Sunday, November 21, 2010

Otto - My Annual White Truffle Affair

There are days where I eat to live (ie >90% of my time especially since I've started working) and there are the wonderful days I live to eat. I'm so superemely rested and satisfied after having good food for the past 3 days and I'm all prepared to go back to my eating to live days (until my next annual leave, that is...)The pockmarked lump on that weighing scale is the white truffle I had during lunch. Not the whole thing cos its costs >$1K ;)Had lunch at Otto (omg it felt >1 yr since my last meal but I've just checked it was just Jan this year!! Feels so long ago!!) I had the truffle creme brulee the last time and it was sooo good I had to go back this year.
Their delicious restaurant bread - the onion bread is my fave - they also have walnut, cranberry and olive but the onion's the tastiest.
Octopus - not my fave seafood unless it's raw...
Shaving the truffle. Truffle is weighed on the electronic weighing scale. The chef then shaves it over the dish of choice (in my case, it's scrambled eggs with crab meat) and reweighs the truffle after shaving. Had 2 grams of truffle with my dish. 1 gram just isn't enough, 2 is just right, since my budget isn't expandable. 3 would be such a luxury!
Chef reweighing truffle in the background - he's wearing those surgical latex gloves! :)
My scrambled egg with blue swimmer crab ($19++, excluding price of truffle) was creamy, piping hot and smelt so heavenly after the truffle was shaved over it :D Best ever way to eat scrambled eggs...
My Red Wine Pappardelle with Guinea foul ragout and crispy bacon ($28++)
Somehow both times I've been to Otto my dessert and starter was nicer than my mains. I was enticed by the Guinea Foul cos I had previously watched Iron Chef on TV and they had a cookout using Guinea Foul so I wanted to try it for myself. It tastes like chicken. The sauce was tasty, noodles done al dente, and the crispy bacon minced so finely but somehow it didn't taste particularly memorable. Maybe cos it was my only non-truffle dish??
Paccheri with Grouper ragout, Pachino tomatoesAtlantic Cod Tagliata with Porcini mushroom crust and creamed baby spinach with white truffles
If the scrambled eggs with crabmeat and truffle was good, the cod is sublime! It's seriously the best cod I've ever tasted. I'd have thought that the cod was so marvellous on it's own, but paired with the aromatic white truffle, it was even more sublime. If I had the cash, I'd rush down to Otto just to have this dish. The porcini mushroom crust is not crispy, and more like a finely minced layer of tasty mushrooms coating the fish. The fish is buttery and oily, and it's seriously melt in the mouth. Haven't tasted fish like this for uber long! And the sauce is simple, creamy and doesn't interfere with the delicious aroma of the truffles. Ah I think this will probably be the best fish I've tried the whole year...
Their signature creme brulee with berries marinaded in balsamic vinegar.
But for me, their truffle infused creme brulee is the dessert of choice. Otto's creme brulee tastes great already, but when paired with truffle oil, it takes the creme brulee to a whole new playing field. Their creme brulee is excellent - such a pleasure to have creme brulee like this.
I'm superbly satisfied after my annual white truffle meal. Such a joy to eat such great food. Even more so since I've maximised my leave eating my way thru lots of good food. I'm all prepared for suffering for the next 6 months rotting in the east and eating lousy canteen food :D
White truffle season doesn't last forever, and this year, Otto will be serving their white truffle special menu until about mid December. So do go down if you want to get a taste of Chef Michele's delectable cooking.

Otto Ristorante
28 Maxwell Road
#01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building
Tel 62276819
Closed on Sundays

PS Hello to Kok's gf! Ask him to bring you to eat lots of truffles from Otto :P

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boomerang Sticky Date Pudding

I'm so sad that my 2 days of annual leave flew past in the blink of an eye!! I think that getting back to worse is 1000x worse but I shall now slowly blog about my delicious food adventures during leave so that I can look forward to my next annual leave, which will again, be spent eating ;) (since I'm too lazy to plan anything or to crawl anywhere...) I've had a brilliant total of 5 days indulging in all my favourite foods, and sleeping >12h each day :D Though I am very sure that Friday's call will undo all my sleeping... You know how food doesn't taste as good when you're full? I just ate the bento set from Tomo Izakaya, and had 1.5 tacos from Spruce, and had the Sticky Date Pudding from Boomerang to top it all off. And it still tasted amazing. Amazing enough to taste even better than Marmalade Pantry's Sticky Date Pudding. I think it would have been even more amazing if I had been hungry! So this is how freaking good the sticky date pudding from Boomerang was... (Lol I know that I am very gluttony, but I have been eating crappy food and will be eating crappy food for the next 6 months...)
Melt in the mouth texture, if you inhale deeply just before eating, you can smell the butter. And the taste of dates is distinct and not hidden under the sugary goodness.
However, I must say that Marmalade Pantry's Kapiti ice cream beats Boomerang's default vanilla ice cream (a very unmemorable one I must say) hands down. No real vanilla beans in this ice cream! Cost wise, it's same as Marmalade Pantrys at $12 ++ (it's around $14 after all the pluss-es).

I'd say that this definitely beats Marmalade Pantry (but not the ice cream!) but Boomerang is so out of the way, especially since Marmalade Pantry has moved to Ion. (Come to think of it, the last time I had their crabmeat linguine was so long ago! Time to pay them a revisit soon!) But for convenience, since Boomerang is really out of my radar and since there isn't any aircon (which is a essential for me especially with our sweltering hot weather), I'll still be patronizing Marmalade Pantry.

On a side note, I've been to Boomerang for their brunch, but it's not that impressive as their sticky date pudding. I'm still dying to try Pamplemousse for brunch tho!

Boomerang Bistro and Bar
60 Robertson Quay
#01-15 The Quayside

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spruce Taqueria

Part 2 of Day 1 of Annual leave! Pardon the interruption from the Truffle Infused Creme Brulee I was so overjoyed after eating it I had to blog about it stat.
I've positively been dying to try Spruce Taqueria but their office worker unfriendly cos their opening hours are only weekdays 12-3pm. So I used my annual leave day 1 (for this posting) just to try it (and many other yummy foods which I will be blogging about later).

Somewhere around 2pm, we arrived at the much awaited Spruce Taqueria (right on top of the hill, at some obscure corner of phoenix park). Underwhelmingly, it's a little black and white shack with a small shelter infront and some plastic/wooden tables and chairs thrown around. Suprisingly, there was a rather huge group of people there feasting on the tacos already.
We decided to have the set with 2 tacos, corn chips and their salsa, plus a drink ($9). For the set, you can only choose one type of filling for both tacos, so we settled on the pork carnitas. There's other choices of beef tongue, grilled snapper, portobello mushroom etc but pork it was... No regrets about the pork - insanely soft, juicy and with a bit of that porkey smell, its a generous portion (for $3 per taco) of succulent tasty pork topped with guacamole. Though it got a bit soppy and wet after a while when the pork released its juices on to the corn tortilla and onto the plastic plate...

It's purely al fresco seating right next to nature - think having a nice picnic with wooden tables under a large shady tree, with all the ants, houseflies as well as a cacophony of crickets to accompany you and your meal, not to mention patches of birdshit on the tables and chairs... We found ourselves taking refuge in the car - the carpet of decaying leaves and lots of ants under our table was too much to handle. Of course, the tortillas being slightly wet from the juicy pork made it even trickier to eat inside the car...
I really pity the people working hard inside the little shack during midday, when the sun is scorching hot. No air con inside either! But thanks to them, yummy soft corn tacos for a super worth it $3 a pop.

The watermelon with lime drink (it's some fancier name in the menu, but essentially, it's watermelon with lime) is extremely refreshing, and I think it'll taste even better with a dash of vodka... Though I must say it did the perfect job of washing down the spicy salsa dip...

I really cannot figure out why Spruce would want to have this little shack instead of opening up their main restaurant. But it's really yummy so if you're not afraid of the heat, the long trek up the slope (unless you drive) and if you happen to be free from 12-3 on a weekday, do go down to try some tacos. Though if you're a non-nature lover like me you would probably want to drive and have it inside the car...

Spruce Taqueria
320 Tanglin Road

Btw I have 1 more post before I blog about my annual truffle affair at Otto! *satisfied and highly contented sigh*

Truffle creme brûlée

I'm going to die happy had my annual white truffle infused creme brûlée from Otto. Super divine.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomo Izakaya - Clarke Quays' $15nett set Lunches

Having cheap set lunches were the joys in my life but ever since starting work (think weekends PLUS public holidays and 6 calls/month) I've been missing out heaps on the wonders of set lunches. But I have reason to rejoyce cos I'm on annual leave! :D I'm going to maximise my leave by catching up on the hundreds of hours of sleep I've missed and perhaps if I'm feeling not too lardy tmr, I shall go down to borrow Inception dvd :)

Actually I had wanted to eat Pamplemousse for lunch today but Pamplemousse is CLOSED on Mondays! Sadness. Looks like the next time I'll be free to try it will be Sunday Brunch :(
I'm going to share one of my best finds ever - Clarke Quay is still having their $15nett set lunch promos at certain participating outlets - and if you have either DBS or POSB cards, you are entitled to further discount/offers on top of the $15nett set lunches. Spent quite a long time debating between Tomo Izakaya, Fremantle Fish Market as well as Hotstones, but we settled for the Japanese bento box lunch at Tomo Izakaya.
Had the bento boxes Set A and Set B for $15 nett each. Set A is the grilled mackeral and set B is the exact same sides with pumpkin croquette. I'd say to go for the fish instead of the pumpkin, even though the pumpkin croquette is so nicely fried and battered, and the golden pumpkin puree inside is extremely tasty, I somehow don't feel satisfied until I have a piece of meat in my meal (unless I've already psyched myself up for vegeterian lunch ;P) It comes with mustard leaf salad with sesame dressing, duck and spinach salad, 2 types of sashimi, pickles and miso soup. The rice they use is the normal long grain rice, not the nice glossy Japanese rice though I suppose for $15 nett it's alright? Pretty worth it considering it's in a restaurant and it's nett price.
And if that's not enough, if you pay using DBS/POSB, you'll get a returning dining voucher of $15 when you spend $30 bucks. Shiok or not?
3A River Valley Road
#01-04 Clarke Quay
Tel 6336 0100
I shall blog about part 2/3 of my delicious lunching on annual leave day 1 later.. more delicious food to come - including Spruce's Tacos and a sticky date pudding which is better than Marmalde Pantry's!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Tanglin Tree

So I have been not blogging consistently despite getting my iphone.

Good stuff that's been happenning lately (in no particular order)
1. Having yummy food at Pu Tien and Tangling Tree
2. Massive discharge though only enjoying the fruits of labour for 2 days
3. Sleeping >3.5h last night and eating a yummy++ vietnamese dinner
4. Drinking Gong cha at least once weekly - Fresh milk with hearbal jelly and Winter melon tea with BC jelly are my current faves
5. Looking forward to my leave next week!! Super excited I am going to go for a darn good Japanese lunch stat!
6. Friends coming back from overseas!

The not so good stuff
1. Going postcall at 730pm and having EEOD calls.
2. Missing dinner at TGIF cos I was too tired and sleepy
3. Cancelling meetups cos I'm too sleepy (sorry pok!)
4. Napping at 330pm and waking up at 930pm and being hungry
5. Hong Kong Cafe at Novena closing down! Just realized last weekend!
Had a suprisingly good breakfast at The Tanglin Tree - their breakfast set of eggs, bread, baked beans, bacon, sausage and salad ($12.50++) was filling and satisfying, and yet won't burn a hole in your pocket (unlike those overpriced at Dempsey). Choices of add ons include mushrooms with garlic ($3) which is yummy and a worthy add on, as well as hollandaise sauce (ok, so so but what are poached eggs without hollandaise sauce?)
Scrambled eggs with the same breakfast set minus the add ons - so so I think their poached eggs are better.
Minus points for the little kiddy birthday with screaming kids ++ Fortunately they left halfway through our meal. Another kid friendly restaurant I suppose? There's an al fresco seating area (which didn't have screaming kids) but I don't like the thought of sitting next to the main road and inhaling car exhaust while eating my breakfast.
One of the must trys here is their Trufflle Mashed Potatoes. Move over House's Truffle fries - for just a mere $5 bucks the truffle mashed potatoes come served to your table piping hot with the aromatic truffle smells warfting all over. Sprinkle on some freshly cracked black pepper and mixed salad leaves. The truffle mashed potatoes are very light smooth and airy. Supberb in every way. Totally didn't regret my greedy decision to order this on top of the breakfast.
Tried Cedele's Gula Melaka Pandan Cake ($5.80)
Walked over to Tanglin Mall for some desserts. Saw this in the Posh Nosh section of Urban.
Somehow the cake didn't live up to it's hype - the gula melaka frosting didn't have a strong enough gula melaka taste that I was expecting, and the pandan cake was rather hard and totally not like the soft spongy pandan chiffon I was imagining, though I suppose that perhaps it's more dense and compressed so that it can take the weight of the true Cedele style's thick slather of gula melaka icing. I'm liking the layer of kaya in between the cakes lots! I think the next time I eat pandan chiffon, I shall procure some really good quality kaya to go along with it - somehow it tastes really good together and they're 2 of my more favourite things.
The Tanglin Tree
56 Tanglin Road
#B1-01 Friven & Co Building
Singapore6733 0992

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yoguru and gong cha at raffles city

Free toppings every weekend at yoguru. Had my default plain ice cream yogurt from here. On top of their signature berry flavor they also have a new mango flavor. Didn't quite like it cos There was a slight bitter tinge. Best of all, yoguru at raffles city is very conveniently opened next to the newly opened gong cha.

Melon tea with BC jelly is my current fave- tho u can't have it less sweet. Tastes great with additional ai yu jelly which is essentially the same as the jelly in ice jelly cocktail.
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