The Place Corner store at the AliBaBar Hawker Bar, By The Fire is one of the latest western food store to open in this hipster coffee shop along East Coast Road. Expect the cool kids to be hanging out at this coffee shop with beers in one hand, while dining on either the grills from By The Fire, or the ramen from the Japanese ramen store beside, or even the famous Hokkien Mee! Word of advice though, with the unforgiving weather in Singapore, dining here during lunch hours asks for you to be lightly dressed and be all-ready to sweat it out!
The Food Chef Immanuel Tee, behind the famed Immanuel French Kitchen at Bukit Batok, and Alexander Chong seeks to focus By The Fire on modern Western cuisine. Much Asian influence can be seen from the mains served here, which are predominately grilled items, with the photogenic Scotch Egg ($6.90) being one of the must-try item here. The soft-boiled egg with breaded minced pork, served atop purple cabbage Coleslaw, was definitely a key highlight for us here.
The Keystone’s Seaweed Pasta ($8.90) is basically Aglio Olio done with angel hair pasta and served with Shio Kombu (seaweed) and Sakura Ebi; the latter two being Japanese infused. While we like the Japanese character of the pasta, it was way too oily for our liking.
This is supposed to one of the highlights here, and indeed it is. The Grilled Pork Jowl ($15.40) was done with Pork Cheeks marinated with Japanese curry spice and served with Potato and Pumpkin Salad. While it turned out slightly dry and flaky in texture, the overall flavour is still passable.
Skip this. The BBQ Pork Ribs ($14.90) served with Macaroni and Cheese was disappointing. And we did not even finish it with a few of us on the table.
Rants The weather. I love my coffee shops, but sometimes the merciless weather spoils the overall dining experience, regardless of how good the food is.
Will I Return Again? By The Fire has some creative food presentation, located in a coffee 0hop hipper than most others, but with the food less than impressive. It will definitely get a constant crowd coming in given the prime location, but I think some tweaks has to be made in order to garner its fair share of loyal customers.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
By The Fire
125 East Coast Road, Singapore 428810
Tel: +65 6440 6147
Mon to Fri: 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – Late
Sat to Sun: 12pm – Late
Ranted by the Rantee