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Archive for February, 2014

I know it’s boring that I keep raving about Petite Menu but I can’t help it… K and I absolutely love this place! In fact, K was so impressed by the dishes from our CNY tasting that he went back (alone) for lunch the very next week, making me very jealous while he Whatsapp-ed the photos of his meal to me, humph. So of course, he had to appease his greedy foodie girlfriend by bringing her there on date night haha.

We ordered my favourite soft-shell crab salad (an oxymoron) with the super calorifically delicious salted egg sauce, his favourite halibut ginger risotto (this is no longer on the menu, haiz), and our favourite blackforest dessert which was terrific as usual!

This has officially become the perfect 3-course dinner for us : )

Soft-Shell Crab Salad ($15++)
tempura soft-shell crab, salted egg sauce, salad with plum and balsamic dressing

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Halibut Ginger Barley Risotto ($15++)
soy mirin-glazed halibut fillet, ginger barley risotto, white bait tempura, braised baby vegetables

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I’m glad Chef sent out a complimentary vanilla panna cotta! Because it meant that while K was distracted by the bowl of wobbly pudding topped with peanut butter crumble, lychee pearls and raspberry sorbet, I could demolish the edible chocolaty “garden” all on my own : )

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

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

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After a flurry of messages which started off with a simple “wanna do Spanish?” question, I was all set to drop by Don Quijote for a taste of the exclusive market menu! Back in 2011, I gave high praises for Don Quijote and apparently, I’m not the only one who like the traditionally made Spanish fare here since the restaurant is still going strong after all these years, especially with the influx of funky tapas bars these days.

Consistency may be the secret to their success.

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I was excited to be back, since the market menu appeals to me, the seafood freak (a.k.a. pescetarian): live seafood bought daily and in limited quantities. Not to be cheesy, but the theme for our meal was clearly “fresher than fresh”!

Sangría Tinta/Bianca ($13.50++ per glass, $58++ per jug)

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Gambas al Ajillo is one of the most common tapas of Spain and of course it can be found on the ala carte menu. But why not fork out just a bit more for these ‘live’ prawns? Once the firm and “bouncy” deshelled prawns pass your lips, you will definitely think it’s worthwhile to do so!

Garlic Fried ‘Live’ Prawn ($16++)

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When this was served, I gave a heartfelt “wow!!” because the baked lobsters looked so gorgeous! And large meaty lobsters just brightened up my morning any day! The tender texture and naturally mild sweetness won me over, happy sigh.

Baked Live Baby Boston Lobster ($69++)

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Aside from the lobsters, the baked barramundi is my favourite of the day! Fresh is an understatement, seriously. The flesh is soooooo meltingly soft that chewing is practically redundant.

Baked Whole Barramundi ($45++)

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After describing the above three dishes, I already feel like I’m repeating myself over and over again. There’s only so many times I can say “fresh” without cringing. Anyway, my point is that when the ingredients are really fresh (last one, I promise!) and the cooking methods are skillfully simple, you can taste the difference and words are meaningless. Like these baked scallops. Too good, period.

Baked Whole Scallops ($27++)

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I’m not a fan of chewy squid and never will be.

Grilled Squid with Chilli & Garlic ($13++)

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We were totally stuffed but it’s wrong to leave without desserts!

Pudin de Pan y Manteqilla ($8++)
bread and butter pudding

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K is a bread-and-milk guy and he prefers the latter this time when presented with a dense milk and butter pudding and an interesting fried piece of custard-like milk.

Leche Frita ($9++)
fried milk with cinnamon syrup

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Me? Dark chocolate lava cake FTW! Incredibly dark and rich, paired with Ben & Jerry vanilla ice cream (trust the experts when they say B&J vanilla flavour is the best out there), I kind of wish I wasn’t so full so that I can finish the whole cake! Pained me to see it go to waste, argh.

P.S. this is more expensive than usual because B&J doesn’t give wholesale price! That’s 5 bucks a scoop on the plate : )

Bomba de Chocolate ($19++)
warm chocolate cake made with spanish chocolate, vanilla ice cream

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My thanks to Anil and Ken for your warm and kind hospitality on such an early Saturday morning!

Don Quijote
#01-02, Block 7 Dempsey Road
6476 2811

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Not impressed with Concetto at all. This is the new offshoot by Saveur, and concept is along the same line: good food for all, affordable prices for all.

The only dish I found agreeable was the salmon which was almost (but thankfully not) overcooked. The bed of pea ragu was lovely; I like it when fish is paired with legumes! Pan-seared tuna was quite nice as a light starter, if not a tad bland. Despite the funghi risotto being one of the chef’s recommendations, it was laughably underseasoned. To put it bluntly, it was tasteless. Seriously. Probably scarred K for life haha. Cod was way overpriced for such a miniscule piece, and serving it with a sourish broth doesn’t seem like such a bright idea imo. Too acidic.

Bad day in the kitchen, perhaps?

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Tuna ($8.90++)
baby romaine, honey mustard sauce

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Salmon ($13.90++)
parma ham, pea ragu, bonito oil

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Funghi Risotto ($9.90++)
mixed mushrooms, pickled shallots

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Cod ($22.90++)
pan seared cod, puff pastry, clams, fennel salad

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Concetto by Saveur
#01-11/12, THE CATHAY
2 Handy Road
6735 1141

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My mom’s birthday present from me this year was this $98++ specialty yusheng from Si Chuan Dou Hua. Organic greens tossed with prized black truffles, sashimi slices of turbot fish (apparently one of the most valuable flat fish species in the world), crispy salmon fish skin and a special sauce made with a blend of vegetables, osmanthus, sour plum and lime, this was quite satisfying! So much so that the two of us gamely polished it off (don’t say we ladies can’t eat)!

After all that abundance, 2014 has got to be a prosperous year, for sure.

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Si Chuan Dou Hua
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road
181 Kitchener Road
6428 3170

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I swear, K is a much sweeter and thoughtful lover than I am in our relationship (my BFF can attest to this).

He was apologetic that we couldn’t dine together on Valentine’s Day last Friday night as it’s customary for him to have dinner at his grandma’s house on 元宵节 (the 15th day of the first lunar month). So this dear guy promised and delivered a superb home cooked meal for me the very next day! A menu singlehandedly planned (by him, of course) and centred around all my favourites: salmon sashimi rocket salad with avocado and pistachio drizzled with orange dressing, egg scrambled asparagus, and Nobu’s miso cod marinated with mirin and sake. The latter had a distinctive yet subtle sweetness and was so incredibly delicious (I’m being objective here though it’s hard) that I felt sad when the last morsel was gone…

This may very well be the best and most unforgettable meal in my life so far, so thank you K!

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The Humble Loaf is our new hidden find!

Okie, technically it’s already been around for a year so it’s not that new… Anyway. I’ve been monitoring their “weekend’s specials” for quite some time and one item on last week’s CNY Specials menu caught my eyes immediately: Smoked Salmon Egg Bowl! That was all the impetus I needed to bug K to lunch there haha.

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K was blown away by the high quality and standard of the breads here, declaring them to be so much better than Cedele’s! *Traitor*

I like the dark rye with walnut, he prefers the toasted multigrain flaxseed. And with such lovely breads, nothing can possibly go wrong with the smoked salmon sandwich. Solid stuff.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($9)
rye and walnut bread, tzatziki, honey mustard

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Ta-da, smoked salmon egg bowl! The primary reason for my visit! Two perfect wobbly runny eggs, umamic seaweed, fatty slices of smoked salmon; this didn’t disappoint for sure! Good thing it’s off the menu, otherwise I may park myself here every weekend!

Smoked Salmon Egg Bowl ($7.50)
sous vide eggs, marinated seaweed, scallions

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I’ve read about the killer Not-so-humble Eggs and K didn’t need to be told a second time. He called it the “cheap-thrill Jaan smoked organic egg“, no offense to anyone.

Suffice to say, we were two happy campers that day : )

Not-so-humble Eggs ($6)
sous vide eggs, cured ham

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The Humble Loaf
#B1-92, Katong Shopping Centre
865 Mountbatten Road

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For a buffet restaurant to survive in Singapore for 14 years (and still going strong, judging by the full house on a Friday night), Café 2000 at M Hotel must be doing something right. Serving a wide array of Asian and Western cuisine, you’d find the usual cold appetisers, hot Chinese dishes, soups, bread and cheese, sushi and sashimi, and even a yong tau foo-a-la-minute section!

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The Seafood and Barbeque Buffet served on Fridays and Saturdays is right up our alley – K satisfied the carnivore in him with generous slices of grilled beef from the sizzling grill while I happily made repeated trips to the seafood section for fresh and plump scallops, tiger prawns, salmon and crab legs! Crayfish was not fresh that evening so that was the only disappointment.

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Sweets corner includes ice cream (love the green tea flavour!), self-assembled cheng tng area, durian pengat (must try for durian lovers!) cakes and pastries. But best dessert of the night wasn’t from the buffet spread but fresh out of the kitchen – an incredibly moist and delicious gluten-free warm almond cake! So good that K declared this to be one of the finest cakes he has ever eaten (I’m harder to please haha)~

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International Buffet Dinner
Sunday to Thursday, 6 – 10.30pm
$50++ Adult; $28++ Child

Seafood and BBQ Buffet Dinner
Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holidays, 6 – 10.30pm
$62++ Adult; $32++ Child

Thank you, Lindy, for inviting and hosting!

Café 2000 at M Hotel
81 Anson Road
6500 6112

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