Chili’s seasonal menu: “Chillin’ and Grillin’”

Chili’s Grill & Bar is an internationally known restaurant chain, serving up a flavourful mix of South-western-inspired classic American favourites in a fun, energetic atmosphere. With several decades of history since 1975, they now have over 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states, two territories, and across the world in 32 countries. Its first outlet in Singapore opened in June 2009, at Tanglin Mall.

From 30 January 2013 through 9 April 2013, the “Chillin’ and Grillin’” menu – developed by the brand’s Global Business Development Chefs – will bring novel integrations of ingredients without steering away from the invitingly familiar flavour profile Chili’s is loved for.

The four choices of “Chillin’ and Grillin’”, available for dine-in or carryout, are as follows:

Chile Garlic-Rubbed Ribeye ($37)

Juicy smoked ribeye steak seasoned with a garlic-chile rub, topped with chipotle pesto and green onions. Served with spicy jalapeno mashed potatoes and broccoli with bacon

I find the most ideal doneness for steak is medium rare. Although the Chile Garlic-Rubbed Ribeye was served to us medium-done, there was no lack of juiciness, and I had no qualms finishing my portion owing to the smoky flavours. The chipotle pesto is mildly spiced, and doesn’t cause a burning sensation on one’s tongue.

The mashed potato comes with Chili’s own unique touch –it is incorporated with fragments of jalapeno for texture and a slightly spicy kick.

Broccoli is one of the very few vegetables that I enjoy consuming. Here, broccoli is laced with bacon for more oomph.

Chile Garlic-Rubbed Chicken ($24)

Tender chicken breast seasoned with smoked paprika over roasted jalapeno and corn salsa, topped with melted jack cheese and drizzled with creamy cilantro aioli. Served with spicy jalapeno mashed potatoes and broccoli with bacon.

For a poultry option, the Chile Garlic-Rubbed Chicken is recommended. I’ve never had such a tender piece of chicken breast (I am tempted to steal their tenderising formula). The meat is lean without being tough or dry. The melted jack cheese adds delicious richness to the meat, while the creamy cilantro aioli provides a distinctive refreshing quality to the otherwise common chicken and cheese.

Triple-Smoked Burger ($20)

Seasoned with smoked paprika, salt and pepper blend, topped with melted smoky chipotle cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Served with home-style fries and a side of zesty chipotle aioli.

The Triple-Smoked Burger also received raves across the table. Smoked paprika is endearingly rubbed into the patty, such that you are able to detect it upon your first bite, without considering it as overwhelming. The patty is juicy and succulent, although a tad greasy. One thing that stood out in this burger was the apple-smoked crispy bacon; it is one of the best bacon topping in any burger I’ve tasted. The home-style fries are also noteworthy; they are nothing like the run-of-the-mill.

Smoked Chicken Jalapeno Mac & Cheese ($20)

Penne pasta in creamy alfredo sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, jalapenos and sliced tender pieces of smoked chicken seasoned with smoked paprika. Topped with melted sharp cheddar and house-made pico de gallo.

Comfort food comes in the form of Mac & Cheese. The Smoked Chicken Jalapeno Mac & Cheese boasts (extremely) tender pieces of smoked chicken that’s been seasoned with smoked paprika. The penne pasta is no longer al dente, but to me comfort food is something with soft textures that go down the throat with ease. The creamy alfredo sauce carries the pasta to comfort food heaven.

Texas Cheese Poppers ($11)

We also tried the newly added Texas Cheese Poppers from the regular menu. In no time, these poppers are going to become a hot favourite! One bite into the crispy golden crust yields melty gooey cheese.

Triple Dipper ($24)

The Triple Dipper is a combo of three favourite starters. I found myself to be particularly fond of the Southern Eggrolls ($11 for the a la carte portion).

Within the crispy flour tortilla encompasses smoked chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeno jack cheese, red capsicum and spinach. Sounded exotic to me, but I was convinced the very moment I took my first bite.

Pulled Pork Bites ($23)

BBQ pulled pork with onion strings, swiss cheese and shredded lettuce. Served with BBQ sauce and home-style fries

From the regular menu, the Pulled Pork Bites is a new addition that left me yearning for more. The pulled pork is moist and deeply flavoured. Served atop are strings of battered onion –light and crisp. This burger is a must try!

Milkshake ($10)

To accompany your chomps, there are alcoholic libations and milkshakes. Grills and milkshake are a match-make in heaven. Milkshakes come in 5 flavours: vanilla, chocolate, caramel, strawberry and oreo. High points are awarded for its rich and creamy consistency.

Molten Chocolate Cake ($15)

Dessert was an undeniable highlight.

Warm chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling is topped with vanilla ice cream that’s encased in a brittle chocolate shell.

And by brittle, I really mean that you should use the back of your spoon and give the chocolate shell a tight smack. It shatters, revealing more surface area of the vanilla ice cream. If you’d give the broken sphere a slight push downward, the chocolate cake beneath will start splitting apart –and that’s when molten chocolate fudge oozes unstoppably.

I’m definitely going back for more.

Thank you HungryGoWhere for the food tasting invitation, and Chili’s for the delicious feast.

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