we had an interesting italian-inspired modern vegetarian dinner for 13pax RI G20 get-together at Sufood on 30.3.2015. a very good choice by the organiser. ^^
one of the friends used the phone apps to make a mosaic food picture (top photo). very nice!
we had the italian bread sticks with mustard & berries dip. both were ok. i liked the mustard better. :-)
we kicked off with the chef’s sufood starter – a quite wonderful trio japanese yam with berry sauce, cucumber & cherry tomato plum jelly.
a refreshing start.^^
the healthy ones went for the fruit salad.
a few of us, myself included, took the mushroom salad, a popular dish. it was good. :-)
another took the summer salad.
& the classic garden salad with a choice of sesame sauce or caesar dressing.
for the soup, cream of pumpkin was a popular choice.
i had the pea soup with oyster mushroom cubes at the bottom. maybe this was the healthy version so it was not an intense cream of pea soup, texture combination was great, with the crunchy mushrooms. it was the same also with the pumpkin soup, not intense & flavourful.
some had the root soup, and the most healthy among us went for the cabbage & sweet potato stew. :-)
the calzone came highly recommended. calzone looked like a huge curry puff. the dough was more akin to pizza dough.
i must say after trying a few, i was in total agreement that calzone was the best dish/main course.
i picked the pita pocket though. many of the main courses came with plastic gloves, if you wanted to share your food.^^
the mock meatballs were pretty ok but it was not as tasty & satisfying as the calzone.
don’t really know how the porcini pasta tasted like, but generally the food quality was competent, pretty ok for vegetarian dishes though not spectacular.
i would rate the squid ink as the second best after the calzone. the mushrooms were shaped to look like squid rings.
i tried the star pizza. didn’t think much of it.
did not try the banana cheesecake. guess it should be quite ok.
i had the black sesame penn a cotta. smooth, quite good.
i had the penn a cotta with a healthy ashitaba drink. not sure what to make of it. at least it not bitter like wheatgrass. it wasn’t too sweet so it was ok.
some friends had osmanthus jelly. didn’t try it but that should be very safe, couldn’t go wrong.^^
the company & dinner were very enjoyable. these gatherings came about quite naturally, a desire to spend time with friends & share views & experiences.^^
& wine was marvellous of course. :-)
doesn’t blow me away for sure, but equally it is a place i am happy to come back a few times.^^
daughter was arranging 4pax dinner on sunday so we decided to use the voucher & made a reservation at tianbao restaurant on 18.4.2015. in the end daughter was held up by her work & we had 3pax dinner.
place had 2 seatings 5.30pm & 7.30pm. traffic was ok but restaurant was not full when we were there.
we ordered xiaolongbao, quite ex S$9.80 for 6 if not for the 50% discounts. by comparison, crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao price was about $5 for 4??
& both crystal jade & joyful palace’s xiaolongbao were better! these ones had very little soup & the soup & pork were not very tasty.
this steamed pork ribs was the worst dish! it had some “sichuan flour” on top?? really poor dish c/w any steamed pork ribs in any dimsum restaurants. something never to order!
the tan tan noodles were pretty good. it was not heavy in peanut sauce, there were some at the bottom. there was a bit of meat & overall taste & texture were quite good. this one of the better dishes. :-)
the stewed eggplant had good consistency. eggplant was nice, though wife found it a bit sweet, but that was the style of preparation.
the steamed egg dish was like a sichuan styled chawanmushi, not quite as nice. egg custard was smooth & tasty enough. i didn’t mind the minced pork sauce too. pretty ok dish.
the chives dumpling was odd. chives were dry & not sweet, skin was rough. the look did not have the fineness of hong kong dimsum & taste & texture were quite off.
the seafood taste dumpligs 海味抄手 turned out to be the best dish, alongside the tan tan noodles.
we only know of the usual spicy dumplings or 红油抄手. never heard of 红油抄手. anyway the soup was tasty & the dumplings were like the usual 抄手 but not spicy.^^
the osmanthus belly was an ok dish. a bit sweet.
total price was S$98.10. we used one S$100 voucher which cost S$48.80, so it was about S$16pax nett. only with the discounts, cannot complain about the price.
a friend bought dinner this evening at la braceria on 17.4.2015.^^
years ago, la braceria was located at ming teck park area, close to my place. after that the chef has moved to different places a few times.
this friend last joined my home dinners more than 1/2 year ago. this time, he wanted just to buy dinner & have a tete a tete. :-)
we ordered 1 antipasti & 2 pastas to share, and my friend wanted to share a choc lava cake.
the calamari was good! batter was not crispy & yet it was very nice overall, and with a touch of mayonnaise. ^^
the wagyu & porcini fettucine was “must try for meat lovers”, according to the menu.
& YES!! must try!
pasta was very good indeed. very tasty & savoury.
we also had the seafood squidink linguine. there was quite a bit of scallops & squid. again very tasty. this i can make myself though, and my version of seafood squid ink linguine is almost as good.^^
i am impressed with the flamed lava cake. the flavour was very good. texture was better than my lava cake, a lot more lava, anyway i will adjust my lava cake a bit & see if i can produce more lava. the lava texture is an important contributor to the overall experience.
while it was a very enjoyable dinner with friend who picked up the tab, the dinner cost S$102, about same as what i paid the other night for 2pax at il Lido.
there was no comparison for the ambience & class of il Lido, and we had black cod with unit & scampi pasta with uni & a grilled octopus. on top of that we had 2 great amuse bouche of fine dining standard. so la braceria pales by comparison & is really not competitive on price.
wife bought some japanese side dishes/condiments from meidi ya liang court. we had a simple really nice home lunch on 19.4.2015.^^
i made a miso salmon, the best i have made..after a few tries, it’s now nearly perfected. wife said same as those bought from japan & from isetan..almost, i guess..
i marinated the salmon with 1 tbsp (heap) miso, 1tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp brown sugar. then put on a rack in the fridge (or chiller compartment) for 2days. then i put in 55degC oven for 3hrs. the idea was to dry out the salmon & marinade. this is only major difference from my usual miso salmon preparation. becos i see the miso salmon or mentaiko salmon in Japan were all dryer preparation. then 20mins in aluminium foil tabletop oven 250degC (include 5mins open foil to grill skin),
with this preparation, my miso salmon was almost same as those we bought in Japan. a lot cheaper, haha!^^
love the condiments, side dishes. they are perfect with Japanese rice. salty though & made you eat more rice, so unhealthy on both score. haha!
20mins in aluminium foil tabletop oven 250degC (include 5mins open foil to grill skin),
wasabi ika the best.
tako slightly tough, taste ok.
marinated squid no difference from the chinese style. this like S$5.40 small packet, chinese ones like <S$2 a whole bottle? i think like 10x the price…not worth buying la…
seaweed nice, perfect texture to go with japanese rice.
& i made a yuzu pepper, again modelling after what we bought from japan. it was very good in fact.
we bought yuzu from the gourmet market at savour 2015. this came from the skin of 1 yuzu. i added 3 chilli padi, 2 tbsp flat brown sugar, 1tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake, 1tbsp tsuyu, & 1 tbsp strawberry jam, and blend.
very nice, almost same as the Japanese yuzu pepper, good for beef, rice etc.
had delightful 2pax dinner with wife at il lido on 12.4.2015.^^
had not been to il lido like 5yrs maybe? recently daughter was here & shared photos on family whatsapp, so we decided to come try ourselves after so long. :-)
we came just before sundown & sat outdoor. not so humid this evening & really pleasant terrace ambience & wonderful dinner.^^
we were served 2 amuse bouche.
first was a mushroom cappuccino/foam. there were mushroom bits at the bottom & some balsamic cream & some barley etc on top. taste was intense, fabulous. texture combination excellent too.
wife said what the server liked to hear, that this was better than jaan’s.
for me though, nothing beats jaan’s cepes mushroom tea amuse bouche. but since jaan’s was taken out of feed at raffles, and i am never going to pay full price for the degustation dinner at jaan, this would be the next best thing, i guess! & its close too!^^
second amuse bouche – crispy cheese risotto…quite ok i guess, but no impressions vs the mushroom foam.
quite good bread basket.
we ordered a grilled octopus to share.
it’s pretty good really. octopus was tender (like sous vide). there were some sausages.
for the mains, we basically go with the restaurant favourites & there server’s recommendations, and ordered the scampi & sea urchin taglioni & the black cod, asparagus & sea urchin. both were featured in the degustation set menu. :-)
the scampi & uni tagliolini was tasty, not intense but subtle & pleasing. tagliolini though was too soft NOT al dente.
it had expensive ingredients like uni but overall taste & experience wise, i would not consider it better than most pastas i do myself.
black cod was great!
will try the other signature dish, the bone marrow crusted angus beef tenderloin next time.
we had a passionfruit sorbet & a coconut gelato to share. sorbet was tangy & excellent, gelato no coconut flavours nothing like the delicious coconut ice cream on 雪中情怀mango pomelo dessert we had at tunglok.
dinner cost S$100nett include 1 glass of white.
it’s really quite excellent ambience & food for a couples dinner. :-)
had great tasty food in great ambience at shinyeh with wife on 17.4.2015.
not been to shinyeh for a while. used to frequent here quite a bit because of palate discounts before i started blogging & recording (which is why i blog) in mar2013.
nice ambience & we were seated next to the fountain near the front.^^
chives dumplings looked gorgeous.
tasted gorgeous too! yum!^^
taiwanese restaurant got to try luroufan卤肉饭la.^^
shinyeh’s luroufan卤肉饭 was good. egg was really tasty. braised pork quite good also. i must try this at home. for comparison though, the hong kong steamed chicken feet pork ribs rice, especially at timhowan shamshuipo still better.
wife like this yam pastry. had not taken for many years. still enjoyed it. yam was very good, the pastry though was not crisp & a bit rubbery, so not quite good enough overall.
we had never ordered oysters in black bean sauce. probably new menu too. and it was very good. the distinct oyster flavours (& they had loads of them) was excellent balanced by the slight salty sauce & scallions. this would be easy to do at home, can use yellow onions too. :-)
& the dried sole with chinese cabbage was a great find. menu said 扁鱼sole, so it’s some kind of flat fish. should be able to do this dish at home too, get some proxy for the 扁鱼sole. :-)
the almost stewed chinese cabbage made the soup dish very sweet & tasty. the dried sole texture was like a fluffy gluten, interesting, good texture, some sweetness not much of special taste. :-)
overall it was an excellent dinner. overall it was an excellent dinner. service was also very good, polite, attentive, friendly.
and it only cost S$33 net after amex palate 50% discounts for 2pax. would have been lower but apparently the S$4.20 chives dumplings (a cardboard menu on the table) was not included in the palate discounts. not really right as the restaurant did not state that there were menu items & palate discounts applies to all ala carte items.
anyway, chives dumpling was very good, it was just few $ & we were happy with the price for the food we gotten, restaurant also have to make some money la.^^
there was a queue at the entrance at 6pm. the entrance tickets were S$69 for each person and had S$30 stored-value on each ticket. i guess that means entrance fee was S$39. i think we topped up another S$60 each.
i guess i had read about savour but never really paid attention. now that we were going, i kind of read up on the participating restaurants, decided on a few to try.
one of the restaurant stalls we were interested was ku de ta.
wife not interested in belly pork (which is so common these days in fine dining), so we picked the sous vide duck + angus beef plate for S$18.
beef ok but then we can do anytime. no attraction.
duck pretty good too. again you can buy smoked duck from ntuc, mmmm, even qoo10.
certainly competent. no great motivation to go sky high & pay sky high.
the other restaurant stall we wanted to try was stellar at 1-altitutde. used to be on amex palate but seems that no more. i wouldn’t really go there w/o palate discounts.
there was a good crowd. we were early at about 6pm. later the crowd & queue were longer & we did not have enough interest to stand in queue for other food.
i thought stellar’s wagyu burger was quite good, and S$18 price was quite fine too. when i was in the queue, a young mother was just ahead of me. she had bought 1 already & was ordering 2 more & telling the server she wanted it more cooked as her young child could not take the medium rare.
bought 1 & ordered 2 more. that gave me some confidence haha!^^
wagyu & onions were tasty with simple seasoning. the brioche also quite nice. 1 of my wife’s friend couple came so we shared & had a quarter each. :-)
i quite liked this wagyu burger. it’s something that worked for me.^^
the flyer in the background.
great ambience & vibes!
we decided to try another stall. this time we picked midsummer house, a UK 2 michelin star restaurant.
the pea veloute was pretty ok. i think it was S$12. always like pea soup.
that was our last tasting as we were not attracted to the other food, and the crowd & queue built up after that. :-)
view of the stalls below from level 2 of the F1 pit building where the sake & gourmet grocery stalls were located.
so we didn’t spend much of the S$90 each, and used up all the money buying groceries, like japanese strawberries, yuzu, italian iberico ham etc.
would i come for this again? for myself, probably not. don’t think my wife interested either. with some friends, not so hot but don’t mind doing too. there were other food we could try. :-)
mikuni has marvellous new robatayaki & teppanyaki lunch sets. it’s a better deal the the regular lunch teppan set, only that you have to sit at the robatayaki table or teppan table.
i went there with my god-sis & daughter of a close friend on 30.3.2015.^^
we were served the usual prawn crackers. :-)
the teppan menu included great dishes like golden prawns, miso cod & australian tenderloin.
the robatayaki set had scallop, mackerel, & kagoshima wagyu & kurobuta robatayaki, and ended with a nishin soba. quite excellent!
i ordered the robatayaki set & the 2 ladies ordered the teppan set.
we had the salad greens with the usual goma (sesame) sauce.
and a good chawan mushi too. :-)
sauce dips & a variety of salt, like yuzu, nori (seaweed) etc.
chef doing robatayaki 炉(端)烧.
robatayaki set included hotate (scallop) butter yaki, a mackerel & asparagus.
mackerel & asparagus were good.
hotate butter yaki was ok. for me, this preparation though can never compare with pan seared or sashimi.
there was an excellent kagoshima wagyu skewer.
the kurobuta tsukune skewer was tasty too & i like the silky egg yoke dip like in sukiyaki.
the set included a nishin soba. nice. the cured herring was ok & soba was usual, something i like.
the teppan set had all the favourite dishes like miso cod & golden prawns (top photo).
& also the australian tenderloin.^^
excellent taste, the cod, can’t go wrong really.^^
& it came with a fragrant good wok hae garlic fried rice.
and we all love the penna cotta. really good.
the teppan set would be an easy winner for most diners. both the cod & gold prawns were very good. the robatayaki set had japanese wagyu, but it was a small portion, so overall the teppan set gave much better balance all round.
the lunch set was S$34++pax after 50% feed at raffles (FAR Card) discounts, quite a steal!^^
we had some time in the morning before flight departure on 6.4.2015.
originally we were booked for lunch at lei gardens at elements mall where we would be doing a city check-in to the flight & taking the airport express. but because the lunch at lei gardens times square was really a let down, quite unsatisfactory, we canceled the reservation at elements.
also we had to refund the standard on-loan octopus card we bought on arrival. we purchased the octopus card at hk$150 inclusive hk$100 stored value & hk$50 refundable deposit, but only used about hk$30. there was discounts per trip but also an admin fee of hk$9 for refund so we did not save much however the octopus card gave great convenient taking the mtr & the star ferry, and if we had take the city bus or tram too. :-)
in the end we settled on sweet dynasty 糖朝. we used to frequent it when it was at canton road. we liked especially the congee & also the rice topped with steamed pork ribs, chicken feet or chicken with mushrooms. it relocated to hankow road a few years back.
we again ordered the steamed pork ribs & chicken feet rice. it was really good especially drizzled with the mildly sweet sauce. this was where i modelled my hk style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭).
ate too much rice as a result.
we had the 及第粥 mixed congee. congee is always good, very smooth. the pig stomach & innards i liked & my wife took the kidney & liver, so pretty good for all.
but it was no better than the congee at canton paradise OR at crystal jade. :-)
XO fried carrot cake was good, flavourful, nothing special & not my favourite.
the roast duck (not goose) was quite pathetic actually, felt like reheat in microwave oven zero crispiness in the skin (actually must not order this next time if there is a next time)-
not even as good as joyful palace at clementi food loft, not even comparing with canton paradise excellent roast duck.
the black sesame tau huay is my wife’s favourite.
somehow this time i did not find any attraction there.
we paid like hk$450 at sweet dynasty 糖朝, 50% more than the excellent dimsum at timhowan & nothing like it, & quite ex really at S$80 for 3pax for hk dimsum…of course in singapore it would cost about that for better food.