Archive for the # Dinner Category

Invited Review: COAST at 1twentysix

Posted in # Dinner, # Western on August 5, 2010 by thisisyummy

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

1 Twenty Six is located near East Coast Park, allowing it to position itself as an excellent quiet hang-out. It is relatively far away from the main hustle and bustle near McDonalds and thus is quiet enough to make you feel isolated from city life.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The bar and drinking area is separated from the main dining area and diners are afforded a comfortable and serene environment to dine in. However the music selection should be improved. I understand patrons at the bar might enjoy a little fast-paced hip hop or the latest R&B, but perhaps diners might prefer something more subtle and gentle.

Photobucket

Service staffs were excellent and we were greeted very warmly. They patiently explained their menu and even invited their in-house “mixologist” to recommend his own cocktail concoctions.

Dragon’s Breath

Photobucket

spiced rum, dragon fruit, hazelnut. First impression was that of melted ice cream (which the mixologist correctly described) but it started to seem similar to Bailey’s Irish Cream after a while. Rum becomes slightly strong as the drink starts to warm up – best taken when cold.

The Narcissist

Photobucket

a vodka inspired fruity mix with rosemary infusion. The rosemary flavor dominates most of the drink with just a hint of the vodka as an aftertaste. It’s a refreshing drink that the ladies will be sure to enjoy.

Bread

Photobucket

the bread offered was slightly dry and hard. The olive oil and vinegar dip could have a sharper vinegar taste. It comes across as slightly underwhelming.

Nibble PlatterCrispy Soft Shell Crab with chili mayo

Photobucket

We decided on their Communal Dinning set at S$70++ per pax. We had the Nibble Platter to start off the meal.

Excellent. The soft shell crab is not too crispy like in some Japanese restaurants and goes very well with both dips. The chili mayo may disappoint those looking for a full-flavored dip. There’s barely a hint of mayonnaise with a sharp after-touch of the chili.

Nibble Platter – Homemade Cod Brandade with grilled bruschetta

Photobucket

The taste of cod is very light but it is present in every bite. The bruschetta was very well made, the flavor of the garlic and grilled bread complements the cod. However, I felt that the cod was a little too mushy for my liking.

Nibble Platter – Potato skins with sour cream and ocean trout caviar

Photobucket

the caviar definitely provided an interesting contrast of texture between itself and the potato skins. The tiny bursts make this dish very enjoyable. The sour cream was not overly heavy or overpowering, allowing you to enjoy the taste of the potato and caviar.

Nibble Platter – Radish, Anchoiade and Crudites

Photobucket

Some greens to start off your meal with. Unlike your usual salad, the nibble platter offers a different variety of vegetables and is well complemented by the dips. I’d prefer to stick to my usual salads though.

Fish Pie with Snapper, ocean trout, prawn, leek, dill

Photobucket

The chef might want to consider using a more presentable cloth to line the bowl as what they used seemed like kitchen towels and it didn’t leave too good an impression.  However the pie itself was good. Though I could not really make out what was in the pie, the chunks of snapper was not too bad. The fish pie didn’t come across as too creamy or gelard for me. However, it might be too salty for some, and perhaps others may dislike the sharp tangy taste of the pie but I enjoyed it.

Seared King Scallop with smoked sea urchin risotto

Photobucket

Risotto has just the right texture, just chewy enough. Sea urchin flavor is well worked into every grain of rice ensuring that every bite gives you the taste of the ocean. Those who find eating actual “uni” too overwhelming will like this risotto. It gives you just enough hint of the sea urchin to whet your appetite. Scallops are really juicy and well seared and very fresh. Adult asparagus was used but the taste didn’t dominate the palate.

Complements

Photobucket

Herbed Leaf Salad, French Fries with Sea Salt, Brocolini with garlic and ginger (from left)

The herbed leaf salad was average but I thought the balsamic vinegar was not too bad. The brocolini didn’t fare as well here and lacked the oomph factor. I have to rave about the french fries! They are one of the best fries I ever had. I guess the truffle oil makes a whole lot of difference! It really enhances the flavor of the potato and the edges of the fries were crisp, but the insides were still soft and moist and full of substance. Excellent. I will go back just for the fries.

Photobucket

Dessert: Grande Assiette – selection of petite sized desserts to share

Pannacotta

Photobucket

Excellent texture. Smooth. Not overly milky as even as someone who doesn’t really enjoy dairy products, I liked this dessert.

Lime Soufflé

Photobucket

very VERY sour first bite, but it sort of grows on you after awhile. Though interesting, I’d rather have my usual rich chocolate souffle.

Devil’s flourless chocolate, marscapone and raspberry ripple cake

Photobucket

Very sharp raspberry taste that hits you immediately, which overpowers the flavour of the chocolate in the dessert. After trying a few desserts, we somehow felt that It seems this place has something for shocking you on your first bite.

Coffee Crème Brulee

Photobucket

taste of coffee totally overwhelms you. You might as well have been drinking an espresso. Coffee lovers take note!

Meringue

Photobucket

I haven’t had alot of meringue so far, but I felt COAST’s rendition of their meringue is a stark contrast to the meringue I had elsewhere. In general, it was a tad too sweet for my liking and the meringue could be better if the texture was a little lighter.

As with most restaurants, the food at COAST has hits and misses but me and my dining partner enjoyed the dinner thoroughly, especially where the ambience scores the most points in. You may want to consider COAST at 1twentysix for that special occasion.

Photobucket

Thank you Chiew Yen for the invite.

902 East Coast Parkway, #01-26
Playground @ Big Splash
Singapore 449874
Tel : 6348-2126
Fax: 6348-9126
www.1-twentysix.com
Advertisements

Absinthe

Posted in # Dessert, # Dinner, # French, + Chinatown, - Fish on March 31, 2010 by thisisyummy

I’ve long heard about Absinthe but never had the chance to check it out. Thankfully for Glenn, who made a reservation at Absinthe for Restaurant Week, I had the opportunity to try the food there. Absinthe was one of the many restaurants who were fully booked for Restaurant Week and having heard of the positive reviews of the food, I went with high expectations. The dinner menu is at $55++. 

 

(credits: www.diningcity.com)

I’d like to commend the service at Absinthe as I really felt at home that evening. The waiter patiently introduced to us some of the beverages and was friendly in serving us throughout the dinner. Service is one factor that I regard highly as no matter how good the food can be, if the service is disappointing, then I guess that’s my last time there. With such a lovely start to the dinner, I was even more excited for what is to come next! 

Tartare of Hokkaido Scallops with Wakame and Citrus Dressing 


Photobucket

Interesting starter to begin the meal. I love how the orginal seafood flavour tasted. After a long hiatus from spoiling my tastebuds from all the delicious food, this dish definitely teased those tastebuds and they shout “More! More!”. Yes, so that was how much I was anticipating for an awesome dinner. 

Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly, Star Aniseed Jus and Fennel Salad 
Photobucket

Call me fussy and hard to please, but I like to enjoy my meal slowly without being rushed to gobble up my food to prevent the plates from crowding the table. Absinthe scores here as the food was served as appropriate intervals. I remember on some ocassions when I dined at some restaurants, they try to stagger the food served to customers but the food comes out cold. At Absinthe, you can expect to be served food fresh from the kitchen! 

The pork was crispy on the outside and as you sink your teeth into it, the fats simply melt in your mouth. It was well accompanied by the rocket leaves and pear-spices chutney. There, I was just telling my dining partner how the dish reminded me of the foie gras at Sage, crispy on the outside and how the fats melt in your mouth. So sinful but definitely worth the calories. 

French Duck Breast, Sauteed Potatoes, Rocket and Mushroom 
Photobucket

My dining partner had the french duck breast and I tried a piece of it. It’s the first time I tasted raw duck and I didn’t really like it. The texture was like beef done medium, but it had this tinge of smell which I’m not too familiar with. Well, at least I tried it before. For duck lovers out there, you may love this main course though! 

Grilled Pink Snapper, Salad of Baby Spinach and Spelt, Lobster Scented Hollandaise 
Photobucket

I ordered the fish and boy, it was really good! I usually eat chicken rice without the skin, and fish without the skin. Partially because it’s fattening, also because I don’t really like the soft and oily texture of the skin. Give me fried crispy skin anytime. I like how Absinthe’s grilled pink snapper was soft and juicy. Also, the skin was crispy the way I like it! Thumbs up! 

So good that I have to post another picture!
Photobucket

Verbena and Blueberries Crème Brulee with Raspberry Sorbet 
Photobucket

It’s time for dessert! I’ve not had desserts for a long time. Creme brulee? It got me excited again. I was expecting vanilla beans and smooth textured creme brulee. Sadly, the dessert fell short of what I expected. The caramel layer was too thick and stucked to my teeth. Was there vanilla beans? The restaurant lighting was too dim but I certainly didn’t taste any. The texture was a tad too watery. Still, I enjoyed the ice-cream. =) Although there were hits and misses, I had a pleasant dining experience at Absinthe on the whole. The humble attitude of the waiters at Absinthe made me feel welcomed and comfortable. Chef Francois took some time to show us around Absinthe, Oso and the private dining rooms. I wouldn’t mind going back to Absinthe next time, perhaps to try out their degustation menu or the ala carte menu. 

To read a similar review on Absinthe of my dining partner, visit  http://www.hungryepicurean.com

 48 Bukit Pasoh Road
<Singapore
Phone: +65 62 229 068

Tung Lok Signatures

Posted in # Cantonese, # Dessert, # Dinner, + Clarke Quay. The Central, - Claypot rice, - Ice cream, - Shark's Fin on February 4, 2010 by thisisyummy

A few weeks ago I celebrated my 21st birthday with my family at Tung Lok Signatures. There were a few places on my list but all non-chinese fare was immediately strucked off the list as my dad is a traditional man who loves his chinese food and nothing else. I thought Tung Lok would be ideal because it never fails to impress me on my previous two visits. It could be the diminishing marginal utility at work for me, but my family gave thumbs down for the overall dinner.

Photobucket

The server recommended some coconut juice which was surprisingly green. If you like coconut, you’ll probably enjoy the refreshing drink. I think it’s an acquired taste.

Pickles
Photobucket

I love pickles. Luckily my sis doesn’t like them so I can have all of them to myself.

Roasted Meat $10 (not in set menu)
Photobucket

I remember my previous visit the roasted meat left a really deep impression so I suggested ordering it on top of the set menu we had. Crispy skin, yes. Juicy meat, er, not quite there. And there was a porky taste/smell which didn’t impress.

Deep-Fried Stuffed Scallop with Crisp-Fried Oats Served on Lettuce
Photobucket
Photobucket

First on the menu, three other hungry people were staring at the huge serving of piping hot stuffed scallop while waiting for yours truly to take photos. I think they were quite used to it already except that we were all starving that evening. I supposed the scallop was deep-fried at a sufficiently high temperature and the oil used was clean as the crispy outer crust was not dripping with oil. Great starter!

Braised Shark’s Fin with Fresh Crab Meat and Minced Chicken
Photobucket

Oh, so there was minced chicken. I doubt anyone at the table realised there was minced chicken in the soup. We were all happily slurping the thickly brewed soup with real (but small) shark’s fin and crab meat swimming in the soup.

Photobucket

Unlike the usual starchy shark’s fin soup with hardly any visible fins, everyone enjoyed the second item on the menu immensely as we were blown away by the sweet tasting crab meat and bits of shark’s fins. Yes, and not to mention that real good ingredients were used and we could tell that soup was brewed long enough that the sweetness of the ingredients diffused into the soup.

Sauteed ‘Gui Hua’ Clams with Broad Beans served with Beancurd Skin in X.O. Sauce
Photobucket

For a person who doesn’t like beans, I actually enjoyed the broad beans that was crunchy and sweet. We all thought we were eating sotong as the clams tasted so much like sotong! Did they say X.O. Sauce? It was barely detectable. What killed the whole dish was the oil. It was far too oily that we felt queasy after that.

Steamed Live Marble Goby with Minced Ginger
Photobucket

Fresh catch indeed. The fish was nicely executed topped with minced ginger that gave the extra oomph. What was really good was that the fish was served almost boneless! I wonder how the chef did it. Nice one. However, I suspect they used corn flour or something similar to coat the fish as there was a starchy texture which turned soggy in the sauce.

Braised Pork Belly with Vintage Vinegar
Photobucket

We didn’t notice that we had pork belly in the menu or we wouldn’t have ordered the separate ala-carte roasted pork. By this time, our stomachs were already quite full. I felt the pork belly was disappointing as the standards fell so much from the previous time I dined there. No doubt the pork belly was soft and juicy, but again, there was a porky taste/smell that was overpowering. Again, it was too oily and we gave our feedback to the polite server.

Steamed Rice with Diced Pork, Sausage and Yam served in Earthen Bowl
Photobucket
We heaved a huge sigh of relief as we come to the final course before the dessert. Luckily the rice was flavourful enough so I still managed to finish my portion. Mum and sis thought that the claypot rice at The Cathay Restaurant fared much better. I thought Tung Lok’s version was better though.

Chilled Mango, Pomelo and Sago with Ice Cream
Photobucket
The first mouth my sis tried she exclaimed that it was better that Ah Chew Dessert at Liang Seah Street. Well, I brought them previously as I thought they would like it. Apparently they didn’t. But anyway, glad they all enjoyed the dessert at Tung Lok though our stomachs were bursting already! The ice cream was the one that gave the dessert a unique taste. It tasted like coconut ice cream, which went very well with the not too sweet mango.

Mian Hua Gao (Cotton Cake)
Photobucket
Just as we thought our stomachs could start digesting and take a break, the waitress served us Tung Lok’s complimentary ‘mian hua gao’. The cake tasted like marshmallow! That was what I could remember other than the fact that I was really full.

It was $268++ for the set meal for 4 people, excluding the additional roasted meat and coconut juice we ordered. We overheard from the table beside us that the two VIP guests were not too impressed with the food that evening as well. So I was right about the dropped in standards. Maybe it was another chef that evening or something else? I shall not discredit Tung Lok for there were a few courses in the menu I enjoyed.

The Cathay Restaurant

Posted in # Dinner, + Dhoby Ghaut, - Claypot rice, - Tofu on January 3, 2010 by thisisyummy

This is how I spent the night before New Year’s Eve. It was 9.45pm and we were all hungry and tired, from checking out riverboat at Marina Coastal Drive. Well, the place is awesome and all, but seasickness killed the mood. That aside, we headed to Dhoby Ghaut hoping that Astons was still open. They were, but they said they were closed after ushering the people before us in the queue. What luck!

Luckily, The Cathay was still opened at the last order is at 10pm. They had limited items left on the menu. We had a simple claypot rice and tofu to fill our hungry stomachs. No big affair. Simple food, nothing amazing and certainly not worth the buck.

Tofu
Photobucket

Simple food, a tad salty for our taste buds.

Claypot Rice
Photobucket

Fragrant rice with fried yam cubes and sausages, tossed with a lot of oil and black sauce, sprinkled with spring onion. Perfect.

On the whole, the ambience was good. Service was so-so only, I guess it was close to closing time so they were quite tired already. They have a couple set meal promotion at $68++ with 2 movie tickets at The Cathay, sounds like a great marketing strategy for the restaurant.

The Cathay Restaurant
2 Handy Road #02-01
The Cathay
Singapore 229233
tel: 6732 6623
Mon–Sat 11.30am–3pm, 6pm–11pm
Sun 10–3pm, 6pm–11pm