Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Royal Mail, Finlayson Green


The Royal Mail (Ascott Raffles Place, 2 Finlayson Green, tel : +65 6509 3589) purports to provide a modern take on classic British cuisine. Well, it was a really small bit of classic British judging from the menu. 


The first impressions of the food was their gougères which were all freshly baked before service and dangerously good. The flavours were just pepper and cheese in their not so puffy choux pastry. Good that we asked for seconds.


Followed by an amuse bouche of tuna with cream cheese and dill foam. From this point, we realised that the wait for food was going to be really long. We needed more amusing of the bouche and it arrived from in the form of the seconds of their delicious gougère. Which probably took a while to prepare but were inhaled in 15 seconds.


Their starters of scallops and octopus were very nicely done. Scallops were really good actually and I was wishing that they were larger so that there would be more of the sweet seared meat to go around. The ikura which they had added were super briny. One can hence imagine the burst of flavours when it pops in the mouth. The dark sheet of shadow at the bottom of the seafood was suppose to be a squid ink crust. It didn't taste very much like squid ink, had a sandy texture and was pretty wet for a crust. Didn't taste bad, just didn't taste like how it was described.


Soup of the day was cream of cauliflower. 


Cauliflower alone would have been a little too mainstream, so we asked for some blue cheese for the soup. Needless to say, it tasted a lot better than just straight old cream of cauliflower.


Here's their 340g prime rib, which was really more of an English roast of rib rather than the prime rib that I had in mind. The meat was tender, expertly seasoned and in essence pretty good. But it just didn't quite give me that level of satisfaction that I get at Lawry's. Which by the way also does a much better Yorkshire pudding. 

The veal jus that they provided on the side was good stuff. It was rich, robust, salty and malty at the same time. Tasted like it has a base of Borvil.


This was their Kurobuta pork chop, served with apples and what they describe as apple jus. These guys are so modest with their descriptions. The said apple jus was luxuriant and liquid velvet. I'm pretty sure I tasted butterscotch in it and it also had that sweet and savoury element with a bit of tart going on.  For a thick piece of chop, it was almost inevitable that the middle of the cut will become a little dry. But that's what the apple jus was there for.


On the side, some autumn-y dish of chestnuts, grapes, almonds, apricots and blue cheese. Loved those warm grapes.


Dessert was a Banoffee tart. The salted caramel had the typically agreeable notes of the smoky sweet and salty. And then cream, bananas and buttery pastry....need I embellish further?

Service was good. There were only two wait staff in the restaurant, but it was apparent that they know their work and that they were doing as best as they could. Since this was just a single visit, I think it would be a little pre-mature for me to venture an assessment of the food. But I will anyway since it's my blog. 

It's British food as they say, and a little more refined than rustic. From what we had, we could understand what they mean by modern interpretations (not that we had that much of it). But that was probably not true of the meats nor soup which were really just what they were or have been in form.  I'm quite sure that it would have applied to some of the other stuff that we didn't order as well. Which was just basic food without frills. There was definitely some quality in there with nothing over the top in terms of approach or presentation. So I couldn't help but to think that it's a little pricey. Must be the damned location eh?

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