The basement at The Cathay is home to a few dining spots that are hot favourites among students such as Makisan and Saizeriya, just to name two of them. With the opening of eGrill & Piza, a restaurant serving up Japanese-Style pizzas and skewers at prices catered towards students, another affordable option can now be added onto the list.
A wide range of value-for money sets are available as well — Tonkotsu Ramen sets range from $13.80 to $18.80, comprising of one to three skewers, a bowl of ramen or garlic rice, and a side. Pizzas and skewers come at discounted prices with increased quantities purchased as well — which can make a terrific excuse for why you and your friends aren’t holding back.
Smoked Salmon Salad ($3.80)
We eased into the tasting with one of their recommended salads off their menu. Douse your bowl of vegetables with an ample serving of house dressing — which tastes mostly of roasted sesame — if you don’t mind the extra calories, because it is worth it. Vegetables aside, the springiness of the smoked salmon went beautifully with the crispiness of the Japanese cucumbers amongst other crunchy greens. Not at all fishy.
While it may just be a small serving, the quality does make up for the quantity, and this salad is something we would recommend getting.
Truffle Fries With Truffle Salsa ($8.80)
The truffle fries came in abundance, served in a silver bucket and a side of truffle salsa. The fragrance of truffle was extremely subtle, and the taste matched this as well. While the omission of the usual parmesan topping may prove slightly lacking for some, the flavourful truffle salsa did make up for it sufficiently. You might even find yourself scraping the corners of the dip bowl for every last bit — as we did.
Lychee Aloe Vera Soda ($3.80)
There are a variety of four “special drinks” on the menu and we went with the recommended Lychee Aloe Vera Soda. At $3.80, the amount of drink given was reasonable. A copious amount of lychee bits floated at the bottom of the glass, giving the tasty soda even more character.
eGrill offers a selection of milkshakes as well. Flavours range from Thai Tea to Green Tea Latte, each going at an immensely reasonable price of $4.80. Served in a moderately large glass topped with whipped cream, their milkshakes are a definite must-try for me in the near future.
Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Pizza ($15.90)
One bite into this pizza, and one can instantly feel the kick. With green and red chillies as well as onions peppering the top of this pizza, the heat was turned up a few notches. However, the spiciness was the perfect balance between fiery and savoury — flaming enough to excite your tastebuds, but not to the point of bringing you to tears.
Paired with the sweetness from the teriyaki-sauce-coated chicken, this pizza certainly lets you experience an interesting, but delightful, blend of flavours.
Salmon Mentai Pizza ($15.90)
Right off the bat, one thing’s obvious — attempting to eat this is going to be a pretty messy affair. The combination of mozzarella, Grana Padano, and mentaiko creates a rich and velvety cream that blankets the handmade dough. This coating is then topped off with generous chunks of salmon, sliced button mushrooms, and bonito flakes, creating quite a sight to behold. As the hot steam rises from the pizza, the extra thin shavings of preserved fish ‘writhes’ around — a mesmerising display.
The moment when you pull a slice out from this pizza has to be the most gratifying. With the amount of cheese on this dough, one can only expected major cheese-drag — and indeed, I managed to lift my piece a good half a metre before breaking the stringy connection.
The first few bites tasted heavenly. You can’t go wrong with mentaiko. But with the amount of cheese and mentai sauce in this cloying dish, it’s hard to imagine anyone ever polishing off this entire pizza on their own. Definitely bring a couple of friends with you for this one.
eGrill Skewers ($3.90 each)
The Mix & Match deal is available for eGrill skewers as well. At 2 for $6.90 or 3 for $9.90, choose from a range of chicken, pork, seafood, and even beef skewers to share with your mates… or have them all for yourself. We won’t judge.
Grilled to perfection in under 2 minutes by RoboQ — an innovative machine from the UK — eGrill’s skewers contain no additional oil, but still manage to retain the moisture and juiciness of the ideal tasty snack. The machine rotates each stick a full 360 degrees, with any excess fat and oil dripping down onto the drip tray, making eGrill’s skewers significantly healthier snacks than one would imagine.
We were given the opportunity to try four skewers among the eighteen flavours that eGrill offers, and here’s a little bit of what we thought.
Salmon Belly Fin Skewer
The salmon belly was exceptionally tender, immediately falling off the wooden stick the minute you take a nibble. However, the inside of a small portion of the skewer was fairly raw, which was rather regrettable. Otherwise, this skewer was as tasty as any other salmon, anywhere else.
Try not to get too excited when you’re in the process of devouring this skewer — the bony fins might be a little hazardous.
Shrimp Paste Chicken Skewer
A generous amount of lemon juice had been dribbled over the skewers, and made the most difference for this one. The tartness of the juice married well with the saltiness of the shrimp paste, creating an addictive taste that will result in you quickly consuming the rest of the meat.
The chicken had to be the most succulent of the lot, and you’ll sink your teeth into the juicy flesh of this skewer quite easily.
Grilled Mackerel Skewer
If you love mackerel for its pungent, fishy taste, this skewer is perfect for you. Served grilled — as opposed to its more familiar fried version commonly made in Singapore — the fishiness remained relatively strong. However, an extra squeeze from the wedge of lemon given quickly combatted that, making this skewer much more palatable.
Beef Köttbullar Skewer
Beef Köttbullar, otherwise known as Swedish meatballs, may well be the best type of meatball that has ever existed. While most of us may only be well-acquainted with the kind you’d get at an IKEA, the meatballs from the Swedish flatpack furniture giant does represent the tasty snack sufficiently well.
Being a huge fan of Swedish meatballs, we had pretty high bars set for this skewer. Indeed, expectations were sufficiently met. The meatballs off the Beef Köttbullar Skewer were tender and delicious — although you might miss the creamy gravy and lingonberry sauce that are conventionally served alongside them.
2 Handy Rd
Opening hours: 1130 — 2200
Contact: +65 6736 3055