Saturday, June 20, 2009

Absinthe, Bukit Pasoh


I originally took notice of this place after reading a mention of them as Absinthe (48 Bukit Pasoh Road, tel : 6222 9068) is a name that is surrounded by half truths, rumors and generally a aura of dark disposition because of the hallucinogenic effects of the drink and that it has in the course of history, been the cause of death. Of such as Oscar Wilde. I've personally had some, but failed to summon the green fairies that were suppose to appear and found that I generally don't enjoy it as the taste of aniseed/licorice reminded me too much of cough syrup. But I digress..... this is a restaurant that serves French food.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A tortellini alla Genovese from Porta Porta


I'm not surprised at all that this pasta tasted really homely and heart warming in more ways than one. And I've also never really ordered anything alla Genovese since I had always assumed that they were just another one of those tomato based concoctions which I may just dislike. I was wrong and it turned out that the sauce is based more on meat/onions/white wine/and some other minced and stewed vegetables. Tomatoes were used as well, but in a more sparing manner in comparison to the regular ragu types of sauces. I really couldn't taste much of the other vegetables to be honest, but the predominant white wine and meat flavors were rich in the stew like broth at the base of what I made out to be ricotta filled tortellinis. Piping hot.

Another reason for me to come back another time. Now if only they were more wallet friendly.....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Al Forno Trattoria revisited

Parma

Pappardelle al Quatro Formaggi

Frittura Mista

the slice before the rest

Medaglioni di Maiale Pancetta


So, the bummer here was that they ran out of gnocchi since it was specifically the thing that I wanted to have from here after eating them from the last visit. The one difference from the others on how they're done here is that the gnocchis are pan fried before being doused with their rich four cheese sauce that while a heavy one, didn't border on being boring at all. The end effect was that it tasted a little like pan fried radish cake. So we ended up with their pappardelle instead, which was by its own right, not bad at all. Thick cut and not overly done from swimming in the boiling pot.

The Parma ham on the pizza was sliced thicker than I remember them, to the point whereby using hands wasn't really an option since I could hardly chew them through without pulling most of it off the pizza. It was decent (a tad pricier than most places), but not as memorable as the previous time I had them. And those fried prawns that came with the calamari aren't really something I'll be excited to come back to again neither.

What was also good, was the pork fillets. I'm talking about thick hearty chunks of pig (tenderloin) wrapped in more pig (bacon) sitting in a brown sauce which I couldn't quite identify, but have no complains about.

One of the old school and no frills Italian places that I find quite pleasant apart from one particular service staff that had a smile that I find a little disquietly disturbing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Japanese sweet potato jelly cakes from Isetan


Got a box of them from one of the Japanese fairs over at Isetan during the weekends. I'm not sure why these things are called sweet potato jelly cakes since they don't resemble jellies in taste nor in appearances in anyway. What I can say about the textures of these things are that they taste like reconstructed steamed sweet potatoes that are chilled. It's as if the cooked potatoes are mashed, mixed with something sweet (just sugar maybe) and then packed back into these brick like shapes that you see. Despite finding them a tad too sweet, they were quite addictive for me as well with the fragrance rather noticeable. I guess there wasn't much other ingredients used to make them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cod-dling up at Wasabi Tei


I'm really not doing any advertising for Wasabi Tei if that's a thought that's in your head, but I really had to give myself a chance at their grilled cod which caught my attention the last time I was here. Due to probable inconsistency here, it also turned out not as thick and large as I remember seeing it but I have to say that there wasn't any regrets. And yes, it does look quite charred, like their unagi and grilled chicken which were nice in that charred way. I'm quite sure that many would have something to say about the quality of the cooking, but it really doesn't taste as burnt as it looks. In fact it was quite fragrant on the outside while being soft and juicy on the insides. This was also an opportunity to try the cod in claypot which never fails to turn up on someone else's seat everytime I am there. The discovery is that at each seating, only 4 of these can be served up since it takes about a half hour for the cooking to be done and it was actually not bad.

What you got from the hot bubbling pot apart from the fish was a whole lot of soft boiled cabbage, seaweed and golden mushrooms in a lightly sweetish dashi based broth. I'm not an expert on fishes nor do I order them very often, but I've eaten them enough in my life to recognize that these were pretty fresh as they go too.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Angus House, Ngee Ann City


I guess this is one place (391 Orchard Road, #04-25 Ngee Ann City, tel : 6735 6015) where I'll have little beef about their beef. Haha. Well, it's actually my second visit with the first time being a treat a few years back and really, the food from the set seems to be exactly as I remember it, from the fried fish starter to the tiramisu for dessert. Despite quite a number of new places sprouting up doing steaks, Angus House is still a fairly reliable place to fall back onto for a regular juicy ribeye with no frills but an onion/soy based sauce.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Capricci, Tanjong Pagar


Relatively new restaurant that has moved into the place along Duxton where Oso used to be (27 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel : 6221 6761). The food was decent, with a savory starter of parmesan and wild mushroom souffle that stood out being both cheesy and comforting; and a ficattole which reminded me of deep fried dough fritters from Indian rojak stores. The latter would have gotten boring in a while, being a little heavy from the the grease, if not for the Parma ham that actually paired off pretty well with them.

Pasta was a little disappointing. What was meant by disappointing is that while it was really not terrible, it simply didn't hold enough of an appeal that I would look forward to coming back. The carbonara had a seafoody taste of clams and squids in the cream was a little interesting for a while. Gnocchi was just uninspiringly dull since one couldn't really taste the bits of chestnuts in them and the crushed pistachios are really doing nothing apart from providing texture to the dish since the flavors are a tad weak to content with a Gorgonzola based sauce which also didn't contain enough of the blue cheese to make me impressed in the first place. Maybe it could have been because of not having ordered their "signature" items. I definitely don't subscribe to depending on that.

"the bread wok"

soffiato di parmigiano in fonduta

ficattole with Parma ham

tagliatelle seafood carbonara

chestnut and potato gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and crushed pistachio