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Archive for the ‘European’ Category

This month, Opus Bar & Grill is ready to beef up appetites with the new Angus T-Bone Steak from Rangers Valley!

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With a marble score of 3+, the 1.2kg T-bone steak combines strip loin and tenderloin in one, priced at $120++ for two persons. Strip loin is known for its unsurpassed flavor that makes up almost three-quarters of the steak, leaving the tenderloin, one of the most tender cut of beef with one-quarter of the 1 to 1.5 inch thick cut, perfectly defined by the T-Bone right in the middle.

Well, that’s all alien language to me since I’m a pescetarian but K the carnivore adores it.

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But before more meaty talk, let’s talk seafood first. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised that despite its name, Opus is not all about meat. Many of their seafood are from sustainable sources and they are even the first restaurant in Singapore to be awarded the MSC ecolabel.

Tartar of Bluefin Tuna ($17++)
avocado, chives, trout roe, extra virgin olive oil

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For starters, definitely go for the bluefin tuna tartar. I love everything on the plate – from the superbly fresh cubes of tuna to the ripe creamy avocado and briny trout roe, it was an ocean party in the mouth! The Hokkaido scallops were plump and sweet too, but if I can only choose one (nooooo!!), it’s definitely tartar for me.

Hokkaido Scallops ($22++)
edamame, blood sausage, miso espuma

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For my main course, it was an easy choice between the toothfish and wild sea bass. It was my first time trying a toothfish fillet and the silky moist and tender texture is very much like that of a cod or chilean sea bass. Needless to say, I enjoyed it very much and will be on the lookout for this fish at other restaurants too.

Glacier 51 Toothfish Fillet ($49++)
charred leek, brocolini, brown butter dashi

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Of course, the stars of the show are the prime meat cuts that are dry-aged between 14 and 36 days in a specially commissioned Himalayan salt tile cabinet to create an intense depth of flavour whilst tenderizing beautifully.

220g Australian Wagyu ($92++)
kobe-cuisine, marble score 6, rib eye

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Living up to Opus’s philosophy of letting the quality produce speak for itself, K’s steak was simply and briefly grilled as he asked for rare (they say the rarer the better ha)! Several sauces are available for pairing with the succulent and juicy steak – bearnaise (K chose this which I thought was so-so), garlic herb butter, green peppercorn sauce, bone marrow with red wine sauce, and black truffle mushroom sauce.

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Take your pick from an extensive selection of side dishes – arugula salad, portobello mushroom, grilled asparagus, mac & cheese, garlic mash potato, truffle fries and our choice of the night – carb-heavy smoked risotto which is not really worth the calories, oops.

Smoked Risotto ($6++)
leek, pecorino

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The concept of grilling also extends to the dessert menu! Both the charcoal grilled banana and honey grilled pineapple were lovely with a sweet caramelized and smoky flavor in every bite. The chocolate dome was a delightful bomb too; gosh it was the perfect decadent treat after a long day at work.

Grilled Honey Pineapple ($12++)
vanilla ice cream, crumble, rum sauce

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For those who love to wine and dine, do not miss out on the attractive “Steak with Free Flow of Wine” special promo. With any order of prime cuts from the Opus beef selection at $58++ onwards, enjoy either a two-hour free flow of selected white and red wines from Sunday to Thursday or 50% off on wine by the bottle on Friday and Saturday. That’s such a good deal!

Chocolate Dome ($14++)
blueberry crumble, bailey ice cream, hot chocolate briolette

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My thanks to Stephanie for the kind invitation!

Opus Bar & Grill
Lobby Level, Hilton Singapore
581 Orchard Road
Singapore 238883
+65 6730 3390

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You are not alone if you do not know what is Alpine cuisine. I thought it’s something Swiss, something German before my dinner at Zott’s True Alps where an education on Alpine cuisine awaits. To put it simply, Zott’s takes the best of European food, namely from the countries of Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

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We took the best seats in the house – right in front of the open kitchen where we could see the chefs work their magic and also the ox Hieronymus setting the scene and keeping an eye on everything. Yes the bull is real and was once owned by the owner!

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Traditional recipes have been transformed under the hands of Chef Lorenz-Maria Griesser and dishes turn out to be surprisingly light and healthy. Case in point, our first starter – amazingly thin swordfish carpaccio topped with crunchy chopped pistachio, briny pearls of ikura and a beautiful deconstructed “apple” of frozen Topaz apple mousse.

Swordfish Carpaccio ($28++)
topaz apple, pistachio

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Another dish I particularly enjoyed is the rich and creamy parsnip soup paired with an intriguing bright green disk of chlorophyll! The plump langoustine was very fresh and I learnt from Chef that it’s imported from France.

Parsnip Soup ($26++)
langoustine, chlorophyll

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Suckling Pig & Smoked Eel ($22++)
prunes, elderflower

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Every component of our next dish was good on its own – fresh scallop, crab meat ravioli (love the striking zebra strips!) and shiitake mushroom – but as a whole, it reminded us of those Chinese braised dishes so will skip this next time.

Scallops ($46++)
crab meat ravioli, pak choy, shiitake mushroom, curry

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Although the majority of the menu focuses on protein rich food (think beef, lamb and veal), I was happy to find that there are various elegant fish dishes too. For my main, Chef prepared a beautiful turbot, a flatfish said to be favored among discerning chefs. I don’t quite like turbot after having a tough one at The Tasting Room in Macau so there was a degree of apprehension when I took my first bite of the fish placed in front of me. But wow wow wow, this was so tasty and incredibly tender with a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Amazing!!

Turbot (off the menu)
peas, potatoes

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Chef won my heart (and tummy) again for his rendition of the classic bouillabaisse. Like the parsnip soup, the broth was rich and bold in flavour. The use of rascasse, a small scorpionfish, is also rare and gives this a unique touch.

Rascasse ($46++)
fennel, bouillabaisse, fond

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The meat chiller provides a choice of lamb, veal or beef cuts for guests to select. Many cuts are hormone and antibiotics free and animals are reared free range. Go for the signatures which include the sous-vide cooked venison with celeriac puree, peach and parsley. Although the meat should be the star, we were impressed by the sweet and fragrant slice of peach on the side!

Venison Loin ($56++)
celeriac, peach, parsley

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Before I forget, the business lunch is of good value too – priced at $32++ for 2 courses and $36++ for 3 courses. With 4 starters, 4 main courses and 3 desserts to choose from, the menu changes on a regular basis, reflecting seasons of the year. For dinner, go on a “Journey through the Alps” with a carefully crafted selection of signature dishes (5 courses $98++ or 7 courses $138++) which I think is more value for money than going a la carte.

Pre-dessert Dessert
fresh berries, berry mousse

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Sweet ending came in the forms of Toblerone® with fresh berries and an a la minute coffee souffle. While the Toblerone® sounded like my kind of dessert on paper, it lacks contrasting texture as it’s basically a chocolate mousse. We much prefer the soft wobbly souffle!

Toblerone® the ZOTT’S Way ($16++)
mousse, raspberries

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My thanks to Chef and the team for taking such good care of us!

Zott’s True Alps
97 Amoy Street
6223 0913

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I first knew Chef Nixon back in 2013 when he was the head chef of Petite Menu and have loved what he can whip up in the kitchen since then. He soon became my favourite local chef (and K’s too) and always have a sixth sense of what my palate likes best. Even his CNY fusion menu (which can be tricky and hard to nail) was a delight! When Petite Menu closed the following year, I lamented its loss. Then came along Portico not long after and I had my one of best meals there. I guess it’s telling how much K and I like Portico and the team when we chose to spend Christmas eve there last year (and maybe this year) 🙂

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Fast forward one year, and Portico has a new sister restaurant – Portico Prime. Taking over what used to be Prime Society at Dempsey, Portico Prime is (not surprisingly) upmarket, and the tasteful design, classy ambiance and menu prices reflect that change in status. While I didn’t expect cheap prices, I feel that some of the dishes can be more reasonably priced. Honestly, $22++ for a soup (that was served cold in my case, ouch) or salad can be hard to stomach.

That aside, we were pretty impressed by the quality of most of the other dishes. The seared Hokkaido scallop with sous vide egg, pan-seared barramundi (extremely fresh as Portico works with Tiberias Harvest, which offers fish delivered within hours from its sea farm located off the north-eastern coast of Pulau Ubin) and the signature heirloom tomatoes with frozen honey melon dressing were excellent! K was all raves for his succulent wagyu steak from Tochigi Perfecture, exclusive to Portico Prime and cannot be found anywhere else in Singapore. And of course, desserts by Chef Charlene never fail to satisfy our sweet tooth! Her deconstructed blackforest is our must-order; the creme brulee and refreshing basil parfait are worth a try too!

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Seared Hokkaido Scallop ($28++)
cos lettuce, sous vide 63°C egg, dehydrated bacon, brown anchovy mayo, freshly shaved pecorino cheese

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Collection of Heirloom Tomatoes ($24++)
jamon serrano slices, organic quinoa, marinated hijiki seaweed, frozen honey melon dressing

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Caramelised Leek and Potato Soup ($22++)
lightly charred smoked eel, brown butter toasted brioche

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Pan-Seared Pulau Ubin Barramundi ($38++)
ratte potatoes, carrot ginger puree, trout roe buerre blanc sauce

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Miso Risotto (off the menu)
pan seared hokkaido scallop, mini crispy prawns

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Tochigi Perfecture Wagyu Ribcap A4 ($58++ per 100g, minimum 200g)
roasted ratte potatoes, vine cherry tomatoes, truffle beef jus

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Deconstructed Blackforest ($17++)
70% dark chocolate mousse, edible hazelnut soil, cherry coulis, caramel ice cream

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“Naphung” Honey and Thyme Crème Brulee Coconut Tart ($15++)
grapefruit segments, cranberry biscotti

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Our thanks to Chef Nixon for having us over!

Portico Prime
10 Dempsey Road, #01-20
6474 7427

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Violet Herbs is too… Purple.

Seriously, I’ve never seen a more purplish restaurant before.

Disturbing colour theme aside, the food is pretty good, and the affordable price tag is another plus. The Modern European menu offers easy-to-like choices – I couldn’t decide on the roasted chilean seabass or red miso cod so K suggested that I get both, score! The former is delicious with soft and fatty flaky meat; the latter can do with less miso but still very agreeable to my palate, all thanks to the lovely buttery texture and plump eggplant coated with almond on the side. My seafood choices fare better than K’s grilled tenderloin – slightly overcooked (errr, he eats it rare…) so that’s a shame. For dessert, get the decadent nutella bar! It’s as good as it sounds, only if you are a chocolate/nutella fan.

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Roasted Chilean Seabass ($32++)
saffron mushroom ragout, truffle egg fluid, kabanyaki lobster sauce, shiso cress

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Marinated Red Miso Cod ($33++)
roasted pumpkin puree, almond eggplant, mix herbs

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Char Grilled Tenderloin ($42++)
grain fed 120 days, herb potatoes, sauteed baby spinach, onion thyme reduction

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Nutella Bar ($12++)
strawberry coulis, nutella tuile, pearl chocolate, bailey ice cream

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Violet Herbs
81 Tras Street
6221 3988

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I sat down for dinner with minimum expectation as I had read mixed reviews about Bread Street Kitchen, the highly anticipated restaurant and bar by Gordon Ramsay at Marina Bay Sands. Offering classic British European fare, the signature dishes include pork belly, shepherd’s pie, roasted veal carpaccio, as well as the BSK burger with melted Monterey Jack cheese and spicy sriracha mayo in a brioche bun. Sound delicious on paper but we had none of those.

Instead, we chose what we know we will like – crispy flatbread topped with naturally sweet butternut squash (must try!), seared bouncy scallops, roasted black cod for me and a hearty slab of rare Irish rib-eye 28 days aged for K. Every dish was well-executed and thoroughly enjoyable! The only misses were the bland Alaskan king crab cocktail and Chinese/Korean-ish spicy tuna tartare which we would not recommend. Maybe the salmon ceviche next time?

Our last course was excellent – again, as with the savoury, we decided not to go for much-publicized-on-blogs sweets such as the treacle tart with crème fraiche ice-cream. We scored with the expertly prepared desserts – the chocolate fondant had an impressive flow of rich dark molten lava; the cheesecake was light and a perfect match with roasted balsamic strawberries; and the coffee white chocolate parfait? Simply lovely!

Pick wisely and I’m sure you will have a great time here.

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Flatbread ($20++)
butternut squash, taleggio cheese, mushrooms, pine nuts, basil pesto

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Alaskan King Crab Cocktail ($28++)
apple, pink peppercorn

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Seared Scallops ($24++)
carrot purée, treacle cured bacon, apple, celery cress

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Spicy Tuna Tartare ($19++)
chilli, garlic, sesame oil, wonton crisps

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Roasted Black Cod ($44++)
crushed potatoes, salted capers, artichoke, red wine, lemon sauce

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Irish Angus Rib-eye Steak ($68++)
12oz 28 days aged grass fed, green peppercorn sauce

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Half Lobster (supplement $25++)
make your own surf and turf with any grill

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Chocolate Fondant ($20++)
salted caramel, mint chocolate chip ice cream

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Monkey Shoulder Cranachan Cheesecake ($18++)
roasted balsamic strawberries

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Coffee and White Chocolate Parfait ($18++)
poached blackberries

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My thanks to Philicia for arranging dinner!

Bread Street Kitchen
Bay Level, L1-81
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
+65 6688 5665

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It was such a privilege to meet Chef Cat Cora in person when she was in town to introduce the new seafood dinner set menu at Ocean Restaurant. Fangirl moment aside, I really did enjoy the new menu more than the previous one!

I’ve never cared for oysters so when the 6-course menu ($168++) started with the amuse bouche of fresh oyster, I wasn’t too excited. Luckily the sautéed langoustines which followed was perfect – firm juicy flesh served alongside crustacean cream and baby fennel, delicious! Likewise the torched brown trout which Chef de Cuisine Yew Eng Tong recreated from his win at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or Asian by pairing it with smoked eel and then rounding off with refreshing crunchy cucumber and caviar vinaigrette.

My favourite was hands down the charred corn soup – something different yet comforting. One of the restaurant’s signature ingredients, the blue swimmer crab was made into a crispy fritter and and the thick hearty soup had an alluring smokey flavour. Final main course was a moist slab of sustainable cod fillet from New Zealand – I still remember the layer of brittle scales! For dessert, the rocky grand cru chocolate was a dreamy chocolate creation. The elegantly plated dish had a base of bitter chocolate, passion fruit creme at the side, and various textures of chocolate in sponge and mousse forms, so good!

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Fresh Oyster
passion fruit, watermelon salsa

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Torched Brown Trout “Fabio”
smoked eel, crunchy cucumber, caviar vinaigrette

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Sautéed Langoustine
crustacean cream, baby fennel, leek, soft herb

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Charred Corn Soup
beignet of blue swimmer crab, bacon crumble

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Cod Fish
chorizo, smoke potato

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Rocky Grand Cru
bitter chocolate rock, passion fruit creme, textures of chocolate

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Will never tire of this view!

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Many thanks to Charmaine and Lavinia for hosting dinner!

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora
8 Sentosa Gateway
S.E.A. Aquarium, Level B1M
6577 6688

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P. Bistro has come a long way. It began as a small shophouse space along Owen Road serving simple Asian-inspired Western fare and French classics, and gained enough loyal fans and regulars to open a second outlet at Palais Renaisaance. Don’t be put off by the atas location though; the bistro is still sticking to the basic values of offering tasty, wholesome food at reasonable prices.

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K shocked me when he ordered two items which I absolutely will not order in a restaurant – garlic bread and chicken wings, omg!! Ha. To be fair, these are two of the most popular appetizers and light bites on the menu. Let me just say that both were very good – nothing beats freshly roasted garlic paste and well-marinated wings right?

Garlic Bread ($5++)
baked farm loaf bread, freshly roasted garlic paste

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BBQ Chicken Wings ($12++; half portion show below)
fresh chicken wings, chef’s special homemade marinade, chilli sauce on the side

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Salads here are substantial enough to be mains. I wanted to try the Thai-style pomelo salad but decided to go with the staff’s recommendation of prawn avocado mango salad. No regrets whatsoever! The colourful combination of juicy prawns, creamy avocado and tangy mango was a wonderful prelude to the real mains. Pomelo salad, next time!

Prawn Avocado Mango Salad ($20++)
cherry tomatoes, romaine rocket, japanese sesame dressing

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One of the most noteworthy dishes is the dory fillet coated with a special nonya gravy (secret recipe!) and cooked on a banana leaf. Beautiful and flavourful! P.S. the spicy, sweet, sour and deliciously crunchy achar on the side was delish too.

Nonya Dory ($18++)
chef’s signature nonya, dory fillet cooked on banana leaf, fragrant duo jasmine rice, fried egg

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K’s best burger to-date is Kua ‘Aina in Tokyo (even President Barack Obama likes it!) and the P.Bistro beef burger may be his second favourite so far.

P.Bistro Beef Burger ($22++)
open-faced burger, beef patty, pickles, caramelized onions

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Served open-faced, the generous slab of beef patty was tender and juicy – but surprisingly not greasy at all. We did think that an addition of avocado will make this a killer burger!

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When the salmon was served, I cringed inwardly because it looked overcooked. Wow, not only was I wrong, the fish was so moist and still pinkish in the middle! Lesson learnt, don’t judge a fish by its cover.

42° Sous-vide Salmon ($22++)
pan-seared 42° sous-vide salmon, crushed purple potato, seasonal greens

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The homemade desserts selection looked very tempting. The croissants baked with original Lurpak butter and Elle et Vire dry butter were already sold out by dinnertime so we turned our attention to the cakes. Matcha azuki dome had weak green tea flavour so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Luckily the chocolate mont blanc (love the strands of chestnut mousse with a dark chocolate core!) and light pistachio chiffon cake made with organic coconut oil were as gorgeous to look at as they were delightful to eat!

Desserts ($6-8.50++)
matcha azuki entremet; chocolate mont blanc, pistachio chiffon cake

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Special thanks to Pang for introducing P. Bistro to us!

P. Bistro
#B1-06, Palais Renaisaance
390 Orchard Road
6734 9268

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