This is an invited session
While I have talked about how people hunted high and low for a perfect first date venue, there's also this other side about finding an awesome place to hang out with buddies. Think casual (but must be nice la) food, a drink or two and best of all, a live band for your TGIF moments.
We didn't have much choices for such a place, the closest that I could imagine would be Timbre @ ACM. Then again, I kind of disliked sitting at the tall tables for long, getting hot and sticky under Singapore's humid sky. And here's where TAB fits in, offering a perfect solution for my three wants!
Situated at Orchard Hotel, TAB is a brand new gastrobar that prides itself in bringing food and music together. Spanning over two storeys, the huge place offers a mini concert stage, featuring local talents, resident performers and international artistes. What excites me is that they have stand-up comedians too!
Last week, TAB hosted a group of bloggers for a preview of their delicately crafted food menu, as well as trying out a few of their signature cocktails. With comfortable booth seats besides ceiling-to-floor glass panels (not much of a view, pity) and little round tables closer to the stage action, there's definitely somewhere suitable for you, regardless of a lively dinner with the girlfriend or a loud hangout night with the boys!
Fried Calamari ($12), Fried Whitebait ($13)
First up, the fried nibbles! Thankfully, the calamari wasn't rubber tough and retained a good chewy texture, while the little fishes were crispy and somehow addictive. Paired with citrus mayo, these bar snacks were great for sharing!
Buffalo Wings ($12), Cinnamon Sugar Cheese Tortilla ($10)
Maybe it was due to us snapping away for too long, the chicken skin turned out to be quite soggy. Though it was more sour than spicy, I rather liked it that way as it whetted my appetite for the meal!
Now I'm not so sure if I want to share this! I might be biased as I'm a fan of cheese and cinnamon, but the melting blend of sweet and savoury went really well with the firm tortilla skin. Stole the show among starters!
TAB Burger ($16)
First of the mains! One of TAB's owners shared with us a story behind the size of the burger: He was tired of unable to find a good one in Singapore that fits comfortably in his hands, so might as well create his own! The beef patty was moist, juicy and flavourful with a strong herb seasoning. Served with cheese and caramelised onions, this is one burger that I would gleefully chomp down without looking glam!
Oh and we all thought that their fluffy fries were made from sweet potato, but it was really just coated with a sweet-tasting batter. Very unique and went well with the thai chilli sauce!
Fish & Chips ($16)
I think I have asked this before, but haven't really found a answer. How is a good beer battered fish suppose to taste? Made with the exotic Negra Modelo beer, the batter was indeed light and crispy, but is beer just for textural effect, or am I able to actually taste it?
A good attempt with the usage of curry mayo that was denser and more intensive than you-know-where, but I felt that the quality of the fish itself was a slight disappointment, being normal dory that left a mushy aftertaste. Then again, I should take in its relatively low pricing as well.
Chicken Parmigiana ($18), Seafood Marinara Pasta ($20)
Coated with the Japanese type of Tonkatsu bread crumbs, the chicken is than baked with cheese toppings and marinara sauce. With a chewy base, we agreed that it could very well pass off as a pizza instead. Though the huge portion and accompanying mashed potatoes do fill you up real good, I didn't like the choice of breast meat used. Thigh meat would have been so much more tender!
Brimming with the likes of mussels, scallops and prawns, the pasta was reasonably well-done. However, I thought that the sauce was abit too sweet and might feel heavy towards the end.
While they might not have a desserts menu yet, why not have a cocktail to round off on a sweet note!
Fan-Tab-ulous ($15), Hasel & Gretel ($18)
The first one had the taste and cooling effect of cucumber, very refreshing!
The next one was almost like a blackforest cake in liquid form, with strong reminisce of cherries and vodka. Yum!
First Wives' Club ($18), Caipirinha De Maracuja ($18)
Pretty to look at, but I really wasn't too fond of these two. The first one was suppose to be a blend of mangoes and rose, but all I could make out was the overwhelming alcohol. The other one was somewhat a complete opposite, way too bland and light with the slight sourness of lime.
Charlie Brown ($18)
Aptly named after the cartoon character, the unassuming peanut butter took centrestage here! Smooth and natural, I enjoyed its thick and bitter sensation with a spike of vodka. Ranked it 2nd after Hasel & Gratel!
Not quite done with the night? Then head upstairs to the cozy lounge for more laid back chilling! I heard that the bartender here could make any drink you want, so go ahead and see if he's game for your challenge!
With reasonable pricing and many pleasant moments, TAB is more than just another live music venue with its much-effort food items and innovative range of cocktails. For one, I am looking forward to come back and watch the comedians in action over a handful of burger and fries, and of course friends to share the laughter with!
#02-29 Orchard Hotel
Tel: 6493 6952
Do visit their website or give them a call to find out more on their upcoming performance schedule
Note: Enter from ground floor under the huge yellow sign, you can't miss it
Special thanks to Kimberly and Vivian of Fulford Public Relations, and the managerial team at TAB for the invite!
Taken with Nikon D70
Le Petit Paradis @ Joo Chiat Road
11 minutes ago