Kith Cafe @ Park Mall – More Offerings, Better Location

29 08 2012

My previous visit to Kith Cafe at Robertson Quay didn’t leave much of an impression and the cafe felt rather cramped. This has all changed with the opening of a new branch at Park Mall, whose menu offers a wider range compared to their Robertson Quay outlet, with the inclusion of more types of pastas, salads and sandwiches. There’s even interesting chioces like Foie Gras with Fruit Brioche ($18++)!

I don’t think of Kith Cafe as a pasta place but from what I read on Chubby Hubby, the chef here is ex-Da Paolo, which should put minds at ease as to the quality of the pastas.

The Smoke Duck Breast Sandwich ($12++), made from Green Apple, Japanese Cucumber, Spring Onion and Balsamic Reduction in Sourdough was pretty good. I swear the balsamic reduction tastes more like hoisin sauce though, making this taste like a peking duck sandwich, sans the crisp duck skin.

The Big Breakfast ($15++) was awesome as well, in fact it’s one of the better ones I have had. It came with 2 Eggs, Bacon, Smoked Bratwurst, Sauteed Mushroom, a couple slices of Toast with a side of jam. The scrambled eggs was done exceptionally well here, though I wouldn’t say it beats the affordable ones at Australian Dairy Company in Hong Kong. Love the sausage too, it’s the type I like, the kind that provides quite a bit of bite. The bacon wasn’t too salty as well, which was much appreciated.

Had an affordable cup of Cappuccino ($4++), though it was nothing spectacular. To sidetrack a bit, I guess all the hype about Chye Seng Huat Hardware is well founded. Coffee and food there were delish on my recent trip there last weekend!

I used to make Toasties at home too! It’s not difficult at all once you dump everything in the toastie maker. Kith Cafe does it decently too, the Ham, Pineapple & Cheddar Toastie ($6.50++) proved to be a simple but delightful combination.

Overall, I’m rather fond of this new outlet. It’s location is convenient and the food is very decent. If not for the never ending line of cafes on my to-go list, I would definitely be back at Kith in a jiffy.

Kith Cafe

9 Penang Road, #01-01E Park Mall

Tel: +65 6338 8611

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Chalk Restaurant @ Old School – Rediscovering 1st Loves

11 03 2012

Three years ago, I found my first love right here at Chalk. She was sweet, gentle and warm, and the dates were always memorable. I promised myself to see her often, but she soon went out of sight and out of mind as I begun to be swarmed with relentless waves of work. That’s how most relationships end doesn’t it? I never thought I’d see her again. I tried to find someone similar but no one seemed to match up. And then, just last Friday, my friends arranged a semi-surprise birthday dinner for me and she was to be in attendance…the first Sticky Date Pudding that stole my heart.

Located at Old School @ Mount Sophia (sharing the same compound as Timbre @ Old School), Chalk is no newcomer to the local dining scene. It has been in operation for the past 3 and a half years, serving up a mix of Italian and French cuisine, not to mention a kick ass dessert menu as well.

Indoor and alfresco dining options are available, with both eluding the homely and casual vibes of a bistro rather than a restaurant.

In line with the restaurant name, chalkboards are used to display the daily specials and given their relative scarcity, I decided to go for the Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Puree ($31), which is not part of Chalk’s regular menu. I never really thought of Chalk as an authentic Italian eatery, so I was genuinely surprised to discover how great the risotto was. I detected the use of truffle oil which complemented the cheesiness well and helped to lift the flavours of the dish. This was easily the best main we had for the night! Chalk should seriously consider adding this into the regular menu.

The Duck Confit with Sweet Potato Mash and Rocket Salad with Balsamic Dressing ($33) is probably one of the best-sellers on the menu. Personally however, I find the meat too dry and salty so its really fortunate that there’s the sweet potato mash to bring the sodium level down a notch. Then again, as long as you are not a fussy food snob, frying a duck thigh in duck fat will still yield a tasty treat.

Didn’t sample the Beef & Red Wine Stew with Mashed Potato & Sauteed Spring Vegetables ($31) this time around but from what I remember, it’s decent.

The Grilled Ribeye with Roasted Garlic Potato, Garden Vegetables & Red Wine Jus ($39) was another surprise. The beef is juicy and tender with the right amounts of fats and a rich and savoury gravy.

The Catch of the Day happened to be Baked Snapper ($30). I usually stay away from snapper as the flesh is really too lean for my liking and it proved true in this case. Moreover, the dish was almost totally bland.

I liked the Duo of Pork – Roasted Pork Belly & Confit Tomato Stuffed with Minced Pork, with Lentils & Fine Beans ($33). The pork comes with a nice proportion of meat to fats, and is absent of any gaminess. Italian 烧肉 anyone?

Chalk does a mean Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream & Sesame Snap ($13) too. Unlike the conventional chocolate lava cakes, this Chocolate Fondant is encrusted with sesame snaps, which results in a crispier exterior.

Just like your first kiss, no other kiss is just as memorable. That’s probably the reason why I am so fond of Chalk’s Sticky Date Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream ($13). Compared to the other Sticky Date Puddings I have tried elsewhere, the ones at Chalk have a higher concentration of date and is less sweet.

If you are dining with friends and don’t mind sharing, I would definitely recommend the Sampler Plate ($25), a chef’s selection of 4 desserts. For this occasion, we were given tasting portions of Creme Brulee, Sticky Date Pudding with Ginger Ice Cream, Blood Orange Sorbet and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Compote. While I am a huge fan of Chalk’s Sticky Date Pudding, I have to admit that their Creme Brulee and Panna Cotta are in a league of their own. The Creme Brulee doesn’t commit the same faults that plague most restaurants; the density is just right, viscous enough to support the caramelized seared layer but not overly so that it resembles a chawanmushi. As for the Panna Cotta, apparently it is incredibly easy to make, just a heated mixture of cream, sugar, vanilla, gelatin and water which is then left to cool so I tend to avoid ordering it at restaurants but Chalk does it so perfectly that it’s making me rethink my future dessert ordering strategies.

Reassessing Chalk objectively at the end of the day, the main draw would be their desserts and I’m glad I took the time to rediscover my first love and her friends.

Chalk Restaurant

11 Mount Sophia, #01-03

Tel: +65 6883 2120





Artichoke Cafe + Bar – Putting Moorish Cuisine on the Singapore Map

27 11 2011

“We believe that the most enjoyable meals are those that are shared. These thoughts are reflected in our menu, which is made up of communal shared plates.

So round up a bunch of people, order a mix of dishes, and enjoy a little bit of this and a little bit of that, rather than 25 bites of the same thing. Feel free to order more than once.”

This pretty much sums up the dining concept behind Artichoke Cafe

Artichoke Cafe’s premises used to house the now-defunct My Secret Garden and while the restaurant has changed, the interior remains very much the same as before, minimalistic and uncluttered. Like The White Rabbit @ Dempsey, the compound housing Artichoke used to be a small chapel as well, adding to the surreal tranquility and serenity echoing throughout the premises.

Artichoke is helmed by Chef Bjorn Shen, whose fiery passion and masterful cooking shows up evidently in his successful endeavor,  effectively putting Moorish Cuisine on the Singapore map. There’s no easy explanation to Moorish Cuisine, a cuisine borne of diverse sources and if you are just slightly more attentive, you might just be able to pick out the African, Middle Eastern and even Spanish influences.

We started off with Moorish Dips ($16+), a tasting of 3 Arabian dips with bread. My favourite was the Roasted Carrot Dip, sweetly spiced with cumin, rosewater and walnuts. The Labneh or Homemade Yoghurt Cream Cheese with house blended Za’atar was good as well, not to sour and extra creamy. From their glossary, I found out that Za’atar refers to a fragrant condiment made from sesame seeds, sumac wild thyme. The third dip is the Hummus, or Chickpea puree with tahini (sesame paste), lemon and sumac. It’s decent but I have had smoother ones elsewhere (thinking of Sofra Turkish Cuisine).

Upon request of C, the Forgotten Grain Salad ($15+) has now returned back on their menu. It’s a really healthy dish, made up of an observable mixture of Wild Rice, Cracked Wheat, Quinoa, Pomegrenate, Nuts, Capers and Sunflower Seeds. Personally, it reminds me much of hamster food for the health conscious for whom I am not.

A dinner special scribbled on the chalkboard not part of the regular menu, Chef Bjorn was kind enough to offer us a complimentary Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Stew with Crumbled Feta Cheese ($15+).

A new item on their menu, Artichoke’s Char-Grilled Local Calamari ($22+) with Cucumber, Aioli & Lime is one of the best renditions of squid I have ever had, springy, juicy and zesty. Marinated with their own ras el hanout (literally means “top of the shop” or the best blend of spices a spice vendor has to offer), this is really the bomb!

We see some Spanish influence from the Pan-Roasted Red Snapper Fillets with Piquillo Pepper Salsa ($28+). The skin is seared well and the fish is fresh.

Admit it, we all have a weakness for Mac & Cheese ($40+). The one served here is an upgraded version though, containing tender Stewed Beef, Kashkaval Cheese, Organic Mushroom and a hint of White Truffle Oil. Whole baby vine tomatoes scattered in the dish helps relieve any excess cheesiness and the portion is large enough to be shared amongst 2-3 pax as a main.

The Date Pudding ($14+) here has officially become my favourite dessert around. Served with Smoked Milk Custard, Cocoa, Peanut Caramel & Sea Salt, it deviates slightly off track from the simple warm sticky date pudding with caramel sauce.

The Homemade Baklava ($15+) is a Sweet Arabic Pastry with Almonds, Pistachio, Walnuts, Filo Pastry, Honey Syrup & Orange Blossom Honey Gelato. Tasting much like Honey Stars with the crunchy nuts and honey gelato, it was fantastic as well though all 5 of us had a preference for the date pudding.

This concluded one of my most memorable meals this year and I’m positive I will be back in a jiffy.

SMU Gourmet Club organized a dinner event at Artichoke Cafe about 2 months back which I attended as well but have yet to post on. So the 2nd half of this post will be mainly pictorial to give you a better sense of what else Artichoke has to offer.

Stuffed Piquillos

Manzanilla Olives and White Anchovies

Beetroot Tzatziki with Dukkah

Hanger Steak with Romesco Sauce

Chickpea & Pork Stew with Blood Sausage

Lamb Shoulder with Toum Garlic Sauce

Bon Appetit!

Artichoke Cafe + Bar

161 Middle Road

Tel: +65 6336 6949





Novus Restaurant II – Avant Garde Contemporary European Cuisine

30 07 2011

*This tasting was paid for by Novus Restaurant

Summer hols. A time for work and a time for play. It has always given me ambivalent feelings. I had always wondered what was it’s purpose exactly? To give undergrads the opportunity to toil away doing internships to boost their CV, or simply a few months break before racing for that elusive illustrious GPA once again? It has always been a compromise, the use of one’s time.

For some friends I know from the SMU Gourmet Club, they have struck a fine balance between both, embarking on a project to publish a food guide during this summer hols, where work meets play. It might sound simple but really, it’s no mean feat, from literally walking the grounds to filter out restaurants to be covered, to getting sponsorships and writing reviews. Having spent most of summer overseas, I was eager to get back and lend a helping hand.

One of the places we are going to cover in our food guide is Novus Restaurant, a fine dining eatery located in the National Museum of Singapore, just opposite the SMU School of Economics and Social Sciences.

Specializing in avant garde Contemporary European cuisine, the absence of the same boring ubiquitous European dishes in Novus’s menu comes as a breath of fresh air and is sure to leave one tingling with anticipation of what’s to come next. A fine dining restaurant with a modern chic interior, Novus’s 2-Course and 3-Course set lunches are priced reasonably at $32 and $40 respectively, a small price to pay for mind-blowing novelty.

Novus bakes their own bread. Kudos to that.

For our complimentary amuse bouche, we were treated to a cooling drink of Beetroot and Ginger with Creme Fraiche.

My favourite starter is the umami-rich and hearty Duck Tea, a clear consommé chocked full of enoki mushrooms, smoked duck breast, quail egg and truffles. This western take of our chinese Bak Kut Teh is great when you are having a hangover.

While Parma Ham is more commonly found in many Singapore restaurants, Novus’s executive chef Stephan Zoisl believes that it is the Joselito Iberico Ham which is the best meat product around the world, as it is aged for 4 years to attain a truly umami flavour. Served with assorted olives, char-grilled capsicum, toasted bread and gazpacho, lovers of Portuguese and Spanish cuisine will definitely take a fancy to this dish.

I’m a fan of all things raw, with no exception to the Black Angus Carpaccio. The raw beef is thinly sliced and sprinkled with summer truffle, truffle scented buffalo mozzarella, chives and topped with a poached egg.

Another appetizer that stood well with me was the Foie Gras Anglaise, but well, I’m a sucker for anything foie gras. It’s served as a custard, like a western chawanmushi, made with duck consomme, goose liver parfait, ginko nuts, truffle, stuffed morels, duck confit, and slices of foie gras that had been previously cooked sous vide style before being pan seared and then incorporated within the custard.

For mains, the Boneless Crisp Duck Confit  is served with organic Quinoa (a grain like crop grown mainly for its edible seeds), black summer truffle, leek, baby spinach and baby turnip. However, I felt the meat was on the tough side and the skin could be slightly more crispy.

Compared to the duck, I much preferred the Snow Cod & Zucchini Flower. Covered in sliced zucchini arranged like scales of a fish, the pretty looking cod cooked in a sous vide style had been only lightly seasoned, allowed its natural flavours to be accentuated. The Zucchini flower served alongside the cod was stuffed with aubergine, tomato and char-grilled capsicum, tasting much like salsa.

Chef Stephan has free reign in the kitchen in naming and experimenting on new dishes, always ensuring his cuisine remains playful and fresh. The Black Angus Beef Meets Black Summer Truffle is a clear indication of his playful wordplay, where black angus tenderloin meets wild mushroom duxelles, black summer truffles, rocket cress and a side of triple cooked fries. The beef is pretty standard stuff, but what enthralled me was the fries. Its preparation is no simple task. The potatoes are first rinsed in cold water, boiled till soft and chilled, then fried to attain a crisp outer crust and chilled a second time. When ordered, it is then deep fried at high temperature to finish. I’m not sure if some truffle oil was used in the deep frying or was the earthly flavour a result of being fried twice, but this is possibly the best fries I have ever sunk my teeth in, with contrasting textures between the crisp outer shell and mashy inner flesh.

My personal favourite dish here however, is their signature Valrhona Chocolate Test, comprising tasting portions of 5 chocolate desserts, namely mousse (38% cocoa), soufflé (55% cocoa), crème anglaise (66% cocoa), truffle (72% cocoa) and sorbet (85% cocoa). It’s best savoured according to the increasing cocoa contents, which effectively minimizes the risk of any high-cocoa desserts from becoming too cloying.

We managed to sample 2 new additions to their dessert menu as well. The Snowball & White Peach Sorbet was a crisp snow ball Meringue stuffed with Pistachio Ice Cream, served atop white peach sorbet and shreds of pomello fruit.

The other new addition was the Verrine of Nectarine, Green Tea & Sauternes, which is daintily served in clear glass, showcasing the multiple colourful layers of sauterne jelly at the base, green tea panna cotta in the middle and nectarine espuma (espuma means foam) at the top, with a blob of vanilla ice cream just lazing away atop a thin biscotti.

Credits to S for taking most of the pictures 🙂

And thanks to Novus for sponsoring this meal for SMU Gourmet Club’s summer publication!

Bon Appetit!

Novus

93 Stamford Road, #01-02 National Museum of Singapore

Tel: +65 6336 8770





Novus Restaurant, Bar, Cafe & Courtyard – Service Faux Pas

22 02 2011

In contemplating what constitutes an affordable set lunch, Novus (with its $28/$38++ 2/3 Course Set Lunch) would definitely not be one of the few places that comes to mind, especially when more established players such as Gunthers, The French Kitchen and Au Petit Salut charge at similar if not cheaper rates. Yet, located just opposite SMU, it was one of the few restaurants I could afford to dine at without being (too) late for my next appointment…a project meeting during recess week sighs.

Window view from inside Novus. Nice clouds 🙂

With a cuisine that borders on the contemporary, would Novus prove itself to be an avant-garde in French cuisine or simply all sizzle and no steak?

Located within Singapore Museum, Novus is separated into 2 dining segments; the Restaurant & Bar for fine dining and the Cafe & Courtyard for casual dining. I was initially led into the cafe when I asked one of the waiters if that was Novus but quickly realised the mistake upon seeing a menu consisting mainly of sandwiches and pastas.

While the Cafe & Courtyard had an open concept with the optimal use of natural sun as lighting, the Restaurant & Bar had a more private feel to it. After settling down inside the restaurant, my friend Raina and I were only given the set lunch menu after probing the staff, who had previously provided us with simply the ala carte menu. When passing us the menus, somehow the waiter had a nonchalant and unapologetic look that severely irritated me, and it didn’t help that service remained crappy throughout the meal as I will describe in vivid detail later.

Raina and I had the 3-Course Set Lunch at $38++. I thought that the selection of mains available was pretty decent, ranging from angus beef cheeks, duck confit, snow cod and trio of berkshire pork belly, pork cheek & pata negra ham just to name a few.

We were first served a basket of complimentary bread which I found so-so.

For our complimentary amuse bouche, we were served Heart of Palm with Grape in a Vinaigrette dressing. A bit too acidic for me since I hadn’t had my breakfast then.

For appetizer, the Foie Gras Lassi V2.0 was a combination of goose liver parfait and yoghurt. Something interesting about Novus is that it provides a small information card along with the courses as they are served (very much aligned with the museum theme which has information stands for each exhibit) and it went as such: “The goose liver is marinated with port wine, Sherry, Madeira and Brandy. It is then combined with shallots, thyme, butter and eggs and slow poached to create a goose liver parfait”. While the combination was good, I would have preferred if there was a greater accentuation of the foie gras, as the lassi overwhelmed it somewhat.

When I saw the Norwegian Salmon treated like a Salad, it totally reminded me of the Tuna Carpaccio Salad I had at The Lighthouse @ Fullerton Hotel just a few months back, think it’s because the same black serving platter is used. For this dish, the Salmon was cooked sous vide, meaning it was cooked under low temperatures over an extended period in a vacuum, thus allowing the salmon proteins to remain intact and keeping the fish tender. As such, the Salmon tasted much like sashimi which I found very gratifying.

For Mains, I would highly recommend the Hickory Smoked Black Angus Beef Cheek. The beef cheeks were tender as butter and went amazing well with the mushroom creme. The portion was also rather generous. My only grouse is that it wasn’t served warm enough. The Triple Cooked French Fries that came along with it was really tasty as well.

As for the Crisp Duck Leg Confit, the portion was rather miserable though it could be due to the fact that it was deboned and hence looked unsubstantial. The duck meat was moist and tender, better than most of the duck confits I have come across for this aspect though this came at the expense of a skin that was not as crisp.

For Desserts, the Fruit Jelly sounded novel with the description “Assorted Berries & Fruits in Champagne Jelly & Elderflower Sorbet”. Unfortunately, it was really unpalatable and I gave up after 3 small spoonfuls. The jelly was really sour with an aftertaste of wine gone bad and the Elderflower Sorbet was exceedingly too sweet for one to bear.

Chocolate Test had the description “50% souffle, 68% Mousse, 80% Sorbet”. No idea what that meant, perhaps that’s the optimal proportion in which we are to eat them together for each mouthful? Unlike the fruit jelly, this was really outstanding. I dare say it’s even more enjoyable than the chocolate souffle at Laurent Bernard’s Chocolatier, which is the benchmark to beat in my opinion.

While the food was a mix of hits and misses, I’d like to reiterate on the dismal service standards here as mentioned earlier. First, menus not distributed properly. Second, waiter didn’t bother to write down our orders and had to come back amidst the meal to reconfirm our dessert orders. Third, request for warm water was ignored and cold water was served instead which we quickly corrected. Fourth, friend’s cup remained empty for a really long duration. Fifth, diners (not exclusive to ourselves) were left unattended with no staff in sight over quite a few occasions and during the few times where staff were present, they often missed out our desperate cries for attention. Sixth, my query on what sauce was used for the Salmon Salad was dismissed quickly with a “Basil” which was definitely erroneous as it sure didn’t taste like it. Seventh, the waiter stood by using eye power instead of pulling out the chair for my dining partner or me, and not offering an extra chair to put our bags (I was lugging 2 bags and a laptop). Not that I’m being a snob or fussy pot (much), but there’s just a basic level of service you’d expect to be accorded with when dining at a “fine dining” venue which was evidently lacking here today.

Ok, just to add some balance to my critical comments, a plus point for service is that Novus gave out a free muffin each to every diner, in a nice box with a Thank You note inside. Ate the muffin for supper at home, it’s not too bad with a pleasant fruit-cakey taste.

On hindsight, food was ok. I definitely wouldn’t mind paying $28++ for a 2 course if I could leave out the fruit jelly.

Bon Appetit!

NOVUS RESTAURANT, BAR, CAFE & COURTYARD

93 STAMFORD ROAD, #01-02 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE

TEL: +65 6336 8770





Fish & Co – Insights on their Valentine’s Day xoxo Platter

12 02 2011

Back in Pri School, Valentine’s Day meant absolutely nothing to me. Heck I didn’t even know what date it fell on till I reached Junior College! I guess that’s just what happens when you enroll into an all boys secondary school. Thus in Junior College, I made it a point to celebrate V-day as much as possible, so I did my best to make someone else’s day while depleting my cash reserves in the process. I remember getting more than 10 gifts for friends and classmates, some of whom were guys! After accruing 10 years in school without ever celebrating a single V-day, this was just my way of saying, “Thanks for being around, you made some difference in my life”.

With Valentine’s Day looming ever closer, we begin to see its tell tail signs even if no one talks about it…Online bulk purchase coupon websites such as Bigdeal.sg with oversubscribed deals on bouquets of flowers, implementation of overpriced V-Day Special Menus and men with lost looks frantically scurrying up and down the malls in a last ditch attempt to come up with a presentable obligatory V-Day gift. Love is in the air once again…

Yet for many of us, V-Day is also synonymous with Singles Awareness Day. But as what one of my older cousins said to me during Chinese New Year when I told him I was currently single, “It’s better to be single than to have a lousy girlfriend”. He said this using a Chinese proverb so it sounded a lot more chim then. Still, it sucks not to have a V-Day date, doesn’t it? My only consolation is that my mid-terms are next week which will probably keep me preoccupied.

2 weeks ago, I received an invitation from Fish & Co for a tasting session of their Valentine’s Day xoxo Platter. It was initially meant to be a bloggers event, where invited bloggers would all head down to the Glass House for this promotional event. I was pretty excited at first, as I was really looking forward to meeting fellow food bloggers. However, given the poor response from the online community, the event couldn’t go through and as such, Fish & Co simply mailed us the vouchers so that we could go to the various outlets at our own time own target.

While most restaurants typically try to bank in on this celebratory occasion, Fish & Co is by far the first eatery I have seen offering a special V-Day menu at a discount from normal menu prices. Their xoxo Platter for 2 goes for an affordable $39.95++, which includes 2 exotic drinks, 2 Seafood Chowders, a Platter for 2 and a hot fudge Chocolate Cake for sharing.

Carefully thought out wordplay has also been used to name these 4 courses.

Prelude to Sensations – Sweet Nothings (exotic drink). In reality, this was a Peach-flavoured Soda Drink.

For Play – Hot and Steamy Seafood Chowders. Hosting chunks of fish, clams, shrimps and carrots, this was a hearty way to kick off the meal.

Main Inter-Course – xoxo platter for 2; A generous array of seafood such as crispy salmon served with spicy mango vinaigrette, grilled peri-peri prawns and fried calamari coupled with blue mussels in tomato & pesto sauce, all served on a bed of paella rice and coleslaw. The Salmon and Paella Rice was a little dry for my liking and the blue mussels possessed a (too) soft instead of the preferred chewy texture, probably a result of overcooking. On the other hand, the peri-peri Prawns, Calamari and Coleslaw were all palatable and the portions given for the platter was indeed sizable.

Sweet Highs – Sexy Fudgy Chocolate Cake. Who can say no to a sweet aphrodisiac that sets the mood for later?

Apart from the xoxo Platter for 2, the ala carte menu is still available. It was probably a mistake that I ordered the Fried Calamari($9.95) as a starter given that this was repeated in the above mentioned xoxo platter. My favourite Fish & Co starter is definitely still the Mussels in Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce.

Something that you can never go wrong with would be Fish & Co’s Fish and Chips. The New York Fish & Chips($15.95) comes stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and topped with Lemon Butter Sauce. There’s something about the Fish & Chips here that I find dear, might be the combination of the light crisp batter, well complemented lemon butter sauce and smooth Dory fillet.

There is currently a Dessert Promotion going on as well, so we had an order of the Mudslide($2.95). I didn’t read its description but it tastes like a toffee chocolate cake. Not particularly fantastic but more than acceptable given its price point.

The xoxo Valentine’s Day Platter for 2 is available across all Fish & Co. outlets  from 11th to 14th Feb and the
1st 100 couples whom order the xoxo set meal on Valentine’s Day will also get to receive a “Spin the Bottle” raunchy fun game* & a limited edition Fish & Co. pouch for FREE.

A very special thanks to Fish & Co for coordinating this tasting session.

Bon Appetit!

FISH & CO

9 PENANG ROAD, #01-24 PARK MALL

TEL: +65 6334 1858





Tao’s Restaurant – 6-Course Set Lunch @ $19.80++

11 01 2011

Not too long ago, I had a wonderful dinner at Tao’s. This time, I was back for their incredibly affordable 6-Course Set Lunch, priced at $19.80++. I really wasn’t intending to blog on this again due to lack of time (school just started), but I realised it’d be a waste since some of the pictures turned out quite well despite using a compact camera. It’s pretty surprising how my point and shoot Panasonic LX3 still produces better food pics than my recently acquired 2nd-hand Canon 450d DSLR (with kit lens). I will be sourcing out for a DSLR macro lens soon so if any readers have suggestions on Canon lenses for food photography, do drop a comment. It will be greatly appreciated!

The starter of Bacon and Mushroom Gratin acted as a nice spread for the Toasted Bread that came along with this. I would suggest not finishing the bread so as to leave space for the other courses. It’s good to note that the portions at Tao’s are rather substantial.

Insteading of naming it Farmboy Splendour which is totally ambiguous, Tao’s should probably just rename this Chicken Salad served with Oriental Dressing.

Fruit Salad was dressed with a layer of Mango Syrup. It’s quite a light appetizer and I enjoyed the delicate sweetness coming from the amalgamation of flavours from the various fruits.

Prawn Roll with Pork Floss was probably my preferred starter because the serving size is just nice and it’s also pretty tasty. I liked the complementary flavours involved, the savoury pork floss juxtaposed against the sweet tang of the mango syrup and richness from the mayonnaise.

The Cream of Pumpkin was well blended, resulting in a smooth creamy texture.

On my last visit, I ordered the Shark-Fin Melon Herbal Soup too and ranted in my blog how I didn’t spot any sharks fin. It just dawned on me today that Shark-Fin Melon is a Fruit, and is not Shark’s Fin + Melon! So there wasn’t supposed to be any shark’s fin in the first place. I had been conned by their wordplay, and I’m pretty sure many others have fallen to it as well. I do concede however, that this is a very pleasant herbal soup with undertones of Ginseng, Wolfberries and Red Dates.

Boosting an umami taste, the Japanese Fish Consomme comes in a cute looking teapot, to be poured out into a tea cup to drink.

Spicy Stingray is what you’d normally get at East Coast Park or Hawker Centres, a rare find in non-zi char restaurants. The Sambal was too spicy for me though not for my frens Cat and Sam. The fish was fresh and not overcooked which was a plus.

Sam has a penchant for fish and I have observed that he has never before ordered a non-fish main if there is a choice of a fish dish available on a set menu so it’s a no brainer that he ordered the Grilled Snapper with Japanese Sauce. He had no qualms about it so it should have been alright. I sampled some but memory fails me on how it tasted. Personally, I feel Snapper is a fish lacking in fats so it doesn’t rank too highly on my favourite fish column.

It slipped my mind that when placing my order, I should have taken into account my cheese intake for the day, especially with the cheesy bacon and mushroom gratin for starter. However, I was delighted that I was still able to enjoy the Baked Atlantic Flounder with Cheese. I couldn’t ask for more than a tender fatty fish topped with cheese that had been baked to a light crisp.

While the starters, soups and mains are generally good, I feel that Tao’s main weakness lies in their Desserts.

The Finger Biscuits used for the Tiramisu was unevenly soaked, so some portions came across as totally dry while other parts came dripping wet.

Creme Brulee was also left wanting for a creamier and richer and less eggy flavour. The taste of charred caramelized sugar was also fairly evident.

I would recommend the Yangsheng Poached Pear with Red Dates. Despite being most difficult to eat (as you have to use the fork to cut the pear flesh from the pear core and seeds), I found it a most refreshing dessert to have after a meal that had an abundance of cream, cheese and sugar.

For beverages, we had the 3 most popular drinks from the menu. I really love the Fruit Teas here, it’s probably what I would really come back to Tao’s for.

Between the Iced Rose Apple Tea, Iced Summer Peach Tea and Iced Grape Mallow Tea, my favourite was the Apple Tea. I think there’s some flower buds used for the tea as well, which added a nice fragrant aftertaste.

With portion sizes this big, I reckon 3 girls should just order 2 sets to share. After all, sharing is caring and everyone’s happy paying less for more (less Tao’s management).

Bon Appetit!

TAO’S RESTAURANT

1 SELEGIE ROAD, B1-19 POMO

TEL: +65  6333 0779








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