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madamechewy
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Cream of avocado...yummsss! Smile Sep 24, 2014   
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Categories : Hotel

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/09/18/forest-%E6%A3%AE/

Restaurant week is just around the corner, I’m sure most of you foodies are just as excited as I am. From 25th Oct to 22nd Nov, top restaurants shall offer 3 course lunches and dinners at $25++ and $35++ respectively. For some restaurants, an additional charge of $15++ for lunch and $20++ for dinner is applicable. For American Express card holders, priority booking begins on 22nd Sept while booking for the public starts from 27th Sept.
During Restaurant Week earlier this year, Hubby and I visited Forest 森, and opened by local celebrity chef Sam Leong. Every aspect, from the ambiance, service and food, were excellent.

After some manoeuvring in RWS massive car park, we finally arrived at Equarius Hotel. The tranquil lobby fitted with a towering screen displaying a running waterfall, sets a calm tone to our afternoon.

Upon stepping into Forest, one cannot miss noticing the ornate “theatre” kitchen. We immediately feel at ease in this restaurant; absolutely loved dining under a forest canopy inspired ceiling, amongst lush greenery with an abundance of natural light streaming in. We felt in touch with nature, sans the sweltering Singapore heat and creepy crawlies.

The dishes at Forest blossom with Asian flavours, each one skillfully executed. Our amuse bouche was a tangy cherry tomato, plum and osmanthus sauce teaser which whet our appetites for more to come.
Duo Magnificent features huge, fresh prawns, prepared in 2 different ways. The burn in the Wasabi Mayo Prawn was just right, preserving the sweetness of the succulent fried prawn under the crisps golden coat. The Butter Lemon Prawn didn’t achieve full marks unlike its Wasabi Mayo counterpart. While its flavor is more unique compared to the wasabi mayo, the lemon so overwhelming that we could not detect any hints of butter.

With meat so well marinated I could taste the flavour right in the middle, the slow-cooked Pork Rib drenched in Sweet Vinegar sauce was divine! Adding contrasting texture to the fork-tender meat were crunchy rice pops glittered atop.

Braised Rice Vermicelli with sliced fish and preserved vegetables fared well too. Arresting our senses was the prominent ‘wok-hei’ flavour. We added in some chilli padi for mild heat and savoured each strand with delight.

Although the 3-course set lunch ($40++) didn’t include a dessert, it was still great value. As I was famished that day, we picked another 2 items from the ala carte menu.
The star of the XO Vietnamese Rolls ($18) was undoubtedly the XO sauce. Our taste buds reveled in the abundance of flavor from robust sauce. Perch prettily atop were small slices of lobster, which were so paltry that they failed to provide bite amongst the vegetables.

To end off on a sweet note, we had chilled Cream of Avocado ($13)- a play of textures consisting of silky smooth soya bean curd pudding, walnuts, sago and red beans. I could have seconds of this elegant and healthy dessert without feeling any guilt!

 
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Date of Visit: Mar 15, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $66(Lunch)

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

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Afternoon Tea OK Sep 01, 2014   
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Categories : Spanish | Bars/Lounges | Hotel

Tea-time continues to refresh and entertain. It’s comforting to know that in such a frantic, fast-paced city, everything can still stop for tea. This time, we dropped by Fairmont’s glitzy Antilolote Lounge anticipating a splendid afternoon of petite treats and tête-à-tête.

The savories and desserts were generally decent. What was most unforgiving was the indifferent service. There was about 8 staff on duty and only 2 tables occupied, but none of them bothered to clear our plates after the first course. Moreover, it took ages to catch someone’s attention for the bill. Overall, we did not have a pleasant experience at Antilolote.
3 sets are available on the menu; all are the same except for the first course. Choose from black truffle scrambled eggs, assorted dim sum or salmon blinis with caviar. Each set is priced at $38++ and is inclusive of one pot of TWG tea (non-refillable). If the tea that catches your eye is worth more than $12.50, a top up of the difference is required.
From the list of close to 40 teas, we ordered a fragrant Genmaicha (Japanese green tea blended with roasted and popped rice) and ethereal White House Tea (white tea blended with fruits and roses).

The Antilolote tea set features a single scrambled egg, glittered with black truffle, made completed with crisps buttery toast sticks. The lusciously creamy egg had a distinct woody aroma which lingered. Impossible not to love!

The Oriental tea set comes with a traditional wooden basket of Scallop Siew Mai, Shrimp Har Gau, Chive dumpling which my dining companion thoroughly enjoyed.

The rest of the food arrived uniquely presented in a classy white leather jewelry drawer chest. Each drawer is packed with dainty treats. My dining companion avoids alcohol so the chef swapped the alcoholic desserts for handmade chocolate truffles

The savory drawer features 5 different varieties of sandwiches-
Prosciutto, onion jam and aged cheddar
Cucumber and dill salad, cream cheese (rye bread spoilt it for me)
Coronation curried chicken
Boston Lobster rolls with herb mayonnaise
Smoked Salmon with caviar and crème fraiche

The most outstanding was the Boston Lobster Roll, featuring chucks of fresh lobster meat hubbed by a pillowy soft bun. Every mouthful was a delight!

Fluffy, light and crusty candied ginger and raisin scones were pretty good too; I particularly enjoyed the former with the homemade strawberry jam, Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd. The Lemon Basil Pound cake and cookies didn’t quite make an impression though.

As for desserts, we had…
An enticing Rum Baba, which was superbly moist and gratifying. It’s presentation was engaging as well, as one would have to squeeze the plastic pipette to dispense the rum.
Decadent Karukera chocolate mirror tart
Strawberry gateau, raspberry, lychee pearl
Apple delight with almond crumble
Macarons
Handmade truffles
Chocolate-dipped strawberries. The fresh strawberries grant a sweet-zesty left and offer a tongue-tingling contrast to the rich chocolate.

If you have little ones, they can join in the fun too. Antilolote serves Children’s Tea at $15++

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/09/01/antidote-afternoon-tea/
 
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Date of Visit: Aug 26, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $45(Tea)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 1  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Some misses, but overall good Smile Aug 30, 2014   
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Categories : French | European | Bakery | Restaurant | Desserts and Cakes

I have been meaning to try French inspired Becasse for the longest time. Last weekend, we spent a leisurely afternoon at its first outlet at Ion, a bakery as well as a full-service restaurant.
Since Becasse was brought in by the folks behind Jones the Grocer, I had high expectations. Glad to report that I wasn’t disappointed! Overall, brunch at Becasse is decent, with more hits than misses. Brownie point for the reasonable prices!
Generally vibes are good-I love the stylish setting. Service is great as well. The manager took time to approach every table to check if everything was ok.
Croque Madame ($16) arrived with a bubbling mini casserole dish of truffle eggs. Sandwiched between the golden crusted pillow-y brioche are savory slices of smoked leg ham and Gruyere cheese. Soft flowy eggs are what we always need on the weekends! What’s best is the prominent truffle flavor. Dip a piece of sandwich into the eggs and savor the lovely combination of flavors. Do try to finish the eggs quickly, because it will be further cooked by the hot casserole dish and solidify.
Hubby was rendezvous and wanted something more filling. Becasse’s Entrecote with frites ($24) was hearty and satisfying. Choose from Horseradish and Dijon butter, creamy mushroom sauce, black pepper sauce or Becasse secret sauce to accompany the moist, tender 300g Scotch steak. Fries were a tad too dry though.
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart ($4.90) was delectable and very value for money. Because the salted caramel (black flakes) is concentrated in the centre, I recommended a little stirring with a fork before tucking in.
If you like your lemon desserts face-scrunching sour, skip Becasse’s Lemon Curd Tart ($4.90). The lemon curd was too sweet and lacked that refreshing sourish punch. Tart base was not as buttery or crumbly as I’d preferred, leaning more towards doughy texture.

For pictures and full review. pls visit
http://madamechewy.com/2014/08/30/becasse/
 
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Date of Visit: Aug 23, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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Try the pies, skip the savories Smile Aug 21, 2014   
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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes

Windowsill in the Woods, more commonly known as Windowsill Pies is a suitably casual and cherry place to spend a lazy afternoon catching up with friends or with a lovely book. Upon pushing open the wooden door, you’ll be greeted by an vibrant display of eye-catching pies. They specialize in artisanal pies; all the pies are sweet but I’m not complaining!

The setting of the cafe reminds me of something you’d find a page of a children’s story book. Lively vibes with lots of chatter and friendly staff chirping away at the counter. Its self-service here-order at the counter and collect your mains from the kitchen booth when your buzzer beeps. There’s no GST or service charge.

Savory menu changes fortnightly. Selection is limited and we were quite disappointed with our choices. Texture of my Roast Beef Yorkshire Pudding($14) was too tough, because the meat was overcooked. Lightly seasoned, I could taste the natural flavor of the beef, which went well with the caramelized onions and Yorkshire pudding. However the corn chips were so bland, I was struggling to finish them (I don’t like to waste food).
M’s Handmade Burger ($18) fared better. Seasoning was spot on, but there were some dry areas within the beef patty. Chips were boring and we felt that $18 was too pricy for such a small serving.
W was starving and needed her dose of carbs. She went for Baby Octopus and Chicken Heart Pasta ($14), which was tossed in a spicy tomato base.
Using the Entertainment coupon, we enjoyed a one for one set of pie and pot of tea. We took some time to settle for 3 pies (oh choices, choices). The Gryphon Moscato Blanc (grape) an Aloe Vera Rooibos ($6 each) complemented the sweet pies well.

For adults only, the Banana Almond Brittle ($7) is a symphony of cognac cream, airy banana mousse on a almond brittle base. Salted caramel and crunchy nuts and another dimension in flavor and texture. Although I am not a fan of banana, I was quite fond of this particular pie.
Designed to represent a field, White Chocolate Truffle Pie ($8) was quite a complex explosion of flavors. A tango of sweet white chocolate and woody truffle, graced by a layer of cookie crumble and meringue (which represented soil and a mushroom respectively). Personally, the raisins and candied thyme kinda spoilt it for me. Upon biting into each raisin, the truffle flavour was overwhelmed and the candied thyme was just weird. Too many things going on at the same time IMHO.

Awake your senses with face-scrunching tartness of the Strawberry Lemon Pie ($7), completed with soft torched meringue. Tangy and refreshing, it’s a perfect perk-me-up in Singapore’s sweltering heat.

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/08/20/windowsill-pies/
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 14, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $27(Lunch)

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

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Mikuni Degustation Dinner Smile Aug 13, 2014   
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Categories : Japanese | Hotel | Sushi/Sashimi | Japanese BBQ/Teppanyaki | Fine Dining

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/08/13/mikuni-degustation-dinner/

Embark on a gastronomical adventure at Mikuni, an exquisite Japanese restaurant offering an array of set lunches, degustation dinners, plus Teppanyaki, Sushi and Robantayaki live stations, each helmed by a master chef. Dinner at Mikuni is a multi-sensory experience. Every aspect scored; well-executed sensational fresh produce, professional and unpretentious service, as well as the dramatic posh ambiance.

Executive Chef Moon incorporates a touch of modernity into traditional favorites. I’d recommend sampling one of the degustation menus, each carefully thought out by the chefs. Hubby ordered the Mikuni Grand Tasting Tour Course ($220) which has been updated, but I’ll still share it in this post to give you an idea how fantastic it is. Because I’m a fussy eater, I picked from the ala carte menu instead. The first half of this blog post will feature Mikuni Grand Tasting Course, followed by ala carte dishes and desserts.
Once seated, detach yourself from the hectic world outside and get into the mood with a relaxing lavender infused hot towel. Nibble on paper-thin spiced prawn crackers while browsing through the lengthy menu.

Otoushi (appetizer) was presented in a polished fashion. On the left, Kyoto Pumpkin layered atop heavenly smooth Egg custard adorned with Caviar and gold foil. The second item was Kumamoto Oyster and Hokkaido Uni, drizzled with Shiso Ponzu, which cut through the richness of this seafood combination.

Although I don’t know how to appreciate sashimi, I loved the pretty tiered presentation to the max. Remarkably fresh Toro, Hirame with Monk Fish Liver and Yellow tail.

Our first encounter with Nodoguro (Blackthroat seaperch/Akamustu) was a delight. Grilled to perfection, its flesh was tasty, tender and had a good amount of fat. Japanese Yam with Red Miso, chestnuts, sweet potato and Myoga (Japanese ginger) accentuated pristine flavor of the Nodoguro.

Making a statement was the tempura course- wrapped Tenshi Prawn, Hokkaido Uni, Shiso with grilled Salmon roe. Beautiful flavors, extraordinary presentation.

Exuding a grand aroma, the Hoba Miso Yaki Kagoshima Wagyu arrived on a Magnolia leaf, heated with charcoal. When the miso bubbles and thicken, stir the beautifully marbled beef with accompanying mushroom and leek. Our server informed that is best enjoyed with fluffy hot rice which was not included in the set dinner; fortunately I had an ala carte portion ($5). This combination is superb!

A bowl of heart-warming comfort, the cha soba married well with hot bonito broth. Slices of flavorsome slow cook Duck breast complete the dish.

Now, for the ala carte dishes! Every portion is substantial, meant for 2 persons.
A lovely delicate broth of Ariake Clams, the Kyushu Asari Clear Soup ($28) warmed my digestive system for more to come.

From the Robayataki live station, the Alaskan King Crab ($75) will satisfy the most discerning palates. The crustacean was simply seasoned to let its freshness take centre-stage. It’s sweet succulent flesh carried a hint of charcoal flavor and detaches effortlessly from the shell.

Teppanyaki Prawns doused in Golden Sauce ($40) which taste like mayo and egg. Personally, the golden sauce was not quite my cup of tea, simply because I dislike creamy savory food. Despite the bursts of ebiko in between bites, I found the sauce too rich and cloying. Do note that picture features only half a portion. Our server was so kind to make this arrangement because I was being greedy and ordered too much for my own good.
Mushrooms in Garlic butter ($28) were OK. I would’ve preferred more pronounced flavors though.
With complements from Chef Moon, this aesthetically presented morsel was nothing short of amazing. Didn’t quite catch the all the details; I believe its Wagyu smoked with apple wood. Our taste buds revel in the savory juices of the melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu.

Dessert included in the Mikuni Grand Tasting Tour Course was Japanese traditional Anmitsu, Black Bean, Vanilla ice cream and Fruits Espuma. Best enjoyed mixed together.

My Orange Sensation ($28) was more outstanding- a refreshing palate cleanser consisting of orange cream and marmalade, orange black sesame biscuit and blood orange sorbet.

A lineup of Petite fours to complete our tummy bursting meal- white chocolate almond (light grey pebbles), dark chocolate almond (dark grey pebbles), dried orange coated with sugar and chocolate, raspberry cookies, black tea cookies, yuzu citrus marshmallow and sesame seed cookies.

My verdict of Mikuni? Marvelous and not to be missed! Amex Platinum and Far Card members can enjoy 50% off the total bill (2 diners only)
 
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Date of Visit: May 17, 2014 

Celebration:  紀念日 

Spending per head: Approximately $138(Dinner)

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

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