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madamechewy
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madamechewy  Level 4
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Awesome ambience, delectable food Smile Feb 20, 2014   
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Categories : Singaporean | Hotel | Restaurant

For full rewiew and pictures, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/02/20/clifford/

BFF W and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Clifford and were very impressed with the offerings. I hope I’am able to book Clifford again this year for lunch. Located at the opulent Fullerton Bay Hotel, Clifford will wow you with their lavish ambience, great food and professional hospitality.

Upon stepping into Clifford, I was blown away! It’s evident that no expense was spared with the décor and furnishings- 10 meter high floor to ceiling windows, Ivory French paneling, huge mirrors, herringbone oak floors and plush chairs. The restaurant overlooks the Clifford Pier, offering diners an enchanting waterfront dining experience.

Considering this is a classy place, I was rather surprised that our table was quite small and the space between tables was not as wide as I would have preferred.

While most restaurants serve a selection of 3 courses, Clifford dishes out 4 courses for $55++.
We kicked start the meal with a basket of warm bread, served with tasty duck rillette and smooth butter.

A bowl of piping hot bowl of flavorsome Onion soup with Melted Gruyere Cheese Crouton arrived. I was glad that the serving was small as the filling soup was rich with a generous amount of caramelized onions. I like how the Gruyere Cheese mellowed down the salty soup.

Our next course was a platter of 3 beautifully presented Hors d’oeuvres prepared using high quality ingredients.

Buffalo and Pissaladiere: Marinated Anchovies, creamy Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato Tart sits atop crispy, flaky puff pastry.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio accompanied with grilled porcini, Arugula, and Parmesan lace. Because I don’t eat raw meat, I passed it to W who was pleased with it. The appetizing parmesan lace hid underneath the meat, waiting to give diners a surprise.

Delectable Confit Ocean Trout, which went very well with black olive dust and sour, zesty lemon cucumber crème fraiche.

W’s main course was Roasted beef with Bordelaise glaze, with cepe mushrooms and fragrant truffle fries. The best part of this dish was the fries. I had great difficulty refraining myself from nipping too many of W’s fries.

Nicely Pan Fried Sea bass with a golden crust atop char grilled zucchini; Mint and fresh tomato relish on the side.

Desserts, petit fours and hot beverages came together. We could select from a range of Fullerton Bay Blend coffee or TWG teas. Since I had to work the next day and didn’t want to have any trouble sleeping that night, I chose chamomile tea, which came with cute jar of honey.

I wasn’t too impressed with the dessert, because of the paltry serving. It has everything I adore-Profiterole filled with crème Chantilly, warm dark chocolate sauce and passion fruit puree. 2 small profiteroles certainly didn’t satisfy me

We round off our meal with macarons, meringues and Kueh Lapis. Erm….kueh lapis, French restaurant…we don’t understand what’s the link???

In conclusion, it was a lovely dinner, although I wish the sweets fared better. I hope to revisit sometime soon
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Truffle fries,onion soup
 
Spending per head: Approximately $64(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Western Variety | Hotel | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills | Fine Dining

For pictures and full review, pls visit:

http://madamechewy.com/2014/02/13/jaan-degustation-lunch/

Located on the 70th floor of Swissotel’s Equinox Complex, Jaan boasts spectacular views of Singapore’s skyline. Book EARLY to avoid disappointment, as this intimate artisanal French restaurant only has 40 seats. That doesn’t mean you have to cramp, no worries. There is lots of space between tables, giving adequate privacy. Excellent place for romantic meals!

Décor is minimalist and neat, with muted colors and crisp white table linens. Suspended from the ceiling, a free-form chandelier made from Murano crystal and silver spans the entire length of the restaurant.

Jaan’s kitchen is helmed by young (early 30s) and talented Julien Royer, who previously was chef de cuisine of Brassier les Saveurs at St Regis Singapore. He was born into a family of farmers and now displays his passion for seasonal ingredients in their pure and organic state on Jaan’s plates

Service staff are knowledgeable and courteous, yet keeping a distance to let Hubby and myself have personal space. I took some time to take pictures of the food and the manager kept encouraging me to eat some dishes quickly because they won’t taste as good when cold. Explanation of the food was rather quick; you have to listen very attentively.

The food was nothing short of amazing, indeed the epitome of French fine dining. Hubby and I were extremely pleased and look forward to our upcoming dinner in May. This blog post covers both the 3 course (amuse bouche, starter, mains, dessert, hot beverage and chocolates) and 5 course (amuse bouche, 2 starters, 2 mains, pre-dessert, dessert, Mignardises, hot beverage) set lunch, priced at $68++ and $118++ respectively. On both visits, we were lucky enough to get seats by the window.

I highly recommend going for the 5 course set lunch, as the former is not filling. Now, prepare yourself for a theatrical journey of mouth-watering food!

Amuse bouche at Jaan is very, very generous. I was very amused indeed. Most places serve only 1 item, but at Jaan, 5 items are dished out.

There’s Smoked Eel topped with Teriyaki Jelly, to-die-for Crispy Baked Chicken Skin baked to cracker-like crispiness, Fried Potato Cantal Cheese Ball (I forgot to take a close up of this)….

….Paper-thin Buckwheat chips with home-made Chef Julien’s Hummus…..

…and finally Wild Mushroom Tea poured from a presser, into a glass cup with walnuts and grilled Portobello mushrooms. Fragrant and full of earthy flavor, this warm cup of mushroom soup warms up the digestive system for more to come.

Scottish Salmon Tartar with Horseradish, Pickled kohlrabi (turnip cabbage), Aquitaine Caviar. Tartar is an acquired taste, Hubby loved it but it’s not my cup of tea, so I requested for something else.

The Aquitaine caviar is quite the star. It’s imported from France and originated from a Siberian sturgeon species; the salty aftertaste lasted for quite some time.

Because I dislike Tartar, the waiter offered to swap it for Foie gras, which I don’t like either. Finally I settled for Jaan’s Garden, which was beautifully plated with an artistic flair. Flavor-wise, it was mild and natural.

While the waiter was approaching our table with the bread basket, in my heart I was going “ah…decisions, decisions”. He told us we can have as many as we like. Wee! The truffle brioche was bursting with flavor while I can’t help myself from having multiple mini baguettes, simply because it went so well with the Bordier butter and salt. Bordier butter has a nutty aroma, fresh milky taste and is amazingly smooth.

I love dramatic entrances. Jaan’s signature 55’ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg arrived with much finesse, and a strong scent of rosemary. Organic eggs are cooked for 55 minutes at 64 degrees; the result is runny, silky texture with creamy translucence. A single egg is gently tipped into a glass bowl with smoked rattes, autumn mushrooms, chorizo iberico and buckwheat. Awesome!

The mains were nice, but didn’t impress us as much compared to the amuse bouche and starters. Portions are rather small which is why I don’t recommend the 3 course set lunch, where you can only choose 1 main. For the 5 course set lunch, you get 2 main courses.

Line caught John Dory, Romaneso textures, Coquillages (lobster and mussels), crayfish bisque. John Dory is considered a delicacy, with delicate white flesh and a firm, flaky texture. However it was not the fish that caught my attention, but a peculiar vegetable- the Romanesco. It’s bright green, tastes somewhat like cauliflower, but more nutty and with fractured texture. Interesting!

Beautifully tender and aromatic Venison Saddle drizzled with Grand Veneur, blood orange, celeriac.

Pre-dessert sorbet cleanser (5 course set lunch only)

Choconuts 4th consists of Tonka bean ice cream, sticky chewy carambar, Tanariva chocolate shards and gianduja. Conservative (you can’t go wrong with chocolate and nuts) and not all that exciting, save for the crackly pops in the chocolate bits.

Hot beverages and chocolates which are included in the 3 course set lunch.

Spectacular Mignardises rounds off the 5 course degustation lunch. This is the most impressive Petit fours I’ve encountered! Marshmallow, chocolate-coated nuts, lime mint sorbet sticks and rosemary infused ice cream lollipop- good sweets are instant gratification!

Although pricy, Jaan is certainly worthy of a special occasion dining!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  55' smoked rosemary organic egg,Mignardises,amuse bouche set
 
Spending per head: Approximately $138(Lunch)

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

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Pricy, but not bad! OK Jan 17, 2014   
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Categories : Fusion | Bars/Lounges | Restaurant

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/01/17/platters-wine-and-bistro-bar/

At Platters, the owners believe the spirit of sharing makes meals more enjoyable. Food are served on wooden platters; diners can choose half or full boards. There are already quite a number of restaurants with communal dining concept, so in this aspect, Platters is not THAT unique. So what sets Platters apart?

Unlike their competitors, the menu changes every 3-4 months. For every season, a different chef will design and create new platters, which reflect their style. For season 6, Chef Jeremy Nguee, chef-owner or Preparazzi, presents modern Singaporean cuisine, in an indulgent fashion.
Attention wine-lovers! Huge selection here!

Both the ambiance and service here are great smile. If you are unsure how much to order, fret not! Staff are experienced in assisting you to order just the right quantity.

Thunder Thighs and Crackpot Rice aka The Siao Seafood Starter (Half board $38, Full board $68). Picture features half-board serving. Forget about dieting! Feast on French frog legs and soft shell crabs adorned with Tobiko and hollandaise. Carb lovers will love the savory Crab Roe Rice, which we felt was the star of this platter.

Satisfy your inner carnivore with The Maniac Meat Main Course aka Never Die Before (half board $48, Full board $88). There’s lot going on in this dish; intriguing flavors with many different textures. Picture features half-board serving

Tender and chewy Grilled Angus Sirloin lies on a bed of charcoal crumbs, while Truffle Roast Spring Chicken sits atop tasty fat potatoes. Chicken was a wee bit dry and we struggled to detect truffle flavor, which was overwhelmed by rosemary herbs. We were told to enjoy the chicken with nutty Buah Keluak Butter. Superb combination, I must say!
The homemade Foie Gras Terrine added a touch of luxe and went well with the sweet Grape Jelly while fried lotus roots added a delightful, crispy crunch.

We rounded off the meal with pure decadence.

Coffee Caramel Delight aka Fat Die You #1 ($16) consisted of Caramel Fondant, Coffee Jelly, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chili Chocolate Crumble and Peanut Brittle. While the presentation was beautiful, the dessert wasn’t stellar. It was not in line with what we expected. We looked forward to warm caramel oozing out from the caramel fondant, but Chef Jeremy’s version consisted of a pudding-like core.

A satisfying lunch, but we agreed that prices are on the steep side. Bill came up to $120 for 3 of us, and that’s just for food only. Chef Jeremy’s menu will be available till Feb 2014.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Thunder Thighs and Crackpot Rice
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 2

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Peaceful Afternoon Tea Smile Jan 13, 2014   
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Categories : European | Fusion | Hotel | Steaks and Grills

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2014/01/12/halia-afternoon-tea/

Looking for a convenient place to savor a quiet afternoon tea amongst nature? Feeling overwhelmed by the scale and speed of city life? Halia located at the iconic Raffles Hotel is the perfect choice. Nibble on sweet and savory morsels, sip on fragrant Gryphon Tea while enjoying company of friends or a book in this classy establishment.

While I would have loved to visit Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens, my schedule was too packed for me to travel so far. Hence the next appropriate choice was the centrally located branch at Raffles Hotel. Cuisine served here is contemporary European fare with Asian touches, but we didn’t get to sample any as we came just for the afternoon tea service.
Upon entering the restaurant, a large tree right in the middle of a wooden carved table wowed me. Décor screams colonial charm while huge window panes allowed plenty of natural light through. Cheerful vibes, friendly service and good food, what more can I ask for? Afternoon tea here is like a garden party, minus the humidity and heat (air-conditioned), glaring sun on the skin and bugs!

Afternoon tea service is available on weekends and public holidays from 3-5.30pm. It comes as a fixed, non-refillable set, priced at $38 per person per set, which includes a drink. Because K and I weren’t hungry and had dinner appointments in the evening, we ordered one set to share but topped up an additional pot of tea.

Beverage selection is extensive; choose from signature Halia infusion, coffee, black teas, green teas or herbal and fruit infusions. We had Peach Nectar Rooibosh and Turkish Apple. The additional pot of tea was $8 extra.

There were some hits and misses with the food, but they were generally satisfactory. Good mix of sweet and savory treats too, I must add. Some savories had a touch of luxe, notably the Foie Gras mousse, with rosemary, flaky pastry and red onion jam. Sweet offerings were common; I felt that more thought was put into the savories, which incorporated unique ingredients.

Top Tier:
-Irish smoked salmon, blini, crème fraiche, caviar. Loved how the tangy and nutty flavors of the crème frachie toned down the smoked salmon’s fishy taste.
-Grilled Halloumi, smoked avocado, cherry tomato
-Blue cheese, apricot chutney pickled celery, honey walnut
-Foie Gras mousse, rosemary, flaky puff pastry, red onion jam. Absolutely gorgeous buttery and flaky pastry.
-Savory mini muffin was too dry
-Chicken finger sandwich
-Freshly baked scone

Bottom Tier:
-Jam and clotted cream
-Flourless orange cake with chocolate ganache
-Macarons
-Apple rhubarb crumble which was way too sour
-Lemon meringue tart with chocolate
-Lemon sponge cake

We had a pleasant afternoon tea experience, plus the peaceful and quiet ambiance is perfect for long conversations. Hope to check out Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens soon
 
Recommended Dish(es):  foie gra mousse,Irish smoked salmon blini
 
Spending per head: Approximately $44(Tea)

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

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Tom Yum Soup fail! OK Dec 30, 2013   
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Categories : Thai | Restaurant

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2013/12/28/thai-accent/

Mom was in town and since she loved Thai Cuisine, Hubby treated us to Thai Accent. I too love Thai fare because of the strong aromatic components, complex flavors and spiciness.

Thai Accent is quiet and comfortable, with window seating overlooking the waterfront and Sentosa Island. It was a week night and the restaurant was fairly empty. Service was attentive without being intrusive.

The menu is relatively idiot-proof, in plain English without confusing Thai names. Prices are on the high side.

Mango salad with dried shrimp ($9.90) was ok, nothing remarkable.

I was disappointed with the Tom Yam Seafood in Fire Pot ($23.90). Although the seafood was fresh and the serving generous, it sorely lacked the characteristic spiciness that Tom Yam soup should possess. Something must have gone wrong that day because I had the same soup on 2 other occasions and it was nothing like this.

Pad Thai Fried Noodles with Prawns ($13.90) was competently executed, with a decent amount of peanut toppings on the side. Absolutely satisfying!

Stirred fried minced pork with hot basil leaf ($15.90)-let your tongues revel in this spicy and flavorful dish!

Stirred fried Kway Teow with Pork Ribs ($13.90) was not bad. Beautifully marinated, tender ribs and smooth kway teow with a smoky flavor; mix in the chilli flakes and nuts for an extra kick. What more can I ask for?

We ended our dinner with a very average Pandan Leaf Chicken ($14.90)
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pad Thai Fried Noodles with Prawns, Stirred fried Kway Teow with Pork Ribs
 
Spending per head: Approximately $34(Dinner)

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

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