Archive for the – Pasta Category

Il Lido

Posted in # Dessert, # Italian, + Sentosa, - Beef, - Fish, - Pasta on April 2, 2010 by thisisyummy

Restaurant week is an excuse for me to splurge on food. Il Lido is the second participating restaurant I dined at during Restaurant Week. If I were to go to Il Lido on a normal day for their ala carte menu, the bill would be a good hundred bucks per person. Just look at the seafood pasta on their ala carte menu, so tempting.

Complimentary bread
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Crispy, but certainly not the best. Definitely could do better. The generous portion of bread was not fragrant enough and the spices were a tad too mild.

Candy Floss $12 (Not in restaurant week menu)
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After much ‘hard-selling’, we decided to order some drinks, on top of a $10 still water. We felt so cheated. Anyway, my mum and sis ordered a mocktail each as recommended by the waiter. It was too sweet and syrupy, if there is such a word. When the waiter came around to check, we had already finished half the cup. Nevertheless, he fixed the two mocktails. I guess he just added lemon and some water.

Gianduia $14 (Not in restaurant week menu)

I forgot to take a photo of this. It’s chocolate martini served in glass, as recommended by the waiter, again. One of the worst martini ever. No detectable chocolate flavour and it was too sweet.

Scallops with chanterelle mushrooms, sweet garlic cream and crispy prosciutto
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Scallops, they were huge. A pity they were not springy enough.

Porcini mushroom & truffle cream soup
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We all enjoyed this soup the best. It was thick and creamy, nice. Il Lido redeemed itself only with this soup, sadly.

Angel hair pasta with spicy baby prawns
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Look at the baby prawns! Er, shrimps I think were what they meant. My sister regretted her choice of mains almost immediately when it was served. The angel hair pasta was a letdown. It was not al dente and the sauce, oh what sauce? We were 3 hungry and unsatisfied diners, apparently the staffs at Il Lido were oblivious to us.

Atlantic cod with cantarelle mushroom, baby leeks and prosecco wine sauce
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The atlantic cod was alright, though it didn’t blow me away.

Slow cooked wagyu beef cheek with celeriac and crunchy vegetables
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I preferred my choice of mains that afternoon. The beef cheek was tender and fatty, though the sauce could had been better.

Molten lava chocolate cake in hazelnut crust with vanilla ice cream
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After a terribly disappointing lunch, we thought maybe the molten lava chocolate cake could impress us a little. However, the dessert wasn’t served hot and the melted chocolate was quite cold when we ate it almost immediately after it was served. I prefer the varlhona chocolate in Greenwood Fish Market’s warm chocolate fondant. The vanilla ice cream was average as well.

As one of Singapore Business Review Top 50 Restaurants in 2009, not only did Il Lido fail to impress, the food and service was far from acceptable. After our tables were cleared for like 20 minutes, our coffee/tea was still not served yet. Feeling annoyed with the entire lunch affair already, we asked for the bill. When we feedbacked to the waiter who passed us the bill, he just said sorry and stood there, expecting my mum to sign the bill. Then, he paused, and asked if we wanted to be served our coffee/tea now. Of course we told him off saying it’s unnecessary already and he obligingly collected the bill then. For an upmarket restaurant like Il Lido, especially, even if we were too annoyed to have our coffee/table, it’s basic courtesy to suggest something to make it up for the mistake rather than regarding it as though nothing happened. Even though this is but a minor issue, this speaks a lot about Il Lido’s service.

Now, for the verdict. I’m half-hearted about Il Lido. After a terrible dining experience there, I was doubtful about all the praises that I heard and read about. Yet, I feel like giving Il Lido a second chance to prove itself. Maybe, maybe not?

I wonder if Restaurant Week and the menu participating restaurants are an accurate indication of their true standards. It will not be fair to all the other restaurants as I have only tried two participating restaurants this Restaurant Week.

Did you dine at any restaurants this Restaurant Week? What’s your take?

27 Bukit Manis Road
#02-00 Sentosa Golf Club
Tel: +65 6866 1977
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Sage The Restaurant

Posted in # Dessert, # Western, + Mohamed Sultan, - Duck Confit, - Foie Gras, - Pasta, - Salad on January 27, 2010 by thisisyummy

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This place certainly made to the top of my favourite makan list. What a nice back-to-school lunch with the Gourmet Club friends! We made reservations for 10 but it seemed like we booked the entire place aside from one or two couples sweet talking over lunch at another cosy corner of Sage. Service was satisfactory, but the table of good company compensated for the lack of the hospitality. For an upmarket restaurant like Sage, expectations are usually higher. Service-wise, I felt the minimum was done. Food-wise, heavenly!                      

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Executive Set Lunch at Sage is definitely money for value for the good range of items on the menu. For a selection of any 3 courses from 3 different categories, you can have your lunch at 38++.  A 4 course lunch would be $45++.                        

Complimentary Bread                         

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 The complimentary free flow bread was the best I ever had. Served piping hot, the bread was soft and fluffy. A perfect pairing with olive oil and vinegar.                       

Appetizers                        

Caeser Salad $12                           

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I don’t usually skip salad on the menu. It’s a wonderful beginning to complete meal. Sweet and refreshing baby romaine lettuce leaves you reaching back to the salad bowl for more.  Tossed in anchovy dressing with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano, bacon bits and herb croutons. For me, a good salad is pretty simple. The greens have to fresh, cold and juicy. Salad dressing is what makes good salad addictive and the one at Sage passed the test. On top of that, the crispy bacon bits and herb croutons give the salad more kick. Awesome.                         

Asparagus & Egg $12                        

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If you’re a sucker for eggs, you’ll love this. Coated with Parmigiano Reggiano, the egg is deep fried leaving the inside soft and three-quarter cooked. Interesting! This warm appetizer doesn’t come across as refreshing as the usual ones but it’s good enough. Poached green asparagus beneath is cooked just right. Though I don’t really fancy asparagus, I quite like it here. I didn’t manage to try the purple cress and sauce vierge though.                         

 Crab & Tomato $12                      

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I wanted to try something different and add some variety to the table of our usual salads and soups. On first taste, my appetizer tasted queer. Sour, sweet, salty and cooling. I couldn’t really make out what it’s supposed to taste like. After a few mouths, I fell in love with my crab and tomato! At the bottom is the marinated crab claw salad. The crab claw salad was really cold, like how I like salad cold. The green creamy texture of avocado bavarois gave the appetizer a cooling feel. Together with the vine ripe tomato gazpacho and green celery nage, what a perfect combination!                         

 Foie Gras $30 ($15 supplement applies to set menu)                                              

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 Can you imagine this plate of foie gras is so sinful that it contains up to 90% fats, as suggested by a friend. That means that in order to serve such an awesome dish, the chef has to be make sure that the fats don’t melt at the stove, but in your mouth! I regretted not opting for this appetiser, which could easily replace a main course! This is the second time I tried foie gras, and boy, I just know this is the real deal!                    

Minestrone Soup $12             

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This is no ordinary minestrone soup that you have tried at almost every restaurants. Instead of having the popular mushroom cuppuccino that everyone ordered, I decided to go for this. I enjoyed the soup a lot! The generous summer vegetables and smoked bacon blended well in the flavourful chicken broth topped with fresh herbs.      

Mushroom Cuppucino $12        

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 Yes, did I mention the popular Mushroom Cuppucino? Cream of wild mushroom topped with warm milk broth. This is definitely a favourite among us. As someone whose stomach don’t agree with milk, I thought that the soup was rather milky.
 
Mains     

Duck Confit $28 ($8 supplement applies to set menu)           

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This is one long awaited course. I have long read about Sage’s duck confit. Not surprisingly, almost everyone ordered this for the mains. I love the crispy duck skin and the soft and juicy duck leg. The savoy cabbage parcel with a fricassee of field mushrooms and foie gras, Pommery mustard jus, complements the duck confit perfectly.          

 Wild Boar Pasta $20         

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Homemade fettuccini pasta with wild boar slow cooked in red wine and tomato concasse. I had a mouthful of this and wasn’t exactly blown away by it. You can find better pasta elesewhere. 

Prawn and Crab Pasta $20   

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Stop guessing, it’s squid ink, yes, and tossed with pesto emulsion with crab meat and grilled tiger prawns. My friends who ordered this said that it didn’t impress.         

Desserts       

Chocolate Fondant $16 ($5 supplement applies to set menu)        

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Those who tried this commented that Bakerzin’s chocolate lava cake was much better.         

Fruit Soup $12       

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This is the most interesting dessert I’ve ever seen! After a satisfying and full meal, perhaps something light and refreshing would be good to end of the meal. And yes, the fruit soup succeeded. I enjoyed the summer fruits and berries in chilled rock melon soup scented with mint essence. What I liked was that the mint essence flavour was quite mild and was not too overpowering. And, the blood orange sorbet was good too.
  
Chocolate Fantasy $12 
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 The glazed dark chocolate mousse was really smooth that it slid down my throat and melted, savouring the rich dark chocolate. White chocolate ganache, crunchy chocolate pearls and nougat chips with verjus sprinkled over the mousse added a twist. I thought the raspberry sorbet went well with the thick and rich chocolate mousse too!

Wow, this is a really long post. I thoroughly enjoyed lunch at Sage though the bill was quite hefty for a poor student like me. Well, for that romantic date or memorable event, I’m sure this is definitely worth the buck. Sage, I’ll be back!     

 

 No. 7 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238957
Tel: (65) 6333 8726
Fax: (65) 6836 3326
Email:
sage@sagerestaurants.com.sg

Etna – Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

Posted in # Dessert, # Western, + East Coast, - Pasta, - Tiramisu on December 11, 2009 by thisisyummy

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Italia!

Located snugly in the row of shops in Siglap, Etna is a fabulous sanctuary to be in with great ambience, warmly sincere service, and of course, excellent Italian food!

The owner himself was very warm and cordial, welcoming us and explaining to us patiently each and every specialty which he recommends to perk up and please our taste buds! He really knows his dishes well, and we felt really welcomed, he put on his reading glasses and gave us his little insight on what to begin a Friday evening.

Garlic bread together with Ricotta cheese and pickle

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The thin crunchiness of the bread was the starter, with the cheese blending in oh-so-well, with the olive oil injected right deep into the bread for us to taste the essence of a basic dish. But I am not a pickle person sorry!

Linguine Al Granchio Crema Di Aragosta $22

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It looked delicious and it tasted fantastic, all we can ask for in this authentic Italian dish. There is just something so intrinsically tasty in the sauce of the linguine, with the al dente strands of pasta so Q to bite into and the pink lobster sauce was simply delightful. Everything about this dish was right, the balance between creaminess and taste, with taste predominantly enveloping each strand which was boiled to perfection, the flat pasta was simply sensational. It was served in generous proportions, but the pink lobster cream sauce was so sweet yet with hues of lobster taste woven in, and as each mouth of pasta was accompanied with fresh pieces of lobster, what’s there not to like? This is yummy.

Penne Alla Polpa Di Granchio $18.50

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This was another household Italian dish with a surprise, it tasted as if it was fusion food! The endorphin-producing effect of Singapore’s signature chilli crab adapted into an Italian pasta sauce, and coating each short tube pasta with it blending with traditional tomato sauce which preserved the taste of pure tomatoes-this makes it so un-gelat as well, making each mouth a refreshing experience. With cute cherry tomatoes inside and basil, eating this was a simply a fabulous way to sit around good company, eating a meal which was intricately titrated with flavours yet satisfying a simple, primal craving for good food, allowing us to just enjoy a simple evening.

Silician Wine – White Tasca Di Almerita Regaleali $12

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The house pour from Etna, the owner lets out a little trivia about it, Silicia is a place in Italy where the fearful mafias came from! But this one is anything but fearful, in fact, the house pour went extremely well with the seafood pastas which we have ordered. A fruity tang to the backdrop of the wine, with a little oakiness to complete the taste. Goes well with the seafood.

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They have a great selection of other authentic Italian wines as well, but of course, if your wallet is thick enough that day! =P

Tiramisu $8

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An Italian dessert which is a result of plenty of hard work and precision. With the lady fingers soaking in the Kahlua and black coffee, the layers of mascarpone cheese and the egg white was a delight to eat. The chocolate powder on top was done nicely, ever had those experiences of “breathing” in the powder, inducing a violent cough? This one did not, layered neatly on top of the dessert of grandeur. It was done well, with nothing wrong about it, but it was just normal still. Would have preferred something more flavourful about it, with perhaps more Kahlua and black coffee to soak up the lady fingers? Just a suggestion. But we somehow like it that way.

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In summary, Etna is a fantastic place to chill out, melting away blues, as well as celebrating goodies of the week. With a great ambience, and the Italian atmosphere with nice evening music, soulful and pleasing. Of course, Etna boasts about its traditional pizza oven which they specially shipped in from its European homeland. Other specialties would include the Scallop pasta in pink lobster sauce, its pizzas and the Pistachio tiramisu, but we were so full and satisfied after all those dishes, we will definitely be back to try more of their yummy dishes! The owner, the service, the ambience, the food, it was just a fantabulous experience there. Highly recommended, do check it out! =) Just to point out, they even have a delivery service with all the dishes on the menu available, making it a great place to consider as well to order-in for parties, gatherings, chill-out sessions.

Cheers, have a great weekend!

Etna
119 Upper East Coast Road
Tel: 6444 9530
Opens daily: Lunch 11am – 3pm. Dinner 6.30pm – 11pm (largely indoor with al fresco sitting as well)

Pictures taken using Canon EOS 500D.