Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nicolas Restaurant

Chose this place to celebrate the best friend's birthday and I must say, I'm really impressed by their service. This is the place that really wow-ed my in terms of service.

Decor of the private room we had.

Complimentary crisp bread with duck rillette

The rillette wasnt too salty and went really well with the super crispy bread! Very crackly. They also provide butter, olive oil to go with a soft roll that they serve you after this. Mmm love it when I have bread choices!

Steamed organic hen egg
Preserved winter black truffle
Crunchy blue prawn pastilla

This was with compliments from the chef as it was my friend's birthday. All of us had this complimentary amuse bouche. There was a faint hint of truffle taste, nothing spectacular though. Prawn was wrapped in a thin fried skin that was average at best as well. 3.2/5 

Confit Hokkaido Scallop
Ravioli of chuka wakame
Asari clams emulsion
Scallop chips

The chuka wakame thingy is the green thing you see in the picture! Its v crunchy, guess its seaweed? Scallop chips were quite nice, not too salty. The scallops itself were v fresh, we all thought they're raw cos they looked raw to us haha but it was so soft and nice! Scallops were good, as what our friendly waiter & chef recommended us repeatedly! (: I liked the emulsion that came with it because I thought it was full of seafood flavour, but some of my friends thought it was a tad too sweet so they didnt finish it! Oh there was saffron taste in the emulsion as well. 4/5

Atlantic sea cod fish
Crusted with masago
Caponata, taggiasche olive beurre blanc

The cod fish was done really well, flakey and soft. But after awhile, I got kind of tired of eating it? For such a small piece of cod, this says something. The mushrooms were an entirely different matter. They were so well soaked in the red-wine sauce, so plump and juicy that till today I can still remember how they taste. One of the best mushrooms I've eaten! I was so in love that when I came back, I quickly googled red wine mushroom in bid to find a similar recipe haha. 3.5/5

Three sweet tasting
Three surprise desserts

Left to right: almond panna cotta, dark chocolate sth w sesame tulle, fromage blanc gelato

Almond panna cotta is like the Chinese almond pudding called xing ren hu just that the almond taste isnt that strong? For someone like me who hates the Chinese almond pudding, this didnt have the strong almond taste that I dislike in the chi version so I managed to finish this. 3.6/5

The dark chocolate thing was like rich dark chocolate whammed in your face but in a good sinful way (: Not as thick as a ganache but not watery also. Sesame tulle was normal. 3.7/5

Fromage blanc gelato tasted like froyo! Haha. We liked it and it went really well with the nuts that came w it, and if memory serves me correctly, they were almonds! 3.8/5

I brought a cake that I made myself to the restaurant and the waiter gestured to me asking if its time to serve the cake and I nodded, then he came in and asked me quietly how many candles and I told him then he went to prepare the cake. The cake took REALLY long to come and we were all wondering what happened + birthday girl was getting suspicious! Finally when the cake came, I was so surprised, so shocked and so touched. 

I made a cake that looked like the one on top, just pure white frosting outside. This was the cake sitting in the box. Outside was the cake bunting that I made that looks similar to the one above. Then there were candles and lighter. I didnt give any instructions abt the cake bunting thingy that its supposed to be placed on the cake or anything. But in came the cake, with the cake bunting placed on it, with candles arranged v nicely in an artful manner, and they wrote Happy Birthday using chocolate on the cake. They made the cake look really nice and grand. I was so happy with what they did to the cake! (: Really touched as well. Usually when you bring a cake to the restaurant, they'd just give you the plastic bag w the cake when you ask for the cake, but no, that does not happen at Nicolas! At least not for us!

It wasnt to say that the restaurant was empty, on the contrary they were full/almost full! But still they made the effort and this scores high points in my book for service. But pity the food wasn't up to my expectations of their food.

Keong Saik Road

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bunalun Brunch

Sorry for the lack of posts! Went for a holiday to the US and was left without internet! So can only start updating now! But the posts will be more frequent and regular because now I'm having holidays so, a lot of time to go explore & eat! (: 

Have been wanting to try their breakfast for quite some time and finally we had the chance! 

This is their brunch menu! Not sure if they serve brunch on weekdays though!

2 poached eggs with salad leaves and country bread toast $13

To me, I felt that this was actually quite expensive for something so simple? It was just plain bread w poached eggs. The yolk was runny, but not very runny. Overall, a really average dish that isnt worth your money. 2.5/5

Whole grain pancakes served with seasonal fruits and maple syrup $17

To me, the pancakes are too thick and a little too dense? I dont like the super thick and dense kind of pancakes, I like fluffy light pancakes! These resembles Wild Honey's pancakes and I didnt enjoy it. It was better with the maple syrup though. The boy, on the other hand, didnt mind this sorta pancakes. So I guess its a matter of preference once again! 2/5

Overall, I think its not a worth-your-money place for brunch/brekkie, and would rather recommend you to other cafes/restaurants for brunch that offers cheaper and tastier options. It's probably expensive because of organic products used I presume since their shop sells organic food.

Chip Bee Gardens

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Svelte (Taste Matters)

Have heard about Taste Matters for quite some time so I decided to drag the boy down for some nice dessert! Here's their menu! Since I couldnt find it online, I thought I'd take pictures of it so everyone can know whats on the menu! I personally feel that menus are v impt to me when deciding whether or not I want to go down and have a meal at the restaurant, so hope this helps you guys!

Yuzu Curd Tart

Featured in newspapers/magazines! It comes in a pair and if I'm not wrong, its $8 for two! The tart shell was crispy, and not too thick, a higher than average tart shell I'd say! To me, the curd was a little too eggy? Like I could taste eggs in the curd. But to the boy, he was totally in love. He happily gobbled down the tart quickly and said "mmm I totally understand why she said people cant stop at one" just after the first bite! And, he broke out into a huge smile! No kidding. So I guess its all up to personal preference? 3.5/5 (personally) I bet the boy's was like 4.7/5

Black Cow

I LOVED the real as beans vanilla bean ice cream right at the bottom of this! Okay let me break down the layers for you. Top - rootbeer sorbet (REALLY like rootbeer cept in iced form + diff texture, wonderful!) middle - thin layer of dark chocolate ganache of good quality, bottom - vanilla bean ice cream! I think it goes really well together if you eat everything all at once but the layers are good separately too! All in all, a good dessert with well-thought out layers!

Would probably be back to try out their other desserts because there's like black sesame with sourdough toast? (Sort of like an atas version of what road-side uncles sell?) and many oth interesting combinations that I'd like to try! But probably wouldnt be eagerly awaiting my next visit back because there are so many other places to try in Singapore!

Oh the service is friendly, cheerful, bright smiles, and nice! Pour your own water though! Not that I have any issues with that (:

Cluny Court

Windowsill Pies

Went to the Yule Market at Loewen Gardens at around 11am? It wasnt very crowded at that time and it was fairly easy to get a seat! Saw the Windowsill Pie stall once we went in and they had taste testers for their pies! And they're quite big pieces, which I think is obviously a good thing haha. Tried their apple pie that they have specially for Xmas, and was really impressed! So we got a slice (:

Its $6.90 for the piece above in that picture. Its quite worth it because there was a huge-ass piece of apple on top which was sooo soft and flavourful - sweet with a little rum, raisins were studded throughout and most importantly, the custard wasnt too sweet! And laced with just enough rum to make you go mmm~ and smile. The pie crust is just the right thickness, slightly crunchy and crispy.

We were so impressed by the pie that we bought 4 slices of pie home! Should really give this pie a try! Their pecan pie was another hot seller too, but didnt try it! Pie for another day!

They have a shop as well, with the address below. I believe they're regulars at the Farmers Market, cos I've seen their FB page and they've been there for the past few times! But there arent any Farmers Mkts till next year so, go down to their shop!

 The people are really friendly and cheerful!

Windowsill Pies
#01-206, 2 Pandan Valley, Acacia Court (Pandan Valley Condominium)

Alfero Artisan Gelato

After our meal at Hai Tien Lo, we wanted some gelato for dessert and I remembered this new shop at Marina Square! Its near the food side (where all the food kiosks are like Jollibean etc)/below the cinema area and not the shops side of Marina Square! Not sure if you know what I mean. 

The ice cream scoopers are really earnest and friendly like some other reviewers have said online, and will happily + cheerfully scoop up huge spoonfuls (never seen such huge tester spoonfuls before!) of gelato for you to try and recommend you to try different flavours! Definitely a good team hired I'd say (: They will also have a guy standing outside distributing small cups of ice cream for trying as well.

I tried many flavours, like vanilla (felt that the vanilla flavour wasnt strong enough), mango (REALLY liked this, was choosing between mango and green tea), hazelnut (didnt really like it), uh and many other flavours! But eventually we decided on:

Green tea

This has really strong green tea taste I feel, one of the better and stronger green tea ice creams around! The milk taste is quite strong as well, so not for someone who doesnt like milky taste! For me, I loved it! Though after awhile it can get a tad sweet so luckily we had the dark chocolate below to balance it out!

Dark chocolate

This was very smooth and dark, sexy ice cream in a cup! Just realised it rhymes!

Wanted to try their cones but they were sold out :/ The scooper told us that they make their cones fresh everyday so we'd to come earlier to try it cos its v popz! Will definitely go back to try their cones + other flavours of ice cream or to get that mango! Haha

Alfero Artisan Gelato
Marina Square

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hai Tien Lo

As we had a voucher from our previous Keyaki visit, we decided to go to Hai Tien Lo for Chinese dinner because we have not been there for many many years (and by that I mean 10 over years?)

There's a lift that serves level 21-37 (if I'm not wrong) so do check before you take the lift! The lift is all glass so you can see the nice view outside! Pity it was raining that night :/

Was impressed by the woman who picked up my call when I called to make a reservation, extremely polite and very friendly.

Table setting. The restaurant has a circular layout and each table faces the glass windows that gives you a good view of the Singapore skyline!

This was listed on the premium tea page, some flower blossoming thing or something haha sorry! Not too sure about this. But the flower fragrance was really strong and nice, one of the more unique teas I've had! Certainly not your normal Chinese tea.

Signature dish - Pan-fried foie gras with roasted duck skin

I think they cooked it together or something because the foie gras had a distinct duck meat taste instead of the usual foie gras taste! The taste of the foie gras was completely covered by the taste of the duck so I thought this wasn't a well-executed dish because I've had such combinations before at other restaurants and the foie gras retained its own flavours. 3/5 

Drunken chicken (appetiser)

I felt that the wine didnt fully incorporate into the chicken hence the taste of the wine wasnt strong, something my parents and I do not fancy. We prefer stronger taste of the wine and a very cold chicken, much like how Din Tai Fung does it! So far, no places can beat DTF's drunken chicken in my books and I know my best friend and my Mom agree with me. The meat of this chicken was rather soft and the skin wasnt too fatty either. But pity about the wine taste, I mean afterall, this IS drunken chicken. 3/5

Baked Sea Perch Fillet with Truffle Sauce

This is from their festive menu I believe. The last page of the menu. The waitress who took our order knew my Dad so she recommended us dishes/told us which dishes werent that nice/allowed me to order from the festive menu (I presume) because this dish isnt in the ala carte menu so yup. Anyway, this was the BEST DISH of the night! All of us agreed this was ohsoyummy. Actually it was only the fish, the sauce was too thick and too sweet for our liking, truffle aroma wasnt strong either so Mom and I kinda scraped off the sauce to enjoy the sweet soft yummy flesh of the fish itself!

The fish, is really the star!! So wonderfully flakey and soft, melts in your mouth, even softer than cod I tell you! The chef really cooked it to perfection. This is certainly a Must-try but you probably can try it with some other sauce? I know they have other cooking methods in the ala carte menu, so (: 5/5 for fish!

Pan-fried geoduck in XO sauce with beans

I didnt try this but my parents said the XO sauce wasnt v hot!

Steamed broccoli with crabmeat and caviar

There were lots of crabmeat!! Caviar was a rather big spoonful and broccoli, huge florets of them. Rather value for money dish I feel! Everything's fresh so this is more of an average dish done well. 4/5

Ee Mian with Chicken Shreds and Truffle Sauce

The truffle aroma was stronger in this dish and I didnt try it either but my parents commented that it was pretty average, nothing much to shout about. 3.5/5

Lobster with signature butter lemon sauce

The lobster is lightly fried before the sauce is placed on top of it. To me, seafood should be enjoyed on its own to savour the sweet fresh taste of the seafood (with the exception of salted egg yolk crab and creamy butter crab at Seafood Paradise!) so I didnt enjoy the sauce atop the lobster because all I tasted was the sauce and not the sweet lobster flesh! So I scraped the sauce off again and ate the lobster meat (: it was fresh no doubt! But once again, just an average dish to me. 3.7/5

These are views from the lift

Hai Tien Lo has many private rooms with their own views of the Singapore skyline/waterfront view and I'd imagine it'll be quite popular during periods with fireworks! Service staff are friendly, rather prompt in their service. Pity the food's average. My parents and I agreed that we wouldnt be coming back in the near future.

Hai Tien Lo
Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore

First taste of Maison Kayser

Maison Kayser has finally opened at Scotts Square! I went down on Friday and asked and they told me they're opening today. Waited for about 30minutes before they really opened for business because they were still settling some last minute details and the arrangement of bread and stuff.

The service crew is really friendly! Very very polite as well. Comprises of quite a lot of Japanese with quite a few locals as well. They offered us samples of the bread and I tried a wholemeal and a olive oil + sun dried tomato dough. Loved both! Both doughs are really light and fluffy, the olive oil + sundried tomato one was very fragrant! There's still a crispyness to the bread even though it has not been toasted yet. Mmm~ I was eagerly awaiting to buy the many different types of bread they had!

Their sandwiches are made to order, and you'll wait for about 5-7mins for it! They have ham&cheese, vegetarian, bacon + veg, croque monsieur, tuna and I'm not sure what else! Think they're $7.50? The next time I'm gonna try their lemon tart! Quite affordable $3.50 for one!

Yummylicious bread!!! You queue up and either tell/point to the people behind the counter which breads you want or there will also be some service staff outside to take your order. Dont be shy to ask them what the bread is made of/what it has etc because they're really friendly and will tell you! They'll give you recommendations as well (:

The breads are affordable so dont worry, price ranges from $1+ to $7+? 

There was already a queue today so I think when people know that it is officially opened, there will be a longer queue!

Here's what I bought (I cant really rmb their French names, my apologies!):

Pain au Chocolat

I'm not sure about how this tastes yet but I'll update this space when my Dad gives me feedback! (:

Cranberry Bread

My oh my, I LOVE THIS BREAD! It is so filled with huge dried cranberries, crispy crusty crust with a rather soft interior (I used rather because to me, it is soft but to people who arent used to wholegrains, you'll find it hard at first! But I love this kind of texture, so :D) I really enjoyed every single bite of this. From the fragrant bread aroma that hits you when you bring it near your mouth, to the audible crisp when you bite it and then the homey feeling of a well-made bread. YUM (: 4.7/5

Mini Croissant $1.40

My mom's an ardent croissant fan! And I can safely say this passes ALL of her tests for a good croissant and I heard this is one of their signatures, truly worthy of being so I'd say! I could hear how crisp and flakey it is! My mom was so happy she need not toast it to make it crispy because the crunch when she bites into it is so audible! I could tell she enjoyed it a lot because she was smiling throughout and she commented that it has a really fragrant buttery taste! She loves butter, so yup, she really liked this and told me to buy more for her next time! MUST-TRY! 5/5

Aux Pommes

If I'm not wrong that is what this bread is called! It comprises of honey, walnut and apples. Upon hearing this, I knew I'd get this!! One of my fav combination of flavours! (: And this does not disappoint. The taste is very complex, I didnt realise until I took a bite of the fig bread below and realised how starkly different they taste! This one has real depth in terms of flavour, I presume because of the honey? I'm not sure but its sure richer and the apples are soft, almost un-apple like! As with his breads so far, this has a crisp exterior that gives a nice crunch even without toasting (how does he do that? Other bakeries, please learn!!) and the bread is sooo yummy on its own even without toasting!! I love the deep dark rich taste of this bread, I presume this has wholemeal flour as well because of the colour! 4.6/5

Fig Bread

I saw fig and my eyes lit up and I told the woman "I want a fig bread as well, thank you!" But this wasn't such a winner in my books compared to the above few. This one tasted like a normal piece of bread with a few figs studded inside (look at the yellow thing popping out of the bread in the 2nd pic). Though this bread was really soft inside, much softer than the above 2 so I'm assuming wholemeal flour has less of a role here but as with all the breads, a nice crisp crust. In terms of flavours and taste, not as strong as cranberry or the apple/walnut one! 4/5

I will GLADLY, actually no, I WILL be going back to get more of his breads because I think they're really good! Nice crispy exterior that has a loud audible crunch when you bite into it and a nice fluffy interior with yummy flavours! The smell of the bread was taunting me throughout my trip home, in the train and in the car. Mmm~ Cant wait till I get my next Maison Kayser fix!

From their website:

Honeycombed and tender, with subtle aromas and a fine golden crust, bread according to Eric Kayser is a bread with lots of character. Smoothness and aroma are preserved through slow kneading and long fermentation. All of the breads are kneaded, shaped and baked on-site, under the supervision of a head baker who has been trained in all of the "House" techniques. A qualified baker still needs a year to master the technique.

How to savour their bread?
Start by appreciating its colour, gently press a slice to your nose to experience its crispy touch and crust, the smoothness and perfume of the bread itself. Only then take a bite and feel its texture and flavours develop into your mouth...

I fully agree with whatever the website says and really recommend that you go down and try it for yourself! (:

Maison Kayser
Scotts Square
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...