Magma German Wine Bistro – My Favourite Watering Hole

27 05 2012

I first came to know about Magma 2 years ago when I participated in one of Time Out’s Dine Out Tasting Events, in which it was one of the 10 odd participating restaurants. Each of the participating restaurants featured some of their signatures and Magma left the deepest impression, with their freshly baked German Pizza and free-flow of German wines. My friend D and myself were so intrigued by the wine we tried that soon after the event, we paid a visit to Magma. That was the start of my Magma adventures and whenever any friends needed a suggestion for a watering hole, it would always be the first on my list.

As a regular here, I have to say I’m a little apprehensive blogging about this as one of the main reasons why I love the place is because the crowd is thin on weekday nights and is a perfect place to catch up with friends over affordable wines that ranges as low as $25 per bottle. In my mind, having too many people know of Magma will simply spoil the exclusivity and charm of the place. But I guess good food and drink is meant to be shared and Magma should be rewarded for hosting the good times I have had over the past 2 years.

As Magma operates a wine shop within the restaurant premises as well, the wine menu here is really extensive. I estimate that the restaurant carries around 250-300 different wine labels from Germany, a number you are unlikely to find in many other restaurants locally. I have only tried about 5 or 6 though, sticking to the ones that are generally sweeter and not too dry, suitable for unsophisticated drinkers. My favourite one here is the GEWUERZTRAMINER & SCHOENBURGER & RIESLING (Blend) ($37++), a still White wine which has been recommended by “The Local Nose” and attained a “SILVER” in Wine & Spirits Asia 2012. Although Gewuerztraminer (pronounced goose-ter-min-er) is a red grape, the wines gained from it are white, though the colour tone is slightly more golden compared to most white wines. Texture wise, it’s very smooth and easy to drink with floral undertones as it shares similar aromatic compounds to lychees, pairing well with cheese, roasted poultry, roasted fish as well as Flammkuchen (German pizza which will be covered below).

Another wine that provides great value is the ROTKAEPPCHEN Rubin red ($29++), a sparkling red wine which has attained a “Bronze” in “WineStyleAsiaAward 2011”. ROTKAEPPCHEN literally means Little Red Riding Hood in German, named as such because the top of the wine bottle is sealed in a ruby red foil. Again, its on the semi-sweet side and personally, I think it pairs well the Roasted Pork Knuckle here.

For food, I’d highly recommend trying out the Flammkuchen (sometimes referred to as a Tarte Flambee). It is a thin Crispy German Pizza with Sour Cream, Bacon & Onions ($16/$24 for Small/Regular) and is a great accompaniment for a bottle of white wine. Apart from Bacon & Onions, diners can also choose to have other topping mixes such as “Spinach & Cheese”, “Smoked Salmon & Leek”, “Chicken Breast with Tomato, Onions, Apple & Cheese”.

Something you can give a miss is the Beef Goulash with Capsicum, Onion & Spaetzle ($26++). In essence, it is simply an unexciting beef stew with egg noodle or pasta. The beef is the chunky type, not the fatty marbled ones that I like.

The Wildschweinbraten or Pan Fried Female Wild Boar with Forest Mushrooms & Potato Croquettes ($38++) is good too. The meat is utterly tender with a good fat-meat ratio but I wasn’t too excited about the cream sauce though as it didn’t add much value to the dish.

A must-try at Magma is their signature Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut, Mashed Potatoes, German Mustard & Beer Gravy ($29++ for Roasted Bavarian-style as per picture below). However, the lack of consistency can be an issue as the Pork Knuckle is freaking awesome only two-thirds of the time. On off-days the meat can be a tad too sinewy, and the crackling soggy but I believe it’s still worth taking my chances whenever I’m here. Another good point is that the portions are huge so I usually find trouble finishing it all by myself when I order this for dinner. Apart from the Roasted Bavarian-style, there are other styles available as well for how you want your Pork Knuckle to be done. This includes Boiled Berlin-style ($28++), Roasted Honey Glazed ($34++), Roasted Garlic Flavour ($34++), Roasted Chili Flavoured ($34++).

For amateur drinkers, I think Magma is definitely a great place to start out. The staff are friendly and the owners (a German couple) run the restaurant themselves, so any queries on wine selection or appreciation can be directed straight at them or the staff. And from my interactions with them, I believe it is fair to say they are always happy to educate new drinkers.

Magma German Wine Bistro

2 Bukit Pasoh Rd

Tel: +65 6221 0634

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Stellar @ 1-Altitude – A New Star?

29 08 2011

*This dinner was sponsored by Stellar @ 1-Altitude

I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation to a tasting session to Stellar @ 1-Altitude last week. This was my first time dining there and I was glad that several other food bloggers were invited as well. It’s always interesting to find out what makes food bloggers tick and their impetus for starting their food blogs in the first place.

1-Altitude is the latest venture by the One Rochester Group, which also operates its flagship gastrobar One Rochester, Coast @ 1-TwentySix and patisserie 1 Caramel (if you haven’t already found out, I hate to break the sad news to you but the outlet between Cathay and Plaza Singapura has relocated to One Rochester quite recently). Perched on level 62 of OUB Centre, be astounded by the panoramic and breathtaking 360 degree view of the Singapore CBD/Marina Bay skyline.

1-Altitude actually manages levels 61 to 63 of OUB centre, with each level catering for different functions and crowds. On level 61, 1-Altitude runs 282 and Citygolf, a sports bar and indoor golf simulator. On level 62 is the fine dining restaurant arm of 1-Altitude, Stellar. Lastly located on the top level is 1-Altitude Gallery and Bar, which is the World’s highest rooftop bar at 282m.

Stellar is helmed by Group Executive Chef Christopher Miller, who in addition to being Stellar’s head chef, also runs his own Thai eatery Sweet Salty Spicy around the Bukit Timah area. He tells us that while Stellar’s modern cuisine carries with it a high level of sophistication, Stellar aims at providing diners with a fun dining experience rather than evoking stifling and rigid fine dining rules.

While Chef Miller specializes in Modern European cuisine, Stellar’s menu isn’t limited as such. There’s food here that caters to most palates, from Japanese, fresh seafood like Sashimi and Oysters, Grilled meats, and even a Charcuterie section (cured meats) but Chef Miller made it clear that Stellar doesn’t serve fusion food.

Our tasting session started off with Stellar’s Twice Baked Gruyere Souffle. For traditionalists who believe that souffles should only be left for dessert, I bid them to try this rendition. The gruyere souffle is served alongside additional servings of 2 different melted cheese sauces (gruyere and blue cheese), meant for those who want an extra cheesy kick. The cheese sauces complemented the souffle as much, if not more, than the typical vanilla sauce to a chocolate souffle. I believe that I would have no qualms eating this for breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea, dinner or supper 😀

The Seared Hokkaido Scallops and Octopus was a pretty sight. The octopus is cooked in a sous vide style, adding a softer texture to the normally elastic rubbery bite.

The Sashimi: Omakase Taster is an assorted tray of fresh Tuna Belly, Salmon, Tai, Hamachi, Swordfish, Scallops, Ikura, Caviar, and Surf Clams. Typically, “omakase” means entrusting your meal in the chef’s hands such that he would normally bring out the freshest or seasonal ingredients to whip up your meal. Therefore, its probable that one might not get the same types of sashimi everytime, but that’s just my guess. I found the quality and freshness of the seafood laudable given that Stellar isn’t a full fledged Japanese restaurant. After all, who can complain about Tuna Belly?

The Sushi(Spicy Tuna, Swordfish, Lobster and Salmon) was done delightfully well too. I especially liked the Swordfish Sushi (2nd row from top). In addition to the inner sushi fillings of diced swordfish, the sushi was also topped with a slice of creamy swordfish smeared with a rich mayo sauce which was subsequently seared. Really yummy.

There was a small side of lightly seared Ocean Trout and Swordfish Tataki which I found so-so.

There’s so much variety within the Charcuterie Taster that it’s hard to keep track. Apart from the 2 different types of Jamon hams (can’t remember their exact names though), there’s also a fowl terrine which I found too bitter and strong-tasting for my liking, cured sausages of duck and pork which were so-so, and a creamy foie gras parfait which was my favourite mini-item of this Charcuterie Taster.

Transiting to Mains, I harboured ambivalent feelings towards the Truffled Risotto with Poached Maine Lobster. While I liked the texture of the risotto and fresh sweetness of the lobster, I found the use of Truffle oil excessive which threatened to overwhelm the dish’s naturally mild flavours.

The Slow Roasted Suckling Pig with Iberico jamon and Fig Stuffing was pretty decent but objectively speaking, I’m just too much a fan of fat meats to be that reliable.

The Grain Fed ‘Tomahawk’ Rib Eye served with Bone Marrow is sourced from Australian cattle, which according to Chef Miller is what Australian cattle are good for (US cattle are better for their sirloin according to him). If I recall correctly, this Rib Eye was dry aged for 120 days, which is quite long. Just to recap on the similarities and differences between wet aging and dry aging, both types of aging carries with it the same purpose; to allow the beef to become more tender by allowing its natural enzymes to break down the proteins within the beef. The main difference is that for dry aging, the beef (usually of higher quality) is hung and allowed to air while for wet aging, the beef is sealed in a vacuumed plastic bag (hence retaining more water and tasting a bit more bloody). Another tidbit of info regarding food aging that I found out from Chef Miller is that aging of egg whites (for 2 weeks!) is crucial in making a light and airy souffle!

Utterly seduced by the Chocoloate Seduction, I loved every aspect of this creation, from the velvety chocolate ganache to the crunchy praline base, not to mention the Moist Chocolate Cake (much like a chocolate lava cake) at the background. I just think that while 1 chocolate cake is good, 2 is always better.

Topped with Coconut Ice Cream, I’m not an ardent fan of the Tropical Vodka Trifle, which while still passable by usual standards, was dwarfed by the other desserts.

Whenever I used to visit 1-Caramel, I never fail to order the Strawberry Shortcake which is airy and not too cloying. I was simply beaming when I saw it present among the Trio Fraise, which also comprised of Champagne Jelly and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.

The Tropical Teaser comprised of a citrus cheesecake and Lemon Sorbet, effective as a last dessert for cleansing the palate after such a heavy meal.

While there was a mix of hits and misses, I generally enjoyed my dining experience at Stellar. After our dinner, we took a short stroll up to the rooftop bar and gallery. Having been to a few rooftop bars in Singapore like Helipad, Orgo and New Asia Bar, I believe that 1-Altitude’s ambience and view is the best of these few. Of course, I won’t be as hasty to say that it’s the best rooftop bar in Singapore, as I haven’t been to LeVel 33 or Ku De Ta etc yet.

Many thanks to the One-Rochester Group and Stellar @ 1-Altitude for their kind and gracious invitation.

Bon Appetit!

Stellar @ 1-Altitude

1 Raffles Place, Level 62 OUB Centre

Tel: +65 6438 0410





Cafe Fables and Bar Stories – A Cocktail Adventure

22 04 2011

On occasion I get the question of why I’m such a foodie and the impetus in setting up a food blog. Normally I’d brush it off with a truncated answer for simplicity’s sake, of how I gained an epiphany; that despite living in a multicultural society, my food knowledge was severely lacking and like many other Singaporeans, I found difficulty in throwing out names of 3 authentic French restaurants in Singapore. 2 years down, French is now my cuisine of choice.

However, the unabridged version of my story starts off slightly different, beginning more than 2 years ago at a bar called Klee (which sadly closed sometime ago) with ex-JC classmate CW. CW had suggested visiting Klee for drinks and it was there that we coincidentally met one of the co-founders of Hungrygowhere and his fiancee. I never learnt of the reason why they sent over a couple of drinks on his tab, and I was really quite perplexed because this almost never happens in Singapore. Of course, we returned their hospitality with our company and chatted with them for a couple of hours till closing time, never seeing them ever again. Hungrygowhere was still rather new at that time and a week later, I opened an account and used it as my primary food hunting resource, occasionally contributing some reviews to this food community myself. And this was how I got started in food writing.

So while some travel to Mecca, and others do community service in 3rd-world poverty stricken areas, there’s this small group of us who indulge in a life-long food trail. The similarity between the 3 are almost indistinguishable, but the fact is that everybody’s actually embarking on the same journey…paths of self-discovery. 

Cafe Fables by day, Bar Stories by night. Housed on the 2nd level of furniture shop “A Thousand Tales”, what I found here was a sense of homeliness, somewhere to go to after work to unwind, somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A venture pursued by one of the partners of the now defunct Klee, Bar Stories too, functions without a drinks menu with fresh cocktails specially mixed to individual tastes. How apt it is for CW to be the one bringing me here, after introducing Klee to me as well. The cocktail culture here allows me to reminisce the good old times at Klee, the concept of having friendly mixologists interacting with guests, the concept of being able to chat with random friendly strangers across the bar, the concept of being just so un-Singaporean. Say goodbye to the dark dodgy pubs that we are so used to, Bar Stories has an open concept with a soft tune playing in the backdrop, making it easy for catching up with old friends whilst sipping the night away.

Jeff, one of the two mixologists for the night, whipped up a sweet Honeydew Mango Sake ($22++) for CW. Really awesome stuff, and it reminds me of a drink called “Nothing” which is available in Zouk and made with Melon Liquor. But then again, comparing cocktails from Bar Stories with Zouk’s is like comparing steak from Morton’s with Jack’s Place. The difference is simple yet evident. Bar Stories makes its cocktails fresh from scratch, meaning no fruit syrups or concentrates are used. This gives a fresher feel to the cocktails and lends a taste that isn’t too sharp and artificial.

For myself, I was presented with a Pomegranate Passionfruit Martini ($22++) which appeals more to those who prefer their drinks sour rather than sweet. I’m more of a sweet cocktail person but it’d still be my pleasure getting high on this.

Bar Stories, a cocktail adventure? Definitely.

Bon Appetit!

CAFE FABLES & BAR STORIES

55-57 HAJI LANE, 2ND FLOOR

TEL: +65 6298 0838





Bedrock Grill & Bar – Restaurant Week’s Best Deal

31 03 2011

In the midst of so many (>80) reputable restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, it’s indeed a tall order sifting your way through the interminable list to finally shortlist restaurants that’s actually worth your while visiting. Firstly, we must talk budget, where you must consider if the restaurant’s normal set lunch is priced similarly or gasp…cheaper than the Restaurant Week’s set lunch. One of the better deals I spied on was Le Saint Julien whose normal set lunch is priced at $58++, really wanted to visit them but sadly my friend A’s craving for Oysters saw us dining at Oyster Bar on Restaurant Week Day 1 instead…rant rant.

Secondly, it’s also about location. We all know how busy Singaporeans are,  and according to an article “Don’t blame lack” by the International Labor Organization (2010), workers in Singapore clocked the most number of working hours per week among twelve nations in the survey. So, I’m guessing most of us have only 1 hour lunch breaks, unless you are an Investment Banker where you can eat as long as you want but OT till 4am, which severely limits our dining options somewhat. Even a student like myself isn’t spared, it’s so much easier to convince a friend to dine somewhere near school than at il Lido in Sentosa.

Lastly, I guess its availability. As beggars can’t be choosers, I’m sure that most of us still rather use Restaurant Week as an excuse to indulge in one of the less renowned restaurants that hasn’t been fully booked than eat at some economic rice stall right?

Having identified all these factors, one eatery seemed to fit the bill nicely; Bedrock Grill & Bar. With a normal set lunch going at $35 compared to Restaurant Week’s set at $25, affordability…check! Located at Pan Pacific Suites near 313 Somerset just a few bus stops down SMU, location…check! Bookings available…check!

I really wasn’t expecting much from Bedrock’s lunch because of 2 reasons. Firstly, the previous night’s Lawry’s dinner would surely have increased my benchmark for good beef and secondly, how good can a steak get when it’s priced at $25, inclusive of appetizer and dessert?

Bedrock’s interior has a rather rustic style, lots of wood everywhere. It’s no fine dining restaurant and doesn’t pretend to be, making do with a casual and cosy setting with professional and attentive staff. The only issue that concerned me was the smell of grease from cooking, which was evident once I stepped into the outlet. Thankfully the ventilator did its job after a while…or I simply got desensitized to the smell.

We were served a pita looking bread, together with butter and cooked cloves of garlic, my first time seeing it served with complimentary bread. I’m quite a garlic fan and thought that it really went well with the plain pita.

We were then served a Smoked Tomato Soup. Nothing memorable about it but it did well in simulating our taste buds with its tanginess.

Mesquite Grilled Half Chicken with Roasted Celeraic, White Truffle Butter and Taragon Jus. The skin was real crispy and enjoyable but I found the meat to be a little dry. The tau kwa looking cubes are the Roasted Celeraic, a root vegetable of the celery family, which tasted much like radish.

For the uninitiated, steak is just steak but to the connoisseur, steak can be likened to wine, with many unique tastes and textures. There’s so many factors to consider when choosing a steak; breed, cut, feed used, aging method and whether hormones are used etc. Today I will be focusing on the feed used, where there are 2 main types; grass (duh!) and grain (corn, barley and wheat). Of course grass is a cow’s original staple but the reason why many farmers choose to feed their cows with grain, which is not supposed to be part of a cow’s diet, is because grain like corn is inexpensive and fattens the cows up faster and gives the meat better marbling, moreover it does not require large amounts of grazing land, hence driving up profits for these cow farmers. But as no panacea is without side effects, grains cannot be properly digested by cows, resulting in bloating and discomfort for the cows. Furthermore, grain fed beef is supposedly less healthy than grass fed beef because it has a higher level of saturated fat etc…I shan’t go into the technicals.

There’s some debate on the difference in taste between grass fed beef and grain fed beef, and even within the category of grain fed beef, cows on a pure corn diet would possibly taste different from a cow fed with a mix of barley and corn. Personally tastewise, I prefer grain fed because it’s fattier and more marbled and even though it’s more unhealthy, I guess the age old adage of “eating once in a while” does hold true…that’s what I keep telling myself at least.

Having gone on about the differences in cattle feed, the one I had here was a gorgeous Grilled 150-days Grain Fed Ribeye Fillet Steak. Let’s just say that it’s a whole different league from what you’d ever get from Astons. The meat was well marinated enough to eat on its own without the overly spicy black pepper sauce. The hand cut Fries were really good as well.

For dessert, we were served a Wedge of Chocolate Valrhona Flourless Cake with Hazelnut Nougatine and Creme Fraiche. Best chocolate flourless cake ever! I really loved the inclusion of a thin layer of Creme Fraiche aka sour cream sandwiched within the cake which gave a really flavourful aftertaste, ensuring that the chocolate didn’t overwhelm the palate. The icing sugar decoration was also a nice touch, simple yet awfully effective.

For that affordable steak meal, I’d seriously recommend Bedrock Grill & Bar.

Bon Appetit!

BEDROCK GRILL & BAR

96 SOMERSET ROAD, #01-05 PAN PACIFIC SERVICED SUITES

TEL: +65 6238 0054





Oyster Bar – No Pearls in this Oyster

23 03 2011

Day 1 of Restaurant Week. It should have been awesome, with the supposed incentive of dining more cheaply at selected restaurants offering a prix fixe menu. Yet, our luncheon at Oyster Bar proved to be awfully disappointing.

Oyster Bar is a “European fine-dining Seafood Bar” or so they claim. While I do not discount its status as a European Seafood Bar, I found the service and food to have fallen short of fine-dining standards. Overlooking Marina Bay Sands, I guess it caters more as a bar than a restaurant for the post-dinner crowd, where I believe the night ambience would be a whole lot more romantic.

Weekday set lunches here normally costs $44++, which is way overpriced if you ask me given what’s available on the set menu. For Restaurant Week, a 3-Course set lunch is priced at a slight discount at $40++.

We started off our meal with a Pair of Freshly Shucked Oysters each, paired with a homemade Champagne Vinaigrette with fresh raspberries. No doubt the oysters were fresh but it was much too briny for me because I love to be able to taste the subtle sweetness of fresh oysters without my tongue shriveling up like a snail exposed to salt. Anyway, for affordable oysters, I’d still have to give my vote to Greenwood Fish Market where freshly shucked oysters go at $1 a pop on Tuesdays (with any main course ordered).

For mains, the Baked Snapper Fillet was appalling. Not sure if they were trying to infuse a Mediterranean style but it failed, not to mention the snapper was way overcooked.

The Slowed-cooked Duck Thigh nestled on Truffled Mash Potatoes & Orange Confit accompanied by Brie Baked Oysters fared slightly better, but I would still consider it below par, given the few other Confit de Canards I have tried in Singapore. My main grouse was that it was rather soggy (hence not crisp) and extremely salty, though eating it with mash did help to tone down the saltiness…somewhat. As for the Brie baked oysters, I would say that the there wasn’t much symphony, with the flavours of brie and oyster each wanting to stand out on its own.

For desserts, the Lemon Tart whilst generous in portion, was cringingly sour and the pastry lacked butteriness and flakiness.

Likewise, the Raspberry Creme Brulee didn’t pass muster. The consistency was far too dense and eggy instead of light and airy.

Food wasn’t the only concern today. Despite having only 4 other customers who I saw in the entire restaurant, my glass was left unfilled for the longest time. Furthermore I found the high bar chairs of Oyster Bar to be rather uncomfortable for a meal.

Bon Appetit!

OYSTER BAR

70 COLLYER QUAY, #01-01 CUSTOMS HOUSE

TEL: +65 6534 5534





Foo House Cafe & Bar – The Foo Works

15 03 2011

Simpang Bedok is more or less synonymous with pratas, teh tariks and nasi gorengs. It’s a place where soccer fanatics gather over the weekends to supper while catching a live EPL game; possibly the 2 most favourite of Singaporean pastimes.

However, today was no weekend. I was on the search for a relative unknown in the Singapore food scene, the dark horse better known as Foo House Cafe & Bar and while it’s not the most renowned eatery around the area, I was indeed deeply enamoured by the quality of food served here.

Operated by Grand Hyatt’s former executive Sous Chef (2nd in command after the Chef de Cuisine), Chef Foo has over 40 years of culinary experience. Hence, it’s no wonder why the cuisine offered here possesses a subtle sophistication despite the eatery’s casual and slightly run down nature.

Having worked at western joints such as Pete’s Place, Chef Foo is no stranger to western cuisine but it’s not difficult to spot some tweaks within the food that suggests a slight gearing towards fusion (especially the Roast Duck I had).

Initially, Eunice and I had intended to share some appetizers but was discouraged by the staff taking our orders. Apparently, portions here are big, especially since we had ordered The Foo Works ($20.90++), which is essentially their Picardy Monster Beef Burger ($16.90++) with additional toppings of Bacon, Egg, Caramelized & Onion (additional $1 per topping). Guess we were slightly overzealous in wanting to order appetizers; this was an upgraded version of their Monster Beef Burger after all. Eunice told me that the beef patty here isn’t minced but is in fact manually chopped and so tastes more genuine and also manages to hold together much better. I do recommend adding all the toppings; each one playing a vital role for a wholesome experience. I couldn’t even find fault with the mash which was buttery and smooth. Without doubt, definitely top 3 within my burger rankings.

Curiosity got the better of me in making the decision to order the Foo House Roast Duck ($17.90++). Isn’t Roast Duck supposed to be Chinese? What’s it doing on a bar menu? Is it just a Duck Confit? Too many questions left me begging for an answer. It’s quite interesting really, I couldn’t really decide if the Roast Duck was more east or west. It tasted somewhat like a braised herbal duck expect that it had been lightly roasted. Too bad a mix of 2 cultures just wasn’t for me. I’d prefer either a soft fall-off-the-bone-tender braised duck or a sinfully crisp duck confit anytime.

I was really quite full by then but managed to pull off another Apple Crumble for sharing. I found it pretty decent for a dessert  costing $6 or $7, just don’t nit pick if you don’t spot the black specks of vanilla beans.

The menu here is astoundingly extensive and unless you dined here everyday for a month, you’d probably not be able to try everything. While I tend to avoid eateries that have overly extensive menus (which I regard as lacking focus and having no real speciality), I think this would be an exception and I’m really excited to return to try out whatever else Foo House, Cafe & Bar has to offer.

Bon Appetit!

FOO HOUSE, CAFE & BAR

6 JALAN PARI BURONG, PICARDY GARDENS

TEL: +65 6445 3110





Orgo – Orgasmic Cocktails

19 05 2010

At this point of the year, University Application results come across to many as a looming albatross and while most contend with worries whether they manage to make it to the university of their choice, S was instead bothered by her choice of scholarship, freting on which one to take up; a bond-free local one or an overseas one which comes with a bond. For me, it would have been a easy choice…I cried in the shower when my best friend in Pri Sch missed going to the same Sec school as me by 1 point in the PSLE aggregate, (not to mention the 6-year slavery to a statutory board). Yes, my self-proclaimed new-age manliness(the epitome of sensitivity and sophistication) is way more attractive than the typical buff and masculine jockey types, right?…At least in my view(but who says I’m not buff and masculine too!).

Anyways, S finally reached a decision today and has decided to say too-da-loo to our fair island city. More often than not, these scenarios(which thx to our rigid education system has become all so commonplace) have always evoked the same ambivalent feelings within me, for while I’m happy that they(friends and family) get to slack for their university life(and still return with 1st class honours thx to UK’s education system which awards honours almost as generously as they do admissions) and travel around the world to expand their horizons, a tinge of sadness envelops me whenever I think of the possibility that our deep-rooted friendships might erode over time.

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow…though only in the best-case scenario. In most scenarios, parting is simply parting…

Replete with overwhelming latent emotions, what better cure was there than to drown my emo feelings with intoxication by what I would think of as gourmet Cocktails @ Orgo.

Actually what intially drew me to Orgo was their concept of Organic Chemistry whereby for some items on the menu, only organic produce is used. This novelty coupled with the presence of the celebrity mixologist Tomoyuki Kitazoe and the stunning Esplanade rooftop ambience was more than enough reason to justify the visit. The glass walls separating the al fresco and indoor areas enable those who shun the local humidity and heat to enjoy the paranomic view of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay resort in the luxury of indoor aircon comfort too! 

This being my virgin visit, most of the food and drink orders were recommendations by the staff. 

Described as “Kurobuta & Chicken Parcel gratinated in melted Foie Gras”, the Foie Gras Siew Mai($12++) sounded too good to be true. Kurobuta and Foie Gras together? What have I done to deserve such luxury? Swoons…That said, Orgo probably mixed up the Foie Gras Siew Mai recipe with the recipe for utter disappointment, whipping up the latter instead. There was a strong gamey and porky flavour and the rough texture was atypical of what I’d normally expect from Kurobuta. Usually the saving grace, I have always thought that it would be impossible to screw up a Foie Gras but for Orgo, impossible is nothing. I assumed that melting the Foie Gras was mainly used to bring out the intense flavour but instead, the Foie Gras ended up tasting like a bitter moose that lacked it’s all so enjoyable fatty consistency. Yes, I don’t like it when Foie Gras goes to waste and so I rant…

“Skewer of Beef Tenderloin accompanied by Cabbage Salad served with Chili & Lime Dressing”, the Pinchitos Morunos($10++) was too my horror, served to us at room temperature though I’m not sure if that was intentional. The dressing was a nice fit for the Beef but I really wouldn’t order this again as pre-cooked beef left at room temperature is really just an unsavoury cesspool for bacterial growth.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the Grilled Chicken Breast accompanied by Fricassee of Mushrooms gratinated with Cheese($25++) arrived. It sets the record for the most rubber-like chicken I have ever eaten although at least the cream sauce helped to lift this dish from downright disgusting to just plain distasteful, ok I exaggerate but seriously, the calories I lost chewing the rubbery meat > than the calories I gained digesting it. I’m going to call this yumyumformytumtum’s 1 step diet programme for healthy weight loss.

I probably shouldn’t have been that shocked at how the food turned out though since no one else there apart from S and I seemed to have ordered any food. However, I’m pleased to say that the cocktails are a different story altogether. Orgo prides itself on mixing cocktails made from fresh fuits(only sliced on ordering), which evidently results in cocktails with a much more refreshing fruity taste. This concept is not a new one, Klee @ Portsdown Road has been using it long before Orgo came into the picture and it works. Most people only perceive drinking as an avenue to get high and totally miss out on the fine art of liquor appreciation which I feel is a pity. For me at least, the friendly banter with the mixologists and other friendly patrons whilst soaking up the ambience with a freshly mixed martini in hand makes for the perfect symphony for cocktail appreciation and with respect to this, I’d still prefer Klee slightly over Orgo due to the former’s concept of a no-menu cocktail concoction bar with personalised service and friendly regulars.

Passionfruit with Coffee Salt Margarita($18++) came reminiscent of a towering ice kachang. It tasted best when it was melted halfway, when I felt that the alcohol(tequila right?) to mixer ratio was just right for my liking.

Mango & Marjoram Martini($18++) is for those who prefer something a little sweeter. Personally, I don’t really like mango but the subtle sweetness from both the mango and marjoram(a herb or undershrub with sweet pine & citrus flavour says wikipedia) definitely had some chemistry going on.

At the end of the day though, I have to admit I had a good time at Orgo and it will definitely be a spot for potential dates. It’s a nice place to chill and talk about life or our(Singaporeans) lack of it.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

ORGO

8 RAFFLES AVENUE, #04-01 ESPLANADE-THEATRES ON THE BAY ROOF TERRACE

TEL: +65 6336 9366








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