Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Grains - Central Clarke Quay

Appetiser - some oily salty crispy thing...

After reading reviews on Grains on so many blogs, I finally had the opportunity to eat dinner at Grains. I tried the Individual Sampler menu (B) which costs $25 per person, min 2 pax.

Starters was a bbq special which consisted of charsiew, and roasted duck with a sweet plum sauce.

I particularly liked the Chicken and Ginseng Clear Broth in Yunnan Steam-Pot - the pot is quite interesting cos there's a little hole in the middle to let steam pass through. The soup is clear, not salty and filled with all the healthy chinese herbs.

Many restaurants seem to be serving the Spinach Tofu, which is usually braised tofu with green spinach on one side. And after that, there was sauteed fish slices with kailan and garlic - this was quite nice and there was the wok taste - just like a tze char stall.

For carbo, there was the Grains Fried rice - it's no ordinary fried rice cos it's actually a mix of white and brown rice, and there are little bits of meat inside and it's topped with dried wolfberries which gives it an interesting texture - a bit like having raisins but not so sweet.

Dessert was Chilled Herbal Jelly which was bitter >.<>

It seems to be in fashion to charge for water...

Shimofuri Beef - Shima, Goodwood Park Hotel

Merry Christmas everybody! This will be a super long post cos I'm procrastinating ...

For my family's christmas dinner, we went to Shima at Goodwood park hotel. I've tried their buffet teppanyaki lunch (it's very worth it for about $30++) and the salmon and oysters are fantastic.

We tried their special festive set menu, which had lots and lots of dishes - and the highlights were the beef - US Tenderloin ($X), Wagyu ($X+30) and Shimofuri ($X+130).
I'm quite ignorant about the types of beef, so I had to do my research on this one - Shimofuri beef is a grade above Wagyu - for the set menu that we had, it was $80++ more to get shimofuri beef compared to Wagyu. (Wagyu is written as 和牛in Jap! I didn't know that)

Well, after the Black Pig (Kurobuta) from Japan, there's also a black cow. Its also supposed to be the best beef for sukiyaki cos there's lots of fat. It must be quite rare cos I can hardly find info on it from the net.
Of course, having not so discerning tastebuds, we decided to get one US tenderloin and one Wagyu. But thanks to some foul-up with the orders, we ended up having one shimofuri, one wagyu and one US tenderloin! :D So of course I had to make an exception on my 7 year beef ban...

I didn't quite like the Shimofuri beef compared to the Wagyu - Shimofuri was extremely fatty - like kobe beef. I liked the Wagyu more cos there was a nice meaty taste rather than just biting through all fats. Animal fats is one of the topmost causes of colorectal cancer so go easy on all the lard-ish stuff!

The rest of the dishes we had in the set:
Live lobster fried with garlic and butter
And some of the soupy lobster bits cooked in wineMixed vegetables with deep fried salmon skin Garlic fried rice with chicken, onion, bell peppersTempura Prawn Choice of either warm sake, Red or White Wine.Dessert was fresh fruits and Mikan
Since there were 4 of us sharing 2 sets, we also ordered some ala carte dishes:
My faviourite Negiritoro maki ($12)
Crazy expensive sashimi - but very fresh and they included toro/chutoro? I'm not too sure but it's at least a grade above the normal maguro(tuna).
More Tempura prawns :D
Some salt grilled fresh fish
My all time favourite Skewered Grilled Tofu with a sweet black sauce and roasted white sesame seeds - the tofu was soft and smooth inside and the skin outside was slightly browned.

Overall, I must say that the dining experience at Shima was very stressful cos the waitress couldn't recommend us anything, didn't know her dishes, and didn't tell us the dishes after serving even though we told them to - but I was quite glad about the Shimofuri beef being served wrongly :D so i guess it neutralises the bad service...

Christmas season is a time for giving and heart attacks so go easy on the meat and fats from meat!

Seriously, thanks to NUS for the wonderful Christmas gift of having to study for pathology! I can see how they’re helping their future doctors adapt to having night calls on public holidays and festive seasons!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Crystal Jade Korean

There's so many many many types of crystal jade restaurants but my fave one is the Korean one! It's prob cos Chinese food generally isn't on my fave food lists. Despite having so many branches, the service isn't compromised at all (unlike many other well known food chains...) One of the reasons I like Crystal Jade Korean is becuase they always serve you 6 dishes of appetisers whenever you order their main course. And it's FREE FLOW. Super yums! Of course, there is kimchi (which is a must have for every Korean dinner - a bit like green tea to the Japanese), and soyabean sprouts (not those green bean kind we usually get) which are lightly marinaded in sesame sauce. There's also lots of spinach, potato salad (prob not v traditional but its nice). There's also this tofu with some spicy sauce - the tofu is really smooth and silky and it's so soft it will break into pieces when you try to grab it with your chopsticks, so must use spoon). And there's this preserved turnip (i think) which I don't quite like.
It's such a healthy way to start off your meal with...

They have this high class bbq(completely unlike Seoul Garden) and you can even ask them to help you barbeque your food for you if you're too lazy to do it yourself :D This time, I tried the seafood noodle soup ($16) which was one of the only non spicy non beef dishes on the menu.

I was eyeing this Korean Ginseng Chicken (a must to eat whenever you go to Korea) for quite long but it's pretty ex - $25 but it's really yummy and the soup is thick and cloudy and tasty. The soup is really yummy but then refills for soup is $6. The chicken's quite big and can be shared with about 3 to 4 ppl.It's stuffed with glutinous rice and a chestnut - the soup isn't too bitter but there is a hint of ginseng.
I also tried the seafood omelette (which I saw another table eating the last time i came here and wanted to try it this time) which was pretty ex - it's like $15? for the omelette but it's crispy oustide and slightly doughy iside with nice crystal shrimps and other assorted seafood.

This is probably one of my more favourite restaurants in Takashimaya - there's a branch in Centrepoint too.

Crystal Jade Korean also has a 'Da Chang Jin' menu (the Korean cooking show with a Palace Maid) but it's $53 ++++++++ per person and must order a day in advance, and a min of 4 people.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Red White and Pure

Finally got to try red white and pure (don't try this with your friends - go and try this with your parents :D)... nearly went in on 3 occasions before, but the hefty price tag put everyone off... it's like those fine dining restaurants where they serve from the right only and change your water/plates lots and lots of times.For Starters, we tried the tasting plate ($18++ for 4 starters) which had pumpkin soup, ginseng and garlic prawns with lemon puree and saffron marinated oranges in miso caramel sauce. There was an Organic Leafy fresh salad with fennel liquorice and miso vinegarette, as well as a smoked chicken and green mango salad with chilli jam. I quite liked the pumpkin soup cos it wasn't creamy and tasted purely of pumpkin. The smoked chicken and green mango salad was very unique too, but the rocket leaves were bitter and yucky.This is a choice of 3 side dishes ($12++ for a choice of 3 sides). We tried the lingzhi mash, which is mashed potatoes with a hint of lingzhi (i've never tasted lingzhi before but I still don't relly know how it tastes), watermelon sesame and goats cheese salad (very refreshing - it's my fave side) and Ginseng and garlic baby bok choy.
This is my main - seabass and pumpkin tart confit with leeks dill and gingerbread carrots, and sauce gribeche (whatever that is - it's the funny green thing). The seabass was nicely done and tastes like cod. The pumpkin tart was quite yummy but it isn't the flaky kind of tart - more of the slightly custardy kind. Anyways, i quite liked my main course but I thought it was quite pricy at $28 (same as the beef cheek!)

This is the beef cheek (though it's slathered in some brown butter espuma) with jerusalem artichoke, caramelized shallots, and potato.

And of course desserts were the highlight of the meal - we tried the tasting plate of 4 items ($22++, it's $18 for 3 desserts).
The Smoked date and rice tart had a really smoked taste - but where else can you get this? for a normal dessert portion, this costs $10.
Birds nest ice cream and chocolate ganache with mint sauce - I liked the birds nest ice cream cos it wasn't so creamy, and there were bits of bird nest embedded into the ice cream. The chocolate ganache really reminded me of royce chocolate. Yums! This usually costs $15 for a normal portion.
Hashima cream and poached pear was the most unique dessert of all - the texture is reallycool! it's like semidried paint or something
See how the thing will form little peaks after scooping it up! And the poached pears went perfectly with the hashima cream. It's$15 for a normal portion.
Chocolate szechuan delice - had crackly chocolate - the kind that comes in contact with your saliva and goes crackling... This is the dessert on promo now - it's $10 for this dessert plus a hearbal tea (which usually costs $5). It comes with saffron and ginger ice cream. The tart has finely sliced apples and an eggy base.
The Candied Wintermelon Cheesecake comes with a coriander blended shake (I couldn't catch the fancy name). The base of the cheesecake has lots of ltitle morsels of candied winter melon which makes it crunchy. ($10++)Lucky i tried this place today! I now have another good place to go when i'm feeling indulgent (esp for desserts)

Red white and pure pte ltd
#02-141 Vivocity
Tel 68270088

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sukhothai Restaurant

Lunch Set at Sukothai Restaurant in Changi Airport T2.

The set lunch for 2 people ($35++, it's $42 after taxes) include 4 dishes, plain rice and dessert. There is also a set lunch for 4 ppl which has better dishes.Tom Yum Soup which comes with either prawn or chicken. The prawns are nearly as fresh as the 'crystal' prawn and the soup is nice and sour and you can even ask them to put less chilli so it won't be so spicy!Green Curry was a bit too coconutty for my liking and it wasn't really green. There's a choice of either red or green curry with chicken. Stir fried Kailan with garlic - nice like a tze char stall's.
I particularly liked the sweet and sour fish (choice of sweet and sour or spicy and sour fish). The batter was just nicely coated and thick (but not so thick that there isn't much fish left inside) and evenly coated, but not lumpy.

And I forgot to take picture of the red ruby dessert - but it had very thick coconut cream and crunchy waterchestnuts. Alternative to red ruby is the sweet tapioca dessert.

The service, as expected is very good (much better than Fish & Co and Crystal Jade at Changi Airport).

Sukhothai Restaurant

Changi Airport Terminal 2