Good Value Saga Wagyu 佐贺和牛 6-course Set @ Superstar on 5Apr2015

japanese wagyu

saga wagyu 佐贺和牛

what was very good value but perhaps not the best in culinary sophistication was the premium saga wagyu 6-course dinner set we had at the flagship stall of the superstar group restaurant on 5.4.2015.

there was uncertainty from the beginning that this what looked like a very traditional chinese kind of restaurant could manage a wagyu steak well. superstar group do have teppanya & 燒肉牛蔵(和牛專門店yakiniku gyukura restaurants, so initially i booked yakiniku gyukura but they replied that the wagyu set was only served in 2 superstar restaurants & recommended their flagship at tsim sha tsui mansion at nathan road.

premium wagyu 6-course set

premium saga wagyu 佐贺和牛 6-course set

there was nothing to fault really about the menu & quality of ingredients. the preparation & presentation though was not quite the best.

geoduck sashimi

geoduck sashimi

wife wanted to go light after too much eating & decided not to take the set, and instead just ordered a mirugai (geoduck) sashimi. it was good. not a big portion, can’t remember now but probably hk$298.

geoduck sashimi was sweet & succulent, but it was a small geoduck clam, so it was nearer the ends & did not have the large inside flesh that the excellent if expensive geoduck platter we had at  budaoweng 不倒翁 hotpot at isquare.

crispy roast chicken

crispy roast chicken

& the restaurant gave us a fee 1/2 roast chicken, apparently for any spending above hk$200. not the best chicken, still it was pretty good.

crystal pork & tofu

crystal pork & tofu

set started with crystal pork 肴肉& deep-fried tofu. both were competent in look & taste for a good chinese restaurant. tofu was crispy outside & silky inside. 🙂

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup

sharkskin with compoy & fishmaw was average, not the standard of good chinese restaurant sharkskin soup.

japanese wagyu

japanese wagyu

the main draw was the japanese saga wagyu 佐贺和牛. they were pricing it at a special hk$308 for 100g & hk$498 for the set.

we asked for medium rare, which according to them was 五分熟 50% cooked. it came about medium rare to rare. beef was very marbled. the piece looked bigger than 100g. anyway japanese saga wagyu at about S$55/100g was a good price.

it was indeed a very good steak, good marbling melt in the mouth. i felt though that somehow the temperature was not right. it was not charred enough (not enough maillard reaction to impart the flavours) & the meat felt like steamed, somehow the marbling, fragrant flavours were not quite there.

don’t know but just did not have the memorable “wowed-over” feeling that we had at imahan hakata at fukuoka!

nor also the excellent A4 ohmi wagyu at me@oue.

my own chargrilled wagyu steak

for comparison, my own chargrilled wagyu steak

well, it was not even as flavourful as my own chargrilled wagyu steak! (above photo).

maybe belief is important? lack of belief affects taste. don’t know!

stonefish soup

stonefish soup

stonefish soup was very tasty. it was their signature dish. as a accompanying side dish for a premium wagyu 6-course set, i thought it was very good. not sure it could be consider a top signature dish standalone.

stonefish soup

minced wagyu fried rice

the minced wagyu beef fried rice was to me also average though son thought it was very good. i thought it did not have the same wok hae & intense flavours like-

the unagi chahan (fried rice say) at either zen OR en japanese dining; nor

the fragrant spicy fried rice at crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.

baked lotus paste sago

baked lotus paste sago

the baked lotus paste sago was a attempted fusion dessert dish. hmmm…i would prefer a creme brûlée or portugese egg tart the ones at marco polo continental club lounge was exquisite!

will i go back again??? i wonder myself….

on paper, this should be a very good deal. but actually i can do without the other dishes (nothing much there to miss really) and just take the wagyu at hk$308. still hk$308 is a bit of money, and not sure i want to leave my fate with the chef and hope for a hk$308 wagyu to turn out for the best. hmmm…

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

Lobster 5-course Lunch for S$22 @ Naked Dining & Bar on 6May2013

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

we bought streetdeal vouchers for a Mother’s Day 5-course lobster set for S$22 for our dining quartet lunch. the restaurant is located at Joo Chiat which was notorious for parking. fortunately this time I was able to secure a roadside parking lot a short distance away. 🙂

DSCN4682

The Restaurant – Naked Dining & Bar!

the restaurant was empty through lunch save our 4pax table. they explained that they were worried about the supply of lobster arriving late so they had asked the diners to move their reservations to dinner or another day. looked like we were the only ones who could not be moved. our reward – we had the entire restaurant for our private 4pax tete a tete. 🙂

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

we had earlier whatsapp among ourselves to temper our expectations (after all it was just S$22pax nett) so we would not be disappointed! anyway the lobster tom yam pumpkin soup was good enough for me –  it was not super but an ok soup in a fairly good restaurant, not the watery soup of the day or canned soup type.. my 2 friends though found it too salty (after the restaurant replaced the soup they were happy so it must be ok). 🙂

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

the lobster roll was ok too, and the sauce was quite nice really.  it was nothing special & if anything the skin was really too thick!

the main event was of course the lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta (in the top photo). I liked it a lot actually. The lobster was good size (I estimated about 400g to 450g size), w/o the pincers, and very fresh and tasty; & I liked the home-made pasta which was just slightly creamy. This the version of creamy pasta that goes with veal ragout or wild boar or duck, and not the very creamy ones that go with carbonara or the Valentino’s lobster in pink sauce (which I also like). good! 🙂

tiny dual dessert - choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

tiny dual dessert – choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

for the twin desserts, the lava cake had good lava but the choc taste was too sweet & not the best. the creme brulee was interesting – it was a savoury lobster mousse thingy with a nice burnt cream top. 🙂

overall, I thought it was really a good deal.  the lobster pasta alone would be worth the S$22nett! 🙂 while the soup, lobster roll & desserts were nothing too special, they were of ok to good quality both in taste & presentation, and not just after-thoughts or to make up the numbers for 5-course.

Looking at the ala carte & set menus,, the prices were also quite average w/o this promotion & there was some credit card promotion where 1 free with 2 paying adults, so effectively 33% discount.  there was just some lingering doubt & confidence level thingy about the quality & consistency of cooking, whether I might try the other dishes outside the current promotion.

c.h.e.f andy