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madamechewy
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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 | 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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Tapas,drinks and Zi Char Smile Jul 14, 2015   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine

For pictures and full review pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/07/14/third-place-medtech/

Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Select Group launches a new dining concept, Third Place @ MedTech, which features eating house, cafe, tapas and Zi Char to gratify both the working crowd and foodies.

In the day, Third Place offers lunch seekers nearby convenience and a variety of dining choices from 12 food stalls serving local and international cuisines. When night approaches, the venue transforms into a Zi Char and tapas bar, complete with service.

The tasting started with signature Tapas and right off the bat Third Place did not disappoint. Beef Me Up ($14) is a definite carnivore’s dream- fork-tender and flavoursome.

Upping the luxe factor is Krab’s Ocean Drink ($18), a seductive Alaskan Crab Leg paired with red wine.

We moved on to Third Place’s Zi Char creations. Offering diners a whole myriad of flavours and textures, the Five Blessing Platter ($80) consists of prawn and salted egg yolk wrapped with fried shredded popiah skin strips, jelly fish with sweet and spicy sauce, fried enoki mushrooms seasoned viciously with salt and pepper, mango prawn roll and papaya salad. Portion is good enough for 10 people to share.

Rollicking in complex gravy, the Nonya-style Steamed Red Grouper (seasonal price), tantalised our taste buds with its assam spices.

Coated with orange sauce, the Prawn Ball with Macadamia Nut in Orange Sauce ($18/$27/$36) leans towards the sweet side. The prawn balls themselves were crunchy and succulent. Whole macadamias were a welcome addition with its nutty goodness.

Clocked with peach sauce, the fried Pork Rib with Honey Peach ($15/$22/$30) was a match made in heaven, delectable and tender.

Limited to 30 servings per day, the Beancurd with Hon-Shimeiji Mushrooms ($12/$18/$24) has textured skin enveloping silky tofu. Prepared in an un-fussed approach, the Stir-fried Assorted Vegetables ($16/$22/$30) is another healthy-tasting dish that will appeal to both adults and children.

Despite feeling quite full already, the arrival of Third Place’s Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab (seasonal price) enticed me into committing a calorie-busting sin. We ravenously dug into the utterly divine creation, where the sauce is definitely the star, enhanced with curry leaves for that extra oomph. The sauce clings onto the shell well, thanks to its spot-on creamy consistency. I can’t detect much cheese but I beleive its the key to perfecting the sauce’s wonderful texture. Lick off or mop up the sauce with the sweet flesh of the crustacean, both ways are equally delightful.

A competently executed rendition of Singapore’s favourite crab dish, Third Place’s Chilli Crab (seasonal price) is impossible not to love!

Select Group collaboration with beverage partners brings forth more savings for consumers. The yummy Alska Ciders we tried are priced at $9 per bottle (can be up to $15 elsewhere).

Third Place is the venue to visit when you just cannot face those over-familiar shopping mall dining options. I can see it being a nice spot to gather with family, friends and colleagues. Westies, do take note of this new eating haunt! I recommened dressing light, as Third Place is an alfresco set-up. Zi Char is available Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 10pm.

Supplementary Information:
Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Salted Egg Yolk Cheese Crab
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jul 02, 2015 

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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Categories : American | Café

For pictures and full reiew, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/06/five-and-dime/
Back again at Five and Dime to try their famous salted egg yolk custard lava cake! This popular brunch spot is not the most accessible; the nearest MRT (Somerset) is 10-15 walk away but that doesn’t stop the crowds from coming. For those who drive, free parking is available at the back.
Five and Dime pride themselves for serving unpretentious, quality food at reasonable prices. The interior is small but stylish. Service is efficient, friendly and cheerful.
We were taken by the enticing aroma of our neighbour’s Calamari ($9) and therefore ordered one too. Crisps batter, springy calamari teamed with tartar sauce, what’s there not to like?
W had two beautifully poached eggs nesting on wagyu beef slices and brioche, accompanied with mesclun greens, spiced breakfast potatoes and a bowl of fruit salad. Five and Dime’s Eggs Benny ($18) was competently executed and gratifying.
Five and Dime is well-known for their Mentaiko Pasta ($18) and this was on almost every table. The slightly soft spaghetti was tossed in creamy mentaiko and topped with more cod fish roe. The umami pasta is a good choice if you want to jumpstart your day with a bit carbo boost, however, if you’re not a fan of fishy aftertaste, this is not for you.
The fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes ($15) adorned with fresh fruits came with butter and maple syrup on the side. Diners can opt for crispy bacon or chicken sausage to complement their pancakes. It’s decent brunch plate that will please most palates.
The highlight of our meal was undoubtedly the rich Golden Custard Lava Cake($12), a unique east meets west creation that sent us to dessert heaven. Presented in a traditional dim sum basket, the chocolate exterior breaks open to reveal a glorious river of golden elixir- salted egg yolk custard.
Ask the server for the flavour of the Crème Brulee ($12) prepared for the day. If its camomile, get it! The crème brulee is burnt enough on the top, and has a nice crunch of burnt sugar. We also thoroughly enjoyed smooth and creamy chilled custard which left a lingering trail of camomile in the mouth.
Lovely brunch plates, captivating desserts and great service; I can see why Five and Dime was full house when we visited. Brunch is served from 10am to 4.20pm on weekends. I recommend making reservations to avoid disappointment. If you wish to try the Golden Custard Lava Cake, do arrive early as servings are limited.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Golden Custard Lava Cake,Camomile Creme Brulee,Mentaiko Pasta
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 25, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $33(Lunch)

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

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Categories : French | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Ice Cream and Gelato

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/03/les-patisseries/
Les Patisseries is a French inspired cafe nestled under a HBD block about 7 minutes walk from Toa Payoh MRT. The premises itself is tiny but cosy. The bakery cafe does not accept reservations so do come early if you’d like to avoid queuing.
The brief menu is written on a chalkboard behind the counter and brunch is available from 8am to 3pm.
Instead of the usual muffin base, Les Patisseries Eggs Benedict ($11.90) is served with freshly backed mini croissants that won our hearts with its buttery flavour and flaky texture. The poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce were decent but it was the amazing croissants that left and indelible impression.
Served on a black tile, the shoestring Garlic Fries ($7.50) were crisps and appealing.
Les Patisseries stand out from the crowd with its unusual waffle flavours, namely Hoffles and Waffle Ispaphan.
Hofffles ($9.90) is essentially Horlicks waffles. A familiar childhood favourite but uncommon flavour in the waffle-sphere, this is a must-try just because it’s so distinctive. Other reasons to check this out-buttery waffle with a crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior.
Taking inspiration from Pierre Hermes creation, Waffle Ispaphan ($12.90) is constructed with rose-flavoured waffles, raspberry sorbet, and pieces of raspberry and lychee. Although intriguingly unique, I was lukewarm towards this. While the waffle had lovely floral flavour and aroma, it’s texture was too limp and soggy.
Ah…salted caramel never fails to brighten my day. Les Patisseries does a meanSalted Caramel Waffle ($9.90) with an excellent balance of sweet and salty, teaming up with warm, crisp and buttery waffle. Definitely one of the better ones around!
Despite the long journey, I was glad I made the trip to try Les Patisseries. Thumbs up for the quality food and desserts, at wallet-friendly prices. You’ll be glad to know there’s no gst nor service charge.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 28, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

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

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