Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Brussel Sprouts at The Pier at Robertson in Singapore

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Also posted on Notes From Venus

Brussels SproLinkuts used to be this green porridge I got in boarding school in the UK. Not anymore.

It's a hip, happening place minus the pretention in a well groomed part of Singapore. Oh yeah, they're ALL well groomed. It IS Singapore after all. Where even the wet markets are well groomed.

Brussels Sprouts is situated at a place called The Pier @ Robertson alongside Laurent Bernard's, The Chocolate Factory. But more of that later.


As the sign says, their specialty is Beer and Mussels. But a Belgian restaurant you say? What IS Belgian food? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to pin it down yet but I must admit, right out of the gate, that if this is representative of Belgian food, I'm a convert.

In actual fact, Brussels Sprouts was not a random choice for dinner that night. We had just arrived in Singapore and Allan and heard from a long time (not "old") friend that she had opened a new restaurant in Singapore. While the surprise was that she had done this in Singapore, Monique is an old hand at running restaurants in KL. What was the surprise however, was who her partner was. Ever heard of the "Chef In Black?" Yup. Emmanuel Stroobant.

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant_Pic1.jpg
Now, I've always liked Emmanuel's cooking from the time he was involved in Carmen's here in KL. I didn't frequent that place as much as I'd have liked, but when we saw him on TV quite a few years later, I was very happy for him. Having said that, it wouldn't matter if any restaurant had a celebrity chef on their list of partners/owners if the concept and food did not deliver.

And Brussels Sprouts does.

It's a smart, casual, hang out joint which encourages people to stay back after dinner and enjoy their huge selection of beers.

The design and ambience is clean, contemporary and whimsical. Down to the backdrop of silouhettes of Tintin and his dog, Snowy. Some Francophones may debate the name of the dog however, but a restaurant which uses a motif of one of my favourite comics (I wonder who will use Asterix) must figure highly on my list of recommends. Hergé the author of Tintin was Belgian. Just in case anyone was wondering the connection of a cartoon character and a Belgian restaurant/bistro/bar.


We gathered there for an evening of catching up with Jeremy and Patrick and the 6 of us were given a great table, waited on most hospitably and efficiently by Vert. We were about to order the wine when Gavin, the manager, suggested the beers instead as Belgians' are well known for their pride in the craft of brewing.

The beer list is literally as long as my forearm and when I heard they had fruit beers I couldn't wait to give it a go. My first experience with a fruit beer was at The Bull in Richmond, London, and I couldn't get over the fragrance of sweet strawberries mixed with a tartness combined with a hint of yeast, malt, and hops in the background of the flavour palate.

I ordered a Raspberry Beer and had my first sip. It was everything I remembered it to be and very soon, I was staring regretfully at the bottom of my beer glass.
There were 2 types of Peach beer. One which had a lighter peach flavour and one which was almost a peach juice with beer. Needless to say, the 2nd one was the favourite.

Thinking I should do a real Belgian beer, I opted for one of the more well known brands of Hoegaarden Witbier. Light, with a hint of citrus, it was a sparkling accompaniment to a great dinner.
For the teetotalers, there were virgin smoothies called Frizzes. A peach and a strawberry friz.


I loved the light conceptual graphic of the mussel and the to-the-point names for the menus. Eat. Drink. Reminiscent of 7atenine's 'Solids' and 'Liquids.'
Snowy trotting along
We started with a sampler plate which had all sorts of goodies on it. The braised pork belly above and the prawn croquettes below. Gorgeous, tender, sweet pork layered beautifully with pork fat, eaten with a tangy mustard
The prawn croquette was a revelation. A crunchy outer shell hid a thick, rich bisque like interior of delicious prawny sweetness.
Mussels in brined vinegar were the next item to try on this sampler plate. Lovely tender, briny, taste-like-the-sea mussels contrasted with the acerbic hit of vinegar.
A pressed cold pate accompanied this plate.
Lovely toasted farm style bread with a chopped cold cuts and diced vegetables coaated in a creamy sauce formed part of the samples on the plate.
For the main courses we gave in to Pork cravings and had these beautiful home made sausages with pickled purple cabbage to give it a sweet, and tangy counterpoint. The sausages were perfectly spiced, lovely and chunky unlike the processed stuff you get in supermarkets. A rich, succulent bite accompanied with the tangy counterpoint feeds my addiction to a pork druggie like me.
Veal Cheeks, exactly as they sound, are the cheeks of a young calf. Braised gently, these lovely morsels were tender, spoon soft and rich. The perfect bite consisted of a portion of veal cheek, a couple of beans and a bit of lovely boiled potatoes.
Braised pork belly lacquered with glaze was a sweet accompaniment with tender grated carrots.
And for some carbohydrates, we ordered a lemon pasta with salmon topped with a little caviar. Not sturgeon. But the salty hit was a delicous contrast to the creamy, tart, rich pasta and salmon.

After dinner, Monique had warned us, that there was a street magician ala Kriss Angel/David Blaine who would be entertaining. Visions of a tatooed goth swam before my eyes before Jack appeared.

As you can see, he is nothing like I imagined. Handsome to a fault with a body to match I could see my partner switch to flirt mode. Poor Jack might not have known what hit him. But he was thoroughly sporting as well as entertaining.

Going straight into his trick, he placed his deck of cards down and asked for a volunteer. Mum, by dint of the fact that she was seated next to him, was volunteered and promptly instructed by Jack to pretend to remove the deck of cards from it's box.
She's told to shuffle them and fan them out for a card to be picked, and Patrick pulls one out. He's told to put the card back into the imaginary deck face up. Patrick objects. "But you'll see it."
A good giggle later, Jack pulls out the actual deck, fans them out and pulls out a card which is face down, corresponding to the card that Patrick replaced face up in the imaginary deck. He asks Patrick what the card was that was chosen and is given the answer "Ace of Hearts." Jack flips it over and lo and behold...

...it was the Ace of Hearts! A quick round of applause and an extraction of a promise to return from Jack and we gave Vert a shout for dessert. Gavin comes along as well and suggests the cheese platter in addition to dessert.
Butterscotch and banana pancakes with vanilla flecked ice cream were fabulous. Fresh bananas with dark sweet butterscotch enveloped in a tender crepe eaten with cold ice cream was just the thing for a post illusionist visit.
Sweet, tart, Fruits of the forest crumble with vanilla pod flecked ice cream was not a favourite with those who did not like sour fruits but not me; warm crunchy crumble, sour warm fruits, and cold ice cream is one of my favourite combinations of textures, tastes, and temperatures.
No self respecting Belgian restaurant would be without their Belgian Waffle. A Waffle is a neutral base which you can flavour with whatever you'd like. In this instance, dark chocolate and cold ice cream. Sometimes basic is best. This waffle had a great crackly crust and a tender, cake like crumb. The chocolate was fantastic and the cold ice cream provided a fantastic foil.
A flourless chocolate cake was next. Lovely, chocolaty and warm with a little cream.
Allan's almost licked clean spoon.
Cheese Platter
Jeremy being artistic

Brussels Sprouts
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
#01-12 The Pier @ Robertson
Singapore 239013

Friends get together and King Crab Restaurant Redux

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I get an sms a couple of weeks ago from Precious Pea asking if we'd be free for dinner as Rasa Malaysia (RM)was passing through and wanted to meet us and a few other friends.

Since it was Allan's Birthday, I thought I should consult him first. However, he readily agreed.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we were sitting in King Crab Restaurant for the 3rd... 4th... 5th time? I've almost lost count.

A true foodie; Tummy carries around her own supply of Gula Melaka

Click on the pic above
RM bustles in and apologises for being late. It's the first time we lay eyes on her in person. And she's all that I expected. Slim, with an attractive "melon seed" face. Kind eyes. Enthusiastic manner and polite. She explains rather breathlessly "I got out of the hotel and hopped onto the train and found out it was going in the opposite direction I needed to travel." Ok, ok, I paraphrased. But if I told it exactly like it is, it'll tell everyone where she's staying and I can't do THAT!

She includes everyone in her greeting and then starts to have a chat with us, since we're seated right next to her. And she gives everyone a piece of her undivided attention over the course of dinner.

The food arrives. Some cameras get whisked out. Other's stay hidden because we've actually blogged about this restaurant before. I enthusiastically snap away as I've just bought my new 50mm f1.8 lens and I'm still learning it's strengths and weaknesses(Fast, sharp, inexpensive, feels plasticky, noisy, in that order).

The standard of food remains the same and I would recommend it highly to anyone thinking of having a great seafood dinner in town.

We had already celebrated Allan's birthday a couple of days before with a tea at home. Unfortunately, because I was grilling pizzas I was unable to take any pics of that little soiree though I understand there a few floating around cyber space. Suffice to say, grilled pizzas, baci di ricotta, scones and cream, and a few other delectables were on the menu.

But I digress.

A parade of dishes lands before us. From sliced lotus root and cloud ears, to sauteed snake beans, deep friend calamari with salted egg, poached clams in a chinese rice wine broth, crisp pork skin stuffed with fish paste and sesame, and of course the de rigeur crabs in a chilli curry leaf paste and the butter crabs.

As it was the night of Allan's Birthday I had decided to make something for dessert which would double as a cake. As you might have correctly guessed by now, we were a little, just a little burnt out on cake. And so, I thought I'd whip up an old fave of mine called a Coconut Souffle with a Gingered Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) Sauce. I was also coerced on pain of disbelief to produce a simple little party trick called a Wine Jelly made entirely of Wine, Gelatin and Sugar and nothing else.

I believe that people liked it. ;-)

Chilled Coconut Souffle with Gula Melaka

While a highpoint of the evening was discussing the merits of visible undergarment forms and how it appertained to personalities attending events like this were concerned, RM's attendance was the highlight. It was nice to chat with someone who through a common interest in food has really taken what is a hobby and created a popular site with viable content.

When all was said and done however, it was just nice to make a new friend.

In attendance;

Tummythoz and partner
Kennymah and partner

At King Crab Restaurant.