Alter Ego. As those madcap devilish slogans on their website suggests, “We line up the craft beer, pick our poison, and get elbows deep in grease, butter and all the things momma told us to consume with restraint…” And coupled with incessant socia media publicizings where a multitude of alluring food photos from Alter Ego streamed non-stop on my feed for the past month, had admittedly made it all very enthralling. I was tempted to pay a visit to Alter Ego last weekend, assuredly convinced that I would enjoy my time here – indulging dirty they said.
Opened by the same folks behind A Poké Theory, Alter Ego is anything but similar to its sister brand. A rather apt name that implies an alternate personality – Bolder, darker and more sinful. Alter Ego is the extreme opposite of the goody two shoes A Poké Theory. While the familiar poké bowls are served on the same menu, those unapologetically unhealthy (but wickedly good) offerings dominating the other half stood out. Imagine crispy fries drenched in a pizza outer layer of rich melty cheese and pepperoni, twice-baked spicy buffalo wings and loaded taters doused mercilessly in spicy jalapeno cheese sauce. Its bolder flavours on this side of the menu is definitely not for the faint hearted. While there, you could also opt for their healthier options instead. But I would advise leaving your diets at the door this time round and “embrace your alter ego”.
Click here for their Menu.
Located on the first floor of the Esplande Mall overlooking the Marina Bay waterfront, Alter Ego is a stone throw away from the Esplanade mrt via the City Link underground pass. It introduces a darker twist to its interiors, with a chic, industrial concept bearing grey concrete and wooden furnishings, though no lack of natural light floods into most parts of the cafe during the day. Emanating a simple and soothing ambience, nothing shouts too fancy apart from the artsy mural wall at one corner. It also boosts a spacious seating area to cater to the crowd. Great for gathering over some greasy grub and beer to chillax and unwind after a hectic day. Sounds like the perfect place for your next get-together isn’t it?
Pizza fries. An ingenious creation and all-time favourite recommeded by many. Trust me, these are so undeniably sinful you would disregard your diets completely on this one, but readily so. Extremely crispy on the inside and soft in the centre, the pile of fries were tossed in a spice blend, slathered generously in a creamy stretchy three-cheese sauce consisting of mozzarella, gruyere and parmesan, and further topped with pepperoni slices to resemble a pizza. The cheese sauce is so rich and gooey, smothering the fries in between layers so that every single piece would be doused with that cheesy goodness, and there is more than enough to go around. Further enhanced with a side of their house-made bacon ketchup, hints of smokey bacon and caramelised onion is added on to the overall taste, delivering an explosion of flavours to the taste bud for an utlimate pizza fries experience. So so addictive. I would trade this over those pretentious cheese fries or even pizza any day! It is best shared among 2 to 3 people though as the the portion is quite huge and the taste might get too cloying towards the end.
Another highlight would be the grilled cheese sandwich. A seemingly simple dish we thought, just toast and cheese. But their rendition of the grilled cheese toastie is probably the best version we ever had, setting the bar high for this one. With a light crispy exterior that crackles when bitten into, the insides reveal a softer complement of stretchy gooey gruyere and taleggio cheese in between the buttery toasted bread. Homemade tomato soup is served alongside to dip the toastie in, which imparts a refreshingly tangy touch to the dish. For a heightened experience with some savoury meatiness, you could also opt to add braised beef short ribs (with an additional S$3 top up) to the toast.
With our cheese cravings satisfied and ‘sins’ unreservedly committed, we had their poké bowls next. I have been wanting to try those famed healthy-named dishes, intrigued since we didn’t went to their sister branch before. The poké bowls are all pre-customised, but slightly different from the ones at A Poké Theory I heard. We had the Orginal Poké Shaker, similar to the bara chirashi don with fresh salmon on a bed of sushi rice, but it offers more nutrition and textures than the average with lime avocado, spiced roasted cashews, ikura and pickled veg alongside. This refreshingly appetizing combination was a welcoming bowl of healthiness, devoid of any grease from the calories loaded dishes we had earlier. Very delectable though I would still prefer those unhealthy dishes on their menu to “indulge dirty” any day HAHA. There are also spicer poké bowl options such as the Unami Omega (Spicy garlic sesame salmon) and the Dynamite Kickin’ (Spicy mayo tuna), or the vegan option, Green Goddess.
While its sister branch, A Poké Theory may come across as a healthy poké bowl concept, the darker Alter Ego has a stronger theme and a much more interesting concept with a cross between ‘eat-clean’ and ‘indulge-dirty’, bringing a diversity of flavours into its menu. We were impressed with our overall dining experience there. What with the easy accessbility, great ambience and stellar food, it is one of those places we would gladly make a return visit again.
Hello, I am Qianwei.
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