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Mischief: Celeb restaurant celebrates first year
Mischief turned one in March.
And in the unpredictable F&B scene, that's cause for celebration, especially when a new menu is rolled out for its first anniversary.
Mischief - opened by local actresses Cynthia Koh and Michelle Chong, along with the owners of Rookery, Suprette and Tab - is still serving American street food, but with a twist, mixing in ingredients such as charcoal and mentaiko.
The vibe has not changed. It's still a boisterous yet relaxed place for letting loose. Thank goodness the new menu doesn't add fussiness to the atmosphere.
I am glad there is something like Mischief as an added choice for diners (not just because I know some of the owners).
There are days you don't want the formality of a restaurant, to wear what you want, eat with your fingers, and laugh loudly - everything Mischief seems to encourage.
The Cod Fish Charcoal ($16) is not pretty: Pieces of black lumps, the size of a baby's fist, looking like the aftermath of a week of constipation. But the cod is juicy and the crunch is heavenly. I don't understand the charcoal coat because it doesn't add to the taste, but it'll start (or end) conversations.
The Grilled Iberico Slices ($16) is jowl cooked for 12 hours, marinated with maple and soya sauce. The sweet and sour sauce is an able accompaniment too.
I was surprised by the sunny side up egg at the bottom of the pan of Baby Calamari ($18). It's such a fun discovery. The squid is appropriately crispy too.
I have mixed feelings about the Grilled Wagyu Cubes & Bone Marrow ($26). The beef portion is tender, nicely seasoned and tasty, but the bone marrow is flat and flavourless. It feels like it's all oil, no flavours.
Chicken wings at a bar are expected, and Mischief's version - Garlic Soy Wings ($14) - is nice enough but not remarkable. I wish the garlic is more prominent or if there's a touch of spice to give it a kick.
WHERE Esplanade Mall #01-12
WHEN Monday to Thursday 5pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 5pm-3am, Sunday 5pm-11pm
My Lucky Strike goes for broke
Total cost of dinner: $8
TV host Anthony Bourdain meets Obama in Hanoi
US President Barack Obama ate "cheap but delicious noodles" and drank "cold Hanoi beer" while sitting on a "low plastic stool" during his trip to Vietnam, according to TV personality Anthony Bourdain.
The Parts Unknown host shared a meal with Mr Obama at the Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant in Hanoi, NBC news reported.
Bourdain posted photos of their grilled pork and noodle feast on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday, noting that the "President's chopstick skills are on point".
"Total cost of bun cha dinner with the president: US$6 (S$8)," Mr Bourdain added.
"I picked up the cheque."
The other diners appear to be totally oblivious to the presence of the US President, a celebrity chef and, presumably, a substantial security detail, photographers and film crew, BBC reported.
"Love how the diners were so good at pretending they had no idea who is sitting at the table next to them," tweeted Brazilian journalist Sofia Perpetua.
The discussion on Reddit, a social news networking website, which attracted 3,000 users, spilled over into where any Secret Service agents might be hiding.
On social media, there were even questions about the positioning of the food.
"The perfect alignment of the food disturbs me," said an Instagram user.
"Look at how symmetrical the bowls, chopsticks and plates are."
A more cheerful comment from another user read: "Eating in perfect symmetry, awesome and smart."
There were also discussions about the Vietnamese way of life.
"Ah, our rickety blue plastic stools - that's Vietnam for you," said Instagram user Chi Mai.
"No fancy interior, just simple furniture to let the food and conversation do the talking," said another.
Ms Nguyen Thi Lien, the 54-year-old restaurant owner, knew that a foreign TV crew was on the way, but she had no idea that there would be a very special guest, AFP reported.
She said yesterday: "His presence in our restaurant was a great surprise for my whole family, who could never have imagined it, even in our dreams.
"Mr Obama was nice, smiling, cheerful and popular with everyone."
But she regretted not posing for a picture with him.
A White House official said that their conversation will be featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in September on CNN.