Sunday, June 24, 2012

Zanotti Part III

Made a flash trip to Bangkok for a weekend getaway and decided to indulge in some great Italian grub at Zanotti on a blistering Saturday afternoon.



Complimentary Bread

We didn't quite manage to work our way through the entire basket of bread as we had quite a substantial breakfast at the hotel and didn't fancy prioritizing the breads over the mains/desserts. Thumbs up to the variety though.



Complimentary Bruschetta

Each of us received a small piece of bruschetta as well. Nothing too fancy but fresh tomatoes on a slightly soggy bread base. Great way to start off.



Pasta Carbonara alla Romana

We opted for the roman style of carbonara, which was slightly different from what we were used to in Singapore. This variant was alot drier and I could distinctly taste the egg yolk and cheese - very rich. Coupled with slivers of bacon and al dente penne, what's not to like? Well, maybe the nausea that hits you after consuming about half the plate.



Focaccia Ripiena

The Focaccia Ripiena, or stuffed focaccia, reminded me of calzone (folded pizza). With copious amounts of parma ham and gooey mozzarella sealed within a thin layer of chewy focaccia that boasted a slick (oily!) yet crisp crust, it was love at first taste for me. Unfortunately, the nausea monster soon hit as the parma ham was unbelievably salty and the entire pastry was way too cheesy for me. That's why it's good to share.



Tiramisu

The sole reason why I keep coming back to Zanotti - the sinfully wonderful tiramisu. Excellent sponge to mascarpone ratio coupled with a nice smooth creaminess that tingles your taste buds. Still one of the best I've tried and at almost $15 SGD, one of the most expensive (in relation to the cost of the other dishes as well as standard of living in the country).



Chiacchiere

I would have loved to have some of the chiacchiere but we were just too stuffed up by the end of the meal.



Bill

We went ala carte this time round (set lunch isn't served on weekends) and chalked up a bill of close to 1820 THB (about $80 SGD). Not exactly cheap even by Singapore standards but the food is worth the dollar in my humble opinion (just remember to share). But if you are looking for a more reasonable alternative, go for the set lunches!


Final Verdict:
Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:7/10 (8.5/10 for the tiramisu)
Value for money:7/10
Overall:7/10

Address: 21/2 1st Floor, Saladaeng Colonnade Condominium, Silom Rd., Silom Bangrak, Bangkok 10500

Contact: +66 2 636-0002

Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:30 Dinner 18:00 – 22:30

Website: http://www.zanotti-ristorante.com/

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chinois 新華



Popped by Chinois by Susur Lee one Saturday afternoon for a quick dim sum fix since we had errands to run in the vicinity. Honestly, I've heard so much about Chinois while it was at Orchard Parade Hotel but never really got down to trying it. And now with the move to Resorts World Sentosa, Chinois has tied up with famed Canadian chef, Susur Lee, to up its offering a notch. What I find ironic (and hilarious) is that I've lived in Toronto for quite a few years but have never tried Susur lee's famed restaurant, Lee. And yet, I'm doing so in Singapore. Duh!




The Place & Menu

Chinois is hidden in a scheduled corner of Hotel Michel, past the concierge and just after the washrooms. There, a life sized decal of Chef Susur Lee greets you from the huge glass panel that fronts the restaurant. Decked out mainly in black with a few window tables that allow you a view of the activities outside, Chinois exudes an understated elegance that is common place in quite a fair bit of modern Chinese restaurants nowadays.




Cheese Burger Spring Roll

I had heard so much about the Cheese Burger Spring Rolls and it was imperative that i tried it. Interestingly, the spring rolls tasted exactly like a normal cheeseburger that you would get in a fast food joint, albeit with a crisp exterior instead of fluffy buns. For a more "authentic" taste, don't forget the mustard! Be sure to share though as the oil does get to you after the second roll.



Duo BBQ Pork Bun

As the name suggests, you get 2 variants of BBQ pork bun - 1 steamed and 1 deep fried. I personally preferred the greasier version as the bun had a soft and almost smooth texture coupled with a nice crisp exterior. The BBQ pork didn't come across as cloyingly sweet as well. Ditto for the steamed version, which boasted a nice fluffy but marginally thicker bun.



Steamed Beancurd Skin Rolls with Crab Roe

Although I am not exactly a fan of steamed beancurd skin (I prefer the deep fried ones), this was honestly quite decent with a tinge of spiciness, presumably from the crab roe sauce. And the skin had bits of crispiness along the edges with fresh pieces of shrimp stuffed within.



Kurobuta Pork Rib with Vinaigrette

This is definitely not the best roasted pork I've had but it's still pretty good. Crackling crisp skin belying a nice fat to pork ratio. Only minor gripes I had were that the skin was a little too thick for my liking and the meat wasn't salty enough. Best eaten with the accompanying plum sauce.



Baby Abalone Siew Mai

The baby abalones didn't quite feature in the overall taste of the siew mai, which was a little too salty for my liking. Well at least the usage of fatty meat was kept to a minimal which helped keep the nausea at bay.



Homemade Beancurd with Monkey Head Mushrooms

As much as I love beancurd, I would be hard pressed to rate this dish anything more than slightly above average. Don't get me wrong. This dish isn't bad. In fact, it is technically very sound and checks most of the boxes. However the beancurd, though silky smooth, lacked the savoury taste that I personally use to differentiate between good and excellent. Also, it is the first time I've trying out monkey head mushrooms and honestly, I didn't quite take to the somewhat limp texture. So it all boils down to personal preference I guess.



Pan Fried Carrot Cakes with Preserved Meat

Now this was interesting. At first glance, each individual piece of carrot cake looked like a piece of roast pork sitting on it's head. However pop one into your mouth and be pleasantly surprised by its smooth texture and that of the crisp preserved meat which acted as a nice contrasting counterbalance.



Bill

The total bill (without discount) for 2 came up to about $89, which is by no means cheap but hey, it's at Resorts World Sentosa and food quality is decidedly above average overall. Throw in good service and a 50% discount and I'll definitely be dining at Chinois again.


Final Verdict:

Ambience:7.5/10
Service:7.5/10
Food:7/10
Value for money:6/10 (without 50% discount)

Overall:7/10

Address: #02-142/143 Hotel Michael, Resorts World Sentosa

Contact: 6884 7888

Opening Hours

Lunch: 12.00pm - 3.00pm (Last order 2.30pm)

Dinner: 6.30pm -10.30pm (Last order 10.00pm)

Website: http://chinois.com.sg/

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Penang Place Restaurant - A Pictorial





Address: #B1-20/24 Connexis, 1 Fusionopolis Way

Contact: 6467-7003

Opening Hours:

Monday - Saturday

Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm

Dinner: 6.00pm to 9.30pm

CLOSED on Sundays

Website: http://www.penangplace.com/

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Hua Ting Part III

Hua Ting was a relatively last minute choice for a mid week catch up session with a couple of old friends. The place hasn't changed one bit and still looks like it could do with some restoration works to keep it up to date.



Roasted Duck

One of Hua Ting's signature dishes, the roast duck - tender and juicy with a mild sugary sweetness to it. But the skin wasn't as crisp as I remembered it to be. Still very decent though but standards seem to have dropped.



Stir Fried Pea Shoots

The pea shoots (豆苗) came fried with garlic and were a little on the oily side. I've definitely had better.



Emerald Beancurd with Scallop

In all honesty, this sounded like a great combination. But reality is often cruel. On one hand, the beancurd was soft and silky with a nice savoury aftertaste. On the other hand, the scallop seemed to be coated with a flour like substance that messed everything up, rendering the scallop soft with a gelatin/kueh like texture. Flavour wise was still decent though.



Prawn Done in 2 Ways

1 prawn was coated with egg yolk, the other had wasabi doused over it. To be fair, both prawns were huge but a tad soft (probably a little under cooked). However the wasabi tasted rather watered down and creamy. Ditto that for the egg yolk as well, coming across as bland and lacking in the savouriness and saltiness that I personally like.



Seafood Fish Noodles

I am quite a huge fan of fish paste noodles and although Hua Ting's offering used to be quite good, just like the roast duck, standards have slipped. The shark bone soup just wasn't rich enough and the noodles didn't quite have bite. To give it credit, the seafood was fresh though. Just a gauge on portion sizes. The 6 of us ordered a large and each of us managed a small, albeit respectably full bowl of noodles.



Bill

After a 15% discount, 6 of us chalked up a bill of about $291, which isn't that bad really. But food quality wasn't quite up to expectations. Service was still good though but not good enough for a revisit. How Hua Ting is often nominated for the best restaurant award still deludes me. On a good day, Hua Ting's food is above average. On a bad day, food hovers around average. Am I missing something here?


Final Verdict:

Ambience:7/10
Service:7/10
Food:6/10 (7/10 for the duck)
Value for money:6/10

Overall:6.5/10

Address: 2nd Floor Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road

Contact: 67396666 or 67343872