Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zambuca, Pan Pacific Hotel

I never got to visit Zambuca (#03-00, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, tel : +65 6337 8086) back in the time Angelo Sanelli and Dennis Sim were around to run the show. Those two chefs have since moved on to Mietta's, We came one evening not knowing what to expect. One of my friends absolutely detested this restaurant and no one I personally know have actually visited it since the old chefs have moved on.

Their web site was sorely in need of an update. I couldn't find out what the current menu as email inquiries were a one way affair. The first glance at the menu didn't really look that interesting. The server seemed to have the idea that their gnocchi and quail salad was actually pasta. Didn't appear encouraging. 
amuse bouche

Amuse bouche was something made with a blender. Tasted very much like gazpacho. There was tomato and olive oil in it. Light on the palate and also refreshing in a cold way. If you're wondering what's the stirrer like object resting on the rim of the glass, it's a single stalk of chive which I almost used as a straw.

warm gnocchi and quail salad

This was hands down one of the most enjoyable salad I've had. Not that I was big on salads in the first place. This was well tossed with olive oil and moderated amount of vinegar. There was something moreish and savoury in the dressing I couldn't identify. Loved those salted bits of morels and slightly crisp pan fried gnocchi. Quail tasted like chicken. I would come back for this again.

tomato and goat cheese tart

We got the tart with goat cheese. Light tartness from the tomato balanced the rich creaminess from the goat cheese. Would have liked more balsamic vinegar than those artistic drizzles but not complaining here. Very tasty warm tart. I wished that something like this was more readily available. I mean, I shouldn't have to come to a restaurant just to eat a tomato and goat cheese tart.

porcini risotto

Adequately flavoured with porcini but wasn't punchy enough with that. It was however quite cheesy as well and that made it up for me. Liked it.

tenderloin with red wine reduction & foie gras sauce

Zambuca did a nicely grilled hunk of medium rare tenderloin. Not as puny as the one from Valentino's. The foie gras in the red wine reduction didn't quite play itself out as I expected. When I read that fat liver is included into a sauce, I would want to taste that fat liver. Not much of those flavour. Those onion things on the side were however an amazing mix of sweet and tartness.

apple tartine

The obvious comparison that came to mind for this was the apple tartine from Saraceno. I can't tell which is the better dessert. I liked them both in their own ways. This one (apart from the carefully carved fruit) has apples which were baked and retained more then the other. Also the crust tasted less heavy. Both are what I consider something worth trying if one visits.

1 comment:

ah Teo said...

truffle oil has permeated the salad and risotto too. yummy...i like places who does that and it adds that extra touch to their food.