Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Helio Cafe, Marina Square

This wasn't a place that one could drop by for food with advance notification. Some of the items required preparation. Thanks to Junie (and Clement too for your time) for the invite down to this lunch. Helio Cafe was just 4 or 5 tables outside Prestige Helio Asia Spa. Headed by an enterprising Chef Clement Ronald Ng who has more than a few tricks up his sleeves in his world of culinary fusion.

I cannot remember what this dish was called, but it involves lemons, seedless grapes, ground rose petals and a bunch other spices that I do not recall in the chicken which is subsequently encased in a dense hard pastry to be baked.

If you've noticed from the first picture, the plate was dry. Subsequently, its filled with a brown juice. That's the "chicken au jus" - natural and delicately accented with the fruits and herbs that were baked with the bird. The pastry shell sealed in all the moisture from the chicken so that little of the natural flavouring and juiciness is lost in the process of high heat baking. The result is a very tender and juicy chicken which tasted quite herbal to me. I thought the grapes were really nice.

That's a beef cooked in red wine sauce on a bed of whipped potato. The beef was ok I guess. I do enjoy a good ribeye, so this isn't exactly the kind of style I'd go for in red meat generally. This tastes more like braised beef. What was interesting to me about this dish is the red wine sauce which slowly eroded away at the whipped potato creating a very pleasant cloudy soup which actually tasted pretty good

This strawberry yoghurt parfait with brandy snap and strawberry/raspberry sauce is a sort of ice cream like dessert which has raspberries trapped frozen in the cold creamy yoghurt hull. Notably mouth watering (literally) is the brandy snap which was the sweetness to the tart profile of the dessert.

And the strawberry cheese in filo pastry was probably one of best pastry stuff I've ever had. I kid you not. The pictures do no justice to the dessert. The layered crispy pastry shell was crispily awesome. I thought that the filling of the strawberry cheese may have been better served with more cheese. I'm not complaining though.

That's Helio's take on the molten chocolate cake. I'm sure you didn't see that coming. Yeah, molten choc cake and it looks little like the other molten chocolate cakes. This rendition of the cake doesn't come with molten chocolate, but very warm soft chocolate and topped with apricot that is aged in rum over two months. There was very pleasant diffusion of the flavour from the alcohol.

What we noticed about the desserts from Helio was that we didn't suffer from sugar saturation. Even after all of these. According to Clement, there is no added sugar in his cooking.


Junie said...

hahaha... im lazy to write too!

Junie said...

the first item is called rosemary seedless grapes pastry chicken

D said...

I love this place too. Their mains are good but their desserts are really king. I've done two reviews on them so far and looking at yours makes me want to go down again... soon.

LiquidShaDow said...

I've a friend who's interested in going down with his wife to try their food and dessert. Maybe we can arrange something in conjunction with Clement so that he has time for preparation and perhaps we can all go together.

D said...

I actually just had dinner at Helio's after arriving back in Singapore. I think the next theme week for savories is going to be "mushroom". I had the strawberry cheese in filo pasty thingy as well. Man, that was kickass.