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chefquak
This is chefquak . French, Japanese, Teochew are my favorite cuisines..
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Wonderful Miyazaki Wagyu Dinner  Smile Aug 17, 2014   
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Categories : Italian | Restaurant | Pasta | Steaks and Grills

It was Saturday & decided to go dinner last minute. didn’t really know where to go if not our usual haunts. anyhow, looked at palate restaurants, and arossa at scotts square beckoned. this the former scotts shopping centre. i had not set foot since its completion in 2011, not that i been to the former scotts much either. 
arossa wine & grill is located on level 2 in scotts square. it belongs to PJ Partners group of restaurants which included sushi ichi next door & salt at ion orchard. it has a nice redbrick tavern setting. servers were well trained, and there was a young lady japanese chef. 
wife ordered a glass of red (S$18, no discounts). it was good, serving size a bit small.
the bread were warm & good. focaccia was soft & great texture & tasty, walnut bread was nice & flavourful. the olive dip was excellent.
we took the server’s advise & ordered the house favourites a uni (sea urchin) pasta (S$32), & the lobster ravioli (S$28). the lobster broth was very flavourful, a good standard bisque, the ravioli was great.
though different (some would say apples & oranges) & enjoyable i don’t really find ravioli better than chinese shui jiao (水饺) which cost just a fraction. on balance i enjoyed 水饺 more – jut my personal taste. 
we decided to forgo the antipasti, and used the 2 pastas as appetizers since we wanted to try both pastas.
though antipasti menu was the usual ‘ordinary’ stuff, but never know. a good creative chef like they obviously have here may whipped up some new sensation. i will try the antipasti the next time.
for the mains, we decided to share a miyazaki A5 wagyu striploin (S$88). server recommended medium. overall we expected it to be quite good.
it was excellent! one of the best steaks i had taken, and comparable to a good one in japan. there was sea salt on the side & we hardly touched the dip, as the meat was so very tasty & fragrant standalone with just a dab of sea salt. the best beef we had in singapore was at jaan where we were served a dry aged miyazaki wagyu, not sure if it was A5, but it was exquisite. that (seving size) was part of an exquisite degustation menu. the one at arossa was a full 180g steak. i would take a whole steak myself the next visit.
overall, the 3 fabulous dishes came to S$74++ after amex palate’s 50% for 2pax discounts. there was no discounts for the wine, so the total bill was S$92++.
the service was very professional. however the server was professional but not particularly friendly (not the jovial & relax approach). he was very hasty & rushed even though the restaurant was not busy & the body language was one of constantly wanting to move off when i asked a few questions to understand the menu more. so i guess for my personal experience on this occasion it was good but not excellent.

See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2014/08/17/wonderful-dinner-arossa-on-16aug2014/

 

 

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  uni (sea urchin) pasta,lobster ravioli,miyazaki A5 wagyu,focaccia & walnut bread & olive dip
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Aug 16, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $46(Dinner)

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

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Categories : French | Restaurant | Seafood | Steaks and Grills | Fine Dining

I went back to Les Amis for lunch on 22.7.2014. The 4-course set lunch was excellent the last time i came on 1.4.2014. :-) & today again it did not disappoint. 

Wife ordered 1/2 bottle white pinot noir. It was good. The bread basket was good. baguette, brioche & sour dough were all good. The roll wife said not good. I did not try.

#1 the crispy langoustine was excellent packed with meat tasted just like very tender lobster, & it was such a large helping.
#2 the foie gras was kind of monstrous. & it was very good too. so was the smoked eel (super!) & cherries.
#3 the 2 main course options were wild scottish salmon confit & tartare OR beef tartare. beef tartare is 1 of my favourites for appetiser. this one though was a main & it was quite tasty. this preparation had quite a bit of herb. it was very good but i would prefer to have less herb & a more dominant sweet tasting beef.
the salmon confit & tartare was very good as well. a poached or baked salmon tends to be more chunky. this confit was medium rare & had a bit of the texture of cured salmon or sashimi. very nice. 
beef tartare came with a good french fries.
#4 the dessert of the day was very good too. 
I really like the quality set lunch here, and it offered good value at S$45++pax, similarly to their sister outlet au jardin which had regrettably ceased operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2014/07/22/simply-fabulous-4-course-set-lunch-les-amis-on-22jul2014/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  beef tartare,white pinot noir,dessert of the day,bread basket,salmon confit & tartare,crispy brittany langoustine,foie gras & smoked eel
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 22, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $53(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Fusion | Restaurant

my wife’s close couple friends bought dinner @ labyrinth by han li guang at neil road on 30.4.2014. smile
i knew of the restaurant the day before, started googling, and found the beautiful food photos in bibikgourmand.
there was a reference made on willin low of wild rockets fame. i did like wild rockets & the laksa pesto pasta maybe 15 years back. personally i did not see any similarity just looking at bibikgourmand photos or having seen & tasted the food afterwards. smile one was fusion in combining “western” & “singaporean” ingredients and most importantly, making the result taste good & not for fusion sake (in that both were similar).
in labyrinth’s case, it was going back to the ingredients, reassemble them into something that looked quite different (but very artisan & beautiful) and yet delivering the (excellent!) taste though perhaps not the overall experience eg the chilli crab ice cream combined with deep-fried soft-shell crab tasted like very good chilli crab but it’s not the same as eating a meaty crab, nor was it expected to be. smilethe science of taste? molecular cuisine in its finest form? i am NOT qualified to say… smile
amuse bouche? the lime sorbet was nice, simple, refreshing, nothing special.
we were served focaccia bread with a garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam. quite unique & pretty good & fun. could’t say this would match good freshly baked bread in a good restaurant, but they were good anyway & matched the food theme. balsamic jam was good, garlic mousse too, olive powder too refined for my taste buds..tasted nothing. tongue
#1 this dish looked very like a beef tartare with the egg yoke even, and the taste was quite exquisite. chopstickchopstick the mango sphere sat on a roasted tomatoe, which was very tasty & great with the greens. the mango sphere was, to me, amazing only to wonder how it was done but did not add much taste nor texture. it was a thin liquid & did not have the silky egg yolk texture.
#2 the chilli crab looked incredible, a piece of art, so pretty. & excellent flavours, superb dish chopstickchopstick the deep-fried soft-shell crab combined very well indeed with the chilli crab ice cream. they were arranged with the crab mousse, ikura, seaweed on mantou (馒头) sand to give a picture of sea (and tropical island?). not sure if the mantou sand added anything, my palate not sophisticated enough to capture all the taste & texture, need more practice..haha. tongue
there was a choice of mains – curry chicken or siew yoke fan.
#3 the curry chicken was better than what i expected, though my wife did not like the dish so much. deep-fried chicken balls did not sound that great for main course, but these were quite tasty & you could taste the curry. the quinoa (“kin wah”) risotto was tasty too. i am beginning to like quinoa. my son’s friend made a good quinoa salad & my wife too so she was less impressed. as a “deconstructed” or “reconstructed” or “pigeon-holing not important” dish that was plated quite nicely, looked different & yet tasted like curry chicken, the dish was a great success. so it was good & exceeded my expectation but c/w with a good main (fish or meat) in good restaurant, it may or may not measure up after the initial excitement. also, like going back to the excellent chilli crab, it was indeed a “wow” experience, very pleasantly surprised, but not the same as eating a meaty crab. so it’s a different kind of satisfaction & expectation.
#4 the siew yoke fan was again superbly executed. chopstick the crackling belly pork was excellent, though our friends said the ones they had at basilico recently were even better. the risotto was very tasty, though i could not really tell if it was a ramen (tonkotsu?) stock.
there were 2 desserts in the set – chendol xiaolongbao & a deconstructed apple crumble.
#5 the chendol xiaolongbao, with red beans, coconut milk ice shavings inside, had genuine chendol taste, was light & quite refreshing. it was pretty ok, i enjoyed it though it was not a favourite for me.
#6 the apple crumble was very good. the stewed apple balls, apple crisp, baked white chocolates & yogurt ice cream all very tasty & combined well. an excellent dessert. chopstickchopstick
the 5-course menu was S$78pax, a reasonable price for the quality of food & overall a very enjoyable fun experience. the food was very artisan (perhaps that would become an industry standard in due course), very creative (to me it felt totally new & had no peers in Singapore as yet). the other “affordable” place where the food presentation is very artisan is jaan (where i had the best degustation dinner on 20.1.2014), recently just got on to pelligrino world’s best 100, at 100th place. andre, iggy, les amis all very costly & i have yet to convince myself it is worth spending the money. it’s all about experience, very subjective, and also depends on expectations and perspectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  lime sorbet,roast tomato salad,chilli crab,curry chicken,siew yoke fan,chendol xiaolongbao,apple crumble
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 30, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $92(Dinner)

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

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Wonderful Japanese Dinner Smile Apr 03, 2014   
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Categories : Japanese | Hotel | Sushi/Sashimi | Japanese BBQ/Teppanyaki | Fine Dining

see my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2014/04/03/wonderful-japanese-food-mikuni-on-31mar2014/

had another wonderful 4pax dinner – great food & company – with my wife & 2 close friends at mikuni on 31.3.2014. :-)
i ordered the usual “Andy’s kaiseki” items per the mikuni 24.3.2013 blogpost…lol.. with some new additions, namely lobster teppanyaki & teriyaki cod.
#1 we started as usual with the truffle kampachi. this fusion sashimi dish never failed to impress, both presentation and taste, a perfect start to the evening meal.chopstick
#2 next up were 2 maki – mikuni maki topped with unagi (eel) & a salmon belly maki. they were ok but not as good as the UN futomaki & the spider maki. i did not take photos.
#3 next was the botanebi. as usual we had the excellent sashimi (these were large prawns larger than aka ebi & >4x size of amaebi) & had the prawn heads deep-fried – you could eat up everything basically, it was that good! smile
#4 after that we had the sous vide octopus tempura served with a wasabi mayo which we sprinkled with the red chilli powder. this was again very good, the sous vide meat was tender not tough & totally consistent, and contrasting texture with the lightly battered surface.
#5 then we had 2 lobster teppanyaki to share among 4pax. smile the preparation was varied somewhat from the last time – instead of uniyaki it was a melted cheese mayo. this was excellent. the cheese could make it “jelak” = easily satiated, otherwise it was just perfect. i ate up everything! chopstickchopstick
#6 we ordered the teriyaki cod as well. this was one place where i took my inspiration for my own teriyaki cod, which by my kindly friends acclaims was almost there but i guess the one here was still somewhat better. smile

#7 lastly, we had 2 orders of kagoshima wagyu konabe to share among 4pax. the beef looked different, more marbled & slightly thinner. taste-wise it was par excellence, as were the ones previously.chopstickchopstickchopstick
with 50% FAR (feed at raffles) discounts for food & 25% on liquor, the bill for 4pax including a S$50 sake was S$284 nett=S$60pax++ after discounts. and for such an excellent meal. no wonders that we keep going back.

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  lobster teppanyaki,teriyaki cod,kagoshima wagyu konabe
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 31, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $71(Dinner)

Dining Offers: Feed At Raffles


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

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Categories : Cantonese/Hong Kong | Hotel | Dim Sum | Seafood

See my full review & photos at = http://chefquak.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/majestics-excellent-8-course-wgs-world-gourmet-summit-dinner-on-19apr2013/
Majestic’s excellent 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) menu ending 26apr2013

Majestic’s excellent 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) menu ending 26apr2013

 
looked at Majestic’s 8-course WGS (World Gourmet Summit) dinner menu on its website & decided to go for this dinner.
this 8-course WGS dinner menu is S$99++pax c/w several hundred $ for other WGS dinners & there is a 10% Citibank credit card discount.
lobster soup with yasai tempura

lobster soup with yasai tempura

 
The lobster soup with a yasai (veg) tempura was a great start. The lobster meat were plump, sweet & tender. The soup was very smooth & tasty – the intense hae mee (prawn noodle) type stock, not the foam cappuccino bisque served at most western fine dining. the tempura batter was good.
abalone & lotus root with minced oyster, & brocoli in brown sauce

abalone & lotus root with minced oyster, & brocoli in brown sauce

 
the abalone and lotus roots with a minced oyster filling in batter & brocoli in brown sauce was a superb dish. Chinese dried abalones in brown sauce are always soooo good. the abalone was smaller than the 5-head ones at Xin Cuisine, probably 8 or 10-heads but still good size. the lotus root with minced oyster though was par excellence, very good indeed!
black truffle on hokkaido scallop with gourd

black truffle on hokkaido scallop with gourd

 

next item on the menu was plump, sweet,nicely seared hokkaido scallop sitting on a marrow gourd, and it had an amazingly large black truffle topping it! I love the fragrance truffle & truffle oil add to dishes (especially cold Japanese noodle topped with caviar & some truffle oil at Gordon Grill) but never believe in paying stratospheric prices for them.
honey vinegared carmelised pork rib

honey vinegared carmelised pork rib

 
the 4th dish was 1 of the best caramelised pork rib I had. you can the glaze, glistening..not sure how it is done – whether baked or deep (or shallow) fried & braised. the plating was good with the green tea powder donning some chinese character (京?).
next was the teochew steamed promfet – as good as any good teochew restaurant, not sure the plating & pigskin topping (odd choice) was an effort in fine dining presentation? whatever – the taste still a good robust steamed teochew promfet dish.
we were expecting panfried wagyu MBS6 – I guess maybe that was too much of an expectation for the price? haha.
what we got was panfried wagyu guotie (锅贴)..when reading menu I was thinking a panfried wagyu + a pot sticker yum yum..it was not to be..the minced wagyu was very tasty & the dough was good..not quite the same but well can’t have the best of everything,
the 2 desserts were I guess another effort at creativity & fine dining.. don’t know what to make of the cherry pie thingy..the pastry was excellent, lovely swans too, the filling a bit sweet & not my thing, like a sticky date pudding? maybe.
the ice dessert I consider a 败笔 (point of failure) of an otherwise outstanding menu..the usual aloe vera sorbet at Majestic is so good no need the trouble to invent something fancy..not that it was bad really, but it was much ado about nothing – an ice jelly in a hawker centre would be more shiok!
overall it was an outstanding & enjoyable dinner. the WGS menu promotion is until 26apr2013.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  World Gourmet Summit (WGS) 8-course menu ends 26apr2013
 
Date of Visit: Apr 19, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $105(Dinner)

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

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