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Kuvo a lifestyle concept by The Connoisseur Concerto ('tcc') group. Tucked in the second floor or Orchard Shopping Centre, this previously unheard of establishment has been gaining positive reviews recently. It is so mysterious, you will hardly notice its existence unless someone told you about it. Which was the case for Little Devil and I.
Ambrosia II (Part of dining area)
Kuvo are separated into different sections. Ambrosia I & II are the main dining area. While Vine Lounge and Elixir Bar is the place for high tea and chill out, where you can check out what's happening down in Orchard Road. Kuvo cater for lunch, high tea, dinner, lounge and bar.
We went there for Afternoon Tea Buffet ($35++) It is a combination of English High Tea together with local flavours as well. From the buffet line, there are savoury pastries and spreads, Parma ham, cheese, local favourites such as beef rendang, ayam buah keluak, beef stew, daily soup and sweet pastries and shots. On top of the buffet line, they will also served you three tier of assorted “nibbles”.
Assorted Savory Pastries, Nibbles, Spreads, Parma Ham and Cheese
While the ladies focus on the catching up and chatting, I proceed to dissect what are on offer here. Started with the soup of the day, Mushroom Soup. It was creamy, think and robust. There are some bits of blended mushrooms in it, so very acceptable.
Soup of the day - Mushroom soup
Next was of course the Parma Ham. One of our favourite item. Thinly shaved and goes well with everything and anything. The best part for LD, there was some gherkin and pickles for her enjoyment. Excellent.
Parma Ham, Gherkin, Pickles and Cheese
We then dig into the three tier high tea tapas / sandwich combination. Each of the items are in bite size, tasty and flavourful. The cherry mozzarella and smoked salmon canapés are delightful. The beet root rice paper roll has the raw earthy taste which not many people will like. While the prawns salad and fried wanton are fresh and crispy. Mini burger and mini ciabatta were delicious and the de-constructed otah in a jar gave it an Asian spicy lemak flavour.
Three tier high tea tapas, Deconstructed Otah, Fried Wanton & Parma Ham Canapes
As there is a little bit of tummy space left, I decided to try their cooked food. Beef rendang, ayam buah keluak and beef stew. The meat of ayam buah keluak is a little harder compare to what I like. However the two beef dishes are just awesome and melts in your mouth.
Beef Rendang, Ayam Buah Keluak & Beef Strew
For the finale, I went for their mini tarts, crème burlee and tiramisu. The mini tarts are thin and crumbly. My favourite is the chocolate mini tarts as the fillings are light, creamy but not too sweet. The crème burlee is good, but it can be better if the caramel thicker. The modern version of tiramisu are not to my liking.
Raspberry Panna Cotta, Creme Burlee Chocolate and Mixed Berries mini tarts
If you like what you eat, you can do some shopping from the mini gift shop on the way out. They also have selection of cakes in a whole or slices to take away. The service here is excellent and very professional. They are well dressed almost to the extend of fine dining service staff.
Shopping / Gift Area
Cakes (Whole and Slices), Assorted Artisan Chocolates & Chocolate Bar
Overall, we really enjoy the Afternoon High Tea buffet here. We feels that during the high tea, their savoury dishes are better compare to their sweet dishes. The parma ham, beef dishes and three tier high tea small bites are the highlight of the meal. Definitely a place to go in Orchard Road. Cheers!!
Parma Ham,Deconstructed Otah,Beef Rendang,Beef Stew,High Tea Other Ratings:
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The Market Grill
A Steakhouse with No Reservation Please!! The first time I heard about this, this statement really sticks. Of course, Aston's has been practising this policy, but we are talking about different class of steakhouse altogether here. So intrigues by it, we decided to give it a try after a quick browse of their menu online.
The Market Grill ('TMG') is the brainchild of Executive Chef Colin West, whose kitchen stints include Les Amis, Le Saint Julien, Braise and Swiss Grill. The collaboration with Loh Lik Peng's Unlisted Collection Group even proves further that we will be expecting a quality meal.
The Chef's Recommendation Board
We rocked up about 8PM and we were lucky that we manage to get a seat. The last table at the back, however we did not mind at all. We got to see the pit master working the grill and preparing the food.
1/2 doz Pacific Oyster
Starter was Lobster Bisque ($25), Frog Leg ($24) and 1/2 doz Pacific Oyster ($18). The fresh Pacific Oyster was huge, juicy, firm yet slippery. Although there was the vinaigrette dressing, I still prefer mine with a squirt of lemon juice. The Lobster Bisque is not part of the actual menu, instead it was in the Chef's Recommendation Board Menu. Robust, creamy with bitter taste at the end. They put the Gruyère cheese, croutons and butter on the side for you to add based on your preference.
The Meat in Lobster Bisque
Frog Legs are cooked with garlic and butter. It was so much bigger compare to the frog leg that I normally had in my frog porridge, almost to the size of the leg of a mini spring chicken. While the legs are covered with garlic and other herbs, the taste was not overpowering. The meat is springy, succulent and tasty. I would not order this but LD insisted. Good choice dear.
Frog Leg - Check out the size
For salad, we had Better Than Classic Caesar ($16). A bold declaration but it does delivery in taste. Using mini Romaine, it was quartered and crunchy. Each of the ingredients are well coated in the dressing and bind the croutons and cheese well. We ask them not to include the quail egg, as it was not our thing. The spiced rub chicken breast is average and the salad is just fine without it.
Better Than Classic Caesar
Of course dining in The Market Grill, you must try the steak. We had Wagyu Chuck Rib – 600 gram ($72), with sides sautéed field mushroom ($11) and mash potatoes ($8). The chuck rib was quite thick, served on a wooden plank and cut to a few slices. We asked for medium rare,but it turn out to be medium. However, the meat is tender and succulent, especially the cut in the middle. Seasoning on the meat was the humble salt with sweet caramelised onions on top. Yum Yum
Wagyu Chuck Rib – 600 gram
The mashed potatoes was thick, solid and goes well with the meat. Unfortunately the garlic on the sautéed mushroom was just to overpowering and missing the buttery flavour. We personally feel that sautéed mushroom and garlic just does not goes hand in hand. Butter, salt and pepper are good enough.
Sautéed field mushroom
We decided to skip the desserts as we were stuffed. Service in TMG is excellent. It is casual, friendly and attentive just like atmosphere in TMG. The décor is simple with industrial flair. It is no fuss steakhouse where the food are the stars here.
The Open Kitchen & Bench Seating
Overall, the food, the service and the atmosphere is just great. I like the bold concept of taking no reservation. It just show the management have the utter confidence in the product. Kudos to them. We'll definitely come back to try the CW burgers. Cheers!!
Lobster Bisque,Frog Leg,Wagyu Chuck Rib,Steak,Oyster,Better Than Classic Caesar
Spending per head: Approximately $100(Dinner)Other Ratings:
Quoting from the website of Mrs Pho, “There is no Bastardisation nor is there any fusion on the menu here – It's traditional Vietnamese Food, just like how Mamma used to cook”. This quote itself says it all on what's on offer at Mrs. Pho written Anthony Bourdain's flair.
Once you enter through the door of Mrs. Pho you will wonder if you actually just step out into the back alley of Ho Chi Minh. The wall spray painted with names and phone numbers telling people who to contact if you want to buy this land. The dangling light bulb with cables hanging down from the roof top are not far from portraying of how people eat street food in Vietnam. Of course, once you realise you are missing flies and mozzies, rubbish on the floor and the soothing air from the aircon you know that you are still in Singapore.
Atmosphere like in Vietnam
Grab a seat, check out the menu and write down your order on the order sheet provided. Pass it to the service staff and only make payment (Cash only) after you finish your meal.
Child Height Table and Chairs outside
We started with Cha Goi – Fried Spring Roll ($3) and Goi Cuon – Fresh Spring Roll ($3.50). The spring rolls are crispy, full of juicy fillings. The fresh spring roll or rice paper roll filled fresh ingredients and wrapped in a moist and chewy paper roll. If you want me to compare, the fresh spring roll got my pick.
Cha Goi – Fried Spring Roll
Goi Cuon – Fresh Spring Roll
Of course a must try dish here is the Pho. LD ordered Pho Tai – Rare Beef Noodle Soup ($7.90) and extra Bo Vien – Beef Balls ($1). The broth is robust with a hint of sweetness from the onion and bones. The rice noodle is thin, springy and generous in portion. The rare beef are thinly sliced but slightly chewy as regular beef are used. I wonder how it will taste if it uses a higher grade of beef such as wagyu.
Pho Tai – Rare Beef Noodle Soup
I ordered Hu Tieu Bo Kho – Stew Beef Noodles ($7.90). The meat here is the opposite, the cut are thick, but the meat are tender and melts in your mouth. It shows that it has been through a long cooking process. The rice noodle is thin and springy, while the broth not only robust, it has a little spicy kick in it.
Hu Tieu Bo Kho – Stew Beef Noodles
Hu Tieu Bo Kho – Stew Beef Noodles
The most memorable dish that we found here is So Huyet Xao Toi – Stir-fry cockles with garlic and pork lard ($6.50) This dish might look simple, but it is fragrant and appetizing thanks to the garlic, pork lard and basil leaves. The cockles stir-fried until it is absent of blood but still juicy. Once you open it, dip it in the salt and pepper provided with this dish. Here comes the twist, if you add the fresh lime juice in the salt and pepper, the taste become completely different and improve significantly. Guess what, we also dipped the fried pork lard into it, and I have to say it will go down well with a plate of white rice. Yum Yum.
So Huyet Xao Toi – Stir-fry cockles with garlic and pork lard
Unlike other establishments that try to make a higher profit with the drinks, Mrs Pho drinks price here is very reasonable. The refreshing Da Chanh – Homemade Lemonde is priced at $2; and a bottle of mineral water is at $1.50.
Da Chanh – Homemade Lemonde
Service is efficient and friendly. The stunning looking manager follow up on the order and teach us to add the lime to the salt & pepper for the cockles.
Overall, Mrs Pho food are just delicious. Although the Pho is not the best that I've ever tried in Singapore, the rest of the other dish really authentic and make you feel at home. It is also value for money. We actually went back a few nights ago before I wrote this review and each one of us had a plate of fried cockles each in a finger licking good manner. So Mrs Pho, is a must try. Cheers!!
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So Huyet Xao Toi – Stir-fry cockles with garlic and pork lard,Hu Tieu Bo Kho – Stew Beef Noodles,Pho Tai – Rare Beef Noodle Soup,Goi Cuon – Fresh Spring Roll,Cha Goi – Fried Spring Roll
Spending per head: Approximately $18(Dinner)Other Ratings:
Chew Kee Eating House
Walking along Upper Cross Street in Chinatown, you will wonder if you are seeing double. Two shops selling Soya Sauce Chicken, with name close to each other, that you might think it was a spelling mistake during the naming of the shop. However, sibling rivalry are the theme here and we as the foodies in Singapore are to benefit for more option to have.
So far, I was only able to try the Soya Sauce Chicken from Chew Kee Eating House. A plate of Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle will just set you back $3.50. The egg noodle is thin, cooked to superb al dente with a crunchy and springy texture. The noodle does not have any alkaline water taste like those you find in ordinary wanton noodle. The chicken are just succulent and soya sauce penetrated in the meat. For those non chilli eater like myself, you can taste the delightful soya sauce hanging on each threat of the noodle. Delicious!!
Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle - Small
Prior to this visit, I ever tried their big version ($4.50). The size was so huge, I was having trouble finishing it.
To accompany the noodle, I ordered their prawn dumpling soup (Shui Jiao) $5. The broth is clear and robust, and the dumpling are filled with fresh prawns and crunchy chestnut. A very good quality.
Prawn Dumpling Soup (Shui Jiao)
Service is ordinary. Our “uncle” service staff, just take our order, deliver the food and collect money. Rumours say that their Lady boss is not very friendly and from my observations, let just say, she hardly smile. The first time that I ate here, she was very helpful. This time around I did get the famous stare when I took photo of the front of the shop
My verdict: definitely a place to go for Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle. Cheers!!!
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Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle - Small,Prawn Dumpling Soup (Shui Jiao)
Spending per head: Approximately $6(Lunch)Other Ratings:
Song Kee Fish Ball Noodle
A few months ago, Little Devil (LD) has cravings for fishball noodle. So we actively searching for the best fish ball noodle in this tiny little island. One of the places that keep popping up is Song Kee Fish Ball Noodles.
As Song Kee only open from 7pm to late night, this is actually a good place for supper for us. Before I wrote this review, we actually have re-visited this place more than 5 times.
Starting price for a fish ball noodle is from $4 for a small bowl. Normal serving small come with a tau pok with fish paste, 2 fish ball noodle and 2 fish dumpling (Yu Jiao).
The noodle is cooked just nice, al-dente with good texture of springiness. For non-chilli, it is well coated with tomato sauce and pork lard creating a smooth texture when you bite into the noodle. The fish balls are smooth, bouncy and tasty, not like other fish ball that full of flour. The fish dumplings are actually the best that I ever tried so far. It has a resilient and juicy texture about it. Yum Yum!!
For the dry with chilli version, the chilli is not overly spicy but flavourful. The soup is clear yet very robust. It has a sweetness from the long boiling of fish bones, with a subtle hint of garlic. We always order extra fish ball soup, as we can't get enough of it.
Service is adequate. You order in front, get a number, get your drink and find a seat. If the place is packed, expect to wait between 45 minutes before you get your order. Well, consider it a good time to catch up with your friends. Lets just say, the fish ball noodle here is worth the 45 minutes wait. Cheers!!!
The Waiting Game
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Fish Ball Noodle,Fish Ball Soup
Spending per head: Approximately $8(Supper)Other Ratings: