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2012-11-21 49 views
For a complete write up, please visit: http://www.epinosh.com/waterfall-cafe-shangri-la-hotel-singapore/Getting my facts right has been quite a task over the weekend. I delayed in sharing my experience with the newly launched cafe as I didn’t want to fall trap into delivering unjust statement which I feel bad when I wronged someone. It sounds solemn but nothing catastrophic if this makes you wonder. Instead, I become able to recognize the reality; the fact that the culinary world has changed to
http://www.epinosh.com/waterfall-cafe-shangri-la-hotel-singapore/ Getting my facts right has been quite a task over the weekend. I delayed in sharing my experience with the newly launched cafe as I didn’t want to fall trap into delivering unjust statement which I feel bad when I wronged someone. It sounds solemn but nothing catastrophic if this makes you wonder. Instead, I become able to recognize the reality; the fact that the culinary world has changed to evolve into something out of this world.
Not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows how our economy has globalized & flourish and people has changed their eating habits thereby allowing for a more refined agriculture - a chain reaction celebrated by some.
I clearly remember the defunct Garden Cafe a decade ago that offers buffet, of which its role has been taken over by The Line. It was a space no bigger than Waterfall Cafe and donned a dim and casual dining atmosphere. Today, the well-established hotel transformed its water-cave (formerly the Waterfall Terrace) into a new dining shell and named ~ Waterfall Cafe.
Presenting what has been seen increasingly popular – Mediterranean cuisines; yet emphasized greatly on a range of healthier dishes with the clever use of herbs & spices. I, like most nutritionally-informed individuals, can’t wait to chow on at the outlet; evidently mark the trending towards a more health conscious society. The interior is reminiscent of the English home – a communal table that stands unfaltering in the roomy dinning space, surrounded by woody furnishing such as wall-mounted shelving that housed bottles of oil, spices etc. With close examination, one could see the minutiae of the designer - a mosaic motif flooring which brings about a contemporary interpretation of a traditional home.
Service has been gracious from the moment I approached the entrance and was shown to my seat briskly with water and menu handed to me without delay. The menu is brief but holds substance. It is worded in green and black fonts; I figured the former suits anyone with a vegetarian lifestyle while the latter satiate a carnivore appetite. Instantly, I know I wouldn’t want to miss out on my greens which I added Prosciutto to it for a more flavorful touch. A sophisticated combination of oversize sundried tomatoes, sauteed juicy mushrooms, plumply figs encircled a heap of fresh & crisp baby spinach – the good olive bathe was so therapeutic to one’s mind. But I was drive to frenzy by what’s coming next – fresh dinner rolls. These petite buns were delightfully pillowy and they came with varied choices of rye, wholemeal, plain that topped with black sesame, pumpkin seeds & multigrain cereals. The urge to eat them just got greater each time with a dab of spiced butter but I have to refrain myself cruelly. The most anticipated comes the main courses – the grilled chicken dish appeared to have fought well with its rival; Iberico pork dish. The former was totally unbelievable. I could see meat juices oozing out from its incision and each portion was baby tender; given that it was a chicken breast which often taste dense & fibrous. Chef Kelvin Cha did a marvelous job to the meat, undeniably. More satisfying, I get to nibble some crispy broiled skin along with the well-marinated meat. While the spinach, mushrooms & figs buddy well with the chicken, I find them a little excessive. The fault was neither in the dish nor the chef, but the fact that I had them in my starter and it becomes repetitive. When the Japanese take pride in Wagyu beef, the Russian did the same for Caviar and the French having the prestigous Foie Gras; so what about the Spanish? The new kids on the block – Iberian breed that makes a typical cured ham ~ Jamón ibérico and other cuts as dishes. This finest meat on earth was becoming a hit since AVA approved its import last year (the defunct Santi was among the first to offer and lately I have seen it on Bedrock’s menu) . Its beef-like, marbled texture emits a hint of sweetness. Although I am alarmed to see my chop being seared medium rare as I sliced, I must praised its silky-tender feel though not as buttery as Wagyu beef. In brief, this black Iberico pigs are reared to roam freely in the oak woods of Spain thereby having fats build into the muscles and they are on acorn diet being most desirable. Perhaps due to its breeding method, I find the meat having a wild aroma. Thankfully, the searing process has helped to breakdown the connective tissues & fats, making it melt-in-the-mouth. It also charmed me with a bed of sauteed corn kernels, carrots, zucchini and a few aromatic grilled pineapple wedges – soaking up the cinnamon seasoned sauce.
Until now, I still hesitate to give in to pork that is cooked PINK. I acknowledged the fact that Iberico pigs are carefully reared and are believed to carry no parasites. With chefs abide by the lawful cooking standard of 160 degree Celsius to conclude all harmful organisms have been wiped out, I am still skeptical but Kelvin’s clear explanation reassured me, eliminating the fear I had. But, if food safety is your concern, it wouldn't hurt by asking for a thoroughly cooked pork chop - after all, you must feel good about what you eat. I am totally smitten by the strawberry flavored dessert. I felt weak at the knees every time these strawberry fruits appear before me (a big fan of American Greetings – first/second edition Strawberry Shortcake dolls since tender age). As such, it wasn’t a tough decision in picking my sweets here. At a glance, the chilly Coconut Cream Panna Cotta fits me perfectly. Not disappointing, the cream was gorgeously set and layered between the thick strawberry confit – not too wobbly or gelish; a big effort. I am mesmerized by the nice tropical aroma stemming from the coconut fruit. It didn’t taste heavy and not over-sweet. It was a challenge not to lick clean the confit but neither can I hide it in my coat nor bring it to the washroom, can I? Watching the thinly coated leftover in the shot glass was such an agony! If you are wild about a glass of thick and creamy coffee, do ask for a Coffee Monster that dispensed a luxurious taste. The monstrous double espresso is sweetened with vanilla ice-cream with a touch of chocolate and hazelnut liqueur. Very addictive. You will be pleased to know as well that the cafe serves digestifs. It has become a growing trend among discerning diners to sip either aperitifs and digestifs before and after their meals. Digestifs are often sweet & sugary and it claimed to aid digestion after a full meal, hence they are more potent. Try zesty Limoncello Bottega or herbal Amaro Averna – S$16, grape-based Grappa – S$22 or Brandy – S$22; to name a few.
I applaud the increasing number of experimental and skillful chef, similarly to the many artisan producers of today. For without, we will never get to taste ingenious culinary creations that draw from the purest ingredients. The new age eating which includes but not limited to organic food, would allow this group of farmers to prosper and ironically, it could also mean inflating their prices due to demand & supply (although I hope it would be cheaper if it follows the notion on economies of scale). Pricing aside, these pesticide/GMO free produces are packed with more nutrients and more health friendly. With the introduction of spices and herbs piling with antioxidant properties, the dishes get enliven apart from eating healthily. It is a myth that a healthier fare equates a meal that seems dreary (unless you are referring to Gluten-free products – yes, they are awful. I had a strict GF diet 3 years ago) While I don’t see eating healthily would mean giving up marbled meat since Iberico pork has been considered healthy without genetically altered or hormones induced. And by spicing up your diet, you get a lot more vitamins and minerals. So, there is more than just meeting the tastebuds and surely, you have got nothing to loose!
I hope the opening of this organic cafe brings on a domino effect, feeding more needy souls with healthier range of food that excites the palate in conjunction with the introduction to new ways of eating our gradually lifeless cuisine.