Bedrock Bar & Grill – Best Way to use the Entertainer App

28 06 2015

Whenever someone talks to me about the Entertainer App (a subscription-based food app that offers 1-for-1 main course deals), somehow or another the conversation usually steers toward how using the app for a single meal at Fat Cow (a participating restaurant) will already cover the annual subscription cost of the app. While I’m a fan of their set lunch wagyu donburi and fatty foie gras don, the ala carte steaks/sukiyaki there were quite a disappointment. In its place, I feel that Bedrock Bar & Grill ought to be conferred the title for “best use of the Entertainer App”.

Frankly from the outside, Bedrock looks pretty uninviting, especially with the outdoor seats usually devoid of diners given the ample space indoors. Most people just walk past without so much of a second glance. In my humble opinion, it’s really one of the most underrated steakhouses around.

Complimentary bread here comes in the form of a warmed naan, served with butter and roasted garlic. The roasted garlic is insanely addictive and is semi-soft enough to act as a spread for the bread. I would totally buy it if it didn’t already come free.

Dining here this occasion as a party of 4, our initial inclination was to get 2 set lunches (priced between $38-$58++ and available on weekends) and 2 ala carte mains to get a better sense of what the restaurant had to offer. However, the wait staff advised us against it as the portions here were too large and insurmountable for the likes of us. Upon finding out that we were intending to use the Entertainer app, he recommended just getting 2 ala carte mains (a massive half kilogram porterhouse and a 400g ribeye), while complementing the meal with additional sides and dessert. That, he said, would provide the best deal and it definitely was on hindsight. We were truly appreciative of his sincerity, at the expense of the restaurant earning a smaller bill.

We started with the 500g Australian Grass-fed Porterhouse ($96++). The Porterhouse is a cut similar to a T-Bone Steak and you can think of both of them as a 2-for-1 cut, where you get a segment of tenderloin and striploin separated by a middle bone. The main difference between the Porterhouse and T-Bone is the location of the cut, with the Porterhouse having a larger tenderloin section.

Cooking a Porterhouse is less straightforward as the tenderloin segment tends to be smaller than the striploin, so heat control and timing becomes really important to ensure that the entire steak is evenly cooked. Some segments of the one we had felt slightly over but overall still well executed.

If you prefer a more marbled cut, the ribeye is the way to go. We shared the 400g USDA Prime Ribeye ($96++) and it really stood out for me.

Served with 5 accompany sauces; Red wine sauce, Bearnaise, Chimichurri (wikipedia: green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white vinegar), Whiskey with Mustard Seeds and Chili Oil, my favourites were the Chimichurri since I’m a garlic fan and the Whiskey with Mustard Seeds which had a nice smokey BBQ-sauce feel to it.

While I’m not a Mac & Cheese fan, the one here ($20++) was really satisfying and I can’t recall if I have ever had one that I enjoyed more. The macaroni was al dente, the Gorgonzola sauce had the right consistency and not overly soggy, the layer of Parmesan was crisp and contrasted well with the chewy macaroni and the infusion of truffle oil was icing on the cake, making the dish more aromatic and savoury.

Later that night, I headed to The Disgruntled Chef at Dempsey for dinner and had their highly acclaimed Mac & Cheese as well, but Bedrock still does it better in my book.

The Creamed Spinach ($18++) however, was less memorable.

Portions here are massive. We shared the Apple Crumble for 2 ($26++) between the 4 of us and it was more than sufficient. M loved the streusel but felt that the apples were too tart. Maybe I’m less picky but I thought it was well-executed and the sweetness of the apples was balanced.

For participating restaurants under the Entertainer app, the yardstick of a good restaurant is whether I would return even without a discount. To which I would gladly say yes to Bedrock Bar & Grill.

Bedrock Bar & Grill

Address: 96 Somerset Road, #01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore 238163

Tel: +65 6238 0054

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Operation Dagger – Experimental Cocktails Gone Right

11 03 2015

Food enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice this month. From 7th to 14th March, we have Singapore Cocktail Week, with a host of activities lined up ranging from cocktail workshops, pop up bars and cocktail bar crawls happening throughout the week.

Then, from 14th to 22nd March comes the 10th edition of Singapore Restaurant Week, where diners get the opportunity to try out special set menus at a special fixed price from some of the finest restaurants in town.

To end off the month, from 26th to 29th March, we have Savour 2015, a food festival for gourmands. Its not merely a gourmet food fair, as attendees also get the chance to participate in interesting workshops such as Sake & Beer Masterclasses and partake in hands-on cooking classes with the guidance of industry professionals. There’s even a Gourmet Market, where you can get your hands on white strawberries, cheeses, oysters, wines, sakes etc. It’s definitely going to be a whole day affair for me.

Given that we are in the midst of Cocktail Week, I thought it would be apt to blog about one of the participating bars – Operation Dagger, where I was at during the first day of the two weekend long event.

Some of my friends had previously raved to me about this joint and after today, I can see why. The spirits used for the cocktails have all undergone some form of modification or redistillation processes to infuse certain flavors into the spirits and are subsequently all rebottled into generic brown bottles, giving the effect of a chemistry lab or fragrance lab. That is also the reason why you won’t ever see spirits in their original bottles here. Very hipster indeed.

I managed to try 2 of the cocktails from the concise menu, both of which I found refreshingly creative. The Egg ($25) comprised of salted egg yolk, vanilla, caramel and had been smoked, which is why it is served in a jar, probably to preserve its smoky aroma. I have come across smoked beers in Bamberg, Germany but never smoked cocktails, so this was a first for me. The cocktail carried with it an incense-like scent that was stronger to the smell than to the taste. I thought that the smokiness accentuated the saltiness of the salted egg yolk, adding greater depth and the cocktail’s flavour sort of reminded me of a mild but smoother Bailey’s.

The tiny glass to the right of The Egg is the Hot + Cold ($25), a cocktail flavoured with lavander, coconut and pineapple. The Hot + Cold literally describes the cocktail, where the top foamy layer is warm and smells like freshly baked buttery new year pastries, while the bottom layer is somewhat reminiscent of a pineapple-infused pina colada. My friend G commented it was too weak for her liking (she’s hardcore and loves stiff drinks) but I actually liked the flavours a lot.

No night is complete with just one cocktail so we headed down to Jigger and Pony for their Punch Bowl and man, it definitely packed a punch despite such an innocent look and unassuming name. I suppose that’s just what happens when 600ml of spirits and a whole bottle of prosecco is poured in a bowl.

Happy drinking!

Operation Dagger

7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791





The White Rabbit – Church Altar to Bar Counter, where Wine still flows

4 01 2015

Much is to be expected at The White Rabbit, the dishes are competently executed and flavorful, the ambience classic yet not overly sombre despite being housed in a conserved military chapel. It’s also hard not to notice the establishment’s efforts to include whimsical minute details that play to the theme of Alice in Wonderland.

At night, the restaurant is relatively dim, providing an intimate setting and this strongly contrasts with how the restaurant looks in the daytime, where sunlight seeps through the stained glass windows, brightening the entire atmosphere.

The fresh and toasty complimentary bread served was swiftly decimated, a relatively rare occurrence since I usually try to save more stomach space. Instead of getting appetizers, we decided to get some sides to accompany our mains instead but really, the sides were nothing to shout about.

Truffled Mac and Cheese with Mushrooms ($16++)

When Iris mentioned she wanted to get the Grilled Asparagus with Truffled Hollandaise ($18++), groans echoed about the table. $20 for 6-7 strips of vegetables would surely tug at most guys’ heartstrings. Ironically enough, these same guys would probably not bat an eyelid forking out $200 for a bottle of Moet at a club in an attempt to look cool. The absurdity of guy and girl logic…

For mains, we started with the Dorper Lamb Rack ($48++), served with spiced cous-cous, ratatouille, lemongrass basil jus. The Dorper lamb is a common domestic South African breed, very resilient to arid climates. The lamb was executed to faultless perfection, moist and tender with a slight sear on the surface.

Another signature main worth getting is the 36-hour Brandt Short Ribs ($48++), more so if you are a fan of pork ribs and have not tried beef ribs before. You will surely be in for a treat. An interesting touch is the truffle miso glaze that adds a slight crisp to the surface of the rib, providing some texture to the dish. Instead of the usual heavy potato mash, a light smooth parsnip purée and a side of field mushrooms are served on the side instead, a much welcome change that provides some balance.

Prepare also to be mindblown by the 60-hour Braised Magalica Pork Belly ($42++), served with spiced purple cabbage, white beans and miso broth. Just the previous week, I had the 12-hour cooked Pork Belly at Restaurant Ember, which to me sets the yardstick for western-style 烧肉. I wouldn’t say that the White Rabbit does it better but it does come pretty close, in terms of gastronomic enjoyment.

Think of the Tagliatelle ($45++) as a Alaskan King Crab mee pok doused in pork broth and kombu. While it was good, it paled in comparison to the meat mains we had earlier and came across as slightly pricey for a relatively simple pasta dish. Perhaps I would think differently if we had it before the meats, given that the flavours of this dish was lighter and doubles up as a possible appetizer.

The Baked Alaska ($18++) seemed to be one of the signature dishes here, where flaming liqueur is poured over a meringue encased vanilla ice cream cake. My first encounter with it was during national service days, when one of my fellow air force cadets brought us to Xiyan Private Dining along Craig Road, where his parents are shareholders. It has never been one of my favourite desserts taste-wise but as you can imagine, a flaming dessert never fails to excite the crowd.

On a side note, Xiyan has now opened a casual dining outlet at Shaw Centre. Some dishes such as the Salivating Chicken (also available at the Private Dining outlet) were excellent but most of the other dishes came across as fairly mediocre, dashing my high hopes.

If you have preference for a lighter dessert, especially after waves of meat-based mains, do go for the the White Chocolate Mille-Feuille ($18++), a three layered filo-pastry with alternating layers of white chocolate cream. The side of rhubarb sorbet does well to cleanse the palate too!

For chocolate aficionados, you won’t go wrong with the Chocolate Fondant ($18++). I thought that the fondant was more buttery and savory than usual, which was a plus in my view, probably due to its caramel core. Without the menu, it would be almost impossible to guess the flavor of the accompanying ice cream; banana and rum, a splendid combination. In the dim lighting, some might miss out the cute intricacies of this dessert but try looking for the little bunnies made using gold foil, scampering about in the garden-themed plating.

Overall, two thumbs up for our experience at The White Rabbit. The food was near faultless during our visit but there were small hiccups in the service. Given that the restaurant was operating at full house, it took quite some time before anyone attended to me while I stood at the reception. Furthermore, the staff informed me that our reserved table was not ready yet and asked me to proceed to the waiting area, when the rest of my friends were already seated at that table. It’s not that I’m “niao” but these should not be happening in any restaurant that considers itself a fine-dining establishment.

On a side note, The White Rabbit is one of the participating restaurants for The Entertainer App Singapore, that gives 1-for-1 discounts off main courses here.

Last but not least, Happy New Year to all and have a blessed and peaceful 2015!

The White Rabbit

Address: 39C Harding Rd, Singapore 249541

Tel: +65 9721 0536





Bespoke Cocktail Bar Hopping – A 6-pub guide around CBD

2 11 2014

With the cocktail scene alive and kicking in Singapore, Amex has recently launched #ChillaxSG, a one year promotion for Amex Platinum and Amex Platinum Reserve card holders, offering various privileges such as 1-for-1, complimentary welcome cocktails with any order etc, at 16 different cocktail bars from 15 Oct 2014 to 14 Oct 2015.

In anticipation of this promotion, I had the opportunity to hang out with the folks from Amex, as they took two mini-bus loads of lifestyle and food bloggers on a pub hop event to 6 of the participating bars to showcase what was on offer.

1st Stop: The Men’s Room (13 North Canal Rd, #01-02)

Best for: The Laid-back Working Crowd who wants a drink neat, rather than fancy

Unlike some of the other places we visited later in the night, The Men’s Room seemed more like a place to get down with unadulterated liquors, especially whisky and gin. Instead of going hard on the first bar, I had their signature Chrysanthemum Cocktail instead, which would have been pretty nice for a tame night out and much reminiscent of Winebar/Zouk’s Chrysanthemum shots.

Source: Google Maps

Chrysanthemum Cocktails

2nd Stop: Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall (60A Boat Quay)

Best for: The Discerning Hipster

Like a scene out of the 1980s, I truly enjoyed the hipster vibes I got from this place. Like many other bars that concoct bespoke cocktails, you won’t find a drinks menu here and the mixologists get to work by asking about your alcohol and taste preferences.

I had their version of the Old Fashioned which I enjoyed. Typically, an Old Fashioned is a bourbon based drink but Ah Sam gave it a local twist in line with the shop’s theme by infusing the bourbon with Milo. What resulted was an Old Fashioned that had the rich creamy texture of milk. I’m the type of person who needs food to go along with my drinks so I was super pleased to find out that in addition to the well thought out ambience and creative drinks, Ah Sam serves up a mindblowing Hokkien Mee as well, which if served in a hawker centre, would no doubt be drawing crowds. Other food items on the menu include local delights such as Prawn Paste Chicken, Ngoh Hiang and Fried Kuay Teow.

Ah Sam in the flesh

Food Menu

Half-eaten Hokkien Mee and Milo-infused Old Fashioned (with a proper ice cube)

3rd Stop: Spiffy Dapper (61 Boat Quay)

Best for: The Cool Emo Kids

For a slightly more grungy environment with an amazing view of the Singapore river, pop by next door from Ah Sam’s to Spiffy Dapper. When we were there, we were served some decent tandoori and grilled items, possibly from the Indian Restaurant downstairs. If so, I think that’s a plus for allowing outside food, while the mixologists focus on doing what they do best. They did a marvelous job with my Gin shaken with Mint, simple but effective. Like Ah Sam’s next door, there’s no drinks menu here so sit back and let the bartenders get creative and concoct something to your mood and likings.

For a better idea of what you can expect in this unpretentious hole in the wall speakeasy bar, the below is an excerpt from Spiffy Dapper’s blog website which I think describes it perfectly:

“In the middle of Boat Quay, the last remaining bastion of the seedy port town that was Singapore, and hidden away on the second floor is The Spiffy Dapper.

Born out of a need to be real and imperfect, we aim to channel the creative audacity and sense of adventure of the 1920’s.

We make some damn good drinks, but what this place is really about is chilling the fuck out and having a good time.”

Gin Shaken with Mint (left)

4th Stop: The Secret Mermaid (10 Collyer Quay, B1-08 Ocean Financial Centre)

Best for: The True Blue Pro-American Craft Spirit Connoisseur

The Secret Mermaid is the latest brainchild of restaurateur Howard Lo, the owner of Tanuki Raw and Standing Sushi Bar. In the day, the shop space operates under the name of Shinkansen, a Japanese Salad Bar but once dusk falls, The Secret Mermaid emerges. 

Specializing in American spirits, The Secret Mermaid offers a range of craft spirits never seen before in Singapore. For the uninitiated, their tasting flights (starting at $15) comprising of 3 half shots of different types of spirits is an affordable way to get educated without breaking the bank. I was also rather intrigued with the novelty Smoked Salmon Vodka and Bacon Vodka that are available in tasting portions.

5th Stop: Maison Ikkoku (20 Kandahar Street)

Best for: Date nights, for couples who love pyrotechnic displays in a posh setting

Among the 6 cocktail bars we patronized that night, Maison Ikkoku had the most razzle dazzle and pomp. The setting is elegant, with the mixologists friendly and accommodative. The music is not too loud and allows for a decent conversation. Hence, it’s somewhere I would potentially bring a date, to impress her with the well-executed cocktails, liberal use of pyrotechnics for the cocktail preparation and classy bar grub.

For specific cocktails, I would highly recommend the Pina Colada which is served in a seared coconut, the Banana Daiquiri which I found astoundingly refreshing and smooth, and the Passionfruit Gin & Tonic.

Banana Daiquiri

Pina Colada (amazed that my iPhone did such a good job with this pic)

Parmesan Chawanmushi

Smoked Duck

6th Stop: Orgo (8 Raffles Avenue, #04-01 Esplanade)

Best for: Large group gatherings, where space is of the essence

I have been to Orgo before a couple years back and I wasn’t impressed. Fast forward the clock and I still get the same vibes now. Drinks were a pretty standard affair and the place exudes a more commercialized feel compared to the other 5 bars we had been to. What’s going for the place is the view, given its location on the Esplanade roof terrace.





Salt Grill & Sky Bar – Where Memories are Made to Last

8 06 2014

You have to agree that to a large extent, the best litmus test of what constitutes a great restaurant lies in whether or not one remembers the food eaten there, a couple years down the road.

Having been at Salt Grill & Sky Bar two years back for restaurant week, the vivid image of an amazing appetizer, the crab omelette with enoki mushrooms is still left imprinted in my mind. It’s no wonder it’s been kept on the menu through the years as one of the restaurant’s signatures.

I was back here again for an unraveling of the restaurant’s new menu offerings and post-renovation works. Shan’t bore you too much with the nitty gritty details and let the pics do the talking of the restaurant layout. Essentially, the key difference is the repainting of the pillars to a more rustic hue and the relocation of the Sky Bar from the 56th storey (where in its place is now a private dining area) to the mezzanine level (between the 55th and 56th storey).

Private dining area on the 56th storey (2nd level of the restaurant)

As mentioned above, the restaurant is perched on the 55th and 56th floor of Ion Orchard, providing a spectacular view of the Singapore skyline. You can even see MBS in the distance. To access the restaurant, diners will have to take a private lift from the 4th storey of Ion.

Evening view from the restaurant

As this was an invited tasting, most of the dishes served today were tasting portions rather than full portions, just in case you are wondering why the portions look so petite.

The complimentary Bread selection here is made in-house and served with olive oil and dukkah (a mix of Macadamia, Cashhew, Sesame, Cumin, Coriander and Salt).

To kick off our meal, we had the Coconut broth with Sydney spice (Kaffir lime leaves, Lemon Myrtle, Tumeric, Ginger, Galangal, Chili, Garlic and Salt), which tasted much like an amalgam of a rich frothy seafood bisque and green curry. An interesting blend that definitely aroused my appetite.

One of my favourite dishes that night was the Sashimi of Kingfish, ginger, eschalot & goats feta ($33++). While the preparation for the dish is seemingly simplistic, the flavours brought forth were in perfect symphony. I liked how clean the sashimi tasted, indicating it’s freshness. The sweet ginger also paired well with the fattiness of the kingfish. I would already have given it full marks without the feta, as I felt that the pungency of the feta added little extra value.

While not terrible by any standards, the Baby vegetables, goats curd, ginger bread crumbs, dried black olives ($31++) came across as the least impressive among the dishes I had that night.

As a blast from the past, the ‘Glass’ Sydney crab omelette, enoki mushroom & herb salad, miso mustard broth ($33++) remained stellar as ever, with sheets of velvety omelette encasing slivers of sweet crab meat that complemented the briny broth well. The earthly enoki mushrooms also added a nice crunch to the overall texture of the dish.

The Tea smoked quail, almond cream, prunes, grains, grilled shallot, sorrel ($31++) was noteworthy too, made even more impressive by the fact that well-executed quail can be rather hard to come by. I particularly like the flavours of the Earl Grey Tea that was infused particularly well onto the glaze, interestingly it reminded me of the deepness your senses perceive from a Garrett’s Caramel-flavored popcorn sans the sweetness.

In the case where diners are interested to order a steak, the staff may wheel out a trolley of the different cuts available, facilitating the decision making process for diners. For ourselves, we had the 300-day grain fed Sirloin from Rangers Valley, New South Wales, which was marinated with Moroccan spice and served with sauté spinach, eggplant puree and red wine sauce ($74++). With a marbling score of 2+ (out of a possible 5) based on Australian grading standards, what I got was an average quality cut of beef that wasn’t extremely marbled and still required some chewing. Personally, I thought this was appropriate for such a cooking style and as a main course, as an overly marbled piece of beef often leaves one feeling awfully oleaginous after just a few slices.

Another one of Luke’s signatures that we tried was the Liquorice parfait, lime ($18++). While I’m not fans of liquorice, overall the dessert proved to be a success. The outer layer of the parfait was liquorice flavoured but the inner core of the dessert tasted somewhat like an extremely mild frozen cheesecake which effectively toned down the liquorice.

From the various drinks I tried, I would highly recommend the Salt cooler ($14++), a mocktail concocted from Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, lychee, apple, cranberry juice and lemonade. Extremely refreshing without the envisioned tartness nor astringency from the berries.

The restaurant’s signature cocktail is known as The Australian by Luke Mangan ($18++), made from Lime segment, lime leaf, ginger, cognac, gin, cranberry, shaken with Luke’s syrup. Found it a little on the strong side with strong hints of lime.

Cocktails of the day are sold at $15++ and the one featuring that night was The Chocolatini, made from Vodka, white chocolate sauce, green apple syrup and creme de cacao white (Usual Price, $18++). Similar to The Australian, I found this a little on the strong side. On the plus side, this Chocolatini was really thick, unlike some watery versions I have had in neighbourhood bars.

Before calling it a night, I would also recommend having a Grasshopper ($18++), a cocktail made from Creme de menthe, creme de cacao white and milk, tasting much like an “After Eight chocolate” and minty like Colgate, leaving your palate cleansed from the hearty meal.

Grasshopper (Left), Chocolatini (Right), Half-drank Salt Cooler (Far right)

Special thanks to Salt Grill & Sky Bar for the invitation. You made my Wednesday night.

Salt Grill & Sky Bar

2 Orchard Turn, 55 & 56 Floor Ion Orchard, Singapore 238801

Tel: +65 6592 5118





Woobar @ W Hotel – High Tea, or more accurately “Low Tea”

10 05 2014

Whenever I hear the term “high tea”, I get an impression of luxury and indulgence. After all, it does sound like a step up from just “tea” right? So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many eateries and cafes use the term “high tea” loosely, not knowing that it is in fact, a misnomer.

The story goes that in the past, the Brits used to get by with just 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner. However, it became fashionable for dinners to be served as late as 9pm (my guess is that most Brits hit the tavern after a day’s work first…and it seems like little has changed since then). Unable to stomach the long interval between breakfast and dinner, the Duchess of Belford at that time, a lady named Anna, made it a habit to have bread, cakes, butter and tea be served to her room in the afternoon, giving rise to what we now know as afternoon tea, or “low tea” as this meal was often eaten on low parlour chairs.

“High tea” on the other hand, used to refer to the hot dinner with strong tea served to rejuvenate industrial workers after a hard day’s work. The term “high” was used because these dinners were served to workers sitting on high back dining chairs.

Definitions aside, I would say that my experience with Woobar’s High Tea Set ($58/$68++ per set serving 2 pax on weekday/weekends) was in general, a positive one. I personally felt that the pricing was really reasonable, given the location premium, free-flow of tea/coffee, the amount and quality of the food. What’s more, diners can request for complimentary parking as well 😀

The key downside however was the seats, low sofas that were not at all conducive for eating.

One of the salient features of this tea set is the “bird cage” presentation, which is more novel than functional. The teeny bite-sized nibbles do add up to quite a bit of food so my advice would be to have a light lunch before embarking on this journey.

The bird cage comprises of 3 tiers. At the top most tier, served in what looked like a fishbowl, was the Chocolate Crackle and Pop which reminded me of coco pops.

The second tier comprised of savoury items. I especially liked the Tikka Inspired Salmon with Mint on Spiced Pappadum, which was like an aburi salmon marinated with curry powder among other Indian spices. The Torched Double Brie Pickled Cucumber Nigiri was nice as well, especially since I’m a fervent cheese lover.

I’m still on the fence about the Chocolate Foie Gras Ganache with Port Wine & Gold Leaf. It’s a creative idea but the flavours weren’t very compatible in my view. The liberal use of port wine also resulted in a slightly overwhelming alcoholic flavor.

On the other spectrum, the Twice Cooked Hen’s egg Mantou Chili Crab was really forgettable, mainly due to the egg that hardened up somewhat from being twice cooked. Furthermore, I could hardly make out the chili crab sauce and felt it tasted like sweet Thai chili instead.

The bottom tier comprised of the sweet items. Of the lot, I had a penchant for the Assorted Macarons and the Almond Whoopie Cookie Sandwich. Items I felt were so so were the Bambolini Ball (Lemon Infused Lemon Curd Ball) and the Fresh Berry Trifle Shots.

What I didn’t like were the Chocolate Cupcakes that I found dry and overly dense, not exactly the best attribute to have after numerous rich and heavy desserts.

As part of the tea set, we were also served Crones (a light filo pastry) of varying flavours such as Passion Fruit Butter, Marmalade, Strawberry and Blackberry. This was my favourite item of the afternoon and what I liked best about it was that it was not overly sweet or cloying, while retaining a mild buttery tone and flaky texture.

We also ordered a side of Truffle Fries ($15++), which was rather pricey given the petite portion.

Woobar @ W Hotel

21 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove, W Hotel Singapore

Tel: +65 6808 7258

Website: http://www.wsingaporesentosacove.com/en/woobar





Cotton Restaurant @ ECP – Grilled items done right

1 04 2014

A new restaurant called Cotton has recently taken root in East Coast Park, taking over the premises from 1-TwentySix. Interestingly, the name Cotton was given because of the resident cotton tree that grows at the entrance of the restaurant. The facade of the new establishment looks similar to 1-TwentySix and boosts a similar laidback vibe as well, with an al fresco dining area, a stage for the live band and an outdoor bar area but one of the key changes is that the indoor dining area will be converted into a cocktail bar after the ongoing renovations is completed.

Cotton serves European cuisine with a hint of Asian influence, with its char grilled items being a distinctive strength. While it is known more as a dinner and post-dinner drinks place, the restaurant has also started offering a weekend brunch menu as well.

Al fresco dining area

Outdoor bar area

I was here on invitation with XL from the4moose and WS from cafehoppingSG. We kicked off the tasting with some of the restaurant’s signature cocktails and mocktails.

XL had a cocktail named Jar of Heart ($18++), made from a combination of Whisky Sour (Whisky, Lemon juice and Sugar and Egg white), Amaretto (a type of Almond-based Italian liqueur) and Mixed Berries. Suffering from a bad ulcer, I opted for a mocktail instead. This uncharacteristic move was a blessing in disguise as I managed to sample the Superstar ($16++), made from a mix of Watermelon, Apple, Cranberry Juices with a dash of Melon syrup. It’s an awesome drink for a warm summer evening, especially with the refreshing taste of watermelon juice. If you have a preference for mango, try the Anita ($16++), a mocktail made from fruit punch, mango juice, grenadine (a pomegranate flavored syrup) and lychee.

Jar of Heart

While I’m not a fan of tuna in general, the Maguro Tuna Nicoise ($22++), which is a mix of French Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Quail Eggs, Potatoes & seared Tuna, left XL with a positive impression. It did however, come across as slightly pricey compared to the other items on the menu.

Taste-wise and value-wise, I much preferred the Vongole ($20++), a hearty bowl of clams with a dash of white wine and basil served with  a Toasted Baguette & Tomato Salsa. Definitely one of the better renditions around, the bittersweet gravy was rich and robust with the clams not overcooked, retaining a nice gelatinous texture.

For mains, the New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($38++) was strongly recommended by the staff and it wasn’t difficult to see why. It was one of the most succulent lamb racks I have had and I was surprised to find no areas being dried out from the grilling. Diners can choose from 4 different sauces (Wild Mushroom, Bordelaise, Lemon Garlic Butter or Pink Peppercorn) to accompany the grilled meats and I would highly suggest the Pink Peppercorn, which is milder than the usual Black Pepper Sauce and allows for greater appreciation of the natural flavours from the lamb. Incidentally, pink peppercorn is not technically a peppercorn but dried berries that come from a different plant.

What I really liked about the Whole Market Fresh Red Snapper ($32++) was that despite being served whole, the meat peeled off the bone easily and cleanly. We were told that the fish is sourced daily from the markets, providing greater assurance of its freshness, which came evident with the taste and texture. At this price point for a roughly 600g fish by my estimates, this is really quite a steal.

The Angel Hair Pasta with King Tiger Prawns, Smoked Sea Urchin Butter, Ebi Sakura & Vine Tomatoes ($38++) on the other hand, was less impressive. The pasta was a tad dry and lacking any hints of Sea Urchin. On the bright side, the king tiger prawns were quite sizable with a nice char.

For desserts, we had the Mango Panna Cotta, the Warm Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream and the Profiteroles ($14++ each). They weren’t bad but neither were they great, each falling short in a certain aspect. For example, I liked the ice cream in the profiterole but the choux pastry wasn’t airy and crisp enough, I liked the balanced sweet and tangy flavours from the mango panna cotta but the biscuit base lacked butteriness, while the chocolate fondant was spongy throughout instead of having a crisp outer layer.

Overall, I found the experience at Cotton to be a step up from its predecessor 1-TwentySix, mainly due to the adept execution of the char grilled dishes. The restaurant is still in the midst of fine-tuning their menu offerings and I’m looking forward to drop by again once the dust has settled.

Special thanks to Cotton for the invitation.

Cotton Restaurant

902 East Coast Parkway, #01-26 Big Splash

Tel: +65 6348 2126

Website: http://www.cottonsg.com/








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