If you have any comments/suggestions/places you think serve great food, do share with us! Email me at email@example.com or leave a comment in the tag board. Thanks and cheers to future gastronomical adventures!
MY TO-GO LIST
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Patisserie Glace #1
34 Craig road
#01-10 Chinatown Plaza
Claiming to serve authentic Japanese pastry, this small bakery has been making a storm in the local desserts scene. Its popularity can be attested to by the rather long queue forming while we were there! Cakes were simply flying straight from the shelves into the eager hands of patrons.
The Bleuet ($4.50) was very good with layers of blueberry and yoghurt cream between soft and moist sponge cake. I polished it all by myself as it was such a light dessert to have after lunch!
We snapped up the last slice of Double Rare Cheese Mango ($4.70). This is a seasonal item as only fresh mangoes are used to make the puree. Those who know me well will not be surprised to see that I didn't take to the taste as I could still detect the cheesey taste.
Actually, I made the trip just to try its famed Mont-Blanc but it was already sold out in the morning! I was so disappointed when I heard that. But this also mean an excuse to go back to try its other cakes since I'm dead set on eating that Mont-Blanc!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Sage, The Restaurant
7 Mohamed Sultan Road
I was so looking forward to a meal here after reading about it from the local media and other foodies' blog. Ambience was very classy with its soft lighting and black walls. But such lighting is the downfall of good and sharp photos, so please pardon the slightly grainy photos below.
The usual complimentary bread with an olive oil dip was served while we were waiting for our food. It looked very soft and fluffy, the exact opposite of what I like so I didn't try.
Another complimentary item was the Crab and Tomato Salad. This was served cold with a small topping of avocado. I liked everything about this: the fresh and meaty crab, the crunchy veg in every bite, the creamy avocado and the slightly tangy tomato puree. This was a very promising start to our dinner!
The simply named "Mushrooms" soup ($18++) was incredible. I solemnly declare this to be the BEST mushroom soup I've ever had! The flavour in the cappuccino of wild mushrooms (right) exploded so sweetly in my mouth with every spoonful. This was not the creamy type usually served elsewhere. In fact, I suspect that no (or at least, very minimal) cream was used at all. Now, the scrambled eggs, asparagus and morel cream served in an egg shell was very interesting. My 1st thought was that it's too salty. But the 2nd bite proved me wrong as the truffle infused eggs was very aromatic and fragrant.
The Cod ($42++) was wonderful to a fish lover like me. The soft flesh of the roasted fillet of fatty fish contrasted nicely with the slightly crisp skin. Topped with prawn and cognac butter, sitting on a gratin of salt cod confit with sun-dried tomato, and surrounded by an emulsion of basil pesto and clam broth, this was just lovely. Complicated but every ingredient sang in harmony and enhanced each other's flavour.
The Prawn Pasta a la "Carbonara" ($28++) came in a tomato based sauce instead its creamy white counterpart. Homemade fettuccini was nicely al dente and tossed with egg yolk, bacon and prawn bits, Arugula leaves and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Service was impeccable and attentive while the food was nothing short of excellent. I'll definitely come back again when I feel rich enough!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
#01-06/08 Esplanade Mall
Dinner was such a light affair that I had to spoil it all by having desserts in this chocolate heaven.
The Venezuela Dark Chocolate ($5.90++) is made from Chiollo cocoa beans which supposedly have an extra aromatic flavour and hints of coffee. It didn't impress me much as it was not thick enough and quite normal like the usual hot chocolate we can make at home.
This was the star of the night to me! The Chocolate Souffle ($15++) was freshly baked to order and served with chocolate sauce, strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Oh my, this was just sin in every bite. The molten centre was extremely moist and the cake was fluffy and soft. As an afterthought, why is it that icing sugar is always sprinkled on top? I have to remember to ask for NO icing sugar in future.
The Truffle Mousse Cake ($12++) is also a sight to behold. Made of 70% cocoa solids chocolate, the mousse was silky smooth with a layer of soft sponge at the base. The presentation was also fabulous with the bright and juicy strawberries and apples as decoration pieces!
This was my 1st foray into the Crepe Suzette ($12++) territory since waffels and crepes are never my cup of dessert. This is a typical French dessert with a hot sauce of caramelized sugar, orange juice and peel. I liked the sauce more than the crepe even though the latter was paper thin. The former was not too creamy and cloying.
In retrospect, the name "Chocolate Souffle" is a bit of a misnomer since this was more a warm molten chocolate cake than a souffle. Nevertheless, regardless of the name, this was still one of the better ones I've eaten!
Queues were long and we had to wait for quite awhile for a table. Portions were large enough to be shared and still be satisified with the sugar rush.
The Stock Pot
#01-01 Esplanade Mall
This is a new kid on the block in the '3 S' (Soups, Sandwiches, Salads) scene which has been long dominated by The Soup Spoon.
I like the Tomato Minestrone ($6.90) which comes with a multi-grains roll. There was a generous amount of vegetables, chickpeas and kidney beans. Minestrone is one of the cornerstones of Italian cuisine and about as common as pasta on Italian tables. The acidic and tangy tomato taste was good but this rendition was slightly too watery though.
Another favourite was the Cream of Pumpkin and Sweet Potato ($6.90). The latter sets it apart from the usual pumpkin soups found elsewhere and the consistency was thick enough.
There's a choice to upgrade the soup to a set meal (additional $5) which include a salad and drink of your choice. This is the Oriental Spicy Chicken which didn't look very appetising to me.
The menu is very similar to that of Soup Spoon! I think I prefer The Soup Spoon more for its thicker soups and slightly cheaper prices. Another plus point is that there are many outlets across the island so I don't have to drop by Esplanade specifically for a light meal.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Little Part 1 Cafe
15 Jasmine Road
The name of the cafe sounds so cute: Little Part 1 Cafe. Where's Part 2? I think it's quite ingenious of the owners to come up with such a name. They can simply increase the number if they ever expand the business.
I don't think any of us like the Mango Udon Roll ($8.90). To me, it was just a cacophony of clashing flavours and textures with the avocado, japanese cucumber, mango and mints. The rice paper also didn't hold the roll intact so everything just collapsed in a messy pile.
I had the Wild Yam and Natto Salad ($15.90) as it's pretty uncommon to find such a combination elsewhere. I just love this! It was so good with the fresh organic mixed greens and lady's fingers, wild yam and japanese natto in a homemade tahini dressing. The flavours really came together very well. Natto is an acquired taste for many but I like it a lot ever since I tried it in Hokkaido. These fermented beans have a powerful smell, strong flavour and sticky, glue-like consistency.
Not to worry though. There are also other mains on the menu. The Kitsune Udon ($12.90) is served with japanese sweet beancurd, assorted mushroom and pumpkin with a dashi broth. I think this is a somewhat semi-organic cafe as the noodles are organic!
Desserts are understandably limited since this is a small cafe. They have a impressive selection of drinks though. The Ugly Mud Pie ($7.50) was served with a scoop of normal vanilla ice cream. This didn't impress us much as the generous consenus was that it was a tad too dry and cakey. Personally, I find it too sweet for my liking.
In case you are wondering what's in the background of the photo, it's actually a board game. There's a small selection of games stacked on a bookselves for diners to play after their meals. We did exactly just that over desserts. The guys lost a bet and treated us to the Warm Apple Crumble ($7.50)! This is apparently the house specialty and one of their customers' favourites. And rightly so! I like the fillings which were generous and not too sweet. I can't really on the crust since I don't like pastry crust in general but I reckon it was alright here.
The ambience of the cafe is very relaxed and laid back. This is the type of place perfect for winding down with friends after work. My only grouse is its slightly inaccessiblity since it's tucked away in the housing estate just off Thomson Plaza.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1A, Cuscaden Road
GF Traders Hotel
My family usually go out for buffets at least 4 times per year for celebration of birthdays. This is the 3rd one of 2009! Dinner is priced at $50++ per person. There's definitely no shortage of hotels serving buffets in Singapore so now, you may ask, why Cafebiz? Well... Read on to find out! (Or look at the photo below for a clue)
I always try to be rational when eating buffets as there's just too many varieties to sample! So, my tactic is walk around without taking anything first while "strategizing" which dish to try in which order. The starter section looked good with many types of salads like smoked salmon and asparagus salad.
The seafood section is always one of my favourites at any buffets (2nd to desserts, of course!). There were oysters, scallops, prawns, mussels, lobsters etc. The ones I tried were very sweet and juicy.
The lobsters disappeared very quickly! I think all of us were waiting for the moment when they were replenished to pile as many as we can onto our plates. It was actually quite amusing. The lobsters were very fresh! But definitely can't be compared to the ones I had in Sydney.
Now, this is THE reason why we were here for dinner. White asparagus! Yes, they are in season now. These were not on the buffet spread and served to our table by the waiters personally only when we made a request for them. White asparagus is not exposed to light during the growing phrase and thus, has no chlorophyll. Less bitter than the green variety, it is very popular in the European countries such as France, Belgium and Germany, and also very expensive. It can cost $40 or more per kg!
We had 3 orders of these beauties. I really love these! Fat and juicy, these were poached to perfection with a dash of salt to bring out the natural sweetness. Hollandaise sauce is the usual company of white asparagus but I prefer the plain ones with no sauce. Mmm...
Of course, there were other cuisines such as sushi, sashimi, grills and cooked-to-order hot food. Trust me, these photos only cover a small portion of the whole spread. I only focused on the ones I like. The dessert section can be said to be the most important aspect of a buffet to people with a sweet tooth like me. The spread was quite comprehensive with a good selection of cakes, puddings, ice cream, tarts and pies.
There was also a chocolate fondue! It was quite good as the chocolate was not cloyingly sweet. What caught my attention was the bowl of plump strawberries. They were so sweet and fresh! I think I finished one whole bowl by myself.
Out of all the cakes, the Caramel Nut Almondier was my favorite. Surprisingly so, since I don't like caramel. But this was subtly sweet with LOTS of nuts in every bite.
Since this was an international buffet, there were also Asian desserts like durian pengat and pulut hitam. I liked the herbal jelly as it was very bitter with very low level of sugar.
It is almost inevitable to overeat at a buffet since there's just too much choices. There's definitely hits and misses but definitely more of the former than the latter here. Just having the white asparagus is enough to make me forget any of the misses!
Note: Traders Hotel is part of the Shangri-la Group which houses the famous "The Line" buffet so the quality of the food is comparable to that at The Line.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tetsu Japanese Restaurant
#03-18 Tanglin Mall
Japanese restaurants abound in Singapore as the cuisine makes its mark on the local food culture. Granted, there are indeed decent Japanese restaurants but to find one that surpasses expectations is not as easy as it sounds. I had the pleasure of dining at such a top notch restaurant and even as I'm typing this, I can't wait to go back again!
The Chawanmushi ($5++), though a tad pricey, was definitely one of the better ones I've had. The simple steamed egg custard was silky smooth and soft with embedded gems such as ginko nut and prawn.
Soft-shell crab ($3++) is something I'll always try to order at any Japanese restaurants. This was very meaty and the tempura batter was not oily and very light.
The Tetsu Special handroll ($6.80++) is actually deep fried minced seafood such as salmon, tuna and prawn wrapped with rice and seaweed. The seaweed was not crispy though.
The Saba Shioyaki ($15.50++) was simply grilled with salt. Some may not like the fishiness of mackerel but really good ones have the taste and smell of ocean. This one definitely fall into that category and the crispy skin was a nice contrast to the soft and meaty flesh.
One of my favourites was the Unagi Kabayaki ($22++). The freshwater eel was perfectly grilled and the teriyaki sauce was not too salty. This is perfect to me.
We ordered the Kaiseki Course C ($55++) to share which featured the highlights of the restaurant. The appetisers comprised of the Crab Meat Tofu (left) and Swordfish Tataki (right). The former was interesting as the sauce had a century egg-like taste which may be an acquired taste as it was quite strong. I liked the tataki as it was still pinkish raw in the middle!
The assorted sashimi had salmon, tuna and hamachi. Usually, I find tuna to be too chewy to my liking but this was surprisingly a decent one. I had no complaints with the salmon and hamachi which were so fresh, especially the yellow tail (the waitress told us it's the freshest today).
I didn't touch the Sushi Moriawase since there's rice. Judging from the freshness of the sashimi previously, I reckon these were just as good. I did try the tamago though but didn't like it as the omelette was too sweet.
The mains were assorted Kushi-Tem which had scallop, prawn, pumpkin, pork and mushroom. The pumpkin was my favourite as it was just bursting with natural sweetness. I find the batter to be a tad too heavy and oily though.
This is my 2nd time having a Dobinmushi and I always think that it looks so cute.
I labelled this tea pot soup as "fish soup" as the sliced fish used was what you can find at a sliced food soup stall in the hawker centre! Of course, the sweetness of the soup beat the one from hawker centre hands down. It was very refreshing and fresh. There were alot of mushrooms and seafood like prawn and fish.
Finally, it's desserts time! I was eyeing the dessert menu even before I had a look at the dinner menu. The course came with a dessert which was supposed to be a strawberry sherbet. But I requested it to be changed to Jikasei Goma ice cream ($4++). At 1st, the waitress refused to but she's no match to my stubbornness. Oh my, this black sesame ice cream is OFFICIALLY the best one I've ever tried! This is not the smooth type but rather rough with all the generous embedded seeds. The sweetness was just nice and not too cloying. I want this again!
The Maccha Ice Cream with Azuki & Shiratama ($4.80) was almost as fabulous. The ice cream had a slight bitter aftertaste and was very smooth, though it melted faster than the rest. Combined with the not too sweet red beans and chewy dumplings, this was very close to heaven in a bowl.
The Yuzu Ice Cream on Strawberry Sherbet ($5.80++) came in a very close second to the black sesame ice cream. This was so refreshing and tangy that it's perfect as a light after dinner dessert. I didn't really like the strawberry sherbet though as it didn't really complement the citrus ice cream. I would have preferred the yuzu on its own.
Service was excellent as our plates were cleared very promptly and our cups of green tea was often filled up even before they were empty. There are many other more affordable items on the menu and this is where the phrase "you pay for what you get" comes in. Ok I think I've raved enough about this place, you just got to try it out yourself!
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT