Great Pizza Lunch @ Pizzeria Balognett Tremezzo Lake Como on 16.4.2014

frutti di mare pizza, beef carpaccio, grilled eggplants, toast

frutti di mare pizza, beef carpaccio, grilled eggplants, toast

we left amsterdam on an early easyjet flight & arrived at milan’s malpensa airport at 1020am on 16.4.2014, picked up our car from avis at our arrival terminal 2, and drove to our b&b la perla perched on a hill at tremezzo at lake como. 🙂

the journey was 85km & took about 1 hr 20mins. the drive was scary as the roads were very narrow, i was driving on the “wrong” side of the road (left wheel drive), and the cars including heavy vehicles were coming at you quite fast.

pizza balognett

pizza balognett

i had read about pizzeria balognett (some claimed the best pizzas in lake como!) & had made a prior reservations at 1pm. place was quite empty actually, there was only 1 other table of 2pax americans i think, i guessed the location was a bit inaccessible w/o a car. for us it was 3 minutes drive after checking in at la perla & b&b owner assured us it was an excellent choice for lunch. 🙂

we ordered beef carpaccio, frutti di mare pizza & grilled eggplant to share among 3pax, ending the lunch with a panacotta & macchiato. we were served a toast basket, nice! we were hun-gwee. 🙂

food, especially the pizza, was good. 2 thumbs up! 🙂

beef carpaccio

beef carpaccio

beef carpaccio was ok, ordinary.

pizza frutti di mare (fruits of the sea)

pizza frutti di mare (fruits of the sea)

pizza was excellent. i not much into pizza, would not normally order them. this though was very good. the texture of the dough was good, the ingredients (squid, octopus & especially the mussels) were good, but mostly the flavour of the pizza was outstanding, very tasty. 🙂

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& this grilled eggplant was very good!

lovely if inaccessible

lovely if inaccessible

plateful

plateful

beef carpaccio, grilled eggplants, toasts

beef carpaccio, grilled eggplants, toasts

very satisfying lunch, but we were not finished yet. 🙂

panacotta

panna cotta

normally my wife & i are not so hot on desserts, tiramisu & stuff (my daughter loves dessert of course). & i unlikely to order panna cotta in singapore. but we did here, and it was extremely delicious (for a panacotta). texture was excellent & it was very tasty. i guessed the best of not so many panna cotta i had tried! haha. 🙂

anyway we went back next day just to ta pao (takeout) the panna cotta & had it at la perla’s scenic terrace patio overlooking lake como with couple macchiatos. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Fun Relaxed Dinner @ Bistroquet Pizza & Grill on 25Apr2013

capresse (mozarella with rockets & tomatoes)

caprese (mozzarella with rockets & tomatoes) – S$12

today our monthly dining quartet discovery took us to bistroquet pizza & grill at ARC (Alexandra Retail Centre) @ PSA Building. the host for the evening bought 9 voucherlicious vouchers of S$270 worth for S$135 & we were especially keen to try out the 400g porterhouse steak (which looked very alluring on bistroquet’s Facebook photo). 🙂

the place had the relaxed rustic ambience for a great chillax & drinking joint (though it was not drawing the crowd even with voucher promotion as we stayed till 9pm closing time and traffic was quite light). we were liking it already, though still suspect about the standard of food. 1 of our dear friend had kind of “forgotten” (we guessed correctly huh 🙂 ) & was about settling down to watch TV serial with his mum while our other quartet member was frantically SMS-ing, whatsapp-ing & calling him. 🙂 anyway we ordered a caprese (read ca-pri-seh) salad & a funghi pizza to start. the caprese was the usual mozzarella with rockets & tomatoes, light, good actually, and enjoyable.

thin crust funghi pizza

12″ thin crust funghi pizza – S$18

the large (12″) thin crust funghi pizza was good too (they served a white pizza here but we were the old-fashioned lot who loved tomato sauces on our pizza). our friend was not much into cheese but ok with light mozzarella & the young chef (looked like no more than 28) was most obliging to our request to warm up the quarter pizza we kept for the friend. 🙂

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baby back ribs – full rack S$28

we ordered a full rack S$28 baby back ribs (1/2 rack S$18) to share, and it was good!  fork tender and tasty, well marinated, though some of us would have preferred to have the sauce served separate. and 1 friend liked the purple cabbage with mayo which was too sweet for me

400g porterhouse steak

400g porterhouse steak – S$36

next was the 400g porterhouse – the reason we came for specifically and got 1 of us into the highs. 🙂 however it seemed that the office lunch crowd had taken off most of the porterhouse steaks & we were left with 3 porterhouse to share. we had 2 medium rare and 1 medium, served with beef sauce and the chef brought us some chimichurri sauce (taste like pesto sauce) which went well with the steak. 🙂 it turned out that while the taste was ok the meat was a bit tough on the sirloin side to be considered a good steak. The small tenderloin cut in the photo (what I usually thought of as a tender & tasteless cut) turned out to be quite a world of difference –  tender & nice. also of the 3 only 1 had the T so we were guessing the other 2 pieces were all sirloin or new york strip & no tenderloin..haha. 🙂

we asked the chef later & he admitted that the ribeye would have been more tender. well we would have to do that another time. I wouldn’t mind coming back.. in fact I bought another 5 vouchers (S$150 worth) for S$75 afterwards. 🙂

chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream

chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream – S$8

I am not much of a dessert person and we did not expect much really but since we had the coupon, we ordered a chocolate lava cake and a calzone (a turnover which can be sweet or savoury..in fact they serve a foie gras calzone here as a main course item). As it turned out the lava cake was quite outstanding, and the hardened crust containing the chocolate lava was very good in texture & taste & different from lava cakes in other places. the caramelized walnut with ice cream was a good pairing too.

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calzone – S$8

& the calzone was so pretty. the dough texture was really good too, crispy on the outside not fluffy but a bit like a pizza dough. 🙂 according to the expert among us,  since no one else was in a position to dispute with her “calzone made of the same pizza dough, filled with choc, hazel nuts, pistachio, etc”.

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somehow the young chef took a liking for us, and he showered us with 2 more desserts FREE – a panna cotta which was forgettable and a tiramisu, which was again quite pretty in presentation & tasted quite good albeit not enough liquor for some of us. very good indeed & far above our expectations for dessert in a drinking joint kind of place. 🙂

we paid in total S$124 (7 vouchers=S$105 +S$19cash), and that included 2 cappuccinos + 4 beers on 1 for 1 happy hour promotion. 🙂

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