In Singapore, even as Singaporeans, there’s a few things that grind our gears. The (sometimes overzealous) sun and heat, and never-ending crowds. Put both together and you got yourself a nightmare even the sandman can’t dust away. So one sweltering afternoon, as we were loitering around the Marina Bay Sands hotel and Gardens by the Bay while playing Pokemon Go (yes don’t judge, I want my pokedex ok), we wanted to find somewhere that we knew would be away from the throngs of visitors in the area.
26@Marina Bar & Bistro
26@Marina is a bar & bistro that took root (geddit) right at the far corner of Satay by the Bay; a good distance away from the tourist crowd in the Gardens. Being at the side means they’re shielded from the smoky satay and BBQ seafood fumes, and not to mention the hustle and bustle that comes with it. With ample seating, it’s great for one, or with your entire bike/e-scooter gang while you crack a cold one with the boys.
So anyway, after grabbing a pint of ice-cold beer to cool off the heat, I was introduced to one of their specialties the crispy pork belly (i.e. sio bak) salsa. While the pork has all the juicy goodness to match the crunch of the skin, the real hero of the dish IMO is actually the sambal chilli, which is V E R Y S P I C Y. PEDAS. 很辣. காரம். Do take it sparingly if you’re a ketchupboi/ketchupgal! By the way, the chilli (aptly named Woo-La-La! Sambal Belachan) is available for sale in bottles at the counter if you want… BUT BE WARNED.
Feeling really hungry, we went straight for the mains. A new creation of theirs at that time is a charcoal burger, served with a generous 180g beef patty, and a breaded portobello mushroom stuffed with cheddar cubes. That’s right, an entire portobello mushroom, not one of those uppity burger joint burgers that only have a few slices of mushrooms ‘for the flavour’. Dressed well in cheese and sauces, the beef is done properly (medium) and I can only complain that I don’t have mushroom left in my stomach after eating! There’s going to be more burger creations apart from this one, so be sure to check out their social media or their menu when you’re there! (Newly launched: Mushroom Swiss Burger & Double Cheeseburger, +$2 for truffle fries)
Despite being a casual diner in an al-fresco setting they take their food seriously. The U.S. pork chops that we ordered came along not overcooked (common gripe) and well-seasoned too!
In line with our 52nd National Day (SG52), 26@Marina will have a promotion from 3 August onwards! With any purchase of a gourmet burger (including the charcoal burger I ate, while stocks last) gets you a bottle of Tiger white (wheat beer)/black (dark lager) for just $5.20 (U.P. $8.50)! While stocks last!
It’s a bit far-flung from public transportation, but still rather accessible. We took an oBike here from MBS and it only took like 7-10 minutes? Also there’s free parking on weekdays for lunchtime (12-2pm)!
Standard bistro prices, about $20-30/person. Which isn’t bad considering it’s right next to Gardens, a major tourist attraction.
Everything is freshly made, and by including an entire portobello mushroom that’s the same width of the burger patty, it shows they mean business!
A nice change from the Satay (hence Satay by the Bay) and other overpriced local fare, you should come to this watering hole for a ice cold pint and that F-L-A-M-I-N-G HOT chilli!
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