If you have any comments/suggestions/places you think serve great food, do share with us! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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!)
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
#02-00, Winsland Conservation House
One of the perks of getting assigned to a job in town is the lack of good dining options. To me, lunch time is the best time to frequent a restaurant since there's usually a good value set lunch to draw in the office crowd. Set in the beautiful Winsland House, El Toro offers decent enough mexican food at a reasonable price.
Any order from the lunch menu comes with unlimited flow of the soup of the day and helpings from the salad bar. The tomato soup with black beans and sausages was quite nice with its tangy taste. Light and not too watery, this was a good start to lunch.
The salad bar was uninspiring, to say the least. There were the usual lettuces, tomatoes, olives etc. I didn't try the chicken potato salad which the waiter kindly tossed up for us while it was self service for the rest of the diners.
The Caribbean Catch of the Day ($12++) arrived simply yet beautifully plated. The riot of colours from the grilled lime, bed of seasonal vegetables to the freshly grilled fish and red hot sauce set my mouth watering right away. The tortilla was completely left untouched as I tucked into the delicious fish which was soft and juicy.
I had really fantastic Mexican food while staying at a friend's house in New Zealand. One thing I like is that the food is always bursting with flavours, be it spiciness, sweetness or tartness. Somehow, everything comes together in harmony and of course, the colours of the cuisine are a sight to behold. Though El Toro can't even stand to compare with the Mexican food I had in NZ (let me know if you want the name of the restaurant!), this was still an enjoyable meal with nice food, ambience and service.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Isetan Hokkaido Fair
Shaw House, Isetan Supermarket Basement
This was a walk down memory lane as it's been almost 3 years since my holidays spent in Hokkaido. Food and confectionery as well as chefs and sales staff are brought into Singapore from Hokkaido for this fair that's said to be the largest out of Japan. The Yubari Soft Serve Ice Cream ($4.50) was so good! Extremely fragrant and milky, this reminded me of the time when I had a towering 7 layers of soft serve (I have the photo as proof!) in Hokkaido. Which I finished all by myself!
Besides soft serve, there's also a variety of gelato to choose from. The Sweetberry Honeysuckle ($4.50) was uncommon enough to warrant a try. The taste was interesting, not too sweet and had a slightly sour aftertaste to it. This intrigues me enough to google it and this turns out to be a plant which bears large and tart purple berries which can be eaten fresh or used in jams. Another ingenuity of the Japanese to develop it into a yummy ice cream!
The Otaru Marugoto Sweet Potato ($2.80) was wonderful. It's a baked sweet potato cake filled with melty mild custard cream. Normally, I don't like custard cream but the fragrant sweet potato more than covers its taste which was perfect for me! From my memory, Otaru is a nostalgic and romantic city with its famous canals lined with Western-style architecture on both sides. I was charmed by its beauty!
The Yomogi Mochi ($2.30) is a rice cake made from glutinous rice and mugwort. The sweet red bean paste topping contrasted nicely to the extremely soft and slightly bland mochi.
There were a lot of makeshift stalls selling all types of goodies from Hokkaido and I had fun reminiscing about the good old time, identifying the stuff that looks familiar (such as the corn crackers coated with chocolate!) and of course, eating those yummy treats!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux
#01-01, 57 Killiney Road
Cedele has always been my no.1 place for a good sandwich but I believe this little bakery-cafe dishes out sandwiches delicious enough to threaten Cedele's position in my heart. The scent of freshly baked bread wafted in the air even before I stepped in. Now, who can resist nice, soft and fragrant bread straight from the oven?
I enjoyed every last bite of the Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($8.20). There's a variety of bread to choose from such as walnut raisin, foccacia and ciabatta. I opted for the multi-grain since I like my bread dark and hearty. The generous smoked salmon, lettuce and tomato confit definitely took a back seat to the bread which was soft in the middle surrounded by a nice crust.
Service was excellent as the staff were cheerful and friendly. Now I know where to go when I'm craving for a simple gourmet sandwich made with artisan bread!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
#01-28, Great World City
Known for its delectable Japanese cuisine and attentive service, Kuriya didn't disappoint indeed.
The 1st appetiser was the Seaweed Salad ($16++) with 3 different types of seaweed mixed with the usual lettuces and tomatoes. I chose to go without any dressing but there's a choice of Italian, sesame or soy sauce dressing. In retrospect, this was a tad too expensive for an average tasting salad.
Next, the Homemade Kyo-Tofu ($6++) was excellent! Wonderfully soft and delicate, it simply melted in the mouth with a slight nutty soya taste. This made me want to try the famous beancurd in Kyoto itself!
The last appetiser was the Prawn and Scallop ($12++) with some jellyfish on the side. I forgot the sauce served with it but memory told me that the scallop was especially fresh and flavourful.
I usually order soft shell crab in Japanese restaurants since it's one of the few deep-fried items I like. The Soft Shell Crab and Japanese Sweet Potato ($14++) was a hit! A tall tower of meaty crab meat and thick slices of naturally sweet sweet potato, this tempura with a light batter was one of the better ones I've had in a long while.
The Unagi Kabayaki ($20++) was not on the menu as I made a special request for it. You will find it paired with rice in the ala carte menu. As usual, it's hard for me to find any faults with unagi since I just love grilled eel too much. This was as nice as the one from Tetsu and Nanbantei!
My favourite dish of the day was the Steamed Cod Fish with Plum ($26++). This was just beautiful! The oily fish was so fresh and soft while the sourish-sweet plum upped the flavour a notch.
The Tempura on Rice ($24++) had an assortment of tempura such as prawns and mushroom. I tried the prawn which was crunchy and of a good quality. However, the batter was too thick unlike the one coating the soft shell crab mentioned earlier on.
Since I was still craving for anything black sesame, I decided on the Soft Sesame Pudding ($8++) right away. Even though this was imported from Japan, it was too jelly-like and lacked a strong sesame taste. I like the one from Sun with Moon!
Another dessert to satisfy my sesame craving was the Sesame Ice Cream and Red Bean ($10++). The ice cream is made in house but I wasn't too impressed by it as it was too creamy and lacked the strong sesame flavour I'm looking for. The fantastic black sesame ice cream from Tetsu has spoilt my tolerance for other mediocre ones! Nevertheless, the red beans were pretty good as they were not too sweet and paired well with the ice cream.
The Japanese Fruit platter is open price as it depends on what fruits are available on the day. Today, there's Japanese musk melon and apple which cost a grand $28++. The 1st time I ate the famous Japanese musk melon was in Hokkaido so I'm not surprised at the price. The melon is unlike anything as it's extremely juicy and succulent. Try it if you have the chance! You will look at melons differently from then on.
Service was great! Throughout dinner, our cups of green tea was constantly refilled while empty plates were cleared promptly to make way for other dishes. Even Mika, the manager who's from Japan, stopped by and chatted with us. I really couldn't ask for more... Well, maybe except nicer black sesame desserts!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Donna Carmela / Caipirinha
2 Greenwood Ave
Judging by the full house on a Saturday night, this place seems to be very popular, more so with the expatriates than the locals. Both Italian and Brazilian fare are served here so you can get both carbs and protein.
Unremarkable bread was served while we waited for our 1st course to arrive.
Complimentary appetisers comprising of pickled onions, capsicums and sliced mushrooms were also served. These were quite good to nibble on!
The Porcini Soup ($9++) was quite a disappointment as the sodium level was rocket high. This tasted very akin to canned soup rather than freshly made.
The Asparagus Soup ($9++) fared much better. Don't be put off by the green hue! It was thick enough and had bits of the healthy spears in it.
The pasta menu was very comprehensive with many choices to choose from. In fact, I dare say this is the place that offers the most types of pasta. There's different kinds of pasta from the ubiquitous spaghetti to stuffed ravioli, and all kinds of sauces from tomato basil to creamy salmon. I had the Rettangoli al Salmone ($16++) which was a rectangular shaped ravioli filled with salmon in a very simple tomato and basil sauce. I like it! Ample savoury stuffings went well with the tangy sweet sauce.
I remember not liking the Lunette al Tartufo ($16++) as the truffles paste moon-shaped ravioli was too strong for my palette.
A simple dessert, the Coppa Tartufo ($8++) was a tad boring as it was a mere chocolate and vanilla gelato ball in a coating of toasted nut crumbs and cocoa.
As always, the Tiramisu ($10++) had to make an appearance. Though touted by the waiter to be a family recipe for decades, this didn't blow me away. The layer of cocoa powder was thick enough to choke you if you aren't careful while the lady fingers were soaked richly with coffee but with a distinct lack of liqueur.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Patisserie Glace #2
#01-10 Chinatown Plaza
Don't ever say I don't learn from my mistakes. This time, I reserved the Mont Blanc ($5.60) in advance before making the trip down. Both my anticipation and expectation are high for this Japanese chestnut cake as it has been much raved about by the media. Well... It was nice. Just nice. Not great nor fabulous. I like the fragrant chestnut paste and the embedded whole chestnut. What didn't work for me was the white cream which I dislike. Shoot me, but I have to say that I like Rive's rendition more.
Even though I just had lunch, I couldn't resist the Chocolat de Noch ($5.10) as it looked good. And tasted good too! It was a contrast of texture with the crispy top of walnut and almond bits on a thin cookie base and the moist and soft sponge in between.
I've never been a fan of Strawberry Shortcake ($4.80) due to the amount of fresh cream. Just thinking of eating the cream makes me shudder. Nevertheless, I attempted a bite of this famous cake (after scrapping the cream away) and liked it well enough. The sponge was very light and fragrant with the mild sweetness of strawberries.Service was very friendly and efficient even though there was a queue forming. I'm amazed that such a small bakery located in an out of the way place could gain so much fanfare! This just shows the wonder of good food. Or rather, good desserts!
Monday, June 8, 2009
PS. Cafe #3
#02-09A, Palais Renaissance
It's great news for sweet tooths like Na and I that there's an outlet of PS. Cafe in town! Not surprising, I like this cafe more for its decadent desserts than main courses as I find that the latter was too average for its high price tag.
Not wanting to overstuff myself with the huge Double Chocolate Blackout Cake, I voted for the Chocolate Crunch Doorstop Cake ($15.90++) served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Boy, this was very good! A sticky layer of gooey chocolate, caramel and generous amount of walnuts sat on moist and dark sponge, covered with a rich and smooth layer of chocolate mousse and big malt balls. Don't eat this if you are on a diet!
The Steamed Apple Toffee Pudding ($13.90++) was a special on the desserts board and I'm glad we chose it over the other cakes and tarts on the beautiful display cases. The chunks of Granny Smith are wonderfully sweet and tart at the same time while the pudding was suitably moist and soft. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is by far one of the best puddings I've had.
I really like the ambience and decor of both outlets of PS. Cafe. Plus, there's always cute waiters around! But be warned that there's a policy of minimum one order per diner which is not common, though not unheard of.
11 Craig Road
I didn't expect the place to be fully packed, what with it being a Monday. But to my surprise, it was a full house tonight and we could only have the table till 8pm since I didn't make any reservation in advance.
As usual, complimentary bread was served. It looked to be the normal French baguette.
As its name suggests, pasta and other traditional Italian fare is Pasta Brava's specialty. My Manicotti Ripieni di Zucca ($21++) was excellent. Perfectly al dente and filled with pumpkin, the moon shaped ravioli in red capsicum sauce was bursting with sweetness in every bite.
The Linguine Ai Frutti di Mare ($26++) looked real appetising. Flat spaghetti was tossed with a generous amount of prawns, clams, scallops, squid, crayfish, garlic and tomato sauce.
The scallops and prawns of the Stracci Ai Gamberie Capesante ($21++) were very fresh and went well with green peppercorn, white wine and saffron cream sauce.
Another homemade pasta was the Agnolotti Farcitti al Salmone ($21++). This was a savory version of the moon shaped ravioli as it's filled with salmon and served with tomato and cream sauce. I thought this was pretty good as well with the rather strong taste of salmon.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Sun With Moon #1
#01-70/71/72, The Central @ Clarke Quay
The restaurant was fully packed with the 30% discount promotion going on and we could only get an outdoor table. Here are some of the food we ordered. The Mentai Potato Salmon Tsutsumi ($10.80++) had mashed potato with spicy pollock roe wrapped with smoked salmon. The smoked salmon was too salty and overwhelmed the other flavours. I couldn't taste the spicy roe at all.
The large portion of Soft Shell Crab Tempura ($10.80++) rightly justified its price tag. This was nicely deep fried with a thin batter and it was not too oily.
I requested for no mayonnaise on the Okonomiyaki ($12.80++) and it turned out to be too bland for the rest. There was ample amount of mixed seafood embedded in the pancake. Again, the portion was generous and good for sharing.
The signature dessert of Sun With Moon has to be the Tofu Cheese Cake ($5.50++) sitting prettily in a bird cage. Perhaps they were running out of bird cages that day as the waitress took away the cage as soon as she set the dessert on the table. This being a cheese cake, I didn't like it as the taste of cheese was still there even though it was quite mild.
The Goma Pudding ($5.50++) was my favourite for the day. The description "Homemade Black Sesame Pudding" had me visualising something akin to a normal gelatine based pudding but I was wrong. This is the least pudding-like pudding I've ever eaten. It's more like 2 slices of extremely soft tofu topped with black sesame paste. Excellent!
I bought the Matcha Tiramisu ($6++) to bring home since sis wanted it. The mascarpone cheese was too thick and creamy but the green tea cake was soft and moist. Perhaps it was not chilled by the time I reached home, I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would.
If for any reason I go back for a meal, it would be sorely for the desserts!
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