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Archive for the ‘Don't Mind Going Back’ Category

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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Look at this gorgeous bowl of bara chirashi don from Sakari!

Very clean tasting (definitely lighter on the palate compared to my usual bara dose from Hanare which is just further up the street) and worth a try at least once.

($22++ for lunch, $25++ for dinner)

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Sakari Sushi Restaurant
#01-05, 1 Tras Link
9739 7607

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Unlike many other restaurants offering set menus (read: expensive!) for Valentine’s Day (next week, so fast!!), Picotin Express is giving diners a choice of eight V-Day Blackboard Specials comprising of starters, main courses and desserts on 14 February. That’s great news for fussy eaters like me since I could customize my own 3-course menu!

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For starters, we forsook the white mushroom truffle soup and parma ham rock melon salad for the pan-fried scallops. Beautiful presentation and so fresh!

Pan-Fried Scallops ($20++)
saffron aioli, marble of vegetables

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Part of the Emmanuel Stroobant Group, Picotin Express serves wholesome and uncomplicated European cuisine. That’s quite apparent in my choice of main – cod simply pan-seared, minimal seasoning, generous veggies on the side! Other main course options include beef tenderloin with potato gratin and a delicate-sounding basil risotto with mascarpone and grilled prawns.

Pan-Fried Cod ($35++)
sweet potato puree, braised daikon, beetroot

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For a sweet ending, it’s either the black forest gateau with cream fraiche or strawberry parfait. Honestly, the latter was not particularly memorable and I highly recommend the chocolate mousse from the a la carte menu instead! (see below)

Strawberry Parfait ($16++)
chocolate sauce

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Okie, this is the dessert to try at Picotin Express! The chocolate mousse was creamy yet light, not too sweet and incredibly airy. One of the best chocolate desserts in 2015 (so far haha), we think!

Chocolate Mousse ($13++)
marshmallows, berries

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If you are there, don’t forget to look out for for daily specials! We tried the smoked salmon roulade which had too much cream cheese, oops. Will stick to the regular starters such as baked snails, prawn caesar salad and seafood risotto next time!

Salmon Roulade
daily special

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I used the word “uncomplicated” just now and it seems to be a consistent theme in the a la carte menu. A piece of good steak grilled till juicy and succulent, medium rare and reddish in the middle, sauce on the side almost unnecessary… Straightforward, period.

Classic Steak Frites ($35++)
ribeye (250g), french fries, salad, sauce bearnaise

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My thanks to Dorcas for arranging dinner!

Picotin Express – Sentosa Cove
#01-06, 31 Ocean Way Quayside Isle
6438 4747

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Let’s welcome the year of the goat with an exquisite feast from Jade Restaurant!

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The signature yu sheng features homemade champagne jelly with edible gold leaves, symbolizing an abundance of wealth and prosperity, huat ah! Other than adding a touch of luxury, I like that the jelly is slightly bitter and pairs well with the sweet peachy dressing. And I was most impressed by Master Chef Leong’s auspicious calligraphic designs drawn using olive oil and then dusted with cinnamon powder! Not from stencils, wow.

羊年挥春招财鱼生: 三文鱼金薄香槟冻鱼生
Eight Happiness Gold Rush Yu Sheng (from $68++ per person)
champagne jelly, salmon, olive oil, peach sauce

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I’m not crazy over soups but this braised seafood soup won me over, heart and soul. Rich and comforting bowl of goodness! Full of collagen too so this doubles as a beauty treatment from within!

金满福报: 黄焖花胶海鲜鲍鱼汤
Braised Seafood Soup ($38++ per person)
abalone, fish maw, superior golden broth

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The fresh Boston lobster is simply sautéed with a piquant mixture of spiced fragrant salt, dried chilli and ginger flower. I had mine without the crispy chicken floss and it was already so good, oh my. An extravagant crowd-pleaser for sure!

禧龙添满福: 辛辣鸡松波士顿龙虾
Sautéed Boston Lobster ($88++ for a whole 700g lobster)
chicken floss, spiced fragrant salt

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While others had the pork belly stewed on low heat for 90 minutes, I was equally satisfied with the steamed cod with garlic. A light and healthy dish!

和气融融: 家乡焖花腩
Stewed Pork Belly ($18++ per person)
dried oyster, black fungus, yam, mushroom, green chive flower

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Dessert was a trio of almond cream with bird’s nest, nian gao tart and pistachio mochi. Think of the delicate tart as traditional glutinous rice cake with a twist – each buttery tart shell is filled with nian gao made with gula melaka and yam. Very special! I don’t like chewy muah chee at all but the pistachio glutinous rice balls stuffed with chopped pistachio nuts and sesame paste are pillowy soft! I was quite amazed by the texture. Available till March 5, these lunar new year goodies make great gifts for loved ones!

温馨开心团圆: 杏仁茶燕窝开心果麻滋
Almond Cream with Bird’s Nest
pistachio 开心果 “muah chee” glutinous rice ball ($26+ per box of 8), yam paste ‘nian gao’ tart ($28+ per box of 8)

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My special thanks to Joyce and Pearly for hosting dinner! Happy new year and see you again soon!

Jade Restaurant
Ground Floor, Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
6877 8188

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What used to be 1-TwentySix at East Coast Park is now Cotton, named after a real cotton tree planted outside the restaurant. The cuisine is “Asian fusion” and you can find an interestingly bizarre mixture of sushi, sashimi, pasta and grilled mains on the menu.

Honestly, the meal did not started on a good note. A couple of items (sushi rolls!) which caught my interest were sadly unavailable. And while our appetizer of bonsai salad was pretty, the miso dip for the crudites was extremely salted and we sent it back almost untouched. I just checked the menu online and looks like it has been removed from the menu, oh good.

Bad start aside, everything went well thereafter! The assorted sashimi were very fresh (even better than some Japanese restaurants, I bet) and the chef’s knife skill is apparent in how fine the small cuts on the top of the sashimi were. For something more substantial, K highly recommend either the lamb rack or ribeye steak (or get both!). The former had a tender texture with no gamey flavour and the latter was (I quote K) “a good piece of red meat, period” haha. For me, I was mighty pleased with the pan fried cod fish – generous slab, naturally fatty, my favourite! I must also give credit to the chef for pairing the meat/fish with delicious sides such as tempura corn, deep fried spinach and green pea/pumpkin purée. Definitely no boring mash potato!

I wish dinner ended with a bang (read: killer dessert) but alas, we were served a forgettable almond pudding. That said, we’ll be back again for the mains and hopefully by then, the sushi rolls too!

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Bonsai Salad
no longer available

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Assorted Sashimi Platter of 5 ($35++)
ika (squid), mekajiki (swordfish), tai (seabream), hotate (scallop), saké (salmon)

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Amber Jack Carpaccio ($24++)
truffle and ikura

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Lamb Rack ($38++)
green pea purée and tempura corn

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Ribeye Steak ($35++)
asparagus and pumpkin purée

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Cod Fish ($32++)
deep fried spinach and zucchini

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King Prawn Angel Hair Pasta ($24++)
sakura ebi and garlic

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Almond Pudding ($12++)

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My thanks to Brenda for the kind invitation!

Cotton Singapore
#01-26, Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
96563126

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My title above says it all. FUKU serves fugu in fine dining kaiseki style.

And I’m sure you already know this – fugu (a.k.a. puffer fish/blowfish/globefish) is potentially fatal if prepared wrongly! Well, for the love of food, just risk it!

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I joke.

I wasn’t even worried at all.

By Japanese law, chefs have to be specially licensed by the government before they can prepare and serve fugu to guests. Likewise for FUKU’s chefs, who have more than 20 years of experience in Shimonoseki (the specialty area of fugu). All the air-flown fish have to be removed of their internal organs and cleaned, then meet strict regulations by recognized Japanese authorities before they can be imported into Singapore.

Hiresake
hot sake with sun-dried fugu

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There are more than 100 species of fugu but only 20 are edible. FUKU, being the first restaurant in Asia outside Japan to serve such a fine delicacy all year-round, imports the prized Tora Fugu (Tiger Puffer Fish) twice a week by air direct from Shiminoseki. Freshness guaranteed! And as you can already imagine, fugu dining is expensive.

Very expensive.

Tessa
thinly sliced fugu sashimi that was once referred to as gun-powder because of its instantaneous death if not prepared right

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Although there is an a la carte menu, the specialization at FUKU is kaiseki – full course traditional set menus which range from $150++ per person for a 6-course (Ebisu) to $580++ per person for a 9-course Wild Fugu set (Shichi-Fuku). Out of the dishes tried and tested, my favourite were the sashimi and yuniki!

Yubiki
parboiled fugu skin

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The sashimi was beautiful; paper-thin shavings intricately presented on a patterned plate. Some may find it bland but I rather like how clean it tasted. Delicate strips of blanched gelatinous fugu skin were served on the side too. Eat more as they are rich in collagen!

Karaage
fugu is served deep-fried giving a crisp and fragrant texture on the outside while maintaining a meaty fleshy bite inside

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After having fugu sashimi, the “normal” sashimi (though fresh) now seemed too mainstream haha.

Assorted Sashimi
salmon, scallop, tuna, ebi, squid

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The most “fear factor” dish of the night had to be the puffer fish’s milt or sperm sacs! I’ve had shirako thrice so far (Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore) and I can safely conclude that I don’t like it. Too creamy, not for me.

Fugu Shirako
fugu sperm sacs

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Coincidentally, it was a cold evening and the fugu hotpot was most welcome. Thick chunks of flesh and bones along with an assortment of vegetables and tofu were stirred into a boiling pot of broth prepared only with dashi water and a big slab of kombu (kelp). Towards the end, rice and egg were added to the rich and sweetened stock from the hotpot and ta-da, a tasty fugu porridge was produced! A very comforting way to end an elaborate spread!

Tecchiri/Zousui
fugu hotpot

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Don’t miss the real fugu hanging from the ceiling near the entrance!

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My thanks to Melody for hosting such an extravagant dinner!

FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant
14 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01
6235-8216

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Shrove Tuesday

Saturday night. Dessert time. K wanted Little Prince. I suggested Shrove Tuesday.

As usual, I get my way hahaha.

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Actually, this place has been on my to-go list for quite some time but due to mixed reviews, I’ve been ignoring it. One waffle and three scoops of gelato later, I’m berating myself for procrastinating!

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The crispy waffle was impressively light – it’s like eating battered air? We didn’t feel full even after it disappeared into our tummies and I like that feeling. That said, I’d give full marks for texture but maybe a fail for taste because it was very bland. Not a major problem to me though since we had gelato! Coconut, roasted peanut, earl grey. Can’t wait to try black sesame next time!

By the way, the two staff were super friendly! If I open a shop, I want to hire them!

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Shrove Tuesday
Block 94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-32
6258 2254

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