Early Anniversary Mini Kaiseki Dinner @ Maru 丸 on 31May2018

weekday promos

had early anniversary dinner with wife at maru 丸 at icon village 12 gopeng street on 31.5.2018. ^^

unagi & aburi hotate don lunch

the bar restaurant offers various promotions that look quite interesting…

maru omakase set dinner 1 for 1 at S$78 inc 250ml free sake

excellent food & value.

we took the special 8-course mini kaiseki  1 for 1 S$78 mini kaiseki inc free 250ml sake 👍some more…

250ml free sake

& the sake was good standard. this alone would cost like S$18 easily..

#1 sensai 前菜edamame, tuna, marinated octopus

the appetizer plate included a tuna ceviche, marinated octopus & edamame.

the  tuna was very good…the octopus was tough…edamame the usual…

#2 oyster

not the very large oyster at hachi, but neverthelessthe oyster was very fresh & sweet, not big, quite ok, and came with a tasty tomato sherbet..

#3 5 kinds of sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi

#3 5 kinds of sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi

sashimi was nothing special, still quite good standard, fresh & sweet.

there were 5 kinds = sashimi – maguro, salmon, amaebi, tai, hamachi, one piece each for the 2 of us… 🙂

#4 kappa – grilled fish cheeks

#4 kappa – grilled fish cheeks

the shio (salt) grilled kappa (fish cheeks) very good 👍👍

wife found it slightly fishy, so took only 1/2…i took all of it & her 1/2 piece too. lol!

#5 sushi (aburi salmon & anago)+ #6 bara chirashi don

the aburi sushi & barachirashi don were served together.

sushi (aburi salmon & anago)

the aburi sushi were great…salmon was good & of course anago sushi 👍was special. sauce though was a bit sweet.

the bara chirashi don was ok. fish was fresh though odd cuts letfovers like any bara, the sushi rice not that great.

& there was a #7 soup…it was good too, nice tasty clear soup with asari (la la clams)…

#8 yuzu sorbet

yuzu sorbet lagi shiok!…very flavourful & refreshing. great dessert ite….

bara chirashi don

a very enjoyable early anniversary dinner with wife…

this place i will definitely come back again..don’t mind to take this mini kaiseki set again, alaos to try the weekday special & lunch specials..

c.h.e.f andy

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Maru Dine & Bar  丸 

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Instant Noodles with Prawns & Oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

wife, children were out, eating alone this evening.

didn’t feel like cooking anything. looked at the freezer & picked out some prawns & frozen oysters – easiest to defrost. the prawns had shells on so easy to separate.

myojo chicken abalone instant noodles

myojo chicken abalone instant noodles

did not feel like having the more expensive instant noodles like (1) mykuali penang white curry noodles or (2) instant mala ramen 香锅麻辣牛肉面 or (3) nissin kyushu black ramen. so just pick the cheap myojo chicken abalone instant noodles. 🙂

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

noodles were quite tasty. prawns were fresh & oysters large & plump.

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

instant noodles with prawn & oysters

after all the nice big prawn noodles at why eat har, i was kidding my friend whose brother is the co-proprietor of why eat har that i am now having small prawns instant noodles.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Dinner with Son @ Arossa on 23Dec2014

1/2 dozen oysters

1/2 dozen oysters

arossa @ scotts square

arossa @ scotts square

had a nice, quiet dinner with son at arossa on 23.12.2014. 🙂

was last here with wife on 3.9.2014.

we were given a corner table by the window overlooking scotts road with all the christmas decorations.

son wanted some oysters as starter. we decided to order a wagyu steak each & a lobster ravioli to share.

nice oyster

nice oyster

the oysters were excellent, very sweet, plump & tasty.

lobster blackened spinach ravioli

lobster blackened spinach ravioli

lobster blackened spinach ravioli

lobster blackened spinach ravioli

the lobster blackened spinach ravioli were tops too. 🙂 the restaurant split for us so we had 3 ravioli each. the lobster broth or emulsion was superb.

A5 miyazaki wagyu 150g

A5 miyazaki wagyu 150g

A5 miyazaki wagyu 150g

A5 miyazaki wagyu 150g

the A5 miyazaki wagyu was also top fine dining standard. so what’s missing?

first, it was now 150g instead of 180g. i guess that’s ok. wagyu was good, very tender, good tasting,  presentation was good also, definitely equalled or beat any fine dining restaurant serving good steaks.

but i could tell instantly that the presentation, sauce etc basically everything was different from the japanese presentation the last 2 times – see photos of the kagoshima wagyu on 3.9.2014 & the miyazaki wagyu on 16.8.2014.

& taste-wise somehow it did not have the standout marbled fragrance of a top japanese wagyu cut.

dinner for 2pax was S$143 after 50% palate discounts with amex.

sadly, arossa is closing by end jan2015 & we were told watanabe-san, the grill chef helming the restaurant is returning to japan to start her own restaurant. good for her & all the very best! 🙂

i will probably return before end jan2015 to have a last go.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 14pax Monthly Dinner @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

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Lobster, Crab & Average Buffet @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

a friend organised the monthly RI schoolmates dinner at spices cafe, concord hotel yesterday on 31.10.2014. it was a really fun evening with a lot of interesting conversation. i am just quoting our great philosopher-

the analogy we cooked up to explain our senior moments. it was triggered by a friend’s reference to cloud storage as in the IT terminology eg Dropbox. our memory storage is in the cloud. it is just that we forget the password at times to unlock the specific memory storage. that’s why it helps to have shared storage in the cloud. if one forgets, another remembers. we need all the help we can get when our own neurons refuse to do the job.

see how fun our get-togethers are…with genius like this spewing jewels of wisdom…haha! 🙂

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

the dinner buffet came with 1 order only of 1/2 cheese baked gratin lobster (or alternatively abalone). they said 200g though it looked bigger. the preparation though was so-so, the meat didn’t feel bouncy so either it was not a live lobster or maybe slight overdone.

the abalone was small c/w say the 2in size & more importantly excellent tasting abalone at ah yat abalone restaurant in a 5-course dinner groupon deal costing only S$28.80.

pepper crab

pepper crab

butter baked crab

butter baked crab

thai basil crab

thai basil crab

the buffet also included unlimited order of crabs prepared 5 ways – thai basil, pepper, chilli, salted egg & butter baked.

the preparations were ok. for me, thai basil & salted egg were best, pepper ok, butter baked so-so. i did not try chilli.

the crab were the indonesian mud crab type or maybe vietnamese, not the large sri lankan crab. meat was sweet, not the very firm standard, but not falling apart also. i think “boleh la” – ok & really i seldom eat crab as they are really expensive in seafood restaurants, so it may actually make sense if you want to “whack” the crabs to come & makan here! 🙂

we were too busy talking & having fun & did not even order a second round, but i made sure i tasted most of it, well except the chilli crab. 🙂

cold appetizers - oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

cold appetizers – oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

appetizers - smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

appetizers – smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

the cold appetiser section had oysters(good), mussels(ok), scallops on shell(i did not want to try, it looked like just taken out of deep freeze & thawed just as 1 blogger commented), salmon belly sashimi (good), maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi (the last 4 i likewise did not want to try. the sushi looked like the supermarket type).

i also took smoked salmon (so so, i should say poor actually), and a marinated saba (ok). did not try the prawns & cold pasta.

fortunately, salmon belly sashimi was really quite good, and the oyster too, so that was quite enough for me.

satay

satay

satay was good, and they actually had the pineapple sauce (not so common these days).

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good, lemak. as good as any of the “katong laksa” around & the sungei road laksa. i had a second helping, maybe should have gone for a third.

i did not touch any of the cooked food. did not attract me, anyway, with lobster, crab, 2 helpings of oyster & sashimi & laksa, it was kind of enough, not too bad. 🙂

cheese & salad bar

cheese & salad bar

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

the cheese & salad bar was ok if limited. i took the brie & the blue. 🙂

the fruits were good. i had 2 helpings of pineapples & watermelon, and they had a lot of dried fruits like figs, apricots & prunes that i liked.

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overall, i find spices cafe buffet rather expensive, at S$54++pax for friday & weekend dinners. fortunately there was a 3paying 1 free promotion, so we paid about S$49pax nett for 13pax + 1pax vegetarian alacarte.

if you consider that a good 1/2lobster cost between S$20 and S$30, i guess then the buffet was not overly expensive.

buffet doesn’t attract me, and other than the lobster & crab (which were also so so for me), i would not normally do this buffet.

i would rate this as slightly above olive tree restaurant @ intercontinental hotel (S$34++ after 1 for 1 promotion) & the lunch buffet at edge @ pan pacific (S$43.50++ after 3paying 1 free) but not by much, and of course edge has far superior ambience & in a “higher class hotel” if that is even important haha.

anyway i would only go if i want the crab (i don’t need the lobster), & spices cafe has lunch buffet for senior citizen at S$23pax, so if i really want buffet i can go lunch w/o the lobster & crab. 🙂

for buffet, my favourite is still the semi buffet at equinox (after 50% feed at raffles discounts, that is), and even then i have not been there for the longest time! the view over marina bay skyline & F1 circuit is superb, and the main courses (which i avoid in other buffet) are ala carte orders & of fine dining standard.

the same goes for one ninety mezzo lunch at four seasons, another superior semi buffet. one ninety has better quality of buffet spread than equinox, & the main courses are also ala carte orders of fine dining standard. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Quality Lunch Kaiseki @ Hachi on 17Jan2014

kobachi (amuse bouche)

kobachi (amuse bouche)

had a good quality lunch omakase at hachi with my wife on 17.1.2014. see also the excellent dinner omakase on 9.11.2013. 🙂

omakase is like a chef’s table, no menu but usually follows the course preparations for kaiseki. the chef selects the “freshest” ingredients of the day, checks whether you have dietary restrictions & supposedly dishes out an excellent meal to you…well they usually do..

we ordered the S$68pax lunch omakase & the S$88pax ohmi wagyu omakase.

#1 we had a very good amuse bouche of tofu toped with ikura & yuzu jelly.

sensai platter

sensai platter

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, tai, hamachi)

sashimi moriawase (shima aji, tai, hamachi)

#2 next we had a sensai (前菜) dish = tofu, sweet black beans, tasty egg plant, some vegetables & nice barley miso.

#3 a sashimi platter of shim aji, tai & hamachi followed. they were sweet & fresh, but not comparable with the sashimi in the superb kuriya dining lunch kaiseki we had on 16.11.2013.

miso soup with mochi & chicken

miso soup with mochi & chicken

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tempura

tempura

gohan (rice) set

gohan (rice) set

my wife took the lunch omakase.

#4 a tasty miso flavourful & intense was served, with chicken & kochi.

#5 then came a large oyster sashimi (S$12 ala carte). this was similar to what we had for the dinner omakase & it was very good. 🙂

#6 next was tempura, good quality batter, and #7 the gohan set.

ohmi wagyu tataki

ohmi wagyu tataki

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

shabu ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

grilled ohmi wagyu

wagyu gohan set

wagyu gohan set

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for my ohmi wavy omakase, i had #4 ohmi wagyu tataki. it was good, very sweet & tasty.

#5 i liked the shabu ohmi wagyu as well. its like the korean bulgogi or gyudon sliced beef but good quality & w/o the overpowering teriyaki sauce. 🙂

#6 there was also the grilled ohmi wagyu steak. the wagyu was not very marbled, but still very enjoyable & my wife preferred less marbled wagyu.

#7 the gohan set had wagyu tips, small chopped pieces. a very nice rice indeed. i though maybe i could try this dish at home actually to complete a good meal. 🙂

kuro goma (black sesame) ice cream

kuro goma (black sesame) ice cream

#8 we had the black sesame ice cream – must say i was getting tired of this or the macha ice cream & would have preferred yuzu flavour instead. 🙂

i would still rate kuriya dining’s S$58 kaiseki lunch over hachi’s S$68 omakase but not by much really, so i would go back for both. if one has a fix for ohmi wagyu i guess the wagyu omakase (which i do) is an excellent choice, otherwise the S$20 upgrade to tokusen sashimi at kuriya dining would be the one i go for.

c.h.e.f andy

Hawker Tour @ Bukit Timah Food Centre (BTFC) on 19Jul2013

or luah (fried oyster omelette)

or luah (fried oyster omelette)

for zi char tour, see cheap & good zi char on 10.8.2013.

a group of us makan kakis (for this round 4pax) decided to start hawker tours. we picked Bukit Timah Food Centre (BTFC) to start our journey on 19.7.2013. 🙂

food galore @ Bukit Timah Food Centre (BTFC)

food galore @ Bukit Timah Food Centre (BTFC)

for this day we ordered 8 hawker dishes. all were good but not one really stood out.

the HK style beef briskets & offals was very tasty, but actually quite different from those at street beef noodle stalls in HK. the chinese herbal mutton soup was good too, but i would say the amoy street hawker centre one was better & so was bukit merah view.

white fried carrot cake

white fried carrot cake

there were many foodie posts about the white fried carrot cake. it was good, crispy, quite tasty, but…didn’t see much difference from other hawker places or c/w with good black ones, say at ghim moh market. 🙂

if i had to pick, i would say my best was the or luah (but then again,many places did just as well), & after that the HK style beef brisket & offals. 1 friend was missing her favourite “jiu her eng chye” (cuttlefish kang kong) stall which was not open (we were there on a friday 2.30pm to 4pm). 🙂

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the fried hokkien mee looked good in the photos, quite good ingredients, but probably rated lower..that could be because we were satiated as we had 8 dishes excluding dessert for 4 of us! 🙂

char kuay teow (fried noodles with cockles)

char kuay teow (fried noodles with cockles)

the char kuay teow had very good “wok hae” & tasty at the start but as it gotten cold it became much less compelling…

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rojak

rojak

both the popiah & rojak were good.

iced cheng chow with aloe vera & lychees

iced cheng chow with aloe vera & lychees

a friend had ice cheng chow with aloe vera & lychee (looked tempting). I had a plain ice jelly.

very satiated… after that 3 of us went to watch Pacific Rim (good enjoyable movie) at Cathay Cineleisure. 2 of my friends had the S$4 movie ticket + free coffee privilege. i had still to bear with paying S$10.50 movie tickets for the next few months. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Majestic’s Excellent 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) dinner on 19Apr2013

black turffle on hokkaido scallop with gourd

black truffle on hokkaido scallop with gourd

looked at Majestic’s 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) dinner menu on its website & decided to go for this dinner. 🙂 WGS dinners have been around for many years. was never quite motivated to try them as I always believe (& still do) that good food begins with taste, and presentation & creativity (including fusion & molecular discoveries & adventures) are superlative to good taste & superfluous to bad ones; and have always felt it is paying lots of $ to get average (or poor) food & service..

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Majestic’s excellent 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) menu ending 26apr2013

Majestic is our favourite Chinese fine dining restaurant so we are confident with the quality of its cooking (not to say bias..haha..). this 8-course WGS dinner menu is S$99++pax c/w several hundred $ for other WGS dinners & there is a 10% Citibank credit card discount, so it looked reasonable to give it a try & we were happy we did. 🙂

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The lobster soup with a yasai (veg) tempura was a great start. The lobster meat were plump, sweet & tender. The soup was very smooth & tasty – the intense hae mee (prawn noodle) type stock, not the foam cappuccino bisque served at most western fine dining. the tempura batter was good.

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the braised abalone and lotus roots with a minced oyster filling in batter & brocoli in brown sauce was a superb dish. 🙂 Chinese dried abalones in brown sauce are always soooo good. the abalone was smaller than the 5-head ones at Xin Cuisine, probably 8 or 10-heads but still good size. the lotus root with minced oyster though was par excellence, very good indeed! 🙂 next item on the menu (top photo) was plump, sweet,nicely seared hokkaido scallop sitting on a marrow gourd with a sprinkling of tobiko (flying fish roe), and it had an amazingly large black truffle topping it! I love the fragrance truffle & truffle oil add to dishes (especially cold Japanese noodle topped with caviar & some truffle oil at Gordon Grill) but never believe in paying stratospheric prices for them.

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the 4th dish was 1 of the best caramelised (I think honey vinegared) pork rib I had. you can the glaze, glistening..not sure how it is done – whether baked or deep (or shallow) fried & braised. the plating was good with the green tea powder donning some chinese character (京?). 🙂

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teochew steamed promfet topped with pigskin

next was the teochew steamed promfet – as good as any good teochew restaurant, not sure the plating & pigskin topping (odd choice) was an effort in fine dining presentation? whatever –  the taste still a good robust steamed teochew promfet dish. 🙂

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we were expecting panfried wagyu MBS6 – I guess maybe that was too much of an expectation for the price? haha. 🙂 what we got was panfried wagyu guotie (锅贴)..when reading menu I was thinking a panfried wagyu + a pot sticker yum yum..it was not to be..the minced wagyu was very tasty & the dough was good..not quite the same but well can’t have the best of everything, 🙂

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the 2 desserts were I guess another effort at creativity & fine dining.. don’t know what to make of the cherry pie thingy..the puff pastry was excellent, lovely swans too, the filling a bit sweet & not my thing, like a sticky date pudding? maybe.

the ice dessert  I consider a 败笔 (point of failure) of an otherwise outstanding menu..the usual aloe vera sorbet at Majestic is so good no need the trouble to invent something fancy..not that it was bad really, but it was much ado about nothing – an ice jelly in a hawker centre would be more shiok!

overall it was an outstanding & enjoyable dinner. the WGS menu promotion is until 26apr2013. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy