Good But Expensive Dinner @ Stellar at 1-Altitude on 9Nov2015

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

king crab uni & sakura ebi capellini

celebrating an occasion & went with wife for dinner at stellar at 1-altitude on 9.11.2015. ^^

marina skyline

marina skyline

there was a roof top bar like at me @ oue & also at zafferano (1-altitude is much higher floor).

marina skyline, the panoramic view were of course fabulous.

stellar at 1-altitude rooftop

stellar at 1-altitude rooftop

nice place to have a drink, but it was a bit hazy this evening.

stellar at 1-altitude

stellar at 1-altitude

we were there at 6.30pm first seating, it was 1/2 full for the evening.

amuse bouche

amuse bouche

we were deciding between the regular S$95++ 3-course menu (full portion) or the 6,7,8-course autumn gastronomic (1/2 portions). wife decided to have the 3-course & i was advised that if i took the S$120++ 6-course menu alone i would have 2 desserts.

so we both took the 3-course. wife had 2 appetizers & i ordered a dessert.

amuse bouche

amuse bouche

we were served only 1 amuse bouche. so we missed the mushroom tea which other reviewers raved about.

this amuse bouche was ok but forgettable.

how i missed the incredible mushroom tea amuse bouche we enjoyed at jaan previously.

fin de claire & some pacific oysters

fin de claire & some pacific oysters

wife ordered the oysters. there were 4 in 1 order.

fin de claire & some pacific oysters

fin de claire & some pacific oysters

again it was ok but not those very creamy ones. we had better S$3 oysters at tess bar & of course the superb ones at the prime society (only S$2.50ea after palate 50% discounts).

diver scallops. parmesan. bacon. carbonara style

diver scallops. parmesan. bacon. carbonara style

i ordered the diver scallops carbonara style.

diver scallops. parmesan. bacon. carbonara style

diver scallops. parmesan. bacon. carbonara style

the scallops were wonderful, large, plump, tasty, & still have the slightly gummy sashimi bite. i loved the scallops.

but as an entire dish with the carbonara sauce, it was simply outclassed by the excellent scallops at the disgruntled chef 100gourmet dinner we had recently (above photo).

pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable veloute

pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable veloute

i decided to create a dish myself with my usual pan-seared scallops using a prawn vegetable veloute. my scallops were very good but not really comparable, however my veloute was excellent & the overall experience was much better, though just as outclassed by the scallop dish at the disgruntled chef 100gourmet.

gazpacho in 2 styles

gazpacho in 2 styles

wife ordered the gazpacho in 2 styles.

gazpacho in 2 styles

gazpacho in 2 styles

the cold soup was light, refreshing, tasty.

white cucumber & red tomato gazpacho

white cucumber & red tomato gazpacho

this was such a wonderful soup, i went home & recreate one myself, and a pretty good one at that. not quite stellar’s top standard, but pretty good la. 🙂

the main courses

the main courses

we ordered the king crab, uni, sakura ebi pasta & the rack of lamb.

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

king crab uni & sakura ebi capellini

the pasta was tasty & i liked it.

wife though was not impressed. somehow the uni sauce tasted cheesy (same saltiness?). it was good but not great.

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

i went back & recreated a very tasty prawn capellini myself in the same style.

victorian lamb rack

victorian lamb rack

the lamb rack was i guess mediocre, at best above average.

it was done medium according to the server’s recommendations.

array of sauces & dips

array of sauces & dips

there was a nice array of sauces & dips, mustard, bearnaise etc& a butter which was very nice with the lamb.

victorian lamb rack

victorian lamb rack

the sides were good.

but actually for the lamb, though it was ok, it was also quite mediocre. there are countless restaurants here that does this better, and much better!

i would prefer my own pistachio crusted lamb to this.

almond croquant

almond croquant

overall, food was good, ambience was fabulous.

the dinner though was quite underwhelming for the price, quite below our expectations. purely on the matter of food enjoyment, we had much better at cheaper places like foc & tess bar.

wife was saying basically we were paying for the view. i guess we were.

c.h.e.f andy

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Delightful Delicious 100Gourmet Dinner @ Disgruntled Chef Ang Siang Hill on 29Oct2015

sous vide duck breast - par excellence

sous vide duck breast – par excellence

had a most delightful dinner with wife @ disgruntled chef ang siang hill on 29.10.2015. ^^

we both liked the duck breast best but other dishes (except for the lollipop & dessert) were just as delicious & marvelous. 🙂

this was a 100gourmet dinner citibank promotion where overseas award winning chefs paired with 2 top singapore restaurants every month to deliver a 6-course dinner at S$100++

for this evening it was chef daniel sia of disgruntled chef & chef joris bijdendijk of restaurant RIJKS®

charcoal bread. pork floss on cream cheese

charcoal bread. pork floss on cream cheese

we started with a charcoal bread. the bread was excellent, crusty yet fluffy inside. 🙂

charcoal bread. pork floss on cream cheese

charcoal bread. pork floss on cream cheese

not really used to having cream cheese on toast, but the combination did go well.

lobster & chicken vin jaune

lobster & chicken vin jaune

the lobster & chicken in a yellow wine sauce was really delicious.

lobster & chicken vin jaune

lobster & chicken vin jaune

both lobster & chicken were superb. chicken had a very crispy skin. something i cannot make. & such a wonderful sauce.

pan sauteed scallops

pan sauteed scallops

& the scallops were excellent. colour & presentation was beautiful of course, and Chef Joris Bijdendijk, Executive Chef at the restaurant RIJKS® in the world renowned Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, personally drizzled the oil over the dish at our table.

pan sauteed scallops

pan sauteed scallops

scallops were sashimi grade & the inside were still raw. one of the tastiest scallops i have take! bite, taste, everything! ^^

flounder lollipop

flounder lollipop

not sure about the flounder lollipop. wife thought it was poor.

flounder lollipop

flounder lollipop

i thought it was ok, tasty enough. but it’s like glorified fast food? nothing special or distinctive to me other than trying to look different.

black cod. nori butter. cockles. cucumber

black cod. nori butter. cockles. cucumber

the cod was a return of another wonderful dish.

server warned us that some diners feedback that the nori butter made the dish quite salty & they were still adjusting the taste.

black cod. nori butter. cockles. cucumber

black cod. nori butter. cockles. cucumber

for us, the seaweed butter did give a distinctive salty taste but nothing overpowering & in fact flavoured the dish rather well, & the shellfish bits (cockles??) added great bite to a delicious sauce. the cod tasted a bit firmer, like a monkfish texture, anyway it was good.

& what a beautifully plated dish! 🙂

sous vide duck breast - par excellence

sous vide duck breast – par excellence

& wa..the duck..it was the best duck i had.

sous vide duck breast - par excellence

sous vide duck breast – par excellence

so tender & sweet. just enjoying this duck, i am thinking i gonna try my sous vide duck breast again.

i did that for my duck l’orange some time back.

jaan's hay roasted pigeon

jaan’s hay roasted pigeon

it reminded me of the excellent jaan’s hay roasted pigeon. that was quite long ago though, so this duck actually felt better.

like a mars bar dessert & cream

like a mars bar dessert & cream

the dessert was too ordinary to complement the excellent dishes, but still the mars mar thingy had a really nice chocolate & great texture. i am so so with the cream just took a little.

we have never been to disgruntled chef at dempsey or here at ang siang hill. i must say the service was excellent-polite, friendly, quite knowledgeable & attentive.

this was 1 of the best dinners i had for a while, except for the excellent japanese omakase at hachi. hachi is different cuisine, which we would prefer by comparison but it also cost a lot more.

it reminded me of the really sumptuous dinners & dining experience at jaan, which we do not go any more because it’s no longer offering feed at raffles discounts. presentation was delight & food was exquisite. jaan had 2 amuse bouche which were excellent PLUS a palate cleanser item, so total like 10-course.

for the price, i think this dinner at disgruntled chef was next to perfect.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Interesting 2pax Lunch @ Immanuel French Kitchen on 19Mar2015

duck rillette & kakuni belly pork

duck rillette & kakuni belly pork

went with a friend to try out immanuel french kitchen at salute coffeeshop at alexandra village on 19.3.2015.^^

my interest was piqued by the saw a write-up on ST Life on enochximmanuel 6-course dinner menu 3-day event.

i did not managed that but did went with my wife to enoch’s the evening before. so today, it’s time to try out immanuel french kitchen.

it’s not easy to get parking even at 11.45am. anyhow i managed to parked at SCAL (singapore contractors association limited) building.

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffee shop

salute coffeeshop is really an interesting concept. all the stallholders are “boutique restaurants” in a non-air con environment.

the “people in white” wearing the stew kuche tees seemed to be policing the place. i was early & place was quite empty so i sat at a 4-seat table. they asked me to move to the next 2-seat table. reasonable ask, good practice i guess – so comply, not that there was a choice!

they did that to a young couple again who came to sit at the table i vacated. well, at least it was consistent & diligent.

immauel french kitchen menu

immauel french kitchen menu

we came mainly for immanuel french kitchen. chef immanuel tee has rather illustrious pedigree, having worked at jaan with chef andre chiang, restaurant andre (where he met & worked with chef enoch teo), michelin starred guy savoy & pastorale, & keystone.

young chef was busy. there were another 3 helpers.

we ordered the duck rillette & the kakuni style braised belly pork. both were good!

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

kakuni style braised belly pork

the belly pork was excellent. i guess sous vide, & very well done for taste, texture, with the onset egg & croutons. very enjoyable dish, big for 1pax & quite perfect to be enjoyed by 2pax or 3.^^

duck rillette + gerkhins

duck rillette + gerkhins

duck rillette

duck rillette

i love the duck rillette. it was a very good helping too, & served with pickled gerkhins, which i liked too. the baguette was good too & excellent taken together with the duck rillette. i want to eat this again!

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

mussels pot

the stew ruche menu did not look exciting. we were not going to take the knuckles, & the pasta did not look great. of course could not tell until you tasted it but on photos alone, think my own pastas are better than any of them.

1 reviewer commented that the ramen burger had nice bulgogi but the burger tasted like maggi instant noodles snack!

my friend decided to try the mussels pot from seasalt. this was poor really! & such a simple dish to make. mussels were just slightly overcooked & not so juicy & succulent. the sauce gravy was ordinary.

worse, 1/2 the mussels had beards that were not removed, quite “dirty” really. no chance i would try this again.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ Joel Robuchon London on 24Aug2014

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

i had a very good lunch at gordon ramsey at the claridge’s brook street (now closed), & not so great dinner at marco pierre white in london in 2011. had yet to try joel robuchon. i had joel robuchon in hong kong both the set lunches menu decouvert at l’ artelier & dinner degustation at la cuisine. the set lunches were pretty good & reasonably priced. the degustation was good of course but too expensive for me.

wife & son had been talking about joel robuchon in london & paris, so we decided to go for a pre-theatre at joel robuchon london on 24.8.2014.

it was really good. 🙂

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket of baguette, olive bread, sour dough was ok for good restaurant standard.

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart was lovely. my son & i were talking about that this being an assembled dish, but still the presentation was great & all the ingredients came together beautifully. 🙂

crispy sous vide poached egg

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings was very good too. it’s a bit similar to the excellent 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo at jaan with the combination of taste & texture – the silky yoke & the salty bits of chorizo PLUS the crispy filo. this was good. jaan’s was much better.

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

#2 the open ravioli with littleneck clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam was again excellent. the shellfish, crispy top & foam was a wonderful combination. 🙂

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 the 6hr braised ox cheeks was very good in terms of taste & preparation, however just for comparison of braised items i think the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co was much tastier than this, so was the braised wagyu at hkk london & for my own taste preference = my own spanish beef ribs is also better (of course the meat cuts were different & we are not comparing apples with apples). 🙂

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

#3 the scottish lobster sea shell pasta, a substantial portion (i think 1/2 a 600g lobster), was tops! the foam & broth like a very good lobster bisque, and the lobster was very sweet & tasty. the pasta too. an excellent pasta dish! 🙂

the price for 3-course was £36 + 13% = S$73++ & there was a £7 supplement for the lobster. at S$73++ for a set lunch/pre theatre menu it was very much more expensive than the fabulous les amis S$45++ 4-course set lunch. both were excellent & JR was more inventive but quality+value wise, les amis would beat this hands down. 🙂

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. 🙂

 

Another Fabulous Degustation Dinner @ Jaan on 16Jun2014

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

had another wonderful degustation par excellence at jaan on 16.6.2014. 🙂

regretfully jaan is fully booked for the rest of the year for feed-at-raffles (FAR) discounts. looks like only mikuni & occasionally equinox & prego to  go to.

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

the new amuse bouche of beetroot macaron, an eel mousse, (can’t remember the last) plus the rye cracker with very good hummus was good, pleasant & quite fine, though no better than previous.

amuse bouche 2

amuse bouche 2 – cepe mushroom tea

the second amuse bouche, a cepe mushroom tea, was the best soup ever, so intense & flavourful & lingering. 🙂

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

# the ocean seafood composition was simply delicious! every item was excellent & there were so many – langoustine, oyster (yummy!), scallop, ikura (salmon roe), eel, caviar, another prawn. i could have this again! 🙂

#1 toast

#2 toast

not quite sure what the toast do? anyway a good toast.

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#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

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#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

#2 the zucchini trumbetta was nice, pleasant, refreshing, not quite a standout among so many excellent dishes.

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

#3 the 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo was quite a complete dining experience with the dry ice foam flowing down. the silky egg yolk added texture combination to the crispy iberico chorizo.

#4 foie gras

#4 foie gras

#4 the foie gras preparation/presentation had changed several times but texture wise quite the same. the inside was soft tender tasty. the outside though was different from the more caramelised preparation which we preferred.

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish was pretty good – firm, bouncy. meat was slightly sweet. somehow all the monkfish i tried in singapore (& this was a better one) could not match the excellent sweet tasting monkfish ala plancha i had in barcelona’s bouqueria market & tapas restaurants. white asparagus was very good, very tasty & tender. 🙂

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 the hay roasted pigeon was as usual, nothing less than superb. the medium rare sous vide breast was the best. i couldn’t quite decide if amsterdam beulings’ quail was better or this. 🙂

the best dinner we had at jaan though was on 20.1.2014 where we had miyazaki beef in place of pigeon. 🙂

pre-dessert grape granite

pre-dessert grape granite

the grape granite palate cleanser was refreshingly good. 🙂

#7 choconuts - taste & texture

#7 choconuts – taste & texture

#7 choconuts was supposed to offer different temperature, texture & taste. i supposed it did & its a good dessert, but i thought some of the previous choconuts editions were distinctly better.

petit fours

petit fours

the petit four were good or competent for this level of restaurant, not a standout.

well, looks like i have to try the waiting list & see my luck play out.

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

 

Incredible Artisan Fusion Molecular Cuisine @ Labyrinth on 30Apr2014

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lime sorbet

my wife’s close couple friends bought dinner @ labyrinth by han li guang at neil road on 30.4.2014. 🙂

i knew of the restaurant the day before, started googling, and found the beautiful food photos in bibikgourmand.

there was a reference made on willin low of wild rockets fame. i did like wild rockets & the laksa pesto pasta maybe 15 years back. personally i did not see any similarity just looking at bibikgourmand photos or having seen & tasted the food afterwards. 🙂 one was fusion in combining “western” & “singaporean” ingredients and most importantly, making the result taste good & not for fusion sake (in that both were similar).

in labyrinth’s case, it was going back to the ingredients, reassemble them into something that looked quite different (but very artisan & beautiful) and yet delivering the (excellent!) taste though perhaps not the overall experience eg the chilli crab ice cream combined with deep-fried soft-shell crab tasted like very good chilli crab but it’s not the same as eating a meaty crab, nor was it expected to be. 🙂 the science of taste? molecular cuisine in its finest form? i am NOT qualified to say… 🙂

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garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam for focaccia bread

amuse bouche? the lime sorbet was nice, simple, refreshing, nothing special.

we were served focaccia bread with a garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam. quite unique & pretty good & fun. could’t say this would match good freshly baked bread in a good restaurant, but they were good anyway & matched the food theme. balsamic jam was good, garlic mousse too, olive powder too refined for my taste buds..tasted nothing. 🙂

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beef tartare masquerade (imposter)

#1 this dish looked very like a beef tartare with the egg yoke even, and the taste was quite exquisite. 🙂 the mango sphere sat on a roasted tomato, which was very tasty & great with the greens. the mango sphere was, to me, amazing only to wonder how it was done but did not add much taste nor texture. it was a thin liquid & did not have the silky egg yolk texture.

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chilli crab

#2 the chilli crab looked incredible, a piece of art, so pretty. & excellent flavours, superb dish 🙂 the deep-fried soft-shell crab combined very well indeed with the chilli crab ice cream. they were arranged with the crab mousse, ikura, seaweed on mantou (馒头) sand to give a picture of sea (and tropical island?). not sure if the mantou sand added anything, my palate not sophisticated enough to capture all the taste & texture, need more practice..haha. 🙂

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curry chicken rice

there was a choice of mains – curry chicken or siew yoke fan.

#3 the curry chicken was better than what i expected, though my wife did not like the dish so much. deep-fried chicken balls did not sound that great for main course, but these were quite tasty & you could taste the curry. the quinoa (“kin wah”) risotto was tasty too. i am beginning to like quinoa. my son’s friend made a good quinoa salad & my wife too so she was less impressed. as a “deconstructed” or “reconstructed” or “pigeon-holing not important” dish that was plated quite nicely, looked different & yet tasted like curry chicken, the dish was a great success. so it was good & exceeded my expectation but c/w with a good main (fish or meat) in good restaurant, it may or may not measure up after the initial excitement. also, like going back to the excellent chilli crab, it was indeed a “wow” experience, very pleasantly surprised, but not the same as eating a meaty crab. so it’s a different kind of satisfaction & expectation.

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siew yoke fan

#4 the siew yoke fan was again superbly executed. 🙂 the crackling belly pork was excellent, though our friends said the ones they had at basilico recently were even better. the risotto was very tasty, though i could not really tell if it was a ramen (tonkotsu?) stock.

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chendol xiaolongbao

there were 2 desserts in the set – chendol xiaolongbao & a deconstructed apple crumble.

#5 the chendol xiaolongbao, with red beans, coconut milk ice shavings inside, had genuine chendol taste, was light & quite refreshing. it was pretty ok, i enjoyed it though it was not a favourite for me.

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deconstructed apple crumble

#6 the apple crumble was very good. the stewed apple balls, apple crisp, baked white chocolates & yogurt ice cream all very tasty & combined well. an excellent dessert. 🙂

5-course menu

5-course menu

the 5-course menu was S$78pax, a reasonable price for the quality of food & overall a very enjoyable fun experience. the food was very artisan (perhaps that would become an industry standard in due course), very creative (to me it felt totally new & had no peers in Singapore as yet).  the other “affordable” place where the food presentation is very artisan is jaan (where i had the best degustation dinner on 20.1.2014 with the same couple friends), recently just got on to pelligrino world’s best 100, at 100th place. andre, iggy’s, les amis all very costly & i have yet to convince myself it is worth spending the money. it’s all about experience, very subjective, and also depends on expectations and perspectives, and perhaps very importantly on the the company too. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Beautiful Dinner @ Beulings Amsterdam on 13Apr2014

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arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

had a beautiful dinner at beulings in amsterdam on 13.4.2014. most pleasant start to my amsterdam/como/cinque terre/milan vacationing 13-24apr2014. 🙂

this was the best meal i had during the trip, and that’s when i had several other really great meals at amsterdam, como, cinque terre. not too bad at milan too.

was deciding among beulings, bussia & bridges in amsterdam. bridges (1 michelin star at sofitel the grand), bussia & beulings all had raving tripadvisor reviews. bussia is modern fine italian & we were spending 8 subsequent days in italy, bridges is a bit more high brow, so we decided on the more casual, family-run beulings (husband & wife team i think, bas bont & lisja hu). and the food was simply outstanding! 🙂

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nibble platter

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cheese balls

we had a complimentary nibble platter plus some cheese balls. platter had anchovies (very similar to good ikan bilis!), chorizo (nice) & caviar on something, cannot recall. all very nice. 🙂

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very flavourful brioche

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love the bread

the bread was great too. we ate up everything! 🙂

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the amuse bouche was a carrot soup. it was excellent soup, very smooth, with the sour cream?? taking off the sharp taste of carrots. 🙂

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arctic char ?? ceviche with salad

#1 the fish (arctic char??) ceviche was delicious, very pretty artisan presentation & very sweet like a good sashimi. the salad & lady fingers added nice texture & taste. 🙂

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budels organic beer

my daughter took lisja’s recommendations – budels beer, an organic beer from south of amsterdam. it was light & fragrant, very good beer for euro3.50. we asked but could not find it in other cafes so perhaps its more boutique than popular brew. 🙂

sous vide quail

sous vide quail

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sous vide quail

#2 we were served an excellent quail. i told lisja it was much like the sous vide bresse pigeon at jaan, my favourite restaurant in singapore. this was quite exquisite, very tender juicy breast & the leg too was not dry & sinewy. 🙂

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pasta with bacon & oyster

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pasta with bacon & oyster

#3 the pasta was super! the large fleshy oyster was excellent. the pasta was not quite al dente & yet quite perfect in texture & the slight pickled mildly sour vegetables combined wonderfully. 🙂 my wife & daughter loved this dish!

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pan seared halibut

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pan seared halibut

#4 the halibut?? was great, tasty. all the helpings including this one were quite good size. 🙂

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nicely done rare beef steak

#5 my daughter & i had the beef. it was done perfectly, rare & sweet, and the potato & pumpkin mash were great! 🙂

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petit four

the petit four were pretty standard. macaron was too sweet i thought, chocolates usual, the madeleines & cakes were nice.

it was a small place with maybe 10 tables, one 2pax table was not occupied. place was cosy, service was attentive, friendly, efficient, casual. there was only lisja & 1 other server, but the chefs in the kitchen including bas all served the tables. lisja was busy but not rushed when serving the table & chatted quite a bit with the diners.  the others too. 🙂

the price came to euro178. we had two 5-course at euro55 & one 4-course at euro45 plus water (euro9.75-kind of ex but maybe it was like cover charge or service), 2 glasses of wine & a beer. anyway we rounded it to euro200.

it was an very pleasant, relaxed & throughly enjoyable dinner for us, definitely a place i will come next time i am in amsterdam.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Top Quality Lunch @ Les Amis on 1Apr2014

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bread bast=baguette, sour dough, walnut bread

a good friend bought lunch at les amis on 1.4.2014. no april fool haha. 🙂

i must have not stepped into les amis for 5, maybe 10 years? though i did have excellent meals at au jardin (it’s now closed) couple times a year. always thought it was very ex…some months back they introduced this 4-course set lunch. having taken the food, i think it is excellent value-for-money at S$45pax, one of the nest lunches i had. 🙂

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flat brioche with olives & sundried tomatoes

we started with a bread basket of baguette, sour dough & a very good walnut bread PLUS a truly superb bread (brioche texture) with olive, sundried tomatoes? etc. just fabulous! 🙂

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tomato confit on bead of grilled aubergines & filo pastry

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tomato confit on bead of grilled aubergines & filo pastry

#1 & the tomato confit was incredible! 🙂 it was on a bed of grilled aubergine on filo pastry. there are tomato confit & there are tomato confit, but this was just excellent!

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green pea soup

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green pea soup

#2 green pea soup not my favourite, but this was again very good indeed! very smooth & nicely creamy. i may get to like green pea soup a bit more. 🙂

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patagonia toothfish (chilean seabass)

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beautiful red cabbage

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chilean seabass & red cabbage

#3 there was a choice of patagonia toothfish (chilean seabass, my favourite fish, over cod) OR roast pigeon. both of us took the chilean sea bas. it was as good as chilean seabass usually were. the sweet red cabbage was ok but not quite my type – i finished about 40% of it.

while this fish never fails to meet expectations as you need a bad chef to screw this up, the tomato confit way surpassed expectations – most places would get it bad or mediocre.

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walnut apple pie

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chocolate mousee

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#4 the dessert of the day a walnut apple pie? was likewise not my favourite, but again it was superbly done. 🙂 fillings not sickeningly sweet & very good pastry. the chilled chocolate mousse was very good too.

the S$60 lunch menu came with line caught seabass & choice of lobster pasta & australian wagyu etc. i had some doubts on the line-caught thingy being any different from usual & seabass like low down c/w the chilean seabass but the cooking standards here really good i will probably try it.

i was also curious about the 6-course S$120 menu. it said grilled dry aged beef so i asked the waiter (he was very knowledgeable) why this was better than the australian wagyu in the S$60 menu. he said it was OHMI WAGYU! i told him omg! ohmi (a top 3 japanese wagyu) & you don’t write that in your menu? my, my!

i had an excellent degustation at jaan on 20.1.2014 with some friends recently, and we were lucky to trade our pigeon (which was good too) for miyazaki dry-aged wagyu, but this was ohmi, not miyazaki!

i told the waiter this the second time i came across dry-aged japanese wagyu (first was jaan). dry ageing intensifies the flavours & results in substantial weight lost. japanese wagyu is so ex & already very marbled & very intense in flavours i don’t see them served dry aged in japan. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

The Best Dinner Degustation @ Jaan on 20Jan2014

seafood ceviche

seafood ceviche

of all my reviews thus far, this was the best dinner! 🙂

went to jaan on 20.1.2014 with a friend couple who are very close to my wife.  jaan has been always our favourite degustation restaurant. i had not intended to take photos as i had reviewed jaan when we dine here on 8.5.2013. the prestige menu (summer or winter) usually featured minimum changes, and so i missed out on the 2 amuse bouche photos. the first fingerfood bites platter was somewhat different with chicken samosa etc but the same crackers with humus dip. the second cepes mushroom tea, a very intense tasty soup, was largely the same – still the best soup i had. 🙂

the freshly baked bread basket came. i picked a brioche (a puffy highly enriched bread with nice crust) & a baguette. they did not have the previous truffle bread, which was brioche with truffle infusion.

when the first dish came – #1 a seafood ceviche – i decided to take photos. i had not paid attention to the prestige menu having assumed it had few changes. the ceviche was par excellence! well so many dishes were. 🙂 it was incredible – it had langoustine, caviar on top another prawn, scallop, oyster, ikura & crab meat. i could eat this again! 🙂

beetroot

beetroot “melody”

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toast to go with beetroot “melody”

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55min 60degC organic egg

55min 60degC egg

55min 60degC rosemary smoked organic egg

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55min 60degC rosemary smoked organic egg

roasted foie gras

roasted foie gras

#2 next was a beetroot melody thing – jelly, sorbet, some garnishes including cheese. there was some toast to go with it.

#3 the 55min 60degC  rosemary smoked organic egg with iberico chorizo & proscuito was same as before. i love the texture combination the egg yolk added to the dish & the savoury & slightly salty proscuito made it such a very enjoyable experience. a similar dish was served at au jardin for our recent new year eve dinner on 31.12.2013, and maybe this was something i could try out myself for my home dinners. 🙂

#4 there was no change to the roasted foie gras dish. my wife though preferred the caramelised pan-fried version, anyway she doesn’t take foie gras much these days. 🙂

brill

brill with crayfish foam

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

miyazaki wagyu

dry aged miyazaki wagyu

#5 the brill, an atlantic flatfish in the turbot family, came with crayfish foam. it was beautiful to look at, fine & exquisite in taste, but the texture of the brill was not my favourite.

#6 the menu prestige had pigeon as the second main, however 1 friend did not want pigeon so we asked the chef to substitute & requested for the miyazaki dry aged wagyu which was served on the 5-course menu. thanks to our friend, i tried miyazaki wagyu at jaan for the first time! it was fabulous! we were served a black sesame puree on the side, sounded odd, but tasted perfect with the wagyu.  although it is common for western steak cuts to be wet-aged or dry-aged, i have not seen this done for japanese wagyu. don’t know why but jap wagyu are so expensive, and already the flavour is very intense due to the high marbling, so perhaps not common to incur weight loss & intensify flavour further through ageing? anyway i was not complaining as the aged miyazaki wagyu was just exquisite! 🙂

pre dessert

pre-dessert

choconuts

choconuts

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we had a citrous pre-dessert, which had blood orange etc like a palate cleanser., very nice indeed.

#7 then it was the choconut – different temperatures of chocolates..good but no better than previous versions.

we ended with petit four & coffee/tea. it was such a wonderful dinner! 🙂

the entire degustation comprised 7 courses (4 appetisers, 2 mains & 1 dessert) PLUS 2 amuse bouche & 1 pre-dessert, so it was almost like a 10 course degustation.

every dish was great, many were superlative, and it was indeed an artisan cuisine, very pretty, fine & refine, utterly pleasurable.

c.h.e.f andy

Fabulous New Year Eve Dinner Degustation @ Au Jardin on 31Dec2013

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

au jardin new year eve degustation menu

au jardin new year eve degustation menu

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wanted to buy my wife a nice new year eve dinner, and saw the quite attractive menu in au jardin’s website, so decided to make a reservation for 2pax dinner on 31.12.2013.

we had couple of degustation dinners at au jardin many years back (my wife said 10 years ago). they were like 8-course priced at S$200pax  & were really good. i had considered trying the S$150pax table d’hote  (ie prix fixe)menu, but never did. subsequently, the regular menu did not look attractive as it does not today (ie 4-course at S$150pax), so i did not do dinner at au jardin but only occasional lunches (especially the recent maybank 1 for 1 promotion set lunch).

my wife & I generally have the practice not to dine out during public holidays, festive periods, mothers’ day etc as those occasions were very commercilaised & one often ended up paying through the nose (like 50% – 100% more) & getting poor food & poor service. anyhow for this new year eve dinner, au jardin served a 7-course+amuse bouche dinner at $198pax which was no difference in price from 10 years ago & far better menu than the regular S$150pax course menu, so the arrangement suited us fine.

i just wonder why they don’t do such menu regularly, especially when their business had not been good, and they are closing down by 31.3.2014 as a result of huge rental increase (& to me perhaps poor strategy & marketing). sign!

i do not rate au jardin degustation as better than the creative & excellent degustation at Jaan which cost only S$119pax after 50% feed at raffles discount, however one need a change of menu & environment, and most degus restaurants like iggy’s, gunthers etc are far more expensive. others like keystone & saint pierre are a little cheaper but not as fine, and private affairs had closed down.

wife ordered a red. it was expensive, 1/2 bottle for S$85++, but it was a grand cru classe & was really nice though i took maybe 30ml.

amuse bouche - foie gras terrine

amuse bouche – foie gras terrine

blue fin tuna ceviche

blue fin tuna ceviche

cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & uni

cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & uni

iberico pork cheeks, joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffles

iberico pork cheeks, joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffles

dover sole with razor clam & clam emulsion

dover sole with razor clam & clam emulsion

the 7-course dinner (+amuse bouche) came with 4 appetisers, 1 palate cleanser, 1 main, 1 dessert; as well as coffee & petit fours.

we had a warm bread basket. both the baguette & a raisin bread were good. the amuse bouche was a foie gras terrine with tobiko (flying fish roe) & jelly. this wasn’t exceptional & but still a great start to the evening dinner. 🙂

1st course was blue fin tuna ceviche with tobiko. it was nothing inventive, but very sweet & tasty.

the 2nd course, cold pasta with mud crab, caviar & sea urchin, was heavenly, par excellence. it way surpassed gordon grill’s (no comparison really as gordon grill’s was for a S$48pax lunch) & according to my wife likewise c/w gunther’s. 🙂

the 3rd course was a braised iberico pork cheek, with joselito proscuito, egg confit & winter truffle. sous vide low temperature poached egg is a regular feature in fine dining & i really loved the texture enhancement it gave to the dish, the proscuito was excellent, pork cheek so-so & i had already written about the excellent winter truffle here. 🙂

the 4th course was a lightly breaded dover sole served with razor clam & clam emulsion. the dover sole was ok, tender, i guess considered good in a good restaurant, but really average dish by comparison to other courses. the razor clam was great. 🙂

palate cleanser - watermelon, sorbet & lime jelly

palate cleanser – watermelon, sorbet & lime jelly

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

wagyu striploin marbling score 5 rare

pistachio cake, green tea soil, raspberry sorbet

pistachio cake, green tea soil, raspberry sorbet

next we had the palate cleanser – a watermelon confit with sorbet & lime jelly. it was good.

the grilled wagyu striploin MBS5 rare (top photo & second above) was excellent. this was much better than what i did at home. it was done rare & yet totally charred (for maillard reaction that gave flavour to the beef) & served with carrot & root vegetables and a tiny piece of black garlic. superb! 🙂

for dessert, we had pistachio cake with raspberry sorbet. the cake was bland but when taken together with the slightly sour sorbet, it was good. 🙂

my cappuccino was great. the petit fours though was miserable (same as they served for set lunches). mini macarons were too sweet, chocolate was ok.

overall we had an excellent evening of food, wine & conversation. Jaan’s degustation gave far better value.nevertheless i enjoyed this dinner very much & would come back but regrettably they do not serve this in their regular menu. i may consider trying ala carte or their course menu. not sure for now!

happy new year everyone!

happy new year everyone!

and before signing off, happy new year 2014 to all my friends, readers & everyone!

c.h.e.f. andy

Degustation Dinner at My Favourite Restaurant @ Jaan on 8May2013

prawn cannelloni on crustacean jelly decorated with ikura & topped with oscietra cavier

prawn cannelloni on crustacean jelly decorated with ikura & topped with oscietra cavier

recent update = the-best-dinner-degustation-jaan-on-20jan2014

dinner at Jaan has always been a most enjoyable experience. we used to go Jaan quite a lot when Andre Chiang first arrived, and while we enjoyed his degustation dinners we liked his ala carte menu even more. 🙂

when Andre left (predictably) to set up his own restaurant & some swedish chef joined Jaan, we had given it a miss for most part of 1+ years, but somehow managed to rediscover Jaan a year+ ago when it was helmed by Julien Royer, the young current Jaan Chef, and we liked his degustation menu just as much now. 🙂

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7-course Menu Prestige

The Menu Prestige was a 7-course affair. as usual there were 2 great to super & very substantial amuse bouche, as well as a pre-dessert, so it was no less a 10-course meal. 🙂

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the first amuse bouche was 3 small items – a rye cracker with a very nice hummus dip, another cracker & a wonderful eel with jelly stick & croquette.

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the second amuse bouche was a cepes mushroom tea. this was truly sublime with such intense flavours & the best soup I had ever taken anywhere. 🙂 the bread basket came at this point as they baked them fresh. 🙂 I had truffle bread (very nice) and sour dough.

the FIRST course was prawn cannelloni on crustacean jelly decorated with ikura & topped with oscietra cavier. this was wonderful in taste as it was a beautiful picture to behold (see top photo).  I did though find the jelly just a little bit salty.

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the SECOND course was a 55min (at 60degC) rosemary smoked organic egg with iberico chorizo. It had wonderful smoked rosemary flavour. the texture & flavour combination of a very smooth, somewhat sticky egg yoke with savoury chorizo was excellent.

bread & butter crusted Norwegian scallop with pumpkin puree

bread & butter crusted Norwegian scallop with pumpkin puree

THIRD course was a bread & butter crusted Norwegian scallop with pumpkin puree, a great dish. the scallop meat was very sweet & totally consistent – looked like it was sous vide (vacuum low temperature cooking) then deep-fried.

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next, the FOURTH course was pan seared foie gras in 3 large bite-size pieces topped with strawberries & a very good fish broth or dashi stock – this was somewhat new variation to the usual caramelised version & it was easy to eat too with a spoon. 🙂

confit atlantic turbot with squid, grilled leek

confit atlantic turbot with squid, grilled leek

the first Main –  the FIFTH course was an excellent confit atlantic turbot with squid, grilled leek. they called it confit here but they were all sous vide to produce the very excellent consistency & sweetness. My wife liked this very much. I was a bit undecided as while it was good I might actually have preferred a good pan-seared version of this great fish. 🙂

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hay roasted bresse pigeon confit leg with barley & morel mushrooms

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the second Main – the SIXTH course – was hay-roasted bresse pigeon confit leg with barley & morel mushrooms. I had always loved this dish, very sweet & tender both the breast & leg. again, it was sous vide then hay roasted. the barley was excellent touch. 🙂

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very nice pre-dessert sorbet palate cleanser

this was followed by a very nice pre-dessert sorbet palate cleanser.

choconuts version 4 - different flavours of chocolates

choconuts version 4 – different flavours of chocolates

the SEVENTH & last course was a choconuts version 4 – different flavours of chocolates. every version at Jaan was good, basically it was just re-decoration of the same items but showing off the chef artistic plating skills. 🙂

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coffee was served with petite 4 – marshmallows, nutty chocolate, a rock melon sorbet stick, and a rosemary infused profitero lollipop.

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Jaan the restaurant – we had a window seat great view

we managed to get window seat for the evening. the view was great! MBS, Esplanade, the Flyer – very enchanting skyline. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy