Bellwethers Bistro Bar @ Desker Road

Yes, you read it correctly.

Bellwethers Bistro Bar is located at Desker Road, the infamous red light district in Singapore for the budget-conscious.

Bellwethers Bistro and Bar
Bellwethers Bistro Bar

The owners were inspired by their travel to Amsterdam and felt it will be interesting to locate their restaurant in a colourful neighbourhood. Geylang is the designated red light district in Singapore, but is also where all the good food are. Why not Desker Road too?

The restaurant’s location makes it an interesting place to hang out and do some people watching – the foreign workers diaspora in the Little India area, budget travelers staying in the many backpackers’ hostels in the area and of course, a little of the sleaze that sometime spill from the hidden back alleys.

Open bar
Open bar

Rest assured it is safe. We are still in Singapore whereby it is safe in the street, even past midnight. The restaurant is also located on the main street along Desker Road, near to many commercial shophouses where the pedestrian traffic is quite high.

I quite like the ambience. Who would have thought there is a nice little restaurant hidden in a corner of Desker Road?

All the meat at the restaurant are freshly prepared by the chef at an open grill:

The open grill
The open grill
Bellwethers' Chef Warren at work
Bellwethers’ Chef Warren at work

Here are the items I tried at Bellwethers Bistro Bar:

Pan fried prawns and eggs tapas (S$10)
Pan fried prawns and eggs tapas (S$10)
Cucumber drink
Cucumber drink
Iberian pork collar salad (S$13) - love this, must-try
Iberian pork collar salad (S$13) – love this, must-try
Chicken strips with spicy tomato dip (S$9)
Chicken strips with spicy tomato dip (S$9)
Grilled Herb Infused Chicken (serves 3) S$30
Grilled Herb Infused Chicken (serves 3) S$30

The chicken is marinated in brine and herbs for six hours to tenderize the flesh, then grilled over fire. The dish is served with chicken port sauce and Romesco sauce (a blend of almonds, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil).

Iberian Presa with roasted pineapple (serves 3-4) S$70
Iberian Presa with roasted pineapple (serves 3-4) S$70

The Iberian pork collar is dipped into a marinate that consists of soya sauce, thyme, garlic, balsamic vinegar and hot oil. The oil mix creates an emulsion thus enhancing the flavours of the marinate, giving a crispier caramilisation.

Close-up shot of the pork
Close-up shot of the pork

The dish is served with homemade pork sauce made with roasted pork bones and chicken boiled with mirepoix (chopped vegetables) and red wine vinegar. The pineapple is first poached in a mixture of sugar syrup, rosemary, black peppercorn, Szechuan peppercorn, star anise and cinnamon to infuse the flavours. After infusion, the meat is roasted on the grill with olive oil.

Lamb Rack with grilled vegetables. (serves 2-3) S$60
Lamb Rack with grilled vegetables. (serves 2-3) S$60
Close-up shot of the lamb
Close-up shot of the lamb

The lamb rack is cooked as a whole and then rested to make sure the juices circulate. A layer of fats is kept on the lamb so that it is moist as it grills.

Close-up shot of the grilled vegetables
Close-up shot of the grilled vegetables

The lamb is served, dressed with a raspberry mint sauce, together with grilled vegetables seasoned consisting of carrots, onions, red and yellow peppers and kailan stem. Note that the vegetables may vary according to market seasonal offering. Sometimes there may be bamboo shoot, asparagus or beetroot.

Beef prime rib with chunky mash (Serves 4-5) S$130/kg
Beef prime rib with chunky mash (Serves 4-5) S$130/kg

Rangers Valley dry-aged 300 days grain-fed Wagyu beef is used for this dish. The beef is further dry-aged by the chef for at least 10 more days in the kitchen to enhance the flavours, then broiled over the open grill. The mashed potato side is cooked with homemade roasted garlic butter and rustically served for sharing.

Close-up shot of the beef
Close-up shot of the beef

Nice isn’t it?

The prices are pretty reasonable too, considering the premium meat cuts and the generous servings.

Bellwethers Bistro Bar is running a special promotion with Alvinology.com. Simply say” “I am from alvinology.com” if you visit Bellwethers Bistro Bar  and enjoy a FREE glass of lychee Martini per person, no strings attached, no minimum order! This offer is valid till 30 October 2013. Sweet? 🙂

Bellwethers Bistro Bar

Address: 120 Desker Road
Phone: 6297-9066
Hours: Mon – Sat: 17:00 – 01:00, Closed: Sun

Ayataka – Heaven and Earth’s newest Japanese Green Tea

Coca-Cola Singapore recently announced the launch of Ayataka, a ready-to-drink Japanese Green Tea bearing the taste and cloudiness of authentic Japanese teapot-brewed tea.

Ayataka is the newest addition to the Heaven and Earth tea range, which includes other drinks such as Jasmine Green Tea, Ice Lemon Tea, Ice Passionfruit tea and Honey Chamomile Green Tea.

Ayataka is described by Coca-Cola as  brewed using carefully selected tea leaves, contains no preservatives and is calorie free. By gently swirling the product before drinking, you can see the cloudiness and enjoy the experience of drinking traditional green tea on-the-go.

I tried Ayataka and like the fact that it is not sweet. I like drinking tea, but I find many of the canned or bottled tea drinks too sweet for my liking. Ayataka is a nice addition to a narrow list of non-sweet tea options for me.

The part on the cloudiness is interesting, but I do not find it necessary to masquerade the drink into authentic Japanese teapot-brewed tea which it is obviously not. It works for other consumers though – like the 100 maiko (apprentice geisha) and geiko (geisha) whom Coca-Cola said it did a taste test with:

“In a taste test conducted in Kyoto, Japan, with 100 maiko (apprentice geisha) and geiko (geisha), Ayataka emerged amongst other leading Japanese green tea brands in Singapore as the closest to authentic Japanese teapot brewed tea, as well as the best tasting Japanese green tea.”

Heaven and Earth Ayataka Japanese Green Tea comes in 315ml cans, 500ml bottles and 1.5L bottles. It is sold at all major supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores and coffee shops across Singapore and is priced from S$0.75 to S$1.75.

In conjunction with Ayataka’s launch, from 20th August to 15th October 2013, consumers will stand the chance to win authentic Japanese experiences that include a trip to Japan, Japanese spa treatments, as well as Japanese dining vouchers. Visit the official Coca-Cola Singapore website for more details.