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To die for dry-aged steaks Smile Oct 27, 2015   
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Categories : European | Bars/Lounges

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/10/27/district-10-suntec-city/

Carnivores rejoice! The newly opened District 10 @ Suntec City will satisfy the even the most fussy taste buds, especially when it comes to charcoal-grilled steaks. The restaurant specializes in dry-aged meat, a process that results in exceptional depth in flavor (more on this later).
District 10 @ Suntec City has a spacious alfresco bar replete with cabanas for up to 60 guests and a cozy 30-seater indoor space for gourmet seekers. The restaurant comes complete with a European meat showcase for dry-aged meats, a bespoke butcher’s block for its cleaver-ready cuts and show kitchen for its charcoal-grilled cooking. It interior is chic and stylish, perfect for powwow lunches with business associates and intimate dinner dates.

These days, most beef is aged in a process known as wet-aging. Dry aging, on the other hand, is a slow traditional process of aging fine meats, whereby beef is exposed to air by dehydration. This further concentrates the meat’s flavor when the natural enzymes break down connective tissues in the muscles which soften and tenderize the meat. Through time, the dry-aging technique has developed into a meticulous temperature-controlled process and cross-continent chain managements. District 10 @ Suntec City has invested in an expensive fridge ($22,000 gasps) which controls humidity and temperate, to store premium dry-aged meats.

The dinner commenced with cocktails to ease us into the evening. We were captivated by Fruits of Angel ($18), a delightful concoction of Plantation Original Dark Rum, homemade papaya syrup, dash of lemon juice, jazzed up with thyme and cinnamon notes.

The complimentary warm Sun-dried Tomato Loaf was commendable too.

Puglia Burrata with Organic Italian Tomato-Rocket Lettuce ($24). The first of the 3 starters we sampled was a burrata appetizer which originates from the Italian region of Puglia. The fresh dreamy cheese possessed a thick, rich texture, with a delicate slightly salty, milky flavor. The Italian delicacy was served on a bed of rocket lettuce, and sparklingly fresh cherry tomatoes.

Vitello Tonnato($24)
Veal and tuna? Now this sounds queer! Much to my surprise, Chef Luca Pezzera (co-owner and executive chef), executed this beautifully. Instead of clashing with the thinly sliced roasted veal loin, the tuna sauce is light and allows one to enjoy the true natural flavor of the beef, but at the same time, adds an interesting dimension to the starter. And, I never knew that cherry tomatoes can be so delicious. I had to stop myself from reaching out for more so that my dining companions could have their share of the organic goodies.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Pancetta, Hazelnut, Gorgonzola and Egg ($20)
If you prefer greens as a prelude to a meat-centric meal, go for the fresh salad tossed with crunchy cherry tomatoes, Italian Blue Cheese, egg and hazelnuts, then crowned with tasty pancetta slices.

The highlight of District 10 @ Suntect City is their Charcoal-grilled dry-aged meats. We tried 2 types- 45 Days Dry Aged Corn Fed US Prime OP Rib ($18 per 100g) and 45 Days Home Dry Aged Corn Fed US Prime Traditional Fiorentina Steak ($22 per 100g). The steaks were prepped with salt, pepper, herbs and extra virgin olive oil, then skilfully grilled to achieve a crispy crust which crackles upon biting. Each piece of steak is laced with seductive smoky char.
OP rib is a cut at the rib cut, so it has a generous portion of fat, while the Fiorentina is a T-bone and boasts softer texture. Personally, I prefer my meat with less fat, so my vote goes to the latter. Savour the magnificent meats alone or with a sprinkle of Rosemary Salt. Sheer rhapsody!

If you’re not into steak but love grilled meats, other options include Paradise Valley Free Range Canadian Pork Chop ($34) and Australian Tomahawk Lamb Chop ($38).
To complement the gorgeous steaks, Truffle Fries ($12) and Creamy Truffle Mash ($14) graced our tables. It’s hard to go wrong with truffle!

Unfortunately, Chef Luca was overseas so we didn’t get to meet him. But we did get to meet the talented Pastry Chef, Mr Gerald Chua, who has honed his skills in Australia. Chef Gerard makes it difficult for one to opt for a single favorite dessert!
Profiteroles filled with Chestnut cream, served with Warm Chocolate Sauce ($12). These profiteroles are not only a visual treat, but also hit the sweet tooth in all the right places. Be enthralled by these choux pastries filled with alluring chestnut cream, drizzled with warm chocolate sauce, dressed up with lavender petals. Silver powder is sprinkled for that ethereal touch.

Bitter Chocolate-Marshmallow Fluff with Caramelized Banana ($14). This decadent treat is a mouth-watering symphony of light-as-air marshmallow, dark chocolate mousse atop a crumbly biscuit base. I like how the bitterness of the dark chocolate mousse balances out the sweetness of the marshmallows and caramelised bananas

Double Espresso Panna Cotta with Vanilla Sauce ($12).I’m usually not a fan of panna cotta as the ones I’ve tried so far are on the bland side, but this rendition blew me away. My taste buds went WHAM! The double espresso panna cotta is not only lusciously creamy, but also unabashedly intense. Honeycomb, caramel crunch and crème fraiche completes the striking dessert.
I was impressed with the food, desserts and service at District 10 @ Suntec City and highly recommend this establishment. You can feel a lot of attention is put into every item they offer. During the day, the restaurant serves set lunches that are excellent value. Do note that every District 10 outlets have different concepts and dry-aged meats can only be found at the Suntec City branch.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Puglia Burrata with Organic Italian Tomato-Rocket Lettuce,Vitello Tonnato,45 Days Home Dry Aged Corn Fed US Prime Traditional Fiorentina Steak,Profiteroles filled with Chestnut cream,served with Warm Chocolate Sauce,Double Espresso Panna Cotta with Vanilla Sauce
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Loving the revamped menu Smile Sep 23, 2015   
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Categories : English | Café | Brunch

For pictures and full review, pls visit
http://madamechewy.com/2015/09/21/arteastiq-plaza-singapura/

A recognised name in Singapore, home-grown teahouse and social painting studio Arteastiq has opened a second outlet at Plaza Singapura. Exuding chic refinement, this is a little piece of oasis that makes one forget you’re in the heart of all the action.

As a boutique teahouse, Arteastiq takes pride in its tea offerings. Invigorate the senses with chilled teas or soothe the throat with a cup of hot brew. I highly recommend my all time favourite, Iced Pomelo Tea.

A collaborative result of 3 well-travelled chefs with expertise in modern European, Asian and Pan American cuisine, Arteastiq’s new menu is truly one of a kind. Mains are grouped into 2 segments- “Ladies Affairs” comprises of sophisticated and lighter options while “Gentlemen’s Dinner” is made up of hearty meat-centric plates.

For a refreshing start, go for the healthy and delicious Soba salad, Nordic Lights ($16). The presentation is lovely, isn’t it? Greens, smoked salmon, soba noodles and cherry tomatoes are tossed in light Asian vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla bowl, which provides textural variation.

Aphrodite ($25) is a luxe rendition of the ubiquitous Eggs Benedict. Sitting on toasted brioche, the succulent Maryland Crab cakes were crowned with perfectly poached eggs, as well as a dollop of creamy Hollandaise sauce spruced up with smoked paprika.

There’s something intrinsically satisfying about fried chicken and waffles. Louisiana Love ($22) is constructed with pan-fried chicken pieces cloaked with buttermilk, nesting on a bed of whole-wheat waffles (less guilt). On the side, there’s Arteastiq own improved version of margarine, a delish maple butter and red vegetable slaw.

Satisfy the carnivore in you with The French Affection ($35), a sumptuous platter of NZ Black Angus Ribeye Steak (230 grams), accompanied with sweet potato fries and Bearnaise poached egg. The tender, juicy steak with brown sauce was truly a smack down on flavours. Mention-worthy are the seriously good sweet potato fries- within each addictively crispy exterior, is a substantially filled interior of comforting orange carbs.

Seafood lovers will adore Boston Love Boat ($29). Beneath the buttery, flaky pastry, lies fresh prawns, mussels and scallops in a soul-warming, layered seafood saffron stew. Take a bit of stew and fluffy pastry and let it mingle in the mouth- ahhh bliss! Once again, the delectable sweet potato fries make another appearance in this enticing dish.

Aphrodite and Louisiana Love are from the “Ladies Affairs” menu while The French Affection and Boston Love Boat are from the “Gentlemen’s Dinner” section.
The “Sweeter Sides of Love” dessert menu offer artisan treats to satisfy the most discerning palates. Indulge in Ode to Nectar ($12) a slice of moist and rich honey chocolate mi-cuit, accompanied with a scoop of premium gelato. If you prefer an elegant dessert sans the sugar rush, check out Silk Thread ($13), an interesting rendition of the classic crème brulee. The barely-set custard is smooth, creamy, and infused with Osmanthus, resulting a delicate and refined sweet ending.

Making quite a statement upon its arrival is Monet ($12), one of Arteastiq’s dessert teas. The combination of French Rose Tea and Champagne Vanilla Gelato came off really well.

Arteastiq @ Plaza Singapura is a sophisticated, comfortable and convenient venue for a romantic date or Tête–à-Tête with girlfriends. Working nearby? Take advantage of the weekday brunch special, which starts from $15 and include a complimentary speciality tea.

Like the Mandarin Gallery Flagship outlet, the Plaza Singapura branch also has an Art Jamming Studio for art enthusiasts to unleash their passions and escape the stress of fast-paced city life. Immersing in art is a beneficial activity to conclude a stressful work day or recharge over the weekends.

 
Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Categories : Italian | Ice Cream and Gelato | Pasta

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/25/bottura/

There’re no lack of Italian restaurants in Singapore, but newly open Bottura sets itself apart by combining wallet-friendly, homely dishes with quality and finer details you’d expect from much more expensive places.

The casual Italian resultant, conveniently located in Suntec City, is opened by Luca Bottura, a 5th generation descendant of a family that runs restaurants, pizzerias, bakery shops and a catering business in Bologna. The decor is modern and can accommodate 144 diners at one time.
The menu features a spectrum of Italian classics and traditional homemade Italian recipes from the Bottura family’s kitchen. You can be sure of the restaurant’s authenticity when its dry ingredients, used in the making of fresh pastas, bread and pastries, along with kitchen equipment are imported from Italy. Oh, and did I mentioned that the chef and pastry chef are from Italy too?
We started the meal with a generous platter of antipasti, Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter ($22), comprising of appetizing cold cuts from Emilia Romagna, premium cheese, stracchino and orange marmalade. This is my first encounter with stracchino and I adore it. The delicate cheese is made in house and tastes sparklingly fresh. Even hubby, who is adverse to cheese, gave 2 thumbs up.

Have a glass of red wine to accompany the antipasti. Bottura’s house pour, Chianti ($8.50/glass), is smooth and it’s quality is way above average compared to house pours served at most establishments. Seriously bang for buck!

Stracchino makes another appearance in Parma Ham Piadina ($12) along with rocket leaves. An obscure Italian flatbread in Singapore, Piadina has a smoky aroma, crisps texture, and goes well with a multitude of ingredients. Made in house, the Piadina at Bottura is absolutely commendable.

I usually avoid lasagna because I find them too rich and heavy, hence was pleasantly surprised by the Polenta Lasagne ($18). Made with thin polenta sheets that melt in the mouth, traditional ragu and béchamel sauce, this rendition has light texture, but full flavor. Its comfort food at its finest, without the guilt!

Pastas here are freshly made with a rustic handmade element. The Egg and Squid Ink Tagliolini ($16) with shrimp and zucchini, twirled it way into my heart. Cheese fans will love the Four Cheese Gnocchi with Rocket Pesto($14), chewy nuggets doused in sauce that is not at all cloying. Do note that pasta pictured in this blog post are of tasting portions.

Clocked in cream sauce, the Ravioli with Ham and Mushrooms ($14) were expertly crafted- each parcel is constructed with thin pasta sheets, unlike the usual overly-thick suspects. The Tagliatelle with traditional ragu ($15) is another gratifying dish-crumpled ribbons of homemade pasta tossed in hearty minced meat sauce.

For the fickle-minded, the Degustation Set ($18) of 6 pastas, including a glass of Italian red or white wine, will be most suitable. It’s available on weekdays after 5pm on all day during weekends.
We could not wait to sink our teeth into this enticing pizza. Set your taste buds ablaze with Arrabbiata Pizza ($18 for 12 inch) with elements of tomato, capers, chilli padi, mozzarella and rocket. For something refreshing, go the Rock Melon, Parma Ham and Mozzarella Pizza ($24 for 12 inch). The pizza base is outstanding- nicely blistered and paper thin, boasting crusts that crackles with each bite. Luca, who has a diploma in pizza making under this belt, spent several months experimenting to perfect the pizza base recipe. It’s evident his efforts paid off.

Moving onto sweets, the alcohol-free Tiramisu ($8) is children-friendly and has airy mascarpone while Fresh Mignon Pastries ($2.50/ piece) with Marsala come in bite size portions.

Moving onto sweets, the alcohol-free Tiramisu ($8) is children-friendly and has airy mascarpone while Fresh Mignon Pastries ($2.50/ piece) with Marsala come in bite size portions.

To ensure freshness, Gelato ($5/scoop) is made in-house by the pastry chef every couple of days. With 16 flavors to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Coffee here is excellent as well, prepared with Italian beans and a coffee machine revived from the 60s.

On weekdays, take advantage of the value-for-money set lunches which start from $14.50++.

Cooking enthusiasts will be thrilled by the retail corner, which stocks award-winning olive oils truffle oils and balsamic vinegar from Italy. A selection of wines and coffee beans are also available. All items are imported directly (no middle-man cost) and are exclusive to Bottura.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pastas,Pizzas,gelato,cold cuts
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 06, 2015 

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Categories : Sichuan | Restaurant | Chinese Steamboat/Hot Pot

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/19/hai-di-lao/
It took us a while to find the entrance to Hai Di Lao @ Clarke Quay (a lift tucked in a corridor), but better late than never! The famous steamboat chain from China is well-known for its mala soup base, quality ingredients, stellar service and notoriously long queues. In Singapore, the chain has gone from strength to strength, opening its second outlet at 313 Somerset.
To avoid waiting for hours, I made reservations 3 weeks in advance for Sunday lunch. Upon stepping out of the lift, we were impressed with the superb service. Staff greeted us with enthusiasm and led us to our table. Along the way, I was drawn towards the manicure room (complimentary service) and board game tables. Snacks are provided free of charge and a children’s playroom is available to occupy kids as well.
The restaurant itself is nicely decorated in black and red. Once seated, the waitress assigned to our table handed us aprons, spectacle cleaning cloths and ziploc bags to protect our mobile phones. For ladies with long hair, a hair tie is provided. The sauce, pickles, fruit and dessert counter is chargeable at $4 per pax.
We ordered a double-flavour hot pot comprising of Mala spicy broth and Chicken soup ($22).
We ordered the following in full portions (half portions also available) on the IPad. The food was faultless and oh-so-fresh.
Golden Pomfret ($19), Black Pork ($16), US Beef Slices ($18) and Handmade Shrimp balls ($16).
Fish balls ($8), assorted mushrooms ($18), fried tofu skin ($10), potato slices ($4), bamboo shoots ($7), lettuce ($6) and Chinese Cabbage ($4)
Kung Fu Noodle performance with rock music. Very entertaining!
Watermelon slices and Chilled Almond Beancurd from the buffet counter.
Service was attentive, prompt and efficient, a standout from many other casual restaurants in Singapore with splotchy service standards. What impressed us is Hai Di Lao is the ability to manage crowds well. Our bill totaled to $203 for 4 pax after tax and service charge. Pricy hey, considering you’ve gotta cook yourself.
Supplementary Information:
andmade Shrimp balls, Mala Broth
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Handmade Shrimp balls,Mala Broth
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 11, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $51(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Bakery | Café

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/27/the-dispensary/

We visited The Dispensary during lunchtime on a Saturday and were surprised how quiet it was. We welcomed this scene; after a tiring work week, all we want for the weekend is peace and yummy food, without having to hustle for it.

Occupying the shop house of an abandoned Chinese Medical Hall, the bakery cafe preserves traditions by using antique-looking items as decorations. It stops there though. Food and beverage offerings are Western-styled.

The soup of the day, Clam Chowder ($6.50) did a good job of whetting our appetites. Served in an old-school red rooster bowl, the sweetness of calms will appeal to the most discerning palates. The accompanying toasts were presented in the same fashion, on an old-school metal plate.

The breakfast options were alright, not particularly outstanding but not unpleasant either. The eggs in the Mushroom Scramble ($14.50) were moist, but could be fluffier. I prefer the Sausage and Eggs ($14.50), featuring juicy, bouncy and flavorsome sausages.

Check out their pastas if you want to jump start your day with a carbo boost. Smoked Duck Aglio Olio is available in 3 sizes ($12.50/$16.50/$20.50) and is perfectly al dente and fragrant. It would have been better with more garlic, but nevertheless my taste buds and tummy were gratified. Alfredo Mushroom ($13.50) was creamy but not cloying, and thankfully firm, unlike the usual soggy suspects.

Presented in a dim sum basket and sprinkled with parsley, the Sweet Potato Fries ($7.90) were enticingly crispy on the outside and soft inside. We also like that it was not overly oily.

You cannot miss having desserts (served on nostalgic plastic red rooster plate), especially the Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake ($6.50). While the portion is a little small for the price, this slice of heaven is divine and is something you’d want to eat over and over because it’s neither too sweet nor salty. The texture is light and melts in the mouth like dream. Its buttery short crust pastry is excellent too. Trust me, you won’t want to share it. And you shouldn’t.
This is the first time I’ve encountered Black Velvet Cake ($7) so had to try it despite my exploding belly. It’s essentially the same as Red Velvet, but black, rather than red. Nothing exceptional, just a decent slice of moist sponge, jazzed up with cream cheese and chocolate crunch.

Other cakes available are Chocolate Banana, Blueberry almond cheesecake, Chocolate marble cheesecake, New York cheesecake, Carrot cake and Chocolate Brownies. Cupcake options include Oreo, Nutella, Lychee, Red Velvet, Valrhona Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel.

We washed down all the food with Iced Lemon Tea, Iced Honey Lemon ($4.50) and Iced Chocolate ($6.50). The lattermost was too diluted for my liking.

Overall, we felt that The Dispensary’s offerings average, nothing spectacular, save for the Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake. The benches are metal chairs are not the most comfortable, hence we left immediately after finishing our food. On the plus side, The Dispensary does not have GST nor service charges.
Supplementary Information:
Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Fries, Clam Chowder
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 22, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $26(Lunch)

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

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