Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Dinner at NOX has got to be the most interesting dining experience for us ever.

Singapore’s only ‘Dine in the Dark’ restaurant, NOX is exactly that – we ate in darkness throughout the 3-course meal ($88++)!

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were ushered into the stylish (and lit) lounge area where signature cocktails (I love the flaming ‘Ignite My Passion’ – tangy and refreshing blend of passion fruit, spices and mint) and amuse bouche were served. Then, we had to keep our belongings in the lockers (no phones allowed!) before being guided into the main dining room by visually-impaired staff who have been specially trained. The staff were really professional and friendly – kudos to them for making us feel completely at ease.

2015_03_11

5 mins after being seated, I closed my eyes since there was no point in opening them anyway as it was pitch-black once we entered the dining room. The staff gave very clear instructions – “fork and spoon on your right”, “water bottle and glass are here; feel and pour”, “hands off the table now, course #1 is served, eat in clockwise direction from the top”, “call my name if you need help” etc. – and we survived the meal without any mishap (or spillage yay)!

Temporarily robbed of the sense of sight, we had to rely entirely on our senses of taste and smell to identify the dishes. K and I had fun trying to guess what we were eating; without phones and other distractions, we could really concentrate on tasting the food and I was pleased that we were 90% correct (the complete menu will be revealed after the meal with images and descriptions)! Food aside, NOX let me appreciate the gift of sight and I’m thankful for that.

IMG_1686

From today till April 9, NOX invites you to take a walk on the wild side with its limited edition dinner menu created especially by Head Chef Desmond Lee, celebrating the distinctive flavours and textures of the very best exotic ingredients from across the world. Expect to have your palates intrigued and delighted with 12 distinctive and unique dishes rarely found on the Singapore fine dining scene, including sous vide crocodile tail with mushroom in a yellow wine bouillon, foie gras and wild boar stuffed cabbage with seasonal vegetables and truffle jus, and pan-roasted kangaroo loin with braised swiss chard, poached wine-pear, chocolate and spice sauce.

Restricted to 20 covers per night, the special menu will cost $118++ per person, or $158++ with wine pairing. Everyone at the same table must order the same menu and food allergies/dietary restrictions can’t be accommodated for this menu. Which is why I tried the regular Modern European dinner menu instead – it will still be available at NOX during this promotional period!

IMG_1692

Our thanks to Suzy for arranging dinner!

NOX – Dine in the Dark
269 Beach Road
6298 0708

I heard that UNA at One Rochester is already almost fully booked for Restaurant Week starting this weekend (try weekdays if you want to get a table!) so for those of you lucky enough to snag seats for dinner, here’s a preview of the menu ($55++) which you will be having!

IMG_1571

Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno – the man behind the menu – really knows how to feed diners well. For Restaurant Week, expect 11 different tapas and grills across three different platters which will have a selection of his signature dishes. I appreciate that he chose to incorporate the existing UNA menu into Restaurant Week, instead of coming up with fancy new dishes. This means that I can always head back for the incredibly moreish grilled octopus served on a bed of ratte potatoes with paprika! I still can’t decide whether I prefer this or El Mero Mero’s more because both are so delicious! Other starters include creamy béchamel croquettes with ibérico ham, marinated olives, and grilled veggies with smoked quail eggs on paper-thin bread.

Tapas Platter
jamon ibérico croquetta
octopus galician
coca, escalivada & smoked quail eggs
marinated olives

IMG_1576

Mains are meaty. Very meaty. There are an assortment of grilled pluma ibérico pork with a smoky sweet marinade, hefty lamb chops with a dry rub, tasty juicy grilled prawns, and for something healthier – greens for the meal: crunchy baby gem lettuces with thin slices of pancetta and topped with blood-red pomegranate seeds.

Main Course Platter
pluma ibérica
lamb chop with horseradish aioli
grilled prawns
baby gem, pancetta & pomegranate

IMG_1583

It was a pleasant surprise that desserts were as good as the savoury (usually it’s a case of either or, with one being a weaker link)! I love the dark chocolate sauce which came as a dip for the freshly fried churros, so much so that I had to stop myself from drinking it literally! How gross, I know haha. Even better was the salted aerated cubes of chocolate – bitter, smooth and melt in the mouth!

Dessert Plate
crema catalana
churros chocolata
salted aerated chocolat

IMG_1610

I cannot imagine not being full after all that food but if you are, some of the a la carte choices are worth considering too!

Bonuelos De Cacalao ($20++)
salted cod fritters in bitter orange sauce

IMG_1569

Despite being deep-fried, the salted cod fritters were non-oily and had a crisp thin batter encasing a mishmash of cod and potato within. Lovely! Then there’s the famous seafood and chicken paella – it’s amazing how the grains of rice were so wet but not soggy (it’s a very very fine line!) and portions of seafood, chorizo and chicken were generous. Oh guess what, here’s a great deal: on every Wednesday nights, there’s free flow of paella and sangria for just $65++!

Seafood & Chicken Paella ($82++ for 4-6 pax)
chef’s signature paella with fresh prawns, octopus, chicken & other seasonal seafood

IMG_1579

I was really glad that we ordered the dover sole too. Simply seared on both sides to retain the moisture, the lightly seasoned fish was soft and flaky.

Dover Sole ($50++)
plancha-seared whole dover sole with garlic & fresh samphire shoots

IMG_1602

My thanks to Carolyn and Nabeel for hosting dinner!

UNA at One Rochester
1 Rochester Park
6773 0070 / 6773 0060

El Mero Mero

El Mero Mero is the type of place I’d have no qualms about recommending to most people, even those who don’t rank Mexican high on their list of preferred cuisine. It’s located in the newly refurbished Chijmes (gorgeous at night!), has a large al fresco bar and seating area, houses an open kitchen which churns out contemporary Mexican dishes oh-so-dangerous to the waistline.

Trust me, it’s definitely more than just burritos and tacos here.

2015_02_03

El Mero Mero’s bar menu offers a wide range of tequilas and mezcals, Mexican beers and cocktails (see my prettily presented Latin Lover!) as well as an extensive wine list featuring fine wines from award-winning Mexican wineries. There’s even a Corona-Rita – yep you guess right – which is a power combo of Corona Beer and traditional frosty Margarita!

Latin Lover ($18++)
white and dark rum, pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, flowers

IMG_0538

The menu is extensive, with many surprises in store such as intriguing savoury smoked corn and mushroom donuts which were so moist (almost like a canele!) and surprisingly not oily at all. They make perfect bar bites! Other worthy appetizers include homemade guacamole and fresh tuna slices on crunchy tortilla – so clean tasting that two pieces were already devoured before my camera made it to the scene!

Donas de Huitlacoche ($9++)
smoked corn mushroom donuts, cotija-chili mayo

IMG_0556

Tostada de Atun ($17++)
tuna, chipotle mayo, pico de gallo, tortilla

IMG_0521

The highlight of dinner (to me) came early. Flvourful tender smokey grilled octopus – until further notice, this is officially my favourite tentacle haha. I told K I’m getting one whole octopus to myself next time and I’m not joking.

Pulpo a las Brasas ($28++)
grilled octopus, corn cream, black garlic, tajin ash

IMG_0549

For mains, there’s a wide range of meat, seafood and classic Mexican dishes such as corn tortillas stuffed with plump prawns complemented with a delicate tomatillo-serrano salsa, cream and cheese. They were something new to me as I’ve never had “wet” enchiladas before. Quite interesting but the cream and cheese made this a heavy dish so best to share! El Mero Mero’s take on the street food fish tacos is more high-end and refined but no less delicious. And you’ve got to give the mole a go – it’s a traditional sauce made with a lot of different ingredients and I caught nuances of spices which I can’t identify. It drove me crazy (in a good way) and my spoon kept finding its way back to the pot of addictive mole.

Enchiladas Verdes ($28++)
corn tortilla filled with praws, tomatillo-serrano salsa, cream, cheese

IMG_0541

Pescado Costero ($39++)
market fish, shishito, onion rings, chipotle mayo, flour tortilla

IMG_0534

Mole Negro ($32++)
free range chicken, oaxaca black mole, dry fruits, white rice

IMG_0532

We picked well for desserts, I say. There was a vibrant selection of flavours and textures from the tangy mojito tart, rich bittersweet mexican chocolate, creamy passion fruit milk, refreshing papaya sorbet served with lime and agave syrup, and I’ve saved the best for the last – pineapples. It looked deceptively simple but each slice of golden fruit was cleverly oven-grilled to draw out the sweetness and bring utmost pleasure to the sweet tooth in you. Bliss~

Sorbetes & Helados ($12++ each)
mexican chocolate, papaya

IMG_0563

Tartaletas de Limon ($15++)
lime mojito tart, blackberry, pecan crumbs

IMG_0567

Chocolate Ahumado ($16++)
mexican chocolate ganache, churros, cinnamon, passion fruit milk

IMG_0571

Pina a la Brasas ($14++)
grilled pineapple, caramelised piloncillo, papantla vanilla ice cream

IMG_0573

Special thanks to Suzy for hosting dinner!

El Mero Mero
30 Victoria Street
#01-20 Chijmes
6337 1377

Anyone looking for a romantic date night out, Brasserie les Saveurs is it.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, private dining alcoves and hand-cut crystal chandeliers, the restaurant exudes Opulence with a capital O – I’m sure your girl will be impressed. I know I was! Menus are specially curated to offer the finest of contemporary French cuisine and the prices certainly reflect that. Which is why the Restaurant Week menu is a good affordable “testbed”. Available from 14-22 March, take your pick between a 4-course lunch ($40++) or dinner ($55++). I had a preview of the latter and while the showcased dishes were admittedly on the safe side, produce was fresh and execution was pretty much flawless!

Brandade De Morue, Sauce Au Persil
cod brandade, glazed celeriac, grilled tiger tail, parsley sour sauce, focaccia crouton, balsamic vinegar mixed greens

IMG_1268

We started with cod brandade which is not very common in Singapore. Think of it as a light and creamy mash with dried cod but without any fishy taste, I like. For something warm and comforting, the flavour of the asparagus soup with a sous vide-ish egg was spot on! I don’t fancy licorice so I was very glad that the essence was not dominant at all.

Veloute Aux Asperges Avec Oeuf En Lente Cuisson
green asparagus veloute, “honsen tamago”, asparagus tips in tempura batter, licorice essence

IMG_1279

Imagine soft beef cheek, tender tenderloin (pun intended!) and rich foie gras all on one plate – ain’t that pure decadence for meat lovers?! I had a pan-roasted salmon with green olives in lieu of the meaty main and love the pinkish tinge in the middle!

Boeuf Bourguignonne Et Fillet De Boeuf Rossini
braised black angus beef cheek burgundy style, pan-seared beef tenderloin, shaved smoked foie gras, asparagus tips, black truffle madeira jus

IMG_1288

Dessert was the most exciting and creative! Bittersweet dark chocolate mousse paired with pungent poached pear (thanks to the turmeric curry powder) and coriander seeds ice cream. Interesting to say the least, and it’s a combination that works, just like chilli and chocolate!

Mousse Au Chocolat, Macaron Et Poires Au Curry
amadei dark 66% chocolate mousse, vanilla macaron, curry powder poached pear, coriander seeds ice cream

IMG_1298

My thanks to Nabeel, Eunice and Xavier for the preview!

Brasserie les Saveurs
Lobby level, The St. Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
6506 6860

Rabbit Owl Depot

When we went to Rabbit Owl Depot, it was an up-and-coming ice cream parlor. But by the time I write about it, dozens of others have already taken its place (in terms of newness). Such is the cafe scene in Singapore, I love it!

IMG_8334

Their signature snowflake waffles can be seen on almost every table and I had mine without icing sugar (hate that white powder with a passion). Guess they were very concerned when I posted a picture of the snow-less waffles on Instagram lol: “Oh no! Did we miss out the snow?! ❄️❄️” Anyway, although the waffles were crispy enough, we thought the batter was bland and could do with more taste/aroma. 小王子 is still our #1 favourite!

Snowflake Waffles ($6.50)

IMG_8320

The ice cream did a better job of impressing us! A tad sweet but all three flavours were smooth, rich and intense. Earl grey, black sesame and coffee – I’ll be back for you.

Ice Cream Platter ($10)

IMG_8329

Rabbit Owl Depot
#01-06, 420 North Bridge Road
6336 4075

Smør

Eating clean after all the CNY binge-ing?

I can understand.

Which is why places like Smør are a godsend to the waistline these few days! Meaning butter in Norwegian and Danish, Smør offers a smorgasbord of freshly prepared Scandinavian specialities in Singapore – healthy made-to-order open-faced sandwiches which look good and taste great! The choices are straightforward and all made with wholesome organic ingredients generously layered on either rye, multigrain or brioche bread.

IMG_0069

The cold specialties include smoked norwegian salmon served with horseradish dill and parsley topped with salmon roe and drizzled with dill infused sweet mustard, as well as hand-peeled shrimps tossed with lemon mayonnaise and a sprinkle of chives. Both sound really unremarkably simple but are so fresh and refreshing! From the selection of hot sandwiches, we had finnish chicken infused in citrus juice and a sweet filling of red cabbage and baby rocket leaves, plus a most delicious mushroom and kale combination. Tasty and very satisfying.

IMG_0072

Light meal: one sandwich ($6.90)
Regular meal: two sandwiches ($12.90)
Viking meal: three sandwiches ($17.90)

My thanks to Atiqah and Traveen!

Smør
#B1-23 One Raffles Place
9430 1500

Sin Lee Foods

We had our first brunch of the new year (as in 2015, not CNY haha) at Sin Lee Foods, a hipster cafe that’s so inaccessible that it’s not funny. Location aside, I’m game to go back anytime for broccoli! Now, my mom cooks broccoli for dinner at home almost everyday so you’d think the last thing I’ll order when I eat out is said veggie. Well, Sin Lee’s aburi broccoli salad is in a different league – smokey torched florets, acidic white balsamic, crispy papadum and fragrant red sugar. It’s beautiful. Only a real veggie-hater will hate it and he’s obviously missing out. Anyway, the other two items we tried are not very exciting. Sweet potato fries under a blanket of salted duck egg sauce have lost its newness by now (though still delish since I love salted egg anything!) and the smoked salmon hash is… Forgettable.

2015_01_01

Aburi Broccoli Salad ($12++)
torched broccoli florets, white balsamic, papadum, red sugar

IMG_0020

Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12++)
twice fried, house made salted duck egg sauce, curry leaves

IMG_0032

Smoked Salmon Hash ($18++)
pan roasted bacon and potato hash, cold smoked norwegian salmon, soft centred free range hen’s egg, basil dressing, baby spinach, grated parmesan

IMG_0039

Sin Lee Foods
#01-164, 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
+65 6377 3170

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,028 other followers