Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Restaurant: anti:dote at Fairmont Hotel

Today's review is a little different because this is not a restaurant per se, but a bar. Don't click the close button yet, cos you may just regret!

What I'll be reviewing is the "bar bites" of this place, tapas if you'll call it 'cos their portions are really quite small. But my oh my, you'd be wow-ed by the dishes! By the creativity, taste and presentation. Whats even more interesting is that the tapas served here is molecular gastronomy style. That's right. No more fancy prices, saving up to get molecular gastronomy. You have it here in this bar, relatively affordable (10+ range) and yummy.

This was from where I sat. We called to make a reservation for Vday dinner (yes I had my vday here! By my request haha) and when we arrived, the bar was super empty! Okay another 2-3 tables were there but thats about it. We sat at this quiet spot, just the 2 of us, away from other people/couples/tables. The chair was quite comfy :) not like these bars you see in the photo haha.


Below's the menu! I've tried sourcing for the menu online but to no avail so I've taken photos of it for your reference!

This is their cocktail menu. I like how they have the ratings for potency & refreshing!

Him: Le Lisson
Okay I can't really tell from the menu what liquor there is in this cos the words are blur but basically its alcohol mixed w egg white, lemon, winter bitters and scotch (from what I can make out!)
3/5 for potency, 3/5 for refreshing

He felt that this was sweet but I didn't think this was sweet! And yup its not potent at all so don't worry!  Quite like his drink cos it isn't really like drinking alcohol! 4/5

Mine: Brown Derby
Grapefruit, honey, bourbon
3/5 for potency, 3/5 for refreshing

Felt that mine had a stronger alcohol taste vs the boy's! And the honey taste didn't really come through? It was a tad bitter though probably cos of the grapefruit! 3.8/5

Now onto the food!

When each course is served, the chef will come over and tell you what's what and give you some background wrt the ingredients.

Langoustine tartar, peanut tofu, chilled tom yum broth

Its quite difficult to slurp the tofu + the broth together haha so you might want to use a spoon! The tofu has hints of peanut and the langoustine's taste was covered by the tofu + tomyum! Tomyum was average. This dish was a so-so for us! 3.5/5

3 Shigoku oysters, cucumber, wasabi cream, passionfruit jelly

The oysters weren't cold cold but merely just barely cold. Would've been better if it were colder. BUT regardless of that we still enjoyed this little morsel! Each was very plump and sweet. Went well with the toppings although when you put it in your mouth, they just all sort of come together and you can't differentiate them. Wasabi, don't worry if you can't take wasabi, cos I didn't even taste it! Somehow, the amalgamation of tastes works even though you probably can't guess what you're eating besides oyster. 4/5

Now onto the STAR of the night!

Crisp Parmesan pizza, Olive oil caviar, tomatoes, basil

Now honestly I can't believe this is just $12. The BEST BEST $12 I've ever spent in my life!!!!! This according to the guy, is a v popular item at the bar and I can TOTALLY see why omg. The boy and I both proclaimed this to be the best dish of the night and we were super wowed by this! 

The crust is actually made of parmesan and its really DAMN crispy and fragrant!!! I ate the olive oil caviar on its own and it literally just bursts in your mouth exploding olive oil, bliss if you like olive oil :) otherwise eating it as a whole w the pizza is a good way to go as well! In fact its a damn good way to go. Honestly everything marries together so perfectly that this was a dish we could've ordered more of! There were about 8 slices of this pizza and we gladly devoured it. That said you must like cheese cos the crust is cheese and the cheese taste does come out rather strong. MUST-TRY 'nuff said. 5/5

Am totally imaging the taste in my mouth now and craving for it!!

Clam sphere, crispy bacon, samphire, parsley oil

He says this was inspired by boston clam chowder and he made it into a sphere form! My oh my. STAR #2 of the night! This sphere seriously PACKS A PUNCH. Slide it into your mouth, pop it, and boom explosion of creamy flavourful rich delicious clam chowder. Its not creamy jia-lat kind of creamy but the creamy good kind of creamy. Cant really taste the bacon nor the parsley oil. That or they've weaved themselves so well into the dish that you can't tell them apart and assume its part of the chowder which could very much be the case. 

Little blobs of goodness these are. 5/5

Caramelized Foie Gras, vinegar glazed leeks, crisp puff pastry

I was v excited about this dish cos I love foie gras but honestly this dish was just average. The foie taste didn't really come through and it was a tad too sweet. The puff pastry wasn't exactly crispy but neither was it soggy. If it were just that bit less sweet, the foie's flavour would probably have shone through and it would've been a nicer dish! The boy also felt that this was too sweet. 3.8/5

Scrambled eggs, sea urchin, asparagus, Kaluga caviar

Don't be fooled and think its only scrambled eggs! There's a mountain of gold waiting to spill out under that! See next photo:

Yup the egg yolk post-spillage!

This dish was hmm how should I say. The uni by itself was sweet, caviar's taste was covered by the eggs, can't really taste the uni if you eat it w everything else. But still decadent creamy dish this was :) 3.9/5

Mussels escabeche, green olives, red pepper sorbet

This was our 3rd fav dish of the night!

The taste of the mussels w the red pepper sorbet was just so good. And if you don't like olives don't worry, it isn't discernible. The garlic crispbread at the side was super crispy and went well w the mussels. The boy didn't like to put them tgt though, so that he could really taste the flavours of each. The mussels were SO plump, juicy and sweet!! I really liked the sorbet as well. 4.6/5

Baked Chocolate mousse, hazelnut praline, pear sorbet, capovilla eau de vie

I wanted to have their roasted beetroot dessert initially but was told it was sold out already! O: guess it'll be one of the reasons why I'd return! Anyway so I ordered this instead cos I was craving for chocolate-y stuff as well and this definitely did not let me down. 

The pears were stewed till they were just the right consistency, not too soft like mush but not hard like their natural state. And they were super fragrant too, of cinnamon and what not. The jelly cubes there was some pear liquor which shouldn't be underestimated. The hazelnuts lent a really really good textural contrast to the dish and I felt was integral in making this dish yummy! Else the whole dish would be really quite one-dimensional texture wise. The mousse was dark, smooth, velvety and wonderful. Sorbet was good as well perfumed nicely with the taste of pears. All in all, a good ending to a good meal. 4.5/5

Service: I got wonderful service there with very friendly staff with smiles, and they were polite and nice! Funny too at times :)

Ambience: as this is a bar in a hotel, you can expect that there would be some standard to the ambience. Dark, but adequate lighting. Comfy chairs. Lots of personal space!

Food: molecular gastronomy made affordable!!! And it works too :) I've been reading many reviews saying their "Braised veal cheek, caramelised shallot, Perigord black truffle bao" is out of this world!!! And we would definitely order that the next time we go back. And we would be going back. Hopefully they'll introduce new items to their menu/periodically change it 'cos if they do that, I'll be wanting to go back again and again to try the new items!

Apparently they also serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea but I'm not sure whats on the menu for those so if you know, please let me know!

Fairmont Hotel 
Dinner: Mon-Fri 6-11pm, Sat-Sun & Eve of PH 6pm-1230am (they open till late!!! Great for late night snacks!)

Monday, February 17, 2014


After returning from our Tokyo foodie trip, the boy and I had major major withdrawal symptoms!!! We had a great shabu shabu in Tokyo and I heard about this new Japanese shabu shabu place in Singapore with a menu that completely seduced us to try it that very night.

They're situated at cuppage terrace the Japanese food enclave and so we had a good feeling about it. We were led to the seats upstairs. The restaurant's feel was q Japanese with all the wooden furniture and walls. 

iPad ordering system

You are also given the menu so dont worry! Their menu can be found online here

Charcoal grilled chicken

This chicken was superrrrrr normal and totally not worth the price tag. It was a bit too salty for me and oily. The accompanying sauce went well with it, made it less salty + oily. 3.4/5

Chicken & Vegetables served in tomato pot
(for 2-3 people to share)

I felt this was good for 2 instead of 3 cos honestly it isnt a lot. The tomato soup was a bit diluted but it was tart and a little sweet. Ingredients in the soup: chicken, prawn, veg, mushrooms, cheese sausage, tomatoes, tofu, cabbages, leeks and I cant rmb/see if there's anything else!

This was q normal. OH! It came w cheese as an option of adding to your soup. There was also a bowl of collagen to add to your soup as well, felt like this doesnt change the taste of the soup! 3.9/5

The Sushi Falls

We had an AMAZING rendition of this in Tokyo and when we saw this in their menu online we knew we were ordering this. Sadly this wasnt what we were craving for. Firstly their sushi rice was sticky and wasnt fragrant at all, didnt like the cucumber maki rolls below at all. Secondly the crabmeat topping felt like it was the frozen kind. The ikura was okay. Negitoro (minced tuna) was okay only as well. Sigh was quite disappointed with this dish! 3/5

Freshly Made Hot Tofu Served with 3 kinds of salt or fish stock

This was recommended by our waitress and I'm glad we ordered it! The tofu actually made in a box that they'll bring to your table and then scoop up the home made tofu into the bowl for you. Then you're supposed to mix it w the 3 things on the side - bonito flakes, grated ginger & spring onions. I liked the tofu mixed with the 3 things!! Never thought this combi would work. Super fragrant! Had a warm, homey feeling to it as well. 4/5

Service was q okay there. Atmosphere wise, there was this big group of Japanese at the table opposite us so it felt kinda authentic! Food wise so-so. I think if you go there as a pure ladies group, you should order their ladies set menu which is really value for money imo!

43 & 43A Cuppage Road, Cuppage Terrace
Singapore 229463
Mon-Sunday 3pm-2am (bar), 5pm-2am (restaurant)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

D'zerts Cafe

So another dessert place in the far far East!

Made a special trip to the east to try out this dessert cafe so how does it fare?

The shop was relatively empty when we went on a weekday and the shop's BIG. Very minimally decorated vs the cafes/bakeries/restaurants that've been sprouting out on our little island. Quite a lot of cake choices and they serve waffles as well! We came here after our lunch + desserts from another place so we were q stuffed. Scroll to see what we had!

Mango Passion
Mango mousse, passionfruit mousse, jaconde sponge, mango cubes

The passion fruit taste didnt shine through enough for me but it brought a slight tartness to this cake so it wasnt just all sweet. Mangoes werent v sweet either. The sponge was dry but somehow it was q welcomed in the midst of the moist mousse else it might've been too much mousse in a cake without the textural contrast. Light cake in terms of flavours. 3.8/5

Carrot Cake

This cake was dry and didnt have the frangrance I associate with carrot cake so I didnt like it 2.5/5

Chocolate Tart

This chocolate tart was really really good! Super decadently rich, not too sweet but not too bitter. Tart shell holds up well too. Worthy of ordering. 4.2/5

There are alot of power plugs in this place and free wifi! Cakes are not that bad and I dont remember the specific prices of the items above but from a google search their tarts/cakes should be arnd the $4-6 range which isnt too expensive in modern day cafe/bakery terms plus their cake/tart size is q reasonable.

D'zerts Cafe
30 Jalan Pari Burong 
Singapore 488696
Tues-Thurs, Sunday: 11am-11pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-12am
Closed Mondays
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