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madamechewy
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Afternoon Tea @ Portico Prime OK Apr 13, 2016   
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Categories : European

In such a frantic city and during such fast-paced times, it’s comforting to know that everything can still stop for tea. Located on the tranquil Dempsey Hill, Portico Prime has recently launch an afternoon tea that will engage the senses and revitalise weary soul.
Diners can choose to enjoy their tête–à–tête session in Portico Prime’s gorgeous interior, or at the patio, amongst lush greenery.

Its evident that much dedication has been put into the conceptualisation of the afternoon tea menu, Portico Favourites, a collection of well-loved dishes amongst Portico’s regular customers, staff and owners. Every item is made from scratch in house, using sustainable ingredients. The fresh herbs and edible flowers are harvested from Portico Prime’s gardens.

Right off the bat, Portico Prime wowed us an appetizer trio of fine dining standards. The Chilled Truffle Scented Angel Hair Pasta is utterly divine! Not only is the truffle flavour prominent, the capellini is topped with a generous portion of avruga caviar and a crunchy kawa ebi shrimp. The Crostini of Asian-cured Salmon Gravlax with coriander creme fraiche was a refreshing change to the usual smoked salmon item typically present in afternoon tea sets. Another exceptional starter is the Skewer of Tiger Prawn, where the crustacean’s natural sweetness is highlighted by compressed melon sheet, tobiko roe and brandy sauce.

The rest of the treats are presented on a pretty wooden stand, complete with faux grass.

Savoury morsels include Chilli Crab Meat Eclair with a spicy kick, fluffy Fish Otak Otak Toast with crispy edges and Squid and Salted Egg Croquette that boast a delicious creamy core encased within a well-fried exterior which remained crisps despite a long photo taking session.

Petite sweets are aplenty, in fact, they occupy 3 of the 4 tiers. The soft, yet dense and smooth Chilled Cheesecake comes with dollops of mango gel and mini passion fruit spheres that pop in the mouth. The Mini Deconstructed Blackforest and Baked Apple Crumble Tart with sweet basil cream were delightful too.

Bandung Rose Cream fills up the buttery short crust pastry in the Strawberry and Lychee Tart while the White Chocolate Bark studded with pistachio nuts and cranberry, captivates with it’s dreamy soft consistency. I’m usually not a fan of carrot cakes (encountered too many dry, boring ones in the past) but Portico Prime’s Homemade Carrot Cake won my heart with its light, moist texture, and interesting pairing of maple cream cheese frosting.

The homemade peanut butter and confetti cookies may look ordinary, but took us by surprise with its marvellous buttery and crumbly texture. I certainly wouldn’t mind having this on a daily basis for breakfast! The Marsala Chai Tea Cake with honey ginger cream and orange confit also left a lasting impression.

The freshly baked California Natural Raisins and Citrus Peel Scones were served with homemade Kaya, seasonal preserves and clotted cream. The highlight here would definitely be the sugar-free Kaya, made using honey that is locally produced. I could do with some plain scones though, as the raisins and citrus peel in the scones distract the taste buds from enjoying the Kaya to the fullest.

Portico Prime’s afternoon tea is available from 3pm-5pm daily (except Monday), is priced at $48 per pax (min 2 to dine) and includes free-flow Twinnings Tea or Dutch Colony Coffee Co. Anyone looking for an extra oomph of luxury can opt for a glass of Torresella Prosecco Brut NV Italy bubbly for an additional $10. Reservations are highly recommended as there are only 30 sets available each day. From now till 30th April 2016, book via Chope to enjoy the afternoon tea at only $38 per person.

Supplementary Information:
Portico Favourites Afternoon Tea
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Italian | Steaks and Grills | Brunch

For pictures and full review pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2016/01/29/exclusive-chefs-table-at-dolce-vita/
Mandarin Oriental’s Dolce Vita unveils a new dining concept, Chef’s Table, where guests have the opportunity to sit right at the cold kitchen counter, to watch acclaimed Italian Chef, Omar Bernardi showcase his magic.
Every Friday, for only 6 guests, Chef Omar presents an exclusive 6-course dinner in an “Omakase” fashion. The menu will be updated every month to ensure that diners are served the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Mandarin Oriental’s award-winning Sommelier, Inthran Ramasamy takes the intimate dining experience up a notch by expertly pairing each course with exquisite wines. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, enticing mocktails will be concocted in replacement of the wines.
We nibbled on the complimentary bakes, accompanied with Basil Cream, Tomato cream and Tomato Pesto, while Chef Omar prepared the Amuse Bouche.
Beetroot and Goat Cheese Composition. Three variants of beetroot balance out the strong notes of the ricotta and goat cheese mousse, whilst crunchy quinoa adds a resounding crackle in every mouthful. Garnished with sorrel and cress for the perfect finish.
Chef Omar takes a modern approach to a typical Venetian dish, Sweet and Sour Sardine ( Sarde in Saor). In the past, fishermen used to prepare this dish with vinegar, onion and flour in order to preserve the fish. In this appetizer, sardines from the Mediterranean Sea are fried, and served with pine nuts and raisins for a touch of sweetness.
Once again, Chef Omar takes an up-market approach to another traditional Venetian favorite-Prawns and Polenta. Accompanying the succulent seared prawns, is a cylindrical-shaped polenta with a crisps exterior and comfortingly soft interior. Made complete with garlic chips for that irresistible aroma and crunch. Simple, yet insanely delicious!
The Green Pea Risotto and Smoked Eel is something exotic and unusual. This is my first encounter such a unique dish and was pleasantly surprised that the combination came off really well. Green peas are pureed then mixed into the risotto to achieve a lush hue. Take a little bit of everything into the mouth for optimum enjoyment-the duo is enhanced with bursts of flavor from the salmon roe and butter sauce.
Seafood lovers will adore the Mullet and Langoustine. On this plate, the delicate flesh of Red Mullet from the Mediterranean Sea is paired with langoustine confit. The latter, prepared in a bath of clarified butter, herbs and garlic, then topped with foamed bisque made from its shell, was absolutely stellar. The delectable langoustine melted in the mouth like a dream!
Sweet departure arrived in the form of Milk Jam Dessert. The tongue is enthralled in symphony of milk and sugar reduction, homemade apricot sorbet, hazelnut crunch, apricot coulis and a pinch of sea salt. An elegant dessert worth pining for!

There’s no better way to wind down after a hectic work week than with Chef Omar’s “OMAR-kase” dinner at Dolce Vita. The charming chef’s approach to food is passionate and professional, staying true to his Italian roots while adding a few modern touches. In addition to the gastronomic adventure, I find it fascinating to observe execution, and enlightened when Chef Omar explains the intricacies of each dish.

 
Supplementary Information:
Chef's Table
 
Date of Visit: Jan 22, 2016 

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

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Categories : Fusion

For pictures and full review pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/08/19/may-may/
Keep your eyes peeled opened for May May’s white panel glass doors and purple signboard while locating the Asian fusion restaurant along the shophouses on Tras Street. Yes, it’s easy to walk pass May May without realising it *guilty here*.
Inside, one will find a little piece of oasis that makes you forget that you’re in hectic city. Service is polite and efficient.
The menu is a simple one pager (A5 size), but we had no trouble finding something that appealed to our taste buds.
Get your dose of Omega-3 from the Butter Poached Cod ($18), with wakame, oven roasted tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, pickled wasabi sprouts and wobbly soft centred egg as accompaniments. The chucks of cod are almost ethereal in its silkiness and softness, stealing my heart the moment I took the first bite.
Bestie’s Red Chilli Chicken ($16) unfortunately, didn’t fare as well. While the fried chicken pieces were well-seasoned and crispy with just the right amount of heat, the meat’s texture was too tough. Other components that make up this rice bowl are caramelised onions, toasted cashews, grilled mushrooms, oven roasted tomatoes and soft centred egg.
Buried beneath the avalanche of toppings in each donburi, lies fluffy Japanese rice. They were so good and comforting, we finished every single grain. You can top up $2 to swap the rice for quinoa and $3 for a lunch combo (available on Mondays to Saturdays) which includes a salad and beverage (soft drink, coffee or tea).
The highlight of our meal was the Liu Sha Custard Donuts ($7). Each fluffy donut has a core of warm salted egg yolk custard, which oozes out with every bite. Sinfully indulgent but worth every calorie! If you’d like to try this, visit May May during the day. We came once during dinner and were informed that May May stops serving this at 6pm.
If you prefer a lighter dessert, go for the Apple Lime Parfait ($8). It’s essentially diced apple cubes encased in lemongrass jelly on creamy lime parfait sitting atop a pile of muscovado crumble, which adds texture to the refreshing dessert. I love how sharp notes of the lemongrass jelly and zesty lime invigorate the senses.
Two thumbs up to May May’s lunch offerings, which we felt were prepared using wholesome quality ingredients in a un-fussed approach. Do note that May May is closed on Sundays and the nutritious rice bowls are only available during lunchtime as the restaurant runs a different menu during dinner.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Butter Poached Cod Donburi,Liu Sha donut
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 20, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $26(Lunch)

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

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TDF White Pepper Crab Smile Aug 08, 2015   
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Categories : Asian Variety | Singaporean Chinese | Restaurant | Seafood

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/08/08/tao-seafood-asia/
If you’re after affordable seafood in a setting of chic refinement, look no further! TAO Seafood Asia, located Asia Square Tower 2, is currently my family’s favourite venue to get our crab fix. Apart from crabs, the family-run restaurant offers some excellent seafood items that almost made it seem like you’re dining straight from the sea!
My first visit to TAO Seafood Asia was during a media tasting event. I was so impressed, I took my in-laws there for dinner and they too, fell deeply in love with the quality ingredients and skillful execution.
We kicked start our meal with a plate of delectable Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg($10) . Ahhh, its melody in the mouth! Unlike some restaurants that just coat the fried fish skin with salted egg yolk, TAO rendition includes curry leaves and chilli padi, which add depth and dimension to the flavour profile. This certainly did a good job of whetting our appetites!
All of TAO’s sauces are whipped up in-house and the most outstanding is definitely theThai-Teochew Green Chilli Sauce, which goes well with all of the dishes in the menu.
The mere thought of the White Pepper Crab ($6.80/100g) sets my heart aflame! The heavily guarded recipe is a sure winner and we were all overwhelmed by how delectable the dish turned out. Peppery and robust, this succulent crab is guaranteed to jump start your senses! Do note that this item is off the menu, but is readily available upon request.
Singapore Chilli Crab ($6.80/100g) is another popular order. We alternate devouring the luscious white flesh and dipping the fried mantou into the sweet, tangy and spicy tomato chilli sauce. Lip-smackingly yummy!
TAO takes pride in cooking each pot dish individually, to lock in and maximise flavours (no mass cooking). The Pot Roasted Prawns with Glass Noodles ($32) was absolutely stellar. We opted for fresh river prawns instead of sea prawns, as we prefer the former’s crunchy texture. The vibrant orange crustaceans rested on a bed of springy glass noodles, elevated by TAO’s seafood essence and cloves of garlic (hidden underneath).
For a something healthier and light, go for the Pot Roasted Cod ($38), a saccharine melt-in-the-mouth fish roasted with garlic, coriander root and TAO seafood essence.
The Pot Roasted Chicken Caramelised in Rice Wine ($20) is nothing fancy. Simple and genuine, it goes well with a bowl of piping hot rice~
There’s something intrinsically satisfying about TAO’s Traditional Stir Fried Sambal Morning Glory ($16), aka Kang Kong. I suppose its the concoction of chillies, prawn paste, shallots, ginger and sambal, that makes this well-loved vegetable so enticing.
As for sweet endings, we had smooth-textured Traditional Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts ($6) and refreshing chilled Sea Coconut with Longans ($6).
There’s no doubt we’re looking forward to our next visit!
 
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 25, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $50(Dinner)

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

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Categories : French | Japanese | Fusion

For pictures and fill review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/05/26/miam-miam/
Miam Miam, which means “yum yum” in French, marries the ingredients of Japanese cuisine together with French artisanal cooking techniques. Offerings are made from scratch, using only the freshest and most sustainably sourced ingredients. Food and desserts are prepared upon order, hence do set aside a sufficient time to thoroughly enjoy a meal at Miam Miam, as many items require 15-20 minutes wait.
The ambiance is casual yet trendy. The back (not pictured) of Bugis Junction outlet looks prettier, decorated with pastel coloured chairs that add a whimsical touch. Service is lovely -staff merrily chirp “Bonjour” and “Merci” when diners arrive and leave. Drizzled in light Caesar dressing, topped with smoked chicken and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, the French Salad ($7.50) was surprisingly appetizing, despite its humble appearance.
The signature pasta, Miam Miam Spaghetti ($16.80) twirled its way into my heart. The al dente strands were tossed in a captivating concoction of French butter, secret broth and shoyu, then bumped up with frankfurters, tomatoes, baby spinach, eggplant, shimeiji mushrooms and bacon. A single half-boiled egg completes the wholesome dish.
If you prefer more oomph, go for the Lobster Bisque Pasta ($20.80), which features a savoury and rich soup base, grilled tiger prawn and parmesan cheese. Every aspect was delightful except for the prawn, which was overcooked, dry and tough.
Cheese lovers will adore the Mac and Cheese ($15.80)! Served bubbling, the over-baked fresh pasta shells are coated with a combination of 4 special cheeses and blanketed with crunchy Japanese breadcrumbs.
Served piping hot in a casserole, Riz Au Curry ($14.80) is essentially baked rice with homemade Japanese curry, pork frankfurters broccoli, cheese and a wobbly sunshine egg. I find curry too salty and was struggled to finish it. The portion is small for the price tag.
This is my first time trying savoury soufflé. Miam Miam’s Souffle De Nuage($17.80) is an interesting dish of ham, chicken and shimeiji mushrooms mixed with tomato sautéed rice topped with clouds of egg and cheese. The soufflé’s texture is amazing- airy and fluffy, but lacked a prominent flavour. Halfway through, my stomach felt queasy (too much air?) and hence I only ate the baked rice, which was lovely.
Miam Miam is well-known for thier sweet treats. I highly recommend the French Toast, Soufflé Pancakes and Chocolate Soufflé. Thick cuts of pillowy French Toast ($15.80) are stacked together, doused in maple infused syrup, dusted with icing sugar and crowned with airy whipped cream. It’s very filling and can be a meal on its own. I can see why this is an all-time favourite. Price is steep but I’m willing to ignore that as it’s just soooo good!

The Original Soufflé Pancakes ($8.80) put all the regular pancakes that I’ve had in this lifetime to shame. Its soft and fluffy texture is a dream.

Soufflés are commonly served in fine dining restaurants but you can enjoy them at Miam Miam without breaking the bank. The utterly divine Valrhona Chocolate ($13.80) has an ethereally soft and airy texture and a oozing chocolate centre. Hands down the best soufflé I’ve tried so far

I would’ve liked the Berries Cheese Cake Parfait ($12.80) if there was some gelato layered between the fresh berries, digestive biscuits and cream cheese.

On weekdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm, Miam Miam @ Bugis Junction serves complimentary soup of the day with every main course ordered. For an additional $2, you’ll get a coffee or tea.
To sum up, I’m pleased with Miam Miam’s quality offerings can see myself revisiting for that much needed mid-week perk me up.

Supplementary Information:
Miam Miam Signature Pasta, Original Souffle Pancakes, Valrhona Chocolate Souffle, French Toast
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 01, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

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

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