8pax Ala Carte Lohei Dinner @ Mitzo Grand Park Orchard on 3Mar2015

lohei

lohei

a friend organised a lohei dinner at mitzo, grand park orchard on 3.3.2015. 🙂

don’t think i have even stepped into this hotel since crown prince hotel was sold to the park hotel group in 2005. vaguely remember there was some ala carte buffet at long jiang restaurant here back then eons ago.

coming out of the lift on level 4, the entrance was a bit hidden, right at the end of the hall way.

place looked atas, with a japanese sounding name mitzo, and the waiting staff including at the welcome counter were mostly foreigners, took us a while to spot a singaporean. we were served by a spanish guy. must say the service was very polite & cheerful, and the staff were well trained.

it was only later that i read that mitzo was supposedly inspired by “mat zoe” 蜜枣 – honey dates used in cantonese double boiled soup & lie tong 例汤。whatever.^^

mitzo is also apparently positioned as an inventive cocktail bar, serving some cocktails from a teapot. 🙂

lohei

lohei

there were 8 of us.

we ordered a medium lohei. the lady who served us was i think filipino, and she managed to say a few auspicious messages like 年年有鱼(余),大吉大利etc, and some of them in english translations. an interesting diversion was when she used a cocktail tumbler to mix the sweet sauce & oil, not that it would make any difference to the lohei.

c/w with the lohei at char, the amount of salmon here was a lot more, i think 2x more. in terms of taste though, char’s lohei was a lot tastier & more refreshing, and altogether more enjoyable.

here because the end result was a bit too dry, we asked for more sauce & lady came & added what looked like the char siew sauce instead of the sweet sauce & oil, the result was not the taste we associated with lohei.

roast pork

roast pork

roast pork

the roast pork was pretty good. i think better than char but it was quite standard & not a stand-out c/w any of tunglok, imperial treasure, crystal jade, canton paradise.

char siew

char siew

char siew

char siew

the char siew was good. it was featured in their website also i guess one of the signature dishes? it was tender moist flavourful, slightly different from the one at char, not necessarily better. for me though, i prefer this (char’s was unique but sauce slightly on the sweet side).

soft shell crab in curry floss

soft shell crab in curry floss

the spanish waiter recommended the soft shell crab in curry floss. in fact we ordered all his recommended dishes.^^

the curry soft shell crab was good, competent. i liked the curry flavour. though it was kind of unrelated, i just happened to be making a curry miso lamb that evening (which turned out to be fabulous) in the oven at 90degC then 80degC for 10hours while i was dining.

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

the roast duck with truffle was good too, a good restaurant standard. my favourite roast duck though is the one at canton paradise.

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant was good, competent.

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

the scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice though was a bit below par, not enough wok hae. this a dish that i always order in imperial treasure nanbei or imperial treasure teochew at taka, so it was rather poor by comparison.

the food was actually quite authentic & better than my first impression that we were walking into an expensive atas place to eat so-so chinese food. i guess we were quite full & ordered very few dishes for 8pax, so we only paid S$30pax for the dinner.

but from what i saw of the set dinner & ala carte prices e.g. 1/2 roast duck was S$36 c/w S$26 at canton paradise, this place is certainly quite a bit more expensive. again it’s not comparing apple with apple as the ambience & location are quite different. 🙂

this not my usual kind of place for cantonese food but i don’t rule out completely also. not coming back anytime soon la…

c.h.e.f andy

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Pesto Pasta

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant& cherry tomatoes

first came across pesto pasta when i had wild rocket’s laksa pesto almost 10 years ago. was pretty impressive at the time. 🙂

i had mostly associated pesto pasta with vegetarian, and since i only started cooking 2 years ago & i mostly prefer meats, so i had started with seafood alio olio, later experimented on pink sauce (creamy tomatoes), chilli crab pasta etc. i have not yet attempted a carbonara myself (though my son makes a pretty good one & it should not be hard to do also).

recently during my lake como, cinque terre, milan trip, i tried some pesto pasta & they were really good, especially the one at fresco in milan. so i thought i might try out a pesto recipe & if it worked out, i would include in a grand tour tasting menu (haha…just kidding) for my good friends, now planned for 1st week of july. 🙂

i looked through several internet recipes e.g. how to make a tasty pesto pasta

i tried the recipe first on a small pasta dish, as i was reminded that pine nuts were very expensive…haha. 🙂 the first attempt was top photo above, which i grilled the eggplant & cherry tomatoes first, then tossed with the spaghetti & the pesto sauce. it was very flavourful, the nutty fragrance with the spinach & basil, and very tasty eggplants & tomatoes. it was though a little salty.

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

on the next occasion i prepared a larger portion as 1 of 3 pastas for a 6pax homecooked family dinner. this time i included zucchini & also caramelised some button mushrooms.

for the pesto sauce, i added basil, spinach, 1 clove of garlic & 1/2cup olive oil, some salt & pepper. i used chopped toasted almonds as proxy to the pinenuts & i added some shredded parmesan. it was a really excellent pasta.

pesto spaghetti with prawns & chicken

pesto spaghetti with prawns & chicken

pesto spaghetti with prawns & chicken

pesto spaghetti with prawns & chicken

and i had some leftover pesto sauce. so on the next day i added prawns & chicken (first fried in butter) & tossed with the spaghetti & pesto sauce, and it was excellent too. so, no need to be entirely vegetarian, though the vegetarian version was very good on its own. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • spaghetti (300g)

pesto sauce-

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 20g chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan

Directions:

  1. cook spaghetti 1minute less than instruction, & drained in colander
  2. add spinach, basil, almonds to blender & blend. then add olive oil & grated parmesan & blend.
  3. add spaghetti to pesto sauce in a pan & toss. add salt & pepper to taste. serve.