Sunday, November 10, 2013

Singaporean Food Hits Downtown with Bugis Street Brasserie at Millennium Biltmore Hotel

Despite LA's diversity, Singaporean food is still few and far between, but the new Bugis Street Brasserie at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is filling in a bit of the gap.

The space that was Sai Sai Noodle Bar recently turned into Bugis Street Brasserie following its success at the Biltmore in London. Serving "Singaporean Chinese" cuisine and named after a famous street in Singapore, Bugis Street is still mainly Chinese but they do serve the two famous Singaporean dishes: laksa and Hainanese chicken rice.

Start with a tempura fried salt and pepper squid with chili and green onions ($9)
A nice appetizer since it's light and not too greasy. 

What you should order here is the laksa. The $13 bowl is pretty large and can be shared with two people. This spicy coconut broth is filled with vermicelli, shrimp, tofu, egg, chicken, fish cakes, and thai basil.
I was quite happy with the flavor of the laksa. It's spicy and flavorful, and the taste pretty close to what I can get in Singapore! The only thing missing is the standard add-on of cockles and the special chili sauce Katong serves. Oh, and there's usually no chicken.
They also have a section of "Japanese and Korean specialties" including galbi ramen. I wanted to try that but for this time around decided to try the Lobster Miso Ramen (soy dashi broth, edamame, lobster meat, grilled corn - $15)
For $15 they gave a generous amount of lobster meat chunks. I still prefer porky ramen broth but this is a good option if you want something lighter. 

Of course, I had to try the Hainanese chicken rice (poached chicken, chicken-flavored rice, chili sauce - $15)
Hainan Chicken
This is also quite good. The chicken was pretty tender, despite being mostly white meat, and I loved the skin. The rice was also fragrant and flavorful. The sauce could be more garlicky but overall tho was a pretty good rendition. 

Nasi Goreng (vegetable fried rice, chicken, prawns, red chili, fried egg - $13)
Nasi Goreng
Nasi goreng (literally "fried rice") is a typical Indonesian dish (though here it's listed under "Singaporean and Malaysian Specialties" - I'm Indonesian so I maintain that this is an Indonesian dish). This is again a large portion and can easily be shared.

For dessert, they have mochi ice cream and fried bananas.
Fried banana

In Indonesia the bananas are typically flattened before being fried crispy but I like these moist ones as well. 

The tables at Bugis St are adorned with jars of chili sauce and soy sauce bottles, just like the places in Asia!
IMG_0193Bugis Street Brasserie
501 S Olive St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Bugis Street Brasserie on Urbanspoon


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