Tuesday, 30 August 2011

PS. Cafe at Dempsey Hill- Comfort Food and Great Ambience

My friends and I decided to have lunch at PS Cafe today at Harding Road in Dempsey Hill.  The ambience is just lovely.  There are both al fresco and indoor dining options with a good view of the garden surrounding the place.  Since it was a public holiday, we had to queue up for quite a long time.

One of our friends recommended I try the PS Steak Sandwich (SGD 29.00).  I shared this with my husband as the serving is quite generous.  I really liked this sandwich.  The steak was soft and juicy, and the dressing used went very well with the meat.  I also like that the sandwich is thin enough to be eaten properly by hand (it's sort of a weird criteria I have for sandwiches and burgers).
PS Steak Sandwich (SGD 29.00)
Close-up of the Steak Sandwich

On the side, we ordered Truffle Shoestring Fries (SGD 15.00) to share.  They basically drizzled the fries with truffle oil and parmesan cheese.  Very savory indeed.
Truffle Shoestring Fries (SGD 15.00)
My husband and I also shared the PS Caesar with Rosemary Honey Dijon Chicken (SGD 24.00).  I realized my photo below does not show it, but this was served with a poached egg in the middle.  This was a pretty good caesar salad, though I thought the chicken was just a tiny bit overcooked.  The gigantic croutons and the shaved parmesan were very enjoyable though.
PS Caesar with Rosemary Honey Dijon Chicken (SGD 24.00)
My friend ordered the PS Greenhouse Salad (SGD 19.00).  I know that a garden salad is a garden salad, but I couldn't help but take a photo due to the really eye-catching colors all the vegetables had.  Definitely looked very pretty.
PS Greenhouse Salad (SGD 19.00)
For drinks I had the Crushed Mint and Lime Soda (SGD 9.50).  I hardly ever remember drinks that I order in restaurants and also never felt the need to blog about them, but this drink is really refreshing.  I really enjoyed the lemon-mint mix, which was perfect as an afternoon thirst quencher.
Crushed Mint & Lime Soda (SGD 9.50)
For dessert I ordered the Affogato (forgot to take down the price!).   This is a double shot of espresso served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It's like a classier and more refined version of a mocha frappuccino.  I absolutely loved this dessert.  If not for the overdose of caffeine, I probably would have ordered one more.
Affogato (Forgot to take down the price!)
I will definitely be back!  My staples would be the Steak Sandwich for mains, the Afogato for dessert, and the Crushed Mint & Lime Soda for drinks.  The ambience was also very inviting that I have a feeling I will be frequenting this branch of PS. Cafe for brunch dates with my husband.

PS. Cafe
28B Harding Road
Tel #: 64793343

Monday, 29 August 2011

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck - Specialty in Roast Duck

I stumbled upon this restaurant by accident in Paragon last year after I had just moved to Singapore.  My mom was visiting and we were looking for a Chinese restaurant to eat in.  Boy was I pleasantly surprised to find such good food here in Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck.  They had the best peking duck I had tasted!

It is recommended that you call the restaurant in advance to reserve the Beijing Roasted Duck (SGD 68.00).  They accept walk-ins, but the duck is extremely popular and has a tendency to run out easily.  The duck is good for 4 people, so it won't come out too pricey per person.

They first serve the most premium skin of the duck.  It is very crisp and melts in your mouth instantly.
Beijing Roasted Duck (SGD 68.00)
First Serving of Duck Skin
They serve the duck chopped/ sliced for you to wrap in their yummy wanton.  The wanton texture is quite unique.  It's not too thick, but still very chewy.  Their hoisin sauce is also very tasty.  I always order extra wanton and hoisin sauce since I can't get enough of it.
Duck served with the Cucumber and Spring Onion for Wrapping
Wanton Wrapper
Close-up of the Beijing Duck
Duck in wanton
I normally have the duck cooked a second way in salt and pepper.  I prefer this over the regular chopped or minced duck, since it gives a different flavor and savoriness to the duck.
Duck Cooked "Second Way" in Salt & Pepper
Apart from the famous Beijing Roast Duck, this restaurant also serves other good chinese cuisine like noodles, lobster, and soup.  I have not been disappointed so far with my other orders in the past.  I will probably write about the rest of their dishes when I eat there again next time.  I personally love roasted duck so I eat here quite often especially when I have guests around.  It's very easy to find as well -- it's at the top floor of Paragon on the opposite side where Crystal Jade is.

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
290 Orchard Road
#05-42/45 Paragon
Tel #: 67327838

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Waku Ghin - Japanese Fine Dining and the Ultimate Foodie Experience

As my blog entry title suggests, this is the ultimate foodie experience I've had thus far.  Waku Ghin is a fine dining Japanese restaurant located at Marina Bay Sands.  I first heard about this restaurant from a friend in Australia.  Chef Tetsuya Wakuda (the owner) is a well renowned celebrity chef in Australia, with his restaurant Tetsuya's needing 6-months advanced booking.

I finally had the chance to try them out after a bunch of foodie friends came over to visit in Singapore.  The restaurant is very exclusive -- you will of course need a reservation, and you will also need to provide your credit card details and send a signed form via email or fax as guarantee.  I guess with the amount of premium and fresh ingredients they have to purchase for the dinner, they would be losing a lot of money if people cancelled at the last minute.

Waku Ghin only offers a 10-course degustation menu priced at SGD 400 per person.  Yes, it's very pricey, but I felt it was worth every penny.

The meal takes about 2 to 3 hours, where the starters and main course are served at a chef's kitchen.  Our chef was Chef Cory Soo Thoo.  He took the time out to carefully explain each and every single ingredient, where it's sourced, and how he will cook it.  The entire experience felt like an entire culinary journey.

The meal started out with one of the chefs showing the types of seafood the they will be cooking for us.  They ask as well if you have any allergies to any of the food they will be serving.  Thankfully, I can eat anything!
The first dish served to us was the Cold Soup of Japanese Sweet Corn with Safron Ice Cream and Australian Winter Truffles.  This was a very pleasant tasting dish.  You could really taste the sweetness of the corn and the savory ice cream.  The truffles tasted a little bit more "woody" than the types of truffle I'm used to, which was actually very good.
Cold Soup of Japanese Sweet Corn with Saffron Ice Cream and Australian Winter Truffles
The next was a signature dish of Chef Tetsuya, the Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar.  Wow, this dish was definitely a masterpiece! I have never tasted such sweet shrimp.  And the sea urchin and caviar were simply amazing.  This dish was superb!

Marinated Botan Ebi with Sea Urchin and Oscietre Caviar
What followed was another fabulous appetizer which was the Charcoal Grilled Tasmanian Petuna Ocean Trout with Marinated Witlof.  I am normally not a fan of grilled fish as I find that grilling brings out the "fishiness" of the seafood.  However I threw out all of those misconceptions once I tried out this dish.  Very yummy and you could really taste how fresh the ocean trout was.  This was my husband's favorite dish amongst everything that was served.
Charcoal Grilled Tasmanian Petuna Ocean Trout with Marinated Witlof
For the main course, Chefy Cory prepared the dishes in front of us (similar to teppanyaki style).  He first cooked for us the Steamed Alaskan King Crab with Lemon-Scented Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This dish was cooked in a bed of salt and some leaves for flavor.  Afterwards he added some olive oil which had lemon rind shavings.  This seemed like such a simple dish, but the outcome was fabulous.  
Chef Cory preparing the bed of salt where the crab would be cooked
Crab cooked in leaves for flavour
Our dish being served
Steamed Alaskan King Crab with Lemon-Scented Extra Virgin Olive Oil
After the crab, we were served Puree of Potato with Soft Poached Egg, Black Truffle and Oscietre Caviar.  This was another winning combination.  How could you go wrong with poached egg and truffle?  Loved this dish as well.
Puree of Potato with Soft Poached Egg, Black Truffle and Oscietre Caviar
The following dish was cooked on the spot similar to the crab.  This was the Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon.  Chef Cory likened the dish to a lobster bisque.  The butter in the dish though made it a bit heavy, so it's a good thing the serving portions were small.
Chef Cory preparing our lobster dish
Braised Canadian Lobster with Tarragon
The next dish was what I was waiting for all night -- the Japanese Ohmi Wagyu Roll from Shiga Prefecture with Maitake, Wasabi and Citrus Soy.  The wasabi was grated fresh using a special board made from shark skin.  I had never tasted wasabi like this before.  It was actually a bit sweet with only a mild kick.  The wagyu was cooked to perfection and the rest of the ingredients complemented the meat very well.  I was actually so excited to eat the wagyu, that I had forgotten to take a photo of it.  Thankfully one of my friends had taken a photo of his dish and sent it to me so I could post something here.
Fresh Wasabi grated using a board made of Shark Skin
The Ingredients
Chef Cory with our Wagyu Dish
Japanese Ohmi Wagyu Roll from Shiga Prefecture with Maitake, Wasabi and Citrus Soy
The last dish served at the chef's kitchen was the Consomme with Rice and Snapper.  This was a refreshing dish and was more subtle than the rest of the previous dishes.
Consomme with Rice and Snapper
Before moving on to dessert, we were served a special tea called Gyokuro.  It was a savory, seaweed-like tea which was very good at cleansing our palate.
Gyokuro Tea
We were transferred afterwards to the main dining hall where we were served our dessert.  The first was a Granita with Chartreuse Jelly.  This was similar to sorbet but the texture was that of a jelly.  It had a mixture of tanginess and sweetness to it which was very refreshing.
Granita of Grapefruit with Chartreuse Jelly
The second dessert was a signature dish of Chef Tetsuya.  The Ghin Cheesecake was topped with an edible silver, which was explained to us was Chef Tetsuya's favorite colour.  This cheesecake was genius!!  I am not a fan of cheesecake, but this was one of the best desserts I've ever had.  It was so light yet so satisfying.  The restaurant manager noticed how much we loved the cheesecake, and she served us another round for free.  My goodness, I devoured both cheesecakes in a matter of minutes!
Ghin Cheesecake
My devoured cheesecake
Lastly, we were served Coffee and Petit Fours.  Even the petit fours were excellent.  There was French Macarons, Cookies, Meringue, and this Green Tea White Chocolate.  Yum yum yum... The coffee looked very fancy too.  I didn't get to taste it anymore as it was too late in the evening for me to take coffee, but my husband said it was very good too.
Cafe Latte
Petit Fours
This entire experience was truly unique.  It really played on all the senses.  This is every foodie's dream come true!  The service was also fantastic.  We were very well looked after.  Even if the place is very exclusive, you will not feel intimidated at all as the staff is at your every beck and call.

I really do recommend this place to all food-obsessed people like me.  This is a once in a lifetime experience, so do visit for a special occasion.  I hope I will have a chance to come back again soon!

Waku Ghin
10 Bayfront Avenue
2nd Level of Marina Bay Sands Casino
Tel#: 66888868
Email: WakuGhin@marinabaysands.com

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Pizzeria Mozza - Pizza by Mario Batali

One of the things I love about Singapore is the selection of celebrity chef restaurants that you can try out.  One of my favorite restaurants is Pizzeria Mozza by Mario Batali located in Marina Bay Sands.  They not only serve incredible food, but the price is also very reasonable.

What I absolutely love about this place is how everything is so simple.  The place is very casual and homey.  The layout of the menu is very clean, and I like how all the dishes' names bring highlight to the ingredients used.  It's how I picture Mario Batali would cook up a dish on his shows -- he would take the freshest ingredients from allover Italy and create a simple yet superb dish.

For starters, we had Chicken Liver with Capers, Parsley and Pancetta (SGD 17.00).  I am a huge fan of chicken liver, and this bruschetta just hit the right spot for me.  The liver had no bitter aftertaste whatsoever since it was cooked with the perfect balance of zest from the capers (I thought I tasted some lemon too).  I would actually be satisfied if I were to eat this alone as a main course.
Chicken Liver with Capers, Parsley, and Pancetta (SGD 17.00)
We also had some Fried Goat Cheese with Umbrian Lentils (SGD 16.00).  This was also very delicious.  The rocket and lentils were a fantastic combination.
Fried Goat Cheese with Umbrian Lentils (SGD 16.00)
Chicken Wings alla Diavolo (SGD 18.00).  This was probably the most "okay" dish of all.  Not really too much to say about it, but probably would have been good if I paired it with some beer.
Chicken Wings alla Diavolo (SGD 18.00)
For our first pizza, we had the Funghi Mist, Fontina, Taleggio and Thyme (SGD 28.00).  This is a mushroom and cheese pizza.  This is a light pizza with just the right amount of saltiness from the different cheeses.  What I love about the pizzas here in Mozza is the crust.  Oolalaaa... I love how chewy it is!  It's not a thin crust nor a thick crust, but I just love the consistency.
Funghi Mist, Fontina, Taleggio, and Thyme (SGD 28.00)
Our second pizza was the Bacon, Salumi, Fennel Sausage, Pancetta, Tomato, and Mozarella (SGD 37.00).  This is for serious meat lovers like me.  My husband found it too oily/ meaty, but I thought it was just perfect.  The sausages had a sweet aftertaste which had a hint of licorice.  This satisfied all my meat and protein cravings for the week.
Bacon, Salumi, Fennel Sausage, Pancetta, Tomato, and Mozarella (SGD 37.00)
The desserts were also divine!  My friends and I ordered a different dessert each.

I had the Butterscotch Budino: Maldon Sea Salt and Rosemary Pine Nut Biscotti (SGD 15.00).  Whoever invented the salty-sweet mix is a hero to me!  I love love love the taste of rock salt paired with the butterscotch.  The salt brings out the flavor of this dessert without overwhelming the tastebuds.
Butterscotch Budino:  Maldon Sea Salt and Rosemary Pine Nut Biscotti (SGD 15.00)
One of us had the Banana Gelato Pie: Hot Fudge and Candied Hazelnuts (SGD 17.00).  I had a bite of this, and the crust was very yummy.  I could see how this could get very heavy though, so do share this if you order it.

Banana Gelato Pie: Hot Fudge and Candied Hazelnuts (SGD 17.00)
My other friend ordered a trio of Milk Chocolate Malt, Olive Oil, and Vanilla Gelato (SGD 16.00).  I know that Olive Oil gelato sounds downright crazy but there is something about the subtle taste of extra virgin olive oil that just works with gelato.  It's hard to explain, but all I can say is that it is definitely worth a try for the adventurous folks out there.
Milk Chocolate Malt, Olive Oil, and Vanilla Sorbet (SGD  16.00)
My husband ordered the Melon Sorbet (SGD 16.00).  This was a little too sweet for his taste, so don't expect any tangy or sour sorbet if that's what you're looking for.
Melon Sorbet (SGD 16.00)
As you can tell I am a huge fan of this restaurant.  If you are like me who enjoys a simple italian cuisine made from the best ingredients, then do come to Pizzeria Mozza.  I will definitely be visiting this place again soon.  You will need to make reservations at least 1 to 2 weeks in advance though since they get quite full especially on weekends.

Pizzeria Mozza
10 Bayfront Avenue
Marina Bay Sands (it's in front of the Theater)
Tel#: 66888868

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Cherry Garden - Dim Sum Buffet

Some friends are visiting us this week in Singapore, so we wanted to have some good Chinese cuisine.  We went to Cherry Garden in Mandarin Oriental to try out their dim sum buffet.  Their buffet is available on weekends with 2 time slots  - one at 11AM and the other at 1:30 PM.

The dim sum ala carte buffet is worth SGD 48.00 per person.  Apart from the free flowing dim sum, the meal also comes with one order each of soup, appetizer, rice, noodle, and dessert.  I must warn you that you should come with some patience and restraint -- it takes them a while to serve each dish, so be cautious about over-ordering in between dishes!

For the appetizer, we had the Wasabi-Aioli Prawns.  Apologies I forgot the exact name!  It was quite good -- reminded me of my favorite hot prawn salad from Chinese restaurants back in Manila.
Wasabi-Aioli Prawns
We ordered the Hot & Sour soup as well.  This was my least favorite of everything we ordered.  The soup was way too sour.  If I were to do this again, I'd skip the soup altogether.
Hot & Sour Soup
For the meat course, we had the Honey Glazed Kurobuta Pork Char Siew.  I liked this as the pork was very juicy.  The flavor though was quite typical for char siew, so nothing spectacular.
Honey Glazed Kurobuta Pork Char Siew
And then came our order of dim sum, dim sum, and even more dim sum!  They had 20 selections for the buffet so it was so hard to choose from the list.  We ended up over-ordering.  We had the Pork Xiao Long Bao, Shark's Fin Dumpling, Prawn Dumpling, Pork and Mushroom Siew Mai, Radish Cake in XO sauce, Kurobuta Char Siew in Fluffy Bao, Netted Crispy Rice with Prawn & Mango, and Pork Ribs.  

I must say that I was very happy with each dim sum dish, but what stood out from the heaps of order were the Shark's Fin Dumpling, Xiao Long Bao, and the Netted Crispy Rice with Prawn & Mango.  These were definitely our faves and ended up ordering seconds for these dishes.
Shark's Fin Dumpling -- Favorite #1
Prawn Dumpling
Pork Xiao Long Bao - Favorite #2
Pork and Mushroom Siew Mai
Netted Crispy Rice with Prawn & Mango - Favorite #3
Pork Ribs
Radish cake in XO sauce
Kurobuta Char Siew in Fluffy Bao
Apart from the dim sum and the appetizers, we were also served fried rice, noodles, and dessert.  Honestly I could not appreciate them anymore since I was too full from the dim sum!!  The dessert looked very pretty though.  It was a Mango Sago that came with lemon sorbet and was served in dry ice.  It was refreshing after all the savory dishes we had.
Mango Sago with Lemon Sorbet
As I write this blog, I am still extremely full from everything we ordered.  This was money well spent, but as I mentioned earlier, I need to practice a bit more restraint in ordering next time I come here!  So I suggest you come for a leisurely lunch and do come with a hefty appetite.

Cherry Garden
5 Raffles Avenue
Level 5 Mandarin Oriental
Tel #: 68853538