Pasar Bella @ Turf Club, Bukit Timah

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JR8
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Pasar Bella @ Turf Club, Bukit Timah

Post by JR8 » Sun, 07 Sep 2014 9:37 pm

http://www.pasarbella.com/

Styles itself as a farmers market, though I didn't see any farmers.
More a gourmet outlet. Many specialist retailers. A pretty dazzling beer shop too! Lot's on F+B onsite options too.

Went the first time today, and only had an hour to whizz around. Walked in to the beer shop and they had maybe 300 product lines, of which I hadn't heard of maybe 275! Bought three beers on the proprietors recommendation, 2 of them English, never heard of them or the brewery. Got home looked them up on BeerAdvocate and one is rated 92/100, the other 95/100. This is a rare and serious thing!

Has anyone else been? What do they make of this place? The LG floor underneath in the grandstand is a branch of Giant, so we loaded up the motor with 'big/heavy/awkward' products whilst there too.

Curious place (and I'm quite wowed). I'd heard of it, quite recently; but never imagined such a large-scale higher-end foodie place might exist here. (In London terms, it might be like Borough market, or similar).

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Post by CaptainBullus » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:10 am

I've also just recently heard about it and plan to check it out. What were the beer prices like?

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:46 am

How crowded was it? When I first visited (almost a year ago) it was ridiculously packed, like Orchard iON on a weekend before Christmas.

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Post by Akimbo » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 8:36 am

Hmm, it would be a good place to bring my mom when she's visiting. We haven't been there yet ever. Like zzm asked, how crowded was it during the weekend, JR8?
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 8:49 am

CaptainBullus wrote:I've also just recently heard about it and plan to check it out. What were the beer prices like?
Not cheap, but then they're small-batch craft beers so I'm not hugely surprised. I.e. even back home they're going to be something special. The two 500ml bottles were maybe $16-18 each. But I tend to follow a strategy with beer similar to wine. Start with a glass of the good stuff, when your palette is fresh and clear, maybe have a second, and then swiftly go down the scale to Heineken, Carlsberg or God forbid if you're desperate enough Tiger.

The third bottle I bought is an unusual thing. It's German, but brewed in Sweden ['Hmmm, curious']. BeerAdvocate (BA) tells me that the brewer collaborates with established breweries to brew individual one-off small-batch beers. And indeed this explains why BA lists more than 100 different brews to his company, which had had me very puzzled indeed! The one I have is something curious, a pale ale, but unfiltered. He styles his brews with some highly eccentric names, this one included, it translates as 'Nut bag ale'... :o :lol:

So I picked up those three 'special treats', and then dropped by Giant and bought a case of Becks.

zzm9980 wrote: How crowded was it? When I first visited (almost a year ago) it was ridiculously packed, like Orchard iON on a weekend before Christmas.
Good question. We didn't get there until about 5.30, and we found it refreshingly calm. But by maybe 7pm some of the shops were closing. I understand the restaurants stay open until 10pm IIRC. At 7pm downstairs the Giant was almost deserted... brilliant!

It is a curious place. Pasar Bella is one floor of an approx 8 floor enclosed ex-grandstand - which is vast, like a typical Orchard Road mall - Giant is another floor. We checked out a couple of other floors which seem to be a kindergarden, a gym, and so on *100 - all pretty deserted. All this overlooks what is now a rugby pitch. There are three (or more car-parks) you can use. Then if that hasn't confused the heck out of you, there are another two totally separate stands that aren't located even in view. Very strange place, it might be a bonus to visit with someone who has figured it all out! I'm even going to Google/Map it now and try and see if I can figure how the three stands all fit together...

That said getting to Pasar Bella alone was relatively simple. We drove there but there is a shuttle bus that I've seen downtown, so it must have a route there. When we were leaving we had to navigate around a few taxis parked up outside on the kerb. I suspect they might have been waiting there to scoop booking fees...

p.s. @Akimbo, yes definitely a big change from the usual. Lots of interesting shops, very different, good looking F+B. My wife was talking about taking a friend of hers there when he visits soon. He was a SGn but is now naturalised in the EU. She suspects he'll like it, and is sure he's never been. It's a curious place, like this huge, quite bustling, but 'rather unknown/hidden find'. If you asked me where such a place might exist the last place I'd have suggested would have been here. Indeed my wife likened it to a similar'ish place she visited earlier this year in Florence.

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Post by Primrose Hill » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 2:05 pm

I have been there a few times. Avoid lunchtimes, mayhem then. The Japanese fishmonger is pretty decent too. There are your usual suspect there - Huber's The Butcher, etc but some decent green grocers and some random shops there too

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 7:39 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:I have been there a few times. Avoid lunchtimes, mayhem then. The Japanese fishmonger is pretty decent too. There are your usual suspect there - Huber's The Butcher, etc but some decent green grocers and some random shops there too
Ok thanks and noted.

Yes we noticed a decent look green-grocers. JPNese fishmonger... hmmm... we had a look at the 'Oceans of Seafood market' which doubled as a restaurant. It had lots of sushi etc, so perhaps it was that place.

I was also interested to see this menu for a 'crab-shack' > http://www.dancingcrab.com.sg/#1 Might be worth checking out.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 08 Sep 2014 8:02 pm

Won't find me there unless somebody else is payin'. They've got a lot of nerve, calling themselves a Cajun Restaurant. They are probably using Zatarian's crab boil and/or Tabasco Sauce and nothing else. It cannot be a Cajun restaurant unless there are real Blue Crabs and Mudbugs on the menu. From the menu, it looks like the only thing that is similar would be the prawns (not the tigers).
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Post by Sergei82 » Mon, 15 Sep 2014 9:42 am

Gourmet outlet, yes, not a market. Me and my (then-gf) wife went there to buy some fruit beer (she likes that stuff).

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Post by Akimbo » Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:55 am

Was there during the weekend with my mom. Holy crap the place is packed with families. I don't mind kids, but there were quite a lot of kids there.

Definitely didn't feel like being in Singapore when I see the demographics there :P

The actual Pasarbella restaurants themselves didn't really appeal to me that much. We just went to the Veganburg outside because it's just so much quieter...

Didn't realize there were shuttle buses to and fro. Pretty okay if you want a change of scenery sometime.
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 15 Sep 2014 1:14 pm

I've heard it can get crowded around lunchtime. For a 1st time visit it might be worth pitching up post-lunch-crowd, at maybe 4pm, having a couple of hours for an explore, followed by dinner?

That's pretty much what we did, and we didn't find the crowds an issue at all. In fact on departure the huge branch of Giant in the basement was a joy, deserted bar 6-odd people + staff!

Next time we go (and the wife did return* with friends just last night) we'll have a better idea of the confusing lay-out, the points of interest, so our experience will be more focused, crowded or not.


* To the cajun place that SMS insists is in no way genuinely cajun :) Meanwhile I was back home and ended up at McDonalds, purveyors of the 100% authentic American burger experience... :P :twisted: :cool:

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Sep 2014 1:33 pm

Well, for those who've never been down in the Atchafalaya Basin that is south central Louisiana, guess they'd easily be fooled. But for those of us who have spent extended periods of time there (7 years in my case) the diff is plain to see. So, while it is probably good, cajun it ain't. I don't mind seafood in all it various varieties, but I like it marketed for what it really is, not what it's trumped up to be. Get me all salivating for mudbugs and pfft! nothing.
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