Fish and Chips at ToTT

I have not written about my recent eats, simply because I’ve not been inspired to write about any of them. And the last thing I thought would kick start another post is fish and chips.

Fish and chips from Tools of the Trade Bistro

What’s my ideal fish and chips? A non-breaded batter. Crisp outside. Succulent fish inside. Crisp chips.

Not too hard right?

But in Singapore, fish and chips tend to come with a little unwelcome extra – a layer of mushy soft disgusting wet-flour soggy gunk in between semi-crisp batter and fish.

So I braced myself for disappointment and ordered the S$4.90 fish and chips from the bistro Tools of the Trade (ToTT), a food service supplies store.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. A light crisp batter, no mush in between, no old oil taste, no oil smells lingering in the air.

Close up of the fish. Batter right next to the fish. No mush in between.

I especially enjoy thick cut fries to appreciate the creaminess of the potato, however, I would’ve liked it to be a little more crisp on the outside.

The fries had a strong spicy seasoning so the fish seemed to be under-seasoned, and a tad tasteless. Nothing an extra shake of salt can’t fix.

My fish and chips were served without any wedges of lemon. I noticed another customer had two wedges on the side. Is it a by-request item? If not, why the inconsistency? If it is, why so and then why wasn’t I offered the option?

The cashier also recommended the ToTT Signature Tempura Durian $2.50 a piece.

Using what appeared to be the same batter used in their fish and chips, the Tempura Durian looked like a tempura banana, or as we locals like to call it, goreng pisang.

The ToTT Tempura Durian

It was good, again, without any mush. The inside was still cold, creamy and smooth.

The inside of the Tempura Durian

If there’s one thing not to like about the Tempura Durian, it’s the slight but strange artificial plastic aftertaste. It lingers for a few seconds at the back of the throat, but it’s there. It’s the same aftertaste that appears in many durian desserts in the market. And for that reason I avoid them.

There are four reasons why one might not want to eat at the ToTT bistro. One, is the illogical layout for a self-serve eatery that sends you running around for drinks and cutlery. Two, for the issue regarding the lemon wedges. Three, for the fact that “t” for “the” is capitalized, making it feel pretentious. Four, that the listed prices exclude GST. I think that displayed prices at self-serve eateries should include GST (and I think it’s a requirement by Singapore law).

These reasons, on principle, are enough to keep me away from ToTT’s bistro. But if you are desperate for a good fish and chips, then go for it. Even I may succumb.

Tools of the Trade (ToTT)
896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Mon – Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm

History of visits:
2010 November

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