Superdeal Maybank 1 for 1 Set Lunch @ Bistro du vin Zion Road on 20Dec2013

grilled lamb ribs with lentils

grilled lamb ribs with lentils

maybank repeated the 1 for 1 set super lunch deal with les amis group’s bistro du vin. 4 of us had lunch at the zion road branch on 20.12.2013. it was an excellent 3-course lunch plus coffee normally priced at S$26pax. with maybank 1 for 1 we paid S$61 for 4pax lunch including 2 reds (1 glass of wine for 2pax). 🙂 this was even better than the great lunch we had at bistro du vin shaw branch on 18.11.2013.

bistro du vin zion road was located at the previous coffee shop next to nasi padang river valley & split the space with their sister restaurant peperoni pizzeria. it was small & cosy with added al fresco sitting, quite a wine bistro ambience i guess.

we met another friend who was there for lunch also on a 4pax table. soon afterwards, another friend arrived with her family also a 4pax table. 🙂

leek & potato soup with breaded oysters

leek & potato soup with breaded oysters

endives salad in french dressing

endives salad in french dressing

red wine escargot, fried egg & crispy bacon

red wine escargot, fried egg & crispy bacon

there were wide choices for appetisers, mains & dessert. i had the rabbit terrine (good too) last time at shaw branch, so picked the leek & potato soup with breaded oysters. i always like cream of leek & potato. this was certainly competent, and the breaded oysters (kaki furai) were excellent, very tasty & good batter. my friend liked the endives salad with some blue cheese. another friend picked the escargot in red wine with crispy bacon. it was good too. 🙂

duck leg confit

duck leg confit

seafood boullabaise

seafood boullabaise

beer beef short ribs with mash

beer beef short ribs with mash

i ordered grilled lamb ribs on a bed of lentils (top photo) for main. it was excellent. lamb was flavourful & fork tender. another friend ordered beer beef short ribs with mash. i had that at shaw branch, it was competent but not my favourite. 2 other friends ordered the duck leg confit & seafood bouillabaisse, both were popular diners’  choices. 🙂 i would probably try the bouillabaisse next time.

apple crumble, roasted apple ice cream

apple crumble, roasted apple ice cream

pear tart pastry with slated caramel ice cream

pear tart pastry with slated caramel ice cream

chocolate with magdaleine

chocolate with madaleine

2 friends had the apple crumble (i had that at shaw branch & it was good!). i had the pear tart on puff pastry with salted caramel. i liked it, though i would probably go back to apple crumble next time. the madaleine this time was good, unlike that at shaw branch which was dense & not fresh.

a friend on the another table who had tried the lamb ribs at shaw felt that the food at zion road was better than shaw, & another friend had said previously that the service was a lot better. i agreed with both. i thought the ambience was more cosy & the service was significantly better. every server was responsive & communicated well to our queries on menu, & even agreed to let us extend the maybank discounts to another 2 friends (there was a limit of 3 redemptions each time) at the next table who came w/o knowing about the promotion though in the end that was not needed as they also had the maybank card themselves (& were allowed to use it) only that they did not know about the promotion.

so my 2 thumbs up for the really excellent service. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Delightful Homecooked Japanese-themed Dinner for 8pax on 12Dec2013

char siu

char siu

had a delightful homecooked 8pax japanese-themed dinner on 12.12.2013. every dish turned out wonderfully, though wagyu was still not ideal – conservatively cooked more than medium rare. my miso belly pork, nobu miso cod & pan-fried steak were generally good dishes, though still made the occasional mistake. for this evening, i varied the recipe for miso belly pork with great results, and did char siu for the excess belly cut using the same slow oven cook method. i also added a curry miso mulligatawny & hata no nitsuke (simmered teriyaki garoupa fillet). the nikujaga this time was a failure though, so i did not serve the brisket but only the very tasty potato ratatouille.

miso belly pork

miso belly pork

miso belly pork, char siu & ponzu salad

miso belly pork, char siu & ponzu salad

the miso belly pork was slow-cooked for 4hrs in a 60degC oven, then pan-charred when ready to serve the first course. the char siu was done likewise in a lower rack in the same 60degC oven (save time & electricity).the char siu sauce was then reduced & coated on the char siu then broiled at 250degC 10mins on 1 side & 5 mins the other side. both miso belly pork & char siu were melt-in-the-mouth tender. most like the miso belly pork more though. 🙂 i also made a very simple cheap salad. just cut 1/2 a cabbage in very thin slices & added a yuzu salad dressing. just a small salad serving sufficed to balance the meaty dish.

curry miso mulligatawny soup

curry miso mulligatawny soup

the curry miso mulligatwany was the best i did, intense & flavourful, and the prawn & squid were excellent! (this my 3rd try). the sotong (squid) & devein medium prawn was fried in butter on high heat, just the right doneness, & the mussels also. the hot soup was then added to the individual bowl & served (lack garnishing this time – should have added coriander).

Nobu miso cod

Nobu miso cod

my miso cod had been consistently good. this evening it was wonderful, the moist tasty cod with just the right miso flavour.

delicious pumpkin tofu salad

delicious pumpkin tofu salad

my wife who did not join dinner had made a pumpkin tofu salad, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt & agave nectar. it was delicious & went nicely with the cod & wagyu.

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

i did the wagyu over intense heat, but made the mistake again of frying a second time as 2 of the guests didn’t really take medium care. it was erring on the safe side but didn’t really work with such marbled meats. must remind myself to be bold & keep to very well charred & medium rare – they always turned out great! for this evening wagyu was slight more than medium rare, still very good but perhaps underachieved!

nikujaga = japanese braised beef brisket

nikujaga = japanese braised beef brisket

my hata no nitsuke was ok though the reduced teriyaki sauce was not strong enough. the nikujaga though was a failure & i did not serve the beef briskets but only the potato ratatouille. everyone liked this as the potato & sauce had excellent beef flavour.

N.B. I repeated the menu for a couple friend on 17.12.2013 (mostly, though i added a miso scallop & ebi miso yaki as 1 could not take much fatty stuff like belly & wagyu). also i replaced the rice dish  with a seafood alio olio spaghetti as my wife didn’t like the nikujaga & simmered garoupa much, and also my friend liked my pasta dish. this couple friend did a really excellent homecooked 5-course fine dining meal for my wife & me recently so it was our turn to return the favour. I made more misses than the 8pax dinner. the curry miso soup was rather more intense & slightly salty. the nobu miso cod was also a bit salty (this was a rare miss for me). the pumpkin was somehow not as sweet as it normally was. the wagyu was nearer to medium rare but still not quite my ideal. the rest though were quite good – miso belly pork, char siu, miso scallop,ebi miso yaki & also the seafood pasta which my friend evidently enjoyed very much! anyhow it was really good fun for me, both the cooking & just getting together for a meal. there will always be things to learn, improvements to make in my cooking. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy