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lychee_boy
This is lychee_boy living in Bishan. I am a ITI like to hang out in Ghim Moh, Thomson. Spanish, French, Thai are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Bakery and Seafood.
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Chillaxation Redefined Smile Oct 05, 2011   
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Categories : Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | Restaurant | Kids-Friendly

I was recently invited to a private food tasting with the entire family to Pasha. Pasha is a new concept hotel cum bar / restaurant in the trendy Arab corner of Singapore. Happily nestled between Textile Centre and the Malay Heritage Centre it’s an ideal Oasis for the weary explorer looking to chillax!
Valet parking awaits you.. dog not included :)

Valet parking awaits you.. dog not included :)

 
Pasha is lavishly decked out in Moroccan furniture, decorations and flatware imported from Morocco, that coupled with the Moorish interior and Arabian concept exterior one feels transported to Northern Africa (and that’s even before the finger food arrives!) It’s a sensory holiday without having to leave on a jet plane.

 

 

 
My recommendation is head there around dusk when you can see the landscape transform from that of an urban reclose to feeling like you’re out chilling with some Bedouin’s on the plain. One minor thing that I did notice was the lack of adequate lighting under the marquees; it became a little difficult to appreciate all the food that was on offer.

 
At the time of visitation the restaurant hadn’t yet been opened; none the less the chef whipped up an array of dishes that are part of their mezze (selection of small dishes) offering; the equivalent to Spanish tapas.

 

 

 
Kebab Brochettes (Grilled Prawn) – tasty morsels of lightly marinated prawns grilled to perfection, at last count I ate 5

Halloumi Kousa Mahshi (Stuffed zucchini with flavored minced beef and halloumi cheese) – this dish everyone was commenting on and fighting for more. Moreish (pardon the pun) until the last bite, the texture of the not so creamy halloumi mixed with the seasoned mince beef and the crunchiness of the zucchini was too good to resist.

Merguez (Grilled homemade lamb sausage served with onion jam and harissa chili dip) – for those of you who fear the smell of lamb, don’t these sausages will make you a lamb lover, deliciously tender, they need to be eaten with the chili dip to help eventuate the taste.

Harissa Chicken Wings – Tunisa’s answer to the chili chicken wing? These went down like a dream, coupled with an ice cold beer (or in my case a glass of white wine): the hot smokiness and from the Harissa sauce was simply heaven!

Sardine Mariées (Grilled marinated fresh sardine) – I’m a lover of all things fish and these grilled sardines were no exception; an acquired taste for some I suppose but I loved ‘em.

Marinated Olives – I was unable (as full as I was) to stop picking at these, they were so tasty, marinated in olive oil and other herbs they just reinforce that at times the simple things in life are often the best. It’s a must have to your table when you’re chatting with your friends. That and nice glass of wine!

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to capture any pictures of the Lahm Kefta Tajine (Slow cooked beef meat balls in tomato base sauce with egg, herbs and spices). This was the most prized dish of the chili padi and myself! The beef balls were tender, juicy and bursting with flavor, the accompanying tomato sauce was simply awesome, the only thing missing from the mezze menu was the inclusion of khobz: to mop up all the delicious sauces/gravy of the dishes.

Personally I want extend my thanks and gratitude to the owners, chef and staff at Pasha for the invitation to the food tasting, it was really an enjoyable trip to North Africa both digestively and sensory! I’m sure on your official opening, this place will be the new ‘go to’ place for all!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Kebab Brochettes, Halloumi Kousa Mahshi, Merguez, Harissa Chicken Wings, Lahm Kefta Tajine
 
Date of Visit: Sep 17, 2011 

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 3

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Michelin Star Anyone? Smile Aug 24, 2011   
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Categories : French | Hotel | Fine Dining

It’s not every day that you get a call from one of your good friends with an invitation to dine at an acclaimed Michelin Star restaurateur's Singapore rendition of: L’Atelier Joël Robuchon. Having previously dined at a restaurant with food prepared by a Michelin star chef, I knew what to expect: clean tasting, beautifully presented food with a respect for ingredients. It was something that I used as my bench mark for the evenings dining, I honestly couldn’t wait!

The entrance to the restaurant is an impressive sight in itself! Walking through the door we were greeted by our maitre d' who lead us through the ‘casual’ dining area of the restaurant; as a matter of fact L’Atelier is divided into to restaurants the casual and full service restaurants.

 
L’ Interior

The interior of the restaurant remains consistent with L’Atelier’s around the world; the signature black and red décor and the synonymous open concept kitchen ensure a standard ‘familiarity’ no matter which L’Atelier restaurant you visit in different parts of the world. We were seated at the counter, though I thought it more conducive to sit at a table and chit chat; perhaps if it were just two people dining the counter made more sense.

 

Bread, bread, bread!

A lot can be said of an eating establishment based on the bread that they serve. I have to say I was very impressed with the wide variety of bread, just a note here to those of you who love butter with your bread, you’ve got to ask your waiter for the butter as they don’t usually serve it with the bread basket (oh and it’s unsalted butter)

 
Amuse Bouche - Foie Gras Custard with Red Porto wine and Parmesan Foam

The amuse bouche was divine; all the lovely sweet tasting goodness of foie gras in a custard with a little dash of the tart wine which was then balanced out by the creamy saltiness of foam! I could have eaten a dozen of these and still not be sick!

 
Le Vitello Tonato – Veal Carpaccio Topped with a Tuna Sauce

This dish was delicious, the mild flavor of the veal coupled with the tuna sauce was soft and silky. I was too engrossed with eating this that I forgot to add these delectable morsels to the lettuce hearts!

 
L’Hamachi – Yellowtail Tuna Tartar with Spicy Tomato Sauce

I absolutely loved the tomato sauce, it was so nice, refreshing and complemented the tuna so well each bite left my mouth refreshed and wanting more.

 
Les Encornets – Squid and Artichokes Fried with Iberian Flavors

Cooking a squid is a delicate task; undercook the squid and it’s semi slimy, overcook it and you get yourself rubber bullets. Luckily the squid here was cooked to perfection, coupled with the smooth texture of the artichokes and the saltiness of the Iberian cubes I was in a happy place

 
Le Cochon De Lait – Milk Fed Pig with Braised Green Cabbage and Fresh Ginger

Mmmmm milk fed pork! What’s the difference I hear you ask? Well I don’t know if it was just me but the dish again seemed very ‘clean’ in that eating the pork it was well seasoned yet not overpowering on the palette, there wasn’t too much of the pork taste and the meat itself was smoother and sweeter, if that makes sense? Coupled with the crispy fried pieces of ginger and the soft creamy mash it was absolutely delicious!

 
La Sphere – Caribbean, Hazelnut Dacquoise, Thin Orizaba Chocolate Leaves (before)

Have you ever had anything on your plate that looked just so nice that you avoid eating cause you don’t want to ruin it? La Sphere was a thing of beauty; a pristine chocolate ball sitting atop halved raspberries..

Pour over it a warm pot of raspberry compote (yes I really did it) and you get a warm cold chocolatety melted ball of yumminess! After reluctantly sharing some of it with my friends I ate the remainder of my desert in gleeful silence!

Aside from the amuse bouche and the desert (which were really way over the top) I kind of expected a little more flare or ‘specialness’ from the other dishes; perhaps I was expecting too much? But hey this is just my opinion / my review. I do highly recommend you going there to try the food, the excellent service and the ambiance for yourself. It was a fantastic experience; thankful most for the company that evening!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  La Sphere
 
Celebration:  生日 

Spending per head: Approximately $150(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 4

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Durian Fiesta Smile Jul 05, 2011   
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Categories : Hotel | High Tea | Buffet

Goodwood Park.. you know it's gonna be good!

Goodwood Park.. you know it's gonna be good!

 
It happens but once a year, the Goodwood Park throws open it’s doors for it’s Durian Fiesta; an endless supply of durian inspired deserts for one to eat! Since I'd been barred from eating durian at home I decided to get my durian fix here with some colleagues from work!

For SGD26.80++ you can enjoy sumptuous regulars like:

 

 
Durian Puffs

Who could ask for more.. choux pastry filled with durian and cream? Ok I have to admit that the choux pastry could have been a little less dry, but the durian more than made up for it.

 
Durian Mousse Cake

I didn’t really like the sponge with the durian, it kind of left the mouth a little dry and parched, a cup of nice hot black tea would have hit the spot with this slice of cake!

 
Durian Crepe

I was disappointed when I ate this. Sure it was freshly made, but the crepe tasted more like a pancake! It was just way too thick and it felt as though I was chewing on a tyre. The durian filling itself was yum!

 
Durian Pudding

This was delicious, not runny and not too thick! There were large chunks of durian in the pudding that you could sink your teeth into. Bliss!

 
Durian Oreo Cake

Another dish that was more a miss for me, sadly the whipped cream took over the desert, I wasn’t able to really taste and appreciate the durian.

 
Durian Cappuccino Cake

This was a new addition to the menu this year! And as weird as it sounds; combining durian paste with a cappuccino cream went so well together (I went back for seconds)!

All in all I had a blast, it was a good thing I played tennis prior to going for this buffet, I was well and truly stuffed!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Durian Pudding, Durian Cappuccino Cake
 
Date of Visit: Jun 25, 2011 

Spending per head: Approximately $26.80(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Take me back to Braise-land! Smile Apr 14, 2011   
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Categories : French | Restaurant

Orgasmic food and exemplary service are always huge motivators for one wanting to come back to a restaurant for more; case in point Braise @ Palawan Beach Sentosa, Singapore

Braise is located on the small island of Sentosa (the most Southern tip of Singapore) over looking Palawan beach. The restaurant itself is set up in the old Palawan Beach train station. Getting there can be a bit of a hassle but once you’re there you quickly forget the trip in. A point of note however; the restaurant does have a dress code; sorry guys no flip-flops or singlet's allowed in this place!

Pushing away the big ass door you enter the restaurant main; the staff warmly greet you with a very enthusiastic smile and you’re promptly whisked away and seated at your table. The set Sunday brunch changed slightly from the last time I was there; but in no way shape or form was it for the worst.

Having some of my good friends along to share the dining experience only helped make the food taste even better and the clock tick ever so slowly… Enter stage left.. our Entree list.. from left to right, top to bottom

Mushroom Soup: Nice thick and aromatic, served in a little cup for you to drink out of. If you love your mushroom soup this is really tasty

Caesar Salad: Usually a Caesar Salad brings life to a dull meal; in this case this was one of the few items that took the longest to finish; not because it didn’t taste bad, just that there was way too many other dishes for us to sink our greedy little mouths into!

Seared Scallop with Wakame Pasta: This dish was simply orgasmic! The combination of the scallop and the sea weed with the pasta just left me speechless and wanting to go in for a 3rd and 4th helping. Sadly everyone else had the same idea, and I had to settle for two helpings smile

Deep Fried Oyster with Garlic Aioli: With or without the sauce this was delicious. The exterior was crisp, while the whole little parcel of goodness oozed flavor on every bite.

Tomato & Mozzarella Cheese Tart with Parma Ham: I’m an absolute sucker for Parma Ham, it’s salty character and chewy texture coupled with the tart had me wanting to eat more!

Baby Octopus with Passion Fruit and Peanut Dressing: Octopus and Passion Fruit; weird combination you may say, not with this dish. The octopus was cooked just rite and the passion fruit helped give it a little ‘zest’ and a crunchy taste with every bite

Pan Fried Shrimp & Crab Cake with Peanut Sauce: Too small, too small! These little beauties were too small for my liking, just when I was beginning to let the flavors swim in my mouth the portion was gone, I’m going to have to come back when no one else is around. Sorry, I had to dedicated one single picture to the Foie Gras. I know it’s cruel how they make it. I know I should not be enjoying it; but with the delicate cut of the knife to pierce the crisp outside and letting each savory morsel melt in my mouth I felt as if I were going to commit a sin by not enjoying it. To say I am a fan of foie gras is an understatement. I really cannot find the superlatives to state how wonderful and tasty this interpretation of how to cook and serve foie gras other than “please sir can I have some more?”

Verdict: Perfect place, fantastic service, delicious well prepared food and good company made for yet another wonderful day out at Braise. Oh and by the way the service staff were so nice to set aside separate servings of all the above dishes for one of my friends who turned up late!
Open Sesame

Open Sesame

 

 
... mmmmm

... mmmmm

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Champagne Brunch
 
Date of Visit: Apr 04, 2010 

Spending per head: Approximately $88(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 4

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A Love Hate Relationship Smile Apr 14, 2011   
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Categories : Malaysian | Singaporean Chinese

With durians you either love them or hate them. For lovers of durian people seem to be drawn by the pungent alluring fragrance, and so our noses lead us to 717 Trading at Serangoon.
What you see is what you get..

What you see is what you get..

 
The place is spartan; a few tables and chairs strewn out the front of the shop. You don't find plush seating or all those creature comforts you tend to expect at a restaurant; what you see is what you get.

 
Mau Shan Wang - Yumo!

Mau Shan Wang - Yumo!

 
But don't be put off by all of this; you make the journey for what matters most; the durian and I tell you this now, these fellows know their stuff. We happened to eat the Mau Shan Wang durians and they were heavenly. Ordering a mix of bitter and bitter-sweet durians we
ploughed through a total of 16kgs can you believe it. Each bite was savored with kiddish delight and we ate until we could eat no more!
Aftermath of my durian destruction!

Aftermath of my durian destruction!

 
If you love your durians, this place is the place to go.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Mau Shan Wang Durian
 
Date of Visit: Mar 30, 2011 

Spending per head: Approximately $26(Supper)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 3

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