Thursday, 29 September 2011

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Amazing French Food

We heard from a friend that Michelin Star-Rated Chef Joël Robuchon would be visiting his restaurant in Resorts World Sentosa this week, so my friends and I immediately booked dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.  We got ourselves a nice place by the bar which overlooks the lovely decorated kitchen.
My husband and I decided to try out The Discovery Menu (SGD 250.00), which is a 10-course degustation menu.  Very painful for our wallet, but I felt there was no better time to try out the degustation menu than now while Chef Joël was around!

The first course was L'Amuse-Bouche.  This was a foie gras custard with red Porto wine and parmesan foam.  The foie gras was so light yet so distinct in flavor.  It had an amazing savory sweet combination which I just absolutely loved.
L'Amuse-Bouche - Foie Gras Custard
The next course was L'Hamachi.  This was a yellowtail tuna tartar with spicy tomato coulis.  Very nicely done as well and the thin slice of brioche on top added a nice texture to the dish.
L'Hamachi - Yellowtail Tuna Tartar
What followed was one of my favorites from the menu -- La Langoustine.  I am not exactly the most knowledgeable on different types of seafood so our waiter had to explain this.  The langoustine is like a mini lobster except sweeter and tastier.  This was prepared perfectly with a refreshing drizzle of lemongrass oil.
La Langoustine
The fourth course was Le Foie Gras.  The seared duck foie gras was cooked to perfection and was definitely worth every calorie.
Le Foie Gras
Next was Le Navet, which was a soup with daikon bouillon and citrus oil.  The picture below does not do justice to it, but the actual soup was presented beautifully with so many inviting colours from the herbs and citrus oil.  The taste also did not disappoint.  I am not a fan of soup but I finished this all up in seconds.
Le Navet - Daikon bouillion flavoured with citrus oil
The last of the appetizers was Le Barbue.  This was a brill fish with herbs.  It was seasoned with what tasted like vinegar.  This dish was alright, but I would say this was the most forgettable of the entire degustation menu.
Le Barbue - Brill with Herbs and Spring Sprouts
For the main course, you get to choose either of 2 dishes.  I chose the signature dish -- Main Course Choice A:  La Caille.  This was a quail stuffed with sinfully good foie gras served with unbelievably creamy mashed potatoes.
La Caille - Foie Gras filled free-range Quail
Though I loved my main course, my husband chose an even better dish which was Main Course Choice B:  La Boeuf.  This was a French style hanger steak with shallots.  This had a very nice searing on the outside while the beef was incredibly soft and juicy.  I will definitely be ordering this next time!
La Boeuf - French style hanger steak with shallots
After all the mains is Le Multivitamine which is a pineapple sorbet with red berries.  This was truly a work of art.  It was also a very playful dish as it was served with pop rock candies.  True testament to Chef Joël's creativity.
Le Multivitamine - Red Berries spiced coulis, Victoria pineapple sorbet
The last dessert was Le Cube, which had a hazelnut cake surrounded by chocolate.  Lovely dish as well and very satisfying for my sweet tooth.
Le Cube - Roasted Hazelnut Dacquoise, creamy Caribbean chocolate
The meal was ended with coffee or Le Cafe - Le The.  Great way to end a very filling meal.
Le Cafe - Le The
Worth noting as well was an ala carte order my friend had for her main course which was Le Cochon de Lait (SGD 45.00).  This was a roasted suckling pig with really fabulously crunchy strips of skin served on top.  This is highly recommended for those ordering ala carte.
Le Cochon (SGD 45.00)
All in all I had a great experience in L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.  Perfect for special occasions and for romantic dates.  The discovery menu was wonderful, but you can also try out their ala carte menu which is also impressive.  The service is excellent as well, and I will most definitely be back!

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Level 1 Hotel Michael
Resorts World Sentosa
Tel #: 6577 7888

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Disgruntled Chef - Modern European Fare

My husband and I had dinner at The Disgruntled Chef at Dempsey Hill since I wanted to buy some goodies around the area.  I have always been curious about this particular place since I've found the name to be quite an odd choice for a restaurant.

The Disgruntled Chef serves Modern European cuisine as what was explained by the waitress.  She also explained how best to order from their menu which was divided between "Small Plates" and "Big Plates".  The small plates are mini appetizers, similar to serving sizes of a degustation menu.  The big plates on the other hand are mains that are good for sharing.  She recommended that we order 4 to 5 small plates and 1 big plate for my husband and myself.  However since I'm a real sucker for variety, we decided to order 6 small plates instead.

Our first order was the Chicken Liver Parfait (SGD 14.00).  This was served with a prune jam and brioche toast.  I love chicken liver, and this dish was amazing!  The chicken liver had a very light and airy mousse-like texture.  The prune jam was a perfect contrast to the parfait.
Chicken Liver Parfait (SGD 14.00)
The next order was the Seared Sea Scallops (SGD 12.00).  These were 2 large and juicy scallops served with a delicious teriyaki-like honey sauce.  My husband and I were also impressed with the freshness of the scallops.
Seared Sea Scallops (SGD 12.00)
I can never resist ordering pork so we had some Serrano Ham (SGD 16.00).  This was served with rocket and potatoes.  Though my husband enjoyed this, I thought the use of potatoes was unnecessary.  The potato oddly enough overpowered the ham.  I feel that serrano ham is not salty enough to stand against overwhelming amounts of starch.
Serrano Ham (SGD 16.00)
The last meat dish we ordered was the Crispy Lamb Shortribs (SGD 15.00).  This was seasoned in cumin and was served with a greek yogurt dressing at the bottom.  This was another well executed dish.  The yogurt helped balance out whatever gamey taste was left of the lamb.
Crispy Lamb Shortribs (SGD 15.00)
Our waitress suggested we also order the Baked Camembert Fondue (SGD 18.00).  I'm glad she suggested this since we really enjoyed the dish.  The bread was amazing, and I really liked the combination of the apple sauce that was served with the camembert cheese.  I am a huge fan of the salty-sweet combination.
Baked Camembert Fondue (SGD 18.00)
Our final order was the Crayfish Macaroni and Cheese (SGD 12.00).  This was a little on the heavy side, and seemed a little out of place with the rest of our orders.  No major complaints, but it was just a bit anticlimactic.
Crayfish Macaroni and Cheese (SGD 12.00)
My husband and I really enjoyed our visit to The Disgruntled Chef.  I was also very happy with the service, and we will definitely be back again for dinner.  My top picks for the night were the Chicken Liver Parfait, the Seared Scallops, and the Fondue.

The Disgruntled Chef
26B Dempsey Road
Tel #: 6476 5305

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Astons Specialties - Steaks and Burgers

There are several food courts available near our office, but once in a while my officemates and I like to indulge in some western food at Astons Specialties.  They serve very reasonably priced steaks, burgers, and pastas.

Their regular steaks range from about SGD 15 to 25 (depending on the cut) which comes with 2 side dishes.  I was craving for some really good meat that day so I decided to order something a little pricier, the Wagyu Steak - Grade 6 (SGD 39.90).  I normally like my steaks thicker, but I guess for the price the serving portion is good enough.  The meat was solid -- juicy and had the beautiful marbling you look for in wagyu steak.
Wagyu Steak Grade 6 (SGD 39.90)
My other staple in Astons is their Wagyu Burger (SGD 12.90).  Thankfully my officemate ordered it so I was able to take a photo.  This is a simple, no frills burger which has that homemade burger quality I like.  The patty is very flavorful and holds on its own with no sauce or dressing.
Wagyu Burger (SGD 12.90)
I recommend Astons if you are looking for a good place for casual, reasonably priced, and decent western food.  They specialize in grilled meats, and they have a good spread of fish, chicken, and beef choices.  They have some cheaper dishes versus those we ordered above, so it's ideal too for those on a budget.

Astons Specialties
Mapletree Business City
20 Pasir Panjang
Tel #: 65703067
* They have several other branches around SG.  Check out

Friday, 16 September 2011

Saboten - Best Japanese Tonkatsu

I will go ahead and say it -- I absolutely LOVE Saboten!  Saboten is one of my favorite restaurants for Japanese pork tonkatsu.  The tenderloin katsu, the crispy breading, the tonkatsu sauce, and even the cabbage sesame dressing are to die for.

I had serious craving for tonkatsu so I convinced my husband to have dinner at Saboten this evening.  Saboten is located at the top floor of Parco Department Store in Millenia Walk.

We normally order their Tenderloin Katsu Set, but today we tried out some of their specials.  They have a limited edition Cheese Katsu selection available for the months of September to October, so I chose the Cheese Tenderloin Katsu Supreme (SGD 23.00).  This had the cheese tenderloin katsu, regular tenderloin, and ebi/ prawn.  I really liked this assortment.  The melted gooey cheese added a little twist to the katsu.  And because there were other types of meat in the dish, the cheese did not get tiring at all.
Cheese Tenderloin Katsu Supreme (SGD 23.00)
My husband got the Grated Radish Tenderloin Katsu (SGD 24.00).  This is served with a vinegar sauce on the side which you pour on both the radish and the pork.  This was very delicious as well, and my husband thoroughly enjoyed it.  The vinegar and radish were the perfect balance of tanginess for the pork.
Grated Radish Tenderloin Katsu (SGD 24.00)
All the katsu dishes come with free flowing cabbage, rice, and miso soup.  There is also one serving of green tea ice cream served at the end of the meal.      

This was another satisfying visit to Saboten.  I highly recommend this place for tonkatsu and pork lovers like me!  Feel free to try anything from their different katsu varieties, but I suggest you stick to those that make use of the tenderloin pork.  The meat is just extra juicy versus the regular loin.

9 Raffles Boulevard
#P3-01 Parco Marina Bay, Millenia Walk
Tel #: 6333 3432

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Gattopardo - Sicilian Cuisine

My husband was feeling a bit adventurous this weekend, so he allowed me to choose a new restaurant to try out for dinner.  I decided to try out an Italian Restaurant at Hotel Fort Canning called Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar.  I have read mixed reviews about this place so I wanted to try it out for myself.

This was my first time to visit Hotel Fort Canning, and my husband and I liked the decor of the place.  It was a classy, small hotel tucked away in the peaceful Fort Canning park.

For starters, I had the Carpaccio di Polpo (SGD 28.00).  This is an Octopus Carpaccio with Apple Vinegar.  I really liked this dish.  The apple vinegar seasoned the octopus perfectly.  I also liked the different colours on the plate which made it even more attractive.
Carpaccio di Polpo (SGD 28.00)
My husband had the Rucola (SGD 17.00).  This is a Rocket Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Orange Peel.  I had a taste of this, and I enjoyed the dressing they used with the crunchy rocket.  My husband also commented that the goat cheese was very good.  It was not too overpowering like the typical goat cheese.
Rucola (SGD 17.00)
I had the Ravioli con Burrata e Crescione (SGD 28.00) for my main dish.  It's a cheese ravioli with watercress and asparagus.  This was a bit so-so to be honest.  It was not bad, but it was the type of dish that could get tiring.  And I did get tired of the flavor and could not finish the last piece of my ravioli.
Ravioli con Burrata e Crescione (SGD 28.00)
My husband also ordered the Filetto di Spigola (SGD 38.00).  This is a broiled Mediterranean Sea Bass Fillet with Pistachio Sauce.  I had a taste of this, and I was impressed with the fish.  They cooked it perfectly, and I like how they made the skin extra salty and crispy to give it more flavor and texture.  My husband's only complaint was that the mousse served on the side (not really sure if this was potato?) was also salty, which did not go too well with the sea bass.  This would have been perfect if they had served a simple mashed potato on the side.
Filetto di Spigola (SGD 38.00)
For dessert, we shared the Il Tiramisu (SGD 16.00).  This was definitely the highlight of the evening -- I like how the dessert was not too sweet, and you could really taste the espresso powder.  The dish looked extra pretty too with all the fresh berry toppings.
Il Tiramisu (SGD 16.00)
Gattopardo was a pretty good new place to try out.  I would recommend their seafood as they pride themselves with having fresh seafood flown in from the Mediterranean and Japan.  Next time I'd like to try out their pizzas too as they have a proper stone fire stove, and the pizza orders on the tables surrounding us looked very appetizing.

Gattopardo Italian Grill & Pizzabar
Hotel Fort Canning
11 Canning Walk
Tel #: 6338 5498

Monday, 5 September 2011

Tung Lok Signatures - Chinese Cuisine

I had extra credit card points and decided to put them to good use by getting vouchers for Tung Lok group of restaurants, as I have read that they serve good Chinese food.  My husband and I used the vouchers for lunch at Tung Lok Signatures in VivoCity.

For veggies, we ordered the The Eight Treasures (SGD 22.00).  It's a dish with eight different ingredients -- black fungus, sliced lotus root, black mushrooms, gingko nuts, fresh lily bulbs, asparagus, honshimeiji mushrooms, and beancurd skin.  I liked how the asparagus was very crunchy, and how the texture of the beancurd skin is reminiscent of pork skin.
The Eight Treasures (SGD 22.00)
My husband and I were craving for scallops, so we had the Sautéed Scallops topped with Crabmeat and Roe (SGD 44.00).  The scallops were deep fried with shrimp, and it had an egg-white sauce topped with crab roe/ fat (I could feel my cholesterol level rising several points after eating this!).  Though the dish was very tasty, I felt the price was not exactly commensurate to the quality of the food.  My husband and I were expecting much bigger scallops for the price we were paying for. 

Sautéed Scallops topped with Crabmeat and Roe (SGD 44.00)
Lastly, we had the Baked Fried Rice with Seafood and Bacon served on Lotus Leaf (SGD 22.00).  This was actually a full meal on its own.  It had very generous servings of seafood such as crab, fish, and scallops.  The serving size is quite big so we actually ended up taking home about half of the dish which we enjoyed for dinner that evening.
Baked Fried Rice with Seafood and Bacon served on Lotus Leaf (SGD 22.00)
Tung Lok Signatures serves good Chinese food indeed.  However I found it a bit too expensive for the quality.  I regret not ordering their lobster which was supposed to be their most popular dish.  Perhaps I would have changed my mind on the price-value equation if I had a taste of their signature dish. 

Tung Lok Signatures
1 Harbourfront Walk
#01-57 VivoCity
Tel #: 63769555

Saturday, 3 September 2011

DB Bistro Moderne - French-American Food

DB Bistro Moderne is another celebrity chef restaurant at Marina Bay Sands.  "DB" stands for the restaurant owner Daniel Boulud who is a michelin-star rated French chef based in the US.  DB Bistro Moderne's concept is a casual French-American bistro.

We were a group of friends, and for starters we ordered the Seafood Platter (SGD 270.00) to share.  This was good for a whole battalion!  It came with assorted fresh seafood like oysters, lobster, crab, mussels, shrimp, and snails.  This dish was fine, but the seafood was not exactly the freshest I have come across so I felt it was too pricey for the quality.  It was presented very beautifully though in a  tub of ice.
Seafood Platter (SGD 270.00)
I also had the Heirloom Tomato Salad (SGD 26.00) as starter.  The dish had several types of tomatoes paired with goat cheese and some balsamic vinegar.  I normally love tomato and goat cheese, but I felt there was something missing in the dish.  Perhaps a sweeter dressing may have done the trick as the tomato-vinaigrette combination was a bit sour for my taste.
Heirloom Tomato Salad (SGD 26.00)
I heard that this restaurant is known for their burgers, so I could not help but order The Original DB Burger (SGD 38.00).  This was a sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs and foie gras.  The beef patty was extra juicy, so the meat definitely gets an A+ for me.  The taste of the foie gras was not as prominent as I had wanted, but it does provide a very soft texture and adds a bit more flavor to the burger.  Probably my only complaint is that the burger is too tall, so I had to eat it with a fork and knife.  Call me old fashioned, but I still believe burgers should be eaten by hand!
The Original DB Burger (SGD 38.00)
My friends ordered other dishes which they said were also very enjoyable.  Since I was too full from the appetizers and my meaty burger, I did not get to taste my friends' dishes anymore.  They had the Cauliflower Soup (SGD 15.00), Snail and Oyster Chicken Fricasse (SGD 24.00) and Traditional Coq Au Vin (SGD 34.00).   The Coq Au Vin is a braised chicken dish served with mushrooms onion and bacon.  
Cauliflower Soup (SGD 15.00)
Snail and Chicken Oyster Fricasse (SGD 24.00)
Traditional Coq Au Vin (SGD 34.00)
Photo Courtesy of Pocholo Ignacio -- I didn't have any decent photo of the dish from my camera
My husband had the Yellow Fin Tuna 'Ala Plancha' (SGD 36.00).  I had forgotten to take a photo of his order.  Unlike my friends, my husband thought his order was nothing spectacular.  He has tasted better seared tuna in other places, and he felt this did not live up to his expectation.

In summary I think most of our orders were fine.  For the price though I would have expected each dish to wow us, but I guess this is one of those restaurants where your satisfaction is dependent on how good you are at choosing your order.  I would still recommend this for those looking for good juicy gourmet burgers as I really enjoyed my burger.  The location is also quite convenient for those needing to grab a bite before going to the Marina Bay Sands Theatre.

DB Bistro Moderne
10 Bayfront Ave.
#B1-48 Marina Bay Sands
Tel #: 66888525

The Cellar Door - Deli and Wine

I have seen this restaurant several times in VivoCity, and I had always found the interior to be very inviting and classy.  I never actually had the chance to try it out until yesterday.

The Cellar Door is a deli and wine restaurant at the first floor of Vivo City.  You can choose to dine indoors or outdoors.  Outdoor dining would give you a nice view of Sentosa.  However given the heat and humidity in Singapore, I almost always choose to dine indoors.

Instead of the normal food fest, my husband and I decided to have a light meal for dinner with some wine.  We ordered the Carnivore Sharing Platter (SGD 28.00) -- okay, I admit that doesn't sound light!  But it's actually just a platter of cold cuts- prosciutto, honey cured ham, and roast beef served with some bread.    The prosciutto was excellent.  My husband and I agreed we have not had such good prosciutto in a while.  The honey cured ham was good too and went very well with the chutney that was served.  The least enjoyable was the roast beef which I felt was a little dry.  The bread was awesome.  It was crusty yet soft in the middle.  Very high quality bread which I would normally only find in good hotels.

Carnivore Sharing Platter (SGD 28.00)
A glass of wine ranges from SGD 7.50 to SGD 15.00.  I am in no way a wine expert, but I did enjoy my glass of red wine with the cold cuts.  They also have a proper deli that has a good selection of cheeses.  It's a pity I didn't get to try any!  Instead of ordering from the menu, you could also choose to come over to the deli and point out which cheese or meats you want for a platter or a sandwich.

This restaurant is very pleasant.  And given my love for deli food and wine, I will definitely frequent this place and have some manchego or aged cheddar with more of that yummy prosciutto.

The Cellar Door 
1 Harbourfront Walk
#01-108/109 Vivocity
Tel #: 64635296