Archive for March, 2015

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.


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.


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!


Our thanks to Suzy for arranging dinner!

NOX – Dine in the Dark
269 Beach Road
6298 0708


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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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


My thanks to Carolyn and Nabeel for hosting dinner!

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

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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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Special thanks to Suzy for hosting dinner!

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

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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


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


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


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


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

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

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