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Archive for January, 2014

From 31 January to 12 February 2014, Petite Menu is offering a unique three- or four-course set menu for $33++ (with coffee/tea) and $43++ (inclusive of dessert and cocktail) respectively. If you are expecting the usual boring CNY dishes, think again! Each ‘auspicious’ dish has been given a makeover and is a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese favourites.

Before continuing, I must confess that I’m a self-declared huge huge fan and champion of Petite Menu! Food is gorgeous, playlist is awesome, ambience is not lacking, and yet it’s such an underrated gem. Bad fengshui (it is a few doors away from the Singapore Casket), maybe?

Anyway, after our dinner here, I’m glad to report that K is a convert as well! He’s full of praises for this place and it’s the first time ever that he actually felt sad when dessert was served, simply because it meant our meal was coming to an end lol. Oh well, I’m sure we will be back again soon right? *hint hint to K* haha.

‘Sweetness’ Cocktail ($8.80++)
vodka, orange juice, lime juice, orange puree, grenadine syrup

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The salad is obviously a yusheng in disguise, can you tell? Though the flavour of tie guan yin is so subtle that it’s almost barely discernible, I really enjoyed this refreshing and clean-tasting starter a lot!

‘Prosperity’ Salmon Salad
tie guan yin tea-smoked salmon, sweet plum dressing, sesame powder, ‘gold’ chips

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K is the type of guy who thinks every meal is complete only if there’s a bowl of piping hot soup (mine is definitely dessert) so he knows his stuff when it comes to soups. And he approves this 咸菜鸭汤-inspired soup~ I like it too (my standard is not that high), especially the soft boiled quail egg with a runny yolk within!

‘Success’ Duck Soup
roasted duck broth, japanese somen, 24hr-braised mushrooms, quail egg supreme

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Highlight of the CNY menu to me is this beautiful piece of halibut, cousin of ‘miso cod’ imo. Extremely fresh and soft with a texture that can rival cod (just that cod is oilier in a good way); healthy barley in lieu of rice as the risotto, cooked in a rich stock; this was so delicious that I asked Chef Nixon to consider keeping this on the ala carte menu! *crossing my fingers and toes*

‘Abundance’ Halibut Ginger Barley Risotto
soy mirin-glazed halibut fillet, ginger barley risotto, white bait tempura, braised baby vegetables

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An interpretation of the classic sweet and sour chicken/pork, this roulade won many brownie points from K. Tender and moist with nice flavours, according to him. And I kept stealing the addictive freeze-dried tangy pineapples from his plate, oops.

‘Harmony’ Sweet & Sour Chicken Roulade
textures of pineapple, fresh cucumber, tomato confit, garlic-roasted new potatoes

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Petite Menu’s take on the red ruby dessert was the only dish which I didn’t quite like so K was the one who finished this haha. Pretty to look at, but way too complicated.

‘Fortune’ Ruby Dessert
coconut espuma, sago pearls, vanilla ice cream

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Thankfully, Chef Nixon served my all-time-favourite blackforest (not part of the CNY menu) so I could leave happy. This is as good as before, and the new presentation is very cute right?? So coming back for this again!

Blackforest ($8++)
belgian chocolate mousse, brandied cherries, hazelnut soil, caramel ice cream

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Special thanks to Li-lin for the kind invitation once again, and thank you Chef Nixon for preparing such a lovely meal!

Petite Menu
Level 1, Aqueen Lavender Hotel
139 Lavender Street
6395 7782

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Have you ever left a restaurant feeling unsatisfied?

It does happen to me occasionally (and I’m the type of person who feel angsty over meh food haha), most recently at Fish Mart Sakuraya. Granted, the food ain’t too bad but nothing struck me as above average either. The best deal was the super fresh salmon sashimi; should have just ordered multiples of that, dang.

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Salmon Sashimi ($17.35) –> weird pricing because this is sold according to weight. Just grab the biggest take your pick from the chiller!
Salmon Aburi ($7.80) –> also from the chiller, sold by weight. Aburi stuff shouldn’t be cold so it’s totally our bad for choosing this, sigh.
Negitoro Maki ($4.50)
Soft Shell Crab Maki ($9)
Tamago Unagi Maki ($7)
Unagi Avocado Maki ($13)

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Fish Mart Sakuraya
#B1-83D, Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road
6345 4714

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I can always trust the team at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant to feed us well.

This time round, we gathered at the restaurant for a media dinner to celebrate the Lunar New Year in advance.

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Yu Sheng is a must, of course! I think the PR team was expecting me to be impressed by the flavours and ingenious use of turbot fish but truth be told (and as I honestly told them), yu sheng is just yu sheng to me. Hard to go wrong if the sauce is of a moderate sweetness and ingredients are fresh and abundant!

Turbot FishYu Sheng Loh Hei

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Tell me, how can I not love tasting sessions at Li Bai when I get a huge bowl of solid bird’s nest and not have to share?! With plenty of crabmeat as well, gosh! I finished every single last drop, except the rather tasteless crab roe.

Braised Superior Bird’s Nest with Crabmeat and Crab Roe

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The lobster coated with salted egg was, and I quote the PR lady here, “too tasty”, haha. Another awesome winning dish which I hope is on the ala carte menu!

Salted Egg Lobster and Sauteed Lobster Fillet

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Now, while others had the stewed “eight treasures” chicken, I requested for the baked cod again. Chef dished up a same same but different version this time – with a spicy Thai-ish dressing. While the texture was perfect as always, I definitely prefer the original honey baked cod!

Baked Cod

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Left the nian-gao alone (not a fan of chewy stuff) and devoured the entire crunchy and refreshing water chestnut cake! Great end to a great meal!

Water Chestnut Cake and Pan-fried Nian-gao

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My thanks to Tracy, Zareen and Cheryl for inviting and hosting such a wonderful dinner again! Happy CNY, ladies!

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Level 1, Sheraton Towers Hotel
39 Scotts Road
6839 5623

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The price is right at Pita & Olives, a lonely Middle Eastern eatery on Level 3 of 100AM mall. Very affordable for the quality, especially the wonderful small plates of hummus, falafels and labane (ohhh, especially the labane)! Give it a try before it’s gone as I’m concerned about its going concern since 100AM is too quiet…

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Clockwise, from top left:

Labane ($3.90) – yogurt cheese, olive oil & zatar; Hummus ($3.90) – blend of chickpeas with tahini & herbs, topped with olive oil and paprika; Sabich ($12.50) – grilled eggplant, hummus, boiled egg, tahini, mediterranean salad, pita bread; Shakshuka ($11.50) – mixture of tomatoes & vegetables topped with eggs, served with pita bread; Grilled Beef Patty in half pita ($6.50); Falafels ($3.90) – patties of chickpeas, parsley, coriander and spices.

Pita & Olives
#03-10 100AM, Beside Amara hotel
​100 Tras Street
9011 2312

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POLLEN Singapore

Yet another sterling experience at Pollen; awesome service and delectable food, plus I finally had the chance to take advantage of their personalised buggy service from the arrival plaza to the restaurant! What you see below is the festive menu ($65++) which ended on January 1, 2014 so not all items are available now (though I spy a few familiar dishes on the current set lunch menu).

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Cured Silver Tuna
escabeche, carrot sorbet

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We actually sent this dish back twice – yolk was overcooked the first time and then they forgot the sprinkle of truffle bits. Nevertheless, it’s worth the wait for pure unadulterated bliss! I like this more than my choice of tuna you see above.

Celeriac Risotto
slow-cooked egg, parmesan

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While perusing the menu, K was deliberating about ordering the scallop carpaccio from the ala carte menu to share but in the end we didn’t. Guess what, the kitchen sent out that exact starter on the house yay! I don’t know how they read his mind; all I know is that this was delicious, period!

Carpaccio of Hokkaido Scallops ($38++)
guava, frozen apple and wasabi, dill yoghurt, seaweed oil

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Bronze Turkey
pork and apricot stuffing, confit leg, confit carrots, pomme purée

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Poached Cod Fillet
parsnip cream, savoy cabbage, light curry sabayon

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Happy to move over to the dessert bar for our desserts and we chatted with the bubbly and bright chef Monica, the new pastry chef at Pollen. Amazing how she whipped up such beautiful desserts effortlessly!

JAAL ($20++)
dark plum, pollen 76% chocolate, pomegranate, green and purple oba, puffed rice

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Chestnut
cranberry, cherry, Pollen 46% chocolate hazelnut, crème fraiche

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POLLEN Singapore
Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
#01-09, 18 Marina Gardens Drive
6604 9988

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Restaurants housed in VivoCity have come and gone but The Queen & Mangosteen is still going strong, well done! After five years of serving British gourmet pub grub to shoppers and regulars, the menu has undergone a revamp with unpretentious and relaxed dining in mind.

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The (literally huge) menu is very comprehensive, comprising modern renditions of traditional British bar food and quick nibbles with Asian touches, as well as hearty mains and desserts. We tried a lot of food for two persons and my conclusion is that the appetisers are definitely worth a try, starting with the shiok chilli crab dip, interesting quiche-like truffle crème brulee and the home cured gravlax salad! You can get better crab cakes at any Thai restaurants so skip those rubbery stuff. The main courses and desserts are at best average, with the former being too salty and the latter too sweet. Rather extreme flavours, not a fan.

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Pimm’s & Lemonade ($14++ by the glass/$44++ per jug)
25% alcohol by volume gin-based alcohol, mint, cucumber, orange, strawberry

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Thick Cut Chips ($12++)
chilli crab dip

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Truffle Crème Brulee & Seared Scallops ($16++)
wild rocket leaves

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Thai Crab Cakes ($12++)
mango salsa, baby cress

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Gravlax ($16++)
home cured salmon, marinated seaweed, cucumber, ginger & wild rocket salad in mirin dressing

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Baked Jumbo King Prawns ($26++)
truffle pasta, wild rocket

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Pan Seared Barramundi ($26++)
risotto, asparagus, salsa verde

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Grilled Salmon Fillet ($28++)
gratinated with white wine sauce & cheese, boiled potatoes, wild rocket leaves

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Pistachio Gelato Mousse ($10++)
chocolate sauce

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George Alexander Grandma’s Lemon Cream Cake ($10++)
pine nuts, berries compote

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Coconut Ice Cream ($10++)
rum and sea coconut

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My thanks to Hui Fen from 37 Communications for the kind invitation!

The Queen & Mangosteen
#01-106/107 VivoCity
1 Habourfront Walk
6376 9380

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Jamie’s Italian

If you’ve ever blogged on Jamie’s Italian in Singapore, chances are I’d have read it. You see, before heading there for dinner, I did my homework and basically went through the first 20 Google pages for “jamie oliver singapore”, just to know what’s good and which dishes to avoid no matter what. Happy to report that my research paid off! I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here, even though there are apparently quite a few disses in the food-blogosphere~

Anyway, naysayers or not, standouts imo include the baked mushrooms which all self-respecting fungi fans will love (this was so good that I was reluctant to share haha), the light and healthy baked halibut which is new on the menu (yes, barely four months after opening its doors, the menu has already been updated with seasonal revisions and more than 15 new dishes!), the epic brownie (with a name like that, you can expect to be blown away by the warm, fudgy, oh-so-decadent brownie slathered in hot chocolate sauce and crowned with amaretto ice cream and caramel popcorn wooooooo) and predictably, my favourite dependable tiramisu!

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Sweet Mini Chilli Peppers ($12.50++)
red chillies stuffed with tuna, capers, herb cress & anchovies

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Baked Mushrooms ($12.50++)
swiss browns with crispy “music bread” & smoked buffalo mozzarella

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Honeycomb Cannelloni Three-Ways ($19.50++)
aubergine & sun-dried tomato, pumpkin, ricotta & spinach

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Baked Sustainable Halibut ($29.90++)
farm-raised delicate white fish from Norway, spring vegetable stew with broad beans, celery, peas, asparagus, pancetta and baby onions cooked down with white wine, roman fried artichokes, crostini & lemony yoghurt dressing

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30-Day Matured Prime Rib ($59.50++)
350g angus breed bone-in strip loin served with wild mushrooms & peppery endives, summer truffle butter & shaved tuscan black truffles (additional $5++)

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Epic Brownie ($11.50++)
warm fudgy brownie with amaretto ice cream & caramelised amaretti popcorn

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Raspberry Frangipane ($9.50++)
fresh raspberries & almond filling with crème fraîche ice cream & berry drizzle

P.S. the dim lighting gave such a strange hue to the raspberries *cringe*

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Tiramisu ($11.50++)
coffee-flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone & chocolate

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My thanks to Stefanie for inviting and hosting dinner!

Jamie’s Italian
#01-165/166/167, Vivocity
1 Harbourfront Walk
6733 5500

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