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Archive for June, 2013

Jewel Coffee has launched an all-day dining second outlet, Jewel Cafe and Bar, right smack in Little India, seemingly an up-and-coming area for budding café entrepreneurs these days. For an artisanal coffee café, Jewel’s food is better than expected, and I’ve found my ideal 3-course dinner out of all the dishes we tried.

I’d start with the unique Shio-Koji Octopoke, a Hawaiian/Japanese-inspired octopus salad. Surprising since I usually won’t pick anything octopusy off the menu. The combination of non-chewy octopus cubes, creamy avocado, heat from the wasabi, and dressing made from shio-koji (fermented rice-based salt substitute) and evoo somehow works. Quite brilliant, in fact!

After starter is done, I’d then move to the main course: a restaurant-worthy pan-fried Chilean black cod. Simple and good, too wonderfully oily, and it’s almost a crime to make us share this! I want it all for myself, haha.

Now that the savouries are done, it’s time for the sweets. I’d go with the pan-seared watermelon steaks and pineapple sorbet on days when I want to feel (relatively) healthy. On naughty days, it’s definitely the tiramisu laced with strong coffee and rum. Ah heck, tell you what, let’s have both desserts any day! Life is too short to be cruel to thyself.

The rest is a case of either:

Didn’t like — cheesy onion soup, prawn capellini (supposedly sprinkled with Jewel’s secret umami ‘magic dust’ which obviously didn’t work its magic on me), brioche French toast (like they say, “honey it’s not you, it’s me”, I’m just not into French toast); or

Didn’t try — bacon jam (points for creativity), OMG! burger (go for it, it’s basically heart attack on a plate), and miso/mirin-marinated iberico pork.

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French Onion Soup ($8)
croutons, swiss cheese, parmesan, gruyere

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Fat Soldiers ($9)
sliced baguettes, homemade bacon jam

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Shio-Koji Octopoke ($12)
japanese octopus, wasabi, evoo, avocado, ginger flower

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OMG! Burger ($20)
beef patty, bacon, luncheon meat, cheddar, sesame brioche buns, fries, sunny side-up

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Umami Prawn Capellini ($22)
grilled prawns, homemade crustacean oil

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Black Cod ($32)
pan-fried chilean black cod, parsnip mash, sautéed vegetable

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Miso Presa Iberico ($34)
oven-baked pork, mash potatoes, seasonal vegetables

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Brioche French Toast ($13)
lemon zest mascarpone, strawberry, caramelised banana

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Tiramisu ($12)
flavoured with rich indonesian coffee and rum

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Pan-Seared Watermelon Steaks ($9)
homemade pineapple sorbet, basil leaves, balsamic glaze, sea salt

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A big thank you to Chenyze from Sixth Sense Communications for inviting and hosting!

Jewel Cafe and Bar
129 Rangoon Road
6298 9216

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Dinner at SUR Nuevo Latino Kitchen was nothing short of amazing! I went with heightened expectations (since it was full-house the previous two times I tried to reserve a table and I’ve read glowing reviews about this modern Latin American restaurant) and was not disappointed at all. Experiencing a new cuisine is always fun, but to enjoy every single dish is one in a million! Yes yes I know I’m exaggerating haha!

Fret not if you don’t understand the menu (unless you speak the language, you won’t); just be adventurous, take a chance, and order to your heart’s delight! There’s so many different textures and strong flavours; I love the surprise that every dish brings! Torta de Maíz was my favouritest; I imagined the corn soufflé to be light but the real thing actually had an interesting castella-like texture, with moreish mushrooms and a decadent sauce that hinted of chocolate. Sounds fascinating right?!

Our consensus was that desserts were even better than the savouries. Warm chocolate cakes I’ve had plenty, but intensely dark and rich ones are always appreciated. Great pairing with the cool pineapple sorbet too! Flambéed caramel crepes and bittersweet candied orange ice cream was literally a showstopper! Everyone peeked our way when the pan was set ablaze at our table, heh heh. Freaking awesome calories, happy sigh.

Except for the high price point (10 bucks for a palm-sized “cornmeal sandwich” is a little hard to swallow), everything was perfect!

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Arepas ($8++ each)
“Rumbera” – Pork Loin & Gouda Cheese
“Reina Pepiada” – Avocado & Chicken Salad
“Dominó” – Black Beans & White Cheese

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Remolacha ($13++)
Roasted Beets, Baby Spinach, Avocado, Cashews, Palmita Cheese

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Anticucho ($11++)
Grilled Ahi Tuna Satay, Avocado

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Degustación de Ceviches ($29++)
Prawns, Coconut Leche de Tigra, Red Onions, Jalapeños, Cilantro
Snapper, Shaved Red Onion, Cilantro, Sweet Potato, Leche de Tigra
Ahi Tuna, Avocado, Jalapeños, Nikkei Leche de Tigra, Cilantro

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Torta de Maíz ($17++)
Mushroom Ragout, Twice Bake Corn Soufflé, Queso Fresco

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Pabellón ($30++)
Braised Short Rib, Black Bean Tacu-Tacu, Roasted Sweet Plantain

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Pollo a la Brasa ($28++)
Grilled Chicken, Grilled Corn Puree, Mojo de Ajo, Crispy Onions (missing on K’s plate, boo)

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Panqueca de Dulce de Leche ($14++)
Flambé Dulce de Leche filled Crepes, Candied Orange Ice Cream

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Torta de Chocolate ($13++)
Warm Chocolate Cake, Pineapple Sorbet

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SUR Nuevo Latino Kitchen
13 North Canal Road
6222 2897

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Imagine…

Baked Crab
Butter Crab
Black Pepper Crab
Chilli Crab
Dang Gui Crab
Nonya Curry Crab
Salted Egg Yolk Crab
XO Sauce Crab

All the above (and more) in one sitting? Only at the eat-all-you-can Crab Feast at Plaza Brasserie from now till 31 August 2013!

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Buffet dinner (Mondays to Thursdays)
Adult $55++ ; Child (4-12 years old) $33++
Buffet dinner (Fridays to Sundays)
Adult $58++ ; Child (4-12 years old) $35++

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Thanks to Karen for the invitation! It was great meeting you again!

Plaza Brasserie (PARKROYAL Hotel)
7500A Beach Road
6505 5710

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Crep’Licious

Haze sucks, but let’s smile and eat crepes!

Take care, everyone!

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sweet/dry cider ($6.50 each); salmon spinach egg buckwheat crepe ($9)

Crep’Licious
301 Upper Thomson Road
9005 0814

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The Fabulous Baker Boy

When it comes to poached eggs, using molds are cheating in my book but then again, I’m sure many cafes/restaurants are doing it without getting caught. It’s easy to nab The Fabulous Baker Boy though; the poached eggs are just too unapologetically round and “fake”! Out of a microwave, perhaps? –> I’m wrong! Sorry! (look at comments below)

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Towkay Ng’s Egg Benedict ($11.50)
poached eggs, toasted brioche, sauteed spinach, roasted rosemary potatoes

Chicken Leek and Potato Pie ($16)
leek and potato soup, peas, salad

Xmas Special ($11.50)
caramelized onions, mesclun salad, cured Turkey breast, Edam, cranberry jelly, Foccacia

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The Fabulous Baker Boy
70 River Valley Road
6694 8336

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Kaixo

In life, it’s all about timing.

If I didn’t go to Lolla the day right after dinner at Kaixo, I’d probably have more positive things to write now. As it is, I can hardly remember Kaixo — it’s that forgettable when compared to the likes of Lolla. Don’t get me wrong, the food is pleasant, nothing awful, just not awesome enough to linger in the mind..

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Ham Croquettes ($16++)
croquetas de jamon

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Crab Cakes ($12++)
bunuelos de cangrejo

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Braised Yellowfin Tuna ($14++)
marmitako de bonito

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Atlantic Salt Cod in Pil Pil Sauce ($25++)
bacalao al pil pil

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Pintxos (3 for $12++)
spanish tortilla, squid, prawn

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White Tiramisu with Orujo ($12++)
orujo is a kind of spanish liqueur, nice!

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Vanilla Ice Cream
complimentary cuz the air-con near us was leaking

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Kaixo
96 Tanjong Pagar Road
6225 0545

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I feel emotionally affected that Saint Pierre has closed its flagship restaurant at Magazine Road and relocated to Quayside Isle. Because I work in the same building (Central Mall) and there’s now one less lunch option, SADness. Oh well, I hope another French restaurant takes over Saint Pierre’s spot as lunch at Trattoria Gallo D’Oro is getting boring.

So. Saint Pierre officially opened its doors on May 29, and 4 days prior to that, we headed over to Sentosa to sample its Saturday brunch menu. Felt pleasantly surprised that the layout is much more casual, though no less classy. The window seats are the best since you get glorious views of the marina, perfect for a relaxing brunch or a romantic dinner when night falls.

The one-page brunch menu features classic breakfast mainstays with a luxurious Saint Pierre twist (black truffle, caviar, champagne hollandaise, foie gras mousse, see what I mean?) and while ala carte is available, the set menu offers a better deal. $38++ includes assorted breads and choice of juice/main course/coffee or tea, so affordable right! We were given free rein to order and after studying the menu (my favourite pastime when in restaurants haha), decided on 2 brunch sets + 2 more mains, yay!

Homemade breads were not spectacular; in fact, K (a bread snob) was quite aghast by the mediocrity. I was only bothered by the gorgeous looking croissant, which turned out to be not flaky and crisp enough. Mains on the other hand were excellent; I love the mushroom-y scrambled eggs with toast (ironically, this bread was very good! Maybe toasting it makes a world of difference?) and the home-smoked salmon was WOW, one taste and you’d know it’s unlike other smoked salmons (this trumps Smoke Shack to become #1 in my heart)! We DIY-ed and combined both the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on the toast and it was lovely! Can chef please put that on the menu? Haha. K fancied the eggs benedict (high praise, considering he’s never an eggs ben guy) and while the waffles with rich foie gras mousse was interesting, we prefer ice cream as toppings!

Since this was pre-opening, a few kinks were inevitable. Our juices were forgotten (co-owner Edina was most apologetic) and one of the poached eggs was less than perfect (inconsistent timing). Credits to owner-chef Emmanuel for being so open to feedback and suggestions! I’ve no doubt that they’ve already ironed out the kinks by now. The top restaurants always do.

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

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Homemade Assorted Breads ($15++)
croissant, sourdough, brioche, homemade jam, farmed butter

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Scrambled Eggs ($22++)
black truffle, mushroom duxelle, wild herbs, toasted bread

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Smoked Salmon ($18++)
home-smoked salmon, sourdough, wild chives, lemon juice

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Eggs Benedict ($24++)
brioche, iberico bellota ham, champagne hollandaise

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Waffles ($18++)
foie gras mousse, apple compote, vanilla beans

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Special thanks to the Saint Pierre team for the kind invitation!

Saint Pierre
#01-15 Quayside Isle
31 Ocean Way (Sentosa Cove)
6438-0887

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