Feast on well-known Singaporean foods with a twist @ Meat N Chill

Located at Sixth Avenue Centre, Meat N Chill is a cosy eatery that incorporates the American dining culture of hearty portions and quality food. The cafe is known for its signature fall-off-the-bone pork ribs that take over 30 hours to marinate and smoke, and they take pride in serving each customer with food that is nothing short of perfection and sincerity.

Meat N Chill has constantly received rave review from influencers and is well known by the residents in the area, for their hearty platters.

Meat N Chill is a cosy eatery that incorporates the American dining culture of hearty portions and quality food.

First to come up with a meat platter

According to the Operations/Marketing Team at Meat N Chill, the cafe had actually been one of the first to come up with the concept of a meat platter.

Said a representative, “We were actually one of the first to come up with the concept of a platter with a lot of meat being offered. These days though, you see a lot of platters recently across the market. Our platters though, were so popular that we have had our fans literally asking us when the next platter was coming out; we used to come out with a platter every two months but recently we have been slow because we want to create that perfect platter.”

The cafe had actually been one of the first to come up with the concept of a meat platter.

As the owners and head chef at Meat N Chill had all been away during my visit, I was unable to interview them. As I had wanted an interview though, a representative had stepped up to give the interview, but only on condition that I did not reveal his identity, because he did not have the authority to represent Meat N Chill as the face of the restaurant.

Uniquely Singaporean platter

To commemorate Singapore’s National Day, Meat N Chill had created a uniquely Singaporean platter that represents famous Singaporean dishes, including perennial favourites such as Crayfish Seafood Bucket drenched in tangy chilli crab sauce, 300g Grain-Fed RibEye steak with Scallion and Ginger Sauce and a spicy twist on their signature pork ribs, the Sambal Pork Ribs.

So according to the restaurant’s Operations/Marketing team, what you see here is similar to what you would eat in a Zi Char stall but revolutionised on a different scale.

Said the representative, “For example, there is the fried ginger and spring onion sliced beef. We have added a twist to that dish by barbecuing and flavouring it too. Then you have cereal chicken; that is our version of cereal prawn. For chilli crab, we have made it with crayfish as that gives a more atas feel to it. And you then have the prata and mantou to match the chilli crab; some people prefer mantou but I personally like the prata more.”

I went to the tasting session with my friends.

Invited to a food tasting session

I was invited to a food tasting session to try Meat N Chill’s new National Day platter, fittingly named “One Nation, One Platter.”

I went to the tasting session with my friends Andy Pang, Siu Siu Lee and Kwek Joon Keng as well as my dad, Chin Chew.

“One Nation, One Platter” (S$125.20)

“One Nation, One Platter.”

The platter consisted of the following items.

  • Crispy Cereal Butter Chicken
  • Baked Barramundi with Black Bean Sauce
  • Sambal BBQ Ribs
  • Premium Seafood Bucket with Mussels, Clams, Crayfish and Prawns
  • 300g Grain-Fed RibEye Steak with Scallion and Ginger Sauce

It came together with the following side dishes, in order to create a true, authentic Singaporean dining experience.

  • Fragrant chicken rice
  • Buttery Roti Prata
  • Sweet and savoury rojak
  • Golden fried Mantou
  • Tangy Achar salad
  • Fresh garden salad

Said the representative, “This platter represents our identity as Singaporeans; so that is why it was created for National Day and we want people form all walks of life to come in and enjoy it. The older generations like achar and rojak but the younger ones prefer pork, steak and sambal; this platter has everyone’s favourite foods contained in it, to cater to all generations.”

However the platter is not easy to prepare, according to Meat N Chill. For example, the ribs are marinated for 24 hours and smoked in-house for another four to six hours. The steak is lightly sautéed with salt and pepper in the oven and is then reverse grilled, to bring out the softness and flavour of the meat. The cereal chicken and the rojak is also prepared and chopped up entirely from scratch, in-house.

Overall the complete process from preparation to serving, would take more than 30 hours, for each National Day platter that is served.

Here are our thoughts and comments on the platter.

Cereal butter chicken

Out of all the items in the platter, my personal favourite was probably the cereal chicken. When I bit into the chicken, I found it to be really tender and juicy. And the crispy exterior gave the chicken a nice, flavoursome crunch. The succulent chicken meat had almost melted inside my mouth.

Added Andy, “The cereal butter chicken was really crispy and not too salty and even with the skin on, it wasn’t oily at all.”

Baked Barramundi with Black Bean Sauce

The baked barramundi, however, had been a tad disappointing though. The fish appeared to be a bit overcooked and the meat had been quite firm. I couldn’t really detect the black pepper sauce that the fish was supposed to be cooked in.

But I really enjoyed the sambal pork ribs. It was soft and tasty and there was a mild sambal taste that blended in very well and was not too overpowering. The meat also fell off the bone, making the pork ribs very easy to eat too.

Sambal Pork Ribs (left) and Ribeye Steak (top).

I admit that when I had first saw the menu, I had thought that the pairing of sambal sauce with pork ribs may taste slightly weird as I do not usually associate these items together, but to my surprise it was actually very pleasant and the soft pork, together with the slightly sourish and spicy sambal sauce, was a delight to my senses.

Said Joon Keng, “I liked the sambal ribs and the flavour was quite refreshing. It was the first time I have tasted ribs that is coated with the sambal that is normally seen with stingray.”

When the ribs were eaten together with the crunchy achar salad, the flavours and textures also blended in quite well together, creating an interesting fusion of Asian and Western tastes.

Andy however, thought that the ribs were a bit dry. He said “The ribs were so-so. For me, I thought that it was also a little dry.”

Grain-Fed RibEye Steak

The ribeye steak was also really good. I had requested for it to be cooked medium well and the restaurant had delivered this to perfection – and it was not overcooked. I thought the steak was very juicy, tender and tasty too, and so I had found myself enjoying this. The succulent meat was easy to chew and it seemed to melt inside my mouth. It was definitely one of the better steaks that I have tried.

Said Joon Keng, “The grain fed ribeye was really well marbled and tasty. It melts in the mouth on its own, without the sauce.”

Agreed Siu “I love their grain fed ribeye. It was so tender and yummy. But the scallion and ginger sauce had been a bit salty for me, though.”

Andy also mentioned that this steak had been his favourite part of the meal. He said, “The steak was so tender, soft and melted in my mouth from the first bite.”

Seafood Bucket.

For the premium seafood bucket, there had been plenty of prawns, together with some mussels and crayfish but I could not really see any clams inside though. Nevertheless, this was quite enjoyable.

The crayfish meat was very soft and tender. The prawns were well cooked and were quite soft, and the mussels were also very tasty.

Said Andy, “The crayfish was very good.”

As well, the tangy chilli crab sauce went very well together with all of the seafood items, bringing out the flavours nicely and adding a slightly sourish note too, but at the same time, it did not overwhelm the senses completely. It was really enjoyable. I had thought that the combination of the flavours was perfect.

Buttery Roti Prata

The fried mantou and the prata that were meant to be dipped into the chilli crab sauce, were both delicious. The mantou was light and tasty and not too oily either.

Personally I had preferred the prata, compared to the mantou, with my chilli crab sauce, as it was really light and buttery. As well, there was a slight barbecued taste when I ate the prata, which I thought gave it an interesting and nice touch that was quite pleasantly refreshing.

Golden fried Mantou

Said Siu “The prata was very light, crispy and tasty. I liked it.”

But Dad begged to differ a little, though. He said, “The prata looked nice with an attractive distinctive char grilled markings on the prata. But I thought it was slightly dry though, and it had a floury (doughy) taste.”

Sweet and savoury rojak

As for the rojak, this was surprisingly tasty, with a rather interesting and unusual mix of fruits in the sauce.

And the chicken rice was quite fluffy, with a mild chicken flavour that was not overpoweringly strong.

Added Andy, “The chicken rice was great.”

Fragrant chicken rice

After finishing the platter, I was actually feeling quite full, but I had wanted something sweet to end off the meal. After all, my friends and I always say, there is always room for dessert… no matter how full you are!

So we then had a Fudgy Brownie and a New York Cheese Cake, to share amongst ourselves.

Fudgy Brownie (S$8.00)

Fudgy Brownie

This was a chocolate brownie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I really enjoyed this brownie. It was served warm and the ice cream on top was cold – so this provided a perfect fusion of hot and cold to the taste buds, something which I always really enjoy.

The brownie itself was quite soft when I had cut into it to take a spoonful. The texture reminded me of chocolate cake though, instead of a brownie, which I would typically associate with being more dense. But the chocolate flavour was quite strong – and I really enjoyed this though as I am a huge fan of dark chocolate.

As such, I thought that the rich chocolate flavours from the brownie blended in very well with the melt-in-your-mouth vanilla ice cream which was creamy and smooth and fortunately not overpoweringly sweet.

Said Joon Keng, “Ice cream on hot brownie is the best combination for dessert, to wrap up the night.”

Agreed Siu, “I always like ice cream with hot brownie. The dessert really fulfilled my craving.”

New York Cheese Cake (S$8.00)

New York Cheese Cake

This is described on the menu as being rich and cheesy and with a surprise twist crust. It too, is served with vanilla ice cream and is supposed to be one of the chef’s recommendations according to the menu – this was the reason why I had decided to try this dessert.

The surprise twist crust had turned out to be a dense chocolate cake base that seemed to be richer and more chocolatey than the brownie, in my opinion. The cheesecake itself was also quite firm and dense, and the cheese flavour was quite rich too.

As such, Siu thought the cheesecake was a bit heavy for her liking. She said, “The cheesecake was a bit heavy and cold in my opinion.”

While the cheesecake itself was quite sweet for me though, it surprisingly blended in well together with the ice cream, which was smooth and quite light, and was thus not as cloying as I may have expected it to be. Perhaps without the ice cream, the taste sensation may have been a lot richer.

Nevertheless, I think that this dessert is quite good to share amongst friends, but as it is rather rich though, you may feel jelat after having several mouthfuls, if you are trying to eat one all by yourself.

“One Nation, One Platter”: Available till end September

The “One Nation, One Platter” dish is available at Meat N Chill from now till the end of September according to the restaurant’s Operations and Marketing Team. Said the representative, “This is for a limited period only, so the moment it ends in September, even if you ask for it, we will not replicate this platter for you. It will not be a part of our regular menu.”

We all enjoyed the meal at Meat N Chill.

This is because in order to keep the prices reasonable, Meat N Chill has to order the ingredients in bulk and sell them on the day in order for everything to remain fresh, so that there is no food wastage as well.

My friends and I enjoyed the meal overall too. Said Joon Keng, summing up everyone’s sentiments, “It is a truly National Day platter in this cosy restaurant at Bukit Timah.”

Meat N Chill is open for six days a week.

The “One Nation, One Platter” @ Meat N Chill

805 Bukit Timah Road

6th Avenue Centre, #01-04

Singapore 279883

Opening Hours 

Tuesday – Thursday

11:30am – 2.30pm

6pm – 10pm

Friday

11.30am – 2.30pm

6pm – 11pm

Saturday

11am – 2.30pm

6pm – 11pm

Sunday 

11am – 2.30pm

6pm – 10.30pm

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