Sunday, April 09, 2017

Fat Cow - Didn't Quite Live Up To The Hype

A couple of us dropped by Fat Cow for lunch one weekday afternoon after hearing so much about their signature wagyu donburi.

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The Place

Located at a corner of Camden Medical Centre, Fatcow took quite a bit of finding as there didn't seem to be any clear signs as to where exactly the place was from the carpark. But we finally found the place and were led into a "private" room for the 8 of us; "private" because it was really just part of the main bar area with a paper thin partition that afforded some visual privacy (no respite from the noise though). 

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Salad, Miso Soup & Chawanmushi

A side of fresh salad, miso soup and chawanmushi came as a side to our set lunch. I personally liked the chawanmushi; smooth and light without coming across as too eggy and served with a slice of scallop, mushroom and prawn.

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The Fat Cow Donburi

And the sole reason why we were here; the namesake Fat Cow Donburi. I ordered my wagyu medium rare but it seemed a touch undercooked even though the flavours were good; salty with a robust beefiness but a little lacking in the juiciness. The wobbly onsen egg imbued the dish with a creamy texture. A good dish but lacked the wow factor in my humble opinion. 

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Ice Cream

A tiny scoop of smooth and creamy caramel ice cream (probably the size of 2 quail eggs) capped off our meal. Inadequate but appreciated nonetheless.

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Bill

The 8 of us racked up a bill of ~$480 and though good, doesn't quite justify the quality and quantity of food honestly. We left the restaurant feeling a little unsatisfied to be honest. Service overall was decent but tea refills need to be more forthcoming, especially at $5++/pax. Will I be back? I highly doubt so, unless someone is picking up the check.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6.5/10 (For the "private room")
Service: 6.5/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: #01-01 Camden Medical Centre

Contact: 6735 0308

Opening Hours:

Lunch

Monday to Sunday: 12PM to 3PM (Last order at 2.30PM)

Dinner

Monday to Sunday: 6PM to 11PM (Last order at 10.30PM)

Website: http://www.fat-cow.com.sg/

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Long Chim Singapore - Surprisingly Mediocre Thai Food

The 3 of us were having lunch at Long Chim (which translates to come and taste), a relatively upscale Thai restaurant at Marina Bay Sands owned by renowned Australian Celebrity Chef David Thompson, who is also behind the award winning Thai restaurant, Nahm, in Bangkok.

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The Place

Located on the 2nd floor of MBS, Long Chim boasts a modern and trendy interior with Asian twists, scenes of Bangkok and a view of Marina Bay from certain tables. But the view is a double edged sword because you get plenty of natural light (great!) and some of the heat as well (not so great). 

As this was our first visit, we decided to go with the set lunch.

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Cured Pork Fritters

Deep fried breaded cubes filled with sourish cured pork and an uneven distribution of chilli; best eaten with the peanuts to help neutralise the sourness. No great shakes and not my cup of tea.

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Miang Prawn

One of my dining companions had the Miang prawn, which was an assortment of ingredients (dried prawns, shallots, peanuts etc) wrapped in a betel leaf. Sweet, spicy and sour all at once - akin to a zesty rojak paste. Can't say this was well received.

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Fried Rice with Roast Duck

This was my main course and though this dish came across as lightly salty and savoury, it lacked any discernable wok hei. I couldn't quite make out the taste of the duck slices as well, which was a pity. Overall a rather forgettable dish of fried rice.

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Sweet Mango Sticky Rice

One of the quintessential Thai desserts, the humble mango sticky rice. Mildly sweet mango slices atop rather watery rice (too much creamy coconut milk!) and sprinkled with fried mung bean to inject some crunch. Decent dessert but portion sizes are minute; I finished the whole thing in 2 spoonfuls. 

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Bill

Lunch for the 3 of us cost ~ $94, which isn't expensive (ala carte and dinner prices are quite a bit higher though) given the prices at Marina Bay Sands in general but quality is average at best. Overhyped and rather underwhelming in my humble opinion. Service is decent though.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 5.5/10
Value for money: 5.5/10

Overall: 6.25/10

Address: #02-02, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 7299

Opening Hours: 12pm to 11pm daily

Website: https://longchim.com.sg/

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Park Bench Deli II - Even Better Than My First Visit

I was craving sandwiches and decided to drop by Park Bench Deli one evening after work to avoid the office crowds.

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The Place

Nothing seems to have changed since my last visit (the variety of drinks in the chiller seem to have increased; definitely a good thing).

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Cheese Steak

I reckon this was modeled after the famous Philadelphia cheese steak but it didn't quite taste the same. That's not to say that it was bad. In fact, I found it quite enjoyable with its strong caramelised onion overtures coupled with a cheesy base and lightly chewy strips of beef. The bread could do with some work though, coming across as a tad stodgy.

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Bill

$16 nett for a delicious sandwich; definitely worth it in my humble opinion.

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Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich

Had the PBJ sandwich as well and I still find Artistry's rendition better (though it's been a while since I've eaten there). You can see my write up on the PBJ sandwich here.


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 to Fri - 1030am till 10pm (closed daily from 4pm to 5pm and last food order at 930pm)

Sat - 1030am till 4pm(last food order at 330pm)

Website: http://parkbenchdeli.com/

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Osia Part II - Our 3rd Visit

No it's not a typo in the header. I was just too lazy busy to do up a post on our second visit so yes, it's our third visit to the one Michelin starred Osia (you can read about our first visit here).

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Stone Hearth Flat Bread

We started off with our favourite garlic butter flat bread but on this occasion, it was a wee bit under-cooked. Still good nonetheless, especially when paired with the mildly zesty tomato basil paste. Definitely worth the $11++ price tag. 

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Foie Gras

Perfectly crisp on the outside but less than quivery on the inside, presumably due to the tiny portion. What I did like about this dish was the pineapple textures served alongside; pineapple jam, mousse, puree providing varying textures and injecting a nice acidity and sweetness to counteract the richness of the foie gras. Can't say this was worth the $12++ top up though.

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Capellini with Mud Crab

A right amount of zest in the tomato base coupled with al dente capellini and reasonably plentiful shreds of mud crab made for a simple yet well done dish. I also liked the copious amounts of pine nuts in the mix, which imbued this dish with a lovely nutty flavour.

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Bill

Lunch (with complimentary tea/coffee) came up to almost $110 for the both of us. For the quality and quantity of food, I'm inclined to say that it's relatively overpriced. Our service staff, Melissa, was great but the manager seemed a little too stiff for my liking. And I hold my previous view that though respectably proficient, Osia unfortunately isn't really worthy of a Michelin star.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7/10 (8/10 for the bread)
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 7/10

Address: Festive Walk, Resorts World Sentosa

Contact: 6577 6560

Opening Hours:

Thurs - Tue
Lunch:
12pm - 2.30pm
(Last order at 2.15pm)

Dinner:
6pm - 10.30pm
(Last order at 10pm)

Closed every Wed, except Public Holidays.

Website: http://www.osiarestaurant.com/home/osia-singapore OR http://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Restaurants/CelebrityChefs/Osia

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Imperial Treasure Cantonese Part XI - Another Year, Another Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

We decided to give Imperial Treasure Cantonese @ Crowne Plaza another shot for our reunion dinner even after a slip in standards during the same occasion last year (even though subsequent post CNY visits turned out fine).

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Fatt Choy Salmon Fish Yu Sheng

Amidst the rise of fancifully premium and aesthetically pleasing versions of yusheng, Imperial Treasure still manages to hold its own with a simple yet delicious rendition. Not cloyingly sweet with a dash of Kaffir leaves for a more balanced flavour; finished with crispy, fresh tasting crackers. Still one of the best yusheng I've had in recent years.

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Double Boiled Superior Shark's Fin with Chicken

Flavourful without coming across as too rich; filmsy strands of gelatin shark's fin coupled with a chunk of chicken meat for texture. Good to the last drop and a great kick off to our meal.

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Sauteed Canadian Empress Clam with Vegetable & XO Sauce

I'm no fan of celery nor Empress clams but this was very palatable, to me at least. Crunchy clam pieces permeated with a savoury, lightly spicy kick.

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Baked Boston Lobster

An addition ($168++) to our CNY set menu, the lobster (1.2kg) was absolutely delish. Huge crunchy pieces of lobster chock full of crustecean sweetness and savouriness from the garlic sauce. Excellent but I'm not quite sure the price was justified.
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Deep Fried Soon Hock Fish with Soya Sauce

Crisp skin belying the fine flesh on the inside; sitting on a bed of soya sauce. Pretty good.

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Fatt Choy Mushroom and Sea Cucumber

Again, I'm no fan of sea cucumber and I actually try to avoid it. Perhaps its psychological. At least there was cabbage and mushroom.

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Diced Pork With Fried Garlic

Pork cubes that looked like beef cubes. Bite sized pieces with an appropriate amount of fat for that sleek texture. Sprinkled with generous slices of crisp, fried garlic chips. Delicious but the old adage holds true; less is more.

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Fried Glutinous Rice with Wax Meat & Sausage

By the time this dish rolled around, we were almost ready to call it quits. But we soldiered on and on hindsight, I'm glad we did. The rice was fragrant, a tad chewy but could do with alot more of my beloved lup cheong.

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Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake

I still prefer the pan fried version but this version was strangely reminiscent of Kuih Kosui (卡穗糕).

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Red Bean Cream with Lotus Seed and Glutinous Rice Dumpling

Azuki bean coupled with lotus seed and glutinous rice dumpling (汤圆) filled with black sesame; a deliciously sweet ending to our meal!

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Bill

And the damage? In excess of one grand ($1155) for the 6 of us. It was a great meal and although Imperial Treasure's CNY menu stays pretty much the same year after year, food quality is largely consistent throughout and that's what matters in my humble opinion.


Ambience: 6.5/10 (didn't manage to get a private room this year)
Service: 7/10
Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

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

Contact: 6822 8228

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday
Lunch: 11.30am to 3.00pm
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm

Saturday
Lunch: 11.00am to 3.00pm
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm

Sunday
Lunch: 10.30am to 3.00pm
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm

Website: http://www.imperialtreasure.com/

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Forest 森 - How Did This Place Receive a Michelin Star?

Forest 森 is owned by local celebrity chef Sam Leong (formerly from Tung Lok group) and one of four restaurants (and the only Chinese restaurant) within Resorts World Sentosa to receive Michelin stars but as with Osia, the decision wasn't without controversy.

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The Place

Tucked in a corner of Equarius Hotel, Forest's interior seemingly revolves around a rainforest theme; earthen colours with alot of wood and pillars that soar towards the high ceiling and branch out to resemble foliage.  

As it was a Sunday, the wife and I decided to partake in their Sunday set lunch menu ($68++/pax) which, I quote, is "An 8-course lunch comprising 13 dishes in tasting portions will be served, showcasing the sheer breadth of Celebrity Chef Sam Leong’s culinary invention."

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Double Boiled Soup Of The Day

The soup of the day got things off to a decent start; light yet appetising but would have appreciated a more robust soup.

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(top) Chilled Pork Shoulder Marinated with Hot & Sour Five Spice Powder, (bottom) Pan Seared Foie Gras Marinated in Red Wine Sauce Served with Baked Bread

The chilled pork shoulder was rather chewy and lightly sweet (from the apple and carrot salad beneath) with a touch of spiciness (hot & sour five spice powder). A tad too porky for my liking.

The foie gras wasn't quite up to scratch in my humble opinion. Though smooth and coated with black sesame seeds to accentuate the taste and texture, the mousse was literally drowning in the taste of the red wine.

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(top) Steamed Egg Chawanmushi with Crab Meat, (bottom) Pan Seared Wagyu Beef Roll with Enoki Mushroom Served in Black Pepper Sauce

I thought the chawanmushi was quite good; smooth and silky without coming across as overly eggy and topped with shreds of crab meat, crisped rice and roe for that extra crunch and pop.

A slice of less than tender, lightly sweet beef wrapped around crunchy enoki mushroom; drenched in black pepper sauce that killed off every other taste.

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(top) Deep Fried Hokkaido Scallop Coated in Salted Egg Yolk Mayo, (bottom) Deep Fried Prawn Coated in Crispy Cereal

Although I really liked the salted egg yolk mayo coating and the crisp flour shell, the scallop itself was way too soft for my liking; almost mushy in fact. A pity really.

A singular, fresh tiger prawn coated with rather dry and tasteless cereal. Another shame and honestly, some of the cze char stalls do it better.

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Deep Fried New Zealand Cod Fillet with Thai Style Sauce


On to the deep fried cod fillet with minimal but very crisp batter; rich, mildly sweet and spicy from the Thai style sauce. Coupled with mango slices providing a sweet yet tangy tinge. Pretty good in my humble opinion.

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Oven Baked Chicken Chop with Sand Ginger Sauce

Unfortunately the chicken chop didn't quite do it for me. I appreciated the crisp layer of chicken skin but the taste of the galangal was a little too strong for my liking. Not quite my cup of tea but definitely palatable. 

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(top) Japanese Pearl Rice Topped with Abalone, (bottom) Braised Ee-Fu Noodle with Crab Meat

I liked the texture of the pearl rice but found it very bland with only the faintest hint of egg and ginger. The tender abalone couldn't make up for it and the end result was half a bowl of leftover rice.

Shreds of crab meat floating atop a semi viscous broth filled with limp Ee Fu Noodles that had a nauseating effect after a few mouthfuls.

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Forest Delight

A small cube of smooth New York Cheesecake sprinkled with cookie crumble paired with rather refreshing lemongrass jelly with mango and coconut chunks for extra sweetness and texture. Not a big fan of lemongrass but this was pretty decent.

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Bill

At $68++/pax, I personally found the lunch big on variety but relatively small on quality. The only thing I liked about the lunch was the environment (quiet and largely void of customers) and the decent service. How Forest can be awarded a Michelin star seriously befuddles me.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10
Price: 5.5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: Equarius Hotel™, Lobby

Contact: 6577 7788 or 6577 6688

Opening Hours:

Breakfast:
7.30am - 10.30am
(Daily, walk-ins only)

Lunch (Mon - Sat):
12pm – 2.30pm
(Last order at 2.15pm)

Dinner:
6pm – 10.30pm
(Last order at 10pm)

Sunday Lunch:
12pm – 3pm
(Last order 2.30pm)

Website: http://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Restaurants/CelebrityChefs/Forest

Monday, January 02, 2017

Drury Lane - Just Another Cafe

We were in the vicinity of Tanjong Pagar one weekend and decided to pop by Drury Lane (one of the numerous hipster cafes that have been sprouting up like mushrooms in the past few years). Getting a table took a while and it seemed filled with youngsters in their teens to mid twenties.

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The Place

Seating is rather limited on the ground floor where the ordering counter and kitchen is. The second level offers more seats but comes across as cramp with tables small and packed rather tightly together. One major gripe I have is the lack of air-conditioning. We had a table at one of the corners and believe me, it was warm and a little stuffy. To be fair, fans were placed at certain locations but it only benefited those who were seated directly in front. Water is self service from one of the counters located near the stairwell.

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Half Sized Cheese Toasties

To start we had the mozzarella and turkey bacon cheese toasties (half sized). Nicely grilled on the outside but sadly, the gooey cheese and turkey bacon didn't quite feature in the taste department. Nowhere close to Toastface Grillah's but decent for the price ($4).

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Monterey Chicken with Avocado and Sriracha Butter

The chicken came across as nicely grilled but a touch too salty whilst the whole grain bread was just dry. I liked the gooey cheese but not much of a fan of Sriracha. Average overall.

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Creamy Salted Egg Yolk Eggs Benedict with Grilled Prawns

This was a rather interesting - Runny egg yolk atop a lightly sweet but mildly dry mantou and drenched with a rather diluted salted egg yolk custard that could use a little more robustness/richness. Packed with three decent sized, crunchy and relatively sweet prawns to justify the comparatively expensive (as opposed to other items on the menu) $17 price tag. Pretty decent dish.

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Bill

Drury Lane serves up relatively inexpensive food in general (prices are nett) but quality hovers around the average mark. In short, just another run off the mill (but reasonably priced) cafe. No idea about the coffee though!


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10 (a little cramp and warm)
Service:NA
Food: 6/10
Price: 7/10

Overall: 6.33/10

Address: 94 Tanjong Pagar Rd

Contact: 06222 6698

Opening Hours:

MON - TUES / 8AM - 6PM
WED - FRI / 8AM - 9PM
SAT - SUN / 9AM - 6PM

Website: www.drurylane.sg