Coffee & Cake @ Assembly Coffee on 17Mar2016

coffee + apply crumble with ice cream

coffee + apple crumble with ice cream

3 OPS (Outram Primary School) classmates came over to my place & we had a nice, enjoyable homecooked lunch on 17.3.2016. ^^

after a great lunch, dessert, chit chat, we decided to go out for a cuppa.

one friend had to leave so 3 of us went to assembly coffee at evans road in 1 car. 🙂

we ordered cappuccino, flat white, hot chocolate + one apple crumble to share.

last time i came here was with family on 28.12.2014. that time the latte art was good & lemon meringue was very good!

apple crumble with ice cream

apple crumble with ice cream

lemon meringue ran out this time.

my friend ordered an apple crumble to share.

it was pretty good actually. apple was not too sweet, nicely done, texture & taste. crumle top was great & the pie base was good too.

maybe i can make this cake.  i make an ok jam crumb cake. & before that i made a pretty good apple pie too. so maybe can combine the 2 together.

flat white

flat white

i had my usual flat white. no much latte art today. barista not around?

coffee is good here though not really standout vs say chye seng huat at tyrewhitt road & dutch colony at pasarbella @ grandstand or carpenters & cook.

it was great spending time with old friends from primary school. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good 2pax Dinner @ Enoch’s on 18Mar2015

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

saw a write-up on ST Life on enochximmanuel 6-course dinner menu 3-day event.

i called up but it was the last day & i wasn’t free that evening. it was fully booked anyway.

i did the next best thing & booked a dinner at enoch’s on 18.3.2015. good to support these young aspiring singaporean chef.^^

young chef enoch teo honed his skills at restaurant andre (where he worked with another young chef immanuel tee), absinthe, bistro du vin.

the restaurant was previously known as le petit paradis (“the little paradise” in french), which started out at alibabar hawker bar for two years before moving to its current premises on east coast road.

managed to park at marshall road 2 side roads before enoch’s at 7pm. it was free parking too after 5pm.^^

enoch's

enoch’s

place was the minimalist deco type, bright & pleasant, which was the right way to go. there were 2 other tables, a quiet evening.

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

mushroom cappuccino

i ordered the set, which came with the truffle asparagus, their signature dish, choice of lamb or seabass (i had lamb), and dessert (which was an apple crumble).

wife ordered mushroom cappuccino & truffle asparagus from the ala carte menu.

surprisingly, the mushroom cappuccino was very much below par. it was firstly too salty. apart from the foam & the nice crisp crouton? the soup was very average tasting, did not feel any intensity or flavours standing out. i do my soup better!

truffle asparagus

truffle asparagus – S$17

truffle asparagus

truffle asparagus – S$17

asparagus was good. but parma ham was salty, not a very good grade. onsen egg (sous vide egg) was great texture & silky as it should be. asparagus was done very well, cooked, tasty & still having the bite, not soft.

it was overall a pretty good dish, of course not in the class of Jaan’s 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo.

but it was a small dish, i think at most S$10, so S$17 was too pricy for this dish. the lady server from myanmar mentioned the tiny piece of truffle. i guess that is individual preference. to me the tiny piece of truffle added nothing to the dish & it was better off with just a dash of truffle oil (which many restaurants do) that would add great flavours to the dish.

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

sous vide leg of lamb

the dish that stood out was the sous vide lamb. it was tender & tasty & the pesto sauce also enhanced the taste. a great dish!^^ & a large helping too.

apple crumble

apple crumble

apple crumble

apple crumble

i commented to my wife “hope it is not too sweet” before i dipped into the apple crumble. and first bite – it was too sweet! but actually after a few bites, it was quite ok because the apple was actually quite sour & the sweetness (slightly & not sickeningly sweet) counteract the sourness.

overall, other than the sous vide lamb, the dishes were just average and i think below what saveur offer.

c/w concetto also, i think concetto dishes were much better crafted & plated, and much lower prices.

price wise meat dishes were ok but the asparagus was overly priced, and the mushroom cappuccino was just not restaurant class.

service by the myanmar lady server was ok. chef enoch was a bit shy & did not come to talk to us after taking the orders or he was much in conversation with the other table.

it is an ok place which i don’t mind returning to after a while, except it is a bit farther & not the most convenient for me.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Good Dinner (not Great) @ Fleur de Sel on 7May2014

le homard - poached lobster with lobster bisque

le homard – poached lobster with lobster bisque

had a pleasant & relaxing dinner chat with a close friend at fleur de sel on 7.5.2014. he was going to do some hiking at cinque terre & could not find his walking stick so i brought mine along for him. 🙂

i heard about fleur de sel from my wife’s good friend (who bought us an excellent dinner recently at the very artisan singapore fusion restaurant started by a 29 year old investment banker, labyrinth on 30.4.2014). seemed that the whole lobster, completely shelled at S$49++ was very good here. 🙂

my wife came by 2 nights ago with the same friend and took the S$88pax 4-course set menu. she felt that the escargot was not good, and it was not the cooking but the quality of the escargot itself – not sweet, tasty. 😦 she also felt the soup was average, the cod was ok good & the rhubarb dessert was good.

i was decided on the lobster for myself. when my good friend arrived, i gave him my wife’s feedback & suggested he took the other S$108 set instead, as the dinner was a belated celebration of his recently past birthday. anyhow he decided to join me to order a lobster each. looking at the menu i was not attracted by the appetisers, so i suggested we ordered a cod (main) & a lapin (rabbit) risotto main to share before starting the lobster. my friend though wanted only the cod. i got him to order a wine so he got himself a cloudy bay (white).

semi sour dough served with butter & del (salt)

semi sour dough served with butter & sel (salt)

we were served semi sour dough with butter, and advised we could dab the sel (salt) too. the restaurant name fleur de sel means flower of salt, apparently hand harvested (haha..what a description!) by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. 🙂

one salt was flavoured with rosemary, the other with citron & something else. good fun…lol. 🙂 we tried the salt but our palate not sophi enough & they felt non-descript. the butter was ok average so we asked for some olive oil, which was very good, very fragrant extra virgin olive oil. 🙂

crab meat - amuse bouche

crab meat – amuse bouche

the amuse bouche was some crab meat, pretty good. 🙂

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pan seared atlantic cod

the pan seared atlantic cod was pretty good, though the cod was firm but did not feel so smooth & bouncy, somewhat different from the texture of cod i was accustomed with. it was served with some sauce so more a wetter version (not knowing how to describe!).

my own Nobu miso cod

my own Nobu miso cod

my own teriyaki cod

my own teriyaki cod

i  guessed it was a very good cod regards this method of preparation but for me personally, the satisfaction was not at the level i had with my own nobu miso cod & teriyaki cod (whereas by comparison the teriyaki cod at mikuni & at keyaki would of course be better than mine).

le homard - poached lobster with lobster bisque

le homard – poached lobster with lobster bisque

the shelled whole lobster in lobster bisque was very good (the dark photos above & top taken with my samsung s4 did not do justice to the dish). meat was fresh, sweet, tender & very tasty with the bisque. excellent dish this! 🙂

apple crumble with granitee dessert

apple crumble with granitee dessert

complimentary mini birthday cake

complimentary mini birthday cake

service was very good. server knew we were celebrating my friend’s birthday so brought a small cake with 1 lit candle. 🙂 it might have been expected of a good restaurant. still it was much appreciated as an important guesture that defined good service & training for a good restaurant. 🙂

the apple crumble was very average non descript.

Chef Alexandre Lozachmeur at work

Chef Alexandre Lozachmeur at work

the bill was S$198 for 2pax including 1 glass cloudy bay white & dessert.

overall, with the exception of the lobster, i would consider the food just average for this level of dining & prices. of course it would be much better than a usual eat. 🙂 on the lobster while it was really good & competitively priced, many restaurants, both chinese & western, are able to & indeed does the same, equally good & inexpensively priced.

if I made a comparison with labyrinth, the latter was a lot more artisan, creative, able to reproduce the flavours from ingredients that were beautifully assembled, tasted similar but looked entirely different from the usual singaporean dishes like chilli crab etc. however, some may consider paying (say) S$90nett for whole lobster etc better deal than paying for same for labyrinth’s set, creative or not! it is a very subjective thing.

won’t be back soon, but probably will have another go a bit more time later.

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Afternoon Tea @ Nassim Hill Bakery on 6Apr2014

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

daughter wanted to try nassim hill bakery for afternoon tea. we bought stamps at the tanglin post office next door a month back but did not try out this place.

all day breakfast, egg bens, burgers & sandwiches & hip cafes do not hold any particular attraction for me though i do agree that some are pretty ok & a good departure from the usual stuff i take, and i am quite able to enjoy them if good even if not my preferred. 🙂

the hot reuben was a favourite here. though for me it was more like what else was there to order here? i could just see perhaps a grilled chicken salad or grilled chicken sandwich…pizzas not our favourite, & pasta sorry to think this way but i probably do them better myself. in any case probably wouldn’t order these items in a cafe unless some close friends really vouched for them.

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

carrot soup

carrot soup

nassim hill bakery

nassim hill bakery

turned out that the hot reuben sandwich was really quite good, and quite a good helping for S$18. corn beef (which i always associate with luncheon meat, a favourite to steam on top of the cooked rice in a rice cooker when i was studying abroad 30++years ago) was good & the sauerkraut was not sour & went well with the meat & bread. not something i could finish by myself. we shared among 4pax. 🙂

good thing here was that when you ordered a main, you could order a soup (usual S$6), coffee/tea (usual S$5/S$6) or soft drink (we were not interested) for S$3. so we added a flat white, a mint tea & a soup (carrot soup, above photo) for S$3 for each item.

the ambience was great! parking was limited but we were able to park right outside the cafe on a sunday afternoon. 🙂

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

flat white

flat white

we added an apple crumble (carrot cake was a favourite here but we look at the cake tray & it did not excite us). this was good – crumb was good, apple was not too sweet, the cake layer was a bit large. reminded me of my jam crumb cake, a recipe i picked up recently rather successfully. 🙂

coffee/flat white was ok, kind of average. the ones we had recently at costa were quite a bit better.

service was a bit sloppy – forgot our soup order completely, and after waited long after we finished the hot reuben & coffee, took another inordinately long time to make right & service recovery, and did not make effort to offer a smile or friendly apology though overall the staff were quite polite but NOT attentive! after soup was finally served, took another long time to serve the apple crumble saying they thought we had canceled the cake (why make such assumptions on behalf of customer? if not, why use it as an excuse? better to just say sorry & make good). i guess it was quite ok, average, could be worse in some places.

the orders for 4pax was S$38nett so it was pretty ok though we ordered not so many items.

maybe once in a while, i might do this with some one who like the ambience & share the pretty ok food. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

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

Very Cheap French Fare @ Bistro Du Vin on 18Nov2013

grilled ribeye

200g 200-day australian grain-fed char-grilled ribeye

3-course set lunch menu include coffee

3-course set lunch menu include coffee

update = wow, had even better deal at bistro du vin zion road on 20.12.2013!

our dining quartet decided to take advantage of maybank 1 for 1 set lunch promotion & dined at bistro du vin on 18.11.2013. the usual price for a 3-course set lunch including coffee was S$30pax.  the menu had quite wide choices. there were couple items like pan-seared foie gras & 200day grain fed ribeye that required supplement – quite reasonable unlike some places where 1 in 2 items required supplement, however the supplement were separately billed & not entitled to the 50% discount. 🙂

baked camembert with apples, bacon, sourdough

baked camembert with apples, bacon, sourdough

foie gras ravioli

foie gras ravioli

leek & potato soup with deep fried oysters

leek & potato soup with deep fried oysters

rabbit terrine

rabbit terrine

seafood bouillabaise

seafood bouillabaise

duck confit & lamb sausage

duck confit & lamb sausage

beef short ribs stewed in beer

beef short ribs stewed in beer

i love leek & potato soup (& especially this one came with 2 kaki furai – japanese breaded oysters). however i was distracted by the rabbit terrine & ordered that. it was good, tasty, competent. i was happy with it. 🙂

1 friend ordered the leek & potato soup which came with 2 deep-fried oysters & was good as expected.

1 friend ordered the foie gras ravioli (the pink sauce didn’t look great or very appetizing to me like the beautiful pumpkin ravioli at al borgo did, but i think it tasted fine). the other ordered the baked camembert with sour dough. it looked ok but my friend said it was not as good as the other bistro du vin outlet at great world city.

for the main course, i ordered the beef ribs stewed in beer. again it was competent & the mash too, though in comparison my own spanish beef ribs was better because i had a very sweet & tasty vegetable ratatouille to match/balance the fork tender beef ribs whereas this one was very beefy & robust.

1 friend had the duck confit. he thought the black sheep cafe’s was better. 1 had the seafood bouillabaise with fish, clams, mussels, prawns. she said the fish was not great. anyway, bouillabaise & duck confit not my favourite. the smartest among us ordered the 200g 200-day australian grain-fed char-grilled ribeye – a S$10 supplement with no discount.it was ok really for the quality meat. i could smell the steak when it was served, & i had a small piece & it was excellent. 🙂

petit pot chocolate with magdaleine

petit pot chocolate with magdaleine

creme brulee

creme brulee

caramelised apple crumble, roasted apple ice cream

caramelised apple crumble, roasted apple ice cream

for dessert, i & another friend had the caramelised apple & raisin crumble with roasted apple ice cream. it was good, though it would please the eye better served on a dessert plate or long dessert dish. 1 friend had creme brulee which was recommended by the waiter & which she obviously enjoyed. the other had chocolate madaleine. the madaleine texture looked dense. i was about to say the ones at esso station looked better but my friend beat me to it. so this dessert was not good. 🙂 i had cuppaccino & my other friends had coffee.

overall, at normal S$30pax for 3-course set lunch including coffee, the food was competent enough & i didn’t consider it expensive. with maybank 1 for 1 discounts, the lunch was S$15pax (excluding the supplement) with 2 free wine for 4pax, well you could not get that at a hawker centre or coffee shop. so it was very cheap & great value.

c/w au jardin which served a S$45pax 3-course set lunch include coffee (there was also a S$65pax menu), which was also having the maybank 1 for 1 promotion including wine, i would return to au jardin (which i was to happy to pay full price at other time) rather than bistro du vin. the latter was competent & average whereas au jardin was fine dining in both food & presentation (& of course quite different ambience). eg my lamb saddle was exquisite, even better than many good lamb racks i had before.

on the service, bistro du vin was ok. the young male server was quite knowledgeable & responsive & answered my several questions on menu items & selection. 1 of my dining companion had poor opinion of the service though because he did not offer the wine to us automatically but only when asked & he replied that most people did not take wine during lunch. the attitude i think was ok, but maybe the training on managing customers was lacking here. but overall, the service again was competent & in my opinion rather better than many similar places.

au jardin’s service was of course much better. the staff were much better trained & professional, but then it was a different class restaurant so not apt comparison. 1 younger au jardin male staff though appeared to be not so great in his service attitude.

c.h.e.f andy