East8 is an Asian fusion tapas bar that aims to incorporate a slice of that New York Mahanttan dream into the Oriental East. Tapas being tapas, portions are small and meant as light bites that go with beer. But I wondered if it was a coincidence that most of them were quite greasy.
Breaded lightly with Panko crumbs, the highly-raved Portobello Truffle Chips ($16++) arrived with fragrant truffle aroma that soon dissipates into cold air. There was no trace of salt or herbs, hence the first few bites without the roasted garlic alioli oozed out bland oily juices that the giant mushroom has soaked up in the frying process.
The Sweet Baby Back ($20++) also faced similar issues as the cuts were soft but contained too much fats that it was difficult to tear off much meat from the bone. It was not surprisingly that the grease left us jaded with mild discomfort in the throat. However, the blend of sweet paprika in the marinade resulted in some sweet pleasant taste without the heat.
We prefer the Chilean Seabass ($24++) which has a lovely depth of umami flavour coming from the miso and wine marinade. The Soy Yuzu Beef ($20++) is another meaty joy to savour with bright acidic notes. Torched lightly on the surface, the thinly-sliced Argentine tenderloin, albeit raw and pinkish on the underneath, were delectably succulent and chewy.
The Matcha Millefeuille ($15++) was a huge mishap, possibly one of the least palatable restaurant dessert I've ever encountered. Despite being assembled ala minute, the puff pastry was soggy (underbaked in the first place). The substandard matcha cream and some foreign objects like lychees failed to translate well on the palates.
I sneaked a peek at the white chocolate banana tempura which the French guy next to us ordered and was glad we didn't order that. Phew.
Nonetheless, there was one very delicious dessert that melted our hearts--the Peanut butter molten lava cake ($15++). Baked in a iron-cast mini stove pan, the crusty dark chocolate exterior comes with a rich saucy peanut butter center, so rich that we could forgive the puny amount of ice cream served alongside. So skip the other 2 desserts and order this.
Thanks to the Entertainer App, we had two tapas free for every two tapas. However, dining at East8 chalked up a hefty despite the "savings" and it is a good place to chill-out but not for a quality meal that would fill you up.
East 8 NY Fusion Tapas and Bar
10 Coleman Street #01-21/22
Grand Park Hotel City Hall
Tel: 6338 8289
Mon- Thur: 12pm- 11pm
Close for break 3pm-5pm
Closed on Sundays
Menu and details on http://east-8.com/