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

Average Food Very Good Service @Praelum Wine Bistro on 1Aug2014

1 full pint of hoegaarden

1 full pint of hoegaarden

couldn’t think of a place for dinner. looked at the palate outlets & decided to try praelum wine bistro at duxton hill. a slight put-off though thinking of the traffic & parking. anyway we decided to park at craig place carpark which charges hourly. came to S$4.50 for parking but at least no hassle.

it was actually a great watering hole, great place for a drink. praelum is latin for wine press for crushing grapes & extracting juice. but i don’t drink so that was wasted on me. haha! 🙂

prelim wine bistro

praelum wine bistro

at the counter (prelim wine bistro)

at the counter (praelum wine bistro)

old telephone

old telephone

nice ambience & crowd. it was 8pm on a friday night & all the tables were taken up so we sat at the counter.

to their credit this place served & did not charge for water. my wife ordered one full pint of hoegaarden. it tasted great, i agree. 🙂

steaming hot baguette

steaming hot baguette

the baguette was nice & warm! i guess we were hungry but this was good with the butter.

flamee tart

flamee tart

flamee tart

tarte flambe

we ordered mostly their recommendations. the young server was very helpful. the crispy crust tarte flambe was the french answer to italian pizza? very crispy dough. onions gave it sweetness & the egg some texture. wife felt the cheese was not “pang” aka flavourful enough. overall, quite edible maybe average or above cannot really c/w a good pizza.

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

herb escargot covered in baked cheese

the herb escargot was the best of the lot. it’s like a dozo cheese gratin escargot combined with a usual herb seasoning. quite excellent, and the bread went very well with the remaining sauces. 🙂

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

portobello topped with melted blue cheese

the portobello was a little strange. i liked both blue cheese & portobello but they didn’t seem to combine very well. grilled portobello with simple olive oil & sea salt is very nice & easy to do at home & someone the added blue cheese masked or reduced rather than enhanced the flavours. 😦

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

baby back ribs

i was ok with the ribs. i was expecting the sweet sticky version, not my favourite but an ok dish. wife though it was below average c/w say tony roma’s.

after amex palate 50% discounts for 2pax, the bill came to S$36++ for the 4 dishes. the beer was another S$14 no discounts.

while the food was not quite what i would crave for, it was competent 7 pretty ok for the price, after palate discount that is. 🙂

& i can see that many (young & old) would enjoy the ambience, crowd & drinking here.

must say something about the truly excellent service. the young partner is a wine specialist – he said he was in the trade from 16. & all the young servers were very very friendly & helpful. 1 lady asked if we would like to shift to a vacated table but we were quite happy to sit at the counter & let others have the table.

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

Best Value Top Quality Lunch @ Au Jardin on 14Nov2013

mud crab potato salad, caviar & truffle

mud crab potato salad, caviar & truffle

NB=i also had the maybank 1 for 1 set lunch at bistro du vin @ 1 scotts road a few day later. 🙂

had 1 of the best value lunch with top quality food & good servings at au jardin on 14.11.2013. 🙂

had a few degustation dinners at au jardin quite many years ago. they were the best. 🙂 the set lunches were more affordable, and though i didn’t go often, i enjoyed them at full prices when i did. so 50% discount would be a real steal! 🙂

menu decouverte

menu decouverte

grilled angus ribeye & gratin potatoes

grilled angus ribeye & gratin potatoes

macha with citrus mousse & ice cream

chocolate fondant

chocolate fondant

we decided to order 2 menu decouverte (discovery) & 2 menu tradition. i chose the latter as i do rather good beef myself at home so tried lamb saddle instead.

the mud crab truffle (top photo) looked fabulous with huge truffle servings & judging from my friends’ exclamations, jolly good! i tried a piece of truffle, but didn’t feel it had much flavour though.

winter truffle = the price of gold!

white winter truffle = the price of gold!

anyhow the server told us this white winter truffle was the best c/w other seasons, and it was actually white but oxidised & shrank in the fridge as time passed, so they had to use up quickly enough. this was supposedly the price of gold=priciest food in the world. sure didn’t feel like it for this serving size. 🙂

both my friends picked the grilled ribeye, medium & medium well. sure looked good!

the chocolate fondant (lava cake) & macha mousse & ice cream looked wonderful too.

menu tradition

menu tradition

braised escargot, quill eggs, chorizo, truffle

braised escargot, quill eggs, chorizo, truffle

panfried red snapper, tomberry tomatoes

panfried red snapper, tomberry tomatoes

grilled lamb saddle, olive puree

grilled lamb saddle, olive puree

frozen expresso bombe

frozen expresso bombe

popcorn caramelsauce ice crea

popcorn caramelsauce ice crea

petit four

petit four

for menu tradition, both of us took the braised escagot with chorizo. escagot was good but not my favourite, more gentle & fine c/w canned top shells. i not much into the herb esacarot style but like the gratin version at dozo, so thought i tried out the braised version. i loved the chorizo, very “pang”=fragrant.

for the mains, my friend’s panfried red snapper looked fabulous, beautifully pan seared to golden. my lamb saddle was par excellence, best i tried! 🙂 quite interesting the miniature tomberries!

dessert were great too. mine was caramel sauce & ice cream with popcorn, my friend had the bombe, which was frozen chocolate cake with curd drizzled over & milk froth.

the petit four (means little oven) macarons was not great, far too sweet, though the yellow ones with lemon flavour combined well in taste & moderated the sweetness. 🙂

the price of lunch with maybank 1 for 1 promo was S$22.50++pax for menu tradition & S$32.5++pax for menu decouverte, nothing less than a steal! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Pleasant Dinner @ Balzac Brasserie on 30Jul2013

beef tartar (S$32)

beef tartar (S$32)

today we decided to try Balzac , a French bistro at Rendezvous Hotel, another palate outlet. Balzac was located at the hotel lobby level 1. it had a pleasant indoor alfresco area.  i did not bring my camera & the setting was a bit dark for my poor photography & dying Samsung S2, so photo quality was bad. 🙂

bread basket

bread basket

we had a bread basket. so-so.

lobster bisque (S$16)

lobster bisque (S$16)

we ordered a lobster bisque to share. it had the usual intense shellfish flavour (good enough) & was nicely “foamed” too..though for me lobster bisque must come with some lobster chunks (this one didn’t!). 🙂

escargot (S$14)

escargot (S$14)

the escargot was entirely forgettable. so far the best escargot i had was still the one at Dozo which had 3 cheese gratin version matched with a single herb garlic version. 🙂

20130730_192732 20130730_192723

we ordered also the cold meat platter. this came with 2 salami cut, parma ham, duck rillette & baguette. it was very good & quite large for 2pax. 🙂

20130730_195139 20130730_195204

for the mains we ordered a beef tartar (there was no usual appetizer portion). this was a bit different from the usual chopped version but a bit chunky streaks of tenderloin with the usual onions & mustards w/o anchovies. it was good! 🙂

we also had ribeye steak. the 200g steak looked aged & was very flavourful better than what i do at home & worth every cent, 🙂 the very slim fries were ok but a bit salty.

in all we paid S$70nett after 50% palate discounts for 2pax, excluding wine. the food was not overwhelming but good enough for the discounted price. will be back. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy