Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spago - Wonderful Environment, Decent Food

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We had been itching to try Spago and the opportunity presented itself one Saturday afternoon when we had to drop by Marina Bay Sands (MBS) to settle some business. Spago is Wolfgang Puck's second restaurant @ MBS, with the first being CUT, an upmarket steakhouse. The Los Angeles flagship outlet of Spago had garnered 2 Michelin stars in 2008 and 2009 (Michelin pulled out of LA after that) so our expectations were reasonably high.

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The Place

Taking the lift up to the 57th level brings you to the famed MBS infinity pool, where one of Spago's service staff will walk you to your table within the confines of a beautiful timber decked room with plenty of natural light (that's if you choose not to dine al fresco).

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Complimentary Bread

Served with salted nori butter and unsalted buter, the complimentary baguette and black olive focaccia came across as palatable but nothing to shout about. Somehow the European restaurants (ie. Joel Robuchon) tend to do better bread in my personal experience. 

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Chicken ‘Laksa’ Spring Roll

This local inspired appetiser was rather interesting. Spring roll skin deep fried till crackling crisp and filled with thick rice noodles and chicken - reminiscent of laksa especially when eaten with the dipping sauce.

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Pan Seared Pork Dumplings

The 锅贴 or Gyoza was decent; not overly oily or porky with the skin retaining a light crisp. Simple yet refined.

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Grilled Iberico Pork Secreto

Secreto or the "secret" cut apparently refers to different cuts of the Iberian pig, varying from individual to individual and there exists no common or universal standard to date; a clever marketing ploy to make people pay more. But I digress. The famed acorn fed Iberico pork strips were excellent; tender with a light charring along the exterior. Flavours were wonderful - savoury with a touch of earhiness from the mushrooms and sweetness from the pumpkin and chestnuts. Topped with light and crispy pork skin and deliciously smooth parsnip puree.

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Grilled Angus Beef Burger

Nothing else really caught my attention on the menu so I went with the usually safe burger option. Unfortunately this didn't turn out as well as I would have liked it to. For starters, the patty was a tad too soft for my liking. I appreciate the hand chopped patty with its uneven texture and bits of fat but it had minimal beefiness to it. The buns were crisp along the edges but slathered with ketchup which isn't my default option for buns (butter is!). An average burger overall. Interestingly, the restaurant 56 floors down in the same tower serves a much better burger in my humble opinion.

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Coconut-Passion Fruit Trifle

There wasn't a choice of dessert with the set lunch so the the Coconut-Passion Fruit Trifle it was. Tangy, sweet, smooth and crunchy (due to the rice krispies) all at once. Flavours were light and clean - pretty good. Only small gripe I had was the passionfruit seeds; I know they can be eaten but I'm personally not a fan.

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Chocolate – Coffee Semifreddo

We got greedy and decided to share an additional dessert. Served with caramalised banana balls and banana cake cubes, the asthetically pleasing Chocolate Coffee Semifreddo came across as rather strong on the flavours (a juxtaposition to the previous Coconut Passion Fruit Trifle dessert) with a dominant coffee presence. Decent.

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Lunch was a pleasant and leisurely affair. Food was decent overall (though not quite up to expectations) and didn't cost us an arm or a leg @ ~$134. Service was very good and so was the ambience. Personally would prefer to dine @ Sky 57 over Spago.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: Sands SkyPark, Tower 2 Level 57

Contact: 6688 9955

Opening Hours:

DAILY:7:00am - 10:30am

DAILY: 12:00pm - 2:30pm

SUN, MON, TUE, WED, THU: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
FRI, SAT: 6:00pm - 11:00pm


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Adrift By David Myers II - Consistently Good Burgers

It was a revisit almost a year in the making. We were fairly impressed with the quality of food at Adrift during our last visit and it took months of procrastination before finally deciding to drop by for lunch again. 

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The Place

To satisfy the inner child in us, we made a note to request for the corner swing-like seats this time round; soaking in the abundance of natural light through huge floor to ceiling windows.

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Amuse Bouche

2 varieties of rice crackers to start us off (down from 3 the previous time) and though one variety came across as crisp but rather bland, the other was similar to a lighter version of keropok. Pretty decent start, especially when consumed with the sour cream like dressing on the side.

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Adrift Wagyu Burger & Fries

I had the signature wagyu burger without the jalapenos and it looked smaller than I remembered it to be (shrinking portions?). However the patty was excellent - lightly charred on the outside yet moist and chewy on the inside with bits of fat. Absolutely delicious, especially when paired with the melted slice of gruyere cheese atop. The bun needs more time on the grill though in my humble opinion. And eschewing greens for carbohydrates this time round, I had the wedges; crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and flavourful.

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Ice Cream Sandwich

Although the ice cream sandwich didn't look like much, it tasted pretty good actually. Smooth chocolate hazelnut ice cream encapsulated by two semi circular chocolate shells and sandwiched between two slices of mildly crumbly biscuit. Not cloyingly sweet. Served with dollops of burbon vanilla cream and sprinkles of candied bacon which gave the dessert an interestingly nice, mildly salty and alcoholic slant. 

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3 mains and 2 desserts cost us ~ $127, which isn't too dear a price point for the quality of food in my humble opinion (prices seem to have gone north at time of writing though - $28++ for the burger vs $24++). Portion sizes seem to have shrunk as well but I'll be happy to revisit when I'm craving good burger patties (buns need more work).

Final Verdict:

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

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 2

Contact: 6688 5657

Opening Hours:

7am - 10:30am

Sat & Sun: 12pm to 3pm

Mon-Fri: 12pm to 2:30pm

Daily 6pm to 10pm

Bar & Lounge
Daily 12pm to 2am