Sunday, 23 October 2011

Privé Bakery Cafe - Brunch by the Bay

My cousin was visiting me in Singapore this weekend, so I took her out for brunch at Privé Bakery Cafe along Marina at Keppel Bay.  We both love eggs for breakfast so this place was perfect.

Privé Bakery Cafe is located beside the yacht club/ marina so the place has a really beautiful ambience.  I love eating here for leisurely Sunday brunches with a great outdoor view of the water.

My cousin had the Eggs Benedict (SGD 16.00).  The eggs were perfectly poached with just the right amount of yolk oozing out once sliced.  The hollandaise sauce was rich but very tasty.  The arugula salad on the side was  a perfect contrast to the rich dish.

Eggs Benedict (SGD 16.00)
I also had a very similar dish which was the Eggs Royale (SGD 16.00).  Instead of ham like what's used in the Eggs Benedict, this dish uses smoked salmon.  Fantastic combination as well with the eggs, muffin, and salad.
Eggs Royale (SGD 16.00)
I had a Cappuccino (SGD 5.00) on the side.  I love artwork on cappuccino so I could not help but take a photo.  
Cappuccino (SGD 5.00)
I really like this place and have enjoyed all my visits here so far.  It's a little bit out of the way, but it's worth the commute for a lovely Sunday breakfast.  Egg-lovers like me will certainly enjoy the selection of poached egg dishes in their menu.  They have really yummy cakes and pies too, but I was way too full from my meal that I couldn't order dessert anymore.

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

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Casa Tartufo - Italian Truffle Cuisine (Restaurant Week Series)

My husband and I headed over to Casa Tartufo Ristorante in Orchard to try out the Restaurant Week specials priced at SGD 55.00 for the dinner menu.  I have a mad love affair with truffles, so a truffle-themed Italian restaurant sounded too tempting to resist.

For starters I had the Entree Choice A: Homemade Potato Gnocchi, Gorgonzola sauce.  This was simply divine!  I loved the very subtle hint of truffle in the gorgonzola sauce. After I had finished the potato dumplings, I was almost licking off my plate to savor the remaining droplets of sauce.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi, Gorgonzola sauce
My husband had the Entree Choice B: Beef Carpaccio.  This was nicely done as well with rocket and freshly shaven parmesan to complement the beef.  The aroma of truffle was very distinct in this dish.
Beef Carpaccio

For mains, my husband ordered the Main Course A: Roasted Sea bream “Isolana”, Potato, Tomato, Onion, Black Olive, White Wine sauce.  I didn't really get to taste this, but my husband said the sauce was very good.  The fish however was a tad bit overcooked.  

Roasted Sea bream "Isolana"

I had the Main Course B: Chicken breast "Milanese Style" and, Fontina cheese, Spinach, Truffle Potato puree.  I was not such a big fan of this dish.  It was like a fancy chicken nugget.  The original ala carte menu which uses veal meat instead of chicken breast probably would have been better suited.  The truffle mash and greens were still lovely though.

Chicken Breast "Milanese Style"

For dessert, my husband and I each had the Truffle Profiterole.  I was wondering how truffle would be incorporated into this dish.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out the ice cream was truffle infused.  The flavor was simply explosive, and we felt we were in truffle heaven.  I absolutely loved this!
Truffle Profiterole
Casa Tartufo has a huge selection of wine as well, all displayed in a lovely wine cellar which decorated the room.  This added a very romantic vibe to the place.  Service was also impressive and the wait staff was attentive.

The wine cellar
As I mentioned, the set menu for Restaurant Week was priced at SGD 55.00 per person.  Not bad considering their regular ala carte meat dishes average at SGD 50.00 per dish.  They also serve a lunch menu which is considerably cheaper with dishes averaging about SGD 25.00 per plate.

Casa Tartufo is overall a great new restaurant find.  I will most surely come back for the gnocchi and the truffle-infused ice cream which were simply to die for.

Casa Tartufo
Forum Shopping Mall, #01-17
583 Orchard Rd
Tel#: 68364647

Original Sin - Vegetarian Mediterranean (Restaurant Week Series)

Our second stop for Restaurant Week was Original Sin, a Vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant located in Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village.  I had eaten here previously and enjoyed their ala carte menu.  I therefore wanted to have a go at their set menu for the week which was priced at SGD 35.00 per person.

For starters, my husband and I both had the Greek style cucumber, onion, Kalamata olives salad with crumbed feta cheese, served with lemon dressing and oregano.  Nothing too unique about this -- it tasted like typical garden salad save for the breaded cheese which was a nice touch.
Greek salad with crumbed feta cheese
I had the Main Course A: Spinach, feta and tofu patties coated with crushed almonds and sesame seeds, asparagus and a button mushroom plum sauce.  I had already tried this ala carte during my previous visit to Original Sin.  Unfortunately, it was not as good as I remembered.  The overall flavor was still good, but the tofu patty was a little soggy, so the texture of the patty had no contrast over the rest of the ingredients.
Spinach, feta and tofu patties
My husband had the Main Course B:  Egg tagliatelle, sautéed with Porcini and button mushrooms, onion, white wine, fresh thyme and a touch of cream, topped with shaved Parmesan.  This was just a typical cream pasta, and there was nothing spectacular about it.  It was a little tasteless too, and my husband had to ask for more parmesan cheese to add life to it.
Egg Tagliatelle, sautéed with Porcini and Button Mushrooms
For dessert I had the Dessert Choice A: Hazelnut chocolate cake with berries and vanilla ice cream.  This was a pretty decent dessert.  The hazelnut flavor and crust reminded me of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
Hazelnut chocolate cake with berries and vanilla ice cream
My husband chose the Dessert Choice B: Home made apple crumble with vanilla ice cream.  This was alright as well, though nothing too spectacular.

Home made apple crumble with vanilla ice cream
Sad to say that the Restaurant Week set menu of Original Sin was not very impressive.  It was not the type of menu that would encourage first-time visitors to come back.  Too bad really because they have some pretty good ala carte dishes available.

Original Sin
43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-62 Chip Bee Gardens
Tel #: 6475 5605

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fremantle - Australian Seafood Market (Restaurant Week Series)

Restaurant Week in Singapore is heaven sent for foodies!  For those who are not familiar with Restaurant Week, hosts this event for 2 weeks in a year where several posh restaurants offer a very affordable set menu (ranging from SGD 25.00 to SGD 55.00 per person).  The whole objective is to get more people to try out new restaurants during these weeks.

Our first stop for this October's restaurant week is Fremantle in Clarke Quay.  This is an Aussie place which specializes in seafood.  The dinner set menu was at SGD 35.00 per person.

For starters, I had the Entrée Choice A: Transparency of Lobster, Manchego Cheese, Roasted Bell Peppers, Croutons, Roasted Garlic.  The use of too many ingredients looked a bit intimidating, but everything actually meshed well.  The manchego and white anchovy combination was surprisingly good.

Transparency of Lobster, Manchego Cheese, Roasted Bell Peppers, Croutons, Roasted Garlic
My husband had the Entrée Choice B: Alaskan Crab, Dungeness, Mud Crab, Prosciutto, Aioli Sauce.  This was not my cup of tea, but my husband thought it was delicious so I guess this is a matter of preference for crab cakes.
Alaskan Crab, Dungeness, Mud Crab, Prosciutto, Aioli Sauce

For the mains, my husband had the Main Course A: Pan-Roasted Dry-Aged Beef Steak, Asparagus-Morel Ragout, Bone Marrow, Stone Salt.  This was our first encounter with stone salt.  It's a little hard to describe -- it added a very nice earthy-salty flavor to the steak and the marrow which we thought was excellent.  The serving portions were really generous, so do share this if you are ordering this ala carte.

Pan-Roasted Dry-Aged Beef Steak, Asparagus-Morel Ragout, Bone Marrow, Stone Salt

As for my main couse, I had the Main Course B: Crystal Bay Prawns, Scallop Milk Risotto, Micro Sprouts, Asparagus Purée.  This was a very well executed risotto.  The asparagus puree was very subtle, but added a light flavor to the creamy dish.  The prawns and scallops were nicely flavored as well.
Crystal Bay Prawns, Scallop Milk Risotto, Micro Sprouts, Asparagus Puree
The dessert was a Praline Cheesecake, Caramel Sauce.  This was a little too sweet for my taste.  The ice cream on the side was a bit much for an already heavy dessert.  Again I may be biased as I am not typically a fan of cheesecake.
Praline Cheesecake, Caramel Sauce
My husband and I were very happy with this first restaurant week experience in Singapore.  Each dish in Fremantle was enjoyable, and for SGD 35.00 this was a steal.  I now know where to go to for serious seafood cravings.

Blk 3E River Valley Road, #01-05/06
Clarke Quay
Tel #: 6337 1838

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Table 8 - Cantonese and Szechuan Fine Dining (Jakarta Series)

I was in Jakarta for a business trip the other day.  I had dinner with officemates at Table 8 at Hotel Mulia.  It's a pity I forgot to take a photo of the restaurant, but I fell in love with the very posh decor of the place.  They have a good buffet selection, but we decided to order ala carte instead.

We got a half order of Barbecue Golden Suckling Pig (IDR 440,000 or SGD 64.00).  Okay I may be biased due to my love of pork, but this was an absolutely amazing dish.  The skin was extremely crispy, and each bite just melts in your mouth.
Barbecue Golden Suckling Pig (IDR 440.000 or SGD 64.00)
For veggies, we had the Braised Sea Cucumber and Bailing Mushroom Beijing Style (IDR 68,000 or SGD 9.70).  Very nicely done as well and I just love the texture of the sea cucumber.
Braised Sea Cucumber and Bailing Mushroom Beijing Style (IDR 68,000 or SGD 9.70)
We also got another vegetable dish.  I didn't get the exact name, but I think this was the Braised Beancurd (IDR 40,000 or SGD 5.70).  Nice accompaniment to the heavier pork dish we had as mains.
Braised Beancurd (IDR 40,000 OR SGD 5.70)
We also had the Yang Zhao Fried Rice (IDR 48,000 or SGD 6.80).  This was a good take on this popular rice dish and had a generous serving of shrimp, fish, and scallops.
Yang Zhao Fried Rice (IDR 48,000 or SGD 6.80)
The Chinese Food was really excellent at Table 8.  And for a fine dining restaurant, the food was decently priced.  This is definitely a favorite, and will visit again if I ever find myself in Jakarta in the future.

Table 8
Basement Floor of Hotel Mulia Senayan
Jl. Asia Afrika Senayan
Jakarta 10270, Indonesia
Tel #: +6221 5753271

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Shin Kushiya - Japanese Grill

One of our staple restaurants in VivoCity is Shin Kushiya, which specializes in Japanese barbecue grill.  They have a good selection of meat and veggie barbecue at very reasonable prices.  Each barbecue ranges from about SGD 2.00 to 15.00.

My husband and I normally order a whole range of barbecue dishes, but only decided on 2 of our favorites for this visit.  We had the Nikuzume Shiitake (SGD 2.80) and the Gyu Enoki Maki (SGD 3.80).  The Nikuzume Shiitake is shiitake mushrooms stuffed with ground chicken.  The shiitake mushrooms were really tiny that day -- so they gave us 3 instead of the usual 2 pieces.  Though the size was disappointing, the quality was still just as good.  I love the marinade they use and how the flavor is nicely absorbed by the mushroom.  The Gyu Enoki Maki on the other hand is a bunch of enoki mushrooms wrapped in beef.  This was nicely done as well, and the marinade was just as delicious.
Nikuzume Shiitake (SGD 2.80) and Gyu Enoki Maki (SGD 3.80)
We also ordered the Kinoko Tofu (SGD 7.80).  This is a silken tofu with japanese mushroom.  This was another good dish, and I like how the breading of the tofu did not get overly soggy with the sauce.
Kinoko Tofu (SGD 7.80)
For mains, my husband and I ordered different types of don buri - I had the Premium Mini Hokkaido Don (SGD 28.80).  This had raw tuna belly, salmon roe and hokkaido sea urchin.  This was decent, but nothing amazing.  The freshness of the seafood was alright.
Premium Mini Hokkaido Don (SGD 28.80)

My husband ordered the Shanshodi Udon (SGD 17.00).  This had slices of salmon, tuna, and swordfish.  Also decent, but again nothing to rave about.  The slices of sashimi were a little on the thin side.

Shanshodi Udon (SGD 17.00)
I think that sashimi is not really Shin Kushiya's strong suit.  However they do have excellent and very decently priced Japanese barbecue.  So I will recommend this place for their well executed grilled dishes which I always do come back for.

Shin Kushiya
1 Harbourfront Walk
#02-120 Vivo City
Tel #: 6275 8766