Good but Expensive Dinner @ aPompei on 21Nov2014

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

we were thinking of a place to go for 5pax family dinner on a friday w/o too much hassle on traffic & parking. decided to try the new restaurant aPompei at 6th avenue on 21.11.2014. 🙂

restaurant only started a week ago, according to chef mimo, who was from al borgo. we liked the florentine steak at al borgo by chef mim0. my wife recently had that at al borgo & she said it’s no longer good, so we were looking forward to having the good florentine steak here. 🙂

chef mimo was friendly & chatty, and we had always liked his food. so we decided to order his recommendations & let him organise the dinner. 🙂

food was good as we expected. price though was a bit expensive.

bread to start

bread to start

bread in most italian diners were mostly just baguette with olive oil/balsamic dip, nothing fancy like top restaurants.

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

the antipasti was a huge serving. it was good, with parma ham, good quality salami (my wife normally does not take salami but she was ok with this one), buffalo mozzarella, another cheese & olives.

we found out only later when we had the bill that the antipasti cost S$72 (since we left it in the hands of chef mimo). this was way too expensive for an antipasti for 2 guys & 3 ladies.

i am just guessing that maybe we were charged 3 portions=S$24×3. if we had ordered ourselves, we would have ordered just 1 portion. it was not about the price of the antipasti but whether we would spent S$72 for a very large portion or used the same money to order 2 more pastas etc.

focaccia

complimentary focaccia

we had a complimentary focaccia, topped with cherry tomatoes. in fact we thought it was better than the seafood pizza. we saw on the menu it cost S$13.

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

the mussels was very good. i felt it was expensive at S$28. i could do very good mussels myself, but i used the cheap mussels from sheng shiong. these mussels here were of course the better variety. 🙂

vongole - S$28

vongole – S$28

vongole

vongole – S$28

the vongole was very good also. the spaghetti were very al dente. somehow it cost more than S$24 on the menu? this is also a dish i do well, and sometimes i can get mango clams from sheng shiong which i think is better than la la (littleneck clams).

seafood pizza

seafood pizza

the seafood pizza was good, but we felt the cheaper focaccia (complimentary by chef mimo) was better. 🙂

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

& the 600g florentine steak. this was our favourite & it was as good as the one at al borgo of old (though my wife said it was no longer so). al borgo charged S$60 initially but raised to S$75 last year. it was S$88 here. i guess the price was not cheap but ok as long as the standard is kept. 🙂

complimentary dessert

complimentary dessert

chef mimo offered us 2 complimentary sponge cakes. the texture felt a bit like tiramisu (moist) but chef mimo said it was sponge cake. they were good but these tended to be quite sweet.

the dinner for 5pax (2guys, 3 ladies) cost S$350nett including a S$62 bottle wine. wine was good & priced similar to what you get at a good restaurant. 🙂

i felt the dinner was overly expensive at about S$56nett excluding the wine. if the antipasti was 1 portion at S$24++, price would be S$45pax nett, which was still not cheap but i guess ok for the food.

anyway, we were overall happy with the food, even though price was on the expensive side & it had cost a lot more than if we had ordered from the menu, which is what we would do next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Affordable “Nouveau?” Lunch Sets @ Nuvo on 8Sep2014

spiced carrot soup

spiced carrot soup

a friend recommended nuvo. the ongoing S$15pax set lunches looked ok (even though it had a lot of supplements for dish selections) so 6 of us went for lunch on 8.9.2014. chef mark richards hailed from keystone (which i went several times when it was accepting palate privileges – 50% discount for 2pax ala carte. i viewed keystone as the standard of saint pierre & slightly less expensive), and excelled in sous vide techniques. 🙂

the restaurant was located at the food edition at marina square at the corner facing citylink mall & suntec convention centre. it was nice, bright & airy & had a attached bar that was directly overlooking raffles link & raffles boulevard. we all commented this a place to be to watch the F1 (though i always prefer the couch at home..haha..not to mention it cost S$500 to come here & watch the cars turn round a corner!).

we were debating the name. i googled afterwards but there was no special meaning associated with the word so likely nuvo was just short for nouveau. 🙂

i was late, arriving at 12.15pm. the restaurant soon filled up & i would say perhaps >60% occupied during lunch hour on a monday.

a practice that did not find favour with me was NOT serving tap water.  we ordered 1 still & 1 sparkling for 6pax. they cost S$4.50each for a 500ml bottle. for me, i looked at the overall price vs the food & experience so paying S$9 for bottled water for 6pax (which also meant we have to drink less water) was not a big issue.

olive focaccia

olive focaccia

olive focaccia with herb butter

olive focaccia with herb butter

the olive focaccia bread with herb butter was pretty good, ok. 🙂

cha smoked salmon

cha smoked salmon

there were 3 choices of starters & main courses & 2 choices of dessert.

i thought my spiced carrot soup (top photo) with mascarpone, croutons & honey was really good & of fine dining standard. it was creamy, smooth in texture & flavourful, looked wonderful as well! 🙂

the smoked salmon with wasabi cream, furikake & baby spinach came with S$3 supplement. it looked great & appetising. the thick square cuts looked more like ceviche, cured or sashimi. my friends all liked the dish. 🙂 i asked 1 friend afterwards. he said the combination of flavours with the baby spinach was great. 🙂

tempura soft shell crab

tempura soft shell crab

the tempura soft shell crab had S$4 supplement. soft shell crab not my favourite dish but this looked fine & no complaints on the taste. 🙂

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

grilled pork collar

3 of us took the grilled pork collar on our friend’s recommendations. 2 took the risotto & 1 took the pesto cold soba.

the pork collar had good consistent texture of sous vide. the chef is famous for his sous vide cuisine. the friend who took cold soba & i both commented that the pork collar was kind of lean. i personally would prefer it the usual fatty collar. the 2 other friends preferred it lean. 🙂 fries were good. mash/cold slaw? were good too. i didn’t take much of either.

kabayaki squid risotto

kabayaki squid risotto

the squid risotto looked a bit skimpy to me. 5 or 6 pieces of squid on risotto. maybe it was the minimalist philosophy (just kidding…lol). i asked 1 friend afterwards. he agreed it was kind of plain.

pesto cold soba

pesto cold soba

the friend who took soba said it was too salty & maybe the set lunch was not that great for the price. i said a zaru soba could cost S$12 to S$15 so everything depended on how good the taste.

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

panna cotta with honeycomb

green tea kochi with melon

green tea mochi with melon

i hardly ever ordered panna cotta in singapore. so i started with the green tea mochi. when the dessert were served, i thought the panna cotta with honeycomb looked quite good so i asked to change the dessert (S$4 supplement).  i had excellent panna cotta at pizzeria balognett at tremezzo, i thought i would give the singapore version a try since it looked quite good. it was pretty good – light, smooth texture – but nothing amazing. the green tea mochi also looked competent. 🙂

overall including S$1.50pax for the mineral water, my share came to S$25++ (S$30nett). to me it was pretty ok & something i would not mind doing again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Dinner @ Arossa on 16Aug2014

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

see also update on my equally scrumptious dinner on 3.9.2014.

saturday & decided to go dinner last minute. didn’t really know where to go if not our usual haunts. anyhow, looked at palate restaurants, and arossa at scotts square beckoned. this the former scotts shopping centre. i had not set foot since its completion in 2011, not that i been to the former scotts much either. 🙂

arossa wine & grill is located on level 2 in scotts square. it belongs to PJ Partners group of restaurants which included sushi ichi next door & salt at ion orchard. it has a nice redbrick tavern setting. servers were well trained, and there was a young lady japanese chef. 🙂

a glass of red

a glass of red

wife ordered a glass of red (S$18, no discounts). it was good, serving size a bit small.

focaccia & walnut bread

focaccia & walnut bread

focaccia & walnut bread & olive dip

focaccia & walnut bread & olive dip

the bread were warm & good. focaccia was soft & great texture & tasty, walnut bread was nice & flavourful. the olive dip was excellent. 🙂

lobster ravioli

lobster ravioli

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

we took the server’s advise & ordered the house favourites a uni (sea urchin) pasta (S$32), & the lobster ravioli (S$28). the lobster broth was very flavourful, a good standard bisque, the ravioli was great.

though different (some would say apples & oranges) & enjoyable i don’t really find ravioli better than chinese shui jiao (水饺) which cost just a fraction. on balance i enjoyed 水饺 more – just my personal taste. 🙂

we decided to forgo the antipasti, and used the 2 pastas as appetizers since we wanted to try both pastas.

though antipasti menu was the usual ‘ordinary’ stuff, but never know. a good creative chef like they obviously have here may whipped up some new sensation. i will try the antipasti the next time.

miyazaki A5 wagyu

miyazaki A5 wagyu

for the meat, we decided to share a miyazaki A5 wagyu striploin (S$88). server recommended medium. overall we expected it to be quite good.

it was excellent! one of the best steaks i had taken, and comparable to a good one in japan. 🙂 there was sea salt on the side & we hardly touched the dip, as the meat was so very tasty & fragrant standalone with just a dab of sea salt. the best beef we had in singapore was at jaan where we were served a dry aged miyazaki wagyu, not sure if it was A5, but it was exquisite. that (serving size) was part of an exquisite degustation menu. the one at arossa was a full 180g steak. i would take a whole steak myself the next visit.

overall, the 3 fabulous dishes came to S$74++ after amex palate’s 50% for 2pax discounts. there was no discounts for the wine, so the total bill was S$92++.

the service was very professional. however the server was professional but not particularly friendly (not the jovial & relax approach). he was very hasty & rushed even though the restaurant was not busy & the body language was one of constantly wanting to move off when i asked a few questions to understand the menu more. 😦 so i guess for my personal experience on this occasion it was good but not excellent.

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. did not get the ask about the F1 (50% wagyu 50% angus) tenderloin. my preference is for striploin & sirloin anyway, but for the same pricing of S$88, can’t see myself picking F1 tenderloin to miyazaki A5 wagyu striploin. 🙂