Monday, April 27, 2009

Mietta's



April's monthly dinner was decided at Mietta's, which literally translates to Sweet Little One. Owned by Angelo Sanelli, who was one half of the business partnership of the popular Michelangelo's and helmed by the former executive chef of Zambuca, Dennis Sim, Mietta opened with little fanfare just a few months ago.




Interior & Menu

Located towards the end of Arab Street, just opposite Golden Landmark Hotel, Mietta takes up 3 units of shop space in this predominantly Muslim neighbourhood, which is why no pork is served as a form of respect (though alcohol is still sold). The interior is rather homely and cozy with ambient lighting and tables spaced decently far apart for a nice quiet dinner.



Complimentary Bread

This was the exact same bread I had at Zambuca. I enjoyed it back then but this time round it failed to wow me, probably because it was left sitting in the cold for quite a substantial period of time. My fault though. I was late.






Stuff I didn't get to try



Blueberry Gnocchi, Served with Braised Venison in a Red Wine, Bitter Chocolate Jus

I had this at Zambuca the last time as well and Chef Dennis graciously agreed to do this dish just for us that evening. The gnocchi was interesting and soft but I thought that the venison wasn't flavourful enough, which was attributed by Chef Dennis as not having enough time to allow the venison to rest and absorb the jus. The jus itself was a tad bitter from the chocolate but the blueberries didn't seem to feature or contribute much to the taste.




Squid Ink Ravioli

According to the chef, the ravioli is made in house and daily servings are limited. We therefore jumped at the chance to try it out. In all honesty, I didn't think too much of it. The ravioli skin was thin but the filling of scallop and prawn mousse tasted too smooth and bland. The saffron and dill jus was of the light variant and overall this dish lacked flavours.



Penne Vodka

I opted to have prawns to go with my penne and it was a great decision in my humble opinion. The crystal prawns were huge, fresh and sweet. I counted 5 large prawns with my penne which I thought was pretty generous. The penne itself was al dente without the tomato sauce being too overwhelming but there was no taste of vodka. I know its evaporated but whats the point of using vodka if there is not going to be any vodka taste? Nevertheless, I enjoyed this dish quite a bit.



Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Girottine Cherry

The panna cotta was a disaster honestly. The pudding was way too firm and had a gingery taste that I personally didn't like. Needless to say, I took 1 mouthful and left the rest to stand.




Strawberry Ice Cream

What made this ice cream stand out was that it was for diabetics. And it was ordered on purpose, as a comparison to the normal ones that we usually eat. And honestly, I thought it was good. The texture was more like frozen yogurt and it was still sweet probably from the fructose.



Tiramisu

Comparisons were inevitable between Mietta's rendition of this classic Italian dessert and that of Zanotti's, as both offerings fell into the generously covered with mascarpone category. Though good, Mietta's mascarpone cheese was a little too bland in comparison while the sponge was a little too wet. But interestingly, chocolate chips were added for a nice bitter twist.



Bill

The 9 of us chalked up a bill of about $665, which bordered on the expensive range. Food is a case of hits and misses and I understand that stuff like the lamb rack is good so take your chances. Service staff were very friendly and humourous and definitely one of the highlights of the restaurant.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:8/10
Food:7/10
Value for money:6.5/10
Overall:7.125/10

Address: 126 Arab Street

Contact: 6396 5493

Opening Hours:

Lunch: 11am - 2pm (Closed for lunch on Sat)

Dinner: 6pm - 10.30pm

Saturday, April 25, 2009

World Gourmet Summit - Oriol Balaguer











This one wasn't as interesting as David Rocco's but its nice to see how chocolate is made, especially artisan ones.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

World Gourmet Summit - David Rocco











Sorry for the minimal shots. From what I sat, my view of David Rocco was blocked by the cameraman. Lesson learnt - I will take the center row seats tomorrow. And it was nice meeting a rather prominent blogger.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spruce

Had been itching to try out this new cafe - Spruce, after seeing quite a few reviews of it online as well as in various publications. Apparently their chef was from Wine Garage, which made really good burgers. Reservations were a pain though as the place was almost always full, till I got lucky one evening and managed to squeeze in a reservation for an outdoor table.




Al Fresco Seating & Interior

Outdoor seating probably isn't the best idea especially when Spruce is located just up a tiny hill next to lush greenery along Tanglin Road. But hey, if bugs are your best pals, then by means go ahead. Read. The bugs are suicidal. They do kamikaze stunts like crashing into your drinks, table and food. After a couple of minutes, we surrendered and requested for a seat indoors, which was promptly given to us (Whatever happened to the reservations?).



Roasted Mycofarm Mushrooms with Herbs

We initially wondered if mycofarm was some special type of mushrooms but after googling, it turned out to be the name of a farm in Singapore. On hindsight we probably shouldn't have ordered this side dish. The mushrooms tasted very normal but were literally drenched in oil. And it was definitely not olive oil.



Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Now this side dish fared much better. Simple comfort food for the masses. Small macaroni shells evenly coated with a nice smooth creamy and cheesey layer. Not too overwhelming. The bits of burnt mozzarella cheese on top provided a nice crisp texture.



Seared Tuna with Steamed Bok Choy, Carrot and Ginger Broth

Make no mistake. This was a main. 5 slices of tuna tataki with a clump of bok choy going for $22. The tuna was disappointing to the say the least. Not pan seared till lightly charred on the outside while uncomfortably limp on the inside. Being less then generous on the salt didn't exactly help matters as well.



The Spruce Burger with Hand Cut Chips

The burger was good though a tad small. The beef patty crumbled with ease when I poked my fork into it, leading to us coin it "burger crumble". Corny I know. The patty was probably one of the best I've had in a long while. A little moist without the beefy taste overwhelming. Simple and unadulterated. I thought the buns could do with a little more toasting though. There is an option of topping up $2 for a slice of bacon to go along with the patty.



Cranberry, Blueberry and Coconut Tart Ala Mode

I thought this tart sounded really interesting and healthy with all the berries so I had a go at it. Well I wouldn't say it was fantastic but at least it was decent. I could make out the taste of blueberries and cranberries and strands of coconut in between. Lightly sweet. Unfortunately, the accompanying scoop of ice cream melted really fast and was your run off the mill vanilla ice cream.



Yogurt and Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Seasonal Fruit

This dessert was actually more yogurt then panna cotta, smooth and semi liquid. The layer of blueberry was sweet and complemented the yogurt quite well. It was topped with this brownish looking muesli bars that stuck to my teeth when I chewed on it. Nice but majorly irritating.



Bill

Generally speaking, prices aren't really over the top but food quality could be improved quite a bit in general. Service in general was good but there was this young waiter that stood out with his earnest attitude and attentiveness. Pity I didn't catch his name. Spruce is worth a try, just for the burger, but probably not worth a return. By the way, parking is free.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10 (I would have given 7.5 if not for the bugs)
Service:7/10
Food:6.5/10 (7.5/10 for the burger)
Value for money:6.5/10
Overall:6.75/10

Address: 320 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park.

Contact: 6836 5528

Opening Hours:

Weekdays: 10.30am - 10.30pm

Weekends: 8.30am - 10.30pm