Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cocotte



An opportunity to try out Cocotte's (which is actually a small casserole used in French cooking) newly launched brunch menu came by way of an invitation to dine there one Sunday afternoon. At the helm of this one and a half year old French restaurant is Chef Anthony Yeoh, who used to one half of the "Funky Chefs" cooking duo that offered private chef services.






The Place & Menu

Holed up on the ground level of Wanderlust Hotel along Dickson Road, Cocotte takes quite an effort to get to if you are driving. There are major constructions going around in that area and some streets are no through road or one way. Parking is a nightmare as street lots are limited and the unofficial extension of the Sungei Road flea market spills over.

The restaurant itself isn't big (probably 40 - 50 diners tops) and has a strange welcoming feel to it. I wouldn't describe it as homely but it had this certain appeal to make you want to just sit back and enjoy your meal in a very measured sort of way. Guess they don't want you to get too comfortable and hog the tables haha.



Croissants ($9) & Pain Au Chocolat ($10)

I can't begin expressing how good the croissants and pain au chocolat were. Served up warm, both pastries boasted a crusty exterior with puffy layers of soft, chewy goodness. Although I love chocolate, I personally preferred the croissant as it had a nice buttery finish to it. If you prefer it a little sweet, help yourself to the bottles of Alain Milliat jam that comes alongside. And I kid you not. It's probably one of the best I've had in Singapore so far. The secret behind it? The pastries are imported directly from France and baked to perfection in Cocotte's ovens.



Nicoise Salad ($18)

Fresh crunchy greens with a generous topping of tuna chunks and a smattering of anchovies, olives and hard boiled eggs - the answer to the problem of kids refusing to eat their greens. The anchovies were a little too salty though so make sure you eat them together with the greens.




Roast Herb Potatoes ($6) & Slow Roasted Vine Tomatoes and Garlic ($8)

Both of these were sides and although I didn't quite take to the tomatoes, I have to admit that they were pretty good - sweet yet mildly tart. My gf loves them though; that and the herb potatoes, which were infused with a slight herb taste and didn't come across as too soft.



Toulouse Sausages ($10)

Coming across as relatively thick, the sausages were a mixture of chicken and pork. Very flavourful and rather juicy. Only downside is that it's really quite oily and consuming too much will not only make you nauseous but send your cholesterol levels soaring.



Scrambled Eggs ($5)

Simplicity at its best. The eggs were nice with a hint of milkiness sans the wateriness. Now if only I had kept some of the croissant to go with it.



Creamed Leeks and Scallops Crepe ($22)

Honestly I'm not a big fan of the savoury crepes, being more partial towards it's sweet cousin. So this didn't quite work for me though I liked the huge piece of seared scallop atop.



Croque Madame ($18)

The croque madame ranked a close second to the croissants in my list of favourite dishes that afternoon. Crisp brioche heavy on the buttery goodness and topped with ham and a runny egg. Simply decadent! And not to mention unhealthy. But hey, for something so good, health concerns can always take a back seat for the moment ;)

Thanks to everyone who made this meal possible!


Final Verdict:

Ambience:7/10
Service:NA
Food:8/10
Value for money:NA
Overall:7.5/10

Address: No. 2 Dickson Road, Wanderlust Hotel

Contact: 6298 1188

Opening Hours:

Lunch:
Mondays to Saturdays
1200hrs – 1430hrs(Last order 1400hrs)

Dinner:
Mondays to Thursdays
1830hrs – 2230hrs(Last order 2200hrs)

Fridays to Saturdays
1830hrs – 2300hrs(Last order 2230hrs)

Closed on Sundays

Website: http://restaurantcocotte.com/

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rama Thai Sharksfin Restaurant Part II

Made the trip down to the CBD area to have dinner at Rama Thai one Sunday evening. Our previous meal there ended on a high note so we were definitely eager to return.



Claypot Shark's Fin with Crab Meat

As the name of the restaurant suggests, Rama Thai specialises in sharks fin. And the claypot fins were good. Although a tad smaller than what we had previously, the fins were still sizable and simmered in a savoury, not too starchy broth with crab meat and crunchy beansprouts for companion.



Bamboo Clams

At $10++ a pop, I'm not sure the clams were worth it. Sure, they were quite a size and tasted decent, topped with garlic and vermicelli. But somehow there seems to be a disparity in quality and price.



Prawn Cake

I thought this was average as the prawn taste wasn't dominant and honestly the whole thing was just bland paste.



Lemon Chicken

This dish was a joke. The chicken was coated with a ridiculous amount of flour so much so that biting into a piece was akin to chomping down on deep fried flour. If it makes things any better, at least the flour was crisp and the lemon sauce, tangy.


Stir Fried Broccoli with Scallops

A most simple yet appetising dish of greens. The broccoli was imbued with a subtle wok hei and came across as crunchy and well stir fried. The scallops were a little soft though.



Baked Crab Vermicelli

This was reminiscent of what I had at Thai Village sometime back. And just for the record, I love Thai Village's rendition. Rama Thai's offering wasn't too shabby though. The vermicelli was fragrant with peppery nuances but overly dry whilst the crab meat was sweet and satisfying. Would have liked a little more gravy please.



Deep Fried Squid

The only thing I liked about this dish was the cashew nuts that came alongside. The squid itself was lost in the thick layer of breading flour but at least the sauce had a little sweetness and spiciness to it. Very average.



Bill

I'll be the first to admit. The food we had this time round wasn't as stellar as what we had the last round. Could it be an indication that Rama Thai's standards are dropping or that we should have just stuck to the tried and tested dishes? I guess I'll only know on my next visit. If I ever return, that is.


Final Verdict:

Ambience:6.5/10
Service:7/10
Food:6.5/10 (lemon chicken & fried squid at a lowly 3/10.)
Value for money:5/10
Overall:6.25/10

Address: 81 Tanjong Pagar Road

Contact: 62226626

Opening Hours: Daily 1130am - 230pm (Lunch), 6pm - 10pm (Dinner)

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

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ah Yat Seafood II

We decided to drop by Turf City one Sunday evening and have dinner at one of the seafood restaurants. How we ended up at Ah Yat, I have no idea, especially when my last dinner at the Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim outlet turned out to be a disaster. To be fair, that was quite a few years ago so things might have improved?



Interior

The interior of the restaurant was a stark contrast to its surroundings. Soothing but a little gaudy versus partially smashed bare concrete, displaced steel wires/nails and loud drilling noises. Yes, the entire Turf City is under renovation and only a handful of units remain open ( I counted 3 - Owen Seafood, Ah Yat & Giant).



Shark's Fin Soup

Decently sized with slivers of shark's fin and crab meat, the broth was a little too starchy and salty for my liking. Thankfully the serving of fried, albeit overly oily bean sprouts helped to alleviate this dish by introducing water content as well as a wonderful crunch to it. It's interesting how sometimes the humblest of produce can help turn a dish around.



Oyster with Garlic

For our set, we had a choice of Bamboo Clam or Oyster and I chose the latter. And honestly, I couldn't quite make out any taste other than garlic because it was just so overwhelming.



Braised Abalone with Sea Cucumber

I am usually not a big fan of abalone and Ah Yat's well known dish just wasn't about to convert me. The abalone was of decent size (6 head) and a little chewy, though I did find it a little on the salty side. The accompanying sea cucumber and mushroom were decent but failed to leave much of an impression.




Peking Duck

The peking duck was an additional order we craved meat. And it didn't turn out to be a very wise decision. Though the skin was crisp, both the meat and crepe were too dry. Felt very much like eating roast duck - nothing special.



Fried Rice

Although the lack of ingredients was apparent (there was only egg yolk and dried scallop slivers), this dish had a nice wok hei to it and each individual grain was evenly coated and didn't come across as too oily. Be warned that the dried scallops should be eaten together with the rice as the salt content is rather high and might prove unbearable if eaten alone.



Bill

Overall the meal wasn't fantastic and even the more expensive ingredients didn't quite justify the price, at about $210 for 3 pax. Service was decent but I highly doubt I will ever return.


Final Verdict:

Ambience:6.5/10
Service:6.5/10
Food:6/10
Value for money:5/10
Overall:6/10

Address: #03-01/02 Main Grandstand, Turf City

Contact: 6883 2112

Opening Hours:

11.30am - 2.30pm (Lunch)
5.30pm - 10.00pm (Dinner)

Website: http://ahyatrestaurant.com.sg/

Sunday, May 06, 2012

One Rochester Part II - A Pictorial








The Nibble Platter

Consisting of Herb crumbed stuffed olives, Potato skins with sour cream and ocean trout caviar, Radish, tapenade and crudites, Smoked ocean trout rilette AND Kurobuta pork terrine, jamon and pickles



Tiger Prawn Salad with Cous Cous, Pomegranate Mint & Persian Feta



Classic Mushroom Soup



Twice Baked Gruyere Souffle



Roasted Cod Fillet with Prawn, Green Pea Mash, Shellfish Sauce



Braised Angus Short Rib with creamy Paris Mash Potato & Buttered Baby Carrots



Baby Chicken Wrapped in Proscuitto with Pine Nut, Raisin & Truffle Stuffing Served with Quince & Pear Compote



Grande Assiette

Although this is merely a pictorial, I would like to comment that the Twice Baked Gruyere Souffle is really great - cheesy yet creamy with a nice souffle texture. Thanks to One Rochester for the invite!


Address: No.1 Rochester Park

Contact: 6773 0070

Opening Hours:

Mondays to Thursdays

6.00pm to 12 midnight
*Last order for dinner 10.30pm
*Last order for drinks 11.30pm

Fridays, Saturdays & Eve of Public Holidays

6.00pm to 2.00am
*Last order for dinner 10.30pm
*Last order for drinks 1.30am

Website: http://www.onerochester.com/