Sunday, December 30, 2007

Privé



Privé, or private in French, is the latest entry to the rapidly growing waterfront dining scene in Singapore. Opened just a few weeks back, Privé boasts an intimate and exclusive dining experience sans the toll charges (think Sentosa).





Surroundings & Interior

Hidden within the exclusive Marina at Keppel Bay which is linked only via a newly constructed suspension bridge, Privé houses a New York style modern fine dining restaurant, an outdoor gastrobar along the marina edge for drinks and a bakery selling pastries and desserts. Decor in the restaurant is simple yet classy and cosy, with its carpeted floors and dark wooden finishings. For those who prefer a view of the sea or the surroundings, the gastrobar would be a much better choice but do note that its solely for drinks only.



Menu & Complimentary Bread

We had a choice of farmer's bread, white bread or wholemeal bread. None tasted exceptionally good honestly, with all being decent.



Table Ornament



Amuse Bouche

The amuse bouche came complimentary and was a cod and potato mussolini. Smooth and hinted more of potato then cod but overall a nice starter, albeit of small proportions.



Bay Scallop Carpaccio

The scallops were thinly sliced and topped with caviar. Very decent without the overwhelming raw taste of scallops. Not exactly bang for the buck though as there was just a few slices for $28.



Striploin

I am not one for praises but the striploin really was excellent. Throughly seasoned and well grilled on the outside yet medium rare on the inside, each bite was greeted with a burst of flavour. You do not have to worry about the serving size as well because it is a respectable 10oz (340g), which is more than enough for the average person. The only minor gripe I had was that it did come across as a tad too salty for my liking.




Chocolate Dessert Platter

This decadent dessert came with 3 items, namely the chocolate fondant, tart and ice cream. I personally found the ice cream quite of a delight due to its smooth texture and chocolate chips within. It did help that it came atop a thin wafer base.

The chocolate souffle was really one of the best I have had in months - a tad hard on the outside, unlike the soft pudding like ones I've had recently and with rich chocolate oozing forth with the breaking of the crust.

Probably the only disappointment in this platter was the chocolate tart. Granted, the chocolate was rich and smooth but the tart itself tasted flat and crumbled too easily. If only the base was a little harder with an oven baked taste. Now that would be nice!



Bourbon Madagascan Vanilla Creme Brulee

Fanciful as it may sound, the creme brulee wasn't exactly out of this world. Soft and quivery with a tinge of bitterness, the interesting thing was that the vanilla beans were grown from plants located in countries in the Indian Ocean, hence the term Bourbon Madagascan. A pity the layer of sugar atop wasn't homogeneously burnt, which resulted in some parts being charred.



Bill

$146 for 1 appetiser, 1 main and 2 desserts isn't cheap. Period. However, I am suitably impressed with the quality of food. Service is excellent and reservations are recommended because the place was full by the time I finished my dinner. On a side note, the suspended bridge linking the "main land" to Keppel Bay will be officially opened on 3rd Jan 08 whereas the club will have its launch on the 8th. If you want to beat the crowds, it would be best to visit from now till then.



Likes: Food is good, exclusive, service is excellent
Dislikes: Pricey

Final Verdict:
Ambience:8/10
Service:8/10
Food:7.5/10
Value for money:6.5/10

Overall:7.5/10

Address: No. 2 Keppel Bay Vista, Marina at Keppel Bay

Contact: 67760777

Opening Hours:

Restaurant: 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 12am

Gastrobar: 5pm - 1am (food served between 6.30pm to 10.30pm)

Bakery Cafe: 10am - 1am

Website: http://www.prive.com.sg

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Eden Cafe Part II

Attended a dinner function organised by a food review site at Eden Cafe, of which I had the opportunity to visit when it first opened a few months back. See my writeup here.
I shall let my pictures do the talking in this entry because it wouldn't be fair for me to comment as I was very late and tried to make up for lost time by wolfing down my food.



Menu



White Wine Tea



Tomato Based Seafood Soup & Endives with Mushroom and Bacon Canapes



Cod Fish & Rosemary Rose Petal Beef



Seedless Grape Chicken



Black Sesame Mushroom Pasta & Balsamic Strawberry Beef



Balsamic Mousse Cake & Hibiscus Cheese Cake



Wine Tea Floral Fruit Jello with Chocolate Brownie

For location details, please refer to my previous post here.

Merry Xmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oscar's Cafe

Didn't fancy jostling with the crowds for a seat during dinner so popped by Oscar's for a relatively peaceful meal far from the maddening crowds.



Decor

Located on the ground floor of Conrad Centennial, this versatile cafe is known for its international buffet spreads, but we decided to go against the norm and opted for ala carte instead. Decor is rather "cafeish" with a good mix of wood and opulent lighting, complete with Birds of Paradise donning the place.



Menu & Complimentary Bread

The complimentary bread was too forgettable to even be mentioned so I'll just leave it at that.



Chicken & Mango Wrap

Personally, I thought the chicken & mango wrap was nicely done as the wrap was lightly toasted and not too thick. The filling of chicken and mango went well with what tasted like the peanut sauce found in Rojak - sweet yet not overwhelming. Fresh crunchy vegetables added zest and juiciness to the dish. Lest expectations shoot too high for this dish, let me just say that its decent, but not outstanding.



Conrad Burger

I've developed a penchant for burgers recently so got myself their signature burger to try. The finely grounded beef patty was a little too overdone but still relatively juicy and tasty without coming too strong on the raw beef taste. Bacon strips beneath a buttery toasted bun provided a nice salty taste.



Oscar's Profiteroles

The profiteroles were quite a bit of a let down. Firstly, they didn't come drenched in chocolate (unlike the ones in France), which would have made it so much nicer. You would have probably guessed that the chocolate syrup was woefully inadequate. On the upside, the ice cream was nice and smooth but strangely enough, the pistachio ice cream tasted more like almond to me.




Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch

A most delightful (and not to mention sinful) dessert, the hazelnut crunch was light and not too rich, complete with a nice wafer biscuit base. Very much like eating a smooth rendition of Rocher, which I personally fancy quite a bit. I didn't quite take to the macaroon, cold Sauternes Sabayon or tropical fruit though.



Bill

$85 for 1 appetiser, 1 main and 2 desserts certainly doesn't qualify as value for money. However, food quality is arguably above average so that might just lessen the pain of forking out so much money a wee bit. Service, though professional, could have been friendlier.



Likes: Free from crowds, food above average
Dislikes: Pricey, service staff could have been friendlier

Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10
Service:7/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial

Contact: 64327481

Opening Hours:

Open 24 hours

Buffet Lunch: 12pm to 2:30pm

Buffet Dinner: 6pm to 10pm.

Sunday Brunch: 12pm to 3pm

Thursday, December 20, 2007

La Noce



Fans of the now defunct PaPi at Mohd Sultan road will be happy to know that Chef Salvatore, who headed the kitchens there, has ventured out to start a new Italian restaurant - La Noce.



Interior



Menu & Wine of the evening

Hidden in a secluded area just along Chu Lin Road, off the Hillview estate, La Noce, which means "Walnut", is a tiny eatery which can probably hold about 35 pax. The interior is simply furnished and instantly puts one at ease with its cosiness and warmth. Please be warned that its not an easy place to find but if you do find it, there's free valet parking available. And public transport is a big no no, unless you are willing to walk.



Complimentary Bread

The complimentary bread was a joke. Charred on the outside and dry on the inside. It wasn't served warm as well. What else can I say?






18 month Parma Ham with Rock Melon, Seafood Risotto, Bruschetta, Tenderloin, Lamb & Osso Buco.

I didn't get to try all of the above so I am in no position to comment on them but I understand that the lamb, tenderloin and bruschetta were all pretty decent.



Vitello Tonnato

For $18, I had honestly expected more. Sure, the veal was thinly sliced but the taste was overwhelmed by the tuna sauce so much so that you could have substituted the veal with ham and I wouldn't really be able to tell the difference. Still a decent dish though.



Ravioli White Truffle

You could have imagined my delight when I heard from our waiter that La Noce was actually doing a special of White Truffle Ravioli. Honestly, for $24 a pop, I certainly didn't expect much. However, what I got was way below expectations. The white truffle flakes, if any, were drowned by the cream sauce which was a pity really, considering that white truffles have to be eaten with something light to bring out its aroma and taste. The stuffing inside the Ravioli, which our waiter claimed was made from white truffles (a most unbelievable statement considering the prohibitive prices of white truffles), tasted like mashed up cheese and together with the cream sauce, made for a nausea inducing dish.



Quattro Stagioni

The Stagioni, or 4 seasons pizza as it's also known, was decent but not outstanding. The crust, though thin, was way too hard and I had problems cutting through it. Quantity of ingredients was sufficient though.

La Noce Souffle

This has got to be one of the lousier Chocolate Souffles that I've ever eaten. Minimal chocolate oozed out of the cake when I broke through the crust, which was a bummer really. The texture of the cake didn't taste like cake, but more of kueh, soft and a tad elastic. And $14 for this is a joke.



Dessert Platter

Tiramisu, pine nuts pie, Panna Cotta and Profiteroles made up the dessert platter and honestly, none were outstanding, all average at best. The tiramisu has no alcohol in it, which would still have been acceptable if it was fluffy and moist - both of which were lacking. The profiteroles were reminiscent of the ones in France, freshly drenched in chocolate and served. The only glaring difference was that the ones from La Noce were drenched in chocolate and then left to sit before serving, which made the pastry rather soft.

Sadly, even the quintessential panna cotta wasn't up to the mark. It wasn't very quivery or sweet enough. The pine nut pie was the best of the lot, with the pine but filling light yet tasty. But still not outstanding.



Bill

$490 for 7 pax is honestly a case of too little, too much. Too little in terms of quality/value and too much in terms of cost. Service is excellent and so is the hospitality of Chef Salvatore, but he needs to bring back the standards of PaPi before I'll even considering stepping in again.



Likes: Excellent service
Dislikes: Food quality average, pricey

Final Verdict:
Ambience:6.5/10
Service:8.5/10
Food:6/10
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 3 Chu Lin Rd

Contact: 6877 1986

Opening Hours:

11.30am to 2.30pm
6.30pm to 10.30pm
Closed on Mondays