Nice Dinner @ Shelter in the Woods on 27Sep2015

quiche

quiche

wife, daughter & i went to shelter in the woods, greenwood ave for dinner on 27.9.2015. ^^

shelter in the woods

shelter in the woods

very nice ambience. we also managed to park just behind the restaurant. 🙂

this the favourite haunt of 1 of my friends. some months back he tried to buy me dinner here some time back but the place was fully booked, so he arranged a nice dinner at la braceria instead. 🙂

baguette

baguette

we had some complimentary baguette.

the server we had was polite, but she didn’t know anything we asked about the menu, maybe it’s difficulty with english.

endives salad

endives salad

wife wanted to try a different salad, so we had the endives salad.

endives salad

endives salad

pretty ok with the honey dressing. nothing special i guess.

escargot

escargot

the escargot tasted quite good, but was a bit dry.

escargot

escargot

it was served on a bone marrow, but unlike the lovely delicious wagyu with bone marrow at tess bar, here the bone marrow seems to be just presentation.

beef tartare

beef tartare

i loved the beef tartare, really nice! fresh, sweet small chunks of beef, and excellent with chooped onions, capers etc.

salt & pepper dispensers for beef tartare

salt & pepper dispensers for beef tartare

some quaint bottles to dispense salt & pepper. 🙂

beef tartare

beef tartare

i want to have this again, S$18 for an appertiser portion.

japanese sweet corn soup

japanese sweet corn soup

i ordered the japanese sweet corn soup because it was chef recommendation & also featured by other food writers.

japanese sweet corn soup

japanese sweet corn soup

should not have bothered. looked lovely in photos, but it was the poorest of the dishes. any of my own soup would be better. not that it was bad, but just ordinary, very sweet & basically not the kind of good savoury soup i like. 🙂

quiche

quiche

quiche was good. it’s not the kind of dish i fancy much usually, but this one here i can take again. 🙂

rack of lamb-almost raw

rack of lamb-almost raw

we asked for medium rare for the rack of lamb. it came almost raw. 🙂

rack of lamb-almost raw

rack of lamb-almost raw

i took a piece. my wife & daughter couldn’t, so we asked the restaurant to cook it more. the guy server now said their chef’s recommendation was medium (which was different from what we asked of the earlier lady server who did not seem to communicate well in english).

rack of lamb-almost raw

rack of lamb-almost raw

anyhow we went ahead with medium. it came out medium rare, & it was perfect! 🙂

rack of lamb-almost raw

rack of lamb-almost raw

so once we gotten the medium rare (though they say medium), the lamb was very good actually. & the sauce was very good too, not too “beefy”.

apple tart with ice cream

apple tart with ice cream

crispy apple tart was quite good.

apple tart with ice cream

apple tart with ice cream

cannot quite compare with the da luca version. still it was pretty ok.

the dinner was S$146nett for 3pax. they forgot to charge a glass of wine (S$19++), so we told them to add in the charge.

we enjoyed the dinner, food & ambience. the 2 best dishes for me were the beef tartare & the lamb rack (when done right!). the quiche was worth ordering too. the sweet corn soup can skip. the rest were average.

c.h.e.f andy

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Simply Fabulous 4-course Set Lunch @ Les Amis on 22Jul2014

crispy brittany langoustine

crispy brittany langoustine

went back to les amis for lunch on 22.7.2014.

the 4-course set lunch was excellent the last time i came on 1.4.2014. 🙂 & today again it did not disappoint. 🙂

white pinot noir

white pinot noir

wife ordered 1/2 bottle white pinot noir.

bread basket - baguette, brioche, sour dough, roll

bread basket – baguette, brioche, sour dough, roll

brioche with sundered tomatoes

brioche with sundered tomatoes

the bread basket was good. baguette, brioche & sour dough were all good. the roll wife said not good. i did not try.

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 crispy brittany langoustine

#1 the crispy langoustine was excellent packed with meat tasted just like very tender lobster, & it was such a large helping.

pan-seared foie gras, french river eel, cherries

#2 pan-seared foie gras, french river eel, cherries

#2 the foie gras was kind of monstrous. & it was very good too. so was the smoked eel (super!) & cherries.

wild scottish salmon confit & tartare

#3 wild scottish salmon confit & tartare

beef tartare

#3 beef tartare

#3 the 2 main course options were wild scottish salmon confit & tartare OR beef tartare. beef tartare is 1 of my favourites for appetiser. this one though was a main & it was quite tasty. this preparation had quite a bit of herb. it was very good but i would prefer to have less herb & a more dominant sweet tasting beef.

the salmon confit & tartare was very good as well. a poached or baked salmon tends to be more chunky. this confit was medium rare & had a bit of the texture of cured salmon or sashimi. very nice. 🙂

french fries

french fries

beef tartare came with a good french fries.

dessert of the day

#4 dessert of the day

#4 the dessert of the day was very good too. 🙂

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I really like the quality set lunch here, and it offered good value at S$45++pax, similarly to their sister outlet au jardin which had regrettably ceased operations.

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meal at Lake Como @ Alle Darsene on 17Apr2014

7 lake fishes done in different ways

7 lake fishes done in different ways – 15euros

had the best meal at lake como at alle darsene on 17.4.2014. 🙂

alle darsene is located next to villa melzi, but it is on the other side, so a rather long walk from the bellagio ferry jetty. we had a leisurely morning & visited varenna (& the shopping). we walked on the narrow road just bordering villa melzi to reach alle darsene. on the way back we decided to just pay 9euro each & walk through villa melzi. ok la..it was but a pleasant stroll through the gardens. 🙂

our first order was the lake fishes (top photo), since we were at lake como. it was excellent, better even than that at daserna. all the 7 fishes, cured or smoked or pickled, as well as the roe, were all excellent. 2 thumbs up! 🙂

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth – 15euros

and the grilled octopus, that was the best i had during this trip, better even than miky at monterosso, cinque terre. the broth was really good! i would recreate this at home, that is if i can find the octopus. 🙂

beef tartar with burrata & truffle - 15euros

beef tartar with burrata & truffle – 15euros

& the beef carpaccio was again par excellence. so sweet & tasty. my daughter & i loved it(though my wife was a bit off beef tartare). i could have this again! 🙂

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels - 20euros

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels – 20euros

and the fillet of sole was so good. even the lentils (though i don’t like too much of it) was very tasty with the sweet, lovely mussels. such great dish this! 🙂 i not so successful with western fish dishes except for my quite excellent cod, but i might try to do this as well. 🙂

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & muscles, excellent seafood broth - 16euros

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & mussels, excellent seafood broth – 16euros

the catavelli pasta was likewise excellent, and the octopus, clams, mussels & the seafood broth. 🙂 this i would also try to recreate.

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my daughter ordered a chocolate – so pretty

every single dish was excellent. this a restaurant i would not miss if i come again. 🙂

because of the location, it is inconvenient though for dinner if not staying at bellagio as there is a ferry to catch! 😦 that was why we changed our prior booking from dinner to lunch.

c.h.e.f andy

Incredible Artisan Fusion Molecular Cuisine @ Labyrinth on 30Apr2014

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lime sorbet

my wife’s close couple friends bought dinner @ labyrinth by han li guang at neil road on 30.4.2014. 🙂

i knew of the restaurant the day before, started googling, and found the beautiful food photos in bibikgourmand.

there was a reference made on willin low of wild rockets fame. i did like wild rockets & the laksa pesto pasta maybe 15 years back. personally i did not see any similarity just looking at bibikgourmand photos or having seen & tasted the food afterwards. 🙂 one was fusion in combining “western” & “singaporean” ingredients and most importantly, making the result taste good & not for fusion sake (in that both were similar).

in labyrinth’s case, it was going back to the ingredients, reassemble them into something that looked quite different (but very artisan & beautiful) and yet delivering the (excellent!) taste though perhaps not the overall experience eg the chilli crab ice cream combined with deep-fried soft-shell crab tasted like very good chilli crab but it’s not the same as eating a meaty crab, nor was it expected to be. 🙂 the science of taste? molecular cuisine in its finest form? i am NOT qualified to say… 🙂

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garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam for focaccia bread

amuse bouche? the lime sorbet was nice, simple, refreshing, nothing special.

we were served focaccia bread with a garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam. quite unique & pretty good & fun. could’t say this would match good freshly baked bread in a good restaurant, but they were good anyway & matched the food theme. balsamic jam was good, garlic mousse too, olive powder too refined for my taste buds..tasted nothing. 🙂

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beef tartare masquerade (imposter)

#1 this dish looked very like a beef tartare with the egg yoke even, and the taste was quite exquisite. 🙂 the mango sphere sat on a roasted tomato, which was very tasty & great with the greens. the mango sphere was, to me, amazing only to wonder how it was done but did not add much taste nor texture. it was a thin liquid & did not have the silky egg yolk texture.

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chilli crab

#2 the chilli crab looked incredible, a piece of art, so pretty. & excellent flavours, superb dish 🙂 the deep-fried soft-shell crab combined very well indeed with the chilli crab ice cream. they were arranged with the crab mousse, ikura, seaweed on mantou (馒头) sand to give a picture of sea (and tropical island?). not sure if the mantou sand added anything, my palate not sophisticated enough to capture all the taste & texture, need more practice..haha. 🙂

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curry chicken rice

there was a choice of mains – curry chicken or siew yoke fan.

#3 the curry chicken was better than what i expected, though my wife did not like the dish so much. deep-fried chicken balls did not sound that great for main course, but these were quite tasty & you could taste the curry. the quinoa (“kin wah”) risotto was tasty too. i am beginning to like quinoa. my son’s friend made a good quinoa salad & my wife too so she was less impressed. as a “deconstructed” or “reconstructed” or “pigeon-holing not important” dish that was plated quite nicely, looked different & yet tasted like curry chicken, the dish was a great success. so it was good & exceeded my expectation but c/w with a good main (fish or meat) in good restaurant, it may or may not measure up after the initial excitement. also, like going back to the excellent chilli crab, it was indeed a “wow” experience, very pleasantly surprised, but not the same as eating a meaty crab. so it’s a different kind of satisfaction & expectation.

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siew yoke fan

#4 the siew yoke fan was again superbly executed. 🙂 the crackling belly pork was excellent, though our friends said the ones they had at basilico recently were even better. the risotto was very tasty, though i could not really tell if it was a ramen (tonkotsu?) stock.

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chendol xiaolongbao

there were 2 desserts in the set – chendol xiaolongbao & a deconstructed apple crumble.

#5 the chendol xiaolongbao, with red beans, coconut milk ice shavings inside, had genuine chendol taste, was light & quite refreshing. it was pretty ok, i enjoyed it though it was not a favourite for me.

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deconstructed apple crumble

#6 the apple crumble was very good. the stewed apple balls, apple crisp, baked white chocolates & yogurt ice cream all very tasty & combined well. an excellent dessert. 🙂

5-course menu

5-course menu

the 5-course menu was S$78pax, a reasonable price for the quality of food & overall a very enjoyable fun experience. the food was very artisan (perhaps that would become an industry standard in due course), very creative (to me it felt totally new & had no peers in Singapore as yet).  the other “affordable” place where the food presentation is very artisan is jaan (where i had the best degustation dinner on 20.1.2014 with the same couple friends), recently just got on to pelligrino world’s best 100, at 100th place. andre, iggy’s, les amis all very costly & i have yet to convince myself it is worth spending the money. it’s all about experience, very subjective, and also depends on expectations and perspectives, and perhaps very importantly on the the company too. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy