Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Milk & Honey - A Dessert Pictorial

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The Place

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Royal Honey - Honey Parfait, White Chocolate Stick, Orange Chip, Honey Popcorn, Honey Crystal Jelly, Crunchy Crumble

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Chocolate Divine - Chocolate Twister, Macaron, Chocolate Sauce, White Chocolate Crumble, Brownie, Dark Chocolate Ganche

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Bill

Overall I thought the yoghurt was pretty decent without coming across as too sour. Toppings were nice but a tad expensive. Seating is rather limited but cosy with alot of natural light streaming through City Square Mall's partial glass ceiling.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: NA
Service: NA
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 5.5/10

Overall: 6/10

Address: #01-63/64, OneKM Mall & #02-K14, City Square Mall

Contact: 6702 2201 (OneKm) & 6834 3040 (CSM)

Opening Hours:

OneKM
11am - 12am (Sun - Thu)
11am - 2am (Fri & Sat)

CSM
11am - 10pm

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mortons Part XI - Revisiting An Old Friend

We were back at Morton's after a rather long hiatus (almost 2 years to be exact) and were eager to reacquaint ourselves with our once favourite steakhouse in Singapore.

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Interior

We were seated at our usual table, at the corner nearest to the kitchen that we so valued for the relative privacy it offered. But not anymore. The place has undergone a renovation and more tables have been squeezed into the same area (revenue increment measures?), resulting in much narrower walkways (the traditional pushcarts doing the introduction rounds and desserts have been canned as a result). The booth seats are now black instead of the original red and overall, the place oozes a modern vibe as compared to the former steakhouse like atmosphere.

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Complimentary Onion Loaf

As mentioned in one of my previous writeups, the size of the onion loaf has shrunk considerably but still proved too much for 2 people to try and finish up, not with the plethora of food that was coming our way. Though fragrant, quality came across as a little inferior; dry with the onion taste a tad watered down.

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Salmon Mixed Grill

The mixed grills are a recent introduction to the menu (currently priced at $98++ each) and I personally feel that it's a great way to experience a bit of everything that Morton has to offer. We started off with the Salmon Mixed Grill; Fresh salmon topped with jumbo lump crabmeat with 3 grilled shrimps & 2 baked shrimps.

The chunk of grilled salmon (sitting on 2 stalks of crunchy asparagus) boasted firm flesh without coming across as too fishy whilst the crabmeat atop provided a sweet, crustacean accompaniment. Adding to the delight were the 3 jumbo sized grilled shrimps; Sweet and crunchy. I did find the baked shrimps a little repetitive though. They were nothing more than a combination of shrimp and crab meat. Still good nonetheless. Just watch out for the nausea attached to consuming too much seafood at one go.  

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Filet Mixed Grill

The Filet Mixed Grill consisted of a 6 oz filet mignon, 3 grilled shrimps and 2 bacon wrapped scallops. I'm usually a fan of Morton's filet mignon but the meat, though done to a perfect medium rare and coming across as juicy and flavourful, seemed a little soft this time round (quality of meat, perhaps?). As with the shrimps in the Salmon Mixed Grill, the grilled shrimps here were equally crunchy and sweet. The scallops wrapped in bacon are a perennial favourite with us but these ones were a smaller than the usual ones on the appetiser menu and came across as a tad soft in the middle. On the upside, they were wrapped in crisp, salty and fresh tasting (no reused oil taste) bacon strips. Overall a sinfully rich dish.

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Spinach & Mushrooms

I would very much love to label this as our much needed, healthy greens dish but unfortunately it's anything but. The spinach was soft whilst the mushrooms had a buttery sweetness to them. So much for healthy eating.

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Seasonal Crisps

The Upside Down Apple Pie has undergone a revamp to become the seasonal crisp (in this instance it was the apple crisp); Apple slices and golden raisins topped with crumble and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I personally liked how the tartness of the apple contrasted with the sweetness of the raisin and the vanilla ice cream. I also appreciated the crunchiness of the crumble and personally prefer it over the old Upside Down Apple Pie. Ruth Chris's Warm Apple Crumb Tart could see some serious competition now.

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Morton's Hot Chocolate Cake

And finally, Morton's legendary Hot Chocolate Cake. Size wise, it seemed to have shrunk a little and the exterior was way too crusty this time round (even though I really do appreciate a crisp touch). The molten chocolate was still viscous and especially decadent when paired with a scoop of smooth vanilla ice cream.

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Bill

Dinner for the both of us cost about $320, which wasn't too expensive by Morton's standards but in all honesty, standards have continued to slip since the takeover by Landry's. Food quality was still good but for the same amount of money, I won't be eager to return, not when CUT or Ruth's Chris might offer a better proposition.


Ambience: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Overall: 7.25/10

Address: 4th Storey, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Contact: 6339-3740

Opening Hours:

Bar
Monday - Saturday 5pm - 11pm
Sunday 5pm - 10pm

Dining Room
Monday - Saturday 5:30pm - 11pm
Sunday 5pm - 10pm

Website: http://www.mortons.com/singapore/

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Naked Finn - Home To The Deliciously Exclusive Lobster Rolls

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I had heard about the rather exclusive (served in limited quantities on a first come first serve basis and only during lunch) but delicious lobster rolls at The Naked Finn and decided to try my luck one weekday afternoon.

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The Place

But first, getting a table. Strolling into the place at 12pm sharp got me the very last counter seat. And boy was I grateful. The place is tiny, with approximately 10 counter seats and another 10+ table seats inside the seemingly make shift premises. Outside there are probably another 10 seats but unfortunately those are not open during lunch. 

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Lobster Roll With Homemade Mayonnaise

90g of warm, sweetly succulent lobster chunks wedged between a crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside, pan fried brioche that boasted a smooth butteriness. The dollop of homemade mayonnaise imbued a smooth and creamy finish with a nice piquant aftertaste. Very good! Only gripe I had was pertaining to the fries, which were double fried till extremely dry and in some cases, burnt. Good fries should retain a certain degree of moisture beneath a crisp surface in my humble opinion.
  
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Lobster Roll With Crème Fraîche

As I was still hungry after my first lobster roll, I had a go at another one but this time opting for the other alternative on the menu; Lobster roll with crème fraîche instead of homemade mayonnaise. And the verdict? The crème fraîche was noticeably lighter on the palate but it killed the butteriness of the brioche and dulled the crustacean sweetness of the lobster. Homemade mayonnaise is definitely the way to go in my humble opinion. Did I also mention that shortly after my order was sent to the kitchen, the place ran out of lobster rolls for the day? And it was barely past 1pm!

ps: I skipped the fries, naturally.

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Bill

A cholesterol level busting lunch cost just shy of $70, which isn't expensive for lobster rolls, especially in Singapore. Quality was very good and just a wee bit below that of Burger & Lobster in London but marginally better than Luke's Lobster in New York. Service was good and I liked that sky juice was served free of charge as well. There were other things on the menu that seemed interesting as well but somehow I can't quite reconcile paying almost $30 for a bowl of prawn noodles vis-à-vis topping up a few dollars more for a lobster roll. I'll definitely be back!


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6.5/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 7.75/10 (only for the lobster roll with homemade Mayonnaise)
Value for money: 7.25/10

Overall: 7.125/10

Address: 41 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks

Contact: 6694 0807

Opening Hours:

Lunch:
Monday - Friday : 12:00 - 2:00pm (last order at 1:30pm)

Brunch:
Saturday : 12:00 - 3:00pm (last order at 2:15pm)

Dinner:
Monday - Thursday : 6:00pm - 10:00pm (last order at 9:15pm)
Friday - Saturday : 6:00pm - 8:00pm (1st seating)
Friday - Saturday : 8:15pm - 10:15pm (2nd seating)

Sunday : Closed

Website: http://www.nakedfinn.com/

And I went back 3 times in the space of 3 weeks, with varying degrees of quality in the fries (twice burnt and once perfectly fried with a touch of salt. Quality control issues?). The lobster rolls remained delicious though but during my third visit, the buns seemed to have lost a bit of their butteriness and came across as a tad dry.

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Lobster Roll With Homemade Mayonnaise (3rd Visit)


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Bill (3rd Visit)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Flutes Part IV - Were Our Expectations Set Too High?

We were especially enamoured with the French toast during our previous visit and made a conscious effort to drop by Flutes for brunch again one Saturday morning.

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The Place

I still love the classic colonial look of the interior, finished with wooden floors, ceiling fans and arched windows. On this particular visit, a wedding reception was ongoing in the lawn outside and it was nice to witness such a joyous occasion.

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Jar of Confit Duck Rillette, Smoked Duck Ham, Ginger and Pear Chutney, Toast

The duck rillette was a tad too moist this time round but on the upside, our wait staff generously offered more slices of piping hot toast to go alongside. Coupled with the deliciously tender smoked duck and mildly sweet yet tart pear chutney, it made for a pretty decent starter. 

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Grilled Asparagus, Parma Ham, Soft Boiled Quail Egg and Croutons

Although the parma ham came across as a tad bland, this dish was still very decent; Topped with crunchy grilled asparagus spears, a soft quail egg and razor thin, crisp crouton sheets.
  
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Prawn Aglio Olio, Spagetthini, Garlic and Sesame Crumbs

As with our previous trip, the pasta was a little too soft for my liking but I appreciate how the garlic and sesame crumbs imbued this dish with a rather pronounced flavour that ended off with a mildly spicy flair. Served with acceptably fresh and crunchy prawns.  

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Wagyu Beef Burger, Smoked Bacon, Egg and Truffle Shoestring Fries

The beef patty seemed a little on the soft side and the doneness bordered on well done instead of the requested medium. But on the upside, at least it was still juicy. Consistency was also an issue here, with the buns crisp but very unevenly spread with a layer of butter (some areas had lots, some had zilch). I didn't think too much of the fries this time round as well; A couple of burnt ends and an almost non existent truffle oil taste. Pretty disappointing if you ask me.

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French Toast, Berries, White Chocolate and Pistachio

One of the main reasons why we decided to return to Flutes, the humble French toast. Aesthetics wise, it paled in comparison to our previous visit (where's the flowers?) but to be fair, it was still rather pleasing. The toast still sported a crisp exterior and a pillowy interior but unfortunately, the chocolate sauce this time round was rather inadequate, resulting in an uneven distribution of the sweet creaminess. Mildly disappointing.

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Bill

In a nutshell, service was good but quality hovered around the average mark in general. I can't believe how much standards have fallen in the course of just a few months or did we just catch the restaurant on a bad day? I guess I won't be that eager to find out, not at almost $90 for 2.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10 (7/10 for the French toast)
Value for money: 6/10 (based on brunch)

Overall: 6.75/10

Address: The National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road

Contact: 63388770

Opening Hours

Weekday Lunch
11.30am till 2.00pm (Last Order)

Weekend Brunch
10.00am to 2.30pm (Last Order)

Sunday Roast
11.00am to 2.30pm (Last Order)

English Afternoon Tea (Fri-Sun)
3.00pm to 5.00pm (Last order)

Dinner Hours (Mon-Sat)
6.30pm till 10.00pm
10.30pm on Saturdays (Last Order)

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

Monday, April 06, 2015

Horizon Bistronomy - French Food With A View

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Punggol end used to be just Punggol seafood, a roundabout for bus 82 and a place where I used to catch spiders when I was a kid. Now it has been revamped (and renamed to Punggol Promenade) to include a handful of restaurants and pubs, a cycling track/boardwalk and even a small scale supermarket. Upon a recommendation, the six of us dropped by Horizon Bistronomy for dinner one relatively quiet weekday evening.

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The Place & Menu

Located on the second floor of the building and playing neighbours to a Thai food outlet and a pub, Horizon Bistronomy offers both indoors and alfresco seating, with the latter obviously being more popular due to an unblocked view of the Singapore/Johor Straits. 

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Chilled Crab Meat Angel Hair

To start, I had the crab meat angel hair, which came topped with three substantial chunks of chilled, crunchy crab meat and chorizo oil (pork sausage) that had bits of crisp chorizo for that nice bacon-like texture and taste. Finished off with salty, crunchy salmon roe. Although the angel hair had a touch of truffle oil which gave it a light fragrance and smoothness, it was a tad too thick in my humble opinion. Overall a very decent dish but not something I would go wow over. 

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Horizon Pork 2 Way

The two way refers to a 24hrs slow braised pork belly and a kurobuta pork tenderloin.  The former was melt in your mouth tender and topped with mild grape mustard but as it had quite a substantial amount of fat, the nausea kicked in really quickly. I personally preferred the latter, which was tender with a nice smokey taste to it. The accompanying cauliflower puree was smooth but could do with a little butter. All in all, a pretty good dish!

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Chocolate Textures

The name of this dessert brought back wonderful memories of Quay's rendition. But the end result was vastly different. A brownie like chocolate base topped with 66% valrhona chocolate mousse, seperated by a thin layer of orange marmalade and finished with a coffee sauce. Contrary to the menu's claim that this dessert is "simply divine!", the orange marmalade weighed in too strong on the flavours, effectively diluting the taste of the chocolate whilst the bitterness of the coffee sauce didn't quite jell with the whole dish in my humble opinion. Maybe a vanilla bean sauce would have been more appropriate?

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Garden By The Bay

A chef's special that's not on the menu, the Garden By The Bay came looking like a few random greens growing out of a pot of soil. Beneath the soil (which is actually chocolate crumbs with bits of nuts) was a thick layer of smooth and light but rather bland vanilla mousse with strawberries, apple slices etc thrown into the mix. I personally liked the chocolate soil, which had a nice crunch coupled with a mild nutty flavour. 

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Bill

The 6 of us spent close to $250 which wasn't too expensive quantitatively but portion sizes did seem a tad small and quality was somewhat a mixed bag. Some items, like the pork and angel hair pasta, were decent but others, like the King of the Sea (not featured because I forgot to take a photo of it) came across as average (salmon was bland and king prawn wasn't fresh). Desserts are definitely not a forte at this place as well. On the upside, service was good with a great view to boot. That, coupled with the pork dish, might well be enough to warrant a revisit.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10 (if you sit outdoors on a cool evening)
Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10 (7/10 for the Horizon Pork 2 Way)
Value for money: 6.5/10
Overall: 6.75/10

Address: 3 Punggol Point Road, #02-04, The Punggol Settlement

Contact: 6702 2855

Opening Hours: Daily: 18:00 - 23:00

Website: https://www.facebook.com/horizonbistronomy