Weets Eats: Akira Back brings life back to South Beach Avenue
For a while, it looked as if the South Beach Avenue complex could end up a gorgeous dud.
Then JW Marriott and its many food and beverage outlets came in and the area is slowly coming back to life.
The hotel currently has five food and beverage outlets (eventually there will be nine), and adding those housed in the complex, you'll have more than 20. From Lady M to Black Cow, there seems to be something for every budget.
One outlet that is drawing the crowds is chef Akira Back's eponymous restaurant, which serves modern Japanese cuisine.
It is located at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach.
I found myself drawn to the simpler dishes at Akira Back.
Something as simple as the King Crab Fried Rice ($19) was so appealing because it's so unadorned, but it worked - the Hokkaido Nanatsuboshi brown rice, the bits of crab meat and the crunch of the vegetables.
Keeping it simple also works for the Tuna Pizza ($25). It's basically a layer of fish over a crispy crust, topped with truffle oil.
This is a signature dish for good reason. The flavours and textures make up for how gimmicky it may appear to be.
Try the vegetarian version ($18) with mushrooms, too.
From the selection of mains, the 48hr "Tajima" Short Rib ($48) is so tender that chewing is almost unnecessary.
The braising jus (made out of Korean pears, onions and garlic) is delicious. Also recommended from the mains is the Ji-dori Chicken ($28). The chicken breast meat is so succulent that the truffle-infused potato puree it sits on seems like a distraction.
While the Hokkaido Scallop ($28) is so pretty, it was forgettable compared to everything else. It is a competent but predictable dish. It will not add to your dining experience, but will definitely pretty up your Instagram timeline.
WHERE: JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
OPENING HOURS:Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to 11pm
BREAKFAST AT BARRIO
Barrio by Mex Out is now offering breakfast on weekends.
Highlights include Smashed Avocado on Toast ($7.80) and the Breakfast Burrito ($12.60).
They are available at the 313@Somerset branch now and at the VivoCity branch from Feb 11.
Ippudo opened takeaway concept Kuro-Obi - the first outlet outside New York - at the basement of Marina Bay Sands. My favourite is the vegetarian Shiro-Obi ($8) with its aromatic and full-flavoured mushroom broth.
Pizza Hut is offering a special festive pizza. The Fortune Shrimp Bites (from $26.80) is loaded with shrimp, chicken ham, pineapple chunks and cherry tomatoes on a crust stuffed with cheese. It is also available in Super Hawaiian.
Until Feb 15, Keyaki (Pan Pacific Singapore, Tel: 6826-8240) is bringing you a taste of Hokkaido with three seven-course kaiseki menus (from $170) featuring ingredients such as king crabs, Hokkaido scallops and kinki fish.