Sunday, September 30, 2012

New: Podi The Food Orchard

Cedele's new venture! Podi The Food Orchard. I'm not sure if the food there still has a healthy slant to it 'cos based on what I read on the website, it doesnt say anything about the food being healthy unlike Cedele's website!!! But nonetheless, this is definitely a place you should check out if you're a dessert fanatic :)

It has taken over the space that Cova Pasticceria used to occupy. Its an open restaurant concept.

Below are pics of the sweets on offer that day when we went down! Very interesting + unique take on desserts I'd say :) Something new in the Singapore dessert scene! Of course there are a few classics as well.

Bottom row consists of sandwich cookies.
 From L to R: Earl Grey Vanilla, Mocha Coffee, Chocolate Rose

Something new w 2 layers of cake filling inside (look at the reflection for the cross-section of the cake!)

This sounds v interesting!! Would love to try it when I go back again :)

This sounds v yummy :)

Oooh~ rum & raisin choc cake! Definitely a choice when I'm craving something chocolatey

Look at these hugeass whoopie pies!!

Hugass muffin!!

Next to this muffin they have savory cookies like a cookie w bacon!!


Below's their dinner menu! Part of the menu can be found in the Cedele All Day Dining menu! Am not sure if their lunch menu's the same. They have a brunch menu too I suppose but didnt get to look at those!

The stone-baked pide pie is like pizza! Quite big portion, enough to share amongst 3-4 ppl!

Look at the top of the list!!! Black forest pancake mmmm :) 

Basically the desserts are mainly what you can find in the cake shelf accompanied by ice cream!

Cinnamon Spiced Cake w Honey & Toasted Hazelnut Frosting

This was really good!!!! A totally new kind of cake in terms of textures. Its like an upside down tart kinda thing w the "frosting" on the outside - the thing that resembles soil. This has a crumbly texture but its packed tightly together so it resembles a slightly crumbly tart base. The cake slices are nicely moist (not overly moist) and then the middle layer is filled w toasted hazelnuts to give it that crunch!!! V nice contrast of textures! Can you see the small bits of hazelnut in the middle?

In terms of taste, since its a cinnamon spiced cake, its reminiscent of a carrot cake w/o the carrots! V nicely perfumed w spices I feel :) If you're a spice person, go for this! However, as the slice is quite big, do note that after awhile you may find it sweet and a tiny bit jia lat. So please do share this with people! 4.6/5

Podi Fruit Flan w Mango Creme and Cake Filling

This paled in comparison to the cinnamon spiced cake. Firstly, I kinda applaud the pastry chef for thinking of putting 2 slices of choc cake into the tart but honestly, it could do without the cake and just fill it w the nice creme that was a tad sour and have a more substantial tart crust! The cake was v moist though but didnt do much for the tart imo. Mangoes were sweet. Tastewise, this is quite normal, kinda monotonous after awhile 4/5

I feel that the service there was not bad, but do note that they do NOT serve complimentary plain water, you gotta purchase sparkling/still water or the juices etc drinks they have :/ Glasses were quite small tho from what I saw! 

Prices of the cakes/sweets are q steep but portions are big so I guess that's why? Though I rather have smaller slices, less expensive prices so I can try more!

The menu looks quite good for dinner and quite averagely priced. Maybe you'd consider paying them a visit after shopping in Orchard? :)

Podi The Food Orchard
#01-20A (behind the escalators to Metro)
Website (but not much info just their mission-like statement)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New: Amuse by Armin Leitgeb

Awhile ago, Chef Armin Leitgeb of Les Amis left the group and went back to his homeland but now he's back with Amuse! Its a totally different concept from Les Amis. This is a tapas restaurant, muchhh cheaper and less formal!

The restaurant has been opened for about a week now! It has taken over Bodega Y Tapas at Orchard Hotel!

Colour scheme of the restaurant's red and black

Where we sat! - Bar seats

With compliments - cashew nuts!

Lightly Smoked Eel
Crispy pork crouton
Horseradish, dijon mustard, greens

There were only 3 pieces of smoked eel given and its hidden below this big slice of pork crouton haha. The boy and I really loved the smoked eel though :) We like how it retains some degree of its original flavour but mixed with a tinge of saltiness 'cos its smoked.

The pork crouton is interesting cos its like a savory crisp. Goes well with the greens I must say. 3.6/5

Grilled Spanish Octopus
Heirloom tomatoes, Austrian pumkin seed oil

The octopus was not bad, not too chewy actually! The grill taste isnt strong though. Generally a simple and clean tasting dish. Tomatoes were quite sweet. 3.4/5

Raw Marinated Japanese Hamachi
Green asparagus
Black truffle vinaigrette

Honestly I didnt really like this dish cos you can barely tell what you're eating except for the asparagus. The vinaigrette doesnt taste like black truffle at all and the hamachi has no taste? 2/5

Herbs Roasted Portobello Mushroom
Runny egg, lettuce, croutons, mushroom coulis

I guess they changed the croutons and mushroom coulis to cherry tomato but we're not complaining! The cherry tomatoes were really sweet and juicy! The dressing for this salad is kinda like a mild version of the Jap sesame dressing.

Sizzling Tiger Prawns
garlic, EVO, parsley

EVO is extra virgin olive oil btw! This was not bad, crunchy + chewy little morsels with fragrant seasoning of garlic + parsley (cant taste parsley, no worries). A little bit of grill taste in this. 3.5/5

Here's their menu I took from Sorry its so blur, when I zoom in on the menu at, its this blur! I'll just type out some stuff I find interesting but didnt try today:

BLT - crispybread, bacon foam (sounds interesting!), piccolo tomatoes
Chili crab "mantou" bun
Pickled Kurobuta Pork Cheeks (pickled!! O:)
Spicy lamb burger
And the cheese platter looks really good btw!

Service there is friendly but at the same time, you're given privacy. As you can see, I'm not very blown away by the food. I feel that this are dishes that are done well but nothing special to make me go "woah I wanna come again soon". Perhaps the other dishes are better? Do try and let me know :)

Amuse by Armin Leitgeb
442 Orchard Road #01-29 Orchard Hotel (where Bodega Y Tapas used to be)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki

Upon knowing that a new Kaiseki restaurant has opened in Singapore, I quickly called to make a reservation for my family and I. I called on a Weds/Thurs and wanted to book for dinner that Saturday but it was already full! The restaurant only has 14 seats you see. Hence I quickly made a reservation for next Saturday's dinner. The restaurant is located next to Watson's in this obscure corner near the escalators!

Entrance of the restaurant

Very unassuming and the interior is not very welcoming when you first enter imo. Everything's really dark haha

The seating area of the restaurant from where we sat!

That's Chef Yoshi Kashiwabara who used to work at the Japanese Embassy! He's really polite and smiley, his English is quite good too!

They'll give you a welcome sake in that small cup :)

Menu for the night

This is the ONLY menu for now, $288++.

(means appetizer similar to amuse-bouche)
Homemade sesame tofu

You can really taste the sesame that was used to make this but the taste is not like super strong till you think you're eating sesame curd or something. Its more of a subtle sesame taste. Very light viscous broth to go along w the tofu. Quite average this dish. 3.5/5

(this course sets the seasonal theme, typically one kind of sushi and small side dishes)
Top left: Persimmon with Tofu Dressing
Bottom left: Eggplant w sweet miso
Middle: Ika Chrysanthamum Sushi
Top right: Chestnut & Gingko Nuts

Persimmon w Tofu Dressing: honestly you cant tell that you're eating persimmon at all? 2/5
Chestnuts: this was super super fragrant + sweet! It tastes like it was steamed. Very good chestnut!! Reminds me of Japan. 4.5/5
Gingko nuts: lightly salted on the outside, this was q average haha. But not as soft as the gingko nuts in chawanmushi though which I liked. 3.5/5

Ika Chrysanthemum Sushi

I really liked the way they moulded the ika into the shape of a chrysanthemum! That's a blob of wasabi on top fyi. Ika was not too chewy, quite QQ (crunchy but soft kinda texture) and fresh. 3.7/5

Eggplant w sweet miso

This was very normal only 3/5

Tai w tamago and Matsutake in Clear Soup

Tai is a type of fish. The tamago was more like a steamed egg. The soup was light, seafood broth kind of taste you'd associate with Jap soups. Fish texture was something in btwn of rough and smooth but definitely not a chore to eat. Simple soup 3.5/5

Part 1 :Katsuo Tataki

Semi-seared katsuo fish. This came w a sauce for you to dip it in and I felt the sauce went really well with the dish 'cos the sauce is sourish and somehow brings out the flavour of the fish! I like it w the sauce instead of without. Nicely seared. Sth like seared tuna kinda texture/taste. 3.7/5

Part 2: Hirame, Maguro

Hirame is flounder and its the one on the left. It was wrapped arnd cucumber and something else which I couldnt tell. Slightly crunchy in texture, slightly sweet, this was not bad. But we felt that the rendition we had at Tatsuya was better. 3.7/5

Maguro is tuna and this one though smooth and without tendons, it wasn't sweet tasting nor did it have any particular taste! What a letdown :( 3.5/5

Grilled Kamasu

I've never seen this kinda fish before and I was truly intrigued to try it! Doesnt it seem like it'll have a melt in your mouth, fatty kinda texture? But this totally isnt the case. It's kinda like grilled mackerel but a little softer!

I preferred the side dishes for this dish though haha. The pumpkin was very sweet and below the pumpkin was this green shishito pepper that was insanely good. I love the smokiness from the grilling and the light veg taste of this pepper. All of us loved it :) 3.8/5

Chrysanthemum Turnip with Hokkaido Crab

Cant taste any chrysanthemum in this dish though the turnip was definitely quite good, not too soft like those in yong tau foo as it still retained a certain degree of crunchiness! Hokkaido crab in the middle wasn't particulary sweet or anything, more like textural contrast only. 3.6/5

Pork Kakuni

This was good! One of the better dishes of the night. Look at the amount of fat on that piece though. Nevertheless, a damn good stewed pork dish. The texture of the flesh is not like melt-in-your-mouth but this is definitely not a bad thing 'cos it still retains some of the rough kinda texture you'd associate w eating meat but just a littttttle bit, overall its soft. I like this instead of the steamed san ceng rou (3 layered pork) you get in hokkien mee or dimsum which is the same throughout texturally. The fat provides the melt in your mouth part of the meat and complements the flesh very well. Definitely go for the pieces with the good fat:meat ratio. Think the kitchen shouldnt have served that one w the fat >>>> flesh piece!! 4.4/5

Accompanying the pork are yam pieces which barely tasted like anything and some long beans which were crunchy. 

Do note that we asked for our menu to be no beef, hence we got this pork dish. Otherwise the standard dish served here will be beef!

Scallop, tofu skin

The main star was this fat plump scallop wrapped w tofu skin and deep fried. This was a little too oily for us and the scallop barely had any taste. Only redeeming factor was that it was plump and kinda juicy. 

The other star was of course the shishito pepper which appeared again :) That's a tempura eggplant to the back which was average. 3.4/5

Before the rice dish was served, another type of green tea was served to us, this one was roasted brown rice tea I assume (the cup at the back). The one in front is the green tea that comes when you order it at the start.

Pickles to the left to accompany the rice dish.

Mixing the rice dish in front of the customers before serving it. It was mixed in a pot reminiscent of clay pots that the Chinese use! But the aroma loses to that of Chinese claypot rice haha. This one's much lighter in terms of seasoning and taste!

Ayu rice, Miso Soup, Pickles

The rice wasn't v sticky, ayu fish that accompanied the rice didnt have much taste. Subtle sweetness to the dish as a whole. 3.5/5

Gourd shaped tofu in the miso soup!

The rice in the claypot served to your table will definitely be more than enough and the chef will shape them into onigris and wrap them in a banana leaf for you to bring 'em home! Super innovative and a nice way to be environmentally friendly :)

Japanese Sweets & Matcha

I loved this dish! Those are poached figs that were so soft and quite sweet. The jelly on it was like slightly sour, so a good contrast of tastes! The cakes in front are sweet potato cakes!!! Liked this cos of the sweetness of the sweet potato and the smooth texture. 4/5

Matcha tea to end the meal which came w the dessert.

This is a hallmark that the restaurant's kaiseki is traditional, the frothy green tea. The one we had at Goto is more bitter though so am not sure what its supposed taste like! But I liked the Goto one better to complement the sweet dessert!

Interior decor of the restaurant on the "other" side!

The restaurant as a whole is actually quite big, but the seating area for dinner is just what I've shown you on top. The rest is something like a bar? Wasnt in use when we were there though. And there was like another room or something adjacent to where we were all seated and the voices coming out of there were quite loud, and we could totally hear them during dinner. 

One thing I dont really like about the restaurant is that even though its shaped in such a way that you can see what the chef is doing and how your food is prepared, food is not really prepared much in front of you. Most of the time, everything is already done in the kitchen/pre-prepared and the chefs just bring them out to the front and then plate it. So most of the time, the chef's not really in front and you dont really see him in action. Even the ika sushi was already done and just plated. So I think this concept doesnt really work here. 

Service on the whole was polite and friendly. Some overlaps in service eg someone alr served us the welcome sake, then another waitress came over and introduced the welcome sake to us and asked if we wanted any? Then sometimes the green tea isn't topped up and dishes served arent explained.

Overall, we felt that the dinner was quite average, enough to satisfy but not enough for us to go back.

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki
B1-39 Forum The Shopping Mall
8188 0900
Tues-Sun 7-11pm
Call the number to make reservations! Do note that you have to provide your credit card details upon confirmation of reservation and that there is a policy whereby you have to notify them of any changes (time, no. of pax, cancellation etc) at least 2 days before else charges will be incurred!!

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