Relaxed Dining @ Senso on 13Jul2013

burrata cheese with St Daniele prosciutto – S$26

i am thinking of stopping my amex palate privileges which offer 1pax off discounts for ala carte orders at a number of outlets i mostly not motivated to frequent. anyway before the card expires, might as well use it. 🙂 we decided to go to Senso. it is a restaurant i used to go for business lunches when i was working in that area years ago, but have not visited for many years.

ala carte prices at this kind of restaurants are usually on the high side unless you are doing business entertainment, so i was not attracted to frequent. with palate privileges 50% off for 2pax, it would still be more costly than set lunches, but since we were doing dinner, we thought we would revisit the place. 🙂

Senso is located at a Club Street conservation terrace so it has great relaxed ambience with an enclosed outdoor courtyard. still we opted for air-con indoor seating. 🙂 you could see that the waiting staff were well-trained & efficient.

bread basket

bread basket

warm bread basket was good. you could ask for butter. i just do the usual olive oil & balsamic.

DSCN5470 DSCN5478

my wife ordered a prosecco & a red.

amuse bouche

amuse bouche

we had an amuse bouche, a lime cured tuna with avocado puree – good not great. 🙂

wagyu cappacio with rockets & parmesan

wagyu carpaccio with rockets & parmesan – S$28

we ordered a wagyu carpaccio with rockets & shaved parmesan (above photo) & a burrata cheese with Saint Daniele prosciutto (top photo). the carpaccio was served the natural sweetness way w/o any seasoning. it was sweet but we kind of preferred those with dash of balsamic cream, olive oil & sea salt. i liked the burrata (though so far i think Valentino’s the best & Capri’s also better than this, but they cost a lot more!) and also the Saint Daniel prosciutto. 🙂

DSCN5479 DSCN5482

we had a pasta & a main to share. we ordered the lobster taglierini (S$34).  they split for us so the photo above was a 1/2 portion. 🙂 this was good, though we forgot to order the squid ink version which was usually more flavourful and the waiter did not ask us for the choice.

pan-fried venison rare -

pan-fried venison rare – S$48

we had wanted to order the veal rack (we had a very good one at spizzico) but this was breaded & pan-fried so we gave up the idea. the waiter recommended venison medallion (tenderloin) rare. this was a superb choice – very tasty & tender & the dauphine pommes (crisp potato puffs) were excellent! 🙂

we were both not dessert persons. excluding the wine, the bill was S$68++ for 2 appetizers & 2 mains after 50% discount, which explains why i had not been there like forever w/o the discounts. it was still more ex than set lunches but this was dinner & this price was quite fine really (there was no discount for wine which added another 50% to the total bill).

c.h.e.f andy

Lobster 5-course Lunch for S$22 @ Naked Dining & Bar on 6May2013

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

we bought streetdeal vouchers for a Mother’s Day 5-course lobster set for S$22 for our dining quartet lunch. the restaurant is located at Joo Chiat which was notorious for parking. fortunately this time I was able to secure a roadside parking lot a short distance away. 🙂

DSCN4682

The Restaurant – Naked Dining & Bar!

the restaurant was empty through lunch save our 4pax table. they explained that they were worried about the supply of lobster arriving late so they had asked the diners to move their reservations to dinner or another day. looked like we were the only ones who could not be moved. our reward – we had the entire restaurant for our private 4pax tete a tete. 🙂

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

we had earlier whatsapp among ourselves to temper our expectations (after all it was just S$22pax nett) so we would not be disappointed! anyway the lobster tom yam pumpkin soup was good enough for me –  it was not super but an ok soup in a fairly good restaurant, not the watery soup of the day or canned soup type.. my 2 friends though found it too salty (after the restaurant replaced the soup they were happy so it must be ok). 🙂

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

the lobster roll was ok too, and the sauce was quite nice really.  it was nothing special & if anything the skin was really too thick!

the main event was of course the lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta (in the top photo). I liked it a lot actually. The lobster was good size (I estimated about 400g to 450g size), w/o the pincers, and very fresh and tasty; & I liked the home-made pasta which was just slightly creamy. This the version of creamy pasta that goes with veal ragout or wild boar or duck, and not the very creamy ones that go with carbonara or the Valentino’s lobster in pink sauce (which I also like). good! 🙂

tiny dual dessert - choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

tiny dual dessert – choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

for the twin desserts, the lava cake had good lava but the choc taste was too sweet & not the best. the creme brulee was interesting – it was a savoury lobster mousse thingy with a nice burnt cream top. 🙂

overall, I thought it was really a good deal.  the lobster pasta alone would be worth the S$22nett! 🙂 while the soup, lobster roll & desserts were nothing too special, they were of ok to good quality both in taste & presentation, and not just after-thoughts or to make up the numbers for 5-course.

Looking at the ala carte & set menus,, the prices were also quite average w/o this promotion & there was some credit card promotion where 1 free with 2 paying adults, so effectively 33% discount.  there was just some lingering doubt & confidence level thingy about the quality & consistency of cooking, whether I might try the other dishes outside the current promotion.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Pasta Lunch @ Alfresco Gusto at Ion Orchard on 17Feb2013

20130217_131710

linguine carbonara – S$22

I bought some deal.com vouchers for Alfresco Gusto @ Ion Orchard & the family decided to go for Sunday lunch. Ion Orchard happens also to be a convenient location for other members of the family for after lunch shopping..haha. 🙂

the Alfresco Gusto vouchers were S$10 for S$20 & you can redeem unlimited number of vouchers, so effectively (nearly) it was quite close to a 50% discount, so relatively a good deal if the food & prices were good. 🙂 We don’t do Italian out so much as the ala carte main courses are quite expensive in the good restaurants and both my wife & I as well as our domestic help do quite good pasta dishes ourselves, but we do visit from time to time a few like Al Borgo (update –  i had excellent dinner there recently on 22.11.2013), Valentino, Spizzico, Covelli, Ochre & a good cheaper place like Capri. 🙂

tuna salad - S$20

tuna salad – S$20

We ordered the tuna salad. It was well plated, looked pretty. The mesclun salad with olives was great, the tuna was very average (kind of tasteless) though.

antipasti platter - S$26

antipasti platter – S$26

We also had the antipasti platter which had parma ham, beef, salami & sun-dried tomatoes, olives & baguette. It was good & S$26 was ok but Capri served a much better version at S$18, so w/o the near 50% discount Capri would do better on this item.

I was never much into carbonara. My son actually taught himself to cook a pretty good one, but the one here was really good – creamy & flavourful & looked amazing (top photo), the best among all the good dishes. 🙂

20130217_131721

veal ragout – S$24

I would put the veal ragout as the second best item. It was creamy, savoury and nicely sprinkled with chopped parsley & grated cheese & sun-dried tomatoes. 🙂

prawn linguine in tomato sauce - S$30

prawn linguine in tomato sauce – S$30

The prawn linguine in tomato sauce came with very good helping of large prawns – my daughter counted 7! it was good too but I guessed more towards the ordinary & boring – something we could do at home with equally fresh ingredients almost equally well. 🙂

crabmeat risotto - S$32

crabmeat risotto – S$32

the last item we ordered was the crab meat risotto. It was good as well but I distinctly remembered that I had tried the funghi risotto here once before a while back & that was the best I had for that meal & this crab meat version was not near as good even though it cost S$10 more.

all in all, the 6 dishes for our 5pax lunch cost S$101 nett using the vouchers which was really a very good deal considering the quality of the dishes. without the vouchers it would cost S$181 nett or about S$31++pax. as ala carte order it would not be overly expensive however there were many good lunch set places & better deals to be had elsewhere, so I would do this but not often w/o the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy