Protected: RI G20 15pax Dinner Great Food & Ambience @ Kith Cafe Park Mall on 30Jun2015

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Great Food & Ambience @ Kith Cafe Park Mall on 30Jun2015

crabmeat linguine in tomato sauce

crabmeat linguine in tomato sauce

a RI friend is a proprietor of kith cafe at park mall & sentosa cove (kith has another outlet at robertson quay). kith does all day breakfast (till 5pm) and seems like a good coffee place too.

after our may G20 dinner at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015, we all agreed we should be young again & be spotted at kith. so this friend volunteered or was volunteered to organise the june dinner at kith cafe @ park mall on 30.6.2015. 🙂

we had 15pax. 🙂

i didn’t know if kith meant anything in particular, but after googling i found out that kith was like kin or kindred or –

acquaintances, friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in thesame general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group

a cafe for friends – good name!

a few friends went early & took a short walk at fort canning park. the rest of us got a tour of our friend’s high end office chairs & system furniture shop adjacent to kith cafe.

watermelon & lychee smoothie

watermelon & lychee smoothie

the friend ordered watermelon & lychee smoothie for a few of us. it was good, refreshing, quenching, not too sweet. not particularly a favourite for me though.

some ordered ABC – apple, beetroot & carrots me think…sounds healthy. i will try that one next time.

sweet corn soup

sweet corn soup

couple friends ordered a soup. think it was the soup of the day, maybe a sweet corn soup. looked ok.

calamari

calamari

my friend ordered some calamari & 2 pizza to share, and each ordered our own pasta dish.

calamari was good. squid was very slightly tough, batter was good.

calamari

calamari

this a common dish in many restaurants, and it’s quite competent here. 🙂

gong bao pizza

gong bao chicken pizza

the gong bao chicken pizza was better than i expected. we all liked the thin crust pizza.

gong bao pizza

gong bao chicken pizza

gong bao chicken may have sounded cheesy & chinatown like but it was actually good – no sticky sauce, taste was not too sweet & combined quite well with the pizza. 🙂

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza was competent also. pretty ok. 🙂

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza

pizza not particularly my favourite but it is an excellent dish for communal dining & i do enjoy a slice of good pizza (i shared 1/2 gong bao chicken & 1/2 parma ham pizza with a friend) to start the dinner.

spaghetti alio olio

spaghetti alio olio

the spaghetti alio olio was good!

good helping, very flavourful, good garlic flavours & lots of shiitake mushrooms. I shared 1/2 of it with a friend who shared 1/2 of my squid ink pasta. not a usual dish i would order as i like meat or seafood. 🙂

linguine gamberini (garlic prawn)

linguine gamberini (garlic prawn)

the linguine gamberini (garlic prawn) looked good. i will order that next time.

carbonara

carbonara

carbonara. looked ok. somehow looked a bit like hokkien mee. egg was mixed in the pasta. i think it would taste good as most pasta here were good. though i am more used to the look/colour of carbonara at alfresco gusto.

bolognese

bolognese

i had a try of the bolognese, and the tomato sauce was good. meat sauce/ragout preparation not my favourite but this was good.

vongole

vongole

did not try the vongole. it looked fine. 🙂

vongole

vongole

they said vongole is a test of a pasta chef. the lala (littleneck clams) have a distinctive shellfish taste & if the linguine is done al dente the combination is quite excellent. my own vongole linguine here.

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

the veal spinach tortellini looked interesting.

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

& looked yummy! i must try that next time. 🙂

squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio

squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio

my friend the proprietor ordered the day’s special, a squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio.

i tasted. it was good.

squid ink pasta

squid ink pasta

i liked my own squid ink sauce pasta better though. it was more intense & flavourful, though my immediate reaction was it was a bit salty. my own squid ink seafood spaghetti here.

the friend who shared 1/2 my squid ink thought it was very salty, and that the alio olio was also salty. i was good with the alio olio, & salt does bring out the flavours (though too much would kill it).

my friend the proprietor ordered 2 more pizza – a duck & mushroom ragout & a special – with sausage.

my phone died so i did not have photos. duck ragout was good & had some meat pieces. i liked the sausage special pizza a bit more, sausage very flavourful.

yuzu cheese cake

yuzu cheese cake

the pastry chef among us went to select the dessert.

i didn’t think much of the yuzu cheese cake nor the biscuit base. probably i was programmed to think anything yuzu must be specially good. this was average so-so to me.

tiramisu

tiramisu

didn’t think much of the tiramisu either. i had a small teaspoon scoop near the top, somehow thought it felt like penna cotta.

tiramisu

tiramisu

that did not prepare me for interrogation by our pastry chef. she asked if i tasted the lady finger biscuits. seemed that i didn’t (i guess that’s why i thought it tasted like penna cotta – soft, light w/o the tiramisu texture) nor did i tasted coffee or liquor.

our pastry chef thought it was good, and she said there was liquor at the bottom & she didn’t take coffee anyway, so that suited her. guess i have to defer to pastry chef!^^

anyway my palate a bit hesitant, not very sharp like my daughter…give me excuse to try a few more times.^^

lemongrass chocolate cake

lemongrass chocolate cake

the lemongrass chocolate cake looked really pretty, but it’s not my thing.

lemongrass chocolate cake

lemongrass chocolate cake

my least preferred of the 3 dessert.

i had a flat white afterwards. it was good. but didn’t feel that it was in the chye seng huat, dutch colony, or the assembly coffee category.

it was really enjoyable evening. company was super fun, outdoor ambience was cool & nice open space, & food was great. i will probably come back with my family. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good 3pax Lunch @ Tess Bar & Kitchen on 13Mar2015

waldorf salad

waldorf salad

had lunch with 2 friends at tess bar & kitchen at 38 seah street last fri on 13.3.2015. 🙂

interior is a pleasant modern industrial chic design. tess is helmed by head chef martin wong, alumni of l’atelier of joel robuchon. ^^

there about 5 tables were occupied & only 1 server who was quite good overall though strangely she did not automatically serve us dessert & coffee when we finished food, and we waited a long time before asking her.

deep-fried belly pork

deep-fried belly pork

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

we ordered the deep-fried pork belly & sous vide baby octopus for starters to share. we had wanted to order the smoked duck & wagyu cubes we saw on other reviews, but they were not available for lunch.

octopus was excellent, very tender texture & nicely matched & flavoured with chorizo & sundries cherry tomatoes. ^^

pork belly was an ok bear finger food, but not comparable with the standard roast pork in most chinese restaurants like crystal jade, imperial treasure, tunglok & canton paradise.

tomato soup

tomato soup

since there were not many ala carte tapas orders, we decided to order the main courses, which also came with a choice of soup or salad, and a choice of dessert or coffee/tea.^^

1 friend had the tomato soup of the day. 2 of us had the waldorf salad.

salad was good, crunchy veg, & quite a few lovely cheese. tomato soup was good too. it was the standard restaurant fare, not my favourite.

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

2 of us decided to skip meat main dishes & ordered 2 pasta mains to share to share.

the tiger prawn linguine was good. prawns had the nice bbq flavour, & pasta was tasty with the sauce. ^^

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

my initial taste of the vongole was much less good. when i took it with a lot for sauce at the bottom of the plate, it was much better. there were a lot of clams. ^^

still it was nothing special c/w my own spicy vongole fettucine. even my helper can dish out something like this anytime. as for the prawn linguine, i guess my lobster angel hair pasta (if i used tiger prawns) or more recently my chilli crab angel hair pasta would be just as good or better. 🙂

lamb

lamb

lamb

lamb

another friend ordered the frenched lamb rack. i tried a small piece. it was good. well, i can do that too, but for now my repertoire is limited to pistachio crusted rack of lamb.^^

profitero

profitero

profitero

profitero

1 friend ordered the profiteros. 2 of us had regular coffee.

the lunch came to about S$120 or S$40pax nett. not too bad. food was pretty good restaurant standard if not overwhelming.

this a place i would come back to try out the other tapas dishes.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good but Expensive Dinner @ aPompei on 21Nov2014

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

we were thinking of a place to go for 5pax family dinner on a friday w/o too much hassle on traffic & parking. decided to try the new restaurant aPompei at 6th avenue on 21.11.2014. 🙂

restaurant only started a week ago, according to chef mimo, who was from al borgo. we liked the florentine steak at al borgo by chef mim0. my wife recently had that at al borgo & she said it’s no longer good, so we were looking forward to having the good florentine steak here. 🙂

chef mimo was friendly & chatty, and we had always liked his food. so we decided to order his recommendations & let him organise the dinner. 🙂

food was good as we expected. price though was a bit expensive.

bread to start

bread to start

bread in most italian diners were mostly just baguette with olive oil/balsamic dip, nothing fancy like top restaurants.

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

the antipasti was a huge serving. it was good, with parma ham, good quality salami (my wife normally does not take salami but she was ok with this one), buffalo mozzarella, another cheese & olives.

we found out only later when we had the bill that the antipasti cost S$72 (since we left it in the hands of chef mimo). this was way too expensive for an antipasti for 2 guys & 3 ladies.

i am just guessing that maybe we were charged 3 portions=S$24×3. if we had ordered ourselves, we would have ordered just 1 portion. it was not about the price of the antipasti but whether we would spent S$72 for a very large portion or used the same money to order 2 more pastas etc.

focaccia

complimentary focaccia

we had a complimentary focaccia, topped with cherry tomatoes. in fact we thought it was better than the seafood pizza. we saw on the menu it cost S$13.

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

the mussels was very good. i felt it was expensive at S$28. i could do very good mussels myself, but i used the cheap mussels from sheng shiong. these mussels here were of course the better variety. 🙂

vongole - S$28

vongole – S$28

vongole

vongole – S$28

the vongole was very good also. the spaghetti were very al dente. somehow it cost more than S$24 on the menu? this is also a dish i do well, and sometimes i can get mango clams from sheng shiong which i think is better than la la (littleneck clams).

seafood pizza

seafood pizza

the seafood pizza was good, but we felt the cheaper focaccia (complimentary by chef mimo) was better. 🙂

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

& the 600g florentine steak. this was our favourite & it was as good as the one at al borgo of old (though my wife said it was no longer so). al borgo charged S$60 initially but raised to S$75 last year. it was S$88 here. i guess the price was not cheap but ok as long as the standard is kept. 🙂

complimentary dessert

complimentary dessert

chef mimo offered us 2 complimentary sponge cakes. the texture felt a bit like tiramisu (moist) but chef mimo said it was sponge cake. they were good but these tended to be quite sweet.

the dinner for 5pax (2guys, 3 ladies) cost S$350nett including a S$62 bottle wine. wine was good & priced similar to what you get at a good restaurant. 🙂

i felt the dinner was overly expensive at about S$56nett excluding the wine. if the antipasti was 1 portion at S$24++, price would be S$45pax nett, which was still not cheap but i guess ok for the food.

anyway, we were overall happy with the food, even though price was on the expensive side & it had cost a lot more than if we had ordered from the menu, which is what we would do next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Vongole Linguine with Squid

 

vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

was at sheng shiong the evening before & bought some lalas (littleneck clams) at S$3.90/kg.  they were quite large & plump. 🙂

toying with doing a stir-fried dish with curry leaves. anyway did a pretty good spicy vongole in white wine on 8.3.2013 which was a while ago & thought i would try again. so decided to cook vongole the following day (28.3.2014) & kept the lalas in a bucket of water in the fridge.

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vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

it is really an easy dish to prepare.  🙂

i boiled the linguine (200g) with a little oil & table salt, ending just before the 11mins instructions, drained & cooled with cold water to give al dente texture.

i then did the usual slow browning of garlic cloves till they were softened & the alio olio aroma filled the kitchen. then fried the cut sotong (squid) in butter & cut chilli padi, and took them out. i then added the fresh cut basils & lalas & stir-fried for several minutes under high heat until the clams open up. usually i would add some white wine but i did not have any ready for use, so i skipped that.

i then added the linguine to the sauce pan & tossed, and added sea salt & 1 teaspoon + sugar to taste. voila, ready to serve! usually i would add some coriander for garnishing but i did not have, so skipped again! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

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. 🙂

DSCN5274 DSCN5286 DSCN5273

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

Spicy Vongole Fettucine with White Wine

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spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

I bought “la la” (littleneck clams – see here for interesting write-up about littleneck, topneck clams etc) from Sheng Shiong today. I have never cooked vongole before but since I do pretty ok in the pasta department, I thought I give it a go. Here comes my first vongole! 🙂

There’s only my eldest daughter Su Min at home for dinner, so I cooked just enough vongole fettucine for 2 of us, PLUS trying out a grilled sotong (squid) recipe.

My preferred pasta is spaghetti but since there is an opened yet unfinished packet of fettucine, I used that instead.  I did the usual browning of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil over low fire and soaked in the aroma. I then emptied the olive oil & browned garlic into a bowl. I added some salt & oil to water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil and put a bunch of (say 200g) fettucine in the boiling water for 11 minutes according to the timing instructions. I tested the texture to make sure it is just al dente & transferred the fettucine to a colander & set aside. In the pan still greased with olive oil I added 15g butter & threw in cut chilli padi & cut spring onions (green onions). I transferred the bowl of olive oil with browned garlic back into the pan. I then turned the fire high & put in the clams. Next I added 1.5 cups of white wine & 1 teaspoon sugar, cover the pan & let it reduced for few minutes. The clams opened up when cooked. I added the fettucine, turned off the fire, tossed and added sea salt to taste.

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spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

The shellfish broth, sweetness of the white wine, fragrance of garlic & olive oil, & the spicy kick from the chilli padi all combined very nicely to make this a very tasty dish.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 200g fettucine (or liguine or spaghetti)
  • 700g littleneck clams
  • 15g butter
  • 3 stalks spring onions chopped
  • 1-2 chilli padi
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar OR to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare the pasta – add salt & oil to water in a saucepan & bring to boil. add fettucine and boil according to timing instructions. test to make sure the pasta is just al dente & empty into colander & set aside.
  • Cook the vongole pasta – brown whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil in a pan over low heat. empty oil & garlic into a bowl. add butter to the pan & throw in cut spring onions & cut chilli padi. add the clams, turn up the fire, add the white wine & sugar, cover while the clams cook. The clams will open up when cooked. add in the fettucine, turn off the fire, toss & add sea salt to taste. serve.