Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pasarbella Revisited

Pasarbella is fast becoming one of my favourite places - its probably the feel of the place and the fact that there's just so much variety which suits me very well.

this week I spied the lobsters that were going for three for SGD100, so four of us shared three lobsters. The south African lobsters had really sweet meat and a nice flavour overall; the Boston ones had much stiffer meat but lovely milt in the heads. Can't go wrong with boiled live lobsters really. 8/10

Came back to pasarbella on Sunday and visited the cheese ark again and this time we managed to procure a cheese platter to eat - the Francine , a soft cheese, was creamy and mild; the guttus, a blue cheese, had a really intense flavour reminiscent of rochefort (how to tell the difference ?) ; but the highlight was the alisia-Victoria which is a cheese made from unpasteurised milk. it was just delicious - with a flavour which is so complex and intense... lovely cheese that deserves a 9/10. wanted to buy back a few but thought better of it for the sake of my waistline :)

Had some more oysters this time the us plate oysters were pretty sweet. yum!!

I find myself spending more and more time at Pasarbella, if I'm being honest with myself. It's just the carnival feel of it I guess - maybe I should return to Borough market then.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

La Maison Fatien's beef cheeks

Popped by this place last Thursday since most other places were full. I hadn't tried Fatien's beef cheeks, hence I ordered it , and it was really delicious. The meat had absorbed all of the red wine and it was so beefy and tender... really amazing beef cheeks and better than the bistro du vin one I had the other day.., 8.5/10

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A tail of two fish soupz

Fish soup (yu2 pian4 tang1) seems to be every CBD office lady's favourite dish; since it's healthy and good for you, and importantly it doesn't make you want to doze off after lunch into a food coma. Walk around the hawker centres in the CBD and the fish soup stall (along with the yong tau foo stall) is inevitably the one with the longest queue.

So, which fish soup is best? In Amoy Food Centre, the fish soup with the longest queue is Han Kee (Level 2); it literally snakes past 5 other stalls next to it in an L-shaped formation. Incredible. Thankfully, the queue moves very fast, as it has to be (for CBD patrons). I ordered a S$7 portion - and the bowl was chockful of fresh fish. This was Teochew style fish soup at its best - cheng1, clear soup, with the subtle sweetness of fish enlivened by bits of fried garlic to give some aroma. As expected, the fish was very fresh, and cooked just right. Overall, a great bowl of fish soup, if you don't mind waiting about 20 minutes for it in the sweltering heat.

The other fish soup I tried was the Golden Shoe Fish Soup #03-25 - the one with the red signboard located at the side. I ordered the mixed fish soup ("swung yu") means you get a mixture of fried fish and sliced fresh fish. The sliced fish was, well, fresh, but what was really nice was the fried fish - very tasty. The soup, enlivened with rice wine, was delicious as well - worth slurping down.

Overall, I'd give both fish soups (8.25/10) - a tie - both do the trick for me as far as fish soup is concerned. 

Anyone has any opinions? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Casa Tartufo

A friend of mine heavily recommended Casa Tartufo - located at Forum the Shopping Mall. To be honest, my repertoire of Italian restaurants is not great - I much prefer France anytime. In fact, I've been to France a few times, but never to Italy. Hence, Italian food to me is just - so-so; though I do recognise that they have the potential to grow wonderful produce.

Hence, I am usually lost when asked about where to eat Italian; and I'd usually ask around. My friend recommended this place (as mentioned); so I cam here. Located at the first floor of Forum, the ambience was quite lovely - as you can see from the photo. Unfortunately (for them but fortunately for us), it was rather empty.

We ordered an appetizer of fried sardines, which went down quite well; sardines drizzled with fresh olive oil. Quite a yummy combination, much unlike those tinned ones that you get.

I enjoyed my pasta a great deal - the Tajarin - which is basically fresh tagliatelle with black truffles. Very intense depth of flavour and very comforting overall - you can't go wrong smothering an entire dish with truffles. Yummy. (8/10). The price was really expensive though.

My friend's veal chop (Milanese) was pretty ordinary, though admittedly it was a really huge chunk. However, for that sort of prices, I expected far better. (6.5/10)

We left the place not thinking that we would return, save for the Tajarin. We spent close to a hundred per head including wine when I suspect that the quality of food served at other joints would be better, for a much lower price. If each dish were reduced by SGD10 per dish, I may consider going back. After all I don't earn a 5 figure salary. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pasarbella Farmer's Market

The majority of my weekend was spent at Pasarbella, which is a permanent Farmer's Market located at Turf City. It reminded me of the indoor portion of Borough Market, with many food stalls and little alleyways for people to walk; in fact it was really nice, kind of like a wet-market selling atas food and in clean conditions. I was really surprised, actually, that it took so long for someone to come up with a concept such as this - but I'm glad that they did, because I really really like this place, so much so that I came twice over the weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday!

I visited Pasarbella on Saturday with a friend also known as CK - and we had a good time trying out stuff such as the seafood from Oceans of Seafood - which is separated into the Japanese portion and the international portion. I didn't feel like trying Japanese, so we tried some scampi and langoustines from the international section, as well as some Canadian oysters. They were pretty good! The langoustines were really delicious; succulent meat with sweet flesh from the heads; the scampi were even sweeter - all full of the "sea" taste. (8/10) What really stole the show were the sauces - there was a langoustine sauce and a miso butter sauce and both were extremely delicious and would probably go very well with bread, so much so that CK ta-paoed the remaining sauce home! ha!

We had some Canadian oysters as well, which were very good; sweet and tasting of the sea. And the best part was the affordability - half a dozen of those things for SGD14 was a great deal. (8/10)

Next up - we wanted to try the sausage rolls from Huber's, but it was already 8'o clock and they were sold out; so we ventured to Omakase burger instead. I've already blogged about omakase, so I wouldn't do a second review...we came back into the market to try some cheeses instead from the Cheese Ark. They stock some really rare cheeses which you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, since the cheesemonger Ai Meng has developed a huge network of contacts from her days in Italy. I bought an Appenberger, which was pretty tasty, I have to say.

That concluded Day One...

The next day i.e. today, I had some time to kill before going to church, so I headed down to the market again, hoping to catch some of these sausages from Huber's. But the queue was insanely long, so I ventured into this little stall called Nibbles to try their lovely English pies. Their steak and mushroom pie was just delicious - flaky pastry encasing tender, succulent beef with mushrooms, and a robust gravy. Excellent british pies and one of the best I've eaten. (8.5/10). No photo, however...

Table at 7's stall
And next to Nibbles was Table at 7's stall selling Rendang burgers - and this was very tasty as well; full-bodied, hearty rendang redolent with fragrant spices, served in a bun soaking up the gravy. Yummy. I like this - (8.5/10)

Was feeling a little full, so I headed to get some coffee from Dutch Colony, located at the other side of the market. I wasn't expecting much, but the coffee was actually very delicious! The espresso I had, a single-origin from Colombia, was really really chocolatey - delightful. (8.5/10)

The cappuccino I had, with their blend, was alright as well - it was more on the full-bodied side as compared to other places such as Nylon or Stranger's Reunion - roasted to a darker consistency probably. Not bad! (7.5/10)

Overall, there are many other outlets which I haven't been able to try; I really do want to come back to try Huber's, and perhaps the Japanese section of Oceans; as well as the paella from Le Patio. Next time, perhaps! There's also Windowsill Pies which are very yummy as well...

I'm so glad we finally have a market such as Pasarbella. Great stuff; can't wait to return for my next visit!