Friday, August 03, 2007

Essential Brew, Holland Village

Essential Brew (269 Holland Ave, Holland Village) has been around for some years. Their food are fusion of sorts because they're paired with tea and flowers. I didn't think all of it were a success in the department of flavours. That being said, the food here wasn't bad. In fact, I wouldn't mind eating here again if I had to.

Some of the dishes were pretty good. Or maybe, I came here expecting little. Judging by how long this establishment has been around, I also think that this place is probably one of the early adopters of such tea and flower food fusion places. The only other place that I know of was actually Helio Cafe.

grilled tofu steak ($4.75)

nutmeg marinade prawns ($7.50)

The grilled tofu steak which I was told was good was actually good. It was was tau kwa with sliced mushrooms wedged inside. Tasted light and clean and a little salty which I enjoyed. Compared with the elaborate tau kwa tower from Buko Nero, this was less pretentious and represented better value for money in my not so humble opinion.

The nutmeg marinade prawns on the other hand didn't do as well. The prawns were decent if not outstanding. What didn't work for me were the overwhelming lemongrass and ginger in the sauce which totally overwhelmed any flavour from the nutmeg. Bad fusion. Confusion.

earl grey ribeye ($18.95)

honey mustard chicken ($14.95)

Earl Grey and steak isn't....two words that come together usually. Piqued my curiosity so I ordered it. The ribeye was quite decent. I opted for the medium doneness and it did turned out to be a very good medium. Was a little larger than what I expected. The accompanying sauce was an Earl Grey and red wine concoction. Neither of which came through sufficiently. The red wine flavour was thin. Even if it were to be robust, it would totally drown out the subtle tea flavour. I had only managed to detect very a faint taste of the Earl Grey after I was more than halfway done with the steak.

The honey mustard chicken too didn't quite live up in flavour to its name. The mustard flavour was a tad too light. It was however a nice honey chicken chop. The ball on the side was actually jasmine rice which had quite a strong flavour from the jasmine.

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