3573

We would recommend making a reservation if you’re going in a big group, or on a weekend evening.

Operating Hours:

Mon - Thu : 4pm to 1am

Fri, Sat and PH : 4pm to 2am

Sun : 11am to 1am

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