If you are bored of having xiao long bao in Singapore and have a sudden craving for a good old chicken chop, Board and Basket is your best place to go. Nope, Board is not a fanciful restaurant. It is actually a food stall in Food Republic food court at Westgate, but you get decent good food without burning a hole in your pocket.
Update: Closed down since Dec 2019
Located at Food Republic @ Westgate
Board and Basket offers a variety of signature western food such as grilled grass-fed rib-eye steak, garlicky prawn spaghetti, beef burger and their famous grilled cajun chicken thigh aka chicken chop.
Considering its price point at S$6.90, I was really impressed with the presentation. Served on a wooden board, the presentation of the dish was really inviting with everything decorated nicely in place.
Hell, some of the hawker centers charge S$6 for a plain average chicken chop and I would gladly pay another S$0.90 for a chicken chop which has a better presentation and of course with a better taste.
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The first thing I noticed was that Board and Basket actually prepared and seasoned their chicken thighs way beforehand, unlike most of the western food stalls in Singapore.
The average western food stalls would normally use unseasoned chicken thighs for grilling which explains why most of the time gravy is the most important component that determines the overall flavor of the chicken chop. That said, your chicken chop will be a disaster when the gravy is bland.
Not Board and Basket. Aside from its crispy charred skin, the meat was tender, juicy and packed a punch in the flavor department, thanks to its pre-seasoned chicken thigh. If you are someone who likes strong flavors, you will love it.
The Side Dishes
Unlike other chicken chops as well, we were pleasantly surprised to find that their side dishes weren’t half bad at all. Unlike most western food stalls where fries are prepared in huge batches, Board and Basket prepare their fries in small batches. The fries were crispy, lightly seasoned and freshly fried.
The salad was unexpectedly tasty, with an unique creamy yet slightly salted, sour sauce. I believe it is a combination between Japanese sesame sauce and some kind of vinegar.
Ice Cream Waffles
Board and Basket scored again in the presentation despite its reasonable price point at S$4.90. They actually took effort to coat every inch of the waffles evenly with chocolate sauce, finishing it with a simple decoration.
As an all time waffles fan, I felt this was not your average Prima Deli waffles. As they were pouring the mix into the hotplates, I could tell that the mix was extremely thick. This produced a Gelare-like waffles with crispy skin and a soft foamy filling which I wouldn’t have experienced in a cheap S$1.50 waffle. At $3.80, it is definitely considered as one of the best deals in Singapore.
While I do feel that the ice cream was too sweet, it was laden with chocolate chips and was pretty decent. This is definitely a poor man’s Gelare waffles which I enjoyed tremendously.
While it is difficult to get a black chicken soup at $3 in today’s food courts, it is comforting to see food stalls such as Board and Basket upping their game to compensate the price hike. While the portion of the chicken thigh is a little smaller, i felt Board and Basket is definitely considered still one of the cheap and good food in Singapore.
Have you tried the grilled cajun chicken thigh in Board and Basket, be sure to let us know what you feel in the comment box below!