Monday, April 25, 2016

iO Italian Osteria, HillV2

This place (#02-01 HillV2, 4 Hillview Rise, tel : +65 6710 7150) is by the people who runs Etna. I wanted to check them out because I liked Etna and I was hoping to see what they would do out of the concept of an osteria.

We had porchetta, a roasted layered pork stuffed with herbs. The portions were pretty large so my advice is to share it. As a starter, it could have been easily split two or three ways. I thought it was not bad; super crisp (I do mean super crisp) on the outside while moist and fatty on the insides. But they were very light handed with the salt on the meat. I supposed that worked with the accompanying mustard which seemed to have been nicely salted.

The other thing was their schiacciata, an Italian flatbread. This one was stuffed with ricotta, mushrooms and some truffle oil. Again, the portions were huge. This could have been breakfast for two. But it was also quite nice. The bread was served hot and crisp with the cheese oozing out of the edges.

Feeling adventurous, I picked had a home made tagliolini with prawns and lemon. It was something that was probably off my usual flavour train and I was hoping that having lemons would zest up the noodles or the sauce. I couldn't taste the lemons and the sauce was a generic one that was made with the ingredients that you see. Being adventurous doesn't always pay off. While I liked the texture of the pasta, the rest of the flavours was kinda boring. #disappointment

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The steamed bullfrog with chilli is back, now on the regular menu of Paradise Dynasty

I've previously said all there is to say about this particular dish which was on a limited run menu. I'm guessing that it had been well received enough for the restaurant to have included it into the regular menu. Still burning hot and tasty this is, so this is really not for beginners.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lollapalooza - ɒzoolɒqɒllo⅃

Here's back to Lollapalooza. If there was one thing I felt that they could have improved, it would be to update their menu of the week/day instead of waiting for people asking for them. That's why there is social media, yes? To facilitate incessant timely updates?

But I bear no grudges. Table service was good and the food was enjoyable.

glazed Brussels sprouts with chestnuts
We had Brussels sprouts with chestnuts. Nothing surprising going on here. I just like them

cockscombs braised in veal jus with sautéed sweetcorn
Cockscombs has texture like a slightly crunchy abalone or cockle. Kinda nice to chew on but isn't by itself big on flavour. I don't think it absorbs flavour well too. But the accompanying corn was good. Very nice. As a dish altogether, I thought this worked.

sea urchin and crab tart
This tart sounded good on paper, but I had my suspicions otherwise before ordering it. We ordered it anyway because it sounded good on paper. As it turned out, I was spot on about the part on the uni. It was a waste of a nice piece of sea urchin because the flavour in the stuffings of tart were rich and creamy. Which by itself was a good thing but didn't work with something with the subtle floral of uni. And hence knowing that already, we were ate them apart.

white asparagus (Mazan, France) with diced Bayonne ham and hazelnuts
White asparagus season has started. These ones that Lollapalooza had gotten were amazing. I meant that they were naturally sweet, char etched with a smokiness from the grill and very juicy. I guess that's why they costed so much.

leeks poached in nut-brown butter and vanilla served with hazelnut crumble
Leeks were tender and juicy too. The hazelnuts worked better here than on the asparaguses because there was more and there's no ham here to distract from the aroma of the nuts. But between this and the asparagus, we preferred the latter.

roasted Australian wild-caught scampi (langoustine) with seaweed butter
The scampi was not bad, but it was an odd pair. We had a little difficulty removing the flesh off the first one which had a head full of delicious fat. The second one had flesh that was easily stripped off the shell, but didn't have so much head fat. At this point, I cannot in good conscience say that it was amazing because these were not yet at that level. Our benchmarks had once upon a time been established and sadly may never be met again.

roasted lamb hearts with wild garlic shoots
Lamb hearts were nice. Actually, I'm still surprised that a muscular organ like the heart would be so tender and chewy. I was glad that it was respectfully treated in the grill with little but salt and pepper. That orange blob at the side - I think it's some kind of tomato pesto. I'm not too sure exactly.

spicy dark chocolate ice cream with milk chocolate mousse and chocolate brownie
This triple chocolate dessert was not bad. The brownie was rather fudgy which I liked and the spicy dark chocolate was rich, smooth and spicy enough.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mushidori Original Curry Rice from Washoku Goen

Mushidori Original Curry Rice, Washoku Goen

This branch of Washoku Goen down at Clifford Centre's Foodfair (#B1-01/10 Clifford Centre, 24 Raffles Place) features a Mushidori curry rice which uses their rendition of poached chicken instead of the usual tori katsu. I kinda liked it. It was pretty tender, well flavoured and while it might not have rivalled the best of local chicken rice we have for the chook, it didn't taste too shabby at all. Too bad it's only available at this particular outlet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tim Ho Wan, Westgate

So I've finally visited Tim Ho Wan (#01-13/14 Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, tel : +65 6686 2000). And yes, it had taken me a while. But I didn't see any reason to hurry to a cloned proxy of a Michelin starred dim sum joint, be it a deserving luminance or not. 

Their century egg and minced meat porridge was quite nice. It was a good effort having the porridge as close as the ones in Hong Kong. I shall not compare.

These baked buns with char siew are apparently one of their signatures. Or one of their big four heavenly kings as they term them. The crusty exterior doesn't preserve their crisp texture very well over time so we've learnt after doing a takeaway. I didn't dislike these but I don't think I'll be ordering them again.

Har gow was good. Fresh firm chunks of shrimp found in these steamed dumplings.

The steamed spinach dumplings with shrimp were also good. In fact, it was one of the more outstanding items we've had in this visit and I intend to get them again if I ever come back.

Steamed rice rolls were decent if unexceptional. I'm pretty sure it was the sweet and sesame sauces that did the trick.

Tim Ho Wan's pan fried radish cakes are also another of their four heavenly kings. Sadly, these don't come close to those from Imperial Treasure which are noticeably superior with a tastier crust and creamier inside.

The third of the four heavenly king of theirs we tried was their steamed egg cake. Or also commonly known as 马来糕. The texture was light and quite fluffy, but these didn't quite taste like the usual eggy ones. I'm not sure if they have been localized but there was a distinctive flavour of gula melaka in them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A mega maguro katsu don from Maguro Donya Miura Misakikou Sushi & Dining

It's always a mouthful handful trying to enunciate type the name of our friendly neighbourhood hon maguro specialist. Here's a hefty maguro katsu donburi from Maguro Donya Miura Misakikou Sushi & Dining which features tuna wrapped in seaweed and then battered in panko before the deep fry. The resultant crust was rather firm, crisp and dry while the meat on the inside was moist and fully cooked. It was probably much too thin a slab for any lesser doneness which I was actually hoping for and I was glad that they didn't overdo the tonkatsu sauce. In retrospect, I very much prefer tuna that is less cooked or even raw.