“Guys I really suggest BBQ Station if you can take some heat”, said Ken, our local friend in Singapore. I smirked.
How could anyone suggest barbecue to a Dubai resident? What do they think our winter (whatever that is) comprises of anyway? We buy dozens of absurdly warm but-hey-its-fashion woolen wears for our 15 days of winter. We roam around scores of “winter markets” which basically sell the same things. But above all, we barbecue away, man. We are the kings of the play. The champs of the game. Don’t talk barbecue to us!
I couldn’t have been more of a moron.
Barbecue Station turned out to bear a different take on the concept of barbecue. For one, it might look as if the spice rub on different meats are more or less the same – but of course, they are not. Second, it might seem as if some of the dishes have more of a fried texture than barbecued – which could go either ways, I’m quite unsure. It proudly showcases the fatty layer, it sometimes leave that slight oil tinge. But the essence of the matter is – it is deliciousness no matter how you look at it.
It was around 3.30pm when we stepped in, so the restaurant was empty with the battle scars of the past lunch time remaining here and there. The staff squat around couple of the tables working on assembling meat on skewers and handling the home-made noodles – preparations for the dinner time. We took our seats and skimmed through the menu, ticked the items we fancied and sat back. The menu gave us the option of ordering the item per piece or skewer so that we could try more dishes without the hazard of a precariously bulging tummy.
Our order consisted of one skewer of chicken mid-wing, one big lamb rib, one fresh sleeve- fish, one grilled fresh prawn, grilled oyster mushroom and two mutton BBQ leg meat. Our friend wanted to try out more daring options like the grilled pig trotter and pig ear with cucumber. We waited with unabashed impatience and a well-built appetite.
The grills at BBQ STATION
The skewers arrived first and everything else followed within a span of 2 quick minutes. The spice rub was worth killing for – fennel and chilly flakes seemed to be the stars of the rub. The prawns squirted out juiciness when bit into, instantly prompting me to order two more of them. The mutton bbq leg meat and the chicken mid-wings were perfectly grilled and well marinated, so was the sleeve fish, though one skewer was too less to appreciate it fully. Being a sucker for mushrooms, I quite liked the grilled oyster mushrooms too. All said and done, the Skewer of the Year award belonged to the fabulous grilled fresh prawn.
The big lamb rib was a shocker. It was glorious in looks. The marinade glimmered on the dry skin. And the fat…oh the fat! The fat proudly paraded itself just under the skin, but visible enough to be seen and salivated on. Four very rich and ravishing rack of lamb that came with a dry dip of spices. Tasting much like a chaat masala of sorts, the dip did unspeakably amazing things to the already delicious lamb, making it almost sinful to leave any bits untouched or wasted.
The pig trotter looked more like a boney version of the lamb rack, so that didn’t interest me much. But the pig ear with cucumber looked fascinating and refreshing with the greens drenched in chilly flakes. Our friend recommended it heartily and the empty plate at the end of his meal proved to be his testimony.
So this place BBQ Station, also called BBQ Box in their visiting card and some banners, is not really a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. They have mini branches around Singapore, with the one we visited in South bridge road. The cuisine is Northern Chinese, with an extensive selection of fish, meats and vegetables (cold and hot) to choose from. Everything we had ranged from S$1-3 per skewer, with the big lamb rack being the exceptional $S18 and the pig ear and cucumber being S$10. A locally recommended BBQ spot that is definitely worth a visit during your next visit to Singapore.
BBQ Station/ BBQ Box: 262, South Bridge Road, Singapore 058811
Tel: 62216629. Open from 12pm – 2am.
*Our friend says the restaurant is PACKED during the meal times on regular days, so make sure you are prepared to wait a bit, or make a reservation.