wanted to do an anniversary dinner for my wife & children. the logistics was such that it would be easier to do it earlier & then have dinner out with my wife on the actual day. hence 28.5.2015.
my mussels though did not turned up so great(blame it on the cheap local mussels from sheng shiong..haha!), so i decided on a carrot soup.
i tried a thai yellow curry for the first time, planning to replace monkfish with cod. & though the curry turned up beautifully (both looks & taste), my wife & i felt that cod was such a nice fish we should not overpower it with strong curry. so i decided to do a steamed cod instead.
#1 calamari & oyster fritters
as i was doing carrot soup, i decided to pair it with some oyster fritters, and since i am already at it (oil for deep fry, cornflower, egg & breadcrumb), might as well throw in some calamari.^^
i rolled the lightly seasoned oysters & calamari (squid) in corn flour, then egg, then breadcrumb. then placed them (just 4 or 5 pieces) in about 5cm hot oil a small sauce pan (to use less oil).
the oyster fritters were excellent, i must say, and first time i made them this way. i liked the calamari too, just cooked right nice texture, not rubbery & tough.
#2 cream of carrot soup
i have done-
this was the very first time i did cream of carrot soup.
& it was excellent!^^ it was silky smooth & tasty, among the best soup i made.
i added a lot of sliced/cut vegetables – 1 onion, 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots (plus some leftover stems from spinach). i fried them in butter till soft, added 2 cups of chicken stock & boiled for further 20mins. then i used a blender to blend & added salt & pepper to taste.
when about to serve, i added 3 tablespoon thick cream, and i have some chopped basil from my garden.
#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce
this was the best dish of the evening, quite exquisite if i may say so, maybe alongside the soup.
the squid was done just right, excellent texture & taste, and with the bbq flamed flavours. & the sauce was exquisite. ^^
i only saw the photos in the cookbook at porthminster. when i tried to google, there was nothing to be found, perhaps porthminster’s australian chef michael smith is not so famous. haha!
i cross cut (very closely) a large squid into 4 pieces (about 9cmx6cm), placed them on a pan & torched. i knew that’s was not enough to cook the squid, so fried them in butter afterwards.
for the sauce, again i used lots of vegetable to make it so tasty. i fried in butter 1/2 onion, 1/2 stalk leek, 1 green pepper & a bunch of spinach leafs. then i placed them in a blender & added 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil & salt & pepper to taste. such a wonderful sauce complementing the flamed squid.
#4 steamed cod with olive oil &soy sauce + wood fungus
there was not much to do regards the cod. i had done this once before & i know the simple olive oil with light soy sauce with chicken stock made a terrific stock base for the steamed cod.
the cod was really wonderful. wife & children liked it very much.
one mistake i made was with the wood fungus. first time i was doing this. apparently this was the wrong fungus. it was the crunchy type & not suitable. if i had looked more thoroughly i would have found the small ones in the shelves.
#5 pan-grilled lobster
this was an easy dish to make. however i did not do it right this time & the lobster was overcooked & just slightly tough. wife & daughters said lobster was very tasty & flavourful but i knew meat being just right & being tough made a whole world of difference.
i bought 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95 at cold storage.
i cut the lobster in halves & shelled the pincers & legs. i put a lobe of butter in the pan & when it was very hot, i placed the lobster flat on the pan. then i added 2 tablespoon of brandy & flamed. the method was right, but i just did it a bit too long.
#6 roasted pineapples
i tried to reproduce the roasted pineapples. this i didn’t practice, just use my imagination. unfortunately it was nothing like what we had at porthminster. haha!
i torched the thick sliced pineapples. then i stewed them in lychee syrup.
i served it with surprising coconut from daily scoop & lychees, and wife roasted some coconut flakes.
i guess it was immensely edible. anyway we were just eating fruit & ice cream so didn’t quite know what it was about.
nothing like the experience of the real thing – st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s roasted pineapples.^^
happened that another friend from sydney was in singapore at the time. my friend got his wife to join also, so in the end we had 4pax dinner at en grill on 28.5.2015.^^
i made sure i made the reservations before i bought the groupon deal. 🙂
the last time i came here was in 2008 & my family sat at the bar area. i remember because there were flat screens & i watched safina & ivanovic for the first time & ivanovic won her one & only grand slam at roland garros that year. never been the same since.
today we sat at the restaurant side. 3 of us picked the wagyu set (okinawan wagyu) & 1 the seafood set.
6-course wagyu set
#1 wagyu salad
we started with the standard japanese salad with ponzu dressing which i always like. there were like 3 thin slices of wagyu, quite marbled & sweet i guess, not much impact.
#2 wagyu meatball, tataki & misoyaki
very tiny helpings. they supposed to add up i guess.
wagyu meatball was ok. the crouton went pretty ok with the tomato sauce too.
wagyu tataki was excellent, marbled & flavourful.
the misoyaki? quite odd..didn’t taste anything, like any roast beef.
#3 wagyu foie gras &mini burger
this was quite excellent!
liked the roasted sweet potatoes.
the wagyu was well marbled & tasty. not everyone agreed though. 1 friend thought it tasted like satay beef. i didn’t feel that though, & the beef was great for my taste. 🙂
and the grilled onions infused much of the taste, very good. didn’t feel much of the foie gras, maybe we were busy talking.
the wagyu mini burger was excellent!^^
i can have this again. good that it’s so small, i finished all the carbs. haha! 🙂
#4 wagyu roasted sumiyaki
a slightly thicker slice!
don’t know about the orange sauce. the wagyu was well marbled & flavourful. i felt the orange sauce diminished it. not that the sauce was not nice, but i rather have the grilled, intense wagyu taste.
#5 wagyu ragu pasta
it’s more braised beef than ragout tagliatelle. i guess it was ragout sauce + braised beef. well, as good as a braised wagyu could be. very nice pasta really.
6-course seafood set
#1 sashimi salad with truffle miso
1 friend had the 6-course seafood set. didn’t ask but it looked like the same salad with cube-cut sashimi maguro, salmon & maybe kajiki (swordfish). looked good.
#2 tako carpaccio, hotate bainiku &oyster salsa
this looked very appetising. the sliced scallop with plum jelly on cucumber quite interesting.
#3 gindara teriyaki &mini chicken burger
the friend was very impressed with the chicken mini burger she mentioned several times during dinner & afterwards on FB that it was one of the best burgers she had.^^
the gindara like some of the wagyu servings was really thin to feel much impact.
#4 seafood mentaiko yaki (prawn, oyster & hotate)
japanese shellfish grilled in shells not my favourite preparation. for me, oysters should be taken raw, though occasionally breaded oysters can be quite nice, and scallops pan-fried. however, all these looked grilled (& maybe flamed) & may in fact have been grilled with mentaiko then plated on the shells. if so they should be quite tasty & flavourful.
#5 uni angel hair pasta
the uni & ikura capellini was excellent. ^^
this the only one from my friend’s set i tasted. very flavourful, matching gordon grill’s and other places. i would be quite happy overall to take this seafood set.
#6 cheese cake with yuzu sorbet
both sets came with cheese cake & yuzu sorbet. the yuzu sorbet was superb, just love it!^^
cheese cake was the usual soft textured japanese cheese cake, which i like also. 🙂
overall, it was very good value set for S$38nett. as a great set meal i will certainly do this again.
for the purpose of having a good steak fix, the wagyu set did not really deliver a steak experience, not like what we had at-
i guess that’s not comparing apple for apple.