Friday, November 30, 2012

Huge on Passion at The Big Sheila

The two lions decided to send their friendly jumbo-sized pal, Smurfy (oxymoron not intended) to check out a little restaurant hidden deep in the quiet estate of Swan Lake Avenue. Smurfy thinks that this little neighbourhood has one of the prettiest name on the island.

The restaurant that Smurfy was supposed to hunt down had an equally interesting moniker - The Big Sheila named after its Aussie founder and chef, Fleur Grover who had decided to take a huge leap of faith in leaving her comfy IT job to head into the kitchen where her passion lies in serving up affordable, uncomplicated, home-style Western food to her already expanding base of ardent fans.  

Hope the food's as sexy as the logo!
TBS also does island-wide food delivery so busy executives can take heart that they can enjoy a comforting meal lovingly prepared by the folks here for lunch and dinner.

Smurfy headed in and was about to discover that The Big Sheila truly lived up to her reputation of not, ahem, doing small at all ... ...

A huge delivery van with TBS's signature logo
parked out at the front. Whoa, two more vans and
a delivery bike was spotted. Looks like demand
is erm colossal for her food.

Smufy headed for the cosy corner with lotsa comfy
and snugly pillows and awaited the commencement of his feast.
Admiring the sleek, posh but inviting decor with a
soothing black, grey and white palette.
Loved that the signature bright orange colour was masterfully and
discretely woven into place in the form napkins and ribbons that the
friendly wait staff wore in their hair. Orange is a difficult colour
to handle without it becoming too overwhelming. 
Starting off with a Latte
with beans from Toby's Estate.
A little too milky for Smurfy though.
Another double-shot cuppa was ordered
but the coffee still did not come through.
Saving grace was that it was foamed to
a good consistency.
Loved the oriental wooden window frames.
Whoever did the ID for this place deserves a pat on the back.
The long, white marble table takes centre-stage.
Space is good for communal dining and for an
intimate private party.
Smurfy wonders if that's a mutated lion or
some oriental mythical beast beside the
wine rack.
Yo, I'm chilling.
Smurfy ordered the highly recommended
Herb-crusted Chicken Schnitzel ($14) with baguette.
Very tender and the baguette was crusty and soft
on the inside, easily beating the mediocre ones
sold at some bakeries. But this dish was soon
eclipsed by another outstanding one.
The Ploughman's Lunch! ($14)
Consisting of an absolutely divine pork, prune and
pistachio terrine served with a baby scotchie, vintage chesse
and baguette.Smurfy was still dreaming of this dish
a few days later.
Baby Capsicum stuffed with ratatouille ($10)
and served with a side of Aussie goat's cheese.
This is a recommended appetizer as well.
Smurfy loved the creamy goat's cheese.
It had none of the expected strong
gamey taste and smell. Yums!
Too stuffed to try the Cheesecake with
Reservations are a must!
It was full house during a weekday lunch.
Crowd spilled out to the front of house.
Smurfy estimates that TBS sits around 25 pax
inside comfortably given the intimate space.
Blown away by the too-lovely-to-be-true packaging:
the chic black takeaway box with a beautifully
tied orange ribbon.
The boxes can be recycled for future takeaways.
In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Smurfy had one of the best lunches this year at The Big Sheila. Portions were extremely generous with mains accompanied by quality sides like boutique cheeses, home-made jams, pickles, etc. What stood out was just how fresh the ingredients were - Smurfy devoured his entire side of greens with no dressing at all. A first! TBS also remains true to her Aussie roots with her use of great-tasting cheeses imported from Down Under and of course meals accompanied by specialty coffee brewed with beans from Toby's Estate. (Yahava a better choice, maybe?) Prices are also affordable given the titanic portions - both a rarity on this island.

Here is our review for The Big Sheila:

Food Quality: 9.0 pawprints out of 10
Coffee Quality: 6.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 8.5 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

The Big Sheila
15 Swan Lake,
Singapore 455711

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