Very Good 6pax Suckling Pig Set @ Ah Yat Grandstand on 4Jan2015

#1 lobster salad

#1 lobster salad

today my very close friend’s birthday.

last evening i arranged a birthday dinner for him at ah yat seafood @ grandstand turf club road on 4.1.2015. 🙂

happens that my god-sis & her husband’s birthday were also just past, so we had a 6pax dinner together with my other 2 close friends.

i ordered the 6pax lobster sharkskin abalone 9-course dinner. it was very good, quite expected. the place was crowded & noisy like a fish market, with 2 tables next to us having endless drinking challenge & making a din. we used to say that the place did not matter since we would be the table making the most noise. this time though we were not. ^^

anyway, the birthday boys & girl were all happy with the trade-off – good food for fish market noises. 🙂

#1 lobster salad

#1 lobster salad

#1 lobster salad. canned fruit salad was refreshing, and a friend cleared off everything. 🙂 as a lobster dish, lobster salad always suspect to me, few lobster pieces & lots of fruit salad, could never really compared with a proper lobster dish.

#2 sharksfin soup

#2 sharksfin soup

#2 sharksfin soup

#2 sharksfin soup

#2 sharksfin soup was sweet & tastier than i expected, but not quite the standard of ah yat abalones forum restaurant.

#3 suckling pig - this was so good

#3 suckling pig – this was so good

#3 suckling pig - this was so good

#3 suckling pig – this was so good

the #3 suckling pig was really par excellence. it was so good, crispy & tasty, equal or better than the suckling pig  at hung kang or at summer garden SAFRA mt faber.

#4 fish maw with leeks

#4 fish maw with leeks

#4 fish maw with leeks

#4 fish maw with leeks

#4 fish maw with leeks was good too. not the expensive 花胶. still a tasty dish.

#5 abalones, mushrooms & chinese cabbage

#5 abalones, mushrooms & chinese cabbage

#5 abalones, mushrooms & chinese cabbage

#5 abalones, mushrooms & chinese cabbage

#5 abalones, mushrooms & chinese cabbage another great dish. abalones were smaller & no comparison with the abalones in brown sauce at ah yat abalones forum restaurant. of course. still it was great dish. i liked the mushrooms & chinese cabbage too.

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed tiger garoupa

#6 hk steamed 港蒸tiger garoupa was tops. better than tau heung restaurant in HK.

#7 fried suckling pig meat

#7 fried suckling pig meat

i enjoyed the #7 fried suckling pig meat too, but really i thought just chopping up the meat & head would be just as good.

#8 yee meen

#8 yee meen

#8 yee meen – passable i guess.

#9 birds' nest

#9 bird’s nest

#9 bird’s nest was kind of forgettable dish for me, zero impact.

we had excellent company, good food & great memories..a most enjoyable evening. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Below Par (for the Price) 4pax Dinner @ Restaurant Home on 25Jun2014

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

was truly disappointed with the S$59.80+ ala carte buffet at restaurant home on 25.6.2014. 😦

probably had to do with wrong expectations, as the award winning chef tan yong hua has so many accolades, not least the first singaporean chef to win against iron Chef Thailand. also the price of S$59.80+pax would be quite ok if the dishes were good & not just mediocre.

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

#1 the mini buddha-jump-over-the-wall(bjotw) had a light decent soup base (not intense & maybe that was intended), a good flower mushroom, a quite small abalone which was ok & lots of chicken plus a cheap fish maw (not 花胶). i supposed average ingredients were quite ok if the soup was really tasty. it was not a bad soup. 1 of us commented any lie tong (例汤) soup of the day by tunglok or imperial treasure would beat this, so there was nothing much to say.

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

#2 the bite/texture & flavour of the 8-head abalone & also the flower mushroom were quite good. the spinach was just average, and perhaps it was more the method of preparation, but any brown sauce braised chinese abalones (ah yat, tunglok, xin restaurant etc) would be a better overall taste experience than this (not a better abalone). i guess this dish would be above average to good whereas the mini bjotw was just average.

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

#3 the salmon & maguro (tuna) sashimi were ok, the lobster was buried in mayo. a wasabi or salted egg prawn would be better. the dish was ok but nondescript.

herbal drunken prawns

herbal prawns

#4 the prawns were big & fresh & quite tasty. i guess it was about as good as a herbal prawn could be. it was not a dish i would much fancy though, unlike the wow factor with the golden prawns at mikuni.

deep-fried soon hock

deep-fried red garoupa

#5 the deep-fried red garoupa was competent, good even. but as 1 diner commented, it was no better than ah yat though the garoupa tasted better than soon hock. i also thought it was not much better than peach garden miramar, not counting ban heng’s deep-fried soon hock which was very average.

roast duck

roast duck

#6 the roast duck was to me about the best dish for the evening (& it was not among the chef selected dishes above limited to 1 serving). skin was crispy, meat was tender, moist not overcooked & very flavourful.

cabmeat brocoli

crabmeat brocoli

#7 the crabmeat broccoli was another better dish, looked good, tasted great, more like the standards of tunglok or imperial treasure.

sichuan beef with rice crackers

sichuan beef with rice crackers

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

#8 the sichuan spicy fish fillet (i forgot to take a photo) was ok edible not good but as 水煮鱼 it was a disaster! even the NUS canteen foodgle hub just above average S$6 水煮鱼 was better than this.

#9 the sichuan spicy beef with rice crackers was worse than the fish! beef was bad by any standard, the sinewy quite tasteless like rubber type. even the artificial tenderised beef at coffeeshop zi char stalls were better! not sure the thai type rice crackers qualified as 锅巴. if it were any zi char stall, i guess one could argue that’s just a choice of words.

osmanthus jelly

osmanthus jelly

#10 the osmanthus jelly was pretty good, i guess not so far off timhowan which was better, but it’s just jelly.

fruit jelly

rosella jelly with diced mango

#11 the rosella jelly was ok for a jelly but really a poor dessert c/w any of tunglok, xin, imperial treasure, i guess better than having red beans & green beans at ah yat.

#12 3 of us ordered the almond jelly (no photos). this was good restaurant standard.

i had earlier booked en japanese dining @ alocasia to try their S$56++pax queen crab wagyu ala carte buffet, but had canceled that to try this new restaurant. it was a manifestly wrong decision to take this ala carte buffet. it was not near as good as peach garden miramar’s (S$30.80++pax 3 paying 1 free) which was 1/2 the price. this 4pax dinner cost S$264nett. my recent fabulous 4pax dinner at mikuni cost only S$195nett. there was totally no comparison at all regards the food! 😦

1 Facebook friend who dined there recently commented that the ala carte orders –  lychee wood smoked peking duck, claypot steamed fish, tofu egg, braised pork knuckles vermicelli in oba leaf – were pretty good. i guess a sound opinion & i am not totally ruling out trying ala carte here if there are takers among my friends(but i think not likely), but the ala carte buffet is totally out for me! & i think really the organisation is still not in groove to put up this below par level of cuisine for a S$59.80 ala carte buffet. 😦

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Lunch & Company @ Clifford on 27Mar2014

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lobster salad

had a most enjoyable lunch at clifford, fullerton bay hotel, on 27.3.2014, in the company of good friends – hugo, a close dutch friend was visiting singapore, & PL, who had helped me a lot in my earlier ventures, and who insisted on buying lunch. 🙂

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baguette

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multi-grain rolls

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duck rillettes

we were served bread – baguette & multi-grain roll. both were good, and especially so as they were served with duck rillettes in addition to the usual butter. 🙂

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salmon tartar with sour cream, bit of mesclun salad

i had lunch at clifford maybe 1.5 years ago with my dining quartet which has now discontinued. food & ambience were truly excellent, especially as we had the uob 1 for 1 at S$68 (so S$34pax) 3-course lunch then. 🙂

the price is a lot more now, 2-course for S$48, and 3-course for S$58, coffee included. we took the 2-course. the appetizer choices included a salmon tartar, a mushroom veloute & i think a salad (cannot quite recall). the mains choices included a herb crusted lamb loin, a dory fillet, and a pasta (can’t recall what). there were a lot more appetizer & mains choices but they came with supplements.

PL ordered the lobster salad (top photo – looked just fabulous) – S$12 supplement, and the 220g beef entrecot (a ribeye or scotch fillet steak) – S$25 supplement. i ordered the salmon tartar & lamb loin & hugo ordered same salmon & the dory. the salmon tartar was a good-size helping.

the suave, efficient & polite restaurant manager prakash came by to ask about the food, so i gave him some feedback. i thought the salmon tartar was very fresh & sweet but the sour cream distracted & did not quite enhance the flavour (this part of course is subjective taste…). personally i like it with just sea salt & pepper & olive oil. those might already have been incorporated so perhaps just some additional fresh ground black peppers. 🙂

i thought the prices were really too high, though fortunately the regular appetiser & mains (i.e. w/o supplements) were quite excellent. compare this with les amis’ 4-course S$45pax set lunch, which included choice of patagonia toothfish (the excellent chilean seabass my favourite fish) or quail. to be fair, i have not tried the les amis set lunch yet (will do soon enough!), but you know it’s les amis! 🙂

likewise the excellent S$45pax set lunch we had at au jar din! & au jardin’s plating was also somewhat more artisan by comparison! or indeed the exquisite & simply fabulous S$48 3-course lunch at gordon grill at goodwood park, with 3 mini appetisers & 3 mini soups. 🙂

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citrus lychee drink (complementary from parkas)

prakash was very receptive & accommodating. he offered us a complementary citrus lychee drink. PL declined so we had 2 glasses.

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220g beef entrecot

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dory fillet

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herb crusted lamb loin

my herb crusted lamb loin was excellent, nicely medium rare & flavourful with hardly any gamey taste. my friends were asking what was the crust (breadcrumbs with spinach, basil etc) as c/w my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb. the dory looked great.

the beef entrecot looked perfectly charred. PL like it well done. somehow it did not quite look like 220g, not sure if it was dry aged for more intense flavours & so had some weight loss.

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petite four

we had coffee & petit fours (which means small oven & not 4 items!). macarons were too sweet. nutty chocolates were ok. i did not try the cake but it should be good.

overall, the service was efficient & responsive, the ambience was just super, and the food quality quite excellent. i can’t say food was better than au jardin though (in fact i thought au jardin’s was better) & of course the price was not just marginally but significantly higher than les amis (S$48 2-course vs S$45 4-course set lunch) or au jar din or gordon grill. i will come here for its great ambience, service & food, but sparingly. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy