Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe - One Of The Best Blackforest Cakes I've Had In A While

Met up with friends for dinner @ Stuttgart Blackforest Cafe, a cafe smack in the middle of town apparently specialising in pork knuckles and Blackforest cake.

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The Place

Housed within Hotel Rendezvous along one of the walkways, Stuttgart invokes a very comfortable feeling from its cottage like decorations; plenty of wooden fixtures, life sized wooden nutcrackers amidst a cottage facade backdrop. 

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Pork Schnitzel

2 large fillets of pork schnitzel; coated with bread crumbs and coming across as a tad dry. Palatable but average at best.

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Pork Knuckles

I went with the single portion of pork knuckles and it proved to be rather sizeable. Sporting a crackling crisp skin but a tad dry and chewy meat with bits of fat, this dish could do with a wee bit more salt in my humble opinion. It didn't quite help that the meat came across as rather porky as well.

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Blackforest Cake

And Stuttgart's claim to fame, it's blackforest cake. Moist with a significant taste of kirsch and plump cherries at the bottom; topped generously with chocolate shavings but didn't come across as overly sweet. Pretty good and one of the best I've had in a while.

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We had two 1 for 1 main course vouchers which brought down our bill to ~ $82 for 4pax (~ $126 without the vouchers). Food was average at best but I did fancy the blackforest cake quite a bit and will definitely be back - but only to do a takeaway on the cake.

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

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: #01-01 Rendezvous Hotel Gallery

Contact: 6336 8675

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am to 11pm (Last order: 10.30pm)


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Imperial Treasure Cantonese Part X - A Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

We finally made it back to our favourite Imperial Treasure Cantonese @ Crowne Plaza for our CNY eve reunion dinner by virtue of an early reservation (~ 2 months prior and before the CNY menu was made available). And even then, only the second seating was available but thankfully, we managed to snag a private room (watch out for the dripping air-condition vent though!).

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Fatt Choy Salmon Fish Yu Sheng

After "lao-ing" quite a few yu sheng over the years, I've found the offering at Imperial Treasure Cantonese to be one of the best and most consistent; Not overly sweet with a mild crunchiness from the radish strips. The crackers also came across as fresh (no reused oil taste) and crispy, which was definitely a huge plus.

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Double Boiled Superior Shark's Fin with Chicken

Slivers of gelatin sharks fin coupled with a huge chunk of chicken meat, all immersed in a flavourful yet light broth that was good to the last drop. The chicken did come across as dry though.

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BBQ Combination

Now this wasn't quite as good as what I had about a week back at the very same place. The duck seemed a tad dry while the roasted pork could do with a wee bit more salt. Not too impressed with the rather salty soy chicken as well.

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We usually have lobster together with Imperial Treasure's truffle mee pok but decided to just have it solo this time round (an add on of $168++).  Crunchy, sweet crustacean flesh coupled with a mildly savoury garlic sauce. Good but would have been better with the mee pok in my humble opinion.

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Sauteed Canadian Empress Clam with Vegetable & XO Sauce

The snow peas were excellent; crunchy and sweet with a savoury, spicy kick from the XO sauce. Ditto the clams, which were crunchy and equally tasty.

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Deep Fried Soon Hock Fish with Soya Sauce

Perfectly crisp on the outside and lying on a bed of soya sauce, the soon hock unfortunately came across as fine but bland. Not something I would have expected from soon hock honestly. Rather disappointing.

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Braised Goose Web, Dried Oyster & Mushroom with Black Moss

We were shocked when this dish arrived. It was ridiculously huge (I don't remember previous years' renditions to be that big!) and filled with dried oysters (not my cup of tea), gigantic goose webs, mushrooms and vegetables. Pretty tasty without coming across as too starchy.

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Fried Glutinous Rice with Wax Meat & Sausage

Lacking in fragrance and taste, the fried glutinous rice was rather disappointing. Nothing like the offering from Peony Jade. Too bad PJ only offers it on request (advance order) and for 10 pax only.

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Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake

I personally prefer the pan fried version of nian gao (年糕) so this steamed version didn't quite do it for me, especially with the grated coconut.

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Red Bean Cream with Lotus Seed

And to end things off, the humble red bean soup. Boasting huge and distinct azuki beans (not boiled to a mash), the soup wasn't cloyingly sweet and coupled with tender lotus seeds, made for a wonderful dessert.

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Dinner for 6 cost about $1155, which is around our norm for reunion dinners. However, quality seems to have dipped a fair bit since our last CNY eve visit but I expect things to normalise after the festive period, given that the food we had just a week prior was still of a certain standard. Looking forward to returning, just not for our next CNY eve dinner.

Ambience: 7.5/10 (private room)
Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 6.5/10 (CNY reunion dinner pricing)

Overall: 6.75/10

Address: #01-02 Crowne Plaza Hotel, 75 Airport Boulevard

Contact: 6822 8228

Opening Hours:

11.30am–3pm, 6pm–11pm

Sat–Sun & PH
10.30am–3pm, 6pm–11pm


Monday, February 01, 2016

Park Bench Deli - Pretty Good Grilled Sandwiches!

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After my disappointing sandwich at Melt Bar, I had all but given up hopes of finding something similar to that of Toastface Grillah in Perth. But as luck would have it, I chanced upon Park Bench Deli one weekday evening.

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The Place

Occupying a small shop along Telok Ayer Street, Park Bench Deli's industrial themed interior gives off a hip vibe, with the day's offerings pasted on a huge board on the wall. Seating is rather limited and you have to order and make payment at the counter.

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Patty Melt On Rye

Pink in the middle and a perfect medium rare, the beef patty came across as tender and well seasoned (a tad overly salty though), topped with gooey melted American cheese and sweet grilled onions, all layered between two slices of crackling crisp rye bread. Pretty delicious but Toastface Grillah's sandwiches still take the cake.
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PB & J

PBD's take on the classic PB & J was pretty interesting. Crusted with cornflakes for that extra crunch, the first thing that hits you is the peanut butter, with the sweetness of the jelly helping to cut through the smooth richness. However I would have appreciated a little more peanut butter and jelly for a more robust flavour. It was also a little annoying to have the cornflakes stick to my teeth at times. Not as good as the one from Artistry in my humble opinion but good enough!

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My stomach threatened to explode after consuming both sandwiches but it was worth it, especially since the food was reasonably priced at $24 nett. I'll definitely be back to try their grilled cheese and cheese steak sandwich!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10 (quirky place)
Service: NA
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

Address: 179 telok ayer street

Contact: 6815 4600

Opening Hours: mon — fri 9am till 10pm