[New York] Bouley – Skipping out New York’s Restaurant Week for this!

20 07 2011

Restaurant Week 2011 for New York is held between 12th to 25th July, but instead of going for discounted set meals (US$24.07 for lunch and US$35 for dinner) offered at some restaurants, I figured that this week would divert some attention away from the many Michelin Star restaurants not participating in restaurant week and provide the opportunity for successful last minute reservations. That’s how I stumbled upon Bouley, a French Michelin 1-Star fine dining restaurant.

On a side note, given the success of Singapore’s Restaurant Week in March 2011, a 2nd installment will be held here in October this year, making it a bi-annual affair.

Unlike the chichi restaurants in Singapore and those I visited in London, the dress code for fine dining in New York is more strictly enforced, so even in the heat of summer where temperatures soar as high as Singapore’s, formal jackets are still required for gentlemen dining at Bouley.

My group of 5 was seated at a dimly lit side of the restaurant so the photos are kind of grainy and dark even after some editing 😦

From start till finish, service was top notch and bordering on stifling but after getting some awesome food in our tumtums as the meal started, we immediately abandoned our unusually reticent selves in unending ravings.

Bouley offers ala-carte lunch as well as a 5-Course Tasting Menu (US$55). Given that a 2 course ala-carte meal here already costs more than the Tasting Menu, almost everyone in the restaurant opted for the tasting menu.

Can’t remember the exact constituents to the complimentary amuse bouche but there was definitely Celery Sorbet, Beetroot, Avocado with Cherry Sauce. A truly refreshing dish with great complementary natural flavours. Even my friends who usually avoid celery proclaimed that this was good and cleaned out their bowls.

Amuse Bouche

All except one of my friends ordered the trio of sashimi as their starting course. Kampachi is a Hawaiian Yellowtail best known as Almaco Jack which tastes and looks almost exactly like the Tuna. My favourite sashimi though was the white flesh from the Striped Amberjack which had a much fattier and creamier texture.

1st Course: Carpaccio of Kampachi, Young Big Eye Tuna and Striped Amberjack (Mediterranean style)

This was prepared with the Flan (custard) at the base, with the dashi (soup stock) poured over it. While we often use Sri Lankan crabs for our local Singapore dishes, the Dungeness Crab, named after the the town of Dungeness in Washington, is most often used in the Pacific Northwest which includes areas such as Vancouver, Seattle and Alaska.

2nd Course: Porcini Flan, Alaska Live Dungeness Crab & Black Truffle Dashi

2nd Course: Wild Alaskan Salmon with a Rainbow of Early Baby Beets & Macadamia Nut Dressing

2nd Course: Black Cod marinated with Pistachio Miso, Organic Buckwheat & Ginger Aromatic Sauce

B ordered the chicken which she gave positive feedback on. I thought it was good, but not great. Pain D’Epices is a type of bread or cake so I’m not really sure how the dressing for this dish is made. B thought that the dressing tasted like a mere pumpkin puree sauce though. Chanterelles are a type of mushroom commonly used in French Cuisine and had a notable earthly flavour.

3rd Course: All Natural Pennsylvania Chicken, Spring Carrot Ravioli, Chanterelles & Pain D'Epices Dressing

3rd Course: Organic Long Island Duck Roasted with White Truffle Honey with Puree of Organic Dates and White Turnips

I think most of us got fooled that this was Kobe beef given the name of the dish but judging from the extent of marbling, I highly doubt it. Still, everyone found it very tender and tasty, going well with the Gnocchi which acted as a staple for this dish.

3rd Course: Slow Braised Kobe Style Beef Cheeks with Blue Kale Gnocchi

This really reminded me of the Honeydew and Rock Melon Sago dessert that we get in Chinese restaurants, especially after the Ricotta Sorbet started melting and replacing what would have been the Coconut Milk.

4th Course: California Organic Orange Flesh Melon Soup with Fresh Ricotta Sorbet

My friends called this “Heaven on a Plate”, nuff said.

Hot Valrhona Chocolate Souffle 2011 with White Coffee Cloud and Chocolate Sorbet

Hot Caramelized Anjou Pear with Valrhona Chocolate, Biscuit Breton, Hot Toffee Sauce, Lemon Verbena and Tahitian Ice Cream

Petit Fours

Gems such as Bouley are best left for special occasions when you want everything to be perfect, but since perfection is relative, never should meals here be an everyday affair.

Bon Appetit!

Bouley

163 Duane Street, New York

Tel: 212 964 2525

Advertisements




[Vancouver] Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar – The Food Orgasm

11 07 2011

Summer School came and went in the blink in an eye and despite spending the most carefree days of my life here in Vancouver, I had been left high and dry in my pursuit for yumyums due to the packed schedule and inertia to travel too far off campus. And as a result of gastronomic imbalances, I found myself a victim of my cyclical PMS (Peter Mood Swings) towards the end of the month.

It starts at Phase 1: The Guilt Trip. That occurs after a flurry of heavy consumer spending, be it on food or shopping. One feels utterly guilty and decides to hold off the splurging temporarily, eating economic rice and at home, forefeiting restaurant meals.

In Phase 2: The Mount of Annoyance, one feels increasingly annoyed because of the absence of nice meals. Economic rice starts to get really monotonous.

This annoyance comes to a climax in Phase 3: Deprivation and Frustration. Some time has passed since the period of excessive spending and one is ready to go out for a posh meal. However, one finds it hard to do so given one’s (or one’s meal buddies) hectic schedules, leading to deprivation. Alternatively, some hyped up meals turned out disappointing, leading to frustration.

In Phase 4: The Food Orgasm, a meal finally hits the spot, but the hefty price tag brings you back to Phase 1: The Guilt Trip.

I haven’t really been having really great food during this Vancouver trip, so dinner here at Blue Water Cafe was definitely Phase 4 for me.

The PMS (Peter Mood Swings) Cycle

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar specializes in seafood, which is prepared in a “east meets west” fusion nature. The ambience is classy, though no compulsory dress-code is enforced.

To diversify their risks as first time diners here, R and Nana opted for the BC Tasting for 2, comprising tasting portions of 4 appetizers (Dungeness Crab Salad, Scallop Ceviche, Tuna Tatare, and Smoked Salmon Terrine) for 2 pax.

BC Tasting for 2 (C$37)

Cooked within White Asparagus Panna Cotta and topped off with Green Apple Foam, I found little symphony between the mild individual flavours.

Dungeness Crab Salad

Ceviches’ are what I consider to be Central America’s answer to Japanese sashimi. My 2nd favourite amongst the 4 BC Tasting appetizers.

Qualicum Bay Scallop Ceviche

Very similar to the Ahi Tuna I had at the now defunct Raw Kitchen Bar (which has now reopened under the new name “Kilo”), though I find the Albacore Tuna to be much fattier and hence tastier.

Albacore Tuna Tartare

The Smoked Salmon Terrine was served with “Golden Caviar marinated in Sake, Green Onion Creme Fraiche, Pumpernickle & Toasted Filberts”. I was amazed at how “chim” the description was when I read it myself. Pumpernickle is a type of rye bread, and filberts are a type of hazelnut. While this scores average on the taste-o-meter, it does look pretty, no?

Smoked Sockeye Salmon Terrine

Baked with Tomatoes, Olives, Capers and Thyme Lemon Butter, I took pleasure in every bite, wishing if only the scallops could be larger.

Gulf Island Swimming Scallops (C$15.50)

Since its a seafood restaurant, it isn’t surprising that the Kurobuta Pork Cheeks wasn’t up to standard. Cooked in a “Milanese style with Cauliflower Couscous, Golden Raisins, Hazelnuts and Brown Caper Butter”, most of us felt that that the pork cheeks were insufficiently marinated and hence bland. We were slightly appeased as the portion turned out fairly large for an appetizer portion though.

Kurobuta Pork Cheeks (C$16.50)

Noticing that every table had a bowl of sliced lemons, it became clear that one of Blue Water Cafe’s strengths lies in their Oyster Menu, which offers almost 20 different breeds of oysters, originating from British Columbia in Canada, Washington and the East Coast of the US.

Based on the waiter’s recommendations, we tried the Effingham Oysters which the white larger ones and the Kumamoto Oysters which are the dark small ones. R and Nana preferred the Effingham ones which started off with a strong saline taste, before giving way to a subtle sweet aftertaste. I preferred the Kumamoto ones because I’m a fan of distinctly sweet rather than salty oysters and these ones.

Effingham Oysters (C$2.75/piece) and Kumamoto Oysters (C$3.75/piece)

Served with Morel Mushrooms, Artichokes, Pearl Onions and a Madeira (a type of fortified sweet wine) reduction, I found the risotto to be excellent, with the sweet wine complementing the cheesiness well.

Pearl Barley Risotto with Okanagan Goat Cheese (C$24.50)

Given that the lobster was uber fresh and really sweet, this was probably the best lobster dish I have ever tried. A light dip into the cream base and taking a bite out of that crunchy pincer is simply orgasmic.

Poached Live Lobster (C$60)

I’m not really into Halibut because I find the meat too firm and chewy that reminds me of the fish served in airline meals. Still, the crisp pan fried exterior provided some consolation.

Day's Special: Halibut

My first time eating Arctic Char. I found the flesh rather lean and flaky, which is possibly best enjoyed with a light seasoning to appreciate its natural delicate taste. Although it has been touted as an alternative to Salmon, I still prefer the latter which possesses a richer taste and is fattier too.

Arctic Char (C$29.50)

During the past 2 months of traveling, I learnt that there are quite a few species of cod around the world. In Singapore, the “cod” that is usually served is actually Chilean Seabass. In Europe like London, Spain and Portugal, the “cod” used is usually Salt Cod aka Baccala (in Italian) or Bacalhau (in Portuguese). As for Black Cod, it is also known as Sablefish and it was what I had for my main. Glazed with Miso and Sake, this is the best Miso Cod I have eaten, where the flavourful miso had been infused well into the cod without being used over excessively.

West Coast Sablefish (C$36.50)

Although the mains were filling, going at how well the meal had progressed so far, we decided to order a side of Truffle Fries before moving on to dessert. Nothing much to comment about though, apart from the fact that truffle fries seem to taste the same everywhere and loses its novelty quickly. I started feeling kinda “gelat” after about 20 fries. So, this is best for sharing.

Truffle Parmesan Fries (C$9.50)

Finally, time for desserts!

While the desserts weren’t bad by a long short, it didn’t give me the same “oomph” factor that I got while eating the sablefish or lobster mains.

Mandarin Cheesecake (C$12.50) & Warm Dark Chocolate (C$11)

Warm Dark Chocolate (C$12.50), Lemon Tart (C$11.50) & Raspberry Creme Brulee (C$11.50)

Complimentary cakes given to us after we finished our desserts 😀

Truly impressive world-class fare!

But after blowing C$100 on this well deserved meal, it’s time to move back to Phase 1: The Guilt Trip again.

Bon Appetit!

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

1095 Hamilton St., Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5T4, Canada

Tel: 604 688 8078





[Vancouver] Caminetto di Umberto – Tuscan Cuisine in Whistler

1 07 2011

I was really quite excited about the weekend trip to Whistler, which had been consistently voted best ski resort in North America and for some polls, the world. My previous visit here was more than 10 years ago, during which bad weather meant that the mountain was closed and I had to contend with simply gazing longingly upwards towards the mountain range. There’s so much to do here as a visiting tourist. For the right price, you could participate in an extensive range of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, dirt biking, whitewater rafting, and explore the mountain on an ATV.

The entire village is dotted with F&B outlets and shopping boutiques. Not to mistake the two sister restaurants located just opposite each other, Il Caminetto di Umberto (which we dined at) is the fancier of the 2, serving authentic Tuscan cuisine while Trattoria di Umberto features rustic Tuscan cuisine amidst a more casual setting. Tuscany is a region in central Italy so Tuscan cuisine is pretty much synonymous for Italian.

With just shreds of salty duck meat, the Duck Confit Salad was slightly disappointing with the absence of the crispy duck skin.

Duck Leg Confit with Green Beans, Walnuts & Maple Vinaigrette (C$18.95)

The waiter suggested the Veal Piccata, saying it was one of their signatures here. It was pretty good though it’s a bit expensive for just a veal cutlet spaghetti.

Veal Piccata alla Parmigiana (C$30.95)

Though I love cheese, this mild version fared just as well, exceeding my expectations throughly. Scallops were fresh and seared evenly, and the risotto somehow had a hint of kelp, adding to its coastal flavour.

Green Asparagus Risotto & Sear Scallops (C$26.95)

What was special about this osso buco was the fatty bone marrow lodged within the bone, in which a small thin fork was provided for us to dig out this treasure. Most of the time, the marrow dries up and hardens from overcooking, but not so for the osso buco here. The saffron risotto took a while to get used to but grew on me as the meal progressed. Anyway, did you know Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world (by weight)? It’s even more expensive than Truffles!

Slow Oven-braised Osso Buco alla Milanese with Saffron Risotto (C$38.95)

Ricotta Cheese Cannelloni alla Florentina (C$19.95)

Linguine Pesto with Basil and Toasted Pine Nuts (C$19.95)

The chocolate cake wasn’t as good as it looked. The layer of sponge was too thick while the chocolate wasn’t rich enough to blow me away.

Dark Valrhona Chocolate Ganache Cake with Creme Anglaise (C$11.95)

I think the secret to Caminetto di Umberto isn’t its flare to whip up orgasmic dishes with excessive flavouring but rather, to use simple natural flavours that requires slow and quiet contemplation to appreciate.

Bon Appetit!

 

Caminetto di Umberto

4242 Village Stroll, Whistler, British Columbia

Tel: 604 932 4442





[Portugal] Cafeina – That’s What I Call A Wine List

5 06 2011

I’m not exactly sure how the name Porto came about but I think there are 2 highly likely possibilities. Firstly, being a coastal town, it might have gotten its name due to its function as a port. In the past, the Portuguese (like the Dutch and Spanish) have also been engaged in lots of sea trade and establishing Portuguese colonies in countries like the Philippines. And in Singapore, we see the descendents of these seafarers with surnames such as De Cruz, De Souza and Pereira.

On the other hand, Porto could have been named as such due to its heavy reliance on the wine and port industry in sustaining its economy. Ok so this leads us to the question of what’s the difference between Port and Wine? For 1, true Port wine is exclusively produced in the region of Douro, Portugal and is a sweet fortified wine, with higher alcohol content than the standard red wine. While we might sometimes spot Madeira (another fortified wine) on the wine list, it is NOT exactly the same as Port as it is only produced on the island of Madeira, Portugal.

source: gofigueira.com

Well, I found out there’s much to learn about Port appreciation and its seemingly never-ending list of classifications (red, white, tawny, vintage, ruby, and just when you thought you knew them all, they suddenly mess you up with a “single-vintage tawny” etc). Hopefully I can cover it another day, maybe in a easy to read tabular form or the like but for now, I guess it’s suffice to know that Port is simply a sweet dessert wine.

Instead of planning a food itinerary beforehand as I did for London and Spain, I decided to be lazy and just go with the flow for this one, relying on hotel reception’s recommendations instead. This is what brought me and my family to Cafeina.  A quick check with tripadvisor and goporto.com confirmed that it was a place worth visiting and so off we went.

Like the Spanish, the Portuguese have their meals pretty late too, with dinners starting typically between 8pm – 9pm. So we were one of the first customers for the night.

Cafeina is a fine-dining establishment with an extensive wine menu which can be assessed using an application on the Ipad provided and it’s really the longest wine list I have ever seen, my estimate is probably at least 400 wines, probably more.

The seafood in Porto is really fresh. I was at the beach near Cafeina and it was low tide. And there were these 3 China ladies picking shellfish at the seashore. And I jest you not, abalone is in ample abundance here and it seems that Caucasians don’t eat it. What a waste! So these 3 ladies managed to fill up 1 large bag with abalones (probably around 7kg worth), 3 or 4 other bags of other clams and shellfish and seaweed within a couple of hours. Along the water’s edge, I could even spot shrimps with my naked eyes that’s how clean the water is. So it goes without saying that the scallops served here would definitely be fresh too!

Scallop & Shrimp Carpaccio

I didn’t get to try the Seafood Bisque in Puff Pastry because my dad dug into it already and was having a sore throat and didn’t want passing his germs to me. Looks good though 😦

I had the Foie Gras Terrine wrapped with Smoked Duck atop some Caramelized Apples. Nothing too impressive about this dish which I felt was too salty with the superfluous duck.

My dad felt his main was a little too tough. I thought it was so so.

Smoked Duck with Potato Rosti

My brother felt his pasta tasted much like Mee Kia. We did enjoy his Tiger Prawns though which were large, fresh and crunchy.

Tiger Prawn Cappelini

My favourite main of the night was the Squid Ink Pasta with Squid and Prawns. Tossed in a light tomato base, the spaghetti was slightly overcooked and soft for my liking but the fresh squids and prawns saved the day.

A run of the mill Pear Tartine.

Highly raved about by the hotel receptionist, we couldn’t leave without trying the Buttery Chocolate Cake. Likely to please those with a major sweet tooth but personally it was much too cloying for me.

Cafeina exhibits some class but fails to deliver the ko blow that would make me want to take a 12 hour flight just for a revisit.

Bon Appetit!

Cafeina

Rua do Padrão 100, 4150 Oporto, Portugal

Tel: 226 108 059





[London] Orrery – A Falling Star & the difference between Sparkling Wine, Prosecco and Champagne

26 05 2011

Everytime my brother has friends fly over to visit him in London, he never fails to bring them to Orrery, an ex-Michelin star French Restaurant. Similarly during my visit, he made a booking for one of their 3-Course Set Dinners via Toptable, priced at 28.50GBP.

We were first treated to a glass of Grand Cru, a type of French Wine. I’m a noob when it comes to wine and don’t know the difference between prosecco, sparkling wine or champagne. Well, I’m sure many that many of us are in similar predicaments so I shall quickly list out the main differences based on my inference of what all-knowing Google says.

Sparkling Wine is the generic term for all kinds of bubbly. Champagne and Prosecco are all subsets of Sparkling Wine. For Champagne, it must be made from mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes that are grown in the region of Champagne, France while similarly for Prosecco, it must be produced in Prosecco, Italy with the grapes grown there. For simplicity’s sake, all other types of bubbly not produced in these regions will just be simply known as Sparkling Wine (I’m pretty sure there’s some other exceptions and subsets of Sparkling Wine apart from Champagne and Prosecco but those types of bubbly aren’t as well known by the layman). So apart from the region in which it is produced, both Prosecco and Champagne are also fermented using different methods, with Prosecco meant to be consumed young and fresh, taking only 4-6 weeks to produce a bottle while a bottle of Champagne typically takes up to a year on average to produce. Given the exclusivity of Champagne in terms of its production duration and area, it is usually popped only during special occasions while Prosecco is for day to day drinking. I guess this more or less sums up the differences between them. I’m sure this tidbit of information will be useful in helping you impress your friends the next time they ever decide to pop open a bottle of bubbly 😀

According to my brother, Orrery always serves a complimentary starter and pre-dessert. The hors d’oeuvres today was Tomato soup topped with Basil foam which I felt lacked synergy and was too tangy for my liking. Regardless, it was free.

Usually I prefer my foie gras unadulterated, pan-seared and lightly seasoned but a few recent encounters with its terrine/pate versions have left me thinking. Easily the best dish of the night, the Foie Gras Parfait here trumps over the one I had at Novus, with the caramelized apples doing well to contrast against the smooth appetizing parfait.

The Orrery Fish Cake with Tatare Sauce was a simple Fried Salmon Ball. It tastes fine but I was expecting something a little more sophisticated and elegant given the restaurant.

The Salmon Gravadlax with Beetroot & Coriander is something I’d normally avoid due to its simplicity in preparation but then again, it’s also something that hardly ever goes terribly wrong.

For my main, I ordered the Braised Shoulder of Lamb a la Bordelaise with Mashed Potatoes. By the mere fact that I can’t recall much of it ever since eating it last week, I dare say its forgettable, literally.

Given that Orrery specializes in French cuisine, I was quite surprised that a traditional French dish; Confit Duck Facon Grand Mere, Jus Gras, turned out rather soggy.

Even the safest of choices, the Cod Fillet with Potato Cresse & Mussel Veloute was underwhelming and rather petite in size.

The Roasted Sea Bass with Barigoule, Coriander & Citrus was probably the only decent main that evening, with some decent crackling of the fish skin.

For our complimentary pre-dessert, we were each given Rhubarb topped with Lemon Sorbet and Crumble.

For Dessert, most of us sticked to the popular Chocolate Fondant with Blood Orange Sorbet. I tried to capture a pic exhibiting the choc lava flow but given that the molten chocolate was far too little and way too dense, such a feat was impossible. We did enjoy the sorbet though it’s probably the fastest melting sorbet I have seen.

The Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream too fell short of expectations. Its saving grace was really the Ice Cream with its evident fragrant black specks of vanilla beans.

Complimentary chocolates to end off the meal.

While service and ambience are worthy of Michelin-class, I’m guessing Orrery was probably dropped from the “star-studded” list due to inconsistency in their food.

Bon Appetit!

Orrery

55-57 Marylebone High Street

City of London, London W1U 5RB, United Kingdom

020 7616 8000





[London] Rhodes W1 – A Modern Take on French

22 05 2011

I was quite pleased with myself when I managed to secure an online booking for lunch at Rhodes W1, especially when it was a 5-Course Spring Tasting Menu at just 25.50GBP. I can’t remember which website I used to make the reservation but I discovered that one of the more dominant reservations sites within the UK would be Toptable. It’s a restaruant booking website (very much like diningcity) which frequently offers diners specially priced set menus, and 50% off restaurant bill deals for diners who choose to make their reservations via toptable for selected restaurants. Why doesn’t Singapore have such a website?!

Awarded 1 Michelin star, Rhodes W1 came across to me as being excessively posh, with a chandelier overhanging each and every table and Molten Brown liquid soap & hand lotion and nicely folded cloth towels in the toilet! (and yes, in case you are wondering, I did what normal kiasu Singaporeans would do and spammed some hand lotion before leaving). Despite being labelled a contemporary French eatery, I believe that much of what Rhodes W1 conjures up derive influences from an eclectic mix of different cuisines.

I’m more of a focaccia person that a ciabatta.

Courgette (Zucchini) Mousse, Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Balsamic Jelly. I liked how the palate cleansing balsamic blended well with the creamy mousse.

Braised Octopus Carpaccio, Chorizo Croquette, Fennel and Lemon. Nothing mind-blowing about the octopus but I did like the Croquette which was well fried though I couldn’t really discern the taste of chorizo from the potato.

As G doesn’t take Octopus, the chef obligingly replaced it with a Pigeon Pate, which ironically I found more tasty and substantial.

I just had a Guinea Fowl Confit at Bistro Du Vinlast week which wasn’t exactly spectacular and concluded that Guinea Fowl is just a lesser poultry, short on taste and texture compared to duck or chicken. However I was proved wrong after tasting the Slowed Cooked Guinea Fowl, Baby Leeks, St George’s Mushrooms & Foie Gras Emulsion today. The cylindrical pieces of meat came from the breast and was stuffed with what I gathered was egg, sunflower seeds and some other ingredients. As for the rectangular piece, it consisted of the thigh portions. Both were succulent and juicy.

Pina Colada. Coconut mousse atop pineapple sorbet.

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Ice Cream. A sweet ending to the stellar meal.

The bill arrived in an envelope labelled “The Damage”. Very cutesey…I like.

Bon Appetit!

Marble Arch
London W1H 7DL, United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7616 5930





[London] Arbutus – My First Michelin Experience

17 05 2011

I would think that more people would associate Michelin with being a restaurant appraiser rather than a tyre company. As history has it, the Michelin guide sprung forth as a guide to help drivers maintain their vehicles in addition to suggesting decent lodging and restaurants in France. Over the years, such Michelin guides have also been published for other major cities around the world, though sadly Singapore is not one of them. That is the reason why we don’t hear of Michelin star restaurants in Singapore and not because Singapore restaurants are not good enough as one might possibly think.

As at 1st February 2010, London has 2 Michelin 3-star restaurants, 7 2-star restaurants and 40 1-star restaurants, a large proportion of which serves French cuisine. As this was my first time trying out a Michelin starred restaurant, I was particularly excited.

Arbutus is a 1-star Michelin restaurant serving contemporary European cuisine. As far as I know, it’s also probably offers the most affordable 3-course set lunch amongst its London Michelin starred counterparts going at just 16.95GBP. Located in Soho, which is pretty much central London, it gets really packed during lunch so reservations are a must.

For the set lunch menu, diners are only given a choice between 2 items, for each of the courses.

Both G and myself had the Hand Chopped Scottish Beef Tartare and given its rarity in Singapore restaurants, this is possibly my first or second time having it. The green spices dotting the beef are capers, which are the green stuff you see in tartare sauce. It has a slightly briny pickled taste to it and helps to musk any odours of the raw beef, though there was none in this case.

Another uncommon item on Singapore menus, I took a strong fancy to the Slow Roast Rabbit, Aubergine (aka eggplant), Potato Gnocchi. The rabbit was served already debone which I’m very thankful for as it can get quite troublesome deboning it yourself. While it tastes much like chicken, I much prefer rabbit as it is typically more tender and flavourful when executed well, which in this case it was.

For Desserts, we both had the Vanilla Panna Cotta. It was very smooth and the black specks of fragrant vanilla beans were evident at the base of the glass bowl. However, personally I felt that this panna cotta was a little too mild and could afford to be made more richly.

Overall, I felt that Arbutus’s Michelin star is well deserved and one thing I really like about them is that they do not scrimp on the quantity nor quality, even for mere a set lunch.

Bon Appetit!

ARBUTUS

63 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 3JW

TEL: +44 20 7734 4545 (020 7734 4545 if you are using are calling from within UK)








%d bloggers like this: