Thursday, April 28, 2011

De Burg, Ghim Moh

De Burg
I was initially a little excited after hearing about this place (Blk 10 Ghim Moh Road, #01-78, Stall #3) that me and a couple of colleagues headed down during lunch. I opted straight for the larger 200g patty option which sounded much more substantial than the smaller one at half its weight.

I couldn't say that I was impressed on the whole. While it did feature the texture of coarse hand chopped meat for the patty and the burger was sturdily piled up, the flavour lacked definition. The beefiness was subdued even by the discreet application of the BBQ sauce and mayo with bacon strips. I was also expecting a bit more of the char aroma from the medium done patty. The lack of cheese flavors in a bacon cheeseburger wasn't what I was expecting as well.

It's definitely one of the better ones around from coffeeshops, but didn't make the cut that I would crave for them and specially head back again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Medzs, Orchard Central

I came across this place (181 Orchard Road, #B2-01/02/03, tel : 6238 9028) a couple of weeks back by chance while wandering from Centrepoint to the basement of Orchard Central and made a mental note of it since it looked interesting and was also not open for business yet. So I gather that it must have started out quite recently. The concept of place works pretty much like Marché, but is actually run by Food Junction.

One basically gets issued cards which are used to pay for the various food stations that comprises of food from Turkey, France, Morocco, Spain and some other places. Picked up a platter of salty fatty charcuterie that featured jamon serrano. It seems that they have jamon iberico on the menu as well.

The cheese section was just right next to the charcuterie so I swiped up some goat's cheese, parmigiano reggiano and a savory nutty Spanish one call Manchego.

The salt baked beef from the French station was actually pretty good.

Lamb tagine was very disappointing. I do not remember the last time I've had these things, but the flavours were too diluted and the lamb had virtually lost all its characteristic gamey flavours. Having coriander in them worsened the already present ill disposition. Will definitely have to give that Moroccan/Tunisian station a total miss the next time.

Desserts didn't look like they were really interesting either. I was hoping for some of those milky rice pudding things, but I guess this place was just not ready to go there yet. What we're saw were pretty much the run of the mill cakes, pastries and ice cream.

Still I'm probably coming back again for some of those nice looking kebabs with rice and chilli from the Greek station another day.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Old Hong Kong Kitchen, Square 2

Old Hong Kong Kitchen, Square 2
After three visits, there are definitely things going on around here (10 Sinaran Drive, #02-80 Novena Square 2, tel : +65 6397 7023) that I liked. In spite of a poor show of staples like the ubiquitous char siew bao with skin that was a little hard and fillings that were, we managed to find some redemptive dishes that made us come back.

Like the competently done har gao and the XO sauce carrot cake that wasn't overly greasy and was well textured with the accompanied egg and crunchy bean sprouts. I definitely loved the bean curd skin wrap with chicken, fish maw, pig stomach and mushrooms along with their collagen filled shark cartilage soup with conpoy and fish maw wanton. The latter two of which have become my regular favourites.

The plate of colourful stuff was supposed to be sautéed scallops with goose liver sauce. What I didn't expect was that it consisted of mostly bell pepper fillers. It was a mistake that will not be repeated.

This place is probably a little pricier than Imperial Treasure which I feel does a very good job of dim sum, but not so much that I wouldn't consider them again when I feel like a little change. Maybe I could try dinner another time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar, Hotel Fort Canning

I have been wanting to give Gattopardo (Hotel Fort Canning, 11 Canning Walk, tel : +65 6338 5498) a try for quite a while now. In retrospect, it had turned out to be a case of anticipation that finally met up with a series of mixed feelings.

What had caused those mixed feelings over a place with good service and delicious Sicilian food you might wonder? I guess I had expected a little more out of their sardines alla Beccaficu with stuffing of breadcrumb, olives, pine nuts and raisins. I would imagine that such a combination would result in a play of textures and flavours. I couldn't have been more wrong. The stuffings felt like a paste - a blob of cooked polenta perhaps and was overwhelmed in both textures and flavour by the sardines. I did enjoy those fresh warm sardines, but I guess that was pretty much all there was to them.

Next up was their seafood stew served in a terra cotta pot. Didn't quite think that presentation scored with that since the pot was obviously not used for the cooking. The broth was infused with the flavours of seafood and tomatoes, but it had ultimately felt like a seafood ratatouille. Didn't think it was worth that they had charged since it was pretty much the usual seafood for a signature stew.

The pizze Arrotolata was a hearty one. What did I like about it? The fillings were milky and chewy with generous stuffing of mozzarella; porky and greasy with the bits of suckling pig meat and fat. All of those aforementioned cheesy and porky goodness was further bolstered by a robust platform of flavorus from the porcini mushrooms.

I guess I had also been expecting bits of crispy suckling pig skin in there which there wasn't. And I guessed that their supposedly smoked mozzarella tasted exactly like the regular ones and that it would have been great if they hadn't forgotten that grape sauce which was suppose to be in the pizza. Wow, talk about mixed feelings.

Ordering desserts is usually a good thing for me since I would not have bothered if I had felt that the rest of the meal wasn't worth the time or money to invest further. Their rum baba turned out to be an excellent choice as the rum infused cake was amazingly light. It must have been really soft and airy if it wasn't soaked in the rum. Would have been great if there was more cream to go along and the lime sorbet was a nice touch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Itacho Sushi revisited......

Here was a fish and rice filled dinner that we had. It was a much better experience than the first visit when I wasn't very impressed at all. I still feel the same about their aburi-ed items. It certainly lacked a full body scorch aroma which I was expecting but the rest of the items were not too bad. Put into consideration also that ION was definitely a convenient location.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sabar Menanti, Kandahar Street

Sabar Menanti, Kandahar Street
I hadn't realized that this place (48 Kandahar Street, tel : +65 6396 6919) had been visited by Anthony Bourdain until very recently. So said his little photograph behind the cashier counter at the front of the restaurant.

That aside, the food was pretty damn good in a hearty sort of way. Good enough to send me to a coma shortly after lunch from the extra portions of rice made necessary by the rich and savoury/spicy gravies which I had found hard to resist.

I'm talking about heart clogging creamy goop from the ayam rendang and the spicily flavourful and rich tasting gravy from the ayam obor. Not to be overlooked as well, was the beef rendang redolent in the aromas of coconut and and char aroma which I suspiciously felt came from the black (read burnt) bits. This I'm sure, was enough reasons for one to request for more than one portion of their modestly portioned rice.

Their frills free (only potato and nothing else) begedil was really good too. Will try to make a trip down another day.

Sabar Menanti, ayam rendangayam rendang

Sabar Menanti, ayam opor ayam opor

Sabar Menanti, paru beladoparu belado

Sabar Menanti, Kandahar Streetstir fried long beans?

Sabar Menanti, begedilbegedil

Sabar Menanti, Kandahar Streetsome tasty omelete

Sabar Menanti, beef rendangpretty awesome beef rendang

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Prime rib from Crossroads Cafe

Crossroads Cafe, prime rib

I saw on the board behind the bar that they had prime rib on the menu on Thursdays. Beside appearing a little mangled and slightly undercooked, the meat did taste pretty ok. It wasn't the kind of quality they had over at Lawry's or at Tanglin Club but I guess for what it cost, you do get what you pay for. There was a pretty tasty and slightly tart au jus and a choice of sides which included a pretty smooth creamed spinach and some salted asparagus which I liked. Guess here's an option for affordable prime rib on the weekdays apart from the one down at Hog's Breath.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A semla from Ikea's cafeteria

Ikea, semla

I hadn't seen or heard of these things before so I grabbed one out of curiosity down in the Ikea at Tampines. These semla turned out to be pretty good. What they essentially were, is a cardamom spiced wheat bun with cream and almond paste on the top and a dusting of powdered sugar. It wasn't as sweet as I was worried about and I had to say that the subtle cardamom flavour in the bun did help in my decision of liking it. Now, if I could only try some of these freshly made!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dry curry chahan and mapo tofu from Ohsho

Ohsho, dry curry chahan
I finally broke out of the charshu chahan repetition and picked another from the list of fried rice menu at Ohsho. The combination of curry powder and onions made reminded me of murtabak. A little Indian and Japanese and at the same time, yet still quite Chinese if you catch my drift. First impressions for me on this and no complains.

Speaking of comfort food, their rendition of mapo tofu wasn't too bad. I liked them better after the gravy had lost some of the starchy consistency. Just tofu, minced meat and a mild spiciness which probably would have worked better with white rice than fried rice.

Ohsho, mapo tofu

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Poutine, truffled mushroom soup and wagyu burger from Crossroads Cafe

Crossroads Cafe, poutine

Crossroads Cafe, mushroom soup

Crossroads Cafe, wagyu burger

Crossroads Cafe, wagyu burger

What did I not like too much about the food here(320 Orchard Road, GF Marriott Hotel, tel : +65 6735 5800)? Probably just the truffled wild mushroom soup that reminded me a little too much of the Campbell variety with a tad generous dash of cream which was largely saved by the truffle oil that came in almost imperceptible portions. Maybe I could gripe over the gravy from the poutine that could have been a little richer and perhaps less watery. Or perhaps, the choice of bun which didn't quite do it's job holding the burger up together as the juices from the patty disintegrated them.

I'm just being picky :p.

I did enjoy the poutine in spite of the fact that I would definitely prefer it with a bit more of that gravy which wasn't too shabby in the first place. Couldn't complain about the stinky goat cheese and bits of salty chorizo that came with it as well. The wagyu burger was definitely more than a mouthful of stacked beef patties, nicely grilled and blanketed with raclette cheese. As one might have surmised from the above, there were a great deal of bovine flavoured meat juices and grease from the patty. Nothing beyond a some rockets, the fragrance of sliced raw red onions and a little tomato to detract from the flavour. And a juicy fat gherkin to cut through all the combined grease. I can't say that I won't be back......

...but I will not be ordering that mushroom soup again.