Friday, December 30, 2011

Pizzeria Mozza

Finally managed to visit pizzeria Mozza which is reputedly the pizza restaurant to beat. We needed a quick bite before watching the awesome "wicked" (which I have had the pleasure of watching in my previous London visits - but well this is a food blog or else I could wax lyrical about the show huh ) - so w popped by the pizzeria. Thank god that notwithstanding the fact that the restaurant was packed, they still had one table that they could give us provided we evict by 730- alls good, since it meant that we could catch wicked in time.

First up was calamari which was expertly done - seared nicely on the outside to give it the charred flavor while remaining soft inside and paired with a zesty sauce. Yummeh! 8/10


The chicken wings were done competently as well - full of flavor and juice and with a spicy sauce to go alongside it. I enjoyed this too 7.5/10

The pizzas then arrived and my word were they good - possibly the best crust I have eaten so far as far as pizzerias in Singapore go - the crust was salty , chewy , crisp enough , and with the right texture and taste of dough that made each mouthful a delight. Paired with the toppings of Parma ham and rocket, the classic combination didn't fail and was given new life by the presence of the lovely crust. 8.5/10

The other pizza we had was the fennel sausage . This was full of spring onions ? the sausage had a Thai influence to
It which took a while to grow on me - 7.5/10- still prefer the prosciutto e Parma pizza heh

Overall pizzeria Mozza is a wonderful restaurant serving great pizzas and nice sides and won't burn a hole in your wallet thankfully. Highly
Recommended .

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I have decided to create a new "category", i.e. "exceptional", for food that is so amazing that putting it under "excellent" won't do it justice, i.e. you have to separate the Audi R8 from the Audi A4, which, though good, will never be an R8. Get the drift? (pun intended).

Anyway, there aren't that many places that fall into the category of "exceptional", however, all those that have been listed there truly belong to such a description. Highlights would include:

a) Steirereck in Vienna;
b) L'Atelier Joel Robuchon in London
c) Oysters from Borough Market

and so on. 


Gunther's

I have really no idea why I'm blogging about Gunther's, because any food blogger worth his calories, salt, sugar, etc. would have already visited this esteemed fine-dining establishment in Singapore many times over, and still have cash to spare. I digress. But really, Gunther's is a household name in Singapore, as it was voted one of the places to eat in the world (by San Pellegrino), and is consistently in Miele's Top 5 list. So of course I had high expectations.

I went for lunch, and was duly escorted into a large private dining room. Just so happened that we got the corner seat, which was fine by me. It was a little stuffy, but soon the "specials" trolley arrived...Alba white truffles, large lobsters, etc. Pretty much my kinda thing, except for the horrible prize tags. Oh well. Never mind.


The humbler bread rolls then arrived, which was pretty much di rigeurwhen you consider that, when I went to Steirereck in Vienna, there was a huge bread basket with different kinds of loaves, and different permutations of flour, style, etc, to choose from. But well, it wasn't bad, though to be honest I much prefer the humbler fluffy bun as opposed to this phallic looking thing.



We all ordered set lunches, with a serving of their signature Cold Angel Hair Pasta with Truffle Oil and Caviar to share. It arrived first, and it was good, of course. Served chilled, it was full of umami, with a distinctive Japanese flavour (I believe, from the use of kombu), heightened by the lashings of truffle oil. Good stuff. I wasn't exactly blown away (I seldom am, actually) but this was good. Delicious, and too bad there was only that much on my plate (since we were sharing the course). (8.5/10).



The main appetizer arrived soon after, a delicately plated Asparagus with Foie Gras Ravioli. This was absolutely delicious, very delicately flavoured, with the pan seared foie gras flavours coming through at the end, in the aftertaste, as it burst through the thin ravioli wrappings and into my mouth. The sauce was great as well, tasty, with the right creamy texture, and filled with foie gras essence. Overall, a delicious dish, well executed. The asparagus was extremely tasty also. (8.5/10)




Sadly, the main course didn't live up to my high expectations. We ordered the chef's special, a duck confit, but well, while the duck confit itself was competently done, and I mean the skin was actually very delicious since it was cooked in its own fat (artery clogging too), the accompaniments were quite a letdown. Tomato rice - and not even risotto. It felt like eating chicken rice with duck confit. I'm serious. Nothing wrong with chicken rice, of course, but for me, not a good companion to the confit. (7/10)




The panna cotta we had for dessert was just average, actually. Milky, but with not enough vanilla bean. I think I have been eating too well so this dessert was just, NAH. (6.5/10)




We ended with some petit fours. Okay only. Don't bother to rate.




Gunther's is a nice place, but overall some hits and misses. The thing is, it wasn't too pricey I guess, for the chance of eating at a fine dining establishment. Still, wish it had made small adjustments here and there and I would have given it an exceptional rating.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Coal Pit Central Otago Tiwha Pinot Noir

This was ridiculously tasty - lots of ripe fruit on the palate, complex structure, and a long finish. Bob Campbell gave it 94 points and I'd have to agree.
(8.5/10)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guatamala el tambor cup of excellence

Had this amazing coffee at Tobys estate today and it is truly a delight. Vanilla scents and extremely sweet (in a good sort of way) on the palate. Pineapple sweetness is a good way of putting it I guess - at first I thought pear but pineapple is more accurate. Very sweet and long sweet clean finish. Notice how many times I've used the word sweet yet? Great. (9/10) comparable to the costa rica I had at seven seeds in Melb

Skyve Elementary Bistro and Bar



A friend of mine who works at Chope highly recommended this place, Skyve Elementary bistro and bar, so G and I made our way there today after work to check it out. Located in a school complex in Windsted Road, Skyve (for short) is one of those charming little places. The bar area is decadently plush, with sofas and dim lighting, while the bistro (i.e. dining area) is bright and cheery, which makes for good photographs, of course.

Skyve offers a breakfast menu, oysters, the usual appetizers and mains, and dessert. It boasts an extensive wine list but that time G wasn't planning on having wine - he was just in the mood for the creative. So he ordered a lemongrass drink - which was not bad, came with sugar cane which was unusual. The owner, Celene, came along, introduced herself, and recommended, for appetizers, the steak tartare. We were like, why not - so we agreed and ordered the same, and boy was it pretty amazing. Just simple, the minced beef was lightly charred on the outside, and the egg was prepared sous-vide (probably), and there were some garlic crackers and also wasabi mayonnaise which went very well with the beef. The whole combination worked brilliantly, the beef was flavourful and paired well with the wasabi mayonnaise. Good job. (8.5/10)

G had the pork belly sous vide, while I had the sous vide ocean trout. The pork belly was pretty amazing and one could tell that G was very happy with his meal, which was great. Tasty, with good crackling, and well seasoned, the pork belly I tried from him was up to the mark.


I had the sous vide ocean trout, which was great - the fish was perfectly cooked, slightly pinkish in the middle and still retaining its sweet delicate flavour, nice and red. Flaked so easily. Paired with a simple sauce of olive oil, this was another winner. What i liked about the food was its attention to detail, for e.g. the shitake mushrooms that accompanied the dish were very tasty and probably of very good quality. (8.5/10)

Excellent food in a wonderful setting. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sarnies (Revisted)



When one is working, one settles for cheap thrills, i.e. literally cheap treats throughout the day that can satisfy one's miserable working life routine and the humdrum of it all. Sarnies is one of these places for cheap treats that don't bust a whole in your wallet, but gives you wonderful happy-times.

I've blogged about the wonderful coffees Sarnies serves, but today I discovered something brilliant as well - lovely scrambled eggs. Their scrambled eggs are creamy, eggy, and just the way I like it, as compared to Toby's where it's a little tougher.

And their house blend of coffee was back, i.e. the costa rica - ethopian yirgacheffe blend. I had it as a cappuccino and it excelled again with just enough acidity to bring out the coffee flavours. Good stuff.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar



Darren and hongyuan are one of the nicest fellas in the Coffee industry, and Smitten is their little cafe at the Quayside, along the Robertson stretch which I incidentally love. A little hole-in-the-wall, it serves delicious coffees and a selection of pastries and confectioneries from all over the island, such as Gobi's cakes, and macarons from ET Artisans. Do try their "black sesame" macaron - it's delicious.

In terms of coffee preparation, they use a Mirage, and the beans are roasted in-house from all over the world. They also offer other 'slow-brew' methods such as a cold drip, and also other pourover methods such as the v60 and the chemex. Recently, however, they've come up with the "Prancing Elf" Christmas Blend for the holiday season. I popped by on Sunday and was suitably impressed - this was an impressive drink. A mixture of Sumatra Blue Batak and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, the Christmas Blend was very spicy, i.e. full of spice notes, with notes of cloves, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts, particularly pistachos, with a long nutty aftertaste of pistachos. My friend said she could discern cranberries and turkey, but I would not go that far, as yet. Even so, it is a great blend - one should check it out. [8.5/10]

Their usual blend is called the Thumper, and it's great if you like fruity coffees. It's a 4-bean blend, although I have forgotten the exact composition of beans. This one is nice and it's constantly evolving; well balanced. [8/10].

Do check out this place!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sarnies

Sarnies serves the most amazing coffee in singapore, no kidding. It's just good stuff. Owned by a brother and a sister who hail from Sydney, they serve consistently great coffee- I've been there quite a few times and all the time it's good. Their cappuccino (which is what I usually order - no I don't mean the ones with the huge amount of froth but a proper cappuccino) is always very nice - full of "coffee" flavour, if you know what I mean, properly dark, nutty, chocolatey, with a hint of acidity to bring out the flavour. As an espresso, which is the picture you see here, it is nice and bright, with good acidity and a very 'sweet' aftertaste that helps to clean everything up nicely. Excellent coffee, especially in Singapore (8.5/10). In fact, Sarnies, as the name suggests, is great for sandwiches. I have heard great things of the Roast Beef Sandwich and I have to try it soon - haven't had a chance to go there for lunch , yet. It's a pity the place closes at 3pm though -would be nice for dinner!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baliwag Lechon Manok

I just came from the gym, and I guess I was too hungry to walk to my car [at tanjong pagar], so I decided to pop by Lao Pa Sat for a quick bite - and I stumbled upon a long queue at about 9.30pm at this stall called Baliwag Lechon Manok - So, what the hell, I decided to give it a shot. Roast chicken was just the thing, and from the Phillippines some more. And boy am i glad I decided to try it instead of going for tried and tested ramen or some other place - it was awesomely delicious. Half a roast chicken, some cauliflower, and rice - perfect after-gym food. The roast chicken was just so flavorful in its own juices and the breast meat was deliciously moist and everything - and the skin had the perfect combination of sweet, savoury, and all the malliard reactions giving it a nice charred roast flavour that just made you crave for more. It went down in a jiffy and it didn't need any of the accompanying sauce. The cauliflower was very tasty, and so was the beef sauce slathered on my rice.

Really - now you can get really good food at lao pa sat! (9/10). Moreover, it's pretty value for money: the above set me back only 14 dollars.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Toby's Estate



Ah I am reminded, going through my photos, that I have yet to blog about Toby's estate. Toby's estate was established by Toby smith some time ago in Sydney and has recently made its way here. Located In a sprawling shophouse cum warehouse along Robertson quay, the space shouts Australia. In fact the feel is very much like the auction rooms in north Melbourne; or a tinge of brother baba budan in Melbourne. High ceilings, lots of plants, and industrial walls with modern furniture though still wooden. Interesting.

The head barista is suhaimi who is one of the most well respected baristas in Singapore, formerly from cuppachoice: I've returned a few times already and they have been slowly tweaking their house blend called the rodyk blend- it moved from a very bright blend, to a three bean blend about two weeks ago that was pleasant but maybe lacking in body especially when paired with milk, to today's present four bean blend which was a bit bright at the start of last week but has now mellowed to create a nice base for espresso based drinks.


Toby's is one of my usual spots for a pre-work coffee, and so I've encountered a wide variety of shots and flavours in their coffee ever since they've opened. It can range from an espresso with grape-like acidity, to a toasty nutty shot, to a balanced cup, etc. A good go-to place for coffee, they are usually very consistent in their shots so you can be assured of a good cup everytime you go. I really like the Rodyk blend, one of the best blends in Singapore.




Their breakfast is quite brilliant as well - the full english breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, brioche, bacon, and mushrooms - pretty delicious, especially the brioche. have to go back soon, maybe sometime this week. or you can order just scrambled eggs with brioche which is a good option if you're not too hungry.

Toby's just has a great Australian vibe to it [of course, since it's Australian] - and it is a great place to chill. Too bad it opens only until 6pm though. Reminds me a lot of Auction Rooms in Melbourne, with high ceilings and alot of plants and an industrial vibe about it. Great atmosphere to sit down there and laze away a couple of hours.


Overall Rating: Coffee: 8.5/10
Breakfast food: 7.5/10

Monday, November 7, 2011

Drips bakery cafe

Heard so much about drips that I felt I just had to come here. I'm a sucker for cakes. So off I went before cell group to try some of these delicious tarts.

The ambience wasn't what I was expecting - it was bright and breezy with a lot of whites and modern furniture - I plopped down and ordered some of their tarts along with a coffee .

I had the brandied cherry tart and ther macadamia tart and both were not bad. The brandied cherry tart had a rather sour zing from the brandy and cherries though perhaps the alcoholic taste was a bit strong or else the brandy was of not so premium quality. Either way or was still decent with a flaky shortcrust base which went well with the cherries.

The other one was the macadamia nut tart and this wasnt bad - the nuts were quite delicious and contrasted in texture with the softer shortcrust base.

The coffee was roasted darker than the other places I've been to- you get little acidity and more of the roasty flavors though I felt that not much of the flavor showed through - it became rather dark and murky and a little too over roasted . Not so good IMHO but this could be due to the fact that the beans may not have been that fresh.

Cakes : 8/10
Coffee : 5/10

Yuan wei seafood restaurant

Been looking for this place that sells the giant garoupa and the different parts. The first time i couldn't find it bit after having seen a photo of the entrance I finally spotted it and so off we went.

Heard good things about the fried kway teow from ieat so had to order that - wasn't bad, good wok hei if the dish was a bit bland ie lacking in salt. Good smoky aroma though. 7/10

The beam curd with mushrooms were excellent - a very very good Shang tang being the key. This Shang tang was very fragrant savory and Unami. 8.5/10

Sadly the garoupa meat steamed with garlic was rather hard. Not tenderx I suspect it's because it's a big fish but so totally dashed our expectations. Oh well. 6/10

Maybe you guys cld tell me what to order next time?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wimbly Lu

A new cafe has opened up, fellas! Recently there has been a slew of cafes opening up to feed the Singaporean insatiable love fr food and wimbly Wu is one of them. Located at Jalan riang which is a neighborhood called braddell heights which is the terraced houses near Sommerville road and woleski road, this is a small little cafe specializing in chocolates and cakes .

The place is really cosy almost like a living room. It has a very homely feel about the place which I guess is what you want from a good cafe. Having heard so many good things about the waffles, well, you just had to order the waffles! It took a while to arrive, but o my, was it good! Very light with just the right doughy taste, if you know what I mean - in fact it was extremely light but still crisp as well, reminding me alot of the old A&W Waffles. (9/10)


The other really yummy thing we had was a Cheesecake with raspberry compote. absolutely divine. the cheesecake was not too dense but not too light as well with just enough cheesiness and the raspberry compote had much of the natural flavour of raspberries and it wasn't too sweet. excellent. (8.5/10)

Lao San kway chap

Ieatishootipost recently voted this the best kway chap in Singapore and as a kway chap lover I absolutely had to go down to see what the fuss was all about. Located in a kopitiam in toa payoh, there was no long queue, nothing. You'd be hard pressed to believe that this shop is a legend. But it is.

We wasted no time in ordering and in a jiffy the food came. My word it was pretty amazing. The kway had perfect texture and the soup was so flavorful, and pang, enhanced by the shallot oil and fried shallots. The braising sauce was a perfectly balanced mix with hints of cloves star anise and very good soy sauce: each morsel ie intestines etc was infused with the braising sauce which brought a slightly spicy hint that came from the star anise into every bite tender as well.

Absolutely excellent (9/10)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lukes oyster bar

Read about lukes oyster bar from some of these new Singapore websites that pop up all over the place , and after tennis today I decided to drive down to check it out . Off gemmill lane stood lukes the oyster bar, with a very elegant and posh white marble decor which was, I'm told, reminiscent of the big apple. A big American was shucking them oysters whilst chatting with a couple of other American customers at the bar, and, after having purveyed the wonderful decor and ambience, I plonked myself at the bar, and ordered their promotion, half a dozen oysters with beer, either Stella or hoegarden.

The American couple sitting beside me at the bar were really friendly and before long we were making small talk about their travels where they wre gg next etc. Turns out that they went to Phuket bkk phi phi and bali - for surfing. How nice.

First up, the corn bread arrived. Sweet and almost cake-like.

The oysters came afterwards, six juicy bivalves in the half shell with some lemon and shallot vinegar. Started squeezing lemon on one, and tried it- tried it, very good, slightly mineralish, and with a clean finish with a bit of sweetness. Being just about medium sized also helped I guess. The second to sixth one, I decided, needed no lemon as the lemon was threatening to oversour the taste of the oysters, and this time it was even better. Clean with some minerality is how I would describe it. Paired quite well with the Stella they were offering as part of the promotion . (8.5/10)

I asked the owner later and he said that the oysters were from new england- ah can't wait to try oysters from other places then!

Not being contented with eating just oysters I ordered the clam chowder since well you know it's nice to have something soupy and hot to warm up the foodieinme. And so the Boston clam chowder arrived, served in a glass jar. And boy it was really good. Extremely
Buttery, with fresh clams, potatoes, which contributed to the flavorful and savory taste in each mouthful. Lots of butter definitely. And of course what's really important was the addition of freshly ground black pepper which made all the difference to cut through the richness - and it has to be freshly ground, mind, since the aroma is never there with non-freshly ground pepper. This Was an exquisite clam chowder (9/10)

Overall the food here is great but not cheap- a lobster roll would set you back 40 quid and a steak maybe 80 quid. However it's an excellent place if you decide to treat yourself every once in a while after a long days work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ramen champion - tetsu

Went down to ramen champion with d because I had a ramen craving. You know the late at night just finish working kind. My friend ordered iroha so, not wanting to replicate, I tried tetsu instead. Tetsu sells the dipping style ramen where the soup is served separately - actually more like a gravy- and you dip your noodles soba style. The noodles was pretty chewy a bit like la mian or more accurately shou dao mian. Dip it into the gravy and its delicious- the gravy was very umami and powerful, salty even, but packed with a huge punch. The seafood umami flavors really shown through - pretty robust I have to add.

The tamago was nothing much to shout about but at least it was not hard boiled.

And the good thing is when youve finished your dipping, and return your bowl to the stall, and they will add some daishi stock to mix with the gravy - now it's drinkable as soup. Try it! It is one bowl of tasty soup especially sweet and fragrant, with the daishi stock and all.
8/10

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kiraku

Had dinner at kiraku (market street) prior to the big d birthday bash at royal room, and this was indeed a wonderful meal. Slightly pricey yes but well I would say pretty much a healthy delicious and well prepared Japanese meal.

Having coincidentally bumped into a couple of my friends on the way out whilst we were entering the restaurant, I asked them what was nice and they told me - spicy salmon maki- so I had to try that and indeed it was delicious. Fresh salmon in a spicy sauce with other delicious goodies. Yummy. So good I ordered another after that. (8/10)

I was very tempted by the possibility of eating aburi salmon and eel and so I ordered the aburi salmon and Eel set and this was divine - smokey aburi salmon and eel on top of sushi rice- ahhhh the simple pleasure of life. Trust me, I was very sad when the last piece of aburi salmon was gone. (8.5/10)

Sian I think I'm going to get myself a blow torch for good measure. It might be fun aburing salmon, not to mention delicious.

This restaurant is famous for wagyu shabu shabu apparently but the budget told me not to indulge in it- the alternatives dare I say were better



Little part one cafe

Am on a blogging spree now and let's just ignore the picture quality that comes from uploading from the iPhone. N s and I went to the little part one cafe which is a really quaint homely and beautifully decorated cafe in upper Thomson namely along jasmine road. The decor is really amazing full of photos and weird stuff ,

N and s were a little held up in traffic so I had a beer to start off with, a hacker pschorr steinweissbier. Beeradvocate only rated it a b+ so I didn't expect to be wowed but really this was great! Strong aroma, full of spiced bread, and it really tastes of banana and spiced bread just like a good heffweissbier should taste like. So drinkable that in a short Span of time it was gone. My rating: A-

N and s finally arrived so we had our mains which for me was the Belgian fish stew. Pretty good, fresh fish and mussels in a usual marinara styled stock. Pretty pricey though- and I wish there was just more of the hearty tomato stock- and maybe less tomatoish and more- rich.

And at last I finished with a la trappe quadruple which was brilliant - hints of vanilla and very complex. Very nice. I dare say, somewhat more drinkable to my mind than a chimay. A