Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yan Ting Part VI

I developed a major craving for Chinese food while in Europe as the cuisine isn't particularly widespread in that region and prices are prohibitively expensive. It was with much anticipation that I decided to pamper myself with a trip to Yan Ting for its weekend brunch buffet, having been there a couple of times for its dim sum and ala carte meals.



Menu

If you are looking for the fruit juice/tea option, expect to pay $88++/pax while the champagne deviation will set you back by $118++/pax. For that price, you get a bowl of shark's fin, 1 half of a lobster done in a choice of 4 ways and unlimited orders from the special dim sum/ala carte menu (the xiao long bao isn't in it though).



Braised Shark's Fin with Crab Roe and Meat

Decent and not too starchy, the soup looked a tad orangey but came loaded with a generous serving of crab meat and loose pieces of fins. One bowl should suffice.



Lobster

I had my lobster gratinated with cheese and bacon, which suited me just fine with its plump juicy flesh coupled with a nice cheesy after taste that hinted strongly of bacon. A marvelous combination if you ask me. And it definitely helped that the lobster was relatively sizable, not the mini ones you usually get.



Crispy Roasted Pork

The bane and joy of my life - the sinisterly delectable roasted pork, done to a perfect (and very much audible!) crisp on the outside with a thin layer of fats accentuating both the texture and taste.



Shredded Chicken Congee

Apart from the slightly chewy chicken slices, this congee wasn't much of a reorder candidate. But still, a nice break from the monotony of just eating food, suitable for people like me who require some form of carbohydrate at some point during the meal.



Stir Fried "Cheong Fun" Rice Rolls with XO Sauce

Unbearably oily was the first thing that came to mind as I popped a mouthful of the rice rolls to try. Insipid and totally uninspiring, bearing a faint resemblence to our local fried kway teow.



Honey Glazed Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin

The beef slices were a little too soft for my liking and carried a discernible taste of garlic mixed in with a dash of sweetness from the honey as well as a whiff of pepper. Not exactly something that I would order again.



Deep Fried Cod Fillet Coated with Crispy Cereal

I thought that this dish tasted uncannily like cereal prawn, albeit with the prawn being substituted by cod. The fish was smooth and sweet with the cereal providing an added sweetness and crunch. A pity the fish was a wee bit too soft though.



Sweet and Sour Pork

A simple yet well executed dish in my humble opinion. Minimal fat meat and little flour meant a more fibrous texture with the contrasting tinges of sweet and sour.



Oven Baked Char Siew Pastry

My absolute favourite and one which I personally proclaim to be one of, if not the best char siew sou in Singapore. Flaky crust with a distinct taste of buttery goodness and a not too coagulated char siew filling. This I had seconds.



Lime Scented Chinese Marshmallow

This actually reminded me of what I had at Guy Savoy, just a lot softer and more glutinous like. What I found interesting was the fact that the marshmallow melted into nothingness in my mouth and left a lingering aftertaste of lime.



Red Bean Layer Cake

Frankly, I regretted ordering this dessert. There was nothing special to it and tasted pretty bland to me, just like a piece of chilled kueh with red bean in it.



Bill

After a hefty 62.5% discount, the total bill for 2 came up to almost $78 ($207 before discount). Without the discount, I wouldn't say that it was worth it, considering that the most expensive (limitless) item on the menu was probably the soon hock. Although it's nice to indulge in a buffet once in a while, I will be sticking to Yan Ting's dim sum or ala carte menu in future.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:8/10
Service:8/10
Food:7.5/10
Value for money:5.5/10 (without discount)

Overall:7.25/10

Address: St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road

Contact: 6506-6888

Opening Hours: 11.45am to 3.30pm, 6 to 11pm

Website: http://www.stregisdiningsingapore.com/index.php/get/page/FZNBWMAL/DEG65ENG/C07IZUUU

ps: This will be my last post of 2009 and I'll be on holiday for the next couple of days. I'll update again when I get back. Here's wishing everyone a fantastic 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Guy Savoy, Paris



We were definitely under dressed for the occasion. Jackets, ties and dress pants were an unspoken requirement. Buttoned down shirts paired with slacks definitely didn't fit that bill. But then again, attire was the last thing on our minds after a 26 hr transit flight from Singapore to Paris. The name Guy Savoy (pronounced Gee Sav Wah) might seem familiar, with the eponymous 3 Michelin star restaurant opening an outlet at Marina Bay Sands in the very near future. The chef's motto? "Cuisine is the art of instantaneously turning produce suffused with history into happiness."




Interior, Complimentary Bread & Menu

The restaurant is a short walk from the historical Arc de Triomphe, at the start of rue Troyon and boasts an interior designed by the famous Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who also worked on the new Louvre Museum in Paris. Simplistic with luxury undertones resonating from dark paneled walls and rich leather. Decidedly modern.




Amuse Bouche

We started off with a very casual foie gras terrine speared with toast that didn't overwhelm with its rawness. Subtle, smooth and silky. So good that we had seconds. The cream of carrot came across as thick and flavourful without being overly creamy. Hidden below the other half of the cup of soup was a "chef's surprise", which reminded me of samosa stuffed with vegetables.



Soupe d’artichaut a la truffe noire (82€)

A signature dish of Guy Savoy, the artichoke and black truffle soup was nothing short of excellent. Silky, rich, fragrant and made from pure artichoke puree, the soup was layered with slices of Parmesan cheese. Served up with Brioche Feuilletée aux Champignons et Truffes (Brioche Puff Pastry with Mushrooms & Truffles), this is a must have for truffles fan. The brioche came layered with mushrooms with truffle butter spread atop - soft on the inside and flaky on the outside with a heavy dosage of sinfully smooth and tasty truffle butter. I jumped at the opportunity for an extra serving of the brioche to mop up the velvety soup.



Filets de rouget barbet poêles, jus au foie, beignets o'herbes et pommes maxim's

The John Dory fillets were perfectly grilled with a touch of fishiness intact. Subtly smooth with portions big enough to pass off as a main in a fine dining restaurant in Singapore. I didn't quite take to the Jerusalem artichokes though, which apparently was titled "best soup vegetable" in the 2002 Nice festival for the heritage of French cuisine.



Suprême de volaille de Bresse en papillote a la citronnelle lêgumes en côtes, côtes de bettes glacêes au jus de volaille et laurier

Bresse in the chicken world is akin to the kobe/wagyu of beef and kurobuta of pork. Many of the world's gourmet experts agree that the best tasting chickens come from Bresse, France. The chickens have an appellation, are of a specific breed, get to eat real food (not chicken feed) and have at least 10 square metres for each bird to roam about, all regulated by law. And honestly, it blew away all inhibitions I had about paying a significant premium for it. The chicken was first steamed, then baked, retaining a gamey flavour coupled with fine and amazingly tender flesh. I could make out hints of lemongrass as well and the ribbed vegetables infused a nice crunch to the dish.



Breese Chicken done another way

Our server had this dish done a different way to allow us a different take on this prized chicken, which I thought was very thoughtful of him. This variation was topped with mushroom sauce and long grain rice. I loved the somewhat frothy "mushroomy" taste singing in tandem with the al dente grains of rice but did find the chicken texture a little tougher then the previous dish. Nonetheless, the skin was springy as well which made for a very good dish.



Noir

This dessert looks deceptively simple. A scoop of chocolate ice cream sitting on a chocolate ganache. In reality, it encompassed a chocolate biscuit made with marzipan marinated with lime juice, chocolate ganache flavoured with cardamon and black pepper, served with a dark chocolate sorbet. The cardamom and black pepper gave it a peckish twist to an otherwise relatively rich and safe dessert.



Pommes

Now this was one very sour dessert and certainly didn't sit well with me because of my intolerance for all things sour. But it was Guy Savoy and Granny Smith, so I had to try.The apple wafers were thin and very crisp, almost ideal for a snack, while the sorbet won me over with its zest and refreshing sensation. As a balance, chestnuts were added to make things a little more bearable for folks like myself. Truly wonderful.





Some of the other stuff that came with the meal

And of course there were many other things that came in between the courses as well as the awesome dessert trolley that came rambling out after all was said and done. I had a go at stuff like macarons, zesty lime marshmallows, chocolate tarts and the likes. To those who think that fine French dining wouldn't fill you up, think again.



Complimentary Plate



Guy Savoy himself!

Our much anticipated and enjoyed lunch for 2 cost 300€ or about SGD$630 ($546 for the meal + $84 in tips) in total. Service was extremely professional and warm which did wonders in alleviating the stress that came with being the only under dressed people around. If I may say, our lunch at Guy Savoy was truly a wonderful experience - one that I have yet to experience in Singapore. I await, with high expectations, of its new restaurant in Singapore.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:8/10
Service:9.5/10
Food:9/10
Value for money:8.5/10

Overall:8.75/10

Address: 18 rue Troyon, 75017 Paris

Contact: +33(0)143 804 061

Opening Hours:

Tue–Fri
12pm–2pm, 7pm–1030pm

Sat
7pm–1030pm

Website: http://www.guysavoy.com/en/index.php

We dropped by Laduree and Pierre Herme after lunch to grab our fix of macarons.






In my humble opinion, Laduree's macarons had a crispier shell but Pierre Herme's macarons won hands down for its intense and interesting flavours. And my favourite? Pierre Herme's White Truffle Hazelnut Macaron!

If you would like to see unrelated pictures of my trip to Europe, please see here.