Category Archives: Pork

REVIEW: Merlion – Chapel Hill

Merlion is located in Southern Village in Chapel Hill.

This weekend, my husband suggested we eat at Merlion in Southern Village, which is located in Chapel Hill. He always knows how to make me happy! Merlion is one of our favorite restaurants in the Triangle and is frequently the place we go to celebrate special occasions, and it’s the place we usually take guests when they are visiting us.

Merlion is Singaporean food, which has hints of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian flavors in it. When you visit Merlion, it’s like taking a trip to Singapore without having to pay the airfare. This is the first restaurant in the area serving dishes from Singapore.

Upon entering the restaurant, we are always greeted by a very friendly and welcoming staff. We have eaten here enough times to know many of their names and they know ours as well which always makes a place seem more special. We decided to start our meal with the appetizer sampler, which featured two each of Curry Samosas, Coconut Shrimp, Merlion Dumpling Parcels and Spring Rolls. My favorite of these is the Curry Samosas, which are filled with lentils in a curry sauce. They are very tasty!

sampler plate

This is the appetizer sampler plate.

My husband ordered one of our favorite dishes, which is the Mee Goreng. Mee Goreng is a lot like Pad Thai, which Merlion also offers, but it is a more robust dish. It features egg noodles that are stir fried with shrimp, chicken, tofu, potatoes and bean sprouts, scrambled eggs and is topped off with some chopped peanuts. The sauce is a tangy tomato-based sauce with lime, chili and red peppers.  This dish will leave you feeling very satisfied. It is a common street dish found in Singapore and Malaysia.

Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng is much like Pad Thai, but even better!

I decided to order off the special menu and had the sizzling salmon with vegetables. You could hear the sizzle from the kitchen to our table as the dish arrived, sputtering a little grease as it dazzled everyone in the restaurant. The dish had nice, meaty chunks of salmon that were sweet and tender. It had steamed broccoli, summer squash, red onions and sweet and tangy chunks of pineapple. The dish was served in a sauce that had chili oil, and hints of tamarind paste and red pepper, and was very complimentary to the meal. This was served with a side of white rice. I tried to eat it all, but decided to take some home for another meal.

Sizzling Salmon special

This was the Sizzling Salmon special at Merlion.

We could not leave Merlion without having my favorite dessert. This is one of the few places that I even order dessert these days, but I cannot resist the Exotic Bomba. Even the name of this dessert evokes mystery and excitement. It is three flavors of sorbet: raspberry, passion fruit and mango surrounded by a layer of white chocolate with little strips of dark chocolate and drizzles of a raspberry sauce. It is truly heavenly!

The bomba dessert

This dessert is packed with exotic flavors!

My husband had the Sago Pudding, which is tapioca pearls served with coconut cream and a special palm sugar syrup, which tastes almost like butterscotch. It is really smooth and satisfying. Both desserts are a great way to end a meal at Merlion.

Sago pudding

The Sago Pudding at Merlion is very satisfying.

There are so many other great dishes at this restaurant. I would recommend the Pineapple Rice, which is fried rice with pine nuts, scallions and shallots served with chicken or shrimp and chunks of pineapple, but the prize is the presentation as this dish is served in a shelled out half of a pineapple.

The Roti Prata is another of our favorites. This is another of the street foods found in Singapore. It is chicken and potato curry that is kind of soupy and served with Indian pancakes and eatern with your hands. The Beef Rendang is another favorite. It is beef that is simmered with onion, ginger, lemongrass, curry leaves and served with a thick coconut gravy.

Really, I’ve yet to have a bad dish in this restaurant, which is one reason we keep coming back. The other great thing is that they take great care in the presentation of the dishes. Each one is like a piece of artwork.

Merlion is located at 410 Market Street, Suite 320 in Southern Village, off of 15-501 in Chapel Hill.  They are open Tuesday – Sundays.

LINK: Mod Meals on Mendenhall’s Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Pancetta & Fried Capers

I just saw that Cecelia over at Mod Meals on Mendenhall posted this delicious picture and recipe for a  pork tenderloin with pancetta and fried capers and thought I would share it. Her inspiration for this dish came from her recent visit to the Goat Lady Dairy Farm over in Climax, NC which she has done a series of posts about.

Here is the meal that Cecelia made the other night including this beautiful tenderloin:

  • Camembert & Simple Kneads Baguette (from her baking bootcamp)
  • Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Pancetta and Fried Capers
  • Giant Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter and Fried Capers
  • Light Arugula and Lemon Salad.

Also, congratulations to Cecelia for winning GoTriad’s 2010 Readers Choice Award for Best Local Blogger. If you don’t read it yet, you should start!

Click here for the recipe over on Mod Meals

LINK: Eat It, Atlanta’s Caw Caw Creek Pork Tenderloin

So Jimmy cooked up some pork tenderloin that he ordered from Caw Caw Creek a while back and used the lefties (my slang for leftovers) to make a dish (pictured above) whose presentation looked like it came out of the kitchen of a five-star restaurant.


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