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Patara Update (using Creative Eateries 50% Vouchers for 6pax Dinner) on 29Jul2013

tom yam talay (seafood)

tom yam talay (seafood)

a short update since my last Patara post!

Creative Eateries group of restaurants (Patara, Tajiyama, Shabuya etc) left amex palate earlier but had taken the opportunity of GSS (Great Singapore Sales) to sell 50% dining vouchers. Patara Fine Thai Cuisine is 1 of my favourite restaurants (when the price is right! haha) so i bought some more vouchers (S$300 worth for S$150 price) when i last dined there. 🙂

for our monthly (almost) G8 dinners, we have tried several italian, spanish, indian, french restaurants, so this time the guys took my recommendations to try out Patara on 29.7.2013. 🙂

mixed appetizers (S$20)

mixed appetizers (S$20)

we had a mixed appetizer – 2 prawns fritters, 2 spring rolls & 2 pouch dumplings – quite good.

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second appetizer was a seafood salad.  this was really good – very generous helping of sweet plump scallops, grilled prawns & 2 salmon fillet, & very nice thai salad. must order! 🙂

deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce (S$39)

deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce (S$39)

the deep-fried whole garoupa with 3-flavoured sauce was excellent as always – crispy & fresh! 🙂

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the tom yam talay was ‘lagi’ best here – full of scallop, prawns & sotong (squid) & suitably sour (see top photo & above left)

roast duck curry

roast duck curry

the roast duck curry was very lemak (lots of coconut milk) & tasty. the thick duck slices were nice but i would have preferred the ones with roasted skins – alas they don’t do it here these days.

aussie tenderloin beef panang curry

aussie beef steak panang curry

the NZ beef steak panang curry was another great dish! forgot to ask for gravy to be provided separately but anyway gravy was very nice too, though maybe in smaller dips. 🙂

olive rice

olive rice

as always olive rice was here was 1 of the best! 🙂 forgot to take photo of the mango sticky rice dessert!

total dinner bill for 6pax 7 dishes+1 dessert+ S$78 white wine+1 iced tea was S$349=S$199 with Creative Eateries GSS (Great Singapore Sales) 50% vouchers. 🙂 super deal right?

c.h.e.f andy

Zaobao Maybank Chinese Classics Series Lunch @ Mandarin Grand Ballroom on 27Jul2013

steamed Canadian seaperch

steamed Canadian seaperch

a group of my friends had been going for the Zaobao Maybank chinese classics series lunch. the series combine Singaporean’s favourite activity (eating!) with games & quizzes to raise profile, interest & understanding of chinese culture. 🙂 the current series is based on the 4 chinese classics  红楼梦,三国演义,水浒传 & 西游记 (dreams of the red chamber, romance of the 3 kingdoms, water margin & journey to the west).

for this Zaobao lunch on 27.7.2013, the theme was romance of the 3 kingdoms (魏- 曹操、蜀 – 刘备、东吴- 孙权). 🙂

this the first time i was joining the lunch series. the 6-course lunch (i understand that previously there were even more courses) was priced at S$96nett (S$48nett for Maybank cardholders). 🙂

we had 2 tables of 8pax, and very nicely 2 of our friends brought their 86 & 87 years old moms to savour the lunch & outing, & they had been doing this everytime….toast to my wonderful friends! 🙂

Zaobao Maybank Chinese classics series lunch Menu

Zaobao Maybank Chinese classics series lunch Menu

each item of the menu was named after some major events (stories) from the 3 kingdoms. 🙂

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we had a trio of appetizers – crabmeat salad with what felt like goma (sesame) sauce, a crispy prawn fritters with thousand island dressing & a jellyfish with thai sweet & sour sauce. 🙂

i must say the food was really quite outstanding & much better than expected for this kind of large group lunches (which sometimes could be quite bad even when prepared by famous kitchens) so all credit goes to Mandarin Court (previously Pine Court) and executive chef Sunny Kong. 🙂

minced chicken balls in chinese yellow wine soup

minced chicken balls in chinese yellow wine soup

next was a minced chicken ball with 黄酒chinese yellow wine soup – & a very tasty one-excellent soup! & here the story was 曹操煮酒英雄. 🙂 soup was followed with steamed Canadian sea perch (top photo), similar in taste & texture as Chilean seabass – both my absolute favourite. another superb dish! 🙂

valiant attempt at 草船借箭

valiant attempt at 草船借箭

in between the various quizzes, games & prizes, our 2 tables participated in a art & craft game. above was 1 of the 2 better valiant attempts at retelling the story of 孔明’s 草船借箭! haha. 🙂

baked pork ribs

baked pork ribs

next item was a baked pork rib. this was very good as well. 🙂

fried brown rice with chinese sausage

fried brown rice with chinese sausage

& we had a lovely wok-fried brown rice with chinese sausage – very fragrant, tasty dish. 🙂

aloe vera with jasmine tea

aloe vera with jasmine tea

the last, a dessert item, was very good as well. nice refreshing aloe vera in fruit cocktail & jasmine tea. 🙂

i enjoyed this lunch very much, of course the great company of friends especially. 🙂 i generally do not go out of my way to have quizzes & games distracting me from the food & conversation, but i didn’t mind it really. i knew some of the stories of 3 kingdoms (from watching TV serials) & though several friends commented the loudspeaker was too loud, i was overall quite ok with the way the lunch was managed by the organisers. 🙂

will be looking forward to more zaobao lunches. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Pork Shabu Shabu Dinner at Azmaya & Coffee Chocolates at Laurent on 18Jun2013

had a wonderful evening out with a few great friends. 🙂

we were going to do Indian but the restaurant we decided to try, Balle Balle Cafe, was closed on Tuesday! (odd!), so we picked Azmaya. It was a great choice!

I had the A5 Japanese wagyu shabu shabu at Azmaya previously so I did not take photos this time. 🙂  we took the pork shabu shabu 2hrs 放题 (all you can eat) which was S$12pax after 50% discount (promotion extended till end Jun2013).  the same for A5 Japanese wagyu + pork which was S$45pax after 50%, till end Jun2013. 🙂 there is 1 catch – you have to order 1 drink, which starts at $5. that was fine really, our dinner came to $173nett for 7pax inclusive of 9 drinks (2 beers, 1 red wine + 6 non alcoholic drinks), and ice water was free. 🙂

the pork came in 2 very thin machine cuts (we could see the machine slicing away on the countertop near the kitchen) – a belly cut & a (I am guessing) collar cut. they were very good really. we had 2 refills of meat as well as vegetable basket which included leek, golden mushrooms, Jap glass noodles, chinese cabbage, bean sprouts etc. there was no room left for udon which was also included but we did not order. 🙂

after dinner, one of us introduce the group to Laurent (pronounced lor-hon) Cafe & Chocolate Bar. they had a tiny aircon area that just about squeezed in 4 small tables, 3 of which were occupied; but there was a persistent one amongst us & we managed to pounce on it the moment a second table was vacated & put the tables together to sit the 7 of us. 🙂 we didn’t want to breathe the 108PSI air at the alfresco area. 🙂

we ordered the favourites – a pure chocolate which was “heavenly sinful”, a chocolate tart which had an excellent texture combination, & 2 others. they went very well with coffee though some of us had hot chocolate & ice creams etc. the bill came to S$90nett for 7pax.

& we had wonderful conversation hahaha.. 🙂 from Loire Valley misty chateaus to Cinque Terre to San Sabastian to Amalfi Coast (the last a friend’s very selective 3 bucket list items-all completed), capital & inheritance tax considerations when buying foreign properties & living in Kowloon or Discovery Bay, walking the trail from Wan Chai to mid-levels, dental surgeon (NOT one of us) & probiotics, being educated by our all-round sportsman on the difference between complete & finish (not to be repeated!). all in all, an evening to remember & savour. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Food & Ambience @ Ochre at Orchard Central on 25Feb2013

antipasti platter

antipasti platter

a friend close to me now resident at Cupertino California with his family came calling and a few of us arranged to have a quiet 5pax dinner.  I had an expiring 50% discount voucher from Kitchen Language which owns Ochre, Salta, Kumo etc so decided to do dinner at Ochre @ Orchard Central. 🙂

Ochre has a nice dining setting & ambience. It was one of the restaurants that had earlier offered palate discounts so I frequented it quite a few times then. The food was good for the price after palate discounts and as Ochre does not charge service, I used to provide the equivalent 10% in tip to the waiting staff.

For this evening, we had 7 dishes-

  1. antipasti platter
  2. beef carpaccio
  3. seafood linguine
  4. meat-eater pizza
  5. sous vide beef cheeks & kurobuta pork
  6. osobucco on a bed of risotto
  7. funghi risotto

using UOB Kitchen Language 50% discount voucher, we paid S$124nett for 7 dishes for 5pax, so its just S$25nett pax, truly great value for such food quality & ambience. 🙂

the anitpasti was good & substantial – with buffalo mozzarella, parma ham with rock melon, smoked salmon with caviar, artichoke. olives & cherry tomatoes with feta cheese.

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the beef carpaccio with rockets & parmesan shavings was also good.  the seafood linguine though was really average. I think I consistently do mine better!

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the meat-eater pizza was again very average (pizza not my thing but currently I like quatro fromage (4-cheese) pizza after trying a very good one some time back at Alfresco Gusto)- which is not saying so good for an Italian joint to have very average pizza & pasta..well, can’t have everything cheap & good I guess..

the duo sous vide beef cheek & kurobuta pork was quite ok, and actually my friends quite liked this savoury dish.

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the osobucco was the usual good for osobucco in most italian joints, but the bed of risotto not good – not creamy & “pang” (fragrant”) as it should be. clearly they were not good at risotto as the next dish – a funghi risotto which like a vongole dish should define good risotto & pasta dishes – was mushy & not fragrant, again below par!

The restaurant was maybe 40% full on a Monday night & we had a good quiet table though likely not for the other diners as we were laughing quite a bit & quite noisy. 🙂

after dinner we moved to the lobby level and had a nice cuppa to continue our chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy