Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bornga, Star Vista

Bornga, vegetables

Bornga, ggot sal

Bornga, woosamgyup

Bornga, maengmyeon

Despite the fact that the meats were the supposed stars of this dinner (#02‐24, The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, tel : +65 6694 4696), the majority of what we ate for tonight were probably vegetables. There were loads of it from the wrap platter to cold soups to the banchan (purple sweet potato mash is really good). And it all didn't feel heavy with just minimal carbs from the refreshingly light tasting cold buckwheat noodles.

Between the meats, it was quite obvious that their signature woosamgyup was clearly tastier. Thin sliced fat laced brisket in a light marinate that resembled tender bacon accompanied by their special dip which tasted of some fermented bean and pepper. The marbled ggot sal on the other hand were sliced a little too thick resulting in some difficulty in cooking.

The food was a little pricey for sure, but I think I don't mind giving them another go.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club
butter chicken

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club
gobi 65

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club
crayfish briyani

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club

Gayatri Restaurant, Orchid Country Club
sabzi vegetarian briyani

It took us a few tries to come down here (Orchid Country Club, 1 Orchid Club Road, #01-21, tel : +65 6481 1112) for dinner as they were almost perpetually booked for events during the weekend.

So there was some briyani, a tangy and smokey butter chicken and crisp gobi 65; the last of which varied in spiciness in the two occasions we had them. Their briyani was quite tasty with well seeped in flavour be it the crayfish or the vegetarian rendition. The flavour from the crayfish was actually not drowned out by the sauces. But I was surprised to see a little dish of mock meat dish with the other briyani.

Don't come here for masala tea. It costs three times of the outlet at Telok Ayer and came in a smaller cup.

Monday, October 28, 2013

More from Kian Seng Seafood

This was a family birthday dinner where we ordered up a bunch of what we liked from the previous visit including a couple of  items which we hadn't tried before. One of which was the dull skinned and mildly herbal kampung salt chicken that almost everyone else seems to be ordering; which turned out to be pretty good. Apart from the mild herbal aroma, the bird was what we felt to be nicely and sufficiently salted. It reminded me of the salt baked one from Plum Village which was juicer and had the advantage of being peppery.

Here's a second go at their spinach with three eggs and superior stock. Wow, this was just a turnaround from the previous visit. The gravy was noticeably much more flavorful  from the salted egg in comparison with then. This stuff is pretty damn good.

And a delicious dry stir fried kuey teow with preserved turnip (cai por), bean sprouts and chopped bits of kailan. I didn't care much for those strips of ham that they placed over the top, but the rest of the rice noodles were a medley of textures from the vegetables with a savory char aroma. Very good with the garlic chilli sauce on the side that they've provided!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

Fergus Henderson inspired nose to tail dining has finally made its presence on our shores. The very first proclaimed of such, is Wolf (18 Gemmill Lane, tel : +65 6557 2224) by the Privé Group. Just right across the road from Club Street Social.

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

While exotic for some, food with offal and other innards is an age old eating habit which had been formed from time immemorial where every bit was a precious scrap. Awareness just been made a little hip in recent years. Definitely not new here in Asia.

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

The public philosophy behind what they create is respecting the ingredient (animal that died for your plate) and letting nothing go to waste. I'm curious at the the level of commitment that the restaurant has made backing that philosophy. Didn't think we saw much ingredients beyond what already can be found elsewhere. I'm sure there were many other parts we could have been served as food and that hearts and livers and sweetbreads and skin aren't the only things that maketh the beast.

Wolf, fried pig skin
some crispy fried pig skin

Some fried pig skin to start. Tastes like chicharron, sans the vinegar on the side. 

Wolf, grilled beef heart
 grilled beef hearts
haricots verts, green grapes, 
walnuts, stout dressing

And then some medium rare hearts of cow. There was only probably 2 grapes in there. I don't think grapes cost so much. But the hearts were pretty good and grilled with little distraction but salt and pepper.

Wolf, pig's head terrine
 pig’s head & trotter brawn
herb salad, crusty bread 

We were informed that this was best eaten fast as the gelatin would still hold from the cold. We personally though that the head cheese became a little more flavoursome once it has gotten a little less cold. Who really cared if the gelatin held eh? If anyone's wondering, this is terrine made of bits of meat from pig's head and trotter set in aspic. It tastes a little porky and we liked it.

Wolf, ox tongue
grilled ox tongue 
salsa verde, puy lentil salad

Grilled ox tongue was delicious. So was the bed of lentils and the mint and garlic salsa verde that they used.

Wolf, sweetbread risotto
sweetbreads & mushroom risotto

The fried sweetbread really reminded me of fried fish roe. I thought it was delicious. The portions of the sweetbread was however, a little too little. Risotto with trumpet mushrooms was pretty okay. Rice was very nicely timed with the cooking and not mind blowing. But it was quite addictive.

Wolf, savoy cabbage
a side of  braised savoy cabbage,
house-cured smoked bacon

This is probably one of the better applications of savoy cabbage I've had. In a really long time. Umami and lightly smokey. I'm going to order this again the next time.

Wolf, rhubarb trifle
rhubarb trifle

Not bad. This trifle is actually much better than the one at Lawry's which was too much tart and cake with too little cream. There was more cream to fruit ratio in there and it even tasted good with pepper. 

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

Wolf, Gemmill Lane

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meii Sushi, International Plaza

Meii Sushi, International Plaza

Been hearing quite a bit about and wanting to come down to Meii Sushi (10 Anson Road, International Plaza, #02-54, tel : +65 6220 3466) for a while since the time they were located near Craig Road. You know... little warmish and cosy joint in an unexpected corner that feels special, local chef with a little dash of infamy and thick cuts of sashimi. It was all intriguing.

In retrospect, the food was good. Not mind blowing but just straightforward good served by a rather affable Chef Hong that seemed to surround his person with a gossamer of mischief. Special mention goes to their buttery chutoro. I can't wait till uni season.

Meii Sushi
an otoshi of ebi with wasabi dressing....and some pickled vegetable that tastes like chye sim

Meii Sushi

Meii Sushi
thickly sliced hotate, amaebi, sake, hamachi aaaannnd......

Meii Sushi

Meii Sushi
onsen tamago, uni

Meii Sushi
grilled collar of yellowtail I think

Meii Sushi
buttery buttery chutoro

Meii Sushi

Meii Sushi

Meii Sushi
gunkans of scallop chunks atop chopped toro

Meii Sushi
asari miso soup

Meii Sushi
pre desserts of gunkans with 2 types of uni

Meii Sushi
rock melon that had texture like Chinese pear

Monday, October 21, 2013

Etna 2013

It seems that Etna has scoped downwards their rather extensive menu, reducing the once rather staggering options to less than half. Of the casualties that were involved, one is a risotto that I really liked.

There was burrata available so we got one. The creamy cheese was nicely chilled along with the vine ripened tomatoes. The wait staff tried to convince us that the accompanying Parma ham would melt in the mouth. She probably hasn't had much of them herself. Haha...

There's a new risotto on menu done with Castelmagno cheese and Barolo reduction. T'was not bad there. The fortified wine reduction was pretty viscous and sweet, playing off the savoury and creamy rice.

Also something that we hadn't taken note of before, their ba chor mee of home made semolina ciriole with sausages, porcini and truffle paste. This was very good. Served piping hot, the texture of the noodles were quite spot on for fresh pasta. Their cream sauce was clinging nicely onto them. I can see us having this again. 

And our favourite dessert from Etna. Not that they have that much to choose from, but the pistachios made the difference.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Food stall lunch at Takashimaya

This was basically lunching by munching through the food stalls set up just outside of the supermarket at Takashimaya. There were actually too much things that we would have wanted to eat, so we ended up getting stuff from just a couple of vendors.

The first stall we happened by was selling mentaiko. The people at the stall were doing sandwiches on crust removed white bread that were lightly toasted. And then two thick pats of butter along with a spread of mentaiko that they were selling. It, was awesome.

The other siren serenade that reeled us in was the GroXer Inc booth that was selling some Japanese products. That included Joshu wagyu and gyu from the Gunma prefecture.

We were informed that Joshu gyu is a branding for what is known as F1 beef, meat that is derived from a cross breed between a wagyu bull and a dairy cow. The progeny benefits from the genetic inheritance from the parent resulting in tenderness and good marbling characteristics in its own. 

Convinced by the charming hostess trying to sell us stuff (lol!) and that the stall was also manned by Tadashi Takahashi from Hashi, we buckled for a wagyu steak don which was excellent. It was a bit of coin dropped in for that bento, but the fragrant caramelization from meat which largely dissolved on the tongue with great flavor made it worth it. In fact, we thought well enough of it that we went back.

This time, it was for their F1 gyu don, with their delicious sukiyaki styled sauce and sauce infused tofu. The meat was cooked upon order and the marbling looked so good that we had initially mistaken it for wagyu. The flavor was sublime and texture, ethereal. Paired with the piping hot rice, tofu and sweet shreds of onion. 

With little room left, we managed to squeeze a small order of braised intestines as sides from the nearby booth selling Taiwanese food. Good stuff too.