Fall of Singapore

Today is the 80th anniversary of the “Fall of Singapore”.

On the 15 February 1942 at 17:15 General Percival signed the surrender documents at the Ford Motor Factory along Upper Bukit Timah Rd. Hostilities were to cease at 20:30 where along with the unconditional surrender of all defending forces the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese was complete..

So it’s probably appropriate that the official magazine of the National Heritage Board of Singapore devoted its current issue to this historic occasion. (see Vol 15, Issue 1 #44, The Fall of Singapore) I will confess to not being a reader of said magazine, it was really just a fortuitous Facebook suggestion that led me too it. Also it’s a free PDF for anyone who wants to add the read to their device for perusal at their own leisure. (or for reading on the throne, if that’s your thing)

The War in the Far East is a period that has sat on my back-burner for a while, as I gathered ideas, reference texts, and even the odd rule set compendium (or two) so this was a welcome kick in the pants and a good reminder that I am not really good at staying on focus with a single project…so this might just be the distraction that I need for the next month or so while I continue with my 3D model a month project.

As for the magazine…a lot of it reads like an advertorial for the reopened and revamped Changi Prison Museum and the Reflections at Bukit Chandu Museum. In itself this not a bad thing, just an observation, though I will say the article about the Sembawang Naval Yard was a good trip through the Yard and surrounding areas many post war phases, probably made more interesting by my familiarity with the area.

Char Grill Bar

Char Grill Bar (Sembawang, Canberra Link) 7/10 SGD $6.50

Char Grill Bar is a chain of western styled Hawker stalls located in various locations all over Singapore. This test was conducted in one of the two outlets in Sembawang, at a place that has become an almost regular haunt for I and a few friends, as it is not far off the path home, though we usually partake of the SGD $15.00 ribeye steak, this review is all about the Cheeseburger.

At SGD $6.50 this is the cheapest burger I have tasted in Singapore, add SGD $7.00 for a Tiger, and this makes SGD $13.50 all in for the burger and 2 beers. At that price you could have a second 750ml Tiger (so four beers) and only be 0.50c over the single dollar sign cost rating.

The burger follows the established accepted build of, bun, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, patty, cheese, and bun. This is the first burger I have tested thus far to include onion, albeit of a raw variety, it was surprising to find an extra ingredient on an offering so cheap. The patty was well cooked, and yet still slightly juicy, though it had no discernible seasoning that I could taste. The ingredients were fresh, and it was a good size to eat with your hands. The bun was un-toasted, so it is important to start eating it almost immediately, but it did hold together without making too much mess. The burger comes with seasoned fries, and coleslaw as two of the side options. As a side; the slaw is some of the best I have had in Singapore, with just the right amount of Mayonnaise and the right consistency, fresh veggies and a nice balance. Not like the watery limp stuff often found elsewhere.

Slightly less messy than the offering at Butcher – The Burger Bar, the burger here includes onion and being cheaper by half a beer, it’e worth the drop in, or even a look if you are this far North or near any of their other outlets on the island.

Rating 7/10 for flavour, and $ for price.

Molly’s Burger

Molly’s Burger, Molly Malones. 6/10. SGD $18.00

The priciest burger I have reviewed so far, The Molly’s Burger from Molly Malone’s Irish Pub. Molly’s is located at the end (or the start) of Circular Rd just behind the Boat Quay area of Singapore. The pub itself is a bit of an institution in Singapore and the street outside is the location of the annual St. Patricks Day parade.

Normally I would not order the burger in Molly’s, but as part of my “search” I decided to give it a go. It’s a pretty standard build: bun, lettuce, tomato, patty, tomato relish, cheese, bun. You can pay extra SGD $2.00 for bacon, but since that is not part of the standard cheeseburger for this experiment it was ignored.

Let’s be honest, it looks great, the melted cheese, the juicy and yet charred patty, they artfully posed bun lid sat askew to show both the red tomato and the green lettuce. The pint of the black stuff just in the frame, and the thick cut chips already lightly salted. It looks great on the plate, less so when you re-arrange that artfully posed lid, and you are wearing the burger 3 bites later.

Thought: Maybe the secret is to not move the lid and eschew the top bun for the first few bites and instead use it to catch the contents and stop them sliding out the back. But applying melted cheese to the roof of my mouth is an almost certain recipe for a blister and the inevitable flap of skin that comes with such…think eating too hot pizza.

In general, the patty was juicy, cooked to a very light pink in the middle, the ingredients are top notch, and it looks great. However the bun is too small to hold the contents so you end up wearing it, though it does get points for being lightly toasted and therefore holding together. (the bun not the burger) While I enjoyed the taste of the burger having to wash my hands before I could pick up my beer again is a point deduction. Added to which the burger is one of the priciest I’ve reviewed, so far, and at SGD $18.00 and a non happy hour Guinness at SGD $16.50, the whole experience is not cheap.

As I stated further up, I would not normally order the burger in Molly’s, and given that I have lost count of the nights I have spent here indulging in Guinness and Irish Whiskey, I think it’s fair to say it’s a great pub and always a great Craic. Just not a place for burgers, stick to Beef and Guinness Pie, a Bacon and Egg Butty or the Irish Fry Up.

Rating 6/10 for flavour, and $$$$$ for price.*

* Cost Ratings are for burger and 2 beers. The first $ represents $20 or less, and each extra $ for every $10 extra. (in SGD)