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… which (un?)fortunately didn’t manage to displace Hanare and Koji from my heart.

#1: Sumiya Charcoal Grill

I enjoyed dinner at Sumiya very much but lunch was a tad underwhelming, especially when there were so many gorgeous photos of the bara kaisen don on my Instagram feed.

Mix Bara Kaisen Don ($18.80++)
assorted seafood sashimi chunks on rice

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Lunch sets come with salad, chawanmushi and mochi for dessert, but I can certainly do without the frills (not even a mochi fan ha) if that means more fish on slightly dry sushi rice. The anago don was better – four long and tender (albeit thin) anago almost spilling out of the bowl, a beautiful sight!

Ni Anago Don ($16.80++)
simmered conger eel on rice

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#2: Manzoku Japanese Restaurant

Again, my expectations were (very) high due to the raves I read on Instagram (I’m an addict!!) lol.

Chirashi Set ちらし寿司 ($25++)
sliced sashimi on rice

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The chirashi don had thick slices of salmon, tuna, swordfish and amberjack, a couple of commercially produced (I guess) tamago, and a spoonful of ikura. Fish was fresh enough but the rice was strangely sweet and wasabi too “fake” (I mean artificial)…

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#3: Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant

Price tag being equal, I much prefer Hokkaido Sushi’s chirashi don to Manzoku’s. It may not be the best nor my favourite, but the generous slices of fish were very fresh!

Chirashi Don ($25++)

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Other than going cray-cray over bara/chirashi, I’ve also had a ridiculous infatuation with maki rolls. Of course, Koh Sushi and The Sushi Bar are unbeatable (to-date) when it comes to rolls but the special maki here is definitely worth a try! I love the contrasting texture from the crispy salmon and soft anago.

Special Maki ($25++)
crispy roll (anago & salmon)

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The highlight though was the platter of salmon sashimi. 20 pieces for $18++, what a great deal! And so fresh, soooo good!

Salmon Sashimi ($18++)
20 pieces

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Sumiya Charcoal Grill
#12-02, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
6509 9618
~
Manzoku Japanese Restaurant
18 Purvis Street
6734 4436
~
Hokkaido Sushi Restaurant
M Hotel Singapore Level 9
81 Anson Road
6221 3075

Not too long ago, Anti:dote revamped its menu with new handcrafted cocktails paired with a collection of contemporary tapas.

The range of new cocktails at Anti:dote is largely inspired by talented Head Craftsman, Tom Hogan’s daily interactions with guests and people he meets, and every cocktail has a story of its own. There’s The Tragedy of Tom Dooley – a whimsically named concoction of tequila, aperol, lime juice, lavender syrup and egg white; Seger Seelbach – a blend of bourbon, hum, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, topped with champagne; as well as the refreshing Aqua Fresca, comprising mezcal, parsley, sweet turnip syrup, lime juice and Suze liqueur (all $23++ per glass).

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If you are at the bar, you must talk to Tom who’s a firm believer in educating customers of their beverage choices. Expect not just great tasting cocktails, but also an interactive session on the origins of ingredients used as well as the processes and inspirations behind each cocktail. My head was spinning with all the details mentioned – definitely info overload for an amateur drinker like me ha.

Oysters ($16++)
warm ginger sauce, red curry, celery cress

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Cocktails with tapas is a given, of course.

Carlos Montobbio, Head Chef of Anti:dote, will continue to present his own creative style of European tapas with Asian influences. The tapas selection, which introduces something new every two months, now includes delicious little balls of braised eel croquettes with teriyaki sauce and kimchi mayonnaise (my favourite out of all!), succulent oysters doused with warm ginger sauce and red curry, ingenious tuna sashimi draped over salted cod brandade to resemble sushi, and cute little pop-in-the-mouth tender octopus topped with grilled soft eggplant and crispy paprika rice.

From top left, clockwise:
crispy suckling pig, cherry miso caramel, sherry soaked Kyoho grapes ($16);
baked chocolate mousse, extra virgin olive oil ice cream , crispy bread, maldon salt ($12++);
tuna sashimi, salted cod brandade, sesame oil pearls ($16);
assorted petit fours (from $3++);
braised beef cannelloni, spanish onion, black truffle, cèpes béchamel ($16++); and
spanish octopus skewers, charcoal grilled eggplant, crispy paprika rice, confit lemon skin ($16++)

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From top left, clockwise:
scrambled eggs, japanese sea urchin, oscietra caviar ($24++);
kalamata olive spheres, rosemary breadcrumbs ($8++);
black truffle bao, braised veal cheek, foie gras, caramelised shallots with madeira ($20++);
braised eel croquettes, teriyaki sauce, kimchi mayo ($14++);
artisanal potato chips, white truffle and potato purée ($12++); and
hokkaido scallop tartar, peanut tofu, spring onion, chilled tom yum broth ($16++)

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New tapas may be good, but I’m so glad that old signatures such as the super addictive crisp parmesan pizza with olive oil caviar pesto and creamy scrambled eggs with uni are still on the menu! Black truffle bao with braised veal cheek, foie gras and caramelised shallot remains too, if you miss your dim sum or wanna try a 10bucks bao.

Crisp Parmesan Pizza ($12++)
tomato flakes, fresh pesto, olive oil caviar, sweet basil cress

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If I have to use one word to describe Anti:dote, it’d be “fun”! Just be adventurous and order the ibérica “shabu-shabu”. You will know exactly what I mean!

Paleta Ibérica Joselito ($18++)
italian burrata, cristal bread, tomato essence shabu-shabu

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Many thanks to Ruth for hosting dinner!

Anti:dote
Level 1, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
6431 5315

The Royal Mail

Serving contemporary British cuisine, The Royal Mail is celebrating her 3rd birthday with a revamped menu featuring brand new dishes.

For starters, the flavourful bouillabaisse boasts a bright tangy broth brimming with seafood goodness – red snapper, langoustine and blue mussels are the key ingredients that make this stew tick. Skip the unexciting trio of tomatoes; I’d rather you try the refreshingly light duo of scallop carpaccio and lightly-seared tuna. Mains and roasts of the menu see additions such as the whole roasted Japanese yellow sea bream, which is specially flown in from Japan and huge enough for 2 pax! K’s honey glazed kurobuta pork was juicy and succulent while my miso black cod was equally enjoyable – tender and fatty (though I’d prefer it to be less sweet). The only main which I didn’t like was the porcini and bacon risotto – such a heavy dish; I don’t know how anyone can finish it at one go. Among all the desserts, the bergamot earl grey jelly was my favourite. Lots of different textures and flavours in the parfait from the soft jelly to the smooth frozen yoghurt and tangy passion fruit coulis. Other worthy-to-try options include the classic eton mess and cutely presented peanut butter jelly!

I’m glad that The Royal Mail is under the Palate Card program so yes, I’ll definitely be back again!

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Scallop Carpaccio and Tuna ($26++)
hokkaido scallop carpaccio, lightly-seared tuna, capers, olive, coriander, preserved lemon, fresh vegetables ribbon

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Trio of Tomatoes ($18++)
cherry tomato confit, semi-dried tomato, fresh yellow cherry tomato, bocconcini, pesto

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Seafood Bouillabaisse ($28++)
red malabar snapper, whole langoustine, blue mussel, bouillabaisse broth

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Honey Glazed Kurobuta Pork ($56++)
mesclun salad, white wine apple, apple butter sauce

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Porcini & Bacon Risotto ($32++)
aged parmesan cheese

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Miso Black Cod ($42++)
leek fondue, seaweed butter, sesame tuille, bonito flakes

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Roasted Whole Japanese Yellow Sea Bream ($78++)
lemon, garlic confit, scallion

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Chocolate Fondant ($24++)
molten chocolate cake, tahitian vanilla ice-cream

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Peanut Butter Jelly ($18++)
toasted brioche, cranberry jelly, chocolate ganache, caramelised banana

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Eton Mess ($18++)
strawberries, meringue, hazelnut crunch, salted caramel, devon cream

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Enhanced Bergamot Earl Grey Jelly ($15++)
frozen yoghurt, passionfruit coulis, macerated berries

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Many thanks to Amanda and Jaslyn for the invitation!

The Royal Mail Restaurant & Bar
Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
2 Finlayson Green
6509 3589

Wild Rocket

The 3-course set lunch ($35++) and 4-course rocket set ($53++) at Wild Rocket were of good value and quality. Starter of roasted pumpkin and coconut soup with crab spring roll was pretty good but what won my heart was the signature pomelo salad with tiger prawns and frozen coconut dressing. So refreshing and creative! Both the spanner chilli crab linguini and minced pork bee tai mak were perfect representations of the “Mod Sin” (Modern Singaporean) theme, paying tribute to our local flavours. Loved my roast chilean seabass with chai poh confit on a bed of congee; expensive “porridge” but also one of the most delicious. We saw a lot of potential in the new Wild Rocket and I want to go back for the omakase!

pomelo salad with tiger prawns & frozen coconut dressing

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spanner chilli crab linguini with onsen egg

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krapao thai basil minced pork bee tai mak with onsen egg

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roast chilean seabass with chai poh confit & congee

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gong tng chinese peanut candy with peanut butter ice cream;
coconut ice cream with gula melaka

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Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily
10A Upper Wilkie Road
6339 9448

#kktaipei2015

After #kkbangkok2015, it’s time for a write-up on #kktaipei2015 which took place a couple of months ago. It wasn’t my first time to Taipei but I still had much fun with K (his maiden trip and we went paragliding wheeeee) and trust me, we ate a lot (he even brought his abs roller there, check out the epic video here!) starting with…

Breakfast/Night Markets

When we wake up, there’s 豆浆油条 waiting and before we sleep, there’s 夜市 to conquer. Eating is a continuous affair in Taipei lol. Loco Food (樂口福) and Chen Gen Zhao Cha (陳根找茶) are two very popular brekkie joints with the locals and queues are synonymous with these two names. As recommended by the hilarious duo on TVBS 食尚玩家 during the 台北必吃十間早餐店 edition, both shops have excellent thin and crispy egg rolls generously stuffed with fillings of tuna, pork floss, corn etc! Other than 蛋餅, other must-tries include the mean 無敵大牛堡 burger from Loco Food and fluffy 法式吐司 French toast from Chen Gen Zhao Cha. Skip Yong He (永和豆漿), very underwhelming. And the best is definitely Fu Hang (阜杭豆漿) – the legendary place where tourists start queuing at 6am for freshly baked 燒餅 flatbread, deep-fried 油條 cruller and 豆浆米浆. We loved it so much that we went back twice!

As for night markets, K swears by Ah Zong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線 (which I hate) from Shilin (士林夜市) and the famous black pepper buns 胡椒餅 from Raohe (饒河夜市) while I’ll always make a beeline for the taro balls with salted egg yolk from 刘芋仔芋丸 at Ningxia (宁夏夜市)! Gongguan (公館夜市) is home to Chen San Ding Bubble Tea (陳三鼎), apparently the first (and only?) place which serves fresh milk with “bubbles” soaked in brown sugar so there’s actually no tea in the drink at all. I’m not a fan of tapioca pearls or bubble teas but K the expert stamped his approval all over it (he wanted to buy one more!) And FYI, Shi-Da (師大夜市) is the most boring in terms of food options imo.

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Ice Cream

I went gaga over soft serve ice cream in Taipei!! Top on my list is 8%ice冰淇淋專門店; the gorgeous white sesame soft serve was soooooo good that we ordered another one right on the spot. Matcha, French chocolate, banana and royal milk tea were great too but it’s the white sesame flavour which will make me yearn for 8%ice. 瑪可緹 Mocktail Tea has a bubble tea-inspired parfait consisting of Tie Guan Yin soft serve, pearls and tea jelly that’s well worth the calories! 白鬍子 Milk Beard and 小涼院 (Xiao Liang Yuan, but I think they don’t have an official English name) are popular among the local bloggers and bravely offer just one or two flavours daily. Get the creamy honey whiskey from Milk Beard, it’s their signature and rightly so. 小涼院 was overrated to me – the pink guava (while interesting) was a tad icy. And even Family Mart and 7-Eleven have decent soft serves! Of course, I couldn’t bear to leave Taipei without grabbing a Godiva cone at the airport. Last chance what!

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Desserts

I’m really impressed with the desserts scene in Taipei. Other than ice cream, most of the cakes we tried (upon much research!) were of superb quality. Uncle Tetsu is a must ever since I was hooked on their fluffy soft cheesecake a few years ago (sadly, the Singapore branch couldn’t survive). So surprised to see that there’s a green tea version now and happy to report that we finished it at one go! Speaking of green tea, we found the most Instagram-worthy molten lava matcha roll cake (and the best coffee, according to K) at The Lobby of Simple Kaffa!! Another fabulous roll cake was from 香帥蛋糕 – take your pick between purple yam or black sesame! Last but not least, how can I miss out Dazzling Cafe?! I haven’t been to the one in Singapore (and don’t think I’ll go) but the huge famous toast was really quite delicious (we prefer it to Bangkok’s After You). FYI – our limited edition Mont Blanc toast is only available at Dazzling Cafe Pink!

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Snacks

We were on a mission to find the best 車輪餅, literally wheel cake or imagawayaki (今川焼き). Many have raved about the whimsically named 有時候紅豆餅 but I think the red bean and custard were too clean-tasting (read: bland). Old school 同心圓水晶紅豆餅 is the best imo! We impulsively ordered four different flavours – azuki, black sesame mochi (yes mochi!), peanut mochi, custard – and all were excellent! The fragrant batter was a notch better than the other eight (yes eight, I’m determined like that ha) imagawayaki shops tried and tested lol.

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Fusion

Snagging a table at Chef Andre Chiang’s RAW restaurant was a stressful event. The system opens exactly 14 days prior to your date of reservation at 12pm and seats are snapped up within 10 minutes! It’s a game of fastest-finger-wins, no kidding. I camped by my computer on that afternoon and almost wept with joy when my reservation was successful. Drama much, but that’s how foodies serious about food will feel!

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The 50-seat restaurant serves ‘bistronomy’ cuisine, a new wave of cooking style born in Paris, and offers experimental haute cuisine at a reasonable price. Our 3hrs 9-course lunch had some hits and misses, though overall I’d say it was very enjoyable. The menu changes regularly and showcases beautiful Taiwanese seasonal produce. We started with toasted cauliflower with chicken masala and cous cous; rose champagne-scented tomatoes; ‘perfect’ egg with praline and wild veg (this was fun, we were given a wreath of edible herbs to decorate our own dish!); sakura ebi cappellini; corn pudding with clam and kelp jus (this was my favourite!); cod with burnt cabbage; mushroom salad; pork with chinese olive; ended with desserts of mini pineapple tarts and strawberry, pink grava. RAW strives for ‘The New Interpretation of Taiwanese Flavor’, we reckon mission accomplished!

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Japanese

The rest of this post will be focused on Japanese cuisine in Taipei – I think the Taiwanese love Japanese food as much as we Singaporeans do! Our best find this trip was 三多屋爸爸嘴, a no-frills non-air conditioned shop that’s conveniently located near Taiwan Station. The specialty is seafood rice bowls, or more specifically chirashi dons! For less than NT$480 (barely more than S$20), our 豪華蓋飯 (premium chirashi) came with fresh generous portions of uni, hotate, ebi, tamago, salmon, tuna, ikura and other assorted sashmi over vinegared rice!! Even the wakame and slightly sweetened black beans were delicious. As if we were not full enough, the staff even served hot fish soup (with lots of meaty fish in it, so good!) and cold almond pudding (commercialized stuff which we returned, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless). Oh boy, I miss this so much now! Will never find such value-for-money don in Singapore…

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Japanese

We decided to splurge on one omakase meal at Kitcho (吉兆割烹寿司) since it came highly recommended by a couple of foodie friends. Making reservations was easy and straightforward; finding the nondescript restaurant was likewise when armed with Google maps.

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Our NT$3,500 (approx S$155) lunch took more than two hours to complete. We were fed sashimi, sushi and cooked food. There was nothing we disliked, and yet there was nothing particularly outstanding – except for one epic sushi which ironically was not part of the omakase. I ordered the negitoro-uni-aburi toro sushi as an a la carte item and woah it was an orgasmic combination! That said, K didn’t rank this place highly because he was served an otoro sushi which disintegrated in his hand upon picking it up. Chef didn’t form it properly and failed to replace with another. Minus points!

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Japanese

From a small bistro to an upscale restaurant, TON 28 has been serving quality Japanese cuisine for the past 10 years. If I have to choose a word to describe our meal, it’d be ‘exquisite’. Every dish was creativity crafted and we could tell the chefs paid much attention to the presentation. Plus, I heard that famous celebrities and politicians like to dine here!

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We started with a lovely tray of ‘Kyoto flower garden’ sashimi salad which wouldn’t be out of place in a kaiseki restaurant; signature nigiri sushi of baby white shrimp with perilla; ikuri with uni on rice and lettuce for a pleasant crunchy-creamy texture; broiled foie gras with caviar and gold foil that’s a luxurious savoury treat; my favourite anago sushi; grilled Australian rose beef with seasonal vegetables; lightly steamed fresh sturgeon with truffle; sakura shrimp with angel hair pasta; and ended with sweet seasonal fruits. We left feeling happy that a hidden gem has been uncovered; TON 28, we’ll be back for more!

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Japanese

Because TON 28 was so delightful, we also checked out the sister restaurant TON Sushi (同壽司) which is less upmarket and more casual. Food-wise, it didn’t disappoint too as the quality of seafood is nothing but fresh. I love the anago-meshi (broiled conger eel on top of rice) – four neatly arranged anago that were almost too long for the bowl – and the colourful 三色丼, tri-coloured don of uni, kani and ikura! Heaven. For something more filling, the rainbow roll and soft-shell crab roll will do. The former was surprisingly light despite being stuffed with tempura flakes and crabmeat coated with mayo while the latter had a thin crispy batter without the oily mouthfeel.

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Japanese

Sumie Nouvelle Cuisine Japonaise (澄江創意懷石料理) was our last stop before leaving the country. Located in San Want Hotel, the contemporary restaurant offers affordable set lunches which are popular among businessmen. As a kid, I had my fair share of 旺旺 biscuits from 小馒头 to 鲜贝 (don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about; it’s a childhood memory!) so it was fun to step into the hotel and see a 旺旺 statue! Yup, 旺旺 is not just into the F&B business but properties too! Anyway, back to Sumie. The lunch set menu came with edamame-tofu appetiser, assorted sashimi and sushi, tempura, beef sukiyaki and steamed rice. Little needs to be said when the ingredients are so fresh and elegantly assembled right?

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Breakfast

Loco Food (樂口福)
台北市南京東路三段89巷5-4號
No. 5-4, Lane 89, Section 3, Nanjing E Rd, Zhongshan District

Chen Gen Zhao Cha (陳根找茶)
台北市信義區莊敬路391巷7號
No. 391巷7, Zhuangjing Rd, Xinyi District

Yonghe Doujiang (永和豆漿)
No. 30 Hankou Street, Zhongzheng District

Fu Hang Dou Jiang 阜杭豆漿
台北市中正區忠孝東路一段108號華山市場2樓之28
HuaShan Market Building, 2F, Zhongxiao E. Rd. Sec. 1, No. 108

Ice Cream

8%ice冰淇淋專門店
台北市大安區永康路13巷6號
1F, No. 6, Lane 13, Yongkang Street, Da’an District

Mocktail Tea (瑪可緹)
台北市松壽路12號4樓 (ATT 4 FUN)

Milk Beard (白鬍子)
大安區忠孝東路四段205巷29弄8號

小涼院霜淇淋專門店
大安區復興南路二段148巷34號

Godiva
Terminal 2-4F, Departure Area, Taoyuan International Airport

Desserts / Snacks

Uncle Tetsu’s Cheese Cake (鐵叔叔起司蛋糕)
台北市中正區北平西路3號
Taipei Main Station Underground Mall

The Lobby Of Simple Kaffa | Hotel V
敦化南路一段177巷48號B1
B1, No. 48, Lane 177, Section 1, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District

香帥蛋糕
Taipei Main Station

Dazzling Cafe Pink
台北市大安區忠孝東路四段205巷7弄11號1樓

有時候紅豆餅
民生東路五段36巷4弄9號1樓

同心圓水晶紅豆餅
106中華民國台北市大安區復興南路一段133號

Restaurants

RAW
台北市中山區樂群三路301號1樓
No.301, Le Qun 3rd Road, Taipei City

三多屋爸爸嘴
台北市大同區太原路19號
No. 19, Taiyuan Road, Datong District

Kitcho 吉兆割烹寿司
No. 48, Lane 181, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Road, Da’an District

Ton 28 Japanese Cuisine
松仁路28號 (Bellavita 6F)

TON Sushi (同壽司)
信義區松壽路9號 信義新天地- A9 6F

Sumie Nouvelle Cuisine Japonaise (澄江創意懷石料理)
4F, San Want Hotel
No.172, Sec. 4, ZhongXiao East Road

Have you heard, have you heard??

The well-known KU DÉ TA in Singapore is now known as CÉ LA VI, after a rebranding exercise led by L Capital Asia, the Asian private equity business sponsored by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Abbreviated from the French phrase, ‘C’est La Vie’ (‘This is life’), the newly launched CÉ LA VI at Marina Bay Sands Skypark will undergo a significant renovation this summer and I’m so thankful that I went for dinner a couple of weeks prior to the official announcement!

I must admit that I went with quite a low expectation of the food because the venue itself is already larger than life – iconic rooftop location commanding breathtaking views in a spectacular setting (go in the evening to catch the sunset!) – and will not have any problem attracting diners even if the cuisine is mediocre. But how wrong I was! True, I still think it’s a “to see and be seen” type of dining location but the Modern Asian cuisine churned out by the kitchen was impressive and I’d say 80% of the dishes we ordered were above average, cross my heart.

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To kick start dinner, the crispy-sticky baby squid is a must-try! It was literally that – fried to a crisp with a thin sticky batter and this addictive bar bite disappeared from our table very quickly!

Crispy-Sticky Baby Squid ($19++)
black pepper, lime drizzle

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Personally sourced by Executive Chef Frederic Faucheux, the swordfish is imported fresh from South Africa, where he was based for four years to help pioneer the highly lauded opening of Nobu in Cape Town. The firm and meaty texture of the swordfish made this a delightful starter.

Line Caught Wild Snapper Sashimi and Fresh Summer Truffle ($42++)
alba oil, roasted shallot, truffle salt

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I’ll never say no to fatty melt-in-the-mouth chutoro (upper tuna belly section)! So fresh!

Sliced ‘Chūtoro’ Semi-Fatty Southern Bluefin Tuna ($48++)
wasabi soy, hajikame, lime

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To balance the rich and sinful food to come, the grilled prawn salad was competently assembled though not particularly outstanding.

Grilled Prawn Salad ($22++)
baby spinach, parmesan, dried miso, truffle oil

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The spicy tuna roll features prawn tempura atop maguro tuna and asparagus sushi. This was pretty normal and I prefer to get my fix of maki elsewhere!

Spicy Tuna Roll ($23++)
maguro tuna, prawn tempura, asparagus, spicy dressing

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Miso eggplant is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of vegetable. Luckily for me, two of my dining companions didn’t like it which means all the more for me, yay! The grilled eggplant here is thick and heavily coated with the dark sweet-salty miso dressing.

Aubergine ($12++)
den miso, bonito shavings, sesame seed

Background: Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops ($36++)
edamame, cauliflower purée, soy emulsion

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An exceptional seafood option would be the signature roasted black cod (you gotta remember Chef used to be from Nobu!), expertly cooked to a tender succulent texture served with shishito, pickled red onions and lemon. The pan seared jumbo Hokkaido scallops matched with delicate flavours of cauliflower puree, soy emulsion and tempura edamame were also excellent!

Roasted Black Cod ($56++)
shishito, pickled red onions, lemon

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For meat lovers, K highly recommends the Prime ‘Brandt Beef’ ribeye accompanied by homemade wasabi salsa, spinach and sesame dressing. I kept stealing bites of the blanched spinach on the side because of the fragrant sesame sauce! Honestly, it’s so delicious that it deserves a spot on the a la carte menu as a side dish.

U.S. Prime ‘Brandt Beef’ Ribeye ($54++)
wasabi salsa, spinach, goma dressing

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Desserts at CÉ LA VI are difficult to pass on with the group’s Global Executive Pastry Chef and recent Iron Chef Thailand champion, Jason Licker’s philosophy to craft inspired Modern Asian desserts that’s irresistible even after a heavy meal!

Toasted Citrus Gateau ($18++)
kalamansi curd, blood orange, guava sorbet

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If I can only pick one dessert (I hope this won’t ever happen!), it will definitely be the goma cake. I’m naturally inclined towards anything black sesame and with green tea in the mix? Just take my money! I love how the various components gel together and this is one beautiful dessert that is hard to forget!

Goma Cake ($18++)
black sesame cake, apricot, raspberry, matcha ganaché

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Although it’s said to be an all-time favourite and signature dessert, I didn’t take to the white chocolate-junmai, with different elements and textures of yuzu scented fruits, salted toffee and white chocolate-sake cream. Can’t appreciate this, somewhat too complex to me.

White Chocolate-Junmai ($18++)
yuzu scented fruits, salted toffee, white chocolate-saké cream

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#2 in my heart after the goma cake is the tropical coconut-pandan verrine since – yes, you guessed right – I’m also biased towards anything coconut and pandan! Love how refreshing it is, though I do wish there’s more of coconut sorbet in it.

Coconut-Pandan Verrine ($18++)
tropical fruit cream, coconut sorbet, pandan foam

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My special thanks to Francesca and Megan for hosting dinner with such a fab view!

CÉ LA VI (Formerly KU DÉ TA)
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3
1 Bayfront Avenue
6688 7688

Looking for the perfect weekend indulgence?

Joël Robuchon Restaurant is bringing back their popular weekend lunch with a brand new line-up of delectable French haute cuisine, to give us a taste of fine dining without breaking the bank!

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I’m an unabashedly fussy eater so it’s great that we could build our own menu by choosing from a selection of appetisers, main courses (with the famous mashed potato!) and desserts to create a customized three, four, or five course menu ($48++, $68++, $108++, with coffee/tea and petit fours).

Bread Basket
six assorted varieties of bread

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From start to end, lunch was predictably luxurious from Imperial caviar (the rarest of caviars!) on a wobbly bed of intensely flavourful crustacean jelly and cauliflower puree to my main of a roulade-style seabass stuffed with langoustine topped with sea urchin to K’s rare (bloody-red, oh man) grilled Kagoshima beef!

Le Caviar dans une délicate gelée recouverte d’une onctueuse crème de chou-fleur
imperial caviar with crustacean jelly and cauliflower smoothness

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The crispy soft boiled egg with parmesan cheese mousseline and iberico ham (mine was with salmon and morels!) came highly recommended by our waiter and I’m glad we trusted him. So good with the different textures!

L’Œuf de Poule mollet et friand, légèreté au fin parmesan et jambon “Ibérique”
crispy soft boiled egg, parmesan cheese mousseline, “Iberico” ham

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Between K’s clear coriander-turmeric soup and my creamy green pea veloute, we unanimously preferred his! A familiar-tasting and comforting bowl of  consommé, with extremely fresh and melt-in-the-mouth shrimps that made this a winner.

Le Thé de crevette en infusion à la coriandre fraîche et au curcuma
“botan” shrimp in fresh coriander and turmeric infusion

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Le Petit Pois en fin velouté d’amandes, sur une marmelade de cébettes à la menthe fraîche
green pea and almond veloute, scallion jam, fresh mint

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Le Bar et la langoustine en fantaisie au cappuccino de fenouil et langues d’oursins
combination of sea bass and langoustine with fennel sauce and sea urchin

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Le Bœuf “Kagoshima” l’entrecôte cuite sur du gros sel aromatisé, fricassée de légumes
grilled beef “kagoshima” with vegetables fricassee and fresh morrels

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With only three desserts to deliberate over, it was quite a no-brainer for us. Both of us opted for the signature Le Sensation (the other two were fruity choices) – a chocolatey dream for any chocolate lovers! A must-try!

Le Sensation crémeux au chocolat Araguani, sorbet cacao au biscuit oreo
araguani creamy chocolate, cocoa sorbet cookie oreo

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Special thanks to Charmaine and Lavinia for arranging lunch!

Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Level 1, Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island
6577 6688

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