Friday, 25 November 2011

Bonifacio - Traditional Filipino Cuisine

I have previously been disappointed by the lack of good Filipino restaurants in Singapore, so I was very happy to have finally tried out Bonifacio in Kreta Ayer Road around China Town.  Finally tasted some note-worthy traditional Filipino dishes here in Singapore which remind me of home.

First up is the Fresh Lumpiang Hinirang (SGD 6.95).  This is a crepe filled with bamboo shoots, carrots, and french beans topped with a peanut sauce.  The vegetables were fresh and crispy, and I thought the sauce was reminiscent of how my grandmother used to make this dish.
Fresh Lumpiang Hinirang (SGD 6.95)
One thing I love and miss back home is Filipino barbecue.  I know I am being biased, but I believe nothing comes close to Filipino barbecue.  So I was very happy to have tried the Pork Barbecue (SGD 9.95) in Bonifacio which was really enjoyable.  The pork actually tasted like steak!  Though I would not consider the marinade completely traditional, the overall taste was spot on.
Pork Barbecue (SGD 9.95)
We also had the Daing na Bangus (SGD 26.95), a deep fried marinated milkfish.  Milkfish is one of my absolute favorite fish, and I love how this dish stayed true to the Filipino traditional way of cooking it.  The meat and fat were delectable, and the spicy vinegar sauce on the side really complemented this well.  This was a bit pricey, but it's probably because this is not a commonly found fish in Singapore.
Daing na Bangus (SGD 26.95)
I normally cannot leave a Filipino restaurant without trying their Pork Sisig (SGD 9.95).  This is a very popular bar food back home which consists of sizzling fried pork bits.  I was disappointed with Bonifacio's rendition of pork sisig, as the pork was overly soggy and lacked flavor.
Pork Sisig (SGD 9.95)
Overall I can say that Bonifacio is one of the better Filipino restaurants in Singapore.  I enjoyed everything except the Sisig.  Pricing is very decent, and I definitely see myself coming back to try out the rest of their menu.

35 Kreta Ayer
Tel #: 62226676

Thursday, 17 November 2011

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Part 2) - French Food Perfection

I was extremely impressed with L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon during my first visit, and have raved about it ever since.  I've been looking forward to my next visit to try out the rest of their menu, and I finally had the chance to do so a few days back when we took some friends out for dinner who were looking for fine French cuisine.

Previously, my husband and I had the Discovery Degustation Menu.  This time we decided to order ala carte to try out their other dishes, though we did do some repeat orders from our previous faves.

For starters, we had Le Jambon (SGD 61.00) which are thin slices of Iberian Ham or Jamon Iberico.  It is made from a specific black Iberian pig and aged for about 36 months for the ultimate savory experience.  This was heaven on a plate!  Each bite completely melts in your mouth, and I could not get enough of each splendid slice.
Le Jambon (SGD 61.00)
We were served with L'Amuse-Bouche (Complimentary).  The foie gras custard with red Porto wine and parmesan foam was just as amazing as when I first tasted it.  Definitely the best way to start out a great meal.
L'Amuse-Bouche (complimentary)
I ordered L'Oursin (SGD 50.00) as an appetizer.  This is a sea urchin in a consomme jelly with wasabi cream.  I was happy to see Japanese elements in a French dish.  Sea urchin and wasabi combination has always been a winner to me.  Taste wise I thought it was excellent, though the texture of the consomme jelly was a little unusual to me.  Perhaps I'm just not used to eating a lot of savory jelly dishes.
L'Oursin (SGD 50.00)
For starters, my husband ordered L'Hamachi (SGD 32.00) which he enjoyed from our last visit.  My husband said it was still pretty good though it was not as memorable as when he first had it.
L'Hamachi (SGD 32.00)
In this visit to L'Atelier, I believe I have found the holy grail of burgers-- Le Burger (SGD 51.00).  Oh my gosh, what a gastronomic experience it was to have each bite of this sinfully delicious dish.  Each mini bun had an exquisite wagyu beef patty topped with foie gras and arugula leaves.  Perfection!  I completely fell in love with this burger.
Le Burger (SGD 51.00)
Close-up of Le Burger -- the holy grail of burgers!
My husband ordered La Langoustine (SGD 47.00) since we enjoyed the langoustine we tasted before.  I had a bite of this from my husband's plate and thought it was very nicely executed.  The crispy wanton added a nice texture to the fresh seafood.
La Langoustine (SGD 47.00)
My husband and I also each had Le Cochon de Lait (SGD 47.00) or the suckling pig.  I think I was too stuffed at this point to enjoy this, though I would still recommend this for serious pork lovers.
Le Cochon de Lait (SGD 47.00)
For dessert I had Les Tartes (SGD 25.00).  It had delectable slices of lemon, hazelnut, and vanilla tarts which are perfect for anyone with a serious sweet tooth.  Do share this as this was definitely too much for one person.
Les Tartes (SGD 25.00)
My husband had La Panacotta (SGD 25.00) which was beautifully presented with fresh blueberries.  This was a very light and refreshing take on panacotta.
La Panacotta (SGD 25.00)
This was still an amazing experience at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.  The ala carte menu was just as impressive as their degustation menu, and I was very happy to have found some new favorites.  My top picks for the night were Le Jambon, Le Burger, and La Langoustine.

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

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lawry's The Prime Rib - Slow Roasted Prime Rib

I had credit card vouchers for a 1-for-1 main course at Lawry's the Prime Rib located in Mandarin Gallery.  I've been waiting for an opportune moment to use the voucher, especially since a lot of my friends have raved about the delicious steaks at this place.  So I was incredibly delighted when my husband had a steak craving this weekend and therefore headed straight to Lawry's.

For starters, my husband and I each had the Lobster Tail (SGD 27.00 for 1 pc and SGD 52.00 for 2 pcs).  A simple steamed lobster with lemon butter sauce is always a hit for me, so this was right on the money. 
Lobster Tail (SGD 27.00)
At Lawry's, any order of prime rib comes with a serving of the famous Spinning Bowl Salad.  The waitress put on a nice show of spinning the dressing into the greens.  The salad had a very nice and refreshing flavor.  Given that I am not a  veggie fan, any time I am able to finish up a plate of salad should be a good sign of how good the dish is.
Our waitress preparing the famous spinning bowl salad
Spinning Bowl Salad (Comes with any order of prime rib)
There are several cuts available for the prime rib, and my husband and I decided on the Lawry's Cut (SGD 83.00) which as the name suggests is the most famous of the cuts.  This was a massive piece of meat weighing 270g.  The meat was incredibly juicy.  The whipped horseradish sauce served on the side really brings out the superb flavor of the meat.  Despite being a huge carnivore though, the Lawry's cut was too big for my appetite.  My husband and I had difficulty chugging down such large amounts of protein.  They have other smaller cuts available which I will try out in the future.  And what I realized was that unlike your typical steaks, since the meat is slow roasted whole, a smaller cut/ slice will still allow you to have the benefit of the juiciness of thicker cuts.
Chef carving out the Prime Rib
Lawry's Cut (SGD 83.00)
For dessert, my husband and I shared an order of Lawry's Crepe Suzette (SGD 29.00).  They prepare this fresh in front of you which to me always adds a nice touch.  The crepes were pretty good -- simple and tangy.  If you are not a fan of tangy/ sour dessert, then best to order something else.  I quite liked this and thought it was a nice way to end an otherwise very heavy meal.
Crepe Suzette being prepared fresh
Lawry's Crepe Suzette (SGD 29.00) -- split into two,
so the photo above is a half-order
Lawry's definitely lived up to our expectation, and the quality of the beef did not disappoint.  As mentioned, I suggest getting a smaller cut for those with not such massive appetites.  Next time I come back, I will either try the California Cut (small cut) or the English cut (3 thin slices a la yakiniku cut).  The price tag is not cheap for the prime rib, but definitely worth it for those looking for exceptional quality meat.

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

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Saboten (Part 2) - Oyster Katsu Specials

As I had written in my previous blog entry, Saboten is one of my absolute faves for Japanese Pork Tonkatsu.  My friends and I ate here for dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised that the Oyster Specials were back!  I had this once last year and thought the oysters were superb.  So I've been patiently waiting since then for the oyster menu to make a special appearance again.

I ordered the Oyster and Tenderloin Katsu Set (SGD 26.00).  The pork tenderloin has always been consistent in quality, and this katsu did not disappoint.  The gigantic oysters were really juicy and fresh.  Just as good as I remembered it from last year's specials.

Oyster and Tenderloin Katsu Set (SGD 26.00)
A new discovery for us was that you could actually order the Grated Radish (SGD 2.00) as dipping sauce on the side.  I would alternate dipping the katsu between the grated radish and the regular tonkatsu sauce.  Absolutely delicious!
Grated Radish (SGD 2.00)
Yet another great meal at Saboten.  Do visit them soon if you want to try out the oyster specials as I think they will only have them in their menu until December.

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

Cha Cha Cha - Mexican Restaurant & Bar

I was craving for Mexican food and decided to head out to Cha Cha Cha in Holland Village.  Thanks to the new Circle Line, Holland Village restaurants are now a breeze to get to.

Cha Cha Cha is pretty much a no frills restaurant.  There is no air conditioning, but service is very fast and efficient.  Tables are spacious and comfortable so no complaints there.  The prices are also very reasonable and portions are generous.

For starters, my husband and I had Nachos (SGD 13.50).  Their nachos were pretty good with hefty toppings of cheese and other goodies.  Do share as this was definitely too much for 2 people.
Nachos (SGD 13.50)
We also had the Chicken Quesadilla (SGD 13.50).  This was served with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa on the side.  I really liked this as well and thought the toasted tortilla had a nice crunch.
Chicken Quesadilla (SGD 13.50)
Last of our Mexican feast was the Soft Taco (SGD 13.50).  This was alright, though I thought the beef could have used a little bit more flavor.  Perhaps it was just a little too plain for my taste.
Soft Taco (SGD 13.50)
Cha Cha Cha serves pretty decent Mexican food.  If you share (and not over-order as my husband and I did!), it comes out to be pretty affordable too.  I think I'll try out the burrito or chimichanga over the soft taco next time.

Cha Cha Cha
32 Lorong Mambong
Holland Village
Tel #: 64621650