Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bean Curd Tarts - Le Confectionery and Pastry

Haiz, I'm very sad - it's my holidays and I can't play mj online on viwawa! There's something wrong with my flash player or something :/ I suppose I won't be able to rot infront of my comp this whole holiday :( and haiz again, cos I find it insanely hard to update during holidays - so much funner things to do (blogging is always funner than studying). Anyway, here's a quite outdated post from before my exams...While I was stuck at home mugging, my brother and mum stumbled upon this very crowded bakery along Middle Road. (I hardly go there cos the parking's crazy and there's ERP). I suppose they're only opened during lunch time, cos I've never seen it before, probably because I only go to that area at night for beancurd.

These are soyabean tarts, which are the soyabean equivalent of egg tarts. Unlike the traditional egg tarts, these tarts are filled with a delicious, smooth and silky soyabean filling. The soyabean taste is very strong, and the tarts aren't as sweet as normal egg tarts.
Ginko nut and white fungus tart - packed with soft and chewy ginko nut halves and crunchy white fungus bits. This is my fave tart. It's really yummy when served chilled, and the tarts are nice and big - so that means you'll be satisfied with one :)
Herbal jelly (or is it chin chow? I think herbal jelly, but I'm not too sure cos I'm not a big fan of herbal jelly).
I'll strongly recommend you to try their 'Mixed' Tarts, which include 2 ginko nut and white fungus tarts, 2 herbal jelly tarts, and 4 plain tarts. ($9). A box of 8 Plain tarts costs $8.

I really like the tart crust. It's not the puffpastry kind, but more of the pie/crumbly/biscuity kind, which I prefer.

Since I like soyabean, and the tart crust:

Le Cafe Confectionery and Pastry
264 Middle Road
Singapore 18890
Tel: 63372417

Ice Cream Chefs - Some things are better in the East...

I'm surrounded by above average ice cream cafes - such as Island Cremery, Haato (Ridgewood), Frolick, Cold Rock etc, but of course, the grass is greener (or the ice cream is cooler) over the other end of Singapore.

My trekking across half of Singapore for my ice cream fix - heck the rising petrol costs for Horlicks with Kinderbueno, my current No.1 favourite ice cream flavour. Cold rock is incomparable - probably because Ice Cream Chefs have adapted more to the local taste buds. Whoever invented Kinder Bueno is a genius - it's one of my fave chocolate snacks around, though I don't take it often.

Thanks to my less than spectacular photo taking and scooping skills, it looks like a mess of gooey half melted ice cream. The Horlicks ice cream is rather sweet, but bursting with the full flavour of hohohohorlicks. It tastes better fresh than when it's fully frozen, cos the kinder bueno hazel nut sauce is more distinct, and the outer layer of chocolate becomes hardened and sticks to your teeth.
I adopted two homeless pints - to make my trip worth it - Kaya Ice Cream with caramelised biscuits mixed in, and of course, Horlicks Ice Cream with Kinder Bueno.The Kaya Ice Cream tastes rather coconutty, with the subtle aftertaste of kaya. I would probably like it more if the kaya taste was stronger. On recommendation by the server, I had the Caramelised biscuits mixed in. I still prefer Horlicks and Kinderbueno, simply because I like horlicks and kinder bueno.

No kinder bueno will ever taste the same... Looks like i'll be stuck with buying more Horlicks Kinderbueno from Ice Crem chefs... Ice Cream Chefs
520 East Coast Road
#01-06 Ocean Park
Tel: 6446 6355

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bistro 103

I'm so happy that my holidays are finally here :D Real holidays for 3 weeks - the last proper one we had was last yr :S I look forward to

About a week ago, I tried Bistro 103, which is located at 103 Pasir Panjang Road. It's quite a short distance from the other end of South Buona Vista Road (great for the 1.5hr lunches cheooooooong!) It's a homely little restaurant run by this couple. Prices quoted are nett - no service charge or gst here and their prices are really reasonable for the food you're getting.
Salt and pepper squid - breaded squid balls which came with a special chilli mayonnaise. The chilli mayonnaise was really yummy, as was the bread part of the breaded squid balls - I really like the cubed kind of bread for deepfried breaded stuff :D I can't remember how much this costs (seems to be happenning alot) but it's probably about $6.
This is the pasta that my 2 food-hunting-food-loving friends were raving about - the Crabmeat Pasta with Salmon. It comes in 3 different kinds of sauces - Tomato, Cream and Red Pesto, but the Red Pesto was sold out that day. So my second choice was Tomato. For $15.20, you'll get a huge plate of pasta with chunky tomato crabmeat sauce, and a piece of panfried salmon. The sauce is not too salty, but I found it a little too sweet for my liking. However, I really liked the huge bits of tomatoes, celery, onions etc inside the sauce. I found the panfried salmon suprisingly tender and it went very well with the tomato sauce.
Of course, using the excuse of having to review more dishes, I pinched some of the cream sauce too - the goodness of having a blog (^u^) The cream is not the rich pure cream kind - instead, it's consistency seems somewhat closer to bechamel sauce. It makes the dish easier to stomach, and you won't feel too bloated or full from the heaviness of the cream. The taste of the sauce is also enhanced by the fried garlic bits.
This is the BBQ pork ribs($24) which smelt really lovely. The moment it arrived at our table, the delicious aroma of BBQ sauce mixed with chargrilled ribs warfted around and got all of our appetites up.

The ribs are meaty and full (none of those scrawny runty looking ones) and the meat is firm and juicy. It doesn't fall off the bone as easily like Cafe Cartel's (which I think it slightly too soggy), but has just the right firmness for ribs. Think Bak Ku Teh kind of ribs. Of course, the marinade is really good for a savoury, smoky bbq taste. Overall, other than the too-sweet Tomato Sauce for my Spaghetti, I thought that Bistro 103 was really value for money. I would like to return to try the Red Pesto sauce, which sounds so interesting, especially since it sold out during lunch! I think that they're slightly under-staffed- it's just 4 staff (including the cook) for the whole restaurant, and I think they're not prepared for the crowd that they're getting.

Michellelim star rating:

Bistro 103
103 Pasir Panjang Road
Tel: 6476 6373

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nakasei Sushi Restaurant

Nakasei will probably be one of the most ex Japanese restaurants I've been to. Other than the Goodwood park Christmas experience with their very ultra bad service, and buffets like Ikoi and Minoru, I usually get my Japanese fix from Akashi, Sushi Tei and Ichiban Boshi. Sashimi usually comes from Iseatan supermarket. Anyway, this is a small restaurant located inside Holiday Inn (near Cuppage) and the menu has so much Japanese. Even their English menu has lots of Japanese words. According to our server, the restaurant is famous for it's sushi and sashimi. They also have some seasonal specials for the month of May. We were ushered into a private room which could seat 4.
Starter was deep fried tako (octopus) and some fish, and raw chopped tako mixed with wasabi. Tako has an interesting text
Sashimi - Comes in 2 sizes, matsu or take. I can't rem which one is bigger but it's either $40 or $60. From what I can remember with my puny brain, there's a prawn, chutoro, katsuo no tataki, saba and I can't remember the last fish.
Personally, I can't appreciate most sashimi which costs >$50. My tastebuds can't attain such a high caliber. Especially thinking about the bill later.They will deep fry the prawn head for you if you don't want to eat it raw.
My starter, white asparagus ($25++) with a special sauce which was slightly tangy, and with hints of sesame paste. This is my sushi platter ($40++) and it's currently the most expensive sushi platter I've ever eaten. If you get the premium plate, you'll get uni and otoro as well as Negiri Toro Maki.
Chirashi Don ($50++) which I thought was very yummy. It's nearly the same stuff as my sushi set but it has scallops and more rice. There's some sweet pickled vegetables on the rice too. Of course, the sashimi was fresh, of a good cut - not that I'll be expecting anything less for the price. Both the sets came with miso soup.

Cha soba ($18++). Hmm actually I don't know why cha soba is so ex outside - is it because they use a better quality noodles, or are you just paying a premium for it? The real grated wasabi - taste is milder than the powder kind and doesn't shoot up your nose.
Dessert was lychee sorbet which was included in the extra $10 they charged per person (for starter and dessert anbd maybe green tea). If you don't think too much about the heart stopping prices (I couldn't) and just concentrated on the food I'll give it 4/5. But price wise, I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon - not in the near, middle or distant future. Nakasei Sushi Restaurant
11 Cavenagh Road #01-13/16
Holiday Inn Park View
Singapore 229616
Writing this post, I just remembered Ichigo which I really liked! I shall go there soon :D

Culina - Demsey

We (meaning my brother and I) wanted to go to Culina on Thurs, but then it was 1.55pm and they needed the table back at 2.30pm. So that's why we went to Da Paolo.
So on Friday, we decided to try for Culina again. Culina is actually a gourmet supermarket (they have a branch at Bukit Timah, near Coronation Plaza, but that one doesn't serve food) and the one at Dempsy serves food. I tried the Linguine with Bug and Tomato Concasse. Actually, the name (the bug part) was so intriguing that I couldn't not try it. Of course, before ordering, I got the very helpful waiter to explain what it was. Bug is supposed to be a organism with a Lobster body and a crayfish head. But it looks just like a crayfish to me. Nevermind, just as long as it tasted good (I found it a bit soggy but no complaining cos it's quite a good portion of 3 little bugs).
The noodles are tossed in the delicious crusterean gravy. The tomatoes are juicy and sweet - with none of the usual tartness present.

The Enoteca Set Lunch (available Mon-Fri 12 to 3pm, $30++)
Choice of a starter from either Duck Mousse with morsels or Smoked Eel Salad.
The Duck Mousse with Morsels was a delightful smooth little scoop of duck blended so well, and there's apparently truffles inside. But I couldn't taste any truffle. Maybe it's a truffle which doesn't have much taste??
Mains: Choice of either grilled wagyu rump with mushroom sauce and seasonal vegetables or Flathead Fillet with Seasonal Vegetables and White Wine Sauce. Of course, no beef-eater can give up the Wagyu rump - even I picked a little piece to try. The mushroom sauce is fantastic, complementing the delicious beefy flavour of the Wagyu.Look at all these exotic grilled vegetables - the yellow UFO like squash thing, and some funny cucumber-like thing.Cherry Parfait - with cherry sauce. Lots of cochinal beetles died for this... (a little interesting fact that I learnt for bio). The cherry parfait tasted vaguely coconutty to me, but I don't think there's really coconut inside. Nevertheless, the cherry taste in the parfait was good, and the texture ofwhole thing was an in between a mousse and a ice cream. Strange texture.

The other dessert was Chocolate cake, which sounded quite boring (but some places have chocolate cakes to die for - but ignorance is bliss).

Overall, it's a pretty nice place to dine in, but I still prefered Da Paolo's set lunch - price wise and bread wise.
Block 8 Demsy Hill, Demsey Road
Singapore 249679
Tel 64747338

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Da Paolo Il Giardino

Da Paolo's weekdays set lunches are incredibly yummy and affordable. For $22++, you'll be able to get a starter, main (pasta), dessert and coffee/tea. And of course, the bread basket and olive oil.

For $30++, you can also get the fish of the day or the meat of the day. Meat of the day was tenderloin when I visited.
Parma Ham with melon and salad. There were 2 big pieces of parma ham and the melon was very very sweet. Its really easy to make this dish but I've been very lazy and still haven't gotten around to doing it.
Smoked salmon with salad. The serving of salmon was very generous, 2 slices of smoked salmon bigger than my hand dressed in olive oil and black pepper. The smoked salmon wasn't the over salty kind which leaves the throat feeling dry. I actually prefered this starter to the parma ham.My Spaghetti with seafood and tomato sauce - expect nothing less than al dente pasta, delicious fresh morsels of seafood (scallops mussels prawn and squid) in a chunky tomato sauce. Most other places would already charge you about $20 for a plate of spaghetti, but the Da Palo set lunch costs $22++ only. Pretty worth it. This is the meat of the day tenderloin, which was a juicy beef tenderloined seared to perfection. It was still pink and juicy but not too raw and bloody - perfect for a medium rare done-ness.

Chocolate brownie - the dessert was quite dissappointing - if the starters weren't so good I'd probably not recommend this lunch cos the brownies were very simple. Really nothing to shout about. It's a pity that they didn't give a nicer dessert because the starter and main were so good - I had high hopes for the dessert. There isn't any choice for dessert - it's just dessert of the day. Here's the path you'll pass through when you're walking to Da Paolo from the surface. I really like bamboo - next time if I have a garden I'll plant lots of bamboo and make the whole place look Jap! No ponds for me I hate frogs and toads!The place at Cluny is really small so do book esp for dinner.Al Fresco seating - but the weather has been so insanely hot everyone takes refuge inside.
Overall, I'll give Da Paolo il Giardino 3.5 stars for their lunch set - but do note that the $22 mains are all pasta - so don't go there if you dislike pasta. Though it's cheaper than Au Petit Salute, I still prefer APS because the desserts there are really fantastic!
Michellelim Star Rating:

Da Paolo Il Giardino
501 Bukit Timah Rd
#01-05 Cluny Court
Singapore 259760
Tel 64639628