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Archive for the ‘Australian’ Category

The existing menu of modern tapas at Salt Tapas & Bar has been revived with the arrival of Executive Chef Ronald Li. Formerly from KU DÉ TA (now CÉ LA VI), Chef Ronald has created a menu celebrating hearty, slow-cooked fare. More impressive is that although this is essentially still a “bar”, he pays close attention to presentation – every plate arrives on the table looking beautiful and artistic.

Menu highlights include the grilled eryngii mushrooms on a bed of chive aioli which I love. There’s minimal seasoning so the natural sweetness of the juicy mushrooms shines through. Even though the menu has supposedly an “Australian twist”, I find that there’s a bit of Middle Eastern influences too – curried roast pumpkin with labneh and dukkah; golden and red beets with ricotta and fresh figs; haloumi paired with eggplant and chickpea. All three were very tasty and I can see myself coming back for more!

Out of the new “mains to share” section, the “fish to share” features a 400g slab of grilled barramundi. Accompanied by tangy mango salsa and sautéed broccolini, the moist and delicate fish is simply grilled with a dash of yuzu to highlight its natural delicate flavor. I heard another noteworthy main to share is the paella with lashings of creamy saffron rouille but I gave that a miss since I’m not keen on carb-heavy rice dishes.

If there’s only one dessert I can have, it’s definitely going to be the gooey chocolate tart crowned with a scoop of mango sorbet. I can never resist dark chocolate – especially when thin buttery crust and non-icy sorbet are part of the deal. And be warned, get the dulce de leche semifreddo only if you have an extreme sweet tooth!

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Grilled Eryngii Mushroom ($9++)
chive aioli

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Taco of Tempura Prawn ($12++)
pineapple salsa, chipotle aioli

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Beets, Ricotta, Fig ($15++)
pickle green chilli, honey & thyme dressing

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Haloumi, Eggplant, Chickpea ($13++)
dried tomatoes, herbs, tahini dressing

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Curried Roast Pumpkin ($14++)
capsicum, labneh, dukkah & coriander

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Scallops, Pancetta ($25++)
green tomato, chutney, apple & chives

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Fish to Share – Grilled barramundi ($60++, 400g)
mango salsa, sautéed brocolini

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Gooey Chocolate Tart ($14++)
mango sorbet

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Dulce de Leche & Salted Pecan Semifreddo ($13++)
strawberries, coconut wafer

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Thank you, Ada, for hosting dinner!

Salt Tapas & Bar
#01-22A, Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
6837 0995

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“Cooking With Friends” is back at Osia!

This time, Celebrity Chef Scott Webster has invited Executive Chef Andrew Turner from Hotel Café Royal in London as the guest chef. Together, the dynamic duo has designed a menu consisting of Osia’s signatures and Chef Turner’s specially created dishes for his stint here.

Reinterpreting traditional flavours with a contemporary spin, some of his key dishes are the appetizer of pea and mint veloute and main of black angus beef. The former is paired with comte cheese to create a smooth creamy base for the thyme ravioli while cutting through the brininess of the addictive anchovy flute; whereas the latter is given an Asian twist through the accompanying bok choy and sweet and sour Hong Kong sauce – quoting our waiter: “a Chinese-ish dish done by an English chef”! The dessert of “neaten” mess is his take on the classic English dessert, Eton mess. I thought it was smart to add a scoop of tangy lemon ice cream, otherwise the mixture of strawberries and meringue would be too sweet.

As for Osia’s, I already did a write-up earlier this year and was happy for the chance to refresh my memory of some of the dishes – still loving the freshly baked flat bread and soft-textured shiromiso perch! Not so much the grilled octopus this time as they were too chewy, giving my jaws a good (and unnecessary) workout!

The “Cooking With Friends” menu ends this Saturday, 16 May.

Stone Hearth Flat Bread ($11++)
macadamia pesto, truffled kalamata olive, butter, tomato paste

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Pea and Mint Veloute ($22++)
comte cheese and thyme ravioli, smoked anchovy flute

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Fremantle Octopus ($22++)
char grilled, cucumber apple slaw, green chilli jam

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Hokkaido Scallop and Bryon Bay Pork Belly ($62++)
piccalilli puree

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Foie Gras ($32++)
pan fried, banana textures, madagascar vanilla, jamaican rum

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Perch ($46++)
sesame ratte potato, pea tendril, soy milk curd, shiromiso glaze

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Grainge Black Angus Beef Fillet MS2 ($68++)
oxtail anna potato, bok choy, sweet and sour hong kong sauce

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Before…

Neaten Mess ($18++)
strawberry, thyme

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… After!

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My thanks to Lavinia for hosting dinner!

Osia
Resorts World Festive Walk Crockfords Tower
8 Sentosa Gateway
6577 6560

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I was hoping to try the Valentine’s Day menu at Osia but an unexpected series of events (being melodrama here, haha) led to us having a go at its a la carte menu instead. Oh, what a great blessing in disguise!

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I instagram-ed this immediately quoting K that this is “the best bread of 2015!” and three days later, he’s still swooning over how warm, soft and chewy the freshly baked bread was! Macadamia pesto was the obvious favourite for us and the tube of smoked eggplant spread was so cute and handy that I almost wanted to bring it home!

Stone Hearth Flat Bread ($11++)
macadamia pesto, truffled kalamata olive, eeoo, butter, smoked eggplant

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The generous chunk of confit trout probably won’t be winning any creativity contest but a simple dish done well still deserves credit! Honestly, I wouldn’t mind not sharing this with K haha.

Fjord Trout ($26++)
42°C confit, spiced cashew nut, pineapple vanilla rum jelly, cilantro butter gel

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Oh man, lobster and butter? I love this dish, of course. Sheet pasta was silky smooth and the meaty lobster was lusciously firm and mildly sweet. That said, I thought the fermented black bean was out of place and didn’t add any value taste- or presentation-wise.

Maine Lobster ($38++)
butter poached, sheet pasta, mango salsa, fermented black bean, chive butter nage

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By the third starter, I’m starting to get a sense that Chef de Cuisine Douglas Tay likes to pair seafood with fruits in his style of modern Australia-Asian cooking. Trout with pineapple, lobster with mango, octopus with apple – refreshing is their common denominator, I like!

Fremantle Octopus ($22++)
char grilled, cucumber apple slaw, green chilli jam

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Grilled to a T (i.e. medium rare), the black angus might look very manly but it was actually a pretty girly pink on the inside! If you can’t imagine life without meat, this one is for you. We had different views about the accompaniments – I thought the bed of tomato parmesan was way too cheesy but K liked it that way; he didn’t fancy the greenish basil cèpe and I gladly spooned that onto my plate, score!

Grainge Black Angus Beef Tenderloin ($66++)
creamed sunchoke, basil cèpe, acquerello rice, ‘tomato parmesan’, red wine sauce

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I remember being impressed by the shiromiso Chilean seabass back in 2010 and I still feel the same now. Perch was delicate yet rich in flavour, especially when smothered with the sweet shiromiso glaze on the side. Wickedly delicious!

Perch ($46++)
sesame ratte potato, pea tendril, soy milk curd, shiromiso glaze

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I dissed the hot chocolate soup five years ago and I’m not changing my opinion. Although very decadent, it’s “just high quality molten chocolate” (quoting myself ha).

Valrhona Hot Chocolate Soup ($20++)
black peppered ice cream, sesame crisp

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The macadamia souffle requires 35 minutes of cooking time so please order asap! Ours puffed to a perfect height when it was fetched out from the oven and was piping hot when we dug in eagerly. Golden-brown crust, moist and creamy inside with bits of nuts scattered throughout, this was definitely the highlight of our meal!

Macadamia Souffle ($32++)
crunchy praline, banana custard, sour cream ice cream

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Our last dessert was the most special! I think of it as a sort of coconut marshmallow creme brulee – torched to a crisp, googy in the middle, and a crunchy base of crumbs at the bottom. Least photogenic perhaps, but a winner nevertheless!

Pineapple Coco ($15++)
caramelize coconut chiboust, pineapple chutney, red berries sorbet

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Public service announcement:
On this Valentine’s Day, wine and dine with the special someone at Osia where you can tuck into either the 4 ($135++) or 5-course ($160++) Valentine’s Day Menu where much of the produce used comes fresh from Australia. Among the standout dishes include the luxurious Foie Gras with Black Truffle and Madagascar Vanilla which is given a tangy lift with the accompanying Green Apple Espuma and the Pan Fried Perch with Duck Fat Charlotte Potato, Bacon Cream, Taggiasca Olive Tapenade and Basil Foam. Patrons seeking an aphrodasaic on the evening of romance can look out for the Gillardeau with Spinach Porridge and Salicornia.

My thanks to Lavinia for arranging dinner!

Osia
Resorts World Festive Walk Crockfords Tower
8 Sentosa Gateway
6577 6560

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Our bosses decided to take us out for lunch a couple of days ago and as usual, the resident food blogger was tasked to recommend a place that can accommodate eight hungry folks. Common Man Coffee Roasters was shortlisted and it turned out to be a great choice (self-praise haha) as several ladies in the office have been wanting to try this hippy cafe!

I felt really happy (it’s a foodie thing; I like to see people well-fed and satisfied) that everyone seemed so pleased with their selections, from the turkish/full breakfast to grilled “chilli” chicken with crushed avocado salsa. My crab salad was outstanding too, a lovely plate of fresh white meat tossed with pomegranate and caper crumbs in a yuzu mango mint dressing on a bed of wild rocket, romaine and endive. My idea of a healthy yet hearty lunch.

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Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road, #01-00
6836 4695

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We’ve been to South Coast twice for dinner so far, purely for practical reasons. The first time was to catch the fireworks during the NDP preview (which turned out to be right smack in front of us!!) and then last Saturday we found ourselves back there again after collecting the mooncakes from SweetSpot (all thanks to the kind folks from MBS!)

Boring as it may be, salmon was my choice of main, especially when nicely seared crispy skin, quinoa and fennel were part of the deal! A complete healthy meal in itself, really. K went for the meaty heavyweights – 250g of ribeye steak (photo on Instagram) and wagyu burger, both proved to be satisfactory if not particularly memorable. So… To sum up what we think of South Coast in one word: decent.

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Pan Seared Salmon Fillet ($26++)
quinoa salad, fennel shavings

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Wagyu Burger ($28++)
smoked cheddar, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, beetroot relish, fries

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South Coast MBS
#01-85, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
6688 7600

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Half an hour wait later, we were in for a late brunch at The Lokal yesterday.

The roasted pumpkin salad was expectedly delicious as I love every ingredient tossed in the mix! Even K (the guy who will never order a salad) was stealing bites from my plate 🙂 We added smoked mackerel and salmon since those are hot smoked in-house over cherry wood chips. Salmon was softer and less salty than mackerel so no-brainer which will be dropped next time. Wanted smashed avocado too but they refused to allow us to order it due to portioning issues. Whatever~

“Pimp My Breakfast”, i.e. DIY from the list of breakfast sides, can become pricey when we want to choose every single item on the menu haha. But $4.50 for two modest slices of sourdough and one buck for butter?! Daylight robbery!! Or rather, inflation ouch.

Speaking of butter, the menu reads “Spreads: Home-made butter & peanut butter, jam or vegemite ($1)” so K thought he was gonna get both b&pb but only a generous knob of butter was served. From the waitress: “it’s a typo; management informed; sorry”. Okayyy, apparently no service recovery for goodwill (how costly can pb get, seriously) and phew, luckily our English #neverfail

Anyway, scrambled eggs and sausage were average but the crispy bacon blew K away. Now, in the years we have been brunching together, K has never ever liked crispy bacon so I was already waiting for him to diss it when he surprised me with a heartfelt “OMG it’s soooo good!” haha. Yes, top marks for the cool nitrate-free cured in-house crispy bacon!

One or two misgivings aside, we will be back soon! For avocado, bacon, salad and salmon, cheers.

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cappuccino ($5.50)

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salad of roasted pumpkin, french beans, quinoa, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, beetroot, house vinaigrette ($16) + smoked mackerel ($6)

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“pimp my breakfast”: grilled sausage ($6) + dry-cured bacon ($5) + scrambled eggs ($5) + smoked salmon ($6) + sourdough ($4.50) + homemade butter ($1)

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The Lokal
136 Neil Road
6423 9918

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Toby’s Estate

Lunch 24 hours ago was this wonderful plate of hearty salad from Toby’s Estate. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a place more known for its coffee than food. So it was a nice surprise that service was on the eager-to-please side and all of our mains turned out so well! Photos of the other dishes on my Instagram 🙂

Tropic Chook ($21.90)
smoked salmon, mesclun, mango, sunflower seeds, brioche, honey mustard dressing, poached eggs (additional $3)

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Toby’s Estate
8 Rodyk Street
6636 7629

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