Satisfying Dinner with Son @ Aburiya on 7Aug2015

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

had a great family dinner with son (back for summer holidays) at aburiya on 7.8.2015. ^^ from my 3 previous posts, looks like i come here every 6 months, the last one in mar2015. could be more frequent than that & i did not post, but that’s the value of the posts for me, helping me to savour moments of joy. 🙂

yakiniku smokeless grill

yakiniku smokeless grill

aburiya has a good ventilation system & smokeless grill. i talked about this last time when c/w azmaya omakaseya which was poor in ventilation.

kurobuta

kurobuta S$16.90

we had the kurobuta.

kurobuta S$14.90

kurobuta S$14.90

this time we did not take the kurobuta belly. the meat looked marbled. texture was great but more like a loin than the flavourful fatty meat.

karubi S$10.90

karubi S$10.90

we take the cheaper beef, the karubi or short ribs.

karubi negi S$11.90

karubi negi S$11.90

& we orderd karubi negi which came with a seasoned/pickled negi or leek for S$1 more. love the leeks.

jo karubi S$16.90

jo karubi S$16.90

we also had jo karubi, the prime short ribs.

yakiniku grill

yakiniku grill

the meats were ok, not really special & my own homecooked steak dishes like tagliata di manzo are a lot better basically because i use very much better cuts like grain-fed black angus ribeye or striploin & sometimes aussie or even japanese wagyu. still it was very tasty & nice done this way even for cheap meats & we sometimes do teppanyaki ourselves at home, which is just as wonderful. ^^

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

& i just love the kimchi chigae 킴치찌개 here. not even the kimchi nabe hotpot at shirokiya can compare with this in terms of flavours. maybe i will think of some ways to do this at home.

bibimen

bibimen

and we also love the bibimen here.

bibimen

bibimen

really like the noodles & the pork & cucumber condiments mixed in the ubiquitous gochujang sauce고추장. such a wonderful comfort food. maybe can try this at home too, not sure. the dinner sans the sake was about S$30nett pax, pretty ok. 🙂

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Excellent Dinner (as always) @ Aburiya on 8Mar2015

hokkaido wagyu jo karubi

hokkaido wagyu jo karubi

had an excellent dinner with wife on sunday 8.3.2015.

we went to our favourite yakiniku restaurant, aburiya.^^ last time we were here was  6.10.2014.

aburiya 烧屋

aburiya 烧屋

we called up last minute, & was able to still get a seat inside. the outside was quite full though.

hakkaisan

hakkaisan

wife ordered here usual sake, a hakkaisan.

smokeless yakiniku grill

smokeless yakiniku grill

the grill is recessed into the table & also has powerful suction on the side, so it is entirely smokeless. contrast this with axmaya omakaseya yakiniku, which has quite bad ventilation & leaves you smelling of bbq meat when you leave the restuarant.

jo karubi with negi (leeks)

jo karubi with negi (leeks)

the meats were excellent. the hokkaido jo karubi or special boneless beef rib (top photo) was good. so was the jo karubi negi (with leeks). we did not find the hokkaido beef so outstanding for the price actually. the cheaper beef did quite well.

kurobuta belly

kurobuta belly

the kurobuta pork belly was great too. i liked it.

kimchi chigae

kimchi chigae

& we just love the kimchi chigae here. somehow the broth was really very very tasty, even better than the hotpot kimchi nabe at shirokiya.

bibimen

bibimen

bibimen

bibimen

& the other dish we just love was bibimen. i was quite converted actually. i used to like bibimbab a lot more (still like bibimbab) but here we always ordered bibimen. my wife loved it & i liked it a lot now.^^

so tasty with the gojuchang sauce, and it came with a lot of beef. 🙂

the dinner came to S$120nett for 2pax. it was kind of expensive. less the sake it would be like S$90 for 2pax. c/w azmaya omakaseya.

azmaya has much better quality of beef & with the 50% discount the price would be about same or less c/w aburiya for much better beef. however aburiya was a more complete & enjoyable meal for us because we like the kimchi chigae very much and also the bibimen. another thing the ventilation at azmaya is really bad c/w aburiya’s smokeless grill.

for myself though i am quite happy to go back to azmaya if the 50% continues.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Very Good Pork Shabu Shabu 3pax Dinner @ Azmaya on 10Nov2014

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)

went with sis & b-i-l to azmaya for dinner this evening on 10.11.2014. 🙂

i bought S$6pax pork shabu shabu voucher from qoo10. for 3pax its S$18, and we had to pay GST + service to the merchant i.e. azmaya. i had dinner at azmaya a few times before, and food & service were very good. i also read the customers’ review on qoo10 & they were mostly good.

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)z

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)

the single serving of shabu shabu pork had about 10 to 12 slices. i estimated about 100g maybe?

vege for pork shabus shabu set

vege for pork shabus shabu set

there was the usual vege to accompany the meat shabu shabu.

chicken stock for pork shabus shabu set

chicken stock for pork shabus shabu set

there was a choice of konbu (昆布) seaweed soup or chicken soup. i picked chicken soup. 🙂

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)

pork shabus shabu set (S$6pax qoo10 coupon + service & GST)

the quality of pork here was really good, don’t know if it’s kurobuta but it was very flavourful. 🙂 the leek, mushrooms, japanese flat rice noodles (like tanhoon) etc were all good, & there was also udon (we picked udon but there was also a choice of rice).

the service was very good, very polite, and they would serve you when you asked, even though using a cheap voucher.

i think the pricing does not make any sense, but of course i am not complaining. there are fixed costs & there are perishables, so perhaps it’s better to packed it with customers. i am just pleasantly surprised that the restaurant maintained their service attitude so well, and so professional –  you actually get what was advertised & sold to you w/o any fuss.

can’t eat this all the time, but if there is promotion again later will surely come again.

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe @ Shirokiya Cuppage Terrace on 12Oct2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

had a nice kurobuta kimchi nabe at shirokiya cuppage terrace on 12.10.2014. 🙂

last time i came here was on 11.6.2014.

we had a groupon voucher at S$22.80. the usual price of a nabe (there were 3 choices) was S$38.80++ = S$45.70.

my wife & i love kimchi chigae, so we selected the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

additional order of kurobuta (S$9) for kurobuta kimchi nabe

we later added an extra order of kurobuta pork at S$9++.

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

broiled kurobuta S$10.80

we didn’t want carbs, so decided against the bibimbap & the dons like ikura shake don, and ordered the broiled kurobuta. it was like a very tasty chashu that came with a good chashumen. 🙂

kurobuta kimchi nabe - groupon S$22.80nett

kurobuta kimchi nabe – groupon S$22.80nett

the sake were expensive & my wife decided against ordering them. iced water was free.

service was great, and there was a tablet order pad which you could also call for service.

dinner including my groupon voucher was about S$46nett, and we had 3 servings (90g per serving) of kurobuta (2 for the nabe + 1 added).

it was good price. the other items on the menu other than kurobuta though did not excite us. sashimi, maki were expensive c/w what we could get at better restaurants like mikuni & sun with moon wheelock etc. overall, we had better satisfaction at aburiya, though that was more expensive. the kimchi chigae at aburiya was small & actually tastier (of course with very little pork) & we love grilled meats. shirokiya though is not a yakiniku restaurant.

it was pretty ok just for a change.

c.h.e.f andy

Our Favourite Yakiniku @ Aburiya on 6Oct2014

ohmi wagyu beef set

ohmi wagyu beef set – S$39.95

went to aburiya for dinner with wife & daughter on 6.10.2014. 🙂

i had an excellent dinner here last on 19.3.2014. today was just as good! 🙂

yakiniku

yakiniku

aburiya yakiniku

aburiya yakiniku

sake

sake

kimchi chigae

kimchi chigae – S$11.90

kimchi chigae

kimchi chigae – S$11.90

bibimen

bibimen – S$12.90

we ordered our usuals – kimchi chigae & bibimen. i love both these dishes.

kimchi chigae always so tasty, with some slices of thin belly pork. i love the kurobuta kimchi nabe at shirokiya @ cuppage terrace but for a simple small helping of kimchi chigae, aburiya’s is the best.

bibimen is something i come to like because my wife prefers it to bibimbap. now i get to like everything about it, flavours, texture. 🙂

ohmi wagyu beef set

ohmi wagyu beef set – S$39.90

we decided to order the ohmi wagyu beef set (above & top photo). it looked marbled, tasted good, but somehow not quite matching our expectations of the intense marbled flavours of 1 of the 3 best kuroge wagyu (黑毛和牛) in japan, along with kobe & matsuzaka. somehow the last time we had the cheaper hokkaido wagyu here on 19.3.2014, it left a more lasting impression. maybe it’s better just to order karubi or jo-karubi than to have the tokumori mixed set.

for me tajimaya@vivocity’s wagyu was pricy but good too only if there is amex 50% discount, but they did not have the kimchi chigae & bibimen we liked here, so the enjoyment was not the same. 🙂

 jo karubi negi (prime short ribs with leek)

karubi negi (short ribs with leek) – S$11.90

we had the cheap australian angus karubi negi (short ribs with leek). it was quite ok. anyway we had always liked it before we started trying the wagyu here.

kurobuta & iberia pork set

kurobuta & iberia pork set – S$25

kurobuta & iberia pork set

kurobuta & iberia pork set – S$25

we tried the kurobuta & iberia pork set this time. it was really good. certainly better than the karubi. i think overall our enjoyment of the pork was more than even the ohmi tokumori set, not that the ohmi was poor.

the bill

the bill

the bill came to S$143 nett for 3pax including a bottle of sake. quite ok for a very enjoyable dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Food that Pleases @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade Hotel on 13Sep2014

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

time flies. almost a year had passed, the last time i took the fabulous 6-course lobster dinner set at tunglok signature orchard parade hotel was on 19.10.2013.

so i was looking forward to relish the wonderful moments on 13.9.2014. we took the exact same S$98 lobster & seafood set. as i noted previously, it was of exceptional quality, both in terms of quality of ingredients & quality of cooking. 🙂

as before & always, every dish pleases. if i have to pick my least favourite, it would be the kurobuta & it was good too. 🙂

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

duck & duck liver wrap

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

the foie gras & smoked duck wrap was good, tasty, refreshing. i thought the “pan-fried foie gras” tasted similar to the usual unglamorous poached duck liver though.

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

the crab roe sharkskin was super & chokeful of ingredients.

steamed garoupa fillet

steamed soon hock fillet

steamed garoupa fillet

steamed soon hock fillet

the steamed soon hock fillet was very well done, very sweet, tasty, smooth, with the garnishes & sauce as well. i am thinking to replicate this for my home dinners.

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

the pan-fried spanish kurobuta was quite delicious too. if there were not other also great dishes, i would consider this pretty good.

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

the lobster ramen was the best. this time the serving came with shelled 1/2 lobster (before it was a 1/2 lobster in shell). lobster meat was fresh, bouncy, sweet. the sauce was excellent. i was impressed with this dish & thinking how to replicate it at home.

(P.S. i subsequently created my own prawn ramen in golden braising sauce – 黄焖草虾面, not quite the same obviously but anyhow pretty good on its own).

雪种情怀

雪种情怀

& i love the dessert 雪种情怀 – 1 vanilla & 1 coconut ice cream on the usual grapefruit mango puree (杨支甘露).

with palate 50% discounts for 2pax, dinner was S$49pax + S$2pax for the tea. wonderful deal! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

Good 3pax Yakiniku Dinner @ Tajimaya Vivocity on 20Jul2014

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

we had always gone to aburiya. maybe it was familiarity & convenience, even though we knew that tajimaya by the creative eateries group had amex discounts.

this the first time we were dining here. amex offer was 1person off, so 33% discounts for 3pax alacarte exclude drinks. 🙂

looking at the menu we felt the prices were kind of expensive. another negative point was they did not serve tap water. so only 2 options – pay S$5.90++ for 1litre bottled water OR S$3++pax for tea (refillable). we ordered 3 tea, but if i go again, i am quite prepared to go w/o water during the meal. 🙂

i am ok with restaurants charging for water. however i think it should be like S$0.30 or S$0.50 or max S$1 & refillable, NOT S$5.90 for 1 litre water (bottled or tap).

kuroge wagyu karubi - S$54.90

kuroge wagyu karubi – S$54.90

we added the wagyu towards the end decided that since we were there, might as well gave it a try. the kuroge wagyu (黑毛和牛) karubi (short ribs) was good. not sure if worth money even with 33% discounts but it was good. 🙂

ribeye 120g - S$25.90++

ribeye 120g – S$25.90++

karubi 120g - S$25.90++

karubi 120g – S$25.90++

kurobuta pork jowl - S$18.90

kurobuta pork jowl – S$18.90

our first orders were the USA ribeye & karubi, and the kurobuta pork jowl. all were good though my wife preferred the beef shio (just salt) so we late had the wagyu order shio.

for me, both beef were good, and the kurobuta was best. 🙂

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

yakiniku @ tajimaya vivocity

beef ishiyaki don - S$15.90

beef ishiyaki don – S$15.90

belly pork ishiyaki don - S$15.90

belly pork ishiyaki don – S$13.90

we had the beef ishiyaki don. we must be hungry as we added also the pork ishiyaki don.

how did tajimaya match up with aburiya. we missed our favourite kimchi chigae & the bibimen (cold spicy noodles) at aburiya. the ishiyaki don here i would rate as better than aburiya’s bibimbab as it had a lot more ingredients – quite substantial beef & pork. meat wise my wife still preferred aburiya. i am ok with both.

our dinner was S$186nett for 3pax after discounts. that though included the expensive wagyu & also S$30++ for sake & S$9++ for 3 tea.

for me, tajimaya was too ex w/o discounts. with discount, it was an alternative to aburiya though I preferred aburiya also for the kimchi chigae & bibimen. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

13pax ala Carte Buffet Dinner @ Peach Garden Miramar on 30Jun2014

#1 char siew

#1 char siew

#2 roast pork

#2 roast pork

our dinner group decided to have get-together at peach garden miramar on 30.6.2014. food was ala carte buffet at S$30.80++ and 3 paying 1 free, quite good deal really. 🙂

the food was generally good, better than our last group dinner at ban heng orchard central on 25.4.2014. the service was very good too, friendly & jovial, and we all decided to give a substantial tip afterwards. 🙂 it was also 1/2 the price & better quality than the one i had recently at restaurant home on 25.6.2014.

#1 char siew (a charcoaled grilled pork neck) was good as usual.

#2 roast pork was good this evening, crispy & tasty, with the mustard dip.

#3 pork floss egg plant

#3 pork floss egg plant

#3 pork floss egg plant was good here. the egg plant batter was very light & the texture & taste combination was excellent.

#4 drunken chicken

#4 drunken chicken

#4 drunken chicken looked processed in appearance. taste was ok with wine infused flavour.

#5 yuzu prawns

#5 yuzu prawns

#6 wasabi prawns

#6 wasabi mayo prawns

#5 yuzu prawns was very good, crispy, prawns were fresh & the slight citric yuzu flavour was great.

#6 likewise the wasabi mayo prawns.

#7 fish fritters

#7 fish fritters

#7 fish fritters was average. fish was so so, the crispy batter was quite well done.

#8 sharksbone soup with lobster claw

#8 sharks bone soup with lobster claw

#8a crab meat/roe sharksfin

#9 crab meat/roe sharksfin

there was a limit of 1 order of soup per person.

#8 the sharks bone soup was ok. i had it the last time. i thought the lie tongs (例汤), soup of the day, at tunglok & imperial treasure were better.

#9 i tried the crab meat/roe sharkskin this time, it was quite ok.

#10 deep-fried soon hock

#10 deep-fried soon hock

#10 the deep-fried soon hock was good, better than when i had it last time. meat was fresh, moist & tasty. we had 2 orders.

#11 kurobuta pork

#11 kurobuta pork

#11 kurobuta pork was ok.

#12 sauteed beef

#12 sauteed beef

#12 the sautéed beef was overly sweet & artificially tender, edible but not much in demand by the diners.

#13 braised beef briskets & tendon

#13 braised beef briskets & tendon

#13 the braised beef briskets & tendon was quite good. we had 2 orders.

#14 pan-fried venison

#14 pan-fried venison

#14 pan-fried venison. this not really a favourite for me, no different from any coffershop zichar stalls.

#15 pating fish

#15 pating fish

#15 pating fish was a favourite for me. this time it was quite well done, very fresh & tasty. i suggested to the manager that for a live fish, it would be better presentation to serve a fish head portion or 1/2 a fish rather than in cut pieces. he said the fish   might be too big so they had it served in cut portions. hmm..actually most pating served here in singapore were 1kg or 700g fish.

#16 cauliflowers & brocoli

#16 cauliflowers & brocoli

#17 string beans with sliced scallops

#17 string beans with sliced scallops

#18 spinach with 3 eggs

#18 spinach with 3 eggs

we had 3 different vege. they were all good.

$16 cauliflower & brocoli was simple & tasty & great colour combination.

#17 string beans were good too, though the thinnest of sliced scallops didn’t contribute anything to the dish.

#18 spinach with 3 eggs was quite standard, mediocre actually & a very large portion.

#19 杨支甘露

#19 杨支甘露

#20 bubur hiram with ice cream

#20 bubur hitam with ice cream

#21 ice jelly

#21 ice jelly

most of us ordered 2 or 3 dessert each.

#19 i did not try the 杨支甘露. it should be quite standard.

#20 the bubur hitam with ice cream was a crowd favourite.

#21 the ice jelly was kind of plain.

another joyous dinner with good food, company, fellowship & memories. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Great Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe Dinner @ Shirokiya on 11Jun2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

bought a groupon voucher for a japanese hotpot at shirokiya cuppage terrace branch (S$22.80 voucher for a S$38.80++ nabe) & went with my sis for a 2pax dinner on 11.6.2014. 🙂

there were 3 choices of nabe for the S$38.80 price option, 2 were chicken.  we picked the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

there were about 10 large slices of kurobuta belly pork (the restaurant said 160g for 2 servings), and you could add another serving (80g) for S$9++.

kurobuta was quite excellent. nabe also came with 4 mussels (ok la..), tofu, lots of vegetables & kimchi. it was a good tasty & satisfying nabe.

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

the other menu items though did not attract me. sashimi salad at S$20.80++, sushi & sashimi were quite ex, assorted sushi maki was S$25.80++. i would rather take these at mikuni or sun with moon at wheelock.

there was a (limited order) S$17.80 grilled salmon belly that looked great but was too large for 2 of us. we considered a S$13.80++ ishiyaki kurobuta don but decided we didn’t need the carb & selected the S$10.80 broiled kurobuta. this was really good! 🙂 a very tasty, flavourful, generous helping.

both items were very good. dinner came to S$35.50 nett (S$22.80+S$12.70). i bought 2 more shirokiya vouchers when i got home. 🙂

not sure i would do this at the usual price of S$38.80++, but at 1/2 price S$22.80, it was very good value. the very good kimchi chigae at aburiya cost S$13.80 for <1/2 portion & <20% pork (& not kurobuta) by comparison. azmaya used to offer 50% discount for pork shabu shabu ala carte buffer at S$12++. currently there is only a S$17.50 pork shabu shabu set, which comes to S$35 for 2pax c/w S$22.80. so shirokiya’s groupon offer great value. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Ala Carte Buffet @ Peach Garden Miramar on 8May2014

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drunken chicken

went with sis, b-i-l & a friend to peach garden miramar on 8.5.2014. they were having a 3paying 1 free promotion for 4pax at S$30.80 weekdays. 🙂

#1 the drunken chicken was 1/2 frozen & did not look great (my one looked better..haha) but the taste was good! much better than mine. 🙂

1506858_10152378984954494_6123394012878104421_n

pork floss with deep-fried eggplant

#2 we all liked the pork floss & also the light battered egg plant, very nice dish! 🙂

1017770_10152378984984494_5967512635601923651_n

deep-fried soon hock

10314680_10152378985109494_3870633068523049723_n

deep-fried soon hock

#3 deep-fried soon hock was ok, above average, perhaps a little better than the recent one at ban heng on 25.4.2014, but not the best.

10320439_10152378985209494_6355819162578006327_n

pork ribs

#4 the pork ribs were flavourful. meat not the most tender, just slightly chewy, taste was good.

1005799_10152378985274494_7232902428204478284_n

crab sauce tofu

#5 crab sauce & tofu were good. look-wise seems something missing in this dish..maybe some garnish or greens.

10171024_10152378985314494_2387325263972722229_n

pating fish

#6 pating my favourite fish. this method of preparation not the best. the minced ginger or HK steamed style much better.

roast pork - below par!

roast pork – below par!

#7 it seemed really odd that a roast pork dish in such a restaurant could be bad, but it was, much below par!

char siew

char siew

#8 we were already very full when i spotted the char siew later & had to order it. this was very good! almost imperial treasure standard. 🙂

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losbter claw sharksfin soup

10259956_10152378985804494_6656441841154097751_n

sea cucumber sharksfin soup

#9 each diner was only allowed 1 order of soup. i had the lobster claw sharksfin soup. it was very average soup (not even as good as any lie tong aka soup of the day from tonglok restaurants or imperial treasure), and the sea cucumber sharksfin seemed no better.

1969406_10152378986004494_2354574252869054277_n

hotplate venison

#10 venison was very average, like any zi char stall.

10349873_10152378986284494_7722912106548240791_n

pan-fried kurobuta

#11 kurobuta itself was tender & tasty. this chinese way of preparation though not my favourite.

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dried scallop eggwhite fried rice

#12 fried rice was good, fragrant! 🙂

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yuzu prawn fritters

#13 these were very nice, much better than wasabi mayo prawns preparation. 🙂 may try these at home.

10007466_10152378986599494_253898085367815147_n

fried scallop with french beans

#14 this was like a joke. the scallops turned out to be like 1 medium scallop (or maybe 1/2) sliced into 10 pieces. you need real skills to slice it so thinly. a case of disappearing scallop dish. 😦

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indonesian prawn

#15 surprisingly, the indonesian prawn dish was very good. prawn was good & fresh & the curry sauce was very good.

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tofu with vege

#16 this was ok, pretty standard.

brocoli & cauliflower

brocoli & cauliflower

#17 brocoli & cauliflower was very well done, very tasty! 🙂

overall food was quite good for an ala carte buffet, a lot better certainly c/w ban heng.

the service was good, efficient & friendly throughout except when paying the bill. we were charged a really hefty S$1.50pax for ice water & S$1pax for towels, so there was an extra S$10++ tab on the bill. it was a bit high but ok except that we asked specifically at the beginning when deciding whether to order tea & was told by the server that water was FREE, and tea was S$2.50pax. i told the girl closing the bill. she said water was as charged (next time i need to record the conversation. haha!). anyway, the total bill after 1pax free came to $120nett=S$30nett per pax so i was quite ok to just pay it.

i would come back again but buffets were very heavy & not ideal for me to do too often. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Dinner with Brother & Sister @ Chao Yue Xuan on 28Oct2013

braised abalone, fish maw & brocoli

braised abalone, fish maw & brocoli

another quick update – went back for the S$38pax groupon 7-course set @ chao yue xuan wth my brother & sister on 28.10.2013. food was pretty much the same as the memorable lunch i had with 4 friends on 21.8.2013. most dishes were still good, especially the soup, abalone & kurobuta. this time however, the lobster was much below par. 🙂

chicken salad with goma sauce

chicken salad with goma sauce

star garoupa fillet in beer soup

star garoupa fillet in beer soup

steamed 1/2lobster in superior sauce

steamed 1/2lobster in superior sauce

pan-fried kurobuta pork

pan-fried kurobuta pork

tau kee & spinach

tau kee & spinach

yeefu noodles

yeefu noodles

the chicken salad looked pretty, was quite good though kind of heavy & sesame sauce a bit overpowering.

the soup was good, though not better than a good lie tong.

the abalone was excellent, good in taste & bite accompanied by the defining brown braising sauce. 🙂

the kurobuta was tasty & my brother liked it especially.

the 1/2 lobster though was a tremendous let down. the meat was not bouncy – seemed not live & overcooked (something that don’t happen much these days with all the controlled kitchen environment). this really took away the shine from this set – look at the corresponding photo of the lobster when i had it here on 21.8.2013.

the vege & noodles were run of the mill & i didn’t take the green bean dessert of the day included in the set. overall, the set was poorer in quality c/w what i had here previously though menu items were same.  i guess it was still very good value at S$38nett (chao yue xuan & ah yat though charged S$2.40pax for tea & peanuts whether or not you take them, & the tea was quite ok).

but price aside, the poorer quality overall made it less “wow”and just another good value above average set. so i would choose to go back to tunglok signature for the lobster & seafood set with palate 50% weekend discounts even though that cost a bit more.

c.h.e.f andy

Best Lobster 6-course Dinner @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade on 19Oct2013

foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap

foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap

foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap

foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap

(P.S. also had dinner ala carte orders here at tunglok signature on 28.11.2012).

had a best value dinner & among the best lobster dinner at tunglok signature at orchard parade hotel on 19.10.2013. 🙂 tunglok has a rather unusual arrangement with palate/amex where you get the usual 1 person off ie 50% discount for 2pax but then only for alacarte during weekdays and only for set meals during weekends. the latter is odd (surely if you give discounts for sets you should also give discounts for alacarte?) but quite fine with me as long as i get my discounts….haha. 🙂

sharksfin with crabmeat & roe

sharksfin with crabmeat & roe

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steamed soon hock fillet in light soya sauce

steamed soon hock fillet in light soya sauce

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lobster noodles

lobster noodles

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we chose the S$98 lobster & seafood set. it was of exceptional quality, both in terms of quality of ingredients & quality of cooking. 🙂

the first course was a foie gras, smoked duck & crispy beancurd skin in pancake wrap (top 2 photos). this was excellent. fusion stuff are novel but frequently fail in taste (and/or matching) departments, but this was excellent! the texture & flavours of the foie gras & smoked duck & beancurd skin combined with the thick pancake wrap was unique & wonderful. 🙂

the crabmeat & roe soup was chokeful of ingredients – sharksfin, crabmeat & lots of roe (the photos tell it all). it was sweet & tasty enough but still lacking c/w the very flavourful braised crabmeat sharksfin soup (or the fishmaw soup) at majestic. we added vinegar & it tasted better (we don’t add vinegar when savouring the soup at majestic). still it was a rather good soup.

the steamed soon hock in light soya sauce was likewise super. flavour-wise almost as good as a chilean seabass done the same way, though soon hock would be inferior in taste & texture c/w chilean seabass. 🙂

the kurobuta was for me the least competent among the very good dishes. it was quite “well done” & little dry & did not taste much different from an ordinary pork chop, and not as good as the kurobuta steak served at the lobster set at chao yue xuan.

the lobster noodle though was par excellence. the lobster & superior sauce flavours were much better than chao yue xuan & as good or better than that offered at the lobster & abalaone set at xin cuisine. the lobster at the recent set we had at ah yat would be far down the list. 🙂

杨枝甘露 with ice cream

杨枝甘露 with ice cream

杨枝甘露 with ice cream

杨枝甘露 with ice cream

lime watermelon drink?

lime watermelon drink?

the 6-course menu

the 6-course menu

& the dessert 杨枝甘露 with ice cream was super as well. in other joints like ah yat & chao yue xuan, they often give you red bean soup etc for dessert just to pass off the course numbers. here we had very good tasty dessert, as we did also at xin cuisine.

the cost for the scrumptious meal was just S$98++ for 2pax PLUS S$3++ for 2 tea covers (ah yat charges S$2.40pax tea covers).  this is one excellent deal which i will certainly do again, & i would also try the other S$78pax set.

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Lobster & Abalone Lunch @ Chao Yue Xuan on 21Aug2013

1/2 Baked Boston Lobster in Superior Soup (上汤局)

1/2 baked boston lobster in superior soup (上汤局)

See also my update on 28.10.2013.

P.S. there was another S$156 4pax 7-course set promotion at ah yat @ turf city but this was still better!

this was a superb 8-course set at chao yue xuan and for just S$38 + S$2.50++pax for peanuts, tea & towels. 🙂

S$38 8-course lobster & abalaone set

S$38 8-course lobster & abalaone set

in terms of quality of ingredients & taste, it was quite superior to the value lobster set i had there previously.  i would say it was equal or even better than the fine dining lobster & abalone set at xin cuisine.

the 5 of us were there at 1pm on 21.8.2013, the restaurant was 1/2 full & we had a table at a private corner.

shredded chicken with sesame ssalad

shredded chicken with sesame salad

the starter was a shredded chicken in sesame salad. it was good, tasty & the helping was rather large.

garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot

garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot

garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot

garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot

next we had star garoupa fillet with beer in hot stone pot (the ala carte price for this dish alone was S$28++), & it was very good, very tasty & the fish fillet were excellent. 🙂

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the braised whole yoshihama abalone was top quality, excellent in taste & bite & it came with 花胶(fishmaw) & brocoli. 🙂

the 1/2 baked lobster (top photo) was again par excellence, very very tasty with the superior soup.

pan-fried kurobuta pork chop

pan-fried kurobuta pork chop

pan-fried kurobuta pork chop

pan-fried kurobuta pork chop

same with the pan-fried kurobuta pork chop.  i thought it looked & tasted like a galbi beef rib cut served in majestic restaurant but the menu said kurobuta. anyhow taste was great!

poached vegetables with dried beancurd skin

poached vegetables with dried beancurd skin

braised ee-fu noodle with mushroom

braised ee-fu noodle with mushroom

the poached vegetable with beancurd skin was also very good. i supposed by comparison the ee-fu noodles was ordinary, but it was still a good, not poor, dish.

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& the snow fungus with date dessert was refreshing & enjoyable too…really every item was good & i could only sing praises – such excellent ingredients & preparation for soup, lobster, abalone & kurobuta. 🙂 actually i think it was an incredible deal at S$38 + S$2.50++pax= about S$41nett. 🙂 i have already bought more vouchers to go back!

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Set Lunch @ Pollen on 22Jul2013 (Part 1)

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

pickled anchovies, orange salad & olives & chilled fennel soup

i first dined at Pollen Street Social at Pollen Street Mayfair in Oct2011 when my wife & i were visiting our son in London. at the time Jason Atherton had just started the London restaurant for 1/2 year & already gained his 1st michelin star. while he did have pedigree association/partnership for 10 years with various Gordon Ramsay restaurants including Maze, he obviously collected quite many accolades in his own right & we had excellent lunches at Pollen & revisited it a few times. the set lunches were GBP22 for 2-course & GBP25.50 for 3-course then. I checked the website – it is GBP26 & GBP29.5 today.

on this day (22.7.2013), my dining quartet decided to lunch at Pollen @ Gardens by the Bay.  Pollen offered a S$55pax 3-course lunch inclusive of admission to Flower Dome (S$12). with DBS card there was a free wine (which cost S$18) or mocktail for each (promotion till Dec2013),  together it was a rather good deal. and so it was even better when the food was truly good, and the service too (they have a free buggy from carpark A pick-up point to restaurant doorstep as well). 🙂

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen Restaurant @ Gardens By The Bay.

Pollen was just located with the Flower Dome, so ambience was great!

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

S$55pax 3-course set lunch menu

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& nice crockery. 3 of us had a red, 1 friend took a mocktail.

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there were bread (with apple mustard puree, black sesame butter & herb butter) & some small bites to get started – crispy pig skin & risotto croquette with truffle & aubergines. nice! 🙂

texture of potatoes

texture of potatoes

3 of us took the pickled anchovies & chilled fennel soup, & 1 took the texture of potatoes & clearly enjoyed it. i liked the combination of somewhat salty & savoury anchovies with the chilled soup.

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

aussie ocean trout, gnocchi, pea puree, shimeji, garlic emulsion

for the main i picked the pan-seared trout. the crispy skin was done very well. i generally enjoy sea perch, chilean seabass or cod better than salmon (which i find one gets satiated easily), but this trout was very flavourful.  i liked it. 🙂

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

roast kurobuta pork belly & asparagus, black sesame, miso

my other friends all opted for the kurobuta pork belly with miso & black sesame. it was very good too. i thought then i would try out a miso pork belly at home.

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

thai peanut, green apple, kaffir lime

banana with madras curry ice cream

banana with madras curry ice cream

70% dark choclate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

70% dark chocolate, coffee, rum raisin, truffle honey

all the desserts were very good. i liked my banana & madras curry a lot. the thai peanut & kaffir lime was very refreshing & the dark chocolate everyone liked even if it was more common place. 🙂

petite fours

petite fours

we had petit fours (chocolate, nougat, pastilles & cookie)  & coffee. 1 friend was educating us that petit four meant “small oven” nothing to do with 4 items. indeed she was right & it was a good fun thing to learn while enjoying a great meal. 🙂

i will do a separate post on the complementary visit to Flower Dome, which i enjoyed very much.  my friend made a very good lunch choice with Pollen indeed. even w/o free wine, 3-course+coffee & entrance to Flower Dome was a fair deal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner on 1Jul2013

had a wonderful dinner get-together with friends on 1.7.2013. 🙂

got the usual faithful to come over to try out a few new dishes like Nobu miso cod, simmered crispy skin salmon &  kurobuta steak. 🙂 few other dishes like Jap chashu belly pork, funghi risotto, pistachio lamb etc, some have tried before but many have not.

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner Menu

10pax Homegourmet 9-course Dinner Menu

i did a 9-course dinner – the first 4 were served as tapas for sharing, followed by baked funghi risotto & spicy seafood alio olio with white wine, and then 2 main courses Nobu miso cod & Spanish slow-braised beef ribs OR pistachio crusted rack of lamb, and finish off with the usual chocolate lava cake. 🙂

as i had learned earlier, everything was about planning, so planning what could be precooked & the cooking/reheating. serving sequence was the key. the kurobuta steak & wagyu of course had to pan-fry on the spot when all the diners arrived. likewise tossing of the mesclun salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt only when about to serve. the best that could be done for risotto was to precook (mine was a baked version in oven) but still needed to add stock & cream, reheat & reduce w/o overcooking the rice. for the seafood alio olio, the prawn & squid & spaghetti were pre-cooked but the wine, reduction etc & tossing was best done on reheating, again to keep the pasta al dente w/o overcooking. 🙂 likewise the rack of lamb took 22mins in the oven, and i had to start that while reheating the risotto, so that the lamb could be served not too long after the spaghetti which came after the risotto. the beef ribs was precooked but needed reheating and the miso cod which took 11 mins had to be done after the lamb. 🙂

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first 2 tapas were pan roasted brined chicken breast & thigh (i used to serve only breast but seemed like many preferred thigh) and a sampling of pan-fried kurobuta steak & Japanese chashu oven slow-braised belly pork in mirin, sake, sugar & light soy sauce. these served together with mesclun salad. 🙂 after resting the meats & cutting, i saw that the kurobuta was slightly pink so i decided to re-fry 2 of the 3 pieces. that delayed the start of the dinner a bit, but seemed that many friends actually did not mind the less well done piece, so i think would be better to serve it just slightly pink (about medium well) next time. 🙂

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next up was pan-fried MBS 4/5 wagyu steak. the above left photo showed the kurobuta steak which looked more marbled than the wagyu. i did the wagyu medium rare at the centre, so it was a bit well at the ends. i think i would do it rare the next time. 🙂

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ebi miso yaki

as WL did not take beef (everytime he had to repeat the story, this time to Oonch), i did ebi miso yaki (the medium prawns were marinated in miso for 3 days & stored in the chiller) for him from the miso i made to use for Nobu miso cod. 🙂

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i did 2 fillet of salmon first simmered 8 mins skin-up in mirin, sake, sugar, then pan-fried to get the crispy skin. this dish was quite easily done & just needed to heat up before serving. i cut the 2 fillet into 10 bite-size pieces & served in a white bowl & just poured the slightly sweet tasty sauce over it.  the salmon did look nice & tasted quite ok, but i think it was kind of a “nothing” dish that just looked good but could do with or without. 🙂

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everyone liked the baked funghi risotto which had nice, intense mushroom flavour from button mushrooms & shimeji. this time the rice (i used a cheaper USA sushi rice & not real stuff – italian arborio rice) was al dente. JK felt it was too wet. that was because i did not estimate well the stock + cream to add on reheating but had to leave it wet as it would overcook before i could make it drier. 🙂

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next, spicy seafood spaghetti alio olio. so far this had turned out quite well in taste everytime & visuals too. 🙂

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then we had a choice the pistachio crusted rack of lamb (i cooked only 1 rack of 8ribs to serve 4) OR Spanish slow-braised beef ribs (which had 2x3ribs to serve 6). 🙂

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the Spanish ribs were inspired by a lunch last year at La Cicala with my son. my son preferred La Cicala’s beefy brown sauce. i decided though to pick up an internet recipe with a sweet vegetable ratatouille to balance the beefy ribs. i used carrots, celery, yellow onions, & red pepper, i did not get chorizo so substituted with chinese sausage & also used tumeric for the colour in place of expensive saffron. 🙂

Nobu miso cod

Nobu miso cod

the last main course was Nobu miso cod. like the rack of lamb, kurobuta, & wagyu, i got the cod from mmmm at West Coast Plaza. the key was to marinate in miso for 3days or more. the result was a very “jit bee” 入味 tasty cod.  the cod was firm, tasty & quite tender. my personal preference is a firm & springy (& oily) fish, so i like cod but i like chilean seabass a bit better, though it is not so environmentally correct to consume them. 🙂

chocolate lava cakes with cherries, strawberries & grapes

chocolate lava cakes with cherries, strawberries & grapes

the last up was chocolate lava cake. this took just 3mins 40secs in the oven so anything could go wrong. this time it was my phone timer (phone was in silent mode! OMT!) so i thought the first batch might turned out to be brownies.  but it turned out to be ok with quite a bit of lava. the second batch though had lots of lava.

c.h.e.f andy

Pan-fried Kurobuta Steak

pan-fried kurobuta steak

pan-fried kurobuta steak

just realised that i did not put up the recipe for pan-fried kurobuta steak.

i was looking for a main course item to add to Nobu Miso Cod to cook for my wife for the Mother’s Day 6-course Homegourmet Dinner. 🙂

the technique is largely what I use for pan-fried angus or wagyu steak in tagliata di manzo – a good dry steak at room temperature seasoned with sea salt & coarse black pepper, and a very hot pan, & voila! the only difference being that for a beef steak, i mostly do it medium rare whereas for kurobuta (i use either iberico or yorkshire black pig bought from mmmm) i do it well done.

pan-fried kurobuta steak

pan-fried kurobuta steak

my understanding of pan-fried steak (or say scallops) is basically one of temperature. once you get the temperature right not much can go wrong & you just have to get the doneness right. So the pan has to be very hot (& well greased with olive oil & butter), and the meat has to be dry (air dry in fridge or pat dry with kitchen towels) and at room temperature, so that the steak can be seared quickly to seal in the juices, and to achieve maillard reaction. if the meat is wet, the pan temperature drop sharply & you will be poaching instead of searing.  the only other thing to remember is to let the steak rest for 5-10mins to redistribute the juices, before you cut it. 🙂

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we find the kurobuta from mmmm to be excellent in some way equal or better than angus striploin, but of course not comparable with the wagyu MBS 4/5 striploin. of course these things are very much a matter of personal taste preference. 🙂

it seems to me that anyone can cook an excellent steak at home with a good piece of meat. so i don’t do steaks out often these days unless it is at a very good restaurant. it is surprising though that many restaurants sometimes deliver a mediocre or poor steak when they get the temperature wrong, which is something they should never do!

c.h.e.f andy

Directions:

  1. remove kurobuta (1/2in to 3/4in think cuts) from fridge & leave at room temperature for 1/2hr.  pat dry & season with sea salt & coarse black pepper on both sides.
  2. heat a non-stick skillet. add 1 tablespoon olive oil & add 10g butter. when the pan is very hot & just begins to smoke. add the steak (say 2 pieces) w/o crowding the pan. making sure the places where the steaks are sitting are well greased. turn heat to medium after 1 min. when the steak is cooked 1/2 way up on the side, turn heat to high & flip over and turn down to medium after 1 min.
  3. remove meat from pan to cutting board & rest for 5mins before serving.

Homegourmet 6-course Dinner for belated Mother’s Day on 1June2013

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usually my wife & I & family avoid the actual days of public holidays or commercialised offerings like Valentine Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day etc to dine out. 🙂 while there are good reasons to do on certain occasions, mostly it does not make sense to spend atrocious amount of monies for lesser service & food quality experience, which is what you get when the restaurants are jam-packed & servers are harried.

on those occasions we would either go on an earlier or later date or select a restaurant that served the usual menu or the very few which served a better menu at better prices on special occasions – Majestic was one which served great ala carte buffet for Christmas & New Year but for this year seem to have stopped doing for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day (not to forget they served an excellent World Gourmet Summit Dinner recently). 🙂

for this time, since I cook a decent meal at home these days, we thought we would do Mother’s Day at home instead. However I was called away by the Hong Kong Eat & Hike group and was in Hong Kong on 10.5.2013. and after that I was away in Kyoto/Osaka with my sis & my wife was away with daughter & her friend also. so we decided on a belated Mother’s Day home dinner on 1.6.2013 which also coincided with another special day for us. 🙂

there were only 4 of us for dinner. I wanted to do the Nobu miso cod for my wife as she was never into lamb & now less into beef . so I designed a 6-course dinner but reduced the quantity. 🙂

calamari (by auntie Bes)

calamari

first we had a very good calamari – this one was done by aunty Bes. she did this quite many times now and was becoming very good at it. I added this dish as my eldest daughter does not take some of the other dishes.

pan-roasted brined chicken breas

pan-roasted brined chicken breast

pan-fried kurobuta steak

pan-fried kurobuta steak

the pan-roasted brined chicken breast & the pan-fried kurobuta were served together with the calamari as a tapas – for eating & chatting around the table. 🙂 chicken was good as always & the kurobuta from mmmm was very good (though I think wagyu is still better but this kurobuta is better than the normal ribeye & striploin). 🙂

chashu for chashumen - Japanese braised belly pork

chashu – Japanese braised belly pork

chashumen - runny yoke egg & Japanese braised belly pork

chashumen – runny yoke egg & Japanese braised belly pork

next I had a pre-prepared chashumen dish ready to serve – only have to boil the soup from the braising sauce & pour over the noodles. 🙂  The chashu or Japanese braised belly pork was done the usual standard fare for ramen style & I am now able to consistently produce a 6minute runny yoke egg. I used very small quantities of thin white Japanese noodles instead of ramen so it was less “je lak” and also to reduce the carbo. 🙂

vongole fettucine

vongole fettucine

I did a really splendid spicy vongole fettucine in white wine the last time in my first attempt. this time the littleneck clams were again super, the pasta was tasty but not as good as the first time. 🙂

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Nobu miso cod

Nobu miso cod

the Nobu miso cod was again super -so tasty, and such wonderful bite & texture. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Food & Ambience @ Ochre at Orchard Central on 25Feb2013

antipasti platter

antipasti platter

a friend close to me now resident at Cupertino California with his family came calling and a few of us arranged to have a quiet 5pax dinner.  I had an expiring 50% discount voucher from Kitchen Language which owns Ochre, Salta, Kumo etc so decided to do dinner at Ochre @ Orchard Central. 🙂

Ochre has a nice dining setting & ambience. It was one of the restaurants that had earlier offered palate discounts so I frequented it quite a few times then. The food was good for the price after palate discounts and as Ochre does not charge service, I used to provide the equivalent 10% in tip to the waiting staff.

For this evening, we had 7 dishes-

  1. antipasti platter
  2. beef carpaccio
  3. seafood linguine
  4. meat-eater pizza
  5. sous vide beef cheeks & kurobuta pork
  6. osobucco on a bed of risotto
  7. funghi risotto

using UOB Kitchen Language 50% discount voucher, we paid S$124nett for 7 dishes for 5pax, so its just S$25nett pax, truly great value for such food quality & ambience. 🙂

the anitpasti was good & substantial – with buffalo mozzarella, parma ham with rock melon, smoked salmon with caviar, artichoke. olives & cherry tomatoes with feta cheese.

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the beef carpaccio with rockets & parmesan shavings was also good.  the seafood linguine though was really average. I think I consistently do mine better!

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the meat-eater pizza was again very average (pizza not my thing but currently I like quatro fromage (4-cheese) pizza after trying a very good one some time back at Alfresco Gusto)- which is not saying so good for an Italian joint to have very average pizza & pasta..well, can’t have everything cheap & good I guess..

the duo sous vide beef cheek & kurobuta pork was quite ok, and actually my friends quite liked this savoury dish.

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the osobucco was the usual good for osobucco in most italian joints, but the bed of risotto not good – not creamy & “pang” (fragrant”) as it should be. clearly they were not good at risotto as the next dish – a funghi risotto which like a vongole dish should define good risotto & pasta dishes – was mushy & not fragrant, again below par!

The restaurant was maybe 40% full on a Monday night & we had a good quiet table though likely not for the other diners as we were laughing quite a bit & quite noisy. 🙂

after dinner we moved to the lobby level and had a nice cuppa to continue our chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy