Sunday, May 29, 2011

Paradise Inn



The Paradise group is expanding rapidly nowadays, extending on its brand name to create various eateries in an attempt to cater to practically everybody and anybody who eats Chinese food. Paradise Inn is one such entity, being marketed as an affordable restaurant, tea house and dessert house all rolled into one.




Interior & Menu

We had a go at the Bedok Point outlet of Paradise Inn, which sported large windows framed by wooden partitions and interesting looking wood cage lamps. Bright sunlight flittered in, giving rise to a cheery atmosphere sans the heat.



Thai Baby Kailan with Salted Fish

This dish came across as rather slip shod as the Kailan failed to absorb the gravy and came across as lightly sourish and raw. And the little bits of salted fish weren't salty enough to make much of a difference.



Prawns with Salted Egg

I'm a big fan of this dish but somehow Paradise Inn's rendition left much to be desired. For starters, it didn't look freshly prepared and the amount of oil was a turn off. Adding to the woes was the rather watery salted egg coating and thicker than ideal batter. However, taste wise it was still decent.



Sweet and Sour Pork

Restaurants tend to use quite a bit of fat meat in their sweet and sour pork dish and Paradise Inn was no exemption. The miniscule amount of meat tended towards the fatty side and the flour was too thick in my humble opinion. Average at best.



Mini Wok Tofu

Seafood Paradise has the exact same dish, just under a different name (and with significantly more ingredients) that's all. The tofu was soft but not exactly smooth and lacked the hint of smokiness that the one at Seafood Paradise offered. The portion of meat floss atop was found wanting as well. Still very palatable though.



Bill

Honestly, $65 for a 3 pax lunch isn't really expensive but quite a few of the dishes are similar to that of Seafood Paradise, albeit with a decrease in portion size and utilisation of inferior ingredients. Food overall is still decent though and so is the service. However I am not comfortable with the dilution of the Paradise brand name, one that I've always associated with above average quality food (save for the less than stellar experience at Taste Paradise Ion). Is the Paradise group really biting off more than it can chew? Only time will tell.


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

Overall:6.5/10

Address: #02-01/04 Bedok Point

Contact: 6447 8083

Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am – 10.00pm (last order 9.30pm)

Website: http://www.paradiseinn.com.sg/index.html

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Capricci



Finally got down to posting about the 2nd edition of Restaurant Week Singapore, which happened from the 21st to 27th March 2011 (Yes I know it's long overdue). With all the prominent restaurants (think Les Amis, St Julien, The Cliff etc) fully booked even before reservations were open to public, I had to settle (with some luck and fast fingers) for Capricci - the best of the remaining lot in my personal opinion.



Interior

And so we made our way down on a cool Tuesday evening and were ushered to a table smacked in the middle of the dining room and sandwiched between 2 others. So much for a romantic evening, especially since we were within earshot of the other tables and vice versa. But I've got to give it to Capricci. The place was tastefully done up with ambient lighting and oozed a serene sort of comfort - great for winding down after work, if only the table placements were better.




Complimentary Bread & Cream of Tomato

I honestly have no idea if the cream of tomato was meant to be consumed as a standalone but I had it with the complimentary bread, which had a positive effect of elevating the boring, bland piece of dough to one that had a nice creaminess with a lightly tart bearing.



Seafood Burger of Crabmeat and Salmon and Mix Salad

Personally I wasn't a fan of the seafood burger as it was way too fishy for my liking due to the combination of crab and salmon. So no comments.



John Dee Beef Tenderloin Tartar with Truffle Oil, Shaved Parmesan and Arugula

The beef tartar was soft and overly salty in my humble opinion. But when paired together with the parmesan and arugula, it was great as the saltiness wasn't so apparent. Nice way to kick start the dinner.



Oven Baked Suckling Pig Sardinia Style with Portobello Mushroom

I certainly didn't expect the suckling pig to come looking like something out of a Sci Fi movie. Sitting on a huge piece of mushroom was a bed of pork and sheltered by what looked like a warped piece of cracker, which was actually a piece of crackling crispy pig skin! The meat was a little too gamy for my liking but the drizzled sweet sauce helped mask it a little. Not something I would go for seconds though.



Gnocchi with Slow Cooked Kurobuta Pork Ragout

Yearning for flour, I had the gnocchi with slow cooked kurobuta pork ragout, which came across as above average. The not overly thick dumplings were stuffed with cheese but didn't threaten to overwhelm. And honestly, I wasn't able to tell if the pork ragout was really kurobuta as the shreds were too fine. But hey they provided a nice mildly chewy texture.



White Chocolate Mousse with Maraschino Cherries

This dessert turned totally different from what I was expecting. I envisioned a mould of white mousse but what I got was a mini popsicle lookalike. And it was all cherry and no chocolate taste. Way too strong.



Cocoa Cream Caramel Pudding with Amaretti

The cream caramel pudding was quivery and tasted quite a fair bit like almond jelly with toppings of crispy caramel bits. Interesting but nothing really outstanding.



Bill

Owing to the restaurant week deal, both of us only had to fork out $70++ or $82.40 after tax in total, which is a reasonable amount in quantitative terms. However, food quality wasn't up to my personal expectations and that might have had something to do with the discounted prices but I am unable to say for sure as I've never dined at Capricci prior to this. But I guess I'll never know as the menu somehow lacks that pull for a revisit.



Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:6.5/10
Value for money:6.5/10 (with the restaurant week discount)

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 27 Tanjong Pagar Road

Contact: 6221 6761

Opening Hours:

Monday - Friday
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:30pm - 10:30pm

Saturday
Dinner: 6:30pm - 10:30pm

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kungfu Paradise

The Paradise group of restaurants recently added a Hong Kong style cafe, Kungfu Paradise, to its ever expanding stable of restaurants which include well known outlets like Taste Paradise and Seafood Paradise. To mark the opening of Kungfu Paradise's first outlet at Bedok Point, invites were sent out for a tasting lunch, which I had the opportunity to attend.



The Place & Tasting Menu

Located on the first level of Bedok Point, Kungfu Paradise enjoys relatively higher human traffic by virtue of it being situated right next to the main doors of the mall. The interior is typical of any cafe with its wooden tables and plastic chairs. Funny how they aim to target the youth but are playing songs by Bon Jovi (which happens to fall smack into my era).



Kungfu Disciple Frappe ($6.80)

I have no idea how kungfu relates to peanut butter but this drink had a nice hint of it - smooth and creamy. Great for a soothing afternoon drink. But at $6.80 a pop, it's honestly quite expensive to be drinking on a regular basis.



Flying Kungfu Wings ($5.80 for 3pcs)

The wings were said to have been marinated in a special secret sauce but after chomping through one whole wing, it tasted to me like a deep fried chicken wing with a nice crispy layer of skin and no marination whatsoever. Special sauce you say?



Balls On Mash ($9.80)

As the name of this dish suggests, its basically meat balls on mashed potato. Decent with not too much flour and a tart tomato sauce which helped to balance out the mashed potatoes.



French Toast with Chicken Floss & Condensed Milk ($5.80)

I personally am not a fan of condensed milk on my bread so I didn't quite take to the french toast, which was a little too moist and sticky for my liking.



Chicken Chop "Babe" Rice with Tomato Sauce ($9.80)

Too salty was what came to mind when I had a spoonful of the cheese and rice. The tomato sauce was also a bit too overwhelming which grossed me out to a certain extent. It would have been better if they diluted it a little.



Soup Noodles with Braised Beef Brisket ($8.80)

How bad can instant noodles get? Doesn't take a chef to pry open a packet of instant noodles, add the seasoning and throw in pieces of beef and an egg. To give it credit though, the beef cubes were quite tasty and fibrous.



Flaming Crab Pasta ($10.80)

Spicy. And not being really adept at taking on spicy stuff, I am in no position to comment on this dish, save for the fact that the pasta wasn't al dente. Actually my taste buds were numb from the chilli and I was busy trying to douse the flames with water to even register anything besides hot, hot hot!



Be Hooked! ($9.80)

Simple fish and chips. Smooth and tender flesh coupled with an almost artificial sweetness encrusted by a not too thick layer of batter. Decent.



Mango Thai Chilli Chicken with Rice & Egg ($8.80)

The chicken was way too deep fried (look at the colour of the batter), resulting in a nausea inducing end product. Other than that, everything was, well, normal.




Nippon Power & Crushing Sesame ($6.80 each)

A nice cold dessert of shaved ice to end off the meal. Nothing too different from what you are able to get from other places.

I am not sure the quirky names appealed to me but the food certainly didn't. It was average food at best and I hope Kungfu Paradise will work towards improving their quality of food especially with the higher than average prices (as compared to other Hong Kong style cafes) they are charging for their food.

Thanks for the invite!



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

Overall:6.25/10

Address: #01-01 Bedok Point

Contact: 6242 0788

Opening Hours:

11am – 2am (Mon – Thu)

11am – 4am (Fri-Sun, eve of PH & PH)

Website: http://www.paradisegroup.com.sg/kungfu/index.html

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mimo



Singapore's hectic pace of life has led many in search of a respite in the few remaining green lungs of our concrete city state. And I was no exception, jumping at the opportunity to take refuge one weekend morning in the lush greenery surrounding Mimo (formerly known as Mimolette) just off Bukit Timah Saddle Club.







The Place

If it's your first time to Mimo, it can get a little tricky as Fairways Drive is a small slip road off Eng Neo Ave and to get to Mimo, you need to go through the saddle club so watch out for the horses! The interior and furnishing is reminiscent of a quirky black and white pop up book (where the pictures pop up when you flip the pages). Most interesting.



Poached Egg & Crispy Bacon Salad

Stiff bacon, fresh greens and an overly cooked poached egg - nothing impressive, coming across as average at best and something I could easily whip up at home myself.



Streaky Bacon

As with the bacon found in the salad, this was grilled to a stiff crisp. From the looks and taste of it, it probably came straight from a packet off the supermarket shelf.



Sauteed Mushrooms

Served up with onions, the mushrooms were tasty but overly oily. Kinda icky to be chowing down slicker than normal mushrooms honestly.




Cottage Pie & Macaroni and Cheese

I opted not to try the above 2 dishes for fear of a cheese overload.



Croque Madame

Yet another lacklustre dish, the brioche wasn't flaky or buttery enough and the whole thing tasted like McDonald's egg Mcmuffin. Not that I dislike egg Mcmuffins or anything but 15 bucks is a little too much to pay for fast food wouldn't you think so?




Mimo Beef Burger

I had high hopes for the burger but as pretty as it looked, it failed to impress. Topped with sun dried tomatoes and a layer of parmesan crisp, that's where the compliments end. The patty seemed to be machine chopped from its texture and was a little dry and bland. The buns were run off the mill but I personally took to the side of sweet potato and purple potato chips, which were lightly seasoned with salt for an undeniable indulgence.



French Toasts

I secretly hoped that desserts would salvage the situation and they did, to a certain extent. The french toasts were rather spongy on the inside yet a little crisp along the edges with a hint of cinnamon. Add a dollop of butter and some honey and you are all set! Far from being the best I've had, but relatively a gem at Mimo.



Coconut Pancakes

The pancakes were nicely crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside with coconut shreds in attendance. The honey was decent but a little too watered down in my humble opinion.



Bill

The respite, albeit brief, was much appreciated. I can't say the same for the food and price though, having spent just over $160 for brunch for 3. Food in general was average at best but desserts performed a little better, weighing in at just slightly above average. Service was okay but a little clueless at times. With such a value proposition, I can hardly find any reason to return. Can you?



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

Overall:6.5/10

Address: 55 fairways drive

Contact: 6467 7748

Opening Hours:

Dinner
Friday- Saturday: 6pm - 11pm

Brunch
Saturday & Public Holidays: 10am - 3pm
Sunday, All Day Brunch: 10am - 6pm

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

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Outback Steakhouse II - A Pictorial









Address: #01-99 Time2 @ Millenia Walk

Contact: 6837 3242

Opening Hours: 1130am - 1030pm daily

Website: http://www.outback-sea.com/sg/index.html