Friday, October 14, 2011
Heath Bistro at Singapore EXPO - Cute, Cosy and Great Value for Money
If you are like me, you never really know what to eat at the Singapore Expo. But I am glad I've found Heath Bistro, which opened about four months ago (July 2011) outside Hall 3. It offers really hearty fare in a casual and cosy environment. If you are ravenous after many hours foraging the sales/exhibitions or just need a cuppa to relax with, this is a great place to check out.
Green plants and wooden furniture give the place an organic feel, while the clear glass lets in lots of natural light.
If you are wondering about the bistro's name, no, it's not an homage to Mr Ledger, but it pertains to heathland and alludes to "something fertile, supportive of life, and waiting to be discovered". The owners wanted a cosy place for EXPO visitors and people living in the Eastern part of Singapore.
The bistro features some artwork done by three young graphic design graduates of Temasek Polytechnic. They hand-painted this really cute mural on one side of the bistro wall. It took two nights, and as the Expo shuts off all lights at 10pm, they had to continue working using flashlights. But the end result is still so pretty.
I love the movement captured in the art, and how the whimsical details evoke feelings of carefree innocence. The way life should be enjoyed - being happy.
You'll even see it in the little drawings peppered throughout the menu.
It's bound to bring a smile. Come on. If it doesn't, then I'm afraid some cynic is hardened beyond cure.
It's a wonderful place to sit, relax and watch the world go by.
But of course, let's check out the food. It's simple and unpretentious Western fare.
This is their Prosciutto Funghi pizza (S$9.90 nett for 10-inch, S$17.90 nett for 15-inch) - thinly sliced ham and mushrooms on a wafer-thin crisp crust, topped with lots of cheese. It's really very light, and you won't feel like you've overindulged.
The Pizza Lava (also S$9.90 nett for 10-inch size) features Italian sausages and olives on a slightly thicker crust. Hmmm, I wish they serve the sausages whole as mains too. They tasted like they had a nice bite to them with snappy skin casing.
The Prime Ribs (S$19.80 nett) is a huge slab of ribs coated with the chef's specialty sauce. I enjoyed this, and I appreciated that it came on a lush bed of salad greens. Yes, Heath Bistro is sometimes misread by many as "Health Bistro"...but perhaps that's not entirely a mistake. Their mains do come with a lot of vegetables.
The German Pork Knuckle (S$37.80 nett) should have been named the Giant Pork Knuckle. It is an ENORMOUS platter that will feed a family of four quite easily. Seriously, you have to share this, although there have been customers who ate the whole thing themselves. There's lots of meat to go around, and the best part, of course, is the crispy skin. The sauce has a slightly Asian taste to it. One patron liked to eat the pork knuckle by rolling up the meat in the full salad leaves that accompany this dish.
The Mushroom Soup - available a la carte or as part of a set - is really thick with chunks of mushrooms. Even the garlic croutons are made in-house.
The Heath Special Beef Stew (S$13.80 nett). The meat is pretty lean, but it's been stewed for hours. The carrots and potatoes have soaked up all the flavour too. You can choose either rice or potatoes to go with this, but rice might be a good idea since there are already potatoes in there.
The Country Herb Chicken (S$14.80 nett) surprised me. Well, besides its enormous size (where did they catch this chicken from?), it was beautifully sweet and tasty. I'm usually not a fan of herbed chicken, but this one was not too bad.
But it's not all a meat extravaganza. Heath Bistro has vegetarian options across most of its menu sections - pizzas, pastas, mains and salads.
There are wines and beers available as well as coffee, tea and juices. They stock various beers - Chang, Guiness, Erdinger, Hoegaarden, Corona and Carlsberg. For wines, they have sourced labels that aren't the commonplace supermarket variety. I'll add the wine list later.
Try their signature Matta Ragazza (S$4.80 nett) - peach tea with mint. It's the best antidote to our scorching weather.
And don't miss the homemade gelato! Made with low-fat milk and less sugar. Rum and raisin is the best-seller. So much so that it was sold out by lunchtime (there was a pretty good crowd).
We tried the next most popular flavours - hazelnut, dark chocolate with crispy wafer, and pistachio. All very good, and all go very well together too! The dark chocolate is extremely rich and dense, but the wafer provides interesting texture. Other flavours include strawberry and mango (most popular with kids), but don't ask for vanilla. Each scoop is S$3.80 nett or available with some sets.
Speaking of sets, Heath Bistro has very good deals going on. Like 1-for-1 pizza at S$9.90 (daily between 3-5pm). Or all-day value set meals from S$8.80 nett. Yes, you're seeing all these nett prices? There's no service charge or GST!
And here's their promo for Oktoberfest. Two bottles of beer (Erdinger/Heineken) will get you a free platter of snacks. A hefty 25% off beers and wines with any entree. And the giant pork knuckle with two beers at only S$49.90 nett.
They serve dark roast illy coffee here. I've always liked illy.
And what goes well with coffee? Free wi-fi! They have powerpoint sockets too, for those needing some juice for their laptops and portable devices.
The hearty portions, value pricing and cosy decor is more than enough to make one grin like the "H" in the Heath logo. I can see the EXPO has been trying to draw better food outlets but it's definitely a challenge for the F&B outlets, given the inconsistent crowd at an exhibition-based venue.
But for now at least, I know one reliable spot where I can chill and have a bite. There's free parking too after 5pm (fee deducted from food bill) on Mondays to Thursdays.
HEATH BISTRO - Facebook, Blog
1 Expo Drive
#01-31 Singapore EXPO
Tel: +65 6260-2002
Mon to Sat: 11am to 11pm
Sun, Eve and PH: 11am to midnight
Thanks to Heath Bistro for the invitation. Heath Bistro also commissioned the photos used in this post.
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