Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lawry's the Prime Rib (Part 2) - Easter Lunch

Easter Lunch has always been a special affair back home where I come from, so to celebrate Easter here in Singapore, the husband and I went to Lawry's the Prime Rib.  I was here for my birthday last year and have always wanted to come back for their fantastic prime rib.

For appetizers, we had the Pan Seared Atlantic Scallops (SGD 19.00).  I loved the corn salsa on this dish.  This was a nicely light and refreshing starter.
Pan Seared Atlantic Scallops
We learned from our past mistake of ordering a cut that was way too big for our appetites, so this time around we went for smaller portions.  I had the California Cut 160g (SGD 68.00) while my husband had the English Cut 200g (SGD 78.00).  The cuts were perfect this time around.  And the meat was just wonderfully succulent.  Each bite melts in your mouth.  The horse radish sauce was just as perfect with the beef as I remembered it from the past.
The California Cut 160g (SGD 68.00)
The English Cut 200g (SGD 78.00)
The remarkable and consistent quality of the prime rib at Lawry's makes this an obvious favorite for carnivores like me.  I also love the very warm ambience that this place has which makes it perfect for a weekend steak indulgence.

Lawry's the Prime Rib
333A Orchard Road
#04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery
Tel #: 6836 3333

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Enoteca L'Operetta - Neapoletan Pizza & Cuisine

An Italian colleague of mine recommended Enoteca L'Operetta at Boat Quay for authentic Neapolitan pizza.  Of course I will trust an Italian completely for pizza recommendations, and so I headed there the following day for a dinner date with the husband over the weekend.

We had the Tre Gusta Caprese (SGD 38.00) as an appetizer.  These are three types of fresh cheeses served with cherry tomatoes.  The cheeses were burrata, bufala and ricotta.  Each was wonderfully smooth and I always appreciate the subtle flavor of Italian fresh cheeses.  The cherry tomatoes were also commendable -- they were so sweet and fruity.
Tre Gusta Caprese (SGD 38.00)
For pizza, we went with the chef's recommendation called Bismark (SGD 26.00).  This had tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, parmesan, and egg.   This was absolutely delicious.  The toasted crust just melts in your mouth and the texture was just incredible.  The tomato sauce was extremely fresh and the toppings were very delectable.  Suffice it to say this is one of the best pizzas I've had so far. 
Bismark (SGD 26.00)
We also had the Pappardelle rosse al pomodoro con ragu di kurobuta (SGD 28.00).  The pappardelle pasta was made with tomatoes while the sauce had black pork ragout and porcini mushrooms.  This was nicely flavored - the tomato pappardelle gave the perfect amount of acidity to the dish which balanced out the savory pork.
Pappardelle rosse al pomodro con ragu di kurobuta (SGD 28.00)
Food was excellent at Enoteca L'Operetta, and I was impressed with everything we ordered.  Service was very warm and efficient.  Pricing is not too bad as well for the great quality of their dishes.  This restaurant has become an instant favorite, and I will definitely be back to try out their other pizzas and other menu items.

Enoteca L'Operetta
78,79 Boat Quay
Tel# : 6438 2482

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck (Part 2) - Consistently Great Duck

I have written about Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck in a previous blog entry and have raved about their delicious peking duck.  I got to try out a few other dishes this time around when I went here with friends.

We of course still ordered the Peking Duck (SGD 68.00).  The quality of their duck is consistently wonderful.  The crispy skin just melts in your mouth from the first bite.  There was very little fat and yet the meat was so tender.  I am thankful this restaurant never ceases to amaze me with their peking duck!
Peking Duck (SGD 68.00)
First slice of Skin -- great with sugar
Duck Slices
Duck cooked 2nd Way in Salt & Pepper

We had the Marinated Jelly Fish with Spring Onion (SGD 10.00) as appetizer.  The seasoning on the jelly fish was fantastic.  The spring onions I thought brought a nice flavor.
Marinated Jelly Fish with Spring Onion (SGD 10.00)

For greens, we ordered the Sautéed Scallop with Vegetable (SGD 30.00).  This was a bit on the pricey side for the serving size.  Overall flavor was good and the celery was nicely cooked without any bitterness left to the vegetable.
Sautéed Scallop with Vegetable (SGD 30.00)
Last of our orders was the Braised Thick Noodle with Hon Shimeij and Truffle Oil (SGD 16.00).  This was really delicious.  The aroma and flavor of truffle was distinct but not overpowering.  This was my first time to taste truffle oil on a  chinese dish and thought the use of this ingredient was done smartly.
Braised Thick Noodle with Hon Shimeij and Truffle Oil (SGD 16.00)
Noodles were split into four -- photo above is for single serving only
Imperial Treasure is definitely top notch when it comes to Peking Duck.  I'm obviously a fan of this place.  The jelly fish and noodles we ordered have also made it to my top things to try when visiting this restaurant.

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

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Casa Verde - Brunch at the Botanic Gardens

I am always on the look out for restaurants that serve brunch that are decently priced and pet/ dog friendly.  I brought my fur kids and some friends who were visiting to the Singapore Botanic Gardens over the weekend and tried out Casa Verde which is situated beside the Visitors Centre.

One of us had the Western Breakfast Set (SGD 13.50) which comes with orange juice, coffee, or tea.  I got to try the scrambled eggs, and I thought it was cooked perfectly.  It was light and fluffy with the right amount of liquid.  The hash browns in Casa Verde are really enjoyable as well with a nice crispy golden brown outer layer.
Western Breakfast Set (SGD 13.50)
I had the Corned Beef with Hash Browns (SGD 11.00).  This was served with a poached egg on top.  I love the combination of the oozing yolk with the beef.   However I thought the portion of the hash browns were a little too small for the amount of meat that was served.
Corned Beef with Hash Browns (SGD 11.00)
I also enjoyed the Iced Cappuccino (SGD 5.50), which I thought looked pretty despite it being served in an ordinary plastic cup.
Iced Cappuccino (SGD 5.50)
This brunch experience at Casa Verde was very pleasant.  Pricing is decent as well compared to other restaurants that serve brunch.  This will definitely be worth a return trip, especially for a weekend stroll around the botanic gardens with the husband and my pets.

Casa Verde
1 Cluny Road
Visitors Centre, Botanic Gardens
Tel #: 6467 7326

Table at 7 (Restaurant Week Series)- Asian Fusion

For the Restaurant Week series last March (, the husband and I decided to try out Table at 7.  My friends have raved about this place on several occasions, so I instantly grabbed the opportunity of trying out their Restaurant Week set menu.  Their lunch menu was priced at SGD 40.00 per person.

My husband had the Starter Choice A: Salad of the House.  This was a smoked ocean trout with arugula and wasabi dressing.  The dressing was brilliant and had the right amount of acidity and kick to complement the fish.
Salad of House
I chose the Starter Choice B: Authentic Javanese Oxtail Soup served with Root Vegetables and Glass Vermicelli.  This was alright -- it was a beefy soup that was reminiscent of vietnamese pho.
Authentic Javanese Oxtail Soup
I had the Main Course Choice A: Crispy Duck Confit on Lyonnaise Potatoes, Fine Beans and Caramelised Onion, Port Reduction.  The duck was cooked well - beautifully crispy on the outside with meat that falls of the bone. The seasoning however was a bit heavy handed on the salt.
Crispy Duck Confit
My husband ordered the Main Course Choice B: Eugenia’s Signature Reef Fish and Prawn Curry with Fragrant Jasmine Rice.  This was an average tasting curry in my opinion.  Nothing creative about this dish.
Eugenia's Signature Reef Fish
The last course was dessert where we were served the Mango and Passion Fruit Tart with Malibu Sorbet and Coconut Wafer.  This was okay tasting, and similar to the curry was nothing note worthy.
Mango and Passion Fruit Tart with Malibu Sorbet and Coconut Wafer
There were a few good dishes from the set menu.  However overall the restaurant week menu was not as impressive as I had hoped for.  Hopefully I can try out their ala carte menu some other time since I've heard great reviews about their other dishes.

Table at 7
7 Mohamed Sultan Road
Tel #: 6836 6362

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Flutes at the Fort - Outdoor Dining

A few officemates and myself went for dinner at Flutes at the Fort just off Fort Canning park.  The ambience is supposed to be vineyard inspired.  I can't comment for sure how close it might look like to an actual vineyard, but the outdoor dining experience was lovely all in all.  The restaurant is actually an old restored house where seating is at the terrace, so it has that country Gone with the Wind feel to it .

For starters we had the Seared Sea Scallops (SGD 28.00).  The scallops were beautifully fresh and the tangy lime dressing was perfect with the gigantic juicy scallops.
Seared Sea Scallops (SGD 28.00)
Our table also had the Pan Fried Foie Gras (SGD 28.00).  The foie gras had the crisp searing on the outside which I always enjoy as a prelude to the inner buttery texture of the liver.  The sweet prune glaze was also fantastic in this dish.
Pan Fried Foie Gras (SGD 28.00)
For mains, a few of us shared the Grainge Black Angus Cote de Beouf (SGD 120.00).  This is a heavy 900-gram steak.  The menu says that it's good for 2, but in my opinion the portions are large enough to feed 3 to 4 people.  This enormous piece of ribeye was delicious, and the meat was very tender with just the right amount of seasoning.
Grainge Black Angus Cote de Beouf (SGD 120)
Our table also had the Gratin Of Whole Lobster (SGD 45.00).  The cheese sauce was rich but very satisfying.  The lobster was a little small in size, though it was cooked well and had a nice overall texture.
Gratin of Whole Lobster (SGD 45.00)

For dessert, we tried out the Dark Chocolate Fondant With Fennel Ice-Cream and Pistachio (SGD 16.00).  This was reminiscent of a souffle or lava cake.  I love anything with oozing warm chocolate sauce, so this was an instant hit for me.
Dark Chocolate Fondant (SGD 16.00)
Flutes at the Fort was delightful, and all the dishes we tried out did not disappoint.  This is definitely a good place to visit for special occasions, and I'm glad I got to try this out.  The place is hidden and quite difficult to find, so do visit their website for clear instructions on how to get there.

Flutes at the Fort
Fort Canning Park
23B Coleman Street
Tel #: 6338 8770

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Jones the Grocer - Gourmet Food Store & Restaurant

The husband and I had brunch at Jones the Grocer in Mandarin Gallery over the weekend.  This was my first time to visit the Orchard branch, and it has the same bustling industrial yet charming feel to the place like the Dempsey branch.  The place itself has a certain appeal that draws in a crowd for casual meals.

For starters, we had the Cheese and Charcuterie Board (SGD 29.00) where we had a choice from any 3 cheeses or meats.  We had the Iberico chorizo, gorgonzola piccante cheese from Italy, and balarina cheese from Holland.  The cheeses were outstanding.  The chorizo however did not have that melt-in-your-mouth quality as I was hoping for from an Iberico cured pork.  I also ordered truffle honey (SGD 4.50) on the side which went absolutely perfect with the cheese.
Cheese and Charcuterie Board (SGD 29.00)
We had the Duck Confit Salad (SGD 16.00) which had spinach leaves, shredded duck, blue cheese, pears, and candied walnuts.  I thought the use of duck was unnecessary as it did not really add to the flavor or texture.  However everything else was enjoyable, especially the lovely candied walnuts.
Duck Confit Salad (SGD 16.00)
Last of our orders was the Rustichella Rigatoni Pasta (SGD 28.00).  This was nothing great, and was a rather lack luster pasta.  It was also definitely too pricey for the quality and serving size.  Definitely not a dish to be repeated.
Rustichella Rigatoni Pasta (SGD 28.00)
The gorgonzola and balarina cheese dipped in that wonderfully sweet truffle honey were top notch and the most memorable of the lot.  Though the other brunch dishes were nothing exceptional, I find that great cheese plates are pretty hard to come by (yes I love cheese that much!)  so I don't mind going back just for that.

Jones the Grocer
333a Orchard Road 
Level 4 #21-23 Mandarin Gallery 
Tel #: 6836 6372

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Brasserie Wolf - Casual French Dining

Some officemates and I headed over to Brasserie Wolf at Robertson Quay for a Friday night dinner last week.  I recommended the place since most of us were craving for steak, and I had been here a few times before and enjoyed the casual ambience.

For starters, we had the Portobello Mushroom Salad (SGD 16.00).  The mushrooms were gigantic and the stalks were stuffed with goat cheese.  Great contrast between the pungent cheese and the subtle portobello.

Portobello Mushroom Salad (SGD 16.00)
Our table also had the Chicken and Foie Gras Terrine (SGD 17.00).  I thought the foie gras portions here were too tiny to enjoy.
Chicken and Foe Gras Terrine (SGD 17.00)
The last of the starters were the Rock Oysters (SGD 28.00 for 6 pcs).  These  huge oysters were incredibly fresh, so hats off for that.
Rock Oysters (SGD 28.00 for 6 pcs)
As I mentioned, our table was craving for steak.  Some of us (including me) had the USDA Prime Sirloin (SGD 40.00).  Even if I asked for my steak to be cooked rare, the meat was a little on the tough side.  The cut had a little bit too much muscle for my liking.  The fries were also average, and I thought more creativity could have gone into preparing this.
USDA Prime Sirloin (SGD 40.00)
Others opted for the more premium Argentinian Tenderloin (SGD 47.00).  I tried this and thought this was definitely a much better option.  The cut was extra thick and the meat was really soft.  The peppercorn sauce on the side was also a nice accompaniment to the beef.
Argentinian Tenderloin (SGD 47.00)
Some hits and misses in our orders, but overall still a good dining experience.  I have always enjoyed my visits here, and will still recommend them for those looking for casual French dining.  If you are opting to order steak, do order the tenderloin over the other cuts.

Brasserie Wolf
80 Mohammed Sultan Road
#01-13 The Pier @ Robertson
Tel #: 6835 7818

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique (Part 2) - Brunch Sets

Some friends and I had brunch at TWG Tea Salon & Boutique.  I was here a few months back for afternoon tea which I had very much enjoyed, so I was looking forward to what TWG had to offer for brunch.

They only serve brunch set menus ranging from SGD 40.00 to SGD 54.00 which come with a main course, apple or orange juice, choice of tea from TWG's extensive selection, 2 pieces of scones or muffins, and choice of dessert from the TWG patisserie.

I had the Midsummer Brunch Set Menu (SGD 40.00) which featured the Summer Quiche as main course.  I loved the flaky crust and the balance of egg, roasted peppers, and spinach in the pie.  This was an extremely generous serving of quiche, and I highly recommend you share this unless you have a gigantic appetite.
Summer Quiche - Part of Midsummer Brunch Set Menu (SGD 40.00)
One of my friends also had the Gourmet Brunch Set Menu (SGD 40.00) which had Scrambled Eggs with Alba Truffle Oil and Seafood Salad.  The scrambled eggs with truffle was magnificent.  The aroma of truffle was very distinct and appetizing.
Scrambled Eggs with Alba Truffle Oil Served with Seafood Salad
 - Part of Gourmet Bruch Set Menu (SGD 40.00)
The husband ordered the Pacific Brunch Set Menu (SGD 52.00) which features a Scallop Carpaccio for mains.  The scallops were tasteless, and the salsa did nothing to add to the flavor.  This was one of the pricier sets and honestly this was not worth the added cost.  The cheaper brunch set menus were definitely a better option than these disappointing scallops.
Scallop Carpaccio - Part of Pacific Brunch Set Menu (SGD 52.00)
The brunch sets came with choices of pastries.  I forgot the exact names of the desserts -- but they looked and tasted like a blueberry tart and a dark chocolate pastry.  Both desserts were enjoyable and very visually appealing.
Blueberry Tart
Dark Chocolate Pastry
This brunch experience was enjoyable, save for the disappointing scallop carpaccio.  The rest of our orders were pretty satisfying.  And as I mentioned, portions are very generous so don't be afraid to share.  Though I did not post any photos this time around, the tea and scones were still remarkable - consistent with my previous vist.

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
2 Bayfront Avenue
#B2-65 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel #: 6636 8863

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Privé Cafe (Part 2) - Comfort Food

I have written about having brunch at Privé Cafe in a previous blog entry and how much I enjoyed their eggs benedict.  I decided to give their dinner menu a shot since I know they serve good comfort food.  The husband and I were instantly attracted to the wagyu burger choices and decided to indulge on these beefy dishes.

The husband had the Brie-licious Burger (SGD 26.00).  This was a wagyu beef patty topped with brie cheese and grilled pears.  Lovely combination of ingredients, and the wagyu beef was incredibly juicy.  I love the bun used as well which was reminiscent of an old fashioned home-cooked burger.
Brie-licious Burger (SGD 26.00)
I had the Simply Privé Burger (SGD 26.00) which also featured the wagyu beef patty, but this time topped with streaky bacon.  The wagyu beef was really phenomenal.  This version is more suited to meat-lovers like myself.  For my fries, I had asked for truffle mayo to be served on the side which gave me the truffle flavor I have been craving for.
Simply Privé Burger (SGD 26.00)
On the side, the husband also had Privé's Signature Mushroom Soup (SGD 13.00).  This was one of the better mushroom soups I've tried -- very fresh taste with just the right amount of cream.
Privé Signature Mushroom Soup
The dinner choices were just as satisfying as their brunch menu, so we were quite pleased with our meal.  The burger was fabulous, and portions were really generous as well.  In fact for those with lighter appetites, you can do with splitting a burger between two people.

Privé Cafe
2 Keppel Bay Vista
Marina at Keppel Bay
Tel #: 6776 0777

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tanjong Beach Club - Meal by the Ocean

We wanted to hang out by the beach last Sunday and did so at Tanjong Beach Club at Sentosa for brunch.  I really like the Tanjong Beach area since the place is not as crowded as Siloso and Palawan Beach in Sentosa.  The entire area is extremely dog friendly as well, which is perfect for pet lovers like me.

I had the Chicken and Corn Quesadilla (SGD 14.00).  This was a nice and light quesadilla.  No jalapeño or any other spices so this makes it suitable for breakfast. They have a spicy chorizo version which would be a better choice for those who want a kick in their quesadilla.
Chicken and Corn Quesadilla (SGD 14.00)
The husband ordered TBC Pancakes with fresh blueberries (SGD 12.00) and bacon (additional SGD 4.00).  The colors on the plate were very appetizing.  My husband normally likes thinner pancakes, but he still very much enjoyed these fluffy pancakes.
TBC Pancakes with fresh blueberries (SGD 12.00)
For sides, we had the TBC Black Truffle Fries (SGD 14.00).  I could not taste any hint of truffle whatsoever and could only make out the disproportionate amount of salt.  There are definitely better truffle fries out there.
TBC Black Truffle Fries (SGD 14.00)
I had a Cappuccino (SGD 7.00), and of course I'm such a sucker for cafe art so this was obviously very appealing to me.  Pretty steep pricing though for a cup of coffee.
Cappuccino (SGD 7.00)
Tanjong Beach Club has a really lovely view of the ocean, and the brunch menu is pretty decent.  Service was efficient, and our waitress was extra friendly and accommodating.  Pricing for the food is acceptable, though I feel the drinks are too expensive for my liking (coffee averaging at SGD 7 and a bottle of Heineken at more than SGD 20!).  Overall it was a pleasant experience, and the location and ambience is enough in itself to warrant some repeat visits.

Tanjong Beach Club
120 Tanjong Beach Walk
Tel #: 6270 1355

Osteria Mozza - Modern Italian Cuisine

Had a post-Valentine dinner with the husband at the very popular Osteria Mozza in Marina Bay Sands.  I have long been a fan of Pizzeria Mozza which is located next door, and have always been curious about what Osteria had to offer.

Since it was after all a semi-special occasion (and also the fact we were lazy in choosing dishes on our own), we each had the tasting menu at SGD 128.

For starters, my husband had the Antipasti Choice A: Smoked Sea Trout Salad with green bean salad, jalapeno, and toasted almonds.  This was a nice and light dish and the almonds added nice texture and crunch to the dish.
Antipasti Choice A: Smoked Sea Trout Salad
I had the Antipasti Choice B: Grilled Figs with pancetta, Parmigiano, and aceto balsamico.  I really enjoyed this and the grilling on the figs were beautiful, leaving an almost meaty/ savory taste to the greens.
Antipasti Choice B: Grilled Figs
The next dishes were from the mozzarella bar.  My husband had Choice A: Burrata with beets, horseradish, walnut, and mizuna.  I really liked the combination of horseradish with mozzarella.
Mozzarella Choice A: Burrata with beets, horseradish, walnut, and mizuna
The other mozzarella dish was Choice B: Burricota with braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants, and mint pesto.  I enjoyed the artichokes and overall refreshing flavor of this appetizer.
Mozzarella Choice B: Burricota with braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants, and mint pesto
For the pasta dish or Primi, my husband had Choice A: Pici with duck ragu.  This was alright -- the noodles were nicely al dente, but the sauce was nothing worth raving about.
Primi Choice A: Pici with duck ragu
I had the Primi Choice B: Ricotta Gnocchi with wild mushrooms.  The potato dumplings (gnocchi) had a nice soft texture.  The mushroom sauce however was too salty and quite mediocre.
Primi Choice B: Ricotta Gnocchi with wild mushrooms
For mains, my husband had the Secondi Choice A: Pan Roasted Grouper with tomato, capers, and olives.  The sauce was okay, but overall again nothing commendable.
Secondi Choice A: Pan Roasted Grouper
The other choice for Secondi was the Grilled Iberico Pork Chop with cranberry beans cooked in soffrito.  I had high hopes for this dish as the presentation was beautiful.  However taste-wise, it was one-dimensional.  All I could taste was extreme saltiness from the seasoning and extreme sourness from the cranberry.  It was sadly a disappointing main course.
Secondi Choice B: Grilled Iberico Pork Chop
We were then served with Rock Melon Sorbetto with Passionfruit Gelatina.  If I were to be frank, the dish looked rather ugly.  There was no effort in presentation whatsoever.  And the sorbet which normally is used to cleanse the palate did nothing of that sort as it was excessively sweet.
Rock Melon Sorbetto with Passionfruit Gelatina
For dessert, the first choice was the Fritelle di Riso with banana gelato and rum raisin sauce.  The alcohol content was too strong and took away from what would have been a decent dessert.
Dolci Choice A: Fritelle di Riso
We also had the Dolci Choice B: Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes with olive oil gelato and rosemary brittle.  This was pleasant -- the hint of olive oil on the cake gave a nice aroma to the dish.
Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes
I was hoping the tasting menu would be a great showcase of the restaurant's best creations, but apart from the antipasti and mozzarella dishes, this was rather average.  Not sure if their ala carte menu would have been a better option, but sadly this experience was quite a let down.

Osteria Mozza
2 Bayfront Ave.
Level B1 #42/46
The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands
Tel #: 6688 8522