Bistro @ Changi

9 06 2010

Its a Saturday evening. The malls are packed. Parking space in town is scarce. I have/want/need a life and that means not staying home. So many criteria, so little choices…

Why is my idiot not so situationally aware fren T(the guy in blue) invading the picture?

In an uhloo corner of Singapore, where nightfall brings forth a more colourful and vibrant crowd(probably many pinkdot.sg members who support “the freedom to love”. i’m no love hater yo, just an apathetic bystander), there lies a humble bistro overlooking the shores of Changi Beach.

It’s a chillax place. The view is good and the crowd isn’t overwhelming but lively enough to people watch.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, most Singaporeans(myself included) are fervent supporters of free PUB water. Hence, I was left slightly offended when I found out that tap water wasn’t served here. At first I thought that perhaps they are trying to market themselves as a classy bistro, but these thoughts quickly dissipated once I realised that instead of San Pallegrino or Acqua Panna, bottled water comes in the form of Polar($1++ per bottle). Lolz! Common sense tells me that their aim isn’t to earn the $1, and this is just another marketing gimmick to irritate people enough to buy overpriced wine instead. We too were almost tricked coerced persuaded to getting a bottle but luckily we asked for samples of their house red and whites first and decided against it thereafter.

One of the better Calamaris($10.90++) I have had the pleasure of eating with a sinful tartar dip.

There was a little screw up with the ordering with the fault resting entirely on me. I had ordered 5 mains instead of 4 for our group of 4 and was slightly disappointed the staff didn’t catch on my negligence.

I didn’t like the Sambal Fish($13.90++). The Dory used wasn’t very fresh and the sambal was too spicy. We could get better ones off any hawker centre bbq stall.

I didn’t like the Salmon Fettucine($13.90++) either. The cream base was bland and watered down, possibly a result of T’s request for less salt and oil. The pasta turned out soggy and overcooked.

The best ala carte main tonight was the Hickory Chicken Chop($11.90++). The chicken was well marinated and grilled to perfection. If you thought Aston’s was good, wait till you try this. It’s the best Chicken Chop I have had!

I had the Daily Special which was a 3-course set($22++) which included Pumpkin Soup, Grilled Chicken Breast & Lamb Rack served with Potato Skin as main and Apple Crumble as dessert.

The Pumpkin Soup was decent but not shout worthy.

The only commendable aspect about my main was the portion and variety. The Grilled Chicken Breast paled in comparison to the Hickory Chicken Chop, the Lamb Rack tough and rubbery and the Potato Skin forgettable.

I didn’t expect too much from the Apple Crumble. At the very least, it fared better than a Macdonald’s Apple Pie though that isn’t really saying a lot, is it?

Though the food didn’t blow me away, it was reasonably priced especially without the 10% service charge. Parking is free after 5pm which only adds on to the allure of simply chilling out on a seafront bistro, watching a live soccer match while downing a chilled beer and looking out for any colourful characters roaming the vicinity. 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

BISTRO @ CHANGI

260 NICOLL DRIVE, CHANGI BEACH CARPARK 1

TEL: +65 6546 5229





Chalk – Warm Sticky Date for a Double Date

9 06 2010

“Old School at Mount Sophia is one of the few places left in Singapore that exuberates an enchanting and undemanding atmosphere, out of the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a treasure trove and you never know when you might stumble across an arts exhibit or movie screening here. Chalk Restaurant does well too to blend into this serene setting and at the same time, promises patrons a gastronomic dining experience.

First thing that struck me was the chic ambience. Not overly posh but with the feel of a mid-upper range restaurant. Lightings were dim which contributed to the relaxed and tranquil nature of the eatery. The kitchen has an open concept which allows patrons to marvel at the mastery of the chefs. There is also an extensive wine selection here with all the wine placed at a nice rustic corner of the restaurant for patrons to pick their poison. Only downside I noticed was that noise levels can get a bit on the high side.” -excerpts from my past review of Chalk on Hungrygowhere.

One of my favourite restaurants, Chalk is relatively hidden from the masses(mainly due to it’s inaccessability by public transport and the deterring 136 step climp up the “Stairway to Heaven” to Mount Sophia’s Old School for non-drivers, definitely not for the faint-hearted). I was here this time on a double date, with my vertically-challenged ex-canoeist CCA mate and fellow soon to be SMU freshie Justin and his lovely also equally vertically-challenged gf Elsia, and Chalk provides the atmostphere for such a meetup. It’s not posh enough to rouse one’s insecurity but elegant and cosy enough for a nice dinner among friends and loved ones.

Rawrrrr! I was in a foul mood because I left my Panasonic Lumix LX3 at home which I normally use. I find it compact and light enough compared to DSLRs yet still functional for basic food photography. Anyway, I had to make do with S’s ancient vintage compact camera instead so I apologize for the poorly taken pics to come. At least it’s better than my 3.2Megapixel Camera Phone so let’s be THANKFUL!

Pizzas clearly aren’t the forte here. We had the 4-cheese pizza($20++) which I felt lacked depth and came across to me as being very one-dimensional in taste. Probably no one will understand my rantings so I will put this way. There are 3 types of pizzas; The great, the average and the scum of the earth. The one here was just a thin-crusted average.

 

While I don’t want to believe it, I’m forced to come to terms that Chalk’s Duck Confit with Sweet Potato Mash($30++) is just not good as it used to. Or maybe because I have just found better elsewhere. Actually, it’s probably both. Chalk’s rendition is dry for the most part, too salty for my tastebuds(though the mash does provide some relief) and the portion was also undeceptively shrivelled and rather petite. That said, I have heard great things about Saint Pierre’s Duck Confit available in their weekday set lunch and I’m eyeing that as a potentially sustainable alternative for all Duck Confit enthusiasts!

Fortunately, Justin has a penchant for a nice beef stew and ordered it, causing any disappointments I have had till now to fade into obscurity. The Beef Stew with Red Wine Sauce($28++) was absolutely stellar! I couldn’t ask for more; The beef was tender, it’s flavours robust and though the velvety mash was slightly bland on it’s own, dipping it in red wine sauce really works wonders.

My first love, an old flame. Drifted apart yet with latent feelings that have ceased to diminish. Of course, I have gotten in and out of relationships since but at the back of your mind, she had always been the benchmark to beat. I have always been on the lookout for someone similar in tastes, character and background but I have not found anyone as genuinely warm and uncloyingly sweet. A year’s past before I saw her again. Pent up emotions gushed forth like the escaping crude from BP’s oil well off the gulf of Mexico and I unleashed a smile that extended from ear to ear. My mouth met hers and a tear slid down my cheeks, with the thankful realisation; I was lost but now am found…The Sticky Date Pudding with Ginger Ice-Cream($13++). We requested to change the ice-cream to vanilla and it ended up being a bit too sweet to me compared to the ginger ice cream. It’s a match made in heaven, sweet and utter bliss.

I had high hopes for the Passionfruit Souffle with Vanilla Anglaise($13++). After all, we waited 25 minutes after our mains while it was being freshly baked in the oven. Refreshing and light, it had all the attributes of a well-executed souffle. Everyone liked it but me though(passionfruit really isn’t my thing). Beauty does indeed lie in the eyes of the Beholder. 

Amid some minor disappointments, I’m left with 2 lingering thoughts.

1) If my school ever had Chalk Restaurant in it, I wouldn’t have ponned school so often.

2) Sticky Date Pudding

Bon Appetit!

 

 

CHALK RESTUARANT

11 MOUNT SOPHIA #01-03

TEL: +65 6883 2120








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