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