So-So Dinner @ Sopra Cucina on 10Sep2014

suckling pig - S$48

suckling pig – S$48

decided to have dinner at sopra cucina at pan pacific orchard after watching a movie “magic in the moonlight” at shaw lido on 10.9.2014.

sopra cucina & bar had great ambience. the inside was like a large private drawing room with chesterfield deep-buttoned leather seats. it had a charming facade & there was an open patio bar area & live music. some hungrygowhere reviewers commented on the loud & bad singing. on this evening seated inside the restaurant, the music was ok & the singing was fine & probably welcomed by the bar customers. 🙂

the restaurant had few customers on this evening.

bread basket

bread basket

the bread basket was poor (or like a pizzeria or fast-food serving) & not really consistent with the furnishings & ambience of the restaurant.

octopus salad - S$18

octopus salad – S$18

octopus salad - S$18

octopus salad – S$18

we ordered the octopus salad. it was not chef’s recommendations but apparently quite popular with customers. it was quite a large helping. the steamed octopus were ok not tough, like the ones at vicoletti at stresa, but not the standard of the grilled octopus at alle darsene at bellagio. still it was pretty good for an antipasti. 🙂

pregola frutti di mare - S$28

pregola frutti di mare – S$28

sopra cucina served sardinia (second largest island in the mediterranean after sicily & before cyprus) cuisine.  we ordered the pregola frutti di mare. the prawns were fresh. the scallops & squid were so-so. the tomato flavours were ok but felt more like an average sauce than that from nice fresh tomatoes. the pregolas looked like “barley risotto” but pasta in texture. i would rather have a spaghetti or linguine or fettucine anytime. it’s a personal preference i guess. somehow the dish did not give me the same satisfaction & enjoyment of a good pasta.

suckling pig - S$48

suckling pig – S$48

suckling pig - S$48

suckling pig – S$48

suckling pig - S$48

suckling pig – S$48

suckling pig - S$48

suckling pig – S$48

the roast suckling pig was quite flavourful & the skin was crispy. of course i would rather have the chinese roast suckling pig anytime. i supposed it’s as good as the suckling pig at capri, but for me the suckling pig with stuffing at one ninety mezze lunch was far better.

with 50% palate discounts for 2pax, the bill came to S$74nett including a glass of wine, or S$47++=S$55nett just for the 3 dishes. so price was ok but the satisfaction was not there, unlike say the scrumptious dinner at arossa on 3.9.2014.

i saw that there were several sadinian dishes like gnocchi, ravioli, the lamb & the fish which all looked pretty good on photos. still undecided whether i want to give it another try later.

c.h.e.f andy

Relaxed Dining @ Senso on 13Jul2013

burrata cheese with St Daniele prosciutto – S$26

i am thinking of stopping my amex palate privileges which offer 1pax off discounts for ala carte orders at a number of outlets i mostly not motivated to frequent. anyway before the card expires, might as well use it. 🙂 we decided to go to Senso. it is a restaurant i used to go for business lunches when i was working in that area years ago, but have not visited for many years.

ala carte prices at this kind of restaurants are usually on the high side unless you are doing business entertainment, so i was not attracted to frequent. with palate privileges 50% off for 2pax, it would still be more costly than set lunches, but since we were doing dinner, we thought we would revisit the place. 🙂

Senso is located at a Club Street conservation terrace so it has great relaxed ambience with an enclosed outdoor courtyard. still we opted for air-con indoor seating. 🙂 you could see that the waiting staff were well-trained & efficient.

bread basket

bread basket

warm bread basket was good. you could ask for butter. i just do the usual olive oil & balsamic.

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my wife ordered a prosecco & a red.

amuse bouche

amuse bouche

we had an amuse bouche, a lime cured tuna with avocado puree – good not great. 🙂

wagyu cappacio with rockets & parmesan

wagyu carpaccio with rockets & parmesan – S$28

we ordered a wagyu carpaccio with rockets & shaved parmesan (above photo) & a burrata cheese with Saint Daniele prosciutto (top photo). the carpaccio was served the natural sweetness way w/o any seasoning. it was sweet but we kind of preferred those with dash of balsamic cream, olive oil & sea salt. i liked the burrata (though so far i think Valentino’s the best & Capri’s also better than this, but they cost a lot more!) and also the Saint Daniel prosciutto. 🙂

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we had a pasta & a main to share. we ordered the lobster taglierini (S$34).  they split for us so the photo above was a 1/2 portion. 🙂 this was good, though we forgot to order the squid ink version which was usually more flavourful and the waiter did not ask us for the choice.

pan-fried venison rare -

pan-fried venison rare – S$48

we had wanted to order the veal rack (we had a very good one at spizzico) but this was breaded & pan-fried so we gave up the idea. the waiter recommended venison medallion (tenderloin) rare. this was a superb choice – very tasty & tender & the dauphine pommes (crisp potato puffs) were excellent! 🙂

we were both not dessert persons. excluding the wine, the bill was S$68++ for 2 appetizers & 2 mains after 50% discount, which explains why i had not been there like forever w/o the discounts. it was still more ex than set lunches but this was dinner & this price was quite fine really (there was no discount for wine which added another 50% to the total bill).

c.h.e.f andy

Great Pasta Lunch @ Alfresco Gusto at Ion Orchard on 17Feb2013

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linguine carbonara – S$22

I bought some deal.com vouchers for Alfresco Gusto @ Ion Orchard & the family decided to go for Sunday lunch. Ion Orchard happens also to be a convenient location for other members of the family for after lunch shopping..haha. 🙂

the Alfresco Gusto vouchers were S$10 for S$20 & you can redeem unlimited number of vouchers, so effectively (nearly) it was quite close to a 50% discount, so relatively a good deal if the food & prices were good. 🙂 We don’t do Italian out so much as the ala carte main courses are quite expensive in the good restaurants and both my wife & I as well as our domestic help do quite good pasta dishes ourselves, but we do visit from time to time a few like Al Borgo (update –  i had excellent dinner there recently on 22.11.2013), Valentino, Spizzico, Covelli, Ochre & a good cheaper place like Capri. 🙂

tuna salad - S$20

tuna salad – S$20

We ordered the tuna salad. It was well plated, looked pretty. The mesclun salad with olives was great, the tuna was very average (kind of tasteless) though.

antipasti platter - S$26

antipasti platter – S$26

We also had the antipasti platter which had parma ham, beef, salami & sun-dried tomatoes, olives & baguette. It was good & S$26 was ok but Capri served a much better version at S$18, so w/o the near 50% discount Capri would do better on this item.

I was never much into carbonara. My son actually taught himself to cook a pretty good one, but the one here was really good – creamy & flavourful & looked amazing (top photo), the best among all the good dishes. 🙂

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veal ragout – S$24

I would put the veal ragout as the second best item. It was creamy, savoury and nicely sprinkled with chopped parsley & grated cheese & sun-dried tomatoes. 🙂

prawn linguine in tomato sauce - S$30

prawn linguine in tomato sauce – S$30

The prawn linguine in tomato sauce came with very good helping of large prawns – my daughter counted 7! it was good too but I guessed more towards the ordinary & boring – something we could do at home with equally fresh ingredients almost equally well. 🙂

crabmeat risotto - S$32

crabmeat risotto – S$32

the last item we ordered was the crab meat risotto. It was good as well but I distinctly remembered that I had tried the funghi risotto here once before a while back & that was the best I had for that meal & this crab meat version was not near as good even though it cost S$10 more.

all in all, the 6 dishes for our 5pax lunch cost S$101 nett using the vouchers which was really a very good deal considering the quality of the dishes. without the vouchers it would cost S$181 nett or about S$31++pax. as ala carte order it would not be overly expensive however there were many good lunch set places & better deals to be had elsewhere, so I would do this but not often w/o the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy